The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 29
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Memoirs of Major George Bernard Erath
the surveyor paying for all the traveling and time wasted watch-
ing Indians. Thus it can easily be seen that the business was
not very profitable. Payment was tendered in Texas money and
often not paid for a year or two; so a fee made in 1838 when
Texas money rated two for one and paid in 1840 when it rated
four for one was a still greater loss. And up to that time it was
considered all right by people of the frontier for a man to do
work and wait two years or more for his pay. I may add, too,
that such a thing as interest was unheard of in those days.
Although I was out several times with small parties I had
little trouble from Indians in 1838. Stilman S. Curtis was
killed that year. He was with me locating lands, got sick, and
undertook to go alone to the settlement at Nashville forty miles
away. Indians killed him near the crossing on Little River;
his body was never found; but the Indians, only four in number,
passed where we were at work, leading Curtis's horse. Our
party consisted of ten men, but only five of us were at the place
when we saw the Indians. Three of my men mounted and gave
chase, but did not overtake the Indians.
The year 1839 was marked particularly by Indian depredations.
The Morgan fight came off in January, and the resettlement of
that place was attempted without success. I was out continually,
but more often on scouts than surveying. In the latter part of
February President Lamar issued an order for every county to
raise a company of troops. I was elected captain of the Milam
County company at its organization on the eighth of March. I
was in no fight of importance; the operations of the next three
months have already been mentioned by me in talking of Indian
affairs and in my account of the Bird Creek fight from what I
had heard of it.13
After the expiration of the three months for which the com-
pany was enlisted, I made four surveying expeditions through the
rest of the year; none of them exceeded twenty days' absence
or six days actual surveying at a time. In one of them, in
October, I succeeded in capturing a prize of twenty-seven horses
from the Indians. We were fourteen men, and about one hun-
dred and fifty miles out from the settlements.
"The pages dealing with Indian affairs and the Bird Creek fight are
missing from the manuscript.-L. A. E.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/35/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.