Sierra del Burros

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.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

3 May 1881; Northern Coahuila, Mexico: On 14 April, Lipan raiders from Mexico looted ranches at the head of the Frio River in Real County, Texas. They killed a Mrs. McLauren and a boy named Allen Reiss. Lt. John Bullis, 24th Infantry, and 34 Seminole-African scouts, with the order to capture or kill the marauders, rode out of Fort Clark and picked up the trail.

With the help of Teresita, a daughter of Lipan chief Costillito captured in 1873, Bullis tracked the raiders west to Devil's River. By this time, however, Teresita relied that the people she was tracking were from her own band, and she deliberately tried to give Bullis false leads. One of the scouts, however, saw the deception and was able to keep the party on the right path.

Six more days of tracking through the Sierra del Burros in Coahuila brought Bullis to the Lipans' camp. Leaving seven men to watch Teresita and the horses, he attacked at daybreak on 3 May. The 27 scouts rushed into the sleeping rancheria and killed 5 Lipans, rescued a kidnapped woman and boy, and reclaimed 21 horses. Lipan leader San-da-ve was mortally wounded. Bullis's scouts took no casualties and crossed safely back into Texas.

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