Red River Canyon Affair

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Battle of Red River Canyon
Part of the Taos Revolt, Mexican-American War
Red River of New Mexico Picture 2010.jpg
The Red River.
Date May 26–27, 1847
Location On the Canadian River, West of Wagon Mound, New Mexico
Result United States victory; Mexican and Native American retreat.
Belligerents
 United States  Mexico
Commanders and leaders
United States Major Edmondson unknown
Strength
200[1]:142 500[1]:142
Casualties and losses
1 killed
"several slightly" wounded[1]:142
17 killed[1]:142

The Red River Canyon Affair, or the Battle of Red River Canyon, was a military action fought during the Taos Revolt of the Mexican-American War. Although the American's mistakenly called this river by the name "Red", it was actually then and now more correctly called the Canadian River.[2] On 26 May 1847, a detachment of American troops, traveling through northern New Mexico, were attacked by a combined force of Mexican militia with their Apache, Kiowa, and Comanche allies.[1]:142

Background[edit]

On May 26, 1847, United States Army Major Edmondson, with a company of two hundred infantry and cavalry under Captains Holaway and Robinson, were marching at almost sunset along the Red (Canadian)River.[1]:142 They had just entered Red River Canyon when ambushed by an estimated 500 Mexicans and natives, according to reports given to Colonel Alexander Doniphan, a commander during the New Mexican Campaign.[1]:142

Battle[edit]

Red River Canyon being very narrow and full of thick, deep mud, Major Edmundson was forced to dismount his cavalry and proceed in the attack on foot with the infantry.[1]:142 Now all on foot, the Americans pushed forward and began to break up the ambush.[1]:142

The Mexicans and natives were repulsed but soon regrouped and assaulted the American position.[1]:142 The Americans slowly made an organized retreat, the withdrawal being covered by a Lieutenant Elliot and his Laclede rangers.[1]:142 At sunrise, the Americans reformed and reentered the canyon, where they discovered that the Mexicans and natives had retreated just before their arrival.[1]:142

Aftermath[edit]

A Later skirmishloccurred Battle of Cienega Creek.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hughes, J.T., 1847, Doniphan's Expedition, Cincinnati: U.P. James
  2. ^ Magoon, Charles E. "Reports on the law of civil government in territory subject to military occupation by the military forces of the United States". War Department, 1903, pg.708.

Additional Reading[edit]

  • Twitchell, R. E. Old Santa Fe (Santa Fe: R. E. Twitchell, 1925), p. 146.