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The Battle of Plum Creek was a clash between militia and Rangers of the Republic of Texas and a huge Comanche war party under Chief Buffalo Hump, which took place near Lockhart, Texasmarker on August 12, 1840, following the Great Raid of 1840 as the Comanche war party returned back to West Texas.The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement: A Century and a Half of Savage Resistance to the Advancing White Frontier. Arthur H. Clarke Co. 1933.

Background

Following the Council House Fight of 1840 a group of Comanches led by the Penateka Comanche War Chief Buffalo Hump, warriors from his own band plus allies from various other Comanche bands, raided from West Texas all the way to the coast and the sea.The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement: A Century and a Half of Savage Resistance to the Advancing White Frontier. Arthur H. Clarke Co. 1933. These Comanches were angered by the events of the Council House, in which Texans had killed Comanche Chiefs who held and tortured white captives for ransom.

The Council House Fight

Main article Council House Fight.


The Texan officials began the treaty talks with demands that the Comanche considered impossible. Including the Comanche return of all white captives. This included people such as Cynthia Parker. Other white captives were with bands of the Comanche not represented at the talks. As a show of "good faith" the Comanche chiefs brought in one captive, a severely mutilated adolescent girl named Matilda Lockhart. For their entertainment the Comanches had burned off her nose with hot coals. Her nostrils were now just gaping puss oozing holes. Going against their word, the Comanche chiefs did not return all of the white captives in their control and in fact held back some of their white captives to guarantee their own safety. The Texas militiamen told the chiefs it was they that would indeed be held hostage to guarantee the release of their other white captives. The chiefs quickly realized their gross miscalculation. They panicked and drew their weapons. The militia began firing and the Comanches were killed. The Comanches: Lords of the Southern Plains. University of Oklahoma Press. 1952.

The Great Raid of 1840

Main article Great Raid of 1840.


But Buffalo Hump was determined to do more than merely complain about what the Comanches viewed as a bitter betrayal. Spreading word to the other bands of Comanches that he was raiding the white settlements in revenge, Buffalo Hump led the Great Raid of 1840. On this raid the Comanches went all the way from beyond the Edwards Plateau in West Texas to the cities of Victoria and Linnville on the Texas coast. In what may have been the largest organized raid by the Comanches to that point on Texas settlements, or an attack by Indians on any white city in the continental United States,The Comanches: Lords of the Southern Plains. University of Oklahoma Press. 1952. they raided and burned these towns, plundering at will. Linnville was the second largest port in Texas at that time. On the way back from the sea the Comanches were attacked by Texas Rangers and militia at the battle of Plum Creek near Lockhart.

The Battle of Plum Creek

The "battle" was really more of a running gun fight, as the Comanche War Party was trying to get back to the Llano Estacadomarker with a huge herd of horses they had stolen, a large store of weapons, and other plunder such as mirrors, liquor, and cloth.[498781] Volunteers from Gonzales under Matthew Caldwell and from Bastrop under Ed Burleson gathered to attempt to stop the war party and together with all the Ranger companies in central and east Texas, moved to intercept the Indians, which they did at Good's Crossing at Plum Creek, near the modern town of Lockhart (about 27 miles south of Austin).The Comanches: Lords of the Southern Plains. University of Oklahoma Press. 1952. Texas history says the Rangers won this battle, although the Indians got away with a great many of the stolen horses and most of their plunder. However, 80 Comanches were reported killed in the running gun battle, unusually heavy casualties for the Indians (although the Texans only recovered 12 bodies).[498782] The reality is that greed determined this battle. The Comanches would have never been caught had they not been herding an enormous number of captured, and heavily laden, mules. Equally, the Texas militia discovered stolen bullion on recaptured mules, and subsequently went home. [498783]

Aftermath

Buffalo Hump continued to raid white settlements until 1856, when he led his band into the Brazos River Reservation. The town of Linnville never recovered from the Great Raid, most of its residents moving to Port Lavaca, the new settlement established on the bay three and one half miles southwest by displaced Linnville residents.

Online sources



References

  • Bial, Raymond. Lifeways: The Comanche. New York: Benchmark Books, 2000.
  • Brice, Donaly E. The Great Comanche Raid: Boldest Indian Attack on the Texas Republic McGowan Book Co. 1987
  • "Comanche" Skyhawks Native American Dedication (August 15, 2005)
  • "Comanche" on the History Channel (August 26, 2005)
  • Lodge, Sally. Native American People: The Comanche. Vero Beach, Florida 32964: Rourke Publications, Inc., 1992.
  • Lund, Bill. Native Peoples: The Comanche Indians. Mankato, Minnesota: Bridgestone Books, 1997.
  • Mooney, Martin. The Junior Library of American Indians: The Comanche Indians. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1993.
  • Native Americans: Comanche (August 13, 2005).
  • Richardson, Rupert N. The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement: A Century and a Half of Savage Resistance to the Advancing White Frontier. Glendale, CA: Arthur H. Clark Company, 1933.
  • Rollings, Willard. Indians of North America: The Comanche. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989.
  • Secoy, Frank. Changing Miliitary Patterns on the Great Plains. Monograph of the American Ethnoligical Society, No. 21. Locust Valley, NY: J. J. Augustin, 1953.
  • Streissguth, Thomas. Indigenous Peoples of North America: The Comanche. San Diego: Lucent Books Incorporation, 2000.
  • "The Texas Comanches" on Texas Indians (August 14, 2005).
  • Wallace, Ernest, and E. Adamson Hoebel. The Comanches: Lords of the Southern Plains. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1952.



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