U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers

THE MEXICAN WAR

The Army of the West - Bent's Fort to Santa Fe

Bents Fort

The Army of the West under Colonel S. W. Kearny left Bent's Fort on August 2, 1846, headed for Santa Fé via Raton Pass.  The following account of the invasion of New Mexico is by Lt. William H. Emory1, Kearny's chief topographical engineer (quoted in black type) with additional wry comments from Richard Smith Elliott2 of the LaClede Rangers (quoted in brown type).  Elliott was a correspondent to the St. Louis Reveille.

 

August 2, 1846.- I looked in the direction of Bent's Fort, and saw a huge United States flag flowing to the breeze and straining every fibre of an ash pole planted over the centre of a gate.  The mystery was soon revealed by a column of dust to the east, advancing with about the velocity of a fast walking horse -- it was "the Army of the West."  I ordered my horses to be hitched up, and, as the column passed, took my place with the staff. 
    A little below the fort, the river was forded without difficulty, being paved with well attritioned pebbles of the primitive rock, and not more than knee deep. 
    We advanced five miles along the river, where its bed slides over a black carbonaceous shale, which has been mistaken for coal, and induced some persons to dig for it. 
    Here we turned to the left, and pursued our course over an arid elevated plain for twenty miles, without water.  When we reached the Timpas, we found the water in puddles, and the grass bad. 
Colonel Doniphan was ordered to pursue the Arkansas to near the mouth of the Timpas, and rejoin the army by following the bed of that stream. 
    Near where we left the Arkansas, we found on the side of the slope several singular demi-spheroids, about the size of an umbrella coated with carbonate of lime, in pyramidal crystals, which, at a distance, resembled the bubbles of a huge boiling caldron. 
Along the Arkansas the principal growth consists of very coarse grass, and a few cotton-woods, willows, and euphorbia marginata.  The plains are covered with very short grass, sesleria dactyloides, now burnt to cinder; artemisia, in abundance; Frémontia vermicularis; yucca angustifolia, palmillo, of the Spaniards; verbena; eurotia lanata, and a few menzelia nuda. 
    The only animals seen were one black-tailed rabbit and an antelope; both of which were killed. 
    Our march was 26 miles, that of the army 37; the last 20 miles without water. 
The artillery arrived about 11, p. m.; both men and horses were parched with thirst.  The teamsters, who had to encounter the dust, suffered very much.  When water was near, they sprang from their seats and ran for it like mad men.  Two horses sank under this day's march. 
    Our ascent was considerable to-day.  The height, indicated by the barometer, being 4,523 feet above the level of the sea.

August 3.-We ascended the Timpas six and three-quarter miles, halted for the day near running water; the grass was all burned dry, and not a green sprig to be seen.  Three buttes were passed of singular appearance; some idea of which will be given by the sketch.  They were composed of lime-stone, and were garnished at their bases with nodules of carbonate of lime, like those described yesterday.  A part of our road was on the dry bed of a river, paved, with argillaceous lime-stone, containing- now and then, the impressions of oyster shells very distinctly.  The valley in which we are now encamped presents the appearance of a crater, being surrounded with buttes capped with stunted cedar, (juniperus Virginianus.)  The stratification, however, appears regular, and to correspond on different sides of the valley. 
    The growth of to-day was similar to that found on the plains yesterday, to which may be added an evergreen and a magnificent cactus three feet high, with round limbs shaped like a rope, three and a half inches in diameter branching at right angles.  It is said the Mexicans make hedges of it. 
    Colonel Doniphan's regiment passed our camp about 4, p. m. 
    The water was in pools, charged with vegetable matter and salt. 
    The formation of the adjacent hills was distinct; first, a stratum of lime-stone ten feet thick, then hard sand-stone, with amonites and a variety of other shells, &c., overlaying blue marl.  From sides of the hills protruded geodes, with crystallized lime-stone and the ground was everywhere strewed with detached pieces of ferruginous sand-stone.  On these hills we found cedar growing, very stunted; Missouri flax; several varieties of wild currants; a very stunted growth of plums; moss and cacti in great variety, but diminutive. 
The latitude of this camp, by nine observations on Polaris, out of the meridian is 37° 44' 56". 
    The longitude derived from the chronometer, by an estimate of the local time derived from eight measurements of the double altitude of arcturus on the west, and seven of alpha aquilae in the east, is 6h 54m 06.7s. 
    The barometer reading indicates a height above the sea of 4,761 feet. 
    The road wound through the valley of the Timpas.  It being impregnated with lime rendered the dust, which the soil rose in dense columns, distressing. 
    Dwarfed cedar skirted the road on each side The strata on either side of the valley were the same as described yesterday; but the ferruginous nodules and blocks of sand-stone were more frequent. 
    Thirteen miles' march brought us to the crossing of the Timpas.  The only water we found there was in a hole 40 feet in diameter, into which the men rushed with great eagerness, disturbing the vegetable deposit formed on its surface, and thereby rendering it unfit for use.  Nine miles farther on we came to "the hole in the rock,"-a large hole filled with stagnant, though drinkable, water. 
    We saw at times during the day, a few antelopes, rabbits, wild horses, two jack dams, (magpie) meadow larks, king birds, and bob o’lincolns. 
    The pasture was so bad that Colonel Kearny determined to march to the “hole in the prairie,” the neighborhood of which, though said to be destitute of water, affords some dry grass. 
    We passed a dead horse belonging to the infantry, black, with crows, and a wolf in their midst, quietly feeding on the carcase.  This gave us unpleasant forebodings for our noble, but now attenuated, horses. 
    We reached the “hole in the prairie” at 10, p. m., the distance being 14 ½ miles,  and found grass, as we expected:  we were agreeably surprised to find water also.  The night was delicious, and all slept in the open air.  The infantry were encamped here. 
The total distance to-day was 36 miles.  The horses were now falling away in an alarming manner, but the mules seem to require the stimulus of distention, and nothing else:  this the dry grass affords. 
    On the march, about sunset, the Wattahyah (twin hills) rose suddenly to view, south 75° west; and then Pikes Peak, 20 or 30 degrees farther to north.  At the same time the dim outline of the great spine of the Rocky mountain chain began to show itself.  We were now crossing the dividing line between the waters of the Timpas and those of the Purgatory, or Los Animos, of the Spaniards. 
The vegetation was the same as that of yesterday, as far as we could judge from its burned and parched condition; to which may be added a plant described by Dr. Torrey, as physalis perbalis, and one eriogonum tomentosum. 
    Height of this camp 5,560 feet.

