Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sometimes it's a name that captures your attention

You might not know the details, but the names make you remember them.


The battle of Rourke's drift

Bull run

The Alamo


Sugar loaf

And we have a lesser known one close to home-
The second Battle of Adobe Walls.
Which saw Quannah Parker an 700-800 warriors of assorted tribes attacking the trading post of Adobe Walls with 28 buffalo hunters (including one named Billy Dixon) and a woman inside.

When the attack commenced at dawn on the 27th, Dixon and the others retreated to the camp’s saloon and several stores. The Indians charged on foot and horseback to the very doors of the buildings, killing three hunters. The hunters repelled the furious charge with their revolvers; the attackers then backed off and pinned down the hunters with peppering rifle fire. The hunters, suffering no more losses, switched to their heavy buffalo guns and returned fire, inflicting moderate casualties.

On the second or third day of battle (reports differ), a group of Cheyennes appeared on a mesa some distance from the camp. Dixon grabbed a Sharps “Big .50” rifle, sighted in one of the exposed Indians, and shot the Indian out of his saddle. Sizing up their losses, the Indians shortly retired from the battlefield and the Second Battle of Adobe Walls was over.

The distance of Dixon’s shot has long been a source of debate. Suspect early reports placed the distance at 1,538 yards. Dixon never sought credit for the shot nor even addressed it, leaving the question open for more than a century. Recent research at the site, may have resolved the matter, pegging the shot at a shorter, though still astounding, 1,200 yards, more than two-thirds of a mile.

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