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Kristin M. Youngbull, Ph. Taylor, Private Alfred Barnes. Mortally wounded — Victor Charles De Moy. Mortally wounded — 1st Sergt. William C. Hamish and James Crozet. Recollections of a Soldier In an interview with John O'Neil, who participated in the Step- toe and Wright campaigns, published in the Spokesman-Review April 2nd, , he said: "On Saturday evening the command went into camp. Early the next morning parties of Indians began to appear at camp and were allowed to pass freely among the soldiers.
Steptoe decided not to proceed further that day. Indians began to increase in numbers and grew insolent. As the day wore on many engaged in taunting the soldiers, a few going so far as to fire their guns; some saying 'This is Sunday; tomorrow we fight. Gaston, a southern gentleman, had with him a young negro, who excited the curiosity of the Indians. Evidently they had never before seen a specimen of his race, and persisted in lavishing upon him such personal attentions as became annoying. They would examine the skin on his face and hands with discomforting minuteness, and would grab into his kinky locks and endeavor to straighten them out.
Everyone was directed to avoid making any move that would precipitate a clash with the visitors, and the darky was, therefore, compelled to endure his popularity uncomplainingly, expressing his disgust in no stronger terms than : Tf you alls git dat 'ar wool you alls will have to fight for it.
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Steptoe's command was marching southward. They circled and recrossed the trail firing at closer range. These tactics were continued until Lieut. Gaston, who was covering the rear, sent a man to inform Steptoe that he was closely pressed. The man returned to report no change of orders.
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A second horse fell under him and a ball tore across the back of his hand. Then the first volley was sent among the howling pursuers.
Soon after that Gaston fell mortally wounded. This was the only hope left the exhausted soldiers and this is wherein the Nez Perce chief Tam-mu-tsa Timothy and his two associates became the rescuers of the entire command. The night was cheerless and dark and when all had become comparatively still, the entire force mounted and followed the chief in single file, as silently as possible, out through the unguarded pass.
Gregg was in command of the rear guard. Kenny had charge of six men in the extreme rear and was last to leave camp. From him and Thomas Beall we have learned the sad de- tails. Through the long dark night they followed the faithful chief upon whose fidelity their lives depended. The wounded, except those who could take care of themselves soon fell by the way, while the long line of fugitives passed over the plains and hills to Snake river and safety.
Twenty-four hours later they had ridden 70 miles and reached that stream about four miles down it from where the Indian guide lived, at the mouth of Alpowa creek. Going up the river to Timo- thy's village, that chief placed his own people out as guards and set the women of the tribe to ferrying the exhausted soldiers, and their effects across the stream.
This was not completed until the night of the next day, and on the 20th of May, Steptoe's party met Cap- tain Dent with supplies and reinforcements on the Pataha creek where the road, now leading from Dayton to Pomeroy, crosses it. Here the worn-out fugitives went into camp, for a time to rest and while there they were overtaken by Chief Lawyer of the Nez Perces, at the head of a formidable war party, himself bearing the Stars and Stripes, who wished the soldiers to go back with him and try it over again.
The troops continued their way to Walla Walla, which was reached May 22nd. How this nation learned the rout of Steptoe so soon after it happened, was never explained, save 7 that the information — and they had many details of the affair — came to them through that wonderful system of communication by signaling, that served the purpose of telegraphy to the aborigi- nes.
For more than fifty years Timothy repeatedly exhibited his de- votion to the whites, dating from the time when Missionary Spauld- ing in the 30s Anglicized the name of the chief who had been known to the Indians as Tam-mu-tsa. In saving the lives of troops, and in the rescue of Eliza Spaulding, a daughter of the missionary, this convert showed that he valued his teachings. Timothy's sympathies with the whites were not limited to serv- ices in their behalf; he aspired to common citizenship with them.
He declined to go upon the reservation or take part with the other Nez Perces. He was naturalized and exercised the right of a citizen to take up a homestead of acres, at his birthplace at the mouth of Alpowa creek. How shall we rank brave Tam-mu-tsa — the noble hearted Pres- byterian Indian, hero and preserver of the expedition?
Steptoe's defeat reached General Clark, commanding the department, he at once ordered the regular army force available on the Pacific coast to rendezvous at Walla Walla. George Wright was placed in command with instructions to suppress the Indians. Fort Taylor In August. On the 27th of that month, the entire force under Col.
Wright crossed the river to enter upon a campaign against the northern In- dians. At the close of Col.
Wright's campaign Fort Taylor was abandoned. September 2d, Sir : I have the honor to submit the following report of the bat- tle of the "Four Lakes," fought, and won, by the troops under my 8 command, on the 1st inst.
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Early in the morning of the 1st, I observed the Indians collect- ing on the summit of a high , hill, about two miles distant, and I immediately ordered the troops under arms, with a view of driving the enemy from his position, and making a reconnaissance of the country in advance. At half-past 9 A. I marched from my camp with two squad- rons of the 1st dragoons, commanded by Brevet Major W.
Grier; four companies of the third artillery, armed with rifle muskets, com- manded by Capt. Keyes ; and the rifle battalion of two com- panies of the 9th infantry, commanded by Capt. Dent; also one mountain howitzer, under command of Lieut. White, 3rd artillery, and thirty friendly Nez Perces Indian allies, under com- mand. John Mullan, 2nd artillery. I left in camp all the equipage and supplies, strongly guarded by company "M," 3rd ar- tillery, commanded by Lieuts.
Gibson and G. Dandy, one mountain howitzer, manned, and, in addition, a guard of fifty-four men under Lieut. Lyon, the whole commanded by Captain J. Hardie, the field officer of the day.