The Texas Almanac, for 1860, with Statistics, Historical and Biographical Sketches, &c., Relating to Texas. Page: 61
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army until it was about crossing the Brazos. The great service these beautiful
pieces rendered in the battle of San Jacinto should indelibly engrave the name of
Cincinnati on the tablet that shall commemorate the gratitude of Texas.
Previous to leaving the Brazos, Gen. Houston dispatched an officer (Major
Diggs) to the Trinity, with orders to stop all volunteers. Gen. Felix Huston,
under date February 8th, 1847, writes: "Gen. Quitman has a copy of the order
of Gen. Sam. Houston to the forces which were marching from Eastern Texas, to
halt on the east side of the Trinity and fortify. This order was sent from the en-
campment on the Brazos, when Gen. Sam. Houston learned that the Mexican army
had crossed at Fort Bend. It was received by Gen. Quitman, who was hastening
on to join the Texian army, about four days before the battle. He was accompa-
nied by some Texians, under Col. Smith. The Texians were in favor of obeying
the order, but Gen. Quitman determined to hasten on. This occasioned some al-
tercation, which resulted in his crossing the river and hurrying on to join the
army." That gallant man Quitman was exceedingly mortified when he found the
battle had been fought and won a few days before he reached the scene of conflict.
Santa Anna, finding Capt. Baker posted in the jungle of the Brazos to dispute
his passage, consulted his prudence, and on the 9th April marched down the river
to Fort Bend. Here he found no opposition, and crossed on the 12th instant. He
marched directly and hastily for Harrisburg, the temporary seat of a little gov-
ernment, that was compelled to participate in the ignominious flights of the army.
He established his quarters there on the 18th April. Our own Commander-in-
Chief having set the example of town-burning, it would seem somewhat fastidious
and hypercritical to complain of the enemy for adopting it. Nevertheless, the di-
versified fame of Santa Anna derives no lustration from other enormities attached
to it, by this conformity to a bad example. He burnt Harrisburg, as if in contempt
of the accommodations it might have afforded him and his troops, the most of
whom were of nomadic habits. How emphatically it rebukes the folly that sought
to deprive him of temporary shelters, so little esteemed, at a cost so ruinous to many
of our own citizens. Such policy would almost import a deliberate and vengeful
purpose to abandon the country, leaving it in a state of desolation. From Harris-
burg the flushed and imprudent victor, who was soon to experience the instabil-
ity of all human success, pushed on to the ferry at San Jacinto. Finding no means
of passing the stream, he countermarched and pitched his tents in a skirt of timber,
at the brow of an eminence about one and a half miles from the ferry.
The position of the invading army, at this period and for some time previous,
was signally injudicious, and exposed it to a rapid destruction in detail Santa
Anna's immediate command was something over seven hundred men, with one
field-piece. Urrea was at Matagorda, with some twelve hundred men; Gaona
(diverging from his original route) was lost in the country between Bastrop and
San Felipe, with seven hundred and twenty-five men; and Felisola about to cross
the Brazos low down, with two thousand or more. (Yoakum, in part, vol. ii. 122.)
Gen. Houston broke up at the Brazos on the 16th April, and marched to Dono-
hue's, a few miles in the prairie. Here the road to the Trinity forked, the right-
hand prong leading to Harrisburg, and here much excitement occurred. It has
been and will be denied, but it is true notwithstanding, that almost the entire
army was disaffected and disgusted with the dilatory, fugitive movements of the
Commander-in-Chief. The fallacious after-thought of "keeping his own counsels,"
will not cover one of a multitude of facts, showing his incompetency, or sanctify
his more than ridiculous pretensions to a foresight that would impinge the myste-
ries of Providence, and tear the veil from the future. But we must have recourse
again to witnesses who were present.
Ex-President Anson Jones says: " Gen. Houston intended to cross the Neches
(not the Sabine) without fighting. At Donohue's he was compelled, by the unani-
mous sense of the army, to deflect from the road, and go to Harrisburg, from
whence resulted the victory."
Major Heard and Eli Mercer say: "' We believe that Gen. Houston intended to
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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/m1/63/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.