Big Lake

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

Ca. 25 August 1875; Big Lake, Texas: Near present-day Big Lake, Texas, the Texas Ranger Frontier Battalion confronted a band of Lipan Apaches. The Rangers dismounted and advanced on foot, firing as they went. They hit several Indian ponies and wounded one warrior, while the rest fled.

Spying a rider pull an old warrior up onto his horse and ride into a grove of mesquite trees, Ranger James B. Gillett went after them, firing his Sharps carbine. When Gillett killed their pony, the old man hit the ground running, and the rider was pinned under the horse. Gillett saw that the rider was a white youth with red hair. He has Herman Lehmann, who was captured when he was ten years old. Lehmann escaped, and he would live with the Apaches and Comanches until 1878.

One Lipan was killed and three were wounded in the fight. The Rangers had no casualties.

From: Encyclopedia of Indian Wars by Gregory F. Michno

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