The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 39
Memoirs of Major George Bernard Erath
were not made known at the time; perhaps not even to the most
intimate staff officer. I heard of them from Hosuton himself next
year when in Congress. In substance they were: to proceed with
extreme caution to the Rio Grande, to cross it only when there
was no possibility of an obstruction to recrossing, and to venture
no general or partial action unless victory was certain in advance.
The intention was to make a demonstration-to show the world
we could occupy the country we claimed and beyond it, and to
maintain our occupation longer than the Mexicans could occupy
our own soil. To this was added a comment in substance that
should the fate of war be against us in defeat and loss, with the
army under the government's control, the consequences would
be self-apparent; and if we were successful still the future must
be uncertain, especially if a quantity of property were thrown on
our hands. The people of Texas had just been pacified and
quieted sufficiently to go to work and rise by industry and
economy, leaving the Mexicans to Providence; but with mili-
tary success-the greater the worse for us-the people would
abandon the plow, turn to adventurers and guerrillas, and the
final would be, if not in the end defeat, at least a loss in char-
acter and honor with no real profit. As I review the past in
maturer age, my conviction is that it was a sensible and states-
manlike view of the situation. At that time, however, I went
with the mass of my companions in condemning Houston.
It was about the 19th of November while we camped on the
Medina at the crossing of the road to Presidio that the final
organization took place. Next morning we were ordered to aban-
don that road, and strike across to the Laredo road. The object
was to deceive the Mexicans-that their spies might announce
our coming on the first mentioned road, and the watch on the
other be abandoned. Not an hour after we started on the march,
it began raining and continued to do so for three days. By the
course we took it was thirty miles to the Laredo road through
a sandy postoak country. The route became very boggy, so that
half a dozen horses could not follow each other without the rear
one sinking down. In the three days it took us to make that
distance we wearied our horses immensely. We had no wagon
and very few pack animals. The beeves we were driving along
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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/m1/45/ocr/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.