Battle of Adobe Walls
Native American Story of the Battle of Adobe Walls
The Boy's Book of Border Battles by Edwin L.
The Story of Famous Indian Wars and Battles
The Story of the Battle of Adobe Walls
war with Mexico, over Texas, lasted until
General Winfield Scott, who was called "Old Fuss
and Feathers" and ranks as a great soldier,
captured the City of Mexico, in September, 1847.
By the war the United States not only kept
Texas, but gained New Mexico and most of
Arizona, with Nevada, Utah, California, and
Colorado west of the Rocky Mountain divide.
It took over the management of new tribes of
Indians, also, who had been preying upon the
Mexican and American settlers and really never
had been managed at all. In Arizona and New
Mexico there were the Apaches and the Navajos;
in Texas the Apaches and Comanches, and the
Kiowas who raided down from the Arkansas River
in the north.
All these tribes had been accustomed to making
forays clear into Old Mexico. The Navajos styled
themselves the "Lords of the North"; the
Comanches boasted that the Mexicans were good
only to hold their horses for them; the Apaches
were just as over-bearing, and the very name
Kiowa spread terror. For many years, now, the
American soldiers and settlers fought these
desert and plains Indians, that the Southwest
lands might be possessed by the white race in
When the War of the Rebellion broke out, General
David Twiggs, who has served so honorably under
the Flag, surrendered his district of Texas to
the South. The Confederate Government sent
troops from Texas to occupy Arizona and New
Mexico. At this time Arizona had not yet been
admitted by the United States as a separate
Territory; it still formed a part of New Mexico,
and was settled by the white people mainly along
the Mexican border. The pioneer Butterfield
Southern Overland stage line ran here, on its
way between Texas and San Diego of California.
The two or three United States army posts in
southern Arizona had to be abandoned, for under
the name Arizuma that portion of Arizona had
joined the Confederate States. Then the Apaches
saw their chance and swooped down, to plunder
the stage portions and the ranches. They
reasoned that if the white men could not keep
peace with one another, what was the use in the
red men trying. The Apaches hoped to get that
country for themselves, again.
But the First California Volunteer Infantry
under Colonel James H. Carleton marched in from
the west, along the stage line, to drive out the
Confederate soldiers and the Indians both. That
it did. From the north the First New Mexican
Volunteer Infantry of Colonel Christopher Carson
marched down the Rio Grande, with other New
Mexican regiments, to reinforce the Regular
troops on the lower Rio Grande.
This Colonel Christopher Carson was the famous
Kit Carson—trapper, Indian fighter, scout, and
now a soldier. Like Daniel Boone, who had become
a major in the militia of Kentucky, Kit Carson
became an officer of the New Mexican Volunteers.
The invasion of the Confederate column from
Texas was stopped and turned back, this same
year, 1862; New Mexico, including Arizona, was
saved to the Union. That left the soldiers free
to attend to the Indians.
Colonel James Carleton was appointed brigadier
general commanding the department of New Mexico
which extended from Texas west to California.
His troops were all Volunteers—the New Mexico
settlers and frontiersmen and the hard-fighting
Californians—except for a few Regular officers
assigned to him. He got right down to business,
for he had been major in the First Regular
Dragoons and was a thorough soldier. To conquer
the Indians he depended chiefly upon Kit Carson,
colonel of the First New Mexican Cavalry, and
his senior field officer.
The Apaches and the Navajos both had been bad,
during the past year. The Mescalero or White
Mountain Apaches of southern New Mexico itself
needed attention first, for they had been
cutting off travel along the Rio Grande River.
Colonel Kit Carson was sent against them; his
New Mexicans and Californians whipped them and
stowed them all upon the new reservation of the
Bosque Redondo or Round Grove, at Fort Sumner in
eastern New Mexico, far from their White
Then the lordly Navajos were ousted from their
canyons in northeastern present Arizona, where
for one hundred and eighty years they had defied
the white people. The Kit Carson column starved
them out and routed them out and rounded them
up, and herded them also upon the Bosque Redondo
By the summer of 1864 General Carleton announced
that the Mescaleros and the Navajos had been
turned into good Indians at last; henceforth
they were to gather corn instead of scalps; now
New Mexico might have peace as soon as the
Comanches and Kiowas were taught a lesson.
The Comanches and Kiowas had to be punished.
They were raiding the Santa Fe Trail over which
the government wagon trains, the stages and the
settlers traveled from the Missouri River
through central and southern Kansas, up along
the Arkansas River and thence southwest across
the desert for Santa Fe of New Mexico, and the
country all around.
