the trail of the Chihuahua traders, which led them to the settlement on the Bois d'Arc fork of Red River, where they were able to obtain supplies from Bailey English.
Plans were now made to send back assistance to the men left at the Trinity. A company was dispatched with beeves, other supplies, and oxen to draw the wagons. Upon arrival at the Trinity on October 5, the relief party found a note from Clendennin dated the 3rd, saying that he had been starved out; that his men had eaten most of the mules and horses; and that he was compelled to leave for the settlements, but expected to return in eight or ten days. At Clendennin's old campsite on the Trinity the relief party found Captain M. B. Skerrett and William D. Houghton with forty men who had followed Colonel Cooke from Austin and had reached the Trinity the day before (the 4th).
While awaiting the arrival of Skerrett and Houghton on Red River, to commence the survey and marking of the military road, Cooke selected a fine location for a post on Red River ten miles above Coffee's Station, where supplies could be obtained easily from the trading station below and where the most protection could be afforded against the Indians. This was the first of the eight military posts to be established, and Colonel Cooke was expected to plant the others as he returned along the line of defense, if Congress should provide the necessary funds. This post was located on the east side of the Cross Timbers near the junction of Mineral Creek with Red River in present Grayson County northwest of Shermantown (Sherman), and was named Fort Johnson. Cooke erected a supply base (or station) near Coffee's Station, which he called Fort Preston.
In early February 1841, Captain Clendennin's men, numbering about 60, were divided between the station at the falls of the Brazos and the fort on Little River, having recently returned from Waco Village where they had remained four weeks, but had erected no blockhouses, for there was yet uncertainty as to whether the road should cross the Brazos at Waco Village or at the Toweash Village, above the
51. Mirabeau B. Lamar to the Senate and House of Representatives, Executive Department, Austin, Dec. 2, 1840, in Record of Executive Documents from the 10th Dec. 1838 to the 14th Dec. 1841, ms., pp. 221-222.
52. Texas Sentinel, Jan. 16, 1841; William G. Cooke to Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War, Austin, Feb. 17, 1841, in ibid., March 4, 1841.
53. Ibid., Feb. 11, 1841.