Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 341 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
hearts were now gathered all the hopes of Texas. It
was at this juncture that at a family meeting of the
Roeders and Klebergs, presided over by Ex-Lieut.
Von Roeder, that these distressed colonists held a
counsel of war to decide whether to fight for Texas
independence, or cross her borders into the older
States to seek shelter under the protecting aegis of
the American eagle. The meeting was held under
the sturdy oaks that stood on the newly acquired
possessions. It was a supreme moment in the lives
of those who participated. In the language of the
historian: " The flight of the wise and worthy men
of the country from danger, tended to frighten the
old, young and helpless, furnished excuses to the
timid, and sanctioned the course of the cowardly.
The general dismay following the adjournment of
the convention, induced many brave men impelled
irresistibly by natural impulses to go to their abandoned
fugitive wives and children, to tender them
protection." This little band, like their compatriots,
found themselves in the midst of a terrible
panic and they were now called upon to decide between
love of country and love of self and it may
well be presumed that the debates in this little convention
were of a stormy nature. The subject of
our sketch, though bound by the strongest ties of
love to an affectionate young wife and her infant
child, was the champion of Texas liberty, and it
was due to the eloquent and impassioned appeals
of himself and the venerable presiding officer that
it was decided that the party would remain and
share the fate of the heroic few who had rallied
under San Houston to fight for the independence
of Texas against Mexican despotism. As
Albrecht v. Roeder and Louis v. Roeder had just
returned battle-worn from the bloody fields of San
Antonio de Bexar, they and others, except L. v.
Roeder, were detailed under the aged Ex-Lieut.
Roeder to remain with the fugitive families while
Robert Kleberg, Louis v. Roeder and Otto v.
Roeder were chosen to bear the brunt of battle.
Now a parting, possibly for life, from all that was
dear on earth and a voluntary march in the
ranks of Capt. Mosley Baker's Company was the
next act in the drama of our warrior's life and, while
the curtain fell on the pathetic scene, a brave young
wife mounted a Texas pony with her tender babe
to go with the rest of the Texas families to perhaps
across the borders of Texas, driving before them
the cattle and horses of the colonists. The acts
and deeds of Robert Kleberg from this time to the
disbanding of the Texas army of patriots are a
part and parcel of the history of Texas. Endowed
with a spirit of patriotism which bordered on
the sublime, possessed of a healthy and robust
physical constitution, a cultured, polished, cool
and discriminating mind, he despised fear and was
anxious to engage in the sanguinary and decisive
struggle for freedom which culminated so gloriously
for Texas and civilization on the historic field of
San Jacinto. After this memorable battle, in which
he and Louis v. Roeder participated to the glory
of themselves and their posterity, he was with Gen.
Rusk and the Texas van guard following the vanquished
armies of Santa Anna to the Mexican border
and, returning by Goliad, assisted in the sad
obsequies of the remains of Fannin and his brave
men. In the meantime his family had moved back
to Galveston Island, and we will again draw from
the memorandum for the better appreciation and
understanding of the conditions of the country that
prevailed at this time: " It had been the intention
of our party who went to Galveston Island in the
absence of those who were in the army, to abandon
the settlement commenced on the Brazos and
settle on the island on the two leagues which were
chosen there. This move had been undertaken in
my absence, partly from fear or danger from hostile
Indians, also a want of provisions, and partly
with an idea to permanently settle on the island.
For that purpose the party had built a boat of
about forty tons in order to move our cattle and
horses and other property from the mainland.
They were ignorant of the laws of Mexico, which
reserved the islands for the government." To
show the state of civilization on Galveston Island at
that time, in the summer of 1836, the judge relates
the following incident which occurred while he was
in the army: 'One night during a time when all
were enwrapt in sound slumber, they were suddenly
aroused by the frantic cries of one of the
ladies of the party, Mrs. L. Kleberg; she was so
frightened that she could not speak, but only
screamed, pointing her finger to a huge, dark
object close to the head of the pallet upon which
lay my wife and Mrs. Otto v. Roeder and their
babes. To their great astonishment they discovered
it to be an immense alligator, his jaws wide
open, making for the children to devour them.
Mr. v. Roeder, Sr., and Mr. Chas. Mason, who
had hastened to the spot, dispatched the monster
with fire and sword.' "
The narrative, speaking of their residence on the
island after Mr. Kleberg returned from the war,
proceeds: "We remained about three months on
the island after building our house. Most of us
were sick, especially the women and childrenlong
exposure, bad food and water were the probable
causes. Not long after we moved into the
house, Mrs. Pauline Roeder, wife of Otto v.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/341/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .