Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 161
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The Writings of Fannie Amelia Dickson Darden
begun to fasten on the hearts of some when,
after a night of wretchedness, they awoke to
resume their erratic course through the sandy
desert. As they were dragging on their weary
way, the morning sunlight gleamed upon a party
of well-dressed and finely mounted Indians,
plumed and painted, and armed with bows and
arrows. The Texans made preparation for de-
fence. But the Indians, numbering some three
hundred, turned out to be friendly to the Texans,
though out on the war path against another tribe.
The Indian chief caused the party to be supplied
with food for their present necessities, and sent
a couple of guides to direct them in the right
Once more they started, with hope beck-
oning them forward. They were told by their In-
dian guides that they would find wells about noon
the next day where a small supply of water could
be obtained. They reached them at about 2
p. m., but found the water entirely exhausted,
the poor weary worn animals so weak that they
could scarcely travel. But the party were com-
pelled to continue the line of march sorrowfully,
indeed, and by a terrible fatiguing ride late at
night they reached some springs where they
found water, though in very small quantities.
Leaving these springs the next morning they
turned their horses' heads towards the Rio
Grande. What a magical influence the word,
water, had upon the men as they spurred their
tired and famished horses on to that Mecca of
all their hopes of getting through safely. Their
way now lay through a rough rocky country, cov-
ered with cactus and Spanish daggers, when they
entered a canyon, deep, dark and winding which
they pursued until dark when a signal from the
advanced guard told them they stood upon the
bank of the Rio Grande, a cool fresh breeze met
them and their horses sniffing the water, has-
tened their speed through the darkness, and the
whole command plunged into the river. A thrill-
ing sense of pleasure filled their very beings at
the realization that they had now reached the
place where water was not dealt out to them by
the cupfuls, but ran before them in inexhaustible
supply. Our space does not admit entering fur-
ther into the details of the journey, but we must
hasten to its conclusion. Upon arriving near their
destination, an advance party under Capt. W. P.
Lewis, was sent forward to ascertain how the
people of New Mexico were disposed to receive
them, but they had already heard of their ap-
proach, and were up in arms to resist them.
Lewis, on finding that they were likely to be
overwhelmed by numbers, and knowing the en-
feebled condition of the Texans, with a treach-
ery almost unparalleled, abandoned his own com-
mand with whom he had journeyed and suffered
so much, joined the Mexican forces and led them
to the Texan encampment, where worn out with
fatigue and privation, the Texans were made an
easy prey. The Texas prisoners bound two and
two together, were compelled by their captors,
to make forced marches on foot through a dreary
and miserable country, subjected to every priva-
tion which their cruel foes could suggest. The
cruelties to which they were exposed could
scarcely be exaggerated. Immediately after their
capture, without giving them any time for rest,
they were started on the long march for Mexico,
which occupied over three months. Yoakum says,
"that the only food offered to one hundred and
fifty starved men was fifty small cakes, Saliezar
The Mexican commandant would call the pris-
oners around him, and tossing a cake into the air
would enjoy the scramble made by the poor fel-
lows for the little morsel." They arrived at length
in a most deplorable condition at the city of
Mexico where they were separated into differ-
ent parties and confined in the fortresses of
Perote, Santiago and Puebla.
In the frontier counties of Texas the in-
habitants suffered much from the incursions of
Indians about this period, and many were the
heroic deeds evinced by those who were put to
the test. Miss Hunt, afterwards, Mrs. Gyoms,
the wife of a well known veteran, when quite
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/33/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.