“The Best Arrow Shot in the History of Indian Warfare”?


Here is a description of a skirmish between thirty-four Texan colonists and hundreds of Comanche on May 26, 1839. This battle is known as the Bird’s Creek Fight.

Recoiling under the fire, the Indians again formed on the hill and remained about twenty minutes, when a second charge was made in the same order, but in which they made a complete circuit around the Texians dealing a heavy fire among them. But the nerves of the inspirited defenders had now become steady and their aim was unerring – they brought a goodly number of their assailants to the ground. They paid bitterly for it, however, in the loss of the fearless Weaver, who received a death ball in the head, and of Jesse E. Nash, who was killed by an arrow, while Lieut. Allen and George W. Hensell were severely wounded and disabled; and as they enemy fell back a second time, Capt. Bird jumped on to the bank to encourage his men; but only to close his career on earth. He was shot through the heart with an arrow by an Indian at the extraordinary distance of two hundred yards- the best arrow shot known in the annals of Indian warfare, and one that would seem incredible to those who are not familiar with their skill in shooting by elevation.

The battle was ultimately a victory for the Texans.

This is not a primary source. The source is “Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas”, published 1880. The opinion that this is the most best arrow shot known in Indian warfare seems to be that of the author, John Henry Brown. From what I can deduce, Brown’s line of work was newspaper editor.

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