Armed Conflicts in US History

  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    Also called the Seven Years War, this war was mainly was between the British colonies (America) and French colonies in Canada, with assistance from Indian troops in the area. The war began in May 1754 when troops led by George Washington attacked a French patrol. Fighting lasted for 7 years, mainly in the Ohio River Valley and the northern colonies. Eventually, in 1763 the Treaty of Paris ended the war, resulting in more land ceded to the British colonies.
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Battles of Lexington and Concord
    Considered the first major military engagments between the colonists and the British, the Battle of Lexington and Concord sparked the Revolutionary War. When British regulars began searching for colonial supplies, a firefight broke out in Lexington, MA, known as "the shot heard around the world." The colonial militia was pushed back to Concord, where they met 500 other militiamen who defended the city of Concord against three companies of British troops.
  • The Revolutionary War

    The Revolutionary War
    The Revolutionary War was fought between the British Empire and the American colonists. Although fighting began as early as Lexington and Concord, the colonists did not official declare independence until the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Fighting lasted until 1783, when the Treaty of Paris made the colonies a free nation.
  • Battle of Trenton

    Battle of Trenton
    Knowing that the Continental Army needed a victory quickly to raise moral and persuade soldiers to reenlist as enlistments were about to end, George Washington led a surprise attack against the Hessians in Trenton, NJ. Famously crossing the Delaware River on Christmas Eve, Washington's forces suffered zero casualties while capturing around 900 men and 1,200 weapons.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    After a costly victory at Saratoga less than three weeks earlier on Sept. 19, British forces led by Gen. John Burgoyne attacked the American troops a second time. This time, however, American forces led by Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold were able to push back the British forces. Ten days later Burgoyne surrendered. This battle was the final signal to the French to join the war, which ultimately led to the colonists winning.
  • Siege of Yorktown

    Siege of Yorktown
    Following the French entering the war after the Battle of Saratoga, the combined forces of the Continental Army and the French, led by Rochambeau, marched to Yorkstown, VA. The French Navy blockaded the city from reinforcements, and the British, led by Gen. Cornwallis, were stuck between two formidable forces. What followed was a bombardment of artillary on the British. Eventually the British were forced to surrender, which then led to negotiations to start to finally end the war.
  • Whiskey Rebellion

    Whiskey Rebellion
    After a tax was put on whiskey in 1790, many Americans were angry. Some farmers used whiskey in the creation of their corn and revolted against the tax. As it turned violent, President Washington personally led a group of about 30,000 men to defeat the rebellion, reveraling the power of the Constitution.
  • Shays' Rebellion

    Shays' Rebellion
    Led by Daniel Shays, a Revolutionary War veteran, this rebellion was caused by the financial difficulties faced by Americans, a lack of "hard currency", and the harsh government policies. Shays and other war veterans shut down county courts to delay tan and debt collection. A militia was able to stop the group after they attempted to access the Springfield Armory. This revealed the problems the government would have to face to fix the nation.
  • Quasi War

    Quasi War
    This naval war was between the US and France. The French had been seizing American troops trading with Britain, who had been fighting with the British. American diplomats went to France, and were reportedly asked for a bribe to continue diplomatic relations with France (the "XYZ Affair"). America was appalled at this, and went to war, unofficially. The war hresulted in France's promise that they would no longer seize American ships and they would recognize US independence.
  • Battle of Tippecanoe

    Battle of Tippecanoe
    This battle was between US troops led by William Henry Harrison and Indian warriors led by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh had been an advocate in the fight against American expansion. As tensions and violence increased, Harrison organized around 1,000 men to go with him to Prophetstown, Indiana, to battle Tecumseh. The American troops outnumbered and defeated the Indian troops. The battle helped establish Harrison as a national hero and prevent further violence by some Indian tribes.
  • War of 1812

    War of 1812
    This war was fought between the US and the British, along with their Indian allies. America had been angry with trade retrictions and the impressment of American sailors by the British, along with a desire to expand their land. The war was fought in the sea and on land in southern America and the northeastern America-Canada region. There was no clear winner, as the Treaty of Ghent declared no territorial land changes, but it did establish the new America as a powerful force of the world.
  • Battle of New Orleans

    Battle of New Orleans
    This was the major battle in the War of 1812. The battle was actually fought after the Treaty of Ghent was signed in Europe, but word didnt get out till months later. The hero of this battle was future president Andrew Jackson. The US won, losing just 55 to Great Britain's 386.
  • Mexican American War

