Catalogue


The buffalo soldier tragedy of 1877 /
Paul H. Carlson.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c2003.
description
xiv, 177 p. : ill., maps.
ISBN
1585442534 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c2003.
isbn
1585442534 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4782000
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Paul H. Carlson is a professor of history at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-01-01:
In the summer of 1877, tragedy struck on the arid Staked Plains of northwest Texas. An expedition of African American buffalo soldiers joined forces with a group of civilian buffalo hunters to track down and force the Kwahada Comanche to return to their reservation. The climate, worsened by a severe drought, defeated the expedition. The men ran out of water and suffered through 86 hours of "thirsting time," totally without water. As their situation worsened, the soldiers and buffalo hunters split up, order and the military command broke down, and individuals or small groups wandered away in search of water. Amazingly, most survived. Carlson (Texas Tech Univ.) does an excellent job reconstructing this event from often-contradictory accounts. He provides background for and the perspectives of the three groups involved--the buffalo soldiers, Comanche, and buffalo hunters--and vividly describes the hardship and chaos endured by the survivors. He also analyzes the aftermath of the expedition--especially the courts-martial of the four black soldiers charged with desertion, and the exoneration of the white officer in charge of the mission. Carlson is especially adept at pulling firsthand accounts from primary and secondary sources and weaving them into an informative and interesting narrative. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General and academic libraries. C. D. Wintz Texas Southern University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In high summer of 1877, a routine army patrol on the drought-stricken Llano Estacado of Texas turned into disaster for Capt. Nicholas Nolan and his 40-mancommand of Black Buffalo Soldiers. The tragic episode, that made headlines across the nation, is vividly described by Carlson, who writes authoritatively and with clarity. A highly engaging mini-epic that is also a significant contribution to Southern Plains history."--Marc Simmons, Historian and Author of Massacre on the Lordsburg Road
�In high summer of 1877, a routine army patrol on the drought-stricken Llano Estacado of Texas turned into disaster for Capt. Nicholas Nolan and his 40-man command of Black Buffalo Soldiers. The tragic episode, that made headlines across the nation, is vividly described by Carlson, who writes authoritatively and with clarity. A highly engaging mini-epic that is also a significant contribution to Southern Plains history.�--Marc Simmons, Historian and Author of Massacre on the Lordsburg Road
"In high summer of 1877, a routine army patrol on the drought-stricken Llano Estacado of Texas turned into disaster for Capt. Nicholas Nolan and his 40-man command of Black Buffalo Soldiers. The tragic episode, that made headlines across the nation, is vividly described by Carlson, who writes authoritatively and with clarity. A highly engaging mini-epic that is also a significant contribution to Southern Plains history."--Marc Simmons, Historian and Author of Massacre on the Lordsburg Road
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2004
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
The year 1877 was a drought year in West Texas. In the middle of that arid summer, a troop of some forty buffalo soldiers (African American cavalry led by white officers) struck out into the Llano Estacado from Double Lakes, south of modern Lubbock, pursuing a band of Kwahada Comanches who had been raiding homesteads and hunting parties. A group of twenty-two buffalo hunters accompanied the soldiers as guides and allies. Several days later three black soldiers rode into Fort Concho at modern San Angelo and reported that the men and officers of Troop A were missing and presumed dead from thirst. The "Staked Plains Horror, " as the Galveston Daily News called it, quickly captured national attention. Although most of the soldiers eventually straggled back into camp, four had died, and others eventually faced court-martial for desertion. The buffalo hunters had ridden off on their own to find water, and the surviving soldiers had lived by drinking the blood of their dead horses and their own urine. Aroutine army scout had turned into disaster of the worst kind. Although the failed expedition was widely reported at the time, the sparse treatments since then have relied exclusively on the white officers' accounts. Paul H. Carlson has mined the court-martial records for testimony of the enlisted men, memories of a white boy who rode with the Indians, and other sources to provide a nuanced view of the interaction of soldiers, hunters, settlers, and Indians on the Staked Plains before the final settling of the Comanches on their reservation in Indian Territory.
Main Description
In the middle of thearid summer of 1877, a drought year in West Texas, a troop of some forty buffalo soldiers (African American cavalry led by white officers) struck out into the Llano Estacado from Double Lakes ,south of modern Lubbock ,pursuing a band of Kwahada Comanches who had been raiding homesteads and hunting parties. A group of twenty-two buffalo hunters accompanied the soldiers as guides and allies. Several days later three black soldiers rode into Fort Concho at modern San Angelo and reported that the men and officers of Troop A were missing and presumed dead from thirst. The "Staked Plains Horror," as the Galveston Daily Newscalled it, quickly captured national attention. Although most of the soldiers eventually straggled back into camp, four had died, and others eventually faced court-martial for desertion. The buffalo hunters had ridden off on their own to find water, and the surviving soldiers had lived by drinking the blood of their dead horses and their own urine. A routine army scout had turned into disaster of the worst kind. Although the failed expedition was widely reported at the time, its sparse treatments sincethen have relied exclusively on the white officers' accounts. Paul Carlson has mined the courts-martial records for testimony of the enlisted men, memories of a white boy who rode with the Indians, and other buried sources to provide the first multifaceted narrative ever published. His gripping account provides not only a fuller version of what happened over those grim eighty-six hours but also a nuanced view of the interaction of soldiers, hunters, settlers, and Indians on the Staked Plains at this poignantmoment before the final settling of the Comanches on their reservation in Indian Territory.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. IX
List of Mapsp. X
Prefacep. XI
Land of Sunshine and Spacep. 3
Bison Hunters and Rath City in 1877p. 21
Comanches and Settlers in 1877p. 38
Buffalo Soldiers and the Army in 1877p. 55
Onto the High Yarnerp. 69
The Thirsting Timep. 82
Down off the High Yarnerp. 108
Back from the Deadp. 122
Dramatis Personaep. 139
Notesp. 143
Bibliographyp. 161
Indexp. 169
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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