Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 122 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
Gen. Brooke, in view of these increasing depredations,
called into service a company of Texas
rangers, who were mustered in at Austin, November
5, 1850. Henry E. McCulloch, for the fifth
time since June 8, 1846, was elected Captain, John
R. King, First Lieutenant, Calvin S. Turner, Second
Lieutenant, and Wm. C. McKean, was Orderly
The company formed a central camp on the
Aransas, between the Nueces and San Antonio,
and kept up an active system of scouts from the
one river to the other, and successively discovered,
pursued and broke up two or three raiding parties,
capturing their horses and outfits, though the savages
in each case escaped into the almost impenetrable
chaparrals of that section. Two Indians,
however, during the stay of the company in that
locality, slipped inside the lines, captured a small
boy, son of Hart, at the Mission Refugio, and successfully
escaped; but this in a period of five
months, was the only success they achieved, being
wholly defeated in every.other attempt, and confidence
was restored. The company, being six
months' men, were discharged at Fort Merrill, on
the Nueces, on the 4th of May, 1851, but reorganized
as a new company for another six months
on the next day. Capt. Gordon Granger (a
Federal General in the civil war) was the officer
who mustered out the old company and remustered
them in the new.
Of this second company (the sixth and last one
in the service of the United States commanded by
the same gentleman) Henry E. McCulloch was
unanimously elected Captain, Milburn Harrell, First,
and Wm. C. McKean, Second Lieutenant, Oliver H.
P. Keese, Orderly Sergeant, the other Sergeants
being Houston Tom, Thomas Drennan and James
Eastwood; the corporals were John M. Lewis,
Abner H. Beard, Thomas F. Mitchell and Archibald
Gipson; Wm. J. Boykin and James E. Keese,
buglers; John Swearinger, blacksmith; Thomas
Sappington, farrier. There were seventy-four
privates and a total in rank and file of eightynine.
In the mean time Gen. Brooke died in San
Antonio and Gen. Wm. S. Harney had succeeded
to the command. He directed Capt. McCulloch to
take such position in the mountains, covering the
head waters of the Guadalupe, Perdenales, Llano
and San Saba, as, by a system of energetic scouting,
would enable him best to protect the settlements
inside, in reality covering most of the
country between the upper Nueces and the Colorado.
About the 1st of June Capt. McCulloch
established his headquarters on the north branch of
the Llano river, about ten miles above the forkst
and thenceforward had daily reports from a long
line of observation. This active service, without
any important action or discovery, continued until
early in August, when the scouts reported a considerable
and fresh Indian trail to the west of the
encampment bearing from the lower country in a.
Capt. McCulloch, with a detail of twenty-one
men, started in immediate pursuit.
Following the trail, rendered very plain by the
number of stolen horses driven by the Indians, it
became manifest that the robbers apprehended no
danger and were traveling leisurely. On reaching
the south branch of the San Saba, not far from its
source, it became certain that the enemy was near
by, Capt. McCulloch halting the company, with
Chris. McCoy went forward, soon to discover the
Indians encamped on a deep branch, evidently feeling
secure, and their horses grazing at some distance
from them. A plan of attack was at once adopted.
A charge was so made as to cut the horses off and
the Indians took position in the branch, but betrayed
more of a desire to escape than to fight.
The rangers, inspired by their captain, crowded
upon them whenever and wherever it could be done
without reckless exposure to their invisible shots.
Some of the squaws with bows and arrows, fought as
men, and two would have been killed in the deadly
melee but for the discovery of their sex, upon which
they were overpowered and disarmed, this being
the highest manifestation of chivalry possible under
the circumstances, including, of course, the safe
custo(ly of the captured ladies. Herman L. Raven
was wounded by one of the squaws. Jeremiah
Campbell's horse was killed by a rifle ball. The
Indians were closely pressed as they retreated
down the branch until they found security in the
thickets on its borders.
Seven or eight warriors were left deaa on the
ground. All the horses and other property of the
Indians were captured. It became evident that the
raiders had been robbing Mexicans on the Rio
Grande. On reflection Capt. McCulloch furnished,
the two squaws horses and outfits, telling them
to find their people and say to them that if they
would come into Fort Martin Scott (two and a half
miles east of Fredericksburg, and on the Perdenales),
bring in any prisoners they might have, and
pledge themselves to cease depredations on the
frontier, their horses and effects would be restored
to them. This offer was accepted and carried into
effect. Ketemsi, chief of the defeated party, contended
that he had been warring on Mexicans only,
and it was not right for Texians to attack him
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/122/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .