Notes and Documents
After the cavalry retired, we boys were ordered to get such dead
wood as we could find in the neighboring ridges, and to bring it
to where our men were also guarded. Perfectly useless to have such
company for there was no chance of escape. Next we had to pack
water from the creek I mentioned, which was about 300 yards from
us. In the meantime some Mexicans killed some sheep, quartered
them, and we boys had to serve as cooks for our men. They let
each of us have a butcher knife to divide and serve our men with
meat. Now that was a hard job to portion out rations, and slice them
off equally. Our men having had nothing to eat that day, were hun-
gry; some men swore they would kill me, if they ever got untied
again, for it was impossible to divide portions very exactly. Well, I
concluded I at least would have my share, although I did not appro-
priate an undue portion. I had at least some right to it, for I and
the other boys had to carry wood and water a long distance.
At night, as the men were tied all those in one string had to lie
down at once, nor was any cover furnished them; fortunately it was
not cold, though it must have been then about the 9th of October.
Sunday afternoon we saw some Mexicans pile up our coats in
a heap down the valley, then some 3oo of their men were placed
in line some 500 yards from the pile, and at a signal a race began
for the pile. It proved that the best runners were to have a selection
by snatching; the inferior runners had to do as best they could, and
some got none at all.
That may have been fine sport for them, but it was not to us.
We had nothing but shirt and pants on, nor were we furnished with
any clothing afterwards.
Next day (Monday) our men were untied, each one given a poor
Mexican blanket, in place of our woolen ones of which they robbed
us, and we took up the line of march.
Here I will say that the threat of killing me by our own men, for
being a poor carver was not carried out; I even had not a hard
word spoken to me; they seemed to be again in better spirits. At
any rate I was an involuntary cook for the past days. Mutton, not
fat, without seasoning or any thickening did not make even good
soup, and if it had, we had no spoons or plates furnished us.
Our General and officers and Antonio Navarro, were ordered two
days previous to proceed to San Miguel, and it was some days before
we met them again.
After our men were untied and marched on, speculation was rife
what our destiny would be. It was the opinion of the elder ones that
we would be put to work in the mines.
Now the Texan has a natural aversion to go under ground, unless
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 May 24, 2015.