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Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the questions we most often receive from visitors and researchers.

1. What is the Nez Perce Trail and where is it?
2. What uses are permitted on the trail?
3. Do I need a permit?
4. How many Nez Perce crossed the trail in 1877?
5. How can I get a brochure or a supply of brochures?
6. Where can I find maps for the trail?
7. Is water readily available on the trail?
8. What books would you recommend on the Nez Perce Trail?
9. What supplies did the soldiers take on their pursuit of the Nez Perce?
10. Did Chief Joseph lead the Nez Perce across the trail?
11. Why isn’t there an appaloosa on the logo?
12. Where can I find military diaries?
13. Where can I find a list of all the Nez Perce and soldiers involved in the 1877 campaign?
14. Where can I get a free video?
15. What are National Historic Landmarks?
16. Did Chief Joseph lead all the Nez Perce during the 1877 War?
17. What is the history of the Nez Perce people and the horse?
18. What is the Nez Perce National Historic Trail Auto Route?

1. What is the Nez Perce Trail and where is it?

The Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail (NPNHT) was designated by Congress under the National Trails System Act in 1986 to commemorate the 1877 flight of the non-treaty Nez Perce from their homelands in eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Washington across what are today the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

The official trail stretches approximately 1,170 miles, starting at Wallowa Lake in eastern Oregon. It crosses central Idaho, paralleling the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers, enters Montana at Lolo Pass, and then runs south through the Bitterroot and Big Hole Valleys. It crosses Bannock Pass and re-enters Idaho near Leadore. It then runs south through the Birch Creek and Lemhi Valleys before turning eastward at Dubois and heading toward Yellowstone National Park. After a meandering route through Yellowstone, the Nez Perce National Historic Trail exits the park near the east entrance and follows the Clarks Fork River towards Billings, Montana. At Laurel the trail moves north straight toward Canada.

The official trail stretches approximately 1,170 miles, starting at Wallowa Lake in eastern Oregon. It crosses central Idaho, paralleling the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers, enters Montana at Lolo Pass, and then runs south through the Bitterroot and Big Hole Valleys. It crosses Bannock Pass and re-enters Idaho near Leadore. It then runs south through the Birch Creek and Lemhi Valleys before turning eastward at Dubois and heading toward Yellowstone National Park. After a meandering route through Yellowstone, the Nez Perce National Historic Trail exits the park near the east entrance and follows the Clarks Fork River towards Billings, Montana. At Laurel the trail moves north straight toward Canada.

2. What uses are permitted on the trail?

A variety of uses are allowed on various segments of the trail. However, certain uses are restricted on segments of the trail, and the restrictions almost certainly change with ownership (Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, state lands, and private lands). For current authorized uses and restrictions you will need to contact the landowners of that segment of the trail. (The Nez Perce National Historic Trail map identifies large-scale ownership). If you need help identifying ownership, contact us

3. Do I need a permit?

The need for permits is decided at the local level. (Many Forest Service trailheads require trailhead parking permits and Yellowstone National Park requires an entrance fee). Contact the nearest identifiable agency for current local information.

4. How many Nez Perce crossed the trail in 1877?

There were some 750 nontreaty Nez Perce - only 250 of them warriors; the rest were women, children, and old or sick people.

5. How can I get a brochure or a supply of brochures?

This website has pdf versions of the six Auto Tour Brochures and the Nez Perce Trail Brochure. If you would like bound copies of the brochures, or if you need a supply of brochures or maps contact us.

Image of the official map

6. Where can I find maps for the trail?

The map, produced on a “plastic paper,” sells for $10 at Forest Service and National Park Service offices and online through Discover Your Northwest and the National Forest Store .

7. Is water readily available on the trail?

There is no potable water source available on any of the seven High Potential Segments:

1. Imnaha River
2. White Bird Canyon
3. Lolo trail
4. Gibbons Pass
5. Overland trail
6. Yellowstone
7. Missouri River Breaks

Information is not available for water availability on private land.

DO NOT assume that water will be available on any segment of the trail. Treat all backcountry water with an approved method (e.g. water filter, boiling, iodine tablets). For further backcountry information contact Leave No Trace.

8. What books would you recommend on the Nez Perce Trail?

There are a number of books and other written literature on the subject of the Nez Perce War. On this website you can find an annotated bibliography that should help you find exactly what you are looking for.

9. What kind of supplies did the soldiers take on their pursuit of the Nez Perce?

Clothing consisted of civil war surplus trousers and overcoats, Model 1874 fatigue blouses and gray issue shirts, Model 1876 blue experimental shirts, Model 1872 campaign hats, civilian slouch hats of various colors and types, and the Model 1872 Jefferson campaign shoes.

Bedding consisted of the Model 1851 gray wool blanket with black stripes and (U.S.) stitched in the center, and the issue rubberized poncho for rain protection and field shelter and tent.

The standard issue weapon was the Model 1873 45/70 (single shot) Springfield rifle, and companies A and I of the 7th Infantry received the Rice trowel-bayonet. Accoutrements consisted of the Model 1876 prairie belt, with its lacquered canvas ammunition loops.

They were also equipped with the Model 1874 haversack and canteen. They had a tin cup, mess kit, knife, fork, spoon, and ration bags. Personal items a soldier may have carried included soap, toothbrush, candles, dice, and playing cards.

