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Pioneers who found theselves under attack from the Indians (Native Americans) would ride their covered wagons towards one another. The caravan would then have all of the horses facing one another. This was called, "Circling the wagons," because it formed a circle. The livestock and people would be within the circle, taking cover from the Indians behind their wagons. They would then take out their weapons and attack in return. Today, whenever people are trying to get together to defend themselves from an attack by others, whether physical, verbal, or written, we say, "They are circling the wagons." This is where the expression originated. --Stephanie Louise Bender

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Q: What would the people on the trail do if they encountered Indians?
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