SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2010, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
The Republic-Index | Council House/Linnville/Plum Creek-Index

 

Other Nichols Narratives: Córdova Rebellion | Battle of Salado | Uncle Dan Davis

 

The Council House Fight and Battle of Plum Creek
The Journal of James Wilson Nichols 1820-1887
(Spelling unedited, bracketed corrections from C.W. McDowell--Now You Hear My Horn)

James W. Nichols FamilyCouncil House Fight.  It was now near the time for the treaty with the Comanche Indians at San Antonio whare they was to meete and smoke the pipe of peace with the whites, so John Sowell and myself concluded to go and see what was to be seen. The treaty was to take place March the 19th, 1940. The Indians had already arived and pitched their tents on the Almos three miles from town, but the town was litterly alive with Indians. The comissioners was thare and the government had taken the precaution to send Captain Howard with 30 well armed men as guards. The day came and with it came ten of the most promanent chiefs and 38 wariors all well armed, thare was ten comissioners to balance against the ten chiefs. They set Captain Howard to watch the 38 wariors and the Council chose a house, a strong one storry house with no windows, and as they entered the disarmed. The redskins did not like this mutch but they all entered. It was observed that the Indians had not braught in the white prisnrs, and suspecting thare would be a row about it, Captain Redd of San Antonio organized all the loose men in town into a company to be ready if anything should happen, and John Sowell and myself joined him. The Indians had braught in a negro boy and a Mexican man who had been with them twelve years and who was their interpeter. After they was all seated the first question asked was whare are the white prisnrs that you promaced to bring in to this talk. The Mexican, after consulting the head chief, said, "We braught in all the prisnrs we had in our possession, the others are with a roveing band that is not willing to treat." The whites commenced going out one at a time until all but four was out. The head chief says in broaken Inglish, "Well, how you likee." The whites shook their heads and two more went out, and the chief says, "Well what you doee." The other two mad for the door and at the door they told the interpeter to tell them they would all be held as prisnrs of war until the white prisnrs was braught in, then they shut the door and bared it.

As soon as the interpeter told them their fate they raised the war hoop and the 38 outside mad a rush for the door to free their chiefs but narry one reached it. They strung their bows and raised the war hoop, but outside Captain Redd and Howard with their companies was ready and the fight opened. The chiefs burs down the door and rushed out but was shot down as fast as they come out and the fight became general and lasted about a half hour. Altho the Indians faught despretly, we taken one old squaw and our loss was one man, Bill Henson, kilt and seven wounded. They taken the old squaw and told her if she told them a lie they would kill her but if she would tell them the truth they would turn her loose, then asked her whare the white prisnrs was. She said one they kilt, one they sold to another tribe, and thare was five at camp, was all they had taken that she knew of. She said she was the wife of the head chief Buffalo Hump who had just been kilt and that she was now in full command until another head chief was elected, and if we would go with her to the camp she would deliver the prisnrs to us.

We taken her to camp and found five of the captives. One young girl, Fanny Putnam, had been sold and one of the young ladies, Rhoda Putman, had been taken by a young chief for a wife and had a child by him and would not leave her chief and child to come in, and the youngest Lockhart child they kilt the first day for crying. We taken the other young lady Matilda Lockhart and her sister, the two youngest Putman girls, and the boy Jim Putman, and when he became a man he married one of my sisters. Fanny Putman, that was sold to another tribe, was afterwards purchesed in Masouri and som twenty years afterwards braught to Gonzales and was recognized by her parance, and the other one died with the Indians. The Comanches was so completely beaten and out done they hung around San Antonio for several months brooding over their lost ten chiefs. They finely bundled up and went high up on the watters of the Colorado River whare we shall leave them.


