Capt. Becknall and Lieut. James Clark, with a company of Red River County soldiers, reached the battle ground of San Jacinto a few hours after the fight was over and just after the capture of Santa Anna. They rode up to a large oak tree on the battleground of San Jacinto where Gen. Houston lay on a pallet with a wounded foot. He related to James Clark and his friend, William Becknall, the circumstances of the capture of Santa Anna and stated that he was extremely anxious to preserve the life of Santa Anna, though the Texas soldiers were clamoring for his life. He said: "I must protect the life of Santa Anna by all means and at any cost, for the reason that he has the authority to give orders to remove Mexican troops off all Texas soil and, too, in face of the fact of his being a prisoner of war, and as your men have not been in the heat of this battle and excited over the fall of the Alamo and the murder of the fellow Texas soldiers at Goliad, I think it would be safer to get a guard out of the company."
Lieut. James Clark at the time was well acquainted with Gen. Sam Houston, having received him into Texas at old Jonesboro in 1832. Lieut. Clark and Becknall named two soldiers of their company, one of whom Gen. Houston knew quite well. They named Isaiah D. Lawson and Old Man John Stiles and one other man whose name we lost. As soon as Old Man John Stiles was named Mr. Houston remarked, "The very man! I know that if anybody would take the life of Santa Anna