See biography by D. P. Payne (1938).
Captain Jack's Stronghold, named for Modoc chief Captain Jack, is a part of Lava Beds National Monument. The stronghold can be accessed from the Perez turnoff, off Highway 139 between Tule Lake and Canby, California.
During the Modoc War, Captain Jack's band settled here following the Battle of Lost River, and held off a United States Army force outnumbering them by as much as 10 to 1 for several months. The lava beds made an outstanding stronghold for the Modocs because of the rough terrain, rocks that could be used in fortification, and irregular pathways to evade pursuers.
In the First Battle of the Stronghold, January 17, 1873, 51 Modoc warriors defeated an Army force of 225 soldiers supported by 104 Oregon and California volunteers, killing 35 and wounding several others, while suffering no casualties or serious woundings. During the Second Battle of the Stronghold, April 15 - 17, the reinforced Army of over six hundred men captured the Modoc spring and cut off their route to Tule Lake, forcing the Modoc to flee when their water supplies ran out. After fleeing the Stronghold, the band of Modoc splintered, and the last group, made up of Captain Jack and three warriors, were captured on June 1, 1873.
The area originally served as a hunting and gathering area.
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