Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 74 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
At intervals were small thickets on the ravine, with
open spaces between. Cordova, in the nearest
open space to the bottom and about ninety yards to
the right of my company, when in the act of firing,
was shot dead by John Lowe, who belonged to the
adjoining company on our right and stood about
thirty feet from me, while I was loading my gun.
I watched the affair closely, fearing that one of
our men might fall from Cordova's fire. There
could, at the instant, be no mistake about it.
Others saw the same; but no one knew it was Cordova
till his men were driven from the position by
Lieut. John R. Baker of Cameron's Company, when
old Vasquez, a New MIadrid Spaniard in our command,
recognized him, as did others later. And
thus perished Cordova, Flores, and largely, but by
no means entirely, their schemes for uniting the
Indians against the people of Texas. The great
invasion of 1840, and other inroads were a part of
the fruit springing from the intrigues of Filisola and
These entire facts, in their connection and relation
to each other, have never before been pub-lished;
and while some minor details have been
omitted, it is believed every material fact has been
In subsequent years contradictory statements
were made as to the manner of Cordova's death, or
rather, as to who killed him. I simply state the
absolute truth as I distinctly saw the fact. The
ball ran nearly the whole length of the arm, horizontally
supporting his gun, and then entered his
breast, causing instant death. I stated the fact
openly and repeatedly on the ground after the
battle and no one then asserted differently.
Caldwell's Company of six months' men, while
failing to have any engagement, rendered valuable
service in protecting the settlers, including Gonzales
and Seguin, on the Guadalupe, the San Marcos and
La Vaca. In the summer of 1839, Capt. Caldwell
also furnished and commanded an escort to Ben
McCulloch in surveying and opening a wagon road
from Gonzales to the proposed new capital of Texas,
then being laid out at Austin, the course, from the
court house at Gonzales, being N. 17 W., and the
distance, by actual measurement, fifty-five and onefourth
miles. Referring back to numerous trips
made on that route from soon after its opening in
1839 to the last one in 1869, the writer has ever
been of the impression that (outside of mountains
and swamps), it was the longest road for its measured
length, he ever traveled.
The Expulsion of the Cherokees from Texas in 1839.
When the revolution against Mexico broke out in
Texas in September, 1835, all of what is now called
North Texas, excepting small settlements in the
present territory of Bowie, Red river and the
northeast corner of Lamar counties, was without a
single white inhabitant. It was a wilderness occupied
or traversed at will by wild Indians. The
Caddos, more or less treacherous, and sometimes
committing depredations, occupied the country
around Caddo and Soda lakes, partly in Texas and
partly in Louisiana. The heart of East Texas, as
now defined, was then the home of one branch of
the Cherokees and their twelve associate bands, the
Shawnees, Kickapoos, Delawares and others who
had entered the country from the United States
from about 1820 to 1835. It has been shown in
previous chapters that in 1822 three of their chiefs
visited the city of Mexico to secure a grant of land
and failed: how in 1826, two of their best and
most talented men, John Dunn Hunter and Fields,
visited that capital on a similar mission and
failed, returning soured against the Mexican government;
how, in the autumn of that year, in consequence
of that failure, they united with Col.
Haden Edwards, himself outraged by Mexican injustice,
as the head of a colony, in opposition to
the Mexican government, in what was known as
the Fredonian war, and how, being seduced from
their alliance with Edwards through the promises
of Ellis P. Bean, as an agent of Mexico, they
turned upon and murdered Hunter and Fields,
their truest and best friends, and joined the Mexican
soldiery to drive the Americans from Nacogdoches
and Edwards' colony.
So, when the revolution of 1835 burst forth, the
provisional government of Texas, through Gen.
Sam. Houston and Col. Jno. Forbes, commissioners,
in F'ebruary, 1836, formed a treaty with them,
conceding them certain territory and securing their
neutrality, so far as paper stipulations could do it.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/74/: accessed August 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .