Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 84 of 894
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INDIAN WIARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
warriors, assisted by the rising and ever faithful
young chief, Flacco, whose memory is honored,
and whose subsequent perfidious fate is and ever
has been deplored by every pioneer of Texas.
Among this little troup of whites was Mr. Andrew
Lockhart, of the Guadalupe, impelled by an
agonizing desire to rescue his beautiful little
daughter, Matilda, who had been captured with
the four Putman children near his home. Her
final recovery, at the time of the Council House
fight in San Antonio, on the 19th of March, 1840,
is narrated in another chapter.
The advance scouts reported to Col. Moore the
discovery of a large Comanche encampment, with
many horses, on the San Saba river, yet the sequel
showed that they failed to realize its magnitude in
With adroit caution that experienced frontiersman,
by a night march, arrived in the vicinity before
the dawn of day, on the 12th of February,
1839, a clear, frosty morning. They were in a
favored position for surprising the foe, and wholly
undiscovered. At a given signal every man understood
his duty. Castro, with a portion of the
Indians, was to stampede the horses grazing in the
valley and rush with them beyond recovery. The
whites and remaining Indians were to charge, without
noise, upon the village. The horses of the
dismounted men of both colors were left tied a mile
in the rear in a ravine.
As light sufficiently appeared to distinguish
friend from foe, the signal was given. With thirty
of his people the wily old Castro soon had a
thousand or more loose horses thundering over
hill and dale towards the south. Flacco, with
twelve Lipans and the twelve Toncahuas. remained
with Moore. The combined force left, numbering
seventy-nine, rushed upon the buffalo tents, firing
whenever an Indian was seen. Many were killed
in the first onset. But almost instantly the camp
was in motion, the warriors, as if by magic, rushing
together and fighting; the women and children
wildly fleeing to the coverts of the bottom and
neighboring thickets. It was at this moment, amid
the screams, yells and war-whoops resounding
through the valley, that Mr. Lockhart plunged
forward in advance of his comrades, calling aloud:
"Matilda!. i you are here, run to me! Your
father calls!" And though yet too dim to see
every word pierced the child's heart as she recognized
her father's wailing voice, while she was
lashed into a run with the retreating squaws.
The contest was fierce and bloody, till, as the
sunlight came, Col. Moore realized that he had
only struck and well-nigh destroyed the fighting
strength of the lower end of a long and powerful
encampment. The enraged savages from above
came pouring down in such numbers as to
threaten the annihilation of their assailants. Retreat
became a necessity, demanding the utmost
courage and strictest discipline. But not a man
wavered. For the time being the stentorian voice
of their stalwart and iron-nerved leader was a law
unto all. Detailing some to bear the wounded,
with the others Moore covered them on either
flank, and stubbornly fought his way back to the
ravine in which his horses had been left, to find
that every animal had already been mounted by a
Comanche, and was then curveting around them.
All that remained possible was to fight on the
defensive from the position thus secured, and this
was done with such effect that, after a prolonged
contest, the enemy ceased to assault. Excepting
occasional shots at long range by a few of the most
daring warriors, extending into the next day, the
discomfited assailants were allowed to wend their
weary way homewards. Imagine such a party,
150 miles from home, afoot, with a hundred miles
of the way through mountains, and six of their
comrades so wounded as to perish in the wilderness,
or be transported on litters home by their
fellows. Such was the condition of six of the
number. They were William M. Eastland (spared
then to draw a black bean and be murdered by the
accursed order of Santa Anna in 1843); S. S. B.
Fields, a lawyer of La Grange; James Manor,
latter of whom died soon after reaching home.
Cicero Rufus Perry was a sixteen-year-old boy in
this ordeal. Gonzalvo Wood was also one of the
After much suffering the party reached home, preceded
by Castro with the captured horses, which the
cunning old fox chiefly appropriated to his own tribe.
Col. Moore, in his victorious destruction of a
Comanche town high up the Colorado in 1840,
made terrible reclamation for the trials and adversities
of this expedition.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/84/?rotate=90: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .