more could be learned of the position of the enemy. While in this position, Captain Charles K. Reese, of the Brazoria company, with private Joseph Berry, was despatched from the left wing to fire into a picket-guard some two hundred yards to their left, for the purpose of extracting their fire and exposing the situation of their different pickets, while the author felt his way down the bluff in the direction of the lower ford. Here was stationed a strong force of their cavalry to defend this crossing, which he ascertained by the rattling of the cavalry gear when the horses would shake themselves. He returned to the position of our army upon the hill, and obtained permission of Colonel Fisher to take Captain Baker's spy company and some of the boatmen,  among whom was the lamented Dr. Brennem, and thus open a scattering fire upon the cavalry below, while he could hunt out a crossing into the city between the two fords. Selecting a position for these men, protected by an embankment about three feet high, immediately opposite the cavalry, with the river only between them, the signal to commence the action was to be nine shots from his repeating rifle. The writer stepped to the water's edge and fired the nine shots in rapid succession into the enemy, which created some confusion in their lines, but was promptly returned, none of their's taking effect. The spy company and boatmen kept up the fire, which completely deluded the enemy, for they thought it was our main body which intended to force that passage. The opposite plan of Mier and its vicinity, the Texian camp, and their entrance into the city, will give the reader a more correct knowledge of the battle [see plate facing page 32].
While this fire was kept up with galling effect upon the enemy, I passed up the river to hunt out an intermediate crossing. Feeling my way along the almost perpendicular bluff of the river, I found a place which could be descended with difficulty. Here I hung up a pocket-handkerchief upon a bush to designate the spot, while I returned and led the army down. In returning to the line, some delay was occasioned by the following unfortunate circumstance: Captains Reese and Berry, after firing into the picket upon our left, in attempting to  make their retreat, the latter fell down a precipice about thirty feet and broke his thigh. Dr. Sinnickson and a guard of seven men were detailed for his assistance, who had to let down ropes, which he fastened around his body, by which means they drew him out and placed him in a house near by, where his wound could be attended to. We shall have occasion to speak of this small guard in detailing one of the most desperate and bloody conflicts which they had the next day with the enemy, and which the history of war can hardly parallel.
After this detail was made, the army followed me, in the most profound silence, to where the handkerchief was left, and then, in single file, slided down the bluff about forty feet to the water's edge, it being too perpendicular to walk down. We then passed up the river some hundred yards; the alcalde, being near the head of the line, was several times asked whether the river could be here forded, and his answer was "Poco mas arriba" (a little higher up). The cavalry