Chief Joseph, generally regarded as one of the greatest of Indian strategists, figured in the tragic last phase of the "Indian Wars" in the far West. Born Hinmaton-Yalaktit in Oregon about 1840, he became chief of the "non-treaty" Nez Perce upon his father's death in 1873. Refusing to recognize an 1863 agreement that ceded their lands and confined them to a reservation in Idaho, the Nez Perce and their leader were drawn into a hopeless resistance. Once Chief Joseph recognized, however, that his two hundred warriors were no match for the United States Army, he planned an escape with women and children to Canada. In 1877 he led a brilliant retreat more than a thousand miles through Montana and Idaho, while eluding one army and defeating another. After a five-day siege only thirty miles from safety, he finally surrendered. Noted for his humanity in warfare, Chief Joseph thereafter devoted his efforts to helping his people learn peaceful ways, and died in Nespelim, Coleville Reservation, Washington.