Inside Sources: US Military Campaigns

By Mark Haviland Premium

If your ancestor was in the service, he may have participated in one of these US military campaigns:

1622-1644 * Powhatan Wars Jamestown settlers and Powhatan Indians clash several times.

1637 * Pequot War Pequot Indians and Puritan settlers battle in the Connecticut River Valley region.

1675-1676 * King Philip’s War Indian leader Metacomet (known as King Philip) organizes several New England tribes in a revolt against Colonial expansion.

1676 * Bacon’s Rebellion Nathaniel Bacon leads two unauthorized expeditions against American Indians.

1677-1679 * Culpeper’s Rebellion Albemarle, Carolina-area colonists imprison the deputy governor, convene their own legislature and run the government.

1689-1697 * King William’s War The French and their Indian allies attack British settlements in New York, New Hampshire and Maine.

1689-1691 * Leisler’s Rebellion Militia captain Jacob Leisler proclaims himself governor of New York and tries to organize an expedition against French Canada.

1702-1713 * Queen Anne’s War French and Indians attack British settlements including Deerfield, Mass. The British capture Acadia (later renamed Nova Scotia).

1711-1713 * The Tuscarora War Tuscarora Indians attack settlers living along North Carolina’s Neuse and Pamlico rivers. Colonists end the uprising aided by troops and Yamasee Indians from South Carolina.

1715-1716 * Yamasee War Fed up with dishonest deerskin traders, the Creek, Yamasee, Apalachee, Savannah and Sarraw attack South Carolina settlements.

1739-1742 * War of Jenkins’ Ear England declares war on Spain as both nations try to expand their interests in America. Fighting ends in a stalemate.

1744-1748 * King George’s War French, Indians and Spanish fight the British from French Canada to the Caribbean Sea.

1754-1763 * French and Indian War British regulars and American colonials square off against the French and their Indian allies. The capture of Quebec ends French rule in Canada.

1760-1762 * Cherokee uprising A breakdown in relations between the British and Cherokee leads to fighting in Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas.

1763-1766 * Pontiac’s War Led by Pontiac, the Ottawa, Wyandot, Pota-watomi and Ojibwa attempt to drive British settlers out of former French territories.

1763-1764 * Paxton Boys Uprising Pennsylvania frontiersmen march on Philadelphia and raid the Conestoga Indians.

1765-1766 * Stamp Act Revolt The Sons of Liberty resist the Stamp Act, which the British repeal in March 1766.

1768-1771 * Regulator War Colonists in western North Carolina fight government officials and militia troops.

1770 * Boston Massacre British soldiers kill five Boston residents.

1773 * Boston Tea Party Colonists dressed as Indians board ships in Boston Harbor and dump tea into the water.

1774 * Lord Dunmore’s War Shawnee Indians fight Virginia settlers over colonists’ expansion into the Appalachians.

1775-1783 * American Revolution The 13 Colonies fight for independence from Great Britain.

1786-1787 * Shays’ Rebellion Suffering from a harsh economy, Massachusetts farmers march on Springfield; the state militia defeats the uprising.

1790-1812 * Ohio Valley campaigns US forces fight sporadic battles with Miami, Shawnee and other tribes in present-day Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

1794 * Whiskey Rebellion Western Pennsylvanians protest the government’s new tax on whiskey.

1798-1800 * Quasi-war with France French privateers prey on US merchant vessels, prompting an undeclared naval war between the United States and France.

1801-1805 * First Barbary War The US attacks the Barbary state of Tripoli after refusing to pay tribute to pirates.

1812-1814 * War of 1812 The United States takes on British forces, which burn Washington, DC.

1815 * Second Barbary War Algiers declares war on the United States.

1817-1818 * First Seminole War Conflict begins after US authorities try to reclaim runaway black slaves living among the Seminoles.

1832 * Black Hawk War Illinois and Wisconsin militia, supported by the US Army, take on the Sauk, Fox, Win-nebago, Sioux and Chippewa tribes.

1835-1842 * Second Seminole War War erupts after Seminoles refuse to relocate west of the Mississippi River.

1836 * War of Texas Independence American settlers in Texas fight Mexico for independence.

1838-1839 * Trail of Tears US soldiers relocate Cherokee Indians from eastern states to territory in what’s now Oklahoma. More than 4,000 Cherokee die during the journey.

1838-1839 * Aroostook War Maine farmers and Canadian lumbermen clash over territory along the border.

1839-1846 * Anti-rent War New York farmers rebel against a feudal landowner system.

1842 * Dorr Rebellion An attempt to reform Rhode Island’s 1663 charter, which gives only landowners the right to vote, becomes an armed uprising.

1846-1848 * Mexican War Mexico cedes present-day California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada to the United States.

1864-1868 * Navajo wars After a series of treaties fails, Col. Kit Carson begins a scorched-earth policy that forces the Indians to surrender.

1855-1858 * Third Seminole War The Seminole Indians are defeated and moved from Florida.

1857-1858 * Utah War President Buchanan sends troops to enforce his appointment of a non-Mormon governor.

1860-1900 * Plains and Western Indian wars Western states witness conflicts between US settlers and American Indian inhabitants.

1861-1865 * American Civil War Southern states secede over states’ rights and slavery issues. The North fights to keep the Union intact.

1866-1871 * The Fenian War An Irish-American movement launches five unsuccessful raids in Canada.

1898 * Spanish-American War America declares war on Spain and launches offensives in Cuba and the Philippines.

1899-1902 * Philippine Insurrection US ground troops clash with Filipino freedom fighters.

1900 * Boxer Rebellion The United States is part of an international force that ends a siege of Beijing.

1898-1934 * The Banana Wars Marines deploy to quell revolts in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama and Cuba.

1916-1917 * Pancho Villa Expedition Thousands of US troops enter Mexico in pursuit of the bandit and revolutionary Pancho Villa.

1917-1918 * World War I More than 4 million Americans serve in the “The Great War.”

1919-1920 * Russian Revolution US forces deploy to Vladivostok and Siberia to support anti-Bolshevik forces.

1941-1945 * World War II More than 16 million Americans fight in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific.

Learn how to research your ancestors’ military service with these genealogy resources from Family Tree Magazine:
From the September 2005 Family Tree Sourcebook