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At the mouth of the old river of Trinity we found a great many fugitives.  The wagons and tents looked like the encampment of an army.  Waited from 1 to 4 o'clock, and found it impossible to get our horses across in the boats.  The right to the ferry had been usurped by some agent of the government for the use of the fugitives, who assisted each other in passing.  They claim to pass by turns, but there is much squabbling and much injustice.  All are now seriously alarmed at the near approach of the enemy, and might here gives right.  Those who are flying before an enemy they have not seen are valiant in asserting their right to pass the river, and pistols are shown and oaths sworn without stint.  A hoary-headed brute, named Patton, who was taking much authority on himself, without possessing the discretion to use it judiciously, used rude language to me.  I note it because he is the first man that I have met in Texas who has used rude and offensive language to me.  He was equally so to Dr. Neblett, who had proposed putting the women and children all over first, and then taking over the baggage, while the men should organize a company for their defense.  He tauntingly said if a few more scarry men would come, it would put them all in confusion.

With some difficulty we swam our horses over, and went on to Wallace's,[ 5]  where we stayed all night.  While there, Douglas came up and said the Mexicans had crossed at Lynch's; that he went back, after starting, and saw them about the house.  A French Creole, of Louisiana, who had come over to buy cattle, also slept here, named Comarsac.[ 6]

At the ferry we met Major Catlett, Major Cazneau, Fleury, and Cady, of Matagorda.  These two had been at Lynch's when the Mexicans came there, and saw them.  They are going to the United States.

Monday, April 18, 1836

Left Wallace's at an early hour (50 cents), and proceeded towards Anahuac.  At Turtle Bayou found no boat, and could not cross.  Attempted to pass the mouth on the bar, but could not find it.  Fortunately, some travellers were coming round from Anahuac, and for $1 one of them showed us the bar.  It was full a half a mile, and a very difficult way to find.  We got through without wetting feet.  Following the path along the river bank, we reached Anahuac about 11 o'clock.  Met a number of people leaving the town, for they had heard that the Mexicans were coming, and were all flying.  One poor woman, a Dutchwoman, Mrs. Oldbender, had her all in a bundle on her head, a sucking child in her arms, a little girl leading and a small boy following.  Hers was a pitiable case.  Another woman with a little girl, when she saw us took us for Mexicans, and fled to the woods.  We called to her, and that reassured her.  At Anahuac we found Mrs. Harris,[ 7]  our late landlady at Harrisburg, also J. W. Smith of Bejar, with his Mexican family,[ 8]  who kindly gave us breakfast.  Here we were joined


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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