the officers had talked and laughed awhile, and stowed away
a few slugs of brandy, in the soldier's locker, they asked the
32 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
green horn how it came he happened to be captain oi the
company. Capt. looked suspiciously around, but his
entertainers appeared too serious and sincere to allow of his
supposing that they were asking for amusement, or attempting
to run a rig on him. He, therefore, replied, "Veil, den, you
must knowsh dat I was tailorsh, and ven the volunterish want
the uniforms, dey come to mine schtore, and 1 makes the
uniformsh for dem. I makesh great many uniformsh for all
one companish, but ven I. vant to get my monish, de d d
volunterish had no monish at all to pay me. Vel, you shee,
dat vas bad, so I vent home to mine vife, and I say to mine
vife, I cannot get mine monish from de d d volunteersh,
and mine vife, too, say dat was bad ; and mine vife and I ve
vent to bed on it. Vel, after a little, ven I was laying in bed
alongshide of mine vife, and shinking how I should get mine
monish, my vife poked me in de shide and say, 'dis ish not
right.' Veil, I did not know vot vas not right, and I ask
mine vife, as she lay in bed. Mine vife say, 4 you must get
de monish from de d d volunteersh,' (no, mine vife did not
say d d ; mine vife doesh not swear.) Veil, I say I shall
be glad to get de monish ; but if dey have not got de monish,
how can I get it ? Den mine vife say to me, 4 You are one
fool ; you must go to dem volunteersh, and you must tell dem
dat dey must make you captaine of de companish, or you
vill put dem all in de jail, and den dey cannot go to de halls
of de Montezumash ; and den mine hushband mine goot
hushbund ven you are captaine, you vill get de monish to
pay de zoldirsh dare vages, and den you can pay yourself.'
I shumps up in de ped, for I see dat mine vife vas right ; so
de next day I vent to de volunteersh and I tell dem vat mine
vife say ; and de next day dey elect me captaine, and I paysh
mine self." The officers could no longer restrain their
laughter, but burst out into one simultaneous shout. The
Captain sloped as well as he was able, and has never ventured
on board a man of war since.
DAX. MURPHY. 33
Shortly after the entrance of the American army into the
capital of Mexico, there died one of those remarkable men,
whose lives appear more like romance than history Daniel
Murphy, a Texan Ranger.
The following is a brief sketch of his eventful life, as it
appeared in the American Star, city of Mexico.
After participating in the capture of San Antonio de Bexar,
when Cos surrendered that fortress, and a well appointed
army, to a handful of Texans, he joined the Georgia Battalion
under Fannin, near Victoria, and was with them when they
surrendered to Urrea, and was marched to Goliad. On the
morning of the famous massacre of that noble band, and after
the first discharge from the enemy. Dan, with two or three
others, succeeded in making his escape, and reaching the
Texan camp. He was again found in the Texan camp
when Bowles, the Cherokee chief, had combined the twelve
tribes to exterminate the whites and drive them from the
country. The result of this campaign was the complete ex
pulsion of the Indians from the settlements. He next joined
the ill-fated Santa Fe expedition, and was again made pris
oner, and again escaped to Texas ; and coming upon the
Rio Grande frontier, like the lamented Cameron, was the
terror of those robbers and butchers under Canales, &c., who
were the annoyance of the scattered settlers. When the
war broke out between the United States and Mexico, Dan
came to the Rio Grande, and has been'present in every fight
we have had with the Mexicans, from that place to this.
His fights are now over ! Twelve years ago, he swore to be
revenged for the massacre of his comrades at Goliad, and
well has he kept his o-ah. He died in the capital of his
enemies, with the flag of his country waving over their con
34 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
Charge of Captain May.
Gen. Arista, after his defeat in the two successive engage
ments of Palo Alto, had fortified himself in a much stronger
position, that of Resaca de la Palma. His troops were
placed in position with consummate skill. He had selected
a point of the road, upon each side of which lay a deep
and impassable ravine. His front line of infantry was posted
on the exposed side of the ravine, while that opposite to the
American army was lined with his batteries. The Mexican
ranks were quickly driven over the ravine, but the deadly
fire of the enemy's batteries prevented the American force
from making a further advance : while the road was rendered
still more impassable by a strong battery of large fieldpieces,
placed directly in its centre, together with flanking batteries.
The infantry had stopped upon, the edge of the ravine;
though not idle, as they were keeping up a brisk fire upon
the Mexican lines; while Ridgely's battery was engaged
with the enemy's in a sharp cannonade, yet with no ulterior
hopes of victory. The crisis had arrived. The sagacity of
the general-in-chief perceived that the main battery of the
enemy must be taken. He gave an order to an aid by his
side, and in a few moments, Captain May, of the dragoons,
galloped towards him. " Sir," said General Taylor, " you
must take that battery." " 1 will do it ! " replied the gallant
Captain, and returned to his command. " Men, follow ! "
And away sped eighty-four dragoons, four abreast, with
their leader four yards in front ; raising a shout as they
swept along, that rang above ihe din o'f battle, while their
horses' hoofs seemed to shake the ground.
But May's moment had not yet come. The gallant
Ridgely obstructed his onward progress. " I am ordered to
charge those batteries,' 7 said May, coming to a halt. Ridgely,
begrimed with powder, and laboring in the humblest offices
about his pieces, turned to his brother officer, and knowing
the dangerous duty he had to perform, said, " Wait, Charley,
CHARGE OF CAPT. MAY. 35
till I draw their fire." The next instant the match descended,
and ere the sharp report of Ridgely's batteries had fairly
broken on the air, the enemy replied, and the copper hail
came whizzing and crushing among the brave artillerists.
Quick as thought Ridgely limbered up, and deployed from
the road, his men jumped on their pieces and cheered the
dragoons as they passed. The dragoons were stripped of
every unnecessary encumberance, and brandished their
weapons with their naked arms, that displayed the well-filled
muscle, glittering like the bright steel they wielded. May,
far in advance, seemed to be a living messenger of death
that Ridgely had sent from his battery at its last discharge.
There followed in his lead the long dark line of his squad
ron ; and as his charger rose upon the enemy's batteries, the
rider turned to wave on his men. That instant the enemy
poured a destructive fire of grape and cannister from their
upper battery, bringing eighteen horses and seven men to
the ground. The Mexicans were completely driven from
their guns, and their fire silenced. But, though repulsed,
they were not yet conquered. Back they rushed to their
guns, and commenced loading for another discharge upon
the gallant squadron. May charged upon the gunners in
the act of firing their pieces ; they fled, one officer alone
remaining, who vainly endeavored to rally his men. Despair
ing of success, with his own hand he seized a match, when
May ordered him to surrender. Discovering that the
demand came from an officer, the Mexican touched his
breast, and said, " General La Vega is a prisoner."
At Churubusco, Lieut. Newman, of the "Green Mountain
Boys'' lost his left arm, while charging with his regimeut (the
9th,) the ranks of the enemy.
36 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
It was on this occasion that, a report having reached Gen.
Scott that the 9th had fallen back, he rode towards the pos
ition occupied by Col. Ransom's men and meeting an Aid
of Gen. Pierce, eagerly inquired if it was so. "No, sir," re
plied the Aid ; "the 9th has charged it has not fallen back."
"Then" exclaimed the General, "the day is oursj" thereby
expressing that unbonded confidence in the New England
bayonet, which is a favorite sentiment of the Hero of Lundy'a
Anecdote of Captain Mason.
Captain Mason, in reconnoitring one of the enemy's works
near the capital, advanced to within a short distance of the
enemy's batteries, when a Mexican officer with a small escort
rode towards him. Captain Mason drew his revolver. The
Mexican then in Spanish saluted " Good morning." The
captain responded. The Mexican then said, " You seem
to be very curious : suppose you come a little closer." "No
I thank you, sir, I can see very well where I am." "Walk
inside, sir ; we will endeavor to treat you as well as the ac
commodations of the camp will enable us." " I am much
obliged to you, sir, for your kindness, but prefer partaking of
your hospitalities on some other occasion ; and, holding his
spy glass to his eye, he continued, " I only want at the pre
sent to see how you are situated. I can see two guns in em
brasure, one in barbet, and I think you have one in embra
sure a little further to the left. That gun I see your men
loading, I do not think you will be able to bring it bear on
me, as I will keep you between it and myself;" and moving
a little to the right, he continued his observations. One of
the escort then spoke in English, and said, "You d d
rascal, you know belter than to come in hero. If I was to
get hold of you, I'd cut your d d throat."
The Captain quietly finished his reconnoisance, and offer-
ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE SANTA ANNA. 37
ing his salaam to the Mexicans, wheeled his horse and rode
off ; the Mexicans returning to their ranks much chagrined
at not being able to decoy the daring officer into the net they
had spread for him.
An attempt to capture Santa Anna.
Late in the evening, a secret expedition set out from the
city of Puebla, about three hundred and fifty strong, under
the command of Brigadier General Lane. The object of
the night march was known only to the general ; yet the
officers and troops felt, having unlimited confidence in their
commander, that it was more than worthy of the sacrifice of
comfort they were called upon to make, by a night ride and
during a cold rain. On leaving La Puebla the command
took the Vera Cruz road ; but after riding about twenty
miles it turned into a track, but little better than a mule path,
covered with broken and jagged limestone rock, that ren
dered the rapid travelling extremely painful to both horse
and rider. They, however, bore it admirably ; and, at
about 5 o'clock, in the morning, the troops took up their
quarters at a hacienda, near the village of Santa Clara, after
having accomplished a march of over forty miles.
At this place the general informed the officers, that his
immediate object now was to capture Santa Anna, who, he
had information, was at Tehuacan, with about one hundred
and fifty men. In order that the Mexican chiefdan might
not obtain information of the presence of his troops in this
section of country, the general ordered every Mexican in
the hacienda, and every one found on the road during the
day, to be arrested and kept close until he left in the even
ing. The order was strictly enforced 5 and at about dusk,
the march for Tehuacan, distant about forty miles, was taken
up, in the full expectation that the wily Mexican would soon
be within their grasp.
38 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
Shortly after leaving the hacienda, at a part of the road
where it runs through a deep and narrow cut, and before the
moon rose, the general and his staff, riding in advance,
came upon a party of Mexicans, armed, before either saw
the other, at a distance of twenty feet. The Mexicans,
eight in number, were instantly disarmed ; but in the rear of
them was found a carriage, from which stepped a Mexican,
with a passport from Gen. Smith, allowing him to travel
from Mexico to Orazaba and back, with an escort of eight
armed servants. This being discovered, the arms were of
course returned, and the cavalcade permitted to go on.
Within eight or ten miles of Tehuacan, the guide received
information that Santa Anna was, without doubt, at that
place, and had with him from one hundred to two hundred
men. With renewed hope every man now spurred his
4 jaded steed,' and on they went quick enough until within
five miles of the town, where a halt of half an hour was
made, and the plan of attack and capture disclosed by the
general to his officers. The party mounted ; orders were
given to observe the strictest silence during the remainder of
the march. The order was obeyed, for every man had an
intense anxiety to obtain the prize ahead.
At early dawn the troops had arrived within half a mile
of Tehuacan. The town was in sight; and the flitting to
and fro of lights, together with the discharge of a solitary
gun, gave hopes of meeting the enemy. As the command
came to the entrance of the town, the dragoons and rifles
dashed to the right and left, and in a few minutes every out
let was stopped ; the rangers galloped ahead toward the
plaza, with their six-shooters cocked, -glancing an eye on
every side, with the belief that the enemy was on the house
tops. The rangers in the plaza, in a moment squads were
galloping through the streets ; but no enemy was to be
found, and in a few minutes the general had the mortification
to learn that the great object of his search had fled two hourg
CAPTAIN JO. 39
before he had arrived, and had taken the road to Oajaca,
with an escort of seventy -five mounted men. The national
flags hung out from the residences of foreigners, and white
flags from the houses of Mexicans in every part of the
town, told that the approach of the troops was known in
advance ; and it was with chagrin that the general learned
that the Mexican, whose coach and escort was stopped
shortly after leaving the hacienda, sent by a short route
across the mountains one of his servants to communicate to
Santa Anna, that American troops were on the road, and, as
he believed, with the intention of capturing him.
Though General Lane's deportment throughout this ex
pedition was that of an accomplished officer, yet, had he
have held the Mexican with his escort under arrest for a
few hours, without the possibility of dishonoring the passport
of an American general, Santa Anna would, most probably,
have been a prisoner of war. As it was, the object of the
expedition failed ; and the only solace the Americans had
for their disappointment was the appurtenances of Santa
Anna's military wardrobe, which he had left in his hurry to
escape. A richly gold laced coat, worth about seven or
eight hundred dollars, fell to the lot of Col. Hays. The
numerous other articles were divided among the officers,
Gen. Lane only reserving to himself an excellent field-glass,
as a trophy of the self-styled " Napoleon of the West."
