Stephen F Austin to James F Perry, 11-22-1835

Summary: Estimate of the army before Bexar. Plans for future

Before Bexar Novr. 22 1835

Dr Brother,

My health has been very bad since I left the Cibolo, more than a month ago, and I have been unable to attend personally to the duties of my station with that activity which the service required—I believe however that all has been done that could have been—I have at various times submitted the question of storming the fortifications to a council of officers and they have uniformly decided against it—yesterday I was in hopes the Army was prepared to do it, and I issued a positive order, to storm at day light this morning, but on trial I found it impossible to get half the men willing for the measure, and it was abandoned from necessity

I begin to doubt whether much more can be done here, than to leave a force in winter quarters at the missions below town, say 250 men, untill the necessary regular force and guns and other supplies, come out—

My health is better than it has been and is improving fast—I shall make another effort to get the army to storm if it cannot be effected, I shall leave as many as will stay in winter quarters and go to the U. S. under the appointment they have given me as commissioner— So far as my own wishes and feelings are concerned, I much prefer an appointment out of Texas, than in it—I am ready to serve the country in any way I can—I accepted the appointment I now hold here, because I could not do otherwise, I never sought it, nor wished for it—my constitution is too much worn out and too feeble for the exposure and hardships and activity of a winters campaign, destitute of everything like comforts. I have done the best I could This army has always been composed of discordant materials, and is without proper organization—The volunteer sistem will not do for such a service, I have had a hard and difficult task to perform—and am really so worn out, that I begin to require rest— I could have been of more use in the convention than here—and I can be of service to Texas by going to the U. S. and I wish to go there.

Love to all— The boys are well—we are about 600 yards from the fortifications and we have a battery within 340 yards but have no balls to do much good—

This place must fall of itself in a short time—They are almost destitute of supplies and but little hope, of getting tham from the interior soon— If Genral Mexia has gone to attack Matamoros and succeeds, in taking that place this one will fall of course—

As to Texas affairs, much more depends at present on a proper regulation of the civil Govt, than on the military operations—

If there is unanimity and prudence and no party work, hi the civil department, all will go right the fate of Texas depends mainly on this—we ought to get united to the U. S. as soon as possible, it is the best we can do farewell

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

How I envy a poor and obscure man in his quiet cottage, free from care and trouble and faction—A

We have cannonading every day. to day it has been very brisk for several hours—no harm has been done to any of our men—we hear that several have been killed and wounded inside one mexican soldier was killed this morning who was attempting to reconnoiter our battery S F A