Southwestern Historical Quarterly
in fact, a perfect natural ambush site at this point was left
McRae's men crossed the East Branch of the Nueces on August
9, the seventh day, and discovered another abandoned camp site.
Later, two miles from the stream, a scout reported having sighted
the Germans three miles ahead of the Confederate column camped
on a small prairie surrounded by cedar bushes. No German
pickets had been posted; the number of unsuspecting unionists
was reported to McRae as approximately one hundred fifty.28
The pace of Tegener's group had been leisurely and without
fear of pursuit; the major insisted on camping on the evening
of August 9 even though his party had been reduced consider-
ably with the return of twenty-eight of its number to Fredericks-
burg. Earlier in the day Tegener dismissed warnings of uniden-
tified riders near by and declined advice to continue the march
to the Rio Grande which was now only one day's ride.24
At 11:oo P.M. on August 9, the Confederates tied cloth head-
bands for identification and organized for the attack. Two squads
were dispatched, one each under Lieutenants McRae and Homsley.
One was to flank the Germans on the right by moving up a
ravine and the other to flank them on the left using the cedar
cover after wading the knee-deep Nueces. The parties were in
position by 1:oo A.M. waiting for a pistol shot from McRae which
had been agreed upon as the signal for attack.25
The exact location of the ensuing battle can be determined
from reliable sources as a bend in the West Fork of the Nueces
River forty to fifty miles from the Rio Grande and ten miles
from the old trail connecting forts Clark and Concho. Fort Clark,
on the head of Las Moras Creek, lay twenty miles to the south.28
2SReport of Lieutenant C. D. McRae, August 18, 1862, Official Records, Series
I, Vol. IX, 615.
24Lonn, Foreigners in the Confederacy, 429.
25Williams, With the Border Ruffians, 245; report of Lieutenant C. D. McRae,
August 18, 1862, Official Records, Series I, Vol. IX, 615.
26Ransleben, A Hundred Years of Comfort in Texas, 92, 97; report of Lieutenant
C. D. McRae, August 18, 1862, Official Records, Series I, Vol. IX, 615. The writer
visited and photographed the site in August, 1961. The location is accessible only
after a difficult ten-mile journey through the ranch property of P. H. Coates who
resides seventeen miles north of Brackettville. The site is known among Kinney
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 November 28, 2014.