Lt. Bullis At Meyers Spring

    Lt. Bullis At Meyer’s Spring




          Mike Capron


Lt. Bullis was granted command of the Seminole Scouts in 1873.  Bullis used Meyers Spring during the time he was stationed with the Seminole Scouts. Meyers Spring was in a  harsh dry part of Texas. It had been used by generations of Ancient people. The walls were decorated with stories of life by the ancient artist.   


During that period his men would fight in twenty-six battles, be awarded three Congressional Medals of Honor and not a single man would be killed or seriously injured.  Lt. Bullis and the Seminole Scouts patrolled the Rio Grande and used Meyers Spring as a camp while patrolling. That record is all the more impressive when considering the odds they faced. One April morning of 1875, high up in the canyons above the Pecos River.  Bullis and three scouts, Ward, Factor and Payne, despite being greatly outnumbered,  attack a group of horse thieves.  Under cover of an uprooted bush the group crawled down the canyon to within seventy-five yards of the large raiding party. The men spread out, took up defensive positions, and then opened fire with their Spencer carbines. For about forty-five minutes Bullis and the Scouts were successful in holding their positions and almost succeeded in dispersing the herd. But slowly, their luck began to turn. Before too long the Comanche raiders were able to pinpoint their attacker’s positions; realizing that the attack force consisted of only four men they opened fire with their Winchester rifles. Outgunned, and in serious danger of being outflanked and cut off from their horses, Bullis and his men retreated back up the canyon. The three Scouts were able to mount up and ride out but Bullis’s horse spooked and he was left on the ground.  Sergeant John Ward, already on his way to safety, realized that Bullis was in trouble and turned his horse around. Isaac Payne and Pompey Factor followed suit. With Payne and Factor firing as quickly as they could to provide some cover, Ward headed straight for Bullis. The Lieutenant was able to leap onto the back of Ward’s horse and all four men rode out of the canyon under a hail of bullets. The raiders did not follow. For their bravery in saving Lieutenant Bullis’ life Sergeant John Ward, Private Pompey Factor and Trumpeter Isaac Payne were each awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Bullis, nicknamed “The Whirlwind” by his men, would serve with the Seminole Scouts until 1882.  Bullis  used Meyers Spring during the time he was stationed with the Seminole Scouts for 8 years .


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