The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 184
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
sharp turn almost due west over some extremely deep ravines and rough
terrain, a feat that would be almost impossible for the now unlimbered ar-
tillery. As the archeologists continued the survey of the area around the
Griffin Hills, an almost continuous line of spent military cartridges and
other artifacts was found extending from the Griffin Hills south, not west
toward Wagon Wheel Gap. In fact, the search for artifacts in and around
Wagon Wheel Gap failed to produce any artifacts, and it now appears that
Wagon Wheel Gap played no role whatever in the Battle of Red River. In-
stead, the archeological investigations have shown that after its start near
the east end of the Griffin Hills, the battle moved south to Battle Creek,
crossed the creek, then turned back toward the southwest to move
through a smaller gap in the hills and continued south toward Tule
Canyon. This fits with Lieutenant Baldwin's description of his actions dur-
ing the battle when he states, "I asked for orders and was directed to go to
the left, gathering all of my men together ... facing to the front [we] went
forward crossing Battle Creek under a sharp fire [and] charged forward
taking the ridge on the south bank." He later states, "I then moved to the
right [southwest] joining him [Major Biddle]" and "did not get up to the
headquarters which were on the south bank [of Red River] until after
Colonel Miles, in his report of the battle, offers surprisingly few details
about specific battle events or even how the troops were deployed. He
does state that "a skirmishing fire was kept up while our command was de-
ploying: The First Battalion of Cavalry on the right, the Second Battalion
on the left, and the pieces of artillery in the center with Captain Ewer's
Co. "E" 5th Infantry for support and Captain Lyman held his Co. "I" as a
reserve. A general advance was ordered, the artillery opened fire ... the
troops scarcely making a halt, advancing from crest to crest, the Indians
retreating take a good position only to be charged out." From the de-
scription given by Miles, it is apparent that the troops were operating in
three separate columns. Maj. Charles Compton commanded the right
column or wing, Lt. James Pope commanded the center column with the
artillery, and the left wing was under the command of Maj. James Biddle.
To the left of Maj. Biddle's column were Lt. Baldwin and the scouts, who
were apparently operating independently of the other columns. Baldwin
states that he and his men were ordered to "move down about / mile in
front of and to the left of Col. Biddle's battalion" and that "my entire ac-
tions during the day was on my own judgement."24
2' Diary of Lieutenant Frank Baldwin, Microfilm roll #DIAZO (Henry E. Huntington Library,
San Marino, Calif.; cited hereafter as Baldwin Diary).
24 Miles to the Assistant Adjutant General, Sept. 1, 1874 (ist quotation); Baldwin Diary (2nd
and 3rd quotations).
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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/m1/236/: accessed August 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.