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houses along the narrow beach, surmounted with red banks of earth, with little verdure, and no trees at all. Northward the space widened out somewhat, and gave room for a plaza, but the mass of houses in that quarter were poor. We were there in November, corresponding to our early spring, and we enjoyed the large strawberries which abounded. The Independence frigate, Commodore Shubrick, came in while we were there, having overtaken us, bound also for California. We met there also the sloop-of barrel on the ground, and the other as they rose, I have secured as many as nine at one discharge. Colonel Mason on one occasion killed eleven geese by one discharge of small shot. The seasons in California are well marked. About October and November the rains begin, and the whole country, plains and mountains, becomes covered with a bright-green grass, with endless flowers. The intervals between the rains give the finest weather possible. These rains are less frequent in March, and cease
my at Corpus Christi, Texas. In that year (1846) I received the regular detail for recruiting service, with orders to report to the general superintendent at Governor's Island, New York; and accordingly left Fort Moultrie in the latter part of April, and reported to the superintendent, Colonel R. B. Mason, First Dragoons, at New York, on the 1st day of May. I was assigned to the Pittsburg rendezvous, whither I proceeded and relieved Lieutenant Scott. Early in May I took up my quarters at tgin, and the whole country, plains and mountains, becomes covered with a bright-green grass, with endless flowers. The intervals between the rains give the finest weather possible. These rains are less frequent in March, and cease altogether in April and May, when gradually the grass dies and the whole aspect of things changes, first to yellow, then to brown, and by midsummer all is burnt up and dry as an ashheap. When General Kearney first departed we took his office at Larkin's; but shor
ars before the Mast; and Forbes's Account of the Missions. It was generally understood we were bound for Monterey, then the capital of Upper California. We knew, of course, that General Kearney was en route for the same country overland; that Fremont was there with his exploring party; that the navy had already taken pos session, and that a regiment of volunteers, Stevenson's, was to follow us from New York; but nevertheless we were impatient to reach our destination. About the middle of January the ship began to approach the California coast, of which the captain was duly cautious, because the English and Spanish charts differed some fifteen miles in the longitude, and on all the charts a current of two miles an hour was indicated northward along the coast. At last land was made one morning, and here occurred one of those accidents so provoking after a long and tedious voyage. Macomb, the master and regular navigator, had made the correct observations, but Nicholson during the n
long walk. In due time all had been done that was requisite, and the Lexington put to sea and resumed her voyage. In October we approached Cape Horn, the first land descried was Staten Island, white with snow, and the ship seemed to be aiming fon on one occasion killed eleven geese by one discharge of small shot. The seasons in California are well marked. About October and November the rains begin, and the whole country, plains and mountains, becomes covered with a bright-green grass, wiglish steamers as far east as Jamaica, with a conditional charter giving increased payment if the vessel could catch the October steamer. Folsom chartered the bark La Lambayecana, owned and navigated by Henry D. Cooke, who has since been the Governgold, embarked and sailed. He reached the South American Continent at Payta, Peru, in time, took the English steamer of October to Panama, and thence went on to Kingston, Jamaica, where he found a sailing-vessel bound for New Orleans. On reaching
o Pittsburg, all the way by stage, stopping again at Lancaster, where I attended the wedding of my schoolmate Mike Effinger, and also visited my sub-rendezvous at Zanesville. R. S. Ewell, of my class, arrived to open a cavalry rendezvous, but, finding my depot there, he went on to Columbus, Ohio. Tom Jordan afterward was ordered to Zanesville, to take charge of that rendezvous, under the general War Department orders increasing the number of recruiting-stations. I reached Pittsburg late in June, and found the order relieving me from recruiting service, and detailing my classmate H. B. Field to my place. I was assigned to Company F, then under orders for California. By private letters from Lieutenant Ord, I heard that the company had already started from Fort McHenry for Governor's Island, New York Harbor, to take passage for California in a naval transport. I worked all that night, made up my accounts current, and turned over the balance of cash to the citizen physician, Dr. McDo
age or daring. lie spoke but little, and answered questions in monosyllables. I asked for his mail, and he picked up his light saddle-bags containing the great overland mail, and we walked together to headquarters, where he delivered his parcel into Colonel Mason's own hands. He spent some days in Monterey, during which time we extracted with difficulty some items of his personal history. He was then by commission a lieutenant in the regiment of Mounted Rifles serving in Mexico under Colonel Sumner, and, as he could not reach his regiment from California, Colonel Mason ordered that for a time he should be assigned to duty with A. J. Smith's company, First Dragoons, at Los Angeles. He remained at Los Angeles some months, and was then sent back to the United States with dispatches, traveling two thousand miles almost alone, in preference to being encumbered by a large party. Toward the close of June, 1848, the gold-fever being at its height, by Colonel Mason's orders I made prepa
dio under Major James A. Hardie; one company (Brackett's) at Sonoma; three, under Colonel Stevenson,letter of Boggs was therefore referred to Captain Brackett, whose company was stationed at Sonoma, wc., etc.; and in the event of refusal he (Captain Brackett) must compel him by the use of force. In due time we got Brackett's answer, saying that the little community of Sonoma was in a dangerous strom Missouri with American ideas; that as he (Brackett) was a volunteer officer, likely to be soon dnd he would have proceeded rough-shod against Brackett, who, by-the-way, was a West Point graduate, o carry out the instructions already given to Brackett. I took one soldier with me, Private Barnetory adobe building, occupied as a barrack by Brackett's company. We soon found Captain Brackett, aCaptain Brackett, and I told him that I intended to take Nash a prisoner and convey him back to Monterey to answer for ned that Nash had come back, and then, giving Brackett orders to have a cart ready at the corner of
ed up from San Diego to Los Angeles, with General Kearney, his dragoons, and a battalion of sailorsging signals, which were interpreted that General Kearney was on board. As the Cyane approached, ao carry the usual messages, and to invite General Kearney to come on board the Independence as the e controlling power on the Pacific coast. General Kearney had dispatched from San Diego his quarterer back to Pryor's, where I left him with General Kearney. We spent several days very pleasantly ar inclosure. At the time of our visit, General Kearney was making his preparations to return oveany occupied the barracks. Shortly after General Kearney had gone East, we found an order of his olde, the then incumbent (Nash) utterly denied Kearney's right to remove him, because he had been elbeen near where Sacramento Street now crosses Kearney. Folsom was a classmate of mine, had come ous burnt up and dry as an ashheap. When General Kearney first departed we took his office at Lark[26 more...]
htered for our use. Already the gold-mines were beginning to be felt. Many people were then encamped, some going and some coming, all full of gold-stories, and each surpassing the other. We found preparations in progress for celebrating the Fourth of July, then close at hand, and we agreed to remain over to assist on the occasion; of course, being the high officials, we were the honored guests. People came from a great distance to attend this celebration of the Fourth of July, and the tables Fourth of July, and the tables were laid in the large room inside the storehouse of the fort. A man of some note, named Sinclair, presided, and after a substantial meal and a reasonable supply of aguardiente we began the toasts. All that I remember is that Folsom and I spoke for our party; others, Captain Sutter included, made speeches, and before the celebration was over Sutter was enthusiastic, and many others showed the effects of the aguardiente. The next day (namely, July 5, 1848) we resumed our journey toward the mine
George H. Thomas (search for this): volume 1, chapter 3
George B. Ayres the second-lieutenant. Colonel William Gates commanded the post and regiment, with First-Lieutenant William Austine as his adjutant. Two other companies were at the post, viz., Martin Burke's and E. D. Keyes's, and among the officers were T. W. Sherman, Morris Miller, H. B. Field, William Churchill, Joseph Stewart, and Surgeon McLaren. The country now known as Texas had been recently acquired, and war with Mexico was threatening. One of our companies (Bragg's), with George H. Thomas, John F. Reynolds, and Frank Thomas, had gone the year previous and was at that time with General Taylor's army at Corpus Christi, Texas. In that year (1846) I received the regular detail for recruiting service, with orders to report to the general superintendent at Governor's Island, New York; and accordingly left Fort Moultrie in the latter part of April, and reported to the superintendent, Colonel R. B. Mason, First Dragoons, at New York, on the 1st day of May. I was assigned to
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