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soon as he reached the ground; the fight continued some ten or fifteen minutes after their arrival, when the Mexicans retired, and several ponics and other trophies were secured by the victors. These particulars I got from the actors and eye-witnesses, and among them Gen. Quitman, who frequently assured me that the little squad of Mississippians fully sustained the reputation of their state on that occasion, which was as warm while it lasted as need be, as not a single one of Capt. Davis's little command cscaped without a brush or a wound from a Mexican ball.
“Some ten or twelve of those who were wounded were placed in hospital near the scene of the fight (which occurred on Thursday), and all seemed to be doing well, when, on Saturday night, by an unfeeling, or rather brutal command of Maj. Gen. Patterson, the woundcd were ordered to be removed from the house they were in to & house some mile or two off, for no other purpose than to let this Gen. Patterson occupy the house for his hend-quarters (Gen. Scott's and Gen. Quitman's lead-quarters word in their marquces upon tho snnd); the weather at night was very warm.
Mr. M'Donald and others, whose wounds were among the worst, refused to bo rcmovcd; but after the ofliccr who had been ordered to mako tho rcmoval informed Gen. Patterson of this refusnl, it was agreed that some of those who were most dangerously wounded should remain until near daylight the next morning (Sunday), when the atmosphere would be cooler, and the removal took place nt that time, by four men carrying cach one of the wounded in a blanket; this removal, however, irritated Mr. Lott's wound, which was in the thigh. A high fever supervencd in an lionr or two-tho wounded thigh began to swell—that night mortiscation commenced, and nt four o'clock on Mondny morning ho dicd. This removal retarded the recovery of many of the others who were woundcd—but they did recover. I may be wrong in thus denouncing Gencral Patterson, but I can not think so I wish I could. Mr. Thos. J. Lott was about tho only man I cver know who was utterly incapable of fear, and, liko ncarly all truly brave men, he was generous and obliging, often to a fault. He was the grandson of your old friend, Joseph M'Afee, Sen., of Covington County, now dead for many years, and the nephew of Joseph M'Afee, Jun., late senator from that county, and of Madison M'Afee, our late popular auditor of popular accounts, and the cousin of your friend, Col. John Watts, a former senator from that county also.
“The sicgc of Vera Cruz progressed. Gen. Scott closed his lines around the city. Communication with it was cut off by land and by sea, under the command of Commodore Perry. About the 23d or 24th of March Gen. Scott made his last demand on the city to surrender, which, being refused, he gave them warning that at a certain hour he would open his batteries upon the city; and at the appointed hour he commenced a brisk and effective cannonade, which was anowered by fifty guns to his one. This grand display continued for near three days.
“The day after it began my lcalth lind improved, so that Dr. Cuyler, of the regular army (a man as remarkable for his kindness of hcart as he is distinguished in his profession), who had been my physician, perunitted me to rejoin my company. On the 27th General
Quitman informed me that he had received instructions from head. quarters, that, if the city did not capitulate before that time, at one o'clock next morning the wholo American army would be ordered to tho attack. But thio carnage and bloodshed tonsequent upon such an assault was averted by the cessation of hostilities, and the agreement to surrender by the enemy. On the 29th the city was formally surrendered.
"This siege of Vera Cruz cost the American army but seventeen lives lost by Mexican missiles, but hundreds by the climate and exposed life of the soldier. Not one of our little squad but what was more or less sick, and continued so until after we arrived at home.
“ About the 1st of April Gen. Quitman was ordered to advanco upon Alvarado to take that place, and securo as many horses as possible to enable Gen. Scott to move into the interior: the result of that expedition is a matter of history. It is needless to say how much disappointment was expressed by the whole command, when, about eighteen miles above Alvarado, word was received that the place had been evacuated by the Mexican soldiery (some three thousand in number), and the place had surrendered to the navy. The disappointment expressed by General Quitman's command (the Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama regiments) was not at losing the horses, but at losing a chance for a respectable fight, his command being about fifteen hundred.
"After our return from Alvarado Gen. Quitman took up quarters on tlo plain south of the city of Vera Cruz. The only water wo could get to drink was procured by digging some three feet into the loose sand, when the brackish sea-water percolated through, and afforded us an abundant supply, though very warm and disagreeable. This water excited that terrible scourge of armics, the diarrhæa. The Georgians and Alabamians were acclimated, and had learned to be prudent in their diet. The Mississippians, as we were called, were all sick, but no more of us died; but the South Carolininns suffered exceedingly, from thrce to nine dying every day from the time we returned from Alvarado until we left for home.
“General Quitman, at this time, was confident that no more active service would be had by the American army that summer, and ho was confident that after the battle of Buena Vista and the fall of Vera Cruz the war was virtually closed. This opinion was at that time generally entertained both by the American army in Mexico and by the people at home. So with this prospect of an uneventful life in Mexico, and the wretched health of nearly all of us, we determined to return home; and, through the kindness of Gen. Quitman, we procured passage in the American store-ship 'America,' commanded by one Joseph P. Levy. We went on board about the 13th,' together with some 150 invalid soldiers on deck, and some thirty, mostly invalid officers, in the cabin. We paid for cabin passage one dollar per day, and after a passage of nineteen days we landed at New Orleans." The captain having by that time sold out, at more than California prices, a large lot of his private stores, such as brandy, whisky, cigars, etc., which speculation and quick trip was duly reported by a committee appointed by the cabin passengers to Col.
of tho commissary department, on our arrival in New Or
leans, who did not wait to hear the whole story told, but gave Captain Levy permission to retire from the American service.
"I have extended this communication much beyond what I intendcd, but I do not wish to close without a slight tribute to real worth where it is duc. While I lay sick, before the surrender of Vera Cruz, Dr. Cuyler directed Mr. M'Kenzie to procure certain articles of food, ctc., suited to my condition. Mr. M*Konzic sought for them at all tho sutlers' booths, but could not find thcm. llo then went to the quartermaster's department. Ilo was told by the clerks that the things lio wished were there, but were difficult to come at. He told them that Dr. Cuyler thought it absolutely necessary to his friend's recovery that these things should be obtained. This made no impression upon them. He came back and told Dr. Cuyler of his failure, who started him on a sccond search, but with no better success than before, until he reached the quarter-master's department again, where he became very importunate, and the clerks were about to put him out, when Captain Irwin, the chief of that department in Gen. Scott's division, cntered, and by accident overhcard a part of this conversation. He called Mr. M'Kenzic to him, hcard his requests, and demanded of the clerks if these things were there. They snid thcy were, but very difficult to get at. Captain Irwin ordered them to get the articles, and never to Ict him hcar of a soldier applying for any thing and being rcfuscd under such circumstances; that difficulty of access must never be given as an excusc for not furnishing any article in that department. This produced the articles in a few minutes. While the clerks were thus engnged, he told Mr. M‘Kenzie that hereafter, when any thing was wanting in that department, ho must not hesitate to como directly to liim, bo it ovor 80 small, and if it was to bo hnd ho slould havo it. This is but ono of thio lcast of the thousand good offices of Captain Irwin to the sick soldicrs on that line, and he should have a monument to his memory.
“Tho namics of this littlo party of Covington County boys aro, Daniel C. M‘Kenzie, George W. Stoele, Arthur Lott, Wm. Laird, Wm. Blair Lord, Laurin Rankin Magee, Hugh A. M‘Leod, Thomas J. Lott (killed), Cornelius M'Laurin.
“Pardon this very long and hasty document, prepared in the course of a few hours in one day, and from memory alone. Your note revived so many old associations that I found it very difficult to condense and say what I wished to. This has not been written with the anticipation that it will be publislıcd, but you can uso it as you may choose in whole or in part.”
The following beautiful ballad appcared in Harper's Magazine for
September, 1867. It is from the pen of L. A. Bargic, Esq., of Washington :
THE TAKING OF THE BELEN GATE
BY MUDIL BRAIG. " It is an aged soldier,
All seamed with ghastly scars-
From the foaming surge of wars.
Beneath a beechen-tree,
Or clamber on his knee;
With his tales of the long ago,
On the plains of Mexico.
With doubt and fear are rife,
In the air of civil strife.
Assails our native land,
And bravo souls tako thcir stand.
Needs but a foreign foe;
In the war with Mexico.
For their country's trust and fame;
Shall be each sainted name. They were strong to toil and suffer,
They were strong to dare and bleed, They were hearts sent forth from the hand of God,
To meet the time of need!' “The eldest of the children
Is a noble, fair-haired boy,
And a kindling smile of joy;
As at a trumpet's call: "Now tell us of the hottest sight,
And the bravcst dccd of all.' " "Ah!' cries the old man, grimly,
“We had enough to do;
The starry banner fiew;
And the least to favoring fate,
At the taking of the Belen Pass,
And the storming of the Gate. "We had gone through fire and labor
For many a night and day, From Palo Alto's mournful field
To the heights of Monterey.
Contrerns felt our blow,
In the Vale of Mexico. "Chnpultepec is taken!
Upon her ruined walls
Liko a shroud of horror, falls.
For life and home to strive,
Or burned within their hive.
Are dumb bencath our tread, As on wc march, in serried files,
Through a desert of the dead! "All faintly in the distance
Are heard the foc's alarms; And hot, and grimed with blood and dust,
Wo arc resting on our arms. On cvcry wnr-worn visngo,
Stern gricf with triumph blends ; For cach has sought among the ranks
And missed his kin or friends. The voices that were dcarest,
Wc nc'er shall hear them more; Our butchered comrndes lic behind,
And Vengeance stalks before. "Well may we halt our column,
On the stccp so dearly won; Much has been dared, and much is gained,
But more must yet be donc.
To catch a moment's breath;
To the very jaws of Death. "It is a narrow causcway
Across that dark morass,
Upon the fearful pass;
The City inkcs licr stand, Ilurling dcfinncc back upon
Tho invaders of the land.