This Week in the Civil War - 639

Aug 20, 2013

On August 20, 1863 in the far American West Union Colonel Christopher “Kit” Carson’s command took to the field to operate against the Navajo Indians.  Carson’s superiors hated the Navajo and believed that Navajo lands contained gold which could be exploited, if that tribe was subdued. 

For the next four months Carson operated in the area of Canon de Chelly, using a scorched earth policy designed to force the Navajo to move to a government reservation at Bosque Redondo on the Pecos River near Fort Sumner, New Mexico. 

Many Navajo males were killed, with their families rounded up as captives, their personal belongings destroyed, and their corn fields used to feed Carson’s horses.  It was a campaign of brutality that the Navajo would never forget and would forever blame Kit Carson.