Our road continued good, although we crossed several large tributary streams coming in from the west, and forded the main stream three times, and it was one o'clock before we reached Lockwood's ranch, the last house up the Bitter Root Valley. Here we stopped to noon, get dinner, and rest and graze our animals. Mr Lockwood, the owner of the rancher was with us, having with his family left his home, and sought safety in one of the forts lower down the valley On now returning to it he had occasion to recognize the futility of the truce between the Indians and the inhabitants of the Bitter Root valley His house inside was a perfect wreck. Trunks were broken open and their contents scattered about, whilst furniture, crockery, and everything perishable was broken up and strewed over the place in every direction.

Col. John Gibbon

Here at Rye Creek, seventy Bitterroot volunteers caught up with Gibbon's command.

We overtook the soldiers the first day out, and there we were informed that the General did not care to be encumbered with citizens. But we stuck.

J.B. Catlin
Captain of Bitterroot volunteers

Thirty-four of these citizen volunteers from the Bitterroot stayed with Gibbon's command while the other thirty-six had second thoughts and returned to their homes.

Now some have accused us of going out just to steal the horses; that gives the wrong impression, as we did not think of that until the general [Gibbon] made us the offer. He told us that we could have all the horses except enough to mount his command, if we could whip the Indians. (But we never got to ride many of that bunch of ponies, you bet.)


Tom Sherrill
Bitterroot volunteer

From here, Gibbon's command followed the road east along Rye Creek and down into Ross Hole where they again picked up the trail of the Nez Perce. The Nez Perce had continued south along the Bitterroot River.



The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction

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