Parker County Today October 2016 - Page 81

Continued from page 18 regular army has done in the last forty years. They are destroying the Indians’ commissary. And it is a wellknown fact that an army losing its base of supplies is placed at a great disadvantage. Send them powder and lead, if you will; but for a lasting peace, let them kill, skin, and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your prairies can be covered with speckled cattle.” Not surprisingly, the bill failed to pass. Just the prior year, 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant “pocket vetoed” a Federal bill to protect the dwindling bison herds. Governmental sentiments were clear.  Sheridan’s words were music to the ranchers’ ears. For the most part they saw the buffalo as a nuisance competing for the grass their cattle needed to flourish. The “speckled cattle” bit made it clear that, like the East, the West was for the white man and that the army would see to it that he got it. By 1878 the southern herd had been decimated and mountains of buffalo bones littered the landscape. Still, 50-caliber buffalo guns thundered across the plains into the early 1880s when it is believed by some that less than 100 of the persecuted animals remained in the wild. Most of the Indians had long since resigned themselves to reservation life and rations of beef doled out by the government. Within a generation all that remained of their magnificent horse culture were fading memories and stories told by the old ones. Like us on Facebook! Remember To Shop Local for All Of Your Floral Needs (with us of course) Greene’s Florist Family Owned and Operated Since 1957 701 N. Main ~ Weatherford, TX 76086 817-594-2733 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY ut rget Abo Don’t Fo ming! Homeco OCTOBER 2016 Sources: • The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains, Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel, University of Oklahoma Press, 1952. • The Plains of the Great West and Their Inhabitants, Being a Description of the Plains, Game, Indians, &c., of the Great North American Desert, Lt. Col. Richard Irving Dodge, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1877. • The Last Comanche Chief: The Life and Times of Quanah Parker, Bill Neeley, James Wiley and Sons Inc. New York, 1995. and other websites. • Buffalo Hunt: International Trade and the Virtual Extinction of the North American Bison, March 2007, National Bureau of Economic Research. 79