Indian Relations in Texas

Kelsey Douglass to Albert Sidney Johnston, July 17, 1839

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Kelsey Douglass to Albert Sidney Johnston, July  1839

Note: Kelsey Douglass, the author of this letter, assigns varying ranks and titles to Thomas J. Rusk and Edward Burleson. At this time, Rusk was a major general in the Texas militia and Burleson was the commander of the Frontier Regiment.

Head Quarters
Camp Rusk on the Neches
17th July 1839

A. Sidney Johnston
Secretary of War


On yesterday the
the two rejiments [sic] under Col Burleson and Rusk
arrived from Camp Carter at about
ten oclock [sic]. Col Landrum with his command
not having reached head quarters the evening
before was ordered to take up the line
of march on the East bank of the
Neches and join the main force on its march to
Harris—the main body moving up
on the west side. We had proceeded on the
march about four miles when we were
sent by one of the spies who had been dispatched
by Col Carter to inform us that the enemy
was discovered but a short distance in
advance. The following disposition of the forces
was immediately adopted. Col Burleson with one
Batallion [sic] of his command was ordered to advance
and sustain the spy company in the event the
enemy made battle. Genl Rusk with one Batallion [sic]
of his regiment advanced to sustain in
like manner [as] Col B. The enemy at first occup-
ied an indian [sic] hut and corn field on the right[.]
They advanced to a thicket and branch and
engaged the spy C. and Col Burleson who had
about this time arrived upon the ground—a
hill side that overlooked their position[.]
Genl Rusk with a rapid assessment
selected [?] the point of attack about
the same instant, when a brisk fire
was made by the enemy and returned with
returned with [sic] great gallantry by the deta-
chments named. In this position this position [sic]
a heavy fire was kept up on both


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Kelsey Douglass to Albert Sidney Johnston, July 17, 1839. Mirabeau B. Lamar Papers #1373, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: October 3, 2011