.The Deer Creek Indian Fight

provided by Dan Lengefeld


On August 23, 1872, the "Tri-Weekly State Gazette" newspaper in Austin, Texas, reported the following:

Correspondence --Indian Fight

Round Mountain, Texas, August 15th, 1872

Editor, Gazette

         The Indians have been in, and again the Round Mountain boys have met and fought them, but not with the usual result.   The following named boys, to wit, J.T. Bird, J.D. Bird*, D. W. Roberts**, George T. Roberts, W. E. Ingram, James Ingram, John Biggs, F. S. Waldrope and J. C. Davidson struck the Indian trail at what is known here as the Porter Gap, and follwed the trail about sixteen miles and came upon the Indians on the head of Deer Creek, near the Austin and Fredericksburg road, not far from Hiram Bryant's place. The Indians had stopped and tied up their horses in a cove of the mountains where they could have a natural fortification from all sides, and were barbecuing meat, as they had killed four beeve on the trail.  When in about one mile we discovered the spies coming off the mountains and charged them.  When we got up in about sixty yeards the Indians fired a volley of about twenty or twenty-five guns at us, and wounded Mr. George T. Roberts through the nose with a Winchester ball.  They were well armed with Winchester rifles.  We then dismounted and began fighting in hard earnest for it began to look like business.  After fighting about twenty minutes in that way, Mr. D. W. Roberts was wounded through the thigh and J. D. Bird slightly in the shoulder.  Mr. J. D. Bird and F. S. Waldrope's horses were both wounded. Twelve Indians left us to cut us off from the wounded; and we were forced to leave the Indians, as we had charged them over a bald prairie and were fighting on the prairie on the side of the mountain without any protection.  The Indians were in front of us in the cove and twelve on the mountain to the left.  We were thus compelled to retreat.  We killed two Indians that we are pretty certain of (though could not get them as the Indians carried them off) and two horses.  the Indians numbered between twenty-five and thirty-five, with as good a fort as they could desire, and we had to charge and fight them from the open prairie.  Since an examination of the ground, it is agreed, by the most of old Indian fighters, that forty men could not have driven them out of the fort.  Knowing what I now do, I do not see how a man of us escaped alive, for the Indians were well armed and shot well. I never in all my life saw more determined bravery or more coolness than was there displayed.   Every man got off his horse and fired as cool and deliberately as though he was firing at a target, until they saw and knew they were overpowered and further resistance was useless.  We rode off leisurely and they never followed us.  The wounded are doing extremely well and will be ready, ere long, to meet the red devils again, in the protection of their homes and famlies.

                                                                                                           Yours truly,

                                                                                                            JAMES INGRAM

* JT Bird and JD Bird are undoubtedly both sons of Joseph L Bird of Round Mountain (John Thomas and Joseph Dorris). See Family Tree of Joseph Lewis Bird.

**D. W. Roberts, one of the participants, was Daniel Webster Roberts, who eventually commanded Company "D", of the Texas Ranger Frontier Battalion, first as a lieutenant, and ultimately as Captain.

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