Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory During the Civil War: Fort Cobb, Fort Arbuckle & the Wichita Mountains

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Wichita Mountains in 1858-1858

Below are three articles: two from The Bourland Papers

Question 1) Who is the W.H. Murray?

Question 2)  Who was Capt Caldwell?

Question 3)  Who was "Payne"?



Dallas Weekly Herald, Oct 27, 1858  ....We learn unofficially that Colonel James Bourland, of Cooke county has been commissioned by the Governor to call out and organize a force of [Texas]  Rangers, for the protection of the Northern frontier, against depredations of hostile bands of Indians that have recently come across Red River, and committed murders and thefts, and then returned to their haunts across Red River. It will be remembered that Major Wm. H. Bourland recently returned from an extended scout to the Wichita mountains [now Comanche Co OK], whither he pursued a party of Indians believed to be Kickapoos and Wichitas, who had killed several persons and stolen a considerable amount of property in Montague county. Maj. [W.H.] Bourland only had 80 men, hastily gathered and equipped, and his scout was unsuccessful, although he trailed the murderers 200 miles.

Col. [J.] Bourland we learn is authorized to call out 400 men, should he deem that number requisite. — This force will be organized at Gainesville on the 4th November, and will thence proceed immediately to the station assigned them on the Red River, 50 miles above Gainesville [i.e. Fort Arbuckle, I.T.] They will range up and down that stream to intercept any bands of hostile or thieving Indians. If it is deemed necessary to make an expedition into the Indian country, the command will at once be increased to 400 men. In that event his command would probably co-operate with the 2nd Cavalry, under Major [E.] Van Dorn. Colonel [J.] Bourland’s long residence on the frontier, his thorough acquaintance with the character and habits of Indians, and his energy of character are ample guaranty that he will give a good accounting of himself.

There are many adventurous spirits in this region who would gladly avail themselves of an opportunity of judging the expedition, especially if it is designed to penetrate the Indian country.                            

                                                                            per Dallas Weekly Herald, Oct 27, 1858


ca.  Jan 4, 1859       Expressly for you. I left here on the very day Friday, Dec 26th, and went almost direct in a N.W. direction until we struck a branch of the Washita [River], where I corralled the wagons, and took to packs [mules], thence I went by the head of the Cache Creek into the [Wichita] Mountains, and skirting along the base in a Southwesterly direction, returned thru the Wichita Village and even on the night of the 2nd Jany near the head of Bear Creek. We were further North than your trail and you were doubt influenced in bearing more to the North West otherwise should have gone by the fact that they left here on the very day before me, taking the other trail due West made by Lt. [R.H.] Offley, to Major Van Dorn’s Company [at Camp Radziminski].

"I saw smokes to the South, but we were at a loss to know, if [smokes were] yours or Capt. Caldwell’s, the officer who commanded the force referred to above. We saw no Indian signs whatever, except near this post, a few signs which upon following up proved to have been a part of Pawnees on a stealing expedition against their brother Red Skins."

 ......Letter may be from Major W.H. Bourland.  ... or from the W.H. Murray of the next letter.

per BP-DM4406-3N-010


Jan 14, 1859  ...... Mr. Payne has this moment handed me your letter of the 10th Jany, just as I am on the way to Fort Smith. I am sorry that we did not meet on the prairies for I took sick (torn).

The Kickapoos got hold of them and killed about five (5), four [4] certain, for they brought in here, their scalps and showed them to me. I will return in a few weeks and if any thing turns up, you shall surely know it.

I am Colonel, Very respectfully,

W.H. Murray.                                                                         per BP-DM4408-3P-261.





Bear Creek #1 near now Indianapolis, Custer County, OK

Bear Creek #2.  Black Bear Creek, Fuqua Lake, Stephens Co OK, U.S. Hwy 29

Camp Radziminski.     near now Tipton, Tillman Co OK


Wichita Village, five (5)  miles southeast of now Rush Springs, Grady Co OK on Rush Creek.


Bourland, William Howard Bourland (1811-Apr 2, 1860 Cedar Mills, Grayson Co TX; m,1-1831 Trigg Co KY to Rachel C. Davis, 7 ch, m,2-1854 to Caroline Willis, 2 ch; elected 2d Speaker of the TX House of Representatives; Mexican War service: Pvt in Capt. J. S. Gillett’s Co I, Col John Coffee “Jack” Hays, then elected Majorj by nine companies (1841 TX Militia)


Caldwell, ___ Caldwell, a Captain Matthew Caldwell in the 1841 Battle of Village Creek.


Murray, Dow, Uriah Dow Thomas Murray, b-1838 TN; m-Bertha Elizabeth Jones, parents of Wm Henry David "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, Gov of Okla; 1860 Fann cen p185; 1870 Grsn cen p104; probably the D. Murray of TX 4th Cav, AZ Brig, Co B (Grsn Co TX, Brush Battn, CSA)


Murray, Wm. Henry David "Alfalfa Bill" Murray  (1866/9 Grayson Co TX-1856 Johnston Co OK) son of Bertha Elizabeth Jones and U. Dow Thomas Murray of 1870 Grsn cen p104 (Governor of OK, 1931-1935)


Murray, W. H. Murray, one W. H. Murray of 1859 Fort Arbuckle or Wm. D. Murray, b-1832 Ireland (Co G, Bourland's Regt)


Offley, Robert Hilton Offley (NY-1891) 1st U.S. Infantry, Maj (Lt, 1858 Ft Arbuckle, Union)




Bear Creek #2.... "Bear Creek" may be means what is now called "Black Bear Creek" that fed and became Lake Fuqua in Stephens Co OK. Before the Corps of Engineers disturbed the lay of the land and made Lake Fuqua, my dad owned a wonderful black land small farm that is now the bottom of Lake Fuqua. Near there is "Bear Creek Cemetery" where many members of my family are buried. I looked on Google maps and recognized the names of the roads, but they did not have the creeks named, but my 140-page Okla map showed Bear Creek flowing into Rush Creek, Grady Co OK.








































































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Patricia Adkins-Rochette        03/20/2013     

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Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory During the Civil War: Fort Cobb, Fort Arbuckle & the Wichita Mountains