Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy. Page: 17 of 39
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14 THE MASSACRE ON THE NUECES RIVER
of it, we were spread out in a straggling line nearly three miles
in length. Again if the Bushwhackers had only known it,
what a chance they had to cut us up!
At midday we struck a water-hole on some stream, which
held a little muddy, evil-smelling liquid, but a perfect godsend
to both men and horses. Then we five miserables boiled our
lump of bacon, and drank the soup; the only food we had tasted
since the previous morning,
Round this water-hole the "sign" of the fugitives was quite
fresh, and we followed on the trail with all due precaution,
keeping scouts out ahead, lest we should stumble on them un-
awares. We had only ridden on about two miles from this spot
when our scouts came hastening back to report that our long
stern chase was at an end. They found the camp of the Bush-
whackers about three miles away, on a small prairie surrounded
by cedar-brakes, on the other side of the western branch of the
Nueces. The prairie on our side of the stream, ran up in steep
rocky cliffs, and from the top of these the scouts had overlooked
The enemy was supposed to be about 150 in number, and
they had two hundred horses grazing on the prairie round their
camp. From the fact that they had no scouts out, and their
general carelessness, it was evident they hadn't the slightest
suspicion they were being followed.
There were three officers with us, a man named Cole McRae,
a lieutenant in Davis's company of Partizan Rangers, being
in command of the whole party, with Lieutenant Harbour of
the same company, a rough but good sort of fellow and a "num-
ber one" Indian fighter, under him. A Lieutenant Luck was
, in command of our detachment of twenty, and in view of the
crime so soon to be committed, in which he took a leading part,
it may be well to give his antecedents.
' A Yankee by birth, and an entirely uneducated and ignorant
? man, he was a horse-dealer and livery-stable keeper in San An-
tonio, with a reputation for sharpness in trading in which, to
: say the least of it, would compare favorably with most of his
kidney. In fact, he was an unscrupulous rascal who would
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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/m1/17/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .