Cherokees Attack Tawakonis on Brazos, 1829

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In 1827 five Cherokees and a Creek Indian were caught trying to steal horses from a Tawakoni village. Three escaped and watched from hiding as their less fortunate comrades were killed and scalped, then their bodies lashed to poles as the Tawakonis celebrated with a scalp dance. The Texas Cherokee were greatly offended and wrote to the Arkansas Cherokee concerning the matter. In July 1829 a war dance and council were held at Bayou Menard, east of Fort Gibson. A half-blood Cherokee war captain named John Smith urged the assembled Cherokee and Creek warriors to join him in an expedition to assist their Texas brethren. Smith led several braves to Dutch's village south of the Red River and then on to the settlements of Big Mush. Dutch led the Cherokee war party, numbering sixty-three after being reinforced by Cherokees from other villages, against the Tawakoni on the Brazos River near the present city of Waco. A gruesome massacre followed with the Cherokees taking fifty-five to sixty Tawakoni scalps before leaving for home.

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