The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920 Page: 112

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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly

THE SOMERVELL EXPEDITION TO THE RIO GRANDE,
1842*
STERLING BROWN HENDRIOKS'
INTRODUCTION
The circumstances that prompted the fitting out of this cam-
paign to the Rio Grande are briefly told in the narrative of S. B.
Hendricks. The orders under which General Somervell acted are
as follows:
Executive Department,2
Washington, 3rd October, 1842.
To Brigadier Gen. A. Somervell:
Sir:-Your official communication from San Felipe under date
of 29th ultimo, reached me late last night. I seize the first mo-
ment to communicate my orders.
You will proceed to the most eligible point on the South
Western frontier of Texas, and concentrate with the force
now under your command, all troops who may submit to
your orders, and if you can advance with a prospect of
success into the enemy's territory, you will do so forth-
with. You are at liberty to take one or two pieces of
ordnance now at Gonzales. For my own part, I have but little
*The Introduction and editorial notes in this paper are the work of
Mr. E. W. Winkler.
'Sterling Brown Hendricks was born near Courtland, Alabama, July
21, 1821. He grew up in Mississippi. Studied law under Samuel Marsh.
Soon after obtaining his license to practice he emigrated to Texas, locat-
ing at Washington on the Brazos in January, 1841. In the fall of 1842
he participated in the Somervell Expedition, and immediately upon its
termination wrote the account of the Expedition printed herewith. Mean-
while his family had removed from Mississippi to Bowie county, Texas.
Therefore he, too, removed to that portion of the Republic, taught school
for several years, and then engaged in merchandising in Harrison county.
He represented Harrison and Panola counties in the Ninth Legislature,
and after the expiration of his term of service entered the Confederate
service as captain of a company from Harrison county. This company
became a part of the Seventeenth Texas Regiment. At the organization
of the Regiment he was elected lieutenant-colonel. While commanding
the Seventeenth Consolidated Regiment in Louisiana, Governor Murrah
appointed him financial agent of the State penitentiary. After the war,
he returned to Harrison county, and engaged in merchandising and farm-
ing. He died December 11, 1909. Mr. Hendricks was a prominent Mason,
a zealous Presbyterian, and citizen of more than ordinary ability.
The original manuscript of this narrative of the Somervell Expedition
was recently presented to the Texas State Historical Association by Hon,
Thomas B. Buckner, Judge of the Circuit Court, Kansas City, Missouri.
2Appendim to the Journals of the House of Representatives, Seventh
Congress, 3-4.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920, periodical, 1919; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101075/m1/118/ocr/: accessed September 24, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.