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: 341
HISTO1~~~Y OF TEXAS. 341~~~
from Lowndes county, Alabama, to join the
struggling colonies in Texas in the early
spring of 1836, but reached the Louisiana
State line just at the time of the " runaway,"
when the families of the settlers were ordered
back from the frontier by General Houston,
to escape possible massacre by Santa Anna's
army. He stopped near Fort Jessup, Louisiana,
intending to remain there only until the
termination of hostilities with Mexico, when,
if the colonists were successful, he expected
to take up his residence in Texas. He continued
to live at Fort Jessup, however, until
1846, when with the general movement to
the southwest of citizens and soldiery he came
to Corpus Christi, sending his family in care
of his oldest son, Anderson W., by water and
coming overland with four of his sons.
At Corpus Christi, le joined an expedition
on April 25, 1846, which had in charge a
wagon train loaded with important stores for
the Second United States Dragoons then
stationed at Point Isabel and Fort Brown. In
this expedition he was accompanied by two
of his sons, Anderson W., his oldest boy, and
William L., the third. The party was made
up mostly of men and youth, there being only
two women in the number, a Mrs. Atwater
and a Mrs. Lafferty, the former of whom had her
two small children with her and both of whom
were accompanied by their husbands. This
little party, important as its mission was, had
no guard and was but poorly supplied with
arms. The reason for this possibly was that
two or three detachments of the United
States army was between it and the Mexican
lines, and its members felt that there was no
especial cause for vigilance on their part.
But in this, as is often the case in " time of
war," appearances were deceptive. On the
evening of May 1, just as the party was going
into camp at the ford of the Colorado, on
the road from Corpus Christi to Fort Brown,
having crossed the Little Colorado river and
proceeded about four miles, they were suddenly
surprised by a band of Mexicans, wlho
surrounded them and demanded their surrender.
Some of the party were for making
a resistance, but others who were supposed
to be wiser in counsel prevailed and the party
surrendered, stipulating that they should be
treated as prisoners of war by a civilized
nation. The Mexicans, treating this obligation
as they are accustomed to treat such obligations,
immediately bound the prisoners
with cords by twos and marched them back
on the run four miles to the river. They
were made to wade to the opposite shore, then
marched up the bank about 400 yards, where
they were divided into three divisions and
marched one division at a time to the bank
of the river out of sight of the others, and
made to kneel. A burly Mexican with a
large knife passed along the line, and, taking
each of the prisoners by the hair, threw the
head back and cut his troat from ear to ear!
Others followed hitn, and, cutting the cords
so as to loosen the bodies from each other,
cast them into the river. This was done with
each one of the men. The women and two
children were subsequently murdered, their
last resting place not being known. Life was
not extinct in all of the bodies cast into the
Little Colorado, as was supposed, by the Mexicans.
An Irishman, whose name is not now
remembered, and the younger of the Rogers
boys, William L., were destined after suffering
untold hardships to escape from that trying
ordeal. The Irishman crawled up into
an excavation made by tide-water next to the
bank over which he was pitched, and thus
hidden froIn view remained until the Mexicans
were gone, when lie escaped to the American
settlements. Young Rogers swam
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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/m1/361/ocr/: accessed December 9, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .