Sierra del Carmen

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

29-30 November 1877; Boquillas del Carmen, Coahuila, Mexico: Following Capt. Thomas C. Lebo's September raid on the Lipans and Kickapoos in Mexico, Capt. Samuel B.M. Young, 8th Cavalry, led the next expedition across the border. He had Companies A and K, 10th Cavalry; Company C of the 10th , under Lt. William Beck; and Lt. Bullis and his redoubtable scouts. The troops left Fort Clark on 10 November and marched through the rough country between Del Rio and the Big Bend of the Rio Grande.

The expedition lost 11 pack mules over the precipitous cliffs. In the Sierra del Carmen, south of today's Big Bend National Park, the weather was so cold that water froze in their canteens. Nevertheless, the troopers found Alsate's Apaches in a steep canyon near Mount Carmen. Circling soldiers flushed some of the Indians out of their fortified position, and a brief battle ensued. Alsate abandoned his rancheria and climbed into the cliffs above.

Young destroyed the camp and trekked back to Fort Clark with 30 captured horses. One officer, LT. Frederick E. Phelps, was wounded. Two Indians were killed and three were wounded.

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