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\ ?9RSSBBHB??CM ! THE REPUBLIC. J Report ofUenl. W. H. C. W UIUu?. Corps of Engiurera, of Ikr Kxploratlou of New 1 Route from Has Autuulo dr Urxar to KJ Puo. San Antonio, June 10, 1849. General J. G. Totten, Chief Engineer of the United State*. General: The parly organized by order of Gen. Worth as an escort to Lieut. Smith, Topographical Engineers, and myself, on our reconnoissnnce to El Paso, and under my command, consisted of nine men, regarded as well versed in frontier life and experience as woodsmen and hunters. We left San Antonio the evening of the 12th of February, and owing to the very severe weather, a wet norther having rendered the woods very heavy, and the fact that our mules, both pack and saddle, wi re many of them wild, and gave great trouble and ueiuy, umy reucneu r reueriCKSiiurg on me mm. This town is the ladt settlement on our route, and distant from San Antonio about seventy-five miles, in a direction a little W. of N. The road between ' these places is through a limestone country generally, well watered, and at convenient distances, but often hilly and stony. Two days were necessarily consumed here in procuring additional animals and provisions?our hasty outfit Iteing found incomplete, and several of the mules unfit for the journey before them. We started from Fredericksburg in the evening of the 21st of February, and the general direction of the courses of the march having been entrusted by me to Richard Howard, esq., the volunteer guide of the party, we made the best of our way towards the head of the river San Saba. To his extensive and accurate knowledge of the country traversed we were indebted for a march through pleasant and well-watered valleys, admirably adapted for the purposes.of a road, and presenting but little labor to the pioneer. The general formation of this part of the country is secondary. We met with but few evidences of the primary stratifications, and those chiefly on the Llano, and on the right bankB of the San Saba. 1 should not judge, from the necessarily hasty and imperfect examination afforded by the march through, that the region is at all rich in mineral products; although we met with evidences that the enterprising Spanish adventurers, in their search for silver, had traversed the country many years before us. The interesting ruins of San Sai a fort, their position and extent, and the vague traditions, among both Indians and while men, of its establish meni, ana me existence in its vicinity 01 ncn silver mines, seem to contradict this idea; but, though search has often b4en made for the locality in question, 1 have heard of no success, nor can I, in any thing to which I have access, obtain authentic information as 10 the object, commencement, and final destruction of this fortress. Leaving the head of the San Saba river in the morning of the 2d of March, we camped at night upon a little water found in a hole about 15 miles west, and barely sufficient for the purposes of our small party. It was the last we were to see until one o'clock on the night of the 5th. We emerged on the morning of the 3d, upon the elevated table pUin, a vast limestone formation, extending many oundred miles, arid and barren and thinly clad with scattering mezquite, affording a home for the praine dog and antelope alone. The singular accuracy of Mr. Howard's judgment waa here evident, and in a tract he had never | traversed. Leading the trail, he brought us, with the instinct of a bee, to the precise snot where the j party under Hayes and Highsmith had separated [ on their return to San Antonio. Here we had been ! told we could have water, and from this point it j would be abundant, until we reached the Pecos. We passed many places where water once had been, j . but tor 3 days, starting at daylight, and the last day marching until 12 at night, our panting animals, I alike with their riders, were unrefreshed by a single j drop. A slight mist, which moistened the grass on j the night of the 3d, together with the fortunate occurrence of cool and cloudy weather, I believe, ! alone enabled the party to get through. nere we sirucx a creen 01 uic rccus mn, uiu saw ihe strange manner in which (he rivers and creeks break through the vast limestone strata that, many feet above their, beds form the great table land. The descent from the latter m generally difficult, often impracticable. Perpen- I dicular limestone bluffs bounding the level plain, j and rising like steps from the river and cut by deep ravmef, which show the whole elevation in the'form of truicaicd cones, are the general obsta- : ^ r.lea. Occasional uasses are found, however, and I on one of these we were fortunate to hit. This remarkable nCC. of which so little is known, ruses in the moun' >'?" near Santa Ff, and entering the limestone forma,*'?" 'n about the latitude of 31? N., its valley gradual contract* until, at length, it is found near its mouth winding amid perpendicular cliffs :?for hundreds of m.'l?* " f?"* a red and turbid stream by a channel of onfj* t?riy feet in width and rarely varying, with great rapioV'y and intricate windings 10 the eastern point of the large bend of the Rio Grande The fords are not numerous or easy. 1 found it necessary to construct a small foot bridge of live-oak log* for the passage of our packs The water at first is not pleas.irit, but the taste soon becomes accustomed to it. This is protiably nw jat to the vast salt and mineral plains through -.shich it runs further to the northward. Our route lay up the bank for some forty miles. As It advanced nothing could exceed the appearance of desolation and barrenness gradually as- ; sumed by the neighboring country. Bare and bleak hilU of the same monotonous taloe formation, and ths almost enure w mt of timoer or even foliage, make the landscape a desert. The only wood to be had here, for travelling purposes, is the stunted mezquite, which here and there furnishes sufficient for rooking. Much travel would soon exhaust that The weary march, without water, had rendered it neokWaary to recruit the mules by short marches arid kme rests, and it was not uniil the 12th that wt left the river by a west course ; 25 miles of prairie, occasionally intersected by dry gullies and a grrnvL'th of r Imridrnii hmiurht us !n a tiuuiw ? - n , spring, the first of a remarkable range. They apf?ear to extend along the base of the Charrate Sierra. Strongly mineral in their character, large quantitiea of vanoua kind* of aalta are found encrusted on the grass near them. They are pleasant to the taste Destitute of any mark by which it may he known there is water at hand, the traveller before he is aware of it finds himself immediately upon a ! clear and refreshing spring. There sre five of these as yet found by us, though many more may exist, generally from 10 to !W miles apart, and atiout 15 from the base of the mountains. Small creeks i generally flow from them for a short distance and then sink into the prairie. Want of proper facilities prevented an analysis of the salts which appeared on the grass hard by. Two of these springs are designated on the mans of Weslizenus, the intelligent and learned gentleman who accompanied the exhibiuon under Doniphan, as the Ojo Leon and Qjo Cscondido?but put down probably from report, or the maps of the