August 5.—To-day we descended eleven and a half miles, and reached the valley of the Purgatory, called, by the mountain men, Picatoire, a corruption of Purgatoire, a swift-running stream, a few yards in width, but no grass of any amount at the crossing.  The blighted trunks of large cotton-wood and locust trees were seen for many miles along its course, but the cause of decay was not apparent. 
    The growth of the bottom, which is very narrow, was black locust, the everlasting cotton-wood, willow, wild currants, hops, plum and grape, Artemisia clematis Virginiana, salix, in many varieties; and a specie of angelica, but no fruit was on the bushes.  Beyond this stream five and a half miles, we encamped on the bed of a tributary to the Purgatory, which comes down from the north side of the Raton, or Mouse, which is the name given to a chain of ragged looking mountains that strikes the course of the Purgatory nearly at right angles, and separates the waters of the Arkansas from those of the Canadian.  The banks of the Purgatory where this stream debouches, begin to assume something of a mountain aspect, different from scenery in the States.  The hills are bare of vegetation, except a few stunted cedars; and the valley is said to be, occasionally, the resort of grizzly bear, turkeys, deer, antelope, &c. 
    Passing the rear wagons of the infantry, we found their horses almost worn out, and the train followed by wolves. 
Captain Cook, of the 1st dragoons, was sent ahead the day before yesterday, to sound Armijo.  Mr. Liffendorfer, a trader, married to a Santa Fé lady, was sent in the direction of Taos, with two Pueblo Indians, to feel the pulse of the Pueblos and the Mexican people, and, probably, to buy wheat if any could be purchased, and to distribute the proclamations of the colonel commanding. 
    Yesterday Wm. Bent, and six others, forming a spy-guard, were sent forward to reconnoitre the mountain passes.  In this company was Mr. F. P. Blair, Jr., who had been in this country some months for the benefit of his health. 
    Measured 13 double altitudes of polaris, in the north, for latitude, and 7 of alpha aquilae in the east, for local time, and the resulting latitude is 37° 12' 10", and longitude 6h. 56m. 48s.  The height indicated by the barometer is 5,896 feet.

August 6.-Colonel Kearny left Colonel Doniphan's regiment and Major Clarke's artillery at our old camp-ground of last night, and scattered Sumner's dragoons three or four miles up the creek , to pass the day in renovating the animals by nips at the little bunches of grass spread at intervals in the valley.  This being done, we commenced the ascent of the Raton, and, after marching, 17 miles, halted with the infantry and general staff, within a halfraile of the summit of the pass.  Strong parties were sent forward to repair the road, which winds through a picturesque valley, with the Raton towering to the left.  Pine trees (pinus rigida) here obtain a respectable size, and lined the valley through the whole day's march.  A few oaks, (quercus olivaformis,) big enough for axles, were found near the halting-place of to-night.  When we first left the camp this morning, we saw several clumps of the pinon, (pinus monophyllus.) It bears a resinous nut, eaten by Mexicans and Indians.  We found also the lamita in great abundance.  It resembles the wild currant, and is, probably, one of its varieties; grows to the height of several feet, and bears a red berry, which is gathered, dried, pounded, and then mixed with sugar and water, making a very pleasant drink, resembling currant cordial.  We were unfortunate in not being able to get either the fruit or flower.  Neither this plant, the pinon, nor any of the plum trees, nor grape vines, had any fruit on them; which is attributable to the excessive drought.  The stream, which was last year a rushing torrent, is this year dry, and in pools. 
    The view from our camp is inexpressibly beautiful, and reminds persons of the landscapes of Palestine.  Without attempting a description, I refer to the sketch. 
    The rocks of the mountain were chiefly a light sandstone in strata, not far from horizontal; and the road was covered with many fragments of volcanic rocks, of purplish brown color, porous, and melting over a slow fire. 
    The road is well located.  The general appearance is something like the pass at the summit of the Boston and Albany railroad, but the scenery bolder; and less adorned with vegetation. 
    An express returned from the spy-guard, which reported all clear in front.  Captain Cook and Mr. Liffendorfer have only reached the Canadian river.  It was reported to me that, at Captain Sumner's camp, about 7 miles above where we encamped last night, and 12 miles from the summit, an immense field of coal crops out; the seam being 30 feet deep.  To-night our animals were refreshed with good grass and water. 
    Nine observations on polaris give, for the latitude of the place, 370 00, 21". 
    Seven on arcturus, in the west, and 7 on alpha aquilae, in the east, give the chronometric longitude 6h. 57m. 01.35s. 
    Height above the sea, 7,169 feet.

August 7, camp 36.-We recommenced the ascent of the Raton, which we reached with ease, with our wagons, in about two miles.  The height of this point above the sea, as indicated by the barometer, is 7,500 feet.  From the summit we had a beautiful view of Pike's peak, the Wattahyah, and the chain of mountains running south from the Wattahyah.  Several large white masses were discernible near the summits of the range, which we at first took for snow, but which, on examination with the telescope, were found to consist of white limestone, or granular quartz, of which we afterwards saw so much in this country.  As we drew near, the view was no less imposing.  To the east rose the Raton, which appeared still as high as from the camp, 1,500 feet below.  On the top of the Raton the geological formation is very singular, presenting the appearance of a succession of castles.  As a day would be required to visit it, I was obliged to forego that pleasure, and examine it merely with the glass.  The mountain appears to be formed chiefly of sandstone, disposed in strata of various shades of color, dipping gently to the east, until you reach near the summit, where the castellated appearance commences, the sides become perpendicular, and the seams vertical.  The valley is strewed with pebbles and fragments of trap rock, and the fusible rock described yesterday, cellular lava, and some pumice. 
    For two days our way was strewed with flowers; exhilarated by the ascent, the green foliage of the trees in striking contrast with the deserts we had left behind, they were the most agreeable days of the Journey.  Among the flowers and shrubbery was the campanula rotundifolia, (hare bell,) sida coccinea, galium triflorum, the snowberry, eriogonum, geranium Frémontii, clematis virpuenna, ranunculus aquatilis, euphorbia marginata, linum perenne, malva pedata, lippia cuneifolia, and many pretty varieties of convolvulus. 
    There is said to be a lake, about ten miles to the east of the summit, where immense hordes of deer, antelope, and buffalo congregate, but may be doubted. 
    The descent is much more rapid than the ascent, and, for the first few miles, through a valley of good burned grass and stagnant water, containing many beautiful flowers.  But frequently you come to a place where the stream (a branch of the Canadian) has worked itself through the mountains, and the road has to ascend and then descend a sharp spur.  Here the difficulties commence ; and the road, for three or four miles, is just passable for a wagon ; many of the train were broken in the passage.  A few thousand dollars judiciously expended here, would be an immense saying to the government if the Santa Fé country is to be permanently occupied, and Bent's Fort road adopted.  A few miles from the summit we reached a wide valley where the mountains open out, and the inhospitable looking bills recede to a respectable distance to the right and left.  Sixteen miles from camp 36 brought us to the main branch of the Canadian, a slow running stream, discharging a volume of water the thickness of a man's waist.  We found here Bent's camp.  I dismounted under the shade of a cotton-wood, near an ant-hill, and saw something black which had been thrown out by the busy little insects; and, on examination, found it to be bituminous coal, lumps of which were afterwards found thickly scattered over the plain.  After crossing the river, and proceeding about a mile and a quarter, I found the party from which I had become separated encamped on the river, with a plentiful supply of grass, wood, and water; and here we saw, for the first time, a few sprigs of the famous grama, Atheropogon oligostaclyum. 
The growth on to-day's march was pinon in small quantities, scrub oak, scrub pine, a few lamita bushes, and, on the Canadian, a few cotton-wood trees; except at the camp, there was little or no grass.  The evening threatened rain, but the clouds passed away, and we had a good night for observations.  We have had no rain since we left Cow creeks, thirty days ago.gathering aboltsbane 
    We are now in what may be called the paradise of that part of the country between Bent's Fort and San Miguel ; and yet he who leaves the edge of the Canadian or its tributaries must make a good day's march to find wood, water, or grass. 
    There may be mineral wealth in these mountains, but its discovery must be left to some explorer not attached to the staff of an army making forced marches into an enemy's country. 
    To-day commenced our half-rations of bread; though riot suffering for meat, we are anxious to seize on Santa Fé and its stock of provisions as soon as possible. 
    August 8.-We remained in camp all day to allow Colonel Doniphan's regiment and the artillery to come up.  During the day, we bad gusts of wind, and clouds discharging rain to the west.  Captain Sumner drilled his three squadrons of dragoons, and made quite an imposing show. 
    The latitude of the camp is 36' 47' 34"; the longitude 6h. 56m. 59.7s. 
    On the 7th, I measured 8 altitudes of arcturus in the west, and, 8 of alpha aquilae in the east; and, on the 8th, 10 of arcturus, and 8 of alpha aquilae-showing the rate of chronometer 783 to be losing 3s. per day. 
    The height determined approximately, is 6,112 feet above the sea.

August 9.-We broke up camp at 2 1/2 o'clock, and marched with the colonel's staff and the first dragoons 10 1/2 miles, and encamped under the mountains on the western side of the Canadian, on the banks of a small stream, a tributary of the Canadian.  The grass was short, but good; the water in small quantities, and in puddles.  Here we found a trap-dyke, course north 83 west-which shows itself also on the Canadian, about four miles distant in the same course. 
    At the distance of six miles from last night's camp, the road forks--one fork running near the mountains to the west, but nearly parallel to the old road, and never distant more than four miles, and almost all the time in sight of it.  The army was divided -- the artillery, infantry, and wagon train ordered to take the lower, and the Missouri volunteers and first dragoons the upper road.  The valley here opens out into an extensive plain, slightly rolling, flanked on each side by ranges of perpendicular hills covered with stunted cedar and the pinon.  In this extensive valley or plain may be traced by the eye, from any of the neighboring heights, the valleys of the Canadian and its tributaries, the Vermejo, the Poni, the Little Cimarron; the Rayada, and the Ocaté.  We saw troops of antelopes, horses, deer, &c.; also cacti in great abundunce, and in every variety; also a plant which Dr. De Camp pointed out as being highly balsamic; and having collected quantities of it during his campaign to the Rocky mountains, and tested its efficacy as a substitute for balsam cop. 
    To-night we observed a great number of insects, the first remarked since leaving the Arkansas.  Birds were equally rare, with the exception of the cow-bunting, which has been seen in great numbers on the whole route, and in a state so tame as to often alight on our horses.  The horned frog (agama cornuta) also abounds here, as well as on the route westward from Chouteau's island.

August 10.-Colonel Kearny was dissatisfied with the upper road, and determined to strike for the old road.  We did so after reaching the Vermejo, 9 ½ miles in a diagonal line, and rejoined it at the crossing of the Little Cimarron, where we found the infantry encamped-total distance 20 ½ miles, the grass good, and water plenty, though not flowing.  Another trap-dyke, parallel nearly to the last, and three mile distant, presented its wall-like front.  It was strewed with fragments of fernigenous sand-stone and crystalized carbonate of lime. 
    A Mexican came into camp from Bent's Fort, and reported Lieutenant Abert much better.  Colonel Kearny allowed him to pass to Taos, which place (60 miles distant by a bridle path) he expected to reach to-night.  The colonel sent by him copies of his proclamation. 
Five Mexicans were captured by Bent's spy company; they were sent out to reconnoitre our forces, with orders to detain all persons passing out of New Mexico.  They were mounted on diminutive asses, and presented a ludicrous contrast by side of the big men and horses of the first dragoons.  Fitzpatrick, our guide, who seldom laughs, became almost convulsed whenever he turned his well practised eye in their direction. 
    Mr. Towle, an American citizen, came to head-quarters at the Vermejo, and reported himself just escaped from Taos.  He brought the intelligence that, yesterday, the proclamation of Governor Armijo reached there, calling the citizens to arms, and placing the whole country under martial law; that Armijo has assembled all the Pueblo Indians, numbering about 2,000, and all the citizens capable of bearing arms; that 300 Mexican dragoons arrived in Santa Fé the day Armijo’s proclamation was issued, and that 1,200 more were hourly expected; that the Mexicans to a man were anxious for a fight, but that half the Pueblo Indians were indifferent on the subject, but would be made to fight. 
    A succession of thunder storms passed yesterday to the north and west, but did not reach us.  The ground indicates recent rain, as also does the grass, which looks as in the spring, just sprouting.  The hills to the left, as near as I can judge, the same as in the Raton, were of different colored sand stone, regularly stratified, and dipping gently to the east, topped by a mural precipice of green stone.  The growth on the mountains, pinon and cedar.  On the plains, which are covered with scoriae, scarcely a tree is to be seen. 
    We encamped on the little Cimarron, and observed at night for latitude and time.  7 altitudes of polaris give for the latitude 36° 27' 50" ; 7 on arcturus in the west, and the same number on alpha aquilae in the east give the meridian by chronometer differences 6h. 68m. 39s.  Approximate height 6,027 feet. 
    The plants of to-day, in addition to many of plants heretofore mentioned, were the Erysinum Arkansanum, lippa cuneifolia, myosotis glomerata, so frequently found on the plains, lytherus linearis, hypercium ellipticium, several verbenas, and several new varieties of oxybaphus, wild sage, and on the streams a few cotton-wood and willows.

August 11.-We made a longmarch to-day with the advanced guard and the 1st dragoons, to the Ocaté, 31 2/3 miles.  The road approaches the Ocaté, at the foot of a high bluff to the north, where the river runs through a cañon, making it inaccessible to animals.  We ascend the river for four or five miles, to where the road crosses; there we left the road, and at that point, the river being dry, continued to ascend it a mile, and found good grass, and, occasionally, running water.  The scenery to-day was very pretty, sometimes approaching to the grand; the road passed through a succession of valleys, and crossed numerous "divides" of the Rayada and Ocaté.  The Rayada is a limpid running stream, ten miles from the little Cimarron, the first of the kind noted, though we have been traversing the bases of many mountains for days past.  The pasture, however, is not good.  At points two and four miles farther, at the foot of the mountains, there are springs and good grass.  At the last point we overtook the infantry, where they halted.  About five miles before reaching the Ocaté, the road descends into a valley, overhung by confused and rugged cliffs, which give promise of grass and water, but, on going down, we found that this beautiful valley had no outlet, but terminated in a salt lake.  The lake is now dry, and its bed is white with a thin saline encrustation.  Here the road is indistinct, and takes a sudden turn to the left. At this moment we discovered coming towards us, at full speed, Bent's spy-guard.  All thought they had met the enemy; I was ordered to ride forward to meet them, followed by Mr. Fitzpatrick and two dragoons.  It proved to be a false alarm; they had missed their road, and were galloping back to regain it. 
    The hills are composed principally of basalt and a porous volcanic stone, very hard, with metallic fracture and lustre, traversed by dykes of trap.  The lava is underlayed by sand stone.  From the uniform height of these hills, one would think they originally formed the table land, and that the valleys had been formed by some denuding process, and their limits determined by the alternate existence or non-existence of the hard crust of volcanic rock. 
    Matters are now becoming very interesting.  Six or eight Mexicans were captured last night, and on their persons was found the proclamation of the Prefect of Toas, based upon that of Armijo, calling the citizens to arms, to repel the “Americans, who were coming to invade their soil and destroy their property and liberties;" ordering an enrolment of all citizens over 15 and under 50.  It is decidedly less bombastic than any Mexican paper I have yet seen.  Colonel Kearny assembled these prisoners, altogether some ten or twelve, made a speech to them, and ordered that, when the rear guard of the army should have passed, they should be released.  These men were not deficient in form or stature; their faces expressed good nature, bordering on idiocy; they were mounted on little donkies and jennies, guided by clubs instead of bridles. 
    Two more Mexicans, of a better class, were captured to-night, or rather they came into camp.  Their story was, that they had come out by order of the alcalde of the Moro town to look out for their standing enemies, the Eutaws, who were reported in the neighborhood.  That they had heard of our advance some time since, but believed us to be at the Rayada, 22 miles back; but seeing our wagons, and having faith in the Americanos, they rode without hesitation into our camp.  When they said they had faith in us, the colonel ordered them to shake hands with him.  They were ordered to be detained for a day or two, for it was quite evident to all they were spies, who bad come too suddenly into the little ravine in which we were encamped. 
    They appeared well pleased, and one of them, after proceeding a few steps with the guard, turned back and presented the colonel with a fresh cream cheese. 
    The grass was interspersed with a great variety of new and beautiful flowers-the oenothera; Stanley pinnatifida; anemone Pennsylvania; eriogonum tomentosum; erysinum, Arkansanum, &c. &c. 
    The hills were sparsely covered with cedar and pinon.  Antelopes and horned frogs in abundance, but no other animals were seen.  Height of this camp 6,946 feet.

August 12.-The elder Mexican was discharged, giving him two proclamations; one for the alcalde, another for the people of his town.  A message was sent to the alcalde to meet, us at the crossing of the Moro, with several of his chief men.  The other Mexican was retained as a guide.  About 12 o'clock the advance was sounded, and the colonel, with Sumner's command marched 20 miles, and halted in a beautiful valley of fine grass and pools of cool water, where the wild liquorice (glycyrrhiza lepidota) grew plentifully. The stream, where flowing, is a tributary of the Moro. 
    From the drift wood, &c., found in its wide, well-grassed bed, I infer it is subject to great freshets. In crossing from the Ocaté to the valley of the Moro, the mountains become more rolling; and as we approached the Moro, the valley opened out, and the whole country became more tame in its appearance. 
    Ten miles up the Moro is the Moro town, containing, we were informed, 200 houses. 
    It is off the lower road; but a tolerable wagon road leads to the village from our camp of last night. 
    The plains were strewed with fragments of brick-dust colored lava, scoriae and slag; the hills, to the left, capped with white granular quartz. The plains are almost destitute of vegetation; the hills bear a stunted growth of pinon and red cedar. Rains have fallen here recently, and the grass in the bottoms is good. The grama is now found constantly. We saw to-day some ground squirrels, with stripes on their sides: in their habits, resembling the common prairie dog. A flight of birds was seen to the south, but too distant to distinguish. We were attracted to the left by an object which was supposed to be an Indian, but, on coming up to it, it was discovered to be a sand-stone block standing On end and topped by another shorter block. A mountain man, versed in these signs, said it was in, commemoration of a talk and friendly smoke between some two or three tribes of Indians. 
    The latitude of the place, from 7 observations on polaris, is 35° 54' 21", and the longitude, deduced from the local time by 7 altitudes of alpha lyrae in the west, and 11 of ? in the east, was 6h. 59m. 49s. 
    The height above the sea 6,670 feet.

