Headquarters, Camp West of Brazos, April 12, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

The order has been issued by General Houston that we are to cross over the Brazos to the east bank. The steamboat Yellow Stone and a small yawl have been impressed into service for that purpose. The first division of the first regiment under Col. Burleson will remain as the rear Guard until further orders are issued. The removal started at 10 a.m. this morning and will probably take a couple of days to effect.

Volunteers continue to arrive. Peter Bell arrived yesterday on his 26th birthday, having walked up from Brazoria. Today, a Georgian by the name of Mirabeau B. Lamar arrived from Harrisburg. He reports that the provision government is still in that place. Lamar likewise reported that Capt. Smith had left Harrisburg on the 9th with two small iron cannons, assumed to be the six pounders previously landed at Velasco. They were being transported by horses and due to the conditions of the roads, Lamar passed the convoy on his way here. The field pieces should arrive tomorrow, if not later today. The spirit of the Artillery corp. is high.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Camp at Groce‘s Plantation, April 13, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

The army has completed its move across the Brazos at 1 p.m. this afternoon and is preparing to march. General Houston holds few in his confidence at this time. The two six pound field pieces have arrived and have been assembled. Though few and small in size, I am sure that we can make them effective weapons for our cause.

The General continues to fight rumors and makes a call for all freedom loving citizens to fight. Another open call was sent out this morning. Even Rusk issued a call for volunteers and to avenge the deaths of our murdered countrymen. It is estimated that the enemy does not exceed nine hundred men in this region and none are as far as the Trinity, as previously claimed. The General has likewise sent a dispatch to his friend Chief Bowles of the Cherokees in the Redlands urging them to remain neutral in the conflict. Word has been received that the Coushatta are assisting members of the runaway scrape as they travel through that region.

A letter from the Acting Secretary of War was received today with unfavorable remarks about the conduct of this campaign. General Houston exercised great control in responding to those that would criticize without the knowledge of the true circumstances. The spectators would demand certainty and miracles, yet retain their distance from the realities of the situation. One would wonder who was the worse enemy, the invading army or the critical politicians?

General Houston has directed our scattered forces to assemble at the house of a settler named Donoho. It is apparent that we will be traveling east, to what objective is unknown.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, Donoho‘s Plantation, April 14, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

We had a short march today to this place. General Houston has recalled all of the army units to assemble at this point. Major Wiley Martin has communicated that he had inadequate forces to prevent the enemy from crossing the lower Brazos river, but that he gave a fine account of the forces at his command in numerous engagements. He is presently in route to this place, escorting some retiring families. He has about 46 men under his command.

Mr. Donoho is not sympathetic to our cause, and therefore the men take every advantage they can of this man. Although he forbade them to cut timber for fires, the men are in the process of burning all of Donoho’s fence rails. Being dry, they make better firewood anyway. And to make matters worse, a party is planned for this evening in Donoho’s house. I suspect he will not put in an appearance as his health might become endangered.

As to the direction of the march, and the plans for engagement, General Houston continues to be very quiet. I assume he fears enemy spies. He is waiting for the arrival of Baker and Martin’s commands to strengthen our numbers. In the meanwhile he has sent our more spies to properly assess the present strength and location of the enemy since much has happened recently. I am pleased that he has Rusk to consult with, as he takes no council from any others.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Headquarters, McCarley‘s Home, April 15, 1836

Dear Fellow Texians,

Baker and Martin have arrived back at camp with their commands. Martin is particularly outspoken in his criticism of General Houston’s command. Martin’s impatience to fight and his frustration at having failed to prevent the enemy from crossing the Brazos has tested the friendship bond that once linked him with Houston. The General took the diplomatic approach by relieving Martin of command and “reassigning” him to organize the swelling band of civilian refuges following the army.

Martin’s company continues with the army.

This morning we left Donoho’s by way of the middle road. The upper road, or left fork, leads to Robbin’s Ferry on the Trinity River and then to Nacogdoches and Louisiana. The middle road leads to the Spring Creek settlement of New Kentucky and then on to Liberty on the Trinity. The lower road, or right fork, leads back to San Felipe on the Brazos. Colonel Sherman was in the lead with the Second Regiment. The march today was approximately eighteen miles on a nearly impassable muddy road. Although better disciplined and equipped now, the army is a pitiful sight to behold attempting to maintain its composure as it struggles its way through the mud. Upon arrival at McCarley’s place any consumable livestock and crops were requisitioned and again, rail fences and post were used as firewood. The army how contains about 1,100 men.

The camp is in great turmoil tonight as we grow closer to another decision point of turning south. The next fork would take us towards Harrisburg. Will we engage the enemy or continue our eastward fallback to the Trinity river? The General continues his silence and private company. The whole matter is quite taxing.

Respectfully yours, Alexander Horton, aide-de-camp

Final Dispatch set ( 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, April 8-11

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