four white men had been murdered on John Day's Creek by some Nez Perces, and that White Bird had announced that he would not go on the reservation.
Other murders were reported.
General Howard despatched two cavalry companies, with ninety-nine men, under Captain Perry, to the scene, who found the Indian camp at White Bird Cañon, and on June 17 made an unsuccessful attack, with the loss of one lieutenant and thirty-three men. General Howard then took the field in person with 400 men, and on July 11 discovered the Indians in a deep ravine on the Clearwater near the mouth of Cottonwood Creek, where he attacked and defeated them, driving them from their position; the Indians lost their camp, much of their provisions, and a number of fighting men. It was on July 17 that the famous
Chief Joseph. retreat of Joseph began, followed by the troops of General Howard.
No parallel is known in the history of the army in the Northwest where such a force of soldiers was longer on the trail of a