Running Fight of Captain McAdam’s Men

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
Running Fight of Captain McAdam's Men

    During January of 1874, Capt. W.C. McAdams was in command of a company of Texas Rangers, camped near the Flat Rock Crossing, of Dark Valley, about nine miles north of Palo Pinto. Capt. McAdams, himself, was an experienced Indian fighter, and Mexican War veteran. His men, too, were experienced in Indian warfare.

    During January of 1874, a detachment of his company, under the command of J. Tom Wilson, struck some Indians in Palo Pinto County. As usual, when equally matched, the Indians seemed to be in a hurry, and were followed by the citizens. The detachment under Tom Wilson was reinforced with both men and provisions and followed the Indians on into Young county. Somewhere in the eastern part of this county, when the Indians scaled a high hill, they hung up a blanket to cause the pursuing rangers, who were crowding them closely, to believe they were fixing to make a stand. Naturally the rangers called a halt to plan the battle. But in a short time, it was discovered the Indians had not hardly stopped, but only resorted to this bit of strategy to delay the citizens. Nevertheless, during the day, Lt. Wilson and his men succeeded in running on the Indians three or four times, but were finally forced to abandon the pursuit on account of darkness, near old Flag Springs in Young County.

    Note: Author interviewed: W.J. Hale, and one or two others, who were in the running fight. Uncle Bill said, that day, he was in charge of rationing the meat and ammunition, and told the boys to just help themselves.

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

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  • I’ve “bumped” into your Fort Tours posts 2 or 3 times now across the last few days – great stuff…!! I just downloaded the McConnell book(s) – can’t wait to really sink my teeth into it. I’ve got a buddy who has an ancestor, Joe Schoolcraft, in Capt. W.C. McAdams company. Trying to find more info / history on him (Schoolcraft) for my friend. I do tons of family history work like this – love it… especially anything with a connection to the Wild West!!

    My own great-great grandfather, 3rd U.S. Cavalry Sgt. Patrick Flood, spent time at Fort Davis, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Brown, and a slew of others across the West. He’s buried in one of two National Cemeteries in San Antonio… visited his grave for the second time in my life this past summer (I live in Virginia).

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