The battle of Seattle, Washington, October 26-28, 1855, is not generally known. The history of the U. S. Navy is full of brilliant achievements on land and sea, but many are not chronicled or even known of except by a few.
This battle, in which the United States gunboat Decatur fought against hostile Indians, is an episode in the history of our Navy worth recording. Through the efforts of Captain Gansvoort, her commander, this ship helped in no small way in making the great empire of the West and in rendering possible an immigration unequaled in history.
This battle occurred in the harbor of what is now the great city of Seattle with its half million inhabitants, but at that time a struggling village of perhaps two hundred people, congregated together for mutual protection and interests. In the valleys beyond, the more adventurous men and women had taken up land for agricultural purposes. Bands of stalwart pioneers had hewn out of the wilderness little towns.