Headquarters, Camp opposite Harrisburg, Monday, April 18, 1836:
Dear Fellow Texians,
We arrived opposite Harrisburg about noon and witnessed the smoking ruins of the city. The army established camp down river about 800 yards. Deaf Smith with Henry Karnes crossed over the river, called Buffalo bayou, and set out to spy on the enemy. They returned jubilantly with captured couriers and a report confirming the location of Santa Anna at New Washington. This is less than a day’s march from this spot. With only 500 men, Santa Anna is in a most vulnerable position. General Houston, with the council of Secretary War Rusk, is busy at work on a plan of action.
Although General Houston and Secretary Rusk put out a General Appeal to the people of Texas to rally to the cause, it is too late to wait for additional supplies and volunteers. Victory goes to the swift. The camp has been put on alert that we cross the Buffalo tomorrow and will march to our destiny.
The army has moved quickly to this point and many men are sick and infirm. Without proper transport, the crossing of the bayou will be difficult. The army can not be burdened with supply wagons during this final assault, but must arrange to carry the cannons across. A rear guard camp will be established with sufficient effective men to protect the infirm and baggage. Those men selected to move forward were instructed to travel light and prepare rations to carry. The night was passed in anticipation.
Respectfully yours, An Observer and aide-de-camp
Meanwhile the Mexican Army: Santa Anna arrived at New Washington/Morgan’s Point about noon. General Woll arrived at Old Fort. Gaona has no doubt reached San Felipe and is marching on through to get to Old Fort with the rest of the Mexican Army. Urrea in the woods along the San Bernard.
The Interim Government: There being no accommodations on Galveston Island for the cabinet members and their wives and families, they stayed on boat the ship.
Route of the Twin Sisters: Travelling with the Texian Army.