Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 57 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
cover, in the dark, each lone man, and the group
of three, felt the necessity of perfect silence.
Each stealthily and cautiously moved as he or they
thought best, and the fate of neither became
known to the other until all had reached the settlements.
Smith, severely wounded, traveled by
night and lay secreted by day till he reached the
settlements on the Brazos, distant over forty miles.
The unnamed man, slightly wounded, escaped
eastwardly and succeeded, after much suffering,
in reaching the settlements. Henderson, Lane
and Burton found lodgment in a deep ravine leading
to the creek. Lane became so weak from the
loss of blood that Henderson tore up his shirt to
stanch and bandage the wound, and succeeded in
the effort. Passing down some distance, they
heard the Indians in pursuit, and ascended the
bank and lay in brush with their guns cocked.
The pursuers passed within three or four feet but
failed to discover them. About an hour before
day they reached the creek and traveled down to
a muddy pool of water. On a log they crawled
onto a little island densely matted with brush,
under which they lay concealed all day. They
repeatedly heard the Indians, but remained undiscovered.
When night came as an angel of mercy,
throwing its mantle over them, they emerged from
their hiding place; but when Lane rose up, the
agony from his splintered leg was so great that he
swooned. On recovering consciousness he found
that Burton, probably considering his condition
hopeless, was urging Henderson to abandon
him; but that great-hearted son of Tennessee
spurned the suggestion. The idea inspired Lane
with indignation and the courage of desperation.
In words more emphatic than mild he told Burton
to go, and declared for himself that he could, and
with the help of God and William F. Henderson,
would make the trip. By the zigzag route they
traveled it was about thirty miles to Tehuacano
springs. They traveled, as a matter of course,
very slowly, and chiefly by night, Lane hobbling
on one leg, supported by Henderson. For two
days and nights after leaving their covert they had
neither food nor drink. Their sufferings were
great and their clothing torn into rags. On the
third day, being the fourth from their first assault
by the enemy, they reached the springs named,
where three Kickapoos were found with their
families. At first they appeared distant and suspicious,
and demanded of them where and how they
came to be in such condition. Henderson
promptly answered that their party, from which
they had' become separated, had been attacked by
Comanches and Ionies, and that they, in their distress,
had been hoping to fall in with some friendly
Kickapoos. This diplomacy, however remote from
the truth, had the desired effect. One of the red
men thereupon lighted his pipe, took a few whiffs,
and passed it to Henderson, saying, " Smoke!
Kickapoo good Indian!" All smoked. Provisions
were offered, and the women bathed, dressed
and bandaged Lane's leg. Henderson then offered
his rifle to one of them if he would allow Lane to
ride his horse into Franklin. After some hesitation
he assented, and they started on; but during
the next day, below Parker's abandoned fort,
hearing a gunshot not far off (which proved to
belong to another party of Kickapoos, but were
not seen), the Indian became uneasy and left
them, taking both his pony and the rifle. It should
be stated that Lane's gun had been left where they
began their march, at the little island, simply
because of his inability to carry it; hence Burton's
gun was now their last remaining weapon.
But now, after the departure of the Indian, they
were gladdened by meeting Love and Jackson,
returning with the magnet, ignorant, of course, of
the terrible calamity that had fallen upon their
comrades. Lane was mounted on one of their
horses, and they hurried on to Franklin, arriving
there without further adventure.
A party was speedily organized at Franklin to
go to the scene and bury the dead. On their way
out at Tehuacano springs, by the merest accident,
they came upon Mr. Violet in a most pitiable and
perishing condition. His thigh had been broken,
and for six days, without food or water, excepting
uncooked grasshoppers, he had crawled on his
hands and knees, over grass and rocks and through
brush, about twenty-five miles, in an air line, but
much niore, in fact, by his serpentine wanderings
in a section with which he was unacquainted. His
arrival at the springs was a providential interposition,
but for which, accompanied by that of the
relief party, his doom would have been speedy and
inevitable. Two men were detailed to escort him
back to Franklin, to friends, to gentle nursing, and
finally to restoration of health, all of which were
repaid by his conduct as a good citizen in after
The company continued on to the battle-ground,
collected and buried the remains of the seventeen
victims of savage fury, near a lone tree.
It mav well be conceived that heroic courage and
action were displayed by this little party of twentythree,
encircled by at least three hundred Indians not
wild Comanches with bows and arrows, but the
far more formidable Kickapoos and kindred associates,
armed with rifles. It was ascertained after
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/57/: accessed March 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .