INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
at the suggestion of Samuel A. Blain, was unanimously
called upon to assume the command. He
assented, and requited the confidence reposed in a
most gallant manner.
For the third time, after a brief delay on the
ridge, the enemy came down in full force, with terrific
yells, and an apparent determination to triumph
or sacrifice themselves. They advanced with impetuosity
to the very brink of the ditch, and, recoiling
under the most telling fire from our brave boys,
they would rally again and again with great firmness.
Dozens of them fell within twenty or thirty feet of
almost every shot killed or wounded an
Indian. Brookshire's stentorian voice was heard
through the lines in words of inspiring counsel.
The stand made by the enemy was truly desperate;
but the death-dealing havoc of the white man, fighting
for victory or death, was too galling for the red
man, battling for his ancient hunting-grounds, and
after a prolonged contest, they withdrew with sullen
stubbornness to the same position on the ridge, leaving
many of their comrades on the field. It was
now drawing towards night, and our men, wearied
with the hard day's work, and not wishing to provoke
a feeling of desperation among the discomfited
foe, concluded it would be unwise to hurrah
any more, as they had done, unless in resisting a
The Indians drew up into a compact mass on the
ridge and were vehemently addressed by their principal
chief, mounted on a beautiful horse and
wearing on his head a buffalo skin cap, with the
horns attached. It was manifest, from his manner
and gesticulations, that he was urging his braves
to another and last desperate struggle for victory but
it would not do. The crowd was defeated.
But not so with their heroic chief. Failing to
nerve the mass, he resolved to lead the few who
might follow him. With not exceeding twelve
warriors, as the forlorn hope, and proudly waving
defiance at his people, he made one of the most
daring assaults in our history, charging within a
few paces of our lines, fired, and wheeling his
horse, threw his shield over his shoulders, leaving
his head and neck only exposed. At this moment,
the chivalrous young James W. Robinett sent a
ball through his neck, causing instant death, exclaiming,
as the chief fell, "Shout boys! I struck
him where his neck and shoulders join! " A tremendous
hurrah was the response. The Indians on
the hill side, spectators of the scene, seeing their
great war chief fall within thirty feet of the Americans,
seemed instantly possessed by a reckless
frenzy to recover his body; and with headlong
impetuosity, rushed down and surrounded the
dead chief, apparently heedless of their own danger,
while our elated heroes poured among them
awful havoc, every ball telling upon some one of
the huge and compact mass. This struggle was
short, but deadly. They bore away the martyred
chief, but paid a dear reckoning for the privilege.
It was now sunset. The enemy had counted
our men-they knew their own force--and so
confident were they of perfect victory, that they
were careful not to kill our horses, only one of
which fell. But they were sadly mistaken-they
were defeated with great loss, and as the sun was
closing the day, they slowly and sullenly moved
off, uttering that peculiar guttural howl--that
solemn, Indian wail--which all old Indian fighters
Brookshire, having no provisions and his heroic
men being exhausted from the intense labors of
the day, thought it prudent to fall back upon the
fort the same night. Hall, Allen and Hensell were
carried in, the former dying soon after reaching
there. The next day Brookshire sent a runner to
Nashville, fifty miles. On the second day, his
provisions exhausted, he moved the company also
to Nashville. Mr. Thompson received them with
open arms and feasted them with the best he had.
Brookshire made a brief report of the battle to the
Government, and was retained in command till
their three months' term of service expired, without
any other important incident. " Bird's Victory,"
as this battle has been termed, spread a
gloom among the Indians, the first serious repulse
the wild tribes had received for some time, and its
effect was long felt.
I have before me copies of the muster rolls of
both Bird's and Evans' companies, in which are
designated those who were in the battle, excepting
one person. The list does not show who composed
the prisoners or guard. Lieut. Irvine and L. M.
H. Washington, however, were two of the guards.
As the muster rolls have been burnt in the AdjutantGeneral's
office, these rolls are the more important
and may be preserved in this sketch. The names
are classed and hereto appended.
Those known to be in the fight were: John Bird,
Captain; Wm. R. Allen, Second Lieutenant; Wm.
P. Sharp, Second Sergeant; Wm. P. Bird, First
Corporal. Privates: Nathan Brookshire (Captain
after Bird's death), William Badgett, James
Brookshire, Tillman C. Fort, James Hensley,
William Hensley, H. M. C. Hall, J. H. Hughes,
A. J. Ivey, Edward Jocelyn, Lewis Kleberg, Green
B. Lynch, Jesse E. Nash, Jonathan Peters, William
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 28, 2015.