George H. Thomas
(Rock of Chickamauga)

 

Maj. George H. Thomas, on an August day in 1860, returning from an extended scout for hostile Indians came across a fresh Indian trail and gave pursuit. Some forty-five miles to the northwest his contingent of the Second Cavalry sighted the Indians, and a chase began.

When the troops were about to overtake the Comanches, an old warrior decided that they would have to be delayed and that he was expendable. He dismounted, probably removed his moccasins as token that he would not leave the place, and as the excited troops dashed up, greeted them with a stream of arrows. Two of the barbed dogwood switches wounded the commander severely, and five troopers were wounded-all with arrows or spear.

Through an interpreter, Thomas tried to get the Comanche to surrender, but the warrior scoffed at the suggestion and taunted the "long knives" to come and get him. At last the troops killed him and found some twenty wounds on his body. With his primitive weapons he had delayed a score or more of well armed troops, permitting his companions to escape.


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