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: 35 of 42
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my command. As I reached it, Van Burns started towards the mountain with
his gun and was gone but five minutes, when he killed an Indian and returned
with his scalp. The Indian commander moved back and forth between the
mountain and ravine giving orders, mounted on a fine yellow horse which once
belonged to a circus, well trained and gaited, and traded at the reserve. This
Indian wore a wig, filled with turkey feathers, which he delighted in making
whistle through the air as he dashed backward and forward at high speed. He
was repeatedly shot at. A man and boy went to the upper corner of Marlin's
field to secure a shot at him When the man reached his place he was shot at
by the Indians and four holes made in his shirt and a blood blister raised on his
hand as he cocked his gun. He fired at the Indian on the yellow horse and cut
off his wig which contained the feathers, and when they fell the Indians all
raised a yell. After this he seemed to exert himself to a greater degree and
press his horse to greater speed than before. When he came back again near the
man and boy, it was agreed that the man shoot at the Indian and the boy at the
horse. When the guns fired the Indian ceased commanding, the horse lessened
his speed to a slow gallop, and a short distance over the hill fell. For fifteen
or twenty minutes no command was given; then Peter Ross from around the
mountain commenced giving orders. A squad of men from a house about one
hundred yards below Marlin's was attracting much attention from the Indians
by their close shooting. A Mr. Washburn from the corner of the chimney kept
up a strong fire and was doing execution. An Indian crept up between the boy
stationed near me, as before stated, and Mr. Washburn, and firing, killed
Washburn. The boy then discovered the Indian and being ready with his gun,
fired, the Indian fell over on some bushes and before the boy could reload, fell
from that position into the ravine, out of sight. Strong evidence was afterwards
found there that if not killed he had been badly wounded. The Indians commenced
retreating as soon as Ross took command and no more fighting worthy
of mention was done.
We remained up on the battle ground until next morning. The sun was
nearly down when we ceased firing and not knowing whether another attack
would be made, we kept our place, with a proper guard for our horses. The
next morning I was placed on picquit guard until we could bury Washburn and
carry the two wounded to Fort Belknap. Colonel Baylor desired to go at once
to the upper reserve, but others contended for going with the wounded by Fort
Belknap. We had no paper and therefore sent verbal dispatches to Garland
and White of the fight and our coming to the upper reserve. The message was
not credited, and when we reached Fort Belknap we were threatened by the
United States army with a cannonade, but we remained until the next evening
as our wounded men died and we wished to and did give them the rites of
burial. The next evening we marched out a few miles and camped, and then
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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/m1/35/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .