In 1850, a severe smallpox epidemic at San Antonio caused a small Lipan ranchería led by Chief Magoosh to seek refuge with the Mescalero Apaches in New Mexico. This group formed the core of what later became the Lipans living at the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Other rancherías, such as the group led by Venego, joined the Mexican Lipans near Zaragosa (Coahuila). The Venego group joined the Magoosh group in 1904 on the Mescalero Reservation. After 1858, only a few hundred Lipan Apaches remained in Texas. One small group of less than 10 persons had intermarried with the Tonkawas and joined that tribe on a Texas reservation. By 1860, this group was transferred to Fort Belknap. In 1867, they were sent to Fort Griffin and in 1884 they were placed at the Oakland Agency in Oklahoma. A second ranchería, which had remained in Texas after 1855 by allying themselves with the Kiowa Apaches, was taken into military custody by 1865 and remanded to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Many Lipan tribe fled to Mexico after 1855 and some hid among the Texano populations in south Texas.
Many remaining Lipan groups filtered back into south Texas by the 1880's. But the Texas government’s policy of Indian removal had forced Texas Indians either onto reservations. The Lipan Apaches who were hiding in Texas and those who came back to Texas were forced to hide in plain sight because of the threat of forcible placement on a reservation or imprisonment because active arrest warrants. They already spoke Spanish; most, if not all Lipans bore Spanish surnames. The Lipans blended into the Tejano populations of San Antonio, coastal Texas, and south Texas just as they had always camouflaged themselves prior to an ambush, becoming one with the south Texas brush country.