The following story is from the book, The Men Who Wear
the Star, by Charles M. Robinson, III. Over the last decade,
this young historian has authored engaging and informative works
dealing with this region's history including Bad Hand, Satanta
and The Men Who Wear The Star. It is because of the exceptional
readability of his piece covering this famous fight that it is offered
Jones, with an escort of about twenty-five men, arrived
at the headquarters of Capt. G. W. Stevens's Company B, at the old
Ranger post of Fort Murrah, on June 10. The following day he ordered
the entire company to move about ten miles east to Salt Creek, where
the grass and water were better. There they received word that a band
of Comanches had attacked and killed a cowboy named Heath at Oliver
Loving's corral, and tracks were plainly visible.
Gui-tain, nephew of Chief Lone Wolf
(Photo from the book, Carbine & Lance, The Story of Old Fort Sill,
by Colonel Nye)
The next morning Jones sent a scouting detail consisting
of two men from his own escort along with two from Stevens's company
under the command of Lt. Tom Wilson. They reported a large trail heading
southeast, out toward the dangerous Salt Creek Prairie. Jones broke
camp immediately, taking Stevens, Wilson, and thirty-three members
of the battalion to follow the trail. The group also probably included
several volunteers drawn from Loving's cowboys. Unknown to the Rangers,
however, this was not the trail of the Comanches who had hit Loving's
corral-it belonged to a much larger party of about fifty Kiowas, including
some of that nation's greatest warriors. It was a murder raid, organized
by Paramount Chief Lone Wolf to avenge the deaths of his favorite
son and nephew, both killed the year before in a fight with federal
cavalry in south Texas. The party was led by Maman-ti, the wily and
gifted medicine man responsible for the most successful Kiowa raids.
Before leaving the Indian Territory, Maman-ti had consulted his oracles
and predicted a successful expedition in which at least one white
would die without any losses to the Kiowas. None of the warriors had
any reason to doubt him.
The Salt Creek Prairie, isolated but well traveled,
had always been good raiding ground for the Kiowas. Almost as soon
as they came out onto the prairie, they jumped four cowboys, but the
cowboys, mounted on fresh horses, escaped; the Kiowa ponies, exhausted
by the long trip from Oklahoma, were unable to keep up. The failure
to take the cowboys, along with the incredible, windswept loneliness
of the prairie, discouraged some of the younger warriors. Sitting
on a hill overlooking the valley, they began muttering among themselves,
and Lone Wolf gave them a dressing-down.
"Don't be scared," he commanded. "If
any Texans come and chase us, don't be afraid. Be brave. Let's try
and kill some of them. That's what we came here for."
At that moment, one warrior spotted the glint of the
sun on metal off in the distance, a sign more whites were coming.
Maman-ti led them along the ridge where they could get a better view
and saw a large party of well-armed men, all wearing white hats.
The Rangers had already followed the trail some fifteen
miles. Now it was very fresh, and they estimated at least fifty warriors.
They found where the Indians had stopped to water their horses, and
where they had killed and roasted some cattle. They rode past the
rough monument that soldiers had erected over the mass grave of the
teamsters massacred during Sherman's 1871 visit, and but lost the
trail as it led into rough and rocky ground approaching the hill.
Some of the younger, more inexperienced men rode ahead to find it
As the Rangers continued into Lost Valley, expecting
to see the Indians ahead on the open plain, the Kiowas backtracked,
crossing the Ranger trail and circling around above them, keeping
under the cover of the hills. Maman-ti had worked out a trap. He concealed
most of the Kiowas in a gorge in the hills, then he and another warrior
rode down into the valley and dismounted to lead their horses where
they would be in plain view. Spotting them, Jones led his men straight
into the snare as the other warriors charged out from among the boulders
and mesquite thickets. The major held his men together as the Indians
circled. Ranger Lee Corn received a gunshot wound that broke his shoulder
and nearly took off his arm. Separated from the rest, he managed to
crawl into the brush and hide. Another Ranger named Wheeler stayed
with him and helped bandage the arm. Most of the Rangers were caught
in the open, and Stevens told Jones, "Major, we will have to
get to cover somewhere or all be killed."
Jones ordered a charge that broke through the Indian
line, and the Rangers managed to get into a thicket in a gully but
were cut off from water. Several had lost their horses in the charge,
and Ranger George Moore had a flesh wound in the lower leg. William
"Billy" Glass was shot down and left for dead. The Indians,
Jones noted, "are all well armed with improved breech loading
guns (they used no arrows in the fight) all well mounted, and painted,
and deck [sic] out in gay and fantastic style." There was no
question in his mind that they were out for blood.
The two sides began sniping at each other, with Billy
Glass lying out on the plain between them. Terrified of what would
happen if he was captured alive, he called out, "Don't let them
get me. Won't some of you fellows help?" The Rangers responded
with a heavy covering fire while three men dashed out and brought
The Indians were making trouble along a ridge to the
rear, and Rangers William Lewis and Walter Robertson volunteered to
hold that position while the others held the front. Jones took them
to find the best spot, and as they settled down he told them, "Boys,
stay here until they get you or until the fight is over."
Later, during a lull in the shooting, Lieutenant Wilson
went to see how they were doing. He was sitting under a tree fanning
himself with his hat and describing the Kiowas in the strongest Anglo-Saxon
terms when Lewis said, "Lieutenant you ought not to swear like
that. Don't you know that you might be killed at any minute?"
"That is just so, boys," Wilson agreed and
became quiet. A few minutes later, a Kiowa bullet cut a limb overhead,
bringing it down on the lieutenant's bare head. As the blood poured
down, he momentarily thought he had been shot. A later examination
of the tree showed it had been shot to pieces on the side facing the
The Kiowas, meanwhile, were settling down for a siege.
In a murder raid, the purpose was enemy scalps with no losses to their
own side, and they were taking no unnecessary chances. The day was
hot and the Rangers were about a mile from the nearest water. The
Indians decided to wait them out. None of their own had been hurt.
The wounded whites were calling for water, but Jones had forbidden
anyone to try to reach the creek. Finally, as the sun began to go
down and the firing slacked, Ranger Mel Porter said, "I'm going
for water, if I get killed."
"And I'm with you," David Bailey replied.
They mounted and dashed for the creek. The others could
see Bailey sitting on his horse by the bank keeping lookout while
Porter filled the canteens. Suddenly, about twenty-five Indians moved
in on them. The Rangers in the gully tried to signal by firing their
guns, and Bailey shouted for Porter to flee. The two men took off
in different directions.
Porter was caught by two warriors near the water hole.
Keeping his nerve, he fired at them until his pistol was empty, then
threw it at one of the warriors. Using his lance, the warrior levered
Porter off his horse, but before he could kill him, firing from the
injured Lee Corn and Wheeler drove off the two Indians. They were
content to take Porter's horse, while the Ranger dove into the creek
and swam underwater until he came up by Corn and Wheeler. They stayed
together until after dark, when they made their way to Loving's ranch.
Bailey was cut off, surrounded, and levered off his horse with a lance.
Lone Wolf himself chopped his head to pieces with his brass hatchet-pipe,
then disemboweled him.
The Kiowas were satisfied. They had killed at least
one Ranger (actually two, because Billy Glass had died), and they
began to leave. The badly mauled Rangers tied Glass's body to a horse
and rode back to Loving's ranch. The Kiowas did not admit to any losses,
although Jones claimed at least three had been killed. Glass was buried
at Loving's ranch. About 3 A.M. the next day, they returned to Lost
Valley under cover of darkness and recovered Bailey's horribly mutilated
body. At sunup, a detachment of cavalry arrived from Fort Richardson,
and the Rangers and soldiers spent the rest of the day looking for
the Indian trail before the Rangers returned to camp.
Continuing his inspection tour after the Lost Valley
fight, Jones came to Camp Eureka on the Big Wichita River, where he
found Capt. E. F. Ikard's Company C "too far out to render the
most effect service" and ordered it into closer proximity to
Stevens, so the two companies could come together in an emergency.
Meanwhile, scouting parties from both Ikard's and Stevens's companies
were in the field, keeping pressure on the Indians, and a party from
Company C had actually raided a camp and captured forty-three horses
and mules, some of which were claimed by citizens from whom they had
The following illuminating observations of the 1874 Rangers
from Robinson's, The Men Who Wear the Star, demonstrates his
typically wonderful research.
Heavily armed Rangers of Capt. Dan Roberts's Company
(Photo from the book, The Men Who Wear The Star, by Charles M. Robinson,
Wife of Captain Dan Roberts recalls Ranger camp near
The Rangers required only a few days to prepare quarters for us.
About fifty yards from their camp stood a portion of a camp house.
It had a shingle roof and a rock floor. It was converted into
a kitchen, size twenty feet by twenty feet. Gunny sacks were tacked
upon the walls. For our bedroom the Rangers built a room of logs
with walls three feet high, on top of which they put a tent. It
was provided with a fireplace built of stone. The floor was carpeted
with gunny sacks. The kitchen also served as a storeroom. It was
all so cozy.
H. H. McConnell Fort Richardson Cavalryman observes
Rangers from Jacksboro:
These Rangers were tolerable Indian fighters, but most of their
time was occupied in terrorizing the citizens and "taking
in the town." Shooting scrapes and rows between citizens,
soldiers and Rangers in this year (1874) were so frequent that
the long suffering citizens by their votes "incorporated."
Jones reports frontier conditions, 1874:
scouting for Indians, the battalion has rendered
much service to the frontier people by breaking up bands of outlaws
and desperadoes who had established themselves in these thirty
settled Counties [patrolled by the Rangers], where they could
depredate upon the property of good citizens, secure from arrest
by the ordinary process of law, and by arresting and turning over
to the proper civil authorities many cattle and horse thieves,
and other fugitives from justice
Although the force is too small and the appropriation
insufficient to give anything like adequate protection to so large
a territory, the people seem to think we have rendered valuable
service to them, and there is a degree of security felt in the
frontier counties, that has not been exhibited [or] experienced
for years before.
The following story is from the book, The West
Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.
After the preceding engagement at the Adobe Walls,
the bloodthirsty warriors broke into several bands. One group went
into New Mexico and raided in that section. Another went north.
Still another group took a southern course. And Lone Wolf with approximately
one hundred and fifty favorite warriors came to Jack County to pilfer,
plunder and prey upon the people. The results of his extended foray,
no doubt, would have been most disastrous and resulted in the death
of many frontiersmen had he not accidentally encountered Major John
B. Johnes and his rangers, who more than satisfied the Indian's
thirst for war.
Lone Wolf and his warriors made their first appearance
when they charged James C. Loving, W. C. Hunt, I. G. Newcomb, and
Shad Damron, then riding the range on Salt Creek Prairie, about
three miles southwest of the present town of Jermyn, and not a great
distance from the line of Jack and Young County. Loving and his
men, instead of running toward the ranch, as the Indians, no doubt,
expected, dashed to the west, and succeeded in reaching the roughs.
In a short time, the savages were circling for the citizens trail,
no unlike, and as industriously as trained dogs, trying to locate
the tracks of a lost deer. No doubt, the Indians would have found
them, but about this time they had other problems to solve.
Major John B. Jones, of the Frontier Battalion, just
happened to be in the vicinity, for he was making a tour of inspection
of his frontier troops, stationed from the Rio Grande to Red River.
The Major was visiting the camp of Capt. Geo. Stephens. Lt. Tom
Wilson, of Palo Pinto County, W. W. Lewis, who now lives in Menard,
Walter Robinson, of Uvalde County, and others, were apart of Major
Jno. B. Jones' escort. When these rangers, about thirty-five in
number, received word the savages were on a raid, Maj. Jones ordered
a detachment of about six scouts to ascertain, if possible, the
movements and whereabouts of the Indians, thought to number about
twelve. W. W. Lewis and Walter Robinson were among these scouts.
When they reported in a short time, the rangers were on the warrior's
trail, and finally overtook them just before noon, in the Lost Valley
country, not a great distance from the present town of Jermyn.
Only a small detachment of the Indians were encountered
at first. These Indians, no doubt, were attempting to decoy the
Texans into a trap. At first a running fight followed, but in a
short time, when the Indians were reinforced by Lone Wolf and his
main band of warriors, Major John B. Jones ordered his men to retreat
into a ravine, and to protect their horses as much as possible.
About this time, the major also told his men they had come to fight
Indians, and not run horses. Some of the ponies were sheltered in
a ravine, and others tied in a cluster of pecan timber. Major Jones
divided his men into two divisions so they could strike the Indians
from different angles. In a short time, the rangers were completely
surrounded, and as usual, Lone Wolf and his 150 warriors fought
mostly from their steeds. For about four or five hours, the fight
was stubbornly fought. During the most intense fighting an Indian's
gun hit a tree above Lt. Tom Wilson, and when limbs and bark fell,
Mr. Wilson, father of U. S. District Judge, James C. Wilson, Horace
Wilson, and Mrs. Dr. J. H. McCracken, replied, "Now, by golly!
I'm shot!" But he soon discovered his mistake and enjoyed the
joke with others.
During the fighting, Billy Glass was mortally wounded,
and lay on the ground, a short distance from the ravine where his
companions were entrenched. At first, the rangers thought he was
dead, but when Billy moved, Zack Waddel ran through the shower of
bullets and carried Billy Glass, his wounded companion, into the
entrenchment. Later on in the evening, when Billy Glass was calling
for water, Dan Bailey and Porter, mounted some fast steeds, and
dashed to a nearby creek. But since Porter was narrow-sighted, several
Indians were upon them before their presence was known. Porter successfully
reached the main command, but Dan Bailey was killed.
During the day, Lee Corn was also wounded by an Indian
spy. The Indians succeeded in killing about eighteen horses, but
several of their own steeds were shot down. It is not known just
what were the Indians' casualties, but a large number were wounded.
A runner was sent to Jacksboro for relief, but when
the soldiers arrived the next day, the Indians had been gone for
several hours. For as usual, they withdrew late in the evening.
After the Indians were gone, the rangers carried their dead and
wounded to J. C. Loving's Ranch.
Note: Author personally interviewed: W. W. Lewis,
mentioned above; Oliver Loving, a son of James C. Loving; E. W.
McCracken; and several others, who lived in Jack County and elsewhere
at the time.
Further Ref.: Tex. Ind. Fighters, A. J. Sowell.
Walter M. Robinson, a surviving participant of the
fight, provided details of the action from the Rangers point
The Lost Valley in Jack County provided
the scene for the battle on July 12, 1874, between the Texas Rangers,
thirty-five in number, commanded by Major John B. Jones and Captain
Stephens, and 200 Comanche and Kiowa Indians, led by Chief Lone
Wolf. The battle waged on for five hours. On the day before
the battle Major Jones, who commanded all of the rangers on the
frontier, and who traveled from post to post arrived at the camp
of Captain Stephens, in command of a ranger force stationed in Jack
County, located northwest from Jacksboro about fifty or sixty miles.
On July the 12th a report came to Captain Stephens that Indians
inhabited the country, and the captain deployed Lieutenant Wilson
along with six men to take a scout into the vicinity which Indians
reportedly occupied and complete an investigation. Walter Robinson,
a member of Capt. Rufe Perrys company, was one of the members
of this scouting party. The detail proceeded about six miles and
came upon a large Indian trail which denoted a raiding band of Indians
of unusually large force, and a runner was sent back to camp by
the lieutenant to inform Major Jones and Captain Stephens of these
facts, and advising a force to be sent out of all the men that could
be spared from camp to take up the trail of the Indians and give
them battle in case they could be overtaken. In the meantime, while
the messenger was speeding on his mission, Lieutenant Wilson and
the other five men followed slowly on the trail, and in about twelve
miles Major Jones and Captain Stephens along with thirty men, overtook
them, making the ranger force now about thirty-five in sum.
The combined force now kept on the trail rapidly until
twenty minutes before 12 oclock a.m., whence they came upon
the Indians in a timbered but rough and rocky country of the Lost
Creek Valley. The Comanches and Kiowas placed their force in ambush
to evade the rangers whom they discovered on their trail. Before
doing this, however, the wily chief divided his force into three
bands and crossed and recrossed Lost Creek several times on purpose
to disconcert and bother the rangers and cause them to scatter their
force in pursuit. Finally he consolidated his whole force in a mott
of timber on the west side of the creek. Before locating the Indians
Major Jones divided his force into three squads to follow as many
different trails, but cautioned each party to remain in touch with
each other and be ready at any moment to reunite in case of an emergency.
The major with thirteen men went to the right and skirted around
the foot of some hills and came in close range of the timber which
concealed the whole Indian force. The natives fired on them, which
was the first intimation he had of their presence. This volley wounded
some horses, and on its heels came the charge. The Indians left
cover and attacked Major Jones with great fury in the open prairie,
but he stood his ground and the gallant squad around him opened
up a hot fire from the their Winchesters into the very faces of
the yelling and advancing natives. The other two parties of the
ranger force rushed to the scene of the fierce fight, and the main
battle opened with terrific fury on both sides. The yelling of the
Indians almost drowned the noise of the carbines, which popped and
cracked like a canebrake afire. A few moments later, a bullet wounded
Lee Corn and killed his horse. The rangers made a sweeping charge
through the Indians, who were thickly massed. Their rapid and fatal
fire both with revolvers and Winchesters forced the Comanches and
Kiowas to give way. The Indians started to rapidly flee through
the open ground towards the hills, followed by the now yelling rangers.
The warriors passed about a mile of skirted timber, in which a ravine
made by washings from the hills, made travel difficult. However
the Indians crossed this and kept traveling through an open glade
for a hundred yards or more, and then made a stand on the side of
the hill amid rocks and bushes. They opened fire on the rangers
from cover, which checked them, and they wheeled back to the ravine
and there dismounted. During this fire from the Indians the horse
ridden by Walter Robinson was killed, being hit by five bullets,
and he went back to the ditch on foot. A gallant young ranger of
Stephens company named Glass was killed, falling in front
before the turn back was made. The natives also injured a ranger
named Moore. The ravine or ditch was shallow, and while the rangers
to some extent could protect themselves by lying down, it was not
sufficient to cover the horses, and they were hit repeatedly. The
Indians swarmed the sides of the hills yelling and shooting, and
some of them gradually worked around the rangers and shot at them
from various other points. This gallant little band, however, worthy
of the name of Texas Rangers, were not dismayed, but would raise
their heads above the ravine, take aim at some particular target,
fire, and down again to adjust another charge, at the same time
shouting defiance to their dusky foes. In about twenty minutes after
the ravine was reached Zack Waddell noticed that ranger Glass, whom
they thought dead, was kicking about on the ground, and expressed
his intention of making a run and bringing him into the ravine.
Even the officers tried to dissuade the man because the act seemed
tantamount to suicide. But Waddell had his eye on his friend, and
all at once leaped out of the ditch and ran rapidly to him, gathered
him up in his arms, and started back amid a perfect shower of bullets
and demoniac yells of the Indians, and the rangers in the ditch
sprang to their feet, regardless of exposure, returned yell for
yell and shot for shot with the Indians, and loudly cheered their
gallant comrade, who came staggering in with wounds and his burden.
He was hit with five bullets, but none inflicted serious wounds,
and one of his boots was nearly shot off of his foot, so much so
that he could hardly keep it on. Poor Glass never spoke, but lay
there and breathed awhile, and then died there in the ravine with
his comrades around him, with the noise of cracking carbines, whistling
bullets, and savage yells in his dying ears.
The following is an excerpt from the book, Carbine
& Lance, the Story of Old Fort Sill, by Colonel W. S. Nye.
Hunting Horse describes the fight from the point
of view of the Kiowas: When we made our first charge the white
men stopped and began firing at us. The bullets went Chu! Chu! Soon
the enemy charged at us. We rode south in great haste. Red Otters
horse was hit, and sat down suddenly and began to scream in pain.
Red Otter slid off neatly, and with his red cape streaming from
his hand commenced dodging around to escape the bullets. I thought
the whites had him, but Set-kop-te (Paual Saitkopte) galloped up
to him, reached down a hand, and pulled him up behind. They got
We all rode south through the valley. I was
on an old grey plug, which lagged far behind. I thought they would
catch me sure. One white man, riding a fine big black horse, was
following us close, making it hot for us. He was way out by himself.
Maybe he didn't know his friends were so far behind. Or maybe his
horse was running away. Presently we reached the shelter of the
wooded ridge, where we stopped and commenced firing back at the
enemy. Tsen-au-sain dismounted, took a careful aim at the man on
the black horse, and shot him off. The man went limping into the
brush to the east.
We could see the leader of the whites motioning
his men to fall back. One of them was slow. Tsen-au-sain shot him
down. I got one, shouted Tsen-au-sain, Everybody
But nobody was able to touch the fallen enemy
to make coup. We had to make coup or the revenge would not be complete.
We could see the man lying there in plain sight. The heads of the
other rangers could be seen sticking up from a dry stream bed. Nobody
dared go close enough to make coup.
Red Otter got desperate. He called for volunteers.
Not a warrior spoke up. I remembered the prophecy of the medicine
man. It was my chance. I said I would go with Red Otter. Red Otter
ran forward and took position behind a large tree. He signaled for
me to join him. I ran forward and crouched behind the tree. The
bullets were throwing the bark in our faces. Then we ran to another
tree. But the bullets came thicker. Red Otter said it was too dangerous.
We ran back behind the hill.
The trench where the rangers were hidden was
so far away that I couldnt reach it with arrows. Only the
men who had guns stayed out in front and kept firing at the enemy.
They could see the rangers horses tied in the mesquite. They
killed most of these.
Only short intermissions interrupted the battle for
nearly five hours. The Indians were well armed, and the balls were
almost constantly kicking up the dust around the margin of the ravine
or hitting rocks and sending showers of scattered lead among the
rangers. Some of the Indians went around the head of the ravine,
surrounding the rangers and cutting off Lee Corn and Wheeler along
with two others who stayed with Corn when natives wounded him and
killed his horse. Retreat into the rank grass, bushes, mud and water
of the creekbed became inevitable. The rangers fighting the battle
in the dry ravine suffered greatly for water, remaining five hours
with the hot July sun beaming down on them. Their tongues swelled,
and their thirst drove them to dig beds in the ravine their Bowie
knives to gather moist dirt which they sucked between their parched
lips. During all of this time Major Jones exposed himself greatly
and made several narrow escapes. Once he left the ravine and went
to a tree and was watching the chief Lone Wolf to see if he could
tell from his actions what his intentions were or what his next
move would be. Captain Stephens also encouraged the boys by word
and example to spare their arms. While Major Jones was watching
Lone Wolf he sat down and leaned against the tree, with the balls
occasionally skipping around him, and Walter Robinson and Flint
Damon said, Look out, major, they will hit you directly,
and about this time a hissing ball came and struck the tree near
the majors head, filling his eyes and face full of bark and
splinters, and with such force that he fell backwards on the ground
as if killed, but quickly recovered himself.
Hunting Horse continues:
As the day grew shorter it looked as though
we were not going to be able to get any of the whites. Finally Maman-ti
made a new plan. Weve got to cheat those fellows,
he said. We know they will have to go for water soon. So we
will pretend to go away, but will leave some men, with the fastest
horses, near the water hole. They can charge the whites when they
come for water.
So we rode slowly north, keeping out of sight
behind the ridge, until we crossed the dry creek bed above the water
hole. A big bunch remained here, hidden in the timber to watch for
the enemy. The rest rode toward the hills which lie north of the
creek. Some of us felt thirsty. Tahbone-mah and Quo-to-tai started
back to get a drink. I was just going to join them, when somebody
called, Come back quick! Two of them are going for water now!
Tahbone-mah and Quo-to-tai hid in the trees along the stream.
About one hour by sun some of the rangers expressed
a determination to leave the ravine in spite of the Indians and
go to Lost Creek after water, but all were persuaded out of this
notion except two, Bailey and Porter, and they mounted their horses
and rode off. Two hundred yards from the ravine the Indians ran
upon them and killed Bailey in plain view of his companions. His
mare, though fleet, failed to run when the Indians drew near and
reared and plunged until they shot and lanced her unfortunate rider
from her back. Porter had better luck, but narrowly escaped with
his life. The Indians drove him into the creek, with the cry of
one Indian behind him saying, Me git you! Me git you!
in broken English as he went over the edge of the creekbed. The
place Porter went over was close to the spot where Lee Corn was
hiding; Porter, thinking an Indian was hunting him, shot at him
as he hit the mud and water a few yards away, but fortunately missed
due to an arm injury. In throwing the cartridge from the magazine
into the barrel held the gun between his knees. When night came
the rangers back at the ravine were in a terrible strait, and a
council was held to determine what was best to do. They were nearly
exhausted with thirst and strain and shock of the battle, ammunition
nearly all gone, dead and wounded comrades scattered here, and fourteen
dead horses besides the wounded lying around in the ditch. The Indians
had drawn off and Major Jones asked the boys what they would rather
do-remain there until daylight and renew the battle again if the
Indians did not leave, or until soldiers could come from Jacksboro
to their relief, for a ranger named John P. Holmes had ridden out
of the ravine on a wounded horse in sight of the Indians before
night, and gone to the fort where United States soldiers were quartered
to ask for assistance. After canvassing the situation thoroughly,
the rangers concluded to leave the ravine and make an attempt to
get to Jacksboro or meet the soldiers. The dead ranger, Glass, was
strapped to an Indian horse whose rider had been killed, and he
dashed down among the rangers and stayed there. When all was ready
they silently departed down the ravine, more than half of them on
foot, and succeeded in quenching their thirst at a small spring
and then kept on fifteen miles to a ranch, there remaining until
the following morning at which time they buried their dead comrade.
