October 7, 1845


“Varmints.” — According to the following extract of a letter, written by a friend – an officer of the army at Corpus Christi – the post occupied by Gen. Taylor’s “Army of Occupation” cannot be particularly desirable.  But to the extract, which is dated


7th Infantry Camp,

Corpus Christi, Texas, Sept. 3, 1845.


Florida may be the “land of promise,” but Texas is the land of “varmints.”  In clearing the ground to pitch my tent, I killed a water moccasin; about 3 o’clock in the morning I was wakened up by the barking of a dog; he had just run a rattlesnake out of my neighbor’s tent, when the rattling and barking aroused me – 9 rattles – captured.  I again lay down, and when day broke, a yellow-necked lizard was cocking his eye cunningly at me from the ridge pole of my tent.  I sprang up, seized my boot to despatch him, when lo! Out the boot dropped a tarantula!  Exhausted from fright and fatigue, I sunk back in a chair; but no sooner down than I was compelled rapidly to abandon the position, having been stung in the rear by a scorpion!


Our friend was certainly very unfortunate.  Because the above mishaps, he lost a valuable dog by a shark.  The dog had jumped overboard from a boat, to follow his master to the shore, when the voracious monster caught him.


Source: The Daily Picayune, October 7, 1845, p. 2, col. 5.

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