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Stories about LINNVILLE RAID OF 1840

The Comanche Attack on Linnville & The Battle of Plum Creek

    <a name="mcleod"></a>Report of the Council House Fight, 19 March 1840 by Commissioner McLeod. Increasing resistance of Republic of Texas minutemen to Comanche theft, vandalism and depredation in the Republic led to a proposal of Comanche chiefs for a lasting peace. The Chiefs and Republic of Texas officials, Col. Hugh McLeod and William S. Fisher agreed to a meeting in San Antonio in which 13 known kidnap victims held by Comanches would be released. For security, two companies of Col. Fisher's Regulars were placed at the site. The Comanches arrived with only hostage Matilda Lockhart who had been captured in 1838  They were asked why the others were not brought in as had been agreed upon. The leading chief of the Comanches replied that Matilda Lockhart was their only prisoner and that the others were scattered among other tribes. This was disputed by Matilda Lockhart. She quietly informed Colonel Karnes and the commissioners that the other prisoners were left in the Indian camp and were planned to be used for ransom payments. The chiefs were told by Colonel Karnes and should be kept as prisoners until all the commissioners that they had violated their pledge and that they the women and children held by them were brought in, according to agreement; that they might send their young men to the tribe for the other captives and as soon as they were delivered, his juncture Captain Howard they would be liberated. At posted sentinels at the doors and drew up his men across the room. Commissioner McLeod reported the event as follows:

    "We told the Indian chiefs that the soldiers they saw were their guards, and descended from the platform. The chiefs immediately followed. One sprang to the back door and attempted to pass the sentinel who presented his musket, when the chief drew his knife and stabbed him. A rush was made to the door. Captain Howard collared one of them and received a severe stab from him in the side. He ordered the sentinel to fire upon him, which he immediately did, and the Indian fell dead. They then all drew their knives and bows and evidently resolved to fight to the last. Colonel Fisher ordered his men to fire if they did not desist. The Indians rushed on, attacking us desperately, and a general order to fire became necessary. After a short but desperate struggle every one of the twelve chiefs and captains in the council lay dead upon the floor, but not until, in the hand to hand struggle, they had wounded a number of persons. The indoor being finished, Captain Howard's company was formed in front to prevent retreat in that direction, but in consequence of his wound he was relieved by Captain Gillen, who commanded the Company until the close of the action. Captain Redd whose company was formed in the rear of the building, was attacked in the yard by the warriors who fought like wild beasts. The Indians took refuge in some stone buildings from which they kept up a galling fire with bows and arrows and a few rifles. Their arrows, wherever they struck one of our men, were driven to the feathers. A small number of Indians escaped across the river, but they were pursued by Major Lysander Wells with a few mounted men, and all killed. The only one of the warriors in the council house who escaped was a renegade Mexican. He was among those who slipped away unobserved. A single warrior took refuge in a stone building refusing every overture sent him by squaws and succeeded in killing and wounding several until after nightfall when a bag of rags soaked in turpentine and ignited, was dropped through the smoke escape in the roof onto his head. Thus in a flame of fire he sprang through the door and was riddled with bullets. In such an action---so unexpected, so sudden and terrible---it was impossible at times to distinguish between the sexes and three squaws were killed. The short struggle was fruitful in blood. Our losses were, killed: Judge Hood, San Antonio; Judge Thompson, Houston; a Mr. Carey of Matagorda County; Lieutenant W. Al. Dunilington, first infantry; privates Kaminske and Whitney, and a Mexican. The wounded were: Captain George F. Howard, Lieutenant Edward A. Thompson, Private Kelley, Captain Mathew Caldwell, Judge James W. Robinson, and Messrs. Morgan, Carson and Higginbotham. The Indian loss was thirty chiefs and warriors, three squaws and two children killed. Prisoners taken included twenty-seven women and children and two old men. Over a hundred horses and a large quantity of buffalo robes and peltries remained for the victors. By request of the prisoners an old squaw was released, mounted, provisioned and allowed to go to her people and say to them that the prisoners would be released whenever the Texas prisoners held by the Indians were brought in. A short time afterwards, a party of Comanches displayed a white flag on a hill some distance from town, evidently afraid to come nearer. When a flag was sent out, it was found that they had brought in several white children to exchange for the imprisoned Indians. The exchange was made and the Indians hurried back to their camps."


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