Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 92 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
plain. Bands of warriors then began encircling us,
firing and using their shields with great effect.
From the timber a steady fire was kept up, hy
muskets and some long range rifles, while about
thirty of our men, still mounted, were dashing
to and fro among the mounted Indians, illustrating
a series of personal heroisms worthy of all praise.
In one of these Reed of Bastrop had an arrow
driven through his body, piercing his lungs, though
he lived long afterwards. Among the dismounted
men several were wounded and a number of horses
were killed. In all this time the herds and pack
animals were being hurried onwards, and our oldest
fighters, especially Burleson, Caldwell, Ben McCulloch,
and others, were eager for a charge into
the midst of the savages. At last, perhaps half an
houLr after dismounting, an Indian in chief, wearing a
tremendous head dress, who had been exceedingly
daring, approached so near that several shots struck
him, and he fell forward on the pommel of his
saddle, but was caught by a comrade on either
side and borne away, evidently dead or dying, for
as soon as he was led among his people in the oaks
they set up a peculiar howl, when Capt. Caldwell
sang out, " Now, General, is your time to charge
them! they are whipped!" The charge was
ordered, and gallantly made. Very soon the
Indians broke into parties an(l ran, but ran fighting
all the time. At the boggy branch quite a
number were killed, and they were killed in clusters
for ten or twelve miles, our men scattering as did
the Indians, every man acting as he pleased.
There was no pretense of command after the
boggy branch was passed. A few of our men pursued
small bodies for twelve or more miles. In
one of these isolated combats it fell to my lot to
dismount a warrior wearing a buffalo skin cap surmounted
with the horns. He was dead when I dismounted
to secure the prize, which was soon afterwards
sent by Judge John Hayes to the Cincinnati
museum, and was there in 1870.
During the running fight Mrs. Watts was severely
wounded in the breast by an arrow, but fell into
our hands. The negro woman shared a similar
fate, and her little son was recovered without
wounds. Mrs. Crosby, by some means (probably
her own act), was dismounted during the retreat
near a small thicket, and sought to enter it, but in
the act a fleeing warrior drove a lance through her
heart. With several others, at about a hundred
yards distance, I distinctly witnessed the act; but
though at full speed none of us could overtake the
The heroic action of Placido, chief of the Toncahuas,
attracted universal praise. He seemed
reckless of life, and his twelve followers, as rapidly
as mounted, emulated his example. All being on
foot, they could only be mounted by each vaulting
into the saddle of a slain Comanche, but they were
all mounted in a marvelously short time after the
Great numbers of the loose and pack animals
stampeded during the engagement, and were seen
no more; but large numbers on the return were
driven in, and about the middle of the afternoon the
men had generally returned to the point where the
action began, and near which a camp was pitched.
A welcome shower proved refreshing about this
time. Later in the afternoon Col. John H. Moore,
of Fayette, Capt. Owen, previously mentioned,
and in all about 150 men arrived on theground,
having followed the trail that far.
The trophies, during the next day, were classified,
numbered, and drawn by lot. I only remember
that a horse, a fine mule, $27 worth of silk, and
about $50 worth of other goods fit for ladies' use
fell to my lot, and the latter were so donated. I
gave the horse to a poor man as a plow horse, and
sold the mule for $100 on trust to a stranger whose
horse died on the road, and never received a cent
thereof; and although he so treated me, an inexperienced
boy, I was very sorry some years later
when the Indians shot on arrow through his breast.
It was impossible to determine how many Indians
were killed. They sank many in the creek, and
many died after reaching their haunts, as was
learned from prisoners afterwards reclaimed. From
this source of information it was ascertained that
fifty-two so died in a few days, and I became satisfied
by the after discovery of secreted and sunken
bodies and the number found on the field that at
least eighty-six were killed in the action, being a
total of 138 certainly killed.
The Indians lost everything. The defeat was
a surprise, complete and crushing.
Followed by a great victory over them in the following
October, near where Colorado City now
stands, won by Col. John H. Moore and his brave
volunteers, the Comanches were taught lessons
hitherto unknown to them.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/92/?rotate=90: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .