Panhandle Plains Historical Society


And Family

A young medicine man named I-satai arose among the Quahada Comanche with claims of supernatural powers. He claimed he had the ability to cure all diseases and restore the dead to life, and siad he had been taken repeatedly into the home of the Father of the Indians, above the sun and far above the God of the whites, and that he had been given control of the elements, with power to send rain, wind, thunder, lightening and drought upon the earth as he pleased. He promoside to protect all who believed inhim, as he could produce cartridges in unlimited amounts form his stomach, and could influence the guns of the whites, especially the soldiers, that they would not shoot Indians, even if they stood in front of the muzzle. His words created geat excitement among the Comanche, nearly all believed him.

In May 1874, he commanded all the tribe to meet at the junction of Elk Creek with the North Fork of the Red River to see proofs of his mission and hear his message to the people. Word of him has spread among the other Nations, and among the Comanche were the main body of the Cheyenne and Some Kiowa. He told them that thier god commanded them to avenge their murdered people. A war party was made up to go to Texas to kill the Tonkawa, who were known as cannibals, and had also served as scouts for the soldiers against other Indians. The Agent Haworth learned of this and notified Fort Griffin where the TOnkawa were camped. The COmmander moved them into the post for safety. The Indians heard of this and changed their palns to go to Adobe Walls and attack the buffalo hunters there. A war party was soon organized.

At dawn on June 27, 1874, the warriors attacked Adobe Walls trading post in the Texas panhandle. Three whites were killed in the first rush, but soon they rallied and from the protection of the walls kept the warriors at bay. Under cover and with ample ammunition, the professional hunters inflicted damage to the war party, some casualties at maximum range of the heavy buffalo rifles.

By late afternoon the war party, which had lost about a dozen killed, gave up the attack. I-satai blamed the failure of the attack on the fact that a member of the party had killed a skunk.

I-satai later became a scout and interpreter for the army.

Information taken from "Calender History of The Kiowa Indians" by James Mooney, 1896, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.; "Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief" by William T. Hagan, University of Oklahoma Press.

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