These raids were much objected to by General
Carleten. His army supplies were being cut off,
and so were the supplies for the citizens of his
department. Traders and travelers were being
killed. He acted promptly—had waited only until
the Navajos were disposed of.
Colonel Kit Carson of course was the man to
punish the Comanches and Kiowas. October 22,
this 1864, General Carleton directed him to take
four hundred and fifty men and strike the
raiders in the northeast.
Of the four hundred and fifty, one hundred were
to be Indian scouts from the Utes and the
Jicarilla or Basket Apaches. These Utes and
Basket Apaches were friendly to the Americans;
Kit Carson had been their Government agent; they
called him Father Kit; just now they were being
rationed at the enormous ranch of Lucien
Maxwell, another old-time trapper and
mountainman, in northern New Mexico.
The Utes and the Basket Apaches were mountain
Indians; they hated the plains Indians—had long
been at war with the Comanches, the Kiowas and
the Cheyennes and Arapahos.
General Carleton at first had thought that the
Navajos and the Mescalero Apaches of the Bosque
Redondo would go, too. But they declined with
"You have put us here and told us to work on our
farms and not fight any more," the smart Navajos
said. "So why should we go upon the war path
with your men?"
The Mescaleros agreed that this was sensible. As
for the Utes and Basket Apaches—they were not at
all keen, either. They said that they were
willing to have their cousins the Mescalero
Apaches join them, but they would have no
Navajos along. The Apache nation and the Navajo
nation were at war. And if they themselves went,
they wished to be given sugar and coffee, the
same as the white soldiers; they wished their
families to be taken care of—to be given flour
and meat every day; they wished blankets and
shirts and rifles and ammunition, and Chief Ka-ni-at-ze
said that he must have an extra horse or else he
would not order his Ute warriors out.
After a great deal of bargaining eighty-two of
the Utes and the Basket Apaches promised to
follow Father Kit against the Comanches and
Kiowas. He took them with him down to new Fort
Bascom, on the upper South Canadian River in
eastern New Mexico near the Texas Panhandle and
the Comanche country.
They arrived on November 10. The snow had been
deep, the weather cold; seven of the Indians
decided to go no farther, after all. They were
sick and did not like to leave their families,
they said. But at Fort Bascom Colonel Kit had
the seventy-five others; he found his command
waiting for him: fourteen officers and three
hundred and twenty-one rank and file, of the
First California Veteran Infantry, the First
California Cavalry, the First New Mexican
Cavalry, the First New Mexican Mounted Infantry,
and a battery of two twelve-pounder mountain
Major William McCleave of the Californians
commanded the cavalry; Lieutenant-Colonel
Francisco Abreii of the New Mexicans commanded
the infantry; Lieutenant Charles Haberkorn of
the New Mexicans commanded the seventy-five
Indians; First Lieutenant George Henry Pettis of
the Californians commanded the battery.
Lieutenant J. C. Edgar of the New Mexican
cavalry was assistant adjutant-general;
Lieutenant Benjamin Taylor, Fifth United States
Infantry, was assistant quartermaster and
commissary; Assistant Surgeon George S.
Courtright, United States Volunteers, was
And Colonel Christopher Carson, New Mexican
Volunteers, was the officer commanding all.
General Carleton had supplied him with the men
and the provisions; had told him to go ahead and
show what he could do.
"You know where to find the Indians; you know
what they have done; you know how to punish
them. Everything is left with you. I believe you
will have big luck," General Carleton had
The allied Comanches and Kiowas were supposed to
be encamped for the winter somewhere down the
South Canadian River, in the northern part of
the Texas Panhandle. This was a great winter
resort for them and their friends. The snow did
not lie long, to cover the grass; and there were
wood and water and shelter and game, with the
Santa Fe Trail easy to reach, on the north.
November 12 Colonel Carson led his little army
into the northeast out of Fort Bascom, to strike
the winter village of the allied Indians. He
followed an old trader wagon road that crossed
through the Panhandle as a short-cut to the
Santa Fe Trail and the Arkansas River.
The march down the north side of the South
Canadian was not rapid. It was no trappers'
march, but the march of soldiers. The infantry
trudged, so did the gunners, and the two twelve-pounder
howitzers rolled on small wheels, behind tugging
horses. Besides, there were twenty-seven wagons
and an ambulance.
Moreover, Kit Carson knew Indians—he feared a
surprise attack, he was very cautious, for the
Comanches and Kiowas were many and bold, and
this was an uninhabited country.
Every night after camp was made, the Utes and
Basket Apaches held a war dance. They kept the
dance up until almost morning. The soldiers
complained that nobody could sleep amidst all
that howling and thumping; but the Indians did
not care. They danced and grew strong
celebrating the scalps that they were going to
Colonel Carson had planned to move his supply
wagons as far as a place known to him as the
Adobe Fort, about two hundred miles down the
South Canadian from Fort Bascom. There he
intended to leave the heavy wagons, and campaign
with pack animals. The enemy, he felt certain,
could not be far from the Adobe Fort.
The Adobe Fort was called by plainsmen Adobe
Walls. It had been built in the winter of
1843–1844 as a trading post by the owners of the
great Bents' Fort trading post in southeastern
Colorado. The Bent brothers and company were old
Indian traders. As the Kiowas and Comanches
would not come to Bents' Fort and trade,
Hook-Nose-Man, who was William Bent, sent one of
his clerks, Wrinkled-Neck, down here, to erect a
post and buy buffalo robes.
The Adobe Fort had been in ruins for a long
time, but Kit Carson remembered it well. He had
visited it when it was alive.
Wrinkled-Neck built one or two other trading
posts on the South Canadian, 'sere in Hutchinson
County, northern Texas Panhandle. And there was
the Adobe Walls of the buffalo hunters, in the
same locality, built in 1873 and attacked in
1874 by Chief Quana Parker and his Antelope
Comanches, as told in "Boys' Look of Frontier
Fighters." Wrinkled-Neck's first Adobe Walls lay
upriver a short distance.
Colonel Carson was thirteen days in covering one
hundred and seventy miles. Two of the days he
had been held up by snow. This winter was very
snowy. The Kiowas named it Muddy-traveling
In the afternoon of November 24 he camped at
Mule Spring. Old Adobe Wails was only thirty
miles east. Two Indian scouts had ridden in
advance every day, to spy out enemy signs, but
had found nothing. This evening, just at supper
time, on a sudden every Ute and Basket Apache
sprang to his feet, stared down the trail and
The two scouts were coming back. The white men
could scarcely see them, except as specks; but
from a long way off the two had shouted, with a
halloo—and the other Indians knew that there was
news of the enemy.
Sure enough, the two scouts had discovered, ten
miles east, the broad fresh trail of Indians
driving cattle and loose horses. The trail
pointed down the Canadian.
"We think Father Kit will have no trouble to
find plenty Kiowa," they said.
Colonel Kit did not delay. He directed
Lieutenant-Colonel Abreii to stay with the
infantry and guard the wagons; then with the
mounted men, and the artillery—two hundred and
thirty-six rank and file, thirteen officers and
the seventy-five scouts, he rode on to surprise
the Comanche and Kiowa winter village,
where-ever that might be.
Had he known more, he might have hesitated. And
had the Comanches and Kiowas known about him,
they would have laughed. They numbered five
thousand men and women, including three thousand
warriors, in three villages stretching for ten
miles along the South Canadian, both east and
west of Adobe Walls. The first village, of one
hundred and seventy lodges, was the Kiowa-Apache
village; the next village, of three hundred and
fifty lodges, was the main Kiowa village; the
third village, as large or larger, was the
The head chief of the Kiowa-Apaches was Iron
Shirt. The head chief of all the Kiowas was old
Dohasan or Bluff, who had been head chief for
thirty years and was of the clan of Real
Dogs—the never-surrender clan.
The head chief of the Comanches was One-Eyed
The villages were rich. They had plenty of food
and buffalo robes; plenty of guns and ammunition
bought from white traders. They did not fear the
white soldiers—but they did not suspect that the
white soldiers of a fighter such as Kit Carson
were near at hand.
Colonel Kit Carson and his column traveled
fifteen miles, and halted at midnight. Nobody
was permitted to talk, nor to smoke; the
officers and men stood holding their horses'
bridles, waiting for daylight. The night was
stinging cold, with a heavy frost.
In the gray dawn the column moved again, upon
the Indian trail. The Ute and Basket Apache
scouts rode with their knees doubled almost to
their chins, and their buffalo robes stiffly
jutting high above their heads, like split
They all had gone only a little way when from
across the river a voice called, in Spanish:
"Ven aca! Ven acid Come here! Come here!" It was
an Indian picket or herder, either calling to a
companion or else daring them to cross.
The Utes and the Basket Apaches heard. They were
quick to act. In a jiffy they had dived into the
brush and were out again, stripped for battle
and painted for war. It was a miraculous change.
They gave their war whoop, and away they dashed,
into the river, to strike the enemy.
Colonel Kit sent two companies of cavalry over,
also, under Major McCleave. He himself started
on with the rest of the column; then he heard
shots, and saw three enemy pickets racing for
down-river, with the Utes and the Basket Apaches
and Major McCleave's soldiers in hot pursuit. So
he ordered all his men except one company to
push the charge on this side of the river, while
he followed with the battery and escort.
The cavalry charged indeed; vanished in the
cotton-woods and the tall grasses of the river
bottoms. The battery hastened at best pace. Kit
Carson valued that battery. Well for him that he
Pretty soon there was sharp firing, on before;
next, they passed cattle—stolen cattle; then
they came upon the scouts.
The Utes and Basket Apaches had captured the
enemy's pony herd! That, to them, was a great
feat; so they had stopped to take horses. Each
scout had from forty to fifty ponies and was
changing to a fresh mount. He left his own horse
as a sign, and away he dashed again, for more
Colonel Carson and his battery and escort toiled
on. The going was hard, through grass as high as
a horse's back; the cannon carriages were so
small that the cannoneers could not all ride;
every five minutes the march had to slacken,
until the men on foot might catch up.
On ahead the firing had grown heavier, but it
sounded farther and farther away each minute, as
if the enemy was being driven. After a time the
battery won out into a cleared space. A long low
ridge crossed the shallow valley before. Beyond
the ridge there were a number of dots that
looked like Sibley Regular army tents.
"No," Kit Carson declared. "Those thar are Injun
lodges, made of white buff'ler robes."
The battery and escort hastened; climbed the
ridge and plunged over and down. The Indian
village was abandoned. Major McCleave's cavalry
had ridden through it; had surprised the enemy
here and turned the women and children out into
the brush, but the warriors were rallied a short
distance below and were fighting.
Chief Iron Shirt had been killed at the door of
his lodge. He had refused to run. Pushing-bear
had stayed and killed one soldier and a Ute and
had knocked another soldier from the saddle.
Lean-bear was under a vow not to retreat until
he had killed an enemy; so he likewise stayed
and fought for a while. Mountain-bear, who was a
small boy, seized his little brother by the hand
The fighting down the river, below the village,
where the warriors were making a stand, was very
strong. The soldiers and the scouts seemed hard
pressed; all the space to Adobe Walls, four
miles, was thronged with hurrying warriors.
Colonel Carson urged his detachment forward; the
Indians retreated, with the cavalry pursuing.
"If that fracas isn't over by the time we git
thar, it soon will be," Colonel Kit asserted.
"And then we'll burn these hyar lodges. Throw
aside yore over-coats, boys. We'll git 'em ag'in
on our way back."
He and the cavalry spurred ahead—and Colonel
Carson had lost an overcoat! When he came back
this way he certainly did not stop to pick it
The battery followed at a gallop, the cannoneers
running behind. They all continued clear to
Adobe Walls sat in the midst of a level plain of
grass. The Major McCleave men had tied their
horses in the shelter of the walls and were
deployed afoot, as skirmishers. The Utes and
Basket Apaches were charging about, on their
ponies, shouting and shooting: two hundred
Kiowas and Kiowa-Apaches and Comanches were
doing the same, in front of them—hanging low
upon the opposite sides of their horses and
shooting from under their horses' necks.
And beyond the first line of warriors there were
a thousand other braves, forming under their
chiefs. Yes, and a mile or two farther east
there was another large village, of more than
three hundred lodges. Warriors were swarming out
of it, to the field!
Colonel Kit saw that he had aroused a hornets'
In came the battery; swept at full speed to the
top of a little knoll, near Adobe Walls, where
Colonel Kit and officers had grouped.
"Throw a few shells into that crowd over thar."
That was the order.
"Battery, halt! Action right!"
The two howitzers were unlimbered and pointed to
the right in a minute.
"Load with shell—load!"
All the Kiowa and Comanche warriors had paused,
to stare. The cannon were something new.
At the smoke puff every Indian had raised
himself straight in his saddle. The shell burst
above. "Number Two—fire!"
With one tremendous yell the Indians wheeled
their horses and away they scoured, more
frightened than hurt. Before the battery could
deliver another round there was not an enemy
"That settles them Injuns, boys," Colonel Carson
remarked, well pleased. "We'll unsaddle and
unharness, water the hosses and let 'em feed,
and take a bite ourselves. Then we'll clean out
them villages below."
