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Grangeville in Idaho County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Nez Perce War

 
 
Nez Perce War Marker image. Click for full size.
October 4, 2007
1. Nez Perce War Marker
Inscription.  
Near the base of this hill, over 100 cavalrymen and volunteers met disaster in the opening battle of The Nez Perce War.

Rushing from Grangeville on the evening of June 16, 1877, Captain David Perry planned to stop the Indians from crossing Salmon River to safety from pursuit. At daylight the next morning he headed down the ravine below you. Some sixty to eighty Indians wiped out a third of his force and the survivors retired in disorder. No Indians were killed.
 
Erected by Idaho Historical Society. (Marker Number 294.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: MilitaryWars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the Idaho State Historical Society, and the The Nez Perce Trail series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is June 16, 1881.
 
Location. 45° 48.115′ N, 116° 17.222′ W. Marker is in Grangeville, Idaho, in Idaho County. Marker is on U.S. 95 at milepost 227, on the right when traveling north. Location is 15.7 miles south of Grangeville in Nezperce Indian War Monument.
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Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grangeville ID 83530, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. White Bird Battlefield (here, next to this marker); Truce or War (approx. 1½ miles away); June 17, 1877 (approx. 1½ miles away); Salmon River (approx. 3.6 miles away); White Bird Grade (approx. 3.7 miles away); Camas Prairie (approx. 5.8 miles away); Gathering at Tipahxlee’whum (Tepahlewam) (approx. 8.1 miles away); The ADVANCE Steam Traction Engine (approx. 11.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grangeville.
 
More about this marker. There is a pullover for an overlook, which contains this sign. This is the White Bird Canyon area.
 
Regarding Nez Perce War. The Nez Perce War was a series of battles between the Nez Perce and the United States government. The Nez Perce were led by several chiefs, including Chief Joseph, Chief Ollicot, and Chief Looking Glass. The American Army was represented mainly by General Oliver Otis Howard. Colonel John Gibbon, General Nelson A. Miles and Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis were involved as well.

**When Captain Perry rode out of Fort Lapwai, his fighting strength consisted of Companies F and H, First Cavalry, 103 men strong.
Nez Perce War Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1997
2. Nez Perce War Marker
In composition, the two companies more or less typified the enlisted ranks in 1877, many of them foreigners of diverse vocational background, including some recent recruits who were inexperienced in military matters, particularly in such basic cavalry requisites as riding and shooting. Well outfitted for the work ahead, each man wore the issue black campaign hat (or perhaps a civilian-style hat), regulation blue army fatigue uniform, leather gauntlets and boots, and a loaded cartridge belt. Prescribed equipment included a tin canteen, haversack, shelter tent, saddlebags, and a leather carbine sling, and his weapons, consisting of the Model 1873 Springfield .45-caliber single-shot carbine and a holstered Model 1873 Colt .45 revolver.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wars and Battles The Nez Percé War 1877. (Submitted on January 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. Wikipedia entry for the Battle of White Bird Canyon. This entry gives a fair account of the battle and helps explain the quotes on the White Bird Battlefield interpretive sign (picture 6). (Submitted on January 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional commentary.
1. The Nez Perce
Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Sahaptin-Chinook branch of the Penutian linguistic
Nez Perce War Marker image. Click for full size.
October 4, 2007
3. Nez Perce War Marker
stock. Also called the Sahaptin, or Shahaptin, they were given the name Nez Perce by the French because some of them wore nose pendants
    — Submitted January 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

2. Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana in 1877
The Nez Perce traveled through Idaho towards Montana, fighting the U.S. Army in several battles along the way. The Nez Perce were victorious in all of these engagements. The Nez Perce then entered Montana through the tough and mountainous Lolo Pass. They continued on to Yellowstone Park and then north towards Canada. When they were within a few days ride of Canada, the Nez Perce were cut off by General Nelson Miles. Many were forced to surrender and subsequently placed on reservations.

Casualties: 180 civilians and soldiers killed; 150 civilians and soldiers wounded; 120 Nez Perce warriors, women and children killed.
    — Submitted January 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

3. White Bird Battlefield
At the overlook for the Nez Perce War marker is another marker labeled "White Bird Battlefield.," See picture 6. It contains two quotes:

"We were marched into a deep canyon and to a country
White Bird Canyon image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1997
4. White Bird Canyon
The Battle of White Bird Canyon was fought on June 17, 1877 in Idaho Territory. The battle was the opening battle of the war with the Nez Perce nation and represented a significant defeat of the U.S. Army.
strange to us, and familiar to the enemy. If there was any plan of attack, I never heard of it."

Sgt. Michael McCarthy

"Five warriors, led by Wettiwetti Houlis ... had been sent out ... as a peace party to meet the soldiers. Of course, they carried a white flag. Peace might be made without fighting."
Yellow Wolf
    — Submitted January 9, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
 
The Salmon River image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1997
5. The Salmon River
Nearby White Bird Battlefield Marker image. Click for full size.
October 4, 2007
6. Nearby White Bird Battlefield Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 6, 2024. It was originally submitted on January 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 4,931 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 9, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   2. submitted on January 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   3. submitted on January 9, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on January 9, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6. submitted on January 9, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024