Albert Oldham, wounded by a shot through the cheeks, had straggled out to where Nez Perce Creek enters Firehole River, where he was discovered by military scouts.

While working our way up Firehole canyon, we picked up a poor unfortunate young man by the name of Al Oldham. He had been shot through both cheeks and was all covered with blood and withal was a sad looking spectacle.

Henry Buck
wagon-train driver

Firehole Canyon

Later when he was able talk he described his ordeal.

...The ball had penetrated the left cheek, and, passing downwards, had cut the tongue and come out beneath the jaw on the right side. The wound was very painful....

I then dropped down in the bushes and laid there until Saturday night, thirty-six hours from the time of the shooting. My sufferings during the time were intense.

On Sunday I killed a grouse ... but I could eat none of it, as my tongue was swollen so badly it protruded from my mouth. It was with the greatest difficulty that I could breathe.

On Monday night I crossed the Madison and hid among some willows on a little island, and on the following morning I saw some Indians on Gibbon's Fork. I watched them closely, intending, if they came near me, to try and kill one of them and get his pony The ford was close by, and presently I saw two coming across. As they came closer I got up onto my knees so as to make a sure shot, when I saw they were white men. I stood up then, but I could not speak, and could only make a grunting noise. They heard me, and, riding up to where I was, I motioned for a pencil, which they gave me, and I wrote what I wanted them to know. They camped near by and began doctoring me up. After they got some sugar in my mouth, and about the roots of my tongue, the swelling began to go down, and I soon got so I could talk a little and swallow some food they had prepared for me. They then moved on to Howard's command, where I found [my fellow travelers] Arnold and Mann.

Albert Oldham
tourist-Radersburg party



The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction

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