The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 19
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Two Texas Patriots
In this frontier country my father was born. He had a sister
eighteen months younger than he. She died in infancy as a result
of falling from the shoulders of her Negro nurse. In 1840 the
family was again on the move, when Grandfather took his wife
and my father, two years old, into the wilds of northern Texas,
crossing the dangerous Indian territory to make a new home
in Clarksville, near the Red River. Here my grandmother died
at the age of twenty-four, leaving the little boy alone, with a
roving huntsman for a father.
At that time Texas was in the throes of the war for freedom
from Mexico. The first ray of hope had come to the Texans in
their glorious defeat of Santa Anna at San Jacinto, but the war
was not over, and the frontiersmen who had come to Texas had
to organize for self-protection against both Indians and Mexi-
cans. Grandfather joined the Texas militia and was soon en-
rolled with a group of men who formed the celebrated Snively
Expedition. In the spring of 1843 the Republic of Texas dis-
covered that the Mexicans had purchased huge stores of mer-
chandise in St. Louis, and had assembled a train of prairie
schooners, each with its large team of mules, to transport these
supplies by the Santa Fe Trail from Missouri across the present
Panhandle of Texas to the old Spanish city of Santa Fe. Colonel
Jacob Snively was commissioned by President Sam Houston to
assemble a force and intercept the rich wagon train as it crossed
from the United States into Texas. He was instructed to re-
main on Texas soil. As the men had to equip themselves with
horses, clothes, and arms, they were offered, 'as a prize, one-
half the spoils. Volunteers were asked to meet on the Red River.
Grandfather, one of the hundred and seventy-five adventurous
spirits who gathered there, has left an interesting diary.
This little command started west through wild country in-
habited only by Indians, many of whom were on the warpath.
The expedition followed Indian trails until it had passed the
western boundaries of the United States along the Red River,
then proceeded north in the Panhandle of Texas, and on May
27, 1843, reached the Santa Fe Trail, south and west of the
Arkansas River near Fort Leavenworth. Here they waited for
news of the precious wagon train. Their scouts brought word
of the approach of a body of Mexican troops marching east
from Santa Fe across the northern part of Texas to meet the
wagon train when it left the United States. The scouts reported
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/23/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.