Scrapbook One Hundred Seventy Four…


APRIL 2017



The Quahada Chief on a Black Pony.

I was born and raised in Central Texas where the Comanche Indians often ranged and plundered. Being an early student of their history, and an avid collector of their clothing, weapons, and photographs, my imagination long ago fell prey to their way of life. Historians call them the “Lords of the Plains,” and that name is well-merited because no other tribe could sit a horse and ride with such a handsome manner.

Quanah and Wekea, one of his seven wives?

Of special interest to me is the Quahada band, and Quanah Parker especially. His father was Peta Nakona, chief of the Quahadas, and his mother was Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman who, in 1836, was captured by the Comanches. She lived with them for 24 years, and had three children. When she was “rescued” by Sul Ross, a Texas Ranger, and returned to her people, Cynthia Ann couldn’t speak the language. She yearned to go back, a plea that was repeatedly denied. After a few years she stopped eating and died. The doctors said it was influenza.

On October the 10th, 1871, during the Battle of Blanco Canyon, Quanah Parker rode up to Trooper Gregg of the 4th US Cavalry and shot him with a Smith and Wesson American. The trooper was interred where he fell and rocks were placed on his grave.

Blanco Canyon

Captain R.G. Carter, a witness to the event, said Gregg’s horse was faltering, and gave this written account:

A large and powerfully built chief led the bunch, on a coal-black racing pony. Leaning forward upon his mane, his heels nervously working in the animal’s side, with six-shooter poised in air, he seemed the incarnation of savage brutal joy. His face was smeared with black war paint, which gave his features a satanic look. A large, cruel mouth added to his ferocious appearance. A full-length headdress or war bonnet of eagle’s feathers, spreading out as he rode, and descending from his forehead, overhead and back, to his pony’s tail, almost swept the ground. Large brass hoops were in his ears; he was naked to his waist, wearing simply leggings, moccasins and a breechclout. A necklace of bear’s claws hung about his neck. His scalp lock was carefully braided in with otter fur, and tied with bright red flannel. His horse’s bridle was profusely ornamented with bits of silver, and red flannel was also braided in his mane and tail, but, being black, he was not painted. Bells jingled as he rode at headlong speed, followed by the leading warriors, all eager to outstrip him in the race. It was Quanah, principal war chief of the wild Qua-ha-das.


Captain Carter, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his action in the fight, drew a map of the battle, which loosely identified the burial location. Ninety-five years later, when I was stationed in Lubbock, a friend, Bill Griggs, and I searched relentlessly for the trooper’s grave. The evidence showed it to be somewhere about 46 miles north of where I lived.

With Captain Carter’s original map in hand (I didn’t want to carry a copy.) Bill and I hiked on weekends. Back and forth across the grassy rises and rugged dips we walked, binoculars in hand. We were ever watchful for the errant pile of rocks that were deliberately placed to keep scavenging animals from digging.

Blanco Canyon

Twenty days or more we did that, often finding remnants of the fight, a canteen, a rusty knife, a brass cavalry uniform button, lots of bullet casings, but no pile of rocks. We replaced everything as it lay, lest we betray the sanctity of that battle ground.

Comanche beaded moccasins

We didn’t locate Trooper Gregg’s resting place. My wish now is that the chaparral and long-living creosote bushes will protect that soldier and permit him to rest in the dignity of the North Texas soil where Mother Wind will forever wail the long mournful sound of Taps.

Did this Comanche bow and arrow set belong to Quanah Parker?

My motive for searching was important to me. I just wanted to stand there and render one last salute to the fallen fighter, and to “watch” as hundreds of yelping natives and Army troopers fought one of the most decisive battles of the Indian Wars. I would like to have thrown a rock at Quanah as he sped by on his “coal-black racing pony.”

Please allow me to explain something.

I would like to have known R. G. Carter, but he died when I was 5 years old. I collected his personal papers, letters, documents, and books, so I probably have more information about him than anyone alive today

Now, about Quanah Parker. J. Evetts Haley and I went to the spot in the Palo Duro Canyon where, in 1874, General Mackenzie routed the Comanches, including Quanah. Visiting his gravesite at the Ft. Sill Indian Cemetery where he’s buried beside his mother and daughter (Prairie Flower), was a spiritual experience for me. I just love the Indian history of this country. Thank you. f


221 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Seventy Four…

  1. Another wonderful story, Forrest. Thanks for posting. My middle name is Ann. I wish I was named after Quanan Parker’s mother, but I don’t think I was. If my name was Cochise…that I’d believe. My mother loved the movie way back whenever about Cochise… thanks, Dal. When do you have time to work?

    • Hahha Cynthia Ann woahhhhhh u better saddle up that race pony u might be hot Giddy up girl hehe

    • It’s a small world Cynthia. My sister’s name in Synthia Ann. As you can see, my mom and dad changed it to an “S” instead of a “C”. Small World. Love your posts Cynthia. JDA

  2. Blanco Canyon is such a mournful place, long and wide, and open. Every time I went there I wanted to just sit down and become part of it. Can you look out across the expanse of those pictures and see a thousand Comanche Indians stirring up dust and generally causing mischief? R. G. Carter did. f

    • Sir, there isn’t much there now except a platform for an MPS-36 radar that I worked at. We did a lot of tracking of things back in the 90’s. Anyway, I would walk out into the desert just north of there and spend a lot time just thinking about the children that once inhabited the area. So many things I found but left it behind.

      32°57’20.49″N 106°31’37.23″W

      Just east about 6.3 miles of there, you can still see the runway where the shuttle landed.

      Also, I got to see on my high powered camera the DC-X vertical launch rocket hover above these desert. It came back down except one of landing legs did not extend and the DC-X just fell over. I dont the dignitaries down the road were impressed.

      I spent a lot of time in the desert through out the basin and I still go out there every year looking for things. I have one special spot that I call Apache run. It is where a skirmish with Calvary once happened. I was out at this spot last year found some interesting things. When I am out in the desert I do a lot of thinking.

      Still searching for the 100 Tons of Gold.

      An Indian Scout and A Saint

    • Forrest, have you read any of the novels written by Cormac MacCarthy? Specifically, this scrapbook post reminds me of his book “Blood Meridian”. It is very graphic, and I wonder if the theme of that book is more accurate, or more gratuitous, fantastical literature.

      • Blood Meridian was written to deconstruct the Myth of the West. Excluding the Judge – although certainly there were people very similar to him – I would say it is very accurate ..


        • Agreed, Brad. It’s quite a chaotic read. While it provides a stark contrast to the romantic tales of the West, I wonder if it’s violence is a bit in the other extreme direction approaching gratuitous, rather than accurate. But what do I know? I wasn’t there.

          • Yes. It’s probably a bit extreme. You’re trying to condense several years of action into a single novel and a platoon or two into 5 or 6 guys. Plus, Cormac was trying to write Moby Dick all over again. The West was no different than any other era of battle. Lots of boredom broken up by periodic bouts of gunfire. But the Filibusters were real – the original Special Forces, made up of guys looking for excitement and a reason to expand the U.S. Border to Mexico City ..

            Storytelling always takes liberties ..


    • I’m surprised you want to throw a rock at Quanah Parker. I don’t know what lessons we are supposed to learn from history in general, or our own history, but surely Vietnam was enough rock-throwing? Maybe we just get so involved in the diaries of those we read, that we take on their wars? Somewhere hidden in an enigma greater than a poem, perhaps in these diaries, is the treasure of world peace. I hope we can find this treasure.

      • Somewhere hidden in an enigma is the treasure of world peace ..

        An excellent string of words, blonde. Almost poetic in their simplicity ..

        I think Forrest has tremendous respect for the American Indian, and the destructive plight that we have brought to their culture, but he also has tremendous respect for tmilitary culture and commeraderie — especially as it existed prior to Vietnam .. I think sometimes he is conflicted as to which side he would have been on had he lived at that time .. what Warrior Culture was right in its actions ..


    • It truly is a magnificent place. One can imaging many wondrous things sitting there can’t they? JDA

      • JDA – Have you been out hunting for the treasure or are you still waiting?

    • I see a peaceful tribe minding their own business,maybe causing mischief amongst each other with not a worry in the world..
      Where I come from,I can see controlled fires where the people are clearing land,ready to plant.
      That’s my answer to your question, Forrest.
      Thanks for the history lesson,s.

    • I often think that same thought when I’m out searching and I see or pass by a large open plain. I envision hundreds of indian warriors on horseback riding across the plain at top speed, coming up over a hill. Then I always get kind of sad that it is something that I, nor anyone else, will ever see. And the world will never see that again. Seems wrong somehow.

  3. I had dinner with my friend and search buddy Bart tonight. We had duck legs, fried and baked with truffle salt and fancy red paprika from Spain.

    Bart wants to buy a pick axe from Ace hardware, but I think we can wait for better weather. Bart doesn’t even want any of the loot, but he gets half if we find it.

      • Hello SL. Looks like I missed your post. You questioned if the pontoon airplane Skippy was in over Hebgen crashed into the lake. In TTOTC, page 53, it reads:

        “After circling around a few times for maximum effect, and to everyone’s bewilderment, he landed right in front of the dock. His big grin told us nothing, but also everything.”

        Wish you were still involved with the Chase, my friend. Miss your posts and links, which I found educational. Hope all is well in whatever you’re doing.

  4. Awesome story Forrest! As I kid, I wrote a report for school on Quanna Parker. I wish I had paid more attention then. I’ve been to Lubbock where it seems the wind is always blowing the red dirt around and went into a canyon. I had never seen a canyon before and I instantly loved it. My husband and I had climbed up the side of the wall to a small cave we saw and looked around and then started to climb back down. He went first and I followed. I got stuck. His legs were longer than mine and I couldn’t go up and I couldn’t go down. I told him that and he said Don’t Panic! Good thing because I was going to. He came back up and I got on his shoulders and we went down some until I could climb again and we made it down safe. Those were fun days. First time I saw a burrowing owl.

  5. Whoever is riding the dark racehorse, Forrest would probably like you to slow down. He’s trying to get your attention!

    • I sure wish I could see the metaphors like you folks do.
      If you and others didn’t point them out I would not recognize very many at all.

    • He does seem to want to get the attention of the rider in front on the black race horse though I’m not sure he wants them to slow down. I think he wants whoever it is that finds it to take care of the special place where it is hidden. I think it must be in a very special place possibly with spiritual ties. Mindy are you the one on the black race horse? Are you going to let any of us who may be on your heels the chance to catch up?

    • What do u think he is saying 🙂 And why slow down I think he is saying the black horse is about to win the race

        • I think the flood of SB’s are all telling just about the same thing. He’s throwing out a LOT of info that’s helping narrow the location. Forrest is practically screaming out where to look. Just about everything he’s talked about lately has a common theme–the Santa Fe Trail.

          The Santa Fe Trail traversed two search states. I’m honing in one very specific area and it’s got a bell you can hear for miles. I don’t think F’s bell in his yard can be heard for miles. Unless he has an amplifier connected to it. Lol.

          I think he wants the lead horse to take notice. There are very subtle things in these latest writings that tell me the end is near.

