Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/146

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NOTES OF THE MEXICAN WAR.

Yankees keep following him up. It is a splendid place; excellent water, and plenty of good beef. The sceneries and views around here are beautiful.

Wednesday, April 21, 1847.—This morning we left El Encero for Jalapa City. I see the further we march into the interior the more beautiful the country gets; in fact, we passed some of the finest plantations or farms that I have ever seen. Their dwellings, or haciendas, are mostly two story high, with court yards and fountains in the centre, and surrounded with many varieties of views, such as orange groves and other fruit trees.

Before we entered Jalapa the air was filled with sweet fragrance of orange trees, making the entry of Jalapa more like the Garden of Eden—according to scriptures—than anything I can compare it with.

We arrived at the outskirts of the city about 11 o'clock, a.m., halting for a short time while our officers, or Quartermaster, went to the city to find out our quartering place. They soon returned, and we then marched through the city of Jalapa, and passing out to the northern end of the city, we went into camp on the open field without any tents. It is about three miles from Jalapa, along the National Road. This National Road runs from Vera Cruz to the capital of Mexico, and nearly all its bridges were constructed by Don Jose Iturrigaray, Lieutenant-General of the Spanish army, in 1803 and 1804. It passed through many historical and romantic scenes, tales in song or story, in weal or woe, as indeed the history of the entire route in works have often been written. Gen. Iturrigaray, after the completion of his work, was imprisoned and heavily fined for forgery and other treasonable acts, and died a miserable wretch.

The historic mountain, Orazaba, or Citlatepetle, which means the Mountain of the Star, is, or looks, close by. It is 17,907 feet high, ninety-eight feet higher than Popocatepetl.

In passing through Jalapa to-day, I was astonished to see how neat and clean everything looked, in and around the city.