General Edward Canby—a career army man–commanded the military in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1870s. One duty: to bring the Modoc tribe to peace, either through force or talks.
So on April 11, 1873 he and other negotiators went unarmed to a parley in northern California. The Modocs had other ideas, believing war was the only option. Led by Chief Kintpuash (Captain Jack), the Indians opened fired. Canby died, as did the Reverend Eleazar Thomas. Canby was the only U.S. general killed during the Indian Wars.