The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 45
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Memoirs of Major George Bernard Erath
carry them to camp nor divide them there; an agreement was
made with the Mexicans that, under penalty of having their
town destroyed, they should bring the goods to the bank of the
Rio Grande by Saturday. It was understood that they were to be
brought to a point lower down and nearer town than our camp.
We returned and marched slowly down the river to the point
designated. There was a big bend in the river, and some of our
scouts who were out for horses failed to get in on the
night of the 23rd, so we did not camp at the place designated
until the afternoon of the 24th. The alcalde with other Mexicans
of note had arrived with the army from Matamoros. He invited
us to come and get the articles, since he was not allowed to bring
them. The officers had little say in the excitement that followed.
The men were the grand movers, and prepared at once and with-
out any caution to cross the river and go back to town.
The day had been cloudy and rain commenced just as the force
got over the river; a slow drizzle continued for more than twenty-
four hours. The horses were left on this side the river under a
guard of fifty men. Twelve or fifteen men were allowed to go
along on horseback as scouts. I asked permission of Fisher to be
allowed to ride, as I was lame. Five or six days before I had
come in conflict with a prickly pear bush and a long thorn had
entered my knee, giving me much trouble. The wound had been
much aggravated by my walk to town two days before. Fisher
said there were already too many on horseback, that they would
have to dismount before reaching town. He advised me to remain
in camp with the guard, and I did. It was sundown and getting
dusk as they left the bank of the river. They numbered two hun-
dred and fifty-eight men. Within the next thirty-six hours four
returned; of the others a few over a hundred got back after having
been kept prisoners eighteen months under immense hardships and
suffering; the rest were killed or died.
It was not an hour before rifles and musketry were heard and,
soon after, the noise of Mexican cannon. It seems that with but
faint opposition they were allowed to march to the center of the
town, and to take possession of a block on the square where they
maintained themselves all night. The Mexican cannon and the
guns on our side we heard at intervals all night. During the
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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/m1/51/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.