Scouts were sent to locate Comanche camps north of the Red River in the Comancheria. In April 1858, Ford established Camp Runnels near what used to be the town of Belknap. Ford and Placido were determined to follow the Comanche and Kiowa up to their strongholds amid the hills of the Canadian river, and into the Witchita Mountains, and if possible, kill their warriors, decimate their food supply, strike at their homes and families and generally destroy their ability to make war.
Once he had advanced far into the Texas Comancheria, Ford intended to go further, law or not. On April 15, Ford’s Rangers and the Indians from the Brazos Indian Reservation crossed the Red River and advanced into the portion of the Comancheria in the Indian Territories in Oklahoma. Ford knew full well he was violating federal laws and numerous treaties by moving into the Indian Territories, but stated later that his job was to “find and fight Indians, not to learn geography.”