Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/196

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When we heard the firing, we hastened and followed Capt. Walker until we arrived at their rendezvous, which consisted of several ranches, breastworks and camp-fires still burning.

On our way we overtook one of Capt. Walker's men, whose horse was shot from under him, and himself slightly wounded. He also said that the Captain's horse stumbled and fell.

Not knowing the strength and position of the Mexicans, we were ordered to halt and lay down upon our arms and await till daylight.

The morning at length dawned, when Capt. Walker and some of his men went out to hunt the Captain's horse, when suddenly they came across about a dozen Mexicans hidden in the brush. They were sent to our headquarters. They stated that the Mexicans have retreated to the other side of Las Vegas, and there entrenched with two pieces of artillery, and about two hundred cavalrymen.

The Captain says that when his horse stumbled and fell he thought that he was wounded, and being anxious to be with his men he left his horse lay and followed, running after his company until the charge was accomplished.

Soon after daylight, the Mexicans could be seen in large numbers on a hill, marching down and joining the National Road, about half a mile from their breastwork above Las Vegas. Col. Wynkoop, not knowing their strength or their position, did not venture to follow them, fearing that the enemy would make a flank movement and cut off his retreat; yet the soldiers were holloaing out "Let us charge!" "Let us charge on them." " To h——l with the flank movement." "Let us drive them to thunder." Our Colonel ordered us to lay down for a short time, thinking that the enemy would come out from behind their second breastworks, but they could not be coaxed out.

Col. Wynkoop now thought, that the Mexicans have been re-enforced, and thought that it would be advisable to fall back to Las Vegas, on an open field, and in that way draw the enemy on from their breastworks, and then give Capt. Walker who is now occupying a hill behind a cluster of wild pines, a chance to charge.