The great fighting retreat of the Nez Perces, struggling for their lives, lands, and freedom, outwitting and battling off one pursuing force after another, is one of the giant epics of the American West, and the literature about it is immense. But there is no volume like this monumental account of the war by Jerome A. Greene. Written by one of the foremost experts in frontier military history and reviewed by members of the Nez Perce tribe, Nez Perce Summer, 1877 details the dozen armed encounters between U.S. Army troops and a desperate body of Nez Perces that spanned the long summer of 1877 in the wilds of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana territories. A meticulously researched and well-written narrative, it chronicles a peopleÕs epic struggle to survive spiritually, culturally, and physically in the face of unrelenting military force. Sixteen maps detail troop and Indian movements and skirmishes, while 49 photographs further illuminate this dramatic conflict.
Between 100 and 150 of the more than 800 Nez Perce men, women, and children who began the trek were killed during the war. Almost as many died in the months following the surrender, after they were exiled to malaria-ridden northeastern Oklahoma. Army deaths numbered 113. The casualties, on both sides, were an extraordinary price for a war nobody wanted, but whose history has since intrigued generations of Americans.