24 The Early History of Galveston.
depot at Galveston. On April 23 President Burnet appointed Col. Warren
D. C. Hall Acting Secretary of War, in the absence of Rusk at the front.
Hall had been sent on a mission, and unable to find the army had arrived
in Galveston on the 22nd. On April 21 the Cayuga, with Potter on board,
was sent to locate the army which was reported on Buffalo Bayou. On the
23rd the Laura, with Hardeman on board, was sent on the same mission.
Both vessels had provisions for the army, disproving the charges made
that Burnet and the Cabinet neglected the army. On the 24th martial law
was declared and all men called to arms. Those refusing were deported.
Colonel Dyer meanwhile was laying off a camp for the regiment forming
at New Orleans. The camp was located on Eighth and the bay shore.
Colonel Hall shared the hut with Colonel Dyer. This hut was close to the
one occupied by President Burnet, who was greatly worried. His child
was critically ill, and he believed the army had retired toward the Sabine,
leaving the six hundred women and children in his care, when he had but
one hundred and fifty men to guard them. Several times there were false
alarms of Mexican attacks. The Liberty having arrived, she was moored
at the foot of Eighth Street so that she could protect the fort. She carried
four guns. The other three vessels were anchored in the bay to protect
the harbor entrance.
* * *
Work on the fort was carried on night and day. On the evening of
the 26th the sound of cannon-fire from the bay aroused great alarm.Everybody
fled into the fort. It was learned, however, that the guns had
been fired by Captain Jerry Brown of the Invincible, who had picked up
a boat with men from San Jacinto, and on learning of the victory he fired
vi salute. General Rusk had written a letter to President Burnet describing
the victory, and asking him to visit the battlefield at once. This letter
was give to Capt. B. C. Franklin to deliver, who started out with Captain
Calder and two men. The boat leaked, and it took them over two days to make
the trip. They had but little to eat, and when picked up by Captain
Brown wei' very weak. Brown transferred the men to the flagship Independenc.
Captain Hawkins also fired a salute and kept the men all night.
Next morning Franklin delivered the letter to the President. The next
day (April 28) the President ordered the Cayuga to anchor east of the
fort to protect the same during his absence. The Yellow Stone having
arrived, it took two days to dry enough wood so that she could run to
the battlefield. On April 30, Burnet went to the camp which had been
moved seven miles above, for sanitary reasons. Whilst he was gone the
Cayuga was compelled to shift her position on account of the weather. Her
four small guns were placed in the fort by Morgan. On April 30 Galveston
had ceased to be the capital, to become the capital for the second time
on May 5, when the Yellow Stone -arrived with President Burnet, his
Cabinet and Gen. Sam Houston, Gen. Santa Anna, General Cos, and many
prisoners under a strong guard. The Cayuga and Laura were sent with
provisions to the camp and brought more prisoners and wounded of both
sides. Galveston's population was suddenly increased to two thousand
people. Five hundred Mexican prisoners slept in a camp near the fort,
which now had a garrison of four hundred men.
Dyer, Joseph O. The early history of Galveston, by Dr. J. O. Dyer. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24651/. Accessed April 21, 2015.