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west fortified, garrisoned, and provisioned against his advance, it was occupied by a small detachment, which, at his approach, retired to the Alamo, a mission which had been turned into a barrack. Two months and a half had completely changed the condition of affairs in Texas. The colonists, present at the fall of San Antonio, had retired to their homes immediately after that event; and the volunteers, who remained, weary of inaction, eagerly entered upon an expedition, projected against Matamoras, and said to have been approved by the Government and General Houston. Some 400 started, leaving only about sixty men as a garrison. The civil Government had split into two hostile factions; the Council on one side, and Governor Smith and General Houston on the other: and the defenders of the frontier were perplexed, and eventually sacrificed, by the contradictory orders and neglect of preparation of these opposing heads. Clothing and munitions came in from friends in the United Stat
that Huston should be appointed major-general, and receive the chief command. The expectation of an expedition against Matamoras about this time, however, occupied the attention and thus allayed the discontents of the camp; and, General Huston haviby rest. The situation of Texas at this time was very critical. Confidential communications to the President, from Matamoras, through Mr. John Ricord, confirmed for the most part by Colonel Seguin at San Antonio, reported with certainty the enemy's force, January 26th: in Matamoras, 2,855 men; and with Bravo, at Saltillo, 2,500 men; amounting, including detachments, to 5,500 soldiers, with 28 cannon and two mortars. This force was augmented, until, in March, it was estimated at 8,000 Mex, appeared as rival candidates. On the 8th of April the Government was startled by information, five days only from Matamoras, that a heavy column of invasion was already in motion in the direction of San Antonio. The dispatch from the Secretar
y the agents of Mexico. One of these emissaries, Don Pedro Julian Miracle, was killed near the Cross Timbers, in Texas; and his journal also confirmed the suspicions of the conspiracy against Texas at least. The Cherokees and Caddoes visited Matamoras in June, and obtained large quantities of ammunition from the authorities there. Report of the Secretary of State (Texas), November, 1839, p. 22. On November 26, 1838, Mr. Jones, Texan minister, complained to the United States Governmenttory claimed by the Cherokees on the shortest notice. A few days after these orders were transmitted a dispatch was received from Colonel Burleson announcing the interception of letters from General Canalizo, commander of the Central forces at Matamoras, to the chiefs of the Seminoles, Caddoes, Biloxies, Kickapoos, and to Bowles and others, with instructions for them and the plan of operations to be pursued against the Texans, which intercepted letters were at the same time forwarded to the De
ande. In spite of a protest and some acts of hostility committed by the Mexicans, a fortification was erected opposite Matamoras, afterward known as Fort Brown. On the 12th of April General Ampudia addressed a letter to General Taylor, requiring hed to river navigation, passing up the Rio Grande. The advanced guard has been pushed to Reynosa, about 60 miles above Matamoras, and several regiments are marching upon the same point; but, on account of the great quantity of rain which fell last aily expecting my regiment to march. The troops are occupying Point Isabel, Brazos Santiago, Burita on the Rio Grande, Matamoras, and Reynosa, but we have no means of ascertaining the number-say 14,000. I visited the camp of the Louisville Legion dney Johnston. A letter to Hancock, written August 11th, near Camargo, informs him of the movement of the troops from Matamoras to that point, and describes what he saw in his voyage up the Rio Grande. He portrays the six days journey up the tort
not be generally known that Kentucky is the chief mulepro-ducing State of the Union, with Missouri next, while St. Louis is perhaps the best mule-market in the world; but the entire South-west does something at muleraising. Mules vary more in size than horses. The largest and best come from Kentucky. The smaller ones are the result of a cross with the Mexican mustang. These were also extensively used. General Grant says, in his Memoirs (vol. 1. p. 69), that while Taylor's army was at Matamoras, contracts were made for mules, between American traders and Mexican smugglers, at from eight to eleven dollars each. But the main source of supply for the Western States, where they are very generally used, for the South, and for the government, during war time, was Kentucky. When the war broke out, efforts were made by Governor Magoffin of that State-or rather by the Legislature, for the Governor was in full sympathy with the Rebels--to have that commonwealth remain neutral. For this
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Corpus Christi-Mexican smuggling-spanish rule in Mexico-supplying transportation (search)
e invaders to approach to within a convenient distance to be struck. Accordingly, preparations were begun for moving the army to the Rio Grande, to a point near Matamoras. It was desirable to occupy a position near the largest centre of population possible to reach, without absolutely invading territory to which we set up no claim whatever. The distance from Corpus Christi to Matamoras is about one hundred and fifty miles. The country does not abound in fresh water, and the length of the marches had to be regulated by the distance between water supplies. Besides the streams, there were occasional pools, filled during the rainy season, some probably me Rio Grande, and some by the buffalo. There was not at that time a single habitation, cultivated field, or herd of domestic animals, between Corpus Christi and Matamoras. It was necessary, therefore, to have a wagon train sufficiently large to transport the camp and garrison equipage, officers' baggage, rations for the army, and
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Advance of the Army-crossing the Colorado-the Rio Grande (search)
nce to swim the little Mexican mules which the army was then using, but they, and the wagons, were pulled through so fast by the men at the end of the rope ahead, that no time was left them to show their obstinacy. In this manner the artillery and transportation of the army of occupation crossed the Little Colorado River. About the middle of the month of March [March 28] the advance of the army reached the Rio Grande and went into camp near the banks of the river, opposite the city of Matamoras and almost under the guns of a small fort at the lower end of the town. There was not at that time a single habitation from Corpus Christi until the Rio Grande was reached. The work of fortifying was commenced at once. The fort was laid out by the engineers, but the work was done by the soldiers under the supervision of their officers, the chief engineer retaining general directions. The Mexicans now became so incensed at our near approach that some of their troops crossed the river
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, The Mexican war-the battle of Palo Alto-the battle of Resaca de la Palma-Army of invasion- General Taylor-movement on Camargo (search)
ve the garrison on the Rio Grande. The road from Point Isabel to Matamoras is over an open, rolling, treeless prairie, until the timber thattransferred our camps to the south or west bank of the river, and Matamoras was occupied [May 18]. We then became the Army of invasion. Upvolunteers for one year commenced arriving. The army remained at Matamoras until sufficiently reinforced to warrant a movement into the intelly apologetic. The time was whiled away pleasantly enough at Matamoras, while we were waiting for volunteers. It is probable that all tple had ever known before. Among the troops that joined us at Matamoras was an Ohio regiment, of which Thomas L. Hamer, the Member of Conaving arrived, in the month of August the movement commenced from Matamoras to Camargo, the head of navigation on the Rio Grande. The line oAugust the army started for Monterey, leaving a small garrison at Matamoras. The troops, with the exception of the artillery, cavalry, and t
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Political Intrigue — Buena Vista — movement against Vera Cruz-siege and capture of Vera Cruz (search)
a prominent candidate for the Presidency. It was necessary to destroy his chances promptly. The problem was to do this without the loss of conquest and without permitting another general of the same political party to acquire like popularity. The fact is, the administration of Mr. Polk made every preparation to disgrace Scott, or, to speak more correctly, to drive him to such desperation that he would disgrace himself. General Scott had opposed conquest by the way of the Rio Grande, Matamoras and Saltillo from the first. Now that he was in command of all the forces in Mexico, he withdrew from Taylor most of his regular troops and left him only enough volunteers, as he thought, to hold the line then in possession of the invading army. Indeed Scott did not deem it important to hold anything beyond the Rio Grande, and authorized Taylor to fall back to that line if he chose. General Taylor protested against the depletion of his army, and his subsequent movement upon Buena Vista
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, chapter 37 (search)
the time in this Diary. Gen. Polk writes from Dunapolis that he will have communications with Jackson restored in a few days, and that the injury to the railroads was not so great as the enemy represented. Mr. Memminger, the Secretary of the Treasury, is in a black Dutch fury. It appears that his agent, C. C. Thayer, with $15,000,000 Treasury notes for disbursement in Texas, arrived at the mouth of the Rio Grande in December, when the enemy had possession of Brownsville, and when Matamoras was in revolution. He then conferred with Mr. Benjamin's friend (and Confederate States secret agent) Mr. Quintero, and Quartermaster Russell, who advised him to deposit the treasure with P. Milmo & Co.--a house with which our agents have had large transactions, and Mr. M. being son-in-law to Gov. Vidurri--to be shipped to Eagle Pass via Monterey to San Antonio, etc. But alas! and alas! P. Milmo & Co., upon being informed that fifteen millions were in their custody, notified our age
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