W.C. McGough and Others Encounter Indians

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.

Eastland County, Texas

    During 1863, W.C. McGough, Henry Manning, Silas Shilley, Marlie and Harrison York, and about five others were searching for cattle, near the corners of Eastland, Callahan, Shackleford, and Stephens counties. Many miles they had ridden, but not a single cow had been seen. They rode upon a cedar mountain, perhaps, in Callahan County, and when they looked into the valley of Big Sandy, near the mouth of Pecan Creek, thousands of cattle were discovered. The cows were bawling, the bulls fighting, and the dust flying high. When W.C. McGough rode away from his comrades on the other side of the hill, he told the citizens and cowmen, that in the event they heard him blow his horn, to come at once, for the sound would mean he had discovered Indians. In a short time, Mr. McGough noticed a peculiar movement of the cattle, and stopped. Shortly afterwards, three Indians appeared, and as a consequence, he blew his horn. When the remaining cowmen arrived the savages were pursued for about one-half mile. Here these warriors joined three others. The citizens halted for fear the Indians would lead them into an ambush. The Texans recovered about sixty head of stolen horses. In a short time, true to expectation, nine additional Indians appeared.

    Note: Author personally interviewed W.C. McGough, mentioned above.

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

W.C. McGough and Others Fights

    During 1864 Jno. W. Middleton, from Stephenville, was preparing to go to his home on the Kickapoo, about fifteen miles northeast. He met Mark Stone and a young boy, going the same day in a wagon. So the two men and the boy rode along, reasonably close together for mutual protection. When they had gone about five miles, Middleton, Stone and the boy came upon several Indians. Mr. Middleton, who was riding a young pony, rode back toward Stephenville. The boy was wounded, and Stone made his escape unharmed, for just at the critical moment, W.C. McGough, Wm. Blair, Geo. Ground, Narbo, and others, who had been trailing the Indians since the preceding day, arrived on the scene. When they did, the savages fled. The pursuing citizens continued the chase. The citizens caught the Indians when they reached the headwaters of Barton's Creek, about sixteen miles northwest of Stephenville. Here a short fight followed, and the citizens recovered about fifteen head of stolen horses, and some Indian blankets.

    During this exciting chase the whites ran on the Indians in the act of burying one of their dead, which had been killed by Mark Stone prior to the arrival of the rangers.

    Note: Author interviewed: W.C. McGough, who was in the fight; Ike Roberts, and others who were living in Erath and adjoining counties at the time.

    Further Ref.: History of the Regulators and Moderators, by Jno. W. Middleton.

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

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