A. D. Hamlin Bluffs Indians With a Stick
During the first year of the Civil War, A. D. Hamlin, after selling his store at the old salt works in Llano County, about four miles west of Bluffton, started to Burnet and points beyond. A few days before he had received a letter from his mother stating: "Son, I want you to come home, I am afraid the Indians will kill you."
The first night he stayed with Ike Maxwell, a brother-in-law, who lived at Bluffton. The next day he started to Burnet unarmed; for when he sold his store he sold his gun also. Everything went well until Mr. Hamlin reached a point about four miles from Burnet. Here, unarmed as he was, he accidentally ran into approximately twenty Indians driving about one hundred head of stolen horses. What could he do? Suddenly he decided to jump from his steed and run into a thick clump of timber. Here he reached down and picked up a burnt stick shaped like a pistol. In due time, some of the Indians dashed up to shoot Hamlin. But when he drew his crooked stick, the warriors hid behind their horses' necks, circled and rode away. The Indians then seemed to have appointed a certain one of the warriors to dash up and shoot Hamlin, who held his hand on his hip under his dusty coat as if he were ready to fire at any moment. When the lone Indian again dashed up a second time to shoot, again Mr. Hamlin bluffed them away with his bogus gun. Finally, the Indians decided Mr. Hamlin was too much of a fighting man, so they took Hamlin's horse and drove their stolen herd on toward the northwest.
When Mr. Hamlin reached Burnet, he placed the bogus pistol in E. Sampson's store, where it remained until E. Sampson died. Sampson's brother then took the famous stick to Austin.
Two or three days after Mr. Hamlin's experience, some settlers farther up the frontier engaged these Indians in battle on the Pecan Bayou. During the fighting,they recovered Hamlin's saddle bag, which contained his Bible and about fifteen hundred dollars in unpaid accounts.
Note: The author personally interviewed Ike B. Maxwell, brother-in-law with whom A. D. Hamlin stayed; M. J. Bolt, T. E. Hammond, W. T. Fry and others who were living in Llano, Burnet and adjoining counties during these early days.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.