Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/207

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

On our march to-day we passed over a beautiful level piece of land, known as the Table Land of Mexico. It is nearly all highly cultivated in grain, corn, etc. Nothing of any importance occurred along the National Road.

To-night it commenced to rain very hard, and having no tents or shelter, makes it so much the worse for the soldiers to sleep or rest.

I made up my mind to hunt other quarters and took my knapsack and wet blanket and made a rush to get under a wagon, but the infernal mules kept kicking and squealing so that it was impossible for me to go to sleep. So, I used a flash word, vamose de rechocer (left for the ranche), but to my surprise I found them all occupied and full of our soldiers, and I was obliged to take up my bed again and walk to a little hilly place, so that the water may run off me. Here I took my blanket for a cover and the rainy sky for my shelter and this was my sleeping and resting apartment for the night.

At 12 o'clock to-night we heard an alarm fired, but it proved to be a false one—John G. Craig, of Co. C, First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, while on sentry at the sand hills back of Vera Cruz, shot a jack-ass, thinking that it was an enemy approaching toward him. So, it may be with the sentry to-night, who heard a wolf coming through the chaparral, and no doubt thought that it was a Mexican coming and fired.

Sunday, July 4, 1847.—This morning at 4 o'clock, we were aroused by the sound of drums; we got up, and it being the Fourth of July we thought that we ought to have a little spree. The Mexican women came to our quarters directly after the blowing of the bugle, with their tortos, fritillos, fritura, pan and polque (cakes, fritters, fried meat, bread, etc.). Polque I am told, is a very good and healthy drink, you can get a mug or bowlful for dos clacos (three cents,); I drank an earthen jug full, and I thought it made me feel a little tipsy. Those who have the cash can indulge in these extras.

After the line was formed, we started on our march. The sun arose beautifully over the hills on this Sabbath morning;