Hood's Devils River Fight

Hood's Devils River Fight (HM1I52)

Location: Ozona, TX 76943 Val Verde County
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 10.574', W 101° 5.559'

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The men of Company G, a small unit of the U.S. 2nd Cavalry, left Fort Mason on July 5, 1857, under the command of Lt. John Bell Hood (1831-1879), in pursuit of Comanche Indians in the vicinity. Traveling northwest, they discovered a fresh Indian trail leading southward toward Mexico. Crossing bluffs near the Devils River on July 20, the men encountered an Indian camp on a ridge about two miles from the stream, marked by a while flat. Suspecting an ambush, Hood proceeded cautiously toward the ridge.

A small band of Indians advanced to meet Hood's party. Then, throwing down the flag to signal their concealed allies, a group of close to 100 Comanches and Lipan Apaches attached. Outnumbered, and hampered by brush fires set by Indian women, the soldiers were forced into fierce hand-to-hand combat. Outflanked by a force at least three times his number and hemmed in by a wall of fire and smoke to his front, all that Hood could hope for was that superior marksmanship and discipline would prove to be the decisive elements in the fight. The company fell back to reload its weapons, only to hear the loud cries of Comanche women through the smoke and dust, indicating an Indian retreat.

Two cavalrymen, William Barry and Thomas Ryan, were killed, and five others, including Hood, were wounded. A relief unit from Camp Hudson (20 mi. S) arrived the following day, rendering medical aid and helping to bury the dead. Pvt. Ryan was buried at the site, and Pvt. Barry's body was never found. Later reports revealed that nineteen Indians were killed, and many more wounded. Hood and his men were later cited for valor in army reports. During the Civil War, Hood became a general in the Confederate States Army.
HM NumberHM1I52
Marker Number2556
Year Placed1987
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 9:02am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14R E 298503 N 3340163
Decimal Degrees30.17623333, -101.09265000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 10.574', W 101° 5.559'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 10' 34.44" N, 101° 5' 33.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)325, 432
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near TX-163, Ozona TX 76943, US
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