The Tragic Destruction of the Nez Perce

August 16-24, 2019

A BGES Indian Wars Field University Program

Chief Joseph
Photoprint by Dr. Edward H. Latham c 1903
Courtesy Library of Congress

With the destruction of the 7th Cavalry and Lieutenant Colonel Custer, the federal government stepped up pressure to remove all Indians to small controlled reservations. Such confinement was antithetical to the nomadic lifestyle of many of the tribes, and groups bolted from such restrictions. One such tribe was the Nez Perce in northwestern Idaho, pressed to move to a reservation in June 1877. Pursued by United States troops, they migrated from their homelands, moving farther and farther into the wilderness and toward Canada. The Nez Perce were excellent fighters, and many confrontations resulted in repulses for the American soldiers. However, the relentless nature of the pursuit and the coordination to head off the migrating tribe across Yellowstone and into upper Montana within sight of the Canadian border ended with the attack and surrender of the remaining Indians at Bear Paw Battlefield. We have visited many scenic areas over the years, but this road trip promises more natural beauty than we have ever offered. This is a great bus trip for couples.



One of the nation’s foremost Indian Wars authorities and a life-long student of George Armstrong Custer, Neil Mangum served his career in the National Park Service where his postings included a tour as the Superintendent of the Little Big Horn National Battlefield. He was a key player in significant changes that made the site more inclusive and healing. His engaging manner has opened many doors to heritage tourists and made him one of the country’s most respected historians. He has also led tours of the Great Sioux Indian War, the Apache Wars, the Central Plains Indian War, the Buffalo Red River War, and many other Western themes. Recently he has turned to Americana tours, including the Pony Express, Route 66, and the Santa Fe Trail. He is the author of the definitive work, The Battle of the Rosebud: Prelude to the Little Big Horn. Neil retired from the NPS in 2003 and now lives in Payson, Arizona.