Food consisted of beef, potatoes, coffee, bacon, flour, salt, lard, and sugar. Major Mason informed his wife in a letter that they lived on hard bread, bacon, and occasional potatoes and coffee.

10. Did Chief Joseph lead the Nez Perce across the trail?

A number of misconceptions surround the legacy of Chief Joseph and his role in the 1877 flight of the Nez Perce. At the time, local media and the military often referred to him as the leader of the non-treaty Nez Perce bands. This could be due in part to earlier treaty negotiations in which Joseph stood out as an eloquent speaker on behalf of his band of Nez Perce. He was a large, handsome man and some believe he simply fit the image of an Indian leader. From the standpoint of the U.S. military, it seemed important to have one individual to point to and exemplify the prowess of the Nez Perce at avoiding capture, rather than a small group of chiefs.

Throughout the flight Chief Joseph served primarily as camp leader. It is acknowledged by his fellow Nez Perce that he was not a war chief and did not lead warriors in battle. Chief Joseph made certain that the Nez Perce camp functioned and moved as a cohesive unit, especially during attacks by the military. He also made certain the horse herd was safe and intact. Chief Joseph’s notoriety grew even more following the surrender of the Nez Perce on October 5, 1877, at the Bear Paw battlefield. Here, he fought alongside his fellow chiefs and the warriors. In the end Joseph was the only chief left to carry out the painful duty of surrendering to Colonel Miles and General Howard. He did so in order to save the lives of the cold and starving men, women, and children who remained.

11. Why isn’t there an appaloosa on the NPNHT logo?

This has been an ongoing question among those involved with the Nez Perce Trail for quite some time. The NPNHT logo is used in a variety of ways, including informational brochures and interpretive displays. On items where the logo is reduced in size, such as lapel pins, 3-inch trail markers, and letterheads, spots on a horse would simply disappear. In the case of the NPNHT highway signs, the larger logo needs to be kept as free of markings as possible in order for passing motorists to discern the image on the sign clearly as they pass by at highway speeds. So, in most cases the lack of a spotted horse has more to do with visual clarity than historical oversight.

In the future as changes are made to the NPNHT logo, it is likely that one of the horses will indeed be clearly seen as an appaloosa.

12. Where can I find military diaries?

Depending on what type of military diaries you’re looking for, the best place to start is your local library. A university library is a good source of information, and on the internet you can search the National Archives in Washington, DC.

General Howard, along with several of his officers, wrote of their accounts during the Nez Perce War. Another who wrote from personal experience is Thomas Sutherland, who rode with Howard throughout the war. Both of their books are available at local libraries or through inter-library loan programs.

For more information on books, diaries, and articles about the Nez Perce Indians and the 19th century U.S. military campaigns, refer to the annotated bibliography on this website.

13. Where can I find a list of all the Nez Perce and soldiers involved in the 1877 campaign?

The following list was uncovered by Larry O'Neal while researching various archives in Oklahoma. What follows is the listing of Nez Perce warriors during the 1877 War, composed by the Nez Perce warriors in Oklahoma on June 1882 and recorded by James Reuben.

The second list is the names of the Nez Perce warriors who joined in the Bitterroot Valley. (Transcribed by W. Otis Halfmoon using James Reuben’s spelling) There are 244 names listed.

Nez Perce Warriors (1877 War)

  • Joseph
  • Olocutt
  • Looking Glass
  • Wa ta lik kin ???
  • White Bird
  • Pe tom ya nun hai hai
  • Te hol hu sot
  • Pa ka alwy nakit
  • To ka lik she mai
  • He yum ta mal li kinma
  • Pakatas
  • Nos nu
  • Wa tsam yoes
  • Young Eagle
  • Wits la tapa lats in
  • Ka ye wats
  • Te nat taka we yon
  • We lah wa am poo
  • Te we yau na
  • Lah koy ye
  • Kuts tsa me yo hat
  • Wa tas nih
  • Jim Horn
  • Sel lau yal la na
  • Jay Cloud
  • Wa na tsa as watas
  • Husis kunet
  • Ip na we to tsa kaun
  • Mal mals tal kaya
  • Peyo peyo
  • Charlie Moses
  • Te we to taya
  • Red Curlew
  • She ya kon Ilp Pilp
  • Ta mi te yah kaun
  • Pa kas la wat yakit
  • Long John
  • Wat yat pai ma
  • Hee yum Ilp pilp
  • He yum Tsis kunnin
  • She wis watas
  • Yal ma hosot
  • He yum pa ka tim na
  • Red Owl
  • Little Bear
  • Nosenu Kohat mox mox
  • La ka lik kan
  • Tim nin yo hat
  • George He ke lau tsa
  • Te neh nat
  • He yum Pes kes
  • Ip tsa la tat
  • We aye nat Ilppilp
  • Wa mos kai ya
  • We yat na ko lat pat
  • Pit pe lu hin
  • Kool kool tame
  • Ots ka
  • Pak ke tseh til
  • Watas toka yekit
  • Kus takamin
  • Peyopeyo We talikit
  • So ya ha
  • Il sus nute
  • Wa tolin
  • Yo tsi
  • Ka wis poo
  • Ka we tu kih
  • Shap ta ka nin
  • Wap sus hay nnee
  • Tip yal la na ta kin
  • Pe yop kuts kuts
  • Hah lul tso lim
  • Wat yo tsa kaun
  • Ha wa lits
  • Ko nese
  • He yum to kai ta
  • Tau ka li we
  • We yau she ka tsa kaun
  • Wah she lah kit
  • He yum takmullin Wa ko miskin
  • Ke wen ???
  • La ko tsis ka nin
  • Wat yat mas hai hai
  • Kool kool snee nee
  • Wat yat mas Ta kakayikit
  • Nick ki yesho sot
  • Wa tai la kin
  • Yellow Bull
  • Pa yo wan haikit
  • Yellow Bear
  • Es kie lum
  • Yellow Head
  • Wo hoy to mo sat
  • Red Wolf
  • Tsi kum kul
  • Three Eagles
  • Wat yat mas Ha pai ma
  • Jim Nat
  • Toke ka pats
  • Dick Johnson
  • Kohkoh Ipnak hau tsa
  • Pe na wa tsa kaun
  • Wa hats hai hai
  • Walla mot ke tui nin
  • Su lim hai hai
  • El lute pa Au yeen
  • Tip yal la na tseh nin
  • See lu Wa haikit
  • We ste yo Ilp pilp
  • La kos ke
  • Old Mo hos
  • To yeh le wy ma
  • Young Mo hos
  • We she ne kat
  • Wat yat nus ta kiket
  • We ya tan na to was kin
  • Black Tail Elk
  • Wa ye kat
  • Neck yal lil me hun
  • Au ka shin
  • Toi nu tsim
  • Wits ya yu ha pa mai
  • Te to han note
  • Loo Koop she mai
  • We ya tan nat au we yon
  • Kus wa ya tse ken
  • Ka pats
  • Hel lam kawat
  • To wash
  • Al la mot
  • Hee keh ko shau yon
  • She wa tas ta kal kelikit
  • Teko she kaweh kaweh
  • Tah hom
  • Tip yal la na kikit
  • La am nin Mox mox
  • Hat ya
  • Red Heart (old)
  • Le laus kun
  • Ne nes so kustin
  • Jim
  • Al lul taka nin
  • Wa shim ma
  • Wat yat mas Tamul we yun
  • We ya tan na to laka wit au lign
  • Wat yat mas
  • Wahaiket Tsa nat kun ken
  • He yum te lipl kawin
  • E tsa ya ya Pa watas
  • Ka yul kits kits
  • Ha wau no
  • Tsa ha la
  • Pa ka le ka sat
  • Lil kim mi tsa
  • Ho na
  • Tsay ya Tim mu na
  • Shawanee
  • Pop pits tim ne hen
  • Hen mat Ilp pilp
 The following are 16 Warriors who joined later in the Bitterroot Valley.

Nez Perce Warriors (Bitterroot Valley)

  • Tom Hill
  • Alexander
  • Lo hom Wahui ken
  • El la ala hat
  • Wolf Head
  • Te he tsa tsi
  • Wat tas kayeh
  • Au high
  • A pus tim na
  • Tip yal la na keya kun
  •  E yal la kaun
  •  Its kul ta
  •  Poker Joe
  •  Ke tuh pus min
  •  Old Clarke
  •  War Hooper

 The Redheart Band were marched as prisoners of war to Columbia Barracks, Vancouver, Washington

Timiine Il'Plip Band - 1877

  • 'Old' Chief Red Heart
  • Wal-we-yes
  • Ne-na-tsu-kus-ten (Son of Red Heart)
  • James Hines
  • Te-me-nah ilp-pilp (Youngest son of Chief Red Chief)
  • Q'uul Q-uul Tahmi
  • 'Old-Man' Half Moon
  • Jim Powers
  • Tsa-lah-e
  • Pa-cus-la-wat-akth
  • Nosm
  • George Raymond
  • John Reuben
  • Kai-ye-wich
  • Little Bear
  • Tsa-cope
  • Alex Hayes
  • He-ma-kio Aut-way
  • Te-po-noth
  • Pe-tol-we-ta-looth
  • Ha-ha-tsi He-Ke-lan tsa
  • Hamo-lits-hamo-lits
  • 'Old' Chief Jacob
  • Pe-to-lack-yoth
  • A-yok-ka-sie
  • We-tah-wee-non-mi
  • Pile of Clouds
  • Tal-we-Nom-mi
  • Il-soo-pop
  • Unnamed son of Little Bear

Compiled by We'eptes T'simuux T'simuux in May 1930

The Men of the 7th Infantry at the Big Hole


The 7th Infantry, a regiment* composed of 12 companies**, was headquartered at Fort Shaw but scattered between five posts throughout the Montana Territory in the 1870s. Men of Companies A, B, D, E, F, G, I, K, L and I of the 7th Infantry participated in the Battle of the Big Hole, along with 8 men from the 2nd Cavalry. Demographic information about these men follows:


*Regiments, usually numbered, are composed of Companies, usually named with a letter. During this time period, there were generally no more than 12 companies to a regiment.
**Companies are composed of men, or troops. At this time, companies had been down-sized from their Civil War size, and contained 60-80 men, with a limit of 100 per company.


Name Age Unit
Abbot, Cpl. John 26 7 D
Abbot, Cpl. John 26 7 D
Alberts, Pvt. Charles 36 7 A
Andrews, Mus. Peter 19 7 K
Banghart, Pvt. George 23 7 G
Bell, Sgt. James 2nd 35 7 E
Bender, Pvt. August W. 25 7 K
Bennet, Pvt. John 56 7 B
Bensinger, Stg. Robert 28 7 G
Brandt, Sgt. Frank 32 7 D
Brietenstein, Cpl. August 32 7 E
Broetz, Pvt. Herman 23 7 I
Brown, Pvt. Lorenzo D. 25 7 A
Bundy, Pvt. Thomas 30 7 F
Burk, Pvt. James 25 7 G
Burke, Sft. Joseph 25 7 K
Burns, Cpl. John 29 7 E
Butterly, Pvt. Mathew 36 7 E
Buty, Sgt. William 28 7 F
Carpenter, Mus. Robert L. 30 7 H
Carson, Pvt. William 27 7 I
Clark, Sgt. Howard 27 7 K
Clark, Pvt. Wilfred ? 2 L
Clark, Pvt. Washington 30 7 I
Clarke, Pvt. George 23 7 I
Collins, Pvt. Thomas 29 7 I
Connor, Pvt. John J. 24 7 G
Coon, Pvt. Holmes L. 26 7 G
Crogan, Pvt. James 30 7 D
Cronan, Mus. Timothy 29 7 D
Cumminskey, Pvt. Joseph 24 7 F
Cunliffe, Cpl. Richard 24 7 I
Daly, Sgt. Patrick C. 44 7 D
Danth, Pvt. Adolph 24 7 G
Devine, Pvt. Mathew 23 7 K
Devoss, Pvt. Joseph 30 7 I
Drake, Pvt. McKindra L. 23 7 H
Drummon, Cpl. Socrates 28 7 K
Edgeworth, 1 Sgt. Robert L. 29 7 G
Edwards, 1 Sgt. William D. 26 7 F
Eisenhut, Cpl. Jacob 31 7 D
Elmore, Pvt. James 27 7 F
Erickson, Mus. John 19 7 F
Evans, Pvt. James 32 7 I
Fallon, Pvt. Patrick 43 7 I
Ferris, Pvt. Charles 28 7 F
Frankenfield, Pvt. Isaac 27 7 D
Frederick, Sgt. John W. 11th 30 7 G
Frost, Pvt. Peter M. 32 7 K
Gallagher, Pvt. Francis 30 7 F
Gallagher, Mus. Michael 25 7 D
Geant, Pvt. Eugene 24 7 H
Goale, Pvt. John H. 26 7 G
Goff, Pvt. Peter 26 7 A
Goldberg, Pvt. Jacob 25 7 K
Gould, Pvt. Charles B. ? 2 F
Grace, Pvt. Gerald J. 25 7 G
Groff, Pvt. Henry S. 28 7 H
Hamilton, Pvt. Price 25 7 F
Harryman, Pvt. Byron 26 7 K
Heaton, Pvt. Davis 27 7 K
Heider, Cpl. Levi 28 7 A
Heinze, Pvt. Charles 29 7 G
Heinzman, Cpl. Adolph 36 7 A
Herdmenton, Pvt. Carl 29 7 G
Hexter, Pvt. Nehms 25 7 F
Hagon, Sgt. Michael 25 7 I
Hunter, Pvt. Edward D. 29 7 F
Hurlbert, Pvt. Philo O. 24 7 K
Jacklin, Pvt. George 24 7 G
Johnson, Pvt. Oliver 28 7 F
Keys, Pvt. James 25 7 D
Kings, Pvt. Edward C. 27 7 G
King, Pvt. Habern R. 30 7 G
Kleis, Art. John 28 7 K
Lane, Sgt. Riley R. 39 7 D
Lay, Pvt. John ? 2 L
Lefferty, Pvt. Thomas Peter 19 7 K
Lehmer, Pvt. James C. 36 7 A
Leher, Pvt. George 27 7 A
Loveland, Pvt. Seith D. 32 7 G
Loynes, Cpl. Charles 24 7 I
Ludke, Pvt. Charles 24 7 E
Luffman, Cpl. Christian 39 7 F
Malley, Pvt. Augustjames E. 30 7 F
Mantz, Pvt. Gottlieb 23 7 G
Martin, Sgt. William H. 33 7 G
Matthews, Pvt. William W. 38 7 G
Maurer, Pvt. George 28 7 F
McCafferey, Cpl. Daniel 24 7 I
McCaffery, Sgt. Francis Jr. 29 7 D
McGregro, Pvt. Malcolm 31 7 G
McGuire, Pvt. James 37 7 F
McHenry, Pvt. John ? 7 K
McLaughlin, 1 Sgt. Thomas 27 7 D
McLennon, Mus. John W. 25 7 A
Meinart, Pvt. Charles 47 7 I
Molloy, Pvt. James 25 7 K
Monaghan, Sgt.Thoma 35 7 G
Moore, Pvt. John G. ? 2 L
Moran, Pvt. William 37 7 H
Morton, Pvt. David B. 27 7 G
Murphy, Pvt. Frank 23 7 K
Murphy, Pvt. John A. 24 7 D
Murphy, Col. John D. 23 7 D
Murphy, Pvt. Nicholas 23 7 I
O’Brien, Pvt. F. John ? 7 G
O’Connor, Cpl. Dominick 29 7 G
Page, Sgt. Edward ? 2 L
Payne, Cpl. William H. 27 7 D
Pomeroy, Cpl. Noah G. 23 7 K
Raferty, Sgt. John 37 7 F
Renz, Pvt. George 31 7 D
Robbecke, Pvt. Charles A. 25 7 G
Rodgers, Pvt. Seldom M. 22 7 I
Rogan, 1 Sgt. Patrick 30 7 A
Sale, Cpl. Robert E. 29 7 G
Sanderer, Pvt. George 29 7 G
Sanford, Pvt. Joseph 28 7 K
Schairer, Pvt. Albert 28 7 F
Schlept, Pvt. George ? 2 L
Schohn, Pvt. Antoine 34 7 D
Sipfel, Cpl. Christian W. 37 7 A
Smith, Pvt. Alexander A. ? 2 L
Smith, Pvt. Calvin 34 7 I
Smith, Pvt. George 31 7 K
Smith, Pvt. John B. ? 7 A
Spayd, Cpl. Isaac H. 26 7 G
Stillwel, Pvt. William 24 2 D
Stinebaker, Mus. George W. 19 7 G
Stinebaker, Mus. Thomas P. 17 7 K
Stortz, 1 Sgt. Frederick 26 7 K
Stretten, Cpl. Michael ? 7 K
Stumpf, Pvt.Edward 30 7 A
Sullivan, Pvt. Martin 24 7 G
Thompson, Pvt. William 23 7 I
Wachtel, Pvt. Daniel V. 26 7 F
Watson, Sgt. William W. ? 7 F
Welch, Pvt. Edward 25 7 G
Whalen, Sgt. Patrick 43 7 F
Williams, Pvt. Robert F. 31 7 D
Wilson, Sgt. Mildon 11th 30 7 I
Woodward, Pvt. Benjamin F. 36 7 D
Wright, Sgt.William 34 7 E


U.S. Army Casualties, Nez Perce War, 1877



I. White Bird Canyon, June 17, 1877


(Sources: Secretary of War, Report…1877, 131-32. Corrected as per McDermott, Forlorn Hope, and other materials.)


No. Name Rank Company Regiment
1 Edward R. Theller First lieutenant G Twenty-first Infantry
2 Roman D. Lee Corporal H First Calvary
3 Michael Curran Corporal H First Cavalary
4 Frank A. Marshall Trumpeter H First Cavalry
5 Peter Schullein Private F First Cavalry
6 David Quinlan Private F First Cavalry
7 Andrew Shaw Private F First Cavalry
8 John M. Martin Private F First Cavalry
9 John R. Mosforth Private F First Cavalry
10 William Liston Private F First Cavalry
11 James S. Lewis Private F First Cavalry
12 William L. Hurlbert Private F First Cavalry
13 John H. Donne Private F First Cavalry
14 Lawrence K. Dauch Private F First Calvary
15 Patrick Connolly Private F First Cavalry
16 James C. Colbert Private F First Cavalry
17 Frank E. Burch Private F First Cavalry
18 Joseph Blane Private F First Cavalry
19 Charles Armstrong Private F First Cavalry
20 John Jones Trumpeter F First Cavalry
21 John L. Thompson Corporal F First Cavalry
22 Thomas Ryan Sergeant F First Cavalry
23 Patrick H. Gunn Sergeant F First Calvary
24 Andrew Werner Private H First Cavalry
25 John Simpson Private H First Calvary
26 John Shea Private H First Calvary
27 Olaf Nielson Private H First Cavalry
28 John J. Murphy Private H First Calvary
29 James E. Morrisey Private H First Calvary
30 Laurence Kavanagh Private H First Calvary
31 Valentine Dewards Private H First Cavalry
32 Adalaska B. Crawford Private H First Cavalry
33 John Galvin Saddler H First Cavalry
34 Charles Sullivan Private F First Cavlary


II. Looking Glass's Camp, July 1, 1877.


No Army casualties


IIIa. Rains's Encounter, Cottonwood, July 3, 1877.


(Sources: Secretary of War, Report 1877, 132; and Assistant Surgeon William R. Hall to Medical Director, Department of the Columbia, July 6, 1877, entry 624, box 1, Office of the Adjutant General. Corrected as per Regimental Returns, First Cavalry, July 1877, roll 166.)



No. Name Rank Company Regiment
1 Sevier M. Rains Second lieutenant L First Cavalry
2 Charles Lampman Sergeant E First Cavalry
3 John Burk Private E First Cavalry
4 Patrick Quinn Private E First Cavalry
5 Daniel Ryan Private E First Cavalry
6 William Roche Private E First Cavalry
7 Franklin Moody Private L First Cavalry
8 Frederick Meyer Private L First Cavalry
9 George H. Dinteman Private L First Cavalry
10 Otto H. Richter Private L First Cavalry
11 David Carroll Private L First Cavalry

1. William Forster
2. Charles Blewett

IIIb. Cottonwood Skirmish, July 4, 1877.

No Army casualties

IIIc. Volunteers’ Fight, Cottonwood, July 5, 1877.

(Source: Frank Fenn, "The Cottonwood Fight," Kooskia, Idaho, Mountaineer, April 23, 1927.)

