26 October 2008

Kit Acklin, Texas Ranger

A visit to the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas, was an opportunity to check with their research center for additional information about Christopher B. (Kit) Acklin who was a Texas Ranger in the 1840s.
Although Christopher Black Acklin was not in the Texas Ranger Museum's Hall of Fame, his career as a Ranger was linked most notably Texas Ranger Hall Of Fame Inductee, Jack Coffee Hays.

Christopher (Kit) Acklin was born ca 1819 to Samuel Black Acklin & Elizabeth (Hunt) Acklin in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville was founded by Kit's grandfather, Col. John Hunt. C.B. Acklin's paternal grandparents were Christopher & Christian (Black) Acklin, who were my 5th great-grandparents.

I'm not quite sure when Christopher Black Acklin moved to Texas and joined the Rangers. He was listed as one of the participants in the August 12, 1840, Battle of Plum Creek.

In August 1844 Cicero Rufus Perry and Christopher Black Acklin were both severely injured and left for dead in a fight with Comanche Indians. Acklin is mentioned as Kit Ackland in the Battle of Bandera Pass. From the San Antonio Light (Sunday, May 15, 1955) and article entitled, "The Rangers No Indian Could Kill, by David Nevin:

"It was August of 1844 and the sun was flaming hot over Nueces canyon. Only a month before, Capt. Jack Hays' rangers had fought Indians to a standstill in this same canyon. Now Kit Ackland, Rufus Perry, James Dunn and John Carlin were out from San Antonio to recheck the canyon for Indian sign. They didn't see it--but it was there. A war party crouched on the canyon walls watching, waiting. Two of the four rangers were facing the most terrible fight of their lives--topping even Ackland's famous knife fight with a Comanche chief in the battle of Bandera Pass." While Carlin and Dunn were bathing in a creek that fed the Nueces, Acklin and Perry got into a horrific fight with the Indians. "The Indians fired at him (Acklin), bullets and arrows. He was hit twice in the body and an arrow battered out teeth and ripped through his cheek." "But he (Acklin) didn't stumble." "...he snapped off a shot (with his 5-shot revolver)...and stood his ground." The paralyzed Perry rolled over and also shot at the Indians. The Indians briefly lost the trail of the injured rangers and Acklin managed to carry Perry to a hiding place.

Carlin and Dunn "bareback and naked" headed towards San Antonio, 120 miles away after carrying Perry across the river while the bleeding Acklin "splashed across." When they arrived there they told Capt. Hays that Perry and Acklin were dead. "Six days after the battle Perry staggered into San Antonio on foot." "Acklin staggered into camp only two hours after Perry." "Both men wre in terrible condition--each had three wounds festering and they were tattered and bloody. Their wounded faces were swollen beyond recognition. But both lived."

There was a special place in the Mexican War for the Texans, including Captain Christopher B. Acklin. Acklin relinquished command 1 Aug 1846; resumed command 12 September 1846. Walter P. Lane assumed command in Acklin's place. One account of participation by the Texans can be found here.

C. B. Acklin moved to California (as did Captain Jack C. Hays). Acklin was in Mariposa County, California by 11 November 1858; an obituary of one of his friends (George W. Harrison) died at Acklin's residence on that date. Other residents of Mariposa County were General John C. Fremont and his wife, Jessie Benton Fremont.

Christopher Black Acklin, who was a constable of Mariposa Co., California, according to the 1870 Census, died 13 December 1871, there.

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