Devil Yack LbNA # 51225
|Placed Date||Oct 27 2009|
|Location||San Antonio, TX|
"Me and Red Wing not afraid to go to hell together. Captain Jack heap brave; not afraid to go to hell by himself." A quote from Chief Flacco, Lipan Apache guide. The Apaches may have called him Captain Jack, but to the Comanches, he was “Devil Yack”. Tennessean John (Jack) Coffee Hays emigrated to San Antonio in 1837, at the age of nineteen, where he readily found employment in his profession as a surveyor. At the time the surveyors were also members of a ranging company, or as they were called at the time a spy company. These men were the only protection on the frontier and later came to be known as the Texas Rangers. Due to Hays’ courage, leadership, and endurance, he rapidly rose to the rank of captain. In those early days the Rangers who patrolled the frontier, lived like the Indians they fought; and a position of leadership among the Rangers was achieved only by the consent of the men. As Ranger Rip Ford wrote of Hays in 1885: " No officer ever possessed more completely the esteem, the confidence, and the love of his men". In the fall of 1841 the twenty three year old Hays camped with his party of twenty Ranger surveyors on Crabapple Creek, not far from Enchanted Rock. Early the next morning a fellow Ranger, Ben McCullouch, overheard Hays talking to his guns—two Colt five shot revolvers. While giving them a good cleaning, Hays murmured; "I may not need you, but if I do I will need you mighty bad." A short time later Hays rode out alone to inspect the legendary Enchanted Rock. Hays, thoroughly familiar with the Indian and their beliefs, he must have known that if there were any Comanche in the area, they would not tolerate his intrusion on sacred land; furthermore, their reaction to a surveying party would be especially fierce. Needless to say, when the Comanche saw the notorious Jack Hays on their holy mountain with surveying equipment, they were as angry as teased wasps. When the Indians attacked, Hays headed for the summit, where he held out until his companions arrived to finish the fight. The Comanche hadn’t counted on Hays’ Colts. With two five-shooters and a rifle he was better armed than ten men with muzzle-loading rifles. Especially when you take into account the element of surprise. The Comanche’s old methods of attacking a stranded white where suddenly useless. According to most accounts, the Comanche lost between ten and twenty warriors in the confrontation. Out gunned and bewildered by the sudden change of events, the Comanche quit the field and sought escape in the labyrinth of Enchanted Rock Cave. Hayes was Texas’ most renowned Ranger. He attained the rank of Captain at twenty-three, Major at twenty-five, and Colonel at thirty-four. In 1849, the year of the gold rush, Hays left Texas for California. He served as sheriff of San Francisco County for four years, and in 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed Hays Surveyor General of California. As part of his duties, Hays laid out the city of Oakland. It is said his last Indian fight was in Nevada in 1846. Jack Hays died in Piedmont, California, on April 25, 1883.
Directions:From Hwy 1604 (Anderson Loop) on the north side of San Antonio, go southwest on FM 2252 (Nacogdoches Rd) for about 1 mile. Comanche Lookout Park will be on the right.
To the box: Park in the parking lot and find the trails map. Make your way to the lookout tower at the top of the hill. Find the water fountain and stand near it with your back to the tower. Walk on the path at 240 degrees ahead of you. You should pass by a picnic table on the left, then one on the right, then another on the left. After passing the third table, take 23 steps and look for a gravel trail off to the right and take it. Immediately, take another small trail on the right that goes down hill and take 32 steps. You will see a stone fence on your left. There will be a step-down in the construction of the fence. Take a few steps up to the fence and look behind it at the step-down. Under some rocks you should find Devil Yack. Please replace the pretty rocks as you found them.