The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 250

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

them to the enemy, sent word to the Captain that he intended to
have the "skin of his belly for a drum-head." This so alarmed the
Captain that he promenaded [the] square for two days with his
[] gun under his arm. He fin[ally] procured a horse and left in
[the] night, making good his escape.71 He returned home and moved
his property into Louisiana, [and] abandoned the expedition. T[he]
men learning from the wom[en] that Captains Scott and Davenport
had escaped the enemy, [in]duced several of them to des[ert] which
produced great alarm in the fort. It was then proposed [by] Col.
Magee to send a flag to th[e] enemy, and ask leave to retire a[nd]
abandon the expedition. A flag was accordingly sent, which r[e]sulted
in several interviews o[f] Col. Magee with Gov. Salcedo72 terminat-
ing in a covenant on Magee's part to surrender the fort-When the
terms of surrender-being to give up their arms-were made known
to the men, they unanimously refused compliance. It was then pro-
posed to evacuate the fort in the night and make a hasty retreat;
and preparations were made to do so, but when the time arrived
and the advance guard was sent out, they found the fort sur-
rounded by a troop of cavalry. This intelligence so affected Col.
Magee that he was confined to his room most of the time until
he expired about the 2oth of January.' When he was taken to the
graveyard for burial, the enemy contributed their mite in honoring
the dead, by discharging their cannon-rolling the balls around the
graveyard.74 The Americans being forced out to procure beef, found
71Davenport states that he was ordered to Natchitoches, and Magee says that
Davenport, "Leaves me on particular business." Davenport to Shaler, Magee to
Shaler, November 25, 1812, included with Shaler to Monroe, December 25, 1812,
Shaler Papers.
72Magee was assisted in these negotiations by Major William Murray, and
Salcedo was assisted by Herrera and Lieutenant Colonel Arcos. Davenport to Shaler,
included with Shaler to Monroe, December 25, 1812, ibid.
Apparently because of a faulty printing plate, the ends of fourteen lines did
not print. The missing letters have been provided by the editor from the sense
of the lines.
73Hall says Magee died on February 1. Sibley received a report that death had
occurred on the 6th, while Yoakum says Magee died the night of the last major
battle at La Bahia, which was about February xo. Magee died of consumption
though Gutierrez said in 1815 that he took poison to avoid being shot for an
attempt to sell him, Gutierrez, to Salcedo. Gaines says that some people believed
that Magee had been poisoned by some of the border ruffians, by whom Magee
expected to be assassinated, in revenge for his actions in suppressing their activities.
Hall, "Revolution in Texas in 1812," Texas Almanac, z861, p. 72; Gutierrez de
Lara to the Mexican Congress, August 1, 1815, in Gulick and others, Lamar Papers,
I, 4; [1835, M. B. Lamar, Sabine River]. Information from Capt. Gaines, ibid., I,
286; Sibley to the Secretary of War, March 7, 1813, in Garrett, "Sibley Letters,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XLIX, 423.
74Villars adds that one of the balls took off the head of a Mexican. Information
derived from John Villars, in Gulick and others, Lamar Papers, VI, 154.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. ( accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.