Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 38 of 894



Harris in the air and letting it fall to the ground
till it was killed. Next they brought into the presence
of the ladies, Mr. Harris and a young German,
whom they had supposed to be dead, but
who were only wounded. Compelling the heartbroken
wife, and the already widowed Mrs. Horn
to look on, they shot arrows and plunged lances
into the two men until they were dead, all the while
yelling horrid shouts of exultation. The mind
directing the pen recording this atrocious exercise
of savage demonism, as it has recorded and yet has
to record innumerable others, involuntarily reverts
with inexpressible disgust to the sickening twaddle
of that school of self-righteous American humanitarians.
who utter eloquent nonsense about the
noble savage and moral suasion, and dainty food at
public expense, as the only things needful to render
him a lamb-like Christian. In New York in 1870,
I wrote for Puttiam's Magazine an article exposing
the misapplied philanthropy on that subjectthen
upheld for gain by many villainous Indian
agents, contractors and licensed traders, and many
misinformed good people -contending that the
only road to civilization to these inhuman monsters,
was to whip them into fear of American power;
then concentrate them into communities; and hfter
this to treat them with humanity, honesty and fairness.
The magazine in question, while admitting
the correctness of the positions assumed, had not
the courage to publish an article so in antagonism
to the mistaken and oftentimes mock philanthropy,
just then holding high carnival in the eastern
section of the Union.
For some time before her capture Mrs. Harris
had been suffering greatly from a rising in her
breast, from which her infant was denied nourishment,
and had been tenderly cared for by Mrs.
Horn. Though the little innocent was now dead,
the mother, in addition to brutal treatment otherwise,
suffered excruciatingly in her breast, the
heartless wretches for days not allowing Mrs. Horn
to dress it. But finally she was permitted to do so
and had the sagacity to dress and cover it with a
poultice of cactus leaves, than which few things are
better. Its effect was excellent. Both ladies
almost, and the little boys entirely, denuded of
clothing, their bodies blistered and the skin peeled
off, causing intense suffering.
From the scene of slaughter the savages traversed
the country between the lower Nueces and the
lower Rio Grande, killing all who came within their
They came upon the body of a man apparently
dead for about a month, which, from Mrs. Horn's
statement, I have no doubt was that of Dr. James

Grant, the Scotchman, previously mentioned as
associated with Dr. Beales, who was killed by
Mexican cavalry, near the Agua Dulce creek, 20
or 30 miles beyond the Nueces, March 2, 1836,
some distance from the spot where his men were
slain, he and Col. Reuben R. Brown, having been
chased four or five miles, from their party, Grant
killed and Brown captured; to be imprisoned in
Matamoras till the following December, when he
and Samuel W. McKneely, who was captured in
San Patricio by the same party, escaped and made
their way into the settlements of Texas
ever since living at the mouth of the Brazos and
commanding a Confederate regiment in the civil
war, and McKneely deceased in 1889 at Texarkana,
Texas. They also passed the bodies of those killed
at the original point of attack, the Indians saying
they were "Tivos," or Americans. This event,
together with the night surprise at San Patricio, the
killing of some, the capture of others and the
escape of Col. Frank W. Johnson, Daniel J. Toler,
John H. Love and James M. Miller, was the disastrous
termination of what is known in Texian
history as the Johnson and Grant expedition, part
of a wild and disorganizing series of measures set
on foot or countenanced and encouraged by the
faction-ridden council of the provisional government
of Texas, against the wise and inflexible
opposition of Governor Henry Smith and Gen Sam
Houston, and culminating in the surrender and
subsequent slaughter of Fannin and nearly 400
noble and chivalrous men.
During this raid in that section the Indians
caught and killed a very genteel, well-dressed Mexican,
then surrounded and entered his house, killing
his young wife and two little children, and then
rushed upon a neighboring house, killing two men
near it and one inside. At another time along a
road, they waylaid and murdered a handsomely
dressed Mexican and his servant. At another a
portion of them rushed across a creek when,
through the timber, Mrs. Horn saw them advancing
upon a man, who exclaimed " Stand back! stand
back! " but seemed to have no arms. Numerous
guns fired, all apparently by the Indians, when all
the party, four or five in number, lay dead upon
the ground. So far as Mrs. Horn could determine
they were all Americans. This occurrence and the
surrounding facts, considering the locality and the
fact that no party of Americans could have been
there from choice, can only be explained on the
hypothesis that these men had escaped from prison
in Matamoras, and, without arms, were endeavoring
to return to Texas. If so, their fate was never
known in Texas, for only through these two cap

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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .