Thunder in the Mountains; Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein; 2017; $29.95; 613 pages; W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY; 978-0-393-23941-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 9/18/17-10/1/17
Why did I read this? I have always been a fan of Chief Joseph and always to learn more about the people that we have displaced.
An interesting story of two men who lived parallel lives during a time of great change. General O.O. Howard, founder of Howard University fought in the Civil War on the Union Side and then headed up the Freedmen’s Bureau during reconstruction. He believed in the betterment of the freed slaves but did not believe in that same equality for the indigenous people of America. Chief Joseph was one of many leaders of a band of Nez Perce peoples. He was not the War Chief that conducted the war, he came to be acknowledged as the leader after the War Chiefs died. I did not realize that the battles took place over such a vast territory.
There is more information here than needed, especially on C.E.S. Wood, the generals aide. I wish the book would have concentrated on more just the actual action and not be so much biography of the palefaces that threatened a way of life, disingenuously ignored laws and treaties, and lied.