The Journal of Dr. Joseph Henry Barnard
[Dr. Joseph Henry Barnard was born in 1804 in Massachusetts, trained as a surgeon at Williams College and practiced medicine in Canada and Chicago before coming to Texas in 1835. After release by the Mexican Army in Bexar, he stayed with José Ángel Navarro before moving to Richmond. There he married Mrs. Nancy M. Danforth (the widow of Col. Robert Eden Handy according to author Clarence Wharton) and represented Fort BendCo in the Texas Legislature. He moved to GoliadCo where he was a rancher and surveyor. He had a son who was killed by Mexican bandits in the Nueces strip and a daughter who married a Hardaman. In 1931, Ms. Hardaman was living near Goliad and provided author Wharton with a faded photograph of her father whose likeness was reproduced from it (photo above). Dr. Barnard died in 1861 while on a visit to his old home in Canada.]
DR. J. H. BARNARD'S JOURNAL
[From Hobart Huson's edited and annotated version, 1949. Huson's publication was a composite of three principal versions, one in Wooten's Comprehensive History of Texas,1898; one in the Goliad Advance-Guard, 1912 by Judge James A. White; and the John J. Linn version in Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas, 1883. He uses predominantly Linn's version where it begins as noted. Brackets indicate Huson's notation where texts differ, his footnotes denoting less substantial minor differences are not shown. Some headings added by current editor, WLM]
I was at Chicago, Illinois, practicing medicine, [in company with Dr. G. . . . . . ] when the news of the Texan revolt from Mexico reached our ears, in the early part of December, 1835. They were in arms for a cause that I had always been taught to consider sacred, viz; Republican principles and popular institutions. They had entered into the contest with spirit, and were carrying it on with vigor. Goliad had been taken in a gallant manner, and the Texan forces were collecting to capture San Antonio, where was situated the most important Fortress in the country, the Alamo. They had made a call for volunteers from other countries, more especially the U. S. of the North, to assist them, and the sympathies of many in the Fatherland were enlisted in their favor. I was instantly possessed of a desire to render my personal services, however insignificant they might be, in their behalf. Accordingly, I hastily closed my business [with Dr. G. . . .] and left Chicago on the 14th of December, 1835, in company with two young men bound for Texas.
We were to proceed to Peoria by stage and there be joined by two or three others, and then travel to Texas in company. [The weather was cold and disagreeable, but we went merrily along. ] Our stage companions were lively and agreeable [and far from giving us any discouragement in our enterprise, on the contrary, they confessed to a secret hankering for a share in the business, and would have gladly gone on with us, but just then some imperious necessity prevented. For instance Col. H . . . . ., was in possession of a lucrative business, which could not be abandoned. Rev. Mr. M . . . . . ., was so much engaged in the cause of souls, some of which might be lost if he thus abandoned them; and Capt. P . . . . . . . , of the United States Army, was certain that his Col. would not, on any consideration, spare him from the regiment. But encouragement and good wishes, they constantly gave us in abundance.]
Nothing occured to obstruct our journey and nothing to mar the harmony and good feeling of the party. We arrived at Peoria on Wednesday evening, when our party left the stage, fondly wishing that our agreeable beginning might augur a satisfactory termination of the enterprise.
Thursday, 17th-The remainder of our company not having come on, I walked ten miles to Pleasant Grove, and called upon Berkshire Medical Institute, and called upon Dr. P [who had been a fellow student with me, at the Berkshire Medical Institute and afterward a neighboring practitioner in Lower Canada, which cold clime we both left the preceding spring, for the blooming regions of the far west.] Passed this and the succeeding day with his family when our party arrived.
Saturday, 19-Bade our kind friends adieu and proceeded on, five of us for Texase in an open wagon rather crowded. A flood had taken place leaving the roads very muddy. We had less of gaiety and merriness and more of discomfort and inconvenience than in the first part of our trip, but our resolution was as strong and hearts as high with hope as ever. Sunday we passed through Springfield.
Tuesday, December 22-Arrived at St. Louis and found we must wait some days for a steamer going down. Christmas came and was a noisy, merry day, and all appeared to enjoy it. While here I had the gratifying proof that friends I had left behind had not forgotten me, [and were not unmindful of what might be of service to me in a new country, among strangers.] Letters of recommendation from persons of standing [and influence] were forwarded to me, directed to [several] prominent men in Texas, both civil and military. [And though I had determined to rely on my own acts and conduct to win me a character and standing, yet I did not feel like disregarding such auxiliaries, and was duly gratified at their reception.] In one or two days we embarked on the Steamer Junius (Captain Jordan), for New Orleans. Found several passengers aboard for Texas, some as volunteers, some as emigrants. We had a safe and pleasant passage down, of about ten days.
The Mississippi presents a singular appearance to the first view of a Northerner. I had been on the broad and majestic St. Lawrence, but in hardly one respect does it resemble the "Father of Waters". The former with its waters coursing to the northeast, making those inland seas of the north and a cataract itself the wonder of the world, gradually widens as it flows onward to the gulf of the same name, [its outlet to the sea.] The latter runs to the south, and after a course of thirteen hundred miles, receiving in its way the tribute of many a noble stream, actually becomes narrower at New Orleans than at St. Louis. Its waters are turbid and the stream tortuous. The endless and regular succession of "points and bends", its cotton-wood banks, in some places making, others losing, bound the view on either side. After reaching Louisiana we began to perceive the "Spanish moss" on the trees, giving them a singular [and venerable] appearance. The weather becomes sensibly warmer, and live-oaks, with their refreshing greenness cheer the sight. The banks are low, and we have a view of towns and plantations as we travel rapidly by. We reached New Orleans the 6th day of January, 1836. The news of the taking of San Antonio and the death of the gallant Milam, had reached here---had been dramatized and acted on the stage with great applause. The Commissioners from Texas were also here: Messrs. Austin, Wharton and Archer. I called on General Austin, who encouraged me to proceed.
January 8, 1836-The anniversary of the battle of New Orleans was celebrated in great style. The volunteer companies turned out in their best array [with all the "pomp and circumstance of war," and were reviewed.] Their appearance gave me fresh inspiration, accompanied with a [feeling of] regret that such soldierly men were not to go on and display their martial powers on the battlefields of Texas. I here equipped myself fully with arms, clothing, and other necessary things for the war, and on the 10th of January, embarked with my companions on the Schooner Aurora, (Captain Hastings), bound for Matagorda, Texas. We were towed down the river Mississippi and on the 12th got over the bar and spread our sails for Texas. We had on board, besides our party, Mr. W . . . . . . and family and three or four other passengers in the cabin, and fifteen volunteers on deck. Had five or six days passage and most of us suffering from sea-sickness. The first land we made was near the mouth of Caney, where was the residence of our fellow passenger, Mr. W . . . . . . . . . While he was looking at the place, and pointing out the locality to us, three sails, were discovered ahead. As we had some fears of Mexican cruisers being on the coast, we were all attention. To be captured just in sight of our promised land, and to be carried to a Mexican prison, was not a very pleasant idea. Our attention was fully engrossed in watching our new neighbors, and various conjectures were made as to who and what they were, and what the result would be to us. At length an old sailor declared they were not vessels at all. His assertion was at first hooted at, but he answered: "The wind is blowing fresh from the shore and will cause a vessel to lean from it, as ours does; those objects are too upright." The force of his argument was soon admitted and after nearing them the fleet was found to be Texan houses, situated on the beach, and, as sailors say, "looming", [largely]" they looked like sails on the water. We coasted along and reached the Matagorda Peninsula. From the masthead we discovered the town and waters of the Bay. At night we hove to, and kept a strict lookout. It was very foggy. In the morning made sail, and in the course of an hour or two the fog cleared off and we saw Paso Cavallo, off which a vessel was lying at anchor. There was no mistake now, it was bona fide a vessel and no house, and there was a possibility that she might prove to be a Mexican vessel, and armed. A good deal of discussion took place; our situation and resources were considered, and various propositions suggested, some of which were characteristic bravery, and some prudence. But having [the] advantage of the wind, we ran on under easy sail till within about two miles of the point, and we sent a boat to shore, which returned with a pilot who gave us the pleasing intelligence that the vessel off the Paso, was the Brutus, (Captain Hurd), with a company of volunteers on board.
Captain Shackelford's company were aboard, -the "Red Rovers," from Alabama. We ran along side and were saluted with three cheers, which were heartily returned. The two vessels then entered the Paso together and came to anchor. The next day the Aurora ran up the bay, and we at last found ourselves safely landed in Texas, at the town of Matagorda. Matagorda at this time contained twenty-five or thirty houses, three or four mercantile establishments, two groceries and two boarding-houses. It is pleasantly situated on a prairie, facing the waters of the bay on one side and extending in the rear to the [rio river] Colorado. I was now at a stand what step to take. My intention all along had been to join the army immediately upon my arrival, but now, there seemed to be no army, at least regular troops. There were, to be sure, some parties in the West. Col. Fannin had a company at Goliad and Col. Travis one at San Antonio. Most of the citizens who had been at the taking of San Antonio had returned to their homes, and a regular stagnation in all Military matters seemed to be felt. A scheme had been on foot for an inroad to the Mexican Territory, beyond the Rio Grande and the capture of Matamoras, which seemed to me wild and visionary, and I felt no inclination to join such an enterprise. General Austin had advised me to report myself to the Commander in Chief, General Houston, and be governed by his advice and directions, and this course I would have been glad to pursue, but no one could inform me where he was or where his head-quarters were established. The disgraceful row between Gov-Smith and the Council was now known, in which the former made a great display of billingsgate, and the latter suspended him and threatened an impeachment. Political and Military matters looked rather discouraging, and, as I had not intended or prepared myself for private business, I considered it best to wait a while and watch the progress of events, and take such course as circumstances might indicate. After [waiting] a few days at Matagorda, my companions left me, to take a trip up the river. I had promised to go on to Lavaca with Stuart and Frye, two young men of Matagorda.
January 27-We left in a small boat and went over to "Cox's Point," in company with a lighter, that had a load of goods and a family bound for Dimmit's Landing. Cox's Point which had been dignified with the name of a town, and described by some in such a manner to convey the idea of a thriving village, contained a warehouse and a small cabin in which a family lived. Dimmit's Landing had a warehouse, a small store, and three or four other houses. We cruised around here several days, and amused ourselves by hunting and fishing and examining the [river], a bay, etc.
February 2-Went to Texana on the Lavaca river, fifteen miles from Dimmit's place, which originally had been named "Santa Anna," when that chieftain was popular here, but his recent course had induced the citizens of that place to discard the name. Here I found acquaintances, the "Red Rovers," awaiting orders from the governor, to whom they had reported. Their captain, Dr. Shackelford, a physician [by profession], of Courtland, Ala., was another illustration of the power and extent of [the] enthusiasm produced by the "Texas Revolution." Of mature age, surrounded by an amiable family and possessing a lucrative practice, the first call for sympathy and aid struck a responsive chord in his breast. He immediately collected a company from his neighborhood, and left home and business to take a part in the struggle for freedom. During the day Captain Shackelford received instructions from the acting governor, to the effect that he should proceed with his company to LaBahia (Goliad) and place himself under the command of Col. Fannin. As I became more acquainted with Capt. Shackelford and his [company of] men, I began to take a stronger interest in their proceedings, and was induced to stop [about the place] a few days longer.
February 4-A courier from Goliad brought certain news of the approach of Mexican troops, and letters from Col. Fannin urging prompt measures to be taken to prepare for them, and for all volunteers to proceed immediately westward. Now that we had a definite and distinct account of the course taken by the Mexicans, I no longer felt any hesitancy as to what I should do, but immediately joined Captain Shackelford's company and prepared to march with them to Goliad. I found in the company three men who had come down the Mississippi on the same boat with me, and upon their invitation joined their mess. One of them, Mr. Shorts was the head of the mess, a man well experienced in hunting and campaigning, who was acquainted with a soldier's duties, and who had a good appreciation of a soldier's comforts, as well as sagacity and foresight in providing for them.
Our camp was now a scene of bustle and animation. Our preparations for the march were hastily made, and we left Texana the same afternoon, the captain refusing to wait for the morrow, which would be Friday, as he wished to make a start before the day of ill omen should augur ill luck in our attempt. We were well supplied with provisions and tents, and a wagon had been employed to haul our baggage. We marched up the Lavaca river as far as Hatches [sic.] and camped. We numbered about seventy men; of these sixty or more, being Shackelford's Company of "Red Rovers," and eight or ten others who went on with us to join other companies. We had started in high spirits, for the opening of new scenes of adventure, the excitement of the enterprise, and the novelty of the scenery through which we passed, combined to cheer our minds into a very complacent mood. But, alas! the truth must be told, other kinds of spirits were at work in our midst; some of the men had become tipsy and pugnacious, and no sooner had we struck camp than a violent quarrel and a row seemed on the point of commencing; knives were drawn, pistols presented, and I fully expected to witness a scene of tumult and death. Captain Shackelford, however, interfered, and such was the power of his influence and the great esteem in which he was held, that he soon succeeded in allaying the excitement and soothing the angry feelings of [most of], the men into peace. However, several of them expressed a determination to leave, but when the morning sun shone upon us, when the brain had become cool and the pulse calm, the captain succeeded in pacifying all, and we marched onward. We now left the Lavaca river and traveled on over an undulating prairie to the Garacita, where we camped. It fell to my lot to be placed on night guard, and my tour as sentry was appointed from ten till twelve o'clock. It being the first time I was charged with such duty, I fell into conversation with my messmate, Short (who was corporal of the Guard) as we sat alone in our tent [after supper. Short was a good soldier, and was always well pleased when he saw a man endeavoring to do his duty promptly.] He was gratified with my deference of opinion and seemed to feel a pride in giving me all [necessary] directions on the subject: After he had done this [to sufficient extent], he remarked as a further piece of advice, not to undress [myself] or go to sleep after being relieved, as I might be called again. I do not know how it was, but something seemed to flash over my mind that prompted me to say with great quickness: "Why, is there to be an alarm?" The suddenness of my inquiry and the earnestness of my manner I suppose, confused him, and caused him to stammer, as he [first] attempted to deny all knowledge of such a thing, but directly giving it up, he said: "You have got the secret from me, in spite of myself, and I may now as well tell you all about it, and rely on you not to inform that you had any knowledge of it, much less, any information from me." I assured him he might depend upon me. He then informed me that for the purpose of giving the men a taste of military life, as well as to train them in the proper course to pursue in such emergencies, the captain and himself had planned an alarm, and gave me all the details of the scheme, and, in order to insure the full benefit of the ruse, no man was ever to be informed of the real nature of the case. When the hour came I was called up again and took my post again as sentry; at the end of two hours was relieved and returned to our tent. [Then] In about half an hour, "bang" went a sentry's musket, and bang, bang, went two or three others. The drums beat and out we turned, helter skelter. I was, of course, among the foremost at my post, and among the readiest in all our movements, for discovering and fighting the audacious rascals who had attempted to surprise us. The men generally were prompt enough, but some ludicrous things occurred in the bustle and confusion. One was heard making lamentation [that] he could not get on his boots; another could not find his bayonet and a third bawled loudly for his ramrod. Some turned out barefooted and got their feet badly lacerated with the thorns and briers. After hustling about for some time and making several charges into the bushes, and firing several rounds at the oak trees in the vicinity, and finding no Indians, we came to the very natural conclusion that we had frightened them all off by our martial display, and [so] turned in to rest again. I lay down with the gratifying reflection that I had [faithfully] performed my duty and had acquired for so doing as much credit as [I] deserved and some over.
Saturday, Feb. 6th-About nine in the morning started for Victoria. After about an hour a Texas Norther sprang up, accompanied with rain. This we found uncomfortable, yet we endeavored to keep along together and in some kind of order, but as there was no shelter on the prairie and the storm began to increase in violence, it became necessary for each one to exert his utmost powers to get to our destination as soon as possible. Consequently, we all became separated and scattered, the most vigorous getting ahead and some distance in advance, and the weakest drifting along in the rear. We saw at a distance a large drove of Mustangs, and under other circumstances would have enjoyed and had much delight in the spectacle; but a Texas Norther gives one no time to indulge in pleasurable sentiments. With us it soon became sauve qui peut or "devil take the hindmost." After about four hours exertion we reached Victoria, drenched, benumbed, and exhausted. We stayed here the succeeding two days to let the Norther abate and to dry our clothes and baggage.
Thursday, Feb. 11-Crossed the Guadalupe river, and after passing two miles through the bottom, we emerged into a beautiful rolling prairie, interspersed with groves of oaks. The weather was now fine and the day's march delightful; we went ten miles, to the Coletto [sic. ] creek and camped.
Friday, Feb. 12. Started early, and marched ten miles to the Manahuilla creek, and from a hill on the west bank we had our first view of the fortress [of] "LaBahia," then six miles distant. The prairie now became more level. We reached the San Antonio river about a mile below the town and forded it, the water being about three feet deep. Proceeding on, about half a mile we were met by a company from the fort who gave us a hearty welcome and escorted us in. El Presidio de LaBahia del Espirito Santo, or the "Fort of the Bay of the Holy Ghost," is one of those old structures erected by the Spaniards upon their first advent to this country, as a means of protection against the wild Indians, and to serve as the nucleus of an agricultural and pastoral settlement. It is situated on the south-west bank of the San Antonio river, about thirty miles from where (after meeting with the Guadalupe) it empties into the aforesaid Bay of Espirito Santo. It is built upon an rocky elevation and is a good military position. A square of about three and a half acres is enclosed by a stone wall of eight or ten feet in height, the sides facing nearly to the cardinal points. The entrance or gateway is about the middle of the south wall. On each side and also along the western wall were rooms built up with it, which served for barracks for the garrison. At the Northeast corner of the fort is the church, about 85 feet in length by twenty-five in width. The walls are built of stone, and are about three feet in thickness. They are carried up about 20 feet when they are turned over in an arch for the roof, which has a parapet around it about four feet in height. The whole structure impresses one strongly the idea of solidity and durability.
Jutting out from the northside of the church, (which is continuous with the north side of the fort) are two small rooms, each about eight feet square, and on the south side of the church is another room about twelve feet square. The door of the church is at the west end, where it opens into a quadrangle of about fifty feet square, distinct from the main fort, yet forming part of it, and through which citizens of the town could enter the church without passing through the fort. Around the fort and in rather close proximity, were several stone houses belonging to the wealthier citizens. They were of one story, flat roofed, with parapets three or four feet high, through which were openings for the escape of water in time of rain. The rooms were quite small, the floors of hardened mortar. Some of them had latticed windows, but no glass was seen. Besides these there were from fifty to a hundred jacales (pronounced hackals) or cabins. The Mexican citizens of the town, though they professed to be hearty in the cause of the revolution, were yet fearful of compromising themselves too far, and had removed to some ranches about fifteen miles below. The garrison here, before we came numbered about three hundred. Our company and some others caused it to increase to upwards of four hundred. J. W. Fannin was Colonel and Commander-in-Chief; William Ward, Lieut. Col. of the Georgia Battalion (and second in command.) In order to properly appreciate, or even [fully] understand subsequent occurrences, it is necessary to take a cursory glance at the position of Texas and the sentiments of the people in regard to the same. They had, for reason sufficient to justify them, resented the aggression of Mexico, and so far with complete success, defeating and driving back the troops sent to reduce them to subjection. But they still professed allegiance [and adhered] to the constitution of 1824. And although Santa Anna had by force and fraud subdued every other Mexican State, and brought them under the domination of his "centralized" government, in total disregard of that Constitution, it was thought by many in Texas that if a firm stand was here made in its behalf, [that] the neighboring Mexican States, or at least many of their people, would rally in the cause and aid in resisting the establishment of despotism over them. With such aid they considered success as certain. Without it, the great disparity of force between Mexico and Texas,-the former having a population of eight millions, the latter [had] hardly twenty thousand-made them regard a contest as hazardous in the extreme, and disposed them to avoid a total rupture as long as possible. Others looked upon independence from Mexico or being driven from the country as the only alternatives presented. Their recent success had inspired them with enthusiasm and courage, and they confidently looked for large assistance from their brethern of the North. Under these circumstances, the people had appointed a "Provisional Government" consisting of a Governor and Council, and General Houston was elected as Commander-in-Chief of the Army. His policy was cautious rather than venturesome. It was to prepare, by proper organization, a sufficient force; to husband the resources of the country, and not to waste them in detached and isolated expeditions which, however brilliant they might appear, could have but little effect upon the general struggle; to conciliate the various Indian tribes, and obtain at least their neutrality, if not their assistance; to collect all possible means and aid, and wait, prepared for the invasion. He was sustained by the opinion of Gov. Smith, but unfortunately the Lieut. Gov. Robinson, and the Council held different views, and there were many restless, ambitious men in the country, fond of enterprise and adventure, who could not well brook the cautious and tardy steps of a defensive policy. The Governor and his Council broke up into a disgraceful quarrel. The Council encouraged and promoted the attempt [s] of sundry persons to make military excursions into Mexico, to horrors that country, and, if possible, to capture some of the towns on the Rio Grande. Matamoras was especially aimed at. Dr. James [M.] Grant, who had extensive acquaintance with Mexicans of high standing and liberal views, and who had been assured by them of their co-operation if a movement should be made in that quarter, had, in connection with [Col.] F. W. Johnson, left San Antonio with several hundred men, [and] well supplied with arms and ammunition, and proceeded westward, expecting the ca-operation of Col. Fannin, whom the Council had appointed a Military Agent, and who was to meet them at Capano, an the [Aransas] bay. At Refugio, however, Gen. Houston had visited the camp, and dissuadedq the most of the volunteers from the enterprise. But sixty or seventy of the men had gone on with Col. Johnson and Dr. Grant, and were at the time between the Nueces and [the] Rio Grande. Col. Fannin remained at Copano until he received information that the Mexican army in large force was advancing, where he fell back with his troops to Goliad, (having been elected to their command as colonel), with the express intention of strengthening its fortifications and defending it to the last. Col. Travis, who had recently been joined by the celebrated David Crockett, and who had also with him Col. Bowie and Col. Bonham, had resolved to defend the Alamo fortress at San Antonio, or Bexar, with about one hundred [and twenty] men. Thus the auxiliary volunteers were disposed of, numbering in all about six hundred men. The citizens, after the capture of San Antonio in December, 1835, had generally returned to their homes, but were ready to turn out on the appearance of the enemy. Gen. Houston did what he could to dissuade the volunteers from what he considered a [rash and] hazardous undertaking. He was also in favor of destroying the fortresses of Goliad and the Alamo; of keeping up scouting parties west of [the] San Antonio for procuring intelligence, and so disposing of the volunteer forces that they would be ready to sustain and be sustained by the citizens; and thus to effect a steady and systematic resistance to the enemy. Goliad and the Alamo were no more than mere military stations, situated in an open Champaign' country; they controlled no passes nor obstructed any route that could check or impede the march of an army; they simply defended what ground they stood upon, and what their guns could reach, and no more, and they were from fifty to seventy milts distant from any settlement[s] upon which they could rely for supplies and succor. I found life in garrison at first very pleasant. We were abundantly supplied with provisions, and arms and ammunition, and almost every man had his rifle and brace of pistols, and besides there were a number of good English muskets captured from the Mexicans, and we had five or six pieces of artillery. The men, for the most part, were altogether superior to the ordinary material of an army in intelligence and education. They were far from being a class of mercenaries, but were men of character and standing, and some of them of wealth, who had left their homes from sympathy for a people who had taken up arms for their liberty. The novelty of the scene was pleasing; for some days I performed the duty of a private soldier, standing guard, attending to the mess, &c., when I was appointed by Colonel Fannin surgeon to his command. There were but few sick when I took charge of that department; consequently the duty was not heavy, and for a time all things went on smoothly.
Many of our volunteers were from [the state of] Georgia and they had organized the "Georgia Battalion," electing to the command, Warren Mitchell, as Major William Ward had been elected lieutenant-colonel and was second in command. The remainder were now formed into another called the "Lafayette Battalion," and Benj. C. Wallace was elected Major. The walls of the fort were strengthened, where there was need, [and a bastion built at each of the southern angles.] A covered way was built from the rear of the fort down to the river, about two hundred yards distant, for the purpose of having secure access to the water in case of an emergency. Having thus prepared ourselves, we awaited with confidence the advance of the enemy. Prepared as we were we fully believed ourselves able to [make a] stand against many times our number[s], not doubting [but] that on being attacked the citizens would at once come to our support and enable us to maintain the fort, or, failing in that, to fall back upon some other position and continue the resistance until it should ultimately be successful. As yet the clouds of war had only lowered in the distance, but they were destined to approach. About the latter part of February, Col. Johnson and two or three others came in, fleeing from San Patricio, where they had barely escaped with their lives. Gen. Urrea, advancing with his division of three thousand, had managed to surprise Grant and Johnson's parties, at two different points, and killed nearly all, among them Dr. Grant, and [thus] annihilated what might be termed the first outpost. The settlers at San Patricio were mainly composed of Irish Catholics, who remained at home and sought protection of the Mexican army. Those at Refugio were also Irish Catholics, but for the most part had warmly taken up the side of the Americans, and their families and property were now in danger. They began to remove eastward, but were forced to leave their stock, their main property, behind. Many of their families passed through Goliad, being assisted by Col. Fannin as far as in his power. He warned them all of the coming danger, and urged them to remove while they yet had time. Some however, were so inconsiderate as to delay until the very last, and then became involved in the trouble that finally came over us all. When Santa Anna reached San Antonio, with his main division of five thousand men, and drove Travis into the Alamo, the latter immediately despatched messengers into the interior and to Col. Fannin for assistance. A party of about thirty men turned out from Gonzales, [and] made a rapid march, and succeeded in cutting their way through the enemy and joining Col. Travis in the Alamo. Fannin and his officers were at first prompted to respond to the summons. He left Captain Westover's company of regulars to defend the fort, and with the rest of his force started his march to San Antonio. He crossed the river and encamped for the night on the north side. Here a further consideration of the enterprise served to display it in its true light. With but three or four hundred men, mostly on foot, with but a limited supply of provisions, to march, a distance of nearly one hundred miles through an uninhabited country for the purpose of relieving a fortress beleagured by five thousand men was madness. Many Americans believed themselves able to cope with five times their number, and events had in many instances justified the idea, but the disparity here was out of all reason. Besides, the Mexican army was well appointed with cavalry and artillery, and their scouts would give them the earliest intelligence, and they could take any advantageous position on the route and cut us off. Indeed, it has been subsequently found out that they were appraised of Fannin's movements and had made their plan to attack us on the road. More than all that, was there the least chance of relieving the Alamo and successfully maintaining it? Yet this measure was actually abandoning Goliad to Urrea, without a blow. There were not a hundred men left there, and Urrea would have nothing to do but quietly march in and take possession. After full deliberation, Fannin and his officers abandoned the expedition as impracticable and useless.
We therefore returned to the fort and resumed our [old] quarters. The signs of coming danger began to produce a feeling of anxiety, which was further increased by many vague and groundless rumors that circulated among the men. The confinement in the garrison became irksome; our provisions, of which we had at first an abundancey were becoming short; the restraints of discipline, now more necessary than ever in their enforcement, produced discontent and murmurs and a loss of confidence in their commander. The practicability [or utility] of maintaining such forts, as it was in the wilderness, were fully discussed. Fannin was not slow to perceive the feeling coming over the men, and it caused a corresponding depression of his mind.