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Memories of San Jacinto | Battle of San Jacinto

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The San Jacinto Campaign
From the journal of Dr. Nicholas Labadie


Having crossed, I waited for the staff. They were all mounted, except for myself and two others, whose horses could not be found. We preferred to walk rather than lose the chance of a fight which, we then expected, would take place that very night and within a mile or two. As General Houston came by me, he inquired why I was on foot; and having had my answer, he rode up to Colonel Perry, saying, "How came you to disobey orders?" "General," said he, "I was one of the first to cross, and I went a little ahead of the guard to learn something of the enemy; but the guard, having overtaken me, would take no excuse, but brought me back to you." Houston said, "Consider yourself arrested and give me your pistols; I believe you have been in communication with the enemy." But the Colonel declared he had not; however, his pistols were returned to him the day before the fight. Having marched till eleven o'clock, our advance reported that the enemy had taken the New Washington road. Orders were then given to halt. Rifle in hand, I then lay down alongside a log without cloak or blanket. The ground was wet, and as I was cold and shivering, a cold norther having chilled the night air, I was truly grateful for a share of Dr. Ewing's blanket, as he lay down by my side. As we knew not at what moment an attack might be made, we passed a comfortless and sleepless night, without supper, and with our rifles under our heads to be ready at a moment's warning.


Daybreak finally came. Slowly crawling out, I perceived all was silent, the guard only standing around a small fire, awaiting the return of the spies. By and by, the sleepers arose, and by six o'clock we were again on our march towards Lynchburg. Having passed a small bayou, orders were given to halt for breakfast. Our guns were stacked, and three cows that happened to be near by were shot down, and immediately large numbers started off for wood to kindle fires. The surgeons mess was the third fire kindled. A pot of brackish water, with a handful of half-pounded coffee thrown in, was ready to boil when Dr. Booker came up with a dozen eggs, which were at once put into the pot of coffee to cook. At this moment, the spies were seen coming up in a gallop. The word was given, "To arms! To arms!" The eggs were taken out, and each one drank his small share of the hot boiling coffee the best way he could; but when the eggs were found to contain chickens, I surrendered my share to others, who, finding them well cooked, swallowed them quickly. Then each seized his rifle and hastened to his post, leaving some fifty fires just kindled, with faggots prepared for them.  The spies reported that only the advance guard of the enemy was in sight. Upon examining our rifles, we found they required fresh priming; and then one after another discharged his gun for the purpose of loading afresh, making a perfect roar of musketry, till over 400 were fired across the bayou. General Houston, who had all along been silent, now raised his stentorian voice, crying, "Stop that firing! Stop that, G-d d--n you, I say, stop firing!" Some of us said, "Our guns have been loaded over two weeks and we will not meet the enemy with them wet;" and then, right before his eyes, bang goes another, and still another. By this time, raising himself up to his full height, and holding his drawn sword, he declared he would run through the first man that fired. One man close by myself said, "General, it won't do for you to try that game on us"; and with the most perfect indifference, he fired his rifle as he spoke. The General then gave it up.

After reloading and repriming, the march was continued, and soon smoke was discovered in the distance. The General pointed it out to me, remarking, "Can that be the prairie on fire?" I replied that the heavy dew and light rain of the night would not permit the prairie to burn so early in the morning, and suggested that, from the direction, it must be New Washington on fire. Soon we all became convinced that the enemy had set fire to the buildings of that place, and that the advance now coming had been sent to prepare the way for crossing at Lynchburg. A guard was therefore at once ordered to defend that point. At about ten o'clock we entered the timber and pitched our camp on the bank of the bayou. This was the 20th of April. The companies had scarcely taken their ground, our cannon being placed in the edge of the timber, when the enemy was seen from the rising ground before us, apparently preparing their camping ground. At the same time a sail was also seen coming up the bayou. The guard, having reached the ferry, hid themselves till the boat came abreast, when they hailed the men in the boat to come ashore. As they did not heed the request, some half-dozen balls were shot across, whereupon some jumped into the water. Another lay flat in bottom, but, putting his head up, he exclaimed, "Don't shoot, don't shoot! I am an American."

He was then told to show himself, when it was discovered that he was a printer in the telegraph office at Harrisburgh. His Mexican companions having plunged into the water, he had been left alone. As he could not manage the boat, some two or three of our men swam in and brought the boat up to our camp loaded with supplies we very much needed, which had been taken from the stores in New Washington and sent up for the enemy. The boat had been intended to cross their army at the ferry. Having opened a barrel of flour, I secured a small tin pan full, and having made it into dough, I threw it on the hot embers, and in ten minutes it was bread; but I had to divide with so many that the piece left for myself was scarcely as large as a command biscuit.  I afterwards learned from others that Washington Secress, one of the best spies in the army, while scouting with some others, had discovered a small party of Mexicans in the direction of New Washington; whereupon Sherman was ordered to go in pursuit of them. He pursued them with some 175 of his best mounted men as far as Mr. Ruth's place on the bay, by which time the Mexican party he was in pursuit of met the main army under Santa Anna coming up with a view to crossing over at Lynchburgh.

Colonel Sherman then called a halt, and seeing a boy at a distance driving a cart, he sent four men to take the cart, which they did, sending the boy to Sherman. Sherman then found he was an American taken by the enemy at Harrisburgh. Santa Anna had promised him his liberty if he would drive the cart to Lynchburg. The men were afterwards compelled to abandon the cart, as the enemy was coming upon them. Colonel Sherman immediately sent the boy to General Houston, with a message that the enemy was coming in force, and requested aid to be sent him, as he wished to attack them from a point of timber through which he expected them to pass. By this means Sherman hoped to bring on a general engagement before the enemy could cross, and thereby prevent further retreating. Houston. however, did not send the aid, and Sherman then drew his men out of the point of timber and marched just in advance of the enemy till he reached the main army. Santa Anna afterwards said he had no expectation of meeting any other force than the few men with Sherman, and he thought he was getting them where they could not escape him. He supposed Houston had gone to the Trinity with the main army.


We soon discovered some men on the hills beyond Lynchburg, whom we took to be a reinforcement from the east, and some men were sent over in a canoe to ascertain the particulars. It was found out that they were some of the Texas tories, and had come to pilot Santa Anna across to the Sabine, where he was going to fulfill his boast that he would plant his standard on the banks of the Sabine, proclaiming it the Mexican boundary. These men, finding they had mistaken the Texans for the Mexican army, made a hasty retreat and disappeared.


About one o'clock, Colonel Sherman came riding up in advance of the mounted men, with whom he had been reconnoitering, to inform General Houston that the enemy were close by; and directly after, the enemy's cavalry was observed in motion, passing through the prairie about a mile. Striking our trail, they advanced towards us in fine order, with trumpets sounding. As the dragoons approached, over sixty of us stood before our two pieces of artillery. The music became louder and more piercing as it came nearer. Houston showed himself restless and uneasy, walking backward and forward, casting his eyes toward the advancing enemy. Nearly all the men lay flat on the grass, to hide our force as much as possible. In the stillness of that moment, not a word, nor a whisper, was heard, nothing save the penetrating sounds of the instruments and the thrilling notes of the bugle.

J. N. Moreland and Captain Neill commanded the cannon. "Moreland," said Houston, "are you ready?" "It is not time yet," said Moreland, "they are too far." I was on intimate terms with Moreland---we were messmates---and thinking the guns were too elevated, I observed to him they should be lowered more; but before they were sufficiently lowered, the word was given by Houston, "Clear the guns and fire!" But no execution was done except to cause the cavalry to wheel to the right and regain the main body. Great was the disappointment among our men, in being thus cheated of the expected fight, and now all were eager to attack the enemy on his own ground. Dr. Ewing called to me, saying, "We are to have no fight, after all, as I hear our army is to cross over." "It cannot be," said I. "I will go at once to headquarters."

As I went along, I met Colonel G. W. Hockley, who was handing a letter to an express. He was saying to him, "Get all the oxen in camp, and bring the flatboat down tonight. Cross over, and go as quick as Almighty God will let you!" The express started, but not knowing the way, as I afterwards heard, he did not reach Harrisburgh till the next day, he had to head Green's Bayou to get there. After he had left, the purpose was well understood-to cut trees to enable the army to cross; but the men declared that not a tree should be cut down. They would rather give battle at once. Soon after, the enemy advanced his twelve-pound brass piece to an island of oaks, nearly halfway between the two armies, and began to throw grapeshot at us; but fortunately the shot passed over us. Now and then it struck the limbs of the trees, which fell among us, but most of the shot fell in the bayou and on the opposite bank. Our small pieces returned the fire; and, profiting from our first blunder their muzzles were lowered, till we could see every shot count. We saw two of their mules, harnessed to their cannon, shot down, their ammunition box in pieces, and other execution done. Finding the enemy taking shelter in another island of timber, about 400 yards from the road towards the marsh, the writer stood three-fourths of an hour trying to get a shot at them as they lay in the grass, which there was nearly waist high. Finding the distance too great for my rifle, I returned; and just at that time, a grapeshot struck Colonel Neil, falling almost perpendicularly. Another came within four inches of my head, and, striking the ground rolled a few feet, filling my shoe with dirt. I picked it up, and found it a three-or four-ounce copper ball. General Houston then ordered Colonel Sherman, with about half of his mounted men then in their saddles (Captain Logan's company being of the number), to take possession of an island of timber about a hundred yards distant. On entering the timber, Sherman found concealed in a thicket a large body of the enemy, though he had been told there were none there. The order was then given immediately to countermarch, as nothing could be effected in such a thicket with their horses; but before the movement could be made, the enemy (about 400) fired upon them, killing several horses---one being a fine stallion belonging to N. Moss, and another a mare, ridden by E. T. Branch, and wounding some more.

I was then standing within fifty or eighty yards, having taken my stand, as before, to see if I could pick some of them off. I saw Branch fall as his mare fell under him; and picking up his rifle, he ran towards me as if for life, causing a hearty laugh, in which he joined, saying he had never had so tall a fall before. To make a proper return for this, our little cannon was brought to bear on that cluster of oaks, and the effects of the shots are visible to this day, as the oaks were cut from ten feet high to the ground. The enemy, in return, had to make a hasty retreat. Chapter Twenty-five


The enemy then withdrew their artillery, and the fire ceased. Our cannon had been exchanging shots with the enemy during the day. About four o'clock in the evening, Colonel Sherman asked General Houston's permission to call for mounted volunteers to take their cannon, as it was some distance from their main body and supported by their cavalry, amounting to about a hundred men. Colonel Sherman was of the opinion he could beat off their cavalry and run their cannon into our camp before they could get reinforcements. General Houston reluctantly consented; but before Colonel Sherman could get his men ready for the attack (about seventy having volunteered, among them Colonels Lamar and Handy), the enemy withdrew their cannon, leaving their cavalry on the prairies. Sherman immediately charged them and drove them back under the guns of their main body. The Texans, being composed mostly of riflemen mounted for the purpose, were compelled to fall back and dismount to reload their long rifles.

The enemy perceived their condition---at least one half of them were on the ground---and they dashed down upon them, forcing them to defend themselves as best they could until they were again in their saddles, when they forced the enemy back a second time. In the meantime, Santa Anna, who had been watching the fight and constantly directing his orderly bugler to sound. "Give no quarter!" ordered out several hundred infantry to cut off the retreat of the Texans. The consequence was that Sherman, with only about seventy mounted men, contended for some time with their cavalry, several hundred infantry and their artillery, which was constantly pouring in grapeshot. While in this situation, Sherman asked Major Wells to bring up Colonel Willard's command of regulars, which had been promised him by Houston to engage their infantry. With their cavalry Wells soon returned with the mortifying intelligence that Willard's orders had been countermanded, Wells remarking that he must get out of the scrape the best way he could.

Of course, the Texans were compelled to retreat. Their loss was three men wounded and several horses killed. Meantime, the Twin Sisters were ordered to be in readiness to afford assistance. I stood by with Moreland and seven others to work one of them. The attack was made. The smoke and then the reports of the guns showed that the engagement had commenced. Houston ordered one cannon only to advance. With my rifle in one hand, I took hold of the rope with the other, and we moved forward pretty briskly about 300 yards; but it required all our strength to move the carriage over the hag-bed prairie, and a halt was ordered. The combatants were advancing, then receding, with sudden evolutions and rapid movements.

Again we were ordered to advance; and while moving as lively as we could, General Houston called to me, saying, "Doctor, here is a wounded man go to him!" Leaving my place to another, I followed and found it was Woodlief, who was wounded in the hip. After reaching a large oak, I ordered his attendant to stop, and we helped him down from his saddle upon the grass, resting his head upon a large knot as best we could. A moment after, young Trask was brought in with his thigh bone broken by a ball. After probing the wound with my finger, I told Dr. Ewing it was either a grapeshot or (a scopette ounce ball, such as scopettes carry.) He and Dr. Jones declared it was a common bullet-hole. I told them to examine for themselves, but as Trask did not belong to my regiment, I said no more. The brave men who were making this attack upon the enemy on his own ground, finding they were unsupported, as had been agreed, were compelled to retreat. The fact is, the company promised them had never been ordered out at all, and hence they were liable to be entirely cut off and sacrificed. They had, therefore, no alternative but to retire. Thus ended the skirmishing of the 20th. Trask and Woodlief were sent across the bayou to General Zavalla's house.

The number of our men in camp was quite small, having diminished from 1,600 on the Colorado to what we now estimated at less than 800; yet all were confident, as every man believed himself equal to four of the enemy. Night came on, finding us rather hungry, as we had eaten nothing during the day save what little each happened to have in his pocket or wallet. The guards of the night were doubled, and a most profound silence prevailed throughout our camp till morning. About nine A.M. on the 21st, General Santa Anna was reinforced by the arrival of General Cos with a force of 500 men, who had, without sleep the night before, made a forced march to join forces with Santa Anna before the impending battle. Santa Anna accordingly permitted them to stack arms and go to sleep. Both armies remained poised, therefore, awaiting the final clash.

With the addition of General Cos' command, Santa Anna now had some 1,500 men, fully equipped. At three in the afternoon of the 21st, the greater portion of the Mexican army were at rest, having meantime thrown up a breastwork some five feet high, with an opening in the middle where their cannon was stationed. It appears that General Santa Anna and a majority of his staff were asleep at the moment. Of the rest, some were eating and others were scattered in the woods in search of boughs to make shelter.


The morning of the ever-memorable 21st of April dawned on many cheerful and animated faces, though others wore expressions of despondency. All were seen exchanging opinions as to what was best to do, and all were of the same mind, the common expression being, "Let us attack the enemy and give them h--l at once!" The flatboat that had been ordered, with the oxen, for making a floating bridge to cross the army, had not arrived; and even had it arrived, not a man would have put it and the oxen to the use intended, as a retreat was furthest from their thoughts. An immediate and hand-to-hand fight was the desire of all the men.


Breakfast was hardly over (for those who had any, as some had little or nothing to eat) when our spies reported a large number of mules in sight wearing white pack saddles. And now there was a general murmur, for most agreed that it was reinforcements coming to the enemy, though others insisted that these mules had strayed from the enemy's camp and were now being driven back. Erastus---commonly known as "Deaf Smith"---passed by me, remarking, "A hot time is preparing for us---the enemy is increasing." As Colonel Lynch had a small spyglass, we walked at least a quarter of a mile into the prairie; then we plainly saw the soldiers walking by the side of the pack mines, and judged the mules to number about 200. Houston had declared it was only a sham, and not reinforcements. Yet many became clamorous, and murmurs were heard to this effect: "The delays of our commander are continually adding strength to the enemy and diminishing our own; yesterday, they had 500; today, they have 1,500, and tomorrow, they will have 6,000. Today we must fight, or never."

As the long string of mules disappeared, Smith, who was standing near me holding his horse, remarked, "They have traveled over our track. The bridge at Vince's ought to be burnt down. I will see the General." Upon this, he mounted his horse; and two minutes after he rode up to me, saying, "Where is your horse? The General thinks it a good plan." You must go with me and help cut down the bridge. I know where I can get an axe." (Finding me on foot, he added, "Never mind, I will find another man.") At about two o'clock, he returned, and I asked him how he had succeeded. He said, "I first fired it, but it would not burn; and I then cut away a few timbers and made it fall into the bayou." At about ten that morning, Colonel Wharton visited every mess in the camp; and slapping his hands together, he spoke loud and quick, "Boys, there is no other word today but fight, fight! Now is the time!"

Every man was eager for it, but all feared another disappointment, as the commander still showed no inclination whatever to lead the men out. Over one-half of the men paraded, expecting orders, but up to noon nothing could be decided; yet the desire of the men only increased the more, until, finally, Houston said to Wharton, "Fight, and be damned!" This was enough. Wharton again went among the men to prepare them, telling them the order had been given at last and that it was now decided. New life and animation were depicted on every countenance as the joyful intelligence was given. Many of the companies had been standing for over four hours expecting orders to march at each moment, and their patience was well nigh exhausted. It was past three o'clock when all the arrangements were finally concluded. The music struck up a lively air as we bade goodbye to our camp. We found the enemy somewhat unprepared for us at that hour. Our men having marched half the distance in single file, they were then formed into parallel lines and ordered to advance.

At this moment Doctors Booker, Davidson and Fitzhue, with the writer, consulted as to what pass we should take, as no orders had been received from the Surgeon-General. No place having been assigned to us, we decided that it was best to follow the line and fight with our arms as circumstances might direct. Dr. Davidson preferred the right, Dr. Fitzhue the center, and the writer chose his former regiment under Colonel Sherman on the left. We shook hands and parted. I had hardly reached my position when a rifle discharged from the 2nd Regiment (the left wing) was heard followed by a discharge from the rest. The cannon roared, and a general engagement ensued amid showers of bullets. I observed General Rusk accompanied by Dr. Mott riding in full gallop on .the rear and coming toward the left.

The Texan army was formed in the following order: the right wing and center were composed of Burleson's regiment, Mellard's regiment of regulars, the artillery under Hockly, the cavalry under Lamar; and the left wing of the army was under Sherman. The latter took a direct route through an island of timber, in order to come upon the enemy's right, commanded by Colonel Almonte; while the former marched a considerable distance around, in order to come upon the enemy's left and in front of their breastworks, which they had thrown up during that day and the day previous. Sherman's regiment commenced the action on the left, and drove the enemy right into the timber before Houston got up with his division. In a few moments, however, he was on the ground and opened upon their left; then the action became general. The enemy was driven through one piece of timber, when they came to a boggy bayou. It was here that Houston called a halt.


All of a sudden a halt was made in obedience to an order. Upon which, Rusk shouted at the top of his voice, "If we stop we are cut to pieces. Don't stop---go ahead, give them hell!" A moment after, the writer with four others found themselves within twenty yards of some of the enemy's cavalry, thinking the while it was Rusk and Mott. As they wheeled to retreat, we saw our shots tell on them effectively. We reloaded and ran some twenty yards to fire, and this was repeated four or five times, when we found ourselves in the midst of the enemy's baggage, from which they were running for life. A young man by my side received a ball in the hip, which caused him to fall against me. A Mexican soldier at that instant received four balls through him, standing not ten yards from where we stood. Having pursued the enemy into the woods, we found many had thrown themselves into the bayou, keeping only their heads above water.


I pursued a fresh trail into the marsh, and came upon Colonel Bertrand, who had been bogged down, and on his knees he begged for his life. Supposing myself alone, I extended my left hand to raise him up, but was surprised to hear a voice behind me saying, "Oh, I know him---he is Colonel Bertrand, of San Antonia de Bexar. General Teran made him colonel." This was said by one Sanchez, a Mexican in Captain Seguin's company, which was composed of some thirty Mexicans fighting on our side. He had scarcely done speaking when I observed three others coming up with levelled guns. I cried out to them, "Don't shoot! Don't shoot! I have taken him prisoner."


Seeing Colonel Rusk at a distance on horseback, I walked up to him. "Where is Doctor Mott?" said I. "Oh, poor fellow, he is shot," he replied. As we were returning towards the enemy's camp, two men were seen hidden in the grass. A gallop soon brought Rusk up to them; but as they were rising and in the act of taking off their coats, they were both shot dead by four men coming up just behind us. Rusk, as if thunderstruck, turned towards me and said, "Let us go---it is enough." Having reached the spot where I had left my wounded comrade, I observed General Houston on a bay pony, with his leg over the pommel of the saddle. "Doctor," said he, "I am glad to see you; are you hurt?" "Not at all," said I. "Well," he rejoined, "I have had two horses shot under me, and have received a ball in my ankle, but am not badly hurt." "Do you wish to have it dressed?" said I. "Oh, no, not now, but I will when I get back to the camp. I can stand well enough till then." He then faced his horse about and ordered the drum to beat a retreat. But the men, paying no attention to the order, shouted with exultation over the glorious victory, and it was difficult to hear anything distinctly. General Houston then ordered the drum to stop. Then, while I was within ten feet of him, he cried out as loud as he could raise his voice, "Parade, men, parade!" But the shouts and hollering were too long and loud; and Houston, seeing he could not restore order, cried at the top of his voice, "Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Gentlemen!" A momentary stillness ensued. "Gentlemen! I applaud your bravery, but damn your manners."

He then turned his horse towards the baggage depot. Colonel Wharton then came up to us and spoke to Houston in a low voice, pointing in various directions, as if showing what he thought should be done. Houston, turning and looking him full in the face, said, "Colonel Wharton, you have commanded long enough. Damn you, go about your business." Wharton made no reply, but taking a gourd of water hanging at the pommel of his saddle, he drank copiously and then rode off; while Houston rode to Colonel Turner's commany, to whom he gave some orders. It had now become quite dark, and I returned with Dr. Fitzhue to our camp, where I found a crowd of prisoners well guarded. Towards them were pointed the twelve-pound brass cannon taken that day and the "Twin Sisters,' all loaded and ready to pour destruction upon dispirited prisoners.


It is needless to attempt any description of the unbounded rejoicing and expressions of heartfelt gratitude to the god of battles for our success. The inhabitants, mostly of the Trinity, had all abandoned their homes, and the whole country presented one vast scene of desolation. In all directions were seen carcasses of oxen, the debris of broken wheels and sledges and numberless graves (almost in sight of each other) of children, women and men who had taken sick from exposure and want of proper food and died from want of treatment. Having been buried alongside the roads they were traveling to escape from the enemy, they furnished unmistakable evidence of the great suffering and distress of the country. These sights nerved our arms against an enemy from whom no mercy could be expected. It was, indeed, a fit occasion for rejoicing, and many poured out their most heartfelt thanks for a victory won almost against the will of their commander. When he could no longer put off the action, he had finally yielded to the incessant demands by both officers and men to be allowed to meet the enemy and determine at once the fate that awaited us; but there had been scarcely a man in the army who had felt doubt as to the result.


Our rejoicing was not, however, unmingled with sorrow as we heard of the death of some of our friends. Lieutenant Lamb had been shot to death on the ground and young Brigham mortally wounded; and both were buried with the honors of war. The wounded were taken across the bayou to General Zavalla's house; and at ten o'clock that night Dr. Ewing summoned me to cross over with the two last of the wounded brought from the battlefield, making nineteen (19) in all badly---wounded, thirteen of whom were lying on the floor suffering from wounds of various kinds, and fourteen of whom belonged to Billingsly's company. The few bandages we had provided were divided between Dr. Davidson and myself, and with them we went to work. I was assisted by only one attendant with a candle. Scarcely could I dress the wounds of one, when others would call on me for relief from their great sufferings. Thus I continued until seven had passed through my hands. All I had eaten for the past two days (the 20th and 21st) was the small piece of bread I had made from the flour on the flatboat, which I had run off with. I had been afflicted with rheumatic pains, in consequence of living on the wet, cold ground; and from the time we crossed Mill Creek to the 21st, I was never two hours at a time free from suffering. Dr. Ewing several times advised me to leave the army, but I was determined not to do so as long as I could walk.

The excitement of the 21st had predominated over my pains, but no sooner had I returned to camp than my pains began to cause me to suffer. I felt reluctant to attend upon the wounded, especially as I knew there were other surgeons who were well enough to attend upon three times as many. The stooping position I had been compelled to assume to dress the wounded as they lay upon the floor caused my pains to be still more acute. I then declared to Dr. Phelps, who was present, that I could proceed no further, and asked him, as the hospital surgeon, if the other surgeons were not to do duty. He said they had all left and gone over to the camp. It was now two o'clock in the morning of the 22nd, and I said to Dr. Phelps that I was too much exhausted to proceed any further. He then brought me a bowl of tea and some hard biscuits, which tasted better to me than anything I had eaten for years, and gave me renewed strength, so that I got upon my knees, again and finished dressing the wounded; after which, I lay down on the same floor with them and soon fell into a most refreshing sleep. I awakened three hours later, freer from pains than I had been since setting out on the campaign.


At Six A.M. of the 22nd, I crossed over to the camp, when I learned many dispatches had been sent to all parts of Texas announcing the victory. I soon observed many strange faces, all congratulating us on the victory, and expressing regret that they could not cross the bayou to participate m it. We all knew very well they had been lying hidden, awaiting the results, in order to take advantage of it, whether for us or against us. There are cowards and tories in any revolution, and Texas was favored with a smaller proportion of this class than usually falls to the lot of other nations.


Prisoners were brought into the guardhouse every hour, until very little notice was taken of them. Colonel Hackley requested me to make out a correct register of the number of soldiers and officers captured, and also of the number of wounded prisoners. With pencil and paper I entered the lines and stated in a loud voice what I wanted, requesting the officers to fall into line according to grade. Not understanding me fully, many turned pale, I observed, while others hesitated and feared, having been apprised, doubtless, of the fate that would have awaited us had we been taken prisoners. I soon found difficulty in making out my list, owing to the eagerness among our men to see General Cos, who had just been brought in a prisoner. It was difficult for the sentinels to keep the crowd away.

One would say he had seen Cos in San Antonio last fall; another, "Why he is but a damned scrub of a thing, after all!" Finally, Cos became impatient under so many jeers and, begging a blanket, covered his head and lay down to await his fate. At last I assured them all that their lives were safe as long as they remained quiet; and having made them understand my object, they readily obeyed my directions. With the aid of two or three officers, I soon completed the list. The number of officers, ranking from a lieutenant to a general, was forty-nine, without including Cos, who made just fifty, and the number of wounded prisoners was 280 privates.

Dr. Ewing then called on me to know if I would attend upon the wounded prisoners, but I declined. The same application was made by Dr. Bomer, Dr. Anson Jones, Colonel Hockley, and others, to all of whom I gave the same answer. The fact was, I had not only performed my duties in my own regiment, but had often done the duties of others, and these labors I was no longer willing to perform. For three days the prisoners suffered for lack of surgical aid. Finally, Houston sent for me a second time. "Doctor Labadie," said he. "I want you to take care of the wounded prisoners. Go to them; don't let them suffer!" I told him I had attended on the garrison at Anahuac eleven months, day and night. Houston then promised he would pay me $300 if I would attend upon these prisoners, to which I agreed, in the presence of Colonel Hockley,. Dr. A. Jones and four or five others.

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1997-2001, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved