Night Fight at the Lost Valley Pen

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.

Jack County, Texas or
Young County, Texas

    During the spring of 1870, J.B. Terrell, Van Scroggins, Bob Durrett, Henry Durrett, Pat Sanders, John Proffitt, Harry Williams, George Terrell, Sam Smith, Bill York and about two others, were camped near the Lost Valley Pen, about twelve miles east of Graham. About eleven o' clock at night, J.B. Terrell, John Proffitt, and Harry Williams were on guard, and the others had already gone to bed, when Indians charged and captured about forty-five head of horses. Several shots were exchanged, but none of the citizens wounded. Bob Durrett was riding a pony, and with the horses at the time. So when the animals were driven away they took him too, for he was on a horse in the middle of the herd. After he had gone about two hundred yards, he caught the limb of a tree, and climbed up into the tree's branches. The savages drove his horse and saddle away, but failed to discover him. Bob Durrett afterwards said he fought through the Civil War, but on this particular occasion found himself in the most dangerous predicament he had ever experienced.

    About ten days later, practically the same crowd, during the roundup, camped at Flag Springs, only a short distance away, and the same citizens were on guard. But this time, when the savages appeared, they were discovered, and the cowboys began firing when the Indians were a considerable distance away. The savages returned the fire, but no one was hurt. Two bullets, however, penetrated through the wagon. The savages recovered no horses, but instead, became frightened and dropped ten or twelve of their own.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: J.B. Terrell, mentioned above.

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

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