The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 268
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
On departure the members of the Snively Expedition, calling
themselves the Battalion of Invincibles, exhibited a character-
istic Texas spirit. Even the fact that they were setting out on a
journey which was for the most part across uncharted lands
caused them to anticipate no great difficulty, possibly they even
considered themselves fortunate that there were among them
those who knew the nature of the first section of the country
over which the expedition was to pass. There is no evidence
available indicating that any member of the group had ever
gone the whole distance between the Red and the Arkansas
along a route anything comparable with the one proposed for
the Snively force, but some general geographic information was
common knowledge. The Texans knew, for example, that there
were no physical obstacles such as forbidding forests or impass-
able mountains which would have to be encountered and that
there were no rivers which could be expected to give them other
than temporary or minor difficulties. In the main the route would
stretch across the Great Plains. Such hazards as swollen streams,
quicksand, rattlesnakes, stampedes, and scarcity of water and
food were to the Texan voyagers only everyday, to-be-expected
elements in frontier travel.
The sore-backed and sore-footed horses of the Snively Expe-
dition cut a shallow and quickly obliterated trail across the
western plains. This study is an attempt to brush the dust of
more than a century from the hoof marks along the trail and
to put a fair interpretation on the events of the expedition as
they may be reconstructed.
Snively's commission had cautioned that his force must not
transgress upon the lands and territory of the United States, and
Snively appears to have made a studied attempt to follow instruc-
tions. His first objective was to direct the course of the expedi-
tion westerly along the vicinity of the south bank of Red River
until certain that the force was beyond the iooth meridian. On
May 5, the eleventh day after leaving Fort Johnson, Snively,
convinced that he was at least fifty miles west of the 1 ooth me-
ridian, ordered the force across Red River.1 Miller's day-by-day
1iSnively to George W. Hill, July 9, 1843. The original letter is in Army Papers,
1840-1845, Texas State Archives; it is printed in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Cor-
respondence of the Republic of Texas, II, 218. It should be noted that the Melish
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/378/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.