Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/116

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work of ancient days, built by the Spaniards in Cortez's time. It commands the bridge and the winding road, and is considered by the Mexicans to be one of the strongest positions between this and the city of Puebla. It is 35 miles from Vera Cruz and 230 miles from the city of Mexico.

Brig.-Gen. Pillow, took quarters in the summer residence of Maj.-Gen. Lopez de Santa Anna. It is a splendid, neat, low building, with a fine fountain. Our regiment encamped on this side of the bridge, on a large open field, without tents.

On to-day's march many of our men were compelled to throw off everything except their blankets, for they could not carry them any longer and keep up with the main army. They were so much exhausted and fatigued from unaccustomed toilsome and hard marching that they were hardly able to carry themselves.

In the evening our mess had chicken soup for supper. The pollo (chicken) we got on the way, and promised to pay the Mexican when we come again this road on our way home. The Mexican agreed to trust that long. At dark I noticed nearly all the soldiers were taking a bath in the rapid stream of Old River, washing off the dust and sweat.

Our soldiers who have been lagging in the rear are now coming in slowly, with bitter complaints of the cruel and inhuman treatment they received from the rear guard, through the orders from Gen. Pillow. Many of our men are weak and exhausted from the effects of bad water and diarrhoea, which makes them unable to keep up with the army. They drop off on the side of the road under some tree, and there rest themselves, and some probably may go to sleep without much coaxing. It is reported that Gen. Pillow has instructed the rear guard to pick up every soldier lagging on the wayside; that they must keep up with the main army; and if not, to put the bayonet in their rear, or tie them to the tail end of the wagons and drag them along. Oh, chivalrous Brig.-Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow—for such is your name in full—how can you be so hard-hearted, so harassing, so cruel, on these