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Sowell’s First Hand Account of Comanche Chief Oska Horseback

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. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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

Picture of A.J. Sowell
A.J. Sowell

Second generation Texas Ranger A.J. Sowell admiringly described Comanche Chief Oska Horseback at the 1872 battle scene on the Keep Ranch in upper Wise County:

Picture of Comanche Chief Oska Horseback
Comanche Chief Oska Horseback

"He made several dashes towards us, and was the best rider I ever saw. He was a slim, trim-made Indian, about twenty-two years old. He was mounted on a beautiful blood-bay horse, with black mane and tail, and star in the face. This chief rode no saddle, but had a red blanket strapped around his horse. He could dismount and mount again, with his horse in a gallop; displaying an agility that was surprising. He could drop down on the opposite side of his horse, as quick as a flash, and expose nothing but his hand and foot, his horse going at full speed. He wore red leggins, and fine beaded moccasins. He also wore a beautiful beaded ornament on his breast, which entirely covered it. He had his scalp-lock platted, and a prairie chicken's head tied to the end of it, which hung down to the middle of his back. The chicken's head was painted a deep red..."

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