Headquarters, Camp at Navadad river, March 15, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians,

Thank goodness the weather is holding and we are able to make good time in our travels toward the Colorado river. The crossings of Rocky Creek and the Navadad went quite well. There is some concern that traveling on the open road with civilians might expose us to attach from the enemy, but our spies indicate that they are not nearby. My apologies for this brief message, but the situation here has the General in turmoil and I need to be close at hand. It was good to see some volunteers join the camp this evening. We are anticipating news from the Congress at Washington about the completion of the new constitution and arrangements for supplies and volunteers. In addition to weapons and provisions we need new tents to protect us from the nighttime weather.

General Houston has appointed Major William T. Austin as an aide-de-camp and has been sent to the mouth of the Brazos to acquire from Col. John A. Wharton seven pieces of artillery (six and nine pounders) and an abundant supply of grape and canister shot. Hopefully they will be able to join us on the Colorado river where Houston says we will next make our stand.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp.

Headquarters, Camp near the Colorado river, March 16, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians,

With the rain we had today I am tired and cold. Oh, how I will miss my tent tonight. General Houston decided to turn northward from the San Felipe road. I am lead to believe that he was fearful that we would be overtaken by the enemy as he decided to get off of the main road. Further, it is his hope that this rain would cover our tracks. But the path that 400 men plus several wagons of civilians make should be easily discovered by any decent scout. Unfortunately there is no arguing with the General and he has decided to cross the Colorado at Burnham’s instead of continuing on to Beasons. Although the distance is a short 15 miles, the weather and the lack of a roadway has slowed our progress and we shall not make Burnham’s until tomorrow some time. This evening General Houston dispatched Smith, Karnes, Hand, Washington Secrist and John Sharp to spy on the enemy and to provide us with accurate reports as to their location, strength and rate of travel. Rumors are abundant, and absolutely unreliable.

No word has reached us as to the whereabouts of Fannin and Dimmit.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp.

Headquarters, Burnham’s crossing, Colorado river, March 17, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians,

Wonderful news has been well received in camp concerning the adoption of a Constitution for our new republic. With volunteers arriving daily, our strength now is approximately 600 men. We arrived at Burnham’s at half past four this afternoon. There are many colonists that are fleeing in fear of Santa Anna. The army is waiting its crossing of the Colorado until these settlers are safe on the other side. Some of the army is still arriving as they fell back to escort the families that were following.

General Houston dispatched orders this morning to Fannin confirming his earlier orders to take a position on the bay of Lavaca, or other point best calculated for the protection of the provisions, ammunition, etc. at Coxe’s point and Dimit’s landing. Without response from Fannin, Houston is still continuing to send orders and assumes that Fannin is on the move. If Fannin is not under siege, able to elude the enemy and unable to protect the coast, then he has been ordered to join the main army.

It is reported that the new government is thinking of retreating from Washington. That is not necessary, as our army will keep them safe. Their departure might strike fear in the hearts of some of our faint hearted. The deserters are spreading fearful rumors that discourage new volunteers. Any such deserters should be apprehended and isolated from the public for the duration. If they have any arms, they should be confiscated and sent to us.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp.

Headquarters, Burnham‘s crossing, Colorado river, March 18, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians

It appears that we will be at this place for several days. The General is committed to protecting the settlers who are fleeing and the army will act as a rear guard until all settlers are across the Colorado. Smith, Karnes, Handy and three others spied back to the Navadad and encountered the enemy at Rocky Creek. Although they captured one of the enemy scouts, the General was unhappy that they shot the second scout. Had the second scout been a courier he might have had information beyond the documents he was carrying. Smith argued that it was easier simply to shot the courier, especially if there were several because to chase each of them is difficult and might expose the pursuing spies to enemy patrols. I see the logic of both sides, but the greatest amount of information that can be obtained from the enemy, without jeopardizing lives, should control the decision at the time.

Teal and Snell arrived today with 30 volunteers from Nacogdoches by way of Washington. They did not have any new information concerning the removal of the government. We are waiting for artillery pieces from Col. Wharton of Velasco. Col. Neill is with the army and is quite ready to train crews to man the new pieces. We are hoping for the arrival of flour and other foodstuff, as we are tired of eating dried corn and roasted beef.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp.

Next Dispatch set (March 19-22), March23-26, March 27-30, March 31-April 3, April 4-7, April 8-11, April 12-15, April 16-20.

Previous Dispatch sets: March 11-14

Return to Route/Campsites