Elm Creek Raid
The Elm Creek Raid had a black hero, Brit Johnson,
whose wife and children, along with other members of the settlement,
were taken captive by the Kiowas. He rode alone into Indian territory
where he visited Milky Way's Comanche camp. The chief was openly jealous
of the Kiowas' rich plunder and agreed to help Brit negotiate ransoms
with the "tricky" Kiowas.
"Ridden Down" by Frederic Remington on display
at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth Texas
(click on picture for larger view)
Brit traveled many times over the next few years between
the Elm Creek community and Indian territory, delivering ransoms and
returning with captives. In the end, the Kiowas decided they had been
cheated by Brit and a few years later when Owl Prophet and a few of
his Kiowas crossed the former slave's path nine miles north of Graham,
they paid dearly to even the score.
Esa-Havey (Milky Way) and his wife.
My road trip continues back to the east on 380 until I
take 1769 north to the Brit Johnson Marker. I continue a little further
north from there and take the gravel road to the east which passes the
old Turtle Hole where Brit was killed.
The drive toward Brit Johnson's Marker traces the Old Military-Butterfield
Road. Along this route, Carter and Mackenzie led the Fourth Cavalry
towards their new headquarters at Fort Richardson. Carter noted in his
diary about passing a graveyard with three fresh graves. Those were
Brit and his partners, protracted victims of the Elm
Click on Charles Goodnight's picture (above)
for his description of the site at the Elm Creek Raid.
By far the most devastating Indian attack in North Texas
was this very raid in Young County. Several movies have been based on
the raid including "Black Fox" starring Christopher Reeve; and to some extent, John Ford's "The Searchers" starring
John Wayne, though it more resembles the attack on Parker's Fort. Nearly a dozen soldiers and settlers were killed and that many more
captured as well as ten thousand head of livestock, which represented
a substantial portion of the area's wealth.