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The Córdova-Flores Incident

after following it about two miles found the bodies of their companions (a Mr. Ballener and three Mexicans). One of them, a Mexican from Béxar, was still breathing and regained consciousness to state that they had been attacked by a party of Mexicans and Indians who were returning from Matamoros with arms and ammunition for the hostile Indians. Upon hearing this the surveyors immediately proceeded to Béxar and gave the alarm. Cornelius Van Ness and Colonel L. B. Franks left at once to bear the word to Colonel Edward Burleson at Bastrop, reaching there on the 17th. Burleson "raised the War hoop"; and early the next morning, having received additional information concerning the hostile party, started in pursuit with some two hundred hastily assembled volunteers.[71]

In the meantime, on May 15 Flores crossed the Guadalupe at the old Nacogdoches ford, at the site now occupied by the city of New Braunfels. While on patrol south of Austin on May 15, Captain Andrews' company,[72]  among whom were six civilians, probably from a surveying party that had joined the ranger group, discovered what later proved to be Flores' party returning from Mexico to East Texas.

It seems that while reconnoitering on Onion Creek near where the Old San Antonio Road crossed the creek, Lieutenant James O. Rice and B. B. Castleberry late in the afternoon of the 15th had ridden over a hill south of the creek to kill a deer for supper. They had gone but a short time before they were seen galloping back to the main body to report that they had observed in the distance a large drove of horses. However, owing to the distance and the gathering dusk, they could not say definitely whether the horses were mounted or not, but "they were satisfied part of them were [being ridden], from the fact that some of the animals were white, and there appeared to be dark looking spots on their backs,"[73]  indicating that these, at least, were probably mounted.

When Rice and Castleberry discovered the yet unidentified party, it was traveling almost due north, while the rangers had been traveling almost due east. Captain Andrews now determined to intercept the unknown party at the crossing of the creek. So taking advantage of a

71. Edward Burleson to A. Sidney Johnston, City of Austin, May 22, 1839, in ibid., pp. 29-30.

72. See Appendix for a copy of the Muster Roll of Captain Micah Andrews' Rangers, March 10-June 10, 1839. [Ed: p. 551]

73. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas, p. 159; Telegraph and Texas Register, May 29, 1839.

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