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he epic Red River War confrontation proved to be the perhaps as many as twenty battles during the Red River single most important campaign in the United States campaign. Well mounted, well armed, well supplied, and winning the American West. Following a prelude of well taught from their many past fights with the Plains years, even decades, it took place over many months from Indians, the army rumbled in on them from all sides, the summer of 1874 through April of 1875, across tens fighting as they came, careful to leave no path of escape. of thousands of square miles in five states and territories The bluecoats ground down their foe, killing or taking the including present-day Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Natives’ horses, capturing the tribes’ women and children, and New Mexico, and with and hauling them to the thousands of combatants. reservations. “The notion that the trouble with Plains Indians was When it concluded, no The pursuing force entirely due to white men was spectacularly wrongheaded. doubt remained as to included the Fort Sill, The people who cherished it, many of whom were in the U.S. which civilization ruled by Indian Territory-based its might of armed power 10th Cavalry and the Congress, the (corrupt) Office of Indian Affairs, and other the Southern Plains and Texas-based 9th Cavalry positions of power, had no historical understanding of the most of the Southwest. African-American Comanche tribe, no idea that the tribe’s very existence was William Tecumseh troopers known as Sherman, Philip “Buffalo Soldiers.” Lipan based on war and had been for a long time. No one who knew Sheridan, and campaign Apaches apparently anything about the century-long horror of Comanche attacks commander Nelson A. coined this sobriquet in northern Mexico or about their systematic demolition of Miles—all renowned when they compared for their triumphal Civil the appearance of the the Apaches or the Utes or the Tonkawas could possibly have War exploits—and the enemy black troopers’ believed that the tribe was either peaceable or blameless.” War Department crafted curly, dust-coated beards a masterful strategy to and hair to the coats of —S. C. Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon clean out the Quahadi Great Plains buffalo. Comanches, Southern Cheyennes, and any other Natives who The newly reconstituted Texas Rangers thundered remained armed and in the field. Five columns of infantry, back into action as well. They ranged between army cavalry, and artillery, totaling three thousand men, converged columns, fighting Indians, preventing their escape, and on western Indian Territory (in present-day Oklahoma) providing reconnaissance. and the Texas Panhandle. They rode out from forts in four different states and territories: Fort Dodge, Kansas; Camp MacKenzie and Palo Duro Supply and Fort Sill, Indian Territory; Fort Concho, Texas; The climactic shootout took place in late September of 1874 and Fort Bascom, New Mexico. in Palo Duro Canyon, near present-day Amarillo in the Texas The army and the Natives fought at least fourteen and Panhandle. There, U.S. soldiers and their Texan and Tonkawa

Profile for Oghma Creative Media

Saddlebag Dispatches—Spring, 2017  

The Spring issue features our exclusive interview with New York Times bestselling romance novelist Linda Broday, as well as a retrospective...

Saddlebag Dispatches—Spring, 2017  

The Spring issue features our exclusive interview with New York Times bestselling romance novelist Linda Broday, as well as a retrospective...