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Texas | Columns | "Wandering"

Jed and Jude

by Wanda Orton
Wanda Orton
Meet Jed and Jude, two scruffy soldiers in Sam Houston's Army camped at Groce's Plantation near Hempstead. They're guarding the Twin Sisters, the newly arrived six-pound cannons from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Jed: Do you know what date it is today?

Jude: Eleventh of April. Whatcha wanna know for?

Jed: Because it's historical, dang it. Don't you appreciate history? Today's the day we got the Twin Sisters, the only cannon we have, so that's doggone important.

Jude: What good's it gonna do us though if we keep heading east. What are we gonna use it for - giant spit balls?

Jed: (chuckling) Well, if we git to Louisiana like everyone things old Sam is trying to, guess we can save it up for a 4th of July celebration.

(Next day, April 12, 1836, Houston's Army is on the march but Jed and Jude are still confused, not knowing where they're going. But they manage to stay busy, staying close to the Twin Sisters. The march continues, much of it through mud - lots and lots of mud. By April 16, the Army is approaching a fork in the road.)

Jed: Are we there yet?

Jude: Just about.

Jed: Then what. Where do we go from here?

Jude: Well, if we take the fork to the right they say we will be heading into Harrisburg and that's getting into dangerous territory. Santa Anna's Army is either there or been there. If we go left, we will be going to the United States of America - in other words, we will be giving up on Texas.

Jed: Hey, Jude. Look where we're headed. To the right turn, march!

Jed: Uh oh, here comes trouble.

Jude: Is that Pamelia Mann? Oh Lordy, I'd rather fight Santa Anna than meet up with that woman.

Jed: Betcha anything she wants her precious oxen back. You know she loaned 'em out to Old Sam.

Jude: Yeah, but he won't let her have 'em right now. No way. There's a war going on.

Jude: Tell Pamelia Mann that. She don't care a flip about the war. I've been hearing stories about that woman - she's selfish and stubborn and only out for herself.

(A crowd gathers around Pamelia Mann as she begins a loud argument with the soldiers regarding her oxen. She uses swear words not becoming to a lady. The crowd quickly disperses in all directions as Mrs. Mann pulls out her pistols and brandishes a long knife. She leaves with her oxen.)

Jed: Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Jude: To heck with her. We don't need no stinkin' oxen.

(Upon arrival, the Texas Army finds the town burned down and the newspaper presses dumped in Buffalo Bayou. Undaunted, they continue on downstream to a spot called San Jacinto directly across the river from Lynchburg.)

Jed: Are we there yet?

Jude: Yes sir, we are there - really, really there.

(The date is April 20 and there's a skirmish with Mexican soldiers camped at San Jacinto. On the day of the big battle, April 21, the first shots fired from the Twin Sisters threw the Mexican soldiers into confusion and played a key role in the Texans' victory. After it was all over, Jed and Jude ambled over to the Twin Sisters and gave the cannon a big salute.)

Jed: Are we here yet?

Jude: Yep. We're here in a new and free Texas -- and here to stay.



Wanda Orton Baytown Sun Columnist
"Wandering" July 1, 2016 columns

See
Battle of San Jacinto by Jeffery Robenalt
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