Mark In Texas History: Battle of the Neches

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 1:48 PM CDT
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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - It’s been nearly 200 years since fighting between Native Americans and settlers ended in East Texas, on I-20 near Van is the designation of the Battle of the Neches.

The Battle of the Neches was the main engagement of the Cherokee War. When the Cherokees were told to leave Texas within 10 days, they made their last stand to preserve their land.


Eight hundred Indians fought 500 Republic of Texas troops on July 15 and 16, 1839.

When the tribes were defeated, they scattered, ending the fighting in the eastern part of Texas.

When killed, Chief Bowles, the aged Cherokee leader, carried a sword given him by General Sam Houston.


The battlefield is now owned by the American Indian Cultural Society.

If you’d like to see this historic marker, it’s near Van at a rest area on the I-20 eastbound lanes between exits 537 and 540.

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