September 5, 1845 Article 2



Later from Texas


The steamer Creole arrived at Mobile the morning of the 3d inst. from Aransas Bay.  We received by her our own correspondence from Corpus Christi, and are indebted to some gentlemen who came passengers upon her for some verbal items of information.


The dates from Corpus Christi are up to the evening of the 31st ult., and Aransas to that of the following day, when the Creole left for Mobile.  Gen. Taylor still remained in his camp, awaiting further developments of the designs of the Mexicans, and orders from his own Government.  The 2d Regiment of Dragoons, under Col. Twiggs, arrived at Corpus Christi on the 26th ult.  All were in fine health and spirits.  Every thing about the camp was perfectly quiet.


At about the same time as the Dragoons, three companies of Mexican traders arrived at Gen. Taylor’s camp with a goodly number of reports, but upon which little reliance could be laced.  One of these reports was, that a regiment of Mexican troops, about 700 strong, left Tampico six weeks previous for Metamoros, but their numbers had been reduced to 300 by sickness and desertion on the march, induced by the want of food and water.  At almost every military post in the North-Eastern part of Mexico desertions were extremely frequent.  Arista had been seriously ill at Metamoros, but had so far recovered as to resume the duties of his command.  Gen. Paredes was reported to be still at Monterey, but with less than 1500 troops, who were continually deserting.  The reader must receive these reports strictly as reports; Mexican news, received through Mexican traders, is proverbially uncertain.


The creole left, outside the bar at Aransas, the U. S. brig Lawrence; – all well on board.  She also left, at anchor inside of the bar, the schooners Mary Wilkes, Enterprise, and E. L. Lamdin.  On the 2d inst., at 3 o’clock, p.m., she met the steam propeller Augusta bound, as was supposed, for Aransas, loaded with horses, &c.  The Creole made the passage from Aransas Bay to the S. W. Pass in 47 hours.


We add a letter from a friend at Corpus Christi, which will give our readers a pretty distinct idea of Gen Taylor’s camp, the occupation of the troops, and the character and disposition of the officers under his command.


Corpus Christi, August 30, 1845.


The position taken by Gen. Taylor is one of extreme beauty; and when the eye firs rests upon his Camp, clustered with a thousand spotless white tents, along the shelly margin of the shore of Corpus Christi Bay, irresistible bursts of admiration follow!  It is a position of security as well as beauty.



His tents are pitched on a piece of table land that reaches about a quarter of a mile to a range of hills; at the distance of half a mile from the crest of these, he has stationed, as an outguard, a force of one hundred and twenty hardy and well tried Texans, to whose fidelity is intrusted this otherwise assailable point. – Maj. Gally, commanding the volunteers from New Orleans, is entrusted with guarding the extreme left, whilst the extreme right is safely guarded by Colonel Twiggs, commanding the 2d Dragoons.  The centre is composed of the 3d, 4th and 7th Reg’ts of Infantry.


The Commanding General has thrown up a held work, a wall of shells and sand, six feet thick and three hundred yards in length on his right.  In case of an overpowering atack from this quarter, the troops stationed outside of this wall are to retreat behind it. – The whole length of the line along the shore occupied, appears to be about one mile and a half.


It is probably one of the healthiest and pleasantest spots in the world.  From the earliest dawn refreshing breezes invigorate the body, dissipate the intensity of the heat, and nerve the system to a healthful action. — The cool nights invite weariness to repose, disturbed neither by the promenading flea, nor the buzzing mosquito.


The only drawback to continuing this encampment is the scarcity of wood and water – the former, the troops haul about three miles, and the latter is quite brackish – though I believe there are one or two small wells in camp which supply a very fair beverage.


The officers appear to enjoy themselves amazingly – considering they were supposed to be all cut up!  They purchase Mexican ponies at from $10 to $30, and excellent nags they are to ride, too.  The waters abound with fish and oysters, both of a superior kind, and the prairies adjacent with rich flavored venison.  Large and fat beeves are slaughtered daily for the use of the troops, all which, with the liberal supplies of Uncle Sam, these occupiers of an independent nation’s soil can get along mighty well with.


There is a rumor in camp, to which the utmost credit is given, that fifteen hundred Mexican s have recently marched to Metamoros for its additional security. – This is all the news about the movements of the enemy known here.


It is supposed Gen. Taylor will act in this way, viz: Wait for two months in his present position, to know what the Mexicans will do.  If they do nohing, our government will send a Commissioner to Mexico to lay down the boundary of the two countries.  If Mexico refuses to receive the Commission, and blindly turns away from a peaceable settlement, then our forces will immediately occupy the mouth and borders of the Rio Grande, and establish that as the boundary, whether or no.


Gen. Taylor is the very man the Government should have selected for the delicate and responsible duty of conducting an “Army of Occupation.”  His judgement is ripened by a long life of military experience, and his clear, practical views, the result of a common sense way of looking at things.  His courage is undoubted, as his patriotism is unsullied and pure.  In a few words, he is a Soult for industry, and a Fabius for caution; but they do say he is a Jackson for stubbornness.  With his excellent good sense, however, this is no deficit in his character.  The honor of the country is safe in his hands.


Gen. Worth, the Ney of the army, will ere long join, with his Regiment (the 8th Infantry) the troops stationed here.  He will be a great addition, and every officer feels a prouder glow at the prospect of being under his immediate command.


Col. Twiggs, with his stalwart frame and high military bearing, is the very beau ideal of a veteran cavalry officer.  If an opportunity is offered, he will lead his gallant and well mounted corps, consisting of as bod a set of officers and men as can be found anywhere, to the thickest of the fight.



Col. Whistler is in command of the 4th Infantry.  To give you a correct idea of the Colonel’s daring, I will tell you an anecdote of him, which occurred during the last war, on the Northern frontier.  In sight of the American and English armies, prepared for battle, an Indian Chief committed a most insulting reproach to the former.  Col. W., then a Lieutenant, rushed at him, out of his lines, and the two armies witnessed a terrible conflict.  Both were in the flower of their youth, strength and courage, and fought for life – for honor!  The Saxon blood gained the victory; he laid his savage foe low upon the ground, and, undisturbed by the enemy, returned to his lines, to receive a severe reprimand for such a reckless exposure of his life.  Under such a leader, the officers and men of the Fourth may be sure of being led into the thickest of the fight.


Col. Hitchcock commands the 3d Infantry, a complete scholar, gentleman and soldier.  In his valor and steady firmness the officers of his Regiment place the most implicit reliance.  It would seen as if this Regiment was determined to win all the honor and trophies of the war.  However, the officers cannot have a higher estimate of their leader’s gallantry than the Government places on it.


Maj. Brown commands the 7th Infantry.  This is the Regiment that distinguished itself at the battle of New Orleans.  The Major is a matter of fact soldier, and says, though he likes his comfort as well as the next man, “there are to campaigns still in him.”  With such a sentiment as this on his lips, does he not embody the idea of a true soldier?  He has under him the most gallant, noble hearted fellows that ever swung a sword on a soldier’s thigh!  From the next in command down to the last Brevet, there is not a heart but leaps with joy for the fray.  They have come for war, and can’t bear disappointment any more than you can that man with the “white hat,” which you used to make yourself merry about.  By the by there is a “white hat” in camp.  Had your “white hat” a pair of boots under it?  And such a pair, the God’s defend us!  Why was the Alabama chartered?  Col. Hunt could never have seen those boots!


The army is now ready for action.  It is well appointed in every respect – 1900 strong – every man able to do duty, and every heart a tower of strength!  Under the broad fold of the Stars and Stripes, that loveliest of flags, this little army will become Hotspurs all.  They are prepared and eager for the fray.


I send you this by the Creole.  Light blow the winds, smooth be the seas, on her homeward track.



Harry Thin


Source: The Daily Picayune, September 5, 1845, p. 2, col. 4.

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