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

80

INDIAN WAIRS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.

a large portion of which, belonging to " Scotch"
Sutherland, had just arrived en route east. On
Friday, August 7, the Indians reappeared, made
serious demonstrations, but were held in check by
citizens under cover of houses. Securing several
hundred more horses, they bore down the country
to Nine Milc Point, where they captured young
Mrs. Crosby, a granddaughter of Daniel Boone,
and her infant. They then deflected to the east,
across the prairie in the direction of Linnville.
They camped for a portion of the night on Placido
creek, killed a teamster named Stephens, but failed
to discover a Frenchman ensconced in the moss
and foliage of a giant live oak over their heads.
Moving before dawn on Sunday, August 8, as
they approached Linnville, its inhabitants entirely
unconscious of impending danger, they killed Mr.
O'Neal and two negro men belonging to Maj. H.
O. Watts. The people, believing the enemy to be
friendly Mexicans with horses to sell, realized the
fearful truth only in time to escape into the sailboats
anchored in shoal water about one hundred
yards from shore. In attempting this, Maj.
Watts was killed in the water. His young bride,
negro woman, and a little son of the latter were
captured. There was an immense amount of goods
in the warehouses destined for San Antonio and
the Mexican trade. Rapidly were these goods
packed on horses and mules, but it consumed the
day, and late in the afternoon every building but
one warehouse was burned, the citizens, becalmed
all day in their boats, witnessing the destruction of
their homes and business houses.
During the night the jubilant savages began their
return march for their mountain homes, taking a
route that passes up the west side of the Garcitas
creek, about fifteen miles east of Victoria.
On the 8th of August (Sunday) while Linnville
was being sacked, Tumlinson reached Victoria
about sunset, rested for a time, received some supplies,
left about twenty-five men and received about
an equal number, continuing his effective force at
125 men. They moved east on the Texana road
and at midnight camped on the Casa Blanca creek,
a small tributary of the Garcitas from the west.
George Kerr was dispatched for recruits to
Texana, but at Kitchen's ranch, on the east side of
the Arenoso, near tidewater junction with the Garcitas,
he found Capt. Clark L. Owen of Texana
with forty men. It was then too late to unite with
Tumlinson. The enemy in force had come between
them. Owen sent out three scouts, of whom Dr.
Bell was chased and killed, Nail escaped by the
fleetness of his horse towards the Lavaca, and the
noble John S. Menefee (deceased in 1884) escaped

in some drift brush with seven arrows piercing his
body, all of which he extracted and preserved to
the day of his death.
Thus Tumlinson early in the day (August 9) confronted
the whole body of the Indians with their
immense booty, on a level and treeless prairie.
He dismounted his men and was continually
encircled by cunning warriors, to divert attention
while their herds were being forced forward.
McCulloch impetuously insisted on charging into
the midst of the enemy as the only road to victory.
The brave and oft-tried Tumlinson, seeing hesitancy
in his ranks, yielded, and the enemy, after immaterial
skirmishing, was allowed to move on with herds
and booty. Later in the day Owen's party joined
them and desultory pursuit was continued, but the
pursuers never came up with the Indians, nor did
any other party till the battle of Plum creek was
fought by entirely different parties. In this skirmish
one Indian was killed and also Mr. Mordecai
of Victoria.
On reaching the timber of the Chicolita, some
twenty miles above the Casa Blanca, writhing
under what he considered a lost opportunity, Ben
McCulloch, accompanied by Alsey S. Miller,
Archibald Gipson, and Barney Randall, left the
command, deflected to the west so as to pass the
enemy, and made such speed via Gonzales that
these four alone of all the men at any time in the
pursuit, were in the battle of Plum creek. The
pursuers, however, were gallant men, and many of
them reached the battle ground a few hours after
the fight.
Let us now turn to the series of movements that
culminated in the overwhelming overthrow of the
Indians at Plum creek, and of much of this the
writer was an eye-witness. On the night of
August 7, advised by courier of the attack on
Victoria twenty-two volunteers left the house of
Maj. James Kerr (the home of the writer) on the
Lavaca river. Lafayette Ward was called to the
command. The writer, then a boy of nineteen, was
the youngest of the party. Reaching the Big
Hill, heretofore described, and finding the Indians
had not passed up, the opinion prevailed that
they had crossed over and were returning on the
west side of the Guadalupe. They hastened on
to Gonzales where the old hero, Capt. Matthew
Caldwell, had just arrived. He adopted the same
view, and announced that the Indians would
recross the Guadalupe where New Braunfels now
stands. In an hour he was at the head of thirtyseven
men, making our united number fifty-nine.
We followed his lead, traveled all night, and at
sunrise on the 10th, reached Seguin. As we did so,

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 December 28, 2014.