Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 367 of 894
INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
joined by five of the prisoners taken from San
Antonio by Gen. Woll in the previous September.
They left for San Luis Potosi under command of
Col. Barragan and reached the hacienda of Salado,
on the way, February 10, 1843. At a preconcerted
signal on the morning of the 11lth the prisoners,
led by Capts. Ewin Cameron and William
Ryon, rushed upon their guard, then eating breakfast,
disarmed them and made their way into the
court-yard, where they overcame one hundred and
fifty infantry. Here they armed themselves and
made a dash for the gate, overcame the guard
stationed there and scattered the cavalry on the
outside, -capturing their horses. They had four
any of the stragglers found water. They hurried
with mad joy to the spot, to find themselves in the
midst of a body of Mexican cavalry, under command
of Gen. Mexia. Nearly all, through exhaustion,
had thrown away their arms, and none were
in condition to offer resistance. They accordingly
surrendered. During the day other stragglers
came to the camp or were found and brought in by
the soldiers. On the 19th, Capt. Cameron came in
with quite a number and surrendered. The men were
marched back to the hacienda of Salado, where
they learned that Santa Anna had ordered all of
them to be shot, but, yielding to remonstrances from
Gen. Mexia and some of his officers, had commuted
?i j .
I I ,
MRS. WM. RYON.
men killed, three of whom were to have been their
guides through the mountains on their homeward
march. They secured one hundred and seventy
stand of arms and one hundred horses. At 10
o'clock a. m. they left. They traveled sixty-four
miles the first twenty-four hours on the Saltillo road.
They next abandoned the road and sought escape
through the mountains. On the night of the 13th,
in the darkness they became separated; and, during
the five succeeding days, suffering from hunger,
thirst and the cold air from the mountains, they
wandered about searching for water. Several became
demented and a number became separated
from their companions and were never heard of
more. About noon on the 18th, those in the main
body discovered a smoke, the signal to be given if
the order and ordered that one in ten be put to
death. Gen. Mexia, who upon capturing the prisoners
had treated them with great humanity, now
tendered his resignation, refusing to officiate at so
"cruel and unmartial" a ceremony. Seventeen
Texians, selected from among their companions by
drawing black beans, were marched out and shot,
Col. Juan de Dios Ortiz executing the order. The
prisoners, tied in pairs, were then marched to the
city of Mexico, which they reached on the 25th of
April. Theyremained in the city until March 12th,
1844, when they were taken to Perote, where was
situated the strongly built and fortified castle of
San Carlos. In September following, the prisoners
were released by Santa Anna and permitted to return
home. Capt. Ryon received three severe wounds
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/367/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .