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Charco Largo

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

Ca. March 15, 1853; Escobas, Texas: In early 1853 Lt. Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, cousin of the Emperor of France, was leading Company F, Mounted Rifles, in a series of scouts south of the Nueces River. In mid-March, the company was camped at Redmond's Ranch, near present-day Zapata, Texas, when a party of Comanches crept into camp and stole three picketed horses from under the noses of two guards. A detachment of eight men took up the raiders' trail, which headed northeast.

After an eighteen-mile pursuit, the Riflemen entered a pretty rolling valley containing a water hole known as Charco Largo, about forty-four miles southeast of Fort McIntosh. The valley contained good grass and several small ponds of pure water amid small, chaparral-covered mounds. The Comanches had just finished resting and were mounting up when the soldiers galloped in. After a short, sharp fight, the Indians scattered. One Rifleman was severely wounded, and three Indians were killed. The soldiers recaptured the three stolen horses and rode away with about eight Indian ponies in the bargain."

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