Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/210

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In the evening I was put on picket-guard away up on the mountains, stationed at two cross-roads or Indian passways, here I was told to remain until morning, unless driven in by the enemy or something else.

About 11 o'clock it commenced to rain, and darkened so that I could not see my hand before me, much more than see an enemy, which I was told were coming up all around me.

At 12 o'clock the picket on my right sang out for the Sergeant of the guard, the Sergeant hurried to answer the call. He first came to me, and wanted to know what was the matter. I told him I was not the sentinel that called him, but the one on my right was. He started for him, and the sentinel told the Sergeant that he was twice attacked by the wolves, and was afraid to fire, for fear of rousing up the camp. The Sergeant then told him not to fire, unless his life was in danger. The wolves passed me several times.

Wednesday, July 7, 1847.—This morning early I was released from guard duty, wet and tieso (stiff) as a poker. After breakfast we left camp, and had not marched far, when a rumor went through our ranks that the prospect is that we will have a little fight. Sure enough, we heard the report of a musket, sounding as if it was in our advance. Our regiment was now ordered in the advance of the whole division. The riflemen were thrown out as skirmishers, and to explore the woods and hills. Three men from our regiment were detailed to climb up the hills and cliffs. I was one of the details appointed, but our Captain said that I should be excused on account of having been on guard all last night.

Off they started, climbed the hills until they came to a place where the Mexicans had large stones set on crow-bars ready to tilt when the train entered the pass, but, strange to say, no Mexican could be seen. Gen. Pillow, who had command of the division, thought that the enemy might be hiding behind the cliffs and chaparrals, and sent word to the skirmishers to stand by these massive pieces of rocks, and keep a sharp lookout down the ravine.