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44. [p.152]  These rumors seemed reasonable, given the fate of Fannin's army, but were exaggerated with regard to Mexican treatment of civilians. The Texas army also impressed and destroyed property, and deserters from Houston's force used scare tactics to facilitate looting. Lack, Texas Revolutionary Experience, pp. 222-26.

45. [p.153]  When Gray wrote that his horse may have been "pressed," he meant impressed by the government or army of Texas. The practice was common because supplies of all kinds were low, the army's needs were great, and the political system inadequate to make provisions available through conventional purchase and distribution. Impressment was a form of uneven taxation that occurred most heavily where the army was the largest. Lack, Texas Revolutionary Experience, pp. 100-2, 231-33.

46. [p.153]  Smith had recently returned from the Convention, where he had received a stay of execution for the murder of his son-in-law, Moses A. Carroll. Unpopular and suspected of Tory leanings, Smith had been represented by David G. Burnet, who remained behind to be elected president. Henson, "Notes on the Gray Diary," pp. 7-8.

47. [p.154]  This force had in fact been dispatched by Santa Anna to capture the government, which included his political adversary, Zavala. The Mexican force entered Harrisburg six hours after the Texas leaders had embarked for Galveston. Raymond Estep, "Lorenzo de Zavala and the Texas Revolution," p. 331.

48. [p.154]  There has been considerable skepticism expressed about this story, but the circumstances described by Gray are corroborated by other evidence. Dr. Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840) was the sixth of ten children fathered by William Henry Harrison. He suffered from alcoholism and family turmoil and failed a cure designed by his father in the form of an extended western trapping expedition in 1833-34. In all likelihood he arrived on the Texas coast in March of 1836 and quickly fell into the hands of the Mexican army. Harrison returned to Ohio, where he died on June 17, 1840. Harbert Davenport, "Dr. Benjamin Harrison."

49. [p.154]  Benjamin H. Mordecai was a private in Captain Uriah J. Bullock's second company (in Major William Ward's Georgia Company from  Macon, Georgia), which mustered into Texas service at Velasco on Christmas day, 1835. He was captured with Ward's unit at the end of February in 1836 and brought to Victoria as a prisoner on March 23. Considering Mordecai too exhausted for further travel, Urrea left him there, and the prisoner later made his escape. He re-enlisted for another three-month stint on June 28, 1836. Mordecai remained in Texas until his death in 1840 in a clash with Indians near Victoria. Harbert Davenport, "Notes from an Unfinished Study of Fannin and His Men," pp. 6, 46, 79, 325; DRT, Muster Rolls, p. 7; certificates, Ben Mordecai folder, AMC.


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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