The Cheyenne and Arapaho were attracted to the grasslands of western Kansas in the early 19th century. Reliable sources of water also made this area well suited to horse-mounted bison hunters.
The increasing presence of Euroamericans and their non-native culture threatened Indian land and livelihood. Bison, vital to Plains Indian existence, were frightened away and killed. Pastures were created by the use of trails and grazed by immigrant livestock. These factors, along with misunderstandings and broken promises, led to conflicts between Indians and Euro-americans in the latter half of the 1800s.
The last Indian battle in Kansas took place on September 27, 1878 in northern Scott County, Kansas. The history of this battle differs from earlier conflicts between the Indians and immigrant Euro-americans. The Battle of Punished Woman's Fork was one in a series of skirmishes involving the Northern Cheyenne, who had fled from a southern reservation to return to their northern homeland.