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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Mr. Hall, or some one for him, says in referring to Yoakum's his-
tory, in which, he gives an account of a covenant, made by Magee
and Salcedo to deliver up the fort on the authority of Capt. McKim's
narrative, that, "There is not one word of truth in it-that there was
no such agreement, &c., &c. This is one of the very few extracts de-
tailed from his narrative, in which he is not chargeable with exag-
geration and misrepresentation and this truth, is very much obscured
by the details. I did not suppose, that any man who was in the fort
of La Bahia, during the seige, could ever forget the excitement and
alarm produced by this circumstance, in connection with the aban-
donment of Scott and Davenport and the desertion of the men. I can
say, without fear of contradiction, that there was not one man in the
fort, who would have rejected any conditions to abandon the expe-
dition, that would insure a safe return to the U. S. or even a faint
prospect, unless, it was Bernardo, who, kept close in his quarters,
keeping his own counsel.' 6 The subject was frequently discussed by
both officers and men and Magee finally proposed to send a flag, ask-
ing a conference with Salcedo, which resulted in three several inter-
views between them. In the last one Magee spent most of the day at
Salcedos quarters concluded an agreement to surrender the "fort"
within three days. He returned to the fort late in the afternoon with
a copy of the agreement which, he read to the troops the next morn-
ing on parade. It provided that, the Americans should stack their
arms in the fort and march out and Salcedo with his troops should
march in and that one gun for every ten men should be delivered to
them, to kill game on their return home. As soon as the men were
dismissed from parade they held a meeting and resolved unanimously
to reject the conditions and that Col. Magee should have their full
and free appropriation [approbation?] to return home if he desired
to do so."" They appointed a committee to present those resolutions
to him and to receive his reply. He told them that he would give the
men a definite answer in the morning on parade.
"l Apparently Gutierrez was not consulted during these negotiations which may
have led later to his statement that Magee had agreed to surrender the Mexican
leader for $5,000. Gutierrez described Magee as "a man of military genius but very
cowardly; and, moreover, he was a vile traitor as was afterwards shown by his
wickedness in promising to sell me to Salcedo for fifteen thousand pesos and the
position of colonel in the Royalist ranks. For this reason he was always opposed
to my using strategy and other means by which I could have harmed the enemy
greatly." Gutierrez de Lara to the Mexican Congress, August 1, 1815, in Gulick
and others, Lamar Papers, I, i2.
186Villars supports McLane regarding these negotiations for surrender, stating
that the terms were: surrender of the American arms, delivery to the Spanish of
the Mexican rebels, and the Americans to depart with one gun per five men. The
men rejected the terms. Davenport and Ross also mention the negotiations and
the planned retreat. Information derived from John Villars, ibid., VI, 147; Daven-
port to Shaler, included with Shaler to Monroe, December 25, 1812, and Shaler to
Monroe, January 1o, 1813, Shaler Papers.

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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 December 17, 2014.