Adobe Walls, Battle of.In the spring of 1874 a number of Dodge City buffalo hunters went south to the Pan Handle country and the "Staked Plains" of Texas to hunt buffaloes, and, invading the hunting grounds of the Indians of that locality, it is said they killed 100,000 buffaloes during the ensuing five months. Their camp was made at a deserted station known as "Adobe Walls," near the ruins of which at the time were three large adobe and log houses, occupied by traders and hunters. The Indians, who had been watching this wholesale slaughter of the animals which constituted their chief food supply were in no peaceful frame of mind in consequence, and after holding a council, about 900 Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Comanches and Kiowas on the morning of June 27 rode out to make an attack, hoping to take the hunters by surprise. At the time of the attack some of the occupants of one of the buildings at Adobe Walls were up on the roof of the building making needed repairs, and while thus engaged discovered the Indians. Seeing they were apprehended, the Indians gave the war whoop and chargedriding 25 or more abreastfiring their rifles and revolvers as they came. Two hunters who had come in during the night and were encamped about 100 yards away from the buildings were the only ones failing to reach a place of safety. They were quickly killed and scalped. The occupants of the buildings numbered 28 men and 1 woman, a Mrs. William Olds, of Warsaw, Mo., wife of one of the hunters and the only white woman in all that section at the time. As soon as the hunters reached shelter they grasped their rifles and returned the fire of the Indians with telling effect. The late Quanah Parker, at that time war chief of the Comanches and a noted chief in the tribe since, headed the first charge, but while passing the open door of one of the houses was shot through the breast and put out of the fight almost at the start. The Indians, however, were persistent in their attacks, and again and again returned to the assault, only to fall before the withering fire of the hunters within the buildings. Three casualties among the hunters closed the first days' fight, 2 of these being the men killed in their wagon. Firing was kept up intermittently during the second day, and under cover of darkness one of the hunters was sent for assistance to Dodge City, 175 miles distant, which place he reached some days later without mishap. The Indians had lost many men in their charges and after the second day began to do their fighting at long range. On the third day William Olds was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun. By the morning of the fourth day over 100 hunters from the surrounding country had crowded into Adobe Walls, agumenting the fighting force correspondingly. Two days later, after two days of quiet, one more hunter was killed, he and a companion having gone out for sand plums. On July 14, the Indians having decamped, the hunters marched out for Dodge City, which place they reached on the 27th. Gov. Osborn sent 1,000 stands of arms to Dodge City in response to the request. The Indians in this fight lost 80 men killed and mortally wounded, besides about 200 ponies. What supplies the hunters could not take with them were appropriated by the Indians who burned the premises.Pages 29-30 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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