Elm Creek Blood Trail (5)
Orville Thomas Tyler (1810-1886) was among the
Childers party that was attacked by Indians on June 4, 1836.
June 4th, 1836, Cameron Texas, seventeen settlers under Captain Goldsby
Childers were retreating to Nashville for protection from the warring
Indians. Montgomery Shackleford describes the account:
"When they approached within two hundred yards, they divided,
one half to the right, the other half to the left-passed us shooting
at us-and pursued and killed Crouch and Davidson, who were some three
hundred yards ahead of us. Before they could gain, those of us who were
near the wagon made our way to some timber that was near. The Indians
drove off our cattle and took one horse; the balance of the company
escaped without further injury."
The Indians scalped Crouch and Davidson after killing them and began
to fight over who would keep the scalps and booty. Childers took this
opportunity to lead his party to safety under the cover of some oak
trees. The Indians turned back and headed for the Little River houses
where they found the remaining families. Daniel Monroe relates:
"They used guns, bows and arrows, and spears. Whilst defending
themselves in their house against the Indians, William Smith was shot
on the outside of the door through the leg by a rifle ball. They shot
and killed deponent's horse whilst tied to the house-killed many cattle-drove
the balance off-and plundered a wagon."
A few days later, Judge O.T. Tyler performed last rites at the gravesite
on the prairie where the killings took place.
January 7th, 1837, Sergeant Erath had ten horsebacked Rangers (all
they had was ten horses). Erath's men could hear the Indians coughing.
They crept up the river bank until they had a good view. Erath recalled
that all were:
"dressed, a number of them with hats on, and busy breaking brush
and gathering wood to make fires. We dodged back to the low ground,
but advanced toward them, it not yet being broad daylight. Our sight
of them revealed the fact that we had to deal with the formidable
kind, about a hundred strong. There was not time to retire or consult.
Everyone had been quite willing to acquiesce in my actions and orders
up to this time. To apprehensions expressed I had answered that we
were employed by the government to protect the citizens, and let the
result of our attempt be what it might, the Indians would at least
be interfered with and delayed from going farther down the country
toward the settlements."
They took a position under the river bank twenty five yards from the
camp and on command began firing. Within a few minutes, David Clark
and Frank Childers fell dead. The remainder broke into two groups, one
retreated while the other covered them with fire.
The following three pages are from the book, Texas Frontier, by Ty Cashion.
May 6, 1837, a band of Indians entered the Brazos settlements killing
a man named Neal, right on the edge of Nashville and then headed northwest
toward the Little River Fort where they encountered and killed a five
man Ranger party near Post Oak Springs.