History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 20
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HISTORY OF TEXAS.
the officer in command of the party; that
after the militia-men left, Mordecai Richards
asked Nolan the reason why they had been
stopped, when he (Nolan) had assured them
that he had a permit to go into Texas; that
Nolan then called him aside and said to him:
"You are a man on whom I rely to carry out
my plans; and for that reason I have appointed
you third in command. If we succeed,
you will make your fortune. My plan is to
travel northwest, and, passing the Caddo
settlements to a certain distance, to build a
fort, to protect us from any attack. Then we
will sally forth to explore the country and its
mines, and, after obtaining a sufficient number
of horses, we will proceed to Islas Negras
and Kentucky without finding any obstacles.
There we will find many friends awaiting our
arrival, and by that time I will receive
authority to conquer the province of Texas
1 will be the general, Mr. Fero the second,
and yourself the third in command."
Mr. Richards says that he became alarmed
at this and determined to desert, although
he had a son and a nephew in the party. He
finally escaped, with two others, and on his
return to Natchez made the statements above
After the above events occurred, Lieutenant
Muzquiz was ordered to start in pursuit
of Nolan, and he left Nacogdoches with that
object in view, March 4, 1801. The following
is from Muzquiz' diary of the twenty-first of
that month: "At sunrise I marched on
Nolan's intrenchment. When about thirty
paces from it, ten men sallied from the entrenchment,
unarmed. Among them was
Nolan, who said, in a loud voice, 'Do not
approach, because either the one or se other
will be killed.' Noticing that the nen who
accompanied Nolan were foreigners, I ordered
William Barr, an Irishman who had
joined my command as interpreter, to speak
to them in English, and say to them that I
had come for the purpose of arresting them,
and that I expected them to surrender in the
name of the king. Nolan had a brief conversation
with Barr, and the latter informed me
that Nolan and his men were determined to
"Nolan immediately entered his entrenchment,
followed by his men, and I observed
that two Mexicans escaped from the rear of
said entrenchment. Soon afterward they
joined us, stating that they had brought with
them Nolan's carbine, which has handed to
me. At daybreak Nolan and his men commenced
firing, and continued until nine
o'clock, when Nolan was killed and his men
surrendered. They were out of ammunition.
His force was composed of fourteen Americans,
one Creole of Louisiana, seven Spaniards or
Mexicans, and two negro slaves. Nolan had
three men wounded and several horses killed.
His men had long beards. After the surrender I
learned that they had left Natchez with supplies
for two months, and had been in the
woods and prairies of Texas for over seven
months, living on horse-meat. Nolan's negroes
asked permission to bury their master, which
I granted, after causing his ears to be cut
off, in order to send them to the governor of
Muzquiz started out on this expedition with
100 men, sixty-eight from the regular army
and the rest volunteers.
The precise spot where this little battle
took place has ever been a matter of controversy,
as the data are too indefinite to enable
one to be certain. Local tradition in various
places is very positive that it was at this, that,
or the other place. The preponderance of
opinion is that it was in the vicinity of Springfield
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/21/?rotate=90: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .