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March 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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March 2, 2011
 

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Hays Free Press March 2,2011 NEIGHBORS Page 3C + Civilians slaughtered on eve of Mexican Brar A areen Gen. Zachary Taylor ceived his marching orders for Port Isabel on March 8, 1846, an old friend told him he would be riding along with a civilian caravan. Following the well-worn trail from Tennessee, the Rogers family reached Texas a few days after the Battle of San ]acinto. Patterson Rogers and his wife Elizabeth decided the chaotic conditions were not conducive to raising eight children and withdrew east of the Sabine River to wait for the dust to settle. Like the triumphant Texans, the Rogers never dreamed statehood would be a decade in coming. Yet, as the years slowly passed, they never regarded their stay in Louisiana as anything other than temporary. When Gen. Zachary Taylor landed with his troops on the Texas coast in the summer of 1845, Roswell Denton was not far behind. The civilian sut- ler or provisioner for the expedition was accompanied by his three elder brothers-in-law- Anderson, Lieun and William Rogers - and the rest of the close-knit clan soon joined them at Corpus Christi. Three weeks after the Stars and THIS WEEK IN Stripes replaced the Lone Star, Gen. Taylor moved into position along the international boundary to meet any Mexican attempt to retake the long lost province. Anderson Rogers remained at Corpus Christi, the port of entry for all supplies, while Roswell Denton and his two other assistants built store- houses at Port Isabel and San Antonio. After putting Lieun Rogers in charge of the Alamo City operation, the suffer rushed to New Orleans to speed up the shipment of munitions. Denton's parting instructions to Anderson and William were to deliver a supply train to the Second Dragoons at Port Isabel. He specifi- cally told them to avoid the interior, which was growing more dangerous by the day, andto take the safe Padre Island route. Sporadic skirmishes were already occurring along the border, when the brothers departed Corpus Christi on April 25, 1846. Besides their 50-year- old father, who insisted on making the trip, the passenger list included a dozen additional men, three women and four small children. The caravan was poorly armed and traveled with- out military escort. For reasons that were never known, the Rogers brothers ignored their boss's warning as well as a similar admonition from Gen. Taylor. Instead of heading due south down Padre, they followed the southwest- erly course of the Arroyo Colorado into the hazardous mainland. In the vicinity of present-day Harlingen on the first day of May, a band of Rio Grande raiders suddenly encircled the column. Though out- numbered and outgunned, the three Rogers and the majority of their male companions did not want to give up without a fight. But the fate of the defenseless women and children caused them to think twice. Promised civilized treat; ment by the smiling bandit leader, they dropped their weapons and raised their hands. The men were immediately Stripped, lashed together in pairs and herded at gunpoint to a high bluff, where they were forced to kneel. The executioner then grabbed each victim from behind by the hair, yanked back his head and slit his throat. After tossing the bodies two at a time over the precipice, the murderous maniacs butchered the screaming women and children. As the bandits leisurely looted the wagon train, a naked corpse came to life in the shallow Arroyo Colorado. William Rogers crawled out of the water and hid in a hole in the bank until the raiders rode offwith their plunder. The youth should have been dead. Even though the assassin had missed his jugular vein, which reduced the flow of blood to a trickle, the knife practically severed his windpipe. Still, he managed to breathe through the gash in his throat. Covering himself from head to toe with mud to protect his skin from the blistering sun, William wandered aimlessly in search of help. He could swallow water and berries only by lying flat on his back. After four days and 40 miles, he stumbled upon an old Mexican, who provided the piti- ful gringo with fresh clothes and a place to sleep. A passing patrol took William pris- oner and transferred him to a POW camp in Matamoros. Denied medi- cal attention, his festering wound became a breeding ground for screw- WO1TnS. After a prisoner swap, freed Ameri- cans informed Col. David Twiggs that William was still in foreign custody. The outraged officer demanded his release, but the commander of the Matamoros garrison denied any knowledge of the captive. Realizing the Mexicans intended to keep the massacre a secret by re- fusing to hand over the sole survivor, Twiggs set a deadline for his repatria- tion. If the enemy did not let him go, the colonel threatened to level Matamoros with his artillery. The Mexicans got the message and quickly turned William Rog- ers loose. Nursed back to health, he lived to tell the world about the Arroyo Colorado atrocity. Bartee Halle welcomes your com- ments, questions and suggestions at haile@pdq.net or P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549. And come on by www.twith.com for a visit! Beautiful weather draws out critters, good an,] bad luebirds, Bluebirds! Every- where! I love it! Laura Craig tidbitted a cou- ple weeks back that she spotted her first ever Eastern BluebRd in Moun- tain City. Dmg the past couple of weeks the gorgeous red, white and blue "bluebirds" have spent time in and out and around the nestboxes at the Garrisons, the Polks, and the Toms. Perhaps they've been at your place, too? Please tidbit. For any who do not know, I dis- tribute the Texas Bluebird Society's "Texas Nestbox", well-suited for Tex- as' conditions. From my front door, nestboxes can be purchased for $15, plus 7.75% sales tax,, or I will give to you a free nestbox in exchange for a new membership ($15) in the Texas Bluebird Society. Give me a phone call or email to set up a time. Snakes are out. We visited Rose- brockVet Clinic for rattlesnake vac- cine boosters for BoD and Kiss'Me'. Dr. Bob started seeing rattlesnake bites in early February! Skunks are out. You've probably seen the dead bodies on local roads and caught more than a hint of scent in spots where they came in contact with cars. This time of year, males ramble for miles in search of females. Should you or your dog come in contact with a skunk, here's a recipe to neutralize the odor: 1 bottle (one pint) of 3% hydrogen peroxide; 1/8 cup baking soda; and 1/2-teaspoon liquid hand soap, Mix well in very large bowl. This mix gives off oxygen and needs to be mixed fresh as needed. Pour over affected area. Let it sit several minutes and rinse with tap water. According to odorology.com, "Skunk spray contains mercaptans. Mercaptans are sulfur containing compounds that are in a low oxida- tion state. Hydrogen peroxide oxi- dizes the sulfur compounds in skunk spray while baking soda reduces the acidity of the mixture. Soap helps to wash out the greasy skunk spray residue. Do not get the mixture in or around the eyes. 2 NaOH + 4 H202 + H2S yields Na2SO4 + 6 H20 A tomato juice bath will not neu- tralize the chemical. Here's a formula for lowering vacation costs to any major city: Google for "daily deals" in that city several months out. For our upcom- ing trip to San Diego, I've grnered discount meals, lodging, chocolates and a hot air balloon ride. Also, sharp color reprints of online transportation maps (for instance, downtown bus routes) can be made atThe UPS Store for $0.49. The LIPS Store received the link I emailed and prints were waiting when I showed up. Soon, without a map, we can all make an interesting little trip to the FM 150 Farmers Market out to- ward Inn Above Onion Creek at the Michaelis Ranch, starting March 17, each Thursday from 3-6 p.m. There's a vendor list at www.michaelisranch. com I'm waiting to receive emailed tidbits! Email ptom5678@gmail.com or phone (512) 268-5678. Winter garden, or some of it, survives freeze B rrr! Last month's low temperatures begged the question "Why is Oklahoma so interested in Central Texas that it has sent its weather to visit us two winters in a row?" My winter vegetable garden has taken it on the chin. Lettuce was fried to a crisp and the onion tops were bumt back to the ground, though they are showing some welcome signs of new green growth. The only plant to survive and indeed