Chief Bowles and the Battle of the Neches  LbNA # 35347

Placed DateSep 21 2007
CountyVan Zandt
LocationRedland, TX
Planted ByFrankston Native    
Found By Horse Rider
Last Found Dec 23 2007
Hike Distance?

Chief Bowles and the Battle of the Neches

From the Marker: On this site the Cherokee Chief Bowles was killed on July 16, 1839 while leading 800 Indians of various tribes in battle against 500 Texans--the last engagement between Cherokees and whites in Texas.

Eighty-three-year-old Chief Bowles of the Cherokees, on the day of his death, was armed with a sword given to him by Sam Houston, who had promised the Cherokees 1.5 million acres in the new Republic of Texas in return for receiving their cooperation in the revolution against Mexico.

But Houston’s successor, President Mirabeau B. Lamar, reneged and ordered the Cherokees to leave Texas. This ultimately led to the Battle of the Neches, the Cherokees’ last stand against the better equipped, pursuing Texas army.

Chief Bowles was shot in the leg, and dismounting from his steed was subsequently shot in the back. He then sat calmly on the battlefield--with legs and arms crossed, facing his attackers--and waited to die a warrior’s death. He was summarily executed by pistol shot at the hands of the captain in command, his body mutilated by the Texans, who cut pieces of his flesh for souvenirs; he was never buried. This last and heavily symbolic act of valor by the old chief, in my opinion, at the very least warrants the placing of a letterbox. Go find it!

To the Box:

Travel approximately 13.5 miles west of Tyler, on highway 64 toward Canton. After crossing the Neches River, turn right (north) on Van Zandt County Road VZ 4923 and follow the signs for 2.4 miles. Turn right just before the Tyler Fish Farm at the white sign with a red arrow. If you are driving from Canton, Texas, it is about 21 miles east of Canton and 3 miles north of Redland, Texas.

From the parking area at the end of the long driveway (about 6/10m), follow the foot path until you find the rock that reads “Tahocullake” near the end of the path. From this rock you will travel north about forty paces along a path into the woods. Look left (west) and find the river birch with the three pronged trunk ten paces from where you stand. The box lies at its base covered with debris.

Please, please, please, recover well and be respectful of this property. This is an amazing site--I think you’ll agree--and worth the distance you may or may not have to put in to get there.