The Battle of Plum Creek
James Wilson Nichols

The Comanches [failed] to accomplish a treaty and being so thory defeated at San Antonio they hung around awhile brooding over their lost ten chiefs, and in the spring of this year 1840, they bundled up and went high up on the watters of the Cololorado and got togeather the whole tribe and thare in council resolved to redress their wrongs received at San Antonio. They elected a head chief and all the subordinent chiefs and layed their plans to over run Texas, and tried to perswaid all the other tribes to assist them and devide the teritory amgst themselves and have big hunting ground, but none of the other tribes would venture to assist them as they could still smell the patching from the campaign of Burleson, Moor, Rusk and others. They concluded to try a lone hand, but did not even make a point as they got badly enjured. They mad all preperations nessarry for a campain, the grand expedition to Linville, about 1800 wariors all well mounted and armed with six or seven hundred head of loose horses and fat mules for beef with 20 chiefs and 180 boys, women and children. This information I learned from a squaw that was taken prisnr at the battle of Plum Creek.

They emerged from the mountains into the prairie near the Manchac Springs in Hays County, continueing their way down the country between Peach Creek and McLure Hill in Gonzales County, and on down to Victory which was the first settlement they struck. After killing one man, his wife and two children, and a negro man, his wife and one child, and capturing a negro girl, all at one house in the surburbs of the t[own], they then attacted the town. It was so unexpected that they was wholy unprepard and frightened out of th[eir wi]ts so that they ran into their houses and shut their doors, but seeing the savages prepareing to fire the town, they sallyed out with such arms as the emergency of the case would permit, about sixty men and drove them from the town with a loss of nine killed, including one chief, and several wounded, but the citizens had three men wounded. They drew of about a mile from town and camped and burried their dead which they carried of the field.

Early next morning the savages renewed the attact on the town, but it is said experiance teaches knowledg and that nessity is the mother of invention, and during the night the citizens had come to their sences and, comprehending their danger they forted up all the women and children in a larg stone house. The men got togeather and organized by electing John Polen, an old Texas vetren, who stil survives and resides near Lagarter [Largarto], Live Oak County, and from whom I received my information a short time after this affair occured, and he was elected leader. After posting out guards the citizens worked all night in collecting arms, amunition, and preparing to defend the town so when the attact was made just at daybreak the whites received them with such a shower of bullets that it mad the savages beat a hasty retreat, with considerable loss though succeeded in fireing several houses which had been abandoned the night before. Seeing the citizens of the town was prapared and wining to give them battle, they did not renew the attact, but after burrying their dead, which was thought to be about seventeen, they struck of.

About a mile from to[wn] lived a Mr. Crosby who had been with his family and knew nothing of the Indians being in the coun[ty. He] had just returned and was in the act of unharnesing his team when the savages serounded the house and closed in upon them. They kilt and scelped Crosby and taken Mrs. Crosby and two small children captive, and, she said, after outrageing her person, they tied her on a packmule and handed her her baby and tied her other child on behind her and struck of in the direction of Linville. That evening while crossing the Cassa Blanco Creek they drove the mule on which she rode under som low limbs and hurt her baby so bad that it cryed very loud, and one of these fiends, an old crooked mouthed savage, snatched it from her arms and bursted its braines out against a tree and threw it from him. The mother saw it all but said nothing, only ejeckulated "its better of," and the old savage rode on as composedly as if nothing had happened. That evening near sundown, her little boy began to git tired and thirsty and began crying for watter, and she told him they would kill him if he did not hush, but he only cryed louder. The same old venerable father of the forest drew his knife, cut the straps that bound him to his mother, sliped him of the mule, ran his speer through him, pining him to the ground for a second, then withdrew the reeking speer and left the little fellow for the vultures or wolves to finish. The mother involentaryly screamed and the old savage shook his speer at her as mutch as to say, "Dry up or I’ll serve you the same way."

They traveled all night and the next day about 10 oclock, the 8th day of August, they charged into the town of Linville. The citizens took refuge in a small sailboat that stood moored at the landing and escaped. [Mr. Watts,] then collector of costoms at that place, and wife went to secure som valuable papers, money, and jewlrey was left behind, but arived at the watters edg as the boat left the shore and started to wade to the boat, was so hard presed by the savages that Watts was overtaken, kilt, and scelped, and Mrs. Watts captured. The savages then proceded to pillage and rob the town and packed all the goods in packs. After they had ransacked every house they then fired the town, and, as they thought they had overrun Texas and burned the capital, they was ready to return, and they packed all the goods on packmules and started to return.

The next day a company from Quero and Victory hastely geathered came up with them and had several scirmishes with them but was too weeke for a general ingagement. The Indians nessaraly traveled slow so the whites kept close after them annoying them all they could, occaisionly causing one to bite the dust. The whites sent men ahead every day to recrute and keepe the settlers advised of their whareabouts, and men was sent in every direction whare it was likely men could be found, some to the settlements on the Colorado, C. C. Colley was sent to Gonzales and vecinity to recrute, Ben McCulloch was sent to the settlements above and on to Seguin, all with instructions to rendesvouse at Isham J. Goods ranch which was located on the road leading from Gonzales to Austin and in which direction the savages seemed to be traveling. Goods ranch was six miles east of whare Lockhart now stands. Ben McCulloch t[urned] back from Seguin to make his report to Caldwe[ll] then acting as captain of the militia. Thare was a men started from Seguin and about fifty with Caldwell from Gonzales. We from Seguin arived at the ranch about midnight, about an hour after Caldwell arived with his force near one oclock, and James Byrd came in with a small squad about two hours before day.

Henry McCulloch, who with two or three men had been watching the manuvers of the enemy, came in and reported that the Indians was crossing Plum Creek at that very minute. Caldwell called the men togeather and mad a short speech saying, "If the Indians was not attacted before they reached the mountains, that a thousand men could do nothing with them, that they must be attacted and whiped before they reach the mountains and if they was let alone until twelve oclock that day thare would be no use in following them any farther." And says he, "We have a few over a hundred men and if we cant whipum. we can try." The men all hollowed out, "Hurrah for Caldwell," and we voted him the command, then he said, "Let us be up and doing." He gave orders to be in our saddles in five minuts, but just before all was mounted thare come a runner from Burleson stateing that that officer would be thare by nine or ten oclock, that Gen'l Felix Houston was with Burleson, and that John H. Moore and Z. N. Morrel was on their way with a goodly nomber of men but could not tell when they would arive. Caldwell sent a runner back to Burleson to double quick or he would be to late as he intended to ingague the enemy with what men he had soon as he should ovetake them.

Caldwell says, "We cant aford to wait for Burleson nor no other m[an.] tis expediant that the enemy should be attacted and delayed, if not whiped, before they reach the mountains, for then all the men in the country could do no good." There was at least sixty or eighty men hollowed out, "Lead, we will follow." Some said, "Catchum Captain." We mounted just as the bonny gray eyed morning began to peepe, and marched over the ground whare the town of Lockhart now stands, and as soon as we reached the prarie Caldwell formed us in a colum four deepe, and in forming the colum I was thrown in frunt of one line. In a few minuts we hove in sight of the enemy and marched on in this posision, the whole colum mooveing on end formost, until we arived within three hundred yards of the enemy. As soon as the Indians discovered us they formed in line of battle but still marched on to a point of timber and halted and comenced blowing their whistles and howling their war song. We was ordered to halt still in the same posision, and this halt was caused by Burlesons command comeing in sight on our right, and at the same time Burleson and Houston comeing up to Caldwell in a full ran.

Burleson says to Caldwell, "Captain, I thought it nothing but right for us to tender the command to Genl. Houston as he ranks us so we wish to know your mind on the subject." Caldwell says, "Of corse, he is intitled to the command as he is our superior." Houston then spoke up and says, "Gentlemen, those are the first wild Indians I evar saw and not being accustom to savage ware fare and both of you are, I think it would be doing you and your men especially great injustace for me to ta[ke] command." Said he, "Now give me a deciplined civ[iliz]ed command and a deciplined enemy to fight I would redily take command." They insisted and he taken command, and while this parly was going on the Indians kept up a continuous fireing and in the five or ten minutes thare was five or six of us wounded. In the space between the Indians and Texians thare was six or eight chiefs all dressed in guada aray, one haveing on a cap mad from the face or mop of a buffalo with the horns still on and sticking straight up, with about ten yards of red ribon tied to each horn, another with a two story bee gum silk hat on his head with at least ten yards of each color, red, green, and blue ribon, one end of each tied round his hat the other end loose streaming in the air behind, another one had a green silk umbrilla streached over him, another that was kilt had on red top boots, blue cloth pants and coat with the coat hind part before and buttoned up behind, another had a cap dressed with feathers of diffrent wild fowls, eagle, hawk, and others with a row of silver spoons stuck in it and a bunch of peafowl feathers stuck in the center, and the rest of them was dressed equely as guada but those I have discribed show the stile.

Those chiefs were runing back and fourth in the space between the two armies performing such feats of horsemanship as none but a Commanche, who is raised on horsback, can perform. Lying flat on the side of their horse with nothing to be seen but a foot and a hand, they would shoot their arrows under the horses neck, run to one end of the space, straighten up, wheele their horses, and reverse themselves, allways keeping on the opisit side from us. The line of warriors just behind these chiefs kept up a continuous fireing with their escopets doing no damage but they had som fine rifles taken at Linville and those done all the damage. While the parly was going on I noticed Henry McCulloch about half way the space and near whare those chiefs ware performing such feats of horsemanship, standing behind a small mesquit tree trying, as he said afterwords, to git a fair pop at one of those fine dressed gentlemen. I was close to Ben and directed his attention to Henry saying at the same time, "Henry is in a dangerous place."

Ben galloped of toward Henry and I saw a chief start towards Ben, and I raised my gun and was in the act of shooting and had a good bead on him when a ball struck me in the hand between my for and middle finger, raingeing towards and lodging in or near the rist joint, whare it remains to this day. When the ball struck my hand it caused me to pull the trigger of my gun and she fired, and at the crack of my gun the chief with the buffalo cap on was seen to fall, his horse falling at the same time. My ball had taken efect penetrating through the horse killing him dead and braking the chiefs thigh, but when the horse fell the chief was seen to rise and hop of a few steps and while thus exposed old John McCoy shot and kilt him. About this time the charge was mad and thare was a hard fought battle over him, and thare was ten or a dozen wariours lost their lives trying to carry of the boddy of their dead chief. The three officers was yet standing togeather when French Smith seeing so many gitting wounded and takeing in the situation says, "Boys, lets charge them," and started of in a run, and the whole company, suposeing the charge had been ordered by an officer, charged after Smith. One of Burlesons men, Hutcheson Reede, had come across to see what was causing the delay as Burlesons command had become impatient, and Caldwell seeing his men in motion, started of in the charge, and Burleson broak back and ordered his men to charge round the point of timber. Houston simply hollowed, "Charge," and filed in amongst the croud.

The savages, seeing Caldwells men behind them and Burlesons men on their right and all chargeing them, they ingloriously fled leaveing everything but the horses they rode. After fireing my rifle I was unable to reload it, and I consigned it to the holder at the born of my saddle and, having a brace of old Inglish brass mounted holsters, I drew one of them with my left hand and was of amongst the foremost in the charge. Just before I arived at the place whare the Indians had first halted I saw an old Indian squaw standing by the side of her horse and the prisnrs dismounted and standing near by, and when the rought commenced this old mother of the forest, seeing the Texians in full chace after the Indians and them flying, sent an arrow through the negro girl killing her instantly, then turned to Mrs. Crosby shot her dead, then turned to Mrs. Watts shot her with an arrow but in such a hurry she failed to kill her but inflicted a dangerous wound in her breast and then ran for her horse, but received the contents of my holster before she could mount.

Reede did not return to his command but filed in to the charg, but did not go fare before his horse became unmanageable and, in trying to controle him, the bridle bit broak in the horses mouth and fell out. Haveing now no constraint the horse almost quit the ground and furious with rage, ran past me as though I had been standing still and drove into the thickest potion of the flying enemy, and he ran with the enem[y] for som peace and them sending arrows after him, he was hit with six arrows in the boddy and legs and finely his horse fell pearced through with a ball and he was in the act of riseing to his feete when one of the hindmost savages shot him with a rifle, the ball passed through him entering near the right nipple and comeing out under the right shoulder blade. After dischargeing one of my holsters at the squaw that shot the prisnrs I returned it to the holster, drew the other one and, as I was rideing a good horse, I was soon up with the hindmost potion of the flying enemy, and as the Texians and Indians ware conciderable mixtup and a great many of the Indians dressed in citizens cloths, it was hard to distingush them apart.

I discovered one Indian som distance in the rear of the main force of the enemy and I urged my horse on and was soon up with the Indian. I raised my pistol and fired and the Indian fell from the horse, rolled over displaying a pair of larg flabby breasts that accounted for her being in the rear of som of the Texians as they had discovered her to be a squaw and passed on. It is difficult to distinguish the sexes of a flying enemy when both sexes dressed the same for she carried a bow and quiver but did not attemt to use it. I put my empty pistol back in the holster, drew my belt pistol, a larg Deringer, and went on after the flying enemy. I arived on the bank of a boggy creek litterly bridged with packs, dead and bogged down horses and mules, and saw two Indians climeing the bank on the otherside, and fired at one and they both fell, but am not certain that I hit either of them for just to my right thare was six or eight guns fired at the same time that I fired.

My arms was now all emty and I was unable to reload so I sit watching the flying enemy and their persuers, and about seventy or eighty yards ahead of me I discovered Alsa Miller, C. C. Dewitt, and two or three others in full chace after a chief and his wife both on one horse and was crouding them dose, and just ahead of the chief was five or six wariors. The chief saw that he would be overtaken and blew his whistle loud and the wariors all turned back, deturmend I supose, to die with their chief if nessesary, and when Miller and the other boys and the wariors had nearly met the other boys all fired with good effect each killing his man but Millers gun missed fire, but the other boys seeing thare was but one Indian left, thought Miller would take care of him haveing a repeateing rifle, hurried on to over take the chief. The warior, seeing Millers gun had missed fire, rushed on to him and Miller haveing one of those old fashioned seven shooting rifles with a brass cylinder, about the size of a breakfast plate, sitting on the bretch of his gun, after fireing would have to revolve it with his hand, and this time being in a hurry, he failed to turn the cylinder fare enough to catch. Miller and the Indian met and when their horses heads passed each other the two mens legs almost touched and the Indian commenced to pull his bowstring, for he had already adjusted an arrow. Miller said he could see his bow begin to bend when he raised his gun and with a side swing hit the Indian on the side of the head staggering him back and knocking his bow clear out of his hands.

Now they ware both as good as unarmed but as quick as thought the savage snatched a handfull of arrows from his quiver and job[ed] them against Millers breast trying to stab him with them. By this time Miller had discovered the defect and remided it and shot the Indian dead. There is but a fe[w] men would have gone through such an ordeal wtih as mutch composure as did Miller, but he was a brave man, cool and deliberate, his pasion lay deepe and was hard to bring to the surface, but when it was raised he would face danger with more composure than any man I ever knew. Always smileing when his anger was highest, he was cautious, prudent and watchful, never allowing an enemy to git the advantage of him. He was generous to a fault and he and I was ever fast friends. A little incident occured the first time we ever met that mad us friends for life. Reader, please excuse this digression from the subject. All this occured in about five minuts and I was still sitting on my horse whare I had been watching Millers fight with the Indian when I heared a noise behind me and turned my head and saw a horse fall and an Indian tumble of. When the horse fell I suposed the Indian was dead, but in a few moments she, for it was a squaw, gained a sitting posture, but I had nothing to shoot with if it had been a man armed, but I discovered it was a woman and also observed she had no bow and arrows. I discovered she had been shot through both thighs and both thigh bones broaken and I stood and looked at her as th[e] dying horse had scrambled near her and died, and I was just going to ride of when I saw two men under full speede comeing towards me.

Now I am going to relate a circumstance that makes shiver now and I am going to show that the American race is not wholy exemp from acts of cruelty and barberism, for these two comeing full spedde was old Ezkel Smith and French Smith, his son, they came near and discovered the wounded squaw and they halted. The old man got down, handed French his panting horse to hold, saying at the same time, "Look thare, French," pointing to the old wounded squaw with her long flabby breasts hanging down as she had recovered a sitting posture. He drew his long hack knife as he strode towards her, taken her by the long hair, pulled her head back and she gave him one imploreing look and jabbered somthing in her own language and raised both hands as though she would consign her soul to the great sperit, and received the knife to her throat which cut from ear to ear, and she fell back and expired. He then plunged the knife to the hilt in her breast and twisted it round and round like he was grinding coffee, then drew it from the reathing boddy and returned the dripping instrement to its scabard without saying a word.  French says, "Well, Father, I would not have done that for a hundred dollars." "Done what," says the old man. "Why, kilt a woman, a human being." "That aint a human. Thats an injun and I come to kill Injuns, and all the rest has out ran me and got away." He mounted his horse and they both galloped of after the croud, but I still sit thare on my horse a few seconds longer wondering if thare was another man in America that claimed to be civilized that would act so cruel. Smith claimed to be a Christian and had belonged to the Methodist church for 27 years and led in prayr meetings and exorted in public and was a noted class leadre, but the old fellow has long sence gone to reap his reward whare the woodbine twinethe and the wangdoodle mourneth for her first born.


John H. Jenkins, who was a participant, relates the following concerning this incident:

One instance of the hardness and cruelty of some men, even though not savage in form and color, was shown us on this raid. As was often the case, some squaws were marching in Indian ranks, and one of them had been shot, and lay breathing her last---almost dead, as we came by. French Smith, with almost inhuman and unmanly cruelty, sprang upon her, stamped her, and then cut her body through with a lance. He was from the Guadalupe; indeed, I do not think there was a single man from Bastrop who would have stooped to so brutal a deed. Ah! Men almost forgot the meaning of love and mercy and forbearance amid the scenes through which we passed in those early days.  [From Jenkins, Recollections of Early Texas Days. The Memoirs of John Holland Jenkins] A similar incident occurred in the Battle of Salado with a wounded Mexican opponent who subsequently survived--WLM.


I suposed I had been thare since I first arived near ten minuts when I discovered that my wound had commenced to bleede rapidly, and I turned and started back and saw a bolt of yellow silk streatched out on the grass and bushes about 40 yards long and about 12 inches wide. I alited from my horse, taken one end, raped the whole bolt around my wounded hand and started to mount my horse again, and for the first time discovered that the foretree of my saddle had been pearced with a large escopet ball cutting both forks intirely in two leaveing nothing to hold the saddle togeather but the raw hide cover. I rode on a peace farther and Brother Thomas call to me and I went to whare he was. He had just arived with a gourd of watter for Reede and th[e] doctor was comeing, and I saw Doctor Brown ex[tract] arrows from him and dress his wounds. By as several of Reedes friends had come and they p[ut him] on a blanket and started to the point of timber to find a shade, for it was an auful hot day. I and Brother Tom and the doctor went on togeather and when we arived at the timber we found Mrs. Watts suffering very mutch with the arrow still sticking in her breast, and the doctor tried to extract it, but she could not stand the pain. Just at this time David Darst rode up, and he was the brother of Mrs. Watts and had been informed of her captivity. When the rout commenced he had passed some distance from her and went on in the chace hopeing to overtake and recapture her, and went on ulitil he was satisfide she was not ahead and turned back hopeing to git some tideings of her. He now found her alive but seriously wounded, and he jumped of his horse, ran and kissed her, then proceded to cut open a bale of blankets that lay near by, spread down a lot of them in a shade, and they all remooved her to it. They layed her down, and Dave held her hands, Brother Tom her head, and the doctor extracted the arrow after the third trial. [David Darst had a sister, Nancy Darst, who married Thomas S. Mitchell in 1834 according to Gonzales court records.  Robert Hall's account refers to Mrs. Watts maiden name as Ewing and he describes extracting the arrow by fastening a pocketknife to it presumably as a handle.  J.J. Linn, resident of Linnville where Mrs. Watts lived, was not at Plum Creek, but describing her kidnapping in Linnville, stated she was sister of W.G. Ewing--WLM]

