Modoc War

Published on January 20, 2011 by Casey

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Captain Jack, a Modoc leader in the Modoc War

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Captain Jack, a Modoc leader
in the Modoc War.

In November 1872, the U.S. Army was sent to Lost River to attempt to force the Keintpuash’s band back to the reservation. A battle broke out, and the Modocs escaped to Captain Jack’s Stronghold in what is now Lava Beds National Monument, California. The band of 60-90 warriors was able to hold off the 3,000 troops of the U.S. Army for several months, defeating them in combat several times. In April 1873, the Modocs left the Stronghold and began to splinter. Keintpuash and his group were the last captured on June 4, 1873 when they voluntarily gave themselves up, after assurances from the U.S. government personnel that their people would be treated fairly and that all of the warriors would be allowed to live on their own land.

The US Army hanged Keintpuash and three of his warriors in October 1873 for the murder of Major General Edward Canby, after the general violated agreements that had been made with the Modocs. They sent the rest of the band to Oklahoma as prisoners of war with Scarfaced Charley as their chief. The tribe’s spiritual leader, Curley Headed Doctor also made the voyage to Indian Territory.

In the 1870s, Peter Cooper brought Indians to speak to Indian rights groups in eastern cities. One of the delegations was from the Modoc and Klamath tribes. In 1907, the group in Oklahoma was given permission, if they wished, to return to Oregon. Several people did, but most stayed at their new home.

Source: Wikipedia Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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