Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/450

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The map tells us that this valley is elevated seven thousand six hundred and sixty-five feet above the level of the sea, yet it is surrounded within a few miles with the above-named lakes, and many years ago when a heavy rain would fall, it would be flooded and cause great destruction to life and property; but this has been avoided by canals and large culverts.

The weather in this section of the country is sometimes very unpleasant; hot tropical sun in day time and cold at nights, and such a thing as a stove or fire-place is not to be seen in this country, they using altogether small furnaces, and charcoal being the only fuel consumed in Mexico.

Most of our soldiers have passed their Christmas here as other days, performing picket and guard duty. For myself I cannot complain, as I lived almost as rich as if I was at home among you, but at the same I was wishing to have a little of poultry, buckwheat cakes and country sausage, of which you are indulging in at home.

There is all kinds of amusements going on here in the city, such as theatres, circus and bull fights.

It also gives me pleasure to state, that nearly our whole regiment, (what is left of it), with the exception of the new recruits, are enjoying good health, and appear to be in fine spirits. A large number of the wounded and sick or debilitated have been discharged lately, and are now on their way to sweet home.

As a large number of re-enforcements have arrived in the city, a number of the old troops have been sent to take possession of the mines; and also of Lerma and Toluca, and us Pennsylvanians, New York and Massachusetts regiments have been sent here until further orders.

There is also a large public square near the city, called Alameda Park, which still (through all the revolution), retains its beauty; there is a wide avenue all around the passo, and the beautiful drive to Chapultepec, where hundreds of coaches filled with ladies and gentlemen, drive through and around this park to take the air and their pleasure.