Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 39 of 894
INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
tive ladies could it have been made known and this n
they had no opportunity of doing excepting after a
their recovery and through the narrative from c
which these facts are collected. Neither was ever v
afterwards in the settled parts of Texas, and indeed s
never were before, excepting on the trip from c
Copano, via Goliad and San Antonio, to the Rio 1
On another occasion, after traveling for a short
distance on a large road, evidently leading to ]
Matamoras, they arrived near a rancho, near a ]
lake of water. The main body halted and a part M
advanced upon the house which, though near, could i
not be seen by the captive ladies, but they heard
the fight going on, firing and defiant shouts, for a
considerable time, when the Indians returned,
bearing two of their comrades severely
wounded, and showing that they had been
defeated and feared pursuit. They left the road
and traveled rapidly till night, and then made
no fire. On the following day they moved in
haste, as if apprehensive of attack. They made
no halt till night, and then for the first time
in two days, allowed the prisoners water and a
small quantity of meat. After two hours' travel
next morning, to the amazement of the captives,
they arrived at the spot where their husbands and
friends had been murdered and where their naked
bodies still lay, untouched since they left them, and
only blackened in appearance. The little boys,
John and Joseph, at once recognized their father,
and poured forth such wails as to soften any but a
brutal, savage heart. They soon passed on to the
spot where lay the bodies of Mr. Harris and the
young German, who, Mrs. Horn says, fell
upon his face and knees and was still in that
position, being the only one not stripped of his
Starting next morning by a different route from
that first pursued, they traveled rapidly for three
days and reached the spot near where they had
killed the little Mexican and his family and had
secreted the plunder taken from his house and
the other victims of their barbarity. This, Mrs.
Horn thought, was on the 18th day of April, 1836,
being the fifteenth day of their captivity. This
being but three days before the battle of San
Jacinto, when the entire American population of
Texas was on, or east of the Trinity, abundantly
accounts for the fact that these bloody tragedies
never become known in Texas; though, as will be
shown farther on, they accidentally came to my
knowledge in the year 1839, while in Missouri.
Gathering and packing their secreted spoils, the
savages separated into three parties of about equal
lumbers and traveled with all possible speed till
bout the middle of June, about two months. Much
>f the way was over rough, stony ground, proisions
scarce, long intervals without water, the
3un on the bare heads and naked bodies of the
captives, very hot, and their sufferings were great.
The ladies were in two different parties.
The narrative of Mrs. Horn, during her entire
captivity, abounds in recitals of cruelties towards
herself, her children and Mrs. Harris, involving
hunger, thirst, menial labor, stripes, etc., though
gradually lessened as time passed. To follow them
in detail would become monotonous repetition. As
a rather extreme illustration the following facts
transpired on this long march of about two months
from extreme Southwest Texas to (it is supposed)
the head waters of the Arkansas.
Much of the route, as before stated, was over
rough and stony ground, "cut up by steep and
nearly impassable ravines, with deep and dangerous
fords." (This is Mrs. Harris' language and aptly
applies to the head waters of the Nueces, Guadalupe,
the Conchos and the sources of the Colorado,
Brazos and Red rivers, through which they necessarily
passed.) At one of these deep fords, little
Joseph Horn slipped from his mule while ascending
the bank and fell back into the water. When he
had nearly extricated himself, a burly savage, enraged
at the accident, pierced him in the face with
a lance with such force as to throw him into deep
and rapid water and inflict a severe wound just below
the eye. Not one of the demons offered remonstrance
or assistance, but all seemed to exult in the
brutal scene. The little sufferer, however, caught
a projecting bush and succeeded in reaching the
bank, bleeding like a slaughtered animal. The
distracted mother upbraided the wretch for his conduct,
in return for which he made the child travel
on foot and drive a mule the remainder of the day.
When they halted for the night he called Mrs.
Horn to him. With a knife in one hand and a whip
in the other, he gave her an unmerciful thrashing,
butin this as in all her afflictions, she says: " I have
cast myself at His feet whom I have ever been
taught to trust and adore, and it is to Him I owe it
that I was sustained in the fiery trials. When the
savage monster had done whipping me, he took his
knife and literally sawed the hair from my head.
It was quite long and when he completed the operation,
he tied it to his own as an ornament, and, I
suppose, wears it yet. At this time we had tasted
no food for two days, and in hearing of the moans
of my starving children, bound, as on every night,
with cords, I laid down, and mothers may judge, if
they can, the measure of my repose. The next day
Here’s what’s next.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/39/ocr/: accessed October 27, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .