From the Annals of the Revolution – In 1798, Mathew Caldwell was born in Kentucky. In 1831, Caldwell settled in Dewitt County. Caldwell earned the name “Paul Revere of the Texas Revolution” because he rode from Gonzales to Bastrop to call men to arms before the battle of Gonzales in October 1835. He was also a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and a seemingly tireless fighter.
After independence, Caldwell remained active in military service. In 1839, President Mirabeau Lamar named Caldwell captain of a company of rangers to be raised for the defense of Goliad. He was also involved in several fights with Native Americans. He was wounded at the Council House Fight in March of 1840. He recovered and headed a company at the Battle of Plum Creek on August 12. He was also involved in the Texan Santa Fe Expedition in 1841 where he was captured with the expedition and imprisoned in Mexico. Upon release he hastened to the relief of San Antonio and on September 18, 1842, commanded a force of 200 men who met and defeated Adrian Woll in the Battle of Salado Creek. Caldwell County is named in his honor.
From the Annals of the Indian Wars – In 1840, the Battle of Plum Creek was fought between a Texas army comprised of militia, Rangers and Tonkawa Indians and several allied bands of Comanches. The battle occurred in the aftermath of the Council House Fight. The CHF had resulted in the deaths of several Comanche chiefs who had met with Texans under a flag of truce to exchange white prisoners. The Comanches felt betrayed and Chief Buffalo Hump organized a retaliatory raid through the Guadalupe River valley east and south of Gonzales. Hump had several hundred warriors and a band of almost one thousand including families who followed the fighting to tend to the fighters and seize plunder. In a series of raids, the Comanches moved through the Gonzales area killing settlers, stealing horses, and making off with whatever they could carry. One raid sacked the town of Linnville. The Texans were led by Gen. Felix Huston, Col. Edward Burleson and Ben McCulloch. Much of the fight was a running battle with the Comanches. However, when the Texans finally caught up with the Comanches on Plum Creek a showdown finally occurred. The Comanches likely would never have been caught except for the tremendous success of the raid. They were bogged down by attempting to herd several hundred horses and plunder laden mules back to the Llano Estacado. The actual battle took place near present-day Lockhart and reportedly resulted in the deaths of 80 Comanches – an unusually large number for such fights.
Image from texasbeyondhistory.net.