ROGUE RIVER & MODOC WARS:
Pacific Indian Wars, Part II
August 5–11, 2012
Historian Guide: Neil Mangum
In the span of five short years, 1851–1856, Indian tribes dwelling along the waterways, mountains, and coastal regions of northwest California and southwest Oregon witnessed the destruction of their culture during what became known as the Rogue River War. Here small, independent tribes were decimated in a series of brutal campaigns, sometimes at the hands of white volunteers and sometimes at the hands of the United States Army. Fighting back as best they could, in the end they were simply overpowered by a tidal wave of soldiers.
These bloody encounters caused the extermination of some tribes and the consolidation of others for safety and survival. Of approximately 10,000 Indians at the start of the Rogue River War, only 2,000 survived at its conclusion.
Meanwhile, east of the Rogue River, Modocs suffered the same misfortune. Trouble erupted in 1872, when settlers demanded that a small group under their leader Captain Jack be evicted from Tule Lake on the Oregon-California border. After the fight on Lost River, the Modocs fled to the safety of the lava beds and Captain Jack's Stronghold. For almost five months fewer than 150 Modocs, only 50 of whom were warriors, held off 10 times their number.
On this new HistoryAmerica tour, Historian Guide Neil Mangum will bring his unique perspective to the Rogue River War, a campaign that has drawn scant attention by scholars and students. The Modoc experience features visits to the Lost River battlefield, Captain Jack's Stronghold, and the Thomas-Wright battlefield among other premier sites.
Cost: $2,695 Single Occupancy, $2,350 Double Occupancy
Click to request a 2012 printed Travel Guide.
Sunday, August 5
Gather in Medford, Oregon, for a briefing and welcome dinner hosted by Neil Mangum and HistoryAmerica TOURS.
Monday, August 6
Start the day at Ft. Lane and Camp Alden, military outgrowths of the 1853 Table Rock Treaty, which established a reservation for the Rogue River Valley Indians. Visit the landmark Table Rock, site of several bloody encounters between 1851–1855. At Little Butte Creek discover how a volunteer force slaughtered more than 40 peaceful Indians, mostly women and children. We will cross the mountains and ascend the winding road to the rim of Crater Lake National Park. Last stop is the Ft. Klamath Museum where Captain Jack of the Modocs and three other ringleaders were hanged. We overnight in Klamath Falls.
Tuesday, August 7
The day is devoted to the Modoc War of 1872–1873, beginning with a trip to Lost River Battlefield, which precipitated Captain Jack's retreat into the vastness of the lava beds. Highlights include hiking through the military encampment on the westside of the Stronghold, General Edward Canby's murder site, Captain Jack's Stronghold, and the Thomas-Wright battlefield. Overnight in Yreka, California.
Wednesday, August 8
The site of Fort Jones is our first stop, one-time station for Civil War figure George Crook. Returning to the Rogue River Valley, we pick up the campaigns at battlefields near Cave Junction and Selma. The afternoon finds us crossing the mountains approaching the Pacific coast at Crescent City. This afternoon we stop at Camp Lincoln and Battery Point Lighthouse. Overnight in Crescent City, California.
Thursday, August 9
The rugged coastline of southwestern Oregon forms a panoramic backdrop to the Indian-settler strife that erupted along the coast. We will stop along the Smith, Chetco, Pistol, and Rogue rivers, discussing important events. At Gold Beach we take in the conflicts that resulted in massacres to both Indians and whites and the hasty erection of Fort Miner. Later we walk up to Battle Rock, site of the 1851 siege. Our final stops include Fort Orford and vistas along the stunning bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. Overnight in Bandon.
Friday August 10
Begin the day with Indian War sites involving the Coquille Tribe. After a visit to the Coos Bay Historical Museum we turn east up the Coquille River, scene of several Indian-White encounters near Myrtle Point. The afternoon finds us passing close to the indecisive October/November 1855 Battle of Hungry Hill. We tour the Applegate Interpretive Center, which features exhibits on the Rogue River War. Then it's back to Medford for our farewell dinner.
Saturday, August 11
Depart at your leisure following breakfast.