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The Battle of the Big Hole A History of General Gibbon's Engagement with Nez Percés Indians in the Big Hole Valley, Montana, August 9th, 1877.   By:

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[Illustration: THE ASSAULT ON THE NEZ PERCÉ VILLAGE.]

THE BATTLE

OF

THE BIG HOLE.

A HISTORY OF GENERAL GIBBON'S ENGAGEMENT WITH NEZ PERCÉS INDIANS IN THE BIG HOLE VALLEY, MONTANA, AUGUST 9TH, 1877.

BY

G. O. SHIELDS. ("COQUINA.")

AUTHOR OF "RUSTLINGS IN THE ROCKIES," "HUNTING IN THE GREAT WEST," "CRUISINGS IN THE CASCADES," ETC.

CHICAGO AND NEW YORK: RAND, MCNALLY & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS, 1889.

COPYRIGHT, 1889, BY RAND, MCNALLY & CO.

INTRODUCTION.

CAMP PILOT BUTTE, WYOMING, March 17 1889.

Mr. G. O. Shields, Chicago, Ill.

DEAR SIR: I have read with a great deal of interest and pleasure the manuscript of your book, entitled "The Battle of the Big Hole," and as a participant in the tragic affair it describes, can cheerfully commend it to all who are interested in obtaining a true history of the Nez Percé campaign. It is a graphic and truthful account of the Big Hole fight, and of the events leading up to it, and must prove a most valuable contribution to the history of our Indian wars.

I trust the book will meet with the generous reception it deserves.

Yours truly,

CHAS. A. COOLIDGE, Captain Seventh U.S. Infantry.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

The Nez Percé War. Brief Résumé of Events Leading up to it. Various Treaties Between the Tribe and the United States. Chief Joseph's Unjust Claim to the Wallowa Valley. President Grant's Proclamation. Atrocities Committed by White Bird and His Followers on Inoffensive Settlers. Men Massacred and Women Outraged. General Howard's Efforts to Quiet the Malcontents and His Subsequent Campaign Against Them. The Battles in White Bird and Clearwater Cañons. The Renegades' Retreat over the Lo Lo Trail. Intercepted by Captain Rawn, They Flank His Position and Continue Their Flight Through the Bitter Root Valley Toward the "Buffalo Country". General Gibbon in pursuit 9

CHAPTER II.

Gibbon Reinforced by Citizen Volunteers. Heroic March Across the Rocky Mountain Divide. His Men Apply Drag Ropes to the Wagons and Aid the Mules in Pulling Them up the Mountain. Lieutenant Bradley and His Scouts Scale the Divide by Night and Locate the Indian Camp. The March Down Trail Creek. Soldiers' Fare. Hard Tack and Raw Pork. A Brief Sleep Without Blankets. Perils of the Situation. Less Than 200 Soldiers and Citizens to Attack 400 Trained Indian Warriors. Implicit Confidence of Officers and Men in One Another Nerves Them to the Task. 29

CHAPTER III.

The Stealthy Midnight March. Whispered Commands and Cat like Movements. Passing Through a Herd of Ponies. Looking Down on the Hostile Camp. Squaws Keep the Fires While Their Warriors Sleep. The Barking of Indian Dogs and Howling of Coyotes. Heroic Assault on the Nez Percé Camp at Day Break. Temporary Surprise and Subsequent Rally. Terrific Struggle Among the Teepees. The Fighting Muzzle to Breast. Driven from Their Tents, the Indians Take Cover Under the River Banks. The Water Runs Crimson With the Blood of Contending Forces. Squaws and Children Fight Like Demons. Captain Logan Shot Down by One of the She Devils. Rallying Cries of White Bird and Looking Glass. The Soldiers Take Position in the Mouth of "Battle Gulch". Gallant Conduct of Officers and Men. 42

CHAPTER IV.

Stubborn Resistance of Indians in the Pine Woods. Sharpshooting at Short Range. The Struggle for the Howitzer. Assaulted by Thirty Mounted Indians, Four Soldiers Stand by it until All Shot Down. The Two Survivors, Though Sorely Wounded, Throw the Gun from the Trunnion and Crawl Away into the Brush. How Gibbon's Sharpshooters Drove an Indian Marksman from a Pine Tree. The Redskins Fire the Grass, but a Lucky Turn of the Wind Saves the Soldiers from the Intended Holocaust. A Supper on Raw Horse. Heroic Conduct of Captain Browning and Lieutenant Woodbridge in Rescuing the Supply Train and Bringing it up to the Command... Continue reading book >>




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