Official website of author Bruce Hampton

Children of Grace: The Nez Perce War of 1877


Although the Nez Perce Indians befriended Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition, they were rewarded by decades of invasive treaties and encroachment upon their homeland. In June 1877, several non-treaty bands of Nez Perce struck back and were soon swept into one of the most tragic Indian wars in American history. The conflict culminated in an epic twelve-hundred-mile chase as the U.S. Army pursued some eight hundred Nez Perce men, women, and children, attempting to fight their way to freedom in Canada.

I first became interested in the war when I worked as a U.S. Forest Service wilderness ranger along the Montana-Idaho border in the early 1970s. One day near Lolo Pass, I discovered a spent cartridge, old enough to hail from the century before. Soon I was hot on the Nez Perce Trail, although it would take twenty more years before I felt ready to write this amazing story that seemed to me as spellbinding as any edge-of-the-seat novel I’d ever read.

This book is full of vivid and unforgettable characters from both sides of the conflict — warriors and women, common soldiers and celebrated generals — as the Nez Perce, numbering fewer than three hundred warriors, waged a bloody David-and-Goliath war against a modernized American army.

“Comprehensively researched and well written…” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Exciting… fair-minded… the definitive account of a dark hour in American History.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A vigorous narrative that builds on diligent research.” – Booklist

“The war has found a narrator equal to its complexity and importance… one of the top ten books of the year.” – Seattle Times

“A triumph of literary as well as historical craftsmanship.” – Dow Jones News Service

“This history reads like a gripping novel.” – Lewiston Morning Tribune

* Hardcover: 407 pages
* Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (1994)
* ISBN: 080501991X

* Softcover: 407 pages
* Publisher: Bison Books, Univ. of Nebraska Press (2002)
* ISBN: 0803273347

*E-book version published by author 2014