Shaman's Dream : the Modoc War is a literary non-fiction account of the 1873 standoff between besieged Modoc Indians and the United States Army on the California/Oregon border. The book -- a kaleidoscope of 'vested interests' -- draws together eye-witness accounts by settlers, military and governmental records, reports, diaries, letters, press releases, telegrams -- in a narrative that is a multi-cultural evocation of one of the last of the 'Indian Wars.' A new, over-zealous Superintendent of Indians for Oregon precipitated the 'war' in an ill-advised attempt to corral a group of Modocs and return them to the Klamath reservation. Loss of life and the burning of the camp at Lost River was repaid by Modocs escaping to a stronghold in the lava beds, where they were besieged for months, and where they were persuaded the 'Ghost Dance' would save them. The standoff between the native Americans and the United States army eventually ended, but not until peace commissioners were wounded and murdered. The Army trial of the accused ended with hangings and the exile of the tribe, subsequently to Oklahoma. President U. S. Grant's 'Peace Policy' whereby Christian ministers were employed to oversee the reservations died in the aftermath of these events. But most deeply wounded of all -- and more lastingly in this, some would say, inadvertently religious war -- were the shamans.
About Lu Mattson
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Published July 29, 2012
Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Religion & Spirituality.