1. Darius B. Randall
2. Benjamin Evans
3. D. H. Howser (died of wounds)

IV. Clearwater, July 11-12, 1877.

(Sources: Secretary of War, Report 1877, 32-33: "List of Wounded in Gen. Howard's expedition Battle of Clearwater. Corrected as per Regimental Returns First Cavalry, July 1877, roll 30; and Regimental Returns Twenty-first Infantry, July 1877, roll 220.")


No. Name Rank Company Regiment Date
1 James A. Workman Sergeant A Fourth Artillery 7/12
2 Charles Marquardt Corporal A Fourth Artillery 7/12
3 James Doyle Sergeant I Twenty-first Infantry 7/11
4 Charles Clark Private I Twenty-first Infantry 7/11
5 Juan Platta Private E Calvary 7/11
6 Alson Compton Private I Twenty-first Infantry 7/12
7 Fred Montaudon Private E Fourth Artillery 7/11
8 William Hutchinson Private C Twenty-first Infantry 7/11
9 Maier Cohn Private H First Cavalry 7/12
10 Edward Wydoff Private B Twenty-first Infantry 7/11
11 David McNally Private E Twenty-first Infantry 7/11
12 Frederick Sandmier Blacksmith D First Cavalry 7/11
13 Charles Simonds – originally carried as missing in action morning of 7/12. Private G Fourth Artillery 7/12


V. Kamiah, July 13, 1877.

(Source: Secretary of War, Report…1877, 133.)

No Army casualties.

VI. Weippe Prairie, July 17, 1877.

(Source: McWhorter, Hear Me, 338; and McWhorter, Yellow Wolf, 106.)


Indian Scouts
1. Sheared Wolf (John Levi) - Nez Perce
2. Abraham Brooks - Nez Perce - wounded in shoulder(died later)



VII. Big Hole, August 9-10, 1877.


(Source: Aubrey Haines, An Elusive Victory.) 155-62.)


No. Name Rank Company Regiment
1 James H. Bradley First lieutenant B Seventh Infantry
2 William L. English First lieutenant I Seventh Infantry
3 William Logan Captain A Seventh Infantry
4 Herman Broetz Private I Seventh Infantry
5 Mathew Butterly Private E* Seventh Infantry
6 McKindra L. Drake Private H Seventh Infantry
7 Robert L. Edgeworth First Sergeant G Seventh Infantry
8 Jacob Eisenhut Corporal D Seventh Infantry
9 Michael Gallagher Musician D Seventh Infantry
10 Michael Hogan Sergeant I Seventh Infantry
11 John Kleis Artificer K Seventh Infantry
12 Gottlieb Mantz Private G Seventh Infantry
13 William H. Martin Sergeant G Seventh Infantry
14 Daniel McCafferey Corporal I Seventh Infantry
15 James McGuire Private F Seventh Infantry
16 F. John O’Brien Private G Seventh Infantry
17 Dominick O’Connor Corporal G Seventh Infantry
18 Edward Page Sergeant L Seventh Calvary
19 William H. Payne Corporal D Seventh Infantry
20 William D. Pomeroy Private G Seventh Infantry
21 Robert E. Sale Corporal G Seventh Infantry
22 John B. Smith Private A Seventh Infantry
23 Thomas P. Stinebaker Musician K Seventh Infantry
24 Frederick Stortz First Sergeant K Seventh Infantry
25 William W. Watson Sergeant F Seventh Infantry


*Attached to Company D

1. John Armstrong
2. Henry S. Bostwick
3. Lynde C. Elliot
4. Alvin Lockwood
5. Campbell Mitchell
6. David Morrow

VIII. Camas Meadows, August 20, 1877.

(Sources: "List of Wounded in Skirmish on Camas Meadow"; and Regimental Returns…Second Cavalry, August 1877, roll 719.)


No. Name Rank Company Regiment
1 Bernard A. Brooks Trumpeter B First Cavalry



IX. Canyon Creek, September 13, 1877.


Source: "List of Wounded in Canon Creek skirmish." Corrected as per Regimental Returns…Seventh cavalry, September, 1877, roll 72.)


No. Name Rank Company Regiment
1 Nathan T. Brown Private L Seventh Cavalry
2 Frank J. Gosselin Private M Seventh Cavalry
3 Edson F. Archer Private M Seventh Cavalry
4 James Lawlor, Died of wounds September 18, 1877 Private L Seventh Cavalry



X. Cow Island, September 23, 1877.


(Sources: Fort Benton Benton Record, October 5, 1877; and Hardin, Diary, September 28, 1877.)

No. Name Rank Company Regiment
1 Byron Martin Private B Seventh Infantry


XI. Cow Creek Canyon, September 24, 1877.


(Source: Secretary of Was, Report…1877, 557.)




Edmund Bradley


XII. Bear's Paw, September 30 - October 5, 1877.


(Sources: Surgeon Henry R. Tilton to Medical Director, Department of Dakota, October 3, 1877, entry 624, box 1, Office of the Adjutant General. Corrected as per Regimental Returns…Seventh Cavalry, September and October 1877, roll 72; Regimental Returns…Fifth Infantry, September and October 1877, roll 58; and Regimental Returns…Second Cavalry, September and October 1877, roll 719.)


