Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 124 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
called the back heel, and the thought struck me,
when he had me down, that if I tried that Virginia
back heelon him I would get him. I tried it and I
got him.' "
An account of this rencounter speedily spread all
over the frontier of Texas and gave Fitzhugh Lee
a hold on the people which is a pleasant remembrance
among the surviving pioneers unto this day,
and has never been weakened by any act of his
since but, on the contrary, they have ever followed
and rejoiced over his brilliant career as soldier, and
statesman, with a pride akin to kinship. Not long
after the occurrence, he visited Dallas in charge of
an escort to a supply train, where the people gave a
ball and supper in his honor
then sent a committee
to escort him on his return as far as McKinney.
where the same honors were paid.
As Governor of Virginia he worthily occupied a
seat honored aforetime by his grandfather, Light
Horse Harry Lee, of glorious memory, but erecting
another monument to the fact that since Richard
Lee, first of the name in America, came to the
colony of Virginia as secretary to Governor Sir
William Beverly, in 1641, no Lee has ever left
a stain upon his name or proved untrue to his
Van Dorn's Fight at the Wichita Village, October 1, 1858.
Some years since Capt. (now ex-Governor) L. S.
Ross wrote the following brief account of this
battle, Maj. Van Dorn being of the U. S. Cavalry
and severely wounded:"In
1858 I returned from school and found
Maj. Van Dorn was at Belknap organizing an expedition
against the Comanches, then supposed to
l)e somewhere on the head waters of the Arkansas
and Canadian rivers. I went at once to the Indian
agency and raised one hundred and thirty-five
Waco, Tehuacano, Toncahua and Caddo warriors,
and with them reported to Maj. Van Dorn for
co-operation in the expedition. He sent me in advance
to the Wichita mountains, while he followed
with trains, supplies, and troops, expecting to
establish a depot there for supplies, etc. When I
reached the mountains, I sent a Waco and a Tehuacano
Indian to the Wichita village, seventy-five
miles east of the Washita river, hoping to learn
through them where the Comanches were to be
found. When the scouts came in sight of the village
they found, to their surprise, "Buffalo Hump"
with his band of Comanches (the very ones we
were hunting), encamped there, tradingand gambling
with the Wichitas. The scouts concealed
themselves until after dark, and then stole two
Comanche horses and returned to me to report the
facts. With difficulty I convinced Maj. Van Dorn
that the Indians could be relied upon and induced
him to turn the direction of his columns, and by a
forced march we reached the village at sunrise
October 1st, 1858, surprising and almost completely
destroying that band of the Comanches, capturing
their horses, tents, supplies and several prisoners,
among whom I captured the white girl named
"Lizzie," subsequently raised by my mother, and
of whose family or parentage no trace has been
discovered. For their services Maj. Van Dorn
gave the Indians of my command the spoils captured,
horses, etc. I received for my pay a dangerous
gun-shot wound, still a painful reminder of
the occasion, together with a petition, signed on
the battle-field by every U. S. officer present, requesting
my appointment by the Government in
the regular army for distinguished gallantry, and
after due time came a complimentary order from
Gen. Winfield Scott, which documents I still have,
but have never made or attempted to make use of
This, when but twenty years old, was the
beginning of Gen. Ross' brilliant career as a
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/124/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .