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: 342
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84 ITR FTXS
and waded to the opposite bank and clambered
out. Seeing that the Mexicans were watching
him and knowing that they would follow
and complete their bloody work if he remained
long on foot, he staggered around for a few
minutes and then fell to the ground, where
remained motionless until all was quiet.
It was about sundown, and hearing the
cannon at Fort Brown and believing that he
was the only survivor of the party, young
Rogers staggered to his feet and started in
search of the fort. Hle had been stripped of
all his clothing by the Mexicans, and in this
condition, weak from loss of blood and with
no knowledge of the country, he began his
wanderings. For three days and nights he
wandered around, subsisting on berries and
water, but hardly able to get enough down
his throat to sustain life. To protect his
body from the sun's rays lie covered it with
mud and kept mud piled on his head. The
mosquitoes were so bad that he frequently
had to crawl into pools of water to escape
their torture. The gash in his throat was
filled with screw worms! On the fourth day
lie came on a Mexican ranch, where from a
vacant "jackal " or hut, he succeeded in attracting
the attention of an old man who
came to his relief, bringing him clothing,
after which he was taken to the house, his
body bathed and a pallet given him on which
he lay down to rest.
lie remained with the Mexicans until he
had in some measure regained his strength,
when he was taken to Matamoras and turned
over to the Mexican authorities of that place
as a prisoner of war. Here he met a number
of his Fort Jessup acquaintances, who were
confined as prisoners of war, and to whom lie
told his story and who were much Coved by
his sufferings. His story becoming known
also to the Mexicans, he was taken out of the
general stockade and placed in what was
called the " Red Prison," which it was understood
and used only for those who had been
decreed to be shot. In a short time an exchange
of prisoners took place between the
Mexican and American authorities, when all
of the Americans were exchanged except
young Rogers. The released prisoners, not
seeing him, made inquiries about him, and
getting no satisfaction thought that something
was wrong and reported the case to
General Twiggs, who was in charge of Fort
Brown. General Twiggs knew young Rogers'
father and at once took a personal interest in
the son's case. He sent a flag of truce to Matamoras
to inquire whether all the Americans
had been released, and received the answer
in due time that they had. He then sent for
his informant, and questioning him closely
as to the circumstances of young Rogers'
capture and treatment satisfied himself that
the prisoner was being held to conceal the
bloody work of Mexican banditti and made
up his mind to have the prisoner at any cost.
He accordingly sent a second flagof truce to the
Mexican commandant at Matamoras, asking
him to make a thorough search for another
American, who he thought had been overlooked;
but he received the same answer as
before. Ile then sent a third deputation,
giving an accuratedescription of the prisoner,
his name and the circumstances attending his
capture, and notifying the Mexican authorities
that unless the young man was forthcoming
within a specified time he would open fire
at once on the city and batter it to the ground.
The prisoner was immediately produced and
delivered to his friends.
William L. Rogers died at Corpus Christi
December 17, 1877, a wealthy and highly
honored citizen. At the time of his death
lie was the Representative of his county in
HISTOR Y FTXS
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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/m1/362/?rotate=90: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .