Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls
A Tale of Two Journeys
Published by: Texas Tech University Press
- Published: August 2014
- Published: April 2020
On a late November morning in 1864, Col. Kit Carson and his U.S. troops, under orders from the commander of the New Mexico Military Department, attacked Kiowa Chief Dohasan’s winter village in the Texas Panhandle. Warriors retaliated with stiff resistance as their women and children escaped. Fighting proceeded down the Canadian River to the abandoned trading post of Adobe Walls as hundreds more Kiowas and Comanches joined the battle. Nearing sunset, Carson’s troops burned Doh?san’s village, and although remarkably few lives were lost in the battle itself, the enduring consequences were hardly insignificant. Well-known as an explorer, guide, and frontiersman, Carson’s involvement at the First Battle of Adobe Walls has been overlooked. Beginning his research in the 1990s, Alvin Lynn set out to fill that void when he located and walked the 200-mile-long wagon road from Fort Bascom to Adobe Walls and collected 1,800 metal artifacts from 15 historic camps, including the burned Kiowa village. Among the recovered artifacts were fired friction primers verifying the placement of howitzers at the battle site. With nearly eighty battle site and artifact photographs taken by renowned photographer Wyman Meinzer, Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls documents Carson’s military expedition from Fort Bascom to Adobe Walls and Lynn’s own journey more than a century later to discover what really happened.