Friday, March 21, 2014

Silent Witnesses

A Rise in The Plains
part two

East Bluff
A natural cut between two prominent red sandstone bluffs leads one up to a plateau that overlooks the Washita River to the north. If one were standing on either the east or west bluff in May of 1865 they would have had a bird's eye view of Cottonwood Grove.

West Bluff
Scattered up and down the river were an estimated 800 teepees with up to 7,000 Plains Indians from over 20 tribes gathered for a Council. The future of their lives were at stake. The Civil War was winding down and they needed to make peace among themselves and also know where they stood with the United States. A treaty was drew up and delegates were chosen to go to Washington DC.


After the Civil War, Cottonwood Grove was given the name Camp Napoleon. All the ancient trees have been cut down and the small town of Verden, Oklahoma sits on the grounds of one of the Teepee encampments. The red sandstone pinnacles still stand!


  1. they're beautiful. hallowed (and rather sorrowful) ground.

  2. Amazing and very interesting post.

  3. I can almost envision what you wrote about. Very Nice photos. I would love to visit that area someday.

  4. Silent witnesses indeed! An interesting piece of history seldom heard and an interesting read. (I just Googled "Camp Napoleon Oklahoma")

  5. Well now you didn't say you could see the Washita River fromthe bluff. I may have to look through my maps to see if I have something that matches that. Taking a walk around the property might be pretty interesting!

    Nice photos and post by the way. (but now you have me thinking about something else! LOL)

  6. Your narrative prompted a visual image in my mind of the teepees. There are too many sad Native American stories in the history of our country.


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