During the next light moon after the killing of Mr. Box and capture
of his family, the savages again appeared. Indians were first discovered
about two miles from Red River Station. About two days later a band
of savages stormed the citizens' fort near the Head of Elm, in the
eastern part of Montague. Three strangers had stopped at the fort,
and others were near home for the savages were expected. A few shots
were exchanged, and the Indians went about four miles east of the
present town of St. Jo., where they came upon and killed James Harris,
who was alone, and hunting horses about two miles south of his home.
Mr. Harris was killed in the morning.
The Indians next appeared near the mouth of Brush Elm,
where they charged Newt Gilbert and his family, and James Courfey,
who were moving to Gainesville, and who retreated for protection in
the old Shannon home. When the Indians realized they had a fight on
hand, they withdrew and turned south until they struck the Forestburg
and Gainesville road. In a short time they came upon Andrew Powers
and Winfield Williams, about seven miles north of Forestburg, and
had started to Gainesville. Andrew Powers, who was riding a mule,
was overtaken and killed, but Williams successfully escaped. Shortly
afterwards, no doubt, the Indians threw in with another band that
was returning from Denton County with a stolen herd of approximately
eight hundred head of horses. There were now as many as perhaps sixty-five
savage warriors. In a short time, Charlie Grant, Joseph Field, C.
Loran, Alex Frazier, and several others struck the Indians' trail.
The Indians then started on their return toward the
northwest and passed about one-half mile east of the town of Montague.
Here, a second posse of men including Joe Bryant, Jno. McFarland,
L. B. White, Jno. Hall, J. M. Grayson and about 20 others, took the
Indian trail, and came upon them near the mouth of the Big Wichita.
The citizens hid in the tall grass, and a bitter fight followed. Both
Indians and whites would rise up out of the tall grass, shoot and
then duck down again. Several Indians were supposed to have been killed.
The fight lasted until nearly dark, when the whites fell back across
the Wichita. A group of citizens from the Forestburg Community, under
the command of Capt. Brines, came along on the trail and discovered
where the first posse had stuck up the following note, "Come
on, Boys, they have passed this way." Near the mouth of the Big
Wichita, they found a second note tacked to a tree. "Turn back
boys, they have given us a warm reception."
Note: Author personally interviewed: Joe Bryant, mentioned
above, who was in the fight at the mouth of the Big Wichita; Charlie
Grant, who trailed the Indians, and others who lived in Montague County
at the time.
Further Ref: History of Montague County, by Mrs.
W. R. Potter