When they reached this point in the late July 1877, many Nez Perce thought they had left hostilities behind them. They anticipated safety in Motana, among a white and Indian population who had always been friendly. It was here, however, that they received their first indication of the relentless pursuit that was to come.
Unknown to the Nez Perce, soldiers in Montana had received orders to assist in cutting off their escape. Soldiers and citizen volunteers set up a system of barricades here to prevent the Nez Perce from passing. Fort Fizzle was not just a tactical obstacle-it was an ominous symbol of the government
The Nez Perce bypassed the soldiers and citizen volunteers by traveling behind the ridges in front of you.