they had sent to Arkansas and Louisiana. A company of Arkansas men
were camped six miles from me, on what was known as the Rogue's Trail.
They were to kill me and Howell Hudson. A friend of Hudson named Elijah
Morris gave him information two days before of what was to be done and advised
hi mto leave. Hudson then saw Stiles and talked with him on the subject.
Stiles went into the camp and there learned that the information was correct.
Next night Stiles, Howell, Hudson, Peter Hudson, Washington Hooper, Daniel
Wiseman and Dick Harding came to my house and took me away. I had a
rising on my hip from my wounds and unable to travel without help. They
placed me on the road to intercept the spy of the moderators that night, but he
never came. The track of the horse belonging to this spy was seen near the
house of every man who had been selected by the moderators to be killed, but
the name of the spy, or who he was, was never discovered.
My family left home that night. The gang came and broke open the doors;
finding no one they became alarmed and went into the Teneha swamp. They
got into the edge of the cane at the flat fork of the Teneha, and as day came the
order was "a little further into the cane," and they edged and pushed each other
until Jonas English and John Mays fell into a deep hole of water in the creek.
They kept in the swamp and nothing was heard of them for two weeks. The
night they sought me they went after others, but failed in every instance. Squads
were near the house of every marked man at the same hour of the same night,
in pursuance of the original design, to murder all the selected men at the same
moment, but they failed in every instance. Then all got together, two hundred
strong, armed and fully equipped, and charged into the town of Shelbyville
making all the show and intimidation they could. They swore to kill the committee
first, sent Alfred Truit to Louis Watkins' to kill him; the mouth of his
lane towards town was waylaid with thirty-three men. Watkins started to town
and before he got through the lane was shot and fell from his horse. News of
this went out, and next morning thirty-five or forty men had assembled at Jerry
Beecham's, three miles northwest of town. With these thirty-five or forty men
were E. M. and Chas. Daggett, Joe Smith, ex-sheriff of Shelby county, John and
Frank Farrar, Jim Graham, Geo. Sandford and others. Those who arrived
during the night had built a fire near a log left from making boards, hearing the
approach of some one Capt. Joe Smith and John Farrar jumped upon the log to
look out, and in endeavoring to recover their lost balance, the hammer of a gun
in the hands of one of them struck the ripping machine and fired, the ball going
through the hand of Smith and breaking Farrar's arm; thus was lost the services
of two good men. About nine o'clock a. m. of the following day they were here
attacked on two sides by the two hundred men, and the fight was maintained all
day. The attack was made on the east and west sides.
Middleton, John W. History of the regulators and moderators and the Shelby County war in 1841 and 1842, in the republic of Texas, with facts and incidents in the early history of the republic and state, from 1837 to the annexation, together with incidents of frontier life and Indian troubles, and the war on the reserve in Young County in 1857. Fort Worth, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2362/. Accessed October 10, 2015.