Red River War

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,995
Texas
#41
Here is a really interesting shot of the same area from the air. I think the river coming out in the bottom portion is the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos coming from Blanco Canyon, the site of one of Quanah Parker's greatest exploits.

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Here is an older shot of the plains - 1900

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this is a great relief of the area. See the best of the Caprock running from the top of Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo to the opening of Yellow House Canyon which goes to Lubbock. Blanco Canyon is the one just to the NE of Yellow House Canyon - a smallish affair, not quite as deep. Tule Canyon is the spur on the left side of Palo Duro Canyon's opening. The large River cutting all the way across north of Amarillo is the Canadian, site of Adobe Walls. This area is the heart of Comancheria.

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Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,995
Texas
#43
I was reading an old book called 'Pioneer Days in the Early Southwest' by Grant Foreman and discovered an interesting quote about the Llano Estacado (High Plains at the heart of Comancheria).

"Governor Houston of Tennessee will effect nothing with the Comanches, he goes to treat with the southern portion of them who are already friendly - he will never meet one of the northern portion from whom is our only danger, and even should he do so he would be immediately scalped. You can never make war upon them. Possessed of numberless horses and having a prairie to flee to as barren as the Sahara, they defy pursuit. The Llano Estacado where they dwell is a byword and a curse to the Spaniard." Albert Pike 1833
 
Aug 2012
791
Washington State, USA.
#44
I've often wondered what Quannah Parker could have done if he had overwhelmed Adobe Walls and got his hands on all of those Sharps buffalo rifles, and the large amount of .50 caliber ammo that was in the possession of the buffalo hunters. From what I read, the hunters were all asleep, and a breaking lodge-pole woke them all up just before the attack. Someone then noticed the Indians coming in the distance.
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,995
Texas
#45
I've often wondered what Quannah Parker could have done if he had overwhelmed Adobe Walls and got his hands on all of those Sharps buffalo rifles, and the large amount of .50 caliber ammo that was in the possession of the buffalo hunters. From what I read, the hunters were all asleep, and a breaking lodge-pole woke them all up just before the attack. Someone then noticed the Indians coming in the distance.
Yes, the lodge-pole story is a wonderful one. Amos Chapman showed up at Adobe Walls the night before the attack and gave warning to the owners. The owners then decided not to spread the word because they wanted their property defended. Some of the owners and Amos Chapman left later in the evening after Amos's life was threatened by rumors that he was an Indian spy. So then the lodge-pole 'snapped' around 2am and woke everyone up, keeping them busy until daybreak. Of course Billy Dixon (and others) say the pole did not break but that Hanrahan had fired off a rifle in the saloon to make the noise because he knew an attack was coming, the pole breaking was just a cover story. Billy says there was no break in the pole when he inspected it later.

Here is an artist's later rendition of Billy Dixon's race to get into the saloon when Quanah first charged. Not true to the narrative but a cool painting nonetheless. :)


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Aug 2012
791
Washington State, USA.
#46
Yes, the lodge-pole story is a wonderful one. Amos Chapman showed up at Adobe Walls the night before the attack and gave warning to the owners. The owners then decided not to spread the word because they wanted their property defended. Some of the owners and Amos Chapman left later in the evening after Amos's life was threatened by rumors that he was an Indian spy. So then the lodge-pole 'snapped' around 2am and woke everyone up, keeping them busy until daybreak. Of course Billy Dixon (and others) say the pole did not break but that Hanrahan had fired off a rifle in the saloon to make the noise because he knew an attack was coming, the pole breaking was just a cover story. Billy says there was no break in the pole when he inspected it later.

Here is an artist's later rendition of Billy Dixon's race to get into the saloon when Quanah first charged. Not true to the narrative but a cool painting nonetheless. :)
Cool, didn't that fight have the longest rifle shot in history for many years? By the way, I love Western art.
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,995
Texas
#47
Here is a photo from a friend on FB. He discusses the probability that Billy's shot actually went to the nearest bluff (7/8 mile) instead of the far bluff which people like to imagine. Here is Billy's description: "On the third day a party of about 15 Indians appeared on the side of the bluff, east of Adobe Walls Creek, and some of the boys suggested that I try my big '50' on them. The distance was not far from 3/4ths of a mile. a number of exaggerated accounts have been written about this incident. I took careful aim and pulled the trigger. We saw an Indian fall from his horse. The others dashed out of sight behind a clump of timber. A few moments later two Indians ran quickly on foot to where the dead Indian lay, seized his body and scurried to cover. They had risked their lives, as we had frequently observed, to rescue a comrade who might be not only wounded, but dead. I was admittedly a good marksman, yet this was what might be called a 'scratch' shot."



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royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,530
San Antonio, Tx
#49
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!
When the Comanche got the Spanish horses, they became, as one historian put it, “the finest light cavalry in the world”. They increased their range and became the scourge of the Texas frontier. The Comanche and Apache warriors were the main reason why the Mexican Republic had great difficulty in recruiting Mexican settlers for Texas. To remedy this, the Mexicans allowed American settlers into Texas to hold the land. Initially, these settlers were quite peaceful probably because the early settlements were set up by Moses Austin and later his son, Stephen F Austin (whence the name of the Capitol of Texas).

Some southern settlers just moved in and brought their slaves with them. This was not allowed by the Mexicans but they didn’t have sufficient personnel to impede this settlement. The southern planters who moved in could have cared less about the Mexican administration and just moved in. This was a harbinger for the future of Texas.
 

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