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Battle of Stone Houses


On this day in 1837, eighteen Texas Rangers fought 150 to 180 Kichai Indians in present-day Archer County in a conflict called the battle of Stone Houses. In mid-October 1837, a ranger company pursued the raiding Kichais up the Colorado River. Lt. A. B. Van Benthusen and seventeen men split from the main group and headed north to the Brazos. Eventually, they found the Kichais. Cherokee and Delaware Indians who were present attempted to act as peace agents, but when one ranger killed an Indian and took a plug of tobacco from the dead man’s body the infuriated Kichais attacked. The rangers sought cover in a shallow ravine, but after fierce fighting, the Kichais set fire to the prairie and smoked them out. In the ensuing chaos, some rangers escaped into the woods. Eight rangers survived the battle, which was so named after three stone mounds that looked like houses to the Indians.

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