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Adobe Walls—Great Battle of the Old West

Oklahomans shouldered pivotal roles in one of the most famous and strategically important battles of the Old West. As two civilizations brutally fought for control of this harshly beautiful land, the body count of men, women, children, and even buffalo—especially buffalo—multiplied. By 1874, the U.S. Army had mostly muscled the fierce Plains tribes onto reservations in present-day western Oklahoma. Defiant factions among these Natives, however, often using western Indian Territory and even their own reservations as both staging grounds and places of refuge, proceeded to unleash enough firepower that the Southern Plains grew more rather than less violent for American settlers—and the railroads.

On June 27 of that year, several hundred Comanches, Cheyennes, and Kiowas—including legendary Comanche Chief Quanah Parker (pictured right) and Kiowa Chief Lone Wolf (the elder)(pictured below), who both hailed from modern-day Oklahoma—thundered into the buffalo hunting operation at Adobe Walls, in the Texas Panhandle. There, they shot it out