Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 65 of 894


passed through his heart. This, however, is
The wounded of Gen. Rusk were borne on litters
back to Fort Houston. Hall survived about twenty
the other twenty-five recovered.
When the citizens of that locality volunteered
under Capt. W. T. Saddler, a soldier of San Jacinto,
to accompany Maj. Mabbitt in the Cordova-Kickapoo
expedition, the families of several of the party
were removed for safety to the house of Mr. John
Edens, an old man, and there left under the protection
of that gentleman and three other old men,
viz.: James Madden, Martin Murchison (father of
John, wounded at Kickapoo), and Elisha Moore,
then a prospector from Alabama. The other persons
in the house were Mrs. John Edens and
daughter Emily, Mrs. John Murchison, Mrs. W. T.
Saddler, her daughter, Mrs. James Madden, and
two little sons, aged seven and nine years, Mrs.
Robert Madden, and daughter Mary, and a negro
woman of sixty years, named Betsey or Patsey.
This is the same place on which Judge D. H. Edens
afterwards lived, in Houston County, and on which
he died. The ladies occupied one of the two rooms
and the men the other, a covered passageway
separating them. On the fatal night, about the
19th of October, after all the inmates had retired,
the house was attacked by Indians. The assault
was made on the room occupied by the ladies and
children. The savages broke down the door and
rushed in, using knives and tomahawks. Mrs.
Murchison and her daughter, Mrs. Saddler, were
instantly killed. Mrs. John Edens, mortally
wounded, escaped from the room and crossed two
fences to die in the adjoining field. Of Mary,
daughter of Robert Madden; Emily, daughter of
John Edens, each three years old, and the two
little sons of James Madden, no tidings were ever
heard. Whether carried into captivity or burned
to ashes, was never known, but every presumption
is in favor of the latter. The room was speedily
set on fire. The men durst not open the door into
the passage. Mrs. Robert Madden, dangerously
wounded, rushed into the room of the men, falling
on a bed. One by one, or, rather, two by two, the
four men ran the gauntlet and escaped, supposing
all the others were dead. Early in the assault
Patsey (or Betsey), seized a little girl of John
Edens', yet living, the beloved wife of James
Duke, swiftly bore her to the house of Mr. Davis,
a mile and a half distant, and then, moved by an
inspiration that should embalm her memory in every

generous heart, as swiftly returned as an angel of
mercy to any who might survive. She arrived in
time to enter the rapidly consuming house and
rescue the unconscious Mrs. Robert Madden, but
ah instant before the roof fell in. Placing her on
her own bed, in her unmolested cabin in the yard,
she sought elsewhere for deeds of mercy, and found
Mrs. James Madden, utterly helpless, under the
eaves of the crumbling walls, and doomed to
speedy cremation. She gently bore her to the
same refuge, and by them watched, bathed, poulticed
and nursed
aye, prayed!
till the morrow
brought succor. However lowly and bumble the
gifts of the daughters of Ham, every Southron,
born and reared among them, will recognize in this
touching manifestation of humanity and affection
elements with which he has been more or less
familiar since his childhood. Honored be the
memory and cherished be the saintly fidelity of this
humble servant woman.
Mrs. James Madden, thus rescued from the
flames, bore upon her person three ghastly wounds
from a tomahawk, one severing her collar bone, two
ribs cut asunder near the spine, and a horrible
gash in the back. But it is gratifying to record
that both of these wounded ladies recovered, and
in 1883, were yet living near Augusta, Houston
County, ob'ects of affectionate esteem by their
On the day following this horrid slaughter, the
volunteers -the husbands and neighbors of the
victims--returned from the battle of Kickapoo, in
time to perform the last rites to the fallen and to
nurse the wounded. The late venerable Capt.
William Y. Lacey, of Palestine, Robert Madden,
Elder Daniel Parker, and others of the Edens and
other old families of that vicinity were among
In the year 1837, Charles C. Campbell arrived in
the vicinity of Fort Houston, and settled on what
is now called Town creek, three miles west of Palestine.
His family consisted of himself, wife and
five children
Malathiel, a youth of twenty; Pamelia,
aged seventeen; Hulda, fourteen; Fountain,
eleven; George, four, and two negro men. They
labored faithfully, built cabins, opened a field, and
in 1838, made a bountiful crop.
In February, 1839, Mr. Campbell sickened and
died. During a bright moon, about a week later,
in the same month, soon after the family had retired,
the house was suddenly attacked by a party

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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,; .