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La Tierra Afortunada: A Better and Nicer Mexico.; Give Mexico a chance! =)
Topic Started: Mar 28 2014, 11:39 PM (279 Views)
This is one of my more recent works, but this one is going to be a bit of a Mexico-wank.

Here's the thing: Mexico, in our world, is one of those countries that had a chance to really shine, but instead ended up having lots of crappy luck, including with dictators, mass poverty, and even drug wars in today's era! This story actually starts off with a rather peculiar primary P.O.D.: a young lawyer named Lysander Spooner finds himself catching pioneer fever and decides to settle, in Texas of all places. Texas, in 1839, has just gained it's independence but isn't doing too well. And Santa Anna is trying find an excuse to take back the territory with the first chance he's got! Meanwhile, Martin Van Buren, an underdog in OTL, manages to win a second term; although partly due to a number of gaffes on the part of the Whigs(John Tyler in particular), that would make even Mitt Romney blush.....he also realizes that Jacksonian economics isn't working and promises to change course, for the better of the American economy, and the people at large.

As with my first TL, "Stars & Stripes", I've taken a multiple-POD approach with this one: no one change produces the universe as it evolves, but rather, many. This timeline does largely focus on North America, Mexico above all, but I will try to balance things out with taking a look at the rest of the world as well.

Okay, here's the first bit. :)

La Tierra Afortunada: A Better and Nicer Mexico.

POD: April 9, 1839.[1a]

The United States in 1839 is in a bit of trouble at the moment: Just two years ago, the Panic of 1837 swept the country following an ill-planned, controversial and poorly thought-out decision by Andrew Jackson to dismantle the Second Bank of the United States the previous year. The entire country has been hard hit by these problems, but no more so than much of the Deep South(even Florida, whose residents were known for punctual payments, had trouble keeping up!), and several of the northeastern states, Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey in particular. Martin Van Buren was in office only for about nine weeks before the economy crashed in May of that year, and yet unfortunately (perhaps unjustly) received much of the blame, though it can be argued that Van Buren's own refusal to involve the government in the matter couldn't have helped his case, as it exacerbated the problem.
Within 2 months, nearly $100 million worth of bank losses had been reported, in the state of New York alone. And it wasn't restricted to just banks, either; New York City lost over 250 of its businesses in the month of April, before the real crash began!
Farmers, too, have been affected: though the crop harvest in 1837 out in the old Northwest was rather good by most standards, which helped them weather the first months of the ongoing crisis, prices have begun a sharp drop and many now find themselves struggling to stay afloat. And, worst of all, many state financial institutions, too, have found themselves collapsing.

As things continue to go south, many people wonder when and where it will all end[1].

We turn, for a second, to Mexico, which is having to deal with a few of it's own problems today.
In 1836, President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was deposed after the fiasco in Texas which allowed that state to break off and become its own country, after being declared unfit for rule by the Mexican Congress. He did eventually make a comeback during the Pastry War[2], and had tried to rebuild his reputation, using his war service as a crutch. On March 20th, 1839, Santa Anna arrived back in Mexico City to a mixed reaction; some were indeed grateful for his return, but many others not so much. But just as Santa Anna was getting used to being back in the driver's seat, as it were, the generals Jose Mexia and Jose Urrea began into action a plot to orchestrate his overthrow, not two weeks after his re-ascension to office. Already having been deposed once, Santa Anna wasn't exactly willing to step in and let the rebels shove him aside, as the Texans did.....

And speaking of Texas, controversy has been stirring recently back over in the U.S. whether or not the country should be considered for a possible future annexation.

In April 1839, a fledgling Ohioan lawyer and Mass. native by the name of Lysander Spooner, began to consider leaving for Texas to start anew, and to make the case for a free state status should it become the next U.S. State, and to possibly establish a settlement in the area[3]. He decided to start a fundraising effort to try to raise some money for the cause. At first, the response was a little slow, but Spooner was, fortunately for him, able to raise several thousand dollars for the expedition to Texas by the end of June, and he and about 50 other adventure seekers left for the Hill Country on July 11th. Arriving at a site just northwest of Austin in early August, Spooner settled down, and was one of the primary founders of the town of Liberty Creek the following February(and platted in April 1840). This attracted some attention as Spooner was the first Yankee to have been the founder of ANY community in Texas, though of course, not everyone in the Lone Star Nation was necessarily welcoming of this
Yankee once they knew who he was.....[4]

Forward to 1840, and U.S. President Martin Van Buren is still planning to run for a second term in office despite the number of challenges he's had to overcome during his first, and his popularity has remained a bit on the low side, but he is beginning to see hope: the situations in Texas and Mexico may provide him with another chance to prove himself worthy of the office of U.S. President. Even so, is Van Buren perhaps still doomed to fail, an to be replaced by his opponent, the famous general and Ohio senator, William Henry Harrison[5a]? Or can he salvage his reputation and squeeze in another term as the Big Man in the White House[5b]?

[1a]Subject to change, possibly.
[1b]And there's no end on the horizon, it seems. Or is there?...*wink*
[2]One of the strangest, and quite frankly, silliest, wars in history.
[3]And this is where the fun begins, ladies and gents.....
[4]That's putting it somewhat lightly....there were indeed a few Southerners who were actually radical enough to justify killing abolitionists just for not conforming to the whims of Southron high society(and many more who certainly didn't think all that highly of abolitionists even if they weren't to go as far as wishing them dead.)
[5a]As per OTL.
[5b]It'll be tough for ol' Kinderhook but he's not exactly one to roll over and play dead, either. In any case, 1840 is sure to be an interesting year.....=)


Some selected excerpts from “The Presidents: The Story of the Oval Office and The Men Who Occupied It, 2nd edition.”
Authored by Robert Jackson, 1999. © Liberty Tree Publishing, San Francisco, CA.

As the 1840 election season dawned, Martin Van Buren found himself in a somewhat unfortunate position; during his first term, the Crash of 1837 had taken many a business and utterly destroyed their financial viability; particularly hard hit, was the South and the Northeast, many big planters and bankers, respectively, felt the worst of the effects. Although the President himself had not been responsible for the crash(it can be argued with some validity that his predecessor Jackson was, though.), he was still blamed for not taking enough action to rescue the economy, so much so, in fact, that some derisively nicknamed him “Martin Van Ruin”[6]. The Democrats were already on shaky ground, and as the recession ploughed on, the Whigs started to look more and more appealing with every passing day.....

Nevertheless, however, they renominated Van Buren anyway; no-one else in his party wanted to run for for the White House. In fact, nobody could even agree on the Vice-Presidential position for the 1840 election: James K. Polk had been considered for the position at one point, but could not receive enough endorsements to get the nomination. So, as a result, President Van Buren became the first candidate to campaign without a running mate.

On the other hand, the Whig Party was riding the high tide of political discontent and a desire for change. Henry Clay, the highly popular and rather folksy Kentucky statesman, saw the writing on the wall and hoped that his time had finally arrived to get the ehance to sit in the Oval Office. However, though, he had, unfortunately, made a number of enemies over the years, and the Whigs weren't about to gamble with their chances of winning the White House. As a result, they decided to stick with a less controversial candidate: William Henry Harrison, the war hero, and former Ohio state senator. To get a regional balance, they sought out Virginian Senator John Tyler for the Vice-Presidential nomination, which Tyler accepted.

The 1840 election was heavily focused on image-making, and in fact, even more than substance, which was quite unique(though inevitable, as some may argue.). A pro-Democratic pundit once opined that Harrison would be just as content to sip on some hard cider in front of his log cabin as to serve as President. The Whigs, seeing an opprotunity, took this piece of satirical mocking and turned it to their advantage, starting the now famous “Log Cabin and Hard Cider!” Campaign, selling Harrison as a man of the people, and handing out many bottles of free cider at their rallies. In the same token, Van Buren was derided as an elitist with no sense of empathy for the common man and was said to indulge in fine wines and exotic foods. One politically-inclined poet had this to say:

“Let Van from his coolers of silver drink wine
And lounge on his cushioned settee,
Our man on a buckeye bench can recline,
Content with hard cider is he.”[7]

What may seem truly ironic to some, however, is that Van Buren had grown up in a working-class New York family and had climbed his way to the top of the Golden Hill[8], so to speak; Harrison, on the other hand, was a wealthy Virginian who himself had quite a few of the trappings and mannerisms of your average aristocrat.

In any case, this was already shaping up to be a rather tense election indeed; however, though, there was a wild card candidate who came on the scene that would make things all the more complicated: James G. Birney. Birney, a native of Kentucky and former planter, had come to reject slavery about a decade earlier and had built up a reputation as a devoted abolitionist, so much so that his life was threatened on several occasions, by pro-slavery agitators. But this didn't stop him from pursuing his interests, and in 1837, the American Anti-Slavery Society recruited him to their ranks and he moved to New York with his family. By the time the 1840 elections rolled around, he was considering a run for the Presidency....[9]


Albany, New York.
April 1, 1840.

James G. Birney was a man on a mission; ever since that fateful day in 1833, he had resolved to help bring about the end of slavery once and for all, and had become an abolitionist in the following year. Since then, he had had to endure intimidation, hatred, and even threats against his life. But Birney had struggled on, determined to never give in to his adversaries. And now, he had found the ultimate political calling: ascending to the White House, as President of the United States. It was here in this little town in Wyoming County that a new party was born.....the Liberty Party. “Truly a fitting name for our organization.”, he thought. And he hoped that it'd be here to stay. Now, though, it was time to get to work on his campaign, and he knew exactly what he wanted to do.....


These excerpts are from “Liberty's Call: A Short History of the Liberty Party”, authored by John Porter.
© 1948 Whitmore Press, Salt Lake, Utah.

The Liberty Party, in its first incarnation[10], was the first dedicated anti-slavery party, and originally had its origins in the American abolitionist movement, particularly with the American Anti-Slavery Society.
The party first developed partly thanks to a split between supporters of the more radical William Lloyd Garrison, who eschewed major political action, and a more conservative faction led by Gerrit Smith, who believed that their aims could be best obtained by more orthodox means. The anti-Garrisonian faction was also headed by Arthur Tappan, William Jay[11], and Salmon P. Chase, an Ohioan who was known as a stalwart defender of abolitionism.

It was at one of the state conventions in Warsaw, N.Y., in which James G. Birney was chosen to be the Liberty Party's nominee for the Presidency; Francis J. LeMoyne, the Pennsylvania-born son of a French physician immigrant who had himself become a doctor, before his starting his abolition work, was to be Birney's Vice-President.

At the national convention in Albany, New York, on April 1, 1840, delegates from half a dozen states came to the determine the nominations; all 6 of them confirmed the Birney/LeMoyne ticket, officially adopted the party name, and made the slavery issue the key plank of their platform. Though confident he would make an impact, Birney realized that in order to be better heard, he might have to seek out a wealthy benefactor or two who would be willing to help fund the party's campaign[12]. So, in the month of June, he decided to seek the assistance of his old comrades, the Tappan brothers....


Letter from James G. Birney to Lewis Tappan, June 6th, 1840. Archived by the National Library, Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Tappan,

I write this letter to ask you a much needed favor.

As you may remember, last year I came to the conclusion that, in order to eliminate the terrible scourge of slavery from this great nation of ours, that we must begin to work to insert ourselves into the body politic, by any legal means necessary. I am pleased to report that the formation of a party was successful; we've called it the “Liberty Party”, due to our abolitionist aims, above all else. Interest in our party has been growing by the day since we have created it, and we expect that this will only continue. There is, however, a small problem: We have very little in the way of funding, and I am disappointed to report that Gerrit Smith's monetary contributions may not be enough to allow us a more noticeable voice. My own experience in the field of publishing will be helpful, but as we both understand, money is to campaigning what food is to a man: it shall perish for the lack of it. My personal aims for reaching the White House may be a Herculean task, but there is hope: there are a few persons running for office who have expressed interest in this new party of ours. One man that I know of in particular, William Jay, has great promise for a political career, if he chooses to accept the challenge to win the district in which he currently resides, in the Albany area.

Will you assist us in our aims? If we are indeed able to gain a presence in Washington, I do believe this may benefit us in the long run. And we will need every bit of good fortune that comes our way, for our adversaries are relentless and have many powerful people on their side, to do their bidding.[13]

Any assistance is appreciated, and thank you, in advance, for reading this letter.


-James G. Birney, New York City, New York.

Response to James G. Birney from Lewis Tappan, June 27th, 1840.

Mr. Birney,

I have received your letter, and after some contemplation, I have made my decision.
It shall be a challenge to put this party into the halls of power, and I'm afraid that your hopes of ascending to the White House may not be feasible at this time. However, I also realize that there is indeed potential for this new Liberty Party of yours; there are many people, not just in this state, but in several others across the nation as well, that are open to abolitionist thought and morals. After all, did not the Founders intend for this to be a free nation?

Instead, tragically, we have seen the slavers defy the true meaning of the Constitution and to force the rest of us to play along in their dastardly games. This cannot stand forever, James, and any attempt to slow, or even halt, the advance of the Perfidious Institution is to be applauded. This may indeed prove to be a grand opportunity for us, and I hope that we may be able to save the soul of this nation yet.

I have also consulted with my brother, Arthur, and he has informed me that he, too, would be honored to assist you in the genesis of this project of ours.

May the Lord bless & guide you, James. Good men such as yourself and I shall be at the forefront of this greatest of moral battles yet to be faced in this nation, and it is my hope that slavery shall indeed one day pass away, nevermore to haunt the conscience of these United States. [14]

Yours in Christ,

Lewis Tappan.

James Birney's Final Response. July 1st, 1840.

Mr. Tappan, kind sir,

I thank you most sincerely for your generosity in this matter. Though our struggle may be great, and our rivals strong and powerful, together, acting as one, and with God's blessing, we can overcome even the greatest of enemies. I have contacted some like-minded fellows in other places across the nation, and they, too, have joined this moral mission of ours.....[snip]

May God be with you always.

-James G. Birney.[15]

[6]This was a real nickname for Van Buren.

[7]This poem was real, btw.

[8]An ATL idiom for achieving the pinnacle of success.

[9]Birney will play a significant role in the years to come.

[10]Major hint for what's in store for the future.

[11]Who may be running for Congress.

[12]Indeed, a wealthy benefactor might prove to be the salvation of any campaign....

[13]Sad but true.

[14]Tappan was a rather religious fellow, although a Unitarian.

[15]Birney & Tappan are going to become closer in friendship during the coming years.


This was taken from “The Land of Aztlan, Volume 2: Mexico in the 19th Century”, authored by Roberto Solano Lopez, 1975.

In 1842, Antonio de Santa Anna was facing an increasingly difficult dilemma; though he had been welcomed with open arms by many people in the country after Mexico's victory in the Pastry War of 1838, had unfortunately re-alienated many of the people in only a very short amount of time.

Elevated back into office in September, 1840, his second term, though not without its positive points, such as the revamping of Mexico's currency, and even the approval of plans to lay out the nation's first railroads, was unfortunately marred by several problems; firstly, Santa Anna's regime had gone straight back to engaging in repressive activities; the jailing of dissidents for even the slightest of offenses was a regular, almost everyday, occurrence. One man who was caught distributing anti-Santanista flyers in Veracruz in the summer of 1841 was, at one point, threatened with his life by the constabulary if he refused to cease his activities. Another man, whose wife later gave birth to one of Mexico's greatest generals of a later era, was carted off to prison for the mere “crime” of disagreeing with Santa Anna's Texas policies.

Political corruption and other abuses of power had become an issue as well: Santa Anna had imposed heavy taxes on many Mexicans, exacerbating the poverty situation in that country. All householders were strongly encouraged to pay “contributions” to the Treasury, duties were increased to as much as 20 percent, and the even the Church was forced to give out loans to the government, at the demand of Santa Anna himself; at the same time, the Mexican upper class was booming.[16]

The President also was responsible for Mexico's Second Constitution, which concentrated more power in his own hands, and those of loyal to him. Santa Anna filled many, many, positions with friends and other allies of his, and ordered a massive enlargement of the country's army. And he paid for it all with loans, both domestic and foreign. It is even said that he even sold phony shares to mining investors in Britain and the United States!

Santa Anna's second administration had also begun to take a turn for the strangely bizarre as well: He began to have statues bearing his likeness placed all over Mexico City, and many of the city's landmark buildings, including even the city's largest theater, were named after him. He even made his saint's day a national holiday and created new titles for himself! (Letters he wrote were often signed, "Santa Anna, Savior of the Fatherland. General of Division, Knight of the Great Cross of the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Charles III, President of the Mexican Republic, Grand Master of the National and Distinguished Order of Guadelupe.")[17]

Despite his living in the lap of luxury, Santa Anna realized that he was still not invincible, so along with his private army, he also increased the size of the Presidential Guard to 1200 persons, rotating between shifts so as to give him 24-hour protection, 7 days a week. Even with this, however, Santa Anna was becoming increasingly concerned with rebellions, particularly the ones in Coahuila, and the Yucatan.....[18]


Taken from “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston.
1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin. All rights reserved.

The Republic of Texas in 1842, found itself in a bit of a dilemma; though it had successfully won independence from Mexico in April, 1836, the state was having to deal with Indian raids, the looming prospect of war with Santa Anna's regime, and a general concern for the state's welfare & future....[snip]

One of the worst Indian raids of the era occurred on August 7, 1840, in Victoria and Linnville, the latter now in Albertson County. “The Great Raid”, as it was called, occurred as a result of the Council House Fight, in which Texian officials had tried to imprison 33 Comanche chiefs who had intended to negotiate a peace treaty with the Republic; all of them, plus two dozen other Indians, would not survive the encounter. The Comanche war chief Buffalo Hump, orPotsana Kwahip[19] in his native language,sensing a dishonorable betrayal on the part of the Texians, decided that retaliation was in order for this act.

During the spring and early summer of 1840, Buffalo Hump informed several of his fellow Comanche band leaders that he was planning to go on a raid of some Texian settlements, to avenge the deaths of their comrades in the Council House. Along with his initial band, several more joined the party, and by the time Buffalo Hump was ready to move out[, he had at least 400 warriors under his command, and as many as 1,000 Comanches may have participated, in total[20]. On this raid, the Comanches went all the way from what is now far eastern New Mexico[21], to the Gulf Coast towns of Victoria and Linnville, the latter now in Albertson County. In what was later described by one survivor as a “savage plunder, worthy of the likes of the Khans of old Mongolia”[22], the Comanches raided and then sometimes burned down several towns in the area, and stole property of various persons at will.


After having done some considerable damage in central Texas, the Comanches headed for the Gulf Coast. Although the Texian militias had realized the Comanches' intentions and tried to shadow the Indian raiders, part of the party broke off without warning and headed straight to the southeast.
There was very little warning for the residents of Victoria, sadly. On the afternoon of August 6th, the Comanches rode into town, whooping and hollering; it was the only clue that the Victorians had that something was amiss, and only when they arrived in town did it become truly apparent.
The Indians harmed no young children here[23], from what is known today, but about a dozen men and a couple of women who resisted them, were slaughtered. However, though, the Indians were forced to retreat after some surviving Texians fired back from various buildings across the town; about a dozen Indians, including one woman of the dozens who had accompanied them, had perished[24].

The Comanches reformed the war band, and eventually decided to head towards the southeast, to the town of Linnville, which was, at that time, one of the most important ports in the Republic of Texas. And on the morning of August 7th, they surrounded the town, and at around 10:40 a.m., attacked the settlement with full force.
Though only three Texians had been killed(a fourth man who was targeted, Hugh Oran Watts[25], had managed to escape with his life, after a fellow settler sacrificed himself so Watts could save some of his family's heirlooms), partly due to the fact that some Linnvillians fought back with rifle fire, there were still too many Comanches to deal with, and, overwhelmed, terrified residents fled to the coast, realizing that the Indians had no experience on the ocean and hoped that it would pay off. Led by one William G. Marshall, They boarded a schooner and watched helplessly as the Indians proceeded to trash and loot the town from within; all they could do at this point, was curse at the misfortune which had befallen them.

During the rest of that entire day, the Indians plundered, and sometimes burned afterwards, dozens of buildings in the town, dressing themselves in European-style clothes and top hats, amongst other things, and even tied some feather beds and cloth to their horses. During that time, one angry citizen, John Hays, the local judge, retrieved his pistol and waded ashore, yelling madly at the town's desolators as if possessed by demons of a sort. The Comanches, however spared him, thinking that he had indeed gone insane[26]. Upon wading ashore, however, he realized that he faced an entire war party of almost thousand Indians. Knowing that he was outnumbered, he decided to go back to the ship; Hays later found out that his weapon hadn't even been loaded, and even if it had been, it wouldn't have made much of a difference[27].

At the time that the Great Raid had occurred, it was reported that over $300,000 worth of goods, including a now unknown amount of silver bullion, had been stolen. John Linn, the town's founder, had noted that in addition to cloth and other goods that were most often stocked in the town's warehouse, that a few cases of hats and umbrellas, belonging to San Antonio merchant James Robinson, had gone missing. Linn, however, did soon find out just what had happened to these items, and his discovery was a bit amusing, to say the least. As he quipped about a decade afterwards during an interview with a Spooner newspaper, "These the Indians made free with, and went dashing about the blazing village, amid their screeching squaws and `little Injuns,' like demons in a drunken saturnalia, with Robinson's hats on their heads and his umbrellas bobbing about on every side like tipsy young balloons."(What a sight that must have been!)[28]

After the loading their loot, the raiders, some of them clothed in the stolen garments, finally decided to move on, late on the morning of August 8th, and were gone by the afternoon.

The Battle of Plum Creek.

For about a couple of weeks after they discovered the Comanches' war trails, the Texas Rangers had been tracking the Indian raiders throughout much of the middle and southeastern regions of the country, but had little luck keeping up with them consistently and were also rather outnumbered. However, though, the sacking of Linnville had ironically enough, provided some extra time for the Rangers to gather up some volunteers from the militias, and in some cases, even ordinary citizens, just wanting to play a role in the defense of their homeland. They came from Gonzales, Bastrop, and several others places from all over central and eastern Texas, backed up by additional reinforcements from more Ranger companies in those areas, and they began to prepare to intercept the Indians. Their efforts paid off: on August 12, 1840, they caught up with the Comanches not too far from Plum Creek, near today's Lockhart.

The Comanches had one major advantage over the Texians; they were excellent horsemen, and, admittedly, had the some of the absolute best cavalry in the entire New World, and perhaps among the best in the world, at this point in time; normally, they would ride away from the scene of a victory to avoid being overtaken by their adversaries, and usually, it worked quite well. On this day, however, they had been noticeably hampered by the pack mules that were carrying the loot they had stolen from Linnville, Victoria, and several other towns.

The Indians hadn't counted on being ambushed out of the blue, and were taken totally by surprise when the Rangers and the militias appeared out of nowhere and attacked them early that afternoon. What soon followed was a long running gun battle that lasted until about an hour or so after sundown. Finally realizing that their loot was holding them back, the Comanches left most of it behind, and, ironically, the Texians' greediness might have proved beneficial to the Indians; they decided to let the Comanches run home, divided the loot amongst themselves, and began to return home.[29]

All in all, the Texians claimed that over 80 Comanches had died, but no more than 2 dozen bodies were ever recovered; whatever the truth may be, it's almost certain that Buffalo Hump's war party probably did suffer losses that were much higher than normal. The Texians, in contrast, lost only half that number.


Somewhere in Texas
Aug. 17, 1840

Buffalo Hump was a content man, at this moment.

Earlier that month, he had successfully pulled off one of the greatest raids against white settlement known to this day, and had the Texians running scared, like a deer trying to escape the hungry clutches of a pack of coyotes, and it seemed that he was finally getting his wishes for revenge fulfilled. However, though, one thing began to trouble him: What if the Texians were to stop being afraid of the Comanches and started to push back? And what if, perhaps they succeeded at driving them out of Texas, or even the whole region, period? There were many white men in the country who had no care for Indians and some who truly desired them to be forced out of what they saw as their rightful land, by any means necessary.

But he was also able to wean his mind off such pessimism, by reminding himself that the Comanches were still a force to be reckoned with in this part of the world, and they could always call upon their allies in the region should the need ever arise to do so. The white man might have had money, guns, and cannons, but, in his mind, they couldn't beat the Natives' knowledge of the land, or their spirits.....[30]

[16]And you thought it was bad in OTL America under Dubya Bush.....

[17]Yep, these were real titles, by the way. Santa Anna took the train to Crazy Town on this one.

[18]Not to mention Texas, whose secession he considered the biggest betrayal yet.

[19]Look it up on Wikipedia if you want a few laughs(warning: it gets a bit raunchy. Not recommended for anyone under 21.....and definitely not safe for younger teens.). Let's just say that this guy might have had some really good....assets, ya know?

[20]Not counting women and children who came with them.

[21]A nice little hint as to where I'm going in future installments.

[22]Yes, this is an original quote, by the way. I made it up all myself.

[23]Dunno about OTL, but I'd hope it was true here, too.

[24]Apparently, some of their womenfolk were pretty damn good fighters.

[25]This particular person actually died IOTL.

[26]This actually happened, by the way. For real.

[27]Of course, going Rambo probably would have been more satisfying for the moment, but I guess he just didn't have the balls to do it(balls.....get it?).

[28]Actual quote, by the way.

[29]The moral of the story here is, basically, it's better to live with little to nothing gained, than die filthy stinking rich with all the booty you could possibly want.....smart call, IMO.

[30]Well, or so he hopes.

Edited by Steve, Mar 28 2014, 11:52 PM.
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This absolutely fascinated me. A great incite steve. Any more articles on the way? Any more on mexico more specifically?
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Mar 31 2014, 06:25 PM
This absolutely fascinated me. A great incite steve. Any more articles on the way? Any more on mexico more specifically?
Hi there, and I sincerely apologize for the long wait.

I don't have all that much right now, but there are a couple of small scenes that do take you forward for a bit later on. I'll try to get to those as soon as I can.


From the pages of the Trans-Texas Historical Society, Issue 16. Jan. 7, 1947, “Spotlight on Old Texas” Series. Authored by John E. Halsey, used with permission.[31]

The Republic of Texas, is surely one of history's more interesting footnotes; it only existed for a short time, and didn't even survive its first decade. But it has left its mark on history: the Republic of Texas was home to, and even produced, many a great man(and woman), during its brief, yet eventful, existence, some more obscure and some famous, and it is my privilege to bring to you the first installment of our “Spotlight on Old Texas” series.

This month's issue will be focusing on a man who helped birth the Republic of Texas, yet became one of its most dogged adversaries for a time, before reacquainting himself with his homeland after a long absence. He was a man of great integrity, who also became a skilled pragmatist later in his life, and remained loyal to his roots until the end of his days[32]. His name was Juan Seguin.

Juan Nepomuceno Seguin was born in what is now San Antonio in 1806, to Juan Erasmo Seguin and Josephina Becerra, both natives of Texas; Interestingly, it is generally believed that Seguin's great-great-grandfather, Guillermo, was of French extraction originally, having moved to Mexico for reasons still unknown to us today[33], and married a local Hispanic woman. Erasmo was born in S.A. himself
in 1782.

Not much is known about Juan N's earliest years at this point, but we do know, however, that Juan N.'s father was a postmaster and Juan N. often assisted his parents in running the business, particularly while his father was off assisting the drafting of Mexico's First Constitution in 1824. In 1825, he married Maria Gertrudis Flores de Abrego in San Antonio; they later had as many as 10 children. Juan N.'s interest in politics went back to his teenage years and he became a strong believer in democratic ideals. His political career started in 1828 when he was elected to the alderman's office in San Antonio, and served on a number of electoral boards, before being elected to the office of alcalde(Spanish for mayor)in 1833, after the previous one retired due to illness, but only lasted for a few months before retiring.

Seguin had not been content with the rule of Antonio de Santa Anna and in fact, had been highly critical of the many of the man's policies. In fact, by 1834, he became so dissatisfied with Santa Anna's increasingly reactionary administration, that he began to plan open revolt. During his short stint as governor of Texas, he made connections with people who'd later prove to be valuable allies in the fight for freedom.[34]

In October, Seguin came upon an idea to distribute his ideas on a wider scale. He decided to issue a circular letter to every single municipality in Texas urging them to appoint some delegates for a convention to meet with him in San Antonio on the 13th, for the purpose of taking into some consideration the dangers they were facing and for devising ways to combat them. And it was at this meeting, where Seguin first made the call for a Texian Constitutional Convention, to meet on November 15th. However, though, due to some time constraints, and the fact that Stephen F. Austin had been in Mexico proper at the time, many Texans especially those concerned about retaliation from Santa Anna's regime against them and Seguin, failed to respond, and so only a few showed up. Colonel Jose Mendoza was later ordered to march his troops to San Antonio from Matamoros to San Antonio and detain the delegates who had made it. Juan Seguin, for his part, was reprimanded for his actions. Partly because of this, Seguin announced his retirement in February of the following year, turning it over to Ramon Muzquiz on March 1st.

Juan Seguin hadn't been much of a military man before the days of the revolt, but this began to change in April, 1835, when he was chosen to head up the State Guard. His first real action occurred not long afterwards when he was sent to the state of Coahuila to protect the liberal government there from being besieged by General Martin Perfecto de Cos, accompanied by Benjamin Milam and John K. Allen, who reportedly did an excellent job assisting Seguin in routing the Santanista forces.

Stephen F. Austin, the famous pioneer, was elected leader of the Republic of Texas during that September, and he had been so impressed by Seguin's actions during the Coahuila campaign that he appointed Seguin captain in the brand-new Texian Army. As it turned out, Seguin would soon be putting his abilities to the test....

The town of Gonzales was in some turmoil in late September: earlier that month, on the 10th, a Mexican soldier had beaten a Gonzales resident, for reasons still unclear today, and this led to much outrage and public protesting. Mexican authorities were conccrned about the possibility of escalating violence so they decided it might be unwise to leave them with any weapons; as it turned out, Gonzales was home to a six-pounder cannon which had been given to the town just 4 years earlier to ward off the occasional Indian raid. Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea had been ordered to retrieve the cannon and sent 6 of his men, a corporal and several regular soldiers, to issue the ultimatum from Ugartechea demanding that the cannon be turned over to him. However, though, many of the town's residents suspected a set-up and the soldiers were sent back to the camp, sans the cannon. In fact, the Texians were so determined to keep the cannon that it became a rallying symbol that they could all stand behind, and soon after, the now famous “Come and Take It!” flag was devised.

Alcalde Andrew Ponton, concerned that Ugartechea would send more troops, sent a messenger to the tiny hamlet of Mina(now Bastrop, a town of 25,000)[35], to ask for assistance. Word spread quickly, and when Stephen F. Austin caught word of this, he immediately sent messengers to surrounding communities, informing them of the 300-man force soon to besiege Gonzales, though cautioning them to remain as defensive as possible; any unprovoked attacks on Mexican forces, he reasoned, might hamper potential support from the U.S., if a wider war was to begin.

On September 27th, Francisco de Castaneda left San Antonio for Gonzales, with a second order demanding that Ponton and his men surrender the cannon, and had been instructed not to use force unless it was necessary. But when they arrived in Gonzales 2 days later, Albert Martin, the captain of the town militia, informed them that Ponton had left, and requested that they remain on the west bank of the local river. They couldn't cross it, so they camped on some high ground instead. The next day, Castaneda again asked about the cannon and was then rebuffed, this time by a spokesman, which was interpreted as a stalling tactic.
Ugartechea asked a Gonzales resident, Dr. Launcelot Smither, who had been in San Antonio on business, to try to assist Castaneda in convincing the settlers that the soldiers meant no harm if the cannon was given up peacefully. He met with militia captain Mathew Caldwell the following morning and Caldwell asked him to bring Castaneda around town. At the same moment, however, fellow captain John Moore had called a war council, and they had voted to initiate combat with the Mexicans; whether or not they knew about Caldwell's deal, isn't known to this day.

In any case, the cannon, which had been buried by three of the Texians, was unearthed and mounted on cart wheels, and James C. Neill, a War of 1812 veteran, put in charge of it, along with Almaron Dickinson, to form the first Texian artillery company[36], all the while blessed by local minister W.P. Smith.

And as the Texians plotted their attack, Castaneda was warned by a Coushatta Indian that about 140 men were gathered in Gonzales, and more were joining the ranks. Sensing danger ,Castaneda ordered his men to search for a place to cross the river. By nightfall on October 1st, they were about 7 miles away from their previous spot.

The battle proved to be inconssequential in terms of casualties: Only 2 Mexicans had died and only one Texan injured; the man had only been bucked off his horse. Though it's now regarded as a one-sided battle, Gonzales is regarded as perhaps the turning point for the Texian Revolution, particularly because of its political significance.

Juan Seguin spent the next couple of months advancing the Revolution, bit by bit.....

Perhaps the most important battle of 1835, however, was the two-month long Siege of Bexar. General Cos had been sent by Santa Anna to occupy[37] San Antonio, and arrived on October 9th.. The Texians, soon after hearing of General Cos's invasion, had prepared to fight back; they had already liberated Goliad from Mexican control so Martin de Cos had no effective way to communicate with the coastal areas. Cos, fearing the Texians were about to take San Antonio back, started to fortify the city instead of going on the offensive.

Stephen F. Austin, with support from Seguin and others, was unanimously confirmed as commander-in-chief of the Texian forces on the 11th, and ordered the men to start marching at 9 am the next morning. But before then, they were to practice their tactics; Austin also told his men not to fire indiscriminately, and to keep their weapons in good shape at all times. Elections for other positions had also been held: John Moore became Colonel; Edward Burleson(for whom both Burleson County, and the town of Burleson in Johnson County were named[38]), a former Missouri militia commander, was chosen to be the Lt. Colonel, and Alexander Somervell[39], a Brazoria merchant was elected Major.

On Oct. 12, the Texians had about 300 men, primarily from Austin's colonies and the DeWitt area, with more expected from Nacogdoches. Leaving at 9 am, as ordered, the Texians began to make the slow advance towards San Antonio, stopping at the Guadalupe River. The next day, the men from Nacogdoches joined them, and they began the next leg of the journey.

The remainder of their trek[40] was rather uneventful, with the exception of gathering a few more volunteers and Ben Milam's brief skirmish with a Mexican patrol on the 15th, but when they reached Cibolo Creek, that ended. Austin requested a meeting with General Cos, but he refused to do so, claiming that Austin's men were an “illegal” force. As the situation grew more tense, the Mexicans continued to build up their garrison, going as high as 751 men at one point[41].

Seguin himself had arrived on the 22nd, with 37 Tejanos willing to fight for him and the cause; this had the added benefit of helping to, in the words of one historian, “blur the essence of ethnicity”, providing some evidence that the Texian cause wasn't just a overreaction by a few Southern American immigrants. On that same day, Austin names James Bowie and James Fannin co-commanders of the 1st Battalion, who were to be sent on a recon mission; they had been able to seize a local mission, the Espada, by the end of the day.

On the 27th, the Texians were able to seize the Mission Concepcion, and used it as a temporary campsite, despite their army being split up. They did not, however, anticipate being attacked, but on the early morning hours of the 28th, this is exactly what occurred.

The Battle of Concepcion only lasted about 30 minutes or so, making it one of the shortest battles in history; the Mexicans then treated back towards Bexar after having their tails soundly kicked by the Texians, but not before Richard Andrews, a soldier known for his size, was the sole fatality; he was later immortalized in Texan folklore and the town of Andrews in Henderson County, was named for him, as was Andrews County(about 100 miles west of Fort Worth)[42].

From there, the siege continued for another several weeks, but by mid-December, the city of San Antonio was secured, with only 35 losses, though this included Ben Milam, who died on the 7th, while overlooking the Church of San Fernando; it is said that he fell into the arms of Samuel Maverick as he passed on.
Because of his continued successes, Seguin was once again made a captain, when the Texas Army became an official outfit in January, 1836, by none other than Stephen F. Austin himself. And his resolve would once again be tested, just a month later.

The Battle of the Alamo was one of the most critical events in the history of the Revolution and Juan Seguin played a notable part[43].

In the weeks prior to the attack, Texian army commander Sam Houston, found himself in a bad spot; the Alamo, though not sparsely occupied, initially did not have a strong enough defense to ward off any potential Mexican invaders, and James Bowie and James Neill both informed the then sitting governor, Henry Smith, that they would rather die in the ditches than allow Santa Anna's men to retake the area; William Travis arrived with 30 men on February 3rd; not quite an army of its own but the defenders were glad to take any help they could get.

And luckily enough, they had some extra time to prepare; Santa Anna's army had had both supply and insubordination issues; many of the new recruits didn't know how to use their weaponry properly and some of them wouldn't even use their weapons at all, for fear of injury from the recoil; there was also the issue of some of the teamsters quitting when their salary had been delayed. The accompanying soldaderas had also hampered the trek northwards; their on-going consumption of already somewhat scarce food supplies, led to soldiers receiving only partial rations. To add onto all this, the region had experienced a cold wave the likes of which was not to be quite seen for another 150 years; as much as 16 inches of snow had fallen as well, making the journey to San Antonio even more dreadfully challenging[44]. But regardless of all they had gone through, they were able to reach the Medina River, 25 miles from San Antonio by the 21st, and despite heavy rains, they had reached the city proper by the 23rd.

And unfortunately, even with the extra time, the Texians were still unprepared; only at the last minute did they make any arrangements, by scrounging for food in abandoned homes, and finding places to store their cattle. And by the end of the afternoon, the city was occupied by 1,500 Mexican troops. Things almost came to a head when Travis fired the fort's largest cannon at them after they raised the red flag, signifying “no quarter”; as in, no mercy for the enemy. James Bowie sent Green B. Jameson as an emissary to Santa Anna, and in response, Travis sent Albert Martin as his own emissary. Though both Texians indicated they were willing to surrender honorably, but were told that any surrender was unconditional. In the words of Jose Bartres:

“I reply to you, according to the order of His Excellency, that the Mexican army cannot come to terms under any conditions with rebellious foreigners to whom there is no recourse left, if they wish to save their lives, than to place themselves immediately at the disposal of the Supreme Government from whom alone they may expect clemency after some considerations.”[45a]

Upon hearing of the Mexican response, Travis and Bowie mutually agreed to fire the cannon once again. Tensions grew and grew and finally reached a breaking point on the chilly evening of February 26th, when soldiers under Colonel Juan Bringas killed a Texian who was burning some huts. Four days later, a Texian shot and killed Pvt. Secundino Alvarez.

The siege had begun in earnest on March 5th , and Seguin, due to the fact he spoke Spanish as his native language, and that he was quite familiar with the terrain, was the perfect courier for the Texians. However, though, during one trip to get more reinforcements to assist his fellows, he discovered, to his dismay, that the Alamo had just fallen to Santa Anna's men, not knowing of the fates of his allies in arms for some time. However, though, it has been said that Santa Anna became furious upon learning of Seguin's fortunate survival, yelling "Where is Seguin, I want Seguin!".[45b]

After this, he then decided to turn back to Gonzales and he ended up meeting up with Sam Houston to participate in the Runaway Scrape; this was essentially a series of guerrilla brushes between the Texians and the Mexican army that lasted for several weeks. The most notable events appear to have been the Coleto Creek and Refugio battles.

James Fannin sent a couple of his men, Capt. Amon B. King and Lt. Colonel William Ward, to evacuate a few families in Refugio to safety so they wouldn't risk being harmed should the Texians come across General Jose de Arrea's army. Unfortunately for King, he found himself surrounded by the Mexicans and asked Fannin to get Ward and the Georgia Battalion to assist him. Urrea, meanwhile, had been warned of their presence and marched 300 more troops to the town in an attempt to overtake the Texians. During the day on March 14th, the Texians found themselves desperately holding out against a determined Urrea and his men; Ward's men had stuck themselves inside the Mission in town, while King's company was largely situated in a stand of trees(where the Refugio Headstone now stands). Both sides suffered heavy casualties and ended with a Mexican victory; Ward had been able to retreat into the night, but King's men were stranded; following his own failed attempt to flee, King and all but one of his men were executed(the Texian who survived, Lewis Ayers, later became a four-term Congressman). Ward, unfortunately, was himself cornered not long afterwards; though they put up a valiant fight, they ended up being surrounded at Lavaca Bay and were forced to surrender themselves, though, at least they were allowed to live, for a time.

Meanwhile, James Fannin had his own problems to deal with; he had to retreat from Goliad when he caught word that Urrea's army was targeting him next. Already weighted down with 500 guns and an extra cannon, Fannin decided to burn off the excess load, in order to make things a little easier on his men. But unfortunately, it was too late; just as Fannin's men were only a mile away from Coleto Creek, the Mexicans ambushed them, and a fierce battle soon unfolded. Despite being unable to penetrate the Texians' position and possibly losing as many as 20 times more men, the Mexicans were able to win the battle, even if only due to the surrender by Col. Fannin; he had been unwilling to leave the wounded behind and was fast running out of water.

Col. Urrea was loyal to Santa Anna, but, surprisingly, he felt that execution was unnecessary, and requested that the government spare them. That request was denied, however and Fannin and his surviving men to be kept in Goliad; William Ward and his company would soon join them. On Saturday, March 26th, the Texians were taken to Fort Defiance and held there; the following day, 342 of the Texians were marched out of the fort and shot point-blank, knifed, or clubbed to death; Ward & Fannin amongst them.

However, though, some either escaped, or were spared; German immigrant, Herman von Ehrenberg, later a California land speculator and Congressman from Pflugerville; and John Duval, later a Senator and novelist, were amongst the more notable survivors.[46]

Despite the Mexican government's unbeaten winning streak since the Battle of the Alamo, that all began to change in April. Santa Anna had originally planned to pursue Sam Houston's using a three-pronged assault plan. However, though, he decided to change his mind after he was informed that the Texian government had just left the Morgan's Point area. Santa Anna personally led a company of about 900 men to try to capture them, but was unsuccessful. However, though, upon receiving intelligence on the whereabouts of Houston's army, Santa Anna then ordered his men to instead head for Lynch's Ferry. And surely enough, both Houston and Seguin were camped there.
On the morning of April 21, Santa Anna received a last minute 500-man reinforcement from Martin Perfecto de Cos, giving him a total of 1,400 men under his command. Cos was placed on his right flank, his cavalrymen on the left, and everything else, including artillery, in the center; and then he sat and waited.

That same day, Sam Houston held an impromptu war council that lasted for about two hours; it is generally accepted that although a majority of his officers originally requested to wait for Santa Anna's first move, Houston himself argued that it was better, in his view, to surprise the Mexicans, over concerns that Santa Anna might be able to gather his currently somewhat scattered army. The council relented, and preparations began. It was a bit of a risky move: Most of the assault would come out over open ground, where the Texians might be particularly vulnerable to Mexican gunfire; adding to the gamble, was Houston's plan of trying to outflank the Mexicans with his own cavalry. However, though, whether or not they knew it at that time, they had a significant advantage; Santa Anna had decided not to post any sentries or skirmishers around his camp; this mistake would later prove to be a very crucial one, indeed.[47]

By 3:30, Houston had formed the desired battle lines behind some trees, and about an hour later, Erastus “Deaf” Smith, announced the destruction of Vince's Bridge; now, neither army could get reinforcements unless they wanted to cross 10-foot-deep water. The Texians then moved quickly and efficiently across the plain, and when they finally came across the Mexican encampment, cries of “Remember Goliad!” and “Remember the Alamo!” could be heard, led by Manuel Flores, Seguin's brother-in-law. During the charge, the Texians fired and fell to the ground, expecting to be cut down by Mexican gunfire, but Flores encouraged them to get back up and yelled “Santa Anna's men are running!”; Thomas Rusk, the Secretary of War, who'd gotten involved early on in the game, shouted, “Don't stop, give 'em hell!” boosting their morale. Regardless, Santa Anna's army began to fall apart, anyway; hundreds of soldiers fled in all directions, trying to get away from the Texians.

The battle proved to be one-sided: only 9 Texians had died, all within the first 15 minutes; the Mexicans, on the other hand, had lost at least 630(some say 700 or more!) of their men.
Santa Anna, though he had initially escaped, couldn't evade his enemies for long, and was eventually captured, and outed by his fellows; Sam Houston, however, decided to spare Santa Anna, instead of having him executed, as what had happened to many Texians.[48a]

A badly humiliated[48b] Santa Anna was forced to sign the Treaties of Velasco, which forced Mexico to withdraw all troops from any territory claimed by Texas, and in exchange for safe passage back to Mexico, was to accept the existence of the new Republic. However, though, Santa Anna was first imprisoned for six months, and, as he feared, was disowned by the Mexican government. After meeting with then-President Andrew Jackson, he returned to Texas and then went back home in early 1837. The Republic of Texas was recognized by the U.S., France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and eventually, the Yucatan Republic.

After Texas won it's independence from Mexico, Juan Seguin was regarded as a war hero; “The Paul Revere of Texas” was the nickname many had for him, particularly due to his actions during and after the loss at the Alamo. He was elected Senator in 1837, and served [snip]

...Although Juan Seguin continued to be regarded as a hero for years afterwards, including a battle with the Comanches alongside Henry Karnes in 1839, Seguin found himself becoming concerned with the direction that Texan politics seemed to be taking; the Republic was being filled to the brim with many North American immigrants, most of whom were unfamiliar with the native Tejanos' or the earlier settlers' history and their loyalty to the country in which they resided. Tensions began to grow between the two parties and Seguin began to have difficulty moderating between the two.

In the spring of 1840, he gave up his Senate seat to help Mexican Federalist Antonio Canales in an abortive campaign against his Centralist rivals, and to support the Republic of the Rio Grande. Canales ultimately failed, however, and Seguin found himself back in Texas in November.

Unfortunately, Seguin had resorted to land speculation and property mortgaging, as well as even some smuggling, to finance his Rio Grande adventure, and had become the object of enmity in the eyes of some; most Anglo Texans, or at least, those who had opinions of any sort, were at least somewhat uncomfortable with wealthy Latino Tejanos, especially those with some political influence like Seguin.

The unfortunate failure of the Santa Fe expedition in 1841 hadn't helped matters one bit; Seguin was almost immediately the target of rumors against him, claiming that he had somehow compromised the mission.

But even despite this, Seguin still managed to win re-election to the mayor's office at the end of 1841, mainly as a token of appreciation for assisting Canales......though this was to be short lived. Life didn't get any easier for him as more Anglos were hostile towards Seguin than before. One of the biggest problems Seguin had to deal with was squatters claiming property that they had no right to take hold of; and, unfortunately, they weren't just squatters, but Anglo squatters. And this complicated things because Seguin had come to understand first hand, that many Anglos didn't like taking orders from wealthy Mexicans(or in a good number of cases, Mexicans at all). Perhaps the biggest nuisance was James Goodman, a man who shoe'd horses for a living; Goodman felt that he was owed compensation for his work and desired to buy a house that was still government property. Seguin, not one to flout the law, had Goodman removed, making him yet another enemy. Tensions began to get bad that winter and Seguin often found himself having to render aid to Tejanos who were suffering persecution at the hands of many of the rowdier Anglos in town; some of it totally unprovoked, and much of it racially motivated.[49]

Seguin had made an honest effort to pay back the money he had lost in his recent adventures, but unfortunately, his problems were soon to start all over again. The revival of some of the rumors of financial improprieties and renewed accusations that he had given the Mexican government advance information about the Santa Fe expedition were starting to take a toll on him.

Things finally came to a head for Seguin when Santa Anna decided to invade Texas in March, 1842. San Antonio was overrun twice by Rafael Vasquez's men; though the first attempt at sacking the city saw Vasquez driven out, Seguin was unable to stop them the second time, and in a stunning turn of events, Vasquez attempted to turn the Anglo Texians against him by claiming that he was still yet a loyal subject of Santa Anna's, his mayorship of San Antonio notwithstanding. Unfortunately for Seguin, Vasquez's plan worked. Following the threats on his life, he left San Antonio in April, along with most of his remaining supporters, including his sister-in-law and a few others; they went to Gonzales, and Seguin himself decided to go southwards to Mexico. Unfortunately for him, he was arrested soon after his arrival and forced to make a choice: Either spend the next several years in a Mexican jail or join the army. And because he feared that a prison term might leave his family in Gonzales with no-one to provide for them, he ultimately relented and decided to serve in Santa Anna's army, and fight with conviction....[snip]

"...I was a victim of the cowardice and wickedness of a few men... a foreigner in my native land; could I be expected to stoically endure their outrages and insults? I sought for shelter amongst those against whom I fought; I had become divorced from my country, and separated from parents, family, relatives and friends, and what was more, from the institutions, on behalf which I had fought valiantly and honorably, with an earnest wish to see Texas free and happy."[50] - Juan N. Seguin, in his memoirs, July, 1857.


[31]A reference to another TL of mine I've been bouncing around. It doesn't have a concrete name yet, but you may have seen his name on the “Alternate Presidents” thread.....

[32]Indeed, Seguin will play a major role in the history of the region later on even more than IOTL.

[33]And indeed, not known to us IOTL.

[34]Especially Sam Houston. This will prove to be crucial later on.

[35]At about this time IOTL(late 1940's-early '50s), Bastrop was a tiny town of maybe 2,500 denizens.....about a tenth of TTL's Bastrop.

[36]Dickinson, sadly, died in the battle of the Alamo. Launcelot Smither survived, and, ITTL, had one last son with his wife, named Arthur in 1842(insert Knights of the Round Table joke here, if you'd like).

[37]Not to be confused with OTL's Occupy San Antonio.....

[38]There actually IS a real Burleson, btw: It's just south of Fort Worth.

[39]Somervell, too, had an entire county named after him.

[40]Evoking the Boers, I'd say.

[41]Although many of these were later wiped out by the fantastic failure at San Jacinto.

[42]It's Shackelford County IOTL.

[43]Sadly, even this couldn't save him from the later ridicule and intimidation by the more prejudiced sections of Anglo Society.

[44]IOTL, even the cold snap of 1899 didn't quite bring that much snow to the region. Even more impressive is that both events occurred in the middle of February, close to the end of winter(and in South Texas it might as well be spring in an average year.).

[45a]Which, of course, they never got any such thing as “clemency” from the likes of Santa Anna.

[45b]Yes, Santa Anna really did say this, according to the Seguin family website.

[46]Ehrenberg had a town in Ariz. Named after him, IOTL. The same general thing happens later on ITTL but it's not in *Arizona....

[47]And what if he had? It's a question that many historians, from that part of the U.S., and a few alternative history writers would ask for many decades to come.

[48a]Houston, despite whatever faults he may have had, was, at least, honorable. This would serve him well later in his life.

[48b]Santa Anna, however would never forgive what he saw as the greatest betrayal of the Mexican Republic, and would in due time, exact his revenge.....

[49]You gotta wonder what would have happened if a Rodney King type incident had occurred here. Can you say, San Antonio '42, anyone?

[50]This is a slightly modified version of an OTL quote from Senor Seguin, with apologies and thanks to the folks at Texas A & M.


This is an excerpt from “Lipinsky's Election Encyclopedia, 12th Edition: 1804-1996”. Authored by Norman Lipinsky, Jr. © 1997, Lipinsky Bros. Publishing, Naperville. Ill.

The Election of 1840

The 1840 election would be looked back on as one of the most controversial ones in the entire history of the United States, perhaps on par even with 1824's fiasco.[51]

Martin Van Buren, though not exactly universally unpopular, had had to deal with more than his fair share of criticism, particularly over his handling of the Panic of 1837, and to some voters, the Whigs were looking more and more palatable every day. But despite Van Buren's lack of enthusiastic support, however, the Democrats had little choice but to re-nominate him for the Presidency; nobody else in the party was willing to volunteer for the candidacy at the time. And then there was the brand-new anti-slavery Liberty Party, which had some promising potential as a wild card that might be able to help swing the election either way.....

There were 2 other contenders for the Presidency in 1840:

William Henry Harrison, hero of the War of 1812, and the first governor of the Indiana Territory, was riding on the tide of discontentment which had swollen up from the failed policies of the Jackson administration, and due to his increasing popularity, as well as his promising stances on fixing the economy and dealing with Mexico, and not to mention the distrust of his chief rival Henry Clay by many in the Whig Party hierarchy, won the nomination for the Whig Party's candidacy and set out to prove his worth to the American people, and several famous slogans, such as “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too”, were born out of their campaign.

James G.[Gillespie] Birney, of the aforementioned Liberty Party, had had a rather interesting background: he was born in Kentucky in 1792 to an Irish immigrant, who became an affluent planter in Mercer County, and had lost his mother at a young age, to be raised by an aunt who'd come over from Scotland. Birney was close to his father but had become anti-slavery from a young age, including from a Baptist minister named David Barrow, whom Birney regarded as a major influence amongst those outside his family. He also became good friends with future Vice-President George M. Dallas, and in 1815, while working as a lawyer, worked for Henry Clay when he was running for Congress, and he was then a Democratic-Republican. As his interest in politics deepened, so did his questioning of the Peculiar Institution. He later became mayor of Huntsville, Alabama, and also became a major supporter of the American Colonization Society. However, though, Birney became increasingly troubled about the thought of his children coming of age in a slave state and moved back to Danville, in 1832.
Birney's final turn towards abolitionism occurred in 1834 after correspondence with Theodore Weld, a preacher who organized the Lane Seminary debates. After a series of unfortunate events while living in Cincinnati, he decided to uproot his family and move to New York after joining the American Anti-Slavery Society. And during the spring of 1840, the Liberty Party came into existence in New York. Though Birney predicted that he wouldn't win, he sought to make an impact, anyway; armed with the money of the Tappan brothers, his expertise in the printing business, and a newly-former grassroots campaign, the infant Liberty Party bravely trotted forward and 1840 was to be the first of its many campaigns.....


This excerpt was taken from “1840: The Election That Shaped 19th Century America”, by Donald J. Epperson. (c) 1977 Altona Press, Denver, Colo.

1840 was, without a doubt, one of the toughest election seasons in U.S. History. Martin Van Buren, though not exactly popular by this point, was a man who had begun to reshape his image and rethink many of his past policies. His opponent, William Henry Harrison, was riding a tide of discontentment that had occurred in the wake of the disastrous crash of 1837, and had begun to take a proto-populist approach[51], making Van Buren's job even tougher....

During the first half of the election season, Van Buren's campaign struggled to make ends meet, while William Harrison's fortunes continued in a favorable direction, and for a while, it was thought by some that he'd be a shoo-in for the Presidency. However, though, the Harrison campaign would eventually run into a few problems later on, and problems, that Van Buren would capitalize on, in nearly every case[52].

John Tyler, in particular, though stately in mannerisms and appearance, would later become the centerpiece of gossip for many people, especially in the North, through a series of unfortunate events, including some which may have seriously jeopardized the Harrison campaign, by themselves.

The first of what was to be several scandals, occurred in June of 1840, when it was revealed that Tyler, following the death of his first wife, Letitia Christian, on December 27th of the previous year, married Julia Gardiner, a woman many years his junior[53] and a friend of his son Robert's wife, Priscilla, in late April, only 4 months after Letitia's passing. It did cause some chiding to be directed towards President Tyler, though this controversy was rather minor compared to others that would follow over the next few months.

In late July, it was discovered that Tyler had personally paid several newspapers to run fake “editorials” supposedly “revealing” things about James G. Birney that were purely intended to slander the man after the two came across each other during their respective rallies in Cincinnati, Ohio, in early June, over an argument about slavery. An embarrassed Harrison tried to cover up the scandal and he himself bribed several of the country's biggest newspapers to keep them quiet, though one paper in Philadelphia still ran with it anyway, even with the bribe.

Things didn't really begin to unravel until towards the end of the summer for the Harrison campaign, but when they did, it eventually became a non-stop domino train of gaffes and blunders of all sorts.

Tragically, the cascade may have started when John Tyler learned that his eldest daughter Mary's husband, Henry Lightfoot Jones, had died of yellow fever in mid-August, and Mary, who had just given birth to twins, Robert Tyler, and Letitia Marie, that June, was herself getting rather ill[53]. The children had been moved into the care of her brother Robert, by request of Mary herself.

John Tyler had taken a bit of a liking to Henry Jones and was a bit hard-hit by his death, not to mention the prospect of losing his daughter as well. At a Whig Party meeting, in Richmond on August 21st, before he was to speak, he ended up partaking of a little too much drink in the parlor room. His speech, a rather short one, went fine, but when the questions started to be asked, some of his responses were a bit interesting[54], to say the least....

Edited by Steve, Jul 1 2014, 11:34 PM.
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My apologies for anyone reading this, btw. Apparently, ZetaBoards does have limits on how many characters you can post at one time. Hopefully this doesn't detract too much from reading, though.


Quotes by John Tyler, Aug. 21st, 1840.

“Planters are people, too, my friend.”-In response to a question, and following remark, made by an anti-slavery fellow Whig.[54a]

“I'm not troubled by the concerns of the poor. Let the good Lord take care of 'em.”-Tyler's response to a question of what to do with the poorest Americans, particularly those families hardest hit by the Panic of '37. [54b]

“Now, I do wish, as much as anyone, that Martin Van Buren had been a successful leader, because surely, is it not true that we all wish for America to succeed? It is not so? But Van Buren has failed us, my friends; his policies have given way to disappointment and financial desolation. We cannot accept failure from our leaders. We must not. And that's why my colleague, William Harrison, is the man for the job. Because he knows how to achieve things, and achieve them well. And goddamn, am I proud of ol' Tippecanoe.....”[54c]


This excerpt was taken from “1840: The Election That Shaped 19th Century America”, by Donald J. Epperson. (c) 1977 Altona Press, Denver, Colo.

…..Tyler's semi-inebriated ramblings during the Richmond convention, surprisingly, did little to harm his standing amongst his more enthusiastic supporters; unfortunately, however, many other Whigs were somewhat alienated from him, and a mollified William Harrison had to deal with yet more bad press; Harrison later decided to keep Tyler under the spotlight, hoping to avoid any more incidents.

Meanwhile, Van Buren's hadn't been exactly been mistake & controversy free, either: Some of his disdainful remarks towards certain fellow Democrats whom he had a dislike for hadn't sat well with some, especially many moderates. He was also reproached by Jacksonians for what seemed to be a lack of willingness to stand by his old beliefs, and began to lose quite a bit of support in the South, especially Virginia and the Carolinas, Jackson's home turf.....[55]

This excerpt was taken from “1840: The Election That Shaped 19th Century America”, by Donald J. Epperson. (c) 1977 Altona Press, Denver, Colo.

By the end of September, both campaigns were fiercely neck-and-neck, with neither side really gaining much over the other. However, though, one trend began to become rather noticeable; Van Buren's support was solidifying amongst Northerners, while Harrison was becoming more and more dependent on the South to carry him to the White House. However, though, there would be one last blunder on the part of John Tyler that might have help seal his running mate's fate[56a].

During Harrison's last major Upper South campaign run in Baltimore on October 7th, Tyler was walking towards a hostel where he was to be staying, when he spotted a younger man on a corner on Conway Street passing out flyers. Tyler inquired as to the nature of the material, and the younger man showed him; Tyler became immediately dismayed to find out that this was campaign material for the Liberty Party. He began to behave in a somewhat bullish manner towards the man, who politely asked Tyler to leave him be. Tyler instead became more aggressive, and the other man, now slightly irritated, asked him to leave him alone again; Tyler took that as a sign of disrespect and then pushed the younger man slightly. He, in turn, had responded with a few obscenities, and that's when a now enraged Tyler took a hard left look and punched the other man squarely on the temple. Tyler had to be restrained by his entourage, who had been at a nearby cafe just across the street, before he did any worse damage to the man. This incident was to be forever known as the Baltimore Scandal, and Tyler became the first Vice-Presidential candidate to spend time in prison, even though it was only until the next morning.[56b]

Upon hearing of this, William Harrison requested that Tyler retire from the campaign trail and go home to be with his family, which Tyler reluctantly obliged[56c]. Harrison, meanwhile, struggled to maintain his image with voters, particularly many of those up north, who'd grown weary of his running mate.

Martin Van Buren, meanwhile, made one last rush to Missouri and Arkansas on the 20th, hoping to regain support from prospective voters in those states, having neglected the West for some time; to his relief, the last-minute blitz actually worked, as his opponent had never gone west of the Mississippi at all.....[57]

As the election drew to a close, it was already apparent to many that neither side had much of an advantage over the other and that the results were bound to be a close call; that prediction was looked upon in later years as understated; in a few states, the race was so close, that recounts were requested to ensure no mistakes in the results; in fact, Pennsylvania ballots were all recounted, twice! To be sure, both sides had their fingers crossed, and the fact that James G. Birney's dark horse Liberty Party had had a quite remarkable & impressive showing during the season, only complicated matters....[58a]

The popular vote was seemingly too close to call, so the Electoral College met in late November, and many hoped it would bring an end to the season. There was, however, a major problem: by an amazing statistical coincidence, both of the candidates had received 147 electoral votes, exactly. What truly complicated the matter is that both candidates had also won 13 states; and neither side was willing to budge as all 26 delegates voted with their party. This presented a truly major problem for Congress because both of the built-in failsafe measures hadn't worked as hoped, and tensions were starting to build up in both parties, and accusations started to fly. However, though, it was eventually decided to fall back on the popular vote to see who would be elected President that year....[58b]

After the votes were counted, the results were eventually made public. Although Harrison had put up a remarkably valiant fight, John Tyler's several gaffes, some of his own blunders, and an expected showing for James G. Birney had ultimately done too much harm to his campaign.[59]

….Despite the odds against him, Martin Van Buren had won the 1840 election by just 8,000 votes[60], and was therefore re-elected for a second term in the White House, to the disappointment of not just many Whigs, but many Jacksonian Democrats as well, who felt as if they'd been backstabbed by Van Buren[61].

Whatever the case, this election was sure to be about as controversial, and influential as 1824 had been for many years to come; not only did it help kickstart the trend of the North-South political divide[62a], but it even inspired a proposal for a new Constitutional Amendment[62b].....

[51] For sure.

[52]Probably should have done more of this IOTL.

[53]Can you say, 'Redenbacher', anyone?


[54a], [54b], [54c]-All based on Mitt Romney quotes, by the way. Bonus points if you can find which ones.

[55] Especially since he started turning away from Jacksonian policy.

[56a]No pun intended.

[56b]Shades of Preston Brooks/Charles Sumner, if you know what I mean.....

[56c]After all, he did have a dying daughter to attend to.....

[57]Dunno if this happened IOTL, as well.

[58a], [58b] Try to imagine what could have happened in 2012 if Obama and Romney had tied.

[59]Betcha you didn't see that coming, didja?

[60]I don't think any OTL election ever cut it this close outside of Gore vs. Bush in 2000.

[61]This is only the beginning, ladies and gentlemen. Van Buren is about to start ditching the Jacksonians altogether pretty soon.

[62a]Not that there weren't already some differences but the 1840 election is going to make that a lot worse.

[62b]This will be revealed later on, so stay tuned.


Quotes by John Tyler, Aug. 21st, 1840.

“Planters are people, too, my friend.”-In response to a question, and following remark, made by an anti-slavery fellow Whig.[54a]

“I'm not troubled by the concerns of the poor. Let the good Lord take care of 'em.”-Tyler's response to a question of what to do with the poorest Americans, particularly those families hardest hit by the Panic of '37. [54b]

“Now, I do wish, as much as anyone, that Martin Van Buren had been a successful leader, because surely, is it not true that we all wish for America to succeed? It is not so? But Van Buren has failed us, my friends; his policies have given way to disappointment and financial desolation. We cannot accept failure from our leaders. We must not. And that's why my colleague, William Harrison, is the man for the job. Because he knows how to achieve things, and achieve them well. And goddamn, am I proud of ol' Tippecanoe.....”[54c]


This excerpt was taken from “1840: The Election That Shaped 19th Century America”, by Donald J. Epperson. (c) 1977 Altona Press, Denver, Colo.

…..Tyler's semi-inebriated ramblings during the Richmond convention, surprisingly, did little to harm his standing amongst his more enthusiastic supporters; unfortunately, however, many other Whigs were somewhat alienated from him, and a mollified William Harrison had to deal with yet more bad press; Harrison later decided to keep Tyler under the spotlight, hoping to avoid any more incidents.

Meanwhile, Van Buren's hadn't been exactly been mistake & controversy free, either: Some of his disdainful remarks towards certain fellow Democrats whom he had a dislike for hadn't sat well with some, especially many moderates. He was also reproached by Jacksonians for what seemed to be a lack of willingness to stand by his old beliefs, and began to lose quite a bit of support in the South, especially Virginia and the Carolinas, Jackson's home turf.....[55]

This excerpt was taken from “1840: The Election That Shaped 19th Century America”, by Donald J. Epperson. (c) 1977 Altona Press, Denver, Colo.

By the end of September, both campaigns were fiercely neck-and-neck, with neither side really gaining much over the other. However, though, one trend began to become rather noticeable; Van Buren's support was solidifying amongst Northerners, while Harrison was becoming more and more dependent on the South to carry him to the White House. However, though, there would be one last blunder on the part of John Tyler that might have help seal his running mate's fate[56a].

During Harrison's last major Upper South campaign run in Baltimore on October 7th, Tyler was walking towards a hostel where he was to be staying, when he spotted a younger man on a corner on Conway Street passing out flyers. Tyler inquired as to the nature of the material, and the younger man showed him; Tyler became immediately dismayed to find out that this was campaign material for the Liberty Party. He began to behave in a somewhat bullish manner towards the man, who politely asked Tyler to leave him be. Tyler instead became more aggressive, and the other man, now slightly irritated, asked him to leave him alone again; Tyler took that as a sign of disrespect and then pushed the younger man slightly. He, in turn, had responded with a few obscenities, and that's when a now enraged Tyler took a hard left look and punched the other man squarely on the temple. Tyler had to be restrained by his entourage, who had been at a nearby cafe just across the street, before he did any worse damage to the man. This incident was to be forever known as the Baltimore Scandal, and Tyler became the first Vice-Presidential candidate to spend time in prison, even though it was only until the next morning.[56b]

Upon hearing of this, William Harrison requested that Tyler retire from the campaign trail and go home to be with his family, which Tyler reluctantly obliged[56c]. Harrison, meanwhile, struggled to maintain his image with voters, particularly many of those up north, who'd grown weary of his running mate.

Martin Van Buren, meanwhile, made one last rush to Missouri and Arkansas on the 20th, hoping to regain support from prospective voters in those states, having neglected the West for some time; to his relief, the last-minute blitz actually worked, as his opponent had never gone west of the Mississippi at all.....[57]

As the election drew to a close, it was already apparent to many that neither side had much of an advantage over the other and that the results were bound to be a close call; that prediction was looked upon in later years as understated; in a few states, the race was so close, that recounts were requested to ensure no mistakes in the results; in fact, Pennsylvania ballots were all recounted, twice! To be sure, both sides had their fingers crossed, and the fact that James G. Birney's dark horse Liberty Party had had a quite remarkable & impressive showing during the season, only complicated matters....[58a]

The popular vote was seemingly too close to call, so the Electoral College met in late November, and many hoped it would bring an end to the season. There was, however, a major problem: by an amazing statistical coincidence, both of the candidates had received 147 electoral votes, exactly. What truly complicated the matter is that both candidates had also won 13 states; and neither side was willing to budge as all 26 delegates voted with their party. This presented a truly major problem for Congress because both of the built-in failsafe measures hadn't worked as hoped, and tensions were starting to build up in both parties, and accusations started to fly. However, though, it was eventually decided to fall back on the popular vote to see who would be elected President that year....[58b]

After the votes were counted, the results were eventually made public. Although Harrison had put up a remarkably valiant fight, John Tyler's several gaffes, some of his own blunders, and an expected showing for James G. Birney had ultimately done too much harm to his campaign.[59]

….Despite the odds against him, Martin Van Buren had won the 1840 election by just 8,000 votes[60], and was therefore re-elected for a second term in the White House, to the disappointment of not just many Whigs, but many Jacksonian Democrats as well, who felt as if they'd been backstabbed by Van Buren[61].

Whatever the case, this election was sure to be about as controversial, and influential as 1824 had been for many years to come; not only did it help kickstart the trend of the North-South political divide[62a], but it even inspired a proposal for a new Constitutional Amendment[62b].....

[51] For sure.

[52]Probably should have done more of this IOTL.

[53]Can you say, 'Redenbacher', anyone?


[54a], [54b], [54c]-All based on Mitt Romney quotes, by the way. Bonus points if you can find which ones.

[55] Especially since he started turning away from Jacksonian policy.

[56a]No pun intended.

[56b]Shades of Preston Brooks/Charles Sumner, if you know what I mean.....

[56c]After all, he did have a dying daughter to attend to.....

[57]Dunno if this happened IOTL, as well.

[58a], [58b] Try to imagine what could have happened in 2012 if Obama and Romney had tied.

[59]Betcha you didn't see that coming, didja?

[60]I don't think any OTL election ever cut it this close outside of Gore vs. Bush in 2000.

[61]This is only the beginning, ladies and gentlemen. Van Buren is about to start ditching the Jacksonians altogether pretty soon.

[62a]Not that there weren't already some differences but the 1840 election is going to make that a lot worse.

[62b]This will be revealed later on, so stay tuned.

Intermission #1: An Easter Reflection.

Kinderhook, New York
Apr. 11th, 1841

Martin Van Buren was glad to be back in his hometown after a dreadfully tiring year of electioneering. Having won another term in office, Van Buren hoped that he'd be warmly welcomed back here for the Easter celebrations. To his relief, he was; in fact, even some local Whigs had turned up.

“So, Mr. President,” said one of the patrons, “what'cha gonna do about the economy?”

“I've done some thinking,” said the President, “and I now realize that Jackson had it all wrong. We do need a national bank to help keep our economy running smoothly.”

“Will you curb the influence of the bankers?”, asked another man.

“Yes, I shall.” replied the President. “The Founders did warn us against allowing monied interests to dominate our government, and I now realize that I was foolish to follow in Jackson's footsteps in that regard.”

“What about Texas?”, inquired a short and pale Dutchman.

“Well, to be honest with you, I believe we ought to wait and see if the situation resolves itself. But if that little would-be Napoleon in Mexico, Santa Anna, starts to make any foolish moves, he'll be the first to understand that no one trifles with America without a fight. Because to fool with America, is to tempt fate itself.”, said Van Buren, with applause from the crowd.

“Alright, but what about the slavers?”, said the first man.

Van Buren replied,”We can encourage more Yankees to settle westward, to counter any possibility of a slaver-dominated Texas. I believe some of you may have heard of a man named Lysander Spooner?”

“Yes, I do recall,”, said the second man, “A cousin of mine told me about him and that he was going to Texas to join his party. And from what he's been telling me, they seem to be doing mighty fine down there, thus far.”

“Then we can use the success of Spooner's colony as an example.”, said the President, 'And hope that the colony doesn't get razed by angry planters, Santa Anna, or the Indians in the meantime', he thought silently.

“Sounds good to me,”, said the Dutchman, “I've been itching for some adventure already.”.

“Yeah, if you can survive crazy slaver lynch mobs, Mexicans with a grudge, and Indian arrows flying at you, I'd say you'd be good to go then.”, said the first man, eliciting chuckles from several men in the room, himself included.

15 minutes later, the bartender brought drinks to the table where Van Buren and several other men, including the three he'd just conversed with; they toasted each other, and then the others broke out in song:

“For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), which nobody can deny
Which nobody can deny, which nobody can deny
For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), which nobody can deny!”

“Congratulations, Mr. President!”, they all cheered. Van Buren smiled, feeling redeemed at last. The minute he got back to Washington, he'd start changing things for good.


Somewhere in Virginia
April 11, 1841

John Tyler was a man going through the worst days of his life; first he lost his son-in-law to yellow fever. Then he was humiliated by James G. Birney, and the whippersnapper in Baltimore, and abandoned by the Whig Party, and now had to deal with the loss of his beloved daughter, Mary. As he kneeled at the graves of Mary and her husband Henry, he uttered a short prayer, and then after he was done, began to turn away. And as he started off for home, he began to wonder: 'Perhaps someone's trying to tell me something. Maybe, just maybe, I need to think about what I've done and said this past year and a half and reflect on it, and perhaps, dare I say it, make amends for my sins and errors.'. And with that, Tyler began put his thoughts into serious consideration.....


North Bend, Ohio
April 4, 1841

William Henry Harrison was not necessarily the happiest man in America, but neither was he depressed, either: he did love living in North Bend, and with his family. And watching the younger children of his son John Scott at play pleased him, and served to comfort him against the defeat of a lifetime. Sitting on the front porch, he sipped some old hard cider that he'd bought from a store a few miles out of town. 'At least I still have my cabin, and my family. A content man, I certainly am.', he thought to himself, ironically. Indeed, what more could one want?

Edited by Steve, Jul 1 2014, 11:38 PM.
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Hi there Chrisy. This is for you, by the way:

Chapter 2: Beginnings of the Texas-Mexican War.

Colegio Alberto Cardenas
Ciudad Torres, Michoacan
May 4, 1979

It was a bright and sunny Friday afternoon in Ciudad Torres. The sun stood high in a clear and cloudless sky, and 22-year-old Francisco Toricella sat on a bench finishing off a lunch of lightly breaded jerk chicken with a slightly spicy mole sauce, with fritas Francesas and a soda on the side.
It was 12:48 and classes were about to start soon, so Francisco decided to finish his meal quickly, and threw his plate in the trash and his soda bottle in a recycling container. After taking a bathroom break, he decided to go back in the building and chat with his friends, and maybe daydream a little about his girlfriend Juanita, who he was going to visit on Saturday; the very thought of seeing her pretty, curvaceous face made him quite content indeed.

At 1:00 p.m., the bell rang, and Professor Alberto Gutierrez walked into the classroom. “Buenos dias, clase.”, he said, “I hope you're all ready to start learning, because today's assignment is one we've been preparing for some time now; a retrospective of past Amero-Mexican conflicts from 1840 until the First World War.”. “I trust you've all done some studying, though perhaps maybe some more than others.”, and some of the students chuckled a little. He winked, and continued. “Mr. Toricelli, perhaps you could start us off as to why we started off with the year 1840, last October?”.

Francisco smiled. “Well, sir, isn't that the year when U.S. President Martin Van Buren won his second term in office?”, he replied.

“That's good, Francisco,”, said Dr. Gutierrez, “though I was hoping for something a little more specific. What is one reason that Martin Van Buren's second term more positively remembered than the first, in America?”

“Because he was willing to help broker a cease-fire with Mexico after Santa Anna's troops invaded Texas without provocation in the Texas-Mexican War, instead of invading our country. He also was the first American President to engage in extensive positive dialogue with Mexican officials, which led to the establishment of the first embassy to Mexico in 1844.”, said Francisco.

“Very good, indeed. Van Buren is also well-regarded in this country as well, for that same reason. He also helped negotiate between the pro and anti-slavery factions of settlers in Texas, as well as between whites in general and Mexicanos, which resulted in less tension in that area over time.”. “Also, can anyone answer exactly why and how the Texas-Mexican War started and it's impact on American and Mexican history from that point onwards?”

One of Francisco's classmates, a taller young lady named Sabrina, answered, “The Raid on San Antonio, right? After all, that was what really ruffled Sam Houston's feathers, and what drove Texas into a tizzy.”

“Well yes, Miss Fuentes, that was indeed an important event, but it actually started just a little earlier than that, though.”

“I got it!”, said Joneta, another female classmate. “It was the invasion of Victoria and Refugio in March, 1842, and that really scared the Texans. In fact, Sam Houston actually wanted to have the archives moved out of Austin so Santa Anna's men couldn't destroy them, sparking the Archives War.”

“You learn something new every day, I suppose.”, said Sabrina, smiling. Nods of agreement came from several other students, Francisco included.

“Very good, Miss Santana. The Victoria and Refugio raids prompted the Texan government to declare war against Mexico on March 30th of 1842, although the raiders had retreated back into Mexico a couple weeks earlier. There was little major action, however, until the raid on San Antonio in September.”
“And how did America react?”, asked a swarthy and pudgy 19-year old named Benito.

“Truth be told, Mr. Gomez, there were those in the United States, even some in the Northwest, let alone many in the South and Old West, who wanted their country to intervene on Texas's behalf. But Martin Van Buren, pragmatist that he was, realized that sparking a wider war was not in the interest of the United States. Instead, as I pointed out earlier, Van Buren instead decided to help write up a cease-fire between the two countries, which eased tensions for a little while.”

“I see now. Van Buren must have been one heck of a shrewd politician.”, said Benito.

“Indeed he was.”, Dr. Gutierrez replied.

“What could have happened, Professor, if Santa Anna hadn't invaded Texas?”, asked Anita, a friend of Francisco, like Sabrina and a few others in the class.

“Very good question, Mrs. Bonilla.”, said the professor. “Nobody knows for sure, but perhaps Santa Anna's influence might have lasted a little longer, rather than his ousting in 1846, which many historians believe was partly motivated by the Texas-Mexican Wars.....”

Francisco sat as his desk, now truly interested in the class he was taking. “Yeah,”, he thought, “what if?”. And a million possibilities began to float thru his mind.....


J.P. Willson High School
McKinney, East Texas
Mar. 14, 1982

It was a cloudy and overcast Thursday afternoon in this still-sleepy Dallas/Ft. Worth area bedroom community of 45,000 people, and the students of Bradley Baker's 8th Grade Texas History Class were quite terribly bored at the moment; this week had been a slow one, mainly due to Spring Break coming up next Monday, and Mr. Baker was having a hard time keeping his students engaged. On the blackboard, he wrote: “Texas Republic Retrospective Week Two: the War of 1842”. A couple of his students gave an audible sigh, one of them putting his head down on his desk.

“Is there a problem, Jamie?” Mr. Baker asked.

“Yeah, Mr. Baker. Why we still doin' this crap, anyhow?” “Can't we go back to the exciting stuff, like Reconstruction?”

“Well, erm....yes, we will eventually, but this was a very important part of this state's history, as well as others in the region. It also had a further effect on America, and you'll see why if you pay attention enough.”

“What about the Civil War?”, asked Billy, a friend of Jamie's and another student.

“Well, Billy, without the Texas-Mexican War, or the War of 1842 as we call it, the Civil War, probably would have gone quite a bit differently that it did in our world, at least west of the Mississippi. You see, it was then that Sam Houston, as I'm sure you may recall, proved himself to be the great leader that he truly was, and his actions during these tough days would prove to be quite the testament when he began to reach for higher office, as well as at the start of the Civil War. We should always try to remember one thing; any event, big or small, can shape both the individual and his country as a whole, as the great historian Allan Stirling put it. Now, if we could turn our textbooks to page 275.....”


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Taken from: “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston. (c) 1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.[1]

January 1842 saw tensions across a critical tipping point as one of Santa Anna's top generals, Mariano Arista, issued a statement to the Texans that their continued defense of their independence was futile; he offered amnesty to those who remained neutral should there be an invasion but also warned that those who resisted would be swiftly and harshly punished. Sam Houston, just re-elected president, wrote back: “We have no desire to stand down, General. You want Texas back? Come and take it, then!”.....[snip]

Finally After some weeks of saber-rattling, Santa Anna decided to make the first move towards war; on the 21st, Gen. Arista ordered his men to march north, towards a still unprepared Texas. On March 3rd, hundreds of Mexican troops were seen racing towards the cities of Refugio and Victoria. And when word reached the rest of Texas, a mass panic broke out in several cities, including Austin and San Antonio; in fact, the Texian army even retreated from San Antonio, and the Mexican army occupied it, and Goliad as well, by March 10th. President Houston ordered the militias to be withdrawn to fight on March 15th, but by then, the Mexicans had already started to retreat back towards their home country.

Even without much damage being done, the March raid caused much concern for many Texians, particularly those in the western settlements. In response to this, President Houston made a call for volunteers & monetary assistance from willing parties in the United States shortly thereafter. And on March 30th, Houston declared war on Santa Anna's Mexico. However, though, there was very little in the way of action until the month of September.....

Excerpted from a letter written by Sam Houston to Santa Anna, March 21, 1842.

“Whatever opinions you may have entertained in relation to the difficulties existing between Mexico and Texas, they cannot disprove the facts and principles involved, nor can they materially influence the decision of mankind upon the justice of our righteous cause.”

“The abuse and ribald epithets which you have applied to the citizens of this country, as well as those of the United States, the South in particular, are, to be frank, doubtless characteristic of the individual who gave them utterance. So far as the people of this country are concerned, I shall refer you to a history of facts and circumstances connected with the settlement of the country of Texas. I shall pass by with slight notice your remarks relative to the United States. So far as our origin is connected with the Americans, we are proud to hail them as our kindred – kindred in heritage, kindred in laws, kindred in all the ennobling attributes of humanity, regardless of whether they are from the North, or the South. ”

“The people of Texas were invited to migrate to this country for the purpose of enjoying equal rights and constitutional liberty. They were promised the shield of the Constitution of 1824, adopted by Mexico....Citizens of the United States had engaged in the revolution of Mexico, in 1812. They, fought gallantly in the achievement of Mexican independence, and many of them survive, and to this day occupy the soil.....On their removal here, they brought with them no aspirations or projects but such as were loyal to the Constitution of Mexico. They repelled the wild and un-civilized Indian savages ; they encountered every discomfort ; they subdued the wilderness, and converted into cultivated fields the idle waste of this now prolific territory. Their courage and enterprise achieved that which the timidity and laziness of your Spaniard ancestors had so completely neglected.”

“The Texians, enduring the annoyances and oppressions inflicted upon them, remained faithful to the Constitution of Mexico. In 1832, when an attempt was made to destroy that Constitution, and when you, sir, threw yourself forward as its avowed champion, you were sustained with all the fidelity and valor that freemen could contribute. On the avowal of your principles, and in accordance with them, the people put down the serviles of despotism at Anahuac, Velasco, and Nacogdoches. They treated the captives of that struggle with humanity, and sent them to Mexico subject to your orders. They regarded you as the friend of liberty and free institutions ; they hailed you as a benefactor of mankind ; your name and your actions were lauded, and the manifestations you had given in behalf of the nation were themes of satisfaction and delight to the Texian patriots.”

“You can well imagine the transition of feeling which ensued on your accession to power. Your subversion of the Constitution of 1824, your establishment of centralism, your conquest of Zacatecas, characterized by every act of violence, cruelty, and rapine, against your fellow countrymen, inflicted upon us the profoundest astonishment.”

“Although you are pleased to characterize our occupation of Texas and defense of our unalienable rights as the " most scandalous robbery of the present age," only one-fourth of a century ago, Mexico perpetrated a similar robbery upon the rights of the Crown of Spain. The magnitude of , and reason for, the theft may give dignity to the robbery. In that you do have the advantage.

“Heretofore you entertained the opinion that Mexico could never conquer Texas, and, if it were possible for her to drive every Texian from the soil, that Mexico could not maintain her position on the Sabine, and the retreat of her army would be the signal for the return of the Texians, who would reoccupy their homes and pursue the Mexicans as far as the Rio Grande ; and that Mexico, in preservation of the integrity of the territory which she then possessed, would gain an advantage by abandoning all hopes of conquering Texas, and direct her attention to the improvement of her internal condition.”

“In an individual so intelligent as yourself, it does seem to me that you have evinced very bad taste by adverting to the subject of slavery, in the internal affairs of this country. Your opinions, whilst here, on this subject were fully and freely avowed. You then believed that it would be of great advantage to Mexico to introduce slave labor into that country; that it would develop her resources, by enabling her to produce cotton, sugar, and coffee, for purposes of exportation ; and that without it she would be seriously retarded in her march to greatness and prosperity. Your sympathy and commiseration at present expressed, are no doubt very sincere, and I only regret that they partake so little of consistency. You boast that Mexico gave the noble and illustrious example of emancipating her slaves. The fact that she has the name of having done so, has enabled you to add another flourish to your rhetoric. But the examination of facts for one moment will disclose the truth. The slaves of Mexico, you say, were emancipated. Did you elevate them to the condition of freemen ? No, you did not; you gave them the name of freedom, but you reduced the common people to the condition of slaves It is not uncommon in Mexico for one dignitary, upon his hacienda, to control from one hundred to ten thousand human beings, in a state of bondage more abject and intolerable than the negroes on most plantations in the United States, as far as can be seen. If an individual in Mexico owes but twenty-five cents, by application to an alcalde the creditor can have him, with his family, decreed to his service, and to remain in that state of slavery until he is able to pay the debt from the wages accruing from his labor, after being compelled to subsist his dependent family ,this you call freedom ; and graciously bestow your supposed sympathy upon the African race. The Abolitionists of the present day will not feel that they are indebted to you for your support of their cause. Had some one else other than the dictator of Mexico, or the self-styled " Napoleon of the West" - the subverter of the Constitution of 1824, the projector of centralism, and the man who endeavors to reduce a nation to slavery - become their advocate, they might have been more sensible of their obligation in regards to Texas. Slavery it was entailed upon us by Mexico. So far as its increase can be prevented, our Constitution and laws have presented every obstacle. They will be maintained to the letter : and on account of slavery, Texas can incur no honest reproach.”

“You tauntingly invite Texas to cover herself anew with the Mexican flag. You certainly intend this as mockery. You denied us the enjoyment of the laws under which we came to the country. Her flag was never raised in our behalf, or has it been seen in Texas unless when displayed in an attempt at our subjugation. We know your lenity - we know your mercy - we are ready again to test your power. You have threatened to plant your banner on the banks of the Sabine. Is this done to intimidate us ? Is it done to alarm us.? Or do you deem it the most successful mode of conquest ? If the latter, it may do to amuse the people surrounding you. If to alarm us, it will amuse those conversant with the history of your last campaign. If to intimidate us, the threat is idle. We have desired peace. You have annoyed our frontier - you have harassed our citizens- you have incarcerated our traders, after your commissioners had been kindly received, and your citizens allowed the privileges of commerce in Texas without molestation - you continue aggression - you will not accord us peace. We will have it. You threaten to conquer Texas- we will war with Mexico. The issue involves the fate of nations. Destiny must determine. Its course is only known to the tribunal of Heaven. If experience of the past will authorize speculations of the future, the attitude of Mexico is more " problematical " than that of Texas. “

“In the war which will be conducted by Texas against Mexico, our incentive will not be a love of conquest ; it will be to disarm tyranny of its power. We will make no war upon Mexicans, or their religion. Our efforts shall be made in behalf of the liberties of the people, and directed against the authorities of the country, and against your principles, or lack thereof. We will exalt the condition of the people to representative freedom ; they shall choose their own rulers ; they shall possess their property in peace, and it shall not be taken from them to support an armed soldiery, for the purpose of oppression. “

“With these principles, we will march across the Rio Grande ; and believe me, sir, the standard of the single star, borne by the people of the great nation-state of Texas, shall indeed display its bright folds in liberty's triumph on the banks of the Sabine.”

[1]With apologies to OTL historian William Carey Crane.

[2]And special thanks to FamilyTales (dot) org for the real letter: http://www.familytales.org/dbDisplay.php?id=ltr_sah5976


Taken from: “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston. (c) 1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

As tensions continued to mount later in the spring, and through the summer of 1842, Houston's Texas, and Santa Anna's Mexico continued to eye each other with extreme mistrust & suspicion, and the leaders of the respective nations began to engage in rousing their populations in support against the other.

On June 20th, 1842, Santa Anna called the Mexican Congress together for an impromptu meeting; he announced that he was soon to disband Congress and that it would be replaced by a Junta de Notables, and that an official state of war now existed with Texas...[3]


“The territory of Texas has been usurped to the end of making possible other usurpations. Mexico must combat the perfidious rebels without intermission, and at cost of whatever sacrifices may be needed, until her arms and her rights triumph."

-Antonio de Santa Anna, Mexican dictator, in a speech to the Mexican Congress, June 20th, 1842.[4]


Excerpts from “Santa Anna: The Man, and The Legend”, by Juan A. Rosales.
(c) 1988, Coverdale Books, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

One of the most important figures in Santa Anna's Junta was one Jose Maria de Tornel, a longtime confidant of his. Born on March 1, 1795, in Orizaba, Veracruz, to Julian Tornel, a well-known businessman and his wife, Manuela Jacinta Bernarda Mendivil Vidal, Tornel participated in the Revolution, circa 1813, and was involved in the Plan of Iguala, the peace treaty in which Spain recognized Mexico's independence. He also had served as Ambassador to the United States from 1829-31, and he later graduated to the Department of War, serving as it's minister from 1841 until Santa Anna's deposition at the end of the Mexican War...[5]

...By the summer of 1842, Tornel had realized that the federalistas were rapidly gaining the upper hand and he urged Santa Anna to step up his measures of holding his power, playing on his fears of losing control of the country, though Tornel himself was concerned about that possibility as well; he reminded Santa Anna of what had happened in the Yucatan and Coahuila, and warned that not enough action would surely lead to the end of Mexico's existence as a functioning nation[6]. After minimal deliberation, Santa Anna initiated the final step of his increasingly desperate plan. On August 3, 1842, Congress was totally disbanded, and the entire country was placed under a state of emergency[7].

One of Santa Anna's first actions was to go after politicians whose opinions displeased him in any way, shape or form. amongst his regime's first victims were Melchor Alvarez, Jose Mariano Michelena, and Manuel Gomez Pedraza, all more notable opponents of his; two of these three men would later go on to become Presidents of Mexico.....[8]

….Santa Anna had also begun preparations for the first major military campaign against the Texians since the failed San Jacinto attack, hoping to finally eradicate, what he saw as the most annoying of the pests that sucked Mexico's blood dry, once, and for all. And for this task, he selected Generals Mariano Arista, and Adrian Woll, to carry out his orders....[9]

Taken from: “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston. (c) 1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Throughout the month of August, concerns were mounting with each passing week that Santa Anna might be preparing for a full-blown invasion of Texas, and calls for a second reconstitution of the Texian militias began to make the rounds in Austin. Texas President Sam Houston, though preferring to keep the state of virtual peace that had existed since 1840 as long as possible, also realized that Santa Anna very well could follow through on his threats, particularly if the latest spy reports were even partly correct. So, after 5 weeks of inactivity, the Texas Militia was called back into service on August 21, 1842, by direct order of President Houston, and was ordered to begin preparations for combat[10]...

...By the time September rolled around, hostilities had reached their peak, and both sides awaited for the first blows of combat to fall, marking the start of the next great Texas vs. Mexico struggle. And it wasn't two weeks into autumn that the vital tipping point was indeed reached.

On August 31st, General Adrian Woll began his trek across the Rio Grande, with 1,400 soldiers and about 200 or so scouts on hand, many of them Indians friendly to Mexico, including dozens of Comanches. Amongst Woll's best officers were Coronels Cayetano Montero and Pedro Rangel, and Capt. Jose M. Carrasco, who had previously served under Santa Anna's own personal regiment several years back.

Over the next ten days, Woll's forces snuck across Laredo, and then traversed the very edge of the Hill Country virtually unnoticed, using an old robber's trail to do so, and by the 10th of September, were within just 10 miles west of the town of San Antonio.

The only warning that the Texians received that something was amiss was when President Houston was informed on the morning of the 9th, that a pair of Mexican spies had been captured trying to cross the Guadalupe River, and that one of them had given away some information concerning the planned invasion. At that time, the only assistance to be found in the area at the moment came from Jack Hays and his small crew of 20 men; and they were short of ammunition. To get more supplies, Hays ran out to Austin to stock up. The city's current mayor, John W. Smith, decided to head out to the Alamo Plaza, more specifically to the Maverick House, to establish a makeshift defense structure on the morning of Sept. 10th. In the meantime, he ordered the city's courthouse to adjourn early and for the church bells to sound a warning notice; citizens were either to evacuate or stay at home[11].
Capt. Hays arrived back from Austin that afternoon and rode just to the south the city just before sundown to see if he could find any invading forces; unfortunately, of course, he had no luck in this regard. Roughly around the same time, Seguin's postmaster received a letter from San Antonio Mayor Smith, requesting 100 men be sent towards San Antonio, though adding: “Let there be no alarm as of yet. We have found from sad experience, previously, the unfortunate consequences of a false rumor.[12]”

Just after 7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, there were a few people in San Antonio who were woken up to the frantic yells of, “The Mexicans are coming! The Mexicans are coming!”, from a young scout in the employ of Capt. Hays. When Judge Hutchinson talked to the boy, he realized that the young man had just stumbled into another plot to attack the city and rushed to Chauncey Johnson's home to inform him of the news. A horrified Johnson scrambled to get some volunteers under his command, gathering about 60 by 8:45 a.m.; they then rushed into the Maverick home, awaiting the inevitable battle that would follow. 20 minutes later, at 9:05 a.m., another scout reported that General Woll's men had begun to encircle the town and were about to make a move; Johnson and Hays ordered their men to stand by and ready themselves for imminent combat.
At 9:11 a.m., a cannon shot echoed thru the clearing, though still thickish, morning fog; any residents who were still sleeping would soon be wide awake. In response, several of Johnson's men fired on a few advancing cavalrymen, killing one of them, as well as a pair of their horses. Four more Mexican soldiers died over the next 30 minutes but when a pair of cannons were turned on the Maverick Home, 60 of the Texians surrendered on the spot; by noon, 62 of the 86 Texians who had been present as resistance were prisoners of the Army, including Jack Hays, Judge Hutchinson, and Mayor Smith; Chauncey Johnson had escaped with 19 of the Texians, Dr. Caleb Brown was allowed to remain free as an additional doctor treating the wounded, and five others had died on the scene, including Baptist preacher Z.N. Morrell[13], who had shot at, and nearly killed, Captain Jose Carrasco about an hour after Hays had surrendered. Shortly before sundown, Chauncey Johnson rode into Austin and informed President Houston of the somber news regarding the crisis in San Antonio.

Throughout the next few days, Colonel, Matthew Caldwell as well as Capts. Nicholas Mosby Dawson, and A.C. Horton all began to take up arms and men and rush towards San Antonio to take the city back from the invaders. On the 15th, Caldwell and his 125 men met with Chauncey Johnson at Cibolo Creek, about 20 miles due east of San Antonio, to determine the size and location of the enemy army; Johnson volunteered to be the man to carry out this vital duty[14].

At the same time, Nicholas Dawson had gathered his own army of 52 men during his trek from La Grange and would arrive at the Cibolo Creek late on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Col. Caldwell decided to move his men 13 miles closer to San Antonio, to a site along Salado Creek, where he met back up with Chauncey Johnson and his Rangers. The Texian forces under these three men, numbered 210 men in total, the only forces available for the battle that would follow.
Caldwell was elected commander of this ragtag force, with Johnson at the head of the scouting party. Launcelot Smither[15], a San Antonio doctor who had lived through the battle of the Alamo, was the official head physician of the group, and local minister W.P. Smith served as a chaplain.

Though they were outnumbered 7-to-1, Caldwell decided to draw out Woll's forces out of San Antonio and on to the open prairie. He hoped that by doing this, it would make up for at least some of the numerical disadvantages that they faced. During the night on Saturday, plans were drawn up to carry out Caldwell's plan: Johnson and two dozen scouts would ride into the town, harass the Mexican's and lead Woll and his men onto the Salado prairie and into the Texians' trap.

At 7:30 the next morning, nine of the Texians rode out into San Antonio, shooting pistols and shouting at the startled morning guards[16]. They went straight up the plaza, and then made a hard dash back up the New Braunfels road. A mollified Woll immediately ordered 200 of his men under Carrasco to pursue the Texians; the Mexican horses proved to be in better shape than the mounts of the Texians, but the Texians made it safely home anyway. However, Carrasco's men caught up with them about half an hour later stood at arms just east of the Texian camp. Captain Vicente Cordova and 400 men under his command joined them at around 10 a.m., with General Woll himself leading about 500 more to the area at 1 p.m., for a total of about 1,100 soldiers in all, versus 200 Texians, a 5.5-to-1 fight.

At 1:30 p.m., Woll ordered his men to fire on the Texians, and the Texians, in turn, particularly the men under Chauncey Johnson's command, responded in kind; the Battle of Salado Creek was now beginning to unfold.

The first couple hours of the battle were inconclusive, as several skirmishes each ended in a stalemate for both sides, but the Texians, though badly outnumbered, began to successfully feint against the Mexicans and their continuous disappearances down into the bottom of the creek began to seriously frustrate Woll and his commanders; Caldwell's tactics were so effective that his company suffered no losses at all during the entire battle, while Woll lost over 40, including a handful of the Cherokee Indians who hadn't otherwise been recruited into Col. Cordova's regiment.

Caldwell did, however, send for reinforcements, to be extra safe, though he had no real fears of being outright defeated, as this letter shows: "The enemy are around me on every side, but I fear them not. I will hold my position until I hear from reinforcements. Come and help me—it is the most favorable opportunity I have ever seen. There are eleven hundred of the enemy. I can whip them on any ground, without any help, but can not take any prisoners. Why don't you come? Huzzah! Huzzah for Texas!"[17]

In the end, Adrian Woll decided that it was best to retreat back to San Antonio for the time being, and at 7 p.m., ordered that his buglers play the official victory call and to gather up whatever fallen comrades could be removed and to head back to San Antonio. 63 of the Mexicans had perished that day, including 7 of the Cherokee mercenaries.

However, though, all was not quite perfect for the Texians, either, as they had lost one of their own men. Noah Taylor Byers, a Baptist preacher from South Carolina, and a recent recruit under the command of A.C. Horton, had been cut down while trying to retrieve a horse he had borrowed from a friend. Fellow Texian Stephen Jett managed to kill three of the four Mexicans harassing Rev. Byers, including the one who shot him, but Byers died from his wounds about 15 minutes after he was shot. It was, however, a minor loss for Caldwell's company.[18] Unfortunately, however, his compatriot, Nicholas Dawson wasn't to be so lucky....

While en route to aid Mathew Caldwell's company at Salado Creek, Dawson and 52 of his men ran into a couple of scouts at Cibolo Creek, who told them that the battle was at hand already. Believing that Caldwell might be in serious trouble, Dawson made a hasty decision to move forward, and his two oldest men, Joe Shaw and Zadock Woods, shouted to charge forward. Unfortunately, there was a hitch: their charge took them right across the same prairie that General Woll had camped on, and just after 4 p.m., they were spotted by Col. Montero, who'd taken charge of Woll's rear guard.

Realizing the trouble, Dawson made a split-second decision to hide in a one-acre cluster of mesquite and brush in the middle of the prairie. As the over 200 Mexicans surrounded them, Dawson ordered his men to hold steady, and when Col. Carrasco called for a peaceful surrender, Dawson's Texians instead responded with a full-blown volley of gunfire from the brush, killing a pair of the Mexicans, and a failed preliminary assault was met with the deaths of three more Mexicans. The tide turned, however, when Carrasco ordered a pair of cannons to be rolled out towards the brush; a dozen Texians died within 20 minutes, including Henry Woods, one of the two sons of Zadock Woods present at that time.
What followed at 4:40 p.m. was nothing but a bloodbath, with Mexican lancers stabbing and slashing their warythru the brush[19]. Only a horrified Carrasco was able to stop the massacre from getting worse.[20]

By 5 p.m., of the 53 Texians who had participated in hostilities, 35 lay dead, and 16 others had been taken prisoner, including Dawson and Zadock Woods. Nicholas Dawson was one of the survivors, and soon after being captured, realized why he'd lived; his scout, Alsey Miller[21], had dove in front of him, and taken the shot. A mollified Dawson surrendered without any further resistance.

However, though, two of his men had been fortunate enough to escape; Gonsalvo Woods, Zadock's surviving son, and a friend, James Nichols, ran straight towards Seguin with all possible haste, and arrived in the city on the 19th. They relayed a letter directly towards Sam Houston, the President of the Republic of Texas, which was received on later than evening. In response, President Houston ordered a full deployment of all Texian forces, and the Texas-Mexican War was begun in earnest.....[22]


[3]Not much of a state of war when you're not actually engaged in combat, though, eh?

[4]Very lightly modified version of an OTL quote.

[5]What actually happens to Tornel after Santa Anna is gone will be left up to readers to speculate for now. (Keep on reading. =))

[6]The irony here is quite astounding when one thinks about it.

[7]Took until December IOTL, but what difference does it make?

[8]Which ones? You'll find out.

[9]Of course, how well they do is another question altogether.

[10]Tensions building.....

[11]They didn't have warning sirens or the Emergency Broadcast System back then, you see. Upside: you don't risk losing your hearing from being too darn close to a siren's wail nor did they have to deal with those annoying 30-second beeps on the TV every so often. Downside: some people probably couldn't tell if it was time for services or there really was an attack going on until somebody cleared things up.

[12]For an OTL example, consider some of the fearmongering that happened in the weeks immediately after 9/11.

[13]Butterflies have begun to really fly down here: Z.N. Morrell lived until 1880 or so, IOTL, and became a noted religious leader in Texas, founding one of the first Baptist churches.

[14]Chauncey Johnson was a Vermonter who was captured by Woll's troops IOTL. Here, Jack Hays has taken his place.

[15]Launcelot Smither received some basic medical training from 1840 to the summer of 1842 ITTL; IOTL, he did not. Smither would die by Adrian Woll's hand in Sept. 1842 IOTL, but here, he doesn't.

[16]A tactic which would be copied later on by others....

[17]Yes, but Dwight Eisenhower you are not, Mr. Caldwell.....

[18]N.T. Byers was another South Carolina preacher who became a noted reverend in the Lone Star State IOTL, and in our world, was nowhere near San Antonio at the time, as far as it can be seen.

[19]Try to imagine that scene....or don't. Also, Zadock Woods tragically died on his 69th birthday IOTL; ITTL, he lived, while his scout Alsey Miller, a survivor in our reality, died defending his boss, as did his son Henry.

[20]Carrasco would later become a major critic of Santa Anna.....

[21]Alsey Miller will later be eulogized as folk hero in both Texases; think of Pecos Bill without the cowboy hat, and with a chest of iron.

[22]Indeed so, and so begins the conflict that eventually leads to Santa Anna's downfall.....

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Taken from: “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston. (c) 1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

….Shortly after Adrian Woll retreated from San Antonio, he received a message from Major Gen. Isidro Reyes inquiring about how his operation had proceeded. Woll, feeling compelled to tell the story as it was, also realized the need to stress the successes as much as possible. The letter that he wrote goes as follows[23]:

Most Excel. Sir:

In the afternoon of the 18th, the Division under my command should have started out on its march to San Fernando; we had taken this city (San Antonio de Bexar) by force, without any other incident than executing a pair of Texans who had dared resist our skirmishers; the 16th of September, glorious anniversary of our National Independence, was solemnly celebrated, a day that hadn't been remembered in this city for the last six years. Our spies had again confirmed the news that we already had received, that neither in Goliad, nor in Copano, Gonzales, or Corpus Christi, was there any enemy army to be seen. Our mission was completed, or so we believed at the time.

Unfortunately, it appears that the scouts that we had sent out along the road to Seguin had made a serious error in oversight; on the morning of the 17th, I was secretly warned that some enemy parties had been approaching our position from this same road, although I could not believe this at the time, due to the fact that our spies hadn't once failed us yet, and even they reported seeing no enemy forces anywhere near the Salado. Nevertheless, counseled by plain prudence, I ordered that the horse and mule herds belonging to our army were to be moved to corrals in the center of town for their nightly rest, and the troops were confined to barracks for whatever might happen. On the morning of the 18th, just as the advance and reconnoitering parties were returning from their daily routines, the trumpets sounded from the Alamo, where Santa Anna's Regiment had been quartered.
I immediately mounted my horse and rode off towards the said point, after warning the chiefs of all units under my command remain in formation in front of their quarters, until I myself was to receive further instruction. Reaching the Alamo, I rode forward, accompanied by the Major General, the Quartermaster, and my adjutants, over the Seguin road, and seeing not more than only 9 or 10 of the Texans, I sent Brevet Lt. Colonel Antonio Perez with 25 of his men, supported by Capt. Francisco Castaneda and 60 of his Presidiales; but we spotted the Texans suddenly heading towards a larger group of about 50 to 60 of their comrades, who then retreated away from San Antonio.
Concerned about a possible ambush, I ordered Col. Sebastian Moro del Moral to take charge of the post with half of his battalion, while I myself marched ahead with 200 Infantry, 100 dragoons of the Santa Anna squadrons, and two artillery pieces; meantime the Bejar and Rio Grande Defenders had joined the Perez unit, so that added to Capt. Castaneda;s detachment; they counted 130 men whom I ordered to follow the enemy and keep him under fire without leaving him time to organize, while sending me continual reports; all this was executed with great precision, until reaching the Salado creek at a distance of 3 leagues - 12 miles - from the city, the Texans suddenly veered off into the woods, and I learned that they had assembled a strength of about 300 men under Col. Caldwell, who had the intention of setting himself up during the day in the inextricable position at a water hole close to the city, there to await the numerous parties he had notified to join up with him from all directions, and then to attack us.

In view of such information, it became urgent to prevent the enemies' reunion, putting fear into them with an armed action, and although my instructions prohibited me attacking them in the woods, the case had become so pressing, that I decided to go ahead just the same; to this effect, I reconnoitered the terrain minutely, and crossing Salado creek more downstream, I assembled in rear of the enemy in two lines, the first consisting of 200 Infantry of the Santa Anna Battalion with a cannon of the Light Brigade; to my left, I placed the Bejar and Rio Grande Defenders, and to my right, Capt. Castaneda's Presidial soldiers, extended by 25 more men under Brevet Capt. Francisco Herrera; this line-up gave me the advantage of cutting the enemy off completely from any retreat toward his reinforcements, and of being able to maneuver my Cavalry over a fairly clear terrain; I left the part of the woods and the stream that faces Bejar, without any troops, in the thought that the Texans would not try to escape in that direction, and if they did, it would have been easy to intercept them.

In the beginning, the enemy would come out of the densest part of the woods and daringly open fire against our entire front; but having ordered our Defenders and Presidials to dismount, and having deployed a skirmish line of 50 infantrymen, we advanced palm by palm across the underbrush, until the enemy, thrown back, did not return to present himself past the stream; in this position, I ordered all our skirmishers to halt, and sent out scouts for some distance over the Seguin road. The report was sent me that nothing had happened there, except that one enemy had left the woods and had escaped in that direction thanks to the excellent mount he rode; considering that it was getting late, I resolved to give the signal agreed upon, which was a cannon shot, and ordered to sound "Attack!" It is impossible for me to describe to Y.E. [Your Excellency] with what gallantry the action was joined by our valiant men who stormed into the woods, irrespective of the rapid fire with which the enemy received them at first, but who pursued and attacked with unequalled intrepidity, lost terrain and, befuddled, no longer sustained anything but a languid defense that could not last much longer, because I intended to lead into the fight, 100 more infantrymen of the 150 I had in reserve, when suddenly a report was sent to me, that in our rear, on the way from Seguin, an enemy force of not less than 150 to 200 men was arriving. The game was critical; there was no time to lose, and after having convinced myself of the truth of that message, I immediately made my decision; I sent at once Brevet Colonel Cayetano Montero, commandant of the Santa Anna Regiment, to march against this new enemy with one Squadron, trying to overwhelm him on his right, while meantime, my Quartermaster, Brevet Colonel José Ma. Carrasco was ordered to make the 2nd Squadron advance under Brevet Colonel Pedro Rangel, and execute the same maneuver against the enemy's left; and I instructed the Major Gen., Brevet Lt. Col., Squadron Commandant Juan Fernandez, to move the light artillery piece to the middle of these squadrons with utmost speed. I was asked for ammunition for the Cavalry, but replied that our dragoons had lances and sabers with which to stab and hack away.

These audacious soldiers, led by their intrepid chief, advanced at a gallop against the wooded mound captured by the Texans; the light piece, expertly served sustained a steady fire and was gaining ground; and on reaching the first trees of the mound, our dragoons dismounted, encouraged by their chiefs and officers, particularly the Brevet Colonels Cayetano Montero, Pedro Rangel and José Ma. Carrasco, and entering the wood, started cutting down every enemy they encountered. A quarter hour later all was finished. Meantime, the advantages obtained in the forest had been conserved, the enemy did not return our fire any more. However, not knowing as yet the result of what had happened at my rear guard, and wishing to be prepared for any eventuality in view of the approaching night, I ordered to sound "Assembly," which was executed with great reluctance by our valiant men who did not want to let our prey escape; the enemy did not dare to molest them, since taking advantage of the circumstances and of the darkness, he penetrated deeper into the forest, fleeing terrified far out of the sight of our soldiers.

It was then that I received the report sent by Colonels Montero and Carrasco, and a short while later the said officers rejoined me with the two squadrons that had covered themselves with glory. Whereupon, I instructed to sound "Reveille" again, cheers were resounding for Mexico and for the illustrious General Santa Anna, our wounded were picked up and immediately sent back to the city with my instructions to Dr. Montanari who had accompanied us throughout this brilliant day's work. Roll was called of all the participating units, while the enemy remains were being collected. In the meantime, the bulk of our troops rested on their arms in the same order and place they had been occupying throughout the duration of this action. At 10 o'clock that night, we set out on our march, since as I had the honor of notifying Y.E., our exhausted troops did not taste food all through the day; it was necessary to allow them some rest, and so it was that we entered anew into the city, to the sound of Reveilles and the tolling of bells, at 12 o'clock that night. The enemy's loss was considerable, because apart of the 120 who died at the hands of our Cavalry, and the 15 prisoners we took, more than 60 of his corpses remained stretched out dead in the forest; the number of his wounded must be immense, but since these were taken along on the retreat, we could only recover five of them. On our part, we had 40 dead and 72 wounded; this so great and deplorable loss will testify to Y.E. how embattled these actions had been, which a part of this Second Division has sustained simultaneously and with so much glory.

Captain Vicente Cordoba, of Nacogdoches, died as he had always lived, defending his Fatherland! Officers Francisco Castaneda of the Bahia Company, and my Adjutant Ambrosio Martinez, as well as Capt. Manuel Flores of the Rio Grande Defenders, and the Ensigns Victor Manero and Bartolo Olascuagua, both of the Santa Anna Cavalry Regiment, were all wounded; may I draw Y.E. attention to these valiant men, hoping that you will kindly recommend them to the Supreme Government. Although all men of the Division under my command have behaved with the honor and boldness that distinguishes them, I cannot but cite among those who took out most conspicuously, Brevet Colonel, Lt. Col. Cayetano Montero, the Brevet Colonels Pedro Rangel and José Ma. Carrasco; right next to them, Brevet Lt. Col., Squadron Commandant Juan Fernandez, Major General of the Division; Captains Antonio Ramirez, Macedonio Soria, Andres Mena and Francisco Lopez; the Lieutenants Francisco Borja, Francisco Plaza, Luis Pardihas, as also Ensigns Andres Sierra, Santiago Zuhiga, Mariano Zurita, Dionisio Bravo, José Ma. Delgado, Camilo Anguiano, José Ma. Robles, José Ma. Torres, Sabino Zepeda, Felix Espinosa and Cristobal Castro, all of them belonging to the invincible Santa Anna Regiment. Particular mention is due to Capt. Andres Videgaray, Lt. José Ceballos, Ensigns José Washington Eayrs and Tomas Santa Cruz, who as my Adjutants have carried my orders defying all peril, with a promptness, intelligence and bravery that do them great honor. Sublieutenant Felix Esquivel, Ensign José Ma. Ugartechea and Lt. Bernardo Cavazos, Adjutants to the Major General the first two, and to the Quartermaster the latter, rendered good services, Artillery Lt. Manuel del Frago and Ensign of the same arm Zeferino Rodriguez, have behaved with dignity. Lt. Colonel Mariano Fernandez, at the head of his Infantry, displayed the same calm and valor he had always customarily shown; Brevet Captains, Battalion Commandants Juan Garrido and Ildefonso Vega, and the Subadjutant Anselmo Jugrez, as well as all the other subaltern officers, imitated the conduct of the above mentioned Colonel. I must particularly recommend to Y.E. the valiant Capt. Ignacio Ruiz and Sublieut. Pedro Martinez, who had thrown themselves against the enemy with unequalled fearlessness, while leading the Infantry skirmishers. The Presidial Capt. Francisco Castaneda, who sustained a grave wound, and Lt. breveted to Capt., Francisco Herrera, carried out my orders to full satisfaction.

Brevet Lt. Colonel, Capt. Antonio Perez, the Captains Manuel Leal and Manuel Flores, have rendered important services; and so did Lieutenants Manuel Carbajal and Manuel Patiho. Finally, Y. E., I will conclude bringing it to your superior cognizance, that the behavior of all was such, as to cause admiration among the enemy prisoners themselves, who declared frightened, that they could not have imagined the Mexican soldier to fight with so much intrepidity and serenity.

I am looking forward to Y.E. kindly bringing all this to the knowledge of the Supreme Government, requesting H. E. the Secretary of War and Navy to assure our illustrious President, the immortal Gen. Santa Anna, that the heroes of the Second Division of the Army of the North Corps, will uphold with dignity, and even unto death, the honor of the National Arms. God and Liberty. San Antonio de Bejar at 6 o'clock in the morning of September 20th, 1842. Adrian Woll (Signature). To the Most Excel. Sir, the Commander in Chief.


Taken from: “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston. (c) 1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

In response to the sacking of San Antonio, many antagonized Texians felt that that they could be in serious danger of additional losses and wanted to get back at the Mexicans for what they saw as a tyrannical encroachment of their rightly owned land. On October 4th, 1842, Alexander Somervell[24], a Maryland native, who had become a noted entrepreneur in the area, and had seen combat in San Jacinto, volunteered to help re-organize the militia and to recruit more volunteers. Houston wholeheartedly agreed, and told Somervell to stand by until it could be reasonably concluded that the Texians could have a fair chance of success against the Mexicans. Volunteers almost immediately rushed to San Antonio from across the country, many eager for glory & plunder, but also many others who only wanted payback for the harassment of Texas; and for some, including Somervell himself, it was a case of both.....

On November 19th, with over 800 men in his company, Somervell left San Antonio, and his first target was to be the border city of Laredo....


Letter from Texas President Sam Houston to Gen. Somervell, Oct. 4th, 1842[25a]:

Sir:-- Your official communication from San Felipe dated the 27th of this past month, just reached my office late last night. I have seized the moment to communicate my response.

I have approved your request to reconstitute the militias; I, too, believe that such an action may prove quite prudent in the near future. However, I must inform you that is it not prudent to proceed to Mexico just yet. We must first wait to see if we are able to gather enough support for such an endeavor, and we must make sure that we are reasonably capable of winning against Santa Anna's forces in combat; we cannot afford to make a gamble that we cannot hope to win!

However, should the moment arise when you have enough men and arms for your expedition, you are to proceed to the South Western frontier of Texas, and concentrate all the men under your command, all troops who may submit to your orders, and if you are able to advance with a reasonable prospect of
success against the Mexicans, you will do so forthwith. You are at liberty to take one or two pieces of ordnance now at Gonzales.

For my part, I do not hold much confidence in cannons on a march; they will do fine on a retreat or during a stalemate, particularly if your enemy is equal or lesser in numbers than your own forces, but they embarrass the advance of an army; and if pressed hard on a swift retreat, the great aversion that some of your men have to leave their artillery, may induce delay, and embarrass all the movements of the army. Therefore, our greatest reliance will be upon light troops, and the celerity of our movement. Hence, the necessity of discipline and subordination. You will therefore receive no troops into service, but such as will remain subordinate to the government of Texas, and the rules of war.
If you cross the Rio Grande, you must always remain on the alert; do not allow yourself to suffer surprise attacks by your enemy. Let your arms be inspected morning and night, and your scouts always on the lookout.

You will be controlled by the rules of only the most civilized warfare, and you will find the advantage of exercising great humanity towards the common people. In battle, let the enemy feel the fierceness of just resentment and retribution.

The orders that I have relayed to you, Gen. Somervell, ultimately have been disregarded by the Congress of Texas, and never have been reported to the War Department, and as such, you shall report to the Executive alone, sustained by our resources, and shall report as often as possible your operations.
You may rely on the gallant Chauncey Johnson and his companions.

God speed you, General.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Sam Houston.[25b]


The trek towards Laredo proceeded without a hitch, and on the evening of December 2nd, the Texians, now 820 strong, reached the outskirts of the city....

On the following morning, they overran Laredo with little warning, surprising, and terrorizing, many of its residents. Though the community's few defenders bravely resisted the Texian forces, they were simply overwhelmed by their sheer numbers, and superior weaponry, and by 10 am, the Texians controlled the entire community, the first casualty of what was to be the Somervell Expedition[26].

In 1892, a resident of the town of Nuevo Laredo, Coahuila, described the event as she saw it unfold:

“I can still remember everything that happened on that terrible day. It was just after sunrise, maybe 7:00 at the latest, and my mother was starting to make breakfast in our little home in the middle of town. My father was a volunteer soldier, but was off-duty that day. Since it was a Friday, my mother made a meal with salted fish brought from the market the previous evening, a simple mix of fish, rice, and a little bit of diced tomato. However, though, just as we had finished enjoying our breakfast, we heard a couple of small rumbles on the outskirts of town. “How strange,”, I thought, “We don't have earthquakes here, do we?” It was 7:30, and I was now well awake. I tried to explain it all away in my mind, but we soon realized what was happening, anyway; just about 10 minutes later, we all heard horses running, guns shooting, and men yelling. That could only have meant one thing: “Tejanos.”, said my father, who then grabbed his weapon and rushed out the door; I didn't see him again for a while after that.

It took only a couple of hours for the Texans to essentially take over our small community; the men who had defended our fair village were either dead, missing, or captured, and there were times that we all feared what the Texans might do to us, the common people. And all we could do was pray.”[27]

And indeed, the success at Laredo, only increased Somervell's boldness and resolve. He is reported to have said to his men, after the victory, that, “Today, we've taken Laredo from Santa Anna's men. Tomorrow, the whole Rio Grande valley will be ours, and Mexico City will finally realize that we are truly a force to be reckoned with, so say I, General Alexander Somervell. Long live Texas! Long live liberty!”....[28]


Taken from: “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston. (c) 1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

...Though the Somervell Expedition had been a success at first, it seemed a little odd to many, including Somervell himself, that there had been no response as of yet to the capture of Laredo, and later, a few other communities along the Rio Grande, even a week after. Soon enough, some of the Texians began to openly question why, indeed, Santa Anna hadn't sent his men to try to retake Laredo. Some believed that Santa Anna was just too busy dealing with the various rebellions further south and that it would be safe to continue moving on; however, though, there were others that feared that the Mexicans could have set up a trap for them and that they might very well have marched right towards their own demise.
This dilemma became so problematic, that on December 14th, Somervell decided that it would be best to split up the force between those who wished to stay in Laredo for a while before going home, and those who wanted to split up. Two days later, the votes were in: 439 men for staying, 357 against.

And on December 21st, the men who voted to keep going, under William S. Fisher & Ewen Cameron, decided to head towards the town of Ciudad Mier in Tamaulipas, as a staging point for further invasion. On Christmas Eve, the Texians landed in Mier with no resistance from civilians, and even ate their Christmas Day meals in town. However, though, their good fortune wasn't to last; the day after Christmas, a few off-duty Mexican cavalrymen found the Texians outside of town, and, realizing they were invaders, rushed across town, strafing them as ruthlessly as possible; a handful of Texians were killed, and Captain James Decatur Cocke was wounded when a bullet went through his lower leg. A couple of the Mexicans died in the attempt, including one shot by William A.A. (or “Bigfoot”) Wallace.

There was, however, no additional fighting until December 29th, when about 1,100 Mexicans overran the town....and a 24-hour long fight would ensue over the city. William Fisher had given the order to engage the Mexicans, and the battle quickly turned into a bloody stalemate; though the Texians had lost 50 of their men, the Mexicans were eventually forced to retreat southward; nearly 800 of them had died in the fighting, an almost unbelievable disadvantage of nearly 16 to 1. The Texians had won out for now, but on New Year's Day, 1843, the Mexicans came back with 700 more men and the fighting started again; this time, however, it was the Texians who would lose.

On the afternoon of January 2nd, the Texians surrendered to Gen. Pedro Ampudia, and on the following day, were marched out to the town of Matamoros, before then being escorted southward.

An angered Santa Anna, upon hearing of the Mier invasion, ordered that any surviving prisoners were to be sentenced to death upon entering Mexico City, and this was directly relayed to Gen. Ampudia. And when the Texians caught word of the order, many of them were stunned and shocked to even realize such. They quickly began to plot an escape, and Scotsman Ewen Cameron was chosen by a vast majority of the Texians to be their leader.

On the early morning hours of January 7th, 186 Texians made their escape from their captors and fled into the wilderness of Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. Though they did well during their first few days o the lam, the Texians hadn't quite counted on harsh weather conditions and a lack of fresh water & food supplies. Many of them began to despair and wandered around aimlessly; eventually, the Mexicans caught back up with them and captured all but 9 of them by January 17th; 4 whom had escaped, and 5 of whom who had perished from a lack of water or pneumonia.

Those Texians who died in the wilds have been identified as follows;

A.J. Lewis, of Brazoria, by way of Alabama.[29a]
Cyrus K. Gleason, of New York.[29a]
Thomas J. Cox, location & origin unknown.[29a]
George W. Alley, of Nacogdoches, origin unknown.[29a]
Daniel A. Hallowell, location unknown, by way of Tennessee.[29a]

And the Texians who had made their way back home:

Charles K. Reese, location unknown, by way of Kentucky.[29a]
John Nealy, location & origin unknown.[29a]
Patrick Mahan, of Victoria, by way of Ireland.[29b]
Richard F. Brenham, of Travis Co., by way of Kentucky.[29b]
Samuel McLelland, of Waco, origin unknown.[29a]

…With that over, the prisoners were taken to the town of Salado to await their fate...

When Santa Anna was informed of the breakout, he immediately demanded the execution of the men responsible. However, though, Francisco Mejia, the governor of Coahuila, was horrified by the prospect and pleaded with Santa Anna & his ministers to not go to such lengths. On January 26th, he crafted a short letter urging the President to reconsider, and offered a compromise solution of his own devising; for every 10 men who had escaped, let one be executed by drawing a black bean from a jar. Santa Anna reluctantly agreed to this, and allowed the measure to go thru.

The waiting period was rather tense for many of the Texians, as nobody had known of the compromise so they remained ignorant of the situation until the end of February, when they were told of what to expect.

On March 2nd, 1843, the Black Bean Massacre was staged near Salado. 18 Texians had been randomly selected to be executed, and at dusk that day, the men, including William Mosby Eastland, one of the commanders of the Texian forces, were lined up and shot to death by their captors, as punishment for the escape.
The 18 Texians who were shot are identified as follows.

John L. Cash
James D. Cocke
Robert H. Durham
William Mosby Eastland
Edward E. Este
Robert Harris
Asa Webb Hill[29a]
Patrick Lusk
James M. Ogden
William Oldham[29a]
James Shepherd[29b]
George Washington Smith[29a]
James Nash Torrey
Patrick Usher
Wilson VanDyke[29a]
Robert G. Waters
Elisha Walling[29a]
Martin Carroll Wing

(Author's Note: Amazingly enough, it seems, James Shepherd actually survived the execution attempt and was able to go back to Texas. An Ohioan by the name of Gideon K. Wells[29b] was shot in his place. Robert Waters was another who survived the initial shooting but was in some pain for nearly 2 hours afterwards, due to a blunder by one of the soldiers. General Ampudia, upon discovering this, mercifully put an end to his suffering with a bullet to the head.).

The remaining prisoners were marched outwards, and many of them ended up in Perote Prison in Veracruz, though some others would end up being taken to other prisons in the country; Ewen Cameron, the mastermind of the escape attempt, was executed in a small town just outside of Mexico City for his part in the debacle on March 31st. The others would languish for years, some of whom would die from malnutrition, disease, or just plain starvation.....

Meanwhile, a now infuriated Santa Anna had finally decided that Texas was no longer just a menace, but a threat to Mexico that had to be utterly squashed, period. During the last two weeks of January, he ordered that troops begin to mobilize for a full-scale invasion of the Lone Star Republic, and on January 29th, troops began to mobilize themselves around the Rio Grande towns of Matamoros, Del Rio, and Reynosa, and then moved towards Texas on the morning of the 31st.[30]

The Mexican advance under General Arista, was a little slower than Woll's raids on San Antonio had been, but Arista had over 5,000 men, and many of the Texians hadn't quite been expecting such a full-bodied response....

On the evening of February 6th, just outside the small town of Kinney's Ranch(population 1,000)[31], Texian scouts reported that a large Mexican force was headed their way and that they needed to prepare for an invasion; a trading post near the border had already been destroyed by rampaging cavalrymen. The defenders of the city, headed by Matthew Caldwell, realized they were in for a long, hard fight and began to commandeer various buildings in the area, knowing that a battle was soon to come.....
At 8:40 that next morning, the Mexicans fired a warning shot with one of their cannons, waking anyone that wasn't already up & about. Most of the Texians who weren't already in cover scrambled to find a building, any building, in which they could seek shelter; there wasn't much time, however, because just after 9:00, Arista's forces rushed towards the city in a maddened frenzy, and a 2-day battle began to ensue....

Though Caldwell's men had a significant advantage thanks to the fact that they plenty of buildings to hide in, unfortunately, it wasn't going to be quite enough; the Mexicans not only had superior numbers but even a pair of cannons as well; all in all, 2,500 Mexican Soldiers versus 200 Texians made for a disaster just waiting to occur....

The fighting wrecked much of the town as cannon fire smashed thru homes & businesses, mauled Texian defenders, and, in one instance, a cannon ball landed right next to a gunpowder store one man's home, killing him, his wife, and two sons, and starting a fire.
Gunfire from both sides also caused some significant damage, and there were more than a few unfortunate Baysiders[32] who had been killed by crossfire, including, in one instance, a 12-year-old boy ordered by his father to retrieve the family's horse[33]; the father himself was killed soon after, as was the horse[34].

On the afternoon of February 8th, the surviving Texians, now numbering about 50, surrendered to Arista's surviving men, now numbering about 2,100; most of them, including Caldwell himself, were shipped off to Perote Prison in Veracruz. And in the aftermath of the battle, it was discovered that as many as 55 civilians had died during the crossfire, including 3 minors under 18(including the 12-year-old boy mentioned earlier).....

Word began to spread across the rest of Texas like a summertime prairie wildfire[35] and many Texians feared that this was just the beginning of yet another bloody war with Santa Anna's Mexico.....In response to this, President Houston ordered the mass deployment of any and all available militias and Army Personnel regardless of where they lived in the country, and they were to meet in several certain key areas of Texas, including, most importantly, Austin & San Antonio, perhaps the two most vulnerable cities in the whole nation, as well as Gonzales, Nacogdoches, Washington-on-the-Brazos, and Seguin, with Rangers located in the towns of Galveston, Houston, and Liberty Creek[36] for backup.....

Meanwhile, Adrian Woll had recovered from his humiliating defeat at the second siege of San Antonio, and began to lead 2,000 men from his new base in central Coahuila going up towards the town of Del Rio, then eastward towards the San Antonio area. However, though, Woll decided not to attack San Antonio first, but rather, he took some of his men south of the city towards the small town of Floresville....

On the morning of February 18th, a Cherokee Indian scout loyal to the Texians hurried home to Floresville to warn his friends about the impending trouble. Although the Texian militiamen in the community were able to ready themselves almost immediately, it did them little good; there were only 50, and the Mexican contingent numbered as many as perhaps a thousand. At around 5 p.m. that afternoon, the Indian scout's warning was vindicated as hundreds of Mexican troops swarmed the area. The short battle that ensued lasted from 5 until just after 12 midnight, and then from 5 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. that next morning; though the Texians had managed to inflict about 120 losses against the Mexicans, thanks to their strategy of house-to-house fighting, they themselves still lost half of their men, and were forced to surrender to the men of Cayetano Montero just after 9 a.m. on the 19th.[37]

Meanwhile, another force of 500 men, commanded by Capt. Antonio Ramirez, began to approach the town of Refugio on the 22nd. Ramirez sent about 50 of his men to gauge the strength of the Texian defenders, who subsequently harassed the town. One Mexican soldier died as he was shot off his horse(which was later captured by a resident who later fled town), but the others were able to make it back to their base not far from Kinney's Ranch, and reported that there were about 100 Texians defending the town of Refugio. Ramirez decided to move forward with half of his men, and on the morning of February 26th, attempted to capture the town. Unfortunately for them, however, the Texians, despite not being heavily armed, put up a significant amount of resistance, and managed to kill about 75 of the Mexicans, while losing only about 10 themselves.
Ramirez retreated for the time being, but when he came back on March 1st, the tide was turned; he now had his full army with him and 3 cannons. The Texians' advantage had virtually vaporized overnight, and while Capt. Ramirez would lose another fifty men, the Texians actually lost more this time around, with 62 valiant defenders being cut down before their enemy, as a scythe to wheat[38]; On March 2nd, all of the surviving Texians, except for a few who had been able to leave town, where taken prisoner in the city(one man who tried to cause an uprising was later shot on orders of Capt. Ramirez.).

After these two battles, the Texians had began to fully realize just how much danger they were in; President Houston sent a communique to all Army companies that ordered that any attempts to invade any of the major cities were to be met with as much force as could be mustered, and at any cost possible. Texas was now under a state of emergency, and as per Houston's orders, every man in the whole nation capable of holding & firing a gun was to be made eligible for militia duty starting on the 3rd of that next month.....


Taken from: “Lone Star: A Short History of the Republic of Texas”, authored by Albert Carston. (c) 1947, Lone Star University Press, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

The defense program instituted by Sam Houston was little more than a formal call to arms & reveille, but it did have the desired effect of raising more volunteers for the militia & Army corps., not to mention it gave many citizens a chance to prove themselves worthy against the biggest foe they'd ever faced yet. It worked exactly as desired; by the end of April, as many as 5,000 Texians had registered as volunteers or signed up for the Army, and they came from every single town in Texas still free of Mexican occupation from Nacogdoches to Salt Flat and from Linnville to the handful of still tiny, but ever growing Trinity River towns, Harrisburg and the newly founded Dallas chief amongst them(though mainly in the southern half of the country[39]).

Time was of the essence, however: San Patricio, Copano, too, had both been invaded & occupied by the end of March and Santa Anna was sending more and more reinforcements with every passing day. Communities like Goliad, Victoria, Matagorda, and La Baca were all in serious danger of suffering the same fate, and even many in San Antonio, Gonzales, and Austin had to be extra wary, given the escalating problems confronting Texas, and on April 3rd, something would happen that would further stoke the flames of resistance of the Texians.....[40]

On the morning of April 3rd, Texian militiamen were warned by a spy that Gen. Arista intended to harass the city of Victoria with about 25 cavalrymen to test their mettle & to calculate their numbers. With this in mind, the Texians decided to fight back in full force when their enemy arrived. When nearly 150 Texians opened fire on them, the startled Mexicans began to cut a hasty retreat from the city, but not before their captain grabbed a still burning torch and lit the local gunpowder repository ablaze[41]; to the horror of many in town, at 7:45, only 3 minutes after being torched, all of the gunpowder barrels exploded nearly simultaneously, killing not only several Texian militiamen who had gone to investigate the blaze, but also, half a dozen civilians as well, including a 15-year-old boy who was a son of the newest mayor, who himself was injured. The fire that started would result in the deaths of another three people via smoke inhalation, including a Texian militiaman who had been a veteran of the War of Independence[42].

The news infuriated many people, and had resulted in another 10,000 signups by the middle of May. The Texians also now had enough men to have a fair chance of repelling even the most hardcore possible assault on their territory at that point; but Santa Anna had not yet called for a draft of his own. How long would that last?

Unfortunately, not long at all: On May 22nd, 1843, Santa Anna himself directly issued a decree that all Mexican men between the ages of 21 and 45 as of that date, were now liable to be selected for conscription at any given time, to not only deal with Texas, but the growing rebellions in his own country as well, and there were several. Even so, Santa Anna did still have his fair share of supporters at that point, and rousing them into action wouldn't have been much of a difficult task at all.....[43]


[23]Largely the same as IOTL.

[24]Had an entire county named after him IOTL.

[25a]A day later than OTL.

[25b]Yes, he actually said that IOTL. Don't ask me why, though; I dunno.

[26]It was, at least, more successful than OTL's effort.

[27]But at least there was no massacre.

[28]If only he knew what was really to come........

[29a]Those who made it thru OTL's scrape & lived, but got killed off here......

[29b]......and those who perished IOTL, but got a second chance ITTL.

[30]And so it begins.....

[31]Later Corpus Christi, in both our timeline and this one, too.

[32]A nickname for those denizens of Corpus Christi.

[33]A collateral casualty of the war.....

[34]But karma bit this guy in the ass in the end.

[35]Well, this IS (East) Texas after all.

[36]Liberty Creek's Rangers are unique, btw; nearly half of them are Yankees.

[37]This kind of warfare technique was likely first pioneered during the Revolutionary War, but IOTL, it didn't seem to have really caught on until the Modern Era.

[38]Maybe not the best analogy, but this author does have a bit of a farming background, so it's understandable.

[39]The Northern half of Texas was still largely unpopulated even in 1843, apart from Dallas and a few other places.

[40]No pun was intended here, btw.....the irony, however, is a different story.

[41]A sure-fire recipe for a fiery boom and a couple of smoked & roasted Rangers.....(as Santa Anna might say, want some sauce with that barbeque? Apologies for the macabre humor, btw.)

[42]The irony abounds here.....

[43]Try to imagine Mussolini speaking to a bunch of citizens in Rome in the '20s: Santa Anna may be no fascist, but he sure as hell knows how to work a crowd.....


Credit to Texas A & M's Wallace McKeehan for the OTL letter.
Edited by Steve, Jul 2 2014, 07:12 PM.
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Okay, and this ends Chapter 2, by the way.


Excerpts from “Texas History: 1810-1992”, by William F. Davidson.

June 1843 dawned bleakly on the state of Texas; Victoria, Palatine, Texana, and several other additional communities had fallen victim to Santa Anna's vengeance, people in the rest of Texas were
beginning to panic, Van Buren's America refused to intervene, and to make matters worse for the Texians, Santa Anna had just ordered the expansion of the Mexican armed forces...and many of these new recruits were to be sent to Texas to back up the men already there.

Texas President Sam Houston realized that his country was in serious trouble as long ago as that March, but he still only had about 20,000 men under his command at the very most; Santa Anna now had as many as 50,000, with more being readied for deployment. And only complicating matters where the Indians, who hadn't yet taken sides and could have potentially swung the battle either way. Realizing that he needed to be pragmatic, Houston managed to get a messenger to contact of a pair of Apache chiefs to negotiate such an alliance, and meet with them in person if possible, in Austin on June 22nd. They both agreed to do so, but on one condition; Texas was to sign a treaty with both of their tribes. Luckily enough, one of them had previously been a friend of the Texians and would prove a little easier to convince.....


June 22, 1843
Sam Houston's Office.
Austin, Texas.

It was a rather pleasant, if rather windy morning in Austin today. As Sam Houston sat at his desk in the Presidential Office, he began to think about how to break the ice, as it were, with the pair of Indian chiefs who had agreed to stop by and visit this still small town to discuss how to deal with the burgeoning threat of Santa Anna's armies & his desire to conquer Texas. One of the Lipan chiefs, Flacco, was invited for a particular reason: he had previously collaborated with the Texians during the Revolution of '36 and had even saved the life of one Jack Hays, now a prisoner of Santa Anna's somewhere in Mexico. Despite some recent complications[44], Flacco, in particular, was still willing to consider once again fighting alongside the Texians, even if mainly to repel a power which might prove to be a greater threat[45]. Cuelgas de Castro, however, was a somewhat tougher nut to crack; though he, too, had once assisted the Texians, recent events[44] had made him more reluctant to come Austin's aid, and might need to be bargained with a little more. In any case, President Houston also brought along an old acquaintance from Connecticut, T.J., who spoke rather decent Spanish, in case neither knew any English.

At around 9:50, a knock came on the door. “Come in.” said Houston. One of his aides peeked in. “Sir, one of the Indian chiefs you mentioned is here to see you.”, said the aide. “Well, alright then John, escort him in, if you would.”, Houston replied.

'I had better hope this goes well....', he thought, '….Because if this gets fouled up, we may have another
potential enemy on our hands, on top of that bastard Santa Anna. And that damn Mexican scroundrel has already caused enough trouble as it is! The fate of this government, nay, perhaps all of Texas, may rest with this one meeting. God have mercy on me if I fail....but if I succeed, then perhaps we may yet be able to avoid a long and grueling war, with the Indians' help.'.[45]

Just then, two Lipan Apaches were escorted into the room. Flacco, one of the chiefs who had been contacted, came in first; he was a tallish man, decked in traditional attire. An average sized fellow wearing Mexican-style clothing came in after him; he was to be the translator for Flacco.

“Greetings, and welcome to Austin. My name, good sir, is Samuel Houston, President of the Republic of Texas.”

Flacco replied in Spanish, which T.J.[46] Translated as, “And I am Flacco of the Lipan peoples. I presume you wish to negotiate terms for a temporary alliance?”.

“Indeed so.”, said Houston. “You may remember that your people and us Texans have long been associates with your particular band, having fought alongside us on several occasions, including the war that granted us our independence. However, though, we face a far greater threat today than seven years ago. Santa Anna, the Chief of Mexico, seeks to destroy our nation for our commitment to liberty and justice; he views us as nothing more than dirt to be trodden upon, really.”[47]

Flacco replied, “Yes, I too, have heard of this Santa Anna. He is a man who seems to be quite drunken with power and mad with bloodlust, and I, for one, cannot trust him any more than I could accept a Mississippian's treachery. But, Mister Houston, I have noticed that some of your own people have not been kind towards mine in more recent years. You may recall that a man you call James Boyce was killed in this very area not two years ago, and that myself and another chief, Cueglas de Castro, were dragged before an Austin court and accused of doing this unfortunate deed, when in reality, it was the doing of a Comanche warrior.[48] You freed us both when we were cleared, that may be true, but my people suffered for it, as four or five of us were killed at the hands of renegades, including a friend of my son's. It is also true that you did bring the murderers to justice, even with opposition from some of your people, but nevertheless, it is due to this, that some of my fellows are reluctant to side with Texas at the moment.”

