Comanche County Citizens Fight Indians on the Headwaters of the Lampasas

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.

Mills County, Texas

    After the Indians had broken open stables in the town of Comanche and stolen a large number of horses, Capt. James Cunningham and sons, Joel Nabors, Wm. and James Arthur, Robert and James Maxwell, Thomas Ross, Robert Neill, Bud and Thomas Homsley, Richard Keyser, and, perhaps one or two others followed the Indians' trail from the town of Comanche to the headwaters of the Lampasas in Mills County. The seventeen rangers, at this point, came upon nineteen Indians concealed in a ravine.

    Capt. Cunningham sent a part of his command down below to reconnoiter the ravine. The rest of his men remained in the timber a short distance away. When the firing started, the savages left their entrenchment and came out in the opening at a point previously occupied by the whites. There were only three or four horses among the savages, so a portion of Capt. Cunningham's command dismounted; and it was largely the rangers on the ground that dislodged the Indians from the ravine. The savages then retreated into the timber and were dodging from place to place. After the fight lasted about one hour, Capt. Cunningham said, "All that will go with me to run the Indians out of the thicket, come on." When they started into the break, the savages started out on the other side, but were pushed back by another division of Capt. Cunningham's command.

    The savages then became somewhat demoralized. When one of their number fell, others dashed up and carried him away. No doubt, at least four Indians were killed. But the rangers recovered the body of but one. The savages then broke into divisions and were pursued for a considerable distance by Capt. Cunningham and his men. The dead savage was placed against a sign post on the San Saba and Comanche Road.

    Note: The author personally interviewed Dave Cunningham and Joel Nabors, who were in the fight.

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

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