With all of the fighting happening in Africa, the Middle East, and in small pockets with terrorists, it can be easy to lose sight of the progress we’ve made as humans.
Over the past 50 years, the world has seen fewer wars than at any time in the past five centuries. It has been one of the most peaceful periods of human civilization, even though we have more people and fewer resources available than arguably at any other time.
The United States has been quite fortunate in its warfare history. Only a handful of battles have happened in the country after the Civil War.
Outside of the War of 1812, the only other time enemy forces occupied American territories was 1942. Japanese forces attacked the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska.
During that same year in September, Japanese bombers conducted a raid on the American mainland. They dropped incendiary bombs on one of Oregon’s state forests, causing Mt. Emily to light up in flames.
What Was the Last Major Battle Fought in the U.S.?
The last significant military engagement on U.S. soil happened in 1890 at the Battle of Wounded Knee.
Depending on one’s perspective of the conflict, it might also be known as the Wounded Knee Massacre.
It happened in December of that year. The U.S. Army had been dispatched to disarm a Lakota camp in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation within South Dakota’s Borders. Over 250 people from the tribe were killed that day, including women and children.
Another 31 soldiers died in the conflict, with 33 having injuries. The U.S. Government gave 20 soldiers in the battle the Medal of Honor.
The National Congress of American Indians passed two resolutions in 2001, condemning the military awards. Although they’ve never been rescinded, Congress passed a 1990 resolution that expressed “deep regret.”
For the last full war that was fought on U.S. soil, one would need to go back to the American Civil War.