Southwestern Historical Quarterly
DIARY OF A CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE COMANCHES1
J. W. BENEDICT
[Copy of a journal kept by myself in a company of volunteer
mounted riflemen from Galveston County, Republic of Texas.]
It may be well before entering upon the journal to explain the
nature and object of our Company.
Sometime in August, 1839, our Government made a requisition
for a certain number of men from each county in the Republic to
quell the Indian disturbances upon our Frontier. That of Gal-
veston County in which I then resided was 70 men. An effort
was made by our citizens to raise a volunteer Company to subserve
that of a draft.
Our Sheriff, Wm. F. Wilson, volunteered his services and soon
was joined by the requisite number of young men. Many of whom
were in business in this city. who wished to view the Interior and
thinking no better opportunity would offer itsself of accomplishing
their own desires and also of aiding their adopted country. On the
7th. of September a list was circulated and on the 9th. myself with
the rest were on board the Steamer R. Putnam on our way to the
Capitol. As enlisted soldiers with light hearts intent on trusting
to our fate in whatever may befal us in a savage wilderness. On
arriving at Houston we were quartered in the Capitol (which was
nearly empty as the Cabinet and archives were then in the act of
removing to the new Seat of Government at Austin).
The necessary requisites were made by the Government for our
equipments by paying in advance for 3 months at 25% Per Mo.
This together with a considerable [sum] subscribed by the citizens
of Galveston enabled us to equip our Company throughout.
We now learned with pleasure that we were destined to the
Northwest Frontier under command of Colonel Karnes, Com-
mandant at San Antonio and were then to proceed north from
thence into the Comanche Country.
1This document was submitted to THE QUARtERLY by Professor R. C.
Clark of the University of Oregon. The original is in the possession
of the grandson of the diarist, Lieutenant Arthur L. Benedict of Van-
couver Barracks, Washington.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/. Accessed June 2, 2015.