          • That requires special knowledge though, kind of invalidates his quote that all we need is the poem, the book and a map.

          • No specialized knowledge…the portion of the Santa Fe trail in looking at is given in the poem. His hints give some of the history behind the clues of the poem. IMO.

          • So you believe Mr. Fenn is willing to undermine all the hard work of the lead horse by handing out the final location of the chest to the masses? I don’t see him doing that, but obviously some folks do.

          • No, that’s not what I think at all. I think there are lots of people who have done hard work searching for the TC. I don’t think he’s “handing out” hints to the masses. Well, he is, but I think the horses out in front are the ones who are able to pick up on them.

            I think he’s doing what he does best in many of these latest postings–teaching. 🙂

          • Hi Mindy! If the treasure is hidden somewhere along, or in close proximity to, the Santa Fe Trail, it’s worth noting that the vast majority of the SF Trail is in the plains and not the Rocky Mountains. Depending on how loosely you interpret where the boundaries of the Rocky Mountains lie, it seems to me that your only 2 viable areas would be the segment stretching between Trinidad, CO & Raton, NM, and the segment connecting Las Vegas, NM to Santa Fe, NM. But of course the latter is located entirely south of Santa Fe, so IMO, that rules out that option.

            That narrows the search area down quite a bit though from the entire SF Trail. I’ve driven through that stretch of I-25 over Raton Pass many times and every time I do, I make a mental note that I need to take the time to go hiking in that area. Maybe this will be the summer that I finally get around to doing that! 🙂

          • Hi nmc! I think that your logic is spot on and makes perfect sense to me. Check out the response I just wrote a little further below to DG for my personal take on the nature of any possible hints that Forrest may be dishing out.

          • Blex, There’s a spur of the Santa Fe Trail that runs along Rt21 through Cimarron through the Philmont Scout Ranch on through Rayado, skirting the Cimarron Range; definitely mountainous along parts of this route. Tooth-of-Time Mountain resides there, as other “interesting” names, including Urraca Mesa which has a portal to the underworld. Dal knows…

          • Hi, Cynthia. Like I said, there’s a bit of leeway in interpreting where the Rockies start and stop. I’m looking at that stretch of the trail in Google Maps 3D and it still looks pretty flat to me along Route 21, though it does appear to go over a couple of what appear to be isolated hills. I would still not consider the trail here to be “in the Rockies” myself (which makes historical sense to me; who wants to take their wagon train up and over mountains when they can simply skirt by them?), but can certainly understand how someone else might see the opposite.

            And I agree that there are some interesting named peaks just to the west of this area (3 Black Mountains in such close proximity? How do they tell them apart? 🙂 ). Looks like another good exploration area to add to my ever-lengthening to-hike list!

          • Special knowledge IMO.

            I disagree regarding the Old Santa Fe trail too, seems more like Goodnight-Loving trail to me. In any case they would both requre special knowledge beyong the poem, ttotc and a map.

          • This is one of those places where we agree to disagree, I think. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

            You have a lot of good info, Wy. You could be right. 🙂

      • Hi, DG! I used to think that Forrest’s scrapbooks were nothing but just nice, personal stories. I still think a good majority of them are, but I have changed my mind on at least a few of them. IMO, he has thrown out a few subtle hints, and there are a few in some of his more recent scrapbooks (not necessarily THIS particular entry [sb174] that I’m writing this comment in… but on the other hand maybe so!). I believe that these hints are not meant as starting points in determining a solve, but are only noticeable to someone who has already solved the poem and is familiar with the correct search area (same as the subtle hints in his books).

        I think we’ve got a race to the finish in store this season! Hundreds of dark horses will be racing for the finish line, but will they all be racing in different directions? I sure hope so! 🙂

        • I believe a number of SB are meaningful as well, but only after you’ve narrowed your search down and are on a certain path. However, Mr. Fenn has provided enough of them, and on such broad topics, that folks can point to any combination of them and claim they’re relevant to their solves. It will be interesting to find out after the fact which ones actually were relevant 🙂

          • You’ve nailed it, nmc. The SB’s cover so many disparate topics that people can always make connections to their favored spots if they have enough imagination. I think by this point if you’re in the right location, you already know it, and any further SB hints only solidify your confidence.

        • Bled,

          I’ve been playing catchup on all the posts this morning and didn’t realize you had already posted about dark horses. My apologies.


        • Hey, Blex, in response to you writing above that looking at Google Maps it looks flat along Rt21 through Cimarron. I think the folks who live in Cimarron consider them being at least in the edge of the Rockies. The large signs at either end of town say “Welcome to Cimarron, where the Rockies meet the plains.” There’s a drawing across the bottom of the sign that looks like forrest riding his horse up the foothills to two snow-covered peaks. I wish I could post my picture of this sign. The two snow-capped peaks look like the M with the arrow on ff’s map on pg 99. Just saying…Hence all these scrapbooks lately about the plains. He’s showing us the way!

          • I’m surprised that sign hasn’t been shot full of bullet holes, like most of the other signs I’ve seen while visiting NM.

          • Wikipedia lists Cimarron, NM as a village “which sits on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains,” so you have a point there, Cynthia.

            However, I did go into GoogleMaps’ streetview and “walked” around the center of Cimarron and then “walked” the entire length of Route 21 from Cimarron to Rayado. I saw a few gentle hills, but most of the topography throughout this section of the SF Trail was dominated by flatness. Now if you are thinking of using the SF Trail in this area as a starting point for following the poem further West into the Rockies, then that sounds more reasonable to me; I was just saying that I don’t think the treasure would be hidden in close proximity to the SF Trail in this area.

            Regarding the sign, in my opinion that 6-inch high cowboy silhouette could just as easily be Clark Gable as Forrest Fenn (and now that I look at it, that horse could also almost pass as a dragon). I don’t own a copy of TFTW (yet), so I’ll take your word for it regarding the “M” and the arrow. It could very well be a hint.

        • All the “different directions” could be aiming at the hidey place. But if they are skew, then they aren’t going to intersect. As always, in my opinion.

      • Perhaps he’s really saying there’s a dark horse way out In front that no one is expecting.

        • Pinatubocharlie,

          “a dark horse way out In front that no one is expecting” is technically a pleonasm I think lol, I am kind of just messing with you but the term dark horse on it’s own does mean:

          “a candidate or competitor about whom little is known but who unexpectedly wins or succeeds.”

          “a person who reveals little about himself or herself or his or her activities, esp one who has unexpected talents or abilities.”

          “If” that is what Forrest is saying it would seem that he is not referring to most of the people on the blogs that post they know where it is or that they think they do or that they are close all the time, IMO.

          For a little humor on this Sunday here is George Carlin on Pleonasms and Redundancies:

          “I needed a new beginning, so I decided to pay a social visit to a personal friend with whom I share the same mutual objectives and who is one of the most unique individuals I have ever personally met. The end result was an unexpected surprise. When I reiterated again to her the fact that I needed a fresh start, she said I was exactly right; and, as an added plus, she came up with a final solution that was absolutely perfect. Based on her past experience, she felt we needed to join together in a common bond for a combined total of twenty-four hours a day, in order to find some new initiatives. What a novel innovation! And, as an extra bonus, she presented me with the free gift of a tuna fish. Right away I noticed an immediate positive improvement. And although my recovery is not totally complete, the sum total is I feel much better now knowing I am not uniquely alone.”

          I love George Carlin…

  6. It is nice to imagine a time when Native Americans were able to live the lives of free existence without fears and torment. What a peaceful existence that must have been.

  7. Thanks for the story Mr. Fenn, and the photos.

    And may I suggest – You have probably heard it before, but if not, listen to the online poem “Comanche Moon” as related by Red Steagall on his album “Born to This Land”.

    The poem is about a raid on Chief Nokona’s Quahada band. “Cynci” Anne, and her son Quanah Parker play a part in this poem. It is one of my favorite old western ballads.


      • Still thinking and analyzing the poem Gene. You and the missus OK? Wishing you both the best from me and mine.
        Think I’ll check that out about Red. Love all the old ballads and cowpoke poetry. Code of the West is something I’ve been familiar with since a boy reading my dad’s Zane Grey novels. Dad always said he was born 100 years too late to suit him.

        • I am doing great Sam. I think she is waiting for the black Friday sale at Gucci’s but I cant tell.
          Is it amazing how simple life was back in the day. Overall, I have been making lots of plans and they are working out so far.

  8. Thanks Forrest and Dal.

    The second paragraph under the picture of Carter has (9) words that begin with the letter “W” in it. 🙂
    Great story.

  9. We could Learn much from these native peoples who lived in harmony with nature for 1000s of years.

  10. another story of great amazement. i don’t know why, but i love the line, “no other tribe could sit a horse and ride with such a handsome manner.” just beautiful writing.

  11. Thank you, Forrest!
    I, probably like most people, focus mainly on my world, my life. You help me to see the greater world, individuals through all ages, people who’s lives are real and important! Thank you!

  12. Mr. Fenn, The out come of that story is wrong on so many levels. I enjoy reading the history behind each one, but when I finish I am so confused and question how anyone could not see her pain, feel compassion and allow her to return home.. A mothers love, is that not a basic instinct understood worldwide by all?

    • I think Forrest meant that Quanah’s sister, Prairie Flower, not Cynthia (his mother), died three years later. Cynthia lived, unhappily, for ten years. She died in 1870.

      Still, so very sad…

      • Nope, my bad. Cynthia died in 1864, according to her family. Prairie Flower died in 1863. It’s another case where the stories vary, depending on which “side” your on.

        I noticed that many white writers of Quanah’s story say his name meant “smelly.”

        But his descendants and Native American writers say it meant “fragrant.” Sorta the same meaning, but very different connotations.

        I like “fragrant” better.

  13. I enjoy this scrapbook very much. Thank you for sharing this information with us. Would throwing the rock at Quanah have changed history? I’m not sure.

    • It might have ripped a new page in the light of all things American. Would it have been a turning point in history, that depends on how it is penned. I once was left in the desert with no food or water and 50 miles from the closest town. Rattlesnakes and cactus reminded me that a cautious step would be an advantage traveling at night. When I reached town my feet were bloody and blistered. So what does this have to do with Mr. Fenn hoping to mimic the aim of a squar in “Dancing with Wolves”? Nothing except knowing that the hippie name for feather in Spanish is Pluma and thats a rough translation when your half way down the Baja just out of a tight jam. Now this whole charade may make me sound like a Turkey but if you could see it from my eyes then you would know that Mr. Fenn has the eyesight of an eagle just waiting for a big brown to turn his nose at an emerging stone fly. Yes he would have eaten our fine feathered friends lunch with the first toss, feathers would have been flying like the cuss words out of my mouth from an over exaggerated dry spell. Wake up America! We’re all in this boat together and its all down hill if we don’t wake up. Peace is in! Sorry for the rant, just had to clear my throat.

      • Hello Strawshadow. I’ve seen “Dancing with Wolves” on many occasions, and I enjoy it. Some of the parts are a bit sad.

      • (Second try.) I’ve seen “Dancing with Wolves” on many occasions, and I enjoy the movie. Some of the parts are a bit sad.

  14. Thank you Dal and Mr. Fenn,
    Hats off Mr. Fenn, any man who walks around looking for rock piles commands my attention. I think I’m smelling Mah-Chetta-Wookey by the Antelopes side though, as the buzz goes.

  15. The location of Gregg’s grave was forgotten, but historians have searched for many decades. Dr. Ernest Wallace of Texas Tech, an authority on Gen. Ranald Mackenzie and his Indian campaigns, recently located a sketch of the battleground north of Silver Falls in Blanco Canyon where Gregg died. The sketch is believed to have been made by Capt. Carter. Wallace found it in the Smithsonian Institute. In mid-September, Wallace with other historians of the Lubbock Llano Estacado Corral of Westerners visited the site. The sketch showed that the burial was at the base of a hill or butte in Blanco Canyon, but the grave found by Wallace is on top of the hill. Wallace theorizes that the body was first buried at the base of the hill, but was moved after wolves disturbed it. A reporter for the Crosbyton Review wrote on Sept. 19 that the grave, ironically, was opened in digging by youngsters and a deputy sheriff who were searching for a missing man. The skull and several military buttons were forwarded to Austin for ballistics tests to determine whether the body was that of the missing man. It was not. Buttons recovered from the grave were identified as “early cavalry buttons of the Civil War era.” The historians have not exhumed the rest of the skeleton. Some residents of the area, including Bobby Adams of the Bridwell Ranch, think the grave located is not the Gregg burial site.

    Pvt. Seander Gregg, whose horse gave out, was killed by Quanah Parker. Gregg was buried at the southeast part of the butte where he was killed on October 10, 1871. Gregg had volunteered for military service on Oct. 24, 1870 and at the time of his death was 21 years old.

    Carter said, he believed for some years that the chief was either Mow-wi, or Para-a-coorn (He Bear) but that Quanah told Gen. Frank Baldwin and J. F. Randlett on the reservation “years later’ that he led the Indians, and the pony’s name was “Running Deer.”

    Carter said he fired several shots with a Smith Wesson pistol at not more than 30 feet, but the chief was on the other side of Gregg, and the cavalrymen were afraid their bullets would hit him. Carter said he shouted for Gregg to use his carbine. “Alas! he did try, but through nervous “strain and excitement, his pull on the lever was too weak, and the cartridge stuck.

    Carter then shouted for Gregg to pull his six-shooter, and Gregg reached for it. “Too late! A flash! A report from the chief’s pistol, now at Gregg’s head — a fall — a thud — a tragic death — and his horse, now relieved of his rider, turned and ran into the Indian lines.”

    The rest of the column reached the scene. Gregg was buried, and the battle continued to rage through the canyon that day, and the next. Oct 12 was a cold, overcast gray morning, as the cavalry followed the trail of several hundred Indians, the entire ullage, fleeing out of the canyon and upon to the high plains. The cavalry lost the Commanches.

    The troopers huddled that night with their animals and later straggled back to civilization. It was more than three years later, June 2, 1875 when Quanah and the other Quohadas, 100 warriors, 300 non-combatants and 1,400 ponies, surrendered, marching into Fort Sill and reservation life.

    Carter died Jan. 4, 1936 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Mackenzie is buried at the Cadet Cemetery at West Point. Quanah Parker lies at Chiefs Knoll in the Post Cemetery at Fort Sill. Pvt. Gregg lies in a shallow grave on a windswept butte on the Texas Caprock.

    Pvt. Gregg is like the French soldiers and the 1,614 men that are still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. One of those men was a friend of mine; he was part Apache. He thought it an odd happenstance we were there fighting on the same side.

  16. A few years ago I was roped into teaching physical geography labs at our local community college. The students are non-science majors who have to take a required and dreaded science class. So on the first day of class I toss the text aside and hand out the Fenn poem. The somber mood in the room changes dramatically. Why should anyone have to learn geography now has an unexpected answer. Funny though I once had two exchange students, also just learning English, who thought that finding the treasure was their actual homework assignment. That went on for two weeks !

  17. Yet another great post Forrest. Love the images and the story, but I’ll have to study the post in more detail tomorrow when my 68 year old brain is functioning better considering the late hour.

    • Geez there’s a lot of info to process here. Since many other searchers have many of the same observations I have I won’t bother to repeat them here.

      Having said that, I would like to add that I love the craftsmanship and artistry of the moccasins, not to mention the bow and arrow set, and the leatherwork was beautiful.
      In fact, I was reminded of a long trip my wife and I took to New Orleans a few years back.

      On the way we stopped for lunch around Crawford, maybe Waco, Texas and had some fantastic Tex-Mex chow……after the first plate hit the deck as a result of my clumsiness that is. Then sudden;y, a super nice guy came out of nowhere to clean up my mess. I wanted to help, but he said “No sir, I am the janitor and that’s my job now”.

      After lunch we even found a to die for ice cream place across the street that we could afford, the ice cream that is, but not in terms of waistline girth if you get my drift.

      Anyway, boy did I go off on a tangent or what? So while walking around town to burn off a few calories and look around we stumbled on a place selling some beautiful handmade tribal crafts including moccasins and a wonderful leather jacket that I almost bought. Unfortunately, everything was out of our somewhat limited price range as we were saving the money for the BIG SPEND in Mardi Gras land. That’s another story altogether.

      So it goes without saying that my wife and I really appreciate true craftsmanship whatever it is. Be it a handmade wooden canoe, fine down to earth paitings like Hurley, lifelike bronze bird sculptures, basket weavers, or a custom made fly rod for those special fishing spotz. We harken for the old times when “Made in the USA” meant something.

