A stagecoach along the trail from Tongue River (Miles City) to Helena was stolen as it made a stop near the junction of Canyon Creek and the Yellowstone.

The stage had just arrived, when the lookout discovered a hostile war party dashing down the river, and everybody made a run for the thick willows, with hostile bullets flying around them. There were half a dozen stage passengers, most of whom struck off afoot up the river, and eventually reached some settlement. One of the passengers was a dentist, and the hostiles scattered his gripsack full of store teeth and tools of torture all over the ground.

John W. Redington

Six or seven of the Nez Perce raiders commandeered the stage-coach and drove it up Canyon Creek, following the main camp

North of Laurel about four miles, as you crest a ridge and skirt a small hill, you see the flat of Canyon Creek stretched out before you, bordered by rimrock buttes. Perhaps it was from this vantage point that the troops first saw the Nez Perce caravan moving up Canyon Creek.

Although the hostile trail led down the Yellowstone, we saw Indian scouts watching us from the bluffs to the north, and soon they charged down. But our ouffit sent them to charging backward, and when they had driven them over the bluffs we caught a sight of what was on the other side, and there was the whole hostile ouffit right under us, strung along the benches and bottoms of Canyon Creek....

Half a mile in their rear was a big coach with its four horses trotting along, and on the box was an Indian driver, with nearly half a dozen other Indians squatting on the roof, with their war horses hitched behind.

When these hostiles saw us they quickly unhitched the stage horses, mounted their cayuses, and dashed into skirmish line flanking their ouffit, which had what looked like more than 2000 head of horses. The old stage was abandoned in the sagebrush.

John W Redington




The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction

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