    Mexican American War
    Fought between the US and Mexico in the wake of the annexation of Texas, the war lasted until February 2, 1848. Fighting took place in California as well as the territories surrounding Mexico, such as New Mexico, and lastly in Mexico. The fighting only lasted a year and a half, with the US gaining victory upon capturing Mexico City. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo resulted in the addition of the California and New Mexico territories.
  • Civil War

    Civil War
    The American Civil War was fought between the Union (North) and the Confederacy (South). Due to various reasons, many southern states had seceeded and formed the Confederate States of America, and the Union aimed to re-admit these states to the US. The war continued on until a Union victory at Appotomatox VA on May 9, 1865. It has resulted in the most American deaths in its history.
  • First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas

    First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas
    The First Battle of Bull Run resulted in both sides realizing that the Civil War was not going to be a three month war. Meeting near the town of Manassas, VA, the two inexperienced armies clashed. Due to Southern reinforcements and the leadership of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, the South emerged victorious.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    After many successes to start the war, Gen. Robert E. Lee led his troops in the Maryland Campaign, taking the war onto Union soil. Meeting at Sharpsburg, MA, the resulting battle was the single bloodiest day in the Civil War, with 22,717 casualties combined. Gen. McClellen of the North attempted to crush Lee's army, but the battle resulted only ended with Lee's removal from the North. Although not a conclusive victory, Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation following Antietam.
  • Siege of Vicksburg

    Siege of Vicksburg
    Beginning in May 1863, General Grant of the Union Ar,y besieged the town of Vicksburg, a city on the MIssissippi River. After a few months, the town surrendered, and the Union took control of the Mississippi River, as part of the Anaconda Plan.
  • The Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg was the costliest battle of the Civil War, spanning three days and resulting between 46,000 and 51,000. Barring the stalemate at Antietam, Lee's army had not suffered a major loss, and he took the war into the North to try to end it. Meeting Gen. George Meade at Gettysburg, PA, the fighting was brutal. When the South failed to overtake the North and the infamous Pickett'ss Charge failed, Lee retreated and the South never recovered the brutal loss.
  • Sand Creek Massacre

    Sand Creek Massacre
    On November 29th in the Colorado Territory, 1864, a group of 700 men from the Colorado Territory militia attacked a village of friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. An estimated 70-163 Indians were killed and mutilated, the majority of whom being women and children.
  • Battle of Appotomatox

    Battle of Appotomatox
    This brief battle was the end of the Civil War. After fleeing from the Union troops, General Lee was cornered and forced to surrender at the Appomatox Courthouse, ending America's most catastrophic war.
  • Fetterman Massacre

    Fetterman Massacre
    Also called the Fetterman Fight, this battle took place near Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming between Captain William J. Fetterman's troop and a group of Indians, composed of the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. All 81 of Fetterman's men were killed in this Indian victory.
  • Second Battle of Adobe Walls

    Second Battle of Adobe Walls
    The first major battle of the Red River War. Fought between Comanche forces and a group of US bison-hunters. Despite being outnumbered, the hunters repelled the natives for four days. The Red River War ends after a brutal winter campaign where US soldiers slaughtered hundreds of Comanche and Cheyenne.
  • Battle of Little Bighorn

    Battle of Little Bighorn
    On June 25, General Custer led 600 of his men toward the Little Bighorn River in present day Montana. After dividing up his soldiers, Custer and 209 of his men were brutally murdered by a tribe of Sioux Indians with Sitting Bull at the head. This defeat made the US militia more dtermined to take down the Indians. A New York Herald writer soon dubbed this as "Custer's Last Stand."
  • Battle of Bear Paw Mountain

    Battle of Bear Paw Mountain
    In Blaine County, Montana, Chief Joseph was defeated and forced to surrender to American forces. This battle ended the Nez Perce War.
  • Dull Knife's Escape

    Dull Knife's Escape
    On a cold night in January, Dull Knife tried to escape from a US prison. He and his troops were able to kill the guards and break free for a moment. American soldiers were able to chase them down and murdered half of them, including children, women, and Dull Knife himself. This ended all of the remaining Indian resistance.
  • Haymarket Square Riot

    Haymarket Square Riot
    A demonstration that turned violent in Haymarket Square when an unknown person threw a bomb into a crowd of policemen who were breaking up the riot. The protest was about the killing of a striker the day before. When police arrived to break it up, an unidentified person threw the bomb, which caused the police to open fire. More than a dozen died, with around a hundred injured. This riot led to the arrest and deaths of many leading anarchists.
  • Wounded Knee Massacre

    Wounded Knee Massacre
    Soon after the death of Sitting Bull, a group of Sioux Indians attempted to flee to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. A battle broke out between the Americans and the Indians. A US soldier was shot and killed, although it is uncertain who shot him (many believe it was a friendly fire). This led to 300 Sioux Indians being killed and was the final resistance of the Sioux.
  • Homestead Strike

    Homestead Strike
    Dispute between Carnegie Steel Company and the employees of their plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Carnegie Steel hired the PInkerton Detective Agency to protect their plant, but the strikers attack. The dispute ended in seven union members and 3 Pinkertons dead.
  • Pullman Strike

    Pullman Strike
    This nationwide railroad strike began in Pullman, Illinois, when workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company started a wildcat strike due to their new, reduced wages. The strike was supported by the American Railway Union, and this led to a nationwide conflict. Eventually, President Cleveland and Attorney General Richard Olney sent in U.S. Marshalls and troops to destroy the strike. Violence followed and overall, 13 strikers were killed.
  • Battle of Manila Bay

    Battle of Manila Bay
    George Dewey commanded a U.S. fleet into Manila Bay in the Philippines. The ten Spanish ships anchored there were either destroyed or captured by the U.S. fleet. Overall, 381 Spanish and 1 American died in the fighting. This victory led to the capture of the capital, Manila, in mid-August.
  • The Spanish - American War

    The Spanish - American War
    On this date the war between Spain and America started. The war did not last long, The war ended that same year, with battles ranging from Spain to the Spanish owned Cuba. The battle were exaggerated and promoted because of the Yellow Journalism by the New York Journal and the New York World. America won the war eventually leading to independancy of Cuba.
  • Battle of Santiago de Cuba

    Battle of Santiago de Cuba
    In Cuba, the most significant land action of the Spanish-American war occurred. American troops captured three Spanish garrisons on three separate hills - El Caney Hill, Kettleman's Hill, and San Juan Hill. The fight on San Juan Hill was very important, as the American "Rough Riders" unit was led by Theodore Roosevelt, which turned him into an American hero.
  • The American - Philippine War

    The American - Philippine War
    This war escalated in February of 1899, but was not officially declared until June. The Filipino rebellion was led by Emilio Aguinaldo, while the American troops were led by General Dewey. In 1896, Aguinaldo led a revolt against Spain and now was leading one against America. After sending 70,000 troops to the Philippines, to go with the ones already there, the US was able to put down the resistance by the end of 1899. This war included 4,000 deaths on the American side and 20,000 on the other.
  • The Boxer Rebellion

    The Boxer Rebellion
    This was a Nationalist movement in China, where Chinese natives killed thousands of foreigners and Chinese Catholics. The US sent 25,000 soldiers to China, putting down any further rebellion.
  • Battle of Veracruz

    Battle of Veracruz
    After Mexican rebels led by General Victoriano Huerta overthew President Porfirio Diaz, Wilson was pressured to act. The US had invested around $2 billion in Mexican oil and other ventures, and the rebellion threatened to end these investments. After a month long blockade of the city, Wilson ordered the city to be taken. American casualties were around 65 men while approximately 500 Mexicans were killed or wounded. The city was held until November 23, 1914, when a new Mexican rule took over.
  • World War I

    World War I
    On April 6, 1917, America declared war on Germany and entered the war, fighting alongside the Allied Nations. They continued fighting in the war until the Armistice on November 11, 1918.
  • Battle of Cantigny

    Battle of Cantigny
    This was the first American offensive of WWI. The US used the experienced US 1st Division in this battle. Along with beating down Germany, the Americans wanted to make England and France trust in the AEF. In the end, America captured the village of Cantigny.
  • Second Battle of the Marne

    Second Battle of the Marne
    Often seen as the beginning of the end of the Great War, the Second Battle of the Marne was Germany's last real attempt of winning the war. US troops joined French and British forces against a large German force that was supposed to be a diversion to Germany's final attempt at winning. A strong German attack was stalled after two days of heavy fighting. The Allies were then able to create a strong counterattack by flanking the Germans on the 18th, with the battle ending August 6th.
  • Battle of St. Mihiel

    Battle of St. Mihiel
    The battle with 48,000 french troops along with the AEF under General John Pershing. Their goal was to break through the German lines.Howvever, the Americans left their ammunition and food on the trails to the cityof Metz. This led to them turning their attention to the Meuse-Argonne offensive
  • Meuse-Argonne Offensive

    Meuse-Argonne Offensive
    American and French troops, including the AEF led by General John Pershing, worked together to push back German troops along western France. Eventually, this resulted in the Armistice on November 11, 1918. This battle effectively ended the FIrst World War.
  • World War II

    World War II
    After the attack of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, America declared war on Japan, and joined the Allied side in the war. America battled in Africa and Europe to defeat the Nazis. After V-E day on May 8, 1945, America focused its attention on Japan. Using the "island-hopping" strategy, America was able the defeat Japan, resulting in V-J day on August 14, 1945, officially ending the war.
  • Battle of Midway Island

    Battle of Midway Island
    Considered by some the most important naval battle of World War II, on the 4th of June in 1942 the United States Navy defeated a fleet of the Japanese Navy, destroying four Japanese carriers in the process. The battle was a turning point in the war in the Pacific, as it was the first major American victory. America grew from this and began its "island-hopping" strategy, slowly gaining control of the Pacific.
  • The Battle of Stalingrad

    The Battle of Stalingrad
    The Battle of Stalingrad is seen as a major turning point in World War II. In July 1942, the German Army attempted to capture the industrial city of Stalingrad and bring a end to the eastern front. Unfortunately for the Nazis, Stalin knew the importance of Stalingrad, and fortified with whatever he could. The Germans continuously attempted to take the city, but were never successful. On February 2nd, 1943 the Nazis surrendered. Both sides suffered around a million causualties each.
  • Operation Torch

    Operation Torch
    After the Casablanca Conference, the Allies decided to begin with a British-American attack of French North Africa, land that the Germans held. The Allies hoped to gain control of the Mediterranean, and be able to have a clear attack on Italy. The Allies were eventually successful in their invasion.
  • Invasion of Italy

    Invasion of Italy
    After the success of Operation Torch, the Allies again went against Stalin's plan of attacking western Europe. They decided upon an invasion of Italy. The attack began on Sicily in July, and after their victory, they continued on to Italy in September. British and American forces attacked the Axis Powers stationed there, slowly gaining ground North. In September of 1943, an Italian revolt lead Italy to join forces with the Allies. The fighting continued until May, 1945.
  • D-Day

    D-Day
    D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion of all time. Beginning early June 6th, the Allied Forces, led by General Dwight Eisenhower, stormed the beaches of Normandy in France, through the air and by land. The goal was to beginning the second front against the Nazis and retake France. The invasion was a success, with Nazi forces unable to stop the Allied forces, but there were around 12,000 Allied casualties and between 4,000 and 9,000 Nazi casualties.
  • The Battle of the Bulge

    The Battle of the Bulge
    The Battle of the Bulge is known as the Nazi's last attempt to win the war. Hitler launched the counteroffensive with the goal of splitting the Allied forces in half. The German Army attacked a lightly guarded portion of the Allied line, where the only defenses were either inexperienced or battered Americans. Despite being almost annihilated, these Americans stalled the Nazi's long enough for reinforcements to stop the Nazis just short of grabbing any key points.
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    Battle of Iwo Jima
    The Battle on the island of Iwo Jima was part of America's "island hopping" strategy. This bloody battle resulted in over 20,000 deaths for both sides. The battle is famously known for the picture of the soldiers raising their flag, taken by Joe Rosenthal
  • Battle of Okinawa

    Battle of Okinawa
    The battle of Okinawa was the largest water battle in all of WWII. It lasted over 80 days, as Japan fought to the last man, using kamikaze fighters. The atomic bombs dropped came just weeks after, as over 100,000 Japanese were killed and over 65,000 Americans.
  • Atomic Bomb Droppings

    Atomic Bomb Droppings
    On August 6th, the Americans bombed the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Just days after, they bombed Nagasaki. These became the first ever nuclear weaponry used, and it officially ended the war. It ended up killing a combined 250,000 people, many of which were civilians that died from the radiation burns.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    When North Korea crossed the thirty eighth parallel into South Korea, the US was forced to defend South Korea from the communist North. President Truman got the UN to intervene instead of solely American forces. Led by Douglas MacArthur, the UN forces pushed North Korea to its Chinese border, where the Chinese threatened to enter the war. Despite MacArthur's badmouthing of Truman, a armistice was drawn at the 38th parallel in July 1953, ending the war.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    American involvement in the war began far before fighting began in 1965 by Americans. Presidents in the years past had sent in thousands of military advisors and people to train the South Vietnam army. From 1965 to 1973, Americans fought in the war against the Vietcong and the Army of North Vietnam. The war was very unpopular in the U.S. and resulted in many protests. Eventually in January of 1973, the Paris Peace Accords called for a cease-fire and a way for America to exit the war.
  • Bay of Pigs

