Massacre of Dority and McCarty, Fannin County, Texas

 

Reminiscences Written By Judge J. P. Simpson

In 1838-9 the Indians were hostile against the whites in this part of the county, and committed many depredations in Fannin County and her territory. The citizens were up in arms and on the lookout for the foe; companies were organized, and every man was on the alert. A battalion was formed of the citizens of Lamar and Fannin Counties, armed and equipped for service under the command of Gen. John H. Dyer of Red River County. The rendezvous was at Fort English near where Bonham now stands. This settlement, then consisting of eight or ten families, was forted up for mutual protection. When the army left in search of the Indians, the writer was left at the fort as Lieutenant in command of a squad of twenty men for the protection of the women and children.

While the army was out, Wm. Dority, Andrew Thomas, Andrew Dority and Wm. McCarty's son, (the two latter mere youths,) went in search of their pork hogs near where Kentuckytown now stands they having lived a short time in that vicinity. Securing their pork, they started back with it in a wagon, stopping for dinner at a deserted house near Bois d' Arc creek and not far from the present site of Orangeville. Mr. Thomas was cooking dinner, and one of the lads had gone to the creek for water, when the Indian war whoop was heard at the creek. The savages shot young McCarty full of arrows and cut off his head with their tomahawks. They then surrounded the house, yelling and screaming most horribly. Dority was shot in the left side and killed; young Dority was shot through the elbow and crippled for life. Thomas rushed for the door, but was met by the Indians with guns and tomahawks in hand. They fired a volley at him but missed their aim, the balls taking effect in the opposite side of the wall of the house. Thomas then charged them with the fire poker in one hand and his rifle in the other. Being too close to shoot, he wielded the poker with desperate force and effect, felling five Indians senseless to the ground. Such unmerciful havoc intimidated the others, and they retreated to the brush for safety. Mr. Thomas and young Dority then started for the fort. The Indians attempted to charge them, but Thomas kept them off by presenting his loaded gun. So Thomas and Dority got to the fort that day at dark.

Next morning we started to the scene of slaughter. Arrived at the battle ground, there lay old man Dority in a pool of blood, three scalps having been taken from his head and the tomahawk having been sunk twice in the naked skull a sight so horrible and appalling that you can have no conception of it without you had been an eye-witness. McCarty's son was not scalped, but his head was cut entirely off except a small ligament on one side. The bodies were brought to the fort next day and deposited in the graveyard at fort English, being the second burial at that place.

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