The Life of Ten Bears: Comanche Historical Narratives

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

23   A Fight between Cavalry and
a Comanche War Party

To the Comanche horse-warrior plunderers who roved in Texas, the groups of white horsemen they encountered, those whites being either uniformed troops or armed settlers, were found out to be fairly easy to discourage in pitched close combat. These army whites, however belligerent they appeared as they made their loud-mouthed, weapon-brandishing advance to battle, much more frequently than not gave way in an extended closeup battle. These Texas whites gave way in frantic, devil-take-the-hindmost flights much quicker. As soon as their leader was rendered hors de combat, the usual numerical advantage of the whites, which was altogether necessary before their combat courage would be whipped up by their leaders, did not seem to be considered in the slightest when their leader was wounded or killed or even unhorsed in view of his followers. No Texan was ever known to the Comanches to be fortunate enough to have a follower who was loyal enough to remain in an effort to defend him or attempt to rescue him when he was mortally wounded or unhorsed by bullet or dogwood shaft. The sight of the leader’s helpless plight always completely evaporated any fighting spirit possessed by the whites, it never sparked any spontaneous desire to avenge the leader.

The plunder-seeking Comanches considered these Texas whites something of a noisy nuisance that had to be beaten off now and then; these Texans may have presented an occupational hazard that was not considered serious enough to [illegible] the calling together of any large-scale war parties. Instead, the Comanches felt safe enough to move about Texas in small mounted or walking groups, hardly ever numbering over ten, and even at times a Comanche warrior would go into Texas taking as a companion only his wife or some other woman. Sometimes if he said the right things to her, some other man’s wife would furnish his companionship into Texas. Most adventuresome was this latter arrangement. This hazardous adventure did not end when the pair returned from Texas but hanged [illegible].

The following is an account of one of those small excursions into Texas by some Comanches under the leadership of Namawadie. This group, with the exception of Namawadie, had not yet found Texas horses to mount

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