The Hero of Sand Creek
Like the Sioux, the Navajo struggled to protect their home territories against US intervention. The Civil War brought new demands that the Indians of the Southwest be “pacified” and settled in permanent communities. Many Indians resisted—most famously the Navajo, the Comanche, and the Apache Nations. The Navajo Nation surrendered after the Battle of Canyon de Chelly on January 8, 1864, and Carson immediately ordered the removal of the Navajo from their homeland in the northern New Mexico Territory to a government reservation some four hundred miles away at Bosque Redondo.
Dime novels celebrated Kit Carson’s removal of the Navajo from their homeland during the so-called Second Navajo Campaign from 1863 to 1864. The cover of The Fighting Trapper portrays Carson as the quintessential, righteous nineteenth-century action hero, slaying Indians left and right.