Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 147 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
about eleven hundred men, afterwards increased to
fifteen hundred. From the 27th of October, to the
4th of December, varying in number from six hundred
to eleven hundred men, first under Austin and
then under Burleson, the volunteers had laid in a
mile or so of San Antonio, without any attack upon
the town. A brilliant victory was won by Bowie
and Fannin, at the Mission of Concepcion at daylight
on the 28th of October, before Austin's
arrival with the main body; and on the 26th of
November, the day after Austin left, the Grass fight
occurred, in which a detachment of the enemy
were driven into the town with some loss; but nothing
decisive had occurred. First under Austin and
next under Burleson propositions for storming the
place had failed. Dissatisfaction arose and men
came and went as they pleased. On the 4th of
December, the force had fallen from eleven hundred
to five or six hundred. On that day the last
proposition had failed and great discontent prevailed.
Milam became aroused and alarmed lest
the entire encampment should disband and go
home. He moved to and fro as a caged lion, till
late in the day he stepped out in plain view of all
and in a stentorian voice called out:"
Who will follow Ben Milam into San Antonio?
Let all who will, form a line right here."
In the twinkling of an eye three hundred men
were in line. The plan was soon formed. During
the night the entrance was made in two divisions,
one led by Milam, the other by Francis W. Johnson.
Under a heavy fire they effected lodgments
in rows of stone houses and then for five days tunnelled
from room to room. On the 8th, while
crossing a back yard from one house to another, a
ball pierced Milam's head and he fell dead. But
his spirit survived. He had imparted it to his followers,
who continued to press forward his plans,
till on the 9th, after having been driven from the
town into the Alamo, Cos raised a white flag. On
the 10th he capitulated, verifying the genius, the
courage and ability to command of the grand and
glorious Milam, whose death was bewailed as a
personal loss in every hamlet and cabin in Texas.
In person Col. Milam was of commanding formtall,
muscular and well-proportioned, with a face,
a countenance and manner that instantly won regard
and confidence. None of the heroes of Texas
was so universally loved. His intelligence in practical
affairs was of the highest order. Unambitious
of official place, he was always and everywhere a
leader, because of the unbounded confidence men,
and women as well, had in his wisdom, his inflexible
honesty, his kindness and his courage. I never
dwell on his character without emotions of gratitude
to God for giving Texas in her infancy and
travail such an example of the highest and noblest
illustration of American manhood.
A DEFERRED MEMORIAL.
In the General Council of the Provisional Government,
December 27th, 1835 (nineteen days
after Milam's death), the honorable John J. Linn,
member from Victoria, the official journal says:
"Presented a resolution providing for the erection
of a monument to the memory of Benjamin R.
Milam, at San Antonio de Bexar, which was
adopted; and his excellency Governor Henry Smith,
James Cockran, John Rice Jones, Gail Borden and
John H. Money were appointed a central committee
to carry into effect the objects of the resolution."
(Journals of the Council, page 215, December 27,
Mr. Linn died in Victoria on the 25th of October,
1885, in his 88th year. Fifty-six years, less
two months and two days, had passed since the
adoption of his resolution and other years have
been added to the past, and still there is no monument
to Milam. Some men have become millionaires
in the town he won to liberty and a large
number have become wealthy. Every man on that
committee and every member of that council is
dead, and still there is no monument to Milam!
Will it for ever be thus? God forbid!
Rezin P. and James Bowie
The Bowie Family.
An erroneous impression has ever prevailed in
regard to the Bowie family, in the belief that they
sprang from Maryland. Such, until now, was my
.own impression; but I am now in possession of perfectly
authentic facts to the contrary. Two of
three Scotch brothers of the name did settle in
Maryland and have a numerous posterity. But a
third brother, at the same time, settled in South
Carolina. His son, Rezin Bowie, born in South
Carolina, was wounded and taken prisoner by the
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/147/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .