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

Notes and Documents

mate, they suffered excessively from the cold. Among them were also
many women, women always follow the soldiers in their marches, both
soldiers and women were but thinly and poorly clad. Most of the
soldiers were leading their horses and setting the dry lower leaves of
the palmitos afire to warm themselves; if they burned down then they
marched to another cluster and set them afire, we occasionally would
take advantage of those fires and warm ourselves, but only for a very
brief time, for onward we were hurried regardless of our suffering.
We were so tired and exhausted that often we dozed while mechan-
ically marching along, and only woke again when we were about to
My cousin, two years my junior, proposed to me to hide during the
night among those cluster of palms, I replied it would be certain
death, we had no provisions and no water and did not know where
the nearest settlement was, and if perchance we could reach one we
would be taken prisoners again; let us attempt to stand this fearful
Wild and picturesque was the scene presented by the train of road-
side fires each with a bevy of men huddling around the red-glaring
and fitful lights, the lengthened and flitting shadows coming and
going, which was wild and spectral, and if any civilized person had
seen us then, they would have guessed from our dirty and ragged
appearance that we were a lot of captured savages or bandits. These
flitting fires extended perhaps for a mile or two, for our men being
weary and using an occasional opportunity to warm themselves were
scattered for a great length. The night being dark made the scene
more ghastly, combined with the freezing, howling North wind. The
sufferings, the horrors of that dreadful march can not be effaced from
the memory of those who endured them. It strongly reminds us of the
"witch scene in Macbeth," or "Der Wolf Schulcht" in the opera "Der
The dragoons informed us that they met Col. Cooke's command at
the city of Chihuahua, showing they were many days in advance of
us, besides that we were told that the captain of their guard took the
route along the Rio Grande, where there were numerous settlements,
and provisions could be had; they evidently had a humane officer.
Salezar took us the nearest route to El Paso regardless of our sufferings,
and probable chance of perishing.
Thus we marched on through the night, completely chilled, and
being so sleepy we walked along like a set of drunken men, some sank
down by the wayside and wished to be left behind to perish. A stupor
of perfect indifference to life, came over many of us, the stronger had
to do all they could to rouse and assist the weaker. Daylight came at
last, and with it the hope that the sun would warm our limbs. A halt


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 29, 2015.