I typed the items below directly from the microfilm of "The Teller" newspaper. Remember, that some of these reports were later found to be untrue or misleading. The actual facts were not always as written.
There is more to come of these articles. I will type them as time permits.
1877 Indian War Accounts from “The Teller”, Lewiston
Sat., June 23, 1877
June 17th 4 o’clock p.m.
Rumors are and have been for the last 36 hours very conflicting in relation to where the Indians are and what they have done. Many of them are very exaggerated; the truth is bad enough to alarm the whole country. The most authentic are that on Friday eve at 8 o’clock a military force of 100 troops, 20 friendly Indians and several citizens left the Lapwai garrison under command of Col. Perry for Mt. Idaho. Various letters brought through by Indian messengers to the Agency and the garrison from Mt. Idaho and the Kamia, some of them having come through since the arrival of the troops at Mt. Idaho. The following is the substance from Mt. Idaho: That a part of the Indians had gone to attack the settlers on Salmon river and a part had gone to a fortified place on Cotton Wood creek below Chapman’s. That Capt. James Baker, Samuel Benedict wife and four children, Harry mason, Henry Elfres and the Warrens expressman had been killed on Salmon River, that a pack train of 40 mules had been attacked near Cold Spring and two white men, Davenport and Ousley killed and two half breed Indians escaped, and the cargo captured, that the Indians and settlers were fighting below Chapman’s. After the arrival of Col. Perry a dispatch came to the effect that he arrived at Mt. Idaho Saturday morning, found the reports of killed true and that the Indians had gone to Salmon river, that the troops were in pursuit of them in hopes of overtaking them at the crossing. Messages from the Kamia brought also by Indian runners to the Agency state that it had been ascertained that 29 whites had been killed so far as known, that the whites had killed White Bird, the chief of his band and his family. Al Dunwell the Oro Fino expressman came through safely on Saturday eve, unconscious of trouble till he arrived on the Lapwai. Although he saw on the mountain a mounted and nude painted Indian in the brush near the road. The Indian would not respond to his salutation, yet he was allowed to pass on without molestation. Mr. Lydle come through a few hours afterwards and saw several Indians on the Prairie at a distance, two of them pursued him but he out rode them and made his escape. The different Indian messengers tell many things giving particulars, which are not contained in the written messages, which may or may not be true. Lewiston has an organization of about 60men poorly armed for home duty in case of an emergency. Two companies of Infantry are expected here on the steamer from Wallula to-night, 25 cavalrymen from Walla Walla tomorrow, 500 Indians on Hangman Creek, No hostility there yet.
Half past 6 p.m.
The troops with 15 men from Mt. Idaho encountered the Indians at the head of white Bird Canyon, troops dismounted and left a few soldiers and the 20 friendly Indians to hold their horses. The Indians opened the fire upon the troops and fighting was continued for some time, the friendly Indians became alarmed and the soldiers guarding horses could see that the Indians were getting the best of the fight and the soldiers retreating. The citizens Captain, Sergeant Lydle and one soldier was known to be killed and the whole horse guard of Indians and whites broke and run, some for Mt. Idaho and some for Lapwai, leaving all the horses to run loose over the prairie. Those coming to Lapwai never stopped till they reached the Post. The result of the fight is not known. Many of the houses on the prairie are burned.
8 o’clock a.m., June 18
D. Monroe arrived from the garrison at ½ past two this morning and tells us that a third soldier had arrived at the garrison last eve from the fight and reported the troops on foot are surrounded by the Indians in the canyon and in a hand to hand fight. Col. Perry and about one half of the command said to be killed and the remainder surrounded in the canyon and fighting against odds when soldier left.
Mount Idaho June 16th 1877, 8 o’clock p.m.
Leland – Sad news tonight via Florence from Salmon River. The killed so far as known are Dick Devine, Henry Elfres, Bob Bland, Henry Strowbridge nephew of Elfres, Osborn, Harry Mason, Hurdy Brown, jack Manuel, Samuel Benedict, Old man Baker, Pat Price, Victor and Joe Oulds. Wm. George wounded. No women and children killed on Salmon river, reported yet. Mr. John Chamberlain and child were killed same time Norton was, wife and other child wounded. Lew Day very low, Joe Moore a severe wound in hip, Mrs. Norton shot in both legs, not serious, Linn bowers and Hill Norton were found on the Prairie by our pickets, not hurt. Troops arrived tonight. The Indians have left his afternoon attempting to cross Salmon river, so we think, some effort should in our opinion be made to check them from Walla Walla as we think they will go towards Wallowa or that country and may commit other depredations. They have a large band of horses belonging to people here, so thought, and will be pursued by the people fro here. It is Joseph’s band with other renegades. McPherson goes for a doctor. The people are here forted up.
Mount Idaho June 17 1877, 9 o’clock a.m.
COMMANDING OFFICER FORT LAPWAI –
Col. Perry with his command and some of our men engaged the Indians at White Bird about day light were fighting about three hours, and were repulsed with heavy loss of men and horses. Col. Perry when last seen by the men who have come in was cut off, had with him some 20 to 25 men. We need more help, and any volunteers with arms that can be had should come at once. The Indians had killed, up to yesterday on Salmon Rover 12 men reported, don’t know how many more. Great need of a surgeon, no doctor here, nor none with the troops. Chapman in command of scouts who was in the fight says he thinks some artillery two mountain howitzers, should be brought up. Some of the men who have returned estimated the loss in killed wounded and missing at sixty men. Of the volunteers wounded and returned are T.D. Swartz shot in the leg H.A. Faxon in hip. Lew Day is yet alive. We send with this dispatch a line to A. Leland written last evening giving names of killed and wounded. Please furnish him with a copy of this for public information. Since writing this Col. Perry has come in safe but we hear that Theller and Trimble are missing. The people are all here and have a very good Fort thrown up. I fear no attack on the town.;
Very Truly in haste,
This was written before we heard that Perry was safe, but as he is in Camp presume he will send his own dispatch, therefore send this to you for information, can send extra below from your office and use my name, that all is true that I have written.
June 18, 1877
Wm Igo who brought these letters says he was a scout on his own hook and was in the fight, that it took place at the foot of the White Bird canyon instead of the head. That upon the first fire of the Indians the soldiers broke ranks and retreated and the officers could not rally them to face the enemy, that the Indians pursued them about 16 miles to J.M. Crook’s lane, firing constantly, that the Indians had better guns and their aim was deadly from the first, that there was about 125 Indians in pursuit well mounted, that after the fight the Indians had a war dance on the prairie, that he with Knifong brought dispatches through from Col. Perry to the post, that off the road 4 miles North of the Board House they were attacked by five Indians just as the moon was going down, that they entrenched themselves behind some rocks, Knifong strengthening their position and he firing with his Henry rifle till he fired 75 shots by the declining light of the moon. At day break the Indians fell back carrying one of their number dead or wounded upon a horse. They then came on without further molestation. We have before us Gen. Howard’s dispatch to Col. Wood of date June 18 at 11 a.m. giving the number of the command killed and missing at 27, exclusive of Lieut. Theller who was killed. This differs from Mr. Brown’s statement as the estimated of the killed and missing, although both dispatches came by the same messenger and left at the same time. A letter from Father Cataldo says the Indians are all quiet up on Hangman creek, although many of the Nez Perces and Palouses are there, messenger just through in two days. This morning the Almota arrived with 75 more regulars who proceeded directly to the Garrison, and are to leave there this eve for the scene of action. Volunteers have come from Columbia Co. W.T., and more are on the road. The settlers in paradise valley are stockaded and have sent to town for ammunition. Genesse valley settlers are here with their families. We fell no danger imminent in this section. What the effect of this victory of the Indians may have upon those now friendly, remains to be seen.
Sat,Jun 23, 1877
FROM JOSEPH’S CAMP
Three Indians held as prisoners in Joseph’s camp made their escape since the fight, and report that the hostiles removed all their plunder loose stock and squaws across Salmon to a well fortified place on the divide between Salmon and Snake nearly opposite the mouth of White Bird. The fighting men were to recross Salmon on Thursday and renew their depredations along the trails and roads, and work their way towards the Wallowa via mouth of the Grand Ronde. They had in the fight only 70 men besides squaws who brought up fresh horses in the rear. They took 36 guns from dead soldiers and those who had thrown them away. Only 4 Indians wounded, one of them mortally. In the fight much of the stock they had stolen from the settlers on the prairie scattered and run back to prairie.
Thursday morning at 8 o’clock
Pike Davenport, John havard and two other men arrived from Mt. Idaho at 11 o’clock last night. They report that Mrs. Manuel and child and Geo. Woodard had been murdered on Salmon river, most of the remaining families on the river are forted at Slate creek and have a defense of about 40 able bodied citizens. The wounded at mt. Idaho are in a very bad condition having no surgeon or physician. Chapman and 35 volunteers were to proceed from their defences at mt. Idaho to reconnoiter the position of the Indians who are supposed to be somewhere in the direction of Salmon river. In the fight Charles Horton of the volunteers was killed. Capt. Trimble was wounded. 6,000 cartriges sent from here had safely arrived at Mt. Idaho. Many other Indians have, since the fight, joined Joseph. About 40 from Potlach. The New Tenino arrived this morning with about 90 troops. Dr. Morris came up on her and proceeded at once with Pike Davenport to Mt. Idaho. No extra arms came upon the boat. About 50 volunteers have arrived here from Columbia Co. but few of them have suitable arms but are awaiting them from below. Lew Day has died of his wound.
Sat., June 30, 1877
FROM THE SCENE OF HOSTILITIES
L.P. Brown Esq., sends us full reports of events as learned at Mt. Idaho during the 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and to 9 a.m. of the 22d. We condense the facts in his dispatches and give them in their daily order. On the 18th some three or four of Col. Perry’s Co., arrived safely into camp. Wm. George after he was wounded on Salmon river escaped and arrived through the mountains. Pat Price having Manuel’s little girl 6 ½ years old with broken arm arrived safely from White Bird, Mrs. Samuel Benedict with two children were found the 17th on the White Bird hill and brought safely in, she reports Geo. Woodward and Peter Bertard killed at Baker’s house and her husband and August killed at her home. About 20 Indians made the attack. They then went to H.C. Brown’s house and store. Brown and wife escaped across the river in a boat, Brown was wounded. They were afterwards recued near Cottonwood house. Indians then went to H. Mason’s, killed Mason, French Frank, the old shoemaker and Osborne. Others on Salmon river forted at Slate Creek having aid from Florence. H.C. Horton was found dead near Atkinson’s field, supposed to have been killed on the 15;th. Newsome creek and Elk City miners have either come in or are fortified, waiting arms and ammunition at Mt. Idaho.
19th - Lew Day died of his wound at 1 o’clock a.m., buried today in Masonic grounds. The other wounded are comfortably cared for by the women of Mt. Idaho. Benson’s, Loui’s, and Pettegrew’s pack trains safe in from the mountains. Mt. Idaho well fortified. Renegades joining hostiles. Scouts have found the following houses on the prairie pillaged and plundered of everything valuable, to wit: H. Johnson, Jarrett, Overman, Byrom, Hashagan, Redman, Remington, Chapman, Benoy and Crowsdale. Watson’s house and Johnson’s barn burned. The settlers did not provoke the outbreak, but the Indian and War Department gave the offense in their management of the orders to bring the Indians upon the reservation. The Salmon rivers, Jospeh’s band and other renegades precipitated the outbreak. Geo. Popham just got in from White Bird. He witnessed the first attack on Salmon river and much of the fight between Indians and soldiers on Sunday morning. The following is his statement verbatim as taken down by Mr. Brown:
“I was stoping at jack manuals, my son-in-laws, since last Fall. The first alarm we had was on Thursday about noon, when we saw three Indians go past, soon after Mr. Baker and Fruth came to Manual’s and told us that the three Indians just past had shot Sam Benedict in the legs. Mr. Baker wanted to come to the prairie and inform the people, but Manual di not deem it safe for any of them to leave. Mr. Baker went home and in a short time returned with pat Price and intended to come to Mt. Idaho, they had only gone a short distance when they saw the Indians coming. Baker, Manual wife and children started to go down to Baker’s house, had got but a short ways when they were surrounded by the Indians, about 20 in number, they killed Baker and manual. Mrs. Manual fell from her horse and they ravished her and afterwards killed her by a stab in the breast. The little girls arem was broken and the baby boy was killed. Mrs. Manual got back to the house and the Indians told her that if Price and myself would give up all the arms and ammunition we had that they would no kill us. We gave up a Henry rifle and shot gun. We kept secreted that night and Friday night. On Saturday at about 11 a.m., the Indians come down the hill from prairie, Price went to brush and stayed all night, I also took to the timber. On Sunday morning they burnt the house and Mrs. Manual and child were burnt in it. The Indians were all camped on the creek, squaws below. About day light the fight commenced between the Indians and soldiers and continued about one hour when the troops fell back and I saw no more of the, the Indians told me that they were a going to cross Salmon river. They killed a large band of cattle and had a great manyhorses belonging to the settlers. The Indians told me that they had sent a messenger up the Snake river and that there was a large lot of Indians who would join them, and that they had plenty of good guns; that they would kill and capture all the country about Weiser, Piette and Boise valleys, with Boie City, they also said runners had been sent to Palouse, Spokane, Columbia river and Umatilla tribes who would join them and that they would capture the whole country about the Snake and Clearwater rivers, including Lewiston; they said it would take them two months to accomplish it and then they would have a good time. On Monday I started to Mt. Idaho in the afternoon, they headed me off and I went back but come up the creek that night, but did not fell satisfied and went back, learnt nothing more and on Tuesday morning again started, came through the brush and timber and reached the Fort at 7 p.m. Price left White Bird at 3 p.m., Sunday packing the little 6 ½ year old girl by permission of the Indians. He states that he saw on the troad nine dead soldiers, they were all scalped and horribly mutilated. He arrived at Mt. Idaho Monday evening where they now remain. I think there must have been from 150 to 200 engaged in the fight Sunday morning.”
4,000 Henry rifle cartridges fro volunteers and two boxes of ammunition for Col. Perry arrived tonight under escort of Igo and ten men.
Today Chapman and his scouts found H.C. Brown and wife near
the Cottonwood house and brought them in. The
scouts saw no Indians.
Chapman’s scouts went to the battle field, or near it, saw several dead soldiers horribly mutilated, met a Chinaman who told them that all the building on Salmon river from Brown’s store below the mouth of White Bird up to Slate Creek were burned and all the cattle and horses driven off. None of Perry’s command went out today.
by reliable reports we are informed that the Indians have all crossed Salmen river at Horse Shoe Bend with all their plunder and will, we believe make for the Piette and Weiser valleys with all their warriors. Some estimate their number at three hundred. The above is all condensed from L.P. Brown’s dispatches.
June 24th, ½ past 3 p.m.
Distpatches from Gen. Howard to the effect that Col. Perry met him and the command at cottonwood. The force is to move tomorrow morning to the old battle ground. The Indians are in force at Horse Shoe Bend on Salmon river between White Bird and Slate Creek.
Sat., June 30, 1877
The Killing of Norton
We have gathered as full particulars of the attack upon Ben Norton and of his death as we can from several parties who have been at Mt. Idaho and heard the statements of Joe Moore, Lew Day upon his death bed and Mrs. Norton who was in the wagon at the time of the fight. They are in substance as follows:
On Thursday eve at about 6 o’clock Lew Day left Mt. Idaho with dispatches for Fort Lapwai. He crossed the prairie to Norton’s, 17 miles. Norton and family were still at home and not much alarmed. Day proceeded up the mountain and over to pretty near the old Board house. Three or four Indians pretending to be friendly had joined him on the mountain and were riding along in his company. Day told them he was getting cold and must ride faster, and spurred his horse to go ahead. He soon came to a mudhole and his horse checked his speed al ittle and the Indians fired at him from behind and wounded him. He spurred his horse from the road to the timber and returned the fire, and the Indians disappeared. He took a cross cut and returned to Norton’s just as John Chamberlain had given the alarm at Norton’s. Chamberlain’s team was harnessed at the door. They put Day in the wagon, also Mrs. Chamberlain and the children, Mrs. Norton, Linn Bowers, Hill Norton and Joe Moore. Norton mounted Day’s horse and Chamberlain drove the wagon and all started across the prairie fro Mt. Idaho. This was about 10 o’clock at night. The Indians attacked them about 7 or 8 miles on the road to Mt. Idaho. They ran their horses and returned the fire, and kept the Indians at bay. Chamberlain and one of his children were killed, his wife, one child and Mrs. Norton were wounded in the wagon. Norton rode Day’s horse until shot under him and after a running fight of some time they arrived within six miles of Mt. Idaho. The Indians shot the horses attached to the wagon, and killed them. Norton then came to the wagon, and he and Mrs. Norton, Mrs. Chamberlain, Linn Bowers and the children got under the wagon, the Indians shooting at the bed of the wagon. Day and Moore got between the two dead horses and used them as breastworks, keeping up the fire upon the Indians and kept them at bay till daylight. During the night Day became very thirsty and Norton got out from under the wagon to get Day some water when he was shot and mortally wounded having a main artery cut. He told Linn Bowers and his boy that he would soon bleed to death and bade them good bye and directed them to strip and crawl out into the grass and when out of reach of the Indians to go to Mt. Idaho as soon as possible. They started and the next morning were rescued down Three-mile Creek having become separated during the night. Moore and Day kept off the Indians till they were rescued the next morning by three men from Mt. Idaho who were out as scouts mounted on team horses. They took off their saddles, put on the harness of the dead horses and hitched to the wagon, got all the living into it, just as the Indians made another charge upon them. Charles Rice and his comrades mounted the horses attached to the wagon and ran them at the top of their speed pursued by the Indians to Crooks’ lane. The Indians then abandoned the chase. They had to leave the body of Norton who had died during thenight, also their saddles which were taken by the Indians.
The above in some of its details may need revision as we get the affidavits of Moore, Mrs. Norton and Mrs. Chamberlain who were all through the fight during that dreadful night. So far as we can ascertain no horse trade of Norton’s precipitated this attack as telegraphed to Portland.
Letter From Pine Creek
Pine Creek, June 25, 1877
To A. Leland Esq. – Sir: - On last Saturday one or more of the tribe known as river Snakes, killed Mr. John Ritchie of this place in his own house. The Indian who killed him took his horse to Hangman Creek and told the Coeur d’Alenes that two white men had fired on him between Pine Creek and Hangman Creek, that he returned the fire and killed one of the white men and took his horse. The Coeur d’Alenes took the horse and brought him to Pine Creek. Parties here knew the horse and went to Mr. Ritchie’s house and found him dead. He was shot through the breast the ball ranging downwards. He had also been struck on the forehead with an ax. The ax was found laying near with hair sticking to it. The Indians story about being fired on is absurd, as Mr. Ritchie is an old man, had no arms whatever and had no companion. Mr. Ritchie was a respected citizen of this place, and his death has caused great excitement in this place. The Coeur d’Alene Indians who throughout the present difficulty have acted nobly, are reported to be in pursuit of the murderer.
Mr. Cash writes in another letter as follows: “The murder was committed by a Nez Perce Indian whose father’s name is Wat-al-Schin, Alexis, a Coeur d’Alene Indian knows him. He in company with his little squad of Indians have gone to the Spokane. The Indians here say he lives at Wa-Wa-Wa.”
From Mount Idaho
June 27, 1877
At 8 a.m. – Ezra Baird and Robert Nugent arrived through from Mt. Idaho having left there at 5 p.m. yesterday. Baird brings a letter from L.P. Brown dated yesterday morning from which we extract the following: “Gen. Howard was here yesterday for a few moments. His forces are at Johnson’s place near head of Rocky canyon, and will move to Salmon river without delay. He assures the people that every effort in his power shall be made to punish the Indians, and remove all suspicious characters from the country.” After stating that a white man had been driving off stock belonging to settlers on the prairie he says:
“We cannot stand to be robbed by Indians and whites, and should any one be caught in driving away stock they will need no judge, jury or coroner to pass up on their case. Let them take warning.” Salmon river “fences thrown open and crops ruined. Andrew Bensing, father-in-law of H.C. Brown came in last evening, having been out six days without food or blankets. He made his way down the river (Salmon) and crossed at Rocky Canon, came up and was found yesterday on the prairie. The sick and wounded are getting along very well under the care of Dr. Morris.”
Baird reports that the Clearwater Indians under Lookingglass had turned loose and plundered Geo Dempster’s place between the Middle and south forks of Clearwater and driven off all the stock of the settlers found between these forks and had it at their camp about six miles above Kamia. This confirms Jim Lawyer’s statement made in the Indian Council yesterday at Lapwai as to the purposes of Lookingglass and his forty men. Baird says these Indians told two chinamen near them on Clearwater that they had declared war against the whites and would commence their raids upon the inhabitants within two days. When this news reached Mt. Idaho a force of 20 volunteers started immediately for the Clearwater. No news from them when Baird left, Gen. Howard was notified and said that he would send a detachment of regulars to scour the country in that direction this morning.
The volunteers who were in the fight on White Bird saw an Indian who went out as one of the friendly with Col. Perry from Lapwai beckon the hostiles forward in the fight, and other movements of some of the friendly Indians evincing their privity with the hostiles during the fight. The latest Indian statement of the strength of Joseph’s fighting force at Skookum Chuck, near Horse Shoe Bend is 220 warriors all on this side of Salmon river. Squaws children and plunder on the flat opposite the bend between Salmon and Snake rivers. If Joseph intends to stand his ground and fight we are liable to hear of the main body of the troops engaging the Indian force at any moment. Three suspicious Indians were seen to enter Whites mountain house yesterday and afterwards they piled up rocks as signals on the small hill on this side. That Indian spies of the hostiles have been recently reconnoitering the position of things at the garrison, there are abundant evidence.
Killed and Missing
In the fight of Sunday the 17th – Sergts. Gunn and Ryan, Corporal Thompson, Bugler Jones, and privates Armstrong, Blaine, Burch, Connolly, Colbert, Lewis, Liston, Martin, Douche, Doane, Hulburt, Quintan, Schulein, Sullivan, Shaw and Mortorth, Co. Clerk of Percy’s company, 20 in number. Corporals Lee and Curran and privates Crawford, Cavanaugh, Edwards, Galvin, Marshall, Morrissey, Murphy, shea, Simpson, Neilson and Warren of Capt. Trimble’s company, 13 in number.
Dispatches came in Wednesday night that jack manual reported killed had been found wounded badly with an arrow, but yet alive and had been brought to Mt. Idaho. No particulars given.
We received a dispatch from Ft. Lapwai Thursday night to the effect that the settlers at Mt. Idaho had hung ahose thief. No name given of the offender, that Joseph and his forces were on the south side of Salmon river in full view of scouts, that Gen. Howard with 400 men was slowly moving on them, that a battle was expected every moment, that our informant and others would proceed to the front that night.
News From The Front
L.P. Brown writes at 8 p.m. of 27th that the soldiers had found and buried the bodies of 23 soldiers, that of Thaller was not found. That J.J. Manual was found wounded in the hips and between the shoulders, secreted 13 days after wounded subsisted on turnips and berries, thinks he will recover. Howard with whole force will move to Salmon river with the intention of crossing and engaging Indians who were seen the day before by Chapman opposite Brown’s place, mounted and 150 strong. No lodges seen, main camp supposed to be over the divide towards Snake river. Nothing new from Slate Creek since reinforced. We send for arms an escort to Lewiston. If any are there for distribution here have them sent to us as soon as possible by the bearers of this. Mr. Thomas from Colfax was found today riding one of Baird’s horses. He had driven off settler’s horses before and was repeatedly warned to let them alone. “Let thieves take warning” is the ominous expression heard here among the outraged settlers. Written in hast and in the midst of much confusion, please correct and publish what ever of this you wish.
Later From Slate Creek
Lewiston, June 25th 1877, at 11 a.m.
Wm. Baird with an escort of several men arrived safely here at 11 a.m., bringing letter mail from Mt. Idaho. He left that place at 6 p.m. yesterday. Dave Baldwin had just arrived via Florence from Slate Creek to Mt. Idaho. He brought a letter from John Wood to us which Baird brought forward. The following is wood’s letter:
Slate Creek June 20th 1877
Leland Esq. – Dear Sir. I send you an account of the murders and matters as they stand here at present. The Indians first killed Dick Devine on Salmon river above John Days. They then came down to John Days and killed Henry Elfres, Henry Backridge and Robert Bland. On the 14th they went around us on Slate Creek, and down the river and killed Harry mason, Mr. Osborne, French Frank, Sam Benedict, Capt. Baker, Jack Manual wife and one child. We can’t get below to bury them. We have sent above and buried the dead found above us on the river. We have here with us the following families: Mrs. Walch and her two children, Mrs. Osborne and her 4 children, Mr. and Mrs. Titman and 2 children, Wm. Rhett and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin and girl, Mrs. Elfres and her 3 children and mr. Sherwin and family. With the men who have come to our aid from Florence we have fifty men. We are forted up, and we can hold the place even if Monteith was with the Indians. I see that about one third of the hostiles are reservation Indians. The rest are Joseph’s band and the Salmon rivers. We have sent for men and arms, but have not yet got them. If men cannot be sent, do send us guns and ammunition and we will save what we have left as long as our provision hold out, which may be 2 weeks, besides beef. The Indians have destroyed everything below and above us on the river. They are now driving Henry Elfres horses by here on the opposite side of the river. They are droiving the stock off and swimming it at Horse Shoe Bend, and ferrying all the goods and plunder they have taken from the settlers. It would make your heart ache to see the little children walk here and sleep for 36 hours never cry except when you name Indians. We can’t leave here, w have to guard day and night. The Indians say they have 300 or 400, and plenty of the best guns and ammunition. They took 33 sharp’s rifles and cartridges from the soldiers. We have Indian Joe and family with us. You probably have the news from the prairie better than I can give it. Excuse haste, I am tired and sleepy.
Mount Idaho June 24, 1877
Leland. – Col. Parnell with 30 men and Shearer with 15 volunteers left today for relief of Slate Creek, they go by Florence and will co-operate with Gen. Howard’s command that moves in the morning for Salmon river. The last information we have gives us to understand that the Indians are across Salmon river opposite Horse Shoe Bend.
L. P. Brown
Frank Capps and others left Pierce City yesterday at 4 p.m., and arrived at 1 p.m. today. They report about 50 men there, only 6 henry rifles, and a few other arms. They came for arms and ammunition. No arms to be had. They carried back ammunition. They will go through to-night. They only saw a few Indians at the mouth of the Lolo who appeared friendly. Indians from the Clearwater forks were at Pierce City on the 22d and bought many supplies of groceries. They pretended to know nothing of the troubles.
Warrens June 22d, 1877
All forted up in Warrens. Say they can stand off 500 indians if they come that way. All business suspended. Courier sent to Boise for arms. The Chinamen nowhere molested by the Indians.
PORTLAND’S CONTRIBUTION OF ARMS
Yesterday our energetic and public spirited citizen H.D. sanborn, Esq., circulated the following subscription paper among the merchants and business men of Portland, and succeeded in a few hours in raising the sums placed opposite the individual names:
We the undersigned agree to pay the sums set opposite our names, subscribed for the purpose of defraying the expenses of furnishing the citizens of Lewiston, Idaho Territory, with arms and ammunition for their defense:
Goldsmith & Loewenberg. - . $100
Flieschner, Meyer & Co. - 100
T. dittenhoffer 50
Knapp, Burrel & Co. 50
Allen & Lewis 100
O. & C.R.R. Co., by R. Koehler 100
H. Hewitt & Co. 50
Rodger meyer & Co. 50
Wasserman & Co. 50
Hawley, Dodd & Co. 50
L. White & Co. 50
A. P. Hotaling & Co. 50
Oregon Steam navigation Co. 200
Millard & Van Schuyver 50
Laufman, Hecht & Akin 50
A.A. cohn 100
Corbett, Failing & Co. 100
M. Seller & Co. 50
T.A. Davis & Co. 50
Hodge, Snell & Co. 50
First National Bank 100
Levi Ankeny 25
Bank of British Columbia 25
Koshland Bros. 10
Marx & Jorgensen 10
Ladd & tilton 200
Wadhams & Elliott 50
L. Goldsmith 50
H. Rosenfeld & Co. 50
Corbitt & Macleay 100
Jacobs, Bros. & Co. 25
Portland Gas & Water Company 100
R.C. Janion & Co. 20
John McCracken & Co. 50
Oregon and Washington T. & I. Co. 25
Oregon Transfer Co. 50
Fleckenstien & Mayer 25
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,365
LETTER FROM LEWISTON
Lewiston, I.T., June 21st
Editor, Teller – Knowing as I do that your columns are always open for any new ideas that may enhance the interest of our country and settle the present diffculty with Joseph and his followers I would with your permission speak of my ideas for the subduing,, capturing and reclaiming of our Indian brethren. Some propose that the General and his Aid should secure the services of the Tennessee Jubilee Singers and give the poor Indian daily entertainments to be followed with a general outpouring of the soul (not blood). Others propose a protracted meeting. But all these plans consume time. My idea is to set traps in the hills to be baited with a late peace policy, let strings be attached to each trap the string extend to the Fort (as the Indian Agent is there at present to “Hold the Fort”) and as the struggles of the poor Lo will disturb the string as well as trap he is readily hauled in washed, fed, redressed and can be converted in half the time it will require to organize a Jubilee Band or sent to Webfoot for well broke in female revival material. Hoping you as well as the Heads of our military Department will ponder well before again persecuting the poor Indian. The Funny man without bars in his straps that wrote under the nom de plume of Squibs may have a word to say.
Taking Friends for Enemies. – Ez. Baird and D.b. Randall went through to Mount Idaho on the night of the 23d. On the mountain they met Geo. Young. Young mistook them in the dark for Indians and in attempting to get out of the way was thrown from his horse. They also were not sure but he was an Indian. They captured Young’s horse and took him to the camp at Cottonwood, and there Young’s horse was identified and the mystery explained.
Joseph at Horse Shoe Bend ** (this is not the town of Horse Shoe Bend. The bend at the Salmon River north of Slate Creek was referred to as Horse Shoe Bend)
July 7, 1877
OF SIX FRENCHMEN FROM THE HOSTILES
following named men to wit: John
dumeck, M. Glotiny, G. dizet, Le Bachebri, victor Critien and C. Jaiet,
Frenchmen living on the opposite side of Salmon river opposite and below the
Salmon river opposite and below the mouth of white Bird, made their escape from
the hostiles a little after 12 m. on Friday 29th, under the following
circumstances. They had taken the
alarm at the first outbreak on the eve of the 15th and fled and
secreted themselves in the hills and ravines back of them and below, and had
repeatedly changed their position to elude discovery by the Indians.
When Gen. Howard’s command marched down to Salmon river they saw the
troops from their hiding places and thought they were safe and started to come
towards them. They met three
Chinamen going over towards Snake river, who informed them that the route to the
soldiers was occupied by the Indians all along their side of Salmon.
They then turned their course down Salmon and proceeded about 20 miles
and came to a cabin in the bank only observable from the river side, here they
remained concealed till Friday noon, when as they were about to take some
refreshments , all at once five Indians were in front of the cabin with their
guns pointed at them. The Indians demanded of them to deliver up their arms, which
they di, consisting of three shot guns. A
demand was made for their money which in all amounted to about $100.
This they also gave up. The
Indians then told them to get away as quick as possible.
They were permitted to cross to the north side of the river unmolested
and they made over the mountain toward Lewiston via Lake Waha.
They camped that night on the mountain and arrived at French Louis’
above this place on Saturday night and came into town Sunday.
They have had not opportunity to know the number of the Indians as they
could never see them all from their hiding places.
Some of these men are owners of a large band of cattle, about 1,000 head,
and 28 head of horses, which were grazing on the table lands between Salmon and
snake rivers, all of which have fallen into the hands of the Indians.
Mr Huzzy was secreted with these men for several days after the outbreak,
but left them and ventured across salmon river near the mouth of Rocky Canyon
and succeeded in reaching Mt. Idaho in safety.
Several of these men witnessed the attack on Benedict on the 15th
from a distance and many particulars they give of the attack which we have not
space to publish now.
DUPED AND MURDERED
events must have developed the fact that the managers at the Agency at lapwai,
and through them the commander of the Lapwai Garrison and their superior Gen.
Howard, have all mistaken the animus of Joseph, the chief of the Salmons and the
followers of both in regard to their purpose and preparations to go upon the war
path. Nor have they understood the defection that existed among the
Indians upon the reservation. Had
they comprehended the true situation or had they taken the ordinary indices of
the Indian outbreak, such as men of long experience among hostiles would have
taken as evidences of bad faith, they most certainly would have had in readiness
and employed the precautionary measures of a show of force and power in the
government such as would have averted the blow which has fallen upon our
settlers by the murder of the defenseless and the destruction of property.
But not only have the representatives of the Indian and War Departments
who have been among us been grossly deceived in this respect and duped by the
profession of good faith on the part of these outlaws, but even our own citizens
who have been long among them, been lulled into a feeling of security such as
they would not have had, were they not implicitly relying upon the
representatives of the Indian and War Departments to maintain all things secure
against any outbreak when the time culminated that these outlaws should under
the orders of the Government remove upon the reservation.
For years since the treaty of ’67 these outlaws have virtually roamed
at their will without molestation in spite of their treaty obligations to go
upon the reservation and the Indian Department has merely winked at their
unbridled license so long as they committed no open acts of hostility to
settlers among whom they roamed. Thus
the Indians have been indulged on the basis that they would never go to war.
In this they thought the government was indifferent to their coming upon
the reserve and that it was powerless to place them there and not liking the
administration there, resorted to hostilities when the imperative order came for
them to go. Hence the murders and
July 7, 1877
and Monroe arrived from Mt. Idaho Wednesday noon having left that place on the
night of the 2d. By Niphon we received letters from L.P. Brown up to the 2d
inst. On the 28th he
writes that parties had just returned from Howard’s command, that a small
squad had crossed that day under the protection of the large guns, that the
Indians had disappeared from the view of the troops over the hills; that one man
had been rescued from his hiding place on the south side, and that Manual and
other wounded were doing well and would recover.
June 30th he writes that Chapman reports the crossing of
troops still going forward, that Capt. Whipple with two companies of Cavalry and
fifteen volunteers in charge of D.B. Randall had gone to look after
Looking-glass and his band who had been committing depredations upon settlers
houses on Clearwater and driving off their stock; that the escort sent to
Lewiston for arms had arrived with 35 guns and ammunition, that Cols. Weeks and
Mason arrived on the 29th and left for Howard’s camp on the morning
of the 30th also Sutherland of the Portland Standard as reporter,
hope he will do the people and the army full justice. July 1st 2 p.m. he writes that H.C. Brown had just
returned from an inspection of his premises on Salmon river.
He found everything of value destroyed, carried away or burned.
He found the bodies at Mason’s place partially burned, also one body at
Benedict’s in same condition that of Benedict himself was found in the creek.
No trace has been discovered of the whereabouts of James Baker’s body.
Friends of Mrs. Manual who have visited the ruins at manual’s place are
convinced that she was burned in the house.
Information from headquarters that the main body of the troops will be
across the river to-night, and that a forward movement will be made after Joseph
in the morning. Scouts report no
Indians in the neighborhood of the command.
2d he writes as follows: Col.
Whipple’s command with the volunteers mentioned before, came across
Looking-glass’ band at Clear creek yesterday morning at 7 o’clock.
The Indians told the Col. That they were prepared to fight and it is said
they opened the ball by firing the first shot.l
When the order was given to commence firing, the Indians soon broke fro
the hills and places of shelter. It
is not known how many were killed or wounded as they scattered in all
directions. They captured the
Indian camp and burnt all their provisions and plunder, and about a thousand
head of Indian horses which they brought ?? and which are now in charge of
detachment of col. Whipple’s command. No
citizens or soldiers killed or wounded. The
command returned last night. Col.
Whipple moves to-day to cottonwood to intercept the hostiles should they,
attempt to cross to the Clearwater. In
another private letter to a gentleman in this city we find the following: “On Friday evening June 29th Judge Randall and
two other scouts followed the trail of the incarnate fiends until they
discovered what they estimated to be about 2,000 head of horses and the smoke
arising from the Indian camp fires. It
is supposed that they are fortifying and will give Gen. Howard a fight at that
place.” The same letter says:
“After returning (from clear creek) the Indians turned and came back and
burned some property belonging to Mr. Dempster, County Commissioner, and I
suppose will do much more damage before they can be checked.”
Capt. Elliott of Pataha Rangers arrived about 5 p.m. to-day.
His adventures as narrated by Nute Thomas are given as follows:
Pataha Rangers under Capt. Elliott were ordered to scour the country on the west
side of Snake river in the vicinity of the Grande Ronde river.
A few days ago a part of the company returned under a Lieutenant, and
reported that the Capt. And some others had left them and gone on a raiding
expedition. No formal charge was
made against the parties suspected, such as to warrant investigation, and those
returning were disarmed of what government guns they had and were allowed to go
home. Since then we have received
the Sentinel of the 30th which contains the following:
going to press, and working off a portion of our issue, we unlocked our form to
insert the latest war news. Jas.
McAlister just arrived from the Wallowa, bringing a letter to the Sentinel
office, from Capt. J.W. Elliott of the Columbia co. “Pataha Rangers,” who
says he with his company of 20 men, were ordered to scout on the south side of
snake river. The letter bears date of 28th inst. Capt. Elliott
captured 75 of Joseph’s cattle, and 40 horses.
They had a skirmish on the Nimnaha.
Capt. E. says, we don’t know how many we killed, as we had to retreat,
only saw about fifteen Indians. The
Indians are mostly between Snake and Salmon rivers. They are reported at 900 strong, and well armed.
Capt. Boothe will go to the Wallowa with 20 men from the cove.
There are 21 men from Union Co., now in the Wallowa valley.
Mr. Creighton indorses the contents of the letter, which we are compelled
Tuesday Nute Thomas, one of those remaining out come into town and confirms the
above item of the Sentinel and reports Capt. Elliott on the way here from whom
we expect to obtain his full version of his adventures.
3 p.m. to-day Father Cataldo arrived from the Garrison. He informed us that
about 11 o’clock a.m., as he was at the Garrison two Indian scouts rode
rapidly past towards the Agency, that he learned from Mr. Seeds who met them
that they had discovered last night the principal band of hostiles on the north
side of Salmon river encamped just above old Billy’s crossing of Salmon.
Soon after Mr. C.P. Coburn arrived also from the Garrison and said these
were scouts sent out yesterday by Agent Monteith, and that they had come back in
haste having discovered the Indian camp as Cataldo had stated. That last night they were in a position to see that the
hostiles had crossed to this side with their women and much plunder, that they
were last evening killing beeves and preparing it for packing.
place of their encampment is about 30 miles below Howard’s camp on this side
of the river while Howard is on the south side.
This camp is about 30 miles south of Lewiston via Lake Waha.
Whipple is at Cottonwood to prevent their going back to Camas Prairie.
From their present position they can go several routes leading from
Howard and not meet with any force to resist them, save perhaps a few settlers
who are armed at their ranches.
Soldiers and Citizens Killed
dispatch from cottonwood dated at 9 p.m. yesterday states that Lieut. Rains with
2 citizens scouts and a squad of men were attacked on their scout.
Rains, ten of his men and the two citizens were killed.
Col. Perry with his train of supplies was rescued from the enemy this
side of Cottonwood by whipple with his command who heard the firing.
The fight was continued as Whipple fell back towards Cottonwood.
Orders to stop all travel on the road to Cottonwood except messengers,
and request for Jackson’s cavalry to be forwarded immediately on their arrival
Perversion - The San Francisco Bulletin of June 21st publishes
telegrams of the Indian outbreak, in which there is not one word charging the
white settlers with provoking the outbreak, but in the editorial comments it
asserts that the cause of the outbreak was the killing of three Indians by a
white man. No such cause existed
and the Bulletin man manufactured his own reasons for the outbreak to prejudge
the settlers before the public. That
editor ought to be in the advance guard in attacking Joseph’s stronghold.
He would then either cease writing or change his style.
succeeding day brings new evidences of the wholly unprepared condition of the
military arm of the government to protect the settlers of this section of
country against sudden outbreaks of Indians.
Although it has been held out to the settlers that ample military
preparation should be on the ground to enforce the orders to remove Joseph upon
the reservation. Six months have
elapsed since the issuance of the order from Washington, and to-day there is not
force enough here to hold in check the single force of Joseph’s 200 warriors,
and given them a whipping and with the advantage of position Joseph has, he will
continue to make his sallies upon the unprotected settlers and small detachment
of troops and cut off scores of men from the living, and continue this stated of
things for months to come. Every
success he makes strengthens his cause among the other Indians who are
professedly friendly, and may involve us in a long and bloody war, which may
lead to an extermination of the tribes in this whole northern country.
Had the force been here at the time appointed for Joseph to come upon the
reserve and properly stationed, Perry would not have been defeated, and
Joseph’s power would have been easily subdued.
But it was planned that the Bible and not the sward should subdue him,
and that the missionary peace policy should have the credit of his subjection.
The plan has failed.
order of Gen. Howard, received Monday night, John Silcott was employed to
construct a ferry boat for crossing troops over Snake river at some point above
this place and in the vicinity of the mouth of the Grand Ronde.
Mr. Silcott with the men furnished him constructed the boat and had it
ready for use before Wednesday eve. The
boat has capacity for conveying 16 cavalrymen with their horses at one trip.
4 p.m. – Charles Boice and Wm. Anderson who went out with a pack train to
Howard’s command on Salmon river, left there about noon on Monday.
At that time all the troops and supplies had been crossed to the south
side, and were making preparations to follow the Indians.
Scouts had reported the discovery of 85 abandoned lodges on Snake river
near Pittsburg Landing and found evidences of the Indians having crossed the
snake in the direction of the Imnaha valley.
They saw not Indians. The
troops who had crossed Salmon early had gathered up about 1,000 head of horses
and ponies left by the Indians. Boice
says it was the purpose of Gen. Howard to permit the volunteers to select out of
these each two horses and to have the remainder of the Indian horses shot, and
all horses stolen from the settlers to be saved and returned to the owners.
The Indians were supposed to have about two days travel for Indians
advance of the troops.
of Fires – As the Indians have in most
cases driven their cattle and horses to secluded places in the mountains, the
threats are made and the probabilities are uppermost in the minds of the
settlers, that so soon as the dry season will permit, the grain in different
sections will be set on fire and the country burned by the hostiles.
If owners are not at home, houses, barns, fences and grain fields will be
destroyed. It is all important that
a decisive ?? be inflicted upon the hostiles before they have the opportunity to
do the country this damage. A very
few hostiles can accomplish this kind of mischief and escape unless great
vigilance is observed.
Glass – We are told that Looking-glass
since whipples’ fight with him has sent word to the Indian Agent that he wants
to come upon the reservation and that he will not more break the peace with the
whites, and that the Agent has sent for him to come to Lapwai.
This may be error, though our authority seems good.
Late – Had Jackson’s command been here when it was first expected, it would
have been of great service in checking Joseph’s band from proceeding towards
Cottonwood. Joseph evidently
out-general Howard in his movements and makes his moves with much more
adroitness and promptness.
the Lower Spokane - Messrs.
Fall and Oppenheimer just from Colville came up on Thursday’s boat.
They inform us that about 400 Indians are on the north side of the Lower
Spokane, that their movements alarm the settlers much by their breaking down
fences and riding in a menacing manner through fields, and plundering houses;
that the two Nez Perce murderers of Ritchie are there, that a Flathead Indian
has been there and told them that the Flatheads would join them against the
whites, and that the Flathead runner had returned to his people.
The people of Colville and vicinity are much alarmed at the appearance.
- We learn that Joseph says
he will return and burn out the settlers on Camas Prairie within from four to
six weeks when the weather is dry. If
his scalp is not taken before that time he will be likely to make the attempt.
- Dispatches say that
Howard’s men found many caches of goods at Canoe encampment about eight miles
below Pittsburg Landing on Snake river. In
them was much of the plunder taken from the stores on Salmon river, also 10,000
lb of flour. This does not look
towards Joseph’s abandoning the country.
in Camp - We
have information showing that there is hostility among the Indians at the
Agency, that there is danger of their revolting in case they are called upon to
do scout or other duty for the whites against their brethren in joseph’s camp.
- The New Tenino brought up
500 stand of arms which can be had with ammunition at headquarters in this city
upon such terms and conditions as are generally imposed by the War Department in
Latest - Reports
from Lapwai say that Perry had a Gatling gun at cottonwood and had routed the
Indians and that they were being pursued, and were making for Clearwater near
the Front - Dave
Monroe and John Kuifong started Thursday noon to go through the enemy to the
front with dispatched for Gen. Howard.
- Our space will only permit
us to chronicle Indian news at present. This
we shall give condensed, and from the most authentic sources accessible at this
A.M. Friday. Dispatches just
arrived from Howard via of Whipple’s command, and from Whipple direct.
Howard’s force had followed the trail of the Indians to Craig’s
crossing of Salmon river. Howard
thinks the main body of the women and children with their plunder have gone
towards the Snake near the mouth of Grand Ronde, while the warriors went towards
Cottonwood, as a raiding party. From
Whipple’s command dispatches say that yesterday the Indians attacked a party
of citizens approaching Whipple and killed two and wounded three before Whipple
could get to their rescue. It is
evident that the Indians have possession of all the passes on Craig’s mountain
this side of cottonwood. We learn
that Howard had sent his mounted volunteers to aid Whipple, and that he only has
the Artillery and Infantry with him, and they are all the South side.
Since the above was written the following has been handed to us:
July 5, eve.
- Had a battle to-day at this place, seventeen volunteers stood off 132 Indians
for one hour before the troops came to our assistance.
Joseph and band in full force gave Howard the slip on Salmon. Capt. D.B. Randall and Ben. Evans killed.
D.H. Howser wounded in the breast. Charles
Johnson slightly in the ankle, myself through the calf of the left leg.
Ball still in the leg, getting on very well don’t worry.
Love to all, A.B. LELAND
STATUS SINCE OUR LAST ISSUE
arrived from Mt. Idaho and Spokane on Friday eve. From the former place we
received the following:
IDAHO 5 A.M. June 29, 1877
- The mail leaves right away. I
have waited till last hour hoping to have some items of news from the command to
give you. Several men came in last
night from headquarters on Salmon river. The
troops are near the old chimney above the mouth of white Bird and are 500 strong
with the volunteers. The Indians
were in plain view on the opposite side of the river.
Gen. Howard was making preparations to cross.
We learn that communication has been opened between headquarters and
Slate Creek by way the the old trail back from the river.
All is quiet about town and on the prairie.
Mr. Thomas was arrested yesterday for driving off horses and is now in
jail. (this contradicts the
dispatch sent from lapwai Thursday eve and published in our last issue) the people at Elk city are considerably alarmed and the
families are making preparations to come out.
They are building a block house for protection.
further learn by this arrival, that when Gen. Howard raised the American flag in
his camp on Salmon river, the Indians on the opposite side raised a red blanket
and invited the troops across. We
also learn that George Dempster and three other men went out from Mt. Idaho to ?
? Looking-glass and his band on Clearwater.
They found the band had moved back from the river to Geo. Dempster’s
place and had much stock there, that they had plundered not only Dempster’s
place but also Jerome’s, Silverwood’s and Wall’s, that as these scouts
attempted to approach Looking-glass’ camp, the Indians motioned them to go
back, that they would not have a talk with them, that as near as could be
estimated this camp had about 40 men in it and most of them with arms.
Jacobs son reported to Frank Evarra that some of Looking-glass’ band
who were camped 6 miles above Kamia had crossed Camas Prairie in the night to
join Joseph, and that a few of the Kamias had joined Looking-glass.
a private letter to Father Cataldo dated hangman Creek, June 26, we hear that
Pee-Piu-Mox-Mox and Three Feathers say they do not stay away from the
reservation out of disregard for the command of the Agent, but there is so much
excitement among the whites that they think they had better remain there till
the excitement subsides, that when it goes down they will come back.
Later reports say that the two murderers of Ritchie, and Hus-Hus-Kute
cannot be found anywhere in that section, that the Spokanes have left the Camas
ground on Hangman Creek and gone home Saturday morning.
Mr. Redfield, whose station is Kamia Agency, informed us that 17 of
Looking-glass’ band had gone to the hostiles as reported by Jim Lawyer, many
of the Lapwai Indians had gone to Kamia thinking to be safer there, that the
Agent had sent for them to return, and they were expected Saturday night.
That James Reuben had left Howard’s command on Friday morn and had
reached the Agency and reported the command attempting to get a rope across
Salmon river for ferrying purposes, that any of the Indians were in sight on the
opposite side, that he counted 87 in one circle, that they were tantalizing the
troops, shaking their blankets at them and daring them to cross and fight with
them. A private letter from B.F.
Morris states that the body of Lieut. Theller had been found and several other
bodies near by, that a great number of empty cartridge shells near by gave proof
that they sold their lives dearly. Lal
Dunwell and brother and T. Harrison arrived Saturday with mail from Pierce City,
saw no Indians on the way down all quiet at Pierce City, well fortified, but few
guns. Mr. Morril informs us that J.W. Pole, Esq., and charles
Johnson arrived at Mt. Idaho Friday morning from Warrens, and reported all quiet
there and that many had resumed mining. Late on Saturday Mr. Irving reported to
us that some Nez Perces, Palouses, Spokanes and some Northern Indians held a
council about 10 miles north of the Coeru d’Alene camp on Hangman Creek at
which the murderers of Ritchie were present, that the majority of the Council
approved the killing and the minority had separated from the others and wanted
to go back to the reservation but were afraid to go lest they should be attacked
by the whites. The Coeru d’Alenes
offer to send out ten men of their number to accompany a few white settlers to
bring in the murderers of Ritchie, that the whites on Pine Creek have not arms
to spare for going with the Coer d’Alenes and that a messenger is in town for
arms. On Saturday night ten of
Capt. Elliott’s Pataha Rangers returned from Grand Ronde river and Joseph
Creek. Their captain with three men
was last seen near Imnaha Valley whither he had gone scouting to find a good
trail leading to a crossing on Snake river opposite to where the Indians are in
force menacing Gen. Howard. Those
who came in gave up their guns and have disbanded and gone home. Some accusations were reported against one of their number
and he was put under arrest and turned over to the civil authorities of this
place. The magistrate on learning
that the offeces charged, if any, were committed in Oregon refused to exercise
jurisdiction in the case, and the accused was discharged.
morning the Walla Walla volunteers under Capt. Tom page returned from the front
their 8 days enlistment having expired. They
left Howard’s camp on Friday eve and report that no crossing of troops had
been effected when they left, that a Frenchman had been rescued who was secreted
in the rocks on the south side of the river.
The services of this company though short, have been effective as
evidenced by the following:
Dept. Of Columbia – Camp near mouth of White Bird Creek I.T., June 27th,
T.P. Page – Dear sir: - Please express my regret that our service together
cannot be longer continued. Express
my cordial thanks to the members of your company for their most cheerful
confident and brave conduct during our advance.
The cavalry officers with whom you have co-operated speak in the highest
terms of yourself and your company, the Walla Walla volunteers.
Howard, Brig. Gen. Com.
Craig, several days after the first outbreak was sent with dispatches to Agen
Sims at Ft. Colville, with instructions to learn as much as possible of the
disposition of the different bands of Indians on the route.
He made a successful trip and returned on Sunday the 1st.
He saw the Coeur d’Alenes, Spokanes, Palouses and Wa-wa-was or those
portions of them gathered on Hangman Creek and counseled with their head men and
they all disclaimed any and all intention of making war with the whites, and
said they had had enough of war with them in ’55 and ‘5 when General Wright
gave them such a whipping. The two
murderers of Ritchie found no fellowship with any of the bands.
They were Wa-wa-was and even by them were held as outlaws, and they would
give them up when they could be caught, so far as he could learn both going and
returning they kept themselves away from the different encampments out of reach.
He found all quiet at Colville, only excited by hearing the exaggerated
Indian reports from this section. Five
lodges of the Nez Perces returned from Hangman Creek to the Reservation.
The Palouses and Wa-wa-was say they will to to the Ujatilla reservation.
They prefer to go there. Sim
had sent word to Moses and his band to learn what he thought of this outbreak
and was expecting an answer the day after Craig left colville.
Craig saw only seven guns among all the Indians on the route, and thinks
they have but very few arms and poor ones at that, and he saw no appearances of
a purpose to go to war but found most of the bands afraid the whites would make
a war upon them because of the conduct of Joseph and the Salmon Rivers.
Craig advised all Nez Perces to get back on to the reservation as soon as
possible and stay there, and told them if they would do so they would suffer no
harm. This assurance gave them
confidence and he thinks all who have not already come will do so soon except
the Wa-wa-was and those among the Palouses, and these will go to the Umatilla
reservation. The Coeur d’Alenes
told Craig that they would fight with and for the whites if their services were
needed to conquer the hostiles. Craig
believes them to be sincere in their professions of friendship.
We trust his faith in them will prove rightly indulged.
ACROSS SALMON – HALO INDIANS
3 a.m. a courier arrived having left Gen. Howard’s camp on the night of the 29th
ult. Troops had made a crossing
that day, and scouts had been out in the hills, found stock, but no Indians
whither gone not known. Dispatches
were forwarded to Walla Walla to be telegraphed so as to apprise persons on
Grand Ronde and Wallowa valleys that they may be on the lookout. Gen. Howard had sent a detachment of Cavalry to look after
Looking-glass’ band on Clearwater. The
present whereabouts of the hostiles, a matter of speculation.
At noon of that day the Frenchmen were attacked twenty miles down the
river, and disarmed, robed and permitted to escape, showing that some of
Joseph’s force was in that direction. Look
out for a six month’s campaign, hunting the enemy in the mountains.
July 6, 4 a.m.
give below facts given us by one who was an eye and ear witness of things at
Kamia Agency. On the 4th
of July there were 253 male Indians just below the Agency mill besides women and
children, supposed to be reservation Indians, about 575 in all.
There were two while men at the Agency in charge the miller and engineer,
and from what had been seen and known, among the Indians were about from fifty
to seventy-five guns, some of them Henry rifles, and some revolvers.
These guns in several instances were kept cached since the outbreak and
not shown in the presence of the whites. One
of the Indians told the whites that they had cached their guns.
On Sunday the 1st one of the Indians told the miller that he
had better go away from there, that he was liable to be killed by some of the
Kamias. Before Whipple cleaned out
Looking-glass at clear creek, 17 of Looking-glass’ men went over to Joesph’s
camp, six of them returned and were with Looking-glass at the time of
Whipple’s attack. Looking-glass had then with him about 30 men.
After the attack, Looking-glass came to the Agency, and some Agency
Indians went up to Looking-glass’ camp. Looking-glass
left on the 3d with 17 men to go to Joseph’s camp and said he would be back on
the 4th, but he had not returned on the morning of the 6th. On the night of the 5th just after dark.
Two of Joseph’s men and three of Looking-glass’ men drove near the
quarters of the two whites fired off two guns, then gave a war whoop and charged
down to the main reservation encampment of Indians.
About three-quarters of an hour afterwards four reservation Indians came
up and told the whites through one of their number who could speak English, that
Joseph’s camp was only 12 miles from them, that he would cross the river at
Kamia the next day at noon with all his families and stock and was going to the
buffalo country, and advised the whites to leave at once lest they be found
there and killed by Joseph, and offered to give them an escort of five or six
Indians to take them either on the road to Pierce City or Lapwai.
They also said that the Agency Indians would not fight Joseph to protect
them and the Agency. They declined
the escort, and told the Indians to go back, that they would not leave.
After they had gone the whites debated about what they should do in this
extremity. One was for taking to
the brush and secreting themselves till Friday evening relying upon an Indian
boy to post them what was going forward with the Indians.
The other was for leaving the place immediately and under cover of the
night and make their way to Lapwai if possible.
They remained in this state of uneasiness till 4 a.m. Friday and then
with their horses took the lower trail and made Lapwai without seeing an Indian. Our informant says that Lawyer told them and those at the
Lapwai Agency that his Kamia people would not fight Joseph and would not do
scout duty against him, that it was all he could do to keep them from joining
Joseph against the whites. What has
taken place at Kamia since the morning of the 6th we know not up to
the time of writing. It is however
apparent that the whole Kamia Agency is virtually in the hands of Joseph and his
band and with this advantage to stimulate the young men there, it is more than
probable that he has received large accessions to his warriors from the Agency
Indians. His strength is thus
increased and many more troops will be required to stand him off and save the
country from devastation. Since the
above was written Jim Reuben informs us that on Friday Joseph with his stock,
women and warriors crossed to the North side of Clearwater, destroyed some of
the Agency fields and fences, went and made his headquarters between the forks
of the Middle and south fork of the river, held a council of his men, some were
for going to Montana and others said they were not fighting for Montana, but for
this country and they would fight there till they died before they would leave
it, and that they concluded to leave their stock, women and children and recross
the river and clean out Camas Prairie.
CAUSE OF THE WAR
find the following as the test of the first dispatch of Gen. Howard to Gen.
Sherman, relating to the present outbreak; and the prospect before him:
began by murdering a white man in revenge for a murder of his, killing three
others at the same time. Since they
have begun war upon the people near Mt. Idaho.
Capt. Perry started with two companies for them.
Other troops are being brought forward.
Give me authority for twenty-five Indian scouts.
Think we shall make short work of it.”
was telegraphed from Washington to New York on the 19th of June and
published on the morning of the 20th.
Her is an official dispatch from Howard charging that the “Indians
began by murdering a white man in revenge for a murder of his.”
No fact existed at that time to justify Howard’s sending such a
telegram. The cause assigned at his adjutants office in Portland on the
eve of the 16th of June, was a horse trade of Ben Nortons.
Does the Gen. now think he will make short work of it?
He will first get out of the hole in the rocks he moved his army into
scenting Joseph, while Joseph himself and his murderous band are back on Camas
Prairie fighting volunteers and destroying Agency and threatening Lapwai
Garrison and even Lewiston. Nature
made a trap between Salmon and Snake rivers, Joseph baited it by shaking a red
blanket at Howard defiantly across the river.
Howard followed the bait and consumed three days in crossing his 500 men
over the stream. When over, Joseph
runs back on this side and returned to Camas Prairie.
Howard stayed in his trap two weeks before he finds he is in a trap.
Louisville Courier and Journal of June 28th uses the following
language in reference to Generals Crook and Howard:
other two Brigadiers are the gentle Howard and the rough-and-tumble Crook.
General crook is a first-class Indian fighter.
Indeed, he is about the only practical, oldfashioned Indian fighter left.
He sticks his breeches in his boots, keeps his powder dry, eats hard tack
and goes for em. It is whispered in
the frontier settlements as he passes that “there ain’t no foolishness about
him,” which remark has reference to the entire absence of sentiment in his
contemplation of the Indian question. Howard
is just the reverse of Crook. He
regards the army as a kind of missionary society for the conversion of the
Indians, and he considers himself as the head of a kind of red freedman’s
bureau. He will inform every redskin he meets that he is his
brother, and that brothers should live in peace. The red brother will assent and will mournfully repair to the
nearest unprotected settlement and endeavor to secure a lock of his white
brother’s hair as a remembrance.
OF MONROE AND KNIFONG – POSITION OF THE INDIANS
12 midnight Monday night the 9th, Dave Monroe and John Knifong,
messengers to Howard, returned safely to Lapwai having left Lapwai for
Howard’s Camp with dispatches on Thursday eve the 5th.
Monroe came into town Tuesday morning and gave us the following account
of his trip, what he saw and heard;
we left Lapwai we had orders to go to Howard’s camp and return as soon as we
could with safety. No one knew precisely where Howard was, and hence we had to
find him. We took supper at
Caldwell’s on Lapwai creek. We
took the safest trail for Lawyer’s canyon at Elk city crossing.
We made it in the night and crossed it without seeing an Indian.
We took off towards the buttes, thinking that the Indians would be more
in the direction of cottonwood. We
soon discovered an Indian to our left, mounted, seeing us, as it was break of
day, he rode from us. We soon
saw another in a different direction, then we saw two more towards the
Cottonwood house. We made for
Chapman’s place on the Cottonwood. We
soon saw an Indian about 800 yards behind us riding at full speed.
We could have shot him but we paused to do so lest we might arouse other
scouts along Cottonwood creek before we got to the creek, and they might cut us
off. We rode very fast and our
pursuer gave up the chase. We
crossed at the high coral near the sheep ranch of Crosdale, and made Mt. Idaho.
Learning that Howard was still the other side of Salmon river we got
fresh horses. Here we learned that
there had been fighting at Cottonwood and that 17 volunteers had gone over but
no one knew the result. We have since learned that at the time of our crossing
Lawyer’s canyon the main body of the Indians were down the Cottonwood to our
left towards Clearwater. We
proceeded to Howard’s crossing of Salmon river above White Bird.
Here we found an officer and 22 men.
They knew not where Howard was and I was ordered to stay there Friday
night. At Saturday 7 a.m. I swam my
horse and proceeded upon Howard’s trail up the mountain, had not gone far when
I met a messenger from Howard saying that he left him 60 miles from there, that
he was on the march back, having learned that Perry had engaged the Indians at
Cottonwood, that the route to Howard was infected with Indian scouts, that he
had seen four and that I had better return to the river and get further advice
from the officer there. I did so.
The officer was in doubt what I should do, I told him I was instructed to
reach Howard. He then said I might
proceed. I crossed Salmon,
proceeded and met Howard and the whole command arrived at the crossing and most
of the men crossed that night, and the balance were crossing Sunday morning when
I left for cottonwood. Arriving at
cottonwood, Knifong and myself with two Indian messengers made the attempt to
proceed on the road to Lapwai. The Indian scouts were ahead.
In coming up the mountain they sang out a yell and broke from the road,
we soon saw several Indians and we turned for Cottonwood.
My horse mired, floundered and threw me and fell over on my breast and
for a few moments I thought it was all day with me, but he soon righted and I
was able to remount and we rode rapidly to cottonwood.
Blake went out to reconnoiter and saw seven Indian horses and a blanket
and appearances of Indians in the grass. He
came back and reported and it was deemed unsafe to attempt to get through the
scouts of the Indians that night. Perry’s
command was soon in motion for Grangeville, arriving there at 2 a.m. Monday,
learned there that Howard with his whole command save three companies of
Infantry had been there and gone to Clearwater leaving orders for the remainder
to follow him as soon as possible, that he had procured all the available teams
at Mt. Idaho to transport his tired men and supplies.
That capt. Mcconville had gone out from Mt. Idaho some two days before
with 80 volunteers to find the position of the Indians.
He had found them between the middle and south fork holding council and
war dances, and sent back four men to Mount Idaho to report the facts so that
the regulars could come and together with them hem them in and give them battle.
That the force of the Indians had been largely increased from some
source, either from the Agency or from other sources. Such was the position when I left Grangeville Monday noon for
Lapwai where we arrived at 12 Monday night without seeing an Indian save four
scouts sent out from the Lapwai Agency one of whom we should have shot had he
not thrown up his hat to us in token of being a friendly.
Mr. Monroe further tells us that Lew Wilmot told Gen. Howard in his
presence on Salmon river of the manner in which Perry neglected the 17
volunteers at the time of the fight on the 5th.
Howard wanted the statements put in writing by the volunteer commanding.
Wilmot told him that all the men would sign it.
Howard said that was not necessary, that he was very sorry to learn that
any officer of the army should so refuse prompt assistance in such an extremity.
Howard said he should pursue the Indians and kill them if possible, that
he should take no prisoner. Monroe
says Howard on his return from Billy’s crossing has used great dispatch in his
movements and marches, and that he thinks Howard has got fully aroused to the
true situation of things, certainly so if his talk means anything.
Monroe reports the wounded doing well at Mt. Idaho and that Jackson’s
company will proceed to-day from Lapwai for the front guarding supply train.
We learn the suspicion is strongly prevalent at Lapwai Garrison that in
case Jackson’s company start for the front, that Joseph will again flank
Howard while crossing Clearwater at the Bridge and cross his warriors below and
hurry and attack the Agency and Garrison at Lapwai it being unprotected save by
about twenty-eight men.
Lewiston Teller complains that Gov. Brayman did not send arms over there in
response to a request for the same. Gen
Howard telegraphed in reply to Gov. Brayman, that he was running things over
there and didn’t need any help - Idahoan
Brayman himself says in reply to Hudson’s telegram of 17th June:
“In reply I have to state that I am advised by the War Department that
Gen. Howard will be furnished with all necessary men and arms.