Texas Almanac, 1943-1944 Page: 56
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56 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1943-1944
Battle of Plum Creek Aug. 12, near Lockhart,
the volunteer army of Americans being led by
Gen. Felix Huston, Col. Edward Burleson,
Capt. Mathew Caldwell and others.
After the Battle of Plum Creek and with
the growing population of Texas, rapid prog-
ress was made in pushing the frontier west-
ward, despite frequent Indian raids From
1850 to 1857 a line of army posts was estab-
lished along the lower part of the Rio Grande
and northward across Western Texas to the
Red River, including such places as Fort Mc-
Intosh, Fort Clark, Fort McKavett, Fort
Phantom Hill, Fort Griffin and Fort Belknap
These military stations greatly lessened the
danger from Indian attack and Indian trou-
bles would have been at an end shortly had
it not been for the Civil War.
After the annexation of Texas in 1845
constant pressure was put upon federal
authorities to lend assistance in the matter of
handling the difficult Comanches The line
of military stations was established, but the
matter of reservations for settling the Indians
was difficult because the United States had
no land in Texas, all public domain having
been retained by the state in the treaty of
annexation. In 1852, however, the State Leg-
islature authorized the setting aside of land
for two reservations in the Young territory.
One of these consisted of 37,000 acres and
was near Fort Belknap on the main fork of
the Brazos (near present Graham, Texas).
A reservation somewhat smaller was estab-
lished on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, about
forty miles above Comanches were gathered
on the latter, while the larger reservation
was allotted to the Tonkawas, Delawares,
Caddoes and other tribes. Some success was
had with this venture, but trouble arose be-
tween the Indians and the white settlers and
the reservations were abandoned, the Indians
being transferred across the Red River.
The frontier was pushing rapidly westward
during the decade 1850 to 1860, but the open-
ing of the conflict between the North and
the South in 1860 withdrew military protec-
tion. Many murderous raids were conducted
by the Indians during the Civil War years
and the confusion attending Reconstruction
administration after the war prevented great
improvement of the situation. Particularly
during the years 1865 and 1866 was the fron-
Last Indian Raids.
In 1868 General Sheridan succeeded in con-
centrating many of the Comanches, Kiowas
and Apaches at the Fort Sill reservation, but
the Indians continued to make raids into
Texas from the reservation Finally, in 1871,
in response to appeals from the frontier,
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman visited
Texas, marching with a small detachment
from San Antonio along the line of western
posts to Fort Belknap, apparently without
realizing there was great danger of attack.
At Fort Griffin a delegation of citizens from
Jack, Parker and adjacent counties assembled
to appeal for aid. General Sherman seems to
have been impressed, too, by a raid by
Comanches and Klowas on a wagon train, in
which the drivers were killed, on the trail
which the army expedition had traversed a
few days previously.
Sherman ordered an investigation at Fort
Sill and Satank, Santanta and Big Tree, chief-
tains, were arrested, charged with the wagon
train raid and ordered to Jacksboro, Texas,
for trial before civil authorities. Satank was
killed en route trying to escape, but Santanta
and Big Tree were convicted and given the
death penalty, which was later commuted by
Governor Davis to life imprisonment and the
Indians were confined at Huntsville peniten-
tiary. They were released in 1873 conditioned
on good behavior. Subsequently Santanta
was rearrested and returned to the peniten-
tiary, where he committed suicide in 1876.
In the meantime, Gen. R. S. Mackenzie had
been commissioned to round up the. Indians
and take them back to the reservations across
the Red River. He conducted an aggressive
campaign, finally capturing the main body of
Comanches and Klowas in the Palo Duro
Canyon after their horses had been stam-
peded and scattered by a sudden night attack.
This campaign marked the close of Indian
warfare In Texas.
Indians in Texas Today.
There is in Texas today only a small rem-
nant of the once populous tribes, the census
of 1940 showing only 1,103. The only distinct
Indian settlement left is that of the Alabamas
and Coushattis on the reservation in the east-
ern part of Polk County. These figures refer
strictly to Texas Indians, and are without
reference to the large amount of Indian blood
among the several hundred thousand Mexi-
cans living in Texas, whose Indian ancestry
is largely of stock distinctly different from
that of the Texas tribes.
The total Indian population of Texas at the
time white settlement began has been vari-
ously estimated, figures ranging from 20,000
to 100,000, but nothing is certainly known
In 1822, the year after Austin's first colony
was established, the United States Indian
Commissioner estimated that there were
45,000 savages in the territory between the
Red River and the Rio Grande. Of this
number, he believed that two thirds were
Historic Forts, Camps and Posts of Texas.
During the long trQublesome period of Texas' history under six flags an unrecorded but
large number of military posts has been established throughout its area. Some of these were
erected during the Spanish colonial period, some during the period of Texas colonization, some
during the period of the Revolution and Republic, some during the Civil War, and many
during the period after the Civil War as defense against the Indians.
From the time of the founding of the first Spanish Missions in the Upper Rio Grande
Valley in 1682 (and in East Texas in 1690). until 1874 when Gen. R. S Mackenzie of the
United States Army rounded up the last of the marauding Comanches and Kiowas in the Tule
and Palo Duro Canyons, some parts of Texas at least were unsafe for settlement without
Some of these old outposts of civilization stand in varying state of repair or disrepair
today. In some instances there are only traces In other instances, no trace remains. Below
is a list of the more important of these old forts and camps, including some of the early
Spanish presidios and a few of the more important of the privately owned forts that were
erected against Indian depredations
ADAES, LOS.-See Los Adaes. FORT ANAHUAC, in Chambers County. Built
ALAMO, at San Antonio. Established in 1718 by Mexican Government in 1831 near mouth of
by Spanish as mission San Antonio de Valero, it Trinity River and used as fort and customs house
did not take the name Alamo until it was aban- Captured by William B. Travis and force in one of
doned as a mission and became headquarters of a preliminary battles of Texas Revolution Some
detachment of soldiers. Now used as museum for traces of the fort remain.
Texas historical relics FORT ARKOSISA, on the Trinity River min Lib-
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Texas Almanac, 1943-1944, book, 1943; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117165/m1/58/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.