Posts Tagged With: Texas

Lost Treasure is still out there….


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The Dalton Gang Loot

The famous Dalton Gang made history in 1892 when they attempted to rob two banks at the same time in Coffeyville, Kansas. The result was the death of four of the outlaws and four citizens, and a prison term for the only survivor, Emmett Dalton.

Less well known is the fortune in gold and silver coins allegedly buried by the outlaws on the evening before the Coffeyville attempt. The cache was estimated to be worth between $9,000 and $20,000 in 1892 values.

Before their Coffeyville robbery, the Dalton Gang held up a Missouri-Kansas-Texas train near Wagoner, Oklahoma, and another near Adair. From these robberies, they netted $10,000. A few weeks later, they walked into an El Reno, Oklahoma, bank and took $17,000.

Following these robberies, the gang members purchased new saddles and clothes. The remaining loot was carried in their saddlebags as they made their way toward Coffeyville.

On the evening of October 5, the gang arrived at Onion Creek where it joins with the Verdigris River near the Kansas-Oklahoma border. There, they set up camp. Desiring to travel as unencumbered as possible, they unloaded all of the goods from their horses. The gold and silver coins were placed in a shallow hole they dug adjacent to their campfire.

At dawn the following morning, the outlaws breakfasted, checked their firearms and ammunition, and saddled their mounts. Before leaving, Emmett told the gang members that if they became separated, they were to rendezvous at this site, where they would retrieve the coins and escape deeper into Oklahoma.

The robbery attempt was a disaster and spelled the end of the gang. All were killed, save for Emmett. He served only 15 years in prison when he was pardoned in 1907. Lawmen believed that when freed, Emmett would lead them to the buried cache. They followed him for weeks, but he stayed away from Onion Creek. He once told an interviewer that he believed the coin cache was tainted and he wanted no more to do with it.

The precise location of the Onion Creek campsite has been debated for years, but recently discovered information has narrowed the area of search. On the morning the Dalton Gang departed for Coffeyville, Mary Brown, the young daughter of a nearby rancher, was riding her horse when she heard voices near Onion Creek. Reining up her mount, she listened and heard the sounds of men eating and saddling horses. Moments later, Brown saw five horsemen riding out from under a small wooden bridge that spanned the creek and making their way toward Coffeyville.

Years later, when Brown was an adult, she heard the story of the gold and silver coins buried at the Onion Creek campsite and was determined to find them. During the time that passed since the Coffeyville Raid, however, the old bridge had been torn down, portions of the creek had changed course and the road had been relocated. Though she searched for a full day, Brown was unable to find the location where the Daltons had camped so many years earlier.

As far as anyone knows, the treasure is still there.

Belle Starr’s Lost Iron Door Cache

Belle Starr was arguably the American West’s most famous female outlaw. She was known to deal in stolen horses, and she provided sanctuary in her eastern Oklahoma home to Frank and Jesse James, the Younger Gang and other notorious banditti. Some believed that she helped plan crimes and aided her accomplices in hiding and spending money taken in bank and train robberies.

A tale that has surfaced over the years involves gang members Starr allegedly knew. They stopped a freight train bound for the Denver Mint during the mid-1880s. The train was transporting a cargo of gold ingots destined to be turned into coin.

Though the robbery went as planned, the gang feared immediate pursuit from federal agents. They decided to hide the gold in a cave in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains. Before riding away with the loot, gang members removed one of the iron doors from a railroad car and, using ropes, dragged the door along behind them as they made their escape on horseback.

When they arrived at the cave, the bandits stacked the gold against one wall. The iron door was placed over the entrance, wedged into position, and covered over with rock and brush. Before leaving the area, one of the outlaws hammered a railroad spike into an oak tree located 100 yards from the cave.

A short time after the robbery, railroad detectives learned of the possibility that the gold had been hidden in the Wichita Mountains. Though they hunted for weeks, they were never able to find it.

During a subsequent train robbery attempt a few months later, all of the members of the gang were killed. In 1889, Starr was murdered, a crime that has never been solved. With her death, no one remained alive who knew the exact location of what has come to be called the “Lost Iron Door Cache.”

During the first decade of the 1900s, a rancher and his young son rode into a canyon in the Wichita Mountains near Elk Mountain. Their attention was captured by the reflection of the sun from an object located on the eastern slope. On investigating, they encountered a large, rusted iron door set into a recessed portion of the canyon wall.  The son wanted to see what was on the other side of the door, but the father reminded him they had to reach their destination before nightfall. Later, the father learned the story of the Iron Door Cache. The two returned to the region, but were unsuccessful in relocating the site.

During the ensuing years, a number of ranchers, hunters and hikers have reported spotting the iron door against one wall of a remote canyon in the Wichita Mountains. On learning the story of the gold, they attempted to return to the location, but could never find it.

While traveling through a remote canyon in the Wichitas in the 1950s, a rancher decided to pause and take shade under a large oak tree. He hung his hat on a railroad spike hammered into the trunk. Familiar with the story of the gold cache and the spike, he made plans to return to the canyon and search for the treasure, but was never able to relocate the site. Later, someone cut down the oak tree for firewood.

The latest sighting of the door was in 1996. A middle-aged man making his way on foot from the small town of Cooperton to Lawton, in search of work, took a shortcut through the Wichita Mountains and spotted the iron door. Three weeks after arriving in Lawton, he learned the story of Starr’s Iron Door Cache. He purchased a few tools and set out to recover the gold. On the way, he suffered a heart attack and died.

Bill Doolin’s Gold

In spite of lore that claims Bill Doolin netted over $175,000 in robberies in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas over the two-year period preceding his death, the outlaw lived frugally in a wood frame shack near Burden, Kansas.

In between robberies, Doolin purchased a small plot of land and a shack near Burden, 40 miles southeast of Wichita. To this place he retreated with his loot, and it was here that he buried most of it. He never told anyone about his new residence, preferring to keep it secret.

In December 1895, Doolin traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. An arthritis sufferer, he often bathed in the hot springs to soothe his aches. One afternoon he was arrested by Deputy Marshal Bill Tilghman while soaking in a hot mineral bath. He was placed in the jail in Guthrie, Oklahoma, to await trial for bank robbery. Certain that he would be convicted, Doolin escaped and fled to Burden. He began making plans to move his wife and child to this location.

For days following Doolin’s escape, the Oklahoma countryside was searched for some trace of him, to no avail. One lawman, Heck Thomas, got a tip that Doolin was planning on visiting his wife and son. He learned that Doolin’s family was living in Lawton. Thomas rode to Lawton and, from hiding, watched the house where Mrs. Doolin was living.

Thomas and a posse were hiding out near the house when Doolin came walking up, leading the horse and buggy.  The outlaw spotted the lawman and reached for a rifle under the wagon seat, firing twice. Thomas shot him dead.

Doolin’s friends were aware that he buried his share of the robbery loot, but never knew where. Not until 20 years after the outlaw’s death did anyone discover his secret residence in Burden. By that time, the old shack had tumbled down, and the land was covered in weeds and brush.

Though many have searched the area for Doolin’s cache of gold and silver coins, it remains undiscovered.

Sam Bass Treasure

Following a train robbery outside of Big Springs, Nebraska, Sam Bass and other outlaws got away with 3,000 twenty-dollar gold pieces, along with jewelry and money taken from the passengers. After dividing the loot, the outlaws split up. Bass went to his hideout at Cove Hollow near Denton, Texas. Some believe he buried his booty at Cove Hollow, although others believe he just as easily could have spent the money. He soon formed a gang, robbed more stages and added to his caches.

Bass made plans to rob the Williamson County Bank in Round Rock, Texas. When the outlaws stopped at the store first to buy some tobacco, a couple of local lawmen noticed they were armed and started to talk to them. They didn’t recognize Bass. The outlaws opened fire on them, and a gunfight ensued. Badly wounded, Bass escaped.

Texas Rangers caught up with him in a nearby pasture. The outlaw died more than a day later, and with his death went the knowledge of the location of his treasure caches at Cove Hollow.

Henry Plummer’s Lost Gold

In a short span of time, the Henry Plummer gang amassed an impressive fortune in gold coins, ingots and nuggets from robbing stagecoaches, freight wagons, miners and travelers throughout Washington and Montana…at least, according to legend, since no evidence supports the claim. Some historians have made the argument that Plummer was not an outlaw, nor did he lead an organized gang. But for those who believe that Plummer was a gang leader and who also believe in the legend of his treasure, Plummer’s share has been estimated to exceed $200,000.

For a time, Plummer (and maybe his gang) lived near Sun River, 20 miles from Great Falls, Montana. Plummer apparently buried his portion of the gold near a small creek located 200 yards from the house. He never revealed the location.

On January 10, 1864, vigilantes caught up with Plummer and hanged him. In 1875, a young boy was digging in the soft ground near a stream at Sun River and found one of Plummer’s bags of coins. He returned to the area with his father, but was unable to relocate the spot. Plummer’s buried treasure, at its estimated value, would be worth several million dollars today.

Cy Skinner’s Lost Loot

Cy Skinner was among those named as a member of Henry Plummer’s gang. After Plummer was killed, Skinner loaded up the gold ingots and coins he had accumulated in the same robberies—$200,000 worth—and fled to Hell’s Gate (now Missoula), Montana. After reaching his destination, Skinner carried the gold to one of several small islands in the middle of the Clark Fork. Weeks later, a mob of men stormed Skinner’s cabin, hauled him outside and hanged him.

During the 1930s, a man named Taichert found a portion of Skinner’s gold on one of the islands. When he returned the next day to search for the rest of it, heavy rains had caused the river to rise, barring access to the island. By the time the flow receded, the islands had been altered in size and shape. Taichert was never able to find the precise spot where he had found the gold.  Skinner’s gold still rests beneath a foot or two of river deposit on one of the small islands.

Outlaw Treasure

Mexican Payroll Loot Austin, Texas

A $3 million treasure, allegedly from a Mexican payroll in 1836 stolen by the paymaster and accomplices, the loot could be buried near Shoal Creek in Texas. After burying the loot and, in turn, killing members of the party, the remaining outlaw returned to Mexico. His map to the treasure shows it was buried five feet underground, close to an oak tree with two eagle wings carved on it.

Eight men dug 40 feet of tunnel for eight months along Shoal Creek, saying they were constructing a new bridge or a large house. On April 13, 1927, according to The Rising Star Record, the workers took off with the loot:

“A box was lifted from the square cut chamber between the rocks, for the next day the workmen were gone and the blasting has ceased. Curious throngs soon found the dark tunnel and with lights discovered traces of the large wooden box that had laid beneath the dirt for more than 60 years.”

Butch Cassidy’s Loot Moffat County, Colorado
Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch hid out in Brown’s Hole, Colorado, to escape from lawmen. Many believe the gang’s stolen loot was tucked away here, in an outlaw paradise, for safekeeping, but then abandoned and forgotten.Along what is known as “Outlaw Trail,” Brown’s Hole was also the perfect place to hide rustled cattle and horses.

Josie Bassett, an alleged girlfriend of Cassidy’s, lived on the Bassett Ranch at Brown’s Park. Cassidy had worked there as a ranch hand. Graves along the river, Josie’s cabin and remnants of Doc Parson’s cabin, where Cassidy lived for a while, still stand today.

Lost Treasure

Lost Opata Mine South of Tucson, Arizona

About 45 miles south of Tucson, Arizona, rises what remains of Tumacacori Mission, now a national park. The 18th-century church was built by Spaniards hoping to convert the pagan Opata and Papago Indians. The missionaries hired the Indians to work in their nearby silver mines and store the yield in a giant room.

The Opata kidnapped a woman they believed was the Virgin Mary and wanted her to marry their chief. She refused, so the people sacrificed her to their gods by tying her to the silver, rubbing poison into cuts in her hands, and dancing and singing around her.

The missionaries, so dismayed by the pagan violation of their Christian teachings, had the entrance closed off, presumably sealing in the woman’s skeletal remains—and all of the silver—still waiting to be found.

Lost Dutchman Mine Apache Junction, Arizona

Rich in gold, but—some believe—cursed, the fabled Lost Dutchman gold mine generates endless stories. The treasure hunters who mysteriously go missing while looking for the gold fuel the 120-plus-year legend. Today, some wonder if the Superstition Mountains really harbor the gold or if the stories have piled upon stories to bury the truth.

Sometime after 1868, a German (not Dutch) miner named Jacob Waltz found the Peralta family mine and worked it with an associate, Jacob Weiser. Legend has it that they hid some of the gold near Weaver’s Needle, a local landmark. Details after that are unclear, according to Lost Dutchman State Park information. Either Waltz killed Weiser or Apaches killed him, leaving Waltz as the only person who knew the whereabouts of the mine.

His neighbor in Phoenix, Arizona, who took care of him before his death in 1891, and countless others have searched unsuccessfully for the gold.

Hidden Treasure

Ruggles Brothers Gold Redding, California

In 1892, the charming, young Ruggles brothers held up the stagecoach to Weaverville, California, just west of Redding, making off with the strongbox loaded with gold. Buck Montgomery, of the Hayfork Montgomery clan, was the armed escort on the stage. He shot at Charles Ruggles, who had ordered the driver to halt.

John Ruggles fired back, killing Montgomery. Thinking his brother was dead, he cached the loot somewhere nearby. Charles was alive, but some of the loot was never found. Eventually, local vigilantes lynched the Ruggles.

Jesse James’s Hidden Treasure Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma

Legend says the James Gang, in 1876, buried stolen treasure in a deep ravine east of Cache Creek in Oklahoma. Jesse James made two signs pointing to the gold: He emptied two six-shooters into a cottonwood tree, and he nailed a horseshoe into the trunk of another cottonwood tree. Then he scratched out a contract on the side of a brass bucket to bound everyone to keep the secret. Although this doesn’t seem in his character to do so, since the written oath could have been used as evidence against him, some folks believe the treasure exists.

The words on the bucket read: “This the 5th day of March, 1876, in the year of our Lord, 1876, we the undersigned do this day organize a bounty bank. We will go to the west side of the Keechi Hills which is about fifty yards from [symbol of crossed sabers]. Follow the trail line coming through the mountains just east of the lone hill where we buried the jack [burro]. His grave is east of a rock. This contract made and entered into this V day of March 1876. This gold shall belong to who signs below. Jesse James, Frank Miller, George Overton, Rub Busse, Charlie Jones, Cole Younger, Will Overton, Uncle George Payne, Frank James, Roy Baxter, Bud Dalton, and Zack Smith.”

The gold hasn’t been found, but the engraved brass bucket and simple map have been, as have the markers pointing to the treasure’s hiding spot.

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Categories: Ancient Treasure, artifacts, Civil War, gold, gold coins, gold ingots, Legends, Lost gold, Lost Treasure, Old West, Outlaws, silver, silver coins, Texas, treasure, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Old Man Who Claimed to Be Billy the Kid…..A small Texas town has embraced ‘Brushy Bill’ and his tall tales. By Eric Moreno MARCH 30, 2017….


One of two confirmed photographs of Billy the Kid (left), playing croquet in New Mexico, 1878.
One of two confirmed photographs of Billy the Kid (left), playing croquet in New Mexico, 1878. PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN/PUBLIC DOMAIN

History tells us that the outlaw known as Billy the Kid (aka Henry McCarty, aka William Bonney) was gunned down—at the ripe old age of 21—by Sheriff Pat Garrett on July 14, 1881, in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. He was buried, it is said, in Fort Sumner Cemetery, with his “associates” Tom O’Folliard and Charlie Bowdre, and the epitaph “Pals”—though none of them are likely directly under the tombstone there today. He’s since been romanticized in print, and on stage, television, and film as an emblem of the lawless West.

“As a society back then, people were tough, strong, and fearless, and yet this little guy is known as the most deadly outlaw of them all,” says Daniel A. Edwards, author of Billy the Kid: An Autobiography. “He is either a folk hero that single-handedly stood up against a corrupt government system, or he is a ruthless outlaw and cop killer that left a wake of terror in his path.”

Whether his story actually ended in 1881, however, is another matter. People in Hico, Texas—population 1,379 and home to the Billy the Kid Museum, tell a slightly different version.

Sign for the Billy the Kid Museum in Hico, Texas.
Sign for the Billy the Kid Museum in Hico, Texas. BILLY HATHORN/CC BY-SA 3.0

In 1948, a paralegal named William V. Morrison was investigating a man named Joe Hines, a survivor of the Lincoln County War, the feud that helped make Billy the Kid’s name. Hines told him a whopper of a tale: Billy the Kid had not been killed in New Mexico, but was alive and well and living in a town called Hico in Hamilton County, Texas, as one Ollie “Brushy Bill” Roberts. Morrison approached Roberts who, perhaps sensing the end of his life was near (if he had been Billy, he’d have been 90 at the time), made a confession. He hoped that Morrison could help him claim the pardon that New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace supposedly promised Billy the Kid back in 1879.

“Brushy Bill was very well known around these parts,” says Jane Klein, historian at the Billy the Kid Museum. “He would tell people around here, ‘You know, I have a secret and one of these days you’re going to find out what it is.’ He didn’t want to tell his story at first. After he thought about it, though, he told [Morrison] that he was Billy the Kid. All he wanted to do was to get that pardon that he’d been promised, and I believe he felt this was his last chance to get it.”

In November 1950, Morrison filed a petition on behalf of Brushy Bill. But it wasn’t to be. Roberts died a month later, and neither Billy the Kid nor Brushy Bill Roberts ever received a pardon. Since that time, debates have raged over Roberts’s claims, and whether he was truly one of the West’s most notorious gunmen or just an old man looking for attention.

In researching his book, Edwards analyzed photographs of Billy the Kid and Roberts, and dug into the details of Roberts’s account of his life and comparing them with known facts about Billy the Kid. “Before I made the discoveries I made in my book, I did not have an opinion on Brushy Bill,” says Edwards. “I now believe without a doubt that Billy the Kid was not killed by Pat Garrett in Ft. Sumner. I believe he lived, had many more adventures … before he finally died in Hico in 1950.

“When you listen to his real story, he talks about how he wasn’t an outlaw, how he never robbed banks or stagecoaches, how he resented the fact that Governor Lew Wallace reneged on his promise of a pardon in 1879 and left him to die,” Edwards says. “Now these are strange things for someone that is a fraud to focus on. They are personal things, and things that make complete sense for him to be upset about if his story was true.”

The Billy the Kid Museum opened in Hico nearly 40 years after Roberts’s death, and the city actively celebrates the connection. In Hico Billy is everywhere, from a statue downtown, to the standee in the Chamber of Commerce, to the monumental arch over Roberts’s grave. There is no doubt there that Billy the Kid is one of their own, and they’re happy to tell the world.

'Billy the Kid' statue in Hico, Texas.
‘Billy the Kid’ statue in Hico, Texas. CAROL M. HIGHSMITH/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/LC-DIG-HIGHSM-29831

“From what I’ve heard, [Brushy Bill] told a pretty credible tale,” says Hamilton Historical Commission Chairman Jim Eidson. “I believe all communities are built on legends, and in Hamilton County Brushy Bill’s stories connect us to those wild days of the frontier.”

Eidson’s “official” position on the story echoes that of the rest of the Historical Commission—we keep an open mind. We’re not trying to deceive anyone. It’s all just part of the area’s mythology.

“Brushy Bill and Billy the Kid, the whole story, that’s part of who we are now,” Eidson says. “I think people really like being associated with it now. Outlaws have a romantic air about them and I think the people in Hamilton County really enjoy having this as part of the history.”

Categories: Billy the Kid, Legends, movies, Myths, New Mexico, Old West, Strange News, Texas, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

El Paso Herald 1910..Gold articles..


Two articles in The El Paso Herald (1910), one on The Old Abe mine in White Oaks, New Mexico (Billy the Kid playground) and one in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88084272/1910-11-01/ed-1/seq-9.pdf

Use your photo viewer to enlarge picture.

Categories: Billy the Kid, Ghost Towns, gold, Gold Mine, New Mexico, placer gold, Texas, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NORTH EAST TEXAS, TREASURE LEGENDS AND GHOST TOWNS


Ghost-Town-ciudades-dejan-tener_MDSIMA20130322_0664_37

NORTH EAST TEXAS, TREASURE LEGENDS AND GHOST TOWNS

WISE COUNTY
GHOST TOWNS
1. Ball Knob, 4 miles Northeast of Alvord, on the gravel road off the old Alvord Highway.
2. Pella, on the North county line, 10 miles Southwest of Forestburg.
3. Audubon, 5 miles East of Alford near Bethel Church
4. Greenwood, 6 miles Northwest of Sidell
5. Brumlow, 4 miles Southwest of Greenwood
6. Crafton, on the West county line, 8 miles West Northwest of Chico
7. Babb, 2 1/2 miles East of Chico
8. Flat Rock, 7.2 miles Northwest of Decatur on the old Alvord Hwy. Note: Cemetary marks the location
9. Cowen, on the railroad, 7 miles Northwest of Decatur
10. Gourley, a few miles East of Decatur, just south of Hwy 24
11. Berkshire, on railroad, 6 miles West Southwest of Bridgeport
12. Balsora, 5 miles North Northeast of Boonsville
13. Galvin, on railroad, 5 miles West Northwest of Boyd
14. Anneville, 7 miles South of Decatur off Hwy 730. Note: School house marks location.
15. Draco, 8 miles Southwest of Paradise
16. Cottondale, 8 miles South of Paradise.

Treasure Legends..Wise County

1. A fortune in gold was buried by Dutch furniture and wagon maker somewhere near the old wagon factory at Bridgeport.
2. A large shipment of gold was stolen from a stagecoach and buried North of the spring at the first stage stop out of Bridgeport.
3. A cache of $200,000 in gold coins was buried in the area of Devil’s Den during a battle with hostile Indians which is near Bridgeport
4. H. C Ruth buried several bags of gold coins in 1871 on his ranch, between two trees on the banks of a creek. He was killed by an outlaw while going into town, the cache has never been recovered.
5. The Shannon Ranch near Paradise was used as a hideout by gangsters in the 1930’s, it is believed stolen loot is hidden on the property.
6. Sam Bass, outlaw and bandit is said to have buried some of his loot along Wise Creek in Wise County
7. Sam Bass was in a gun fight with lawmen at Salt Creek near Cottondale and buried some of his loot there. It has yet to be recovered.

PARKER COUNTY

GHOST TOWNS
1. Advance, 3 miles South of Poolville
2. Reno, 3 miles North Northwest of Azle
3. Veal’s Station, 9 miles North of Weatherford on Hwy 51, then 1 mile off the road to the site.
4. Rock Creek, on the railroad and West County line, 4 miles East of Mineral Wells.
5. Millsap, on the railroad, 13 miles West Southwest of Weatherford
6. Lambert, on the railroad, 9 miles West Southwest of Weatherford
7. Earls, on the railroad, 5 miles East of Weatherford
8. Anneta, on the railroad, 3 1/2 miles West of Aledo
9. Brock, 10 miles South Southwest of Weatherford
10. Buckner, on South County line, 15 miles South Southwest of Weatherford

TREASURE LEGENDS..PARKER COUNTY
1. Mexican outlaws robbed the early settlers in the Weatherford area in the 1840’s. Towns folk revolted and chased and killed most of the gang but the leader buried a large cache of gold coins and other loot in the area of Weatherford near the old outskirts of town.
2. In 1930 an old CCC camp was located outside of Weatherford near the old Curtis Diggings.

TREASURE LEGENDS AND GHOST TOWNS…TARRANT COUNTY
GHOST TOWNS
1. Wayside, 15 miles North Northwest of Fort Worth on Hwy 1220. Note: School house marks the spot
2. Avondale, on the railroad and tri-county line 7 miles West of Haslet
3. Bransford, on the railroad, 5 miles Southwest of Grapevine
4. Smithfield, on the railroad, 10 miles Southwest of Grapevine
5. Plover, on the railroad, extreme Southwest corner of the county, 7 miles Southwest of Benbrook
6. Kennedale, on the railroad, 5 miles NW of Mansfield.

TREASURE LEGENDS…TARRANT COUNTY
1. William Riddle, a wealthy farmer reportedly buried $100,000 somewhere on his ranch which was near Fort Worth.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Texas, Treasure Legends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parrot laughs like a super villain…


Categories: 2nd Amendment, adult radio | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Origin of ‘Spanish Armor,’ Said to Have Been Found in Texas Desert, Stumps Scientists…..


It seems to have passed through more hands than The Maltese Falcon. And it’s proving to be nearly as mysterious.

Two pieces of iron armor — reportedly first found in the desert of West Texas about 150 years ago — have recently been analyzed by scientists in Nebraska, where the artifacts have been sitting for decades in museum storage.

Archaeologists have been able to determine that some of the armor’s components are at least 200 years old, but details about who made it, who wore it, and where exactly it came from remain a total mystery.

“I don’t know where this thing came from,” said Dr. Peter Bleed, a University of Nebraska archaeologist who led the study.

“I hope researchers will look for more evidence about this.”

Bleed supervised two anthropology students at the University of Nebraska — Lindsay Long and Jessica Long, who are now graduate students at other institutions — in their investigation of the armor as a research project.

The Nebraska History Museum acquired the armor in 1990, consisting of a black helmet and a neck covering called a gorget, made of a cotton twill backing covered with small iron scales.

Bourke-armor-gorget-front
The gorget of the Bourke armor consists of cotton twill backing covered in iron scales. The wooden crosspiece was added by Capt. Bourke so he could mount it on the wall as a conversation piece. (Photo courtesy Bleed et al., used with permission)

But despite its storied past, the artifact — and the lore that came with it — had never been thoroughly studied.

“I thought the armor itself deserved to be documented, in part because it had been in a private collection since the 1890s,” Bleed said.

The few records of the armor that exist came from U.S. cavalry officer and anthropologist Capt. John Gregory Bourke, who was given the gorget, helmet, and a breast- and backplate in 1870, from an army doctor who claimed to have found them “enclosing the bones of a man in the arid country between the waters of the Rio Grande and the Pecos.”

Bourke took the armor with him from post to post throughout the West during his career, losing the breast and backplates to thieves in Arizona along the way.

But before his death in 1896, Bourke gave the helmet and gorget to a judge’s wife in Nebraska, and by the early 20th century, it was in the possession of an Omaha attorney, in whose family it remained until it was donated to a museum in 1961, and then to the state historical society.

Bourke-armor-helmet
The Bourke armor helmet (Courtesy Bleed et al., used with permission)

One of the first questions that Bleed and the Longs wanted to tackle was Bourke’s assertion, made in his journals, that the armor belonged to “a Spanish foot-soldier of the sixteenth century.”

Historical records describe the equipment used by Spanish soldiers at that time, but the team found that it included little armor, the Spanish instead having used mostly padded leather or shirts of chain mail.

“It just is not very much like armor known to have been used by colonial Spanish forces,” Bleed said of Bourke’s armor of iron scales.

“The Spanish apparently had some [chain] mail, but the idea of taking a fabric and attaching little fish scales to it, this is not something they did.”

However, the possibility that Bourke’s armor was not Spanish didn’t mean that it may not still be very old.

Radiocarbon dating of the cotton backing of the gorget showed that the fabric dated to between 1660 and 1950 — a broad range, but one that suggests that the armor could have been nearly 200 years old when Bourke received it.

Still more clues were found at an even higher level of detail: in the microscopic structure of the iron scales themselves.

The team submitted one of the gorget’s shield-shaped scales to the metallurgy lab at the University of Arizona.

There, analysis revealed that the iron in the armor contained unusually high amount of slag — impurities like clay, quartz, and other non-metallic rock.

This high slag content is the signature of an early smelting process known as bloomery, and it’s further evidence of the armor’s age, the team said.

Bloomery was obsolete in the U.S. and Europe by the early 1800s, having been replaced by more refined smelting techniques. So the amount of bloomery iron being produced in the U.S. and Europe was “minuscule” by the middle of the nineteenth century, the team noted.

“If the bloomery iron in the Bourke scale armor was imported from Europe, then at least the iron almost certainly arrived prior to the early 1800s,” they write in journal Plains Anthropologist, where they describe their findings.

The researchers also considered another noteworthy material in the armor: the cotton.

bourke-armor-gorget-back
A rear view of the gorget shows the cotton twill backing. (Photo courtesy Bleed et al., used with permission)

“I was surprised that there was a lot of cotton in the armor along with pre-blast furnace, or bloomery, iron in the armor,” Bleed said.

“People tend to think of cotton as something that got big after the gin and that is often treated as a 1830s, 1840s development.

“But by that time, bloomery iron was not being produced – at least in Europe and the U.S.

“That makes the combination of material somewhat surprising.”

A few variables remain, he added, which could still explain the provenance of the armor.

Little is known about manufacturing practices in Mexico in the early 1800s, for example, and whether bloomery iron became as scarce there as it did in the U.S. and Europe.

“We know very little about industrial production in Mexico, so I suppose it might have been made in Mexico,” Bleed said.

Another alternative, he posited, is that the Bourke armor wasn’t military armor at all.

The use of iron scales like those in the Bourke gorget are not found in European armor after the 1400s, Bleed said.

Nearly the only place they appear in 19th century material culture is in costumes, like those used in plays and operas, or as ritual dress for fraternal organizations, like the Freemasons.

That, to Bleed, may be the most likely origin of the armor — although operas and fraternal organizations were presumably rare to non-existent in West Texas in the pre-1800s, when the iron seems to have been smelted.

“I still think that it could be fraternal ritual costumery, but the iron seems too old,” he said.

“I can’t explain it.”

[

As for the tale that the armor was found on a skeleton, Bleed added, “It also does not look like it was buried, especially with a body. The story just seems apocryphal.”

If nothing else, the researchers were able to determine that the Bourke armor was made centuries ago, and likely very far from where it was found.

And this offers its own share of insights into how exotic goods moved around the Great Plains of the mid-19th century.

“This is a complex and well-made item, the kind of artifact that shows frontier trade to be more complex than people might have suspected,” Bleed said.

“Wherever it was made, I assume that it was traded to the Plains through the fur trade,” he added.

“It shows that the frontier trade really was international and capable supplying a wide range of stuff.

“If folks wanted armor, frontier traders would get it for them.

“The Plains were not isolated – or poor.”

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Texas Gold Claim Locations….Available to file on….


Site Name : Burdett Prospect
State : Texas
County : Brewster
Latitude : 29.98993
Longitude : -102.96712
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size : N
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities : Manganese, Silver, Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Bailey Prospect
State : Texas
County : Burnet
Latitude : 30.891
Longitude : -98.39973
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities : Copper, Silver, Gold, Fluorine-Fluorite
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Frank Thomas Farm
State : Texas
County : Burnet
Latitude : 30.891
Longitude : -98.39973
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities : Zinc, Silver, Molybdenum, Gold, Iron, Lead
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Pavitte Prospect
State : Texas
County : Burnet
Latitude : 30.76691
Longitude : -98.29702
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities : Copper, Silver, Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Spring Creek Prospect
State : Texas
County : Burnet
Latitude : 30.77799
Longitude : -98.29199
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size : N
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities : Zinc, Fluorine-Fluorite, Silver, Gold, Molybdenum
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Hazel Mine
State : Texas
County : Culberson
Latitude : 31.16961
Longitude : -104.90051
Year Discovered : 1856
Years in Production : 1880-1886, 1891-1947
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type : Vein
Production Size : L
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Silver, Copper
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities : Gold, Lead

Site Name : Bonanza Mine
State : Texas
County : Hudspeth
Latitude : 31.18207
Longitude : -105.49053
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Surface-Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Hunter Mine
State : Texas
County : Hudspeth
Latitude : 31.18934
Longitude : -105.45136
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type : Vein
Production Size : S
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Lead, Silver, Zinc, Copper, Uranium, Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Maltby Prospect
State : Texas
County : Hudspeth
Latitude : 31.03712
Longitude : -104.92884
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size : N
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities : Copper, Silver, Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Adolph Sneider Place
State : Texas
County : Llano
Latitude : 30.73191
Longitude : -98.88064
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities :
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities : Copper, Gold, Silver

Site Name : Heath Mine
State : Texas
County : Llano
Latitude : 30.79048
Longitude : -98.61089
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size : S
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities : Vanadium, Bismuth, Vermiculite

Site Name : Kiam Pegmatite Prospect
State : Texas
County : Llano
Latitude : 30.63601
Longitude : -98.54503
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities :
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities : Molybdenum, Gold, Bismuth

Site Name : Mayes Pasture
State : Texas
County : Llano
Latitude : 30.8527
Longitude : -98.65223
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities :
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities : Copper, Gold

Site Name : Sheeton’s Place
State : Texas
County : Llano
Latitude : 30.68191
Longitude : -98.63643
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Occurrence
Primary Commodities : Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Carr Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Chinati Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Lead, Silver, Zinc, Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Cibolo Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Zinc, Gold, Silver, Lead
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Gleim Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Last Chance Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Lead, Gold, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Mac Daniel Or Leland Prospect
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Prospect
Primary Commodities : Lead, Gold, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Montezuma Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Lead, Gold, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Perry Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.80828
Longitude : -104.3566
Year Discovered : 1932
Years in Production : 1932-1933, 1946-1947.
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size : S
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Silver, Lead, Zinc, Gold
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Presidio Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.813
Longitude : -104.32938
Year Discovered : 1880
Years in Production : 1883-1930; 1934-1942.
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size : M
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Silver, Lead, Gold, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities : Manganese

Site Name : Ross Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Ross Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Stauber Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.81352
Longitude : -104.36379
Year Discovered :
Years in Production :
Operation Type : Underground
Deposit Type :
Production Size :
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold, Lead, Silver, Zinc
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Site Name : Sullivan Mine
State : Texas
County : Presidio
Latitude : 29.80439
Longitude : -104.41938
Year Discovered :
Years in Production : LATE 1940’S AND EARLY 1950’S
Operation Type : Unknown
Deposit Type :
Production Size : S
Development Status : Past Producer
Primary Commodities : Gold, Silver, Lead
Secondary Commodities :
Other Commodities :

Categories: Lost Treasure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fall Of The Alamo by Captain R. M. Potter…1860


The Fall Of The Alamo
Captain R. M. Potter
1860

The fall of the Alamo and the massacre of its garrison, which in 1836 opened the campaign of Santa Ana in Texas, caused a profound sensation throughout the United States, and is still remembered with deep feeling by all who take an interest in the history of that section; yet the details of the final assault have never been fully and correctly narrated, and wild exaggerations have taken their place in popular legend. The reason will be obvious when it is remembered that not a single combatant of the last struggle from within the fort survived to tell the tale, while the official reports of the enemy were neither circumstantial nor reliable. When horror is intensified by mystery, the sure product is romance.

A trustworthy account of the assault could be compiled only by comparing and combining the verbal narratives of such of the assailants as could be relied on for veracity, and adding to this such lights as might be gathered from military documents of that period, from credible local information, and from any source more to be trusted than rumor. As I was a resident at Matamoros when the event occurred, and for several months after the invading army retreated thither, and afterwards resided near the scene of action, I had opportunities for obtaining the kind of information referred to better perhaps than have been possessed by any person now living outside of Mexico….

Before beginning the narrative, however, I must describe the Alamo and its surroundings as they existed in the spring of 1836. San Antonio, then a town of about 7,000 inhabitants, had a Mexican population, a minority of which was well affected to the cause of Texas, while the rest were inclined to make the easiest terms they could with whichever side might be for the time being dominant. The San Antonio River, which, properly speaking, is a large rivulet, divided the town from the Alamo, the former on the west side and the latter on the east. The Alamo village, a small suburb of San Antonio, was south of the fort, or Mission, as it was originally called, which bore the same name. The latter was an old fabric, built during the first settlement of the vicinity by the Spaniards; and having been originally designed as a place of safety for the colonists and their property in case of Indian hostility, with room sufficient for that purpose, it had neither the strength, compactness, nor dominant points which ought to belong to a regular fortification. The front of the Alamo Chapel bears date of 1757, but the other works must have been built earlier. As the whole area contained between two and three acres, a thousand men would have barely sufficed to man its defenses; and before a regular siege train they would soon have crumbled. Yoakum, in his history of Texas, is not only astray in his details of the assault, but mistaken about the measurement of the place. Had the works covered no more ground than he represents, the result of the assault might have been different.

Thus the works were mounted with fourteen guns, which agrees with Yoakum’s account of their number, though Santa Ana in his report exaggerates it to twenty-one. The number, however, has little bearing on the merits of the final defense, with which cannon had very little to do. These guns were in the hands of men unskilled in their use, and owing to the construction of the works most of them had little width of range. Of the buildings above described, the chapel and the two barracks are probably still standing. They were repaired and newly roofed during the Mexican war for the use of the United States Quartermaster’s department.

In the winter of 1835-6 Colonel Neill, of Texas, was in command of San Antonio, with two companies of volunteers, among whom was a remnant of New Orleans Greys, who had taken an efficient part in the siege and capture of the town about a year before. At this time the Provisional Government of Texas, which, though in revolt, had not yet declared a final separation from Mexico, had broken into a conflicting duality. The Governor and Council repudiated each other, and each claimed the obedience which was generally not given to either. Invasion was impending, and there seemed to be little more than anarchy to meet it.

During this state of affairs Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. B. Travis, who had commanded the scouting service of the late campaign, and had since been commissioned with the aforesaid rank as an officer of regular cavalry, was assigned by the Governor to relieve Colonel Neill of the command of his post. The volunteers, who cared little for either of the two governments, wished to choose their own leader, and were willing to accept Travis only as second in command. They were, therefore, clamorous that Neill should issue an order for the election of a Colonel.

To get over the matter without interfering with Travis’ right, he prepared an order for the election of a Lieutenant-Colonel, and was about to depart, when his men, finding out what he had done, mobbed him, and threatened his life unless he should comply with their wishes. He felt constrained to yield, and on the amended order James Bowie was unanimously elected a full Colonel. He had been for several years a resident of Texas, and had taken a prominent part in the late campaign against Cos. His election occurred early in February, 1836, about two weeks before the enemy came in sight; and Travis, who had just arrived or came soon after, found Bowie in command of the garrison, and claiming by virtue of the aforesaid election the right to command him and the reinforcement he brought. They both had their headquarters at the Alamo, where their men were quartered, and there must have been a tacit understanding on both sides that conflict of authority should as far as possible be avoided. This, however, could not have continued many days but for the common bond of approaching peril.

Travis brought with him a company of regular recruits, enlisted for the half regiment of cavalry which the Provisional Government had intended to raise. J. N. Seguin, a native of San Antonio who had been commissioned as the senior Captain of Travis’ corps, joined him at the Alamo and brought into the garrison the skeleton of his company, consisting of nine Mexican recruits, natives, some of the town aforesaid and others of the interior of Mexico. The aforesaid company and squad of enlisted men and the two companies of volunteers under Bowie formed the garrison of the Alamo, which then numbered from a hundred and fifty-six to a hundred and sixty. Of these the volunteers comprised considerably more than half, and over two-thirds of the whole were men who had but recently arrived in the country. Seguin and his nine recruits were all that represented the Mexican population of Texas. Of that nine, seven fell in the assault, the Captain and two of his men having been sent out on duty before that crisis.

