The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 36
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
elled for one hundred and twenty miles through one herd of these
Shortly after the division of the buffaloes as previously stated,
a hunting party accompanying Donaphan's expedition, under the
command of Thomas Forsythe, an experienced hunter, passed
through the Kansas country. Mounting Pawnee Rock, the men
were amazed at the large number of buffaloes which they could see
from their vantage point. Forsythe invited his comrades to attempt
an enumeration of the animals which they could see. All had
spent long years in hunting on the plains and were experienced in
scenes such as the one before them, but the majority of them
present admitted their inability to estimate with any degree of
accuracy the number of animals in this herd. It was the opinion
of Forsythe that there were 200,000 buffaloes in the herd, and it
was stated that another hunter in the party, in whom was placed
the utmost confidence, approximated them at 800,000.7
While General Phil Sheridan was conducting his expedition
against the hostile Indians of the Washita River region in 1868,
he came in contact with the same situation. He stated that in
advancing southward during the winter of this year, at times he
was compelled to march for hours through a vast herd of buffaloes,
and that by reason of these animals pushing down on the wagon
train and frightening the mules, it became necessary to throw out
flankers to shoot the leading bulls and thus turn off the herd.8
Even trains operating over the railways projected across the buffalo
country would be held up for hours by the huge herds of bisons.9
Possibly one of the most interesting accounts given in respect to
the impressions which these herds made on travellers is the fol-
"Such a congregated mass of animal life I had never before
witnessed, and the scene was not only striking and novel but be-
wildering and exciting. As far as the vision extended over the
wide spreading expanse of the plains, these shaggy-headed, huge-
bodied, clumsy and uncouth-looking quadrupeds were running,
rolling or grazing, in all freedom of their native wildness, in such
7William E. Connelly, Doniphan's Expedition, 140.
sPersonal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, II, 325.
'Dodge, Iunting Grounds of the Great West, 122.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/44/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.