Southwestern Historical Quarterly
darkened with a raging storm cloud. But the guards were true to
their trusts and, not withstanding the drenching rain, they never
faltered in the discharge of their duty.
Large quantities of powder, lead and cartridges were found
concealed in beds, ladies' wearing apparel & in every conceivable
secret place. The weeping wives of the accused evinced great alarm
and the deepest concern for the safety of their husbands from the
beginning. They owned to entertain strange presentments that
their husbands could not escape punishment while some of them
seemed to be well instructed concerning the organization, and
failed to appreciate the danger or properly consider the punish-
ment due such transgressions.
The most intense excitement now prevailed throughout the
county. There was a general motion of guards, prisoners, citizens,
screaming women and children, from every section toward Gaines-
ville-a rush of those who escaped to places of rendezvous to or-
ganize for the rescue, while the citizens grasped their guns and
organized for defense. All were active and fully alive to a sense
of the danger & peril of the next act in the exciting drama.
If there was one class of participants in that rushing throng,
in that Babel of excitement and domestic disorder, that was more
calm and impurterbed [sic] than another, it was that composed of
the prisoners. They, between sixty and seventy in number, were
marched by many different roads into the town of Gainesville,
lodged in a strong prison home and orders for their safe detention
rigidly enforced. But they seemed confident of the power of their
friends to release them, saying there were enough members of the
"Order" to rescue them upon a given signal. So implicitly did
they rely upon the courage and strength of their brotherhood that
they defiantly informed the guards and people that they were
not at all alarmed and only went into prison as a matter of choice
-to give their friends a better opportunity to release them without
danger to themselves.
They were encouraged in this belief by a circumstance that
occurred in Gainesville in the preceeding [sic] month of July. At
that time a charge was preferred against one of their number, (as
was afterwards ascertained) who was arrested by Col. James
Bourland, Provost Marshal. After proper investigation, the ac-
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 22, 2015.