Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (December 24, 1809 – May 23, 1868) was an American frontiersman. Carson left home in rural present-day Missouri at age 16 and became a trapper in the West. He gained renown for his role as John C. Fremont's guide in the American West. Carson also played a minor role in California during the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War.
Later he became a rancher in New Mexico. During the American Civil War, he helped organize the New Mexico volunteer infantry for the Union. When the Navajos tried to take advantage of the military slack caused by the outbreak of the Civil War, the United States government sent Colonel Kit Carson to settle the uprising. His mission was to gather the Navajo together and move them to Fort Sumner on the Bosque Redondo Reservation. When the Indians refused to move and hid in the Canyon de Chelly, he began a campaign of economic warfare, destroying crops, livestock and villages.
By destroying their food supplies, eventually he convinced the Navajos that going to the reservation was the only way to survive. By 1864, about 8000 Navajo had surrendered to the U.S. Army, while another 8000 hid in the back country. Kit Carson finally went home to his family. After the Civil War, Carson moved to Colorado, where he died.[