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    "Whenever the prisoners get unruly it is almost impossible to keep these Texans from murdering them on the spot..."

    Late 19th Century Transcript of a Letter Describing the Battle of San Jacinto, 7pp., 8" x 10.5", "Camp Travis" Galveston Island, Texas, June 23, 1836 to his brother in Rhode Island. He describes his long an arduous journey from New York to Texas "...after putting to sea we struck the Gulf Stream. The wind blowing a gale opposite to the current the ground swells were tremendous, making every man, woman and child, vomiting their guts out to be polite violently sea-sick so there...[off the coast of Cuba,] Came in sight of Moro Castle...and passed the City of Cuba, Havana within one mile...it is I think of the most beautiful places I ever saw...[arrived in New Orleans]...we anchored in the Mississippi and were later towed up the river by steamboat. We remained in New Orleans 17 days..." After another perilous storm described in great detail, they arrived in Galveston Harbor: "The next day I was unanimously elected Captain of the Texan Light Infantry Volunteers a company of very respectable individuals from the U.S.A. We have in the company two practical surgeons, one lawyer and one Colonial [sic] of the U.S. Army. The situation of this country at the present moment is very precarious. The army much elated by their recent glorious victory at San Jacinto have many of them obtained furloughs and gone to the U.S. Gen. Houston is wounded it is believed there is but very little subordination among the army. The main army is 110 miles from here. We have on this Island 180 men only, it is very unhealthy in consequence of bad water, half of our solders are sick, we have plenty of provision such as biscuit, coffee beef and wild deer. Gen Cass his staff and four hundred and fifty soldiers are prisoners to take care of (my own care) We are expecting every moment the arrival of an express ordering us to put them all to death and I am afraid it will be necessary for ones safety. Should this happen God only knows the consequences. An express has just arrived from the President for us to be ready at any moment and we sleep on our arms. Every night when I lie down I buckle on my broad sword and brace of pistols and bowie knife. It is reported that the Mexican Army have been ordered to turn back and have been reinforced by five thousand more troops. Should this prove to be true and the Texan army not immediately reinforced the beautiful prairies of Texas will be enriched by the blood and ones of her best citizens and her present anticipation be proven vain and fail of realization. We have just sent on board the armed schooner Invincible for fifty pairs on hand-cuffs to confine the Captain Cass and his officers, Gen Cass if seen any where but here would be thought a gentleman...I am detailed as officer of the day every five days, and on this occasion when I have the care of the prisoners and no one is allowed to visit them without I go with them, not even the commandant himself as I am responsible for their safe keeping during the twenty-four that my duty continues. Gen. Cass calls the roll of his officers to the officer of the day every morning. he has thirty seven officers and eighteen servants...I visited lately the battle field of San Jacinto the other day in company with four other captains. It presents a spectacle that I hope in Gods mercy may never to be witnessed in Norfolk county or may I never be doomed to witness two months since the battle and not one yet buried [sic] out of nearly five hundred that were killed... Every man of us is most anxious to be led into the field...Whenever the prisoners get unruly it is almost impossible to keep these Texans from murdering them on the spot..." At the close of the letter, the transcriber adds: " (Envelope) New Orleans La July 19..." Very light toning, usual folds, else very fine condition.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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