Red River Wars

The Red River Wars were fought between July 1874 and January 1875. Officially, the Battle at Adobe Walls is not considered part of the Red River Wars.

Bob Izzard has written several books about the Red River Wars and all his books can be obtained at most area museums or bookstores. They are the following:

Adobe Walls Wars, by Bob Izzard, Tangleaire Press, 1993 - Includes stories on the Adobe Walls, Palo Duro 1, Baldwin's Run and Lyman's Wagons engagements. Includes maps and photographs.

Heroes Here Have Been, by Bob Izzard, Tangleaire Press, 1993 - Includes stories on the Buffalo Wallow, Palo Duro II, and the some more on the Adobe Walls engagements. Maps and photographs.

Texas Trails of the Red River War, by Bob Izzard, Pamphlet - A guide that shows you how to drive to all the historical battlefields that were a part of the Red River Wars. Lots of maps and photographs. Shows locations and photographs of all the Historical Markers that were placed in the Panhandle commemorating the battle grounds.

Kidmapped in The Red River War, by Bob Izzard, Tangleaire Press, 1994 - This is the only battle that occured in Gray County. A Historial Marker is at the entrance to McClellan Lake commemorating the battle. Maps and photographs.

The following is a short summary of the rescue of Sophia and Catherine German at McClellan Creek. The summary was provided by the White Deer Land Museum.

Brief Summary of the Battle of McClellan Creek

John German and his family left Fannin County, Georgia in 1870 enroute to Colorado where a friend of John's had settled and wrote to John of the land of opportunity. John's health had bean bad since the Civil War. where he had served as a Confederate Volunteer. The family had worked their way to Kansas by August of 1874. After four years on the trail and only a few days from their destination the German family was attacked by a band of 19 Indians including 2 squaws.

The father, mother, son, and oldest sister Jane were killed on the site and later on the trail south, Joanna was also killed. After some time the Indians apparently decided the youngest girls, Julia and Addie were too much trouble and instead of killing them they were left to fend for themselves.

The older sisters, Catherine and Sophia, were kept in captivity by the Indians of Stone Calf's band and were returned to the Indian Agency at Fort Sill in Oklahoma later in the winter after the Indians had been starved and driven so hard that they had no recourse other than to return to reservation life.

Killed in Kansas

John German - Father
Liddie German - Mother
Stephen - 14 yr. old son



Lieutenant Frank D. Baldwin's command consisted of one Company D 5th Infantry (40 men), D 6th Cavalry (36 men), one mountain howitzer drawn by 2 mules, 12 of Baldwin's trusty scouts, and 23 six mule teams. Lt. Bailey commanded the Infantry company and Lt. Overton led the Cavalry unit. The Wagonmaster for the trip was named Curley. This gave Lt. Baldwin a total of 88 fighting men and 26 civilian "noncombatants."

After leaving his camp along McClellan Creek on Nov. 8, 1874 one of Lt. Baldwin's scouts, William F. Schmalsle came in with the news of Indians in the outfits line of march. Lt Baldwin immediately rode ahead to a point from, which he could view the situation. Using his telescope he was able to determine that there were from one to two hundred Indians and their families. This was the camp of Grey Beard. After alerting his command, Baldwin ordered the men forward at a rapid pace. After arriving to within a mile of the camp Baldwin sent 10 cavalrymen ahead as skirmishers. After arriving to within 500 yds. of the Indians, the men were formed into a line, the Infantry on the right, the Cavalry on the left, and the wagon train in four columns in the middle. The howitzer was put in the center in front of the train.

The Indians attempted to occupy and hold the ravines to Baldwin's right. Baldwin felt it was necessary to clear the ravines as to not do so would allow the Indians a chance to attack his exposed flanks and rear. The howitzer was put into action and after "dropping a couple of shells in the right place the Indians retreated to the plains only to try to charge the command head-on. Again the howitzer was fired at the Indians along with much small arms fire. The repeated yet inaccurate fire from the soldiers and the howitzer proved to be more than the Indians had expected and they once again retreated to the plain after losing two warriors. This maneuver by the Indians was an effective attempt at allowing the woman and children of the camp a chance to escape.

In the rush to escape Baldwin's attack the Indians abandoned most all of their supplies as well as teepees. As the Infantry marched into and through the camp the Indians twice tried to charge up to there camp. After searching the camp the Infantry found the two youngest German sisters, Julia and Addie, half-starved and naked but very much alive. It was later learned that only the day before the battle the little girls had been brought back into captivity after spending several weeks wandering on their own in the area.

The Lt. sent Overton's Cavalry troop in pursuit of the Indians across the plains but only once did Overton's men get close enough to fire on them. One Indian was shot from his saddle as the Cavalrymen fired upon them with their pistols. The pursuit was abandoned after about twelve miles owing to the weakened condition of the cavalry mounts.

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Last Update - 6/25/97
Web Author - David White