About the Book
Nez Perce Summer, 1877 tells the story of a people’s epic struggle to survive spiritually, culturally, and physically in the face of unrelenting military force. Written by one of the foremost experts in frontier military history, Jerome A. Greene, and reviewed by members of the Nez Perce tribe, this definitive treatment of the Nez Perce War is the first to incorporate research from all known accounts of Nez Perce and U.S. military participants.
Enhanced by sixteen detailed maps and forty-nine historic photographs, Greene’s gripping narrative takes readers on a three-and-one-half month 1,700-mile journey across the wilds of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana territories. All of the skirmishes and battles of the war receive detailed treatment, which benefits from Greene’s astute analysis of the strategies and decision making on both sides.
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 that nobody wanted but whose history has since fascinated generations of Americans.
Jerome A. Greene is a retired research historian for the National Park Service with more than forty years of government service. He is the author of twenty-four books, including American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890, Lakota and Cheyenne: Indian Views of the Great Sioux War, 1876–1877, and Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition and the Northern Cheyennes, 1876. Alvin M. Josephy Jr. (1915–2005) was a leading historian of the American West and author or editor of many award-winning books, including The Indian Heritage of America, Nez Perce Country (Bison Books, 2007), and Red Power: The American Indians’ Fight for Freedom, Second Edition (Nebraska, 1999).
“The story of the [Nez Perces’] escape, hardships, and ultimate defeat makes an epic struggle any Hollywood scriptwriter would admire. In Nez Perce Summer, 1877 Jerome A. Greene . . . is precise, even brilliant, in detailing the Nez Perce trail and the military groups that hounded them for weeks.”—Denver Post
“Greene’s book is a comprehensive, well-researched, and well-written study of the [Nez Perce War] and its aftermath.”—Library Journal
“[Jerome A. Greene] gives the Nez Perce saga the attention it deserves.”—Wild West