Newspaper Page Text
Correspondence of the Charleston Mercury.
Santa Fc, New Mexico. Feb. 1G, 1847. Bailies
of Ca-.ala, L'E/nbucla, and Slorming
of the Pueblos by the U. S. forces
under Col Price.
Mr. Editor?A short time since I addressed
to you a hasty communication giving
a summary of our affairs here. I
should not have seiit it, had I known that
another opportunity would so soon present
itself. I nronose to ffivo vnn n hr??f nc.
1 I o J "v
count of the late attempt at revolution in this
country. About the middle of January last,
Gov. Bent and other Americans were on a
visit to the valley of Taos, nor h of this
place, which contains a population of about
12,000 souls, Indians and Mexicans. The
inhabitants suddenly rose and massacred
the Governor and other Americans, scalping
them. &c. One man (Mr. Leil) was scalped
alive, and driven through the streets in a
state of nudity until death relieved him.?
Col. Price, who commands in this department,
immediately ordered in, to head quar
ters. all detachments in the neighborhood ;
but without waiting for them to arrive,
pushed on with 300 men atid four pieces of
artillery (howitzers) to a pass called Canada,
25 miles from this place, where the enemy
showed themselves in force,?numbering
about 1,000 Mexicans and Indians. Alter
a sharp engagement, the enemy retreated
with the loss of their leader and 30 or 40
killed and wounded. < ur loss was 8 or 9
killed and wounded. The artillery under
Lieut. Dyer, U. S. A. suffered the most.?
The Colonel pushed on to U htnburla, 15
or 20 miles beyond, where the enemy de1
PI* m 1 n t?f\ tn ?r? ?* lrn onnflmr cton/1 I U.%
W.IMIUUU vw UIIIIIU WliVVUV.1 OWIIIU- JLII lliu
meantime Capt. Burgwin with his Company
of dragoons, on foot, had arrived. (The
other Company was ordered to remain in
Santa Fe. which was threatened with an
attack from the Moro) Colonel P gave
Capi. Burgwin, who was second in command,
180 men, and ordered him to drive
the enemy from this pass, which in some
places was not ten feet broad, and on either
side precipitous mountains, covered with
cedar and large rocks. Capt. B performed
this service in the most gallant and effectual
manner, daiving the enemy before him
until they m ide a precipta'e retreat. The
enemy, who numbered about 600, lost 20
killed?these xv^re counted?wounded not
known. On the side of the Americans one
killed, one wounded. This was on the
29th of January. The Indians and Mexicans
after this retreated to their stronghold,
which they boasted had not been taken by
an enemy for 200 years. The name of the
town, (an Indian one) is Pueblos de Taous
The U. S forces appeared before it on the
3rd of Febuary, and bombarded their houses
for some time but put ciF ihc assault until
next day. The town after a reconnoisance,
was found to be very strong, particularly
- the church, which was surrounded by a wall
about breasi-high, loop-holes were cut in the
vvnllsnnil in tlio ("lnireli luhich ???.?<> nil..a
by the eneiny, to the number of about 800,
or rather p.trt ol these at first lined thr loopholes
of the outer wall and adjacent buildings,
thus enabling them to pour a destructive
tire upon all who might approach.?
The artillery played upon the wall and
church with but little effect, the balls not
penetrating at 200 yards more than onethird
of the thickness, (three and a halffeet.)
Col Price now order a general charge upon
th?s works, holding back a small reserve.?
The dragoons reached the wall first, and
immediately jumped over, and rushed to the
church. Here it was that this company
was exposed to a most murderous fire from
all sid?is, from the churchj the adjacent
V>nilqoc nn#4 frrim tlio nnrnnm U-' *"
Mvv.v\ ^ miiu iiwiu (,uu cuuiuio. uric al was
that Gap tain Burgwin, of the U. S. Dragoons
fell mortally wounded by a rifle ball
in his right breast, while animating his men
and pointing out the best station, for them.
His men were cut down on all sides, bullets
anJ arrows were continnally whistling and
buzzing through the ranks. After some
hours fishing our troops succeeded in firing
the roof of the church from the outside, and
holes were cut in the walls, through which
shells were thrown by hand. The enemy
finding the place too hot for them made a
retreat through a side door, where they were
met by a party stationed there to cut them
off They wereshct down without mercy?
about 60 were killed in this way. During
thie> time, however, they continued a discharge
of guns and arrows The main
body retreated to two pyramidal edifices. 7
stones high, the only ingress to which is
through a sixnll hole in the tops of the
houses?the walls of immense thickness,
(vide, Gregg's "Commerce of Prairies" for
description.) They now iaised seveal white
, which were shot down as soon as
raised, by our marksmen. Col. Price finallv
mnplmlorl it npn/?n uritli il-iom afior o?i.?
ulating that the ringleader* should be given
up. They delivered up the principal one.
. who was next day hung in Don
('Fernando. Our loss in the storming of the
:. Ptie/i/os, was 12 killed and 48 wounded.
Of this number 8 of the killed wefedragoons,
and of ,the wounded 19 were dragoons, thus
exhibiting a loss of 27 killed and wounded,
in acompany of 65 men. Do you recollect
a greater proportional loss in any of Gen.
< Taylors hard fought battles? The loss of
the enemy 150 k illed-wounded not known.
The RSb . Abajo, or lower country, kept
quiet,during these fights. However, at the
Moro, which is 9KK miles East of this and
about the same tft'afenee frpm Ta<*v the
-/ people rose and inhumanly butchered alt
Americans there.-Qrte ArBeric?n,(to,show
miscreant shot him through the back.
At the buttle of Taos, it happened several
times that while an American would be
raising his rifle to shoot one of the enemy
when they were retreating, the cowardly
wretch would (all on his knees and beg for
mercy; the American would lower his rifle;
this was no sooner done than the dastardly
scoundrel would raise his gun and shoot
his generous adversary. Such are the
Mexicans?they ore like their country,?
mean of the meanest. At the tirm? the
masacres took place at the Moro, there happened
to be in the neighborhoud about 150
men, sent out to guard trains of provision?,
graze horses, <fcc., these were immediately
concentrated by the late brave and lamented
j Captain Henley, (Mo. Volunteers,) the se- i
j nior officer in that section. He was mor- ;
i tally wounded in an attack upon the town?
; his exasperated men soon afterwards level j
| led the village to the ground and sent in
! here some 18 prisoners?about 15 of the ;
enemy were killed.
Captain Burgwin of the Dragoon?, who i
! fell at Taos, was a native of .North Carolina
?he graduated at West Point in 1830, anil
at the time of his death was hi<rh up on the
li?at nf ?*
. ..W* w. V/M^/VIIIIC. LJU %v??o V/HC Ul lilt; IUUM
popular officers in the army, from his high
, toned, gentlemanly character. His conduct
and courage in the late battles, are the
theme of universal praise. Alter being j
wounded. Cot Price rode up to him and
told hi in that whether he recovered or not,
he should bear testimony of his gallantry.
Ca;tain B. replied, "I hope. Colonel, you
j will also bear witness that my company did
j its duty." Lieut. Van. ValUeiiburg, ol the
Infantry, died of his wounds in a few days
I ?he had both jaws broken.
i Captains Burg win and Henley were buried
a few days since, with military honors.
Their graves occupy a picturesque spot under
the. guns of Fort Marey.
; You may inquire what are the prospects
I here for peace and tranquility in future
What number and description of troops, &c.
should be st itioned hero, &c. ? I will state a
few facts?two days since an express came
, in from Col Doniphan, at El Pasn, statinq;
that nothing had been heard ol Geti Wr.ol's
advance on Chihuahua?that then- are many
troops in Chihuahua. &c. He'has 900
: men?he may be defeated, and if so we
will have the force of two departments
i against us. These people cannot bi* do-.
| pendedupon?we have no? more than 1,000
zr . i *
enecuve troops nere. iniantry is the great
I arm for this country.
i The winter here has been very cold, and
1 about one in ten or twelve of the Volunteers
| have died here?the hill is covered with
The Georgia Regiment.?We find in
' the Columbus Enquirer of Tuesday last,
the following from Captain Calhoun.
Alvarado, April 3rd, 1847.
j We arrived at this place on yesterday.
; after a most fatiguing m;?rch of lour days?
laming many, and completely exhausting
! others. On the 2nd in?f arrangements for
I a b.ittle were mule by Gen. Quitman ; but
i the enemy if near at the time, made it con|
venient to be where they were not seen.
j I nis place has been garrisoned by a thou!
sand Mexican soldiers; but on our approach,
they, with a large majority of the citizens,
fled to the country. The city is capable of
! a good defence. They have sand forts on
, both sides of the river, and one oii the west;
ern side of thecity TheSe forts are eitherdij
reeled by piling up bags filled with sand,
i or dug out of the banks, and answer the ends
i designed most admirably. About noon of
. the 2fid in^t., information was received by
us to the effect that the city was being eva
cuated ; and General Q,ui?man, with a few
' dragoons, hurried on and reach it late at
i night, where he found Commmodore Perry,
! who had nreceded him snmi> thiriw mlnmoc
- y c.
j When the Brigade, consisting of (he Alabama,
South Carolina and (*?~orgia Regiments,
reached this point, our boasted flag
floated over the most beautiful little city we
have as yet seen in Mexico. The few citizens
who remained were greatly alarmed;
but their fears and apprehensions were
soon quieted. The Alcade was called upon
to furnish quarters for our little ariny. which
was soon accomplished by a selection of
public buldings and houses vacated by those j
who had fled from the city. Those assign-I
ed to a few of us were not quite satisfactory '
to our fastidiousness to gentlemen who
had been in the woods for ten months.?
ri;lnt)in Rholtnn nn/1 mtntulT ,..*11...I '?
j. ? ... ,lul. uuu llljOl II WUItru upuil IIJU
Alcade nnd desired to know whether he i
could inform us if we could, find rooms in
which we might be rendered conformable.
I le immediately pointed out to us several
that were locked up, nnd authorized us to
force an entry. I replied at once, sooner |
than do violene to the doors, or injure pri |
vate property in the slightest particular, we ;
would sleep in the streets. Whereupon, a i
fine, manly and intelligent looking Mexican |
touched the Alcade upon the shoulder, and i
on! A 1 1
uuiiivuwu nun iu in.inr u n'nuer 01 nis
Cossa"?and we are inhabiting a princely
establishment, with all necessary conveniences
attached, with bathing rooms, ami
beautiful Canaries and other birds,and with
a mint bed that would gratify Dr. rtoswell's
Virginia pride ; and we are preparing to
dine to-day upon fish and fowl?a cir.cu'ittstance
that is anrfreqitent in its occurrence
To-morrow wo leave on our return to
Vera Ctuz. We are consequently very
busy in preparing our four days provisions
Tor. the march. The return has this advan
tage over out approach, the w .'lis then dug
will save as much, labor, after fatiguing
, Adjmsot Harveyf to <vhota we are under
many obligations for the obliging manner
: >' : / - : - - '
s^wSf' *,*? -V
in weich he discharges the various duties
assigned to him, is making necessary ar
rangements to send our sick and lame to
Vera Cruz by the steamship McKim. i
am happy to say, not one of our Georgia
friends are sick at this place,- but a great
numberof sore leet are complained of. Our
march was on the beach, the sand deep and
heavy, and the water very bad.
In cor.?ing to this place we have been
t-.1 I r
niucn uisappoinieu, lor reaiiy, many 01 us
had expected to see and feel a fight.
if nuftchange of purpose is wrought before
we return to V< ra Cruz, we do not expect
to rest there more than a day or two before
we are to be ofT for Jatapa, about 70
miles west; a most delightful and salubrious
region?and to which place 1 am anxious to
hurry. It is said to b?\ in truth, a land of
flowers, fine vegatables and most beautiful
fruit. We fin I at'this place very large and
well tasted wati-r-meloris; xcelleut bana- !
nas, pine-apples, an I various other fruits,
to which weofthe .North are stranger*.
The heat, at .this time is exc?ssiv?>, ?>xhausting
and enfeebling. Mv room has '
1_ t .
oeen crowded nil the timr since I commenced
this letter. One only, Lieutenant
Phillips has energy enotijrh to rerd a newspaper.
The adjutant sleeps lila* an innocent
in a toe*king chair, and our M-ijor is |
i In another place, I oiiirht to h;ivo said,
quite a rich vill?ir?',of two thousand inhabitants,
some eight miles distant, Sum ndereil,
and during tiin afternoon ol yesterday was
taken possess. of, and some public pro- j
perty seized As here, valuabh field pieces :
and other munition were seized Rut
nauj?htofgreat value. The \ ill.i?re alluded
to is known as Tiaacotalpam?a name not
easy of pronunciation to an American
lunirue. J S. C
? t) <? 13 ^ 3C K ?? U.
'ABBEVILLE C. H., S. C.
Weil lie id ay, April 28, 1817.
j Charleston April 2 Ir* from 10 3-8 to 11 |
7-8 Hamburg, April 21st, from 10 to 11 1-4
j 53" We ar* indebted to Mrs Moorr. Inr
a rness of Strawberries
j JCr* Our citizens who are interested in
cleaning out the branches 'round the village,
are requested by the Council, to send i
their hands enrly to morrow morning.
Those, we understand, who send hands will
receive credit for so many days work upon
; His Excellency the Governor, has
appointed the Gth of May to he observed as
a day of fasting and prayer for the signal
triumph of our arms in Mexico, an I that
peace may be restored.
Daniel WeAster, is to visit this
StiltA QAAI1 onrl 1 1
uuu mo vitiwiis ui v^iiiiriesioii,
we perceive by the papers, are preparing to
give him a worthy reception.
By steamer Cambria^ news has been re*
ceived from Europe fifteen days later. The
most important item in it is the advance of
cotton, Anrtencan descriptions of all quaU*
ties have ris^n 1-4 penny perpound.andthe
great bulk of ordinary kinds 3 8 d.
The suTiring by famine in' Ireland.
Scotland, and on the continent, is unabated. |
Thousands are still emigrating to this conn- i
try in consequence of the scarcity of provisions.
\ From Mexico.
We have received nothing of very great
interest from Mexico since our last. The
capture of Alvarado was a quiet aflair, the
garrison Surrendered without offering to resist
our troops : also a town some eight miles
from it, containing about 2000 inhabitants.
The army had not, at the latent dates, left
Vera Cruz, for want of means to transport
the baggage ; as soon as these could be ob*
tained, the line of march would be taken up
for Jalapa, some seventy miles distant from
The Rail Road.
' TWe have been informed by a gentleman
of this District^ that a letter has been re'
ceived from Colonel Coleman of Greenville,
stating that the people of that District,
are now disposed to aid in running the Road
through this District, provided two hundred
thousand dollars be subscribed by our citizens
to the road. And R & suggested that
a' meeting be held on sale day next, at this
place, to consider. the; matter, and give ex-,
preasion to the sentiments of tfife district
upon this subject.
Two hundred thousanddollars; We belie
can be easily rafted iff <W fcr an ert'
terprise so important as this. If the citizens
of our district will rightly consider
their own interest, they will now bo up and
doing, and especially those, in whose vicinity
the road will pass if established. Should
we let the opportunity slip, of securing this
road through the district, we may not expect
again to have J t in our power
From tlie Aruiy.
City op Vera Cruz, April 4th, 1847.
The stars and stripes are waving proudly
over t?ie city of Vera Cruz and the Castle
of San Juan de Ulloa. It is unnecessary
for me to say any thing about the bom*
bardment of the city, as I have mailed, on
yesterday , three copies of the first number
of the Americin Ei^le published here,
which will roach you by the time this does,
and will give you a full account of the i
We have suffered considerably from the j
heat, of the sun. and the clouds of sand dii- j
ring the Northers, but have had but little i
fighting to do. Our regiment, however,was !
engaged in the severest skirmish of any that j
occurred?Colonel Dicinson. wounded pretty
severely in the right breast, is slowly re- j
covering ? the others, four or five in number, !
are all recovering ?no one in our company was '
hurt. We were in full view of the city during
the ski mish. and they threw the bombs and
cr.n i? n balls so thick and fast, that it required
a sharp look out to dodge them ; in fact, we
have been exposed to their cannonading j
ever since we landed until the surrender of .
the place, and \v?? have become so used to it. i
that we look upon the bursting of bombs as a
mere matter of irfotfn.shine.
We will probably leave here for Jalapa
in a few days, and would have been gone j
ore this, had it not been that we lacked j
mules to transport our bagg igo. Our regi- ,
ment is now on an expcili ion to Alvarado, j
principally for the purpose of capturing one J
thousand mules, said to be in the neighborhood
of that place.
You may firm some idea of the am u it of j
stores to be transported, when [ tell you that j
there have been 300 waggons, five m-ilc i
teams, employed for four days hau'ing bag- j
t_r ?l. i ! - -i - -
gagt;yiom inc mnuing 10 me city, throe
j milos, and are not yet done. We have a
fine view of Orizaba, with its snow clad
peak.and are extremely anxious to be on the
march in that direction.
t received a letter from you dated 13 h i
M irch on yesterday: your letters have, I j
expect, generally arrived safe : they arc j
sometimes a g md while in getting here ; but j
y?iu need have no (ears a* to their reaching '
City of Vera Cuuz.. April 4 1847. j
I saw your letter to of Hate the l3ih
u!t. This Was the latest intelligence fr?!in '
Abbeville, and hence very interesting. I j
wrote you some days ago. and attempted t.? \
give you a description of the far-famed city |
of Vera Cruz. I have just returned from
an expedition to Antigua. Col. Harney, j
with his dragoons, one battalion of Infantry,
and Capt. Taylor's battery of light artille*
ry. together with your humble servant, were
ordered to open the way. make discoveries,
and capture mules <fcc. We Wfjp ordered
10 .tnugiin. and readied there on Friday j
night about 2 o'clock, twenty-two miles j
from Vera. C/vz after cutting our way J
through impediments thrown in the road by |
the enemy. We took them by surprise?
the dragoons and myself with them swam j
the river just opposite the town.?
As soon ns we struck the opposite bank, j
we jumppci off upon the gallop, and j
got to the barracks just a? the JLzacers were ;
? i ? / ?/ )' T?l 4.'-- I
i//ca; %/tv fii/c X IIUI U WilS UI1U
company of one hundred men, and out of
(hat number we captured thirty horses with
saddles, lance.?, and all ready for mounting
?one 1st Lieutenant and ten men. The
others scampered in every direction like a
covey of flushed patridges. We pursued
them but the enemy those not captured,
had "left the premises." We
returned, saw the Aloalde, who gave us
much information. Five mi'es off was
Santa Anna's farm, where his son was
?jl. l * t * ~ *
witu lour nuntirea men : seven miles further
was the Nutwnal Bridge, whero General
La Vega, was fortifying and preparing to
receive m. Be gave us a fine supper, good
lodging?, and in the nmrning dismissed us
with the benedictions of himself and people.
The Palmetto: Regiment hus gone under
General Quit#an to Alvarado. Since
we landed here, I have been detached from the
Regiment. Assistant Quart**
PPHU? - ?yio,p, vB
under the orders of the Pepartment, and not j,
permanently attached to any eorpT. I have
been attached during the to v
Cruz this summer, and I have been promised \ 1
a position with the moving army. General \ \
Quitman's command has not returned from \\
Alvarado?heard nothing from them?un
certain when wo will leave here ; we would
have been gone, but for the want of transportation
; almost all our mule* died on the
Antigui is an interesting place on account
of its being the place Cortes landed, ( i
and comtnenced building the first Vera
Cruz: the very walls in heaps are still
The Battle of Bnena Vista.
?3" Tho following l? tter which we copy
from the Yazoo Democrat, is from Samuel
S. Caldwrll who is a native of this Dison
J pfiloAfl I** ?* ?!!!-?.? Xtf i
...V. J uuu iuidi^u lit uui Vlllitgt!i VV lieil tL
boy, he met with a serious accident in
the loss of three of his fingnrs by the
bursting of a gun, which arc now in the
possession of Dr. I. Branch, of this place.
He is in the Mississippi Regiment, that so
distinguished itself at the battle of Buena
Saltillo, Mexico, March 1 st., 1S47.
Dear Brother:?[ received n letter
from you on yesterday, which was the only
one I have received from you or iiny one
else since I came on this sid?' of the ' Biqf
Drink." It gave me great pie ?sur* to think
that ihouuh a poor miffed soldier I was not
'orsjoiten. If people at home knew the sufferings
of a soldier in Mt-xien nr Vimu
? , ... r "fc
a consolation to him it is to receive a letter
from a friend or relative, they woul I cprtainly
devote an hour or two occasionally in
writing to him. But let this pass
Well, I have heard the big bull dogs
howl and the small fice. bark, seen the very
elements rain copper and lead, and have also
seen a fifty acre plain as thickly covered
with dead and wounded men as is an old
clearing with dead trees cut up for a log
< >n the'21s* of February Wr were camped
w.tli about 5,000 fighting iripn at the
pass on the road to San laiis-2-2 mil^c
this place, called Aurua Nurva, resting contented.
whfii tin* picket and our spies camo
running in and informed (>M Zi<*k that
the Mexican army, munhering from 20,000
to 25,000, with Santa Anna at its head,
had advance I within 30 inil?*s, and from
appearance were going to march on against
us. \A^en our old general heard this he
issued owtfcrs lor us to hold ourselves in
readiness to inarch towards Saltillo, No
sooner said tlun done. We knew we had
no tiim* to lose, and in less than hall'an
hour were on our road to this place. Our
Rfgiun-nt, May's Squadron and Thomas*
arid Bragg's batteries accompanledo! IZark.
VVe piti'lifd our t.-nts, raised our fl>i?*s and
and ev? ry man of us swore lie would die
before we would give up the city. General
% I r I - - - l- -- '
w ijiii miiH ins position iii a well known pass
oilIrd Bufna Vislaand st.tiiorn-il his comm:iti-1
m sni'li a position as to keep the enemy
back il he should attempt to advance
that nii?ht. We left one company of eaval
ry at A4U.1 Nueva t?> watch the enemy and
act as a picket*. Next morning at sun up
which was the 21st, the picketts were h ard
to fire the alarm ^nns. W*' all knew, then,
that bloodshed must follow. The picketta
e.uiie into Gen. Wool's camp brin?;iii? in*
formation that the enemy were advancing
rapidly and would ml stop lontr at A?.rua
Nueva as the advance iriiard had already
passed it. Gen. Wool despatched an express
post hjiste to Gen. Taylor; and by
nin?* o'clock we vV^re all on the ground we
were 10 occupy, miner we had to inarch 8
miles. We stood ivith silence at our posts
until twenty-seven minutes past 3 o'clock
in the evening win n one of the bull dojjs
of the en? my was heard to growl. It sound*
ed the death knell of some of the hrava
Kemucki ms Then the whole plain on
our side ot'the lin.? gave a cheer, but wr did
not net fairly into action th.it day. Tho
Kentucky Kiflemen who were stationed
on the sides ol the mountains on tlv "lell
flank engaged in ?he sport. *|'lxey hvlI.
their positions until dark wheu a?l. w;.$'
tlll?hl'(l hut n fouf rifluo -
?. ? .v t> ?<><? im'ii vicir ifi'iii u iw
crack and looked l>k*' lightening buys illu>.
minuting the tups of the mountain* Our
Regiment wa$ ordered to cumpj" bUtf nosleep
did we get that night. Kxpres>s after
express arrived bringing us the news
Next morning- at sunrise we wereta-our
way to the field oi action* When- arrived
there, the enemy had> broken through'
on our left flank, which caused us to hasten
to repel him The Arkansas Regiment
had commenced retreating h'l'er shelter.---We
rant them and' tried-to incucethemto ' ...
go back with us, but only 3U' returned.-*--# 1
They thought all was lost, but We charged'
on the yellow chaps and soon told them we
a ?* * -*
ncic mo Mississippi ooys?iiwy learned
something of us ut Monterey. Seeing uschurge
on a body of not l?ss than 8,000 they
became panic strickrn. Gar Regiment'
with the assistance one battt^ arid a'
Regiment of Indianonus succtVdhd in driving
them baclf ^voiid fhfr gvrttind
they occupied1tlm ;datf< twfonvand that too i