Mexicans, their position and course are not correct, i Our direction was now assumed generally west, , in order to leave the mountains known as the j Charrate and Diabolo on our left, and avoiding the ' rough country in this manner, afterwards "'rike in a i southerly courae for the Presidio. We were un o- I qua in ted with the nature of the great region to our j right. The blue peaks of thes< mountains were j plainly visible and we bore for then. As we approached, the whole aspect of the country changed The aqueoua formation gave place to the more rugged work of fire: instead of the < i L.ll- la flat limestone tables, wr rnunu mini ui unii<.uii , ceaa, crowned with dark mai?M of amigdaloidal ; basalt. The columnar structure and great height | of the cliffs gave an imposing aspect to the scenery. Finding that, as we advanced, the range still continued stretching far away to the northward, it was decided to attempt the passage of the mountains, and to shape our march directly for Presidio. On the 17th, we entered the valleys at the base of the Sierra f)mt>olo, little aware of the dangers in our path. Following an old and faintly marked trail which led us close to the main peaks, we had traversed, as we imagined, the whole range, and the country gradually began to appear more open ; but soon after entering a valley where the hills prevented an extended view, the jwrty on the after noon of the 17th were suddenly and completely surrounded by five bands of the Apache warriors, each under its respective chiefs, and numbering altogether some 900 m ounted men. Viewing ua aa intruders, they advanced with great rapidity, with hostile gestures, bows strung, and brandishing lancea. Completely enveloped where but little resistance could be made to numbers ao greatly superior, without even a shrub t. which to tie our frightened animals, and|numberirig only 19 armed men, the situation of the little t>and was perilous. Judging that here policy was the true course, while Lieut. Smith and Mr. Howard coolly extricated the command from their dangerous neighbors, and without hurry or confusion reached the aide of a small hill, I remained among the Indians and gained a little time by holding up my hand for them to atop, and calling on their chiefs for a parley. This was agreed to; why, I know not; ^^ y ? I for never were men more completely in the power of this treacherous race than ourselves. They | siernly demanded who we were, and for what we were in the Apache country? One of them, named Gomez, and as we afterwards learned the terror of Chihuahua, was particularly anxious to attack ua at once. They were answered that we were Americana, en route to Presidio Our intentions depended on their own. We had come there peaceable, that we remained so belonged to them. They insisted that we should instantly come with them and have a talk, but were told there could be no conference until their men were drawn off and they came up unarmed. This appeared to excite dissension among them. Some were for instant attack, while others were undecided. Mr. Howard came down and joined me. The chief Gomez called out that we were afr od, and that if we did not move an (hey said, their fight would commence; but there was that in the eye and reply of our intrepid young guide and interpreter that caused htm to lower his lone. It was satisfactory to see, at this moment, the cool and resolute demeanor of the escort, who, under the direction of Lieut. Smith, had now tied the heads of their animals together. and were waiting for the raising of a hand to commence the unequal struggle. On the right and lef'. two parties had stripped and dismounted, with their bows and arrows in readiness to take us as nearly as possible in flank, while another in front and mounted appeared about to charge. But the influence of Gomez was not sufficient to bring the majority of the chiefs to his advice, and they agreed to draw off their people and parley. This was done; and it was decided that they should proceed in advance to the water hard by, where they were encamped, and that we should follow, select our camp, and in the evening decide our future relations by council. We took post in a small ravine which afforded some little chance for defence. The Indians, who had here a very large cavalcade of horses and a drove of cattle, were all around us. Our situation was gloomy, and few considered we had any chance of escape. The chief Gomez was particularly urgent that we should scatter about and look for wood, here quite scarce, and go to cooking, repeatedly saying he was friendly; but, observing that his party were all mounted, and their bows still strung, we remained together, each man by his saddle, his arms in his hand, and watching with great anxiety the movement of the Indians. At b in the evening, the chiefs, unarmed and with their blankets, appeared to talk. Through the medium of Mr. Howard, I explained that we were an advanced party of the army soon to appear upon this line. That towards ull friendly Indians the intentions of the United States were friendly. Agents would probably be sent among them, and while they continued peaceable they would be put upon the same footing with the other Indian tribes. That the commanding general was desirous that their chiefs should meet him on his approach and enter into a treaty. Making them some trilling presents of tobacco, &c., which they begged as an earnest of amity, they all seemed satisfied but Gomez, who to the last retained his fierce and insulting demeanor. They were anxious as to our relations with Mexico, and were told that we had been at war with that power, but were now at peace, and that the army would advance to maintain that peace. The lightest allusion, however, to that part of the treaty which relates to restraining Indian depredations upon Mexico and restoring Mexican captives would have been the signal for a desperate struggle, fVom which fifteen men, with but two days' scant allowance of provisions, without wood and water, and totally unsheltered, badly armed, and worse equipped, had but little chance to escape with life. We laid down that night upon our arms; the extreme coldness of the mountain atmosphere increased our discomfort. Expecting to be attacked each moment, but little sleeping was done. In the morn ing we learned from a Mexican captive that a wartalk had been held, and Gomez was only prevented during the night from falling on us by tne refusal of the chiefs Cigarrito and Chiuonero to aid him. Saddling up pn the morning of the 18th, and leaving this locality, designated in our after conversations as " Gomez camp," we retraced our march of yesterday, guided by the friendly chief Cigarrito. Gomez himself look leave in a very insulting manner, and w arned us never to visit that country again. We learned that he was then but four days from Mexico, with a large cavalcade, a great many cattle, and the plunder of his recent excursions into Chihuahua. The old chief, who, riding at the head of our train, related these things, added that we must beware of him, for his designs were yet hostile, and begged to be exculpated from all share in his operations. We stopped at Cigarrito's camp, taking a position above it from which we could defy alike open attack and treachery. The | Indians, whether friendly or hostile, are the most accomplished thieves 1 ever met with, and not one who was permuted to come near our fires, in spite of watching, but went off laden with small articles The most serious loss to myself I did not discover until some days afterwards, when 1 found that my i saddle-bags had been picked of various things, including a bundle of papers, comprising ail my orders, instructions, letters, private journal, and moot?" Touchers for disbursements at Fredericksburg ' It dont while the council was being held" and it v*M Thus lhe desire of one day retaliating upon ** h,i W*" DO* sened by thi reflecuon h* ,hen using my most important 10 cover igarrito's The warning of the old chief of u" Southern Apaches was not heedless. Inducing, by th" *"1 a couple of blankets, one of his men to put us on * ' trail whie.h might cross the range of rnouniains, we I led the Apache village. Our route was still somewhat hack upon our course, for we found we had come a great deal west, and were tolu that a difficult and tedious path would have to be followed south ! if wc persisted. The Indian at length, coming in sight of a notable mountain |>eak, pointed the course and left us. We entered fairly into the gorge of a beautiful pass, and through it, winding its way between lofty and perpendicular walls of basalt, runs a clear brook. The travel was fine, a j continued succession of cotlonwood groves, mixed j with cedar, oak, and hackberry. while the mulli- I tudes of wild roses, the only ones we had met with ; in Texas, made a new feature in the picture. We I were pleased to find that little or no labor would be required to pass the road through the mountains here; and this, tor we h id almost despaired of a practicable route, gave new courageA small band of Indians in advance of us, and whom we met in the pass towards night, took to flight. The creek I named the Limpia, and at one o'clock the next day, 20th March, we passed the mountains, and reached the point where we were to leave its refreshing waters. The cotlonwood trees here, growing to great size, were marked with the rude painting of the < 'amanchcs. Alarm smokes and signal smokes had now begun to appear in every direction, and the signs | around us warned us to be guarded. Although ! only one o'clock, all our preparations 10 camp were made, the animals staked out, |>acks and saddles properly placed. I he men carefully examined their arm?. At 6 o'clock at night, raddling up, we silently took up our aombre m.irch ; leaving our camp-fire* burning, quitting the trail* aa another meaaure of precaution, and holding ourcourae by the aura, the men were directed to march four and five ahreaat, the pack mule* to be led, and the Mexican* to lie ready to faaten all the animala together at a mo- i ment'a warning. We were traversing a bare dog'* town prame. It waa there that Gom? expected to have ua at advantage. Two hour* had acarcely passed when the sudden flashing of signal fires showed our departure was discovered, h.xjiecting j every instant toe yell of the enemy, almost helpless in our exposed position, the wind blowing a gale in chill and furious gusts, the darkness of the night, with the mountain peaks behind ua lit up with the glare of the fires, combined to render tnat march one which few of ua will forget. Reaching at one at night a huge pile of bouldera of grit, wearied and desperate, we stopped. The next day we reached the ruins of the Cibolo, where we might regard ourselves in |Kxntion to bid defiance to Gomez. It may not be irrelevant here to notice that, on our return march from fcl Paao, we came by the " Painted Camp" on the Ltmpia. The. grass, where we left it so green and luxuriant, had been tmrnpled by hundreds of horses, and round our j ramp-fires '200 Apache lodges had lieen placed the morning only after we had left. Their trails had Ctimr in ir??m rrrry uirn uim iijjwri mr rninmg <-i (he signal fires. We learned that Gomez had intended to take us that night, but loat our track. On the 24th, after a fatiguing march from the mountains, eubsisiing on a spoonful of f inoli a piece per diem, and for the last three duye our allowance of meat, reduced to a slice of panther which the Delaware had killed, we reached Fort Leaton This is the ranche of an American who has placed himself opposite Presidio del Norte. We hnd thus, in 42 days from Fredericksburg, reach the " Norte." From this point to the Pecos we had found a fine road The want of water, between that river and the Sun Saba, apf>eared an insurmountable obstacle; but we hoped in returning to find a bettei route. The enterprising.owner of the vicinity, W Leeton, exerted lino self to the utmost, with but small resources, to furnish provisions and animals for our I further progress to El Paso, and to udvance the expedition m every possible way. | I take greut pleasure in noticing Mr Leuton here. His position is in every respect remarkable. Locateu in a valley of the Rio Grande, a little below Presidio, with some 8 or 10 Americans in his employment, he has in a few months accomplished a great amount of severe labor, fortified himself in a good position, secured his stock, and carried to considerable extent his farming operations, his men being all the while obliged to work with their arms at hand. They have been exposed to the incursions of the Indians on one side, and to a series of outrageous impositions ttnd aggressions ou the part of the Mexicans on the other, and forced to mount guard day and night. I deemed it my duty to make to General Worth a report upon the conduct of the Mexican authorities at this place. Mr. Leaton informed ine tiiat the Indian tribes were all hostile, and apprehended that it would tie impossible to avoid fighting on the march to El : Paso. I accordingly increased the party by the addition of two men?all I could find to go with me. Leaving all the baggage which could be spared and an account of our journey thus fur, we set out from Fort Leaton, on the 30th of March, to try und find a route by the river to El Paso. I was pleased to nnu thai my men were in no wise daunted oy me prophecy that we would not return, und the accounts of the dangers of the route. They appeared as always indifferent and resolute. The importance of a river road between these points had been strongly urged by General Worth. Fourteen days' march, toilsome and severe, through the splendid scenery of the Rio Grande, sometimes climbing precipitous paths high ubove the river, sometimes winding along its banks, brought the party to El Paso. During that time, we rarely let go our urms, and every precaution of close order of march, scouts in advance and rear, and sentinels whenever we stopped, was adopted and kept up. Fortunately for us, the population of the Rio Grande had left the many Indian towns which successively astonished us, and hud retired to spend the spring and summer in the mountains? another of the many instances of providential escape which marked our course. The first 50 miles lay through a well wooded valley of the river, presenting little or no obstacle to the pussage of the troops. A small fatigue party should always be in advance to clear the chaparral, and slope the gullies. The soil is firm gravelly sand, and apparently on the river banks quite fertile. The next 30 miles, however, is in the formation called by the Mexicans "caxones" or boxes. Here the red hills are washed by the river which they overhang, in bold precipitous bluffs, exceedingly difficult of travel, and much labor will be required to pass a road; sleep narrow ridges of gravel intersect the valley where valley exists, and at other points high hills, having a base, generally of sandstone of different varieties, must be turned or climbed by a winding course upon their sides. From tnis, with the exception of two passes of a few miles in extent, where the road will cross the hills of the Notch and the Eagle pass of Mount Chase, the travelling is fair. Beyond, for a hundred miles, the valley of the river gradually widens into fine bottom land, heavily timbered witn cottonwood; light sandy soil, when irrigated judiciously, affording good crops and fine sites for settlements or posts. This valley finds its northern limit in u- _i ci rt ?,.,i iiiuuiiiaiim wniui cnuuoc Cil raou, auu tumainsi the Island, a large tract of fertile land, well settled and cultivated, and now, from the deepest channel of the river, being to the W., belonging to the United States. The difficulties in the way of communication by the Rio Grande bank, between Presidio and El Paso, are not sufficient to do away with its importance to the public interest. Bound to afford protection to our own settlements, which in course of time advance into this region, and by the stipulations of solemn treaty to restrain and punish Indian depredations upon Mexico, 1 regard the construction of a military road upon the river here as absolutely necessary to this end. Independent of the fact, that communication between posts is itself one great and most efficient barrier to savage incursions; early secured, it induces settlements, whieh, in lime, peopled by our hardy pioneers, become the best defence of a frontier. The range of the numerous Apache tribes is directly upon this river; their winter towns are extensive upon its banks; their spring and summer retreats are found in the mountains, which with little interruption extend from Presidio to Santa F?. Sheltered by the rugged hills of the Rio Grande from the winter storms, their families remain in the cottonwood groves, where their lownsk-are built, while the warriors carry terror and desolation i throughout Chihuahua. From the capital to the extreme frontier no hamlet exists where the ruthless hand of the Apache has not been fell. Eyewitnesses alone can have an accurate idea of the terrible extent of these maraudings. On the Mtxican side, and in sight of our i?ath, three large Presidios, with the remains of cultivation about them, now inhabited by the crow and the wolf alone, stand melancholy monuments of Mexican weakness and Indian ferocity. Should the route pass the east of this range, as ' a military barrier it will tie worthless. It should come where they cross with their plunder, and whence, by their known trails, the recesses of the mountains may be reached. The establishment of tpoving camps of active mounted men, always on the uie.~** alway* ready, it is thought would tend to ihc speedv e?'ablishment of a much more peaceable state of things, aut at thc t,mp ** a? ded with but little more ex,^n?? th?" $*? garrisons Tt. ~c .i-?... .mi should be garrisoned A IITT pwai *?i ucfFUl aim v.? by infantry, but it will be tound that the only efficient force for our threat national purpose* on thin important frontier is cavalry. Qn the night of the 12th April we reached Ponce'a ranche, opposite El Paao, the terminus of our outward bound inarch. The town of El Paao, until the march of Doniphan's column but little known in our country, and that only to the few traders, who, from time to time, passed through it, is situated about eight miles below the pass, with a population of 5,000. At the head of a fertile tract of the Rio Grande bottom, and shut in to the river by the gravel hills to the west, it rejoices in a pleasant climate and productive soil. The low adobes, or mud-walled houses, are relieved to the eye by luxuriant orchards, pretty gardens, and well pruned vineyards. The green and freah wheat crops growing around, the peach, and pear, and apricot, and quince, in endlesa profusion, and the fine appearance of the vegetables, give promise of what American industry and cultivation might do where the Mexican is so productive. They raise with their rude instruments only what they require themselves, of wines, liquors, and grain. In skilful hands the grapes here grown will produce delightful wine. But the greatest abundance and best cultivated is found on La Isla, the fertile island of the Rio Grande, below El Paso, about thirty miles in length, from four to eight broad, and studded with the little towns of Isleta, Socoro and San Elczano. Thia island now belongs to the United States, a change greatly rejoiced in by its denizens, but extremely disliked by the Mexican Government. A scarcity at present prevails in the El Paso valley. This is owing to the fact of their rarely raising more than sufficient for their own wants, and the heavy drains upon the farmers by the march nf th* r/iliimm ilnrinir the w?r and nftrr the nCHre. Of stock, the Indiana have taken rare,and scarcely any thing remains of the once numerous herda bei longing to the town. The little hamlet of laleta, however, originally a ' village of the Pueblo Indiana, as they are railed, holds us own well. The slender remnant of some old Aztec tribe, the tradition la still alive among them that one dny their great Montezuma will return to lift their yoke and redress their wrongs, cultivating paiiently their little farms, and retaining to the last their animosity to the Mexicans. These, of greater heart than their masters,, meet the Apache with his own weapons, and keep themselves inviolate Still holding to their own dialects and to many of their old customs, and but half chrisuanized, their worship a rude mixture of Catholic and Pagan rites, their numliera are fast dwindling a way, and hut few years will pass before the last altarfire of their race will he extinguished At an interval of leisure nt El Paso, I examined the position of Frontera, situated directly at the Paso, with a view to the location of a |?ost for the troops It appeared to me adapted for the purpose. From it the Santa Ff road, the ford, the Chihuahua and El Paso branches are all commanded, and the control of communications in all directions given to our forces Having at length, with much difficulty, succeeded in obtaining a supply of freah animala and aufficient aubaislenee, on the I'lth of April we joyfully set out on our return march. Severs) different routes to the Pecos hnd been proposed to me, but they nil ntruck too much td the north, and, fearful of agnin encountering the ihirsty deacrt of the ureal Stano Eatacado, I determined, by the advice of the able engineer, Mr Howard, to take the course for San Antonio, convinced that a route could be had. THE REPUBLIC. qi I m?rnmmmm??, The strength of the |xtr(y I had nearly doublrd, with a view to a different meeting with our friend | Gomez, should we fall in with him. 1 had secured the services of the brave Captain Skilltnan, the same gallant adventurer who, with men, dashed into the square of El Paso and look General Amnio in his own town. He had volunteered on the hazardous duly of going to Presidio, and there obtaining the baggage and papers 1 had left, with such animals as were fit to return. He was to cross the mountains and attempt to join me on the Pecos. I could sfiare him but three men, and he left on his perilous adventure two days before us. Our route now lay for 100 miles down the Rio Grande, and following in the trail by which Gomez had gone out with Ins lost plunder, we were led .through a fine pass of the Rio Grande hills, cut by the action of water through an extensive formation of urgillaceoiiB and calcareous sandstone. A deserted canin of nnmlicrleKN lodges i-ovfrml the valley into which the pass emerged, showing that here, loo, the Afwche had his home. Crossing an extensive prairie, or broad valley lying between the Rio Grande mountains and the Sierra Diabolo, we entered the northwestern hills | of thai extensive range ut a point about !20 miles to the north and west of where we were met by Gomez and his band. Here features of country entirely new presented themselves. The mounlaiusofgruniteand porphyry, further to the south of basaltic rock, are the most striking we have yet seen. Following an old Indian path it led us to a deep ravine, in which trickled a clear and cold mountain spring; from this it climbed by a steep and perilous ascent of 1,500 feat, what we at first thought was a high hill in our course. It proved to be un elevated table valley, from which, surrounded by groves of oak of every kind, and large pines, the loftier peaks rear their heads. The ascent was very severe, but amply repaid by the magnificence of the scene Slopping to breathe, we could see stretching far to the northward the yellow prairie with the blue mountuins of the Rio Grande in the distance, while beneath at a fearful depth lay the ravine, relieved in its rugged grandeur by the dark hues of clusters of Spunish oaks, and the occasional glitter of the rivulet in its bottom. Our march, refreshed by frequent springs, continued over pleasant slopes and througn superb scenery. The aspect of the whole of this elevated table, the pines and Inrge oaks, altogether so different from any country yet explored by us, almost forced us to the belief that we were too far to the north for our course. We attempted to extricate ourselves from the mountains, now becoming tugged and difficult, by following the course of a creek; butafler hours of slow and toilsome progress between huge walls and over large masses of granite and basalt, we were lurceu to retrace our steps. Despairing of the road, we were suddenly relieved by the discovery of a pass when most wished for, and shortly had the satisfaction of resting on the head waters of the Limpia. Marching by the Wild Rose pass, the scene of our gloomy night escape, we continued with little trouble and by rapid stages to the Pecos, taking in our route and at convenient distance the springs of the " Basin," the Awache, and the Escondido. Continuing down this river by its right bank, 20 miles below where we crossed before, we were making preparations to ford, when we were relieved by the sudden appearance of Skillman and his men. We had been very anxious about them. Indian signs upon our march had been fresh and frequent. He, too, had met with Gomez, but we now learned that that wily chief, finding that we had escaped him and reached El Paso, had in the mean time moved nearer to Presidio, and fearing lest we might come back with a stronger party, had made a treaty with Mr. Lealon, and permitted Skillman to pass unmolested through his whole tribe. A march of two days, a distance of about 35 miles from the Pecos, brought ua to the head springs of the San Pedro, a clear river, which, after a tortuous course of some 50 or 60 miles, finds its way to the Rio Grande. This stream, laid down on the maps as the old boundary between the States of Coahuila and Chihuahua, is but little known. Disturnell's map, an exceedingly incorrect representation, by the way, of the geography of this whole region, puts down upon it an old Spanish fortress, called Fort del Altar. We found no traces of it in a march from its head to its mouth. The neighboring country is remarkable. The great limestone table elevation, so unbroken further to the north, is here cut up by innumerable ravines or canons of great depth, and frequently showing the whole side but one per|*endicular wall. The road here in several places would require preparation, but a tolerable route is easily obtained by keeping the " Divided" for one half of the way, and the canons of the Pecos for the other. We crossed the San Pedro at the "Painted Puss," an old ford of the Camanches? I gave it its name from the Indian signs in it?descending from the Divide by a picturesque canon which showed in its high walls numerous limestone ; caves In one of the largest, we stopped to noon, i Here upon the walls the Camanches had painted j their rude sketches of successful forays into Mexico. It seemed that wherever the Indian had his choicest retreats and bis most favorable routes, we were bound to go. Here again we fell short of provisions, but more fortunate than before in the nature of our game, the spoils of five bears, and the successful prowess of our hunter with the venison and the bees, kept us abundantly supplied uulil we reached the settlements. Crossing the San Pedro we emerged in the fine Las Moras valley, an extensive succession of rolling plains, waien-d by numerous streams, timbered with the live-oak and pecan, and the mezquile, and Fresenting the finest stock range and the richest soil had seen in Texas. The travelling was now excellent, and this unbroken country extended to San Antonio, towards which from the " Painted Pass" our course had been nearly east. After an alisence of 104 days, long since given up as lost. by all but a few of the most sanguine, we made our appearance in Bexar on the 24th of May, our long and tedious march having, by its delay, saved an encounter with the cholera, which I consider as another instance of fortunate escape. A brief summary of the discovered route will not be out of place in this letter. It is extracted mainly from the report rendered in accordance with orders, immediately upon our arrival to headquarters of the dth and 9th departments. Leaving a point on the Gulf near Lavaca, it passes through San Antonio, and thence westward, by the well-known Woll mad, aa far aa Leona Mound. Continuing a general westerly course, it "rosses the Neuces some 12 miles from the Leona; and, ascending from the bed of that river to the plateau lieyond, passes the country already described, to the "Painted Pass" of the San Pedro; between three two points it crosses, at convenient distances, the running water of the Piasano, the Elm, the Las \4 .U. I ... 15-J? 1 .1? O t'-l- ? .vi<>!<> , iiic lafjucw,, me runt, rum uic oan r Thus, in a distance nf |'2() miles, crossing six quite large creeks, with their numerous tributaries. The grazing, so tar, is very good; beyond is not so (air. Between the San Pedro and the Pecos, the labors of the pioneer* commence The road crossing the former at the "Painted Pass," ascends on the level Divide by the Cation of the Caves; this cafion is abundantly supplied with water a few miles further; and on this Uvtl table is found the Arroyo de lo* Palos Blan'ros, a singular creek, the water of which ap|tenr* to he slightly sulphuretted; it is, however, drinkable. Two days' march from the Painted Pass reaches the head of running water in the San Pedro, and Anther finds the so-called head spring, a clear lagods of living water, surrounded by a heavy growth of pecan. From this to the riv,er Pecos, a distance of about .'15 miles, permanent water will not be found; in all wet seasons, however, it is abundant. The road,follows the valley of the Pecos inn northwesterly course for about 50 miles, and then leaving it in a general went direction, and taking is its course the notahld springs of the prairie, may pass ihe Sierra Diabolo by the Wild Rose Pass, or further to the northward by the Gomez Pans, and then strike the. Rib Grande about 10(1 miles below j El Paso The course of this river is verv incor| reclly laid down on the maps; the point at which ; the road strikes it is nearly in the course between El Paso and San Antonio, the general direction of the stream lieing here east of southeast. Thence it follow* the river to El Paso, leaving it twice by amiable pauses to avoid the precipitous hills which overhang the waters. The object of the reconnoisssnce, as stated in the ?m vmirrrm onn, u? 11 inrre iic n I practical and convenient route for military and commercial purposes, lieiween Kl Paa<> and the Gulf of Mexico, psaatng t>y or near San Antonio or Auatin, in Texaa," ha* thua been attained. The great difficulty apprehended was the want of permanent water. Il will be acen that no water ha* !>een mentioned which i* not characterised a* living water, and gn at care wa* taken to locate the route in ?uch a manner that in all wet aenaona water may be found in great abundance It ia believed that 110 other mute yet known to the weat, preaenta, in thia reaped, the aame facilities. We had thus accompliahed our task, with how much good fortune I need not aay. Poorly mount- 1 ed, few in numbera, and haatily equipped, our I meana of rerunnniaaance, on our right hand and on , our left, were entirely wanting, and, glad to return j at all, we have been more lhtui satisfied that a route of any description has been found. In ao extenaive a country, and ao little known, it cannot be aaid that neither other nor bettor routes do not exist; much remains to be known. The geography and geology of the whole region is yet to be settled. But so much is accomplished: it is demonstrated that, untroubled by the storms of winter, a route from (he Gulf of Mexico to the great West is opened for the southern States. And it is not improbable that, at no distant day, the continent of Asia and the great Chinese Empire will by this region become to the United States no longer an Eastern, but another Western world. In concluding this letter, 1 would say to the Chief Engineer that it is intended merely as a general summary from my journal, and 1 regret exceedingly that the want of means, and especially of force, has precluded iny adding in any manner to the statistical and geological information of the country. I have no apology to make for it but the circumstances of the expedition?not scientific, for we had no time to supply either books, instruments, or maps; not military, for the organization of the party was directly the reverse The details of courses, events, Ac., will be found in the journal. Possessing none of that interest which scientific explorations have for the thinking and well-informed, and still less the attractive character which similar adventures would enjoy in the hands of a skilful narrator, it is but a meagre outline of labors which at least were zealous. Accompanying is a rough sketch of the march, made by the compass, and of course only an approximation to the geography of the country. It may serve to convey an idea of the route. Howard, an accomplished guide, whose judgment, whenever at fault, his decision compensated; and Brady, with his hardy companions, who, resolute and unmurmuring, escorted us for a march of near 1,600 miles, 1 would once more introduce to the Chief Engineer, accompanying the notice with my thanks. I am, General, your most obedient servant, (Signed) W. H. C. WHITING, Lieutenant of Engineers THE REPUBLIC. WASHINGTON: MONDAY MORNING, JULY 30. 1849. THE POLICY OF REFORM. " It is no strange thing," said an eminent English statesman, " to those who look in,to the nature of corrupted man, to find a violent persecutor a perfect unbeliever of his own creed." It is something strange, however, to see a set of men un dertaking to build up an opposition to government based upon the denunciation of a policy which they at the same time profess to approve, have always acted upon, and admit to be the only policy on which governments can be supported. We are not prepared to go quite so far as Dr. Johnson carried the principle when he said, that if he were minister he would turn out any man who dared to wag a finger at him. But in the views of Mr. Burke, as expressed in the following passage from one of the ablest of his political pamphlets, we entirely concur. It is proper that we should add that the Mr. Burke from whom we quote is the English statesman of that name, and not the ex-Commissioner of Patents : " Party is a body of men united for promoting, " by their joint endeavors, the national interest, " upon some particular principle in which they are " all agreed. For my part, I find it impossible to " conceive that any one believes in his own poli" ties, or thinks them to be of any weight, who " refuses to adopt the means of 1 laving them " reduced into practice. It is the business of the " speculative philosopher to mark the proper ends " of government. It is the business of the politi" cian, who is the philosopher in action, to fiud out " proper means towards tliose ends, and to employ " them with effect. Therefore, every honorable " connexion will avow it as their first purpose to " pursue every just method to put the men who " hold their opinions into such a condition as inay 44 punhlp ihpm to rarrv tK#?ir onmmnn nlona " execution with ail the power and authority of the " state. As this power is attached to certain situa" lions, it is their duty to contend for these situa" tions. Without a proscription of others, they are " bound to give their own party the preference in " all things; and by no means, for private consid" orations, to accept any offers of power in which " the whole body is not included, nor to suffer " themselves to be led, or to be controlled, or to be " overbalanced in office or in council, by those who " contradict the very fundamental principles on " which their party is formed, and even those upon " which every fair connexion must stand. Such a " generous contention for power, on such manly " and honorable maxims, will easily be distin" guished from tlx- mean and interested struggle " for place and emolument." To read the invectives of the opposition press against the progress of the reform which has already exposed to the people the defalcations of Moore, Collins, and Denby?and which we are authorized to say will soon exhibit other instances of official malversation?one would suppose that the doctrine of supporting an administration by its friends rather than its enemies is some-1 thing novel, instead of being the doctrine on which all administrations in all time have acted, and o> which all administrations must act, unless they design to make themselves the sport of their enemies. The really novel idea is that of sustaining an administration by placing its pa tronage in the hands of men who will employ it against that administration. What act of the present Administration has subjected it to more bitter taunts from its enemies than the reappointment of Georor Loyai.l as navy agent at Norfolk? Was it not every where denounced, by the Locofoco press, as an act of hy|>ocrisy intended to delude the people of Virginia by a false show of forbearance ? Get us look a little at the history of the past. During Mr. Monroe's presidential term, the two great parties which had pre viously divided the country abandoned their organization, and ceased to exist as narties. In the presidential election of 1H24, there were five candidates in the field, each one of whom had been a leading and distinguished member of the old Democratic party Mr Adams, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Clat, Mr. Calhoun, and General Jackson. No choice having been made by the people, the election devolved on the House of Representatives, and Mr. Adams became the president. Mr. Clay became the Secretary of State. General Jackson was again put in nomination by his friends, and new parties were soon formed under the names of the Administration and the Jackson parties. The opposition, or the Jackson party, commenced forthwith a violent war on Mr. Adams, which terminated in his overthrow and the election of General Jackson. During the canvass, the election of t the General was advocated upon the grounds, among others, that he would act impartially in the distribution of public favors, and was opposed to party spirit and the proscription of the Federalists or Democrats. In proof of this his celebrated letter to Mr. Monroe was cited, in which he declared that the time had arrived to "extirpate the monster called party spirit." In spite of this declaration, the war upon Mr. Adams was prosecuted with the utmost violence. A prominent member of the opposition party, indeed?since a Vice President of the United States?declared that " the Administration must be |wt down, were it as pure as the angels in heaven." When General Jackson came into the Presidency, a very different state of things existed from any thing that we have seen since. The post offices throughout the country were filled by men who had been appointed during the administration of Mr. Monroe, or bv a Postmaster General - - - - / - J ? - who was himself friendly to the election of General Jackson. Mr. Adams had abandoned this branch of the public service to his opponents, and there were pro bably more friends than enemies of the new administration in office on the 4th of March, 1829. What were the views of the duty of administration supported at that time by the men who now oppose General Taylor? We do not design to adopt or approve the doctrines which we cite; for we are willing to rest the policy of the present Administration on the prin ciples so forcibly expressed by Mr. Burke, beyond which we do not desire to step a hair's breadth. Our first extract is from the organ of the Jackson party in New York: " Removals.?The work goes bravely on; the "friends of Mr. Adams ;ire removed from office, and " the friends qf General Jackson Ate. appointed. This " course, indicating' firmness and obedience to the " public will, will give permanency to any admiuis" tration." The Democratic doctrine on the subject was thus laid down by Mr. Marcy in the Senate of the United States: " ' When they,' (the politicians,) he exclaimed, " ' are contending for victory, they avow their in" tention of enjoying the fruit# of it. If they are " defeated, they expect to retire from office. If " they are successful, they claim, as a matter of " right, the advantage of success. They see no ?' thing wrong in the rule that to the victors belong " the spoils of the enemy.' " General Jackson will be received as a true exponent of Democratic doctrine, we presume, by the Opposition. He thus lays it down in his inaugural address as President of the United States: " The recent <iemonat ration* of public aentixneiit u aiw, i:~a k* 1? iuo^iiuc mi m?- urn. ut mivt- (mill's, in cnar" acters too legible to be overlooked, the task of re" form, which will require particularly the oor" rection of those abuses that have brought the " patronage of the Federal Governoient into con" ttict with the freedom of elections, and the cotui" terartion of those causes which have disturbed " the rightful course of appointment, and have " placed or continued power in unfaithful or in competent hands. " In the performance of a task thus generally de" lineated,' 1 shall endeavor to select men whose " diligence and talents will ensure in their rospect" ive stations able and faithful co-operation?de*' pending for the advancement of the public more " on the integrity and zeal of the public officers, " than on their numbers." We shall enrich our extracts with the following paragraphs from the first message of President Jacksou, in which the subject is discussed at considerable length: " There are, perhaps, few men who can, for any " length of time, enjoy office and power without " being inore or less under the influence of feelings " unfavorable to a faithful dischargcof their public " duties. Their integrity may be proof against " improper considerations immediately addressed " to themselves; but they are apt to acquire a liabit " of looking with indifference upon the public intr" rests, and of tolerating conduct from which an" practised men would revolt. Office ia considered " as a species of property, and government rather " as a means of promoting individual interests til an " as an instrument created solely for the service of " the people,?corruption in some, and in others " a perversion of correct feelings and principles, 111 ii*i i ?u?< iimriii 111ii11 m h -giumau' rniiH, ami i " make it an engine for the support of the few, at 1 ' the expense of the many. The duties of all publir " officers are, or at least admit of being, inade so " plain and simple, tfiat the intelligent inay readily " qualify them for their performance; and I cannot " but believe that more is lost by the long continu" ance of men in office than is generally to be gained " by their experience. I submit, therefore, to your ?' consideration, whether the efficiency of the Gov " eminent would not fx- promoted, and official in " dustry and integrity better secured, by a general " extension of the law which limits appointments " to four years. ' In a country where offices are created solely for " the benefit of the people.no one man has any more " intrinsic right to official station than another. " Offices were not established to give support to par" tirular men at the public expense. No individual wrong is therefore done by removal, since neither " appointment to, nor continuance in, office is * matter of right. The incumbent became an offi" cer with a view to public benefits; and, when " these require his removal, they are not to besarri" ficed to private interests. It is the people, and " they alone, who have a right to complain when a " bad officer is sulistituted for a good one. He who " is removed has the same means of obtaining a " living that are enjoyed by the millions who never " held office. The proposed limitation would de " stroy the ides of property now so generally con" nected with'official