By Kevin Carson
Westholme Publishing, $26.00, 256 pages
The story of the Nez Perce is one of tragedy and heartbreak. Just a day or two away from the Canadian border and freedom, they were forced to surrender to the United States army and sent to Indian reservations that were often harsh and depressing. In this book, Kevin Carson covers the final days and battles between the United States army and the Nez Perce. The Nez Perce were smart, and they knew the days were numbered when they could ride free across the country. They learned how the army drilled and fought, and they had excellent skills riding horses. They stood a chance against the military and often won engagements, slipping away with women and children, always on the move. However, they made a few decisions in error; instead of heading straight north, they decided to go through Yellowstone and into Montana. They fought a brave fight, and except for one unfortunate battle, they might have made it to freedom.
This is a decent book; it covers just the final battles between these two forces. While the author does not make sweeping claims or arguments, he does present a clear and concise picture of events and tactics.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter