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The Nez Perce Wars were a series of battles between Nez Perce warriors and the U.S. Government in 1877. As White settlers made their way into Wyoming and Idaho, the U.S. Government coerced the Nez Perce to move to a reservation. The Nez Perce reluctantly agreed in order to prevent violence but did not consider the treaty binding. On route to the reservation, four white settlers were killed by Nez Perce warriors; rather than continue to the reservation, Nez Perce chiefs decided to join the Crow resistance in Montana. Isolated skirmishes between the Nez Perce and U.S. military forces in Montana and Idaho continued through much of 1877. In some of the battles, such as those at White Bird Canyon and Big Hole, the Nez Perce were able to drive off U.S. military forces and postpone their fate. The fighting continued as the Nez Perce attempted to flee to Canada through the mountains of Montana. As the Nez Perce made their way to the Canada border, they were besieged by U.S. forces under General Nelson Miles and forced to surrender in what came be to known as the Battle of Bear Paw. In all, over 300 Americans were killed or wounded in the war, as were about 120 Nez Perce.
Click on the text in the map to learn about each of the U.S. Government-Indian Wars.