|Tenth Cavalry During|
|Apache Wars 1889.|
Background Event: The U.S. army runs a winter and then a summer campaign against the remaining free Plains Indians, who are labeled "hostiles."
October 19, 1875, near Laguna Sabinas (Clear Lake): Bullis and his Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts found a large Indian village. The few warriors guarding the camp fled, leaving twenty-five ponies, fifty sacks of beans, about four thousand pounds of buffalo meat, buffalo hides, lodge poles in addition to cooking utensils. All were destroyed.
November 1875: Lieutenant Gedde's Twenty-Fifth Infantry, with Companies G and L and the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts, trailed Apaches to their lightly guarded camp near the Rio Grande. One warrior was killed and four women and a boy were captured.
November, Shafter's Expedition Ends: This marked the end of Shafter's 2,000 mile expedition across the Staked Plains. His men suffered, fighting killing heat, thirst and dust in addition to the Indians and Mexican revolutionaries. In one instance Captain Baldwin's troop marched 350 miles and went without water for thirty-eight hours. Shafter's report describes the desirability of the land but never mentioned the hardships his men endured except that of Captain Nolon's ill-fated troop. This report was the catalyst for the settlers to invade the last of the Plains Indian's land, the Southern Staked Plains.
January, 1876: The troops continue working on the United States Military Telegraph Line connecting Fort Concho with Fort Griffin. This was an ongoing assignment due to maintenance requirements and sabotage. This instant mode of communication and the ease with which the cavalry could move to engage their foes by train, were two of the components which ultimately lead to the demise of the Plains Indian Tribes.
April 10-29,1876: Troops B, E, and F, bordering Coahiilla, Mexico,
scouted unknown territory without guides. They describe the country
as the roughest and most desolate land they had ever
seen. It was without any value, in anyway.
July 30,1876, near Saragossa, Mexico: Troop B and the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts attacked and fought had to hand combat with a band of Lipan and Kickapoo Indians. Ten hostiles were killed and four women captured together with 100 ponies. Their village and supplies were destroyed.
Troops B, E, and K, in the Santa Rosa Mountains of Mexico, destroyed
an Indian village and its' supplies. Sixty horses were captured
in the raid.
November-December 1876 Company at Ft. Clark, Texas: Colonel Grierson put Companies
A, B, D, E, F, K, L on patrol in the Pecos River area and in the Guadalupe Mountains, scattering small bands of Indians.
January4, 1877: Troops B, D, and F struck the camp of Indian cattle thieves in the Santa Rosa Mountains, Mexico. The hostiles retreated, leaving a great amount of equipment, which was destroyed.
January 10th, Santa Rosa Mountains:
Captain Keyes of the Tenth with
Troops B and D and Lieutenant Bullis and his Seminole-Negro Indian
Scouts, were on escort duty. After its completion, they marched
from Fort Clark into Mexico in pursuit of the Lipan and Kickapoo
Indians. They destroyed an abanoned Indian camp and returned to
Fort Clark January, 23rd. February 2nd, the Company left Ft. Clark and arrived at Ft.
Concho on February 11, 1877.
March, Saint Angela, Texas: A number of cowboys and hunters cut the chevrons and stripes from the uniform of a sergeant in the Tenth, Troop D, inside a saloon. Later, members of troop D went to the saloon. There occurred a point blank shoot out. One hunter and two others are killed. Private John L. Brown was killed and another soldier wounded. Nine soldiers of Troop D were indicted for murder. One was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted on appeal. None of the hunters and cowboys were arrested.
Henry Parker, my GGrandfather, was a sergeant in Troop D Tenth U.S. Cavalry. He was not the sergeant evolved in this incident.
Background Event: Henry Parker, my Great-grandfather, retires at Fort Concho, after ten years with the Tenth Company Troop D United States Cavalry, as a sergeant.(1867-1877) Upon his promotion to sergeant, Colonel Grierson wrote of his bravery and good conduct. His discharge papers listed his character as "Excellent". He was very lucky not to have been killed or seriously wounded. I could find no specific references to him while he was in the field, but I did find his medical records, regimental returns and a record of his troop movements and combat in the field. These show the days he was and was not present and fit for duty, when the Tenth U.S. Cavalry, Troop D was active.
