Tag Archives: Red River War

Today in Texas History – April 19

From the Annals of the War Chiefs –  In 1875, Kiowa chief Tsen-tainte (“White Horse”) surrendered at Fort Sill. White Horse and his followers were notorious for their numerous raids across Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.  He was considered to be the fiercest of the Kiowa chiefs.  Along with Satank, Satanta, Zepko-ete, Mamanti and Big Tree participated in the Warren Wagon Train raid at Salt Creek Prairie in May 1871.  He also fought in the second battle of Adobe Walls in June 1874.  After that he fought with Quanah Parker and Guipago in the Red River War.  After the battle of Palo Duro Canyon in September 1874, he became convinced that further resistance was futile. When Gen. Philip Sheridan demanded that Chief Kicking Bird designate men for imprisonment in the east, White Horse was chosen.  Along with other he was imprisoned at St. Augustine, Florida. He became a practitioner of Ledger Art while in prison.  He was released in 1878 and returned to the reservation near Fort Sill.

Today in Texas History – September 8

From the Annals of the Indian Wars –  In 1874, Lt. Frank Baldwin and three army scouts captured the “white Indian” known as “Tehan” in what is now Hemphill County during the initial phases of the Red River War.  His anglo name is unknown as he was taken by the Kiowas when he was a child and given the name Tehan (“Texan”). He was adopted by the medicine man Maman-ti and grew up to become a fierce warrior. He was completely assimilated as a Kiowa and was striking for his red hair, fair skin, and bull-like neck.  As an apprentice brave, Tehan took part in several raids during the early 1870s.  When captured, Tehan made a show of being grateful for his delivery from the Kiowa.   Baldwin met up with Captain Wyllys Lyman train of supply wagons, and transferred custody of Tehan to Lyman.   Indian scouts sent out to look for Tehan discovered Lyman’s wagon train.  The Kiowas besieged the train from September 9 to 14, during which time Tehan escaped and rejoined his adopted tribe, sporting a suit of clothes the troops had given him.  The ultimate fate of Tehan is unknown.

Today in Texas History – May 18

From the Annals of the Comanche – In 1871, a war party of more than 100 Kiowas, Comanches, Kiowa-Apaches, Arapahoes, and Cheyennes from the Fort Sill Reservation in Oklahoma attacked Henry Warren’s wagon train on the Butterfield Overland Mail route.  The raiders killed the wagon master and six teamsters, but five others escaped.  The raiders lost one dead and five wounded and returned to the reservation. One of the survivors reached Fort Richardson.  When General Sherman and Colonel Ranald Mackenzie heard his first hand account, the Army moved to arrest the leaders of the raid, Chiefs Satank, Satanta, and Big Tree. Satank was killed while trying to escape.  Chief Satanta and Big Tree were tried by civil courts in Texas (the first time Indians had been tried in civil courts), found guilty, and sentenced to hang. Governor Edmund Davis commuted the Indians’ sentences to life imprisonment. The raid caused General Sherman to change his opinion about conditions on the Texas frontier, thus ending his own defensive policy and the Quaker peace policy as well. Sherman ordered soldiers to begin offensive operations against all Indians found off the reservation, a policy that culminated in the Red River War of 1874-75 and the resulting end of Indian raids in North Texas.

Today in Texas History

From the Annals of the Indian Wars –  In 1874, Lt. Francis D. Baldwin and three army scouts captured the Kiowa Indian known as “Tehan.”  Tehan was a white captive of the Kiowa Indians taken when he was a child, perhaps between five and ten. The Indian name Tehan was their version of Texan likely from the Spanish which many Indians spoke on some level.  He was adopted by the Kiowa medicine man Maman-ti and became a respected and fierce warrior.  He was in striking contrast to the Kiowa with his red hair, fair skin, and thick neck. Tehan was about eighteen when the Red River War broke out in the summer of 1874. He was among those who fled the Wichita Agency in late August and camped near the upper Washita River while traveling west toward Palo Duro Canyon.  While looking for stray horses, he was captured by Baldwin. Although Tehan pretended to be grateful for his “deliverance,” his captors took no chances and kept a rope tied about the prisoner’s neck to prevent any escape attempt.  Tehan escaped during a subsequent skirmish with the Kiowas.  He rejoined his adopted tribe, sporting a suit of clothes the troops had given him.  In later years several men claimed to be Tehan.  His actual fate will likely remain a mystery.