This day in Texas History: Somervell Expedition Disbands
This day in Texas History:
(from the Texas State Historical Association archives)
Somervell Expedition Disbands
December 19, 1842
On this day in 1842, the Somervell expedition disbanded. The Somervell expedition was a punitive expedition against Mexico in retaliation for three predatory raids made by Mexican armies upon Texas in 1842: Antonio Canales Rosillo’s descent upon Lipantitlán and the captures of San Antonio by Rafael Vásquez and Adrián Woll.
On October 3 President Sam Houston ordered Alexander Somervell to organize the militia and volunteers and invade Mexico. Numbering approximately 700 men, the expedition left San Antonio on November 25 and captured Laredo on December 8. Joseph L. Bennett and 185 men returned home on December 10.
Somervell, with a little over 500 men, forced the capitulation of Guerrero, but on December 19, recognizing the failure of his expedition and fearing disaster, ordered his men to disband and return home by way of Gonzales.
The Texans were so disappointed with the order to disband that only 189 men and officers obeyed; some 308 men under five captains and commanded by William S. Fisher continued to Mexico on the Mier expedition.