Alone on Eagle Cap Mountain an Indian boy prayed to the Great Spirit that he might lead his people wisely and without bloodshed. But though he was wise, blood stained the wild northwest before his adventure ended.
Young Joseph's adventures began in the Idaho wilderness when he tamed Thunderbird, a great colt, and shot his first buffalo. He wanted to be a Chief, like his father, but first he had to prove his courage. When he wounded a savage Blackfoot and saved his father's life he earned the first feather for his war bonnet. From then on he knew he could face whatever dangers lay ahead.
Danger came swiftly when the Cayuse tribe massacred white settlers in Oregon and spread war between white men and Indians. Joseph did not resist even though the government took his most precious possession-the land of his forefathers. He prepared to move his tribe to the barren reservation chosen for them but white settlers hindered their march to the new home until Joseph's people, maddened and out of his control, plunged him into war.
In three months' time Joseph led the fight against the United States Army, battling the nation's finest soldiers. When his tribe was weak from starvation and his animals exhausted, he turned defeat into victory through the genius of his military strategy. For four days he held off the enemy with only eighty-seven men, forty of whom were wounded. Outnumbered, scant miles from the haven of Canadian soil where they could not be molested, he surrendered when he was promised his beloved land in Idaho, but that promise was not kept.
Those who cheated him have been forgotten, but the man who raged the wilderness became a hero. He was true to himself and to the people he defended.
From the dust jacket
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