Thursday, October 2, 2014
Stolen Cannon and the Battle of the Big Hole.
This is the companion piece to my post of yesterday, and depicted is a Mountain Howitzer, similar to the one taken from Fort Shaw, Montana Territory in 1877 by Colonel John G. Gibbon, to pursue over 750 Nez Perce Indians under Chief Joseph and Looking Glass. The Nez Perce had moved into Montana ostensibly to avoid being placed on a reservation, and their moving village consisted of approximately 90 tipis.
On Aug 9th and 10th of 1877, Colonel Gibbon lost not only 30 officers and enlisted men, but he also lost this cannon for a time. The two hundred pound barrel proved to be too much for the Nez Perce after its capture, so it was soon abandoned.
I've learned from the owner of this document that Mr. Phil Manix was a Civil War Veteran who for a time was the Post Trader at Fort Shaw, just as J. H. McKnight was. Manix moved on to Augusta where he ran a General Store. The building still stands and is still a General Store.