Headquarters, Camp West of Brazos, April 8, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

Word has been received from Captain John M. Allen that he is on march to our camp with 100 men and possibly two cannons received at Velasco from the good citizens of Cincinnati. The men in camp joyously welcome this news that field pieces are in transit. General Houston has instructed Allen to confiscate the property of those who refuse to join us and to regard those individuals as deserters from our cause.

Shots have been heard from San Felipe and the men grow restless to know the nature of the engagement and whether the Mexican army will march north to our position. General Houston put the army on notice to be in “readiness for action at a moment’s warning.“ He has put the men on alert in order to discipline but he feels that our camp in the bottoms is secure from any immediate attack. Any approaching army would be slow moving in the terrain and would make enough noise breaking through the cane and timber so as to alert us in amply time to prepare for any encounter.

Respectfully your, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Camp West of Brazos, April 9, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

Forty-five men have been sent to reinforce Captain Baker opposite San Felipe. This will bring his force to at least one hundred and fifty men. They hold a superior position and should be able to hold the Brazos crossing at that point despite bombardment from the two Mexican cannons. It has been learned that Private John Bricker of Baker’s command was struck down yesterday by a musket ball to the head. He is the first person to die in combat in our present campaign.

Private James Wells, one of our spies, reports that based upon the size of the Mexican encampment at San Felipe, their strength would be numbered between six and seven hundred men. No doubt they have sent out riders looking for other favorable Brazos river crossings. The rain-swollen river offers few fording opportunities for the time being. However, the rain has ceased and the river should begin to fall soon.

The army has now been reorganized into two regiments. Col. Edward Burleson has been appointed commander of the First Regimental Volunteers and Col. Sidney Sherman of the Second Regiment. The camp is healthy.

Respectfully your, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Camp West of Brazos, April 10, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

General Houston received a dispatch from Captains Baker, Kimbro, Wallace and Sutherlands stating that their position opposite San Felipe is quickly becoming indefensible. The enemy’s cannon has compromised the position. Thus far there has only been one casualty. The enemy is actively building barges in preparation of an assault upon the position and the Captains request permission to fall back. Houston has not responded as of yet to the request.

It is becoming apparent that we must begin to act. A sizable Mexican force withdrew from San Felipe a few days back and was seen marching south. Obviously they are looking for a lower crossing on the Brazos. The situation with Capt. Wiley Martin and his defense of the Scroggins, Thompson and Old Fort crossings is not known. Martin was expecting to be reinforced by volunteers up from Velasco and Brazoria, but there is no confirmation of such reinforcement and that he will be able to hold those lower crossings. The Mexican General Urrea is known to be along the coast and might cross the Brazos further south at Velasco or possibly Brazoria and surprise Martin from the rear. Until General Houston decides what to do next, we can only drill and prepare ourselves for battle.

Respectfully your, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Camp West of Brazos, April 11, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

Word has bee received that the enemy has crossed the Brazos at Thompson’s ferry. Capt. Martin has withdrawn his men and they are moving northward in order not to be trapped by the Mexican army. The General has consulted with Capt. Joseph Ross, the commander of the Yellow Stone and has determined that upwards to 500 men can be transported down stream safely due to the protection provided by the cotton bales on board the steam boat. This would allow the army to surprise the Mexican army in the south. Another option is to transport the equipment and men over to the east bank and march to a favorable battlefield to confront the enemy. There are some rumors in camp that Houston might chose to head straight to the United States border in the hopes of forcing U. S. General Gaines to bring his trained troops to the aid of the Texian army.

The sense of the camp is that a major action is building and it is hoped that General Houston will respond directly to the challenge. There has been much dissatisfaction among the troops, the men want action and do not fully appreciate the General’s insistence on drill, discipline and patience. It is whispered that several officers have offered themselves up as replacement for Houston if he does not act.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Next Dispatch set ( April 12-15), April 16-20.

Previous Dispatch sets: March 11-14, March 15-18, March 19-22, March 23-26, March 27-30, March 31-April 3, April 4-7

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