Notes and Documents
After we left Austin there was no white settlement, the whole of
our route was only a partially known wilderness.
From delays by repairs of wagons, our supply of beeves was reduced
and our general had to make a trip to the Brazos to buy more (on a
credit,) when we were not yet six weeks gone from Austin.
In fact the management was poor. For a while we were in a buffalo
range, and our men wantonly killed buffalos, part of the meat
brought to camp, and the ration of beef near three pounds to each
man a day was wasted. These rations of beef may seem enormous,
but when I say that was all we got, no bread or bacon, &c., for a
day's ration, then it was only sufficient, but that eventually got re-
duced to one and a half pounds of poorest kind of beef, and nothing
else, for a day's ration.
As bad luck would always have it in Texas, no hunter could start
out with provision but he could find game, but as soon as his supply
gave out, no game was to be found. Such was our condition; while
we had even those simple supplies described game could be had,
but when they gave out, we were happy to get mustang meat; our
men even ate snakes and dogs, cowhide and mesquite beans to
apease hunger. And often we suffered for water, and frequently we
were glad to get even brackish water, and it running over sand beds
was warm at that, to quench our thirst.
As the country before us was unknown, we had always some ten
men a day's journey ahead of us to find a passable route for our
wagons, and also water, and they sent a guide back daily. The ascent
of Texas is so gradual that we had but little difficulty to advance;
the main labor was to cut a road through Little River bottom, the
two forks of the Brazos, and the Trinity river bottom, outside of that
we had but little road work to perform, and no serious obstruction.
The command consisted of six companies under Captains Hough-
ton,5 Pinkney [sic] Caldwell,8 Sutton,7 Strain,8 Hudsons and the
Camp Cazneau, starting point of the expedition. Carroll, Texan Santa Fe Trail, 16.
All additional information provided in notes will be from Carroll, Texan Santa Fe
T7ail, or from Loomis, Texan Santa Fe Pioneers, unless other sources are cited.
5W. D. Houghton commanded Company B.
6Mathew Caldwell, an experienced frontiersman, commanded Company D. George
Nielsen, "Mathew Caldwell and the Texan Santa Fe Expedition," Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, LXIII, 580-583; George Nielsen, "Mathew Caldwell," ibid.,
'John S. Sutton, who commanded Company A, had been appointed to the United
States Military Academy but probably did not attend for any length of time for
he was only twenty in 1841.
$J. H. Strain of Tennessee, who commanded Company E, was a member of the
expedition primarily for his health.
*Radcliffe Hudson of Houston commanded Company C.
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 2, 2015.