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Salt 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. 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

16 September 1869; North-central Texas: After raiding in the Fort McKavett vicinity, a group of Kiowas and Comanches returned north to Indian territory. Following them were Capts. Henry Carroll and Edward M. Heyl with 95 men of Companies B, E, F, and M, 9th Cavalry. The soldiers left the fort on 2 September. After losing the trail and running out of supplies, they reprovisioned at Fort Concho, then picked up the trail at the edge of the Staked Plains, heading north.

At the headwaters of the Salt Fork of the Brazos River, Carroll found a camp of nearly 200 lodges. His hungry troopers only had time to gnaw off a chunk of tobacco before Carroll gave the order to charge. The thunder of the hooves was enough to send the Indians running. Carroll chased them for eight miles, until his mounts wore out.

About 20 Indians were killed or wounded, and all their camp equipment was destroyed. Three soldiers were wounded.

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