Anadarko Reservation

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

On July 26, at Ft. Sill, Col. Davidson began his enrollment of the friendly Indians. The bulk of the Plains Indians abhorred the idea of answering a daily roll call and refused to enroll. Col. Davidson closed the enrollment on August 8th and declared all unenrolled Indians to be hostiles.

On August 21st, Lone Wolf and Comanche Chief Big Red Food, accompanied by many of their people, arrived at the agency at Anadarko, forty miles north of Ft. Sill. They belligerently demanded supplies from the commissary. Rebuked, they began to plunder the crops in the gardens next to the agency. Davidson, alerted to the situation, immediately left Ft. Sill, bringing four companies of buffalo soldiers (black troopers), and arrived the next day around noon.

Confronted by Davidson, Big Red Food was about to capitulate, but the Kiowa began to taunt him, calling the Comanches women, telling him that if the soldiers made trouble, the Kiowa would help them. Big Red Food gave out a war whoop and dismounted with a backward somersault, scampering to the protection of the timber nearby. A gun battle broke out. Eventually, the Indians withdrew. They were pursued and scattered. Davidson regrouped his men and returned to protect the agency, stopping only to burn the Indian's camp.

The next morning, about 300 Indians attempted to gain the high ground overlooking the agency, but Captain Carpenter led three companies of buffalo soldiers against the Indians, thwarting their plans. The Indians set fire to the grass around the agency and retreated, traveled west to join the Quahidas and other Comanche tribes on the Staked Plains.

At last Mackenzie had what he had wanted for so long, the hostile Indians were separated from the reservation Indians. He now proceeded in unison with Gen. Buel of Ft. Richardson, Gen. Davidson of Ft. Sill, Gen. Miles of Ft. Dodge, Kansas, and Gen. Price of Ft. Bascom, New Mexico to pursue the remaining hostile Southern Plains Indians on the Staked Plains. For the next seven months, the five armies marched across the Indians' stronghold, destroying their camps where they could find them, driving the Indians relentlessly, sapping the strength of their men and their horses.

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