The Battle of Bears Paw Historical Marker


Chinook 59523,Havre Area,Blaine County

Map Location

Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric Sites
General info

This battle was fought September 30 to October 5, 1877, on Snake Creek, about 20 miles south of here near the Bears Paw Mountains, where after a five days’ siege Chief Joseph, one of five remaining Nez Perce leaders, surrendered to Col. Nelson A. Miles of the U.S. Army.

The usual forked-tongue methods of the whites, which had deprived these Indians of their hereditary lands, caused Joseph and six other primary chiefs to lead their people on a tortuous 2,000 mile march from their home in Idaho to evade U.S. troops and gain sanctuary in Canada.

These great Indian generals fought against fearful odds. They and their warriors could have escaped by abandoning their women, children and wounded. They refused to do this.

Joseph’s courage and care for his people were admired by Col. Miles who promised him a safe return to Idaho. One of the blackest records in our dealings with the Indians was the Government’s repudiation of this promise and the subsequent treatment accorded Joseph and his followers.

About Us

Our mission is to provide the most comprehensive information site for the state of Montana. We welcome public input and comments.


1627 W. Main #447
Bozeman, MT 59715

Contact Us

Created with love by New Times Media Corporation

We're New Times Media - a friendly and fun group of people. At New Times Media we love to share anything and everything we know about the great state of Montana, so we created this site to make learning about our state as easy as possible. Our site is free to use and has the simplest possible user interface.

Privacy policy:

We use Google Analytics for site usage analytics. Your IP address is saved on our web server, but it's not associated with any personally identifiable information. We want you to enjoy and benefit from our site without worrying about who is tracking you (OK, so Google might track you, but that’s not us!)

Terms of service: the legal stuff

By using our site you agree to our Terms of service. TLDR: You don't need an account to use our site. Our site is free of charge and you can use it as much as you want. You need an account if you wish to list your business or control your business information. You can't do illegal or shady things with a business listing on our site. We may block your access to your page(s), if we find out you're doing something bad. Share anything you see, but don’t use our stuff for your own use without permission from us. We’re not liable for your actions and we offer no warranty. We may revise our terms at any time.