First Lieutenant Frank D. Baldwin snapped the collar of his coat up around his neck in the chill of an early November morning in 1874 and peered through field glasses at the distant Cheyenne encampment along North McClellan Creek, Texas.


The detachment of about 120 soldiers was escorting a group of wagons on a supply mission.

Baldwin faced a distinct disadvantage. The band consisted of about 500 Hotamitanco—Dog Men or Dog Soldiers—an elite society composed mainly of hostile young warriors, led by Grey Beard, a Southern Cheyenne medicine man.  

The odds favored waiting for reinforcements. Baldwin, however, didn’t want to risk allowing the Indians to escape or possibly killing their captives. 

The young, highly decorated officer ordered his foot soldiers to the empty wagons and launched an attack against the camp.

Caught by surprise, the warriors scattered with soldiers in pursuit.

When Baldwin’s soldiers rode through the abandoned camp, they discovered two young girls, sisters abducted from a family of settlers by Chief Medicine Water two months earlier.

When Julia and Addie German were rescued, they appeared emaciated and near starvation. Two older sisters, captured by another band of Cheyenne, had already been rescued. 

All four sisters reunited at Fort Leavenworth.

Although the Cheyenne managed to escape Baldwin’s pursuit, they surrendered a few months later, faced with starvation.

Baldwin received the Congressional Medal of Honor—his second—for “extraordinary heroism” at McClelland’s Creek. 

He had been awarded the first Medal of Honor for displaying gallantry at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek near Atlanta in July 1864.

Baldwin ranks among only 19 U.S. soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor twice.

He is also the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in different conflicts—the Civil War and the Indian Wars.



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