The Battle of Salado

During the Battle of Salado in which Wm Hesskew and Moses Heskew participated in, a friend of Wm's was killed, a Steven Jett.  Part of the story of the Battle, below, in an abbreviated format tells that a group of men rode into San Antonio with the intent to have the Mexican Calvary chase them back to thier camp where the Texan's hoped to fight the Mexicans on thier terms and the battlefield of thier choosing on the banks of the Salado .

Source: The Journal of James Wilson Nichols 1820-1887

Other accounts tell of the fact that the men that rode into town rode out of necessity on the best horses the men had. You would not want to be caught by the calvary.

Before they went into San Antonio, the commanders evaluated which horses were capable. Many were not quality animals of the likes needed to out run the Mexican calvary. Up until I had read the account below, I was unaware that Steven Jett had participated in this daring ride into San Antonio to draw the Mexican Army out to thier position on the Salado, about 6-7 miles east of the Alamo.

The fact that We learned of the relationship that William had with Jett lead me to believe it was highly possible that William rode on that daring ride into San Antonio. The fact that William and Jett were noted by James Nichols as working on the same ranch would have suggested they both had access to quality animals. Both being young and single, I just believe that William was there on that ride too. And now the story of the Battle of Salado.

In 1842 Mr. Highsmith was still a member of Jack Hays' ranging company, and stationed at San Antonio. In September of the above year Gen. Adrian Wall came from Mexico with about 1200 men and captured San Antonio. The rangers were out on a scout at the time, and failed to discover the approach of the

Mexicans. Some of them came in, not being aware of the changed conditions, put up their horses, and were captured after some slight resistance. The balance of the rangers had gone down the Medina River with Captain Hays, and when they came back discovered there were Mexican soldiers in town, and made

their escape, although hotly pursued by a large body of cavalry. Mr. Highsmith was with this party with Hays. The rangers went into camp on the Salado, and Captain Hays sent runners to Seguin and Gonzales and other points informing the people of the situation and calling for help. Lieut. H. E. McCulloch was·very active in spreading the news and raising men. Spies from the ranger camp kept watch on the Mexicans around San Antonio. The people east, as was their wont in time of danger, responded with alacrity, and soon Gen. Matthew Caldwell took the field with a force and established his camp on the Salado, seven miles northeast from San Antonio. Captain Hays was then sent with

part of his rangers to draw the Mexicans out to Caldwell's position. They advanced to within half a mile of the Alamo, and cut up many antics on their horses in a bantering way to get the Mexican cavalry to pursue them. In this they succeeded, for soon 400 cavalry came out and charged them. A lively chase now commenced back to the position of Caldwell. Mr. Highsmith was not in this chase, but remembers the following names of those who were: H. E. McCulloch, Kit Ackland, Stuart Foley, Creed Taylor, Andrew Sowell, Big Foot Wallace, Ad Gillispie, Sam Walker, Sam Luckey, and a man named Jett, who was

killed in the battle which followed on the creek. The Mexican army soon came out and a severe battle was fought, in which Walls was defeated. Calwell's force had been variously estimated. The writer once heard Gen. Henry McCulloch say that there were 201.

Before the fight commenced, and while the Mexicans were preparing to charge, the Baptist preacher, Z. N. Morrell, asked permission of Caldwell to make the men a short talk. The request was granted, and the general added, "I wish you would; it will do the boys good."

The preacher was listened to with profound respect, and he wound up the address with these words: "And now, boys, my impression before God is that we will win the fight." The men cheered their appreciation The Mexicans made some desperate charges, but shot wild. Sometimes they would come within fifteen yards of the Texans, yelling like Indians. General Cordova, who had the fight with Burleson's rangers on·Mill Creek in 1839, was killed in this fight by Wilson Randle of Seguin. John N. Seguin was also here in command of a company fighting the Texans. Capt. Nicholas Dawson, from Fayette County, tried to get to Caldwell's position with fifty-two men, but was cut to pieces and himself and thirty-two of his men were killed and the balance captured, except two-Gon. Woods and Aulcy Miller.

Woods fought his way through the Mexicans and got to Caldwell; Miller went the other way to Seguin. Wall, being defeated by Caldwell, went back to San Antonio, but did not tarry there long, and set out' for Mexico. He was followed by the Texans and overtaken, and a skirmish took place called


The Mexican army in their retreat from San Antonio traveled towards the foot of the mountains and crossed the Medina River two miles shove the present town of Castroville, and then traveled up between two ravines to a high ridge near the Rondo River.

The advance of the Texans was led by Jack Hays and his rangers, who crowded close on the rear of the retreating Mexicans. The Texans were badly scattered, coming on in companies under their respective leaders. This want of order and a thorough understanding in regard to commanders and plan of battle

caused the pursuit to be a failure. Captain Hays and his men came upon the Mexicans at the ridge where they had halted to give battle, and he halted his men to await the arrival of the re- ( continued in the book Texas Indian Fighters by Benjamin F. Highsmith)

Pages 24-25 the book Texas Indian Fighters by Benjamin F. Highsmith

There are several Accounts of the Battle of Salado here. William is mentioned specificly in  The Journal of James Wilson Nichols 1820-1887  page 2