A portion of the Ft. Parker Story: The Massacre; Soon, the settlers were making their homes and farming the land. Several had built cabins on their farms, and used the fort for protection. Peace treaties were made with surrounding Native American chiefs. Perhaps, the Fort Parker inhabitants expected that other tribes would honor the treaties as well. The Fort Parker inhabitants had also allowed a Texas Ranger company to use the Fort, perhaps not understanding that many Native Americans regarded the Rangers with hatred for their Indian Fighting.
On May 19, 1836, a large party of Native Americans, including Comanches, Kiowas, Caddos, and Wichitas, attacked the inhabitants of Fort Parker. In her memoir, Rachel Plummer wrote that "one minute the fields (in front of the fort) were clear, and the next moment, more indians than I dreamed possible were in front of the fort."
One of the Indians approached the fort with a white flag. No one believed the flag was genuine. Silas Parker wanted the five men present to man the walls and fight as best they could. Benjamin Parker felt that by going out he could buy time for the majority of the women and children to flee out the back (small) gate. He felt that there was simply no way that five men would be able to hold the Indians out more than a second or two, as they could use ropes to scale the walls. He felt that the war party would then kill everyone in the fort, and the unsuspecting men in the fields. He argued with Silas that they had to barter their lives for time for everyone else. Their father agreed with Benjamin.
Benjamin knew he was going to be killed. According to Rachel Plummer's account, Benjamin returned to the fort, after his first talk with the war party, and told his brother and father that he believed they would all be killed, and that they should run swiftly to the woods. Silas again argued with him, telling him they should push the big gate shut, and man the walls. Ben pointed out, rightly, Rachel said, that there was no time, and their "course was decided." He told her, "run little Rachel, for your life and your unborn child, run now and fast!" She said he then straightened up and went back outside. She recounted how Silas told her to watch the front gate, after Benjamin had gone out to talk to the Indians the second time, when she herself wanted to flee, while he ran for his musket and powder pouch. “They will kill Benjamin,” she reported her Uncle Silas saying, “and then me, but I will do for at least one of them, by God.” At that moment, she said she heard whooping outside the fort, and then Indians were inside.
The 3–5 minutes bought enough time that the majority of the women and children did get away. Rachel Plummer, who was pregnant, was afraid she would not be able to keep up while carrying her two year old son, and so she stayed in the fort. She began running after seeing the Indians come into the fort, holding her little boy's hand, while behind her she said she saw Indians stabbing Benjamin with their lances, and then she heard “Uncle Silas shout defiance as though he had a thousand men with him. Alas, he was alone, and soon dead.” Lucy Parker, who also had a small child, stopped to argue with her husband Silas, begging him to come with her. Elizabeth Duty Kellogg stopped to gather up their savings, $100 in coins, before she attempted to escape.
Benjamin Parker was killed, and before the fort's gates could be closed, the raiders rushed inside. Silas Parker, who was outside with his brother, was killed before he was able to get back inside the gate. Samuel Frost and his son Robert were killed inside the gate, as they attempted to flee. John Parker's genitals were cut off and he was then scalped. His wife came out of the woods when she saw his torture and was captured. Lucy Parker and her youngest two children were captured but were rescued by Luther Plummer as he ran up to the fort from the fields. But his wife, his son, and their cousins were all lost.
In all, five men were killed, some were left for dead, two women and three children were captured, and the rest escaped into the wilderness.
Another nice view of the Fort Henry!
Great historical information you have added to these.. I have enjoyed reading!
L & Smiles, GG:)
Thankyou, was hopeing I didn't copy too much from Wiki at to bore people, but it is such a good little story to read. It realy puts you right there whith the people in there moments of peril! I felt like running myself while reading, especialy after being there and knowing the small back door and the spring outside and the nearby woods. I will probably start having Indian dreams like you have the wolf dreams. :-)
Thankyou for the L Teresa! henry
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Photo taken in Limestone County, TX, USA
Misplaced? Suggest new location