Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy. Page: 15 of 39
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12 THE MASSACRE ON THE NUECES RIVER
ing the trail led us to a water-hole on the head of the Frio river;
perhaps the only one to be found for many miles of its course,
which showed the enemy had good guides. Here we watered
our thirsty horses and filled our canteens and, after a brief
rest, pushed on again. We were nearing the Rio Grande, and
if we were to catch the Germans we must keep on without
pause. The full moon rose gloriously, and by her light we rode,
and clambered, and slid till midnight, when we camped for
a brief rest on a rough and narrow plateau, where there was
a little grass for the horses but no water. From the elevation on
which we stood we could see that the whole country to the
southwest was on fire. Probably caused by the Indians firing
the dry cedar-brakes, which burnt like pitch-pine.
'That night again all the talk, till sleep claimed us, was of a
fight. Would the Germans stand or run? My own idea was that
they would get over into Mexico if they could, but if caught
would fight desperately. They had no doubt, heard of the
character and the doings of our commander, and would sell
their lives dearly rather than fall into his hands. Moreover,
most of them were old frontiersmen and good marksmen.
Before sunup next morning we were in the saddle again, and
about ten o'clock struck the eastern branch of the Nneces river,
where, there being good water and grass, we halted for break-
fast and to graze our horses. Thanks to Mr. Billy, my break-
fast consisted of a few mouthfuls of bread, and nothing but
water to wash it down! But there was a good feed for our
horses, who wanted it badly. What tough, good animals these
Texan horses are, mostly of the old Spanish stock! They had
had a rare rough journey over that terrible country, but, so far,
none had knocked up. My own, which was one of the best
little animals I ever rode, was a bit tuckered up, but as game
We were traversing the eastern watershed of the mountains
bordering the Rio Grande and the Mexican frontier, in which
all the streams of Western Texas, such as the Medina, Nueces,
and Frio, take their rise. Most of these high up near their
sources, run dry except in the heavy rains, or at best only a
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Williams, R. H. & Sansom, John W. Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy., book, Date Unknown; Grand Prairie, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2409/m1/15/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .