Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/229

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Mr. N. P. Trist, is, I am informed, now on his way to the capital, but I'll bet the price of an orange that he will come back with a flea in both of his cars, for the Mexican Congress have declared not to make or listen to any peace as long as we have only nine thousand soldiers in their country.

On our last march hither we were subject to the most fatiguing hardships and suffering. We had no tents, besides most of our men were short of clothing. It rained some time, snowed most all the time, in consequence many of our men got sick, and had to crawl towards the hospital, where many of the poor soldiers died, dying faster than new recruits arrive, but such is the life of a soldier.

The agricultural or farming implements in this country are the poorest and most miserable tools I ever saw; for instance, their plows are the same pattern as the Egyptians used over five thousand years ago, it consists of a crooked stick or a fork of a tree, with an iron point nailed or tied to it with a piece of rawhide, and a small handle for the plowman to steer with and a pole to hitch a yoke of oxen to. This so-called plow will scratch a furrow in the soil three or four inches deep and about the same in width. The harrow is a branch of a tree without the leaves, a yoke of oxen hitched to this is all that is done to the ground, the soil being very rich. The furniture used in respectable houses is mostly of the mahogany pattern, and generally somewhere in the casa is a family altar containing an image of the Virgin and Christ crucified.

I will now send you the song of our soldiers, made up since the battle of Cerro Gordo. The original song is "The Girl I Left Behind Me." And you, no doubt, know that the air of this popular song is sung and played by the drums, fifes and bands during an embarkation of an English or American army, when about to open on a foreign war. The Mexicans, doubtless thinking that there is some virtue in it, have, since the battle of Cerro Gordo, adopted it into their own army, but we, in compliment to Gen. Santa Anna, call it "The Leg I Left Behind Me," as follows:—