station; and although indi" vidual distress may be sometimes produced, it " would, by promoting that rotation which ronsti" lutes a leading principle in the republican creed. " (five healthful action to the system." The views of Mr. Polk'b Administration were announced in very distinct lan guagc in the official journal, from which we copy the following paragraph : " All the offices held at the will of the Executive " are suppiswd by the ('institution to Iw rrachrd by I "the rmonnting principle in the rc-eUrtton qf every " Chief Magmtrate. If he be chosen by the people " toi-tinlife the principles and measure* of his pre" decoMor, in the conduct of the Government, to re. " form h buses. and put it on a new tack, hi has " thr powbb maihly tmbouom CHAnoino its 1 " auihth. The sailing of the ship is not less in j ' the hands of those who triin the anils, than in his ' who holds the helm. Henre, ns it is supposed " the people, In dimming a new President, may j | " i n new Mireetimi for the pobli< HfTnira.hr | "htm conferred upon Aim thr unlimited powtr yf , " changing the men through whom they an monuged "On his Induction into office, every head of a de- ' " purtiixiit resigns, as a lonttrr of course, his com- J " uiissioii; and this art of the firat fnm lionary of " every elass of public aervire ia, in effect, to aay . " that every place under them ia vacant, if the ' " President chooses to consider it. \o setoaui- s " sate orrtrn molds mis place but bv a pee ( "mission equivalent to a reappointment} lUld . " the true theory of our Government in regard to " thr subsidiary Executive functionaries ia, that t " nonjc nhould be permitted to remain, Oil in " OTHER WUHU4, lit REAPPOINTED, witOlll till! PlOB- , " ident would not, under the circuUMtancei atUriid" iug-crcii i-rrc. appoint to opkicb. He iajunl tut " responsible for retaining an for appointing." Such were the principles of the late Locofoco dynasty on this subject. We all know that its practice accorded with its principles. The emblem of the hickory broom is familiar to us. The charitable consolation to the dismissed office-holder? "root hog or die"?is not forgotten. All the offices in the country, not already so occupied, were bestowed, during his administration, upon the noisy and active partisans of General Jackson. In 1834 the Whig party was formed. It soon numbered a moiety of the nation among its numbers, and very sure are we that no one of them was ever appointed to office during the administration of the General or of his successor. In 1840 the Whigs outnumbered and outvoted their opponents by a very large majority. They lost power by the unfortunate death of General Harrison, and the infamous treachery of Mr. Tyler. During Mr. Polk's administration, not a Whig was appointed to any office, and the few whom Mr. Tyler had spared were unceremoniously ejected. For twenty years, then, the opponents of the late dynasty have been strictly excluded from all participation in public honors and emoluments. So far was this exclusion carried, that a plot was engendered for committing the conduct of the Mexican war to a lieutenant-general, in order to supersede the distinguished Whig officers who were winning perilous laurels in the service of their country. All this was sustained by the Locofoco press. It was all right that Whigs should be proscribed. Worse than that?they were denounced by the Chief Magistrate of the country as traitors, giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy. But now, forsooth?when this proscription has been proscribed, and the President seeks to restore the late down-trodden and trampled, but now triumphant party to their rightful share in public appointments?the op])osition press sets up a universal wail, and rallies the dismissed office-holders to join the coalition of Barnburners, Abolitionists, and Old Hunkers, to overthrow the Administration of Zachary Taylor, the "southern slaveholder." wnnvn * * F*XVF* WjXVt?.."Vt. H* 1S( JKL.KC? TION8. Mr. Ewtiig and Mr. Tyler. At the time of the election of General Tatlor, out of some eighty clerks in the General Land Office, there were not more than ten or fifteen Whigs. It was not that there had been any proscription for opinion's sake, but because a Whig was not permitted to hold office under the late Administration, except in cases where his services were indispensable. But, after the result of the Presidential election became known, things began to assume a better aspect. Several Whigs were appointed to hard duties and small salaries, and on the '27th of July instant the clerks in the General Land Office were so proportioned that the removal of nineteen Locofocos and the appointment of nineteen Whigs left the numbers nearly equal. Now, during the canvass of 1848, there were from sixty to seventy Locofoco clerks in that office; and however it may have been at their desks, in the election, at least, they were not idle. Those of them that did not go abroad and engage actively in the campaign, furnished the sinews of war. The election n Pennsylvania was supposed to be the one which would decide the contest. It was important to carry thai% and, in order to do it, voluntary contributions were raised by the Locofoco clerks, and forced contributions were levied on the few Whigs in the office to furnish the means by which men could be transported from the District of Columbia to vote in Pennsylvania. To this fund the nineteen clerks removed on Saturday .contributed, every man of them, without exception. We have the names, with the sum paid by each, but do not think worth while to give them. Suffice it that we know, on the most undoubted evidence, that every man among them contributed money to perpetrate this deliberate, monstrous fraud on the elective franchise; and these are the men for whom the Union claims impunity, because they did not interfere in the election. But this is not the only reason for the removal of thixe mun 7" _? .. ?... ?. ...v?v mivm? i iixi Kjnurrk IP* Ilinr organ, their mouth-piece, the exponent of their opinions and feelings. Its frenzied passion, its base falsehoods and scurrility, are theirs.' How could an administration live that would retain in confidential places men actuated hy such deep malice towards it, and so little scrupulous as to the means of wreaking their vengeance? General Tavi.or never pledged himself to retain such men in office, and he cannot do it and yet administer the Government safely and successfully. But the Union denies the power of the Secretary of the Interior to make removals in the (General I^and Office, and advises its partisans and clients there to disregard his; Inline of 1 ll_ lJ * 4 ' ... .. .i. i i/. uiKimnswi, aim noia onioineir offices. The reason we do not pretend to understand; but we suppose it is by a sort of divine right of Ixicofoeoism. The /air is clear enough as to the power. The act of 1812 creating the General Land Office, provides that there shall be established "in ihe Department of the Treasury an office to >e denominated the General Land Office." 5o that the (ieneral Land Office is not a Department, but a mere "office" or bueau in the Treasury Department; and cn? ts reorganization, in 183H, it remained mbject to the control and supervision of be Secretary of the Treasury, as decided >y Mr. Attorney (General Butisr aftei he passage of that act.