It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?

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tags: archaeology, Native American massacre, Shoshone, Col Patrick Connor, Bear River Massacre



When Col. Patrick Connor led a group of U.S. cavalrymen in a daytime attack on the Shoshone in Idaho, up to 493 men, women and children were killed. The events of that bitter cold January morning in 1863 are referred to as the Bear River Massacre, and although it is considered by many to be the largest Native American massacre in U.S. history, few people know the story.

The number of tribe members who died in the massacre varies in reports. Accounts at the time the number reported was 210-300 dead, while the Salt Lake Tribune reported in 2008 that a Danish emigrant claimed in his autobiography that he counted the bodies twice and numbered 493. A plaque placed by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers at the site reports 250-300 were "killed or incapacitated."

For years, the exact location of the massacre was lost — but now, more than 150 years later, archaeologists are searching for the site, hoping to better document the event and educate the public about its significance.




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