The Wallowa Mountains from outside Enterprise

The Wallowa Mountains from outside Enterprise

Dave Blanchard / OPB

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After the Civil War ended, Gen. Oliver Otis Howard was put in charge of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, the first social welfare organization in this country. But after the efforts of Reconstruction collapsed, Howard got as far away from the politics of Washington, D.C. as he could — he came to Portland. And it was in Oregon that he met Chief Joseph and led a four-month military campaign against the Nez Perce Tribe. Historian Daniel Sharfstein’s latest book, “Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War,” tells that story. We spoke to Sharfstein in 2017.

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