On Wednesday, June 22, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Curry Historical Society Museum, located at 29419 Ellensburg Ave. in Gold Beach, will host Dan Edgerton for a book signing event. He is the author of the new War Drums along the Rogue: The Rogue River Indian War, The Rogue River Indian War, 1851-56, volumes 1 and 2.
Edgerton takes a fresh look at this epic struggle with extensive and well-researched research, introducing primary source documents never before cited in previous work.
Edgerton discusses the evolution of relationships from first contact between Native Americans and early settlers. It addresses both inter- and intra-tribal rivalries before and during problematic frontier relations. Edgerton identifies and outlines the cultural characteristics of many Indian tribes and bands that played a major role in the conflicts that followed. It fully addresses the causes that led to the war. The natives sought to defend their homelands, their cultures and their ways of life. The chiefs of the various tribes and bands met in annual councils of war with the avowed aim of exterminating the frontiersmen leading to the conflict each year from 1851 to 1856.
The main sources link this war to those of the Yakima and Puget Sound wars in 1855-1856. In October 1855, this grand coalition resulted in the almost simultaneous outbreak of hostilities in three different theaters of war in the Pacific Northwest. Although few authors have written that a major alliance of Native American nations existed, none have been able to provide conclusive evidence thus far.
The scope and scale of the Rogue River Indian War was greater than previously presented by other authors. This conflict was forged with a confederation of Indian tribes not only in the southern Oregon and northern California central valleys, but also with confederate tribes along the southern Oregon and northern California coasts. , as well as with the Klamath Lake and Modoc tribes east of the Cascades. . Many authors have unknowingly and wrongly downplayed the casualties suffered on all sides and viewed these conflicts in isolation from each other. This conflict was the second deadliest Indian War in the Pacific Northwest with 84 battles and engagements with at least 1,669 casualties suffered on both sides. The main leaders admitted that they had ushered in the long-planned murderous war.
As a trained military historian, Edgerton tells the story of this epic conflict through those who participated in it. It brings history to life using thrilling personal exploits and eyewitness accounts from Native Americans, Indian agents, pioneers, soldiers, volunteers and politicians. It provides official reports of major battles and engagements with expert military analysis of the leader’s execution of battle plans. The stunning, colorful topographic maps provide excellent detail of the rugged terrain in which the battles were fought.
War Drums Along the Rogue is a must-read, intriguing and exciting for those interested in the native culture and early frontier history of southern Oregon and northern California.