November 5, 1845 Article 2


From Corpus Christi. — A friend writes us from Gen. Taylor’s camp an amusing letter, in which things public and private are set forth in such admirable commixture that it is hard to separate them.  We must give extracts, though we mar them by suppressing all the fun.  His letter is dated the 24th ult.:


My Dear Sirs  — Davis, a trader between this and the Mexican frontier towns, arrived at the camp on the 20th Oct.  During his absence he was at Monterey, with Gen. Arista, with whom he appears to be intimate.  He speaks of him in terms of commendation and high praise.  Gen. Arista has recovered from his indisposition – not indisposition to fight – and is still disposed to give us a few balls, but he cannot raise a sufficient band to play the fiddle.  I feel confident we should Taylor him if he would invite us to a “boo-down.”  We would at least show him the Worth of our little party.


Another reconnoitering party leaves here to-morrow in the direction of the Salt Ponds, which are supposed to lie 70 or 80 miles off in a south-western direction.  Capt. J. Saunders, of the Engineer Corps, is, I believe, to be the principal of the party, and as usual several officers volunteered to accompany the command; our friend, “the ______________ the White Hat,” is one of __________________________________________ is to obtain the accurate topography of the country, the localities of wood and ______________ and the most practicable route for an army in case of active operations.


The greatest difficulty in traversing this section appears to be in the want of fresh water.  The traders all carry tied to the pummel of the saddle a large kind of two-decker gourd, something in the shape of a figure 8, filled with water; and the Spanish bridle-bit has two or three small pieces of copper attached to the cross piece – these pieces rest on the tongue which excites the saliva, and thus keeping the mouth slightly moist, the animal does not suffer so much for the want of water.


There is wood enough for temporary purposes, cooking &c, but no building timer.  The country is covered generally with a kind of underbrush called “muskete wood,” but so devilish crooked that none but cross-eyes rabbits can “take a brush” in it without endangering the top of that important part of most animals – the brains.    In fact, there is no man that has never seen it who can form any idea of such timer and brush, except perhaps the “India Rubber Man;” and even he could not guess the number of thorns on it.


The chamelion is said to take its color from the substance upon which it stands and a similar freak of nature appears to be indulged in with the animals in__________ this muskete brush; the legs of the large grasshopper, which are as crooked as the bush, are all studded over with small thorns, &c.


Source:   The Daily Picayune, November 5, 1845, p. 2, col. 2.


Corpus Christi Public Libraries © 2003