Stephen F. Austin to Ahumada, 05-08-1826

Summary: Acknowledging receipt of order of May 4, and giving reasons for carrying out previous plans for war on the Wacoes, Tahuacanos, and Tahuiasea

My communication of the 30th of last April, informed you of my preparations for an attack upon the Waco, Tahuacano and Tahuiase villages. All my arrangements were made for the 25th of this month; the concentration of the militia was to take place at James Cortes' house, at the crossing of the San Antonio road on the Brazos, on the 17th Instant. The Cherokee Indians had been directed to attack the Tahuacano village on the head waters of the Navasota, about ten leagues East of the other villages; the best spirit prevailed among the militia. The above arrangements were made pursuant to your communication of the 10th of April, when, today, at 12 o'clock, I received your reserved [reservado'] communication of the 4th Instant, in which you order me to suspend any hostile movements against the Indians for the present; and to send you, by the return of the Express a statement of the force at my disposal for an expedition ; and, also, to appoint a place where I could meet you, your intentions being to take the field with 250 men in the month of July.

In consequence of this order, I sent, at 3 o'clock P. M. an express to the Cherokees to suspend their operations, alleging a hope of a treaty of peace between the Indians and the Colonists, in order to conceal the true motive; stating to them at the same time, that they must remain in readiness to march at the earliest notice, in case the peace could not be affected. I had already written my orders to the Captains of Militia, informing them that the contemplated expedition was suspended in consequence of some hope of peace, which I did, to give a reason for the counterorder without exposing the true motive; but previous to these orders leaving my office, I received, at 6. o'clock P. M. by express a note from Captain Sims of the Company of Militia of the Brazos, District of Bravo, near the road to Bexar, informing me that while he was executing my orders to explore a covered road to the Indian Villages, along the bottom of the river, to avoid being noticed on a march through prairie lands, he discovered, at about twenty five leagues above the road to Bexar, trails of mounted Indians, and a party on foot, leading to the settlement. He returned at once to give information. I doubt not but a party left their villages to attack us, and our settlements are so scattered that it is difficult to determine upon what point they will fall first. I have already transmitted orders in every direction to send out spies. In consequence of this notice I have thought it highly important not to communicate your order to suspend any hostile movements against the Indians, because the Militia are now ready to march to the villages, and I think, that if we are so fortunate as to discover the party that came to attack us, it would be advisable, after having routed them, to proceed by forced marches to their villages, and to fall on them before they had recovered from the terror inseparable from defeat. I hope these circumstances will be considered a sufficient excuse for my not suspending hostile movements as you order me to do.

If the occurrences above alluded to do not compel me to march to the Indian Villages, I shall defer the expedition agreeably to your orders, in which event, I think we ought to meet at the crossing of the road to Bexar, on the 27th of June, so as to attack the villages by the 4th of July. Thus time would be afforded me to call on the Militia of Trinity and Nacogdoches, the Cherokee and other tribes in that section of the country. In the meantime I shall take every step, my situation permits, to ascertain the movements of the Indians, etc. The number of men in this Colony on whom I can depend is from 175 to 200; 100 men, I believe may be expected from the Trinity and Nacogdoches; and, perhaps, 100 Cherokees, Shawnees and other trusty tribes of that section of the Country; provided you think proper to give orders to these tribes and the militia to join us in the contemplated expedition

The above is in answer to your reserved communication.

God and Liberty.

Stephen F. Austin

San Felipe de Austin, May 8th, 1826.