Special to the Reporter
At the last meeting of the Comanche Peak Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Joan Taylor shared information about the Mier Expedition, which was the last raid by the Texans in the area south of the Nueces River during the days of the Republic of Texas. It was the most diastrous of the expeditions from Texas into Mexico.
The Mier Expedition developed out of The Somervell Expedition, which captured Laredo. A force of 261 Texans crossed the Rio Grande, killing 621 Mexicans with a loss of 30 Texans.
Acting without authority of the government, 176 Texans were captured. Santa Anna ordered that every tenth man be executed. The 17 selected by the drawing of a black bean from a jar of 159 white beans and 17 black beans is known as the “Black Bean Episode.” The 17 who drew a black bean were blindfolded and shot.
Vircy Macatee shared the story of John Christopher Columbus Hill, known as the Boy Captive of the Mier Expedition. Hill was 13 years old and begged to go with his father and brother on the expedition. At last his brother told him that he could take his gun that was used at the Battle of San Jacinto but under no circumstances was he to surrender it to a Mexican.
Unfortunately, at the surrender he was ordered with the men to stack his gun. In defiance, he struck it on a rock and shattered the stock. The officer that took him prisoner was impressed with the action of the 13-year old. When they arrived in Mexico City he was taken to Santa Anna.
Santa Anna was impresed and adopted John Christopher. He was educated at the Colegio de Mineria, translated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and negotiated railroad deals in the United States and Mexico.
The chapter's next meeting will be March 10. Kay Guthrie will present program on The Cradle Picture.