August 17, 1845
Texas and Mexico
Important Movement of Troops —
Requisition for Men on our Governor — The Call Responded to.
About 11 o’clock yesterday forenoon business
took us out of our office; and as we went down Camp, and on to the Post
Office, we saw citizens grouped together at every corner, talking intently
about – we then knew not what. They seemed elated and in high spirits;
and as they consisted promiscuously of both whigs and democrats, we knew
that the cause of their rejoicing must be something more than a mere
political party triumph. When two men met, we could hear one tell the
other, with a significant smile, to sharpen “Uncle Alexander” (the big
sword), and the latter would remind his friend how necessary it now
was for him to burnish up his old rifle, “rugged-muzzle Bess.” — We soon
caused this great commotion the city through.”
It was, at the time we speak of, publicly
and very generally known that the veteran, Gen. Gaines, commanding the
Southern military division of the United States, had made a demand on Gov.
Mouton for one thousand men or more for the national service, and that the
Governor promptly made a requisition on Gen. Lewis, commanding the first
division of the Louisiana militia, for the required force, viz: two
regiments of volunteers, of ten companies each – one of them to consist of
musketeers and one of riflemen, and two companies of artillery with eight
field pieces. The requisition was of course immediately responded to, and
will be put forthwith into execution.
It was the knowledge of this fact that
caused the excitement amongst our citizens which we have attempted to
describe; – it was this that made them seem as if
Their souls were in arms and eager for the fray!
We understand that the whole of the
artillery force of the city – a most effective and well-armed corps – have
volunteered their services, and that they have been accepted. Our gallant
uniformed infantry companies are not, in the meantime, listlessly resting
on their arms: calls for meetings of the officers of the Washington
Regiment and Louisiana Volunteers may be seen in our paper to-day. In
fact, the question will not be “Who will be suffered to remain at home?”
but “Who will be permitted to enroll themselves amongst them, the
defenders of their countrymen beyond the Sabine?” Before tomorrow’s sun
ascends the meridian, the draft, in mercantile phrase, will be honored,
and were it numerically ten times the amount which it is, it would be met
with the same alacrity and good-will.
This movement is said to be consequent upon
authentic information which has reached Gen. Gaines, of the advance of
10,000 Mexican troops to a point within eight days’ march of General
Taylor’s quarters. We are not aware of the precise disposition which is
to be made of the volunteer force; the great body of them, we believe, go
to reinforce Gen. Taylor’s command.
We, like the rest of our citizens, have no
apprehension for the result. If a conflict comes, the vain and
pusillanimous nation which excites it will inevitably be the sufferers.
Should their temerity carry them to such lengths, we trust they will be
met at the outset by a force that will teach them the prowess of our
people, and how ridiculously Utopian is the idea that leads them to
believe they can cope with us in arms any more than in arts. This
humanity, as well as valor, demands of us; for, by a decisive stroke – one
that will inspire them with a due degree of terror – thousands of poor
wretches who may be dragged in chains from their homes, will, seeing the
utter hopelessness of their cause, save their lives by at once making, in
double quick time, an advance backwards. Whatever, the strategy or
maneuvering of our enemies, let them but provoke hostilities, and
victory will certainly be found folded in the flag of our Union.
Source: The Daily Picayune, August