||A separate reservation
recommended for Captain Jack's band of Modoc Indians.
there was an unfriendly feeling between Jack's band of Modocs
and the Klamath Indians, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs
for Oregon, A. B. Meacham, recommended to the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs in Washington that Captain Jack and his band be
given a separate reservation. Pending action on his
recommendation Meacham instructed Captain Jack and his band to
remain at Clear Lake. Refer to the sketch map on the following
||Lost River settlers petitioned
for the removal of Captain Jack and his band of Modoc Indians.
remaining at Clear Lake, Captain Jack and his band roamed the
country molesting the settlers with the result the settlers in
the Lost River region petitioned A. B. Meacham to remove the
Indians to the Klamath Reservation.
|A. B. Meacham requested help
from U. S. Army.
|On receipt of the
petition, Meacham requested General E. R. S. Canby, Commanding
General of Columbia, to remove Captain Jack and his band of
Modoc Indians to Yainax on the Klamath Reservation.
|Meacham's request forwarded to
forwarded Meacham's request to General Schofield, Commanding
General of the Pacific, suggesting that before using force to
get Captain Jack to the reservation, another peaceful effort
should be made.
population of Klamath County, Oregon, was between 300 and 400
||Reenforcements sent to Fort
|At the request of
General Canby, the forces at Fort Klamath were strengthened by
additional officers and troops from Fort (Camp) Warner.
||Council with Captain Jack at
Lost River Gap.
|On April 3 Major
Elmer Otis, U. S. Army, held a council with Captain Jack at Lost
River Gap, near what is now Olone, Oregon. This meeting was
arranged at the request of General Canby who desired to attempt
a peaceful settlement before using force. At that meeting
Captain Jack and the important men of his band were distinctly
hostile. Nothing was accomplished toward getting the Indians to
|U. S. Commissioner of Indian
Affairs requested that Captain Jack be moved to the reservation.
|On April 12 the
Commission of Indian Affairs in Washington requested T. B.
Odeneal, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, to get
Captain Jack and his band of Modocs to the reservation if
practicable and to see that they were not molested by the
||Odeneal attempted to arrange a
meeting with Captain Jack.
|On May 14 T. B.
Odeneal, carrying out instructions from Washington, sent Ivan D.
Applegate and L. S. Dyer to arrange for a council with Captain
Jack. Captain Jack refused to meet in council.
||Orders given to move Captain
Jack and his band of Modoc Indians to the Klamath Reservation.
|On July 6, 1872,
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington directed
Superintendent T. B. Odeneal to move Captain Jack and his band
to the Klamath Reservation,
peacefully if possible, forcibly if necessary. This order
from the Commissioner was the result of Odeneal's report on the
failure of I. D. Applegate and L. S. Dyer to induce Captain Jack
to meet in council.
||U. S. Army requested to force
Captain Jack to the Klamath Reservation.
|Despairing of a
peaceful settlement, on November 27, Superintendent Odeneal
requested Major John Green, C. O. at Fort Klamath, to furnish
sufficient troops to compel Captain Jack to move to the
|Troops moved to Lost River.
|On November 28
Captain James Jackson commanding 40 troops left Fort Klamath for
Captain Jack's camp on Lost River. The troops, reenforced by
citizens from Linkville (Klamath Falls) arrived in Jack's camp
on Lost River about a mile above Emigrant Crossing (Stone
Bridge) on November 29.
|First battle of Modoc War,
November 29, 1872.
immediately after the Indians refused to give up their arms.
After driving the Indians from camp, Captain Jackson ordered the
troops to retreat to await reenforcements. The casualties in
this short battle included one soldier killed and seven wounded,
and two Indians killed and three wounded.
|Settlers massacred by Indians.
the battlefield on Lost River to the Lava Beds south of Tule
Lake, a small band of Modoc Indians under the leadership of
Hooka Jim, on the afternoon of November 29 and morning of
November 30, massacred 18 settlers.
||Captain Jack and his band
prepared to defend themselves in The Stronghold.
|For some months
previous to the battle on Lost River, Captain Jack had boasted
that in the event of war he and his band could successfully
defend themselves in an area in the lava beds on the south shore
of Tule Lake. It was to that area that the Indians retreated
after the first battle on Lost River. The area soon became
famous and is known today as CAPTAIN JACK'S STRONGHOLD. In
selecting the place in which to defend themselves the Indians
took advantage of the lava ridges, cracks, depressions, and
caves, all such natural features being ideal from the standpoint
of defense. At the time the Indians occupied The Stronghold,
tule Lake bounded The Stronghold on the north and served as a
source of water for the Indians. Today The Stronghold is one of
the interesting features of Lava Beds National Monument.
|Encounter at Land's Ranch.
|On December 21
Modocs, scouting from The Stronghold, attacked an ammunition
wagon at Land's Ranch.
|By January 15 the
U. S. Army had 400 troops in the field near the Lava Beds. The
greatest concentration of troops was at Van Bromer's ranch,
twelve miles west of The Stronghold. Troops were also stationed
at Lani's ranch, ten miles east of The Stronghold. Col. Frank
Wheaton was in command of all troops, including regular army as
well as volunteer companies from California and Oregon.
|Skirmish with Modocs.
|On January 16
troops from Land's ranch, commanded by Col. R. F. Bernard,
skirmished with Indians near Hospital Rock.
|Attack on The Stronghold.
|On the morning of
January 17, 1873, troops advanced on The Stronghold. The
Indians, occupying excellent positions, repulsed troops
advancing from the west and east. A general retreat of troops
was ordered at the end of the day. In the attack on The
Stronghold on January 17, 1873, the U. S. Army lost 16 men
killed and 5 officers and 44 enlisted men wounded. Under Captain
Jack's command there were in all approximately 150 Indians
including women and children. Of that number there were only 53
warriors. The Indians suffered no casualties in the fighting on
|Peace Commission appointed.
|On January 25, C.
Delane, Secretary of the Interior, appointed a Peace Commission
to deal with Captain Jack. The Commission consisted of A. B.
Meacham, chairman, Jesse Applegate, and Samuel Case. General E.
R. S. Canby was appointed to serve the Commission as counselor.
||Activities of the Peace
|On February 19 the
Peace Commission held its first meeting at Fairchild's ranch,
west of the lava beds. A messenger was sent to arrange a meeting
with Captain Jack. Jack agreed that if the Commission would send
John Fairchild and Bob Whittle, two settlers, to the edge of the
lava beds he would talk to them. When Fairchild and Whittle went
to the lava beds Captain Jack told them he would talk with the
Commission if they would come to the lava beds and bring Judge
Elisha Steele of Yreka. Steele had been friendly to Captain
Jack. Steele went to The Stronghold. After a night in The
Stronghold, Steele returned to Fairchild's ranch and informed
the Peace Commission that the Indians were planning treachery,
and that all efforts of the Commission would be useless. A. B.
Meacham wired the Secretary of the Interior, informing him of
Judge Steele's opinion. In replying the Secretary instructed
Meacham to continue negotiations for peace. Judge A. M.
Roseborough was added to the Commission. Jesse Applegate and
Samuel Case resigned from the Commission, being replaced by Rev.
Eleazer Thomas and L. S. Dyer.
|Troops moved to positions
nearer The Stronghold.
||Gillem's Camp established.
|Gillem's Camp was
established at the edge of the lava beds, two and one-half miles
west of The Stronghold. Col. Alvin C. Gillem was placed in
command of all troops including those at Hospital Rock,
commanded by Col. E. C. Mason. The site of Gillem's Camp is one
of the interesting historical features of Lava Beds National
|Activities of the Peace
|On April 2 the
Commission and Captain Jack met in the lava beds at place about
midway between The Stronghold and Gillem's Camp. At this meeting
Captain Jack demanded: (1) Complete pardon of all Modocs; (2)
Withdrawal of all troops; (3) The right to select their own
reservation. The Peace Commission proposed: (1) That Captain
Jack and his band go to a reservation selected by the
government; (2) That the Indians guilty of killing the settlers
be surrendered and tried for murder. After much discussion the
meeting broke up with nothing accomplished.
On April 5 Captain Jack requested
a meeting with A. B. Meacham. Accompanied by John Fairchild and
Judge Roseborough, Frank and Toby Riddle serving as
interpreters, Meacham met Captain Jack at the peace tent which
had been erected on a flat area about one mile east of Gillem's
Camp. The meeting lasted several hours. Captain Jack requested
that the lava beds be given to them as a reservation. The
meeting ended with no agreement. After Meacham returned to camp
a message was sent to Captain Jack, asking that he meet the
Commission at the peace tent on April 8. While delivering this
message, Toby Riddle, a Modoc woman, wife of Frank Riddle, a
white settler, learned of the Modoc's plan to kill the peace
On April 8 just as the
commissioners were starting for the peace tent a message was
received from the signal tower on the bluff above Gillem's Camp.
The message stated that the lookout on the tower had seen five
Indians at the peace tent and about 20 armed Indians hiding
among the rocks nearby. The commissioners realized that the
Indians were planning treachery. The commissioners agreed to
remain in camp. In spite of warnings of treachery on the part of
the Indians, Rev. Thomas insisted on arranging a date for
another meeting with Captain Jack. On April 10 a message was
sent asking that Captain Jack meet the commissioners at the
peace tent on the following morning.
|Murder at the Peace Tent,
April 11, 1873.
|On the morning of
April 11 the commissioners, General E. R. S. Canby, A. B.
Meacham, Rev. E. Thomas, and L. S. Dyer, with Frank and Toby
Riddle as interpreters, and Boston Charley and Bogus Charley,
two Modocs who had brought a message from Captain Jack, John
Schonchin, Black Jim, and Hooka Jim. After some talk, during
which it became evident that the Indians were armed, General
Canby informed Captain Jack that the Commission could not meet
his terms until orders came from Washington. In an angry mood
John Schonchin demanded Hot Creek for a reservation. Captain
Jack got up and walked away a few steps. Two Modocs, Brancho (Barncho)
and Slolux, armed with rifles, ran forward from where they had
been hiding among the rocks. Captain Jack turned giving the
signal to fire. The first shot from Captain Jack's revolver
killed General Canby. Reverend Thomas fell mortally wounded. A.
B. Meacham fell seriously wounded. Dyer and Riddle escaped by
running. Had not Toby Riddle cried out, "The soldiers are
coming!", Meacham would no doubt have been killed.
All efforts for peace ended when
the Modocs carried out their plans to kill the commissioner. A
cross marks the place where General E. R. S. Canby and Reverend
Eleazor Thomas fell victims of Modoc treachery.