A punitive expedition was sent there to quell the colonists' uprising.
Advanced English Dictionary
+adjective[usually before noun] (formal) 1 intended as punishment: There are calls for more punitive measures against people who drink and drive. + (AmE) He was awarded punitive damages (= in a court of law). + Punitive action will be taken against the hooligans. 2 very severe and that people find very difficult to pay: punitive taxes punitively adverb