The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Notes and Documents

two friendly tribes the Lipans and Tonkaways. The men of these
latter small tribes served as spies for the Texans in pursuit of the
wild Indians, and aided in attacks, while their squaws and children
perhaps picked cotton for the planters, to be furnished in beef,
powder, and tobacco, by the latter. The warrior is too proud to con-
descend to work; their women have to pitch tents, dress hides, in
fact do all the manual labor such as they need.
The Comanche is not the daring Indian of the North. I do not
know an instance where they attacked a house or party of men equal
to their forces. Stealthily they would surprise a single party, or one
numerically weaker.
I remember only one instance, in the summer of 1840, when a
large party of Comanches attacked and sacked the little village of
Linnville, near Port Lavaca. They robbed the inhabitants of such
goods as they wanted and gained without a fight, and took a white
lady prisoner. The alarm of this bold attack soon spread. Gen'l Ed
Burleson after short notice, gathered together a few volunteers from
Bastrop, Gonzales and Guadalupe counties; they overtook the In-
dians between present Lockhart and Prairie Lea, and in a running
fight defeated them and rescued the white woman; but in revenge,
seeing they could not secure her, one of them shot her in the breast;
she recovered, but must have suffered terribly from the wound. This
fight is known in history as 'the Plum Creek fight.'24 The Comanche
always fights on horseback, unless he is surprised and has to fight on
foot. They are expert riders, having in a manner no saddle, unless
I may call two boards, secured by a fork of wood before and behind,
a saddle; yet they can run what we would call a broke down pony
at full speed, they can hide their person behind their horse the only
support they want is one leg to rest on the back of the horse with
their arms they cling to the horse's neck, and from under the neck
they are expert enough to shoot their arrows. Their only weapons
are the bow, a quiver of arrows and a spear, (a lance with a kind of
long bladed knife attached to a long pole;) their shields were
stretched cow hides over a hoop, but always double, so that if a bul-
let or arrow should really penetrate one the next would give a re-
bound. The Comanches are seldom found in very large bodies; they
followed the game and principally the buffalo; they with them mi-
grated, and hunted grounds better adapted for support.
The Texas Indian would prowl about the settlements on moon-
light nights in order to steal horses; on such occasions he would
avoid to kill a settler, unless himself discovered by the white man,
for he well knew if he killed a white man he would be pursued
and in that event it would frustrate his thieving expedition. But to
follow a party of Indians is a difficult task; they with all the energy
24August 11, 184o.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 25, 2015.