232 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
NOTES AND FRAGMENTS.
"TH-IE WHIP-HANDLE DISPATCH" : In the "Escape of Karnes and
Teal from Matamoras" (Quarterly, October, 1900) R. M. Potter
has told the story of the "whip-handle dispatch." He did not know
its date, and was uncertain about other details. It reads like this:
"Matamoras, State of Tamaulipas,
"June 9th, 1836.
"My Dear friend.-I am sorry to inform you of our unfortunate
situation. We are detained here for nothing but to keep you igno-
rant of the enemy's intention; they will soon be down on you in
great numbers; four thousand will leave here in four or eight days
for La Bahia, it is supposed via Nueces or San Patricio, and so many
more by water, in 15 or 20 days from Vera Cruz, to land at Capano
or Brazos, not yet ascertained at which place. They make a war of
extermination and show no quarters. My dear friends, you see
what treating with a prisoner is, but you must make the best of
it, you can fall back to the Colorado; and call all the men to the
field, for if you do not Texas is gone; they have heard that the
President is at Velasco, with a very small guard, and say they will
have him in less than two weeks, I think you ought to send all the
prisoners through to San Augustine for safe keeping.
"You will have from 7 to 10,000 troops to contend with, many of
them cavalry, to be well mounted, to murder women and children.
Now soldiers, you must not spare any pains for the sake of saving
us; we are willing to be lost to save Texas. Dear soldiers ! march to
the field, and there defend your rights, they say that you are rebels;
but you must show them that you are soldiers, and know how to
defend your rights-send all of the prisoners to the East. We are
not in jail yet, but tomorrow demand our .passports, as soon as that
is done, we shall have quarters in the calaboose. We have good
friends, which prudence at present forbids me to name for fear of
"Urea is commander-in-chief of the Mexican army, and says he
will not stop short of the Sabine river.
"You must now work head work as well as fighting. Blow up
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/. Accessed May 18, 2013.