They are decidedly pretty, and there's not a man who will say aught to the contrary; also in their habits, we mean, of course, the upper teen; their skin is, of course, darker than our fair damsels, but their pleasing features and pleasant countenances puts that all out of our minds. They approximate nearer to American refinement. It may well be said Jalapa (which derives its name from a plant which grows numerously and beautifully in this section of the country) is noted for the beauty of its females, nothing can be said of them but what is to their advantage.
The poorer class keep themselves cleaner than those whom we have seen at Vera Cruz, or on our way here. Their young muchachos (boys) are equal to our poor in the United States, but they generally are not so well dressed, and don't seem to have much to do; there being no manufactories here. The American Star says Jalapa is the prettiest town, it has the handsomest buildings, loveliest gardens and most delicious fruits of all others taken together; in fact it seems that it is peopled with a race distinct from those we have encountered elsewhere. Taking Jalapa all in all, we were highly pleased with what we have seen, and its people, and cannot conceive that there is any difference of opinion on that subject among the American soldiers. I also stopped at the hospital to see Mr. Simon Schaffer. He was much pleased at seeing me. He looks, and says that he feels bad, and has no hopes of ever recovering. I stayed and talked with him for nearly one hour; telling him to keep up his courage, and all would be well. He was much affected, and tears were rolling down his thin cheeks, when I bid him good-bye.
In the evening we started for our camp.
Tuesday, April 27, 1847.—This morning, after a cold night's rest, our soldiers were busy in tearing down deserted ranches, and building themselves shanties to sleep under. Some could be seen bringing in shingles, others poles and boards; some were digging holes to plant the posts; some with saws, hammers and hatchets. All for to keep out of the cold rain and damp night air, which is very unhealthy at this time.