Hondo Creek

Last updated
Hondo Creek
Country United States
State Texas
Physical characteristics
Source Texas Hill Country
 - location Bandera County, Texas
 - coordinates 29°42′58″N99°23′16″W / 29.71611°N 99.38778°W / 29.71611; -99.38778 [1]
 - elevation577 m (1,893 ft)
River mouth Frio River
 - location Frio County, Texas
 - coordinates 28°56′37″N99°10′44″W / 28.94361°N 99.17889°W / 28.94361; -99.17889 Coordinates: 28°56′37″N99°10′44″W / 28.94361°N 99.17889°W / 28.94361; -99.17889 [1]
 - elevation182 m (597 ft)
Battle of the Arroyo Hondo
Part of Woll Expedition
DateSeptember 21, 1842
LocationHondo Creek, Texas

Texan victory;

  • Strategic withdrawal
Flag of Texas.svg Republic of Texas Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Mathew Caldwell Adrián Woll
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

Hondo Creek is a tributary of the Frio River in Texas that rises in Bandera County northwest of Tarpley and runs approximately 67 miles to its mouth near Pearsall, Texas. The creek crosses through three counties including Bandera, Medina, and Frio.

Tributary stream or river that flows into a main stem river or lake

A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.

Frio River river in the United States of America

The Frio River is a river in the U.S. state of Texas. The word frío is Spanish for cold, a clear reference to the spring-fed coolness of the river.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.



Hondo ( Spanish for deep) Creek begins in the Texas Hill Country. The initially broken waters of the stream travels through limestone benches and steep slopes until the land flattens near Tarpley. This section of the creek is generally shallow with a bottom of clay loam, which serves as a habitat for Ashe juniper and live oak woods. As it runs south, the creek grows in depth in the surrounding rolling plain, and a mixture of clay with a large concentration of sand is found in its bed. As the tributary approaches its mouth, the environment changes to fertile crop lands with Mesquite trees growing along its bank. [2]

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Texas Hill Country region of Texas

The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region located in the Edwards Plateau at the crossroads of West Texas, Central Texas, and South Texas. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considered the border between the American Southwest and Southeast.

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolostone, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In fact, in old USGS publications, dolostone was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolostones or magnesium-rich limestones.


Battle of the Arroyo Hondo

Hondo Creek where it meets Quahi Creek was the site of the Battle of the Arroyo Hondo in 1842. [3] The battle occurred following the third in a series of three invasions by Mexican forces in 1842 to reclaim territory lost during the 1836 Texas Revolution. After the 1200-man Mexican army was defeated in San Antonio by Mathew Caldwell and 200 gathered Texans, the forces of Mexican General Adrián Woll headed west. [4] On September 21, they met up with a few Texas Rangers, who were part of the Texas forces, Under the command of John Coffee Hays, known as "Captain Yak" by the Indians, the Rangers attacked on the banks of the creek, and a battle ensued. Four Rangers were wounded including Samuel Luckie. The Rangers captured a cannon battery but had to abandon it, as the Texas Army did not advance to their position. [5]

Texas Revolution military conflict

The Texas Revolution was a rebellion of colonists from the United States and Tejanos in putting up armed resistance to the centralist government of Mexico. While the uprising was part of a larger one that included other provinces opposed to the regime of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican government believed the United States had instigated the Texas insurrection with the goal of annexation. The Mexican Congress passed the Tornel Decree, declaring that any foreigners fighting against Mexican troops "will be deemed pirates and dealt with as such, being citizens of no nation presently at war with the Republic and fighting under no recognized flag." Only the province of Texas succeeded in breaking with Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas, and eventually being annexed by the United States.

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality.

Mathew Caldwell Texan settler

Matthew Caldwell,, also spelled Mathew Caldwell was a 19th-century Texas settler, military figure, Captain of the Gonzales – Seguin Rangers and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Because of his recruitment ride ahead of the Battle of Gonzales, some have called him the Paul Revere of Texas.

Although accounts of the battle vary, the Texans had fared well. Caldwell believed that his men could overtake the Mexican Army. However, the Texas forces were outnumbered, under-provisioned, and facing fierce cannon fire; they lacked a consensus, and the leaders were unable to rally unanimity for an offensive action.

Following the battle, the Texans disbanded and the Mexican forces continued their trek southwestward, back to Mexico. [6] A historical marker can now be found in Medina County where the battle is believed to have taken place. [3]

Medina County, Texas County in the United States

Medina County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 46,006. Its county seat is Hondo. The county is named for the Medina River.

Cow Camp Massacre

Also marked along the stream in Medina County, is the Cow Camp Massacre. This is the site of a January 27, 1866, Native American attack that occurred as three minors (aged 12–19) set up camp along Hondo Creek to recover lost livestock. [7] Eight Indians followed one of the boys to the camp. He and another were captured, but one escaped. Of the two captured, one was never seen again and the other's mutilated body was found several days later. [7]


According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the following fish have been caught in the tributary (records in parenthesis): [8]

See also

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  1. 1 2 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hondo Creek
  2. "Hondo Creek". The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. November 11, 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Marker Title: Battle of the Arroyo Hondo". Medina County Historical Markers. Fort Tour Systems, Inc. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  4. Jack W. Gunn, "MEXICAN INVASIONS OF 1842," Handbook of Texas Online , accessed September 24, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  5. Stephen L. Moore"Savage Frontier Vol.4"
  6. Thomas W. Cutrer, "SALADO CREEK, BATTLE OF," Handbook of Texas Online , accessed September 24, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  7. 1 2 "Marker Title: Cow Camp Massacre on Hondo Creek". Medina County Historical Markers. Fort Tour Systems, Inc. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  8. "Water Body Records for Hondo Creek". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. December 1, 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2010.