Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Battles of Adobe Walls

Adobe walls is the name give to an abandoned fort that rests in what is now Hutchinson County, TX. On November 26, 1864, Col. Christopher "Kit" Carson was leading an expedition against Comanche and Kiowa Indians. Carson found a Comanche settlement and attacked it. However, the number of Indians was roughly over 10 to 1 more than his troops, more than he expected. Carson and his troops holed up in the Adobe Walls where they fended off charge after charge. The help of some howitzers on a high hill helped keep the Indians off Carson and his men. As food and ammunition ran short, Carson decided it was time to retreat. The troops retreated towards the rear, but the Indians saw this and set grass fires to back their escape. Carson changed track, setting his own fires and rushed through hails of gunfire to regroup and eventually withdraw from the area. Carson's casualties were 3 killed, 25 wounded (3 later dying). Indian casualties were estimated to be somewhere between 100 to 150.

On June 27, 1874, a second battle occurred. By now, the area had been teaming with buffalo hunters, including a young hunter by the name of Bat Masterson who would later earn fame and a name in history as an old-west lawman (with his good friend Wyatt Earp). The area Indians resented the buffalo hunters in the area and under the encouragement of a medicine man named Isa-tai. He performed a ceremony (getting high on peyote) and was told the Indians were to be protected from the white man's bullets. Under the leadership of Chief Quanah Parker the Indians attacked. The ruins were defended by a force of under 30 men, with superior weaponry. The Indian force ranged about 700 warriors who failed to take the ruins and defeat the hunters. Isa-tai's prediction about immunity from bullets proved to be false. In the end many of the Indians, including Chief Parker, were killed and the hunters lost only a few.


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