Battle of Plum Creek – Texas History

The boldest and most concentrated of the Indian invasions on Texas, and the deepest into the heart of Texas soil, occurred in August of 1840 and culminated in the Battle of Plum Creek.

Hostilities between the Indians and the Texans had been steadily escalating for several years. They reached a peak in early 1840 in what became known as the Council House Fight in San Antonio. The Indians had come to San Antonio on what started out as a peace mission, but a dispute ended in the death of seven Texans and over thirty-five Indians. As a result, the already diminished trust between the Texans and Indians totally collapsed, and the Indians began making plans for retaliation.

The counterstrike began in early August when a war party of about 600 Comanches and Kiowas descended from the Texas hill country all the way to Victoria and nearby Linnville on the Gulf of Mexico. They carefully avoided the settlements on the Guadalupe valley and thus made the trip undetected when they reached Victoria on the afternoon of August 6. After raiding and looting on the Texas coast, the Indians began their return, backtracking northward just east of the Guadalupe River.

By then, news of the raids on Victoria and Linnville had spread through the settlements. Volunteers from Gonzales under Matthew Caldwell and from Bastrop under Ed Burleson were soon gathered and on the way to the site agreed upon to intercept the Indians.

The Comanches were already in sight as the two contingents of Texans joined forces. As the Texans approached, most of the Indians formed a line in front of their horses and pack mules. After some time, however, the Indians began retreating and separating, so that the battle turned into a long-running fight.

The Comanches lost over eighty warriors in the battle that stretched for almost fifteen miles. Others were captured, including squaws and children, and much of the plunder taken at Victoria and Linnville was recovered. The Texans lost one man and had seven wounded.

About Lyman

Lyman Hardeman has held a deep interest in Texas history. He spent his youth in College Station, Texas and received a degree in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M in 1966. In 1995, Lyman created Lone Star Junction, a popular Texas history website that later merged with Lyman is a life member of the Texas State Historical Association and the author of Texas A&M The First 25 Years.