Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 281 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
and legs sinking deep into the mud and quicksand
that formed the margin of the branch. In an instant
she leaped over his head and seizing the bridle
encouraged him to make an effort to extricate himself,
which, being a large and powerful animal, he
did. She then waved her sun-bonnet to her husband
who had effected a crossing further down at
the Big Elms and whom she descried at that moment
galloping toward her. He joined her and
they rode home, leaving the baffled Comanches to
vent their rage as best they could.
Periods of quietude and occasional social gatherings
gave variety of life and common perils nourished
generous sentiments of neighborly regard,
mutual kindness and comradeship. The hardships
and dangers of the times in themselves seemed to
have had a charm for the bold and hardy spirits
who held unflinchingly their ground as an advance
skirmish line of civilization. Nor were the happening
of events rich in humor wanting. These were
recounted over and over beside blazing winter
hearths to amuse the occasional guest. One of
these told to the writer by the subject of this
memoir was the following:Judge
McClure, on starting for Bastrop in 1834,
left a carpenter whom he had employed to build an
addition to the house, behind him to protect the
family. The man was a typical down-east Yankee.
A morning or two later Mrs. McClure's attention
being attracted by cattle running and bellowing;
she looked out of her window and saw Indians
skulking in the brush and two of the band chasing
the cattle. She at once commenced arming herself
and told her companion that he must get ready
for a fight. He turned deathly pale, began trembling
and declared that he had never shot a gun
and could not fight. "Let's go back of the house,"
he said, " and down into the bottom." To which
she replied, " No, sir, you can go into the bottom
if you want to; but I am going to
The Indians killed a few calves but kept outof gunshot
and passed on that night. The carpenter sat up
until daylight with a gun across his lap. He could
not shoot; but, it is to be presumed, found some
comfort in holding a gun, for all that. The following
morning she told the man that if he would
go down to the lake back of the house and get a
bucket of water, she would prepare breakfast. He
replied that he was afraid to go. She stood this
condition of affairs as long as she could and then
strapping a brace of pistols around her waist, took
the bucket and started for the lake. The fellow at
this juncture declared if she was bound to go, he
would go with her, and followed on behind a few
steps holding the gun in his hands. This so
angered her that she turned and told him that, if
he dared to follow her another foot she would shoot
him dead in his tracks. Alarmed in good earnest
he beat a hasty retreat to the house. Several days
later some men came by going to Gonzales, and the
carpenter went with them without finishing his job.
What hair-lifting tales he told when he got back to
his native heath and the prodigies of valor that he
performed may be conjectured.
She was living on Peach creek at her home,
when the Alamo fell. Prior to that event, when the
people were fleeing from Gonzales in dread of the
advance of Santa Anna on that place, twenty-seven
women, whose husbands were in the Alamo, stopped
at her house and were there when they received
news of the massacre.
Gen. Houston also stopped at her home on his
second day's retreat and sitting on his horse under
a big live oak tree (which she ever afterwards
called Sam Houston's tree) ordered a retreat, saying
that those who saw fit to remain behind must
suffer the consequences. A great many relic hunters
have secured souvenirs of moss from the tree.
The women and children were sent on ahead, and
when they had gone about four miles, heard the
explosion of the magazine at Gonzales, blown up
by Col. Patten, who later overtook them at the
Santa Anna and his army camped on Peach
creek for five weeks and made his headquarters in
her house during a part of the time. He then
moved on toward the east after the Goliad massacre.
The Mexicans drove off or killed all the stock on
her farm, filled the well up with bricks torn from the
kitchen floor and burned everything except the
Having been ordered by Gen. Houston to go
after and bring up the ' Redlanders," Judge McClure
left his wife at ,Grisby's (now Moore's)
Bluff on the Nueces, proceeded to execute the
order and was thereby prevented from being present
at and participating in the battle of San Jacinto.
He was a member of the convention of Texas, held
in 1833; organized the first county in DeWitt's
colony and was its first county judge; and after
an active and useful life died and was buried in
Gonzales County in 1842.
Mrs. McClure married Mr. Charles Braches, of
Gonzales County, March 2d, 1843, a man noted
for abilities of a high order, and sterling character.
He was born at Gaulkhausen, Kreuznach, Rheim,
Prussia, February 25th, 1813; sailed from Europe
for America April 3d, 1834; arriving at Baltimore,
Md., left for St. Louis, Mo., two days later and
from that place moved to Sharon, Miss., where he
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/281/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .