Texas–Indian Wars - The Final Years of The Plains Tribes: 1865–1875 - The Red River War

The Red River War

In history books, the Red River War officially began on July 20, 1874. On that day, General Sherman telegraphed General Philip Sheridan to begin an offensive against the Kiowa and Comanches on the plains of West Texas and Oklahoma, and either kill them or drive them to reservations. The army essentially adopted Mackenzie's tactics of the 1872 campaign at North Fork in their entirety – attack the Comanche in their winter strongholds, and destroy their villages and ability to live independently off the reservation.

During the summer of 1874, the United States, through the army, launched a campaign to remove the Comanche, Kiowa, Kiowa Apache, the Southern band of the Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indian tribes from the Southern Plains. This campaign was meant to enforce their removal to reservations in Indian Territory. The campaigns of 1874 were unlike any prior attempts by the Army to pacify this region of the frontier. The “Red River War,” as it was called, led to the end of the culture and way of life for the Southern Plains tribes and brought an end to the Plains tribes, as a people. The campaign of the Red River War was fought during a time when buffalo hunters were hunting the great American Bison nearly to extinction. Both the Bison and the people who lived off it nearly became extinct at the same time

There were perhaps 20 engagements between army units and the Plains Indians during the Red River War. The well-equipped and well-supplied army simply kept the Indians running, and in the end, they simply ran out of food, ammunition, and the ability to fight any longer.

Read more about this topic:  Texas–Indian Wars, The Final Years of The Plains Tribes: 1865–1875

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