August 31, 1845



    Latest from Corpus Christi – Arrival of the Alabama — No Fighting Yet — Health of Troops, &c.


By the arrival yesterday morning of the fast sailing steamship Alabama, Capt. Windle, from Aransas Bay we have intelligence from Corpus Christi up to Wednesday evening last.  One of the editos of the Picayune came passenger in the Alabama, and brings the latest news.


The most important intelligence, perhaps, is the non-confirmation of the many late exciting reports relative to the movements of the Mexican army, and the probability of an engagement between the forces under Gen. Taylor and the Mexicans.  So far, there is no prospect of a fight.  Gen. Taylor, himself, does not anticipate such an event.


Gen. Arista is at Matamoros with about 2000 men entrenching himself, and knows of Gen. Taylor’s position.  It is believed that if Arista had marched at once upon Gen. Taylor when the later first landed, he might easily have overcome him, and so on with other detachments as they continued to arrive; but it is now too late.  Our army at Corpus Christi at this time numbers some 2000 strong, and is in condition to resist four to five times that number of Mexicans.  The country, too, between the Rio Grande and Corpus Christi cannot now support an army in an attack — one of the principal impediments being a scarcity of water, of which there is little or none at all.


On Sunday, the 24th inst., the Alabama anchored off St. Joseph’s Island, in 53 hours from the Balize, with the troops and volunteers from this city.  On the passage there was a little rough weather, with considerable thunder and lightning, but no accident occurred, and all arrived in good condition.


The next morning all the troops landed and went into camp on St. Joseph’s.  On Tuesday, the volunteers, Maj. Gally’s and Capt. Forno’s companies of artillery, embarked for Corpus Christi, thirty-five miles distant, on board the steamboat Dayton, and joined Gen. Taylor’s encampment the same evening.


When the Alabama left Aransas Bay, the U. S. troops on the Island were preparing to start for Corpus Christi, and probably by this time they have all been removed, except a few to protect the stores, &c.  The Monmouth and Dayton, however, were busy in transporting the stores, and soon every thing will be removed.


The brig William Ivy, which was chartered in this city some time since, to take two companies fo the 4th Infantry to Aransas Bay, arrived on the 24th inst., just before the Alabama.  On the passage she encountered a squall which knocked her on her beam-ends; but she fortunately righted in a few minutes without damage.  Previous to the storm, one of the soldiers on board of her, in a fit of mania-a-potu, jumped overboard.  A boat was lowered and went after him, and though he resisted, he was picked up, taken on board and tied.  When the squall struck the brig he was released, in order that he might not drown if thrown into the water; when he again jumped into the sea and was lost.  The brig sailed on the 26th inst., for Matagorda.



The schr. Edward S. Lamdin, the Quarter Master’s stores, from New Orleans, arrived at St. Joseph’s on the morning on the 25th.


The schooner Swallow, from this port, with army property, for St. Joseph’s Island, was wrecked about the 12th inst., after getting over the bar at Aransas.  She had no pilot on board, and was following the steamboat Monmouth in, when the under current swept her into the breakers on the eastern shore of the Island.  Every thing on board belonging to the Government, as well as the private property of some of the officers of the army, (excepting a few articles in a damaged state,) was lost.  Vessel a complete wreck, but no lives lost.


On the morning of the 26th inst. the U. S. brig Lawrence, Commander Jarvis, arrived from the Balize, and came to anchor off the Island of St. Joseph’s.  All well.  When the Alabama left, the Lawrence expected to sail on the 29th for Pensacola.


The schooner Mary Wilkes, from this city, arrived at Aransas last Wednesday, having on board Col. Whistler and Maj. Stanniford, of the army, together with horses, stores, &c.


Lieut. G. W. Lay, came passenger in the Alabama, having despatches for the Government from Gen. Taylor.  He leaves for Washington to-day.


Lieut. Ringgold, who passed through this city some time since with despatches to Texas, arrived at Aransas on the 24th, from Galveston, in the Texan revenue cutter Santa Anna, with despatches for Gen. Taylor, and proceeded at once to Corpus Christi.  He also came passenger in the Alabama.


On Monday the 25th, we had news of the arrival of the 2d Regiment of Dragoons, under Col. Twiggs, within four miles of Gen. Taylor’s encampment, which they were to have joined last Thursday.  They were very fortunate in their long march with their horses – not having lost any.  There were, however, two or three desertions.  They heard and saw nothing of Mexicans on their route.


Near San Antonio there was a large body of Camanches, (about 300 in all,) some of whom visited Col. Twiggs.  They seemed friendly and much delighted at the idea of the United States making war against Mexico.  They informed Col. Twiggs that they were going towards the Mexican borders and intended hostilities against the Mexicans.  The daring of these Indians is well known.  A conversation not a little amusing occurred while they were in the Dragoon encampment.  They seemed to admire the horses very much, and asked Col. Twiggs if they would be allowed to steal any of them.  The Colonel, in his usual eccentric manner, told them that if they took any of his horses he would hang them.  The Camanches did not much relish this style of “plain English,” but asked if they might not steal the Mexicans’ horses: The Colonel said they might steal what they pleased from the latter, but not to trouble anything belonging to the Americans, or he would string them up.


Some days ago a soldier, whose name was not given, went out from the encampment on St. Joseph’s Island to hunt, and was lost.  It is supposed that he was bitten by a snake, or that he lost his way in a cane brake and perished.  He was a faithful and trustworthy man. — Search was made for him, but in vain.


During a thunder storm a few days ago, a tent was struck by lightning at Corpus Christi, and a valuable servant belonging to Lieutenant Bragg, of the Artillery, instantly killed by the fluid.  Others were considerably sunned, but they recovered.


The schooner Florinda was at Aransas, to sail for Pensacola last Thursday.



This is all the news of the slightest importance which we were able to gather.  So far every thing at Aransas and Corpus Christi is quiet.  The troops and volunteers are all well and in fine spirits.  Gen. Taylor, as we have already state, does not anticipate a collision with Arista or any other Mexican force.  He will throw detachments of the Dragoons forward between his quarters and the Rio Grande from time to time, so that it will be impossible for any army to advance upon him without his being apprised of the fact.  With the men under his command, the excellent pieces of artillery – two twelve pounders and six sixes – taken down by the folunteers, from this city, his position is, in every respect, perfectly safe from any attack the Mexican may think of making upon him.


Deer and other game are plenty in the vicinity of the post, and the waters abound with the finest fish and oysters.


P.S.  – the Alabama got into the South-West Pass on Friday, at 5 p.m. — 43 hours from Aransas.  The steamer Creole was seen off the South-West Pass last Sunday, for Aransas, but she had not arrived when the Alabama sailed.  Saw nothing of her on the trip.  At anchor, in the Pass, ship Charlotte, with laborers for Corpus Christi.


Source: The Daily Picayune, August 31, 1845, p. 1, col. 6; and p. 2, col. 1.


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