On January 29, 1863, the United States Army attacked a band of Northwestern Shoshones at Bear River in southern Idaho, killing nearly 300 men, women, and children. This massacre is absent from much of the historiography. At the site of the massacre, however, a handful of monuments stand commemorating the same event yet telling the story in different—almost contradictory—ways. These monuments are anomalous in America's commemorated history, and reveal shifts in popular and scholarly memory over the last 140 years: a visible struggle to control the past.

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