Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 136 of 894
INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
George and Richard Joel repulsed an attack by
twelve Indians. Two hours later the savages fell
in with three gentlemen returning to their home on
the Brazos, from a business trip to Kansas. They
were Marcus L. Dalton (who had nearly $12,000
with him), James Redfield and James McAster.
They were evidently taken by surprise, speedily
slain and scalped. The freebooters secured five
horses and other effects, but failed to find the
money. They fell in Loving's valley, and their
mutilated bodies were discovered next day by
Green Lassiter, destined himself soon to share a
similar fate. He was horribly butchered in the
Keechi valley a few months later.
On the 23d of April, 1871, in sight of his father's
house, twelve miles west of Weatherford, Linn
Boyd Cranfill, aged fifteen, and son of Isom Cranfill,
was mortally wounded by a fleeing party of
savages, in full view of his sister, who gave the
alarm and caused the assassins to flee without
On the 14th of March, 1872, in front of the
house of Fuller Milsap, on Rock creek, Thomas
Landrum was murdered by a party of red demons.
Mr. Milsap and Joseph B. Loving attacked and
pursued the murderers, killing one. It was on this
occasion that the heroic girl, Donnie Milsap, followed
her father with ammunition and received a
shot through her clothing.
On the 14th of July, 1872, two lads from the
Brazos, en route to mill in Weatherford, viz., Jackson,
aged thirteen, a son of Jesse Hale, and Martin
Cathey, aged eighteen (the boys being cousins)
were murdered by another of those bands, so often
appearing on the frontier.
In August, 1873, while standing in his yard, in
the northwest part of Parker County, Geo. W.
McClusky was instantly killed by an Indian concealed
behind an oat stack, and armed, as were
many of these marauders in the years succeeding
the Civil War, with Winchester or other improved
These recitals may embrace inaccuracies in dates
and otherwise, but are believed to be substantially
correct; but they by no means embrace all the
bloody tragedies enacted in the years named.
Bear in mind that this is only a brief and very
incomplete recital of a portion of the fiendish
murders in Parker County alone for the fourteen
years from 18.59 to 1873. In several other counties,
as Palo Pinto, Wise, Jack, Comanche Brown and
San Saba, the catalogue would be, in a general
average, full as bloody-in some much more so,
in others possibly less. The same calamities fell
upon the southwestern frontier from the San Saba
to the Rio Grande, and also upon the counties of
Cooke, Montague and Clay on Red river.
They are sad memorials of the trials, sufferings
and indomitable courage of those fearless and lionhearted
men and women, by whom those portions
of Texas were won to peace, to civilization and to
The Heroism of the Dillard Boys in 1873.
On the 7th day of August, 1873, Henry Dillard,
aged about twenty, and his brother Willie, aged
thirteen, made one of those heroic fights and
escapes which approach the marvelous even in the
hazards of frontier life. They lived on the Brazos;
had been to Fort Griffin with a two-horse wagon
load of produce for sale; had sold their commodities
and, after sitting up late the previous night, in
attendance upon a ball at the fort, were quietly
returning home through an open prairie country.
Henry was armed with a six-shooter and a Winchester
rifle -Willie with a six-shooting revolver
When about fifteen miles from the fort, Henry,
who had fallen into a partial slumber, was aroused
by loud voices and the tramping of horses. Arousing,
he instantly realized that he had (Iriven into a
band of thirty mounted Indians. Each brother
seized his arms and stood on the defensive. The
foremost Indian, abreast of and very near the
wagon, fired at Henry, cutting away one of his
temporal locks and powder-burning his head.
Henry fired twice, but discovering that his balls
failed to penetrate the Indian shields, fired a third
ball lower down, breaking the thigh of an Indian
and the backbone of his horse.
Instructing Willie to follow and be with him,
Henry then sprang from the wagon and determined,
if possible, to reach a branch about a quarter of a
mile distant. The Indians at once formed a circle,
Here’s what’s next.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/136/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .