The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 102
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
appropriately supplement and enrich the textual matter. The work is undoc-
umented, however, and a scanty bibliography indicates that it was written
from standard secondary works alone, without reference to even the most
obvious pertinent manuscript records in War Department files and in the
Although The Red-Bluecoats gives long-overdue recognition to the Indian
scouts as a significant force in the Indian fighting army, it leaves much
unanswered. How did the scouts adjust to the regimen of life at military
posts? How did the Indians get along with white and black troopers? What
became of the scouts after their military service ended? And, most important,
how were they viewed by their own people? The definitive history of the
Indian scouts remains to be written.
Texas A&M University HERBERT H. LANG
The Warren Wagontrain Raid. By Benjamin Capps. (New York: Dial
Press, 1974. Pp. xvi+304. Illustrations, maps, index. $8.95.)
One of the atrocities that current apologists for the Indians would like
Texans to forget is the Warren Wagontrain Raid, or the Salt Creek Mas-
sacre, which took place on the Butterfield Trail, in northern Texas, on May
18, I87i. A war party of more than a hundred Kiowas had left their reser-
vation and crossed the Red River in search of horses and scalps. After pass-
ing up a small military body that happened to include General William T.
Sherman, the Indians ambushed a ten-wagon train that was hauling corn
toward Fort Griffin.
Leading the warriors was Chief Satanta or White Bear, a determined foe
of the whites. With him was the older Chief Tsatangya or Satank and young
Chief Big Tree. The sudden attack left seven of the twelve whites dead.
The raiders burned wagons, took guns and other loot, and drove off forty-
one mules. After a wounded survivor limped into Fort Richardson, General
Sherman ordered pursuit.
Pursuit was needless, however, since a few days later the Kiowas were
back at Fort Sill, boasting of their success and their loot. After the three
chiefs were arrested, Satank was killed while trying to escape. The other two
were tried and sentenced to be hanged, but their sentences were commuted.
Satanta killed himself by jumping from a Texas prison hospital. Big Tree,
after his release, became a Baptist deacon and lived into 1929.
The narrative of the raid and the trial is told for the first time in full
detail by Benjamin Capps, a successful Texas novelist who turns here to
history. With admirable research, Capps went through published accounts,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/120/?rotate=90: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.