The 1877 Winter Campaign
In the fall and winter of 1877, Lieutenant Bullis and the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts, under orders from Colonel Shafter commanding Fort Clark, engaged in several dangerous and lengthy expeditions. On October 30, 1877, while tracking a band of Mescalero Apaches in Mexico, Bullis and his men encountered and were outnumbered by Apaches. Bullis and the Scouts returned to Texas and waited for reinforcements. Colonel Shafter sent Captain Young with a large command composed of troops from Companies A and K 8th Calvary, Company C, 10th Calvary and the 25th Infantry to join Bullis and follow the Mescalero trail into Mexico. Between Nov.14 and Dec. 16., 1877, the troops marched 610 miles.
By compiling different sources of information about the engagement - the reports by Capt. Young and Capt. Phelps, the Congressional testimony of Lieutenant Bullis, and the memoir of Capt. Phelps - we see how participants viewed the engagement. With the exception of Phelps's memoir, the other documents are contemporaneous and corroborative.