Headquarters, McCarley‘s Home, Friday, 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, An Observer and aide-de-camp
Meanwhile the Mexican Army: Santa Anna reached William Stafford's plantation by noon and feasted until mid-afternoon. They burned to plantation and force marched on to Harrisburg. The vanguard reached HB just before midnight. Captured three printers and learned that Burnet and his cabinet had left just a few hours earlier. Also learns that Sam Houston is still at Groces , with less than 800 men and two 4# cannons. Gen. Filisola arrives at San Felipe in the morning and then headed south along the Old Fort road to link up with Sesma & Santa Anna.
Gen. Filisola arrives at Old Fort to learn that Santa Anna has left for Harrisburg. Gen. Sesma still at Old Fort. Gaona has not arrived at San Felipe yet. Urrea left Matagorda, leaving 230 infantry and a 12 pound cannon to defend the place. Heading to Columbia on the Brazos River.
The Interim Government: Having now been warned that Santa Anna was marching towards Harrisburg, the Provisional Government left Harrisburg at noon by boat for Galveston. That night the Cayuga stopped at Lynch’s with President Burnet, Hardiman, Thomas & all inhabitants of Harrisburg. The Cayuga was towing the Schooner William and four open boats filled with evacuees. The Cayuga spent the night. Zavala stopped at his house nearby.
Route of the Twin Sisters: Travelling with the Texian Army.
View a map showing the location of the armies.