JUAN DE UGALDE AND PICAX-ANDE INS-TINSLE
AL B. NELsoN
NoR rTI OF 'TIE PuErico
In the early part of June, 1787, a military force composed of
more than four hundred Spanish soldados de cuera, together with
an assortment of Indian scouts from various tribal divisions of
the Apaches, lay encamped near the future site of the town of
Pecos on the Puerco River (the modern Pecos), under the com-
man(1 of Colonel Ugalde.
For more than six months the slender, active, and untiring
comandante de armas had led his troops in a campaign against
hostile groups of Mcscalero Apaches in the Big Bend of the Rio
Grande.' In the face of hardships which would have daunted
less determined men or frontiersmen of less experience, a large
measure of success had been attained in killing, capturing, and
dispersing the Indian inhabitants of the region.
Throughout the latter portion of the campaign constant rumors
had been heard of a warlike division of the Apaches living on
the great plains immediately to the north. According to report,
these tribesmen were actually managing to hold their ancient
hunting grounds against the encroachment of their inveterate
enemies, the Comanches, with whom there was unremitting war-
A plan had gradually taken root in the mind of Ugalde for
the subjugation of this people. In his words:
I had been fully informed by Captain Juan, as well as
by the prisoners made in the battles of Carrera and Guad-
alupe, that on the Animal Plains some 80 leagues, a little
more or less, to the north of the place on the Rio Puerco
where I was located, and near to that river called the Colorado,
and others, there were lands at this time abounding in buffalo.
Not very far from the establishments of the Comanches was
a great captain called Pica-gande, which means "Strong
Arm," who is followed by many Indians of different clans.
His nation is called Llancros or Lipiyanes, and all, like their
1Al B. Nelson, "Campaigning in the Big Bend of the Rio Grande,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXXIX (1936), 200-228.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed May 1, 2016.