Stephen F Austin to James Bowie and James Fannin, 11-02-1835

Summary: Giving result of a council of war and suggesting plan of investment

Head Quarters above Bexar Nov., 2 1835

To Colo. Bowie and Capt. Fanning,

I enclose you the result of a council of War held this morning by the officers of this division—you will see that the Council has decided it is inexpedient to attempt to take Bexar by storm at present—that the army should take such a position as will enable it to harrass the enemy as much as possible, out of reach of Cannon until the 18 pound battering pieces and additional reinforcements arrive— This decision is submitted to the consideration of the officers of your division.

In addition I will add several suggestions that were made— One is to occupy the Mill by 200 men and post the balance on the river under cover of a bank above and continue the battallion below in the position it now occupies— To this it is objected, that our force is not sufficient to invest the town, so as to prevent supplies from entering and that no important object can be effected in that way, that more can be done by uniting the whole force above town and sending out parties of 50 men, every day and night to range around, drive off cattle etc. As to corn it is certain they have a large supply inside— This point is therefore also submitted to your consideration, whether or not the whole force ought to be united above town where corn is plenty and harass the enemy by keeping out beeves by means of detachments and wait until the battering cannon and reenforcements arrive or whether the army should remain divided as it now is.

To decide this point, the only question is this; can the present force invest Bexar all around? if it can not, how can beeves be prevented from going in, except by keeping detachments constantly out? Can these Detachments be sent and kept out, at all, while the Army is divided?

I will now make a suggestion of my own for your consideration— It is this— you will take a safe position below— I will do the same above each division will be subdivided into parties of 20 or 25 men—one of these parties will leave the upper division at day light and range around on the west and sleep with you at night—a similar party will start from your division at the same time from the mouth of Salado and the missions up the Salado and sleep here at night—a similar detachment will start at night from each camp and range around in the same way until they make the circle and get back to their respective divisions— I prefer this arrangement to the other.

I shall await your answer before I come to a final conclusion. I shall dispatch a confidential man back to bring out the 18 pound cannon and Shot, and also send Farmer to Gonzales to make round ball— but shall not do it untill I receive an answer from you to this communication— I therefore wish you to give me an answer as soon as possible.

Should you be decidedly of opinion that the whole force should be united —you can act on that decision at once, without any further order from me— Should you prefer remaining, do so, and give your opinions as to the best way of keeping out beeves—

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

300 blanket, 300 p.r Shoes

cloths for tents are on the way out— this information was recv.d last night— The 3 cannon 1—6 pounder 2, 4 pounders will be at the cibolo to morrow night

The mill will be occupied to day

S. F. Austin [Rubric]