LETTERS: Tejanos forgotten

Texas history has long forgotten the military contributions of Capt.

Juan Seguin and his Tejanos for Texas independence from Mexico in five battles, including the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto, as cavalry and infantry, as well as guards and escorts, but Seguin*s Tejanos also served Gen. Sam Houston’s Texas army as their eyes and ears, by being scouts and spies.

Lt. Col. William Travis had been hearing rumors from the local Tejanos about Gen. Santa Anna’s army marching to San Antonio, but he refused to believe that any military general could be so ruthless and reckless with the lives of his soldiers by making them march in the dead of winter. When Ambrosio Rodriquez, one of Seguin’s Tejanos, received word from his in-laws from the Laredo area, Travis still refused to believe it, but Capt. Seguin did.

Every Tejano in Seguin’s company were good scouts, but according to his memoirs, Blas Herrera was the best one. Herrera was always given the most important tasks of scouting in at

least four different occasions, including the most important and dangerous one: looking for General Santa Anna’s army.

One account states that he went with two Indians, and they did in fact find the Mexican army north of Laredo. In the middle of the night, Herrera cut the ropes tied to the horses. The soldiers found their horses scattered along the countryside in the morning. The diary of Col. Juan Alamonte reported a Tejano riding through the camp who shot and killed a soldier. When Herrera reported back to Capt.

Seguin, the Alamo was having a celebration to welcome the arrival of Davy Crockett on Feb. 12, 1836, and Travis still refused to believe Herrera.

Seguin also ask his good friend, Jose Cassiano, a local merchant.

Cassiano would be the perfect spy because he was already making regular trips to Laredo for supplies for his general store. Cassiano reported back to Seguin with confirmation of Herrera’s report, but the Alamo was having a party celebrating George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22. Travis was too busy dancing with the prettiest girl in San Antonio to listen to Cassiano.

Unfortunately, the next day, Gen.

Santa Anna’s army caught the hungover and tired defenders of the Alamo totally surprised about midmorning, and the city of San Antonio would be taken over without a single shot.

Capt. Seguin and his Tejanos contributed so much for Texas independence, but when will Texas history remember and recognize their bravery and courage on the battlefield, as well as their special capabilities in gathering military intelligence for the Texas Army?

Jack Ayoub Harlingen