Kiowa War of 1874

[ 1874 ]

The Kiowa Indians lived in the northern part of Texas in a forbidding-looking area known as the Starked Plains, through which tributaries of the Red River flowed, creating deep canyons. The Indians spent the winters in these canyons, where there was grass for their ponies and protection from blizzards. The US Army was intent upon destroying this militant tribe, led by Chief Satanta (d. 1878), and six cavalry and infantry columns were sent against them from different directions. They attacked the major Kiowa village and took many prisoners. A scout then discovered their secret refuge in Palo Duro Canyon. Early the next morning the soldiers descended the steep walls of the canyon and charged the sleeping Kiowas, who were routed from their camp and pursued for five miles. The commander ordered that their ponies be rounded up and killed. This was the beginning of the end of a proud tribe that had long hated the white man, although they continued ot fight.

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