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Nez Perce Summer, 1877



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Eruption and White Bird Canyon

Looking Glass's Camp and Cottonwood


Kamiah, Weippe, and Fort Fizzle

Bitterroot and the Big Hole

Camas Meadows

The National Park

Canyon Creek

Cow Island and Cow Creek Canyon

Yellowstone Command

Bear's Paw: Attack and Defense

Bear's Paw: Siege and Surrender



Appendix A

Appendix B


Nez Perce Summer, 1877
Table of Contents
NPS logo

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

List of Maps

Foreword, by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr.

Introduction and Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Reasons

Chapter 2: Eruption and White Bird Canyon

Chapter 3: Looking Glass's Camp and Cottonwood

Chapter 4: Clearwater

Chapter 5: Kamiah, Weippe, and Fort Fizzle

Chapter 6: Bitterroot and the Big Hole

Chapter 7: Camas Meadows

Chapter 8: The National Park

Chapter 9: Canyon Creek

Chapter 10: Cow Island and Cow Creek Canyon

Chapter 11: Yellowstone Command

Chapter 12: Bear's Paw: Attack and Defense

Chapter 13: Bear's Paw: Siege and Surrender

Chapter 14: Consequences

Epilogue: Later Lives

Appendix A: U.S. Army Casualties, Nez Perce War, 1877

Appendix B: Known Nez Perce Casualties, 1877



Index (omitted from on-line edition)

Publication Information

COVER DESIGN by Kathryn Fehlig

COVER IMAGE "Chief Joseph," by John Ford Clymer. Reproduced by permission of the Clymer Museum of Art, Ellensburg, Washington

BOOK DESIGN by Arrow Graphics, Missoula

TYPESET in Janson and Baker Signet

PRINTED by Thomson-Shore, Inc., Dexter, Michigan

Royalties earned from this hardcopy of this book go to support the programs of Nez Perce National Historical Park. Copies of this book can be purchased from the Nez Perce National Park.

This book was made possible in part by funding from the Bair Trust and the Montana Historical Society Foundation.

Copyright © 2000 by Montana Historical Society Press,

P.O. Box 201201, Helena, Montana 59620-1201. All rights reserved.

ISBN 0-917298-82-9

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Greene, Jerome A.
    Nez Perce summer, 1877 : the U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo crisis / by Jerome A. Greene.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-917298-68-3 (cloth ; alk. paper)
ISBN 0-917298-82-9 (sc ; alk. paper)
1. Nez Percé Indians Wars, 1877. 2. Big Hole, Battle of the, 18773. Nez Percé Indians History 19th century. 4. Nez Percé Indians Government relations. I. Title.

In memory of T,
Erwin N. Thompson, 1926-1998, colleague and friend

List of Illustrations

1 Commanding Officer and Staff, Department of the Columbia, ca. 1877-78

2 Joseph, in a formal studio portrait, late October 1877

3 "Scene of Perry's Battle on Whitebird Creek, June 27th [17] 1877"

4 Looking Glass, 1871

5 Nez Perce encampment, 1871

6 Peopeo Tholekt (Bird Alighting), 1900

7 "Cottonwood House—two days fight—Whipple and Perry—July 5th"

8 "Battle of Clearwater. Howard, July 11-12"

9 "The Idaho Indian War—Return from the Battle of July 12, 1877"

10 "Pack train encamped at Cottonwood during 1877 war."

11 Chuslum Moxmox (Yellow Bull), ca. 1878

12 "Big Hole Battle—Gibbons [sic]—Aug. 9"

13 "Fight at Camas Meadows—Sanford—Aug. 20"

14 Trumpeter Bernard A. Brooks, ca. 1876

15a 15b George and Emma Cowan, in 1901, at the site in Yellowstone National Park where George Cowan was left for dead

16 Radersburg refugees and others at Bottler's Ranch, August 30, 1877

17 "Fight at Cañon Creek, Sturgis. Sep. 13th"

18 Scout Fisher's "Plan of the Battle Ground" of Canyon Creek, September 13, 1877

19 Engraving of the Canyon Creek engagement

20 Gallery of U.S. Military Participants

21 Hotchkiss 1.65-inch breechloading mountain gun

22 Engraving of the Bear's Paw battlefield

23 1857 bronze twelve-pounder Napoleon cannon

24 Heinmot Tooyalakekt, or Chief Joseph, October 23, 1877

25 "Gen. Miles and Command crossing the Yellowstone with Joseph."

26 Two unidentified Nez Perce youths

List of Maps

1 Area of the Nez Perce Outbreak and War, June-October 1877

2 Nez Perces' Route from Oregon to Canada, 1877

3 Opening Phase of the Nez Perce War, June-July 1877

4 The Battle of White Bird Canyon, June 17, 1877

5 The Attack on Looking Glass's Camp, July 1, 1877

6 The Cottonwood Encounters, July 3-5, 1877

7 The Battle of the Clearwater: First Day, July 11, 1877

8 The Battle of the Clearwater: Second Day, July 12, 1877

9 The Battle of the Big Hole, August 9-10, 1877

10 Camas Meadows: Nez Perce Attack on Howard's Camp, August 20, 1877

11 Camas Meadows: Norwood's Encounter, August 20, 1877

12 Routes of the Nez Perces and the Army in the National Park, August-September 1877

13 The Battle of Canyon Creek, September 13, 1877

14 The Battle of the Bear's Paw Mountains: The Army Attack, Morning of September 30, 1877

15 The Battle of the Bear's Paw Mountains: The Army Attack, Afternoon of September 30, 1877

16 The Battle of the Bear's Paw Mountains: The Siege from Evening, September 30, to the Surrender on October 6, 1877

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