Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe War Memorial Holiday 2024 

Timeline of events, Pyramid Lake War of 1860
** Content submitted by Mervin Wright, JR. **

On this day in 1860, the first of two battles of Pyramid Lake took place in present day Nixon. The accounts report that the soldiers reached Nixon at approximately 3:00 PM and the battle begun at about 4:00 PM and lasted approximately two hours. 

– May 1860: Notices are posted noting the land as the Indian
reservation.  (87)

– May 7, 1860: Mogoannoga, chief of the Humboldt Meadows band, known to settlers as Captain Soo, stole away from the council seven braves, and attack Williams Station 88 (near present-day Silver Springs) and rescue two young Paiute women held captive. All five white settlers are killed in the raid. (89)

– May 10, 1860: 105 poorly armed, ill-disciplined detachment of men, under the command of Major William Ormsby depart Virginia City, Silver City, Carson City, and Genoa enroute to Pyramid Lake. (90)

– May 12, 1860: The first battle of Pyramid Lake takes place along the Truckee River (near present-day Nixon).(91) It is reported Major Ormsby and seventy-five (75) of his men are accounted as killed. It is accounted more of a slaughter than a battle. (92)

– May 24, 1860: 800 well-armed and better-led men leave Virginia City enroute to Pyramid Lake as a result of the first battle. (93) The majority of these soldiers are dispatched from Sacramento.

– June 2, 1860: The second battle of Pyramid Lake takes place in the same area as the first battle. Due to the higher fire power of the white soldiers, the Paiute slowly withdraw to the north (94) and do not suffer high casualties. The Pyramid Lake War is proved a draw. (95)

– August 9, 1860: Indian Agent Dodge writes to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, “Trespass and depredations of every kind have been committed on these Indians [Pyramid Lake Paiutes]. (96)

** 87 Leibling p. 59, New Yorker Magaz ne, January 8, 1955.
88 Bancroft p. 208.
89 Townley, Pyramid Lake War, p.3.
90 Ibid. p. 4.
91 Ibid. p. 9.
92 Ibid. p.14.
93 Ibid. p. 15.
94 Ibid. p. 20.
95 Ibid. p. 21.
96 Dixon p. 87.

2024 Pyramid Lake War Memorial Registration and Agenda:

Eagle Staff Run Registration 2024
Pyramid Lake War Memorial 2024 Agenda