Of all the confrontations between the United States Army and Indians in Texas, the Battle of Blanco Canyon is identified as one of the most decisive clashes in the U.S. cavalry's campaigns against the Comanches. Indians inhabited the canyons and plains as far back as 12,000 years, and various bands and tribes populated what is now Floyd County due to the area's abundant resources. In 1720, the Comanche Indians traveled into north Texas which drove the Apache and other tribes south. The Comanche maintained strong diplomatic and military power over Texas, and by 1790 the Comanche proved to be powerful trading figures in the region.
On Aug. 12, 1871, an Indian agent, Lawrie Tatum, requested that Gen. Benjamin Grierson and Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie lead an expedition against Kotsoteka and Quahadi Comanche bands whom denied relocation to a reservation. On Oct. 3, the command left Camp Cooper (Throckmorton County) with Tonkawa scouts to find chief Quanah Parker and the accompanying Indians. During the Battle of Blanco Canyon, a preemptive attack against the cavalry by Parker's forces on Oct. 10 in which the Indians drove off many cavalry horses, Col. Mackenzie's men suffered one fatality. In response, Col. Mackenzie and Lt. Robert G. Carter pursued the Comanches. During the expedition, Lt. Carter's leg was crushed when his horse slipped
and Col. Mackenzie was shot in the leg when returning to Blanco Canyon. The expedition ended soon after the wounded and sick retreated on Oct. 24. The command marched 509 miles in total, and although the expedition discouraged Col. Mackenzie, the cavalry destroyed Comanche resources and disrupted regional Comanche dominance.