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: 77
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UThTORY OF TEXAS. 77
name, was at the first shot struck in the face
by the ball, but not seriously wounded, and
lie fell forward and feigned death. At night
he crawled to the mountains, but compelled
by hunger, after wandering for several weeks,
surrendered himself and was taken to Saltillo,
recognized and shot in the public square!
Much important matter is condensed in the
following paragraphs, froll H. H. Bancroft,
"On the subject of the release of these
prisoners, much correspondence was carried
on between the governments of Texas and
those of the United States and Great Britain,
through their representatives. The expedition
under Fisher was conducted without the
sanction of the Texan government, and in direct
defiance of General Somerville's order to
march home. By the United States and
Great Britain it was regarded as a marauding
incursion, and those powers remonstrated
with Texas when it sought their interposition
in behalf of the prisoners. The defense of
the Texan government, however, was based
on reasonable grounds. Admitting, said the
executive, that they went without orders and
were thereby placed beyond the protection of
the rules of war, yet the Mexican officers, by
proposing terms of capitulation to the men
relieved them from the responsibility which
they had incurred.
" The opposition papers of the time charged
the president with endeavoring to prejudice
Santa Anna against the prisoners by admitting
that the movement across the Rio Grande had
been made on their own responsibility. On
January 10, 1846, General Green published
an address to the people of Texas, in which
lie holds Houston responsible for the decimation
of the prisoners, on the ground that he
begged the mercy of the Mexican government
fur them, ' though they had entered Mexico
contrary to law and authority.' Green, in
his journal, expressed himself very bitterly
against Houston, and brought forward charges
against him which the latter considered so
serious that he denounced them as caluinnies
before the United States Senate, in 1854,
when he was a member of that body. Houston
dealt as severely with Green, and considered
that his book should receive the attention
of the chairman of the committee of the
library of Congress, and be condemned. Houston's
speech elicited a reply frcm Green,
who, in scathing terms, assailed his opponent."
In all probability Houston, in the first
place, unwittingly admitted that the Mier expedition
was unauthorized, not thinking that
any serious consequences could come from it,
but that the statement would indeed elicit
greater consideration for the honor of the
Texan government. At the same time the
Texan soldiery were too zealous, and rushed
forward with too small numbers and too little
equipment for so formidable an undertaking
as a war with Mexico. On this subject, we
think that neither Houston nor the soldiery
were criminal, but made mistakes.
What were left of the Texan prisoners, 107
in number, were finally liberated by Santa
Anna, September 16, 1844, in commemoration
of Mexico's national day.
In 1842, another unsuccessful expedition
was made by 180 Texans, under Colonel
Jacob Snively, and authorized by the president,
against a Mexican caravan crossing
territory far to the north claimed by Texas.
During the year 1843, and the most part
of 1844, Texas enjoyed an armistice from
Mexican hostilities, pending consultation with
the great powers, concerning a final settlement
of difficulties, and the slavery question,
to a slight degree, entered into the controversy.
England was willing to mediate alone,
HISTORY OP TEXAS
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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/m1/82/?rotate=90: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .