The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904 Page: 42
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42 Texas Historical Associatian quarterly.
Capt. Baker read the reply to myself and others. It stated in gen-
eral terms, that the commander-in-chief approved of Captain Ba-
ker's course. Shortly after the burning of the town we were rein-
forced by Capt. Kimbrough's company [.] Our force now amounted
to one hundred and twenty or one hundred and twentyfive men,
including, however, several merchants' clerks, and others, only tem-
porarily attached to the command. For several days we were in
hourly expectation of the arrival of the enemy. On the evening of
the 5th Apl. James M. Bell, William Simpson and myself were
selected by Captain Baker for what was deemed a perilous service,
namely, to act as a picket guard the ensuing night on the San Fe-
lipe side of the river. We crossed the river-then very high-in a
canoe which Captain Baker ordered should be sent back immedi-
ately-so fearful was he of its falling into the hands of the enemy
and affording them the means of crossing the river and surprising
his camp. We, however, managed to keep the canoe and locked it
to a tree. We then proceeded on and posted ourselves on a gentle
eminence in the prairie a little west of the site of the main part of
the town and about three-fourths of a mile from the ferry. Bell
and myself stood the first and second watches. The third and last
was assigned to Simpson. As Capt. Baker had ordered us to return
to camp very early next morning, Bell and I, when we lay down,
requested Simpson to wake us at daylight[.]
This, however, he neglected to do and we were roused at sunrise
by the clattering of horses' feet. "What is that said I ?" Bell rose
and exclaimed "Mexicans by G--d!" There were about a hundred
cavalry, the advance guard of the Mexican army. Though not
more than seventy or eighty yards distant they had not yet per-
ceived us, their whole attention being engrossed by Simpson, who,
it seems, as soon as daylight appeared, went into an unfenced gar-
den about sixty yards from our post and was looking for vegetables
when the Mexicans surprised him. They did not fire at him and
seemed anxious to capture him which they very soon did.* In the
meantime Bell and I were running at the top of our speed towards
the ferry. The Mexicans discovered us before we had got half way
and instantly the whole squadron spurred their horses in pursuit of
us. We followed the high road which passed a little to the right
of the head of a ravine. The Mexicans, aiming to cut us off from
*See note 2 at end of paper.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904, periodical, 1904; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101030/m1/46/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.