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

INDIAN WIARS AND PIONEERS OF' TEXAS.

83

Moore's Great Victory on the Upper Colorado, in 1840.

Following Col. Moore's defeat on the San Saba
in January, 1839, came the Cherokee battles, of
July and I)ecemlber, and many engagements or
calamities of lesser magnitude during that year,
inclu(ling the massacre of the Webster party of
fo,urteen men and one child and the capture of
Mrs. Webster, her other two children and negro
woman, on Brushy creek, in what is now Williamson
County. In March, 1840, occurred the
Council House fight, in San Antonio, and in August
the great Indian raid to the coast, the robbery
and burning of the village of Linnville, two
miles above the present Lavaca, and the final defeat
and disl)ersion of the Indians in the decisive battle
of Plum Creek, on the 12th day of that month.
Following this last raid the veteran soldier, Col.
John Ii. Moore, of Fayette, sent forth circulars
calling for volunteers to again penetrate the country
of the hostiles, on the upper waters of the Colorado,
as another lesson to them that the whites
were determined to either compel them to abstain
from robbing, murdering and capturing their fellow-citizens
or exterminate them. A prompt
response followed, and about the first of October
the expedition left Austin, at once entering the
wilderness, .Col. Moorecommanded, with S. S. B.
Fields, a lawyer of LaGrange, as Adjutant. Capts.
''homas J. Rabb and Nicholas Dawson, of Fayette,
commanded the companies, the latter being the
same who commanded and fell at the Dawson
massacre in 1842. There were ninety men in all.
Clark L. Owen, of Texana (who fell as a Captain,
at Shiloh, in i862), was First Lieutenant in Rabb's
Company. R. Addison Gillespie (who fell as a
Captain of Texas rangers in storming thle Bishop's
palace at Monterey, in 1816), was one of the
lieutenants, his brother being also along. Nearly
all the men were from Fayette and Bastrop, but
there were a few from the Lavaca, among whom I
remember Isaac N. Mitchell, Mason B. Foley,
Joseph Simons, of Texana, Nicholas J. Ryan and
Peter Rockfeller (Simons and Rockfeller both
dying in Mexican prisons, as Mier men in 1844 or
1845.) I started with these young men, then my
neighbors, but was compelled to halt, on account
of my horse being crippled at the liead of the
Naviiad. Col. Moore also had with him a detachment
of twelve Lipan Indians, commanded by Col.
Castro, their principal chief, with the famous
young chief Flacco as his Lieutenant.

The command followed up the valley of the
Colorado, without encountering an enemy, till it
reached a point now supposed to be in the region of
Colorado City. The Lipan scouts were constantly
in advance, and on the alert. Hastily returning,
while in the vicinity mentioned, they reported the
(liscovery of a Comanche encampment fifteen or
twenty miles distant, on the east bank and in a
small horseshoe bend of the Colorado, with a high
and somewhat steep bluff on the opposite bank.
Col. Moore traveled by night to within a mile or
two of the camp, and then halted. It was a clear,
cold night in October, and the eartli white with
frost, probably two thousand feet above the sea
level. The men shivered with cold, while the unsuspecting
savages slept warmly under buffalorobes
in their skin-covered tepees. In the meantime
Moore detached Lieut. Owen, with thirty
men, to cross the river below, move up and at dawn
occupy the bluff. This movement was successfully
effected, and all awaited the dawn for sufficient
light to guide their movements.
The stalwart and gallant old leader, mounted
on his favorite steed, with a few whispered words
summoned every man to his saddle. Slowly,
cautiously they moved till within three hundred
yards of the camp, wlien tlie rumbling sound of
moving horses struck the ear of a warrior on watch.
Iis shrill yell sounded the alarm, anti ere Moore,
under a charge instantly ordered, could be in their
mildst, every warrior and many of the squlaws had
their bows strung and ready for fight. But pellmell
the volunteers rushed upon and among them.
The rifles, shot-guns and pistols of the white man,
in a contest largely hand-to-hand, with fearful
rapidity struck the red man to the earth. Surprised
and at close quarters, the wild man, though
fighting with desperation, shot too rapidly and
wildly to be effective. Seeing their fate a considerable
number swam the narrow river and essayed
to escape by climbing the bluff. Some were shot in
their ascent by Moore's men from across the
stream and tumbled backwards. Every one who
made the ascent to the summit of the bluff was
confronted and slain by Owen's men. At the onset
two horses were tied in the camp. On these two
warriors escaped. Besides them, so far as could be
ascertained, every warrior was killed, excepting a
few old men and one or two young men, who surrendered
and were spared.

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 29, 2014.