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The Córdova-Flores Incident

James O. Rice, who was not among the six chosen was for some reason very anxious to shoot the Negro; so he offered to pay five dollars to anyone of the detail who would permit him to fill his place in the firing squad. One of the men among the first group to fire accepted the proposition, but much to Rice's chagrin when the order to fire was given his gun failed. Crestfallen, he exclaimed: "There my gun snapped, for the first time in my life."[51]

At this time, Captain Mathew Caldwell of Gonzales commanded in the Gonzales-Seguin area a company of six months' rangers[52]  which had been formed under a law passed the previous winter. A portion of this company was stationed at Seguin under 1st Lieutenant James Campbell, and the remainder of the company was under Caldwell's direct command and located on the Guadalupe, fourteen miles above Gonzales and eighteen miles below Seguin. The night of the 29th, following Córdova's defeat, Caldwell was in Gonzales and Second Lieutenant Canah C. Colley was in charge of the camp. He immediately dispatched a messenger to Caldwell, who sent word among the local inhabitants inviting volunteers to join him at sunrise. Among those volunteering was Ben McCulloch. At daylight, Caldwell started rapidly for his camp on the Guadalupe, where, upon arrival, he found everything in readiness to take up the chase. He lost no time in uniting with Campbell. Within thirty-six hours after Córdova had been driven into the Guadalupe bottom, Caldwell had picked up his trail,[53]  but one of Caldwell's spies lost his horse to Córdova's party on the 30th.[54]

Caldwell found that Córdova had considered it impracticable to ford the Guadalupe, and had during the night returned to the uplands, detoured around Seguin, and struck the river five miles above, where, at daybreak, March 30, at the edge of the bottom, he accidentally surprised and attacked a scouting party of five of Lieutenant Campbell's men, who had encamped near Young's Ford the night before. These men were James M. Day, Thomas R. Nichols, John W. Nichols, D. M. Poore, and David Reynolds. Although surprised at such an hour by men using firearms only (indicating a foe other than Indians), the five rangers fought with such determination that they were able to

51. Quoted in ibid., pp. 156-157.

52. For a copy of the Muster Roll of Captain Mathew Caldwell's Gonzales Rangers, March 16-June 16, 1839, see Appendix [Ed: p. 550].

53. Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, p. 64.

54. Copy of Certificate of Claim of David Reynolds for Loss, Seguin, July 14, 1839, John Henry Brown Papers, 1835-1872, ms.

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