The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 57
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Captain Jesus Cuellar 57
on the next day when most of the baggage wagons were loaded
and everything in readiness for the march, a Lieutenant of the
Mexican Army, a deserter, entered our camp and was taken to
General Burleson's quarters. He reported the defences of the
town weak, and that the place could be easily taken. After hear-
ing his report, Col. Johnson suggested to Colonel Milam to call
This is corroborated by Captain W. G. Cooke, who commanded
the first company of New Orleans Greys :4
Immediate preparation for the retreat was commenced. The
men commenced deserting in Squads of from ten to twenty. I
saw that the citizens of the Country had despaired of success and
given up the contest. There were three companies from the
United States-First Company from New Orleans commanded by
myself, consisting of 70 men; Second Company from New Orleans
under Captain Breese, 50 men; and fifteen men under the com-
mand of Captain Peacock from Mississippi. About four o'clock
I took up the line of march, and on arriving opposite the Gen-
eral's quarters was informed that a deserter-a Lieutenant-from
the enemy-had come in and was then in conference with General
Burleson and others. I saw it was a favorable opportunity to
prevent the retreat, and called on my men to know if they would
follow where I would lead. Their answer was a unanimous "Yes."
And is told in more picturesque detail by Herman Ehrenberg,
a youthful German private in Breese's company:5
Five horsemen came riding down the river on the side on which
the camp was located. The leader, a little lean man, wore the
uniform of a Mexican Lieutenant, which in reality he was. A
white flag fluttered in his left hand. I-e asked hastily for the
[headquarters of the] commander, where, after we had led him
thither, he pledged himself to lead our troops unobserved near
the center of the town. Yes, he even said that if part of the
troops would follow him he would lead them under the window
of General Cos. His offer, however, was not accepted, as we
were afraid to trust him. Too many circumstances spoke against
him. In the first place, he was a traitor. Secondly, he was a
Mexican, and thirdly, some Comanche blood flowed in his veins.
All of these made [Deaf] Smith's warning to be careful unneces-
sary, but his advice to attack the city as he suggested was ac-
cepted after some encouragement from Smith.
4William G. Cooke to Dr. James Cook, August 7, 1839, THIE QUARTERLY,
'W. A. Bartholomae's Manuscript translation of Ehrenberg's Narrative,
page 82, University of Texas Library.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117142/m1/65/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.