Matagorda County Historical Marker
 



 

BATTLE ISLAND
 

HERE IN 1826, A COMPANY OF
VOLUNTEERS COMMANDED BY
CAPTAIN AYLETT C. BUCKNER
ALMOST EXTERMINATED A BAND
OF KARANKAWA INDIANS WHO
HAD MURDERED SEVERAL FAM-
ILIES ON LOWER CANEY.

 

S Gulf Road

28°42’37.18”N      95°54’56.66”W


In the winter of 1826, the Flowers and Cavanah families who lived on Liveoak Bayou were massacred by the Karankawas. Charles Cavanah was one of the first immigrants to the first colony of Stephen F. Austin. He was at work some distance from the house when the Indians made the attack. On his return he found his home in possession of the Karankawas. With him were two or three slaves. All of the men were unarmed, hence, they were compelled to retreat. A neighbor, Mrs. Elisha Flowers, and one of her daughters were visiting in the Cavanah home at the time of the attack. Mrs. Flowers attempted to escape but was pursued and scalped. Her daughter was also wounded. Mrs. Cavanah and three of her daughters were killed; a fourth daughter was wounded. The two wounded girls were thrown with the others into a brush pile and left for dead, however both girls recovered from their wounds. Charles Cavanah raised a company of sixty men and pursued the savages. The Texians were under the command of Captain Aylett C. “Strap” Buckner, who had seen much service along the frontiers.

The settlers overtook the Karankawas at a small grove of timber near the Cavanah home. The Indians fought bravely and were making it a difficult fight for the colonists, until the Karankawa chief was shot down by Jimmie Jameson, son of one of the first settlers in the area. The warriors then became frightened and fled down the shores of the bay toward the mouth of the Colorado. They swam Peyton Creek and beat the settlers to a small bushy plot of ground at the mouth of Little Boggy Creek about two miles northwest of the present town of Matagorda. This plot was later called “Battle Island” and now has a historical marker.

There the Karankawas and colonists engaged in battle again. All but five or six Indian warriors were killed. These escaped in their canoes. The settlers followed and overtook them at a point six miles above and completely exterminated the Indians. This point has since been known as “Dressing Point,” so called because of the settlers said, “The Karankawas were properly dressed.”

Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, p 42
 

 

Copyright 2010 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Created
Nov. 21, 2010
Updated
Sep. 8, 2011
   

HOME