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Full text of "Indian depredations in Texas : reliable accounts of battles, wars, adventures, forays, murders, massacres, etc., together with biographical sketches of many of the most noted Indian fighters and frontiersmen of Texas"

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HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HOUSTON, TEXAS 



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ROlEMfl ET531 



INDIAN 



Depredations in Texas 



EELIABLE ACCOUNTS 



OF 



BATTLES, WARS, ADVENTURES, FORAYS, MURDERS, 
MASSACRES, ETC., ETC, TOGETHER WITH BIO- 
GRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF THE 
MOST NOTED INDIAN FIGHTERS AND 
FRONTIERSMEN OF TEXAS. 

BY 

J. W. WILBARGER. 



SOLD BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. 



SECOND EDITION. 



j 1 5257 

AUSTIN, TEXAS: 

Hutchings Printing House, 

1890. 



'Dedicated 

to the memory of the heroic 

frontiersmen who by their sacrifices prepared the 

way for the prosperity which texas now 

enjoys, i dedicate this book. 

The Author. 



Entered according to act of Congress'^ they^ar* eighteen, hundred 1 ,and eighty-eight, 

BY J. W. WILBARGER, 

In the office of tlte Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C. 



Illustrated by Owen Engraving Co., Austiu. 



PREFACE. 



I FEEL that for those who will read the description of 
the conflicts and Indian cruelty contained in this volume 
some preface which will introduce the author to his read- 
ers and .which will explain the motives which inspired 
him to write this book is needed. I came to Texas over 
half a century ago, and am now an old man, the only sur- 
vivor of three brothers who served Texas in her early strug- 
gles. Josiah Wilbarger, who was scalped by the Indians a 
few miles east of where the capitol of Texas now is, was 
my brother. He survived, as this book relates, the massacre 
of his companions, but afterwards died from a disease of 
the skull caused by injuries. Having spent the prime of my 
life among the pioneers of Texas, and therefore knowing 
personally about many of the fights and massacres des- 
cribed in this volume, the idea occurred to me many years 
ago that when the early settlers were all dead their posterity 
would only know from tradition the perils and hardships 
encountered in the early settlement of Texas. When I 
found that no one else seemed inclined to preserve in his- 
tory the story of massacres and conflicts with Indians, I 
undertook the work myself. During some twenty years I 
have carefully obtained from the lips of those who knew 
most of the facts stated in this volume. For their general 
correctness I can vouch, for I knew personally most of the 
early settlers of Texas, and have relied on those only whom 
I believed to be trustworthy. Many of the articles con- 
tained in this book were written by others, who were either 
cognizant of the facts themselves or bad obtained their data 
from reliable sources. To those who have so kindly aided 
me in my arduous work I return my most grateful thanks. 
Through the courtesy of the publishing house of J. W. 
Burke & Co., of Macon, Georgia, who own the copyright 



IV PREFACE. 

of the book entitled "The Life and Adventures of Big Foot 
Wallace," I have been permitted to make some extracts 
from the same which I believed would be of interest to the 
reader. The present generation can at best have but a faint 
idea of the hardships, exposures and perils to which the 
pioneers of Texas were subjected. For ten years they con- 
tended with the Mexican nation on the west and roving 
bands of fierce savages on the north, when invasion of the 
frontier might be expected at any time. After annexation, 
the United States government afforded but poor protection 
against the Indians, and murders continued until quite re- 
cently. As one of the pioneers, I felt impelled to prepare 
and publish for the benefit of another generation this vol- 
ume, which shows something of the dangers and difficulties 
under which the peace that our people now enjoy has been 
secured, k 

The Author. 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Page 

Battleof Plum Creek 25 

Burleson, General Edward 33 

Crawford, Mrs., rescuing her child from a watery grave 16 

Comanche Warrior dragging to death Mrs. Plummer's child 312 

Cherokee Warrior defying the Wacos 177 

Do you hear the owls hooting? Yes, but owls don't cough 277 

Erath's, Captain, gun knocks down before and behind 248 

Hays, Captain Jack 74 

Hays, Captain Jack, and Chief Flacco charge the Comanches.... 80 

He makes an unexpected tumble in the midst of the Indians 209 

He carved his name upon a tree for a tombstone and then expired. 262 

Here they are boys, come quick 272 

He keeps his appointment, but drops dead at the gate 629 

Indian smoke signals in the distance 656 

Johnson's little boy following*the cows 440 

Lockhart, Matilda — Burning the soles of her feet. ... 1 

Lee, Joseph, coming to the rescue of Judge Jayne's family. 140 

Lively tussle between a pack of dogs and an Indian 267 

McCulloch, Captain Ben , 288 

McCulloch, General Ben » 496 

McCulloch, General Henry 609 

Moody shot from an ambuscade 401 

Mule sided with his master 56 

Parker, Cynthia Ann 321 

Parker, Chief Quanah 344 

Placido, a Tonkawa chief 368 

Please don't shoot at us, we are white children 528 

Ross, Captain L. S 328 

Ross, Lizzie 332 

Ross, Captain S. P., slays Chief Big Foot 592 

Running fight with Indians 492 

Satanta and Big Tree firing a wagon train 560 

Starving fugitives of Parker Fort Massacre 308 

The farce before the tragedy 644 

Wilbarger, J. W Frontispiece 

Wilbarger, Josiah, scalping of 8 

Willis, William, a fair race with no jockeying 468 i 



^>Co^ JU^\ na)o£Q< 



INDEX. 



Names. County. Tear. Page 

Adkisson, William Travis 1845 260> 

Alexander, James Bastrop 1835 207 

Anglin, Dauthet, Faulkenberry and Anderson Anderson 1837 347 

All's Well that Ends Well ' Travis 1845 658 

Baker and Souls Travis 1842 275- 

Barry, Captain R. B Bosque 1857 439- 

Bee, H. P., General, Extracts from his Journal 1843 42 

Bowie, General San Saba river 1831 91 

Brashear, W. P Lavaca 1839 10? 

Burnam, Jesse , Fayette 1830 98 

Bell, William, and Captain Coleman Travis 1843 142, 

Battle of Brushy. ... Williamson 1839 47 

Battle between Cherokees and Wacos McLennan 18^9 174 

Battle— Cherokees Get Even Limestone 1830 177 

Barton's, William, Stratagem Travis 1842 272 

Boyce, James Travis 1842 277 

Battle of Antelope Hills Canadian river 1858 320 

Battle of the Wichita Wichita 1858 326 

Battle of Pease River and Cynthia Ann Parker 1860 333. 

Battle Creek Fight Navarro 1838 352 

Brown, Colonel John Henry Dallas 1839 375 

Battle of Plum Creek Caldwell 1840 28 

Bear Fight arid Murder of John Denton Grayson 1839 393- 

Brown, Rev. Mr., Methodist Preacher. Grayson 1844 418 

Baggett's House, Attack on Comanche 1857 456 

Brown, Lewis, Pierce and John Elam Coryell 1857 460 

Battle of Lookout Point Hood 1869 466. 

Baylor, General— Fight on Paint Creek Stevens 1860 517 

Butcher Knife Fight Denton .... 584 

Bird Creek Fight, the Famous Fort Griffin 1839 367 

Boys, Two Captured .Fannin 1841 434 

Burleson, Edward, General 33 

Burleson, Ed., Fight with Foot Indians Nueces river 1850 616 

Burnet County, Raids and Murders in 1859 622, 

Blanco and Mason Counties, Murders in 1865 643- 

Carter and Witcher. . , Hamilton 1860 478^ 

Cherokee War ♦- Nacogdoches 1839 167; 



Names. County. Tear. Page 

Children, Mrs. Simpson's Travis 1842 139 

Cordova Fight, The , Guadalupe 1839 151 

Caranchua Indians, The. Gulf Coast 1821 198 

Cooper, William Red River 1830 208 

Cavina, Charles Liv* Oak Bayou 1830 209 

Coryell, James Coryell 1833 216 

Coleman, Mrs , Bastrop 1839 147 

Coleman, Colonel Navasota river 1835 218 

Coleman and Bell ...Travis 1843 142 

Crouch and Davidson Bell 1836 234 

Ciopton's Negro Travis 1840 269 

Camp Meeting, First in Grayson 1847 422 

Clubz, Death of Fannin 1842 437 

Crawfield, Captain Hamilton 1868 482 

Chrisman, J. H Coryell 1861 485 

Cedar Gap Raid Coryell 1866 493 

Cameron and Mason Massacre Jack 1859 536 

Curiton's, Captain, Fight Wolf creek 1860 582 

Comanche Princess, A .On the plains 1843 186 

Clemmons and Whisler , Collin 1842 436 

Carmeans and Tankersley Brown 1861 488 

Council House Fight Bexar 1840 22 

Comanche Invasion Victoria 1840 25 

Coulston, Nick, Mrs Kimble 1871 644 

Dalrymple, Colonel. Williamson 1869 636 

Doaovan and Pyron Travis 1843 282 

Dolson, Captain George M. (should be 1840) Travis 1843 283 

Dugan Family, Settlement of Grayson 1838 383 

Daugherty, Murder of . . Grayson 1839 387 

Dancer, Rev. Jonas Llano 1859 630 

Dugan, Daniel V., and Wm. Kitchen, Murder of Grayson 1841 405 

Dugan's House, Attack on Grayson 1841 411 

Dillard Brothers, Heroic Defense of Young 1869 577 

Denton, John, Murder of Grayson 1839 392 

Durham, George, on Guard Travis 1842 661 

Earthman, Henry Fayette 1840 50 

Eagleston, John Bastrop 1838 88 

Edwards,John Bastrop 1836 231 

Erath, Captain George B .... McLennan 045 

Erath, Captain George B .—Fight Milam 1837 248 

Eldridge, Col. J. C- Hazardous Expedition to Wild Tribes. . 1843 40 

Eubanks, Thomas Shackelford 1866 504 

Eastland County 1861 507 

Floyd, F EastTexas 1865 61 

Flores Fight, The Williamson 1839 157 

Fannin's First Campaign Fannin 1838 426 

Fianagans, The Eastland 1858 503 

Fxacco and Castro 79 

Friend, Matilda S Llano 1868 633 



INDEX. IX 

Namea. County. Year. Page 

Gilleland. Daniel Wharton 1833 214 

Gonzales' Hordes Gonzales 1839 267 

Green, Jeremiah . Hood 1863 465 

Griffith and White Coryell 1858 484 

Goacher, James Bastrop 1837 -15 

Hays, Colonel Jack 71 

Hibbins, Sarah Travis 1835 220 

Hornsby, Daniel Travis 1815 260 

Harris and Blakey , , Travis 1836 259 

Hill, Captain William , San Gabriel river 1836 222 

Harvey, Captain San Saba river 1836 227 

Harvey, Captain John Bastrop 1834 263 

Hotchkiss, William S Travis 1843 279 

Hunter, Doctor, Wife and Daughter, Murder of Grayson 1840 397 

Holt, Nathan Hood 1859 464 

Hazlewood, George Stevens 1869 505 

Harvey Massacre Robertson 1836 230 

Incidents in Southwestern Texas 604 

Indians Attack United States Mail Coach West Texas 1849 115 

Italian Trader, The Gonzales 1835 216 

Johnson's Station On the plains 1857 84 

Jones, Mrs Western Texas 1867 100 

Jaynes, Judge Travis 1842 141 

Joy Family, The Kerr 1865 190 

Indian Warfare on the Border Northwestern Texas 1857 439 

Jenkins, William Hamilton 1866 481 

Jackson, Mose, Murder of Family, Brown 1861 489 

Indian Raids in Erath and Adjoining Counties 1858 498 

Jack County, Murders in 1859 534 

Jones, Major John B 574 

Johnson, Brit, a Negro, His Thrilling Career 1871 579 

Jack County, Murders in 1864 540 

Johnson, Rebecca and Samantha Llano 1868 633 

Kitchen's Station (see also p. 409) Fannin 1835 217 

Kinney's Fort Travis 1840 265 

Kuykendall and Splann Erath 1861 501 

Kinney, Colonel H. L Corpus Christi 1838 65 

Karnes, Colonel Near Arroyo Seco 1838 80 

Keenon and Paschal Families, Massacre of Wise 1871 597 

Killough Family and Woods, Massacre of Cherokee 1837 620 

Kimble and Gillespie Counties, Murders in 1865 644 

La whom, Jesse , Kendall 1854 660 

Lance's, Mrs., Son Bastrop 1842 603 

Lemley, Miss, Massacre of Eastland 1861 507 

Linnville, Sacking of Lavaca Bay 1840 25 

Loy, Alley and Clark Skull creek 1823 200 

Lyons, DeWitt (should be Warren) ...Lavaca 1835 215 

Xane, General Walter P , 1838 349 



Xil INDEX. 

Niim^s. Comity. Year. Pag& 

Williams and Haggett Murdered Travis 1836 255 

White, Gideon Travis 1842 275 

White's Negro .Travis 1839 266 

Wahrenberger, John .... City of Austin 1841 271 

Williams, Leroy Bastrop 1843 281 

Williams, Mrs. John Kimble 1871 644 

Wasjiburn, Josiah Grayson 1838 38H 

Woods, Mrs., and Miss Lemley, Massacre of Eastland 1861 507 

Witcher amd Carter Eastland 1860 478 

Williamson Killed Coryell 1863 487 

Wallace's Fight with the Big Indian Head waters Llano 1842 123 

Wallace's Maverick Wallace's ranch 1867 127 

Wallace's, Big Foot, Old Stamping Grounds Travis 1889 668 

Young, Michael Bastrop 1842 86 

Yeargin, Mrs Fayette 1836 237 

York's Captain, Fight , Gonzales 1848 60- 



N JTICE 
Please do not write in this 

book or t u 7 1 1 lie pages 

'"" ' '■■ , ' M ' " ■'■■ I ■■».- l -^».-,. i ri llM W i T i. M ii 



imm Dep^ed^i@n^ in Wship. 



fIDattlba &ockbart— Gbe Putnam Cbilbren, 



5 HE Comanche Indians were to Texas what the Pequot 
Indians were to New England and what the Sioux 
were to the traders and trappers of the west. Their 

incursions were for many years a terror to the border 
settlers of Texas, for they were a warlike, cruel and treach- 
erous tribe, and as they always traveled on horseback they 

could swoop down unexpectedly from their distant 
1838 stronghold upon the settlements, commit murders and 

depredations, and retreat before any effective pursuit 
could be made. It was a party of this tribe of Indians who 
captured the young lady whose sad story we are about to 
relate. Her father, Andrew Lockhart, emigrated from the 
State of Illinois in the year 1828 and settled on the Guada- 
lupe river, in what is now DeWitt county — then De Witt's 
colony. It was in the fall or winter of 1838 that Matilda 
Lockhart, Rhoda Putnam, Elizabeth Putnam, Juda Put- 
nam and James Putnam left the houses of their parents one 
day and went to the woods to gather pecans. While they 
were thus engaged a party of Indians suddenly rushed 
upon them. They discovered the Indians too late to escape 
and were all captured. When the Indians first came in 
sight Miss Lockhart fled for the house, and possibly might 
have escaped had not the youngest Miss Putnam im- 
plored her not to leave her. The noble girl, pitying her 
youthful companion, turned to aid her and both were cap- 
tured. The Indians fastened these unfortunate captives 



2 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

on horses with rawhide thongs and hurried off with them 
into the Guadalupe mountains. Captain John Tumlinson, 
who was out on a surveying expedition, encountered these 
Indians, but as he had but six men with him and the In- 
dians numbered at least fifty he was compelled to beat a 
hasty retreat. He did not know at that time that they had 
prisoners with them. The Indians followed Captain Tum- 
linson and his men about twenty-four hours, and probably 
would have killed them all if they had not accidentally dis- 
covered they were still in pursuit of them, long after they 
supposed the chase had been abandoned. The party, as 
they were traveling along leisurely, saw a black stump 
ahead of them, and, supposing it was a bear, the men halted 
for the purpose of killing it. Captain Tumlinson rode for- 
ward to shoot the supposed bear, and as he did so, one of 
the men behind happened to look back, and discovered the 
Indians still following their trail. The alarm was given, 
and the Cap fain and his men hastily continued their retreat. 
After running about half a mile through the prairie, they 
came to some timber, where they fell in with a large drove 
of mustang horses. The frightened animals divided into 
squads and ran off in various directions. Captain Tumlin- 
son and his men wisely followed one of these squads, there- 
by making it difficult for their pursuers to find their trail, 
and escaped. 

This raid of the Indians so terrified the settlers on the 
west side of the Guadalupe river that they abandoned their 
homes and forted together on the east side. When Captain 
Tumlinson arrived at the west side of the river, he found 
that all the houses in the settlement were deserted. Ho 
knew nothing of the capture of Miss Lockhart and the 
young Putnams until he crossed the river and reached thfc 
house of Mr. William Taylor, where he first heard thersad 
story. A company of men was immediately raised, who 
went in pursuit of the Indians, but all to no purpose. They 
had got too far ahead to be overtaken. The poor captives 
were carried far into the Indian country, where they suf- 
fered terribly from hunger, hardships and exposure to the 
inclemencies of the weather. 

During her captivity Miss Lockhart said that sometimes 
she had to travel from fifty to seventy-five miles a day on a 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 6 

bare back horse, and that seldom a day passed that she was 
not severely flogged. In the winter of 1839 a party of these 
same Indians took up their quarters on the San Saba river, 
about one hundred miles above where the city of Austin 
now stands. Information of this rendezvous was given to 
Colonel John H. Moore, of Fayette county, who raised a 
party of about sixty men, and, accompanied by a party of 
Lipan Indians, he went to their encampment and attacked 
them, when a desperate fight ensued. 

Miss Lockhart was in the Indian camp when this attack 
was made, and knowing it was made by white men, she 
screamed as loud as she could, hoping they would hear 
her and come to her rescue. The Indians, suspecting the 
cause of her screaming, drowned her cries with their still 
louder yells, and when she persisted one of them near by 
became so exasperated that he seized her by the hair of her 
head and tore out a large part of it. The father of the un- 
fortunate girl was with the attacking party under Colonel 
Moore, and it was with a heavy heart that he returned to 
the settlement without his daughter, who had been a pris- 
oner for over a year, and whom he felt quite sure was in the 
Indian village. 

Upon one occasion a party of Indians who had Miss Lock- 
hart in possession came within one or two days travel of 
San Antonio and pitched their camp. As they knew she 
was aware of their proximity to the white settlements, and 
fearing she might attempt to escape, they severely burned 
the soles of her feet to keep her from running away. 

Not a great while after this a treaty was made with the 
Comanche Indians, under which Miss Lockhart was deliv- 
ered up to the Texas Commissioners at San Antonio and 
subsequently sent back to her family. But the once 
sprightly, joyous young girl, whose presence had been 
everywhere like a gleam of sunshine penetrating the gloom 
of the wilderness, was a mere wreck of her former self. 
Her health was almost utterly ruined by the privations and 
hardships she had undergone and the brutal treatment to 
which she had been subjected by her savage captors. 

When captured by the Indians, Miss Lockhart was only 
about thirteen or fourteen years of age. She was given over 
to the squaws, whom she served in the capacity of a slave. 



4 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Their treatment of her was much more cruel than that of 
the bucks. The numerous scars upon her body and limbs 
bore silent testimony of savage cruelty. The ladies who 
examined her wounds after her reclamation (some of whom 
are yet alive) stated that there was not a place on her body 
as large as the palm of the hand which had not been burned 
with hot irons. After lingering some two or three years, 
she died. Her father was a brother of Bird Lockhart, for 
whom the town of Lockhart, in Caldwell county, was named. 
As to the Putnam children, the son was reclaimed many 
years afterwards. He had acquired many of the habits of 
the Indians and spoke their language. We have been in- 
formed that Khoda became the wife of a chief and refused 
to return home. Elizabeth was finally reclaimed, but J uda 
Putnam remained a captive among the Indians for about 
fourteen years. She was several times sold, and once was 
purchased by a party of Missouri traders, who, after retain- 
ing her for some time, sold her to a man by the name of 
Chinault, who subsequently moved to Texas and settled in 
Gonzales county, the same section in which Miss Putnam 
had been captured by the Indians. With this man she had 
lived seven years. The citizens of Gonzales county, know- 
ing she had been an Indian captive, and seeing the strong 
resemblance she bore to the Putnam family, came to the 
conclusion that possibly she might be the long lost Juda 
Putnam. After a time the Putnam family began to look 
into the matter, and questioned her in regard to her parent- 
age and former life. She had forgotten her own name, 
and could tell nothing of her life prior to the time the 
Indians captured her; and of that event she had but a dim 
and uncertain recollection, as she was only about seven 
years of age when captured. A sister of hers said on ojie 
occasion, when speaking of the matter, that if this lady was 
really her long lost sister she could be identified by a most 
singular mark on her person. An examination was made 
by this sister and some other ladies, and the mark was found 
precisely as it had been described. This, together with her 
striking likeness to the family, left no doubt in the mind of 
any one that she was the identical Juda Putnam who had 
been captured by the Indians in Gonzales county twenty -one 
years before. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 5 

Thus, after fourteen years captivity among the Indians 
and seven years with Mr. Chinault, was this young lady by 
a train of circumstances brought back to the very spot from 
whence she had been stolen, and by the merest chance was 
recognized and restored to her relatives. Verily, truth is 
often stranger than fiction. 

There is a certain class of maudlin, sentimental writers 
who are forever bewailing the rapid disappearance of the 
Indian tribes from the American continent. We must confess 
we don't fraternize with our brother scribblers on this point. 
They have evidently taken their ideas of the Indian char- 
acter from Coopers novels and similar productions, which 
give about as correct delineation of it as are the grotesque 
figures a school boy draws on his slate of the animals or 
objects he intends to represent. There may have been, and 
no doubt there have been, some individuals among the In- 
dians like those described by Cooper, et id ornne genus, but 
they have been like angels' visits, few and far between. 
His general character may be summarily stated in Byron's 
words, when speaking of his hero, the Corsair: "He had' 
one virtue linked to a thousand crimes." This solitary vir- 
tue may have been physical courage, hospitality or some- 
thing else, but among his unquestionable vices may be reck- 
oned cruelty, treachery, vindictiveness, brutality, indolence 
(except when spurred to action by his thirst for rapine and 
blood) and his utter inability to advance beyond the condition 
in which nature had originally placed him. There is, how- 
ever, one notable exception to this general rule, which is 
most singular and difficult to account for. We mean the 
Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, who physically are similar 
to all the other North American tribes, but differ from 
them as widely in all other respects as any of the Caucasian 
races. 

It is true there are a few remnants of tribes, as the Chero- 
kees and Choctaws in the Indian Territory, who have made 
some advances towards civilization, but this is largely, if not 
wholly, owing to the fact that their blood has been mingled 
to a great extent with that of the whites. In our opinion, 
the aborigines of the American continent, pure and simple, 
were all naturally incapable of progress, and that their 
existence was only intended to be a temporary one, and that 



6 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

it should cease as soon as their places could be flflled by a 
progressive people, such as the Anglo-Saxon race. The 
very fact of their rapid disappearance, that they are fast 
fading away under the action of that inexorable law, the 
"survival of the fittest," is the best proof of this. 

The "old Texans" have not unfrequently been censured 
by some of the maudlin, sentimental writers before referred 
to for having treated poor Lo in a few isolated cases in a 
barbarous manner. Such writers probably never saw a wild 
Indian in their lives — never had their fathers, mothers, 
brothers or sisters butchered by them in cold blood; never 
had their little sons and daughters carried away by them 
into captivity, to be brought up as savages, and taught to 
believe that robbery was meritorious, and cold blooded mur- 
der a praiseworthy act, and certainly they never themselves 
had their own limbs beaten, bruised, burnt and tortured 
with fiendish ingenuity by "ye gentle salvages," nor their 
scalps ruthlessly torn from their bleeding heads, for if the 
latter experience had been theirs, and they had survived 
the pleasant operation (as some have done in Texas) we are 
inclined to think the exposure of their naked skulls to the 
influences of wind and weather might have so softened 
them as to permit the entrance of a little common sense. 

To all such we have only to say, read over the long list of 
cold blooded, cowardly, inhuman murders perpetrated on 
innocent children and defenseless women chronicled in this 
book, and when you get through, our "basnet to a prentice 
cap," your only wonder will be that the old Texans did not 
always pay them back in their own coin whenever the op- 
portunity offered, instead of doing so only in a few isolated 
cases. 

But, now that Mr. Lo has "left his country for his coun- 
try's good," we sincerely hope that in the spirit land he 
has found those happy hunting grounds so often referred 
to by his sensational chroniclers, but which were seldom 
alluded to by Mr. Lo himself, where he may still amuse 
himself with his innocent pastimes of braining phantom 
infants and tearing the scalps from the heads of phantom 
enemies — where his congeners, the bison and the elk exist 
in countless shadowy herds, and where he may feast him- 
self upon intangible juicy humps and unsubstantial marrow 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 7 

bones until even his Indian stomach shall cry out enough! 
Nevertheless, we are glad he is gone, and that there are no 
Indians now in Texas except "good ones," who are as dead 
as Julius Csesar. 

Lo! the poor Indian whose untutored mind 
Sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind, 

Sounds well enough in poetry but don't "pan out" worth a 
cent in prose. The Indian never saw anything in clouds 
but clouds, but when it came to seeing a white man when 
he was anxious for scalps, or a horse he wanted to steal, his 
efes were as keen as a hawk's. 



3o6iab WiHbarger* 



IN the spring of 1830, Stephen F. Austin came to his new 
colony, located on the upper Colorado, with two survey- 
ors and the advance guard of emigrants for the purpose 
of establishing the surveys of those who had made their 
selections. Josiah Wilbarger and Reuben Hornsby were 
among those who had previously been over the ground and 
picked out locations for their headright leagues. Wil- 
1833 barger had come to Texas from the State of Missouri 
as early as 1828 and first settled in Matagorda county, 
where he remained about one year and then moved up the 
Colorado. It was in about the month of March, 1830, that he 
selected for his headright survey a beautiful tract of land sit- 
uated at the mouth of what is now known as Wilbarger creek, 
about ten miles above where the San Antonio and Naco- 
doches road crosses the river where the town of Bastrop 
now is. After making his selection he immediately moved 
on his headright league with his family and two or three 
transient young men and built his occupation house, his 
nearest neighbor being about seventy-five miles down the 
river. In the month of April, Austin, with his surveying 



8 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

party, accompanied by Reuben Hornsby, Webber, Duty and 
others, who had also previously made their selections, ar- 
rived, and commenced work on the Colorado at the crossing 
of the San Antonio and Nacogdoches road. The river was 
meandered to the upper corner of the Jesse Tannehill league, 
when the party stopped work in the month of May. Wil- 
barger was the first and outside settler in Austin's new 
colony until July, 1832, when Reuben Hornsby came up from 
Bastrop (where he had stopped for a year or two) and occu- 
pied his league on the east bank of the Colorado river, some 
nine miles below the site of Austin. 

Hornsby's house was always noted for hospitality, and 
he, like his neighbor Wilbarger, was remarkable for those 
virtues and that personal courage which made them both 
marked men among the early settlers. Young men who 
from time to time came up to the frontier to look at the 
country made Hornsby's house a stopping place, and were 
always gladly welcomed, for it was chiefly through such 
visits that news from the States was obtained. A more 
beautiful tract of land, even now, can nowhere be found 
than the league of land granted to Reuben Hornsby. 
Washed on the west by the Colorado, it stretches over a 
level valley about three miles wide to the east, and was, at 
the time of which we write, covered with wild rye, and 
looking like one vast green wheat field. Such was the 
valley in its virgin state which tempted Hornsby to build 
and risk his family outside of the settlements. Until a few 
years ago not an acre of that league of land had ever been 
sold, but it was all occupied by the children and grand chil- 
dren of the old pioneer, who lived out his four score years 
and died without a blemish on his character. 

In the month of August, 1833, a man named Christian 
and his wife were living with Hornsby. Several young un- 
married men were also stopping there. This was customary 
in those days, and the settlers were glad to have them for 
protection. Two young men, Standifer and Haynie, had 
just come to the settlement from Missouri to look at the 
country. Early in August, Josiah Wilbarger came up to 
Hornsby's, and in company with Christian, Strother, Stan- 
difer and Haynie, rode out in a northwest direction to look 
at the country. When riding up Walnut creek, some five 




SCALPING OF JOSIAH WILBARGER. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 9 

or six miles northwest of where the city of Austin stands, 
they discovered an Indian. He was hailed, but refused to 
parley with them, and made off in the direction of the 
mountains covered with cedar to the west of them. They 
gave chase and pursued him until he escaped to cover in 
the mountains near the head of Walnut creek, about where 
James Rogers afterwards settled. 

Returning from the chase, they stopped to noon and re- 
fresh themselves, about one-half a mile up the branch above 
Pecan spring, and four miles east of where Austin after- 
wards was established, in sight of the road now leading 
from Austin to Manor. Wilbarger, Christian and Strother 
unsaddled and hoppled their horses, but Haynie and Stand- 
difer left their horses saddled and staked them to graze. 
While the men were eating they were suddenly fired on by 
Indians. The trees near them were not large and offered 
poor cover. Each man sprang to a tree and promptly re- 
turned the fire of the savages, who had stolen up afoot un- 
der cover of the brush and timber, having left their horses 
out of sight. Wilbarger's party had fired a couple of rounds 
when a ball struck Christian, breaking his thigh bone. 
Strother had already been mortally wounded. Wilbarger 
sprang to the side of Christian and set him up against his 
tree. Christian's gun was loaded but not primed. A ball from 
an Indian had bursted Christian's powder horn. Wilbarger 
primed his gun and then jumped again behind his own tree. 
At this time Wilbarger had an arrow through the calf of his 
leg and had received a flesh wound in the hip. Scarcely had 
Wilbarger regained the cover of the small tree, from which 
he fought, until his other leg was pierced with an arrow. 
Until this time Haynie and Standifer had helped sustain the 
fight, but when they saw Strother mortally wounded and 
Christian disabled, they made for their horses, which were 
yet saddled, and mounted them. Wilbarger finding himself 
deserted, hailed the fugitives and asked to be permitted to 
mount behind one of them if they would not stop and help 
fight. He ran to overtake them, wounded, as he was, for 
some little distance, when he was struck from behind 
by a ball which penetrated about the center of his neck and 
came out on the left side of his chin. He fell apparently 
dead, but though unable to move or speak, did not lose 



10 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

consciousness. He knew when the Indians came around 
him — when they stripped him naked and tore the scalp from 
his head. He says that though paralyzed and unable to 
move, he knew what was being done, and that when his 
scalp was torn from his skull it created no pain from which 
he could flinch, but sounded like distant thunder. The In- 
dians cut the throats of Strother and Christian, but the 
character of Wilbarger's wound, no doubt, made them be- 
lieve his neck was broken, and that he was surely dead. 
This saved his life. 

When Wilbarger recovered consciousness the evening was 
far advanced. He had lost much blood, and the blood was 
still slowly ebbing from his wounds. He was alone in the 
wilderness, desperately wounded, naked and still bleeding. 
Consumed by an intolerable thirst, he dragged himself to a 
pool of water and lay down in it for an hour, when he be- 
came so chilled and numb that with difficulty he crawled 
out to dry land. Being warmed by the sun and exhausted 
by loss of blood, he fell into a profound sleep. When 
awakened, the blood had ceased to flow from the wound in 
his neok, but he was again consumed with thirst and hun- 
ger. 

After going back to the pool and drinking, he crawled 
over the grass and devoured such snails as he could find, 
which appeased his hunger. The green flies had blown his 
wounds while he slept, and the maggots were at work, which 
pained and gave him fresh alarm. As night approached he- 
determined to go as iaar as he could toward Keuben Horns- 
by's, about six miles distant. He had gone about six hun- 
dred yards when he sank to the ground exhausted, under a 
large post oak tree, and well nigh despairing of life. Those 
who have ever spent a summer in Austin know that in that 
climate the nights in summer are always cool, and before 
daybreak some covering is needed for comfort. Wilbarger, 
naked, wounded and feeble, suffered after midnight intensely 
from cold. No sound fell on his ear but the hooting of owls 
and the bark of the cayote wolf, while above him the bright 
silent stars seemed to mock his agony. We are now about 
to relate two incidents so mysterious that they would excite 
our incredulity were it not for the high character of those 
who to their dying day vouched for their truth. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 11 

As Wilbarger lay under the old oak tree, prone on the 
ground he distinctly saw, standing near him, the spirit of 
his sister Margaret Clifton, who had died the day before in 
Florisant, St. Louis county, Missouri. She said to him: 
"Brother Josiah, you are too weak to go by yourself. Re- 
main here, and friends will come to take care of you before 
the setting of the sun." When she had said this she moved 
away in the direction of Hornsby's house. In vain he be- 
sought her to remain with him until help would come. 

Haynie and Standifer, on reaching Hornsby's, had re- 
ported the death of their three companions, stating that they 
saw Wilbarger fall and about fifty Indians around him, and 
knew that he was dead. That night Mrs. Hornsb}^ started from 
her sleep and waked her husband. She told him confidently 
that Wilbarger was alive; that she had seen him vividly in 
a dream, naked, scalped and wounded, but that she knew he 
lived. Soon she fell asleep and again Wilbarger appeared 
to her alive, but wounded, naked and scalped, so vividly that 
she again woke Mr. Hornsby and told him of her dream, 
saying: "I know that Wilbarger is not dead." So confi- 
dent was she that she would not permit the men to sleep 
longer, but had their coffee and breakfast ready by day 
break and urged the men at the house to start to Wilbar- 
ger's relief. 

The relief party consisted of Joseph Rogers, Reuben 
Hornsby, Webber, John Walters and others. As they ap- 
proached the tree under which Wilbarger had passed the 
night, Rogers, who was in advance, saw Wilbarger, who 
was sitting at the root of a tree. He presented a ghastly 
sight, for his body was almost red with blood. Rogers, 
mistaking him for an Indian, said: "Here they are, boys.*' 
Then Wilbarger rose up and spoke, saying: "Don't shoot, 
it is Wilbarger." When the relief party started Mrs. 
Hornsby gave her husband three sheets, two of them were 
left over the bodies of Christian and Strother until the next 
day, when the men returned and buried them, and one was 
wrapped around Wilbarger, who was placed on Roger's 
horse. Hornsby being lighter than the rest mounted behind 
Wilbarger, and with his arms around him, sustained him in 
the saddle. The next day Wm. Hornsby (who is still living). 



12 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Joseph Rogers, Walters and one or two others returned and 
buried Christian and Strother. 

When Wilbarger was found the only particle of his cloth- 
ing left by the savages was one sock. He had torn that 
from his foot, which was much swollen from an arrow 
wound in his leg, and had placed it on his naked skull from 
w r hich the scalp had been taken. He was tenderly nursed 
at Hornby's for some days. His scalp wound was dressed 
with bear's oil, and when recovered sufficiently to move, he 
was placed in a sled, made by Billy Hornsby and Leman 
Barker (the father-in-law of Wilbarger) because he could not 
endure the motion of a wagon, and was thus conveyed sev- 
eral miles down the river to his own cabin. Josiah Wilbar- 
ger recovered and lived for eleven years. The scalp never 
grew entirely over the bone. A small spot in the middle of 
the wound remained bare, over which he always wore 
a covering. The bone became diseased and exfoliated, fin- 
ally exposing the brain. His death was hastened, as Doctor 
Anderson, his physician, thought, by accidentally striking 
his head against the upper portion of a low door frame of 
his gin house many years after he was scalped. We have 
stated the facts as received from the lips of Josiah Wilbar- 
ger, who was the brother of the author of this book, and 
confirmed by Wm. Hornsby, who still lives, and others who 
are now dead. 

The vision which so impressed Mrs. Hornsby was spoken 
of far and wide through the colony fifty years ago; for her 
earnest manner and perfect confidence that Wilbarger was 
alive, made, in connection with her vision and its realiza- 
tion, a profound impression on the men present, who spoke 
of it everywhere. There were no telegraphs in those days, 
and no means of knowing that Margaret, the sister, had 
died seven hundred miles away only the day before*~her 
brother was wounded. The story of her apparition, related 
before he knew that she was dead — her going in the direc- 
tion of Hornsby's, and Mrs. Hornsby's strange vision, re- 
curring after slumber, present a mystery that made then a 
deep impression and created a feeling of awe which, after 
the lapse of half a century, it still inspires. No man who 
knew them ever questioned the veracity of either Wilbarger 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 13 

or the Hornsbys, and Mrs. Hornsby was loved and rever- 
enced by all who knew her. 

We leave to those more learned the task of explaining the 
strange coincidence of the visions of Wilbarger and Mrs. 
Hornsby. It must remain a marvel and a mystery. Such 
things are not accidents; they tell us of a spirit world and 
of a God who "moves in a mysterious way his wonders to 
perform." Josiah Wilbarger left a wife and five children. 
His widow, who afterwards married Talbert Chambers, was 
the second time left a widow, and resided, in 1888, in Bas- 
trop county, about thirty-five miles below the city of Austin. 

The eldest son, John, was killed many years after the 
death of his father by the Indians in west Texas, as related 
elsewhere in this book. Harvey, another son of Josiah, 
lived to raise a large family, when he died. His widow and 
only son live in Bastrop county. One married daughter 
lives at Georgetown and another at Belton, Texas. Of 
the brothers and sisters of Josiah Wilbarger who came to 
Texas in 1837, the author, and Sallie W'ilbarger (who resides 
in Georgetown), are the only survivors. Matthias Wilbar- 
ger, a brother, and a sister, Mrs. W. C. Dalrymple, died 
many years ago. Mrs. Lewis Jones, another sister, died on 
the way to Texas. 

So far as our knowledge extends, this was the first blood 
shed in Travis county at the hands of the implacable sav- 
ages. It was but the beginning, however, of a bloody era 
which was soon to dawn upon the people of the Colorado. 

Owing to the sparsely settled condition of the country, 
the Indians could slip in, commit murders, then slip out and 
return to their mountain homes with impunity. However, 
when the rich valleys of the Colorado became known, im- 
migrants began to flock into Austin's new colony, and it 
was not long until the settlers grew sufficiently strong to 
organize for protection into minute companies which were 
placed under the command of Colonel Edward Burleson. 
These companies afforded great protection to the families, 
and no doubt saved many women and children from being 
murdered or carried off into a captivity worse than death. 
The settlers over on the Brazos, the Guadalupe and Lavaca 
had likewise formed similar organizations, but notwith- 
standing the vigilance and untiring efforts of these com- 



14 INDTAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

panies in trying to protect the advance guard of civiliza 
tion from the toraakawk and scalping knife of the hostih 
savages, the bloody traces of these demons could be seen 
here to-day. several miles distant to-morrow; and before 
theycquld be overtaken they would be far into the cedar 
brakes of the mountains, where they could not well be pur- 
sued. 

Such was the unsettled condition of affairs in Travis 
county even as late as 1846, when with annexation came 
peace and happiness to a people who bad been harraseed 
upon one hand by the Mexican government and warlike 
tribes on the other, until their means had well nigh been 
spent and their patience exhausted. 

To-day we enjoy the blessings of prosperity, purchased 
with the blood and heroism of a sturdy class of pioneers 
whom any nation would delight to honor. There are but 
few of them left, but they stand like the giant oaks of the 
forest, storm beaten but living evidences of the distant 
past. 

[Note. — The tree under which Wilbarger was sitting when 
found by the relief party stood just at the foot of the hill, 
on the east side of Pecan spring branch, about one hundred 
and fifty yards above where Pecan spring school house now 
stands, and about where the road leading from Austin to 
Manor leads up the hill beyond the crossing on the branch. 
Reuben Hornsby and his wife, Mrs. Sarah Hornsby, were 
the grand parents of M. M. Hornsby, whose term of office 
as sheriff of Travis county expired in 1888. When Mrs. 
Sarah Hibbins's son was captured from the Indians in 1836, 
near Austin, the barrel of the gun which Wilbarger had 
when he was scalped was also recovered. The stock had 
been broken.] 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 15 



3ame0 (Boacber. 



5 HIS venerable pioneer was a native of the State of Ala- 
bama. He emigrated to Texas in the year 1835. He 
it was who opened the first traveled trace to Austin's 
new colony. He had several persons with him to assist 
in marking out this trail, which is to this day known as 
Goacher's Trace. In the performance of this work he en- 
countered many difficulties and dangers. He after- 
1837 wards settled in what is now Bastrop county. Being 
an enterprising man of industrious habits, it was not 
'ong until he had built comfortable log cabins for the pro- 
tection and safety of his family and had opened a good farm 
for cultivation. The new county in which he had settled was 
an excellent one for raising stock, and he soon had a large 
stock of cattle and horses around him. Fortune seemed to 
smile on all his efforts. Others soon moved in and settled 
in his vicinity, and the country where a short time before 
nothing was heard but the war whoop of the savage, the 
tramp of the buffalo and the howling of wolves, resounded 
with the hum of a busy and prosperous people, pursuing in 
peace their various avocations. 

Alas! how soon were they to be rudely awakened from 
their dream of peaceful security by the war whoop of a mer- 
ciless foe. 

In 1837, while Mr. Goacher, his son-in-law and one of his 
sons were away from the house, cutting and hauling fire 
wood, a large party of Indians surrounded it, approaching 
it from two directions. One of these parties came across 
two of Mr. Goacher's eldest children who were playing near 
the house, and fearing they might give the alarm the brutal 
wretches thrust a long steel spear through the little boy's 
body, killing him instantly. After scalping the little fellow 
they seized the other child, the little girl, and made her a 
prisoner. After this both parties united and made a furious 
onslaught on the house. The inmates at the time were Mrs. 



16 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Nancy Goacher, her daughter Jane, and one or two small 
children. The Indians seeing there was no man on the 
premises made a vigorous assault, expecting, of course, an 
easy victory, but Mrs. Goacher was a lady of great courage 
and determination, and as there were several loaded guns 
in the house she resolved to sell the lives of herself and 
children as dearly as possible. She seized one gun after an- 
other and emptied their contents among her assailants. 
This made the Indians more furious than ever, as they had 
expected no resistence to their diabolical work. They shot 
Mrs. Goacher until she was almost literally covered with 
arrows. Still this brave and. heroic woman stood at the 
door and defended her helpless children to the last. At 
length one of the savages who was armed with a gun fired 
upon her and she fell dead upon the floor. Brave, noble 
woman! A monument should be raised to her memory, on 
which should be inscribed, "A mother's deathless valor and 
devotion." 

Mr. Goacher and his party heard the firing of the guns 
and hastened with all possible speed to the assistance of his 
family. In the hurry and anxietv of the moment they for- 
got to bring the arms they had with them in the woods, and 
when they reached the scene of disaster they were unable 
to render any assitance to the family or even to defend 
themselves. Their only chance was to make a bold rush for 
the house, get possession of the guns inside and then defend 
themselves as best they could. This they attempted to do, 
but alas! the Indians were too strong for them. Mr. Goacher 
and his son in-law were shot down and killed. His little 
son endeavored to make his escape by flight, but as he 
turned a corner of the house he was met by an Indian who 
seized him and gave him a terrible shaking. This little fel- 
low caught one of the Indian's thumbs in his mouth and bit 
it severely. The Indian endeavored to extricate his thumb 
from the boy's mouth, but failing to do so, he drew liis ram- 
rod from his gun and beat him terribly before the little fel- 
low would let go his hold. Another son of Mr. Goacher, 
after he had been mortally wounded, crawled away unper- 
ceived by the Indians, to some trees, where he laid his head 
upon a stone and breathed his last. 
This was indeed one of the bloodiest tragedies that had 






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MRS. CRAWFORD, WIDOWED DAUGHTER OF MR. GOACHER, 
RESCUES HER CHILD FROM A WATERY GRA\ E. — 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 17 

ever occurred up to that time in the settlement. A father, 
wife, son and son in-law and two children lay cold in death, 
and mingled together their kindred blood, where but a few 
hours previously they had assembled in fancied security, 
within the walls of their once happy home. 

But, gentle reader, the sad story stops not here. Mrs. Craw- 
ford, the now widowed daughter of Mr. Goacher — the wife 
of his son-in-law who had just been murdered — her two 
children, and the little girl who was captured by the In- 
dians before they attacked the house, as previously stated, 
were all carried off captives. They suffered, as the prison- 
ers of Indians usually do, all the insults and indignities 
their barbarous captors could heap upon them. One of this 
lady's children was a little daughter about two months old, 
and as the Indians were tired of hearing it cry, they deter- 
mined to kill it. Accordingly one day when the famished lit- 
tle creature was fretting and crying for something to eat, an 
Indian snatched it from the arms of its mother and threw it in 
a deep pool of water with the intention of drowning the poor 
little innocent. The heroic mother, caring more for her ten- 
der offspring than her own safety, dashed boldly into the 
stream to save it from a watery grave. The Indians were 
amused by her frantic efforts to save her child from drown- 
ing, and as soon as she reached the bank with it they threw 
it in again, and continued the sport until the child was 
nearly drowned and the poor woman was almost exhausted. 
At last one of them seized the child, drew back its head and 
told another to cut its throat. The frantic mother seeing the 
dreadful order was about to be executed, caught up a heavy 
billet of wood, and with the strength born of desperation, 
with one blow she laid the Indian who held the knife in his 
hand prostrate upon the ground. The poor woman expected 
that instant death would be her fate, but on the contrary 
the Indians seemed to be favorably impressed by her heroic 
defense of her child. They laughed loudly at their fallen 
comrade, and one of them stepped forward, picked up the 
child and gave it to her, saying: "Squaw too much brave. 
Damn you, take your papoose and carry it yourself — we will 
not do it." They never attempted jto injure the child after- 
wards. Thus by her heroic bravery the lady preserved the 
life of her infant. No doubt the Indians would have killed 



18 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 

both mother and child had it not been that they hoped to 
get a good ransom for them when they reached the trading 
house. 

After having been a prisoner among the Indians for nearly 
two years, and treated by them in a manner too shameful 
to relate, she and her little children were taken to Coffee's 
trading house, on Red river, and bartered off for four hun- 
dred yards of calico, a large number of blankets, a quantity 
of beads and some other articles. 

These goods were all furnished by Mr. Coffee, the trading 
agent. Having released the unfortunate lady from her 
brutal captors, and also her two children, Mr. Coffee furn- 
ished them an escort under the control of a Mr. Spaulding, 
who conducted them safely to Texas. On the journey to 
Texas, Mr. Spaulding became much attached to the lady and 
eventually married her. 

This brave and heroic woman has long since passed "be- 
yond the river," but her memory still lives fresh and green 
in the hearts of all who knew her. Mr. Spaulding also ha» 
been dead for many years. Her children, born to hear aftei* 
her marriage to Mr : Spaulding, are still living in Fastrop 
county on or near the old Goacher Trace. 

Reader, think of it! What indignities, hardships, priva- 
tions and sufferings this poor woman, tenderly raised as she 
had been, had to endure. Her hands were tied fast behind 
her every night and in that condition she was fastened to a 
tree to prevent her from escaping. Her children also had 
their little hands and feet tied together every night, and 
were left upon the ground without any covering to protect 
them from the inclemencies of the weather, and scarcely 
received sufficient food to keep them alive. But He who 
notes the sufferings of all His creatures, preserved her and 
her children and restored them to their friends and relatives. 
This lady has two sons now living on the identical placis 
where she was captured. They are worthy descendants of 
a heroic mother. 

The writer recently visited the locality where this terrible 
tragedy occurred. What a change has come over it I As 
he looked around on that Sabbath morn, and saw in every 
direction comfortable homes and cultivated fields and peo- 
ple everywhere wending their way to "meeting," in perfect 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 19 

security to the sound of the "church going bells," he could 
but contrast the present peaceful scene with the one pre- 
sented in those stormy days when the rude log huts of the 
pioneers were the only evidences of civilization, when on 
these same smiling fields, the war whoop of the savage, the 
scream of the panther and the howling of wolves were the 
only sounds to greet the ears of the terror stricken settler 
in his lonely home. 



3ame6 Webster, 



fY\ R. WEBSTER was a native of the tftate of Virginia, 

III and came to Texas at an early day. The writer be- 

| I came acquainted with him in Travis county in the 

r \ year 1838. He was an enterprising, adventurous 

man, and could not remain idle while there was so much 

rich and unoccupied country to be settled. Accordingly, in 

the latter part of the summer of 1838 he loaded up his 

1838 wagons, and with his family and several transient 

men, he made his way to the forks of the San Gabriel 

river with the intention of settling on his headright league. 

They had reached what is known as the dividing ridge 
between south and north San Gabriel, when they discovered 
a body of Comanche Indians making their way in the direc- 
tion of the settlements. This caused Mr. Webster to turn 
his own course back to the settlements, and, as he thought, 
undiscovered by the Indians. But in this he was mistaken. 
The keen sighted savages had seen his company, and after 
following them all night, about sunrise of the next morning 
made an attack upon them. 

The whites arranged their wagons in a hollow square to 
protect themselves, and from within they fought despe- 
rately, even until the last man had fallen. The conflict 
continued from sunrise in the morning until ten or eleven 
o'clock. The men, thirteen in number, were all killed The 
Indians robbed the wagons, rolled them together and set 



20 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

them on fire. Satisfied with the booty they had obtained 
from this unfortunate party, they retreated to the moun- 
tains, taking Mrs. Webster and her little daughter pris- 
oners. 

Mrs. Webster's account of her two years captivity among 
these Indians is very interesting. She was often compelled 
to ride sixty or seventy-five miles a day, without any food 
or water — sometimes for two or three days in succession. 
They begged her frequently to teach them the art of* mak- 
ing gunpowder, insisting that she knew how to make it, or 
if she did not, that she could explain the process by which 
the white people manufactured it. 

To get rid of their importunities, she told the Indians that 
the white people made it of fire coals and sand. They soon 
had a large number of kettles on the fire rilled with char- 
coal and sand, which they boiled a long time, after which 
they dried it and carefully pulverized it at a safe distance 
from their fires. The mixture had somewhat the appear- 
ance of gunpowder, but unfortunately it would not explode 
when a burning firebrand was applied to it. Finding the 
experiment was a failure, they at length came to the con- 
clusion that the manufacture of gunpowder was kept a 
secret from the squaws of the white people. 

The Indians would frequently bring paper money to her 
and ask her what it was. To prevent them from trading it 
for guns and munitions of war to white scoundrels who 
would not hesitate to sell them a butcher knife to scalp their 
own people, she told them it was of no value, and by so 
doing she caused them to destroy thousands of dollars. 

In her narrative Mrs. Webster gives an account of many 
rich gold and silver mines she had seen, and she says lihat 
she saw in certain localities stones that resembled diamonds 
of great brilliancy, but that the Indians would not permit 
her to touch one of them. 

[Note. — These stones that Mrs. Webster supposed to be 
diamonds were probably crystals of quartz or the white 
topaz, as diamonds, except in a few sporadic instances, have 
never been found on the continent of North America.] 

Mrs. Webster and her little daughter were held prisoners 
by the Indians for nearly two years. In the spring of 1840 
there was an agreement entered into between the Republic 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 2'i 

*f Texas and the Comanche nation for an exchange of 
prisoners. The place for this exchange was at San Antonio. 
Accordingly at the appointed time and place the parties met 
to carry out the terms of this agreement. The gallant 
Colonel Fisher, with his battalion, together w ith the Commis- 
sioners, Colonel Wm. G. Cooke and General H. D. McLeod, 
represented the Texas government, and a number of their 
principal chiefs, the Comanche nation. The agreement be- 
tween these parties was to the effect that both were to de- 
liver up all the prisoners then living in their possession. 
The Indians, however, only brought in Miss Matilda Lock- 
hart, when it was well known that they had several others, 
especially, Mrs. Webster. The chiefs were then informed 
that they were acting in bad faith, and would be held as 
hostages until all the white prisoners had been brought in. 
This information enraged the chiefs, who at once brought 
on the engagement known as the "Council House Fight," 
3*n account of which will be given later on. The Indians, 
when on their way to San Antonio, had left their families 
back about sixty miles in charge of a few warriors and Mrs. 
Webster and her children were with them. 

The night after the chiefs left camp for San Antonio, Mrs. 
Webster learned from some of the squaws that they did not 
i atend to give her up. She therefore determined, if possible, 
to make her escape from them. The following night she 
took her daughter, and watching a favorable opportunity, 
B he stole off under cover of darkness. She found the trail 
^he Indians had made going to San Antonio, and as it was 
quite plain, she had no difficulty in following it until the 
next morning, when, fearing pursuit, she hid herself and re- 
mained in her place of concealment all day. 

It was well that she- did so; f or o the , Indians in the cemp 
came out in pursuit, of -her/ SI13, ,saw t ; them from the hill 
where she had concealed herself, following the trail, and 
late in the evening she saw them returning completely baf- 
fled. When iigh/b came on she resume^ her journey, al- 
though from being barefooted her ^eeii were terribly bruised 
and lacerated by thorny shrubs* -Thus she continued her 
perilous journey, concealing herself in the brush during the 
day time and traveling by night, until she finally reached 
San Antonio, a few days after the Council House Fight, in a 



22 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

perfectly nude condition. She lay concealed in the outskirts 
of town until dark, when she ventured up to a Mexican hut. 
Poor woman. There she stood, half starved, her limbs 
bleeding from being lacerated by thorns and briars. She 
must have been a horrible sight to gaze upon. She was now 
among friends again, however, who supplied her with cloth- 
ing, and she was soon rejoicing over her escape from a cap 
tivity worse than death. 



Council Ibouae jfigbt in San Hntonio* 



1 f / E have compiled the history of this desperate hand 

1 i | to hand conflict chiefly from Yoakum and Thrall's 

^^ histories of Texas and from the official report of Gen - 

eral H. D. McLeod to President Lamar, March 20, 1&40. 

Some minor incidents, however, have been obtained from 

old veteran pioneers, familiar with the fight. In the early 

part of February, ]840, some Comanche chiefs sent 
1840 word to Colonel H. W. Karnes, who was then at San 

Antonio, that they wished to come into town and 
make a treaty with the whites. This was not the first time 
the Comanches had feigned friendship and expressed a de- 
sire to cease hostilities towards the whites in order to throw 
the settlers off their guard so that they might more effect- 
ually raid the country, commit murders and then suddenly 
return to their mountain homes, carrying into captivity 
women and children and driving off all the horses they 
could conveniently carry with them. Our people along the 
border settlements had su'ffereci so much at the hands of the 
red devils for the last' four 'or" five' years previous that the 
government was disposed to give the Comanches another 
trial and thus jfcest their pretended desire for peace; but, as 
will be seen further* otf, all necessary precautions were taken 
before the appointed iimo % or the treaty *to' take place. The 
Indians who had been deputised to' convey this message to 
Colonel Karnes were informed by him that if they would 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 23 

bring in the white captives they had — some thirteen in 
all — peace would be granted. The Indians promised 
that at the next full moon they would do so. This in- 
formation having been communicated to the govern- 
ment, Colonel William S. Fisher was ordered to San An- 
tonio with a force sufficiently strong to meet any emer- 
gency which might arise during the progress of the 
treaty. In due time Colonel William G. Cooke and Gen- 
eral H. D. McLeod were sent forward as commissioners to 
treat with the Indians. According to previous appointment, 
on the nineteenth of March, 1840, sixty-five Comanches, in- 
cluding warriors, women and children, came into San An- 
tonio to treat for peace. As stated above, they had agreed 
to bring in all the white prisoners whom they held as hos- 
tages. They, however, brought in but one, Miss Matilda 
Lockhart, whose sad history has already been recorded in 
the first part of this work. They were known to have sev- 
eral others, especially Mrs. Jane Webster, whose captivity 
and marvelous escape we have just- narrated. Twelve 
chiefs, leaders of the deputation, were met by our commis- 
sioners, Colonel Cooke and General McLeod, with an in- 
terpreter in the old court house, when the question was at 
once asked by our commissioners: " Where are the prison- 
ers you were to bring?" Mukwarrah, the chief who had 
made the promise at the former interview, replied: "We 
have brought the only one we had, the others are with other 
tribes." This was known to be a deliberate falsehood, for 
Miss Lockhart said she had seen several prisoners at the 
camp a few days before, and that they intended to bring in 
only one or two at a time in order to extort a greater ran- 
som. A pause ensued, after which the chief asked in a de- 
fiant tone: " How do you like the answer?" No reply was 
made, but a messenger was sent to Captain Howard with 
orders to bring his company of soldiers into the council 
room. The soldiers having filed in the interpreter was then 
directed to inform the chief that they would be held as hos- 
tages until the other prisoners were brought in. The inter- 
preter at first refused to tell them, saying that if he did so 
they would instantly fight; but the commissioners insisted, 
-and placing himself near the door he told them and left. 
As he had predicted, the chiefs immediately prepared for 



PA INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

action. Some strung their bows and drew their arrows while 
others drew their scalping knives. As the commissioners 
were retiring from the room one of the chiefs attempted to 
escape by leaping past the sentinel, who, in attempting to 
prevent him, was stabbed by the Indian. Captain Howard 
was also wounded in a similar manner. The fight by this 
tine had become general, and it was not until the last chief 
in the council house was slain that the conflict ended. The 
Indians, who were on the outside, upon hearing the report 
of fire arms in the council rooms, immediately attacked the 
soldiers, who were stationed around the house, and fought 
with savage fierceness. Captain Mathew(01d Paint) Caldwell 
was attacked by a powerful Indian, and being unarmed, was 
forced to defend himself with rocks until a bullet from the 
rifle of one of the soldiers laid the Indian low. In an ad- 
joining room Mr. Morgan was attacked by two Indians, but 
he succeeded in killing both of them. Lieutenant Dun 
ington was killed by a squaw, who shot an arrow en- 
tirely through his body. Judge Thompson was in the 
yard amusing himself setting up pieces of money for the 
little Indians to knock out. While thus engaged he was 
killed by an arrow before he even suspected danger. Judge 
Hood was killed inside the council house. Colonel Lysander 
Wells rode into the plaza just as the fight commenced 
when a powerful savage vaulted on behind him and first at- 
tempted to unhorse him, but failing in this he tried to guide 
the horse out of the plaza. The colonel attempted to draw 
his pistol, but owing to the fast hold the Indian had upon 
him was unable to do so. Finally, after circling around the 
plaza two or three times, one of the soldiers shot the In- 
dian, who tumbled off upon the ground, very much to- the 
satisfaction of Colonel Wells, who, no doubt, did not very 
much relish being hugged by a savage warrior. The In- 
dians, after fighting with a desperation which evinced great 
courage, were finally forced by a company of soldiers under 
Captain Redd to take shelter in a stone house nearby, where 
all were cut down except one warrior, who secreted himself 
within the walls of the building. Every inducement was 
offered him if he would come out. He was assured if he 
would surrender that he would not be hurt, but all to no pur- 
pose. Finally in order to make him leave the house, the 




•"ifllllllSf::-^ 



■ '■'■"■■■■•"■ 

•■■ ■ ■ 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 25 

whites made a large ball of cotton rags and saturated it 
thoroughly with turpentine. They then made an opening 
m the roof, set the ball on fire and threw it down on the In- 
dian's head. This routed him from his lair, and as he came 
out he was shot dead. During the engagement a party of 
the savages made their way across the San Antonio river, 
but they were pursued and all killed except a renegade 
Mexican, who made his escape. All the warriors, thirty- 
two in number, together with three women and two chil- 
dren, were killed. Twenty-seven women and children were 
made prisoners. The Texans had seven killed and eight 
wounded. After the fight one of the squaws dispatched to 
inform the Comanches that if they would bring in all of 
their prisoners an exchange would be made. Several days 
elapsed when finally all the white prisoners were brought in 
and the exchange was made. Thus ended the attempt upon 
this occasion to patch up friendly relations with the power- 
ful and warlike tribe of Comanches, and for some time 
afterwards they waged a ceaseless and bloody warfare upon 
the frontier settlers of Texas. Returning to their mountain 
homes they began planning a regular invasion upon the set- 
tlements, and it was not many months before an army of 
several hundred strong were on the march to avenge the 
death of their fallen chiefs. 



(Breat Comanche Invasion— Httacft on IDictoiia- 
gadung of Xinmnlle, 



1^1 Of until the summer of 1840 had>he unfriendly Indians 
I\| ever made a regular invasion of the white settlements 
I ■ in Texas. The settlers had been constantly harrassed 
P by small bands of marauding Indians, who stole horses, 
killed cattle, and frequently killed and scalped such settlers 
as were caught out from home and were unprepared for re- 
sistance. At this time there were but few settlements 
1840 between Gaudalupe and the Colorado river, and in 
fact, the entire country west of the Colorado river, 
extending to the Eio Grande, and on down to the coast. 



26 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

with the exception of San Antonio, Gonzales, and a few 
other small towns, was one vast expanse of uninhabited! 
country, and offered an easy ingress to the settlements for 
the savages in this well prepared and equipped invasion. 
Early in August, 1840, in the light of the moon, an army 
variously estimated at from five hundred to one thousand 
Indian warriors, mostly Comanches, besides a few squaws 
and old men, passed southward over the territory, to the set- 
tlements near the coast, committing occasional murders on 
their route. 

It was on the afternoon of the sixth of August that this en- 
tire body of fiendish savages, thirsting to avenge the sad fate 
of their fallen chiefs who fell in the fight at San Antonio, 
known as the "Council House Fight," suddenly came upon 
the town of Victoria, dealing death and destruction upon 
every hand. The attack was totally unexpected — the citizens 
wholly unprepared to resist such a formidable force, and the 
consternation and confusion which prevailed, can better be 
imagined than described. Several persons were killed and 
wounded. Among those who lost their lives in defense of 
the terror stricken inhabitants of the little town of Victoria, 
was Doctor Gray; the names of the balance who fell at the 
hands of the savages we do not remember. Those who were 
not killed were only saved by barricading themselves iu such 
houses as offered shelter or protection. After having driven 
the citizens into their f orted houses the Indians withdrew 
from the town, carrying with them all the horses and mules 
which they could find in and around town, numbering be- 
tween two and three thousand head, and camped that night 
within a few miles of Victoria. No doubt gloating over 
their successful raid upon the town, and rejoicing over the 
large amount of property captured, they conceived the bold 
idea of surprising and sacking the town of Linnville, after 
murdering its inhabitants. Flushed with victory, and sev- 
eral thousand dollars worth of horses and mules; they at 
once proceeded on their way to the little seaport town of 
Linnville, situated some fifty miles from Victoria. In their 
line of march they came upon Mrs. Crosby and child, both 
of whom were captured and taken prisoners. Early in the 
morning of August 8, some few of the inhabitants of Linn- 
ville observed in the distance a perfect cloud of dust, caused, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 27 

as they supposed, by a vast caballada of horses, being 
brought in from Mexico for trading purposes. By throwing 
themselves on the sides of their horses, and riding in this 
way, the Indians had completely concealed themselves 
from the vision of the unsuspecting denizens of the village. 
Imagine their consternation and utter dismay, when one 
thousand red savages, suddenly rising in their saddles, 
dashed upon the defenseless town, when many of the inhabi- 
tants were fast asleep. The alarm was given as soon as the 
discovery was made. Resistence was not thought of, and 
panic stricken, men, women and children, young and old, 
rushed for the boats which were anchored near by in the 
shallow water. The scene amid the confusion which pre- 
vailed was.one never to be forgotten by the survivors of that 
terror stricken people. The war whoop of the wild Comanche 
commingled with the screaming of the women, the crying 
wf the children, and the groans of the dying and wounded 
julmost beggars description. The blood thirsty savages pur- 
sued the inhabitants into the water and captured and killed 
sieveral of the fleeing and terrified populace. Among the 
number who met his death between the shore and the boats, 
was young Captain H. O. Watts, collector of customs, his 
young bride was captured in the water, dragged back to 
the shore and made a captive. Several negroes were cap- 
tured and killed. Most of the inhabitants reached the boats 
and pulling out to sea escaped the tomahawk and scalping 
knife. All who failed to reach the boats were either carried 
away captive or ruthlessly killed by the Indians. The little 
town was unusually well supplied with merchandise, and the 
Indians sacked all the stores and private houses, taking 
away every imaginable kind of merchandise. They packed 
several hundred mules and horses with their plunder, and 
gathering many loose horses, they had now an immense 
herd, which they gaily caparisoned and bedecked with red 
streamers torn from the bales of merchadise, and also with 
ribbons, which streamed from their heads and the heads of 
their horses in gay profusion. Having taken every thing 
they could carry away, they set fire to the town and 
burnt it. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



ftbe Battle of plum Creek* 



THE Indians had now between three and four thousand 
horses and mules, several hundred of them being heavily 
laden with merchandise which had been pillaged from 
the stores before the burning of the town of Linnville. 
During the following night, this savage army of red skins 
moved off with all their booty in the direction from whence 
they had come. Expressmen were at once, despatched 
1840 to notify the citizens of the Guadalupe, Gonzales, La- 
vaca and Colorado settlements, and it was not long- 
before the Texans were rallying in companies from every 
direction. Of course an invasion upon such a large scale 
could not be made by the Indians without their sign attract- 
ing the attention of the whites, who might perchance be 
passing through the country from one settlement to an- 
other. 

The Rev, Z. N. Morrel, a noted Baptist minister of that 
day, whose courage upon the field of battle was ever equal 
to that exhibited from the pulpit stand, happened to be re- 
turning to the town of Bastrop in an ox wagon from the 
Guadalupe, where he had purchased a tract of land and was 
improving it. While passing over the divide between the 
Guadalupe and Lavaca rivers, at 12 o'clock on or about the 
tenth of August, he crossed the trail made by the Indians 
on their way down to Victoria and Linnville. Although 
driving an ox team, he made thirty miles in twelve hours, 
so eager was he to communicate this intelligence to Colonel 
Ed. Burleson and the citizens of Colorado valley. By sunrise, 
the morning after crossing the trail, he was in the town of 
LaGrange, beside the gallant old Indian fighter, Colonel Ed. 
Burleson. The story was quickly told, and in a few mo- 
ments Burleson was mounted on his favorite war horse, 
ready to set out at once to organize a force to meet the 
enemy. 
Says the Rev. Mr. Morrel (Flowers and Fruit, p. 128): "By 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 29 

the time we were mounted, a man was in sight, his horse 
running rapidly, a paper in his hand fluttering in the breeze. 
The expressman presented the paper, which read about as 
follows:" 

"General: The Indians have sacked and burned the town 
of Linnville; carried off several prisoners. We made a 
draw fight with them at Casa Blanca. Could not stop them. 
We want to fight them before they get to the mountains. 
We have sent expresssman up the Guadalupe. 

(Signed) "Ben McCulloch." 

It seems that a few companies had hastily rallied from the 
Gonzales, Guadalupe and Lavaca settlements and had en- 
gaged the Indians on their retreat, but the superior number 
of the latter caused the Texans to withdraw. Ben McCul- 
loch, however, was not one, as will be seen later on, to per- 
mit the wily savages to swoop down upon our people with 
the tomahawk and scalping knife, and then stand hj and see 
them quietly retreat to their mountain homes without giving 
them battle. He immediately set out for Gonzales, whipped 
around the enemy and joined Captain Mathew (Old Paint) 
Caldwell, who was in charge of a company of thirty-seven 
men, while Captains Ward and Bird each commanded a small 
company — the entire force numbering some eighty or ninety 
all told. These three companies camped at Plum creek on 
the night of the eleventh, that being the place of rendezvous 
agreed upon by the leaders of the respective settlements, to 
intercept the enemy. 

The Rev. Mr. Morrell, in speaking of the movements of 
himself and Colonel Burleson after receiving the dispatch 
from McCulloch, says: "We made our way up the Colo- 
rado valley as rapidly as we could to Bastrop, notifying 
every one as we went. Here Colonel Burleson called a 
council and it was agreed that the Indians should be inter- 
cepted on their retreat at Good's, on Plum creek, twenty- 
seven miles below Austin." As stated above, on the night 
of the eleventh the three companies had gone into camp on 
Plum creek and were keeping a sharp lookout for the 
enemy. Early on the morning of the twelfth Caldwell was 
informed by his spies that the Indians were approaching 
within sight. Up to this time Colonel Burleson, with his 
one hundred Texans and thirteen Tonka wa Indians, under 



30 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

their gallant old chief, Placido, had not yet arrived on the 
ground, but "Old Paint" was there, and wherever he was 
found in close proximity to Indians there was sure to be a 
fight, it mattered not how much the latter outnumbered him. 
Old Texans, when assembled together, living over the events 
of the early history of Texas, not unfrequently ask each 
other the question: "Do you remember 'Old Paint's' 
speech at the battle of Pium creek?" In order that the few, 
but impressive and inspiring words of the grand old warrior 
may not be forgotten, we reproduce them here as nearly as 
we can. Said he: "Boys, the Indians number about one 
thousand. They have our women and children captives. 
We are only eighty-seven strong, but I believe we can whip 
h — 11 out of 'em. What shall we do boys; shall we fight?" 
It is useless to say that the answer all along the line was "Yes! 
yes! fight!" On the previous evening, however, Felix Hous- 
ton, general of the militia, had arrived upon the ground, and 
being senior officer, was given the command. While the 
plan of attack was being arranged Colonel Ed Burleson 
came up with his forces and the men were soon thrown into 
line. The Indians were now marching across the prairie 
within full view. It must have been a novel sight to see one 
thousand red warriors with their vast caballado of horses and 
mules gorgeously arrayed in the goods pillaged from Linn- 
ville as they passed within full review of the Texans. There 
were too many of the old Indian fighters, however, upon 
the ground for this imposing band of savage warriors to 
create terror in the ranks of the little Texan army of two 
hundred. No sooner had Burleson arrived with his forces 
from the Colorado, supplemented by Placido and his Tonka - 
wa Indians, than he was ordered to command the right 
wing, Captain Mathew Caldwell the left, while Monroe Har- 
deman (brother of the venerable General William P., "Old 
Gotch" Hardeman) was to bring up the rear. The Indians were 
at once thrown into line of battle by their gallant chief, who 
led the invading host. "The enemy," says, the Rev. Z. N". 
Morrel, from whom we again quote, "was disposed to keep 
at a distance and delay the fight in order that the packed 
mules might be driven ahead with the spoils. During this 
delay several of their chiefs performed some daring feats, 
According to a previous understanding, our men waited for 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 31 

the Indians, in the retreat, to get beyond the timber before 
the general charge was made. One of these daring chiefs 
attracted my attention especially. He was riding a very 
fine horse, held in by a fine American bridle, with a red 
ribbon eight or ten feet long, tied to the tail of the horse. 
He was dressed in elegant style, from the goods stolen . at 
Linnville, with a high top silk hat, fine pair of boots and 
leather gloves, an elegant broadcloth coat, hind part before, 
with brass buttons shining brightly up and down his back. 
When he first made his appearance he was carrying a large 
umbrella stretched. This Indian and others would charge 
towards us and shoot their arrows, then wheel and run 
away, doing no damage. This was done several times in 
range of some of our guns. Soon the discovery was made 
that he wore a shield, and although our men took good aim, 
the balls glanced. An old Texan living on the Lavaca asked 
me to hold his horse, and getting as near the place where 
they wheeled as was safe, waited patiently till they came; 
and as the Indian checked his horse and the shield flew up, 
he fired and brought him to the ground. Several had fallen 
before, but without checking their demonstrations. 

"Now, although some of them had lost their lives in carry- 
ing him away, yet they did not cease their efforts till he 
was carried to the rear." 

General Houston, who had caused the delay in making 
the attack, and whose men were now suffering under the con- 
stant fire of the enemy, whilst the chiefs were performing 
their wonderful feats, was admonished by the gallant Ben 
McCulloch that "that was not the way to fight Indians;" 
whereupon Houston ordered an immediate charge. The 
heroic little band of two hundred, fired with the zeal of 
their cause, and burning within to avenge the sad fate of 
those who had fallen beneath the tomahawk and scalping 
knife at Victoria and Linnville, now dashed forward under 
their respective leaders with a wild yell which fairly made 
the welkin ring. In the midst of the hottest part of the 
conflict could be seen brave old Placido (the ever faithful 
friend of the whites), dealing death upon every hand, while 
the arrows and balls of the enemy were flying thick and 
fast around him. Before going into the fight he had taken 
the precaution to tie a white rag around his arm in order 



32 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

that, in the heat of battle, he might not be mistaken for the 
enemy. 

The Indians could not long withstand the furious attack 
of the determined Texans, and the rout soon became gen- 
eral. It was a running fight for twelve or fifteen miles. 
The pack animals and loose horses were in part abandoned, 
and in the flight that ensued each Indian only looked after 
taking care of his own scalp. Ben and Henry McCulloch, 
Alsey Miller and C. C. DeWitt pursued a squad of five In- 
dians, killing all of them before they abandoned the chase. 
John Henry Brown (now our Colonel John Henry Brown, of 
Dallas, Texas), crowned himself with the honor of slaying, 
in a hand-to-hand engagement, the second chief in com- 
mand, who wore a buffalo head with polished horns for a 
cap. 

\ General Houston estimated that they killed from fifty to 
eighty Indians during the engagement, and captured several 
hundred horses and mules, with packs and baggage; while 
the Texans had noue killed and only a few wounded. Among 

the latter were Doctor Sweitzer and Reid, Doctor 

Sweitzer had his right arm pinned to his body with an 
arrow, and was being hotly pursued by several Indians, 
when he was rescued from death by the gallant Henry Mc- 
Culloch. Reid, who was riding a very spirited animal and 
was one of the last to abandon the chase, seeing an Indian 
about to let fly an arrow at him, threw himself flat on his 
horse's neck, but too late to avoid the missile. The arrow 
penetrated his body and was with great difficulty with- 
drawn. Reid, however, recovered from the wound. 

Before the retreat, the Indians killed Mrs. Crosby, who, it 
will be remembered, was captured by them between Victoria 
and Linnville. Her body was found near that of a dead 
negro. Mrs. Watts was shot in the breast with an arrow, 
and was found soon afterwards, by the Rev. Mr. Morrel, 
whose language we quote: 

" Just as the retreat commenced I heard the scream of a 
female voice in a bunch of bushes close by. Approaching 
the spot I discovered a lady endeavoring to pull an arrow 
out that was lodged firmly in her breast. This proved to be 
Mrs. Watts, whose husband was killed at Linnville. Doctor 
Brown, of Gonzales, was at once summoned to the spot. 




GENERAL EDWARD BURLESON. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 33 

Kear by we soon discovered a white woman and a negro 
' roman, both dead. These were all shot with arrows when 
the howl was raised and the retreat commenced. While 
the doctor was approaching I succeeded in loosening her 
hands from the arrow. The dress and flesh on each side of 
the arrow were cut, and an effort was made to extract it. 
The poor sufferer seized the doctor's hand and screamed so 
violently that he desisted. A second effort was made with 
success. My blanket was spread upon the ground, and as 
She rested on this, with my saddle for a pillow, she was soon 
composed and rejoicing at her escape. Death would have 
been preferable to crossing the mountains with the savages. 
She had ridden a pack mule all the way from the coast, and 
when they stopped she was required to read the stolen books. 
for their amusement. I received many letters from Mrs. 
Watts in after years, but never saw her again." 

[Note. Mrs. Watts died in 1878, while keeping the San 
Antonio House in Port Lavaca. See Thrall's History of 
Texas, p. 466.] 

Thus ended the battle of Plum Creek, fought on the 
twelfth day of August, 1840. After the battle the Tonkawa 
[ndians who had fought so nobly under their trusted Chief 
Placido, as was their custom, busied themselves in fleecing 
the flesh and cutting off the feet and hands of their inveter- 
ate enemies — the Comanches. These trophies they carried 
home with which to celebrate the war dance. 



Sfceteb of tbe Xife of (Beneral lEbwarb Burleson 



IT would seem to be almost superfluous to give in such a 
book as this, even a sketch of the life of one whose 
career is a portion of the history of our State, and of 
course known to all. And yet a sketch of the life of one 
so noted as an Indian fighter and frontiersman, certainly 



34 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

comes within the legitimate scope and purpose of this book. 
We therefore give the following outlines as briefly as possi- 
ble, which have been taken chiefly from a biographical 
sketch of General Burleson published in 1859, to which have 
been added extracts from an eulogy pronounced at his fun- 
eral by the Hon. Edward Tarver. 

General Burleson was born in Buncombe county, North 
Carolina, in 1798. When but a lad he served in a company 
commanded by his father under General Jackson, in what 
is known as the Creek War. In March, 1831, he emigrated 
to Texas and settled upon a place eleven miles below the> 
town of Bastrop, where he soon rendered himself conspicu- 
ous by his readiness when called on to repel the inroads of 
savages, then of frequent occurrence. His unflinching cour- 
age and perseverance on such occasions brought him into 
favorable notice, and in 1832 he was elected lieutenant colo- 
nel of the principality of Austin. 

No portion of Texas suffered more from Indian outrages 
than that part now known as Bastrop county, and on no 
part of her long suffering frontier were their forays repelled 
with more constant valor and firmness. Burleson, by his 
activity, promptness and courage, soon rose to be an ac- 
knowledged leader, while his plain and unpretending de- 
portment and natural dignity won friends as fast as he 
made acquaintances. 

In the battle with the Mexicans under General Cos at San 
Antonio he was conspicuous for his gallantry and rendered 
important services. 

As colonel of a regiment he participated in the final bat- 
tle at San Jacinto, which secured the independence of 
Texas. We quote here from one of his biographers: "On 
that bloody field Burleson added new honors to his fame as 
a brave soldier and tried officer. His regiment stormed the 
breastwork and captured the artillery and contributed its 
honorable share to the victory. The morning of the day 
on which the battle was fought General Houston ordered 
Burleson to detail one hundred men from his regiment to 
build a bridge across the bayou in case a retreat should be 
necessary. Burleson replied ' that he could make the detail 
but he had no idea the bridge would be built; that they had 
no axes or tools of any description, or teams to haul the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 35 

timber.' Houston asked him if he intended to disobey or- 
ders. Burleson replied 'that he was not disposed to disobey 
orders, but that his men had much rather fight than to 
work.' ' Then,' said Houston, 'if you are so anxious to fight 
you shall have your fill before night,' and immediately made 
out his plan of battle. After the battle of San Jacinto, Gen- 
eral Burleson returned to his home and was elected to the 
Senate of the first Congress of the Republic. 

In what is known as the Cherokee war Burleson moved 
against the Indians at the head of five hundred men, de- 
feated them in a hard fought battle, killing many (among 
them their head chief, Bowles) and drove the remainder be- 
yond the limits of the Republic. 

In the great Indian raid in 1840 General Burleson was 
second in command of the forces that met the Indians on 
Plum Creek, which defeated them with great slaughter, and 
recaptured a vast amount of plunder. The full details of 
this battle and the conspicuous part taken by Colonel Bur- 
leson we have already given to the reader. 

He was in a number of hotly contested fights with the In- 
dians, a full account of which will appear later on. It was 
in one of these stuborn contests — the battle of Brushy — that 
he lost his brother, Jacob Burleson, who had engaged the 
enemy before the General arrived. 

Upon one occasion a party of forty-five or fifty Indians 
came into the settlements below the town of Bastrop, and 
stole a lot of horses while the people were at church. A man 
who had remained at home discovered them, ran to church 
and gave the alarm. General Burleson, with only ten men, 
started in immediate pursuit, and followed the trail that 
evening to Piney creek, near town. Next morning he was 
reinforced by eight men, the pursuit was continued and the 
enemy overtaken near the Yegua, a small sluggish stream 
now in Lee county. When within about two hundred yards 
of them, Burleson called out to the Indians in Spanish 
to halt; they immediately did so, and forming themselves 
in regular order, like disciplined troops, commenced firing 
by squads or platoons. When within sixty yards, the bat- 
tle was opened on the part of the Texans by the discharge 
of Burleson's double barrel shot gun. The conflict was but 
of short duration. Six Indians were killed and the balance 



36 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS.. 

fled into a deep ravine, enveloped in thickets, and made 
their escape. 

In 1841, General Burleson was elected vice president of the 
Kepublicby a considerable majority over General Memucan 
Hunt. At Monterey he was appointed by Governor Hender- 
son — then in personal command of the Texas division, one 
of his aids-de-camp, and in that capacity bore a distinguished 
and honored part in the fierce conflicts before that city. 

He died on the twenty-sixth of December, 185 1, at the capital 
of the State, while a member of the senate then in session, 
and his death produced a profound sensation throughout the 
country, where his name had become as familiar as a house- 
hold word. Eloquent eulogies were pronounced in both 
houses of the Legislature at his death. Says the writer of his 
biographical sketch. ' ' A purer character than that of General 
Burleson is not to be found delineated in the annals of any 
country. His reputation as a soldier, not won in a single 
victory or single enterprise, but built up by years of service 
and success, was left behind him without a stain, while the 
purity of his conduct as a legislator escaped even the breath 
of suspicion. No unha llowed ambition prompted him to 
brave the dangers of the battle field. No petty jealousy at 
the laurels won by others ever found lodgement for a single 
moment in his noble and generous bosom. Brave,- yet un- 
ambitious—modest, yet firm of purpose; simple in his 
manner, yet dignified — he won the friendship of the 
worthiest of the land, and never lost it. In him were 
happily blended the attributes of a succes-ful warrior, 
with the republican and patriarchal simplicity of a quiet 
and unassuming country gentlemen, whose bravery was un- 
surpassed by his open and cordial hospitality. In his per- 
sonal intercourse with society, whether in the camp among 
his comrades in arms or among his countrymen in the walks 
of private life, perhaps the most prominent trait of charac- 
ter, which was every where developed, was an inflexible 
love of justice, in its most extensive and significant sense. 
He seemed to be scarcely aware of the honors which 
crowded upon him as he passed through life." We will 
close this sketch with an extract from an eulogy pronounced 
by the Hon. Edward Tarver, of Washington county, at the 
funeral of General Burleson, which shows the high estimate 
placed upon him by his fellow countrymen. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 37 

"These are the departing days of the present day; this is 
the time when most reflecting minds are disposed to take a 
general retrospect of the events of the outgoing year; and I 
imagine that the latter days of this will be remembered as 
the most gloomy which have fallen upon the land for many 
years. To-day, Nature herself seems shrouded in mourning. 
All is blackness, darkness and desolation, as though she 
herself participated in our national sorrow and sympathized 
with us in our bereavement." 

There is a tear for all who die, 

A mourner o'er the htxmblest grave, 
But nations swell the f uneral cry. 

And triumph weeps above the brave. 

"The deceased has filled for many years a prominent place 
among the citizens of Texas, and Western Texas in partic- 
lar. In relation to her history and its soul stirring events, 
he might truly say, cujus pars magnafui. He discharged 
the duties of the many important stations which he was 
chosen to fill in the councils of his country with a single- 
ness of heart and purity of purpose that did honor alike to 
him and his country. Sir, I know his history from the be- 
ginning. His life has been one continued scene of peril, of 
suffering, and of the most trying vicissitudes. Yet, he has 
passed through all with a stainless and blameless reputa- 
tion, unsullied by the imputation of wrong, either in his 
public or private capacity." 



a C. Xove's tmnfc) to 1bant> jfigbt 



DURING the year 1879 Major H. D. Prendergast (now 
deceased) contributed to the American Sketch Book 
the following interesting account of a fight in Robert- 
son county. We reproduce the same here, in the Ma- 
jor's own language: In the year 1840 there occurred, near 



38 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the center of Robertson county, and not far from where the 
town of Englewood now stands, one of the most des- 
1840 perate personal conflicts that ever took place between 
heroes of opposing clans. Since the Scottish bard cel- 
ebrated the hand to hand fight between Fitz James and 
Roderick Dim, at Coilan Kogle's ford, perhaps no real com- 
bat lias ever so nearly resembled the imaginary battle of the 
poet's heroes in all essential particulars. It was the general 
practice of the Indians to make their raids about the full 
moon. On one occasion they had made a raid and stolen 
several horses. The thefts were quickly discovered, and a 
party made up to pursue them from Franklin, the then 
county seat of Robertson county. The pursuers numbered 
some six or seven. Among them were G. H. Love, now 
living at Whelock, in this county, and Judge S. R. Killough, 
who died about two years ago, at Whelock; Harvey Math- 
ews, now living in Navarro county, and A. 0. Love, and D. 
Hill, two medical students. The pursuing party overtook 
the Indians in the early morning, between and at the junc- 
tion of two deep ravines. A charge was immediately made, 
and the savages, abandoning their horses and camp, scat- 
tered into the adjacent thickets, excepting one warrior, who 
could not find it in his heart to give up the splendid horse 
he had captured the night before, but prepared to run the 
gauntlet. So, mounting his horse, rifle in hand, and with 
his faithful squaw mounted behind him, he made a dash to 
pass between his enemies. 

The first shot from A. 0. Love's gun brought down the 
hindmost Indian, which proved to be the squaw. Almost at 
the same instant a shot from Hill's rifle disabled the horse 
of the Indian, who now abandoned the idea of escape in 
that way, and, leaping down from his wounded horse, ran 
by Hill and fired the gun, almost touching the face of—Hill, 
who fell to the ground, his jaw bone shattered by the ball. 
The savage now turned to flight, and being cut off from 
the ravine he started across the open woods, pursued by A. 
C. Love, each carrying his empty rifle. Love was a man 
about twenty years old, six feet high, weighing about one 
hundred and sixty pounds, and active as a panther. The 
Indian, a giant of his race, was about the same height 
and something heavier. The distance between them 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 39 

gradually closed, until at the end of about two hundred 
yards the savage stopped short, turned around, and gazing 
fiercely a moment, sprang back to meet his foe. As they 
met, each clubbed his gun and aimed a murderous blow at 
the head of the other. The ring of their gun barrels as 
they clashed together could be heard for hundreds of yards. 
Love's collarbone was broken and one finger on his left hand 
crushed. After a few blows the combatants mutually threw 
down their guns and closed in a real Indian hug, Love's ob- 
ject being to make a prisoner of his brave foe. But in this 
contest he met with an unexpected difficulty. The Indian's 
arms and shoulders were entirely naked, and as Love has 
told the writer, he would slip through his arms like an eel. 
Suddenly a chill of horror ran through Love's frame as he 
felt the Indian's finger grappling for his (Love's) bowie- 
knife at his side and which he had entirely forgotten. Now 
came, in one terrible moment, the issue of life or death. 
Quick as thought Love's right hand was on the handle of 
his knife, when the savage changed his tactics, and throw- 
ing his arms entirely around Love, endeavored to prevent 
his drawing the knife. 

Now, gallant Saxon, hold thine own, 
No maiden arm around thee thrown. 

In this last death struggle Love finally disengaged his left 
hand, and seizing the long hair of the savage, so confused 
him by this unexpected mode of attack that he secured a 
momentary advantage, and then one quick flash of the glit- 
tering steel, and the soul of the brave Indian had taken its 
flight to his happy hunting grounds. Just then Love's brother 
and other comrades returned from the pursuit of the other 
Indians, to find him standing erect, but exhausted, over his 
fallen foe. 



40 WNDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



Colonel £R>pR>0e'£ ftmjarboue Eypebition to tbe 

mm mites. 



DURING the administration of General Sam Houston 
in the spring of 1843 he dispatched Colonel J. C. Eld- 
ridge, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and Thomas 

Torrey, Indian agent, to visit all the wild tribes on 
the frontier for the purpose of getting them to enter into a 
treaty of peace with the Republic of Texas, and to accomplish 

this object, instructions were given the commissioners 
1843 to use their utmost skill in inducing the chiefs of the 

different tribes to meet the commissioners represent- 
ing the Republic of Texas, at Bird's Fort, on the Trinity 
river, on the tenth of August. General Ham P. Bee, who 
was then quite a young man, accompanied the expedition at 
the instance of his old friend, Colonel Eldridge. The three 
principal chiefs of the Delawares, to wit, Jim Shaw, John 
Connor and Jim Second Eye, were selected by President 
Houston to accompany the commissioners on this hazard- 
ous expedition to aid them in their undertaking. Many of 
the Delawares could not only speak English, but the lan- 
guage of all, or nearly all, of the different wild tribes. The 
party was finally made up, consisting of the commissioners, 
the three chiefs above named and several other Indians, 
who accompanied the party in the capacity of guides, hun- 
ters, etc., and set out from the old town of Washington, 
then the seat of government, in the month of March, 1843, 
on their perilous journey. We should have stated that Ace- 
quosh, a Waco chief, also accompanied the party. ^The 
principal village of the Comanches was situated further 
out on the plains than were the villages of any of the other 
tribes, and as will be seen later on, this fact very much de- 
layed the progress of the expedition. The commissioners 
took along two Comanche children who had been captured 
by our people during the year 1840. These were to be re- 
turned to their people. One of them was a boy fourteen 
years old, named Bill Hockley, in honor of Colonel Hockley, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 41 

who had taken care of him. The other was a girl eleven 
years of age, named Maria. The parting of this girl, who 
had now become civilized and accustomed to the habits of 
our people, from the commissioners, was one of the most 
heartrending scenes ever witnessed, and will appear in this 
volume further on under the head of "A Comanche Prin- 
cess." 

The expedition was fraught with many difficulties, dan- 
gers, privations and hardships. On their way Jim Shaw be- 
came exasperated when he found that he and the two Dela- 
ware chiefs were not the commissioners, but had been sent 
along simply to aid Colonel Eldridge, who was the duly au- 
thorized commissioner. He and the other two chiefs threaten- 
ed to abandon the party and Colonel Eldridge was just on the 
eve of returning home when the chiefs reconsidered the 
matter and agreed to go on. The journey was then con- 
tinued until the head village of the Wacos had been 
reached, and while delayed here the wife of Chief Acequosh 
was taken very sick. At the instance of the old chief the com- 
missioners rendered her such medical aid as lay within their 
power, and she finally recovered — a most fortunate circum- 
stance, as the sequel will show. Several tribes were visited 
and many promised to attend the council at Bird's Fort. 
But the Comanche village, as before stated, lay far out on 
the plains, and being especially desirous to visit this tribe 
the march was continued. General H. P. Bee kept a journal 
of their wanderings in the wilderness in search of the head 
chief of the nation, and some years ago, at the request of 
the writer, he furnished him with an extract from his 
journal, with permission to make such use of it as he might 
see proper. The writer still has in his possession this man- 
uscript in General Bee's own hand writing, and prefers giv- 
ing the extract without alteration. It is to be regretted 
that the entire journal can not be published, for it is all in- 
teresting. The foregoing remarks have been made by way 
of preface that the reader might better understand the na- 
ture and object of the expedition. It is well known to the 
historian that General Houston always favored a pacific 
course towards the Indians, and it was for the purpose of 
carrying out this policy that commissioners were sent out. 



42 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



{Treaty fiypebitton to tbe THM& bribes. 



Extract from Journal of General H. P. Bee. 



¥ ONG before this we had exhausted the supplies we 

brought from the settlements. Our rice was the last 

*L to give out, and for some time we had been living 

^ upon buffalo and deer meat alone, without bread of 
any description, and some times without salt. Yet the diet 
seemed to be nourishing, owing to the fact, perhaps, that we 
made up in quantity what was lacking in variety and 
1843 quality. Two or three pounds of buffalo meat at a meal 
was our usual allowance. The tallow of the buffalo is 
not as greasy as that of beeves. A piece of dried buffalo 
meat in the one hand and a good size lump of the tallow 
in the other are tolerably fair substitutes for bread and but- 
ter. We always carried a piece of dried buffalo meat tied 
to our saddles on which at any time, we could make a 
"hasty snack" as we rode along. 

After wandering for many days over the vast prairies of 
Northwest Texas, in search of the head chief of the Co- 
manche nation, but without success, we halted one morning 
in an immense plum patch to regale ourselves upon the de- 
licious fruit with which the bushes were covered. Whilst 
busily engaged in this pleasant occupation, our attention 
was drawn to fresh plum skins on the ground, evidently 
quite recently pulled, and telling us that others besides our- 
selves were some where in the vicinity, who were as fond of 
plums as we were. This incident, like Crusoe's discovery of 
the foot prints in the sand by the sea shore, alarmed us a 
good deal and destroyed our appetite for plums, for we knew 
very well that any band of Indians we might encounter 
would be much more likely to prove enemies than friends. 

Before we had come to any conclusion as to what was 
best to be done, an object approaching us was discovered. 
It proved to be a Comanche Indian, with a boy seven or 
eight years old, riding in front of him upon a magnificent 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 43 

horse. He came in right amongst us, and at first we were 
at a loss to understand why such a large, powerful man, as 
lie evidently was, should be riding behind a little boy, but 
he informed us that he was totally blind, and that the little 
boy was his guide. He told us also of our near proximity 
to a large village of the Comanches (of which he was one of 
the chiefs), and to our great joy he told us it was also the 
village of Pa-ha-yu-co, the head chief of the Comanche Na- 
tion, the one we had been vainly looking for during the last 
three months. After the little boy (who was really quite 
handsome, dressed in his buck skin hunting shirt and leg- 
Hfins ornamented with beads) had gathered as many plums 
as he wanted, the blind chief started back to the village, ac- 
companied by our Delaware Indian interpreters. 

Towards evening we were waited upon by a delegation 
from the village, who invited us to visit the place. Of course 
it did not take us long to saddle up, and after a couple of 
hours ride, escorted by fully two hundred Comanche war- 
riors, we came to the village, where we were received with 
much rude but impressive ceremony. We were then con- 
ducted to the tent of the chief, Pa ha-yu-co, who was absent, 
but the honors were done by Mrs. Pa-ha-yu-co No. 1, who 
turned out all the other Mrs. Pa-ha-yu-cos, together with 
their numerous children, from the tent, and placed it at our 
disposal. Our expressions of regret at disturbing the ladies 
were evidently not appreciated because not understood. 

As soon as we were settled in our spacious apartments, 
every apperture in the lodge to admit light and air, was 
darkened by the copper colored visages of the crowds that 
thronged around to get a peep at the "pale faces" — the first 
that the most of them had ever seen. The thermometer 
was ranging probably at about one hundred and ten de- 
grees (it was in August) and fearing suffocation, we sug- 
gested that our own tent should be stretched, which was 
done, and as it was open at both ends we had plenty of air, 
and the crowd could stare at us to their satisfaction. 

As I have stated, Pa-ha-yu-co, the head chief, was absent, 
and we were informed that he was not expected back for a 
week. So we had to be patient, and settled down to our 
surroundings as best we could. We were a never failing 
source of curiosity to the Indians, who thronged our camp 



44 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

day and night. The women would turn back the sleeves of 
our shirts to show the white skin to* their children, for it 
may readily be supposed that those parts of our persons ex- 
posed to the sun were by this time bronzed almost to the 
color of the Indians themselves. 

As the Comanches lived entirely upon meat, we moved 
camp twice during the week we were with them, and the 
system and regularity which marked the striking of the 
tent (all made of buffalo skins) and the precision with 
which each family took up the line of march, the tent poles 
attached to the pommels of their saddles trees, and drag- 
ging behind, whilst the pack mules carried the women and 
children and dogs — and the coming into position in the new 
camp — the magic, as it were, by which at a signal, all the 
tents on all the streets went up in their proper places, would 
not have disgraced the tactics of Scott or Hardee. 

On one occasion I accompanied some of the braves on a 
buffalo hunt, and noticed the skill and dexterity with which 
they sent the quivering arrow into the sides of the ponder- 
ous animals. Their aim was very accurate — rarely failing 
with the first arrow — and they always pursued a wounded 
buffalo until he was dispatched; for their tradition is, "that 
when the buffalo are exterminated the Comanche nation 
will cease to exist also," in which probably there is much 
truth, for when the supply of meat fails them, on the prai- 
rie, the Indian must live by tilling the soil, and the Co- 
manches are so entirely nomadic in their mode of life, it is 
not likely they will ever be able to subsist by agriculture, 
hence, they are economical in the use of their "live stock." 
They follow the immense herds of buffalo north in summer 
and south in winter, as the instinct of the animal teaches it 
to change its pastureage. The women always accompany 
the warriors on their hunts, and as the buffolos are dis- 
patched, they follow on behind to butcher the slaughtered 
animals, cutting the meat up into long strings, which they 
hang up on the bushes to dry in the wind and sun. The 
women also dress the skins, some of which they ornament 
on the inside with figures and devices in paint. Indian 
women perform all the drudgery. They saddle and unsaddle* 
the horses of their lords — do not have much cooking, wash- 
ing or darning to do, but they are always busy dressing 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 45 

buck skins, of which their clothing is made, or in orna- 
menting their robes. Every warrior has more or less cap- 
tives, generally Mexicans, to wait upon him, and his squaws 
also generally have one or more captives (girls or women) 
to aid them in their work. I saw Mexican prisoners in their 
camp of all ages, from sucking babes, to grown men and 
women. They were of the lower or "Peon" class and their 
color was very similar to that of the Indians, to whom they 
were but little, if any, superior as far as civilization was 
concered, yet all I talked to wanted to return home to their 
own people. 

The Comanches owned immense herds of horses, requir- 
ing a strong guard constantly with them, as they graze them 
frequently miles from their camp, and this, with the neces- 
sity of obtaining meat, is the reason why they move camp 
so often. When buffalos are scarce, they sometimes live 
upon horse meat, which I have eaten myself on several oc- 
casions. It is really very good, both dried and fresh, if you 
will only ignore the fact that it is horse meat. Mule meat 
is not so good — too much like the living animal — tough, and 
hard to manage. 

We had now passed a week with the Comanches, and al- 
though the chief had neither smoked nor eaten with us, we 
felt no uneasiness, as we knew that such was their custom 
until peace was made, and, of course, no "treaty" could be 
entered into until the head chief was present to ratify pro- 
ceedings. Besides, we had been so long amongst the wild 
tribes, we had lost any little apprehension we might have 
had when we first started out for the safety our scalps. 

At this time the Comanche Nation was divided into ten 
tribes, each with their own chief and government, and once 
a year delegates from all the tribes met in a general coun- 
cil, when one of the ten chiefs was selected as head chief of 
the nation until the next general assembly. Pa-ha-yu-co 
was the last chosen — hence the necessity of meeting him 
before any thing definite could be done in the way of a 
"treaty." 

On the ninth of August, about sun set, he arrived at camp, 
and occupied the tent adjoining our own. We were soon 
after presented to him, and received with courtesy. The in- 
terview was informal and short, and no clue as to the feel- 



46 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

ings entertained by the chief towards us could be had from 
it, but the impression made was favorable. At sun rise the 
next morning the council met in a large circular tent, made 
of buffalo skins. I suppose there were one hundred war- 
riors in the council. They were seated on the ground in a cir- 
cle, diminishing in circumference as they neared the center 
in which was the old chief. 

After taking a look at them, for we were neither invited nor 
expected at the meeting, we returned to our tent, leaving 
our Delaware interpreters to do our talking, as they had 
been invited, and occupied seats on the ground. 

About ten o'clock a sort of committee waited upon us, in- 
forming us that couriers from the Waco village, some two 
hundred miles distant, where we had staid nearly a month, 
had arrived, saying "that since we had left their village a 
great many of their people had died; that we doubtless had 
given them poison, were bad men, and that the Comancheis 
must kill us," and that the council wished to know what we 
had to say about it. Without being much disturbed by this 
statement, for it was too preposterous for belief, we referred 
them to Acequosh, a Waco chief, who had accompanied us 
from Texas, and eat with us at every meal, even when we 
were in his own village (for our rations were better than 
his), that his wife had been sick and we had cured her, and 
that we were willing to abide by the testimony he might 
give (Memorandum. Now suppose the squaw had died, no 
doubt the harmless dose of rhubarb we had administered to her 
with the humane intention of relieving her sufferings would 
have been regarded as a poison, and as the cause of her 
death, hence, I make a note never to give physic to ignor- 
ant and superstitious people.) I have no idea that any 
courier really had been sent from the Waco village, and be- 
lieve the statement was a mere trick to create feeling 
against us. 

About an hour later a runaway negro from the Choctaw 
Nation who had escaped and found shelter among the Co- 
manches, and who had been with us a great deal while in 
their camp, came into our camp and said: "I don't under- 
stand much Comanche, but I tink dem Injuns out yonder 
talk 'bout killin' you fellers, maybe so dey will skin you 
heads." (Alluding to the scalping operation.) Of course 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 47 

this somewhat startled us, and we sent for our Delaware in- 
terpreters, who were at the council, and when they came we 
told them what the negro had said, but they ridiculed the 
idea; said the negro did not understand Comanche; there was 
nothing wrong; that the Indians were talking about making 
peace, etc. This satisfied us and they returned to the council. 
Half an hour or so afterwards one of our Delaware hunters, 
and one we were much attached to, came into our tent, and in 
that cooi, unexcited, stoical manner that marks the Indian 
character, told us the Comanches were going to kill us. In 
great alarm we again sent for our Delaware interpreters, 
and telling them that we were men and not children, de- 
manded to know the truth. Jim Shaw, the chief, replied 
that they had been desirous to conceal the peril of our situa- 
tion from us as long as possible, but that what we had heard 
was true; that all the chiefs who had a right to speak had 
spoken and that they were unanimous and clamorous for 
our death; that they, the Delaware interpreters, had made 
every appeal possible in our behalf; that Acequosh, the Waco 
chief, had done so likewise; that they had told the council 
they would die with us; if the Comanches killed us they 
must kill them too, for that they had promised the Great 
White Father to take us safely back to Texas; that Texas 
was their home and they could not return without us. They 
added that the head chief had not yet spoken; that they did 
not know how he would go, but even should he be in our 
favor that his influence would not: suffice to save us. We 
disked them when they thought we would be slaughtered, 
..•ut they could give us no information on this, and they re- 
lumed to the council to watch and to give us notice of what 
might be their final determination. 

Soon afterwards our old friend, Acequosh (Old Squash we 
called him for short) came into the tent where we three lone 
white men were sitting awaiting our doom, with the big 
tears rolling down his dear old face, and told us we would 
shortly be on our way to the happy hunting grounds of the 
white man; that he had said all he could in our favor; that 
he had reminded them that his father was once a great chief, 
the head of a nation who were lords of the prairies, but al- 
ways the friends of the Comanches; that they used to listen 
to the counsel of his father, for it was always good, and 



48 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

that they should listen to him even as their fathers had lis- 
tened to his; that he had told them we were messengers of 
peace, bore the white flag which all good Indians held to be 
sacred; that the face of the Great Spirit would be turned 
away from them and his vengeance follow them should they 
kill us; but that it was all in vain, we would have to die; 
that he loved us as his own children and would die with us. 
God bless the poor old Indian, my heart yearns towards him 
even after this lapse of time. 

It is impossible to describe my feelings and those of my 
companions. For a moment I was unmanned, weak with a 
weight on my heart that crushed me. The shock to the 
nervous system, now that excitement was over, and we 
were left alone to realize our situation, paralyzed our senses. 
But with me this did not last long, and I soon rallied, and 
with the reaction came strength and will, which prepared 
me to meet the horrible fate awaiting me. The thought, 
however, was dreadful to die in that lone prairie in the 
bloom of youth, for I was scarcely twenty-two, and so far 
from those I loved. 

Then came the terrible reflection that I would be tortured 
to death, and all the stories I had read of the devilish inge- 
nuity of the savage in inflicting tortures upon his victim 
came fresh to mind, and it was horrible. After some time 
we began to talk to each other, and found that each had 
experienced similar feelings. We then calmly discussed 
our situation; thought of escape — but our horses were miles 
away, grazing on the prairie; and if saddled before us, how 
could we hope to escape from a thousand warriors, when we 
were five hundred miles from the nearest white settlements? 
Flight was simply impossible. What was left to us? To 
die like men of our race; and such was our determination. 
We still had our belt pistols, and we determined to fire one 
into the advancing crowd that should come to take us — the 
other into our own brains. Such was our resolve, and I for 
one would most assuredly have carried it into effect. My 
pulse beat calmly; the bitterness of death was over, and the 
man, strong in the attributes of his nature, was ready. 

The hours passed slowly. From twelve till four o'clock 
not a word was spoken in that council; but still they sat, 
silent and fixed in their determination to execute their help* 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 49 

less visitors, and waiting for the head chief to talk. At last 
he began. His stentorian voice reached our lonely tent, but 
no one came to tell us what he said, and of course we could 
not understand him. Soon other voices were heard, and 
now and then the voices of our Delaware friends. Then all 
was confusion — sounds of many voices together. And you 
may readily imagine how intently we listened to these 
sounds, not as bringing even for one moment a hope of 
escape — that was gone — but every nerve was strung to its 
highest pitch, anticipating the rush and fearful yells that 
would precede our deaths. I turned to Eldridge and said: 
"See the setting sun, old fellow — the last we shall see on 
earth." 

Just then steps were heard rapidly approaching. In an 
instant I was on my feet, a pistol in each hand. Nearer, 
still nearer, they came. Suspense was overpowering. Ace- 
quosh burst into the tent and threw himself into the arms 
of Eldridge. I stood by, feeling sure that the old warrior 
had come to redeem his promise to die with us. He spoke 
to us in his native language, of which we did not understand 
a word. But in a moment I saw that it was joyful, not 
sorrowful, news he had come to tell us. The next instant 
our Delawares came in and told us we were saved! Can I 
ever forget that moment? The news was like- the announce- 
ment of a reprieve to the criminal around whose neck the 
halter has been fixed. The scene that ensued might be por- 
trayed, but no language can describe it. 

Prostrate upon the earth were the red and white men — 
ereatures of a common brotherhood, typified and made evi- 
dent that day in that tent in the wilderness. Not a word 
was spoken — each bowed to the earth; brothers in danger, 
brothers by that holy electric spark which caused each in 
that moment, in his own way, to thank the God of his fathers 
for this great deliverance. Our Delawares told us that the 
head chief had spoken in our favor; his influence had 
brought over those of importance, and at the proper time 
the vote was taken and we were saved. 



50 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



Ibenrp £artbman. 



f\ MONG those who settled in Fayette county at an early 
LA date, was Henry Earthman, the father of the young 
I * man who bears the same name, and whose sad death 
/ we are about to relate. The early traveler well re- 
members the old log house which stood some eight miles 
north of the town of LaGrange, near the public road, lead- 
ing out from that place in a northerly direction to the 
1840 settlements on the Brazos, and now the direct road 
from the town of Lagrange to Ledbetter. We say he 
well remembers this old structure, for the reason that it was 
well known in those times, that it was here that the weary 
traveler could find food and shelter for the night for him- 
self and horse, and enjoy in good old country style the hos- 
pitality of a generous pioneer. It was under this hospit- 
able roof that Henry Earthman— the father of the subject of 
this sketch — lived. The family consisted of husband and 
wife and several children. It was, we think, during the 
spring or summer of 1840, that Henry and his brother, Field 
Earthman, went out on the range horse hunting. It seems 
that some, if not all of the horses, were hoppled, but had 
strayed several miles from home, and being seen by some of 
the neighbors, they notified the Earthman boys where they 
would likely find them. Among the horses which had 
strayed off, there was an old gray mare with a bell on. 

The animal being hoppled, made it an easy matter for the 
Indians to catch her. When Henry and Fields had gotten 
some six or eight miles from home on Long Prairie, and in 
the neighborhood of where Ashen's store now stands, they 
heard the rattling of the old gray mare's bell, and looking 
across the prairie in the direction from whence the sound 
came, they discovered "old gray" lying down in the tall sedge 
grass, as they supposed, to take a rest. One of the boys re- 
marked: "Yonder is old gray," and immediately turned 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 51 

their course in that direction. When they had approached 
within a few yards of the animal, imagine their surprise 
when up sprang a lot of Indians with bows and arrows, 
which they wielded with telling effect. Henry was killed, 
whereupon Fields wheeled his horse and ran for life. Wo 
one understands the habits and customs of frontier people 
better than the wily red man. They had discovered that 
the horses were hoppled, and that they had strayed off from 
home; and knowing full well that when the owners should 
ascertain this fact, they would soon be out to hunt them, 
they conceived the idea of killing the old mare, taking off 
the bell, and when they discovered the owners hunting them 
on the prairie, they would rattle the bell to attract their at- 
tention. The plan worked well, for the Indians, who, after 
killing the animal, concealed themselves near by in the tall 
sedge grass and patiently awaited the approach of the "pale 
faces." Poor Henry, as we have stated, fell a victim to 
their well laid trap, but Fields made good his escape. Par- 
ties went out in pursuit upon being notified by the brother 
who made his escape, but the Indians by this time had got- 
ten too much the start to be overtaken. Many of the Earth- 
man family still reside in Fayette county, honored and re- 
spected citizens. Isaac Earthman now resides in the little 
town of Winchester, Fayette county; William, at Hooker- 
ville, and Mrs. Gus Kennedy, sister of Isaac, William, Hen- 
ry and Fields Earthman, resides in Rabbs Pinery, Fayette 
county. 



Colonel Snivel^ lEypebition 



IN the spring of 1843, Colonel Jacob Snively obtained per- 
mission from the government to raise a force for the 
purpose of intercepting Armijo, the Governor of New 
Mexico, who was on his way from Independence, Mis- 
souri, to Santa Fe, with a large train loaded with valuable 



52 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

merchandise. This Armijo was the same villain who had 
captured the " Santa Fe expedition " in 184-1, and who 
1843 had treated with such inhuman barbarity the Texan 
prisoners taken on that occasion. The object of the 
expedition was to seize him and his train by way of retalia- 
tion, for the cruelties and indignities he had heaped upon 
the Texans when he had them in his power. 

Colonel Snively left Austin with fifty-six men, and pro- 
ceeded to Georgetown on Red River, where his force was 
increased to one hundred and eighty-five. From there he 
marched to where the road leading from Independence, 
Missouri, to Santa Fe crosses the Red river, and from 
thence to the crossing of the Arkansas river, where he 
halted and sent out scouts to keep him advised of Armijo's 
approach. 

While at this place Colonel Snively obtained information 
to the effect that a large Mexican force was above, intended 
as an escort for Armijo, after the caravan should cross the 
river. Snively at once sent out scouts to ascertain the local- 
ity and strength of this force. His scouts found the en- 
campment of the Mexicans, and on their return reported 
their number to be between five and six hundred. Some 
time afterwards a part of Snively's command encountered a 
detachment from this force, killing seventeen or eighteen, 
and capturing seventy or eighty prisoners, besides a num- 
ber of horses, saddles, arms, etc. 

As time passed on and nothing was heard from the scouts 
sent out by Colonel Snively to notify him of Armijo's ap- 
proach, the men became discontented, and when they finally 
came and reported they had made no discovery, about 
seventy of Colonel Snively's men, under command of Cap- 
tain Eli Chandler, left for home. Colonel Snively then lib 
erated all the Mexican prisoners he had taken at the" fight 
before mentioned, and furnished their wounded with horses. 
He then moved his camp some distance above, on the river, 
where he determined to await the arrival of Armijo's cara- 
van and capture it, if possible, after it should cross the river 
into Texas. About the thirtieth of June, the scouts he had 
sent out to notify him of its approach, came into camp and 
reported that Armijo's train was near at hand, escorted by 
about two hundred United States dragoons with two pieces 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 53 

of artillery, under the command of Captain Philip St. 
George Cook'e. The same day Captain Cooke and his com- 
mand crossed the river (although he had been instructed by 
the United States government to escort Armijo to the Arkan- 
sas river and no further) and planted his artillery in such a po- 
sition as to sweep the camp occupied by Colonel Snively and 
his men. He demanded their unconditional surrender in spite 
of Colonel Snively's protestation that they were upon Texas 
soil, and as he was anxious to avoid any conflict with United 
States troops, even if there had been any chance of defend- 
ing himself, he complied with the demand. Captain Cooke 
then ordered them to deliver up their arms, but graciously 
allowed them to retain ten or fifteen guns for their defense 
in a country filled with hostile Indians and several hundred 
miles from home. Fortunately, however, before the arms 
were given up, some of Snively's men were smart enough to 
conceal their rifles and turn in a number of old scopels and 
muskets in place of them, taken from the Mexicans in the 
fight heretofore mentioned. After this gallant achievemen fc 
Captain Cooke recrossed the river and encamped. Subse- 
quently, however, no doubt realizing the fact, that he had 
acted in a manner that was not only harsh but unwarranted 
by the orders of his government, he sent a me -sage to 
Colonel Snively to the effect that he would escort his men to 
Independence, Missouri, should they desire to go there. 
About forty of Colonel Snively's men accepted this gracious 
invitation and left. A courier was immediately dispatched 
by Snively to Captain Chandler, requesting him to wait for 
them. He did so, and a day or so afterwards the two par- 
ties were reunited. At that point they encamped and sent 
out scouts to watch the movements of Armijo's caravan. 
Three or four days afterwards these scouts returned to camp 
and stated that the caravan had crossed the river. Some of 
the men were in favor of pursuing the caravan, while others 
thought it best to abandon the enterprise altogether and re- 
turn home. Colonel Snively and about sixty-five others de- 
termined to continue the pursuit. They followed the cara- 
van for some days, but when they came up with it they 
found the escort was too strong to be attacked with any 
hopes of success by their small force, badly armed as it was, 
and they turned their course homeward. On their way 



54 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

home Colonel Snively and his men encamped on a little 
stream called Owl creek. He had sixty-three men with him, 
but only about one-half of them were armed, and while en- 
camped at this place he was attacked by one or two hundred 
Comanches, who stampeded fifty-one head of his horses and 
killed two men. The determined resistance of the Texans, 
however, soon forced the Indians to fall back. Thirty men, 
or all that had arms, mounted and followed them. After a 
chase of several miles the Texans overtook the Indians and 
a furious contest ensued, which lasted until night put an 
end to it. The Texans were then compelled to return to 
camp, with the loss of several horses killed and several men 
wounded. The loss of the Indians were some ten or fifteen 
killed and several wounded. This unlucky affair put an end 
to all hopes of capturing Armijo. Had it not been for the 
unwarranted interference of Captain Cooke there is no doubt 
that Armijo would have been captured and dealt with as he 
deserved. 



Colonel Snivels'* f igbt at Hntelope (Lveen. 



jf\ FTER the fight on Owl creek, Colonel Snively and party 
LJ started on back, homeward bound. As previously 
f * stated, he only had sixty-three men in his company, 
/ but only about half of them were armed. After trav- 
eling eight or ten days, they halted on Antelope creek, a 
small tributary of the Canadian river, for the purpose of 
grazing and resting their animals. When they were 
1843 to move oq again, Colonel Snively ordered his guide, 
Mr. James 0. Rice, who was an experienced frontiers- 
man, to ride on ahead and keep a sharp lookout for Indians. 
Rice was mounted on a little mule about three and a half 
feet high He had gone but a few hundred yards when he 
came to a deep, boggy ravine. He had a long staking rope 
tied to the mule's neck. He dismounted, and holding the 
end of the rope in his hand he drove the animal across, and 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 55 

then began to look for a place where he could cross himself. 
"While thus occupied he discovered five Indians coming down 
the path he had just traveled. They did not observe Rice, 
and four of them crossed over on a log below him, and the 
fifth, in attempting to cross at another place bogged down 
and was unable, at least for a time, to extricate himself. 
As soon as the four Indians who crossed over on the log 
discovered the mule, they ran forward and caught hold of 
the rope, while Rice was holding on to the other end of it. 
Both parties struggled to get possession of the mule, and no 
doubt the superior numbers of the Indians would have pre- 
vailed if the mule, with the perversity of its kind, had not 
sided with the weaker party. With a sudden plunge it 
broke loose from the Indians and started back towards Rice. 
The moment the mule broke away from them, the Indians 
began to let drive their arrows at Rice as thick as hail, and 
at the same instant he heard a volley of firearms in the 
direction of camp, and he knew that an attack had been 
made upon the company. With Indians behind and Indians 
shooting at him in front, Rice was compelled to let go his 
mule, which he did, and fly to a small dogwood thicket 
about a hundred yards distant. This he succeeded in reach- 
ing unhurt, although the arrows were whizzing past his 
head every step he took. 

By this time the four Indians had recrossed the ravine, 
and they watched the thicket for more than an hour, ex- 
pecting to catch Rice as he came out, but knowing he was 
armed, they were afraid to enter it. All this while a furi- 
ous battle was going on at camp between three or four hun- 
dred Comanches, and the little band of Texans under the 
command of Colonel Snively, but the Indians finding they 
could not drive them from their position, at length with- 
drew, for a time. 

When the firing ceased, Rice crept cautiously from the 
thicket, and seeing no Indians, he started towards camp. 
On his way he discovered an Indian boy sitting on his pony, 
and evidently acting the part of a spy. Rice concluded he 
would stop long enough to put an end to the existence of this 
young warrior. He raised his gun to his shoulder — one of 
the old flintlock style, took deliberate aim — and didn't fire. 
The young Indian hearing the gun snap, looked around and 



56 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

discovered Rice. He immediately put whip to his animal 
and went off at a speed that was quite astonishing, consid- 
ering the broken character of the ground. Captain Rice 
then proceeded to camp, where he was met by his comrades 
with shouts of welcome, for his mule had returned riderless, 
and they supposed he had been killed. A little while after- 
wards, the Indians renewed their attack on the camp with 
greater fury than ever, but finally they were so much 
worsted that they ceased firing, and their chief advanced 
alone in front of their lines, and called out "popatino," 
meaning Americans. Colonel Snively answered him in 
Spanish, and asked him what he wanted. The chief re- 
plied they wanted to quit fighting, make friends, and have 
a big smoke. To this Colonel Snively agreed, and proposed 
that four from each side should meet half way between 
their positions for the purpose of having the desired "talk." 
The proposition was accepted, and Colonel Snively and 
three others went out and had a "confab" with the like num- 
ber of Indians. They professed a wish to cease Ifighting 
and be good friends, and Colonel Snively told them that he 
was perfectly willing to be friends, and would only fight in 
self defense. They all then had a "big smoke" together, 
and separated. But the Texans had not much more than 
reached their camp, when the treacherous Indians made a 
sudden charge upon them, hoping, no doubt, that their pro- 
fessions of friendship had thrown them off their guard. 
But the Texans stood firm, and made every shot count one 
more of the enemy slain. The Indians were again repulsed 
with heavy loss and withdrew, carrying their dead and 
wounded with them. The cry of "popatino" was again 
heard, and answered by Colonel Snively. Another parley 
ensued, after which another treacherous onset was made 
upon the Texans, but was once more gallantly~~repulsed. 
The Indians then went off out of sight, and did not make 
their appearance again until sunset, when the Indian chief 
bailed the Texans, and said: "We all now go to sleep — you 
go to sleep, and in the morning we get up — all have big 
smoke and all go home." 

To this Colonel Snively agreed. After a little while the 
chief called out, "All your men asleep?" "No, answered 




THE MULE SIDED WITH HIS MASTER. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 57 

Colonel Snively, *'but they soon will be." "My men all 
asleep," replied the chief. 

Colonel Snively knowing well that the object of the In- 
dians was to delay him until they could receive reinforce- 
ments, for which, no doubt, they had despatched couriers, 
determined to leave the dangerous locality as soon as possi- 
ble. He therefore ordered his men to mount their horses 
and march off as quietly as they could. But at the crossing 
of the creek the ground was very rocky, and the Ind ans 
heard the rattling of the horses hoofs as they passed over. 

The Indians knew at once that Colonel Snively and his 
men were retreating, and they made a final charge on them; 
but by the time they came up, the Texans had taken a 
strong position, and drove them back out of gun shot. 

When all became quiet once more, Colonel Snively or- 
dered his faithful guide, Captain Rice, to pass over the creek 
alone at the best crossing he could find, and that each mm 
should follow him one at a time, until all were over. The 
strictest silence was enjoined while the movement was go- 
ing on. Colonel Snively stood sentinel himself whilst his 
men were crossing the creek. As soon as they had gained 
the opposite side of Antelope creek, where the ground was 
smooth and free from stone, Colonel Snively ordered the 
men to follow Captain Rice at double quick time. When 
they had gone, perhaps, a mile, they heard the chief calling 
out to them again, but this time there was no answering 
voice, and the Indians then discovered that they had been 
out generaled — that the birds had flown. 

When they realized the fact that their coveted prey had 
escaped, they made the night hideous with their terrific 
yells, and scattered around in every direction trying to find 
the route the fugitives had taken. 

Captain Rice led the men into a deep, narrow canon, hav- 
ing a smooth surface well coated with ■ grass, over which 
they could pass swiftly without making any noise. When the 
Texans reached the head of this canon, about two miles 
from where they started, they could hear the Indians thun- 
dering down the valley of the creek, in hot pursuit of them 
—but all to no purpose. Colonel Snively and his men 
traveled all night, and at day light they reached a place 
called Cotton Wood Island, where they halted in a strong 



5$ INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

position. But the Indians did not follow them — at least 
they saw nothing more of them. 

The loss of the Indians in the many charges they made 
upon the Texans in the fight, must have been very great, 
for although the Texans had but one gun for every two men, 
they were far superior to the bows and arrows of the 
Indians. 

The Texans' loss, owing to the" strength of the position 
they held, was exceedingly small — only a few being 
wounded and none seriously. 



ftbe San flDarcos f igbt of Wbc Burleaona, 



THE traveler who passes San Marcos will see north of 
the road, perched on the high bluff which overlooks the 
San Marcos head spring a rude log house, built by 
General Burleson when he was at that place, the 
outside settler. Hither came, from time to time, Pla- 
cido, the Tonkawa chief, and his son, who were the friends 
of Burleson. Placido was a lithe, active Indian, every 
1848 inch a warrior, who boasted that he had never shed 
the blood of a white man. When Placido made with 
his squaws his annual visit, General Burleson, who valued 
his services to Austin's early settlers, always made him 
presents of ammunition and sometimes of ponies. During 
one of his visits in 1848 Placido and his son were sitting 
down in Burleson's family room at his San Marcosjspring 
house, conversing, with General Burleson and his son Ed, 
who was about the age of the younger Indian. About nine 
o'clock at night what seemed to be the hooting of an owl was 
heard. Placido, whose quick ear detected the cheat, rose 
instantly and covered up the blazing fire with ashes, at the 
same time whispering the word "Comanche." As soon as all 
had been made dark he crawled upon the floor to the door 
and disappeared in the darkness. Quickly returning he 
whispered to Burleson: " Scurry stole, Comanche steal 'em." 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 59 

Scurry was the name of a splendid horse presented to Gen- 
eral Burleson by his friend, General Dick Scurry, a horse 
ridden by Scurry at the battle of Monterey. Fortunately, 
in a small stockade adjoining the house, were the horses of 
Placido and two other horses belonging to the General. 
Though it was quite dark these were quickly saddled and 
the Burlesons, with young Placido. followed the old Indian 
chief noiseies-ly around the mountain. Those who have 
been on that mountain will remember the level space 
near its summit, which belted it for more than a mile, 
varying from twenty to sixty feet wide, on which no bushes 
grew, while on each side was the dense cedar brake, through 
which no horseman could ride at night. Placido led the way 
in this open space, for he knew every foot of the mountain 
and the openings that led to the head of the Blanco as well 
as the Comanches. In about half an hour the moon rose 
and Placido quickened the pursuit, sometimes through 
dense brush, where the rider could not see an arm's length 
before him and then suddenly emerging in an open glade. 
The pursuit was continued without a word being spoken 
until after day break. The Comanches never dreaming that 
pursuers were on their trail had gone leisurely along until 
just before sun up, when they were crossing an open prairie, 
the pursuers were discovered close behind them. Then be- 
gan the race for life. There were three Indians, one rode 
Scurry and the others were mounted on ponies. Burleson's 
heavy weight, for he had then become corpulent, gave Pla- 
cido and the two boys an advantage in the race, for he fell 
behind. The rider of Scurry could have escaped, but he re- 
mained in the chase close by his companions, though in the 
lead. As Placido and the two young men approached near 
the Comanches General Burleson shouted, " big beef for 
Scurry, Placido, big beef for Scurry." Placido was slightly 
wounded by an arrow from one of the rear Indians, both of 
whom were quickly slain, when the rider of Scurry stood at 
bay and was killed by a lance thrust by the Tonka wa chief, 
when the horse was taken back unhurt. The combatants 
were few, but seldom was ever a race ridden on Texas soil 
with more desperate resolve or more tragic end. 



60 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 



Captain fork's fiobt 



ON the eighth of October, 1848, a party of Indians came 
down the Cibolo river and entered Gonzales county. 
On their way down the Cibolo they came across and 

murdered the little son of the Reverend John S. Mc- 
Gehee, a Methodist minister. Near the settlements on the 
Sandies in the w r estern part of the county they encountered 

Doctor George Barnett, who was out deer hunting, 
1848 and finally succeeded in killing him, though it was 

evident he had made a determined resistance. It ap- 
pears he had only been wounded at first, and afterwards 
that he had taken his position in some thick brush, from 
which the Indians were unable to dislodge him, and there 
subsequently died from the effects of the wound he had re- 
ceived. It was evident the Indians had retreated before he 
died, as otherwise they would have scalped him and taken 
his gun. He had apparently been dead about two days 
when his body was found. About this time another party 
of Indians, probably belonging to the same band, crossed 
the San Antonio river and struck the Cibolo lower down the 
country. On their route they had killed Mr. Lockhart and 
a young man by the name of Yivian near where the road 
from San Antonio to Goliad crosses the Ecleto creek. Sub- 
sequently this upper and lower band formed a junction, and 
the entire force then amounted to about forty warriors. 

To pursue and chastise this band of raiders and mur- 
derers, a company was raised in DeWitt county, consisting 
mainly of inexperienced young men and boys, and pTaced 
under the command of Captain John York, an old soldier 
who had distinguished himself at the storming of San An- 
tonio in 1835. Some thirty miles above Goliad Captain 
York struck the Indian trail going in a southerly course to- 
wards the mouth of the Escondido creek, one of the tribu- 
taries of the San Antonio river. This trail they followed 
as rapidly as possible, and after a forced march of about 
twenty hours, their intrepid spy, Captain Tumlinson, who 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 61 

had bbtti* «ent ahead to reconnoiter, returned and reporter, 
that the Indians were encamped on the Escondido creek. 

Hoping to take them by surprise, Captain York and his 
men pushed ahead, but the Indians discovered their ap- 
proach in time to take a strong position in some thick brush 
from whence they opened fire upon Captain Tumlinson, 
who, with a few men, was in advance of the others. They 
returned the fire, but Captain Tumlinson called out to Cap- 
tain York, telling him it was impossible to hold his position 
against the Indians, protected, as they were, by the thick 
brush in which they were concealed. Captain York then 
ordered him to fall back to a mott of timber about sixty 
yards from where the Indians had taken position. This was 
done, but the retrograde movement, together with the dia- 
bolical yells of the Indians, caused a panic among the inex- 
perienced young men, who had never before been under 
fire, and it was with difficulty that a portion of them were 
rallied at the mott. A fight at "long taw" then ensued, 
lasting about an hour, during which three brave Texans 
lost their lives — Captain York, James Bell, his son-in-law, 
and a man by the name of Sykes. The latter was killed in 
open ground whilst advancing upon the thicket where the 
Indians were concealed, and two of them rushed out for the 
purpose of scalping him, but both were immediatly shot 
down. Finally, however, it seems that both parties got 
tired of fighting about the same time, the Indians leaving 
their position in the thicket and going up the creek, whilst 
the Texans moved a short distance below. 



3* 3fl0£t>- 



SOME time in the year 1835, Mr. Floyd in company with 
two others were traversing a section of country be- 
tween the Trinity and Sabine rivers. 
On their way they discovered a small party of In- 
dians some distance in their rear, who were evidently fol- 



62 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

lowing them, The Indians very gradually approached 
them, no doubt to induce Floyd and his companions 
1835 ^° believe they were not in pursuit of them until they 
were in a short distance, when on looking both to 
their right and left they discovered they were flanked by 
other parties of Indians they had not previonsly noticed. 

As soon as they made this discovery Floyd and his com- 
panions put spurs to their horses and went off at full speed. 
Before them there was a long level prairie, on which, about 
three miles distant, was the house to which they were going. 
The Indians who were flanking them endeavored to get 
ahead of them to prevent them from reaching the house. 
Floyd alone was riding a good horse. His two companions 
were mounted on very inferior animals, which, when within 
at mile of the house, began to fail rapidly. 

Floyd, seeing there was no chance for them to escape, re- 
luctantly left his two companions and urged his horse as 
tfast as possible towards the house. At the foot of the hill 
on which the house was situated there was a deep ravine, 
and when he came to it he drove the spurs into his horse, 
J japed it and gained the opposite bank in safety — a feat, he 
said, he could not possibly have performed if a troop of yell- 
ing savages had not been following closely at his heels. 

After he had crossed the ravine the Indians fired at him a 
n amber of times but without effect and Floyd made his way 
safely to the house. There was no person in the house but 
a woman and he asked her if she had any bullets. "No," 
said she, "but I can soon run some," and she did. Floyd 
said he never saw bullets moulded as fast in his life as they 
were by this woman when she heard the Indians shooting 
and yelling outside. 

One of Floyd's companions reached the ravine a little 
ahead of the Indians, and knowing it would be impossible f or 
his wearied animal to leap it, he quickly dismounted and 
made his way across on foot. As he rose to the opposite bank 
the Indians fired a volley at him but fortunately none of their 
shots took effect and he also made his way safely to the 
house. But the other poor fellow's horse failed completely 
bnfore he reached the ravine. He was overtaken, sur- 
rounded and shot and speared to death. The Indians did 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 63 

not venture to cross the ravine, as they knew it would bring 
them within rifle range of the house. 
\ Whilst Floyd and his companion were watching their 
maneuvers around the man they had killed, they were 
startled by cries for help from some one in the distance, and 
looking in the direction of the sounds, they discovered a 
white man coming at full speed on horseback, closely fol- 
lowed by half a dozen Indians. Seeing the perilous condi- 
tion of this man, they quickly remounted their wearied 
horses and started out as fast as the poor animals could go 
to his assistance. As soon as the Indians saw the two me i 
coming from the house, armed with guns, they came to i 
halt, and the man they were pursuing reached the ravhi 9 
dismounted and gained the opposite bank in safety. ] fc 
seems he was riding the range in search of stock when th 3 
Indians discovered him, and he also had turned his coursB 
towards the house; but the Indians no doubt would hav-) 
overtaken and killed him if Floyd and his companion ha I 
not come to his assistance. 

The three men returned to the house to prepare for its de- 
fense, supposing the Indians were in such force that they 
would make an attack on it; but they did not venture to do 
so, and finally went off with the three horses they had cap» 
tured and the scalp of the poor fellow they had killed. 



Captain 3obn ©♦ Sutton, 



/"^APTAIN SUTTON was a native of the State of New 
1 York. About 1836, whilst yet but a youth, he came to 
^Texas, and from that time until his death, at the battle 
▼ of Yal Verde, in New Mexico, he was almost contin- 
uously in the service of the State. During what is known 
as the Cherokee war he commanded a company, and was 

present at the last decisive battle with the Cherokees, 
1836 in which the head chief, Bowles, and many of his men 

were slain, and the survivors driven beyond the limits 
of the Republic. 



64 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Captain Sutton subsequently settled at the city of Austba, 
which was his home for a number of years. In every ex- 
pedition that was organized at Austin to protect the fron- 
tier against Indians and Mexicans he was always among 
the first to proffer his services. 

When it was determined by the authorities to send a force 
to take possession of New Mexico, Sutton obtained a com- 
mission as captain and raised a company for the expedition. 
On their way to Santa Fe the Texans were surrounded by a 
large body of Mexican cavalry, and finally surrendered. 
Previous to the surrender, the Texan officers held a consul- 
tation, in which the majority, believing it impossible to 
contend successfully against such odds, were in favor of 
capitulating. Sutton was strenuously opposed to surrender- 
ing upon any terms, but his advice was overruled. Tho 
Texans were taken prisoners, marched to Santa Fe, and from 
thence to the City of Mexico. Many died on the way from 
hardships and exposure and want of sufficient food and 
clothing. Several were brutally bayoneted by their guard, 
merely because they were unable from physical weakness 
to keep up with their more robust companions. 

On their arrival at the City of Mexico, the prisoners were 
set to work on the public buildings and fortifications. Whilst 
at work, one day, Sutton said or did something that dis- 
pleased the sergeant of the guard, who struck him a severe 
blow with the flat of his sabre. He instantly grasped the 
sword, wrenched it from the sergeant's hand and broke it 
across his knee. This act of insubordination infuriated the 
sergeant, and he commanded his guard to bayonet Sutton 
on the spot; and no doubt this would have been clone if, 
fortunately for Sutton, an officer who had witnessed the 
whole affair had not just then come up and ordered the 
guard to desist. He reprimanded the sergeant for hisfbrutal 
conduct, and told Sutton to go to his quarters. From that 
time and until the prisoners were liberated and sent back to 
the United States, Sutton was never compelled to perform 
any manual labor. 

He returned to Texas, and when the war between Mexico 
and the United States broke out he enlisted in Colonel Jack 
Hays's regiment of mounted volunteers, with which he 
served until it was disbanded after the battle of Monterey. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 65 

Shortly after he came back to Texas, a call was made for 
volunteers to go to the assistance of General Taylor, known 
as the "Curtis call," under which Governor P. H. Bell raised 
a mounted regiment of Texans. Sutton joined this regi- 
ment, and was elected captain of one of the companies. 
The regiment marched to the Rio Grande, but on their ar- 
rival there General Taylor ordered Governor BeU to station 
it along the frontier to protect the settlers against Indians 
and Mexicans. That this was effectually done, it is only 
necessary to say that until Governor Bell's regiment of ran- 
gers was disbanded (and for months afterward) not one 
scalp was taken within the limits of Texas. 

When the civil war began, Captain Sutton, although a 
Northern man, promptly took sides with his adopted State. 
I do not know in what capacity he entered the service, but 
when he was killed at the battle of Val Verde, in New Mex- 
ico, he was the lieutenant colonel of his regiment. In that 
battle his leg was shattered b} T a grape shot. The surgeon 
who attended him told him his life could not be saved un- 
less the wounded limb was amputated. But Sutton would 
not permit him to perform the operation, saying, "he did 
not intend to hobble round the balance of his days on one 
leg, and that when his leg went that he would go with it." 

Many a chivalrous son of Texas has given his life in her 
defense, but none more brave or more true and loyal to his 
country ever died on the battlefield than Captain John S. 
Sutton. 

The last Legislature (1887) gave his name to one of the 
newly created counties. 



Colonel lb. X. minne^ 



f\ MONG the many marked and original characters who 

^Ji have figured in Texas none perhaps deserve a more 

| A conspicuous place than Colonel Kinney. He was a 

/ a Northern man, but we do not know the particular 

State of his nativity. He emigrated to Texas about the 



66 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

close of the war with Mexico when quite a young man, and 

in 1838 he settled on the Corpus Christi bay, at the 

1838 place where the thriving city of Corpus Christi now 

stands. He established a trading house there, which 

was long known to Texans as Kinney's Ranch. 

As he was a man of indomitable energy and enterprise 
he accumulated means enough in a few years to enable him 
to control most of the trade from Mexico and from all the 
towns of any importance along the Rio Grande. 

In a country where horsemanship was almost a universal 
accomplishment Colonel Kinney was noted for his equestrian 
performances. He always kept on hand for his own use a 
number of the best blooded horses that c< uld be had in 
Texas, and in his frequent journeys over the State, it was 
well known that it was no unusual thing with him to ride 
one hundred miles without dismounting in less than twenty- 
four hours. 

In 1844 a great riding match came off at San Antonio be- 
tween Colonel Hays's Texas Rangers, fifty Comanche war- 
riors and some Mexican rancheros. The performance took 
place on what was then a smooth open prairie just west of 
San Pedro creek, and all the officers of the garrison with 
their families and all the citizens of San Antonio assembled 
at the appointed time to witness it. 

I liad seen what I thought to be many astonishing eques- 
trian performances in the ring but none of them could com- 
pare with those I witnessed that day on the prairie near 
San Antonio. The Comanches were famous riders and so 
were the Mexican rancheros, and some of Hays't rangers 
were fully equal if not superior to them. Judges were ap- 
pointed to determine upon the merits of the performances 
and quite a number of valuable prizes were distributed on 
the occasion. The first prize for horsemanship was awarded 
to John McMullen, one of Hays's Texas rangers, and the 
second to Colonel H. L. Kinney, who was a competitor. 
The third, I think, was awarded to a Comanche Indian. 

For several years Kinney's Ranch, on Corpus Christi bay, 
was the extreme frontier settlement on the southwest, and 
as it was exposed to frequent raids by the Indians, Colonel 
Kinney and his employes had many contests with them. 
He was one of those cool and fearless men who are espe- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 6f 

cially fitted by nature for a life of wild adventure, and his 
many exploits among the Indians would afford material for 
a most interesting narrative. We will give one instance as 
a fair sample of others. 

The Comanche Indians are (or perhaps I should say were) 
one of the most warlike tribes on the American continent, 
and were greatly dreaded by Americans, Mexicans and 
other Indians. Seventeen of these warlike savages, under 
one of their chiefs, on one occasion attacked some houses 
near Colonel Kinney's ranch, and after killing or driving off 
the inmates, they hastily retreated. 

Colonel Kinney, in company with eleven others, mounted 
upon their fleetest horses and gave immediate pursuit. 
After going a few miles they overtook the Indians on an 
open prairie. Both parties dismounted, and began the fight 
at a distance less than fifty yards. Each individual on both 
sides singled out his particular antagonist and did his best 
to destroy him. After the fight had continued for some 
time in this way, Santa Anna, the Indian chief, suddenly 
dashed to the front, and holding his shield of buffalo hide 
before him, he ran along the line of his opponents. The 
whites all fired at him, bat their balls only rattled harmlessly 
on his tough rawhide shield. 

The object of this bold maneuver was soon apparent. 
The chief having drawn the fire of his antagonists, the In- 
dians rushed upon the whites before they had time to reload 
their guns. Colonel Kinney alone succeeded in mounting 
his horse before the Indians, with spears and tomahawks in 
their hands, were upon them. One of the whites was in- 
stantly killed, and another was speared and shot in several 
places with arrows. A young Mexican, a clerk of Colonel 
Kinney's, was speared and had his horse killed under him, 
which he had finally succeeded in mounting. The Colonel 
dragged the young Mexican up behind him on his own 
horse. Just at that juncture an Indian stuck his spear with 
such force into the Mexican's body that the blade went en- 
tirely through it and wounded Colonel Kinney in the back, 
and at the same moment a second Indian aimed a blow at 
the Colonel which missed him, but went through both sleeves 
of his buckskin hunting shirt. Whilst he was endeavoring 
to extricate himself from the spear, a third Indian rushed 



68 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 

upon them and drove his spear through the bowels of the 
unfortunate Mexican youth behind him, who relaxed his 
hold and fell dead from the horse — but not unavenged, for 
Colonel Kinney instantly turned upon his assailant, drew a 
pistol from his holster and shot him dead on the spot. 

All this while similar contests were going on between 
other Indians and Colonel Kinney's men, but at length find- 
ing that this hand to hand conflict was a losing game to 
them, the Indians sullenly withdrew from the field, leaving 
seven of their warriors dead on the ground, and there is but 
little doubt that the remaining ten were all more or less 
severely wounded. Of the eleven white men engaged in 
this fight, three were killed and all the rest wounded. 

Certainly taking into consideration the small number of 
both parties, this was one of the hardest and most obsti- 
nately contested fights that ever took place between the 
whites and Indians on the Texas frontiers. 

The great error of Colonel Kinney and his men was in 
shooting simultaneously at the chief, Santa Anna, protected 
as he was by his tough rawhide shield, which was impene- 
trable by the round balls in use at that da}'. Many Texans 
have lost their lives by imprudently wasting their shots on 
such shields. But since the introduction of improved fire 
arms and the conical ball, the Indians generally have laid 
them aside as useless incumbrances. 

When the war broke out between the United States and 
Mexico, Corpus Christi became a rendezvous for troops and 
a depot of supplies. Whilst that State of affairs existed 
there, Colonel Kinney's energy and enterprise enabled him 
to take advantage of it, and he reaped a rich harvest. 
When the troops moved onward into Mexico, he accom- 
pained them, and accumulated a large fortune, through 
favorable contracts for supplying them with beef ^cattle, 
forage, etc. 

After the war ended, he added greatly to it by buying up 
at nominal prices, Government teams, wagons, and other 
public property sold at auction where there were but few 
if any other bidders, which he afterwards disposed of in 
Texas at a handsome profit. 

I can not vouch for its truth, but at the close of the war 
with Mexico, it was generally supposed that Colonel Kin- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 69 

ney was one of the wealthiest men in Texas; and certainly 
he lived in a style that would lead one to suppose he thought 
so himself. He seemed to think that his " strong box" 
was like the widow's cruse, and that it would replenish 
itself automatically whenever it was emptied. He built a 
fine residence at Corpus Christi where he kept open house 
for his friends and all comers, and a retinue of retainers 
about him who were generally paid high salaries for doing 
nothing. 

Some time after the close of the war he married a 
daughter of Judge James Webb, one of the most able law- 
yers who ever practiced at the bar in Texas, and subse- 
quently he represented his section for several terms in the 
State Legislature, with credit to himself. The advance- 
ment of Corpus Christi was an especial hobby with the 
Colonel, and he expended money without stint in building 
tanks, wharves and warehouses, and otherwise improving 
the place. Among other improvements he had an artesian 
well bored to the depth of several hundred feet within the 
city, from which I believe there is yet flowing a stream of 
beautiful water, clear as crystal. 

An old friend of mine — an acquaintance of Colonel Kin- 
ney — in furnishing me with a sketch of the life and charac- 
ter of the latter, gives quite an interesting and ludicrous 
description of his first experience with this artesian water, 
and at the risk of offending some of the good people who 
now reside in Corpus Christi, I will conclude this narative in 
the language of my friend. He says: "But unfortunately this 
water is a veritable whited sepulchre, beautiful to the sight, 
but salts and senna to the taste." Some of the citizens of Cor- 
pus Christi, however, assert that this water is a cure for all 
the ills that flesh is heir to, and I believe them, for certainly 
a few draughts of it would either cure or kill, and in either 
event disease would be eradicated effectually; and here, 
though somewhat out of place, I will venture to relate a 
little incident descriptive of my first introduction to this 
artesian well. 

One very hot day many years ago I reached Corpus Christi 
tired and thirsty after a hard day's travel on horseback, 
and espying a clear sparkling stream of water pouring from 
*ih.e well I rode up to the door of a neighboring house in 



70 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

which a man was standing and asked him if he would loan 
me a cup to get a drink. He replied, ''certainly," and when 
he handed me the cup I thought I saw a quizzical smile on 
his face, but at the time I did not suspect the cause of it. 
I rode up to the well, dismounted, placed the cup beneath 
the stream of clear, crystal water, and when it was full I 
hastily gulped down the whole contents, for I was very hot 
and thirsty. My first impression was that I had been 
struck by lightning, but as there was no cloud in sight I 
concluded I had been merely poisoned by an infernal mix- 
ture brewed in the depths of the earth by some malicious 
gnome. I was clawing wildly and frantically at my neck 
and going through various other undignified motions in my 
agony, when I happened to cast my eyes towards the door 
in which the man who had loaned me the cup had been 
standing. He was still there, but leaning doubled up 
against the door sill apparently in the last stages of uncon- 
trolable laughter. He had evidently been watching my 
proceedings the whole time in expectation of the denoue- 
ment. I quickly remounted my horse, returned him the 
cup I had borrowed, and then with tears in my eyes in- 
quired of him the nearest way to the nearest drug store. 
When he had given me the desired information as well as 
he could between his paroxysms, I hurried to the nearest 
drug store, bought a bottle of Number Six, swallowed its 
contents, and then tapered off with three or four doses of 
cold pressed castor oil before I could get rid of the farewell 
left bythat artesian water. 

Since then I have often wondered that the citizens of Cor- 
pus Christi have not long ere this erected a monument to 
the memory of Colonel Kinney, not because he was the 
founder of their city, but because he has furnished them 
with an ample supply of the most economical water in the 
world, one drink of which will satisfy a man for a life time. 

By his extravagant mode of living, his profuse hospitality 
and the money he expended in improving his town, Colonel 
Kinney in a very few years ran through the greater portion 
of the large fortune he had accumulated. When all was 
gone, he left Texas and went to Mexico, as he said, for the 
purpose of retrieving his fallen fortunes, and knowing him 
as well as I did, his indomitable energy and perseverence, I 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 71 

have but little doubt he would have succeeded in doing so 
had he lived a few years longer. But shortly after he went 
to Mexico one of those periodical local revolutions occurred, 
for which our sister Republic is somewhat famous, and as 
Colonel Kinney was not one to stand idly by when a fight 
was going on, he was easily induced to take sides, and was 
killed in some trifling skirmish that took place between the 
contending factions. 

Colonel Kinney had his faults, possibly some glaring ones, 
and the one who has not let him be the first to throw a stone 
at his memory, but they were largely counterbalanced by 
many sterling qualities. He was a brave man, staunch to 
his friends and loyal and true to his adopted State, in de- 
fense of which he was always ready to peril his life. His 
generosity was unbounded, his purse was always at the ser- 
vice of the needy, and no one ever applied to him for aid 
who did not get more than he asked. 

When the news of his death reached his numerous friends 
and acquaintances in Texas, I will venture to say there was 
not one among them who did not sincerely regret his un- 
timely fate. 



Colonel 3ach Ibapa 



f% MONG the many noted Indian fighters who have 
LsJ figured in the border wars of Texas none perhaps hold 
| * a more conspicuous place than Colonel Jack Hays, the 
/ subject of this little sketch. He was a native, I be- 
lieve, of Tennessee, and came to Texas when quite a young 
man some time previous to its annexation to the United 
States. He brought with him letters of recommenda- 
1841 tion from prominent people to President Houston, 
who, not long after his arrival in this country, gave 
him a commission to raise a ranging company for the pro- 
tection of the western frontier. This company was, I be- 
lieve, the first regularly organized one in the service of the 



72 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

country, at least in the west. With this small company, for 
it never numbered more than three score men, Colonel Hays 
effectully protected a vast scope of frontier country, reach- 
ing from Corpus Christi, on the gulf, to the head waters of 
the Frio and Nueces rivers. 

It may seem incredible to those not acquainted with the 
facts that one small company of rangers should have been 
able to protect such an extended frontier against Indians 
and marauding parties of Mexicans. But it must be borne 
in mind that this small company was usually divided into 
squads of ten or twelve men each, who were almost always 
constantly in the saddle scouting over all parts of the coun- 
try, and consequently the Indians never knew where or at 
what moment one of these squads would pounce down upon 
them. And besides the rangers had so much the superi- 
ority of them in arms and horses that one of them was 
fully equal on any ground to five or six Indians, armed as 
they were at that time with only bows and arrows or old 
flint and steel guns still less effective. 

Shortly after the invention of the five shooter by Colonel 
Colt he furnished the navy of Texas, under contract with 
the government, with fifty or sixty of these improved fire 
arms. Subsequently, as it was supposed they were more 
needed on the frontier than in the navy, they were turned 
over (or at least a portion of them), to Colonel Hays's rang- 
ing company. With these improved fire arms in their 
hands, then unknown to the Indians and Mexicans, I have 
not exaggerated in the least in stating as I have done that 
one ranger was a fair match for five or six Mexicans or In- 
dians. 

Colonel Hays was especially fitted by nature for this fron- 
tier service. He was a man rather under the medium size, 
but wiry and active and gifted with such an iron constitu- 
tion that he was enabled to undergo hardship and exposure 
without perceptible effect, which would have placed the 
majority of men completely hors de combat. I have fre- 
quently seen him sitting by his camp fire at night in some 
exposed locality, when the rain was falling in torrents, or a 
cold norther with sleet or snow was whistling about his 
ears, apparently as unconscious of all discomfort as if he 
had been seated in some cosy room of a first class city hotel; 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 73 

and this, perhaps, when all he had eaten for supper was a 
hand full of pecans or a piece of hard tack. But above all, 
he was extremely cautious where the safety of his men was 
concerned, but when it was a mere question of personal 
danger his bravery bordered closely on rashness. 

When the war between the United States and Mexico 
broke out Colonel Hays was elected to the command of a 
regiment of Texas mounted volunteers, and at the storming 
of Monterey he and his regiment rendered effective service. 
Some time after the conclusion of the war he moved to the 
State of California, where he died several years ago; but his 
name has not been forgotten by the people of Texas, and 
will long be a household word among them. 

As an appropriate place for them, I will herein relate a 
few of his battles with the Indians when in command of his 
ranging company, and also one or two of his personal ex- 
ploits. 

In the fall of 1840, a party of Comanche Indians number- 
ing about two hundred came into -the vicinity of San An- 
tonio, stole a great many horses and made their way off 
toward the Guadalupe river. 

Colonel Hays with about twenty of his men followed in 
pursuit of them. He overtook this formidable force at the 
crossing of the Guadalupe river. The Colonel, who wa& 
riding in front, as he usually did, was the first to discover 
the enemy. He rode back to his men and said "-Yonder are 
the Indians, boys, and yonder are our horses; the Iidians 
are pretty strong, but we can whip them, and recapture the 
horses; what do you say?" "Go ahead," the boys replied, 
"and we'll follow if there's a thousand of them." "Come 
on then, boys," said Hays, and putting spurs to their horses, 
this little band of twenty men boldly charged two hundred 
warriors who were waiting for them, drawn up in battle 
array. 

Seeing the small number of their assailants, the Indians, 
made sure of victory, but in this they were badly mistaken, 
for the Texans charged them so furiously, firing a volley 
into their midst as they did so. that their line of battle 
was thrown into confusion. For a while, however, they 
stood their ground, and strove to overwhelm the Texans by 
mere force of numbers, but at length their braves began to 



74 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

fall so rapidly before the continuous fire poured upon them 
that they wavered and commenced to give way. At this 
juncture their head chief while endeavoring to rally them, 
received a fatal shot and fell dead from his horse. The fall 
of the chief completely discouraged them and the retreat 
soon became a total rout, each one fleeing for his life before 
the victorious Texans. 

Colonel Hays and his men pursued the retreating enemy 
vigorously for several miles, inflicting still further loss upon 
them and recapturing the greater portion of the stolen 
animals. 

It was for such feats of personal prowess and daring as 
the following that Colonel Hays received from them the 
appellation of "Capitan Yack" (Captain Jack.) 

In the fall of 1841, he was one of a party of fifteen or 
twenty men employed to survey some lands near what is 
called by the Indians "The Enchanted Kock." This rock 
forms the apex o ; a high round hill very difficult to climb. 
In the center of this rock there is a circular hollow suffi- 
ciently large to allow a small party of men to lie in it, and 
Ls perpendicular sides formed an effective breastwork. 
While the surveyors were engaged in work not far from the 
base of this hill, they were attacked by a party of Indians. 

At the time the attack was made, Colonel Hays, who was 
at some distance from the rest of his companions, ran up 
this hill and took his position on the top in the little hollow 
we have mentioned, determined to sell his life at the "high- 
est market price." He was well known to the Indians, and 
they were anxious, if possible, to get possession of his scalp. 
They mounted the hill, surrounded the rock and prepared 
to charge him. Hays was well aware that his life depended 
more upon tact and strategy than mere courage, and he re- 
solved to reserve his fire as the last alternative. 

The Indians rushed towards him, hoping to draw his fire 
when they were yet at such a distance as to render it in- 
effective, but the Colonel was too wily to be caught in any 
such trap, and all he did was "to lay low and keep dark," 
and whenever the Indians came near enough to see the 
muzzle of his gun protruding from the walls of his little 
fortress their hearts would fail them and they would fall 
back. Several times they repeated this maneuver but always 




CAPTAIN JACK HAYS. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 75 

with the same result, for the Colonel was reserving his fire 
until they should come to close quarters, when he could 
make every shot tell. Finding there was no prospect of ob- 
taining the Colonel's scalp without running some risk to get 
it, the Indians made a charge upon his little fortress in 
earnest. The Colonel cooly waited their approach until they 
were so near that he could see the whites of their eyes when 
he suddenly rose up, presented his rifle, fired at the fore- 
most Indian, who fell dead in his tracks. The others, think- 
i ng he had his revolver in reserve (and in fact he had two 
of them) halted for a moment and then fell back again, giv- 
i ng the Colonel time to reload his gun. At length, however, 
ueeemingly furious at being kept at bay in this manner by a 
inngle man, the Indians made another charge upon him, 
yelling loudly as they came on. But as far as their yelling 
was concerned they might just as well have saved their 
breath, for the Colonel had been too often in the woods to 
be frightened by the hooting of owls. He let them advance 
until they came even nearer than they had been before, 
when he ''upped" one of them with his gun, and then seiz- 
ing his revolvers he emptied their contents so rapidly among 
the others that they hastily fell back again. Just at this 
moment his companions, who, all this while, had been 
lighting the main body of the Indians and at length had 
compelled them to retreat, hearing the firing at the summit 
of the enchanted rock, and suspecting the cause of it, has- 
tened to the Colonel's relief. 

As soon as the Indians, who were beleaguring him in his 
little fortress, saw them coming, they retreated, dragging 
with them their wounded comrades, but leaving the dead 
behind. The survey j finished their work without any 
further interruption from the Indians. 

In the year 1844 Colonel Hays, with fifteen of his com- 
pany, was out on a scout, the object of which was to dis- 
cover the rendezvous or haunts of certain bands of Indians 
who had recently been raiding the settlements. When 
about eighty miles distant frohi San Antonio, near the Per- 
denales river, they came in sight of fifteen Comanches, who 
were mounted on good horses and apparently eager for battle. 

As Colonel Hays and his men advanced towards them, the 
Indians slowly drew off in the direction of a thick growth 



76 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

of underwood, which convinced the Colonel that the Indians 
they saw were but a portion of a larger party who were con- 
cealed in the thicket. He therefore restrained the ardor of 
his men, who were anxious to charge upon those they saw; 
and, taking a circuitous route around the thicket, he drew 
up his little force on a ridge, with a deep ravine between 
them and the Indians. The Colonel was satisfied the Indians 
were in such force they would make the attack, and he 
wanted to secure an advantageous position or to choose his 
own Way of beginning the fight. 

Finding they had failed to draw the rangers into the trap 
they had set for them, the Indians then showed themselves 
to the number of seventy-five. As soon as they did so, 
Colonel Hays moved his men slowly down the ridge until 
they reached the ravine, where they were concealed from 
view by the thick bushes that grew along the bank. When 
they reached this, point the rangers started at a full gallop, 
turned the ridge and gained the enemy's rear. The Indians, 
who were watching the place on the opposite side of the 
ravine where they had last seen them, had no intimation of 
their danger until they were startled by the sharp reports of 
a dozen rifles in their rear. 

This created some confusion among the Indians, but they 
soon rallied and made a furious charge upon the rangers. 
To resist this, Colonel Hays formed his men in a square and 
ordered them to draw their five shooters. The Indians 
charged on all sides and fought bravely for a while, but after 
twenty-one of their warriors had fallen before the rapid fire 
of the five shooters, the remainder drew back. Colonel 
Hays then charged them io turn, and the fight was renewed. 
The battle lasted nearly an hour, both parties advancing 
and retreating alternately. At last the ammunition of the 
rangers was exhausted and their fire slackened. The chief, 
perceiving this, rallied his warriors for a final effort. As 
they were advancing, Colonel Hays discovered that the rifle 
of one of the rangers (Mr. Gillespie) was still loaded. He 
ordered him to dismount at once and shoot the chief. Gil- 
lespie did so, and at the report of his gun the chief dropped 
dead from his horse. This so demoralized the Indians that 
they fell back again and made no further attempt to charge 
the rangers. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 77 

In this fight two rangers were killed and five wounded. 
Thirty of the Indians were left dead on the field. For good 
generalship, as well as for the cool, unflinching bravery of 
Colonel Hays and his rangers, and great disparity of num- 
bers, etc., this fight is certainly one of the most remarkable 
that has ever occurred in Indian warfare. 

In 1845 a large party of Indians, to the number of two or 
three hundred, made a descent on the settlements west of 
San Antonio. After killing some people and stealing a large 
number of horses, they left for their mountain rendezvous. 
Colonel Hays having received information of this raid, went 
in pursuit of the Indians, determined, if possible, to over- 
take them, and by a forced march he came up with them 
aear the Frio river. The Indians numbered between two 
and three hundred, as previously stated, whilst Colonel 
Hays had but forty two men. 

When the Indians saw the small number of rangers they 
had to contend against, they immediately drew up in line 
of battle and waited for the attack. Hays and his men 
were not in the least intimidated by the superior numbers 
of the enemy, and without waiting to form in line, they 
rapidly advanced towards the Indians. 

When they were first discovered, Colonel Hays happened 
to be in the rear of his company, mounted on a mule, and 
as soon as those in front commenced firing on the Indians 
he hurried forward as rapidly as he could on his slow going 
charger. On his way he passed one of his men mounted on 
a fine horse, and who was evidently trying to hold him 
back. He called out to him and asked him why he did not 
let his horse go ahead. The man replied that if he did so 
his horse would run away with him. "Then," said Colonel 
Hays, "let me have your horse and you can ride my mule." 
The man readily agreed to this, and they quickly exchanged 
animals. 

Colonel Hays being now mounted on a good horse, soon 
reached the front where the missiles of death were flying 
thick and fast. Here, however, he discovered that the man 
who owned the horse had told him the truth, for, in spite of 
all his efforts he found it was impossible to check his ex- 
cited and unruly charger. On he went, right into the thick- 
est of the Indians, ahead of all others except Flacco, a young 



78 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Lipan chief, who was also mounted on a splendid horse, 
and stuck closely to the Colonel's side. These two alone 
charged the Comanche line of battle with their five shooters 
in hand, passed entirely through it, and came out unhurt on 
the opposite side. The Comanches were so astounded at 
their reckless bravery that they opened a way for them as 
they advanced. 

The rest of the company seeing this gallant feat of the 
Colonel and the young Lipan chief, and that it had thrown 
the Indians into some confusion, took advantage of it and 
rushed right in among them, each one with his five shooter 
in hand. The warriors stood their ground for a while, but 
seeing the numbers that were falling on every side before 
the rapid and continuous fire of these fatal five shooters, a 
panic at length seized them and they fled and scattered in 
every direction. 

ISTot long after this fight Colonel Hays, with fifteen men 
of his ranging company, encountered and totally defeated 
the famous chief Yellow Wolf at the head of eighty Co- 
manche warriors. Among the men Colonel Hays had with 
him on this occasion were Ad. Gillespie, Samuel Walker, 
Samuel Luckie, Kit Ackland, and several others who subse- 
quently figured conspicuously during the war with Mexico. 
After a hand to hand fight, lasting for some time, the Indi- 
ans were totally routed, with the loss of one-half their num- 
ber. Among the slain was the chief, Yellow Wolf. The 
loss of the rangers was but one killed and three wounded. 

The report of Colonel Hays as to the efficiency of the five 
shooter on this and former occasions, induced Colonel Colt 
to present him with one of his improved six shooters, on the 
cylinder of which there is an engraving representing a 
Texas ranger charging a party of Indians. 

The battle above described with Yellow Wolf and his 
eighty warriors took place at the Pinta crossing of the 
Guadalupe river, between San Antonio and Fredericksburg. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 79 



fflacco anb Castro, 



FLACCO (heretofore mentioned) and Castro were chiefs 
of the Lipan tribe, and both were well known to the 
old settlers of Texas. They were both staunch friends 
to the whites, and were always ready to accompany 
them in the capacity of trailers and spies on any expedition 
against their hereditary foes, the Comanches. In this way 
they frequently rendered valuable service to their white 
allies. 

Flacco was a large, fine looking Indian, and a man of 
veracity and undoubted courage. He was often with Col- 
onel Hays on his expeditions against the wild tribes and 
made himself conspicuous on many occasions by his daring 
feats. It was generally believed that Flacco was the man 
who killed the celebrated chief "Yellow Wolf" in the battle 
previously described. Castro's character was somewhat 
dubious, and he was rather cowardly, but withal shrewd 
and intelligent. On a certain occasion he paid a visit to 
President Lamar, accompanied by several of his wives. 
The President remarked to him, "I suppose, Castro, these 
are your daughters." 'No," he replied, "dem feller my 
wife." "Why," said the President, "are you not too old to 
have so many young wives?" "No," said Castro, "old wo- 
mans, young womans, ugly womans, any womans good for 
young mans, but young womans good for old man." Flacco 
was eventually killed near San Antonio by a marauding 
party of Mexicans; and Castro, too, has long since gone the 
way of all flesh. 

As a general rule the Lipan s were unreliable, deceitful 
and treacherous. They always professed to be friendly to 
the whites, but it is well known that they frequently depre- 
dated upon their property, and would occasionally take a 
scalp when they thought they could do so with impunity 
The tribe is now extinct. 



80 INDIAN DEPREDATION** IN TEXAS, 



Colonel Ikarne** 



ON the tenth of August, 1838, Colonel Karnes, with a 
company of twenty-one men, was attacked by a party 
of one hundred Comanches near the Arroyo Seco. The 

savages were defeated, losing- a number of their war- 
riors, whilst the Texans escaped without further damage 
than the wounding of Colonel Karnes. About this time 

there was a strange rebellion, if such it might be 
1838 termed, at Nacogdoches. On the fourth of August 

several citizens went in pursuit of some stolen horses 
which they found secreted in a Mexican settlement. On 
their way back they were fired on and one of their party 
killed. Some few citizens followed the murderers, but they 
soon ascertained from the size of the trail that the number 
of Mexicans, as they supposed them to be, was too great to 
be attacked with any hopes of success, and they abandoned 
the pursuit. 

On the seventh of August Colonel John Durst reported to 
General Rusk that there were a hundred or more Mexicans 
on the Angelina river, under the leadership of Nathaniel 
Norris, Cordova and Cruz. General Rusk made an imme- 
diate requisition for men. A company of sixty volunteers 
from the town of Gonzales were stationed at the lower cross- 
ing of the Angelina river. On the ninth of August they 
reported that they had been fired on, and asked for assist- 
ance. This report proved to be incorrect, but the enemy 
were found posted on the right bank of the riverr 

On the tenth it was reported that the Mexicans had been 
joined by about three hundred Indians, and on the evening 
of the same day that their whole force amounted to six hun- 
dred. The same day President Houston, who was then at 
Nacogdoches, received a letter from the Mexican leaders in 
which they disclaimed allegiance to Texas. Shortly after- 
ward they set out on their march to the Cherokee nation. 
As soon as President Houston was advised of this move- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 81 

ment he ordered General Busk not to cross the Angelina. 
Major Augustine was detached with one hundred and fifty 
men to follow the Mexican trail, while the main body of 
Texans under General Rusk marched to the headquarters 
of. the Cherokee chief, whither he learned the enemy had 
gone. 

On reaching the Sabine river General Rusk discovered 
that the insurgent leaders had fled to the upper Trinity, and 
that their followers had dispersed. 

This emuete was a very strange one. The object of these 
leaders was unknown, nor did any subsequent discovery 
throw any light upon it. They must hive known that a 
successful revolution was an impossibility. 

On the twenty-fifth of October, 1838, at Jose Miria village, 
subsequently Fort Graham, a bloody battle wis fought by 
some Texans under Colonel O'Neal and a party of Coman- 
ches settled at that place. After a fierce conflict the In- 
dians fled, leaving many of their warriors dead upon the 
field. 

The twentieth of the same month a party of surveyors 
were attacked by the Comanches within five miles of San 
Antonio and two of them killed. Some twelve or thirteen 
citizens went out to ascertain the intentions of these In- 
dians and when within three miles of San Antonio they 
were attacked by more than a hundred Indians. These 
citizens very imprudently charged this large body of In- 
dians, who at first gave way before them and then closed in 
around them. Eight of these citizens were killed and four 
wounded, only one man escaping unhurt. 

On the eleventh of October of the same year General Rusk, 
at the head of two hundred men, arrived at Fort Houston, 
on the Trinity river, in pursuit of a motly crowd of Mexi- 
cans and Indians, who had been committing depredations 
on the frontier. Learning that the marauders were at the 
Kickapoo town he marched to that place and encamped at 
Bun set on the fifteenth instant. 

At daybreak, on the sixteenth, he attacked the enemy, 
who stood their ground for about fifteen minutes, when 
General Rusk ordered his men to charge them, which they 
did in such gallant style that the enemy were thrown into 
disorder and were finally completely routed, the Texans pur- 



82 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

suing them for nearly a mile. The enemy left eleven dead 
on the field and about the same number of the Texans were 
wounded but none killed. 

Thus the whole frontier in this year, 1838, was lit up with 
the flames of savage warfare. The immediate cause <fcf 
hostilities was the opening of the land office in the beginning 
of the year. Surveyors and locators who were anxious to 
secure the best lands had gone out beyond the settlements 
and began their operations. The Indians seeing them at 
work believed that the Mexicans had told them the truth 
when they said that the white people would take all their 
hunting grounds and drive them from the country. The 
hostilities of the Indians was undoubtedly in a great meas- 
use caused by this state of affairs, and the Mexicans who 
had not forgotten their defeat at San Jacinto and the cap- 
ture of Santa Anna, sought to revenge themselves by induc- 
ing the Indians to wage a border war upon the Texans 

[See 2 Yoakum, 245.] 



3obn IRoiin, 



fY\ R. NOLIN was employed by the United States gov- 
II ernment in 1S71 to haul supplies from Jacksboro to 
1*1 Fort Griffin. He had in his charge ten teamsters 
" *a with their wagons and teams. On his way, and 

when about sixteen miles north of Salt creek, where he had 
encamped, his train was attacked by ninety or one hundred 

Kiowa Indians. The men were not aware of the pres- 
187 1 ence of the Indians until they were pouring a-deadly 

fire in their midst. Four of the teamsters were killed 
it once, leaving only seven men to defend the train. Elated 
at this success, the Indians rapidly closed in upon them. 
One of the teamsters was so badly frightened that he ran 
away, hoping to escape by flight, but some of the Indians 
followed him and soon killed and scalped him. Three team- 
sters only were fortunate enough to escape. One poor fel- 
low, who was so badly wounded that he was unable to walk, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 83 

was tied to the wheel of his wagon, which was then fired by 
the Indians and he was slowly roasted alive. 

After the Indians had plundered the wagons of their con- 
tents they collected the horses and mules, about forty in 
number, and left. The gallant Colonel McKenzie started in 
pursuit of these Indians, intending if necessary to follow 
them into the nation, but was prevented from doing so by 
order of his superior officer 



Samuel IRobertson 



pt\ R. ROBERTSON was a resident of Bastrop county. 

I I I In the latter part of the summer of 1838 Mr. Rob- 
1*1 ertson and a man named Dollar were employed by 
* ^ Mr. Thomas Glasscock in getting out timber from 

a pinery near the town of Bastrop. One day whilst en- 
gaged at this business their attention was suddenly drawn 
to their horses, which were snorting loudly at some- 
1838 thing that had alarmed them. Their horses were 
tied close by for the purpose of riding to and from 
their work. Looking around to see what it was that fright- 
ened their animals they discovered a large party of Indians 
within a few rods of them. The two men instantly mounted 
their horses and endeavored to escape, but the Indians, who 
were coming at full charge when they first discovered 
them, soon overtook them. Both men were unarmed. The 
Indians fired on them and shot a ball through Mr. Robert- 
son which brought him to the ground and so disabled him 
he could make no resistance. The Indians soon dispatched 
him. Mr. Dollar was more fortunate and escaped unhurt. 
His horse was a very fleet one and the Indians were unable 
to come up with him. However, as he was not well ac- 
quainted with the country he soon came to a deep ravine 
which could not be crossed on horseback. There was no 
time to be lost. He sprang from his horse, left him, and 
took down the ravine on foot and thus succeeded in making 
his escape. These Indians were followed but were not 
caught. 



84) INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



Sobnsoit'B Station. 



THIS station was on the overland mail route leading from 
St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California. At 
this station the contractors had several hands employed 
— seven men and one woman. It was the business of 
three of these men to take care of the horses belonging to 
the stand. On the twenty-seventh of March, 1857, a body 
of about two hundred and fifty Comanches attacked 
1857 the station. The parties who had charge of the horses 
at the time had them grazing outside the inclosure. 
They were hoppled or side-lined with chains fastened by 
locks, so that only those who had the keys could take them 
off. 

The Indians first attacked the three men outside and drove 
them from the horses they were guarding into the station. 
Supposing there was a considerable number of men in the 
station, the Indians did not make an immediate attack upon 
it, but hastened to secure the horses left outside. To their 
surprise and vexation, however, they found it impossible 
to remove the hopples. They tugged and pulled at them 
for some time, but finding it was all to no purpose, they 
cut off the poor animals' legs and left them in that condi- 
tion. 

As they had not been fired on from the station, the Indians 
came to the conclusion that there were but few men to 
defend it, and that they could take it without running any 
great risk. The station was merely a double log cabin, 
with a ten foot hall between the two rooms. One room was 
used for a kitchen or cook house and the other for a" dwell- 
ing. When the Indians approached, the six men and the 
woman took refuge in the dwelling room, as it was more 
solidly constructed than the other, and barred the door 
securely; but, for want of time, the door of the cook room 
was left unfastened. The Indians, therefore, entered it 
without any opposition and plundered it of everything they 
thought would be of any use to them. They then concluded 
it was time to take the scalps of the occupants of the other 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 85 

room. But they were somewhat at a loss as to how they 
should proceed in this undertaking, as they knew from ex- 
perience it was a very dangerous matter to attack even a 
small number of armed men when protected by the walls of 
a house. 

However, they gathered all their forces around the sta- 
tion and made their arrangements to take it by a general 
assault. The men within seized their guns and presented 
them through the port holes of the house. The Indians, not 
fancying that kind of a demonstration, retreated back for 
some distance, and then challenged the whites to come out 
and give them a fair fight, but the whites could not see ex- 
actly how there was to be anything like a fair fight between 
six men and two hundred and fifty Indians, and conse- 
quently they declined to leave their fort. Finding they 
could not induce the occupants of the building to come out, 
they attached burning torches to the heads of their arrows 
and shot them upon the roof. In this way they finally suc- 
ceeded in setting the house on fire. The men inside the 
building then called to the Indians in Spanish, which they 
all understand, and told them that they were coming out 
well armed, and if they would let them pass they would 
leave and not fire upon them, but if they did not agree 
to this, that they would kill as many as they could. To 
this the Indians consented, mainly, no doubt, for the rea- 
son that they supposed there was rich spoil in the building, 
and they wished to secure it before it was burnt. 

The door was then opened and the six men and one 
woman marched out in line to a neighboring grove with 
their rifles in their hands, and their thumbs on the ham- 
mers, ready for action. As they advanced the Indians 
made a wide opening in their ranks to permit them to pass, 
and did not attempt to interfere with them. But just as 
the whites were entering the grove before mentioned, they 
met an Indian coming out who looked intently at Mrs, 
Evaness, the wife of one of them, and said in plain English 
that he would like to have that woman, and that he would 
have her before he left. 

Mr. Evaness, the lady's husband, heard what he said, and 
instantly presenting his rifle, he drove a bullet through the 
scoundrel's body, killing him on the spot. Immediately the 



86 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

other Indians rushed to the assistance of their fallen com- 
rade and opened fire upon the little band of whites. One 
bullet struck Mr. Evaness on the side of his face and came 
out of bis mouth. Mrs. Evaness was also shot in the side, 
but not dangerously. At this juncture the United States 
mail coach came in sight, and the Indians fled, thinking 
probablv that a body of dragoons were close at hand. 

The stage took the party of whites on board and conveyed 
them to the next station where they were properly cared for. 
Mr. and Mrs. Evaness both recovered from their wounds. 



flDicbael tyoung. 



IN the winter of 1842, five Indians came in the settlements 
on the Colorado river on a horse thij \ ing expedition. 
They spent the night in search of them, but only suc- 
ceeded in stealing one. Finding that day was approach- 
ing and fearing discovery, they concluded to leave with the 
one horse they had secured. A dense fog was prevailing at 
the time which prevented them from pursuing a direct 
1842 course from the settlements, and when day broke, 
they found themselves near the residence of Mr. 
Michael Young. Mr. Young's little son was out at the time 
driving up the calves, and the Indians discovered him. 
They slipped up slyly behind him, and one of the Indians 
threw a lasso over his head intending to take him prisoner, 
but the little fellow was too quick for them. He slipped 
the rope from his neck and made towards the house with 
such speed that the Indians did not dare to follow him. As 
soon :.3 he reached the house, he told his father what had 
occurred, who mounted his horse at once, collected some of 
his neighbors and pursued the Indians. There had been 
heavy rains for several days previous, and as the ground 
was soft, the Indians could be readily trailed. After pur- 
suing them about twelve miles, they caught sight of the 
Indians as they were passing over a high hill. They waited 
until they were out of view, and then charged after them. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 87 

Arriving at the top of the hill, they discovered that the 
Indian on horseback was in about two hundred yards of 
them at the head of a deep ravine. The whites at first were 
a little dubious about charging him, as they thought it prob- 
able it was his intention to lead them into an ambuscade, 
but as the ground around was all open prairie, they deter- 
mined to attack him and take the chances, which they did. 
When the Indians saw them coming, one of those on foot 
sprang up behind the one who was riding, but a shot from 
one of the Texans brought the horse down,, and thus all the 
Indians were left afoot. They then separated and ran in 
every direction. There were fifteen Texans on horseback 
in pursuit of five Indians, and yet it took them about four 
hours to get them all. They ran until all were killed. The 
last one was killed at least twelve miles from where the 
o base began. 

A Mr. Haynes, who had shot down one of the Indians, 
and supposed he had killed him, walked up incautiously 
near him while his gun was empty. As he approached the 
Indian suddenly raised up and was about to shoot an arrow 
at him, when Haynes sprang quickly forward and struck 
him a heavy blow on the head with the breech of his rifle. 
This only knocked the Indian down, and he soon rose again 
with his bow in his hand. But before he could fit an arrow 
to the string Haynes struck him another tremendous blow, 
this time with the barrel of his gun, and killed him in- 
stantly. 

Mr. Young also made a very narrow escape under similar 
circumstances. He also had shot one of" the Indians down 
and walked up to him just as Mr. Haynes had done, with 
his empty gun on his shoulder. The Indian was omy "play- 
ing 'possum" to get a chance to kill one man before he died. 
He lay perfectly still until Young was in a few feet of him, 
when he suddenly rose and shot an arrow at him, striking 
Young just below the breast bone. But the Indian's strength 
was too far gone, and he could not shoot with sufficient 
force to send the arrow home. The wound, however, though 
not mortal, was a very painful one, and it was some time 
before Young recovered from it. He is now an old man, and 
is truly one of the veterans of Texas. No one ever served his 
country with more zeal and fidelity than he. 



88 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



3oM Eaelestcn, 



JOHN EAGLESTON" immigrated to Texas at an early 
day, passed safely through all the dangers incident to 
frontier life and the war against Mexico, and was killed at 
last by Indians on the streets of Bastrop. In the winter 
of 1838 the Indians were exceedingly hostile, and their raids 
were of frequent occurrence. People were compelled to 
keep their stables and lots well locked and guarded to 
1838 prevent their horses from being stolen, and even such 
precautions often availed but little, for whenever the 
Indians found it impossible to effect an entrance into stables 
and ]ots, they often revenged themselves by shooting the 
animals through crevices and bars with arrows. This they 
could easily do without causing an alarm, for, unlike the 
gun, the bow and arrow did their fatal work unaccom- 
panied by any report. 

Near Eagleston's residence, one of his neighbors, Carter 
Anderson, had picketed in a large lot, for the safe keeping 
of his stock, the gate of which was fastened every night 
with a chain and pad lock. 

One very dark night in January, 1838, Eagleston happened 
to be walking on the street near Anderson's lot. Hearing 
a rattling of the chain at the gate and thinking probably 
some one was trying to enter it he concluded to investigate 
the matter. As he approached the gate he heard, as he 
thought, the grunting of hogs, and seeing several dark ob- 
jects moving in the vicinity, he naturally supposed, they 
were hogs and turned to retrace his steps. Just as he did 
so an arrow struck him in the breast. Eagleston fled, crying 
out "Indians" as he went. There were a few men on guard 
at the time, who heard his cries and hurried to his assist- 
ance, but they were unable to pursue the Indians, for the 
night, as we have said before, was a very dark one, and 
they made their escape. Mr. Eagleston lived only three 
days after he was shot. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 89 



Gaplor Sntitb, 



IN" the winter of 1838 a company of men started from Bas- 
trop to go to the buffalo range, in the same county, that 
part of it then known as Young's settlement. One por- 
tion of the company was to start from the town of Bas- 
trop and the other portion from a point on the river five 
miles above the town. They had agreed to meet at a cer- 
tain watering place, but the party that started five 
1838 miles above town failed to come to time. Those that 
had arrived were eager to go ahead, so they went on 
the same evening to the buffalo range, filled their wagons 
with meat and encamped for the night. * 

The other party coming afterwards to the appointed place 
of meeting encamped there. About 1 o'clock in the night 
the fire had pretty well burned down and Mr. Taylor Smith 
got up to rekindle it. As he was stooping over it an Indian 
fired at him from a distance of not more than twenty paces. 
The ball passed through Mr. Taylor's arm but did not break 
the bone. The report of the gun awakened the other men, 
who seized their arms and a regular fight then ensued be- 
tween them and the Indians. The fight lasted about two 
hours, the Texans sheltering themselves behind a wagon 
filled with corn and the Indians behind trees. 

One of the Indians, in order to get a fair shot at the boys, 
crawled up slyly behind them under cover of some bushes. 
An old gentleman, a Mr. Con, hearing a rustling of the 
leaves, discovered the Indian crawling upon the ground. 
He had a large English shot gun in his hand, and waiting 
until the Indian raised to fire he leveled his gun and perfo- 
rated his hide with about a dozen buckshot. The Indian 
sprang up, crying out "wah! wah!" several times, and then 
pitched forwards upon the ground. As nothing was seen of 
him afterwards it was supposed he had got his quietus. 

The Indians finding they could not dislodge the little 
band of Texans, gathered their forces and left. That same 



90 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

night they went on to the town of Bastrop. The day pre- 
vious had been wash day and many people had left much 
of their clothing hanging upon the lines. The Indians stole 
the whole of it and about sixty head of horses. On their 
way out they fell in with the other party who were return- 
ing from the buffalo hunt. The writer of this sketch was 
one of them. There were seven men in the party, and 
they had to contend with about sixty Indians. Seeing there 
were but seven of us, they gave a yell and charged upon us at 
once, anticipating no doubt an easy victory; but in this they 
were badly mistaken, for we received them with such a 
deadly volley from our rifles that they fell back in disorder 
and finally retreated without making another attempt to re- 
new the fight. 

One Indian had a large white bed quilt crammed full of 
clothing before him on his horse, and a little boy he had 
taken prisoner behind him. During the row the little boy 
tried to jump down, and to prevent him from doing so the 
Indian was compelled to let go the bed quilt. In falling 
one end of it caught on the horn of the saddle and the 
clothing was strewn along the ground for a quarter of a 
mile. We gathered it up and returned it to the owners. 



William Weir. 




R. WEIR was a resident of Hood county. In the 
fall of 1871, eight Indians, seven men and one 
squaw, came into Hood county. They succeeded in 
stealing fifteen head of horses and left. A company 
was raised and went in pursuit of them. The company 
followed them one day and night, and on the second day 
they overtook the Indians and attacked them. The 
1871 Indians took their position in a deep ravine. While 
the Texans were consulting as to the best plan of dis- 
lodging them, twenty-five more citizens came to their as- 
sistance. They maneuvered for some time to draw the In- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 91 

dians from their position in the ravine, but all to no purpose. 
At this juncture a very heavy rain fell, which so swelled the 
little stream at the bottom that the Indians were compelled 
to show themselves. As they came into view the Texans 
charged them and poured a deadly fire into their midst. 
The Indians defended themselves with desperation and let 
fly their arrows thick and fast among the Texans. Mr. Wil- 
liam Weir, the subject of this sketch, marched boldly up to 
the edge of the ravine and shot down the Indian chief, who 
fell into the water. Mr. Weir stepped down to see if he was 
killed, and having satisfied himself that he was dead, he 
was about returning, when the squaw, who was standing 
near, let fly an arrow and shot him in the breast, inflicting 
a fatal wound. The Indians also wounded a Mr McKenzie, 
but not seriously. The fight continued until the last Indian 
was killed — not even excepting that bellicose squaw. 



Bowie's IDictor^ 



5 HE following desperate battle, an account of which 
we are about to relate, was one of the fiercest conflicts 
of which we have any record in Indian warfare, and 
considering the number engaged on each side the result 
was something wonderful. On the second day of Novem- 
ber, 1881, General Rezin P. Bowie, James Bowie, David 
Buchanan, Robert Armstrong, Jesse Wallace, Matthew 
1831 Doyle, Cephas Hamm, James Coryell, Thomas McCas- 
lin and two servant boys, Charles and Gonzales, 
started from San Antonio in search of the old silver mines 
of the San Saba mission. We give the narrative in the lan- 
guage of General Bowie: 

Nothing -of interest occurred until about ten o'clock a. m. 
of the nineteenth day, when we were overtaken by two Co- 
manche Indians and a Mexican, who stated that they be- 
longed to Isaonie's party, a chief of the Comanche tribe, 
whose followers were about sixteen in number, and titaat 



92 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

they were on their way to San Antonio with a drove of 
horses they had taken from the Wacos and Tehuacanas, 
and that they intended to return them to their owners, who 
were citizens of San Antonio. 

After smoking and talking with them about an hour and 
making them a few presents of tobacco, powder and shot, 
etc., they returned to their party, who were waiting at the 
Llano river. 

We continued our journey until night closed in upon us, 
when we camped. The next morning, between daylight and 
sun rise, this same Mexican came to our camp. His horse 
was much fatigued. After eating and smoking he stated to 
us that he had been sent by the Indian chief, Isaonie, to in- 
form us that we were followed by one hundred and twenty- 
four Tehuacana and Waco Indians, and that forty Caddos 
had joined them, and that the} r were determined to have 
our scalps at all hazards. Isaonie had held a conversation 
with them the previous evening and had endeavored, with- 
out success, to dissuade them from their purpose; that they 
left him enraged and had gone on our trail. 

As a voucher for the truth of his statement the Mexican 
produced his chief's silver medal, which is common among 
the natives in such cases. He further stated that his chief 
requested him to say that he had sixteen men, badly armed 
and without ammunition, but if we would return and join 
him he would give us such assistance as he could. Know- 
ing that the enemy lay between us and him we deemed it 
more prudent to resume our journey and endeavor to reach 
the old fort on the San Saba river about night, a distance 
of thirty miles. 

The Mexican then went back to his party, and we went on 
our way. We encountered bad roads, the same being quite 
rocky, and our horses' feet were considerably wornr We 
were disappointed in not reaching the fort in the evening, 
and had some difficulty in finding an advantageous place to 
camp. We, however, made choice of the best that offered, 
which was a cluster of live oak trees, some thirty or forty 
in number, and about the size of a man's body. To the . 
north of them there was a thicket of live oak bushes about 
ten feet high, forty yards in length and twenty in breadth. 
To the west, at the distance of thirty or forty yards, ran a 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 93 

stream of water. The surrounding country was an open 
prairie, interspersed with a few trees, rocks and broken 
land. The trail that we came by was to the east of our en- 
campment. 

After taking the precaution to prepare for our defense by 
cutting a road inside the thicket of bushes about ten feet 
from the outer edge all around, and clearing the prickly 
pears from among the bushes, we hoppled our horses and 
placed sentinels for the night. 

We were now distant about six miles from the fort. 
Nothing occurred through the night, and we lost no time in 
the morning in making preparation for the continuance of 
our journey. When in the act of starting, we discovered 
three Indians on our trail to the east, about two hundred 
yards distant, and a footman about fifty yards in advance 
of- the main body, with his face to the ground, tracking 
along on the trail. The cry of "Indians" was sounded, and 
all hands began to prepare for defense. 

We dismounted and fastened both saddle and pack horses 
to the trees. As soon as they saw we had discovered them 
they gave the war whoop, halted and commenced stripping 
preparatory to action. A number of mounted Indians recon- 
noitered the ground. Among them were a few Caddo In- 
dians, whom we knew by the cut of their hair. These 
Indians had always claimed to be friendly towards the 
whites. 

Their number being so much greater than ours, one hun- 
dred and sixty-four to eleven, it was agreed that Rezin P. 
Bowie should be sent out to talk with them, and endeavor 
to compromise with them rather than attempt a fight. He 
accordingly started, accompanied by David Buchanan, and 
walked up to within about forty yards of where they had 
halted, and requested them, in their own tongue, to send 
forward their chief, as he wanted to talk with him. Their 
answer was, " howde do, howde do," in English, and a dis- 
charge of twelve shots, one of which broke Buchanan's leg. 
Bowie returned their salutation with the contents of a 
double barreled gun and a pistol. He then took Buchanan 
on his shoulder and started back to the encampment. As 
he did so, they opened a heavy fire on them, which wounded 
Buchanan in two other places, slightly piercing Bowie's 



94 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

hunting shirt in several places, but did him no injury. See- 
ing the shots did not bring Bowie down, eight Indians on 
foot took after him with their tomahawks; and when they 
had gotten close to him, the rest of Bowie's party rushed to 
his assistance and brought down four of the Indians and the 
other four retreated to the main body. We then returned 
to our position, and all was still for about five minutes, 
when we discovered that a hill northeast of us, and about 
sixty yards distant, was covered with Indians. They 
opened a heavy fire on us, accompanied with loud yells. 
We could hear their chief as in a loud and audible voice, he 
urged them to charge us. He was walking his horse and 
appeared perfectly composed. When we first discovered 
him, our guns were all empty with the exception of Mr. 
Hamm's. James Bowie cried out, " Whose gun is loaded?" 
Mr. Hamm answered " Mine is." He was then told to shoot 
that Indian on horseback. He did so, breaking his leg and 
killing his horse. We now discovered him hopping around 
his horse with his shield on his arm to keep off the balls. At 
this time four of our party having their guns loaded, all 
fired at him at once, and all the balls took effect through hip 
shield. He fell and was immediately surrounded by his 
warriors, who picked him up and bore him off. Several of 
these were shot while carrying away their dead chief. The 
whole party then, with the exception of a few, retreated 
over the hill out of sight. There were a few that dodged 
about from tree to tree to avoid our shots. 

The Indians soon covered, the hill the second time, bring- 
ing up their bow men who had not before been in action, and 
began a heavy fire with bows and arrows, which we re- 
turned with a well directed fire from our rifles. At this 
instant another chief appeared on horseback near the spot 
where the first had fallen, and again the question was 
asked, "whose gun is loaded?" and the answer was, "no- 
body's;" when little Charles, the mulatto servant, came run- 
ning up with Buchanan's rifle, which had not been dis- 
charged since he was wounded, and handed it to James 
Bowie, who instantly fired and brought the chief from his 
horse. He also was surrounded by six or eight of his men, 
as was the first, and borne off under our fire. 

While we were thus defending ourselves from the Indians 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 95 

on the hill, some fifteen or twenty of the Caddos succeeded 
in getting under the bank in our rear, and about forty yards 
distant. From this cover they opened fire on us, wounding 
Matthew Doyle, the ball entering the left breast and coming 
out at the back. As soon as he cried out that he was 
wounded Thomas McCaslin hastened to the spot where he 
fell and called out, ".Where is the Indian that shot Doyle?" 
He was told by a more experienced hand not to venture 
there, as from the reports of their guns they must be rifle- 
men. At that instant they discovered an Indian, and when 
in the act of raising his gun he was shot through the center 
of the body and instantly expired. Robert Armstrong ex- 
claimed, a Damn the Indian that shot McCaslin, where is 
is he?" He was told not to venture there, as they must be 
riflemen; but he discovered an Indian and just as he was 
raising his gun to shoot him he was fired at, the ball cutting 
off a portion of the stock of his gun and lodging in the 
barrel. 

During this time the enemy had formed a complete circle 
around us, occupying the points of rocks, scattering trees 
and bushes. The firing then became general from all quar- 
ters. Finding our situation too much exposed among the 
trees, we were obliged to leave them and take to the bushes. 
The first thing necessary was to dislodge the riflemen from 
under the bank of the creek, who were now within close 
shooting distance. We soon succeeded in doing this, as we 
had the advantage of seeing them when they could not see 
us. The road we had cut around the thicket the night pre- 
vious gave us great advantage over the enemy, as we had a 
fair view of them in the prairie, while we were completelv 
hid. 

We baffled their shots by moving six or eight feet the 
moment we fired, as their only mark was the smoke of our 
guns. They would put as many as twenty holes in a place 
the size of a pocket handkerchief where they had seen the 
smoke. In this manner we fought them for two hours 
and had one man wounded, James Coryell, who was shot 
through the arm, and the ball lodged in his side, the ball 
having first struck a ^mall bush, which prevented it from 
penetrating deeper than the size of it. 

They now discovered that we were not to be dislodged ! 



96 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

from our position. They suffered very much from the fire 
of our rifles, which brought down a half dozen at every 
round. They now resorted to the stratagem of firing the 
dry grass for the double purpose of routing us from our po- 
sition and, under cover of the smoke, to carry off their dead 
and wounded, which lay near us. The wind was now blow- 
ing from the west, and they placed the fire in that quarter. 
It burnt all the grass down to the creek, and then bore off 
to the right, leaving a space of about five acres around us 
untouched by the fire. 

Under cover of this smoke they succeeded in carrying 
away a portion of their dead and wounded. In the mean- 
time our party were engaged in scraping away the dry 
grass and leaves from around cur wounded men and bag- 
gage to prevent the fire from passing over them. We also 
gathered together rocks and bushes and made a breastwork 
of them. 

They now discovered that they had made a failure in 
routing us by fire, as they anticipated. They then reoccu- 
pied the points of rocks and trees and commenced another 
attack. The firing continued for some time, when the wind 
suddenly shifted and blew very hard from the north. We 
saw that we were in a critical position, if the Indians suc- 
ceeded in putting fire to the small spot around us. We kept 
a strict watch all around, and had our servant boys employed 
in scraping away the dry grass and leaves from around the 
baggage and in piling rocks around the wounded men. 
The point from which the wind now blew being favorable to 
fire our position, one of the Indians succeeded in crawling 
down the creek and setting fire to the grass that had not 
been burned; but before he could retreat back to his party, 
Robert Armstrong shot and killed him. 

We saw no hope now of escape. The flames were about 
ten feet high, and bearing directly to the spot where we 
were! What was to be done? It seemed that we were com- 
pelled either to be burned alive or driven out into the prairie 
among the savages. This so encouraged the Indians that 
the>v fired volley after volley at us, shouting and yelling like 
bo many demons. They fired about twenty shots to the 
minute. 

As soon as the smoke hid us from their view, we collected 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 97 

together and held a consultation as to what was best to be 
done. Our first impression was that they might charge on 
us under cover of the smoke, as we could make but one 
effectual fire, since the* sparks were flying about so thickly 
that no man could open his powder horn without the risk of 
being blown up. We, however, determined that if they 
charged us we would give them one fire, then place our 
backs together, draw our knives and fight them as long as 
one of us was left alive. We also decided that, if they did 
not charge us, we would retain our position, every man 
taking care of himself as best he could, and when the fire 
arrived at the ring around our baggage and wounded men, 
that we would smother it with buffalo robes, deer skins, 
blankets, etc. The Indians not charging us, we had to carry 
out the latter proposition, in which we succeeded after a 
great deal of exertion. 

Our thicket was so much burned and scorched that it now 
afforded but very little shelter. We all got into the ring 
that was made around our wounded men and baggage and 
began building our breastworks higher, using the loose rocks 
from the inside, and the dirt which we dug up with our 
knives and sticks. During this last fire the Indians had 
succeeded in removing all their dead and wounded. It was 
now sundown, and we had been fighting ever since sunrise 
in the morning. The Indians, seeing us still alive and ready 
for fight, drew off at a distance of three hundred yards and 
there camped for the night with their dead and wounded. 
Our party now commenced the work of raising our breast- 
works still higher, and by ten o'clock p. m. we had suc- 
ceeded in building it breast high. We then filled our vessels 
with water, expecting another attack next morning. 

We could distinctly hear the Indians crying nearly all 
night over their dead, which is one of their customs. At 
day light they shot one of their wounded chiefs, it being 
also a custom to shoot any of their tribe that are mortally 
wounded. They afterwards took their dead and wounded 
and went to a mountain about a mile distant, where they 
deposited them in a cave in the side of the mountain. At 
eight o'clock in the morning two of our party went out from 
the fortification to the encampment where the Indians hao 
an the night previous, and counted forty-eight bloolv 



98 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

spots in the grass where the dead and wounded had lain. 
Finding ourselves much cut up, having one man killed and 
three wounded; five horses killed and three wounded, we 
recommenced strengthening our little fort and continued 
our labors until one o'clock p. m., when the arrival of thir- 
teen Indians drew us into it again. As soon as they dis- 
covered we were fortified and ready for action they left. 
We after that remained in our fort eight days, when we set 
out for San Antonio, where we arrived in safety, bringing out 
wounded, after a journey of twelve days. Up to this time, 
there had been no encounter between the Indians and whites 
so protracted and desperate as the one just related. Three 
tribes had allied, and, counting on their numbers, had ex- 
pected an easy victory over the handful of whites, but the 
brave Bowie and his gallant followers taught them the im- 
portant lesson that, "The race is not always to the swift, 
nor the battle to the strong." The savages lost three of their 
chiefs killed on the ground, and probably about one-third of 
their entire number. There is not a single instance in In- 
dian warfare on this continent where more skill and valor 
were displayed than in the one we have recorded. 
[See Holley, 161.] 



3cbbc Bumam, 



1 I /e do not know tne native State of this venerable 
\ I / pioneer, but we know that he came to Texas with 
*>*** the first immigrants to Austin's old colonyT He set- 
tled in Fayette county, on the Colorado river. At 
that time the section of country where he lived was con- 
stantly exposed to Indian depredations, and as settlers were 
few and far between, he was compelled to rely mainly 
1830 upon his own good right arm and his trusty rifle for 
protection against them. In the summer of 1830 or 
1.831, a party of raiding Indians came into Burnam's neigh- 
borhood, and finding he had a caballada of very fine bor«es, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 99 

which were pastured on a beautiful prairie near the house, 
they concluded to take possession of them. In order to 
make sure of getting the whole caballada the Indians 
boldly entered the pasture in open daylight, in full view of 
the house, and drove the horses off. 

One of Burnam's little children, who happened to witness 
their proceedings, ran into the house and told him the In- 
dians were driving the horses away. At the time Burnam 
was sick in bed with fever, but this bare faced robbery of 
his fine stock of horses provoked him to such a degree that 
he got up immediately, saddled his riding horse, and taking 
his gun, started off solitary and alone in pursuit of the In- 
dians. 

He soon came to the trail made by his horses and those of 
the Indian^, and after several hours hard riding he caught 
sight of his caballada, moving on rapidly before a dozen 
Indians in the rear. He reined up his horse a few moments 
to consider what was best to be done. After resting his 
horse a little, he came to the conclusion that he would 
either recapture his caballada or lose his scalp in the at- 
tempt. He was satisfied his only chance of success against 
such odds was to charge the Indians boldly, give them a 
volley, as he advanced, from his double barreled shot gun, and 
thereby endeavor to throw them into confusion by his sudden 
onset, and to stampede the horses so completely as to 
render it impossible for the Indians to control them; and in 
that event he was confident the horses would take a bee 
line for their old range. 

The horse Burnam was riding was a very fleet animal, 
and he thought if he should fail to stampede the caballada 
that at any rate he would be able to make good his escape. 
So he set spurs to him, and almost before the Indians were 
aware of his proximity he let fly both barrels of his gun at 
them and dashed through them, whooping and yelling as 
he passed, right into the midst of the frightened horses, 
which were stampeded so badly the Indians were unable to 
check them, and they went off like the wind, with Burnam 
in the lead, in the direction of home. 

The Indians pursued them for some distance, vainly en- 
deavoring to turn them in their mad career, but finding it 
was not possible to do so they finally abandoned the chase 



100 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and left in disgust. A few hours afterwards Burnam ar- 
rived safely at home without the loss of a single animal. 
This is the only instance I know of in which a dozen In- 
dians were charged upon in open prairie by one man alone, 
and all their stolen property recaptured from .them. 

Some one asked Burnam how it was he ventured alone to 
attack such a number of Indians, and he replied that he 
was sick and mad at the time, and had been so provoked by 
their previous depredations upon his property that he had 
made up his mind to foil them at all hazards on this occa- 
sion. We can understand this, as we have been very sick 
frequently as well as angry, and no doubt if we had been 
in Burnam's place we would have done some desperate 
charging too— but it would have been in the opposite direc- 
tion from the Indians. 



flDrs, 3onee. 



f\ MONG the early settlers in Western Texas was a man 
£J by the name of Rabb. He was one of those restless 
| * adventurous men so frequently met with on the fron- 
/ tier y )ao are never satisfied except when they are in 
advance of all. other settlements. The nearest neighbor to 
Mr. Rabb was fifteen miles below. His family consisted of 
his wife and three small children and a female friend, 
1867 whom we shall designate as Mrs. Jones (as we are not 
authorized to give her name to the public). Mrs. 
Jones having recently lost her husband was living with the 
Rabb family. She was a fair specimen of those hardy, self- 
reliant heroines of the border, who are undaunted by 
dangers, and who bear unflinchingly the hardships and ex- 
posures incidental to life in new and sparsely settled coun- 
tries. Born and reared in Texas, she inherited a good con- 
stitution, to which her active life in the open air, a great 
portion of which was spent on horseback, gave unusual 
vigor. From an early age she had been a fearless rider, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 101 

and her life on the frontier where all traveling was neces- 
sarily performed on horseback, had given her better and 
more practical knowledge of the equestrian art than she 
could have acquired by training for the same length of time 
at Astley's. ■ 

One morning in June, 1867, Rabb started off to a dis- 
tant market with some cattle, leaving his family at the 
ranch without any one to protect them against the Indians. 
He did not apprehend any danger, however, during his ab- 
sence, as no Indians had been seen for some time in the 
/icinity. Everything went on as usual for several days, 
<mtil one morning while the women were occupied with 
i.heir domestic affairs in the house, one of the children who 
were playing in the yard called out to its mother and told 
her that some men on horseback were coming over the 
prairie. Mrs. Rabb stepped to the door and saw, to her 
horror, that these men were Indians, coming at full gallop 
towards the house. She ordered the children to run in at 
once, as she wished to bar the door, knowing that Indians 
seldom ventured to attack a house when barred against 
them, fearing that armed men might be within who would 
give them a warm reception. But the children did not obey 
their mother, thinking, no doubt, that the Indians were 
cow hunters, and the door was left open. 

As soon as the alarm of Indians was given, Mrs. Jones 
ran up a ladder leading to a loft, and concealed herself, 
where through a crack in the floor, she could see all that 
passed beneath. 

The Indians rushed up, seized and bound the two children 
m the yard and then entered the house. They took the 
young babe from the arms of the terrified mother, in spite 
of her struggles to retain it, and threw it on the floor. One 
of them then caught the poor woman by her hair, drew back 
her head and cut her throat from ear to ear with his butcher 
knife. 

Mrs. Jones, who was watching their proceedings through 
a chink in the floor above, when she witnessed this cold 
blooded murder of her friend, involuntarily uttered a cry of 
horror which betrayed her place of concealment to the In- 
dians. Several immediately sprang up the ladder, dragged 
her down and out of the house, placed her and the two chil- 



102 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

dren on horses, and then hurried off with them, leaving the 
infant unhurt by the side of its murdered mother. 

For several days and nights, fearing pursuit, they traveled 
rapidly, only making an occasional halt to rest and graze 
the animals. Their unfortunate captives suffered indescrib- 
able torments from harsh usage and the want of sleep and 
food as they moved on day after day and night after night 
towards the staked plains, crossing the Brazos, Wichita and 
Arkansas rivers by swimming them, as they were all too full 
to be forded. 

The Indians kept a close watch upon their captives until 
they had gone a long way beyond the frontier settlements, 
when they somewhat relaxed their vigilance and permitted 
them to walk about camp, but gave them to understand 
that death would be the certain result of any attempt to 
escape. In spite of this threat, Mrs. Jones was determined 
to seize the first opportunity to escape from them that might 
present itself. Having thus resolved, she carefully noted 
the qualities of different horses in order that she might be 
able to make a good selection when a chance of escaping 
should occur. 

One dark night after a long hard day's ride, while the 
Indians were sleeping soundly, she cautiously crept away 
from the lodge occupied by herself and the two children, 
who were also fast a leep, and going to where the Indians 
had staked their horses, she selected one of the best, sprang 
on his back, without saddle or bridle, and with nothing to 
guide or control him but the rope around his neck. She 
started off slowly in the direction of the north star, think- 
ing that course would lead her to the nearest white settle- 
ments, but as soon as she was out of hearing of the camp, 
she put her horse into a trot and then into a gallop, and con- 
tinued thus to urge him on as fast as he could go during the 
whole night. 

At the break of day the following morning she reached 
the crest of a considerable eminence overlooking a vast ex- 
panse of bald prairie, and there, for the first time after leav- 
ing the Indian camp, she halted, turned around with fear 
and trembling and cast a rapid glance to the rear, fully ex- 
pecting to see the savage bloodhounds on her trail, but to 
her great relief not a living thing was visible except a herd 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 103 

of antelopes quietly grazing on the prairie below. Still her 
uncertainty in the midst of dreary trackless plains as to the 
course she ought to pursue in order to reach the nearest set- 
tlements filled her with gloomy forebodings as to her ulti- 
mate fate. Perhaps nowhere does one realize utter helpless- 
ness and dependence upon the Almighty Ruler of the uni- 
verse than when bewildered and lost on the almost bound- 
less plains of the west and Mrs. Jones raised her thoughts 
to heaven in fervent supplication. She knew that one of 
the many points embraced within the horizon could lead to 
safety and that the direction to this one point must be kept 
without road, tree or other land mark to guide her. But the 
indominitable spirit of the heroine of this narrative did not 
succumb to the imminent perils that surrounded her. All day 
long she urged forward her generous steed until she was so 
worn out with fatigue and want of sleep that it was with 
great difficulty she could keep her seat on his back. To 
add to the horrors of her situation a new danger stared her 
in the face as the shades of night began to darken around, 
a danger quite as much to be dreaded as recapture by the 
merciless savages. Hearing the howling of wolves behind 
she looked back and discovered that a large gang were 
closely following on her trail. They seemed to know in- 
stinctively that the wearied horse and his rider must soon 
fall a prey to their voracious appetites. The idea of being 
devoured by wolves was so horrible that it gave her the 
strength of desperation and all through the gloomy hours 
of that dismal night she continued to urge on her faithful 
steed until she became so exhausted that it was with diffi- 
culty she could keep awake. Frequently she found herself 
in the act of falling from the horse just in time to save her- - 
self from being left alone on foot among the ravenous 
wolves, whose, dismal ho wlings could be heard in every 
direction. 

At length her horse, too, began to fail rapidly until at last 
the poor animal was scarcely able to drag one foot after the 
other and she momentarily expected he would drop dead be- 
neath her. The failure of the horse seemed to encourage 
the wolves and they finally rushed upon him, snapping at 
his heels and endeavoring to drag him and his rider to the 
ground. This so terrified the horse that he went on for a 



104 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

while with renewed vigor, and fortunately before the wolves 
could come up with him again daylight began to show in 
the east and the cowardly beasts skulked away in their dens. 

For the first time in thirty-six hours Mrs. Jones now dis- 
mounted, and knowing that sleep would soon overcome her, 
as there was no tree or bush to which she could fasten the 
horse, she tied the end of his rope around her waist, threw 
herself on the ground and in a moment was fast asleep. 
How long she had slept she does not know, but the sun was 
high in the heavens when she roused by the clattering of 
horses feet. Looking up she was terror struck to find that 
she was completely surrounded by a large party of Indians. 
Worn down as she was by her long ride and her nerves un- 
strung by anxiety and the hardships she had undergone the 
shock was too great for her and she fainted. When she re- 
gained consciousness the Indians placed her on a horse and 
started with her to their camp, which was not far off. On 
their arrival there they left her in charge of the squaws, 
who prepared some food for her and gave her a buffalo robe 
£pr a bed. It was several days before she was able to walk 
about camp. She soon learned that her last captors be! onged 
to Lone Wolf's band of Kiowas. These Indians treated her 
much more kindly than the Comanches, but as she did not 
think they would ever voluntarily release her, and although 
she had not the remotest idea of her locality or of th*3 direc- 
tion or distance to any white settlement she was determined 
to take advantage of the first opportunity to make her es- 
cape from tjiem. 

Some time after she was captured by these Indians a party 
left camp, going off in a northerly direction, and in live or 
six days they returned bringing back with them some ears 
of green corn. She knew the prairie tribes did not plant 
corn, and she felt confident this party had visited a white 
settlement in a northerly direction not more than three 
days travel from where they were encamped. This was en- 
couraging to her, and she anxiously watched for a favorable 
chance to leave. 

Late one night after all was quiet in camp and e verything 
seemed auspicious for carrying out her purpose, she cau- 
tiously crept from her bed and went to where she knew the 
Indians had staked their horses. Having caught and sad- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 105 

died one, she was in the act of mounting him, when several 
dogs rushed out after her and by their barking created such 
a disturbance in camp that she thought it most prudent to 
return to her lodge, which she reached without having been 
seen by any one. 

On a subsequent night, however, fortune favored her, 
and selecting a good horse she rode off in the direction the 
Indians had taken when they brought back the ears of 
green corn. Guided by the sun, and the stars at night, she 
was able to keep her course, and after three days of hard 
riding, anxiety, fatigue and hunger, she came to a large 
river. The stream was swollen to the top of its banks, the 
current coursed like a torrent along the channel, and she 
thought her tired horse would be unable to stem it; but after 
surmounting the man}^ difficulties she had already encoun- 
tered, she was not to be turned aside by this formidable 
obstacle. She let her wearied animal rest and graze for a 
while, then mounting him again the dauntless woman 
dashed into the turbulent stream and with great difficulty 
the faithful steed bore her in safety to the opposite bank. 

Giving her horse a few moments rest, she again set for- 
ward, and had gone but a short distance when to her inex- 
pressible delight she struck a broad wagon road, the first 
and only trace of civilization she had seen since she left her 
home in Texas. Nothing, she said, ever gave her as much 
pleasure as the sight of this road, for she felt confident that 
it would lead her to some settlement of people of her own 
race; and her anticipations were more speedily realized 
than she looked for, for a little while afterwards she saw 
a long train of wagons slowly coming along the road to- 
wards her. 

At the sight of this train her feelings overpowered her, 
and she wept tears of joy while offering up sincere thanks 
to the Almighty for delivering her from a bondage more 
dreadful than death. She hurried on, and soon met the 
foremost wagon, which was driven by a Mr. Robert Bent, 
who had charge of the train. He wa3 very much aston- 
ished to meet a young woman traveling alone on horseback 
in that wild country, with no covering on her head save her 
long hair, which was hanging in disheveled locks upon her 
shoulders. 



106 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

When she came up, Bent stopped his wagon and asked 
her where she lived and to what place she was going. She 
replied that she lived in Texas, and that she was on her way 
to the nearest settlement. At this response he shook his 
head incredulously, and said she must be mistaken, as the 
nearest point- in Texas was some five or six hundred miles 
distant. She, however, reiterated her statement, and de- 
scribed to him briefly the leading incidents of her capture 
and of her escape from the Indians. Still, he was inclined 
to doubt the story she told him, thinking possibly she might 
be insane. He informed her that the river she had just 
crossed was the Arkansas, and that she was then on. the 
Santa Fe road, fifteen miles west of Big Turkey creek, 
where she would find the most remote frontier settlement. 
He then gave her some provisions, and after thanking him 
for his kindness, she proceeded on her way. 

When Bent reached Fort Zara he called on the Indian 
agent there and told him about meeting Mrs. Jones on the 
road. By a curious coincidence it happened that the agent 
was at that very time holding a council with the chief of 
the identical band of Indians from whom Mrs. Jones had 
just escaped, and the chief had given him a full history of 
the whole affair, which seemed so improbable to the agent 
that he was not disposed to credit it until his account was 
confirmed by Mr. Bent. The agent at once dispatched a 
man to follow the woman and conduct her to Council Grove, 
where she was kindly received, and remained for some time 
hoping through the agent to gain some intelligence of the 
two children she had left with the Comanches, but no tid- 
ings of these children could be obtained. They were eventu- 
ally found, however, ransomed and sent home to their father. 

By reference to the map of the country over which Mrs. 
Jones traveled, it will be seen that the distance from the 
place of her capture to where she struck the Arkansas river, 
could not have been less than five hundred miles, and the 
greater part of her route was through an immense desert 
plain unvisited except by occasional bands of Indians. 

Her escape from the Indians and her equestrian feats 
were most remarkable, and the account herein given of 
them seems almost incredible, and yet there are those still 
living in Texas to whom the facts are well known, and who 
can authenticate the truth of the foregoing narrative. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 107 



VOL H>- Brasfoear* 



SOME very remarkable escapes have been made from 
Indians in Texas, of which I will mention one or two 
instances. Mr. Brashear was one of the very few men 

I have met with in my life who never took any pre- 
cautions against danger, and yet was perfectly cool and col- 
lected when danger came. I do not believe he ever felt the 
sensation of fear. He had a brother killed at Fan- 
1839 nin's massacre, and, in consequence, he entertained 

the most inveterate hatred towards the Mexicans, and 
especially for Santa Anna. 

After the battle of San Jacinto, and while Santa Anna 
was a prisoner at Velasco, Brashear went there as he told 
me himself, for the express purpose of shooting him on 
sight, but General Houston, in anticipation of some such 
attempt upon the life of his illustrious prisoner, had him 
surrounded constantly with a strong guard, whose orders 
were that no one with arms should have access to him; con- 
sequently, when Brashear applied for permission to see him, 
he was searched, and the pistol with which he intended to 
revenge the death of his brother was found upon his person, 
and his request to see Santa Anna being refused, he remained 
at Velasco until Santa Anna left for the "States," hoping 
by some means to get a pop at him, but the opportunity 
never occurred. 

In 1839, Brashear went to Lavaca county for the pur- 
pose of locating lands, and whilst there he boarded at the 
house of a gentleman by the name of Henseley, who resided 
at one of the extreme frontier settlements. Although that 
section of country was frequently visited by marauding 
bands of Indians, Brashear would often, in spite of Hense- 
ley's warnings, go out alone and unarmed, to examine 
lands, ten, fifteen or twenty miles from the settlement. 
Whenever Henseley told him he ran a great risk of having 



108 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

his hair lifted in riding about the country alone, his reply 
invariably was that he had no fear, as there was not an In- 
dian in Texas who could catch him when mounted on "Git 
Out," as he called his half-breed Mexican horse. 

One morning he left Henseley's with the intention of ex- 
aming a tract of land about ten miles west of the settle- 
ment, and, as usual, he had no arms with him more formi- 
dable than a pocket knife. He reached the locality he 
wished to examine, and was busily engaged in tracing a 
line with a pocket compass, when, on turning a point of post 
oak timber, he discovered about twenty Comanche warriors 
mounted upon their mustang ponies not more than a quar- 
ter of a mile distant. As soon as the Indians saw him they 
gave the war whoop and came swooping down upon him. 
Brashear instantly wheeled his horse and started towards 
the settlement, the Indians following him and yelling and 
whooping like so many devils. Brashear said he was not at 
all frightened although he was unarmed, as he felt confident 
that Git Out could easily run away from the Indians on 
their ponies, but to his astonishment, before he had gone a 
mile he found the Indians were gaining upon him, and 
if something was not done and that pretty quickly they 
would overtake him long before he could reach the Hense- 
ley settlement. About a mile ahead of him he knew there 
was a creek called Boggy, which could only be crossed at a 
few localities. He therefore determined to push Git Out to 
his utmost speed until he struck Boggy six or seven hundred 
yards below a crossing, and as soon as he was hid from view 
by the skirt of timber bordering the creek, to make a cross- 
ing and get back as quickly as possible opposite the point 
where he had entered the timber. He therefore plied whip 
and spurs to Git Out, in order to carry his plan into execu- 
tion, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing that he was 
rapidly forging ahead of the Indians. The moment he 
struck the timber on Boggy and his movements could not 
be seen by the Indians he made for the ford, crossed it, and 
galloped down the creek until he supposed he was about 
opposite the place where the Indians had lost sight of him. 
He had hardly reached this point when the Indians made 
their appearance, and seeing Brashear going off in a direct 
line, they naturally concluded he had crossed at that place. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 109 

Without halting for a moment they plunged into the creek, 
and instantly their horses went down to their necks in the 
treacherous quick sand. 

While the Indians were vainly endeavoring to extricate 
their horses from the bog, Brashear said he could not resist 
the inclination to crow over them a little, which he did by 
some very expressive pantomime. This made the Indians 
furious, and one or two who had scrambled out of the bog- 
on foot commenced shooting at him, whereupon Brashear 
bid them adieu and rode off leisurely, as he knew it would 
take some time to extricate their horses from the embraces 
of old Boggy. 

On another occasion Brashear had a very "close call" from 
Indians while out hunting. He had just killed a deer and 
had dismounted from his pony for the purpose of butcher- 
ing it. He was in the act of doing so when he discovered a 
party of Indians half a mile distant coming towards him on 
their ponies at full speed. Leaving his deer to be butchered 
at a more convenient opportunity, he hastily mounted his 
pony (he was not riding the redoubtable "Git Out" on that 
occasion) and started towards home, but he soon found the 
Indians were rapidly overhauling him. About a half a mile 
ahead there was a considerable elevation on the prairie, 
covered in places with a thick growth of chapparal, and 
Brashear made for it with all the speed he could get out of 
his pony with whip and spur. As soon as he entered this 
chapparal and was hid from the view of his pursuers he 
hastily dismounted, tied his pony to a bush and continued 
his retreat on foot. His idea was, when the Indians came up 
and discovered his pony they would naturally conclude he 
was secreted somewhere in the vicinity, and that before they 
found out their mistake he would have sufficient time to 
make his escape. His plan worked admirably and Brashear 
reached the settlement without seeing anything more of the 
Indians. The next morning, in company with five or six 
men from the settlement, he went to the place where he 
had left his pony and found him still there. It was evident, 
as Brashear had anticipated, that the Indians, when they 
came up and discovered the pony, supposed that his rider 
was concealed near by, and knowing that he was armed, they 
had not dared to venture within gunshot. 



110 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



|)oung Saun&ers, 



ONE of the most remarkable escapes ever made from 
Indians was that of a young man by the name of 
Saunders, who settled in Erath county at an early 
day. As he was pretty well educated, and there were 
quite a number of families where he had taken up his 
abode, they built a school house and employed him to teach 
their children. Not long after his arrival in the 
1839 oounty he made the acquaintance of a young lady who 
lived at a settlement ten miles distant from the one 
where he resided, whilst she was visiting a family in the 
neighborhood. It was another case of love at first sight, or 
in back woods parlance, he fell dead at the first fire. 

After the young lady returned home, as regularly as Sat- 
urday came round young Saunders was off to see his sweet- 
heart, and as the emoluments of his school were not suffi- 
cient to enable him to keep a horse, he usually made his 
weekly trips on "shanks's mare," and as the sequel will show, 
a better never lifted leg. 

Young Saunders was as green as a cat seed water melon 
in everything pertaining to frontier life, and as the Indians 
had not made a raid into the county since his arrival he 
thought he could travel the short distance between the two 
settlements safely on foot. 

One Saturday morning when he was about starting on his 
customary trip, some of his friends told him that-traveling 
on foot and unarmed in that country was a very risky busi- 
ness, but he supposed they were merely trying to intimidate 
him for their own amusement, and paid no attention to their 
warning. He had gone about half way between the two 
settlements when he heard the most diabolical yells behind 
him, and turning to look he discovered about twenty 
mounted Indians coming after him at full speed. 
There was a dense body of timber a half a mile or so to 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. Ill 

the left of the road he was traveling, and towards it young 
Saunders, now realizing the emergency of the case, put off 
at a two-forty lick. As he was young and active, and badly 
scared besides, he made such good speed that for a while the 
Indians gained but little on him; but unfortunately (or per- 
haps I should say fortunately), when within a few hundred 
yards of the timber, he struck his foot against a stone and 
pitched head foremost upon the ground. As he fell hfe 
hand came in contact with a stick, and for the same reason, 
I suppose, that a drowning man will catch at a straw, he 
instinctively grasped it. 

By the time he had regained his feet, still holding the 
stick in his hand, the Indians had come up with him, and 
began to let their arrows fly at him thick and fast. Young 
Saunders turned and presented his stick towards them, 
which proved to be a black, half burnt sumach root, about 
the length of a six shooter, and with a crook at one end re- 
sembling the handle. 

The Indians, of course, at a little distance, supposed it 
was a six shooter, and drew back. The young man, taking 
advantage of their halt, again put in his best licks to reach 
the timber, but the Indians soon came up with him, and 
he was forced to turn and present his formidable sumach 
root at them, which demonstration was followed by the 
same result. By repeating this maneuver whenever the 
Indians pressed him closely, young Saunders finally suc- 
ceeded in reaching the timber and made his escape without 
having received a scratch, although his clothes were cut in 
many places with arrows. 

The Indians did not follow him any further, no doubt con- 
cluding it would not be safe to follow a man into the thick 
timber who was armed with a sumach root, and reserved 
his fire until he could make sure of his enemy. 

The parties to whom I am indebted for this account 
of Mr. Saunders's escape from the Indians did not in- 
form me as to the finale of his love affair; and, know- 
ing as well as I do the chivalrous character of "young 
Texas," I did not think it worth while to make any inquiries 
about it. I am perfectly confident that the young man did 
not discontinue his weekly pilgrimage to the shrine of his 
lady love for fear of meeting Indians on the way. On the 



112 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

contrary, I feel assured that he purchased a horse and a six 
shooter with the first available funds he acquired, and that 
he did not cease to pay his Saturday visits to his inamorata 
until she became Mrs. Saunders. It is said that "the course 
of true love never does run smooth," but at least in Mr. 
Saunders's case it ran fast enough to save his scalp, and I 
do not think I am running myself before the hounds when I 
assert that in all probability Mr. and Mrs. Saunders are now 
numbered among the cattle kings and queens of old Erath, 
and that from the stoop of their hospitable and palatial ranch 
they can now count a hundred bovine herds grazing upon a 
hundred hills. At least, no other conjecture is compatible 
with the known chivalry of the young America of Texas. 
"Vive I" amour. Cigars and cognac ! " 



William a Mallace. 



\ | /iLLI AM A. WALLACE, better known by the name 
\ I / of "Big Foot Wallace," was born in Lexington, 
^*^ Kockbridge county, Virginia, in the year 1816, and 
came to Texas in 1836, arriving a few months after 
the battle of San Jacinto. He had a brother— Major Wal- 
lace — who was a graduate of West Point, and also a cousin 

killed in the Fannin massacre at Goliad. For the 
1836 murder of these two men, Wallace says he came to 

Texas to take revenge out of the Mexicans. He landed 
at Galveston, but soon left for LaGrange, Texas, where he 
resided until 1839, when he moved to Austin, but moved to 
San Antonio the following spring, in 1840. He was at the 
battle of the Salado, in 1842, when General Woll captured 
San Antonio. He was also in the Mier expedition, but was 
one of the lucky ones who drew a white bean, and after 
returning to Texas, he joined Colonel Hays's ranging com- 
pany and was with him in many of his exciting Indian 
campaigns, and in 1846 was with Hays at the storming of 




BIG FOOT WALLACE. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 113 

Monterey, where, to use Wallace's own language, he took 
"full toll" out of the Mexicans for killing his brother and 
cousin at Goliad in 1836. After the termination of the Mexi- 
can war, he commanded a ranging company which was 
organized to protect the frontier of Texas, and subse- 
quently had charge of the mail from San Antonio to El Paso, 
which was probably the most dangerous mail route in all 
Texas; for, according to the statemeut of old Texans who 
were living in that section of the State, the road is lined on 
either side from San Antonio to El Paso with graves of 
those who had fallen by the way side at the hands of the 
Indian savage, or of the maurauding Mexicans. Wallace's 
frontier life was fraught with many perilous adventures 
and narrow escapes. In 1837, while out with a party of 
surveyors in what is supposed now to be Palo Pinto county, 
he became separated from his party, was chased by the In- 
dians, the foremost one of whom he killed, and after making 
his escape, and was making his way back to the settle- 
ments, had the misfortune of spraining his ankle, and was 
compelled to lay up alone from the twenty-eighth < f Octo- 
ber until the twentieth of November, before he was able to 
travel. He subsisted alone on wild game and pecans, while 
he remained in his little cave which fortunately he had 
found and camped in the night before the morning he 
sprained" his ankle, which accident occurred near by, and 
he returned to the cave. On his way back to the settle- 
ments, he was captured by the Indians, taken to their vil- 
lage, and after a council had been held among the warriors, 
he was condemned to be burnt and had been taken out, tied 
down to the stakes with the wood piled around him, but 
just before the Indians were ready to apply the torch to the 
flames, Wallace was rescued by an old squaw. Through the 
kindness of this old squaw and her son Ci Black Wolf," he 
was enabled to make his escape from the Indians after re- 
maining with them a few months. 

Wallace was able to defend his little ranch out on the 
Medina river, some thirty miles southwest of San Antonio, 
from the ravages of Indians, Mexicans, cut throats and 
thieves, who would occasionally dispute his right of posses- 
sion, but when civilization spread out in that section of 
Texas and lands became valuable, he was unable to hold his 



Hi INDIAN DEPKEDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

own against the manipulations of the shrewd land shark, 
and we have been informed that recently some one discovered 
a flaw in Wallace's land title and succeeded in ejecting him 
from his little ranch, which he had occupied for some fif- 
teen or twenty years without any one ever disputing the 
right of his occupancy except the class above referred to, 
and now, like the wandering Arab, he pitches his tent 
wherever night overtakes him. He is still camping around 
in Southwest Texas. 

Some years ago a little book entitled "The Adventures of 
Big Foot Wallace" — the well known Texan ranger — was 
published, having been written by John C. Duval, an old 
Texan, messmate of Wallace under Hays, and to-day we 
believe the only survivor of Fannin's Massacre at Goliad in 
1836. From this little book we have concluded to take somo 
extracts for the following reasons: First, because we be- 
lieve they will vary to some extent the unavoidable same- 
ness of the scenes and incidents narrated in this work; and, 
secondly, because as but few copies of the book referred to 
ever reached Texas, we believe they will be new to most 
readers of this book. We would not have the reader infer 
from the quaint and laughable style in which "Big Foot" 
describes his Indian exploits that the incidents referred to 
by him are based upon fiction. He vouched for the truth • 
fulness of the facts, and while the author of "Big Foot" may 
have dressed up the language in a few instances to amuse 
the fancy of the reader, the incidents referred to actually oc- 
curred, some of which were witnessed by the author of "Big 
Foot," who, on several occasions, was with Wallace. The 
following piece, as will be seen, gives an account of an 
attack by the Indians on the United States mail coach while 
Wallace was in charge of the mail route between San An- 
tonio and El Pi; so. This as well as other extracts" will be 
given in Big Foot's own peculiar language. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TBXAS. 115 



flnbians attach tbe fIDail Coaclx 



5 AID "Big Foot," I have been in many tight places, but 
when I was in charge of the mail line running from 
San Antonio to El Paso I got into one I thought I should 
never squeeze out of, but I did. In all the scrapes and 
difficulties I have encountered since coming to Texas I never 
was severely wounded either with an arrow or a ball, which, 
considering my size, is something truly wonderful. I 
1849 have known a great many men who, as General 
Scott said of General Johnson, "had an unfortunate 
knack of getting wounded in every fight they went into/' 
but I have not been one of that sort. They say "those 
who are born to be hung won't be shot or drowned;" and 
perhaps that may account for it. But I am flying off of 
my story before I have fairly commenced it. We had 
been traveling hard ever since twelve o'clock at night in 
order to reach the watering place at Devil's river, where I 
intended to noon it and graze our animals for two or three 
hours. After daylight I noticed several Indian smokes 
rising up and disappearing, but they were apparently a long 
way off, and once passed a considerable trail w:iere we dis- 
covered that fifteen or twenty head of horses had crossed 
the road. Although I did not like the sign, and I told the 
boys to keep a sharp lookout, as I was satisfied the Indians 
were hatching some devilment for our benefit. "We, how- 
ever, reached the water hole in safety, about noon, watt red 
our animals and hoppled them out to graze* I had eight 
men with me, most of them old frontiersmen who had seen 
much service, and were as good fighters, with the exception 
of one, as ever drew a bead upon an Indian, for I had seen 
them tried on several occasions before. 

There was about a quarter of an acre of thick chapparal 
near the watering place, and after we had taken a bite to 
eat, I told the boys to draw the coach up to the edge of this 
thicket and they could lie down on their blankets and take 



116 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

a snooze, for they had been awake all of the night before, 
and were pretty well worn out. 

I felt considerably fagged myself, but somehow uneasi- 
ness pervaded me so I could not sleep. Although I had 
seen nothing in particular to excite my suspicions since we 
stopped at the watering place, I felt uneasy and determined 
to watch while the others slept. If there had been nothing 
else, the appearance of the country around our encamp- 
ment was enough to make one uneasy, for it had a real 
"Injiny" look. The country was composed of broken, 
rocky hills, with here and there little clumps of thorny 
bushes, stunted cedars, with little narrow valleys or canons 
between the hills, in which there was nothing but a few 
patches of withered grass from which our animals were 
picking a scanty repast. We could see but a short distance 
in any direction. 

I picked up my rifle and walked off about fifty yards to a 
little mound to the right of our encampment, where I could 
have the best view of the approach of the enemy. * * * 

I don't know how it is with others, but there are times 
when I feel low spirited and depressed without being able 
to account for it, and such was the case on this occasion. 
The breeze rustled with a melancholy sound through the 
dead grass and stunted bushes around me, and the howling 
of a solitary cayote among the hills appeared to me unusu- 
ally mournful. Nothing else could be heard except the snor- 
ing in camp of Ben Wade, who was one of the most provi- 
dent men, where eating and sleeping were concerned, I ever 
met with. Ben's motto was, "never refuse to eat or sleep 
when you are on the plains, if you should have a chance 
forty times a day, for you can't tell how soon the time may 
come when you will have to go forty days without any 
chance at all In that way," says Ben, "you can keep up 
and stand the racket a good while." * * * * 

And before I proceed further I must diverge a little and 
give an anecdote concerning Ben. He could eat more and 
sleep more than any man I ever saw. When he was out on 
the plains he would eat forty times a day if he had a chance. 
It may be, says Ben, forty days before we will get any more, 
and in this way, by being sure to keep eating when I have 
it, it enables me to go without a long timo. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 117 

Ben was always on hand when there was anything to 
cat, and the moment he was off guard you could hear him 
snoring like a wild mule. One night Ben and I went on a 
spying expedition in one of the villages of the Wacos. The 
dogs discovered us, and their barking soon aroused the 
whole Indian tribe, and in a little while they began to pour 
out of their lodges with their bows and arrows in their 
hands. We concluded about that time we could find a 
healthier locality a few miles off, and we made for the river 
bottom, about two miles distant, and just as we passed the 
last Indian lodge, Ben discovered a side of buffalo ribs 
roasting before a fire in front of the lodge. 

"Cap," says Ben, "let's stop and take a bite, there is no 
telling when we will get another chance," and at that very 
moment we could hear the red devils yelling behind us like 
a pack of hungry wolves. "Well," said I, "Ben, if you are 
billing to sell your life for a mess of pottage you can stop, 
bat I set a higher price on mine and can't tarry just now." 
"But," says he, "Cap, it is a rule I always stuck to, never 
to let a chance slip of taking a bite when I am on the war- 
path and I do not like to break through it at this late day." 
Seeing I made no signs of stopping, for some of the Indians 
were then within a hundred yards of us screaching like so 
many catamounts, he said, "if you won't wait I must take 
the ribs along with me," and I wish I may be cut up into 
bait for mud cats if he didn't grab them up and sling them 
over his shoulder, though a half dozen of the foremost In- 
dians were then in sight of us Ben and I were both pretty 
hard to beat in a foot race them days, but those Indians 
compelled us to put in our best licks for a mile and a half. 
The darkness of the night, however, was in our favor, and 
we finally got safely within the bottom. As soon as I 
thought we were out of immediate danger I stopped a little 
while to catch my breath, and said to Ben: "As you would 
bring the ribs along I believe I will take one of them now, 
my run has given me an appetite." "I am sorry, Cap," says 
he, "but you spoke too late, I've polished them all, ' and if 
you will believe me it was a fact. While we were running 
for dear life, with a dozen red skins after us, Ben had 
plucked the ribs as clean as the ivory handle of my six- 
shooter. Notwithstanding this, Ben was as true blue as ever 



118 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

fluttered and would do to "tie to" when danger was about. 
Thinking Ben had slept enough I determined to go and 
wake him and get him to help me bring in the horses and 
mules. Just at that moment I saw one of the horses raise 
up his head and look for a long time in a certain direction 
and soon afterward I saw a deer come running as if some- 
thing had frightened it. I waited long enough to see there 
were no wolves after it and hurried to camp and gave Ben 
a shake by the shoulders and told him to get up. I spoke 
to him in a low voice, for I did not want to wake up the 
other boys. "Hello," said he, raising himself on one hand 
and rubbing his eyes with the other. "Hello, Cap," said he, 
"what's the matter, is dinner ready?" "No," I replied, 
"you cormorant, it has'nt been half an hour since you had 
dinner enough for six men. Get up and help me to bring in 
the horses, Indians about." Says Ben, "I have'nt seen any 
yet." I said, "but they are about here certain." "Why, 
Cap," said he, "if I did not know you so well I would say 
you are over-cautious, but if you say fetch in the horses 
here goes," and between us we brought them all in and 
fastened them securely in the chapparal without waking any 
of the other boys. 

After we had got them well fastened, Ben lay down 
again to finish his nap, but scarcely had he coiled himself 
in his blanket when he sprang up as suddenly as if a sting- 
ing lizard had stung him. "Cracky!" says he, "Cap, I 
hear their horses' feet; they are coming ! " I listened at- 
tentively, and sure enough, I could hear the clatter of their 
horses' feet, clattering on the rocky ground, and the next 
minute saw twenty-three Comanche warriors coming to- 
wards our camp as fast as their horses could bring them. 
We aroused the boys in an instant and were ready for 
them. They had evidently expected to take us by surprise, 
for they never checked their horses until they had charged 
Up within a few feet of the chapparal in which we were 
posted, and began to pour in their "dogwood switches" 
among us as thick as hail. But we returned the compli- 
ment so effectually with our rifles and six shooters that they 
soon fell back, taking off with them four of their warriors 
that had been emptied from their saddles. They wounded 
one of our men slightly, a Mr. Fry, and killed a pack mule, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 119 

They went off out of sight behind a hill, and most of our 
men thought they had gone for good, but I told them they 
were mistaken, and that we should have a lively time of it 
yet, and that the Indians had only gone off to dismount, 
and that they would come back again soon and give us 
another "turn;" and so it turned out, for we had scarcely 
reloaded our rifles and six shooters when they rose up all 
around the little thicket in which we were, yelling and 
screeching as if ihey thought we were all a set of green 
horns, to be frightened by such a noise. But I saw very 
plainly that they were in earnest this time, and I told Ben 
Wade to take three of the boys and keep them off from the 
far side of the thicket while I kept them at bay with the 
rest of the men on the side next to the coach. 

We had our hands full, I can tell you. I think we killed 
one of their noted chiefs in the first charge they made on 
us, and that they were bent on revenge, for I never saw the 
red rascals come up as boldty to the scratch before. Three 
or four times they charged us with great spirit, and once 
they got right in among us, so that it was a hand to hand 
fight. The boys never flinched, but threw the six shooter 
bullets in among them so fast that they could not stand it 
long, and they retreated out of sight behind the hill. 

When the Indians were charging us so firecely I saw one 
of my men skulking behind a clump of prickly pears. I 
went to him and told him to come out and fight like a man. 
"Cap," said he, "I would if I could, but I can't stand it." 
I saw by the way his lips quivered and his hands shook that 
he was speaking the truth. I replied, "well, stay there then 
if you must, and I will say nothing about it;" but some of 
the rest noticed him, and if I had not interposed they 
would have killed him, and I might just as well let them, 
for the poor fellow had no peace of his life afterwards. I 
have seen two or three men in the course of my life who 
were naturally scarey, and could not help it any more than 
they could help having bandy legs or snub nose. They are 
born so and are more to be pitied than blamed. You might 
as well blame a man for not being as smart as Henry Clay 
as to blame him for not being brave as Julius Caesar; all 
the same, it is very aggravating to have them act in that 
way when the service of every one is needed as it was on 



120 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

this occasion. But after all, bravery is about as safe from 
harm as cowardice. This man was the only one that was 
wounded, with the exception of Fry. An arrow flew where 
he was hiding, struck him in the arm and pinned him to the 
prickly pear behind which he was concealed. 

After the Indians retreated the second time, the boys of 
course thought that was an end of the fight, but I told them 
I did not think so, that my idea was that the Indians would 
try to delude us in the belief that they were gone, when in 
fact they were waiting for us to start off on our journey. 
I told them that we could soon satisfy ourselves as to the 
facts of the case. Accordingly I ordered every man to take his 
gun and lie down under the coach and keep perfectly quiet. 
The boys were beginning to get a little tired of this position, 
all but Ben, who was fast asleep, when we saw an Indian 
cautiously poke his head out of the chapparal about seventy 
yards from where we were. He looked for a long time to- 
wards us and seeing no sign of life there, he ventured out 
and straightened himself up to have a better view. "Don't 
fire, boys," said I, "there will be more of them out directly, 
and we can get two or three of them." In a little while an- 
other Indian came and stood by the first one, and then an- 
other, and so on until there were five of them standing side 
by side, all looking intently toward the coach, and wonder- 
ing, I suppose, what had become of us. 

" Now, score 'em boys," said I, and we let them have it. 
Four of them fell dead, and the fifth one scrambled back 
into the chapparal as fast as if he had bet his life on accom- 
plishing the feat in a second of time. 

I ordered the men to reload, telling them that some more 
Indians would come out presently to carry off the dead. 
But I was mistaken that time. Nothing could be seen of 
them for fifteen or twenty minutes, when we sawltn arm 
rise up out of the bushes on the edge of the chapparal and 
make a sort of motion, and the next instant one of the dead 
Indians was "snaked" into the thicket, and I wish I may 
be kicked to death b}^ grasshoppers if they didn't rope 
every one of them and drag them off in that way, and we 
could never see a thing except that Indian's arm motioning 
backward and forward as he threw the lasso. 

"Boys," says I, "that gets me! I have been in a good 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 121 

many scrimmages with the Indians, but I never saw them 
'snake off' their dead in that way before." However, I con- 
tinued, "it shows they have had enough of the fight, and I 
think now we might venture to make a start without any 
fear of being attacked by them again." While the boys 
were harnessing up the horses, I took my rifle and went out 
for the purpose of reconnoitering, and well for us that I 
did, for on reaching the top of the little rise where I had 
first taken my stand, I counted forty warriors coming down 
a canon not more than four hundred yards off. I was 
satisfied it was not the same party we had been fighting, 
but a re-enforcement coming to their assistance. They were 
slowly coming along directly toward me, and when they 
had arrived within about one hundred yards, I rose from 
where I was sitting, and showed myself to them. They 
halted instantly, and one of them, who I supposed was a 
chief, rode forward thirty or forty yards in advance of 
the rest, and in a loud voice asked me in Mexican, which 
most of the Comanches speak, " What we were doing 
there?" There is nothing like keeping a stiff upper lip and 
presenting a bold front when you deal with Indians, So I 
told him we had been fighting Comanches, and that we had 
flogged them genteely too. " Yes," said he, " You are a set 
of sneaking Cayotes, and are afraid to come out of the 
brush; you are afraid to travel the road; you are all squaws, 
and you don't dare to poke your noses out of the chapparal." 
''If you will wait until we eat dinner," I answered, "I'll 
show you whether we are afraid to travel the road. We 
shall camp at the California springs to-night in spite of the 
whole Comanche nation." And with this, I turned slowly 
around and walked back to the coach, as if I didn't think 
they were worth bothering about any further. 

I was satisfied that if I could only make them believe we 
did not fear them, and that we intended to camp at the Cal- 
ifornia springs that night, that they would hurry on there 
for the purpose of waylaying us at that place; and so it 
turned out, for they immediately set off for the springs, 
eight miles distant, leaving only three warriors behind to 
watch our motions. When I got back to the coach I told 
the boys what I had said to the Indians, and that I had no 
doubt they would hurry off to the springs with the inten- 



122 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

tion of waylaying us there, and that my intention was to 
wait where we were until they had time enough to reach 
the springs, and we would then put out and take the back 
track to Fort Clark. 

"They are too strong for us, hoys," said I, "for they have 
had a reinforcement of forty warriors and they will fight 
like mad to revenge the deaths of those we have killed." 

"Cap," said Ben Wade, "I heard you make one sensible 
remark to that Indian you was a talking with." "What 
was that, Ben?" I asked. "Why," says Ben, "you told 
him that as soon as we got dinner we would go to the Cali- 
fornia springs, in spite of the Comanche nation." "Yes," 
said I, "I told him that because I wanted him to think that 
we were delaying here of our own accord, and not because 
we were afraid of him and his warriors, and I believe they 
have gone off under that impression." 

"It was a pretty smart dodge in you, Cap, to put 'em on 
the wrong scent in that way, I'll admit, but you see as we 
may not be able to get to the California springs, after all, 
and we can get dinner, we had better make sure of doing 
what is in our power. Besides, Cap," he continued, hauling 
out a chunk of venison and some hard tack from his wallet, 
"they have probably left a spy to watch us, and as you told 
them we would eat before we left, I will make pretense to 
eat a bite, so he will have no reason to think we are throw- 
ing off on them." 

"There will be no danger of that, Ben," said I, "if he is 
where he can get a good look at you. There is no throw off 
in you when eating and sleeping is to be done." " Nor fight- 
ing either," he said. " If I hadn't shot that Indian on the 
last charge they made on us, just as he was drawing his 
bow on you, not six feet off, you would have a quill_ stick- 
ing out of your back now as long as a porcupine." 

"That's a fact, Ben," I replied, "and it is not the first 
time you have done me a good turn in that way, and I am 
not the man to forget it, and when we get to Fort Clark I 
will stop over a day just to give you a fair chance to lay in 
a good supply of provender." Ben was mollified, and as 
soon as he had finished the venison and hard tack he tum- 
bled over on his blanket and was fast asleep in two min- 
utes. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 12o 

After waiting about half an hour longer we took the back 
track to Fort Clark instead of going on to the springs and 
traveled as fast as we could urge on the animals. Just as 
we started we saw two of the Indians that had been left to 
watch our movements put off at full speed toward the 
springs, doubtless for the purpose of informing the main 
body of our movement. The other — for they had three — 
was left to watch us, followed on after us at a safe distance 
from our rifles for seven or eight miles, when we lost sight 
of him. We had so much the start of the Indians and the 
road was so firm and good and we rattled along at such a 
rate they had no chance to overtake us even if they pursued 
us, which I suppose they did. The next morning we reached 
Fort Clark, where our wounded were taken care of. The 
command out at the fort furnished us with an escort of 
twelve men and a sergeant and we made the trip back to 
San Antonio without any further trouble. 



Waliace'0 fight Witb tbe "Bis Unbian.' 



IN the fall of '42 Indians were worse on the rrontiers than 
they had ever been before or since. You couldn't stake 
a horse out at night with any expectation of finding him 
next morning, and a fellow's scalp wasn't safe on his 
head outside of his own shanty. The people on the frontier 
at last came to the conclusion that something had to be 
done or else they would be compelled to fall back on 
1842 the settlements, which would have been reversing the 
natural order of things, so we collected by agreement 
at my ranch, organized a company of forty men and the next 
time the Indians came down from the mountains we took 
the trail, determined to follow it as long as our horses could 
hold out. The trail led us up toward the head waters of the 
Llano, and on the third day out I discovered a great many 
signal smokes rising up a long distance off in the direction 
we were traveling. That night we camped near a water 



124 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

hole and put out a double guard. Just before the sun went 
down I saw a smoke apparently about three miles to the 
northeast of us and felt satisfied there was a party of In- 
dians encamped there. So I went to the Captain and told 
him if he could give me leave to do so I would get up an 
hour or two before daylight and find out whether there were 
any Indians there or not. 

He was willing enough to let me go, and told the guard 
to pass me out whenever I wanted to leave. I whetted up 
Old Butcher a little, rammed two bullets down the throat of 
Sweet Lips, and left camp about two hours before daylight, 
and started off in the direction of the smoke I had seen the 
evening before. 

The chapparal was as thick in some places as the hair on 
a dog's back, but I scuffled through it in the dark, and after 
traveling through it a mile and a half I came to a deep 
canon that seemed to head up in the direction I had seen 
the smoke. I scrambled down into it and waited until day 
began to break, then slowly and cautiously continued my 
course along the bottom of the canon. It was crooked, and 
in some places so narrow that there was scarcely room 
enough in it for two men to travel abreast. 

At length I came to a place where it made a sudden bend 
to the left, and just as I turned the corner I came plump up 
against a big Indian, who was coming down the canon, I 
suppose with the intention of spying out our camp. We 
were both stooping down when we met, and our heads 
came together with considerable force, and the Indian rolled 
one way and I the other. We both rose about the same 
time, and so unexpected was the encounter that we stood 
for a moment uncertain what to do, and stood glaring upon 
one another like two catamounts when they are about to dis- 
pute the carcass of a dead deer. ■ -Z 

The Indian had a gun as well as I, but we were too close 
to each other to shoot, and it seemed we both came to the 
conclusion as to what was best to be done about the same 
time, for we both dropped our rifles and grappled each 
other, saying not a word. You see, boys, I am a pretty 
stout man yet, but in those days, without meaning to brag, 
I do not believe there was a white man west of the Colorado 
river that could stand up against me in a regular catamount, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 125 

bear hug, hand-to-hand fight, but the minute I hefted that 
Indian, I knew I had undertaken a job that would bring the 
sweat from me, and perhaps blood too. He was nearly as 
tall as I am, say six feet one or two inches, and would 
weigh, I suppose, about one hundred and seventy-five pounds 
net, for he had no clothes on worth mentioning. I had the 
advantage of him in weight, but he was as wiry and active 
as a cat, and as sleek as an eel; and no wonder, either, for 
he was greased from head to foot with bear's oil. At it we 
went in right down earnest, without a word being spoken 
by either one of us — first up one side of the canon, down in 
the bottom, then up the other side, and the dust flew in such 
a way that had one been passing along the bank above, they 
would have supposed that a small whirlwind was raging 
below. I was, however, a little the stronger of the two, and 
when we rose to our feet I could throw him easily enough, 
but the moment he touched the ground the "varmint" would 
give himself a sort of a squirm, like a snake, and pop right 
up on top of me, and I could not hold him still a moment, he 
was so sleek with bear's grease. 

Each one of us was busy trying to draw his butcher knife 
from the sheath all the time, but neither could get a chance 
to do it. At last I found that my breath was failing me, 
and I came to the conclusion that if I did not do something 
soon I should have my note taken to a certainty, for the 
Indian was like a lobos wolf and was getting better the 
longer he fought. So the next time we rose I put out all 
my strength and gave him a back-handed trip that brought 
his head with great force against a sharp pointed rock that 
was lying on the ground. He was completely stunned by 
the shock for an instant, and before he fairly came to I 
snatched my knife from the sheath and drove it with all my 
strength up to the hilt in his body. The moment he felt the 
cold steel he threw me from him as if I had been a ten year 
old boy, sprang upon me before I could rise, drew his own 
butcher knife and raised it above his head with the inten- 
tion of plunging it into my breast. 

I tell you what, boys, I often see that Indian now in my 
dreams, particularly after eating a hearty supper of bear 
meat and honey, grappling me by the throat with his left 
hand and his glittering butcher knife raised in his right — 



126 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

his two fierce eyes gleaming like a panther's in the dark. 
It is astonishing how fast a man can think under such cir- 
cumstances. He thinks faster than words can fly along one 
of the?e new-fangled telegraph lines. I looked toward the 
blue sky above me and bid it a long farewell, and to the 
green trees, the sparkling water and bright sun. Then I 
thought of my mother as I remembered her when I was a 
little boy; the old home, the apple orchard, the brook where 
I used to fish for minnows, and the commons where I 
used to ride every stray donkey and pony I could catch; and 
then I thought of Alice Ann, a blue-eyed, partridge built 
young woman I had a "leaning to," who lived down in the 
Zumwalt settlement. All these, and many more thoughts be- 
sides, flashed through my mind in the little time that knife 
was gleaming over my breast. All at once the Indian gave 
a keen yell, and down went the knife with such force that 
it was buried to the hilt in the hard earth at my side. 

The last time I had thrown the Indian down a deep gash 
had been cut in his forehead by the sharp pointed rock, and 
the blood running down into his eyes from the wound, 
blinded him so that he missed his aim. I fully expected he 
would repeat the blow but he lay still and made no effort to 
draw his knife from the ground. I looked at his eyes and 
they were closed hard and fast, but there was a devilish 
sort of grin still about his mouth as if he had died in the 
belief that he had sent me before him to the happy hunting 
grounds. I threw him off of me and he tumbled down to 
the bottom of the canon stone dead. My knife had gone to 
his heart. I looked at him some time, lying there so still 
and stiffning fast in the cool morning air, and said to my- 
self: "Well, old fellow, you made a good fight of it any- 
how, and if luck had not been against you you would have 
'taken my sign in' to a certainty, and Alice Ann would have 
lost the best string she's got to her bow." And now said I to 
myself: "Old fellow, I am going to do for you what I never 
did for an Indian before, I am going to give you a decent 
Christian burial." So I broke his gun into a dozen pieces 
and laid them beside him, according to the Indian custom, 
so it might be handy for him when he got to the happy hunt- 
ing grounds (though if they havn't firstrate smiths there I 
don't think it will be fit for use soon) and then I pulled up 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 12? 

some pieces of rock from the canon and piled them around 
and over him until he was completely covered and safe from 
the attacks of the cayotes and other animals, and there, I 
have no doubt, his bones are to this day. This is a true ac- 
count of my fight with the big Indian in the canon. 



Wallace's flDavericft. 



INDIANS are sometimes monstrous impudent, and will 
run the greatest risks without anything to gain by it. 
Would you believe that not more than six months ago a 
party of five Tonkawa warriors came within half a mile 
of my ranch and in broad daylight killed one of mv fattest 
mavericks [an unmarked yearling calf], pitched their camp, 
and set in for a general jollification? It happened 
1867 that morning that Tom Jones, Bill Decker, Jeff Bonds 
and myself were out looking after the stock, when 
all at once Jeff remarked that he smelt meat roasting 
on the coals. I then turned up my nose to windward 
and smelt it too, as plainly as I ever whiffed fried mid- 
dling of a frosty morning with the breeze dead ahead when 
I've been coming into camp after a three hours hunt be- 
fore breakfast. Talk about your Hostetter's bitters and 
your patent tonics! The best tonic that I know of is a three 
hours hunt among the hills of a frosty morning. It gives a 
fellow an appetite that nothing less than a mule and a ham- 
per of greens can satisfy. 

Well, as I was saying, just as soon as I smelt roasted 
meat I knew there were Indians about, although the last 
place I should have looked, if I had been hunting for them, 
would have been the vicinity of my ranch. Still, I was cer- 
tain they were there somewhere, for wolves, and panthers, 
and catamounts, and other varmints, you see, always take 
their meat raw. So I told the boys to keep quiet, and get 
down and fasten their horses. We then recapped our guns 
and revolvers and cautiously crept along through the 



128 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

bushes until we discovered the Indians, not more than fifty- 
yards from us, where they were making themselves as 
much at home and as comfortable around their fire as if 
they were in the mountains about the head of the Guada- 
lupe river, which is undoubtedly the roughest little scope of 
country to be found in the State of Texas. I whispered to 
Jeff, who was nearest to. me, and said: " Well, don't this 
beat you! Did you ever know such impudence before in 
your life? To kill one of my fattest mavericks and barbe- 
cue it in broad daylight within half a mile of my ranch! 
Well, if I don't let 'em know I am the landlord of these 
diggins yet, and bring ui a bill for the entertainment they 
have had, you may call me short stock, if I am six feet 
three in my stockings!" 

All this time the Indians never suspected we were near 
them. There was one big fellow among them who must 
have been six feet two or three inches high in his stockings, 
though, of course, he never had on a pair in his life, and 
be was making himself very prominent around the fire, 
broiling the fat steaks of my "maverick" upon the coals, 
and turning and toasting the joints of meat on the spits; 
all the while laughing and talking just as if he did not 
know he was within a mile of Big Foot's ranch. I don't 
think I ever felt less like giving quarter in my life but once, 
and that was when a big buck nigger, with a nose like dor- 
mant window, and a pair of lips that looked like he had 
been sucking a bee gum and got badly stung in the opera- 
tion, objected to my registering as a voter. He was one of 
the board of registers at Clarksville, but he was not in a 
condition to object to any one else registering that day, and 
probably tLj next, for I took him a clue over the head that 
would have stunued a beef, but he never winked; I changed 
* my tactics and gave him twelve inches of solid shoe leather 
on the shins that brought him to his milk in short order. 
The "buro" fined me fifty dollars and costs, but the amount 
is not paid yet, and probably won't be until they can get a 
crowd that is good at traveling and fighting Indians to pilot 
the sheriff to my ranch. 

But, to come back to the Indians that were barbecuing 
my maverick. I determined to take the impudent chap 
that was making himself so prominent around the fire into 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 129 

iny special keeping, and I whispered Jeff to draw a bead 
on the one sitting down, and to tell Bill and Tom to shoot 
at the three standing up. At the word, all four of our rifles 
cracked like one gun. Just as I drew the trigger on him 
the big Indian was lifting a chunk of my maverick from 
the fire. At the crack of the rifle the chunk flew up in the 
air, and the big Indian pitched head foremost on his face 
right among the hot coals and ashes, and before we left 
there was a stronger smell of roast meat than ever, but it 
was not my maverick. Jeff also killed his Indian dead in 
his tracks, but only one of those that BiEL and Tom fired at 
was wounded, and not very bad at that. They retreated 
into the thick chapparal, and we never saw them again. 
However, we got all their bows and arrows, and one first 
rate new flint and steel rifle, to say nothing of the maverick, 
which was done to a turn; for, to give the scamps their due, 
they do understand roasting meat to perfection. The big 
Indian that I got must have been a sort of chief, for he had 
about twenty pounds of brass rings on his arms, and a 
"cue" that reached down to his heels, that "nipped and 
tucked" in the hot ashes like a burnt foot. The other In- 
dians took the little hint I gave them and have never 
camped on my premises since. 



Wbe Inbian Ibater, 



3 AID Big Foot, did I ever tell you about a curious sort of 
character I fell in with at the "Zumwalt settlement," on 
the Lavaca, a year or so after I came out to Texas? I 
have met with many a good, honest hater in my time, 
but this fellow hated Indians with such a vim that he hadn't 
room left even for an appetite for his food. But he had 
a good reason for it, and if they had served me as they did 
him, I am afraid I should have taken to scalping Indians 
myself for a livelihood, instead of being satisfied with 
"upping" one now and then in a fair fight. 



130 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

A party of eight of us had been out on an exploring ex- 
pedition to the Nueces river, which was then almost un- 
known to the Americans, and the night we got back to the 
Lavaca we encamped on its western bank, and all went to 
sleep without the usual precaution of putting out a guard, 
thinking we were near enough to the settlements to be safe 
from the attacks of Indians. I told the boys I thought we 
were running a great risk in not having any guard out, as I 
had already found that where you least expected to meet 
with Indians, there they were sure to be; but the boys were 
all tired with their long day's ride, and said they didn't 
think there was any danger, and if there was, they were 
willing to take the chances. So, after we had got some 
supper and staked our horses, we wrapped our blankets 
around us, and, as I have said before, were all soon fast 
asleep. 

I was the first one to rouse up, about daylight the next 
morning, and looking in the direction we had staked our 
horses, I discovered they were all gone. I got up quietly, 
without waking any of the boys, and went out to recon- 
noiter the "sign." I had gone but a little way on the 
prairie when I picked up an arrow, and a few yards further 
on I came across one of our horses lying dead on the grass, 
with a dozen "dogwood switches" sticking in various parts 
of his body. This satisfied me at once that Mr. John had 
paid us a sociable visit during the night, and, with the ex- 
ception of the one they had killed (he was an unruly beast) 
had carried off all our stock when they left. 

I went back to camp, stirred up the men and gave them 
the pleasing information that we were ten miles from wood 
and water and flat afoot. There was no use crying; so we 
held a " council of war " as to what was best to be dlone un- 
der the circumstances. At length it was decided that 
each man should shoulder his own plunder or leave it 
behind, just as he preferred, and that we should take a bee 
line for the Zumwalt settlement above us on the river, there 
borrow horses if we could, follow the Indians, and endeavor 
to get back from the Indians the ones they had stolen from 
us. So we hastily got a snack, each man shouldered his 
load and put out at a dog trot for the settlement. It was a 
pretty fatiguing tramp, hampered as we were with our gun 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 131 

rind rigging, but we made it in good time. Fortunately for 
us, a man had just come into the settlement from the Rio 
Grande with a large caballada, and when we made known 
our situation to him, he told us to go into the corral and 
select any of the horses we wanted. They were only about 
half broke, and it took us fully an hour to catch, bridle 
and saddle them, and then fifteen minutes more to get on 
their backs. I was more lucky than the most of the boys, 
for I only got two kicks and one bite before I mounted 
mine. When all was ready, we put spurs to our steeds and 
galloped back to our camp of the previous night. We took 
the trail of the Indians, which was plainly visible in the 
rank grass that grew at that day along the river bottoms. 
Several men who lived in the settlement volunteered to 
ac company us, so that our number, rank, but not file (for 
we were ail colonels, majors or captains except one chap, 
and he was a judge), amounted to thirteen men, all armed 
and mounted. 

As long as the Indians kept to the valley, we had no 
trouble in following their trail, and pushed on as rapidly as 
we could. When we had traveled eight or ten miles, I had 
to halt and dismount for the purpose of fixing my girth, 
which by some means had become unfastened. While I 
was engaged at this, I heard the tramp of a horse's hoofs 
behind me, and on looking back the way we had come, I 
saw a man riding up rapidly on our trail. When he got to 
where I was, he reined in his horse, evidently intending 
to wait for me, and I had a chance of observing as curious 
a looking specimen as I ever saw before in any country. 

He was a tall, spare built chap, .dressed in a buckskin 
hunting shirt and leggins with a coonskin cap on. He had 
a long old fashioned flint and steel Kentucky rifle on his 
shoulder and a tomahawk and scalping knife stuck in his 
belt. His hair was matted together and hung around his 
neck in great uncombed swabs and his eyes peered out from 
among it as bright as a couple of mesquite coals. I have 
seen all sorts of eyes, of panthers, wolves, catamounts, 
leopards and Mexican lions, but I never saw eyes that glit- 
tered, flashed and danced about like those in that man's 
head. He was mounted on an ugly, rawboned, vicious look- 
ing horse with an exceedingly heavy mane and tail, but not- 



132 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

withstanding his looks any one could see with half an eye 
that he had a great deal of "let out" in him on a pinch. As 
soon as I had patched ray girth I mounted my horse and rode 
along sociably with this curious specimen of an individual 
for a mile or so without a word passing between us. I got 
tired of this, and although I felt a little skittish of the 
strange looking animal, I at length made a pass at him and 
inquired if he "was a stranger in these parts?" "Not ex- 
actly," he replied, "I have been about here off and on for 
the last three years and I know every trail and water hole 
from this to the Rio Grande* especially those that are used 
hy the Indians in going and coming." "Ain't you afraid," 
I asked, "to travel about so much in this country alone?" 
He grinned a sort of sickly smile, his fingers clutched the 
handle of his tomahawk and his eyes danced a perfect jig 
as he said: "No, the Indians are more afraid of me than I 
am of them. If they knew I was waylaying a particular 
trail they would go forty miles out of their way to give me 
a wide birth, but the trouble is they never know where to 
find me. And besides, the best horse in the country this 
side of the Brazos can't come along side of Pepper Pod when 
I want him to work in the lead." As he said this he gave 
his horse, Pepper Pod, a smart touch with his spurs, when 
he gave a vicious plunge and started off like a shot out of a 
shovel, but was soon reined in and we rode on together 
again in silence for some time. 

Finally I said to him: "Man of family, I suppose?" 
Gracious! If a ten pound howitzer had been fired off just 
then at my ear I couldn't have been more astonished than I 
was at that chap's actions. He turned pale, his lips quiv- 
ered, he fumbled with the handle of his butcher knife, and 
his eyes looked like two lightning bugs in a dark night. He 
didn't answer me for awhile, but at length he said: 

"No, I have no family now. Ten years ago I had a wife 
and three little boys; but the Indians murdered all of them 
in cold blood. I have got a few of them for it, though; and 
if I am spared long enough I will get a few more of them 
before I die." 

As he said this he clicked the trigger of his gun and 
pushed the butcher knife up and down in its scabbard. His 
eyes danced in his head worse than ever; he gave Pepper 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 133 

Pod another dig in the ribs, who reared and plunged in a 
way that would have emptied any one out of the saddle 
except a number one rider. 

After awhile he and Pepper Pod both quieted down a little, 
and he said to me: 

' 'You mustn't think strange of me. I always get in these 
flurries when I think of the way the Indians murdered my 
poor wife and my little boys. But I will tell you my story," 
said Jefferson Turner — for that was his name — and he thus 
began : 

"Ten years ago I was as happy a man as any in the world, 
but now I am miserable except when I am waylaying and 
scalping an Indian. It's the only comfort I have now. I 
had a small farm in Kentucky, not far from the mouth of 
the Beech fork, and, though we had no money, we lived 
happily and comfortably, and had nothing to fear when we 
laid down at night. 

"But, in an unlucky hour for us, a stranger stopped at my 
house one day, on his way to Texas, and told ,me about the 
rich lands, the abundance of game and the many fortunes 
which had been made in this new country. From that time 
I grew restless and discontented, and I determined that I 
would as soon as possible seek my fortune in that promised 
land. 

"The next fall I had a chance to sell my farm for a good 
price, and I sold it and moved off to Texas; and, after wan- 
dering for some time, we finally settled on the bank of a 
beautiful little stream that runs into the Guadalupe river. 

"My wife had left Kentucky very unwillingly, but the 
lovely spot we had chosen for a home, the rich lnnds, the 
beautiful country around and the mildness of the climate, 
at length reconciled her to the move we had made. One 
lovely morning in May, when the sun was shining brightly 
and the birds were singing in every tree, I took my rifle 
and went out for a stroll in the woods. When I left the 
house my wife was at work in our little garden, singing as 
gaily as any of the birds, and my three little boys were 
laughing, shouting and trundling their hoops around the 
yard. That was the last time I ever saw them alive. 

" I had gone perhaps a mile entirely unsuspicious of all 
danger when I heard a dozen guns go off in the direction of 



134 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

my house. The idea flashed across my mind in a moment 
that the Indians were murdering my family, and I flew to 
the house with the speed of a frightened deer. From the 
direction I approached, the house was hid from view by a 
thick grove of elm trees that grew in front. I rushed 
through this and hurried through the open door of my 
house, and the first thing I saw was the dead body of my 
poor wife, lying pale and bloody upon the floor, with the 
lifeless form of my youngest boy clasped tightly in her 
arms. She had evidently tried to defend him to the last. 
My two eldest boys lay dead close by, scalped and covered 
with blood from their wounds. 

"The Indians, who had left the house for some purpose, re- 
turned at that instant, and before they knew I was there I 
shot one of them through the heart with my rifle, and draw- 
ing my butcher knife I rushed upon the balance like a tiger. 
There were at least a dozen of the savages, but it would 
have made no difference if there had been a thousand, for 
I was desperate and reckless of my life, and thought only 
of avenging the cruel and cowardly murder of my poor 
wife and children. 

"I have but a faint recollection of what happened after 
this. I remember hearing the yells of fright and astonish- 
ment the Indians gave as I rushed upon them, and that I 
cut to pieces several of them with my butcher knife before 
they could escape through the door, and then all was a 
blank and I knew nothing more. 

"I suppose some of them fired on me from the outside and 
gave me the wounds that rendered me senseless, but 1 gave 
fchem such a scare that they evidently never entered the 
house again, as otherwise, you know, they would hare taken 
my scalp and taken off the dead Indians. 

"Some time during the day one of my neighbors happened 
to pass by the house, and noticed the unusual silence that 
prevailed, and seeing no one moving about, he suspected 
something was wrong and came in, when the dreadful sight 
I have described to you met his eyes. 

"He told me afterwards that he found me lying on the 
floor across the dead body of an Indian still grasping his 
throat with one hand and my knife with the other, which 
was buried to the hilt in his breast. Near by lay the bodies 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 135 

of three other Indians, gashed and hacked with the terrible 
wounds I had given them with my butcher knife. 

"My kind neighbor, observing signs of life in me, took 
me to his house, dressed my wounds and did all he could for 
me. For many days I lay at the point of death and 
they thought I would never get well, but gradually my 
wounds healed up and my strength returned; although 
for a long time afterwards I wasn't exactly right here 
(tapping his forehead), and even now I am more like a 
crazy man than anything else when I have to go a long time 
without lifting the scalp of an Indian, for then I always see 
(especially when I lie down at night) the bloody corpses of 
my wife and poor little boys." 

"I hope, my friend," I said, for I didn't like the way his 
eyes danced in his head and the careless manner he had of 
cocking his gun and slinging it around, "I hope you have 
had your regular rations lately and you don't feel disposed 
to take a white man's scalp when an Indian's can't be had 
handily." The fellow actually chuckled when I said this, 
the first time I had heard anything like a laugh from him. 
"Oh, no;" he said, "I have been tolerably well supplied 
of late, and can get along pretty comfortably without a 
scalp for a week or so yet. I have forty-six of them hang- 
ing up now in my camp on the Chicotile, but I shan't be 
satisfied unless I get a cool hundred before I die; and I will 
have them too, just as sure as my name is Jeff Turner." 

Again his eyes glared out of his bushy locks, and his 
fingers fumbled about his knife handle in a way that if I 
had had a drop of Indian blood in my veins, it would have 
made me feel exceedingly uneasy. At length, to change 
the subject, I asked him which way he was traveling, though, 
of course, I knew very well he was going along with us. 
"Any way," he replied, "that these Indians go; I'd just as 
soon go one direction as another; I always travel on the 
freshest Indian trail I come across. You and your company 
may get tired and quit this trail without overtaking the 
Indians, but I shall stick to it until I get a scalp or two to 
take back with me to my camp on the Chicotile." 

By this time we had come up with our companions, and 
all rode on in silence.. At length we came to a hard, rocky 
piece of ground, where the Indians had scattered, and we 



136 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

lost the trail altogether, for not the least sign was visible to 
our eyes. You see at that time none of us had much ex- 
perience in trailing and fighting Indians except Jeff Turner, 
"The Indian hater." We soon discovered that he knew 
more about following a trail than all of us put together, and 
from this time on we let him take the lead, and we followed 
him wherever he went. Sometimes where the ground was 
hard and rocky, and the Indians had scattered, he would 
hesitate for a little while as to the course to pursue, but in 
a moment or so he was all right again, and off at such a 
rate that we were compelled to keep in a full trot to keep 
up with him. 

About half an hour before sun down he came to a halt, 
and when we had all gathered around him, he told us to 
keep a sharp look out, and make no noise, as the Indians 
were close by. In fact, we had scarcely traveled three hun- 
dred yards until we saw their blanket tents in the edge of 
some post oak timber about a quarter of a mile to our right. 
We put spurs to our horses, and in a few minutes we were 
among them. The Indians did not see us until we were 
within fifty yards of their encampment; but still they had 
time to seize their guns and bows and give us a volley as 
we charged up, but luckily without damage, with the ex- 
ception of slightly wounding one of our horses. 

We dismounted at once, and began pouring a deadly fire 
into them from our rifles. Just as I sprang from the saddle 
to the ground, a big Indian stepped from behind a post oak 
tree and drew an arrow on me that looked to me as long as 
a barber's pole. I jumped behind another tree as spry as a 
city clerk in a dry goods store when a parcel of women 
come around shopping. I had no time to spare either, for 
just at that moment an arrow grazed my head so closely 
that it took a strip of bark from the tree about the width of 
one of my fingers. I drew a bead upon him as he started 
to run, but the arrow had so unsettled my nerves that I 
missed him. The fight kept pretty hot for about fifteen 
minutes, when the Indians soured on it and retreated into a 
thick chapparal, leaving several of their warriors dead upon 
the ground. 

I noticed my friend Jeff Turner several times during the 
fight, and each time he was lifting the scalp from the head 
of an Indian that either he or somebody else had shot down. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 137 

It is said that "practice makes perfect," and it was aston- 
ishing to see how quickly Jeff would take off an Indian 
scalp and load his rifle in readiness for another. One slash 
with his butcher knife and a sudden jerk, and the bloody 
scalp was soon dangling from his belt. At the same time 
he never seemed to be in a hurry, and was as cool and de- 
liberate about everything he did as a carpenter is when he 
is working by the day and not by the job. When the In- 
dians began to retreat, one of them jumped on one of our 
horses which was tied hard and fast to a post oak near 
the camp, forgetting in his hurry to unfasten the rope. 
Round and round the tree he went until, he wound himself 
up to the body. Just at that instant Jeff plugged him with 
a half ounce ball, and had his scalp off before he was done 
kicking. 

After the Indians retreated to the chapparal, a little inci- 
dent occurred that shows the pluck of these red rascals 
when they have been brought to bay. We were standing 
all huddled up together, loading our guns, for we did not 
know but that the Indians had retreated on purpose to 
throw us off our guard. All of a sudden we were startled 
by a keen yell and the firing of a gun, and at the same in- 
stant a tall chap named B , who had come with us 

from the settlement, dropped his rifle, and clapping his 
hands to his face, cried out: "Boys, I am a dead man!" 

I looked around to see where the shot came from and dis- 
covered an Indian lying in the grass about thirty yards from 
us, with his gun in his hand and sinking slowly back to the 
earth from which he had partially raised himself by a dying 
effort to take a last pop at the enemies of his race. I had 
seen this Indian fall in the fight and supposed he was dead, 
which he was in fact an instant after he yelled and fired his 
gun; for I went up immediately to where he lay and found 
him as dead as a door nail, with his gun tightly clasped in 

his hands. When he fired at B he had seven rifle balls 

through various parts of his body, for the wounds were 
plainly to be seen, as he had nothing on worth speaking of 
but his powder horn and shot pouch. Our Indian hater, 
Jeff Turner, came up to him about the time I did and lifted 
the hair from his head before you could say Jack Robinson, 
and strung it on his belt to keep company with three other 
scalps that were already dangling from it. These scalps 



138 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

served to ease the mind of Jeff considerably, as he told me 
they would, and he became quite sociable after the fight 
and once laughed outright when one of the men told a 
funny story about shooting at a stump three times for an 
Indian before he discovered his mistake. But the unusual 
sound of his voice frightened him, or else he had used up 
all the stock he had on hand, for I never saw him crack a 

smile afterward. As it turned out, B was worse scared 

than hurt, for the Indian's bullet had only grazed his head ? 
but stricking the black-jack tree near which he was stand- 
ing, it had thrown the rough bark violently in his face caus- 
ing him to suppose that he was killed. The Indians had 
killed a fat buck, and when we pounced upon them they 
had the choice pieces spitted before the fire, and after the 
fight we found them done to a turn. We had not eaten a 
bite all day, and seized upon the venison as the lawful spoil 
of war, and made a hearty supper of it, together with some 
hard tack which we had brought along with us in our hav- 
ersacks. While I was eating supper I could not help but 
feel sorry for the poor creatures who had cooked it only a 
half hour before, and who were now lying around us cold 
and stiff on the damp grass of the prairie, so soon to be de- 
voured by vultures and cayotes. However, these reflections 
did not take away my appetite, or if it did, a side of roasted 
ribs and about five pounds of solid meat disappeared with 
it. As soon as we had finished our supper we changed our 
saddles from the horses we had ridden to those the Indians 
had stolen from us, which had been resting for some time, 
and mounting, we took the trail back toward the settlement, 
where we arrived about sunrise the next morning; making 
seventy-five miles we had traveled in part of a day and 
night without ever getting off our horses, except for a few 
moments when we fought the Indians. _ 

Jeff, the Indian hater, left us here for his camp on the 
Chicolite, and I never saw him again. I was told when I 
was at the settlement several years after this that he stayed 
around there for a good while, occasionally coming into the 
settlement for his supplies of ammunition, etc., and always 
bringing with him four or five scalps. At length he went 
off and never returned, and it is supposed that the Indians 
finally caught him napping. At any rate that was the last 
that was ever seen of Jeff Turner, the Indian hater. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 138 



fll>r& Simpson's Cbilbren 



THE following account of the capture of Mrs. Simpson s 
children will illustrate the audacity of the Indians as 
late as 1842, in what is now the heart of the city of 
Austin. In the latter part of the summer of 1842, Mrs. 
Simpson, a widow lady, was living in the city of Austin, 
on West Pecan street, about three blocks west of the ave- 
nue. She had three children, two sons and one 
1842 daughter, but when the following incident occurred 
her eldest son had gone down to Fayette count}^, 
and was in the employment of his uncle, trying to make 
something with which to support his poor widowed mother. 
Late one afternoon in the summer of 1842, when the sun 
was about two hours high, Mrs. Simpson's two youngest 
children, the daughter about fourteen years of age, and her 
little son, Tommie, about twelve years of age, went out in 
the valley (for there were no houses there at that time) 
about one hundred and fifty yards from the residence of 
Mrs. Simpson to drive up the cows for their mother to milk, 
it being a custom in those days to milk very early for fear 
of the Indians. When the children had reached the little 
branch where the house of Major C. S. West now stands, 
and started to drive the cows home, which they found graz- 
ing on the banks of the branch, a bunch of Indians sprang 
out from behind the bushes growing along the banks of the 
branch, where they had concealed themselves, seized the 
children, mounted their horses and made off for the moun- 
tains. Mrs. Simpson screamed and gave the alarm, when a 
body of citizens immediately put out in pursuit, some on 
foot, not taking time to get their horses, while others sad- 
dled their horses and gave hot chase. The Indians passed 
out about where the residence of Governor Pease now 
stands, going in the direction of Mount Bonnell. 

At one time the ctizens came within sight of the redskins 
just before reaching Mount Bonnell, but the Indians, after 



140 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

arriving at that place, passed on just beyond to the top of 
the mountain, which being rocky, the citizens lost the trail 
and were never able to find where the savages went down 
the mountain. After the Indians had gone some six miles 
from Austin and had arrived at Spicewood Springs, which 
is situated in the edge of the mountains, opposite where the 
poor farm of Travis county is located, they brutally mur- 
dered the little girl in a horrible manner. They kept Tommie 
a prisoner for some eighteen months, when he was traded 
off to some Indian traders, who returned him to his mother. 
It was learned from Tommie after his return home that his 
little sister fought the Indians so desperately they deter- 
mined to kill her. Tommie stated that he did all he could 
while at the springs to persuade his sister to calm down and 
not make such resistance, but all to no purpose. The In- 
dians, he says, after remaining at the springs awhile, took 
his sister up on a hill some distance and in a short while 
came back with her scalp hanging to the saddle of one of 
the bucks. Judge Joseph Lee, in company with Tommie 
and a number of citizens, went out and succeeded in finding 
the remains after obtaining the above information from 
Tommie, which they had no trouble in identifying. 



Jufcge 3amee Smitlx 



JUDGE SMITH was a resident of the city of Austin. 
On the ninth day of January, 1841, he rode out north of 
Austin to feed and look after his hogs, taking iris little 
boy nine years old behind him on his horse. When 
about two miles from town he was discovered by a prowling 
band of Indians, who immediately gave chase. Judge Smith 
was well mounted, and would have made his escape, 
1841 but his horse, becoming unmanageable, ran under the 
limb of a tree and knocked him and his little boy off. 
They jumped up and ran into a thicket near by, but were 
overtaken by the savages and Smith was killed and his 




JOSEPH LEE COMING TO THE RESCUE OF JUDGE JAYNES' FAMILY. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 141 

little son taken prisoner. Judge 'Smith's brother, on the 
same day, and only a few miles from where the judge was 
killed, was pursued by the same band of Indians, but his 
good horse saved him. 

Just ten days after the killing of Judge Smith, his father- 
in-law went alone into the country four miles south of 
Austin to cut a bee tree, and while out was discovered by 
the Indians and killed. It seems strange to us at this day 
that men could become so reckless of danger. Judge Smith's 
little son was returned to his mother under a treaty about a 
year after his capture. 



3ubge 3a$ne& 



JUDGE J AYNES immigrated with his family to Texas in 
the year 1840, and settled north of the city of Austin, 
near where the Lunatic Asylum now stands. In the fall 
of 1842 a number of Indians made their way into the 
settlement and came very near the city limits. They were 
first seen on the eastern slope of College Hill, where the 
University now stands, by a Mr. Davis. Davis had 
1842 been out riding, and had alighted from his horse to< 
let him graze in the valley east of College Hill, when 
he discovered Indians making towards him at a rapid rate. 
He had no time to bridle his horse, but lit into the saddle 
and put spurs to his animal. He fled down the valley, 
crossed Waller creek, passed over the hill where the Blind 
Asylum now stands, and made his way into town. Judge 
Joseph Lee, who had been to Mr. Raymond's, about one 
mile north of town, as he returned to town, saw the In- 
dians pursuing Davis. He ran into town and gave the 
alarm. 

The Indians did not pursue Davis very far, but turned 
back in a northwesterly direction towards the mountains. 
As they passed on they discovered a Mr. Larrabee on foot, 
and chased him a short distance, but he gained a thicket 



142 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and eluded them. When the Indians got to Judge Jaynes's 
house they rode up to the fence and saluted Judge Jaynes 
and family, and claimed to be friendly Indians, saying they 
were Tonkawas. Judge Jaynes walked out to the fence, 
carrying his little son in his arms. His son about fourteen 
years old went out with his father, and got -outside of the 
fence and began to talk to the Indians. A hired hand of 
Judge Jaynes's also went out into the yard. When Judge 
Jaynes reached the fence, one of the Indians reached out 
and took hold of his little boy and tried to pull him out of 
his father's arms. The father became alarmed, pulled his 
child away and started into the house. As he did so an 
Indian drew his gun and shot him through the body. They 
then shot and killed the Irishman in the yard, and one of 
the Indians snatched up the fourteen year old boy behind 
him. The whole band then fled as fast as they could. 
Judge Jaynes reached his door and fell down, and died in a 
few minutes. His wife and little boy, who was also wounded 
by an arrow shot, were all that remained of what a few 
minutes before had been a happy family. Judge Lee arrived 
at the house but a few minutes after the Indians left, and 
just as Mrs. Jaynes, with her little child in one arm, was at- 
tempting to pull her husband in the door with the other. 



William Bell ant> Captain Coleman, 



ON the first day of January, 1843, Captain Coleman and 
William Bell accompanied Mrs. W. M. Thompson from 
her residence in the city of Austin to the farm of 
James Smith, about two miles below town on the Colo- 
rado river. They left Mrs. Thompson at Mr. Smith's, prom- 
ising to return for her in the afternoon. About sundown, 
they started from Austin in a carriage for Smith's for 
1843 the purpose of bringing Mrs. Thompson back with 
them. After crossing Waller creek, and when about 
one-half mile from town, they were suddenly attacked by a 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 143 

^arty of twenty-five or thirty Indians. They jumped out 
of their carriage and ran into a small field. The Indians 
pursued and overtook them in the field where they killed 
and scalped Bell and captured Coleman. They stripped 
Coleman of his clothes and started off with him, driving 
him before them by prodding him with their spears. While 
this was taking place, a part of the Indians had passed by 
the field and gone near Nolan Luckett's house, about two 
hundred }^ards distant. Nolan's little son and a negro boy 
were driving up the cows when the Indians swooped down 
upon them. They captured the negro, but seeing that the 
little white boy would reach the house before they could 
overtake him, one of them shot him in the back with an 
arrow, from which wound he died in a few days. Before 
the Indians who captured Coleman had gotten out of the 
field, and while they were driving him before them, they 
were discovered by Joseph Hornsby and James Edmonson, 
two young men who lived down the river several miles 
below Austin, and who had started home on the same road 
that Bell and Coleman were traveling. They had no arms 
except one pistol, but they did not propose to allow these 
dusky devils to take off an acquaintance and friend before 
their eyes. It was growing late and there was no time to 
procure arms or arouse the citizens. If Coleman was to be 
rescued, it must be done at once. So without delay and 
with a reckless courage which heaven delights to honor, 
they put spurs to their horses and charged right down 
among the savages, yelling at the top of their voices and 
firing the old pistol. The Indians were taken so by surprise 
that they did not take time to kill Coleman, but fled precipi- 
tately, not knowing perhaps, how many were after them, 
and thinking it best to collect their divided forces. Cole- 
man ran off in another direction and made good his escape. 
The yelling of Hornsby and Edmonson and the firing of the 
pistol had given the alarm in town, and the citizens were 
gathering for pursuit. The Indians fled along what is now 
the eastern part of the city of Austin and crossed Waller 
creek about two miles above town. Hornsby and Edmonson, 
though they had emptied their pistol and could do the In- 
dians no harm, followed close on their rear and kept con- 
stantly yelling so that the pursuing party might keep track 



144 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

of them. The few citizens of Austin who had hastily gath- 
ered together could tell from the yelling which way the 
Indians were going, and they rightly concluded that they 
were making for the mountains northwest of Austin; so 
they made up Waller creek along the west side, and where 
the fair grounds are now situated, about two miles from 
town, they intercepted the Indians about dusk. The Indians 
halted and made a short resistance, but a few volleys from 
the citizens rifles again routed them, and they were closely 
pursued to the mountains. Mr. Hornsby had a horse killed 
in this fight. Three horses were captured from the Indians, 
with their saddles and equipments, and it is supposed as 
many Indians were killed or wounded. Judge Joseph Lee, 
who still lives in Austin, was in this fight, and he speaks in 
the highest praise of the courage of Hornsby and Edmonson 
in rescuing Captain Coleman from his savage captors. 



Colonel flDoore'6 j£ypebitfon. 



IN" the year 1839, the Lipan Indians who were almost Con- 
stantly at war with the Comanches, were so hard pressed 
by them that they took refuge among the whites. In th(d 
winter of 1839, some Lipans who were hunting on the 
San Saba river, discovered that a large body of Comanche^ 
had established their winter quarters on that stream. They 
immediately returned to the settlements and notified 
1839 the whites of the fact. The Texans knowing that 
this would be a very convenient base from which the 
Comanches could depredate upon the settlements, determ- 
ined to oust them from it. A force of sixty Texans was soon 
raised and immediately started for the San Saba, accom- 
panied by forty or fifty Lipans as allies and guides. The 
whole force under the command of Colonel John H. Moore, 
an old frontier fighter. The Colonel, with his Texans, pro- 
ceeded up the Colorado river, having previously sent for- 
ward the two Lipan Indians, Malcom Hornsby and Joe Mar- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 145 

tin, to act as spies. Before reaching the Comanche en- 
campment some of these spies rejoined Colonel Moore's 
command, and informed him that the Comanches had been 
largely reinforced by other bands who had established their 
winter quarters at the same locality. Colonel Moore, how- 
ever, determined to attack them at all hazzards, and con- 
tinued his march until within a mile or so of the encamp- 
ment, where he halted until night. After dark he led 
his forces quietly to within a short distance of the Comanche 
camp and again halted them, intending to make an attack 
upon it as soon as daylight appeared. 

The plan of attack was as follows: The Lipan Chief Cas- 
tro, with a portion of his men were to drive off the horses 
belonging to the Comanches, while Colonel Moore with his 
own men and the rest of the Lipans was to charge upon 
their encampment. The encampment was composed of a 
large number of tents made of buffalo skins and many tem- 
porary wigwams, all filled with warriors, women and chil- 
dren. At the dawn of day the Texans charged and fired a 
volley into these tents and wigwams, killing indiscrimi- 
nately a number of all ages and sexes. In a moment the 
wildest scene of confusion ensued — warriors yelling, women 
screaming and children crying — all running hittier and 
thither and against and over each other in their fright. In 
this charge the Lipans used their bows and arrows with 
•considerable effect. 

The Texans in the excitement of the moment, and their 
e igerness to make short work of the enemy, got mixed up 
i i the tents among the Indians, and in this way they were 
frequently in danger of shooting each other. Owing to this 
and the fact that Colonel Moore perceived at this juncture 
that the Indians outnumbered his little force considerably 
he very reluctantly ordered a retreat. He fell back and 
took a position in a ravine, where he continued the fight 
until night came on. As soon as he retreated the Indians 
rallied several hundred strong and made charge after charge 
upon his little band, but in every instance they were driven 
back by a deadly volley from the rifles of the Texans. In 
one of these charges a Comanche warrior was shot so 
severely that he was unable to retreat when the others fell 
back. He laid himself flat on his back and shot arrows high 



146 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

up in the air, so that when falling they would come down 
point foremost among the Texans. As he lay close to the 
ground it was some time before the Texans could give" him 
his quietus and put an end to his boomerang performance. 
Castro, the Lipan chief, whose part of the programme it 
will be remembered, was to run off the Comanche's horses, 
was too greedy and attempted to take the whole drove, some 
two or three thousand head, but not having men to manage 
so many, the Comanches came up with him and succeeded 
in retaking the most of them. The few horses the Lipan's 
got away with were not brought into Colonel Moore's camp, 
so that while he was fighting they were securing the 
plunder. Had Colonel Moore's force been larger no 
doubt he could have captured a large amount of stolen prop- 
erty and some prisoners. Miss Matilda Lockhart, a sketch 
of whose life among the Indians has already been given, 
was at that time a prisoner in the Comanche camp and her 
father was with Colonel Moore when the attack was made 
upon the Indian village. This battle was fought on the 
fourteenth of February, 1839. 



Zhe Battle of JBvitsI)? 



JUST as Colonel Moore's party were returning from their 
expedition against the Comanches upon the San Saba, 
about the eighteenth of February, 1839, citizens along the 
Colorado valley, from Bastrop to Austin, were thrown 
into a high state of excitement by the report that the In- 
dians had made an attack upon the settlers of Well's, or 
Webber prairie, or, perhaps, both. The news going 
i839 U P an d down the river as rapidly as the facilities of 
the day would permit soon brought together squad 
after squad of citizen soldiers, all eager to ascertain the 
cause of the alarm, which proved to be a large body of In- 
dians variously estimated at from two to three hundred, 
who had made a sudden attack upon the upper end of 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 147 

Well's prairie, killing Mrs. Captain Coleman and her son 
Albert, a lad about fifteen years old, and robbing the house 
of Doctor J. W. Robertson, who, at the time, happened to 
be on a visit with his family at the residence of his neighbor 
and brother-in-law, Colonel Henry Jones. Mrs. Coleman, 
early in the morning, was with her family out in a small 
field or garden patch, which lay between the bottom tim- 
bers of Coleman branch and the Colorado bottom, when 
they were suddenly charged upon by a large body of In- 
dians, who came up whooping and yelling as they emerged 
from their hiding places, near by the residence. James 
Coleman and a man by the name of Rogers made good their 
retreat to the Colorado bottom, while Mrs. Coleman with 
the rest of the family ran towards the house, which all suc- 
ceeded in gaining, but little Tommie, a boy about five years 
old, who was taken prisoner. The attack was so sudden 
&nd the panic so complete that Mrs. Coleman did not, per- 
haps, think of the fate of her children until she reached the 
door of her humble cabin, when her mother's love induced 
her to look back to see what had become of them — only to 
receive an arrow wound exactly in the throat, from the 
effects of which she soon expired, but before expiring she 
exclaimed, "Oh, children, I am killed;" then turning to her 
eldest son, said: "Albert, my son, I am dying, get the guns 
end defend your sisters." Albert, a mere lad about fifteen 
3 ears of age, and his little sisters were the only persons left 
to defend the house, and their already murdered mother 
from further injuries of the inhumane, brutal savages. 

Young Albert fought with heroic bravery for a while, 
killing and wounding some three or four of the enemy; but 
finally he received a wound which in a very short time 
proved fatal, and he breathed his last with his head pillowed 
in the lap of his oldest sister, the last words he uttered being, 
"Sister, I can't do any more for you. Farewell." This left 
his two little sisters to take care of themselves as best they 
could. The little girls, who had taken refuge under the bed, 
after the death of their brother, kept up a conversation 
with each other, as they had been told to do, which doubt- 
less deterred the Indians from entering the house, thereby 
saving their lives and the house from being plundered. 

The Indians now began to withdraw, halting at the house 



148 INDIAN DEPKEDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

of Doctor J. W. Robertson, robbing it of its contents, rip- 
ping open the feather beds in the open air, thus giving the 
country around a very singular appearance, and carrying 
off captive seven of the Doctor's negroes. 

About noon the citizens from above, twenty-five in num- 
ber, had collected, and, electing Jacob Burleson their cap- 
tain, began immediately to reconnoiter, and some two hours 
later they were joined by twenty-seven men under the leao - 
ership of Captain James Rogers, from below, brother-in-law 
of Captain Burleson, making in all fifty-two men. So eager 
were the men for tjae chase that they concluded not to go 
into any further election of officers, but to march in double 
file, and for Rogers and Burleson to ride each at the head of 
one file and command the same. "About ten o'clock the 
next day," says Mr. Adkisson, who was present and partici- 
pated in the battle, "we descended a long prairie slope lead 
ing down to a dry run, a little above and opposite Post Oak 
Island, and when about three miles north of Brushy, we came 
in sight of the enemy." 

On the run, and directly north and in front of us, was 
a thicket, and the enemy, when first discovered, were about 
one-half mile above, and to the west of the thicket, bearing 
down towards the same, and as we thought, with the inten- 
tion of taking possession of and giving us battle from it. 
We immediately agreed to charge up, open file, flanking to 
the right and left, catting the Indians off from, and we tak- 
ing possession of, the thicket ourselves. The larger portion 
of the enemy being on foot, and we all well mounted, we 
could, and ought to have, taken possession of the thicket, 
and would have done so but for the flinching of a few men, 
which threw the whole command into a state of confusion, 
resulting in the death of Captain Burleson and ourjn glo- 
rious flight f i om the field, leaving his remains to the mercy 
of the enemy. There were those of us who dismounted 
and hitched our horses as often as three times, but at 
last had to retreat, and in doing so the horse of W. W. 
Wallace became frightened, pulled away from him and ran 
among the Indians, leaving the gallant Texan on foot in the 
midst of the conflict. His horse was soon mounted by one 
of the Indian warriors, who appropriated him for his own 
use. Just at this time Captain Jack Haynie, observing the 



INDIAN 1 DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 149 

perilous situation of Wallace, made a dash for him, pulled 
him up behind him on his horse, and both made good their 
retreat. 

[Note. — For the rescue of Wallace by Captain Haynie, 
the latter was presented with an elegant rifle, handsomely 
mounted, by the father of Wallace, who was then living in 
Tennessee. Owing to the handsome appearance of this 
rifle, it will be remembered by many old Texans. William 
Wallace is the father of John Wallace of Travis county.] 

The whole command fell back to Brushy (the Indians 
making no attempt to follow us), in a line one mile in length; 
the main body of us mortified at the result of the morning's 
conflict, unwilling and ashamed to return to the settle- 
ments without a fight, and being loath to leave the dead 
body of the gallant Captain up >n the field, we halted at 
Brushy, not knowing what to do. But while halted here 
in a state of indecision, General Ed. Burleson, who had 
heard of the raid made by the Indians, raised thirty-two 
men, followed our trail, halted and brought back those of 
our men who had so precipitately fled in the morning. 
This reinforcement swelled our number to eighty-four men, 
with General Edward Burleson in command, assisted by 
Captain Jessie Billingsley, who had distinguished himself 
at the battle of San Jacinto. After a general consultation 
and exchange of opinions, the whole command moved on 
sorrowfully yet determined to retrieve the fortunes of the 
morning. About two o'clock p. m., we struck the euemy, 
but not where we expected to find them. Instead of occu- 
pying the thicket, they had selected a very strong hold in 
the shape of a horseshoe, with very high and rising ground 
at the toe — the direction we would approach them, unless 
we changed base, which, after reconnoitering for a while 
and exchanging a few shots we did, dropping down, cross- 
ing the run and dividing our command, one party under 
the command of Captain Billingsley, taking possession of 
the run below the Indians, while the other party went 
above and gained possession of a small ravine which emp- 
tied into the main one just above the Indians. Our inten- 
tion being to work our way down and drive the enemy 
before us, while Captain Billingsley was to work his way 
up the ravine, thus securing a complete route of the Indians. 



150 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

But nature and fortune seemed to favor the enemy; the 
ravines leading from each of our little commands to where 
the enemy lay massed behind high banks on either side, 
spread oat into an open plot forty or fifty yards before 
reaching him, which would have made it extremely danger- 
ous for us to carry out our ' plans. Thus failing in our 
attempt to route and chastise the enemy and recapture the 
prisoners they held in possession, we were forced to select 
safe positions, watch our opportunities, and whenever an 
Indian showed himself, to draw down on him and send the 
messenger of death to dispatch him. In this manner the 
fight lasted until sundown, the Indians retreating under 
cover of night, and leaving us in possession of the field, 
putting up the most distressing cries and bitter lamentations 
ever uttered by mortal lips or heard by mortal ears. We 
camped on the battle field that night, and early next morn- 
ing the sad duty devolved upon us to make litters to convey 
our dead and dying to the settlements. How many Indians 
were killed, we have no means of knowing. Their bitter 
wails indicated that their loss was great, either in quan- 
tity or quality, perhaps both. We lost during the day 
four of our best and most prominent citizens, to wit: 
Jacob Burleson, Edward Blakey, John Walters and Rev. 
James Gilleland. The last named lived some ten days after 
receiving his wound. I have been thus particular in men- 
tioning the names of those who fell in the days conflict, 
that their names may be enrolled high up in the temple of 
Texas liberty, and find a niche in the hearts of an apprecia- 
tive people. 

For no slab of pallid marble, 

With white and ghastly head, 
Tells the wanderers in our vale, . — 

The virtues of our dead. 

The wild flowers be their tombstone, 

And dew drops pure and bright, 
Their epitaph, the angels wrote 

In the stillness of the night. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 151 



Wfoe Corbopa fight 



THE historian is familar with the character and history 
of Vicente Cordova, a Mexican who lived at the Mexi- 
can settlement at Nacogdoches, Texas, and of his insur- 
rectionary movements prior to the date of the happen- 
ing of events which we are about to relate; but in order to 
prepare the reader for a full understanding of the import- 
ance and significance attached to the battles fought 
1839 by the Texans with Cordova and Flores, we deem it 
best to introduce the subject by quoting from Yoakum, 
who wrote with all the necessary data from the war depart- 
ment before him. Commencing on page 257, volume 2, he 
says: 

'Trior to the attack of the French on Vera Cruz and the 
civil war in Mexico, that government had begun a system, 
which if it had been carried out as intended, would have 
resulted very disastrously to Texas. The object was to turn 
loose all the Indians on her borders from the Rio Grande to 
the Red River, on the citizens of Texas. Of this fact the 
Texas government received undoubted evidence. Before 
the revolt of the Mexicans at Nacogdoches, Vicente Cor- 
dova had been in correspondence with the enemy at Mata- 
moras. In July, 1838, he addressed a letter to Manuel 
Flores, the Indo-Mexican agent, at Matamoras, stating that 
he held a commission from Filisola to raise Indian troops as 
auxiliaries to the Mexican army, and that he had already 
entered on his. duties. He desired to co-operate with Flores, 
and wished to have an understanding in the matter; and 
for that purpose he desired to have a meeting and personal 
consultation. Cordova also wrote to Filisola on the twenty- 
ninth of August and the sixteenth of September, 1838, from 
the head waters of the Trinity, giving him an account of his 
progress. The departure of Flores from Matamoras, was, 
from some cause, delayed until the opening of the following 
year. 



15'2 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

* In the mean time, on the twenty-seventh of February, 
1839, Brigadier General Canalizo, who had succeeded Fili- 
sola at Matamoras, sent instructions to Cordova — the same 
that had been given to Flores — to excite the frontier Indians 
to make war on Texas. He said it was in the power of the 
Indians, and also for their interest, to prevent the Texans 
from taking advantage of the troubles in Mexico; that they 
must not trust to flying invasions, but to operations having a 
more permanent effect; causing, if not daily injury, at least 
perpetual alarm and inquietude to the enemy, and depriv- 
ing them of their commerce, the spoils of which were to go 
to the Indians. "While the savages were to be cautioned not 
to go near the boundary of the United States, they were to 
occupy the line of Bexar about the Gaudalupe, and from 
the Leon to the mouth of the San Marcos. This position, 
continues Canalizo, is the most favorable for the friendly 
Indians (as well as for the friendly Mexicans), in order that 
they shall have the enemy in front only, keeping a friendly 
and generous nation, as Mexico, in the rear. They were to 
harrass the Texans in every conceivable manner; they were 
instructed to burn their habitations, lay waste their fields; 
and if they assembled in bodies, the Indians were to hang 
around about them in small parties, and, if possible, steal 
their horses. The instructions to Cordova were to be sent 
to him, and he and Flores were to have an interview as soon 
as possible. They were to spare the defenseless of all ages 
and sexes; and to pursue and punish all Indians friendly to 
the whites, and all Mexicans who traded with the whites. 

"Canalizo, in his letter to Cordova, informed him that as 
soon as hostilities with France had terminated, the Mexican 
army greatly increased, would proceed to recover Texas. 
Flores had messages from Canalizo to the chiefs of the Cad- 
dos, Seniinoles, Biloxas. Comanches, Kickapoos, Brazos, 
Tehuacanas, and perhaps others, promising them the lands 
on which they had settled; and assured them that they need 
'expect nothing from those greedy adventurers for land 
who wish to even deprive the Indians of the sun that warms 
and vivifies them, and would not cease to injure them while 
the grass grows and water runs.' Such were the instruc- 
tions under which Commissioner Flores set out on his mis- 
sion. Cordova had been hanging about the Indian camp high 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 153 

up on the Trinity and Brazos rivers, his followers greatly 
reduced." 

From the above we readily see the object of the visit of 
Flores and Cordova to Mexico, and the reader is now pre- 
pared to follow the movements of these two men, who had 
entered into a conspiracy with the officials of Mexico upon 
one hand and the Indians of Texas on the other, to urge an 
exterminating war upon the Texans. With this object in 
view Cordova, in the early part of the spring of 1839, started 
on his way westward with a party of Mexicans, Indians 
and negroes, numbering about sixty or eighty, all told, 
with the intention of crossing a few miles above the 
city of Austin and thus avoid the Hornsby settle- 
ment, some ten or twelve miles below, (which, at that 
time was the largest in that section of country, but it seems 
he missed his bearings and struck the vicinity of the settle- 
ment before he was aware of his whereabouts. He then 
changed his course up the Colorado river, in the direction 
of the mountains. This was about the twenty-fifth of 
March, 1839. It so happened that George Davis and Reuben 
Hornsby, who were riding out on the prairie that day, came 
across this trail, and supposing that it had been made by 
the Indians, at once spread the news among the settlers, 
who collected immediately and set out in pursuit of their 
unknown enemy. The Texans rendezvoused at Austin and 
organized in the afternoon of the twenty-fifth, with Colonel 
Burleson as commander, Captains Billingsley and Andrews 
each being in charge of a company under Burleson. The 
entire force now consisted of about one hundred men, and 
the spies who had been sent out to reconnoiter for the enemy 
having returned late in the afternoon, reported that the 
trail crossed the Colorado river between the falls and Austin 
and leading in the direction of Seguin. Colonel Burleson at 
once took up the line of march and camped that night on 
Bears creek, about ten miles southwest of Austin. Early 
the next morning, before leaving camp, a runner came 
from the Hornsby settlement, saying a large Indian trail 
had been discover, J in the neighborhood and that the men 
were wanted to protect the families. This information 
caused the party to abandon the trail and the whole force pro- 
ceeded with as much dispatch as possible on the back track 



154 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

to protect their families, whom they had left the day before. 
Arriving at the settlement it was soon discovered that a 
false alarm had been given, and that the trail which had 
been found, was the identical trail Burleson and his men had 
been following. This caused a good deal of dissatisfaction 
among some of the men and several declined to return and 
take up the trail again, so that when Burleson reached the 
spot where he had camped the night previous, he found him- 
self with a force not exceeding seventy or seventy-five men. 
Night having come on by this time, Burleson pitched his 
camp at the same place where he had bivouacked the night 
before. 

About ten o'clock that night Tom Moore, known generally 
as "Black Tom," and Roberson arrived at Burleson's camp, 
and made known to them for the first time what char- 
acter of enemy they were pursuing. 

It seems that Roberson, who had started out with Cordova 
on his journey to Mexico, had for some reason fallen under 
the displeasure of his superior, whereupon Roberson was 
court martialed, sentenced to death, and was to have been 
shot the next day, being the same day on which he arrived 
at Burleson's camp; but while Cordova's party was crossing 
Onion creek Roberson made his escape, made his way down 
the creek bottom, succeeded in reaching the house of Moore, 
whereupon they both immediately set out to notify Burleson 
of Cordova's mission to Mexico. This man Roberson was 
an American, and had evidently enlisted under Cordova, 
expecting to receive a good share of the spoils should Cor- 
dova be successful in his undertaking, but becoming some- 
what conscience stricken on account of his treachery to- 
ward his own race, and having shown some weakening on 
the way, became a fit subject for suspicion among his allies, 
and no doubt the fear of being betrayed by Roberson more 
than any other cause, was the real secret of Cordova's dis- 
pleasure to him and the cause of the court martial. Be this as 
it may, it was certainly a most fortunate incident for Texas, 
as the reader will soon learn. Roberson freely stated to 
General Burleson that Cordova was on his way to Mexico 
to obtain munitions of war with which to equip the Indians 
for the purpose of making a well directed warfare upon the 
Texans, and that he would return to Texas so soon as he 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 155 

had accomplished the object of his mission. It will be re- 
membered that Burleson and his command had lost one day 
by reason of the false alarm which had been given, and it 
was afterward learned that Cordova's party had likewise 
lost a day in hunting for Roberson, so that in fact the Tex- 
ans had neither lost nor gained any on the enemy since 
starting in pursuit*. 

Early the next morning Burleson started out with his 
command in the pursuit of the enemy, but failed to over- 
take them that day. In the following afternoon, however, 
about one hour and a half by sun, the spies who had been 
sent on in advance came in sight of Cordova's party, who 
had halted for a rest, and the men were lying around care- 
lessly on the grass while their horses were grazing around 
them with their saddles on. The enemy, it seems, had 
halted for another purpose than rest, as it was ascertained 
afterward from prisoners taken by the Texans that Cordova 
had sent spies on ahead for the purpose of spying out the 
situation of Seguin with the view of sacking the town that 
night. As soon as Burleson's spies had returned and made 
their report, he pushed forward rapidly with his forces and 
was soon within sight of the enemy, who, unaware of the 
Texans, were ensconced within a few miles of Seguin in 
the open post oaks, through which ran a little ravine. 

Colonel Burleson, before making an attack, divided his 
command into two divisions, Captain Andrews commanding 
the right wing and Captain Billingsly the left, and when 
these two divisions had taken their respective positions, 
their line of battle assumed the form of an inverted V, and 
with one more company to have closed up the rear a com- 
plete triangle would have been formed, thus rendering es- 
cape impossible for the enemy without cutting their way 
through; but only two companies being present to par- 
ticipate in the battle, and their positions having been taken 
as above stated, left one side open as a means of escape 
for the enemy. Burleson gave the command to charge and 
open fire, and at the first volley fired by the Texans the 
enemy took to flight in the direction from which Burleson 
approached them, when a running fight of five or six miles 
took place. The exact number of Mexicans, Indians and 
negroes killed in this battle is not known, but the number 



156 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

killed, as near as could be ascertained by actual count, was 
about eighteen; a considerable number were wounded, 
among whom was their leader, Yicenti Cordova, and some 
three or four were taken prisoners. The Texans sustained 
no losses in this fight. 

There were one or two rather amusing incidents which 
occurred, one during and the other after the fight, and it 
may not be out of place to mention them here. During the 
chase one of the Indians became unhorsed, whereupon he 
immediately ran back to a little mesquite tree with his gun 
presented, and came up face to face with about a half dozen 
of the Texans, who were following in close pursuit. Doctor 
Yentress, who happened to be one of the party, dismounted, 
raised his gun, but gave the Indian the first fire, which, 
fortunately, missed him, whereupon the doctor immedi- 
ately fired, and at the crack of his gun the Indian fell 
dead. Doctor Ventress, in after years, when alluding 
to this incident, always spoke of it as his duel with 
the Indian. In the fight some three or four prisoners 
were taken, among them there was a big French negro, 
weighing about two hundred pounds. Colonel Burleson 
turned him over for safe keeping to Tom McKennon, an 
Irishman who was along with the Texans. 

When Burleson returned to the place he had left them, he 
found that Tom had crossed and tied the negro's hands be- 
hind his back and had tied the end of his horse's stake rope 
to the Indian's hands, thus using the captive as a stake 
for his horse rope; and as Burleson rode up, Tom cried 
out: ' 'Faith and bejasus, Colonel, I've got him fast." This 
negro claimed to have always been free, but would not ac- 
knowledge any allegiance to the Texan government; on the 
contrary, claimed to have always maintained a hostile atti- 
tude toward the Texans, and as he still manifested a dispo- 
sition, which was very distasteful to them, he was*accord- 
ingly court martialed and sentenced to be shot the next 
day. There were six men detailed to execute the sentence, 
and they were to shoot by threes. James O. Rice, who was 
along with Burleson on this expedition, seemed exceedingly 
anxious to shoot the negro, and offered five dollars to any 
one of the men who had been detailed, for his place, and one 
of the three men who were to fire first, not having any spe- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 15? 

cial fondness for such sport, accepted the proposition, where- 
upon Rice, elated at his good luck, as he considered it, took 
his position in the first file, and at the command ''fire!" only 
two guns fired. Rice's gun, it seems, from some cause had 
failed to fire, and feeling disgusted and crestfallen, he said: 
"There, by G — d, my gun has snapped, for the first time in 
my life." From the fact that Rice had manifested so much 
anxiety to shoot the negro, the failure of his gun to fire 
amused some of the boys very much. Thus ended the Cor- 
dova fight which occurred about the twenty-eighth of March, 
1839. 

Cordova, though pretty severely wounded, finally made 
his way to Mexico with the balance of his followers. Flores, 
it seems, was with Cordova at the time, but made good his 
escape. 

The Rev. A. J. Adkisson and General William P. Harde- 
man, both citizens of Austin, Texas, are among the few 
surviving Texans who participated in the Cordova fight. 
But few there are of the present day who stop to think for 
a moment when these two silvery haired old veterans are 
seen passing along the streets of Austin, of the valuable 
services they have rendered Texas on numerous occasions, 
both as a Republic and as a State. 



£be jflorea jfiQbt 



I fE have never seen in print a full and complete ac- 
l I | count of the Cordova fight, which we have just 
^AJ given, nor of the Flores fight, which we are about 
to narrate. Mr. Yoakum, in his History of Texas, 
briefly refers to both, but he reverses the order in which 
they should come; and while he attaches considerab'e im- 
portance to them, as has been seen in our extract from 

his work, which appears in our account of the Cordova 
1839 fight, he has not entered into a detailed account of 

either. In view of the inestimable value to Texas of 
the information obtained from the Mexicans when these 



158 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

two battles were fought, insignificant as they may seem k* 
some, we have concluded to give a minute or detailed ac- 
count of each while there yet survive a few — a mere hand- 
ful — of those worthy pioneers who participated in both 
engagements, and who can vouch for the accuracy of our 
statements; for it was from them that we obtained the* in- 
formation that enables us to write intelligently upon the 
subject. 

After the return of Colonel Burleson's forces from the 
Cordova fight, in the latter part of March, 1839, it was 
deemed prudent by the citizens settled along the Colorado 
river to organize for the protection of their families. The 
Indians were not only extremely troublesome to the whites, 
but it became evident now, from the information obtained 
from the man Roberson, who escaped from Cordova, an 
account of which has been given in our sketch of the Cor- 
dova fight, that the Mexican government had entered into a 
conspiracy with the Indians to make an incessant warfare 
upon the whites, lay bare their homes and their fields, and 
drive them from the country. Austin at that time had not 
arisen to the dignity of a town — much less a city — and was 
just beginning to build up. The largest settlement in the 
vicinity of Austin then was down the river some ten 
miles, and was known as the "Hornsby settlement." The 
reader can judge from the above how much exposed this 
section of country was to the ravages of the Indians and 
marauding Mexicans at that day. Consequently, in order 
to protect themselves and their families, a ranging com- 
pany was organized, consisting of about twenty men, 
with Mike Andrews as captain, and James O. Rice, lieuten- 
ant, and it was while this company were out scouting on 
Onion creek, south of Austin, on or about the fifteenth of 
May, 1839, and about where the San Antonio road crosses 
the creek, that Flores and his party were discovered, as they 
were returning from Mexico, making their way back to 
eastern Texas, to carry out the enterprise inaugurated by 
Cordova, Flores and others, as previously related. Captain 
Andrews's company, as stated, only consisted of about 
twenty men; but on this occasion six civilians, as they were 
called, had joined him. While out on Onion creek, and 
reconnoitering, Lieutenant Rice and Castleberry, on 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 15 9 

the evening mentioned, had ridden over the hill south of the 
creek to kill a deer for supper. They had only been gone a 
short time when they came galloping back, apparently 
somewhat excited, and reported that they had seen in the 
distance a large caballada of horses, but owing to the dis- 
tance they were from them, and it being very late in the 
afternoon, about dusk, they could not tell definitely whether 
the horses were mounted or not, but they were satisfied 
some of them were, from the fact that some of the animals 
were white, and there appeared to be dark looking spots on 
their backs. 

On the south side of Onion creek there was a range of 
hills lying up and down the creek for some distance, and 
when Rice and Castleberry discovered Flores and his party 
(who, at that time, were unknown to the rangers, but the 
latter strongly suspected from the first that it was Cordova 
and Flores returning from Mexico) they were traveling 
almost due north while the rangers were traveling almost 
due east. Owing to the range of hills just mentioned the 
Mexicans could not be seen by the rangers, but the latter 
pushed on, expecting to intercept the enemy at the crossing 
on the creek, but when they arrived at the foot of this range 
of hills the Mexicans had crossed the creek and had entered 
a thick post oak and cedar country on the north side. The 
rangers took their trail and followed it a few miles, but dark 
overtaking them pretty soon they halted for the night, leav- 
ing their horses all saddled, and they themselves sleeping 
upon their arms. At daylight they renewed the pursuit, 
determined to overtake the unknown enemy at all hazards, 
though the Texans were becoming more and more confident 
"all the time that it was a return of the Flores party from 
Mexico with munitions of war, etc., to place in the hands of 
the Indians; consequently the rangers felt the importance 
of overhauling them. After following the trail about two 
miles, and just as they were beginning to enter the cedar 
brake they met the enemy face to face, and were within 
forty or fifty yards of each other when both parties halted. 
The cedar brake was a very large one, and evidently Flores 
and his party had been rambling around in it all night, 
until tired and worn out, they concluded to take the back 
track and disentangle themselves from the meshes of the 



160 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

forest. Before reaching the cedar brake and coming up 
with Flores's party, however, there had been considerable dis- 
pute among the Texans as to the number of the enemy, some 
contending that it was a large party, while others main- 
tained that there were not over twenty-five or thirty, and 
in support of their theory gave a very plausible reason, a s 
will soon be seen, which illustrates the perspicacity and 
keen perception of an experienced frontiersman. While 
following the trail they came to a stooping tree, which was 
rather too low for a man on horseback to ride under, and 
upon a close inspection of the trail made by the horses o1 
the enemy it was discovered that all of them, with the ex- 
ception of some twenty-five or thirty, passed under the 
stooping tree while the others went around it. This method 
of reasoning proved afterwards to be reliable, but it was nol 
convincing to those of the party who were disposed to be a 
little weak kneed. So when the enemy were run upon sud- 
denly, the Texans were divided in their opinions as to 
whether or not an attack should be made. The Mexicans 
were so concealed by the brush and timber, that theii 
number could not be ascertained definitely. Perceiving 
that the Texans were hesitating and parleying over the mat- 
ter, the Mexicans put on a bold front and cursed and dared the 
the rangers to charge them. Some of the Texans who could 
speak Spanish retorted in similar language. Wayne Bar- 
ton, one of the civilians who had gone along with the ran- 
gers, was decidedly opposed to giving battle, and thus ad- 
dressed Captain Andrews: 

"Captain Andrews, if you take your men into that thicket 
it will be equivalent to leading them into a slaughtering 
pen, for they will every one be killed." 

This little speech had a telling effect upon those who had 
been wavering, and the captain seemed also to be consider- 
ably impressed with the force of the remark, and ordered a 
retreat. While this parleying was going on, the enemy 
moved off into the heart of the cedar brake. The Texans 
now turned their course homeward; but there was great 
dissatisfaction among most of the men at the conduct of 
the captain, and they did not hesitate to express their dis- 
approbation in unmistakable language — some of which will 
not do to repeat here. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 161 

After riding about three miles in the direction of home, 
and discussing the matter pro and con, a portion of the 
company grew very indignant and considerable feeling was 
being engendered, when one of the party, A. J. Adkisson — 
known then as "Ad.," but now as the Rev. A. J. Adkisson-— 
told the boys to hold up a little and he would ride ahead 
and ask permission of Captain Andrews—who at that time 
was some little distance in advance of the company— to give 
those who desired it, permission to return and follow the 
enemy, for it was now known beyond a doubt who they 
were. To this proposition the boys consented; whereupon 
Adkisson rode up to the captain, informed him of the senti- 
ment of the men, and asked him if he would give those who 
desired to do so, permission to return and continue pursuit 
of the enemy; that they did not wish him to assume any 
of the responsibility, and all they asked was simply per- 
mission to return. The captain hesitated a moment and 
then, with an oath, replied: "Yes; and I'll go back, too." 
This was joyful news to all of the party except six of the 
men, who continued their course homeward, and who, no 
doubt, about that time felt like the poor private soldier 
during the late civil war, when he was found by his colonel 
in the rear of his command, crying like his heart would 
break, and was asked "what he was doing there crying like 
a baby, that he ought to be ashamed of himself;" where- 
upon the poor fellow said, as he wiped away the tears 
which were trickling down his cheeks: "I wish I was a 
baby, and gal baby at that." 

It is but fair to say, however, that those who turned back 
were not all civilians, for it was one of this class who did 
the most effective fighting that was done when finally the 
enemy were overhauled. 

The little band of Texans now only numbered twenty, 
and instead of returning to the place where they had left 
the Mexicans, they cut across the country in a westerly di- 
rection with the intention of intercepting them as they 
came out of the cedar brake, but when they arrived at the 
point where they expected to intercept them, the enemy 
had passed out some little time in advance of them. It was 
about nine o'clock in the morning, and the Texans put out 
in a brisk gallop, but they had not gone far before learning 



162 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

that the enemy were also traveling at a rapid gait. The 
trail was followed all that day without overtaking the Mex- 
icans, and night coming on the Texans camped on a spur of 
the mountains on the north side of the Colorado river, and 
within about a mile of the same until the next morning. 
During the night a heavy rain fell rendering it very difficult 
to follow the trail the following morning. At this point 
Captain Andrews's horse being quite lame, and he being a 
large man, weighing at that time about two hundred pounds, 
it" became necessary for him to return home, and accord- 
ingly two men whose horses were the lamest, were detailed 
to go back with him. This left us a force of only seventeen 
men, with Lieutenant Rice in command, and notwithstand- 
ing many of the horses were quite lame, some of which 
were scarcely able to travel with their bruised and bleeding 
feet, caused from climbing the rough and rugged mountains 
the previous day, this gallant little band of Texans pu9»hfrd 
on in pursuit of the enemy. By traveling slowly and ex 
amining closely every sign, they succeeded in following the 
trail through the mountains out into the prairie on the 
waters of the San Gabriel where the Mexicans had camped 
the night previous. Here the sign was fresh and plain, and 
could easily be followed in a gallop, and the horses of the 
rangers, which, up to that time had shown signs of being 
much fatigued, now seemed to take on new life and vigor, 
and spurted off at a lively gait without being urged on 
much by their riders. After following the trail until about 
two o'clock in the afternoon the south fork of the San Ga 
briel was reached at a point where is situated a celebrated 
spring, not far from where the residence of "Uncle" Billy 
Johnson now stands. At this point Flores and his party 
had nooned'and cut down a bee tree, and when the Texans 
arrived the bees had not yet settled, and the camp fires, 
four in number, left by Flores, were still burning. There 
being only four camp fires, was another point of circum- 
stantial evidence going to show that the force of the enemy 
could not be large. The Texans, knowing from these signs 
that they were on a hot trail, did not halt, but pushed on 
with renewed zeal and enthusiasm. 

After going about a mile further, the Texans. were sig- 
naled by their spies, Felix McClusky and - — Castleberry, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 163 

who were about a quarter of a mile in advance of the 
party, to hold up, dismount and out switches. To the 
average reader it may seem strange that the latter signal 
was understood; but it was, and just as clearly as the other, 
and both signals were obeyed. It becomes necessary for 
frontiersman to go by signals a great deal of the time, and 
they become very expert in interpreting them. The party 
having provided themselves with switches, were then sig- 
naled by the spies to advance, which was done., and on 
coming up with them, they were informed that the enemy 
had just passed over the bill. The Texans then started 
off in a steady gallop, and within another quarter of a 
mile were within sight of the enemy which they had been 
following for two days and nights. Flores would make 
a stand occassionally as if he intended to make battle, but 
the Texans never checked their speed for a moment, but on 
the contrary, would push forward more rapidly, raise the 
Texan yell, whereupon the Mexicans would turn and re-« 
treat. Flores kept up this character of maneuvering for 
some little time, and in these temporary halts made by him, 
he could be seen riding up and down in front of his men 
with sword in hand apparently counting our force. The 
Texans kept up the charge, however, until they had driven 
the enemy on to a steep bluff on the banks of the North San 
Gabriel, which was so steep that it was impossible for the 
enemy to descend. At this crisis, Flores, evidently for the 
purpose of giving his men an opportunity of finding a cross- 
ing, rallied a few of his companions and made a charge 
upon the Texans, who discovered him just in time to take 
advantage of a live oak grove near by. Flores with some 
eight or ten men, charged up within fifteen or twenty paces 
of the Texans, and fired a volley at them, but without 
effect. The Texans, who had just dismounted, did not have 
their horses hitched, and were, therefore, not prepared to 
properly receive the enemy; but William Wallace (hereto- 
fore mentioned as having participated in the Brushy creek 
fight), who happened to be a little quicker than the balance, 
had gotten in position ready for action, and just as Flores 
was in the act of wheeling his horse to retreat, Wallace 
took good aim, fired, and at the crack of his gun, Flores 
rolled off of his horse upon the ground, shot through the 



164 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

heart. Upon the death of their commander, the little party 
who had accompanied him in the charge immediately fled 
and joined their comrades who in the meantime had suc- 
ceeded in finding a crossing, but leaving behind them all 
their horses, mules, baggage, munitions of war, etc. The 
last seen of the enemy, they were making their way as 
rapidly as possible to the mountains beyond the Gabriel. 
The Texans then gathered up the horses and mules, num- 
bering one hundred and fifty-six or seven, several hundred 
pounds of powder and lead, seventeen dollars in Mexican 
silver dollars, besides a good deal of Mexican luggage, all 
of which had been abandoned by the enemy in their fight. 
Everything having been collected together, and the Texans 
being in high glee over their victory, they struck out for 
home, arriving at the spring on South San Gabriel, just in 
time to camp at the same spot where the Mexicans had 
camped the night previous. The Flores fight occurred on 
the seventeenth day day of May, 1839. 

While on their way, however, between the battle ground 
and South Gabriel, the Texans were met by Captain Owen 
in command of about thirty six-months rangers, well pro- 
vided with a bountiful supply of provisions, and going out 
to the relief of the heroic band of seventeen. It may be 
well to state here that upon the return to the settlement of 
those who had originally started out in pursuit of the enemy, 
but from causes previously stated abandoned the pursuit, 
had circulated the report up and down the river that Rice 
with only sixteen men was in hot pursuit of a large body of 
Mexicans, and that if he should overtake them it was highly 
probable that the entire party of Texans would be slain. 
This report is what caused Owen as well as Burleson and 
others to start out to the relief of Rice's party. When Captain 
Owen first discovered the Texans returning with "a large 
caballacla of horses, and observing that some of the men 
were wearing Mexican sombreros, the Texans having cap- 
tured a few from the enemy and were wearing them when 
the two parties met, he mistook them for Mexicans, and or- 
dered his men to dismount and fire, but was finally prevailed 
upon by one of his men, who strongly suspected that they 
were Texans, to countermand the order. Rice's party hav- 
ing come up within a short time, and, the usual salutations 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 105 

having been exchanged, some of Owen's company be- 
gan talking about a division of the spoils, one fellow laying 
claim to one horse, another to that one, and so on, until 
finally the gallant little band of seventeen, began to think 
that they were in earnest about the matter, which up to this 
time had been looked upon as a mere joke. Perceiving that 
Owen's men were serious in their claims, Rice's partv 
told them that they had fought the Mexicans for the prop- 
erty, and before dividing it out they would fight again for 
it. This very much offended the Owen party, and per- 
ceiving that they were not to share in the division of the 
spoils, refused to divide even a crust of bread with Rice's 
party, notwithstanding they had been without anything to 
eat for three days and nights. That was not all. The little 
band of seventeen, who had been on the go ever since they 
had struck the trail of the enemy, tired and worn out as 
they were with fatigue, were denied the privilege of camp<- 
ing with those who came out to their relief, and they were 
thus forced, tired and hungry as they were, to stand guard 
all night long to protect their horses. The next morning 
early Rice's party pulled out for Austin, and after traveling 
some distance, and just as they were ascending Pilot Knob, 
on Brushy, they met up with Colonel Ed Burleson, in com- 
mand of a party going out to their relief, who generously 
furnished them with all the provisions they needed. After 
eating dinner, Burleson and Rice's forces came on back to 
Austin, and after reaching there Colonel Burleson, Sam 
Highsmith and one other gentleman whose name we have 
forgotten were selected as arbitrators to determine upcn the 
division of the spoils, over which there had arisen a contro- 
versy with Owen's company. They were out but a littie 
while before they decided that "to the victors belong the 
spoils." Rice's party then proceeded on down to Hornsby's 
Bend, and after reaching there the horses captured from 
the enemy were all put in a corral and divided off into sev- 
enteen different bunches by disinterested parties, and each 
drew lots for choice. This division having been made among 
the men, they then proceeded to open a lot of leather sacks 
which they had captured from the enemy. One of these 
sacks contained the correspondence between Cordova and 
the Mexican officials, and several official communications 



166 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS JffSt TEXAS. 

from the latter addressed to quite a number of Indian chiefs, 
perhaps a dozen in all. One of the communications was 
addressed to Bowles, chief of the Cherokees,. and one to Big 
Mush, another Indian chief. There happened to be a Mexi- 
can on the place — Francisco, who was possessed of some 
education, and by means of his translation the Texans were 
advised of the importance of the documents they had cap- 
tured. 

This is the correspondence referred to by Mr. Yoakum, 
and to which we have made frequent mention heretofore in 
our account of the Cordova fight. The summer previous to 
this, Cordova headed an insurrectionary movement in the 
Nacogdoches settlement against the whites, and, being sub- 
dued, he sought refuge, it was supposed, among the Indians, 
and while there no doubt sent emissaries to Mexico, offering 
his services to co-operate in hostile movements against the 
whites. 

This correspondence revealed beyond the cavil of a doubt 
the Cordova-Flores plot, and verified the statement of the 
man Roberson who escaped from Cordova on Onion creek 
and came to Burleson's camp with Tom Moore. This val- 
uable information was at once transmitted to the Texan 
government, then located at Houston, Texas. President 
Lamar sent out commissioners to effect, if possible, a peace- 
able removal of the Indians, but nothing satisfactory being 
accomplished, he ordered out troops against them under the 
command of Rusk, Burleson and Douglas. 

The only survivors to-day of Rice's party are Jonathan 
Davis, who resides in Milam county, Texas, the Rev. A. J. 

Adkisson, a resident of Austin, and Harness, who is a 

resident of Burnet county. While Texas has remembered 
her veterans and confederate soldiers by granting pensions 
and land donations, this handful of hardy pioneers who ac- 
complished so much for the republic have not only been 
neglected, but, with the exception of their gallant lieuten- 
ant, their names have never even been mentioned by the 
historian. At this late day, when we contemplate the ruin 
and destruction to property and the loss of life to the 
Texans, which might have resulted had Flores not been 
killed and this valuable correspondence captured, we can not 
but think that the fight on the San Gabriel was second only 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 1G7 

in importance to Texas to the battle of San Jacinto. Can 
it be that Texas has grown so populous, wealthy and so ar- 
rogant as to be unmindful of the heroic acts of her humble 
private citizens while she boasts of her gallant leaders of 
the past in both war and peace? Surely the statesman of 
'39, who guided the ship of State and shaped the destiny of 
the infant republic, were he present to-day si a ping and con- 
trolling the legislation of our empire State would not with- 
hold from the few survivors of this little Spartan band that 
just recognition which their heroic conduct merits. Then 
let the sons of Texas to-day, especially those who delight in 
perpetuating the memory and heroic valor of those worthy 
Texans who risked their lives and their property in the de- 
fense of their country, when next they assemble within 
those spacious granite walls to legislate upon the different 
questions of the hour, remember that had it not been for 
Kice and his brave followers thay might not to-day be en- 
joying the blessings of American government upon Texas 
soil, much less the honor of a seat in our magnificent capi- 
tol structure. Let them not, ere it is too late, delay in hon- 
oring these surviving veterans, whose heads are fast 
whitening for the grave. 



XCfee Cberofcee War, 



5 HE Texan government were now in possession of the 
correspondence between Cordova and the Mexican 
officials — General Canal izo and Filisola — captured by 
Rice's party, as heretofore related, in the fight with 
Flores,on the San Gabriel, and of course were fully posted as 
to the intended movements of the various tribes of Indians 
who at that time inhabited eastern Texas, conspic- 
1839 nous among whom was Bowles, chief of the Cherokees, 
and who was looked upon by his associated tribes as 
a kind of leader or head man among them all. The Chero- 
kees and their associated tribes — tha Dela wares, Kickapoos, 



168 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Seminoles, Shawnees and others, numbering some twelve 
tribes — had settled in eastern Texas as early as 1822, and 
bad established a village north of Nacogdoches, the town at 
that time being a waste, lately swept by the forces of Long 
and Perez. These Indians owned a considerable number of 
stock, had cultivated the lands to some extent, and had made 
some progress in the direction of civilization. As late as 
1835 there were no settlers in northern Texas except a few 
on Red river. While the revolution was going on, from 
September, 1835, to April, 1836, great uneasiness was felt 
among the whites lest Cordova and other Mexican emissa- 
ries, who were known to be among the Indians, should per- 
suade them to take an active part against Texas in her war 
with Mexico. To avert such a threatening danger General 
Sam Houston sent Commissioners — John Forbes and Doctor 
Cameron — among the Indians to negotiate a treaty with 
them and if possible get them to assume a neutral position. 
Their mission was only partially successful, however, and 
the whites were still distrustful. During all this time Gen- 
eral Houston's little army had all they could do to attend to 
Santa Anna, who was marching upon Texas with vastly 
superior forces, laying waste the country on his entire 
line of march. The settlers, fleeing from the invading army 
of Santa Anna, were moving along the frontier, scattered 
all along from the Trinity river to the Sabine. It was at 
this critical juncture that Major General Edmond P. Gaines, 
U. S. A. , crossed the Sabine at the head of five hundred men 
and established headquarters at Nacogdoches. He imme- 
diately sent messengers to the Indians with instructions to 
say to them that, if any of the Texan women and children 
were killed by them, he would at once attack them with his 
whole force. This bold move of the patriot and soldier 
General Gaines, had its desired effect, and restrained the 
Indians, if they had any intention of depredating at that 
time. The memory of this gallant soldier and true patriot 
should be held dear by all Texans for the generous and 
timely aid he rendered them in this hour of need. 

The battle of San Jacinto was fought soon after this, 
which gave the Texans great prestige, and the defeat of 
Santa Anna saved the people of eastern Texas from im- 
mediate danger from the Indians, though the feeling of 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 169 

enmity still existed between them and the whites. It was 
not long before the families of Pierce and Killough were 
murdered, only three or four of the latter escaping, and 
these were brought into the settlements by the Cherokees, 
who cunningly represented to the Secretary of War that 
these murders had been committed by the prairie Indians 
and treacherous Mexicans. To prevent such occurrences, 
"Major Walters (see Yoakum, vol 2, p. 267, and reference 
to Report of Secretary of War, November, 1839, p. 6) had 
been ordered, with two companies, to occupy the Neches 
Saline, not only to wa'ch the Cherokees, but to cut off their 
intercourse with the Indians of the prairies. Bowles, the 
Cherokee chief, notified Major Walters that he would repel 
by force such occupation of the Saline. As the Major's force 
was too small to carry out his orders, he established his post 
on the west bank of the Neches, out of the Cherokee ter- 
ritory. " 

General Sam Houston, while President of the Republic, 
did all in his power to allay the growing excitement and 
preserve peace. Having spent his early boyhood in the 
mountains of Tennessee, in close proximity to the Chero- 
kees, and, previous to his coming to Texas, having lived 
among them for four years, he was familiar with their 
character and customs, and in addition to this, being very 
popular with this tribe, he necessarily exercised great in- 
fluence over them. This being generally known, caused 
many to suspect that General Houston had delayed in tak- 
ing any decisive steps against the Cherokees because he 
was more favorably inclined to them than to his own peo- 
ple. "Indeed," says an old Texan, "so strongly was this 
opinion entertained at the time by many of the Texans, that 
nothing but General Houston's great personal popularity 
could have sustained him in the almost neutral position he 
occupied in regard to the troubles then existing between 
his quondam friends, the Cherokees, and their white neigh- 
bors." However this may be, it is evident that he nat- 
urally felt kindly towards them, and was anxious to preserve 
peace between them and the Texans. Moreover, Houston 
was aware that it frequently happened that lawless whites 
upon the border, in some instances, were to blame for the 
outrages committed by the Indians in a spirit of retaliation, 



170 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and no cloubt he adopted a conciliatory policy and delayed 
taking any decisive action until he could definitely ascer- 
tain, first, who were the guilty parties, and to what extent 
the Indians were to blame, and he would then be in a con- 
dition to deal fairly with both parties. 

However, General Houston's forbearance toward the In- 
dians seems to have been exhausted, and in the latter part 
of his administration General Rusk, commander in chief of 
the militia forces of the republic, was ordered out. It seems 
that on the fourth of August, 1838, a party of citizens went 
in pursuit of some stolen horses, and after going some dis- 
tance found th.em secreted in a Mexican settlement, and on 
their return they were fired upon and one of their number 
killed. Several persons set out on their trail in pursuit of 
the murderers, but after traveling some distance they be- 
came convinced from the size of the trail that there were a 
considerable number of Mexicans and they returned home. 
About the seventh of August it was ascertained that about 
one hundred or more Mexicans were encamped about the 
Angelina under the command of Nathaniel Morris, Cordova 
and Cruz, General Rusk made an immediate requisition 
for men. On the evening of the tenth it was reported that 
the Mexicans had been joined by about three hundred In- 
dians and that the enemy, consisting of Mexicans and In- 
dians, now amounted to about six hundred men. On the 
same day General Houston, who was then at Nacogdoches, 
received a letter from the Mexican leaders, headed by Vi- 
centi Cordova— the same to whom we have made frequent 
allusions heretofore— disclaiming allegiance to Texas, and 
then set out on their march for the Cherokee Nation. Hous- 
ton having been posted as to their movements directed Gen- 
eral Rusk not to cross the Angelina. Major Augustine, 
with one hundred and fifty men, was detached to follow the 
Mexican trail, while the main body of the Texans under 
General Rusk made for the headquarters of Bowles, where 
he suspected the enemy had gone. On reaching the Saline, 
however, he discovered that the insurgent leaders had fled 
to the upper Trinity, and that their followers had dispersed. 
Thus* ended this little expedition, but during the month of 
Octooer of the same year General Rusk was found march- 
ing at the head of about two hundred men on his way to 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 171 

Fort Houston, on the Trinity, in pursuit of a motley crowd 
of Mexicans and Indians, who had been committing depre- 
dations on the frontier. 

Learning that the enemy were at the Kickapoo town, 
he marched to that place and encamped there on the 
fifteenth. At daybreak, on the morning of the sixteenth, 
he attacked the enemy, and after the engagement had lasted 
about fifteen minutes, Rusk ordered a charge. The enemy 
were completely routed and were pursued about a mile, 
leaving eleven of their dead upon the field. This closed the 
engagements with the Indians in eastern Texas for the year 
1838, and after having thus discussed the policy of General 
Houston towards the Cherokees and their allies, we now re- 
turn to the beginning of the Cherokee war proper. General 
Mirabeau B. Lamar having been inaugurated president of 
the Republic on the ninth of December, 1838, and being in 
full sympathy with the whites, it was quite apparent that 
his policy toward the Indians would be an aggressive one. 
After his inauguration he attempted a reconciliation of the 
existing troubles, but failing to effect a peaceable removal 
of the Indians, or to get any satisfactory assurances from 
them that they would cease depredating upon the whites in 
the future, he determined to drive them from the country, 
nor did he lose any time in making the necessary prepara- 
tions. Major Walters having been stationed on the west 
bank of the Neches as previously noted; Colonel Burleson, 
who at that time was collecting a force on the Colorado 
river to operate against other Indians, was directed to 
march his force in close proximity to the Cherokee territory 
so that he might be prepared to enter the same on short 
notice. Burleson reached the Neches on the fourteenth of 
July with four hundred men. He was accompanied on this 
expedition by Vice President David G. Burnet, General 
Albert Sidney Johnston, Secretary of War, and others hold* 
ing high official positions. Colonel Landrum with a regi- 
ment from eastern Texas, arrived about the same time. 
General Rusk, with a regiment from Nacogdoches, had 
arrived a few days previous. The entire force was placed 
under the command of General K. H. Douglass. 

In the afternoon of the fifteenth of July, the combined 
forces of Burleson, Rusk and Landrum, under the command 



172 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

of General Douglass, attacked the Cherokees and their allied 
bands who had taken up a strong position about seven miles 
up the river above the il Council Grounds," and were await- 
ing the attack. The Texans coming up in the open prairie, 
were fired on by the Indians who occupied a hill near a 
ravine, and then retreated in the ravine. The engagement 
then became general. The ground was stubbornly con- 
tested by the Indians, and from a little before sunset when 
the fight began, until dark, the conflict was sharp and fierce. 
Finally, however, the Texans made a determined charge 
upon the Indians and the latter fled, leaving behind them 
on the field eighteen of their warriors dead. The Texans 
only had three killed and five wounded. During the night 
the Indians retreated several miles, and when the Texans 
came upon them in the afternoon of the sixteenth, they 
found the enemy strongly posted in a wooded ravine about 
half a mile from the Neches, ready for battle. The Texans 
were compelled to advance through an open country, and 
consequently were greatly exposed to the fire of the enemy, 
but they continued to advance, pouring hot shot into the 
red skins. The Indians, after standing their ground for a 
while, finally fled into the Neches bottom and sought pro- 
tection in the swamps and thickets, not attempting to mat e 
another stand. This was a hotly contested battle, an d 
during the engagement which lasted about an hour and a, 
half, the Indians had about one hundred of their warrior n 
killed and wounded, and among the former was their dis- 
tinguished chief, Bowles. The Texans lost five killed an I 
twenty-seven wounded; among the latter were Vice Pres ; - 
dent Burnet, General Albert Sidney Johnston, Adjutant Gei - 
eral McLoud and Major Kaufman. The Indians were con : • 
pletely routed in this engagement, and notwithstanding 
they had an estimated force of about eight hundreds again&t 
five hundred Texans, they were taught by this engagement 
the superior generalship of the whites over the Indians. 

Their trail was followed for several days by the Texans 
who passed many of the Indian villages and cornfields; all 
of which were destroyed by the Texans. On the evening of 
the twenty-fifth, pursuit was abandoned, whereupon the 
troops were all marched home and mustered out of service. 
This was the last fight between the whites and the Chevo« 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 173 

kees in eastern Texas, but notwithstanding the crushing 
defeat they had sustained, they continued for several 
months depredating upon the lives and property of the 
frontier people. After the death of Bowles, his son John, 
and an Indian named Egg, became the head chiefs of the 
allied tribes, who now took refuge on the head waters of the 
Trinity river, where they remained for a few months. 

In the fall of 1839, John Bowles and Egg attempted to 
lead their followers into Mexico, passing entirely above the 
settlements. But Colonel Burleson, who happened to be out 
on a campaign against the wild tribes, came across their 
trail, followed it, and attacked them on Cherokee creek near 
the mouth of the San Saba river, some seventy-five miles 
above Austin. This was on Christmas day. John Bowles 
and Egg were both killed in the engagement and several of 
the warriors, and twenty-seven women and children cap- 
tured, among whom was the wife of Chief Bowles, who 
had been killed in eastern Texas. All their camp equipage 
was also captured. The Indians fought desperately for a 
short time in this engagement, but they could not stand 
very long the hot fire that was being poured into them by 
the Texans. Those of the red skins who escaped from this 
fight retraced their steps and joined their kindred in the In- 
dian Territory. This was the last fight with the Cherokees 
in Texas. We believe that it was in this engagement that the 
gallant Captain John L. Lynch was killed whilst leading a 
charge against the enemy. The Indian prisoners were all 
delivered by Colonel Burleson to the agent of the govern- 
ment. 



174 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 



©eaperate Battle Between Cfterofcees anb TNHacos. 



THE reader, ere this no doubt has grown tired of reading 
the many blood curdling incidents recited herein, and 
will be relieved to know that the Indians sometimes per- 
petrated outrages and murders upon each other as well 
as the whites. During the year 1829 the Cherokees who had 
crossed Red river from the Cherokee Nation into Texas, de- 
termined to remain in that portion of the State until 
1829 they could make a crop and then move to a more suit- 
able locality next spring. They settled in two villages 
a short distance apart, planted their crops, and everything 
was going on prosperously, when a body of Wacos who were 
on a robbing excursion, discovered the new settlement, and 
also noticed the fact that there was a large number of fine 
horses coralled in the vicinity. They determined to appro- 
priate these fine horses for their own use and benefit, and 
they therefore concealed themselves in the vicinity until 
night, when they slipped up and succeeded in stealing the 
whole drove. As the Cherokees could not well leave their 
crops, and the Wacos besides, had carried off their best 
horses, they thought best to postpone following the thieves 
to a more favorable opportunity. It was resolved in coun- 
cil, however, that as soon as their crops were laid by they 
would visit their red brethren, recapture the stolen horses, 
and inflict such punishment on the Wacos as would teach 
them a lesson they would not soon forget. 

Accordingly, in April, 1829, fifty five well armed -Chero- 
kees left on foot to visit and punish the Wacos, whose prin- 
cipal village was at the place where the city of Waco is 
now situated. Close by their village they had built a kind 
of fortification by scooping out the ground and raising a 
circular embankment ar und the depression thus formed, 
several feet high. The remains of this fortress were still 
visible a few years since on the outskirts of the city of 
Waco. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 175 

The Cherokees came to the Brazos river, about forty- 
miles above the Waco village. Finding no signs of the enemy 
at that point, they continued on down the river until they 
discovered that they were in close proximity to the village. 
They then concealed themselves in the brush until night, 
and sent out scouts to ascertain its exact position. 

About day break the spies came back, having obtained 
the desired information, and the chief told his men that the 
time had come to wreak their vengeance upon the thieving 
Wacos and to recover from them the horses they had stolen. 
In order to take them by surprise the Cherokee chief led 
his men quietly and cautiously down the bank of the river 
to a point about four hundred yards from the village. This 
was done a little before daylight, when the Wacos were 
asleep, and the Cherokees were thus enabled to approach 
very near them without being discovered. They here halted 
until daylight. 

As soon as it was light enough to see distinctly the Cher- 
okees moved forward as noiselessly as possible, each one 
with his rifle in his hand. But one of the Waco warriors, 
it seems, was an early riser, and while in the act of building 
his camp fire, his keen Indian ear detected the sound of ap- 
proaching footsteps. Eaising to look, he discovered the 
Cherokees advancing within rMie shot of the village. He 
gave one loud, shrill yell, which brought every Waco to his 
feet and ready for action. 

At this juncture the Cherokees fired a volley in their 
midst which laid many a Waco on the ground. The Waco's, 
however, outnumbered greatly the Cherokees, and for some 
time they made a stubborn resistance. The fight lasted for 
several hours without intermission. At length, however, 
the Wacos finding that their bows and arrows availed but 
little against the deadly rifles of the Cherokees and a con- 
siderable number of their warriors having already fallen 
they retreated to the fortress before mentioned, where they 
had a great advantage over their assailants. They could 
lie down behind the embankments and shoot their arrows 
at the Cherokees without being exposed to the fire of their 
rifles. The Cherokees held a council of war as to what was 
best to be done. One proposition was to strip themselves 
naked, rush into the fort, discharge their guns and then with 



176 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

tomahawks in hand kill every man, woman and child inside 
of it, The Cherokee brave who made this proposition, in 
order to incite his comrades, did actually strip himself, and 
fastening several belts he had found in the Waco village 
around his body, he boldly charged up to the breastwork 
surrounding the fortress, sprang on top and cursed the 
Wacos for being a set of cowardly thieves. After perform- 
ing this act of bravado he jumped down and returned un- 
hurt to his comrades amid a shower of arrows that were 
hurled at him. 

Just as the Cherokees had brought their council to a close 
they heard the clattering of horses feet on the opposite side 
of the river, and to their astonishment they discovered a 
large body of mounted Indians rapidly approaching. It seems 
that the Wacos, at the commencement of the fight, had dis- 
patched a runner to the camp of the Tehuacanas, who were 
their allies, to tell them to lome as speedily as possible to 
their assistance. The Tehuacanas promptly responded to 
the call and dispatched two hundred warriors to the assist- 
ance of their allies. These were the Indians the Cherokees 
saw approaching. The Wacos being now reinforced by 
these two hundred Tehuacana warriors, fresh and ready for 
the fray, changed the aspect of affairs considerably, and as 
there was no possibility of fighting with any hopes of suc- 
cess the combined forces of the Wacos and Tehuacanas 
there was no alternative left the Cherokees but to retreat. 
The Tehuacanas immediately crossed the river and took up 
their position in some post oak timber, where they kept up 
a continuous yelling, but prudently did not venture within 
range of the Cherokee rifles. 

Just before they had taken position in the post oaks they 
had captured a young Cherokee lad about twelve years old 
and killed him. They then scalped him, and tying the 
scalp to the end of a spear, they held it up in view of the 
Cherokees. This boy was the only son of one of the Chero- 
kee warriors, and when he beheld the scalp of his murdered 
boy he was frantic with rage. His eyes flashed fire, and 
without a moment's hesitation he threw off his apparel and 
seized a knife in one hand and a tomahawk in the oth$r. 
The chief, who noticed this, said to him: "What are you 
going to do?" "Die," replied the Indian, "with my brave 




A CHEROKEE WARRIOR DEFYING THE WACOS. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 177 

boy — die slaying the cowardly thieves who have killed the 
only one that was left to me of all my kindred ! " and saying 
this, and without heeding the remonstrances of the chief, 
he rushed, solitary and alone, upon the two hundred Tehua- 
cana warriors. His onset was so sudden and unexpected 
that he succeeded in killing and wounding several before he 
was killed himself. 

The Cherokees, having lost two men and the boy before 
mentioned, retreated to a cedar brake, remaining there until 
night, when they crossed the river and traveled down it a 
mile or two. They then turned into the river, which was 
quite low, and waded up it six or seven miles, thus effect- 
ually hiding their trail from the Wacos and TehuaCanas. 
Although they failed to recapture their stolen horses, as 
they had anticipated doing, they carried back with them to 
their villages on Red river fifty-five scalps taken from the 
heads of Wacos slain in battle. 



?Tbe Cberofcees (Bet T£x>en. 



THE Cherokees, chagrined at failing to whip the Wacos 
for stealing their horse? , an account of which we have 
just given, attributed their defeat to the arrival of the 
Tehuacana reinforcements, and they determined to whip 
the latter for their interference. Accordingly, in the early 
part of the summer of 1830 they fitted up a party of about 
one hundred and twenty effective warriors for this 
1830 express purpose. 

The Tehuacanas were divided, living in different 
villages. One of their finest being situated in what is now 
Limestone county, and where the residences of Messrs. 
Lloyd and Moore now stand. There are some springs at 
this place around which there is quite an amount of loose 
limestone, on the surface as well as in the ground. The 
entire country round is one of great beauty. Here these 
Tehuacanas had erected small enclosures of these stones, 



178 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS, 

about three feet in height, leaving occasional spaces about 
two feet square resembling the mouths of furnaces. These 
they rudely covered with buffalo skins and poles. The 
enclosure served as a place of retreat in time of an attack. 

The Cherokees having learned the situation of this place, 
and the great estimate the Tehuacanas placed upon it, they 
determined to attack it. The Cherokees were led by an In- 
dian well acquainted with the country, and soon reached 
the place. 

When the Cherokees first discovered the Tehuacanas they 
were playing ball around the fortress. The Cherokees pre- 
pared for action, while the Tehuacanas rushed the women 
and children into their retreat and prepared for defense. 
They greatly outnumbered the Cherokees, but this did not 
check the latter. The shooting now began, the Cherokees 
taking position behind trees and advancing from tree to 
tree. They took good aim, resting their guns against the 
trees. Their shots told with deadly effect, and one by one 
the Tehuacanas were melting away beneath their unerring 
aim. Whenever one was wounded he would take refuge 
among the women and children. 

The Tehuacanas becoming sick of this, they all rushed 
into their place of retreat behind their breastworks. The 
Cherokees now rushed forward to complete their work of 
destruction. The besieged party were lying flat on the 
ground, and, as the Cherokees advanced, the Tehuacanas 
let them have a number of arrows, which laid many of them 
low. 

The Cherokees now fell back and drew off a short dis- 
tance. One of their old warriors advised that they hold a 
consultation before they proceeded further. Accordingly 
they held a council, whereupon one of the leaders said that 
their business there was revenge, and have it they must, 
and as long as there was a live Cherokee left they would 
3ontinue their efforts; that it would never do to return and 
report a defeat — it would be a lasting disgrace. 

The old warrior who advised holding the consultation 
nade the following proposition: That a party of them 
should go a short distance off and cut some dry grass; 
that they load themselves with this grass, which would be 
11 good shield, and then approach each hole in the fortress 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 179 

from the sides, and stop up the port holes with this grass. 
This they would set on fire, and they would in this way 
roast the inmates alive. The plan was agreed on and car- 
ried out. The smoke and flame rolled into the fortress in 
such quantities as to produce complete strangulation, and 
the inmates were forced to unroof the fortress and leap out 
amid the blinding columns of smoke. The Cherokees were 
stationed around, and slew them as they leaped out. The 
Cherokees would rush on the frightened and smothered 
Tehuacanas, and with their tomahawks and scalping knives 
they dealt death on every hand. A great number of war- 
riors, women and children were suffocated to death on the 
inside. Many of the women and children were made pris- 
oners, and but few of the men escaped. All the horses, 
buffalo skins, camp equipage, etc., fell into the hands of the 
Cherokees, who returned to their camp, making a wonder- 
ful display of their booty. 

The facts in the above case were obtained from a Span- 
iard who had passed much of his time with the various 
tribes of Indians. In the year 1840 he came to Gonzales, 
and fought with the Texans at Salado, and at Mier in 
1842, he being one of those who escaped on that memo- 
rable occasion. He came back to Gonzales, and, we have 
been informed, made the house of General Henry E. Mc- 
Culloch his home. This unfortunate man was captured in 
1843 by a body of robbing Mexicans and being aware of 
his great fidelity to Texas, they suspended him by the 
heels, and in this position he was found dead, a fine lesson 
on Mexican morals. 



Scalpeb b$ ff>ron>. 



5 HE following narrow escape by our old friend, John C. 
Duval, is given in his own language: In the spring of 
1838, my friend W. P. Brashear and myself left the 
city of Houston for the purpose of locating lands in 
the southwestern part of the State. At that time the whole 



180 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

country, from the very suburbs of Houston to the Rio 
Grande, was infested by marauding parties of Co- 
1838 manches and other Indians, and we knew that our 
trip would be a dangerous one, but as we were 
both well mounted and armed, we concluded that with 
proper caution we could save our scalps, either by fighting 
or running, if we should encounter one of these hostile 
bands. 

The day before we reached Goliad we encamped at a deep, 
clear pool of water, some twelve or fifteen miles to the east 
of that place. I told Brashear I thought we would run great 
risk in stopping there, as I had been informed it was a favor- 
ite camping ground with the Indians, and proposed that we 
should travel on until night and then leave the road before 
we encamped. But Brashear, who had but lately recovered 
from a severe attack of fever and was still very weak, said 
it was impossible for him to travel any further, and that he 
would have to camp there and take the chances. This, of 
course, settled the matter, and we dismounted and staked 
our horses upon the grass that grew luxuriantly in the 
vicinity of the pool. As the sun was still more than an 
hour high, by way of passing the time I improvised some 
fishing tackle out of a bent pin and a few hairs out of my 
horse's tail and amused myself in catching perch, with 
which the pool was literatly swarming. In less than half 
an hour I had as many as I wanted, and, returning to camp, 
I broiled them on the coals, and they made a very welcome 
addition to our hard tack and cup of black coffee. 

After supper, while we were lazily reclining upon the 
green turf smoking our pipes, I happened to look toward a 
slight elevation a hundred yards or so from our camp, and 
I perceived some dark object cautiously creeping behind a 
tuft of bushes growing on top. At first I took it -to be a 
wolf or some other wild animal, but I kept my eyes fixed 
upon the spot, and in a few moments I saw an Indian slowly 
raise his head above the top of the bushes. "Look at that 
little hill to the west," said I to Brashear, "and tell me what 
you see." Brashear turned his eyes in the direction indi- 
cated: "By Jove, there's an Indian there watching us from 
behind that clump of bushes," and he made a movement as 
if he was about to get up. "Keep quiet," said I; "and don't 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 18t 

let him suspect we have discovered him. There is no doubt 
a band of Indians somewhere in our vicinity and they have 
sent that fellow to spy out our position. As soon as he 
leaves we will determine upon the best course to pursue. 
In the meantime," I added, "to convince him that we intend 
camping here for the night, I will go out and restake the 
horses upon fresh grass." Saying this, I leisurely got up, 
threw a quantity of wood on the fire and then went out and 
restaked the horses. Having done so, I returned to camp, 
took a seat near Brashear and began puffing away at my 
pipe. 

"Now," said I, "that fellow watching us out yonder is 
satisfied we are going to remain here for the night, and he 
will soon leave to join his comrades and report to them what 
he has discovered." And, in fact, I had scarcely spoken 
when we saw his head slowly descend behind the bushes, 
and in a few moments his crouching form disappeared be- 
hind the hill. 

As soon as he was out of sight Brashear said: "Now, 
let's bring in the horses and leave here as quickly as possi- 
ble." "No," said I, "that spy will report we are encamped 
here for the night, and our best plan will be to remain here 
until dark, when we can leave without any fear of being 
seen." Brashear agreed to this, and while we were talking 
the matter over I said to him: "When I was a boy, my 
father once told me how some hunters in the early settle- 
ment of Kentucky outgeneraled a party of Indians who 
were in pursuit of them." He said by some means the hunt- 
ers had found out the Indians were following them, and a 
little before night they encamped near a dense thicket. 
After they had eaten supper, they wrapped their blankets 
around them and lay down before the fire as if they had no 
suspicion of danger, and had fixed themselves for the night. 
But as soon as it was dark they quietly got up, and each 
one placed a log of wood where he had been lying, and cov- 
ered it with his blanket in such a way as to make a pretty 
good imitation of a man asleep on the ground. They then 
hid themselves in the edge of the thicket and waited pa- 
tiently for the denouement. 

For more than two hours not a sound was heard except 
the distant howling of a pack of wolves, and the hunters 



182 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

finally came to the conclusion that the Indians, from some 
cause, had abandoned the idea of attacking them. But just 
as they were about to return to camp they descried a dozen 
dusky forms creeping stealthily towards it. The Indians 
approached to within a few yards of the camp, and until 
they could distinctly see (as they thought) by the light of 
the fire, that the hunters were all fast asleep, when they 
suddenly rose to their feet, fired a volley at the logs and then 
rushed upon their supposed victims with tomahawks and 
knives. Before they discovered their mistake and while 
they were crowding around the camp fire, the hunters rose 
up from their ambuscade and poured a deadly volley in 
their midst, killing all but two, who made their escape 
under cover of the darkness. 

"Xow," said I, "I am going to see if we can't play the same 
game upon the rascals who are plotting to get possession of 
our scalps, but as there are only two of us and we do not 
know how many Indians may be in the vicinity it will be 
more prudent for us to change our base as quickly as pos- 
sible after night sets in." 

We therefore went to work, and among some fallen tim- 
ber we found a couple of logs of the requisite size which we 
laid near the fire and covered them with leaves and several 
old newspapers so as to resemble somewhat the bodies of 
men sleeping on the ground. As soon as it was dark we 
brought in the horses, saddled them and took the road with 
as little noise as possible. We had traveled perhaps a m le 
or more when we heard a half dozen guns go off in the 
direction of our camp. 

"The boys are catching it now," said Brashear, as he 
pushed ahead at a lively gait and I followed his example 

When we had gone perhaps six or seven miles we turned 
off from the road, where it passed through a bodyjrf tim- 
ber and where we knew it would be impossible for the In- 
dians to follow our trail in the night. In half an hour or so 
we came to a dense growth of chapparal, through which we 
forced our way until we reached a small open piece of 
ground, where we dismounted and staked our horses. 
After we had fixed ourselves comfortably for a snoose on 
the soft green grass Brashear said: "Your old Kentucky 
plan of being shot and scalped by proxy is an admirable one 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 183 

and I shall recommend it to all those who are compelled to 
travel in this wooden country." "Yes," said I, ; 'it is, and 
I have no doubt that hundreds who have been burnt or hung 
in effigy would concur in the same opinion." 

Three years ago I was traveling with a party of friends 
in southwest Texas and I proposed we should encamp on a 
certain night at the "watch hole," from which the Indians 
had routed Brashear and myself in 1838. I told them the 
pool was deep and clear and filled with fish. What was my 
astonishment when we came to it, or rather the place where 
it had been, to find it overgrown with weeds and as dry as 
a doodle bug's hole, with the exception of a small muddy 
puddle in the center filjed with tadpoles instead of fish. 
The tramping of numerous herds of stock had entirely de- 
stroyed the* beautiful clear pool that existed there in 183S. 
fiut it's an ill wind that blows no good and if we had no 
fish for supper and nothing but muddy water to drink we 
were not compelled, like Brashear and myself, to change 
our base for fear of Indians. 



Colonel flDoore'a CypeMtion 



f\ FTER the battle of San Jacinto and the capture of 

LJ Santa Anna, the Mexicans smarting under the crushing 

| * and humiliating defeat they had sustained, and thirst- 

■/ ing for revenge upon the Texans, did all in their power 

as we have already shown to incite the Indians to commit 

further depredations upon the whites. The war waged by 

Texas in 1839, upon the semi-civilized Cherokees and 

1840 their associated tribes, as related in our account of 

the "Cherokee War," had been a very effective one, 

and practically put an end to further outrages and murders 

by them upon the whites. The Texans, however, had a 

more formidable enemy in the Comanches and other wild 

tribes, and it was not until they had been almost entirely 

exterminated, that they left the country and ceased their 



184 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

murderous and thieving raids along the borders of our fron- 
tier. The government was determined, however, to show 
these marauding scoundrels that it had the power and would 
chastise them whenever the occasion required. 

Says Mr. Yoakum (whose account of this expedition 
being rather full and complete, we have concluded to 
reproduce here) : In September, 1840, Colonel John H. 
Moore had orders to raise a volunteer force in Fayette 
county, and march up the Colorado in pursuit of those that 
had escaped at Plum creek. [An account of this fight hav- 
ing already been given is familiar to the reader.] On the 
fifth of October he set out with ninety Texans and twelve 
Lipan Indians. After passing the head waters of the San 
Gabriel he proceeded to the San Saba and up that stream. 
Continuing his march for two days up the latter river with- 
out finding the enemy, he diverged to the Concho, and 
thence to the red fork of the Colorado, passing over a 
country of surpassing richness and beauty. On reaching 
Red Fork, Colonel Moore came upon the trail leading up the 
river; this he followed until the signs indicated that the In- 
dians were at no great distance. He halted and sent out 
two of his Lipan spies, they returned on the evening of the 
twenty-third of October, and reported that they had dis- 
covered the Comanche village. The troops were ordered to 
get their supper and be ready to march. At half-past five 
o'clock in the afternoon they set out and proceeded ten 
miles due north, when they reached the river. Continuing 
on their way about four miles further up the stream, they 
found where some beef cattle had been herded very recently 
in a mesquite thicket, and four miles further on the troops 
were ordered to dismount. This was at night. The spies 
were again sent forward to discover the force and position 
of the enemy. __ 

The scouts returned at three o'clock and reported that the 
Comanche village was situated on the south bank of the 
river and from its appearance they judged it to contain about 
sixty families and about a hundred and twenty-five warriors. 

At daybreak on the twenty-fourth of October the Texans, 
leaving their pack mules, proceeded on their way to the 
village. It seems that they were not discovered until they 
had ascended the hill, about two hundred yards from the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 185 

village. Colonel Moore immediately made a charge on the 
enemy and the Comanches fled to the river, which bent 
around the village in the shape of a half moon. A murder- 
ous fight was opened and continued upon the flying enemy. 
After passing through the village the Texans dismounted 
and continued to pour a deadly fire upon the enemy as they 
attempted to cross the river. Some of the Indians were 
killed before they reached the river, while others were shot 
or drowned in the stream. A portion of them succeeded in 
crossing and reaching the prairie on the opposite bank, but 
Lieutenant Owen, who had been ordered with fifteen men 
to cross over and cut off their retreat, succeeded admirably 
in this business. As this was a war of extermination the 
bodies of men, women and children were seen on every 
hand dead, wounded and dying. The fight around the vil- 
lage lasted for about half an hour and the pursuit extended 
some four miles. The work was done. The butcheries of 
Victoria and Linville were avenged. There were forty-eight 
of the Comanches killed in the village and eighty more 
either shot or drowned at the river and thirty-four prisoners 
remained in the hands of the victors. The latter only had 
two men wounded. The village was then destroyed by fire; 
and Colonel Moore collected a caballada of five hundred 
horses taken from the enemy and returned to the capital of 
Texas, where he arrived with all his force (except one man, 
who had died on the way out), on the seventh of November. 
This, the severest chastisement which the Comanches had 
received, was inflicted on them in their distant home, at least 
three hundred miles from Austin. Little did these blood 
thirsty monsters think they could or would be sought out in 
their distant home and such severe retribution meted out to 
them. They had been heretofore pursued but a short dis- 
tance and often succeeded in eluding pursuit altogether, and 
they would go on to their villages with stolen property, 
gloating with fiendish exultation over the bloody scalps at 
their saddles. Too much honor can not be bestowed on the 
gallant Colonel and his heroic soldiers for the great and sig- 
nal victory achieved by him upon this occasion. From the 
description of the country, this fight must have occurred 
near where the town of Ballinger, on the Gulf, Colorado & 
Santa Fe railroad, now stands. 



186 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



H Comancbe princess. 



THE following interesting narrative from General H. P. 
Bee, which appeared some years ago in the "American 
Sketch Book/' edited by Mrs. Bella French Swisher, of 
Austin, Texas, will, no doubt, be of interest to the 
reader, an d we therefore reproduce it here : 
In the spring of 1843, the Republic of Texas, Sam Hous- 
ton being president, dispatched Colonel J. C. Eldridge, 
1843 Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and Mr. Tom Torrey, 
Indian Agent, to visit the several wild tribes on the 
frontier of Texas, and induce them to make peace and con- 
clude treaties with the Republic. General H. P. Bee accom- 
panied the expedition, but in no official capacity. A recent 
conversation with him disclosed to us the following touch- 
ing scene as one of many incidents of that perilous and ad- 
venturous trip: At the house of a frontier settler, near 
where the town of Marlin stands, the commissioners re- 
ceived two Comanche children who had been captured by 
Colonel Moore, a famous and valiant soldier of the old Re- 
public, in one of his forays on the upper waters of the Colo- 
rado in 1840. These children had been ordered to be re- 
turned to their people. One of them, a boy fourteen years 
old, named Bill Hockley, in honor of the veteran Colonel 
Hockley, then high in command of the army of the Repub- 
lic, who had adopted the boy and taken care of him; the 
other was a girl eleven years old, named Maria. The part- 
ing of the little girl from the good people who had evidently 
been kind to her, was very affecting; she cried bitterly and 
begged that she would not be carried away. She had for- 
gotten her native tongue, spoke only our language, and had 
the same dread of an Indian that any of the white children 
had. Her little nature had been cultivated by the hand of 
civilization until it drooped at the thought of the rough 
Indian life, as a delicately nurtured flower will droop in the 
strong winds of the prairies. There being no excuse, how- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 187 

ever, for retaining her among the white people, a pretty, 
gentle Indian pony, with a little side saddle, was procured 
for her, and she was taken from her friends. On arriving 
at a camp in Tanaconi, above where the town of Waco is 
now located, the party met the first Indians, a mixture of 
Delawares, Wacos, etc. The appearance of the little girl 
on horseback created great amusement among the Indians. 
She was so shy and timid, and the very manner in which 
she was seated on the side saddle was different from that 
of the brown skinned woman of her race. The next morn- 
ing after the arrival at the camp, Bill Hockley came out in 
full Indian costume, having exchanged his citizen clothes 
for buck skin jacket, pants, etc. He at once resumed his 
Indian habits, and from that day during the long trip of 
months, Bill was noticed as the keenest eye of the party. 
He could tell an object at a greater distance, a horse from a 
buffalo, ahorse without a rider, etc., quicker than an In- 
dian in camp. 

The journey proceeded with its varied scenes of excite- 
ment, danger and interest for four months, and the barom- 
eter of the party was the little Comanche princess. The 
object of the expedition was to see the head chief of the 
Comanches, and of course, as the search was to be made in 
the boundless prairies, it was no easy or certain task; yet 
they could tell the distance from or proximity to the Com- 
anches by the conduct of the little girl. When news would 
come that the Indians were near, the childish voice would 
not be heard in its joyous freshness, caroling around the 
fire; but when news arrived that they could not be found, 
her spirits would revive, and her joy would show itself in 
gambols as merry as those of the innocent fawn that sports 
around its mother on the green bosom of the prairie. 

At last the goal was reached, and the party was in the 
Comanche camp, the village of Pay-ha-hu-co, the head 
chief of all the Comanches. Maria's time had come, but the 
little girl tried to avoid notice, and kept as close as possi- 
ble. Her appearance, however, was the cause of great sen- 
sation, and a few days fixed the fact that she was the daugh- 
ter of the former head chief of the nation, who died on the 
forks of the Brazos from wounds received at the battle of 
Plum creek, in 18i0. Thus, unknown to her or themselves, 



188 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

they had been associating with a royal princess, No-sa-co- 
oi-ash, the long lost and beloved child of the nation. This 
extraordinary good luck for the little girl brought no as- 
suagement to her grief. Her joy was gone. She spoke not a 
word of Comanche, and could not reciprocate the warm 
greetings she received. On arriving at the village, Bill 
Hockley determined he would not talk Comanche, although 
he spoke it perfectly well, not having, like little Maria, for- 
gotten his native language. During the week they re- 
mained in the village, Bill, contrary to his usual custom, 
kept close to the party, and did not speak a word to those 
around him; nor could he be induced to do so. 

On one occasion a woman brought a roasting ear, which 
was of great value in her eyes, as it had come probably one 
hundred and fifty miles, and presented it to Bill, who sat in 
one of the tents. The boy gave not the slightest attention 
to the woman or her gift, but kept his eyes fixed on the 
ground. Finally, she put the roasting ear under his eyes, 
so that, as he looked down, he must see it. Then, talking all 
the time, she walked off and watched him. But Bill, from 
under his eyes, noted her movements, and not until she was 
out of sight did he get up and say: "That ugly old woman 
is not Mammie, but I will eat her roasting ear." 

When the chief came home (he was absent for several 
days after the party arrived) he asked to see the children, 
and when they were presented he spoke to Bill in a very 
peremptory tone of voice, and Bill at once answered, being 
the first word of Comanche he had spoken since his arrival. 
This broke the ice, and the boy went among his people, not 
returning to his white friends until he was wanted to take 
part in the ceremony of being finally delivered over to his 
tribe, and afterward never going to tell them good bye. So 
there and then Bill Hockley passed from the scene. The 
day before the grand council with the Comanches the skill 
and ingenuity of the party of three white men were taxed 
to its fullest extent to make a suitable dress for the Coman- 
che Princess, whose clothes, it may be supposed, had become 
old and shabby. Their lady friends would have been vastly 
amused at their efforts. There was no " pull-back," to be 
sure. Whether the body was too long or too short we are 
unable to say, but it was one or the other. The skirt was a 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 189 

success, but the sleeves would not work, so they cut them 
off at the elbow. The next morning they dressed the little 
princess in a flaming red calico dress, put strings of brass 
beads on her neck, brass rings on her arms, a wreath of 
prairie flowers on her head, tied a red ribbon around her 
smooth, nicely plaited hair, and painted her face with ver- 
milion, until she looked like the real princess that she was. 
All this, however, was no pleasure to poor Maria. She 
was like a lamb dressed in flowers for the sacrifice. 

Finally, the time came when in the full council, Colonel 
Eldridge stood holding the hands of the two children, in 
front of the chief, and said to him that as an evidence of 
the desire of the Great White Father (Houston) to make 
peace, and be friendly with the great Comanche nation, he 
had sent them two children, captives in war, back to their 
people. After these words he attempted to place the hands 
of both in the extended hand of the chief, but at that mo- 
ment the most distressing screams burst from Maria. She 
ran behind Colonel Eldridge and begged him for God's sake 
not to give her to those people — to have mercy, and not to 
leave her. Then the poor child fell on her knees and 
shrieked, and clung to him with all the madness of despair. 
A death-like silence prevailed in the council. The Indians 
stood by in stern stoicism, the voices of the white men 
were silent with emotion, and nothing but the cries of the 
poor lamb of sacrifice pierced the distance of the bloom 
scented prairies. Her white friends, as soon as possible, 
attempted to quiet the child. Of course the comforting 
words were spoken in their own language, but they were 
evidently understood by all, for their's was the language of 
nature. Finding their efforts useless, the chief said: 

" This is the child of our long-mourned chief; she is of our 
blood; her aged grandmother stands ready to receive her, 
but she has forgotten her people. She does not want to 
come to us, and if the Great White Chief only sent her for 
lis to see that she is fat and well taken care of, tell him I 
thank him, and she can go back." 

This was an opportunity, and General Bee suggested to 
Colonel Eldridge to save the child; but although the latter's 
heart was bursting with grief and sympathy, his sense of 
duty told him his work was unfinished, and he replied to 



190 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the chief: "I have been ordered to give you this child. I 
have done so, and my duty is fulfilled. But you see she is 
no longer a Comanche. Child in years when she was taken 
from you by the stern hand of war, she has learned the lan- 
guage of another people, and I implore you to give her to 
me, and let me take her to my home and care for her all 
the days of my life." "No," said the chief, "if she is my 
child T will keep her;" he swung her roughly behind him 
into the arms of the old grandmother, who bore her, scream- 
ing, from the council tent. And thus the princess was de- 
livered to her people; but the last sound the party heard on 
leaving that Comanche camp was the wail of the poor, des- 
olate child. 

Years after, General Bee received a message from Maria, 
and sent her a few presents by way of remembrance. She 
had become the main interpreter of her nation, and often 
met our people in council. So it ended well at last. She 
became an instrument of good, and fulfilled her destiny on 
the stage of action for which she was born. But the re- 
membrance of the bright but desolate child, and her prayers 
and tears when she was forced to be left with her stranger 
people, is fresh in the memory of at least one of the party, 
and will last him through life. 

We presume the princess was captured in the fight by 
Colonel Moore, on the red fork of the Colorado, just related. 



ficmrgaret flDcXellan* 



5 HIS lady was a native of the State of Florida. Her 
parents immigrated to Texas in the year 1835, and set- 
tled in Robertson's colony, from whence they after- 
wards moved to what is now Williamson county. There 
were no other settlers in the new country to which they 
moved. The nearest settlement being seventy-five miles 
distant. The family consisted of Mr. McLellan, wife, 
1835 two small boys and an infant. On their arrival at the 
place of destination, and before they had unloaded 
their wagon, they discovered they were out of meat. Mr. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 191 

McLellan took his gun and went into the woods for the pur- 
pose of hunting some game, leaving his wife to keep camp. 
McLellan being unacquainted with the country, lost his 
way, and did not reach his camp until nearly dark, when he 
discovered his wife and children were gone. During his 
absence the Indians had attacked his camp and captured 
his entire family. The first act of barbarism committed by 
these red devils was to strip the entire family of their cloth- 
ing and then tie them fast. They next proceeded to plunder 
the wagon. In unloading the wagon they bursted open a 
large trunk in which they found a looking glass, this so 
engaged their attention that they entirely forgot the pris- 
oners. This was a new invention to them, and they began 
viewing themselves alternately, yelling and laughing. Mrs. 
McLellan took advantage of this and untied herself and the 
children. She took her infant in her arms and motioned to 
her little boy to follow. She crawled off in the brush out 
of view of the enemy, who were still enjoying themselves 
over the looking glass. She moved off to the San Gabriel 
bottom and there found a sheltering rock, forming a kind 
of a cave. In this she concealed herself and two children. 
When dark came and the Indians could no longer see 
themselves in the glass, they turned toward the spot where 
they had left their prisoners and found they had gone. 
They made a thorough search for them, but the darkness 
prevented their being found. Mrs. McLellan says they came 
so close to her once that she could have spit on them. She 
was in dreadful suspense, fearing her infant would cry out, 
and thereby reveal their place of concealment. The In- 
dians failing to find the objects of their search departed for 
other fields. Soon after they* left, McLellan came back to* 
camp, and what must have been his feelings to find that his 
wife and children were gone, and his wagon robbed. He 
naturally enough supposed that his family had been taken 
off by the Indians and perhaps had been murdered. So he 
took his little son who had accompanied him when he 
started hunting and set out toward the settlements, a dis- 
tance of seventy-five miles. Mrs. McLellan and the two 
children remained in her hiding place all night. It being 
in the fall of the year, and the Indians having stripped 
them of their clothing, they suffered considerably from cold. 



192 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

The next morning she ventured forth and went back to 
her desolated camp. There she found a few rags of cloth- 
ing, with which she endeavored to hide the nakedness of 
herself and children, but could do but little in that direc- 
tion. She also found a little shattered corn in the dust 
around the wagon. She ate a portion of this and gave the 
remainder to her children. This poor woman remained in 
this horrible condition for several days, or until her husband 
had returned from the settlements with a company which 
he raised for the purpose of pursuing the enemy and re- 
capturing his family, if still alive. 

When the company approached the camp Mrs. McLellan 
was scratching about in the dust to see if she could find any 
more corn. When she discovered them she supposed they 
were Indians, and ran off. The men immediately gave 
chase, not knowing who she was, and they had to run her 
down before they caught her. The poor woman had become 
almost wild. She and her children were terribly emaciated. 
They were very much reduced in flesh for the want of food, 
in so much that they appeared almost like living skeletons. 

It is said that the meeting between Mr. McLellan and his 
wife was quite an affecting scene. This lady has now gone 
the way of all creation, and rests where no savage can ever 
again trouble her calm repose. 



Zhc Stone Ibouse 3fi0bt 



ON the eighth of October, 1837, sixty-three Texans left 
Fort Colorado, which was situated on Walnut creek, 
six miles from where the city of Austin now stands. 
This gallant little band was under the command of 
Captain William Eastland. They proceeded up the Colo- 
rado river to the head of Pecan bayou, where, from some 
dissatisfaction the men separated, and eighteen hardy 
1837 young men under the command of Lieutenant Van- 
thuysen went off in a northerly direction towards a 
large Indian camp on the Walnut creek, about forty milef 



IHDIAS* VMVKWDATIQMS TN TEXAS. 193 

from a notable place called the Stone Houses. This was 
three stone mounds which at a distance resembled houses, 
hence the name. It was near the place where the last of 
these mounds was situated that this gallant little band was 
attacked by one hundred and fifty Indians, consisting of 
Wacos, Caddos and Keechis. 

The little party of Texans took their position in a deep 
ravine. The savages took their position about seventy 
yards in front of the ravine. The Texans gent out a Mr. 
Nicholson, who understood the Indian language, to treat 
svith them. In order to make them hear him, he climbed 
Up a tree and opened conversation with them. They obsti- 
nately refused to talk, but opened a fire on the Texans from 
their horses, from which they had not dismounted. Find- 
ing they could effect nothing in that way, the chief com- 
menced riding rapidly up and down the ravine for the pur- 
pose of drawing the shots of the Texans at himself, holding 
his shield between him and the men. 

One of the men in the party, an old Indian fighter, know- 
ing how to shoot at him despite his shield, took good aim at 
him, fired and killed him. The rest of the Indians crowded 
around the body of their dead chief, and as they did so the 
Texans poured a volley in their midst which made it pretty 
hot for them. They threw a rope around the body of the 
chief and galloped off out of reach of the shots. After de- 
positing the dead body in a neighboring ravine, they re- 
turned on foot and took a position within about sixty or 
seventy yards of the ravine. Here there occurred one of 
the most terrific fights that ever took place in Texas. For 
one hour and a half did these savages keep up an incessant 
fire at the whites. The Indians had an advantageous posi- 
tion in a clump of timber thickly settled with underbrush 
and tall grass. The Texans had to shoot at them in that se- 
cluded place as best they could. They would raise their 
heads above the ravine, spy out the position of an Indian,, 
then drop back and slip their gun over the bank and fire.. 
Every time one of them shot, the Indians would throw a, 
volley at him. After fighting for an hour and a half, and' 
having fifty of their number killed, the Indians found they 
could not oust the whites in this way, so they resorted! to 
one of their pieces of strategy, and that was to set the prai- 



194 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

rie on fire and burn them out. We omitted to state that 
there were about fifty Delaware Indians with the others at 
first, but when the fight began, they left and passed around 
on the opposite side of the Texans and there took a position 
out of shot gun distance and watched the fight. These In- 
dians always claimed to be friendly with the whites. 

The savages set the prairie on fire within a few rods of the 
ravine, and it threw such a cloud of smoke and heat among 
the men that they could neither see the enemy or breathe 
freely. What were they to do? To remain in the ravine 
was certain death. They thought the Delawares opposite 
them were a portion of the enemy, and supposed they were 
placed there on purpose to cut off their retreat. So believ- 
ing, they thought retreat in that direction impossible. Had 
they not been there the Texans could have mounted their 
horses and made their escape. The Indians had now gone 
down the ravine to cut off their retreat, and what chance of 
an escape was there? The only alternative, and that was a 
slim one, was to charge right through the Indian lines down 
the ravine. After a hurried consultation they settled on 
this p.an. Joseph Cooper, Alexander Bostick, William P. 
Wills and a Doctor Sanders having been killed, there were 
but fourteen men left to make the desperate venture. As 
soon as they advanced the Indians fired, and the men think- 
ing there was no chance of an escape through their lines, 
turned out of the ravine up the line, thereby completely ex- 
posing* themselves to the fire of the Indians. As they 
ascended the hill six more of them were killed. 

One individual, Captain Rice, determined he would carry 
out the plan tnat had been agreed upon, and dashed on by 
himself into a briar thicket. Just as he was entering it, to 
his surprise he met a tremendous Indian with his gun raised 
to shoot him. He made a long leap in order to stopjiis ac- 
celerated motion, and at the same instant threw his gun 
over and shot the Indian through the body, killing him in- 
stantly. He then dashed on through the thicket and made 
his way out into the post oak with an empty gun. He 
here halted behind a tree to reload. He supposed that he 
and all the rest would be killed. He soon saw a man leap- 
ing towards him. He supposed it was an Indian, and raised 
his gun to shoot him, but found out that it was one of his 






INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 195 

own party. Soon after six more men came from the same 
direction and joined them. Here were eight survivors out 
of eighteen and three of them wounded. They were more 
than two hundred miles from the white settlements in an 
Indian country, completely stripped of everything except 
their arms. They had lost their horses, provisions, clothing 
and blankets. They had nothing to eat, and no blankets 
to lie on. Fletcher, Clish and John Zekee were the names 
of the wounded ones. The wounds of these men were bound 
up as well as they could fix them and were greased with 
buffalo tallow. Neither the well nor the wounded had any- 
thing to eat for four days. Late in the evening of the fourth 
day they killed four buffalos, which saved them from utter 
starvation. On the tenth day they arrived at a Kickapoo 
camp where the city of Dallas now stands. From there 
they traveled on for seven days to Samuel Henges in the 
Cherokee Nation, from thence to Lacy's cross roads on the 
old San Antonio road where they came to the first white 
settlement. Captain Rice, Lieutenant Vanthusen and Felix 
McClusky made their way to the city of Houston. 

There was one man in the company who professed an 
entire disbelief in the existence of a God. His name was 
Bostick. He and Captain Rice had several arguments on 
the subject. One day Rice said to him, " You believe that 
you are no more than a log or a tree. I may yet see you 
die on this trip." 

After the fight began Rice discovered there was some- 
thing the matter with Bostick. He approached and asked 
him what was the matter. He replied that he was badly 
wounded, In a moment more he sank down on one knee, 
still holding to his gun, and exclaimed in the most piteous 
accents: "Lord, must I die?" He then began praying in 
earnest, and expired in a few moments. 

The heroism, bravery and endurance of this little band 
speaks for itself. Although defeated, they killed about 
sixty of the enemy — ten times almost the numberjthey lost — 
and the few remaining ones made their escape in the pres- 
ence of the whole array of Indians, who had been so badly 
handled that they would not follow them. 



196 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



£be 3op f amit?. 



\ I /E do not know from what State this family emi- 

I I / grated, the year they came to Texas, nor when they 

**AJ settled in Kerr county, but that they were among 

the earliest settlers in that county is certain. One 

morning in the year 1865, Mrs. Joy and her daughter started 

out in a buggy for the purpose of visiting a family residing 

at some distance. After spending the greater portion 
1865 of the day with their friends, they reharnessed the old 

buggy horse and started to return home; but alas! on 
arriving at about the half way ground, near a little ravine 
where a dense thicket of underbrush grew, they were sud- 
denly charged upon by a party of Indians, who caught the 
horse by the bridle and took the helpless women prisoners. 
Usually, whenever women were made prisoners by the In- 
dians, they either carried them off into captivity, or killed 
and scalped them on the spot, but on this occasion they 
simply killed them. They severed the young woman's head 
from her body, and cut her mother's throat from ear to ear. 
After committing this atrocious murder, they seemed to 
have fled in a hurried manner; doubtless supposing that re- 
lief was close at hand, for they not only failed to scalp the 
women, but left the horse hitched to the buggy. After the 
Indians had fled, the faithful old buggy horse took the road 
home, with the mutilated bodies of the women still lying in 
the vehicle, and carried them home. The people ^at the 
house, seeing the buggy approach without any occupants, 
ran out to see what was the matter, and were horrified to 
find the lifeless bodies of both mother and daughter lying 
on the bottom with the warm blood still flowing from them. 
At first they supposed the daughter's head had been carried 
off by the Indians, but when unloading the buggy they 
found it under the seat. A more sorrowful sight, an eye 
witness said, was never beheld. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 197 

Mr. Joy was wild with grief, ind swore eternal vengeance 
against the Indians. He determined to make them pay for 
this dastardly murder of his wife and daughter, and it was 
not long before an opportunity for doing so occurred. Late 
one night his dogs kept up a continuous and fierce barking, 
and suspecting that Indians had been around the house, the 
next morning early he took his gun and started out to recon- 
noiter. He had not gone far when he discovered several 
fresh moccasin tracks. He followed these tracks cautiously 
for several miles beyond the settlements. The Indians, 
three in number, supposing they were out of danger of pur- 
suit, and being hungry and tired, had stopped, made a fire, 
cooked and eaten a lunch, and then went to sleep. Mr. Joy, 
having followed their trail nearly all day, at length caught 
sight of the smoke rising up from their camp fire. He sat 
down to rest himself a little and determine upon a plan of 
attack. He finally concluded to attack the camp at all haz- 
ards, whether the occupants were few or many, and putting 
his arms in good order, he crawled to within a short dis- 
tance of it. 

Finding there were but three Indians, and that they were 
lying down asleep, he advanced to within a few paces of 
them, deliberately raised his gun, blew out the brains 
of one, and before the others got fairly to their feet 
he killed one with his six shooter. The third one took to 
his heels, with Joy close after him, but it was not joy to the 
Indian. Not being fully awake, and being terribly fright- 
ened besides, the Indian ran into some brush, which so 
checked his speed that Joy came up with him and drove a 
bullet through him with his revolver. On this occasion he 
sent three of the red skins to their happy hunting grounds, 
and many times subsequently he made them pay dearly for 
the murder of his wife and daughter. Some of the Joy 
family are still living in Kerr county. 



19 P IN i; IAN D KITTED ATIONS IN TEXAS. 



Zhe Carancbua fn&lana. 



THE Carancnua Indians (or the "Cronks," as the old 
Texans called them for short) differed in many respects 
from all the other native tribes of Texas. They inhab- 
ited the gulf coast from Galveston bay to Corpus Christi, 
a&d but seldom went any great distance into the interior of 
the country. They were the Ishmaelites of Texas, for their 
hands were against every man, and every man's hand 
1821 was against them. They were continually at war 
with all the other tribes, and never failed to attack 
them whenever they encroached upon what they considered 
to be their special domain — the gulf coast. It is true they 
sometimes professed to be friendly to the whites who had 
settled near the coast, when it suited their purpose to be on 
friendly terms with them, but no one had any faith in their 
sincerity, as it was well known that they always took a 
white man's scalp whenever they thought they could do so 
with impunity. Physically they were much superior to any 
of the native tribes of Texas. This, probably, was due in a 
great measure to the fact that, unlike the interior tribes, 
they never suffered for want of food, for the waters of the 
gulf afforded them at all seasons abundant supplies of fish, 
oysters, clams, etc. The vast artificial shell mounds to be 
seen in many places along the coast of Texas not only prove 
that the "Cronks" were at one time a numerous and power- 
ful tribe, but that they were also as partial to oyster stews 
and clam bakes as any of our down east countrymen. 

Owing to their constant warfare with other tribes and the 
white settlers, the "Cronks" were nearly exterminated be- 
fore the revolution in Texas. In the fall of 1835, I saw the 
remnant of this tribe in their camp below Refugio. It con- 
sisted then of about fifty warriors, with their squaws and 
papooses. Out of this number of warriors I do not believe 
there were a dozen under six feet in height, and many of 
them, I am sure would have stood six feet two or three 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. ly9 

inches in their stockings, if they had worn such articles of 
apparel. 

The old settlers universally asserted that the "Cronies" 
were cannibals, and certainly their looks strongly corrobo- 
rated the assertion. Their great stature, their hideous phy- 
siognomies besmeared with splotches of red and white paint 
and their peculiar guttural language agreed perfectly with 
my preconceived ideas of man eaters. Their language was 
the strangest jargon I ever heard. Their words, or, rather, 
grunts, seemed to issue from some region low down, and 
were uttered in spasmodic jerks, apparently without any 
assistance from the tongue or lips. 

This remnant of the " Cronks " took refuge in Mexico in 
1835 or 1836, but in doing so, they jumped out of the frying 
pan into the fire; for shortly afterwards they were either 
exterminated by the Mexicans, or else they perished for 
want of oyster stews and clam bakes. When La Fitte, 
the noted pirate, abandoned Galveston Island, which 
had been for a long time a rendezvous for his piratical 
craft, it was rumored that he had left considerable treasure 
buried there. In 1821, a Doctor Parnell raised a company 
of about twenty men, and went to the island in search of 
this supposed buried treasure. They did not find it, but 
whilst searching for it, they discovered that there was a 
party of one hundred Caranchua Indians encamped at what 
was known as the "Three Trees." These "three trees" 
were a small grove of pines situated twelve or fifteen miles 
below where the city of Galveston now stands, and were so 
called because there were three large pine trees in it show- 
ing above the rest, which were notable land marks to ves- 
sels passing along the coast. The Caranchuas had recently 
captured a schooner that had been driven into the bay by 
stress of weather, which they had plundered of its cargo. 
Of its sails they had made commodious tents which they 
had spread in the shade of the grove mentioned, where 
they were having a jolly time generally feasting on the 
stores taken from the schooner. Doctor Parnell and his 
men concluded to attack these Indians in place of making 
further search for the mythical buried treasure. They 
therefore embarked in their boat and proceeded to the 
mouth of a bayou which ran very near the point where the 



200 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Indians were camped. Kemaining at the mouth of the 
bayou until dark, they cautiously and noiselessly poled 
their boat up it, until they reached a point not far from the 
encampment, from whence they could see the Indians by 
the light of their fires, singing and dancing in the grove. 
Here they landed and divided into two squads, and then 
marched up to within forty yards of the Indians, who were 
totally unaware of their proximity. Waiting until a large 
number were huddled together around the fires, Parnell 
and his men suddenly opened fire upon them with deadly 
effect. The Indians seized their bows, fired one volley of 
arrows at their assailants and then fled to a marsh covered 
with tall salt grass, carrying their dead and wounded with 
them. 

None of the whites were injured in this skirmish except 
Doctor Parnell, who was slightly wounded in the head. 
[1 Yoakum, 221.] 



%oy f Hile? anb Clarfo, 



IN the summer of 1823, three young men, Loy, Alley and 
Clark, went down the Colorado river in a canoe, for the 
purpose of buying corn. A part of the Caranchua tribe 
were encamped at the time near the mouth of Skull creek, 
and waylaid these young men on their return. When near 
enough, the Indians suddenly rose up from their place 
of concealment near the bank of the river, and fired 
1823 upon the canoe. Loy and Alley were both instantly 
killed, but Clark, although wounded in seven places, 
sprang into the river, swam to the opposite shore and 
escaped. 

The same evening a Mr. Botherton, another colonist, who 
was coming down from a settlement fifteen miles above, 
fell in with these Indians. Thinking they were friendly, 
he incautiously approached them, when they fired upon 
him, wounding him severely. He, however, quickly dis- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 201 

mounted and took to the brush, thus saving his life, but left 
his horse and gun behind him. 

News of these murders and outrages having reached the 
settlements, a company of fourteen men was raised that 
night, who at once marched to the Indian encampment and 
secreted themselves near it. As soon as it was light enough 
to see, they opened fire upon the Indians, killing nineteen 
out of the twenty-one composing the party. The Indians 
were taken completely by surprise, and made but little re- 
sistance. 

In 1824, several emigrants from the mouth of the Brazos, 
on their way to the colony, were killed by Indians. As the 
colonists were satisfied that these murders had been com- 
mitted by the Caranchuas, Colonel Austin ordered Captain 
Randall Jones, at the head of a company of twenty-three 
men, to proceed down the Brazos and along the coast as far 
as Matagorda bay; and if he learned that these Indians had 
committed these murders, or if they made any hostile dem- 
onstrations, to attack them at once. Accordingly, in Sep- 
tember, Captain Jones and his men started in boats for the 
mouth of the river. On his way down he was visited by 
several parties of the Caranchuas, who, finding he was on 
his guard and well prepared for battle, professed great 
friendship for the whites. Captain Jones soon learned that 
about thirty of the tribe were encamped on Jones creek, 
seven miles distant, and that ten or twelve more had gone 
higher up on the Brazos to purchase ammunition. On re- 
ceipt of this information, he despatched two of his men to 
the settlements above to raise an additional force. When 
these two men reached Bailie's they found eight or ten col- 
onists already collected there, watching the motions of the 
Indians who had come to purchase ammunition. These 
colonists were so well satisfied of the hostile intentions of 
the Indians that they attacked them the next morning, 
killed some of them and drove the rest away. In the mean 
time Captain Jones, without waiting for reinforcements, re- 
turned up the river to the Caranchua camp on Jones creek, 
and disembarked his company near it. They concealed 
themselves in the brush, and sent out spies to ascertain its 
exact locality. The spies returned about midnight, but they 
had not gained such accurate information of the precise 



202 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

situation of the camp as would enable the company to pro* 
ceed with certainty against it. 

Captain Jones therefore remained quietly in his position 
the next day. Just at sun set the war whoops and howlings 
of the Indians were heard at their camp. This was caused 
by the return of the Indians who had been defeated that 
morning at Bailies, bringing with them their dead and 
wounded. Having by this means discovered the position of 
the Indian camp, which was on the west bank of the creek, 
Captain Jones led this company to a crossing half a mile above 
the camp and came down on the opposite side. When 
within sixty yards of it he halted and waited for daylight. 
A3 soon as day broke they discovered the camp, which was 
immediately on the margin of the creek, and surrounded by 
weeds and tall grass. 

Captain Jones formed his men and made a vigorous 
charge upon the camp. At the report of their guns the In- 
dians hastily seized their arms and took shelter in the tall 
grass from whence they returned the fire of the whites. 
The whites being in an exposed place and having one of 
their number killed finally fell back, returned up the creek 
and recrossed it. The Indians pursued them until they had 
crossed the creek. Just as they were about to cross Captain 
Jones discovered an Indian in the act of letting fly an arrow 
at him. He quickly presented his gun, fired and killed him 
on the spot. In this skirmish the whites had three men 
killed, Bailey, Spencer and a man named Singer. The In- 
dian loss was fifteen killed and some wounded. [1 Yoa- 
kum, 223.] 

Among those who participated in this fight was Captain 
Horatio Chriesman, a noble and generous hearted old Texan, 
who came to Texas in 1822, and was surveyor of Austin's 
colony. He died in Burleson county, November, 1878. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 203 



3otm Mbite ant> Captain Bimtbam, 



JOHN WHITE settled on the Colorado river at quite 
an early day. In the year 1824, he and some Mexi- 
cans went down to the mouth of the river in a yawl 
for the purpose of purchasing some corn. They were 
there captured by the Indians. Mr. White, to save his 
life, told the Indians he would go up the stream, pur- 
chase some corn and return to trade with them. To 
1824 this the Indians consented. They retained the two 
Mexicans and furnished Mr. White his yawl in which 
to njake the trip. The understanding was that Mr. White 
should set the prairie on fire ten miles above there on his 
return so they would know when he was coming. 

Mr. White went on up the river and reported the fact in 
the settlements. Captain Burnham raised a company of 
thirty men and went down the river. They found the two 
Mexicans in a yawl, who reported that the Indians were 
either at the mouth of the river or across the bay on the 
peninsula. 

Captain Burnham then divided his company — one-half 
remaining where they were, while the other half marched 
about a mile lower down the river. Those above gave the 
signal to the Indians they were expecting from Mr. White 
by setting the prairie on fire. In a short time a large canoe 
filled with Indians was seen coming up the river. When 
they arrived opposite the company, they were attacked and 
all killed. 

A short time after this, this tribe of Caranchuas, tired of this 
unprofitable war, in which their numbers were rapidly melt- 
ing away before the rifles of Austin's colonists, sued for 
peace. They proposed to meet Colonel Austin at La Bahia 
and make a treaty. Colonel Austin collected a hundred vol- 
unteers and met them at the creek four miles east of La 
Bahia. Peace was made, and the Indians obligated them- 
selves not to come east of the San Antonio river. This 



204 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

pledge they ever afterwards observed. (1 Yoakum, 226.) 
Thus the troubles with the Caranchuas was at an end east 
of the San Antonio river. We believe this is the only tribe 
that ever carried out one of their treaties. The Comanehes 
will make a treaty of peace on purpose to spy out and take 
some advantage. ^ .. .. 






Xaptain ftumlinaott 



THIS venerable pioneer was a native of North Carolii^, 
and immigrated to Texas at an early day. He settled at 
the Falls of the Brazos, where he remained but six 
months and then removed to the Colorado river where 
the town of Columbus now stands. This town is located 
upon his head right. As he was a man of fair intelligence 
and good business habits he was appointed an al- 
1824 calde by the Mexican authorities. In the summer of 
1824, Mr. Tumlinson left his house in company with 
a gentleman named Newman, and started to San Antonio 
on business. They had gone as far on their way as where 
the town of Seguin is now situated, when they were at- 
tacked by a party of Waco Indians. Tumlinson was in- 
stantly killed, but Newman, who was on a good horse, fled, 
and succeeded in escaping. Diligent search was subse- 
quently made for Captain Tumlinson's body, but it was 
never found. 

A little while after this a party of thirteen Waco Indians 
were discovered approaching the settlements, ancT it was 
supposed to be the same party who had killed Captain Tum- 
linson. The news was communicated to Captain John J. 
Tumlinson (a brother of the murdered man), who raised a 
company of eleven young Texas boys and went in pursuit 
of them. His youngest brother, Joseph, was despatched in 
advance to spy out the position of the enemy. He discov- 
ered they were encamped about fifteen miles above where 
the town of Columbus now stands, on the east side of the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 205 

river, near the bank of a deep ravine. Returning to the 
company he gave Captain Tumlinson the information he 
had obtained. The Captain then, with his men, advanced 
cautiously, and late in the evening reached the vicinity of 
the Indian camp, where they concealed themselves. Their 
plan was to defer the attack until morning, and the firing of 
Captain Tumlinson's gun was to be the signal for the onset. 
But his brother Joseph, who was a little nearer the Indian 
camp than the rest, seeing an Indian in fair shooting dis- 
tance, could not resist the temptation to take a "pop" at him, 
and fired away. The Indian uttered a loud "wah!" and fell 
dead. Seeing this, the rest of the boys opened fire, and 
with such fatal effect that in a few moments twelve of the 
thirteen Indians soon lay dead upon the ground. The re- 
maining one sprang off like a frightened deer and made his 
escape. 

Captain John J. Tumlinson will long be remembered, at 
least as long there are any old Texans still living, for his 
gallant services in the defense of the frontiers against the 
murderous savages. 



3ame6 Gate, 



fY\ R. TATE was among the first colonists who came to 
Ijl Texas. He had no family and made his home at 
1*1 the house of Captain Sims, in Burleson county. In 
* the year 1827, a party of Comanches came to the 
house of Captain Sims and stated they were on their way 
down the Brazos to steal horses from the Lipans and re- 
quested Captain Sims to give them an instrument of 
1827 writing to the effect that they had stopped at his house 
and behaved themselves. Captain Sims requested 
Mr. Tate to give them the paper they wanted. He did so, 
but added: "From all appearances I am induced to think 
these Indians are going down the Colorado to steal from the 
settlers." The Indians, when they reached the Brazos, 
showed their letter of recommendation to Colonel Ross. He 



206 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

immediately collected a party of men, attacked the Indians 
and killed all but two and one of these was wounded. These 
two Indians, on their arrival at the Comanche camp, re- 
ported the fate of their comrades. The Comanches at once 
despatched a party of warriors to revenge the death of their 
comrades, who proceeded down the Brazos river to where 
Captain Sims lived. Near his residence they came across 
Mr, Tate, who was riding out in company with another gen- 
tleman, and he was recognized by one of the Indians who 
had made his escape at the time they were attacked by 
Colonel Ross, as the man who had given them the lying let- 
ter of recommendation. The entire party of Indians, eight 
or ten in number, then fired at Mr. Tate, breaking one arm 
and one of his legs. There was a densely timbered bottom 
near by, into which Mr. Tate ran his horse and thus saved 
himself. The Indians supposing they had wounded him 
mortally did not pursue him. A party of whites went in 
search of him and soon found him. They carried him to 
Captain Sims's house, where he remained until he recovered 
from his wounds. He left Texas soon afterwards for fear 
the Indians would kill him. 



ftbomas ftbompson* 



DURING the years 1828-29 the Indians were quite trou- 
blesome to the settlers on the Colorado and Brazos 
rivers. During the winter of 1828, Thomas Thompson 
opened a small farm near the present town of Bastrop 
and occasionally visited it to see that everything was going 
on right. In July, 1829, he went to visit his farm and found 
it in possession of Indians. He went below for as- 
1829 sistance, and, raising a party of ten, he returned, ar- 
riving there just at daylight, when a battle ensued. 
Four of the savages were killed and the others fled. 

Colonel Austin raised two companies of volunteers, of fifty 
men each, under the command of Captains Oliver Jones 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 207 

and Bartlett Sims, the whole force being placed under the 
command of Colonel Abner Kuykendall. About the same 
°'ime the depredations and murders by the Indians in the 
T icinity of Gonzales induced the raising of another com- 
pany which was placed under the command of Captain 
Harvey S. Brown. Learning that a party of Wacos and 
Tehuacanas were encamped at the mouth of the San Saba, 
the two commands marched for that point. When they 
came near the above named place they halted and sent out 
scouts to ascertain the locality of the Indians. The Indian 
scouts discovered them and gave notice to the others, so 
that when the Texans charged the camp of the enemy they 
found it deserted. They only killed one Indian. Captain 
Sims and fifteen others pursued the Indians some distance 
and took from them many of their horses. The troops re- 
turned home after a scout of thirty-two days, during which 
time they suffered for the want of provisions. They sub- 
sisted for three days on acorns and persimmons. [1 Yoakum, 
261.] 



3ame0 Hiejanber, 



j 



AMES ALEXANDER was one of the early settlers in 
Texas. In the summer of 1835, he and his son, a 
youth about sixteen years old, were engaged in hauling 
** . goods from Columbus to the town of Bastrop, where 
Hey resided. On their way, they halted one day to "noon 
j>" at the head of Pin Oak creek on the Wilbarger trace, near 
where it crossed the old La Bahia road, and whilst 
1835 there, were surprised and killed by a party of Indians. 
It appears that the Indians approached them unper- 
ceived under cover of a ravine, so closely that when they 
fired on them, their clothes were scorched with powder. 

After killing Alexander and his son, the Indians mutilated 
their bodies in a terrible manner, plundered the wagons and 
destroyed them as well as all the goods they could not carry 



208 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

off. They also killed the oxen. The Indians then departed, 
going off in the direction of the falls of the Brazos. 

The dead bodies of Alexander and son were found within 
a few hours after the Indians had committed the bloody- 
deed, whereupon a small party set out in pursuit of the 
savages, following them as far as Little river, and having 
lost the trail, they continued in the direction of the Falls of 
the Brazos, and when some fifty miles above same, they 
captured a Caddo Indian, who informed the Texans that his 
camp was about five miles distant and that there were two 
Caddo Indians, two Cherokees and two squaws there. The 
party at once set out with the Indian guide, and soon 
reached the Indian camp. They killed the five men and 
left the squaws unharmed. 



WUUam Cooper, 



I ¥ /iLLIAM COOPER was the son of the well known 
\I1 William Cooper who for some reason had acquired 
VA/ the soubriquet of "Cow" Cooper. He was born in Red 
River county, Texas. In the fall of 1830, Mr. Abner 
Lee went some distance from his house, hunting deer. He 
had discovered a deer feeding, and was slowly and cau- 
tiously approaching it to get a shot, when the deer 
1830 manifested signs of alarm. He had the wind of the 
deer, and knew it had not seen him, and whilst he 
was wondering what could have alarmed it, it suddenly 
sprang forwards, ran a few rods and fell. Then, to Mr. 
Lee's great surprise a party of Indians rose up out of the 
tall grass and went to where the deer had fallen. Mr. Lee 
retreated without having been discovered by the Indians. 
He quickly raised a party of men, returned to the place and 
took their trail. The Texans overtook the Indians on Caney 
creek, where they had encamped in a deep ravine. As it 
was near daylight, the Texans dismounted and waited until 
they could see distinctly. They then cautiously approached 




HE MAKES AN UNEXPECTED TUMBLE IN THE MIDST 
OF THE INDIANS. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 209 

the Indian encampment, hoping to take them by surprise. 
They had advanced within thirty or forty paces of the 
camp, when an Indian, who was sitting with his gun in 
hand, discovered them. The Indian raised his gun and 
fired, shooting William Cooper through. He, thinking it 
was some one in his own party who had shot him by mis- 
sake, exclaimed: "Lord! boys, what did you shoot me for?" 
A battle then ensued between the Texans and Indians, and 
continued for half an hour, when the latter fled, carrying 
off with them one of their dead comrades. 

The Texans carried the body of young Cooper home, 
buried him, and returning, took the Indian trail again. 
After they had gone a short distance they found a blanket. 
^ little further on they found a buffalo robe, some arrows 
and a new pair of leggins. Still further on they found the 
dead bodies of four Indians. At a treaty made with the In- 
dians the following spring at Tinosticlan, they acknowl- 
edged they had lost seven of their braves in this fight. 
These Indians were Wacos and Keechies. 

Mr. William Cooper, the father of the young man killed 
in this fight, was one of the first settlers in the country. 
He was quite wealthy, and one who was ever ready to share 
what he had with his neighbors. His house was always a 
home for the needy and suffering 



Cbarlea Cavina. 



f** HARLES CAVIx^A. was one of the first emigrants to 
I the first colony of Stephen F. Austin. He resided near 
\^ Live Oak bayou, on Old Caney creek. It was in the 
>year 1830 that seventy Carancbua Indians made an 
attack on Cavina's house, killed his wife and three 
daughters and wounded the fourth. Cavina was at some 

distance from his house when the Indians attacked it, 
i§30 and on his return he found it in their possession. He 

had two or three negroes with him, but as they were 
unarmed he was compelled to retreat. Near the house of 



210 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Cavina there lived another family by the name of Flowers. 
Mrs, Flowers and one of her daughters were visiting his 
house when it was attacked. She attempted to escape but 
«ras pursued and killed. Her daughter was also wounded. 
The Indians took her and the wounded daughter of Cavina 
and threw them into a brush pile. Both of them recovered 
from their wounds. 

Mr. Cavina raised a company of sixty men and pursued 
the savages. They were under the command of Captain 
Buckner, who had seen much service on the frontiers. They 
came up with the Indians on the ground where the city of 
Matagorda now stands. They had taken their position on 
the bank of the Colorado river. Captain Buckner sent 
forward Mr. Moses Morrison to reconnoiter their position. 
He crawled up to a bank overlooking a small plateau 
below where the Indians had stationed themselves. This 
bank was of a crumbling nature, and as he leaned over it to 
get a better look, it gave way under him and precipitated 
him downward about forty feet right among the Indians. 
He clung to his gun, however, and crawled into a hole in 
the bank, where he fought and killed five of the Indians. 

Captain Buckner and his men hearing the reports of his 
gun, supposed he had been attacked, and hurried to his as- 
sistance. As soon as they caught sight of the enemy they 
made a charge upon them. The Indians had their squaws 
and papooses with them, and some of them were killed by 
the promiscuous firing that ensued. The fire of the Texans 
was so rapid and deadly that many of the Indians endeav- 
ored to escape it by plunging into the river, but even after 
they had succeeded in reaching the opposite shore many 
were shot and fell back in the stream. An eye witness of 
the scene says that the river was literally red with blood. 
Between forty and fifty of this band of savages were killed, 
a just retribution for the atrocious crimes they had commit- 
ted- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 221 



3obn Walfter* 



JOHN WALKER was another one of the early settlers in 
Texas. He settled on Little river, where he lived for 
several years without being molested by Indians. 
In the year 1830 a party of hostile Indians came down 
Little river and made an attack on Mr. Walker's house. 
They killed one of his family and then plundered the house 
of its contents. They then passed through a thickly 
1830 settled neighborhood, killed several others and sacked 
their dwellings. They also collected and drove off all 
the horses, cattle and sheep they could find. They were 
pursued by a few citizens a short distance but the Indians 
had got so much the start of them that they failed to over- 
take them. 



Zbe fIDaben flDasaacre, 



THE Maden family came to Texas in the year 1832, and 
settled in Houston county. In order to secure them- 
selves against the attack of Indians, Maden and two 
or three of his neighbors, as was frequently the cus- 
tom in those days, jointly built some strong log cabins close 
together, in which they might take refuge in case of neces- 
sity. In the fall of 1833, in the "light of the moon," 
1833 the time usually chosen by the Indians for making 
raids into the settlements, the families of Mr. Maden 
and others, had collected at these log buildings for common 
defense. The house in which they were, was a double 
log cabin, consisting of two rooms with an entry between 
them. The men, three or four in number, were in one room, 



%VZ INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 

and the women and children in the other. The men were 
engaged in moulding bullets and making preparations for 
defense. All the fire arms were in the room occupied by 
the women and children. A while after dark they were 
suddenly startled by the shrill yells of a large party of In- 
dians. The Indians had crept up cautiously, and had found 
out that the inmates of the house were divided in the manner 
above mentioned. Some of the Indians rushed to the room 
in which the women and children were, while others stood 
^uai d at the door of the room occupied by the men. The 
former, with tomahawks and butcher knive^ in hand easily 
effected an entrance, while one of their number guarded the 
door by placing one hand on each side of the door frame 
above, and one foot on each side below, thus preventing the 
inmates from escaping whilst the work of death was being 
carried on. The Indians who had entered the room imme- 
diately attacked Mrs. Maden, wouading her severely in the 
face and other parts of her body. Finally, from the effects 
of repeated wounds she fell, and in falling she happened 
to roll under the bed near by. One of her little sons, seeing 
her lying under the bed, crawled to her for protection. One 
of the Indians struck another lady a terrible blow on the 
head with his tomahawk, fracturing the skull and knocking 
her into the fire place. The blood flowed so profusely from 
the wound as to extinguish the flames, and the Indians were 
compelled to carry on their work of destruction in the dark. 
At this juncture Mrs. Madden, who had previously noticed 
the position of the Indian guarding the door, strange as it 
may seem, actually crawled out of the room between his 
feet, followed by her little son, without being seen by him, 
as his attention was drawn to what was going on in front. 
As it was then dark, she crept to a negro cabin some dis- 
tance from the house, unobserved by the Indiana outside, 
where she hid herself under some old clothes. Seven wo- 
men and children were slain in this dreadful affair. When 
the Indians had finished their diabolical work they set fire 
to the house which was consumed with the bodies of their 
victims. 

Strange to relate, the men yi the other room remained 
there some time listening to the dying groans of their wives 
and children, and because they were unarmed did not at- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 213 

tempt to go to their relief. They watched for an opportunity 
and fled, leaving the poor women and children to their sad 
fate— the only instance probably of such shameful cowardice 
recorded in the bloody annals of Texas. It does seem 
strange that these men, although unarmed, could have re- 
sisted the dying appeals of their wives, and children. They 
might have rushed forward together with sticks or clubs, 
pocket knives, anything, and made an effort to rescue their 
helpless families. It would have been far better and much 
more honorable than to have acted as they did. Mr. Maden, 
when he left the house, was discovered and pursued 
by two Indians. He had the same little boy with him 
who had crept out of the room with his mother between 
the Indian's feet at the door. This somewhat retarded 
his movements, but as he passed through the corn field lie 
pulled tip a stalk and presented it at the Indians who were 
pursuing him. In the dark they supposed it was a gun and 
stopped. Taking advantage of this, he and his little son 
hurried on and finally entered a dense cane brake, where 
they concealed themselves. Mrs. Maden came very near 
bleeding to death but after a protracted illness she eventually 
recovered from the wounds she had received. 

It appears the Indians were so close to the house before 
they attacked it that they had learned the minutest par- 
ticulars in regard to the situation of the inmates. This is 
evident from the fact that one of the men who had been 
in the room occupied by the women and children remarked 
as he started to leave, "that he must have more bullets." 
He had been but a little while in the men's room when the 
attack Was made and one of the Indians exclaimed in broken 
English, "more bullets, ha?" plainly showing he had been 
near enough to overhear the remark. The Indians took all 
the firearms in the house, and when they had gone perhaps 
a quarter of a mile they threw their own guns away and re- 
tained those they found at the station. They then made 
their way back to their mountain retreats without being 
pursued. 



2U INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS, 



Daniel (Billelanb* 



/V\ R. Gilleland was one of the original "three hun- 
111 dred " that first settled in the colony of Stephen F. 
I*! Austin. He was a native of Tennessee. Upon his 
r \ arrival in Texas, he settled in what is now Whar- 

ton county. He was a successful farmer, and generally 
raised more corn than any of his neighbors, and the Indians 

were aware of the fact. 
1833 The Caranchuas, who were a lazy, shiftless tribe of 

Indians residing on the coast, were in the habit when- 
ever they needed corn, of levying "black mail" from the 
settlers, who usually gave them what they demanded, for 
fear of incurring the hostility of these savages. 

A party of Caranchuas called at Gilleland's house, told 
him they knew he had an abundance of corn, and that they 
had come for a portion of it, and must have it. But the old 
gentleman could not see the matter in that light, and he 
told them they should not have a grain. At this, the chief 
of the party flew into a rage, drew his bow upon him, and 
told him if he did not give up the corn instantly, he would 
kill him on the spot. Gilleland, however, was not a man to 
be intimidated by threats. He seized his gun, presented it 
at the chief and told him to shoot if he dared. Mrs. Gille- 
land was so much frightened that she begged her husband 
to give up the corn, rather than provoke the Indians, but 
the old gentleman was firm in his purpose, and positively 
refused to come to terms. The Indians finding they could 
not frighten him into submission, left his house, went a 
short distance and encamped. Gilleland then collected a 
few of his neighbors, went to their camp and attacked them 
at once. A pretty severe fight ensued in which several of 
the Caranchuas were killed and wounded. None of the 
whites were injured. This taught the Caranchuas a good 
lesson, and they ceased their attempts at levying " black 
mail " on the settlers. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS, 210 



DeWitt %s>ot\s. 

YOUNG DeWitt Lyon's father was one of the very first 
immigrants to Stephen F, Austin's colony. He settled 
in what is now Lavaca county. In the summer of 1835, 
while Mr. Lyons and his son, a small lad, were at work 
in his cow lot, a party of Comanches made an attack upon 
the defenseless old man and his little son, shooting him 
dead on the spot. They then scalped him and took 
1835 his son prisoner, and carried away with them a large 
stock of horses belonging to Mr. Lyons. The lit- 
tle boy DeWitt remained with the Comanches until he 
was nearly grown, although many unsuccessful efforts 
were made by his friends to get him back. They persevered, 
however, until eventually they succeeded. But the young 
man had become so much attached to his savage compan- 
ions, and to the wild, roving life they led, that it was with 
the greatest difficulty he could be persuaded to leave them. 
He had forgotten his own name, and had almost entirely 
forgotten his native language. At first, after his friends 
had succeeded in getting him from the Indians, they had 
some doubts as to his identity, so greatly had he changed 
during the many years he had lived with the Indians. But 
all doubts were removed when, on approaching his father's 
residence, he showed unmistakeably that he knew the coun- 
try he was passing over. When he came near the lot where 
his father was killed, he pointed to it and said: "Dar me 
f adder kill — dar me take off." Mrs. Lyons, his mother, see- 
ing the party approaching, walked out to meet them. Never 
in all his captivity had the features of his mother been erad- 
icated from his memory. During all his wanderings in the 
wild woods, over hills, mountains and valleys — or in the 
chase, hunting the buffalo, elk and deer — that mother's 
features were indelibly stamped upon his memory. As soon 
as he saw her he cried out: "Dar me mudder! Dar me 
mudder!" This left no doubt as to his identity — that he was 
in truth her long lost son, whom she had mourned for years 
as for one that was dead. 



216 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



3ame0 Coryelle* 



iJ*\ORYELLE was a native of the Sate of Tennessee. 
\S* He came to Texas in the year 1822, being then quite 
^V a young man. In the year 1833 a party of survey- 
ors went up the Leon river as far as the mouth of Cory- 
elle creek, ten miles from where the town of Gates ville now 
stands. James Coryelle and George B. Erath were among 

the party. They moved cautiously, keeping a good 
1833 lookout for Indians, and selecting the best lands as 

they went on. In spite, however, of their watchful- 
ness they were finally surprised by a party of Indians. The 
Indians charged upon them and the whites retreated. In 
the charge young Coryelle was captured and killed. 



£be lltalian Graber, 



IN the year 1835 an Italian with several Mexicans in his 
employment was engaged in transporting goods from the 
coast to the interior settlements. They were attacked 
one morning by about seventy Indians, on the road fif- 
teen miles west of Gonzales. They (the Italians and Mexi- 
cans) made a breastwork of their goods, behind which they 
fought the Indians until evening; but gradually their 
1835 numbers were thinned by the fire of their savage 
foes, and they were no longer able to defend their po- 
sition. The Indians then made a general charge upon them, 
and the survivors were butchered and scalped. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 217 



Ikttcbene's Station. 



TIE Kitchens family came to Texas at an early day, 
and settled in Fannin county. In order to secure 
themselves against the attacks of Indians, Mr. Kitch- 
ens built a kind of fort, to which they could retreat in 
case of necessity. Several other families settled near this 
Sort subsequently for protection. Thus situated they lived 
for several years without being disturbed by the Indi- 
1835 ans. But in the year 1835 a large party of Indians 
came into Fannin county and determined to attack 
Kitchens's station. They selected a dark night for their 
purpose, but the settlers had found out that Indians were 
in the neighborhood, and when they made the attack they 
were "forted up" and ready for it. A fire, however, was 
left burning in one of the rooms, and the Indians could see 
from the outside any one within. Young Kitchens was sit- 
ting in this room and an Indian shot him through the win- 
dow with an arrow, killing him instantly. The lights were 
immediately put out, and both parties fought in the dark, 
the Indians attacking the station on all sides. Among the 
Indians there was a negro man who had run away from his 
master and joined them. Wishing to perform some feat 
that would give his new friends an exalted opinion of his 
prowess, he advanced to the house and began to climb up 
the wall, in order that he might fire upon the inmates 
through an open window; but, unfortunately for him, he 
was discovered before he effected his purpose, and instantly 
shot down. An Indian attempted to enter the stable, but 
was killed by a man who had been stationed there. 

Another one was discovered creeping near the house 
under cover of the fence and he was also shot and killed. 
The fight continued for several hours with no other harm to 
the inmates of the station except the killing of young 
Kitchens. At length finding it was impossible to take the 
station the Indians withdrew, carrying their wounded with 



218 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

them. They had gone but a little way when one of the 
wounded died and he was afterwards found buried under a 
pile of logs. The two young Misses Kitchens were so exas- 
perated at the death of their brother that they cut off the 
head of the negro man who had been killed and stuck it on 
a pole, where it remained for several months. 



Colonel Coleman. 



f+ OLONEL COLEMAN was one of the early settlers in 
I Texas, and was well known in the section of country 
^W where he lived. Whenever Indians or Mexicans made 
> their raids in his vicinity he was always ready to lead 
where any dared follow. In the summer of 1835 the Keechi 
nation were living on the Navasota river. They pretended 
great friendship for the whites, but they were in fact 
1835 most consummate thieves, and were constantly depre- 
dating upon them. They kept up their robberies for 
years on the credit of other tribes, but at length the settlers 
became satisfied of their guilt, and Colonel Coleman was 
authorized in the summer of 1835 to raise a company to go 
to the Keechi village and induce them, if possible, to dis- 
continue their theft. The Indians had notice of Colonel 
Coleman's approach, and knowing they were guilty, they 
took it for granted that his intentions were hostile; they 
therefore selected a strong position and fortified it by dig- 
ging pits in the ground, to which they could retreat when 
attacked. 

When Colonel Coleman and his men came in sight, the 
Indians, without waiting to have a "talk" with him, opened 
fire upon them as soon as they were within range. Colonel 
Coleman and his men were in open ground, and much ex- 
posed to the fire from the Indians' guns, whilst they were 
well protected in their pits. They made every effort to dis- 
lodge the Indians, and fought them for several hours, but 
their position was too strong to be taken without great sac- 
rifice of life. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 219 

At length, after one of his men had been killed and sev- 
eral wounded, Colonel Coleman withdrew and sent for 
reinforcements. In a few days he was reinforced by a party 
of men under Colonel John H. Moore, and as soon as the 
Keechies were informed by their spies of Colonel Moore's 
approach, they abandoned their fortification and fled. The 
Texans followed them out beyond the head of the Trinity 
river, where they discovered their camp. Supposing the 
Indians were all there, the Texans charged upon it, but 
found only two warriors and the women and children, the 
rest of the men having gone off on a hunting expedition. 
The two warriors were killed and the women and children 
taken prisoners and afterwards sold to the settlers. 






2)avib Vtt>gewat>; 



f^IDGEWAY was from Tennessee and came to Texas 
iSr in 1835. He was a transient man and had no perma- 
*t \ nent home. He, in company with another young man 
\ whose name we know not, started from Fort Marlin 
to go to the falls of the Brazos. When they had gone about 
half way they were ambuscaded by some Indians, and the 
first intimation they had of their presence was a vol- 
r835 l ev of arrows. Eidgeway fell mortally wounded and 
the Indians followed his companion some distance 
but failed to overtake him. They were pursued by a party 
of citizens without success. Quite a number of people about 
this time were killed around Fort Marlin by the Indians. 
They also robbed the settlement of an immense amount of 
property and did all they could to break it up. For some 
reason the Indians fought harder to retain the Brazos coun- 
try than any other portion of die state. The soil of no state 
in the Union has been crimsoned with the blood of so many 
brave defenders as that of Texas — not even excepting Ken- 
tucky, the "dark and bloody ground." 



220 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



ffarafo IbibMns. 

THE Hibbinses were among the early settlers in Texas, 
and settled in DeWitt's colony. In 1835 Mrs. Hibbins 
went on a visit to Tennessee. After remaining there a 
few months, she started home, coming by water, and 
landed in Houston in January, 1836, in company with her 
mother, who had come from Tennessee with her. Her hus- 
band met her there with a wagon to carry her home, 
1835 ^ what was known as DeWitt's colony. They had 
crossed the Colorado river and were nearing home, 
when a party of Indians suddenly rushed from an ambus- 
cade, and instantly killed Mr. Hibbins and the mother of 
Mrs. Hibbins. They took Mrs. Hibbins and her two children, 
one an infant and the other three years old, and lashed them 
to a horse. After robbing the wagon, they left for the 
mountains. They confined Mrs. Hibbins every night, lay- 
nig her down with her children on each side, and throwing a 
buffalo robe over them. Two large Indians would then lie 
down by them, one on each side, so as to guard her. The 
infant was a sucking babe, and consequently when the poor 
little thing became hungry it would cry. The Indians took 
this babe from her, and she supposes killed it. 

After they had crossed the Colorado they allowed Mrs. 
Hibbins and her child to lie by themselves, thinking escape 
on her part impossible. The first night after they crossed 
the Colorado they camped where the city of Austin now 
stands. Here for the first time Mrs. Hibbins and her child 
were permitted to lie together without being guarded. She 
lay awake until the Indians and child were sound^asleep, 
and then gently arose and noiselessly crept from the camp. 
Near the mountain was a creek whose banks were quite 
steep. She went down the channel of this. There was run- 
ning water at the bottom, and in order to leave no trail be- 
hind, she waded the stream. Having travelled, as she sup- 
posed, about two hours, at least a sufficient time to have 
gone about five miles, she found herself still near the camp, 
by hearing her child call out "oh! ma!" Should she go 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 221 

back? Should she succumb to the maternal prompting, and 
again place herself within the grasp of these demons? She 
reflected that if she were to return she could do her child 
no good, and she knew the settlements could not be more 
than ten miles away. No, she would go on, save herself, 
and find some good men who would go and rescue her child. 
She then followed the channel of Shoal creek down to the 
Colorado river. She passed through brush, and vines, and 
water all that night. She continued her travels the next 
day until she saw some home cows. She remained with 
these until they went home, and followed them. In the 
evening she became so exhausted with hunger and fatigue, 
and knowing she must be near the settlements, she com- 
menced hallooing as loud as she could. There were some 
men in the river bottom who heard her, but not distinguish- 
ing her voice, they concluded it was Indians and would not 
answer her. 

Late in the evening, the poor woman without uttering a 
word, went into the house of Mr. Jacob Harrell, and took a 
chair, still not uttering a word. It seemed that her joy in 
discovering a house and knowing that she was safe at last, 
completely took from her the power of speech. 

The family were all very much astonished, as they had 
not seen her until she sat down. Finally, Mrs. Hibbins broke 
silence and in a distressed tone, gave Mr. Harrell a history 
of her case. She was immediately removed to the house of 
Reuben Hornsby, where she was supplied with clothing 
and food. It so happened that Colonel Tumlinson, who was 
commanding a company of rangers on the frontier, arrived 
at Mr. Hornsby's a few minutes after Mrs. Kibbins came. 

After hearing her sad story, and as soon as he could take 
some refreshments, they mounted their horses just at dark 
and went in pursuit of Mrs. Hibbin's child; she having first 
given them a description of the kind of mule that the In* 
dians kept her child lashed on. They camped that night in 
eight or ten miles of the Indian camp, and the trail being 
quite plain next morning, they soon overtook them. They 
opened fire on the Indians, who broke and fled. They killed 
two of them and succeeded in recovering all their stolen 
horses, camp equipage and arms; but best of all, Mrs. Hib- 
bin's little son. 



222 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

When her child was returned to her, she was so over- 
joyed that she wept and laughed by turns. Her heart went 
out in? deep gratitude to the noble men who had secured 
her darling boy. Colonel Tumlinson came very near being 
killed on this occasion. An Indian was shot down, and, 
as was supposed, dead. As Colonel Tumlinson was passing, 
he raised his gun and fired. The Colonel seeing the move- 
ment in time, sprang to one side, and the shot missing him, 
killed his horse. 



aapram William MIL 

/T\ APTAIN HILL commanded a company of rangers in 
\S^ the service of Texas. One day, in the summer of 
^V 1836, while out scouting, he discovered an Indian traij 
on the waters of the San Gabriel leading towards the 
settlements. Captain Hill followed it at once, and after 
traveling twenty-four hours at twelve o'clock the next day 
he came up with the Indians. They were encamped 
1836 in a dense thicket. As Captain Hill and his men ap- 
proached the thicket they met an Indian, who was re- 
turning on the trail to ascertain if any forces were in pur- 
suit of them. He was immediately shot down and Captain 
Hill ordered his men to charge the encampment. Thers 
were fifty of the rangers and about seventy Indians. Tb^ 
'Indians were not only superior to them in number but their 
position in the thicket gave them a great advantage over 
the rangers, who were compelled to cut their way through 
it in order to reach them. The Indian spy who was shot be- 
fore the charge was ordered was only wounded and h® 
called loudly for his comrades to come to his assistance. 
Some of them did so, but as they advanced two of them 
were shot down and the spy was also killed. Owing to the 
density of the thicket the rangers were compelled to fight 
at a great disadvantage. They succeeded, however, in 
wounding some of the Indians and in driving them from 
their camp. They took al.l their camp equipage, and among 
the trophies was a large number of white scalps taken from 
people of both sexes and all ages. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



3osepb IReeb. 



fY\ R - JOSEPH REED was a native of Virginia. He 
II and his brother, Braman Reed, immigrated to 
1*1 Texas in the year 1829, and settled in the town of 
* ^ Bastrop. After remaining there a short time, they 

moved to Burleson county and settled on Davidson's creek, 
where they followed the business of stock raising. In the 

spring of 1836, Mr. Joseph Keed rode out one day to 
1836 the range for the purpose of driving up some cattle. 

When he had gone about half a mile he was attacked 
by a large party of Indians, forty or fifty in number. Mr. 
Reed put spurs to his horse and endeavored to reach his 
house, the Indians following and shooting their arrows at 
him. He succeeded in reaching his yard gate, and there 
fell. Mrs. Reed saw her husband galloping towards the 
house, with the Indians pursuing him, and ran to the yard 
gate to meet him. She met him just as he fell dead from 
his horse. The brave and heroic woman was determined 
he should not be scalped by the savages; so, taking the 
body of her husband in her arms, she dragged him to the 
house and reached it unhurt, although the Indians were 
shooting at her the whole time. The Indians then left, but 
encamped not a great distance from the house. 

The brother of the murdered man, as soon as he heard of 
the affair, raised a small party of whites and attacked the 
Indians in their camp. A hard fight ensued, in which the 
brother was killed and several others wounded. The chief 
was killed finally, and the Indians then fled, leaving their 
dead behind them. It was not often that the whites took 
the scalp of an Indian, but on this occasion they were so 
much exasperated that they followed the example of the 
savages, and scalped the dead chieftain. 



224 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 



Gbomas IRorrte* 



SHOMAS NORMS was a native of Kentucky and im- 
migrated to Texas in 1836. Immediately on his arrival 
he entered the army under General Houston, in which 
he served as a private during the war between the Re- 
public of Texas and Mexico. Near the close of the war he 
and two other men whose names are not known to the 
writer, were furloughed to attend to some business at 
1836 a distance from the army. While passing up the 
Guadalupe river on their way to their destination they 
discovered considerable recent signs of Indians, which 
alarmed them a good deal, as they were on foot and unh- 
armed. While consulting as to what was best to be done, 
to their great consternation a body of Indians rushed from 
an ambuscade and charged on the three defenseless soldier^. 
They fled for life and kept pretty well together for about a 
mile. As there was a very tali growth of grass on the 
ground, they were enabled now and then to dodge theii* 
pursuers and thus to keep some distance ahead of them,. 
Finally, however, seeing the Indians were gaining on them, 
Norris suggested that they should gather up some sticks 
about the size of guns and carry them on their shoulders to 
make the Indians believe they were armed. They did so, 
and as they were partially hidden in the tall grass that cov- 
ered the ground, their ruse for a time had the desired effect 
of checking the advance of their pursuers. But as the In- 
dians approached nearer they discovered the trick, and then 
dashed after them with increased speed, determined on hav- 
ing their scalps. 

Norris, seeing that the Indians had found out their ruse 
and that his two companions were rapidly failing, dashed 
off in another direction by himself, a part of the Indians 
following him and a part following his companions. Being 
quite active as well as crafty, Norris dodged into a deep 
ravine, which led him into a large swamp in which there 
was a heavy growth of tall water grass. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 225 

When he left Kentucky he had been presented with a 
very fine suit of clothes and other things as tokens of affec- 
tion and respect by his relatives and friends. When he en- 
tered the swamp he found that his clothes and the things he 
carried impeded his progress through the tall grass, and he 
cast them away one by one, until his pantaloons and shirt 
were all that remained, and thus relieved of their weight he 
made better speed through the swamp. In places the mud was 
knee deep, in others the water was waist deep, and every- 
where the grass was from four to six feet high. While 
forcing his way through these obstacles he could hear now 
and then the splashing of his pursuers, who were following 
like blood hounds on his trail. 

Through this dismal swamp he continued his course for 
the rest of the day, until finally when night set in his pur- 
suers lost the trail and abandoned the chase Night over- 
took him in the swamp, where the water in the shallowest 
place he could find was at least a foot in depth and the grass 
five or six feet high. 

In order that he might be able to get a little sleep he cut 
a quantity of the long grass with his pocket knife, bound it 
in bundles and upon this he laid down and thus managed to 
keep his head above water. It may readily be imagined 
that he did not sleep very soundly on this uncomfortable 
couch, particularly as he knew he was in great danger, not 
only of Indians but of being bitten by snakes or devoured 
by alligators, both of which abounded in the swamp. Hav- 
ing spent the night in the manner described the morning 
found him in a state of bewilderment He was completely 
"turned round" and did not know which way to go. How- 
ever, as it was necessary to make a move in some direction 
he set out in search of solid ground. He had gone but a 
short distance when he heard the beating of a drum at a 
camp then occupied by a portion of General Houston's army. 
He turned his course towards the point from whence the 
sound proceeded, and after traveling several miles through 
mud and water he reached the camp well nigh exhausted 
by fatigue and want of food. We did not learn what be- 
came of his two companions. 



226 INDIAN DEriiEDATIONS IN TEXAS 



3obn IRover, 

THE nativity of Mr. Eover is not known to the writer. 
He was a soldier in the army of Texas during the war 
with Mexico. In the spring of 1836 he went up the Col- 
orado into what is now Travis county, with> his wagon 
and team, to move one of his friends from there to some 
other point. On his way he stopped at the residence of one 
of the early pioneers, Thomas Moore. The night pre- 
1836 vious a party of Indians had come into the neighbor- 
hood and had concealed themselves near Mr. Moore's 
house. As Mr. Rover was saddling his horse for the purpose 
of going out to hunt his team, the Indians shot and killed 
him. They then showed themselves, ten in number, and 
threatened to attack the house, and doubtless would have 
done so had not several men at that moment made their 
appearance. The night before these Indians killed Mr. 
Rover, they robbed the house of Nathaniel Moore. Fortu- 
nately neither he nor any of his family were at home. 

This portion of the country suffered terribly from Indian 
raids during the war with Mexico, as nearly all the men 
were away in the army. 



Captains IRobinson ant) IRobMns. 

f\ UGUST, 1836, these two officers, belonging to the Texas 

l^k army, under the command of General Thomas JJRusk 

I A were ordered out in charge of a small force of men 

/ to reconnoiter the position of some Indians who were 

encamped on a little stream called Sandy. While engaged 

in carrying out this order, they were boldly attacked by a 

large body of Indians at night, who had surrounded 
1836 them under cover of the darkness. The Texans stood 

their ground and defended themselves bravely until 
eight were killed and nearly all the rest wounded. There 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 227 

was but one out of the sixteen men that escaped unhurt. 
The Indians captured all their horses and camp equipage. 
The loss of these brave men at this juncture was severely 
felt, as it was during the time that the thirty thousand 
inhabitants of Texas were battling for life and liberty 
against eight millions of Mexicans, aided by their Indian 
allies, and the services of every man were needed. ' 



Captain tmn>e& 

fY\ R. HARVEY came to Texas in the year 1836. He 
I I I was a surveyor by profession and was employed by 
1*1 the State of Texas to survey out a large tract of 
* \ country on the San Saba river granted by the State 

to a colony of Germans. His company comprised about 
twenty men, the most of whom were as green as a cut 
seed watermelon, and Mr. Harvey found it a very 
T836 difficult matter to persuade them to take even ordi- 
nary precautions against being surprised by the In- 
dians, although it was evident from their camps they had 
recently been in the country. In spite of all his remon- 
strances, his men would scatter about hunting, or looking- 
for "bee trees," which were abundant in the region where 
they were working. On one occasion when the weather 
was very hot, his men being thirsty, scattered around in 
every direction in search of water, leaving Mr. Harvey 
alone. As he was very thirsty himself, he started off alone 
and on foot, and took his course down a ravine in which he 
hoped to find a pool of water. He continued his course 
down this ravine for a mile or so, when suddenly a number 
of Waco Indians rose up from the bushes on each side of it, 
and rushed upon him. Their appearance was so unexpected 
that he was in their clutches before he had time to make 
any resistance or attempt to escape by flight. Having 
secured their prisoner, the Wacos started for their camp. 
As they were out of provisions and very hungry, they stole 
a pony from a Comanche camp near which they passed, 
butchered and ate it, or at least as much of it as they 
wanted. They then tied a hindquarter of the pony on the 



228 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

back of their unfortunate prisoner, and forced him to carry 
it all day on foot over mountains and across canons and 
gulches. The Comanches from whom the pony was stolen dis- 
covering its loss, determined to follow the thieves and wreak 
their vengence on them. They knew that there were Wacos 
in the vicinity, and they quickly came to the conclusion 
that they were the guilty parties. Tbe chief ordered his 
men to mount their horses at once, and in a few moments 
they were on the trail and in hot' pursuit of the Wacos. 
They followed the trail like blood hounds over mountains 
and through forests without losing it for a moment, for it is 
a very difficult matter for an Indian to baffle the pursuit of 
another Indian who follows his trail persistently. The 
Wacos traveled hard, and when they stopped to camp for 
the night about an hour before sunset, Harvey was com- 
pletely exhausted. Without a moment's rest from the time 
he was captured until then he had been compelled to move 
forward at a rapid rate, with at least one hundred pounds 
of meat upon his back. 

The Wacos had just begun to make preparations for 
encamping, when they heard the clattering of horse's hoofs, 
and the next moment they were as much alarmed as their 
prisoner had been, when they found themselves completely 
surrounded by the Comanches. 

The poor Wacos offered no resistance to their dreaded 
enemies, the Comanches. The Comanche chief told them 
to bring forward the Waco who stole the pony. He was 
pointed out, and the chief ordered some of his men to seize 
him, stake him down upon the ground and give him three 
hundred lashes with a raw hide quirt, which was promptly 
done. He then called for the Indian who took the white 
man prisoner. The Wacos pointed to their chief, and his 
highness was also staked down and treated to a-dose of 
three hundred lashes on his naked hide. 

The Comanches then released Mr. Harvey from his bur- 
den of horse flesh, and ordered him to take a butcher knife 
and kill the Indian who captured him. Declining to do 
this, they told him to cut his ears off, but he told the chief 
he did not wish to do it. Finding they could not get Har- 
vey either to kill or "crop" the Indian, they turned him 
loose, telling him to go back to his camp; and at the same 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 229 

time they strictly charged the Wacos not to molest in any 
way again either him or his men. For some unknown rea- 
son, it seems the Comanches were friendly disposed towards 
Harvey, and considered him and his men under their 
special protection. Had it not been for this, Harvey could 
not have carried out his contract with the government. 



3obn ftaplor. 



JOHN TAYLOR came to Texas at an early day, and 
settled in Grimes county, near where the town of An- 
derson now stands. He was a brave and daring man, 
but was deficient in caution, the want of which has re- 
sulted in the death of so many on the frontiers of Texas. 
On one occasion, Taylor started from home for the purpose 
of attending to some business in an adjoining neigh- 
1836 borhood. While on his way he was attacked by a 
large party of Indians who were ambuscading the 
road he was traveling. Seeing the impossibility of defend- 
ing himself against such fearful odds, he endeavored to save 
himself by flight, but he was soon overtaken and killed by 
the Indians, and his body mutilated by them in the most 
barbarous manner. He left a devoted wife and several 
small children to mourn his untimely fate. 

Not long after the death of her husband, Mrs. Taylor de- 
termined to visit the spot where her husband was slain. 
Her friends endeavored to persuade her from doing so, telling 
her the country was full of Indians, and that she would be 
in great danger of losing her life if she should venture out- 
side of the settlements. She persisted, however, in making 
the attempt, and, strange to say, she was killed by Indians 
at the very spot where they had previously slain her hus* 
band. No doubt, she had been moved to visit the scene of 
her husband's death from the most praiseworthy motives; 
nevertheless, we can not commend her judgment in persist- 
ing to gratify a mere morbid whim, at the imminent risk of 
her life. 



230 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



fY\ R- HARVEY was a native of the State of Ala- 
f jj I bama. He immigrated to Texas in 1835 and settled 
I * 1 in what is now Robertson county. He was a stock 
r \ raiser and farmer. It was in the month of No- 

vember, 1836, and about the time of the evening that people 
in the country are usually at supper when a party of Indians 

approached unobserved and attacked Harvey's house. 
1836 He ran to get his gun that lay on a rack above the 

door and as he did so a bullet struck him in the neck, 
killing him instantly. His wife attempted to conceal her- 
self under one of the beds in the room, but the keen eyed 
savages discovered her, dragged her out and killed her. 
They then scalped her as they had previously done her hus- 
band, cut her heart out and laid it on her breast. One of 
their little children, a lad about ten years old, was also 
killed, his coat being found with at least tweuty bullet holes 
through it. The little daughter, nine years old, was carried 
off prisoner, and for more than a year suffered all the priva- 
tions and hardships, and was subjected to all the insults 
and indignities her brutal captors could inflict upon her. 
She was finally taken over to Mexico by the Indians and 
sold to the Mexicans. Her uncle, James Talbert, was then 
living in Alabama and was written to by the citizens in- 
forming him that his neice was still alive and in Mexico. 
"Her uncle," says Rev. Z. N. Morrill: ' 'After long search and 
a large expend iture of money found the child. She had been 
sold by the Indians and had become greatly attached to its 
Mexican mother. Her arm had been broken during the 
killing of her parents. She was carried by the uncle to 
Alabama and by him was afterwards brought to Texas. 
They settled near where her parents were killed. She has 
since married and when recently heard from was living. I 
have often since been at her hcuse and used the family 
Bible at worship, owned by her father, and which yet has 
upon its page-, the blood of her parents spilled by the hands 
of the Indians on that fearful night." (Flower and Fruit, 68.) 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 231 



3obn Ebwarta 



JOHN EDWABDS was also one of the pioneers of Texas. 
On his arrival in Texas he stopped for some time at the 
town of Bastrop, where he made the acquaintance of 
the venerable Bartholomew Manlove, one of the oldest 
settlers in the place. Some time after his arrival, whilst he 
was traveling with Mr. Manlove to the town of Washing- 
ton, on the Brazos, they encountered a large party 
1836 of Indians on the way. These Indians, in order to 
get the advantage of them, made signs to them on 
their approach signifying that they were friendly, and 
beckoned them to come on. But Manlove, who was well 
acquainted with the treacherous character of these Indians, 
halted and advised Edwards to do likewise, but he paid no 
attention to his warning, and allowed the savages to ap- 
proach him. Manlove, who was riding a fine horse, then 
bore off rapidly to the left. The Indians observing the 
movement, some of them applied quirts and spurs to their 
horses and started after him. They ran him several miles, 
but his horse proved too fleet for them, and he succeeded in 
making his escape. But the unfortunate Edwards was 
thrust through with a dozen spears, after the Indians had 
shaken him heartily by the hand as a token of friendship. 
They scalped him and took his horse and rifle. 

Many have thus been murdered in Texas by imprudently 
permitting Indians to approach them who pretended they 
were friendly. Of late years, however, they have not been 
very successful in playing this little game, as their treach- 
erous character has long since been pretty well known. 



232 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



Sobn flDarlim 



JOHN MARLHST was an experienced frontiersman, and 
rendered efficient service on many occasions in defense 
of the settlers against their savage foes. In the spring 
of 1836, Marlin, Jarrett Menifee and Lahan Menifee 
went into the woods for the purpose of cutting bee trees. 
They were going along a trail which was so narrow they 
were compelled to ride in single file, when an Indian, 
1836 who was concealed near the path, suddenly raised up 
and presented his gun, but it missed fire. Before he 
could take aim again Marlin and Lahan Menifee both raised 
their guns and fired at him. The Indian leaped in the air 
and fell dead. Menifee cried out, "I've saved him " Mar- 
lin replied, "No, it was I who killed him;" but Menifee still 
contended that he was the one who shot him. Jarrett Men- 
ifee then said to them: "You had better quit quarreling and 
load your guns, for it is not probable one Indian would at- 
tack three men by himself." On an examination of the In- 
dian they had killed, they found that the bullets of both 
Menifee and Marlin's guns had penetrated his breast not 
over two inches apart. The two men had fired so nearly at 
the same moment that neither of them had heard the report 
of the other's gun. 

The men reloaded their guns and had gone but a short 
distance furthef when they were fired upon by Indians in 
ambush near the trail. Marlin and his companions returned 
their fire with fatal effect, killing two more Indians and 
driving the rest from their hiding place. They, however, 
ran but a short distance to a mot of timber, where they con- 
cealed themselves. At this juncture Marlin and his com- 
panions d scovered another white man riding directly to- 
ward the Indians who was evidently unaware of their pres- 
ence. Marlin called aloud to him not to go near the mot, 
as there were Indians concealed in it. As Marlin and his 
companions were dressed in buckskin hunting shirts, the 
man they had called to supposed at first they were Indians, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 233 

and seemed at a loss what to do. He finally satisfied him- 
self, however, that they were white men, and turned his 
course toward them. After he came up, Mr. Marlin told 
him there were Indians in the mot he was going to, and 
they at once proceeded to attack them. The Indians (there 
were but two of them) defended themselves bravely for 
some time, but at length one was killed and the other one 
rushed from the mot and ran like a quarter horse. The 
whites pursued him for some distance, but he made his es- 
cape. They killed four out of the five Indians they had 
found that day, leaving only one to tell the tale — a pretty 
fair day's work. 



3obn flDcCIdlan, 

5 HE nativity of John McClellan is unknown to the 
writer. His father was among the first of the early 
settlers in Texas, and was a well known character 
where he resided. He settled on the Brazos river near 
where the city of Waco now stands. He had many con- 
flicts with the Indians who then frequently raided that sec- 
tion ol country, but always came out unhurt. But he was 
doome i to be slain by them at last. A party of Indians at- 
tacked his house when he was unsuspicious of danger and 
unpre] >ared to meet it, and murdered him as well as several 
others of his family, and took his little son John McClellan, 
the subject of this sketch, who was then a lad eight or ten 
years of age, a prisoner. They then left for the mountains, 
taking with them a number of horses they had stolen from 
Mr. McClellan and others. They did not halt until they 
reached the villages where they lived on Red river. The 
Indians kept young McClellan until he was a grown man. 
In 1X4& a treaty was made with these Indians and young 
McClellan was restored to his relatives. He had almost for- 
gotten his native tongue, and when interrogated as to his 
capture* he could only describe the massacre of his father 
and family by the aid of signs. He had become greatly at- 



234 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

tached to the Indians, among whom he had lived so lone, 
and it was with much difficulty that his friends and rela- 
tives prevented him from going back to them at once. How- 
ever, they finally persuaded him to stay with them for one 
moon (a month.) During that moon, (and it proved to be a 
honey moon to McClellan), several pretty young ladies paid 
a visit to the relatives with whom he was staying and he 
fell desperately in love with one of them, and abandoned 
his intention of returning to his savage friends. He post- 
poned his departure until he persuaded this young lady to 
marry him, and after that he settled down contentedly at 
the old homestead, and we believe he is still living there. 

This is only one instance among a number of similar ones 
of the capture of children by the Indians, who, when re- 
stored to their relatives, became restless under the restraints 
of civilized society, and desired to return to the wild life 
they had led with the denizens of the forest and prairie, 
which goes to prove that civilization is an artificial condi- 
tion of society, and that men are naturally prone to revert 
to their normal state of savagery. This remark, however, 
applies only to men, for but few women who were captured 
and held for any length of time by the Indians ever showed 
the slightest inclination to place themselves again in the 
power of their cruel task masters. 



Croucb anb Davie. 



THESE two gentlemen were men of worth, and were 
well known in the country where they resided. Mr. 
Crouch was a Baptist minister and Davis was a physi- 
cian. The latter was from the city of New Orleans. 
Mr. Crouch's nativity is not known to the writer. Immedi- 
ately after the battle of San Jacinto, the settlers in western 
Texas began to return to their homes, from which 
1836 they had fled on the approach of Santa Anna and his 
army. It was at that time that a Mr. Goldsberry 
Childress started with his family for his home on Little 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 235 

river, in Bell county. He had scarcely arrived and settled 
down at his old home when the Indians, taking advantage 
of the disbandment of the Texas army and the defenseless 
condition of the frontier, began to raid the country at many 
points, spreading terror and desolation wherever they went. 
As the government was powerless at the time to give pro- 
tection to the settlers, they were ordered to rendezvous at 
Nashville, on the Brazos, for their mutual safety, until some 
measures could be adopted by the government to protect 
them against the incursions of the Indians. 

Mr. Childress, among others, proceeded to obey the order 
of the government, and with his family, and Dr. Davis and 
Mr. Crouch accompanying them, he started for the desig- 
nated place of rendezvous. The country through which 
they had to travel was infested with prowling bands of 
savages, and Dr. Davis and Mr. Crouch remained with Mr. 
Childress and his family until they supposed they were out 
of danger. On the morning of June 4, they told Mr. Chil- 
dress they did not think there was any further danger to be 
apprehended from the Indians, and that they would ride on 
ahead. Accordingly they saddled their horses and started. 
They had gone but two or three hundred yards — not out of 
sight — when that portion of Mr. Childress's family who 
were in the rear driving the loose stock saw a cloud of dust 
rising behind them. At this they became alarmed and 
called to Childress. By this time the Indians were in view, 
advancing towards them. Childress called to Dr. Davis and 
Crouch, who were in hearing, and warned them of danger. 

In a little while the Indians came up and surrounded the 
wagon. Pretty soon they discovered Doctor Davis and Mr. 
Crouch returning, and a portion of the Indians charged 
upon them whilst the balance attacked the wagon. Doctor 
Davis and Mr. Crouch were both armed with guns and 
pistols, and planting themselves squarely in the road, they 
Btood their ground, and fought the Indians face to face, in 
regular old Texan style. They emptied their guns and 
pistols at them, and knocked several from their horses, but 
the Indians were too numerous to contend against, and both 
these gallailt men were eventually killed. The Indians that 
killed them then fell back to the main body, and the com- 
bined forces made a furious attack upon the wagon. 



236 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

There were five Texans with Mr. Childress, all well 
armed, and they took shelter behind the wagon. The fact 
that they were well armed, and protected in a measure by 
the wagon, and the gallant fight made by Davis and Crouch 
caused the Indians to be a little cautious in approaching 
Childress's party, and for that reason they remained at 
some distance, but kept up a continuous fire upon them at 
'long taw." They did no damage, however, with the ex- 
ception of wounding one of the horses. Whilst this shoot- 
ing at "long taw" was going on, one of the Childress party 
became so frightened he mounted a horse and fled, leaving 
only five men to contend against a horde of savages. After 
consulting with his men, Childress determined to move 
from where they were and take a better protected position 
in a small mot of timber a short distance from them. 
This movement was safely accomplished, and while a por- 
tion of the men kept the Indians at bay with their guns, the 
rest went to work with axes and quickly built a temporary 
breast work for the protection of the women and children. 
Each man then took a tree, firmly resolved to fight it out 
on that line. But the Indians seeing how advantageously 
they were posted, and knowing full well if they charged 
them that many of their braves would bite dust, did not 
venture to attack them, but contented themselves with kill- 
ing the cattle. Childress, who was well acquainted with 
the country, knew there was a settlement within three 
mjles of them, and he determined whilst the Indians were 
occupied in killing his stock, to retreat to it with his family. 
He and his men then unloosed the oxen from the wagon, 
drove them on to a piece of low ground, and mounted the 
women and children on the few horses they had been able 
to save. These horses were only partially broken and were 
hard to manage, but they had no others. After the women 
and children had started, Childress mounted the best horse 
he had and kept between his family and the Indians for 
the purpose of watching their movements. But the Indians 
did not attempt to follow them into the thickly timbered 
bottom. They were compelled to make their way through 
this bottom without a road, and when they reached the set- 
tlements, they were nearly naked, their clothes having been 
torn off by briers and bushes through which they passed. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS *N TEXAS. 2'67 



flDtu W catgut 



5 HIS lady was of German descent. She came to Texas 
prior to the war with Mexico and settled on Cummins 
creek, in Fayette county. In 1836, when Santa 

Anna's army was spreading terror and devastation 
throughout the country all the people in the settlement 
where Mrs. Yeargin liyed abandoned their homes and fled. 

She, however, very imprudently, concluded to remain 
N836 where she was. One night an unusual noise was 

heard around the house. Mrs. Yeargin awoke her 
husband, who went out to discover the cause of it and 
found the yard filled with Indians. He ran back to the 
house, notified the family of their danger and then made 
his escape. The poor old man was so frightened that he 
ran ten miles before he halted. Mrs. Yeargin did not have 
time to dress herself but fled in her night clothes, and as 
they were white they could be easily seen. She was discov- 
ered by the Indians and captured, who also captured her 
two little sons. After she had been with the Indians about 
three months they took her to Coffee's trading house, on Red 
river, and there sold her for three hundred dollars and 
eventually she was returned to her relatives in Fayette 
County. The Indians refused to sell her two little boys and 
they have never been heard of since. The ill treatment 
Mrs. Yeargin had undergone while a captive among the In- 
dians and the loss of her two little boys came near costing 
her life. The old man, her husband, who was very infirm, 
never recovered from the effects of his long run and died 
shortly afterwards. Mrs. Yeargin is still living in Fayette 
cxmnty or was when this article was written. 



238 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 



Captain flDeCulIom, 



f)f\ R. McCULLOM was a native of the State of Ala- 
I I bama. He came to Texas in 1837, and settled in 
I*! Bastrop county, where he followed the trade of 
r \ blacksmith. He made his home with the family 
of a well known citizen of Bastrop county, Captain James 
Rogers, one of the first settlers in Austin's new colony. In 
the month of November, 1837, McCullom and a son of 
1837 Captain Rogers left the house and went some distance 
across a creek, for the purpose of building a wolf pen 
or trap. Having cut the timber, they were busily engaged 
in hewing the logs, when they were fired upon by a party 
of Indians who had crept up close to them in the under- 
brush, attracted by the sound of their axes. When the In- 
dians fired on them, McCullom hallooed to young Rogers, 
who was chopping at some little distance from him, to run 
towards the house, and at the same time he started himself, 
forgetting, in his hurry, to take his gun, which he had 
placed near b}^. Near where they were at work was a new 
cut road at the crossing of Wilbarger creek, and McCullom 
and young Rogers took this, as being the nearest way to the 
house. The Indians pressed them closely, and just as they 
were ascending the steep bank on the opposite side of the 
creek, several of the foremost Indians fired at McCullom^ 
and he fell dead, pierced with bullets. When McCullom 
fell, young Rogers ran up the bank and down the other 
side until he was hid from the view of the Indians, when 
he turned his course, dodged his pursuers and succeeded in 
making his way home. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 239 



Bartholomew fSDanlove 



BARTHOLOMEW MANLOVS was a native of Ken- 
tucky, and immigrated to Texas at an early day. He 
lived in eastern Texas for several years, and then 
moved to Bastrop, where he subsequently did good ser- 
vice in protecting the frontiers of that county from maraud- 
ing bands of Mexicans and Indians. He had an extraordi- 
nary large horse — perhaps the largest horse that could 
1836 have been found at that time in the whole of Texas, 
and he valued him very highly, not for his speed 
— for a burro could beat him in a fair race — but for his 
strength and docility. 

One night an Indian crept slyly up to the place where the 
horse was tied, cut him loose and led him away without 
being seen. The next morning, when the old man found 
out that his horse was stolen, he was "mightily put out" 
about it, and was threatening dire vengeance against the 
thieving Indians, when some of his neighbors happened to 
come in, and asked him what was the matter. "Why," 
said he, "the cussed Ingins have stolen my horse, and I 
wouldn't have sold him for the best league of land on old 
Caney." Now, among the people who had just called in 
was a young man who was very attentive to Mr. Manlove's 
youngest daughter, Dolly, and when he heard the old gen- 
tleman protest that he would give the best negro on his 
farm to anyone who would bring back his horse, he inquired 
if Dolly was included in the reward he offered. "Yes," re- 
plied the old man, "Dolly, too." "If that horse is this side 
of the Rocky mountains," said the young fellow, "I'll have 
him." He immediately left, and in a little while raised a 
party of five or six young men, who agreed to go with him 
in search of Mr. Manlove's big horse. They first went to 
the camp of some friendly Tonkawa Indians in the neigh- 
borhood, and engaged several of them to act as spies and to 
assist them in trailing. 



240 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

By the aid of these Indians, they soon found the trail 
which they knew was the right one by the unusually large 
hoof prints of Mr. Manlove's horse. After following it for 
some miles the party stopped awhile to eat and rest them- 
selves. A few moments afterwards to their astonishment, 
a Comanche warrior made his appearance on a hill near by, 
mounted upon Mr. Manlove's big horse. He shook his spear 
at the young men, made some contemptuous gestures towards 
them and rode off. Dolly's young man proposed to give 
chase to him at once, but the others declined doing so, be- 
cause they believed the Indian had been sent there to draw 
them into the an ambuscade; but this was not so for the 
Indian was alone, He had, it would seem, taken up the 
idea that the speed of his horse was in proportion to his 
size, and that he could readily make his escape from the 
young men if they should attempt to pursue him. 

Evidently, under this impression, the Comanche again 
made his appearance on the brow of the hill. He there 
stuck his spear in the ground as a sign that he would do so 
to them if they dared to follow him. Then after cursing 
the Tonkawas for being with the whites and telling them 
they were cowards and squaws, he made some more coo- 
contemptuous gestures at the crowd, and rode off leisurely 
again. This was more than the young men could bear, and 
as soon as he disappeared behind the hill, they mounted 
their horses and started in pursuit. They rode on very cau- 
tiously until they reached the summit of the hill, when they 
discovered the Comanche riding carelessly along not more 
than a hundred yards from them. The young men imme- 
diately clapped spurs to their horses and dashed after him. 
After running three or four hundred yards, he found that 
he had greatly overrated the speed of the big horse, as the 
young men were then within a few paces of him. Ha then 
sprang to the ground and took to his own heels for safety. 
Coming to a mud hole on the way, he hastily snatched a 
handful of mud, smeared, his face and arms with it and con- 
tinued his flight. 

But although he made better speed on foot than he did on 
the big horse the party soon overtook him and the young men 
turned him over to the tender mercies of their Tonkawa 
guides. They, as well as the Comanche, were armed with 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 241 

bows and arrows, and a regular arrow fight ensued between 
them. The Comanche fought like a tiger and hurled his 
arrows at his assailants with astonishing rapidity, but 
finally one of the young men fearing he might kill or wound 
one of their Tonkawa guides raised his gun and shot him 
dead. The Tonkawas then scalped him, cut off his feet and 
hands, trimmed the flesh from his legs, thighs and hips, and 
said they would leave the balance of him for the wolves and 
buzzards. 

Mr. Manlove, of course, was greatly rejoiced when his big 
horse was brought back to him, but whether or not the 
young man received his promised reward this deponent 
saitb not. But as Mr. Manlove was a man of his word and 
Dolly married shortly afterwards it is reasonable to suppose 
that he got the reward and Dolly in the bargain. 



Captain 3ames ©♦ Swisber* 



JAMES G. SWISHER was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 
on the sixth of November, 1794, was a member of Cap- 
tain John Donelson's company, under General Jackson, 
and participated in the battles of New Orleans on the 
night of the twenty- third of December, 1814, and eighth of 
January, 1815. He moved from near Franklin, Williamson 
county, Tennessee, to Texas in 1833. Captain Swisher, 
1834 m January, 1834, settled at the town of Tenoxtitlan, 
on the Brazos river, not now in existence, but which 
up to the year 1832 had been garrisoned by two hundred 
Mexican troops. 

Captain Swisher rented the residence lately occupied by 
the commander of the post. He obtained fifty or sixty acres 
of cleared land from different parties in the vicinity, and 
soon had a splendid crop growing. Everything looked 
lovely. The seasons were fine, the climate was charming. 
He and all his family were delighted with the move to 



242 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Texas. But there is no elysium on earth. Good and evil, 
joy and grief, happiness and sorrow are mixed in all that is 
served up to us. 

One dark, foggy morning, about day light, in the latter 
part of April, 1834, the whole town was aroused by a wild 
Indian alarm, not the savage war whoop of the terrible Co- 
manche, but the cry of citizens in different portions of the 
town, yelling at the tops of their voices, "Indians!" "In- 
dians!" "Indians!" "Where?" "Where?" "Where are they?" 
resounded in trembling accents, and men, women and chil- 
dren, clad principally in night apparel, ran hither and 
thither in the wildest confusion. Attention was quickly 
drawn to Captain Swisher's horse lot, located about twenty 
yards from his dwelling, and near the center of the towu. 
In an incredible short space of time the lot was surrounded 
by the citizens. There a sickening sight awaited them. All 
the horses were gone except two; one of these stood trem- 
bling in one corner of the lot, with an arrow sticking in its 
side; the other, a favorite animal, lay weltering in his blood, 
and from his carcass large pieces of flesh had been cut. — In- 
dians are fond of horse meat. 

In less than an hour after the alarm had been given fif- 
teen or twenty hardy pioneers, all good citizens, and as 
brave Indian fighters as ever settled a new country, assem- 
bled, and announced themselves ready for the pursuit. It 
is to be regretted that the names of these persons can not be 
given. Only a few are remembered. Among them were 
Mike and Joe Boren, Mr. Teel and two sons, fifteen to 
eighteen years of age. Mr. Mumford, Kobert Barr, after- 
wards postmaster general during General Houston's first 
administration, and Major William H. Smith, who com- 
manded a cavalry company and was wounded at San Ja- 
cinto. — 

They started without delay and soon struck the trail of 
the Indians, which, after coming into the open country, 
took a bee line in the northwest direction. They pursued it 
with all the speed possible for persons on foot for several 
miles, when a halt was called, and it was agreed unani- 
mously that it was unnecessary to continue the march any 
further, as the Indians had got such a start, and were 
traveling with such speed that it would be impossible to 






INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 243: 

overtake them that day. It was decided to abandon the 
chase and return home. 

Captain Swisher was willing that the party should return 
but he refused to do so himself. He saich " As from the 
best information we can gather the Indians do not number 
more than two or three it is unnecessary for so many to 
pursue them. But I must get my horses; without them I 
shall be unable to raise a crop, for I have no money to buy 
others with. Besides, the horse they killed belonged to my 
wife. He was faithful and reliable and I was very much 
attached to him, and would like to avenge his death. I 
shall continue the pursuit as long as there is the possibility 
of a chance of overtaking the thieves. I would like to have 
one of you go with me — one who knows the country, who is 
a good woodsman and can follow an Indian trail." "I will 
go," " I will go," rang out at once from a dozen voices. 

Either Mike Boren or Joe Boren — I forget which one of 
the brothers — was elected to go. 

Having replenished their knapsacks with all the provi- 
sions they could conveniently carry, supplied from the ra- 
tions of their returning companions, Swisher and Boren 
set out with renewed vigor upon the trail. The ground 
being moist, the track made by six horses, all shod with 
iron, was not a difficult one to follow. 

They took a brisk step, and kept it up all day until it be- 
came too dark to see the trail. They camped and slept all 
night. They awoke next morning, bright and early, feeling 
quite refreshed, and again took up their line of march. 
About ten o'clock they came to a place where the Indians 
had halted, perhaps to spend the night or to let the horses 
graze. No signs ©f their having camped were observable. 
They had kindled no fire. This point was supposed to be 
about forty-five or fifty miles from Tenoxtitlan, and the dis- 
tance had been made by the Indians without stopping. 
Swisher and Boren continued on the trail with unabated 
zeal, and late in the afternoon they had the pleasure of 
knowing that they were fast gaining upon their enemies. 

The Indians evidently thought they were out of danger, 
as they had halted several times during the day to let the 
horses graze, showing they had no fears of being pursued. 
As the Indians became more careless, Swisher and Boren 



244 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

became more circumspect. Boren marched in front with 
his eyes on the trail, Swisher in the rear, with his rifle in 
hand ready to fire at a moment's warning, with his eyes 
searching every nook and corner of the post oak woods. 
About sun down they came to quite a large creek, and the 
muddy water just below the crossing and the fresh tracks 
showed that the Indians must have crossed only a few mo- 
ments before. On account of the lateness of the hour the 
pursuers concluded to stop where they were until morning. 
Accordingly they moved down the creek a few steps and 
established their head quarters in a little clump of bushes, 
where it would have been hard for even a wolf to have dis- 
covered them. As soon as it was light enough to see how 
to travel, they crossed the creek, and believing that the In- 
dians might have camped any where in the immediate 
vicinity, they took the trail, observing the same precaution 
and plan of march they had adopted on the previous even- 
ing. They traveled for about an hour, and just as the sun 
was about to rise they crossed a dry ravine. At the mo- 
ment they ascended the bank a small column of smoke shot 
up suddenly from the edge of a little thicket not more than 
twenty steps to the left; almost instantly a tall Indian arose, 
exposing himself from his hips upwards, to plain view; 
scarcely had he straightened to his full height when Swish- 
er's gun fired. With only one loud "wah!" the Indian fell. 
The other one did not attempt to rise but started off half 
bent, running like a scared wolf, when bang went Boren's 
gun, and down went the Indian. But he scrambled to his feet 
again and ran with great speed to the nearest thicket with 
one hand pressed to his side. Swisher and Boren did not 
move from their tracks until after they had reloaded their 
rifles. They then went to the camp. The fire had by this 
time commenced to burn nicely, and within a foot- or two 
of it the Indian lay perfectly dead. He had been shot 
through the heart and evidently never knew what hurt him. 
They were taken completely by surprise while engaged in 
kindling their fire. They were at least sixty-five or seventy 
miles from Tenoxtitlan and never dreamed of being followed 
to that distance. The horses were all found within a few 
hundred yards of the Indian camp securely hoppled. The 
trail of Boren's Indian was followed some little distance into 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 245 

the thicket. It was evident that he was badly wounded, 
judging from the quantity of blood which marked his re- 
treating footsteps. But as he was no longer setting up any 
claim to the horses, and had deserted his camp without tak- 
ing his bow and arrows with him, they lost all interest in 
further pursuit of him. They then collected the horses pre- 
paratory to setting their faces homeward, taking, before 
leaving, a last look at the Indian they had slain — 

And they left him at rest on the spot where he died, 
With his horse meat, his arrows and bow by his side, 
Never more, with his wild war whoop, to dash on his prey, 
Or to sneak into lots and steal horses away. 

It was yet early in the morning when they set out for 
home, which they reached about the middle of the afternoon 
of the next day without further adventure. They were met 
with joy and gladness by their families and friends; indeed, 
the whole village assembled to offer their congratulations. 

Captain James G. Swisher was the father of James M. 
Swisher and John M. Swisher, both of whom now live in 
Travis county. The former was for many years captain of 
a ranging company and most generally known as Captain 
Mon Swisher. The latter, who resides in the city of Aus- 
tin, and known all over the State as Colonel Milt Swisher, 
was in the employ of the republic from 1839 up to annexa- 
tion, and from that time until 1856 in the employ of the 
State. In 1841 he was chief clerk and acting secretary of 
the treasury of the republic, and in 1847 was appointed audi- 
tor to audit and settle up the debt of the late republic. 



Captain (Seorge B, Bratfx 



THE following sketch of Captain Erath's life was taken 
by permission from his unpublished memoirs. It is to 
be hope that ere long he will give these memoirs to the 
public, as they would make an exceedingly interesting 
book, especially to Texans; but it would be out of place in 



246 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 

such a book as this to give more than a bare outline or syn- 
opsis of what is related in these memoirs. Captain 
1813 Erath was born January 1, 1813, at Vienna, Austria, 
and was educated in the Polytechnic Institute in that 
city. After arriving at a certain age he would have been 
liable to conscription for fourteen years in the Austrian 
army, and to evade this his mother sent him to Wurtem- 
burg, Germany, where he resided with his relatives for some 
time. 

But being disgusted with the tyrannical government of 
his native country, after remaining a year in Germany, he 
determined, instead of returning home, to emigrate to free 
America. As he could not leave Germany with the pass- 
port he had, except to go back to Austria, he traveled dis- 
guised as a servant with a retired French officer, who was 
on his way to Paris. He says he traveled in style with this 
old officer, in his coach and four, and contrasts it in an 
amusing way with his next journey in Texas — bareback on 
a mustang from Velasco to the interior. From Paris he 
went to Havre, and there took shipping to New Orleans, 
where he arrived on the twenty-second of June, 1831. From 
New Orleans he traveled by steamboat to Cincinnati, where 
he remained a short time, and then went to Florence, Ala- 
bama. Returning to New Orleans, where he saw for the 
first time a railroad, and hearing much said there about 
the advantages of Texas and the inducements to settle in 
that new country, he concluded to try his fortunes in that 
favored region. He therefore took passage on board of a 
schooner bound for Velasco, at the mouth of the Brazos, 
where he safely landed, and from thence went on horseback 
to Brazoria, and shortly afterward to Robertson's colony, 
where he opened a farm in conjunction with a Mr. Porter, 
varying his occupation as a farmer by an occasional sur- 
veying expedition, in which he often came into conflict with 
Indians, who were especially hostile to those who were en- 
gaged in surveying their lands. When it became impossi- 
ble to survey on account of Indian hostilities he enlisted in 
a company commanded by John H. Moore, and was with 
him in what is known as ''Moore's expedition," which ac- 
complished nothing, for reasons given by Captain Erath. 

In making a charge upon what was supposed to be a large 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 247 

party of Indians posted in some thick woods, though in fact 
there were but six of them, who fled precipitately, the Cap- 
tain says he and one other man were mounted upon unruly 
mustangs, which they were unable to control, and which 
took them far ahead of their companions in spite of their 
efforts to check them, seemingly detetermined to give them 
a reputation for valor which they by no means deserved. 
He adds: "In this charge we captured one broken down 
pony, one hundred strong as we were." Returning from 
this warlike expedition, he went off on another surveying 
trip about the head waters of San Gabriel and Brushy 
creeks. On this trip one of his men, Lang, was killed in 
a fight with Indians. Subsequently he was out on a num- 
ber of scouts after Indians. 

In March, 1836, he joined the Texan army under General 
Houston, enlisting in Captain Billin'gsley's company from 
Bastrop. He was at the battle of San Jacinto, and remained 
in the service until the army was disbanded, when he re- 
turned to his farm in Robertson's colony. Shortly after- 
wards the massacre of Parker's fort occurred, and he again 
entered the frontier service, and was out on several expedi- 
tions into the Indian country. Subsequently he resumed 
his occupation of surveying, and whilst out with a small 
party in 1838, one of his men, Curtis, was killed in a fight 
with the Indians. 

In January, 1841, he was with the Morehouse expedition, 
and had command of the friendly Indians and spies. After 
his return home he was elected captain again of the Milam 
County Rangers. In one of his scouts he had a fight with 
a party of Indians, killed several and wounded Jose Maria, 
a noted chief. He was with the Altier expedition, but, 
owing to lameness caused by an accident, he, with others, 
was left in charge of the camp and horses, on the east side 
of the Rio Grande, and they made their escape after the 
battle and surrender at Mier. 

After he returned home he was twice elected to Congress, 
and at the last election for members of Congress he was re- 
elected by a large majority over his opponent; but in the 
mean time annexation to the United States had been con- 
summated, and Congress never assembled. He was elected 
a member of the first Legislature by a large majority, and 



248 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

was re-elected in 1857. In 1861 he was elected State senator. 
Subsequently he raised a company, and was attached to 
Colonel Speight's Fifteenth Texas Infantry regiment, under 
whom he served until the collapse of the Confederacy. 
While acting as surveyor, he laid off the city of Waco, 
Cameron, the county seat cf Milam, and several other towns. 
Such, in brief, are the outlines of Captain Erath's life, 
from which it will be seen that almost continuously from 
the time of his arrival in Texas until some years after the 
close of the civil war, he was in the service of the State, 
either in a military or civil capacity. But few men, in our 
opinion, have done more than Captain Erath towards laying 
the foundations of the great commonwealth of Texas, and 
in all the positions he has occupied, both civil and military, 
his bravery, honesty and unimpeachable integrity always 
commanded the respect of his opponents, and the esteem 
and admiration of his friends. In the halls of Congress or 
of the Legislature his straightforward course and his practi- 
cal views always gave weight to any measure he advocated. 
If he had only studied his own interests half as much as he 
did the interests and welfare of his adopted country, with 
the many opportunities he had of amassing a fortune, Cap- 
tain Erath would to-day be ranked among the millionaires 
of the land, and anyone who may read his memoirs will be 
convinced of the truth of this statement. As it is, he owns 
nothing, we believe, in the way of this world's goods except 
his little farm and homestead in McLennan county. 



Captain jBratb's $\qM on dm (ireeft. 



5 HE following is Captain Erath's account of his fight with 
Indians on Elm creek, in Milam county. He was in 
command, at the time, of a small company of Rangers, 
about twenty in number. On the fourth of Jan- 
uary, 1837, Sergeant McLochlan arrived at camp, bringing 






SSWF 




CAPTAIN GEORGE B. ERATH'S GUN "KNOCKS DOWN 
BEFORE AND BEHIND." 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 249 

the information that he had seen the tracks of some dozen 
Indians, on foot, going down the country about twelve 
1837 miles from the fort, on the waters of Elm creek. It 
was all bustle now during the night, as we were deter- 
mined that these Indians should not be allowed to go down 
the country to do mischief. There were but ten horses be- 
longing to the company, besides mine and that of Lieutenant 
Curtis, who was properly in command at the fort and out- 
ranked me. He did not intend to go himself or let his horses 
go, but wanted me to go and take eight or ten men on foot. 
I was quite eager to go, but opposed to taking men on foot. 
During the night it began to rain, and continued to rain 
until the middle of the afternoon the next day, by which 
time all our arrangements had been satisfactorily made. In 
the morning, as early as all the horses could be gotten out 
of the woods — perhaps by ten o'clock — we started. I had 
ten men from the company, with their horses, and a man by 
the name of Lishely, who was looking at the country, who 
had been but a short time in Texas, and of whom I never 
heard afterwards, and the two Childers boys, constituted my 
force. There were also four young men from the settlements 
below, who, before the war, had lived with their parents in 
the country near the fort. They had come to look after their 
affairs, and were about starting home. They agreed to 
accompany me as far as I was going down toward the settle- 
ment. Three of them were on horseback and one on foot. 
This would have made an aggregate of eighteen men. We 
started together and went five or six miles eastward, but, as 
I continued to bear further from the course those four men 
wanted to go, they left me and started for their home at 
Nashville, sixty miles below Little river fort. I was now 
left with fourteen men, rank and file, whose names were as 
follows: Lishely, Frank and Robert Childers, volunteers; 
Sergeant McLochlan, Lee R. Davis, David Clark (an elderly 
man), Empson, Thompson, Jack Cross, Louis Moore, Mau- 
rice Moore and Gree McCoy. The three latter were mere 
boys, two of them not fifteen years of age, but all were ex- 
pert in the use of arms and had good rifles. Davis had two 
good pistols and Lishely had one. There were two others — 
one, Jack Houston, a grown man, who had a musket, and 
John Folks, a mere boy, with a shot gun, and not much used 



250 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

to a woods life. I had a very good rifle and a fine pistol, 
and McLochlan and myself were better mounted than the 
others. Four of our number had never been in a battle be- 
fore. 

After we were abandoned by the four men, as previously 
mentioned, we traveled but an hour or so until we struck 
the trail, but, behold! instead of a dozen Indians, it was 
evident from the sign, that there were a hundred, all on 
foot, going down toward the nearest settlement. Following 
for two or three miles, we came to where they had encamped 
the day before during the rain, and had left there that 
morning. Their fires were still burning. They had built 
ten or twelve shelters with sticks and grass, each one suffi- 
cient for eight or ten men. The trail as they went on made 
a plain road which could be easily followed. Indians and 
Indian hunters can tell by the cut of the soles of the moc- 
casins to what tribe those wearing them belong, but we did 
not possess that art and were perplexed accordingly. It 
was agreed that if they were wild Indians we could handle 
them, but if they proved to be the half civilized Caddos or 
northern Indians we would have our hands full. At night 
fall we were about twenty-three miles from the fort, and 
eight miles from where Cameron now stands, and had lost 
the trail, but heard the Indians calling to each other in the 
bottom not half a mile distant. Knowing they were around 
the camp, I fell back about half a mile to reconnoiter. In 
the early part of the night I sent out McLochlan and 
Robert Childress for that purpose, but they returned before 
midnight and reported that they could not find the camp, 
and that all was silent, About four o'clock the men were 
called up. They saddled and tied their horses to trees and 
we marched off on foot. 

We got to the place where we left the trail the night be- 
fore, and about the dawning of day found it going into a 
a ravine. It followed that ravine, which ran parallel with 
the creek some three or four hundred yards distant, several 
hundred yards when it came into another ravine at right 
angle where the Indians turned and went square down the 
creek. Following on we heard the Indians coughing, and 
coming within a hundred yards of the creek where the trail 
took up a bank, we came in full view of the Indians less 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS iN TEXAS. 251 

than a hundred yards distance, all well dressed, a number 
of them with hats on, busy breaking brush and gathering 
wood to make fires. We dodged back to the low ground to 
keep out of sight as quick as possible, but advanced, it be- 
ing not broad day light. 

I must remark here that this last move developed that we 
had to deal with the formidable kind of Indians about a 
hundred strong. There was not time to retire or consult. 
Up to this time there had been no contradiction, very little 
said, everybody willing to acquiesce in my actions and or- 
ders. If apprehensions were expressed I answered that we 
were employed by the government to protect the citizens 
and let the result be what it might, the Indians at least 
would return — not go any farther down the country toward 
the settlements for fear of the alarm— having once been dis- 
covered. 

They were camped in a small horse shoe bend. We took 
a position at a point under the bank of the creek. It was 
not light enough to see the sight of the guns. Our distance 
from them we thought to be fifty yards but it proved to be 
not more than twenty-five after the battle. We fired and 
some of them fell about the burning brush. Most of them 
stooped to grab their guns and immediately took posts be- 
hind trees beyond the fire from us, commencing a yell, and 
to return our shots and flanked out from both sides to gel 
into the creek where they could see our strength, especially 
on our right wing, where the creek was wider and opened 
down to where they were. Half of us had jumped on the 
bank. If we all had had pistols or the six shooters of the 
present day we could have charged them and kept them run- 
ning, but as it was we had to keep our position to reload our 
guns. By this time the Indians commenced opening a 
heavy fire with their rifles. Their powder out cracked ours. 
If a shot gun was heard it was but once or twice out of the 
five or six hundred shots. No bows and arrows were seen 
among them. After keeping our position five or six minutes 
they mortally wounded Clark and Frank Childers on my 
right flank from firing up the creek. Telling the wounded 
to go back as far as they could I ordered my men to fall 
back on the other side of the creek in two squads to gain the 
top of the bank and to post themselves behind trees, which 



252 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

they did, while I stood in my old position under the bank 
loading my gun and watching the approach of the Indians. 
As the men got posted the Indians came charging with a 
terrific yell. I retreated to the other side of the creek chan- 
nel but found myself under a steep bank six or seven feet 
high. The Indians came charging and jumped down the 
bank of the creek. One had his gun within a few feet of 
me, firing, but missed me. I could not miss him and he fell 
right before me. This caused the others to dodge back a 
few feet behind trees as my men were now firing from their 
new position. I made an effort to get up the bank with my 
back to it and my face toward the Indians, having hold of 
a root with one hand. I swung myself partially up it but 
slipped and fell back, which caused my men to ask if I was 
was hurt. I answered no and said "help me up the bank." 
Louis Moore and Thompson laid down on the ground, 
reached their hands down and pulled me up with my gun. 
I called my men and ordered Davis to fall back with one of 
the squads fifty or sixty feet and take a new position, while 
I, with the rest covered the movement, and when they had 
reached the place fell back beyond them about the same dis- 
tance to take still another position, and in this manner we 
succeeded in retiring several hundred yards through an open 
bottom, the trees being only elms about six inches in diame- 
ter and the balls of the Indians kept striking trees. [I was 
in that neighborhood last year and was told that several of 
the trees were standing showed the scars.] 

But at this juncture my left had reached the bank of the 
gully we had just descended into. There was a big thicket 
on the opposite side. The Indians charging on us with great 
fury and terrific yells, we could not be blamed for seeking 
shelter; but it extended my line, and, seeing Indians on my 
right dashing up toward us, McLochlan and myself took to 
a big tree standing on the extreme right. McLochlan pre- 
sented his gun, but could not shoot. I had my gun loaded, 
took good aim at a bunch of Indians close by, who were dodg- 
ing off obliquely but advancing. I had no time to see the 
effect of my shot, but running to another thicket with Mc- 
Lochlan, the Indians got between us and the other men and 
kept up their yelling. Fifteen or twenty steps more, we 
reached the ravine that went square up from the creek. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 253 

Here we found Clark going up the bed of it, just about ex- 
hausted and sinking. He said something about righting to 
the last or we would all be killed. Mac said he had nothing 
to fight with, as his gun was broken. Clark told him to take 
his gun, but Mac declined it, though it was a good rifle and 
in good fix. Mac kept on up the gully, and after a while 
found the other men. I stopped a few seconds longer with 
Clark, who w as then getting down, and seeing a half dozen 
Indians coming up the gully, I went up the gully and kept up 
a different prong, and two or three hundred yards more got 
into open ground, reloading my gun as I went. I saw some 
of my men, a hundred and fifty yards ahead, among some 
lone elms, called to them and they waited. I joined them 
and we reviewed the situation. The Indians were advancing 
no more, but rather falling back to where the fight had com- 
menced, some of them yelling round Clark, whom they 
butchered up; but they never found Frank Childers, who 
had sat down by a tree, leaning his gun upright against it, 
and died there, in twenty five steps of where the hottest of 
the fight had been going on. I collected my men directly. 
There was still another one missing, whom we all knew had 
not been injured, but had taken advantage to get out of the 
way while the others were covering his retreat. 

The Indians turned their yell to a howl. I knew they 
would not stay there an hour, and late in the day we could 
go back there and look after my dead men. I made such a 
proposition, but can not blame my men for not accepting it. 
Several of them told me then that only but for impeach- 
ment for cowardice and insubordination, they never would 
have gone into the affair. 

Now, it is unnecessary to give all the precise details of 
our movements, which I well remember at present, but will 
close this communication by giving the immediate effects. 
We arrived at the fort that night, it being Saturday night, 
the seventh of January, 1837. I took four men next morn- 
ing and started to Colorado fort to carry out my orders, 
without ever going back to the battle ground since. 

Lieutenant Curtis sent McLochlan with about fifteen men 
back down there next day to bury the dead. They arrived 
near the ground after sun down, heard divers and sundry 
noises, saw the carcass of a wild cow which the Indians had 



254 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

killed the evening before the fight, and concluded the In- 
dians were still there. The four men who had left me on 
the morning of the seventh were with them. They imme- 
diately hurried down to the settlements 1 raised an 
alarm there. McLochlan sent one of the men by a round 
about way to the falls of the Brazos to inform Major Smith, 
and returned with the rest of his men to Little river fort. 
Considerable consternation ensued down at Nashville and 
the few settlements below, clear down to Washington 
county. But on the night of the, ninth, just after I got to 
Colorado fort, and McLochlan got to Little river fort, and 
the news diffused to the places where it was sent, a big 
snow storm came up, sleet and ice delaying all movements. 
I got back on the sixteenth, and was told by Curtis of what 
had taken place; that a dozen men from there had gone 
down to meet perhaps as many more from the falls, and 
whatever volunteers could be brought from the settlements, 
to give the Indians a big battle. It was on the same eve of 
the sixteenth when Major Smith and some of his men from 
the falls and those from Little river fort, came back and 
stated that they had found Childers untouched by Indians 
— that the Indians could not have stayed there half an 
hour — only remained there long enough to gather up their 
dead, which, according to their own confession later, was 
ten, and carried them up about a mile above and threw 
them into a big water hole. 

The Indians at the time were in eight miles of Walkers 
house where old Mel McLennan's family and his son-in-law 
were living. He, himself, with his son and two negroes, 
one of whom was captured by the Indians a month later, 
were at work twelve miles higher up on Pond creek. Wo- 
men and children left in a great measure by themselves, 
would have been killed next day, perhaps, if we had not 
attacked the Indians. There were several narrow escapes 
during the action — balls going through men's clothes, bruis- 
ing them slightly. A ball broke McLochlan's ram rod, an- 
other one his gun lock, another one went through his powder 
horn and let the powder out, another through a handker- 
chief on his head, cutting his hair, and another through his 
coat. 

The term of serving of all the rangers enlisted expired 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 255 

in the year 1837 and during the early part of 1838, and 
until General Houston's term expired there were hardly 
fifty men enrolled into the service of the republic either by 
law or under his authority. The citizens had to do their 
own defending. The frontier settlements were rather re- 
tired than made further out. All the houses built on Little 
river m 1835 were evacuated and the settlers from the falls 
of the Brazos had to retire, leaving plenty of empty houses. 
Note.— In the account we had of this fight previous to 
seeing that of Captain Erath, it was stated that in his 
hurry to reload his gun he had overcharged it, and was 
knocked down by the recoil when he shot the Indian; that 
one of his men, supposing he was wounded, ran to his as- 
sistance and asked if he was hurt. "No;" replied the cap- 
tain, 'Tm not hurt, but you see my gun knocks down be- 
fore and behind." Whether this anecdote be true or not, it 
is certainly characteristic of the captain's well known cool- 
ness and bravery. 



TttUUiam* anb fmagett fiDurbeteb at IReuDen 



rXEUBEN HORNSBY was among the earliest settlers of 
Ihr Austin's upper colony. There were only a few who 
■ \ preceded him, possibly only two or three families. 
V Jacob Howell was his nearest neighbor, we believe, 
and in 1836 there were only five families living in what was 
generally known as the Hornsby settlement. These fami- 
lies were headed respectively by Reuben Hornsby, 
1836 Jacob Harrell, Joe Duty, Casner and Web- 
ber. The latter lived at Webber's prairie, some six or 
seven miles from Hornsby, but in those days that would be 
considered near neighbors. It was in the spring of 1836 
when the settlers were fleeing from the invading army 
of Santa Anna, that Captain John Tumlinson sent three 
young men, named Williams, Haggett and Cain, to the 



256 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Hornsby settlement to assist in protecting and moving the 
families above named out of reach of the invading Mexi- 
cans. The settlers had finished planting their corn, and 
upon the arrival of the escort sent out by Captain Tumlin- 
son the settlers at once prepared for flight. They struck 
Little river and proceeded down that stream beyond the 
mouth of the same until they reached the old town of Nash- 
ville, on the Brazos, where the International & Great 
Northern Railroad now crosses the Brazos river. Upon ar- 
riving at this point they learned for the first time that Santa 
Anna had been defeated and captured at San Jacinto on the 
twenty-first of April. They immediately, upon the receipt 
of this glorious news, proceeded on down the Brazos until 
they struck the old San Antonio road at the historic little 
village of Tenoxtitlan, on the Brazos river, and, taking the 
San Antonio road, came on back to the town of Bastrop, 
and from thence up the Colorado river to the Hornsby set- 
tlement. They had only been home a few days when about 
ten o'clock one bright morning in the early part of May, 
while Williams and Haggett were in one part of the field 
hoeing and thinning corn, and the Hornsby boys and Cain 
were working in another portion, about one hundred In- 
dians rode up to the fence near where Williams and Hag- 
gett were at work, threw down the fence and marched in, 
bearing a white flag hoisted on top of an Indian lance, the 
wily red skins expecting by this means to throw the young 
men off their guard, and in this they were successful. Thej r 
rode up to where the young men were at work, forming a 
circle around them as they drew nearer, shook hands in an 
apparently friendly manner with the boys and then com- 
menced their bloody work. One of the young men was 
speared to death where he stood, but the other succeeded in 
breaking through the circle, but was shot to death before 
he had run but a few steps. 

While this bloody work was being carried on by the red 
devils the young men working in the other part of the field 
were fast making tracks in another direction. When the 
attack was made Billy Hornsby was plowing a yoke of steers 
and was about midway of the row when his brothers, Mal- 
com, Reuben and Joe, and Cain, who had been down to the 
river to get some water, discovered the Indians just as they 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 257 

were rising to the top of the bank. Billy had his back to the 
Indians and had not seen them, and the first intimation he 
had of their presence was the alarm given by the boys as 
they ascended the river bank. He left his team standing 
hitched to the plow and made for the river to join his 
brothers and Cain. Before proceeding further let us take a 
peep into the little log cabin, the home of Mr. Hornsby, and 
see what was going on there all this time. Hornsby was sit- 
ting in the house in company with his wife, and his little 
son Thomas, a lad some five years of age, and Miss Cynthia 
Casner, In playing around the child happened to go out on 
the porch— or old fashioned gallery, as they were usually 
called — and discovered the Indians in the distance. He ran 
back into the room and said: " Pa, come see what a heap 
of Indians out yonder on the hill," but the old gentleman 
paid no attention to the little fellow. He again went out 
and looked and by this time the number of men had greatly 
increased. He ran into the room again and said: "Pa, 
there is a heap more; come see." He kept on repeating this 
until Mrs. Hornsby said to her husband: "Do go and look 
what it is the child has seen." " Oh," replied Mr. Hornsby, 
" I don't suppose he has seen anything," nevertheless he got 
up and went to the door, and then to his astonishment he 
saw that a large party of Indians were in close proximity 
to the house. Seeing them approaching Williams and Hag- 
^ert, he gathered up his gun and the two guns of the young 
men and started to their assistance, but he had gone but a 
short distance when he turned back, seeing that all attempt 
bo aid the unfortunate young men would be useless, as the 
Indians had already surrounded them. 

Mrs. Hornsby and Miss Cynthia Casner in order to induce 
she Indians to believe that the house was well guarded, 
iressed themselves in men's apparel and walked about 
;he yard with Mr. Hornsby with guns in their hands. 
No doubt the warlike appearance and demonstrations of 
:hese courageous women dampened the ardor of these blood- 
thirsty villains and prevented an unslaught on the house, 
for, after riding around and shooting off a few guns they 
ieparted, carrying with them all the stock they could gather 
up in the neighborhood, amounting to some seventy- five or 
Dne hundred head of cattle, some of which got loose from 



■258 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the Indians and came back home about three weeks after- 
wards. But we will now return to the Hornsby boys and 
young Cain, who took to the bottom upon seeing the treat, 
nient the two young men in the other portion of the field 
had received at the hands of the Indians. Billy was the 
eldest son, being about eighteen or nineteen years of age; 
Malcom, seventeen; Joe, about fifteen; and Reuben, Jr., about 
twelve years of age; while Cain was about the age of Billy. 
They all broke for the river and swam across, Billy and 
Malcom putting Eeuben; the youngest, between them in 
order to assist him. Upon reaching the opposite bank of 
the river they struck out for the thickest brush they could 
find in the bottom and made their way up the river until 
arriving at a point about Burdett's old ford, they swam back 
across the river and traveled down the same until within 
about a mile of home, where they concealed themselves in 
the brush until sun down, and then went on a little further 
until they reached an old deserted cabin where they re- 
mained until good dark. Here they picked up some old 
pieces of saddle skirts or leather and made temporary soles 
for the feet of some of the party who had thrown away 
their shoes or moccasins when they first swam the river. 
They did not know what had taken place at the house, and 
they were preparing for a long journey. When the attack 
was made upon Williams and Haggert the Indians were so 
far away from the boys who were working down about the 
river bank that they could not tell whether they were In- 
dians or Mexicans. They supposed them to be Mexicans 
from the fact that the settlers had but recently been fleeing 
from them, and the talk of the whole country at that time 
was more about the war with Mexico than about the Indians. 
Dark having set in, and the boys by this time being good 
hungry, they determined to return to the house, see what 
had become of the family, and if possible get something to 
eat. Billy and Malcom were deputized to go to the house, 
while- the others remained concealed in a thicket within a 
few hundred yards of the house and within hearing dis- 
tance. Billy and Malcom, after agreeing with the other 
boys upon a designated place to rendezvous in case they 
should find the house occupied by the enemy, started out on 
their mission. They approached the house with great cau- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 259 

tion, expecting to find that the family had all been slaught- 
ered and the premises probably occupied by Mexicans. As 
they came near it they stopped for awhile and listened, but 
hearing no noise they moved on to the smoke house, when 
Malcom crawled up on the side of the house, peeped through 
the crack and seeing there was still something left, reached 
in and pulled out a piece of meat, and in doing so, a board 
fell off and made quite a little noise. This aroused Mrs. 
Hornsby and a slight noise was made inside of the house. 
The boys were determined to ascertain who the occupants 
were, so Malcom threw a rock on the house, whereupon 
Mrs. Hornsby called to her husband to "get up, that the In- 
dians had returned." The voice was at once recognized, 
the boys made themselves known, and after hallooing to 
those who were hid in the bushes to come on, walked in the 
house. The joyful meeting can better be imagined than 
described, for up to this time neither party knew what had 
been the fate of the other. 

It was in the fall or winter of the same year that three 
men — Harris, Blakey, and another whose name is not 
known to the writer — came up from Webber's prairie, one 
day, spent the night at Hornsby's, and started out the next 
day to kill a wild fat cow or two, of which there were a 
great number ranging on the river at that time, and belonged 
to whoever might be lucky enough to kill them. Having 
crossed the river and passed through the bottom on the oppo- 
site side, they soon reached their hunting ground, where, 
just as Harris and the man whose name is unknown were 
ascending the bank of a ravine, Blakey being somewhat in 
the rear, they were fired upon by Indians and both killed. 
The Indians scalped them, tore out their entrails and strewed 
them on the bushes around. They then cut off their arms, 
cut out their hearts, and, after going a few rods, they built 
a fire, where it is supposed, from the bones scattered around 
it, they had roasted and eaten them. Blakey, who as before 
stated was in the rear, wheeled his horse when the Indians 
fired, put spurs to him and made his escape. Such was the 
unsettled state of affairs in the "Hornsby settlement" in 
1836; nor did the Indians cease their murders for many years 
afterwards in this section of country, as has been shown, 
and will be shown further on. 



260 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Even as late as the year 1845, Daniel Hornsby, another 
son of Reuben Hornsby, and William Adkisson, a brother 
of the Rev. A. J. Adkisson, who resides in Austin, were 
brutally murdered by the Indians while fishing on the Col- 
orado river. It was in the month of June, 1845, that these 
two young men left Hornsby's house to have a little fish- 
ing frolic all to themselves. They had proceeded up the 
Colorado river some little distance, and while fishing, some 
cowardly Indians crawled up behind them and thrust a spear 
in each of their backs. This caused them to pitch forward 
into the river, and as they did so the Indians shot several 
arrows in young Hornsby, producing instant death, and he 
sank in the river. Adkisson attempted to escape by swim- 
ming the stream, and from all appearance he was followed 
by two of the savages, as the tracks of two were discovered 
on the opposite bank of the river. Adkisson reached the 
opposite shore, and had evidently crawled out some ten 
paces, where he breathed his last. From the character of 
the wounds in his side, it seemed that one of the Indians had 
swam along by his side and jagged him in the side with an 
arrow. After killing and scalping him, they threw him in 
the river. 

The Indians then took up the Colorado, and when they 
had reached about where the cotton seed oil mill now stands 
they made representations of two coffins in the sand and 
stuck an arrow in each, which was evidently intended as a 
sign for some of their roving companions, indicating the 
number who had been slain by them. Young Hornsby and 
Adkisson failing to return at night, search was made for 
them. The body of Hornsby was found about one mile and 
a half from where he was murdered. The body of Adkis- 
son was found right where he was killed. It is hard to 
realize at this day that "Hornby's Bend," as it- is now 
called, all dotted with beautiful farms and an industrious 
people was, within less than a half century ago, the scene 
of so many blood curdling murders at the hands of the red 
man. The Reuben Hornsby league is situated not more than 
eight or ten miles below the city of Austin, on the Colorado 
river, and upon it now reside many of the children and grand 
children of the old pioneer Reuben Hornsby. He has long- 
since passed over the river, but his services rendered in the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 261 

defense of the frontier will not be forgotten while there are 
any of that hardy class left to tell over and over again the 
scenes and incidents which took place in the early settle- 
ment of this country. When the author first made his ac- 
quaintance with Reuben Hornsby his house was the farthest 
up the Colorado river. His eldest son, William, whose name 
we mentioned above, still lives at a ripe old age upon his 
father's headright league in Travis county. He was in 
many exciting skirmishes and battles with the Indians at an 
early day, among which may be mentioned the battle of 
Brushy, on North Gabriel. He was also in the Cordova 
fight, near Seguin. 



3oaepb IRooera, 



TAGGERS immigrated to Texas at an early day, and set- 
l^r tied on the Colorado river about ten miles above the 
* \ town of Bastrop. In the fall of 1837, Rogers, Craft and 
V a stranger whose name is unknown, went to a small 
fort on Walnut creek, now called Fort Prairie, six miles 
below where the city of Austin now stands, for the purpose 
of procuring ammunition for the settlers on the lower 
1837 Colorado. They accomplished the object of their mis- 
sion, and had gone about five miles on their way 
home, when, at a place known as Hornsby's Bend, they 
were charged upon by two parties of Indians, one party 
coming up behind them, and the other on their right. The 
Indians were close upon them before they were aware of 
their presence. 

The men were in open prairie, where there was no possi- 
bility of defending themselves, and sought safety in flight. 
All but Rogers succeeded in making their escape. The sav- 
ages were mounted on good horses, but Rogers was upon a 
very poor animal, and they soon overtook and killed him. 
While being pursued he threw away the ammunition to 
prevent the Indians from capturing it. They also ran Mr. 



20 3 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Craft for several miles, but failed to come up with hixm 
The Indians then proceeded to the residence of Mr. Reuben 
Hornsby, who was out at work on his farm. They at- 
tempted to cut him off from his house, but fortunately his 
son, who had seen the Indians approaching, ran to him 
with a fleet horse, which enabled him to escape. 

A Mrs. Harrell, who lived near Mr. Hornsby, seeing the 
Indians approaching the house, took her two little sons an< 
her niece and fled to the river bottom, and remained then 
until they had gone. These Indians were pursued by som< 
soldiers who were at the fort, but they did not overtake 
them. Mr. Rogers was a brave and good man, and beloved 
by all who knew him. He left a wife and several children, 
as well as numerous friends and relatives, to mourn his sac 
fate. He was the uncle of Ed. and J. B. Rogers, of Travis 
county, and the father of Joe Rogers, who lives on Onion 
creek.. 



Zen Surveyors* 



DURUSTG the summer of 1838 a party of ten men went 
from Bastrop county up the Gaudalupe river, above 
the town of New Braunfels, on a surveying expedi- 
tion. Having reached the locality where they in- 
tended to begin work, without seeing any sign of Indians, 
they thought there was no danger, and neglected to take 
the ordinary precautions to guard against surprise. 
1838 Among these men there was one old frontiersman 
who endeavored to convince them of the necessity of 
standing guard at night and keeping a good lookout in the 
day time, but finding his advice fell upon the heedless ears 
he became disgusted, left the party and returned home. On 
his arrival in the settlements he stated the reason why he 
had left the surveyors and prophesied that none of them 
would ever return home. His prophesy was fulfilled to the 
letter. 







HE CARVED HIS NAME UPON A TREE FOR A TOMBSTONE 
AND THEN EXPIRED. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 263 

The surveyors having been out considerably over the time 
appointed for their return a" party was organized to go in 
search of them. After hunting in vain for several days to 
find some trace of the surveyors they accidentally struck 
the very spot where they had all been murdered by Indians. 
It appears from all the indications that the party had found 
a number of bee trees close together, and that they had 
felled six or seven of the trees before they attempted to take 
the honey. About the time the last tree fell it is supposed 
they were suddenly attacked by a large party of Indians. 
Though taken, no doubt, by surprise it was evident the sur- 
veyors had fought to the last. Nothing certain, however, is 
known about the fight, as not one of that little band was 
left to tell the story. There were the big trees untouched 
just as they had fallen, and there also were the skeletons of 
the nine men. Only one of the skeletons could be identi- 
fied, that of a young man by the name of Beatty, which was 
found lying at the root of a tree, on which, with his pocket 
knife, he had rudely carved his name. It is supposed he 
had been mortally wounded by the Indians and left for 
dead, but had revived sufficiently to carve his name upon 
his own tombstone before he died. 



Captain 3obn tmrves. 



/T\ APTAIN HARVEY was a Tennesseean. He came to 

V^ Texas in 1834, and settled temporarily in San Augus- 

> tine county. He remained there two years and then 

moved to Bastrop. He was a surveyor. In the month 

of June, 1839, the captain made a surveying expedition up 

the Colorado river into Burnet county. He had ten men 
with him. After reaching the section of country they 

1834 intended to survey, they went to work, and for sev- 
eral days nothing occurred to interrupt their labors. 

'One evening the party encamped on the Colorado river. 

The captain was not only a brave, but cautious man, and in 



264 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

an Indian country caution is more essential than bravery. 
He always had a guard out at night, even when there was 
no sign of Indians in the vicinity, for, as he used to say, 
"When you least expect Indians, there they are." On the 
night mentioned the captain and a Mr. Burnet were on 
guard. About midnight one of the pack mules commenced 
snorting, and it attracted the Captain's attention. He asked 
Mr. Burnet if he didn't think the mule had seen or smelt an 
Indian. Burnet replied that probably a wolf had frightened 
the mule. All remained quiet, however, around camp until 
just before day, when Captain Harvey said he would wake 
the boys, as he wished to make an early start. He was just 
in the act of doing so, when they were fired upon by a party 
of Indians that had crawled up unperceived to some bushes 
very near the camp. As it was still too dark to aim with 
certainty 3 the Indians hit no one except Mr. Burnet, whose 
arm was broken. 

This unexpected fusilade of course threw the surveyors 
into some confusion, but Captain Harvey soon rallied them. 
He ordered his men to take to trees, and each defend himself 
as best he could. They did so, and the fight began. One 
Indian, being anxious to capture a fine horse that was tied 
near camp, ventured from his place of concealment, and 
was in the act of cutting the rope when three guns were 
fired at him, wounding him mortally, and he fell. The chief 
at this ordered a retreat; and his men, in spite of the rapid 
fire from the guns of the surveyors, ran to where their com- 
rade had fallen and carried him off. None of the surveyors 
were wounded except Mr. Burnet. 

As soon as the Indians retreated, Captain Harvey collected 
his men, to ascertain if any had been killed or wounded. 
Three were missing. The captain and his men then began 
to search for them, but not finding them, they hallooed 
loudly to see if any one would reply. One of the men an- 
swered from the opposite side of the river, having "taken 
water" during the fight. He recrossed the river and returned 
to camp — but his life was a burden to him afterwards. 

The other two men were so badly frightened that they ran 
clean away and got lost. They endeavored to get back to 
camp, but on their way they met the retreating Indians, who 
charged upon them, and they fled across the Colorado river, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. VS>5 

where they hid all day in a deep gulch, nearly fcmished for 
water. They never found the surveying party, and, after 
wandering among the mountains for eight days without any 
food, they finally reached the settlements near where the 
city of Austin is now located. 

But for the bravery and good management of Captain 
Harvey, there is but little doubt his men would have been 
surprised by the Indians and probablv all of them killed. 



Ikinnep's fort 

— - \ 

DURING the summer of this year Kinney's fort was 
attacked by Indians. Thomas Kinney, one of the early 
pioneers of Texas, and who had fought through the 
Mexican war, moved from Bastrop county to a place 
about forty miles distant on Brushy creek, known as Brushy 
cove, within about eighteen miles from Austin. He there 
built a fort and block house as a protection against In- 
1840 dians. It is well known to all old frontiersmen that an 
Indian can imitate perfectly the cries of nearly all ani- 
mals that inhabit the forest, such as the howling of wolves, 
the scream of the wild cat, and even the hooting of owls, etc. 
One morning in August, 1840, Mr. Joseph Weeks, an in- 
mate of the fort, heard a number of owls hooting and others 
in the distance answering back, in such rapid and regular 
succession as to excite his suspicions that the hoots came 
from Indians. He told the people in the fort that Indians 
were around and advised them to prepare for an attack. 
They had not fully completed their preparations for defense 
when the Indians maoe their appearance and rushed upon 
the fort, firing a volley of bullets and arrows as they came. 
The fight then commenced in earnest, the Indians seem- 
ingly determined on storming the fort, and the whites 
equally as determined to defend it to the last. 

While the fight was going on, a courier was despatched 
from the fort to the nearest settlements for reinforcements. 



2£>6 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and he succeeded in making his way safely through the In- 
dians outside. A company of fifty men was soon raised, 
but on their arrival at the fort they found that the Indians 
had left, carrying with them their dead and wounded. 
Only one man in the fort was wounded. 



White's negro 



T was in the fall of the same year that White's negro was 
killed by the Indians while hauling lumber from Bastrop 
to Austin. When the city of Austin was first settled 
lumber for building purposes was very scarce. There 
was a good "pinery" however, below, in Bastrop county, from 
which the people of Austin obtained supplies. A gentleman 
by the name of Hamilton White had a contract for 
1839 hauling lumber to Austin, and he kept his negro boy, 
a young fellow about twenty years old, pretty con- 
stantly engaged in hauling. The distance was about thirty- 
live miles. 

In the fall of 1839, Mr. White started his negro boy from 
Bastrop with a load of lumber and three hundred dollars in 
money to pay a debt due in Austin. The negro was alone. 
He went on his way unmolested, and the second day he 
reached the house of Mr. Reuben Hornsby, eight miles below 
Austin. He remained there all night and loitered around 
for some time the next morning, saying he was afraid to go 
on, as there was no settlements between there and Austin. 
Mrs. Hornsby told him if he was afraid he had better re- 
main until he could get company. He said he was afraid 
but his master had told him not to delay on the road, and 
evidently with great reluctance he went on. When he ar- 
rived at Walnut creek bottom, about six miles from town, 
he was shot and killed by Indians, who were concealed in a 
dogwood thicket near by. 

The writer of this, in company with another gentleman, 
happened to pass the spot shortly afterwards, and when we 
discovered the negro we supposed at first that he was asleep, 




A LIVELY TUSSLE BETWEEN A PACK OF DOGS AND AN INDIAN. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 267 

but upon a nearer approach we found he was killed and 
scalped. My companion became greatly alarmed when he 
found the negro had been killed by Indians. I told him 
there was no cause for alarm as the danger was over and 
the Indians gone, but he paid no attention to what I said. 
He put spurs to his horse and was soon lost sight of in the 
brush. 



OT>e <Bon3aie6 Iborsea, 






IN" collecting such a vast amount of material for the nu- 
merous incidents narrated herein, in some instances the 
names of the individuals who participated in the differ- 
ent engagements could not be procured at the time most 
of the material for this book was obtained, without consid- 
erable expense and loss of time. It is not to be expected, 
therefore, that every incident occurred just as related 
1839 here in all of its details, for it would be next to an 
impossibility to give the exact facts in every instance 
where there are so many different incidents to be enu- 
merated. While we are not able to give names of the par- 
ties who participated in the little raid which we are about 
to narrate, the source from which it was obtained was suf- 
ficient to convince us of its authenticity, hence it finds 
a place among the many incidents mentioned in this vol- 
ume. 

A party of Indians, in the year 1839, came down from the 
mountains, went to the town of Gonzales and stole a num- 
ber of fine horses. A company was soon raised and the 
marauders were speedily followed. The stolen horses had 
been freshly shod, and the trail was therefore easily found. 
There was an old bear hunter in the company, who had his 
pack of dogs with him, as he intended to hunt "cuffee" as 
well as Indians. 

The company pushed ahead pretty rapidly on the trail, 
and after traveling a couple of days they ascended a high 



268 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

hill and discovered their horses about a mile distant, hop- 
pled out to graze, but no Indians were visible. This some- 
what puzzled them, but the company moved on slowly and 
cautiously, supposing the Indians were encamped under the 
river bank, and that they could approach them unobserved. 
They went on cautiously until they came within about 
forty yards of a large live oak tree, under the shade of 
which they found the Indians all fast asleep. The Texans 
deliberately raised their guns and disturbed their peaceful 
slumbers by a general fusilade, killing three of them and 
wounding a fourth. The rest ran off, followed by the old 
bear hunter's dogs. The dogs overtook one of them, and a 
lively fight ensued. The Indian was naked, and the dogs 
had a splendid showing at his legs. He jumped about, 
slapped, kicked and yelled furiously, but the dogs finally 
"doubled teams" on him and dragged him to the ground. 
But the Indian still battled bravely for his life, and when 
no longer able to kick, he seized a dog by the nose with his 
teeth, and never did a raccoon or a wild cat make a dog 
howl worse than the one the Indian had gripped. After 
the dogs had pretty well torn him to pieces, the men put an 
end to the combat by shooting the Indian through the head. 
The Texans recovered all the stolen horses, and destroyed 
all the camp equipage of the Indians. Only one Indian 
made his escape. 



Claiborne ©aborn. 



^LAIBORNE OSBORN, his brother Lee and ^two or 
I three others, in about the year 1840, went out on Brushy 
\^ creek for the purpose of hunting buffalo. After they 
> had reached the hunting ground, the party divided, 
Osborn and James Hamilton going in one direction and the 
rest in another. Shortly after they separated, Osborn and 

Hamilton were fired upon by a party of Indians from 
1840 an, ambuscade, and Osborn's horse was badly wounded. 

Both men wheeled their horses and started back to- 
wards the place where they had separated from their com- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 269 

panions; but Osborn's horse soon fell, throwing him violently 
to the ground. Hamilton continued his course, and fortu- 
nately a few moments afterwards met the rest of the party, 
who had heard the firing of guns and had turned back to 
ascertain the cause. Hamilton told them the cause, and they 
hurried to the assistance of Osborn. When his horse fell 
with him, as before stated, Osborn was stunned by the vio- 
lence of the shock, and the Indians rushed upon him. They 
seized his gun and beat him severely over the head with it, 
and stabbed him in several places with their butcher knives. 
One of them passed his knife around his head, and had par- 
tially taken off his scalp, when just at that moment Hamil- 
ton and the rest came up and fired upon them. The Indians 
hastily fled, leaving Osborn seriously but not fatally injured. 
The scalp which had been partly torn from his head was 
carefully replaced, and in a few months the wound healed 
over; but it was some time before he recovered from the 
severe beating the Indians had given him and the stabs from 
their butcher knives. 

Mr. Osborn is still living to tell of his many "scapes and 
scrapes" in times gone by. He lives at New Webberville, in 
Travis county, and has a large familv. 



Clopton'0 IRegro, 



5 HE murder of Clopton's negro girl occurred also in the 
year 1840. During the days of slavery the Indians 
very seldom killed a negro. They preferred to capture 
them, in the hopes of obtaining a high ransom for 
them, and in this they were not often disappointed. On 
the fourth of July, 1840, a party of Indians made their 
appearance on Gilleland creek, in Travis county. 
1840 They failed to get any white scalps or horses, and, 
it seems, concluded to wreak their vengeance on a 
poor negro girl belonging to a Mr. Clopton. He sent this 
negro girl out, late on the evening mentioned, to drive 



270 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

up the cows. As no Indians had been in that section of 
country for some time, no danger was apprehended. The 
girl found the cattle and began hallooing at them to drive 
them home. This drew the attention of the Indians to her, 
who were concealed near by in the bottom, and several of 
them crept up to her under cover of the tall sedge grass, 
and shot the poor creature a number of times with arrows 
until she fell dead. They then scalped her and concealed 
themselves again in the bottom. 



fUMcbael IRaab* 



f\ BOUT two months after this, Michael Nash was tilled 

LJ by the Indians in Bastrop county. Mr. Nash immi- 

T * grated to Texas about the year 1830, and settled in or 

/ near the town of Columbus. He remained there until 

after the war with Mexico, and then moved to the town of 

Bastrop, where he followed the carpenter's trade. He was 

a great hunter, and his fondness for the sport eventu- 
1840 ally cost him very dearly. On Saturday, the first day 

of September, 1840, Nash took his gun and went out 
on one of his usual hunts. After he had gone several miles 
he succeeded in killing a deer, which he butchered and tied 
behind his saddle. He then started home, and as he was 
sifbout crossing a creek he was fired on by some Indians who 
were concealed in a thicket near by. 

Nash failing to return home that night, the alarm was 
given, and early the next morning a party went out to 
search for him, and found his body where the Indians had 
killed him. His scalp had been taken; the buzzards had 
picked out his eyes, and his body was so mangled by wolves 
or by the Indians that it was with difficulty his friends could 
identify him. He left a wife and five children. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS, 271 



3oI)n Mabrenbergeiv 



I ¥ /aHRENBERGER was a native of Switzerland. He 
111 was in the employment of Colonel Louis T. Cooke, 
^^ of Austin city, as a gardener, who, at that time, was 
secretary of the navy of the republic of Texas. One 
night in the fall of 1841, Mr. Wahrenberger took a sack and 
went to a mill on the edge of town for the purpose of secur- 
ing a supply of meal. On his way back to the house 
1841 of his employer he was attacked by Indians. As he 
was unarmed he fled for his life, but hung on to his 
sack of meal, and it was fortunate for him he did so, for the 
sack had several arrows sticking in it, which otherwise 
would have pierced his back. The Indians continued to fol- 
low him until he arrived at Colonel Cooke's house. He, hear- 
ing the noise, came out with his gun in hand, and fired upon 
the Indians, wounding one of them pretty badly, as was 
evident from the blood found upon the trail the next day. 
When Wahrenberger reached Colonel Cooke's house he was 
so exhausted that he fell at the door, but was unhurt with 
the exception of an arrow wound in the arm. As soon as 
he recovered his breath sufficiently to speak he exclaimed: 
" Oh! mine Got! what a Texas dis is! I tink I go back to 
Sweetzerland !" These Indians were pursued the next day 
but were not overtaken. This affair occurred right in the 
city of Austin, and from this fact the reader can form some 
idea of the boldness of the Indians when hungry for scalps 
and plunder. Wahrenberger died many years ago and 
his widow still resides in the city of Austin and owns con- 
siderable property 



272 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



IftHUIiam Barton's Strategem Saves Ibis Scalp. 

I I /iLLIAM BARTON was one among the earliest of 
ill those who settled high up on the Colorado river. He 
^^ immigrated to Texas at quite an early day, and lived 
in various portions of the State, but finally settled in 
1837, near where the city of Austin now stands, at the foot 
of the Colorado hills, on the south side of the river, at what 
is now known as Barton Springs. At that time, says 
1842 Joseph Barnhart, who made Barton's house his home, 
there was not a single house where Austin now stands, 
though there were three families camped on the ground who 
were preparing to erect cabins. Settlers soon, however, be- 
gan to come and it was not long until quite a little settle- 
ment had congregated at the foot of the mountains on the 
banks of the Colorado. The Indians, nevertheless, kept up 
their accustomed visits for many years after. It was in 
about the year 1842 that Mr. Barton sent one of his sons to 
Bastrop on some business, and the young man failing to re- 
turn as soon as he was expected, the old gentleman shoul- 
dered his gun and walked up the hill to look across the 
prairie in the direction from which he expected his son to 
return. As he passed a thicket some Indians rose up and 
shot at him, one bullet grazing the rim of his hat. Mr, Bar- 
ton raised his Kentucky rifle, fired and wounded one of the 
Indians. The balance made a charge upon him, whooping 
and yelling like a pack of wolves. The old gentleman had 
pressing business at home about that time and started at a 
full run in the direction of the house, the Indians right-after 
him. Being an old man, some sixty or seventy years of age, 
his strength began to fail him and he called out to his some 
half dozen deer dogs to come to his assistance. They 
promptly responded to the call, but unfortunately for the 
old man, just before they reached him a deer ran across the 
path in front of the dogs and they put out after him. The 
old gentleman's ingenuity was now taxed to the utmost. 
There he was by himself, deserted by his dogs, almost within 






INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 273 

the grasp of the wily sons of the forest who were thirsty 
for fresh blood and another scalp to dangle at their sides. 
The full resources of the mind are never fully developed 
except in such stringent cases as this, and it was just at 
this critical moment when a bright idea struck the old fron- 
tiersman, and he was none too quick in availing himself of 
it. The Indians were fast gaining on him and if anything 

»was to be done it had to done quickly., if not a little quicker. 
Urged on by the bright idea which had occurred to him, he 
made an almost superhuman effort for a man of his age 
until he finally reached the brow of the hill, and it was here 
that he practiced with good results his little game of strata- 
gem upon the redskins, and played the "bluff" for all there 
was in it. Now that he was upon the summit of the hill and 
could see down into the valley, whi.e the Indians who were 
pursuing could not, he suddenly stopped, hallooed in a loud 
voice, "here they are boys, come quick," at the same time 
beckoning with one hand to the boys who were not coming 

tto his assistance, and pointing with the other towards the 
Indians. 
The latter naturally supposed there was a party of whites 
on the opposite side of the hill who were hastening to the 
relief of Mr. Barton, and did not wait to catch a glimpse 
of their mythical enemy, but turned and fled in hot haste 
back in the direction from which they had come, prompted 
no doubt by the same feelings which a few moments before 
had accelerated Mr. Barton's movements. The old gentle- 
man, feeling somewhat helped up by this little piece of 
strategy, could now draw a long breath; but the wild hya- 
cinth and sweeter scented roses were not enough to "tone 
up" the atmosphere in that immediate vicinity sufficiently to 
induce the taking of many long breaths. Seeing the Indians 
rapidly retreating in the rear over the same ground upon 
which he had just a moment before made such a fine record, 
he went tearing down the hill like a regular quarter horse in 
the opposite direction. Judge Joseph Lee and some three 
or four other gentlemen were in the house at the time, who, 
startled by the report of the gun, were on the look out. 
They heard the rumbling in the forest, coming in the direc- 
tion of the house, but at first could not tell what it was, until 



274 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

finally old Mr. Barton heaved in sight. He rushed into the 
midst of the crowd, completely exhausted, saying: "Boys, 
its a good thing it wasn't one of you, or you would have 
been killed shore!" It was thus the old man save# his 

scaip. 



ftbomas Sbuft 



I T was during the spring of this year that Thomas Snuff 
was killed and scalped by the Indians on Barton's creek. 
* Mr. Shuff was one of the pioneers of Texas . He first set- 
tled in the county of Washington, on the Brazos river, 
whe re he lived for several years. He then moved to Travis 
county and settled on Barton's creek, about one mile and a 

half from the city of Austin, and within about half a 
1842 mile of the venerable gentleman whose narrow escape 

we have just related. One day in the spring of 1842 
he went to the house of a neighbor (possibly Mr. Barton) 
after a cow. He had a son, a small lad, and told his wife 
that he would take him along, but she said: "No, don't 
wake him, he is asleep." He then went off alone. On his 
way home, and when within hearing of the house he was 
attacked by a party of Indians, who had secreted themselves 
near the road for that purpose. They shot him, but failing 
to kill him at once he called aloud for help. His wife heard 
him and recognized his voice, but supposed he was merely 
hallooing to the cow he was driving, and never suspected for 
a moment that he had been attacked by Indians. -5 The In- 
dians killed and scalped him but failed to get his horse, 
which ran to the house, thereby revealing the story of his 
untimely death to his bereaved wife. A company was soon 
formed, who went in pursuit of the Indians, but did not 
succeed in overtaking them. How fortunate it was that 
the little boy was asleep that morning" when his father left! 
If he had gone with him he would certainly have been killed 
or captured. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 275 

Baker and Souls were killed by the Indians during the 
summer of the same year while out on the prairie south 
of Austin. These two gentlemen were natives of the State 
of Indiana. They came to Texas in the year 1838 and 
settled in Travis county. Their occupation was farming 
and stock raising. In the summer of 1842 these two men 
were out one day on the range, near Manchaca springs, 
hunting some of their cattle, when they were fired upon by 
a party of Indians from an ambuscade. The Indians then 
charged them, yelling and shooting as they came. 

It is supposed that Baker fell at the first fire, but Souls 
seems to have fought like a tiger, and from the indications, 
he must have killed or wounded several of his assailants 
before he fell. Barker was merely scalped after he was 
killed, but Souls's body was literally hacked to pieces and 
his heart taken out, showing how enraged the Indians had 
been at his determined resistance, and for the loss of some 
of their comrades. 

It was a common custom with the Indians of Texas to eat 
the hearts of those who had fallen fighting bravely in battle 
against them, under the belief that by doing so they would 
become braver themselves, and for this purpose it was sup- 
posed they had cut out Souls's heart. Judge Joseph Lee, 
with a number of others, visited the place where these two 
brave men made such a heroic defense, and brought in a 
great number of arrows. 

There were quite a number of murders committed in 
Travis county during the year 1842. Gideon White was an- 
other who fell a victim to the preying bands of Indians who 
were continuously scouring the country around Austin. 
Mr. White was a native of the State of Alabama, and came 
to Texas in the winter of 1837, at which time the writer of 
this sketch made his acquaintance. He returned to Ala- 
bama the same winter, and in 1838 he moved his family to 
Texas and settled in Bastrop county, where he remained for 
one or two years. After the seat of government was located 
at Austin, Mr. White moved to Travis county and settled 
near that city, at Seider's springs, where he lived until the 
time of his unfortunate death, which occurred in 1842. 

Judge Joseph Lee and others of his friends at Austin had 
frequently told him that he ran great risk of losing his life 



276 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

in going about the country on foot, but he paid no attention 
to their warnings. 

One beautiful spring morning he started out on foot in 
search of some stock. As he had his gun with him, and as 
no Indians had been seen for some time in the vicinity of 
Austin, he apprehended no danger. But, as the French say, 
"it is the unexpected that happens," and where you least 
expect to find Indians there you are sure to meet them. 

When the Indians made the attack they were on horse- 
back, and had Mr. White been on horseback, as he should 
have been, he could easily have made his escape from them. 
He ran for some distance, but finding the Indians were 
gaining on him rapidly, he sprang behind a tree, in a thicket, 
and defended himself as best he could. The Indians, how- 
ever, finally killed him, in sight of and within a quarter of a 
mile of his house. 

From the number of bullet and arrow marks upon the tree 
behind which Mr. White had taken position, it was evident 
that he had made a desperate resistance to his foes; and that 
he had succeeded in killing at least one of them before he 
fell, was proven by the fact that a place was found near by 
where the grass was trampled down and clotted with blood. 

The tree behind which Mr. White fought the Indians 
was still standing a few years ago, and the marks of many 
bullets and arrow heads are still plainly to be seen on the 
bark. The place is within two or three miles of the locality 
where now stands the magnificent capitol building of the 
State of Texas. And yet to-day it is hardly probable that 
a single Indian (with the exception of a small remnant of 
Caddoes on Trinity river) could be found within the bound- 
aries of the State. Alas for the red man! Like the buffalo 
that once roamed the broad prairies of Texas in countless 
numbers, from the mountains to the gulf, they have disap- 
peared forever. 

Some time in the fall of 1842, a Mr. Newcomb and another 
gentleman were hunting buffalo on the waters of Brushy 
creek. They had just killed a buffalo, and as it took both 
of them to handle and cut up so large an animal, there was 
no one to keep watch while they were at work. After they 
had butchered their game they cut it up, tied the choice 
pieces to their saddles, and then took a seat on a log with 







~'dm;:i 



- ■ -.. : SSE 




Da YOU HEA.R THE OWLS HOOTING? YES, BUT 
OWLS don't COUGH. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 277 

the intention of resting themselves after their labors, before 
leaving. Just as they did so, they perceived a single In- 
dian coming towards them, who evidently was unconscious 
of their proximity. Barnhart hailed him, and as soon a^ 
he did so the Indian turned and ran, yelling loudly at every 
jump. The two men then came to the conclusion there was 
a party of Indians somewhere near by; that the one they 
had seen would soon return with his companions, and there- 
fore that it would be best for them to quit the locality as 
speedily as possible. Untying the meat from their horses, 
they mounted them hastily, and scarcely had they done so 
when the Indians made their appearance, whooping and 
yelling as they came. The two men instantly clapped spurs 
to their horses and fled for their lives. The Indians fol- 
lowed them for about four miles, and at one time got so 
near to them that Barnhart said he could distinctly see 
the whites of their eyes. Newcomb was mounted on a 
very fine horse, and could easily have distanced the In- 
dians, but his companion was riding a Spanish tacky, not 
much better than the mustangs of the Indians, but he stuck 
by him, until finally they both succeeded in making their 
escape. 



3ames IBoyce. 



THE father of James Boyce immigrated to Texas with 
his family in 1837, and settled in Bastrop county, where 
the writer of this sketch made his acquaintance. After 
remaining there one year, he located land on the fron- 
tier, on which he settled in 1839, in what is now Travis 
county, on a small stream, a tributary of the Colorado, called 
Gilleland creek. He was eminently fitted for frontier 
1842 life, for he was a man of caution, as well as one of 
cool, determined bravery. He had three sons, whose 
ages were respectively twelve, fourteen and sixteen years. 
These youths became thoroughly inured to the hardships of 



278 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

frontier life, and had learned to guard themselves so well 
against the wiles and strategy of the Indians that they often 
ventured beyond the settlements in search of mustangs or 
hunting the buffalo. They were so vigilant and watchful 
that they really ran but little risk in doing so, as an Indian 
could not make a track in their vicinity that was not de- 
tected by their prying eyes. We will give one instance of 
their adroitness in detecting the presence of Indians. 

They were out in the woods on one occasion, and in com- 
pany with them there was a young man whose experience 
of frontier life was very limited. Night coming on, they 
encamped, and soon after dark they heard the hooting of. 
owls in various directions. One of the young Boyces, when 
he had listened to them attentively for some time, said to 
his companions: "Boys, I am going to move; we must get 
away from here." Being asked why, he replied, "I believe 
those are Indians who are hooting, and not owls." At this 
the "green horn" who was with them laughed and said: 
"You are a fool; it is nothing but the hooting of owls." 
"Maybe I am," replied Boyce, "but I've got sense enough to 
know that owls don't cough, and we must get away from 
here."* His keen ear had detected a cough from an In- 
dian in the vicinity. They did leave, and the next morn- 
ing when they returned they discovered a great many fresh 
moccasin tracks about the place where they had encamped. 
Notwithstanding his great caution and his knowledge of 
Indian wiles and their mode of warfare, one of these young 
men, James Boyce, was fated to fall by their hands. 

In the year 1842, Mr. James Boyce rose one morning be- 
fore day, with the intention of going to the city of Austin. 
He had only gone about three miles from his father's house 
when, just before reaching Walnut creek, at a little ravine, 
he was attacked by a party of Indians who had secreted 
themselves near by for the purpose of killing any one who 
might be traveling the road. Boyce was riding a mule, and 
when attacked he took the back track for home, and had 
gotten within about a mile from home before he was over- 
taken by the Indians. They killed him, scalped him, pierced 
him in many places with their lances, and otherwise horri • 
bly mutilated his body. It was universally believed that 
this murder was the work of Lipan Indians, who pretended 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 279 

to be friendly to the whites and often visited the settle- 
ments to obtain their supplies or to claim protection of the 
whites when hard pressed by their inveterate enemies, the 
Comanches. 

Some of the Lipan Indians were among the first to find 
the dead body of young Boyce, and told some of the settlers 
about it, at the same stating that they had seen a party of 
Comanches in the vicinity. A company was raised in the city 
of Austin and the adjacent country, who, taking several of 
the Lipan s with them as guides, went in pursuit cf the mur- 
derers of young Boyce, but not the least sign of retreating 
Indians could be found. The Lipans pointed out many 
horse tracks, but a close examination always proved that 
they had been made by mustang ponies. All the circum- 
stantial evidence went to show that the perpetrators of this 
murder were the Lipans themselves, As no positive proof, 
however, of the fact could be obtained, they were permitted 
to depart unpunished. 






William S, Ibotcbftiss, 



IN the spring of 1843, about twenty Caddo Indians came 
down from the upper Brazos mountains, and on Salado 
creek, a tributary of the Brazos, they surprised and 
killed three men, Henry, Castleberry, and Courtney. 
They scalped them, stripped them of their clothes and 
mangled their bodies in a horrible manner. They then pro- 
ceeded on their way to the Colorado river and struck 
1843 it about twelve miles below the city of Austin, at 
what is known as "Moore's Prairie." Here they col- 
lected together a large number of horses belonging to a Mr. 
Puckett, and were in the act of driving them off, when they 
were discovered by five men who were out in search of 
stock, namely, W. C. Keager, William S. Hotchkiss, Na- 
thaniel Gilleland, Joseph Hornsby and Dow Puckett, a son 
of the Mr. Puckett whose horses had been stolen. Perceiv- 



280 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

ing the Indians were armed only with bows and arrows, 
and although they had no arms themselves, these brave 
men determined, if possible, to prevent them from driving 
off Mr. Puckett's horses. The Indians, when discovered, 
were all on foot, driving the stolen animals before them. 
The Texans hastily dismounted, and each cut a heavy mes- 
quite club, then springing into their saddles again they 
charged upon the Indians just as they were entering a 
prairie. As they were running down a long descent, free 
from all underbrush, the Texans closed in on them, with 
the intention of getting between them and the horses. The 
Indians, when they found that the Texans were about to suc- 
ceed in this in spite of the numerous arrows they let fly at 
them, resorted to a singular plan to rid themselves of their 
assailants. Suddenly six of them dropped upon their knees 
and began to rub their arrows across their bow strings in 
such a way as to produce a sound that seemed to be a sort 
of hybrid between the caterwauling of half a dozen torn 
cats and the yelping of as many cayotes. The horses the 
Texans were riding took fright at the unearthly sounds, 
wheeled and dashed off at full speed in the direction they 
had come, despite all their riders could do to restrain them. 
They ran about a mile before they were able to check the 
frightened animals. As soon as they did so they returned, 
and again and again endeavored to force their horses ''up 
to the scratch," but to no purpose, for, whenever they got 
within a short distance of the Indians, the latter would 
again drop to their knees and begin to "fiddle" upon their 
bows and always with the same result. Whilst the Texans 
were thus vainly attempting to get in between the Indians 
and their horses, a settler who lived near by, and who was 
armed with a gun, came up their assistance. He succeeded 
in getting his hors© near enough to shoot, but just-as he 
drew his gun to fire, the Indians threw themselves flat upon 
the ground and beg^n to "fiddle" again. 

His horse instantly stampeded, whirled and dashed off in 
the wildest terror, and endeavoring to check him he dropped 
his gun in the tall grass. When he finally succeeded in 
stopping his horse he returned to where Hotchkiss and his 
companions were waiting for him, and then half an hour 
was lost in searching for his gun. In the meantime the In- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 281 

dians kept on rapidly and were soon joined by six others. 
A little afterwards a party of settlers who were armed came 
up, but they did not arrive until the Indians had entered the 
timber, where they could not successfully be followed by 
the whites on horseback. The Texans continued to pursue 
them, however, to Brushy creek, a distance of about twenty 
miles, and then abandoned the chase. The Indians shot 
Mr. William S. Hotchkiss under the left shoulder with an 
arrow, which he carried for some distance without having 
it extracted, so anxious was he to overtake them. 

This mode of warfare adopted by the Indians was cer- 
tainly a very strange and novel one, but in this instance it 
seemed to accomplish their object with satisfaction to them- 
selves and that, too, without the loss of much blood to the 
Texans 



Hero? Williams* 



IT was in the spring of the same year that a lot or Indians 
attacked and killed Leroy Williams in Bastrop county 
while plowing. Williams was a native of Georgia, came 
to Texas at quite an early day and settled in Bastrop 
county, in that portion known as Young's settlement. He 
had no family, but was of industrious habits and followed 
teamstering for a living. He followed this occupation 
1843 for several years until he had accumulated some 
means, when he purchased a tract of land from Michael 
Young, who was the founder of Young's settlement, and 
from whom it took its name. When the Indians made the 
attack on Williams he was plowing some ground for Young. 
The Indians, who had been watching his movements from 
an ambuscade, attacked him in the following manner: Mr. 
Williams had his gun, but the wily savages noticed that 
he always left it at the end of the row, thinking, we sup- 
pose, there would not be much danger for an attack before 
he got back. As soon as they saw him leave the end of the 



282 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

row where his gun was placed one of the Indians slipped 
around under cover of some bushes and got possession of it. 
They then charged upon him from both sides of the field 
at once, thus preventing him from making his retreat to the 
house. It is believed by Mr. Young that the Indians shot 
him with his own gun. After he was wounded he ran a 
shot distance towards the house, but fell on the way. The 
Indians then gathered around him and killed him with their 
arrows. A party pursued the Indians the next day but 
failed to overtake them. 



Dutina tbe fall of 184^ 



DURING the fall of 1843, Captain Pyron, Donovan, 
John Gravis, Jim Berry and Harrell went out to 
Brushy creek, at a place called Kinney's fort, to get 

a load of corn from a little field which they had culti- 
vated that year in the vicinity of the fort. After having 
loaded their wagon they all started home, and when within 

a few miles of the city of Austin — then a mere vil- 
1843 lage town in point of population — about where the 

lunatic asylum now stands, they were attacked by 
a party of Indians, about fifty in number, supposed to 
be Lipans;' in fact there was no doubt in the minds of 
those who were attacked upon this point. In the after- 
noon, and before the attack was made, a heavy rain had 
fallen and had so thoroughly drenched the guns of the 
whites that they were almost unfit for use. When-the In- 
dians charged upon them they were traveling in the direc- 
tion of the timber. The whooping and yelling of the savages 
so frightened the oxen that they changed the course which 
;hey had been traveling and started out into the open 
prairie While Pyron was attempting to change the course 
>f the lead steers back in the direction which they had been 
traveling towards the timber, an Indian rushed upon him 
and thrust him through the side with a lance, producing in- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 283 

stant death. Donovan was also killed in the engagement, 
but the other three made good their escape to the timber, 
came on down Shoal creek into Austin and notified the citi- 
zens, who immediately set out in pursuit of the Indians. Of 
course some little time intervened between the attack and 
the notification of the citizens by those who escaped, and by 
the time the crowd had collected together and arrived upon 
the battle ground the Indians had reached the cedar brakes 
of the mountains near by, which always afforded them a 
secure hiding place after committing their fiendish murders 
and outrages upon the settlers. This was the first positive 
evidence that the citizens of Travis county had that the 
Lipan Indians were hostile towards the settlers, though they 
have been strongly suspected by some who did not place 
much confidence in any tribe of Indians. 



laptain (Beorge fll>. ©olson. 



fy APTAIN DOLSON was a native of the State of Ohio. 
I He immigrated to Texas in 1840, and settled in Travis 
\^ county, in the city of Austin. In the spring of 1843 a 
> party of Indians came into the vicinity of Austin, 
stole a number of horses and murdered two men. A com- 
pany of citizens was raised, commanded by Captain Dolson, 

who started in pursuit of the murderers. The Indians 
1843 having considerably the start of the citizens, they 

did not overtake them until they had reached the Leon 
river. As soon as the Indians were discovered, Captain Dol- 
son ordered his men to charge them, and led the way him- 
self. The great speed of his horse soon carried him beyond 
his men, and not knowing he was so far in the advance, he 
dashed in among the Indians alone and opened fire on them. 
They turned upon him and wounded him severely. In 
attempting to check his horse, he lost his balance and fell 
to the ground. The Indians rushed upon him with their 
spears to despatch him, and undoubtedly would have done 



284 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

so, when just at that moment the gallant Lewis P. Cook 
came up, and kept the Indians at bay until the balance of 
the company arrived. A general fight then ensued, the 
Indians taking their position in a thick clump of brush. 
They fought with desperation, as they were unwilling to 
abandon the large number of fine horses they had stolen. 
At length, finding that their warriors were rapidly falling 
before the deadly fire of the citizens, they precipitately fled, 
leaving all the stolen horses in their possession. 

The citizens constructed a litter for their wounded cap- 
tain, and carried him by turns, four at a time, until they 
reached the city of Austin, a distance of about one hundred 
miles. Captain - Dolson finally recovered from his wound, 
and lived for many years afterwards. 



Zdc flDancbaca figbt 



f\ PARTY of Indians, in the spring of 1844, came down 
LJ from the Colorado mountains and followed the course 
| * of the river until they came to Hill's Prairie, where 
/ they succeeded in stealing a large number of valuable 
horses. They then started back to the mountains. The 
settlers raised a company of sixteen men, which was placed 

under the command of Captain Wiley Hill, father of 
1844 Robert Hill, of Austin, w ho pursued the Indians. The 

latter went up a divide between the Colorado river 
and one of its tributaries, leaving a very plain trail be- 
hind them. The settlers were able to follow this trail with 
ease, and they spared neither themselves nor their horses to 
overtake the red skins. 

Just before the Indians reached the mountains, they en- 
camped for the night at or near a noted watering place 
known as the Manchaca springs, supposing they were be- 
yond the reach of pursuit. The Texans attacked their 
camp early the next morning. The Indians fought for 
a while, but the rifles of the Texans told so severely upon 
them that they finally fled in every direction. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 2S5 

Captain Hill and his men pursued them into the moun- 
tains for some distance, but the country was very rough, 
and the Indians so scattered, that it was impossible to come 
up with them. They then returned to the Indian camp near 
Manchaca springs, where they took possession of all the 
horses the Indians had stolen, and all their camp equipage. 



3o6epb fIDanor, 



T was in the winter of this year that Joseph Manor killed 
his Indian. In the latter part of the winter of 1844, Mr. 
Manor and a Mr. Nash formed a partnership in the mer- 
cantile business. They had received their first supply of 
goods at Webberville, where they had established their 
house, and were engaged one night in marking and invoic- 
ing them, when their attention was attracted by the 
1844 snorting of a mule that Mr. Manor had staked near 
his room for safe keeping. He stepped out to see 
what it was that had alarmed the mule, and discovered 
three Indians approaching it. As the Indians drew near it 
the animal snorted loudly, and endeavored to break the rope 
by which it was staked, whereupon one of the Indians let 
fly and shot it through the body. Mr. Manor slipped back 
into the house, seized his gun, and said to Mr. Nash: "There 
are Indians out yonder. They have killed my mule. Take 
my pistol on the counter and let's go out and fight them." 
But Mr. Nash did not hear what he said about the pistol, 
and followed him without any arms. As they turned a cor- 
ner of the house they saw an Indian standing at the oppo- 
site one, and Mr. Manor fired at him, killing him on the 
spot. When the Indian fell, Mr. Nash drew his knife from 
his pocket and started to go to him, saying he wanted to 
scalp him in revenge for their scalping his father, but Mr. 
Manor held him back, telling him there were other Indians 
near, and that he might lose his own scalp. At this junc- 
ture the two other Indians rushed up, seized their fallen 
comrade and carried him off. 



286 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



38artlett Sims, 



/T\ A PTAIN BARTLETT SIMS immigrated to Texas in 
\\J the year 1826. He first settled on the Brazos river where 
^S he lived for several years and then moved to Bastrop 
county. He followed the business of surveying. In 
October, 1846, he, in company with a nephew of the same 
name, and two other men, Clark and Grant, started on a sur- 
veying expedition to the Pedernales river. While 
1846 engaged at work, they were attacked by a party of 
Indians, who had concealed themselves in some tall 
sedge grass near the line the surveyors were running. They 
did not discover the Indians until they were right among 
them. There were but four in the party, and the Indians 
were about fifty in number. As the surveyors were on foot 
there was but little chance of escape. The first one at- 
tacked was young Sims. He shot one and knocked another 
down with the breech of his gun, but at that instant he was 
killed. Clark and Grant, the two chain carriers, were 
roped by the Indians and then shot to death with arrows. 
Captain Sims succeeded in reaching his horse, and mounted 
him, but had hardly done so, when a powerful Indian seized 
the bridle and attempted to stop him. The Captain had no 
arms but a small derringer pistol. He drew this from his 
pocket and shot the Indian through the neck, probably cut- 
ting the jugular vein, as his clothes were covered with blood 
when he reached home, showing that the blood had spurted 
out of the Indian when shot. The Captain was the only one 
of the party who made his escape. There is no man more 
familiar in Bastrop county than Bart Sims, as he was called. 
In fact, he was pretty generally known over the State, 
especially to old settlers. 



DIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 287 



Captain Ben flDcCullocb, 



5 HE following incidents of the life of Captain (after- 
wards General) Ben McCulloch, occurred pror to the 
war between Mexico and the United States, and are 
taken from an interesting biographical work by Victor 
M. Rose, Esq., but recently published. Of course any men- 
tion of his military career during the war with Mexico and 
the war between the States would be without the 
1839 scope and purpose of such a book as this, and besides 
would be superfluous, as the events of his life during 
those wars are now a part of our national history and well 
known to all. 

General Ben McCulloch was born in Rutherford county, 
Tennessee, November 11, 1811. He entered the service a 
short time previous to the battle of San Jacinto, in which 
he participated, having the command of one of the "Twin 
Sisters," as they were called, the only field pieces then in 
possession of the Texans. That his gallantry was conspic- 
uous at this battle is evident from the fact of his having 
been promoted to a first lieutenancy in the artillery the day 
after the fight. 

When the war ended he settled at Gonzales and engaged 
in the occupation of surveying and locating land scrip. 

In 1839 he was elected to the Texan Congress by a large 
majority over his opponent, Colonel Sweitzer. Colonel 
Sweitzer, from some cause, took occasion to insult General 
McCulloch publicly, who, on their return from a scouting 
party, proposed to Colonel Sweitzer to settle the difficulty 
between them with their rifles. A fight was prevented for 
the time, but as soon as they returned to the settlements and 
the scouting party was disbanded, Colonel Sweitzer sent 
McCulloch a challenge by Colonel Reuben Ross, which he 
declined to accept for reasons stated. Therefore Colonel 
Ross, according to the established rule of the "code of 



'2SS INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

honor," took the quarrel upon himself. Mr. Rose say*: 
"They met about two miles north of Gonzales, with rifles, 
at forty paces. Colonel Ross, being a trained duelist, fired 
at the word, his ball striking the under portion of McCul- 
loch's right arm and drew his fire, which doubtless saved 
his life, for Ben McCulloch at forty paces could drive a nail 
into a tree with a ball from his rifle." McCulloch and Ross 
afterwards became friends. 

After annexation, General McCulloch was elected a mem- 
ber of the first State Legislature, representing the Gonzales 
district. 

In the winter of 1838-9, Colonel John H. Moore, of Fayette 
county, made a campaign against the Comanches on the 
upper Colorado, and Ben McCulloch, taking advantage of 
the favorable opportunity thus presented for chastising the 
the hostile Indians who so frequently disturbed the quiet of 
the Gonzales settlement, concerted measures with "Captain 
Jim," chief of the Tonkawa tribe, to act with a small party 
of whites consisting of himself, Henry E. McCulloch, Wil- 
son Ran die, David Henson and John D. Wolfin; Ben agree- 
ing to furnish the Tonkawas with salt and one hundrec 
rounds of ammunition for ten or twelve rifles (all the fire- 
arms in the tribe), the remaining warriors, to the number of 
thirty or more, being armed with spears and bows and 
arrows. After much difficulty, occasioned by a fall of snow 
and very cold weather, McCulloch succeeded in getting the 
Tonkawas from their camp on Peach creek, some fifteen 
miles from Gonzales, and the command marched some 
twenty-five miles up the creek and encamped for the night 
in a dense thicket. The next morning a fresii trail was 
struck, indicating a raid upon the settlement by a combined 
force of Wacos and Comanches. Knowing that they could 
be but a short distance ahead, Ben persuaded Captain Jim 
to give pursuit. Two fleet Tonkawas were ordered by their 
chief to push on in a run along the trail; and Ben, who was 
as fleet on foot as they and possessed of as much endurance, 
accompanied the spies. Ben correctly judged that the hos- 
tiles would conceal themselves in the dense brush which 
grew upon a deep branch which was ahead, during the day, 
and sally forth at night to perpetrate their atrocities on the 
unsuspecting people. After accurately examining their 



Nflfe 




CAPTAIN BEN McOULLOOH. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 289 

position, Ben fell back to give directions to "Captain Jim." 
The enemy was surrounded, and a most obstinate fight en- 
sued, which continued till near night fall, and but for dis- 
obedience of McCulloch's orders on the part of the Tonka- 
was, the whole party of the hostiles would have been cap- 
tured. As it was, ten Wacos and Comanches were killed on 
the field,, and but one of McCulloch's party — a Tonkawa. 
But the expedition ended here. "Captain Jim" alleging 
that his people would have to return to their camp, to re- 
joice over their victory and bewail the death of their 
brother. The Tonkawas scalped the dead and dying Co- 
manches and Wacos, and while life was not yet extinct in 
some of them, cut off their hands and feet, arms and legs 
and fleeced the flesh off their thighs and breasts, which 
horrid booty the cannibal monsters bore away with them to 
their camp, in which, doubtless a revolting, ghoulish feast 
was celebrated." 

Ben and his brother Henry both were present at the bat- 
tle with the Comanches on Plum creek in 1840, where they 
were conspicuous for their gallant conduct. 

The spring of 1841 was rendered remarkable by the fre- 
quency of Indian raids, and Ben McCulloch was constantly 
on the war path. In one of his many expeditions at this 
period, he followed a band of Comanches up the Gaudalupe 
river to its source and down the Johnson fork of the Llano 
river to its confluence with the main stream, where he found 
the Indians resting in fancied security, and entirely unap- 
prehensive of danger. He surprised them at day light by 
firing into and immediately making a rush upon the camp,, 
killing four and dispersing the remainder. Their horses, 
mules and camp equipage fell into the hands of the Texans. 

Soon after General Wall's raid upon San Antonio, a com- 
pany was organized for service in the plains and moun- 
tains north and west of that place, which will always rank 
as the very gamest of all the many organization whose 
knightly deeds enveloped the name of "Texan Ranger" in 
wreathings of glory, of which John C. (Jack) Hays was 
Captain and Ben McCulloch first lieutenant. Soon after the 
organization of this ranging force, Ben McCulloch was com- 
pelled by business engagements to resign, but rejoined it 
again in the capacity of a private soldier, and continued 



290 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

with it in all its battles, scouts and skirmishes until the Lo^e 
Star of Texas was added to the glorious galaxy of the 
Union. The fight with Yellow Wolf on the Pedernales, in 
which sixteen of this troop fought in open prairie seventy - 
five Comanches, will always remain one of the most re- 
markable episodes of border warfare to be found in the an- 
nals of any land This was the first engagement with Co- 
manches in which Colt's revolvers were used, and the en- 
graving so familiar for many years on the cylinders of 
those of subsequent manufacture, was designed to repre- 
sent this battle. 

One of General McCulloch's old friends who was inti- 
mately acquainted with him thus speaks of him: "Ben 
McCulloch was one of the most admirable characters I have 
ever known. Brave as a lion himself, he was ready at all 
times to take any risks personally, and yet he was cautious 
almost to timidity when the safety of others was concerned. 
He was courteous, friendly and affable to all — perfectly un- 
assuming and unpretentious — never exaggerating his own 
deeds, or even speaking of them unless there was some ne- 
cessity for doing so. In a word, he was one of nature's no- 
blemen — a prieu chevalier sans peur et sans reproche. 
When he fell at the battle of Elk Horn, Missouri, the Con- 
federacy, in my opinion, lost another Stonewall Jackson — 
for, in fact there was in many respects a marked similarity 
between the two men. No doubt, McCulloch had his faults, 
as the best of us have, but as long as I knew him, I never 
discovered what they were." 



IRiMno flftatcb Between Hanger* ani> Comancbes* 



THE following account of the famous riding contest be- 
tween the Texas Rangers and Comanche Indians, which 
took place in the suburbs of San Antonio in the year 1843. 
was written by Captain John C. Duval some years ago 
for a book then contemplated by him to be called "Early 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 291 

Times in Texas," which we hope yet will see the light soon. 

Captain Duval was an eye witness to this celebrated 
1843 equestrian contest, and the narrative is strictly true, 

as well as highly interesting. 
We had often heard of the astonishing equestrian feats 
performed by the Texas Rangers, as well as the Comanches, 
and we were all anxious to see them. Uncle Seth told us 
they could beat the circus riders "all hollow," and the sight 
would be worth the loss of a day. The next morning we 
found the whole population of the city, men, women and 
children, all preparing to leave for the scene of the great 
riding match which was to take place in a beautiful prairie 
about half a mile west of the plaza. Gaily dressed caballeros 
were prancing up and down the street. Rangers mounted 
on their barbs, dressed in buck skin hunting shirts, leggins 
and slouched hats, and with pistols and bowie knives stuck 
in their belts, galloped hither and thither through the crowd, 
occasionally charging horse and all, into some bar room or 
grocery, and calling for mescal or red eye, by way of 
preparing themselves for the expected contest. All the 
strangers in the place, and the citizens with their wives and 
families crammed into all sorts of vehicles, were seen hur- 
rying through the streets in hot haste to reach the scene of 
action before the "show" began. Mounting our horses, and 
leaving Uncle Seth in charge of the camp, who declined 
going with us, because he said he had seen "Ingens often 
enough cuttin' up their didos" on horseback, we followed 
the crowd, until we came to the San Pedro, a little stream 
that flows through the western suburbs of the city. But 
just then an incident occurred that apparently afforded a 
great deal of amusement to all present, except ourselves, 
who were the actors, and which prevented us from reaching 
our destination as soon as we anticipated by half an hour. 
A Mexican had come meeting us, mounted on a "burro" or 
donkey, which was covered from head to tail with mesquite 
branches and limbs, so that nothing of the animal was 
visible as it moved along, except its huge ears and portions 
of its legs. The moment our horses caught sight of this 
strange looking object, they all suddenly stopped and stood 
as if they had been rooted to the spot; then snorting like 
mustangs, they quickly wheeled about and went off like 



! 292 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the wind, through the streets, the way we had come. So 
completely were they "stampeded," that we found it im 
possible to check their headlong course, until we had go 
back to camp on the east side of the river. Uncle Seth seeing 
us returning so hurridly and unexpectedly, came out of the 
tent to enquire what was the matter: "Oh, nothing much," 
answered Lawrence, who was the first to bring his fright- 
ened horse to a stand, "we met a burro on the road, and 
our horses stampeded and brought us back, whether we 
would or no/' 

"Well!" said Uncle Seth, laughing heartily at our dis- 
comfiture," them ar' burros, when they are kivered up with 
wood or grass, and nothing to be seen of 'em except their 
legs and ears, are pretty tolerably scary looking fellows, its 
a fact; and its no wonder they should stampede a decent 
American horse that aint accustomed to 'em, but I 'spose 
you'll try it over agin." 

"Of course we will," replied Lawrence, "but if we meet 
another burro, you may look for us back again in a few 
minutes" 

However, we encountered no more "burros," and at 
length safely reached the locality where the riding match 
was to be held, and where we found the whole population 
of the town already assembled on the ground. It was in- 
deed, a strange and novel scene that presented itself to our 
view. Drawn up in a line on one side of the "arena," sit 
ting like statues on their horses, were the Comanche war- 
riors, decked out in all their savage paraphernalia of paints, 
feathers and furs, and looking with Indian stoicism on all 
that was going on around them. 

Opposite to them, drawn up in single file also, were their 
old enemies upon many a bloody field, the Texas Rangers, 
and a few Mexican Caballeros, dressed in their steeple 
crown, broad brim sombreros, showy scarfs and 'slashed' 
trowsers, holding gracefully in check their fiery mustangs, 
on which they were mounted. 

After some preliminaries, the space selected for the riding 
was cleared of all noncontestants, and the "show" began. 
A Mexican lad mounted on a "paint" pony (piebalo) with a 
spear in his hand, cantered off some three or four hundred 
3 ;irds on the prairie, and dismounting, laid the spear upon 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 293 

the ground. Immediately a Comanche brave started forth 
from their ranks, and plunging his huge spurs into his 
horse's flanks, dashed off in an opposite direction for a hun- 
dred yards or so, then wheeling suddenly, he came rushing 
back at full speed, and as he passed the spot where the 
spear had been deposited, without checking his horse for an 
instant, he swerved from his saddle, seized the spear, and 
rising gracefully in his seat again, continued his headlong 
course some distance beyond, then wheeling suddenly, gal- 
lopped back, dropp ng the spear, as he returned, at the same 
spot from which he had taken it, and resumed his position 
in the ranks. The same feat was then performed by every 
warrior, Ranger and Caballero on the ground, without a 
single failure. 

A glove was then substituted in place of the spear, which 
in like manner was picked up from the ground by the riders 
while going at full speed and without checking their horses 
for an instant, A board with a " bull's eye " painted 
upon it was then set up at the point where the spear 
and glove had been placed. A warrior with his bow in one 
hand and half a dozen arrows drawn from his quiver 
charged at full speed towards the mark, and in the little 
time he was passing it planted two arrows in the board. 
All the rest of the Indians followed suit, none of them fail- 
ing to strike the board with one or two arrows as they went 
by. The rangers and caballeros then took their turn, using 
their pistols instead of bows, and all of them struck the board 
as they passed, and often the very center of the " bull's eye." 

A great many other extraordinary feats were done, such 
as hanging by one knee to the horn of the saddle in such a 
way that the rider was invisible to those on the opposite side, 
and while in that position discharging arrows or pistols at 
an imaginary foe, dismounting from the horse, running a 
short distance by his side and then springing into the saddle 
again without checking his course for a moment, passing 
under the horse's neck and coming up into the saddle again 
from the opposite side, etc., etc , all of them performed 
while the horse was going at full speed. No feats of horse- 
manship we had ever seen exhibited by the most famous 
knights of the ring could compare with these for daring and 
dexterity. 



294 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

The last and most interesting and exciting performance 
of all was the breaking in of several wild steeds of the 
desert that had been lately captured and which were teth- 
ered to strong stakes driven firmly into the ground by ropes 
of rawhide or lariats, as the Mexicans call them. Young 
McMullen, of Florida, who had already been voted by gen- 
eral acclamation the most daring and graceful rider of all, 
was the first chosen to perform this dangerous feat. Ap- 
proaching cautiously the most perfectly formed and power- 
ful of these unbroken steeds, he at length succeeded, in spite 
of the furious lunges and struggles of the terrified animal, 
in binding a strip of cloth over its eyes; when, instantly, as if 
transfixed by the wand of an enchanter, the animal ceased 
its struggles and stood as still as if it had been hewn out of 
solid stone. McMullen then slipped the bit into its mouth, 
strapped the saddle securely on its back, and placing his foot 
in the stirrup, sprang into the seat. All this time the ani- 
mal never moved but the quivering of its well formed mus- 
cular iimbs plainly showed that its terrors were still un- 
abated. McMullen fixed himself firmly in his seat and gath- 
ering up the reins of his bridle with his left hand he leaned 
forward and quickly drew off the blind he had placed over 
the eyes of the horse. The instant the blind was drawn up 
the wild horse, snorting and bellowing like a mad bull with 
mingled rage and terror, gave one tremendous bound and 
then darted off at head long speed across the prairie, but in- 
stead of trying to check him McMullen urged him on with 
whip and spurs until he had gone perhaps a mile, when he 
reined him round and brought him back within fifty yards 
of the point he had started from. Here, suddenly coming 
to a halt, the horse began to pitch or plunge in such a violent 
manner that no one but the most perfect rider could possi- 
bly have kept his seat in the saddle. But McMullen stuck to 
him as if he had been part of the animal itself, and the horse 
in vain attempted in this way to get rid of his unwelcome 
burden. At length, frantic with rage and fright, the horse 
reared straight up and threw himself backwards upon the 
ground. A cry of horror broke from the lips of the crowd 
around, who supposed that McMullen would inevitably be 
crushed beneath the weight of his wild steed; but he was on 
the qui vive and sprang from under just in time to save 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 294 

himself, and the instant the horse rose to his feet we saw 
him seated again in the saddle as calm and composed as ii 
he was bestriding the gentlest hack that ever bore a country 
curate to his parish church. Again the horse darted off at 
the top of his speed, and again McMullen urged him on with 
quirt and spurs, as he had done before until they had dwin* 
died to a mere speck on the prairie. Before long, however, 
he came galloping back, and after cantering leisurely around 
the arena he drew up his foam covered and panting steed at 
the place he started from and the black eyes of many a 
senorita smiled admiringly upon the daring and handsome 
young ranger. The wild steed of the desert had been effect- 
ually subdued. 

Several more were broken in the same way by Mexicans 
and then followed the distribution of the prizes, consisting 
of handsomely mounted pistols and bowie knives. The 
first prize was awarded by the judges to McMullen, the 
second to Long Quiet, a Comanche warrior, the third to Col- 
onel Kinney of Corpus Christi and the fourth to Senor Don 
Rafael, a ranchero from the Rio Grande. Presents of various 
kinds were distributed generally among the Comanches, 
which ended the show, and we returned to camp highly 
pleased with all we had seen. 



£be jfate of 3uJ>ge flDartln, 



By J. T. DeShields. 



DURING the month of June, 1834, Judge Gabriel K. 
Martin, with his son and a negro man servant, went 
out on a buffalo hunt high up on the False Washita. 
After enjoying several days of exciting sport in this 
delightful region the trio were suddenly surrounded by a 
band of eleven Pawnee Indians. A desperate struggle en- 
sued and Martin and the negro were overpowered and 
1834 tortured to death, the Indians piercing them with 
lances until life was extinct. After horribly muti- 
lating the already perforated bodies of the two men and 



29t> INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

scalping Martin, the Indians took the lad prisoner, carrying 
him to their village on Red river. Judge Gabriel N. Martin is 
described as being a very respectable, independent and 
fearless man, who lived high up on Red river. For several 
years he had been in the habit of taking his little son and a 
negro man servant to live in this wild region every summer. 
He would pitch his tent upon the prairie and spend several 
months in hunting and killing buffalo and other wild game 
for his own amusement. 

The news of the shocking tragedy soon reached the settle- 
ments and Mr. Martin's brother-in-law, Travis G. Wright, 
with three companions, started to recover the captive boy. 
They fortunately fell in with a company of United States 
soldiers under Colonel (now General) Dodge, who was on his 
way to the Pawnee village to negotiate a treaty with them. 
After a four day's march they arrived at the Pawnee vil- 
lage. The day after their arrival Colonel Dodge opened a 
council with the chiefs in their council house, where he had 
most of his officers around him. He first explained to them 
the friendly views with which he came to see them, and of 
the wish of our government to establish a lasting peace with 
them, which they pretended to appreciate and highly esti- 
mate. Leh-Toot-Sah, the head chief of the tribe, a very old 
and venerable looking man, several times replied to Colonel 
Dodge in a very eloquent manner, assuring him of the 
friendly, feeling of the people towards the pale faces in the 
direction from whence he came — Texas. After explaining, 
in general, the objects of his visit, Colonel Dodge told the 
Indians that he should expect from them some account of 
the foul murder of Judge Martin and his servant on the 
False Washita, which had been perpetrated but a few weeks 
before, and which the Comanches had told him was done 
by the Pawnees. The Colonel told them also that Tie had 
learned from the Comanches that they had the little boy, 
the son of the murdered gentleman, in their possession, and 
that he should expect them to deliver him up to his friends, 
who were present. They positively denied all knowledge 
of the murder or of the boy. The demand was repeatedly 
made and as often denied, until at length a negro man, who 
was living with the tribe, and who spoke good English, 
came into the council house and stated that such a boy had 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 297 

recently been brought into their village and was now a 
prisoner among them. This excited great surprise and in- 
dignation in the council and Colonel Dodge then informed 
the chiefs that the council would rest here, and certainly 
nothing more of a peaceable nature would transpire until 
the boy was brought in. In this alarming dilemma all re- 
mained in gloomy silence and stoical indifference for sev- 
eral minutes, when Colonel Dodge further stated to the 
chiefs that as an evidence of his friendly intentions towards 
them, he had, on starting, purchased, at a very great price 
from their enemy, the Osages, three (two Pawnee and one 
Kiowa) girls, who had been stolon from them several years 
before, and whom their enemy had held as prisoners for a 
high ransom. He stated that he had the girls with him, but 
would not give them up until the boy was produced. He 
also made another demand, which was for the restoration 
of a Texas ranger by the name of Abbe, who had been cap- 
tured by the Indians during the present summer. They ac- 
knowledged the seizure of this man, but all declared that he 
had been taken by a party of Comanches, over whom they 
had no control and carried beyond the Rio Grande into 
Mexico, where he was put to death. After a long consulta- 
tion about the boy, seeing their plans defeated by the evi- 
dence of the negro, and also being convinced of the friendly 
disposition of the whites by bringing home their prisoners 
from the Osages, they sent out and had the boy brought in 
from the middle of a corn field, where he had been hid. 
When brought in he was entirely naked, with the exception 
of the scanty dress worn by the children of the tribe. He 
was a very bright and intelligent little fellow of nine sum- 
mers. His appearance caused considerable excitement and 
commotion in the council, and as he passed among the 
crowd he looked around and exclaimed in great surprise: 
"What are these white men here for?" to which Dodge re- 
plied by asking him his name. He promptly answered: 
"My name is Mathew Wright Martin." He was then re- 
ceived into the arms of Dodge, who embraced him with tears 
in his eyes. The three little Indian girls were then brought 
in and soon recognized by their overjoyed friends and rela- 
tives, who embraced them with the most extravagant ex- 
pressions of joy. The heart of the venerable old chief was 



298 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

melted at this evidence of the white man's friendship. He 
at once embraced Colonel Dodge and all the other officers in 
turn, with tears streaming down his cheeks. From this mo- 
ment the council, which before had been a very grave and 
uncertain one, took a pleasing and friendly turn. The stoi- 
cal old chief now ordered the women to supply the dragoons 
with something to eat. This kind and generous hospitality 
was highly appreciated by the hungry soldiers, as they had 
consumed their rations twelve hours before. After several 
days of counseling a treaty was formed and for some time 
the Pawnees remained friendly toward Texas. 



fberoic Defense of the Ga^Ior family 



5 HIS full and authentic narrative of the wonderful he- 
roism of the Taylor family, in Bell county, in 1835, has 
been kindly contributed by James T. De Shields. 
As early as 1833 and 1834 the brave and hardy pio^ 
neers of Robertson's colony or "Old Milam Land District," 
as it was known, had pushed as far west as the present 
county seat of Bell county. Among the first who 
1835 came was the Taylor family, who settled in the 
* 'Three Forks of Little River," a place since known as 
"Taylor's Valley," about three miles southeast of the pres- 
ent town of Helton. 

The home of the Taylors consisted of two rude but sub- 
stantial log cabins, with a covered passage between. The 
family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, two youthful sons 
and two daugters. One of the latter, Miss Frances, being 
a daughter of Mrs. Taylor by her first husband, and who af- 
erwards became the wife of a noted citizen in the early 
history of Bell county, George W. Chapman. 

At this time the surrounding country was very sparsely 
settled. Indeed, the nearest neighbors of the Taylors were 
a few brave and adventurous persons who were f orted up in 
log cabins several miles further down Little River. The 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. £99 

thrilling incidents that I will now narrate, occurred some 
time in the month of November, 1835. As usual, the family 
had retired for the night, the parents and girls in one room, 
and the boys in the other; little dreaming that their rest 
would soon be broken, and that they would soon participate 
in some dangerous and stirring scenes. But then, as now, 
life was a mixture of joys and sorrows, hidden dangers 
^were always lurking around the unprotected and lonel}' 
cabins of the brave pioneers. Some times they were de- 
luded into a sense of Security, when suddenly their hopes 
were blighted. But when danger presented itself they 
were quick to take in the situation, and they always pre- 
pared to defend themselves, or fight to the bitter end, no 
matter how fearful the odds were against them. The Tay- 
lors were no exception to this rule— especially the heroic 
Mrs. Taylor — as we shall see. 

It was a bright moonlight night about ten o'clock, when 
eleven Indians made an attack on the house. The first in- 
timation that the family had of the presence of the enemy 
was the fierce and continued barking of a faithful watch 
dog, which the Indians soon quieted, by sending an arrow 
through his heart. The attack now commenced in earnest. 
A stalwart savage presented himself at the door; violently 
shaking the shutter and demanding admittance. "Silence 
gave no consent," and he next inquired, in broken English, 
"how many men in house? Open door and give poor Indian 
some tobacco. Friend, no want to fight." Mr. Taylor then 
answered, saying there were "ten men in the house; that he 
would open no door, and had no tobacco for red devils," at the 
same time through a crack in the wall giving him a terrible 
thrust with a sharp board in the stomach, which caused him 
to yell and hastily retreat. At this instant Mrs. Taylor threw 
open the door leading across the hall and commanded the 
boys to come into her room, which they hastily did, amid 
a perfect shower of balls and arrows. The door was now 
securely fastened and a table placed against it, upon which 
the youngest boy — only twelve years old— was mounted 
with a gun and instructed to shoot through an open space 
about four inches over the door, whenever an Indian should 
appear. For once the child found this space a great con- 
venience. He often thought no doubt the wind whistled 



300 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

unmercifully through the opening, but now it was a bless- 
ing. A big Indian who had procured an axe from the wood 
pile, started towards the door, and had reached the passage 
between the two rooms when, remembering his orders, the 
child fired and the Indian dropped dead. Seeing the fate of 
his comrade, another demon rushed up and attempted to 
drag the dead one away, but with the same accuracy of his 
little son the father fired, felling his Indian, who fell mor- 
tally wounded, across the first one. At this juncture the 
family found that they were without bullets, but they were 
equal to the emergency — a few live coals remained in the 
fire place, and Mrs. Taylor and the girls immediately com- 
menced to mold bullets. However, the two last shots of the 
Taylors had been deadly, causing the surviving Indians to 
be more cautious, and change their tactics. They now set fire 
to the farthest end of the vacated room, and immediately 
commenced to yell and dance while the flames made rapid 
headway to the roof and towards the adjoining room. In 
the covered pass way, before referred to, and suspended 
to the "joists," was a large amount of fat bear meat. 
The burning roof soon began to cook the meat, and blazing- 
sheets of the oil fell upon the wounded savage, who writhed 
and hideously yelled, but was powerless to extricate him- 
self from the torture. Mrs. Taylor had no sympathy for 
the wretch, but, peeping through a crack, expressed her 
feelings by exclaiming: "Howl! you yellow brute! Your 
meat is not fit for hogs, but we'll roast you for the wolves!" 
But the flames were rapidly spreading and soon the entire 
building would be consumed, with its inmates. Something 
must be done, and that too, at once. Mr. Taylor now gave 
up all hopes, declaring his wish to rush out and surrender. 
To this proposition the hen ic Mrs. Taylor would jiever con- 
sent, preferring to perish in the flames, bravely fighting, 
rather than place herself and chidren in the hands of a 
band of blood thirsty and merciless demons to be tortured 
to death. The brave woman was equal to the emergency — 
great as it was. Fortunately there was a supply of "home 
made" vinegar, and milk in the house, and with this she 
declared she could put out the fire. Suiting her action to 
the thought, and with a bravery evinced by few men, she 
mounted a table, from which she could reach the roof, and 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 801 

immediately commenced to tear away the boards, (the same 
not being nailed) making an open space in advance of the 
near approaching flames Baring her head and body 
through the opening, she commanded her daughters to 
pass the fluids, which she cooly and judiciously distributed, 
and soon succeeded in quenching the flames. During all 
this time the Indians were yelling like so many demons and 
shooting arrow after arrow at her exposed form, while 
the brave woman worked away seemingly undaunted. 
Surely Mars smiled on her, for while many arrows were 
hanging in her clothing, she was unharmed. This was in- 
deed a true heroine — a woman rushing into the very jaws 
of death to save her children. While Mrs. Taylor was thus 
engaged, Mr. Taylor and the eldest boy were not idle, each 
succeeding in wounding an Indian as they came within the 
range of their guns. Having accomplished her hazardous 
mission, Mrs. Taylor came down from the roof and soon 
discovered an Indian in the outer chimney corner, endeav- 
oring to start a fire, and peering through a considerable 
hole burnt through the "dirt and wooden" jam. Seizing a 
wooden shovel, she threw into his face and bosom a shovel- 
ful of live coals and embers, causing him to retreat, utter- 
ing the most agonizing screams, to which she responded: 
"Take that, you yellow scoundrel!" It was said afterwards 
that her warm and hasty application destroyed his eyesight. 

Seeing their plans thus defeated; two of their braves bar- 
becued, two severely wounded, and one suffering consider- 
ably in the abdominal regions, and another much disfigured 
in the face and defective in eyesight, the Indians withdrew 
a short distance, held a council of war, and soon concluded 
it was best to beat a hasty retreat, and "seek others more 
easily devoured." 

An hour or so later the heroic family might have been 
seen wandering about in the darkness of the forest, making 
their way down Little River towards their nearest neigh- 
bors at the log fort above mentioned. Their thrilling and 
seemingly marvelous escape was soon related, all of which 
was fully verified by a small company of men who visited 
the scene of the late terrible action on the following day, 
finding everything in statu quo, as described by the Taylors. 

This thrilling episode in the bloody history of old Bell 



302 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

county, occurred more than fifty-three years ago. To-day a 
thriving town of five thousand population bursts upon the 
vision of the writer as he stands upon the spot once covered 
by the Taylor cabins, meandering over the bloody past, 
wondering at the present, and guessing at the future. 

Reverting thus far in the misty past, reminds us of the 
fact that Bell county has an unwritten history of its own, 
bathed in the blood of its noble old pioneers, nearly all of 
whom have long since passed away from the scenes of ac- 
tion. But the strife is over, and their gratuitous services 
are no longer required. Sacred be the memory of the dead 
- — all honor to those who still survive those troublesome 
times. 

Mrs. Chapman (now of Atascosa county, Texas), is the 
only surving member of the Taylor family, and as she was 
a witness to the scenes here described, she will fully verify 
the above statements. G. T. D. 



parfter fort flDaasacre* 



SHE following graphic account of Parker fort massa- 
cre has been gathered from several reliable sources, 
but the greatest portion of same has been by the kind 
consent of James T. DeShields, copied from a little 
book published by him entitled " Cynthia Ann Parker. " In 
fact everything from the conclusion of the extract from Mrs. 
Plummer's diary to the conclusion of the history of 
1836 Quanah Parker, is intended to be a literal" copy from 
said book. 

Among the many tragedies that have occurred in Texas 
the massacre at Parker's fort holds a conspicuous place. 
Nothing that has ever happened exhibits savage duplicity 
and cruelty more plainly than this massacre of helpless 
women and children. 

In 1833 a small colony was organized in the State of Illi- 
nois for the purpose of forming a settlement in Texas. After 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 303 

their arrival in the country they selected for a residence a 
beautiful region on the Navasota river, a small tributary of 
the Brazos. To secure themselves against the various tribes 
of roving savages was the first thing to be attended to., and 
having chosen a commanding eminence adjacent to a large 
timbered bottom of the Navasota, about three miles from 
where the town of Springfield formerly stood and about two 
miles from the present town of Groesbeck, they, by their 
joint labor, soon had a fortification erected. It consisted of 
a stockade of split cedar timbers planted deep in the ground, 
extending fifteen feet above the surface, touching each other 
and confined at the top by transverse timbers which ren- 
dered them almost as immovable as a solid wall. At con- 
venient distances there were port holes, through which, in 
oase of an emergency, fire arms could be used. The entire 
f;'ort covered nearly an acre of ground. There were also at- 
tached to the stockade two log cabins at diagonal corners, 
constituting a part of the enclosure. They were really block 
houses, the greater portion of each standing outside of the 
main stockade, the upper story jutting over the lower, with 
openings in the floor, allowing perpendicular shooting from 
above. There were also port holes cut in the upper story so 
as to admit of horizontal shooting when necessary. This 
enabled the inmates to rake every side of the stockade. The 
fort was situated near a fine spring of water. As soon as it 
was completed the little colony moved into it. Parker's 
colony at this time consisted of only some eight or nine fami- 
lies, viz. : Elder John Parker, patriarch of the colony and 
his wife; his son, James W. Parker, wife, four single chil- 
dren, and his daughter, Mrs. Rachel Plummer, her husband, 
L. M. S. Plummer, and infant son fifteen months old; Mrs. 
Sarah Nixon, another daughter, and her husband, L. D. 
Nixon; Silas M. Parker (another son of Elder John), his wife 
and four children; Benjamin F. Parker, an unmarried son 
of the elder; Mrs. Nixon, Sr., mother of Mrs, James W. Par- 
ker; Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg, daughter of Mrs. Nixon; Mrs. 

Duty; Samuel M. Frost, wife and two children; G. E. 

Dwight, wife and two children — in all thirty-four persons. 

Besides those above mentioned, old man Lunn, David 

Faulkenberry and his son Evan, Silas Bates and Abram 
Anglin had erected cabins a mile or two distant from the 



304 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

fort, where they resided. These families were truly the ad- 
vance guard of civilization on that part of our frontier, Fort 
Houston, in Anderson county being the nearest protection, 
except their own trusty rifles. Here the straggling colonists 
remained, engaged in the avocations of a rural life, tilling 
the soil, hunting buffalo, bear, deer, turkies and smaller 
game, which served abundantly to supply their larder at all 
times with fresh meat, in the enjoyment of a life of Arca- 
dian simplicity, virtue and contentment, until the latter 
part of the year 1835, when the Indians and Mexicans forced 
the little band of compatriots to abandon their homes and 
flee with many others before the invading army from 
Mexico, On arriving at the Trinity river they were com - 
pelled to halt in consequence of an overflow. Before they 
could cross the swollen stream the sudden and unexpected 
news reached them that Santa Anna and his vandal hordes 
had been confronted and defeated at San Jacinto, that san 
guinary engagement which gave birth to the new sover- 
eignty of Texas, and that Texas was free from Mexican 
tyranny. 

On receipt of this news the fleeing settlers were overjoyed 
and at once returned to their abandoned homes. The Par- 
ker colonists now retraced their steps, first going to* Fort. 
Houston, where they remained a few days in order to pro- 
cure supplies, after which they made their way back to Fori; 
Parker to look after their stock and prepare for a crop. 
These hardy sons of toil spent their nights in the fort, re- 
pairing to their farms early each morning. The strictest 
discipline was maintained for a while, but as time wore on 
and no hostile demonstrations had been made by the In - 
dians they became somewhat careless and restive under con 
finement. However, it was absolutely necessary that they 
should cultivate their farms to insure substance for thei? 
families. They usaally went to work in a body, with their 
farming implements in one hand and their weapons of de- 
fense in the other. Some of them built cabins on their 
farms, hoping that the government would give them pro- 
tection, or that a sufficient number of other colonists would 
soon move in to render them secure from the attacks of In- 
dians. 

On the eighteenth day of May, 1836, all slept at the fort, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 305 

James W. Parker, Nixon and Plummer repairing to their 
field, a mile distant, on the Navasota, early next morning, 
little thinking of the great calamity that was soon to befall 
them. They had scarcely left when several hundred In- 
dians (accounts as to the number of Indians vary from three 
hundred to seven hundred — probably there were about five 
hundred), Comanches and Kiowas, made their appearance 
on an eminence within three hundred, yards of the fort. 
Those who remained in the fort were not prepared for an 
attack, so careless had they become in their fancied security. 
The Indians hoisted a white flag as a token of their friendly 
intentions, and upon the exhibition ot the white flag, Mr. 
Benjamin Parker went out to have a talk with them The 
Indians artfully feigned the treacherous semblance of friend- 
ship, pretending that they were looking for a suitable camp 
ing place, and inquired as to the exact locality of a water 
hole in the vicinity, at the same time asking for a beef, as 
they said they were very hungry. Not daring to refuse the 
requests of such a formidable body of savages, Mr. Benjamin 
F. Parker told them they should have what they wanted. 
Returning to the fort he stated to the inmates that in his 
opinion the Indians were hostile and intended to fight, but 
added he would go back to them and try to avert it. His 
brother Silas remonstrated, but he persisted in going, and 
was immediately surrounded and killed, whereupon the 
whole force — their savage instincts aroused by the sight of 
blood — charged upon the fort, uttering the most terrific and 
unearthly yells that ever greeted the ears of mortals. The 
sickening and bloody tragedy was soon enacted. Brave 
Silas M. Parker fell outside of the fort while he was gal- 
lantly fighting to save Mrs. Plummer. Mrs. Plummer made 
a desperate resistance, but was soon overpowered, knocked 
down with a hoe and made captive. Samuel M. Frost and 
his son Robert met their fate while heroically defending the 
women and children inside the stockade. Old Granny Par- 
ker was stabbed and left for dead. Elder John Parker, wife 
and Mrs. Kellogg attempted to make their escape, and in 
the effort had gone about three-fourths of a mile when they 
were overtaken and driven back near to the fort, when the 
old gentleman was stripped, murdered, scalped and horribly 
mutilated. Mrs. Parker was stripped, speared and left for 



306 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

dead, but by feigning death escaped, as will be seen further 
on. Mrs. Kellogg was spared as a captive. The result 
summed up as follows: Killed — Eider John Parker, aged 
seventy-nine; Silas M. and Benjamin F. Parker; Samuel M. 
and his son Eobert Frost. Wounded dangerously — Mrs. 
John Parker, old Granny Parker and Mrs, Duty. Cap- 
tured — Mrs. Rachel Plummer, daughter of James W. Par- 
ker, and her son, James Pratt Plummer, two years of age; 
Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg; Cynthia Ann Parker, nine years 
old, and her little brother, John Parker, aged six years, chil- 
dren of Silas M. Parker. The remainder of the inmates 
making their escape, as we shall narrate. 

When the attack on the fort first commenced, Mrs. Sarah 
Nixon made her escape and hastened to the field to advise 
her father, husband and Plummer of what had occurred. 
On her arrival Plummer hurried off on horseback to inform 
Faulkenberry, Lunn, Bates and Anglin, who were at work 
in their fields. Parker and Nixon started to the fort, but the 
former met his family on the way and carried them some 
five miles down the Navasota, secreting them in the bottom. 
Mxom though unarmed, continued on towards the fort, and 
met Mrs. Lucy, wife of Silas Parker (killed), with her four 
shildren, just as they were intercepted by a small party of 
mounted and foot Indians. They compelled the mother to 
[ift her daughter Cynthia Ann and her little son John be- 
hind two of the mounted warriors. The foot Indians then 
took Mrs. Parker, her two youngest children and Nixon to- 
wards fort. As they were about to kill Nixon, David Faulken- 
berry appeared with his rifle and caused them to fall back. 
Nixon, after his narrow escape, from death, seemed very 
much excited and immediately left in search of his wife, 
soon falling in with Dwight, with his own and Frost's 
family. Dwight and party soon overtook J. W. Parker and 
went with him to the hiding place in the bottom. Faulken- 
berry thus left with Mrs. Parker and her two children, bade 
her to follow him. With the infant in her arms and leading 
the other child she obeyed. Seeing them leave the fort the 
Indians made several attempts to intercept them but were 
held in check by the brave man's rifle. Several mounted 
warriors armed with bows and arrows, strung and drawn, 
and with terrific yells, would charge them, but as Faulken- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 307 

berry would present his gun they would halt, throw up their 
shields, right about, wheel and retire to a safe distance. 
This continued for some distance, until they had passed 
through a prairie of some forty or fifty acres. Just as they 
were entering the woods the Indians made a furious charge, 
when one warrior more daring than the others, dashed up 
so near that Mrs. Parker's faithful dog seized his horse by 
the nose, whereupon both horse and rider somersaulted, 
alighting on their backs in the ravine. At this moment 
Silas Bates, Abram Anglin and Evan Faulkenberry, armed, 
and Plummer, unarmed, came up, causing the Indians to 
retire, after which the party made their way unmolested. 

As they were passing through the field where the three 
men had been at work in the morning, Plummer, as if 
aroused from a dream, demanded to know what had become 
of his wife and child. Armed only with a butcher knife, 
he left the party, in search of his loved ones, and was seen 
no more for six days. The Faulkenberrys, Lunn and Mrs. 
Parker, secreted themselves in a small creek bottom, some 
distance from the first party, each unconscious of the 
other's whereabouts. At twilight Abraham Anglin and 
Evan Faulkenberry started back to the fort to succor the 
wounded and those who might have escaped. On their way, 
and just as they were passing Faulkenberry's cabin, Anglin 
saw his first and only ghost. He says: "It was dressed in 
white, with long white hair streaming down its back. I 
admit that I was more scared at this moment than when the 
Indians were yelling and charging us. Seeing me hesitate, 
my ghost now beckoned me to come on. Approaching the 
object, it proved to be old Granny Parker, whom the In- 
dians had wounded and stripped, with the exception of her 
under garments. She had made her way to the house from 
the fort, by crawling the entire distance. I took her some 
bed clothing, and carrying her some rods from the house, 
made her a bed, covered her up, and left her until we should 
return from the fort. On arriving at the fort we could not 
see a single individual alive, or hear a human sound. But 
the dogs were barking, the cattle lowing, the horses neigh- 
ing, and the hogs squealing, making a hideous and strange 
medley of sounds. Mrs. Parker had told me where she had 
left some silver, one hundred and six dollars and fifty cents. 



308 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

This I found under a hickory bush by moonlight. Finding- 
no one at the fort, we returned to where I had hid Granny 
Parker. On taking her up behind me, we made our way 
back to our hiding place in the bottom, where we found 
Nixon, whom we had not seen since his cowardly flight at 
the time he was rescued by Faulkenberry, from the In- 
dians." 

In the book published by James W. Parker, on pages ten 
and eleven, he states that Nixon liberated Mrs. Parker from 
the Indians, and rescued old Granny Parker. Mr. Anglin in 
his account contradicts, or rather corrects this statement. 
He says: "I positively assert that this is a mistake, and I 
am willing to be qualified to the statement I here make, and 
can prove the same by Silas H. Bates, now living near 
Groesbeck." 

The next morning Bates, Anglin and E. Faulkenberry, 
went back to the fort to get provisions and horses, and look 
after the dead. On reaching the fort, they found live or six 
horses, a few saddles and some meat, bacon and honey. 
Fearing an attack from the Indians who might still be lurk- 
ing around, they left without burying the dead. Return- 
ing to their comrades in the bottom, they all concealed them- 
selves until they set out for Fort Houston. Fort Houstou, 
an asylum, on this, as on many other occasions, stood on 
what has been for many years, the farm of a wise States- 
man, a chivalrous soldier and a true patriot, John H. Rea- 
gan, two miles south of Palestine. 

After wandering around, and traveling for six days and 
nights, during which they suffered much from hunger and 
thirst, with their clothing torn into shreds, their bodies lace- 
rated with briars and thorns, the women and children, with 
unshod and bleeding feet, the party with James W. Parker 
reached Fort Houston. 

An account of this wearisome and perilous journey through 
the wilderness, given substantially in Parker's own words, 
will enable the reader to realize more fully the hardships 
they had to undergo and the dangers they encountered. The 
bulk of the party were composed of women and children, 
principally the latter, and ranging from one to twelve years 
old. "We started from the fort," said Mr. Parker, "the 
party consisting of eighteen in all, for Fort Houston, a dis- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 309 

tance of ninety miles by the route we had to travel. The 
feelings of the party can be better imagined than described. 
We were truly a forlorn set, many of us barefooted and 
bareheaded, a relentless foe on the one hand and on the 
other a trackless and uninhabited wilderness infested with 
reptiles and wild beasts, entirely destitute of food and no 
means of procuring it." Add to this the agonizing grief of 
the party over the death and capture of dear relatives; "that 
we were momentarily in expectation of meeting the like 
fate, and some idea may be formed of our pitiable condition. 
Utter despair almost took possession of us, for the chance 
of escaping seemed almost an impossibility under the cir- 
cumstances." * * * * "I took one of my children on 
my shoulder and led another. The grown persons followed 
my example, and we began our journey through the thickly 
tangled briars and underbrush in the direction of Fort Hous- 
ton, My wife was in bad health; Mrs. Frost was in deep 
distress £or the loss of her husband and son, and all being 
barefooted except my wife and Mrs. Frost, our progress was 
very slow. Many of the children had nothing on them but 
their shirts, and their sufferings from the briars tearing 
their little legs and feet was almost beyond human en- 
durance. 

"We traveled until about three o'clock in the morning, 
when the women and children being worn out with hunger 
and fatigue, we laid down on the grass and slept until the 
dawn of day, when we resumed our perilous journey. Here 
we left the river bottom in order to avoid the briars and un- 
derbrush, but from the tracks of the Indians on the high 
lands it was evident they were hunting us, and like the fox 
in the fable, we concluded it best to take to the river bottom 
again, for though the brambles might tear our flesh they 
might at the same time save our lives by hiding us from the 
cruel savages who were in pursuit of us. The briars did in 
fact tear the legs and feet of the children until they could 
have been tracked by the blood that flowed from their 
wounds. 

It was the night of the second day after leaving the fort, 
that all, and especially the women, who were nursing in- 
fants, began to suffer intensely from hunger. We were 
then immediately on the bank of the river, and through the 



310 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

mercy of Providence a polecat came near us. I immediately 
pursued and caught it just as it jumped into the river. The 
only way that I could kill it, was by holding it under the 
water until it was drowned. Fortunately we had the means 
for striking a fire, and we soon had it cooked and equally 
divided among the party, the share of each being small in- 
deed. This was all we ;had to eat until the fourth day, 
when we were lucky enough to capture another skunk and 
two small terrapins, which were also cooked and divided be- 
tween us. On the evening of the fifth day I found that the 
women and children were so exhausted from fatigue and 
hunger that it would be impossible for them to travel much 
farther. After holding a consultation it was agreed that I 
should hurry on to Fort Houston for aid, leaving Mr. 
Dwight in charge of the women and children. Accordingly 
the next morning I started for the fort (about thirty-five 
miles distant), which I reached early in the afternoon. I 
have often looked back and wondered how it was I was able 
to accomplish this extraordinary feat. I had not eaten a 
mouthful of food for six days, having always given my 
share of the animals mentioned to the children, and yet I 
walked thirty-five miles in about eight hours. But the 
thought of the unfortunate sufferers I had left behind de- 
pendent on my efforts gave me the strength and persever- 
ance that can be realized only by those who have been 
placed in similar situations. God, in his bountiful mercy, 
upheld me in this trying hour and enabled me to perform, 
my task. 

The first person I met was Captain Carter, of the Fort 
Houston settlement, who received me kindly and promptly 
offered me all the aid in his power. He soon had five horses 
saddled and he and Mr. Jeremiah Courtney went with me 
to meet our little band of fugitives. We met them-just at 
dark, and placing the women and children on the horses we 
reached Captain Carter's about midnight. There we received 
all the kind attention and relief that our condition required 
and all was done for our comfort that sympathetic and 
benevolent hearts could do. We arrived at Captain Car- 
ter's on the twenty-fifth of May. The following day my 
son-in-law, Mr. Plummer, reached there also. He had given 
us up for lost and had started for the same settlement that 
we had." 






INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 311 

In due time the members of the party located temporarily 
as best suited the respective families, most of them return- 
ing to Fort Parker soon afterwards. A burial party of 
twelve men from Fort Houston went up and buried the 
dead. Their remains now repose near the site of Old Fort 
Parker. Peace to their ashes. Unadorned are their graves; 
not even a slab of marble or a memento of any kind has 
been erected to tell the traveler where rest the remains of 
this brave little band of pioneer heroes who wrestled with 
the savage for the mastery of this broad domain. 

Of the captives we will briefly trace their checkered ca- 
reer. After leaving the fort the two tribes, the Comanches 
and Kiowas, remained and traveled together until midnight. 
They then halted on an open prairie, staked out their horses, 
placed their pickets, and pitched their camp. Bringing all 
their prisoners together for the first time, they tied their 
hands behind them with raw hide thongs so tightly as to 
cut the flesh, tied their feet close together, and threw them 
upon their faces. Then the braves, gathering around with 
their yet bloody, dripping scalps, commenced their usual 
war dance. They danced, screamed, yelled, stamping upon 
their prisoners, beating them with bows until their own 
blood came near strangling them. The remainder of the 
night these frail women suffered, and had to listen to the 
cries and groans of their tender little children. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg soon fell into the hands of the 
Keechis, from whom, six months after her capture, she was 
purchased by a party of Delawares, who carried her into 
Nacogdoches and delivered her to General Houston, who 
paid them one hundred and fifty dollars, the amount they 
had paid, and all they asked. 

Mrs. Rachel Plummer remained a captive about eighteen 
months, and to give the reader an idea of her suffering dur- 
ing that period, we will give an extract from her diary: "In 
July and a portion of August, we were among some very 
high mountains, on which the snow remains for the greater 
portion of the year, and I suffered more than I had ever 
done before in my life. It was very seldom I had any cover- 
ing for rny feet, and but very little clothing for my body. 
I had a certain number o"f buffalo skins to dress every day, 
and had to mind the horses at night. This kept me em- 



312 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 

ployed pretty much all the time, and often I would take my 
buffalo skins with me to finish them while I was minding 
the horses. My feet would often be frost bitten while I was 
dressing the skins, but I dared not complain for fear of be- 
ing punished. In October I gave birth to my second son. I 
say October, but it is all guess work with me, as I had no 
means of keeping a record of the days as they passed. It 
was a beautiful and healthy baby, but it was impossible for 
me to procure suitable comforts for myself and infant. The 
Indians were not as harsh in their treatment towards me as 
I feared they would be, but I was apprehensive for the safety 
of my child. I had been with them six months and had 
learned their language, and I would often beseech my mis- 
tress to advise me what to do to save my child, but she 
turned a deaf ear to all my supplications. My child was 
six months old, when my master, thinking, I suppose, that 
it interfered too much with my work, determined to put it 
out of the way. One cold morning, five or six Indians cama 
where I was suckling my babe. As t oon as they came I felt 
sick at heart, for my fears were aroused for the safety of 
my child. I felt my whole frame convulsed with sudden 
dread. My fears were not ill grounded. One of the In- 
dians caught my child by the throat and strangled it until 
to all appearances it was dead. I exerted all my feeble 
strength to save my child, but the other Indians held me 
fast. The Indian who had strangled the child then threw 
It up in the air repeatedly and let it fall upon the frozen 
ground until life seemed to be extinct. They then gave it 
back to me. I had been weeping incessantly whilst they 
were murdering my child, but now my grief was so great 
that the fountain of my tears was dried up. As I gazed on 
the bruised cheeks of my darling infant I discovered some 
symptoms of returning life. I hoped that if it c~ould be 
resuscitated they would allow me to keep it. I washed the 
blood from its face, and after a time it began to breathe 
again. But a more heart rending scene ensued. As soon 
as the Indians ascertained that the child was still alive* 
they tore it from my arms, and knocked me down. They 
tied a plaited rope around its neck and threw it into a bunch 
of prickly pears and then pulled it backwards and forwards 
until its tender flesh was literally torn from its body. One of 




A COMANCHE WARRIOR DRAGGING TO DEATH 
MRS. PLUMMER's CHILD. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 313 

the Indians who was mounted on a horse then tied the end 
of the rope to his saddle and galloped around in a circle 
until my little innocent was not only dead, but torn to 
pieces. One of then untied the rope and threw the remains 
of the child into my lap, and I dug a hole in the earth and 
buried them. 

"After performing the last sad rites for the lifeless re- 
mains of my dear babe, I sat down and gazed with a feel- 
ing of relief upon the little grave I had made for it in the 
wilderness, and could say with David of old 'you can not 
come to me, but I must go to you;' and then, and even now, 
as I record the dreadful scene I witnessed, I rejoiced that my 
babe had passed from the sorrows and sufferings of this 
world. I shall hear its dying cries no more, and fully be- 
lieving in, and relying on the imputed righteousness of 
God in Christ Jesus, I feel that my innocent babe is now 
with kindred spirits in the eternal world of joys. Oh! that 
my dear Savior may keep me through life's short journey, 
and bring me to dwell with my children in the realms of 
eternal bliss." 

Mrs. Plummer has gone to rest, and no doubt her hopes 
have been realized. 

After this she was given as a servant to a very cruel old 
squaw, who treated her in a most brutal manner. Her son 
had been carried off by another party to the far west, and 
she supposed her husband and father had been killed at the 
massacre. Her infant was dead, and death to her would 
have been a sweet relief. Life was a harden, and driven 
almost to desperation, she resolved no longer to submit to 
the intolerant old squaw. One day when the two were 
some distance from, although still in sight of, the camp, her 
mistress attempted to beat her with a club. Determined 
not to submit to this, she wrenched the club from the hands 
of the squaw and knocked her down. The Indians, who 
had witnessed the whole proceedings from their camp, now 
came running up, shouting at the top of their voices. She 
fully expected to be killed, but they patted her on the shoul- 
der, crying: "Bueno! Bueno!!" (Good! Good!! or Well 
Done!) She now fared much better, and soon became a 
great favorite, and was known as the "Fighting Squaw." 
She was eventually ransomed, through the agency of some 



314 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Mexican Santa Fe traders, by a noble hearted American 
merchant of that place, Mr. William Donahue. She was 
purchased in the Rocky mountains, so far north of Santa 
Fe that seventeen days were consumed in reaching that 
place. She was at once made a member of her benefactor's 
family, where «he received the kindest of care and atten- 
tion. Ere long she accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Donahue on 
a visit to Independence, Missouri, where she had the pleas- 
ure of meeting and embracing her brother-in-law, L. D. 
3STixon, and by him was escorted back to her people in Texas. 

During her stay with the Indians, Mrs. Plummer had 
many thrilling adventures, which she often repeated after 
her reclamation. In narrating her re rniniscences, she said 
that in one of her rambles, after she had been with the In- 
dians some time, she discovered a cave in the mountains, 
and in company with the old squaw that guarded her, she 
explored it and found a large diamond, but her mistress 
immediately demanded it, and she was forced to give it up. 
She said also here in these mountains she saw a bush which 
had thorns on it resembling fish hooks, which the Indians 
used to catch fish with, and she herself has often caught 
trout with them in the little mountain streams. 

On the nineteenth of February, 1838, she reached her 
father's house, exactly twenty-one months from her cap- 
ture. She had never seen her little son, James Pratt, since 
soon a^fter their capture, and knew nothing of his fate. 
She wrote, or dictated, a thrilling and graphic history of 
her capture and the horrors of her captivity, the tortures 
'and hardships she endured, and all the incidents of her life 
with her captors, with observations among the savages. 
This valuable and interesting little book is now rare, scarce 
and out of print. The full title of the volume is: "Narra- 
tion of the perilous adventures, miraculous escapes and suf- 
ferings of Rev. James W. Parker, during a frontier resi- 
dence in Texas of fifteen years. With an impartial geo- 
graphical description of the climate, soil, timber, water, 
etc., of Texas." To which is appended the narrative of the 
capture and subsequent sufferings of Mrs. Rachel Plummer, 
his daughter, during a captivity of twenty one months 
among the Comanche Indians, etc. 18 mo, pp. 95-35, 
boards. Louisville, 1844. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 315 

In this book she tells the last she saw of Cynthia Ann 
and John Parker. She died on the nineteenth of February, 
1839, just one year after reaching home. As a remarkable 
coincidence, in may be stated that she was born on the 
nineteenth, married on the nineteenth, captured on the 
nineteenth, released on the nineteenth, reached Indepen- 
dence on the nineteenth, arrived at home on the nineteenth, 
and died on the nineteenth of the month. 

Her son, James Pratt Plummer, after six long and weary 
years of captivity and suffering, during which time he had 
lived among many different tribes and traveled several 
thousand miles, was ransomed and taken to Fort Gibson 
late in 1842, and reached home in February, 1843, in charge 
of his grandfather. He became a respected citizen of An- 
derson county. Both he and his father are now dead. 

This still left in captivity Cynthia and John Parker, who, 
as subsequently learned, were held by separate bands. The 
brother and sister thus separated, gradually forgot the lan- 
guage, manners and customs of their own people, and be- 
came thorough Comanches as the long years stole slowly 
away. How long the camera of their young brains retained 
impressions of the old home within the fort, and the loved 
faces of their pale faced kindred, no one knows; though it 
would appear that the fearful massacre should have stamped 
an impress indelible while life continued. But the young 
mind, as the twig, is inclined by present circumstances, and 
often forced in a way wholly foreign to its native and origi- 
nal bent. 

John grew up with the semi-nude Comanche boys of his* 
own age, and played at " hunter" and "warrior" with pop 
guns made of the elder stem, or bows and arrows, and often 
flushed the chaparal for hare and grouse, or entrapped the 
finny denizens of the mountain brooks with the many pecu- 
liar and ingenious devices of the wild man for securing for 
his repast the toothsome trout which abounds so plentifully 
in that elevated and delightful region, so long inhabited by 
the lordly Comanches. 

When just arrived at manhood John accompanied a raid- 
ing party down the Rio Grande and into Mexico. Among 
the captives taken was a young Mexican girl of great beauty, 
to whom the young warrior felt his heart go out. The affec- 



316 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

tion was reciprocated on the part of the fair Dona Juanita, 
and the two were soon engaged to be married, so soon as 
they should arrive at the Comanche village. Each day as 
the cavalcade moved leisurely, but steadily along, the lovers 
could be seen riding together, and discussing the anticipated 
pleasures of connubial life, when suddenly John was pros- 
trated by a violent attack of smallpox, The cavalcade could 
not tarry, and so it was decided that the poor fellow should 
be left aU alone in the vast Llano Esticado to die or recover, 
as fate decreed. But the little Aztec beauty refused to leave 
her lover, insisting on her captors allowing her to remain 
and take care of him. To this the Indians reluctantly con- 
sented. With Juanita to nurse and cheer him up, John lin* 
gered, lived, and ultimately recovered, when; with as little 
ceremony, perhaps, as consummated the nuptials of the first 
pair in Eden, they assumed the matrimonial relation, and 
Dona Juanita's predilections for the customs and comforts 
of civilization were sufficiently strong to induce her lord to 
abandon the wild and nomatic life of a savage for the com- 
forts to be found in a straw thatched jackal. "They set- 
tled," says Mr. Thrall, the historian of Texas, "on a stock 
ranch in the far west." When the civil war broke out John 
Parker joined a Mexican company in the Confederate ser- 
vice, and was noted for his gallantry and daring. He, how- 
ever, refused to leave the soil of Texas, and would, under 
no circumstances, cross the Sabine into Louisiana. He was 
still on his ranch across the Rio Grande a few years ago, 
but up to that time had never visited any of his relatives in 
• Texas. 

Of Cynthia Ann Parker (we will anticipate the thread of 
the narrative). Four long years have elapsed since she was 
cruelly torn from a mother's embrace and carried into cap- 
tivity. During this time no tidings have been received of 
her. Many efforts have been made to ascertain her where- 
abouts, or fate, but without success; when, in 1840, Colonel 

Len. Williams, an old and honored Texan, Mr, Stoat, a 

trader, and a Delaware Indian guide, named Jack Harry, 
packed mules with goods and engaged in an expedition of 
private traffic with the Indians. 

On the Canadian river they fell in with Pa-ha-u-ka's band 
of Comanches, with whom they were peaceably conversant. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 317 

And with this tribe was Cynthia Ann Parker, who. from the 
day of her capture, had never seen a white person. She was 
then about fourteen years of age and had been with the In- 
dians nearly five years. 

Colonel Williams found the Indian into whose family she 
had been adopted, and proposed to redeem her, but the Co- 
manche told him all the goods he had would not ransom 
her, and at the same time "the fierceness of his counte- 
nance," says Colonel Williams, "warned me of danger of 
further mention of the subject." But old Pa-ha-u-ka pre- 
vailed upon him to let them see her. She came and sat 
down by the root of a tree, and while their presence was 
doubtless a happy event to the poor stricken captive, who, 
in her doleful captivity, had endured everything but death, 
she refused to speak a word. As she sat there, musing, per- 
haps, of distant relatives and friends, and the bereavements 
at the beginning and progress of her distress, they employed 
every persuasive art to evoke some expression. They told 
her of her playmates and relatives, and asked what message 
she would send them, but she had doubtless been com- 
manded to silence, and with no hope or prospect to return, 
was afraid to appear sad or dejected, and by a stoical effort, 
in order to prevent future bad treatment, put the best face 
possible on the matter. But the anxiety of her mind was 
betrayed by the perceptive quiver of her lips, showing that 
she was not insensible to the common feelings of humanity. 

As the years rolled by, Cynthia Ann speedily developed 
the charms of womanhood, as with the dusky maidens of 
her companionship she performed the menial offices of * 
drudgery to which savage custom consigns women, or prac- 
ticed those little arts of coquetry maternal to the female 
heart, whether she be a belle of Madison Square, attired in 
the most elaborate toilet from the elite bazars of Paris, or 
the half naked savages, with matted locks and claw like 
nails. 

Doubtless the heart of more than one warrior was pierced 
by the Ulyssean darts from her laughing eyes, or charmed 
by the silvery ripple of her joyous laughter, and laid at her 
feet the game taken after a long and arduous chase among 
the Antelope hills. Among the number whom her budding 
charms brought to her shrine was Peta Nocona, a Coman- 



318 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

che war chief, in prowess and renown the peer of the 
famous and redoubtable Big Foot, who fell in a desperately 
co. >ted hand to hand encounter with the veteran ranger 
and Indian fighter, Captain S. P. Ross, now living at Waco, 
and whose wonderful exploits and deeds of daring furnished 
themes for song and story at the war dance, the council and 
the camp fire. 

Cynthia Aiib, stranger now to every word of her mother 
tongue save her own name, became the bride of Peta No- 
cona, performing for her imperious lord all the slavish 
offices which savageism and Indian custom assigns as the 
duty of a wife. She bore him children, and, we are as- 
sured, loved him with a species of fierce passion and wifely 
devotion; "for, some fifteen years after her capture," says 
Victor M. Rose, "a party of white hunters, including some 
friends of her family, visited the Comanche encampment 
on the upper Canadian, and, recognizing Cynthia Ann — 
probably through the medium of her name alone, sounded 
her as to the disagreeableness of a return to her people and 
the haunts of civilization. She shook her head in a sorrow- 
ful negative, and pointed to her little, naked barbarians 
sporting at her feet, and to the great, greasy, lazy buck 
sleeping in the shade near at hand, the locks of a score of 
scalps dangling at his belt, and whose first utterance upon 
arousing would be a stern command to his meek, pale faced 
wife. Though, in truth, exposure to the sun and air had 
browned the complexion of Cynthia Ann almost as intensely 
as those of the native daughters of the plains and forest. 

"She retained but the vaguest remembrance of her people 
— as dim and flitting as the phantoms of a dream; she was 
accustomed now to the wild life she led, and found in its re- 
pulsive features charms which 'upper tendom' would have 
proven totally deficient in. 'I am happily wetlded,' she 
said to these visitors. ' I love my husband, who is good and 
kind, and my little ones, who, too, are his, and I can not 

forsake them!'" 
£**********# 

What were the incidents in the savage life of these chil- 
dren which in after times became the land marks in the 
train of memory, and which, with civilized creatures, serves 
as incentives to reminiscence? 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 319 

"Doubtless," says Mr. Rose, "Cynthia Ann arryed herself 
in the calico borne from the sacking of Linnvilie, and fled 
with the discomfited Comanches up the Guadalupe and Col- 
orado, at the ruthless march of John H. Moore, Ben McCul- 
loch and their hardy rangers. They must have been pres- 
ent at the battle of Antelope Hills, on the Canadian, when 
Colonel John S. Ford— "Old Rip,"— and Captain S. P. Ross 
encountered the whole force of the Comanches; perhaps 
John Parker was an actor in that celebrated battle; and 
again at the Wichita. 

"Theirs must have been a hard and unsatisfactory life; 
the Comanches are veritable Ishmaelites, their hands being 
raised against all men, and every man's hand against them. 
Literally, 'eternal vigilance was the price of liberty' with 
them, and of life itself. Every night the dreaded surprise 
was sought to be guarded against; and every copse was 
scanned for the anticipated ambuscade while upon the 
march. Did they flaunt the blood drabbled scalps of help- 
Jess whites in fiendish glee, and assist at the cruel torture of 
the unfortunate prisoners that fell into their hands? Alas! 
forgetful of their race and tongue, they were thorough sav- 
ages, and acted in all particulars just as their Indian com- 
rades did. Memory was stored but with the hardships and 
the cruelties of the life about them; and the stolid indiffer- 
ence of mere animal existence furnishes no finely wrought 
springs for the rebound of reminiscence." 

The year 1846, one decade from the fall of Parker's fort, 
witnessed the end of the Texan republic, in whose councils 
Isaac Parker served as a senator, and the blending of the 
Lone Star with the galaxy of the great constellation of the 
American Union — during which time many efforts were 
made to ascertain definitely the whereabouts of the captives, 
as an indispensable requisite to their reclamation; some- 
times by solitary scouts and spies, sometimes through the 
medium of negotiation, and sometimes by waging direct 
war against their captors, but all to no avail. 

******** 

Another decade passes away, and the year 1856 arrives. 
The hardy pioneers have pushed the frontier of civilization 
far to the north and west, driving the Indian and the buffalo 



320 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

before them. The scene of Parker's fort is now in the heart 
of a dense population; farms, towns, churches and school 
houses lie along the path by which the Indians marched 
from their camp at the " water hole" in that bloody May of 
1 836. Isaac Parker is now a representative in the Legisla- 
ture of the State of Texas. It is now twenty-nine years 
since the battle of San Jacinto; twenty j^ears since John 
and Cynthia Ann Parker were borne into captivity worse 
than death; the last gun of the Mexican war rung out its 
last report over the conquered capital of Mexico ten long 
years ago; but John and Cynthia Ann Parker have sent no 
tokens to their so long anxious friends that they even live. 
Alas! time even blunts the edge of anxiety, and sets bounds 
alike to the anguish of man, as well as to his hopes. 
The punishment of Prometheus is not of this world! 



THE BATTLE OF ANTELOPE HILLS. 

Brave Colonel Ford, the commander and ranger bold, 
On the South Canadian did the Comanahes behold, 

On the twelfth of May, at rising of sun, 
The armies did meet and battle begun. 

The battle of the South Canadian, or "Antelope Hills/' 
fought in 1858, was probably one of the most splendid scenic 
exhibitions of Indian warfare ever enacted upon Texas soil. 
This was the immemorial home of theComanches; here they 
sought refuge from their marauding expeditions into Texas 
and Mexico; and here, in their veritable city of refuge, 
should the adventurous and daring rangers seek them, it 
was certain that they would be encountered in full force. 

Pohebits Quasho, Iron Jacket, so called from the fact that 
he wore a coat of scale mail, a curious piece of armor, which 
doubtless had been stripped from the body of some un- 
fortunate Spanish knight slain, perhaps, a century before — 
some chevalier who followed Coronado, De Leon, La Salle— 
was the war chief. He was a big medicine; man, or pro- 
phet, and claimed to be invulnerable to balls and arrows 
aimed at his person, as by a necromantic puff of his breath 
the missives were diverted from their course, or charmed, 
and made to fall harmless at his feet. 



#;;iS 










CYNTHIA ANN PARKER. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 321 

Peta Nocona, the young and daring husband of Cynthia 
Ann Parker, was in command. 

About the first of May, in the year above named, Colonel 
John S. Ford ("Old Pip,"), at the head of one hundred 
Texan rangers, comprising such leaders as Captain S. P. 
Ross (the father of General L. S. Ross), W. A. Pitts, Pres- 
ton, Tankersley, and a contingent of one hundred and 
eleven Tonkawa Indians, the latter commanded by their 
celebrated chief, Placido— so long the faithful and implicitly 
trusted friend of the whites — marched on a campaign 
against the marauding Comanches, determined to follow 
them up to their stronghold amid the hills of the Canadian 
river, and if possible surprise them and inflict a severe and 
lasting chastisement. 

After a toilsome march of several days the Tonkawa 
scouts reported that they were in the immediate vicinity of 
the Comanche encampment. The Comanches, though pro- 
verbial for their sleepless vigilance, were unsuspicious of 
danger; and so unsuspected was the approach of the ran- 
gers that on the day preceding the battle Colonel Ford and 
Captain Ross stood in the old road from Fort Smith to Santa 
Fe, just north of the Rio Negro, or False Washita, and 
watched through their glasses the Comanches running 
buffalo. in the valleys still more to the north. That night 
the Tonkawa spies completed the hazardous mission of lo- 
cating definitely the position of the enemy's encampment. 
The next morning (May 12) the rangers and reserve, or 
friendly Indians, marched before sun rise to the attack. 

Placido claimed for his red warriors the privilege of wreak- 
ing vengeance upon their hereditary enemies. His request 
was granted, and the Tonka was effected a complete surprise. 
The struggle was short, sharp and sanguinary. The women 
and children were made prisoners, but not a Comanche 
brave surrendered. Their savage pride preferred death to 
the restraints and humiliations of captivity. Not a single 
warrior escaped to bear the sorrowful tidings of this de- 
structive engagement to their people. 

A short time after the sun had lighted the tops of the hills, 
the rangers came in full view of the hostile camp, pitched in 
one of the picturesque valleys of the Canadian, and on the 



322 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

opposite side of the stream, in the immediate vicinity of the 
famous Antelope Hills. 

The panorama thus presented to the view of the rangers 
was beautiful in the extreme, and their pent up enthusiasm 
found vent in a shout of exultation, which was speedily sup- 
pressed by Colonel Ford. Just at this moment a solitary 
Comanche was descried riding southward, evidently head- 
ing for the village which Placido had so recently destroyed. 
He was wholly unconscious of the proximity of an enemy. 
Instant pursuit was now made; he turned and fled at full 
speed toward the main camp across the Canadian, closely 
followed by the rangers. He dashed across the stream, 
and thus revealed to his pursuers the locality of a safe ford 
across the miry and almost impassable river. He rushed 
into the village beyond, sounding the notes of alarm; and 
soon the Comanche warriors presented a bold front of battle 
line between their women and children and the advancing 
rangers. After a few minutes occupied in forming line of 
battle both sides were arrayed in full force and effect. The 
friendly Indians were placed on the right and thrown a lit- 
tle forward. Colonel Ford's object was to deceive the Co- 
manches as to the character of the attacking force and as to 
the quality of arms they possessed. 

- Pohebits Quasho, arrayed in all the trappings of his war 
toggery— coat of mail, shield, bow and lance, completed by 
a head dress decorated with feathers and long red flannel 
streamers and besmeared in war paint — gaily dashed about 
on his war horse midway of the opposing lines, delivering 
taunts and challenges to the whites. As the old chief 
dashed to and fro a number of rifles were discharged at him 
in point blank range without any affect whatever, which 
seeming immunity to death encouraged his warriors greatly 
and induced even some of the more superstitious among the 
rangers to enquire within themselves if it were possible that 
Old Iron Jacket really bore a charmed life? Followed by a 
few of his braves he now bore down upon the rangers, de- 
scribed a few charmed circles, gave a few necromantic puffs 
with his breath and let fly several arrows at Colonel Ford, 
Captain Ross and Chief Placido, receiving their fire without 
harm. But as he approached the line of the Tonkawas, a 
rifle directed by the steady nerve and unerring eye of one of 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 323 

their number, Jim Pockmark, brought the Big Medicine to 
the dust. The shot was a mortal one. The fallen chieftain 
was instantly surrounded by his braves, but the spirit of the 
conjuring brave had taken its flight to the happy hunting 
grounds. 

These incidents occupied but a brief space of time, when 
the order to charge was given; and then ensued one of the 
grandest assaults ever made against the Comanches. The 
enthusiastic shouts of the rangers, and the triumphant yell 
of their red allies greeted the welcome order. It was re- 
sponded to by the defiant "war whoop" of the Comanches, 
and in those virgin hills, remote from civilization, the satur- 
nalia of battle was inaugurated. The shouts of enraged 
combatants, the wail of women, the piteous cries of terri- 
fied children, the howling of frightened dogs, the deadly 
reports of rifle and revolver, constituted a discordant con- 
fusion of infernal noise. 

The conflict was sharp and quick — a charge; a momen- 
tary exchange of rifle and arrow shots, and the heart rend- 
ing wail of discomfiture and dismay, and the beaten Co- 
manches abandoned their lodges and camp to the victors, 
and began a disorderly retreat. But sufficient method was 
observed to take advantage of each grove of timber, each 
hill and ravine, to make a stand against their pursuers, and 
thus enable the women and children to make their escape. 
The noise of battle now diverged from a common center like 
the spokes of a wheel, and continuBd to greet the ear for 
several hours, gradually growing fainter as the pursuit dis- 
appeared in the distance. 

But another division, under the vigilant Peta Nocona, was 
soon marching through the hills north of the Canadian, to 
the rescue. Though ten miles distant, his quick ear had 
caught the first sounds of battle; and soon he was riding, 
with Cynthia Ann by his side, at the head of five hundred 
warriors. 

About one o'clock of the afternoon the last of the rangers 
returned from the pursuit of Pohebits Quasho's discomfited 
braves, just in time to anticipate this threatened attack. 

As Captain Ross (who was one of the last to return) rode 
up, he inquired "What hour of the morning is it Colonel?" 
"Morning!" exclaimed Colonel Ford, "it is one o'clock of 



324 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the afternoon." So unconscious is one of the flight of time 
during an engagement, that the work of hours seems com- 
prised within the space of a few moments. 

''Hello! what are you in line of battle for?" asked Ross. 
"Look at the hills there, and you will see," calmly replied 
Colonel Ford, pointing to the hills some half a mile distant, 
behind which the forces of Peta Nocona were visible; an, 
imposing line of five hundred warriors drawn up in battle 
array. 

Colonel Ford had with two hundred and twenty-one men 
fought and routed over four hundred Comanches, and now 
he was confronted by a stronger force, fresh from their 
village still higher up on the Canadian. They had come to 
drive the "pale faces" and their hated copper colored allies 
from the captured camp, to retake prisoners, to retake over 
four hundred head of horses and an immense quantity of 
plunder. They did not fancy the defiant state of prepara- 
tions awaiting them in the valley, however, and were wait- 
ing to avail themselves of some incautious movement on 
the part of the rangers, when the wily Peta Nocona, with 
his forces, would spring like a lion from his lair, and with 
one combined and desperate effort, swoop down and anni- 
hilate the enemy. But his antagonist was a soldier of too 
much sagacity to allow any advantage to a vigilant foe. 

The two forces remained thus contemplating each other 
for over an hour; during which time a series of operations 
ensued between single combatants illustrative of the Indian 
mode of warfare, and the marked difference between the 
nomadic Comanche and his semi-civilized congeners, the 
Tonchua. The Tonchuas took advantage of ravines, trees 
and other natural shelter. Their arms were rifles and "six- 
shooters." The Comanches came to the attack with shield 
and bow and lance, mounted on gaily caparisoned: and 
prancing steeds, and flaunting feathers and all the gor- 
geous display incident to savage finery and pomp. They 
are probably the most expert equestrians in the world. A 
Comanche warrior would gaily canter to a point half way 
between the opposing lines, yell a defiant war whoop, and 
shake his shield. This was a challenge to single combat. 

Several of the friendly Indians who accepted such chal- 
lenges were placed hors de combat by their more expert 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 325 

adversaries, and in consequence Colonel Ford ordered them 
to decline the savage banters, much to the dissatisfaction 
of Placido, who had conducted himself throughout the 
series of engagements with the bearing of a savage hero. 

Says Colonel Ford: "In these combats the mind of the 
spectator was vividly carried back to the days of chivalry; 
the jousts and tournaments of knights; and to the concom- 
itants of those scenic exhibitions of gallantry. The feats of 
horsemanship were splendid, the lances and shields were 
used with great dexterity, and the whole performance was 
a novel show to civilized man." 

Colonel Ford now ordered Placido, with a part of his war- 
riors, to advance in the direction of the enemy, and if pos- 
sible, draw them in the valley, so as to afford the rangers an 
opportunity to charge them. This had the desired effect, 
and the rangers were ready to deliver a charge, when it was 
discovered that the friendly Indians had removed the white 
badges from their heads because they served as targets for 
the Comanches; consequently, the rangers were unable to 
distinguish friend from foe. This necessitated the entire 
withdrawal of the Indians. The Comanches witnessed 
these preparations, and now commenced to recoil. The 
rangers advanced; the trot, the gallop, the headlong charge 
followed in rapid succession. Lieutenant Nelson made a 
skillful movement, and struck the enemy's left flank. The 
Comanche line was broken. A running fight for three or 
four miles ensued. The enemy was driven back wherever 
he made a stand. The most determined resistance was 
made in a timbered ravine. Here one of Placiclo's warriors 
was killed, and one of the rangers, young George W. Pas- 
chal, wounded. The Comanches left some dead upon the 
spot, and had several more wounded. After routing them 
at this point, the rangers continued to pursue them some 
distance, intent upon taking the women and children pris- 
oners; but Peta Nocona, by the exercise of those command- 
ing qualities which had often before signalized his conduct 
on the field, succeeded in covering their retreat, and thus 
allowing them to escape. It was now about four p. m. ; 
both horses and men were almost entirely exhausted, and 
Colonel Ford ordered a halt and returned to the village. 
Brave old Placido and his warriors fought like so many 



326 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

demons. It was difficult to restrain them, so anxious were 
they to wreak vengeance upon the Comanches. In all of 
these engagements seventy-five Comanches bit the dust. 
The loss of the rangers was small — two killed and five or 
six wounded. 

The trophies of Pohebits Quasho, including his lance, bow, 
shield, head dress and the celebrated coat of scale mail, was 
deposited by Colonel Ford in the State archives at Austin, 
where, doubtless, they may yet be seen, as curious relics of 
bygone days. 

The lamented old chief, Placido, fell a victim to the re- 
vengeful Comanches during the latter part of the great civil 
war between the North and South, being assassinated by a 
party of his enemies on the reservation, near Fort Sill. The 
venerable John Henry Brown, some years since, paid a mer- 
ited tribute to his memory through the columns of the Dallas 
Herald, Of Placido it has been said that he was the " soul 
of honor," and "never betrayed a trust." That he was brave 
to the utmost, we have only to refer to his numerous ex- 
ploits during his long and gratuitous service on our fron- 
tiers. He was implicitly trusted by Burleson and other par- 
tisan leaders, and rendered invaluable services in behalf of 
the early Texan pioneers; in recognition of which he never 
received any reward of a material nature, beyond a few 
paltry pounds of gun powder and salt. Imperial Texas 
should rear a monument commemorative of his memory. 
He was the more than Tammany of Texas! But I am di- 
gressing from the narrative proper. 

"Doubtless," says Rose, "Cynthia Ann rode from this ill 
starred field with her infant daughter pressed to her bosom, 
and her sons — two youths of about ten and twelve years of 
age — at her side, as fearful of capture at the hands of the 
hated whites, as years ago, immediately after the massacre 
of Parker's fort, she had been anxious for the same." 



GENERAL L. S. ROSS — BATTLE OF THE WICHITA. 

It is not our purpose, in this connection, to assume the 
role of biographer to so distinguished a personage as is the 
Chevalier Bayard of Texas — General Lawrence Sullivan 
Ross. That task should be left to an abler pen; and, be- 
sides, it would be impossible to do anything like justice to 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 327 

the romantic, adventurous, and altogether splendid and 
brilliant career of the brave and daring young ranger who 
rescued Cynthia Ann Parker from captivity, at least, in the 
circumscribed limits of a bref biographical sketch, such as 
we shall be compelled to confine ourself to; yet, some brief 
mention of his services and exploits as a ranger captain', by 
way of an introduction to the reader beyond the limits of 
Texas, where his name and fame are as household words, 
is deemed necessary; hence we beg leave here to give a brief 
sketch of his life. 

"Texas, though her annals be brief," says the author of 
Ross's Texas Brigade, "counts upon her roll of honor the 
names of many heroes, both living and dead. Their splen- 
did services are the inestimable legacies of the past and 
present, to the future. Of the latter, it is the high prerog- 
ative of the State to embalm their names and memories as < 
perpetual examples to excite the generous emulation of the 
Texan youth to the latest posterity. Of the former, it is our 
pleasant province to accord them those honors which their 
services in so eminent a degree entitle them to receive. 
Few lands since the days of the Scottish Chiefs have fur- 
nished material upon which to predicate a Douglas, a Wal- 
lace, or a Ravens wood; and the adventures of chivalric 
enterprise, arrant quest of danger, and the personal combat 
were relegated, together with the knight's armorial trap- 
pings, to the rusty archives of Tower and Pantheon, until 
the Comanche Bedouins of the Texan plains tendered in bold 
defiance the savage gauntlet to the pioneer knights of pro- 
gress and civilization. And though her heraldic roll glows 
with the names of a Houston, a Rusk, Lamar, McCulloch, 
Hays, Chevellier, which illumine the pages of her history 
with an effulgence of glory, Texas never nurtured on her 
maternal bosom a son of more filial devotion, of more loyal 
patriotism, or indomitable will to do and dare, than L. S. 
Ross." 

Lawrence Sullivan Ross was born in the village of Ben- 
tonsport, Ohio, in the year 1838. His father, Captain S. P. 
Ross, immigrated to Texas in 1839, casting his fortunes with 
the struggling pioneers who were blazing the pathway of 
civilization into the wilds of a terra incognita, as Texas 
then was. 



328 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS, 

"Captain S. P. Ross was, for many years, pre-eminent bs 
leader against the implacable savages, who made frequent 
incursions into the settlements. The duty of repelling thes^j 
forays usually devolved upon Captain Ross and his neigh- 
bors, and for many years his company constituted the only 
bulwark of safety between the feeble colonist and the scalp- 
ing knife. The rapacity and treachery of his Comanche and 
Kiowa foes demanded of Captain Ross sleepless vigilance, 
acute sagacity and a will that brooked no obstacle or dan- 
ger. It was in the performance of this arduous duty that he 
slew, in single combat, Big Foot, a Comanche chief of great 
prowess, and who was for many years the scourge of the 
early Texas frontier. The services of Captain S. P. Ross a re 
still held in grateful remembrance by the descendants of 
his compatriots, and his memory will never be suffered to 
pass away while Texans feel a pride in the sterling worth of 
Texas's greatness and glory." (Vide Ross's Texas Brigade, 
p. 158.) 

The following incident, as illustrative of the character 
and spirit of the man and times, is given: " On one occa- 
sion Captain Ross, who had been visiting a neighbor, was 
returning home, afoot, accompanied by his little son, Sul, 
as the general was familiarly called. When within half a 
mile of his house he was surrounded by fifteen or twenty 
mounted Comanche warriors, who commenced an imme- 
diate attack. The captain, athletic and swift of foot, threw 
his son on his back and outran their ponies to the house, es- 
caping unhurt amid a perfect shower of arrows." 

Such were among the daily experiences of the child, am* 
with such impressions stamped upon the infantile mind, it 
was but natural that the enthusiastic spirit of the ardent 
youth should lead him to such adventures upon the war 
path, similar to those that had signalized his honored 
father's prowess upon so many occasions. 

Hence we find Sul Ross, during vacation from his studies 
at Florence, Wesleyan University, Alabama, though a beard- 
less boy, scarcely twenty years of age, in command of a con- 
tingent of one hundred and thirty-five friendly Indians, co- 
operating with the United States cavalry under the dash- 
ing Major Earl Van Dorn, in a campaign against the Cc- 
manches. 




CAPTAIN L. S. ROSS. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 329 

Notwithstanding the severe chastisement that had been 
inflicted on the Comanches at Antelope Hills they soon re- 
newed their hostilities, committing many depredations and 
murders during the summer of 1858. 

Early in September Major Van Dorn received orders from 
General Twiggs to equip four companies, including Ross's 
red warriors, and go out on a scouting expedition against 
the hostile Indians. This he did, penetrating the heart of 
the Indian country where he proceeded to build a stockade, 
placing within it all the pack mules, extra horses and sup- 
plies, which was left in charge of the infantry. 

Ross's faithful Indian scouts soon reported the discovery 
of a large Comanche village near the Wichita Mountains, 
about ninety miles away. The four companies, attended by 
the spies, immediately set out for the village, and after a 
fatiguing march of thirty-six hours, causing the men to be 
continuously in the saddle the latter sixteen hours of the 
ride, arrived in the immediate vicinity of the Indian camp 
just at daylight on the morning of October 1. 

A reconnoissance showed that the wily Comanches were 
not apprehensive of an attack and were sleeping in fancied 
security. The horses of the tribe, which consisted of a ca- 
ballada of about five hundred head, were grazing near the 
outskirts of the village. Major Van Dorn directed Captain 
Ross, at the head of his Indians, to round up the horses and 
drive them from the camp, which was effected speedily, and 
thus the Comanches were forced to fight on foot — a proceed- 
ing extremely harrowing to the proud warrior's feelings. 

" Just as the sun was peeping above the eastern horizon," 
says Victor M. Rose, whose graphic narrative we again 
quote, "Van Dorn charged the upper end of the village, 
while Ross's command, in conjunction with a detachment 
of United States cavalry, charged the lower. The village 
was strung out along the banks of a branch for several hun- 
dred yards. The morning was very foggy, and after a few 
moments of firing the smoke and fog became so dense that 
objects at but a short distance could be distinguished only 
with great difficulty. The Comanches fought with absolute 
desperation, and contended for every advantage, as their 
women and children, and all their possessions, were in peril. 



330 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

" A few moments after the engagement became general, 
Ross discovered a number of Comanches running down to 
the branch, about one hundred and fifty yards from the vil- 
lage, and concluded that they were beating a retreat. Im- 
mediately Ross, Lieutenant Van Camp, of the United States 
army; Alexander, a regular soldier, and one Caddo Indian, 
of Ross's command, ran to the point with the intention of 
intercepting them. Arriving, it was discovered that the fu- 
gitives were women and children. In a moment another 
posse of women and children came running immediately 
past the squad of Ross, who, discovering a little white girl 
among the number, made his Caddo Indian grab her as she 
was passing. The little pale face, apparently about eight 
years of age, was badly frightened at finding herself a cap- 
tive to a strange Indian and stranger white men, and was 
hard to manage at first. 

" Ross now discovered, through the fog and smoke of the 
battle, that a band of some twenty-five Comanche warriors 
had cut his small party off from communication with Van 
Dorn and were bearing immediately down upon them. 
They shot Lieutenant Van Camp through the heart, killing 
him. ere he could fire his double barrelled shot gun. Alex- 
ander, the United States cavalryman, was likewise shot 
down before he could fire his gun, a rifle. Ross was armed 
with a Sharp's rifle and attempted to fire upon the exultant 
red devils, but the cap snapped. Mohee, a Comanche war- 
rior, seized Alexander's rifle and shot Ross down. The in- 
domitable young ranger fell upon the side on which his pistol 
was borne, and though partially paralyzed by the shot, he 
turned himself, and was getting his pistol out when Mohee 
drew his butcher knife and started towards his prostrate 
foe, some fifteen feet away, with the evident design of stab- 
bing and scalping him. He made but a few steps, however, 
when one of his companions cried out something in the Co- 
manche tongue, which was a signal to the band, and they 
broke away in confusion. Mohee ran about twenty steps 
when a wire cartridge, containing nine buck shot, fired from 
a gun in the hands of Lieutenant James Majors afterwards 
a Confederate general), struck him between the shoulders, 
and he fell forward on his face, dead. Mohee was an old ac- 
quaintance of Ross, the latter having seen him frequently at 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 331 

nis father's post on the frontier, and recognized him as soon 
as their eyes met. The faithful Caddo held on to the little 
girl throughout this desperate melee, and, strange to relate, 
neither were harmed. The Caddo, doubtless, owed his es- 
cape to the fact that the Comanches were fearful of wound- 
ing or killing the littie girl. This whole scene transpired in 
a few moments, and Captain X. G. Evans's company of the 
Second United States cavalry, had taken possession of the 
lower end of the Comanche village and Major Van Dorn held 
the upper, and the Comanches ran into the hills and 
brush; not, however, before an infuriated Comanche shot 
the gallant Van Dorn with an arrow. Van Dorn fell and it 
was supposed that he was mortally wounded. In conse- 
quence of their wounds the two chieftains were compelled 
to remain on the battle ground five or six days. After the 
expiration of this time Ross's Indians made a litter after 
their fashion, borne between two gentle mules, and in it 
placed their heroic and beloved boy captain, and set out for 
the settlements at Fort Belknap. When this mode of con- 
veyance would become too painful, by reason of the rough, 
broken nature of the country, these brave Caddos — whose 
race and history are but synonyms of courage and fidelity — 
would vie with each other in bearing the burden upon their 
own shoulders. At Camp Radziminski, occupied by United 
States forces, an ambulance was obtained and the remainder 
of the journey made with comparative comfort. Major Van 
Dorn was also conveyed to Radziminski. He speedily re- 
covered of his wound and soon made another brilliant cam- 
paign against the Comanches, as we shall see further on. 
Ross recovered sufficiently in a few weeks so as to be able to 
return to college at Florence, Alabama, where he com- 
pleted his studies and graduated in 1859." 

This was the battle of the Wichita Mountains, a hotly con- 
tested and most desperate hand to hand fight in which the 
two gallant and dashing young officers. Ross and Van Dorn, 
were severely wounded. The loss of the whites was five 
and several wounded. The loss of the Comanches was 
eighty or ninety warriors killed, many wounded, and sev- 
eral captured: besides losing all their horses, camp equip- 
age, supplies ; etc. 

The return of this victorious little army was hailed with 



332 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

enthusiastic rejoicing and congratulation, and the Wichita 
fight, Van Dorn and Ross were the themes of song and story 
for many years along the borders and in the halls and ban- 
queting rooms of the cities, and the martial music of the 
"Wichita March" resounded through the plains of Texas 
wherever the Second Cavalry encamped or rode off on scouts 
in after years. 

The little girl captive — of whose parentage or history 
nothing could be ascertained, though strenuous efforts were 
made — was christened "Lizzie Ross," in honor of Miss Liz- 
zie Tinsley, daughter of Dr. I). R. Tinsley, of Waco, to 
whom Ross at that time was engaged, and afterwards mar- 
ried—May, 1861. 

Of Lizzie Ross, it can be said that, in her career, is af- 
forded a thorough verification of Lord Byron's saying: 
"Truth is stranger than fiction!" She was adopted by her 
brave and generous captor, properly reared and educated, 
and became a beautiful and accomplished woman. Here 
were sufficient romance and vicissitude, in the brief career 
of a little maiden, to have turned the "roundelays" of 
"troubadour and meunesauger." A solitary lily, blooming 
amidst the wildest grasses of the desert plains. A little In- 
dian girl in all save the Caucasian's conscious stamp of 
superiority. Torn from home, perhaps, amid the heart rend- 
ing scenes of rapine, torture and death. A stranger to race 
and lineage— stranger even to the tongue in which a moth- 
er's lullaby was breathed. Affiliating with these wild Ish- 
maelites of the prairie— a Comanche in all things save the 
intuitive premonition that she was not of them! Finally 
redeemed from a captivity worse than death by a knight 
entitled to rank, for all time in the history of Texas, "primus 
inter pores ." (Vide Ross Texas Brigade, page 178.) 

Lizzie Ross, accompanied General Ross's mother, on a 
visit to the State of California, a few years since, and while 
there became the wife of a wealthy merchant near Los An- 
geles, where she now resides. 

Such is the romantic story of "Lizzie Ross" — a story that 
derives additional interest because of the fact of its abso- 
lute truth in all respects. 

The following letter from General L. S. Ross, touching 
on the battle of the Wichita Mountains and the re-capture 
of "Lizzie Ross," is here appropriately inserted: 









H 

-:M 





LIZZIE ROSS. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 333 

Waco, Texas, July 12, 1884. 
Mr. James T. De Shields — Dear Sir: — My father could 
give you. reliable data enough to fill a volume. I send you 
photograph of Cynthia Ann Parker, with notes relating to 
her on back of photo. On the twenty -eighth of October, 
1858, I had a battle with the Comanches at Wichita Moun- 
tains, and there re-captured a little white girl about eight 
years old, whose parentage, nor indeed any trace of her 
kindred, was ever found. I adopted, reared, and educated 
her, giving her the name of Lizzie Ross; the former name 
being in honor of the young lady — Lizzie Tinsley — to whom 
I was then engaged and afterwards married — May, 1861. 

Lizzie Ross grew to womanhood, and married a wealthy 
merchant living near Los Angeles, California, where she 
now resides. See History of Ross's Brigade, by Victor M. 
Rose, and published by Courier- Journal, for a full and 
graphic description of the battle and other notable inci- 
dents. I could give you many interesting as well as thrill- 
ing adventures of self and father's family with the Indians 
in the early settlement of the country. He can give you 
more information than any living Texan, touching the In- 
dian character, having been their agent and warm and 
trusted friend, in whom they had confidence. My early life 
was one of constant danger from their forays, and I was 
twice in their hands and at their mercy, as well as the other 
members of my father's family. But I am just now too 
busy with my farm matters to give you such data as would 
subserve your purpose. Yours truly, L. S. Ross. 



BATTLE OF PEASE RIVER — CYNTHIA ANN PARKER. 

For some time after Ross's victory at the Wichita moun- 
tains the Comanches were less hostile, seldom penetrating 
far down into the settlements. But in 1859-60, the condition 
of the frontier was again truly deplorable. The people 
were obliged to stand in a continued posture of defense, 
and were in continual alarm and hazard of their lives, 
never daring to stir abroad unarmed, for small bodies of 
savages, quick sighted and accustomed to perpetual watch- 
fulness, hovered on the outskirts, and springing from be- 
hind bush or rock, surprised his enemy before he was aware 



334 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 

of danger, and sent tidings of his presence in the fatal blow, 
and after execution of the bloody work, by superior knowl- 
edge of the country and rapid movements, safely retired to 
their inaccessible deserts. 

In the autumn of 1860 the indomitable and fearless Peta 
ISTocona led a raiding party of Comanches through Parker 
county, so named in honor of the family of his wife, Cynthia 
Ann, committing great depredations as they passed through. 
The venerable Isaac Parker was at that time a resident of 
Weatherford, the county seat; and little did he imagine 
that the chief of the ruthless savages who spread desolation 
and death on every side as far as their arms could reach, 
was the husband of his long lost niece; and that the com- 
mingled blood of the murdered Parkers and the atrocious 
Comanche now coursed in the veins of a second generation 
— bound equally by the ties of consanguinity to murderer 
and murdered; that the son of Peta Nocona and Cynthia 
Ann Parker would become the chief of the proud Coman- 
ches, whose boast it is that their constitutional settlement 
of government is the purest democracy ever originated and 
administered among men. It certainly conserved the object 
of its institution — the protection and happiness of the peo- 
ple — for a longer period, and much more satisfactorily, than 
has that of any other Indian tribe. The Comanches claimed 
a superiority over the other Texan tribes; and they unques- 
tionably were more intelligent and courageous. The res- 
ervation policy — necessary though it be — brings them all to 
an abject level, the plane of lazy beggars and thieves. The 
Comanche is the most qualified by nature for receiving ed- 
ucation and for adapting himself to the requirements of civ- 
ilization of all the southern tribes, not excepting even the 
Cherokees, with their churches, school houses and farms. 
The Comanches, after waging an unceasing war for nearly 
fifty years against the United States, Texas and Mexico, 
still number sixteen thousand souls, a far better showing 
than any other tribe can make, though not one but has 
enjoyed privileges to which the Comanche was a stranger. 
It is a shame to the civilization of the age that a people so 
susceptible of a high degree of development should be al- 
lowed to grovel in the depths of heathenism and savagery. 
But we are digressing. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 335 

The loud and clamorous cries of the settlers along the 
frontier for protection induced the government to organize 
and send out a regiment under Colonel M. T. Johnson, to 
take the field for public defense. But these efforts proved 
of small service. The expedition, though at great expense 
to the State, failed to find an Indian until returning, the 
command was followed by the wily Comanches, their horses 
stampeded at night, and most of the men compelled to reach 
the settlements on foot, under great suffering and exposure. 

Captain "Sul" Ross, who had just graduated from Flor- 
ence Wesleyan University, of Alabama, and returned to 
Texas, was commissioned a captain of rangers by Governor 
Sam Houston, and directed to organize a company of sixty 
men, with orders to repair to Fort Belknap, receive from 
Colonel Johnson all government property, as his regiment 
was disbanded, and take the field against the redoubtable 
Peta Nocona, and afford the frontier such protection as was 
possible from this small force. The necessity of vigorous 
measures soon became so pressing that Captain Ross deter- 
mined to attempt to curb the insol'ence of these implacable 
enemies of Texas by following them into their fastnesses 
and carry the war into their own homes. In his graphic 
narration of this campaign, General L. S. Ross says: "As 
I could take but forty of my men from my post, I requested 
Captain N. G. Evans, in command of the United States 
troops at Camp Cooper to send me a detachment of the Sec- 
ond cavalry. We had been intimately connected on the 
Van Dorn campaign, during which I was the recipient of 
much kindness from Captain Evans while I was suffering 
from a severe wound received from an Indian in the battle 
of the Wichita. He promptly sent me a sergeant and 
twenty well mounted men. My force was still further aug- 
mented by some seventy volunteer citizens, under the com- 
mand of the brave old frontiersman, Captain Jack Cureton, 
of Bosque county. These self sacrificing patriots, without 
the hope of pay or regard, left their defenseless homes and 
families to avenge the sufferings of the frontier people. 
With pack mules laden down with necessary supplies, the 
expedition marched for the Indian country. 

On the eighteenth of December, 1860, while marching up 
Pease river, I had suspicions that Indians were in the vicin- 



336 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

ity, by reason of the buffalo that came running in great 
numbers from the north towards us, and while my com- 
mand moved in the low ground, I visited all neighboring 
high points to make discoveries. On one of these sand hills 
I found four fresh pony tracks, and, being satisfied that 
Indian videttes had just gone, I galloped forward about a 
mile to a higher point, and, riding to the top, to my inex- 
pressible surprise, found myself within two hundred yards 
of a Comanche village, located on a small stream winding 
around the base of the hill. It was a most happy circum- 
stance that a piercing north wind was blowing, bearing 
with it clouds of sand, and my presence was unobserved and 
the surprise complete. By signaling my men as I stood con- 
cealed, they reached me without being discovered by the 
Indians, who were busy packing up, preparatory to a move. 
By this time the Indians mounted and moved off north 
across the level plain. My command, with the detachment 
of the Second cavalry, had outmarched and become sep- 
arated from the citizen command, which left me about 
sixty men. In making disposition for attack, the sergeant 
and his twenty men were sent at a gallop, behind a chain 
of sand hills, to encompass them in and cut off their retreat, 
while with forty men I charged. The attack was so sud- 
den that a considerable number were killed before they 
could prepare for defense. They fled precipitately right 
into the presence of the sergeant and his men. Here they 
met with a warm reception, and finding themselves com- 
pletely encompassed, every one fled his own way, and was 
hotly pursued and hard pressed. 

"The chief of the party, Peta Nocona, a noted warrior of 
great repute, with a young girl about fifteen years of age 
mounted on his horse behind him, and Cynthia Ann Parker, 
with a girl child about two years of age in her arms, and 
mounted on a fleet pony, fled together, while Lieutenant 
Tom Kelliheir and I pursued them. After running about 
a mile Killiheir ran up by the side of Cynthia's horse, and 
I was in the act of shooting when she held up her child and 
stopped. I kept on after the chief, and about half a mile 
further, when in about twenty yards of him I fired my 
pistol, striking the girl (whom I supposed to be a man, as 
she rode like one, and only her head was visible above the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 33? 

buffalo robe with which she was wrapped) near the heart, 
killing her instantly, and the same ball would have killed 
both but for the shield of the chief, which hung down, cov- 
ering his back. When the girl fell from the horse she pulled 
him off also, but he caught on his feet, and before steady- 
ing himself, my horse, running at full speed, was very 
nearly upon top of him, when he was struck with an arrow, 
which caused him to fall to pitching or 'bucking/ and it was 
with great difficulty that I kept my saddle, and in the 
meantime, narrowly escaped several arrows coming in quick 
succession from the chiefs bow. Being at such disadvan- 
tage he would have killed me in a few minutes but for a 
random shot from my pistol (while I was clinging with my 
left hand to the pommel of my saddle) which broke his 
right arm at the elbow, completely disabling him. My horse 
then became quiet, and I shot the chief twice through the 
body, whereupon he deliberately walked to a small tree, 
the only one in sight, and leaning against it, began to sing 
a wild, weird song. At this time my Mexican servant, who 
had once been a captive with the Comanches and spoke 
their language fluently as his mother tongue, came up, in 
company with two of my men. I then summoned the chief 
to surrender, but he promptly treated every overture with 
contempt, and signalized this declaration with a savage 
attempt to thrust me with his lance which he held in his 
left hand. I could only look upon him with pity and admi- 
ration. For, deplorable as was his situation, with no chance 
of escape, his party utterly destroyed, his wife and child 
captured in his sight, he was undaunted by the fate that 
awaited him, and as he seemed to prefer death to life, I 
directed the Mexican to end his misery by a charge of buck- 
shot from the gun which he carried. Taking up his accou- 
trements, which I subsequently sent to Governor Houston, 
to be deposited in the archives at Austin, we rode back to 
Cynthia Ann and Killiheir, and found him bitterly cursing 
himself for having run his pet horse so hard after an 'old 
squaw.' She was very dirty, both in her scanty garments 
and person. But as soon as I looked on her face, I said: 
'Why, Tom, this is a white woman, Indians do not have 
blue eyes.' On the way to the village, where my men were 
assembling with the spoils, and a large caballada of 'Indian 



338 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

ponies/ I discovered an Indian boy about nine years of age, 
secreted in the grass. Expecting to be killed, he began 
crying, but I made him mount behind me, and carried him 
along. And when in after years I frequently proposed to 
send him to his people, he steadily refused to go, and died 
in McLennan county last year. 

" After camping for the night Cynthia Ann kept crying, 
and thinking it was caused from fear of death at our hands, 
I had the Mexican tell her that we recognized her as one of 
our own people, and would not harm her. She said two of 
her boys were with her when the fight began, and she was 
distressed by the fear that they had been killed. It so hap- 
pened, however, both escaped, and one of them, 'Quanah' 
is now a chief. The other died some years ago on the 
plains. I then asked her to give me the history of her life 
with the Indians, and the circumstances attending her cap- 
ture by them, which she promptly did in a very sensible 
manner. And as the facts detailed corresponded with the 
massacre at Parker's Fort, I was impressed with the belief 
that she was Cynthia Ann Parker. Eeturning to my post, 
I sent her and child to the ladies at Cooper, where she could 
receive the attention her situation demanded, and at the 
same time despatched a messenger to Colonel Parker, her 
uncle, near Weatherford, and as I was called to Waco to 
meet Governor Houston, I left directions for the Mexican 
to accompany Colonel Parker to Cooper in the capacity of 
interpreter. When he reached there, her identity was soon 
discovered to Colonel Parker's entire satisfaction and great 
happiness." And thus Was fought the battle of Pease river, 
between a superior force of Comanches under the impla- 
cable chief, Peta Nocona on the one side, and sixty rangers 
led by their youthful commander, Captain L. S. Koss, on 
the other. Ross, sword in hand, led the furious rush" of the 
rangers; and in the desperate encounter of "war to the 
knife" which ensued, nearly all the warriors bit the dust. 

So signal a victory had never before been gained over the 
fierce and war like Comanches; and never since that fatal 
December day in 1860 have they made any military demon- 
strations at all commensurate with the fame of their proud 
campaigns in the past. The great Comanche confederacy 
was forever broken. The incessant and sanguinary war 
which had been waged for more than thirty years was now 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 339 

virtually at an end. The blow was a most decisive one; as 
sudden and irresistible as a thunder bolt, and as remorse- 
less and crushing as the hand of Fate. It was a short but 
desperate conflict. Victory trembled in the balance. A 
determined charge, accompanied by a simultaneous fire 
from the solid phalanx of yelling rangers, and the Co- 
manches beat a hasty retreat, leaving many dead and 
wounded upon the field. Espying the chief and a chosen 
few riding at full speed, and in a different direction from 
the other fugitives, from the ill starred field, Ross quickly 
pursued. Divining his purpose, the watchful Peta ISTocona 
rode at full speed, but was soon overtaken, when the two 
chiefs engaged in a personal encounter, which must result 
in the death of one or the other. Peta ISTocona fell, and his 
last sigh was taken up in mournful wailings on the wings 
of defeat. Most of the women and children, with a few 
warriors escaped. Many of these perished on the cold and 
inhospitable plains, in an effort to reach their friends on the 
head waters of the Arkansas river. 

The immediate fruits of the victory was some four hun- 
dred and fifty horses, and their accumulated winter's supply 
of food. But the incidental fruits are not to be computed 
on the basis of dollars and cents. The proud spirit of the 
Comanche was here broken, and to this signal defeat is to 
be attributed the measurably pacific conduct of these here- 
tofore implacable foes of the white race during the course 
of the late civil war in the Union — a boon of incalculable 
value to Texas. 

In a letter recognizing the great service rendered the 
State by Ross in dealing the Comanches this crushing blow, 
Governor Houston said: "Your success in protecting the 
frontier gives me great satisfaction. I am satisfied chat 
with the same opportunities, you would rival, if not excel, 
the greatest exploits of McCulloch and Hays. Continue to 
repel, pursue, and punish every body of Indians coming into 
the State, and the people will not withhold their praise." 

[Signed] Sam Houston. 



CYNTHIA ANN PARKER — QUANAH PARKER. 

From May 19, 1836, to December 18, 1860, was twenty-four 
years and seven months. Add to this nine years, her age 



340 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

when captured, and at the latter date Cynthia Ann Parker 
was in her thirty-fourth year. During the last ten years of 
this quarter of a century, which she spent as a captive 
among the Comanches, no tidings had been received of her. 
She had long been given up as dead or irretrievably lost to 
civilization. 

Notwithstanding the long lapse of time which had inter- 
vened since the capture of Cynthia Ann Parker, Ross, as he 
interrogated his blue eyed but bronzed captive, more than 
suspected that she was the veritable Cynthia Ann Parker, 
of which he had heard so much from his boyhood. She was 
dressed in female attire, of course, according to the custom 
of the Comanches, which being very similar to that of the 
males, doubtless gave rise to the erroneous statement that 
she was dressed in male costume. So sure was Ross of her 
identity that, as before stated, he at once despatched a mes- 
senger to her uncle, the venerable Isaac Parker; in the 
meantime placing Cynthia Ann Parker in charge of Mrs. 
Evans, wife of Captain N". G. Evans, the commandant at 
Fort Cooper, who at once, with commendable benevolence, 
administered to her necessities. 

Upon the arrival of Colonel Parker at Fort Cooper interro- 
gations were made her through the Mexican interpreter, for 
she remembered not one word of English, respecting her 
identity; but she had forgotten absolutely everything, ap- 
parently, at all connected with her family or past history. 

In despair of being able to reach a conclusion Colonel Par- 
ker was about to leave when he said: " The name of my 
niece was Cynthia Ann." The sound of the once familiar 
name, doubtless the last lingering memento of the old home 
at the fort, seemed to touch a responsive chord in her nature, 
when a sign of intelligence lighted up her countenance, as 
memory by some mystic inspiration resumed its cunning as 
she looked up, and patting her breast, said: "Cynthia Ann! 
Cynthia Ann!" At the waken ng of this single spark of 
reminiscence, the sole gleam in the mental gloom of many 
years, her countenance brightened with a pleasant smile in 
place of the sullen expression which habitually characterizes 
the looks of an Indian restrained of freedom. There was 
now no longer any doubt as to her identity with the little 
girl lost and mourned so long. It was in reality Cynthia 
Ann Parker— but, oh, so changed! 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 341 

But as savage like and dark of complexion as she was^ 
Cynthia Ann was still dear to her overjoyed uncle, and was 
welcomed home by relatives with all the joyous transports 
with which the prodigal son was hailed upon his miserable 
return to the parental roof. 

As thorough an Indian in manner and looks as if she had 
been so born, she sought every opportunity to escape and 
had to be closely watched for some time. Her uncle carried 
herself and child to his home, then took them to Austin, 
where the secession, convention was in session. Mrs. John 
Henry Brown and Mrs. N. C. Raymond interested them- 
selves in her, dressed her neatly, and on one occasion took 
her into the gallery of the hall while the convention was in 
session. They soon realized that she was greatly alarmed 
by the belief that the assemblage was a council of chiefs, 
sitting in judgment on her life. Mrs. Brown beckoned to 
her husband, Hon. John Henry Brown, who was a member 
of the convention, who appeared and succeeded in reassur- 
ing her that she was among friends. 

Gradually her mother tongue came back, and with it oc- 
casional incidents of her childhood, including a recognition 
of the venerable Mr. Anglin, and perhaps one or two others. 

The civil war coming on soon after, which necessitated 
the resumption of such primitive arts, she learned to spin, 
weave and to perform the domestic duties. She proved 
quite an adept in such work and became a very useful mem- 
ber of the household. The ruling passion of her bosom 
seemed to be the maternal instinct, and she cherished the 
hope that when the war was concluded she would at last 
succeed in reclaiming her two children, who were still with 
the Indians. But it was written otherwise and Cynthia Ann 
and her little barbarian were called hence ere the cruel war 
was over. She died at her brother's, in Anderson county, 
Texas, in 1864, preceded a short time by her sprightly little 
daughter, Prairie Flower. Thus ended the sad story of a 
woman far famed along the border. 

******** 

How -fared it with the two young orphans we may only 
imagine. The lot of these helpless ones is too often one of 
trials, heart pangs and want, even among our enlightened 
people; and it would require a painful recital to follow the 



342 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

children of Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker from the 
terrible right on Pease river, across trackless prairies and 
rugged mountain ways in the inhospitable month of Decem- 
ber, tired, hungry, and carrying a load upon their hearts 
far heavier than the physical evils which so harshly beset 
them, Their father was slain and their mother a captive, 
doubtless they were as intent upon her future recovery, dur- 
ing the mairy years in which they shared the vicissitudes of 
their people until the announcement of her death reached 
them, as her own family had been for her rescue during her 
quarter of a century of captivity. One of the little sons of 
Cynthia Ann died some years after her recapture. The 
other, now known as Captain Quanah Parker, born, as he 
says, in 1854, is the chief of the Comanches, on their reser- 
vation in the Indian Territory. 

Finally, in 1874, the Comanches were forced upon a reser- 
vation, near Fort Sill, to lead the beggarly life of hooded 
harlots and blanketed thieves, and it was at this place that 
the war chief Quanah learned that it was possible he might 
secure a photograph of his mother. [Mr. A. F. Corning was 
at Fort Worth in 1862, when Cynthia Ann Parker passed 
through there. He (Mr. C.) prevailed on her to go with him 
to a daguerreotype gallery (there were no photographs then) 
and have her picture taken. Mr. Corning still has this 
daguerreotype, and says it is an excellent likeness of the 
woman as she looked then. It is now at the Academy of 
Art, Waco, and several photographs have been taken from 
it, one of which was sent to Quanah Parker and another to 
the writer, from which the frontispiece to this work was en- 
graved.] An advertisement to that effect was inserted in 
the Fort Worth Gazette, when General Ross at once for- 
warded him a copy. To his untutored mind it seemed that 
a miracle had been wrought in response to his paper prayer, 
and his exclamations, as he gazed intently and long upon 
the faithful representation of Preloch, or Cynthia Ann, 
were highly suggestive of Cowper's lines on his mother's 
picture, and we take the liberty of briefly presenting a por- 
tion of the same in verse: 

My mother! and do my weeping eyes once more — 
Half doubting — scan thy cherished features o'er? 

Yes, 'tis the pictured likeness of my dead mother, 
How true to lifel It seems to breath and move; 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. Hi 

Fire, love and sweetness o'er each feature melt; 
The face expresses all the spirit felt; 

Here, while I gaze within those large, dark eyes 
I almost see the living spirit rise; 

While lights and shadows, all harmonious, glow, 
And heavenly radiance settles on that brow. 

What is the " medicine " I mmt not know, 
Which thus can give to death life's bloom and glow, 

O, could the white man's magic art but give 
As well the happy power, and bid her live! 

My name, me thinks, would be the first to break 
The seal of silence on those lips, and wake 

Occe more the smile that charmed her gentle face, 
As she was wont to fold me in her warm embrace. 

Yes, it is she, "Preloch," Nocona's pale faced bride, 
Who rode a matchless princess at his side, 

'Neath many a bloody moon afar, 
O'er tortuous paths devoted alone to war. 

Long since she's joined him on that blissful snore, 
Where parting and heart breaking are no more, 

And since our star with him went down in gloom 
No more to shine above the blighting doom, 

'Neath which my people's hopes, alas, are fled, 
I, too, but long that silent path to tread— 

A child, to be with her and him again. 
Healed every wound an orphan's heart can pain! 

Quanah Parker is a Nocone, which means wanderer, but 
on th*j capture of his mother, Preloch, and death of his 
father, Quanah was adopted and cared for by the Cohoites, 
and when just arrived at manhood was made chief by his 
benefactors on account of his bravery. His name before 
he became a chief was Cepe. He has lived among several 
tribes of the Comanches. He was at one time with the 
Cochetaker, or Buffalo Eaters, and was the most influential 
chief of the Penatakers. Quanah is at present one of the 
four chiefs of the Cohoites, who each have as many people 
as he has. The Cohoite Comanches were never on a reser- 
vation until 1874, but are to-day further advanced in civili- 
zation than any Indians on the Comanche reservation. 
Quanah speaks English, is considerably advanced in civili- 
zation and owns a ranch with considerable live stock and a 
small farm, wears a citizen's suit, and conforms to the cus- 
toms of civilization — withal a fine looking and dignified son 
of the plains. In 1884, Quanah, in company with two other 



344 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

prominent Comanche chiefs, visited Mexico. In reporting 
their passage through that city, the San Antonio Light thus 
speaks of them: 

"They bear relationship to each other of chief and two 
subordinates. Quanah Parker is the chief, and as he speaks 
very good English, they will visit the City of Mexico before 
they return. They came from Kiowa, Comanche and Wich- 
ita Indian Agency, and Parker bears a paper from Indian 
Agent Hunt that he, Parker, is a son of Cynthia Ann Par- 
ker, and is one of the most prominent chiefs of the half 
breed Comanche tribe. He is also a successful stock man 
and farmer. He wears a citizen's suit of black, neatly fit- 
ting, regular "tooth pick" dude shoes, a watch and gold 
chain and black felt hat. The only peculiar item in his ap- 
pearance is his long hair, which he wears in two plaits down 
his back. His two braves also wear civilization's garb, but 
wear heavy boots into which their trousers are thrust in 
true western fashion. They speak nothing but their native 
language." 

In 1885 Quanah Parker visited the World's Pair at New 
Orleans. 

The following extract from the Fort Worth Gazette is a 
recent incident in his career: 

*' 'HE BLEW OUT THE GAS' — AND ON THAT BREATH THE SOUI. 

OF YELLOW BEAR FLEW TO ITS HAPPY HUNTING 

GROUNDS — ANOTHER INSTANCE IN WHICH THE 

NOBLE RED MAN SUCCUMBS TO THE 

INFLUENCE OF CIVILIZATION. 

"A sensation was created on the streets yesterday by the 
news of a tragedy from asphyxiation at the Pickwick hotel, 
of which two noted Indians, Quanah Parker and Yellow 
Bear were the victims. * * * * * * 

"The circumstances of the unfortunate affair were very 
difficult to obtain, because of the inability of the only two 
men who were possesseed of definite information on the 
subject to reveal it — one on account of death, and the other 
from unconsciousness. The Indians arrived here yesterday 
from the territory on the Fort Worth & Denver incoming 




CHIEF QUANAH PARKER. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 345 

train. They registered at the Pickwick and were assigned 
an apartment together in the second story of the building. 
Very little is known of their subsequent move- 
ments, but from the best evidence that can be collected it 
appears that Yellow Bear retired alone about ten o'clock, 
and that in his utter ignorance of modern appliances he 
blew out the gas. Parker, it is believed, did not seek his 
room until two or three o'clock in the morning, when, not 
detecting from some cause the presence of gas in the atmos- 
phere, or not locating its origin in the room, he shut the 
door and scrambled into bed, unmindful of the deadly 
forces which were even then operating so disastrously. * * 

"The failure of the Indians to appear at breakfast or din- 
ner caused the hotel clerk to send a man around to awaken 
them. He found the door locked and was unable to get a 
response from the inmates. The room was then forcibly 
entered, and as the door swung back the rush of the deathly 
perfume through the aperture told the story. A ghastly 
spectacle met the eyes of the hotel employes. By the bed- 
side in a crouched position, with his face pressed to the floor, 
was Yellow Bear, in the half nude condition which Indian 
fashion in night clothes admits. In the opposite corner 
near the window, which was closed, Parker was stretched 
at full length upon his back. Yellow Bear was stone dead, 
while the quick gasps of his companion indicated that he 
was in but a stone's throw of eternity. The chief was re- 
moved to the bed, and through the untiring efforts of Doc- 
tors Beall and Moore his life has been saved. 

"Finding Quanah sufficiently able to converse, the re- 
porter af the Gazette questioned him as to the cause of the 
unhappy occurrence, and elicited the following facts: 

" 'I came,' said the chief, 'into the room about midnight, 
and found Yellow Bear in bed. I lit the gas myself. I 
smelt no gas when I came into the room. When I went to 
bed I turned the gas off. I did not blow it out. After a 
while I smelt the gas, but went to sleep. I woke up and 
shook Yellow Bear and told him, 'I'm mighty sick and hurt- 
ing all over.' Yellow bear says, 'I'm mighty sick, too/ I 
got up and fell down and all around the room, and that's all 
I know about it.' 

" 'Why didn't you open the door?' asked the reporter. 







346 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

" 'I was too crazy to know anything,' replied the chief. 

"It is indeed a source of congratulation that the chief will 
recover, as otherwise his tribe could not be made to under- 
stand the occurrence, and results detrimental to those hav- 
ing interests in the Territory would inevitably follow." 

The new town of Quanah, in Hardeman county, Texas, 
was named in honor of Chief Quanah Parker. 

We will now conclude our little work by appending the 
following letter, which gives a true pen portrait of the cele- 
brated chief as he appears at his home on the "reservation :' 

"Anadarko, I. T., February 4, 1886. 
* # # 

a* * * * 

"We visited Quanah in his teepe. He is a fine specimen 
of physical manhood, tall, muscular, as straight as an arrow, 
gray, look-you-straight-through-the-eyes, very dark skin, 
perfect teeth, and heavy, raven black hair — the envy of 
feminine hearts — he wears hanging in two rolls wrapped 
around with red cloth. His hair is parted in the middle; 
the scalp lock is a portion of hair the size of a dollar, plaited 
and tangled, signifying: 'If you want fight you can have 
it.' 

Quanah is now camped with a thousand of his subjects 
at the foot of some hills near Anadarko. Their white teepes, 
and the inmates dressed in their bright blankets and feath- 
ers, cattle grazing, children playing, lent a weird charm to 
the lonely desolate hills, lately devastated by prairie fire. 

"He has three squaws, his favorite being the daughter of 
Yellow Bear, who met his death by asphyxiation at Fort 
Worth in December last. He said he gave seventeen horses 
for her. His daughter Cynthia, named for her grandmother, 
Cynthia Parker, is an inmate of the Indian agent's house. 
Quanah was attired in a full suit of buck skin, tunic, leg- 
gings and moccasins elaborately trimmed in beads, a red 
breech cloth with ornamental ends hanging down. A very 
handsome and expensive Mexican blanket was thrown 
around his body; in his ears were little stuffed birds. His 
hair was done with the feathers of bright plumaged birds. He 
was handsomer by far than any Ingomar the writer has ever 

% 
1 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 347 

seen, but there was no squaw fair enough to personate his 
Parthenia. His general aspect, manner, bearing, education, 
natural intelligence show plainly that white blood trickles 
through his veins. When traveling he assumes a complete 
civilian's outfit — dude collar, watch and chain, takes out his 
ear rings — he, of course, can not cut off his long hair, say- 
ing that he could no longer be 'big chief.' He has a hand- 
some carriage, drives a pair of matched grays, always trav- 
eling with one of his squaws (to do the chores). Minna-a- 
ton-cha is with him now. She knows no English, but 
while her lord is conversing gazes dumb with admiration at 
'my lord,' ready to obey his slightest wish or command. 



HiiQiin, jfaulfcenDurr^ Dutbet Ibunter anb 
Hnberaon. 



By J. T. D. in U. S. Service Magazine. 



0~N the twenty-eighth day of January, 1837, Mr. Abra- 
ham Anglin, accompanied by David and Evans Faulk- 
enbury, Douthet, Hunter and Anderson, left Fort 

Houston, in Anderson county, for the purpose of gath- 
ering up some horses that had strayed. Finding some of 
them on the east side of the Trinity, they sent them back 

by Dauthet and Hunter, who promised to return on 
1837 the following day and bring a canoe for the purpose 

of crossing the river. Being impatient to accomplish 
their mission, the remaining four men constructed a raft of 
logs and crossed the river. After searching all the after- 
noon without success, they repaired to the place where 
they were to meet the parties with the canoe. Arriving at 
the river, they found no canoe but plenty of Indian signs, 
and, supposing the tracks to have been made by friendly 
Indians, they went near the river where the bank shielded 
them from the wind, and lay down to await the coming of 
their comrades. Being considerably fatigued by their day's 



348 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

tramp, all now fell asleep, but were soon awakened by the 
war whoop and firing of Indians. 

About thirty sneaking redskins had crept up within five 
or six yards of them, some armed with guns, who now 
opened a heavy fire upon the sleeping men. David Faulk- 
enbury received a severe wound, and at once arose with his 
gun in hand. Anderson had already received a wound, and 
just as Anglin arose a ball struck him in the thigh, inflict- 
in a severe wound. David Faulkenbury now handed Anglin. 
a gun, and called out: "Come on, boys, it's time to go," at 
the same time throwing his gun into the river and plunging 
into the water, followed by Anderson. Evans Faulkenbury 
and Anglin sprang behind an ash tree, intending to shoo': at 
the Indians, but they had concealed themselves behind a 
bluff, and knowing it to be folly for two to fight against so 
many Indians, who now had every advantage, Mr. Anglin 
jumped into the river and swam to the opposite side, leav- 
ing poor Faulkenbury to his fate. As Anglin was swim- 
ming across, the Indians were discharging their arrows in 
rapid succession at him, and just as he was making his way 
out on the opposite bank which was steep and difficult of 
ascent he received several slight wounds. Weak and ex- 
hausted, however, as he was, he finally succeeded in mak- 
ing his way out, where he found David Faulkenbury too 
badly wounded to travel. Faulkenbury informed Anglin 
that he was unable to travel, and that it would be best to 
leave him and make his way to the fort as soon as possible 
for assistance. 

Anglin had only gone about four hundred yards when he 
met the man Hunter with the canoe. Leaving the canoe, 
Hunter now took Anglin up behind him on his horse and 
traveled at a rapid gait towards the fort. They soon over- 
took Anderson, who, being severely wounded and- almost 
entirely exhausted, insisted on being left until they should 
return from the fort with assistance. The two men soon 
reached the fort, where Anglin, whose wounds were pain- 
ing him considerably, received attention. A company of 
men went back the same night to look after the remainder 
of the party who had been left behind, but did not succeed 
in finding them until the next day. They found the lifeless 
body of David Faulkenbury near a water hole. He was 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 349 

lying upon a bed of grass, which he had evidently prepared 
to breath his last upon. Some two miles farther on they 
found the corpse of Anderson with two arrows sticking 
through his back. Poor Evans Faulkenbury was never seen 
or heard of afterwards. His footsteps were followed some 
distance down the river near the edge of the water, when 
suddenly they could be traced no farther. The river was 
sounded for his body but it was never found. Thus all the 
men on this occasion perished, with the exception of Mr. 
Anglin, who alone was left to tell the tale of their suffer- 
ings. 



(general Waiter p. Xane 



I ' /E have compiled the following synopsis of the life 
| I I of General Walter P. Lane principally from a bio- 
^A** graphical sketch of this grand old veteran, written 
by Victor M. Rose. This famous old veteran, "a 
hero of three wars," was a native of Ireland, where he 
was born in the county of Cork, in 1817. His parents emi- 
grated to America in 1821, and settled at Fair View, 
1838 Guernsey county, Ohio. Of Walter P. Lane we know 
but little prior to his arrival in Texas, whither he came 
as a volunteer youth to aid in the war of Independence. 
His first appearance was at the battle of San Jacinto, where 
his reckless, devil-may-care gallantry brought him into im- 
mediate and favorable notice. On this occasion the intrepid 
young Lane engaged a Mexican lancer in single combat, 
"and," says Victor M. Rose, "but for the timely inter- 
ference of Mirabeau B. Lamar, must have succumbed, 
wounded as he was, to his more powerful antagonist." The 
day after the battle he was elected to a second lieutenancy 
in Captain Henry Karnes's cavalry company. 

His next appearance on the field of battle was in the fa- 
mous and sanguinary surveyors' fight on Battle creek, in the 
.southwestern part of Navarro county, in October, 1838. 



1350 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

This famous and hotly contested fight ranks in stubborn 
courage and carnage with the bloodiest in our history, the 
details of which, taken from General Lane's memoirs, will 
hereafter be given. 

In the war between the United States and Mexico Lane 
was one of the first in the field. As captain of Company A 
he participated in many of the engagements of that stirring 
campaign, and added many new laurels to his name as a 
M-ave soldier and leader. He was at the battle of Monterey 
^nd also at the decisive battle of Buena Vista, where he was 
distinguished by many gallant acts. During the progress 
of the war his company had frequent engagements and skir- 
mishes with the guerrillas and renegade Indians, in one of 
vhich he was shot through the leg. In the various battles in 
vhich he participated in Mexico he had five horses killed 
rnder him. Says the Encyclopedia of the New West: "One 
episode in the career of Walter P. Lane will embalm 
his memory forever in the hearts of Texans. While he was 
major of Hays's regiirient of Texas rangers, under General 
J. E. Wool, he was despatched by the latter with a small 
body of men in a southern direction to watch the movements 
oi the enemy. At the hacienda of Salado, where the Mier 
prisoners were decimated, he seized the alcalde and ordered 
him to resurrect the bones of the seventeen martyred Texans 
and to furnish him with mules, sacks, saddles and all things 
necessary to bear them away. This was done, and Lane 
carried the relics to General Taylor's headquarters. The 
old hero deputed Captain Quisenberry, a Texan, with an 
escort to convey them to Texas. They were taken to La- 
Grange, on the Colorado, and there interred with all 
solemnity on Monument Hill in the presence of thousands. 
"Few know even to this day that to General Walter P. 
Lane, Texas is indebted for the possession of these memen- 
toes of a heroism never surpassed." 

The names of the seventeen heroes, who drew the black 
beans and were shot as malefactors for an act of heroism 
perhaps unparalleled in history, were: James D. Cocke, a 
printer and lawyer, from Richmond, Virginia; Robert H. 
Dunham, William M. Eastland, from Tennessee, for whom 
at a later day Eastland county was named at the instance of 
John Henry Brown; James M. Ogden, a lawyer from Henry 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 351 

county, Kentucky; Thomas L. James, a native of Louisville, 
Kentucky; J. M. N. Thomson, a son of Alexander Thom- 
son of Yellow Prairie, Burleson county, who was one of the 
first settlers of Robertson's colony; Henry Whaling, W. N". 
Rowan, C. Roberts, Edward Este, brother-in-law of David 
G. Burnet, J. Turnbull, R. H. Harris, Martin Carroll Wing, 
a printer from Vermont; Patrick Mahan, L. L. Cash, J. L. 
Shepherd and James H. Torrey, from Colchester, Connecticut 
a brother of the Thomas Torrey mentioned in the reunion 
of General H. P. Bee as one of his two companions whose 
lives were adjudicated by a council of Comanches in Au- 
gust, 1843. 

When the war between the States broke out he was elected 
early in 1861 lieutenant colonel of the Third Texas Cavalry 
and served throughout that long and bloody fraticidal strife. 
We have barely space to enumerate the various battles in 
which he participated. Was at the battle of Oak Hills, Mis- 
souri, August 10, 1861, where his horse was killed under him 
in a charge on a battery. His next fight was that known as 
Chustinallah, against the Pin Indians, in the winter of 
1861-62, where another horse was killed under him. He was 
in Mcintosh's charge on the masked batteries of the Federals 
four miles north of Bentonville. He was at the battle of 
Elkhorn in which McCulloch and Mcintosh fell. 

Says John Henry Rrown: "Pie was at the battle of 
Farmington, and on the withdrawal of the Confederate 
troops from that region Beauregard placed him in command 
of the rear guard of (if our memory serves us right) only 
two hundred and forty-six men. Charged by an over- 
whelming force he met them with such havoc as to cause a 
panic and route them, killing great numbers." For this 
brilliant action he was complimented in general orders, read 
on parade to each regiment of the army and the name of the 
battle ordered to be placed on the regimental flag. Before 
the close of the war he was promoted to the rank of briga- 
dier general, which position he held when the flat went forth 
announcing the surrender of the Confederate armies. 

In June, 1863, General Lane was with the force that cap- 
tured Fort Defiance and a large amount of property from 
the Federals. In the attack on Fort Butler, adjoining Don- 
aldsonville, Lane commanded the force which took the town. 



352 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

On the thirteenth of July, 1863, in the severe battle of La 
Fourche, Lane commanded the right and General Tom 
Green the left wing. On the third of November, 1863, Lane 
commanded a brigade under General Green at the battle of 
Berheaux, capturing four pieces of artillery, nine hundred 
prisoners and a large amount of stores. Being in the ad- 
vance on April 7, 1864, his brigade was the first to encounter 
the Federals under Banks at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. From 
nine o'clock in the morning till four o'clock in the afternoon 
he held in check a vastly superior force of the enemy, until 
being completely surrounded and out of ammunition, lie 
charged through the Federal lines, the enemy falling bac : 
in confusion. He lost sixty out of four hundred men, but 
the enemy's loss was much greater. On the next day, April 
8, Lane, co-operating with General Polignac, led a des- 
perate charge across a field, cut off the right wing of the 
enemy, captured a great number of prisoners, one hundred 
and fifty wagons and twenty pieces of artillery. But in the 
moment of victory he was shot from his horse by a minie 
ball, which entered the upper part of his hip, when Colonel 
George W. Baylor succeeded to the command and gallantly 
completed the triumph of the day. 

When "the cruel war was o'er" General Lane returned to 
his home in the beautiful town of Marshall, Texas, where he 
still resides, without pretense or ostentation, beloved and 
honored by all who know him. 



Battle Cvcen fight in 1Ra\>arro Count? 



Taken from General Lane's Memoirs. 



f% SURVEYING party being formed at Franklin, Eob- 

jLA ertson county, I went with William Love and others 

jl from San Augustine to join it, all of us having lands 

? to locate. We organized at Franklin — twenty-three 

f us— electing Neil, captain, William Henderson being our 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 353 

surveyor. We started in September, via Parker's Fort, for 
Richland creek, where we intended to make our loca- 
1838 tions. The second day we camped at Parker's Fort, 
which was then vacated, having been stormed about 
two months before by a body of Comanches [This is error; 
Parker's Fort destroyed May 19, 1836], who murdered all 
the inhabitants or carried them off into captivity, the two 
historical Parker children being among the latter. We 
passed Tehuacana hill on our way to Richland creek, and 
crossed through a dense thicket to the other side of the 
creek and encamped about a mile on another stream, 
where we were going to commence operations. We found 
there some three hundred Kickapoo Indians, with their 
squaws and papooses, who had come down from their reser- 
vation in Arkansas to lay in their supply of dried buffalo 
meat, for the country then abounded with any amount of 
game, and from the hills you could see a thousand buffalo 
at a sight. The Indians received us kindly, as a great many 
of them spoke English. We camped by them three days, 
going out in the morning surveying, and returning in the 
evening to camp in order to procure water. 

The third morning at breakfast we observed a commotion 
in the camp of our neighbors. Presently the chief came to 
us and reported that the Ionies (a wild tribe) were coming 
to kill us. We thanked them for the information, but said 
we were not afraid of the Ionies, and said if they attacked 
us we would "clean them out," as they had nothing but 
bows and arrows, anyway. They begged us to leave, say- 
ing if the Ionies killed us it would be laid on them. We 
refused to leave, but asked the chief why, as he took so 
much interest in our welfare, he could not help us to whip 
the Ionies. He said he could not do that, as his tribe had a 
treaty with them. They begged us feelingly to go, but as 
we would, not, they planned a little surprise for us. They 
knew where we had made a corner the evening before, and 
knew that we would go back there to commence work. So 
they put one hundred men in a ravine we had to go by. 
We started out from our camp to resume our work, several 
of the Indians going with us. One of them stuck to me 
like a leech, and succeeded in begging a piece of tobacco 
from me. Then shaking hands with me, he crossed the 



354 INDIAN DEPKEDATIONS IN TEXAS 

ravine, within fifty yards of where his friends were lying 
in ambush for us. We got opposite to them, not suspecting 
any danger, when about forty of them arose from the ravine 
and fired into us, killing some of our horses and wounding 
several of our men. Captain Neil ordered us to charge 
them, which we did, and routed them out of the ravine, 
when they fell back on a small skirt of timber, fifty yards 
off, from which up sprung one hundred and fifty Indians 
and confronted us. We retreated back into the prairie. 
The Indians mounted their horses and surrounded us. They 
went round in a circle, firing into us. We got to the head 
of the ravine in the prairie and took shelter in it. The In- 
dians put a force out of gun shot to watch us, while their 
main force went below about eighty yards, where the ravine 
widened, and they had the advantage of brush wood. They 
opened fire on us and shot all our horses except two, which 
were behind a bush, to make sure that none of us should 
escape. 

The Indians had no hostility towards us, but knew as we 
were surveying the land, that the white people would soon 
settle there and break up their hunting grounds, so they 
wanted to kill us for a double purpose — none would be left 
to tell on them, and it would deter others from coming into 
that section of country surveying. We commenced firing 
into each other up and down the ravine, we sheltered by 
nooks, and they by brush in their part. Euclid Cook got 
behind the only tree on the bank, firing at them, when ex- 
posing himself, he was shot through the spine. He fell 
away from the tree and called for some of us to come and 
pull him down into the ravine. I dropped my gun, ran up 
the bank and pulled him down. He was mortally wounded 
and died in two hours. We fought all day without water, 
waiting for night to make our escape; but when night came, 
also came the full moon, making it almost as bright as day. 

Up to this time we had several killed and some badly 
wounded. We waited till near twelve o'clock for the mooi 
to cloud over, but as it did not, we determined to make 
break for Richland creek bottom. We put our four worsl 
wounded men on the two remaining horses. As we arcs* 
upon the bank the Indians raised a yell on the prairie, am 
all rushed around us in a half circle, pouring hot shot into 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 355 

lis. We retreated in a walk, wheeling and firing as we 
went, and keeping them at bay. The four wounded men 
on horseback were shot off, when we put other badly 
wounded ones in their places. We got within two hundred 
yards of the timber, facing around and firing, when Cap- 
tain Neil was shot through the hips. He called to me to 
help him on a horse behind a wounded man, which another 
man and I did. We had not gone ten steps further, when 
Neil, the wounded man and horse were all shot down to- 
gether, and I was shot through the calf of the leg, splinter- 
ing the bone, and severing the "leaders" that connected 
with my toes. I fell forward as I made a step, but found I 
could support myself on my heel. I hobbled on with the 
balance to the mouth of the ravine, which was covered with 
brush, into which four of us entered, the other three taking 
the timber on the other side. We had gone about fifty 
yards down the ravine where it was dark and in the shade, 
when I called to Henderson to stop and tie up my leg, as I 
was bleeding to death. He did so — cut off the top of my 
boot and bandaged the wound. We saw about fifty In- 
dians come to the mouth of the ravine, but they could not 
see us, as we were in the shade, so we went on down the 
ravine. They followed and overtook our wounded comrade 
whom we had to leave and killed him. We heard him cry 
out when they shot him, and knowing they would overtake 
us, we crawled upon tne bank of the ravine, laid down on 
our faces with our guns cocked, ready to give them one 
parting salute if they discovered us. They passed us so 
closely that I could have put my hand on any of their 
heads. They went down the ravine a short distance when 
a conch shell was blown on the prairie as a signal for the 
Indians to come back- After they had repassed us, we 
went down to Richland creek where we found a little pond 
of muddy water, into which I pitched head foremost, hav- 
ing been all day without any, and suffering from loss of 
blood. We here left Violet, our wounded comrade; his thigh 
was broken and he could crawl no further. He begged me 
to stay with him, as I was badly wounded, and, he said, 
could not reach the settlements — some ninety miles distant. 
I told him I was bound to make the connection; so we bound 
np his thigh and left him near the water. We traveled 



356 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

down the creek till daylight, then "cooned" over the dry- 
creek on a log, so as to leave no track in the sand, to a little 
island of brush, where we lay all day long. In the morn- 
ing we could hear the Indians riding up and down, looking 
for us. They knew our number, twenty-three, and seven 
had escaped. They wished to kill all so that it could not be 
charged to their tribe. 

We started at dusk for Tehuacana hill, some twenty-five 
miles distant. When I rose to my feet, after lying all day 
in the thicket, the agony from the splinters of bone in my leg 
was so severe that I fainted. When I recovered conscious- 
ness, and before I opened my eyes, I heard Burton tell Hen- 
derson that they had best leave me, as I could not get in and 
would greatly encumber them. Henderson said we were 
friends and had slept on the same blanket together and he 
would stick to me to the last. I rose to my feet and cursed 
Burton, both loud and deep, telling him he was a white livered 
plebian, and in spite of his one hundred and fifty pounds I 
would lead him to the settlements, which I did. We traveled 
nearly all night, but next day got out of our course by fol- 
lowing buffalo trails that we thought would lead us to 
water. The country was so dry that the earth was cracked 
open. 

On the third day after the fight we sighted Tehuacana 
hill. We got within six miles of it when Burton sat down 
and refused to go any farther, saying he would die there. 
We abused and sneered at him for having no grit and 
finally got him to the spring. We luckily struck the water 
one hundred yards below the springs, where it covered a 
weedy marsh and was warm. Just as we got in sight of the 
water ten Indians rode up to us. I saw that they were 
Kickapoos. They asked us what we were doing. I told 
them we had been out surveying, had a fight with the 
Ionies and got lost from our comrades, who had gone an- 
other way to the settlement. They wanted to talk longer 
but I said: "Water! water!" The chief said: "There is 
water." So I made for it, pitched headforemost into the 
weeds and water on my face, and drank until I could hold 
no more. Luckily for me the water was warm. If I had 
struck the spring above, the water would have killed me. 
Henderson and Burton were above me in the water. In a 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 357 

short time they called me. I heard them but would not an- 
swer. I was in the water covered by weeds and felt so 
happy and contented I would have neither moved nor 
spoken for any consideration. Henderson and Burton got 
uneasy about me, as I did not answer, and came down the 
bank to find me. An Indian saw me in the water and 
weeds, waded in and snaked me out. I asked the chief 
what he would take to carry me to a settlement on a horse. 
He looked at me (I was a forlorn object from suffering hun- 
ger and want of water — my eyes were sunk nearly to the 
back of my head) and said: " Maybe so you die to-night!" 
I told him no, unless he killed me. He replied: "ISTo kid." 
He asked: "Want eat?" We said "yes." He answered: 
"Maybe so, camp in two miles; come go; squaws got some- 
thing to eat." He helped me on a horse and we went to 
camp. The women saw our condition and would only give 
us a little at a time. They gave us each a wooden bowl of 
soup, composed of dried buffalo meat, corn and pumpkins 
all boiled together. Green turtle soup with all its spicy con- 
diments dwindles into insipidity when compared with my 
ecollection of that savory broth. When we handed back 
our bowls they said " bimeby." They waked us up twice dur- 
ing the night and gave us more. They understood our con- 
dition, knew that we were famished, and that to give us all 
we wanted at one time would kill us. We slept till next 
morning, when we wished to start, knowing that at any 
moment a runner might come into camp and tell them it 
was their tribe that had attacked us, and as we were the 
only ones who could criminate them we must be killed. I 
traded a fine rifle of Henderson's for a pony and saddle, but 
when I started to mount him a squaw stopped me and said: 
"No, my pony." I appealed to the Indian who looked at 
me ruefully and said: " Squaw's pony " — showing that pet- 
ticoat government was known even by the Kickapoos. 

We started on foot, my leg paining me severely. We had 
gone about three miles, when six Indians galloped up to us 
on the prairie. I told my comrades our time had come. We 
got behind two trees and determined to sell our lives dearly. 
They rode up, saying: "Howdy. We want to trade guns" 
—showing an old dilapidated rifle to trade for our good one. 
We soon found out it was trade or fight; so we swapped. 



358 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

with the understanding that they would take me to Parker's 
Fort, about twenty-five miles, on a pony, which they agreed 
to. One Indian went with us, the balance going back and 
taking the rifle. We got near the fort in the morning, when 
Burton proposed to Henderson to shoot the Indian — who 
was unarmed — and I could ride to the settlements. Hen- 
derson indignantly refused, and I told Burton that, rather 
than betray confidence, I would walk in on one leg. Five 
minutes later I heard a gun fire to the right. We asked the 
Indian what it meant. He replied: "Cosette, Kickapoo 
chief, camp there. "' So, if we had shot the Indian, we would 
have brought down a hundred on us to see what the shot 
meant. He then told me: "May be so, you get down. 
Yonder is Parker's Fort. Me go to Cosette's camp." I did 
so. We struck the Eavasota below the fort, and waded 
down the stream a mile, fearing the Indians would follow 
us. We crossed in the night and went out some three miles 
in the prairie and slept. The Indians that morning had 
given us as much dried buffalo meat af we could carry, so 
we had plenty to eat on our way. We traveled all next day 
and part of the night, having got on the trail that led to 
Franklin. We started the next morning before day. Going 
along the path, I in the lead, we were hailed, ordered to halt 
and tell who we were. I looked up and saw two men with 
their guns leveled on us, about forty yards off. I answered: 
"We are friends; white men." I didn't blame them much 
for the question, for I was in my shirt and drawers, with a 
hankerchief tied around my head, having lost my hat in the 
fight, and they thought we were Indians, 

They proved to be my old friends William Love and Jack- 
son, who had left our party some six days before for the 
settlements, to get us anotner compass. They were horrified 
when we told them of the massacre. They put us-on their 
horses and returned with us to Franklin, a distance of some 
fifteen miles. The news spread over the neighborhood like 
wildfire. By the next morning fifty men were raised, and, 
piloted by Love, started for the scene of our disaster. I had 
been placed in comfortable quarters in Franklin, and kindly 
nursed and attended by sympathetic ladies. Henderson 
and Burton bade me good-bye and went to their respective 
homes. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 359 

We told Love's party where we had left Violet with his 
thigh broken, and asked them to try and find him. The 
party got to Tehuacana Springs, and, being very thirsty, 
threw down their guns to get a drink. Violet, who had 
seen the.ni coming across the prairie, thought they were In- 
dians, and secreted himself in the brush close by; but when 
he heard them talk and found they were white men, he gave 
a yell and hobbled out, saying, "Boys, I'm mighty glad you 
have come." He came near stampeding the whole party, 
they thinking it was an Indian ambuscade. 

Poor Violet, after we left him in Richland creek bottom, 
stayed there three days, subsisting on green haws and 
plums. Getting tired, he concluded to make for Tehuacana 
hills, as he knew the course. He splinted and bandaged 
his thigh as best he could, then struck out and got there 
after a day and night's travel. Being nearly famished, he 
looked around for something to eat. In the spring, which 
was six feet across, he saw a big bullfrog swimming around. 
Failing to capture him, he concluded to shoot him. He 
pulled down on him with a holster pistol loaded with twelve 
buckshot and the proportional amount of powder. Having 
his back to the embankment down which the water ran, 
the pistol knocked him over it, senseless, breaking the liga- 
ture that bound his thigh. He remained insensible, ho 
thought, about two hours. When he became conscious he 
bandaged his leg as well as he could and crawled up to the 
spring to look for the frog. He found one hind quarter 
floating around, the balance having been blown to flinders. 
Being very hungry, he made short work of that. In a few 
hours after that, Love's party came up and supplied him 
with all he wanted. They left him there until their return, 
they going up to the battle ground to bury the dead and see 
if they could find any more wounded. 

When they got there, they found the bones of all our killed, 
the flesh having been stripped off by the wolves. And they 
also found, much to my satisfaction, eighty piles of green 
brash, in the lower part of the ravine, from where the In- 
dians were firing at us during the day, and under each pile 
of brush a copious quantity of blood, which proved that we 
had not been fooling away our time during the day. 

The company returned to Franklin, bringing Violet with 
th^v, who recovered from his wound. 



360 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 



?dparfc0, Bart? ant> 1fooIlan<x 



DURING the year 1838 three men. Sparks, Barry and 
Holland, were killed by the Indians on the south side 
of Richland creek, about twelve miles from where 
the town of Corsicana now stands. These three men 
belonged to a surveying party and were killed by Indians 
who had placed themselves in ambush near the line they 
were running. The rest of the party escaped by 
1838 flight. William F. Sparks was a well known land lo- 
cator from the town of Nacogdoches, and his name as 
surveyor is attached to a great number of land titles in that 
region of country. These three men were never buried, as 
there were no friendly hands near to administer the last sad 
rites of interment. Some of the surveying instruments of 
this party were found twelve or thirteen years afterwards 
about four miles south of Corsicana. About one year after 
this occurrence there was a battle fought by Captain Chan- 
dler and Lieutenant William M. Love at the head of about 
forty Texans, with a large body of Comanche Indians. 
This was a running fight and was continued about ten miles. 
A number of the Indians were killed, while the Texans only 
lost one man. At the commencement of the engagement 
the Indians began to retreat and ran to their encampment, 
which was stormed by the Texans, when nearly four thou- 
sand dollars worth of property was captured. The gallant 
Colonel C. M. Winkler, late of Corsicana, who so nobly won 
honors under General Lee, of Virginia, participatecKn this 
fight. (See narrative of J. Eliot in Texas Almanac for 1868, 
p. 52.) Colonel Winkler has since been district judge, was 
a member of the Thirteenth Legislature, and at the time of 
his death, May 13, 1882, was one of the judges of the Court 
of Appeals. We are sorry that we are not in possession of a 
full account of this battle. [We have been informed that 
it was Richard Sparks that was killed instead of his son, 
William F. Sparks, who in April, 1886, resided in Johnson 
county,] 



INDIAN DEPKEDATIONS IN TEXAS. 361 



Jibe flDorgan fIDassacre anb Brpant'0 Defeat 



THE year 1839 will long be remembered by all old Texans 
as one in which they were called upon to pas^- through 
many dangers, privations and hardships. The glorious 
victory gained by Texas heroes over the Mexican army 
upon the banks of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, failed to 
bring rest and security to the Texans. Marauding bands of 
Indians constantly raided the white settlements, and 
1839 on every such occasion they stole and drove away the 
best horses of the settlers. In many instances the 
bow and arrow and tomahawk did their deadly work, and 
on other occasions women and children were carried away 
into a captivity worse than death. During this year many 
important battles were fought, among which may be men- 
tioned that of Colonel John H. Moore with several hundred 
Comanches, which occurred above Austin, on the San Saba 
river; the battle of Brushy creek, in Travis county; the 
Flores and Cordova fights, and Bird's victory in Milam 
county. But the year opened with the Morgan massacre, 
the history of which we are about to narrate. 

Many years ago, that veteran old Texan frontiersman and 
statesman, John Henry Brown, of Dallas, contributed to 
the current history of Texas a number of articles on the 
Indian wars and fights in Texas. The "Morgan Massacre" 
appeared among the number. The history of this sad 
tragedy, and that of the battle known as "Bryant's Defeat," 
will be given substantially in the language of Colonel 
Brown. We would here further remark that we are in- 
debted to the same source for the accounts previously given 
in this book of the battles between the Cherokees and 
Wacos in 1829, and between the Cherokees and Tehuacanas 
in 1830, credit for which should have appeared in the proper 
place but for an oversight. But to the history of the Mor- 
gan massacre. 

On the east side of the Brazos river, near the Falls, the 
families of the Morgans and Marlins lived, and with them 



362 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the families of some of their married children. Some re- 
sided above and others below the present town of Marlim 
There were a number of settlements on the river below 
Marlin for a distance of twenty miles, but above that place, 
with the exception of the families mentioned, the country 
at that time was an uninhabited wilderness — the time to 
which we refer was the winter of 1838-9. It was on Sun- 
day night, the first day of January, 1839, that a portion of 
the families of James Marlin, Mrs. Jones and Jackson Mor- 
gan were passing the night together at the house of George 
Morgan, who lived at what is now called Morgan's Point, 
six miles above the town of Marlin. The remainder of the 
divided families were at the house of John Marlin, seven 
miles below the fort, John and James Marlin were brothers, 
the others of the same name were their children. A little 
after dark the house of George Morgan was suddenly at- 
tacked by Indians, who instantly rushed into the dwelling, 
thereby giving the inmates no time to prepare for defense. 
George Morgan and wife, their grandson, Jackson Jones, 
Mrs. Jackson Morgan, Miss Adeline Marlin, fifteen or six- 
teen years old, were all tomahawked and scalped in the 
house in a very few moments. Miss Stacy Ann Marlin, af- 
terwards the wife of William Morgan, was severely wounded 
and left for dead. Three children were in the yard when 
the attack was made. One of them, Isaac Marlin, a child 
ten years of age, secreted himself behind the fence, and re- 
mained there undiscovered until the Indians had left. The 
other child, Wesley Jones, first ran to the house, but seeing 
the red devils entering and tomahawking the inmates, he 
ran out unobserved by them, and was followed by Mary 
Marlin, another little child. They both escaped together. 
The young lady, before mentioned as having been severely 
wounded, retained her consciousness and feigned -death. 
She was not scalped, but all the rest were. The Indians, 
after they had finished their bloody work, robbed the house 
of its contents, and then left. When the Indians departed, 
the little fellow, Isaac Marlin, who had secreted himself 
behind the fence, entered the house and felt the pulses of 
each one of the victims to ascertain if they were dead. His 
wounded sister, supposing him to be an Indian, remained 
motionless until he had left, when she crawled out. The 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 363: 

little boy Isaac then took the path leading to John Marlin's, 
and ran the distance, seven miles, in a very short time — a 
swift messenger of death to his kindred there assembled. 

Wesley Jones and Mary Marlin, the two little children 
before mentioned as having made their escape, did not reach 
Mr. Marlin's house until daylight the next morning, and 
the wounded Miss Marlin not until noon the next day. 
John Marlin, his brother James, William and Wilson Mar- 
lin, Jackson and George W. Morgan and Albert G. Gholson, 
after they were told of the terrible massacre by the little 
boy Isaac, hastened to the scene and found the facts to be 
as he had stated. The next day a great many came from 
the lower settlements to their assistance, and the dead were 
consigned to their graves amid the wailing of their grief- 
stricken relatives and friends. Ten days later, being the 
tenth day of January, the Indians, seventy in number, at- 
tacked the house of John Marlin and his son Benjamin 
(the surviving family of the latter are now residents of 
Milam county). Garrett Menifee and his son Thomas were 
present also when the Indians made their attack. They 
killed seven of the Indians and wounded others, without 
receiving any injury themselves. The Indians, not partic- 
ularly relishing such a "friendly" reception, withdrew. 

When the attack was made Menifee's negro man, Hinchey, 
was at work a short distance from the house and "put out" 
for the settlements below at ' 'double quick. " He ran twenty- 
five miles, and reached his destination in less time than a 
good horse could have traveled the same distance — in fact, 
as he admitted himself, Hinchey was badly scared. He 
reported the attack that was being made upon Mr. Marlin's 
house, and a company was soon raised and started to the 
assistance of the beseiged party, but before they reached 
the place the Indians had left. 

After some discussion upon the subject, those who were 
present came to the conclusion that they must either pur- 
sue and fight the Indians or abandon their homes and fall 
back to the lower settlements for safety. They chose the 
former alternative, and made their preparations accordingly. 
Their effective force available for pursuit was forty- eight 
men. 

Benjamin Bryant, of Bryant's Station, whose surviving 



364 INDIAN DEPKEDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

family now reside in Milam county, was called to the com- 
mand. The next morning 1 he and his company took the 
trail of the Indians and followed it until it struck the Brazos 
river near Morgan's Point. They crossed the river at that 
place, and on the west side they found a deserted camp 
which the red devils had hut recently left. About a mile 
from this camp they came upon a fresh trail bearing in 
towards the river and followed it. They counted sixty-four 
fresh horse tracks upon the trail besides the moccasin tracks 
of a great number of foot Indians. They crossed the river 
where the trail entered it, and just as they did so they ob- 
served a smoke rising up from the prairie which was on fire, 
and supposing the Indians had fired Mr. John Marlin's 
house, they hastened down there with all the speed they 
could make. As the dny was far advanced when they dis- 
covered their mistake, they halted and encamped for the 
night. The next morning, January 16, they started again 
and found that the Indians had been at the deserted houses 
two miles above and had plundered them. They then trav- 
eled on six miles further to Morgan's Point, where they dis- 
covered the Indians in the open post oak woods near a dry 
ravine. 

The noted chief, Jose Maria, who was riding in front in 
perfect nonchalance, when he saw Bryant and his men com- 
ing, slowly rode back to the rear where he halted, pulled off 
his gauntlets, and taking deliberate aim, fired at Joseph 
Boren, cutting his coat sleeve. Jose Maria gave the sig- 
nal for battle, and the action commenced. Captain Bryant 
ordered a charge, which was gallantly made, and in which 
he was wounded, and the command was transferred to Mr. 
Ethan Stroud. The Indians fired one volley at the Texans 
when they charged, and then fell back into a ravine. Be- 
fore they did so, however, David W. Campbell firedlit Chief 
Jose Maria, the ball striking him in the breast, but not 
wounding him seriously. At the same time Albert Gholson 
fired at the chief and killed the horse he was riding. The 
Texans followed the Indians to the ravine and fired upon 
them from the bank. The Indians then commenced retreat- 
ing down the ravine in order to reach some timber known 
as the "River Bottom," and as soon as the Texans perceived 
the movement a number flanked around and got into the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 365 

ravine below them to hold them in check, which caused the 
Indians to fall back again to their original position. By 
this time the Texans had come to the conclusion that they 
had won the day, and in consequence they became careless 
and scattered about in all directions, every man acting as 
his own captain and fighting on his own hook. 

The shrewd old Indian chief, observing this state of af- 
fairs, suddenly sprang from the ravine at the head cf his 
men and opened a terrible and unexpected fire upon them. 
This threw the Texans into some confusion, and their com- 
mander seeing how matters stood, ordered his men to retreat 
to a point some two hundred yards distant where he in- 
tended to re-form them, and then charge the enemy again. 
He also desired by this move to draw the Indians some dis- 
tance from the ravine, so that when he charged them again 
they could not easily avail themselves of its shelter. 

This order, owing to prevailing confusion, was understood 
by many to mean an unqualified retreat, and a sudden panic 
seized upon the men. Taking advantage of their disorder, 
the wily old chief at the head of his men charged furiously 
upon the Texans, at the same time making the welkin ring 
with their demoniac yells. Several of the Texans were 
killed at the first onset, the rest were demoralized and the 
rout soon became general, and they were hotly pursued by 
the Indians for four miles. In this retreat ten men were 
killed and five wounded. All who were killed fell within 
one and one-half miles of the battle ground — the most of 
them being dismounted within half a mile. Plummer, 
Ward and Barton were killed at the ravine before the re- 
treat began. Some individual acts of heroism and bravery 
deserve especial mention. David W. Campbell, not hearing 
the order to retreat, was about being surrounded by the In- 
dians when the brave Captain Eli Chandler, who was 
mounted, rushed to his rescue and took him up behind him. 
Young Jackson Powers, having lost his horse, mounted on 
a pony behind William McGrew, and at the same moment 
his arm was broken by a bullet. Shortly afterwards his 
brother, mounted on a large horse, came up with him, who 
told him to leave the pony and get up behind him. He 
sprang from the pony with the intention of complying with 
his brother's request, but owing to the plunging of the horse 



366 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and his own inability to mount quickly, because of his 
broken arm, the Indians came up with them before he suc- 
ceeded in doing so. His brother defended him to the last, 
but when he saw him fall dead, he put spurs to his horse 
and escaped. William N. P. Marlin was severely wounded 
in the hip before the retreat began and was unable to mount 
his horse. David Cobb ran to him and lifted him on his 
horse at the imminent risk of his own life. 

Wilson Reed, a daring young fellow, was knocked from 
his horse during the retreat by coming in contact with a 
tree. The Indians were close upon him, coming at full 
speed, yelling and brandishing their tomahawks, when he 
cried out: "Oh Lord, boys, Mary Ann is a widow;" but 
just then some one came riding by, took him up and bore 
him off unhurt. 

The Indians lost about as many in this affair as the Tex- 
ans although the latter were driven from the field. They 
were greatly elated by their double victory in that neigh- 
borhood, and became more daring than ever until checked 
by a signal defeat near Little river, known as "Bird's 
Victory." 

The names of those who participated in the battle just 
described were as follows: A. J, Powers, Washington Mc- 

Grew, Ward, Armstrong Barton, Plummer, Alfred 

Eaton, Hugh A. Henry, William Fullerton, A. J. Webb, 

Doss, Charles Soils (or Sails), William K P. Marlin, 

Bryant, G. W. Morgan, Enoch M. Jones, John R. 

Henry, Lewis B. and William C. Powers, Henry Haigwood, 
Eli Chandler, Ethan Stroud, Joseph Boren, William Mc- 
Grew, Andrew McMillan, Clay and David Cobb, Richard 
Teel, Albert G. Gholson, Michael Castleman, Wilson Reed 
(brother of William and Jeff Reed of Bell county and uncle 
of Volney Reed of Milam county), Wiley Carter; John 
Welsh, Britton Dawson, R. H. Mathews, David W. Camp- 
bell, Nathan Campbell, Smith, Jeremiah McDaniel, 

W alter Campbell, William Henry, Hugh Henry, John 
Marlin, Wilson Marlin, Joseph McCandless, John Tucker, 
Thomas Duncan (then a mere boy and afterwards a citizen 
of Bell county. He was mysteriously murdered about the 
close of the war), and one other whose name is not remem- 
bered. In the charge and retreat, the ten first names of the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 367 

compare in the preceding list were killed, and the next five 
were wounded, All who were killed fell within one and a 
half miles of the battle ground, the most of them within 
half a mile, being overtaken on foot. Plummer, Ward and 
Barton were killed at the ravine. 

Jose Maria, so long the dread of the frontier, but after- 
wards the most pacific and civilized chiei* on the govern- 
ment reserve, has always acknowledged that he was whipped 
and retreating, until he observed the panic and confusion 
among the Texans. There is scarcely any doubt at all that 
if the Texans had observed the order of their commander 
to fall back to the designated point and there rallied that 
they would have gained a complete victory over the Indians, 
and probabl}' the old chief himself would not have lived to 
tell the story of that disastrous fight. 

Jose Maria visited Bryant's station years afterwards and 
offered Bryant his pipe to smoke. Bryant insisted that 
Jose Maria should smoke first as he had won the fight, and 
the old chief proudly followed the suggestion. 



Zhe famous Bitt> Creek fiQht 



By J. T. DeShields in U. S. Magazine. 



ON Sunday morning, May 27, 1839, the intrepid Captain 
John Bird, with a company of thirty-one rangers, well 
mounted and equipped, left Fort Milam at the falls of 
the Brazos, on a scouting expedition against the depre- 
dating bands of Indians who were constantly making for- 
ages upon the unprotected settlements around Fort Griffin 
on Little river, which was at that time on the extreme fron- 
tier of Texas in that direction — the Bryants, Marlins and a 
few others on the Brazos being their nearest neighbors. 
Captain Bird arrived at Fort Griffin at one o'clock in the 
afternoon of the same day, and at once learned that Indians 
had been seen near the fort but a few hours before his ar- 



308 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

rival. Without dismounting, the rangers proceeded to the 
point where the Indians had been seen. After a hurried 
march of some five miles upon the freshly made trail, they 
suddenly came upon twenty-seven Comanche Indians. 
When discovered, the Comanche gentlemen were busy skin- 
ning buffaloes, and did not notice the approaching rangers 
until they were close upon them. The rangers charged the 
redskins, who fled in different directions, thinking to pre- 
vent pursuit. Following on in the direction which the main 
body had gone for some three miles over the prairie, the 
rangers found themselves confronted by the same party of 
Indians, who had come together at this point, and were ar- 
rayed in battle order and ready for a fight. The Texans 
again charged upon them, and after a short skirmish the 
Indians again fled, the rangers pursuing them several miles 
further, but without overtaking them. Their horses being 
considerably jaded, the savages easily outrode them. The 
rangers now gave up the chase, and had decided to return 
to the fort, but after retracing their steps for half a mile, 
and just as they were emerging from a skirt of timber on 
the south side of a small stream, since called Bird's creek, 
and at a point about seven miles northeast of the present 
town of Belton, they were suddenly surrounded by about 
forty Indians, who shot their arrows at them from every 
direction. The rangers made for a ravine some six hun- 
dred yards in front, where there was a spring, which they 
succeeded in reaching, despite the desperate attempt made 
to prevent them by the savages, who now retired to the top 
of a hill about three hundred yards distant. A council of 
war was now held, when the Indians sent up three "signal 
smokes," which were in a like manner answered in as many 
different directions. In about half an hour the rangers saw 
a large body of mounted warriors heading in the direction 
of their confederates. In a few minutes the hill top seemed 
to be literally alive with painted demons. Increased to 
about three hundred in number, and led by their famous 
chief, Buffalo Hump, the Indians now arrayed themselves 
in battle order, ready and eager for the fray. Advancing 
a few paces, the entire company halted, and they remained 
silent and motionless for several moments, perhaps to give 
the little band of Texans in the ravine an opportunity of 







PLACIDO, A TONKAWA CHIEF. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 369 

counting the enemy; but, as one of the rangers remarked 
after the fight, ''Thar warn't no time for counting Ingins." 
The helpless little company of men well knew that this for- 
midable army of red devils would soon swoop down upon 
them, and they were busy preparing to defend themselves 
against such fearful odds. Kaising the Comanche war 
whoop all along the entire line, the Indians charged down 
upon the men in the ravine, uttering the most unearthly 
yells that ever greeted the ears of mortals, and at the same 
time pouring in a regular deluge of arrows. The Texans 
were brave and cool, and gave them a most deadly recep- 
tion, causing them to retire to the hill top, without carry- 
ing off their dead and wounded. Again the enemy charged 
in overwhelming numbers, this time advancing to within 
fifty yards of the ravine, but under the galling fire of the 
rangers, they were once more compelled to retreat, leaving 
a number of their braves dead and wounded upon the field. 
Having failed in each attempt to dislodge the rangers from 
their stronghold, and seeing that several of their number 
had bitten the dust at each successive charge, the whole 
company retired some distance beyond the hill and out of 
sight. 

They now divided into two companies, and immediately 
began making a third and more fierce attack upon the ran- 
gers, this time closing in upon them from either side, deter- 
mined to rout the little garrison at all hazards. The strife 
became deadly. The gallant little band of rangers in the 
ravine fought for life, and taxed their energies to the utmost. 
The field was almost an open prairie, with little or nothing 
to shield the contending foes against the showers of arrows 
and leaden hail which were incessantly being sent. Victory 
trembled in the balance. The Indians repeatedly charged 
almost to the brink of the ravine, but were as often forced 
back. The brave Captain Bird was killed early in the fight, 
and six other rangers were killed or wounded. The remain- 
der, reduced to only twenty-five in number, and exhausted 
by the long and protracted contest, seemed doomed to almost 
certain destruction, when James Robinnett, a young Ger- 
man, and upon whom the command now devolved, swore to 
his comrades that he would kill the chief in the next charge, 
at the risk of his own life. Young Robinnett had not long 



370 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

to wait before the Indians again charged down upon them, 
led by their chief, who was arrayed in full uniform, with 
an immense head dress of buffalo horns, and mounted on a 
splendid American horse, presenting a most ludicrous and 
formidable appearance. Taking deliberate aim, Eobinnett 
fired at the chief, and, true to his vow, succeeded in killing 
him. His lifeless body was at once surrounded by some ten 
or twelve braves, who immediately carried it out of sight, 
leaving tbr/r comrades to avenge his death. 

After ere more unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the ran- 
gers, and night coming on, the savages retreated to the hill, 
with a heavy loss of men and horses. The Texans lost five 
killed — their gallant and lamented captain, a Mr. Gale, 

Nash, Weaver, and one other whose name we can 

not recall, and they had two or three wounded. The loss of 
the Indians was supposed to be about one hundred.* 

Fearing another attack from the savages, the rangers 
remained in the ravine until the next morning; and, seeing 
no Indians in sight, they mounted their horses (which had 
been secured near by in the ravine) and made their way 
back to Fort Griffin in double quick time. Their story was 
soon told, and a large force collected and immediately re- 
paired to the battle ground. A huge coffin had been pre- 
pared, and into this uncouth receptacle all that was mortal 
of Captain Bird and his unfortunate comrades was placed 
and sent back to the settlement for burial. The remains of 
the five men now repose side by side on the bank of Little 
river, near the site of old Fort Griffin. After detailing a 
part of their number to care for the dead, as above referred 
to, the remainder of the men at once went in pursuit of the 
Indians, and proceeded as far as Stampede creek, where 
they camped for the night. From some unaccountable 
cause, all their horses stampeded about midnight and left 
the men afoot, which circumstance gave to the creek its 
present name. 

The bullet holes may still be seen in many of the trees on 
Bird's c;eek, where the engagement first commenced. The 



*Nathaniel Brookshire, commanding:, in his report of May 81. 1839, 
states that the su >posed number of Indians killed was thirty. This is 
very iu correct, as it was afterwards ascertained to be a much greater 
number — some say as many as one hundred. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 371 

little spring in the ravine that slaked the thirst of the be- 
sieged rangers and cooled the fevered brows of their dying 
comrades, still bubbles forth its sparkling water as on that 
memorable day — murmuring an eternal requiem to the 
memory of the heroes who so nobly perished to protect their 
homes and loved ones. The battle ground is now inclo ed 
in a farm, and all that marks the scene of this desperate 
conflict is a clump of alamo bianco trees, living monuments 
to the sacred memory of the fallen heroes. 



fEtasaacte of Sparc's Surveying ©art? an& 
Victors of flDaJor 1bowait>- 



By J. T. DeShields, in United Service Magazine. 



ON the eighteenth of November, 1840, a surveyor by the 
name of Dick Sparks, with a company of about forty 
men, left San Augustine, in San Augustine county, on 
a surveying and land locating expedition to the country 
between the head waters of the Red and Brazos rivers. 
After fifteen days of traveling the party arrived at their 
destination, and having seen no signs of Indians along 
1840 their route, and thinking themselves entirely secure 
in this wild and desolate region, they immediately 
commenced work. On the third day, while the men were 
busy surveying, they noticed a large herd of buffaloes com- 
ing hurriedly from the north. The animals seemed to be 
considerably frightened, and soon passed out of sight, going 
south. This was rather unusual and caused the party some 
little uneasiness, some of them remarking that there were 
surely Indians behind them; but as no Indians came in sight, 
quiet was soon restored and the men resumed their work. 
Among the party was an old teamster called "Good Eye 
Roberts," who had lost one of his eyes by having it shot out 
with an arrow in a skirmish with a party of Indians near 
San Antonio, and who, it seems, better understood the wily 



372 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Comanches than the remainder of his party, for he repeat- 
edly warned the men that the buffaloes had been scared by 
Indians, and that the Indians had discovered them, and 
were only waiting for a favorable opportunity to attack 
them. At this Captain Sparks became impatient with the 
old friontiersman, telling him that he was a coward, and 
that he should hold his tongue until he got into camp, and 
then he could talk all night if he wished to do so. To this 
Roberts replied: "Very well, captain, you will talk, too, 
after awhile, and with good reasons." Reaching camp a 
half hour before sun set, the men soon dispatched a hearty 
meal of venison steak, flour bread, and some honey which 
had been secured from a bee tree which had been cut that 
day. The incidents of the past day were discussed, and, 
after the usual number of yarns had been spun, the party 
spread their blankets and retired for the night, each man 
taking his gun by his side as a bed-fellow. Forgetting the 
incidents of the previous day, and being somewhat fatigued 
and worried, the entire party was soon asleep. But "Good 
Eye's" fears had been well founded, for not long afterwards 
there came the most horrible yelling and screeching that 
had ever met the ears of the whites, accompanied witn a 
prolonged shower of arrows. They had been surrounded by 
a large party of Indians, and almost every man was killed 
lying on his blanket. 

Robert Wires and another man named Kellogg made their 
escape, however, and at once left for a more comfortable and 
safer place, taking nothing but the clothes which they had 
on and their guns. 

The remainder of the story details facts of an interesting 
nature, and we prefer giving them as narrated by Mr. Wires 
— not in the same words of the old veteran, but the sum and 
substance of his narrative as he often relates it. lie says: 
"I had been weakened in strength by having had chills and 
fever for several days past, and it was not long before I 
began to feel* my weakness. W^e saw that we were hotly 
pursued, and, gathering my strength, I ran along beside 
my comrade and said: ''Kellogg, I can't stand this pain in 
my side, and must rest; save yourself the best you can, and 
I will try and dodge 'em." Just then we reached a sort of 
ledge or bluff in the prairie, after which the ground inclined 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 373 

downward to the bed of a creek about half a mile away. 
As soon as we were over the bluff I turned sharp to the 
right and ran around a little point that reached out beyond 
the balance of the bluff, and stopping to look, I saw a kind 
of shelf of rock or flat edge of a bowlder, under which 
there was room for me to lie, and without delay I disap- 
peared underneath it, every moment expecting to hear my 
right disputed by rattlesnakes. Meanwhile Kellogg had 
dashed ahead, and soon reached the underbrush, making a 
terrible racket in tearing through them. In a very short 
space of time our pursuers, of whom there were four, tore past 
within a few yards, keeping directly ahead after Kellogg. 
They did not run a very great distance in their pursuit, 
however, for after a little time they returned and came 
directly toward the rock underneath which I was lying, and 
I began to fear that they had mistrusted my whereabouts; 
but my good fortune had not quit me. They walked up to 
the rock, and two of them jumped upon it to reconnoitre, 
the other two standing upon the ground within reach of my 
ramrod, all of them puffing and breathing hard after their 
fruitless race. They soon left me, for which little kindness 
I was grateful. I feared they might still be near, and so 
lay perfectly still, but heard no more of them, and at the 
first sign of day I crawled out and made my way cautiously 
partly on hands and knees, to the stream that ran a little 
distance from me. As soon as I had gained the cover of the 
brush, and with the help of my hat got me a drink, I pushed 
on a little way; and, as soon as the sun was up enough to 
give me my course, I began making my best time toward 
the settlements. I had but two bullets left, and held them 
for an emergency, not daring to use my ammunition upon 
game. I soon very naturally became pretty hungry. To- 
ward night of the second day I heard the distant tinkle of 
a cow bell, and made my best time toward it, and, hearing 
me coming through the brush, the animal became startled 
and made for the trail leading homeward, and was soon 
joined by many other bells. You may suppose that this 
was music to my ears, and I soon reached the settler's house, 
who proved to be an old acquaintance named Hallmark, and, 
although a long way from other settlements, he was near 
the main road from San Antonio to Red river. With blis- 



374 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

tered feet and famished stomach, I was cared for by my 
friend Hallmark in the best possible manner. He sat by 
the table, and every now and then would move the food out 
of my reach, fearing I would eat too fast and too heartily. 
I remonstrated with him, but said he: "I have been in your 
fix myself, and know what you need." 

His wife then related how at one time he had a long, hard 
run from the Indians, and when he reached home he had 
thirteen arrow points in his back, all of which she removed 
except two, which were still there. 

After a good rest and doctoring my feet, I pushed on to 
San Augustine, finding Kellogg one day ahead of me. 

Later on, in December of this year, Major Howard had 
another fight with Comanches on Opossum creek, near 
Georgetown, and by drawing them into an ambuscade suc- 
ceeded in giving them another chastisement. The rangers 
had followed the trail of the Indians for several miles, and 
were fortunate enough to discover them without being dis- 
covered. Knowing full well that he never could come up 
with the Comanches in a chase, or provoke them into an 
open fight on the open prairie — for in numbers the tw T o par- 
ties were nearly equal— Major Howard resorted to a strata- 
gem. Secreting his men in a thick grove of timber, he 
started oft alone, well mounted, in the direction of the 
enemy. The moment the Indians saw him they considered 
the possession of his scalp as certain as though it was 
already hanging at their saddle skirts, and, with frightful 
yells, gave chase. The gallant officer trusted to his steed at 
a time when a stumble would have been inevitable destruc- 
tion to both. The Texans in their covert could plainly hear 
the distant whoops of the savages, and hugged still closer 
the trees behind which they were sheltered. With almost 
lightning speed the pursued and pursuers scoured across the 
prairie, the former leading the savages directly within range 
of his own men. Y^hen at a point opposite the Texans and 
within a few yards distant, a well directed volley tumbled 
seven of the Comanches dead from their horses. So sudden 
and unexpected was this reception that the Indians turned 
their horses and made a precipitate retreat. One' only re- 
mained behind, whose heroic conduct deserves a passing 
remark. Among the dead was his brother, and, in endeav- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 375 

oring to save the body from the hands of the Texans, the 
savage lost his own life. He dismounted and absolutely 
succeeded in packing his lifeless brother upon his horse, 
amid a shower of bullets; but, while mounting, a well 
directed rifle ball pierced him to the heart, and the brothers 
came together to the ground. Not one of Major Howard's 
men was injured. 



Sketcb of tfoe Xife of Colonel 3o\m 1benn> 

Brown, 



f\ MONG- the many wnose names are now identified with 
LJ the history of Texas, Colonel John Henry Brown, of 
I * Dallas, holds a conspicuous place. He has not only 
r rendered important services to the State as a fron- 

tiersman, and in a military and civil capacity, but has done 
more with his able pen than any one else to preserve from 
oblivion the achievements and sufferings of the pio- 
1839 neers of Texas. The following sketch of his life is 
mainly taken from a book lately published by Victor 
M. Rose, Esq., the biography of Gen. Ben McCulloch. Of 
course in a book such as ours anything more than a bare 
enumeration of his services and of the prominent events of 
his life would be inappropriate. 

John Henry Brown was born in Pike county, Missouri, 
October 29, 1820. Whilst yet but a youth he emigrated to 
Texas, which has been his permanent and actual home ever 
since. In 1839, when the city of Austin was laid out. Colo- 
nel Brown went there, and, obtaining employment in the 
office of the Texas Sentinel, he remained there until 1840. 
He was made Secretary of the Austin Lyceum, composed 
of nearly all the talented men then in the place, and was a 
member of the Travis Guards, a fine volunteer company. 
When the Indians in the winter of 1839-40 made a night 
raid on the town, killing several people within its limits, 



370 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

General Burleson, with some Toncahua Indians, pursued 
them far up the country, and Brown accompanied the expe- 
dition. Early in the summer he left Austin on a visit to his 
uncle, then living on the Lavaca river, where he arrived 
just in time to take part in the fruitless expedition known 
as the Archer campaign. 

On the sixth of August, 1840, the great Indian raid of 
about one thousand Indians and renegade Mexicans at- 
tacked Victoria, killing a number of persons. On the eighth 
they sacked and burned Linnville, near where the present 
town of Lavaca is situated on the bay. On the seventh a 
small company left Lavaca to unite with others above, to 
intercept the retreat of the savages, and young Brown was 
a volunteer in this company. As an account is given else- 
where of the fight with these Indians, it would be superfluous 
to repeat it. In the battle young Brown signalized himself 
by killing in a hand to hand encounter one of the Comanche 
chiefs who had made himself conspicuous in the battle by 
his daring and the unique dress he wore on the occasion. 
Brown took possession of his cap, which was surmounted 
with buffalo horns, and which a friend soon afterward sent 
to the Cincinnati museum, and for nearly half a century 
it has remained there, bearing substantially this inscription: 
"Cap of an Indian chief, killed by a Texas cow boy in the 
battle of Plum Creek, August 12, 1840." 

When Vasquez made his raid on San Antonio in 1842 
Brown was among the first who volunteered to repel the in- 
vader and served under Jack Hays as first lieutenant of 
Captain James H. Callahan's company. Subsequent y he 
served for some months in Hays's spy company, operating 
west of San Antonio, and was with it on many scouts after 
Indians and marauding Mexicans. While in this company 
he took part in the' engagement on the Hondo with G^nerat 
Wool's invading force. Afterwards, as lieutenant of a com- 
pany, he went out on the Somerville expedition, but when 
there was a division of the party, and General Somerville 
fell back in obedience to the orders of General Houston, 
Brown adhered to the commander of the expedition, and 
thus escaped the fate of those who were captured at Mier. 

In 1846, when the Victoria Advocate was started, he re- 
moved to that place and was employed on that paper. At 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 377 

this time he began writing historical pioneer sketches of 
Texas, and has at intervals continued to do so to the present. 
Many of his contributions have been used in historical 
works, and quite a number without credit. It was his ob- 
ject to collect and preserve the facts connected with our 
pioneer history, much of which he has saved from oblivion. 
When the militia of the new State was organized in 1847 he 
was appointed brigadier major of the southwest, with the 
rank of colonel, and held the position for four years. 

In 1848 he removed to Indianola, and until 1854 was an ac- 
tive and zealous worker in the interest of that place. He 
also founded and edited the Indianola Bulletin, an influ- 
ential journal. In 1854 he purchased an interest in and be- 
came co-editor of the Galveston Civilian In 1855 he was 
unanimously nominated for the House of Representatives, 
and was elected by a large majority. At the expiration of 
his term in 1857 he was re-elected without opposition. 

In 1858 Colonel Brown was appointed by the Governor 
commissioner, under the law of 1856, to sell at auction in the 
respective county seats, and in one hundred and sixty acre 
tracts, the alternate sections of the large amount of univer- 
sity lands in the counties of Mc Lennan, Hunt, Fannin, Gray- 
son and Cooke. The labor was successfully completed and 
reported in January, 1859, to the entire satisfaction of the 
authorities. During the troubles with the reservation In- 
dians in 1859 Colonel Brown was appointed commissioner by 
the Governor, in conjunction with Richard Coke, Geo. B. 
Erath, Jos. M. Smith, of Waco, and Dr. J. E. Steiner, of Aus- 
tin, to investigate the facts. This duty was satisfactorily per- 
formed and disturbances ceased, In the autumn of 1859 the 
Belton Democrat was founded and Colonel Brown became 
its editor, and so continued until secession was accom- 
plished, in 1861. He was a member of the convention 
that met on the twenty-eighth of January, by which the or- 
dinance of secession was passed, and was one of the com- 
mittee who drafted the "declaration of the causes which im- 
pel the State of Texas to secede from the Federal Union." 
After the adjournment of the convention he left for the 
headquarters of General Ben McCulloch, in southwest Mis- 
souri, as he had been requested to do by letter from that 
officer. He served on his staff through the fall and winter, 



378 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and until the death of the general on the field of Elkhorn, 
March 7, 1862. After the death of General McCulloch he 
alone escorted the remains of the deceased hero, borne in an 
ambulance six hundred miles to the capitol of Texas, and 
pronounced his funeral oration in the Hall of Representa- 
tives to a vast assemblage. Subsequently he was ap- 
pointed adjutant general on the staff of General Henry E. 
McCulloch. When Lee and Johnston surrendered he was 
in command of the third frontier district, extending from 
Lampasas to the Rio Grande, in which position he rendered 
important services. After the fall of the Confederacy he 
emigrated to Mexico and settled on the Tuxpan, river where 
he remained for several years. On his return to Texas in 
1872, he was unanimously nominated by the Democratic 
party for the House of Representatives from the district of 
Dallas, Collin and Tarrant, and was elected by a large ma- 
jority. In 1875 he was brought forward as a candidate for 
the constitutional convention and was again elected by a 
large majority. 

In the autumn of 1881, Col. Brown was appointed, by the 
Governor, commissioner on part of the State to superintend 
the location and survey of three hundred leagues of land, 
to be held in trust by the State as school lands. This work 
was accomplished satisfactorily to the Governor and the 
State Board, at considerably less expense than the appro- 
priation for that purpose. 

This was the last public service rendered by Col. Brown, 
forty years after he first, a boy of nineteen, went out in 
defense of the frontier of Texas. He is now engaged, we 
believe, in writing a history of Texas, and certainly no one 
in the State is better qualified to undertake the task. His 
book should be in every household. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 379 



•Reminiscences of pioneer life in (Brapon 
County 



DURING the years 1885-6, Mrs. Mary A. E. Shearer, of 
Santa Cruz, California, contributed with her able pen 
several communications to the reading public, in which 
she gave many thrilling reminiscences of pioneer life 
in Grayson county. Some fifteen years prior to coming into 
possession of these interesting articles, we had obtained 
from other sources accounts of many of the murders 
1836 and outrages committed by the Indians (and men- 
tioned by Mrs. Shearer) in that section of country; 
but we have concluded to lay them aside, and adopt the 
narratives of this most estimable lady, feeling that the 
reader will be very considerably the gainer by the substitu- 
tion. We are not seeking a reputation as an author — our 
purpose being chiefly to rescue from oblivion the early pio- 
neer history of the country, and put it in such form that it 
may be preserved for future generations. 

Mrs. Shearer has so graphically described the habits and 
customs of a frontier people — the daily occurrences incident 
to a newly settled country, etc., that we feel to leave it out 
would be a great loss to the reader. What she has said of 
the trials and hardships of the early settlers of Grayson 
county is true of many others. The counties of Gonzales, 
Guadalupe, Hays, Travis, Williamson, Bell, Coryell, Brown, 
Comanche, Hamilton, Parker, Jack, Young, Palo Pinto and 
many others too numerous to mention, were the scenes of 
many blood curdling murders, massacres, etc. In giving to 
the reading public these valuable articles of Mrs. Shearer, 
in which she has so vividly portrayed all the details of the 
different incidents about which she writes, each communi- 
cation wiil appear in the order in which it was written; and 
while there are a few in which the bloody hand of the 
fiendish savage does not appear, yet they are co illustra- 
tive of pure and simple frontier life— so true to nature and 



380 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

so truthful in fact — that we can not refrain from publishing 
them all. Besides, they were written by a Texan lady, a 
descendant of a noble pioneer family, and, though reared 
upon our frontier, shows a culture in her writings which 
might be envied by the ladies of the older States, who were 
favored with better advantages. It can be seen throughout 
her writings that, although she claims a domicile upon the 
golden shores of the Pacific slope, yet her heart will invol- 
untarily go out occasionally to the old homestead of the 
Dugan family in Grayson county. 

"In giving these reminiscences of pioneer life in Grayson 
county, your readers will pardon the writer if the articles 
refer more particularly to the incidents and experiences of 
the family of that veteran pioneer, Daniel Dugan, from the 
fact that I write wholly from notes furnished me by my 
mother, his daughter, Catherine, and from memory of many 
a tale told by the fireside of border warfare and of the many 
brave deeds of her father and mother and gallant brothers 
in their struggle for existence, and a home in the far away 
beautiful wilderness of Texas. 

Sitting here in far off California, on the shores of the 
broad Pacific ocean, with the busy hum of a hurrying world 
around me, and the view of many a white winged vessel 
sailing afar upon the shining waters before me, it requires a. 
most vivid imagination and a very retrospective train of 
thought to call up to the mind's eye, the scenes of a long 
ago. To picture the broad prairies of another land, the tan- 
gle and wild beauty of bloom and brake and the silence of 
leafy woods, broken only by the cries of strange animals 
and birds or echoing the war whoop of painted savages. 

Too much can not be said in praise and honor of the many 
brave men and noble women who penetrated those wilds 
and by their almost superhuman exertions built their altar 
fires; who ba'tled with every foe to mankind; the elements, 
wild beasts, hunger and the wily Indian, depending alone 
upon their own resources and a firm determination to do and 
dare. As the long years have rolled into etern ty and one by 
one these pioneers have been called to another world, we 
can not help but look back upon their lives and deeds and 
give them due credit for having opened the way. The re- 
sults of their sacrifice and bravery can be seen throughout 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 381 

the length and breadth of the land of their adoption. For, 
coining right along with giant strides in the broad track of 
civilization, the Lone Star State has long ago swung into 
place and is now known and honored as one of the brightest 
stars in the constellation of our Union. Daniel Dugan, one 
of the foremost of these adventurous spirits, was born in 
Maryland in 1784, and was early introduced to pioneer life 
by his parents moving to Ohio when he was but fifteen years 
of age. In early manhood he went to Kentucky, then its 
infancy, and there met and married Catherine Yaden, 
whose parents were among the first settlers of that dark and 
bloody ground. After living in Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, 
Louisiana and Arkansas he determined to emigrate to Texas, 
and in 1836 he started for that comparatively unbroken ter- 
ritory, 

It was an undertaking of great importance and he felt the 
great responsibility of moving his wife and young family to 
that unknown country. But, imbued with the spirit that 
characterized the movements of all those brave pioneers, 
and with an earnest desire for more elbow room he started 
upon that perilous journey. The family consisted of him 
self, wife and eight children, viz.: George C, Daniel 
V., Mary, Emily, William, Catherine, Henry P. and James, 
all between the ages of three and twenty-four." 

" Our first camp fire on that journey," says my mother 
" is a bright spot in my memory, and will be as long as I 
live. I would paint it if I could draw figures. The camp 
fire was burning low, the wagon, with its white cover, stood 
near by and the oxen were grazing not far away. Oar beds 
were spread on the grass under the trees, among which 
were the beautiful dogwood, with its pale green leaves 
quivering above us in the dim firelight. Mother was sit- 
ting in one of the two chairs we had brought with us, hold- 
ing brother James in her lap, and the rest of us were gath- 
ered around her. Father soon came, and, standing by 
mother's chair, joined us in singing a hymn; then we all 
knelt down while he prayed for God's mercy and protection." 

Proceeding upon their journey without special incident, 
they arrived at Red river, where occurred the death of the 
youngest child, little James, and with sorrowful hearts they 
prepared the little body for burial. "Father took his axe," 



o83 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

continued mother, "went into the woods, cut down a tree,, 
and out of the trunk made the little coffin. A man, who 
happened to be passing, fastened down the lid. Father and 
brother George dug the grave, and there, far away from 
home and friends, with dim forebodings of a clouded fu- 
ture, we buried our baby.'' From there they moved to 
Bois d'Arc creek, now in Fannin county. Their wagon 
tracks were the first ever made in Honey Grove and where 
Bonham now is. Their nearest neighbors were fifty miles 
away, and for a while they were in very straightened cir- 
cumstances, owing to a scarcity of provisions. Their 
principal food for a time was bufTulo meat and other wild 
game, varied by a diet of turnips and water, antedating 
Colonel Sellers's cholera preventative by about forty years. 
What a situation to be placed in! Nobody to borrow of 
when the tea gave out; no news, no gossip and no fashion 
plates to study! Oh! solitude, where are thy charms? 

Roasting ears were substituted for bread, by taking them 
as soon as hard enough, and grating them on a grater, and 
then taking this coarse meal or "grits," and making it into 
pones or loaves. There were no mills, and every family had 
to have, of a necessity, their own hand mills and graters. 
Other settlers soon came along and located on Bois d'Arc. 
among whom were the familes of Josiah Washburne and 
Micajah Davis. Some of their descendants are now living 
in Grayson county. Davis's trade was that of a black- 
smith, and he opened a shop and established himself at that 
business as sole monopolist, 

Josiah Washburne was the first white man killed by the 
Indians in northern Texas (the circumstances of which I 
will write in my next letter) and his murder was the begin- 
ning of the hostilities between the settlers and Indians in 
that part of the State. _ 

This border warfare lasted about three years, the settlers 
protecting themselves and defending their homes the best 
they could alone and without aid from the government. 

Little do we of the present day and generation know or 
realize the constant anxiety, suspense and ceaseless vigi- 
lance of those harrassed people during that time — ever on 
guard against a surprise from their restless foes. Plowing, 
sowing and reaping with their rifles at their sides— con- 






INDIAN DEFBEDATIONS JtN TEXAS. 383 

stantly on the alert— watching with suspicion every bash 
and quivering branch. Taking notice of every sign and 
sound— the uneasiness of cattle and horses, whose keen 
scent and instinct often disclosed the hiding place of the 
lurking savage. At night the lone watcher— oftentimes a 
woman— would listen with eager intentness to every sound 
borne upon the night air, quick to detect a false note in the 
cry of the whip-poor-will, and knowing but too well that 
the answering hoots of the owls in the woods were but the 
signaliz ng calls of the enemy. 



Settlement of tbe Btijjan famil? in (Bra^aon 
Counts -flDurber of 3oaiab TOasbburn. 



I 1ST January of 1838, the family of Daniel Dugan left Bois 
d'Arc and settled near Choctaw creek, in Grayson county, 
not far from a little settlement or town called Warren. 
Better land and better location for a land grant were the 
inducements to move there. They immediately took pos- 
session of a league and labor, Spanish measure. This 
amount of land was granted by the Republic of Texas, 
1838 before the declaration of her independence from Mex- 
ico, to every man of family who came to Texas. Sin- 
gle men got a third of a league. Texas was then the ideal 
"happy hunting grounds" for all who loved to hunt, shoot 
or trap. Buffalo, bears, deer, wolves, panthers and wild 
turkeys roamed at will through the woods and over the 
broad and beautiful prairies. Grass grew from three to 
four feet high, the loveliest flowers variegated the land- 
scape, and in variety and color would set a botanist wild. 
Wild fruit and nuts were to be had in abundance. The soil 
was rich, natural springs bubbled and flowed into clear 
running streams, and our weary travelers felt as if they had 
reached the "promised land" at last. 
Their journey ended, father and sons went to work clear- 



384 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

ing the land and building their home. The stately walls of 
a palatial log house were soon reared, and as they gathered 
around the fireside in their new home all felt that notwith- 
standing the toil and privations of frontier life there was 
compensation in the thought that they were anchored at 
last, and come what may, that was their home and future 
abiding place. And home it has been for the Dugan family 
ever since. Many years have rolled by since the first smoke 
curled from the chimneys of that humble log house. Its 
hospitable roof has sheltered many a weary traveler and 
afforded protection to the defenseless settler. Sons and 
daughters have grown up and married or wandered away 
from the scene of many cherished recollections; but no 
home has ever been to them like the old home. To the ex- 
ile in California it is a satisfaction to know that its roof 
still shelters one of the family and that no stranger can 
claim any right to it or disturb the resting place of the dead. 

There are, probably, a great many changes in the general 
appearance of the old place since I last saw it when a child, 
but I could map it all out now as it has always appeared in 
my fond recollection. No house has ever seemed so grand 
and mysterious as that log house where I was born. Its 
gun racks, port holes, looms, spinning wheels and many 
relics of Indian warfare were ever a source of pleasure and 
curiosity. That large, low ceiled kitchen has echoed the 
shouts and laughter of many a romping play when all the 
grandchildren would meet at "gran' ma's." Then crossing 
the plains and sun blistered deserts, at times almost chok- 
ing for want of water, my imagination would revel in the 
rippling of that "'spring branch," and in my fancy I would 
take the long handled gourd from where it hung above the 
spring, kneel down until I could see my face mirrored in 
its crystal depths, dip up the cold, refreshing waier and 
drink, and drink, and drink. 

But I am wandering from the original subject, and I sup- 
pose a more interesting one to your readers. Soon after the 
Dugan family left Bois d'Arc, Micajah Davis also moved and 
settled near Iron Ore creek (we call them rivers here in Cali- 
fornia), not far from and west of what is now called Deni- 
son, Josiah Washburn remaining in Bois d'Arc. 

Roving bands of Indians had up to this time frequently 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 385 

camped near the settlements, and appearing to be friendly 
and anxious to trade with white people. There seemed to 
be no occasion for anticipating trouble with them, although 
some of the men would at times paint their faces a hideous 
red, act angry, scowl and talk about "the white man kill- 
ing their cows (buffalo) and turkey." Sometimes the squaws 
and children would sullenly refuse to talk and finally sel- 
dom appear when the Indians visited the settlements. To 
people better posted on Indian tactics, all these signs would 
have been sufficient to warn them that the wily red man 
meant mischief of some kind. But they did not notice it, 
and took no extra precautions for safety until like a thunder 
bolt from a clear sky came the startling news that their old 
friend and neighbor, Josiah Washburn, had been killed by 
the Indians. And this is how it happened: Some time after 
Davis left Bois d'Arc, Washburn told his wife one day that 
he was going over to the old shop to get a chain of his that 
had been left there by Davis, also saying he would be back 
by sun down. He got on his horse, and taking his gun for 
any game he might chance to see, started upon his errand. 
The afternoon wore away, and at sun set the expected hus- 
band and father was not at home or in sight. At dark he 
was still absent. With increasing anxiety the waiting wife 
and children watched and listened through the long hours 
of that night for some sound of his coming, and still no sign 
of him. At daylight the neighbors were sent for; men 
armed themselves and started out to hunt for the missing 
man, who was never more to gladden his home with his 
presence. They found him not far from the shop, dead. 
He had been there, had secured his chain, and was on his 
way back to his home when the Indians attacked him. They 
had shot and scalped him, and taking his horse and gun 
had made good their escape. The whole country around 
was alarmed, and the settlers in every direction were no- 
tified to be on their guard. 

From that time on the people were harrassed in every 
conceivable manner that Indian ingenuity and cunning 
could devise. The Indians would remain quiet for weeks, 
sometimes months at a time, then suddenly appear, kill a 
man or two, maybe a whole family, then as suddenly disap- 
pear, driving before them all the horses they could find. 



386 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

The time came when men went armed at all times, even at 
their work in the fields; and a loaded gun was always left 
at home, to be fired by the women, either as a signal of 
distress or in defense should they be attacked. 

One of the many methods or tricks resorted to by the 
cunning red man to take the advantage of the unwary set- 
tler was to waylay his cows during the day, tie them out in 
the woods and take off their bells. The cows would not 
come home at the usual time, but during the night the tink- 
ling of the cow bells would be heard in the distance. They 
would approach close to the house, wander around in an 
aimless sort of way, as cattle generally do, walk around by 
the cow pen at last, and with a final rattle appear to settle 
down for the night. The unsuspecting settler would hear 
the bells, and thinking his cows had come home, would rise 
early in the morning to attend to them, open his door only 
to find himself and family confronted by gleaming toma- 
hawks and an implacable foe. A desperate struggle and 
fight for life and loved ones would ensue, but it would be the 
vain endeavor of the weak and defenseless against the 
strong and mighty; and soon the blackened walls and 
mutilated victims would mutely tell the story of a home 
destroyed and a few more names added to the bloody list of 
martyred pioneers. 

In the emergencies of no organized help from the govern- 
ment and an uprotected border, there arose the necessity of 
some kind of reliable help against the repeated attacks of 
the Indians. A sort of a State militia was formed, com- 
posed of laboring men, hunters and trappers, and were 
known as " Texas Rangers." They were ever ready to 
answer a call for help or go to the rescue of those settlers 
who had ventured too far out upon the exposed frontier. 
Sure shots every one of them, and skilled in all-kinds of 
woodcraft, thoroughly ported and "up to the tricks" of the 
cunning red man, they were a host in themselves, and the 
timid felt assured of safety whenever a "ranger" was on 
hand. 

In fighting Indians they did effective work by fighting 
Indian style. If they had been hampered by red tape and 
only allowed to "fire and fall back" by military rule, the 
chances are they would have been several months captur- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 387 

ing a few old squaws, while the bucks would be skipping 
around here and there taking in the scalps. 

Take a half dozen of the old original stock of "rangers" 
and turn them loose on these treacherous Apaches and there 
would soon be a settlement of the Apache question. The 
murders of Daugherty on Bois d'Arc and the flight of the 
settlers to Fort Warren will be the subject of my next letter. 



fIDurber of BaugDertg— f liQht of tbe Settlers* 



5 HERE is now living in Grayson county — or was two 
years ago — an old man whose record for bravery tells 
that he had once fought the Indians single handed 

and alone, saving his own life and that of a boy who 
was with him. It will not be out of place now to narrate 
the circumstances, for they occurred next in the list of 

tragedies m that section after the murder of Josiah 
1839 Washburn. After that happened, almost in their 

midst, there was a general scattering and removal 
of the settlers from Bois d'Arc, and among the first to move 
away was one by the name of Thomas. He and his father- 
in-law w r ith their families selected the site for their future 
home below Bonham, and about twelve miles from Bois 
d'Arc, taking with them their household goods and cattle, 
leaving their crops to mature and taking chances of remain- 
ing undisturbed until crop time. In the following fall 
Thomas and his father-in-law, Daugherty, decided to take a 
trip over to the old place and gather their corn, if there was 
any, and kill their hogs if they could find them, taking with 
them a boy about eight years of age. On arriving there 
they were agreeably disappointed in finding everything in 
good order and immediately went to work. They had fin- 
ished the job without molestation from the savages and 
were about ready to start for home when the little boy came 



388 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

rnnningfrom the cotton patch, where he had been gathering 
some stray bolls of cotton, crying that the Indians were 
coming. Before they could make their escape or defend 
themselves the Indians fired upon them, wounding the old 
man, Daugherty. They all ran into the house, where 
Thomas returned the fire of the Indians with good effect 
until his ammunition was reduced to one charge. Seeing 
no way of escape only by taking the most desperate chances 
he told Daugherty to hide, as he was too badly wounded to 
travel, and taking an ax handle in one hand and his gun in 
the other he placed the boy in front of him and started out, 
With a yell of astonishment and satisfaction the Indians 
rushed upon him only to be met with blows as they fell 
thick and fast from hands nerved to desperation. He fought 
his way right and left through the blood thirsty demons and 
succeeded in getting as far as the road, some distance from 
the house, when he told the boy to run for his life! This the 
little fellow did, although badly wounded by a stray bullet 
intended for his brave defender. Thomas succeeded in beat- 
ing back and eluding the Indians and overtaking the boy, 
they made fast time for home, where they arrived exhausted 
but with their scalps in good order. 

But the poor old man was not so fortunate. While Thomas 
was fighting his way out he saw Daugherty on his hands 
and knees creeping under the house and thought he war* 
hiding and would be all right, as the Indians were paying 
all their attention to him, and were not noticing the move- 
ments of the wounded man. But after the Indians had 
left him — probably thinking he bore a charmed life— he 
heard the sound of the old man's gun. Knowing that some- 
thing was wrong, and realizing how powerless he was to 
aid him, he hastened on for help. Arriving at home he im- 
mediately gathered together as many of the settlers as he 
could and as soon as possible returned to rescue the wounded 
man. But too late! They found him tomahawked and 
scalped, the gun and horses gone and no sign of Indians, 
dead or wounded. They had cleared out, and emboldened 
by the success of this attack were probably planning where 
to strike next. 

The spring of 1839 found the settlements in an agitated and 
uncertain state. The Indians— the Cachattas, the Shaw- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 389 

nees and Comanches — continued stealing cattle and horses 
and committing other depredations which kept the settlers 
in a continual state of alarm. Men in companies would go 
on expeditions against them, and Rangers would scout 
around, but they could not succeed in drawing the Indians 
into a general battle. 

As spring opened they could travel around with greater 
ease, and began bolder operations by directing their atten- 
tion to the more thickly settled districts, and where they 
could find the greater number of horses and cattle. The 
Dugan family had not been troubled very much by the In- 
dians up to this time, but they were constantly on the look- 
out. Some one, coming or going, would bring news of 
murder and stealing, and they had no assurance that the 
next attack would not be upon them. One evening as they 
were all variously employed, the men securing the horses 
and cattle for the night and the women preparing the sup- 
per, their attention was drawn to the unusual amount of 
noise made by the owls in the woods surrounding the house. 
They also remarked that the hooting did not sound quite 
"owlish" enough, and there was too much regularity in the 
sounds and directions from whence they came. They would 
hpar a prolonged and mournful "hoo-hoo-ah" out in the 
woods on the north side of the house, and very soon an an- 
swer would come from the south side, followed by another 
on the west. This was kept up with so much regularity 
they were certain the Indians were surrounding the house. 

After a family consultation, they concluded it would be 
b°st, as they were all alone, to get away from there as soon 
as possible and go to Warren. The evening meal was has- 
tily eaten, and as soon as night and darkness set in the 
horses were brought out, the mother and daughter placed 
on them, and with a few bundles of clothes gathered in the 
hurry of departure, they turned their backs on their home 
never expecting to see it again. It was the first "scare" 
they had experienced, and that journey through the woods 
in the dark nighfc must have been one of thrilling interest. 
The miles were certainly long, and every bush and tree must 
have seemed, peopled with the hidden enemy. The father 
and sons walked beside the horses, and silently and swiftly 
as possible they traversed that lonely road to Warren and 



yyO INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

safety. When they reached the grove of trees on the Mon- 
tague prairie, it was decided that the family remain there 
until one of the boys, Daniel V., could go to Warren and 
see what the prospects were for shelter and safety there. 
He took the swiftest horse, and leaving father and mother, 
sisters and brothers, to anxiously count the moments until 
his return, rode away in the darkness alone; his brave 
young spirit upholding him in the midst of unusual dangers 
as he sped along in the interest of that lonely group of loved 
ones, houseless and homeless on the prairie. Arriving safely 
in Warren, he found the place almost deserted. An Indian 
panic had struck them also, and the women and children, 
with a number of fugitives from other settlements near 
W T arren, had been sent across Red river and were camping 
together in the woods, a few of the men remaining in War- 
ren. Daniel returned immediately and reported the state 
of affairs, when they hurried on and were also sent across 
the river that night. Preparations for flight having been 
so hastily made, there was little comfort for any one that 
night, and no accommodations at all save the broad bosom 
of mother earth, under the canopy of the heavens and shel- 
ter of the leafy trees. The men stood guard on both sides 
of the river, expecting an attack by the Indians, but none 
came, and the next morning the families were brought back 
into Warren, and a party of men went out to search for the 
Indians, but failed to find any. It was the opinion of the 
settlers that the Indians had abandoned the attack on seeing 
preparations being made by the settlers to resist them, and 
had retreated to await the time when they could steal upon 
them in a more unguarded moment; but this time they with- 
drew from the settlements without destroying property or 
following their usual course of driving off cattle and horses. 
A party sent out to the Dugan farm to inspect its-eondition 
found everything as the family had left it, so they returned 
home not much the worse for their trip, but far more than 
ever inclined to appreciate its humble comforts and shelter. 
The principal settlements at this time were on Iron Ore 
creek, Preston bend on Choctaw, at Warren, and below 
Warren on the river. Warren was given the precedence as 
possessing greater commercial advantages, and being the 
principal trading post for the Indians on both sides of the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 391 

river. It boasted several stores, and the merchants were 
Daniel Montague, William Henderson and William and 
Slater Baker. 

There was not much demand for fancy dry goods, high 
heeled shoes, millinery and "novelties" in those pioneer 
days. Homemade cloth, " linsey woolsey" and jeans were 
the prevailing fabrics which clo'hed men and women, 
young and old, rich (?) and poor alike. When they wished 
to put on style — not caring for expenses — the men would in- 
dulge in the wildest extravagance of fringed buckskin 
trowers and hunting shirts, while the ladies would appear 
at " social gatherings " in the most bewildering toilets of 
calico. The bright eyes of many a pioneer belle have 
twinkled merrily beneath the protecting shade of a calico 
sun bonnet, and as she listened with blushing cheek to the 
old, old story, her lover forfeited nothing in her estimation 
because he appeared before her and told his love in homely 
jeans, and adorned with coonskin cap and moccasins. 

There were no schools or school houses in those days, and 
churches were unknown. Among those who professed a 
religion the Methodist and Baptist faith predominated, but 
only in nature's grand cathedral could they praise and wor- 
ship, and in their daily life and surroundings look from na- 
ture up to nature's God. 

Their style and manner of living were in strict conform- 
ity to the times and circumstances. Until their lands were 
cleared and their crops were planted, grown and matured, 
until stock increased and there were returns from their pro- 
duce and looms, there was of a necessity a scarcity of all 
luxuries, and their living was of the plainest kind. There 
were no mills. The corn they grew and grated, or ground 
by hand mills, furnished their bread. Their larder and 
store house for meats, fruits and honey was the wild woods. 

Sometimes the pioneers had other enemies besides the 
Indians to contend with. Wild animals were too numerous 
for comfort, and were too fond of prowling around the 
premises of their new neighbors. Coons were too fond of 
chickens, and bears had um-ommon appetites for young 
calves and pigs. It was no uncommon sight to see herds of 
buffalo near the settlements, and I can't help but think the 
settlers lived well and dined sumptuously when it could be 



S92 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

"turkey" with them every day if they only took the trouble 
to go a short distance in the woods and pop one over. 

Mother very graphically describes a bear right she and 
her sister had right in the yard in broad day; but I will have 
to reserve it. for my next letter as this is already too long. 



Zbe Beat figbt anb flDurfcer of 3obn Denton. 



THE bear fight, as mother relates it, is as follows : 
Father had been out hunting one day, had killed two 
cub bears and wounded the mother, but not having day- 
light enough to follow her up and kill her, left her and 
brought the cubs home. The bereaved mother, in her 
anxiety for her young ones, and guided by her sense of 
smell, tracked and followed him home that night, and 
1839 for several nights came snuffing and grunting around, 
but would get off and away before the boys could get 
a shot at her. She finally became so bold in her determined 
search, that she walked right into the door yard one day 
and began her usual hunt for her babies. Mother and we 
girls were alone in the house at the time, and sister Emily, 
seeing the bear first, commenced screaming, "a bear! a bear!" 
We all rushed pell mell out into the yard, and not stopping 
to think of danger, attacked the bear with sticks, shovels, 
or anything we could first lay hands on. The dogs joined 
in the fracas, and with their barking and snapping at her 
heels, and all of us yelling and screaming at once, the poor 
bear was too badly scared to show any fight. W§ chased 
her to a tree, which she tried to climb, but the dogs pulled 
her back. She then turned and caught hold of our favorite 
dog and |)egan biting him on the back, and otherwise using 
him too rough to suit us. We redoubled our efforts to make 
her let go, setting the other dogs on and we girls whacking 
her over the head or whenever we could get in a blow with 
good effect. She loosened her hold at last, and turning 
started for the orchard, almost knocking me over as she 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 393 

passed. She jumped the fence, crossed the orchard and 
was up a tree before we could catch up with her, and there 
we kept her snarling and growling, dogs barking and we 
throwing clods at her until brother William came to our as- 
sistance. He shot at her without effect, and in trying to 
reload broke his gun stick. Brother Dan was off in the 
field some distance at work, and hearing the gun and our 
shouting, thought we had been attacked by the Indians. 
He came running home with all possible speed, expecting to 
find us surrounded by a howling mob of red skins but, in- 
stead, it was only a bear treed by a lot of girls and dogs. 
He had his gun with him, and a well directed shot brought 
Mrs. Bruin tumbling to the ground. Of course all we 
needed was a gun. 

The flight of the settlers into Warren referred to in my 
last letter, was but a foretaste of what was to come. It 
was not long after that occurrence that the people were 
compelled to concentrate for mutual protection. The In- 
dians were gathering in a body on the frontier, and a com- 
bined attack upon the settlers seemed imminent. Prepara- 
tions were made by the settlers in the vicinity of Warren 
to move to that place, and a fort, or stockade of logs stood 
on end, was built large enough to accommodate a great 
many, and to be used in case of an attack. But some pre- 
ferred houses built of logs, or tents, near by to live in, de- 
pending upon the fort in time of extreme danger, while 
others lived inside the stockade until their return to their 
homes. They brought their cows with them, made butter, 
spun and wove, and as well as they could under the circum- 
stances, performed their daily routine of labor. Those of 
the men living near enough to the fort to go and return the 
same day, worked their farms, some one standing guard 
always while others plowed. Eternal vigilance was the 
price of safety. The Shannon brothers, Micajah Davis 
and the Carothers brothers from Iron Ore creek, the Dugan 
family from Choctaw, and the families below Warren, were 
among the first to avail themselves of the protection of the 
fort until all danger was considered over and they could 
return to their farms in safety. This unsettled state of 
affairs necessitated a good many remaining there all sum- 
mer, and during that time the residents of Warren and the 



304 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

settlers congregated there concluded to have a school. The 
young idea must be taught, as well as the fingers how to 
shoot, and extensive preparations were made to forward 
the cause. A log cabin that had been used as a stable was 
cleared out and furnished for the school house; some split 
logs placed therein for beaches, a chair furnished by a pa- 
tron (richest in chairs) for the teacher, who was a gentle- 
man by the name of Trimble, and all was complete. 

A muster roll of all the children old enough to go to school 
was called, an inventory taken of all the available books 
and then and there the first school in Grayson county was 
established. Deponent sayeth not, but suppose there was a 
dogwood thicket near by; have a dim remembrance of the ex- 
cellence of dogwood switches! The list of text books used 
in this pioneer school will compare favorably with those in 
present use (theology excepted), but I will leave their classi- 
fication to some one better posted. The New Testament 
(the old was too historical for new beginners), Life of Nel- 
son, A Methodist Preacher, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, 
Fox's Martyrs, a few old spelling books and a Murray's 
grammar and arithmetic completed the catalogue. 

Among those who were brave enough to encounter this 
formidable array of condensed wisdom were: William and 
Lee Lankford, Artelia Baker and little sister, Mary and 
Louisa Davis, Catherine and Henry Dugan, a Miss Moody 
and Martin Hart, brother of Hardin Hart, both well known 
by the old residents of Grayson county. Should any of these 
pioneer students see this allusion to their early educational 
struggles, 

Let memory carry them back once more. 
To the days of Auld Lang Syne, 
When ''spellin' skules" were glorious fun, 
As we stood up and " toed the line." 

The representative to the Congress of the Eepublic that 
year, 1839, from our district, was Colonel Hollin Coffey, a 
very popular man and well liked by every one. When he 
returned to his home after the adjournment of Congress he 
brought with him a beautiful young wife. They stopped a 
few days in Warren to secure a guard to escort them to their 
home in Preston, about thirty miles from there, on Red river, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 395 

and while there Colonel Coffey made inquiries concerning 
the movements of the Indians and promised the settlers all 
the assistance in his power toward establishing a peace 
treaty with their enemies. To effect this, soon after his ar- 
rival in Preston he raised a company of men and went out 
on the frontier to see what could be done with the noble red 
man. He succeeded in meeting the Indians without blood- 
shed and made a treaty of peace with them. This treaty 
lasted only a few months, but it gave the settlers a little rest 
and allowed them to return to their homes and neglected 
farms for a while. The only treaty of peace these red skins 
and all like them ever paid any attention to was a well 
directed bullet. They observe that on the same principle a 
setting hen is made to lay, by wringing her neck. There is 
no honor, according to our code, in their composition; they 
only respect a superiority of numbers, and a treaty to them 
is time given to take breath and make preparations for a 
more advantageous attack upon the too confiding white 
man. Consequently it is not to be wondered at that in a few 
months the settlers were again thrown into a state of terror 
by a renewal of their terrible atrocities and wholesale steal- 
ing. 

The next step taken by the pioneers of Grayson county 
towards civilization was to have "preaching" whenever they 
could catch a gospel dispenser straying that way. The first 
sermon they had, and the last for several years, was deliv- 
ered by a Methodist preacher by the name of John Denton. 
He hailed from Arkansas, where he was well known by the 
Dugan family. After his arrival in Texas he located in 
Clarksville, occasionally visiting Warren to attend court. 
It was during one of these visits that mother Dugan heard 
of his presence and sent him a request to preach while there. 
He cheerfully complied, and made an appointment for the 
following Sunday at the school house in Warren. An event 
of so much importance must have filled the little log house 
to overflowing. What an attentive congregation he must 
have had, as they listened to the word of God for the first 
time in the wilderness, and awoke the echoes of the silent 
forest with their songs of Zion. Would it were my pleasant 
task to record a long life of usefulness for this good man. 
But such is not to be. A sacrifice to Indian treachery, his 



398 INDTAN DFPREPATTONS IN TEXAS. 

death fully serves as an illustration of their appreciation 
of a "peace policy." When the Indians again commenced 
their depredations, Denton was among the foremost to go 
wherever the call for help was heard, and to assist in any 
movement for the benefit of the settlers. A raid had been 
made and a number of horses driven off by the Indians, and 
Denton with a party of men started on their trail to try and 
recover the stock. When near the crossing of a creek, in 
what is now called Denton county, he called a halt, and 
pointing to the bushes and brush near the crossing ahead 
of them, remarked that he did not think it safe to ride 
through there, as the Indians might be lying in ambush 
to surprise them, and advised turning back a short distance 
and scouting around. Some of the men in the party were 
of the same opinion, and thought that the safest plan; bat 
one objected — didn't see any danger, etc. — and intimated 
that Denton was afraid and wanted to turn back. Not 
fancying this unmerited attack upon his bravery, Denton 
said that he would go as far as any man, and started on 
ahead, the others following. When they approached the 
crossing and were well opposite the bushes, the Indians 
raised from where they had been crouching and watching 
every movement, and fired upon them, singling out Denton 
as the leader. The whole party turned and retreated in 
great haste, to find when they halted at a safe distance that 
Denton's riderless horse was with them. Unknown to his 
companions he had been mortally wounded, and Lad fallen 
off his horse in the retreat. The man who told of the affair 
afterwards, said: "When Denton wheeled his horse around 
to retreat, he looked at me with a smile on his face, and an 
expression which seemed to say: "What did I tell you?" 
Hardly realizing that he was shot, as he had turned with 
them, they returned to rescue him if it were possible he had 
been thrown. They found his dead body where it had fallen 
off in the brush by the side of the trail, and not far from 
where he was shot. Strange to relate, the Indians had not 
disturbed him, probably not knowing they had killed any 
one. His friends carried him to a secluded spot away from 
the trail, wrapped him in a blanket and buried him. His 
grave they dug with their hatchets and knives and lined 
with slabs of slate rock; then they laid him tenderly in, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 397 

covering him with another slab, and filled up the grave, 
carefully smoothing it level and scattering leaves over it, 
that the Indians might not find and disturb his last resting 
place. 

So perished one of Texas's bravest and best pioneers. A 
fine orator, far above the average in intelligence, and had 
he lived, would have proved a blessing to his country and 
assisted materially in its advancement. 

The pioneer was laid to rest, 

The r^d man set him free; 
D turb hi in not, but 1ft Mm sleep 

Beneath that old oak tree. 



fiDtirber of Boctor Ibunter'a Wife ant> Smugoter 
m\b Hb&ucting Hnotbet Daughter, 



THERE is but little to chronicle concerning the settle- 
ment of Grayson county during the next two years of 
1840 and 1841, except attacks, murders and depredations 
committed by the Indians. It was fight and work, and 
work and fight, the whole time, the harrassed settlers scat- 
tering to their farms for a season, again taking refuge at 
Warren, or gathering together at the home of some 
1840 better protected neighbor until danger was over. The 
weary pioneer could only endure with patience, and 
hope that immigration and a superiority of numbers would 
finally effect a peace that the government seemed indif- 
ferent to hasten. One instance only can be given when the 
government came to their relief and that was when a com- 
pany of regulars were sent out in the fall of 1839. They 
were thoroughly equipped with baggage wagons, ordnance, 
military tactics and red tape. It is needless to say they 
never sighted an Indian. The tardiness of the government 
and its slow deliberation in aiding and protecting these peo- 
ple is thoroughly in keeping with the course pursued at the 
present time with New Mexico and Arizona. What other 



398 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

government under the shining sun would hesitate and 
waste precious time in useless forms while a handful of In- 
dians were murdering its subjects, stealing and generally 
defying the ruling powers. The prayers of the so called 
humanitarians have never saved an innocent settler's life 
yet, or so changed the nature of an Indian that he would 
not kill and scalp whenever an opportunity offered. 

T^ese wars and rumors of wars did not hinder immigra- 
tion as might be supposed; on the contrary, people were 
coming into Texas from all directions and taking advantage 
of the liberal inducements offered by the Republic in regard 
to land grants — every man of family located wherever the 
situation pleased him, and there settled with the intention 
of making that place his home. The majority of immi- 
grants were farmers — just what the new country needed — 
and not town builders. Warren grew but slowly, and Sher- 
man was yet in the future, and not thought of. 

The settlers lived too far apart for much sociability, but 
all were united in one common cause, that of making com- 
fortable homes for themselves and of defense against their 
common enemy, the Indians. The later immigrants into 
Gray .son of about 1840 numbered among them one Doctor 
Hunter and family, who, tempted by the glowing descrip- 
tions of Texas, the fertility of the soil and beautiful land- 
scapes, decided to make it their home, locating about eight 
miles east of Warren and quite a distance from any neigh- 
boring settler. The family consisted of Doctor Hunter, his 
wife and four children, one son and daughter grown, and two 
little girls of ten and twelve years of age; a colored woman 
servant also accompanied them. The first important event 
that transpired in this family circle after settling in their 
new home was the marriage of their eldest daughter to Mr. 
William Lankford, of Warren. — 

The wedding festivities over, the happy pair departed to 
their new home, a few miles west of Choctaw, near Red 
river, and the family resumed their daily routine. All 
was peace quietude and happy content till, like a cloud 
of vampires, the Indians, with one fell blow, forever blasted 
that happy home, and thus it was: A few days after the 
wedding the doctor and his son had occasion to be away 
from home on business and did not expect to return until 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 399 

evening. Not dreaming of danger lurking in the woods the 
rest of the family pursued their usual avocation without un- 
easiness or fear of trouble. Late in the afternoon the two 
little girls took a bucket and went to the spring, a hundred 
yards or more from the house, to get some water. Little 
realizing the dreadful doom awaiting them at the end of 
their path, they tripped along in unsuspecting innocence, 
and with merry thoughts and childish chatter, reached, the 
spring, filled the bucket and started back to the house. But 
glittering restless eyes were watching every movement and 
they had taken but a few steps when a hideously painted 
Indian sprang out of the bushes by the path, and before a 
sound could be uttered he shot the younger girl with an 
arrow, killing her instantly. This painted fiend was joined 
by another and still another until ten of his companions ap- 
peared from where they had been concealed in the bushes, 
and the other poor girl, paralyzed with fright, offered no re- 
sistance, when they speedily took her captive and carried 
her with them to her home to witness the completion of 
their devilment. So quiet and sudden had been their attack 
upon the girls that no alarm had been raised and they had 
no trouble in surprising and killing Mrs. Hunter and the 
negro woman, scalping the former but not touching the lat- 
ter. 

Then they leisurely commenced ransacking the house for 
plunder; ripped open the feather beds and poured the feath- 
ers all over their victims first, then packed up all the blank- 
ets and clothes they wanted, destroying the rest. In their 
search for valuables, they came across a medicine chest 
belonging to the doctor which afforded them considerable 
amusement. They emptied bottles, threw pills at each other, 
taking good care not to swallow any, and rummaged and 
smelled of everything in the chest with a good deal of hilar- 
ity until they got hold of some assafoetida and aqua fortis. 
That proved too much for them, and with a good deal of 
snuffing and many grunts of disgust they ceased their in 
vestigations and prepared to leave. 

It was growing dark and they suddenly seemed to think 
it was time to leave. So gathering up their spoils in great 
haste and securing their prisoner they left in a hurry. They 
had not yet got out of hearing when young Hunter rode up 



400 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

to the fence and called and hallooed for some one to come 
out. His sister and the Indians heard him, and to get away 
from that vicinity in greater haste one of the Indians took 
her on his back and carried her until they considered them- 
selves safe from pursuit. They traveled all that night in a 
drizzling rain and only halted next day to dry their blankets 
and rest, then they scattered in parties of two and three to 
mislead any pursuit, and in a few days reached their vil- 
lages. 

To return to the scene of the tragedy: When young Hun- 
ter could get no response to his repeated calls, and seeing 
no light anywhere, he dismounted and went into the house, 
wandering where his folks were and why they were absent. 
All was darkness and silence; the pungent odor of medi- 
cines pervaded the air, and a horror of something he knew 
not what, took possession of him. He hastened to make a 
light, and in groping around in the dark, hunting for the 
steel and flint, he stumbled over something lying on the 
floor. Stooping down to find out what it was, to his horror 
he felt a body, and feeling feathers all over it his trembling 
hand sought the face. Brushing aside the featbers, moist 
and clammy with her life blood, he recognized his murdered 
mother, and in the same moment felt the dreaded ''sign 
manual " of the blood thirsty savages — his mother was 
scalped ! 

What a situation ! Alone in the dark, his murdered 
mother lying cold at his feet, his sisters, perhaps, in the 
same condition some where, the nearest neighbor miles 
away. What was he to do ? Bewildered and stunned by 
this awful condition of things, he staggered to where his 
horse stood, mounted and with all speed possible roused the 
neighbors and started rangers in pursuit of the Indians. 
But it was, of course, a fruitless journey, as the Indians had 
gained a good many hours advantage and had scattered in 
all directions. 

Search was made about the house for the girls, and not 
finding them it was believed that both had been carried off 
by the Indians. It was by accident that the body of the 
murdered girl was found near the spring the next day, and 
that left the fate of the other one wrapped in mystery and 
uncertainty. An age of suspense and anxiety passed before 




MOODY SHOT FROM AN AMBUSCADE. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 401 

the broken hearted father and brother could get any tidings 
whatever of the missing girl, when at last they heard that 
a white girl of about her age had been sold to the friendly 
Ohoctaws by some wild Indians. 

Hoping and praying that she might prove to be his sister 
the brother went over to the Nation and hunted her up. He 
found her and saw at last his long lost sister; bought her 
from her owners and brought her back to what was left of 
home and family circle. In relating her experiences with 
the savages she said that on that journey ftrom her home to 
their village the Indians would mark out a circle on the 
ground every night when they camped, build a fire in the 
center of it and make her sit by it and scrape and clean her 
mother's scalp. Night after night the poor girl had to go 
through this performance until they arrived at the Indian 
villages. She thought at first their intentions were to burn 
I \er alive, but she soon found out that they spared her life 
only to make a slave of her for the squaws. She was com- 
pelled to work early and late with little to eat and exposed 
to all kinds of weather. For six months they kept her go- 
ing from one band to another until they saw a good chance 
to make a trade, then sold her to the Choctaws, and from 
them she was at last rescued by her brother and taken 
home 



flDurber of flDoo&& flDrtlnt^re's ftwo Sons an& 

SewelL 



5 HIS chapter will contain sketches of several massacres 
committed in Grayson county in the vicinity of War- 
ren and Choctaw— blows made here to-day and there 
to-morrow by the savage, and serving to keep the set- 
tlers in a continual state of alarm and unrest. 
A man by the name of Mclntyre, settled with his family 
near Shawneetown, an Indian village several miles 
1840 above Choctaw and not far from Red river, but find- 
ing his Indian neighbors inclined to be displeased on 
account of his close proximity to their village he thought it 



402 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

best to leave there and settle somewhere else. They com- 
plained that he was trying to get their land from them, but 
they did not dare to trouble him, as any depredations they 
might commit would be too easily traced to them. So they 
continued their annoyances so as to force him to move, and 
subsequent events proved that their object was to get him 
away that they might commit their murders without fear of 
detection. He moved and settled at what is now known as 
Mclntyre's crossing, on Choctaw, having for one of his 
neighbors a family by the name of Moody. Not long after 
Mclntyre moved there Moody went; to Warren on business, 
and on his road he had to pass Mclntyre's house about sun 
down. When almost opposite the house, and riding along 
unconscious of lurking danger he was suddenly fired upon 
by a party of Indians lying in ambush by the roadside. He 
was instantly killed, scalped, and his face and body horribly 
mutilated; then the blood thirsty savages built a huge bon- 
fire in the middle of the road, and with the body of their 
victim in their midst, danced around it and made night 
hideous with their yells and war whoops. Mclntyre heard 
the shot, and instantly suspecting Indians, gathered his 
family into the house and barricaded the doors. They kept 
watch all night, fearing, as the anxious hours passed by, 
that the savages would next attack them. After a long 
night of agony and suspense daylight appeared and the In- 
dians suddenly left; but not until the sun was high in the 
heavens did the Mcln tyres dare to venture out to investigate 
the cause of the Indians' great hilarity. When they found 
the mutilated remains of their friend and neighbor their 
sorrow and indignation knew no bounds. They could only 
surmise that the Indians were lying in ambush for them, 
but seeing Moody pass in range of their guns they either 
thought it was Mclntyre or else could not resist the tempta- 
tion to shoot the first one who came along. 

A hunt was made for the Indians, but without avail, they 
had vanished like spirits of darkness at the approach of 
day. The Mclntyre family consisted of himself, wife, three 
sons and two daughters, and it was not long after the mur- 
der of Moody that two of his sons, aged twelve and fourteen, 
were killed and scalped while out hunting below Choctaw. 
It was supposed the Shawnees did it but there was no proof. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 403 

Two brothers, by the name of Sewell, who lived in War- 
ren, were aroused one night by hearing a commotion in the 
horse lot not far from the house. The horses were snorting 
and running around in great alarm, and thinking the Indians 
were making a raid on their stock, the younger brother got 
up, got his gun and started out first to the rescue. When 
near the lot he heard a voice call out in plain English: 
"Lay the gap lower." Feeling sure that it was white ras- 
cals stealing his horses instead of red ones he very un- 
thoughtedly spoke out: "Oh, yes, I've caught you." The 
words were no more than out of his mouth when an Indian 
jumped the fence and .came running toward Sewell with his 
bow drawn, and before Sewell could defend himself twang 
went an arrow, striking him straight in the breast. He 
turned and ran back to the house, exclaiming as he passed 
his brother: " I am shot!" His brother ran toward the In- 
dian, firing as he ran, and shot the Indian dead; but none 
too soon, for the Indian had his bow drawn, and as the bul- 
let from Sewell's gun whistled its way to the Indian the ar- 
row from the Indian's bow whistled by him and stuck in 
the end of a log lying near by. At the sound of Sewell's 
gun the other Indians decamped and he went back to see his 
brother, but the poor fellow was dead, and it was with great 
difficulty the arrow was extracted from his breast. 

As Kentucky is designated in history as " The Dark and 
Bloody Ground," and stands foremost among the sisterhood 
of States, valiantly fought for and nobly won from the sav- 
age rule of the red man, so ought Grayson county be known 
as the battle ground of the Lone Star State, and be given 
precedence by its baptism of blood and human sacrifice. 

There is no record in existence to accurately give the 
number of valuable lives forfeited in those early struggles 
as the purchase price of your broad acres, flourishing towns 
and present peace and prosperity; and it would require an 
abler pen than mine to faithfully portray the sufferings, 
both mentally and physically, of those pioneer people. They 
were entitled to every rood of their land, and through suc- 
ceeding generations, by a patent right greater than can be 
bestowed by any land office in existence at any time; and 
how much dearer must their homes have been to them when 
a father or friend, perchance a husband or brother, yielded 



404 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

up his life in defense of loved ones, making the very sod 
sacred with his life blood. 

******** 

My next letter wil tell of the murder of Dan V. Dugin 
and Daniel Kitchens; also the attack by Indians on the 
Kitchens homestead. For the present let us change the 
subject, leave the horrors of Indian warfare and turn to 
brighter scenes. 

In the commercial annals of Warren you will find taking 
the lead, the names of Montague and Henderson, mer- 
chants. The name of Colonel Montague is synonymous 
with the early growth of Grayson county, and he will al- 
ways be remembered as one of the most stirring and ener- 
getic men of the times. He came to Texas from Louisiana, 
but was originally from Maine; and at the time of which I 
write 1839, his family was composed of himself, wife and six 
children. His circumstances were considered very good for 
those days, and his residence the finest in the country in 
point of finish and architectural beauty. It had two large 
rooms with a wide hall between, side rooms and a front 
porch which, to a log house, then meant a notch or two 
nigher in the scale of aristocracy. The logs were "finished 
off." the cracks chinked with morter smoothly put on, and 
the whole inside and out treated to a coat of whitewash! 
The puncheon floor was made extra smoth, the hospitable 
fire place deep and wide, and when all was finished and 
complete, invitations were sent out and around about to 
friends and acquaintances as far as Honey Grove and Pres- 
ton Bend to attend a grand ball, a genuine "house warm- 
ing" to be given at Montague mansion on the great and 
glorious Fourth of July. Extensive preparations were 
made for the important event, and I have no doubt the fe- 
male breast was agitated then, as now, over the all import- 
ant question of what to wear. "Biled" shirts came up from 
the depths of the family chest. Forgotten finery saw the 
light once more and "bar's greese" went up in the ma ket 
immediately. Turkeys, chickens, p gs and wild game of 
all kinds were cooked by the wholesale in every style known 
to back woods culinary art. All other edibles to be had, 
flanked by drinkables, from persimmon beer to something a 
little stronger, were provided with a liberality only known 






INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 405 

to the generous hospitable people of the olden time; and a 
good time generally was anticipated. No "regrets" were 
sent in, and for two days and nights mirth and good cheer 
reigned supreme. The lads and lasses tripped the light fan- 
tastic toe to the music of fiddles (than which no better can 
be produced by a string band for dancing) and during the 
intervals, when the musicians were tuning up and putting 
a "little more rosin on the bows" what a flutter there must 
have been among the rustic belles at the call of "choose your 
partners;" and how many sly glances and daring flirtations 
carried on from behind those protecting "turkey tail" fans! 
For a time troubles and anxieties were forgotten. Scout- 
ing for Indians was a thing of the past and skirmishing for 
partners occupied present time and attention. The memory 
of whistling bullets and yells of savages was lost amid the 
intricate mazes of the "Virginia reel" and the inspiring 
sounds of "Money Musk." It was a never to be forgotten 
good time, and in society statistics the first ball of Grayson 
county was a success. 



©aniel ID. Dugan anb Milliam IRitcbens flDur* 

bereix 



f\ CESSATION of hostilities for about a year was thank- 
LsJ fully appreciated by the settlers, and nothing hap- 
| * pened during that time to disturb the peace which 
r they earnestly hoped would be lasting. The rangers 

had been unceasing in their efforts against the Indians, and 
it was probably owing more to the profound respect the lat- 
ter were forced to entertain for unerring rifle shots 
1841 than to any feeling of mercy, that they ceased their 
depredations and let weary settlers alone. More im- 
migrants came to Grayson county, and well pleased with the 
prospect of peace and plenty, settled in different parts. In 
the spring of 1841 a large company, composed of families 



406 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and single men, were temporarily stopping at the Dugan 
farm until they could look around for good locations to set- 
tle. Among them were John Kitchens and family, Rev. 
Mr. Spivey, a Methodist preacher, and family, and Messrs. 
Green and Long with their families. Mr. Kitchen s's family 
consisted of wife, two sons, William and Daniel, and three 
daughters, Elizabeth, Melinda and Melissa; one son and one 
daughter were grown. He rented a farm situated about a 
mile south of the Dugans; moved his family there and pro- 
ceeded to put in a crop. The farm was owned by a Mr. 
Abred, but was temporarily abandoned by its owner, who 
had left at the beginning of the Indian troubles. 

The settlers, old and new, were all hopeful of the future, 
looking forward to the time when their happy homes, 
churches and schools would be established, and they could 
once more enjoy the benfits of a civilized life. The Indians 
had cruelly harrassed the earliest settlers, it is true, but now, 
peace, with her sheltering wing, sat brooding o'er the 
land, promising a full fruition of all their hopes. They 
could go forth with renewed courage and vigor to clear 
forests, till the soil, estaKiish homes and lay the foundation 
of a great and gloriouj republic. The Dugan family es- 
pecially felt that they had particular cause for thankfulness; 
that amid the troubles and bloodshed on all sides of them, 
the Indians had passed them by, and their family circle re- 
mained unbroken. But alas, for human hopes; they little 
knew how soon the blow would fall, depriving them of one 
of the brightest and best of their number, and how soon the 
hopes and bright anticipations of all were to be plunged into 
the gloom of doubt and uncertainty. 

In July, after the crops were "laid by," Daniel V. Dugan, 
second son of Daniel Dugan, engaged Wm. Kitchens to help 
him get out logs for a house he was going to build- on his 
land, which lay near Choctaw, about two miles northwest 
of his father's place, and where he hoped to bring a young 
bride, and establish a little pioneer home of his own. The 
young man made every preparation to camp on the ground, 
taking provisions enough, with what game they would kill, 
to last them about a week, intending then to return home 
on a visit and replenish their larder. 

Two days after they left for their camp John Kitchens 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 407 

went up above Choctaw on business and while there heard 
,hat a party of eleven Indians, presumably Cachattas, had 
oeen seen crossing Red river above Preston Bend and were 
making their way down toward the settlements. Knowing 
very well that Indians of that tribe were not in that part of 
the country with any good intentions he mounted his horse 
immediately and turned back to alarm the settlers and warn 
everybody to be on their guard. He hurried into camp to 
tell his son and Dugan of their danger and have them aban- 
don their work for the present and go home. The sun was 
down as he rode up, and as he could see nothing of them 
and could get no answer to his calls and loud halloo- 
ing he came to the conclusion that they had been warned 
in some way and had already gone home. So he turned 
and rode away in the fast gathering darkness of the 
lonely woods, with no voice to tell him that the ni^ht 
winds were even then singing a requiem o'er the slain, 
that only a short distance from him lay his murdered 
son, fast growing cold in the embrace of death, and not far 
away was his dead and mutilated friend and companion. 
But no, the echoes of the fearful struggle had long since 
died away, and ignorant of the horror that yet hovered in 
the very air he breathed, he hurried on to his home and 
waiting family. He stopped at the young Dugan's to in- 
quire about the return of the young men, but to his horror 
and the consternation of all he was told that they were not 
there and had not been there since leaving two days before. 
Such a night of anxiety and suspense as that was to the dis- 
tracted relatives my pen fails to describe. Everything that 
could have befallen the boys from any source was imagined 
and discussed. The possibility that the Indians had re- 
newed their attacks upon the settlements after so long a 
period of peace came upon them in all of its dreadful mean- 
ing and was dim cult to realize. 

Runners were sent to Warren for rangers and more help 
to search for the missing ones. The rangers were off in 
another direction, but friends and neighbors soon gathered 
together, and at the first glimmer of daylight a party 
started for the camp. A few were left to guard the fami- 
lies at the house in case of surprise and attack, for all felt in- 
tuitively that it was to be war to the knife once more as long 



408 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

as an Indian was seen or heard of About nine o'clock Mr. 
Henderson, one of the searching party, was seen coming at 
full speed toward the house, and before he could dismount 
from his panting horse he was surrounded by anxious friends 
and relatives, foremost among them the mothers of the 
missing boys. With pallid cheeks and bursting hearts they 
listened to his hurried reports; how the party had reached 
the woods around the camp, and had found William Kitch- 
ens's body lying where he and Dan had been cutting logs. 
He was shot and scalped, and it appeared from indications 
that the Indians had slipped upon them while at work, un- 
conscious of danger, and had killed him instantly. The 
fate of Dan was yet unknown, as the searching party were 
yet searching the woods when he left. He had returned 
for a wagon to bring the bodies home in. When he got back 
to the scene of the tragedy the body of Daniel had been 
found about three hundred yards from where Kitchens's 
lay. 

Evidences of a long and desperate fight were all about 
him, also signs which showed that he had made more than 
one "noble red" bite the dust. .The Indians had either missed 
him at the first fire, or had intended taking him alive. They 
came upon him so suddenly he had no chance or time to get 
his gun, and there, solitary and alone, with no hope of help 
from any source, his companion killed, he boldly faced that 
band of fiends thirsting for his blood. He knew he could 
expect no mercy at their hands, and he determined to sell 
his life as dearly as possible. Possessing no means of de- 
fense save his trusty axe, he fought them off and gained 
inch by inch the ground traversed, and it was only when 
the murderous devils closed in upon him, and hacked and 
stabbed his arms until his axe, bloody to the eye, fell from 
his nerveless grasp, did he turn in obedience to the-heaveri 
born instinct of self preservation, and try to get away from 
his cruel pursuers. Then they shot him twice and finished 
their bloody work by taking his scalp; then they ransacked 
the camp, took the guns and made their escape. 

The bodies of the victims were brought to the Dugan 
homestead and the following day the impressive funeral 
services conducted by the Rev. Mr. Spivey, were attended 
by settlers and neighbors from far and near, and as they 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 409 

looked upon the faces of the dead in their rough coffins one 
and all registered the unspokon vow that no mercy would 
be shown when opportunity offered to avenge the death of 
these promising young pioneers. ' They were buried side by 
side in a beautiful spot on the Dugan farm, a place conse- 
crated then and there as " God's acre," and though time has 
wrought many a change during this long lapse of years, it 
is very probable their graves can be seen there to day. But 
you will find there no monument or storied urn commemo- 
rative of the bravery and daring of Daniel V. Dugan; never- 
theless he was composed of that sterner stuff of which 
heroes are made, and I am pleased that it is my privilege 
to perpetuate the memory of my gallant young uncle, and 
in these Reminiscences tell of his courage in braving unseen 
danger and his hand to hand conflict with those savages 
who had to disarm him before they could kill him. He was 
a devoted son and brother and looked upon by all the 
family as an ever present help in time of need. It was a 
terrible blow to them and a sad fate for him to be literally 
cut down in his early manhood when the brightest and best 
years of his life were yet before him. 

The Sunday following the burial Mr. Kitchens and family 
attended the funeral sermon and remained at the Dugans 
until late in the afternoon, talking over the sad events of 
the week. After they returned home and had finished at- 
tending to their horses and cows Mr. Kitchens, his son Dan 
-and a youn g man named Stephens were sitting out in the 
yard with their chairs tilted back against the house and their 
guns standing near them. 

The house was the usual log structure of only one room, 
and, as the logs had not yet been chinked or closed with 
mortar, the movements of Mrs. Kitchens and the girls could 
be plainly seen as they walked around doing up their even- 
ing work. All felt quiet and subdued by their sad affliction, 
and a Sabbath evening, peace and twilight settling over the 
little home, was disturbed only by the distant lowing of cattle 
and the tinkling of cow bells. A fine horse, belonging to Mr. 
Kitchens, was tied to a wagon standing in the yard. He 
suddenly began to show signs of uneasiness, gave a snort 
of alarm, squared himself around, threw his ears forward, 
and gazed intensely in the direction of a cornfield near the 



410 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

house. Without other warning or sign of danger, three 
shots rang out upon the air, one for each man. The men 
jumped to their feet and sprang into the house, forgetting 
their guns, yet in the yard, and not even realizing that two 
of the shots had taken effect, one in Dan's foot and one in 
his father's. But their guns! What could they do without 
them? Without a moment's hesitation, Mr. Kitchens 
walked out and handed the guns and pouches in, one by 
one, while zip, zip! went the bullets into the logs all around 
him. Then the fight began in earnest. Bullets and shot 
iiew thick and fast, and rattled on the roof like hail. Mrs. 
Kitchens joined in with an old fashioned pistol, and the 
girls moulded bullets. The men aimed and fired between 
the logs, changing their position constantly. As Mr. 
Kitchens was looking for a chance to shoot, he saw a big 
burly negro raise his gun and aim for him. But Mr. 
Kitchens was the quicker shot, and down went the negro. 
He rolled over, got up, and ran about a quarter of a mile 
before he fell, and gave up his African ghost. Then it was 
Steven's turn to score one. He saw' an Indian trying to un- 
tie the horse from the wagon, and took aim; the Indian saw 
him, dropped the rope, and in a twinklng raised his gun 
and fired; but Stevens got in ahead, and the Indian, with a 
convulsive leap backward, also "laid him down to rest." 

The bullet from the Indian's gun went through the door 
shutter, and buried itself in a log on the other side of the 
room. When this "brave" fell, the Indians quit firing, and 
disappeared, carrying their dead with them, but leaving the 
colored gentleman. 

As soon as it was safe enough Mr. Kitchens put Dan on 
his swiftest horse and sent him over to the Dugans to tell 
the news. Dan got over the ground at a Tom O'Shanter 
gait, and as soon as he got within hailing distanceTie com- 
menced yelling as if the whole Indian nation w r ere after him. 
The firing at Kitchens had been heard and active prepara- 
tions were being made at Dugans to resist an attack. When 
they heard Dan coming they at once thought its was Mrs. 
Kitchens, and the girls, with the Indians after them, and 
the men rushed to the rescue, but it was only fourteen year 
old Dan, badly scared and badly hurt. They took him off 
his horse and tied up his wounded foot, which was still 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 411 

bleeding, and heard with great rejoicing the good news that 
the Indians had been completely licked! 

A party of men went back with Dan, and guards were sta- 
tioned at both places, expecting the Indians would get rein- 
forcements and come back, but none came that night. 

Not considering his house safe enough Mr. Kitchens moved 
his family over to the Dugan farm and camped in the yard, 
as the rooms, halls and barns were all full. They stayed 
there until his and Dan's wounds healed and then he moved 
and settled in Warren, where he engaged in the dry goods 
business for many years. Many of the old settlers will re- 
member John Kitchens and will remember him as a brave 
and honest man. The redoubtable man is now living here 
in California and when he visited us, his Texas friends, in 
the early 60's, he had to take his boot off and show Kate's 
children where the Indians shot him in the foot 



Httacft on tfoe Dugan IResiDence, 



OUR pioneers about Warren and Choctaw had a hard 
time of it during the summer and fall of 1841. The 
Indians seemed to feel their defeat and loss at the 
Kitchens fight, and afterwards directed their atten- 
tion more particularly to the settlements on the Choctaw. 
They prowled around continually, watching for a chance to 
steal and murder, but the settlers were generally suc- 
1841 cessful in driving them off. In this way a skimish- 
ing fight was kept up for some time. 
A couple of hunters were out about eight miles above 
Choctaw one day, and observed an Indian sitting on his 
pony, away off on a high point of prairie. They watched 
him awhile and concluded that he was a guard or sentinel 
on duty, watching his campood (that is Piute) somewhere in 
the vicinity. They came in and reported, and a party of 
six men, led by G. C. Dugan, started at once on a "raid." 
They found the camp without any difficulty, attacked it 



412 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

and killed one Indian and captured a number of their own 
horses, a lot of bows and arrows, and several great cowhide 
shields. From the appearance of the outfit the men thought 
they were wild Indians, or those who had not lived long 
enough near their white brothers to acquire and learn how 
to use powder and shot. There were many so called tame 
Indians around who professed great friendship for the white 
man, but no reliance was placed upon their friendly ad- 
vances, as it seemed a very easy transition for them to be 
either tame or wild at will. How the Indians disposed of 
their dead was always a mystery to the settler, as no trace 
of burial could ever be found. No matter how hard pressed 
they were, they always, with very few exceptions, man- 
aged to get their dead and wounded away. To discover the 
whereabouts of the latter, every Indian carried a whistle 
made of bone suspended from a buckskin string around his 
neck; this was to be blown when one of them was missing, 
and by the answering whistle discover the wounded one 
and carry him away. Very frequently run away negroes 
would join the Indians and render valuable assistance in 
fighting and stealing, but their dead bodies were never 
moved, nor was a negro ever scalped by them. Bad medi- 
cine in the wool, I suppose. 

The first love of an Indian brave, be he a Cachatta or a 
bow legged Comanche, is a horse. If he has none of his 
own his first duty is to get one or more if he has to appro- 
priate the property of his neighbor. A lot of fine horses at 
the Dugan farm were a great temptation to the covetous red 
skins, and repeated attempts were made to capture them, 
but without success. A guard was always on watch during 
the day and at night. George and William Dugan occupied 
the loft over the log stable, taking turns in watching and 
sleeping. A number of settlers in the vicinity of- Choc- 
taw became very dissatisfied with the prospect of fight- 
ing Indians all winter, to say nothing of the chances of 
losing their scalps, so late in the fall they began moving 
away to more secure localities. Some went to Fannin 
county, others to Lamar county, and to counties lower down 
the river, but the Dugans and several men resolved to stay 
and fight it out. Of the latter there were Joseph Gordon 
(afterward a Methodist preacher) and a young man named 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 413 

Hoover. These two made arrangements to stop at Dugans 
and hunt and trap all winter. The Green family were 
about ready to go but lingered a few days to attend the wed- 
ing of Mary Dugan and Colonel Montague. His first wife 
died a year previous. (I should have mentioned in a former 
letter that Montague county was named for the colonel.) 
Colonel Montague and Mary Dugan were married on a Sun- 
day afternoon, a large number of relatives and friends from 
Warren attending and witnessing the ceremony. On Mon- 
day morning after breakfast the wedding party left for 
Warren, the bride accompanied to her new home by her 
brother George and sister Emily. Green and family also 
left, but very much against the wishes of his parents. The 
oldest son William decided to remain. His sisters joined in 
entreating him to go with them, but the prospect of a win- 
ter's pleasure in hunting and trapping with Gordon proved 
more potent than their pleading, and unfortunately for him 
he allowed them to go without him. 

After the wedding party and visitors were all gone, work 
was commenced on the house for greater security against 
Indians and cold weather. William Dugan and young 
Green worked hard all day chinking the cracks between the 
logs of the house, cutting port holes on all sides and fitting 
blocks for the same ; also making bars for the doors, as the only 
fastening was a common wooden pin. Gordon and Hoover 
went hunting. The house proper was a long log building of 
two large rooms with a hall between, facing north and 
south. The kitchen was built at the west end of the house, 
a part of it projecting beyond far enough to allow a port 
hole at that end to command a view of the yard and one 
side of the house. The men slept in the farthest east room, 
their beds ranged around the room head to head and facing 
the fire place. About dusk George and Emily returned 
from Warren, Gordon and Hoover came in from the hunt, 
bringing a fine fat deer. William and Green had finished 
their wcrk except one bar intended for the door of their 
room, and the absence of this particular bar furnishes the 
tragic events to be related in this chapter. As my mother, 
Kate Dugan, was a principal figure in the incidents of the 
evening, I will present the facts in her own words. She 
says: 



414 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

The first indications of Indians we had noticed for some 
time were on that Monday evening. The cows would not 
stand still long enough to be milked, but would snuff the 
air, hoist their heads and herd together in the upper part of 
the pen, gazing very intently towards the woods. We felt 
certain that Indians were in the vicinity, watching our 
movements, but it was such a common occurrence we took 
no extra precautions, depending a good deal on our dogs to 
keep them at a distance. Our dogs had been of great service 
to us and I believe they had many times kept the Indians 
off by barking and extreme fierceness. After supper George 
and William went to the barn to sleep as usual and the other 
men went to their room, where they had a good fire burn- 
ing. Henry Dugan and another boy named William Al- 
bert, who was staying at our house, were out in the yard 
playing until father went to the door and told them to go to 
bed. Henry slept with Green, and, boylike, wanted to sleep 
in the front, but when he was ready for bed Green was too 
sound asleep to be induced to get over, so necessarily Henry 
had to crawl in behind, and though very unwilling to occupy 
so undignified a place it was the means of saving his life. 
Mother went to bed early and father lay dozing by the 
kitchen fire, as was his habit, being troubled with rheuma- 
tism, Sister Emily and I sat near by working by the dim 
light of a single tallow dip, I sewing and she cording cotton 
rolls for the next day's spinning. Everything was very 
quiet, the dogs not even barking as usual. Afterwards we 
knew they were down behind the smoke house kna wing the 
deer bones that Gordon had thrown there. 

Emily and I were talking in whispers about the wedding 
when we both started and listened to an unusual noise we 
heard in the men's room. The door pin fell on the floor and 
some one gave the door a kick. We were about to" resume 
our work and conversation, thinking it was one man, when 
like a thunderbolt two shots rang out, followed by another, 
and then all was confusion. Pandemonium let loose, in an 
instant the yard seemed full of Indians, all yelling and 
blowing whistles. Emily sprang up and commenced run- 
ning up and down the room screaming "Indians." I blew 
the candle out the first thing, then ran for the bucket of 
water and threw it on the fire, and turned just in time to 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 415 

catch mother, who, half dazed with sleep, was trying to 
unbar the door and get out. Father was pretty quick, con- 
sidering his rheumatism, and grabbing his old "flint lock" 
ran to the port hole and fired at the noise as it was too dark to 
take aim. The dogs, hearing the noise, came tearing around 
the house and joined in the row with all their teeth and 
lungs, and the Indians soon left. Emily kept running up 
and down the room, and if the Indians heard that puncheon 
floor rattle they must have thought the kitchen full of men. 
I have no doubt, though, that they had watched us as we 
sat there at work, for there was a crack between the logs 
near the door that one could have put his arm through, and 
it is very likely they took observations and knew where to 
find the men first. I don't know what I should have done 
if I had turned and seen a pair of shining eyes looking at 
me through that crack. After the Indians left and the noise 
subsided, we could hear cries and groans in the men's room, 
which set us almost distracted. Father called out through 
the port hole to know who was hurt, and Gordon answered 
that Green was killed and Hoover wounded. 

In about half an hour we heard three shots in the di- 
rection of the barn, followed by such terrible groans that 
we were alarmed for fear that one of the boys was hurt, but 
the whistles and howls of lamentations, a cross between the 
howl of a wolf and the cry of a human, accompanying the 
groans, gave us a very correct idea that our enemies were 
getting the worst of a bad bargain. We did not dare to stir 
out until morning and, as it was best to keep our forces 
scattered, we all stayed where we were until sun rise. The 
men barricaded their door and kept watch in their room, and 
I took father's gun and remained on guard at that port hole 
while father slept. I could only listen for strange noises or 
look out once in awhile to see if the Indians were skulking 
about the house on our side. All night long I could hear their 
whistles first in one place and then in another, sometimes 
clear and shrill near the house, then a tremulous quivering 
note like the plaintive song of a bird would break the sil- 
ence of the night. It was evident that the Indians were 
very uneasy about something. 

Toward morning, as it began to grow light, I leaned for- 
ward once more and looked out on the familiar bushes and 



416 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

trees, thankful that day was at last dawning and this fear- 
ful suspense would soon be at an end. My searching eyes 
took in every object within the circuit of the port hole, and 
I was about to draw back when I was arrested by a sight that 
made my heart jump right into my throat. Not twenty feet 
away stood an Indian by a tree, silent and motionless as a 
statue; where he came from or how he got there was more 
than I could tell. I had seen no motion and heard no sound. 
My first thought was to shoot, and what a fine chance it 
was! I had a feeling of hatred and a desire for vengeance 
against the whole Indian race since my brother was so 
cruelly murdered by them, and now was my time. I raised 
rny gun, but in the excitement of the moment I must have 
made a noise that gave him the alarm, for, when I looked 
again down the shiny barrel he was gone. Sun rise came at 
last, bringing the boys in from the barn, and when in a few 
hurried questions and replies they learned our situation, 
George mounted our fleetest horse and went to Warren for 
a doctor, and to inform Green of the death of his son. 

For many years after the print of an Indian's hand could 
be seen where he leaned against the soft mortar and pulled 
the peg out of the door on that fatal night. 

Two shots were fired towards the beds, one striking Green, 
killing him instantly. Hoover sprang out of bed and sank 
to the floor with a very bad flesh wound in his side, while 
Gordon, as quick as a flash, jumped over the bed,' ran in be- 
hind the door and pushed it to with such force that he fairly 
knocked the Indians out of the door. He fastened it with 
chains and tables the best he could, threw water on the fire 
that was burning brightly in the fire place and then went 
to the assistance of the wounded man. Not knowing that 
Green was shot Henry sprang out of bed and tried in vain 
to rouse him; he threw back the cover, and taking hold of 
his hand, told him to "wake up, the Indians were upon 
them," but no response came from the lips forever dumb, 
and they soon discovered that the poor boy was wrapped in 
the slumbers that knows no awakening. 

When George and William heard the firing at the house 
and Emily screaming they hurried on their clothes to come to 
their rescue; then they heard father's gun and the dogs, and 
thought they had better stay where they were. A wise re- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 417 

solve, for the Indians next turned their attention to the 
horses. 

The boys made all preparations, for they saw that their 
guns were in order and ammunition handy. They did not 
have long to wait. As William was on the lookout at the 
front side of the barn, he saw a dark form moving about 
very strangely among the trees. It would appear from be- 
hind a tree, jump up and down, and then dart back. After 
acting in this wild way for awhile, it made a dash for the 
barn door where it "materialized" to the watching eyes 
above, as a very stalwart Indian, who had been acting in 
that way to tempt a shot if any one was on guard at the 
barn. Seemingly satisfied that no one was around, and that 
he had everything to himself, he set his gun down by the 
door and began to work and pick at the padlock, venting 
his anger in choice English "cuss words" when it would not 
yield to his manipulations. In a few moments he was joined 
by two more Indians who had been watching the proceed- 
ings. They walked up and stopped within a few steps from 
the door, talking in a low tone of voice and looking up toward 
a little window cut in the logs just above the door. Like 
the colonel of Revolutionary fame, William "waited until 
he could see the whites of his enemy's eyes and then fired." 
At a \ ignal George was by his side in a second, and motion- 
ing him that it was time to shoot, they rested the muzzles 
of their guns between the logs and fired. Both Indians 
were mortally wounded, fell, got up and ran some distance, 
four to the north and one west of the barn. The former by 
his groans, attracted his friends who came and carried him 
off; the other was not heard from and the boys supposed he 
was taken away too. They reloaded their guns and took 
their places again to await another attack, for they did not 
think the Indians would give up the fight without another 
effort to get the horse; nor were they mistaken. As George 
was looking out on his side next to the cow pen, he saw the 
cows very much disturbed, step aside very suddenly and 
give a wide berth to an object crawling on the ground. 

At first he thought it was a hog as it grunted its way toward 
the barn, but upon closer inspection, and knowing that the 
hogs could not get in on that side, he suspected it was an In- 
dian and raised his gun to give him a reception worthy of 



418 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

his mission. As he was taking aim the muzzle of his gun 
raked on the bark, making a slight noise. The quick ear of 
the Indian caught the sound and partly raised up, but he 
only made a better target of himself and received a ball and 
twenty-four buckshot full in the breast, cutting in two a hair 
rope tied around his waist. He was tracked the next day 
by his blood to where he died, and where the Indians had 
found and carried him off, but the continual whistling dur- 
ing the night made all think that they had not succeeded in 
finding all their dead yet. When George came back from 
Warren he brought the doctor, several rangers and the 
family of Green, who took their boy back to Warren for 
burial. As the men were waiting for dinner, some talking 
and others, who had been up all night, were trying to sleep, 
a shrill whistle was heard in the woods near the house, 
which brought every man to his feet and off into the woods 
in no time. A fleeting vision of a red skin clearing the 
ground by flying leaps two yards apart was all they saw and 
they returned and commenced searching for dead Indians. 
They found one of the first that was shot, the one that had 
run west of the barn and had fallen dead without a groan. 
The men dragged him to the house and laid him out in. 
state in the yard, inviting all to come to the funeral (no 
flowers). He was dressed in light marching order, a calico 
shirt and leather leggins, and as Doctor Rjwlett came out 
with the others to take a last look at the deceased he looked 
at him for a moment and then exclaimed: " Why, that is 
Cachatta Bill; he used to work for me; my wife made that 
shirt he has on!" 



1Re\>. fIDr, Brown, a flDetboMst preacber voho 
2>otVt jEat Cbickem 



IT was late in the afternoon of a bright sunny day, in the 
spring of 1844, that a solitary horseman was seen ap- 
proaching the Dugan farm, on Choctaw, and from his 
dusty, travel stained appearance and the weary, jaded 
look of his horse, one could imagine that both man and 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 419 

beast stood greatly in need of rest and refreshments. Now, 
men on horseback, single or in pairs, were no uncom- 
1844 mon sight to these dwellers in the woods, and few ever 
came near a habitation without stopping at fence or 
door and exchange greetings or whatever news there was 
to tell, and most every one knew who his next neighbor was 
on sight. But this traveler's outfit and general make up 
was so foreign to backwoods life and dress, that he could 
hardly hope to pass through the settlements without being 
closely scrutinized and arousing a curiosity as to who he 
was and where he was going. He appeared to be about 
forty years of age; his clean shaven face disclosing many 
marks of time's ravages, and a careworn expression betray- 
ing many a hard tilt in life's tournament. He was a tall 
angular man, and mounted upon a tall angular horse; a 
tall hat set on a head covered with rather long hair, together 
with a high choker and a long tailed coat, completed his 
elongated appearance. A pair of well stuffed saddle bags 
looked like great excrescences on the horse's back; and, as 
the rider urged his animal along in a sort of a jog trot his 
elbows and the saddle bags kept up a concerted motion that 
threatened a total disarrangement of the internal economy 
of both horse and rider. 

As he approached the house the dogs, stretched lazily on 
the ground, raised their heads and uttered low growls in 
warning that a stranger was near; these gave way to a 
fierce barking, which brought the family to the door. The 
girls, Catherine and Emily, dropped their work of carding 
to take a look at the stranger, convinced at a glance that 
he was no one they had ever seen, and wondered if he was 
going to stop. Mother Dugan gazed at him long and earn- 
estly as he rode up to the fence, slowly dismounted and tied 
his horse as if he knew that his welcome was assured. She 
then turned, and in a decided tone that admitted of no ar- 
gument, said: " Girls, that is a Methodist preacher as sure 
as I live. Leave your work and get supper quick; kill some 
chickens and churn. Henry blow the horn for your father!" 
As they flew around to do her bidding the stranger came to 
the door and asked if Brother Dugan lived there? On being 
assured that he did, and invited to come in, he introduced 
himself as the Rev. Mr. Brown, lately transferred from the 



420 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

Indiana to the Texas Methodist conference and was now ap 
pointed to the Red river circuit. He was given, on that ac- 
count, a doubly hearty welcome and told to make the Dugan 
mansion his home; that their doors had always been open 
to the Lord's annointed since the time when away back in 
Missouri Peter Cartwright had lived and preached at their 
house. They also told him what a benighted condition the 
settlements were in without religious services, and how they 
had longed for the time to come when all could gather to- 
gether, have meetings, a regularly appointed spiritual guide 
and once more live like Christians. The good mother busied 
herself to make her guest comfortable, went out to the 
kitchen to tell the girls that he was really a Methodist 
preacher, to be sure and have plenty of chicken and to see 
that the best of everything was set before him. When the 
bountiful supper was ready it was a meal fit for a king. 
Delicate cream biscuit (in honor of company) offered a 
striking contrast to the little mound of golden corn pones 
close by; wild honey and preserved wild fruits, pats of fra* 
grant butter and cool refreshing buttermilk, while occupy- 
ing a prominent place stood a dish,, whose delicate slices of 
pink tinted home cured ham could be seen peeping out from 
beneath their thick covering of fresh new laid eggs. But 
the crowning dish, the "piece de resistance," was a platter 
piled high with nicely browned, crisp, fried chicken, flanked 
by a steaming bowl of rich milk gravy. How true to her 
early training and Methodist instincts had Mother Dugan 
followed the time honored custom in catering to the pro- 
verbial appetite of the Metbolist itinerancy; instinctively 
knowing what would make Brother Brown feel perfectly at 
home, though among strangers and in a strange land. 

Fried chicken! Magical words, 'that carry me back 
through memory's halls to that same old log kitchen r and I 
see that same table bountifully spread and surrounded by 
loved ones now dead or scattered — never more to be united. 
I see a rosy cheeked little girl, in "linsey woolsey" dress, 
sitting at the dear gandma's right hand, and cousin George 
on the le^t, while between the two a jealous rivalry exists 
as to who will secure the greater number of drumsticks and 
wishbones, requiring great tact and diplomacy on the part 
of the white haired, white capped saint, to prevent a blood- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 421 

less war, ready to be declared should she give one an extra 
drumstick more than the other. 

Pardon me for this digression; but while wiry fibres all 
along the taproot of memory cling close to early associa- 
tions and grandmother's savory dishes, with a love that 
shows no affinity with fleshy appetite, I can never divorce 
fried chicken and sentiment. But Brother Brown has asked 
the blessing some time ago, and all are now waiting in de- 
corous silence until their honored guests shall be helped. 
Father Dugan picks out the tender brown morsels, and load- 
ing the plate with other good things, hands it to Brother 
Brown, who passes it to the next one, with the remark that 
•''he never eats chicken!" An awe-ful silence falls upon the 
assembled household, and startled glances are exchanged. 
Shades of John Wesley and all the apostles! A Methodist 
preacher and not eat chicken! Has there been a change in 
the creed since our exile? What manner of man is this, 
who comes to us in the guise of an i inerant circuit rider, 
who carries neither purse or scrip, depending alone upon 
the manna to be found in the wilderness, and who now 
goes back on the first confession of faith and says he never 
eats fried chicken! Parson Brown, be careful, be strong 
and steadfast; it will take your longest prayers and your 
most eloquent oratory to convince your scattered congrega- 
tion that you are the genuine article. Don't you know, 
Brother Brown, that wherever you go along the line of your 
circuit, your clerical appearance and those saddle bags will 
be the death warrant of scores of "yaller legged roosters," 
and if you do not follow the precedent established by your 
colleagues gone before, you will be regarded with unbounded 
surprise and suspicion? Brother Brown, take heed unto the 
hundreds of despairing squawks that will go up from as 
many severed throats on your account, and reform your 
heretical appetite before it is everlastingly too late. But 
the good brother likes ham and eggs, so there is no danger 
of his starving; and coming full of "Peace on earth and 
good will to man," he stayed and preached the word, con- 
quering the hearts of his many hearers. After making his 
appointments for every four weeks at Brother Dugan's and 
at Warren alternately, he left to travel about three hundred 
miles before making the round of his circuit. Braving 



422 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

storms and flood, heat and hunger, wild beasts, and still 
wilder Indians, the earth often his bed and his saddle a pil- 
low; all for the sake of Jesus, to carry his messages and 
teachings into the barren places. 

Verily, I think, such heroism and self sacrifice can never 
receive fitting reward in this vain, selfish world. But in the 
next, ah! the next, methinks the angels will tune their harps 
anew and sing anthems of praise to these noble souls as 
they gather around the great white throne to render an ac- 
count of their stewardship while on this little foot stool of 
their Master, especially in one little spot called Texas. 



jfirst damp flDeeting in (Branson county. 



THE Rev. Brown, mentioned in the last chapter, minis- 
tered faithfully to his scattered flock, and at the end of 
the conference year held a camp meeting at Warren, 
assisted by Rev. Custer, the presiding elder, and the 
Rev, Duncan, a missionary from the Indian Territory. 
It is not to be denied that a camp meeting in those days 
was a very important event, and anticipated with in- 
1847 tense interest by the settlers far and near. Different 
motives actuated people to attend camp meetings, and 
the same rule will apply to such occasions of later date. 
Some go out of curiosity, to see and be seen, others regard 
it as a season of rest and diversion, while many embrace the 
occasion to gossip, exchange news, see the latest fashions, 
and make new acquaintances. A few, a chosen f ewrantici- 
pate the event when in God's natural temples, the leafy 
groves, they will feel the " outpourings of the Spirit," or ex- 
perience that magical "change of heart," granted through 
the efficacy of prayer, to those who earnestly seek the Di- 
vine blessing. But we will go as spectators, mere lookers on, 
and take a bird's eye view of this panorama in the midst of 
nature. We see first a large shed covered with brush and 
limbs of trees: this is to shelter the large audience; while 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 423 

heavy boards or logs are to serve for seats. Another slab 
upheld by stakes, driven into the ground and covered by a 
bearskin is the pulpit; a number of chairs, some splint bot- 
tomed and some covered with rawhide, the hair left on,are for 
the deacons and ministers who are expected to be present. 
The "mourners bench" has not been forgotten, neither has 
the straw which is scattered around with liberal hand. Lit- 
tle brush shanties have been erected all around in conven- 
ient places for the campers, and soon their occupants begin 
to arrive. They come "a foot and a horseback," riding single 
and double. On. carts and wagons drawn by horses are 
loaded bedding, cooking utensils and children. Dogs have 
not been invited, but they come any way, and make them- 
selves too familiar for comfort, and are all sizes and breeds, 
from the long eared deer hound to the common cur. The 
camp ground begins to assume the appearance of a picnic on 
a large scale; horses neigh as new comers arrive, babies cry, 
children shout and play and a hum of good natured conver- 
sation, enquiries and greetings all combine to make a vivid 
and realistic picture in its setting of living green. I said some- 
thing about fashions, but it was a far fetched allusion. I 
wonder if our dear forefathers and mothers in their coon- 
skin caps and slat sun bonnets ever worried about the 
"latest styles," or in their primitive simplicity ever 
imagined that succeeding generations would lose sight of 
their humble origin, forget what the foundation of Ameri- 
can aristocracy really is, and "run" to vanity, selfishness, 
patent spring bottom pants, tournieres and pompadour 
puffs." 

It is now approaching time when meeting is to commence 
and to blast or toot on a tin horn brings the scattered con- 
gregation together. Those men who, from long habit, carry 
their rifles with them, lean them against the nearest tree, 
and out of respect to the occasion divest themselves for the 
present of shot pouch and powder horn. A dog fight or two 
is settled and the yelping curs sent off to crouch under the 
wagons; then all gather in and seat themselves on the rough 
boards. A few youngsters who are habitually thirsty at 
meeting take a last drink out of the bucket near the pulpit, 
put the gourd dipper down rather noisily, then make their 
way to their mothers, who unceremoniously yank them into 



424 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

a seat and bid them sit there and be quiet. At last all is still 
and solemn. Brother Brown rises up. his tall form threat- 
ening to bring the top of his head and the brush above in 
violent collision. He casts a searching glance over the 
audience and finally all are attentive as the occasion re- 
quires and he commences in a sonorous voice to line out the 
hymn: 

Children of the heavenly king, 

^s ye journey sweetly sing. 

Here we will leave them, confident that Brother Brown, 
in his fervid zeal, will faithfully warn his interested hearers 
to flee from the wrath to come. 

Thus was the foundation of luethodism laid in Grayson 
and adjoining counties. Brother Brown was succeeded b}^ 
Jefferson Schuck, and he by Andrew Davis and others, all 
earnest workers in the cause. The Baptist faith was ably 
upheld by two brothers by the name of Hiram and James 
Savage. One lived on Caney creek and the other on Bois 
d'Arc, as farmers. They tilled the soil during the week, 
preaching on Sundays; accomplishing great good on the 
frontier of Grayson. 

The fourth of July, 1847, was the occasion of a grand bar- 
becue and bran dance at Sherman, then in its infancy; and 
to a great many who attended the festivities this was their 
first view of the new county seat. A log house about twenty 
feet square, used for the court house, and a few rods of 
ploughed land comprised the metropolis from one end to the 
other. I will leave it to my readers to picture the contrast 
of the city then and now. 

For the barbecue a large brush shed was built, under 
which were ranged long tables loaded with all kinds of 
roasted meats and all the delicacies of the season, welcome 
to all to eat, drink and to be merry without money and with- 
out price. The refreshment stand — a rail fence built partly 
around a barrel of whisky — stood near at hand, while a tin 
cup did frequent duty for a thirsty crowd. The court house 
was thrown open to accommodate the dancers. Justice took 
off her spectacles, laid aside her steel yards, and for once in 
her life gave herself up to the intoxicating pleasures of the 
hoe down. Music was furnished by a stalwart darkey 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 425 

perched on a barrel; when he would give out another stood 
ready to take his place until he could visit the refreshment 
stand and counteract the effects of the heat and his violent 
exertions by looking for the bottom of that tin cup. 

As this is my last letter on Reminiscences we want to 
leave our pioneers prosperous and contented, and it will not 
be difficult to do so. They have enjoyed peace and security 
from their enemies, the Indians, for several years now, with 
a few exceptions of horse stealing. 

The little pioneer school started in Warren grew and flour- 
ished under the teaching of Mr. Limble, who was succeeded 
by R. W. Lee, and he by a Mr. Graham and others. 

As the settlements increased, other schools were estab- 
lished in different parts of the county. Among the im- 
provements gradually introduced for the benefit of the set- 
tlers, the first of importance was grist mills. They could now 
throw away their hand mills on which they had depended 
so long, but their looms and spinning wheels stayed with 
them many years longer. 

When we stop and think of the advancements made in 
every direction since this period of Texas, early settlement, 
the time seems longer than it really is. When we remem- 
ber that those pioneers had no newspapers, magazines or 
any kind of communication with the outside world, save as 
come by word of mouth; no telegraph, telephone or rail- 
roads; that churches and schools barely struggled into ex- 
istence after long years of patient waiting, it makes one im- 
agine a pre-adamite .sort of existence, and not of a time only 
forty years ago. Think of having no thread except that 
manufactured at home; no matches, a flint their only de- 
pendence, and a log stump in the field set fire to by its 
sparks was their reserve when the fires at the house would 
accidentally go out; the neighbors literally coming to bor- 
row a shovel full of coals. I might mention many more in- 
stances where improvements have been made to increase the 
comforts and lessen the toil of the pioneers, but I am cer- 
tain there are many of my readers who know a great deal 
more on that subject than I do. One more word and I am 
done. The future historian of the Lone Star State cannot 
ignore, if he is a faithful chronicler, the honors due the 
earliest settlers for services rendered as advance guard to 



1.3 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the great tide of immigrators that peopled a properous land. 
It lias not been in my power to mention but a very few of 
the pioneers of Grayson county, but, however small the 
number, they help swell the grand total, and I bespeak a 
recognition in the annals of the State. 

The pioneers of a country are justly deserving of a niche 
in the country's history. 

The pioneers who became martyrs to the cause of the de- 
velopment of an almost unknown land deserve to have 
a place in the hearts of its inhabitants. None but the brave 
and venturesome, energetic and courageous dare penetrate 
the pathless wilderness and trackless forests, and Texas, 
with her cultivated fields, wealth and beautiful homes may 
well enshrine the memory of her noble hearted pioneers, 
path finders, martyrs. 



fanning first Campaign. 



THE following accounts of murders and' massacres in 
Fannin county were written a few years ago, by the 
late Judge J. P. Simpson (an old pioneer of Fannin 
county), for publication in a little book entitled, "His- 
tory of Fannin county," by W. A. Carter. Having been 
written by one who was personally familiar with the differ- 
ent incidents related, and whose reputation for verac- 
1838 ity was so well recognized by those who knew him, 
we have no hesitancy in giving them to the reader 
with no other endorsement, and feel perfectly safe in saying 
that they will all be found substantially correct. 

In 1838, the first volunteer companies for the defense of 
Fannin county were raised and organized by Captain 
Robert Sloan and N". L. Journey. These two companies 
consisted of forty men each. Captain Journey's company 
met at Jonathan Anthony's, eight miles south of Fort Eng- 
lish, all in high glee under the influence of strong drink. 
That night the Captain's charger and two others were stolen 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 427 

by the Indians. Next day was spent in getting other horses 
to supply the vacancies; and that night two companies met 
at what was then called Linsey's Springs, on Bois d'Arc, 
where Mr. Sears now lives. Beef was slaughtered for ra- 
tions, and everything made ready for an early start for the 
Indian village on the west forks of Trinity. Guards were 
stationed around the encampment for the night, and each 
went to spinning yarns. In the midst of all this amusement 
one of the guards fired his gun, in an instant the pickets fled 
for camp, men ran for their guns; some guns were mis- 
placed, shot pouches and ammunition missing, all hurry and 
confusion; the captain dispatched to ascertain the cause of 
alarm; no guard at his post: one of the guards (my mess 
fellow) dashed into camp, saying he had seen and shot at an In- 
dian trying to steal horses; his heart beating so hard he de- 
clared it was the sound of Indians' feet fleeing from the fire 
of his gun. The officer returned, made his report to head- 
quarters, stated that he found no dead or wounded Indian; 
he supposed he had found an Indian's blanket, but on exam- 
ination found he was mistaken; the blanket turned out to be 
the paunch of the beef slaughtered for rations for the men; 
no more yarns that night. Next morning we mounted our 
horses and started for the Indian village, our pilot in front. 
Marched three* days and camped for the last night until the 
Indian village would be desolated by the heroes of Fannin. 
An alarm by the pickets during the night, but no one killed 
or wounded. Next morning a council of war was held, 
scouts were sent ahead to spy out the village. The scouts 
returned and reported the village near at hand. Now we 
must try our bravery or run — three hundred Indian warriors 
fortified in their huts, to defend themselves, squaws and 
children, and only ninety whites to attack and enter into 
deadly conflict with them. Columns of attack were formed 
and the charge ordered. Many a pale face was to be seen 
in the ranks. Away we went, but lo! when we got to the 
scene of action, only a camp of Indians was there. The In- 
dians were soon dispatched by the men and the scalps taken 
from their heads by Captain John Hart. One white man was 
wounded and one horse was killed. There we found Cap- 
tain Journey's stolen horse and others. After the battle one 
wounded Indian lay concealed in the grass with a tomahawk 



428 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

in his hand. A man by the name of Pangborn (usually- 
called "Brandy," from the quantity of that article he drank) 
was on the lookout for the wounded Indian and came up on 
him so close he couldn't shoot. The Indian rose with toma- 
hawk in hand, striking at Pangborn's head. The latter 
wheeled and ran, shouting for help at every jump. One 
gun was fired from our ranks, the Indian fell, and Captain 
Hart was on him in an instant and took his scalp. The 
place some years since was occupied and settled by Major 
Bird, and called Bird's Fort, not far from where Fort Worth 
now stands. We started for home, and the third night 
camped on Bois d'Arc near where Orangeville now stands, 
and found that Indians had been in the settlement and 
killed and scalped one of our best citizens, William Wash- 
burn Thus ended our first scout for Indians in Fannin, 
until a more formidable force could be raised to protect the 
frontier, which was done that winter under the command of 
General John H. Dyer, of Red River county. 



fiDaaaaere of fIDcCart? ant> DatiQbertp. 

In 1838-39 the Indians were hostile against the whites ir 
this part of the county and committed many depreda- 
tions in Fannin county and her territory. The citizens 
were up in arms and on the lookout for the foe; compa- 
nies were organized and every man was on the alert. A 
battalion was formed of the citizens of Lamar and Fannin 
counties, armed and equipped for service under the 
1838 command of General Dyer, of Red River county. The 
rendezvous was at Fort English, near where Bonham 
now stands. This settlement, then consisting of eight or 
ten families, was forted up for mutual protection. When 
the army left in search of the Indians the writer was left at 
the fort as lieutenant in command of a squad of twenty 
men for the protection of the women and children. While 
the army was out William Daugherty, Andrew Thomas, 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 429 

Andrew Daugherty and William McCarty 's son (the two 
latter were youths) went in search of their pork hogs near 
where Keatuckytown now stands, they having lived a short 
time in that vicinity. 

s|e ijjt :£ # * ^c * * 

Judge Simpson then relates the killing of old man Daugh- 
erty, the heroic defense made by Andrew Thomas and the 
narrow escape of the latter and young Daugherty, but the 
full details of the massacre having been graphically de- 
scribed in the articles of Mrs. Shearer, which we have here- 
tofore given to the reader, we deem it unnecessary to go 
over them again. Judge Simpson, however, mentions the 
killing of William McCarty, who, it seems, was with the 
party. In the account given by Mrs. Shearer his name is 
omitted. Judge Simpson says: " The savages shot young 
McCarty full of arrows and cut off his head with their 
tomahawks. The next morning we started to the scene of 
the slaughter. Arriving at the battle ground there lay old 
man Daugherty in a pool of blood, three scalps having been 
taken from his head and the tomahawk having been sunk 
twice in the naked skull — a sight so horrible and appalling that 
you can have no conception of it without you had been an 
eye witness. McCarty 's son was not scalped, but his head 
was cut entirely off except a small ligament on one side. 
The bodies were brought to the fort next day and deposited 
in the graveyard at Fort English, being the second burial at 
that place.' 



Zhe Zvoo ©lb <Buarb& 



By Judge J. P. Simpson. 



I ¥ ^HILE the white people were forted at Warren, in 

111 1839, Daniel Dugan and Henry Green, two old men, 

VA/ volunteered their services to guard the horses at 

night. The young men had become worn out by 

incessant watching and guarding the horses of those citi- 



430 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

zens who were forted, being kept in an enclosure for safety, 
where they had to be guarded at night. In the center 
1839 of this enclosure, a stable had been built, which an- 
swered for a guard house, and was surrounded with 
shade trees. The stable loft was partly laid with rails 
which projected over the center joist, and which was for 
the guard to occupy while watching for the Indians. The 
two old veterans took their stand in the guard house, on the 
rails, watching vigilantly for the foe, who, true to their in- 
stincts for stealing, made their appearance in the horse lot, 
secreting themselves behind and in the shade of the trees. 
The moon shining very bright, gave the old men a chance 
to see; but the shadows of the Indians as they passed sud- 
denly from one tree to another, gave them no chance to get 
a shot. They being extremely anxious to sun the Indian 
moccasins? , and in their eagerness to get a position to do ex- 
ecution, they reached beyond the balance on the joists, 
when their foot holds gave way, the rails turning end upon 
end, and away went the old men, guns, rails, and all, with 
a great crash in the stable, making a great noise. The In- 
dians did not take time to see what was the matter, nor what 
was done, but ran out, and made their escape to the brush, 
not being accustomed to such charges in warfare. The old 
men were somewhat bruised by the fall, but had the honor 
of inaugurating a new way of scaring off Indians. Some 
time after this three men left the fort to go to Preston; 
Bushnell Garner, David Alberty and Isaac Camp, two go- 
ing on horseback and one on foot. When three miles west 
of the place where Denison now stands, the Indians am- 
bushed and fired on them, killing the two horsemen in- 
stantly, pursued Alberty, the footman, some distance, 
caught him, stabbed him in the heart with their knives and 
then scalped him and broke his skull in small fragments 
with their tomahawks. The two other men who were shot, 
were scalped and tomahawked in a similar manner to 
Mr. Alberty. They also stripped them of their clothing and 
mutilated them in a shocking manner. After these mur- 
ders were committed the citizens ceased to travel in day 
light, but traveled at night. I knew that J. P. Simpson, 
the then sheriff of this county, did aH his traveling in the 
west portion of Fannin territory, in discharge of the busi- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 431 

ness connected with the office, after night. Then in pass- 
ing over these lonely prairies, he became accustomed to 
hearing the scream of the panther, the howl of the wolf, 
and the hoot of the night owl. Many times was he alarmed 
by these, taking them for the savages. 



H IRegro ZmriB White 



By Judqe J. P. Simpson. 



jO* FEW days after the killing and scalping of Bushnell 
LJ1 Garner, David Alberty and Isaac Camp, as related by 
jT * me in a former sketch, the Indians still continued to 
■▼ prowl around the neighborhood— we suppose to steal 
more horses and murder the whites when they could get a 
chance. The citizens were alarmed and carried their 
weapons of warfare with them when engaged in their 
1839 secular concerns of life. Mabel Gilbert, living two 
miles south of Fort English, his being an outside 
house, was greatly exposed, and often annoyed by them. He 
became greatly excited, and armed and equipped himself 
and those about him, so that they were prepared to meet 
danger at every emergency. Some Indians had hid them- 
selves in the brush near his fence, watching his black boy 
Smith, who was engaged in the field pulling corn; armed 
with a holster pistol and large butcher knife, and in order to 
deceive and decoy him they imitated and answered the 
croaking of wild turkeys. The boy left his work and ap- 
proached with all the caution and stillness possible to pre- 
vent the turkeys from finding him out, with his pistol in 
hand ready to shoot, until he approached a dense thicket, 
when three Indians arose as quick as thought from an am- 
buscade and attempted to capture him. He didn't hesitate 
a moment, but discharged the load in his pistol into the breast 
of the one nearest him; the Indian staggered and fell, and 



432 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

the other two sprang at him asif determined to capture him. 
The boy drew his butcher knife and ran to a big tree close 
by, the Indians in close pursuit, when he made a desperate 
thrust with his knife at the Indians who came meeting him 
around the tree, but he missed them. He left his knife stick- 
ing in the tree and ran for the house; the Indians fired their 
guns at him, but missed their aim. His master and sons 
hearing the alarm, ran from the house with their guns to his 
rescue. The Indians retreated, carrying off their wounded 
buck, leaving a pool of blood where he laid. His master 
said that when he met the boy he was so frightened that his 
complexion had assumed that of a dark skinned white man, 
trembling from head to foot as though he had an ague, and 
his voice faltering so as to be scarcely intelligible, and for 
years afterwards, when talked to on the subject, he would 
become so excited that his complexion would change. 



3)eatb of SowelL 



By Judge J. P. Simpson. 



f\ FTER the battle with the Cachatta Indians, by the 
jLJj Dugan family [Note . A full account of the Dugan 
I * fight has been given in the communications of Mrs. 
/ Shearer], the Indians left Dr. Rowlett's and fled to 
the Indian Territory, north of Red River. The Texans, be- 
ing greatly incensed at the course practiced by them while 
living in Texas, determined that they should not re- 
1841 main so near us. Captain Joseph Sowell, with ten or 
twelve men, crossed the river at night, ascertained 
where they were camped, charged on them and fired into 
their wigwams, killing ten or twelve. This matter was kept 
still with the Texans for sometime, the act being a violation of 
international law with the United States Government. The 
district court for Fannin county was to commence in 1841 
at Warren, on Monday morning. Owing to the long dis- 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 433 

tance those summoned as witness and jury men had to 
travel to court, many went on Sunday evening, who would 
put up at the tavern kept by Mr. So well and J. S. Scott. 
After securing lodging for themselves, and their horses 
cared for, they would indulge in drinking, and engage in a 
recital of the dangers, narrow escape and bats with the In- 
dians. Captain Sowell had a fine and favorite charger, 
which he kept to himself securely locked in his stable, his 
guests' horses in a substantial enclosure close by. That 
night the Indians had cut the door facing in two with 
their knives and removed the chains and lock from the door 
shutters, bridled the fine stallion and mounted him, for the 
purpose of driving out the horses in the lot. The Indians 
had lain down in the fence corners and stationed themselves 
at the bars armed with bows and arrows, with their horse- 
man on the fine charger in the lot driving the horses out. 
The neighing and tramping of the horses gave the alarm to 
those at the tavern, notwithstanding by this time they were 
in high glee and uproar at the house; for they had arrived 
at that point, that every man was a hero, a general, a states- 
man, or some great man in his own estimation; hearing the 
mighty crash and tramp of horses their amusement ended 
in short meter; all hands ran for their horses, most of them 
without their guns or pistols. Sowell and Scott ran to the 
gap, laid down by the Indians; Sowell armed with a pistol, 
Scott with a double barrel shot gun; Sowell discharged his 
pistol at them without effect, when they sent a volley of 
arrows at him, one passing through his stomach and out at 
his back. He fell at the Indians feet, and called to Scott to 
shoot the Indian, and expired without a groan. Scott dis- 
charged his gun and one Cachatta fell dead with Captain 
Sowell. The other Indians left the horses and fled in every 
direction, and collected on the road near Brushy creek beyond 
where Colonel Bradford now lives, filled the road with brush 
and other obstructions, and hid themselves on each side of 
the road, so if any man had gone that way that night, 
either with dispatches to Fort Smith or to protect his wife 
and children, he could not possibly have escaped the In- 
dians. From the moccasin tracks next day at the place, we 
supposed there were twelve Indians. Had I as sheriff went 
to Warren that evening, which was my usual custom. 



*34 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

instead of morning, I should have tried to return that night 
to my family at Fort English with the dispatch to the 
people here, and certainly would have fallen a victim to 
savage cruelty. Captain Sowell, when I came to the county, 
was living on a bluff at Red river, below the mouth of 
Sandy creek, in this "county, and yet known and called 
Sowell's bluff. 



Zvoo Bog* 'Capture^. 



By Judge J. P. Simpson. 



IN" 1841, General Tarrant raised a battalion of men in the 
counties of Bowie, Red River, Lamar and Fannin for the 
purpose of driving out the Indians from F.annin's terri- 
tory. They rendezvoused at Fort English and camped for 
the night, and next morning were to take up the line of 
march for the Indians. In the evening William Cox, who 
lived a few miles north of the fort, sent his son and 
1 841 another boy, who were about twelve years old, to 
drive up his milk cows. They did not return, being 
captured by the Indians, and the family were in great dis- 
tress, not knowing whether the children were captured or 
killed by the Indians. A runner was sent to the fort to no- 
tify General Tarrant, who sent scouts in every direction in 
search of the children and to notify the settlers that the In- 
dians were upon them and to keep a sharp lookout. The 
scouts sent to me, delivered the message and wheeled their 
horses to* go in search of the captured boys. They Jiad not 
gone more than fifty steps when they came in contact with 
some Indians, who had caught- some horses, and were in the 
act of mounting to start. The men hailed the Indians, sup- 
posing them to be soldiers, when the Indians fled across the 
prairie, where Bonham now stands, the troops in pursuit, 
without the fire of a gun. I supposed they intended to cap- 
ture them alive, from the course they pursued. Some lost 
their pistols, some horses fell down, riders were thrown off 
and the Indians made their escape. All was pell mell and 
in a bad fix. The Indians then charged the fort, with the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 435 

captured boys behind them on their horses; the picket 
guards fired at them and wounding one old squaw, who died 
that night and was buried next morning by the Indians near 
where Orangeville now stands. This is the statement of the 
captured boys after their return, having been ransomed by 
the government for six hundred dollars. After the Indians 
buried the squaw they started for their village. They had 
not gone far when they saw a one armed man carrying a 
saddle, who, from his actions and gestures, they supposed 
had lost his horse and was looking for him. The Indians 
concealed themselves in the brush until the man came near; 
they then shot and scalped him and cut off the arm at the 
elbow and threw the body in the creek. When they camped 
at night the Indians roasted the hand and arm and ate it 
and appeared to be much elated while partaking of the de- 
licious fare, and by signs and gestures showed the little fel- 
lows how they would kill, roast and eat them soon, which 
frightened them so they did not sleep, but spent the night 
in weeping and thinking of father, mother and home. In 
six days they reached the village, where the boys were most 
cruelly treated by the Indians, their backs cut and lacerated 
in a most horrible manner; they were stripped of clothing 
and went naked in the cold and chilling northers, getting 
no bread to eat, and but little meat; their suffering was 
great. In about six months they were purchased by some 
traders and sent home. The case of the prodigal son was 
eclipsed by the return of the two captured boys. The father 
fell on the neck of his son and wept; the mother ran to meet 
them, but swooned away with ecstatic joy and fell to the 
ground, and when returning to consciousness, with deep 
emotion and tears, exclaimed, when embracing them in her 
arms: "My son was lost, but now is found; was dead, but 
liveth again; glory to God on high." One of the boys was 
the brother, to Hugh Cox, who now lives eight miles north 
of Bonham. The residence of William Cox was then near 
where the camp ground is located, four miles north of Bon- 
ham. Eeader, reflect and think of the danger, toil, tears, 
blood and carnage the first settlers of this country encoun- 
tered for the purpose of developing the resources of the 
great State of Texas, which was then a wilderness country, 
but now is as rejoicing and blooming as the rose. 



436 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 



ADaeeacre of Clemmons anb Wbisler, 



By Judge J. P. Simpson. 



IN" 1842, Doctor William E. Trockmorton settled in the terri- 
tory of Fannin county, twenty-five miles from Fort Eng- 
lish. This territory was afterwards made a county and 
called Collin. Many families settled around him — his place 
being the nucleus for the settlers to rendezvous for protection 
in case of an alarm of danger from the Indians. Mr. Wes- 
ley Clemmons and Mr. Whisler, with their families, 
1842 moved from Timber creek, eight miles north of Fort 
English, and. settled some eight miles north of Doctor 
Throckmorton. Mr. Clemmons had a wife and two children, 
and Mr. Whisler, a wife, but no children. They found land 
to suit them for homes, went to work and built themselves 
houses to live in, and commenced clearing land for a farm 
that they might make bread for their families. On starting 
to work one day after dinner, Indians who had concealed 
themselves in the brush near by, charged upon them when 
about one hundred and fifty yards from the house, scream- 
ing and yelling like demons, and cutting off their retreat to 
the house. They were shot down, tomahawked, scalped, 
and their bodies terribly mutilated. The wives of these two 
victims of Indian barbarity, witnessed the entire scene. 
One of the women attempted to take a gun to her husband, 
but had to retreat to the house to save herself. The Indians 
then hiding in the brush again for the purpose of doing 
more mischief, The two women and children remained in 
the house until night, when they repaired to the dead bodies 
of the murdered men. They did not know but that they 
themselves would feel the tomahawk and scalping knife, 
and that the little children be roasted and eaten by the 
savage cannibals. After drying their tears and quieting 
their sobs as best they could, they agreed that Mrs. Clem- 
mons and her children should remain with the dead bodies 
during the night to keep them from being devoured by 
wolves and other beasts of prey, and that Mrs. Whisler 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 437 

should start for the nearest settlements, eight miles off, and 
give information of the murder. There being no road from 
their house, Mrs. Whisler followed the dry channel of a 
branch until she came to a road movers had made in mov- 
ing to Doctor Throckmorton's neighborhood. She reached 
a house in safety, and gave the alarm. 

The thoughts and feelings of Mrs. Clemmous that night 
never have been, nor never can be, described. Alone with 
her little children in the night, watching over the dead 
bodies of her husband and Mr. Whisler. Every wolf that 
howled, panther that screamed, or owl that hooted in that 
dark and lonely wilderness, she imagined to be the Indians 
coming to murder her and her children. If possible, she 
would have wept tears of blood that night. After becoming 
exhausted she fell asleep, but dreamed that the Indians 
were scalping her and her children, which aroused her to 
consciousness to weep and mourn. 

Mrs. Whisler having accomplished her mission, the fol- 
lowing day the dead were buried, and the women and 
children taken care of. Wesley Clemmons was a brother 
of Ex-Governor Throckmorton's step-mother, who is the 
mother-in-law of the Hon. L. C. Wilson, member of the Leg- 
islature from this county, now living in the city of Bonham. 



Deatb of Clubs* 

By Judge J. J. Simpson. 



IN* the year 1842, Judge English, Major Barker, John B. 
Denton, James S. Baker and others left Fort English 
on a tour of exploration of the country, on the waters 
of Trinity river — there being no settlement at that time in 
the territory southwest of Fort English, out of which Col- 
lin, Dallas and other counties were afterwards organized. 
They examined critically for the most suitable sec- 
1842 tions for location and survey — viewing the rich soil, 
beauty and grandeur of the Trinity country, together 
with the romantic scenery spread out before them. Travel- 
ing down some of the tributaries of the Trinity until they 
struck the main river, they selected Cedar Springs, and 



438 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

where the city of Dallas now stands, and many other choice- 
places for future location. They then started for home, 
traveling northeast, without a road or path to guide them. 
In the company was a Polander from Fort Towson, in the 
Choctaw Nation, whose character, person and manner in- 
dicated the perfect gentleman and scholar. His name was 
Clubz, and his broken English was vastly amusing to the 
entire company, with whom he was a general favorite. On 
the way home they discovered not far from them in a dense 
thicket smoke rising from a camp fire. Indians were instant- 
ly suspected, and preparations made at once for examination 
and attack. The two old men, Judge English and Major 
Baker, were selected to guard and take care of the horses. 
Guns were examined, and everything made ready for bat- 
tle. Then they advanced cautiously and silently — the Po- 
lander in front, eager for the conflict. When they arrived 
at the place, there sat a fine looking Indian with a white 
shirt on, viewing himself in a looking glass. There were 
also a number of squaws and children around the camp, the 
warriors, it was supposed, being out on a hunt. Quick as 
thought, the whites arose from their ambush and fired at 
the breast of the Indian, who pitched forward and fell dead. 
The women and children ran and hid themselves in the 
brush. Supposing the warriors to be in hearing of the guns 
and would hasten back to camp and pursue and attack 
them, the policy of the whites was to get away as soon as 
possible to their horses, and so they started. But a familiar 
voice in front imploringly called them not to leave him to 
be scalped by the Indians. They turned to see what was 
the matter, when, to their surprise and horror, there lay 
their comrade, the Polander, writhing in the agonies of 
death. They carried him back to the horses, but, poor fel- 
low, he was dead, having been shot by some one of the 
company who was in the rear; they being excited, haH fired 
at random, and a chance shot had pierced him through. 
Gloom and melancholy sat on every countenance; but no 
time was to be lost. They lashed him on his horse, and 
traveled with speed till night, when they halted, and in a 
point of Brushy Prairie, with their knives and hatchets, they 
dug a grave and deposited the body of Mr. Clubz, with no 
mark or sign to designate his last resting place. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 439 

The company traveled the remainder of the night, guided 
by the stars, there being no roads nor paths in the country. 
Near daylight they halted and camped, considering them- 
selves out of danger of pursuit — in deep gloom on account 
of the unfortunate death of one of their colleagues. On 
their return home, when in conversation on the subject, I 
could see profound sorrow on their countenances. Reader, 
I have two reasons for writing this sketch. One is, that 
when reviewing these exciting incidents which transpired 
thirty-five years ago, it drives from the old man's mind those 
melancholy thoughts and feelings to which age is subject, 
The other is, that this sketch may possibly fall into the 
hands of some friend or relative of the unfortunate Polander 
who would like to know what became of their lost friend or 
brother. He was entitled to land under the pre-emption 
laws, which I presume never has been attended to by any 
person. 



flnbian Warfare on tbe IRortbweetern Borber, 



I I f'Ei are indebted to Captain R. B. Barry, of Bosque 

111 county, for the following interesting items: 

^^ According to promise, I herewith contribute to 

your historical compilation a short account of such 
conflicts with the Indians as have occurred in my own 
vicinity, and within my own knowledge. 

I will commence my narrative with the winter of 
1857 1857, for it was in that year that the first blood of my 
neighbors was shed in their conflicts with Indians. 
On one occasion, Mr. Renfrew and his son were out horse 
hunting on the head of Meridian creek, and whilst there 
they were attacked by Indians. Young Renfrew was killed 
and scalped on the instant. His father was riding a good 
horse 3 and rode four miles after receiving his death wound. 
He fell off dead, and the horse returning home riderless re- 
vealed the sad fact to the family that the father and hus- 
band was no more. 

A party immediately went in search of the missing ones. 
Young Renfrew's body was found about two weeks after he 



440 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

was killed, but .the old man — or rather his mutilated re- 
mains — were not found until after the lapse of two years. 
They were found by a Mr. Kabb. Near by was a saddle 
which was identified by the family as the one Mr. Renfrew 
was riding when he left home. 

In the latter portion of the same year (1857) Mr. Bean, a 
relative of the Bean of Texas history, and his negro man, 
while returning home to the Leon river from some of the 
older settlements, where he had been to buy corn, was at- 
tacked by a party of Indians near the same place where 
they had killed the Renfrews. From the number of arrow 
marks and bullet holes in the wagon bed, it was supposed 
that the Indians had paid dearly for their trophies. 

The next day the same party of Indians came in sight of 
my place and attacked a Mr. Johnson, who was returning 
from the lower country with breadstuff s, and who was driv- 
ing two yoke of cattle. He was murdered at the foot of a 
high peak, which has ever since been known as " Johnson's 
Peak." They took Mr. Johnson's little boy, a lad eight years 
of age, a prisoner. They also killed several of the oxen, 
emptied the meal and flour in the road and carried away 
the sacks. 

Some eight or ten days after this, as Hinson Roberts and 
party were following an Indian trail, along which a good 
many of their stolen cattle had been driven, they came 
across this little boy about forty miles from the nearest 
house. The little fellow was nearly dead with hunger and 
cold — the Indians having, as they usually do, stripped him 
of his clothing. The boy had slipped out of camp one cold 
night, in the same apparel that nature gave him, and came 
across some cattle that had ropes attached to them; no doubt 
some that had escaped from a marauding party of Indians. 
He was trying to stay among these cattle, supposing that 
they would protect him from the wolves. The little fellow 
was taken home, and is still living. 

The same party of Indians stole from my settlement about 
one hundred and thirty head of horses, sixty of them be- 
longing to me. 

During this same year the Indians made a good many 
raids into Bosque county, and also the county of Erath. I 
will relate one incident that occurred in the winter of 1857. 
A party of Indians came down by the upper settlements on 




Johnson's little boy following the cows. 






INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 441 

the North Bosque and killed a part of two families. They 
took two ladies, Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Lemly, some two 
miles from the house, and, after using them in the most 
savage and brutal manner, they murdered and scalped both. 
They also carried off two young ladies, the Misses Lemly, 
but turned them loose after two days travel. The next day 
this same party came across two young men, the Monroes, 
on Spring creek, seven miles from my ranch, where they 
were opening a farm, and killed both. The Indians met 
with no resistance, as they took the young men completely 
by surprise. They left a one hundred dollar bill lying on 
the ground near where they murdered the young men, prob- 
ably knowing nothing of its value. 

Late the same evening they killed young Knight on Neil's 

,;reek, fifteen miles from the scene of their former murders. 

The next day they wounded two Baptist ministers near the 

oorner of Bell county. One of them died afterwards from 

i.he effects of his wound. 

These Indians were pursued by the citizens, but owing to 
vheir rapid retreat they failed to overtake them. 

Whenever such raiding parties of Indians were followed, 
it was invariably observed that after a time the trail divided, 
and that a part of the Indians had gone off in the direction 
of the reservations; and, finding many of our horses on the 
reservations, we were led to believe that at least a portion 
■of the reserve Indians were concerned in the raids made 
upon the settlements by the wild tribes. 

The feeling of hostility towards the reserve Indians caused 
by such suspicions was a good deal modified, however, by 
the soothing story of the interpreter, who told us that we 
were greatly indebted to these reserve Indians for risking 
their lives in retaking our stock stolen from us by the wild 
tribes, and really induced us to believe this, and that they 
had conferred a favor on us by making us pay ten dollars 
for every horse returned to us. 

However, after Fred Gentry's horse had been found on 
the upper reserve, in possession of the Comanches, and four 
of the reserve Indians were killed by Captain Preston and 
his neighbors, when in the act of driving off a number of 
i stolen horses, we were pretty well satisfied that these reserve 



442 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS, 

Indians were leagued with the wild tribes in raiding on the 
settlements. 

On one occasion Captain Peter Garland, who was follow- 
ing an Indian trail, came near a camp of the lower reserva- 
tion Indians, and mistaking them for Caddoes, a fight was 

the consequence, in which Stephens and Barnes, 

two of his men, were killed and ten of the Indians. As this 
fight took place among the wigwams, some of the squaws 
and children were killed in the melee. 

T^his was the beginning of the reservation war. The cit- 
izens flocked to the protection of those living above, near 
the reservation; and in a few days there were embodied 
together seven hundred men, besides some small parties 
scattered about at different points. Captain Allison Nelson 
was elected to the command, and it was resolved to make 
an attack upon the upper reservation, as it was believed our 
worst enemies were there. Four hundred men were ordered 
to proceed up the Clear fork of the Brazos, under Colonel 
John R. Baylor. 

While passing up by the lower reservation, Colonel Bay- 
lor's men killed and captured some straggling Indians. This 
brought on a fight with the Indians of the lower reservation. 
Hie fight lasted several hours, and was carried on in regular 
savage style by both parties, each putting to death all the 
prisoners taken. Many were killed and wounded on both 
sides, but the Indians having the United States forces under 
< 'aptain Parmer to fall back upon, there was but one alter- 
native left us — either to draw off or attack Captain Parmer's 
command. 

It is very certain that on this occasion some white men 
/ought against us, but no doubt they were mainly the "dead 
heads'' and hangers on about the reservation, as no United 
States soldiers were seen in the fight. 

During a consultation between Colonels Baylor and Nel- 
son, the Indians of both reservations were thrown together, 
and, with the United States soldiers protecting them, they 
left the State of Texas and established their reservation at 
Fort Cobb, on the upper Wichita, in the Chickasaw nation. 

During the most of the time while these events were 
baking place, I was, with a few well mounted men, recon- 
noitering the Comanche agency. 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS 443 



As the State Convention that passed the ordinance of 
Recession saw proper to place troops on our frontier after the 
Federal forces had retired, they ordered Colonel Henry E. 
McCulloch to proceed at once to the front and take charge 
of the fort, then occupied by United States soldiers. A 
portion of my company was at that time encamped on the 
head of Hubbard's creek, and was ordered out by Governor 
Houston while I was absent on a scout. Subsequently they 
were transferred to the Confederate service. When I re- 
turned, I found myself in command of a company in the 
First Texas cavalry, under Colonel Henry E. McCulloch. 

Our regiment was stationed in detachments from Red 
river to the Rio Grande, each about a day's ride apart along 
the uppermost settlements. The officers were strict in their 
discipline and drill, with the expectation of soon being or- 
dered to a more glorious field than operating against sav- 
ages, where every man usua!ly was his own commander 
Major Edward Burleson and myself both considered that 
the time wasted in disciplining and drilling troops for 
service against Indians was costing the frontier people 
much blood as well as property, and for this or some oip&r 
reason Burleson resigned his commission as major. 

The first scout of any importance was ordered by Major 
Burleson, who directed me to meet him at a certain big 
spring on Red river, nearly a day's ride above the Wichita 
mountain. The night before the morning on which I was 
to start an express came in, stating that ten of my men 
whom I had sent to escort some wagons from Camp Cooper, 
( n the Brazos, to Gooch's ranch, on Red river, had been 
badly used up by the Indians between the Red Fork of the 
Brazos and Little Wichita, forty-five miles from Camp 
Cooper, where I was then stationed. 

I sent off one-half of my company that night to their re- 
lief and all that could be spared from the post the next 
morning. They met the remnant of the little detachment 
at the Red Fork. After burying young McKay, one of the 
wounded who had died, and giving such medical aid as we 
could to the other wounded, we sent them back with an 
escort. We then proceeded on our way and had been travel- 
ing but half a day when we came up with the same Indians 
that had attacked the wagon escort. But before mentioning 



444 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

4Ge result I will here relate the incidents which took place 
Id the fight between these Indians and the detachment 
escorting the wagons. The detachment was under the com- 
mand of Sergeant Erhenback. Eirrht of the ten men com- 
posing it were mortally or seriousiy wounded, the slightest 
wound having been received by Sergeant Erhenback, the 
bullet passing through his stirrup before it struck him. His 
horse was badly wounded. Eight of their ten horses were 
killed or wounded. The sergeant reported Corporal Miller 
as having acted mutinously. Corporal Miller said that dur- 
ing the hotest part of the contest, while surrounded on all 
sides in the open prairie and Indians cross firing at them 
from every direction, he (Sergeant Erhenback) had ordered 
a retreat, to what he thought a better position. Corporal 
Miller persuaded the boys to fight it out where they were, 
as they had several dead horses for shelter, and he called 
the sergeant a coward, whereupon they attempted to shoot 
each other, but were prevented from doing so by the others. 

The fight lasted until the Indians had used up all their 
ammunition (so they supposed) and fell back. It began at 
nine a. m. and continued until three p. m., and extended 
over five miles of open prairie. The wounded men rode 
such horses as were able to travel, whilst the rest fought 
around them on foot against four times their number. We 
learned from some of the reservation Indians that their 
wild friends lost eight of their warriors in this fight. 

We will now relate what occurred after we came up with 
these Indians two days subsequent to the fight just described. 
Their force had been increased to about one hundred war- 
riors, and they were making their way toward the settle- 
ments. Willie Biffle, who was a long way from the com- 
mand on the right flank, came in and reported Indian signs. 
I halted the command and sent twelve men back after the 
pack mules that had stampeded, They had scarcely gone 
out of sight over the divide when we heard firing. We 
hurried to their relief, but not in time to save three of the 
twelve men from being killed and others wounded. A gen- 
eral fight then ensued. Alter a short time the Indians be- 
gan to fall back, notwithstanding they had three to our one. 
The fight extended over some ten or twelve miles of ground 
across the divide, and between the Little Wichita and the 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 445 

Hed Fork of the Brazos. Whenever we became somewhat 
scattered in the chase the Indians would turn and check our 
advance for a while. They were well armed and equipped 
and wore a great many savage ornaments. The one the 
chief wore was composed of feathers, stripped from the 
quills and tied to his hair, as long as there was a place to tie 
one, which increased the size of his head until it looked like 
a large wash tub. He was quite a brave man, but we made 
his hair and feathers both fly. Many bullets were thrown 
from their course by his shield, and many were embedded 
in it. A chance shot from the gun of John L. Hardigree 
eventually just missed the top of his shield and struck his 
head, but did not inflict a wound sufficient to kill him. As 
soon as they perceived that their chief was wounded his 
warriors rallied around him and moved him away. 

Many of our men who were on slow horses had fallen be- 
hind, but coming up just then with loaded guns they soon 
set the Indians traveling again. 

We lost three killed in this fight, to wit, Thomas J. 
Weathersby, Lip Conley and Bud Lane. Two men were 
wounded. We only killed seven of the Indians that we 
know of. The next morning our horses were so stiff that 
we had to help them upon their feet. Lieutenant Bushong's 
horse was unable to stand, and we were compelled to leave 
him, expecting he would be devoured by wolves, but when 
we returned to camp we found him there. We buried our 
comrades with our butcher knives, placing their bodies in a 
deep buffalo trail, and carrying earth in our blankets to 
cover them from the nearest bluff, where it was readily 
scooped out. After we had thus covered their bodies as 
well as we could with earth, we laid heavy stones on top 
of all to prevent wolves from scratching them up. This 
was in July, 1861. We moved a short distance that day, 
and the next day our spies on the right flank reported they 
had seen Indians chasing buffalo. We started out for them 
at once, but only succeeded in running our horses down. 
Thinking the Indians would follow us, I left two men on 
good horses on our trail three miles from where we intended 
to camp, to keep watch, instructing them to remain there 
until dark. After night they came in and reported that the 
Indians were following us. That night I divided my whole 



446 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

force into fives, and placed them in squads around our 
horses, with orders that no one was to speak above a whisper. 
Twice during the night the Indians attempted to get the 
horses, but failed both times. Some shots were fired at us 
but none of us were hurt. It was a dark night, though 
clear, and the bushes and vines hanging over from the banks 
of the ravine where we were encamped, made it still darker. 
Some of the men were encamped below and some above in 
the ravine. I inquired if there was any one who was wil- 
ling to go into the dark hole or canon near by to ascertain 
if there were any Indians secreted there, Aaron Burr Brown, 
an eighteen year old boy, said: "Captain, suppose you go> 
yourself, as you are getting the biggest pay for hunting In- 
dians, and here is a good chance to find one if it is dark.' 5 
I replied, "you go in with me," and in we went. We felt 
along the side of the bank where there was a hole in which 
we thought Indians might have secreted themselves, but, 
did not discover any, although we found a horse. The next 
day we continued our route up the Brazos. We found 
fresh signs of Indians, and I am satisfied they would have 
attacked us had it not been that they discovered Major 
Burleson's command on the opposite side of the river. 

Two of our men who had been wounded and lost during 
our chase after the Indians, supposed, it appears, that the 
rest of us had been killed. They made their way to Camp. 
Cooper and reported that they were the only survivors of 
the fight. It was a long time before the report was cor- 
rected, as we were forty days in getting back to camp. I 
kept one scouting party out during the balance of that year. 
"No conflicts with the Indians of any importance occurred 
until the winter set in. The Indians were depredating ail 
the time on the settlements, but the settlers found it a very 
difficult matter to catch them, as well as we. They-almost 
invariably managed to elude pursuit. 

During the winter Captain Milton Boggess, with near half 
his company, and I with about half of mine, were going up 
Pecos river, and when near its head waters, we discovered 
an Indian camp in the distance, but their keen eye's had 
seen us first, and the Indians ran off, leaving their camp 
equipage, robes, blankets, etc., and some of their ponies and 
a large quantity of meat. We stopped in their camp and 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 44? 

* )ok possession of all we wanted. The next day we hunted 
I hem until night, but with no success. The day following, 
we discovered them a great distance off. I ordered the men 
to throw away every pound of extra weight, even including 
their ropes and hopples, and to run the Indians as long as 
one was to be seen. I told them if any one should fail to 
keep up with the rest, he would have to show bloody spurs 
as evidence that he tried to do so. 

After running the Indians about eight miles, they began 
to leave their worst horses and double up on the best ones. 
John Hammock, of Gatesville, who was riding one of the 
best horses in my company, was ahead and fired the first 
shot at the Indians. The Indians then raised a white flag, 
but Hammock hallooed to them and told them that he had 
ridden too far to be swindled out of a fight in that sort of 
a style. The fight then began and soon grew pretty warm. 
Many of our horses had broken down in the chase, and it 
left us rather short of men, but our close, well directed shots 
soon told with fearful effect on the enemy, and they began 
to retreat. A running fight Was kept up for several miles 
on the open plains, where not a bush or shrub was to be 
seen. The Indians were nearly all killed. Our men were 
well nigh worn out with fatigue, and two of them, Hardi- 
gree and Weston, were badly wounded. 

I saw two of the Indians make off by themselves, and 
thought it strange. Sam Stills and I followed them. Our 
weapons were empty, and by the time we had loaded them 
we discovered that the two Indians were making for the 
head of the canon. I fired at one of them just as he went 
over the bluff into the head of the canon. Stills ran about 
one hundred and fifty yards below for the purpose of hiding 
himself in the brush at the bottom and killing the other In- 
dian as he passed. He succeeded in doing so, but the one 
I shot at could not be found. 

After the men who had fallen behind in the chase came 
up we made a thorough search for the Indian I had shot at, 
and found that he had been wounded and had secreted him- 
self among the loose rocks that had fallen off the bluff. 

While we were sitting on the rocks resting ourselves, 
A.aron Burr Brown said to me that if I would have him de- 
cently buried, and rocks put over him to prevent the wolves 



448 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

from scratching him up, in the event that he was killed, 
that he would go down among the rocks and try to finish 
the Indian I had wounded. I promised to do so, and off he 
went. Soon after disappearing from sight we heard him 
fire, and in a few moments we saw him coming out back- 
wards from a crevice, the report of the pistol among the 
rocks having nearly stunned him. He waited until the 
smoke had cleared away, went in again and dragged out 
the dead body of the Indian. 

On returning to where we had left our pack mules, we 
came across a fine looking young Indian who had been 
slightly wounded in the hips. His comrades thinking, we 
suppose, that he was mortally hurt, had taken all his weap- 
ons from him except his butcher knife, but he fought des- 
perately with that. The men scalped him before killing 
him, because the Indians had scalped Mr. Jackson alive a 
short time previously. The Indian complained greatly of 
the manner in which he was treated. 

In April, 1862, we were ordered to Fort Mason for the pur- 
pose of being mustered out- of the service. A party of In- 
dians came in from the settlements with their booty, up the 
San Saba river, and passed near where we were encamped, 
Captain Boggess's company and my own. We immediately 
went in pursuit, and after a chase of ten or twelve miles we 
came up with them. They had abandoned all the horses 
they had stolen except those they were riding. As usual, 
they made fight, and gave us as much as we wanted to do 
until the men who had fallen behind in the chase came up. 

One of the warriors had on a silk dress that had belonged 
to a lady who resided below on the San Saba. They had 
killed the whole family, and this scoundrel was wearing 
the dress of one of their murdered victims. The silk dress 
rattled as if it had adorned some city belle. Captain Bog- 
gess, thinking he was a squaw, called my attention to her, 
and asked me to notice "how viciously the damned squaw 
shot her arrows." He soon found out that a warrior's strength 
was inside that silken dress. 

Some of the Indians were killed on the spot where the 
fight commenced, and the rest ran into a shin oak thicket, 
from which they fired on us with effect, killing or wounding 
horses and men at nearly every shot. Sergeant Erhenback 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 449 

was seriously wounded in several places. Mr. Johnston was 
also wounded, and Lieutenant Nelm's lips were pinned to- 
gether with an arrow. Three or four of our horses were 
killed or wounded, one of which was my own. He was 
shot in the neck and shoulders with arrows. Three Indians 
were killed and another afterward died of his wounds. 

Being now transferred to the Confederate service, I was 
placed in command of the regiment to fill the vacancy oc- 
casioned by the death of Col. Openchain, who had been 
killed. Colonel Malone was first ordered to take six com- 
panies and proceed to Columbus, and I soon afterward was 
ordered to march with the remaining four companies to 
Houston, thereby leaving the whole frontier west of the 
Brazos exposed, with no protection from the raids of the 
savages save what little the cow hunters could give. 

Between six hundred and one thousand Indians soon after 
this made their appearance at or near Fort Murray, where 
about thirty families were f orted up, inside of pickets driven 
in the ground, about eight miles from Fort Belknap. Sev- 
eral parties of these Indians raided the settlements below 
on the Brazos and murdered some families. 

The first conflict they had was with Judge Harmison and 
his son Perry. They fought some sixty Indians for an hour. 
They retreated into a small mott of brushy timber and being 
armed with breech loading guns, they fired with such effect 
tbat they kept the Indians at bay until they heard the re- 
port of guns in another direction, and went off to ascertain 
the cause. The firing was by another party of Indians 
who had attacked and killed a man named Myers. When 
Myers was found afterward, it was evident from the signs 
that he had defended himself to the last against the fearful 
odds he had to contend with. He had undoubtedly caused 
several of the Indians to bite the dust. They butchered 
him in their usual savage manner, cutting out his heart and 
cutting off his hands which had hurled such destruction in 
their midst a few moments before. 

The Indians then attacked the houses of Jodine Sprague, 
Carter, Hamby, and Joe Laker, killing some* and capturing 
others. Susan Durken was left dead in the yard, she having 
refused to go with them as a prisoner they had to kill her. 
They captured old Brit Johnson, a slave, who was attending 



450 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

to a ranch for Moses Johnson, near the mouth of Elm creek 
on the Brazos, in Young county. His family were all 
killed, excepting his wife and two of his children, who were 
carried into captivity. After Brit was freed he spent more 
than three years among the Comanches before he succeeded 
in recovering his wife and children. The narrative of Brit's 
exploits, and how he finally succeeded in recovering his 
family, would be quite interesting had we space to go into 
details. 

Doctor Wilson's wife and children and Mr. Hamby's wife 
and children, seeing the Indians across the Brazos, became 
alarmed, and when they heard of the murdering of their 
neighbors they tried to make their way to Bragg's ranch, 
known as Brad's fort. As there was no chance to make 
fight against three hundred Indians, Wilson and Hamby 
concealed their families in a cave, hoping by showing 
themselves and making a feint of fighting by firing at them 
occasionally, to lead them away from the spot where they 
had hidden the women and children. In this they would 
probably have succeeded had it not been for some dogs that 
were with their families, whose barking led the Indians to 
where they were secreted. The Indians, not knowing who 
or how many were hid there, did not venture up, but called 
out in English to the women and children, telling them 
they were friends to the whites, etc. But the news they 
had heard of the previous massacres, and the arrows 
still sticking in several of the dogs that had run to 
thern for their protection, gave the lie to all such asser- 
tions. 

About this time some of the Indians attacked the house 
of Mr. George Bragg, to which Wilson and Hamby had 
fled after hiding their families, as previously stated. 
There were twenty-seven women and children and but 
five men in the house, to wit, George Bragg, Doctor 
Wilson, Mr. Hamby and his son, who was about grown, 
and a negro boy about eighteen years old. The rest of 
the men were off on a cow hunt, so there were but these 
five men to protect this house filled with women and 
children against hundreds of Indians. The women and 
children were directed to lie down upon the floor, so 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 451 

"that the bullets and arrows might pass harmlessly over 
them. George Bragg had just built a small picket house 
without any shelter to the doors and windows. Many of 
the bullets and arrows shot by the Indians came through 
these open doors and windows, and Doctor Wilson was 
soon killed and Bragg fell mortally wounded, leaving 
only three to contend against such fearful odds. The In- 
dians made a furious charge on the house before these 
men fell, but the men had plenty of guns and pistols 
well loaded, and they were used in such a manner as 
to kill and wound a number of the assailants. The 
Indians, however, succeeded in wounding Hamby several 
times, though not severely, and would have killed or carried 
into captivity the three remaining men, together with 
the women and children, but just then another party 
of about three hundred Indians had attacked Lieutenant 
Whitesides, of the border regiment, commanded by Colo- 
nel James Bourland, who had only forty-seven men 
-and some citizens with him. Those attacking the 
house hearing the firing, and not knowing the cause, 
fled in hot haste, leaving their dead and the battle 
ground in possession of the twenty-seven women and 
children, the wounded Mr. Hamby, his son and the negro 
boy. 

The fight lasted about an hour. If ever men were 
heroes and deserved the thanks of their countrymen, 
assuredly the few who fought so nobly on that day, 
defending these helpless women and children, should 
not be forgotten. 

The lieutenant, before mentioned, had succeeded in 
making his escape from the horde of savages that had 
surrounded him, and he and his party, together with 
some cow hunters, crossed the Brazos near Fort Mur- 
ray. 

The inmates of Fort Murray estimated the number of 
the Indians at from six hundred to a thousand. They 
were around the fort all day, and from their maneuvers 
it was supposed they intended to attack it. There were 
about eighty men in the fort, and perhaps about one hun- 
dred women and children. 



452 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

The next day these Indians drove off a large number of 
cattle, estimated at from five to ten thousand head. A party 
followed them far enough to satisfy themselves that the 
cattle were being driven to Kansas for the use of the Fede- 
ral army. 

This formidable raid of the Indians caused a general 
desertion of the organized northwestern frontier counties. 
The counties of Stephens, Palo Pinto, Jack, Wise and Mon- 
tague were almost entirely abandoned by the settlers, only 
a few cowboys remaining at the large ranches — or, as they 
were then called, "forts." Not a living soul was left in 
Clay county. The last scout I made through that section, 
the houses and yards were as silent as the grave, all being 
deserted. The thirty-five thousand head of cattle on which 
this county had paid taxes to the government were all gone 
— gone to feed our enemies and to strengthen them for fur- 
ther destruction of our lives and property. 

But I must not pass unnoticed the narrow escape made by 
my friend Bill Wooten from the Indians. He was living 
near Fort Belknap, and went off on a scout with a party of 
rangers — the same forty-five of the border regiment that 
fought against the six hundred Indians. The rangers were 
fighting against an overwhelming force, but when they saw 
that the Indians had completely surrounded the women and 
children, they did not stop to calculate the consequences, 
and rushed right in among them. Wooten having dis- 
charged all his shots, and, as it was no place to reload, 
started to run across a prairie about four miles wide, on foot, 
his horse having been killed under him. About forty Indi- 
ans pursued him; but, as they perceived that two of the 
foremost Indians were pressing him closely, the rest turned 
back to follow the retreating rangers. After he had crossed 
the divide one of the Indians overtook him, drew his bow 
<m him and said: "Kun, Wooten, run, or I kill you. I know 
you. Do you know me? Long time ago you drive beef at 
Cooper; now Comanche drive beef heap." 

Wooten made no reply, and the Indian did not attempt to 
ehoot him. He reached home safely, but his clothes were 
nearly all gone, having been torn off by bushes and briars 
in his race for life. His run for life however left him an in- 
curable invalid. 

Another incursion was made by the Indians in the winter 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 453 

of 1863, while I was at Fort Belknap in command of six 
companies. Captain* Guilentine, of the frontier militia, re- 
ported that th* Kickapoos were in full force, and were pass- 
ing up the Cloar fork of the Brazos, near Phantom Hill, 

At that time the Confederate authorities were pressed for 
soldiers and there was no force to spare for frontier service, 
but my command. The State of Texas exempted the 
frontier counties from conscription and organized all the 
citizens able to bear arms, for their defense, who scouted in 
companies by turns, the whole being placed under the com- 
mand of Brigadier General James W. Throckmorton. 

Captain Guilentine sent an express to the nearest militia, 
captains at once. I despatched one hundred and ten Con- 
federates under Captain Henry Fossett from the nearest 
Fort. Captain Totten, of Bosque county, being the senior 
captain of militia, hurried to the objective point with what 
men he could collect, numbering over three hundred, 
making in all about four hundred and fifty men. This force 
pursued the Indians and followed their trail notwithstand- 
ing the ground was covered with snow, from a fearful snow 
storm. They crossed the Colorado and Concho rivers, and 
overtook the Indians at Dove creek. The Kickapoos, 
together with refugees from other tribes, numbered as 
estimated, about nine hundred. They took their position 
in a dense thicket, a deep ravine on one side and Dove 
creek on the other with its high bluffs. This left but few 
places open to attack. 

Our officers held a consultation and the plan agreed upon 
was that Captain Totten, with the militia, should charge the 
thicket, and that Captain Fossett with his one hundred and 
ten men was to approach on horseback, take possession of 
the Indians' horses, if possible, and avail himself of any 
other advantages that might present themselves. Captain 
Fossett and his men captured all the Indian horses, with the 
exception of about fifty that were near the camp. They 
numbered between six hundred and one thousand head. 

Captain Totten meeting with some delay in getting his 
men across the deep ravine, got them somewhat out of order 
Just then the Indians opened a heavy fire upon them from 
the thicket. The whites being in open prairie, across the 
ravine, were thrown into confusion. The most of the ofE- 



454 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

cers. with some of the men, having gained the thicket 
across the gulch, were nearly all killed or wounded. The 
Indians would have followed up their advantage with 
heavy slaughter to Captain Totten's men, but at that critical 
moment Captain Fossett, seeing the situation, left the herd 
of horses he had just captured and charged upon the thicket 
at the opposite side, right amongst the tents, wigwams, 
women and children, thus drawing the attention of the In- 
dians and preventing them from following up the advantage 
they had gained over the militia. Their lodges extended 
along the bank of Dove creek for about a quarter of a mile, 
and Captain Fossett charged the whole length of the en- 
campment, firing at whatever could be seen from the brush. 
The Indians, hearing the firing in the direction of their camp, 
hastened thither and came near cutting off all retreat from 
the thicket. Captain Fossett's men had discharged all their 
guns, and there was no time to reload. They were compelled 
to retreat, in many places in single file, and they suffered 
considerably. Among the killed of the Confederates was 
Lieutenant Giddeon, of Captain Rowland's company. 
< The Indians, having no other force to contend against, 
pursued them until they reached the open prairie, where 
another desperate struggle ensued around the horses, ex- 
tending over several miles of ground. Captain Fossett, hav- 
ing to cover the retreat of the militia, was compelled to 
abandon a portion of the captured horses, but be succeeded 
in carrying off about three hundred head. When he came 
up to where Captain Totten had rallied the militia some ten 
or twelve miles from the scene of action, they halted there 
and laid on their arms until the next morning with the de- 
termination of renewing the fight next day, but a heavy 
snow storm set in during the night, which put an end to all 
further hostilities. _ 

It continued snowing until the ground was covered three 
or four feet deep. Some of the men came very near freezing 
to death. Some of the horses, those that had been greatly 
fatigued in the fight, froze during the night. 

Captain Totten returned to the battle ground and buried 
the dead. There were about fifty whites killed in this fight 
and probably about as many Indians. The Indians evidently 
thought themselves badly whipped, as they left their camp 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. . 455 

-equipage and dead on the battle field. They fled across th© 
Uio Grande into Mexico. 

Among the last visits the Indians made to this (Bosque) 
county they stole many horses, and they also raided at the 
same time several of the adjoining counties. A good many 
small parties of citizens scoured the mountains in pursuit of 
the Indians, one of which, my neighbor, Bill Erwin, com- 
manded,, having with him his sons and stock hands, to- 
gether with my sons and stockmen. He stopped one night 
near the Leon bottom. He put out two of the youngest 
boys, Will Barry and Jim Erwin to guard the horses, think- 
ing there would be but little danger while cooking and eat- 
ing supper, but the boys discovered some Indians reconoi- 
tering the camp. They reported the fact to Captain Erwin, 
who took the older men and placed them in ambush near 
the horses. He then made the young men build up big fires 
and dance, sing and wrestle around them for about an hour 
and a half to make the Indians believe they had not beeD 
discovered. They all then laid down around the fires as if 
they were going to sleep. The ruse had the desired effect. 
The temptation to steal horses was too strong. About two 
hours afterwards the Indians crawled up noiselessly and ap- 
proached the horses. When very near Captain Erwin and 
his men fired upon them and killed one of the Indians. Tliey 
think they killed another but supposed he was carried off by 
his comrades. 

Another party of Indians went out through the moun 
tains and crossed the Paluxy into Hood county. When on 
the divide between the Paluxy and Brazos they were dis- 
covered by a party of whites from Hood and Erath coun- 
ties. They pursued the Indians, who, after quite a race, 
took position in a thicket on a small branch. The creek had 
a, hole of water in it about waist deep. The brush and 
vines hanging over this hole of water from the banks hid 
the Indians from view, and the whites were compelled to 
approach within a few yards of them before they could be 
seen. This gave them a great advantage over the whites. 
But, after some maneuvering, the whites obtained a favor- 
able position and picked off the Indians one by one, until 
there was none left to inform Brother Tatum, of the Sill 
agency, of the massacre. 



456 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

It finally reached his ears, however, through some cow 
hunters who were driving beeves to the agency to feed the 
squaws and pappooses while the warriors were plundering 
and murdering the settlers. Brother Tatum told the cow 
men that it was an outrageous act to have killed such an in- 
nocent party of Indians; that they were merely a doctor 
and his escort who were going into the settlements to get 
roots and herbs for sick Indians, which grew there in 
greater abundance than anywhere else. This may have 
been so, but the settlers did not understand what benefit 
the sick Indians would derive from their stolen horses. 
There were seven Indians in the doctor's party, and all of 
them were killed. Two of the whites were killed and sev- 
eral wounded. 

About the same time this fight took place, twenty Indians 
were discovered on the Paluxy. Fifteen citizens, under 
Haley and McDowell, pursued them. They overtook the 
Indians, and a sharp skirmish ensued, which lasted some 
time, and resulted in the recapture of all the horses they 
had stolen. Several of the whites were wounded, but none 
killed. Several Indians were also wounded, but none 
killed, as far as known. The Indians fled in haste to some 
place of safety. This was near Hanna's mill, in Hood 
county. 

[Note.— It is but proper to say that the Kickapoo Indians,, 
who were attacked on Dove creek, afterward claimed that 
they were on their way to Mexico with their families, and 
that the attack made upon them was unjust and uncalled for. ] 






attach of Baggett'e Ibouse, .- 



By James T. DeShields. 



DURING the first week in March, 1857, a large band of 
marauding Indians came down, and on approaching 
the frontier divided into squads of eight and ten 
and simultaneously entered Erath, Brown and Co- 
manche counties, and began depredating in the most 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 457 

daring and alarming manner. A severe drouth the pre- 
vious year had caused an entire failure in crops, 
1857 which was followed by a severely cold winter, which 
had reduced what few cow ponies the settlers had 
left, so thin in flesh that very few were able to do any 
kind of service; in fact most of the citizens were liter- 
ally afoot. Breadstuff's had to be bought and freighted 
on ox wagons from Fannin, Grayson, Collin and Dallas 
counties. While in this helpless condition three different 
squads of Indians began depredations at the same time in 
different parts of Comanche county. 

One squad of ten passed down the south Leon valley in 
open day gathering what few horses they could find. And 
four miles below old Cora (now extinct) on the third day of 
March, 1857, about four o'clock p. m., they came upon Gid 
Foreman and killed him, taking off every vestige of hair 
with his scalp. Foreman had red hair, which is a great 
trophy among Comanche Indians. They stripped Foreman, 
save his drawers, and mutilated his body in a most horrible 
manner. After butchering the unfortunate man and tying 
his reeking bloody scalp to one of their belts they proceeded 
down the valley and crossed North Leon, and about five 
o'clock p. m. approached John Baggett's ranch, near the 
present town of Hazel' Dell, driving up into the yard and 
catching the only horse Baggett had left. At the time, Mr. 
Baggett was not at home and no neighbors nearer than four 
miles. 

Now come, ye sentimental lovers of Heaven's noblest gift 
to man — a wife and mother— and view with me this terrible 
tragic scene, no ignus fatus, no fiction or imaginary con- 
coction of the brain, but a reality. A lone woman, with 
nine helpless children, with no chance of escape and no 
means of protection, not even a gun (Mr. Baggett had that 
with him) and surrounded by ten steel hearted, fiendish sav- 
ages, in whose veins the milk of human sympathy had 
never flowed, with hideous visages made doubly frightful 
by being bedaubed all over with war paint, and uttering 
fiercely their most diabolical war whoops, their dark bodies 
besmeared and their hands still dripping with the life blood 
of Foreman, whose gory scalp was still dripping the crim- 
\ son fluid and hanging to a fiendish savage, whose greatest 



458 INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 

delight was in torturing his most innocent victim, while the 
excruciating suffering and agonizing cries only serve to in- 
crease his merriment. 

Mrs. Baggett succeeded in getting seven of the children 
into the cabin while the savages were catching the horse. 
But alas! Oh, horror of horrors! Two of the children, lit- 
tle Joel, twelve, and little Bettie, ten years old, were under 
a live oak tree playing some sixty yards from the cabin, 
and were intercepted, caught and four of the savages pro- 
ceeded to strip off every vestige of clothing that the chil- 
dren had on, and proceeded slowly, so as to prolong the suf- 
ferings of little Joel and to increase and intensify a mother's 
agony, in torturing the little fellow to death by lancing him 
with arrows in every conceivable way to produce the most 
acute and excruciating suffering, and if possible, to add ad- 
ditional pain and to make his lifeless form appear the more 
ghastly and horrible, while his plaintive, piteous shrieks and 
cries were still audible to a mother's ears. One of the sav- 
ages, to whose belt was hanging poor Foreman's gory scalp, 
proceeded before life was extinct in little Joel, to scalp him, 
and hung the scalp on the opposite side of his belt, as an ad- 
ditional trophy to heighten the pleasure of their fiendish 
war dances. But is this all of this frightful tragedy? ' 
. No. Not content with torturing, scalping and killing 
little Joel, but if possible to add to a mother's already 
overflowing cup of sorrow and grief, mentally equal to a 
Spanish Inquisition, those barbaric and unfeeling savages 
proceeded to lance little Bettie in twenty places, in three 
places to the hollow, then turning her loose to go bleeding, 
staggering and fainting twice before she reached the house. 
On reaching the house, Mrs. Baggett still had the presence 
of mind to say: s 'Bettie go around to the other door; the 
Indians will kill all of us if mamma opens this door." 

Four of the Indians had followed the child to within 
twenty paces of the door, thinking, no doubt, that Mrs. Bag- 
gett would be imprudent enough to come out and meet the 
child, but she well knew her own life and that of her other 
seven children depended upon their remaining in the house. 
So, failing in this, the savages remounted and rode off just 
before dark, and as soon as they left, Mrs. Baggett carried 
in the lifeless and mangled body of her boy, and had washed 



INDIAN DEPREDATIONS IN TEXAS. 459 

and dressed it before the father's return, one hour after 
dark. 

To attempt to describe the feelings of Mrs. Baggett on 
this occasion would be an utter failure, and a mockery of 
the sublimest fortitude and courage, known alone to moth- 
ers. Indeed, no language, except it be that of angels, is 
capable of describing such a scene, or a mothers's love. 
Little Bettie got well, grew to womanhood, married, and is 
now the wife of a wealthy and respected gentleman (Mr. 

), living at Abilene, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Baggett 

are both dead. 

On the next night after the killing of Foreman and the 
tragedy at Baggett's, another s