Indian Raid Near Victoria Peak

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.

Montague County, Texas

    During the spring or early summer of 1871, several families were "Forted-up" at Victoria (Queen's) Peak in Montague County. One morning after a storm, several Indians appeared, surrounded the fort and for some time, considerable fighting followed. The savages, however, would not venture closer than a hundred yards of the post, for they were afraid of the deadly fire of the citizens. They succeeded in capturing Boone Kilgore, who was herding stock at the time, about one-half mile away. Boone Kilgore was about twelve years of age, and remained with the savage about two or three months before his parents secured his release.

    During the preceding night, W.B. and John B. Slaughter, Sam Lewis, a man named Adams, and others who were moving a large herd over the trails to Kansas, bedded their cattle a few miles from the fort. W.B. Slaughter and his brother, John B., were sons of G.W. Slaughter, of Palo Pinto. Adams, also, lived in the town of Palo Pinto; Sam Lewis was a citizen of Parker County.

    During the dark and rainy night, after the cattle were bedded, a mysterious light was seen in the timber a short distance away. Shortly afterwards, the cattle became frightened, and in a few seconds, the immense herd was moving like a tidal wave, and rushed madly through the storm. The next morning, which was the same day the savages attacked the fort at Victoria Peak, now known as Queen's Peak, when the cattle were gathered, two hundred steers were missing. So the cowmen divided into groups of two each, to comb the surrounding country for these missing cattle. When the time arrived for all to return to the main herd, Sam Lewis, of Parker County, and Adams, who lived in Palo Pinto, were missing. It was now nearly night. One or two days later, the missing cowboys were found where they had been killed, scalped, and their bodies badly mutilated by the Indians. Adams and Lewis, were buried on the Lone prairie, near the bank of creek where they made their last stand.

    During this same raid and about the time, or shortly afterwards, the Indians attacked Victoria Peak, they also charged two Africans, who were traveling in a wagon from Montague to the fort for corn. The Africans were within two miles of Victoria Peak, where the citizens' fort was then located. It seems that the younger African lay down in the wagon, but the older African, who was a preacher, fought the savages a brave fight. But both were killed.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Bob Savage, W.A. Morris; W.B. Slaughter; James Newberry; Mrs. H.G. Taylor; John B. Slaughter; W.J. Hale; and others who lived in Palo Pinto, Parker and Montague Counties at the time.

    Further Ref: Personal Reminiscences of W.B. and John B. Slaughter, in the book entitled "The Trail Drivers of Texas"

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

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