From everglade to canon with the second dragoons, an authentic account of service in Florida, Mexico, Virginia, and the Indian country

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From everglade to canon with the second dragoons, an authentic account of service in Florida, Mexico, Virginia, and the Indian country
Series Title:
From everglade to canon with the second dragoons, an authentic account of service in Florida, Mexico, Virginia, and the Indian country
Rodenbough, Theophilus F.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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AAP5784 ( LTUF )
024338705 ( ALEPHBIBNUM )
01647683 ( OCLC )

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An Authentic Account of Service in Florida, Mexico, Virginia,
and the Indian Country,




Containing Orders, Reports and Correspondence, Military Records, E/c., etc., etc.


(Late Captain Second Cavalry.)

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THIS Mtmoire de Service has been compiled not only in the
interests of the Army and the Cavalry-especially the Second
Regiment-but also in the hope that it may be the means of
bringing forth from dusty pigeon-holes the traditions and mili-
tary records of other equally distinguished corps and regiments.

The "PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS" are chronologically arranged.
General COOKE, Colonel LEE, Majors TloMPsoN and BATES,
contribute Indian and frontier reminiscences; General MERRITT
touches upon cavalry operations (Army of the Potomac) during
the year 1863; Colonels LEOSER and HARRISON and Major S. ITrn
follow with interesting experiences under Sheridan, in 1864,
whilst the part taken by his regiment in the first successful
exploration of the Great Yellowstone National Park is graphi-
cally described by Lieutenant DOANE.

LETTERS OF A SUEALTERN are extracts from the correspon-
dence of a young officer of the "Second" during the late war
-" Army Letters pur ct simple.

"A TRUMPETER'S NOTES" comprise selections from the diary
of an intelligent enlisted man (eventually a non-commissioned
staff-officer) who saw twenty years' service in the Dragoons.
In the "Rox or HONOR" an attempt has been made to
keep fresh the memory of extraordinary deeds of enlisted men
as a slight encouragement to a class whose share in achieving
military successes is too often ignored or easily forgotten.

For authority to consult the archives of the War Department
in preparing this work, and for other facilities kindly extended by


t_ 3


the AUJUTANT-G.ENERAL of the army, the regiment is under obli-
gation; also to Colonel MARTIN, Assistant Adjutant-General, for
especial official courtesies. To Brevet Brigadier-General I. N.
PALMER, Colonel; Lieutenant CLARK, Adjutant, and other officers
of the Second Cavalry, the Editor is indebted for hearty and valu-
able co-operation.


[All Battles or Important Skirmishes appear in Italics.]

FIRST PERIOD.-1836-42.


Retrospective-The Seminoles-Osceola-Act creating Second Dragoons-Roster and Sketches of Ofilcers-
Organization-Jefferson Barracks-Micancpy-D draws First Blood--Welika Pond-Death of Lane-
General Jesup-Fort Mellon-Coacoochee--Mosquito Inlet-Lieutenant McNiel killed-Sam Jones-Lake
Ilarney-Locha-Hatchee-The Everglades-Growls-The Okefinokee, 17

B )oraers of the Kenakajha-A arrival of General Taylor-Operations during 1838-Taylor's Method of Indian
Fighting-General Macomb-The Council-The Treaty-The Massacre-Caloosahaich i,,-Harney's Letter
--" Romeo "-Sufferings of a Survivor, .. . 33

Camp of Instruction-Recruiting-A, F, G, H, I, K, and Headquarters go North-The Band-Camp Washington
-" Pomp and Circumstance "-General Eustis-General Wool inspects and reports-Return to Florida-
Bloodhounds-Harney in the Everglades -Che-ki-ka-Retribution-Roughing it, . 40

An Informer-The Big Trader-The Summons-The Start-Romance of an April Night-" The Dragoon Bold "
-Daybreak-Cremation-On the Trail-The Choocachattee-" There they are"-In at the Death-Waxe-
hadjo-A Smithsonian Scalp-" Oh a jolly, brave Knight," etc., 47

Corn-Tustenugge-Extent of the Field-Expedition to the Kissimmee-Coacoochee as Hamlet-" Hough"-
Worth assumes Command-Strength and Location of Indians-A Summer Campaign-Rip Arnold's Mess
Chest--Provisions vs. Refreshments-A Night March after a Big Indian-Seth, "the Indomitable "- Ker
ascends the Ocklawaha-Scouting in Canoes-A Narrow Escape-Deadly Exposure of the Troops-An
Amphibious Army, .. . 54

Indians, Real and Ideal-White Freedom and Red Bondage-A Distinguished Hostage-Coacoochee eloquent-
Worth u relecting-Emigration-Operations of May and Beall-A, D, E, F, G ordered to Fort Jesup-
Fauntleroy's Report-C as Bridge-builders-Big Cypress Expedition-Big Huzzimmock of Pilaklikaha-
Burial of Wandell-Departure of B, C, H, I, K for Baton Rouge-Services and Losses of the Regiment-
Monument at San Augustine-The Burial, . 64




Expensive Retrenchment-Washington-Von Moltke-Sherman-Proceedings in Congress relative to Reduction
of the Army-Remarks of Senators and Representatives--Proposition to disband the Regiment-Act to
convert Second Dragoons into Regiment of Riflemen passed; to take effect March 4, 1843-"' Ihe Mule's
Lament," 77

Fort Jesup- Fort Washita-Proficiency of Dragoons in Drill-Lancers-General Scott recommends Remounting--
Secretary of War urges Repeal of Law-Petitions to same effect from Louisiana and Missouri Legislatures-
Bill to reorganize and remount Regiment introduced-Passed March 7, 1844-Rejoicing-Experiments in the
Use of Alcohol-" The Military Toper,". . 83



The Army of Observation-Passing of the Annexation Bill-En route to Corpus Christi-Roster of the Regiment
(B, C, D, E, F, H, K)-Description of the March-Beall ordered to San Antonio with Remainder of Regi-
ment (A, G, I)-Corpus Christi- Amusements of the Army of Occupation-On to the Rio Grande-Lieutc-
nant Hill meets the Enemy-Crossing the Colorado-A Declaration of War-Point Isabel-Matamoras--The
Rio Grande-Capture of Two Dragoons and a Bugler-boy-A Patriotic Rooster-Release of Dragoons-
Ampudia's Warning-Rancheros, . . I

Capture of Thornton's Squadron-Chapita-Thornton's Report-Casualties at La Rosia-Lieutenant Mason-
Army of Occupation assumes the Offensive-Palo Alto-Operations of the Regiment in the Battle-Popu-
larity of the Second-A Council ofWar-Ker reconnoitres-Resaca de la Paima-May charges and captures
Mexican Battery-Official Reports and Personal Reminiscences-Pursuing the Enemy-Release of Thorn-
ton's Party, . 9)

Ker raises the Flag in Matamoras-Drowning of Lieutenant Stevens-Twiggs as Provost-Marshal-Garland
pursues the Enemy-Pen Pictures of Taylor and Arista-H, G, K go North to recruit-A, I reconnoitre-
B, C, D, E at Camp Twiggs-Promotion of Field-Officers-En route for Monterey-Operations of May's
and Ker's Squadrons-Exchanging Compliments before Monterey-A Corn-stalk Bridge-Casualties at
Montereyv-Arrival of Santa Anna-Harney's Detachment with General Wool-Wool joins Taylor-May's
Rear-Guard captured, .. . r14

A Reconnoissance in Force-May at La Hedionda-Capture of Lieutenant Sturgis-Taylor steals a Marc!--
Preparations for Santa Anna-A Starving Army-Miiion's Disappointment-Wool's Dispositions for Attack-
A Mexican Thermopylae-May's Command-Partial Success of the Enemy-Rucker's Balaklava-Checking
the Greasers "-Pike's Account of the Cavalry-A Ruse de Guerre-Rout of the Mexican Troops-May's
Report-Adventures of Lieutenant Sturgis-Buena Vista Statistics, . 2

Arrival of General Scott-His Proclamation-A, B, C, F, I, K report to Scott-D, E remain with Taylor-The
Scott-Harney Correspondence-Harney restored to Command-Dragoons at Sea-Shipwreck and Loss of
Horses-Siege of Vera Cruz-In the Trenches-The Affair of Medelin-Lieutenant Neill is wounded-
Surrender of Vera Cruz-A Troop first within the Walls-Scott's Congratulatory Order-Major Sumner
and the Rifles, .. 31


Preparations for an Advance-Harney takes A ntigusa-Movement of Twiggs' Division-Plan del Ria-I and F
join-Skirmishing-Cerro Gordo-Harney's (Smith's) Brigade captures the Main Work-Superb Assault-
Scott congratulates-Dragoon Officers mentioned-Pursuit of the Enemy--Patterson's Gallop with the Dra-
goons-Santa Anna's Exit--alafia-Thornton's Squadron march to Perote-Santa Anna as the Phoenix-
Guerillas-Barbarous Partisans-Worth occupies Puebla-Mars and Mud-Careless Conquerors and Con-
temptuous Captives-Description of the City -Scott arrives at Puebla with Regiment-Affair of La Iloya-
Skirmish at El Pinal-Loss of a Gift Horse "-Spirited Affair at San 7uan de los Llanos, 138

The Move from Puebla-Buena Vista-Ayotla-Searching for a Weak Point-El Pefion-The Cha!co Route-San
Augustin-San Antonio-Death of Thornton-Tribute by Ripley-Contreras--Churubuscc-" Charging
Home "-Sumner at Molino del Rey-H eavy Casualties-Encrmous Loss of Horses-Fall of C7tafultefec-
The Regiment enters the City of JMexico-Scott's Order-General Taylor's Situation-D and E Companies-
Agua Fria-The Rear-Guard in Mexico, . . 149



D, E, H en route to California-Scouting- Death of Neill-Laguna 7crnado del Muertc-Lieutenant Oakes
wounded near the Nueces-War and Indian Departments-Skirmish with Apaches on Ciboletta-Visit of
Amin Bey-A Flowery Epistle fro m an ex-Dragoon-More New Posts-Hardee's Expedition-Neutrality on
the Rio Grande-Limit of a Post Commander's Authority-Steiner-Arnold Affair-Sioux Expedition-The
Comanches-A, B, C, F, G, I reach Fort Riley-Kansas Troubles-Utah Ex edition-Affair Devil's Gate
Canon-Camp Floyd-The Kicwa.-- Eccrtirg Emigrants to Oregon-" Dcc." Sander's Ride-" The Light
Dragoon,". . . z62

Fort Mason-Reminiscences of May-Lifan I ,... ..-:d.l's Duel with White Wolf-A "Crack" Shot-
The Fight on the Cagalone-Jicarilla Apaches-Expedition and Fight at Agua Calinite-Official Report
-Garland's Report- On the Platte-The fruld Sioux-Battle of Biluecvaier-Official Report-Kansas Dis-
turbances-Rehearsal of a Tragedy-Incident at Lecompton-Attack on Lawrence-Extracts from Reports of
Secretary of War and Department Commander-Rapid March to relieve Fort Riley-The Expedition t
Utak-Terrible Sufferings of the Regiment-Official Report-Camp Floyd-Mutterings of the Storm-The
Dragoons ordered to Washington, . .. . 175


Albuquerque, N. M -El Gran Quivira-Hidden Treasure-A Soldier's Day's Work-Recruits vs. Old Soldiers
Escorting a Bishop-Santa F6 Sleigh-ride-The Buried Burro"-Scout with Lieut. Sturges-Burying the
Dead-House of a Rich Ranchero-Re-enlisting-Jefferson Barracks-Fort Leavenworth- Fort Riley-The
Utah Expedition-Fort Kearney-Fort Laramie-Summit of the Rocky Mountains-Sibley Tents-Rabbits-
Striking Tents before the Signal-Dragoon Donkey-Musical Shoemaker-Dragoons in Harness-An
Eclipse "-A Raven's Breakfast-Pay-Day and Poker-Christmas on Henry's Fork-Mountaineer IIospita-
lity-A Creedmoor Match ("A"-" C ")-Buried Alive-Mrs. T-- 's Cow-Enter Salt Lake City, 194


"Our Troop" (K) at Bull Run-Operations of C, G, and I in the Southwest- lTilson's Creek-Fort Donelson
--al Verde (Col. J. McC. Bell's Account)-Pitisburgt Landig-Pocahontas (Tenn.)-Rejoining the Regi-
ment in Virginia-Death of Colonel Benjamin Lloyd Beall, . . 23r


Purposes of the School-Its Location and Origin-Its Commandants-Social Attractions-Some Jolly Fellows
and their Doings-Carlisle Barracks in i86i-The Peculiarities and Adventures of certain Dragoon Plebeians-
Reveille in a Key-hole-A Runaway Officer of the Day-Band Practice Mounted-" Play something very
softly "-The Permanent Troop-A Sympathetic Bugler-Major Geo. I. Thomas-Invasion of Penn-
sylvania in 1863-Destruction of the Barracks and Subsequent Restoration--The First and last Com-
manders, ..... .245


Joining his Regiment-Officers of the Second-Cantonment Holt-First Command-Patrol Duty-Camp
Sprague-" School"-Brigade Drill-" Ready to move at a Moment's Notice "-Almost an Expedition-A
Washington Coat-of-Mail "-A Charge on Capitol Hill-" Boomerang "-A Dragoon Ball- An Embarka-
tion-Off Fortress Monroe-Landing--A Gallop with McClellan-A Modern Triumphal March-l orktown
-Camp Winfield Scott-The Evacuation-The Pursuit-White House-A Flag of Truce-Gordon's Squadron
at New Bridge-The Rear-Guard at Gaines' AMill-McClellan's Change of Base "-Carter's Landing-A
"Sanitary" Dinner-War's Havoc-A, B, D Recruit-Harrison's Landing-A Siesta-Shaking off Pe-
ninsula Dust-Rejoining the Army of the Potomac-Fort Albany-A, B, D, and L en route to Regiment-
scene Shifting, 23


President Lincoln reviews the Cavalry Corps-Stoneman-Gregg-The Reserve Brigade-A Butterfly-Buford-
Honest John"-" Our Regimetnns "-Private O'Shanter's instructive Remarks--" Listen to the Mocking
Bird "-Mysterious Preparations-The War-Path again-The March to Bealeton-A Deluge-" That's not so
Dusty "-Crossing the Rubicon-Bivouac at Fleischman's-The Barricade-A Midnight Assault-A Comedy
that was almost Tragic-The Rapidan-Foraging on the Fat of the Land "-Louisa Court-House-" Wiring "
the Enemy-Compliments of the Season-Thompson's Cross-Roads-Operations near Richmond-Cutting
Communications-Used Up-Kelly's Ford-A Summary, . 270

Abuse of Cavalry in 8562-McClellan's Theories-Lesson of the Peninsula Campaign-Stoncman Organizes the
Cavalry Corps-Buford's Division and its Elements-Beverly Ford-A Surprise-" Grimes" Davis-The
Second "-Death of Captain Canfield-A Charge with the Sixth Civalry-" Hand to Hand "-O'Keefe-
War's Havoc in the Regiment-Rebel and Yankee Compliments-Wade Hampton Declines-The Pennsyl-
vania Campaign-Daily Routine of a Regiment in the Field-Thoroughfare Gap-C Troop Joins-Army
of the Potomac and its Peculiarities-Guerillas-Mifddleborough-Race fora Stone Wall--Captain McQuesten
and a Fatal Coincidence-UPferville-Charge of the Regular Brigade-Sabre Wounds-Aldie-Gettysburg-
Selden Mortally Wounded-Incessant Marching-Loss of Horses-Nine Combats in Ten Days- Williamsport
-Boonsborough-Ilagerstown-Fuinkstown-Falling Waters-Enemy driven out of Pennsylvania and Mary-
land-Manassas Gafp-Lee's Successful Ruse-The Army of Northern Virginia gives us the slip "-Brandy
Station--Hazel Run-Ordered to Washington to refit-Condition of the Reserve Brigade-Systematic Forag-
ing-How to Live off" the Country-Camp Buford-Return to the Field-Bristoc Station-Cuzliefzer-
Mitchell's Station-A Winter on the Rapidan-The Light Artillery serving with the Cavalry, .. 2E3

On the Road with Sheridan-Todd's Tavern-The Warrior and the Well-Fighting on Foot-Death of Captain
Ash-The Fifth Corps Shows us How to do it "-Chancellorsville-Beaver Dam Station--Mount Olivet
Church-Ground Squirrel Bridge-Yellow Tavern-Jeb Stuart Mortally Wounded-Custer captures Two
Guns-Bivouac-Really On to Richmond "-Night March-A Pavement of Torpedoes-Affair at Meadow
Bridge-Celestial vs. Terrestrial Artillery-A Rest on Malvern Hills-Repairing Damages-Baltimore Cross-
Roads-St. Peter's Church-Bridge-Building over the Pamunkey-A Model Pack-mule-King William Court-
House-The Regiment as a Bearer of Despatches-Marching by the Sound of Cannon-Rejoining the Army

iI _j


of the Potomac-" Welcome "'- anover Ferry--Hawes' Slio--Ruffin's Farm-. ColdlZar-or-A Stampede-
Spencer Carbines vs. Austrian Rifles-" Here they Come, with Sabres, on Foot "-" Only a Few Cavalry "-
Captain McKee, First Cavalry, killed-Lieutenant Egan, Second Cavalry, wounded-Marching to Treviiiian
Station-The Fight, 3c4

The Captive at Trevillian-General Butler-A Shorn Lamb-Swapping Jackknives-A Bootless Encounter-The
Provost Marshal-Companions in Misfortune-Prison Witticisms-General Rosser-A Soldierly Greeting-
Fitz Lee's Troopers-Advancing on Libby "-A Prisoner's Ration-The Good Samaritan-Permanent Scars
-The Fair Ladies of Fluvanna-Arrival at Libby Prison-Effect of a Woman's Smile-En route to Macon-
Kindness of the Natives-The Black Hole of Calcutta-Meeting Old Friends-The Initiation-Tunnelling--
Discovery-The Macon Ration-Our Mess-Detailed as Dish-Washer-Fourth of July-On the Cars for
Charleston-The Plan-The Sentinels Overpowered-The Escape-Wanderings-Mr. Rhett-The Jail at
Charleston-Removal to Roper Hospital-Kindness of Major Echols-Exchanged, . 315

Light--louse Point-Death of Lieut. Beekman-Deefi Bottom-Seeking the Lost-A Night with a Forage Train-
The Last Ditch "-Daylight and Delight-City Point-Ordered to the Valley of the Shenandoah-The
Corral and the Steamer-Giesborough Point-" Our Mutual Friend "-A Ride to Harper's Ferry-Death of
Lieut. Walker, First Cavalry-Rejoining the Regiment-Berryvile-WVhite Post-Newtcwn--Front Royal-
S Falling Back- "Blessed are the Merciful"--Halltown-KIearneysville-Severe Skirmish at Leetown and
Smithfield-Charge on the Enemy's Outpost by Lieut. McMasters-"A Hornet's Nest "-Death of Lieut.
Hoyer-One Night in Smithfield-Too many Infantry at Daylight-Death of Dr. Rulison-The Advance-In
Camp-Battle of Winchester-The Fortune of War-" Home! Sweet Home 329


Pursuers and Pursued-Another account of Winchester-" A Second Gibraltar "-Trophies--Price Paid for Vic-
tory-Captain McQuesten Killed-At Bay-Fisher's Hill--Front Royal-McMaster's Murder-A Night
Attack-" The Cavalry retired from Waynesborough "-" A Pillar of Fire "-Sheridan's Threat-Woodstock
Races-" Flying Artillery"-Ced'ar Creek-The Early" Bird catches the Worm-Middletown-The
"Worm" turns-General Lowell Killed-The "Second" without an Officer-Casualties-End of the
Shenandoah Campaign, . .354



Returning to the Frontier-Indian Affairs in 1865-The Sioux-Stations of Officers, Fall of '63-The Regiment on
the Smoky Hill and the Arkansas-Carbine and Sabre vs. the Axe, the Spade, and the Trowel-Department
of the Platte-Condition of its Military Posts-Exploit of Lieut. Armes with M Troop-Bingham's Suc-
cessful Scout-The Phil Kearney Massacre-Some of its Causes-Severe Marches of A, D, and L
to Fort Laramie, I866-67-Changes and Operations in '67-Murder of Lieut. Kidder and Escort-Severe
Exposure of his Command-Extraordinary Snow March and great Fortitude of Captain Mix's Command-
Expedition-under Brevet Major Noycs after Pawnee-killer-Ice-bound, Frost-bitten, and Snowed-up-Oc-
cupation of Fort Ellis by Lieut.-Col. Brackett's Detachment-D Company's Fight at Atlantic City, TV. T.,
and Death of Lieut. Stambaugh-" Our Indian Policy" again-The Sioux Expedition of '74-An Indian
Agent's "Diplomacy "- B whips the Arapahoes at Snake Mountain-A Rod in Pickle for the Sioux
Indians, .. . . 368



. II


Organization of Colonel Baker's Command-Location of the Piegans-Garrison at Fort Ellis-Route of the Expe-
dition-Severe Cold-Distrust of the Guides-Discovering the Trail-Charge on the Village-L Company-
Enemy lose Heavily-Mountain Chief-Results of the Expedition-Comments on the Death of some Piegan
Women-Lieut. Doane's Account of the Fight-Gen. Sheridan's Order, . . 401

Characteristics of Frontier Service-Opportunities for Adventure-Dragoon Pioneers-Mullins' Wagon Road in
'6o-Extracts from his Report-Departure from Benton-Judith and Musselshell Rivers-Difficulties en
route-Buffalo, Hail, and Inundation-A War Party Outwitted-Glimpse of the Yellowstone--Arrival at
Fort Union-Captain Raynolds' Comments-The Yellowstone Expedition of'70-The Veil lifted-A Grand,
Beautiful, and Wonderful Panorama-The Mountains, Cafions, and Cataracts-Bird's-eye View from Mt.
Washburne-Hot Springs-Jets of Steam, Sulphur, Alum, and Boiling Mud-Dizzy Heights and Unfathom-
able Depths-Game and Fish-The Great Geyser of the World-A Lake Eight Thousand Feet above the
Sea-Yellowstone Park of the Future, . 405

Its Importance in Modern Warfare-Horsemen of Lee and Sheridan-" Dragoons "-Coming Cavalry-Uses and
Abuses--Plan for Improvement of U. S. Cavalry-Recruitment-Instruction-De Brack's Cavalier ModEle--
Clothing-Armament--Mounting-Organization-Prospective and Prophetic, 420


V. INDEX, ... ... 54.....


(Harney, Buford, Cooke, Palmer, May, Beall, Graham, Merritt.)


I. FLORIDA (1836-41): "Jesup Lancer"-A Scout-Chief Bugler, etc.-Riflemen-- One
of the 40,"
II. MEXICO (1846): Resaca "-Before the Charge,
III. THE PLAINS (1856-60): Color Guard-" Old and New "-Corporal, etc., 1851-Utah
Invaders-Campaigning, .
IV. VIRGINIA (1862-64) : "Cold Harbor "-Skirmishers-" A Quiet Nibble "-Sergeant and
Chief Bugler,
V. POST-BELLUM (1866-75): "Sound the Rally"-First Sergeant-" Ready for Guard"
-" On Post "-Vidette,.


LANCERS (French), "
SPAHI (Fr.-Algerine), "
DRAGOONS (French), ".


'" ROMANCE AND REALITY," full-page,
CERRO GORDO-" He who fights," etc.,
A WAR CROSS, 1862-5,



I. THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, showing Battlefields, Marches, and Stations,
II. VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, AND PENNSYLVANIA, from Appomattox to Gettysburg, showing
Battles, Raids, and Camps, . . .






I I j I


N7lrl.;;. B

-IFI: ~*'

lZ -; 81






OR nearly a half-century the Second Regiment United
States Dragoons (and its successor, the Second Cavalry)
has been closely identified with the growth and glory
of the nation, and fills an honorable place in its history.
Its colors have been borne with credit from the deadly swamps
and burning sun of Florida to the snow-capped peaks and grand
cations of Montana; from the Potomac to the Rio Grande; from
the Arkansas to the Platte. No other public servants have more
faithfully, cheerfully, and thoroughly performed their duty than the
officers and soldiers of this proud and gallant corps. No matter if
that duty lay in hunting the crafty Seminole through the almost
trackless waste of the Everglades, or in the capture of a Mexican
battery; the pursuit of Apaches among the defiles of the Rocky
Mountains, or the prevention of civil war in Kansas; a march to
Utah in midwinter, or watching the Prophet at Salt Lake City;
campaigning with McClellan on the Chickahominy, or with Meade



upon the Rappahannock; raiding with Stoneman on the Peninsula,
or charging with Sheridan in the Shenandoah; exploring the won-
ders of the Yellowstone, or guarding the great iron link between
two oceans; whether administering frontier justice with stern
impartiality between white and red, "wiping out" whiskey-traders
and bad Indians with one hand, or feeding a reservation with
the other; making roads, building quarters, escorting treasure;
wherever a public enemy may be found or a friend of the country
protected, there will be some young soldier or vieux niostache of
the Second ready and equal to the emergency. Strong deeds
deserve strong words; but the most earnest commendation would
be but faint praise in return for the valuable and distinguished ser-
vice which this regiment has rendered to the state. Thus much
may be said without being unmindful of its comrades in arms, or,
by contrast with its own brilliant record, affecting in the least
the lustre of their achievements. The story of such a corps,
gleaned from imperfect records, widely-distributed manuscript,
or personal recollections, is but feebly told in the following
At the time from which our narrative dates-the spring of 1836
-the "land of sun and flowers" had been for months the scene of
murder and rapine. The Seminoles, although not numerous, were
extremely warlike and controlled by experienced and daring
leaders. Prominent among these stood Osceola; young and am-
bitious, eloquent in council, and brave in action, he proved a
formidable enemy. The almost impenetrable swamps and thickets
afforded the Indians a natural defence, from which the settlers,
aided by the regular troops, began to despair of driving them.
Earnest and imperative calls had been made by the white inhabi-
tants for reinforcements, ultimately meeting with a response in an
act of Congress, from which the following is a'n extract:

An Act authorizing the President of the United States to accept the services of volunteers, and to
raise an additional regiment of dragoons or mounted riflemen .
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That there shall be raised and organized, under the direc-
tion of the President of the United States, one additional regiment of dragoons or mounted
riflemen, to be composed of the same number and rank of the officers, non-commissioned officers,
musicians, and privates composing the regiment of dragoons now in the service of the United
States, who shall receive the same pay and allowances, be subject to the same rules and regula-
tions, and be engaged for the like term and upon the same conditions, in all respects whatsoever,
as are stipulated for the said regiment of dragoons now in the service.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States may disband the
said regiment whenever, in his opinion, the public interest no longer requires their service; and the
sum of three hundred thousand dollars, required to carry into effect the provisions of this act, is
hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. .
Approved May 23, 1836.

LL -- -~-------~----- --1---~~ 9 Wl


Soon after the passage of the foregoing act the following
appointments were announced:




First Lieutenan4s :

Captains :

Major :


Second Lieutenants :

Wharton Rector declining the lieutenant-colonelcy, Major WIL-
LIAM S. HARNEY, Paymaster, was promoted to the vacancy.
The roster now included the names of several who were not
unknown to fame or were destined to make their mark in the
Colonel TWIGGS was at this time about forty-six years of age,
having commenced his military career in the war of 1812 as an
officer of infantry, in which corps he had risen to the rank of Lieu-
tenant-Colonel when promoted to the Second Dragoons. A mar-
tinet of the old type-arbitrary and capricious at times-he moulded
the new organization with an iron hand, originating certain regi-
mental characteristics and customs of service, and establishing an
esprit de corps admirable as it was lasting.
HARNEY had seen nearly twenty years' service, part of it in
the Black Hawk War, under Old Zach." Of fine physique and



soldierly appearance, an experienced Indian fighter, and a good
judge of men and horses, the new Lieutenant-Colonel seemed pecu-
liarly suited to his new command.
BEALL-more familiarly and affectionately known as Ben "-
was at this time a veritable beau sabreur; born to the saddle, a
superb swordsman, and of a courage bordering on recklessness, he
soon became the idol of his troop and a literal terror to his foes,"
especially if they wore moccasins.
MAY-the youthful and impetuous subaltern-who had, in truth,
vaulted' into his commission, and who a little later was to take
that glorious gallop at Resaca de la Palma, side by side with
steady PIKE GRAHAM and jovial SACKET-lighter weights then
than in after-years-was impatiently waiting a chance to win his
THORNTON, the gallant but unfortunate soldier whose life was
finally sacrificed to the Mexican war-god; AsIIBY, who had already
broken a lance as a volunteer in Florida; LANE, whose brilliant
career ended so soon and so sadly; MCNEIL, the youngest and
the first to die in battle; TOMPKINS, who had been a distinguished
citizen soldier; and- But why continue? Each officer has his
little history, and it is preferable that each name should appear
hereafter blended with the story of those deeds which made the
Second Dragoons famous, and us of later days so proud of our
regiment and its traditions.

I. The Second Regiment of Dragoons will be recruited and organized with as little delay as
practicable, and the several officers appointed will report for orders and recruiting instructions to
the Colonel of the regiment, who will establish his recruiting headquarters 4t some central position
and report to the Adjutant-General.
The Lieutenant-Colonel and the complement of officers for three companies will recruit west
of the mountains; the Major and officers for three companies will recruit in Virginia; and the
other captains and subalterns will recruit under the immediate instructions of the Colonel, except
Captain J. A. Ashby, First Lieutenant Chas. Spalding, and Second Lieutenant S. Thornton, who
will proceed to Fort Drane, Florida, and there receive the detachment of dragoons serving in that
Territory from the officer of the First Regiment, which will be organized, armed, and equipped as
one of the companies of the Second Regiment of Dragoons.
II. The organization of companies and final assignment of officers will be made by the
Colonel at the proper time, with due regard to the interests of the service. The established
recruiting regulations will be strictly observed by all the officers, and all the required returns,
muster and descriptive rolls, reports, etc., will be regularly made and transmitted, through the
proper officer, to the Adjutant-General, who will furnish the required blanks.
IV. The officers appointed will immediately assume their respective duties and proceed in the

I President Jackson had witnessed some feats of horsemanship performed by young May
(then a resident of Washington), and was doubtless thereby induced to give him a commission
in the dragoons. See account of battle of Resaca.

~- .--- ;- ---n

- --


discharge of them. It is expected that the regiment will be recruited, organized, instructed, and
equipped for service in the field by the earliest day practicable.
By order of
Major-General Comtmanding-in-Chief.

Recruits for the new regiment were easily obtained, and from
the numerous applicants for enlistment in a popular arm of the
service an excellent selection was made. The subjoined extract
from the New York Times, October, 1836, may be interesting in
this connection:

"SECOND REGIMENT U. S. DRAGOONS.--We learn with great pleasure that the
recruiting service for this corps, established in this city under the charge of our esteemed
fellow-citizen, William W. Tompkins, one of the lately-appointed captains in said regi-
ment, has been eminently successful. Captain Tompkins has completed the enlistment
and organization of the company to be under his own immediate command, and has
already brought them into a high state of discipline. The company is stationed at
present at Fort Columbus, Governor's Island. We are informed by those who have seen
the corps that it is composed of an exceedingly fine set of young men, many being well
educated and connected. Our citizens will have an opportunity of seeing them some-
where about the 20th inst., when Captain Tompkins purposes to parade his men as an
infantry company."

In compliance with the instructions from the War Department
already referred to, Colonel Twiggs made the following assignment
of officers:

Comnianies. Caftains. First Lieulenants. Second Lieutenants.
First Lieutenant LLOYD J. BEALL was announced as Adjutant.

In the month of December of the same year orders' were
received to organize all available recruits-about three hundred
and sixty men-into companies of sixty each, and hold them in

2 Declined appointment.

3 Appendix II.


readiness to move. Accordingly, on the 25th of that month Com-
panies E, F, G, and H sailed from New York for Charleston, South
Carolina, where they were subsequently joined by Company I and
Major Fauntleroy, and the whole command placed en route for the
mouth of the St. John's River, Florida. Colonel Twiggs infused
such vigor into the regimental recruiting service, after the depar-
ture of the above-mentioned detachment, that in April, 1837, a
depot for instruction was established at Jefferson Barracks, to which
point the headquarters of the "Second" were removed, together
with about four hundred incipient centaurs. This post was pecu-
liarly adapted to the organization of mounted troops, being pro-
vided with good and extensive stabling and fine ground for drill
and exercise; ere long it was the scene of much bustle and
pleasurable excitement. As fast as the "green" horses were
received they were introduced to their future proprietors-equally
verdant, in many instances-whose ambitious "mounting in hot
haste" frequently resulted in a "dismount," for quickness of time
and variety of motions unparalleled in the tactics. However, per-
severance and the admonition of good instructors effected wonders,
and by the time it was summoned to the field this portion of the
regiment had been officially commended for its good discipline and
great improvement in other respects.
Although a detachment of dragoon recruits-subsequently
assigned to the Second Regiment-participated, under command
of Lieutenant Wheelock, First Dragoons, in an encounter with the
Indians on the loth of June, 1836, near MICANOPY, in which the troops
acted so well as to call forth an expression of the President's
approbation,4 yet it was not until the following month that "D "
troop (comprising the recruits referred to) had an opportunity to
"draw first blood" for the regiment. On the i9th of July, 1836,
it bore a distinguished part in a spirited affair at WELIKA POND,
near Fort Defiance, with a large body of Seminoles, who attacked
a train under escort of a detachment of dragoons and artillery
(sixty-two men and two officers), commanded by Captain Ashby,
Second Dragoons. The latter, although badly wounded, refused to
leave his post until the Indians had been driven from their posi-
tion with considerable loss. Lieutenant Maitland, Third Artillery,
upon whom the command subsequently devolved, in his report'


* Appendix I.

- Appendix III.



expresses admiration at the gallant conduct of his commander, and
makes honorable mention of Sergeants Smith and Johnson, Second
Dragoons. The casualties comprised private Holmes, killed, and
ten men wounded. The remainder of the summer campaign was
unmarked by any important engagement, but abounded in toilsome
marches and extraordinary privations, resulting from the natural
obstacles to military operations only to be met with in such a
region as Eastern Florida; numbers of animals died from want of
food, and many of the troops, dispirited by fatigue and exposure
for which they were unprepared, lost the resolution so indispen-
sably necessary to success in this peculiar warfare. D Company
became reduced to one officer and nineteen men; but these carried
stout hearts, if often empty stomachs, mindful of their record as
the advance guard of their regiment.
Just at this time occurred the death, under peculiarly distressing
circumstances, of Captain Lane, already referred to as one of the
most distinguished of the new appointments. It has been asserted
that he was a suicide; but the writer is convinced, upon due con-
sideration of the case, that his death was accidental. He had
recently been assigned to command a regiment of friendly Creek
Indians, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and took great inte-
rest in its organization. The most reliable authority states that,
having only partially recovered from an attack of brain-fever, he
rode some distance to Fort Drane. While sitting in the tent of a
friend, chatting cheerfully, he complained of the close atmosphere
of the tent. His friend stepped out for a moment, leaving Captain
Lane playing with his sabre; immediately after, hearing a groan,
he hurried in, to find that Lane's head had fallen forward on the
point of the weapon, which entered the brain through the right
eye, causing death almost instantly. His military career had been
unusually brilliant, promotion extremely rapid, prospects bright;
and, possessing the regard and confidence of a large circle of
friends, there does not seem a shadow of cause to think that the
death of this promising officer was designed. He was only twenty-
six years of age.

But seldom has thy trophied car, O Death!
Conveyed in triumph to thy dark domain
A richer spoil."

In the month of November, 1836, Major-General Jesup was

- -- --- I`----~;=T~.i;"~"~---i;---r^-l~--~-- .-~:------ =-- '~-"- -


assigned to command the army in Florida, and prepared to take
vigorous measures against the recalcitrant Seminoles. In a letter
to the Adjutant-General, dated January 12, 1837, General Jesup
says: The campaign will be tedious, but I hope successful in the
end. I am not, however, very sanguine; the difficulty is, not
to fight the enemy, but to find him. The difficulties in regard to
transportation are such that every officer is obliged to carry
seven days' rations in his haversack. I often carry subsistence for
six days."
The dragoons, under Colonel Harney, whom we left at Char-
leston en route for the Florida coast, reached that point early in
January, and, after a tedious march across the country, reached
FORT MELLON, on Lake Munroe, about the 6th of February, 1837,
and, as it subsequently proved, just in time.
On the 8th inst. about two hundred Indians, under Coacoochee,
or Wild Cat, attacked the post, which was garrisoned by some of
the Second, Third, and Fourth Artillery, besides Companies E, F,
G, and H of the dragoons. The assault was made a little before
daylight, with boldness and vigor, and, although eventually re-
pulsed, was obstinately repeated and maintained for nearly three
hours, resulting in considerable loss on both sides. The brave
Captain Mellon, Second Artillery, was shot through the breast,
and fell dead at his post. Midshipman McLaughlin, U. S. Navy
(serving with the army), and one corporal and two privates of
E, two privates of G, and one of H Companies, Second Dragoons,
with eight men of the artillery, were wounded.
Lieutenant-Colonel Fanning, Fourth Artillery, in his report
makes handsome mention of the recent addition to his garrison;
he says:
Lieutenant-Colonel Harney, commanding the four companies of dragoons, displayed
during the contest the greatest boldness and vigor, and inspired his newly-enlisted men
with great confidence. I have at all times received from him the most energetic support.
With the officers of his battalion I have every reason to be well satisfied. My eye was
upon every one, and I discovered nothing but firmness and confidence in all. In justice to
them their names must be mentioned: Captains Gordon and Bean; First Lieutenants
John Graham, Howe, Hamilton, and Blake; Second Lieutenants McNeil, Thornton,
Kingsbury, and May."

Soon after, Colonel Henderson, U. S. Marines, met with success
while in command of a brigade-volunteers and some of his own

B Appendix IV.



corps-capturing a number of prisoners, destroying supplies and
Finding that they were being hard pressed, the Indians at this
juncture thought it good policy to cry, "Hold, enough!" and
on the 6th of March, 1837, a number of Seminole warriors signed
articles of capitulation, agreeing to emigrate to the reservation
assigned them west of the Mississippi, and to place in the hands
of the commanding general hostages for the faithful performance
of the contract.
For two months after the execution of this instrument the In-
dians seemed to act in good faith, and were apparently making
preparations to carry out its provisions. The war was believed to
be at an end. The volunteers and militia were mustered out of
service; the four regiments of artillery were about to .be removed
to more comfortable quarters; and numbers of the settlers returned
to the homes from which they had been driven. On the 5th of
June General Jesup informed the Adjutant-General that "the In-
dians, who had surrendered for emigration, had precipitately fled."'
Coacoochee and Osceola, the master-spirits (who had not signed
the articles just mentioned), by threats succeeded in intimidating
their colleagues (who were disposed to act honestly), and induced
the whole party-some seven hundred souls-to return to their
native wilds. The Indians had gained time, repose, and supplies.
of various kinds sufficient to enable them to take a fresh start,.
and had once more outwitted their pale-face enemies.
In the present day there is little evidence that we have profited:
by the experience of the past in our dealings with the red man;;
our motto, as of old, is, "Feed and Fight"; his, Pow-wow and;
Of course another campaign of a retributive nature was at once,
inaugurated. Volunteers were again called for, and the settlers.
promptly organized for defence. On the 4th of September Briga-
dier-General Hernandez, U.S.V., who commanded the troops east
of the St. John's, received information which induced him to
set out with a force of one hundred and seventy men, com-
prising portions of Companies E, F, and H, Second Dragoons,
under Lieutenants McNeil and May, together with a detachment
from the Third Artillery, Lieutenant Frazer, and a few volunteer



horse, leaving Fort Peyton on the 7th inst., and proceeding south.
After a march of forty-eight hours the vicinity of a large Semi-
nole village, near MOSQUITO INLET,' was reached, and, after sur-
rounding it, at dawn of day on the ioth the dragoons, under
McNeil and May, charged the enemy, capturing about thirty-five
Indians, including King Philip and Uchee Billy, noted chiefs,
and a number of negroes. Our loss was the gallant McNeil,
who received a mortal wound while leading his men. This
officer-one of the youngest in service-was deeply regretted,
both on account of personal and professional worth; he came of
a valiant race-son of General John McNeil, late of the army,
and grandson of General Benjamin Pierce, of New Hampshire,
a hero of the Revolution.
This capture led to the surrender of Coacoochee, the son of
King Philip and the principal ally of Osceola. Coacoochee came,
bearing a white plume as a token that all was serene, and
professed a desire to bring about an amicable settlement of
existing difficulties, although, in reality, looking out for a chance
to release his father. General Jesup was inclined to conciliate
and meet the "peace-maker" half way, and soon after was
informed that Osceola and a number of his band would come
in to talk and .avail themselves of the proposed terms. On the
21st of October Osceola appeared at Fort Peyton, within seven
miles of San Augustine, accompanied by over seventy picked
warriors, all well armed with rifles. After propounding some
questions to Osceola, who gave very reluctant answers, General
Hernandez, by direction of General Jesup, who had become weary
of so much duplicity, gave a signal, and one hundred and fifty
dragoons, under Brevet-Major Ashby, suddenly appeared, com-
pletely surrounding the Seminoles; the prisoners, who up to this
time had shown much uneasiness, at once "accepted the situa-
tion" with the wonderful self-control peculiar to the race. Gen.
Jesup, in a letter explaining his action, stated that the measure
was so promptly and judiciously executed by Major Ashby that
the Indians, although their rifles were loaded and primed ready
for action, had not an opportunity to fire a single shot." It was
,subsequently ascertained that Osceola had come prepared to take
"General Hernandez and staff after.the same fashion! Soon after

8 Appendix V.



the young chief Coacoochee succeeded in making his escape from
the fort at San Augustine, where he was confined. Proceeding
south, he reached the camp of Sam Jones, who was on his way
with his tribe to meet General Jesup. The representations of the
youthful ex-ambassador, who was naturally exasperated by the
treatment he had received, were sufficient to deter the wary old
chieftain from coming in at that time, and to turn his steps
in an opposite direction. Ar-pe-i-ka was said to be the most aged
Indian in the Territory at the time, being upwards of seventy-
eight. For many years he had lived near Fort King, and was
known as Sam Jones, the Fisherman." He declared himself a
great prophet and medicine man, and, on account of his great
age, had acquired an ascendency far above his merits." He was fond
of planning campaigns and witnessing the subsequent operations
from a distance-in other words, endowed with more discretion
than valor. His name appeared so frequently in print during
the war that some festive poet has immortalized himself, if not
his subject, as follows:


Ever since the creation,
By the best calculation,
The Florida war has been raging ;
And 'tis our expectation
That the last conflagration
Will find us the same contest waging.

And yet 'tis not an endless war,
As facts will plainly show,
Having been "ended" forty times
In twenty months or so.

Sam Jones Sam Jones thou great unwhipped,
Thou makest a world of bother ;
Indeed, we quite suspect thou art
One Davy Jones's brother.

The war is ended," comes the news ;
"We've caught them in our gin:
The war is ended past a doubt-
Sam Jones has just come in!"


-- --------


But, hark next day the tune we change,
And sing a counter-strain ;
"The war 's not ended," for, behold !
Sam Jones is out again !

And ever and anon we hear
Proclaimed, in cheering tones,
Our General 's had "-a battle ?-no,
A talk with Samuel Jones" !

For aught we see, while ocean rolls
(As though these crafty Seminoles
Were doubly nerved and sinewed)
Nor art nor force can e'er avail,
But, like some modern premium tale,
The war's "to be continued."

In consequence of a renewal of hostilities the First Infantry,
and that portion of the Second Dragoons which had been "setting
up" at Jefferson Barracks, received orders"1 about the Ist of
August, 1837, to take up the line of march in time to arrive at
Tampa Bay by the i5th of October. Colonel Twiggs and his
command left St. Louis on the 5th of September, and arrived
at Jacksonville, Florida, on the 31st of October, after an extraor-
dinary march. The Jacksonville Courier gives the following

The following is a list of officers belonging to a detachment (Companies A, B, C,
and K) of the Second Dragoons, arrived in camp about a mile from our town, Octo-
ber 31:
"Colonel D. E. Twiggs, commanding; Captains W. W. Tompkins, E. S. Winder,
W. M. Fulton, and L. J. Beall; Lieutenants E. D. Bullock, A.A.Q.M., R. B. Lawton, and
L. Darling, Acting Adjutant.
We were surprised to witness the fresh and healthy appearance of this body of
officers and men after so long and, at times, difficult march. The condition of the horses,
at the same time, struck us forcibly as evidencing a high state of order and attention. The
detachment left Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, September 5, and marched through Illinois
to Shawneetown, crossing the Ohio; thence through a portion of Kentucky to Nashville,
Tennessee ; thence over the Cumberland Mountains, crossed the Tennessee River to the
Lookout Mountain at Ross's Landing; thence through the Cherokee country to Milledge-
ville, Georgia; and thence to this place, marching, from an actual calculation, twelve hundred
miles in fifty-five days."

The regiment might well be proud of this the first test of its
endurance and horsemanship. Many a bold and successful rider at

10 Appendix VI.




the tourney would fail to bring his horse over such a rough and
broken course unscathed. Without taking the rest they so much-
needed, these sturdy horsemen embarked upon three or four small
steamboats and moved up the St. John's to Volusia, one hundred
miles south of Black Creek, and the principal crossing-place for
the Indians on that river. Disembarking, the dragoons found the
banks lined with their comrades of the Third and Fourth Artillery,
and covered with the paraphernalia of an important rendezvous.
General Eustis, to whom had been assigned the command of most
of the regular troops in Florida, directed Colonel Twiggs to
reconnoitre the country between the St. John's and the Ock-
After several days spent in what proved to be uneventful
observation, Twiggs's command returned to Volusia, and, there
being joined by General Jesup, the entire brigade marched over-
land to Fort Mellon, reaching that post on the 26th of November.
Colonel Harney had previously proceeded about sixty miles south
from Lake Munroe and fifteen miles from the source of St. John's,
and unexpectedly entered upon a large sheet of water unknown
to the settlers. It was found to be navigable for small steamers,
and, as a compliment to its discoverer, was called Lake Harney.
General Jesup determined to establish a post at the head of the
new lake, and sent Major Dearborn with a detachment for that
purpose. General Eustis, with the principal force, moved by land
on the I8th of December, sending Major Lomax, of the artillery,
with two companies of dragoons and a battalion of the Fourth
Artillery, in advance, to construct bridges and cut through the
dense hummocks which obstructed the line of march. They
reached Lake Harney on the 25th, without finding any Indians,
although many recently-deserted villages were passed on the
way. General Jesup, becoming impatient, left the main column,
taking with him about five hundred mounted men, including
all of the Second Dragoons save one squadron, which remained
with General Eustis, and the more slowly moving infantry. After
a terrible march of twenty days they brought the enemy to bay
on the LOCHA-HATCHEE, and, after a smart engagement, dispersed
them. In this affair General Jesup was severely wounded in the
face. From the graphic letter of an officer of the expedition is
taken this extract:



