Everything was going fine until about 10 a.m. Johnny Atkinson while monkeying with a 50 Cal. Springfield let it go off accidentally. Never did hear or think I had heard a rifle make such a report. We did not have very long to wait until we saw a couple of Indians come out onto a piece of high ground from where they could see our horses and some of us. They went back in a hurry. Our camp was thrown into quite a commotion. About 1/2 mile from where we were there was quite a high hill. It was flat on top and one of the finest places any one could wish to make a stand. We filled what kettles and cantines with water and moved up to the top of what was afterwards known as Misery Hill.

We had not long to wait after we got moved. Before we had callers. First 19 Indians come up onto a mountain overlooking us. They staid for quite awhile and dared us to come over and fight. It was not long before more than 100 come up. We did not try to shoot any. They were over 1/2 mile from our position.

Luther P. Wilmot

After being harried all day, the volunteers had a brief respite until shortly after midnight.

Indians attacked us this morning about one o'clock and kept up a strong fire on us till daylight and succeeded in stampeding our horses, we loosing (43) but had no men hurt, about 7 o'clock A.M. the following morning the Indians came up in strong force and formed line to attack us but after holding council among themselves they came to the conclusion not to try it and took up their march toward the Clearwater ... I immediately had a dispatch written to General Howard informing him of the attack of my command and of the loss of my horses, Lieut Wilmot went with the dispatch to Genl Howard....

Ed McConville
Colonel of volunteers
July 10,1877

These horses had been taken from the Looking Glass band on 1 July.



The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction

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