One of the most significant battles of 1874-75 Indian campaign; columns of troops converging from five directions harassed Indians on the Panhandle Plains for over six months. The 4th Cavalry under Colonel Ronald S. Mackenzie, moving north from Fort Concho, tracked a large band of Indians to their secret canyon camp. Moving silently at dawn down a perilous path on the south rim, the first troops reached the floor of the canyon before the aroused camp fled. Some of the warriors took up positions on the canyon walls from which they fired on the troops, seeking to give their families time to escape. Realizing his tactical disadvantage, Mackenzie ordered the Indian camp and supplies burned and withdrew, taking along 1,400 captured horses (1,000 of which he later destroyed). The cavalry suffered no causalities in the fight and only four Indian dead were counted. Having lost half their horses as well as all their supplies and shelter, the Indians drifted back to their reservations at Fort Sill and Fort Reno. (1967)
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