Texas Bob Travels

Bloody Battle Saw Two Killed

Comanche Moon Strikes Fear

January 1870

Within four years during the terrible decade of the 1860's, two militia officers named Carter were killed by Indians in the country drained by the Lampasas River and Cowhouse Creek.

Both men were frontier leaders, both had families and the loss of each was deeply felt by a people who feared the full Comanche moons next to the wrath of God.

On October 11, 1861, Lieutenant Robert Carter with nine men of Captain Frank Cotton's company of Hamilton County Minute Men, set out on a ten day scout on the headwaters of the Lampasas River.

Those under Carter's command were Grundy Morris, A.W. Witcher, James Mitchell, Joe Manning, Simpson Lloyd, John Witcher, John Hurst, Dave Morris and one other man.

On October 19, without having seen any Indians, they were at the headspring of the Lampasas River, within a day's ride of their homes. Lieutenant Carter sent J.W. Witcher out to shoot a deer for their final camp, which was to be several miles farther on toward Hamilton.

When they reached that place, and Witcher did not make an appearance, Grundy Morris was sent to Lookout Mountain, near present Caradan in Mills County, to search for Witcher, and perhaps assist him in killing a deer.

Just as Morris reached the crest of Lookout Mountain, Witcher, in the valley below, was attacked by Indians.

Witcher and the Indians were about two miles away, but in plain view of Morris, who watched the chase until Witcher abandoned his horse and ran into a thicket.

Morris, knowing that he could nothing to assist Witcher, turned his horse and raced back to the command, hoping that Witcher could hold the Indians at bay until he could lead the detachment back to his aid

Morris had not been gone long when the Indians took Witcher's horse and left him doubtless having observed that he was well armed and could surely kill the first Indian who entered the thicket.

After nightfall, Witcher left the thicket and soon became lost.

When Morris reached the camp Carter immediately ordered a march to Witcher's relief.

Traveling on their back trail, they reached the spring from which Witcher had left them just as night descended. At a steep ravine just above the spring, their horses suddenly alerted them to the presence of something in their rear by snorting and tossing their heads.

They then discovered that the Indians, who had apparently meant to camp at the spring, had fallen in behind them.

Carter did not hesitate a second before giving the order to attack, and the Indians, of about equal numbers, met them halfway. It was now full dark, and difficult to distinguish friend from foe, but at last, by shouts and whistles on the part of the white men, and birdcalls on the part of the Indians, the two parties regrouped on opposite sides of the ravine.

Carter quickly ordered a second charge, and the fighting became hand to hand. John Hurst and Grundy Morris were seriously wounded when the whites next withdrew to their side of the ravine, and Lieutenant Carter could not be found

A third attack was made, which caused the Indians to retreat. The white men could tell that several Indians, and several of the Indians' horses, were wounded. If any were killed, their comrades carried them away, as was their custom.

When the minutemen reached their camp, Carter was not there, as they had hoped he would be.

So highly was the lieutenant regarded that A.W. Witcher, a brother of the man first attacked by the Indians, and J.R. Townsend crept hack in the night to the battleground and searched the area on hands and knees for his body, but failed to find him.

On the following day, Sunday, the battered party made its way home, as the wound of John Hurst, who had an arrow lodged in his spine, demanded attention,

On Monday, a search party recovered the body of Robert Carter. He was shot in a dozen places.

The settlers carried his remains to Langford's Cove (present day Evant) and buried him there in the Langford Cemetery.

Four years later, in 1866, C. C. Carter, member of a minute man company in the northwest part of Lampasas County, started one night from his house to that of his son in law, about four miles away. When he had reached a point within a mile of his destination, Indians fired on him from ambush. Though mortally wounded, he put spurs to his horse and outran the Indians, who attempted to cut him to his son in law's front gate, where he fell from his horse.

His daughter ran to him even as the Indians turned back, and he died in her arms.

He is buried in Center Cemetery east Of Lometa.

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