When first published in 1935, On the Border with Mackenzie, or Winning West Texas from the Comanches, by Capt. Robert G. Carter, quickly became known as the most complete account of the Indian Wars on the Texas frontier during the 1870s. And even today it still stands as one of the most exhaustive histories ever written by an actual participant in the Texas Indian Wars. Carter, a Union Army veteran and West Point graduate, was appointed in 1870 to serve as second lieutenant in the Fourth United States Cavalry stationed at Fort Concho, Texas. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1900 for his gallantry in action against the Indians occurring on October 10, 1871, during the battle of Blanco Canyon.
Led by Col. Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, the Fourth Cavalry moved its headquarters to Fort Richardson, Texas, in 1871 where they soon became one of the most effective units on the western frontier. Among the battles and skirmishes they participated in were the Warren wagon train raid of 1871; the Kicking Bird pursuit of 1871; the Remolino fight of 1873; the Red River War of 1874–75; and the Black Hills War of 1876.
L. F. Sheffy refers to On the Border with Mackenzie as “a splendid contribution to the early frontier history of West Texas . . . a story filled with humor and pathos, tragedies and triumphs, hunger and thirst, war and adventure.” And in the words of John H. Jenkins in Texas Basic Books, Carter “pulls no punches in this outspoken narrative, and the reader always knows where he stands.” Long out of print, this definitive history of the Indian Wars will now have the accessibility that it deserves. It is as Charles Robinson states in the foreword “essential to any study of the Indian Wars of the Southern Plains.”
Number 23 in the Fred H and Ella Mae Moore texas History Reprint Series.
About the Author
A soldier and writer, Robert G. Carter (1845–1936) was born at Bridgton, Maine. During the Civil War, he served with 22nd Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. After graduating from the United States Military Academy, he went to Texas with his bride, Mary, where he served in several Indian campaigns. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his action in the Brazos River campaign in October 1871 and authored several other books, including The Boy Soldier at Gettysburg (1887) and Four Brothers in Blue (1913).
Charles M. Robinsoin III is a history instructor at South Texas Community College in McAllen. He is the author of many books, primarily on the American West, including Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ranald S. Mackenzie, which won the Texas Historical Commission’s T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award, and Texas and the Mexican War: A History and a Guide, published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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