INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
above and below them was in our possession, and
struck off for the mountain thicket nearest the side
of the trail. I ordered Lieut. Rogers to charge,
and fell upon them simultaneously. I saw an
Indian aiming his rifle at me, but knew that he
must be a better marksman than I had seen among
them to hit me going at my horse's speed, and did
not heed him till I got among them. Then I
sprang from my horse quick as lightning, and
turned towards him; at the same instant he fired;
the ball passed through the bosom of my shirt and
struck my horse in the neck, killing him immediately.
I aimed deliberately and fired. The Indian
sprang a few feet into the air, gave one whoop and
fell dead within twenty-five feet of me. The fight
now became general. Pell-mell we fell together.
The Indians, thirteen in number, armed with bows
and iifies, were endeavoring to make good their
retreat towards the thicket. Several of them fell,
and two of my men were wounded; when finally
they effected an entrance into the thicket, which
was so dense that it would have been madness to
have attempted to penetrate it, and we were forced
to cease the pursuit. I dispatched Rogers after
the child, the horses and mules of the Indians,
whilst I remained watching the thicket to guard
against surprise. He found the child in the Indian
camp tied on the back of a wild mule, with his
robe and equipments about Lim fixed on for the
day's march, and had to shoot the mule in order to
get the child. He also succeeded in getting hold
of all the animals of the Indians, and those they
had stolen. 1My men immediately selected the best
horse in the lot, which they presented to me in place
of the one that was killed.
'"We watched for the Indians a while longer;
and in the meantime sent a runner for the doctor
to see to the wounded. I sent a portion of the
men under the command of Rogers with the child,
and the wounded men and I brought up the rear.
The wounded were Elijah Ingram, shot in the arm,
the ball ranging upwards to the shoulder; also
Hugh M. Childers, shot through the leg. Of the
Indians, four were killed. We arrived that night
at Mr. Harrell's, where we found Mrs. Hibbins,
the mother of the child. Lieut. Rogers presented
the child to its mother, and the scene which here
ensued beggars description. A mother meeting
with her child released from Indian captivity, recovered
as it were from the very jaws of death!
Not an eye was dry. She called us brothers, and
every other endearing name, and would have fallen
on her knees to worship us. She hugged her child
to her bosom as if fearful that she would again lose
him. And-but 'tis useless to say more."
Lieut. Joseph Rogers was a brother of Mrs. Gen.
Burleson, and was killed in a battle with the Indians
a few years later. Thus the mother and child,
bereft of husband and father, and left without a
relative nearer than Southern Illinois, found themselves
in the families of Messrs. Harrell and
Hornsby, the outside settlers on the then feeble
frontier of the Colorado
large-hearted and sympathizing
avant-couriers in the advancing civilization
of Texas. The coincident fall of the Alamo
came to them as a summons to pack up their effects
and hasten eastward, as their fellow-citizens below
were already doing.
The mother and child accompanied these two
families in their flight from the advancing Mexicans,
till they halted east of the Trinity, where, in a
few weeks, couriers bore the glorious news of victory
and redemption from the field of San Jacinto.
Soon they resumed their weary march, but this
time for their homes. In Washington County Mrs.
Hibbins halted, under the friendly roof of a sympathizing
pioneer. There she also met a former
neighbor, in the person of Mr. Claiborne Stinnett,
an intelligent and estimable man, who, with Capt.
Henry S. Brown (father of the writer of this)
represented De Witt's Colony in the first deliberative
body ever assembled in Texas
the able and
patriotic convention assembled at San Felipe,
October 1, 1832.
After a widowhood of twelve months, Mrs.' Hibbins
married Mr. Stinnett and they at once (in the
spring of 1837) returned to their former home on
the Guadalupe. In the organization of Gonzales
County, a little later, Mr. Stinnett was elected
Sheriff. Late in the fall, with a packhorse, he went
to Linnville, on the bay, to buy needed supplies.
Loading this extra horse with sugar, coffee, etc.,
and with seven hundred dollars in cash, he started
home. But instead of following the road by Victoria,
he traveled a more direct route through the
prairie. When, about night, he was near the
Arenosa creek, about twenty miles northeast of
Victoria, he discovered a camp fire in a grove of
timber and, supposing it to be a camp of hunters,
went to it. Instead, it was the camp of two " runaway"
negro]men, seeking their way to Mexico.
They murdered Mr. Stinnett, took his horses, provisions
and money, and, undiscovered, reached
Mexico. The fate of the murdered man remained
a mystery. No trace of him was found for five
years, until, in the fall of 1842, one of the negroes
revealed all the facts to an American prisoner in
Mexico (the late Col. Andrew Neill), and so described
the locality that the remains of Mr. Stinnett
were found and interred.
Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown.. Austin, Tex.. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/. Accessed November 25, 2015.