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into the public service her horse, which her husband, who was gone to the army, had left for her to retreat upon.  She was now afoot, and in her indignation she said she would be durned if she did not take the first horse she could find.

Here we got corn for our horses to eat, which they had not tasted for several days before.  My horse had actually eaten nothing, since day before, when he was brought in from the prairie.  Having fed him I hobbled and turned him out on the prairie.  We got a good supper, fried bacon, good corn bread, coffee, and a cup of milk.  Menard and Hardin slept on the ground in the open air, by a fire.  I took my rest in an open wagon, where our baggage was, and slept pretty well.  Another person slept under the wagon.  It rained a little in the night, but not enough to wet me.

Friday, March 18, 1836

This morning was cloudy and drizzly.  Many persons, moving eastward to escape the anticipated storm of war, came along with their families, some in wagons, some in carts, and some on foot, with mules and horses, packed with their moveables.  Menard went on to Nacogdoches, in company with Taylor.  Hardin returned to Washington, to see after the family of a friend of his.  I determined to wait for some one going on towards the bay, with whom I might keep company.  And in the meantime employed myself in writing to the United States.  The poor prisoners, the old priest and the young officer, came by on foot, going to Nacogdoches.  They are alone and unguarded -- very little like prisoners.  About 10 o'clock Zavala, Ruis and Navarro, with their attendants and caviard (cabellardo) of horses and pack mules, came by on their way to Groce's, where they are to stay tonight.  Zavala rode a little mule.  I was soon after joined by Pyle and Badgett.  Also by Ikin, the English capitalist, who, it was said, was to lend Texas $5,000,000.  He was on foot, and as we all were going the same road, we agreed to take dinner with Mrs. Whiteside and go on to Groce's tonight.

Before we started Pennington came by, with a proclamation from the President designed to lull the panic and stop the flight of the people towards the eastern frontier.  (See proclamation.)  Intelligence was received contradicting the report of the approach of the enemy by Bastrop, and stating that General Houston had not crossed the Colorado, and was receiving reinforcements.[24]  We also learned that they were making a breastwork of cotton bags at the Brazos ferry, in case the enemy should come that way.  After dinner we all started.  At Walker's, about half way to Groce's, we encountered Zavala and his Mexican friends encamped in the woods.  They would go no further tonight.  We went on, and arrived at Groce's at half past 7 o'clock.  Found there Triplett, Hise, Carson, Kimble, Ellis, Hamilton, Everett, Blount, McKinney, etc.

The country over which we have passed today is beautifully diversified with


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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas