The Long Walk was the term used to decribe the emigration of the Navajo
Indians and other tribes to the Bosque Redondo Reservation along the Pecos River in New Mexico
. Colonel Kit Carson
told the Navajo that the trip to the reservation was preferable to their annihilation
by the U.S. government. About fifteen hundred Navajo were originally sent to the reservation and more were soon to follow.
Although the Navajo were starving and exhausted, the Indians were sent by the U.S. Army on a long journey by foot to the reservation. Many Indians died en route and even more died at the reservation.
The reservation land was barren and couldn't come close to feeding the 9,000 Indians who were forced to live there. The drinking water was rich in alkali and gave the Navajo diarrhea. The Mescalero, another tribe of Indians, and enemy of the Navajo was added to the reservations growing population. This led to many fights occurring between the tribes. Eventually the Mescalero escaped and went to live in the mountains.
The government, in its infinite wisdom, tried to make the Navajo into farmers. Needless to say, the Navajo weren't interested since they had no farming experience and lived more of a hunter's lifestyle. The Navajo stayed on the reservation until 1864 when they were eventually allowed to return to their homeland. Many of them also died on the return trip.