Lewis Collins Murdered While Fighting Indians

Haskell County, Texas

    During 1863, a detachment of Capt. R.M. Whiteside's company, stationed at Camp Cooper and under the command of Lieutenant Stockbridge were on a scouting expedition in Haskell County. The rangers discovered an Indian camp, buffalo robes, and other articles. But the warriors were away on a raid in the settlement. The rangers, consequently hid their horses and closely watched the camp.

    About 10 o'clock in the morning of the third day, the savages were seen coming, driving a large herd of horses, stolen somewhere in the settlements. According to reports, some of the men preferred to stay hidden near the camp, whole others suggested the whites mount their horses and fight the savages in the open. It seems those who wanted to fight in the open, refused to fight at all, and started in a long lope towards Camp Cooper. Seymour, a very large man, emptied his six-shooter and rifle, and when he was subsequently charged by a savage, who drew a butcher knife, in a hand-to-hand encounter, Mr. Seymour struck the Indian over the head with his pistol, and apparently sent him to the Happy Hunting Ground. The Indians soon withdrew to a nearby hill, to dress their wounded. And the whites, who lost one of their own number, Lewis Collins, also treated their own men.

    The chief, who led this fight, was a very brave man, and well understood the tactics of Indian warfare.

    Lewis Collins was buried at Camp Cooper.

    Note: Before writing this section, author personally interviewed Lewis Collin's half brother. We are also indebted to Mr. R.E. Sherrell, of Haskell, who heard Mr. Seymour himself, relate this story, and made a written memoranda of the same. This fight occurred about twelve miles east and a little south of the present city of Haskell.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.


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