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Nevada Historical Marker

The Two Battles Of Pyramid Lake

Nevada State Historical Marker
      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 and consequent white retreat began with a skillful ambush north of Nixon and continued along the plateau on the opposite side of the Truckee River almost to the present site of Wadsworth. On June 2, 1860, a strong force of volunteers and regular U.S. Army troops engaged the Indians in battle along the tableland and mountainside. Several hundred braves, attempting a delaying action to allow their women, children and elders to escape, fought with such courage and strategy that the superior Caucasian forces were held back during the day until the Indians withdrew. Paiute war leader Numaga (Young Winnemucca), described as a "superior man of any race," desired only peace for his people.