August 13.-At 12 o'clock, as the rear column came in sight, the call of "boots and saddles" was sounded, and in 20 minutes we were off. We had not advanced more than one mile when Bent, of the spy-guard, came up with four prisoners. They represented themselves to be an ensign and three privates of the Mexican army, sent forward to reconnoitre and ascertain our force. They said 600 men were at the Vegas to give us battle. They told many different stories; and finally delivered up a paper, being an order from a Captain Gonzales to the ensign, to go forward on the Bent's Fort road to ascertain our position and numbers. They were cross-examined by the colonel, and detained. 
    As soon as we commenced the descent into the valley of the Moro creek, some one reported a company of Mexican's at the crossing; Colonel Kearny ordered me to go forward with twelve of the Laclede rangers, and reconnoitre the party, and if they attempted to run, to pursue and capture as many as we could. As Lieutenant Elliot and myself approached this company, they appeared to be motionless, and on coming up, we found them to consist of nothing but the pine stakes of a corral. The dragoons were sadly disappointed; they evidently expected either a fight or a chase. Six miles brought us to the first settlement we had yet seen in 775 miles. The first object I saw was a pretty Mexican woman, with clean white stockings, who very cordially shook bands with us and asked for tobacco.  In the next house lived Mr. Boney, an American, who has been some time in this country, and is the owner of a large number of horses and cattle, which he manages to keep in defiance of wolves, Indians, and Mexicans.  He is a perfect specimen of a generous open-hearted adventurer, and in appearance what, I have pictured to myself, Daniel Boone, of Kentucky, must have been in his day.  He drove his herd of cattle into camp and picked out the largest and fattest, which he presented to the army. 
    Two miles below, at the junction of the Moro and Sapillo, is another American, Mr. Wells, of North Carolina; he has been here but six months, and barring his broad-brimmed sombrero, might have been taken for a sergeant of dragoons, with his blue pantaloons with broad gold-colored stripes on the sides, and his jacket trimmed with lace.  I bought butter from him at four bits the pound. 
    We halted at the Sapillo, distance nine and a half miles from our last nights encampment, in a tremendous shower of rain; the grass was indifferent, being clipped short by the cattle from the rancheria.  Wood and water plenty. 
    At this place a Mr. Spry came into camp, on foot, and with scarcely any clothing.  He had escaped from Santa Fé on the night previous, at Mr. H----'s request, to inform Colonel Kearny that Armijo's forces were assembling; that he might expect vigorous resistance, and that a place called the Cañon, 15 miles from Santa Fé, was being fortified; and to advise the Colonel to go round it. 
The cañon is a narrow defile, easily defended, and of which we have beard a great deal.  War now seems "inevitable;" and the advantages of ground and numbers will, no doubt, enable the Mexicans to make the fight interesting.  The grass was miserable, and the camp ground inundated by the shower of to-day, which was quite a rarity. 
    Barometric height 6,395 feet.

    The Army of the West, August 13, 1846, marched into the broad plain and valley of the Moro, beyond the supposed volcanic hills near the Ocaté....  Our camp had been in the plain at the Santa Clara pools, near where Fort Union now stands. The Laclede Rangers were in advance, and we had not gone far when a hostile force was seen in the distance.  The colonel halted us; the glass was levelled:  "Mexicans or Indians!"  The enemy at last!  We could all see them with the naked eye.  The old mountaineer, Fitzpatrick, smiled quietly and said nothing.  Lieut. Emory was ordered to take a dozen men and reconnoitre.  While Sergt. Alex. Patterson... was selecting the braves, I asked permission of Capt. Thos. B. Hudson to volunteer, and we trotted off as rapidly as our jaded horses could carry us. It was exhilirating. 
    A fight! A victory! In imagination the St. Louis newspapers already had the bulletin, with big type at the top. Trot, trot, trot! The enemy stood fast.  We were glad they did not run and cheat us of our victory; but when we charged down upon them, they turned out to be only a cedar-post corral!  What with the mirage, the weariness of our eyes from the long march over the plains and our desire for a fight, we had mistaken the harmless timbers for Mexican enemies.  Fitzpatrick's eye, trained by long usage, had seen things as they were, but even with the field-glass, other eyes had been deceived.

August 14.-The order of march to-day was that which could easily be converted into the order of battle.  After proceeding a few miles we met a queer cavalcade, which we supposed at first to be the looked for alcalde from Moro town, but it proved to be a messenger from Armijo; a lieutenant, accompanied by a sergeant and two privates, of Mexican lancers.  The men were good looking enough, and evidently dressed in their best bib and tucker.  The creases in their pantaloons were quite distinct, but their horses were mean in the extreme, and the contempt with which our dragoons were filled was quite apparent.  The messenger was the bearer of a letter from Armijo.  It was a sensible, straightforward missive and if, written by an American or Englishman, would have meant this: “You have notified we that you intend to take possession of the country I govern.  The people of the country have risen, en masse, in my defence.  If you take the country, it will be because you prove the strongest in battle.  I suggest to you to stop at the Sapillo, and I will march to the Vegas.  We will meet and negotiate on the plains between them." 
    The artillery were detained some time in passing the Sapillo.  This kept us exposed to the sun on the plains for four hours, but it gave the colonel time to reflect on the message with which he should dismiss the lancers; as there was some apprehension that Captain Cook was detained, their discharge became matter for reflection.  Sixteen miles brought us in sight of the Vegas, a village on the stream of the same name. 
    A halt was made at this point, and the colonel called up the lieutenant and lancers and said to them, “The road to Santa Fé is now as free to you as to myself.  Say to General Armijo, I shall soon meet him, and I hope it will be as friends." 
    At parting, the lieutenant embraced the colonel, Captain Turner, and myself, who happened to be standing near. 
    The country to-day was rolling, almost mountainous, and covered in places with scoriae.  Grass began to show itself, and was interspersed with malva pedata, lippia cunefolia, and several new species of geraniacae, bartonia, and convolvulus.  The soil was good enough apparently, but vegetation was stunted from the want of rain.  As we emerged from the hills into the valley of the Vegas, our eyes were greeted for the first time with waving corn.  The stream was flooded, and the little drains by which the fields were irrigated, full to the brim.  The dry soil seemed to drink it in with the avidity of our thirsty horses.  The village, at a short distance, looked like an extensive brick-kiln.  On approaching, its outline presented a square with some arrangements for defence.  Into this square the inhabitants are sometimes compelled to retreat, with all their stock, to avoid the attacks of the Eutaws and Navahoes, who pounce upon them and carry off their women, children, and cattle.  Only a few days since, they made a descent on the town and carried off 120 sheep and other stock.  As Captain Cook passed through the town some ten days' since, a murder had just been committed on these helpless people.  Our camp extended for a mile down the valley; on one side was the stream, on the other the cornfields, with no fence or hedge interposing.  What a tantalizing prospect for our hungry and jaded nags; the water was free, but a chain of sentinels was posted to protect the corn, and strict orders given that it should not be disturbed. 
    Captain Turner was sent to the village to inform the alcalde that the colonel wished to see him and the head men of the town.  In a short time down came the alcalde and two captains of militia, with numerous servants, prancing and careering their little nags into camp. 
    Observations.-9 altitudes of polaris in the north, 7 of arcturus, in the east, and 7 of alpha aquilae in the east. 
    Latitude 35° 35' 05". 
    Longitude 7h. 00m. 46s. 
    Height, by the barometer, 6,418 feet.

August 15.-12 o'clock last night information was received that 600 men had collected at the pass which debouches into the Vegas, two miles distant, and were to oppose our march.  In the morning, orders were given to prepare to meet the enemy.  At 7, the army moved, and just as we made the road leading through the town, Major Swords, of the quartermaster's department, Lieutenant Gilmer, of the engineers, and Captain Weightman joined us, from Fort Leavenworth, and presented Colonel Kearny with his commission as brigadier general in the army of the United States.  They had heard we were to have a battle, and rode sixty miles during the night to be in it. 
At eight, precisely, the general was in the public square, where he was met by the alcalde and people; many of whom were mounted, for these people seem to live on horseback. 
    The general pointed to the top of one of their houses, which are built of one story, and suggested to the alcalde that if he would go to that place he and his staff would follow, and from that point, where all could hear and see, he would speak to them; which he did, as follows: 
    "Mr. Alcalde and people of New Mexico:  I have come amongst you by the orders of my government , to take possession of your country, and extend over it the laws of the United States.  We consider it, and have done so for some time, a part of the territory .of the United States.  We come amongst you as friends-not as enemies; as protectors-not as conquerors.  We come among you for your benefit-not for your injury. 
    "Henceforth I absolve you from all allegiance to the Mexican government, and from all obedience to General Armijo.  He is no longer your governor; [great sensation.] I am your governor.  I shall not expect you to take up arms and follow me, to fight your own people who may oppose me; but I now tell you, that those who remain peaceably at home, attending to their crops and their herds, shall be protected by me in their property, their persons, and their religion; and not a pepper, nor an onion, shall be disturbed or taken by my troops without pay, or by the consent of the owner.  But listen! He who promises to be quiet, and is found in arms against me, I will hang 
    "From the Mexican government you have never received protection.  The Apaches and the Navajhoes come down from the mountains and carry off your sheep, and even your women, whenever they please.  My government will correct all this.  It will keep off the Indians, protect you in your persons and property; and, I repeat again, will protect you in your religion.  I know you are all great Catholics; that some of your priests have told you all sorts of stories-that we should ill-treat your women, and brand them on the cheek as you do your mules on the hip.  It is all false.  My government respects your religion as much as the Protestant religion, and allows each man to worship his Creator as his heart tells him is best.  Its laws protect the Catholic as well as the Protestant; the weak as well as the strong; the poor as well as the rich.  I am not a Catholic myself-I was not brought up in that faith; but at least one-third of my army are Catholics, and I respect a good Catholic as much as a good Protestant. 
    “There goes my army-you see but a small portion of it; there are many more behind-resistance is useless. 
    "Mr. alcalde, and you two captains of militia, the laws of my country require that all men who hold office under it shall take the oath of allegiance.  I do not wish for the present, until affairs become more settled, to disturb your form of government.  If you are prepared to take oaths of allegiance, I shall continue you in office and support your authority." 
    This was a bitter pill; but it was swallowed by the discontented captain, with downcast eyes.  The general remarked to him, in hearing of all the people: "Captain, look me in the face while you repeat the oath of office." The hint was understood; the oath taken, and the alcalde and the two captains pronounced to be continued in office.  The citizens were enjoined to obey the alcalde, &c. &c.  The people grinned, and exchanged looks of satisfaction; but seemed not to have the boldness to express what they evidently felt that their burdens, if not relieved, were at least shifted to some ungalled part of the body. 
    We descended by the same ricketty ladder by which we had climbed to the tops of the houses, mounted our horses, and rode briskly forward to encounter our 600 Mexicans in the gorge of the mountains, two miles distant. 
    The sun shone with dazzling brightness; the guidons and colors of each squadron, regiment, and battalion were for the first time unfurled.  The drooping horses seemed to take courage from the gay array.  The trumpeters sounded “to horse," with spirit, and the hills multiplied and re-echoed the call.  All wore the aspect of a gala day; and, as we approached the gorge, where we expected to meet the enemy, we broke into a brisk trot, then into a full gallop, preceded by a squadron of horse.  The gorge was passed, but no person seen. 
One by one the guidons were furled; the men looked disappointed, and a few minutes found us dragging our slow lengths along with the usual indifference in regard to every subject except that of overcoming space. 
    Two miles further brought us to another pass as formidable as the first, and all the intermediate country was broken and covered with a dense growth of pine, pin  on, and cedar.  Here the mountains of red sand-stone, disposed in horizontal strata, begin to rise to the height of a thousand feet above the road.  Nine miles more brought us to Tacoloté. 
    Here we met the alcalde and the people in the cool and spacious residence of the former, where the drama above described was again enacted.  This time it was graced by the presence of the women with their bare ankles, round plump arms, and slippered feet. 
We marched ten miles farther, to the Vernal springs, and halted at the upper spring, and observed for time and latitude about 500 feet south of the upper spring. 
    Observed 9 altitudes of polaris, 7 of alpha aquilae, and 7 of arcturus.  Latitude 35° 23' 19"; longitude 7h. 01m. 23s. 
    Height indicated by the barometer 6,299 feet.

    After we had taken the old town, the Army of the West moved on to battle. The hostiles were said to be posted at El Puerto del Padre-literally the door or gate of the priest where the remarkable strata of rocks, tilted up to nearly a vertical position, bound the valley on the west, and have been cut through by a wet weather water course. While the general was engaged in transmuting the alcalde and his townsmen into free and happy American citizens, two companies of infantry or dismounted troopers had gone forward to cross the hills near the Puerto, their movement so timed that they would come on the field of battle just as the Rangers, dragoons and artillery would be routing the enemy, and could be of great use in helping to bury the dead. The main road approaches the Puerto close to and parallel with the ridge, making a short turn to enter the pass; and when within a quarter of a mile of the battle ground the command "trot! march!" was given-then " gallop!" -then "charge!" and with sabres flashing, we hurled ourselves at the foe-the artillery of Maj. Clarke's battalion (St. Louis men) rumbling close behind us to do the heavy work. We were splendidly supported also by the soldiers on foot, who had crossed the summit and with reckless bravery were descending the inner slope of the hill as we thundered through the gorge. The cavalry drill at the Canadian, mentioned... was a sort of sham fight, and the charge of Emory, Patterson and myself with our dozen desperate heroes on the cedar corral had a sort of tittillating effect on the risibilities. But our work at the classic Puerto del Padre was in sober earnest, and I have never doubted that we should have covered ourselves with glory as well as dust but for one circumstance, inevitably fatal to military distinction-which was that ... there was no hostile force at the Puerto, and had not been probably since the days of Coronado, three hundred years before.

