Indians Attack the Rolland Boys and Davy Crockett
After Jack and Henry Rolland were killed by Indians, their father moved his family about three miles south, to the Joe Manley place, where several families "Forted-up." They had only lived here a short time, however, when Jno. Rolland, and David Crockett, accompanied by the two little Rolland boys, the sons of Jack and Henry Rolland, went in an ox-wagon to Mudsprings, which was about one mile west of the Joe Manley place. After they reached the spring where they went for water, several Indians charged upon them. Davy Crockett was killed almost instantly. When relief reached the boys, Jno. Rolland had five arrows sticking in his back, and little Thomas Rolland the only one, who successfully reached home, was cut across the chin with an arrow when he fled away. The other little Rolland boy, climbed an Elm tree near the spring. But the savages came up and captured him. When the other Rolland boy, who was cut across the chin, reached the house, he told his grandfather and others that the "Niggers" were killing the boys. Old man Rolland and others rushed to the scene, but the Indians were already gone. David Crockett, the orphan boy, lay dead on the ground, badly wounded, and Jno. Rolland only lived about twenty-four hours; but was conscious almost up until the time of his death. Little Thomas Rolland had been captured and carried away by the savages.
Since it was during the Civil War, both men and horses were scarce on the frontier. But W. L. Lasater, Milton Lynn, Isom Lynn, and, perhaps, one or two others, took the Indian trail, which led south toward the mouth of Big Keechi, in Palo Pinto County. Here the Indians crossed and then took a northwest course, toward the headwaters of Dark Valley, and from there, they went on the northwest. Little Thomas Rolland remained an Indian captive until he was recovered several months later, by David White and Negro Brit Johnson. They brought the little fellow home, and placed him in the hands of his grieved mother.
Few people there were on the frontier, who suffered so severely, as the Rolland family. Three Rolland brothers and David Crockett, an orphan boy, were killed. Little Thomas Rolland was carried into captivity.
Note: Before writing this section, author personally interviewed A. M. Lasater, James Wood; B. L. Ham; J. Fowler; Lafayette Wilson; Mrs. H. G. Taylor; and others who lived in Palo Pinto and Jack Counties at the time.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.