Indian Attacks in Austin, Part 3
September 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
April 10, 1841
Indians in Austin. Part 3.
The person whose astonishing nerves riveted our attention was seated at the piano, banging away most unconcernedly amid the din, which was confusion worse confounded. What a remarkable taste he had for music! Mozart himself, who used to eat, drink, and sleep on music, would not have been so completely absorbed by la douce passione under such circumstances, for the rattling tramp of three or four hundred armed men, as they hurried to and fro; the crying of lots of children, not knowing what to make of the muss; and the anxious chatter of 50 or 60 female tongues formed an accompaniment sufficient to drive all Italy mad.
We involuntarily turned our eyes from the piano player to the various groups formed in and about the house and yard.
We saw all sorts of people in the crowd – soldiers, border ruffians, government clerks, newspapermen, Mexican traders, cow drivers and ox drivers, and one man who kept shouting “Hurrah for Old Virginia!”
We next turned our attention to the people in the street, which was crowded with men in arms. We soon discovered that a sort of regular engagement was going on there, for some of the soldiery, seeing the red men had escaped, had turned to combating another enemy, which, they, apparently with one consent, conceived to be red enough for exercising on. They were attacking brandy and its kindred allies. Attacking it – some in squads of two or three, some in sections of five or six, some in platoons of twelve or fourteen, and again, others by companies.
And they fought manfully indeed. They managed it upon the regular fire-and-fall-back principle; for no sooner would one squad discharge their pieces but another standing ready to take their places, would advance heroically up to the breastwork, behind which the enemy were drawn up in perfect military order, and each selecting his particular adversary, would, in the twinkling of an eye, toss him down.
For a long time the engagement was kept up on our side with great spirit, until by the increase of noise and confusion it was plain to perceive that the battle was at its height. In a little while, however, a few of our men, who, up to the middle of the engagement had manifested the most vociferous heroism, began to show very evident signs of declining prowess, more especially by reeling up to the charge out of their squad or platoon’s regular turn. It was therefore not to be wondered at, that these gallant fellows should give in, or rather give out.
Some of our disabled could be seen laying helpless in the gutter, others sitting stupidly. One by one they slowly withdrew from the field, leaving it in the enemy’s possession.
And thus ended the chronicle of the adventures of William D. Wallach, editor
Not surprisingly, Editor Teulon took exception to Editor “Fat Boy” Wallach’s memoir. His editorial revenge will be the subject of Indian Attacks in Austin, Part 4 (the conclusion).