... The advanced Indian Scouts that General Howard had with him, came down in the Valley with a good sweeping gallop. l was well out on the open ground when I first saw them. I took them to be some of the other warriors coming back. / had a very fleet saddle horse. I whirled him around, headed for the brush, and gave him the spur. / was soon at the edge of the willows, and pulled him up to take another look and saw that those Indians all had white plumes in their headdress, then I turned and rode back. Those Indians ran all over the battle field.

The first Indian that was killed, was never buried by the tribe, and those fellows found him, took his scalp, kicked him in the face, and jumped on his body and stamped him. In fact they did everything mean to him that they could.

Tom Sherrill — Bitteroot citizen volunteer

One of the two doctors who came with Howard reported:

... We found a horrible state of affairs.There were 39 wounded men without Surgeons or dressing, and many of them suffering intensely. General Gibbon had not taken any medical officer with him....

The savages sustained greater losses, however, than the soldiers,for we found over 30 dead bodies (mostly women and children). I saw them myself... I was told by one of General Gibbon's officers that the squaws were not shot at until two officers were wounded by them ,and a soldier or two killed. Then the men shot every lndian they caught sight of-men, women, and children. I saw five or six children from 8 to 12 years old, as near as I could determine. I also saw six or seven braves, and the remainder of those I saw were squaws — eleven or twelve of them. I was informed that there were some eight or ten more bodies of men further down the stream.

Dr. John FitzGerald — surgeon with General Howard

August 14, 1877

According to the Nez Perce count, eighty-seven of their people were killed at Big hole of which thirty-three were warriors.This coincides closely with the military reports of eighty-nine Indian bodies found. Gibbon's losses for the day were twenty-nine killed and forty wounded, two of them mortally. Of the command's seventeen officers, fourteen were either killed or wounded.



The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction

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