Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999 Page: 108
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
posed to us, in the upholding the flag of the
This history is not written to stir up sec-
tional feeling or hatred between the North and
South, but on the contrary, is intended to allay
and forever bury those feelings; while every
tendril of our heart's fond affection, is entwined
around over the fair South, her institutions and
her heroes; while Jeff Davis, R. E. Lee, Stone-
wall Jackson, Tom Green, Gotch Hardeman and
Hannibal Boone, will ever be esteemed, loved
and idolized by us, because they deserve to be
enshrined in all southern hearts (and northern
hearts too) as long as devotion to country, hero-
ism and bravery is cherished in the human heart;
Yet the North had some men who also deserve
our esteem and love, chief among whom is
E. R. S. Canby, and the southern hearts, will
cease to beat, e'er the bare mention of the names
of E. R. S. Canby and W. S. Hancock, fails to
make it throb with joy.
In a former chapter of this history I paid a
little tribute to Mrs. Canby, and, as far as my
feeble pen was able, did her justice. I now speak
of her husband, who was worthy to be her hus-
band, that is as near worthy as any man can be
of a pure true and noble woman.
When we took to the mountains it was Gen.
Canby's belief that we would all perish for
water. He knew the country; knew the long
miles intervening the watering places; knew our
condition, and he did not believe that in our
enfeebled condition, we could make those long
marches; hence he had light wagons filled with
barrels of water, and sent them with a squad of
his troops to succor our faint, and bury our
dead, whom he knew would be left along our
trail, and through this kindness on his part, we
were enabled, afterwards to grasp the hand of
many of our comrades whom we were com-
pelled to leave in the mountains as we thought
To those of our comrades who fell into his
hands as prisoners, he was always kind and
accommodating, and this old brigade never saw
the day that they would not have swapped Sibley
for Canby, and thrown in a half dozen depart-
ment commanders (the more the better) to boot
but the universal Yankee, who is some on a
trade himself, wouldn't make the swap.
We never knew how many men we lost in
the mountains and all that we can say is, many
were gone, thier names were dropped from the
roll. After we had all but the 7th left Messilla,
and proceeded down the river the Mexicans
there showed their hand, and to which side they
belonged, by murdering Capt. Clever and six
of his men. As Noel gives a very good account
of our travels from the Rio Grande I will add
When we reached Quitman and started
across the mountains, our men all foot-sore and
weary. That rest we had above had healed our
sores, but the skin was tender and a few days
tramp made them as sore as ever.
Starting across from the Rio Grande to
Eagle Springs we had to make 28 miles with-
out water-men giving out all the way. Arriv-
ing at Eagle Springs we found the Indians had
filled the spring with dead oxen, the carcasses
of some of the oxen of the detachment ahead of
us. So we had to trudge on to Van Horn's well,
without water-horses, oxen and men going out
by the way side and lying down to die. Arriv-
ing there, the Indians had been there too, ahead
of us, and filled the well with dead wolves.
This was in July, the sun was blazing down
upon us, we had come fifty miles without wa-
ter, and we had to make ninety more or die by
the wayside. This was the alternative, and there
was no help for it; tired and weary we limped
along, the road lined with broken-down wag-
ons and carcasses of dead horses, and oxen that
had starved for water, in the detachment ahead
of us. All day beneath the peircing rays of the
sun we limped along, night came but it brought
no rest for us, wearily we toiled along, work-
ing for water nnd for life, but the grand giver
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999, periodical, May 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151406/m1/60/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 28, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.