During Col. Doniphan's march from El Paso to Chihua
hua, the black servants of the different officers of the regi
ment formed themselves into a company. There were
twelve of them, of which number eleven were officers and
one high private. Jo. , servant to Lieut. , was
elected Captain. He was the blackest of the crowd, and
40 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
sported a large black feather, with a small black hat ; also
a large sabre, with an intensely bright brass hilt ; which
same sabre was eternally getting involved in the intricate
windings of his bow legs. With Jo for captain, they were
a formidable body ; and to hear them talk, they would work
During the battle of Sacramento, however, the company
was not to be seen ; but after the action was over, they were
espied breaking out from the wagons, and joining in the
pursuit. That evening one of the officers attacked Jo
about his company.
" Well, Jo, I hear your men were hid behind the wagons
during the fight?"
" Massa, I'se berry sorry to say it -am de fact. De men
wouldn't fight. I called on de patriotism ob de company.
I injoked dem by all dey hold near and dear in dis world
and de next. But it was no use ; de cowards would get on
de wrong side ob de wagons."
" But what did you do, Jo, when you found your men
would not fight?"
" Why, de fact am dis, de fire kept gettin' hotter and
hotter, and dis nigga kept gettin' cooler and cooler ; so, de
best thing I thought dis nigga could do, was to get behind
de wagons his self! "
The Soldier's Bible.
After the storming and capture of Chapultepec, the gallant
9th infantry, under Major Seymour (ihe brave and lamented
Ransom having just before fallen on the heights of Chapulte
pec,) found himself with others at the aqueduct, under the
walls of the city. Here it sustained a most deadly fire from
the enemy's balls and escopetas. Bomb shells, grape, can
ister and musket balls flew thick and fast around them, killing
and wounding a number of his best and bravest men. Lieut.
ANECDOTE OP SANTA ANNA. 41
Jackson, company F, of the 9th, during the melee, received
an escopeta ball in his breast, which, glancing off, whizzed
upon the ground for a great distance, and must have killed
him dead upon the spot but for a fortunate incident, he car
ried in his vest pocket a small copy of the bible, a precious
volume, the gift his sister, just before leaving his New Eng
land home. The ball struck the book and made a deep hole
in it, but it proved as good a breastwork on the occasion as
the cotton bags did at New Orleans to the troops of General
Jackson and saved the life of its owner.
Anecdote of Santa Anna.
The following is copied from the Diario, the official paper
of the Mexican government: "Curing the action of the
20th inst., while our troops were retiring from the bridge of
Churubusco to Candelaria. still combating with the forces
that charged after them r four dragoons, and a captain
of the enemy threw themselves forward into our column with
such rapidity, that they were not observed till they arrived at
the works of Candelaria. They were there first recognized
as enemies, and fired on by the garrison, by which the four
dragoons and the captain's horse, were killed. The captain,
on regaining his feet, was surrounded by some of the Presi
dent's aids, and other officers who came with his column.
They were about to kill him, when the President interposed,
and ordered them only to disarm him. His excellency, after
taking a turn along the embattled ranks, returned to the place
where they had their prisoner, when oee of the officers said
to him, " General, this man ought to be shot ; he has himself
confessed that he came here for the purpose of killing your
excellency." "How so, what says he 2 inquired the Presi
dent. " He says," was the reply, " that learning from one
of the prisoners that your excellency was with this column,.
42 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
he* with the four soldiers that followed him, took the resolu
tion of reaching and slaying your excellency ; for if they ac
complished this it would be a most glorious act, and still more
so if they should perish in doing it." Admiring their daring
bravery, the President replied : " Now, less than ever, will
I allow any harm to be done him. He is prisoner of war ;,
and let him who lays hands-on, him beware. Alas ! if I had
many officers like him, Scott would not now be so near us."
" Ten strike! Set 'em up!"
