Southwestern Historical Quarterly
lication of his reminiscences Erhard gave a detailed summary of
what he hoped to cover.
In a series of letters I will try to give your readers a concise de-
scription from the time when the misfortunes and suffering of the
Santa Fe expedition began to accumulate, which was at the foot
of the Staked Plains, for I am sure none of them have ever read the
able description of this expedition written by George Wilkins Kendall,
published in two volumes, now nearly 25 or 30 years out of print,
and only to be found in large libraries or in those of a few private
I will begin a little before we arrived at the Plains, give a descrip-
tion of our travel over them, the betrayal of the command; our sur-
render of arms; then the journey to San Miguel, N. Mexico; thence
down the Rio Grande through Jornado del Muerte (Journey of
death). That terrible -go mile desert without water, food or firewood,
was indeed a journey of death. Next, our arrival at El Paso, then
at Chihuahua, thence Zacatecas, where we spent Christmas in the
military garrison, thence to Durango and San Luis Potosi, where I
was left sick in the military hospital for nearly five months. From
there my journey to Tampico, my embarkment from there to New
Orleans, a mutiny and robbery of coin prevented by the passengers,
my attempted return to Texas by Steamer Merchant, which wrecked
at Last Island, La. Left penniless without clothes, had to work on a
sugar plantation in sugar making time. At last, after making money
enough to return to Texas, I arrived at Galveston before March, 1842.
My tarry at Houston on account of high water; finally getting off by
kindness of an ox teamster, arrived in Bastrop about May 1842.
I will make all short not to weary your readers or you. Many
incidents and adventures occurred during that time. ...
In my descriptions, I will go more into details of the sufferings of
some of our men, the life of Mexicans in high and low life, and my
own adventures and return to Texas, all of which are not contained
in Kendall's vols., though excellent and truthful as they are written.
He observed things and had a chance to take notes of such that I
did not have, but I remember things he overlooked, as is often the
case in criminal suits; each faithful witness states what he saw, but
no one can observe all the incidents nor remember all.
My communications will continue perhaps for a long time, but I
am confident that I will be able to interest your readers; (and hope
those interested will file away and carefully preserve my writings.)
It will be a laborious task for me, but I do not mind it. I want to
leave a record of the past to our State 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 March 10, 2014.