Threats Internal and External

Otter’s Column

Battle of Cut Knife Hill, 2 May 1885

Caption: Battle of Cut Knife Hill, 2 May 1885

Leaving Swift Current, located west of Qu'Appelle, Otter and his men headed north. By the third week of April they reached Battleford, where their first act was to secure the safety of the white inhabitants. The column then veered southwest, where scouts had located some Indian marauders responsible for murder and extortion in and around Battleford. Advancing by night towards the Indian camp near Cut Knife Hill, Otter was discovered before he could attack, thereby losing the advantage of surprise. On 2 May, after a day of indecisive fighting, the soldiers fell back on Battleford.

Under Poundmaker, who was following Riel's orders, the Indians made their way towards Batoche. They seized a supply convoy en route to Battleford on 14 May, the very day the Métis were beaten at Batoche; realizing there was no way out, the members of Poundmaker's band began to scatter. After nine days playing a dangerous game of hide and seek, the Indian leader reached Battleford, where he surrendered.