August 16.-We marched to San Miguel, where General Kearny assembled the people and harangued them much in the same manner as at the Vegas. 
    Reports now reached us at every step that the people were rising, and that Armijo was collecting a formidable force to oppose our march at the celebrated pass of the Cañon, 15 miles from Santa Fé.  About the middle of the day’s march the two Pueblo Indians, previously sent in to sound the chief men of that formidable tribe, were seen in the distance, at full speed, with arms and legs both thumping into the sides of their mules at every stride.  Something was now surely in the wind.  The smaller and foremost of the two dashed up to the general, his face radiant with joy, and exclaimed, "they are in the Cañon, my brave, pluck up your courage and push them out."  As soon as his extravagant delight at the prospect of a fight, and the pleasure of communicating the news, had subsided, he gave a pretty accurate idea of Armijo's force and position. 
    The road passed over to-day was good, but the face of the country exceedingly rugged, broken, and covered with pinon and cedar.  To the left, one or two miles distant, towers a wall, nearly perpendicular, 2,000 feet high, apparently level on the top, and showing, as near as I could judge from the road, an immense stratum of red sand-stone. 
We turned from the road to the creek, where there were a few rancherias, to encamp; at which place we passed an uncomfortable night, the water being hard to reach, and the grass very bad. 
    Barometric height 6,346 feet.

August 17.-The picket guard, stationed on the road, captured the son of Saliza, who, it is said, is to play an important part in the defence of this country, and the same who behaved so brutally to the Texan prisoners.  The son was at San Miguel yesterday, and heard from a concealed place all that passed.  It is supposed, at this time be was examining the position, strength, &c., of our army, to report to his father. 
    A rumor has reached camp that the 2,000 Mexicans assembled in the Cañon to oppose us, have quarrelled among themselves; that Armijo, taking advantage of the dissensions, fled with his dragoons and artillery to the south.  He has long been suspected of wishing an excuse to fly.  It is well known he has been averse to a battle, but some of his people threatened his life if he refused to fight.  He has been, for some days, more in fear of his own people than of the American army.  He has seen what they are blind to: the hopelessness of resistance.

Pecos Astek

 As we approached the ruins of the ancient town of Pecos, a large fat fellow mounted on a mule, came towards us at full speed, and extending his hand to the general, congratulated him on the arrival of himself and army.  He said, with a roar of laughter, Armijo and his troops have gone to hell, “and the Cañon is all clear." This was the alcalde of the settlement, two miles up the Pecos from the ruins, where we encamped, 15 3/4 miles from our last camp, and two miles from the road. 
    Pecos, once a fortified town, is built on a promontory or rock, somewhat in the shape of a foot.  Here burned, until within seven years, the eternal fires of Montezuma, and the remains of the architecture exhibit, in a prominent manner, the engraftment of the Catholic church upon the ancient religion of the country.  At one end of the short spur forming the terminus of the promontory, are the remains of the estuffa, with all its parts distinct; at the other are the remains of the Catholic church, both showing the distinctive marks and emblems of the two religions.  The fires from the estuffa burned and sent their incense through the same altars from which was preached the doctrine of Christ.  Two religions so utterly different in theory, were here, as in all Mexico, blended in harmonious practice until about a century since, when the town was sacked by a band of Indians. 
    Amidst the havoc of plunder of the city, the faithful Indian managed to keep his fire burning in the estuffa; and it was continued till a few years since the tribe became almost extinct.  Their devotions rapidly diminished their numbers, until they became so few as to be unable to keep their immense estuffa (forty feet in diameter) replenished, when they abandoned the place and joined a tribe of the original race over the mountains, about sixty miles south.  There, it is said, to this day they keep up their fire, which has never yet been extinguished.  The labor, watchfulness, and exposure to heat consequent on this practice of their faith, is fast reducing this remnant of the Montezuma race; and a few years will, in all probability, see the last of this interesting people.  The accompanying sketches will give a much more accurate representation of these ruins than any written descriptions.  The remains of the modern church, with its crosses, its cells, its dark mysterious corners and niches, differ but little from those of the present day in New Mexico.  The architecture of the Indian portion of the ruins presents peculiarities worthy of notice.

 Pecos Catholic Church

    Both are constructed of the same materials: the walls of sundried brick, the rafters of well-hewn timber, which could never have been hewn by the miserable little axes now used by the Mexicans, which resemble, in shape and size, the wedges used by our farmers for splitting rails.  The cornices and drops of the architrave in the modern church, are elaborately carved with a knife. 
To-night we found excellent grass on the Rio Pecos, abreast of the ruins where the modern village of Pecos is situated, with a very inconsiderable population.

    On the evening of the 17th we made our camp at the village of Pecos, near the ruins of Aztec structures and edifices of Spanish origin; but no archaeological temptation could lure us from the important duties of eating and sleeping.  Fortunately the village was too small for even a speech from the general or the usual swearing-in process (both required at Tucalote and San Miguel), and it was conquered not only without gunpowder, but also without promises or pledges. jaded animals, with scant forage, and hungry men, fuller of vim than rations, made up the Army of the West, but we might go to sleep with the consciousness of duty performed.  We had made the longest march in American history, and had been victorious over all obstacles. 
    Three of us having called at the alcalde's mansion of one story and two rooms, had a supper of green peas in mutton broth, relished as heartily as if the native earthen pot in which they were served had been scoured within the half year preceding.  We had long before ceased to be fastidious in little matters of pots, pans or cookery, and we rather astonished our host and his señora by the manner in which the broth was dipped up by all from the same reservoir and swallowed, spoons and all.  Pieces of tortilla (a thin cake) made the spoons, folded to contain some of the broth and peas, and the spoons and their contents went down together.  It was a novel banquet, for which our host would only accept payment after one of us who could "habla" Spanish a little managed to make him understand that if he wished to be regarded as a good "Americano" he must take everything he could get his hands on, honestly of course.

August 18, -We were this morning 29 miles from Santa Fé.  Reliable information, from several sources, had reached camp yesterday and the day before, that dissensions had arisen in Armijo’s camp, which had dispersed his army, and that he had fled to the south, carrying all his artillery and 100 dragoons with him.  Not a hostile rifle or arrow was now between the army and Santa Fé, the capital of New Mexico, and the general determined to make the march in one day, and raise the United States flag over the palace before sundown.  New horses or mules were ordered for the artillery, and every thing was braced up for a forced march.  The, distance was not great, but the road bad, and the horses on their last legs. 
    A small detachment was sent forward at day-break, and at six the army followed.  Four or five miles from old Pecos the road leads into a cañon, with hills on each side from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the road, in all cases within cannon shot, and in many within point blank musket shot; and this continues to a point but 12 or 15 miles from Santa Fé. 
    The scenery is wild; the geological formation much the same as before described, until you begin to descend towards the Del Norte, when granitic rocks and sands are seen in great abundance on the road as far as Santa Fé.  Cedar, pinon, and a large growth of longleafed pine are densely crowded wherever the rock affords a crevice, until within six or eight miles of the town.  Fifteen miles from Santa Fé we reached the position deserted by Armijo.  The topographical sketch, by Lieutenant Peck, will give some idea of it.  It is a gateway which, in the bands of a skilful engineer and one hundred resolute men, would have been perfectly impregnable. 
    Had the position been defended with any resolution, the general would have been obliged to turn it by a road which branches to the south, six miles from Pecos, by the way of Galisteo. 
    Armijo's arrangements for defence were very stupid.  His abattis was placed behind the gorge some 100 yards, by which be evidently intended that the gorge should be passed before his fire was opened.  This done, and his batteries would have been carried without difficulty. 
    Before reaching the cañon the noon halt was made in a valley covered with some gama, and the native potato in full bloom.  The fruit was not quite as large as a wren's egg.  As we approached the town, a few straggling Americans came out, all looking anxiously for the general, who, with his staff, was clad so plainly, that they passed without recognizing us.  Another officer and myself were sent down to explore the by-road by which Armijo fled.  On our return to the main road, we saw two Mexicans; one the acting secretary of state, in search of the general.  They had passed him without knowing him.  When we pointed in the direction of the general, they broke into a full run; their hands and feet keeping time to the pace of their nags.  We followed in a sharp trot; and, as we thought, at a respectable distance.  Our astonishment was great to find, as they wound through the ravine, through the open well-grown pine forest, that they did not gain on us perceptibly.  “Certainly they are in a full run, and as certainly are we only in a trot," we both exclaimed.  I thought we were under some optical delusion, and turned to my servant to see the pace at which he was going.  "Ah!" said he, "those Mexican horses make a mighty great doing to no purpose."  That was a fact; with their large cruel bits, they harrass their horses into a motion which enables them to gallop very long without losing sight of the starting place. 
    The acting secretary brought a letter from Vigil, the lieutenant governor, informing the general of Armijo's flight, and of his readiness to receive him in Santa Fé, and extend to him the hospitalities of the city.  He was quite a youth, and dressed in the fashion of the Americans.  Here, all persons from the United States are called Americans, and the name is extended to no other race on the continent.     To-day's march was very tedious and vexatious; wishing to enter Santa Fé in an imposing form, frequent halts were made to allow the artillery to come up.  Their horses almost gave out, and during the day mule after mule was placed before the guns, until scarcely one of them was spared. 
    The head of the column arrived in sight of the town about three o'clock; it was six before the rear came up.  Vigil and twenty or thirty of the people of the town received us at the palace and asked us to partake of some wine and brandy of domestic manufacture.  It was from the Passo del Norte; we were too thirsty to judge of its merits, any thing liquid and cool was palatable.  During the repast, and as the sun was sitting, the United States flag was hoisted over the palace, and a salute of thirteen guns fired from the artillery planted on the eminence overlooking the town. 
    The ceremony ended, we were invited to supper at Captain -----‘s, a Mexican gentleman, formerly in the army.  The supper was served very much after the manner of a French dinner, one dish succeeding another in endless variety.  A bottle of good wine from the Passo del Norte, and a loaf of bread was placed at each plate.  We had been since five in the morning without eating, and inexhaustible as were the dishes was our appetite.

    It was now manifest to all that, so far as the possession of Santa Fé was concerned, the fight was all over; and our only solicitude was for our wagons and the artillery, which, we feared, would have difficulty in getting over the heavy, and in places, rocky road-a road running up and down hills all the way from the cañon to Santa Fé.  Accordingly, on went the dragoons and Rangers, until at length we emerged from the stunted pines and cedars into full view of the valley in which the terminus (for the present) of our long and arduous march is situated, and of the country beyond to the western range of mountains.  Reaching a hill, immediately south-east of the city, and from which the tops of the public buildings were visible, the General halted, and waited some two hours for the artillery; during which time the stars and stripes were observed unrolled in the hands of a Sergeant, and certain inquiries were overheard to be made of American citizens as to the best means of hoisting it on the palace of the Armijos.  We also understood that preparations were making to fit up the palace for the occupancy of the General, and that, in all probability, his intention expressed at Bent's Fort, to be in Santa Fé on the 18th of August, with his whole army, would be made good.  The sun, which had been obscured in the morning, was beaming forth gloriously, but going down a great deal faster than the artillery was coming up.  Some few of the Mexican citizens, prompted by curiosity, came out in their white shirts and wide breeches, with those everlasting big hats on, and looked with gaping wonder on the advance corps of the "Army of the West."  Mr. Thurston, standing about 6 feet 6 in moccasins, and other Americans, including our never-tiring friend, Col. Owens, of Jackson, were standing in groups about, while the General held consultation with that prime old soldier, who never missed a roll-call, Maj. Sumner-and old Fitzpatrick, with his venerable silver head, and keen grey-blue eye, looked on as perfectly at home as when guiding us over the plains, with never-erring memory and sagacity.  Horses went to sleep, for not a spear of grass was in sight, and men wondered what would come next-declared the subsistence wagons would not come up-and speculated on the price of bread and curds in Santa Fé. 
    At length the artillery appeared-the bugle called to horse, and into the town we marched, with drawn sabres, and taking as much care of the little urchins in the streets as we would on parade in St. Louis-and, by the way, children are everywhere the same, when soldiers or any other show are on the tapis.  The General took his position with his guard, in the plaza, or great square, before the palace, where he claimed the capital and country of the Alcalde for the American Union, and administered the oath of allegiance, while Major Sumner marched us through several streets, and the American flag was hoisted over the palace, saluted by the deep voices of Major Clark's artillery, from the hill where we had halted.  We were then marched out to the hill again, where we found that the wagons of our company had not come up, and that the prospect for supper was no longer dubious, but decidedly bad; while our poor horses, tired beyond measure, had no hope of a single blade of grass to stand between them and starvation. 
    Well-supper or not-here we are in Santa Fé-AND NEW MEXICO IS OURS!

Santa Fe

Emory, William H. 1848.  Notes of a Military Reconnoissance from Fort Leavenworth in Missouri to San Diego, in California. 30th Congress, 1st session, Executive Document No. 41. 
Gardner, Mark and Simmons, Marc (eds.) The Mexican War Correspondence of Richard Smith Elliott. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 

 

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