Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls: A Tale of Two Journeys

Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls: A Tale of Two Journeys

4.0 1
by Alvin R. Lynn
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Following Kit Carson from Bascom to the Walls, one hundred years later

On a late November morning in 1864, Col. Kit Carson and his U.S. troops, under orders from the commander of the New Mexico Military Department, attacked Kiowa Chief Dohásan’s winter village in the Texas Panhandle. Warriors retaliated with stiff resistance as their women and

Overview

Following Kit Carson from Bascom to the Walls, one hundred years later

On a late November morning in 1864, Col. Kit Carson and his U.S. troops, under orders from the commander of the New Mexico Military Department, attacked Kiowa Chief Dohásan’s winter village in the Texas Panhandle. Warriors retaliated with stiff resistance as their women and children escaped. Fighting proceeded down the Canadian River to the abandoned trading post of Adobe Walls as hundreds more Kiowas and Comanches joined the battle. Nearing sunset, Carson’s troops burned Dohásan’s village, and although remarkably few lives were lost in the battle itself, the enduring consequences were hardly insignificant.
            Well-known as an explorer, guide, and frontiersman, Carson’s involvement at the First Battle of Adobe Walls has been overlooked. Beginning his research in the 1990s, Alvin Lynn set out to fill that void when he located and walked the 200-mile-long wagon road from Fort Bascom to Adobe Walls and collected 1,800 metal artifacts from 15 historic camps, including the burned Kiowa village. Among the recovered artifacts were fired friction primers verifying the placement of howitzers at the battle site.
            With nearly eighty battle site and artifact photographs taken by renowned photographer Wyman Meinzer, Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls documents Carson’s military expedition from Fort Bascom to Adobe Walls and Lynn’s own journey more than a century later to discover what really happened.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
I've simply been in the right place at the right time (and lived long enough) to have had success as an archaeologist. I'd gladly have traded most of my acknowledgments in order to enjoy the range of talents shown here by Alvin Lynn. In my personal experience I've never read such a combination of detailed history and geography. He managed to put me there as a witness, and I'm grateful. —Jay Blaine, consultant, La Salle archaeological projects

Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls is Alvin R. Lynn’s account of the fifteen years he spent meticulously tracking Carson’s 200-mile expedition, uncovering more than 1,800 artifacts and correcting many historical errors. Lynn’s archaeological achievement is breathtaking: among his many discoveries was the Kiowa village Carson attacked, whose relics had rested undisturbed for 150 years.
S.C. Gwynne, True West magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780896728615
Publisher:
Texas Tech University Press
Publication date:
08/15/2014
Series:
Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
617,266
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Alvin Lynn grew up on a farm along the Pease River in rural Motley County, Texas. He is a retired social studies and science teacher and coach. With a lifelong passion for archaeology and history, he now serves as a steward for the Texas Historical Commission. He and his wife Nadyne live in Amarillo, Texas.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls: A Tale of Two Journeys 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Near the end of his life, Kit Carson of Taos, New Mexico led some three hundred troopers and about one hundred Ute and Apache Indians in a significant campaign against Comanche and Kiowa Indians in their winter refuge in the Canadian River valley. In November of 1864, Carson’s eastward route near the Canadian River began at Fort Bascom north of Tucumcari, New Mexico, and ended at a trading post northeast of Borger known as Bent’s Fort or the first Adobe Walls. The small fort was built by William Bent around 1845 for trading with the Indians but abandoned a few years later because of native resistance. Another Adobe Walls structure was later built nearby by buffalo hunters and was the site of a second battle a decade later involving Billy Dixon. Alvin Lynn of Amarillo is a retired social studies and science teacher who has spent years walking and driving over the route in search of artifacts. Using other available information, he wrote this factual book about the Carson expedition. It was published with the financial assistance of Harold and Joyce Courson of Perryton and the Texas Historical Commission. Over half of the 252 page book contains drawings, photographs, and a list of the artifacts. The rest tells an informative story. It took about fifteen days for the expedition to travel into the central Panhandle; two snow storms slowed their progress. The difficulties of travel and the camp locations are well described. Scouts located a Kiowa village southwest of Bent’s Fort. The expedition traveled through the night without much food and attacked the village at dawn. Most warriors were on raiding trip so that the village could not offer much resistance to Carson and his men. However, a chief fled eastward to warn Comanche and Kiowa villages. The troopers proceeded to the Fort where they encountered a significant fight. Unknown the Carson and his scouts, there were many more Comanche and Kiowa Indians east of the Fort. Over a thousand Indians eventually arrived from the east. Two howitzers (small cannons) were crucial in holding back the Indians. It had been difficult for the expedition to bring the two cannons but well worth the effort. The four hundred men would not have survived the battle without the howitzers.   Around mid-afternoon at the Fort, Carson wisely retreated in view of the overwhelming numbers. On the way back, they burned the Kiowa village and all available property there. The cannons enabled the exhausted troopers to discourage further Indian attacks. The troopers had been up for two nights, and they thus rested two nights before continuing toward Fort Bascom. The expedition spanned twenty-nine days. Carson lost only two soldiers and one Indian scout. Eleven men and a large number of horses were injured. All horses were worn out and not useful for much that winter. Perhaps a hundred Indians were killed and another hundred injured. The expedition served notice on the Indians that they were vulnerable even in the middle of the Texas Panhandle during the winter. The burning of the village and supplies created a severe hardship for the Kiowas who lived there. The Kiowa and Comanche aura of safety vanished. Carson died about four years later in 1868 at the age of 58 of an aortic aneurysm. His passing was not quite a month after the death of his wife from childbirth complications. She was more than 25 years younger than him.