Marc Simmons: Military attempted attack on Navajos in 1948

"The first major expedition by United States military troops against hostile Navajos began May 1, 1848. Col. Edward W. Newby, commander of the 9th Military Department of New Mexico, departed Santa Fe with a group of 200 soldiers made up of Missouri and Illinois mounted volunteers.

The specific reason for launching this campaign can be found in the pages of the old Santa Fe Republican, the predecessor of The New Mexican. Its editor, claiming to be "heartily grieved," reported that Navajos were assaulting towns from Socorro northward with "the greatest audacity."

"They murder and take prisoners," he lamented, "and drive off livestock by the thousands. Col. Newby will give them a good flogging which they richly deserve."

It has been observed on occasion that Newby's short term as departmental commander has been almost entirely overlooked by historians. Thus, little has been written about his foray into the heart of Navajo country."

Get the Story:
Marc Simmons: Daytime advance ruined U.S. attack on Navajos (The Santa Fe New Mexican 6/25)

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