Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ONE OF THE LAST AMERICAN INDIAN RAIDS



Until four years ago, I had lived in Parker County, Texas for a number of years. As someone who loves history, I searched out facts about the area’s past. One of the stories that fascinated me was the story of three children captured in the county’s last Indian raid in 1872.

Comanche Warriors

Sam Savage and his family farmed on Sanchez Creek. His aunt and uncle farmed across the creek.  A group of raiding Comanche rode through and Sam’s father and oldest brother were killed in the field where they were working. Mrs. Savage got the girls inside. One girl who was fifteen was shot with an arrow as she scooped up her sister. They barely reached the house in time to bar the door. 

I might have feared the house would have been set on fire, but the Comanche were after horses—and small children. Battles with the Army had decimated their numbers of young men as well as their horses. Comanche needed young people to continue their way of life. 

Sam was six and his brother John was eight when the two boys were captured. The Comanche then crossed the creek and killed the boys’ aunt and uncle and captured four-year-old Mary, their cousin. Their captors did not kidnap other children on this raid.

Parker County and Palo Pinto Mountains

When they camped for the night, the children were given raw liver and forced to eat. They gagged and vomited but were shown no patience. During the night, John escaped and started home. He was recaptured and the soles of his feet slit so he would be unable to walk or run and no longer be able to sneak out of camp.

The three children lived with the Comanche in Oklahoma Territory for eighteen months. A trader spotted three white children in the camp. He traded everything he had with him, including his saddle and saddlebags, to rescue the three youngsters. The trader took them to Fort Worth in an attempt to identify the kids and reunite them with their families. (I wish I knew the name of the trader, but I've been unable to find out more about him.)

Comanche Family by George Catlin

By this time, Mary spoke only Comanche and could not even communicate in English. Sam and John were able to give their names. Eventually, they were reunited with Mrs. Savage and what was left of their family.

I don’t remember (if I ever knew) what happened to Mary or John, but Sam remained in the area. He married a Pawnee woman and lived near Mineral Wells for the rest of his life. When the foliage is down in winter, the site of Sam’s cabin is barely visible from Highway 180 between Weatherford and Mineral Wells—if you know where to look. There’s also a historical marker in Mineral Wells about these children.

I found this story fascinating and hope you will also.




Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author. Her latest release is SNARE HIS HEART for Debra Holland's Montana Sky Series at Kindle World. In the story, Addie Ryan is the mail-order bride for Forrest Clanahan. He was badly burned trying in vain to rescue his wife from the fire in which she died. He's vowed never to love again but he needs a wife to help with his three children. Addie is determined to snare his heart for lasting happiness.

Caroline and her husband and their menagerie of rescued pets live in cowboy country of North Central Texas. Find her complete list of releases at her Amazon AuthorPage. Subscribe to her newsletter to learn about new releases and contests.  New subscribers receive a FREE copy of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a wedding disaster book with a very happy ending.

4 comments:

  1. You and I must be related somehow. I was born in Palo Pinto Country and have family connections there and in Parker County. In a tiny cemetery 8 mi north of Mineral Wells, my parents and grandparents and other in the family lie along side each other. In the back part of the cemetery are graves marked with slabs of limestone and each is intriguing: "Kilt by Indians,."..there are maybe 4-5 in with this inscription. No names. There are several that simply say "Infant." But those with Kilt by Indians seem to be from one time frame.
    Between Mineral Wells and Salesville are a few hills that I thought were mountains as a kid. My grandfather, once with us in a car, told me that a big fight with the Indians had taken place up there. Since he was born around 1885, he surely knew what he was talking about.
    I have a book titled "The Double Log Cabin."...by G.A. Holland. It's the history of Parker County published in Weatherford. It's filled with narrations by citizens.
    The index is long, listing names of citizens.

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  2. Yes, definitely a fascinating story, Caroline. Good to know the children were eventually reunited with their mother. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. What a generous man to give everything he owned to rescue those kids. I wish you could remember his name. I was glued to this story.
    I found Celia's comment pretty interesting, too, about that cemetery and the markers that read "kilt by Indians."
    I find some of these posts like yours, Caroline, that are just amazing and make me want to dig into some research to find out more. Great job.
    I also want to wish you all the best with Snare His Heart, Caroline.

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  4. I'm still curling my toes over the thought of slitting that child's feet. That trapper was a hero. One of only who knows how many unsung heroes of our West.

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