Nineteenth-century History

The Battle of the Washita

Marker at Battle of the Washita

Marker at Battle of the Washita

Last Friday I gave a talk about the Battle of the Washita to a group of undergraduate students and because of that I thought I would create a post here about this particularly interesting battle.

The Battle of the Washita was a battle that took place in the morning of November 27, 1868. The Seventh Division of the US Calvary under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer surrounded a Cheyenne village in the night and at the first sign of day light, attacked the village. Men, women and children were killed in the chaos, however, most of the women and children were taken prisoner to later be used as a bargaining chip to try to convince the Cheyenne to settle their reservations.

Despite losing some of their own officers and other prominent men in the Seventh Division, Custer and his command were successful. In the immediate aftermath of the battle, they had control of the village, they had taken most of the village’s women and children prisoner and they had control of the village livestock — most of which were killed to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy again.

The Battle of the Washita

The Battle of the Washita

The Battle of the Washita was the first battle of a winter campaign designed by General Sheridan to bring the Cheyenne, Kiowa and Arapaho tribes into their reservations with the intention of stopping the raids performed by these tribes on settlers and frontier towns. Winter was chosen as the time of year because the tribes were at their weakest due to poor grazing for their war ponies who spent most of the winter barely surviving. They also did not expect a military campaign to be directed against them in the heart of winter.

By the end of the winter campaign in the spring of 1869, Custer and his command had successfully convinced the majority of the Kiowa, Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes to settle their reservations in the interest of peace.

One Comment
  1. Truman Maynard
    August 18, 2010 6:40 pm 

    Small corrections: It’s not calvary, it’s cavalry. These Two words are not related, not spelled the same, and not pronounced the same. Calvary is a place– a place where a crucifixion took place. Mounted soldiers with the mission of reconnaissance and security are Cavalry.
    Second, it was the 7the Regiment of Cavalry, not the 7th Division. A Division is about 4 times larger than a Regiment.

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Explore History Rhymes
Random Featured Articles
Death and the Navajos

Death and the Navajos

The Navajos struck fear into every person living in the American southwest since the first Spanish settlements until the American conquest of the southwest in the mid-nineteenth century. Their raids on the small villages and towns of present day New Mexico and Arizona were constant and were always d...
The Role of Prince Albert in the Monarchy

The Role of Prince Albert in the Monarchy

In the first two decades of Queen Victoria’s reign, there was no one who played a more influential role in British affairs as Prince Albert, the Prince Consort. Upon the ascension of Queen Victoria to the throne, the state of the Monarchy was already in question.1 After his subsequent marriage to ...
Kings of Bavaria: Conclusion – After the Fall of the Monarchy

Kings of Bavaria: Conclusion – After the Fall of the Monarchy

The rule of the Bavarian kings ended with the German Revolution of 1918-1919 in the immediate aftermath of World War I. The royal family became enemies of the Nazis and had to flee Germany, but never gave up the dream of restoring the monarchy.
New Series: Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain

New Series: Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain

Quite some time ago, I did a research project about houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain. This resulted in a long essay about middle-class houses during this time period which specifically focused on general tendencies in architecture, architectural features, façades, floor plans, as well as interior d...