Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Camp in the Lava Beds
(General Gillem's Camp)
The National Park Service maintains the Lava Beds National Monument, a California Historical landmark, the site from which the Army fought the protracted Modoc War. General E. R S. Canby, commanding officer of the Department of the Columbia, was bitterly disappointed to learn that his army had been decisively repulsed although they outnumbered the hostile Modocs seven to one. Canby replaced the commanding officer on the scene with Colonel Alvin C. Gillem (Brevet Major General during the Civil War), who, after being delayed en route, had to reorganize the forces under his new command. He moved the original camp to a new site closer to the Modocs' stronghold. The boundary line between Modoc and Siskiyou coun ties runs through the Lava Beds National Monument locating Gillem's camp in Siskiyou County and the Modoc stronghold in Modoc County. Near the Army camp is the site where two members of Indian agent Alfred B. Meacham's government sponsored peace commission were treacherously shot dead on April 11, 1873, by Modoc leader Captain Jack and several of his men during a prearranged parley (Meacham, also shot, survived after being left for dead). Captain Jack and his Indian forces successfully resisted capture by U.S. Army troops from December 1, 1972 to April 18, 1873. The hostiles had taken refuge near the California Oregon border in the region's desolate lava beds. Four of the involved Indians were ultimately found guilty of murder and hanged, as was Captain Jack, their leader, who went for the scaffold later, an unrepentant man.
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Updated 3 July 2017