Five warriors, led by wet'itwe'tit hawalis . . . had been sent out . . . as a peace party to meet the soldiers. Of course they carried a white flag.
Peace might be made without fighting. — himi'n maqsmaqs (Yellow Wolf)
You are looking toward a ridge where the entire war might have been averted. Up this slope, a delegation of five Nez Perce carried a white flag toward the approaching cavalrymen. For unknown reasons, Ad Chapman, captain of the volunteers, fired two shots, and the Nez Perce warriors returned fire. All chance of a negotiated truce ended at that moment. Warriors were positioned in ravines and on hills around this site to defend the village. Within the first minute, otstotpoo (Fire Body) fired a long shot and killed Trumpeter John Jones, making it difficult for the officers to communicate commands down the line.