Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 50
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b0 TEXAS ALMANAC.
just kindled, or the faggots prepared for them. The spies reported that only the
advance guard of the enemy was in sight.* Upon examining our rifles we found
they required fresh priming, and then one after another discharged his gun for the
purpose of loading afresh, making a perfect roar of musketry, till over 400 were
fired across the bayou. Gen. Houston, who had all along been silent, now raised
his stentorian voice, crying: "Stop that firing, stop that firing, G-d d-n you, I say,
stop the firing." Some of us said, "Our guns have been loaded over two weeks
and we will not meet the enemy with them wet," and then, right before his face,
bang goes another, and still another. By this time, raising himself up to his full
height, and holding his drawn sword, he declared he would run through the first
man that would fire. One man close by myself said, " General, it won't do for
you to try that game on us;" and with the most perfect indifference, he:fires his
rifle as he spoke. The General then gave it up. After reloading and repriming,
the march was continued, and soon a smoke was discovered in the distance. The
General pointed it out to me, remarking: "Can that be the prairie on fire?" I re-
plied that the heavy dew and light rain of the night would not permit the prairie
to burn so early in the morning, and suggested that, from the direction, it must be
New-Washington on fire, and soon we all became convinced that the enemy had
set fire to the buildings'of that place, and that the advance now coming had been
sent to prepare the way for crossing at Lynchburg, and a guard was therefore at
once ordered to defend that point. At about 10 o'clock we entered the timber, and
pitched our camp on the bank of the Bayou. This was the 20th of ApriL The
companies had scarcely taken their ground, our cannon being placed in the edge of
the timber, when the enemy was seen, from the rising ground before us, apparently
preparing their camping-ground. At the same time a sail is also seen coming up
the Bayou, when the guard, having reached the ferry, hid themselves till the boat
came abreast, when they hailed the men in the boat to come ashore. As they did
not heed the request, some half-dozen balls were shot across, whereupon some
jumped into the water, while another lay flat in the bottom, but putting his head
up, he exclaimed: "Don't shoot, don't shoot! I am an American." He was then
told to show himself; when it was discovered that he was a printer in the Telegraph
office, at Harrisburgh; his Mexican companions having plunged into the water, he
was left alone. As he could not manage the boat, some two or three of our men
swam in and brought the boat up to our camp loaded with supplies that we very
much needed, but which had been taken from the stores in New-Washington and
sent up for the enemy, the boat being, at the same time, intended to cross their
army at the ferry. Having opened a barrel of flour, I secured a small tin pan full,
and having made it into dough, I threw it on the hot embers, and in ten minutes
it was bread; but I had to divide with so many, that the piece left for myself was
scarcely as large as a common biscuit.
* I afterwards learned from others that Washington Secress, one of the best spies in the army,
whilescouting with some others, had discovered a small party of Mexicans in the direction of New-
Washington ; whereupon Sherman was ordered to go in pursuit of them. He pursued them with
some 175 of his best mounted men, as far as Mr. Ruth's place, on the Bay, by which time the MIexi-
can party he wasin pursuit of met the main army under Santa Anna, coming up with a view to cross
over at Lynchburg. CoL Sherman then called a halt, and seeing a boy at a distance driving a
cart, he sent four men to take the cart, which they did, sending the boy to Sherman, who then
found he was an American taken by the enemy at Harrisburg, and to whom Santa Anna had pro-
mised his liberty, if he would drive the cart to Lynchburg. The men were afterwards compelled
to abandon the cart, as the enemy was coming upon them. Col. Sherman immediately sent the boy
to Gen. Houston, with a message that the enemy was coming in force, and requested aid to be
sent him, as he wished to attack them from a point of timber through which he expected them to
pass. By this means Sherman hoped to bring on a general engagement before the enemy could
cross, and thereby prevent farther retreating. Houston, however, did not send the aid, and Sher-
man then drew his men out of the point of timber, and marched just in advance of the-enemy, till
he reached the main army. Santa Anna, afterwards said he had no expectation of meeting any
other force than the few men with Sherman, and that he thought he was getting them where they
could not escape him. He supposed Houston had gone to the Trinity with the main army.
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/51/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.