Monday, April 16, 2012

Pursuing Indian Ghosts 171 Years After The Battle Of Village Creek In Arlington

In the picture you are looking at one of the historical markers that you come across when you visit the Village Creek Natural Historical Area in Arlington.

This particular marker is outside of the Natural Historical Area, sitting along side the paved trail that runs through the Bob Findlay Linear Park, eventually taking you to River Legacy Park.

This trail is also known as the Pioneer Trail.

The information on this historical marker gives answer to those who might question why I'm always referencing the Indian Ghosts who haunt this particular place.

I will use Dragon Speak to quickly transcribe what is written on this historical marker.....

Near this site, two scouting parties of Texas Volunteers rendezvoused in their pursuit of Indians during the Battle of Village Creek on May 24, 1841. This encounter was the last fought in Tarrant County and resulted in the permanent abandonment of settlements which the Caddo had inhabited here since the Spanish first explored this region in 1542.

General Tarrant, for whom the County was later named, led 69 Volunteers from settlements near the Red River in an early morning attack on the villages of the Caddo and other tribes which were located along Village Creek. Tarrant's Volunteers destroyed two large Caddo villages south of here and then pursued fleeing Indians north along the creek. From the second village, located in the vicinity of Village Creek Historical Park, two scouting parties of ten men each set out. Henry Stout, an experienced scout, led one party northward along the creek trail. John B. Denton, for whom Denton County was later named, led another party sweeping northwestward on another trail. The two scouting parties rendezvoused here and, over the objections of the more experienced Stout, pursued further north into the thickets that grew along the creek as it neared the Trinity River. There, they were indeed ambushed and Denton was killed. Denton was the only Volunteer to be killed. His death was as much the result of his contest with Stout over who had the most courage as it was their contest with the Indians. The dramatic account of Denton's death, as retold by Arista Joyner in her book, Arlington Texas, Birthplace of the Metroplex, appears below.

Stout halted where the trails came together and warned his men that the Indians were likely heading for the thickets just beyond this point to lay a trap for them. Just then, Denton rode up from the other trail and asked Stout why he had stopped. Stout told him what he had told his men, and added that his men "would go as far as any other." The two men were obviously piqued at each other. Denton quickly spurred his horse onward (pictured) and Stout followed until they came across another larger trail, one end of which led over a hill to the west and the other part headed east (current day Randol Mill Road). The trail crossed the creek where some villages were. The men proceeded northward and crossed the creek at the lower end of a horseshoe bend (just west of current day Lamar Blvd.) and saw beyond them a cornfield and on through the trees, another village was discernible. They crossed the field and entered the creek. Denton halted momentarily. Stout rode up in front of him and said, "If you are afraid to go in there, I'm not", and he spurred his horse ahead. Denton, already emotionally fired, shouted angrily, "I'll follow you to Hell. Go on."

Soon after entering the creek, they were ambushed and Denton was killed. (Also see trail markers at ambush site, 1 mile north, and in Village Creek Historical Park, 1.5 miles south, along this trail).

And now you know why there are so many Indian Ghosts haunting this location.

No comments: