Stephen F. Austin to Mateo Ahumada, 04-06-1826

Summary: Quoting a report of April 4, by Capt. Ross of the destruction of a party of marauding Tahuacanos.

The Captain of the Militia of the Colorado District, James J. Ross, transmitted to me the following report bearing date of the 4th Instant.

"In compliance with your orders of the 28th of last March, in which you inform me that a party of Tahuacanos had left their villages on their way to the Colorado, under the pretext of looking for the Tancahues, and order me to watch and attack them if they should be seen in this neighborhood; I lost no time in sending spies to the frontier, and yesterday, at noon, I received information that sixteen Indians of said nation had arrived near the settler Asa Anderson's house, about five Leagues below the road to La Bahia on this river. I collected the militia, and by ten o'clock at night, I mustered thirty-one men, with whom I marched eight Leagues, and attacked the Indians at daybreak. It was not an easy matter to get at them in their position; they were on a deep creek, the banks of which are covered with a dense thicket and chaparal, which induced me to divide my men into two parties. One party under the command of Lieutenant Rawson Alley, commenced the attack in front, from the bank of the creek, while I took position with the other in the bottom of the little run, above the place where the Indians were so as to be able to fire on them when they crossed the creek. This disposition had a good effect. At the first fire of Alley's party, the Indians ran for the bottom, and there received a volley from my party. Eight Indians fell dead, and five were wounded and escaped to the thicket. We took five fire arms, seven bows, and a considerable number of arrows and quantity of ammunition. The thickness of the Chaparal prevented us from pursuing the fugitives, who scattered in various directions. There is sufficient reason to conclude, from the signs of blood and other indications on their trails, that only three of the sixteen Indians will ever reach their villages. Each Indian had a leather rope and noose, and they were all on foot, having with them only one horse. They were a portion of the party who, last fall, stole horses at the Atascosito crossing on this river. I found among their property some papers which show that one of their dead was the chief called Cordero, and that two other chiefs named Lisaque and Guichupa were killed. It affords me great satisfaction to be enabled to say that the men obeyed my orders with alacrity, and behaved well during the attack. I send you herewith the papers I found."

In consequence of this incident, I gave orders to the captains of Militia in this Colony, to have their men ready at a moments notice; and I would send spies to the Indian villages to watch their movements and ascertain their intentions. I apprehend no danger of an attack on the Colony by these Indians, as, according to information I have received, the party destroyed by Captain Ross was the only one that visited this neighborhood for the purpose of stealing, and the other chiefs disapproved their conduct. I will leave today for the upper road from Bexar to Nacogdoches; I may there receive information that will compel me to open a campaign against the Waco and Tahuacano villages, in which case I shall report to you in due season.

Which I have the honor to report to you, enclosing the papers and documents found in the possession of the routed party.

God and Liberty

Stephen F. Austin

Town of San Felipe de Austin, April 6th, 1826.