Washita 1868 : anti-terror campaign against Black Kettle's Cheyennes
VICTORY ON THE WASHITA RIVER
"A dispatch from a special correspondent of the Leavenworth Conservative, dated "in the field, Indian Territory, November 28, 1868," gives an account of a considerable battle between the Cheyenne Indians under Black Kettle, and the Seventh Cavalry under command of General Custer, on the north fork of the Washita River, on the day before Black Kettle's village was captured. One hundred and fifty Indians were killed, and the bodies left in our possession, and fifty-three taken prisoners."
Emporia News, December 11, 1868, Emporia News, December 11, 1868
Indian prisoners told Interpreter Richard Curtis that 11 wachiefs and headmen had been killed, Black Kettle and Little Rock not counted. It means that 13 headmen and warchiefs were killed (the names available here)
Civilian casualties are estimated around 20 (15 to George Bent, 17 to George Bird Grinnell).
Custer estimated that 102 warriors had been killed. Later, while coming back on the battlefield, he estimated the casualties as "much higher".
7th cavalry officers thought that the casualties could be of 150 warriors killed.
Lieutenant Cooke and Custer both marked places where 17 and 38 warriors had been killed.
First report to Fort Cobb showed that at least 80 warriors had been killed.
A report coming from Fort Cobb, written with statements by fleeing Indians, said that "all the men had been killed."
Accounts of the battle tell us that a great killing of warriors occured. Red Bird, a Cheyenne squaw, saw warriors laying with their guns in their hands".
Scout Ben Clark remembered that the Indian forces in the village numbered around 150 warriors.
It's obvious that more than 100, almost all the warriors, were killed. Probably 120 to 130 warriors were killed.
There is nothing serious in counting 20 or 40 warriors killed. 150 warriors attacked at dawn cannot have escaped. The accounts of the battle showed that they fought or were shot down. Let's be serious. Cheyenne casualties, which were rewritten to make Black Kettle look like an old peaceful fellow, were high.
A terror base had been successfully destroyed. But "political correctness", "humanists" and pro-Indian lobbies in the East couldn't wait long before rewriting history and crying. None of them was crying for Clara Blinn or for the white captives that Custer freed or found dead.