      And then we have Mr. F, the grand master, the King if you will, of craftsmanship, intrigue, education (me in particular), beguiling literacy, humor; where do I stop? And whom it seems there are no limits to his abilities and heights he can achieve.

      My hat is off to you sir. Thank you for Chase. And may I add, you WILL NOT be forgotten! I am sure of that regardless how this thing ends.

      Apologies for such a verbose post.


  18. Thank you Forrest and Dal. I loved reading this post and all the comments. History truely is filled with fascinating stories. Thank you Forrest for bringing these stories into the light for us all to enjoy!

  19. Those canyons are the same type I used to play in as a child in Northern NM. Throwing dirt clots at each other, cousins, mimicking battle. Not realizing at the time that battles had actually been fought in them. Riding our bikes to and fro. Dust kicking up, the quietness, but the clicking sound of turning spokes, wind and sliding on dirt. Dodging projectiles, while dodging the exciting intricacies of the different crevices of the landscape. The clots with rocks stung the most, but made the wars taste more real.

    Thank you Forrest for the story, but also a reminder of my youth. Wanting to throw a rock at Quanah is what sparked the memory.

    • That’s true for me too Michael. I never learned a thing about the Indian wars and I remember taking a course in high school called U.S. History…but I don’t remember the Indian Wars being any part of that class…There may have been a photo of Custer in the textbook…but that’s about it…

    • Nor did I. Living on the east coast, I learned what pertained to the history there, but never anything about the west. While continuing the education in Colorado in 1977+, again, I do not recall it being taught. I’m not sure if it’s being taught in today’s curriculum.

      • My step-dad was a history professor that taught one of the only US Indian policy courses taught at universities. He also ran his own business researching American Indian Land and Water Rights in support of tribes across the country. He was one of my hero’s for sure. Forrest is another!

        Teach on, Forrest. And thank you!

    • Same here. Also I never heard of the Mound Builders till after high school. Sad. Imo.

  20. Great story Forrest,
    It is so amazing how much the world has changed (our daily lives) in the last 150 years. I’m not sure it’s better just different.

  21. No one can grease the wheels of your imagination like Forrest. I love his stories!

  22. Hi f , and Dal.

    Thanks for that post Dal and all you do .
    f Sir ,
    I really like that story ! I was a kid and used to go there to Palo Dura.
    I can remember when there were no roads in there . You had to rent a house and travel down the canyon via switch back . I had recently been there on a visit to my Grandmothers home on Crocket street in Amarillo Texas .
    The canyon is not far from there.
    Boy that brings back some memories . Another story recent brought back a lot of memories there in Texas also . Some were very vivid in my mind.
    One particular that related to me was ; a story you told about trains . I wont go into it to much here , but in this story you posted was a guy who operated a train and used to blow the whistle when he left town . That was a great story considering , When I was a boy , my grandpas used to be a Engineer for the Santa Fe rail road out of Amarillo . When he would leave he would sound his whistle I think three times . By that whistle I knew all was well. I always thought he blew it for just me , but you story reminded me , it was for my O’ma ( Grand ma ) .
    I would love to read the data you have on him to add into my book about you Sir. This book is a good idea and meets into what I in my mind satisfies my inquisitiveness about who you are , and what you were trying to accomplish in your life time . Especially the meaning of hiding your chest.
    “” Our home soon became a cistern of ideas ”
    I like that , a place where new ideas can be shared across the table.
    I wounder how many of those wonderful ideas were shared across the table
    at Collective works Books. You all know the coffee table is like from the 1600’s or something like that , IDK it’s old . So imagine for a second , How many people have touched that door . Being in the oldest book store in the country ? How many Ideas were shared just as it is as a table . What a place , all should go there .
    Thank you for the story

  23. f

    I wrote this one thinking about the chase , Hope you liked it.

    Time chimes and hands tickly move
    To find the one called the fool .

    He sits shaded under a trees ,
    Hoping that all will look and see.

    Whats in the book
    that he keeps in a nook,
    Behind the wood,
    Will anyone come to look.

    To see the spectacle he’s become
    A fool to love life’s very touch .

    He’s dressed a clown
    and trows a frown
    But truth to be
    He is as wise as a tree.

    Toils in time that passes by
    Wanders everywhere in own mind
    To find a treasure left for all.

    Cold and silent dose it call
    3 times chimed herd the ring .
    Coming from the woods
    See the swing .

    Pounded and perfected the mettle be
    Only the Adler can really see .
    Shakespeare always sat by a tree.

    By Mike D.

    • Thanks J Smith. Little words of encouragement hidden here and there have amazing results. Even if it was not placed for that reason.
      The N.B.D.Y

    • J Smith,

      I want to congratulate you and give you a medal for being SO civilized.

  24. These are wonderful pictures. And a great story. Mr. Fenn’s collection is astounding.
    Thanks for sharing. Is Quanah holding an umbrella?

  25. Little lessons…strong feelings. Very nice to see the photos and learn some history. Thanks for sharing Forrest Fenn…

    • Back a hundred years ago it was pretty much mandatory unless ya lived in Manhattan, but Ridin a horse is a lot easier than people make it out to be — you should get out and try it sometime. There’s nothing like the feeling of being in tune with a mount steaming across the desert at full speed. About the closest I can think of is hanging a sailboat up on the water rail, sails full blown, inches from sinking the whole shebang .. or maybe a motorcycle ..


  26. Just a side note: I switched to Direct TV a while back and there is a station FNX (First Nations Television) that features shows and even sitcoms made by American Indians. It is quite interesting to watch. If you can access it give it a watch sometime.

