Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 137 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
galloping around and firing upon them. Walking,
running, halting by alternation, the boys fired with
great precision, rarely failing to strike an Indian
or his horse, or both. Very soon the cylinder of
Willie's pistol was knocked out by a ball, and
thenceforward he could only carry cartridges for his
brother. At one time Henry tripped and fell on
his face. An Indian dashed up and dismounted to
scalp him, but while yet on the ground the brave
boy drove a pistol ball through his heart. At
another time Willie called out: " Henry! look
here!" On looking he found the little fellow running
around a mesquite bush, pursued by an Indian
clutching at his clothes, but shot him dead, and the
boys, as before, continued their retreat, the enemy
charging, yelling and firing. The brothers continued
firing, loading, dodging, turning, trotting or
running as opportunity offered, all the while realizing
that to halt was death, and the only haven of
hope was in the thickets on the branch. As they
neared the covert the enemy became more furious,
but the boys, encouraged by their seeming miraculous
immunity from death or wounds, and thus
buoyed in the hope of safety, maintained perfect
self-possession, and finally reached the hoped for
refuge. But one savage had preceded them, dismounted,
and confronted their entrance. Henry
tried to fire his Winchester at him, but it was empty.
The Indian, seeing this, remounted and charged
upon him, but Henry sent a pistol bail through his
body. The astounded red men, seeing their prey
escape from such fearful odds, seemed awe-stricken.
After a short parley they returned to the wagon,
took the horses and its contents and retired, bearing
their dead and wounded, and leaving five
horses dead on the ground. The day-August
7th, be it remembered--was very hot, and the
boys, following such a contest, came near dying
When night came the brothers sought the nearest
ranch, some miles away. MIounting horses there
they hurried back to Fort Griffin and reported the
facts to Gen. Buell, U. S. A., commanding that post.
That gentleman promptly dispatched a party of
dragoons in pursuit. The pursuers discovered that
the Indians, bearing northwesterly, had divided into
two parties, the left hand gang carrying off the killed
and wounded. In two or three days they came
upon a newly deserted camp in which were three
beds of grass gorged with blood. Discovering buzzards
sailing round a mountain near by, some of
the party ascended it and found three dead Indians,
partially buried on its summit. They also found
in this .camp Henry Dillard's memorandum book.
The gallant boy, let it be understood, was among
the pursuers. From this locality, which was about
the head of the Big Wichita, hopeless of over
taking the Indians, the dragoons returned to the
This is among the extraordinary episodes in our
frontier history. It seems almost incredible. The
officer commanding the pursuit, after all his discoveries,
asserted that the brothers had killed and
wounded eleven Indians, besides the five horses
left on the field.
The gentleman to whom I am chiefly indebted
for these details, says that Henry Dillard is a Kentuckian,
who came to Texas a boy five or six years
before this occurrence. He is about five feet nine
inches high, slender, erect and quick in movement,
with brown hair, handsome features and clear,
penetrating gray eyes. He afterwards settled
on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, near
the scene of this remarkable conflict, and stood as
a good citizen, enjoying the confidence and esteem
of the surrounding country-an acknowledged
hero of modest nature, void of all self-adulation
and averse to recounting his deeds of daring to
others. It is ever pleasant to record the merits of
Don Lorenzo De Zavala.
For one who loves truth and admires purity in the
character of public men and benefactors to the multitude
in the land of their birth or adoption, the
career of Don Lorenzo de Zavala possesses peculiar
interest. Only the oldest and best informed citizens
of Texas have any intelligent knowledge of
his character and services in the cause of human
liberty. But every school boy and school girl in
our State should be familiar with his history.
Lorenzo de Zavala was born in Madrid, Spain,
on the 3d of October, 1789. His father was a man
of education and refinement and belonged to that
class of men in Europe who had glimmerings of
human rights and yearnings to possess them. In
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/137/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .