Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994 Page: 16
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Colorado County, Texas). No definitive explanation for the adoption of
the name has been discovered.
In September of 1835 Col. J. W. E. Wallace headed a body of Columbus men to Gonzales
in response to a call of colonists there to resist the demands of Mexican forces for their
arms and some cannon in the possession of the colonists.
Dewees states that he and "a number of men" from the settlement on
the Colorado went to Gonzales, but does not state that Joseph
Worthington Elliott Wallace was at their head. In fact, he makes it clear
that Wallace was already at Gonzales when the Colorado colonists
arrived (see Letters From an Early Settler of Texas, pages 154-155).
Zumwalt's construction might make it appear that the colonists at
Gonzales had more than one cannon. They did not. The one they had,
a very small, rather ineffective piece of artillery, has come to be known
as the Come and Take It Cannon.
When General Sam Houston's army retreated from Gonzales, following the fall of the
Alamo and the massacre of Fannin's men at Goliad in March, 1836, the encampment
of the Texas army was pitched on the east bank of the Colorado river here, part of the
men crossing at Beason's ferry under the command of Col. Burleson and the remainder
under Sherman at the shoals at Dewees ford. The Texans were closely followed by a
Mexican army under Col. Felisola. Felisola's army encamped about a mile west of
Columbus. When leaving San Antonio the division under GeneralAntonio Lopez de Santa
Anna went by La Bahia mission at Goliad and was a few days later in reaching Columbus.
In this situation the armies remained five or six days, the Texans waiting for assistance
to come to them from the east and making preparations to engage in battle as soon as
a sufficient number of volunteers should arrive. But the fear of the enemy was so great
only a few volunteers came into the Texans' camp. Houston 's whole army amounted
to only 800 men. Most of the Texans seemed to manifest a desire to cross the river and
give battle to the Mexicans. Some of the prominent Texans who insisted on fighting here
were Mosely Baker, Mirabeau B. Lamar and David G. Burnet. At any rate, they later
criticized Houston for not giving battle here. On the night of the 24th. of March General
Houston summoned W. B. Dewees to headquarters and inquired of him the situation of
the place where the enemy were encamped and what the chances would be for a battle,
in case he would re-cross the river and attack the Mexicans. Dewees reported the
chances favorable, provided the Texans could approach within 150 yards of the enemy
without being discovered by them. Houston requested Dewees to again report to him
the next morning. During the night Dewees with two other men went up the river as
near to the enemy as possible to observe movements of the Mexicans. About day-break
they climbed a tree to get a good view of the Mexicans.
This paragraph is a close copy, duplicating many of the phrases-as well
as the misspelling of Filisola-of parts of two paragraphs from pages 189-
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994, periodical, January 1994; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151390/m1/16/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.