On May 19, 1836, a band of Indians attacked Parker's Fort on the fringes of the Comanche frontier in the newly formed Republic of Texas. In the skirmish that followed, five Texans were killed and five others were taken captive, including nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker and her younger brother John. The little girl would become one of the most renowned Indian captives in the history of the West. Both of the Parker children quickly adjusted to the Comanche culture. John became a warrior and took part in several raids, while Cynthia Ann lived as a Comanche for almost twenty-five years. She eventually married Chief Peta Nocona and bore him two sons and a daughter. Their first-born son Quanah became the last-great war chief of the Comanches. In 1860, Texas Rangers led by Captain Sul Ross swept down on a Comanche village, killing many inhabitants and taking others captive, including the long-lost Cynthia Ann and her two-year old daughter, Prairie Flower. They were returned to Parker family members, but her many years living with the tribe had changed Cynthia Ann irrevocably. Captain Sul Ross, became one of the youngest generals in the Confederate army in the Civil War taking part in 135 battles and skirmishes. Lawrence Sullivan Ross went on to become the 19th governor of Texas and after two very successful terms in office he stepped down and became President of what is now A&M University. Cynthia Ann Parker with her daughter, Prairie Flower. She had nothing in common with her white relatives and begged to be returned to her Indian family. Her escape attempts failed, and when her daughter died of influenza in 1864, Cythnia lost all hope. Broken in spirit and bitter at her enforced captivity, she starved herself to death. It was not until forty-six years later that her son, Quanah Parker, was able to bring the remains of his beloved mother and his baby sister from Texas to Oklahoma. He dedicated a great feast to honor the memory of his mother, who lived and died as a Comanche. Quanah Parker, considered by many, the greatest Comanche War Chief. From S.C. Gwynne's terrific Empire of the Summer Moon: "Quanah never forgot his mother. He kept a photograph Sul Ross gave him-the one taken in 1862 at A.E. Corning's studio in Fort Worth, with Prairie Flower nursing at her breast-on the wall above his bed. She had been taken from him when he was only twelve; in a matter of minutes she had disappeared forever into the white man's world. He later learned that she had been unhappy and that she had repeatedly tried to escape to find him. Like her son, she had adapted brilliantly to an alien culture, but she could not do it twice. In 1908 he placed ads in Texas newspapers seeking help in finding her grave. He got a response from a man named J.R. O'Quinn, his first cousin and the son of Cynthia Ann's younger sister Orlena, who told him he knew where to find it. It was Quanah's first contact with his Texas family. Later he heard from another cousin, who invited him to a family function in Athens, Texas, southeast of Dallas. (He would eventually be embraced and celebrated by his Texas family.) Having found his mother, he lobbied for money to move her grave from Texas to Oklahoma. Persistent and persuasive as always, he convinced his congressman to sponsor a bill authorizing $1,000 to relocate Cythnia Ann's bones. The bill became law in March 1909. He traveled to Texas, met some of his white family, and found the cemetery where she lay. On December 10, 1910, she was reinterred at the Post Oak Mission in Cache. At the ceremony over her grave, Quanah gave a simple speech in his fractured English; "Forty years ago my mother died," he said. "She captured by Comanches, nine years old. Love Indian and wild life so well, no want to go back to white folks. All same people anyway, God say. I love my mother." Some ascribe this story was the inspiration for John Ford's The Searchers, the screen writer had researched more than 60 real life abductions of the old west in writing that screen play. There certainly some striking similarities. I think the actual story is a lot more compelling one, it's a story of eternal love shared by a mother and a son. A love that endured the kind of trial, the types of separation of cultures and social forces and time few of us today are equipped to understand. It certainly is one that always gets me every time I hear it.