Indian Fight About Four Miles North of Lipan
While gathering data for the present work, the author found several familiar with this fight, and acquainted with all of its details, excepting the identity of the citizens engaged. The Palo Pinto Citizens reported the rangers must have come from Hood or Johnson County. The old timers of that section stated they must have been Palo Pinto, Parker, or Erath County citizens. No one could be found to supply this missing information. But while gathering data for Central Texas, the author accidently met Joe O'Diorne, of Johnson City, who supplied the missing information.
The reason local citizens were unable to supply the names of those who took part in the fight, was because practically all of the participants were rangers, who lived 175 miles further south.
During April of 1871, Capt. Hamp Cox, and his company B, of the Texas Rangers, who lived in Blanco and other Central Texas counties, were temporarily camped five miles southward of Stephensville, and on a scout near where Palo Pinto, Parker, Hood, and Erath Counties corner. Here they were advised that several Indians were raiding through that section, and stealing the local citizens' horses. J. G. O'Diorne of Johnson City, and John Gregg, who lived twelve miles below Marble Falls, numbered among Capt. Hamp Cox's rangers who were on this expedition. The trail was first found about six miles south of Lipan, and after being followed about ten miles to the north, the rangers, accompanied by a Mr. Mitchell, who lived on the Kickapoo, in Hood County, and perhaps one or two other local citizens, ran on the Indians, about 4 miles north of Lipan, and near the Palo Pinto-Parker County line. As usual, a running fight followed.
After going about one mile, one young warrior's horse was shot from under him, leaving him afoot on the ground. He then threw up his hands, and yelled "Comanche!" It was noticed at the time, that this individual acted very strange for an Indian, who seldom, if ever, threw up their hands. When killed, he proved to be a white boy, about sixteen or seventeen years of age. It has been the general suppositon that this boy was some Indian captive-- some white child snatched by the savages from the arms of its mother, many years before, and reared to be an Indian.
The remaining savages were followed about two miles farther, and another Indian killed. Shortly afterwards, a lone warrior left his companions, and came dashing back to the whites. Some have supposed that the second Indian slain, was this savage's brother, and he was attempting to avenge his brother's death. But when within firing distance, he too, was shot down. The remaining savages escaped, but two of their number and the white boy were killed.
To be sure there is, no doubt, that renegade white citizens confederated with the savages to steal horses and cattle, and commit other crimes. But it is preposterous to suppose, as some writers and others would have us believe, that most of the depredations or even a great percent thereof, were being done by renegade whites, disguised as Indians. This particular white boy, who was with the savages when killed, no doubt, was an Indian captive.
Nevertheless, since a very small child we have always heard that somewhere on the frontier, when an Indian was killed, his paint was removed and the warriors proved to be a white man. Evidently this particular fight started that story, for no other incident of its kind has ever been called to our attention.
Note: Author personally interviewed: J. G. O'Diorne, who was in the fight; Geo. Hill; W. A. Herring; James Glinn; W. J. Langley; Dave and S. F. (Bud) Littlefield; and one or two others who then lived in this section. Several of them recalled the Indian bones which were piled on a little hill, and remained for many years. Perhaps some of them can still be found.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.