The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 458

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

several of them minus a hat, they might have been taken for the
ghosts of Don Quixot and Sancho Panza, charging on the windmills.
Capt. McFarland who led the van, halted as soon as he felt secure
from the enemy's shot, until his men came up. They then formed in
marching order, and entered the fort, unscathed by the enemy's balls.
The men bestowed a few execrations on the sirens at the Mission and
then retired to rest. The Americans advanced step by step from the
most abject fear to the most indomitable courage. They had despaired
of relief from without and their officers leaving-their comrades de-
serting, leaving them surrounded without by a vindictive and bar-
barous enemy, ten times their number,82 and annoyed within by
millions of lice-the earth seemed to be alive under and all around
them; their commander restricting their movements. But they rose
over all restraint after that memorable Christmas morning when they
put to flight double their number of well mounted men. They felt
and acted like men again. They increased their excursions and skir-
mishes, annoying the enemy in all quarters.-Being encouraged and
their force augmented by Col. Kemper, after the death of Col. Magee,
on one of their night excursions about the middle of February,88
they met the enemy marching into town in force; the Americans
retreated and gave the alarm, and the garrison was aroused and prep-
arations made for action. The enemy advanced into town, placing
their cannon to rake the gate. The Americans, undaunted, rushed out
at break of day and charged into the thickest ranks of the foe, driving
them back to the outskirts of the town, where they in turn were
forced to fall back, contesting every inch of ground until they con-
centrated at the walls of the fort-there rallying, with renewed cour-
age, they forced the enemy back, pursuing as before. The battle was
kept up within the town until 1 o'clock, when the Americans made
a charge on the center of the enemy's line, near the fort, which gave
way. A part of the Americans seeing their advantage, cut off their
left wing, forcing it into a ravine towards the river, where they killed
about one hundred, and took about the same number prisoners. The
rout then became general."1 They retired to their quarters, and Sal-
esIt is doubtful if the Spanish force at La Bahia exceeded looo men. Ibid., VI, 96n.
"SThis date is well confirmed as the night of February 9. The report in Niles
Register setting the date as the 19th is probably a typographical error. Hall. The
Mexican War of Independence in Texas, 1812-13, in Gulick and others, Lamar
Papers, IV, Pt. 1, 279; Gutierrez de Lara to the Mexican Congress, August 1, 1815,
ibid., I, 12; Gutierrez to Ross, February 24, 1813, included with Shaler to Monroe,
March 13, 1813, Shaler Papers.
"4Hall gives a good description of the battle. A detachment of thirty men under
captains Francis and Menchaca were on scout on the night of February 9. On the
morning of the xoth, they met a force of goo Spaniards advancing on the American
position and forced them to retire. The Spaniards turned out in force. There was
heavy fighting around picket post number three, a stone house left standing when


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.