Red River War

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,989
Texas
#33
German Sisters

During the battle at McClellan Creek, Lt. Baldwin's men discovered two young white girls among the captives named Julia and Adelaide German. The two little girls had been held for several weeks after their family's wagon was attacked in southwest Kansas on the way to Colorado. Their parents and brother were killed defending the family and the five girls were taken prisoner. A short time later, the oldest girl showed too much independence and was killed in front of the other four. The remaining four found themselves split between two bands of Indians who were on the run and had very little food for themselves. Colonel Miles described them, "they were the most emaciated mortals I have ever seen. Their little hands were like birds claws. They had been forced to travel rapidly by night and by day with the Indians in their long journeys, but with insufficient and coarse food. Their condition excited the deepest sympathy of the brave troops. When the officers and soldiers looked upon these poor unfortunates, warm tears could be seen coursing down their bronzed faces. It nerved every man to heroic endeavor to avenge the wrong and rescue those still in the hands of the savages."

Miles let it be known among the Indians that no surrender could be had until the other two German sisters were released. Several months later the Indians were starving and needed to surrender. Chief Stone Calf recovered the girls and started leading his band back to the reservation in hopes their surrender would be accepted. Miles reunited the sisters and sent them all to Fort Leavenworth to a newly appointed guardian. At Miles recommendation, $10,000 was withheld from the tribe's annuities and set up in funds of $2,500 for each girl.

 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,989
Texas
#35
I recently got hold of

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Recollections-Observations-General-Nelson/dp/0803281803/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1358005527&sr=8-7&keywords=Personal+recollections+%26+Observations+of+General+Nelson+A.+Miles"]Personal Recollections and Observations of General Nelson A. Miles, Volume 1 (Personal Recollections & Observations of General Nelson A. M) (v. 1): Nelson A. Miles, Robert Wooster: 9780803281806: Amazon.com: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51E7VE47TNL.@@AMEPARAM@@51E7VE47TNL[/ame]

The new volume reminded me that I got the war started in my blog but haven't yet written about the actual expeditions that comprise the Red River War. Anyway, workin' on it this morning and thought the German girls might make a an interesting side story to get the thread going again.
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,989
Texas
#36
Captain W. Lyman - One Cool Character

My next blog entry remains in progress but covers the Battle for Lyman's Wagon Train. Here is a small bit of history from the occasion to supplement what will come on that engagement.



On the 10th of September, 1874 Captain Wyllis Lyman found himself surrounded by several hundred Comanche and Kiowa warriors. The wagon train formed into corral, his men dug in for the siege, only the water on hand, Lyman sent the folllowing polite understatement of a plea for help to Colonel Lewis at Camp Supply:

In the field near Washita river
3 o'clock, p.m. Sept 10, 1874

Commanding Officer
Camp Supply,

Sir:

I have the honor to report that I am corralled by Comanches, two miles north of the Washita on Gen'l Miles trail. We have been engaged since yesterday morning, having moved since first firing, about 12 miles. I consider it injudicious to attempt to proceed further, in view of the importance of my train, and the broken ground ahead. It was nearly stampeded yesterday. commnication with Gen'l Miles is closed. My scout very properly will not return.

Lt. Lewis is dangerously wounded through the knee and I think he will die if he has no medical assistance. The Assistant Wagoner McCoy is mortally wounded, I fear. Sergeant DeArmon, Co I, 5th Infantry is killed, a dozen mules disabled.

I think I may properly ask quick aid especially for Lieut. Lewis, a most valuable officer. I have only a small pool of rain water for the men which will dry up today.

I estimate the number of Indians vaguely at several hundred (as Lieut. Baldwin did), whom we have punished somewhat.

Scout Marshall, who left Camp Supply, I am told, has not reached me.

I have but twelve mounted men - West made a pretty charge with them yesterday.

Very Respectfully
Your Obedient Servant,
W. Lyman
Capt. 5th Infantry
Commdg. Train Guard

:)
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,989
Texas
#37
Nelson A. Miles

I finished and posted the most recent chapter of the Red River Blog, it is at: http://www.historum.com/blogs/baltis/1326-red-river-war-lymans-wagon-train.html

Hope it isn't too long for a blog entry.


Anyway, Nelson A. Miles. The Red River Campaign was his first (of many) Indian campaign and it really didn't go that well for him. Certainly no disgrace but he was unable to ever draw the Indians into battle or find significant villages. But, that is the blog story.

For this post, a little insight into the man himself. Nelson Miles was a highly educated man who wrote very well. He fancied himself a lover of nature and especially the Plains Indians. Of the infamous Sand Creek massacre, Miles had this to say:

"The Sand Creek massacre is perhaps the foulest and most unjustifiable crime in the annals of America. It was planned by and excuted under the personal direction of J M Chivington * * * . The details of the massacre are too revolting to be enumerated * * *. But for that horrible butchery it is a fair presumption that ll the subsequent wars with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes and their kindred tribes might possibly have been averted. * * * Fleeing women, holding up their hands and praying for mercy, were shot down; infants were killed and scalped in derision; men were tortured and mutilated in a manner that would put to shame the savages of interior Africa."
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,989
Texas
#38
Been involved with the Red River War again this year. Am developing a lecture series that I hope to start presenting soon. I have 6.5 of 8 lectures completed with powerpoint and handout materials. 'whew', lots of work.

