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Title Letter [manuscript]: Fort Shaw, M[ontana] T[erritory], to Bishop [Daniel Sylvester] Tuttle, 1877 Sept. 7
Author Gibbon, John (1827-1896)
Document Type Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Sept. 7, 1877, letter from John Gibbon to Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, Protestant-Episcopal bishop of Montana, regarding the attack on Nez Percé Chief Joseph’s band at the Big Hole River, Aug. 9-10, 1877. Still recovering from a wound suffered during the battle, Gibbon writes of the roots of the conflict, the necessity for surprise and the resulting slaughter of women and children, Joseph’s exceptional ability and military strategy as evidenced in the counterattack, and his own recuperation.
Names Joseph (1840-1904); Tuttle, Daniel Sylvester (1837-1923)
Places Fort Shaw, Big Hole River, Montana, United States
Keywords war, battle, Battle of the Big Hole, hostility, health, massacre, women, children, attack, religion, Christianity, church
Theme Military Encounters: Conflicts, Rebellions and Alliances
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Plateau, Great Plains
Additional Information A career army officer, West Point graduate John Gibbon was born near Philadelphia in 1827 and raised in Charlotte, N.C. Prior to the Civil War, Gibbon served in the Seminole War, at western garrisons, and at West Point, where he wrote the artillerist’s manual (1860). Gibbon participated in numerous Civil War battles and was promoted by war’s end to major-general of volunteers. Appointed colonel of the 7th Infantry in 1866, Gibbon was stationed in the Montana Territory. There, during the Sioux wars, he commanded an expedition to rescue Little Big Horn survivors, and during the Nez Percé War of 1877, he attacked Chief Joseph’s sleeping encampment on the Big Hole River, Aug. 9, 1877. In that surprise attack, Gibbon’s outnumbered forces dealt the Nez Percé a serious blow, killing eighty-nine, including women and children. In 1885, Gibbon was promoted to brigadier general and given command of the Dept. of the Columbia. He retired in 1891.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 3077
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue