The Two Battles of Pyramid Lake

Washoe County
  39.74967, -119.33202

"... Upon stepping out of my truck, the energy of this 19th-century squabble resides in the desert air. Silent and somber; resentment might still reside in the area. If this one should ever go missing, this landmark would be a great loss to Nevada indeed." -- Journal Entry, May 2008

Along SR 447, 7 miles south of Nixon, 9 miles north of Wadsworth

Original Date Visited: 5/19/08

Signed: Both lanes of SR 447

Notes: This marker was one of thirty markers that was re-vamped in 2015 in celebration of "Battle Born, 150th: A State Sesquicentennial" (as evident by the campaign's logo on the plaque).

  • [148] Sign for Marker 148
  • [148] Marker 148 represents one of the more disturbing tales in Nevada history
  • [148] Lonely views at Marker 148
  • [148] Interpretive signs were erected by the Pyramid Lake tribe around 2014
  • [148] Interpretive signs were erected by the Pyramid Lake tribe around 2014

Exact Description:
On May 12, 1860, Northern Paiute warriors, fighting to retain their way of life, decisively defeated a volunteer army from Virginia City and nearby settlements. The battle began with a skillful Numu (Paiute) Native American ambush north of Nixon and with the engagement continuing along the plateau on the opposite side of the Truckee River almost to the present site of Wadsworth.

On June 2, 1860, a larger force of volunteers and regular U.S. Army troops engaged Numu warriors in battle along the tableland and mountainside. Several hundred warriors, attempting a delaying action to allow their women, children, and elders to escape, fought with such courage and strategy that the attacking forces were held back during the day until the Numu could withdraw.

Numu war leader, Numaga (young Winnemucca) desired only peace, but he fought back to defend his people.

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Related Links & Markers

 [143] -- Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins   [192] -- Buckland's Station   Pyramid Lake War (Online Nevada Encyclopedia)   Pyramid Lake (Official Website) 

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