War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0042 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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our way to the coast, with the hope that some way of escape would be opened to us. On the 7th we heard that there were not more than 700 men in San Antonio, and such a force I knew would not be able and still with strong hope that we might be able to advance successfully, I purchased (on the 8th) at Castroville a small additional supply of subsistence stores (all I could), enough for two days, which included the 12th instant, but could have been made to last several days, had I a reasonable prospect of seizing more in San Antonio. Before reaching Castroville I learned that there were troops encamped on the west side of the Leon, seven miles from San Antonio; that there were cavalry, infantry, and artillery, with four guns. I encamped on the 8th on the east side of the Medina, opposite to Castroville. Late that evening I heard that the enemy would march to surround us in our camp, and I had before heard that a section of artillery was on the way down from Fort Clark, following on our rear; and there was further report that it would pass us that night on the way to San Antonio. To avoid surprise and be in possession of plenty of water I marched that night at 12 o'clock to reach the Leoncito, six miles east of the Medina, and on my arrival there, finding no signs of the advance of the enemy, I marched on three miles farther to a point suggested and brought to my memory by Lieutenant Z. R. Bliss, Eighth Infantry, called San Lucan Spring. There is quite a high hill a few hundred yards from the spring, having some houses, corrals, &c., which, together with the commanding position and a well of water in the yard, rendered this point a very strong one for a small command. This place is known as Allen's Hill. It is eight miles from where the enemy was encamped, and there I made a halt to await his advance, and parked the wagon train for defense; all of which preparations were made a little after sunrise on the 9th.

About 9 o'clock two officers approached, bearing a white flag and a message from Colonel Van Dorn, demanding an unconditional surrender of the U. S. troops under my command, stating that he had an overwhelming force. I declined to surrender without the presentation of such a force or aficer, whom I would select from my command, of its character and capacity of compelling a surrender. The advance of the enemy came in sight over a rise of ground about a mile distant; and as the whole force soon came in sight and continued in march down the long slope, Colonel Van Dorn's messenger returned to me with directions to say that "if that "if that display of force was not sufficient I could send an officer to examine it. " I replied that it was "not sufficient. " I directed Lieutenant Bliss to proceed, conducted by the same messenger, to make a careful examination of the enemy. he was taken to a point so distant that nothing satisfactory could be ascertained, and he informed his conductors that he would "make no report upon such an examination. " This being reported to Colonel Van Dorn, he permitted as close an examination as Lieutenant Bliss desired. The enemy had formed line on the low ground some half-mile in front of my position, perpendicular to and crossing the road, and neither force could be plainly seen by the other in consequence of the high bushes which intervened. Lieutenant Bliss rode the whole length of the enemy's line within thirty yards, estimating the numbers and examining the character of his armament. He reported to me that the cavalry were armed with rifles and revolvers, the infantry with muskets (some rifles) and revolvers; that there were four pieces of artillery, with from ten to twelve men each; that he estimated the force at 1,200 at least, and there might be 1,500 (since ascertained to be 1,400). With this force before me, an