Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 18 of 894



formerly of Washington County, then residing near
Waco. When he first visited Waco in 1834, he at
once recognized the battle-ground and sink-hole as

described by Chisholm. The Cherokees did not
forget the Tehuacanos, but held them to a strict

Cherokee and Tehuacano Fight in 1830.

After the Cherokees returned to their temporary
home on Red river, from the attack on the Wacos,
in 1829, they determined to take vengeance on the
Tehuacanos for their interference in that engagement
on behalf of the Wacos. It seems that early
in the summer of 1830, they fitted out a war party
for this purpose, numbering about one hundred and
twenty fighting men.
The Tehuacanos, like the Wacos, had several
principal villages, favorite places of resort, from
some peculiarity, as fine springs of water, abundance
of buffalo, etc. One of them, and perhaps
their most esteemed locality, was at the southern
point of the hills of the same name, now in the
upper edge of Limestone County, and the present
site of Tehuacano University. Around these
springs there is a large amount of loose limestone
on the surface, as well as in the hills, and the
whole surrounding country is one of rare beauty and
The Tehuacanos had erected several small inclosures
of these loose stones, about three feet high,
leaving occasional spaces some two feet square resembling
the mouths of furnaces. Over the tops
they threw poles and spread buffalo-hides, and
when attacked, their women, old men, and children
would retreat into these cells while the warriors
would oppose the attacking party from without,
until too closely pressed, when they, too, would
seek refuge in the same, and lying flat on the
ground, would send their arrows and bullets
through these apertures whenever an enemy came
within range. From the attacks of small arms
such a protection, however primitive, was generally
quite effective.
This party of Cherokees, having been informed
of the locality of this place, and the value set upon
it by the Tehuacanos, and knowing that it was a
considerable distance from the Wacos, determined
to seek it out and there wreak vengeance upon
those who had by their own act called forth feelings
of hostility. Guided by an Indian who had
explored the country as a trapper, they reached

the place in due season. When discovered, the
Tehuacanos were engaged at a play of balls around
the little forts. The Cherokees stripped for action
at once, while the ball-players, promptly ceasing
that amusement, rushed their women and children
into their retreats, and prepared for defense.
They had quite a large village, and outnumbered
the Cherokees in fighting-men.
A random fight commenced, the Cherokees using
the surrounding trees as protection and taking the
matter as a business transaction, made their advances
from tree to tree with prudence. Their
aim, with the "rest" against the trees, told with
effect, and one by one, notwithstanding their hideous
yells and capering, to and fro, the Tehuacanos
were biting the dust.
The moment one was wounded, unless a very
brave fellow, he would crawl into the hiding-place
among their women and children, unless, perchance,
on his way, a Cherokee ball brought him
to the ground.
The fight continued this way an hour or more,
when, upon a signal, the whole body retired within
their breastworks. At this time, the Cherokees,
elated by what they supposed to be a victory,
charged upon the openholes, ringing their victorious
war-whoop most furiously. But they were soon
convinced that though concealed, the besieged were
not powerless, for here they received a shower of
arrows and balls from the hidden enemy which
tumbled several of their braves alongside of those
they killed on the other side. Yet, excited as they
had become, they were not easily convinced that
prudence in that case was the better part of valor.
On the contrary, they maintained the unequal contest
for some time, until one of their old men
advised a talk.
They withdrew a short distance, and held a consultation.
Their leaders said they had come there
for revenge and they would not relinquish their
design so long as a Cherokee brave was left to
fight--that to go back to their people and report
a defeat would disgrace them
they would die on

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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, [1880]; Austin, Tex.. ( accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .