Captured By The Apache: The Raiding Party Ends In Disaster

in history •  2 months ago  (edited)

Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas! We're in a series about the Wild West and the story of an 11 year old German boy, Hermann, who was captured by an Apache war party from his family's farm in 1870 in Central Texas.

He's been with them now for several months and has been in training to become a warrior and in the last post he was on his second raiding party. They were having much success in stealing horses and found a family of homesteaders to ambush.

After the ambush and killing of the family of settlers the band rode North for 4 or 5 days, stopping at a lake they called Beaver Lake. Not sure of the location as I couldn't find a lake by that name here in Texas so it may have changed names or is no longer there.

Disaster strikes

They killed a buffalo and was having a big feast, it had been a successful raid with over 30 head of horses and they had scalps to show off too. Some of the braves were in the lake bathing during the feast when suddenly they were charged by Texas Rangers.

Two of the Indians fell dead at the start. The rest of them including Hermann, grabbed their weapons and headed into the nearby field of Chapparral plants. Those are a tall shrub looking plant, here's a photo:

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The raiding party scattered into the fields of Chapparal and disappeared. The Apache were experts at camoflaging themselves into the countryside, whatever the landscape. Three more of their group were shot by the Rangers and the rest escaped.

This part of Hermann's story makes no sense to me in that they appeared to be very nonchalant about their safety and lookouts. I lay this at the feet of the chief. Remember on the long journey to the base camp when Hermann was first taken and every day the chief would send scouts back from where they came to make sure they weren't being followed?

And here you have them stealing a bunch of horses from a Texas Ranger station and killing some of those horses, herding them away, killing a settler family, and they didn't think that the Rangers might be tracking them???

Hermann makes it back to camp

They made it back to camp one or two at a time or small groups of three or four. One was severely wounded but managed to make it back to camp. When the tribe in camp learned of their bad news there was great mourning and cries like Hermann had never heard before.

Squaws wailed and cut themselves with knives. The squaw of the wounded warrior would burn herself every morning so that she might not forget her grief until her master's wounds healed. For days straggling warriors came in, thankful to have gotten back but adding to the sorrow of the defeat.

Other raiding parties were coming home

Hermann found out that four other raiding parties had gone out. The second one came back with one wounded and one that had been killed. The third party came back also defeated with four killed and one taken prisoner.

The camp was in despair and were sure they had offended the Great Spirit so the medicine man went up on a hill doing his incantations and howlings, waving cow's tails and doing other things, it was all a bizarre sight to Hermann. The camp was given orders to fast.

The fourth party came back with many horses and scalps which was a significant success and helped to lift the spirits of the tribe, like maybe not all was hopeless. Hermann didn't know if the three defeated tribes had run-ins with the Texas Rangers like they had or if it was the Army.

The Texas Rangers

Here are a few good pictures of Texas Rangers. In many areas of Texas they were the only help for settlers if the Army wasn't close by.

They were used as scouts as many were professional scouts, they were also used to hunt down criminals and to guard payroll shipments, mines, and things like that.

Some exceptional, some terrible

Oh, and some were also making names for themselves hunting down and slaughtering Indians. So like most groups scattered across vast expanses of territory, some did heroic work and some were cold-blooded killers.

But of course, in those days of the Wild West it took unusually rugged men to defend, fight, and to provide some semblance of order in a lawless land.

It was a dangerous job. True West Magazine says that at least five of the men in the photo below were killed fighting outlaws or Indians:

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Here's a group out on the trail:

sergeant_ira_aten_standing_with_cup.jpgsource

Here's a great photo of one of the most famous Rangers, Jim Hawkins:

james_b_jim_hawkins.jpg
source

I've only heard of the Texas Rangers in positive terms(except for the groups slaughtering Indians)I DO live in Texas afterall! But I'd like to do a series on them and find out what the real story is.

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In the next post Hermann's testing continues and he's forced to take his first scalp.

Thanks for reading folks, God bless you all!

-jonboy
Texas

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I agree with you it doesn't make sense having no lookouts. The first think you do, so you can't be ambushed. Maybe there was alcohol involved and Hermann just didn't say. That would make more sense.

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Howdy sir cryptoandcoffee! I hadn't thought of that, getting attacked would sober them up fast!
I figured maybe since they'd been riding for 4 or 5 days they thought they were far enough away
but not after stealing horses from a Texas Rangers post and I'm sure the Ranger's were even more
motivated when they saw what happened with that family.

Yes, please do.
History has to be retold to persist in the group consciousness.

Another good job, J!

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howdy freebornangel and thank you for the kind words and I think it would indeed be an interesting series.

I would love to see you do a series about the Texas Rangers. I know nothing about them and hope that they have always been more legitimate than the Pinkertons were!

Even though we know that Herman survived his time with the Apaches and lived to write a book about it, I still worry about him every single time he goes out on one of those awful raids!

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haha! I know, it's knda scary isn't it? I mean this stuff really happened so it's very real. It's not like there's a plot like in a movie, you never know what's going to happen because he never knew what the Indians were going to do and none of them knew what was going to happen next!
I've always been interested in the Texas Rangers. I think they played a major role in Texas being able to win their independence from Mexico and overall I think they did heroic work but they had some bad squads who massacred Indians. I don't know if they were some that got scalps or ears for bounties or not though. Hope not.

Did you ever see Lonesome Dove with Rober Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones and Danny Glover? I've read in a couple of places that it was the most accurate portrayal of Indians and the Texas Rangers.

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I saw Lonesome Dove when it was first released and my memory of it is vague. You are doing a great job with Herman's story

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thanks Melinda, it's a great story so it doesn't take much skill. lol. I bet netflix has Lonesome Dove.

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This is what comes up on Netflix when I search for a Lonesome Dove. Only other suggestions. . image

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oh how interesting..l haven't seen any of these except the great Dances With Wolves, I'm sure you've seen that one, what a powerful movie. I'd love to see Hostiles because the reviews say it's very accurate and shows the hatred and atrocities of both Indians and whites. I don't know anyone who's even seen it.

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Dances with Wolves is great, and I love Longmire. A series that is several seasons long and is about a Wyoming sheriff and the nearby reservation and the Tribal Police. I haven't seen any of the other ones

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I think you should watch Hostiles and report back to me. lol. to see if it's what they say it is. Extremely realistic. But it you don't want to see violence then I wouldn't watch it. I have seen the ads for Longmire and they looked good. I thought maybe Lou Diamond Phillips was an Indian so I looked him up, his dad is Irish and his mom is Philipino!

I would have so loved to live during this era the only way to live is being self made ❤️

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Howdy there d00k13! I know what you mean, that time in the Wild West was made of such rugged individualists, I admire them so much for building something from scratch! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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Most welcome 💪

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Howdy steemitbloggers! Thank you so much for the upvote and resteem, God bless you!

Those Texas Rangers had to know when they started that job that their day was coming. Was it that they were so entrenched in the Wild West lifestyle that it was an honorary death to go out like that? Maybe they were such rugged humans that they didn't fit in society elsewhere anyway. I think I know some folks like that nowadays :)

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  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Howdy tonight ginnyannette! Well like any elite force whether law enforcement or military there are certain men that those professions attract. Most of them are addicted to adrenaline in my experience but there are other factors like wanting to serve in a greater cause.

For instance, I haven't studied them but I know that after Texas got her independence there were still tons of Mexican bandits and Indian raids going on and with vast areas with no government protection the Rangers were organized to go after outlaws, cattle rustlers, Indian and Mexican raiders and then later they became strictly law enforcement and an official branch like sheriff departments.
So unless there was an army post nearby they were the only semblance of law or help for farmers and ranchers for a time, don't know how long. probably 20 or 30 years is my guess.
But many characters I write about would definitely NOT fit in society. lol. I don't either so I can relate!
I got a 9mm pistol in my back pocket right now, that's not normal for society.

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I totally think that is normal society for Texas ;)

It makes sense that the adrenaline rush opportunity draws a certain type of people. Now days there seem like much better odds though, so that they can get their kicks without actually dying. The law enforcement in my area don't have to deal with life threatening situations too often I don't think. And of course they also have bullet proof vest, better organization, etc. But I suppose that was just the way the times were though - everything in life must have been more crude and/or violent in that era, and therefore more of a normality. Teachers got to whip their pupils, after all :)

It certainly made sense for anyone seeking to make a change in the world. I never really heard about Texas Rangers other than "Walker, Texas Ranger," which was a show I hated as a kid.

