The San Saba Mission: Spanish Pivot in Texas

By Robert S. Weddle; Mary Nabers Prewit | Go to book overview

Frontier Terror

Anxiously, Colonel Parrilla awaited reinforcements from San Antonio, not knowing when a new attack might come. It was apparent that two thousand hostile Indians, many of them bearing firearms, would have little difficulty in destroying the Presidio as they had the Mission.

The two soldiers, Joseph Trujillo and Pedro de Rivera, whom he had sent out the night of March 16 with instructions for the supply train, had been ordered to proceed to San Antonio with an appeal for help. On March 24 they still were unheard from. On that date Parrilla wrote, "Considerable anxiety is felt here at the lack of word from the two soldiers."1

For fear that they had been unable to reach San Antonio, he dispatched two of the Mission Indians with letters to Toribio de Urrutia, the commandant of Presidio de San Antonio de Béjar, and to Father Dolores, the president of the San Antonio missions. Three days later the Indians, frightened by signs of the hostile tribes, returned to the Presidio, their messages undelivered.

The apprehension now had spread throughout the Presidio. Speculation as to the fate of Trujillo and Rivera was rife, and such speculation had the two soldiers meeting a most horrible end. The anxiety increased daily.

Parrilla also noted on March 24 that the supplies which had been hidden along the road the night following the attack, in order that the escort might hasten to reinforce the garrison, now had been brought to the Presidio. The horses had been sent to "a sheltered place, well provided with fodder, in order to strengthen

____________________
1
Paul D. Nathan (trans.) and Lesley Byrd Simpson (ed.), San Saba Papers, p. 94.

-90-

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The San Saba Mission: Spanish Pivot in Texas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Maps viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction to the New Edition xi
  • Part I - A Plan Conceived 1
  • The Many Threads 3
  • Instrument of Peace 17
  • Winds of Change 25
  • A Common Tie 30
  • A Plan Evolved 36
  • Pilgrims' Journey 42
  • Part II - Life of the Mission 51
  • A Mission Founded 53
  • Storm Clouds 61
  • Crown of Martyrdom 72
  • Escape 79
  • Scene of Death 85
  • Frontier Terror 90
  • Part III - The Changed Frontier 99
  • Banner Borne by Pride 101
  • The Great Mistrust 111
  • Mission of Vengeance 118
  • Aftermath of Failure 129
  • Part IV - The Retreat 145
  • The New Commander 147
  • New Apache Missions 156
  • The Inspector General 167
  • The Pivot 176
  • Part V - The Spanish Legacy 185
  • Forsaken Land 187
  • Return to San Sabá 195
  • Bibliography 213
  • Index 219
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