The Captured Saddlebags (Runaway Scrape Box #14) LbNA # 33934
|Placed Date||Aug 8 2007|
Reported a little wet but otherwise alive and well on 6/21/08
Things looked grim by March 11, 1836 for Sam Houston and several hundred volunteers gathered at Gonzales. General Santa Ana, the dictator of Mexico, was sweeping across Texas with thousands of soldiers in several columns destroying all resistance in his path. Hundreds had died fighting at the Alamo and hundreds more had been executed at Goliad. Facing a defeat and certain death at the hands of a superior Mexican Army, General Houston chose to retreat east, deeper into the heart of the American Colony in Mexican Texas. Like General Washington at Brooklyn Heights 50 years before, Houston realized that he needed to use geography to buy time to find a better battlefield. Most of the 30,000 colonists who came to the area were fleeing also, leaving behind years of work to build farms and towns, carrying what they could on wagons. This time in Texas History is known as the “Runaway Scrape”. The letterboxes in this series stretch from Gonzales to San Jacinto Battlefield. The stamps tell the story.
This letterbox commemorates the capture by “Deaf” Smith of a Mexican courier carrying correspondence about the locations of the Mexican units nearby. The courier was a veteran of the Alamo battle weeks before and was using William Barret Travis’ deerskin saddlebags to carry messages. The road that he was captured on, was an old Indian trail that had been improved by the Spanish to connect their missions and was later used by Mexicans and Texans. This road is now called Bellaire.
The box is located in Bellaire at the intersection of the 4900 block of Bellaire and Second Street. This is about .2 miles from Loop 610. There is a historical marker in the center of the median (called the “Paseo” in Bellaire).
To the Box:
Park on a side street and walk to the marker and read about the event. Turn around and look across Second Street and walk 45 paces to the lightpost. 3 paces behind it is a large section of bushes with a palm tree in the middle. Bend down and look at the tree. The box is nestled in the trunk of the tree on the right side, about one foot off the ground. Please re-hide well. I went to this site in the middle of a hot day and pretended to take a picture while I placed the box. No one was around even at this busy location.