By Paul H. Carlson
Several days later 3 black squaddies rode into fortress Concho at sleek San Angelo and said that the boys and officials of Troop A have been lacking and presumed useless from thirst. The “Staked Plains Horror,” because the Galveston day-by-day News known as it, quick captured nationwide recognition. even though lots of the infantrymen finally straggled again into camp, 4 had died, and others ultimately confronted court-martial for desertion. The buffalo hunters had ridden off on their lonesome to discover water, and the surviving infantrymen had lived by way of ingesting the blood in their useless horses and their very own urine. A regimen military scout had changed into catastrophe of the worst kind.
Although the failed excursion was once commonly pronounced on the time, its sparse remedies since then have relied solely at the white officials’ debts. Paul Carlson has mined the courts-martial documents for testimony of the enlisted males, stories of a white boy who rode with the Indians, and different buried assets to supply the 1st multifaceted narrative ever released. His gripping account presents not just a fuller model of what occurred over these grim eighty-six hours but in addition a nuanced view of the interplay of squaddies, hunters, settlers, and Indians at the Staked Plains at this poignant moment earlier than the ultimate settling of the Comanches on their reservation in Indian Territory.