Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Once Again... Western Wednesday...!

I just love these stories about the old west!

This one sounds like it came right out of the pages of an old Zane Grey book! I mean, it has cowboys and Indians and gunfights...what more could you ask for?

Jun 27, 1874:
Buffalo hunters and Indians clash at Adobe Walls

Using new high-powered rifles to devastating effect, 28 buffalo hunters repulse a much larger force of attacking Indians at an old trading post in the Texas panhandle called Adobe Walls.

The Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Indians living in western Texas had long resented the advancement of white settlement in their territories. In 1867, some of the Indians accepted the terms of the Treaty of Medicine Lodge, which required them to move to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) but also reserved much of the Texas Panhandle as their exclusive hunting grounds. Many white Texans, however, maintained that the treaty had ignored their legitimate claims to the area. These white buffalo hunters, who had already greatly reduced the once massive herds, continued to hunt in the territory.

By the early 1870s, Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne hunters were finding it harder to locate buffalo, and they blamed the illegal white buffalo hunters. When the federal government failed to take adequate measures to stop the white buffalo hunters, the great chief Quanah Parker and others began to argue for war.

In the spring 1874, a group of white merchants occupied an old trading post called Adobe Walls near the South Canadian River in the Indian's hunting territory. The merchants quickly transformed the site into a regional center for the buffalo-hide trade. Angered by this blatant violation of the treaty, Chief Quanah Parker and Lone Wolf amassed a force of about 700 Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne braves. On this day in 1874, the Indians attacked Adobe Walls.

Only 28 hunters and traders occupied Adobe Walls, but they had two advantages over the Indians: the thick walls of the adobe structure were impenetrable to arrows and bullets, and the occupants had a number of high-powered rifles normally used on buffalo. The hunters' .50 caliber Sharps rifles represented the latest technology in long-range, rapid firing weaponry. Already skilled marksmen, the buffalo hunters used the rifles to deadly effect, decimating the warriors before they came close enough even to return effective fire. On the second day of the siege, one hunter reportedly hit an Indian warrior at a distance of eight-tenths of a mile.

Despite their overwhelmingly superior numbers, after three days the Indians concluded that Adobe Walls could not be taken and withdrew. The defenders had lost only four men in the attack, and they later estimated that the Indians had lost 13. Enraged by their defeat, several Indian bands subsequently took their revenge on poorly defended targets. Fearful settlers demanded military protection, leading to the outbreak of the Red River War. By the time the war ended in 1875, the Commanche and Kiowa had been badly beaten and Indian resistance on the Southern Plains had effectively collapsed.

Sometimes I think we forget just what a big difference our modern firearms made in the old days! Improvements in guns made hunting more effective, gun fights more even, and long distance killing so much easier! Unfortunately, sometimes the killing part was applied to other people as well as animals!

Just something in Man's nature, I guess!

Fresh coffee out on the patio this morning. I'll put out a plate of macaroons to dunk with!


Gorges Smythe said...

A bad deal for all involved, though the whites weren't able to see that at the time.

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Again, thanks for the history lesson! I love when you post these stories.
Coffee and macaroons sound just dandy! (I'll have two.)

Momlady said...

The white man didn't keep a treaty then and so it goes today.

linda m said...

Sems like "man" hasn't learned anything in over100 years. We still treat each other poorly with no regard for laws. Gorges and Momlady are right. Coffee sounds good to me. Love the Old West history lessons.

JOJO said...

It is a sad story for sure. White Buffalo hunters only wanted the hide and left the carnage behind to rot in the heat. Then the white man left the Indians to starve by not giving them Provisions. And calling the land theirs.
And yes we still don't know how to treat each other.

I,m ready for coffee and cookies too.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Like they say "hindsight is always 20/20!"

Guess we just never seem to learn!

Thanks, buddy, for coming over this morning!

Hey Phyllis...
More than happy to try and find something of interest for your pleasure!

Western history can be very surprising at times!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Momlady...
Not much has changed over the years, has it?

Thanks, lady, for coming by this morning!

Hey Linda...
We do seem to be slow learner's without a doubt!

Glad you could come by today!

Hey JoJo...
Just crazy, isn't it? Almost makes you ashamed!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

Bob from Athens said...

Makes me wonder what this country would be like today if the white men had kept their promises and honored the treaties they signed ?

Dizzy-Dick said...

There were two points of view, one from the Indians and one from the none-Indians. I believe they each had reasons to do what they did, but we would have to live in both of their shoes and during that time period to actually be able to judge who was right. From here it looks like the Indians were right but under armed. They needed a cannon, (grin).