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 Chief Looking Glass

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Chief Looking Glass

Birth
Montana, USA
Death 5 Oct 1877 (aged 44–45)
Blaine County, Montana, USA
Burial Chinook, Blaine County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 8155412 View Source
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Native American Chief. Along with Chief Joseph the Younger, he directed the 1877 Nez Percé retreat from eastern Oregon into Montana and onward to Canada. The son of a prominent Nez Percé chief, Looking Glass had bitterly resented white encroachments on his ancestral lands, but opposed going to war with the United States over its plans to force his people onto the small reservation assigned to them at Lapwai, Idaho. When the Nez Percé and the U.S. Army first clashed at Whitebird Canyon on June 17, 1877, Looking Glass was already living on the Lapwai reservation, as he had agreed to do. Nevertheless, General Oliver Howard believed that Looking Glass would soon join the fighting, and he sent a detachment of troops to arrest him. Howard's plans backfired, however, for Looking Glass eluded arrest and fled the reservation to join Joseph and his fugitive band just as Howard had feared. For both better and worse, the Nez Percé flight bore the mark of Looking Glass's leadership. A respected battlefield commander, he convinced the band to flee to Montana, despite Joseph's opposition, and then persuaded them to stop at Big Hole, where he incorrectly believed they would be free from attack. After soldiers under the command of Colonel John Gibbon surprised the Nez Percé there on August 9, inflicting heavy casualties, Looking Glass lost much of his prestige as a military leader. Nearly two months later, when the Nez Percé were finally surrounded by Colonel Nelson A. Miles's troops in Northern Montana's Bearpaw mountains, Looking Glass remained stubbornly opposed to surrender. By this time, however, Chief Joseph had concluded that surrender was the only viable option, and on October 5, he rode out to hand over his rifle. That same day, Looking Glass set out to join Sitting Bull's band in Canada, but before he could make it to the border, he was killed by a Cheyenne scout.

Bio by: Mongoose


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mongoose
  • Added: 4 Dec 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8155412
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/8155412/chief-looking_glass : accessed ), memorial page for Chief Looking Glass (1832–5 Oct 1877), Find a Grave Memorial ID 8155412, citing Bear Paw Battlefield, Chinook, Blaine County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .