The Musselshell River which runs parallel to US 12 on the south side was a main thoroughfare through buffalo country.
The Musselshell where we struck it was certainly a lovely stream, with grassy meadows, shady trees and good running water. And there were millions of buffalo berries which we broke off in great clusters as we rode under the trees that bore them. The acid taste was very welcome after a long fast on fruit....
And those berries are certainly the best puckerers on earth. They put on a pucker that never comes off.
John W. Redington
Howard had taken a detour down the Yellowstone to Pompey's Pillar before cutting across country to the Musselshell. Sturgis waited at the Musselshell River for a week until Howard caught up to him.
On reaching the Musselshell River, / found that the distance between the Indians and my command had not been sensibly diminished. For the last seven or eight days both man and beast had been pushed to the utmost verge of physical endurance; what, with fatigue and a disease of the hoof which had suddenly broken out among my horses, most of them were unable to carry their riders, who, in turn, were growing so weak through long and weary marching without rations, as to be unable to walk and lead their horses. Under these circumstances I felt compelled to suspend further pursuit, in order that both men and animals might rest, and the troops provide themselves with game until our supplies should overtake us.
Col. S.D. Sturgis