The others that was wounded was Robert Hall in thigh, Henry C. Winchel in arm, James Gipson in shoulder, Mrs. Watts in breast, Hutcheson Reede in six places in boddy and legs and a rifle ball went through his boddy, the writer in the hand and two more slightly, both flesh wounds. Late in the evening when most of the men had returned from th[e] chace, the officers picked out a suitable place to on the south side of the creek close to watter an[d a pr]arie, serounded on all sides but one with st[ands of] timber and dog wood brush, opiset or a little below the main battle ground, and ordered all the goods thare, and they chose another similar place to correl the horses and mules in. The next morning they appointed a commity to divide the goods according to quantity and quality and put them in just two hundred and three piles, just the nomber of men inguaged in the battle. I was lying in the shad and saw Brother John comeing in with a load of saddle trees, some ten or fifteen on his horse, and I called to him to come by and he came up and I told him that my saddle tree had been shot in two and ruined, and I wanted him to pick out a good one from his lot and put the rigging of of my old saddle on it for me which he did the saddle trees had been taken at Linville by the savages and was of Childresses make. I have rode that saddle tree ever since and now when I ride a horseback I ride that same saddle tree. I have had it rigged several times and it is still the same tree but looks little the worse for ware as it has been in almost constant use forty seven years.

Thare was squads of men ariveing in camp all evening and all night so that by the next morning I guess thare was five or six hundred men on the ground. The comity appointed to divide the goods, after all the packs had been opened and divided, taken a bunch of knitting nedles and stuck them in the ground by the side of each pile of goods with a slip of paper in each bunch of nedles and they then proceded to stake for them. They placed a man out side of the ring with his back to the good[s to] call the role and thare was one man appointed to go bollow out, "Whose is this pile," and point to the nedles, and [the other man] would call som name and so on [until the last name] was called and the last pile of go[ods was gone. We used the same] way in divideing the horses and mul[es. An animal was chosen and when a] name was called the man or his represen[tative then came] and roped his animal, and I drew the best sad[dle horse] that I ever rode. It was a natural pacer and Brother John roped it for me and said he wanted me to have an easy ride home as I was wounded. After Dr. Brown of Gonzales extracted six arrows from the boddy and legs of Reede and drew a strip of silk dear through his boddy at the bullet hole, he was carried home on a litter and recovered and lived many years afterwards. All the wo[un]ded except him and Mrs. Watts was able to ride home horseback, and the prisnrs, nombering about thirty, mostly women and children save one little boy that judg Ballinger taken home with him, was turned over to the Lipan Indians who retired with the prisnrs about a mile above us and had a big scelp dance that night.

I have written this lengthy sketch from notes taken on the ground by Brother Thomas on the statements of Mrs. Watts, and that lady said as herself, Mrs. Crosby, and the negro girl ware all tied on pack mules they ware frequently driven togeather while traveling so that they held conversation and by that means she learned both of their stories. I have noticed one writer in writing on this campaign brands Caldwell with [cow]aredice for giveing up the command to Houston, and [says that it] was faught seven or eight miles northwest of Lockhart. He says here was concentrated the companies of Ben McCulloch, Henry McCulloch, Clark L. Owin, Jack Hays, John H. Moor, Wm. B. Dewees, Thomas Ward, Ed Burleson, Mathew Cladwell, Ad Gelispi, Kit Acklin, and others, leaving the impression that thare was so many companies that it tired him so he could not write all of them down. He says all these ware on the ground with their companies, Genl. Felix Houston in command, and prepareations ware makeing for the fight "when I with my Austin company rode up," now here is eleven men with companies besides himself, and as he says "others," now, according to miletary rules, thare was a ridgment which is one thousand men and two companies over, and on a peace further he says the fight opened with 200 Texians against what they suposed 500 Indians, and on further he says they had just started their pack mules and was prepairing to follow, leaveing the impresion that the Indians had been camped or halted to rest and was just starting on their journey. Now thare had been men doging after them and watching them all the way from Linville, and they never halted to eat, sleepe, nor rest since they left that place.

Now the facts are just as I have stated, two hundred and three Texians against two thousand Indians, for after the battle I talked with a squaw who was taken prisner and who said she was the wife of Tuckalote, the chief who had been kilt with the buffalo head cap on. She spoke the Mexican languag well and said thare was when they started eighteen hundred wariors, one hundred muletarees or horseless, and one head chief and twenty subordinent chiefs, and seventy five women and children. Now it was a bad guess when he said what they suposed to be 5,000 Indians for they had been veriously estemated by the People of Victory [Victoria], Linville, and other places at from 8,000 to 5,000, and to show further the untruth of this writer, Ben nor Henry McCulloch, Dewees, nor Owins had any companies. Henry McCulloch is still liveing near Seguin and can be seen or consulted by letter and can be relied on.

I will cote a few paragraphs from another writer, Dewees, who wrote on the same subject and also for the Texas Almanac just to show how absurd som men will be in their writeing to go before and inlightened people suposing it will be taken as facts. Dewees says these Indians had larg quantities of human flesh done up in their packs evedently to cook and eat. Now I will leave this with the reader to judg of its correctness after a few facts. They had not kilt any person since leaveing Victory, and thare did not take time to take anything but scalps. Admit they did, that was 19 days before this fight, except Mr. Watts at Linville and they took nothing of him but his scelp, this was in August and common sence would teach us that any kind of meat done up in a pack would have been rotten in that length of time in hot weather. The Comanches was not canabels no how, they eat mule, beef, not human flesh. The same writer says in the same letter, in their bundles was found vast nombers of young alagaiters which they ware carrying back with them, som thought as curiousities, others thought it was to show to the balance of the tribe as proof that they had gone down as fare as the cost. Now it is strange that a man of sence would write such stuff and have it circulated amongst the riseing generation. To convince my readers who knows no better I will only say I have seen thousands of alegators of all sizes in the tributaries of the Colorado River, San Saba, Pecan Buyo, and Concho rite whare the Comanches of that day was born and raised.

I have but one more quotation to mak and I will be through, that is from a writer who is the son of an old vetren and who has wrote a book intitled The Rangers and Pioneers, and in writeing an account of this battle he says ". . . one man from Seguin, James Nichols, was shot between the fore and middle fingers while in the act of shooting at an Indian, the ban was cut out at the rist joint and as the wound healed the two fingers grew togeather up to the first joint. He is still liveing and draws a pension, etc." but one mistake he makes is the ball never was cut out but remains in my hand to this day. The same writer in writing up Andrew Sowell says, Andrew Sowell kept with the chace until his horse was ran down then collected a croud of Guadaloupe boys and set out for home. Bad time to set out for home on a ran down horse, especially when theire was three or four hundred horses and mules with the spoiles of goods, etc. to be divided amongst the victors. The fact is, we remained on the ground two days and nights before we set out for home. Chin music goes a long ways with som of the late writers.


SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2010, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
The Republic-Index | Council House/Linnville/Plum Creek-Index