This podcast is really just a sample practice session for part of the final lecture. Rescuing the German sisters was part of the mopping up chores. The girls' name is German. They are not called that as a reference to their ethnicity although I suspect they probably were of German heritage. The Story of the German Girls
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,412
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#39
Palo Duro Canyon - Hatfield

Charles Hatfield was a scout with Mackenzie at Palo Duro, Canyon. His account came out years later. He provides a good account with some excellent detail. However, I think this thread can focus on a portion happening even earlier. On the afternoon of the 26th as they first arrived in the area of Tule Canyon. Yes, I feel like I'm building the story backwards.

"An hour before sundown, we came to Tule Canyon, where an old road crossed where it was shallow and wide, and intended to camp but found insufficient grass.
While we were still mounted, a party of thirty or forty Indians came over a slight ridge one thousand yards to the south of us as a challenge. Doubtless the main body of Indians were waiting for us just over the ridge. Colenel Mackenzie, an experienced Indian fighter, had another scheme than desultory fight in the open, and marched his squadron back five miles to good grass on a small rainy-season stream. Expecting a night attack, the horses were doubly secured on full lariats, with hobbles and sidelines. All of us went to rest on our blankets outside of the horses."


Looking down on the village site from canyon rim



"Colonel Mackenzie had sent out a spy, a half-breed Mexican named Johnson, several days before to locate the main winter camp of the Indians. Johson found the permanent camp thirty miles to the northwest of us, in the Deep Palo Duro Canyon of Red River, and had returned to report only twenty minutes before the night attack commenced." One interesting item that recurs in Hatfield's account is the lack of proficiency with firearms in the soldiers. The ex-scout complained twice that "for the total lack of target practice in those days, would have emptied their (Indians) saddle."

That is probably enough from Hatfield. In a later part of the story he admits to using an article from an old New York Herald to refresh his memory. I'm sure that would be the George Albee account in the post above. :)

The photo is very amusing. Fans of western movies often note how many were filmed in locations around Los Angeles and thus show a typical southern California landscape no matter which state or territory they are set in. Expert fans can point to a particular large boulder in a movie scene and tell you the name fans give that rock and it's location in the Los Angeles area and possibly show the rock to you on Google Earth. More expensive movies were filmed farther from Los Angles in often spectacular landscapes.

John Ford often filmed in spectacular Monument Valley, Arizona, no matter which state or territory the film was set in. For example, Cheyenne Autumn (1964) was based on the exodus of the Northern Cheyenne from The Indian Territory back to Wyoming and Montana in 1878-79. So their route was more or less through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana, and didn't pass though monument Valley at all. But many scenes were filmed in Monument Valley, so in the fictional universe of Cheyenne Autumn (1964) there is a lot of Monument Valley-like landscape in the Great Plains.

And the same goes for all the more commonly seen western movie filming locations. A movie ranch, fort, or town set could have been used in movies set in a dozen different states often hundreds of miles from the real location the movies were filmed in. And many directors, like John Ford, often filmed different movies set in several different states in their favorite filming locations. In many cases a director's favorite filming location featured spectacular scenery - "magnificent desolation" as an astronaut described the Moon - but not very habitable and not where anyone, red or white, would normally go, let alone try to live in.

So I imagine that most battles in the Indian Wars were fought in comparatively normal and ordinary looking though habitable landscapes instead of the "magnificent desolation" of many director's favorite landscapes.

Thus it is amusing to see the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon in the photograph and know that at least one famous historical incident in the west happened in a landscape spectacular enough to satisfy any director of western movies.
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,989
Texas
#40
So I imagine that most battles in the Indian Wars were fought in comparatively normal and ordinary looking though habitable landscapes instead of the "magnificent desolation" of many director's favorite landscapes.

Thus it is amusing to see the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon in the photograph and know that at least one famous historical incident in the west happened in a landscape spectacular enough to satisfy any director of western movies.
The battles of the Indian Wars so often revolved around villages which would always be located along rivers or other water sources. Mackenzie's expeditions against the Comanche generally moved from one canyon to the next. Nobody really stays out on the open plains very much. No water or shade in the summer and cold winds in the winter. I am still working in the aftermath of the Red River War and, specifically, the tragedy of 1877 when Lt Nolan led a disaster onto the high plains. Even though no longer fighting, it seems that Quanah Parker had a direct hand in convincing Nolan to take the waterless route. Not just inhospitable, the Llano Estacado proved itself a deadly weapon as well. Here is a photo of the caprock not too far from Lubbock. The High Plains of the Llano Estacado are above the rim. Many of the rivers in Texas begin in the canyons along this caprock.

1541848827979.png
 

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