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
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
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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