Captain Jack Wright and Men Fight With Indians Near Buffalo Gap

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.

Taylor County, Texas

    Capt. Jack Wright, Dick Cunningham, and Isaac Reed of Comanche County, Elic Powers and Geo. Gentry of Hamilton County, Luther Allen of Coryell County, Alexander from Camp Colorado, and about five others during 1862, followed twelve Indians until they reached a point near the present town of Buffalo Gap. Here the rangers heard a peculiar whistle, and shortly afterwards, and about nine o'clock in the morning they discovered the savages. During the fighting that followed, the Indians captured the pack mules of these gallant frontiersmen, who were stationed at Camp Colorado during the War. The copper faced criminals from the plains, after the first fight ceased, took the rangers' frying pans and beat them against the rocks. Soon the soldiers and savages again became engaged in a bitter conflict, and needless to say, this was one of the worst fighting bunch of Indians that was ever encountered. Later in the day the Indians, after the second fight had been fought, called a pow-wow on a little cedar mountain very near the present town of Cedar Gap. They again made a desperate charge against the whites, and a third fight followed, in which both white men and savages were fighting several desperate duels.

    When the fighting had ended, Geo. Gentry, Elic Powers and Billy Ellison were so badly wounded, the command could not move. Capt. Jack Wright and others were also painfully injured by the deadly aim of the plains Indians. Night was now near and both the whites and savages camped within one half mile of each other, and under the shadows of darkness, slipped to the same spring for water. A courier was dispatched that night to Camp Colorado for aid.

    During the succeeding day new recruits took the Indian trail and discovered that only three savages went away. The trail of these three Indians was followed for fifteen or twenty miles, and bloody cloth found disclosed that at least one of their number was wounded. That the Indians lost heavily in this engagement, was further disclosed by the finding of bodies of nine warriors nearby buried with rock and brush over their bodies.

    This was one of the most desperate and stubbornly waged fights ever fought along the West Texas Frontier.

    Note: Before writing this section, the author personally interviewed Richard P. (Dick) Cunningham, who was in the fight, and others.

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

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