The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 191
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2002 Archeological Investigations at the Battle of Red River Site
TABLE 2. GUN TYPES USED AT THE BATTLE OF RED RIVER
Gun Type Military Indian Total
44 caliber Remington M1858 revolver 1 1
.50 caliber Plains nfle or trade gun 1 1
.54 caliber Plains rifle or trade gun 1 1
.44 caliber Henry or Winchester M1866 rifle 3 3
.50 caliber Sharps 1 1
.50 caliber Remington 1 1
.50 and .56 cahber Spencer rifles 9 9
.40 cahber Sharps rifle 1 1
.44 caliber Sharps rifle 1 1
.45 cahber Colt M1873 revolver 9 9
.45 caliber Springfield nfle or carbine 39 39
.50 caliber Springfield M1868 or 1870 rifle 2 2
50 caliber Gatling gun 2 1
Total 52 19 71
individual weapons (Table 2). Of the individual weapons identified, fifty-
two appear to be associated with the U.S. Army, while only nineteen are
associated with the Indians. This is a ratio of approximately 2.7 army guns
to every 1 Indian gun. It should be noted that it is entirely possible that
many more guns were used in the battle, but the number of heavily oxi-
dized or other problem cases (n=130) that could not be analyzed likely
reduced the number of guns identified. All of the oxidized cartridges,
however, are .45 caliber of the type that was used by the army. This sug-
gests that the number of guns used in the battle by the military was even
higher than the 2.7 to 1 ratio indicated by the analyzed cartridges.
The cartridge and bullet analysis suggest that Colonel Miles's estimate
of four hundred to six hundred warriors at the battle may be inflated and
that the Indians were not as well armed as the military accounts seem to
indicate. Just five days before the battle, Colonel Miles wrote to the adju-
tant general at Fort Leavenworth: "I am of opinion that the strength of
the Indians has been greatly underrated, and that they are well armed
with rifles of improved pattern, and provided with abundance of ammu-
nition." After the battle, he reported to General Pope that "the Indian
trail is still very large; they are holding their families and tribes together;
there cannot be less than two thousand (2000) or three thousand (3000)
retreating before us." It seems probable that if there were as many Indians
as Colonel Miles estimated and if they were as well armed as he thought,
there would be substantially more than nineteen Indian-associated
weapons represented in the cartridge and bullet analysis."
" Miles to the Assistant Adjutant General, Aug 25, 1874 (1st quotation), in Taylor, The Indian
Campaign on the Staked Plazns, 8-20o; Miles to GeneralJohn Pope, Sept 5, 1874 (2nd quotation).
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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/m1/243/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.