Indian Experience of J. Frank Thompson

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.

    During 1867, while several cowmen were having a roundup in Runnels and adjoin­ing counties, and holding a large number of cattle they heard a gun fire over the hills, and it was soon discoveNative Americans were near. For some time there was considerable maneuvering among both the Indians and whites. But when the Indians started away, they were followed by J. Frank Thompson, and Jim Jones. Other cowmen remained on the hill. The two had only gone a short distance, however, when the Indians turned and started toward them. Thompson and Jones then fired, and when they did, Jones made a hasty retreat back toward the remaining cowmen. Thompson fired again, and when he looked around, saw O. H. T. Townsend coming to his relief. The Indians were now shoot­ing on all sides, and were circling about them. About this time, an Indian fired and split the stock of Thompson's gun. When they made another circle, Thompson shot a savage in the thigh. The savages then went away. The cowmen were not wounded, but J. Frank Thompson, not only had his gunstock split, but the savages shot a hole through his shirt sleeve, and through the bosom of his clothing.

    Note: Author corresponded with J. Frank Thompson himself.

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

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