    Bay of Pigs
    From April 17 to 19 the US tried to attack Cuba with their new leader Fidel Castro, a communist. The attack was a failure, however, as the US was clearly not prepared well enough. This resulted in over 300 combined deaths.
  • Gulf Of Tonkin Incident

    Gulf Of Tonkin Incident
    North Vietnamese patrol boats and two US destroyers clashed in the Gulf of Tonkin in early August, 1964. Johnson, declaring the attacks as "open agression on the high sea" and unprovoked, not admitting that the US ships were in North Vietnamese territory. Johnson used this incident to get the Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution passed, giving the president the authority to take "all necessary measures to repel an armed attack."
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    Operation Rolling Thunder
    This military strategy was used by the U.S. to weaken the resolve and power of the Communist North Vietnam. The strategy was essentially a continuous aerial bombing of the North by American and south Vietnamese planes. The bombing resulted in possibly over 200,000 military and civilian deaths of North Vietnamese civilians and military.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    A military strategy by the Vietcong and Borth Vietnam, this offensive attack was composed of various random suprise assaults on South Vietnamese cities and army bases. After the initial attacks, US and South Vietnamese troops were able to repel the communist troops, but the impact was huge in America. Americans were used to winning wars and this setback resulted in the "credibility gap" between the government and the people.
  • My Lai Massacre

    My Lai Massacre
    When the US attacked innocent civilians in the village My Lai. Over 300 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed. A few months later, this event was reported to the US public, making the opinion of this war even worse. This occurred under General Calley.
  • Invasion of Laos

    Invasion of Laos
    Not long after the Cambodian Campaign, Nixon decided to also invade Laos, another communist country that was supporting the North in the Vietnam War. A main goal of this campaign was to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which brought supplies to the North Vietnamese military. This invasion was also greeted angrily by the American people.
  • Invasion of Cambodia

    Invasion of Cambodia
    Also named the Cambodian Campaign, this military strategy was enforced by the U.S. and their South Vietnamese allies. The Ho Chi Minh Trail that ran through Cambodia and Laos had been the main source of supplies for the North Vietnamese military. This invasion resulted in an angry outburst by the U.S. people along with the Kent State and Jackson State shootings.
  • Kent State Shootings

    Kent State Shootings
    At Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, many college students and townspeople were protesting the invasion of Cambodia. The Ohio National Guard was brought in to handle the riot, and fired on the crowd. Four were killed with another nine wounded. The shooting resulted in an angry dissent by the public.
  • Jackson State Shooting

    Jackson State Shooting
    Just 11 days after the Kent State shooting, a similar event occured at Jackson State College in Jackson Mississippi. A group of students joined to protest the Vietnam War, and especially the invasion of Camboida. City and state policemen attempted to end the riot, and eventually fired into the crowd, leaving two dead with another twelve wounded,
  • Invasion of Grenada

    Invasion of Grenada
    Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, this war began after the Carribean island of Grenada began to be ruled by a socialist military dictator. The US intervened and quickly was able to re-establish a constitutional government. While this action was praised in the US, many others saw it as another example of the US throwing their power around.
  • Persain Gulf War

    Persain Gulf War
    Codenamed Operation Desert Storm, this war occurred after Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded the neighboring country of Kuwait. The US felt threatened, as the majority of the world's oil came from Kuwait or the nearby Saudia Arabia. To protect them, the US led a UN group with 33 other countries to push back the Iraqi troops. Success was simple, and this war was the main achievement of President George H. W. Bush.
  • Waco Siege

    Waco Siege
    In Waco, Texas, an extremist group called the Branch Davidians led by David Koresh was building up on weaponry. The US government obtained a search warrant, and they invaded the 9 mile ranch. Eventually, the FBI attacked the ranch, leading to a 51 day shootout. The ranch caught fire, killing 76, including Koresh.
  • War in Afghanistan/Operation Enduring Freedom

    War in Afghanistan/Operation Enduring Freedom
    Following the events of 9/11, President Bush declared a "war on terror" against the terrorist groups in the Middle East, specifically Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although the Taliban have been overthrown in Afghanistan, troops are still fighting the Taliban insurgency. The last withdrawal is not scheduled until 2014. OEF still continues however, as it has spread into other countries that contain terrorist groups.
  • Iraq War

    Iraq War
    Completely unrelated to the 9/11 attacks, the US invaded Iraq in 2003. The US felt threatened by Hussein and his potential WMDs. However, after the US overthrew Hussein and investigated his actions, they found that no WMDs were created. The US eventually withdrew all of their troops by December 2011.