O.K., Hopefully that was not too painful.
I am not an experienced writer of fictional accounts. But this exercise would not further my experience much, as little of it was fiction.
The battle actually happened: near Dilley, Texas in 1865. The Guatemalans were Comanches. I replaced the initial person attacked with a young lady, and gave her portions of the accounts more depth to give it a more post-apocalyptic feel. I accidentally changed the Captain's name from Levi Ed. Ed was Levi's younger son. He was too young to be part of the action and latter became well known himself. I gave the Guatemalans crossbows, which can be used from horseback, rather than bows. Much like bows, crossbows would not require gun powder and outside supplies. If they don't have to be strong enough to punch through mail armor, they can also reload fairly quickly. Not important here, but when they have very sharp points they can negate the effect of kevlar type (soft)armor. I thought about adding woman to the posse roster, but decided I was already getting a bit complicated.
The account I used was from Texas Indian Fighters by Andrew Jackson Sowell written in 1900. It can be found (free) at Google books. In the online version I have it is found starting on page 268. A cleaned up account is found within Gregory and Susan Michno, Forgotten Fights: Little-Known Raids and Skirmishes on the Frontier, 1823 to 1890, Mountain Press Publishing, 2008. It is one of the engagements that can be found online: link.As for Martin, Texas:
Martin Texas was a frontier settlement on Todos Santos Creek at Todos Santos Lake near the Leona River, fifteen miles northwest of Dilley in southwestern Frio County. Early accounts place the lake on the old road from Pearsall. The settlement was probably named for the Martins, who were among the earliest settlers of the community. The area was probably settled in the mid-1860s and attracted cattlemen and horse traders. Mustangs roamed the area in great numbers at that time. Todos Santos Lake, described as 1½ miles long and sixty feet wide, became a much-used watering hole for thousands of longhorn cattle and mustangs. At one time a saloon operated at the lake site.
To illustrate the point: They had rifles that back then that could easily take people out at 300 yards. Did anyone in this fight use a rifle to take someone out at 300 yards? Why not? Well because they were fighting on the fly, riding horses, and the targets were moving enough to make those shots difficult. The people involved were familiar with firearms, but were not comfortable taking those types of shots. Should they have dismounted and shot at them from 200 yards with the their long guns, rather than dashing up to them? It would have worked better then what they did. Should they have spent a little more time preparing for their mission before they left to hunt indians, and brought more ammunition - obviously. But that is the point. These are real people, going about their real lives, not a marine squad scouting down a trail.
I don’t want to run on too much longer, so what are some of the lessons?:
· Firing while moving is inaccurate: even more so on horse and from range.
· Not a huge factor here, but scouting and tracking are valuable skills. Awareness of the possibility of being tracked is important.
· Having a functional vehicle or healthy horse makes escape from a bad situation much more likely.
· Avoid fighting with experienced combatants unless you have surprise or some other major tactical advantage. Certainly avoid it if you are outnumbered.
· Bows (and crossbows) are very dangerous. Maybe not as dangerous as large caliber (.308+ rifles) but dangerous none-the-less.
· Raiding parties are often going to find themselves outnumbered by their targets. Unless they are entirely parasitic, which is hard to pull off, they must leave behind the people who get them their food supplies. Even if they have other sources of food, they are not going to bring anyone but the most fit with them. However, with modern firearms, anyone who can hold a gun, even a 22LR, is a deadly combatant. So the raiding party in our story, may have equaled or exceeded the number of able bodied men/women in the area. But they probably did not outnumber everyone who could shoot a gun. Thus there was no effort to attack the settlers with the small force. This was true back in 1865, and would be true today.