Fighting Indians Erath To Palo Pinto Counties

According to Joseph Carroll McConnell’s The West Texas Frontier, the following occurred in about 1867, during the days of Reconstruction and at a time when Indian attacks were so prevalent that many people in our area traveled at night in hopes of avoiding a conflict.

It was in this year that two Methodist preachers left Erath County, traveling by night. The next morning found them very near Palo Pinto when they were attacked by seven Indians. However, the two men made a run for the town, arriving with their hair still intact.


“But in a short time, H. G. Taylor, Uncle Johnnie Lynn, and several others, whose names we do not have, under the command of George Cathey, took the trail of the seven Indians. These savages were followed to Ward Mountain and overtaken about ten or twelve miles southeast of Palo Pinto. The Indians were first discovered on the opposite side of a canyon and were going up the hill.”

As far as I can tell, Cathey suddenly was attacked by fear and said, “Charge them, Boys. I will go after more help,” as he ran away. The others continued fighting on near Ward Mountain. A man referred to as Uncle Johnnie Lynn kept his gun aimed at a particular Indian without ever firing.

“As usual the savages were yelling, dancing, dodging, blowing whistles, etc. to excite their assailants, but in a short time, the Indians began to retreat. H. G. Taylor said to the savages, ‘Damn you, why don’t you stop and fight?’ A rusty old warrior replied, “Damn you some, too.’

“The Indians retreated into the thick timber. After the fight was over, H. G. Taylor asked, ‘Uncle Johnnie, why didn’t you shoot? You had a bead on him several times.’

“Uncle Johnnie replied, ‘Yes, but I could not get him still long enough. I wanted to kill that old greasy Indian.'”

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for and marketing small-town Texas.
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