The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998 Page: 190
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the renowned black "buffalo soldiers" of the Tenth U.S. Cavalry. Built
on the eastern edge of the Wichita Mountains, the post played a pivotal
role in the conflict between Indians and whites on the Texas and
Oklahoma plains.2 Research for his assignment took Nye to historic sites
throughout the Southwest; to interviews in sign language with elderly
Indian warriors; to meetings with ranchers, settlers, pioneers, and
retired cavalry officers; and to libraries and archives across the country.
In 1937, four years after his meeting with Blakely, Nye submitted his
report in the form of a full-length book--Carbine & Lance: The Story of
Old Fort Sill. Now among the classics in Southwestern history and litera-
ture, Carbine & Lance presents an exciting, accurate, impeccably
researched, and coherent narrative of the Southern Plains Indians' final
days of independence. The book "is more than a soldier's story of an
army post," a New York Times reviewer wrote. "It is a complete and color-
ful story of the conflicts and contacts of the white man and the Indian in
what is now Oklahoma and Northern Texas."
Nye later wrote two other books about the Indian frontier: Plains
Indian Raiders: The Final Phases of Warfare from the Arkansas to the Red River,
and Bad Medicine & Good: Tales of the Kiowas, and rigorously edited the
autobiography of Jason Betzinez, I Fought with Geronimo.4 These books
have provided fodder for movies, television, and novels. Most important,
however, Nye's studies have served as a foundation for virtually all subse-
quent research on the Southern Plains Indians, including works by T. R.
Fehrenbach, Robert M. Utley, Charles M. Robinson III, Michael D.
Pierce, Robert Wooster, and others.
Nye's greatest accomplishments and contributions to history were his
interviews with the last surviving Indian warriors from the Southern Plains
frontier. Although they had been on the reservations some sixty years, the
Indians retained vivid memories of the frontier and were quite open, even
anxious, about sharing their experiences with Nye. "Here was a plot of
land-the size of a state, where as late as 1870 lived people who hadn't
2The establishment of Fort Sill is thoroughly covered by Nye, Carbine & Lance, Chapts. 1-5.
'H. W. Blakley, "Soldiers and Indians in Old Oklahoma," New York Times Book Review, Dec. 19,
1937, 8. Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, Carbine & Lance: The Story of Old Fort Sall (Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1937, 1942, 1969).
4Jason Betzinez with Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, IFought with Geronimo (1959; reprint: University
of Nebraska Press, 1987); Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, Bad Medicine & Good: Tales of the Kiowas
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962); Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, Plains Indian Raiders: The
Final Phases of Warfare from the Arkansas to the Red River, photographs by William S. Soule
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968). Nye also wrote Here Come the Rebels (Baton
Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1965), and assisted Edward J. Stackpole in preparing The
Battle of Gettysburg: A Guided Tour (Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 1960). Other Nye books include
Feld Artillery Guide (Washington, D. C.: U.S. Field Artillery Association, 1942) and Retirement from
the Armed Forces (Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 1960). He also co-authored with Irving D. Tressler
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (New York: Stackpole Sons, 1937).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998, periodical, 1998; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/m1/242/: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.