The Texas Almanac for 1861 Page: 59
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HISTORY OF TEXAS. 59
would arrive at IHarrisburgh, on or about the 20th. On the next morning (the 19th)
General Houston ordered 150 men to be detailed, pro rata, from the different com-
panies, to remain at our present encampment, to guard the sick and the baggage;
while the main army would proceed down the bayou, in pursuit of Santa Anna.
This order was, as far as practicable, immediately carried into effect. Two entire
companies (Splanu's and 1fuykendall's, both very small) were left with the guard.
The captains of the other companies attempted to fill their detachments with vol-
unteers ; but I believe none of them quite succeeded; and in some companies (I
believe in most, if not all of them) many of the sick were counted, as the required
number of sound men could not possibly be induced to remain. This circumstance,
however, is no detraction to those who did remain. Those required to remain were
placed in an unenviable dilemma. On the one hand was certainty, with no incum-
brance, to encounter the flower of the Mexican army; and no one doubted of vic-
tory: and on the other hand, in charge of the sick, and of the heavy, immovable
.baggage, was probability of conflict, in which they must oppose more than thrice
their number, with no chance to attack or even to change position for defense; and
more than a double chance to be overpowered, crushed, and routed. It was a
choice between certain, glorious, splendid victory on the one side, and a probable
but far more dangerous and unequal conflict on the other, in which the best possi-
- ble result would be but the repulsion of attack. Surely, then, it requires as much
firmness and courage to remain there as to go into the general engagement. All
naturally preferred certain victory to doubtful defense. Sympathy for the sick, and
the importance of protecting the ammunition, with the fear that the guard could
not be made strong enough, caused them to consent to remain.
On the same day, the main army proceeded down the bayou. On the 20th some
men that had been left sick at Donoho's came up, making our number about two
hundred, including the sick. On the night of the 20th, as was- confidently expect-
ed, Cos's division, six hundred strong, entered Harrisburgh. At about nine o'clock
they gave their bugle a long, loud blast, sending their harsh music full into our
ears. Stopping a few moments for breath, they sounded again. This operation
they continued for more than half an hour. Supposing this to be a prelude to com-
ing over to give us a fight, we waited with much anxiety for the result. But,
finally, the sounding ceased, and all was quiet. Having received an express from
Santa Anna, Cos decamped, and marched with his division down the bayou. I
know not that they were preparing to attack us, or that they even knew of our ex-
istence; but had they remained till morning, I doubt not that our little guard would
have had serious work.
Now, though this guard were not permitted to participate in the battle, and
though, by chance, they were not engaged by Cos, yet they were induced to remain
by the sacred principle of humanity; and it was conceded by all, that they occu-
pied a position far more perilous than those that were engaged in the battle.
Is it just that this detachment should be so slightly noticed in history? Is it fair,
that while their companions in arms are published to the world as heroes, they
should be permitted to be forgotten ?
Respectfully and truly yours, W. P. ZUBER.
NAMES OF PART OF THE BAGGAGE-GUARD, DETAILED TO GUARD THE SICK AND THE
BAGGAGE NEAR HARRISBURGH, AT THE TIME OF TIlE BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO. FER-
NfSHED BY W. P. ZUBER.
N.B.-Those marked with the star (*) are believed to be yet living; those
marked with the dagger (f) are known to be dead; the condition of the others is
unknown. The list of Capt. Gillespie's detachment is complete.
McNntt, Major, Commanding; I. Benton, of Missouri, Acting Sergeant Major;
- Roarer,f Wagon-3Master; -- Irvine,t office unknown --4.
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The Texas Almanac for 1861, book, 1860; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123767/m1/59/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.