Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River

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.

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

5 February 1874; North-central Texas: Late in January, Lt. Col. George P. Buell, 11th Infantry, commander at Fort Griffin, got word that Comanches had stolen stock from local ranchers and were heading in the direction of Double Mountain, twin peaks between the Double Mountain Fork and the Salt Fork of the Brazos River. Buell saddled up 55 men from the 10th Cavalry, Company D, under Capt. Phillip L. Lee; Company G, under Lt. Richard H. Pratt; detachments of Companies A, F, and G of the 11th Infantry; and 18 Tonkawa Indian scouts. They headed west for 100 miles.

In the valley of the Double Mountain Fork, the soldiers found the Comanche raiders, and, in a running fight, they killed 10 Indians and captured 65 animals. One trooper was wounded.

Fight on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos

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

    The Comanches had been stealing stock on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, in Shackelford County, and elsewhere. So T.E. Jackson, John and Mitch Anderson, Nelse Spears, Andy McDonald, and Fayette Wilson, and two or three others, took the Indian trail. When these citizens passed near the Reynolds' stone ranch, mentioned in the preceding section, they were joined by Geo. T. and Wm. D. Reynolds, and Silas Huff. The savages were followed to a point near the mouth of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos, and near the Haskell-Stonewall County line. Here much dust was seen in the distance, caused by running buffalo and here the citizens suddenly encountered seven Indians butchering one of these animals. It was later learned these Indians were cornered and cut off from their main command. One savage who could speak some English, came charging forward and firing two six-shooters which he had in his possession. But since he was shooting high, the citizens held back until this Indian had practically emptied his pistols. About that time, Geo. Reynolds shot this warrior through the body, and then later broke his neck. A running fight followed, during which Geo. T. Reynolds received an arrow in his abdomen, the point of which passed through his body, and lodged in the muscles of his back. This wound was so severe, Geo. T. Reynolds told his comrades he would not live. But the arrow was extracted, leaving its point imbedded in his spine. It was now nearly sundown, April 3, 1867. Silas Huff came riding by and asked Geo. Reynolds which Indian inflicted the wound. Reynolds replied that it was the Indian who wore the red shirt. Huff said, "Wait a few minutes, and I will bring back his scalp." So he dashed away in the direction followed by this retreating savage, and in due time, returned to Reynolds and said, "Here's the scalp of the Indian who was wearing the red shirt." By the time the Indians reached the cedar breaks, five out of the seven had been killed and scalped, and a sixth mortally wounded.

    W.D. Reynolds started immediately for a doctor, and after riding all night, and a great part of the succeeding day, reached the "Old Stone Ranch," and from there his brother-in-law hurried to Weatherford. It was three days before the doctor arrived and by this time, Geo. Reynolds had been brought in from the battle ground on a stretcher But the doctor, it seems, failed to locate the arrow-point, and since Reynolds was in a fair way to recover, no operation was made for the arrow-point at this time. Geo. Reynolds soon recovered so he could ride around. When able, he and his brother, W.D., rode back to the battle ground where they found the five Indians had never been buried. This, evidently was true to Comanche custom, for once an Indian lost his scalp, his body was ever afterwards shunned by his comrades. They also found the body of the sixth Indian, who was mortally wounded, buried beneath some brush and a pile of logs, and with him was his regalia. This Indian had been buried because he was not scalped.

    The iron or steel arrow-point left imbedded in the muscles of Geo. Reynolds' back, continually caused the most excruciating pains, up until the time it was removed, which was on the 17th day of July. Mr. Reynolds went to Kansas City for the operation.

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