expressly, with all them green things and signs on it. For
a moment I felt my heart was too full for utterance, but I
thanked the people, that was about, for the compliment, but
they only laughed at me and hove stones. With a broken
heart I went straight off and liquored. N. O. Pic.
Captain Henrie was with the scouting party of Majors
Gaines and Borland at the time of its capture by the Mexi
cans. It was gomposed of three companies of the Kentucky
CAPTAIN HENRIE. 71
and Arkansas cavalry, and numbered about seventy. At a
considerable distance from camp, they were surrounded by
about two thousand horsemen, under General Minon, and
induced to surrender, on promise of being treated as prisoners
of war. The whole party were then conducted under a strong
escort toward the city of Mexico. One officer, however,
escaped he was Captain Henrie.
He was very anxious for a fight, and, with Capt. Cassius
M. Clay, strongly dissuaded Major ,Gaines from surrendering.
He told the men to count their bullets, and if they had one
for every two Mexicans, it was a fair game and he would go
it. He also cautioned them to hit the Mexicans below their
beards, that they might frighten off the others by their groans,
and to give them as much misery as possible. One of the
Mexican officers, recognizing him, cried out in Spanish, "I
shall have the pleasure of your company to the city of Mex
ico, Captain Henrie!" "Excuse me, senor, I generally
choose my own company ;" replied the cool and courtly
It was the second day after their capture, and near the
town of Salado, famous in Texan history as the place of the
decimation of the Mier prisoners, that Major Gaines's high-
spirited mare showing considerable restlessness, the major
requested Captain Henrie, who is a famous rider of the Jack
Hays school, to " mount her and take off the wire-edge of
her spirit." The captain did so, and riding up to Captain
Clay, carelessly remarked, " Clay, 1 am going to make a
break." The Mexican commander, half suspecting his de
sign, placed additional forces at the head and rear of the
column of lancers, within which the prisoners were placed,,
and rode himself by the side of Henrie, who would pace up
and down the line, cracking jokes with the boys, and firing
up the spirit of the mare by various ingenious manoeuvres.
At last, Henrie, seeing a favorable opportunity, plunged his
spurs deep into the sides of the noble blood, and rushing
72 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
against, and knocking down three or four of the mustangs
with their lancers, started off in full view of the whole party,
at a rate of speed equal to the best time that Boston or
Fashion ever made. After him rushed half a dozen well-
mounted lancers, who, firing their escopetas at him, started
off in close pursuit. But it was no race at all the Kentucky
blood was too much for the mustang. The lancers were
soon distanced, and the last view they got of Henrie, he was
flying up a steep mountain, waving his white handkerchief,
and crying out in a voice which echoed afar off through the
valley. "Adios, sefiores adios, senores !"
The prisoners, forgetting their situation, gave three loud
cheers as they saw the gallant Henrie leaving his pursuers
far behind, and safely placed beyond their reach. The sub
sequent adventures and sufferings of Henrie are well known.
After many narrow escapes from the enemy and starvation,
and after loosing his noble mare, he arrived safely at camp,
and gave the first authentic intelligence, of the capture of
Majors Gaines and Borland's party.
Magnanimity of General Shields.
On the 19th of August, the army approached the position
of Contreras, a strongly entrenched camp, defended by twenty
large cannon. On that day our advanced troops suffered
much from the constant fire of the enemy's artillery. The
night closed gloomily. The rain poured down in torrents,
and the darkness was so great, that many of our troops were
dispersed over the country, unable to find their camps and
head-quarters. The suffering and depression which prevail
ed throughout the whole army that night cannot be well
described. Before them, and on the road to the city, Santa
Anna had, by incredible exertions, fortified a position of
great natural strength, and collected behind it an immense
TEXAS RANGERS. 73
and well-equipped army. And here was our little army, with
out quarters, exposed to a merciless storm of cold rain, with
most inadequate means, and insufficient ammunition, brought
to a stand by one of the enemy's outposts. But there were
two men, at least, in our army, who, amid all these discour
agements, preserved their confidence and courage unshaken.
