After the horrific attack at Big Hole on August 9-10, 1877 the Nez Perce went south, crossing back into Idaho over Bannock Pass before heading east towards Yellowstone National Park. In the meantime, General Howard troops, which had not taken part in the attack at Big Hole, had taken a circuitous route roughly parallel to the Nez Perce. In an effort to slow down Howard, a small group of Nez Perce warriors raided Howard's camp to steal horses and disrupt Howard's advance.
The raiders crept toward Howard's camp when they were discovered but not before scattering Howard's mule train. Some cavalry pursued but failed to capture the raiders. The Nez Perce disrupted Howard's advance, buying them time to escape his column into the mountains of Yellowstone.
Please note: The battlefield is located on private property. There is an interpretive sign at a rest stop on I-15 at Dubois, Idaho telling the story of the battle.
Did You Know?
Big Hole National Battlefield bears witness to a tragic event. Over ninety women and children died at the battle of the Big Hole. Almost everyone lost two or three relatives.