The Comanche Moon

There’s a reason why the full moon is still called “Comanche Moon” in Texas. The Comanche were notorious for their many raids, especially during a full moon, when under the cover of darkness, but still with enough visibility to get around, the mounted warriors would engage in ruthless and quick raids on the surrounding populations.

These raids had the purpose of taking horses, weapons, supplies, cattle, women, and slaves.

But while most of these raids were done on the other Indian tribes, the Comanche also performed them on the European settlers on more than one occasion.

During these blitzkrieg-like raids, the Comanche, oftentimes numbering no more than a few dozen, would storm in, kill all the men above the age of 10, and even the infants under the age of 3, take whatever and whoever they wanted, and then leave.

By 1720, the Comanche came in contact with the French and through various trading agreements, they were introduced to firearms.

In exchange for these weapons, they offered horses stolen in New Mexico. Throughout the 18th century, they were in almost constant conflict with either the Spanish or Mexicans, or with all the many other tribes surrounding their borders, like the Lakota, Cheyenne, Pawnee, Kansa, and Osage tribes. Since 1779, the Comanche also began crossing the Rio Grande and making incursions well within Mexican territory. 

Some of these expeditions went so far south that the returning raiders reported seeing “little men in the trees who would not speak to us” … which were actually monkeys

These raids were so feared that the government of Nuevo Leon in Mexico forbade people to travel in groups of less than 30 armed and mounted men. 

From 1840 on, Comanche raids intensified and lasted up until the 1870s. Josiah Gregg, an American explorer, naturalist and author, while traveling through the region, said“the whole country from New Mexico to the borders of Durango [Mexico] is almost entirely depopulated. 

The haciendas and ranchos have been mostly abandoned, and the people chiefly confined to the towns and cities.”

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2 Responses

  1. July 14, 2023

    […] in 1845 to Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah Parker was the last chief to the Kwhandi […]

  2. July 29, 2023

    […] to Major Edwin “Ned” Wyncoop, the previous commander at Fort Lyon who had dealt fairly with the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Both harshly condemned the massacre and the soldiers who carried it […]

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