On Wednesday, June 22, between 3-7 PM, the Curry Historical Society Museum, located at 29419 Ellensburg Ave., Gold Beach will be hosting Dan Edgerton for a book signing event. He is author of the newly released War Drums along the Rogue: The Rogue River Indian War, The Rogue River Indian War, 1851-56, volumes 1 and 2.
Dan takes a fresh look at this epic struggle with thorough, well documented research, introducing primary source documents never- before cited in previous works.
Edgerton discusses the evolution of relationships beginning with first contact between the Native Americans and the early frontiersmen. He addresses both inter and intra-tribal rivalry both before and during the problematic relations with the frontiersmen. Edgerton identifies and provides insights into the cultural characteristics of many of the Indian tribes and bands that played major roles in the conflicts that followed. He fully addresses the causes that led to 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 war councils with the avowed purpose to exterminate the frontiersmen leading to conflict each year from 1851 through 1856.
Primary sources link this war to those of the Yakima and Puget Sound Wars in 1855-56. In October 1855, this grand coalition culminated in the nearly simultaneous outbreak of hostilities in three different theatres of war in the Pacific Northwest. Although few authors wrote that a major alliance of Native American nations existed, none could provide conclusive proof until now.
The scope and scale of the Rogue River Indian War was greater than what other authors have previously presented. This conflict was forged with a confederation of Indian tribes not only in the south central valleys of Oregon and northern California but also with the confederated 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 unknowingly and incorrectly minimized the number of casualties sustained on all sides and viewed these conflicts in isolation to one another. This conflict was the second deadliest Indian war in the Pacific Northwest with 84 battles and engagements with at least 1,669 sustained casualties on both sides. Leading chiefs admitted they had inaugurated the long- planned, deadly war.
As a trained military historian, Edgerton tells the history of this epic conflict through those who participated in it. He brings history alive using thrilling personal exploits and eyewitness accounts by Native Americans, Indian agents, frontiersmen, soldiers, volunteers, and politicians. He provides the official reports of the major battles and engagements with an expert military analysis of the leader’s execution of the battle plans. The superb, colored topographic maps provide excellent detail of the rugged terrain in which the battles were fought.
War Drums Along the Rogue is a compelling, intriguing and exciting must read for those interested in native culture and in the early frontier history of southern Oregon and Northern California.