Many changes occurred during the generation following the Removal. The Chickasaw settled their own land; they won independence from the Choctaw and set up their own government, and they fought in the Civil War.
As I've mentioned before, the Chickasaw had suffered raids by the plains Indian tribes ever since their removal. These raids differed though from raids on white settlements however. They were less frequent, often two or three years apart, and only stock was taken. Burning of houses and taking of hostages was almost unheard of.
Still the Chickasaws had been easy targets. First, they were usually taken by surprise because of the infrequency of the raids. Secondly, the Chickasaws were disorganized and their fighting spirit had been suppressed by the domination of the white man. In my post of March 25, I described the Chickasaws' attempt to pursue the Comanche after their raid on my great great grandfather Smith Paul's farm. The adventure while enthusiastic was too late and was led by the federal Indian agent, not by the Chickasaw themselves.
During the Civil War the Chickasaw farms on the western frontier were too far from the fighting to be requisitioned for supplies, and during the War, there had only been one raid by the plains tribes. As a result, these farms were well stocked with grain and cattle, becoming irresistible targets for the Comanche.
In June of 1865, after the Chickasaw military units had been disbanded and their members had returned home, about 350 Comanche warriors began an organized raid through the Chickasaw Nation starting just east of Smith and Ellen Paul's farm. They swept through the Sealy settlement just south of present day Ada, and then raided several farms around the home of Luffie Moseley, mother of the future Chickasaw Governor, Palmer Moseley. Finally they attacked the Keel settlement near the Chickasaw capital of Tishomingo. The Comanches then took the stolen livestock past the present town of Duncan, and then up the valley of Cache Creek toward their stronghold in the Arbuckle Mountains.
This time the Comanche were not dealing with a nation of scattered, disorganized families, however. They faced a new generation of Chickasaw, united under their own government, their pride restored. These Chickasaw were also experienced soldiers due to their recent participation in the War Between the States. This time the Chickasaw didn't seek help from the US Government or from an Indian agent. Volunteers met together at Mrs. Moseley's house, about 250 of them, quickly organized themselves under experienced leaders, and immediately set out in pursuit of the Comanche. The Chickasaw trackers quickly picked up the Comanche trail and followed them to Cache Creek where the Comanche had split up into several groups.
The Chickasaw leaders then made a decision not to divide their men into smaller groups, making each more vulnerable to attack. They instead took their entire force around the edge of the Arbuckle Mountains, reentering Comanche territory from the west in order to catch their enemy by surprise. For the next month the Chickasaw militia moved slowly and carefully, living off the land, sending out scouts, flankers, pickets, and trackers in every direction. Finally Johnson Cohee, a picket stationed four miles from the Chickasaw camp, saw a flash of light in the distance. It came from a silver disk on the necklace of the Comanche chief.
Chickasaw scouts soon located the Comanche camp some twelve miles in the distance, and that night the entire Chickasaw force encircled the Comanche village, blocking all escape. At first light the Chickasaw attack began. After the first volley only attacking Comanche warriors were shot. No fire was directed at the dwellings, to avoid harming women and children. The Comanche, who suffered severe losses in the attack, finally surrendered, realizing that their situation was hopeless. The Chickasaw allowed the Comanche to treat their wounded and to bury their dead while they rounded up their livestock.
No Chickasaws were injured or killed in the fighting. No prisoners or trophies were taken, and no Comanche property was destroyed. Only stock with Chickasaw brands was taken. The Chickasaw told the Comanche that they had only come for their property, and then they drove their cattle and horses home.
This story was only told years later, after most of the participants had passed on. The Comanche raids and the Chickasaw pursuit had been kept secret at the time to avoid punishment of the Chickasaws by the US Government for making war on another tribe, but I think the story has lessons to tell.
Firstly the Chickasaws had not forgotten the skills of organization, strategy and stealth that had made them respected and feared by other tribes in their past. Also the respect and leniency with which they treated the Comanche stands in stark contrast to the merciless slaughter of Indians by white soldiers throughout our nation's history, for no other reason than to bend them into submission.
Footnote: Chronicles of Oklahoma Vol 4, 1926. A Nearly Forgotten Fragment of Local History.