The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 52
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
gle unaided." His interest in Texas had been aroused no doubt
by General Sam Houston, who had written him from Nacog-
doches in February of this year. Natchez at this time contained
several military organizations: among these were the "Natchez
iHussars," "the Adams Light Guards," and "the Natchez Fenci-
bles"; of the last mentioned Quitman was captain. This com-
pany had been organized by him April 24, 1824, with himself as
captain, John J. Guion as first lieutenant, and Duncan S. Walker
and A. Bingham, second and third lieutenants. The "Fencibles"
maintained its organization for years after these events, partici-
pating in the Mexican War, and rendering valiant service in the
Civil War. Writing in 1846 to the representatives of Missis-
sippi in Congress, Quitman represented his fellow citizens as
sore and dissatified lest they should not have a fair chance in the
approaching conflict. Allusion was made by him to the "blood
and treasure poured out in the cause of Texas," and to the fact
that "we were foremost in the cause of annexation."49
Having been excused from duty by his company, Quitman and
Huston published notice of their intention of proceeding to Texas,
together with the terms upon which volunteers would be accepted.
On the morning of April 5, 1836, the people of Natchez assem-
bled to see Quitman take leave of his company. By T. J. Green,
of the Texan army, Captain Quitman was spoken of as "a gen-
tleman of high standing and talents, who visits our bleeding
country, a soldier."0 Embarkation was made in the steamer
Swiss Boy, Natchitoches being reached on the night oC the 7th.
From this point on the following day he wrote Huston of his in-
tention to proceed towards Nacogdoches, making, however a slight
detour to avoid the United States garrison at Fort Jessup. On
the 9th the Sabine was crossed at Gaines' Ferry. Here Quitman
was elected captain by the men. San Augustine was reached on
the 10th; and Martin's on the day following. Here news was re-
ceived of a threatened attack by Mexicans and Indians upon
Nacogdoches, which Quitman and his men prepared to defend.
Claiborne in his scholarly and interesting Life of Quitman prints
a letter written by the latter to Huston in which a vivid account
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/58/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.