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The Córdova-Flores Incident

tains severely wounded, attracted the experienced eye of Ben McCulloch as a valuable animal, if he could be restored to soundness. So later, when the Texans returned to San Antonio on the way home, McCulloch solicited and obtained permission from Captain Caldwell to go in search of the horse. With a single companion, McCulloch traced and found the animal and succeeded in getting it home by slow marches. The horse recovered fully and "became famous as 'Old Pike,' McCulloch's pet and favorite as long as he lived -- a fast racer of rich chestnut color, sixteen hands high, faultless in disposition and one of the most sagacious horses ever known in the country."[60]

Caldwell returned to San Antonio over the serpentine route through the hills, by which he had marched out. He had started without provisions, and his men had been forced to rely upon game, which for the moment was scarce, for Córdova's party had frightened the wild animals from the line of march.[61]  Caldwell's men had followed Córdova for 160 miles, and after giving up the chase they had another 110 back to San Antonio. Upon arrival at San Antonio, the Gonzales men were received with open arms. Writing some forty-eight years later, Henry E. McCulloch, who was a private in Caldwell's company during this pursuit, said: "The hospitable people of that bloodstained old town, gave us a warm reception and the best dinner possible in their then condition, over which the heroic and ever lamented Col. Henry W. Karnes presided. They also furnished supplies to meet our wants until we reached our respective encampments."[62]  At San Antonio, Caldwell found nine Mexicans who had been made prisoners by a party of surveyors. They were among the unmounted portion of Córdova's men seeking to escape after the engagement with Burleson's command.[63]  The prisoners were tried in the District Court at Béxar before Judge James W. Robinson and released.[64]  As for Caldwell, he returned his men to Seguin, where they were disbanded on May 15 due to the expiration of their terms of enlistment.[65]

Having learned from Robison that Córdova's plans were to return

60. Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, p. 65.

61. Ibid., pp. 64-65.

62. Gen. Henry E. McCulloch to J. H. Brown, Aug. 24, 1887, quoted in ibid.

63. Morning Star, April 23, 1839; Telegraph and Texas Register, May 15, 1839. Originally it was reported that they had been captured by Colonel Henry W. Karnes and Captain Antonio Menchaca.

64. Telegraph and Texas Register, May 15, 1839.

65. Ibid., May 21, 1839.

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