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

20

INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.

the 19th, on which day, about 10 a. m. we were
overhauled by two Comanche Indians and a Mexican
captive, who had struck our trail and followed it.
They stated that they belonged to Isaonie's party,
a chief of the Comanche tribe, sixteen in number,
and were on their way to San Antonio with a drove
of horses, which they had taken from the Wacos
and Tawackanies, and were about returning to
their owners, citizens of San Antonio. After smoking
and talking with them about an hour, and
making them a few presents of tobacco, powder,
shot, etc., they returned to their party, who were
waiting at the Llano river.
"We continued our journey until night closed
upon us, when we encamped. The next morning,
the above named Mexican captive returned to our
camp, his horse was much fatigued, and who,
after eating and smoking, stated that he had been
sent by his chief, Isaonie, to inform us we were
followed by one hundred and twenty-four Tawackanie
and Waco Indians, and forty Caddos had
joined them, who were determined to have our
scalps at all risks. Isaonie had held a talk with
them all the previous afternoon, and endeavored to
dissuade them from their purpose; but they still
persisted, and left him enraged and pursued our
trail. As a voucher for the truth of the above, 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 but sixteen men, badly armed and
without ammunition; but if we would return and
join him, such succor as he could give us he would.
But knowing that the enemy lay between us and
him, we deemed it more prudent to pursue our
journey and endeavor to reach the old fort on the
San Saba river before night, distance thirty miles.
The Mexican then returned to his party, and we
proceeded on.
"Throughout the day we encountered bad roads,
being covered with rocks, and the horses' feet being
worn out, we were disappointed in not reaching
the fort. In.the evening we had some little difficulty
in picking out an advantageous spot where to encamp
for the night. We however made choice of
the best that offered, which was a cluster of liveoak
trees, some thirty or forty in number, about
the size of a man's body. To the north of them 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-five or forty yards, ran a
stream of water.
"The surrounding country was an open prairie,
interspersed with a few trees, rocks, and broken
land. The trail which we came on lay to

the east of our encampment. After taking the
precaution to prepare our spot for defense, by cutting
a road inside the thicket of bushes, ten feet
from the outer edge all around, and clearing the
prickly-pears from amongst the bushes, we
hobbled our horses and placed sentinels for the
night. We were now distant six miles from the
old fort above mentioned, which was built by the
Spaniards in 1752, for the purpose of protecting
them while working the silver mines, which are a
mile distant. A few years after, it was attacked
by the Comanche Indians and every soul put to
death. Since that time it has never been occupied.
Within the fort is a church, which, had we reached
before night, it was our intention to have occupied
to defend ourselves against the Indians. The fort
surrounds about one acre of land under a twelvefeet
stone wall.
"Nothing occurred during the night, and we
lost no time in the morning in making preparations
for continuing our journey to the fort; and when
in the act of starting, we discovered the Indians on
our trail to the east, about two hundred yards distant,
and a footman about fifty yards ahead of the
main body, with his face to the ground, tracking.
The cry of ' Indians' was given, and ' All hands to
arms.' We dismounted, andboth saddle and packhorses
were made fast to the trees. As soon as
they found we had discovered them, they gave the
war whoop, halted and commenced stripping, preparatory
to action. A number of mounted Indians
were reconnoitering the ground; among them we
discovered a few Caddo Indians, by the cut of
their hair, who had always previously been friendly
to Americans.
" Their number being so far greater than ours
(one hundred 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, with David Buchanan in company, 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, "how-de-do?
how-de-do?" in English, and a discharge of twelve
shots at us, 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. They then opened a heavy fire upon
us, which wounded Buchanan in two more places
slightly, and pierced Bowie's hunting shirt in several
places without doing him any injury. When
they found their shot failed to bring Bowie down,

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 31, 2014.