Utes, September 1879-November 1880. The Indian agent, N. C. Meeker, at White River Agency (Colorado) became involved in a dispute with Northern Utes in September 1879 and requested assistance from the Army. In response, Maj. T. T. Thornburgh's column of some 200 men (parts of the 5th Cavalry and 4th Infantry) moved out from Fort Steele (Wyoming). On 29 September this force was attacked and besieged in Red Canyon by 300 to 400 warriors. Thornburgh's command was finally relieved by elements of the 9th Cavalry that arrived on 2 October and of the 5th Cavalry under Col. Wesley Merritt who arrived on 5 October, but in the meantime Meeker and most of his staff had been massacred. Before the Utes were pacified in November 1880, several thousand troops, including elements of the 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 14th Infantry had taken the field. In 1906 the Utes of this area left their reservation and roamed through Wyoming, terrorizing the countryside, until they were forced back on their reservation by elements of the 6th and 10th Cavalry.
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