Red River Indian War 1874-1875

[ 1874 - 1875 ]

Red River Indian War 1874-1875 (1874-75), uprising of warriors from several Indian tribes thought to be peacefully settled on Oklahoma and Texas reservations, ending in the crushing of the Indian dissidents by the United States. Presumably the Treaty of Medicine Lodge (Kansas, October 1867) had placed on area reservations a number of Southwestern tribes: the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, and Kataka. Many braves, unwilling to accept this life of confinement, broke out repeatedly to raid white travelers and settlers. Encouraged by chiefs Big Tree and Satanta, Indians carried out an attack in 1874 that killed 60 Texans and launched the war. In the fall of 1874, about 3,000 federal infantry and cavalry, under the overall command of General William Tecumseh Sherman, converged on the Indians concentrated in the Red River valley, Texas. Resistance was so determined that 14 pitched battles were required to curb the Indian power by mid-November. The half-starved survivors surrendered the following summer and returned to their reservations.

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Red River Indian War 1874-75...In the late 1860s, many American Indians -- Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, Kataka, and Kiowa -- were put on reservations in Oklahoma and Texas, but many of them loathed the confinement and slipped away to raid white settlements. US cavalry and infantry, headed by General William T. Sherman (1820-91), moved against the Indians in the fall of 1874 and fought 14 pitched battles, mainly in the Red River valley in northern Texas. American forces destroyed the winter camps of several Indian tribes in Palo Duro Canyon and prceeded to harry all the Indians in Texas through the following winter; they never gave them time to repair their tepees and belongings, to hunt, to prepare dried meat, or to rest. One battle involved the destruction of the camp of a Cheyenne chief who was decieved into believing that the attacking ofrce was much larger and stronger than it actually was. Slowly the Indians capitulated and returned to the reservations; their leaders were sent to Florida as prisoners. Some Cheyenne fled to Kansas but were chased and brutally slaughtered. The Comanche avoided most of the war by staying far out on the Starked Plains, but they also eventually surrendered when they realized they could never defeat the armed whites. By the end of 1875, there were no free Indians roaming America's southern plains, and most of the buffalo were gone as well.

Related Conflicts

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