The Life of Ten Bears: Comanche Historical Narratives

By Francis Joseph Attocknie; Thomas W. Kavanagh | Go to book overview

16   The Battle of McClellan Cree
| September 24, 1872 |

PASUHATA WARNS KAHWOHTSEEP

Pasuhata—who was also called Kusimubiwat—and Nahvohkee, his female partner in abscondment, see blue-dressed mounted troops early in the morning approaching Kahwohtseep and Patsokoneki’s Yamparika Comanche village.

Pasuhata tells his partner that they’ll have to give alarm to the camp; she fears for her nose. Unable to give warning to the Comanche village of the approaching U.S. troops (colored cavalry), the absconders—capital offenders—watch helplessly. Conveniently for all Comanches (except maybe the wronged husband), the lovers spy a youth, Ekatue, looking for a lost horse. The youth is hurriedly sent riding to warn the village; he meets two riders who alarm the village.

The cavalry troops advance firing; they dismount to continue the battle. The troops almost reach the village. The troops remount as the battle becomes deadlocked. The troops then begin advancing again.

The Comanches have by this time collected enough horse-warriors to form a charge on the blue-dressed cavalry. As the charge nears the cavalry ranks, gunpowder smoke can be seen coming from the rapidly advancing Comanche charge-leaders; the cavalry troops waver, although they still pour gunfire toward the charging Comanches.

The main body of the Comanche charge does not reach the cavalry ranks, as by this time the cavalry is giving ground in vast quantities; in fact, besides ground and supplies, those blue-clad troopers who have the slower mounts are also being left behind. The first to count coup on the retreating U.S. Cavalry is Piatutakoniwap.

One luckless cavalry trooper’s mount is unable to keep up with the hasty withdrawal of the U.S. troops. Piatutakoniwap, who was wearing an eagle-feather warbonnet, catches up with the doomed cavalry trooper and, grasping him around the neck, hurls him to the ground, thereby executing what is probably the highest-ranked coup of all the Comanche ceremonies deeds of war, the act of throwing an armed and able enemy to the ground. In this highest coup, the actual killing of the shaken foe

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