A series of decimating disasters overtakes Colonel Cobb and his ambition to annex Sante Fe as dust storms, prairie fires, Indians, the Mexican army, and his own bad judgment and megalomania takes a toll of attrition on his expeditionary force. Written by
Did You Know?
The Palo Duro Canyon is roughly twenty miles south-southeast of present-day Amarillo. The canyon would be the location of the last significant confrontation between the Indians and the Army during the Red River War of 1874. Civil War veteran General "Three Fingers" McKenzie discovered a large encampment down in the canyon, including hundreds horses. Because of the difficulty getting down into the canyon, the Indians had plenty of time to cover a retreat, but thy had to abandon the majority of the horses. Although McKenzie was not able to kill any Indians, he massacred some 700 horses. As an aside, it should be noted that the Palo Duro River was (and continue to be) not only a gathering site for wild game, but it is also a very rich source of red clay. To this day pottery shards are occasionally found there. See more
At the end of this episode the men can be seen around several camp fires. There is not now, nor has there ever been, enough burnable things in the Jornada del Muerto to have even one camp fire, let alone several. See more
I'm a seaman. I never expected to die in the middle of the desert. I ought to be on my ship. What in hell am I doing here?