November 11, 1845 Article 3



Correspondence of the Picayune

Camp of the Army of Occupation


Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 31, 1845.


Messrs. Editors — It is becoming to be a matter of speculation here whether the Government of the United States knows that such a thing as the “Army of Occupation” still exists.  You can confer a favor on us by enlightening our superiors on this subject, and informing them that we not only exist, but desire a continuance of those blessings – life and health – heretofore bestowed on us.  We are even like other mortals – requiring the aid of bodily food and creature comforts to sustain us, though our personal supplies, always very limited, are rapidly vanishing, and the hopes of obtaining more are fading from our heretofore too sanguine minds.  True, we have done but little here to deserve the special favor of our rulers; but we have done all expected of us, and were prepared, on our part, to have done more, had it been required and the necessary means furnished.  As it is, we should now make an obstinate resistance before leaving to our enemy the position we have so long occupied and enjoyed.  It is probably the first time in the history of our country, or that of any enlightened nation, that an army has been sent into the field, to take possession of and occupy a disputed territory, without being accompanied by some means of locomotion.  Such, however, was the case with the “Army of Occupation,” and even now it could not move, unless in retreat, for want of the first requisite to an army – transportation.  As yet it has not been needed, but had it been, we should have presented the humiliating spectacle of an army ready and willing to execute its order, but crippled and paralized by the power which gives them.  At this late day not one-third of the army here could take the field, and for the limited means we have, except such as came with the 2d Dragoons, we are indebted to those with whom we expected to contend – the Mexicans. 


Our country, too, not only expected us to move, to fight and to conquer without means, but it expected all this of us “without money and without ______.”  Part of the troops here have not received one cent of pay for six months, nor is there the slightest ______________ of an intention to pay them for the future.  Congress at its last season made the necessary appropriations, and the money is in the treasury.  Fifteen officers are provided by law for the disbursement of it, and our regulations required payments to be made every two months.  More than _____ our army is here, and out of the fifteen officers of the pay department, not one is with us.  If required to move at this moment, four-fifths of the army, at least, must leave unsettled recounts of long _____________ behind them.  We are in a land of strangers, where credit is scarce, and were it plenty, it is of very doubtful propriety.  Congress is our only hope for a correction of these abuses.  Appeals to the authorities in Washington are useless; they do not feel the evil, and will not appreciate it.



Even the Government of Texas, which invited us here, has assumed a __________ and unexpected position toward us – one _______________ to _____________ and harass us as _______________ and destroy our _______________ as an army.  Our officers, who supply many of the necessities and all the _____________ to the officers and soldiers ______ the _________ and who are by law a ____________ part of the army, suffered to its rules and regulations, and required ______________ such supplies as may be ordered, have been called on by the author of this Government and held ______________ to pay duties on those supplies – supplies as purely military as those sent here by our own Government for the armament and subsistence of the soldier.  We occupy the anomalous position of invited guests paying for our dinners.  Why should officers and soldiers be here to protect them by their own invitation, be required to assist in supporting their Government.  We enjoy none of their privileges, we reap no benefits from a sojourn here that we should not have approved at home, and we mean heavy sacrifices in accepting the hospitable invitation.  Why, then, are we to be taxed.  As well ________ any State in the _______________________________  orders ________ for accepting an invitation to assist in quelling an _____________ within her ________________.  The ___________ brought here for this have many of them _____________________________________________  the United States, and Congress has regularly our pay in ______________ ___________________ there. Could be just, then, that we should be required, from that small ____________ to pay ______ only the heavy transportation to this place, but also some _____ or ______ per cent, in addition, as a bonus, to those who invited us here, for the privilege of coming and protecting them.  If no other relief can __________________ I hope you will keep us well supplied with Congressional arguments proving that “high duties make low prices,” a fall budget of which will no doubt be soon laid before the country.


O. P. S.



Army of Occupation, Nov. 3, 1845.


We learned from Corpus Christi, that a Lieut. Rieves, of the _______ regiment of infantry, a few days since was of a _____________.  It appears that he had what he ________________ a very _________________________  he set many of which are ___________ and sold by the Mexicans and while showing _______________ the horse ___________________________________________________.  He is still confined to his bed.


A detachment of Hays’s men and of the 2d Dragoons came into Corpus Christi on the 2d, from San Antonio where one company of 2d Dragoons, under command of Major Fountleroy, is stationed with a wagon train for provisions.  They report the troops there healthy, as also the line companies of the 2d Dragoons at Austin, under Major bell.  Some of the Camanches and Wahoes have been committing depredations in the vicinity of Austin, and it is the opinion of some at Austin that more troops will be required there.  The command with provisions will return in a few days.


Capt. Saunders, of the engineer Corps, who went out some days since on a _______________, returned last night.  With a command of 25 foot and 25 horsemen, he took _________________ S.W. almost 10 miles, then S. about ____ miles which brought him to within about 75 miles of Matamoros.  He reports plenty of wood and water throughout the line, and a country over which an army could march with little ___________, and that the practicality of reaching Matamoros, should anybody want to go there, is established beyond a doubt.  They saw no Mexicans or Indians, but crossed a large rail running north, supposed to be a Camanche trail; – a party, I suppose, that had head the Mexicans had more mules than they wanted, and having a little leisure time, had ridden over to borrow the surplus.  How accommodating.  “The man in the white hat” did not go with the command, as our last advices stated.  He was seen in camp after they left.  He had set “them boots” by the side of his bed the night before, prepared for an early start.  At the dawn he arose but in drawing them on, a small snake, with eleven rattles, having taken peaceable possession during the night, contested the place with his foot, and his snakeship being pressed, took to ____________, whereupon “White hat” acted the mustang to perfection.  They think of matching him against Rives’s pony.  Bets stand 5 to 3 – odds in favor of “White Hat.”


Yours, &c.


Source: The Daily Picayune, November 11, 1845, p. 2, col. 4.




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