Idaho History- 1877 Chief Joseph

Whitebird Battle SiteWhitebird Battle Field With Elk Grazing

For those of you moving to Boise, here is a little history about your new homeland! I took these shots of the view from the Whitebird Battle Historical site on Highway 95 on Sunday March 5, 2017. I think Chief Joseph would be pleased to see a herd of elk grazing and lounging right in the middle of the battlefield. See said dots at bottom of picture to the right! The Whitebird Battle was the opening battle of the 1877 war between the Nez Perce and The U.S. Government. For 5 months General O. O. Howard and the U.S. Army pursued the Nez Perce on an 1500 mile fighting retreat which ended with chief Joseph’s now famous speech. Joesph known to the Nez Perce as "Thunder Traveling to the Loftier Mountain Heights” died in September 21 1904. While he did not ask for the fight, apparently he had good cause to fight. He died on the Colville Indian reservation...Cause of death, "broken heart".

Elk Graze On The Whitebird Battle Field"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are - perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."
Chief Joseph - Thunder Traveling to the Loftier Mountain

Whitebird Battle Field View MarchOn June 17, 1877, a hurriedly assembled group from the U.S Army arrived at Whitebird. The command, under Captain’s Perry and Trimble, consisted of 106 men including some Indian scouts and 11 civilian volunteers. Inexperienced, tired and weary from the 2 day 70 mile ride, they got their butts kicked. The Nez Perce hoping to avoid war sent out a truce party with a white flag. Five warriors, led by Wettiwetti Houlis...had been sent out from the other [west] side of the valley as a peace party to meet the soldiers. These warriors had instructions from the chiefs not to fire unless fired upon. Of course they carried a white flag. Peace might be made without fighting. For still unexplained reason’s one of the civilian volunteers named Chapman, with the advance
Whitebird Battle Field Mapparty for the Army, fired upon the Nez Perce truce party. The rest is history. The Nez Perce possessed 45-50 firearms including shotguns, pistols, and ancient muskets. Many of the brave fought with bows and arrows. Many of the Army soldiers horses spooked and fled when the fighting began, contributing to the carnage. The Nez Perce were fresh, had an intimate knowledge of the terrain and their spectacular Appaloosa’s stood by idly grazing during the skirmish. This is a beautiful spot to stop and breathe in a little history on your way to float the Lochsa, hike the Selway or visit the University Of Idaho! If you are planning to relocate to Boise we offer a great core tour including some of the history of Boise! Are you here already and want to see some homes for sale in Boise or Meridian we would love to hear from you too! We offer free buyers representation, even on for sale by owner homes for sale in Boise and new homes for sale in Boise! Seller pays the commission we guarantee it in writing!

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