Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 51
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TEXAS REVOLUTION. O1
SOME TORIES DISCOVERED.
We soon after discovered' some men on the hills beyond Lynchburg, whom we
took to be a reinforcement coming from the East, and some men were sent over in
a canoe, to ascertain the particulars. It was found out that they were some of the
Texas tories, and had come to pilot Santa Anna across to the Sabine, where he
was going to fulfill his boast, that he would plant his standard on the banks of the
Sabine, proclaiming it the Mexican boundary. These men, finding they had mis-
taken the Texan for the Mexican army, made a hasty retreat and disappeared.
THE FIRST SKIRMISHING.
About 1 o'clock, Col. Sherman came riding up in advance of the mounted men,
with whom he had been reconnoitering, informing Gen. Houston that the enemy
were close by; and directlyafter, the enemy's cavalry was observed in motion, passing
through the prairie about a mile, when, striking our trail, they advanced towards us
in fine order, with trumpets sounding. As the dragoons approached, over sixty of us
stood before our two pieces of artillery; and as the music became louder and more
piercing, as it came nearer, Houston showed himself restless and uneasy, walking
backward and forward, casting his eyes towards the cannon and toward the advancing
enemy. Nearly all the men lay fiat on the grass, to hide our force as much as pos-
sible. In the stillness of that moment, not a word, nor a whisper, was heard,
nothing save the still more penetrating sounds of the instruments, and the thrill-
ing notes of the bugle. J. N. Moreland and Capt. Neill commanded the cannon.
"Moreland," said Houston, "are you ready?" "It is not time yet," said More-
land, "they are too far." I was on intimate terms with Moreland, and we were
messmates, and thinking the guns were too much elevated, I observed to him they
should be lowered more; but before they were sufficiently lowered, the word was
given by Houston, "Clear the guns and fire I" but no execution is done except to
cause the cavalry to wheel to the right, and regain the main body. Great was
the disappointment among our men, in being thus cheated of the expected fight,
and now all were eager to attack the enemy on his own ground. Dr. Ewing calls
to me, saying: "We are to have no fight, after all, as I hear our army is to cross
over." "It can not be," said I; "I will go at once to headquarters." As I went along,
I met Col. G. W. Hockley, who was handing a letter to an express, saying to him:
" Get all the axes in camp, and bring the flat-boat down to-night. Cross over, and
go as quick as Almighty God will let you." The express started, but not knowing
the way, as I afterwards heard, he did not reach Harrisburgh till the next day, as
he had to head Green's Bayou to get there. After he had left, the purpose was
well understood, to cut trees to enable the army to cross; but the men declared,
that not a tree should be cut down, but that they would give battle at once. Soon
after, the enemy advanced his twelve-pound brass piece to an island of oaks, nearly
half-way between the two armies, and began to throw grape-shot at us; but for-
tunately the shot passed over us, now and then cutting the limbs of. the trees,
which fell among us, while the shot fell in the Bayou and on the opposite batik.
Our small pieces returned the fire, and profiting from our first blunder, their muz-
zles were lowered, till we could see every shot count. We saw two of their mules6
harnessed to their cannon, shot down, their ammunition-box broken in pieces, and
other execution done. Finding the enemy taking shelter in another island of tim-
ber, about 400 yards from the road towards the marsh, the writer stood three
fourths of an hour trying to get a shot at them, as theylay in the grass, which was
there nearly waist high.: Finding the, distance too great for my rifle, I returned,
and just at this time, a grape-shot struck Col. Neil, falling almost perpendicularly.
Another came within four inches of my head, and, striking the ground, rolled a few
feet, filling my shoe with dirt. I picked it up, and found it a three or four-ounce
Gen. Houston then ordered Col Sherman, with about half of his mounted men,
then in their saddles, (Capt. Logan's company being of the number,) to take pos-
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/52/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.