Cherokees Attack Tawakonis on Brazos, 1829
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.