Forgotten Trails: Story of Burnt Corn battle continues
Published 5:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Let's continue with the story of the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek.
A young Indian buck carrying an armload of firewood suddenly spun half around. Dropping the wood he raised up on his toes and then fell on his face in the grass.
On the upper side of the Indian camp, rifles were already cracking. The Indians, frightened and surprised and not understanding what it was all about or who was attacking them or why, all seemed to want to run into a huddle. Numbers of them had been killed when Caller's men had opened fire. Others continued to fall, dead or wounded.
Seeing Caller and his men charging their camp, firing into them as they rode, Indians began snatching up what guns, bows and arrows they could get their hands on and started running toward the branch below them and for the thick canebrakes that grew along the creek, but some of them were killed, shot in the back, before they could escape.
The Indian camp became deserted except for some squaws, a dozen or more frightened children and an old chief who was wounded and dying. A score of dead Indians dotted the campsite.
Thinking the handful of Indians who had managed to escape had hightailed it for other parts of the country, Caller and all of his men, talking loud and laughing, invaded the Indian camp.
They began raiding it, taking a few things they could use and destroying the rest, and then abusing the squaws and children.
Like scattered quail getting together, and by using bird calls, the Indians hidden in the branch and canebrakes got together. Quickly holding a pow-wow they scattered in all directions. Darting from tree to tree they surrounded Caller and his men and began slipping down on them from all sides.
Suddenly from different directions came the crack of the Indians' rifles; the whine of the rifle balls; the two-a-n-n-g-g of strained bows; the zoo-o-o-p-p and thud-d-d of arrows and the spine-chilling war cry of the attacking Indians.
Moving from tree to tree the attacking Indians were closing in on Col. Caller and his men. Their war cry-Y-o-o-hi-i-y-e-e-e! Y-o-o-hi-i-y-e-e-e! and the crack! crack! of their rifles echoed up and down Burnt Corn Swamp. The twang of bows and zoo-o-p of arrows and the whine of rifle balls had a deathly sound.
The merry-making of Caller and his men, the loud laughing and talking was suddenly cut short by the sudden surprise attack of a few Indians they thought were sill running. Or was it those same Indians or