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haha! you hated Walker, Texas Ranger? why? lol. I did too by the way. lol.
well yeah nowdays with the communication and logistics in place for law enforcement and the numbers available to come on a second's notice..totally different.

Life out West was more crude and violent AT TIMES but not in the cities. You'd be fine as long as you stayed East of the Mississippi. lol.

by the way, I don't always take a gun with me late at night when I take Jack out at 2am (but I should.) I was especially careful tonight because at dusk I saw a big coyote cross over our yard and go into some trees and at night Jack always goes along those trees and last night we heard a bunch of them howling right on the other side of those trees just a few yards from our house so ...in other words they ain't gettin to Jack. They'd have to come through me first and they wouldn't fare too well in that attempt. He'd be fine on his own one on one but packs of em have been killing dogs around here lately.

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That's so upsetting. I'd hate to have to worry about my dogs' safety after dark. Mine run out into the woods frequently to bark at some raccoon or deer that they think has trespassed. God willing we won't end up with any coyotes here. That is sweet of you to be so watchful over him.

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Well, it's not upsetting to me because I take him on a leash the first trip of the night and then later I just go out with him into the yard and it's fenced in with a 5 ft iron fence so he's safe there so it's no problem. The coyotes didn't become a problem until they started interbreeding with wild dogs and then they lost their fear of man. Last summer Mrs. J saw a huge coyote in one of our lawns that was white with black spots! But was a coyote in every way as far as form, just alot bigger and that's the type of thing that gets me to be on alert.

Coyotes are silent attackers too. You don't hear them until they're on you. so I have a big spotlight that I'm constantly surveying with as Jack is looking down smelling everything. lol. he'd never see them coming.

so you guys just let your dogs out at night and they go into the woods to go to the bathroom? lol.

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Interesting. I never thought of them interbreeding. We don't really have wild dogs here though.

Yeah, mine are free to roam at night. They don't go far and come when called. No real danger here, other than them pissing off the neighbors across the creek from barking at a raccoon at midnight :)

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haha! well that sounds fairly mild. I'd think they could keep the racoons away with their barking so the neighbors should be thankful.

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From what I remember of Walker (we haven't had cable in close to 10 years) was that the show was always corny. Corny music. Corny everything. Humorously, Chuck Norris kind of reminds me of my father-in-law. Same build, same kind of face structure. And he is a black belt in karate, although I don't think he has done any of it in years.

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haha! you got that right, 100% corny! But good for kids to watch, I think it had some good moral lessons, at least that's what I heard.

Beaver lake was probably cleared of the dam (no pun intended) beavers so it wouldn’t be a lake anymore . That’s what happened your lake. It was beaver made

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haha! Howdy sir blanchy! yes sir you may be right there, I have no idea.

Congratulations @janton! This post was selected by the Power House Creatives as today's Rally Upvote Post :)

You can find the community announcement on Discord :) and it has also been shared on our FB Page and Twitter feed.

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Howdy powerhousecreatives! Thank you so much for the Rally Upvote and God bless you for helping so many people!

Oh well, you win some, you lose some. :-)

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howdy sir Vincent! well sir, that is very true and was the nature of the beast. They never knew what was going to happen from day to day. They needed some drones back then!

Howdy janton! Great night time story for me! 😁

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well howdy joelai! I'm glad you liked it, I think I may do some more. lol.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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Yes janton, please write more!

Hey Lord Janton! I thought I'd squeeze in one last comment here before I disembark!

Another fascinating tale, expertly told and dissected in true redneck fashion! The times back then must have been so dangerous, exciting and adventurous on the whole back then. I'm sure you'll be able to find more information that may give a more balanced approach to what the Texas Rangers were like.

If I don't hear back before I go, take it easy buddy

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howdy sir nickyhavey and thank you! And you better keep us informed of what's going on!

Good evening from Adelaide janton, it has been a travelling day for us with a direct flight from our airport down to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. There is a True West Magazine? There must be true stories in there. It sounds like a tit for tat war between the whites and the Indians.

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howdy angiemitchell! Oh your trip sounds fun, I hope you get some good stories and pictures and share with us. I didn't realize that Australia was divided into what? North and South? and that it had a South capital!

Oh yes, True West Magazine is one of my go to sources, lots of historians write there. Very true about the tit for tat between the two sides, they had to avenge deaths back and forth.

History is always interesting, "the good, bad and ugly" normally revealed.

Thanks for sharing great old photographs and story @janton

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howdy joanstewart and thanks for the kind words.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly fit much of history so well, that is very well put!

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History shows just how nomadic we are, driven to find whatever is over the next hill.

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howdy again joanstewart! yes you are so right, humans are always on the move to improve or to discover greener pastures!

Yeah, I agree - something about Hermann's ambush description doesn't quite add up. However, your story telling his story does add up to a very interesting history lesson. Well done, @janton and...


via GIPHY

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haha! thank you so much traciyork and I didn't know they had a younger version of me in a gif! lol.

The photos are great. Jim in the last photo looks like all he needs is a machine gun. And the first group photo the 2 guys on the right, one has his arm across the other that is sitting. They look like brothers.

Those were some crazy times. As you know I was born and raised in Texas. Love your stories.

I googled:

Since formation by Stephen F. Austin in 1823. ... Today's Texas Rangers are a respected law enforcement unit that leads criminal investigations in major crimes, unsolved crimes, serial crimes, public corruption, officer-involved shootings, and border security

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Howdy rebeccabe! yes I love those old vintage photos! The stories those guys could tell! Yes they morphed into a straight law enforcement agency after the Indian wars were over.

Thanks for the kind words and I agree about Jim! lol.

I love the pictures that you include with your posts. The first one had me all excited thinking that you'd gone out and photographed scenic places to add to the narrative this time. :-)

As always, fantastic job @janton!

#powerhousecreatives

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Howdy mattifer! Now that's a great idea, travel around to the areas and mountains that I know the tribes were at, that would be fun. I'd have to be independently wealthy but who knows, someday perhaps! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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You could also fake it...you know, just to add a little imagery to the post. A picture of a vast field would help set the stage for a great battle that took place on a field similar to the one pictured. :-)

But I'm rooting for you to become independently wealthy anyway.

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haha! Great suggestion and I'm rooting for all of us to become wealthy too because I think the vast majority of people on steemit have a heart to help others.

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That's very true! One of my favorite things about steemit is the lack of trolls. It's pretty awesome.

Apaches did many senseless things, irrational actions. But ... its getting worse and worse - Hermann's first scalp?! Oh .... how can I get to sleep now? lol

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Howdy zirochka! well both Indians and whites did senseless things and many things happened that were surprising and unpredictable. We didn't understand them at all and they didn't understand us, they thought we were crazy and weak!
Sorry to say that Hermann goes through some hard experiences before he gets freed. lol. But at least it's not boring. Not to some of us anyway. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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It is not boring for sure :)) Have a nice day!

It is awesome how you are preserving history by sharing these entertaining stories! 😃

One possibility for Beaver Lake can be read here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_Lake_(Texas)

and seen on this map:
BeaverLake.jpg

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Beaver Lake (Texas)
Beaver Lake was a small lake or beaver pond formerly found on the Devils River in what is now Val Verde County, Texas. It was located about 19 miles north of second crossing of Devil's River and 44 miles from Howard Springs.

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Howdy thekittygirl! yes I did actually read about this too and it probably is the right one because of the date the descriptions were made and the location is in the right area. I should have included this map but I couldn't really confirm it so I left it out. But thanks so much for looking that up, that's impressive!
And thanks for reading and commenting!

interesting read, did not know much about it @janton

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Howdy there claudiaz! Thanks for the kind words and for reading and commenting!

Howdy Sir @janton
Tribes fighting for their land and settlers fighting back. Then after the tribes are beaten, the settlers fight another county's settlers and so on. Sounds very much like a South African colonial story sir Janton!

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Howdy sir papilloncharity! Settling a country or taking one over is always a mess but I was lead to believe that
South Africa was different in that respect, that there weren't many people there to displace when the Europeans started arriving. Is that wrong? I mean, I'm assuming it is by what you said.

Hi, @janton!

You just got a 6.16% upvote from SteemPlus!
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howdy steem-plus and thank you for the upvote!

You sure do know how to write them partner..

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Howdy sir wales! thank you sir. Well, I'm not a prolific writer and author like you
but I like to tell stories so sometimes it turns out ok. lol. thanks so much!

Loved this history - it was so life like, I felt like I was back there with them.

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Howdy blueeyes8960! I'm glad you liked it, thank you for the kind words and for commenting!

I'm going to comment this post properly later mate! You surely deserve it.

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howdy there jonsnow1983! somehow I don't think I've seen you around, I don't know what my problem is! lol. But anyway thanks for the kind works and I'll stop by and say hi later!

Well that's easy. Got away got food and high... Party time. Oh didn't expect those guys.

Happens all the time especially when you are so good.

But again the opportunity presents itself? That's easy to take advantage of.

And those old rangers were very savage fighters. I'd totally love for you to do a story on them.

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sir ganjafarmer! you mean the Apache were probably high on something? I'm totally ignorant about that aspect but I haven't read about it either.
The Rangers were tough fighters but brutal when it came to slaughtering Indians weren't they? I suppose most of what they did was buried or covered up. I think every outfit of white men had some type of Native trackers with them.
I'll see what I can find out about the Rangers for a series. Thank you sir ganjafarmer!

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A crime is a high in of itself... And after. Most criminals need food to get drunk or laid. And your guard is down

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yes sir ganjafarmer, very true.

Well hello Mr. @janton😊 I love it when I get the time to stop in. You're one of my favorite storytellers and historians.
I'm with a few others, the Apache didn't seem like the type to be so nonchalant as to not have look outs.

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Howdy tryskele! good to see you too! Well I agree that they weren't normally nonchalant from what I've read but I guess in this instance they were many days away from where they took those horses and figured they were safe, those things happen. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

What a great story @janton, long live Texas 🇨🇱 The Texas Rangers were badasses 💪

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haha! Howdy sir wonderwop! Yes sir they sure were and thank you for the kind words and salutation to Texas!

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I'm right down the road in San Antonio.

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yay! I've always heard how beautiful that city is but I've never been there. All I know is the humidity is high down there, at least compared to us, we're Northeast of Dallas. But I have thought about doing a series on the Alamo since it was such a pivotal battle.

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Howdy there helpiecake and veryspider and thanks for the upvote, resteem and for helping so many steemians!

Wow! What a history! I love looking at the photos. There are like some many things happening at those photos, the gun, the clothes, the people. Thanks for this read.

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howdy robmojo! Thaks so much for the kind words and I agree that history and the old photos are so interesting! Thanks for reading!

Hi @janton!

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Howdy there steem-ua! thank you so much for the upvote and stats!

With all the cutting and cashing and the like, you would think infections would have been a major problem. Especially, with raw meat in the mix.

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Yeah maybe it was, or maybe after awhile they put honey on the cuts.

The squaw of the wounded warrior and what she did every morning until he healed was interesting but sure did go to the extreme. And, I can't imagine cutting off someone's scalp and how awful that must look.

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Howdy Butterfly! how are you? Oh yeah, the process of their grieving does not sound very helpful but if it made them feel better and was their way then that's interesting. In another post I talked about scalping and showed a picture of a man who lived to tell about it, he was left for dead but survived. It's super ugly that's for sure! sometimes they only took a small patch though.

Good evening Cowboy! I’m catching up with Hermann’s story this evening. It doesn’t make sense the chief never had a lookout scout when they stopped at Beaver lake.
Sad to know a human life seemed to have little value in those times.
A series on the Texas Rangers would be great.

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Howdy redheadpei! Well, I think they had traveled for so many days with no signs of anyone
following them that they felt safe so they were relaxed when they shouldn't have been.
Yeah that's the way war is, people don't give a darn about the enemy's life.

I'm thinking about the Rangers and doing a series on them, thanks for the vote on that. The upvote
on that! lol.