We follow up yesterday's picture of Sam Houston with today's picture of the "Eyes and Ears of the Texas Revolution", the incredibly interesting Erastus Smith. Smith, while known as the eyes and ears of Texas was deaf and blind in one eye. He was the right hand man of Sam Houston, and his most trusted scout, spy, and confidant. It was "Deaf" Smith who captured two Mexican Couriers just prior to the Battle of San Jacinto, and got the information from them that Santa Anna himself was camped nearby in a vulnerable position. Also, it was Smith who was sent behind enemy lines to burn the bridge that would be Santa Anna'a only means of escape minutes before the battle.
Smith and Sam Houston did not always see eye-to-eye on everything, and Smith often felt that all of Houston's rules and regulations were holding his work back in the area of spying and scouting. Below is a description of one of the encounters between Houston and Deaf Smith, as told by Sam Houston himself:
This is given as related by the general (Houston) himself. Smith came in, greatly fatigued, and somewhat exasperated. He repaired to the general's quarters, and said he wished to have a little talk with him. Said he: " General, you are very kind to these Mexicans; I like kindness, but you are too kind — you won't allow me to kill any of them. If a man meets two of the enemy, and is not allowed to kill either, by the time he takes one and ties him, the other gets off so far, that it is very fatiguing on a horse to catch him; and I wish you would let me manage things in my own way." Houston told him not to be cruel, but that he must be his own judge of the necessity of securing such of the enemy as might be taken by him. Smith nodded his head —for he was a man of few words—and retired.