The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 177
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2002 Archeological Investigations at the Battle of Red River Site 177
plemented it on July 20o. The new policy called for enrollment and pro-
tection of innocent and friendly Indians at their reservations and pursuit
and destruction of hostile Indians without regard for reservation or de-
From a military point of view the campaign against the Indians was mas-
terfully planned and executed. The offensive utilized five military
columns converging generally on the Texas Panhandle and specifically
upon the upper tributaries of the Red River where the Indians were be-
lieved to be. The strategy aimed at full encirclement of the region, there-
by eliminating virtually all gaps through which the Indians might escape.
From Fort Dodge, Col. Nelson A. Miles, the overall field commander of
the campaign, moved southward with four companies of the Fifth In-
fantry and eight troops of the Sixth Cavalry toward the Washita River and
the headwaters of the Red River; Lt. Col.John W. Davidson marched west-
ward from Fort Sill with six troops of the Tenth Cavalry and three compa-
nies of the Eleventh Infantry; Lt. Col. George P. Buell moved northwest
from Fort Griffin with four troops of the Ninth Cavalry, two of the Tenth
Cavalry, and two companies of the Eleventh Infantry; Col. Ranald S.
Mackenzie led eight troops of the Fourth Cavalry and five companies of
the Tenth and Eleventh Infantries northward from Fort Concho; and, fi-
nally, Maj. William R. Price led four troops of the Eighth Cavalry eastward
across the Panhandle from Fort Union. In total, nearly two thousand sol-
diers and scouts participated in the campaign. The plan called for the
converging columns to maintain a continuous offensive until a decisive
defeat had been inflicted on the Indians."1
Over the course of the next ten months, the military would engage the
Indians in perhaps as many as twenty battles and smaller skirmishes across
the Texas Panhandle. In none of the battles could the Indians claim vic-
tory. They were simply outnumbered and overpowered by the well-armed
and well-supplied U.S. Army. The Indians were refugees in their own
land; the buffalo were already hunted out in most of the war zone, de-
priving the Indians of meat and hides and rendering them helpless when
the swift military attacks destroyed their camps and winter stores. The mil-
itary campaign known to history as the Red River War officially ended in
June of 1875 when Quanah Parker, who just a year earlier had led the at-
tack on Adobe Walls, led his band of Quahadi Comanches into Fort Sill
" Robert G Carter, On the Border with Mackenzze (Washington, D.C.: Enyon Printing, 1935), 525
(quotation); William H. Leckie, The Military Conquest of the Southern Plains (Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1963), 198.
" Sheridan to Sherman, Sept. 5, 1874, m Joe F. Taylor (comp. and ed.), The Indian Campaign on
the Staked Plains, 1874-1875: Milztary Correspondence from War Department Adjutant General's Office,
Fzle 2815-1874, Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 34 and 35 (Canyon, Tex. Panhandle-Plains
Historical Society, 1961-1962), 17-18.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/229/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.