The Texas Almanac, for 1860, with Statistics, Historical and Biographical Sketches, &c., Relating to Texas. Page: 62
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take the road to the Trinity when we arrived at the fork at Donohue's, because he
had sent Major Diggs, with another individual, to Robins' ferry on the Trinity, to
stop all recruits coming to the army at that place. The men, believing this to be
his intention, made no secret of their dissatisfaction, and there was an arrangement
among them that, in case he took the road to the Trinity, with his regulars, the
volunteers would call out for a leader to go at their head to Harrisburg to meet the
enemy, all of which we believe was known to Gen. Houston, and which, we think,
was the cause of his turning in that direction. In our march from Donohue's we
came to a fork in the road, one leading to Harrisburg, the other to San Jacinto,
eastward. Gen. Houston and a part of the army had passed the fork, taking the
latter route, when the army came to a halt, and well nigh to mutiny, the volun-
teers wishing to cross at Harrisburg and meet the enemy, and we believe Gen.
Houston was going eastward. Finally it was agreed to cross Buffalo bayou about
two miles below Harrisburg, and we took a middle route to that place." Major
Heard commanded a company of volunteers at this time.
Ex-Governor Robinson, under date of Jan. 4th, 1847, says: "In the campaign
of 1836, Gen. Houston manifested the strongest determination to retreat to the Red
lands, or across the Sabine, and was only prevented by President Burnet's order,
sent by the Secretary of War, Gen. Thomas J. Rusk, who urged and commanded
him to abandon his retreat, and take the road to Harrisburg at Roberts' (the last
fork) instead of the one by Liberty, across the Trinity, to the Sabine. President
Burnet's order, and the command of Gen. Rusk, were powerfully aided by an
almost united resolution by the men, to meet and fight the enemy."
Col. Amasa Turner, in a long, and rather too diffuse communication of July 20th,
1847, for literal quotation, fully corroborates the fact that Gen. Houston intended
to proceed eastward, and of his being compelled to take the Harrisburg road. He
says: "From the time of leaving the Brazos, our numbers increased a little, and
our March from the fork of the road (at Donohue's) was no longer called a retreat,
as not a day passed but we heard from the enemy, .... and the chance of
our meeting him revived our drooping spirits." The MS. is open to inspection.
Gen. Sherman, under date February 3d, 1847, says: " I do believe that Gen. Hous-
ton intended to take the road to the Trinity, when the army arrived at the fork
near Donohue's; but that he would have been constrained by the troops to take the
road to Harrisburg, there is not the least doubt, had not the Secretary of War
issued him a peremptory order, requiring him to take the Harrisburg road .
I came to the conclusion that the General intended to fall back to the Trinity, from
the fact that he always contended he could not meet the enemy without the aid of
his Red Landers, and from the further fact (as was generally understood and be-
lieved in camp) that he had sent expresses east to stop all troops coming on to join
the army at that river, (the Trinity.) My rank was, Colonel of 2d Regiment of
It is enough. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be
established." Our witnesses were conversant of the facts they attest, and are as un-
impeachable as any gentlemen in Texas. Keeping one's "own counsel" in an army
of Texas volunteers was no facile matter, and exceeded the artfulness of the artful
but usually loquacious Commander-in-Chief Gen. Houston says, (last speech:)
"He acted upon no orders given to him during the campaign, but assumed the
sole responsibility of all his acts." Well, in view of this avowed insubordination,
which is at least cousin-german to treason, we will suppose he graciously yielded
to the advice of the government, and tb clamors of the army, and took the Harris-
burg fork. of the road. The now reconciled troops moved with alacrity, and arrived
at Buffalo bayou, about two miles below the town, still smouldering in its ruins,
before midday of the 18th instant. Here they halted for the night. The ever-
vigilant Deaf Smith was out as usual scouting, and captured a Mexican courier,
bearing dispatches to Santa Anna. Thus they learned the facts of the enemy hav-
ing passed down, and that he was between them anl.the San Jacinto, a compass
of about 15 miles. It was on this evening, too, that the epistle to Mr. H. Raguet,
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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/m1/64/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.