A re-evaluation of Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson’s Trans-Pecos Campaign against Victorio, July-August 1880

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In July and August of 1880, U.S. troops led by Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson defeated Victorio’s Apache guerrillas in Western Texas. However, the Apache point of view is not generally understood. Primary sources show that if the Apache perspective is included, Grierson recognised, and avoided, one part of Victorio’s strategy, yet failed to comprehend the Apache leader’s clever decoy strategy. As such, Victorio came very close to breaching Grierson’s defences and winning this campaign. Nevertheless, Grierson’s ignorance of this decoy strategy was offset by his use of small scouting detachments and intelligence received from Mexican troops allowing him to emerge victorious.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-262
Number of pages21
JournalSouthwestern Historical Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015