Walter Robinson performed this sad rite , and the others prepared
to return to the battleground with a ranch wagon to bring in the
wounded. They were accompanied by a band of rangers and a squad
of soldiers who arrived at the ranch before daylight. Gallant Holmes
informed them of the treacherous situation. Uneasiness was felt
for the boys who had been left scattered in the Lost Creek bottoms,
and a hurried return was made to the place by the rangers and soldiers,
but on arriving there they found none of their comrades. The men
discovered that their peers escaped to Lovings ranch. Baileys
body lie near where the fight commenced, badly mutilated, scalped,
and full of arrows, besides numerous lance wounds. They buried him
near the spot where he met his fate, and since the country has settled
up in that locality, a schoolhouse and church stand near his grave,
or near the spot where he was killed. It was afterwards learned
that forty-two Indians were bullet-stricken during the battle, nineteen
of them dying on the field.
Hunting Horse continues:
"In a few moments two white men came riding swiftly
to the water hole. One was about fifty yards ahead of the other.
The first one, who was carrying several canteens, rode down into
the creek, out of our sight. The other remained up on the bank to
watch. Soon the Kiowas who had been ordered to charge them rushing
in from the west. The Texan on the bank rode south. The man in the
creek came out on the north side and started galloping in the opposite
direction, with Tahbone-mah and Quo-to-tai after him.
At first Quo-to-tai was in the lead, but in
a moment Tahbone-mah, who was riding a big grey-a famous racer-passed
him. The white man turned in his saddle and kept shooting at the
two Indians. He fired the last shot almost in Tahbone-mahs
face, then threw his empty pistol at Tahbone-mah. The Kiowa man
dumped his enemy off with a lance, and herded the riderless horse
off on a circle to the left. It was a fine bay, and he later gave
it to me. Tahbone-mah couldnt go back to make coup on the
man he had knocked down, because there was heavy firing coming out
of the woods along the stream.
When I got to the place where they had killed
the other ranger, I learned that Dohauson had thrust him off his
horse with a spear, but that Mamaday-te had made fist coup by touching
him with his hand. Lone Wolf and Maman-ti and everybody was there.
Lone Wolf got off his horse and chopped the mans head to pieces
with his brass hatchet-pipe. Then he took out his butcher knife
and cut open the man's bowels. Everyone who wanted to shot arrows
into it or poked at it with their lances.
Presently Lone Wolf stood back to make a speech.
He said, Thank you, Oh thank you, for what has been done today.
My poor son has been paid back. His spirit is satisfied. Now listen!
It was Mamaday-te who made the first coup. Because of this, and
because he loved my son, I am going to honor him today. I am going
to give him my name. Everybody listen! Let the name of Mamaday-te
stay here on this battleground. Let the name of Mamaday-te be forgotten.
From now on call him Lone Wolf!
"After Lone Wolf had finished his talk, we all
sang a few verses of the Victory Song, then got on our horses and
Mel Porter, after he had jumped or been thrown (by
Tahbone-mah) from his horse near the water hole, dived into the
creek and swam under water. When he came up he was nearly shot by
Lee Corn and Wheeler, who thought he was an Indian. It was the fire
of these two men which had caused Tahbone-mah and Quo-to-tai to
sheer off at the last moment. The three rangers stayed in the brush
until after dark, when they made their way to Lovings Ranch.
The next day Major Joness men came back to look for Baileys
body. The young Texans caught their breath when they saw the condition
it was in. They scooped out a shallow trench in the sand.
William Glass was buried at Lovings Ranch.
The Tenth Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, under Lieutenant
Baldwin, rode out to join Jones and his Rangers in an unsuccessful
pursuit of the raiders after word returned to Fort Richardson of
the Lost Valley Fight.
The rangers went back to Jacksboro, bought horses
to replace those killed, and then went on into the Llano country.
It is related of Lee Corn that when his horse was
killed and himself down beside him with his left arm shattered,
he still continued to work the lever of his gun, holding the barrel
between his knees to load, and firing with one hand at the Indians
who were swarming around them and yelling most fearfully, and during
this time Major Jones passed him and the young ranger looked up
and says, Were givin em hell, major.
Mr. Walter Robinson, who was one of the escort of Major Jones, and
who took a prominent part in this fearful battle, belonged to Capt.
Rufe Perrys company, and was in the Salt Creek fight in Menard
County, and several others.