Three Years Among the Comanches: The Narrative of Nelson Lee, Texas Ranger

Three Years Among the Comanches: The Narrative of Nelson Lee, Texas Ranger

by Nelson Lee


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In this reprint of a classic Indian Captivity Narrative from the 19th century, Nelson Lee recounts his adventures and his narrow escape from the Comanches in tales nearly too tall to be true. From South America to Texas, he finds adventure everywhere. Lee emerges from one hairy situation only to ride into another daring adventure with the coolness of a Hollywood hero. For three years he is held captive among the Comanches. Tortured by his captors, this Texas Ranger survives to tell others about what he observes and learns about the Comanche tribe, and publishes one of the best descriptions of the life of the Texas Rangers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493023141
Publisher: TwoDot
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 607,711
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Nelson Lee was a nearly illiterate Texas Ranger who was captured by the Comanches and held captive for three years in the late 1800s. His story was wildly popular when it first appeared in print and he became a folk hero of the Old West.

Table of Contents

Editor's Preface xi

Chapter 1 1


Birth and parentage

Roving disposition

Rafting on the St. Lawrence

Black Hawk War


Visit to St. Louis

New Orleans


The Delaware

Voyage to Brazil

The chase for pirates

Ship Preble

Newfoundland fishermen


Arrival in Texas

Chapter 2 7

Unsettled condition of Texas

Origin of the Rangers

Their characteristics

Captain Cameron

First acquaintance with the Comanche Indians

Encounter with the Mexicans

General Davis

Battle of Panta Clan

A stump speech

The sack of Lindville

On the trail

Second introduction to the Comanches

Battle of Plum Creek

The shattered arm

Rescue of prisoners

The death of Cameron

Chapter 3 14

Horse-peddling speculation

Santa Fé expedition

Chills and fever

The call to arms

Jack Hays

The horse Prince

Departure of the Rangers from Bexar

Mexican robbers

The Sevilla scrape

Colt's revolvers

Deer hunting

Encampment at the Forks

Discovery of the enemy

The Ranger's ruse

The Comanches surprised

Battle of Walker's Creek

Sam Taylor wounded

The stern old warrior

The Narrative of Nelson Lee, the Texas Ranger

Chapter 4 21

Custom of the Rangers on the march

Bitten by a rattlesnake

The Spaniard's cure

The alligator of the Aransas

Dread of reptiles

Antonio Perez, the traitor to liberty

Mexican robbers surprised at a grand fandango

The leaders shot

Excursion into Mexico

Description of the Río Grande

Lost in a fog

Capture of a herdsman

Flight from Matamoros

Battle of the Río Frío

Return to San Antonio

Temporary disbandment

Chapter 5 28

John M. Seguin

Mexican robberies

The Black Prince

His escape from his captors

Following the back track

The hacienda of Nevarro

Interview with Marcos Beremindo

Christolphe Rublo, the robber

His early life and character

Milford Day

The journey of discovery

The robber's retreat

Description of their encampment

The council of war

The good genius

The banditti attacked

Their panic and fight

The mistake undiscovered

Return to Seguin

Chapter 6 35

The passes of the Guadaloupe

Blockading the fords

The island retreat

The driftwood breastwork

Swimming the river

Miraculous escape

The Calahan pony

Ranchero, the marauder

The maleta and its contents

Fate of Azaras la Ture, the traitor of Gonzales

The murdered traders

Trip to San Antonio, and meeting with Jack Hays

Excursion to the mission of San Juan

The capture

Ruse of the Rangers

Conducting prisoners across the prairie

Escape of the Ranchero

Death of Christolphe Rublo, the robber

Flight to Seguin


Chapter 7 47

Invasion of Vásquez

General Woll enters San Antonio

Resistance of the Rangers

Battle of the Salado

The stampede

Massacre of Captain Dawson's men

Capture of the lawyers

Woll's retreat

Visit to General Houston

The universal feeling

Dispatched to Galveston

Barbecue at Columbus

General Burleson

Somerville's unpopularity and inactivity

Deer killing on the Medina

Post oak bogs

Taking of Laredo and Guerrero

Somerville's retreat

Attack on Mier

The escape

Capture of the herdsman

Return to San Antonio

Chapter 8 63

Excursion to Comanche Peak

Cattle driving

Visit to Fort Jesup

Encounter with General Twiggs

Meet General Taylor

Again Join Jack Hays' Rangers

Accompany the advance under "Mad Walker"