It took a little while to translate this, but when it was done, Houston replied, “Yes, that was rather unfortunate, and my condolences to those of your tribe who had been needlessly killed.” 'After all, nobody deserves to be unjustly executed for crimes they had not committed, white, Negro or Indian alike.', Houston thought silently. “However,”, he continued, “while the courts of Texas will continue to prosecute unprovoked violence against your people, or any other, for that matter...I do believe that we need to try to set these matters aside for a little while, so we may concentrate on repelling the dastardly machinations of one Antonio de Santa Anna.”.[49]

“Yes, I understand this, but one of my main concerns is that it's become clear to us that our civilians may need some protection from violent men; just punishing them may not be enough. If you can do this, my people will feel much safer trusting your government, Mister President.”[50]

“We can arrange for that, if I may ask in return that you make the utmost effort in keeping some of your men from unjustly harming our people as well.” Houston replied, “After all, a civilian is a civilian.”.

“Any Lipan who kills a white man without cause will be held accountable,” said Flacco, “But, also, any Lipan who kills in self-defense must not be prosecuted whenever possible.”[51]

“Alright, then,” said Houston, “You have a deal. Any other concerns?” 'And I do hope you'll keep your word, because if you don't, I cannot guarantee that we will keep our end of the bargain, either'.

“Just one.” said Flacco. “We have noticed that some of our people are being made to move off of their lands without their consent, and in some cases, this has resulted in violence against not just men, but some women as well[52]. This is not acceptable to us. We ask that your lawmen intervene whenever possible and stop these thefts, so that we may begin to live in a state more resembling peace, than eternal watchfulness and concern.”[53]

Houston frowned a bit. “It will be difficult to do so, but we shall strive to keep our word in this regard.”
'This will NOT be well received by many Texians, though,', he thought, 'And Lord only knows what the next President after me would wish to do after I'm gone. Still, if it helps us fight off that bastard Santa Anna.....'[54a]

“In return, I only ask that you demand more self-discipline of your men, and that you deal with any and all cases pertaining to possible destruction of Texian property, before we are forced to do so ourselves.”
'And we damn well will, if you don't.'[54b], he didn't say, 'For our sakes, let's hope you Apaches truly are a bit more civilized than those dastardly Comanches as a whole, and not just yourself, Flacco.'[54c].

“That we will, if it helps to heal tensions between us and you white Texians, even if only for a time.” said Flacco. 'But will this truly put an end to all that my people have already suffered? Perhaps our trials have been nothing compared to the tales of the woes of the red men of lands to our east, but even so....'[54d]

“Flacco, while I believe you to be an earnest fellow, how can I trust that other bands in your tribe won't give us any trouble, either? Cuelgas de Castro, in particular, seems to be particularly suspicious of us, I fear, from what I have been told.”, said Houston[55a].

Flacco calmly replied, “I will talk to the others. I am considered to be one of the wisest and most respected chiefs amongst the Indians of this area, by many of the Apache; while I cannot guarantee that there will be no incidents, period, I do feel that most Apache will respect my authority. And I do hope that the white men of Texas will follow your direction as well.”[55b]

“That's good, then,” said Houston, “And we shall do whatever is possible and necessary to keep peace between us. After all, we are likely to need the help of any ally brave enough to assist us in our valiant struggle against that most abominable and hypocritical tyrant, Santa Anna.”. “I suppose we have reached an agreement, then?”, he asked Flacco[56a].

“I believe so,”, said the Lipan chief [56a]. “Perhaps we can also begin to coordinate our forces. I will have some of our most experienced warriors meet with your Army sometime in the next week to discuss our next move. Until then, President Houston, if I may, I bid you good tidings, and farewell.”[56b]

“Then I bid you good-bye, and safe travels.” said Houston, smiling at the end. 'Sure hope this pays off. We Texians can't afford to lose now.', he thought[56c].

Flacco smiled in return, turned around, and left the building. He approached his mount and then waited for his aide. Then, the shorter man walked out and mounted his horse. “I sure hope this will work in our favor,”, said the aide, “Because this Santa Anna fellow, he doesn't sound like the kind of boss I'd want to be under.”[57a].

“The Texians will protect us for now, I think. Santa Anna may be powerful, but he cannot keep producing more men forever. Sooner or later, he will have to give up. Sam Houston may prove to be both a valuable ally and a potential rival in the future, my trusted friend. Let us hope that we never have to get on his bad side.....[57b]”

'Regardless, I do hope that this Houston truly is more trustworthy and honorable than the last White Chief of this country was, as he most sincerely seems to be. But if is he is not, then all hope may be lost. And if the Texians ever turn against us, may the Creator have mercy on us all....white and red. I hope, indeed, that things won't turn out that way.' The Lipan chief and his aide then both spurred their horses onward, and they headed for home.[57c]


[44]For an example of said problems, see note #48.

[45]Even if it means losing his popularity with the more xenophobic sections of Texas society....

[46]Yes, that does stand for “Thomas Jefferson”, by the way. But this man, however, is not from the South; he is, in fact, a Connecticut Yankee in Sam Houston's “court”, as it were.

[47]Although when you consider things like slavery, it's really not quite as black-and-white as Houston makes it out to be; at least in Mexico, if you're not a peon, you're free regardless of what you look like.

[48]Who hasn't been caught yet.

[49]Houston has had to learn to be a little more pragmatic in recent times; he may not love these foreign Native Americans, but as he admits later, he'll need whatever help he can get!

[50]At least the Lipan have had a more positive history vis a vis the Texians compared to some of the other indigenous peoples.

[51]Even many of those who don't like the Natives would, hopefully, at least be counted on to respect the law.....one would hope, anyway.

[52]Including, unfortunately, even rape.

[53]Again, if it helps to fight off Santa Anna.....

[54a]Pragmatism can be quite useful in a jam.....

[54b]But don't let your new buddy stab(or shoot, as the case might be) you in the back.

[54c]Houston does have some positive regard for Flacco, at least; this man DID save a Texas Ranger once, after all.

[54d]Yes, they have begun to find out about previous encounters between Anglos and the Natives; let's just say we all know how that turned out.....

[55a]You may have noticed his total absence from this meeting of the minds.

[55b]It's going to be a tough job, though.

[56a]And there we have it. Perhaps the first treaty signed with indigenous peoples in North America by any sovereign nation outside the U.S., no matter how informal it may be....

[56b]This won't be the last time that Flacco and Houston meet in person, either.

[57a]All too true. Santa Anna had more than his fair share of nutjobbery crammed into his brain over the years.

[57b]After all, nothing lasts forever.....

[57c]What will come after this war is over? We'll see.....=)

I'll try to post more later, but I'd like to try to upload some of my other stuff on here first. Hope you enjoy in the meantime. B-)
Edited by Steve, Jul 2 2014, 07:19 PM.
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Chapter 3: Texas-Mexican War, part 2, and Van Buren's Vindication.

It's now July 1st, 1843. Texas and Mexico remain in a state of war, and the fighting is only becoming more and more intense, both with the Lipan Apaches joining the fray, and with Santa Anna's conscription program in full swing. Several Texas towns have already been occupied by the Mexicans, including Refugio, Goliad, Victoria, and La Baca, and more are in danger of falling themselves at any time, and even the people of San Antonio are getting a little leery. To make matters worse, the Mexicans aren't the only enemy Texas has to deal with, either; there are still Comanche raiders plundering around S.A., Austin, and other places in the central part of the country, wreaking havoc.

However, though, things aren't looking all bad for Texas; Santa Anna has called up about as many enlisted soldiers as he can find, and willing volunteers aren't easy to find anymore, even amongst his devotees; while on the other hand, some American volunteers, from both the North and the South, are still coming to Texas offering to help the Texians to fight off Santa Anna's invaders.

Though many Texians did come from the South, there were also a fair number from the Northern states as well; Lysander Spooner, the unlikeliest of pioneers, amongst them. And speaking of Mr. Spooner, he himself has formed a volunteer corps. of his own, mostly Northerners but with a slight few Southerners sprinkled in as well; what makes them so special? They all share one thing in common; they are all anti-slavery. Every single one of them. They're also mainly for a Union with the United States as well(though some, not so much). Spooner's men have seen little in the way of combat but they are all about to be put to the test, and sooner than they might think.....

Santa Anna may be feeling a little smug about Texas at the moment, but he has been having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that his Mexico hasn't been winning all of its battles: Insurgencies in Zacatecas, Potosi, and Coahuila continue to chafe against his iron will, and even worse, the Yucatan, which had already been a problem a couple of years ago, is now all but totally lost to his control. And they're starting to spread, too: reports from Guanajuato and Chiapas are now indicating that similar problems have begun to develop there as well. Reports of unusual activity in California over the past year or so, haven't gone unnoticed, as well. And even with his most recent victories, Santa Anna continues to grow more and more wary, and may eventually descend into outright paranoia.....

In America, Martin Van Buren, after amazingly managing to win a second term by just the slimmest of margins yet seen, has begun to realize that he was in error by following Jackson's dubious economic policies. In 1841, he had begun to work with Congress on trying to find some short-term, and hopefully, at some point, long-term, solutions to the problems which still haunted the nation. So far, it appears that the fix has been successful, as many more honest banks that had suffered have been propped back up(though less reputable institutions have been allowed to fail), and many smaller businesses had their debts forgiven so they could have a better chance at surviving the hard times.
Even so, the damage will still take a little time to heal completely and some Democrats, and a few Whigs, continue to throw roadblocks in Van Buren's path.

Many in the United States have also been concerned about the various goings on in Texas and Mexico, and there are there is increasing agitation for the intervention of Washington in said conflict. And there continues to be bitter division amongst Americans as how to handle Texas.

In the South, there are definitely a fair number of people for the annexation of Texas, not only for fear of it becoming a British puppet, but also to further the expansion of slavery; however, though, there are many who have begun to oppose such, for fears that Texas might possibly reject slavery in some fashion(even if not banning it outright, necessarily), even if only to keep Mexico from invading again.

And up north, there are some who would prefer that Texas be left alone; they don't want anymore slave states in the Union if it can be helped. But, on the other hand, there is a growing amount of support for annexation, too; not all Texians are overtly pro-slavery, and there's a feeling that some might actually be willing to go for at least gradual emancipation of enslaved African-Americans, if nothing else, even if some opposition does rise up(as it inevitably would, unfortunately) to the idea from the more reactionary sections of Texas society.

Butterflies have only begun to reach Europe relatively recently, but reached, they have: Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium have all recognized Texas as a sovereign and independent nation. And not only that, but some Germans, too, have recently taken an interest in Texas, too, though of a different kind: colonization, of said territory. Already, a few societies such as the Adelsverein and the
German Emigration Company, where dedicating their operations to such a purpose. In fact, just recently, the town of Industry was founded, just west of Austin, the first town in all of Texas to be founded by Germans.

But in a more general sense, while things may seem largely peaceful on the outside, there does exist a fair amount of underlying discontent in many countries, such as France, Germany, Hungary, and many others. France, in particular, has seen a major upswing in anti-Royalist sentiment, particularly in the northern areas, as well as the southeast of the country, with Marseilles in particular being eyed as a potential headquarters by at least a few enterprising French wannabe revolutionaries.

The German States, too, are beginning to become noticeable hotspots of dissent as well. Men such as Joseph Fickler, Franz Hecker, Gustav von Struve, as well as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, are beginning to make themselves heard by the people, especially Fickler and Marx & Engels. The nobility knows that they are safe for now, but worry about what the future may hold.....and that future may just come sooner than they think.

And in Hungary, too, men of revolutionary spirit are restless. Lajos Kossuth, in particular, has recovered from a bout of ill health and has begun to work behind the scenes for political, and social reform.....and so have his contemporaries, such as Istvan Szechenyi and Ferenc Deak.

And then there's the strange case of Italy. Who knows how things could turn out there?

The Path towards revolution has begun!

Now, here's Chapter 3 of “La Tierra Afortunada”.


Excerpts from “Texas History: 1810-1992”, by William F. Davidson.

The Texians were in a bad situation in July of 1843; the Mexican Army had managed to seize several port towns in the south of the country and were quickly moving to the east-northeast at a fairly quick rate; La Baca, Victoria, Texana and several other towns had fallen by the middle of the month and it appeared to many, based largely on what few communiques they could intercept from the various Mexican officers, that the towns of Palacios, Columbia, Velasco, and Brazoria, Texas were all next in line to be trampled by the Mexican Army.

In any case, President Houston realized that the Texians needed to act quickly and rally some of their forces southward towards the besieged Gulf Coast. They were able to send about 2,000 men southwards to fight the Mexicans off, but unfortunately, forcing them back was easier said than actually done, as Santa Anna's men still continued to increase in number.....

However, though, some good news came their way as well; on July 9th, a letter written to several Texian officials informed them that another 5,000 men were to come to Texas by way of Louisiana and Arkansas, as part of a volunteer force. Quite fortunate for the Texians, too, because the Mexicans were about to make their next major move. But at least this time, they would be more prepared.....

The Mexicans advanced towards the already-besieged small town of Refugio on the morning of July 12th, guns in hand and cavalry riding thru the open fields west of the area. With only 50 Texians available to defend the town, versus about 500 Mexicans, it fell by no later than 4 o'clock that afternoon, with all but two of the defenders dead and much of the community, once again under the palm of Santa Anna, fell into disrepair and despair.[1]

On July 15th, Palacios became the next town to fall victim to the Mexican invasion as Santa Anna's men swept thru the area, decimating the hundred or so Texian defenders to the point were only a dozen survived. It was reported widely that a few renegade soldiers had raped the widows of a few of the dead Texians, though this rumor was never confirmed. Two days later, the nearby hamlet of Columbia fell to the Mexicans as well, and the commanders of that contingent began to draw their eyes southwards, towards the towns of Velasco, and Brazoria.....

The Battle of Brazoria occurred between July 21-25, 1843 and was fought between about 160 Texians and 457 of the surviving raiders of the Refugio battle. At 9 am on the 21st, some outlying citizens of Velasco observed that a large number of cavalrymen were headed towards their town, and in full force. The local Texian militias scrambled to gather whatever weapons they could grab, or find, and then went in seperate directions, some staying in Velasco and the others leaving for Brazoria to reinforced the garrison there. This turned out to be a somewhat prudent move as the Mexicans didn't stay in Velasco for all that long, only a few hours at most. They then left for Brazoria, arriving at 1 o'clock; the fighting would begin shortly after.[2]

The Texians fought valiantly against terrific odds, but were stuck in a rather unfortunate circumstance; they had very little surplus ammunition and Santa Anna's men surrounded them on almost every side, which would have made it virtually impossible to get any cargo through to them anyway. The Texians then barricaded themselves within various of the town's buildings and fought the Mexicans to a standstill. But the Mexicans ultimately won out and the Texians suffered yet another humiliating defeat at the hands of Santa Anna's forces in Brazoria; of the surviving Texians, a dozen had been captured and about two dozen more had fled to the northeast. During the evening hours of the 25th, Velasco also fell, with only a handful of surviving Texians in custody, and the town's mayor and his family on foot. The neighboring city of Quintana surrendered without a fight and was far more lightly occupied than the other two towns in the area. And with the capture of Velasco, Texas would lose yet another port, with only Matagorda and Harrisburg remaining free.[3]

Matagorda would soon be attacked itself on the 27th; though the 42 Texians still stationed there put up a spirited fight, they couldn't stop 800 Mexican soldiers from eventually taking the town; though over a hundred Mexicans had been killed, only a pair of the Texians survived, both of whom were taken prisoner.[4]

The Texians had already suffered a number of humiliating defeats by the end of the month, but on the 31st, their dismay was only heightened when they learned that the bulk of Santa Anna's forces were now beginning to arrive within close proximity of the border. In response, Sam Houston ordered for more calls for American volunteers to come to Texas's aid, and it worked; by August 7th, yet another 5,000 volunteers, many of them from the North this time, answered the calls for assistance.[5]

And none too soon, either: On August 9th, the Mexican Army again surrounded the much-besieged town of San Antonio and demanded the surrender of the citizens. Weary of the fighting, the mayor reluctantly obliged, and the Army occupied the city by the end of the day; many citizens protested, but went back to their homes the following morning, realizing the hopelessness of their current situation[6]. Just another week and a half later, they began to move north and eastward in what was to be the most powerful of the Mexican assaults on Texas yet planned.....[7]

While the rest of Santa Anna's reinforcements on their way, Victor Olascuagua[8], the officer who had commanded the Brazoria raid, merged his 700 or so surviving men with another force of about 500, and took 1,000 with him while leaving the other 200 to defend Matagorda. And with that, he commanded his men to move to the northeast, arriving in Orozimbo on the 22nd. The 20 or so Texians who took up arms tried to defend their town but were swiftly defeated by Olascuagua's men in only a matter of half an hour. Across the river, Bolivar, Texas, would itself fall just two days later after a battle of similar duration[9]. Olascuagua then waited in Bolivar for another week to receive some extra ammunition, and then he would again move out.....

Olascuagua's men finally did leave Bolivar on the 31st and made a dash towards Liverpool, a small but ever growing town of about 2,000 residents, which seems rather tiny today, but at this time, was the fifth largest city in Texas. (For a comparison, the fifth largest city in East Texas today is Arlington, with a population of about 280,000 residents). In the meantime, several other Mexican contingents were making their way across other areas of Texas, striking, as a rattlesnake would a stray cow.....[10]

The Battle of Liverpool, though relatively short-lived, was more intense than the Mexicans had initially anticipated; as many as 200 Texians had moved into the area upon hearing of the impending raid, and at least one company had brought a cannon. The battle started at around 11 am on the 1st and immediately began to turn into a bloodbath. Gunfire erupted across the entire town and dozens of homes and businesses were wrecked by both sides as they struggled for tactical supremacy. Unfortunately for the Texians, the Mexicans would yet again prove victorious; those Texians who hadn't been killed or escaped were imprisoned, and a few of the more belligerent Texian commanders were sent to the notorious Perote Prison complex in Veracruz[11]. And just a few days later, the towns of Vienna and San Leon had also fallen victim.....

As terrible as things seemed, however, the darkest days of the Republic of Texas were yet to come, and when they did, would test the ultimate resolve of the Texians and determine their nation's fate once and all.....[12]


[1] To clear things up a bit, Refugio was liberated for a time but was later re-occupied by the Mexicans, as written earlier.

[2] Velasco would escape most of the fighting, but as per footnote 3.....

[3] They got their own taste of Mexican occupation. And so would Matagorda and Harrisburg as well.

[4] “The Forty Texians”, as they are known, later become a part of that area's folk culture and even inspired a couple of *country songs.

[5] Quite a few of these advertisements targeted towards Yankees included descriptions of Liberty Creek and other such places, I might add.

[6] Can you blame them? Three occupations over just two years can't be good for the morale of any town, city, or village.

[7]This, of course, on top of being an overwhelming show of force, is also in rather stark defiance of the reality that ever-growing rebellions continue to plague his own country, and Santa Anna knows it, too.

[8]Earlier mentioned in a letter written by one Adrian Woll.

[9]Simply put, there's no stopping the Santa Anna Express.....or so the loyalists would like to think, anyhow.

[10]Pardon the corny metaphors, but this guy is from (East) Texas. Such a phenomenon transcends many a TL from here to the end of the multiverse. =)

[11]Perhaps Olascuagua may not have realized just how severe such a punishment would be.....but try telling that to the Texian commanders about to take their one-way trip down south.....

[12]And perhaps that of the wider region as a whole.....

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