The only horse Santa Anna could find in the chaos at San Jacinto was "Old Whip". Santa Anna mounted the horse, his plan was to get back to Filisola at Mrs. Powell's and bring the reserve Mexican force combined with Ganoa and Urrea columns forward and crush the impudent Texans. The combined columns of the Mexican Army under Urrea, Gaona, and Filisola would be "...the avenger of our misfortune." Old Whip had other ideas. The strong horse went his own direction toward home and took Santa Anna toward burned out Vince's Bridge. Scout Henry Karnes spotted him and gave chase, not knowing who it was. When "Old Whip" reached the remnants of the bridge, Santa Anna dismounted and hid. Karnes lost him. Had Santa Anna made it to Filisola there is no doubt the Texas Revolution of 1836 would have been brutally subjugated. But for Santa Anna's greed in stealing a young boy's horse, the only vengeance served was by Texans.
As soon as was possible, Houston had his men looking for escapees. Houston was aware Santa Anna was not accounted for. If he were found, and prevented from making his way to one of the other Mexican units, he could prove valuable in negotiations to end the war. The Texans, over the next two days, searched the country side for any Mexicans.
Generals Santa Anna and Cós were both found. Houston had accurately predicted that Santa Anna "will be dressed as bad at least as a common soldier." He was found in the area of the burned out bridge at Vince's Bayou dressed in the clothes of a private. Santa Anna was brought into Houston's camp riding double with Joel W. Robinson. Houston now pressed for Santa Anna to surrender the war. When Santa Anna was brought before Houston, he gave Houston the Masonic hand clasp and "filled the air" with the Masonic distress signal. It is not reported how Houston, who was a Mason, reacted to Santa Anna's gesture.
Moses Austin Bryan, of Irish heritage, acted as interpreter. Bryan was the son of Stephen F. Austin's only sister, Margaret, and her husband, James Bryan.
The historian, Andrew Forest Muir, had in his files this quote from Santa Anna. Muir pieced it together from publications of Houston, Sherman, and Bryan:
The battle that was fought yesterday, Sir, is only to be compared to Waterloo. That you are the Wellington of the times, all must admit.
Great indeed, Sir, must be the destinies of that man who would conquer the Napoleon of the West.
Twenty-four times have I fought, and twenty-four times have I conquered the most distinguished generals that Spain and Mexico could produce;
but on San Jacinto's plains, Sir, I found myself unable to contend with undisciplined Texians, led on by such wisdom and valor. So brave a people is worthy of independence; and Mexico, I believe, to end the war, would be willing to resign a part of her territory, and you, Sir, in that event would be justly entitled to the honor of bringing into existence a new and independent nation.
Houston is said to have asked - isn't that something only your government can do? - to which Santa Anna was reported to have replied "That government is myself." Irishman John J. Linn aided in the interview with Santa Anna. Santa Anna asked Houston why he did not engage on the 20th, when he presented the Mexican army ready to do battle? Santa Anna remarked it was obvious elements of Houston's army wanted to fight as demonstrated by Sherman's charge. Houston, keeping in mind Cós and the 500 reinforcements had not arrived, answered petulantly, "Why take two bites for one cherry?".
The men of Texas in the background called for Santa Anna to be hung or shot. Calling him the butcher of the Alamo and Goliad, they wanted him dead. Houston, knowing that Filisola, Ganoa, Woll, and Urrea together had as many as 5,000 Mexican soldiers, wanted to keep Santa Anna alive to see if he could order them out of Texas.
Houston had Santa Anna write to General Filisola, the following:
Army of Operations
The Camp at San Jacinto
April 22, 1836
His Excellency, Don Filisola, General of Division:
Excellent Sir - Having yesterday evening, with the small division under my immediate command, had an encounter with the enemy which, notwithstanding I had previously observed all possible precautions, proved unfortunate, I am, in consequence, a prisoner of the enemy. Under these circumstances your Excellency will order General Gaona, with his division, to counter-march to Béxar and wait orders. Your Excellency will also, with the division under your command, march to the same place. The division under the command of General Urrea will retire to Guadalupe Victoria. I have agreed with General Houston for an armistice, until matters can be regulated that the war will cease forever...
An Irishman named McDermott was sent across the Lynchburg Ferry to tell the Texans all the way to the Sabine and beyond the good news. Houston wanted the people who left in the "Runaway Scrape" to know it was safe to come home to Texas.
........................................................................................General Vicente Filisola >
Captain Marcus Barragan escaped San Jacinto and brought news of the defeat to General Filisola. He told him that General Houston was pursuing with 4,000 men and that they were killing all Mexicans they find. The Mexican Army, now under the command of General Filisola, left Thompson's Crossing and rendezvoused at Mrs. Powell's Tavern.
Santa Anna had taken the best, more experienced units with him to San Jacinto. The other commanders save Urrea were left with less experienced and poorly equipped men and their many camp followers. They also had all the baggage of Santa Anna's force and the supplies and most of the artillery. A meeting of all commanding generals and Lieutenant Colonel Ampudia who commanded the artillery was held in General Filisola's tent in the area of Mrs. Powell's Tavern. General Filisola offered to the six men thus assembled (Generals Gaona,Tolsa, Sesma, Woll, Urrea, and Lieutenant Colonel Ampudia) that because he was of foreign birth, if one of the native Mexican born generals wanted to assume command he would defer to him. This then left that option to only Gaona, Urrea and Sesma since Woll was from Belgium, Tolsa from Cuba and Ampudia, besides being only a Lieutenant Colonel., was from Spain. None of the three Mexican born generals stepped forward.
Filisola had 1800 men, Urrea a 1000, Gaona had 725 men, and General Woll had an additional 400 men. General Urrea, in his memoirs, says he called for several thousand men to attack the Texans. No one else recalls that request. The generals knew, as did Filisola, the men were in poor shape to mount any offensive action. Many were barefoot including officers, food was scarce and their equipment not in good operating condition. Filisola also pointed out that if the Mexican Army attacked, the Texans would probably kill the many Mexican prisoners in their hands. Indeed, General Houston had ordered the Mexican prisoners to be shot if the Mexican columns advanced to San Jacinto. The group then resolved, under Filisola's leadership, to withdraw to the south side of the Colorado River. There they would consolidate with the Mexican troops still in the field: 1001 men under General Andrade in San Antonio, 189 in Matagorda, 174 in Goliad, 60 at Copano, 40 in Victoria and 5 in Refugio; establish a base of operations; confer with the Mexican goverment; receive needed re-supply and then decide a course of action.
The weather would not allow an easy withdrawal. After Filisola and his men crossed the San Bernard River, they were caught in a driving rain that lasted for two days. The San Bernard and its western branches, the Middle San Bernard and the Western San Bernard Rivers overflowed and flooded - trapping them in between the rivers. They had no boats. The roads and trails were all turned into knee deep mud. Units got lost and others separated from one another. The wagons and artillery required great effort to be moved forward. In fact they were abandoned and most units moved on with only a small unit tasked to remove them from what Filisola reported as un Mara de Lodo, a sea of mud. The whole experience took a great toll on the Mexican Army to the point they were thinking survival rather than withdrawal when they crossed the Colorado River at Atascosito and thus they returned to Mexico. For more details on this aspect of Mexico's campaign against the Texans please read Dr. Gregg Dimmick's Sea Of Mud.
General Woll, a Belgian in Mexican service, spoke excellent English, he was sent to Houston's camp to insure the safety of the Mexican prisoners, and to make contact with General Santa Anna. General Woll arrived at San Jacinto, and Sam Houston allowed him access to the prisoners including Santa Anna. When Santa Anna learned General Filisola was following his orders to release Texan prisoners without an exchange of prisoners, and was preparing to leave Texas, he became angry. Santa Anna told Woll that whatever orders he wrote or writes to Filisola and what he really wants done are two different things. General Woll was detained by Houston when he was ready to leave. He did not want Woll reporting to Filisola the condition of the Texans, nor whatever Santa Anna had told him.
< General Woll
Sam Houston sent couriers, Colonel Ben Fort Smith and Captain Henry Teal to overtake General Filasola to obtain a ratification of the peace. Filasola signed the document as did General Eugene Tolsa.
The Mexican Army did not wait for General Woll's return. They continued the withdrawal to Mexico. General Urrea reported that Juan Davis Bradburn, the Commandant at Copano, found it necessary to leave quickly and on foot. Bradburn rowed a boat to Padre Island and walked its length where he found a Mexican boat to take him to Mexico.
In later years General Santa Anna wrote why he thought he lost at San Jacinto:
1. The fatigue and lack of food suffered by his men.
2. The raw recruits rather than veterans that came with Cós, and the fact that they brought with them a cargo of supplies not ordered that kept 100 of them out of the battle.
3. The capture of Filisola's courier gave Houston needed information and raised the Texan's morale.
4. The mis-placed disdain the Mexican Army had for the Texans that had fled before them rather than fight. The events of the 20th, when the Mexicans offered to fight and the Texans declined, reinforced this view. The Mexicans did not take seriously the Texan force before them.
Aaron Burr, now 80 years old, when he learned of the San Jacinto victory commented, "I was born 30 years too soon. What was treason in me 30 years ago is patriotism now." He was referring to the taking of Texas by force from a foreign, sovereign government by mostly Americans from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana. The fait accompli was popular and applauded throughout the United States; whereas his secret plan to accomplish much the same thing resulted in his trial for treason 30 years earlier.
Many years later, Houston told his friend, confidant, and Baptist pastor, Rufus C. Burleson, if instead of the battle at San Jacinto, he had continued on to the Sabine, he would, per a previous agreement, have united with General Gaines' 4,000 troops and marched the Mexican Army to the Rio Grande.
San Jacinto, the Alamo, and Goliad, the three shrines of the Texas Revolution, were all commanded by Irishmen. The greatest of these was San Jacinto, where the Texans were led by Irishman, Sam Houston. They marched under a flag provided by a Gael that was never used in another battle, before or after. They started their attack singing an Irish love song to the music played by Irish musicians and finished by shouting battle cries coined by Celts: Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson Rusk, and Sidney Sherman. All told, there were many Celts among the men of San Jacinto. See Appendix V for a list of some of the Celts at San Jacinto and what happened to many of them later in life.
The battle was fought on the land of two Irish natives, Nathaniel Lynch and Peggy McCormick. Days after the battle, Mrs. McCormick appeared before General Houston complaining of the dead Mexicans left on her property and that both armies used her fencing for firewood, and her cattle and grain for food. Houston tried to placate the Irish woman by explaining the Mexicans prisoners refused to bury their dead, and that by the time he asked his men to bury them the decomposition was too advanced. She would have none of it and told Houston in her brogue to "Take them dead Mexicans off my leg" (`leg' being league in the Gaelic brogue). Houston told her, "Madame, your land will be famed in history." "To devil with your glorious history," she is said to have retorted, "Take them dead Mexicans off my leg." Nothing was done about the dead Mexicans. The nine dead Texans were buried in the oak grove that has become the cemetery grove by the Battleship Texas in San Jacinto State Park.
Judge J. S. Sullivan of Richmond, Texas, with privately raised funds, erected a memorial on the site at the Battle of San Jacinto where the nine Texans who fell in that battle were buried. Judge Sullivan did this in 1879 as the Republic and then State of Texas failed in the years after the battle to provide a memorial.
About $12,000 in gold coins was found in the Mexican camp. Significantly, this money was divided by the Texan commanders equally between the men of San Jacinto and the Texas Navy.
The stench of the dead became so bad that Houston moved his camp to the home of Doctor George Moffitt Patrick, a man of Celtic origin. Some of the Mexican POWs were put to work at the sawmill David Burnet once operated with Nathaniel Lynch. It was now under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel David Betton Macomb. The Macombs were an Irish family. David Macomb served in the War of 1812. He married the daughter of the Governor of Michigan. He once had a duel with the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Achille Murat. He wounded the Frenchman in the encounter. Macomb arrived in Texas in 1835. Macomb lived in Lynchburg and ran the sawmill. He was a representative to the Consultation of November in San Felipe and served on several committees. He was elected a Lieutenant Colonel in the regular army of Texas when Travis was made a Major. David Macomb was the first cousin and brother in law of Alexander Macomb, the first student officer to be formally trained at West Point. In 1836, Alexander Macomb was the Commanding General of the U.S. Army. General Houston, mindful of this, sent Lieutenant Colonel Macomb, in December, to the United States to raise money and supplies for Texas.
SANTA ANNA, AND THE AFTERMATH
Houston, feeling that the government of Texas should work out the matter with Santa Anna, turned him over to President Burnet who came to the Texan camp from Galveston aboard the Yellowstone. Houston told Burnet he felt if Santa Anna were allowed to return to Mexico, after signing a treaty with Texas, he may or may not honor it; but his presence in Mexican politics would keep Mexico in turmoil for years.
Burnet, Santa Anna, and Houston boarded the Yellowstone for Galveston. Alexander Erwing, Houston's Irish doctor who was the Acting Surgeon General at the Battle of San Jacinto, asked Burnet for permission to take General Houston to New Orleans for treatment of his ankle wound. Doctor Erwing was refused by Burnet to take Houston for treatment to New Orleans. Burnet wanted him treated in Texas. To stop Houston from being taken out of Texas, Burnet ordered Houston off the Yellowstone, Erwing, knowing the severity of the wound, raised quite a ruckus. Captain Ross of the Yellowstone refused to sail without Houston. Houston was thus brought to Galveston where he made the connection for passage to New Orleans.
< Dr. Alexander Ewing
Burnet took Santa Anna to Velasco where he kept the general on a boat off shore for Santa Anna's protection from those in Texas who wished to have him dead. Texans returned to find their homes burned or ransacked. There were sons, fathers, and husbands missing or dead. They directed their anger to Santa Anna and those who were keeping the butcher alive. Credit should be given the vision of Houston and Burnet for keeping Santa Anna alive and encouraging him to sign a treaty. This was as important as was the battle itself. On May 14, 1836, the Treaty of Velasco was signed by Santa Anna. In it he declared:
- Hostilities would cease
- The Mexican army moves below the Rio Grande
- Prisoners were to be released
- Santa Anna would be shipped to Vera Cruz (when "deemed proper")
a secret provision of the treaty called for Santa Anna, after he returned to Mexico, to work to achieve:
- Recognition of Texas' independence
- Diplomatic recognition of Texas
- The Rio Grande as Texas' southern boundary
- A commercial treaty with the Republic of Texas
Two of the Texas signers of the treaty which concluded the Texas Revolution were Celts, Edward Burleson and Bailey Hardeman. They were also among those who formally started the revolution by signing the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Unlike at the Alamo and Goliad where there were as many or more Americans than Texans, the men at San Jacinto were mostly Texas settlers who had a vested interest to protect their families and land. When the battle was over, they drifted home or away to find their families. Again the army swelled with waves of Americans pouring in after the news of San Jacinto spread. By May the army, now under T.J. Rusk swelled to 2,000 men despite nearly all the settlers having left and gone home. The new recruits enlisted for land the new Republic promised them for service, as much as 320 acres for a three month enlistment. This new Texas Army was becoming unruly. They wanted to fight. They wanted another Matamoros Expedition. They also wanted Santa Anna and his captured staff all hung. An attempt was made by parts of the army to kidnap Santa Anna from Burnet in June of 1836.
Santa Anna was aboard the boat offshore of Velasco which was to take him to Vera Cruz as per the agreement. The arrival of General Tom Green and 130 men from New Orleans changed the plan. The men under Green demanded that Santa Anna be turned over to them. Santa Anna was removed to the William Patton plantation for his safety. While there, a beautiful Spanish lady came to visit Santa Anna. She had with her a supply of Spanish delicacies for Santa Anna. After the visit, which was conducted with Major Patton present, the lady got up to leave dropping her glove directly in front of Santa Anna. Major Patton retrieved it and handed it back to the lady who dropped it again at the feet of Santa Anna. Major Patton again picked up the glove only this time he looked at it a little closer and found a note on thin paper stuck in one of the fingers. The note told Santa Anna that among the provisions she brought was a bottle of wine that was drugged. The note also told of another bottle which contained poison.
Not long after this incident Santa Anna became ill and was transferred to the nearby plantation of Doctor James Aeneas Phelps in West Columbia. Santa Anna's illness was very serious and Doctor Phelps saved his life. Santa Anna stayed at the doctor's plantation to recover from July to November of 1836. During that time Santa Anna wrote to United States President Andrew Jackson requesting permission to visit him. In this way Santa Anna felt he could get out of Texas safely. Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin felt it might help the annexation of Texas by the United States if Santa Anna was allowed to go to Washington D.C.. On July 17, 1837, Santa Anna arrived in Washington. Santa Anna told the representatives of the U.S. government he would recognize the Rio Grande as the southern border of Texas for cash. After a six day stay Santa Anna set sail for Vera Cruz without any cash, he left a $2,000 bill for Texas to pay for his hotel room and expenses.
Santa Anna's trip to Washington at the expense of Texas angered many Texans. Adding to the problem was the fact two Texas Army representatives were being held by General Urrea. These were the Texans who followed Urrea's column to Matamoros, to insure they left Texas. Urrea was holding them so they could not report that he was planning to attack Texas as soon as he was resupplied. The men were able to smuggle out a message in a whip handle, and Texas was again on alert. The two Texans were able to escape with the help of Thomas "Mexico" Thompson, former captain of the Correo Mexicano, who switched to the Texas side. The Texans were able to confirm their own report. 7,000 Mexican men were assembled in the Mexican border towns. These troops were given instruction and drill daily. A pontoon bridge was brought all the way from Yucatán. Five warships stood ready to support an assault. The attack never came as General Urrea was unable to sustain enough supplies, money, or men. The Mexican soldiery had not been paid in some time. Considering recent events they weren't eager to return to Texas.
The news also reached Texas that the Mexican upper house repudiated the Treaty of Velasco. For the next several years, Texas would be looking over its shoulder for the impending Mexican attack which would eventually come.
Helping to keep abreast of things south of the border and around the border was the Power & Cameron Spy Company organized in June of 1836. Among its members were Colonel James Power, Ewen Cameron, Hugh Cameron, James Byrne, M. McAuley, Peter Hynes, George Morris, Nicholas Fagan, Peter Fagan, John Dunn and Elkanah Brush.
At this time, Laredo was in Mexican hands. Deaf Smith, John C. Hays, and a band of 21 volunteers decided to make an unauthorized attack and raise the new flag of the Republic over the city and claim it for Texas. An engagement was fought outside the city resulting in a Texan victory, but before they could press their advantage and take the city, a Mexican calvary unit arrived with other reinforcements to keep the city a part of Mexico. Badly outnumbered, though victorious, the Texans withdrew.
Mexico did not accept the existence of Texas as anything but a province in revolt. A revolt they would put down when they could afford it. At the present, time and money were directed to internal problems and externally to an increasing French threat.
July of 1836 was a watershed month. In Texas, Burnet called for elections for a President, Vice-President, 14 Texas Senators and 29 Texas Representatives, for the ratification of a constitution, and for the people to declare if they wanted the Texas government to seek annexation to the United States. In Mexico, the United States flexed its muscle, and had the American Minister Ellis demand reparations for a list of complaints. If Ellis did not obtain them, he was to leave Mexico. One of the demands involved a Captain McKeige the Mexicans imprisoned. In the United States, Robert K. McDonald, The Justice of the Peace at Natchitoches, sent a sworn statement to General Gaines that Flores was still among the Indians and preparing an attack. James Dunn, the Regidor at Milam and two men from the Roberstson Colony were attacked by Indians and Colonel Sterling Robertson then asked General Gaines to come to Nacogdoches. General Gaines moved U.S. troops into Nacogdoches, ostensibly to control the expected Indian uprising. Houston, back from New Orleans, asked the Texas Army be sent to Nacogdoches as well and place itself at the disposition of General Gaines. These moves were orchestrated to keep Mexico off balance and thus buy time for the new Republic, which these actions did. It also helped keep at bay another problem, Indians.
INDIANS AGAIN AND AGAIN
Vicente Cordova of Nacogdoches attempted to organize a rebellion in Texas during the Texas Revolution on behalf of Mexico. His plan was to ally Mexicans in Texas loyal to Santa Anna with Indians. Cordova was forming such an alliance with the Cherokees when Santa Anna was defeated at San Jacinto.
The Indians had always been a problem on the frontier. Settlers had to be ever vigilant to possible attack. The men, older sons, and even some of the younger men were gone from homesteads to fight in the Texas Revolution. To the Indians this presented an opportunity they did not let pass. In 1835, Indians attacked the home of James Hefferman (changed from the more Irish Heffernan). They wiped out the whole family. The bodies of the men were found in the fields where they were working, and those of Mary Hefferman and her children were found in the house. In tribute to the family and to Mrs. Hefferman, the town that developed in the area of their home on Poesta Creek was named Maryville. Much of the land for the city was donated by Ann Burke Carroll, an Irish relative of the Irish Heffermans (Heffernans). Mrs Carroll was the former Ann Burke who gave birth on the beach at Copano to Patrick Burke, the first Refugio Colony native. The name of the town was later changed to Beeville. The County Courthouse of Beeville is said to stand on the site of the Hefferman home.
A troop of Texans led by Captain R. D. McClure fought a band of Indians in the Blanco River Valley in the Spring of 1835. Among the Texans who fought in the successful battle were: Matthew Caldwell, Dan and Jesse McCoy, B. D. McClure, Tom Malone, Andrew Sowell Jr,, and Almeron Dickerson.
On February 16, 1836, Indians stole all the horses from the San Patricio colony, and killed three people. In March of 1836, on Clark's Creek in the Lavaca area, several families were murdered by the Toncahua Indians. Bernard O'Dougherty's wife, 2 daughters of 12 and 14, and a son aged 10 were among those killed.
In the spring of 1836, a Mrs. Juergens and her little boys were carried off by Indians in what is now Fayette County. Though a search party was sent out they came back empty handed. This is the woman for whom Father Michael Muldoon went alone and unarmed, on foot to rescue. He went all the way to the Red River. There he was able to ransom Mrs. Juergens, but there was no sign of her boys. Father Muldoon was able to return Mrs. Juergens to her home and husband in Fayette County.
Probably the most famous incident with the Indians at the time of the Texas Revolution was the attack on the Parker family in East Texas. The Parker family was led into Texas by Daniel Parker, oldest son of the family patriarch, John Parker, in 1834. John Parker fought in the American Revolution, other Parkers were with Jackson in the War of 1812. Daniel had only recently returned to the family settlement after being in the fight at San Jacinto. In the settlement were his father and brothers: Silas, Benjamin, James, John, and Isaac; and their families including some in-laws. This family wisely built their own fort for protection from the marauding Indians. Fort Parker, on the banks of Navasota Creek, was located just outside present day Mexia in what is now Limestone County, Texas.
On May 19, 1836, after most of the men went to work the fields outside the fort, a band of several hundred Comanche Indians approached the fort carrying a white flag. Benjamin Parker and his brother, Silas, greeted them outside the walls of the fort. The Indians asked for beef and water. When Benjamin Parker told them they had no beef, several of the Indians ran him through with their lances. Other Indians cut down Silas before he could reach the gates of the fort. The Indians rode into the fort and killed two more men at the gates. John Parker, the patriarch of the family, who encouraged the family to go to Texas from Tennessee was stabbed. All the Parker men were scalped, and emasculated. The women were beaten and raped including the matriarch of the family, Granny, Silas Parker's mother-inlaw. Granny was stripped, pinned to the ground with a lance and then raped. Hearing the approach of other Texan men from the fields, the Indians departed quickly taking five hostages. The hostages were: Elizbeth Kellog; Rachel Plummer and her small son; and two young Parkers, John aged six and nine year old, red-haired Cynthia Ann Parker. These last were the children of Silas Parker; Granny was their maternal grandmother.
Granny was a tough old lady, she pulled the spear from herself and got up. She lived. Two of the younger women who were attacked, later died. Almost immediately the Parker clan, joined by others set out after the Indians.
The Indians rode to the Trinity River where they camped. That night they repeatedly raped the grown women. In the morning, the Indians split into several groups. The Parker men were unable to find any of the captives and soon gave up the chase.
Over the years, four of the five captives were heard from again. Elizabeth Kellog was the first one found. She was sold or given to Caddo Indians, who sold her to the Delaware Indians in the Red River area. Irishman Sam Houston was able to buy her from the Delawares in December of 1836 for $150.00. Rachel Plummer was the married daughter of the Reverend James W. Parker, who was a brother of Benjamin Parker. Rachel, who lived as a Comanche slave for 18 months, was ransomed by an Irishman named Colonel William Donahue in Santa Fe. She related that when she was a captive she had a child. When the baby was six weeks old it was torn from her breast by the Indians. They choked the baby and threw it high in the air on to some rocks. They retrieved the body and threw it several times against a prickly pear cactus. After that they tied a rope around the corpse and dragged it across the frozen ground stopping near where Rachel was forced to sit and watch. They picked up what had been Rachel's baby and threw into her lap!
According to Parker family tradition, important things happened to Rachel (Parker) Plummer on the same day of the month:
Born.................................................on the 19th
Married............................................on the 19th
Captured..........................................on the 19th
Released...........................................on the 19th
Reached civilization.........................on the 19th
Again saw a member of her family...on the 19th
Got home to Fort Parker..................on the 19th
Died..................................................on the 19th!
(not long after her return to Texas)
James Plummer was ransomed in 1842, the same year John Parker was found. John Parker lived with the Kiowa Comanches for the six years. He was returned to Fort Parker but soon left to search for his sister, Cynthia Ann. He ended up staying with the Indians while he searched for her, joining in their raids into Mexico. In one of these, an Aztec Mexican girl named Dona Marie was taken. John took it upon himself to care for this captive. They fell in love and were married. John contracted small pox and the Indians left him behind. Dona Marie stayed with him and nursed him back to health. When he regained his strength, he went with her to Mexico to live. He lived the life of a rancher there until the Civil War. During the war, John Parker came to Texas with a Mexican unit to fight for the Confederacy. After the war, John Parker went back to Mexico where he died at the ripe old age of 87 in 1917.
John Parker said he once found his sister Cynthia Ann, but she did not want to leave her Indian family. You will read of her again in another chapter and how she was found by an Irishman in 1860, 24 years after she was made a captive. You will also read again of John Parker and his service in the Civil War on behalf of Texas.
The story of these captives represents many who were taken. Hardly a family of the old West did not have a relative that was taken captive. Others had family members murdered or tortured, their bodies often mutilated in a way that fostered a racial war. A war that would continue until one of the parties was nearly made extinct. The war with the Indians was an incessant "on again, off again" affair, pioneers were never sure which way the Indians would act at any given time, so that vigilance was a constant part of their life on the frontier. Life was hard enough with the weather, and the forces of nature seemingly against you at times, let alone having to protect one's self, family or property from being the prey of a predatory savage.
In November, 1836, General Macomb reported there were still 425 U. S. troops in Nacogdoches and another seven companies were in readiness at Fort Jesup. Seven more companies were in postion at Camp Sabine. Another four companies were 90 miles north camped on the Sabine River. The presence of these U. S. troops had the desired effect on the Indians, at least, and the attacks ceased.
Now, in 1836, the settlements in South Texas, including those of the Irish, had to look over their shoulder constantly for another marauder; that of the Mexicans who refused to accept the de facto establishment of the Republic of Texas.
In September the Republic of Texas elected its first President elected by the people; he was a Celt. He was an Irishman. He was Sam Houston.
To Table of Contents >
San Jacinto Monument built on the grounds where the battle was fought and won.....................................................>
Go to Celtic Cowboy Company Main Page>