Stagg’s Prairie Road Trip

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.

August 10, 1863, Preacher J. J. Hamilton's two sons, William and Stewart, were killed while returning home from their tannery. William was scalped and an ear was cut off of Stewart's head.

The Brown family lived about one and a half miles east of Preacher Hamilton. It was during the war and Mr. Brown was off serving with the Confederate army. His wife and eight children remained at home. One of the daughters, Sarah, her eldest, dreamed her mother was killed by Indians and so the next morning, she persuaded her mother to take their broken rifle to a neighbor for repair. The same Indians that attacked the Hamilton boys struck the Brown's house. Sarah grabbed one of the ten-month old twins and attempted to take him into hiding and though she caught an arrow under her arm she managed to safely hide herself and the baby. Mrs. Brown sent another daughter, Elizabeth, to notify the neighbors and she was captured by the Indians on her way back to the house. The raiders killed Mrs. Brown and the other children scattered. The Indians tore open the feather beds and otherwise robbed the house. Elizabeth attempted a getaway and though she was shot in the hip, managed to escape. The raiders next struck another neighbor's house but they were bluffed by a thirteen year old girl who stuck a gun barrel through a porthole and told the Indians if they didn't leave, she would shoot their brains out. The raiders moved on to the home of Mr. Beachman, where they killed his dog. Elizabeth recovered from her wound but Sarah died about five weeks later.

March 2nd, 1866, Bolen Savage was plowing his field near Sanchez Creek when nine Indians came riding in from the east. He attempted to escape into the timber but was shot in the head. Two sons, Marion and Sam, were captured. Other raiders attempted to approach Mrs. Savage and her other children but she held a gun on them. The threat caused them to retreat.

They rode on to James Savage house, Bolen's brother. He, too, was unarmed and plowing his field when the Indians rode over him and knocked him down. One of his daughters came running with a gun but one of the Indians knocked it out of her hands. By this time, the father had almost managed to reach the girls when he was shot down. They then grabbed one of his daughters, Malinda, and placed her on a horse. One of her sisters held on to her foot and refused to let go until one of the Comaches lanced her in the arm.

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