Description of the Battle of San Jacinto
(Reprinted from Fifty Years in Texas by John J. Linn, 1883). On the 14th of April, 1836, his excellency the president ordered his staff to prepare to march with only one skill, and leaving his own and the officers' baggage with General Ramirez y Sesma, who was instructed to remain at the crossing of the Brazos, whither we expected to return in three days. On the 13th the flank companies of the battalions of Matamoras, Aldama, Guerrero, Toluca, Mexico, and, I believe, Guadalajara, had commenced crossing the river with a six-pounder, commanded by Lieutenant Ignacio Arrenal, and fifty mounted men of Tampico and Guanajuato, who formed his excellency's escort. The whole force amounted to six hundred men, more or less. About four o'clock P.M. his excellency stated for Harrisburg with the force above mentioned. The bottom of the Brazos is a dense and lofty timber over three leagues wide. On reaching the prairie we found a small creek which offered only one crossing. The infantry passed it comfortably over a large tree, which had fallen in such a manner as to form a convenient bridge. The ammunition was passed over by hand. But his excellency, to avoid delay, ordered the baggage and the commissary stores to remain packed on the mules. However, the water was soon over the pack-saddles, and the opposite bank was steep and slippery. Several mules fell down, interfering with each other, which resulted in a terrible jamming of officers and dragoons, horses and mules. This, together with shouts and curses, completed a scene of wild confusion, which his excellency witnessed with hearty laughter. Several officers and dragoons fell into the water; the stores were damaged, and two mules were drowned. So much for the precipitation of this march. The sun had already set when we resumed the march over a muddy- prairie.
The night was dark, a great many men straggled: off, and our piece of artillery bogged at every turn of the wheel. Such was our condition when at about nine o'clock his excellency ordered a halt in a small grove, where we passed the night without water. On, the 15th, at eight A.M most of the stragglers joined; we started again. At about noon we reached a plantation abundantly supplied with corn, sheep, and hogs; it had a good garden and fine cotton gin. We halted to refresh men and beasts. At three o'clock P.M. after having set fire to the dwelling and gin-house, we resumed our march---Here his excellency started ahead with his staff and escort, leaving General Castrillon in command of the infantry. We travelled at a brisk trot for at least ten leagues without halting, until we reached the vicinity of Harrisburg about eleven o'clock at night.
His excellency, with an adjutant and fifteen dragoons went afoot to that town, distant about one mile, entered it, and succeeded in capturing two Americans who stated that Zavala and other members of the so-called government of Texas had left the morning before for Galveston. A part of the infantry joined us on the following morning at daylight. On the 16th we remained at Harrisburg to await the arrival of our broken-down stragglers, who kept dropping in until two or three P.M. On the opposite side of the bayou we found two or three houses well supplied with wearing apparel, mainly for women's use, fine furniture, an excellent piano, jars of preserves, chocolate, fruit, etc., all of which was appropriated for the use of his excellency and his attendants. I and others obtained only what they could not use. After the houses had been sacked and burned down a party of Americans fired upon our men from the woods. It is wonderful that some of us, camped as we were along the bank of the bayou, were not killed. The quartermaster-sergeant of Matamoras was seriously wounded. This incident took place at five o'clock P.M. On the same day Colonel Almonte started from Harrisburg for New Washington with the cavalry.
On the 17th, at about three P.M., his excellency, after instructing me to burn the town, started for New Washington with the troops. It was nearly dark when we finished crossing the bayou. Then a courier from Colonel Almonte arrived, upon which, his excellency ordered Colonel Iberri to start with his adjutant bearing despatches to General Fillasola, on the Brazos. At seven o'clock p.m. we resumed our march. Our piece of artillery bogged at every moment in some hole or ravine. As it was found impossible for the draught mules to cross a narrow bridge, rendered still more dangerous by darkness and rain, his excellency instructed General Castrillon to head the bayou with the cannon three leagues above, with an escort of only one company of infantry. Shortly after ten o'clock at night a violent storm set in; darkness caused us to wander from our course, in consequence of which his excellency caused a halt, requiring every man to stand in the ranks without shelter from the rain. On the morning of the 18th we moved on, our cannon still being far away. At noon we reached New Washington, where we found flour, soap, tobacco, and other articles, which were issued to the men. His excellency instructed me to mount one of his horses, and with a small party of dragoons to gather beeves for the use of the troops. In a short time I drove in over one hundred head of cattle, so abundant are they in that country. General Castrillon came in at five o'clock P.M. with the cannon.
On the 19th his excellency ordered Captain Barragan to start with a detachment of dragoons to reconnoiter Houston's movements. We halted at that place, all being quiet. On the 20th, at about eight o'clock A.M., everything was ready for the march. We had burnt a fine warehouse on the wharf and all the houses in the town when Captain Barragan rushed in at full speed, reporting that Houston was close on our rear, and that his troops had captured some of our stragglers and had disarmed and despatched them. There is in front of New Washington a dense wood, through which runs a narrow lane about half a league in length, allowing passage to pack-mules in single file only, and to mounted men in double file. This lane was filled with our pickets, the drove of mules, and the remainder of the detachment. His excellency and staff were still in the town. Upon hearing Barragan's report he leaped on his horse and galloped off at full speed for the lane, which, being crowded with men and mules, did not afford him as prompt an exit as he wished. However, knocking down one and riding over another, he overcame the obstacles, shouting at the top of his voice: "THE ENEMY ARE COMING! THE ENEMY ARE COMING!. The excitement of the general-in-chief had such a terrifying effect on the men that every face turned pale. Order could no longer be preserved, and every man thought of flight or of finding a hiding-place, and, gave up all idea of fighting. Upon reaching the prairie a column of attack was formed with trepidation and confusion, amid incoherent movements and contradictory orders. At this moment his excellency, did me the honor to place me in command of the artillery and ordnance, giving me his orders verbally, with strict injunctions as to my responsibility.
Meanwhile the officers having dismounted and taken their stations in front of their commands, we moved in search of the enemy, with flankers on both sides to explore the woods. As the knapsacks might impede the movements of the men, his excellency ordered that they should be dropped on the road, still preserving our formation. The order was obeyed, the knapsacks being left in the keeping of Providence or fortune, and we resumed our march. It was two o'clock P.M. when we descried Houston's pickets at the edge of a large wood in which he concealed his main force. Our skirmishers commenced firing, when they were answered by the enemy, who fell back into the wood. His excellency reached the ground with the main body, with the intention, as I understood, of attacking at once; but they kept hidden, which kept him from ascertaining their position. He therefore changed his dispositions and ordered the company of Toluca to deploy as skirmishers in the direction of the woods. Our cannon, established on a small elevation, opened its fire. The enemy responded with a discharge of grape, which wounded severely Captain Urrezza and killed his horse. At this moment his excellency came to me and ordered me to unload the ordnance-stores and to turn over the twenty mules on which they were packed to Captain Barragan, who was instructed to bring in the knapsacks that had been left on the road. I was cautious enough to part with only eighteen mules, keeping two for an emergency. Then his excellency went to look for a camping-ground, and established his whole force along the shore of San Jacinto Bay, at least one mile from the place where I had been left. About one hour later I received orders through Colonel Bringas to come into camp immediately with the ordnance stores and the piece of artillery. That officer was also the bearer of an order to the company of Toluca the only force that checked the enemy, to fall back likewise. I observed to Colonel Bringas that would take some time to execute this order, the chests as his excellency knew, being piled up on the ground, and I having only two mules upon to load them; and that, furthermore, if the company of Toluca left me unsupported the enemy would probably pounce upon the stores, all of which would go to the devil. Colonel Bringas advised me to do best I could, adding that I ought to know that no observations could be made to his excellency, and he had no desire to argue with him in the raving state of his mind in which he was. The colonel parted from me, followed by the company of Toluca. It may well be imagined that when the enemy saw our artillery and stores unprotected he paid them special attention. He established his cannon in such a manner as to disable our gun and to support an attack, should it take place. Their first shot shattered the caisson on the limber; another scattered about our ordnance boxes; another, again, killed two fine mules; and they kept annoying us during the two long hours it took me to remove, with only two mules, forty and, odd boxes of ammunition. How the general-in-chief had endangered, the whole division!
I acknowledge that I had never before been in such danger. What would have become of me if in consequence of the general's order the enemy had captured our artillery and ordnance-stores, as he might have done, unsupported as it was? I had no resource left but to make the best defence I could with my gun. For this purpose I instructed Lieutenant Arenal to have it loaded with grape, and not to fire until the enemy came in close range, in order both to spare ammunition and to intimidate the assailants. At length, at five o'clock P.M., my duty was performed, and as I entered the camp with the last load, I was closely followed by the enemy's cavalry. His excellency, noticing it, instructed me to order Captain Aguirre, who commanded our cavalry, to face the enemy without gaining ground. This movement checked the enemy for a few moments; but soon after they dashed upon our dragoons and were close enough to engage them with the sword, without, however, any material result. Then his excellency, deploying several companies as skirmishers, forced the enemy back to his camp, on which he retired sluggishly and in disorder. This engagement took place after sundown. At daybreak on the 21st his excellency ordered a breastwork to be erected for the cannon. It was constructed with pack-saddles, sacks of hard-bread, baggage, etc. A trifling barricade of branches ran along its and right. The camping-ground of selection was in all respects against rules. Any youngster could have done better.
We had the enemy on our right in a wood at long musket-range. Our front, although level, exposed to the fire of the enemy, who could keep up with impunity from his sheltered position treat was easy for him on his rear and right, our own troops had no space for maneuvering. We had in our rear a small grove, reaching to the bay shore, which extended on our right as far as New Washington. What ground had we to retreat up in case of a reverse? From sad experience I answer, none! A few hours before the engagement I submit to General Castrillon a few remarks on the subject suggested by my limited knowledge; but he answered:
This was said in an impassioned voice and in close proximity to his excellency's tent. At nine o'clock A. M. General Cos came in with reinforcement of about five hundred men. His arrival was greeted by the roll of drums and with joyful shouts. As it was represented to his excellency that these men had not slept the night before, he instructed them to stack their arms, remove their accoutrements, and go to sleep quietly in the adjoining grove. No important incident took place until half-past four P.M. At this fatal moment the bugler on the right signaled the enemy's advance upon that wing. His excellency and staff were asleep. The great number of the men were also sleeping. Of the rest, some were eating, others were scattered in the woods in search of boughs to prepare shelter. Our line was composed of musket-stacks. Our cavalry were riding bareback to and from water. I stepped upon some ammunition-boxes the better to observe the movement of the enemy. I saw that their formation was a mere line in one rank, and very extended. In their centre was the Texas flag. On both wings they had two light cannon, well manned. Their cavalry was opposite our front, overlapping our left. In this disposition, yelling furiously, with a brisk fire of grape, muskets, and rifles, they advanced resolutely upon our camp. There the utmost confusion prevailed. General Castrillon shouted on one side; on another Colonel Almonte was giving orders; some cried out to commence firing, others to lie down to avoid the grapeshot. Among the latter was his excellency.
Then already I saw our men flying in small groups, terrified, and sheltering themselves behind large trees. I endeavored to force some of them to fight, but all efforts were in vain; the evil was beyond remedy. They were a bewildered, panic-stricken, herd. The enemy kept up a brisk cross-fire of grape on the woods. Presently we heard in close proximity the unpleasant noise of their clamors. Meeting no resistance, they dashed lightning-like upon our deserted camp. Then I saw his excellency running about in the utmost excitement, wringing his hands and unable to give an order. General Castrillon was stretched upon the ground, wounded in the leg. Colonel Trevito was killed, and Colonel Marcial Aguirre was severely wounded. I saw also the enemy reaching the ordnance-train and killing a corporal and two gunners who had been detailed to repair cartridges which had been damaged on the previous evening. Everything was lost. I went, leading my horse--which I could not mount, as the firing had rendered him restless and fractious--to join our men, still hoping that we might be able to defend ourselves or to retire under shelter of the night. This, however, could not be done. It is a known fact that Mexican soldiers, once demoralized, cannot be controlled unless they are, thoroughly inured to war. On the left, and about musket-shot distant from our camp, was a small grove on the bayshore. Our disbanded herd rush for it to obtain shelter from the horrid slaughter carried on all over the prairie by the bloodthirsty usurpers. Unfortunately we met in our way an obstacle hard to overcome. It was a bayou, not very wide but rather deep. The men, on reaching it, would hopelessly crowd together, and were shot down by the enemy, who was close enough to not miss his aim. It was there that the greatest carnage took place.
Upon reaching that spot I saw Colonel Almonte swimming across the bayou with his left hand, and holding up his right, which grasped his sword. I stated before that I was leading my horse, but at this critical situation I vaulted upon him, and with leaps he landed me on the opposite side of the bay. To my sorrow I had to leave the noble animal mired in that place, and to part with him probably for ever. As I dismounted I sank into the mire waist deep and I had the greatest trouble to get out of if catching hold of the grass. Both my shoes remained in the bayou. I made an effort to recover them but I came to the conclusion that did I tarry there a rifleshot would make an outlet for my soul, as had happened to many a poor fellow around me. Thus I made for the grove barefooted. There I met a number of other officers, with whom I wandered at random, buried in gloomy thoughts upon our tragic disaster. We still entertained a hope of rallying some of: the men, but it was impossible. The enemy's cavalry surrounded the grove, while his infantry penetrated it, pursuing us with fierce and bloodthirsty feelings.
There they killed Colonel Batres; and it would have been all over with us had not Providence placed us in the hands of that noble and generous captain of cavalry, Allen, who by great exertion saved us repeatedly-,from being slaughtered by the drunken and infuriated volunteers. Thence they marched us to their camp. I was barefooted; the prairie had recently been burned, and the stubble, hardened by the fire, penetrated like needles the soles of my feet, so that I could scarcely walk. This did not prevent them from striking me with the butt end of their guns because I did not walk as fast as they wished. These savages struck with their bayonets our wounded soldiers lying on the way; others following them consummated the sacrifice by a musket or a pistol shot. I cannot forbear the mention of an incident that affected me deeply, and, I believe, had the same effect on my companions. We were about one hundred and fifty officers and men picked up by Allen's party, who marched us to their camp under a close guard. I have no doubts that the Americans, amidst the hurrahs and exultation of their triumph, were lavish of insults; however, not understanding their language, we did not feel them. But one of our own countrymen, who had joined the enemy's cause, assailed us in our own language with such a volley of threats, insults, and abuse that the tongue of that vile and recreant Mexican seemed to have been wrought in the very caves of hell and set in motion by Lucifer himself.
"Now you shall see," he said, "contemptible and faithless assassins, if you do not pay with your vile blood for your murders at the Alamo and La Bahia. The time has come when the just cause that we defend triumphs over you; you shall pay with your heads for the arson, robberies, and depredations that you have committed in our country," etc., etc. What a welcome to honorable men, who knew in the depths of their hearts that they had acted in accordance with the dictates of duty when, unfortunate, prostrate, and humble in the extreme, the fate of war had placed their lives in hands of these brigands, and when they were waiting with resignation the consummation of the sacrifice. Can such wicked men exist? At last we reached the camp. We were seated the ground by twos, as we had marched. On the shore our thirst had been quenched by an abundance of water, which Allen and others allowed to from hand to hand until all were satisfied. A crowd gathered around us, asking with persistent impertinence: "General Santa Anna?" "General Cos?" We knew not the fate of these gentlemen, but to ourselves of their repeated questions we answered "Dead!," "Dead!" I still wore my embroidered shoulderstraps on my jacket; they attracted their attention, and one after another would say, "General?" "Me no general," would I answer until one of the indefatigable questioners tore off my shoulder-straps angrily. I was glad of it, as they ceased importuning me with their questions.
After keeping us sitting there about an hour and a half they marched us into the woods, where we saw an immense fire, made up of piles of wood, even whole, trees being used. I and several of my companions were silly enough to believe that we were about to be burnt alive in retaliation for those who had been burnt in the Alamo. We should have considered it an act of mercy to be shot first. Oh! the bitter and cruel moment. However, we felt considerably relieved when they placed us around the fire to warm ourselves and to dry our wet clothes. We were surrounded by twenty-five or thirty sentinels. You should have seen those men, or rather phantoms, converted into moving armories. Some wore two, three, and even four brace of pistols, a cloth bag of very respectable size filled with bullets, a powder-horn, a sabre or a bowie knife, besides a rifle, a musket, or carbine. Every one of them had in his hand a burning candle. I wonder where they obtained so many of them, for the heat and the breeze melted them very fast; and yet that illumination was kept up the whole night. Was this display of light intended to prevent us from attempting to escape? The fools ! Where could we go in that, vast country, unknown to us, intersected by large rivers and forests, where wild beasts and hunger, and where they themselves, would destroy us?
Early on the morning of the 22d our camp was visited by the so-called Secretary of War, Mr. Rusk, who asked us endless questions upon the grand topic of the day---our defeat and their unexpected success. Colonel Juan N. Almonte, the only---one of us that spoke-English, answered his questions. That gentleman renewed his visits. Once he asked for a list of the names, surnames, and rank of all the captured officers, which list was promptly made up by Almonte, with a pen or a pencil, I do not remember which, and handed over immediately. There were not wanting among us officers sufficiently forgetful of duty, and the dignity and decorum of their rank, to mingle with the enlisted men, because it was rumored that from sergeant down would be spared, and from lieutenant up would be shot. What a shame that such contemptible beings, destitute of honor, should still associate with those who have always proudly borne and gloried in their noble badges of office! Some Americans would come and tell us in broken Spanish what was going on among their leader, stating that the officers and the people---that is, the soldiery---were holding a meeting to consider the question whether we should be shot before notifying it to their government, or whether the executed should be postponed until ordered by the superior authority. Such was the state of our affairs when the assembly roll, or something else, was beaten. Over a hundred men fell into line. They loaded their guns, then stood at ease. We felt nervous. I, for one, was as cold as ice, believing that those who were in favor of immediate execution had carried the point and that the fatal moment had come. Soon, however, our confidence returned when a good man (they are to be found everywhere) told us to cheer up, as Houston, Rusk, Allen, and others, whom I respect for it, had opposed the motion. In fact, the party that had formed near us had gone to relieve the guard. At this time they began bringing in our wagons and on our own mules the arms, stores, baggage, clothing, and all the spoils of our camp, which operation took four whole days.
At two o'clock P.M. his excellency the general-in-chief, Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, arrived under the charge of a mounted soldier. He wore linen trousers, a blue cotton jacket, a cap, and red worsted slippers. His leader did not know him, but, noticing a movement of curiosity amongst us as he approached, he became satisfied that he was conducting no common officer, and reported at once with him to General Houston. The latter sent two of his adjutants to inquire of us whether Santa Anna had lost any teeth. Some answered that they did not know, but others, with more candor, or perhaps less discretion, said: "Yes, gentlemen; and you can further say to your general that the person just brought before him is President Santa Anna himself." The news spread over the whole camp, and the inquisitive fellows who surrounded us ran to strike up an acquaintance with his excellency. Some of them proposed to fire salutes and to make other demonstrations to celebrate the capture of so lofty a personage; but Houston courteously forbade it. From this time we were left alone, his excellency having become the centre of attraction.
On the 23d seventy or eighty loads of ordnance stores had been brought in and deposited, together with piles of loaded muskets arid cartridge-boxes, in close proximity to our camp. We had noticed repeatedly that some of the Americans went about that combustible matter, and even handled it, with their pipes in their mouths. In one of these instances of carelessness some grains of powder scattered on the ground were ignited. The fire reached the cartridge boxes and their contents, and soon extended to the pans of the muskets, which exploded like an infernal machine. The prairie, too, was set on fire, and the covers of the ordnance-boxes were already burning. Those nearest to the scene of danger took to flight. We and our sentinels followed, and, although we knew they would be dissatisfied at our race, and might possibly fire at us, we kept running. Then the guard and some of the officers, in view of the increasing danger, chose not to remain hindmost, and, kept pace with us, expecting at every moment the fatal explosion. We had run a considerable distance when we turned and looked back, and discovered, that the fire had been extinguished. We could not help applauding the resolution and bold determination with which some of these extraordinary men had rushed into the flames and smothered them with then feet and blankets and some water from the bay. W had a narrow escape. I thought at one time that the conquerors' of San Jacinto would all be blown up in eternity; not, however, without some regret on my part to have to go the way they went, owing to their stupid carelessness.
On the 24th several batches of officers and were brought in by the numerous scouting parties sent out to search the country. At five o'clock P.M. a steamboat arrived, having on board the Texan president, Vice-President Zavala, and other members of the administration. The artillery on board, consisting of two guns, fired a salute of five rounds. The troops in camp, formed in line, and received their supreme magic with hurrahs. Then he was conducted triumphantly to General Houston's tent. Among the Yankees who spoke Spanish a little, and came to talk with, or rather to insult, us, was a hunchback, an inveterate talker. The wretch, who did not measure a yard and a half above the ground, took a wicked pleasure in bringing us stirring and unpleasant news. He boasted much of his gallantry, and when reciting his many acts of prowess the little rascal would say: "Well, did Santa Anna believe that he could trifle with us? Not he! He can, perhaps, fight his own people, because he knows them; and knows also that they are not brave, gallant, and determined as we are. He thought us far away, poor fellow without noticing that we were on his track, keeping him in sight, counting with our spyglasses, on tree-tops, his men one by one, and allowing him to come and entrap himself in this corner with no means of escape, as we had burnt the bridge over the bayou behind him and made our preparations to bag every one of you. If he does not at once sign a treaty putting an end to the war, and removing every Mexican soldier from our territory, it will cost not only his life but also the lives of all you prisoners." Such was the conversation of our bold little hunchback.
On the 25th General Cos and Captains Bachiler and Iberri were confined with us. The presence of the general had created such a sensation among the conquerors that they crowded and quarrelled for a sight of him. They would even push off the sentinels. The general found it expedient to lie down, wrapping his head in his blanket, to avoid the annoyance of their impertinent curiosity. Scoundrels were not wanting who would have murdered him. On the 26th our property was sold at auction. It was hard to see them breaking our trunks open and one of them loaded with our shirts, trousers, coats, etc., while we remained with what we had on our bodies. I saw my boots going, while my blistered feet were wrapped in pieces of rawhide. To makeup for our cloaks, overcoats, and blankets, which belonged to the highest bidder, they favored us with the greatcoats of our own soldiers, which were so lousy that we had the greatest trouble to rid ourselves of the vermin. And still we had nothing else with which to cover ourselves. His excellency the general-in-chief alone had the good fortune to preserve the most not all, of his baggage. The saddles and pack-mules belonging to our division were also distributed among the conquering officers and soldiers. It was quite amusing to see these gentlemen put riding-saddles on some fractious and wicked mule which knew nothing beyond the pack. They would adorn them with the green and red cords which our grenadiers and voltigeurs wore on their caps, placing them on their ears, necks, and backs. One did two pairs of blinds on one mule---one on the head stall, as it should be, and the other on the nose-band stopping the poor animal's nostrils. They would a bedeck their mules with the epaulets of our officers caring little if the one was white and the other yellow. They glittered---that was enough. They delighted to cover their animals with all sorts of trappings and colors, after the fashion of our bull-fight clowns.
One of these young chevaliers attracted more especially my attention. He had saddled up adorned his mule without, however, noticing that the surcingle was loose. He mounted the long steed, which was held fast by some of his friends, while he steadied himself in the saddle. They let go, and you should have seen the brute scampering over God's own green fields and scattering about its trappings and ornaments. Lo! our poor Yankee flies on high with his saddle, and drops heavily to the ground, from which he could not rise, his ribs being somewhat damaged. This was not the worst, but the mule once in the woods could not be caught again. Trials of horsemanship lasted the whole day, but most of the champions shared the fate of the first one. How strange these men are! Many of them act and feel like the wild Comanche! On the 27th and following days no incident took place worth being noticed. I will only say, to the lasting shame of our conquerors, that they kept us starving, sleeping in the mud, and exposed to frequent and heavy showers. Still more intolerable was the stench rising from the corpses on the field of San Jacinto, which they had not the generosity to burn or bury after the time-honored custom, regardless of their own comfort and health and those of the surrounding settlements. On the 3d of May, at four o'clock P.M., we were sent to another camp, distant a little over one league. There were two or three frame houses, but they were occupied by both the conquering and the conquered generals, lodgings being provided for us under the trees. There again an attempt was made to murder General Cos. Four days passed quietly along. On the 7th, at five o'clock P. M., they marched us on board the steamboat Yellowstone, where we found General Santa Anna, the president, Señor Zavala, and other dignitaries of their so-called government. Shortly afterwards General Houston was carried on board on his cot, on his way to New Orleans to obtain medical attendance for a wound received in the leg at the battle of San Jacinto. There was the Mexican general Adrian Woll, who had come from our army under flag of truce. This gallant general, our good friend, was dismissed at sundown hardly allowed to embrace two or three of with a few hurried words, as we were surrounded by very strict and insolent guards. I saw, as he landed tears of indignation gushing forth from his eyes at the wretched and degraded condition of his brothers in arms. I am sure that he wished he was lightning to smite our oppressors. In parting with us he expressed the deepest sorrow.
The officer under whose charge we were on board was, if I do not mistake, a physician, and was very harsh and tyrannical. After sunset we were no longer permitted to move, having to sleep on deck crowded like bars of soap on top of each other. Positive orders had been given the sentinels to blow out the brains of any man who raised his head. Therefore, without obtaining a drink of water being allowed to attend to the wants of nature, we laid our heads down, motionless until sunrise. Very early on the 8th, after striking a bell three times as is customary on these vessels, the machine was set in motion and we glided down to Galveston. Not to forget it, I mention a strange incident. As the steamboat passed opposite the battle-field of San Jacinto the troops on board were formed, facing to the field, and presented arms, the drums beating a march. They remained in that position until they had lost sight of the field. What was their object?
A little after twelve o'clock M. we reached Galveston, remaining in the sun the rest of the There we passed another unpleasant moment, the company from Kentucky was composed reckless, drunken, and lawless men, in the Texan army, and we prisoners were placed under the charge of these lambs. Some of the men began---I know not why---to fight with their fists, which soon brought about a general melee. They struck at each other indiscriminately, some seizing their rifles and pistols. Officers interfered and were soon mingled in the row, giving and receiving blows. Soldiers knew no longer their officers, and a fierce affray raged for some time. The uproar and stamping of feet on deck arrested the attention of the gentlemen in the cabin below. They came out to ascertain the cause of the difficulty, but the rascals were so hotly engaged in their contest, that they did not mind the voice of their president and other chiefs any more than the barking of dogs. Fearful that the disorder might increase, and perhaps end in a tragic manner, we remained motionless. At last, by choking some of them and by the utmost exertion, the brave Captain Allen succeeded in restoring order. Santa Anna was transferred on board the Independence, and we were landed at sunset. I was lucky enough to meet Lieutenant Carlos Ocampo, of the battalion of Jimenes, who gave me a bounteous supply of coffee and hard-bread, with which I made up for the past two days' fast.
For several days our philanthropic benefactors had allowed us but one ounce of food. The citizens, Don Ramon Murgo and Don Gil Hernandez, who had been captured on a Mexican vessel boarded by the Texans, shared the captivity of Lieutenant Ocampo. The bad treatment inflicted by these wretches on that officer can scarce be conceived. I saw his shoulders covered with stripes and sores resulting from one hundred lashes laid on him while fastened to a gun. On the 9th we were assigned a camping-ground about fifty square feet, where we remained until the mid of August . . . . On the 16th the Mexican prisoners were removed to Anahuac, where they remained until the 25th, when they were started, charge of Judge William Hardin, for Liberty. Colonel Delgado pronounces the highest eulogy upon the kindness and generosity of this gentleman, and the friendly offices performed by his a estimable wife in behalf of the sick Mexicans. A ball was given by the citizens of Liberty on the 21st of April, 1837, to which all the neighbors and families were invited. The ball was intended to commemorate the bloody 21st of April, 1836, the day so many illustrious Mexicans were immolated. These people had the effrontery to invite to that criminal entertainment General Cos, which of course, declined. A petition was gotten up, says Colonel Delgado asking the Texan government to despatch the prisoners at once or release them. Hallowed be the hour when this petition was inspired! Its results were that we were set free, which happy news reached us on the.memorable 25th day of April, 1837.