Cherokee War of 1776

The Cherokee War of 1776 (also The Second Cherokee War), was a series of conflicts and raids between the American colonists and native Cherokee tribes. The cause of these conflicts were due in part to the western expansion of the frontiersmen into Cherokee lands in western North Carolina. This particular conflict and the many that followed are known to historians as the Cherokee–American wars or (Chickamauga Wars).[1]


The war began in the Summer[clarification needed] of 1776. The conflicts arose in part due to the rapid expansion of European-American settlers into Cherokee lands, which caused the tribe concern. It began with a series of raids against the trans-Appalachian settlements.[citation needed]


Under the Command of General Griffith Rutherford, Captain William Moore led attacks against the Cherokee in July 1776 during an punitive expedition, destroying five Cherokee towns, killing around 50-60 Cherokees, and suffering only minor losses.[2]

During the expedition, Rutherford also led militia men to the town of Cowee. Being over-powered and out-numbered, the Cherokee people offered peace to the American People.[3] This conflict was known as the "Battle of Cowee Gap." After the destruction and loss that the Cherokee people endured, the majority of the Cherokee settlements signed the Treaty of Dewitt's Corner in 1777.[4]


The Treaty of Dewitt's Corner did not stop all conflict between the American and the Cherokee peoples. In fact, groups of the Chickamauga band of the Cherokee led by Dragging Canoe refused to sign the treaty and continued attacks on the American settlements. A peaceful agreement with the Chickamauga Cherokees did not come until 1785 when the Treaty of Hopewell was signed.[5] Regional conflicts between the American people and all Indigenous peoples in the eastern continental United States continued until the Indian Removal Act in 1830 led to the Trail of Tears.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Kane, Sean. "The Bloody Ground: The Chickamauga Wars and Transappalachian". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "The American Revolution in North Carolina - Cherokee Expedition 1776 - Rutherford's Campaign". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  3. ^ "Rutherford's Expedition against the Indians, 1776 • North Carolina Booklet 4:8 (1904)". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  4. ^ "Cherokee wars and treaties | United States history". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  5. ^ "Cherokee War of 1776 |". Retrieved 2018-10-31.