Heritage, Volume 13, Number 4, Fall 1995 Page: 13
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papers. Lt. Ulysses Grant, writing to his
future wife Julia Dent, remarked:
"The extract from some newspaper you
send me is a gross exaggeration of the
morals and health of Corpus Christi. I do
not believe that there is a more healthy
spot in the world. So much exposure in the
winter season is of course attended with a
goodeal of sickness but not of a serious
nature. The letter was written I believe by
a soldier of the 3d Infy. As to the poisoning
and robberies I believe they are entirely
false. There has been several soldiers murdered
since we have been here, but two of
the number were shot by soldiers and there
is no knowing that the others were not.
Soldiers are a class of people who will drink
and gamble let them be where they may,
and they can always find houses to visit for
these purposes. Upon the whole Corpus
Christi is just the same as any other place
would be where there were so many troops.
I think the man who wrote the letter you
have been reading deserves to be put in the
Guard house and kept there until we leave
the country. There he would not see so
much to write about."
How the "Army of Occupation" celebrated
the annexation of Texas, made
official by an act of Congress passed December
29, 1845, is unknown. On January
8, 1846, Lt. Col. Hitchcock wrote of it in
his diary: "News come of the passage through
the U.S. Senate of the resolutions for the
admission of Texas. Also passed the House
by a decided majority...It only remains for
"As the winter
resembled a marsh, the
water at times being
three and four feet in
the tents of whole
wings of regiments.
All military exercises
were suspended, the
black gloomy days
were passed in
sullenness and silence."
A marker in Artesian Park in Corpus
Christi commemorates the spot where
General Zachary Taylor and his
troops were encamped. Photograph
by Steven R. Butler.
the people of Texas to elect
their officers (already done, I
believe) and Texas becomes a
State of the North American
Union. Meantime we hear that
the Mexican General Paredes,
is determined to depose the
Unknown to Hitchcock,
President Herrera had already
been overthrown by General
Paredes more than a week earlier.
At the same time, John
Slidell, the United States envoy
to Mexico, was making
plans to return to the United
States. His mission was a failure
even before the change in
governments. After Slidell's
arrival in Mexico, Herrera's
government had refused to even accept his
credentials. Outraged by what he viewed as
bureaucratic nit-picking, Slidell wrote
home: "Depend on it, we can never get
along with them until we have given them
Throughout February 1846, Camp
Marcy was rife with rumors of an impending
Mexican invasion, with the size of the
Mexican army growing larger with each
report. At the same time, it was alleged that
some of the northern Mexican provinces
favored the U.S. and had declared themselves
independent of Mexico.
On February 5, 1946, the Corpus Christi
"Gazette" put out its first issue. On the
front page, it carried a roster of all the
officers then serving with the "Army of
Occupation" at Corpus Christi, San Antonio,
Austin, and St. Joseph's Island (where
General Taylor had established a depot to
receive supplies from the U.S.).
Following the failure of Slidell's mission
to Mexico, Taylor's "Army of Occupation"
was ordered to march south and take up a
position on the Rio Grande in order to
assert the claim of the United States to the
territory lying between that river and the
Nueces. The General's instructions read in
part: "It is not designed in our present
relations with Mexico, that you should
treat her as an enemy; but, should she
assume that character by a declaration of
war, or any open act of hostility towards us,
you will not act merely on the defensive, if
your relative means enable you to do otherwise."
As quickly as it had arrived, the "Army
of Occupation" prepared to depart Corpus
Christi. On March 8, 1846, an advance
detachment left under command of Colonel
Twiggs, to be followed, said Taylor, "by
the brigades of infantry, the last brigade
marching on the 11th inst." The roads, he
reported, "are in good order, the weather
fine, and the troops in excellent condition
As expected the last contingents of U.S.
troops at Camp Marcy commenced their
march south on March 11, 1846. With
them went a large proportion of the civilian
population, most of whom had been
making a living off the army. As a result,
the little town that had boomed throughout
late 1845 and early 1846 was nearly
abandoned. Yet because of its excellent
harbor, Corpus Christi recovered. After
the Mexican War, which broke out in
April 1846, it went on to become one of
Texas' largest cities.
Today, it takes a vivid imagination to
picture the site of Camp Marcy as it was
nearly 150 years ago. Most, if not all of it, is
covered by what is now downtown Corpus
Christi. Unfortunately, the exact boundaries
of the camp are uncertain. Only its
HERITAGE * FALL 1995 13
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 13, Number 4, Fall 1995, periodical, Autumn 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45411/m1/13/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.