Captain J.M. Swisher’s Company Follow Indians Several Days

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.

Coleman County, Texas
Captain J.M. Swisher's Company Follow Indians Several Days

    During 1871, Capt. J.M. Swisher's Company of Texas rangers camped on Home Creek, in Coleman County, about five miles southwest of the Santa Anna Mountains. When the Indians passed through, Capt. Swisher, Sam Gholson, Brown, Jim Shores, Eli Short, Charlie Cooper, Paul Durham, and several others followed the savages for six or seven days before they were overtaken. When reached, two Indians were after buffalo, and the remaining eight driving about 35 head of stolen horses. The citizens charged, and only those on fast horses were able to reach the Indians. A running fight followed with the savages in the lead. The Indians were pursued for four or five miles, and until they reached the cedar brakes. Here they were surrounded by the rangers, and when the warriors' bullets began to fly, the citizens, who were already pushing into the timber, were forced to fall back. The Indians also had the horses tied close. S.P. Elkins, who was also along, over the protest of Capt. Swisher and Sam Gholson, slipped up and cut loose the horses. The ponies were then led out of the timber. Brown, who was an employee of Sam Gholson, was shot with an arrow in the thigh. At least one Indian was killed.

    Note: Author interviewed: S.P. Elkin, who was in the fight.

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

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