The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 160
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160 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
morning of the 13th, he sent out Deaf Smith, Henry Karnes, and
R. E. Handy toward Bejar to learn the truth. About twenty
miles from Gonzales they met Mrs. Dickinson with her infant
daughter and two servants, one belonging to Travis and one to
Almonte. Through her it was learned that the Alamo had indeed
fallen, that all its defenders-among whom was her husband,
Lieutenant Dickinson, a resident of Gonzales-were slain, and that
a division of the army under General Siesma was even then on its
way to Gonzales. Leaving his companions to accompany Mrs.
Dickinson, Karnes hastened to Gonzales to confirm the worst fears
of its stricken inhabitants.'
To Houston there seemed only one advisable course to pursue.
He felt that his force was too weak to meet in the frontier town
the Mexicans who were reported to be on the march thither in
overwhelming numbers. He therefore gave the order to retreat.
Three cannon that were in the town were thrown into the river.2
Much of the baggage that belonged to the army was burned by the
troops in their camp fires, because of the impossibility of carry-
ing it away. The few army wagons Houston had were placed at
the disposal of the people of the town, who, in the midst of the
greatest confusion, were attempting to collect some of their effects.
At eleven o'clock the army began its march,3 and at intervals during
the whole night it was passed and repassed by little groups of
the fleeing inhabitants. Finally all had gone except those who were
2 See above, page 158, note 1. Mr. Darst relates the following details
concerning these cannon: The iron nine-pounder was never mounted,
but had rested on a truck wagon by Sowell's blacksmith shop. It was now
thrown into the slough, just north of where the oil mill stands today.
It has never been recovered. The two four-pound cannon were mounted
in Gonzales and were taken to Houston's camp, which was located where
the Sunset brickyard now is. At Houston's order they were thrown
off the bluff at that place into the river. In the summer of 1848 one of
these guns was recovered by Mr. Darst, C. C. De Witt, Wiley Collins, and
others. It was brought to the town, and in succeeding years was fired off
on all jubilee occasions. During the 50's it was taken by Jordan R. Bass
to his ranch in Nueces County, near Corpus Christi. Early in 1904 Mr.
Darst heard that during the Civil War it was mounted for the defense
of that place.
On one occasion while the gun was in Gonzales, it was overcharged and
a piece of the muzzle was blown off. Just recently it has been learned
that this piece is probably in the possession of Mr. Lewis of Nueces
County, the son of "Gun Smith" Lewis, who lived in Gonzales when the
8 THE QUARTERLY, IV 243, 294.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/162/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.