They were Winfield Scott and Persifor F. Smith. The
latter, with the eye of a true soldier, had surveyed the field,
and conceived the plan by which he was confident of carry
ing that important position. Through his Aid, he commu
nicated his plan to Gen. Scott, who was three miles off, and
who, with a map before him, was engaged in tracing the
operations which he had determined to .be the order of the
next day. Gen. Scott was struck with Smith's strategy,
approved it fully, and sent Shields to aid him. That night
Shields' brigade was under arms, and commenced a night
march over a strange and horribly rough country, and under
an unceasing shower of rain. Over the rough pedregal,
through the corn-fields, wading ditches, and ascending and
descending ravines where the men would have to cling to
e,very hanging root or tree to save them from falling, Shields'
gallant volunteers proceeded to join Smith. When the latter
saw Shields coming up, he turned pale, and could not conceal
the mortification and disappointment he felt in being ranked
just on the eve of the great battle he had so skilfully matured.
"Make yourself easy, General Smith," remarked the gener
ous and magnanimous Shields , as he saluted him, " You
missed your chance at Cerro Gordo, but you shall have it
now. I will assist, but not command you."
A small party of Colonel C. F. Smith's police guard of
the city was fired on by a band of robbers or guerillas occu-
74 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
pying a house in the suburbs of the city. Not deeming their
force sufficient to assault the house, they took a position that
would prevent escape, and sent for a reinforcement. The
doors were then forced, and all its inmates captured except
one, who jumped out of a window, mounted a horse and
dashed off at full speed. As he started off, he drew a pistol
and fired it off into the crowd without however, injuring
any one. There was one of Jack Hay's Rangers standing
close by, apparently a silent spectator of the whole affair ;
but as soon as the Mexican* fired his pistol, he leisurely drew
his revolver, remarking, " Ah, ha, my larkey, that's a game
that two can play at!" and at the crack of the pistol down
came the Mexican.
The Texan then mounted his own horse, and after run
ning four or five hundred yards, lassoed the horse and re
turned with him, saying to the officer present, " Well, Cap
tain, as I knocked the centre out of that fellow, I s'pose I'm
entitled to his pony." The officer replied in the affirmative,
and the Texan rode off as cool as though it was an every
day business with him. The Mexicans who were taken in
the house were sent off to the guardhouse, and tried by a
" I couldn't help it."
General Quitman relates the following incident: "With
in a mile of the city of Mexico,, where you know we had hard
fighting, I was standing talking to General Shields as to the
mode of action. Before us the Mexican cannon were belch
ing forth fire and smoke and the musketeers were not idle.
General Shields left me. I took out my pocket glass to re
connoitre, to see where we could make the most effective
attack, and while I had it to my eye, I heard something fall
heavily near my feet. I looked down and behold it was one
APPLYING TO THE HEAD BOSS. 75
of my men. A ball had struck him in the knee and he was
bleeding profusely. His wound was tied up with a handker
chief, and he was removed about five feet from me. I was
interested for the man. He was unable to sit even. He had
twisted himself around, and was feeling for his musket, which
he finally caught by the bayonet, and drew it to him. Occa
sionally I glanced in the direction of the soldier. While I
had been attending to other matters, he had turned on his side
and had actually his gun in shooting position. He fired at
the enemy ! I approached and remarked to him, " My
good fellow haven't you had enough of fighting yet?'
He looked at me, and in a tone which seemed to ask forgive
ness, replied, "Why, General I couldn't help it."
"*i imA'^- Ji
Applying to the Head Boss.
11 Plaze, sir," said an Irish soldier, touching his hat to his
captain, "whin will we be paid off, sir? "In a few days,
Patrick," replied the officer. " Yis, sir," continued Pat,
" and whin, sir, will we be after Santy Anny, the black
guard?" " That's more than I can tell you, Patrick; its
rather hard to tell when or where he will show himself," re
plied the officer. " Yis, sir, thank you kindly, sir, we'll be
paid off in a few days any ways, however," said Pat, as he
touched his hat again and retired. In a few days he again
appeared and opened the conversation with. "If ye plaze,
sir, divil the copper have we been paid yet, sir ! " "I know
it, Patrick," was the reply of the officer, " but I can't help
it ; they are waiting for the paymaster to arrive." " Oh, it's
the paymaster we're a waiting for, is it ? and what the divil's
the excuse he has for not bein' here when he is wanted ?
What's the use of havin' a paymaster, if he isn't on the spot
whin he's wanted ? " said Pat, beginning to wax indignant
at having to wait so long for his ' tin.' The circumstance
76 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
caused him much uneasiness, and after cogitating the matter
over and over, he was struck with a luminous idea, and an
nounced to his comrades that he'd have his money before you
could say "thread on my coat." One morning immediately
after breakfast, off posted Pat to General Taylor's camp, and
approaching his tent, enquired of a soldier standing by, where
the General's ' shanty' was. " That's his tent," said the
sentinel, pointing out the general's quarters. "And is that
the Gineral's tent? " said Pat, taking off his hat and rubbing
his hand over his hair, which had been cut to that degree of
shortness peculiar to the natives of Erin's green isle. "And
where's the Gineral's old grey boss ?" inquired Pat. " There"
replied the soldier, indicating the spot, where the old horse
stood lazily whisking the flies away with his tail. "And is
that the old boss?" again inquired the sprig of Erin, with
great awe, " an' where, if you plaze sir, is the old gintleman
himself? " continued Pat. " There be sits under that awn
ing," answered the soldier. "What!" exclaimed Pat, in
almost a whisper, and in a tone amounting to reverence, " an*
is that the old gintleman? " "Yes," said the soldier walk
ing away, " that's General Taylor." After gazing upon the
* war-worn veteran' in silent admiration for a while, he at
last mustered sufficient courage to approach him. " I beg
your pardon Gineral, but you'll plaze to excuse the bit of
liberty I'm taking in presuming to call on your honor, but if
you plaze, sir, I come on a little mather of business, bein' as
I thought maybe you might be afther helpin' us out of a little
bit of a scrape." " Well," said the General kindly, " what
is the trouble, and what do you wish ? "
" If you plaze, sir, I'd like to know when the hands will
be paid off, sir? "
" When the hands will be paid off? " repeated the General
a little puzzled.
" Yis sir, if you plaze to have the goodness. The hands
have had divil the cint of wages since they've been in the
AN AFFECTING SCENE. 77
Oh, I understand, you're a volunteer, and wish to know
when you'll be paid off. Well, my good lellow, you must
apply to your company officers for that information, I have
nothing to do with it."
" Beggin' your pardon, sir, I did ax the boss about it, but
he didn't give me no sort of satisfaction about it, and so I
told the other hands I would fix it; and bein' as you're the
head boss, I thought I'd be comin' over heije to see if you
couldn't give us some satisfaction."
The * head boss' being unable to relieve the anxiety of
Pat, the latter retired to the 'other hands,' having the satis
faction of saying, that although he had failed in the object of
his mission, he had seen the ' head boss' and his ' shanty'
and ' the old grey horse' which was " glory enough for one
;irt,' < /' f.- .
An Affecting Scene.
Jesus Pico (brother of Pio Pico, governor of California,)
was condemned to be shot, for breaking his parole, and
also for heading an insurrection. Twelve was the hour
fixed for execution. At eleven, the wife and children of
Pico, with a crowd of Ladies rushed into the room of Lieut.
Col. Fremont, (at that time commandant,) and fell upon
their knees, beseeching in the most piteous accents to par
don the husband and father. The children of Pico clung
to Col. Fremont's knees and prayed for their father's life.
The wife, with an agonizing look, begged him not to render
her children fatherless and herself a widow. Shrieks and
groans were mingled with their supplications. Col. Frement
was unable to look upon the heart-rending scene, and hid
his face in his hands ; and the word pardon involuntarily
escaped from his lips. He was not formed to resist the
supplications of those in distress, and the warm feelings of
tiis nature prompted him to pardon Pico.
78 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
The tumult of feelings took a different turn. Joy and
gratitude broke out, filled the room with benedictions, and
spread to those without. Blessings were showered upon
Fremont's head in myriads ; every tongue vicing in thank
fulness. To finish the scene, the condemned man was
brought in ; and then the whole impulsiveness and fire of
the Spanish character, when excited by some powerful
emotion, was fully developed. He had been calm, com
posed, quiet, and almost silent, under his trial and condem
nation ; but, at the word * pardon,' a storm of impetuous
feeling burst forth, and, throwing himself at the feet of CoL
Fremont, he swore to him an eternal fidelity, and demanded
the privilege of going with him and dying for him !
But it was not yet over with Col. Fremont. His own
men required the death of Pico ; he had done them much
harm, and, in fact, was the head of the insurrection in that
district, and had broken his parole. The Colonel went
among them, and calmed the ferment in his own camp. But
others, who were not there, have since cried out for the
execution of Pico, and made his pardon an accusation
against Col. Fremont. The pacified state of the country
will answer the accusation, and show that it was a case in
which policy and humanity went together.
Santa Anna's Gamecocks.
A party of dragoons, while exploring the premises of
Santa Anna, at Mango de Clavo, came upon the building
where he kept his gamecocks. (Santa Anna is well known
for his propensity to fight cocks, though he is not quite so
keen to fight < Los Yankees '.) There was an immense
deal of cock-fighting in that neighborhood for several days.
The opportunity of fighting Santa Anna's cocks was too
rare to be allowed to pass away unhonored ; so the officers
THE RIFLES. 79
had rare sport. One particular fight created great excite
ment. A fierce looking fellow, which they dubbed * General
Taylor,' (not so large as some, but with the game sticking
out all over him,) was pitted against along, gangling chicken,
that bore his owner's name a heavy but clumsy bird, with
but little fight in him.
Well, General Taylor and Santa Anna, as represented
by the .cocks of the latter, were set upon one another, and
after a few heavy hits from the former, the latter ' bambosed'
out of the fight as fast his two legs would carry him, leaving
General Taylor's representative upon the ground, crowing
quite lustily. Cheers, of course, were raised for ' Rough
and Ready,' both cock and man ; but a dragoon cried out
" Licked on his own dunghill, by G d ! "
I rejoice in the glorious laurels which the rifles have won.
It is, as all acknowledge, the fighting regiment of the army.
It entered Chapultepec simultaneously with the storming
party. It was first in all the enemy's works from Chapulte
pec to the citadel. It was the first that entered the city, and
first planted its triumphant banner on the palace of the Monte-
zumas. Wherever bloody work was to be done, " the rifles"
was the cry, and there they were. All speak of them in terms
of admiration. Let me give you but a single instance. Some
of the officers and men were standing together when General
Scott happened to ride by. Checking his horse, he returned
their salute, saying with great energy and emphasis, " Brave
Rifles ! veterans ! You have been baptized in fire and blood
and have come out steel! " Had you seen the unbidden
tears stealing to the eyes of those rough but gallant spirits,
whose hearts knew no fear, and who had never yet, in their
long trial, faltered or fallen back, while their flashing eyes
80 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
and upright forms bespoke its truth, you would have felt with
me that such words as those wiped out long months of hard
ship and suffering. But what told still more the tale of suf
fering and death were the deserted ranks and scanty numbers
of that gallant regiment. Five hundred sturdy men left Jef
ferson Barracks for the plains of Mexico one hundred and
fifty-nine have met us here, and now one hundred and seventy
alone are left to tell the tale. The fate of the rest you know
already. Chapultepec's bloody hill, Mexico's capital, have
cost us an hundred noble fellows, while seven officers have
felt that the rifles were doomed. Our gallant major lost his
arm early in the day. Palmer has a grapeshot in the thigh.
One of our captains saved his life by half an inch, while the
rest, whose slighter wounds permit them to be about, attend
to duty from necessity. Letter from an officer.
Capture of Alvarado.
One day Mister Perry wanted to have a chowder of Mexi-
cano, a la Alvarado^ and was going to let all the school go
down and see him eat it , and he asked Mister Scott to go
down with his school too ; but Mister Scott had just been
eating soup a la Ulua, and he did not care a pin for Mcxi-
cano, a la Alvarado ; so he told Usher Quitman he might
take some of the boys and go. Then Mister Perry told
Master Hunter, who had just come to school, to go down and
watch the Alvarado, and keep anything from getting into it
till he could come for Mister Perry could not go fast.
But Master Hunter was a greedy boy, and had not been
well brought up, and did not care ; and a saucy boy and had
no respect for his betters, and his parents should have been
whipped for not whipping him more for so soon as he got
where it was, he ate up all the Alvarado and more too. He
was very hungry, and had gone a good ways ; but he hadn't
ELOQUENCE OF ACTIOX. 81
orter done so for when Mister Perry and Usher Quitman
came, they could get nothing to eat, and had to go back,
feeling worse than*any body ever felt before or ever will feel
again. Then Mister Perry shut Master Charley up, till he
and the ushers could find out what to do with him ; and one
usher thought they ought to put a piece of rope round his
neck and tie him up to the yard-arm. But Mister Perry did
not dare do that, for little Charley had twenty millions of
friends who would have done so to him, had he done so to
Charley so that all Mister Perry could do was to send him
away from school ; but he gave a smart man two shillings
and sixpence to write a reprimand on Master Hunter, and
told all the ushers to read in their divisions. Yankee Doodle.
