Red River War

Nov 2010
I've read a bit about the Commanches under the Spanish Empire a couple of hundred years earlier. The Commanches, Apaches and Navajo of course originally migrated from the north to disturb the peace of the Pueblo farmer native tribes. The Pueblos were in general - despite the odd incident caused by some crass Spanish idiot - glad to be 'protected' by the Empire. However Commanches and Apaches also inter-acted well with the Empire, sometimes allied with Spain against the other etc. But the Commanches come out of it as the least reasonable subjects!

Of course they didn't have horses or guns, which makes negotiations (and ruling) easier when you have steel swords, pikes, arrow-stopping armour, cannons, horses and mastiffs!


Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Been reading and writing about the buffalo hunters this past week. They are a very interesting lot. From the accounts of J. Wright Mooar and Billy Dixon I can clearly see they understood the sadness of what they were doing. They simply measured the slaughter against the money and drove ahead anyway. Late in life, Wright Mooar had this to say in defense of his actions:

"Buffalo hunting was a business and not a sport. It required capital, management, and a lot of hard work. Magazine writers and others who claim that the killing of the buffalo was a national calamity and was accomplished by vandals simply expose their ignorance, and I resent such an unjust judgment upon us.
On June 28, 1874, for instance, 28 buffalo hunters killed more Indians at Adobe Walls in three hours time than ever did all other forces in the Panhandle of Texas! And if it had not been for the work of the buffalo hunters, the wild bison would still graze where Amarillo now is, and the red man would still reign supreme over the pampas of the Panhandle of Texas.
And I want to state that any one of the families killed and homes destroyed by the Indians would have been worth more to Texas and to civilization than all the millions of buffalo that ever roamed from the Pecos River on the south to the Platte River on the north."

Billy Dixon described his moral delimma

"No mercy was shown the buffalo when I got back to camp from Adobe Walls. I killed as many as my three men could handle, working them as hard as they were willing to work. This was deadly business, without sentiment; it was dollars against tenderheartedness, and dollars won."

skinners at work
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Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Buffalo Men to Adobe Walls

I posted a blog entry just now providing a good bit of detail on how the buffalo hunters started in Kansas but quickly worked their way south to the Texas panhandle. They established Adobe Walls as the business center and spread out to decimate the southern plains buffalo herd. As I mentioned above, interesting story but pretty gruesome.

some of the primary participants were:

J. Wright Mooar - Among the very earliest buffalo hunters. He and his brother formed one of the largest operations in the buffalo business.

Billy Dixon - Another early buffalo hunter. Billy would become famous as a scout and Indian fighter. In fact, won a medal of honor in the Buffalo Wallow fight which is also a part of the blog.

Amos Chapman - Half-breed Cheyenne scout who warned the owners at Adobe Walls. Also at Buffalo Wallow and is subject of controverted accounts of that battle.

James Hanrahan - Saloon owner at Adobe Walls

Charles Myers - Wholesaler of buffalo hides and supplier of goods to buffalo hunters.

Charlie Rath - Competitor to Myers in hide business.

'Prairie Dog Dave' Morrow - Wagon driver and freight hauler


Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Battle of Adobe Walls

Since finishing the buffalo-hunters entry, I moved on to the Comanche uprising and the actual battle at Adobe Walls. I read some excellent materials including a very lengthy account found in the Life of Billy Dixon by Billy and his wife, Olive. Really excellent stuff. Here is a short quote of Billy's description of the initial Indian charge.

"There was never a more splendidly barbaric sight. In after years I was glad that I had seen it. Hundreds of warriors, the flower of the fighting men of the southwestern Plains tribes, mounted upon their fines horses, armed with guns and lances, and carrying heavy shields of thick buffalo hide, were coming like the wind. Over all was splashed the rich colors of red, vermillion and ochre, on the bodies of the men, on the bodies of the running horses. Scalps dangled from bridles, gorgeous war-bonnets fluttered their plumes, bright feathers dangled from the tails and manes of the horses, and the bronzed, half-naked bodies of the riders glitteres with ornaments of silver and brass. Behind this head-long charging host stretched the Plains, on whose horizon the rising sun was lifting its morning fires. The warriors seemed to emerge from the glowing background.

I must confess, however, that the landscape possessed little interest for me when I saw that the Indians were coming to attack us, and that they would be at hand in a few moments. War-whooping had a very appreciable effect upon the roots of a man's hair."

[ame=""]Life of Billy Dixon: Olive K. Dixon: 9780938349129: Books@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]
Jul 2010
Georgia, USA
Please excuse this question, but is Isa-Tai pronounced Isa-TIE or Isa-TAY? On occasion I talk a little history with a friend who is Native American and I don't want to sound like an idiot if I bring this subject up with him. The guy is of Apache heritage, so he may have something to say on the matter, particularly on the first battle at Adobe Walls.

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