Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 27 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
eight Indians on foot took after him with their
tomahawks, and when close upon him were discovered
by his party, who rushed out with their
rifles and brought down four of them
four retreating back to the main body. We then
returned to our position, and all was still for about
"We then discovered a hill to the northeast at
the distance of sixty yards, red with Indians who
opened a heavy fire upon us with loud yells, their
chief, on horseback, urging them in a loud and
audible voice to the charge, walking his horse perfectly
composed. When we first discovered him,
our guns were all empty, with the exception of Mr.
Hamm's. James Bowie cried out, ' Who is
loaded?' Mr. Hamm observed, 'I am.' He
was then told to shoot that Indian on horseback.
He did so, and broke his leg and killed his horse.
We now discovered him hopping around his horse
on one leg, with his shield on his arm to keep off
the balls. By this time four of our party being reloaded,
fired at the same instant, and all the balls
took effect through the shield. He fell and was
immediately surrounded by six or eight of his tribe,
who picked him up and bore him off. Several of
these were shot by our party. The whole party
then retreated back of the hill, out of sight, with
the exception of a few Indians who were running
about from tree to tree, out of gun-shot.
"They now covered the hill a second time,
bringing up their bowmen, who had not been in
action before, and commenced a heavy fire with
balls and arrows, which we returned by a well
directed aim with our rifles. At this instant,
another chief appeared on horseback, near the spot
where the last one fell. The same question of who
was loaded, was asked; the answer was nobody;
when little Charles, the mulatto servant, came running
up with Buchanan's rifle, which had not been
discharged since he was wounded, and handed it to
James Bowie, who instantly fired and brought him
down from his horse. He was surrounded by six
or eight of his tribe, as was the last, and borne off
under our fire. During the time we were engaged
in defending ourselves from the Indians on the
hill, some fifteen or twenty of the Caddo tribe had
succeeded in getting under the bank of the creek in
our rear at about forty yards distance, and opened
a heavy fire upon us, which wounded Matthew
Doyle, the ball entering the left breast and passing
out of the back. As soon as he cried out he was
wounded, Thomas M'Caslin hastened to the spot
where he fell, and observed, ' Where is the Indian
that shot Doyle?' He was told by a more
experienced hand not to venture there, as, from
the report of their guns, they must be riflemen. At
that instant they discovered an Indian, and while
in the act of raising his piece, M'Caslin was shot
through the center of the body and expired.
Robert Armstrong exclaimed, ' D-n the Indian
that shot M'Caslin! Where is he? ' He was told
not to venture there, as they must be riflemen; but,
on discovering an Indian, and while bringing his
gun up, he was fired at, and part of the stock of
his gun cut off, and the ball lodged against the
barrel. During this time our enemies had formed a
complete circle around us, occupying the points of
rocks, scattering trees and bushes. The filing then
became general from all quarters.
" Finding our situation too much exposed among
the trees, we were obliged to leave it, and take to the
thickets. The first thing necessary was to dislodge
the riflemen from under the bank of the creek, who
were within point-blank shot. This we soon succeeded
in, by shooting the most of them through
the head, as we had the advantage of seeing them
when they could not see us.
" The road we had cut around the thicket the
night previous, gave us now an advantageous situation
over that of our enemies, and we had a fair
view of them in the prairie, while we were completely
hid. We baffled their shots by moving six
or eight feet the moment we had fired, as their only
mark was the smoke of our guns. They would put
twenty balls within the size of a pocket handkerchief,
where they had seen the smoke. In this manner
we fought them two hours, and had one man
wounded, James Coryell, who was shot through
the arm, and the ball lodged in the side, first cutting
away a bush which prevented it from penetrating
deeper than the size of it.
"They now discovered that we were not to be
dislodged from the thicket, and the uncertainty of
killing us at a random shot; they suffering very
much from the fire of our rifles, which brought a
half a dozen down at every round. They now
determined to resort to stratagem, by putting fire
to the dry grass in the prairie, for the double purpose
of routing us from our position, and under
cover of the smoke, to carry away their dead and
wounded, which lay near us. The wind was now
blowing from the west, they placed the fire in that
quarter, where it burnt down all the grass to the
creek, and bore off to the right, and leaving'around
our position a space of about five acres that was
untouched by fire. Under cover of this smoke they
succeeded in carrying off a portion of their dead
and wounded. In the meantime, our party were
engaged in scraping away the dry grass and leaves
from our wounded men and baggage to prevent the
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/27/?rotate=90: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .