Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994 Page: 19
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Brief History of Columbus
"Fellow Soldiers:-- The only army in Texas is now present. Travis
has fallen with his men at the Alamo. Fannin's troops have been
massacred at La Bahia! There are none who will come to my aid!
The citizens of the east dare not, or will not come to aid us! There
is here but a small force, yet it is the only army that Texas can
offer. We might cross the river and attack the enemy! perhaps
we might be victorious but again we might be overcome! If we
are overpowered by Felisola's army which has, without doubt,
been largely reinforced during the past night by the army under
Santa Anna, we have no other army to retreat back upon! we
cannot expect reinforcements! I have called for volunteers but
almost in vain. There are but a few of us, and if we are beaten
the fate of Texas is sealed! The salvation of the country depends
upon the first battle had with the enemy. For this reason I intend
to retreat, and I shall continue to retreat, till I find I can beat the
Mexicans in battle, if I am obliged to go even to the banks of the
Following his address all of the houses in Columbus were set on fire and the line of march
began for the Brazos river.
From the Dewees "letter" of May 15, 1836 (see Letters From an Early
Settler of Texas, page 192). Dewees uses the word buildings rather than
houses. The exact location of the opposing armies and of the buildings
that were burned remains in some doubt. It seems apparent from the
testimony of Juan Nepomuceno Almonte, John Sharpe, and Robert
Hancock Hunter that the buildings at Beeson's Crossing were burned
(see Juan Nepomuceno Almonte, "The Private Journal of Juan Nepomuceno
Almonte," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, volume 48, number 1,
July 1944, page 27, on which he states "the enemy burned some houses
up the river," Henry Stuart Foote, Texas and the Texans, Philadelphia:
Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1841, page 273, on which Sharpe is
quoted as saying "we, therefore, concluded to burn every thing
standing," and Robert Hancock Hunter, The Narrative of Robert Hancock
Hunter, Austin: The Encino Press, 1966, page 12, on which Hunter
reports arriving at Beeson's house to find that "the house was burnt
down, the house was smoking"). Burnings at the present site of
Columbus, however, are another matter. Sion Record Bostick, in his
reminiscences, stated that he enlisted in the army at Columbus, his home
town, in March 1836, but does not state that any buildings were burned.
He does, however, report that San Felipe was burned (see Sion Record
Bostick, "The Reminiscences of Sion R. Bostick," The Quarterly of the
Texas State HistoricalAssociation, volume 5, number 2, October 1901,
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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/m1/19/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.