Unfortunately, if you weren't an officer, the only way you were mentioned in the Regimental Returns was if you were killed or your act of courage was so incredible the commanding officer had to recognize your bravery . Individual photographs of the rank and file soldier were rarely taken. Soldiers either didn't have the money to pay for the service, didn't have time, no photographer was available or the photographer really had to husband his resources. I have no photos of my Great-grandfather, the Buffalo Soldier, but I did find one on the internet, of his son-in-law, Jacob Anderson, my Grandfather, who was a sergeant in the Civil War! What luck! They both settled in Bain City, Kansas as shown in the 1910 U. S. Census.
Background Event: June, 1877; Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper becomes the first Afro-American to graduate from West Point and the first Afro-American officer in the Tenth U.S. Cavalry.
June 10, 1877, Devil's River north
side of The Rio Grande: Mexican
Federal Troops attacked 50 Mexican Lerdistas revolutionaries.
The troops chased the Lerdistas across the border into the United
States. The Lerdistas were intercepted and arrested by Captain
Kelly of the Tenth, with E Company and Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts.
The Mexican troops had crossed the Rio Grande River back into
Mexico before the arrests were made. Their incursion across the
border into the U. S. was illegal.
In a last desperate attempt to survive, the men discarded their food and unnecessary equipment. Some men went mad, while others raved as maniacs. As more horses staggered and fell, men cut their throats and fought over the blood. Prayers and curses punctuated their maniacal acts. Some even suspected rain of falling, far away in the distance, but that was not to be dwelled upon. With death licking at their boots they moved forward throughout the night. As dawn brought forth a new day, they came upon an old wagon trail. These footprints of the past, lead directly to a cool shallow lake. With great joy and the firing of guns, the half-dead rejoiced.
Not to share in this moment was Privates, John Bond, John Gordon, Isaac Derwin and John Isaacs, who died shortly before water was found. After meeting up with Companies of the Ninth and Tenth Regiments the soldiers received the necessary medical attention and rest. Eventually, the soldiers continued their search for Apache raiders. Four of the other men who went for water were charged with desertion and sentenced to one year in prison.
August 5, 1877: Major Schofield and the Tenth captured forty-four revolutionaries, fifty-three horses, guns with ammunition.
September 28: The Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts and a large contingent of Buffalo Soldiers crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico. They discovered an Indian village. The Indians fled, thereupon the village was burned.
October 28-December, 1877: Lieutenant Bullis with his Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts crossed the Rio Grande into the Santa Rosa Mountains. They ran across a band of warriors. After a skrimish, Bullis had to retreat. Two weeks later, Bullis, with Captain Young and Lieutenant Beck, took marched off to look for the hostiles. The terrain they went through was so rough that they lost eleven of their mules and all of their medical supplies. The cold froze the water in their canteens. Eventually, they over-took the Indians and fought until the warriors broke and ran. A large quantity of robes, dried meat, hides, ropes and saddles were destroyed with the capture of twenty-three horses. They were half frozen and half dead when they entered Fort Clark on December 3rd of the following month.
January-April, 1878; District of the Pacos: The huge task of effectively patrolling this district was impossible for Colonel Grierson and his Buffalo Soldiers. With three of his companies further south, he had only one man for every 120 square miles. During the first four months of the year, Indians killed fourteen settlers. The best efforts by the troopers could not bring them to justice.
Background Event: Charles
Young was the third Afro-American to graduate from West Point
Military Academy. His first assignment was with the Ninth U.S.
Background Event: 1878; Hampton Institute, Virginia ( now Hampton University) originally founded to educate Afro-Americans, expands its educational curriculum to educate Native Americans. Booker T. Washington was the men's "Housefather". My father Don A.Davis, attended Hampton Institute 1929-1931.
Background Event: 1879; Captain Pratt founded the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as the first exclusively Indian boarding school. Pratt and my great-grandfather sergeant Henry Parker, served together in the Tenth Troop D. Great-grandfather Parker gave his Freedman's Bureau papers to Captain Pratt. I am interested in the disposition of these papers.
May, 1878-December,1879: Colonel Grierson changed his strategy in dealing with the Indians hit and run tactics. He decided to keep his men of the Tenth in the field from May, 1878 through all of 1879. Many camps and sub-posts were set up, so his men could quickly respond to Indians raids and catch the offenders. In 1878 alone, the companies of Captains Keyes, Carpenter, Norvell and Lieutenant Lobo and others patrolled and scouted over twenty-five thousand miles. They mapped streams, mountain passes, water holes and opened roads. Before the end of 1879, the Pecos district had been cleared of Indian raiders.
Send e-mail to:
Copyright 1999 by Stanford L. Davis
All Rights Reserved