Capture of Dick Freeman and John Bailey

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.

Montague County, Texas

    These two boys, about twelve years of age, were herding cattle just after noon, near their home in Montague County, when some Indians ran up and roped them. This occurred about twenty miles southeast of Montague, and the savages took the boys to Brushy Hill. That night the Indians stole horses not only in Montague, but also in the surrounding boys to Brushy Hill. That night the Indians stole horses not only in Montague, but also in surrounding country.

    About fifteen months later Wm. Freeman located his son, Dick, on the Washita, near the present town of Cordell, Oklahoma, and was compelled to give the savages an iron-gray horse, valued at one hundred and fifty dollars, two good six-shooters, worth approximately sixty dollars, and $250.00 in gold, before the Indians would release his son, who had already acquired many of the Indian habits and customs, and had learned to speak their language.

    The Bailey boy was recovered about two months later.

    Note: Author interviewed: W.A. (Bud) Morris, W.T. Steadham, and one or two others who lived in Montague County at the time.

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

Second Story

The following story is published by Levi Perryman, Forestburg, Texas, 1919:

    In 1867 a small band of Indians came down on a raid and captured Dick Freeman and Tom Bailey, two boys aged 12 or 14 years. The boys were herding cattle in the valley southwest of Valentine's Bluff, near where the town of Uz was afterward built. They also stole some horses, and on their way back came by my house. They tied the boys to trees, on the branch below my house, and searched my fields for horses. I had a bunch of cows running in my stock field and that
    probably kept them from finding my mare. They came within a few feet of my door, and my wife and I were sleeping in the hall. Tom Williams saw them and trailed them to my place, he bringing the news of the Indians. They did not molest me and I knew nothing of their presence until Williams came up the next morning. He lived less than a mile south of me.

    So far as I knew these Indians did not kill anyone or attempt to do so. They kept the boys about a year, or perhaps longer. Bailey was the first one released, and Dick Freeman was bought back by his parents, and released at the time the Muckleroy children were reclaimed.

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