The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 46
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ing custom of the frontier soldier is recorded by Berlandier in
connection with a camp near a spring a few miles south of
B6xar. When a soldier from a presidio wanted to communicate
a message to someone who would soon pass by the same place,
he would kill a bird, usually a hawk, and suspend it from a tree
by a cord. The message would be fastened to the wing of the
bird and, barring accidents, would be seen by the party for
whom it was intended. In this way, a message was communi-
cated to a member of the caravan by a friend who was two
days' journey ahead."0
Near the Medina River the party found some of the bones of
the soldiers of the Gutierrez-Magee expedition who were killed
by Arredondo's forces in 1813. In 1822, Colonel Trespalacios
had gathered and buried most of these remains, but there were
still a few scattered bones on the battle ground.
SAnchez dwelt on the fertility of the soil and the danger of
Indian attacks. He lamented that the troops stationed at Bexar
were rarely paid and were dependent for subsistence on buffalo
meat, deer, and other game which they secured with great dif-
ficulty. The people in general, who numbered fourteen hundred
and twenty-five, were carefree, very fond of luxury, and were
enthusiastic dancers. The worst punishment that could be in-
flicted upon them, thought SAnchez, was work. But they seemed
somehow to thrive, even though the river at flood season period-
ically brought into their midst hordes of mosquitos, ticks, red
bugs, gnats, and gadflies. His attitude towards the Anglo-
Americans is significant. A few extracts will show how this
commissioner reacted to his first contact with the settlers from
the United States:
The commerce, which is carried on by foreigners and
two or three Mexicans, is very insignificant, but the
monopoly of it is very evident. I could cite many in-
stances to prove my assertion, but I do not wish to be
accused of ulterior motives.
The Americans from the north have taken posses-
sion of practically all of the eastern part of Texas, in
most cases without the permission of the authorities.
They immigrate constantly, finding no one to prevent
them, and take possession of the location that best suits
30Diario de Viage, 107.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/50/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.