In-who-lise, Nez Perce Wife of
Andrew Garcia
Source: Stan Hoggatt--Photo
Taken with Permission while
Displayed at Big Hole Battlefield

"In-who-lise--Attack at the Big Hole"


Stan Hoggatt

Chief White Bird along with between 150 to 200 Nez Perce fled the Bears Paw Battlefield en route to Canada. In-who-lise was included in this group. In-who-lise was very ill and had to be held in her saddle by another woman. Together, they arrived at an Assiniboine camp where they were taken in. In-who-lise later joined another band and was on the plains of Montana when she met Andrew Garcia. They fell in love and were married. Andrew promised to take his new bride back to the Big Hole Battlefield site where she could find the grave of her father, Gray Eagle. In-who-lise's father had been killed at the Big Hole Battlefield and she herself had been brutally attacked. The attack on the village and In-who-lise is described:

"The bullets came through Gray Eagle's lodge like hail and rain, and hit one of Hoot Owl's women in the head, killing her dead....her father said. 'Try and run across the creek and hide in the willows.' Then they all tried to get out of the teepee at once, trying to crawl over each other, but the soldiers were there, shooting near the tepee flap which faced the river. Hoot Owl and his other woman and two of the small children were shot dead, and her father shot in the belly. All that she could remember was that her sister Lucy, who is trying to run ahead of her, now fell dead, with a bullet through her head.

Then something hit In-who-lise in the right shoulder and she fell down near the creek bank and lay there. How long she lay there she did not know. When she tried to get up, she must have grabbed by the leg, with her good arm, a soldier who was standing over her, shooting.The soldier jumped back a little and quickly hit her with his gun on her good arm, then jabbed and pushed her back down on the ground with the butt of his gun. It hit her on the mouth and cut her lips and hurt her teeth bad...."

Garcia, Andrew, Montana 1878-Tough Trip Through Paradise, Edited by Bennett H. Stein, Comstock Editions, Inc., Sausalito, CA, 1967. p. 234.


* A verification of the accuracy of In-who-lise's description of the attack on the Nez Perce Village is not possible. However, The accounting is consistent with information from other sources.

* The above photo appears in Andrew Garcia's book edited by Bennett Stein. The Montana Historical Society is in possession of correspondence disputing the book's claim that the photo is that of In-who-lise. Since, to our knowledge, Bennett Stein continues to represent that the photo is that of In-who-lise, we present it here on that basis with this background note for your benefit.


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