Song of the Balcones
After decades of hostilities, in 1827 the young Republic of Mexico joined a peace treaty
with Barbaquista, Great Chief of the Comanche in Texas. Four years later, two renegade
Comanche tribes launched a series of attacks against Mexican interests in Texas, and
spread lies blaming other tribes, the Waco and Tawakoni.
On October 18, 1831, Mexico sent from San Antonio a force of 200 men to stop those
attacks and punish the attackers. After weeks of pursuing their objective, before dawn on
November 13, the Mexicans massacred an innocent Towakoni village. Among the
slaughtered lay Great Chief Barbaquista, the peacemaker.
For revenge, the survivors of this assault launched two attacks in one day. On November
21, the combined forces from several tribes ambushed the Mexican attackers on their way
back to San Antonio. Seventy miles to the west, a larger number surprised a small,
unrelated expedition led by Jim Bowie who was attempting to steal Apache silver.
These battles are part of a longer war, the tragic clash of three cultures in Central Texas
that resulted in genocide. Song of the Balcones tells part of the story that J. Frank Dobie
called ‘the great epic of Texas.’ Many of these characters, such as Bowie and the
narrator, Deaf Smith, played a part in the Texian Revolt five years later.
Song of the Balcones is a 750-line dramatic monologue written in iambic pentameter,
arranged in five cantos. A CD available through boganstrictor.com features the author
reading selections from the poem, accompanied by jazz musicians. Song of the Balcones
entertains as silent reading and in dramatic performance. Make a good movie, too!
Though the poem stands complete, the author is currently compiling research into maps
and a glossary for eventual inclusion.
copyright 2004 Robert Bogan
All rights reserved