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The Córdova-Flores Incident

road later ran near the old Handley place.[41]  Doctor James Fentress asked the informer, Robison, to point out Córdova, saying that he intended to kill him first and foremost.[42]  Protected by the large trees of the forested area, Córdova's men put up a stubborn resistance. A portion of the Texans dismounted and fought from behind trees, too.[43]  Seeing the enemy wavering, as the Texans inched nearer and nearer to their position, Burleson's Colorado volunteers leaped into the open and charged them. Under this first full-scale onslaught, Córdova's men broke and fled, closely pursued by the Texans. Just as twilight approached they entered the Guadalupe bottom two miles from the battlefield. As Córdova turned to flee, he was pointed out, and Doctor Fentress fired at him. Fentress was certain he had wounded him in the arm, "for he saw it fall limp at his side, but some contended it was not touched."[44]  When last seen, Córdova was said to have been reeling in his saddle as if from the loss of blood.[45]  His sword and hat were found about four miles from the battlefield. Doubt as to Córdova's fate was dispelled some three years later after the battle of Salado when his body was examined in death. It was found that one of his arms bore the marks of an old and severe wound.

During the chase of Córdova's men, one of the Indians became unhorse and, running back, with his gun presented, to gain the protection of a mesquite tree, came face to face with about a half dozen Texans. Doctor Fentress, one of the dismounted Texans, raised his gun, but permitted the astonished Indian to fire first, says Wilbarger; whereupon, the Indian missing his mark, the good doctor immediately fired, killing him.[46]  The doctor then cut off the head of the dead Indian and carried it away with him for medical examination.[47]  In the course of the fight the burning paper wads from the shotguns of some of Burleson's men fired the grass.

41. Sowell, Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas, p. 417.

42. John H. Jenkins Sr., "Personal Reminiscences of Texas History Relating to Bastrop County, 1828-1847," ms., p. 91.

43. Col. Edward Burleson to A. Sidney Johnston, Secretary of War, Bastrop County, April 3, 1839, in Telegraph and Texas Register, April 17, 1839; Morning Star (Houston), April 11, 1839; Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, pp. 63-64.

44. Jenkins, "Reminiscences," ms., p. 92.

45. Col. Bonnell's Report in Telegraph and Texas Register, April 24, 1839.

46. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas, p. 156.

47. Sowell, Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas, p. 15.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963