The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

chants to the Panhandle, where they built the Adobe Walls trading com-
plex in 1874.
The Indians readily perceived the threat posed by the hide hunters,
and they reacted quickly. The authors note the rise of the charismatic
Comanche medicine man and prophet Isatai, who gained the support
of a young Quanah Parker. On the morning of June 27, 1874, a large
war party of Comanches, Kiowas, and Southern Cheyennes attacked
Adobe Walls.
Anecdotes and fanciful lore have surrounded this colorful episode in
Texas history, but Baker and Harrison dispel those myths. They estab-
lish the placement of the defenders and of the attacking Indians, and
they determine the chronology of events. The reader gains a sense
of what a terrifying experience this must have been for the people
trapped in the various buildings at Adobe Walls.
Reports of the archaeological excavations at Adobe Walls comprise
the second part of this volume. These provide minute descriptions of
the physical setting of the trading post, the structures, furnishings,
tools and equipment, containers, and personal artifacts. Knowledge
about these objects adds much to our perception of the material culture
of the hide hunters and traders.
The archaeological reports enhance and provide a physical dimen-
sion to the historical narrative. Historians primarily rely upon what
documents can reveal about a given historic event or personage. It is
illuminating to know what these figures wore, ate, drank, and how their
weapons or tools functioned. The archaeological research at Adobe
Walls reveals much about the world of the hide hunters. As the authors
note, the site at Adobe Walls "freezes" a six-month period in 1874 fron-
tier history. "The artifacts found at Adobe Walls illustrate the material
culture of the Western Kansas frontier in the mid-187o's and Western
trade patterns in general" (p. 289).
Adobe Walls is a readable and thoughtful book. The Panhandle-Plains
Historical Museum of Canyon, Texas, should be commended for its
foresight in sponsoring the historical and archaeological research at
Adobe Walls that led to this book.
Center for Western Studies JOSEPH C. PORTER
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha
Pidge: A Texas Ranger from Virginia. By Chuck Parsons. (Published by
author, P.O. Box 203, South Wayne, Wisconsin 53587. $25.)
Pidge, whose real name was T. C. Robinson, was an articulate Virgin-
ian who joined the Texas Rangers during the 186os and 187os and
served with Captain Leander H. McNelly. Pidge wrote most of McNelly's


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 12, 2014.