Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 146 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
Trespalacios, rejoined their companions at 3Ionterey,
reporting to them the dastardly murder of
Long. It was agreed among them to wreak vengeance
on the new Governor on his arrival at
Before his arrival, however, two of the party there
revealed the plan. Thereupon they were all seized
and sent to the city of Mexico and there thrown
into prison, with every prospect of being put to
death. At the close of 1822, on the arrival in that
city of Joel R. Poinsett, of South Carolina, as a
commissioner of observation from the United States,
he secured their liberation and return home.
After the formation of the constitutional government
in Mexico in 1825, Milam returned to that
country, and was recognized as a valiant soldier.
He was granted in consideration of his services, a
large body of land, which, unfortunately, he located
on that portion of Red river which proved to be in
Arkansas, and hence a total loss to him. Before
that discovery, however, he established a farm and
placed cattle on it. He also purchased a steamboat
and was the first person to pass such a vessel
through and above the raft on Red river. He became
also interested with Gen. Arthur Wavell,
an Englishman, in a proposed colony farther up
that stream; but from various causes the enterprise
was not carried forward. Milam was almost
idolized by the few people scattered on both sides of
that stream. Of those most dearly attached to him
were that sturdy old patriot, Collin McKinney, his
wife and children, some of whom were then grown.
About 1826 Milam secured in his own right a
grant to found a colony between the Colorado
and Guadalupe rivers, bounded on the south by
the old San Antonio and Nacogdoches road, and
extending up each river a distance of forty-five
miles. This territory now includes all of Hays
and Blanco counties, the east part of Comal, the
upper part of Caldwell, the northwest quarter of
Bastrop and the west half of Travis. IIe appo:nted
Maj. James Kerr, the Surveyor-general of DeWitt's
Colony, as his agent and attorney, in fact to
manage the affairs of his proposed colony. The
original power of attorney, drawn and witnessed
by David G. Burnet, dated in January, 1827, in
old San Felipe, and signed " Ben R. Milam," is a
souvenir now in my possession. But before matters
progressed very far Milam sold his franchise
to Baring Brothers, London. They totally failed
to carry out the enterprise.
For three or four years prior to the opening
of 1835, Milam remained on Red river. In that
time the people became greatly alarmed in that
section in regard to their land matters and the
true boundary line between Texas (or Mexico)
and the United States. They appealed to Col.
Milam to intercede for them with the State government
of Coahuila and Texas at Monclova. He
could not resist. Early in 1835, alone on horseback,
he started through the wilderness with a
little dried beef and parched meal, to travel about
seven hundred miles, trusting to his rifle for further
supplies of food. He made the trip, passing only
through San Antonio from Red River to the Rio
Grande. He found Governor Augustine Viesca
anxious to do all in his power in behalf of Milam
and his constituents; but revolution was in the
air. Santa Anna had just given a death blow to
the constitutional government on the plain of
Zacatecas, and the fiat had gone forth for the
overthrow of the State government at Monclova.
Time rapidly passed. Governor Viesca, with
Milam and Dr. John Cameron, undertook to
escape into Texas. They were seized and imprisoned.
One by one they escaped and reached
Texas, Milam being the first to do so. On the
night of October 9th, 1835, he passed round
Goliad and fell into the road east of the town.
Hearing the approach of men on horseback, he
secreted himself in brush by the road side. As
the party came opposite him he heard American
voices and called:
M' en! who are you? "
We are volunteers, marching upon Goliad; who
are you ?"
"I am Ben Milam, escaping from prison in
"God bless you, Col. Milam! we thought they
had killed you. All Texas will shout in joy at
your escape! Mount one of our horses and help
us take Goliad! "
" Indeed I will, boys, and already feel repaid for
all my sufferings! "
lie soon realized tlat he was in the presence of
Capt. George M. Collinsworth and fifty-two volunteers
from the lower Colorado, Lavaca and Navidad.
Noiselessly they approached the unsuspecting
fortress, a barricaded stone church, and, at the
pre-arranged signal, burst in. In five minutes they
were in full possession, with three Mexicans dead
and all the others prisoners, while Samuel McCulloch,
fearfully shot in the shoulder, was the only
casualty among the assailants; and on the 21st of
April, 1886, fifty-one and a half years later, he
was a guest of Col. W. W. Leake, at the semicentennial
reunion of the Texas veterans in Dallas.
A few days later Col. Milam, as a private, joined
the volunteers in their march upon San Antonio,
then occupied by the Mexican General, Cos, with
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/146/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .