Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 33 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
horses, Burleson and party fell in with him, but
were not aware of his faithful character. He exhibited
his credentials, with which Burleson was disposed
to be satisfied; but his men, already incensed,
and finding Canoma in possession of the horses
under such suspicious circumstances, gave rein to
unreasoning exasperation. They killed him and his
son, leaving his wife to get in alone, which she lost
no time in doing. She reported these unfortunate
facts precisely as they had transpired, and as they
were ever lamented by the chivalrous and kindhearted
This intensely incensed the remainder of Canoma's
party, who were still at the Falls. Choctaw
Tom, the principal man left among them, stated
that they did not blame the people at the Falls, but
that all the Indians would now make war on the
Coloradians, and, with all the band, left for the
Soon after this, in consequence of some depredations,
Maj. Oldham raised a company of twentyfive
men in Washington, and made a successful
attack an the Keechi village, on the Trinity, now in
Leon County. He routed them, killed a number
and captured a considerable number of horses and
all their camp equipage.
Immediately after this, Capt. Robert M. Coleman,
of Bastrop, with twenty-five men, three of
whom were Brazos men well known to many of the
Indians, made a campaign against the Tehuacanos,
at the famous springs of that name now in Limestone
County. He crossed the Brazos at Washington
on the 4th of July, 1835. He was not
discovered till near the village. The Indians
manifested stubborn courage. A severe engagement
ensued, but in the end, though killing a
considerable number of Indians, Coleman was cDmpelled
having one man killed and four
wounded. The enemy were too numerous for so
small a party; and it was believed that their recognition
of the three Brazos men among their assailants,
stimulated their courage and exasperated
them against tlhe settlers on that river, as they were
already towards those on the Colorado.
Coleman fell back upon Parker's fort, two and a
half miles above the present town of Groesbeck,
and sent in an express, calling for an augmentation
of force to chastise the enemy. Three companies
were immediately raised
one commanded by
Capt. Robert M. Williamson (the gifted, dauntless
and eloquent three-legged Willie of the popular
legends), one by Capt. Coheen and a third by Dr.
George W. Barnett. Col. John H. Moore was
given chief command and Joseph C. Neill (a
soldier at the Horseshoe) was made adjutant.
They joined Coleman at the fort and rapidly
advanced upon the Tehuacanos at the springs;
but the wily red man had discovered them and
They then scoured the country up the Trinity as
far as the forks, near the subsequent site of Dallas,
then passed over to and down the Brazos, crossing
it where old Fort Graham stands, without encountering
more than five or six Indians on several
occasions. They, however, killed one warrior and
made prisoners of several women and children.
One of the women, after her capture, killed her
own child, for which she was immediately shot.
Without any other event of moment the command
leisurely returned to the settlements.
[NOTE. Maj. Oldham was afterwards one of
the Mier prisoners. Dr. Barnett, from Tennessee,
at 37 years of age, on the second day of the next
March (1836), signed the Declaration of Texian
Independence. He served as a senator for a number
of years and then moved to the western part of
Gonzales County, where, in the latest Indian raid
ever made into that section; he was killed while
alone, by the savages. The names of Robert M.
Williamson and John H. Moore are too intimately
identified with our historv to justify farther notice
here. As a Lieutenant-Colonel at San Jacinto,
Joseph C. Neill was severely wounded. Robert
M. Coleman was born and reared in that portion of
Christian County, Kentucky, which afterwards became
Trigg County. He came to Texas in 1830.
He, too, at the age of 37, signed the Declaration
of Independence and, fifty-one days later, commanded
a company at San Jacinto. He was
drowned at the mouth of the Brazos in 1837. In
1839 his wife and 13 year-old-son were killed at
their frontier home in Webber's prairie, on the
Colorado, and another son carried into captivity by
the Indians, never to be restored to civilization.
Two little girls, concealed under the floor by their
heroic child brother before his fall, were saved.
Henry Bridger, a young man, then just from Cole
County, Missouri, afterwards my neighbor and close
friend in several campaigns and battles -modest
as a maiden, fearless as a tiger
also a Mier prisoner,
saw his first service in this campaign of Col.
Moore. Sam McFall, the bearer of the warning
from the Falls to Bastrop, from choice went on
foot. He was six feet and three inches high, lean,
lithe and audacious. He was the greatest footman
ever known in Texas, and made the distance in
shorter time than a saddle horse could have done.
He became famous among the Mier prisoners at
Perote, 1843-4, by feigning lunacy and stampeding
whenever harnessed to one of tile little Mexican
carts for hauling stone, a task forced upon his
comrades, but from which he escaped as a
"lunatico." He died in McLennan County some
years ago, lamented as an exemplar of true, inborn
nobility of soul and dauntless courage.]
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/33/?rotate=270: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .