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

INDIAN WA RS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.

77 Infantry,
was ordered to march up two companies
of his command and post them in the immediate
vicinity of the council room.
" The chiefs were then called together and asked:
Where are the prisoners you promised to bring in
to the talk?'
" Muke-war-rah, the chief who held the last talk
with us and made the promise, replied: ' We have
brought in the only one we had; the others are with
other tribes.'
" A pause ensued because, as this was a palpable
lie, and a direct violation of their pledge,
solemnly given scarcely a month since, we had the
only alternative left us. He observed this pause
and asked quickly: 'How do you like the answer
? '
"The order was now given to march one company
into the council room and the other in rear
of the building, where the warriors were assembled.
During the execution of this order the talk was
re-opened and the terms of a treaty, directed by
your excellency to be made with them in case the
prisoners were restored, were discussed, and they
were told the treaty would be made when they
brought in the prisoners. They acknowledged
that they had violated all their previous treaties,
and yet tauntingly demanded that new confidence
should be reposed in another promise to bring in
the prisoners.
"The troops being now posted, the (twelve)
chiefs and captains were told that they were our
lprisoners and would be kept as hostages for the
safety of our people then in their hands, and that
they might send their young men to the tribe, and
as soon as our friends were restored they should be
liberated.
"Capt. (George T.) Howard, whose company
was stationed in the council house, posted sentinels
at the doors and drew up his men across the
room. We told the chiefs that the soldiers they
saw were their guards, and descended from the
platform. The chiefs immediately followed. One
sprang to the back door and attempted to pass the
sentinel, who presented his musket, when the
chief drew his knife and stabbed him. A rush
was then made to the door. Capt. Howard collared
one of them and received a severe stab from
him in the side. He ordered the sentinel to flre
upon him, which he immediately (lid, and the
Indian fell dead. They then all drew their knives
and bows, and evidently resolved to fight to the
last. Col. Fisher ordered: 'Fire, if they do not
desist!' The Indians rushed on, attacked us desperately,
and a general order to fire became
necessary. "

"After a short but desperate struggle every one
of the twelve chiefs and captains in the council
house lay dead upon the floor, but not until, in the
hand-to-hand struggle, they had wounded a number
of persons.
" The indoor work being finished, Capt. Howard's
company was formed in front to prevent retreat in
that direction; but, in consequence of the severity
of his wound, he was relieved by Capt. Gillen, who
commanded the company till the close of the action.
"Capt. Redd,* whose company was formed in
the rear of the council house, was attacked by the
warriors in the yard, who fought like wild beasts.
They, however, took refuge in some stone houses,
from which they kept up a galling fire with bows
and arrows and a few rifles. Their arrows, wherever
they struck one of our men, were driven to
the feather. A small party escaped across the
river, but were pursued by Col. Lysander Wells
with a few mounted men and all killed. The only
one of the whole band who escaped was a renegade
Mexican among them, who slipped away unobserved.
A single warrior took refuge in a stone
house, refusing every overture sent him by squaws,
with promise of security, and killing or wounding
several till, after night, when a ball of rags, soaked
in turpentine and ignited, was dropped through the
smoke escape in the roof onto his head. Thus, in a
blaze of fire, he sprang through the door and was
riddled with bullets.
" In such an action
so unexpected, so sudden
and terrific
it was impossible at times to (listin*
NOTE. Cap. Redd and Col. Wells fought a duel in
San Antonio later the same year and killed each other.
Judge Robinson died in San Diego, California, in 1853.
Judge Hemphill died during the Civil War, a member of
the Confederate Senate. Capt. Matthew Caldwell, then
of the regulars and a famous Indian fighter, died at his
home in Gonzales in the winter of 1842-3. Col. McLeod,
commanding a Texas regiment, died at Dumfries,
Virginia, during the Civil War. Col. William S. Fisher,
afterwards commander at Mier and a "Mier prisoner,"
died in Galveston in 1845, soon after his release. Col.
Wm. G. Cooke died at Navarro ranch, on the San Geronimo,
in 1847. He came as Lieutenant of the NewOrleans
Grays in 1835. succeeded Burleson as Colonel of the
regulars in 1840. He married a daughter of Don Luciano
Navarro. He was Quartermaster-General, a commissioner
to Santa Fe and a prisoner, and was a noble man.
Col. Henry W. Karnes died in San Antonio, his home, in
the autumn of 1840. Henry Clay Davis was a volunteer
in the fight on horseback. An Indian sprang up behind
him and, while trying to kill him with an arrow used as
a dirk, Davis killed him with one of the first lot of Colt's
revolvers ever brought to Texas. Davis settled at Rio
Grande City, married a Mexican lady, was once in the
Senate, and was killed accidentally by his own gun while
out hunting.

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 September 18, 2014.