Notes and Documents
their first exploit, galloped over the prairie for hours, dragging their
captive by the neck, yelling like savages. Having exhausted their
mirth and the wind of their horses, they returned to their quarters
and cut off the head of their captive, and raised it on a pole, in full
view of the American's fort.6 This dampened the ardor of the
Americans and confined them to their quarters, suffering the most
intense fear for their future safety. Exposed to night alarms and
paraded for hours in mud half leg deep, produced from the rains
and tramping of the stock, which was brought within the walls of
the fort at night and guarded outside during the day. The enemy
made frequent attempts to take the stock, in one of which Capt.
Scott was ordered out with his company to protect them. The enemy,
being out in considerable force, made quite a display in horseman-
ship, discharging their scopets,67 poised on the left arm, at an eleva-
tion of forty degrees, at a distance of two or three hundred yards
from the Americans-one of their balls striking the tail of Capt.
Scott's blanket coat, and another penetrating the hip of one of
the men. This so alarmed the Captain that he resigned his com-
mission and procured a horse and guide and took "French leave"
in the night.68 A few mornings after this occurred, the Mexican
officer having charge of the horses, drove them out in the direction
of the enemy's quarters, until they approached near a grove of
timber where they were surrounded by a troop of Spanish horsemen,
who fired on the guard, killing the only American and taking the
others, with the stock.69
When parade was called the next morning, there was not one
Mexican forthcoming-they had all deserted the night previous and
gone over to the enemy, leaving their women and children to the
care of the Americans.v Having constant communication with the
women in the town, they sent frequent messages, taunting the Ameri-
cans with cowardice, &8c.; and to cap the climax, Capt. Davenport's
lieutenant, who was the officer of the horse guard, and who sold
66This incident was verified by Magee. Magee to Shaler, November 14, 1812,
included with Shaler to Monroe, November 29, 1812, Shaler Papers.
67"Escopeta"-a large caliber, short barrelled, smooth bore cavalry carbine.
Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada, Europa-Americana (70 vols. in 72; Madrid,
1907-1930), XX, 849-866.
68According to Thrall, Scott accompanied Davenport. Thrall, Pictorial History
of Texas, 116.
69Villars says that the Mexican officer in charge of stock was Juan Galvan of
San Antonio who had joined the expedition on the Sabine, and who was bought
up by Salcedo. Two hundred horses and mules were lost. Information derived from
John Villars, in Gulick and others, Lamar Papers, VI, 145.
70This appears to be a rather extreme statement in view of statements by Villars
and others of the loyalty of certain Mexicans, such as Miguel Menchaca and
Antonio Flores. Ibid., 150, 153; [Bullard], Book Review, North American Review,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed May 25, 2016.