The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

guards were better armed, and had more military tactics, than to sing
out the everlasting cry through all night "Sentinela alerta."
I have heard in camps wolves howl, also in the woods the voices
of various wild animals the dismal screech of the owl, but that hor-
rible twang of the Mexican watch word, apparently still rings in my
ears.
XV
Mornings when we were marched out of camp, our mongrel, more
than half Indian guard, who numbered more than a thousand men,
who had the proud satisfaction to have 150 betrayed and half starved
Texans for prisoners, in great pomp and parade would pass us on a
gallop, though they were only half clad, and so poorly armed that
they looked more like Indians.
This grand galaxy of New Mexico's volunteers improvised a sort
of kettle drum, on which their expert musician made a most dismal
noise.
On a Saturday about forenoon we reached the camp of the Gover-
nor of New Mexico, Genl. Manual Armijo, a fine, large portly and
fair looking man. Well dressed as he was he made quite a military
appearance. But he was a tyrant, treacherous, and feared and in secret
hated by his people.
We were halted; it was an open rolling prairie with scattered
mesquite trees here and there, and the little creek Gallenas85 run-
ning through the valley.
In the afternoon our men were formed in line, Mexican mounted
men were drawn up in rear and front of us about equal distance, 3o
steps apart, in front and rear, all armed with guns. Next some Mexi-
cans approached with ropes, and tied our men, fifteen in a bunch,
pinioned midway of the elbow and shoulder.
Some seven of us young boys were separated, not tied and placed
outside the guard.
Things looked really very serious; it was expected that all our men
would be shot.
We could see the Mexican camp about half a mile off.
Our men were thus in suspense for about an hour, when all the
cavalry was withdrawn again, and only a dozen of infantry took
charge of us.
It was afterwards rumored, that while we were in that situation,
the Mexican Officers held a kind of court martial to vote whether we
should be shot or not (with the exception of the boys separated).
There was only one majority who was opposed to this summary
execution, and that saved our men.
I should have mentioned that before they tied us they stripped us
of our coats and took our blankets away.
86Gallinas River.

450

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 August 22, 2014.