During the battle of Monterey a detachment of volunteers
were ordered forward to protect Bragg's battery, while dra
goon horses could be procured to supply the places of those
shot down by the enemy. Marching hurriedly out they were
in some confusion, which was observed by a party of Mexican
lancers, who, supposing them to be retreating, instantly char
ged upon them. The officer, seeing their approach, drew
up his men in order behind a chaparral fence and awaited
their charge. On they came, full tilt, expecting to dislodge
the volunteers by their furious onset ; but a't a proper distance
they received a volley from the volunteers, which tumbled
fifteen or twenty in the dusU Not relishing this unexpected
reception, they turned and fled ; in the mean time a howitzer
had been brought to bear on them from the battery, the first
shell of which cut down ten of the hindmost of the retreating
lancers. " Good lick!" shouted one of the b'hoys, " a ten
strike, by G d ! Set 'em up /"
This anecdote reminds us of an old Texan, who, on the
afternoon of the 23d September, got strayed away from his
comrades, by some accident, in the streets of Monterey, and
fell in with a company of the regular infantry. These he
half joined, fighting partly on " his own account" while at
the same time he endeavored to conform as much as possible
" (JIVE THEM H LL." 43
to the discipline of his new acquaintances. In addition to a
heavy fire of grape from the batteries, there was an incessant
rattling of small arms from the tops of the neighboring build
ings ; but the worst customers our troops had to contend with
were an old man and a boy, upon the nearest house, who
were loading and firing their escopetas as fast as possible, and
with an accuracy of aim that killed or crippled at every shot.
The regulars had discharged their muskets at them several
times, yet without effect ; but now came the turn of the old
Texan. Watching his chance, he waited until the old man
and the lad raised themselves above the parapet. No sooner
did he get them in range than he cracked .away, and with
such unerring aim that the same ball pierced both. " Dubs"
ejaculated the old veteran, as the twain staggered and fell,
and as he said it he brought the breech of his rifle to the
ground with a jerk that well nigh broke the stock. Those
who have not yet forgotten their marbles, will be more than
half inclined to laugh at the earnestness of the Texan, in his
anxiety to count " dubs. 11
" Give them H II!"
Late in the day at Buena Vista, during the last charge of
the Mexican Lancers, the Kentucky regiment, after having:
crossed a deep ravine, were nearly surrounded by the enemy-
An officer was despatched to General Taylor, to know
whether they must retreat, as it was almost impossible to
stand their ground against the overwhelming numbers of the
enemy. In a few moments the officer, Capt. , returned.
"Boys," said he, " Old Rough says to give them H 11 ! "
It acted like an electric shock. The regiment raised a
scream of joy, and rushed on to the charge, roaring in the
ears of the * yellow bellies,' " Hurrah for old Kentuck ! "
44 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
Serenading vs Discipline.
Old Rough and Ready is as much noted for his contempt
of unnecessary discipline, as Gen. Wool is for his strong
observance of every point of military regulations. An amu
sing incident illustrative of the prevailing traits of the separate
commanders occured while the army was encamped at Agua
Some of the officers were in the habit of whiling away
part of the night in a sort of uncouth serenade of a medley
of instruments, the best the camp afforded. One evening
they repaired to the plain tent of Gen. Taylor, and fairly
"waked an echo of the spheres" with the heartiness of their
serenade to the popular "Rough and Ready." The old
general appeared before his tent, with a broad smile upon his
features, and invited the 'band' to "step into his tent and 'wet
their whistles' with some of his Madeira or Monongahela !"
The company were delighted with their reception, and, after
playing " Hail Columbia" and " Taylor's march," left the
hospitable old 'Rough and Ready' and proceeded to the
quarters of Gen. Wool, the second in command. "They
played several airs before there was the least intimation that
ihe General was within hearing ; but they soon had a taste
of his hospitality, for a Corporal's guard, by command of
Gen. Wool, marched them off to the guard-house, in violation
of the 571st rule of the service against playing musical in
struments in the camp.
Ludicrous Picture of General Pillow.
The general's plan of battle, and the disposition of his forces,
were most judicious and successful. He evinced on this,
as he has done on other occasions, that masterly military ge
nius and profound knowledge of the science of war, which
has astonished so much the mere martinets of the profession-
LUDICROUS PICTURE OF GEN. PILLOW. 45'
His plan was very similar to that by which Napoleon effected
the reduction of the fortress of Dim, and General Scott was