Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 96 of 894
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INDIAIN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
erected during the previous winter by Col. William
G. Cooke, senior officer in command of the regular
troops of Texas. At the barracks, which stood
in the immediate vicinity of the present town of
Denison, the company remained two or three days
for a portion of the volunteers, who had been detained.
On their arrival the command moved west
on the old Chihuahua trail, leading to Natchitoches.
Jack Ivey, a man of mixed Indian and African blood,
was pilot. At that time Holland Coffee, who was one
of the party, lived eight miles above the barracks. At
some point on the trip, but exactly when or where, I
have been unable to learn, he, with a man named
Wm. A. (Big Foot) Wallace, Colvill, and seven
others, left the company and retnrned to his post
or trading house. This doubtless accounts for the
disparity in numbers given by Cochran and Stout.
It was believed that the depredating Indians
were encamped on a creek which enters the west
fork of Trinity from the northeast side, where the
town of Bridgeport now stands, in Wise County,
the reputed village being at a broken, rocky spot,
four or five miles up the stream, which now bears the
name of "Village" creek. The expedition moved
under that belief, passing where Gainesville now is,
and thence southwesterly to the supposed Keechi
village, but found it abandoned, without any evidence
of very recent occupancy, beyond some fresh
horse tracks, not far away.
The next day they crossed to the west side of
the Trinity, and for two days traveled south
obliquely in the direction of the Brazos. Finding
no indication of Indians, they turned northeasterly,
and on the afternoon of the second
day recrossed the Trinity to the north and traveled
down its valley, camping in the forks of
that stream and Fossil creek. On the hext day,
near their camp, they found an old buffalo trail,
leading down and diagonally across the river, and on
to an Indian encampment on Village creek, a short
distance above, but south from where the Texas and
Pacific Railroad crosses that creek, which runs from
south to northeast, and is some miles east of Fort
Worth. On this trail they found fresh horse tracks,
and followed them. Henry Stout then, as throughout
the expedition, led an advance scout of six
men. Nearing the camp referred to, they discovered
an Indian woman cooking in a copper kettle,
in a little glade on the bank of the creek. Seeing
he was not observed, and being veiled by a
brush-covered rise in the ground, Stout halted and
sent the information back to Tarrant. While
thus waiting, a second woman rose the bank and
joined the first, one of them having a child. As
Tarrant came up the squawsdiscovered them, gave
a loud scream, and plunged down into the bed of
the creek. The men charged, supposing the warriors
were under the bank. A man named Alsey
Fuller killed one of the squaws, not knowing her
to be a woman, as she ascended the opposite bank.
The other woman and child were captured.
Here the men scattered into several different
parties in quest of the unseen enemy. Bourland,
with about twenty men, including Denton, Cochran
and Lindley Johnson, crossed the creek and
found a road along its valley. They galloped along
it down the creek a little over a mile, when they
came upon a large camp, when Bourland, with
about half of the men, bore to the right, and Cochran,
with the others, to the left, in order to flank
the position, but the Indians retreated into the
thickets on the opposite side. Cochran and Elbert
Early both attempted to fire at a retreating
Indian, but their guns snapped. On reaching the
creek the Indian fired at Early but missed. The
whole command became badly scattered and confused.
Eight men again crossed the creek and in a
short distance came upon a third camp just deserted.
Tarrant ordered them to fall back to the second
camp. When they did so about forty were present.
While waiting for the others tc come up, Denton
asked and obtained Tarrant's reluctant consent
to take ten men and go down the creek, promising
to avoid an ambuscade by extreme caution. After
Denton left, Bourland took ten men and started in
a different direction; but about a mile below they
came together, and after moving together a short
distance Bourland and Calvin Sullivan crossed a
boggy branch to capture some horses, one of
which wore a bell. The others bore farther down
the branch into a corn-field, crossed it and found a
road leading into the bottom. At the edge of the
bottom thicket they halted, Denton to fulfill his
promise of care in avoiding an ambush. Henry
Stout then rode to the front saying, " If you are
afraid to go in there, I am not." Denton brusquely
answered that he would follow him to the infernal
regions and said "Move on!" In about three hundred
yards they came to and descended the creek
bank. Stout led, followed by Denton, Capt.
Griffin and the others in single file. When the
three foremost had traveled up the creek bed about
thirty paces from a thicket on the west bluff they
were fired upon. Stout was in front, but partly
protected by a small tree, but was shot through his
left arm. He wheeled to the right, and in raising
his gun to fire, a ball passed through its butt, causI
ing the barrel to strike him violently on the head,
3 and five bullets pierced his clothing around his
neck and shoulders. Denton, immediately behind
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/96/?rotate=270: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .