But the indians did not have the political

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organization or the supplies to keep their troops united. Soon the warriors drifted off in bands to elude pursuit or search for food, and the army ran them down and returned them to Dakota. The power of the Sioux quickly collapsed. They accepted defeat and life on reservations. One of the most dramatic episodes in Indian history occurred in Idaho in 1877. The Nez Percé were a small and relatively peaceful tribe, some of whose members had man- aged to live unmolested in Oregon into the 1870s without ever signing a treaty with the United States. But under pressure from white settlers, the U.S. government forced them to move onto a reservation. With no realistic prospect of resisting, the Indians began the journey to the reservation; but on the way, several younger Indians, drunk and angry, killed four white settlers. The leader of the band, Chief Joseph, persuaded his followers to flee from the inevi- table retribution. American troops pursued and attacked them, only to be Chief Joseph driven off in a battle at White Bird Canyon. After that, the Nez Percé scattered in several directions and became part of a remarkable chase. Joseph moved with 200 warriors and 350 women, children, and old people in an effort to reach Canada. Pursued by four col- umns of American soldiers, the Indians covered 1,321 miles in seventy-five days, repelling or evading the army time and again. They were finally caught just short of the Canadian boundary. Some escaped and slipped across the border; but Joseph and most of his followers, weary and discouraged, finally gave up. “Hear me, my chiefs,” Joseph said after meeting with the American general Nelson Miles, “I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” The last Indians to maintain organized resistance against the whites were the Chiricahua Apache. The twoablest chiefs of this fierce tribe were Mangas Colorados and Cochise. Mangas was murdered during the Civil War by white soldiers who tricked him into surren- dering. In 1872 Cochise agreed to peace in exchange for a reservation that included some of the tribe’s traditional land. But Cochise died in 1874, and his successor, Geronimo, Geronimo fought on for more than a decade longer, establishing bases in the mountains of Arizona and Mexico and leading warriors in intermittent raids against white outposts. With each raid, however, the number of warring Apache dwindled, as some warriors died and others drifted away to the reservation. By 1886, Geronimo’s band consisted of only about 30 people, including women and children, while his white pursuers numbered perhaps 10,000. Geronimo recognized the odds and surrendered. The Apache Wars, the most violent of all the Indian conflicts, produced brutality on both sides. But it was the whites who committed the most flagrant atrocities. That did not end with the conclusion of the Apache Wars. Another tragic encounter occurred in 1890 as a result of a religious revival

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