An Uncomfortable Alliance

The soldiers were volunteers too, but for five years of service. Some were career soldiers, several were Civil War veterans, and many were immigrants. Most had been laborers or tradesmen prior to enlistment; their ages ranged from 18 to 49. Some of Captain Charles Rawn portrait these soldiers were killed or wounded 12 days later at the Battle of the Big Hole.

Although skeptical about the volunteers,E.A. Kenney portrait Captain Rawn realized that he could not hold his position without them.When the citizen volunteers began leaving after accepting the Nez Perce promise to pass peacefully, Captain Rawn bristled at the militia's refusal to submit to his authority. Another officer threatened to shoot a volunteer officer to prevent "desertion." But the volunteers left anyway.


Captain Charles Rawn, (left) a veteran of the Civil War, was the seventh infantry's senior captain.

E.A. Kenney was elected captain for one company of volunters from Missoula. He held the first brief parley with the Nez Perce.

Many area landmarks bear the name of Fort Fizzle volunteers. McCormick, Buckhouse, Rankin, Stephens, Hammond, Higgins, Bancroft, Catlin, and Chafin.

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