Post by bradandlaurie on Aug 20, 2007 14:04:42 GMT -5
Cheyennes at Dark Water Creek
The Last Fight of the Red River War
Author William Y. Chalfant
On April 23rd 1875 near the Sappa Creek in Kansas a small and ugly action took place between a small group of Cheyenne indians and Company H of the United States Sixth Cavalry. The entire battle was likely over in about an hour but the controversy around the event continues to this day. Author William Y. Chalfant does an admirable job of not only telling a detailed account of the fight but also exploring the events leading up to the action and the distortions and misunderstandings that took place following the action.
Chalfant has an even handed approach to the history of the Plains Indian Wars. He does not seek to demonize either side of the conflict. He is sympathetic to the plight of the Cheyenne indians at the time but does not ignore the fact that atrocities occured on both sides during these bloody episodes. What he does try to do is estabish what very likely actually happened when Lieutenant Austin Henely's troops engaged the indians at Sappa Creek. It was amazing to read how the facts often became distorted in the years following the battle by individuals who had little connection to the fight.
I would personally recommend the book. There have been other books written about this incident but, from my perception, I doubt that any author could take a more balanced approach to the event.
'Cheyennes at Dark Water Creek: The Last Fight of the Red River War', William Y. Chalfant, 1997, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 0-8061-2875-5
Post by "Hunk" Papa on Aug 20, 2007 16:10:43 GMT -5
I'm glad to see an entire book devoted to this incident. Apart from 'Cheyenne Autumn' it was allotted 3 pages on 'The Buffalo War' by James L. Haley and with such offhand lines as "every one of the Cheyennes was eventually picked off - nineteen braves and eight woman and children" left the reader wanting a much fuller description to be able to form any obective opinion.
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as others see us, It wad frae mony a blunder free us, And foolish notion