Who was Amous Chapman at the Adobe Wall Battle in 1874?
On September 12th Army scout Amos Chapman arrived at Adobe Wall with a small party of 7th Cavalry looking for some horse thieves and to warn the hunters about an impending attack by Comanche, Kiowa and Southern Cheyenne. Because Amos was married to a Southern Cheyenne woman, the hunters didn’t trust him and thought he was acting on behalf of his Cheyenne relatives. They were planning to hang him. Chapman had been scouting and interpreting for the Army for several years and had received a Medal of Honor for bravery in a fight several months earlier. Ironically, Billy Dixon, also an army scout was with him at the battle. Lt. General Nelson Miles said Chapman’s bravery at a skirmish near Adobe Wall in was one of the bravest deeds in the annals of the Army. In 2012 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.
Jim Hanrahan trusted Amos and hid him in a wagon behind his saloon. Meanwhile, he provided some booze to the hunters to get their minds off a lynching. In reality it was Amos Chapman who saved the hunters lives by alerting them to the coming attack. The oft told story of the crack of breaking timber awakened all the hunters was not true
All this provides strong evidence that Amos Chapman’s story is more likely to be true. Incidentally, Chapman was the son of a white man and an Indian mother. The story of the cracking log is plausible and could have also happened but not crucial to the outcome of the battle. It was the high-power rifles the hunters were carrying.
It’s also interesting that Chapman and Dixon the hero at this battle were well acquainted and had scouted together for the Army.