The dash through the enemy's line

Consternation of the "Greasers"

Arrival at Fort Brown

Accompany Taylor to Point Isabel

Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma

The terrible fight at Monterrey

Return to Texas

Set out with Hays new regiment for Mexico

Description of the country, its climate and inhabitants

Entrance into the city of the Montezumas

Incidents connected therewith

Meeting of Jack Hays and General Scott

The chase after Santa Anna

The Mexican chief's wine horn

Return to San Antonio

Chapter 9 73

Visit to the North

Meetings and congratulations

Return to Texas

William Aikens

The joint stock company

Proprietors' names

Picking up an outfit

The silver alarm watch

Names of the subordinates

Following the grass

Fernando for the mountains

Manners and customs while on the march


Bell mares

Horse breaking

Description of the country

The Halt among the mountains

Attacked by the Indians and taken prisoner

Chapter 10 82

Indian dress

Discovery of the watch

Half-past three

It strikes the alarm

Gathering up the plunder

A heart-rending sight

Probable cause of being unexpectedly attacked

The infernal pantomime

Blindfolded and lashed to a mule

Departure of the caravan

The uncomfortable ride

Performances on the tightrope

Tremendous applause

The night encampment

Favorite food of the Comanches

Appearance of the captives

Amusements at supper

Horseflesh hissing hot

Put to bed and tucked up

The captives night thoughts

Crossing the river in a buffalo skin

The war whoop

Arrival at an Indian village

The wonderful watch

Original doctrines

The war dance

Description of an Indian village

Chapter 11 96

The chief and his household

The matrimonial relation

Osolo, the Big Wolf

An Indian breakfast

The consultation

Moko, the favorite wife

The watch, once more

Mysterious assembling outside the camp

The captives stripped and bound

Preparations for the sacrifice

March of the warriors

The flint arrowheads

Scalping the prisoners

Sounding the war whoop

The torture

The desire to die

Taunting the victims

Compelled to look at the sufferers

The last act in the tragedy

Indian dogs

Return to camp


Interview with Aikens

The sorrowful parting

Change of mind

Removal of the camp

Description of the country

Chapter 12 107

The Valley of Mannasaw

Indian agriculture

The watch again

Chemakacho, the good white man

The bloody covenant

Life in a Comanche camp

Hawakakeno, the wide river

Comanche horsemanship

Dressing the buffalo skin

Indian apparel

Supreme nastiness


The mode of burial

The accursed white man

Comanche prophets

Religion of the savages

Manner of communicating intelligence

Festival of the roasted dog

Sabonkeno, the Fox

The green corn dance

The white women

Painting the face

Return of the war party

Departure from the Valley of Mannasaw

Chapter 13 120

The journey beyond the mountains

Capturing a bear

The night encampment

Entrance into the valley of Lescoha

The dashing escort

Camp of the Spotted Leopard

Another war dance

No change of programme

The bargain and sale

Renewal of the bloody covenant

Value of a captive

Arrival of Moko with the watch

Attempt to escape

Cutting the knee cord

Buffalo hunting

Battle with the Apaches

Meeting of Rolling Thunder and Spotted Leopard

Flanging by the heels

The arrival of the white women captives

Chapter 14 140

Another bargain and sale

Arrival at the village of Rolling Thunder

Uniformity of Indian villages

Euphonious names of Rolling Thunder's wives

Renewal of the covenant of the square stick

The wisest of the wise

Married to To-ma-no-a-ku-no, the Sleek Otter

The Indian duel

Visit to the ruins

Volcanic eruptions

Ancient architecture

The Indian legend

Mounds on the tablelands

Departure for the Grand Council

Incidents by the way

The tragical death of Rolling Thunder

Chapter 15 156

The flight

Barricades of thorns

Clambering up the precipice

The mountain terrace

The narrow pass

Sense of relief

A wild scene

Entrance into the second ravine

Approach of darkness

The lonely encampment

Melancholy speculations

The demands of appetite

Necessity, the mother of invention

Slaughter of the mule

Preparing provisions

An unusual-vessel

The scent of blood

Surrounded by wild beasts

The impressive lesson

Continuance of the journey

Coursing down the valley

Taking the back track

Toiling over the mountains

Avoiding the Indian towns

Snakes and wild animals

Cloudy days

The north star

A twelve-day halt

Renewal of the journey

Abandonment of the horse

Pain and suffering

Meeting with traders on the prairie

Accompany them to San Fernández

Voyage to Cuba

Arrival in the United States


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