The Chickamauga Wars were a series of battles, ambushes, and massacres staged between Cherokee forces under Dragging Canoe and the many militias comprised of Scotch-Irish settlers in Kentucky, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Georgia during and after the Revolutionary War. By the 1780’s, the Chickamauga Wars had sort of spread and merged with other wars being fought between Indian nations and settlers throughout much of America.
Like most of the Indian Wars, the Chickamauga Wars occurred with increased White encroachment on Indian lands. The Chickamauga Wars coincided with the Revolutionary War. As a result, American forces were forced to fight the combined forces of the British, Cherokees, and many other united tribes in the war’s southern theater and in the western territories. As the Americans gained ground in the southern colonies, military detachments were sent that annihilated Cherokee villagers, villages, crops, orchards, and livestock along the Chickamauga River in Tennessee and Georgia in 1777 and 1778. While the Cherokees were successful in staging raids and ambushes on settlements and along the various trails established to guide settlers into the region, they were eventually overwhelmed by the American presence and many lost the will to continue the fight. Near the end of the Revolution, Dragging Canoe and his supporters were forced to move west and merge with other tribes to maintain the resistance, without the arms and financing of the defeated British. Meanwhile, other Indian tribes that had banded together fought the settlers in more northern latitudes. The Chickamauga Wars soon spread throughout the south and into the Midwest where the Cherokees, Shawnee, Miami, Muskogee, and dozens of other tribes united in the fight. By the early 1790’s, and through the first and second decades of the 19th century, wars, battles, ambushes, and guerilla warfare between the Indians and settlers scarred much of the interior of America. Tens of thousands of Indians and natives were killed in the skirmishing. Along with Dragging Canoe, many other incredible native leaders emerged in the conflict such as Blue Jacket, Little Turtle, and eventually, the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh. While many nations and tribes resisted for years to come, they were eventually overwhelmed by the sheer number of settlers and the quest for expansion initiated by the U.S. Government.
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