Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 119 of 894
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INDIAN WARS ANlD PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
County. On the Sandies they came across and
killed Dr. George W. Barnett, also a recent settler
in that locality -the same gentleman mentioned
in my chapter on the events in 1833 and 1835, as a
Captain in '35, a signer of the Declaration of Independence,
a soldier at San Jacinto and a senator of
the Republic. Another party of Indians, presumed
to be of the same band, and acting in concert with
them, crossed from the west to the east side of the
San Antonio, and formed a junction with the first
named party, the two bands numbering thirty-five
or forty warriors, including, it was believed, some
outlawed Mexicans, the Indians being Lipans, then
living in the border Mexican State of Coahuila, beyond
the Rio Grande. Before their junction, about
the.5th of October, the second named or lower
gang had killed a Mr. Lockard (or Lockhart) and
a young man of Goliad County, son of Mr. Thacker
Vivian, at the Goliad and San Antonio crossing of
the Ecleto creek.
These events alarmed the settlers on the west side
of the Guadalupe, the remainder of the district
mentioned being still a wilderness, and a company
of thirty-two men and boys from the west side of
the river in De Witt County, assembled to meet
and repel the raiders. John York, a brave old
soldier who commanded a company in the storming
of San Antonio in 1835, was made Captain; Richard
H. Chisholm, another veteran, Lieutenant, with H.
B. McB. Pridgen and Newton Porter, Sergeants,
and Joseph Tumlinson, guide.
On the night of October 10th, these hastily collected
volunteers encamped on the head waters of
the Cabesa, twenty-five miles above Goliad. On
the morning of the 11th they traveled some miles
up the country, and then struck the trail of the
Indians, which bore southerly towards the mouth
of the Escondida, a tributary of the San Antonio
from the southwest side. It became evident the
enemy had secured a considerable number of horses,
were leaving the country, and the pursuit was
quickened. Passing the San Antonio, on its west
bank they found the recently abandoned camp of
the savages, with a letter and some triflin articles
proving they were the murderers of Lockard and
Vivian. The letter found was from George W.
Smyth, Commissioner of the General Land Office,
to a citizen of Robertson County, on official business,
and sent by Lockard. Young Vivian was
the son of a neighbor of my parents when I was a
child in Missouri, and a kinsman of Mrs. Dr. A.
A. Johnston, of Dallas. Believing that they had
been discovered, and that the Indians were hastily
retreating, Capt. York pressed forward rapidly till,
on reaching the brushy banks of the Escondida,
about five miles beyond the abandoned camp, and
while a portion of the pursuers were a little behind,
those in front received a heavy fire from ambush,
accompanied by yells of defiance and irhprecations
in broken English, which threw some of the inexperienced
into confusion, causing a recoil, and this
disconcerted those in the rear, but the brave old
leader ordered the men to dismount in a grove of
trees, and was obeyed by a portion of his followers,
who returned and kept up the fire. Lieut. Chisholm
(Uncle Dick, who cast the first cannon ball in
the Texas revolution) tried to rally the halting,
but the panic was on them and he tried in vain.
James H. Sykes, a stalwart man of reckless daring,
dashed up to the dense chaparral in which the
Indians were sheltered, and was killed. James
Bell, a son-in-law of Capt. York, and a man of approved
nerve, was shot down between the contending
parties, when Capt. York ran to him and while
stooping to raise him up was shot through the
kidneys. The brave couple expired in the embrace
of each other. Joseph Tumlinson and Hugh R.
Young were severely wounded, and James York,
son of the dead captain, one of the handsomest
boys I ever knew, was shot centrally through the
cheeks from side to side, supposed at the time to
be fatally, but he rode home and finally recovered,
though greatly disfigured. The contest was kept
up about an hour, when both parties retired, ours
only a little down the creek to get water for the
wounded. It was believed the Indians lost six or
seven in killed, but of this there was no certainty.
Besides those already named among those who
stood to their colors to the last were William R.
Taylor (Goliad), Johnson, A. Berry, and others
whose names cannot be recalled. Some men of
unquestioned courage were among the victims of
the panic, and others were inexperienced boys who
had never been under fire.
This, so far as is remembered, was the last raid
in that section of country below the Seguin and
San Antonio road; but above that line the pioneersof
the frontier, till some years after the Civil War,
were the victims of a predatory and brutal war, in
which the most remorseless cruelties were more or
The facts as herein narrated were communicated
to me by a number of the participants on the 20th
of October, only nine days after the fight, and havebeen
so preserved ever since. I personally knew
every one named in connection with the engagement..
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/119/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .