The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 22
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The condition became so severe that in October General Vicente
Filisola, commandant general of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon re-
placing Nicolas Bravo, detached several battalions of troops from
his headquarters post at Matamoros to build up the garrisons in
the frontier towns for better protection "from the predatory
incursions of the Comanche Indians."28 Finally, in November, the
Tampico regiment and two hundred infantrymen were sent from
Matamoros toward the Nueces on the strength of reports that the
Indians were molesting the settlements in that area.29 For lack
of information, it is difficult to assess the success of these efforts
to control the Indians, but it appears that the Indians, though
they continued to raid the area,30 never again attacked the lower
Rio Grande as severely as they did during these terrible years of
1836 and 1837.
Thus it was that the Plains Indians, not unknown to the lower
Rio Grande region, stepped up their raids during the year of the
Texas Revolution, and continued into the next year. The frontier
folk put up much resistance to the inroads but seemed to be over-
whelmed by sheer weight of numbers. The settlers seemed to
suffer from neglect through the bureaucratic paralysis and empty
coffers following the disastrous Texas campaigns. One cannot help
but wonder whether, despite the efforts of the army finally in the
latter stages of 1837 to control the savages, it were not the west-
ward press of the Texans and the work of their "border companies"
that finally cut off the raids into the southern reaches of the Rio
Grande. Certainly the reoccupation of San Antonio revived a
strong point of control of the Apaches and Comanches.
There are important effects that stream from these raids-at
least they contribute significantly to certain developments. Land-
owners and stock owners living north of the Rio Grande began
moving to the southern side, tending to loosen Mexico's hold on
the area and to make Texas' claim easier to establish. Those With-
drawing left much of their stock-especially cattle-in the trans-
Nueces area, and, after a few generations, the Longhorns became
plentiful, furnishing the basic stock for early ranching in Texas.
28Smith to Forsyth, October 16, 1837, in ibid.
29E1 Mercurio (Matamoros), November 24, 1837.
30J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin, 1935), 67-68.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/34/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.