Indians Charge Citizens at the Mustang Water Hole

    During February of 1870, Capt. John Roach, horseback and alone, and returning from San Saba County to his home in Comanche, met Frank Brown, Geo. Wallace and Bush Griffon, who were traveling in two wagons loaded with wheat, belonging to Col. Wm. Stone and Enoch James. The last named citizens had stopped at the Mustang Water Hole about four miles south of Newberg in Comanche County. It was now late in the evening. The boys were taking the wheat to San Saba County to be ground. They asked Capt. Roach if he were not afraid to ride his horse alone. Roach replied, "Yes, he is ridden down now." About that time, approximately fifty Indians came storming down the mountain. Capt. Roach, a veteran frontiersman who had fought in the Civil War, had the boys to drive the two wheat wagons together and began firing his six-shooter while they were cutting loose their teams. Roach held the Indians at bay until all three boys had their horses unhitched and then told them to run for their lives. He, himself, mounted a fleet mule but before he had proceeded to a great distance, received an arrow through his lung. Roach ran about two miles and as no Indians were now apparently following him, he dismounted at the Watson Ranch Springs for water, and while on the ground the mule, which was also wounded, died. From here, injured as he was, Capt. Roach walked to the Campbell Ranch about two miles away. When Capt. Roach was within fifty yards of the house, he fell. Since the other boys had already passed and spread the news, when the Captain's groans were heard at the house, Negro Bill said, "Dat's Massah Roach, and I'se gwine to him." So he took his pistol and started. In a short time, Negro Bill had Capt. Roach in the house. Negro Bill then hurried over to Capt. Jim Cunningham's place and reported what had occurred and a runner was sent to Newberg for Dr. Montgomery.

    Before he left the wagon, Frank Brown shot one Indian who was wearing a find beaded breastplate. This breastplate, no doubt, would have protected the savage but Brown discharged a load of buckshot with his gun and one ball found its way under the edge of the plate. Brown, Wallace and Griffon hurried to Comanche and spread the news there.

    Griffon was the only man not wounded but Capt. Roach received the most serious wound. In due time, however, he recovered.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.