A correspondent of the Caddo Gazette, writing under the date of the 28th February 1865 from Paraclifta, Arkansas, on the Upper Red River, states that the cold during the present winter, has been, in that region, the severest within the memory of man. The writer relates the following story of an attempt to capture the famous wild man, who has been so often encountered on the borders of Arkansas & Northern Louisiana...
In my travels, I met a party from your county, in pursuit of a wild man. They had struck his trail at a cane-brake bordering on Brant Lake and the Sun-flower Prairie. I learned from one of the party that the dogs ran him to an arm of the lake which was frozen, but not sufficiently strong to bear his weight, which consequently gave way. He had, however, crossed, and the dogs were at fault.
One of our party, mounted on a fleet horse, coming up, encouraged the dogs to pursue, but found it impossible to cross with his horse, and concluded to follow the lake around, until he could ascertain the direction taken by this monster of the forest.
On reaching the opposite side of the bend, he was surprised to see something in the lake like a man breaking the ice with his arms and hastening, under cover of the undergrowth, to the spot where he expected him to come out, he concealed himself near the place when he had a full view of him, until he reached the shore, where he came out and shook himself.
He represents him as a stout, athletic man, about six feet four inches in height, completely covered with hair of a brownish cast, about four to six inches long. He was well muscled, and ran up the bank with the fleetness of a deer.
He said he could have killed him with his gun, but the object of the party being to take him alive, and hearing the horns of his comrades, and the howling of the dogs on the opposite bank of the lake, he concluded to ride up and head him, so as to bring him to bay, that they might secure their prize.
So soon, however, as the wild man saw the horse and rider, he rushed frantically towards them, and in an instant dragged the hunter to the ground, and tore him in a most dreadful manner, scratching out one of his eyes, and injuring the other so much that his comrades despair of the recovery of his sight; biting large pieces out of his shoulders and various parts of his body.
The monster then tore off the saddle and bridle from the horse and destroyed them, and, holding the horse by the mane, broke a short piece of sapling, and mounting the animal, started at full speed across the plains, guiding the horse with his club.
The person left with the wounded man informed me that the party was still in pursuit, having been joined by a band of friendly Indians, and thought that if they could find a place in the mountains not covered with snow, or cane-brake in the vicinity to feed their horses, they might overtake him in a day or two.
Courtesy Scott McClean, Dec.1996
Published in The Weekly Standard Raleigh, North Carolina
....March 22, 1865
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