Rangers at a frontier post are hard-pressed by Indians. The commander sends the singer to get help. His swift horse Pattonia carries him through to safety, even though an arrow has pinned his foot to the stirrup
As far as I know, no one knows the source of this ballad, and the author is unknown.
There is, however, a fairly close historical parallel told of none other than Wild Bill Hickok. Bill O'Neal, _Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters_, pp. 135-136 (entry on James Butler Hickok), notes that, in 1868, Hickok was part of a party surrounded by Cheyennes in Colorado. Hickok was chosen to ride forth seeking rescue. He made it through the lines -- in the process suffering a foot wound. - RBW