The Nez Perce War is a series of wars that occurred from June, 1877 to September, 1877 between the white settlers and the tribes of the Nez Perces. The Nez Perce lost over fifty of their tribe members during a surprise raid by the white settlers while they were sleeping. This attack led to more battles between the whites and the Indians. The Nez Perce fled from the pursuing U.S. Army in hopes of reaching Canada, but surrendered when met by General Howard and his army forty miles away from the Canadian border. This is when Chief Joseph declared I Will Fight No More Forever.
[...] Chief Joseph felt that the freedom to live the Nez Perce lifestyle would only be preserved if they never trusted the white man or his red allies. By 1860, more than ten thousand miners were roaming at large on the Nez Perce territories, and they ignored the previous agreements on not going south of the Clearwater River. Miners stole livestock and blamed the Indians for losses of their own. (Beal 28-29). The Treaty of 1863 and its amendments of 1868 reduced limits of Indian reservations and severely disrupted the lifestyles of the Nez Perces. [...]
[...] As the Nez Perces waged a series of battles against the pursuing Howard and his army, Chief Joseph and others led approximately 800 Indians on an escape attempt southeast through Montana, then back north across present-day Yellowstone Park. The Nez Perces traveled more than 1700 miles while managing to outmaneuver large units of U.S. soldiers. Stopping at the Bear Paw Mountains in Montana for rest, the Indians believed they were safe and they were only 40 miles from the Canadian border. [...]
[...] When the white man would hear of no extensions, this enraged Chief Joseph as well as other Nez Perce chiefs (Beal 38-40). Although reluctant, the Nez Perce tribes and their chiefs rounded up what they could carry to the Lapwai reservation. They were limited in what they could bring and much household and ranch equipment was abandoned and left behind. After their arrivals on the new reservation, a lot of drinking took place, and it is said that the alcohol may have lessened the powerful self-restraint of many Indians. [...]
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