The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Aotes aid Z)ocumets
Cato# rkhard's /Retiisceees of the
rexam Santa e &xpeditio 1841
Contributed by FORD DIX ON
AYTON ERHARD WAS EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD when he set out
from Austin in June, 1841, as a member of the ill-fated
Texan Santa Fe Expedition organized by President Mira-
beau B. Lamar to establish trade between the coast of Texas and
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Forty-one years later, in the fall of 1882,
he began a series of articles for the San Marcos Free Press in which
he recounted his experiences from the time he left Austin until
he arrived in the vicinity of El Paso. At that point in the narra-
tive, the series was cut short by the death of Erhard on July 21,
1884.
Erhard, born in Munich, Germany, on July 29, 1822, entered
Texas at Galveston in 1839. In January, 1840, Erhard and his
family proceeded to Bastrop where both parents suddenly became
ill and died, leaving Cayton to care for his brother Adolph who
was nine years younger. The James Nicholson family of Bastrop
eased the situation by informally adopting the two boys.
In June, 1841, Cayton joined the force of volunteers attached
to the Texan Santa Fe Expedition. The party of 321 men was
composed of a group of volunteers, under the command of Gen-
eral Hugh McLeod, and some merchants taking goods to trade
at Santa Fe. In his articles for the Free Press Erhard recounted
the hardships of the trip across Texas, the capture by the Mexican
forces in New Mexico, and the forced march to the vicinity of
El Paso. Not until March, 1843, did he finally manage to get back
to Texas. In spite of the hardships of the trip Erhard spoke with
pride many times of his service in the Army of the Republic of
Texas.

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 September 21, 2014.