I KNOW SOMEWHERE HERE I CROSSED HIS PATH

Amarillo Globe-News, June 13, 2001, by Ricky George

ADOBE WALLS  -  Baldwin Parker Jr. again crossed the tracks of his grandfather, the Comanche leader Quanah Parker.

About 20 people, including Parker relatives, traveled Tuesday to Adobe Walls, the former battlefield about 15 miles northeast of Stinnett where Parker led Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa warriors against white buffalo hunters in 1874.

"It's a place that gets emotional because I know somewhere here I crossed his path," Parker said.  "He was a man who had great foresight and common sense.  Above all that, he was a great warrior."

Parker, 83, sang the "medicine song" in Comanche that the warriors sang before they entered the battle at Adobe Walls.  Singing that song protected Quanah Parker from injury, according to Baldwin Parker.

"My grandfather rode on his horse at full speed past Adobe Walls," Parker said.  "He was not shot."

The white hunters came from Dodge City, Kan., looking for buffalo, Hutchinson County Museum director Ed Benz said.

The Indians believed the land was their hunting ground, a condition of the Treaty of Medicine Lodge.

"They were slaughtering buffalo needlessly, just for the hides," Parker said of the white hunters.  "It was the Indians' one source of food."

Parker took some umbrage with the information on the 1874 battle marker.  The marker said 700 Cheyenne, Comanche and Kiowa warriors were held off by 28 frontiersmen, including Wild West legend Bat Masterson.

"That's hard to believe," Parker said.

Benz said a more likely number was 400 Indian warriors.

"It was a standoff, not really a defeat," Benz said.   Parker and his warriors battled for their lands until 1875, according to Globe-News files.  Parker surrendered in 1875, leading 100 warriors and 300 more tribe members into Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

The group also visited the marker commemorating the first fight at Adobe Walls in 1864, not far from the 1874 battle.  The marker is located on private property, so the museum got permission from the owners.

The 1864 battle was between troops led by Kit Carson and about 3,000 warriors, according to the marker's information.  Benz said it was the largest battle with Native Americans in Texas.

At both spots, Quanah Parker's great-great-great granddaughter, Brittany Parker, 13, performed the "Lord's Prayer" in an Indian form of sing language while wearing traditional Comanche dress.  Baldwin Parker also offered a blessing in Comanche while wearing a Comanche war bonnet.

One of the reasons for the trip is dedicating the Quanah Parker commemorative rifle, Benz said.  The rifle is a replica of the .44 Henry rifle used at Adobe Walls.  Only 300 of the rifles were made as a tribute to Parker and his descendants.

 

RETURN TO:  QUANAH PARKER WEBSITE