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Lone Wolf 

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Lone Wolf, principal chief of the Kiowas during the critical 1860's and '70's led a Jekyll-Hyde life during the years following the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867. By the terms of the treaty, the Kiowas were supposed to remain on their reservation at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, and cease all depredations. Lone Wolf's relations with the Army were good during the months following the treaty council. He professed his love of peace and harmony openly and apparently was sincere so long as Texas did not enter into consideration.

The chief's hatred of the Texans was implacable, but it was not irrational. He perceived that their very presence was driving the bison herds westward to be slaughtered by hide hunters. The way of life and even the religion of the Plains tribes were founded upon the presence of the buffalo herds and Lone Wolf knew that the special faced destruction unless the Texans were driven away.

In February, 1896, Lone Wolf led 50 braves into Texas on a series of raids in which 18 men, women and children were killed without mercy. The hunting party returned with 200 horses and mules plus tons of loot. A month later he brought a war party to within five miles of Fort Griffin where a number of white settlers were killed and 150 horses were stolen. The Kiowa hero of this raid was Lone Wolf's foster son, Mamadayte, who, alone and on foot, routed and killed three armed white men.

As pressure from the Army increased, more and more of the Indians chose to remain peacefully on the reservation. Although he continued to live outside with his band of warriors, Lone Wolf came to the agency often to express his friendship. During these times his braves went in raiding parties to Texas, usually under the leadership of Mamadayte. When suspicion too often pointed to his band, Lone Wolf brought his men to the agency. Small groups were able to slip away to Texas while the chief and the bulk of his men remained to cover for them.

In October, 1873, Mamadayte took nine Kiowas and 20 Comanches below the Red River and established a hideaway camp on the Nueces River in Edwards County. Sneaking down into Mexico between Eagle Pass and Laredo, they staged a raid in which they killed 18 persons and captured two young boys. ON their way back to their camp they captured a Mexican named Rodriguez and then returned to Texas, killing two white men. Rodriguez and one of he boys escaped and alerted a rancher who got word to the Army. The Indians, returning with a large herd of stolen livestock, were intercepted by Lt. Charles L. Hudson and a 4 th Cavalry patrol out of Fort Clark. After a battle in a rocky area, the Indians raced back toward Indian territory pursued by the troopers. Lone Wolf's favorite son, Tauankia, had been wounded in a previous raid and now fell behind. His cousin, 15 year old Guitan, returned along with several other warriors.

The survivors reached Lone Wolf's camp in mid-January, 1874. The chief, in his agony, burned most of his personal belongings, cut off his hair and killed his best horses. Then, for two months, he planned a revenge expedition. In March, Lone Wolf and Mamadayte led about 25 picked warriors into Texas. When their absence was discovered, five large Army patrols scouted south Texas trying to intercept them. The Indians made one minor raid and recovered the bodies of the slain youths, which they were forced to hide in a mountain cave when the troops came to close.

Safely returned to their camp in the Wichita Mountains, the warriors were loath to return to Texas despite Lone Wolf's pleading that the dead warriors must be brought home. Finally, a small party was recruited by Lone Wolf's best friend, Maman-ti and Mamadayte and Lone Wolf then announced that Mamadayte henceforth would bear the name of Lone Wolf. The renegade band surrendered in February, 1875, and Lone Wolf was imprisoned in Florida. When he was released more than three years later his health was broken by malarial fever and he died in the summer of 1879. He is buried on Mt. Scott.

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Collection of books and papers, 1922-1925

Indian Warriors

 

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