John Henry Brown.

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rode almost upon, without seeing him, in the high
grass. Through brush and briers be ran rapidly,,
by circuitous routes, six or eight miles, to reach
the house of Thomas Espy, two miles east of Daw-
son's place. He was severely torn and bruised,
but not otherwise injured, though frantic over the
horrors he had witnessed.

The other incident was that as the occupants
quit the buggy, the horse ran away, casting off one
of the four wheels, and, providentially leaving the
road, he went full speed to Dawson's house, near
which one or two of the Indians captured, unhar-
nessed and hurried him back to their fellows. This
was seen by Mr. Dawson, who mounted his own
horse and started in a run to give the alarm at
Lampasas ; but, again providentially, within a mile
he fell in with a hunting party from Lampasas,
consisting of Dempsey Pace, John Greenwood
George Weldy and Newton Knight, who, at half
speed, followed the trail made by the buggy, and
soon arrived on the scene, to find the enemy still
endeavoring to accomplish their object, without
losing any more of their own number. The savao-ea
challenged them to combat at some distance on the
prairie ; but their purpose was to protect and save
the apparently doomed family. They prepared, as
best they could, for conveying them to the house
of Mr. Espy, the nearest family in that region.
The Indians soon retired with their booty, and the
rescuers safely conducted their charges in, carrying
Mr. Baker in a litter. He was gently nursed for



six or eight weelis, and was then enabled to reach
his home, where he in due time recovered, as proud
of his heroic wife as he was thankful for their pres-
ervation through such apparently hopeless dangers.
A party, accompanied by little Stockman, went
out during the succeeding night to recover the
body of little James Gracey, but were unable to
find it. They camped at the spot indicated by
Stockman, and when daylight came found it in
their midst, and then realized the cause of their
failure in the fact that the nude bodj', lying among
the white rooks, was not distinguishable in the

night time. The remains were conveyed to his
stricken parents and family, and interred in the
presence of a sympathizing concourse.

Stockman now lives in San Antonio, but has been
much about Dallas, and only a few days since
recounted to mci his version of this bloody episode
in our border history. It will be of interest to
many old residents of East and Southwest Texas to
know that he is a grandson of Elder Garrison
Greenwood, a sterling old Baptist preacher, who
settled in Nacogdoches County in 1833, and moved
west in 1846, finally to die in Lampasas County.

Raid into Cooke County, in December, 1863.

On the 22d and 23d days of December, 1863,

occurred one of the most bloody and destructive

Indian raids to which our poorly protected frontier

was subject during and for some years after the

late war. At this time Col. James Bourland, one

of the bravest and truest of all our frontiersmen,

commanded a regiment of Confederate troops with

his headquarters at Gainesville, but at the time of

this particular raid he was in Bonhara, on official

business with Gen. Henry E. McCulloch. Col.

Bourland had to protect with his regiment such an

extended reach of frontier that he was compelled

to scatter his troops in small squads far apart, and

for this reason it was impossible to concentrate any

considerable number of his troops at any given

point in time to repel such an invasion as this.

At this time Capt. Wm. C. Twitty, a brave and

true soldier, was in commabd of the few troops of

Col. Bourland' s regiment, that then happened to

be at and near Gainesville not exceeding fifty or

seventy-five in number.

At the same time Capt. Jno. T. Rowland, a
brave and experienced Indian fighter, commanded
a company of Texas State troops. Capt. Rowland
was in camp at Red River Station, in Montague
County, and was the first to hear of the raid. The
Indians crossed Red river into Texas about 2
o'clock in the afternoon of the 22d of December,
1863, a few miles below Red River Station,
and at once commenced their fiendish work
of murder and burning. They first came upon the
house of Mr. Anderson. They killed his wife, and
left her with her feet so near a fire in the yard as
to roast her feet. At the residence of Wesley

Willet they killed Mr. Willet and one daughter,
while his wife and another daughter made their
escape. They burned and plundered Mr. Willet's
house, and then came upon the house of Mr. G. L.
Hatfield. Hatfield and his family made their es-
cape, but they had fled only a short distance before
they looked back and saw their home in flames.
After taking such things as they wanted the Indians
set flre to the house. Settlements at this time
along the Red river border were quite spare and
what was then known as the Wallace settlement, in
Sadler's bend in Cooke County, was the next set-
tlement below Hatfleld's and was some twelve or
fifteen miles distant. The Indians started in the
direction of this settlement when they left the Hat-
field place, but they were closely pursued by Capt.
Rowland with about twe.nty-five men. The Indians
were between two and three hundred strong.
Before reaching the Wallace settlement the Indians
reerossed Red river and this led Capt. Rowland to
believe that they had abandoned the raid, as it was
their custom to make these sudden inroads upon
the settlements and then make their escape under
cover of night. Capt. Rowland and his men had
ridden very rapidly — the Indians had so much
the start of them, that their horses were
completely wearied out, so he thought it was
best to turn into Capt. Wallace's and rest
his men and horses for the night, and renew
the pursuit early next morning. The news of
the raid and the massacre of the Willet family
with the usual exaggerations, had already been
carried to the Wallace settlement, by some terrified
settler, and when Capt. Rowland reached Wallace's



he found that the whole settlement had forted there
as a means of protection. The news had also been
conveyed to what was known as the Elmore settle-
ment, on the head of Fish creek, about six miles
east of Wallace's ; also to what was known as the
Potter settlement, some four miles southeast from
Elmore's, and a fleet courier had also carried the
news to Gainesville. During the night of the 22d,
the few families in that settlement gathered at the
residence of James Elmore, and the few families
that composed the settlement around Capt. C.
Potter's were also gathered in there before daylight
of the morning of the 23d. Many of these families
were simply women and children, the husbands and
fathers being in the Confederate army, and the few
men in the county were armed with the poorest
class of firearms, all the best guns having been
given to those who joined the Confederate army.

When Capt. Twilty heard the news of the raid,
which reached him at Gainesville, in the early part
of the night of the 22d of December, he imme-
diately dispatched about tweuty-flve men from
Capt. S. P. C. Patton's Company, to the scene of
the raid. These men, after a hard ride, reached
Capt. Wallace's a short time before daylight on
the morning of the 23d. Capt. Rowland, who was
not expecting reinforcements, and taking these
men for the enemy, came near firing upon them
before the mistake was discovered. But the
Indians, confident in their superior numbers, deter-
mined to do more devilment before leaving and early
next morning, recrossed Red river and went in
below Capt. Wallace's. At sunrise they were scam-
pering over the prairies, stealing horses, shooting
cattle, and burning houses. They soon came to
the Elmore place and their number was so unpre-
cedentedly large, that they struck terror to the
hearts of the men and women crowded in the house,
and they at once fled to the woods, scattering in
every direction. Some were killed, others were
chased for miles — but most of them made their
escape, though they lay in the woods all that day
and the following night. Many thrilling incidents
could be related of this flight. Among others, a
Mr. Dawson, when the stampede began from
the house, seized a babe about six months old,
but not his own. When he reached a spot where
he thought he could safely hide, the child began to
cry and would not be comforted. Dawson could
see the Indians coming in his direction and knew
that they must soon hear the screams of the child,
if they had not already done so. So he ran deeper
into the woods, seeking the most inaccessible
places. The Indians continued to follow and the
-child to cry, as poor Dawson thought louder than

ever. In utter despair of ever making his escape
with the babe, he laid it down in a deep dry branch
and covered it with leaves. The little thing went
to sleep in a moment. Dawson thus made his
escape and when the Indians left he went back,
got the babe and carried it to its almost frenzied
mother. After the people left Elmore's house the
Indians plundered it, took what they wanted and
set fire to it. The people forted up at Capt,
Potter's, soon saw the flames at Elmore's house
and knew that the Indians were coming on in their
direction. About a mile and a half south of Capt.
Potter lived the families of Ephraim Clark and
Harrison Lander. These families, contrary to
their usual custom, failed to go to Capt. Potter's,
as their neighbors had done when they received
the report of the raid. When the people at Pot-
ter's saw Elmore's house burning they knew that
it was too late to get Clark's and Lander's families
to Potter's. Hence they concluded that it was
best to go to Clark's or Lander's, as they lived
very near together. About the time they left
Potter's house, James McNabb, who had left
Potter's early that morning to go to his home
a mile away to look after" his stock, came flying
back, hotly pursued by a squad of Indians who
were in advance of the main body. McNabb made
a narrow escape. Before he dismounted the
Indians surrounded the house and tried to cut him
off from his horse, but he made his escape by
making his horse jump the fence. The people
forted at Capt, Potter's, as well as his own family,
made a hasty retreat to Lander's house going by
Clark's and getting his family. Many of the chil-
dren were taken from bed and without being
dressed were hurried into a wagon and driven
rapidly away. They had not reached Lander's
house before they saw the flames bursting from
the roof of Capt. Potter's house. Mr. Lander's
house was situated on a prairie knoll near a very
high and precipitous bluff. Here the affrighted
women and children were gathered in the house,
while four men and three boys, with poor and
uncertain guns in their hands, stood in the yard
and about the outhouses ready to protect as best
they could all that was dear to them. Soon the
Indians came in sight and a sight it was. They
came not in a body but in squads' and strin<.s.
They had bedecked their horses with the b°ed
clothing, sheets, quilts, counterpanes, table-cloths,
ladies wearing apparel, etc.

The women gathered in the house were fratotic.
It was supposed that all had been killed at Elmore's
as the house had been seen to burn. It was known
that they had as much or more fighting force at



Elmore's than they had at Lander's and when the
overwhelming force of Indians came in sight strung
out for a considerable distance, with their yells and
queer decorations, all hope sank. Some women
prayed, others screamed and cried, while others
held their children to their bosoms in mute despair.
Soon the Indians were around the place and had
driven off the loose 'horses that had been driven
along by the fleeing people with the hope of saving
them. The horses that had been ridden and driven
were brought inside the yard fence and tied. It
was some time before all the Indians congregated
and, as they would come up, they would stop near
the house, shoot arrows at the men in the yard,
occasionally fire a gun or pistol, and at times some
daring fellow would come within gun-shot, but the
citizens were too experienced in Indian warfare to
Are until it had to be done to save the dear ones
in the house. The Indians were so slow about
making an attack upon the house that it was thought
that the women and children might be hurried over
the steep bluff that was just north of the house and
down this the Indians could not follow them on
their horses, and if the bluff could be reached
escape was certain to most of the party. A plan
was soon arranged ; the Indians were south of the
house and the main body of them three hundred
yards away. The bluff was north of the house and
one hundred and fifty yards away. The men and
boys with guns were to mount their horses and
form a line for the protection of the women and
children, who were to make a break for the bluff.
-The men were soon on their horses and the women
and children started, but as they poured out of the
house and out of the yard, the Indians set up an
unearthly yell, and all the women and children ran
back into the house. After some further delay,
another effort was made to carry out this scheme.
It might not have been successful, but about the
time the women and children got out of the yard,
the soldiers came in sight upon the brow of a high
hill a mile away to the north, and this gave the
Indians something else to do. They at once took
to their heels and ran for two miles to the highest
point of the divide between Fish creek and Dry
Elm and then halted.

The soldiers seen were Capt. Eowland with that
part of his own company that was with him the day
before, and that part of Capt. Patton's Company
that had joined them the night before at Wallace's,
as already related. They had learned early on the
morning of that day that the Indians had again
crossed Red river and were continuing their depre-
dations. Capt. Eowland immediately ordered a
pursuit and he found it no trouble now to trail the

Indians, as he could follow them by the burning
houses. But they had so much the start and
traveled so rapidly that long before Capt. Rowland
came in sight of them the horses of many of his
men were completely worn out and they could go
no farther. By the time the soldiers reached
Lander's, Capt. Rowland's own horse had given
out, but he was furnished another by Clark. Soirie
of his men also obtained fresh horses from the citi-
zens who were only too glad to show favors to those
who had just saved them and their families from
death. Some of the citizens joined the soldiers in
pursuit of the Indians. The Indians were over-
taken near the high point where they had first
stopped. Indeed they showed no disposition to get
away when they ascertained the small number of
whites. Capt. Rowland led his men through Capt.
Potter's prairie farm and, in going out on the south
side, the rail fence was thrown down and left down
in two or three different places. This fact proved
most fortunate to the whites, as will hereafter
appear. After going some three hundred yards
south of the fence, Capt. Rowland halted his com-
mand, but it was with great difficulty that he got
them into a tolerable line. The Indians soon
seemed to divide into two wings, one starting east
and the other west around the soldiers, to surround
them. The troops, without waiting for command,
commenced firing, but at such long range as to do
little damage. As the Indians got closer and be-
gan to fire upon the line, many of the soldiers
thinking the odds too great, broke line and started
to run. Capt. Rowland did all in his power to stop
this and to rally the men, but the panic soon be-
came general and the whole command fled. The
object seemed to be to go through the gaps
left in the fence and turn and fight the Indians
from behind the fence. The Indians at once
began a hot pursuit of the flying men, and with
their guns, and pistols, bows, arrows and spears,
they did fatal work on the poor men whose tired
horses could not carry them out of reach of the
Indians. Before the fence was reached three men
were killed and several others were wounded. Mr.
Green, of Capt. Pollard's Company, also another
man, whose name is not remembered, were killed.
Mr. Pollard, an officer in Rowland's Company, was
severely wounded, having four arrows shot into his
back, which were pulled out by Capt. Rowland
after the men had reached the inside of the fleld,
but the spikes from some of the arrows were left in
his body. S. B. Potter, a son of Capt. Potter, was
also wounded in the head by an arrow that struck
the skull and then turned to one side. There was
quite a rush among the men to get through the gaps



in the fence to a place of security beliind it, as the
Indians were pressing them hard. Men rode at full
speed against the fence, endeavoring to get through
the gaps. Capt. Rowland was about the last man
to pass through the gaps. He had purposely kept
near the rear, and did what he could to protect the
hindmost of the men, reserving his fire until a shot
was absolutely demanded. Just before riding into
the field he fired his double-barrel shot-gun at an
Indian not more than thirty yards from him, and
at the fire the Indian dropped his shield and gave
other signs of being badly hurt. It was afterwards
learned that this shot killed him and that he was
the chief. When the Indians saw the men forming
behind the fence they precipitately fled. Capt.
Rowland attempted to encourage his men to again
attack them, but they were too much demoralized
to renew the fight against such odds. Capt. Row-
land, finding that he could not hope to again fight
the Indians with the force he then had, dispatched
couriers to different points to give the alarm and
with a few men he went to the head of Elm in Mon-
tague County where there were a few families
without protection. The Indians soon continued
their raid, going south and east, and soon reached
the Jones' settlement on Dry Elm. Here they
came upon and mortally wounded Mr. White and
dangerously wounded his step-son, young Parker.
Mr. Jones, their companion, escaped. Parker be-
longed to Wood's company of Fitzhugh's regiment.
He had been severely wounded in the battle at Mil-
lican's Bend, June 7th, 1863, and was home on
sick furlough.

The Indians beat a hasty retreat that night and
crossed Red river with a large number of stolen
horses before daylight next morning. Small squads
of Indians would scatter off from the main body
and commit all sorts of depredations. One of
their parties came upon Miss Gouna, who was carry-
ing water from a spring some distance from the
house. They thrust their spears into her body in

several places and cut off her hair, but she escaped
and finally recovered from her wounds.

Young Parker, above alluded to, saw the Indians
and heard the shooting in their fight with Capt.
Rowland, but did not believe it was Indians and
kept riding towards them, against the protests, too,
of his companion, Mr. Miles Jones. He did not
discover that it was Indians until- a squad of them
dashed upon and mortally wounded him. He died
in ten days.

The following additional facts are taken from a
letter written by me at the time to the Houston
Telegraph : —

"At every house burnt, the savages derisively
left hanging a blanket, marked 'U. S.' During
the night of the twenty-third, they made a hasty
retreat, left about fifty Indian saddles, numerous
blankets and buffalo robes, and considerable of the
booty they had taken from houses.

" In the meantime nearly a thousand men had
reached Gainesville and made pursuit next day as
soon as the trail could be found ; but a start of
twenty-four hours by fleeing savages cannot be
overcome in the short and cold days of winter, when
they could travel at night and only be followed in
daylight. The pursuit, though energetic under Maj.
Diamond and aided by Chickasaws, was fruitless.

'' As soon as the news reached Col. Bourland, at
Bonham, that old veteran spared neither himself
nor horse till he was on the ground doing his duty.
Capts. Patton, Mosby and many citizens were in
the pursuit under Diamond. Lieut.-Col. Showal-
ter, with Capts. Wm. S. Rather (then and now of
Belton), Wilson and Carpenter, with their compa-
nies, made a forced march from Bonham, hoping
for a tilt with the Indians ; but on reaching Red
river, some twenty miles northwest from Gaines-
ville, information from the advanced pursuers ren-
dered the effort hopeless. Being on detailed duty
at that time in Bonham, I accompanied Col. Sho-
walter in this severe march."

The Murder of Mrs. Hamleton and Children in Tarrant County,

in April, 1867.

In the fall of 1860 James Myres, wife and six
children, came from Missouri and settled on Walnut
creek, in the northwestern edge of Tarrant County.
His wife, Sally, was a daughter of Nathan AUman,
who had settled on Walnut creek in 18-50 and on

whose land a country church was built. Mr
Myres died in the spring of 1861, and a year or so
later his widow married William Hamleton, by
whom she had two children. The tragedy about
to be related occurred in cotton-picking time in



1867. The children at that time were "William
Myres, aged sixteen, MahalaEmilene, aged fifteen,
Eliza, thirteen, Sarina, eleven, Samuel, nine, and
John Myres, aged seven. The two Hamleton chil-
dren were Mary L., aged about five years, and
(jrus., aged about eighteen months.

On the day of the attack Mr. Hamleton had
gone some distance to mill; the elder son, Will-
iam, was from home attending cattle. Mahala,
Eliza, Samuel and John were picking cotton.
Sarina Myres, Mary and little Gus. were at the
house and their mother was weaving cloth in a
hand loom.

8uch was the situation when a band of Indians,
said to have been led by the Comanche chief,
Santag — the same who, while a prisoner with
Santanta and Big Tree in 1871, was killed by the
guard — surrounded and entered the house. Mrs.
Hamleton was at once murdered ; and little Gus.,

Sarina and Mary were seized. The house was
then plundered of everything portable desired by
the Indians, and with their little prisoners and
booty they left. Little Mary, from the effect of
chills, was very weak, so much so that on leaving
their camp next morning, they left her and started,
but she cried so wildly that they went back and
killed her. The only eye-witness to these double
horrors was Sarina, who was also in feeble health,
but had both the strength and fortitude to en-
dure without murmur the indignities and hardships
incident to her condition in the hands of such
brutal creatures. She was held by them about six
months and by some means recovered at Fort
Arbuckle, on the False Washita. Her brother,
William, as soon as advised of the fact, went to
the fort and escorted her home.

Mr. Hamleton died about two years after the
murder of his wife and children.

A Bloody Raid in Cooke County in 1868.

To many persons latterly drawn to the pretty and
prosperous little city of Gainesville, Cooke County,
it must be difficult to realize how that place was at
one time exposed to the inroads of murderous

On Sunday, January 5th, 1868, about a hundred
Indians suddenly appeared upon the head waters
of Clear creek, in the northwestern part of Cooke
County. They gathered horses wherever seen,
aggregating a large number, and killed during their
stay nine persons, Mr. Long, a young man named
Leatherwood, Thomas Fitzgerald and wife, Arthur
Parkhill, an old man named Loney, and Mr.
Manascos. Previously they had killed Mrs. Car-
rolton and captured her sixteen-year-old daughter.
Mr. Manascos living about seventeen miles west of
Gainesville, on his way home from church discov-
ered signs of the Indians and immediately hastened
to the house of Edward Sbegogg, his son-in-law,
whom he knew to be from home and whose wife and
infant were alone. Mr. Manascos took his daughter
and her child and started to his own house, near
which the savages fell upon and killed him and
made captive the mother and infant, the latter,
however, being killed soon afterwards. During the
succeeding night Mr. Shegogg, having returned
home and collected a few men, fired upon the sav-

ages on the overland mail road about fifteen miles
west of Gainesville. In the confusion produced
among them by this attack Mrs. Carrolton escaped

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 22 of 135)