They had but one alternative, and that was to invoke their country's vengeance upon their murderers, consign their souls to God, and die like men. Could these martyrs in liberty's cause, who so proudly yielded up their lives for their country, have known that their President had endorsed their execution by the most villanous of all falsehoods, declaring them brigands great God! what would have been their feelings!
The decimator, Colonel Domingo Huerta,10 who was especially nominated to this black deed after Governor Mexier refused its execution, had arrived at Salado ahead of our men. The "Red-cap" company were to be their executioners; those men whose lives had been so humanely spared by our men at this place on the 11th of February.
The decimation took place by the drawing of black and white beans from a small earthen mug. The white ones signified exemption and the black  death. One hundred and fifty-nine white beans were placed in the bottom of the mug, and seventeen black ones placed upon the top of them. The beans were not stirred, and had so slight a shake that it was perfectly clear they had not been mixed together. Such was their anxiety to execute Captain Cameron, and perhaps the balance of the officers, that first Cameron, and afterward they, were made to draw a bean each from the mug in this condition.
The opposite plate [see plate facing page 49], sketched by Charles M'Laughlin, who was an eyewitness, and so fortunate as to draw clear, represents the gallant Cameron in the act of drawing first. He said, with his usual coolness, "Well, boys, we have to draw, let's be at it;" so saying, he thrust his hand into the mug, and drew out a white bean. Next came Colonel Wm. F. Wilson, who was chained to him; then Captain Wm. Ryan, and then Judge F. M. Gibson, all of whom drew white beans. Next came Captain Eastland,11 who drew the first black one, and then came the balance of the men. They all drew their beans with that manly dignity and firmness which showed them superior to their condition. Some of lighter temper jested over the bloody tragedy. One would say, "Boys, this beats raffling all to pieces;" another would say that "this is the tallest gambling scrape I ever was in," and such like remarks. None showed change of countenance; and as the black beans failed to depress, so did the white fail to elate.  The knocking off the irons from the unfortunate alone told who they were. Poor Robert Beard, who lay upon the ground near by exceedingly ill, and nearly exhausted from his forced marches and sufferings, called his brother William, who was bringing him a cup of water, and said, "Brother, if you draw a black bean, I'll take your place; I want to die." The brother, with overwhelming anguish, said, "No! I will keep my own place; I am stronger, and better able to die than you." These noble youths both drew clear, but both soon after died, leaving this last Roman legacy to their venerable parents in Texas.12 Several of the Mexican officers who officiated in this cruel