I came across a summary (that also had some expanded explanatory notes) on early battles that Kamehameha was involved with – effectively from about 1760 to the mid-1780s. (You can put some time context to these – these were about the time of the American Revolutionary War.)
I liked the formatting and summary nature of the descriptions, including the who, what, where, when and why, and result. These are included here as presented by Harrington (with some editing for formatting purposes.)
Battle #1—Hilo Warriors of Alapaʻinui Defeat Kaʻū Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu Near Hilo
Who: The Kaʻū warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, including his kahu Puna, Kekūhaupiʻo, and Keawemauhili vs. the Hilo warriors of Alapaʻinui and chiefs loyal to Alapaʻinui, including Keawe‘ōpala, Keaweāheulu, and the three sons of Keawepoepoe (Kameʻeiamoku, Kamanawa and Keʻeaumoku.)
Where: Near Hilo, Hawai‘i Island.
Why: Kalaniʻōpuʻu seeks to avenge Alapa‘inui’s poisoning of Keōuanui, the father of Kamehameha, and take Kamehameha from Alapa‘inui’s court in Hilo and bring him to his own court in Kaʻū.
When: Kamehameha is about ten years old.
Result: Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s forces suffer many deaths and are put to flight by the warriors of Alapaʻinui.
Battle #2—Kaʻū Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu Defeat Hilo Warriors of Keawe‘ōpala and Keʻeaumoku Inland of Kawaihae.
Who: The Kaʻū warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu vs. the Hilo warriors of Keawe‘ōpala, allied with Keʻeaumoku.
Where: Inland of Kawaihae on Hawai‘i Island, between Keʻei and Hōnaunau.
Why: Kalaniʻōpuʻu seeks revenge for his earlier military defeat by the warrior forces of Alapaʻinui.
When: c.1760. Some years after previous battle; after death of Alapaʻinui.
Result: After a battle lasting several days, Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s forces are victorious. A turning point in this battle is the death of Keawe‘ōpala’s kahuna nui Ka‘akau. Keawe‘ōpala is also killed. Keʻeaumoku flees to Maui, and Kalaniʻōpuʻu rules over all of Hawai‘i Island. Kamehameha returns to Kaʻū to live in the court of his makua kāne mō‘ī Kalaniʻōpuʻu.
Battle #3—Kamehameha and Hawai‘i Island Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu Defeat Maui Warriors of Kahekili at Fortification of Kaʻuiki at Hāna and Nearby Village of Kaupō: The Plunder of Kaupō.
Who: The Hawai‘i Island warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu (with Kamehameha) vs. the Maui warriors of Kahekili.
Where: Fortification of Kaʻuiki at Hāna, Maui; nearby village of Kaupō.
Why: To regain control of the Hāna fort.
Result: Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s forces are victorious over the Maui warriors and retake the Hāna fort. Kalaniʻōpuʻu orders his warriors to plunder the people of Kaupō and many innocent people are killed.
Battle #4—Battle of Kalaeokaʻīlio—The Cape of the Dog: Maui Warriors of Kahekili Defeat Hawai‘i Island Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu at Kaupō.
Who: The Hawai‘i Island warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu (including Kamehameha) vs. the Maui warriors of Kahekili.
Where: Kaupō, Maui.
Why: Kahekili is angered by the killing of his people at Kaupō, Maui and seeks revenge against Kalaniʻōpuʻu.
Result: Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s forces are outnumbered and flee the battlefield, suffering many deaths. This is the first major battle of the rising warrior Kamehameha, and during the fighting he shows fearlessness and bravery by coming to the rescue of his war instructor Kekūhaupiʻo
Battle #5—Kamehameha and Kekūhaupiʻo Defeat Maui Warriors of Kahekili Near Papawai Point
Who: Kamehameha and Kekūhaupiʻo vs. the Maui warriors of Kahekili.
Where: Near Papawai Point, Maui.
Why: Maui warriors try to prevent Kamehameha and Kekūhaupiʻo from landing their canoe.
When: Same day as #6; time overlaps with Battle #6
Result: Kamehameha and Kekūhaupiʻo are vastly outnumbered yet they defeat the Maui warriors and force them to flee.
Battle #6— Battle of the Sand Dunes—Pi‘ipi‘i and ‘Ālapa Heaped Up at Kakanilua: Maui Warriors of Kahekili and O‘ahu Warriors of Kahahana Defeat Hawai‘i Island Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s Chiefly Army of Keawe at Wailuku.
