Indian Experience of John Dalton, Mose Terry and Abe Denton

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. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Palo Pinto County, Texas

    About 1868, Marcus L. Dalton, whom the Indians murdered about two years later, in Palo Pinto County, moved a large herd of cattle to Fort Sumner, and, perhaps, other points Mexico. The cattle were sold and the money, much of which was silver, sewed up in a cow hide. John Dalton, Mose Terry, and Abe Denton received instructions to take the silver money back home. With the money placed on a pack-horse, the three started on the long journey toward Palo Pinto County. When they reached the head waters of the Concho, these citizens camped for the night. John Dalton and Abe Denton went out to kill a beef, or something else, for they were practically out of provisions. While they were gone, Mose Terry started a fire, put his coffee in a pot and started to a little branch for water. Here many fresh moccasin tracks were seen, and their meaning was well understood to this early frontiersman. Mose Terry had hardly reached the camp before he found himself surrounded by Indians. He emptied his six-shooter, and then picked up a gun, that would fire but once and rushed for the opening his firing made in the Indians' line.

    Mose Terry then retreated to a little mot of timber, approximately three hundred yards away. He kept the Indians at a distance with his guns. Finally he fired his last load, but hid in the high grass until he could re-load his pistol.

    His companions discovered that he was surrounded by a large number of Indians, and thinking he would be killed, retreated on toward the east. But about sunup of the succeeding day, Mose Terry came upon Jno. Dalton and Abe Denton, eating their breakfast further down the trail. The Indians recovered the money, and such horses that were at the camp.

    Note: Author interviewed W.A. (Bill) Ribble, who several times heard Mose Terry relate his experience.

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

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