Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 59
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TEXAS REVOLUTION. 53
MANNER OF SANTA ANNA'S CAPTURE.
Mr. Sylvester related, that he was, with two others, scouting near Vince's
Bayou, when, turning out from the road, some few deer were seen at a distance.
" Boys," said one, " stop here till I get a shot at those bucks." Then riding cau-
tiously through the skirt of the timber, at a proper distance from the deer, he dis-
mounts, ties his horse, and, keeping his eyes on the deer, creeps cautiously towards
them. All at once, he observes their heads and tails up, as usual when about to
start, and suddenly they leaped off. As their heads were turned from him, he
knew something else had caused their alarm. He returns, remounts his horse,
and, beckoning to his companions to come up, he tells them that something had
frightened off the deer, and he would see what it was; and, starting off, they soon
come to the spot, when, after looking about, they finally discovered a man lying in
the grass; and, riding up to him, they ordered him to get up. Manifesting fatigue,
he appeared unwilling to rise. One of them then said, "Boys, I'll make him
move," levelling his gun at the same time. "Don't shoot, don't shoot," said the
others; and, getting down from his horse, one of them gave him a kick, saying:
"Get up, get up." The man then slowly arose. As none of them understood
Spanish, they could not talk to him, but they saw plainly he was a Mexican officer,
though entirely unknown to them. One of them gave him his horse to allow him
to rest, while the other two rode by his side, till they got within half a mile of the
camp, when he was made to dismount; the one who had walked on foot now re-
suming his saddle, proceeded alone with the prisoner to the camp, the other two
returning to scout through the prairie. It was thus that he was brought to the
prisoner's square, as before stated, where I was employed with the wounded.
HOW SANTA ANNA ATTEMPTED TO ESCAPE.
Up to this time it was supposed that Santa Anna had made his escape, and
hence there was the less suspicion as to who he realty was. Colonel Castrillio,*
of the Cavalry, stated to me some time after, at Liberty, (where all the Mexican
officers were guarded prisoners,) that he had captured a large black stallion belong-
ing to Mr. Vince, when the army was crossing Vince's Bayou, and was on its way
towards New-Washliington and that he was riding this horse, on the 21st, when we
made the unexpected attack on their camp. He said that Santa Anna was then
standing by him, and seeing our rapid advance, and his own inevitable defeat, he ex-
claimed: " The battle is lost." " Whereupon," said Castrillio, "I dismounted, and,
Santa Anna not having his horse ready, on account of the suddenness of the attack,
I said to him: 'My General, mount my horse and fly.' In an instant he was off."
It was supposed, therefore, by Castrillio, that he had made good his escape. No one
but myself had probably known how he had escaped, as the above statement by Cas-
trillio was made to me alone. Santa Anna's saddle was found on the battle-field;
that on Vince's horse was not Santa Anna's, which is a proof of the correctness of
Castrillio's statement. Santa Anna was certainly not a backwoods-man. The
horse during the night was probably permitted by his rider to take his own course,
(the rider not knowing which way to go,) and he, naturally enough, went to Vince's,
it being his home. But the bridge having been cut down by Deaf Smith, attempts
were probably made to ford the Bayou in other places, and in so doing the horse
became bogged, and in extricating himself; Santa Anna doubtless also got in the-
mud, which accounts for his appearance when Mound. However this may be, he
certainly had very little knowledge of the country, for he might easily have
headed the Bayou, in a distance of two piles, when his waay would have been open
to meet Filisola's army, then on its way to join him. This was done by the captain
of his cavalry, who was the first to bear the tidings of the defeat to Filisola's camp,
by which the latter was induced to counter-march at once.
* I may not spell this name right, but spell it nearly as I heard it pronounced.
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/60/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.