Buffalo Hump, war chief of the Penatekas band of Comanche Indians, along with Old Owl the primary chief of the band, guided the Neighbor’s Expedition of 1849 though the De Leon area and to their camp along what historians believe to be Armstrong Creek just east of present day De Leon. His Comanche name was Po-cha-na-quar-hip.
He has been described as “The pure, unadulterated picture of a North American Indian who unlike the rest of his tribe, scorned every form of European dress. His body naked, a buffalo robe around his loins, brass rings on his arms, a string of beads around his neck and with his long, coarse black hair hanging down, he sat there with the serious facial expresson of the North American Indian which seems to be apathetic to the Europeans.”
In August of 1840, Buffalo Hump, then a lower war chief of the Penateka band of the Comanches, led a war party of between 400 and 1,000 Penateka, Tanima, Tenawa, and Southern Comanches on a raid to retaliate for the Council House Fight in San Antonio where the Comanches had lost 35 warriors. Neither Buffalo Hump nor Old Owl had been at the fight.
The band attacked the Anglo settlements of the new Republic of Texas, sacking Victoria August 6, and Linnville August 8. The Texans gathered 600 militiamen, regular army troops and Tonkawa scouts, from Lavaca, Gonzales, Victoria, Cuero and Bastrop and waited for the Indians on the banks of Plum Creek near present day Lockhart. Among the Texans awaiting his raiding party was John Henry Brown, the man who recommended in 1856 that the Texas Legislature name a new county in north central Texas Comanche County.
A 15 mile running fight ensued in which the Comanches were routed and lost more than 80 men. The settlers lost one man. The Battle of Plum Creek marked the end of the large Comanche raids in south central Texas.
In 1849 a cholera epidemic swept across the country killing perhaps half the Penateka band of Comanches. Pah-hah-yuco, one of the band’s greatest chiefs along with Old Owl, while surviving the epidemic, withdrew to the far northern ranges of Comancheria. The band then chose Buffalo Hump to replace him, but in fact there was no common leader among the tribes even with a particular band. That was the same year the Neighbor’s Expedition visited the Comanche camp on the Armstrong.
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