In 1868, General William Tecumseh Sherman and Colonel Samuel Tappan were dispatched to Fort Sumner in the New Mexico Territory to investigate troubling reports about the conditions there and in the neighboring Native American reservation of Bosque Redondo. They were appalled at what they discovered there.
For centuries the Navajo people have lived in what is now known as the “Four Corners,” the area around where the U.S. states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona meet. Clashes between the encroaching U.S. military and the Navajo began in 1846 and continued for nearly 20 years thereafter. The conflicts finally ended in 1864 when the U.S. military invaded and used scorched-earth tactics, marching from settlement to settlement burning crops and destroying homes and caches of food. Thousands of Navajo Indians began surrendering.
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