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



Stout, was shot at the same instant, wheeled to the
right-about, rode hack up the bank, and fell dead,
pierced( by three balls, one in his arm, one in his
shoulder and one through his right breast. The
other men, being in single file, did not get in
range, being screened by a projection in the bank,
and some had not quite reached the creek bed.
Those firing upon Stout and Denton fled in the
brush after a single volley, and in a little time the
savages were securely hidden in the surrounding
thickets. Griffin was graze(l by a ball on his
cheek, and several passed through his clothes.
Thle men hastily countermarched to the field,
where Capt. Bourland met them. They were consilerably
(lemoralized. Pretty soon all were
rallied at the first point of attack. Bourland
took twenty-four men, went back and carried
off the body of Denton. Eighty horses, a considerable
number of copper kettles, many buffalo
robes and other stuff were carried away. Our men
retraced their steps to the Fossil creek camp of the
previous night, arriving there about midlnight,
after losing much of the spoil. Next morning,
crossing Fossil creek bottom to its north side, they
buried Denton under the bank of a ravine, at the
point of a rocky ridge, and not far from where
Birdville stanls. Ten or twelve feet from the
grave stood a large post oak tree, at the roots of
which two stones were partly set in the ground.
This duty performed they traveled up the country
on the west side of the Cross Timbers and Elm
Fork, until they struck their trail outward at the
site of Gainesville, and then followed it back to the
barracks, where they disbanded, after a division of
the captured property. The Indian woman escaped
on the way in. Gen. Tarrant kept the child, but it
was restored to its mother some two years later, at
a council in the Indian Territory.
The expedition was unsuccessful in its chief
objects and, from some cause, probably a division
of responsibility, the men, or a portion of them, at
the critical moment, were thrown into a degree of
confusion bordering on panic.
On returning home from this fruitless, indeed
unfortunate, expedition, measures were set on foot
for a larger one, of which Gen. Tarrant was again
to be the ranking officer.
At that time Gen. James Smith, of Nacogdoches,
was commander of the militia in that district. He
led an expedition at the same time to the same
section of country, there being an understanding
that he and Tarrant would, if practicable, meet
somewhere in the Cross Timbers.
The volunteers of Red river, between 400 and
500 in number, assembled from the 15th to the

20th of July, 1841, at Fort English, as the home
of Bailey English was called, an(l there organized
as a regiment by electing William C. Young as
Colonel and James Bourland as Lieutenant-Colonel.
John Smither was made Adjutant, and among the
captains were William Lane, David Key and Robert
S. Hamilton.
Gen. Tarrant assumed command and controlled
the expedition. Simultaneously with thlis assembling
of the people two little boys on the Bois
d'Arc, lower down, were caltured and carried off
by Indians, to be recovere(d about two years later.
The expedition move(I southwest and encamped
on the west bank of the Trinity, probably in Wise
County, and sent out a scouting party, who made no
discoveries; yet, as will be seen, the Indians discovered
Tarrant's movements in time to be unseen
by him and to narrowly escape a well-planned attack
by Gen. Smith. Witlhout discovering any enemy,
after being out several weeks, Tarrant's command
returned hlome and disbanded.
In the meantime Gen. Smith, with a regiment of
militia and volunteers, moved up northwesterly in
the general direction of the present city of Dallas.
On arriving at the block houses, known as King's
Fort, at the present town of Kaufman, he found
that the place had been assaulted by Indians (luring
the previous evening and a considerable fight had
occurred, in which the assailants had been gallantly
repulsed and had retired, more or less damaged.
Gen. Smith fell upon and followed the trail of
the discomfited savages, crossing Cedar creek (of
Kaufman County), the " East Fork," White Rock
and the Trinity where Dallas stands, this being a
few months before John Neely Bryan pitclled his
lonely camp on the same spot. On the spring
branch, a mile or so on the west side of the river,
the command halted, enjoying limpid spring water
and an abundance of honey, from which one of the
springs (lerived the name it still retains
spring. From this camp Gen. Smith dispatched a
scout of twelve men, under Capt. John L. Hall, to
seek and report the location of the Indian village.
Besides Capt. Hall there were in this scout John H.
Reagan (then a buckskin attired surveyor -years
later United States senator, having first entered the
lower House of Congress in 1857), Samuel Bean,
Isaac Bean, John I. Burton (of race-horse fame),
Hughes Burton, George Lacey, Warren A. Ferris,
a Creek Indian named Charty, and three others
whose names have not been obtained. They crossed
Mountain creek above or south of the rexas and
Pacific railroad of to-day, thence passed over the
prairie into the Cross Timbers and to within a short
distance of Village creek. From the number of

Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown.. Austin, Tex.. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 20, 2014.