JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN.
operate with General Gibbon, had left the infantry far behind. As the days progressed it became evident that even this would not suffice. Twenty men, on the strongest horses in the company, were detached to hurry forward in advance of the others. Soon they met messengers carrying news of a battle, which had been fought between Joseph and General Gibbon's troops. On the 11th of August the squad of picked cavalry-men, with General Howard at their head, galloped into the fortified camp of General Gibbon. On the previous day they had had a severe engagement with the enemy, losing a howitzer and about thirty officers and men. Again the wily Joseph had escaped from the grasp of his pursuers. It remained only to again begin the chase. Almost every hour some panic-stricken settlers met the troops with wild reports of outrages and alarms. The cry was, " Hurry, hurry, hurry !"
On the night of the 19th of August, 1877, General Howard's command encamped in a large grassy meadow. The night was starlight. Nothing could be heard in the camp but the regular footfall of a sentinel, or a noise among the animals. Suddenly a terrific roar of musketry, mingled with terrible yells, burst upon the startled camp. The men were instantly upon their feet, adjusting accouterments, and searching in the darkness for their guns.
How had the Indians approached so near without discovery? The shrewd Joseph had drilled a band of them to march by fours, keeping steady step. In the darkness this company advanced to the very lines of the camp, being mistaken by the sentinels for a returning detachment of their own troops, which had been out on special duty. In the confusion of the moment the mules broke loose and fled.
The Indians did not press their attack. The pursuit was therefore not ended. Within two or three days more, it became impossible to proceed. The stout army shoes with which the men had started out were now shapeless masses of worn leather. Most of the men were barefooted. Their uniforms torn and