On July 17, a scouting party following the Nez Perce was ambushed near Incendiary Creek.
As the Nez Perce launched their journey eastward they left a rearguard behind.
Before leaving the Weippe Valley, the Chiefs asked for five young men volunteers to remain at the camping grounds for three suns, watching for enemy scouts and troops. If none were seen during that time, they were to come on and overtake the camp. But should enemies be sighted, two were to ride ahead with news of the danger, so that the warriors could prepare to hold the troops back on the trail until the families could escape to a place of safety.
Left Kamiah at 4 o'clock A.M. and took the Lo Lo trail for the Camas ground or Weipe after marching some twenty (20) miles. (The Indian scouts accompanying the column) ran into an ambush of hostile Indians, who wounded two (2) and killed one (1) of the Scouts.... Immediately after the firing began I dismounted my men ... Myself and Capt Winters marched through the dense underbrush and fallen timbers, until we found one (1) of the wounded Indian Scouts. We then with our own command skirmished through the woods until we found the body of "Levy" (also one of the Scouts). We then returned to the edge of the timber... We reached Lo Lo Creek about 11 o'clock P.M. and camped for the night.
July 17, 1877