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LEGION VALLEY MASSACRE

LEGION VALLEY MASSACRE. The Legion Valley Massacre occurred on February 5, 1868, when a band of about fifteen Comanche Indians raided the home of John S. and Matilda Jane (Jones) Friend near the confluence of Sandy and Legion creeks, about fifteen miles south of Llano in Llano County. Eight related women and children had gathered at the Friend home in the absence of their menfolk. In addition to Matilda Friend, the group included Rebecca (Stripling or Stribling) Johnson and infant, Samantha (Johnson) Johnson and infant, Miss Amanda Townsend (who was about eighteen), and two children, Malinda Ann Caudle and Lee Temple Friend, both about eight years old. In resisting the raid, Mrs. Friend was stabbed, shot with arrows, badly cut across her hand, scalped, and left for dead as the marauders robbed the dwelling and rode off with the seven remaining members of the group as captives. Within a few miles of the Friend home, the two young wives, their infants, and Amanda Townsend were mutilated and killed by the Indians; the two children were held as captives. Malinda was recovered in about six months and returned to her parents. Lee remained a captive until December 1872, and when finally recovered had acquired the language and culture of his captors. He did not readapt well and died on June 2, 1876, soon after having been returned to his family. By feigning death, Matilda Jane Friend survived the attack; three weeks later she gave birth to a daughter. As soon as she and the new child were able to travel-which was before the year was out-she moved with her family to El Dorado Township, Kansas. There, she and her husband had another five daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Friend both died in El Dorado, Matilda Jane on January 24, 1909, and John S. in 1929. Malinda Ann Caudle died on March 11, 1933, in Marble Falls, Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin: Hutchings, 1889; rpt., Austin: State House, 1985).
Johnie Lee Reeves

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Handbook of Texas Online, Johnie Lee Reeves, "Legion Valley Massacre," accessed July 27, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/btlkt.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.