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Account of the Raid on Linnville

 

Historic Accounts of Life in South Texas

 
From Passages from the correspondence and other papers of Rufus W. Griswold – Published 1898
 
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Passo de Cabello, Aug. 15,1840. My dear Brother:

Ere this reaches you I presume you will have heard of the destruction of Linnville on Labaca Bay, and thus I have dated my letters to you from that place I hasten to inform you of my safety and the facts so far as they have come to my knowledge of the affair.

On the morning of the 8th inst. a party of Indians were discovered about 2 or 2 1/2 miles from the town forming in order of attack; our first impression was that it was a part of the Mexican Federal Army, coming to that place for supplies, but on taking a view of them through a glass and observing their numbers, a man was despatched to meet them and ascertain whether they were friends or foes, he had advanced about 1/4 mile when the advanced guard filed off and in 4 minutes we were completely surrounded by land, and all chance of escape save by water cut off.

All made their escape but two whites and three negroes by taking the Boats. Three whites were killed,—Major Watts, the collector of the Port of Labaca, a Mr. Owen [?] and a man whose name is not recollected. And Madam Watts taken prisoner. Three Blacks are missing.

Soon after the Indians had possession of the town they commenced burning the town, one building at a time. We lay in sight until the last building was burned, which was done about 9 P. M. —from Linnville they made their way again for the mountains by way of Victoria which they attacked twice, and were both times repulsed— from that place they were closely pursued by the Texians and were once 'whipped with considerable loss.

From the last accounts from the army in pursuit, the Texians were 700 strong in view with parties on both flanks and the Major General Felix Huston with about 200 Regulars at a narrow pass to the mountains to which they were making. From the last Express their destruction is almost inevitable. Should they be cut. off, western towns will be safe from any further invasion.

The number that took Linnville was not less than 8 nor more than 12 hundred men—they were led by Mexicans or Indians. . . All that was saved was what we had on our backs. My loss was not less than four and I fear not less than eight thousand dollars, but it was made in Texas. I am now destitute, all I have is my land and credit, one thing I have to console, that is, I am out of debt. Since the fight I have had no regular sleep. I am nearly used up. I leave here in a few hours for the Lavaca and Victoria. . . God be with you and yours,

S. Parsons Griswold.

More information on Linnville
The Raid on Linnville
Linnville (Ghost Town)
Linnville and Victoria are attacked by the Comanches
Site of the Town of Linnville


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