The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 182
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
before they reached the line of low hills north of Battle Creek, and the
distance from those hills to Palo Duro Canyon and the Red River seemed
to match well with the terrain in this area. In addition, interviews with
longtime area ranchers revealed that over the years numerous cartridge
shells and several rifle pits had been found on the Griffin Hills. No other
engagements are known to have taken place in this vicinity, and we as-
sumed, then, the Griffin Hills to be the low line of hills referred to in the
historical accounts. As such, we began our investigations on the west end
of the Griffin Hills, which is the end nearest to Wagon Wheel Gap."'
The archeological methods used during the investigations were similar
to those that have been used effectively at other battle sites. The approach
involved several steps. First, the archeological team, equipped with metal
detectors, systematically scanned the study area for metal artifacts. When
the metal detectors indicated the presence of a metal object buried in the
ground or on the surface, that place was marked with a surveyor's pin
flag. The metal object was then excavated and, if it appeared to be relat-
ed to the battle, it was assigned a unique identification number and col-
lected. Finally, using a Global Positioning System receiver with sub-meter
accuracy, the team recorded the precise location of each collected and
numbered artifact (Figure 3).
To begin the investigations of the study area, the archeological team
started the survey on the west end of the Griffin Hills, which are about two
miles in length running in a northwest to southeast direction. The team
covered about 75 percent of the length of the Griffin Hills without find-
ing any artifacts. However, as the team neared the eastern end of the Grif-
fin Hills, they began to find artifacts of the right time period. These in-
cluded several clusters of spent rifle cartridges of the types typically used
by the Indians at that time, namely .44 caliber Henrys and Spencer 56-
50s. The cartridges were found on the highest points of the Griffin Hills
overlooking the broad plain to the north and east. This suggests that this
was the area where the Indians were concealed just before they attacked
Lieutenant Baldwin and the scouts as the scouts were approaching the
hills from the northeast. As the team continued to move across the east-
ern end of the Griffin Hills, they found evidence that the U.S. Army had
also occupied the hills at some point. Numerous fired and unfired .45-55
or .45-70 cartridges were recovered. The .45-70 was the standard car-
21 The available sources pertaining to the battle location include Haley, The Buffalo War, Rath-
jen, The Texas Panhandle Fronter, and Rodgers, "To the Canyon of the Tule." Henry W Taylor
states that when he observed the rifle pits on the Griffin Hills in 1882 "there were as many as a half
bushel of rifle shells in each of these pits .. The hills were also covered with Indian arrows, pieces
of broken tomahawks, broken bows and bow strings, and pieces of old broken rifles, indicating
that a battle was fought there." In Harley True Burton, A Hstory of theJA Ranch (Austin. Press of
Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., 1928), 12.
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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/m1/234/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.