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Savages Attack Sampson and Billy Cole

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Lampasas County, Texas

    During 1864, Sampson and Billy Cole were returning from the Swenson and Swisher salt works, which were about eight miles west of Lometa in Lampasas County. They lived ten miles southeast of San Saba. Each of the boys was riding a pony and leading a pack horse loaded with salt. After they crossed the Colorado River and had gone about four miles, the two were attacked by five Indians and a bitter fight followed. Sampson Cole was wounded. They reported one Indian killed. Billy Cole took his brother into the thick brush, but the savages captured their horses. The Indians emptied the salt on the ground and carried the sacks away. Uncle Dick Kolb stated that the cattle licked the salt at this place so long, two sink holes were started that can still be seen.

    Billy Cole went after a wagon and hauled his brother home. Many years after this fight an Indian grave was found about one mile from the battlefield, directly on the trail the Indians followed when they went away.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: R. Kolb, who was living in that section at the time.

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

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