Looking Glass' 1877 Camp History

Chief Looking Glass had originally opposed the 1863 treaty and certainly sympathized with the bands that had been dispossessed of their land. Unfortunately, General Howard did not trust that Looking Glass would remain neutral. Howard ordered Captain Stephen Whipple and two companies of men from the First US Cavalry to arrest Looking Glass.

Captain Whipple arrived at the Looking Glass camp on the middle fork of the Clearwater River on July 1, 1877. Looking Glass was not interested in negotiating with Whipple and told him to go away. Regardless of the band's wishes, Whipple attacked the camp, killing several Nez Perce, but failing to arrest Looking Glass. The Nez Perce fled and the soldiers burned the village.

Looking Glass was enraged and joined the bands headed east on the perilous Flight of 1877. Familiar with Buffalo country and a skilled warrior, Looking Glass provided invaluable assistance to the Nez Perce headed to Montana. All Howard accomplished was further complicating a situation that could have been avoided.

Learn more about what happened next by following the links below.

Two signs and a monument in the shape of Idaho on the side of the road.

Cottonwood Skirmish Site History

From July 3rd to July 5th of 1877, skirmishes took place between the U.S. Army and the Nez Perce.

A meadow on a cloudy day with two monuments and four waysides in the background.

The Nez Perce Flight of 1877

In 1877, the non-treaty Nez Perce were forced on a 126-day journey that spanned over 1,170 miles and through four different states.

Last updated: January 12, 2018

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Nez Perce National Historical Park
39063 US Hwy 95

Lapwai, ID 83540-9715


(208) 843-7009

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