Osborne Russell Quotation

24th —  Crossed the mountain, twelve miles easterly course, and descended  into the southwest extremity of a valley called Pierre’s Hole, where  we stayed the next day. 
This valley lies north and south in an oblong  form, about thirty miles long and ten wide, surrounded except on  the north by wild and rugged mountains; the east range resembles  mountains piled on mountains and capped with three spiral peaks  which pierce the clouds. 
This was a beautiful valley, consisting of a  smooth plain intersected by small streams and thickly clothed with  grass and herbage and abounding with buffalo, elk, deer, ante-  lope, etc.  
On the 27th we traveled to the north end of the valley and encamped on one of the numerous branches which unite at the northern  extremity and forms a stream called Pierre’s Fork, which discharges  its waters into Henry’s Fork of Snake River. The stream on which  we encamped flows directly from the central Teton and is narrowly  skirted with cottonwood trees, closely intermingled with underbrush  on both sides. We were encamped on the south side in a place  partially clear of brush, under the shade of the large cottonwoods. 
On the 28th about nine o’clock a. m. we were aroused by an  alarm of “Indians.” We ran to our horses. All was confusion,  each trying to catch his horses. We succeeded in driving them into  camp, where we caught all but six, which escaped into the prairies. 
In the meantime the Indians appeared before our camp to the number of sixty, of which fifteen or twenty were mounted on horseback  and the remainder on foot, armed with  fusees, bows, arrows, etc. 
They immediately caught the horses  which had escaped from us and commenced riding to and fro within  gunshot of our camp with all the speed their horses were capable of  producing, without shooting a single gun, for about twenty minutes,  brandishing their war weapons and yelling at the top of their voices.  
. . . After securing my  horses I took my gun, examined the priming, set the breech on the  ground and hand on the muzzle, with my arms folded, gazed at the  novelty of this scene for some minutes, quite unconscious of danger,  until the whistling of balls about my ears gave me to understand  that these were something more than mere pictures of imagination  and gave me assurance that these living creatures were a little more  dangerous than those I had been accustomed to see portrayed upon  canvas. 
The first gun was fired by one of our party, which was taken as  the signal for attack on both sides, but the well directed fire from  our rifles soon compelled them to retire from the front and take to  the brush behind us, where they had the advantage until seven or  eight of our men glided into the brush and concealing themselves  until their left wing approached within about thirty feet of them  before they shot a gun, they then raised and attacked them in the  flank. 
The Indians did not stop to return the fire, but retreated  through the brush as fast as possible, dragging their wounded along  with them and leaving their dead on the spot. In the meantime  myself and the remainder of our party were closely engaged with the  center and right. 
I took advantage of a large tree which stood near  the edge of the brush between the Indians and our horses. They  approached until the smoke of our guns met. I kept a large German  horse pistol loaded by me in case they should make a charge when  my gun was empty. When I first stationed myself at the tree I  placed a hat on some twigs which grew at the foot of it and would  put it in motion by kicking the twigs with my foot in order that they  might shoot at the hat and give me a better chance at their heads,  but I soon found this was no joke for the poor horses behind me were  killed and wounded by the balls intended for me. The Indians  stood the fight for about two hours, then retreated through the  brush with a dismal lamentation.