No. Name Rank Company Regiment Date
1 Owen Hale Captain K Seventh Calvary 9/30
2 J. Williams Biddle Second lieut. K Seventy Cavalry 9/30
3 Otto Wilde First sergeant K Seventh Calvary 9/30
4 Max Mielke Sergeant K Seventh Calvary 9/30
5 Henry W. Raichel Sergeant K Seventh Calvary 9/30
6 William Whitlow Private K Seventh Calvary 9/30
7 Francis Roth Private K Seventh Calvary 9/30
8 Charles F. Hardick Private K Seventh Calvary 9/30
9 Frank Knaupp Private K Seventh Calvary 9/30
10 George W. McDermott First sergeant A Seventh Calvary 9/30
11 John E. Cleveland Private A Seventh Calvary 9/30
12 Lewis Kelly Private A Seventh Calvary 9/30
13 Samuel McIntyre Private D Seventh Calvary 9/30
14 Michael Martin Private D Seventh Calvary 9/30
15 James H. Alberts Sergeant D Seventh Calvary 9/30
16 William I. Randall Private D Seventh Calvary 9/30
17 David E. Dawsey Private D Seventh Calvary 9/30
18 John Haddo Corporal B Seventh Infantry 9/30
19 Thomas Geogehgan Private C Seventh Infantry 9/30
20 Richard M. Peshall Private G Seventh Infantry 9/30
21 John Irving Private G Seventh Calvary 10/1
22 Otto Durselen Died of wounds Sergeant A Seventh Calvary 9/30
23 Joseph A. Cable Died of wounds October 15, 1877 Sergeant I Seventh Calvary 9/30
24 Joseph Kohler Died of wounds October 1, 1877 Private I Seventh Calvary 9/30

(Source: Greene, Jerome A., Nez Perce Summer 1877, The U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo Crisis, Montana Historical Society, 2000.)

14. How can I borrow the "Landscape of History" video?

The video "Landscape of History" is available on loan. For more information contact us.

15. What are National Historic Landmarks?

National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Working with citizens throughout the nation, the National Historic Landmarks Program draws upon the expertise of National Park Service staff who work to nominate new landmarks and provide assistance to existing landmarks. To learn more, visit the National Park Service National Historic Landmark Program Website.

16. Did Chief Joseph lead all the Nez Perce during the 1877 War?

Traditionally, loosely organized bands of Nez Perce each had several leaders or headmen, who were respected for their knowledge in specific areas. The leaders often met in councils to debate issues and make decisions for the good of the band.

During the 1870s, the Wallowa band of Nez Perce had several leaders including Young Joseph, a strong civil leader, and his brother Ollokot, a skilled war leader. The other non-treaty bands had similar leadership organizations. When the five non-treaty bands joined forces during the War of 1877, all of the headmen of all of the bands met. The historical record makes it clear that there were several experienced leaders seeking agreement, not a single leader who dictated actions. Those successful and skilled in battle would have taken the lead in developing battle strategies.

By the time the Nez Perce agreed to stop fighting at Bear Paw, or Snake Creek, Young Joseph was one of the few headmen remaining. The other leaders had either been killed or had escaped to Canada. Joseph fulfilled his duties as a civil leader by remaining with those who could not escape. Federal officials and the media didn't understand the autonomy of the different bands nor the council style of tribal leadership. Because of not only his great oratory skills, but also because Joseph stayed with the people, most non-Indians incorrectly assumed he was the only leader of the Nez Perce.

17. What is the history of the Nez Perce people and the horse?

Nez Perce tradition says that they first saw the horse among their close relatives and allies, the Cayuses. The horse had reached the Nez Perces by about 1730. The horse brought many changes to the Nez Perces. The people could now travel farther and for longer periods of time, transporting more supplies, trade goods, and provisions, as well as longer tipi poles for larger and roomier portable lodges. They were able to reach and intensify their use of more distant and less accessible fishing, gathering, and hunting sites, and their hunts in the rugged plateau country became easier and more extended and successful. Their increased ability at collecting food supplies gave them more leisure time, which allowed more time for travel. As they extended their horizons and increased their trade, they acquired. more goods from other peoples, as well as many new ideas and elements of material culture that influenced and altered their lives.

Their increased contact with more westerly tribes brought them bigger supplies of fish oil, dried shellfish, baskets, carved wooden implements, wapato roots, and a variety of shells, and from a Great Basin people, they now apparently adopted the use of a new and effective small, side-notched arrowhead. The greatest impacts on them, however, came from dramatically increased and broadened relations with the Great Plains tribes to the east. With horses, many more Nez Perces than before left their villages in the late spring or early summer to travel across the Bitterroot Mountains to hunt buffalo. The parties, often band-sized and under strong leaders, stayed on the plains for six months to two years, frequently with the Flatheads and Kootenais. As they roamed across the northern and central plains prior to their first known contacts with whites, they met and traded with friendly bands of Eastern Shoshonis and many other tribes and, on occasion, clashed with some, particularly the Blackfeet, Cheyennes, and Crows.

The abundance of nutritious grasses in Nez Perce Country favored the increase of the animals. In the summer, the high, green meadows offered huge areas of pasture, and when it turned cold, the people could drive the horses downtoward the villages in the protected valleys and canyons. The herds became so large - with certain bands possessing more than a thousand horses and prominent individuals several hundred - that most whites reaching the interior of the Northwest in the early 19th century commented upon them with awe.

