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
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
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
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
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
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.