Timeline of Major Events

During the Era of the Mullan Road



Type of Event

Congress authorizes a geographer and surveyor of roads July 25, 1777 Act of Congress
Coeur d’Alene tribe named by French-speaking trappers 1790 *****
Congress establishes the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers 1794 Act of Congress
Congress increases the size of the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers 1798 Act of Congress
Congress creates the Corps of Engineers March 16, 1802 Act of Congress
Congressional Act specifically authorizes topographic engineers March 3, 1813 Act of Congress
General Joseph G. Swift orders a complete survey of harbor and port fortifications March 21, 1815 Military order
Hudson Bay Company establishes Fort Colville (then spelled Colvile) 1827 Fort construction
Fort Benton, Montana, built 1846 Fort construction
Cayuse War 1847-1850 ***** War
Mormon Pioneers found Salt Lake City as the first city of Deseret July 24, 1847 Town foundation
Whitman Massacre November 29, 1847 Massacre
Plains Wars 1848-1880s War
Navajo Conflicts 1849-63 War
Fort Drum (later Fort Dalles) established May 13, 1850 Fort construction
George McClellan finds gold on the Yakima River September 1853 Gold discovery
Governor Stevens meets with General George McClellan at Fort Colville October 1853 *****
Mullan Expedition crosses Continental Divide six times October 8, 1853- ? 1854 Military Road construction
Mullan established winter camp at mouth of Willow Creek ten miles south of Fort Owen in Bitterroot Valley October 8, 1853 Military Road construction
Sioux Wars 1854-90 War
Angus McDonald discovers gold at Fort Colville 1854 Gold discovery
Congress appropriates $150,000 to the War Department for Pacific railroad surveys March 3, 1854 *****
Grattan Massacre August 17, 1854 Massacre
Mullan order to Washington D.C. September 1854 Military Road construction
Mullan reaches Fort Dalles October 14, 1854 Military Road construction
Yakima War 1855-58 War
Mullan leaves for Washington D.C. January 15, 1855 Military Road construction
Congress Appropriates $30,000 for the creation of Camel Corps for the U.S. Army March 3, 1855 Act of Congress
General Harney given command of an expeditionary force to be led against the Sioux March 22, 1855 Military order
Isaac Stevens invites Nez Perce and other tribes to a great council in Walla Walla Valley May 1855 Council
Nez Perce tribe arrives at the meeting area May 24, 1855 Council
Cayuse tribe arrives at the council May 26, 1855 Council
Isaac Stevens opens his great council May 29, 1855 Council
Great council ends with Steven's promise that Indian lands will be secure for two or three years June 12, 1855 Council
Newspaper article under Stevens' signature announces the Indian lands are open to settlement June 24, 1855 Council
Generals Harney and Cooke massacre camp of Brule indians on Blue Water Creek, Nebraska September 3, 1855 Massacre
Union Gap, Battle of October 5, 1855 Battle
Judge C.E. Irvine and party from Walla Walla Washington Terriority stops at the spot that will become Butte, Montana 1856 *****
Seattle, Battle of January 26, 1856 Battle
Unnamed battle on White River March 1, 1856 Battle
Eight infantry companies under Colonel George Wright sent to Fort Dalles March 28, 1856 Military movement
Satus, Battle of the April 9, 1856 Battle
Big Meadows, Battle of May 27, 1856 Battle
First Fort Walla Walla established November 1856 Fort construction
Utah War March 23, 1857 - June 26, 1858 War
U.S. President James Buchanan declares Utah in rebellion of the U.S. government June 29, 1857 Presidential declaration
Mountain Meadows Massacre September 8-12, 1857 Massacre
Brigham Young declares martial law in Utah and forbids entry of U.S. troops September 15, 1857 Martial Law Declaration
Indian leader Leschi hanged at Fort Steilacoom February 19, 1858 Execution
Captain Andrew A. Humphreys, in charge of the office of Explorations and Surveys, secures a special assignment for John Mullan March 15, 1858 Military Road construction
New York newspapers announce the Mullan Road Project March 31, 1858 *****
Lieutenant Mullan arrives at Fort Dalles May 15, 1858 Military Road construction
Steptoe, Battle of May 16/17, 1858 Battle
Olympia Pioneer and Democrat newspaper reprints announcement of Mullan Road Project May 21, 1858 *****
Unnamed battle June 17, 1858 Battle
Lieutenant Mullan leaves Fort Dalles for Fort Walla Walla July 16, 1858 Military Road construction
Fort Taylor established at mouth of Tucannon River August 7, 1858 Fort construction
Colonel Wright and Lieutenant Mullan leave Fort Walla Walla August 7, 1858 Military movement
Four Lakes, Battle of September 1, 1858 Battle
Spokane Plains, Battle of September 5, 1858 Battle
Colonel Wright's Expedition camps on Spokane River September 6, 1858 Expedition
Colonel Wright orders the slaughter of 700 captured Indian horses September 9, 1858 Expedition
Peace council at Cataldo Mission with Coeur D'Alene Indians ends the Yakima Indian War September 17, 1858 Council
Indian Leader Qualchan hung by Colonel Wright near Latah Creek (later known as Hangman Creek) September 24, 1858 Execution
Six Indians hung by Colonel Wright September 25, 1858 Execution
Indian leader Owhi killed at Fort Walla Walla while trying to escape October 4, 1858 Execution
General W.S. Harney, in command of Military Department of Oregon and Washington, proclaims peace restored and the area ready for settlement October 29, 1858 *****
Mullan returns to Washington D.C. December 1858 Military Road construction
Dalles - Great Salt Lake Military Road authorized and initiated 1859 Military Road construction
General W.S. Harney receives urgent request to provide escorts to parties engaged in surveying the international boundary February, 1859 *****
Oregon becomes a state February 14, 1859 Statehood
Mullan receives orders to complete the military road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Benton March 18, 1859 Military orders
Mullan's party leaves Fort Dalles June 8, 1859 Military Road construction
Mullan departs Fort Walla Walla and actual construction of the military road begins June 29, 1859 Military Road construction
General W.S. Harney establishes Fort Colville about 14 miles southeast of the Hudson Bay Company post of the same name Summer ? 1859 Fort construction
Harpers Ferry, Brown's Raid on October 16 - 18, 1859 Raid
Missoula County created as a part of Washington Territory 1860 *****
E.D. Pierce discovers gold on the North Fork of the Clearwater River February 20, 1860 Gold discovery
Steamer Idaho launched on Columbia River for service between the Cascades and The Dalles during Idaho gold rush June 9, 1860 *****
Oregon Steam Navigation Company chartered in Washington Territory December 29, 1860 *****
Town of Lewiston, Idaho, founded 1861 Town foundation
Town of Pierce founded (then in Washington Territory, present-day Idaho) July 1861 Town foundation
Mullan and his party blaze a tree at a pass east of Coeur d'Alene to celebrate Fourth of July July 4, 1861 Military Road construction
Gold discovered at Florence, Idaho August 12, 1861 Gold discovery
Steptoe retires from army after three years on sick leave November 1, 1861 Battle
Sioux War 1862-64 War
Florence, Idaho, has 8,000 residents in late June, 1862 June, 1862 Miner emigration
Florence, Idaho, has 2,000 residents in July, 1862 July, 1862 Miner emigration
Gold discovered on Grasshopper Creek at Bannack, Montana July 28, 1862 *****
Captain Mullan receives a promotion with the date of rank being the date of the completion of the Mullan Road August 11, 1862 Military Road construction
Captain Mullan disbands his Expedition September 11, 1862 Military Road construction
Bear River, Battle of January 29, 1863 Battle
Captain Mullan presents his Report on the Construction of a Military Road from Fort Walla-Walla to Fort Benton to the Topographical Bureau in Washington D.C. February 14, 1863 Military Road construction
President Abraham Lincoln signed an act creating Idaho Territory March 4, 1863 *****
Gold found near Alder Creek, Montana May 26, 1863 *****
Cheyenne and Arapaho War 1864-68 War
Idaho County established with its county seat at Florence February 4, 1864 *****
Montana Territory created May 26, 1864 Territorial establishment
Missoula County created as a part of Montana Territory 1865 *****
The firm of Worden and Company erects a sawmill at the site of Missoula, Montana Winter of 1864-65 *****
Sioux War 1865-68 War
Ute War 1865-68 War
Fort Dalles abandoned August 1866 Fort abandonment
Fetterman Massacre December 21, 1866 Massacre
Wagon Box Fight August 2, 1867 Battle
Modocs, Campaign against 1872-73 War
North Fork of the Red River, Battle of September 29, 1872 Battle
Lost River, Battle of November 29, 1872 Battle
Hanging of Captain Jack, Boston Charley, Black Jim, and Schonchin John at Fort Klamath October 3, 1873 Execution
Camp Coeur d'Alene (Fort Sherman) established 1877 Fort construction
Nez Percé War 1877 War
Whitebird Canyon, Battle of June 17, 1877 Battle
Clearwater, Battle of July 11/12, 1877 Battle
Big Hole, Battle of August 9/10, 1877 Battle
Camas Creek, Battle of August 20, 1877 Battle
Canyon Creek, Battle of September 13, 1877 Battle
Cow Island, Battle of September 23, 1877 Battle
Surrender of Nez Percé in Bear Paw Mountains of Montana October 5, 1877 Surrender
Bannocks, Campaign against 1878 War
Fort Missoula built in order to restore the Mullan Road Summer 1878 Fort construction
A detachment from Fort Missoula captures last band of Nez Percé July 21, 1878 Surrender
Soldiers from Fort Missoula begin the project to restore the Mullan Road Summer 1879 Military road construction
Montana becomes a state November 8, 1889 Statehood
Washington becomes a state November 11, 1889 Statehood
Idaho becomes a state July 3, 1890 Statehood