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2014-05-29

Battle of Walker's Creek 170th Anniversary Commemoration set

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Pictured: Courtesy photo
Rangers at the Battle of Walker's Creek used the .36 caliber Paterson Colt revolver to win the day and turn the tide in Indian battles on the Texas frontier.

Courtesy photo
The Colt Paterson patent drawing.

Courtesy photo
Jack Coffee Hays led his Rangers in the Battle of Walker's Creek.


Courtesy photo
Samuel Colt


Samuel Colt's Paterson five-shooter on display

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Kendall County Historical Commission (KCHC) will commemorate the Battle of Walker's Creek at the Historic Sisterdale Dancehall on Sunday, June 8, from 10 am - 5 pm. Admission is free.
"Come help us celebrate the 170th anniversary of the Battle of Walker's Creek," said Theda Sueltenfuss, KCHC chair.
KCHC will display several versions of the Colt Paterson pistol at the commemoration. Frank Graves, Boerne percussion firearms expert, will be on hand to describe its evolution.
In addition, KCHC will raffle an authentic replica of the .36 caliber Paterson "five-shooter." Other historic items in the raffle include an authentic replica of the later Colt Walker six-shooter, and a Bowie knife.
A silent auction will also be held. Food, drinks, prints of an original painting, and book-signings by several local authors will also be part of the fun.
"We're expecting a record crowd for this free event, with Texas Rangers, Indians, a Junior Texas Ranger program, knowledgeable speakers, numbered prints of an original painting, a Colt firearms display, and the raffle," said Sueltenfuss.
Lunch and drinks will be available.
In early June, 1844, Texas Ranger Major "Jack" Hays led his small troop of Rangers north out of San Antonio de Bexar, looking for a band of Comanches who had been raiding the area. After traveling as far as the Pedernales River without any contact, the group started back, following the Pinta Trail.
Reaching the area just north of the Guadalupe River, they stopped to rest and water their horses. The Rangers were armed with rifles, shotguns, and two or more (each) of the new Colt Paterson .36 caliber 5-shot revolvers.
It was not long before a large group of Comanches, led by the well-known chiefs Yellow Wolf and Buffalo Hump, attacked. In the ensuing melee, several of the Rangers were injured, and many of the Indians, including Yellow Wolf, were killed.
This engagement signaled the eventual end of the Indian depredations in south Texas. Within two years, the first settler, Nicholas Zink, had established his residence in the area, soon followed by others.
This fundraising event will benefit the preservation of historic and cultural resources in Kendall County.
According to Sueltenfuss, "Proceeds from this event will be used for a variety of preservation activities, including installation of historical markers, promotion of county-wide heritage tourism opportunities relating to historic sites and programs, providing a start of a drive to fund renovation of the old county jail and to establish a museum. Some of the proceeds will be shared with the Sisterdale Volunteer Fire Department."
John Coffee "Jack" Hayes, 1817-1883, is remembered on an historical marker in front of the Kronkosky Library of Bandera County for the role he played as an Indian fighter in Bandera County. He became a Texas Ranger captain in 1840 and proved to be a fearless fighter and a good leader of the men in his companies.
Hays and his Rangers, mixed groups of Anglos, Hispanics and Indians, took on hostile Indian tribes and Mexican troops. One of his noted battles occurred in Bandera Pass.
He also served during the Mexican War in the army of Zachary Taylor.
Following his service in the war, he went to California to join the gold rush, served as Sheriff of San Francisco, and was appointed Surveyor General of California.