Notes and Documents
We kept our course west, between high grounds to our right and
left. The ground was favorable to a passage for wagons. We had only
some six or eight left, for, for want of draught oxen, tents and some
goods were abandoned and burnt up at the river Quintefue where our
Mexican guides met us. We ascended a gentle elevation towards the
Laguna Colorado, a branch of the Rio Puerco (Hog river.)
About afternoon a few Mexicans, well armed, and expert horsemen
which they exhibited after they left us by chasing the swift antelope,
rode up to us, and told our officers that Col. Andreas Archuleyte"
was encamped above us.
These Mexican officers told our General that according to custom,
and law of their country, which was also enforced on the St. Louis
Mo. traders, we would have to give up our arms at that point; that
we could then peaceably trade, and on our return to Texas, our arms
should be delivered us at this place and the Mexicans would guard
and protect us from invasion of Indians to the place where we were
required to give up arms.
We halted at that Laguna, (a small lake); it had a sandy bed and
from it a small outflowing creek, and we found there drift cedar
trees, which furnished us plenty of fuel.
Gen. McLeod, and Senor Ant. Navarro4 started to meet Col. Archu-
leyete, interview him, and promised to him that after consulting our
officers he would get a final decision by nine o clock next morning.
Our General, returning late at night, then commenced a discussion
of our officers privates listening, they also took great interest in it;
many privates who knew the treacherous character of the Mexicans
were opposed to giving up our arms.
This discussion lasted till after midnight; sad and anxious were
our men to hear the final decision.
But what could we do? We had had no bread for three months,
also no coffee for nearly the same time, and even no salt to season
our scanty rations of poor tough meat. Our men were weak and ex-
hausted; some even had the scurvy for want of vegetables; we could
have whipped the Mexicans but we had no supplies to return home,
so far off. The Mexicans could as a last resort have stampeded our
oxen and few beef cattle and starvation in that case would have stared
us in the face. Also our ammunition was reduced. Again, we knew
nothing of the fate of our comrades, the advance guard. If we had
defeated the Mexicans in battle, on their retreat, for revenge they
might have massacred our men ahead of us.
We were in a sad and solemn dilemma, retreat was impossible,
"Juan Andr6s Archuleta.
8"Jos6 Antonio Navarro, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was
one of the civil commissioners to Santa Fe.
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 April 16, 2014.