Sgt. Erath's Elm Creek Fight
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.