Headquarters, Camp near San Felipe de Austin, March 27, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians,

With embarrassment we have discovered that in our haste to withdraw we failed to recall our pickets. Moses Lapham and seven others were left behind. We made the same mistake upon leaving Gonzales and had to send a messenger to retrieve the pickets. A small matter, but a better-organized army would not make such senseless mistakes. General Houston constantly makes this point and forces the men to drill daily, except, of course, when we are on the march.

Wiley Martin will be retained at the San Bernard to guard the crossing and to redirect the anticipated two hundred volunteers from Brazoria. Our camp tonight is in the Brazos timber short of San Felipe. We traveled about 20 miles today. Although almost half of the volunteers deserted as we began our withdrawal from the Colorado river, new recruits are continuing to arrive daily. A great number of the deserters where men of the area who left without furlough in order to help their family and friends to safety in the face of the advancing enemy. Surely they will return to our cause once they have discharged this duty. Where, oh where, are those artillery pieces?

Respectfully your, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Camp near Mill Creek, March 28, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians,

There is much discontent in the army today as General Houston ordered us to move up river from San Felipe. Many wanted him to cross the Brazos to put it between the army and the enemy. Others wanted him to drop down river, to be closer to the troops that are assembling there. The General asked for no counsel and declared that if there were any blame, it would be his alone to shoulder. Houston feels that by heading north on the west bank of the Brazos the enemy will continue to pursue him instead of falling down toward Matagorda, the coast and the large civilian population in that region.

General Houston has ordered Moseley Baker to post his command of about ninety men on the east bank of the Brazos, opposite San Felipe and to obstruct the passage of the enemy. Edward Harcourts was ordered to proceed to Velasco at the mouth of the Brazos to fortify the coast. Wiley Martin was ordered south with twenty men to guard the four crossings at the old Atascosito (Scroggins) crossing, Thompson’ ferry, a ford on Random Point and at the Foster or Fort Bend crossing (Morton’s). Martin is expected to intercept two hundred men coming up from Columbia and will re-enforce his company with those fresh volunteers.

The cursed rain has begun again and the temperature is falling. Without a proper road, a poor crossing at Mill Creek and no tents for shelter at nights, our journey north will be difficult on the men and animals. The only satisfaction we can have is that the weather will be harder on the enemy.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Camp above Mill Creek, March 29, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians,

This damnable weather will be the death of us. General Houston slept last night in his saddle, feet on a log and wrapped in a wet blanket. Travel is very slow and the crossing of Mill Creek was very difficult. The General has written Secretary Rusk with the admonishment “Let no troops march with baggage-wagons, or wagons of any kind.” And the torment is aggravated with increasing cases of measles in camp.

General Houston is depressed with the removal of the Government to Harrisburg. This event has caused more panic than is appropriate. The number of the enemy continues to be greatly exaggerated. Perhaps this is because of the large number of civilians and noncombatants traveling with the Mexican army. But the fact remains, we need more volunteers. Capt. David Burke and Edward Conrad have been dispatched to New Orleans to assist William Christy of that city in raising more troops. Correspondence has been received from William H. Wharton saying that the ladies of Nashville have fitted out, at their own expense, no less than two hundred men. We need more angels like those if we are to win this war.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Camp in the Brazos bottoms, March 30, 1836:

Dear Fellow Texians,

The army is continuing its movement north, upwards towards Washington. Only the General knows where we are headed. We only traveled three miles today and then set up camp on a high ridge near the Brazos river and about three-quarters north of Groce’s place on the opposite side. Groce is our ally and from his large plantations can supply us with corn and other crops. On our way here we came through a dense canebrake and had to cut runways through it in order to reach this place. There is a small lake nearby. The General feels that from this position we could whip any approaching enemy, even if he comes ten to our one.

Capt. Benjamin Bryant arrived on the east bank with forty-three volunteers from the eastern settlements of our country. Not only were they mounted on fine Texas ponies, but also they came armed with long rifles.

A slow rain has begun again and the moon is partly obscured by the clouds. The weather is hampering all progress and making life miserable. Fortunately, the same is true for our tormentors.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

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