|| Texas Army Camp - April 15, 1836
Samuel McCarley (1775-1838), his wife Celia (1794-1873), and their ten children settled near here on Spring Creek in 1831. By 1836 the McCarley home was located on a well-traveled road linking Washington-on-the-Brazos (30 mi. NW) with Harrisburg (40 mi. SE). Their neighbor, Abraham Roberts, lived about three miles east at a fork in the road. One fork led east to the Trinity River and the other southeast to Harrisburg.
On April 15, 1836, the Texas army led by General Sam Houston left camp near the Brazos River and marched east, arriving here at dusk. Overnight, Houston's 1100 hungry soldiers consumed cattle, corn, and bacon belonging to the McCarleys and burned about 4,000 of their fence rails for fuel.
According to post-war accounts, many in the Texas army strongly suspected that Houston was unwilling to engage the Mexican army, known to be advancing toward Harrisburg. On April 16, however, Houston and the Texas soldiers took the Harrisburg Road at the fork and on April 21 defeated the Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto to win Texas independence. Samuel McCarley died in 1838 and in 1858 the state of Texas awarded his widow, Celia, $460 as compensation for damages caused by the Texas army.
Sam Houston Bicentennial 1793-1993