Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 70 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
came in sight of the enemy, who, all being on foot,
sought to reach the thicket on a branch, somewhat
between the parties. To prevent this a charge was
ordered to cut them off, and if need be, occupy the
thicket as a base of defense; but some of the men
hesitated, while others advanced. Skirmishing
began, confusion ensued, followed by a disorderly
retreat, some men gallantly dismounting time and
again, to hold the enemy in check. In this engagement
Capt. Joseph Burleson was killed, while dismounted
and trying to save the day. The horse of
W. W. (afterward Captain) Wallace escaped and
was caught and mounted by an Indian. A. J.
Haynie, seeing this, gallantly took Mr. Wallace up
behind him and thus saved his life.
The whole party, notwithstanding the disorder,
halted on reaching Brushy.
While remaining in a state of indecision, Gen.
Edward Burleson (of whom Joseph was a brother)
came up with thirty-two men. All submitted at
once to his experienced leadership. Reorganizing
the force, with Capt. Jesse Billingsley commanding
a portion, he moved forward, and about the middle
of the afternoon found the Indians in a strong
position, along a crescent-shaped branch, partly
protected by high banks, and the whole hidden by
brush. Burleson led one party into the ravine
above and Billingsey the other into it below the
Indians, intending to approach each way and drive
the enemy out. But each party found an intervening,
open and flat expansion of the ravine, in
passing which they would be exposed to an enfilading
fire from an invisible enemy. Hence this plan
was abandoned and a random skirmish kept up until
night, a considerable number of Indians being
killed, as evidenced by their lamentations, as they
retreated as soon as shielded by darkness. Burleson
camped on the ground.
The next day, on litters, the dead and Mr.
Gilleland were carried homeward, the latter to die
in a few days.
The men of Bastrop were ever famed for gallantry,
and many were the regrets and heart-burnings
among themselves in connection with the first
engagement of the day; but ample amends were
made on other fields to atone for that untoward
Doubtless interesting facts are omitted. Those
given were derived long ago from participants, supplemented
by a few points derived at a later day
from Mr. A. D. Adkisson, who was also one of
For several years succeeding the raids into and
around Bastrop, stealing horses, and killing, sometimes
one and sometimes two or three persons,
were so frequent that their narration would seem
monotonous. In most cases these depredations
were committed by small parties early in the night,
and by sunrise they would be far away, rendering
pursuit useless. They were. years of anguish,
sorely testing the courage and fortitude of as
courageous a people as ever settled in a wilderness.
Cordova's Rebellion in 1838-9
Rusk's Defeat of the Kickapoos
Burleson's Defeat of Cordova
Death of Flores and Cordova Capt.
At the close of 1837, and in the first eight or
nine months of 1838, Gen. Vicente Filisola was in
command of Northern Mexico, with headquarters
in Matamoros. He undertook, by various wellplanned
artifices, to win to Mexico the friendship
of all the Indians in Texas, including the Cherokees
and their associate bands, and unite them in a persistent
war on Texas. Through emissaries passing
above the settlements he communicated with the
Cherokees and others, and with a number of Mexican
citizens, in and around Nacogdoches, and succeeded
in enlisting many of them in his schemes.
The most conspicuous of these Mexicans, as developed
in the progress of events, was Vicente Cordova,
an old resident of Nacogdoches, from which
the affair has generally been called "Cordova's
rebellion," but there were others actively engaged
with him, some bearing American names, as Nat
Norris and Joshua Robertson, and Mexicans named
Juan Jose Rodriguez, Carlos Morales, Juan Santos
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/70/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .