The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 31
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Memoirs of Major George Bernard Erath
the Indians killed two hostiles-all that were seen on the whole
trip; no one on our side was hurt. The expedition was the mis-
take of military characters, newly arrived in Texas. They were
of the opinion that Indians could be exterminated by carrying
the war into their own country in the winter season, by finding
their winter villages, destroying their provisions, and starving
them out. Experience had already taught the Texas rangers
that the Indians were quartered in their villages in the summer
time only, eating what little agricultural produce they made, and
that in cold weather they scattered to hunt and feast on bear and
other wild animals.
Congress passed a law providing for the organization in every
frontier county of a company of minutemen; five men were to
serve as scouts, the balance to remain at home and serve when
called out on occasion of Indian invasion, getting pay accord-
ingly. On the eighth of March, 1841, I was again elected captain
of the Milam County men, and was for the greater part of the
year in active service.
In the summer the Milam and Robertson County companies,
and part of the Travis County company made an expedition up
the Brazos. The celebrated chief Jose Maria was wounded and
one Indian was killed in an encounter with one of our parties;
our side lost one man. No supplies except what could be carried
on our horses had been taken along, and we were too many to
live on game alone, so we soon returned. Other scouts during the
year were without much success, but the Indians were now giving
less trouble, and had made known a desire for peace. The decla-
ration of President Lamar to carry on a war of extermination
against them they knew well; also that General Houston, who
was now again a candidate and elected, had commenced to treat
with them before his first term was out.
Financial pressure set in. Texas money depreciated to six and
eight for one; the government had to pay it out at this rate for
supplies. With few exceptions the soldiers were not paid at all,
as there was nothing else to pay them with for the next ten years.
As we had nothing but Texas money to exchange for goods and
necessaries, and since everything we bought came from New
Orleans, the money all went there, too. It became expedient to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/37/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.