BATTLES OF THE NEZ PERCE WAR OF 1877

This war pitted the non-Treaty Nez Perce bands against a force of 2,000 U.S. Army soldiers, many citizen volunteers and 10 different Indian tribes.

White Bird Battle, June 17: This conflict was the first major battle of the Nez Perce War of 1877. The Nez Perce bands showed General Howard that they were a force to be reckoned with.

Clearwater Battle, July 11-12: Though indecisive, the Nez Perce forces were strengthened because the warrior Looking Glass and his band joined the fight. Looking Glass became the war chief for all the bands.

Big Hole Battle, August 9: Some 90 Nez Perce lives were lost in this battle _ many of them women and children. Today, the Big Hole battlefield is a National Historical Site.

Camas Meadows Battle, August 20: The Nez Perce slowed Howard's advance by stealing some 150 mules in this conflict.

Canyon Creek Battle, September 13: Though Colonel Sturgis managed to catch up to the Nez Perce, his advance was repelled.

Bear Paw Battle, September 3 to October 5: Both sides in this final battle sustained great losses. Weary of his people's suffering, Joseph negotiated an end to the fighting.

Some Nez Perce survivors escaped to Canada with Chief White Bird. Those who surrendered in hope of returning to Idaho, were instead relocated to Oklahoma's Indian Country. Eventually, in 1885 the U.S. government allowed Nez Perce who had converted to Christianity to return to the reservation at Lapwai, Idaho. Chief Joseph and 150 others, who chose to retain their traditional religion, were exiled to a reservation at Colville, Wash.


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