History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 436
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436 IIISTORY OF TEXAS.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
pant of men well knew that this formidable
army of red devils would soon swoop down
upon them, and they were busy preparing to
defend themselves against such fearful odds.
Raising the Comanche war-whoop all along
the line, the Indians charged down upon the
men in the ravine, uttering the most unearthly
yells that ever greeted the ears of
mortals, and at the same time pouring a deluge
of arrows. Tlle Texans were brave and
cool, and gave Lhemn a most deadly reception,
causing them to retire to the hilltop, without
carrying off their dead and wounded. Again
the enemy charged in overwhelming numbers,
this time advancing to within fifty yards
of the ravine, but under the galling fire of
the rangers they were once more compelled
to retreat, leaving a number of their dead
and wounded upon the field.
A still more vigorous attack was now made
by the Indians, who were determined to rout
the little garrison at all hazards. The strife
became deadly. The gallant little band of
rangers in the ravine fought for life, and
taxed their energies to the utmost. The field
was almost an open prairie, with little or
nothing to shield the contending foes against
the showers of arrows and leaden hail which
were being incessantly sent. Victory trembled
in the balance. The Indians charged repeatedly
almost to the brink of the ravine,
but were often forced back. The brave Captain
Bird was killed early in the fight, and
six other rangers were killed or wounded.
The remainder, reduced to only twenty-five
in number, and exhausted by the protracted
contest, seemed doomed to almost certain destruction,
when James Robinnett, a young
German, upon whom the command now devolved,
swore to his comrades that he ,ould
kill the chief in the next charge at tye risk
of his own life. Young Robiunett had not
long to wait before the Indians again charged
down upon them, led by their chief, who was
arrayed in full uniform, with an immense
headdress of buffalo horns, and mounted on a
splendid American horse, presenting a most
ludicrous yet formidable appearance. Taking
deliberate aim, Robinnett fired at the chief,
and true to his vow, succeeded in killing
him! Three unsuccessful attempts were
made by the Indians to rescue the body of
their chief but each Indian fell who appeared
near his corpse.
The fight was thus kept up till near sundown
when the savages retreated to the hill,
with heavy loss of men and horses. The Texans'
loss was five killed, their gallant and lanmented
captain, a Mr. Galy, Jesse E. Nash,
a Mr. Weaver, and a man named Hall who
died from his wounds the next day, and they
had two or three wounded. The loss of the
Indians was supposed'to be about one hundred.
Fearing another attack from the savages
they remained in the ravine until the next
muorniug; and, seeing no Indians in sight,
the rangers mounted their horses (which had
been secured near by in the ravine) and made
their way back to Fort Griffin, taking with
them their wounded comrades. Their story
was soon told and a force of about ten men
in a few days collected and repaired to the
battle-ground. The bodies of the slain were
too badly decomposed to be handled then,
but later a large coffin was prepared and into
this uncouth receptacle all that was mortal of
Captain Bird and his unfortunate comrades
were placed and buried on the battle-grounds.
On Bird's creek where the engagement
first commenced, the bullet holes may still
be seen in many of the trees. The little
spring in the ravine that slacked the thirst
of the besieged rangers and cooled the
LUSTOY OF EXAS
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/467/?rotate=270: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .