11. A resident of LaGrange, Captain William Eastland had fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, and in 1842 joined the Somervell Expedition to avenge the death of his cousin, Captain Nicholas M. Dawson. Eastland was the highest-ranking Texan to draw a black bean. Dixon and Kemp, Heroes of San Jacinto, 208-209.
12. Robert Beard died in San Luis Potosi two weeks later. His brother William died on July 23 at Molino del Rey, outside Mexico City. Samuel Walker described the brothers as "brave soldiers, unassuming in their manners and much beloved by their comrades." Walker, Account of the Mier Expedition, 76.
13. Apparently unperturbed by the fate that awaited him, Henry Whaling (also spelled Whalen) was described by a close friend as "full of hell and jolly as could be." Trahern, "Reminiscences," 11.
14. Edward E. Este was the brother-in-law of former Texas president David G. Burnet.
15. In recounting the Black Bean victims' final utterances, Green may have allowed his sense of dramatic license to get the better of his responsibilities as a historian. Although these remarks have been borrowed by many other chroniclers of the expedition, there is reason to doubt their authenticity. A virtually identical account, attributed to Charles Keller Reese (with whom Green escaped from Mexico some months later), appeared in Texas newspapers in 1843. Neither Green nor Reese, however, was an eyewitness to the drawing at the Hacienda del Salado. As one of the men who did not participate in the attack on the escort guard on February 11, Reese was taken to San Luis Potosi, where he joined Green's party on February 26. None of the prisoners present at the Hacienda del Salado on March 25 provides so detailed an account as the one that appears here. All concur on the point that those who were unlucky enough to draw black beans met their fate with stoicism, although Big Foot Wallace noted that one of the prisoners, apprehensive at the prospect of drawing a black bean, had to be forced by the Mexican guards to take his turn in the lottery. Telegraph and Texas Register, December 27, 1843; Duval, Big Foot Wallace, 231-232.
16. A number of prisoners believed that the condemned men were shot with their backs to the wall, facing their executioners. Even Charles McLaughlin's sketch of the decimation (facing page 112) contradicts Green's account. Only a few Texans were allowed to accompany the victims outside the wall of the posada where the execution took place; most of the prisoners remained in the enclosure, close enough to hear the execution but unable to witness it. Stapp, Prisoners of Perote, 93; Tho[ma]s W. Bell, A Narrative of the Capture and Subsequent Sufferings of the Mier Prisoners in Mexico, 39.
17. Not all the Texans who drew black beans died at the Hacienda del Salado. Incredibly, one of the victims, seventeen-year-old John Shepherd, suffered only a face wound and a fractured arm. Feigning death until nightfall, he escaped into the mountains, and the next morning Huerta's men were astonished to find one of the bodies missing. Shepherd's good fortune availed him nothing, however; four days later he was captured near Saltillo, handed over to the authorities there, and shot. Haynes, Soldiers of Misfortune, 126-127; Stapp, Prisoners of Perote, 96.
18. Once again, Green goes to extreme lengths to link Houston with the sufferings of the Mier prisoners. Houston, in turn, no doubt in an effort to draw attention away from Green's charges, argued that the execution was ordered as punishment for the sack of Laredo. Both men were wrong; the Mexican government defended the decimation on the grounds that the Texans were no longer entitled to clemency, having abrogated their rights as prisoners of war by rising up against the guard at the Hacienda del Salado, which resulted in the deaths of five Mexican soldiers. "A Speech Made at the Methodist Church," December 17, 1845, Williams and Barker, eds., Houston Writings 4:435; Haynes, Soldiers of Misfortune, 119.
19. See note 4, this chapter, for Mejía's efforts to recapture the escaped prisoners.
20. The charges of cowardice leveled at Reese are not consistent with his earlier behavior. He had served with distinction in the Texas Revolution, and according to William Fisher he had