  27. “Holy June Bugs Batman! You’d think some turkey would have solved this thing by now!”

    “Robin, we’re all crippled ants in an elephant parade when you really think about it. Some dark horse candidate will eventually come along and ring the confounded bell soon.”

  28. If you’re ever in or near Cochise Arizona and want to invest in a fascinating study of pottery, fetishes, baskets and Native American art, take a day, stop in to Texas Canyon, and visit the Amerind Museum ..


  29. “We were ever watchful for the “errant” pile of rocks,deliberately placed to keep “scavenging” animals from digging.”
    Very telling…. The “dark horse” has found the correct “errant pile”. 🙂

  30. “Holy quivering quirky killdeer Batman! How long until that dark horse shows up?”
    “Patience Robin, patience.”

  31. The part about the “black racing pony” was written by Captain Carter…not FF. Not sure if that matters or is relevant to anyone but thought I’d mention it in case you’re using these as a resource.

    • Be very careful Kachina. Peyote should not be taken lightly. Find someone trustworthy who can guide you through your first “travels”..


  32. I’ve read comments about the ‘coal-black racing pony’ being a suggestion that someone being ahead. Sounds like a fun thought. In the same line of thinking, has anyone thought it could be a black mare, or nightmare if one were to go that route?

    • pdenver—-

      I think there area few who “believe” they are ahead— but I think most of us are in the same boat. I can’t even remember my middle name half the time. 🙂

  33. Again thanks Forrest,

    I had read up on Quanah Parker after the Scrapbbook 173 post. You never know how exciting history can be. I can see how you got caught up choosing the path of collecting anything relating in Indian history. Again your old photos and “newer photos “are always interesting for looking back in time and keeping our imanagiations traveling along that path you are sharing. Some of your statements truly define the point you want to get across and some of us see that. And yes “coal”- black racing pony has struck a cord, plus “watchful for the errant pile of rocks”. As always I want you to share more and have enjoyed all of your recent posts. Thanks, Bur

    • Very nicely said Bur. I am sure that several of us, including me, agree with what you say. JDA

  34. mr. forrest,i love all your stories,they have such richness to don’t need a tv, just your stories, and you can see, and let your imagination run eyes are a screen to your stories.they just come alive as you visualize what your talking about.your collection and pictures are such a hold those pair of shoes and think ,what the person was like is amazing. you are one lucky gentleman.

  35. It’s so sad to think of war, yet glorious are some of its characters. I sometimes can imagine being there, in that time… I’ve had dreams…
    I love Indian history too. Big time.
    Thanks forrest, you teach so well. You make learning fun. 🙂

  36. Hi all out there to night. Can anybody tell me what post Mr Fenn was going to use his hair to make a doll ?

  37. This story reminds me of the Mountain Meadows Massacre in Southern Utah. On 9/11/1857 a band of religious zealots murdered the Baker Fancher Party, an innocent group of settlers from Arkansas trying to make it to California.

    They lefts the bodies as they fell, and the Army later returned to the site, and gathered the remains that had been scattered by animals and built a cairn to mark the spot.

    It’s a sobering place and over a hundred years later, we’re still finding mass grave sites that the army built in the typical style of the time, yet have been hiding in plain sight. I’ve walked this area and relate to the desire to find history, and to leave it unmolested.

  38. Alset, I see lots of things. I miss a lot too. Perhaps the race is not against each other, but with time. Do I see the bells ringing, or better, do I hear them? Sometimes. I suppose I can only know what I know and hope to improve on that.

      • There is the sound of bells here/hear? I did not see any. I see a magnificent site, and I wonder of the flag braided into/onto the headrest. It is certainly more than red flannel. He also had white man’s weapon. He had ridden this way before. But what of the rock, a stones throw? I’m afraid, as often happens, that I may be more confused than resolved.

  39. Yes, it is this,

    “Bells jingled as he rode at headlong speed, followed by the leading warriors, all eager to outstrip him in the race.”

    May not look like much but…

    • Yes. This is what I thought you meant. I’ll get back to you later alset, seems I just paid mind to something… 🙂

      • Alset,
        This is the dream that came from this:
        One summer day four folks went swimming. Three got cold and out and one kept on for a brief moment. They didn’t want to swim in the cold water so they called it a day. But maybe they shouldn’t have been so hasty.
        That’s it.

  40. A dark horse leads the pack? Fenn standing back almost as if a movie is playing out wants to throw a rock at the black stallion but his hands are tied:::Fenn being the ultimate fair ref can only watch in awe.

    Actually I think that everyone sees what they want, a little something for everyone 🙂

    Here’s a thought and I’d like some New Mexico searchers to way in.

    W-H-Y is it 3 letter word
    WY-O-MING 3 syllable word
    Chinese jade figure in the chest from the ming dynasty. Wyo ming …thoughts anyone?

    • Well, Wyoming is fa, a long long way to run. 😉
      and mi – the author leaning towards the subject “me” or a note to follow so.
      Now, may I have ti with my jam & bread as I’m ever drawing maps?

  41. Is this 4th US Calvary of which Trooper Gregg is from the same as the 4th Cavalry Sgt Kyetena is from in the vignette Kyetena’s Tobacco Canteen? Hummm?

  42. Poor Cynthia Ann dying to flu. I can relate though. This bout of it I had, kept me in bed more than I wanted to be. After a few more days of getting over it, I’ll start putting together my latest search story and things I felt I had uncovered…that ultimately remained covered.

    I’ll explain (or try to) to the best of what I believed…
    The little girl in India
    The unintended clue in TFTW
    The double omegas
    The Ranch near Santa Fe
    and wait there’s more!…
    …sorry. Couldn’t resist the infomercial one liner there 😛

  43. Has anyone commented on a possible connection to Mount Carter in Glacier National Park?


  44. Maybe he’s telling the charcoal pony to turn around, go back, and to let the other horses keep on going the wrong way.

  45. Naked to the waist, threadbare cashmere, Tafoya with cloth covering his torso. Perhaps someone has figured out a lot of correct things but is missing something critical ‘in the middle’…

      • Interesting.

        Dumb question, but to your knowledge do people collaborate on ideas off the blogs, or is that completely anathema to the spirit of the chase?

        • Indy,

          Although it wouldn’t come as a a surprise; to my personal knowledge the answer to your question would be no.

          A ‘team’ of searcher’s however, could have an advantage, especially if it’s been determined that it would better secure a possibility of not becoming subjected to a less complicated or favorable resolve.


          • Thanks, that’s what I figured. Most of the people here seem to be on the same wavelength, but I can’t follow at least half the time.

            No matter, I’ve got a new course of action to pursue now, right or wrong.

  46. Also sounds like he is trying to get someone’s attention with the rock comment. Something hidden in plain sight?

  47. Perhaps written history can be like a glider traveling forward it can never stop. History can change and be added to making the facts more palatable. A glider in flight has no time to rest for when it lands and parks for the night it has no momentum. Tomorrow the glider will sit and may never fly again if no one remembers or seeks out it’s places.

    The native American history I enjoy is oral history. You must seek out an elder and listen quietly. Readers can then ask where is the coyote if it is not stated. Interesting when people root for cowboys and Indians. I would ask them do you have a belt on with suspenders today? This is not to put any written history fanatics down just a shout out to oral history.

    • Nicely put LG….make me take closer note to the well woven footprints guys like Eric left as they headed due west. Cheers.

  48. I like these SBs – Very focused on the Santa Fe trail it would seem.

    That said, I think an officer like carter would have been a very cool person to meet. Making contact with an agent of such stature would be an incredible experience, and I can’t find anything in the records about him that would make others suspicious of his character.

    As for Parker, while he didn’t get knocked off his horse in this battle, it wasn’t too much later that he and his Comanche compadres fell. Based on the prior SB, I am left to wonder if they could have avoided that demise if not for their contact with tafoya. Perhaps fate would have dictated a different ending, or maybe it was pre-determined regardless?

      • Some things that are brought to my attention have an actual physical effect on me. This particular page in history is one of them. My mind is able to justify almost anything depending on perspective but when my body responds by vomiting at the image produced I know it to be a genuine response and not something that has been put in front of me in a romanticized and exploited form. Sad and interesting are not the words I would use. I will be very interested in reading your blog Mindy. Any awareness is always welcomed.

        • I agree. Wrong choice of my words. Tragic, is more like it. I don’t understand how these horses could be forgotten, but that seems to be a recurring theme in history. I’ve also read about the number of horses lost in the world wars and other wars, and it’s truly heartbreaking.

          One of my goals before I die is to see Buffalo Bill’s “Wild Bunch” in person. There’s beautiful herds of wild horses in several serach areas. I’d really love to see any of them…one day, I will, and I’m sure it’ll be a spiritual experience…

          If you don’t trust the link, just search “Wild Horses on the Santa Fe Trail” on YouTube.

          You can find the story on Buffalo Bill’s horses by searching for “Buffalo Bill’s Wild Bunch” in the archives of True West Magazine.

        • Yes, interesting was a very poor choice of words on my part. It is thoroughly nauseating what happened to the horses. It is hard to contemplate what atrocities have been justified during times of war; interesting often only the most morbid of ways.

    • The National Park Service slaughters 3000 Great American Bison every year because the ranchers need land for their Euro cattle instead of growing some brass and setting aside a little bit for the Great American Bison ..

      They will never be allowed to return to a self sustainable population ..


  49. Since there isn’t a posting area specific to “Once Upon a While” yet, I figured the next best thing was to post under the applicable Scrapbook. “The Quahada Chief on a Black Pony” begins on page 81. Have you taken a close look at the photograph on page 80 of Quanah Parker on horseback? Subtly superimposed on that photo is a topographical map of the Kings Canyon area in California (obviously not one of the four Chase states). Many mountain peaks can be made out including Glacier Monument, Palmer Mountain, Mt. Bago, Mt. Gardiner, Fin Dome, Pyramid Peak, Crater Mountain, Mt. Pinchot, Mt. Wynne, Striped Mountain, Marion Peak, State Peak, Dougherty Peak, Kid Peak, Goat Mountain and Munger Peak.

  50. “I was born and raised in Central Texas where the Comanche Indians often ranged and plundered. Being an early student of their history, and an avid collector of their clothing, weapons, and photographs, my imagination long ago fell prey to their way of life.” ff (See quote at beginning/top of this Scrapbook).

    “Of special interest to me is the Quahada band, and Quanah Parker especially.”

    Several things rode into my view with Forrest’s story… all IMO.
    1. Treasure chest is likely in the foothills
    2. Follow an old (Indian) First People’s Trail…
    If ff was consumed by 3 or 4 things in his lifetime – his collections alone indicate Native Americans.
    3. Look for a rock pile or rocky outcrop
    4. 2 consecutive scrapbooks on Quanah Parker = Comancheria, which would only include New Mexico (search states).

    Comancheria – includes eastern New Mexico to the Pecos River.

    Still can’t figure out WHY ff said in this SB he would throw a rock at Quanah Parker? IMO he stands tall in history as a fiercely proud and accomplished warrior who was able to adapt and make peace.

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