flourish through this bitter cold has been the triple curled parsley. That's deft- nitely good news for the black swallow-tail butterfly larvae, which will now have something tasty to eat. For the second year in a row my palm trees show signs of bum, but have made it out aUve. The Mexican and Califor- nia fan palms (Washingtonia filifera and robusta), the Pindo palms (Butia capitata), and the Canary Island Phoenix palms (Phoenix canaryiensis) an show signs of winter foliage bum. However their tops should re- grow by midsummer. It's the same story with our sago 'palms' (Cycas revoluta). I'm just going to trim the brown foliage off and they will grow a new top when the weather warms up. The only two palms that have made it through the last two winter cold spells un- scathed have been the Mediter- ranean fan palm (Chamaerpos humilis) and the W'mdmill palm (Trachycarpus excelsa). For those of you tired of IT'S ABOUT trimming your palms every spring, always a difficult and unpopular task, these two are the ones to look for. The Mediterranean fan palm can reach a height of 10 to 12 feet and grows in a cluster. They make beautiful specimens and screens. The windmill palm grows a solitary trunk to 15 feet in height. Their trunks are furry which gives them the name 'monkey palm.' It feels like spring is around the corner. If you haven't plant- ed your potatoes or applied corn gluten for summer weed control- time is nmning out. I have noticed that the early birds have been out scouting the tomato varieties for spring. There is quite a buzz going on about a new tomato release this year called Tycoon. This is a determinate tomato that grows large firm fruit with high yield potential and heat set ability, and it has a ton of dis- ease resistance built into it. Looks like a good season on the ground. Boy am I excited! Happy spring gardening everyone. If you have a question for Chris, send it via email to iathyme@ yahoo.com. Or mail a postcard to It's About Thyme: 11726 Man- chaca Road, Austin, TX 78748. www. itsaboutthyme.com 6nt Cards Available * Texas Crossword and Sudoku sponsored by Texas Lehigh Cement Co., LLC gudoku See Solution, page 4C , i I P ACROSS 1 TX Mrs, Baird's job is to bread 5 cattle auction submission (2 wds) 6 Hi!lsboro outlet mall has store 7 Edith Wilmans was elected state legis- lator on Ku Ktux ticket in '22 8 River 9 TX Tom Kite org. 12 TXism: *'happy as a pup with two 17 TXism: "worthless as 19 I st name of Uvalde 2t Twitty*s "It's Only Make 22 TXism: "hot as stove" 23 TX backyard spa (2 wds.) 28 TX before the Civil War: bellum 29 TX fire ant 30 to wake up 31 TX Autry "IV series "Range 35 photoelectric cell 36 edibles of "Fiesta San Antonio" (2 wds.) 42 what a TXn will do with watermelon seeds (2 wds.) 44 Sonora is on the western of Edwards Plateau 46 infamous Oswald 48 TXism: "happy as stop" 49 TX Perot's first naval rank (abbr.) 50 long, long time 51 Houston Astros top draft pick ('92): Phil 52 Fay Co. 53 old facility for Mavs & Stars: "Reunion 54 TX Hagman's "Dallas" role: J.R. 56 mediocre 57 country lanes (abbr,) 58 TXism: "church " (bottle opener) DOWN i 1 Bonnie & Clyde pulled 'era (2 wds.) 2 home of Dyess AFB 3 former state rep.: Garza 4 TX town or biblical garden 9 Judd Lewis was Ist TX laureate 10 TXism: "close enough for 11 TXism:" some graver (fell) 12 iced 13 TX Roddenberry 4 t8 37 50 52 15 TXism: "stretch your "(smile) 16 TXism:" - slinging drunk" 18 grain crib 20 TXism: %hompin' the bit  (eager) 23 TX George H,: "The liberation of Kuwait  begun" 24 TX mine output 25 El Paso's Plaza Theatre has 15- ......... Wurlitzer organ 26 scuffle "Trek" line: "live tong 27 TX Trevino won " this in '68 & '71 14 forerunner of the 32 TX Audie was 7-11 "Slurpee" hero of WW __ TEXAS CROSSWORD by Charley & Guy Orbison by Orbiaon Bros. 10 31 ! .............. ' 57 58 33 LBJ's old address: Washington, _ 34 Errol of film "San Antonio" (init,) 36 DFW arrival guess 37 Connally was a -time TX gow 38 TXism:" his own ballot" (indeoendent} P-100t 9 TX seat has live oak & branches 40 TXism: 1all the pack" (leader) 41 TXism:" yarn" (tell a tale) 43 ex-Ranger pitcher Henke (init.) 45 Ranger broadcaster Nadel (init.) 47 Mexican day celebrated in TX: "Diez Septiembre" 48 poor horse (2 wds.) 55 TXism: "looking to mndrll" See Solution, page 4C (