Battle of the Washita is one of the most tragic — and
disturbing — events in American history. On November 27,
1868, the U.S. Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer attacked
a peaceful Southern Cheyenne village along the Washita River in
present-day western Oklahoma. This U.S. victory signaled the end of the
Cheyennes’ traditional way of life and resulted in the death
of Black Kettle, their most prominent peace chief.
In this documentary history, Richard G. Hardorff presents a broad range
of views of the Washita battle. Eyewitnesses to the destruction of the
Southern Cheyenne village included soldiers, officers, tribal members,
Indian and white scouts, and government officials. Many of these
witnesses recorded their memories of the event. The records they left
vary from oral accounts handed down through Cheyenne families to
personal letters, diary entries, newspaper columns, and even official
government files. With Washita
Memories, Hardorff has collected these surviving documents
into a one-of-a-kind primary resource.
Each document is reproduced in full with an introduction and extensive
annotation, and a general introduction places the campaign and its
aftermath in historical context. Hardorff also provides fourteen
detailed maps of the battle site and campaign routes.
Views of Custer's Attack on Black Kettle's Village
of Oklahoma Press, 2006.