The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 170
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Protection Program (ABPP), initiated the Red River War Battle Sites Pro-
ject. The project continued in 1999 with support again coming from the
ABPP as well as grants from several foundations and a private individual.'
The goals of the project were to locate precisely the more significant bat-
tles of the war, document the battle sites through archeological means,
evaluate the properties for their potential for heritage tourism, and nom-
inate the properties to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
Over both seasons of fieldwork, the project targeted five sites for investi-
gation. These sites, shown on Figure 1, included the Battle of Adobe
Walls, the Battle of Red River, the Battle of Lyman's Wagon Train, the Bat-
tle of Buffalo Wallow, and the Battle of Sweetwater Creek. Based on the
results of the archeological investigations, two of the sites, the Battle of
Lyman's Wagon Train site and the Battle of Sweetwater Creek site, have
now been listed on the NRHP. The Adobe Walls battle site was listed on
the National Register in 1978 following extensive archeological investiga-
tions at the site by personnel from the Panhandle-Plains Historical Muse-
um. Insufficient data was recovered from the Buffalo Wallow battle site to
support its nomination to the NRHP. The Battle of Red River site, while
meeting the requirements for listing on the National Register, was not list-
ed due to objections by the landowner.
The artifacts recovered from the battle sites remain the property of the
individual landowners. Negotiations are currently underway with the
landowners to have the artifacts loaned or donated to Panhandle area
museums so that interpretive displays and exhibits based on the Red Riv-
er War can be developed. Once the museum exhibits are in place, they
will be promoted as part of a heritage tourism enhancement for the re-
This article discusses the archeological investigations of the Battle of
Red River, which was the opening battle of the war that would bring an
end to the domination of the Southern Plains by the Indians.
Prior to the outbreak of the Red River War, a long history of conflict
had developed between the Southern Plains Indians and the "whites" who
pushed incessantly to claim the western frontier. During the Civil War, the
Southern Plains tribes took advantage of the fact that the state forces and
Confederate troops that had provided some measure of protection for
westward-bound settlers were now withdrawn from the frontier to fight
1The Texas Historical Commission gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Park
Service's American Battlefield Protection Program, Harold andJoyce Courson, and the following
foundations for their support of the Red River War Battle Sites Project: Abell-Hanger Foundation,
Amarillo Area Foundation, M. K. Brown Foundation, David and Nona Payne Foundation, Sum-
merlee Foundation, C. J. and Syble Fowlston Trust, Amos N. Molyneaux Trust, Josephine Ander-
son Trust, Summerfield G. Roberts Foundation, and Helen Irwin Littauer Trust
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/222/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.