Who: The Hawai‘i Island warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s Chiefly Army of Keawe (‘Ālapa and Pi‘ipi‘i armies) including Kekūhaupiʻo, Kalanimanoiokaho‘owa, Nae‘ole, ‘Īmakakoloa, Kānekoa, Nu‘uanupā‘ahu, Nanuekaleiōpū, Keaweaheulu, and Keawemauhili as well as Kameʻeiamoku, and Kamanawa. vs. the Maui warriors of Kahekili supported by the O‘ahu warriors of Kahahana.
Where: Inland at Wailuku, Maui.
Why: Kalaniʻōpuʻu seeks to avenge his earlier defeat to Kahekili’s forces at Kaupō, Maui.
Result: All of Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s Chiefly Army of Keawe is slain by the Maui and O‘ahu warriors, except for two messengers who bring the news to Kalaniʻōpuʻu.
Battle #7—Maui Warriors of Kahekili and O‘ahu Warriors of Kahahana Defeat Hawai‘i Island Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu Near Wailuku.
Who: The Hawai‘i Island warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu vs. the Maui warriors of Kahekili and the O‘ahu warriors of Kahahana.
Where: Near Wailuku, Maui.
Why: Kalaniʻōpuʻu seeks to avenge the slaughter of his Pi‘ipi‘i and ‘Ālapa warriors at Wailuku.
Result: The Hawai‘i Island warriors are overpowered and flee the battlefield. They are not pursued by the Maui and O‘ahu warriors, who also suffer many losses.
Battle #8—Warriors of Maui Ruler Kahekili Defeat Hawai‘i Island Warriors on Molokai.
Who: Hawai‘i Island warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu vs. warriors of the Maui ruler Kahekili.
Where: Kalae, Molokai.
Why: Kalaniʻōpuʻu seeks to avenge the death of his ‘Ālapa and Pi‘ipi‘i armies at Wailuku, Maui.
When: One year after peace accord between Kahekili and Kalaniʻōpuʻu.
Result: Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s warriors are again defeated.
Battle #9—Hawai‘i Island Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu and Kamehameha’s Hunalele and Huelokū Warriors Defeat the Maui and O‘ahu Warriors of Kahekili and Kahahana in Hakalau.
Who: The Hawai‘i Island warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, including Kamehameha’s Hunalele and Huelokū warriors mostly from Kohala and Waimea vs. the Maui and O‘ahu warriors of Kahekili and Kahahana.
Where: Hakalau in the Hilo district of Hawai‘i Island.
Why: Kalaniʻōpuʻu seeks to avenge the slaughter of his Pi‘ipi‘i and ‘Ālapa warriors at Wailuku.
Result: Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s Hawai‘i Island warriors are victorious. Kaihe is killed by Kekūhaupiʻo, and the Maui and O‘ahu warriors flee the battlefield.
Battle #10—Battle of Mokuʻōhai—Kamehameha’s Warriors of Kohala, Kona, and Waimea Defeat Hilo, Puna, Kaʻū, and Hāmākua Warriors of Kīwala‘ō and Keawemauhili on Plain of Mokuʻōhai.
Who: Kīwala‘ō’s army led by the twins Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula and Keōuape‘e‘ale and supported by the Hilo warriors of Keawemauhili and the Puna warriors of Ahia, along with warriors of Kaʻū and Hāmākua vs. Kamehameha’s army of warriors mostly from Kohala, Kona, and Waimea. Chiefs allied with Kamehameha and Kekūhaupiʻo are Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiaheahe, Keaweaheulu, Keaweokahikona, Kawelookalani, Kala‘imamahū, and Kamehameha’s younger brother Keli‘imaika‘i, as well as Kameʻeiamoku and Kamanawa, the sacred twins of Kekaulike.
Where: Plain of Mokuʻōhai between Hōnaunau and Keʻei.
Why: Aggressive acts by Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula against Kīwala‘ō for denying him land lead to an alliance between Kīwala‘ō and Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula against Kamehameha.
Result: Kīwala‘ō is killed by Keʻeaumoku and Kamehameha’s warriors are victorious. Kamehameha gains control of Kona, Kohala, and part of Hāmākua while Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula rules over Kaʻū and part of Puna, and Keawemauhili rules over Hilo and parts of Hāmākua and Puna.
Battle #11—Battle of the Bitter Rain—Kaua Kaua‘awa: Kamehameha’s Palena, Mahi, Huelokū, and Hunalele Warriors Defeat Hilo, Kaʻū, and Puna Warriors of Keawemauhili and Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula and Maui Warriors of Kahekili from Pū‘āinakō to Pua‘aloa.
Who: Kamehameha’s 20,000 warriors, including his Palena, Mahi, Huelokū, and Hunalele army divisions vs. the warriors of Hilo, Kaʻū, and Puna under the Hilo and Kaʻū rulers Keawemauhili and Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula, later supported by the Maui warriors of Kahekili, who were led by Kahāhāwai.
