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Fayette Smith’s Last Battle

On April 8, 1864, thirty-two-year-old Fayette Smith from Navasota, Texas, was wounded at the Battle of Mansfield in Louisiana. Not his first battle! He and his father were attacked by Comanche Indians on his ninth birthday, on Shoal Creek in Austin. Fayette was wounded by the same arrow that killed his father. Fayette witnessed his father being scalped by the Indians.  When he tried to run, they cut his Achilles tendons to prevent him from running away again. It was the last time he would ever be able to run. He shuffled when he walked the rest of his life. Yet he walked from Austin to Santa Fe, New Mexico after being captured in the winter of 1841. He was ransomed for $60.00 and returned by way of the Santa Fe Trail two years later.

Fayette went to work for Shackelford-Gould Mercantile in Washington-on-the-Brazos. At fourteen he was a sutler in the Texas Army during the Mexican War. Returning to Washington-on-the-Brazos to become a merchant and marry Elizabeth Grisham in 1857. Fayette enlisted in the Confederate Army after Texas joined the confederacy. The Battle of Mansfield would be his last battle. He returned home on crutches. When the railroad chose Navasota, Texas for the railroad station, he moved there to open a general store and build a home at 904 E. Washington Avenue. The home still stands. He lived an active life until 1906. Fayette is buried next to his wife in Oakland Cemetery. Read the story of Fayette’s capture in Comanche Trace book 4 of the Westward Sagas® series.

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