The Steptoe Battle, known as the Battle of To-Hoto-Nim-Me or the Battle of Pine Creek, was a conflict between the United States Army and the Coeur d’Alene, Palouse and the Spokane Tribes. The Steptoe Battle occurred on May 17, 1858, near present-day Rosalia, Washington. While the U.S. Army Troop had victories from the Battle of Spokane Plains and the Battle of Four Lakes, the Native Americans were victorious this time.
The Steptoe Battle arose from the tension that grew on the Columbia Plateau, as the treaties at the 1885 Walla Walla Council forced tribes to give away vast portions of their lands. The Americans also allowed mistreated of the Indians by miners trespassing the tribal lands and attacking them. This was followed by more American fur traders, gold seekers, and missionaries settling in the Native American tribes’ land.
As a result of this tension, many natives were angry and retaliated by isolated killings of Americans. Under the leadership of Colonel Edward Steptoe, the U.S. Army Troop went to battle near Spring Valley Creek and North Pine Creek. There was a surprise attack by a group of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The battle would last for ten hours, which ended with the U.S. Army Troop being defeated by the lack of ammunition to continue fighting. This was a significant battle out of the Coeur d’Alene War because this was a victory, instead of a loss.
To honor the Steptoe Battle, visit the plaque that is on the fourth side of the monument at the Steptoe Battlefield State Park Heritage Site. To learn more information, check out the website https://www.parks.wa.gov/591/Steptoe-Battlefield. You can also call the site at 509-337-6457. The hours of operation are from 6:30am – dusk time during the summer and 8:00am – dusk time during the winter season. The Steptoe Battlefield State Park is located at S Summit Loop, Rosalia, WA 99170.
Dee Dee McGowan
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South Summit Loop, Rosalia, Washington 99170, United States