History of the regulators and moderators and the Shelby County war in 1841 and 1842, in the republic of Texas, with facts and incidents in the early history of the republic and state, from 1837 to the annexation, together with incidents of frontier life and Indian troubles, and the war on the reserve in Young County in 1857 Page: 25 of 42
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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The thirty-five or forty men were called regulators; they were protected by
an unfinished house and a yard fence. Over this fence on the west side was
leaning the planks to put on the house, and these supplied some protection. In
this fight the casualties were, Bill Hansbury, moderator, killed; Wm. Price,
shot in the mouth; Jim Graham, regulator, shot in the mouth; Geo. Sanford,
arm broke; Eph M. Dagget had his pants cut, but was unhurt. The regulators
sent for me, and I gathered the men around me and went next day. Richard
Stiles, Howell Hudson, Peter Hudson, Washington Hooper and Jackson White
went with us, and on our way we were joined by Mint Truitt and Bob McNairy.
When we got near the place, the two boys, Truit and McNairy, went to the
battle ground and to Beecham's house to get information. At the house they
found Jas. Graham wounded and under the care of Dr. Davenport. In the
yard they saw Ned and Barry Merchant, who cocked their guns, as if intending
to shoot them. McNairy stepped into the house and cocked his gun, but
through the advice of Dr. Davenport, he laid aside his gun and appeared not
to see the two men, went whistling through the house, went into the cotton
field and reaching his horse in safety, came back to me. We were eating breakfast,
and some of our party going after water discovered a spy in the bed
of the creek. We moved from the place at once and learned that the
moderators were there, but that the regulators had gone ten miles off to C. T.
Hillard's. The Merchants, as soon as McNairy left, went to the camp of the
moderators and started the spy company after me, presuming me to be in the
neighborhood. When we left the place, we separated, each one taking his way
through the woods, to leave as little sign as possible. Truitt could find no trail
by which to follow, and was conipelled to "circle" to reach us. The first house
we reached was situated inside a corn field; two horses were tied to the fence,
and Truitt and McNairy going in to see, discovered two men of Alfred Truitt's
spy company. They returned and reported, and we went around the swamp
side of the field and found our men, the regulators, without further hindrance.
On the upper side of this field thirty-one men were stationed, and had we
gone on that side, as some wished, we would have been captured.
During the fight at Beecham's the regulators deceived the moderators by
falling at every fire, and believing they had killed many, so reported, and were
enabled to procure re-inforcements until they soon numbered 230 strong.
The whole force of moderators now went into the neighborhood of my
residence and searched the whole country for me. We had ladies out all the
time acting as spies for us, watching the movements of the moderators. These
ladies were Mrs. M. T. J. Johnson, Helen Daggett, Elizabeth White and Mrs.
Nathan Matthews. The moderators then moved up to Dave Strickland's, four
miles south of Hilliards. We found they were there, and being scarce of
ammunition had sent for more, but concluded to go and fight them with what
we had. This was in 1842. The moderators occupied a school house of logs
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Middleton, John W. History of the regulators and moderators and the Shelby County war in 1841 and 1842, in the republic of Texas, with facts and incidents in the early history of the republic and state, from 1837 to the annexation, together with incidents of frontier life and Indian troubles, and the war on the reserve in Young County in 1857, book, January 1, 1883; Fort Worth, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2362/m1/25/?rotate=270: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .