The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 497
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Santa Anna in Texas: A Mexican Viewpoint
route would not necessarily benefit the Mexicans, for Mexico's
naval facilities were particularly feeble and the country could not
afford to finance any extensive naval operation.1 Although it
meant crossing a formidable desert, there perhaps was something
to be said for Santa Anna's setting up his base of operations in
B6xar, in that he would more likely encounter sympathetic cit-
izens in Bexar than he would in other parts of Texas. Although
Santa Anna's reasoning may have seemed logical at the time, it
was not practical, and his unwillingness to take advice on this
matter brought subsequent grief to his army.
The march to the Rio Grande was a preview of the subsequent
drive to B6xar. There was no rain in December, and the conse-
quent water shortage posed a serious problem. As General Joaquin
Ramirez y Sesma's contingent moved toward Laredo, it had no
barrels in which to carry water and no extra mules to carry barrels.
The situation was so grave that the general dispatched an officer
to Laredo for succor. The messenger returned on December 26
with thirty mules loaded with water. The troops received the
precious cargo much as the people of Israel greeted Moses' pro-
ducing water from a rock in the desert.32 Other troubles plagued
the Mexicans during the trek to the Rio Grande area. The road
was painful because of the cold, there was no grass for the horses,
and supplies and lodging for the troops were scarce. Some of the
soldiers, many of whom were raw recruits, became sick, and many
deserted. In addition to the expected toll of casualties, an epidemic
of dysentery weakened the ranks as the result of the men's eating
a small reddish, round fruit along the way. Several men died as a
result of the hike, and those who reached the Rio Grande in
an ailing condition were but slightly better off, for the hospital
facilities were the most miserable.33
Although Santa Anna had intended that the army should have
medical services, this constituted one of the greatest deficiencies.
Judging from Santa Anna's correspondence concerning hospitals
pidity and his obstinate refusal to take advice. See also De la Pefia, La rebelidn de
81Williams, "A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo," Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, XXXVII, 4.
82Filisola, Memorias, II, 252.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/594/: accessed January 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.