The Eloquence of Action.
We rejoice that we are able to relate one good thing that
occurred while Gen. Shields was in our place. A good
honest laboring son* of the Green Isle, had been standing
round waiting for an introduction to his countryman, the
General. Our committee, however, being men of exalted
minds, at least about that time, did not see the honest Hib
ernian, who was too modest to ask an introduction, but fol
lowed the crowd to the railroad depot, where some of our
citizens had prepared a cannon to give a loud farewell to Gen.
Shields. On arriving at a point near the door of the car,
Gen. Shields halted and seemed, for a moment, to be in sol
emn thought, as if the roaring cannon reminded him of other
scenes. Our honest Irish friend during the time, had kept
near his person as if spell-bound, until about the time the
general was in the act of taking his final leave. Poor Pat
could stand it no longer ; he rushed forward to the general,
caught him by the hand, exclaiming, " How are you my
countryman ? I am prouder of you than you are of yonr-
82 ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.
self! " Gen. Shields, with a manner that showed his heart
was in the act, taking off his cap, caught the hand of the
poor laborer, and gave him such a shake as none but a noble
heart in an Irishman's breast could give, exclaiming at the
same time, "How do you do, my worthy countryman? I
am indeed glad to meet you ! thank you, thank you.' 1 Pat
stepping back, and standing some inches above his usual
height, exclaimed ; "And faith, you're the boy under whom
I would like to fight! " C. Paper.
Charge of the Mississippians at Buena Vista.
When a portion of the troops, panic struck, were fleeing
before the shot of the enemy, at Buena Vista, the Mississip
pians were ordered to advance. Scarcely three hundred in
number, with their rifles without bayonets, they advanced to
the charge against a superior force, outnumbering them so
far that they might be regarded almost as a forlorn hope.
Steadily and unwaveringly they pressed on, loading and
firing with terrible effect, and utterly regardless of the deadly
fire of the enemy, which was creating fearful havoc in their
own ranks. All know the result of that charge, and what
effect it had upon the enemy. Of this small, noble band,
no less than ninety odd were stretched upon that bloody field
in one charge. Such a charge has never been equalled in
modern warfare. Just before their departure, a drizzly un
pleasant rain set in, in the midst of which the regiment, under
the command of Capt. Hooper, marched in front of General
Taylor's tent and presented arms. The General was in his
tent, but came out and shook hands with Capt. H., and then
addressed the following remarks to them with much feeling :
" My friends, I part from you with great reluctance. You
are about returning to your homes and your families, covered
with honors scarcely ever equalled. You have won honor
INCIDENT AT CERRO GORDO. 83
for yourselves, your state and your country, and I can only
express a sincere hope for your health and future happiness."
He then shook hands with the officers, and as the regiment
filed off, they gave three hearty cheers for the brave old gen
eral, under whom they have won such green and unfading
Incident at Cerro Gordo.
I continued attending to the various stages of the amputa
tion in the midst of balls and the cry of the enemy, and at
last finished an operation that seemed to have lasted an age.
The serenity and resignation of my companions in this crisis
were admirable, and is above description. All remained
around the patient, attending to that part of the operation
which fell to their share, in the midst of the whistling of balls
and the cries of death ; and when we rose, looking to heaven
with gratitude for our salvation, as we thought, a new peril
came to dismay us. A number of volunteers presented them
selves in front of our entry, and seeing our uniform, cried
" Death to the Mexican officers," and presented their guns
to our breasts. I do not know what sentiment inspired me
in the resolution which I took, but I rushed to the muzzles
of their rifles and showed them my hand, dripping with
blood, and holding a piece of the mutilated leg, cried " Res
pect humanity or a hospital of blood we are surgeons."
My words produced a magic effect. In an instant, an officer
whose name I have since learned to be Pion, stepped between
the volunteers and ourselves, raised their guns with his sword,
and these men, animated by victory, thirsting to avenge the
loss of their general, (General Shields,) mortally wounded,