The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 57
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Nolan's "Lost Nigger" Expedition of 1877
ican blue quail and were left to work their acts of deviltry
on the hunters.-
Further trouble was not long in developing, for on April 30,
1877, John Sharp, a buffalo hunter, was shot by Indians near
Double Mountain, and the following morning the Comanches
executed a daring raid on Rath's Store, a supply post for the
hunters. Almost all the horses in the locality were driven off.
This bold act led a group of buffalo hunters to agree that
they would "hit the trail" of these Indians and follow to its
dead end. They resolved to emulate General Mackenzie in '74
by following from water hole to water hole across the arid
surfaces of the Plains until they should meet the Indians and
extract a full measure of revenge. Merely to go on the Llano
required courage of a high order; this time the cause of its
ascent was desperation.4
James Harvey, a buffalo hunter and Indian fighter of proved
ability, was elected to command.5 In Plains history this group
is known as the "Forlorn Hope," or as Harvey's men. John R.
Cook, who served largely in the capacity of scout, was later
to become the historian of the expedition. The chief guide was
a Mexican whom Cook called "Hosea" and who appears to have
been Jos6 Tafoya. The grimness and determination of this band
of twenty-four is ably attested: May passed, June went by, and
half of July, yet the little force was still on the Llano Estacado
marching and countermarching, hunting, not buffalo, but In-
dians that always disappeared like a will-o'-the-wisp. Cook says,
"Three different times we arrived at places the Indians had
recently left. But they were elusive, and were cunning enough
to send us on two fool's errands."6
In mid-July7 the "Forlorn Hope" was encamped on Bull
Creek," when suddenly the scouts discovered a column of soldiers
southeast of their camp. They proved to be forty colored sol-
diers9 of Company A, 10th U. S. Cavalry, commanded by Cap-
3John R. Cook, The Border and the Bufalo (Topeka, Kansas, 1907),
4Ibid., pp. 240-242.
5lbid., p. 244.
4Ibid., pp. 248-249.
7Cook says the date was July 20; Lieutenant Cooper says it was July 9;
Nolan says that he encountered the hunters on July 17.
sBull Creek heads in Borden County and flows southeast into adjoining
Scurry County; this camp was seven miles northeast of Mucha Kowa Peak.
'The colored troopers were called buffalo or "buffano" soldiers.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/65/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.