Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 50 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
hostile Comanches were. On approaching he
village these two scouts, to their surprise, found
that Buffalo Hump and his band of Comanches,
against whom Van Dorn's expedition was intended,
were there, trading and gambling with the Wichitas.
The scouts lay concealed till night, then stole two
Comanche horses and hastily rejoined Ross with the
tidings. With some difficulty Ross convinced Van
Dorn of the reliability of the scouts and persuaded
him to deflect his course and make a forced march
for the village. At sunrise, on the first day of
October, they struck the village as a whirlwind,
almost annihilating Buffalo Hump and his powerful
band, capturing horses, tents, equipage and
numerous prisoners, among whom was the white
girl, " Lizzie," never recognized or claimed by
kindred, but adopted, educated and tenderly reared
by Gen. Ross and subsequently married and died
in California. Van Dorn was dangerously wounded;
as was also Ross, by a rifle ball, whose youthful
gallantry was such that every United States officer,
while yet on the battle field, signed a petition to
the President to commission him as an officer in the
regular army, and he soon received from Gen.
Winfield Scott a most complimentary official recognition
of his wise and dauntless bearing.
Graduating at college a year later (in 1859), in
1860 and till secession occurred in the beginning
of 1861, young Ross was kept, more or less, in the
frontier service. In the fall of 1860, under the
commission of Governor Sam Houston, he was
stationed near Fort Belknap, in command of a company
of rangers. Late in November a band of
Comanches raided Parker County, committed serious
depredations and retreated with many horses, creating
great excitement among the sparsely settled
inhabitants. Ross, in command of a party of his
own men, a sergeant and twenty United States
cavalry, placed at his service by Capt. N. G.
Evans, commanding at Camp Cooper, and seventy
citizens from Palo Pinto County, under Capt. Jack
Curington, followed the marauders a few days
later. Early on the 18th of December near some
cedar mountains, on the head waters of Pease
river, they suddenly came upon an Indian village,
which the occupants, with their horses already
packed, were about leaving. Curington's company
was several miles behind, and twenty of the rangers
were on foot, leading their broken-down horses,
the only food for them for several days having been
the bark and sprigs of young cottonwoods. With
the dragoons and only twenty of his own men,
seeing that he was undiscovered, Ross charged the
camp, completely surprising the Indians. In less
than half an hour he had complete possession of the
camp, their supplies and 350 horses, besides killing
many. Two Indians, mounted, attempted to escape
to the mountains, about six miles distant. Lieut.
Thomas Killiher pursued one; Ross and Lieut.
Somerville followed the other. Somerville's heavy
weight soon caused his horse to fail, and Ross pursued
alone till, in about two miles, he came up with
Mohee, chief of the band. After a short combat,
Ross triumphed in the death of his adversary,
securing his lance, shield, quiver and head-dress,
all of which remain to the present time among
similar trophies in the State collection at Austin.
Very soon Lieut. Killiher joined him in charge of
the Indian he had followed, who proved to be a
woman, with her girl child, about two and a half
years old. On the way back a Comanche boy was.
picked up by Lieut. Sublett. Ross took charge of
him, and he grew up at Waco, bearing the name of
Pease, suggested doubtless by the locality of his
It soon became evident that the captured woman
was an American, and through a Mexican interpreter
it became equally certain that she had been captured
in childhood -that her husband had been
killed in the fight, and that she had two little boys
elsewhere among the band to which she belonged.
Ross, from all the facts, suspected that she might
be one of the long missing Parker children, and on
reaching the settlements, sent for the venerable
Isaac Parker, of Tarrant County, son and brother
respectively of those killed at the Fort in 1836.
On his arrival it was soon made manifest that the
captured woman was Cynthia Ann Parker, as perfectly
an Indian in habit as if she had been so born.
She recognized her name when distinctly pronounced
by her uncle; otherwise she knew not an
English word. She sought every opportunity toescape,
and had to be closely watched for some
time. Her uncle brought herself and child into
his home -then took them to Austin, where the
secession convention was in session. Mrs. John
Henry Brown and Mrs. N. C. Raymond interested
themselves in her, dressed her neatly, and on one
occasion took her into the gallery of the hall whilethe
convention was in session. They soon realized
that she was greatly alarmed by the belief that the
assemblage.was a council of chiefs, sitting in judgment
on her life. Mrs. Brown beckoned to herhusband,
who was a member of the convention, who
appeared and succeeded in reassuring her that she
was among friends.
Gradually her mother tongue came back, and
with it occasional incidents of her childhood, including
a recognition of the venerable Mr. Anglin and
perhaps one or two others. She proved to be
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/50/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .