The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992 Page: 220
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Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly
and southwestern peoples. By the mid-1870s the United States Army,
larger, more ubiquitious than before the Civil War, and generally well-
led, had reduced the Comanche Lords of the South Plains to pitiful,
dispirited remnants, as fully subdued and as victimized, in their turn,
as the Lipanes, Tobosos, and others who preceded them.
Before their final defeat, the Comanches and their allies had made
the northeast pay dearly for Mexico's disunity and weakness. Between
1848 and 1870 alone, Nuevo Le6n suffered 80o recorded incursions by
the indios barbaros, who killed, wounded, or abducted over 1,ooo per-
sons and destroyed or made off with property conservatively valued at
over 4,000,000 pesos. Unlucky Lampazos was the last town in the state
to be raided; in 1870, it experienced two separate attacks, during one
of which the northerners reportedly killed thirty persons before being
driven off by a force of state troops and local militiamen, who pursued
them all the way to the Rio Grande.'' Coahuila, with a longer, more
open border than Nuevo Le6n, actually suffered fewer raids and lighter
casualties, according to official figures, but, as in the neighboring state,
its communities endured crippling losses from the theft or destruction
of livestock and crops upon which much of the region's economy de-
pended; many of its ravaged farms, ranches, and smaller settlements
had to be temporarily abandoned. "
It is remarkable that Mexico's northern outposts, including those of
the embattled Valle de Santiago, survived such a series of calamities.
That they did was due partly to the efforts of Vidaurri and other lead-
ers who were compelled to move into the void left by national adminis-
trations too incapacitated by fiscal insolvency, civil war, and, ultimately,
foreign intervention, to act decisively against the indios barbaros. State
forces, fleshed out by community militia units, undertook the long-
range expeditions that slowly but steadily wore down the northerners'
strength. In the main, however, it was the militamen themselves who
remained responsible for local defense, as at Bustamante and Valen-
zuela in October 1840. At their best, with meager resources, these part-
time soldiers did manage to hold raiding parties at bay; to safeguard, as
far as possible, their own noncombatants; and to give neighboring com-
munities precious time to rally their own defenders. In so doing, they
accomplished all that should have been expected of them, and more.
7Ibid , 55, Go ' hese raids are not included in the listigs for 1870 ("Apandice," XXXV),
presumably be ause the data were not available to the commission when its tables were pre-
pared, as indicated elsewhere in the Inlome de la conud 6n Parish records (APL/E, vol 3 [reel
707]) show only three burials of vitims of Indlos bin baros during 1870
;"[Mexico], I/mlone de la conmstOn "Apdndlce," XII. See Ihe summary by Cava7os Gara,
"Las incursiones de los bAr banios," 349-351
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992, periodical, 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/m1/266/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.