The Texas Almanac, for 1860, with Statistics, Historical and Biographical Sketches, &c., Relating to Texas. Page: 25
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HOUSTON'S SPEECH IN THE U. S. SENATE. 25
county, and incite the Indians to war. Santa Anna had provided a boat through
the instrumentality of Texans who had joined him, and was in readiness to cross.
He had marched down to New-Washington, some seven or eight miles below the
San Jacinto, and was returning to take up his march eastward. After sunrise
some time, the army having halted to slaughter beeves and refresh, the signal was
given that our scouts had encountered those of the enemy; eating was suspended,
every thing packed, and we were on the march. We marched down to the ferry
of San Jacinto, and there halted. There was no word of the enemy. About half
a mile or a mile up the bayou, where the timber commenced, we fell back and
formed an encampment in timber, so as to give security from the brow of the hill,
as well as the timber that covered it, at the same time running up the boat which
he had provided, and securing it in the rear of our encampment.
That was the position taken. The artillery was planted in front, for it had never
been fired, and the enemy were really not apprised that we had a piece. The
troops were secured so as to expose none, but the few artillerists, to view.
There were but eighteen of them, and nine were assigned to each piece. The
enemy within about three hundred yards, I think, took position with their artillery
and infantry, and opened fire from a twelve-pounder. It continued until evening.
It did no execution, however, with the exception of one shot. Colonel Neill, of
the artillery, was wounded, though not mortally. That was the only injury we
sustained. At length Santa Anna ordered his infantry to advance. They were
advancing, when our artillery was ordered to fire upon them; but they being so
much depressed, it passed over their heads and did no injury; they returned in such
baste and confusion to their encampment that it inspirited our troops, and caused
the welkin to ring.
Upon our left, a company of infantry was, by Santa Anna, posted in an island
of timber, within one hundred and fifty yards of our encampment. An officer
desired the general to let him charge, which was readily conceded. He wished
to, and did, make the charge on horseback, though not in accordance with the
general's opinion. It proved a failure; which will be explained hereafter.
The enemy, after receiving some injury from the discharge of our artillery, fell
back to the heights of San Jacinto, and commenced fortifying.
In the evening, the general ordered a reconnoitering party under Colonel Sher-
man, to reconnoiter; but they were ordered not to go within the fire of the enemy's
guns, or to provoke an attack; but if he cou'd, by his appearance, decoy them
into the direction of a certain island of timber, they would be received there by
the artillery and infantry that had been ordered to be in readiness to march to the
point. No sooner was he out of sight than a firing commenced, with a view, as
Sherman himself declared, to bring on a general action, in violation of the general's
orders. Contision was the result of it. Two men were wounded in our line. A
confused retreat took place; and the 'consequence was, that two gallant men were
wounded, and one subsequently died of his wounds. This was done in direct vio-
lation of the general's orders; for it was not his intention to bring on a general
action that day. The guards that night were doubled. The next day, about nine
o'clock, troops were discovered advancing along the prairie ridge, in the direction
of the Mexican encampment, which produced some excitement. The general, not
wishing the impression to be received that they were reinforcements, suggested
that it was a ruse of the Mexicans; that they were the same troops that were seen
yesterday; that they were marching around the swell of the prairie for the purpose
of display, because they were apprehensive of an attack from the Texans. He
sent out two spies secretly--Deaf Smith and Karnes-upon their track, with direc-
tions to report to him privately. They did so, and reported that the reinforcements
which the enemy had thus received amounted to five hundred and forty.
Things remained without any change until about twelve o'clock, when the gene-
ral was asked to call a council of war. No council of war had ever been solicited
before. It seemed strange to him. What indications had appeared he did not
know. The council was called, however, consisting of six field officers and the
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The Galveston News. The Texas Almanac, for 1860, with Statistics, Historical and Biographical Sketches, &c., Relating to Texas., book, 1860~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123766/m1/27/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.