Today in Texas History – May 18

From the Annals of the Depredations –  In 1871, more than 100 Kiowas, Comanches, Kiowa-Apaches, Arapahoes, and Cheyennes from the Fort Sill Reservation in Oklahoma attacked Henry Warren’s wagontrain on the Butterfield Overland Mail route.  The attack ended with the wagonmaster and six teamsters dead while five others managed to escape.  The raiding party suffered one killed and five more wounded.  One of the escaped teamsters related his story of the attack to Gen. Sherman and Col. Ranald MacKenzie at Fort Richardson. As a result the leaders of the raid, Chiefs Satank, Satanta, and Big Tree, leaders of the raid, were arrested. Satank attempted to escape and was killed. Satanta and Big Tree were tried for murder in Texas which was reputed to be the first use of Texas courts to try Indian for criminal acts.  They were found guilty and sentenced to death, but had their sentences commuted to life by Gov. Edmund Davis.   The raid restarted U.S. military operations against the Comanches and their allies who remained at large.

Photo of Chief Satanta from

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