The camp made merry over the easy victory.
Surgeon Courtright had fitted up a hospital in a
corner of Adobe Walls and was attending to the
few wounded. The other men breakfasted on
hardtack and raw bacon; told stories of what
they had done and what they expected to do. In
the midst of the talking and laughing Colonel
Kit Carson uttered an exclamation.
He was gazing down the valley, through his spy
glass. From the next village at least a thousand
Indians were advancing, horseback, in a dense
mass fringed with lances and shields and gun
barrels and tossing plumes.
"Saddle up! Git those cannon ready!" he ordered
quickly. "We're in for another fight. The hull
valley's full o' Injuns and villages."
The command hustled. The Indians came on
rapidly; they deployed .and rode to all sides.
Very soon the Kit Carson column was surrounded
and fighting for life.
Some of the Indians dismounted and crept through
the tall grass. The other raced back and forth,
firing and yelling. The howitzer shells. passed
over them and between them, and did little harm;
the cavalry carbines barked lustily; the Utes
and Basket Apaches capered and shrieked.
One shell luckily landed. It struck a horse,
tore a large hole and sent the rider flying
twenty feet through the air. In an instant two
other Comanches had charged for him—had reached
down and grabbed him, each by an arm, and had
galloped away with him, in spite of the rifle
balls. It was a brave act; and the same thing
was done again and again.
With the enemy there was a bugler. He had
stationed himself at the rear, down river.
Whenever the cavalry bugles sounded "Advance,"
the Indian bugler sounded "Retreat." Whenever
the cavalry bugles sounded retreat, the Indian
bugler blew advance. But when the cavalry bugle
sounded halt, he blew the halt, also.
That was odd. Colonel Kit was certain that the
Indians' bugler was a white man. The Indians
afterward said that he was Chief White-bear,
whose Kiowa name was Set-tainte and whom the
white men called Satanta. White-bear had
captured a French brass horn from soldiers and
had learned how to blow it. He even blew it for
meals, when at home. He was a great man.
The fighting waxed hotter. The Kiowas and
Comanches seemed determined; they had no end of
ammunition, they saw that the soldiers numbered
only two hundred and fifty, they counted the
Utes and Basket Apaches as little, and if the
guns-that-shoot twice would quit, then with one
charge all would be over.
As the sun rose higher, and passed the noon
mark, Colonel Kit saw that he was in a tight
place. The enemy was increasing; parties of
five, ten, twenty, even fifty, were constantly
hastening in. By the middle of the afternoon
there were fully three thousand warriors in the
field. The Kiowas say that if many young men had
not been out upon a raid, they would have had
It began to look as though the Indians were bent
upon keeping the white soldiers here until
night; had planned to move the village goods and
stow the women and children in safety, and in
the morning wipe the invaders out.
Already they were entering the first village,
again, and taking away horses and household
things. The Utes and Basket Apaches did not like
this—they saw their plunder disappearing.
Colonel Carson remembered that above the village
he had left his wagons and only seventy-five
infantry to guard them. If the Comanches and
Kiowas discovered those—whew! In fact, it was
time that he did something more. He could not
stay here, on the defensive.
The majority of his officers voted to push on,
down river, and capture the next village. Most
of his men were eager for the fight, and
enjoying themselves. But Kit Carson knew that he
was having the biggest Indian "scrimmage" ever
yet staged, and considerably more than he had
bargained for. These Comanches and Kiowas were
strong in guns and numbers and courage. They
were battling for their homes and winter
supplies; showed no fear, except of the
howitzers; and when the howitzers' ammunition
failed, then the whole command would be bunched
up and ringed closer and closer with bullet,
arrow and fire.
He ordered a retirement, on the back trail, to
destroy the first village and open the way to
the wagon train. By destroying that village he
hoped to draw the attention of the Indians from
The tied cavalry horses were led out from Adobe
Walls in sets of fours. One mounted man led
three horses; the other men, on foot, were to
fight. The two howitzers were dragged at the
rear of the column.
The Indians saw and attacked more fiercely than
ever. Colonel Kit thought several times that his
rear was to be crumpled up. The carbines had no
rest, as the Indians charged by horse and foot
through the grass.
Aha! They had fired the grass, behind. The
flames and smoke surged on furiously—"caused my
rear to close up at double quick," Colonel Kit
reported. All the blinded column was enveloped
in the crackling blaze that raced it on either
side. Colonel Kit fired the grass in front, to
clear the road.
Soon he had to make for a little piece of high
ground on his right, where the grass was
shorter. The Indians surrounded him. They
charged in, under cover of the smoke; shot and
wheeled and scurried away.
There was a Mexican boy in the ranks. He had
been among the skirmishers this morning, at
Adobe Walls. While crawling through the weeds he
had put his hand upon a rattlesnake. The snake
had bitten him, but Surgeon Courtright had
burned the wound, and the boy did not suffer.
Now in the skirmishing he and a Comanche crept
toward each other—a gust of wind blew the smoke
away and there they were, face to face. The
Comanche shot first, and missed; the Mexican boy
shot and killed. He sprang to take the scalp—the
dead warrior's friends tried to keep it, the
Mexican boy's comrades helped him, and he took
the scalp. It was the only scalp of the battle,
and it paid him for the snake bite.
The two howitzers were in action.
"By hand, to the front!" Number One was hauled
from behind the rise, to the top; was
aimed—"Ready!"—gunner Number Four thrust the
friction primer into the vent, while he lay
flat; "Fire!"—and the lanyard was jerked by
another gunner lying flat.
"Boom!" The howitzer recoiled down to the foot
of the rise, out of sight; but Number Two gun
was being advanced. Thus they kept it up, while
the carbines rattled and the Utes and Basket
Apaches scampered, and the Comanches and Kiowas
When the fire had burned off, Colonel Kit moved
on. There was hard fighting, right into the
village. The howitzers had to drive the enemy
out. Then half of the soldiers were set at work
destroying the lodges; the other half supported
The village, of fine white lodges, yielded
hundreds of beautifully dressed buffalo robes;
dried meat and berries, powder, lead and lodge
furnishings; contained a buggy and a spring
wagon and harness, owned by old Dohasan; white
woman's clothing of bonnets and shoes and so
forth, and a United States cavalry sergeant's
After every soldier had selected several good
robes, and the Utes and Basket Apaches had taken
plunder, the lodges and all were set afire. Two
old Ute squaws found four blind and crippled
Kiowas in the lodges and killed them with axes.
Now it was dark. The Comanches and Kiowas were
pressing around, whooping and threatening.
Colonel Kit felt more uneasy than ever. This
burned village was no place for him. His
ammunition was almost gone; he had ten wounded
soldiers and five wounded scouts, besides many
wounded horses; his men were tired out with the
long day. They had been marching and fighting
for twenty-four hours on one scant meal of bacon
So the badly wounded were loaded upon the
artillery caissons and carriages; the column
headed up the valley, expecting to be attacked
again at any moment. After three hours it
arrived at the camp of the wagon train and the
infantry—and was glad indeed to be there.
Even the Utes and the Basket Apaches were worn
out. Tonight they gave no war dance. They slept.
So did the white soldiers, with guards posted.
In the morning the scouts wished to go home.
"Let us take the Bascom trail, Father Kit," they
said. "If we stay we shall all be burned like
the grass. We shall have to fight the whole
Kiowa and Comanche nation. That is the truth."
The enemy was gathering again, just out of range
of the howitzers; might close the trail in both
directions; no doubt from miles away still other
Indians were hastening in. Therefore Father Kit
took his scouts' advice; he vetoed the proposal
from his officers to capture another village,
and after he had rested his horses he marched
westward, on cautious trail. He sent a dispatch
to General Carleton:
"If I am expected to return into the valley of
the Canadian I must request reinforcements of
fresh animals, seven hundred mounted men, two
six-pounder and two twelve-pounder guns, and
supplies for four months. Not less than a column
of one thousand men, thus outfitted, is
necessary in order to bring these Indians to
On December 20 he arrived at Fort Bascom. The
Utes and the Basket Apaches had danced every
night of the three weeks, to celebrate the
taking of the one scalp, which they had bought
from the Mexican boy.
The Kit Carson loss was two soldiers killed and
ten wounded; one scout killed and five wounded;
and many horses disabled. The Comanche and Kiowa
loss was thought to be over sixty, but that was
"The Kiowas and the Comanches whipped Father
Kit," said Buckskin Charley, one of the Ute
scouts. "Only Adobe Walls saved our scalps. We
had to fight fire to keep from being burned up.
"If it had not been for the big guns that shot
twice, not a single white man would have got out
of the Canadian Valley," said the Comanches and
And Colonel Kit "rather guessed" that this was
The Story of the Battle of Adobe Walls
This story of the Battle of Adobe Walls is featured in the book
entitled the Indian History for Young Folks by
Edwin L. Sabin and was published by
George W. Jacobs and Company in Philadelphia in 1920.