In 1877 the United States waged war against the ntreaty Nez Perce. For four months, the war unfolded along a 1,350-mile trail stretching from Oregon to the Bear's Paw Mountains in Montana. Masters of their weaponry and excellent horsemen, the Nez Perce presented a cunning enemy who mixed their traditional ways of battle with the use of modern rifles. When hostilities began with the Nez Perce, the Army was a relatively small force having been drawn down to 27,000 men, many of whom were Civil War veterans. Among them, the Army inherited a lot of older officers who, at times, struggled with the physical demands associated with pursuing and fighting against the urthodox Indians. At the time of the Nez Perce War, the Army was transitioning to adopt and train to its newly developed war doctrine. Ather complication for the Army was the lack of understanding the Indian's culture and fighting-style. That misunderstanding often resulted in miscalculations and underestimations being made that led to the Army getting out maneuvered, outflanked, and soundly beaten in several battles with Nez Perce warriors. Adding to the Army's difficulties was the presence of political infighting among several members of the senior leadership.