|In 1864, the Modoc Indians were living on their ancestral tribal lands near Tule Lake, on what is now the Oregon-California border region. However, because white settlers wanted the rich Modoc lands for themselves, the US Government relocated the Modoc people to the Klamath Indian Reservation in southwest Oregon.
Unhappy with how Modocs were being treated on the Klamath Reservation, Captain Jack led his people back to their tribal lands in 1865.
In 1869, U.S. Army soldiers again rounded up the Modoc people and moved them back to the Klamath Reservation, but conditions there had not improved for the Modocs.
A year later, 1870, Capt. Jack again led his people back to their tribal lands at Tule Lake.
BATTLE OF LOST RIVER
In 1872, Army soldiers were again dispatched to Tule Lake to escort Captain Jack and his band back to Klamath Reservation.
However, during negotiations, a fight broke out between an Army soldier and a Modoc warrior and the Battle of Lost River ensued.
After the battle, Captain Jack led his band into what is now known as the Lava Beds National Monument — Captain Jack's Stronghold — a natural maze of caves and trenches worn into the lava bed.
The Modoc braves were very successful in defending this stronghold and the Army was losing dozens of soldiers during fights to evict the band from this natural Indian fort.
Captain Jack is said to have believed that if the white Army leaders were killed, the Army would be defeated and the government troops would leave the Modocs alone.
During a high-level meeting, Captain Jack and several other Modocs drew their pistols in unison and killed two leading members of the government commission, including General Edward Canby.
The killings resulted in the US Government sending in over 1,000 reinforcement troops, and the soldiers attacked Captain Jack's Stronghold with superior forces and successfully evicted the Modocs from their safe haven.
On October 3, 1873, Captain Jack was hanged for the murder of General Canby.
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