Headed out 7.30 this morning on a cool, clear Oklahoma day, will be a nice day here today. For now though we are planning to make Moriarty at the halfway point – about an 8-9hr drive.
A small diversion into Sayre and 25miles North to Cheyenne OK this time to the Washita Battlefield Visitor Centre. The Washita Batlle occurred November 27, 1868 – starting 4 days earlier Custer set out from Camp Supply in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) for the Washita River Valley where some 6000 Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Kiowa had laid out winter camps.
Custer and his men took a smaller camp, that of Black Kettle, the villages leader. At the end of a few hours, Black Kettle and his wife Medicine Woman Later, were killed by soldiers as they tried to cross the Washita River. 30-60 Cheyenne lay dead in the snow, 800 village pony’s and mules were slaughtered, any lodges, food and clothing were burned and 53 women and children were taken captive.
Black Kettle is credited as being “a good man with deep wisdom, who devoted his life to trying to lead his people to safety, working against forces too mighty to fight”.
The brochure says, “Custer’s victory at Washita catapulted him into the publics imagination as the nations preeminent Indian fighter and possibly helped inspire his behaviour that led to his death at Little Bighorn in 1876.
Sounds to me like Custer was perhaps a little bit full of himself. Black Kettle warned him that should their paths cross again he would kill him. I guess Black Kettle’s death was avenged at Little Bighorn when Custer met his demise.
Onto Amarillo, a quick stop for provisions and call in to Long Hunters shop to get springs and then it was back on towards Moriarty for the night.
Arrived 6.30pm, a long day and another ahead of us tomorrow!