On July 8, volunteers left Mount Idaho to scout for the Nez Perce. General Howard was returning from his unsuccessful attempt to catch the Nez Perce on the Joseph Plains between the Snake and Salmon rivers.
We left Mount Idaho and went northwest. I knew the Indians had followed the main trails from Salmon River to the Clearwater Quite a while before we reached the main trails we could see where the ground was cut up by large bands of stock. We followed on the main trails until we had reached the last range of hills on the south [fork] of the Clearwater. Here we stopped in order to determine what we should do. I told the boys we were less than a mile and a half of Looking Glass camp, and / was certain that was where Joseph would go. There was quite a number of the Mount Idaho volunteers along, so we were about 75 all told. It was decided we would camp where we were....
Luther P. Wilmot
The volunteers originally camped about half a mile away from Misery Hill, four miles away from the Nez Perce camp on the South Fork of the Clearwater.