Modern history

NOTES

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Prologue: Hoofbeats

They had heard from their priest… See Dwight Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny: Soldier of the West, p. 144.

Las Vegas was punctured by the sound of hoofbeats… Reports of the Las Vegas raid appear in several Army of the West diaries, including W. H. Emory’s Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 49.

The raiders came boiling out of the mountains… For descriptions of Navajo raid culture, weaponry, and martial dress, see Underhill, The Navajos, pp. 76–78; and Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, pp. 34–41.

Many of them wore strange, tight-fitting helmets… Edward Sapir, Navajo Texts, p. 413.

they drove their herds on networks of tiny trails… See Lynn Bailey, The Long Walk, p. 3.

BOOK ONE: THE NEW MEN

Chapter 1 Jumping Off

He was a man of odd habits and superstitions. See Vestal, Kit Carson: The Happy Warrior of the Old West, p. 119.

“His saddle, which he always used as a pillow…” Brewerton, Overland with Kit Carson, pp. 64–65.

“a beauty of the haughty, heart-breaking kind…” Garrard, Wah-to-yah and the Taos Trail, p. 181.

“So this is the distinguished Kit Carson…” Tom Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 21.

“sharp little barks of laughter…” Ibid., p. 341.

“the prettiest fight I ever saw…” Carson, Kit Carson’s Autobiography, p. 52.

chasing down his enemies as “sport.” Ibid., p. 101.

“a perfect butchery.” Ibid., p. 95.

“When we would go to school…” Kansas City Star, September 13, 1952.

“I jumped to my rifle…” Guild and Carter, Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes, p. 10.

“anxious to see different countries.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 5.

“The business did not suit me.” Ibid., p. 4.

“Well, what do you have to say for yourself?” Kansas City Star, September 13, 1952.

“Notice is hereby given…” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, vol. 1, p. 12.

Andrew Broadus was “perfectly well.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 5.

the still-hot liver…seasoned with bile… See Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 98.

“Meat’s meat.” Vestal, Kit Carson: The Happy Warrior of the Old West, p. 49.

“shed rain like an otter…” Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 81.

“The whole operation is full of exposures…” Ibid., p. 46.

they competed in telling legendary whoppers… See Vestal, Kit Carson: The Happy Warrior of the Old West, p. 61.

“It is a matter of vanity and ambition…” Washington Irving, Adventures of Captain Bonneville, p. 69.

Run, and they follow; follow, and they run. Vestal, Kit Carson: The Happy Warrior, of the Old West, p. 70.

“the hills were covered in Indians.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 10.

“straight through the nipple…” Vestal, Kit Carson: The Happy Warrior of the Old West, p. 47.

Chapter 2 The Glittering World

“people of the great planted fields.” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 164; Underhill, The Navajos, p. 4.

“a very bellicose people who…occupy all frontiers…” Frank McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 6.

“heathens who kill Christians…” Ibid., p. 15.

“their crimes, their audacity,…” Iverson, Diné: A History of the Navajos, p. 28.

literally chaining them to church pews…indios barbaros. Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 182.

“they have been raised like deer.” McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 28.

“one never reaches the end of it.” Ibid., p. 6.

“The war with the Navajos is slowly consuming the Department…” Ibid., p. 90.

The Navajos did not have a concept of the devil… See Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. xi.

The Navajos believed in a class of witches called “skinwalkers…” See Preston, Talking to the Ground, pp. 165–69.

a preparation…collected from the eyes of an eagle… Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 313.

If a coyote crossed their path,… For an excellent compendium of Navajo do’s and don’ts, see Ernie Bulow, Navajo Taboos.

the slow and watchful life known…as transhumance. Underhill, The Navajos, p. 60.

On the Santa Fe Trail, one Navajo blanket… Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 156.

the Navajos found that the tough and surefooted churro sheep… Underhill, The Navajos, p. 38.

They were the great in-betweeners, hard to pin down,… See Ibid., p. 23.

Their creation story, called the Emergence… For a full English translation from the Navajo, see Paul Zolbrod, Diné Bahané: The Navajo Creation Story.

is thought…to be an allegory for their long migration from Canada. See Preston, Talking to the Ground, p. 70.

the Navajos call this intentional flaw the “spirit outlet.” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 34; and Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 201.

Navajo warriors were careful not to take all the sheep… Underhill, The Navajos, p. 79.

Chapter 3 The Army of the West

“The raw material is good enough,…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny: Soldier of the West, p. 110.

“We would rather hear of your falling…” Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition: Containing an Account of the Conquest of New Mexico, p. 28.

“Death before dishonor…” Ibid., p. 29.

The corpse was wrapped in a blanket,… For a full description of an Army of the West prairie funeral, see Jacob Robinson, Sketches of the Great West: A Journal of the Santa Fe Expedition, p. 15.

“boundless plains, lying in ridges…” Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 30.

when the ink in his fountain pen froze solid. Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 81.

the “soaring eagle of your fame.” Ibid., p. 66.

“You have many enemies about you, but this is the greatest…” Hunt, Major General James H. Carleton, 1814–1873, p. 93.

“imposing a Pax Americana on the entire…” Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 166.

a distinct “absence of swashbuckling.” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 38.

“the strictest disciplinarian in the service…” Ibid., p. 73.

“came like claps of thunder in a clear sky.” Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 102.

“one of the ablest officers of the day.” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 391.

“An army…is a mob of the worst kind…” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier under Kearny and Doniphan, p. 243.

“If you do not study…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 103.

be “very careful to avoid alarming…” Ibid., p. 75.

“gained the peak of the hill…” Ibid., p. 13.

“To the Prince of Wales, drunk or sober!” Ibid., p. 17.

Chapter 4 Singing Grass

known as “the Bully of the Mountains…” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, vol. 1, p. 258.

“a large Frenchman, one of those overbearing kind…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 42.

“It was all over a squaw…” Marc Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 14.

“I did not like such talk from any man…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 43.

“a peculiar smile, as though he was about to perpetrate some excellent joke.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 71.

“All present said but one report was heard.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 43.

the camp “had no more bother with this bully Frenchman.” Ibid., p. 44.

“the only serious personal quarrel of Kit Carson’s life.” Washington Daily Union, June 15, 1847.

“He was pleased with himself for doing it.” Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 14.

a chastity belt, of sorts… See Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 188; and Vestal, Kit Carson, p. 128.

“a good girl, a good housewife, and good to look at.” Vestal, Kit Carson, p. 127.

“broad vowels, soft liquids, and smooth diphthongs.” Ibid.

“the happiest days of my life.” Henry Tilton, The Last Days of Kit Carson, p. 5.

“flitting ghostlike from creek to creek,…” Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 60.

“in the mountains, far from the habitations of civilized man,…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 65.

“She was a good wife to me…” Quoted in John C. Frémont’s Memoirs of My Life, p. 74.

“Teepees stood smokeless…drunk with ptomaines.” Vestal, Kit Carson, p. 132.

“Beaver was getting scarce…” Carter, Dear Old Kit, p. 77.

The Arapaho relatives mourned in the self-flagellatory tradition… For further descriptions of Plains Indian mourning, see Lavender, Bent’s Fort, pp. 200–201.

“Kit had to explain that he was crying in his heart,…” Vestal, Kit Carson, p. 179.

“Times was hard, no beaver, and everything dull.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 76.

The marriage lasted only a few months before she evicted him,… Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 220; Vestal, Kit Carson, p. 184.

Carson had a brief affair with a Hispanic woman with a loose reputation… Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 40.

“Carson brought this little girl with him to be educated…” Ibid., p. 47.

“a wild uncouth boy who married…an Indian squaw…” Ibid., p. 44.

Chapter 5 Blue Bead Mountain

“Narbona was born in 1766 to the Red-Streaked Earth People…” I’m indebted here to Virginia Hoffman for her excellent sketch of the life of Narbona contained in her two-volume work, Navajo Biographies, vol. 1, pp. 17–35.

cradleboard that, in lieu of diapers, was lined with shavings of cedar bark. See Sapir, Navajo Texts, pp. 279–81; and Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 24.

his cradleboard may have been festooned with the customary squirrel’s tail… Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 203.

Narbona received his first pony when he was six… Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 18.

Before dawn, he would rise and run for miles… Ibid. See also Walter Dyk, Son of Old Man Hat, for similar descriptions of early morning runs and plunges in freezing water as traditional training for a warrior.

There were…traditional games of chance and amusement… Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 29; and Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 96.

“getting bucked off a horse is one of the most embarrassing things…” Preston, Talking to the Ground p. 74.

the bow stood exactly his own height.” Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 20.

Navajo country has moved modern geologists…to adopt a vocabulary of doom… See Halka Chronic, Roadside Geology of New Mexico; Robert Julyan, The Place Names of New Mexico; and Donald Baars, Navajo Country: A Geology and Natural History of the Four Corners Region.

Yeitso…the creature’s blood congealing into lava flows. See Preston, Talking to the Ground, p. 37; and Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 182.

The…San Juan River…was decidedly male. Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 311.

the Utes were probably the Navajo’s greatest enemy. Underhill, The Navajos, p. 83.

When he was sixteen he went on his first raid… Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 20.

during the late 1770s…villagers finally had to import new horses from Chihuahua… Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 161.

in his early twenties, Narbona’s parents arranged for him to marry…. Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 20.

advised the young couple, with a bodily frankness that would certainly embarrass… See Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 23.

“emotional inbreeding.” See Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 237.

Observing an old and curious Navajo taboo… The Navajo taboo forbidding men from gazing upon their mothers-in-law is vividly explained in Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 22; and Underhill, The Navajos, p. 9.

During one raid Narbona captured a young Zuni woman… Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 20.

He…impressed people as someone who…“talks easy.” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 32.

The Cebolletans passed down one story about an elderly grandmother. Marc Simmons, The Little Lion of the Southwest, p. 31.

“were aghast…for he recovered and lived to fight again.” Ibid.

Chapter 6 Who Is James K. Polk?

The war with Mexico was a complex affair… For a concise overview of the causes of the Mexican War, see John Eisenhower, So Far from God. An excellent Mexican War resource on which I consistently relied is The United States and Mexico at War (Donald S. Frazier, ed.). For a particularly vivid oral history of the conflict, I also reccommend Smith and Judah (eds.), Chronicles of the Gringos.

and there underwent what was then a state-of-the-art surgery. For an excruciating description of Polk’s operation, see John Seigenthaler, James K. Polk, p. 21.

…became a man on Dr. McDowell’s operating table…” Ibid.

“has no wit, no literature, no gracefulness of delivery…” Sam W. Haynes, James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse, p. 19.

“felt that he was a citizen of the model republic.” Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 131.

a fashionable campus craze called the Young America Movement. See Frazier, The United States and Mexico at War, p. 487.

Melville declared that “America can hardly be said to have any western bound…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision: 1846, p. 26.

Walt Whitman thought that Mexico must be taught a “vigorous lesson.” Ibid., p. 38.

“the iniquity of aggression…” Seigenthaler, James K. Polk, pp. 131–32.

“The United States will conquer Mexico,…but it will be as the man swallows…” Ibid., p. 214.

Benton “knows more political facts than any other man…” Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas H. Benton, p. 319.

“unfortunately deficient in the sense of humor.” These descriptions are all taken from Roosevelt’s biography of Benton, pp. 47, 83, 221, 223, 235, 286.

He regarded the Peculiar Institution as an “incurable evil…” Ibid., p. 297.

“I am Southern in my affections…” Tom Chaffin, Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the Course of American Empire, p. 86.

Chapter 7 What a Wild Life!

“Concluded to charge them, done so.” Vestal, Kit Carson, p. 104.

expelled from university…for “incorrigible negligence.” David Roberts, A Newer World, p. 114.

“He was broad-shouldered and deep-chested…” Frémont, Memoirs of My Life, p. 74.

“I’ve been some time in the mountains…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 66.

the kind of man who could repair a broken barometer. See Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 122.

“Fremont has touched my imagination…” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, quoted in Ibid., p. 95.

Chapter 8 The Ruling Hand of Providence

“Nothing appears as it is…” Jacob Robinson, Sketches of the Great West: A Journal of the Santa Fe Expedition, p. 11.

so “full of holes and burrows as to make it sound hollow…” Ibid.

“Nothing could exceed the confidence which every man seems to have in him…” Clarke, p. 117.

“This morning we all took a drink of whiskey…” Robinson, Sketches of the Great West, p. 10.

“He is a man who keeps his counsels to himself.” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 112.

“one of the grandest sights ever beheld…Every acre was covered…” Robinson, Sketches of the Great West, p. 12.

“The men have been out since sun rise…” Magoffin, Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico, The Diary of Susan Magoffin, p. 43.

pots of bitter coffee—or “black soup”… Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 141.

This outpost…boasted all sorts of incongruous pleasures… Ibid., pp. 146–47, 171, 254.

“There is the greatest possible noise…” Magoffin, Diary, p. 66.

“strange sensations in my head, my back, and hips…” Ibid.

“much agony and severest of pains.” Ibid., p. 68.

“I sunk into a kind of lethargy.” Ibid.

“Although it was the Sabbath…” Ibid., p. 69.

“Though forbidden to rise from my bed…” Ibid.

Chapter 9 The Pathfinder

drained by a monstrous whirlpool that connected…with the Pacific… See Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 168.

Fremont’s term for the desert sink, the Great Basin… Ibid., pp. 180, 248.

This fabled conduit, called the Buenaventura… Ibid., p. 199.

“in as poor condition as men could possibly be.” Carson, Autobiography, pp. 79–81.

“Kit waited for nobody…” George Brewerton, Overland with Kit Carson, p. 66.

clipping a mule’s ears and drinking its blood… See Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 55.

tan hides with a glutinous emulsion made from the brains… Ibid., p. 118.

“prompt, self-sacrificing, and true.” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 427.

“Mounted on a fine horse, without a saddle,…” Frémont, The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, p. 15.

“sprung to his feet, the blood streaming…” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 374.

“quickly terminated the agonies of the gory savage.” Ibid.

“Two men, in a savage desert…” Ibid.

“Kit Carson, an American, born in the Booneslick county…” Ibid.

“impossible to describe the hardships…” Carson, Autobiography, pp. 126–27.

Chapter 10 When the Land Is Sick

This chapter is primarily drawn from Virginia Hoffman’s sketch of the life of Narbona in Navajo Biographies, pp. 17–35, and from Frank McNitt’s Navajo Wars, pp. 66–91.

“when the land is sick, the people are sick.” Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 155.

they called the Navajos the tasavuh, or “the head pounders,… Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 7.

some 250 Diné…had been stolen in raids… Ibid., p. 189.

The Navajo emissaries set off for the capital… Thomas James, Three Years among the Indians and Mexicans, pp. 164–66.

Chapter 11 The Un-Alamo

Fremont’s mission was quite limited… See Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 254.

the Golden Gate, he called it. Ibid., p. 283.

Fremont responded with pure histrionics. For accounts of Fremont’s ludicrous stand at Gavilan Peak, see Josiah Royce, California: A Study of the American Character, p. 44; and Bernard DeVoto, The Year of Decision, pp. 111–14.

urging them to “lance the ulcer” of the American invasion.” Ibid., p. 288.

“Thinking I had remained as long as the occasion required…” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 460.

has to rank as one of the great solo courier missions in history. For a biographical sketch and a thorough treatment of Gillespie’s extraordinary trek, see Werner H. Marti, Messenger of Destiny, pp. 1–49.

“The information…had absolved me from my duty as an explorer…” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 488.

Chapter 12 We Will Correct All This

The people of Las Vegas were fascinated by the Americans… My description of the Army of the West’s arrival in Las Vegas is adapted from diaries and other firsthand accounts, primarily Emory, Gibson, Edwards, Robinson, and John Hughes.

“wild looking strangers” who “constantly stared” and “swarmed…” Magoffin, Diary, p. 92.

“I have come amongst you…to take possession of your country.” The most thorough account of Kearny’s rooftop speech, and the one I quote from here, is found in Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, pp. 49–51.

“Look at me in the face…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 51. See also Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 135.

Chapter 13 Narbona Pass

“utterly unconscious of the reception that awaited them,…” Josiah Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, p. 200.

When the moment is right…we will cut the tree into small pieces. Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 25.

“thrown into a state of speechless consternation…” Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, p. 200.

“they were felled like deer trapped in a box canyon.” McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 74.

According to Navajo tradition, the captain of Jemez… Ibid.

“We killed plenty of them.” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 192.

Chapter 14 The Uninvaded Silence

“all wild and unexplored,…and the uninvaded silence roused our curiosity.” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 490.

Carson…“apprehended no danger.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 98.

They were…a “mean, low-lived, treacherous race.” Ibid., p. 78.

the arrows…were headed with lancetlike scraps of iron… See Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 313.

“The bravest Indian I ever saw…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 97.

All were “brave, good men.” Ibid.

The camp was plunged in “an angry gloom.” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 492.

“Sick”…“Very sick now.” Ibid.

“I knocked his head to pieces.” Ibid.

Chapter 15 On the Altar of the Country

My description of Armijo’s aborted stand at Apache Canyon is based on soldier eyewitness accounts as well as primary documents found in William Keleher’s Turmoil in New Mexico and Ralph Emerson Twitchell’s The Story of the Conquest of Santa Fe.

“a mountain of fat.” George Ruxton, quoted in DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 276.

“It is smarter to appear brave…than to be so.” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 105.

“whether I ought to defend New Mexico…or not.” Paul Horgan, Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History, p. 720.

“forced…to heave from position to position.” Ibid., p. 719.

“Fellow Patriots…the moment has come…” Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico, p. 10.

“he who actually governs you is ready to sacrifice…” Great River, Horgan, p. 720.

Chapter 16 A Perfect Butchery

“For the moment…I threw all other considerations aside…” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 492.

“I thought they should be chastised…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 101.

It was…“a beautiful sight.” Ibid., p. 100.

Fremont and Carson…probably chose the wrong tribe. David Roberts, A Newer World, pp. 161–62.

“I owe my life to them two…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 102.

“he had placed himself on the wrong path.” Ibid., p. 104.

“It will be long…before we see Washington…” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 495.

Chapter 17 The Fire of Montezuma

“It was so bad that one who drank it…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 272.

“sagacious officer well-fitted for command…” Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 105.

Oh, what a joy to fight the dons and wallop fat Armij-O! Marc Simmons, New Mexico: An Interpretive History, p. 124.

Chapter 18 Your Duty, Mr. Carson

“very much sunburnt and the most un-uniform…” Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 331.

“high and holy”…“so high a degree of civilization.” Royce, California, pp. 51–52.

“something they called a bear.” Ibid., p. 48.

“gave to my movements the national character…” Frémont, Memoirs, p. 520.

“I have no use for prisoners…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 120.

“a cold hearted crime.” Ibid., p. 121.

“My word is at present the law of the land…” Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 354.

“as well known there as the Duke of Wellington…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, pp. 121–22.

“I’d rather ride on a grizzly…” Roberts, A Newer World, p. 172.

“Our entry…had more the effect of a parade…” Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 354.

“departed to any part of the country…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 108.

Chapter 19 Daggers in Every Look

“a gateway which, in the hands of a skillful engineer…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 55.

“possessed the slightest qualifications…” Ibid., p. 58.

“We marched rapidly on…for we were all anxious…” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 204.

“Their horses almost gave out…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 56.

“Our first view of this place was very discouraging…” Frank Edwards, A Campaign in New Mexico, p. 45.

“nothing to pay us for our long march.” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 205.

“an extensive brickyard.” John Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 91.

“drawn sabres and daggers in every look.” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 205fn.

VITA FUGIT SICUT UMBRA…Horgan, Great River, p. 728.

“I, Stephen W. Kearny,…” Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico, p. 15.

“I swear obedience to the Northern Republic…” Ibid., p. 16.

“No, let him remain…Heaven knows the oppressions…” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 86.

“We were too thirsty to judge of its merits…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 56.

“Their pent-up emotions could be suppressed no longer…” Lieutenant Elliot in the Weekly Reveille, September 28, 1846. Quoted in Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 205fn.

Chapter 20 Men with Ears Down to Their Ankles

“A certain people are going to come to us…” Edward Sapir, Navajo Texts, p. 331.

Some Navajos believed white men lacked anuses… Ibid.

“Our country…is about to be taken away from us.” Ibid.

“outfit”—an extended family…living within shouting distance… For a concise description of Navajo living arrangements, see Locke, The Book of the Navajo, pp. 16–19; and Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 109.

“Winter was the time for conversation, between first frost and first lightning…” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 49.

Chapter 21 The Hall of Final Ruin

The Santa Feans loved their bells. Nearly all the soldier journals mention the incessant clanging of the bells, including Edwards, Campaign in New Mexico, p. 64. See also Horgan, Great River, p. 730; and Magoffin, Diary, p. 103.

“ladies were all dressed in silks,…” Magoffin, Diary, p. 124.

a “dark-eyed senora”…who had brought along a “human foot-stool.” Ibid., p. 123.

“They slap about with their arms and necks bare,…” Ibid., p. 95.

“stand off with crossed arms,…” Ibid., p. 150.

“that shrewd sense and fascinating manner…” Ibid., p. 120.

“lustrous, beaming eyes…” Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 93.

“remarkable for smallness of hands…” Philip St. George Cooke, Conquest of New Mexico and California, pp. 49–50.

“The women are the boldest walkers…” Edwards, Campaign in New Mexico, p. 52.

“As a general thing their forms are much better…” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 224.

“an infinity of petticoats.” Edwards, Campaign in New Mexico, p. 52.

“a man of implacable drive.” Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 131.

“gargantuan freight caravans that came to sinew the West.” Ibid., p. 136.

“a mighty man whose will was prairie law,…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 267.

“The colonel is in the habit of interlarding…” Edwards, Campaign in New Mexico, p. 76.

“Such familiarity of position…would be repugnant…” John Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 94.

“a gentleman of extensive information,…” Magoffin, Diary, p. 125.

“candid and plain-spoken, very agreeable…” Ibid., p. 106.

“the belle of the occupation.” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 330.

“What an everlasting noise these soldiers keep up…” Magoffin, Diary, p. 114.

“The U.S. and Mexico—they are now united,…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 332.

“an instrument of writing is not legal…” Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 98.

“The people are civil and well disposed,…” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 210.

“It is the sole master of the entire plain below…” Magoffin, Diary, p. 140.

“desist from all robberies and crimes…” John Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 128.

“and carried off some twenty families.” Magoffin, Diary, p. 110.

“as the Navajos deem the general almost superhuman…” Ibid., p. 111.

Chapter 22 The New Men

“Many Native Americans…irrational fear of artillery.” See Kupke, The Indian and the Thunderwagon.

He called them…“the New Men.” McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 110.

BOOK TWO: A BROKEN COUNTRY

Chapter 23 The Grim Metronome

“We were sorry to part with General Kearny…” Edwards, Campaign in New Mexico, p. 70.

the “universal presence of vermin…” Ibid., p. 51.

“singularly mild, equable, and salubrious…” Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 260.

“The weather continues delightful,…” Ibid., p. 230.

“The air is fine and healthy…” Magoffin, Diary, p. 115.

“The Navajos are an industrious, intelligent, and warlike tribe…” Charles Bent, quoted in Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico, p. 71.

There was also a phenomenon known as the “New Mexican Bachelor Party,”… See Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 182.

“On arriving home after a slaving expedition,…” Simmons, The Little Lion of the Southwest, p. 35.

“This created considerable sensation in our party…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 169.

“He turned his face to the west again,…” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 273.

“We put out, with merry hearts…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 170.

“Kearny ordered me to join him…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 109.

Chapter 24 Lords of the Mountains

“amazed at the temerity of Capt. Reid’s proceeding…” John T. Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 169.

“all well-mounted on beautiful horses…” Robinson, Sketches of the Great West, p. 36.

“dressed in splendid Indian attire…” Ibid., p. 35.

“To have showed any thing like suspicion…” John T. Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 175.

“held in great reverence by this tribe…” See McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 108.

“Seven hundred winters ago…” Robinson, Sketches of the Great West, pp. 36–37.

Why not…kill every one of them? Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 29. See also Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 205.

“truly romantic…mingling in the throng!” John T. Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 170.

“It is astonishing…how soon our confidence…” Robinson, Sketches of the Great West, p. 38.

“They are entirely pastoral…” Captain Reid’s report, quoted in John T. Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, pp. 170–72.

Chapter 25 The Devil’s Turnpike

“in a tongue resembling more the bark of a mastiff…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 114.

The competitor in Carson had also been intrigued… See Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 289.

“blossomed like a crown fire…” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 522.

“beautiful in the extreme…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 98.

marching over this desert landscape “was a strange existence…” Clarke, The Original Journals, pp. 90–91.

“It surprised me…to see so much land…” Clarke, Soldier of the West, p. 185.

“The metallic clinks of spurs,…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 108.

“How little do those who sit in their easy chairs…” Clarke, The Original Journals, p. 106.

“No one who has ever visited this country…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 155.

“Invalids may live here…” Clarke, The Original Journals, p. 90.

“a good harmless people and more industrious…” Ibid., p. 108.

“It was a source of much merriment…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 138.

“anxiety increased my determination…” Ibid., p. 151.

“sabres would be rusted in their scabbards…” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 526.

“Oh this sterile country,…when shall I say goodbye to you?” Clarke, The Original Journals, pp. 96–97.

“They are a sorry-looking set,…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 189

“The general decided we must be the aggressive party,…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 148.

“All the other generals had been shooting…” Vestal, Happy Warrior, p. 234.

“Our object was to get the…animals.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 111.

“The Indians were very inimical…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 200.

“Remember,…one point of the saber…” Ibid., p. 202.

Chapter 26 Our Red Children

“The United States…has taken military possession…” John T. Hughes, Doniphan’s Expedition, p. 177.

“very bold and intellectual.” Ibid., p. 178.

“Americans!”…“while you do the same thing on the east.” McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 118.

“Spears and Stewart were the first American soldiers…” Ibid., p. 122.

Chapter 27 Cold Steel

My account of the Battle of San Pasqual is drawn from the following sources: The Battle of San Pasqual by Jonreed Lauritzen, The Battle of San Pasqual Dec. 6, 1846 & the Struggle for California by Peter Price, Emory’s Lieutenant Emory Reports, Clarke’s The Original Journals, Marti’s Messenger of Destiny, Clarke’s Stephen Watts Kearny, and Carson’s Autobiography.

“Heavens, I did not mean that!” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 203.

“I came very near being trodden to death…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 112.

“much as they might encircle a herd of cattle.” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 208.

“A Californian can throw the lasso as well with his foot…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 153.

“There is hardly one not fit for the circus.” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 208.

“Rally, men! For God’s sake,…” Marti, Messenger of Destiny, p. 97.

entirely by cold steel. Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 531.

“First, go and dress the wounds of the soldiers…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 216.

a “community of hardships”…“band of brave men.” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 170.

“Kearny concluded to march on,…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 115.

“The ambulances grated on the ground…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 171.

“quadruple our strength”…“the moment we descended into the plain.” Clarke, The Original Journals, p. 130.

“an expedition of some peril.” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 172.

Se escapara el lobo.” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 537.

“Been in worse places before…” Ibid., p. 538.

“midnight crawl”…“high among the exploits…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 370.

“Never has there been a man like Kit Carson…” Noel Gerson, Kit Carson: Folk Hero and Man, pp. 139–40.

“Got to San Diego the next night.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 116.

“One of the most agreeable little offices…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 173.

“the last mournful shot of disappointment…” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 228.

“The Pacific opened for the first time…” Emory, Lieutenant Emory Reports, p. 175.

“Take good care of yourself…like rumbling thunder.” Clarke, Stephen Watts Kearny, p. 235.

Chapter 28 El Crepusculo

Nearly every day Santa Fe held another juvenile funeral… For vivid descriptions of these doleful processionals, see Gibson, Journal of a Soldier, p. 242; and Edwards, Campaign in New Mexico, p. 48.

an erudite and somewhat Machiavellian man… For further reading on the intriguing and influential Padre Martinez, see David J. Weber, On the Edge of Empire: The Taos Hacienda of Los Martinez; and also Fray Angelico Chavez, But Time and Change: The Story of Padre Martinez of Taos, 1793–1867.

These were the “crypto-Jews.” For a thorough, scholarly look at this fascinating phenomenon, see Stanley Hordes, To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico.

penitentes—pious men who went out into the countryside…” There are several excellent works on the New Mexico penitentes. See Marta Weigle, The Penitentes of the Southwest; Alice Henderson, Brothers of Light: The Penitentes of the Southwest; and Thomas Steele and Rowena Rivera, Penitente Self-Government: Brotherhoods and Councils, 1797–1947.

el gallo, an old blood sport… See Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 107.

“for having blown an evil breath on their children,…” Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 298.

My account of the Taos Massacre is drawn from multiple sources, but among the best are James Crutchfield, Tragedy at Taos: The Revolt of 1847; John Durand, The Taos Massacres; Michael McNierney, Taos 1847: The Revolt in Contemporary Accounts.

“cut as cleanly with the tight cord…” Unpublished reminiscences of Teresina Bent, a copy of which I obtained at the Bent home bookstore in Taos.

“They ordered that no one should feed us,…” Ibid.

“convivial figure with a glossy black beard…” Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 64.

“We were tiger-like in our craving for revenge.” McNierney, Taos 1847, p. 58.

Taos Pueblo…one of the oldest continually inhabited… For a good general source on the background and culture of the extraordinary Taos Pueblo, see John Bodine, Taos Pueblo: A Walk through Time.

“a place of great strength,…” Colonel Price, quoted in McNierney, Taos 1847, p. 50.

“like creatures in burrows listening…” Paul Horgan, Great River, p. 767.

“The mingled noise of bursting shells…” McNierney, Taos 1847, p. 67.

“A few half scared Pueblos walked listlessly…” Lewis Garrard, Wah-to-yah and the Taos Trail, p. 187.

“trembling wretches…miserable in dress…” Ibid., p. 194.

“Mi madre, mi padre…” Ibid., p. 197.

“The muscles would relax and again contract…” Ibid., p. 198.

Chapter 29 American Mercury

“poured upon my fevered lips”…“I’ll blow your heart out.” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 557.

“I always see folks out in the road.” Ibid., p. 567.

In the years leading up to her stroke… Chaffin, Pathfinder, p. 139.

“Although he did not enter the army through…military academy…” Thomas Hart Benton, Thirty Years View: A History of the Working of the American Government, 1820 to 1850, p. 718.

“He is a man…whose word will stand wherever he is known.” Ibid.

a private errand…to pay a visit to his daughter. See Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, pp. 60–61; and Marc Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 77.

Chapter 30 Time at Last Sets All Things Even

“so much fresh breeze, and so much sunlight.” Pamela Herr and Mary Lee Spence, The Letters of Jessie Benton Fremont, p. xviii.

his “most confirmed worshiper…” Ibid., p. 25.

“She belongs to him body & soul…” Ibid., p. xxiii.

“the better man of the two.” Ibid., p. xviii.

“picked at his fish and fowl…” Noel Gerson, Kit Carson: Folk Hero and Man, p. 143.

“A bon vivant who jerked with odd…” My descriptions of Beale are primarily drawn from Gerald Thompson, Edward F. Beale and the American West.

“one of those noble characters that have…sprung up on our frontier.” From the Washington Union, June 15, 1847, a copy of which I viewed at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

“but out on the Plains, we’re the princes.” My descriptions of Carson’s visit with Jessie Fremont are primarily drawn from Pamela Herr, Jessie Benton Frémont, pp. 152–53, 156; and Jessie Fremont, Will and the Way Stories, pp. 39–42.

the “hardest working man in America.” John Seigenthaler, James K. Polk, p. 121.

“virtually incarcerated himself in the White House.” Ibid., p. 103.

“His manners at table I found to be faultless…” Gerson, Kit Carson: Folk Hero and Man, pp. 144–45.

“He remained the soul of diffidence…” Ibid.

Chapter 31 A Broken Country

“The Navajos commit their wrongs from a pure love of rapine…” Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico, p. 52.

“wild Indians of this country have been so much more successful…” Ibid., p. 53.

“The Indians…until they are properly chastised.” Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico, p. 45.

most of whom carried Model 1841 muzzle-loading… My description of the Washington Expedition’s equipment and weaponry is drawn primarily from Frank McNitt’s introduction to Navaho Expedition, by Lt. James Simpson, pp. lxvi–lxix.

“dismayingly mousy-looking” McNitt, introduction to Navaho Expedition, p. lx.

“frankly makes dull reading.” Ibid.

“antipathy to its use”…“favor in the eyes of the senoritas.” David Weber, Richard Kern: Expeditionary Artist in the Far Southwest, p. 122.

Dr. Samuel George Morton, an anatomy professor… See Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 54, and Weber, Richard Kern, p. 24.

“mountains high and bold”…“swallows all the dirt and misery.” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 116.

“one of the most harebrained exploring expeditions ever undertaken…” McNitt, introduction to Simpson’s Navaho Expedition, p. xxxii.

Kearny suffered an excruciating death. For further details on the advanced stages of yellow fever, see American Plague, by Molly Crosby.

His rifle…“cracked away merrily, and never spoke in vain.” Vestal, Kit Carson: The Happy Warrior, p. 150.

“We all looked like Old Winter…” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 39.

“I told Dick the expedition was destroyed…” Roberts, A Newer World, p. 213.

“gradually sinking into a sleep…” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 45.

“In starving times…no man ever walked…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 341.

“But…’tis among the best in town…” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 67.

“Although I was exceedingly hungry…” McNitt, Navaho Expedition, p. 10.

“At present it is considerably defaced…” Ibid., p. 18.

Other Jemez Indians joined forces… Ibid., p. 15 fn.

“Hosta…is one of the finest-looking…” Ibid., p. 24.

Much of this land…was “a barren waste.” Ibid., p. 70.

“where it lit for a moment within a foot or two of my person…” Ibid., p. 25.

“a scene…that partook both of the painful and ludicrous.” Ibid., p. 29.

The largest of all the structures, Pueblo Bonito… See Preston, Talking to the Ground, p. 56.

“and the bright wild flowers fill the open court…” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 88.

“Had time permitted,…we would gladly have remained…” McNitt, Navaho Expedition, pp. 39, 47.

Archaeologists have come to call it the Chaco Phenomenon. For a concise description of the Chaco Phenomenon, see Preston, Talking to the Ground, pp. 56–58, 268–78.

North America had never seen such a florescence… My description of the Anasazi rise and fall is primarily adapted from James Judge, New Light on Chaco Canyon; David Roberts, In Search of the Old Ones; and Preston, Talking to the Ground.

wondering whether this bewhiskered little man was a witch. See Preston, Talking to the Ground, p. 269.

Chapter 32 The Finest Head I Ever Saw

“bestrode their horses a la mode des hommes.” McNitt, Navaho Expedition, p. 62.

a “dark, portentous cloud” was hovering… Ibid., p. 63.

“If we are friends…” McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 143.

“gorgeously decked in red, blue, and white…” McNitt, Navaho Expedition, p. 67.

“quite old and of a very large frame…” Ibid., p. 63.

“CALHOUN: Tell them they are lawfully…” Ibid., p. 66.

negotiations had finally reached a concrete topic… See Underhill, The Navajos, p. 99.

A New Mexican souvenir hunter… McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 145.

“He was the chief of the Nation…” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 96.

Chapter 33 The Death Knot

The hogan would then have had to be destroyed… Sapir, Navajo Texts, p. 431, and Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 15.

some Navajos had wondered whether he might be a witch… Ibid., pp. 118, 247.

feasts and healing gatherings…worked as an economic leveler… Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 227.

“You can’t grow wealthy if you treat your relatives right.” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 32, and Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, p. 100.

Narbona’s slaves probably performed…the abhorrent parts… Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 30, and Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 34.

Those tasked with the burial were supposed to destroy several prized horses… Sapir, Navajo Texts, p. 431, and Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 34.

There was nothing radiant about the afterlife… Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 29.

Navajos…invited to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Ibid., p. 10.

the two men then ripped the saddles and bridles into shreds… After they were destroyed, these objects became known as “ghost’s belongings.” See Sapir, Navajo Texts, p. 431.

There they stayed for four nights… Ibid.

Chapter 34 Men Without Eyes

It was derived from the Navajo word tsegi Grant, Canyon de Chelly: Its People and Rock Art, p. 3.

“It is regrettable…that so much damage…” McNitt, Navaho Expedition, p. 73.

“The country is one extended naked, barren waste…” Ibid., p. 70.

“pure, wholesome water”…“the towering pines…” Ibid., p. 78.

“a fight was expected…At nearly every point…” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 96.

Simpson decided to pay his commander an eternal compliment… McNitt, Navaho Expedition, p. 75.

“The road we have been traveling looks as if…” Ibid., p. 86

It was “exciting…to observe the huts of the enemy…” Ibid., pp. 86–87.

WASHINGTON: Are he and his people desirous of peace? Ibid., pp. 88–89.

“Almost perfectly vertical…the custom-house of the city of New York.” Ibid., p. 93.

The “fabulous rocks…became wilder at every turn.” Weber, Richard Kern, p. 102.

“The mystery of the Canon of Chelly is now…solved.” McNitt, Navaho Expedition, p. 95.

“It seems anomalous to me that a nation…” Ibid., p. 96.

“tripping down the almost vertical wall as nimbly…” Ibid., p. 92.

The designs came in a dazzling confusion. Grant, Canyon de Chelly, pp. 153–268.

a curious tableau scrawled across the walls. My account of the 1805 massacre is drawn from McNitt, Navajo Wars; Grant, Canyon de Chelly, pp. 84–89; and Underhill, The Navajos, pp. 72–73.

“Hostilities between the contracting parties…” McNitt, Navajo Wars, pp. 150–51.

their unwillingness to pronounce anyone’s name out loud… See Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 25.

Navajo is an extremely precise language… See Kluckhohn and Leighton, The Navajo, pp. 253–93.

“satisfy the public mind and testify to the whole world…” McNitt, Navaho Expedition, p. 100.

Chapter 35 Blood and Thunder

Francis Aubry was a celebrated figure on the trail. David Dary, The Santa Fe Trail: Its History, Legends, and Lore, p. 201.

Aubry ordered ham and eggs and then was taken upstairs… Ibid., p. 207.

“whose hands are turned against every white man…” William Davis, El Gringo, p. 251.

“practising sadists” who had “great skill…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 250.

“the Comanches who in 1841 killed and scalped…Robert Bent…” Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 203.

another famous Taos trapper, named Lucien… See Harriet Freiberger, Lucien Maxwell: Villain or Visionary; and Lawrence R. Murphy, “Master of the Cimarron.”

“king of that whole country…He had perfect control…” Ibid.

“We had been leading a roving life long enough…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 130.

“an extremely difficult and painful operation.” See Murphy, “Rayado.”

the highest death rate per fighting soldier… Eisenhower, So Far from God.

“A deed has been done from which the country will not…recover…” DeVoto, The Year of Decision, p. 214.

“Could those Mexicans have seen into my heart…” Robert Drexter, Guilty of Making Peace: A Biography of Nicholas P. Trist, p. 139.

He filled the labyrinthine chambers with kegs of powder… For a full description of William Bent’s destruction of the old fort, see Lavender, Bent’s Fort, pp. 338–39.

“Small in stature, and slenderly limbed…” George Ruxton, In the Old West, 286–87.

“I cannot express my surprise at beholding…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 13.

“The hero of a hundred desperate encounters…” George Brewerton, Overland with Kit Carson, p. 38.

“He was uncouth”…“yet he wore shyness…like a veil.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 191.

“I say, stranger, are you Kit Carson?” Ibid., p. 10.

“a lynx-like eye and an imperturbable coolness…” Charles Averill, Kit Carson, The Prince of the Gold Hunters, p. 26, a microfilm copy of which I viewed at the Library of Congress.

“At the first sound, even a shout…” Veronica Tiller, The Jicarilla Apache.

jicarilla means “little basket…” Ibid., p. 5.

“an indolent and cowardly people…” Keleher, Turmoil in New Mexico, p. 71.

a “Rocky Mountain Hunter” wearing moccasins… Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, pp. 136–37.

“Being thoroughly acquainted…” Ibid.

“The order was too late for the desired effect.” Carson, Autobiography, p. 133.

“She was perfectly warm…” Ibid.

“Kit Carson! His lip, that proud, that determined lip…” Charles Averill, Kit Carson, Prince of the Goldhunters, p. 98.

“The book was the first of its kind I had ever seen…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 135.

“I have much regretted the failure to save the life…” Ibid.

“burn the damn thing.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 140.

BOOK THREE: MONSTER SLAYER

Chapter 36 The Fearing Time

the Navajos sometimes called “Something-Sticking-Out-From-The-Foreheads…” Maurice Frink, Fort Defiance and the Navajos, p. 47.

“Large bets, larger than on the other races, were made on both sides…” Nicholas Hodt, testimony recorded in United States, Condition of the Indian Tribes: Report of the Joint Special Committee, p. 314.

some Navajos called the great casks “hollow-woods…” See Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 156.

Other accounts say the owner was…Manuelito… Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 343.

a truly competent man held the office of Indian agent… For more on the remarkable Henry Linn Dodge, see McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 267; and Underhill, The Navajos, pp. 103–11.

“a superior race of Indians.” Davis, El Gringo, pp. 411–12.

“The water there is mine, not yours…” See Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 99.

Major Brooks threatened to obliterate the Navajos… For a full account of the attack on Brooks’s slave and its aftermath, see McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 325.

in April 1860, Manuelito organized a thousand Navajo warriors… See Frink, Fort Defiance and the Navajos, p. 51, Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 100, and McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 380.

“An angry fire burned within him…” Hoffman, Navajo Biographies, p. 93.

“I walk like a headman now…” Ibid., p. 90.

He scalped his victim, and later chewed on the bloody skin… Ibid., p. 91.

“they jump around like rabbits!” Ibid., p. 88.

Now the moment had come, the day’s grand finale. For more details on the massacre at Fort Fauntleroy, see McNitt, Navajo Wars, p. 422; Marc Simmons, The Little Lion of the Southwest, p. 165; and Marc Simmons, “Horse Race at Fort Fauntleroy: An Incident of the Navajo War,” in the journal La Gaceta 5(3) (1970).

“A procession of the winning party…” Nicholas Hodt testimony in United States, Condition of the Indian Tribes, p. 314.

The forty-three-year-old Chaves hailed from a venerable… My biographical sketch of Manuel Chaves is drawn from Marc Simmons, The Little Lion of the Southwest.

Chavez had nearly died in a Navajo clash. Ibid., pp. 38–42.

“I saw a soldier murdering two little children…” Nicholas Hodt testimony in United States, Condition of the Indian Tribes, p. 314.

“Give this soldier back his arms…” Ibid.

Chapter 37 People of the Single Star

two armies stared at each other… My account of the battle of Valverde is based primarily on the following sources: John Taylor, Bloody Valverde: A Civil War Battle on the Rio Grande; Max Heyman, Prudent Soldier: A Biography of Major General E. R. S. Canby; Alvin Josephy, The Civil War in the American West; Charles Carroll and Lynne Sebastian, eds., Fort Craig: The United States Fort on the Camino Real; and Martin Hall, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign.

“too prone to let the morrow take care of itself.” Martin Hall, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign, p. 38.

Those big artillery pieces…were nothing more than decoys… Taylor, Bloody Valverde, p. 105.

“I’ll make my wife a nightgown out of it!” Ibid., p. 25.

“Kit was loyal, but he was like me…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 229.

he “had the utmost firmness and the best of common sense…” Ibid., p. 232.

Carson “then approached and in a mild manner…” Ibid., p. 233.

“The mountains here are full of Indians…” Hall, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign, p. 40.

he looked “like a horned frog.” Donald Frazier, “Long Marches and Short Rations,” in Carrol and Sebastian, Fort Craig, p. 102.

“Our leaders were crazy…” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 687.

The precise terms and arrangements of their servitude… Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 201.

“in truth but a more charming name for a species of slavery…” Davis, El Gringo, p. 232.

“fell so hard as to almost peel the skin off your face.” Josephy, The Civil War in the American West, p. 60.

“a widely acknowledged reputation for the spectacular…” Jerry Thompson, Desert Tiger: Captain Paddy Graydon and the Civil War in the Far Southwest.

“You’ve come too far from home hunting a fight…” Taylor, Bloody Valverde, p. 39.

“had given his allegiance to country rather than to state…” Ibid., p. 50.

cut out a large piece of his own tongue… Josephy, The Civil War in the American West, p. 69.

“one of the most gallant and furious charges…” Taylor, Bloody Valverde, p. 70.

“fought full of courage and almost in a frenzy…” Jacqueline Meketa, Legacy of Honor: The Life of Rafael Chacon, p. 175.

“could not understand the signals to retreat…” Ibid., p. 338.

Chapter 38 The Sons of Some Dear Mother

“If we can subsist our men and horses…” Hall, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign, p. 74.

“too intimate an acquaintance with ‘John Barley Corn.’” Edrington and Taylor, The Battle of Glorieta Pass, p. 115.

“Those of you who volunteered…were doubtless deceived…” Hall, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign, p. 81.

“By the grace of God and these two revolvers…” Reginald Craig, The Fighting Parson, p. 40.

“something of an epic.” Alvin Josephy, The Civil War in the American West, p. 77.

“On they came to…certain destruction…” Ibid., p. 80.

“You are right on top of them, Major…” Marc Simmons, The Little Lion of the Southwest, p. 184.

“lost all sense of humanity.” Edrington and Taylor, The Battle of Glorieta Pass, p. 95.

“We pierced the Confederate vitals and drew…the life blood.” Ibid., p. 89.

“We have been crippled…” Josephy, The Civil War in the American West, p. 85.

“a further connection might result in my assassination.” Edrington and Taylor, The Battle of Glorieta Pass, p. 107.

“We do not want to take any unfair advantage…” Hall, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign, p. 132.

“chasing a shadow in a barren land.” Ibid., p. 150.

“Any cause that men sustain to death…” Ibid., p. 135.

Chapter 39 The Round Forest

“truly frightful…This death list is not made up of a few lives lost.” Gerald Thompson, The Army and the Navajo: The Bosque Redondo Reservation Experiment, 1863–1868, p. 10.

“there is now no choice between…extermination or their removal…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 267.

“utterly ignorant of everything beyond their corn fields…” Aurora Hunt, Major General James H. Carleton, 1814–1873, p. 146.

if Carleton had “never had to function as God…” C. L. Sonnichsen, The Mescalero Apaches, p. 97.

“Born in 1814, the son of a shipmaster…” My biographical sketch of Carleton is primarily drawn from Hunt, James H. Carleton.

When happiness lived up this way… David Barker poem is quoted in ibid., p. 28.

“I cannot but think that good tales…” Letter from Dickens to Carleton is printed in full in ibid., p. 31.

“a fine companion and a perfect gentleman…” Ibid., p. 71.

his heart “would pant with impatience…” Ibid., p. 85.

“Judging from the way they go on…there will be a broad stream.” Ibid., p. 91.

the sunlight “seeming to cover with flashing diamonds…” James Henry Carleton, The Battle of Buena Vista, p. 56.

“the Battle of Buena Vista…the greatest ever fought…” Ibid., p. 158.

“I presume courage was oozing from his fingertips…” Carson, Autobiography, p. 142.

“I understood them to say…they could easily kill me…” Ibid., p. 143.

“I’ve done you no injury…” Ibid.

“I have many friends among the soldiers…” Ibid., p. 144.

“Carson is justly celebrated as the best tracker…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 168.

Chapter 40 Children of the Mist

the tragedy that became known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre… For further reading on the massacre see Will Bagley, Blood of the Prophets; Sally Denton, American Massacre; and J. P. Dunn, Massacres of the Mountains.

It was…“horrible to look upon: Women’s hair, in detached locks…” James Carleton, Special Report on the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, p. 36, a copy of which I viewed at the Library of Congress.

“Murderers of the parents and despoilers of their property…” Ibid., p. 34.

“They are an ulcer upon the body-politic…” Ibid., p. 39.

“driven from their fishing and hunting grounds…” Gerald Thompson, Edward F. Beale and the American West, p. 56.

“that which was accomplished by a few poor priests…” Ibid.

“Either the whole Indian race…must be exterminated…” Ibid., p. 65.

“could be transformed from a state of semi-barbarism…” Ibid.

“When I came here this time”…“some new remedy must be adopted.” James Carleton, “To the People of New Mexico,” December 16, 1864, a copy of which I viewed at the Library of Congress.

“the Pecos…contains much unhealthy mineral matter.” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 14.

“The only peace that can ever be made with them…” Ibid., p. 28.

“the Navajo Wars will be remembered…” Ibid.

“An Indian…is a more watchful and wary animal than a deer.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 237.

“Do not despise New Mexico, as a drain…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 262.

“All Indian men of that tribe are to be killed…” C. L. Sonnichsen, The Mescalero Apaches, p. 110.

“Your weapons are better than ours…” Ibid., p. 113.

“I am sorry that I am obliged to dissolve our Official conexion,…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 247.

“they are unable to support themselves by the chase…” Carson testimony in United States, Condition of the Indian Tribes, pp. 96–98.

“Indians generally learn the vices and not the virtues…” Ibid.

“In all cases of locating reservations…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 186.

“an hereditary warfare” that had “always existed.” Ibid.

Chapter 41 General Orders No. 15

“The Utes…are very brave, and fine shots…” Lynn Bailey, Bosque Redondo, p. 38.

“We have no faith in your promises. You can have no peace…” Lawrence Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 18.

“For a long time past, the Navajo Indians have murdered and robbed…” For the full text of General Orders No. 15, see ibid., p. 22.

“Make a note of this”…“You will send me a weekly report…” Ibid., p. 35.

“Much is expected of you…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 279.

“thermometer past endurance…” Raymond Lindgren, ed., “A Diary of Kit Carson’s Navajo Campaign, 1863–1864,” New Mexico Historical Review (July 1946): 226–46.

“With straining eyes and beating hearts…” Ibid., p. 229.

“The troops sometimes accused him of cowardice…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 278.

“must have been an hombre grande. Lindgren, “Diary of Kit Carson’s Navajo Campaign,” p. 230.

“Major Cummings left the command alone”…“result of rash bravery.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 278.

“They have no stock…and were depending…on the corn…” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 42.

“communicating with them—through the barrels of my Rifles.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 291.

“murder, alcoholism, embezzlement…” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 15.

“There can be no other talk on the subject.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 283.

“I have not the authority to grant you a leave.” Ibid., p. 290.

as soon as you have secured one hundred captive…” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, pp. 69–70.

Chapter 42 Fortress Rock

“A frightened feeling had settled among the Navajo people…” Ruth Roessel, ed., Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period, p. 127.

“this thrusting fin…the place of ultimate refuge.” David Roberts, A Newer World, p. 266.

“You can go to the safe place until the soldiers are gone…” Roessel, Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period, p. 45.

Come dress your ranks…Bold Johnny Navajo. Hunt, James H. Carleton, p. 284.

“all that is connected with this canon [canyon] will cease to be a mystery.” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 95.

“When will you have sense?” “Can’t you try and quit whiskey…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 294.

“jumped about on the ledges, like Mountain Cats…” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 104.

“in an almost famishing condition, half-starved and naked.” Ibid.

“two Buck Indians and one Squaw who obstinately persisted…” Ibid.

the people “were instructed to stay quiet…” Roessel, Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period, p. 45.

“Kit Carson—a very pure White Man.” Ibid., pp. 43–51.

“no damage was done except with the tongue.” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 104.

Working through the night, they filled gourd after gourd… I heard two slightly differing versions of this story during my visits to Canyon de Chelly. See also Roberts, A Newer World, p. 268.

“If you do not come in by then, my soldiers will hunt you up…” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 98.

“we believed this was a war of extermination.” Ibid.

“They are arriving almost hourly…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 297.

Killed, 23. Prisoners, 34. Voluntarily surrendered, 200 souls…” Ibid., p. 296.

“a hundred campfires sparkling amongst the hills…” Lynn Bailey, Bosque Redondo, p. 55.

the “crowning act in a long life spent fighting the savages…” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 108.

“An enemy he could neither outwit nor outfight…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 344.

“The state of my health warns me…” Ibid.

Chapter 43 The Long Walk

“I have nothing to lose but my life…” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 369.

“protégés of the United States…” Hunt, James H. Carleton, p. 282.

“The exodus of this whole people from the land of their fathers…” Kelly, Navajo Roundup, p. 128.

“Carleton rules the land.” Hunt, James H. Carleton, p. 304.

“supply their wants, settle their disputes, stand between them…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 319.

“every promise however trifling…” Ibid. p. 320.

“not the position I contemplated occupying.” Ibid., p. 323.

“nocturnal forays…were the cause of serious…complaint.” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 61.

The nuns named her Mary Carleton in his honor. Hunt, James H. Carleton, p. 338.

“lost their lives in crude attempts at abortion.” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 81.

“the cursed insects seem to devour all the grain…” Ibid., p. 92.

this “visitation from God…” Ibid., p. 57.

Chapter 44 Adobe Walls

had “held high carnival…” Capt. George Pettis, Kit Carson’s Fight with the Comanche and Kiowa Indians, Historical Society of New Mexico 12 (1908): 7.

“You cannot imagine a worse state of affairs…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 325.

“We have been greatly embarrassed…” Ibid., p. 327.

“his face seemed haggard and drawn with pain…” Ibid., p. 341.

Whether this story is actually true… For unskeptical accounts of Carson’s Comanche encounter, see Lavender, Bent’s Fort, p. 167; and Vestal, The Happy Warrior, pp. 108–11.

“You know where to find the Indians…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 329.

“Their groans and howlings became almost intolerable…” Pettis, Kit Carson’s Fight, p. 11.

“severe charges”…“with their bodies thrown over the sides…” Ibid., p. 21.

“Throw a few shell into that crowd over thar.” Ibid., p. 19.

“repeatedly charging my command from different points…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 332.

“had it not been for the two cannon, this Thanksgiving…” Edward Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 746.

“It was impossible for me to chastise them further…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 334.

“I had serious doubts for the safety of my rear.” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 744.

“exactly in the style the Indians understood…” Thelma Guild and Harvey Carter, Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes, p. 255.

“a brilliant affair”…“another green leaf to the laurel…” Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 748.

Without provocation, Chivington attacked Black Kettle’s village… For further reading on the Sand Creek Massacre, I recommend Stan Hoig, The Sand Creek Massacre; Patrick Mendoza, Song of Sorrow: Massacre at Sand Creek; Bob Scott, Blood at Sand Creek; and Bruce Cutler, The Massacre at Sand Creek.

“Jis to think of that dog Chivington…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 391.

Chapter 45 The Condition of the Tribes

The Navajos…“will upbraid us for having taken their birthright…” Hunt, James H. Carleton, p. 282.

“The whole animal, including…head and pluck…” Ibid., p. 280.

“Tell them…to be too proud to murmur…” Ibid., p. 285.

“You must pardon me, for suggesting all these details…” Ibid., p. 280.

“My God and my mother live here in the west…” Locke, The Book of the Navajo, p. 369.

“If he attempts to escape, he will be shot down.” Ibid.

“must kill all Male Indians found outside the Reservation…” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 118.

“Let me tell you what we think.” C. L. Sonnichsen, The Mescalero Apaches, p. 8.

“saturated with animal and vegetable impurities…” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 80.

“Knowing him as a bear-hunter and an Indian fighter…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 346.

“I came to this country in 1826…” Carson testimony recorded in United States, Condition of the Indian Tribes: Report of the Joint Special Committee, pp. 96–98.

“an hereditary war…” Ibid.

“In their appointed time, God wills that one race of men…” Carleton, quoted in Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 158.

“this man Carleton, who has so long lorded it amongst us.” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 122.

“like steel filings around a lodestone…” Ibid., p. 131.

Chapter 46 Crossing Purgatory

a bottle of opium distilled in a syrup… Marc Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 140.

“He begged me not to let him suffer such tortures…” Henry R. Tilton, The Last Days of Kit Carson, p. 7.

“With the hero for my auditor…” Ibid., p. 6.

“as wild and untamed as a brood of Mexican mustangs…” Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 130.

“I fear I’ve not done right by them.” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 388.

he sent William and Charles…to be outfitted with new hats. Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 144.

“Oh, call me Kit and be done with it.” Ibid., p. 128.

“My damn luck—thar’s the difficulty.” Ibid., p. 133.

“I am now quite old and worn out…and hardly my own master.” Ibid., p. 137.

“Gentlemen, that thar may be true…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 406.

“General, I’m not so sure the Great Spirit means for us…” Ibid., p. 415.

an aneurysm can also be a symptom of syphilis… Ibid., p. 407.

“You called your Lord Jesus…” Jessie Fremont, The Will and the Way Stories, pp. 46–47.

“I’m alive yet!”…“I must get home, and I think I can do it.” Ibid.

“the tumor, pressing on the pneumogastric nerves…” Tilton, The Last Days of Kit Carson, p. 5.

“He just seemed to pine away after mother died…” Simmons, Kit Carson and His Three Wives, p. 142.

“Doctor, compadre, adios! Tilton, The Last Days of Kit Carson, p. 7.

“This is the last of the general.” Ibid.

“He had in him a personal courage…like lightning from a cloud.” Edward Sabin, Kit Carson Days, p. 805.

Epilogue: In Beauty We Walk

It was running headlong toward the west. A prominent story in the oral history of the Navajos, another account of Barboncito’s ceremony can be found in Gerald Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 152.

“Kit Carson was a good type of a class of men most useful in their day…” Dunlay, Kit Carson and the Indians, p. 418.

“I found the Bosque a mere spot of grass…” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 140.

“The Commissioners are here now for the purpose…” My account of the discussion between Sherman and Barboncito is taken from United States, Proceedings of the Great Peace Commission of 1867–1868, pp. 121–24.

“It appears to me…that the General commands…as a god.” Ibid.

“We do not want to go to the right or left…” Ibid.

“We wondered if it was our mountain…” Thompson, The Army and the Navajo, p. 140.

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