October 8, 1845

Arrival from Texas.


Latest from Corpus Christi and Galveston.  --- The steamer Cincinnati, Capt. J. Smith, arrived at this port yesterday, having left the Bay of Aransas on the evening of the 28th ult., whither she had taken troops and munitions of war from Charleston, S. C.  On her return she touched at Galveston, from which city she brings us dates to last Saturday, the 4th inst. – a fortnight later than our previous advices.


The Cincinnati carried two companies of the 3d Artillery to Corpus Christi:  Company A, Capt. Burk, Lieuts. Kilbourne and Churchill; and Company I, Capt. Geo. Taylor, Lieuts. Gilham and Ayres, Surgeon Hawkins, Capt. Perkins, Sutler.


Through Galveston papers we learn by this arrival that Capt. West, wounded by the explosion on board the steamer Dayton, of which he was acting as clerk, has died of his wounds, as also some two or three other persons, from the same cause – one a cabin boy and another a United States soldier.


On the 26th ult., the barque Phoenix, of Richmond, arrived at Aransas in 24 days from Fortress Monroe, Va., with two companies (D and E) of the 4th Regiment of Artillery, under command of Brevet Major Morris, 4th Artillery.  The following is a list of the officers:   Brevet Maj. W. W. Morris; 1st Lieuts. R. C. Smead and E. Deas; 2d Lieuts. R. S. Garnett and C. Benjamin; Brevet 2d Lieut. S. Gill.


Gen. Worth arrived at Aransas by the Cincinnati, having gone on board at Tampa Bay, at which place the steamer touched.


The barque Pacific arrived on the 20th ult. at Aransas from New York, with flying artillery and horses on board.  Thirteen horses were lost on the passage, from being placed in the hold, as is alleged.


There appears to be no indication of any hostile movements on the Rio Grande.


Castro, chief of the Lipans, lately came to Corpus Christi in company with the Secretary of War and Maj. Hays, and while in camp was treacherously shot, though not mortally, by some unknown ruffian.  In the letter of our attentive correspondent, the reader will see further note of Castro.


A company of Comanches was lately seen travelling in the direction of Matamoros, and a detachment of the dragoons had gone in pursuit.


It is said that the volunteers from this city are suffering a good deal from diarrhea and bilious fever.


Trade at Corpus Christi is very brisk, and almost daily large numbers of Mexican traders arrive in camp.  This is deemed a sure indication that there is no considerable body of Mexican troops within a reasonable distance.


There was some talk about the moving of the army up the Nueces shortly, but mention is made of this in the letters below.


There were no United States vessels of war at Aransas when the Cincinnati sailed, but she left there the ship Herman, with troops from Old Point Comfort, and the schooner Fame, Wm. Bryan, Rosella, Two Friends, Gertrude, Cornelia and T. F. Hunt.  The steamboat White Wing had been discharged from the service of the Government.


There are a number of vessels at Aransas from New York, Baltimore, New Orleans and other ports in the United States.


Capt. McLean, with the steamer Leo, has gone into the Nueces.


The dragoons will go up the Nueces for their winter quarters, says the News, and perhaps some of the infantry – a majority of the army will remain at Corpus Christi.


Col. Kinney has rented his commission house to the officers of the army for their quarters.


Lumber is in great demand at Corpus Christi – all sorts and kinds of merchandize find a ready sale.  Potatoes are in great demand; sweet potatoes are worth $1.75 per bushel.


Arrangements are making for the putting up of public buildings for the accommodation of strangers, and for making other permanent improvements.


There are, at this time, a great many Mexican horses and mules at Corpus Christi, and large numbers are daily arriving.


The Mexican trade is interrupted.  Traders are coming in from all the principal towns on the Rio Grande – extending from Matamoros to Loredo.


Gen Taylor has spies constantly ranging the country to the Rio Grande, and is promptly informed of every movement of any importance.


We make extracts from our correspondence with officers of the army, who have kindly found time to remember us, to show the state of affairs in camp:


Corpus Christi, Texas, Sept. 27, 1845.

My Dear Sirs – Gen. Worth, with a portion of the 8th Regiment of Infantry, landed here yesterday.  The other portion will be here in a few days.  I think the force here now is about 25 to 2600 (about 200 officers).


Nothing new since I wrote you last (I think the 21st or 22d).  Capt. Kerr (dragoons) was out a few days since on a small scout, about 50 miles from here, and he speaks in raptures of the country.  He says it is beautiful beyond description.  Then it is “ornamented” in every direction by clusters of deer, turkies and wild horses.


Last week, (the day I don’t recollect,) the schr. Letitia, from New Orleans, loaded with coal, for Aransas, anchored off Corpus Christi.  A gale coming up, she parted both anchors and then put to sea.  The next day she was found to leak badly, and with three feet water in her hold she was ran ashore, 35 miles South of this.  Capt. Webster had his wife aboard – all saved, no lives lost.  The wreck, as it lay, was sold to-day at auction for $25.


We heard yesterday from Capt. Crane, about 35 miles up the Nueces, and that he finds no obstructions in the river for light draught boats.  So far, the least depth was 4 feet 2 inches.  He is expected to return in a few days; his party were in small boats.


I must close to be in time for the mail.


Yours, truly,



The following from the same source, though a little older in date, is yet later than our previous advices:


Corpus Christi, Texas, Sept. 22, 1845.

My Dear Sirs – A portion of the 5th Infantry has arrived, as also Capt. Ogden’s and Capt. Killo’s companies of the 8th Infantry.  These two latter companies are from Key West.  The other companies of the 8th and 5th are looked for daily.  A company of the 2d Artillery, commanded by Lt. Duncan, has arrived at Aransas, and will be here shortly.  Lt. D. came from New York on board ship, with 60 horses.  Some of them were placed in the hold (as I understand) and 13 died.


Day before yesterday two Lipans visited us in company with Col. Cook, (Texas Secretary of War,) “Capt. Jack Hays,” (of the Spies,) and Col. Howard.  The Lipan chief, Castro, is a noble looking fellow, about 6 feet 1 or 2, and built in proportion.


Hays takes my eye.  He is a young man, not over 27 or 30, very youthful in appearance, modest and retiring in his manners; but it is said he has the courage of the lion, and he has complete control over the Lipans.  Castro, Hays and myself took a small “blizzard” together, and Castro told him if he wanted the Lipans to go against the Mexican or Comanches, he should have all the warriors.  Hays has constant communication with the Mexican borders.  He says that at Matamoros there are about 800, at Monterey about 2500, and at Loredo about 100 soldiers.  At Loredo they are making preparations to receive a large force.


It is Hays’s opinion that if we remain here the Mexicans will not come to attack us; but that if we go to the Rio Grande we shall get a fight.  All we have to say about the matter is, if our Government wishes us to go the Rio Grande, let them give the order and it shall be done.  We came here for a fight – it’s in our line of business.  Hays says whenever he wants to know anything about Mexico, he tells one or two of his trusty fellows to “go and bring him a Mexican;” he says he has hooked several out of Loredo and other towns on the borders.


Lieut. Scarritt (Engineer Corps,) has returned from his tour of reconnoisance.  He reports that 50 miles from here, upon the Nueces, as also upon a stream (or chain of ponds) called Sweet Water, there are beautiful locations for regiments, plenty of wood and good water.  Capt. Crain, (Engineers,) is now out with a party surveying the Nueces, its practicability for steamboat navigation, &c.  I think ere long some of us will be moved into the interior.


Yours, &c.


Source:  Daily Picayune, October 8, 1845, p. 2, cols. 3-4.


Corpus Christi Public Libraries © 2003