September 25, 1845 Article 2


The March of the 2d Dragoons.


We take great pleasure in publishing the following letter, describing the march of the 2d Dragoons from Fort Jesup to Corpus Christi.  It shows the regiment to be in a thorough state of discipline, and full of alacrity to meet the enemy: —


Corpus Christi, Texas, Sept. 2d, 1845.


To the Editors of the Picayune:  —


Gentlemen – for the purpose of correcting the various rumors and reports in circulation relative to the march of the 2d Regiment of Dragoons through Texas to this place, it is the request of the officers of the Regiment that you publish the following:


Anticipations and predictions of a disastrous march for the Dragoons, on account of the drought and warm season, were rife among certain wiseacres, and verifications of the same, in the shape of vague rumors of sickness and distress, were accordingly sent abroad ere we had fairly started; indeed a report reached us before we left Fort Jesup, that Col. Twiggs, who had preceded the command an hour or two, was lying dangerously ill five miles on the road.  This we discovered to be utterly false; on the contrary, our gallant Colonel never flagged or wavered, notwithstanding a slight affliction at the commencement of the march; but conducted the command to this point with a rapidity, energy and masterly ability, in the highest degree creditable.



Passing through a comparatively unsettled country, a Southern clime, a six weeks drought, the month of August, the various and contradictory reports in reference to forage, &c., with seven companies of Dragoons and a train of sixty wagons, might well have staggered a firmer and more practical mind.  But the task, voluntarily undertaken, has been accomplished; and the Regiment and train of wagons presented to the commanding General in such fine condition as to have elicited the admiration of our friend of the Infantry Regiments, and a complimentary order from General Taylor himself.


True, we encountered difficulties on the route, and obstacles that seemed insurmountable; but nothing impeded our progress.  Starting at 3 o’clock in the morning, and frequently at 12, our marches of twenty-five and sometimes thirty miles, were terminated before the heat of the day.  Upon our arrival at the towns and villages we were greeted by the acclamations of the multitude assembled to welcome us.  Balls and parties were immediately gotten up, and committees, composed of the             magi of the people, sent to solicit our attendance.  The ladies, God bless them, we found always first and most enthusiastic in the expressions of their joy and gratitude.


Our losses upon the route were principally from desertion – only three deaths having occurred on the march; one, the first day, was occasioned from overheating himself and drinking cold water – and two others from a stroke of the sun, having been obliged, on account of the soreness of their horses’ backs, to walk across a prairie fifteen miles wide, on the borders of the Guadalupe.  Indeed much of the distress, and the consequent desertions, may be attributed mainly to the circumstance, that during the first six days over sixty horses’ backs were injured by the miserable saddle lately adopted by the Government, and the riders consequently dismounted and made to walk the remainder of the way.  More upon this subject anon.


The amusing circumstance, and one that is more flattering to the Regiment than any other occurrence on the route, took place at San Patricio.  The Regiment had made an early start (12, M.), in order to accomplish a distance of twenty-seven miles to San Patricio, and cross the Nueces by means of a raft, which had been previously constructed by a party thrown forward the night and day before.  We arrived about 8 A.M.  By 9 every Dragoon had swam the river, with his equipments.  During the whole morning, and especially at this hour, hard been heard what was at first supposed to be the firing of a salute at Corpus Christi.  The continuation of the distant reports, however, together with the absence of Gen. Taylor, who had informed Col. Twiggs by express that he should meet him at San Patricio that day, confirmed even the most skeptical that Corpus Christi had been attacked.  “To horse” was immediately sounded; then “the advance,” and the sick and convalescent were ordered to remain as a guard to the train.  When we had got fairly under way, however, and the stragglers were all up, the officer left in charge reported that there were no sick, the number having been suddenly reduced from 50 to 0!  We had scarcely proceeded three miles, however, before we met the General himself, and soon discovered, that instead of the enemy, we were about to meet a violent thunder storm.  We were not much vexed, as the occurrence displayed to us the alacrity with which our men would prepare to meet the enemy, and the stuff the Regiment is made of.  Nous verrons.


Ere I conclude it is but just that I should inform the public, that to lieut. George Stevens, of the 2d Dragoons, acting Topographical Engineer, is due the credit of surveying and measuring the entire route from Fort Jesup, La., to Corpus Christi – having with his own hands constructed a viometer for that purpose.  The distance to this point has been thus ascertained to be 501-1/2 miles.  The Regiment left Fort Jesup on the 25th of July, and arrived at Corpus Christi on the 27th of August, having rested eight days on the march.


No Mexican news of importance.  The last camp rumor brought in by a party of traders is, that troops are assembling in such numbers, and so rapidly, on the Rio Grande, that they (the traders) will be enabled to make but one more trip.  The General and his staff are busily engaged organizing the troops into brigades – the 2d Dragoons on the right, forming a distinct corps, under its Colonel, with orders to act at his discretion in case of alarm.


Source: The Daily Picayune, September 25, 1845, p. 2, col. 4.


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