During the drought of July, 1877, 40 ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ of the Tenth Cavalry, Company A commanded by Captain Nicholas Nolan and joined by a group of 22 bison hunters with their guide Jose’ Tafoya, struck out from their Double Lakes camp in Lynn County, Texas. The mission was charged with pursuing a Kwahada Comanche band who had escaped from Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The band was searching for food and accused of raiding the bison hunter camps, stealing horses and supplies. Captain Nolan’s group was ill-prepared for the drought conditions when they hastily left Double Lakes. This resulted in 86 hours without water and the eventual death of four soldiers, 23 military horses and 4 pack mules. The mission ended in great hardship. The ‘Buffalo Soldier’ tragedy marks the final clashes between the hunter-gatherer tribes who followed the buffalo herds and the first Euro-American settlers who attempted to establish homesteads on the Llano Estacado. The details of the expedition are fully chronicled in the book The Buffalo Soldier Tragedy of 1877 authored by Texas Tech University History Professor Dr. Paul H. Carlson.
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