Even before the issuance of Lamar's proclamation Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin H. Johnson, assistant adjutant general of the army, was dispatched by the President to the Río Grande and beyond, if necessary, so that "by his presence the delusion under which some of our citizens were laboring might be dispelled, and the policy of the President not compromited, by their misguided and imprudent zeal in taking part against what they supposed to be the common enemy." He was also to inform Ross of his dismissal from the service of Texas. Johnson went down the Río Grande to Reinosa, where he arrived on November 15 and informed the Texans of their government's attitude. It is said that he did not see Ross who had left a few days before. At this point four Texans -- William G. Small, Irving W. Redfield, W. H. Wyatt, and _______ Clements deserted Johnson's command and remained with their countrymen in the Mexican Federal Army. Having performed his mission, Johnson and his party of eight, comprising two Mexican servants and six Texans, left Camargo on December 11, and, after crossing the Río Grande at Mier on their way home, were intercepted and attacked by a party of Caddo Indians and several Mexicans, probably Córdova's partida. The six Texans were killed,
147. Abner S. Lipscomb, Secretary of State to Barnard E. Bee, City of Austin, Feb. 6, 1840, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 545-546; Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Jan. 11, 1840.
148. R. B. T. to the Editor of the Colorado Gazette, Victoria, April 8, 1840, in Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, April 18, 1840.
149. Abner S. Lipscomb, Secretary of State to Barnard E. Bee, City of Austin, Feb. 6, 1840, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 545-546; Telegraph and Texas Register, May 11, 1842; Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Jan. 18, 1840; Texas Sentinel, Feb. 1, 1840; D. W. Smith to John Forsyth, Matamoros, Jan. 1, 1840, in Consular Dispatches (U. S.), (Matamoros), 1840-1848, ms., microfilm.
D. W. Smith reported the Indians as belonging to the group of some eighty Cherokee, Kickapoo, Delaware, and Caddo Indians who fled Texas earlier in the year. The Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Jan. 11, 1840, reported that forty Cherokees left Matamoros about the first week in December 1839, and it was believed they killed Colonel Littleberry Hawkins and also six Mexicans "who were massacred a few miles below Reinoso by a band of 40 or 50 strange Indians." Hawkins was well known both in the United States and Texas, and was at the time of his murder serving in the Federalist forces. He started on the morning of October 29 a little ahead of the army in company with Carbajal, Canales' private secretary, and other officers. At 11 a.m. as the main Federalist army passed a thicket he was discovered lying under a tree, permitting his horse to graze.
As he did not come up that night, on the next morning a detachment was sent back to look for him; after searching about for some time they returned without bringing tidings of him. On the return of the army from the battle of Mier, a