Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown.

INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.

7

This was Robert Brotherton from St. Louis
County, Missouri, of which his two brothers, James
and Marshall, were successively sheriff, from 1834
to 1842. Robert died unmarried at Columbus,
Texas, about 1857, leaving his estate to his nephew,
Joseph W. McClurg, who, after a short residence
in Texas, returned to Missouri, to become later a
congressman and Governor of the State.
A party of the settlers, numbering fourteen or
fifteen, by a cautious night march arrived at the
Indian camp in time to attack it at dawn on the
following morning. Completely surprised, the
Indians fled into the brush, leaving several dead.
This was on Skull creek, a few miles from
Columbus.
The depredations of the Carancahuas continued
with such frequency that Austin determined to
chastise and if possible force them into pacific
behavior. [Having left San Antonio very unexpectedly
for the city of Mexico in March, 1822, to
secure a ratification of his colonization scheme by
the newly formed government of Iturbide, the
original concession of 1821 to Moses Austin having
been made by the expiring authorities under
Spain, Austin was now, in the summer of 1824, at
his new home on the Brazos, clothed temporarily
with authority to administer the civil and judicial
affairs of the colony, and to command the militia
with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.] Capt.
Randall Jones, in command of twenty-three men,
in the month of September, moved down the
Brazos in canoes. On the lower river he was
visited by some of the Indians who, on seeing his
strength, manifested friendship. But learning that
about thirty warriors of the tribe were encamped
on a tributary of the Bernard, about seven miles
distant, and also that about a dozen others had
gone to Bailey's, further up the river, to buy
ammunition, Capt. Jones sent two messengers
up the river for help. These two found a small
number already collected to watclh the party at
Bailey's. Becoming assured of their hostile intent,
the settlers attacked them, killed several and the
others fled.
Without waiting for reinforcements, Capt.
Jones determined to attack the party on the creek.
Crossing to its west side he moved down in the
night abreast the Indian camp, which was on the
margin of a marshy expansion of the creek, covered
with high grass, reeds, etc. At daylight the whites
fired, charging into the camp. In a moment the
Indians were secreted in the rank vegetation, hurling
arrows with dangerous precision into their
exposed assailants. In another moment one or two
of the whites fell dead, and several were wounded.

To maintain their position was suicidal; to charge
upon the hidden foe was madness; to retire as
best they could was the dictate of common sense.
This they did, pursued up the creek to where they
recrossed it. They had three men killed, bearing
the names of Spencer, Singer, and Bailey, and
several wounded. It was claimed that fifteen
Indians were killed, but of this there was no
assurance when we remember the arms then in use.
Be that as it may, it was a clear repulse of the
whites, whose leader, Capt. Jones, was an experienced
soldier of approved courage. Such a result
was lamentable at that period in the colony's
infancy. It was this affair which caused the name
of "Jones" to be bestow.ed on that creek.
Soon after this the Carancahuas, a little above
the mouth of the Colorado, captured an American
named White and two Mexicans, in a canoe, who
had gone from the San Antonio to buy corn. They
let White go under a promise that he would bring
down corn from the settlement and divide it with
them
the canoe and Mexicans remaining as hostages.
When White reported the affair to the
people above, Capt. Jesse Burnham, with about
thirty men, hastened to the spot agreed upon, and
very soon ambushed a canoe containing seven or
eight Indians, nearly all of whom were slain at the
first fire, and it was not certain that a single one
escaped.
Col. Austin, near this time, raised about a
hundred volunteers and marched from the Brazos
southwesterly in search of the Carancahuas. Some
accounts say that he went to meet them, at their
request, to make a treaty. Others assert that he
started forth to chastise them, and that after
crossing the Guadalupe at Victoria he met messengers
from the Indians, sent through the priests of
Goliad, proposing to meet and enter into a treaty
with him. This is undoubtedly the true version.
Austin started prepared and determined to punish
the Indians for their repeated outrages, or force
them to leave the limits of his colony. Had he
only gone in response to their invitation, he would
not have taken with him over a dozen men. He
met them on the Menahuilla creek, a few miles
east of La Bahia, and, being much persuaded
thereto by the clergy and Alcalde of that town,
made a treaty with them, in which they pledged
themselves never again to come east of the San
Antonio river. More than one writer has been led
to assert that the Carancahuas kept that pledge,
which is notoriously untrue, as they committed
occasional depredations east of that river at intervals
for twenty-one years, and at other intervals
lived at peace with settlements, hunting and some

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 July 3, 2015.