Where: Begins near Pū‘āinakō and ranges as far as Pā‘ie‘ie and Pua‘aloa in Hilo.
Why: Kaha‘i [Keahia] asks Kamehameha to attack Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula to avenge the death of Kaha‘i’s brother, Kānekoa.
Result: After three days of fighting, Kamehameha’s forces are winning the battle against the Hilo, Kaʻū, and Puna warriors of Keawemauhili and Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula. Then the Maui warriors of Kahāhāwai arrive and join the battle against Kamehameha’s warriors, who are forced to retreat.
Battle #12—Kamehameha’s Mahi Warriors Led by Kaʻiana Defeat Pōniu and Pukeawe Armies of Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula Above Kainaliu.
Who: Kamehameha’s Mahi army of 2,000 warriors led by Kaʻiana, with reinforcements of 2,000 warriors arriving from South Kona vs. Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula’s Pōniu and Pukeawe armies.
Where: Above Kainaliu.
Why: To prevent Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula from attacking rear of Kamehameha’s forces as Kamehameha’s warriors attack Keawemauhili at Hilo.
Result: The Mahi warriors gain the advantage over Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula’s Pōniu warriors and then Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula directly leads his Pukeawe army to assist in the fight, outnumbering the Mahi army and gaining the advantage. Kamehameha sends reinforcements from South Kona, and Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula warriors are forced to retreat.
Battle #13—Battle of Hāpuʻu: Kamehameha’s Waimea Warriors with Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiaheahe Defeat Kahekili’s Maui Warriors Led by Manonoikauakāpekulani from Hālawa Uplands to the Sea.
Who: Kamehameha’s army of 2,000 warriors, mostly from Waimea, and including Keʻeaumoku vs. Kahekili’s Maui warriors led by the aliʻi Manonoikauakāpekulani.
Where: Beginning in the Hālawa uplands and moving to the shore.
Why: An invasion of Kohala by Kahekili’s Maui warriors led by Manonoikauakāpekulani causes Kamehameha to attack these invaders of his homeland.
Result: The battle lasts for two days and Kamehameha’s side prevails. Manonoikauakāpekulani is offered as a sacrifice at the heiau of Moʻokini.
Battle #14—Battle of Laupāhoehoe Two: Kīpu‘upu‘u and Malana Warriors of Kamehameha and Kamehameha’s Canoe Fleet Led by Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiaheahe Defeat Hilo and Hāmākua Warriors of Keawemauhili at Hāmākua o Kupapaulau and from Maulua to Kealakekua at Hāmākua
Who: Kamehameha’s Kīpu‘upu‘u army (led by Nanuekaleiōpū); Kamehameha’s Malana army (led directly by Kamehameha); and Kamehameha’s canoe fleet (led by Keʻeaumoku) vs. Keawemauhili’s Hilo and Hāmākua warriors led by the Honohina chief Kalino, and other warriors of Keawemauhili led by the chief Kainea of Kapehu.
Where: Two major battles occur.
Battle One: The battle of Kamehameha’s Kīpu‘upu‘u army under Nanuekaleiōpū against Keawemauhili’s Hilo and Hāmākua warriors led by the Honohina chief Kalino begins at Kaholo, at Hāmākua o Kupapaulau.
Battle Two: The battle of Kamehameha’s Malana army begins in Kapehu, where Kekuapāni‘o’s warriors proficient in the use of slings meet Keawemauhili’s warriors led by the Kapehu chief Kainea, and this battle ranges from Maulua to Kealakekua at Hāmākua.
Why: Kamehameha is angered at the killing of his aliʻi watchman Lononuiākea stationed at Laupāhoehoe. These killings are committed by Pīna‘au and Kauwehanehane, two of Keawemauhili’s chiefs, and are considered an act of war by Keawemauhili against Kamehameha, who had previously gained control of Laupāhoehoe in a battle against Kahekili’s warriors.
Result of Battle One: Kamehameha’s Kīpu‘upu‘u warriors led by Nanuekaleiōpū are victorious over Keawemauhili’s warriors of Hilo and Hāmākua after two days and nights of fighting. Keawemauhili’s warriors flee the battlefield with Kamehameha’s warriors in pursuit.
Result of Battle Two: In a separate battle, Kamehameha’s Malana army led by Kamehameha emerges victorious after three days of fierce fighting against Keawemauhili’s warriors under Kainea, who flee the battlefield. The three aliʻi responsible for the earlier deaths of Kamehameha’s men at Laupāhoehoe are killed.
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