Rendezvous at the Alamo: Highlights in the Lives of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis

By Virgil E. Baugh | Go to book overview

chapter 9
Scouting and Recruiting to Duty at Bexar

TRAVIS GAVE up a seat in the Consultation called for October 15, 1835, to join the Texan Army scouting service. This was some time in September. There is no record that he participated in the Battle of Gonzales, which occurred on October 2, or in the Battle of Concepcion, which took place on October 28. In the Consultation of November 3, 1835, Henry Smith was elected Governor, and Sam Houston was made Commander in Chief of the army, replacing Stephen Austin.

On October 27, 1835, Austin ordered Travis to

...raise a volunteer Company of Cavalry of not less than fifty or more than Eighty men -- each man to be armed with a double barrell gun or Yager and brace of pistols. Without the Consent of the Capt. not more than one tenth of his Company shall be permitted to volunteer in the proposed corps.1

How much progress Travis made at this time in raising the volunteer company of cavalry is not a matter of record. He was not solely occupied with recruiting because he and his men captured about three hundred Mexican horses while on a scouting expedition. This occurred early in November near San Antonio. Austin must still have been Commander in Chief, for on November 11 he copied into his Order Book a lengthy combined letter and order in which he thanked Travis for accomplishing this feat, even though he had since learned the animals were "all very poor, being the refuse horses" of the Mexican army. Being "useless to us here," he ordered Travis to "drive them to the neighborhood of Seguin's Ranch," there to put them to "good pasture where they will recruit." If this did not work out, he was to do as he thought best. Austin was a bit inconsistent because he also

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