Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994 Page: 17
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Brief History of Columbus
190 of Letters From an Early Settler of Texas. The original text reads:
"On arriving on the Colorado the army pitched their encamp-
ment on the east bank of the river, part of them opposite
Columbus, under the command of Col. Burleson, and the
remainder under Sherman above the town, at the Shoals known
as Dewees' ford. The Texans were closely followed by the
Mexican army under Col. Felisola. Felisola's army pitched their
encampment on the west side of the Colorado about a mile from
Columbus. Santa Anna's division of the army having to come
by way of La Bahia mission had not as yet come up with Felisola.
In this situation our army lay for five or six days, waiting for
assistance to come from the east, and making preparations to
engage the enemy in battle as soon as a sufficient number of
volunteers should arrive. But the fear of the enemy was so great
that but few came in, and Houston's whole army only amounted
to eight hundred men. A great excitement prevailed among the
troops to know what was to be done. Most of the army seemed
to manifest a desire to cross the river and give the Mexicans
battle. On the night of the 24th of March, General Houston sent
for me to go to his camp. He inquired of me the situation of the
place where the enemy were encamped, and what were the
chances for a battle provided we crossed the river at the ford and
went up towards the enemy's camps. Being well acquainted
with the place I informed him that in my opinion, the chances
were very favorable. I thought we might cross the river and draw
up the army within a hundred and fifty yards of the enemy's
camp without being discovered by them; and at that place there
was a favorable situation for a battle ground. Houston then
dismissed me, after having first requested me to come to his
camp very early the next morning. During the night, in company
with two other men, I went to a crossing of the river near the
Mexican camp, in order to spy out the situation of the enemy and
see their movements. About day-break we climbed a tree to get
a fair view of the Mexicans. .."
It is a general report that the Mexicans obtained drinking water from a spring on a tract
of land that later belonged to Jones Rivers. That spring is a mile and a half from the spot
where Dewees must have climbed the tree and is in the woods. As Dewees obtained a
fair view of the enemy, and as they numbered some 3,000 men, the Mexican line of en-
campment must have extended north a mile from that spring and into open space,
possibly to the present highway known as the Old Spanish Trail.
Zumwalt here is apparently engaging in deduction. His explanation of
how it was known where the Mexican army got its drinking water is
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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/m1/17/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.