Buffalo Soldier Regiment: History of the Twenty-Fifth United States Infantry, 1869-1926

By John H. Nankivell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
MOVEMENT OF COMPANIES C AND I TO FORTS GIBSON AND SILL—
THE FIGHT AT THE WICHITA AGENCY—COLONEL DAVIDSON’S
REPORT—EVENTS DURING 1876 TO 1879.

Late in July, 1872, Companies C and I, commenced marching from their respective stations at Forts Davis and Stockton, Texas, enroute to Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, where they arrived on September 4, 1872. C Company remained at Fort Gibson until January, 1873, when it changed station to Fort Sill, I. T. I Company followed C Company to Fort Sill in April of the same year. Here both companies were engaged in the usual garrison duties, road and bridge building, and escort and guard duty. Company I left Fort Sill on July 8, 1874, on its march to the Wichita Indian Agency on the Washita River, about thirty-five miles northeast of the fort, arriving there the next day. On August 22nd and 23rd the company participated in the engagement against hostile Comanches and Kiowas at the agency, having one man, Private Robinson, wounded during the fighting on the 23rd. Four troops, or companies as they were then called, of the 10th Cavalry (colored) also took a very active part in this engagement, and it is of interest to note that from the date of the fight the two regiments, 10th Cavalry and 25th Infantry, were destined to serve together many times in the field and in garrison in Texas, Montana, Cuba and Arizona. Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Davidson, 10th Cavalry, was in command during the engagement with the Indians, and his report is given herewith:


HEADQUARTERS COLUMN IN THE FIELD

Wichita Agency, I. T.
August 27, 1874.

Assistant Adjutant General, Department of Texas.

Sir:

I have the honor to report as follows: On the 21st inst., about 6 p. m. I received a dispatch from Captain G. Lawson 25th Infantry, Commanding at this Agency, that a band of Comanche (Noconees, sixty (60) lodges), who had been engaged in the recent outrages had moved on to this Agency and squatted down under the shield of the friendly Indians. The agent wrote me to the same effect, which I received subsequently.

Acting under your telegraphic instructions that the Agencies were not to be places of refuge for hostile Indians, I got in the saddle at 10 p. m. of the same day, and with four (4) Companies 10th Cavalry inarched for this Agency reaching here about 12 m. the next day. I was met on my arrival by many of the resident Indians, Caddo’s, Wichita’s, Keechi’s, and some Pena-ta-Kas (Comanches). A description of the topographical features of the ground about the agency is necessary here to a clear comprehension of what I am about to relate.

The Agency buildings are situated at the foot of a range of wooded bluffs forming the chord of which the bend of the Washita river to the south forms the arc. It is a mile from the Agency to any water.

So soon as I arrived, I sent for the Chief of the Noconees, Red Food, and informed him that the enrollment of friendly Indians had been completed at the Sill Agency, on the 3rd of August, that word had been sent to all out on that day, that if they desired to come in, they must surrender themselves as prisoners of war, give up their arms, and await the decision of the authorities in each case.

After some conversation, and urged by Toshaway, and Asa-Tuch of the friendly Pena-ta-Kas, he promised to do this with all his band. I sent my Regimental Adjutant,

-24-

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