Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Isimanica, Comanche

March 28, 1840: After hearing of the fight in San Antonio on March 19, 1840, the remaining Comanches are outraged. Today, Chief Isimanica, and 300 Comanches ride up to San Antonio. Isimanica, and one warrior, ride into the central square and challenge anyone to a fight. The civilians decline, but tell him that the Army is at the San Jose Mission.



On March 28, Chief Isimanica (Hears the Wolf, Howard calls him Isamini) and about 300 Comanches appeared at the edge of San Antonio. Accompanied by one brave, Chief Isimanica, almost naked and painted for war, rode into the square, circled it, and rode down and back up Commerce Street, shouting insults and challenging any one to fight. At Black's Saloon, he stopped, stood in the stirrups, and shouted his defiance. An interpreter told him that the soldiers were at San Jose Mission, to go there and find Colonel Fisher if he wanted a fight.

Chief Isimanica and his Comanches then went to San Jose There they challenged Colonel Fisher, sick in bed, and Captain Read, next in command, to a fight. The captain explained that a twelve-day truce had been made to exchange prisoners and would not be broken. If the Comanches wished to remain three days, when the truce was over, they would furnish them a fight. The chief voiced his insults and then left. The soldiers could hardly be restrained and some were ordered into the mission church to keep them from starting a fight with the Comanches.

Hearing of this, Captain Lysander Wells called Captain Read a coward. The result was a duel in which both men were shot and killed. Read died immediately and Wells, in great pain, died after some days.



On March 28th between two hundred and fifty and three hundred Comanches under a dashing young chief, Isimanica, cane close to the edge of the town where the main body halted and Chief Isimanica with another warrior rode daringly into the public square and circled around it, then rode some distance down Commerce Street and back, shouting all the while, offering fight and heaping abuse and insults upon the Americans. Isimanica was in full war paint, and almost naked. He stopped longest in Black's saloon, at the north east corner of the square; he shouted defiance, he rose in his stirrups, shook his clenched fist, raved and foamed at the mouth. The citizens, through an interpreter, told him the soldiers were all down the river at Mission San Jose and if he went there Colonel (William S.) Fisher wood give him fight enough.

Isimanica took his braves to San Jose and with fearless daring bantered the soldiers for a fight. colonel Fisher was lying on a sick bed and Captain Redd, the next in rank, was in command. He said to the chief: "We have made a twelve day truce with your people in order to exchange prisoners. My country's honor is pledged, as well as my own, to keep the truce, and I will not break it. Remain here three days or return in three days and the truce will be over. We burn to fight you." Isimanica called him liar, coward and other opprobrious names, and hung around for sometime, but at last the Indians left and did not return. Captain Redd remained. calm and unmoved, but his men could with the greatest difficulty be restrained and in fact some of them were ordered into the Mission church and the door guarded.


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