Nez Perce 1877: The last fight
With the wars between the US and the Native Americans drawing to a close, one tribe in Eastern Oregon continued to resist. The Nez Perce, led by the 'Red Napoleon' Chief Joseph, refused to surrender and accept resettlement. Instead, Chief Joseph organized a band of 750 warriors and set off for the Canadian border, pursued by 2,000 US Army troops under Major-General Oliver Howard. The army chased the natives for three months, fighting 13 actions. Finally, just 40 miles from the Canadian border, the Army ran Chief Joseph to the ground, and forced him to surrender after a five-day battle near Bear Paw Mountain.
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1st Cavalry 21st Infantry 2nd Cavalry 4th Artillery 7th Cavalry 7th Infantry action Army August Author’s collection Bannock battalion battle battlefield Bear Paw Bear Paw Mountain began Big Hole Bitterroot Valley Brigadier-General Captain captured casualties Cavalry Companies civilian volunteers Clearwater River Company F crossing defeat deployed enemy fight fire flank Gatling guns Gibbon Grangeville horses Hotchkiss gun howitzer Idaho Indian Joseph July June killed Lapwai Little Bighorn Lolo Trail Looking Glass main body Miles Miles’s Montana moved murdered Nez Perce attack Nez Perce camp Nez Perce campaign Nez Perce pony Nez Perce village Nez Perce War Nez Perce warriors Nimiipuu Non-Treaty factions Non-Treaty Nez Perce noncombatants Ollokot Perce pony herd Perry Perry’s command ravine reservation ridgeline rifle pits route Salmon River September Sioux skirmish line sniper soldiers Sturgis tactical terrain Theller Toohoolhoolzote Treaty tribes Wallowa band Wallowa Valley White Bird Canyon wounded Yellow Wolf Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone River