who had pursued and recovered from a Mexican settlement in Nacogdoches County a number of horses stolen from them, were returning home, they were attacked and one of their number killed. They pursued their attackers a short distance, but coming into a large trail, which they recognized as having been made by Mexicans, they returned to town. Three days later (August 7) Captain John Durst informed Major General Thomas J. Rusk, who commanded the militia, that at least a hundred armed Mexicans, headed by Córdova and Norris, were encamped on the Angelina River. Another report, from Captain Antonio Menchaca, who had been in the Mexican camp, gave the number as 120 Mexicans and 25 Biloxi and Ioni Indians.
Rusk immediately recruited a company of 60 volunteers and posted them at the lower fork of the Angelina River. In the meantime, he sent out a call for 200 volunteers. The enemy was then on the west side of the stream. President Houston, who was in Nacogdoches at the time, issued a proclamation on the 8th, ordering the Mexicans and Indians to disperse and to return to their homes under penalty of being declared enemies of the Republic. To this order, the leaders of the malcontents boldly and defiantly replied two days later that
. . . the citizens of Nacogdoches, being tired of the injustices and the usurpation of their rights, can do no less than state that they are embodied, with arms in hand, to sustain their rights and those of the nation to which they belong. They are ready to shed the last drop of their blood; and declare as they have heretofore done, that they do not acknowledge the existing laws, through which they are offered guaranties (by the proclamation) for their lives and property.
Having made their defiant reply, the conspirators and malcontents on the 10th, under Córdova's leadership, and supported by some three hundred Indians, moved up toward the Cherokee Nation. The com-
21. Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 29, 1838; DeShields, Border Wars of Texas, p. 268.
22. Reply of Vicente Córdova et al. to President Houston's Proclamation [of August 8, 1838], August 10, 1838, ms., copy (translation), in Ashbel Smith Papers, ms.; DeShields, Border Wars of Texas, p. 294. Those signing the letter were: Vicente Córdova, Nat. Norris, Juan Arista, G. Vicente Michelle [Micheli], Juan Santos Coy, Antonio Corda, C. Morelos [Morales], Joshua Robertson, Juan José Rodríquez, José de Labome, Antonio Caderon, Julio Lasarin, James Quintly, Antonio Flores, Guadalupe Cárdenas, Napoleon de Valtz, William Dunavan, and Juan José Acosta.