The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 301
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John S. "Rip" Ford
enemy charge. Such determination convinced the Yankees that
they would do well to retire for the night and try again in
At 2 A.M. a Confederate column arrived from Lapata, twenty-
five miles to the north. Ecstatic civilians met the new troops with
hoarse cheering, "the ringing of churchbells and blowing of
trumpets." To the enemy encamped three miles away, so much
rejoicing could mean but one thing-Confederates had been
heavily reinforced. Little could be done except retreat and the
Federals mounted and galloped southward toward Rio Grande
City. At daybreak Captain Refugio Benavides took a Confederate
scout to reconnoiter, returning to report that beleaguered Laredo
was saved. Several hours later more reinforcements arrived-Lieu-
tenant Colonel George H. Giddings' 150 men from Eagle Pass.
The report of the battle ended on a discordant note. Colonel
Benavides was certain that the enemy, determined to stop the
Mexican trade, would quite soon strike him with a more pow-
erful force. To prevent this, he suggested that Colonel Ford move
his cavalry to the Rio Grande and attack the Union rear. In
this event the Yankee invader would indeed find himself in
"a bad fix."50
Ford thought the suggestion to be a good one, but he was not
disposed to execute it immediately. The country between the
Nueces and the border was not conducive to swift movement.
The drouth of 1863 and 1864 had dried up water holes and left
the land a barren waste without a green shrub or a spear of grass
existing beneath moving clouds of dust. Ford would not ride until
extra supplies, canteens, and horses arrived from San Antonio.
He told Benavides that for the time being Laredo must be held
without the aid of the Cavalry of the West.5'
The colonel then turned his attention to a report carrying
news of hostile activity to the south of Camp San Fernando.
SoBenavides to Ford, March 21 and 25, Official Records, ser I, vol. XXXIV, pt. I,
647-649. Benavides was born in Laredo on November 1, 1827, and for a number of
years was procurador and mayor of the city. After the Civil War he organized a
mercantile business with his brother, Cristobal Benavides. Santos served in the
Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Legislatures from 1879 to 1884. He died in
51Ford, Memoirs, VI, 13-14; Roberts, "Texas," Confederate Military History, XI,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/335/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.