Hostile Indians Finally Kill William Hope

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.

    After the preceding episode, Wm. Hope, Geo. Van Pelt, Mathew B. Wilkins, Wm. Holmes, Charles Montague, Peter Wallace, and possibly one or two others had been gathering horses three miles east of Fort Davis. While driving the horses home late in the evening, Van Pelt and Hope stopped at a spring for water. Peter Wallace and one other rode ahead. When Van Pelt and Hope raised up from the spring, they saw a large number of savages riding toward them at a vary rapid gait. Van Pelt was armed, riding a splendid horse and made his escape, but Hope, riding a mule and unarmed, was massacred by the Indians.

    The savages also charged Peter Wallace, the Irishman and his companions. Wallace was also unarmed, but bluffed the Indians by making a hip pocket play, and by this means successfully reached camp.

    Note: Before writing this and the preceding section, the author personally interviewed E. L. Downs, who was stationed in Fort Davis at the time, as a cavalryman in the Confederate Army, and was at the Van Horn's wells after the stage stand was burned.

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

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