Aftermath of Paiute War

Published on October 22, 2012 by Casey

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Aftermath of Paiute War
Ruins at Fort Churchill State Historic Park

Aftermath of Paiute War

After the second battle of Pyramid Lake, the federal forces built a small fort at the southern end of Pyramid Lake to deny that area to the Paiutes. Small skirmishes and raids continued until August, when an informal cease-fire between Numaga and white surveyors working in the area north of Pyramid Lake was achieved. In 1861 the fort at Pyramid Lake was abandoned in favor of Fort Churchill, which was further south, along the Carson River. While the number of Paiutes killed in action during the Pyramid Lake War was probably quite small, the disruption to food gathering activities, especially fishing in Pyramid Lake, may have killed more from starvation. The Bannock War of 1878 may be viewed as a continuation of the Pyramid Lake War, as some Paiutes and Bannock fought in both wars. The war is of particular note because of its effect on the famed Pony Express. Several stations were ambushed and the service experienced its first and only delays in delivery. A few brave riders distinguished themselves during this time, especially Robert “Pony Bob” Haslam, who accomplished (out of necessity) a 380-mile round trip between Lake Tahoe (Friday’s Station) and Fort Churchill and back with only nine hours of rest around May 10 of 1860.

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}
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