Freshwater Fork of the Brazos River

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. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

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

28-29 October 1869; Crosbyton, Texas: In October, disappointed with the lack of success in quelling Indian raids, Col. Edward Hatch, 9th Cavalry, called for an all-out campaign to drive the Kiowas and Comanches out of the region. Companies B, C, G, and L, 9th Cavalry; detachments of Companies D and M, 4th Cavalry; a detachment of the 24th Infantry; and 20 Tonkawa scouts. On 5 October, Bacon took his 200 men and headed west.

The soldiers scouted the headwaters of the Colorado and Brazos Rivers for three weeks with no results. At sunrise on 28 October, camped on the Freshwater Fork of the Brazos (the White River), Bacon was about to send out another round of scouting parties when 500 Comanche and Kiowa warriors attacked. The Indians found they had stirred up a hornet's nest. In a bitter, sometimes hand-to-hand fight, they were thrashed and forced to flee.

The next morning Bacon pursued the Indians. He found their camp in the midafternoon and charged, scattering the demoralized Indians in all directions.

The two days of fighting cost Bacon 8 men wounded; the Indians suffered 40 men killed and 7 women captured. Bacon and Dawson received brevets for the meritorious service.

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