Almost alone among all the native peoples on the continent the Nez Perces practiced selective breeding. Horses were considered personal property and objects of wealth. They could be exchanged as gifts and bought and sold by barter, as well as acquired in raids, and men of distinction were often able to increase their status and power by owning a large number of horses.

The Nez Perces had long hunted bison, both west and east of the Bitterroot Mountains, and had used parts of the animal for robes, utensils, and other products. But buffalo hunting on foot had been a relatively minor part of the cultural life of most of the people and had made little impact on the economy or culture of the river-oriented villagers. With the arrival of the horse and the growing number of people who rode to the "buffalo country", however, traits and customs of the plains way of life were increasingly developed or adopted. Nez Perces packed their horses with berries and roots, cakes of camas, dried fish, salmon oil in sealed fish skins, bows of mountain sheep horn, sea shells, mountain grass hemp, and other products of the Northwest and traded them on the Great Plains for dressed bison robes, raw-hide skins, bison-hide lodge covers, beads, feathered bonnets, stone pipes, and goods that had come from even farther east in intertribal trade. With horses, they could transport these articles home.

They increased their use of bison meat, used bison hides as well as grass mats as covers for portable conical dwellings, employed numerous bison-bone implements and tools, Plains dances and songs, and new details of dress ornamentation, including the use of hair as shirt decoration.

They enriched the Plains Culture with their own products,including horn bows, otter-skin sashes, one-skin poncho shirts,long two-skin shirts and dresses, and fur caps of wolf, and ermine, ornamented with horns, bird feathers, and shells.

(From: Nez Perce Country A Handbook for Nez Perce National Historical Park Produced by the Division of Publications National Park Service, from Alvin Josephy)

18. What is the Nez Perce National Historic Trail Auto Route?

Travel back in time to 1877, as five Nez Perce bands, nearly 800 men, women, and children, struggle across 1200 miles of rugged country in an effort to avoid a war they never wanted. The course they chose on their epic journey has been memorialized in the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail (NPNHT).

Today, roads and highways roughly parallel to the 1877 Nez Perce flight have been designated as the official NPNHT Auto Route. Through the cooperative efforts of the U. S. Forest Service and the states of Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming and Montana, 1500 miles of selected roadway now display the NPNHT Auto Route sign.

Stretching from Oregon's Wallowa Valley to the plains of northcentral Montana, the NPNHT Auto Route follows three season, all weather roads ranging from high standard gravel to portions of Interstates 15 and 90. State and county highway departments installed the signs in partnership with the NPNHT. The NPNHT Auto Route consists of the following roadways:

  • Joseph, Oregon to Lewiston, Idaho: Oregon State Highways 82 & 3, Washington State Highway 129
  • Lewiston to Grangeville, Idaho: U.S. Highway 95
  • Grangeville to Kooskia, Idaho: Idaho State Highway 13
  • Kooskia, Idaho to Lolo, Montana: U. S. Highway 12
  • Lolo to Lost Trail Pass, Montana: U. S. Highway 93
  • Lost Trail Pass to Wisdom, Montana: Montana State Highway 43
  • Wisdom to Dillon, Montana: County Road 278
  • Dillon to Grant exit: Interstate 15
  • Grant exit to Bannack Pass: County Road 324
  • Bannack Pass to Leadore, Idaho: Idaho State Highway 29
  • Leadore to Dubois, Idaho: Idaho State Highway 22 & 28
  • Dubois to Spencer, Idaho: Interstate 15
  • Spencer to Kilgore, Idaho: Idmont Road
  • Kilgore to Island Park, Idaho: County Road A2
  • Island Park, Idaho to West Yellowstone, Montana: U. S. Highway 20
  • West Yellowstone to Cooke City, Montana: (alternate Yellowstone NP routes available)
  • Cooke City to Rockvale, Montana: U. S. Highway 212- Montana State Highway 296, 120 & 72
  • Rockvale to Laurel, Montana: U. S. Highway 212/310
  • Laurel to Billings, Montana: Interstate 90
  • Billings to Lavina, Montana: Montana State Highway 3
  • Lavina to Harlowton, Montana: U. S. Highway 12
  • Harlowton to Fort Belnap Agency: U. S. Highway 191 & Montana State Highway 66
  • Fort Belnap Agency to Chinook, Montana: U. S. Highway 2
  • Chinook to Bear Paw Battlefield, Montana: County Road 240

 **U. S. Highway 12 Lewiston, Idaho to Kooskia, Idaho and U. S. Highway 93 and Montana State Highway 29 from Lost Trail Pass to Leadore, Idaho have been signed as bad weather alternate routes.

Key Contacts

  • Sandra Broncheau-McFarland, Administrator  NPNHT
    North Fork Ranger District-Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest
    12730 Hwy 12
    Orofino, Idaho 83544
    (208) 476-8334
  • Roger Peterson, Public Affairs Specialist
    Building 26 Fort Missoula Road
    Missoula, MT 59804
    (406) 329-3540
  • Ryan Domsalla, CP Revision Coordinator
    Building 26 Fort Missoula Road
    Missoula, MT 59804
    (406) 329-3288