Notes and Documents
fever-from New Orleans, probably-visited it.19 In meeting the
Indians, Lieutenant [George Blake] Cosby,20 of the United States
Rifles, was shot in the arm by an arrow, from which he suffered
greatly; and Captain [Michael E.] Van Buren,21 of the Rifles, at-
tempting to cut down an Indian youth, received an arrow through
the body, from which he died, in my quarters, a few days later.
The yellow fever carried off the surgeon of the post, Dr. [George
F.] Turner,22 and the paymaster's clerk, and invaded our home,
taking off our Irish maid, and prostrating our Irish gardener; but
naught being never in danger, I escaped.
The time for returning to Virginia having arrived, the only
feasible way of getting back into the busy world was by the mail
sloop that plied between Corpus Christi and Indianola. Boarding
the sloop we sailed through the bay, stirred to fury by the usual
summer gale, and anchored for the night around the headland which
we had always watched anxiously, on mail days, for the return of
the sloop to bring tidings from home. ...
In the morning we were greeted by a sea of glass, ruffled only
by the momentary sight and snorts of numberless heads of great
sea turtles, which appeared to be playing a game of hide and seek:
a novel sight. The route was inland, i.e., in the smooth waters
between the outer islands and the land. Our party (my brother
William's wife, my sister Peggy-afterwards the wife of General Al-
fred Gibbs28-and myself) reached the wharf where, next morning,
Comanches near San Diego on July 11, 1854, in which some of the garrison at
Corpus Christi were involved. See note 21.
19In 1854, there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Corpus Christi, brought not
from New Orleans as Blair says, but from Mexico by a Mexican fruit vessel.
Coleman McCampbell, Saga of a Frontier Seaport (Dallas, 1934), 20.
20George Blake Cosby (1830-1909), a native of Kentucky and a graduate of
West Point in the class of 1852, resigned his commission on May 11, 1861, to join
the Confederacy. He served with the cavalry in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana,
ranking as a brigadier general from January 2o, 1863. After the war he took up
farming in California, where he committed suicide on June 29, 1909. He was
cremated and is buried in City Cemetery, Sacramento, California. Warner, Generals
in Gray, 64.
21Michael E. Van Buren, a native of Maryland, was breveted captain on August
20, 1847, for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco. He died on July 20o, 1854,
of wounds received on July 11 in action against the Comanche Indians near
San Diego, Texas. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United
States Army, I, 980.
22George F. Turner, a native of Massachusetts, was appointed assistant surgeon
in the Army on July 23, 1833. He was promoted to major on January 1, 184o,
and died in Corpus Christi on October 17, 1854. Ibid., I, 974.
23Alfred Gibbs, a native of New York and graduate of West Point in the class
of 1846, was breveted first lieutenant on April 18, 1847, for gallantry at Cerro
Gordo, and captain on September 13, 1847, for gallantry at Garita de Belen. During
the Civil War, he served with the Union Army in Virginia and was promoted to
major general on March 13, 1865. He died on December 26, 1868. Ibid., I, 452-458.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed February 6, 2016.