David Crocket, of Tennessee, who had a few years before represented a squatter constituency in Congress, where his oratory was distinguished for hard sense and rough grammar, had joined the garrison a few weeks before, as had also J. B. Bonham, Esq., of South Carolina, who had lately come to volunteer in the cause of Texas, and was considered one of the most chivalrous and estimable of its supporters. I pair them, a rough gem and a polished jewel, because their names are among the best known of those who fell; but I am not aware that either of them had any command.

The main army of operation against Texas moved from Laredo upon San Antonio in four successive detachments. This was rendered necessary by the scarcity of pasture and water on certain portions of the route. The lower division, commanded by Brigadier-General Urrea, moved from Matamoros on Goliad by a route near the coast, and a short time after the fall of the Alamo achieved the capture and massacre of Fannius command.

The advance from Laredo, consisting of the dragoon regiment of Dolores and three battalions of infantry, commanded by Santa Ana in person, arrived at San Antonio on the afternoon of February 22. No regular scouting service seems to have been kept up from the post of Bowie and Travis, owing probably to division and weakness of authority, for, though the enemy was expected, his immediate approach was not known to many of the inhabitants till the advance of his dragoons was seen descending the slope west of the San Pedro. A guard was kept in town with a sentinel on the top of the church, yet the surprise of the population was so nearly complete that one or more American residents engaged in trade fled to the Alamo, leaving their stores open. The garrison, however, received more timely notice, and the guard retired in good order to the fort.

The confusion at the Alamo, which for the time being was great, did not impede a prompt show of resistance. In the evening, soon after the enemy entered the town, a shot from the 18-pounder of the fort was answered by a shell from the invaders; and this was followed by a parley, of which different accounts have been given. According to Santa Ana’s official report, after the shell was thrown, a white flag was sent out by the garrison with an offer to evacuate the fort if allowed to retire unmolested and in arms, to which reply was made that no terms would be admitted short of an unconditional surrender. Seguin, however, gave me a more reliable version of the affair. He related that after the firing a parley was sounded and a white flag raised by the invaders. Travis was not inclined to respond to it; but Bowie, without consulting him, and much to his displeasure, sent a flag of truce to demand what the enemy wanted. Their General, with his usual duplicity, denied having sounded a parley or raised a flag, and informed the messenger that the garrison could be recognized only as rebels, and be allowed no other terms than a surrender at discretion. When informed of this, Travis harangued his men and administered to them an oath that they would resist to the last….

On the night of the 22d of February the enemy planted two batteries on the west side of the river, one bearing west and the other southwest from the Alamo, with a range which no houses then obstructed. They were the next day silenced by the fire of the 18-pounder of the fort, but were restored to activity on the following night. On the 24th another body of Mexican troops, a regiment of cavalry and three battalions of infantry arrived; and then the fort was invested and a regular siege commenced, which, counting from that day till the morning of the 6th of March, occupied eleven days. By the 27th seven more besieging batteries were planted, most of them on the east side of the river, and bearing on the northwest, southwest, and south of the fort; but there were none on the east. As that was the only direction in which the garrison would be likely to attempt retreat, Santa Ana wished to leave a temptation to such flitting, while he prepared to intercept it by forming his cavalry camp on what is now called the Powder House Hill, east of the Alamo….

The stern resistance which had sprung up in the demoralized band within, and the comparative unity and order which must have come with it, were ushered in by a scene which promised no such outcome. The first sight of the enemy created as much confusion with as little panic at the Alamo as might be expected among men who had known as little of discipline as they did of fear. Mr. Lewis, of San Antonio, informed me that he took refuge for a few hours in the fort when the invaders appeared, and the disorder of the post beggared description. Bowie with a detachment was engaged in breaking open deserted houses in the neighborhood and gathering corn, while another squad was driving cattle into the enclosure east of the long barrack. Some of the volunteers, who had sold their rifles to obtain the means of dissipation, were clamoring for guns of any kind; and the rest, though in arms, appeared to be mostly without orders or a capacity for obedience. No “army in Flanders” ever swore harder. He saw but one officer, who seemed to be at his proper post and perfectly collected. This was an Irish Captain named Ward, who, though generally an inveterate drunkard, was now sober, and stood quietly by the guns of the south battery, ready to use them. Yet amid the disorder of that hour no one seemed to think of flight; the first damaging shock, caused by the sight of the enemy, must have been cured by the first shell that he threw; and the threat conveyed by Santa Ana’s message seems to have inspired a greater amount of discipline than those men had before been thought capable of possessing. The sobered toper who stood coolly by his guns was the first pustule which foretold a speedy inoculation of the whole mass with that qualification.

The conflict of authority between Bowie and Travis, owing probably to the caution in which neither was deficient, had luckily produced no serious collision; and it was perhaps as fortunate that, at about the second day of the siege, the rivalry was cut short by a prostrating illness of the former, when Bowie was stricken by an attack of pneumonia, which would probably have proved fatal, had not its blow been anticipated by the sword. This left Travis in undisputed command….

On the following night, the 1st of March, a company of thirty-two men from Gonzales made its way through the enemy’s lines, and entered the Alamo never again to leave it. This must have raised the force to 188 men or thereabout, as none of the original number of 156 had fallen.

On the night of the 3d of March, Travis sent out another courier with a letter of that date to the government, which reached its destination. In that last dispatch he says: “With a hundred and forty-five men I have held this place ten days against a force variously estimated from 1,500 to 6,000, and I shall continue to hold it till I get relief from my countrymen, or I will perish in the attempt. We have had a shower of bombs and cannon-balls continually falling among us the whole time, yet none of us have fallen. We have been miraculously preserved.” As this was but two days and three nights before the final assault, it is quite possible that not a single defender was stricken down till the fort was stormed. At the first glance it may seem almost farcical that there should be no more result from so long a fire, which was never sluggish; but if so, this was a stage on which farce was coon to end in tragedy, and those two elements seem strangely mingled through the whole contest….

On the 4th of March Santa Ana called a council of war, and fixed on the morning of the 6th for the final assault. The besieging force now around the Alamo, comprising all the Mexican troops which had yet arrived, consisted of the two dragoon regiments of Dolores and Tampico, which formed a brigade, commanded by General Andrade, two companies or batteries of artillery under Colonel Ampudia, and six battalions of infantry, namely, Los Zapadores (engineer troops), Jimenes, Guerrero, Matamoros, Toluca, and Tres Villas. These six battalions of foot were to form the storming forces. The order for the attack, which I have read, but have no copy of, was full and precise in its details, and was signed by General Amador, as Chief of Staff. … Santa Ana took his station, with a part of his staff and all the bands of music, at a battery about five hundred yards south of the Alamo and near the old bridge, from which post a signal was to be given by a bugle-note for the columns to move simultaneously at double-quick time against the fort. One, consisting of Los Zapadores, Toluca, and the light companies, and commanded by Castrillon, was to rush through the breach on the north; another, consisting of the battalion of Jimenes and other troops, and commanded by General Cos, was to storm the chapel; and a third, whose leader I do not recollect, was to scale the west barrier. Cos, who had evacuated San Antonio a year before under capitulation, was assigned to the most difficult point of attack, probably to give him an opportunity to retrieve his standing. By the timing of the signal it was calculated that the columns would reach the foot of the wall just as it should become sufficiently light for good operation.

When the hour came, the south guns of the Alamo were answering the batteries which fronted them; but the music was silent till the blast of a bugle was followed by the rushing tramp of soldiers. The guns of the fort opened upon the moving masses, and Santa Ana’s bands struck up the assassin note of “deguello,” or no quarter. But a few and not very effective discharges of cannon from the works could be made before the enemy were under them, and it was probably not till then that the worn and wearied garrison was fully mustered. Castrillon’s column arrived first at the foot of the wall, but was not the first to enter.

The guns of the north, where Travis commanded in person, probably raked the breach, and this or the fire of the riflemen brought the column to a disordered halt, and Colonel Duque, who commanded the battalion of Toluca, fell dangerously wounded; but, while this was occurring, the column from the west crossed the barrier on that side by escalade at a point north of the center, and, as this checked resistance at the north, Castrillon shortly after passed the breach. It was probably while the enemy was thus pouring into the large area that Travis fell at his post, for his body, with a single shot in the forehead, was found beside the gun at the northwest angle. The outer walls and batteries, all except one gun, of which I will speak, were now abandoned by the defenders. In the meantime Cos had again proved unlucky. His column was repulsed from the chapel, and his troops fell back in disorder behind the old stone stable and huts that stood south of the southwest angle. There they were soon rallied and led into the large area by General Amador. I am not certain as to his point of entrance, but he probably followed the escalade of the column from the west.

This all passed within a few minutes after the bugle sounded. The garrison, when driven from the thinly manned outer defenses, whose early loss was inevitable, took refuge in the buildings before described, but mainly in the long barrack; and it was not till then, when they became more concentrated and covered within, that the main struggle began. They were more concentrated as to space, not as to unity of command; for there was no communicating between buildings, nor, in all cases, between rooms. There was little need of command, however, to men who had no choice left but to fall where they stood before the weight of numbers. There was now no retreating from point to point, and each group of defenders had to fight and die in the den where it was brought to bay. From the doors, windows, and loopholes of the several rooms around the area the crack of the rifle and the hiss of the bullet came fierce and fast; as fast the enemy fell and recoiled in his first efforts to charge. The gun beside which Travis fell was now turned against the buildings, as were also some others, and shot after shot was sent crashing through the doors and barricades of the several rooms. Each ball was followed by a storm of musketry and a charge; and thus room after room was carried at the point of the bayonet, when all within them died fighting to the last. The struggle was made up of a number of separate and desperate combats, often hand to hand, between squads of the garrison and bodies of the enemy. The bloodiest spot about the fort was the long barrack and the ground in front of it, where the enemy fell in heaps.

Before the action reached this stage, the turning of Travis’ gun by the assailants was briefly imitated by a group of the defenders. “A small piece on a high platform,” as it was described to me by General Bradburn, was wheeled by those who manned it against the large area after the enemy entered it. Some of the Mexican officers thought it did more execution than any gun which fired outward; but after two effective discharges it was silenced, when the last of its cannoneers fell under a shower of bullets. I cannot locate this gun with certainty, but it was probably the twelve-pound carronade which fired over the center of the west wall from a high commanding position. The smallness assigned to it perhaps referred only to its length. According to Mr. Ruiz, then the Alcalde of San Antonio, who, after the action, was required to point out the slain leaders to Santa Ana, the body of Crocket was found in the west battery just referred to; and we may infer that he either commanded that point or was stationed there as a sharpshooter. The common fate overtook Bowie in his bed in one of the rooms of the low barrack, when he probably had but a few days of life left in him; yet he had enough remaining, it is said, to shoot down with his pistols more than one of his assailants ere he was butchered on his couch. If he had sufficient strength and consciousness left to do it, we may safely assume that it was done.

The chapel, which was the last point taken, was carried by a “coup de main” after the fire of the other buildings was silenced. Once the enemy in possession of the large area, the guns of the south could be turned to fire into the door of the church, only from fifty to a hundred yards off, and that was probably the route of attack. The inmates of this last stronghold, like the rest, fought to the last, and continued to fire down from the upper works after the enemy occupied the floor. A Mexican officer told of seeing one of his soldiers shot in the crown of the head during this melee. Towards the close of the struggle Lieutenant Dickenson, with his child in his arms, or, as some accounts say, tied to his back, leaped from the east embrasure of the chapel, and both were shot in the act. Of those he left behind him, the bayonet soon gleaned what the bullet had left; and in the upper part of that edifice the last defender must have fallen. The morning breeze which received his parting breath probably still fanned his flag above that fabric, for I doubt not he fell ere it was pulled down by the victors.

The Alamo had fallen; but the impression it left on the invader was the forerunner of San Jacinto. It is a fact not often remembered that Travis and his band fell under the Mexican Federal flag of 1824, instead of the Lone Star of Texas, although Independence, unknown to them, had been declared by the new Convention four days before at Washington, on the Brazos. They died for a Republic of whose existence they never knew. The action, according to Santa Ana’s report, lasted thirty minutes. It was certainly short, and possibly no longer time passed between the moment the enemy entered the breach and that when resistance died out. The assault was a task which had to be carried out quickly or fail. Some of the incidents which have to be related separately occurred simultaneously, and all occupied very little time.

The stranger will naturally inquire where lie the heroes of the Alamo, and Texas can reply only by a silent blush. A few hours after the action the bodies of the slaughtered garrison were gathered by the victors, laid in three heaps, mingled with fuel and burned, though their own dead were interred. On the 25th of February, 1837, the bones and ashes of the defenders were, by order of General Houston, collected, as well as could then be done, for burial by Colonel Seguin, then in command at San Antonio. The bones were placed in a large coffin, which, together with the gathered ashes, was interred with military honors. The place of burial was a peach orchard, then outside of the Alamo village and a few hundred yards from the fort. When I was last there, in 1861, it was still a large enclosed open lot, though surrounded by the suburb which had there grown up; but the rude landmarks which had once pointed out the place of sepulture had long since disappeared. Diligent search might then have found it, but it is now densely built over, and its identity is irrecoverably lost.

In the 2d of March, 1836, the delegates of the people of Texas in general convention at Washington on the Brazos declared their independence of Mexico. Their Declaration of Independence may be read in the appendix to Kennedy’s History of Texas, vol. ii., and elsewhere. On the same day General Samuel Houston, the Texan commander-in-chief, issued a proclamation announcing that war was waging on the frontier, and Bexar besieged by 2,000 of the enemy, while the garrison was only 150 strong. “The citizens of Texas must rally to the aid of our army, or it will perish. Independence is declared: it must be maintained. Immediate action, united with valor, alone can achieve the great work.” But the immediate action was too late. Already Santa Ana and his forces were closing in around the fated little band in the Alamo at San Antonio; and between midnight and dawn on the morning of March 6 came the terrible assault described in the leaflet, from which not one of the 180 Texans escaped alive, although before the last man died 500 of their assailants had fallen. No fiercer or more heroic fight was ever seen in America or in the world. The Texan force was under the command of William Barrett Travis, whose last letter, to the president of the convention at Washington, dated March 3, is given in Kennedy, vol. ii., p. 184. Its last words were: “The bearer of this will give your honorable body a statement more in detail, should he escape through the enemies’ lines. God and Texas! Victory or Death!” Extracts from Almonte’s Journal, on the Mexican side, are also given in Kennedy. Certain details of the massacre were supplied by Mrs. Dickenson, the wife of one of the massacred men, who along with a negro servant was spared.

The account of the battle in Yoakum’s History of Texas should be consulted. In the large new History of Texas by Wooten a special chapter on the “Siege and Fall of the Alamo” is contributed by Seth Shepard, and this is of great value. Judge Shepard pronounces Captain Potter’s account, printed in the present leaflet, “the most accurate account that has yet appeared.” Captain Potter was, at the time of the siege, a resident of Matamoros. He knew many of the leading Mexican officers personally, and his critical investigations were of such a nature that his paper has the value of an original document. It was first printed in the Magazine of American History, January, 1878, and is reprinted here by the permission of the publishers, Messrs. A. S. Barnes & Co.

On the capitol grounds at Austin, Tex., stands a monument to the heroes of the Alamo, erected in 1891, with the inscription: “Thermopylae had her messenger of defeat: the Alamo had none.”

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“The History of Camp Bowie”, Brownwood, TX


Camp Bowie, located in Central Texas, was a military training center during World War II. The campsite was one and one half miles south and southwest of the city limits of Brownwood, Texas. During the years of 1940-1946 it grew to be one of the largest training centers in Texas, through which a quarter of a million men passed.

In 1940, the war situation in Europe caused the U. S. Congress to determine that it was time to strengthen the defense system. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was given the power to mobilize the National Guard units. The 36th Division of the Texas National Guard unit arrived at Camp Bowie in mid-December for their year’s training. Before the year of training ended, war had been declared.

On September 19, 1940 the War Department announced that a camp would be built at Brownwood. Work began at the campsite on September 27, 1940. The Camp was the first major defense project in the state and there was no scarcity of labor when the building work began. At one time more than 15,000 men were employed on the project.

The land was to be leased from the land owners but this proved to be unsatisfactory. On October 1, 1942 the War Department became the owner of 123,000 acres of land in Brown and Mills Counties. The original plan was for a 2,000 acre campsite, 8,000 acres for the infantry training, 28,000 acres for maneuvers grounds and 23,000 acres for artillery range. Before the War ended the campsite encompassed 5,000 acres, and approximately 118,000 acres was used as the training grounds.

When someone mentions the construction of Camp Bowie, one event will be mentioned in the course of the conversation, the rains that fell from October, 1940 to June, 1941. The official rain totaled 19.50 inches. With the sixty miles of dirt roads built and the laying of utilities lines along these roads the soil became very soft. The slow rain that fell over a period of days resulted in the camp grounds being very muddy. “Camp Gooie”, so named by the workers, was an appropriate name for the Camp Bowie.

The expansion of Bowie began in 1940 and lasted until 1945. The Pyramidal tents were the vogue the first year and a half. At one time there were 6,072 pyramidal and 910 wall tents at Bowie. Each cabin or tent was the home of five enlisted men.

While the living quarters were being built, larger buildings were going up all over the campsite. On March 1, 1941, it was reported that 213 mess halls and 224 bathhouses had been built. The men enjoyed sports and entertainment at the 22 recreation centers. There was one post exchange with 27 branches, three libraries, one 18 hole golf course, a veterinary clinic, three dental clinics and two Red Cross buildings. When completed, the hospital could take care of 2,000 patients. The fourteen chapels broke the monotony of the buildings with the steeples reaching toward the sky. There were numerous other buildings constructed at the campsite.

Atop the highest and most Olympian hill in Camp Bowie was the Headquarters. Krueger Hill was the hub of the Camp’s activities. General Walter Krueger, formerly the commander of the VIII Corps, was stationed on the hill and his home was built nearby the headquarters. The hill was named for the man who led the Sixth Army in the Pacific.

There were five commanders at Bowie. Brigadier-General K.L. Berry commanded from November 18 to December 14, 1940 and again from July 29, 1941 to October 25, 1941. Major-General Claude V. Birkhead commanded from December 14, 1941 to July 29, 1941. Colonel Frank E. Bonney took command on November 18, 1941 and left the Camp June 20, 1944. Colonel Alfred G. Brown took command on June 10, 1944 and stayed until January 11, 1946. Colonel K. F. Hunt took command on January 1946 and remained until the Camp closed on October 1, 1946.

The original plan was a temporary training camp for the 36th Texas National Guard Division. When War was declared the plans changed. Many of the men stationed at Camp Bowie were from Brown and the adjacent counties, arriving in mid-December and departing for Camp Blanding, Florida on February 15, 1942. Soldiers of the Texas Division splashed ashore on the beaches of Salerno on September 9, 1943, to become the first allied soldiers to crack Hitler’s Europe fortress from the west. According to the Camp Bowie Blade, printed on September 14, 1946, the Division suffered 27,343 casualties, including 3,974 killed, 19,052 wounded and 4,317 missing in action. The official figures were 19,466 casualties, including 3,717 killed in action, 12,685 wounded and 3,064 missing in action.

Finally, in December 1945 the 36th came home as a unit to be discharged. The Division was demobilized on Christmas Day.

There were eight divisions trained at Bowie, and many other battalions, regiments, and companies came for a short time to use the training grounds. Medical companies, MP companies, and others were here to learn how to survive during the War. During the War Days at least 30,000 men were at Bowie for training and at one time the population was 60,000 men.

Living quarters for these men and their families was a problem. Men stayed at the camp, lived off the campsite or in tents out in the training grounds. Every available room in Brown County and surrounding counties were rented to the men’s families.

The first Women’s Army Corps, officially arrived on November 16, 1943 to take over jobs to free the men for overseas duties.

There were two prisons in Bowie. The Rehabilitation Center that restored men back to duty and the German Prisoner of War Camp.

The Rehabilitation Center was opened on December 1, 1942. From that date until 1946 there were 2,294 men restored back to active duty. Only 12 percent could not be restored.

The first German Prisoners of War arrived at Bowie in August of 1943. Most of the men were members of Field Marshall Erwin Rommell’s one proud Afrika Corps. When they got settled at Camp Bowie the 2,700 men were well behaved. The men worked at jobs on the Camp and became day laborers for the farmers and ranchers in Central Texas. They raised their own vegetables and had their own burial grounds near the Jordan Springs Cemetery.

Dogs were another resident of the Camp. They were loved and well fed by the men. The Camp Veterinarians rounded them up once a year to register and vaccinate them. Flea baths came more often.

On October 1, 1946 the U. S. Flag came down for the last time. On August 1, 1946 the War Department notified Texas members of Congress that the Camp had been declared “surplus”. The Civilian War Assets Administration was to take charge and began the distribution of the land and buildings.

Today, 1997, there are few things at the Campsite to remind us of the Camp Bowie Days. The campsite has become a medical center, complete with a hospital and other medical buildings. Many industries have built in the area. The site has become a place where people can gather to enjoy entertainments at the parks, the municipal swimming pool, and the football and baseball sports complex. There are now homes and businesses in the area.”

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More Ghost Town and Legends….Texas


GHOST TOWNS AND LEGENDS..TEXAS

PALO PINTO COUNTY

GHOST TOWNS

1…Pickwick…9 miles West of Graford
2…Salesville…on railroad, 8 miles North of Mineral Wells
3…Brad…11 miles North of Strawn
4…Posideon…8 miles North of Gordon
5…Lone Camp…5 miles South of South Palo Pinto
6…Bennetts…on railroad and East county line, 21 miles Southwest of Weather
7…Brazos…on railroad, 5 miles Northeast of Santo
8…Judd…on railroad, at South county line, 5 miles East of Gordon.

LEGENDS

1. M.L.Dalton was a cattle rancher who buried his wealth ($44,000 in gold coins) somewhere on his ranch
which was located near present day Palo Pinto. He was killed in an Indian attack and the family never
found the cache…

PARKER COUNTY

GHOST TOWNS

1…Advance…3 miles South of Poolville
2…Reno…3 miles West Northwest of Azle
3…Veal’s Station…9 miles North of Weatherford on Hwy 51, then 1 mile off the main road.
4…Rock Creek…on railroad and West county line, 4 miles East of Mineral Wells
5…Millsap…on railroad, 13 miles West Southwest of Weatherford
6…Lambert…on railroad, 9 miles West Southwest of Weatherford
7…Earls…on railroad, 5 miles East of Weatherford
8…Anneta…on railroad, 3 1/2 miles West of Aledo
9…Brock…10 miles South Southwest of Weatherford
10..Buckner, on South county line, 15 miles South Southwest of Weatherford

LEGENDS

1…In the area of Skeen’s Peak near Springtown, the outlaw Sam Bass buried a cache of $20 gold coins that was
stolen from the Union Pacific railroad robbery in Big Springs, Nebraska
2…Numerous cache’s are reported buried on the outskirts of Old Weatherford, as it was a stomping grounds for
outlaws and the Spanish crossed through it with gold laden caravans.
3…In the 1930’s a CCC camp was located near the old Curtis Diggings
4…NOTE:…deposits of gold (up to 6 oz per ton) have been found near the ghost town of Brock….

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