Adobe Walls, First Battle

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The First Battle of Adobe Walls on November 26, 1864 was a major battle between U.S. troops and Native Americans. The battle, which took place in the vicinity of Adobe Walls, was initiated by Brigadier General James H. Carleton to stop Comanche and Kiowa attacks on the Santa Fe wagon trains carrying settlers to New Mexico and Arizona. Those train wagons were perceived by the Indians perceived as trespassers.

Early in November Colonel Christopher Carson of the First Cavalry New Mexico Volunteers was sent by Carleton with several hundred enlisted men, to attack Comanches and Kiowas camps in the Panhandle area of Texas. On November 25 Carson arrived at Mule Springs and early the next morning he and attacked a Kiowa village of 150 lodges. Carson routed most of the inhabitant and gathered in to the nearby Adobe Walls.

Later that day, after sustaining several attacks, Carson decided to retreat, and on his route burned the Kiowa village he raided earlier that day. Carson suffered only minor casualties (6 were killed in battle or from wounds inflicted during the battle), whereas the Indians suffered a loss of between 60 (according to Carson's initial report) and 100-150 as reported later. When added the burning of the village, the battle was declared by General Carleton as a glorious victory.