John B Laxague Sr.


John B Laxague Sr.

Death Jan 1911 (aged 37–38)
Washoe County, Nevada, USA
Burial Eagleville, Modoc County, California, USA
Plot Section 5, Plot 12, Site B
Memorial ID 71530316 View Source

America's Last Indian Battle
The last Indian battle fought in America was fought at Little High Rock Canyon, on Northwestern Washoe County Nevada, March 1st, 1911.

Note: The battle was on January 11, 1911

Four white men of Washoe County, including a rich cattle man - Harry Cambron; a sheepherder - Dominic Bertrand "Bert" Indiano, and two wealthy French Basque sheepmen - Peter Erramouspe and John B. Laxague were murdered by a band of renegade Modoc Indians. Harry Combron had been shot four times in the chest, hips, elbow and head. Peter Erramouspe had been shot four times in the head, chest and left and right thigh. His upper lip/moustache had been slashed off. He was survived by a wife and two children. J.B. Laxague had been shot once through the chest and his eye was blackened. He also was survived by a wife and two children. Bert Indiano was shot three times in the shoulder, twice through the head, his left eye was gouged out, his upper lip and eyelids were gone, his cheek had been shot away and there was a gaping hole in the back of his head two inches long and one inch wide. He was survived by a wife.

The band of renegades included an old man of 65-70 (Indian Mike); four young bucks Catch-en and Charlie, a very fat Indian about 27; Eat-up-Jim, about 27 years old; and another about 25 years of age, a boy of seven years, two squaws, a girl of fifteen, two small children and a baby in a papoose.

As described by a 15 year old squaw, a Snake, (Shoshone) after her capture (the only survivor, along with three children), she confessed that the band had murdered the four stockman, as well as a Chinaman, and had shot Frank Dopp, a 16 year old boy who was killed at Cow Creek, Elko County, a year prior.

She described the brutal killing in grim detail. She told that one of the stockmen had caught them stealing their cattle. When the stockman joined the others to discuss the matter, the Indians crept up behind them and shot them. Even after the four men were dead the shots continued. One squaw crushed the face and head of the man who had discovered the theft, beating his features beyond recognition. The four victims were then stripped of their clothing and the bodies dragged into some willows where they were found 23 days later.

On the bodies of the dead Indians were found personal effects of the stockmen, including a watch, pistol, and checkbooks. Their clothes had been cut down to fit the Indian children. Also found were three horses, a saddle and a bridle bit.

While enroute from Eagleville, Surprise Valley, Modoc County, California to check on their stock-camps along the borders of the Black Rock desert, the four stockmen were slain by a band of Shoshone-Piute Indians near the entrance to Little High Rock Canyon.

The following morning the posse picked up the trail again near they camp they had visited the night before and followed it over the mountains into Clover Valley, catching up with the Indians about seven hours later.

Before the posse caught up with Indian Mike Daggett, eight of his band of renegade Indians were killed and four were captured. Mike fell fatally wounded early in the fight, shot at 150 yards by Ed Hogle, the only white victim of the bloody battle. Ed ran up to Indian Mike shouting, "I've killed Mike!" Within 30 feet of him however, Indian Mike raised on his elbow and shot Ed above the heart with a .44 caliber pistol. The battle was unequaled as the posse was well armed with rifles and pistols while the band of renegades had only two rifles. Two squaws and the children fought with bow and arrows and tomahawks. After the Indians had fallen the posse rushed the young squaw and three children, not wanting to kill them. The remaining Indians stood their ground to the last, wounding another member of the posse with an arrow, and fighting with sticks and stones until they were overpowered. The eight Indians who were killed in this battle were buried where they fell.

The posse at the battle consisted of Captain Donnelly and Charles Stone of the state police, the Sheriff of Modoc County, CA, Joe Reeder, George Holmes, Henry Huges, Otto Van Orman, Williams Parsons, Warren Prutt, Matt West, Ben Cambron, Ed Hogle (killed), Frank Perry, Charles Byrne, Merrill Pressea, Jack Fergreson and Skinny Pascal, and another Indian tracker.

Many stories surfaced after the massacre, but 57 years later Effie M. Mack researched for the truth and details surrounding the last Indian battle in this country. After many years of numerous interviews with members of the posse and those of authority offering official evidence, as well as information from relatives and friends of the slain men, she was able to put together all the information.

Indians who knew Shoshone Mike and assisted in tracking him and his band, gave their versions of the story to Effie Mack. Her book The Indian Massacre of 1911, was published in 1968 as a limited addition of 1000 copies. Personal accounts and manuscripts were kept by some including Frank Perry, a member of a second posse. One of the cowboys, David Mortenses "Mort" West, in the first posse kept a written account from the beginning to end, including his part in the battle.

Taken in part from Nevada - Official Bicentennial Book and History of NV, Vol. I

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