JUPITER INLET, E. F., January, 1838.
S. "We arrived at this place this morning after one of the most extraordinary
marches ever made in this or any other country, considering the obstacles to be overcome.
For nearly two hundred miles we passed through an unknown region, cutting roads
through dense hummocks, passing innumerable cypress-swamps and pine-barrens, inter-
spersed with a nearly impassable growth of saw-palmetto, and, for the last three days, wad-
ing nearly up to our waists in water. Our privations have not been less than our fatigue,
the men being almost naked, and one-third of them destitute of shoes. We arrived on the
Locha-Hatchee, which empties into Jupiter Inlet, on the 24th instant. When within four
miles of the place, word was brought that the enemy was posted there in a thick hummock,
on both sides of the stream, and had fired on our advanced guard. The dragoons and
mounted men-mostly Tennesseans-immediately set off, and the artillery advanced as
quickly as possible. When I came up, I found them hotly engaged. We had a six-
pounder and howitzer throwing grape, shells, and congreve rockets into the densest part
of the hummock-if such there could be, where every part was so thick that a man couldn't
see three feet beyond him-while the Tennesseans entered on the left flank, the dragoons
on the right, and the artillery in the centre. The main body of the Indians were posted on
the stream, which, when our men came to, they found in most cases over their heads.
Many of them contrived to get over, when the Indians fled up and down the hummocks,
and in a few minutes totally disappeared. We had two killed in the affair and six
wounded of the artillery, one wounded of the dragoons, and nine killed and twenty-three
wounded of the Tennesseans. General Jesup was wounded in the early part of the action,
the ball laying open the left cheek just below the eye. Fortunately for us, Major Kirby
and Lieutenant Powell arrived here last night from the St. Lucie with supplies, when we
were out of forage and with only two days' subsistence for the men. I would tell you
much of the country had I time, ink, and paper; but I have very little of the former and
none of the latter. All I can say is that it is a most hideous region, in which nothing but
serpents and frogs can exist. The Indians themselves say that they cannot live here after
March. While you are freezing we are melting with the heat, which equals that of July in
New York."

In his report to Colonel Twiggs, Lieutenant-Colonel Harney
states" that but fifteen men of his detachment, under Lieutenants
May and Craig, crossed the stream above referred to, and that
upon attacking the enemy in flank and rear they rapidly dis-
appeared. Lieutenant-Colonel Gates, commanding the Tennessee
Cavalry, also reported that "Captain Tompkins, Second Dragoons,
whose company was engaged near him, displayed great gallantry
during the action."
A brief description of the country in which the troops were
operating may not be out of place.
The Everglades resembled a vast lake, the water of which,
during the dry season, did not average more than two and one-
half feet, and being almost entirely overgrown with "saw-grass "

1 Appendix VII.


of about seven feet high, and studded with numerous little
wooded islands, presented to the view in every direction an in-
terminable series of beautiful glades. It was through such pic-
turesque but formidable obstacles that the dragoons and their
friends had recently passed, not without a little very pardonable
"growling," if we may judge from the following copy of a letter
written by an officer of the Second Dragoons:

We have had a severe time of it, wading in morasses and swamps, and encountering
difficulties, and enduring without a murmur (?) hardships of which no one can conceive
who is at a distance. Our march from Fort Mellon to the southern portion of Florida was
marked by much suffering and fatigue to officers and soldiers and a great destruction of
the finest horses that I have ever seen. Our regiment suffered a great loss-one that I fear
will not be made up in some time; nearly the whole is now mounted, but on indifferent
horses. We have all the scouting to do at this season, as it is too hot for foot-troops. I
assure you that this war is far from being at an end. The Mickasuckies have now about
five hundred warriors, and they can remain here until they deem it proper to surrender.
To say that we can perish them out' is nonsense, as the whole country is filled with fine
beef, the woods abound with deer and turkeys, and the streams and ponds have an abun-
dance of fish. The enemy can elude us, at any moment when we are in pursuit, in the
dense hummocks which afford a safe shelter to them. In many hummocks no troops can
operate ; but the enemy have small, beaten trails, with which they are familiar, and pass out
of our reach.
I often see it asked in many prints, 'Why do the troops not surround the hum-
mocks?' I can only say that the hummocks are sometimes twenty miles long and ten
miles wide. . You can have no conception of the manner of our living in the field ;
we scarcely have transportation enough to carry the pork, bread, and coffee which alone
compose our bill of fare, and the blanket which shields us from the storm. Yet amidst all
this our troops, barefooted, their pantaloons cut off as high as the knee by the saw-
palmetto, press forward in the defence of their country and in checking the depredations
of the savage upon the inhabitants of this region, whose presses teem with abuse upon the
army now serving in the Territory. The officers are alienated from home, kindred, and
friends, and compelled to remain in this inglorious war, defending a domain which can
never be densely populated, and protecting some of its inhabitants who would suffer much
by comparison with the savages."

The writer was evidently under the influence of a "heavy dis-
gust," and although his statements bear the impress of much truth,
yet one cannot help thinking what a noble chief of the Council
of Grumblers" (whose sessions were held at the Fort Ellsworth
sutler store nearly thirty years after) he would have made.
In the meanwhile the Creeks had been harassing the settlers
near the southern boundary-line of Georgia, and a detachment of
troops, having too closely scrutinized their movements, saw the
Indians melt away into the dim recesses of the Okefinokee. This,

I_ _/ _

- ----~I--------~-~--===~~~ ~-~----. .I.;_ ~---~---


swamp was of immense extent, more difficult of access than any
previously mentioned, and had, up to this time, never been penetrated
by a white man. In the month of August Captain Beall, with
his company (I), determined to attempt an exploration of this
terra incognita. Finding a "fresh" Indian trail, he soon dis-
covered that it could not be followed mounted, as his horses
mired the first step taken. Dismounting his men, he entered
the swamp. The heat soon became so oppressive as almost to
impede respiration. It seemed like a spot where the breath of
heaven was forbidden to enter, while the rays of the sun poured
down, as through a convex glass, upon the aching heads of the
party. After following the trail for about four miles, on a surface
that continually trembled under foot and at last became entirely
obliterated, the ground began to give way, the soldiers frequently
sinking to the waist in black mud, the stench from which soon
became so intolerable as to induce vomiting. Convinced himself,
by sickness, of the impracticability of continuing the route, Cap-
tain Beall directed a counter-march, and once more gained the
"open," where the grateful shade of the pine-trees and the pure
breezes from the north were hardly sufficient to revive the failing
energies of his half-poisoned command. Indeed, as Patten says:

"A lengthened trail ye tread, my braves,
And difficult its sign ;
Through hummock and through everglade,
By marsh and tangled vine."

____~ __



ERY soon after the affair of the Locha-Hatchee General
Jesup made certain suggestions to the War Depart-
ment, which, after a lapse of many years, seem fraught
with much wisdom:

"In regard to the Seminoles, we have committed the error of attempting to remove
them when their lands were not required for agricultural purposes; when they were
not in the way of the white inhabitants; and when the greater portion of their country
was an unexplored wilderness, of the interior of which we were as ignorant as of the
interior of China. We exhibit in our present contest the first instance, perhaps, since
the commencement of authentic history, of a nation employing an army to explore a
country (for we can do little more than explore it), or attempting to remove a band of
savages from one wilderness to another.
"As a soldier it is my duty, I am aware, not to comment upon the policy of the
Government, but to carry it out in accordance with my instructions. I have endeavored
faithfully to do so; but the prospect of terminating the war in any reasonable time is.
anything but flattering. My decided opinion is, that unless immediate emigration be
abandoned, the war will continue for years to come and at constantly accumulating.
expense. Is it not, then, well worthy the serious consideration of an enlightened
Government whether, even if the wilderness we are traversing could be inhabited by
the white man (which is not the fact), the object we are contending for would be worth,
the cost? I certainly do not think it would; indeed, I do not consider the country south
of Chickasa-Hatchee worth the medicines we shall expend in driving the Indians.
from it.
"If I were permitted-and it is with great diffidence that I venture to make the
suggestion-I would allow them to remain, and would assign them the country west
of the Kissimmee, Okee-Chobee, and Panai-Okee, and east of Pease Creek, south to the
extreme of Florida.

"Should it be determined to remove the Indians by force, and continue the war
until they submit unconditionally, I desire that this communication be confidential, and
that the matter be considered confidential at Washington, in order that I may have
information of it before it can be communicated by letter-writers to others."

To this the Secretary replied that the Government desired the
removal of the Seminoles to the West as early as practicable; that
with reference to the marauding Indians of Middle Florida, their-

k ------


capture or destruction was suggested. To this General Jesup
refers in his final report of July 6, 1838, as follows:

"Your decision in relation to the Indians was received on the 17th of March.
On the 19th I directed the Seminole chiefs to meet me in council at 12 o'clock on
the 20th. None of the chiefs attended the council, and I directed Colonel Twiggs to
seize the whole party. Five hundred and thirteen Indians were secured on the 21st
and the two succeeding days. Passue Micco, with fourteen others, escaped."

General Jesup complimented Colonel Twiggs and his command
for "the admirable manner in which they performed the duty
assigned them," and especially that it was accomplished without
the loss of a single drop of blood on either side."'
On the 27th of April Colonel Harney had a sharp skirmish with
Sam Jones about twenty miles below Key Biscayne, but, as usual,
the enemy fled into the everglade precipitately before our forces
could overtake them.
The next two months passed unmarked by any important event.
The regiment was, however, doing its share of scouting, wading
through morasses, building bridges, cutting roads, or playing at
hide-and-seek with the slippery foe. On the I7th of June Captain
L. J. Beall, with Lieutenant Howe and thirty men of Companies
C and F, whilst endeavoring diligently to find the enemy in the
neighborhood of San Felasco, near Newnansville, and on the
BORDERS OF THE KENAHAPA, suddenly came upon his trail. The
Indians were soon discovered encamped near a hummock, and,
although promptly charged by the dragoons on foot, succeeded
in gaining the shelter of the trees with but slight loss; and in the
unequal skirmish which ensued, the guide, Captain Walker, was
mortally wounded and six of the men less seriously disabled. The
Indians lost four warriors killed and several horses and some rifles
,captured. Owing to the superior strength of the enemy-some
:sixty-and the nature of the ground, Captain Beall was forced to
retire; he commends' in high terms the bearing of Lieutenant
IHowe (who had a horse killed under him) and the excellent
,conduct of the men.
General Jesup having reported to the War Department that a
portion of the troops serving in Florida might be detached, an
-,order' was issued directing that six companies of the regiment be

SAppendix VIII.


2 Appendix IX.

3 Appendix X.


transferred to the Cherokee country as early as practicable. Some
time elapsed before this was done, as General Zachary Taylor,
who succeeded General Jesup, thought he had use for all the men
in the command, and more too. From the report made to the
Adjutant-General of the army by General Taylor in July, 1839,
a synopsis of the duty performed during the remainder of the
year 1838 may be gleaned. Colonel Twiggs was placed in com-
mand of an important district,4 with the control of ten companies
Fourth Artillery, six companies Second Dragoons, and some
militia; the remaining four companies of dragoons were distributed
among the other district commanders or employed under the eye
of the commanding general in special and important service. The
names of Lieutenant-Colonel Harney, Major Ashby, and Captains
Beall and Winder are prominently mentioned in this report. The
General says in conclusion that-

"The exertions made, the labor performed, and the privations endured by our
troops, although not always successful in bringing the enemy to battle, have been
unparalleled. Besides what has been done around the Okefinokee, and of which I
have no official knowledge, it will be observed that fifty-three new posts have been
established, eight hundred and forty-eight miles of wagon-road and three thousand six
hundred and forty-three feet of causeway and bridge opened and constructed."

General Taylor's plan of operating against the Indians was
peculiar. He divided the country into districts of twenty miles
square. In the centre of each a post was to be established, and
occupied by a detachment of twenty or thirty men, a part of the
number mounted. The commanding officer was required to scoul
his district every alternate day, and was held responsible that it
was clear of Indians.5 The success of this measure was never fully
tested, owing to a change of administration which soon after
Congress had appropriated $5,000 for the purpose of holding a
treaty with the Seminoles.
Major-General Macomb, commanding the army of the United
States, was despatched to Florida in person, as it was thought his
high official position would give greater weight to the contemplated
negotiations. He arrived at Garey's Ferry in April, and at once
made arrangements to open communication with "the hostiles,"

4 Appendix XI.

Z~ ~

5 Sprague.


appointing the Ist of May for a general council at Fort King. The
Indians were, however, somewhat suspicious of his intentions, and
it was not until the 17th that Chitto-tuste-nugge, principal chief of
the Seminoles and Mickasuckies, came in. The final council was
held on the 22d. Some fifty Indians were present. A large council-
chamber was erected, and General Macomb and staff, with all the
officers of the post in full uniform, were escorted to the council
by the band of the Seventh Infantry and a company of dragoons
on foot. White flags were hoisted at different points; a fire was
built in the centre of the chamber, around which the Indians were
seated in profound silence. Pipes and tobacco were then produced,
and, amid a cloud of smoke, the Indians passed around, shaking
hands with all present. The terms of peace were fully explained;
that they were to go below Pease Creek, and remain within the
prescribed limits as shown by the black lines drawn upon the map,
and be at peace-this to be accomplished by the 15th of July next
With some discussion the terms were agreed to by the Semi-
nole chiefs, and the council terminated after a session of four
hours, and apparently to the satisfaction of all present. One of the
stipulations of the agreement was the establishment of a trading-
house at Charlotte's Harbor, on the Caloosahatchie River. Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Harney was charged with the execution of this part
of the programme. A detachment of twenty-six dragoons from his
own regiment, under Sergeant Bigelow (E), had been detailed as
a guard for the trader, Mr. Dalham, and his goods. The Indians
came and went, apparently delighted with the chance to trade,
and, by their excessive friendliness, lulled the soldiers into a fatal
sense of security. The usual vigilance was relaxed, and on the
morning of the 22d of July, while the little garrison was sleeping,
all unconscious of the impending danger, the savages swooped
down upon their prey, and within ten minutes thirteen white men
had ceased to exist. Three or four soldiers, with two negro inter-
preters, were captured, while the remainder, with Colonel Harney,
who happened to be at the post that night, escaped.
Statement of the dead, wounded, and missing, at the massacre by the Indians, at the
trading-house, on the morning of July 23, 1839: Escaped-Lieutenant-Colonel W. S.
-Harney; privates Dunsmore (A), Dutcher (D), Britton (A), Horton (A), Powell (A),
Starke (A), Warner (A), Britton (F), Hutchins (E), Eastman (F), Tucker (F), Willis6 (F),
6 Wounded and recovering.

___ 1



Barrett (A)-fourteen. Missing and Supposed Killed-Sergeant Simmons (A); privates
Thompson (A), Jeffs (F), Bedford (D), Second Dragoons; Mr. Dalham, sutler; Morgan,
sutler's clerk; Howard, Hughey, citizens in employment of Mr. Dalham; Sandy, Samp-
son, negro guides-ten. Killed on the ground-Sergeant Bigelow (E), Corporal Haywood
(D); privates Nicholas (C), Luther (C), Brown (A), White (F), Farrier Mee (F), Second
Dragoons ; Mr. Smith, in the employment of Mr. Dalham-eight."

"SYNABEL, FLORIDA, July 22, 1839.
"The sloop 7ane, from Tampa, arrived at the mouth of Synabel River late in the even-
ing while the tide was running out. We were unable to proceed to the encampment,
which was situated about eight miles up the river. We proceeded, however, early next
morning, and got about five miles up, when we met a sloop with seven or eight men in
her, and perceived that something was wrong, as the men in said boat were some half
naked, and others with their heads bound up. Their cry was, For God's sake turn
back; for Colonel Harney and all his men are wounded !' The savages had surprised
the poor fellows at a time when least expected, just before the dawn of day; some were
shot while lying in their beds. The men had not even time to seize their rifles. Those
who escaped ran for the river and swam off to a sloop (the one that we met). The
first sergeant was wounded before reaching the river. An Indian from the bank entreated
him to turn back and bring his men with him, and they would not hurt him. He
foolishly turned back, and two or three others followed his advice. They were led
away by the Indians, and were afterwards shot.
"After turning back with said sloop we stopped at the mouth of the river, and
perceived a canoe running down, which we at first took for Indians; but judge our
surprise to find Colonel Harney and a soldier, who, during the murder, had taken to
the wood on the bank of the river, and there found the canoe, and succeeded in mak-
ing their escape. The first word from the Colonel was how many men had escaped
and how many rifles had we left, which, upon examination, we found to be three.
"The gallant Colonel immediately determined on going back, as in all probability
some of the men had escaped and were yet on the banks of the river. It was a very
hazardous expedition to proceed eight miles up a river lined with Indians, and only
two or three rifles to protect themselves. The men muffled their oars, so as to make
as little noise as possible, and started at about eleven o'clock at night. They got to
the camp just before daylight, and after crawling up the bank, the first thing that met
their view was the body of one of their comrades, mangled in a most shocking man-
ner, scalped, and his entrails taken out.
"They proceeded a little further, and found some six or seven in the same
situation. Judging it not prudent to remain long, they seized on what few things the
Indians had left, which were three kegs of pickles, a bag of corn, and some coffee,
and returned to the sloops. The Colonel despatched one sloop to Tampa with two
men that were wounded, and with our boat we proceeded for Cape Florida. The first
day we were fired upon by Indians, about fifty miles from the Synabel, but we were
too far from land for the shot to take any effect.

"The Indians have got considerable booty. The sutler had an assortment of
goods worth about two or three thousand dollars, and about one thousand dollars
in specie. The soldiers had fourteen patent rifles, six carbines, one keg of powder, a
number of percussion-caps, and a great quantity of private property belonging to Colo-



nel Harney and soldiers. They had placed every confidence in the Indians. They
would come into camp every day and talk with the men, and, when asked if they
were satisfied with the treaty, they answered they were."

In the same connection Colonel Harney's letter, and the state-
ments of Corporal Haywood' (who was discovered by a scouting
party seventeen days after the massacre in a starving condition),
and of Sampson,8 the negro interpreter (held a prisoner for two
years), may be interesting.

Colonel Harney wrote:

ST. AUGUSTINE, E. F., August i, r839.
"DEAR SIR: During the session of Congress of 1838-9 an appropriation of $5,000
was made, with a view of defraying the expenses of a treaty to be entered into with
the Seminole Indians. General Macomb, receiving orders from the head of his de-
partment, met the Indians in council at Fort King, E. F., in May last, where it was
agreed, on the part of the United States, that a trading-house should be established in
the Indian nation. I was charged by General Macomb with the execution of this duty, as
also all the arrangements regarding the Indians within the limits assigned them. My
first instructions were, however, to proceed to Tampa Bay and call upon General
Taylor for such force, etc., as I might deem necessary. I informed the General com-
manding the Army of the South of the instructions I had received from General Ma-
comb, and called on him for two companies to aid me in the duty to which I was
assigned; but, to my surprise, the General refused to aid me by furnishing a single
officer or soldier, declaring that he had none disposable; that a disposition of the
troops had already been made, and he would make no alterations until the Indians
evinced a disposition to regard the treaty by removing into the limits assigned. From
this and other conversations held by me with General Taylor I clearly perceived that
if any advancement in the provisions of the treaty was to be made, it would be accom-
plished without his assistance. Agreeably to my instructions from General Macomb,
I told General Taylor that a trading-house was absolutely necessary for carrying out
the views of the Government, and that I should endeavor to procure a suitable person
to go with me and commence a trade with the Indians. Pursuant to this plan, I se-
lected Mr. Dalham, and instructed him as regards the wishes of the Government. He
accompanied me to the Caloosahatchie, and selected a site for a trading-house within
about 400 yards of a camp of twenty-eight dragoons, who were armed with Colt's
patent rifles. Having all these matters in proper train, I proceeded to Key Biscayne,
where a detachment of dragoons was then stationed. As I had no commissioned offi-
cer with me, I was compelled to leave the camp at Caloosahatchie in charge of Ser-
geant Bigelow, who, by his former conduct, had evinced himself worthy of the most
implicit confidence. Unfortunately, by his ill-placed reliance on Indian integrity
he has fallen a victim to Indian treachery, dying, as he had lived, a brave soldier.
When I left this Sergeant, I instructed him never to place himself nor any of kis

8 Appendix XIII.

r _ I_ ____ _;~_;_;_ _~~

~c -'"L -1

t Appendix XII.


party in the power of the Indians, and, however confident he might feel of their friend-
ship, to use at all times the same precautions as if he suspected their faith. On my return
from Key Biscayne to the Caloosahatchie, bringing with me the detachment of dra-
goons, one of the chiefs informed me that all the chiefs were coming to have a talk
with me within a few days. I replied that, being then on my way to Tampa, I would
see them on my return, in about ten days. I returned from Tampa in six or seven
days, and found the chiefs had not as yet come in, but might be expected in two or
three days. I therefore resolved to await their arrival before I made any further move-
ment. Having ordered my tent to be pitched and my baggage put ashore, I remained
on board the steamboat on her return towards Cape Florida, stopping at the mouth
of the river, about twelve miles distant. I returned to the camp near the trading-house
about ten o'clock in the night of the next day, this being, in fact, the first time I had
been there. Greatly fatigued, I threw myself down without undressing, intending to
rise again in a few moments, but slept until I was awakened by the firing of the In-
dians. The sequel you are already acquainted with. Thus you have a plain, unvarnished
statement of the facts; and this is made to rebut the aspersions which a letter from
General Taylor's staff officer is likely to cast upon me as a military man. That letter
was published in the News at St. Augustine, and I have not replied to it, looking for
justice from the proper quarter, but, I regret to say, looking in vain. You will per-
ceive I was entrusted with the execution of arrangements entered into with the In-
dians; that it could not be expected of me to attend to the minutiae of inspecting
sentinels and posting guards; and that if any censure was attributable to any one, it
should be laid to the authority which refused me the proper means of guarding the
trading-house by not complying with my requisition for an officer.
Lieutenant-Colonel Second Dragoons, C;,r 'andinl; East St. John's.
"To Hon. F. L. DANCY."

It is a relief to turn from human treachery to a striking in-
stance of fidelity in the brute creation. An Irish greyhound, owned
by Colonel Harney, and which he had brought from Missouri, had
become strongly attached to Mr. Dalham, the trader at the Caloosa-
hatchie. Upon the massacre at that post, it was believed by the sur-
vivors that the dog had either been killed or carried off by the
Indians. Fourteen days after the occurrence, a party, sent to give
decent burial to the slain, found this faithful animal, barely able to
stand, emitting a feeble howl over the remains of his kind master.
The corpses around were denuded and mutilated by wolves and
vultures, but Dalham's was unmolested.
This noble devotion was duly appreciated by the troops, and
Romeo," the trusty guardian of a dead friend, was long after the
cherished favorite of the garrison at Tampa Bay.


N the spring of 1839 a camp of instruction was estab-
lished at Trenton, N. J., for the especial benefit of so
much of the force then serving in Florida as it might
be practicable to withdraw temporarily from the field.
WASHINGTON, May 20, 1839.
With a view to the better instruction of the troops and the improvement of the discipline
of the army, such portions of the regiments of dragoons, artillery, and infantry as may be
withdrawn from their stations without detriment to other interests of the service will be con-
centrated during the summer months at some convenient point best calculated for a camp of
The arduous and desultory service in which the troops have been so long engaged, the
unavoidable dismemberment of the regiments, and separation of so many officers from duty in
the line while employed in other service, could hardly fail greatly to impair the esprit de corps
of the army, as well as its discipline and efficiency. These must be restored, and every
proper effort speedily made to place the service on a foundation which will ensure its steady
and uniform advancement.
Major-General Scott is charged with the formation and direction of the proposed camp of instruc-
tion, the immediate command of which will be assigned to such officer as he may designate.
In choosing a position for the camp, regard will be had to health, cheapness, and facility of
transportation, both of troops and supplies. The rules and regulations and established systems
for each arm of service will be punctually observed and strictly practised; and no other than
the prescribed military dress will be worn. All necessary supplies and transportation will be
promptly furnished by the respective departments of the staff, and two officers of that branch
of service will be ordered without delay to report to Major-General Scott for duty at the camp
of instruction. By order of the Secretary of War.
R. JONES, Adjutant-General.
At the same time six companies of the regiment (A, E, G, H,
I, and K) were ordered to proceed to Garey's Ferry to be dis-
mounted and then placed en route for Fort Columbus, New York
Harbor,2 there to await further orders.

I Appendix XV.

2 Appendix XVI.


Major-General Scott was assigned to the general control of this
camp of instruction, charged with locating it, and with the selec-
tion of an officer for the immediate command. In order that the
ranks of the Second Dragoons-depleted as they were from the
hardships and casualties of an active campaign-might be filled
with new "food for powder," recruiting offices were opened in all
S the principal cities, and Colonel Twiggs, as Superintendent, estab-
lished his headquarters at Fort McHenry, with his non-commis-
sioned staff and the band. The latter was in the pride of its
strength and proficiency. The press was loud in its praise, and
from numerous encomiums the following is selected:

"The corps of U. S. Dragoons now quartered at Fort McHenry is said to have
attached to it a band of musicians which for number and masterly performance is not
exceeded by any other in the country. The reputation which this band has attained has
caused numerous parties of ladies and gentlemen to visit the post, and these have lately
become so frequent that it is found impossible to gratify the wishes of all. We are
happy to learn, however, that in order to prevent disappointment, Lieutenant Asheton
has in the kindest manner offered to send the musicians to the city every Friday after-
noon-when the weather permits-during their stay in their present quarters, for the
purpose of affording the citizens generally an opportunity of hearing them."-Baltimore

The camp of instruction was called Camp Washington, and, as
before stated, was established at Trenton, N. J., as the most con-
venient location.
Brevet Brigadier-General Eustis was assigned to the imme-
diate command, and under his skilful management it soon became
what it was intended to be-a model school. The troops threw
aside the ragged and somewhat grotesque attire so well suited to
the Southern swamps, and donned the spotless and imposing uni-
form which rendered the republican soldier no less presentable at
court (also republican) than in the equally ceremonious camp,
where, however, but few carpet-knights were to be met.
Those were not the days of agricultural fairs, Crystal Palaces,
nor yet of grand expositions; the "Centennial" had not yet been
S conceived by the mind of American patriot, and therefore the
spectacle of a small army of national defenders rehearsing the
science of war in the very lap of peace-the charging horsemen,
the nodding plumes, the brazen-throated guns, the glistening bayo-
nets-caused sensations-shall we say of patriotism? (as good a
word to express our meaning as another)-of patriotism to fire the


bosoms of a thousand gentle women from the Monumental City of
" My Maryland," through the abiding-place of many Quakeresses,
to and beyond the river of Hendrik Hudson.
"None but the brave," etc., would seem to have been indeed a
truism in this case, judging from the sudden and immense popu-
larity of the New Jersey capital as a summer resort. Grave papas
and manoeuvring mammas alike surrendered at discretion.
General Eustis was of the "old school," and everybody knows
what that means: stern and inflexible, not to say a trifle martinet-
ish, "on duty," and yet, of, that solemn thing, mild and courteous
-the "dear old General" of the maidens aforesaid, and "that dis-
tinguished man" of the dignified dowagers.
Constant drills, necessitating profound research in tactics, asso-
ciation with clean, well-dressed, well set-up comrades, and a uni-
form and wholesome discipline, met with the inevitable result-a
healthful tone, increased efficiency, and an improved esprit de
On the 3Ist July a grand ball was given by the officers sta-
tioned at Camp Washington, which was attended by the most
beautiful, the bravest, and the wisest in the land. The Cabinet
and the Diplomatic Corps were represented, and all united in call-
ing it "the most delicious ball we ever attended." How many
fibs "we" tell unconsciously!
Quickly the summer flew by, and in September General Scott
made an inspection of the camp, and' the troops passed in review
before the old hero, who loved such sights "passing well." The
headquarters of the regiment were transferred to Fort Columbus in
the same month, and on the 3oth of October, after a month's drill
and instruction at the hands of the exacting and experienced
Colonel, the "right wing," comprising A, E, G, H, I, and K troops,
was subjected to a rigid inspection by the Inspector-General of
the army, Brigadier-General Wool, from whose report the follow-
ing extract was subsequently furnished for the information of
"whom it may concern":

It affords me pleasure to say that the Second Dragoons, under arms, appeared
extremely well, and the rank and file as fine-looking men as I have ever inspected in
the service of the United States; a large majority of them were said to be recruits. It
was owing to this circumstance-many having but recently joined, as reported by
Colonel Twiggs-that they were but partially instructed in the exercises and evolutions
of infantry. For recruits, they fired a salute extremely well, marched well, and per-


formed a few evolutions with accuracy and promptitude. The band appeared to be
well instructed in field-music.
Except the non-commissioned officers, the rank and file were armed only with car-
bines, two companies with those of musket, and four with the rifle calibre. They should
all be of the same calibre. . .
"Three companies were equipped with old black belts and cartridge-boxes, and
three with white belts and new cartridge-boxes; the latter appeared to be well made.
Uniformity should be preserved in furnishing equipment, as in anything else; a
variety of equipment of different colors does not add to the military appearance of the
rank and file.
"The rank and file were well supplied with clothing, and of good quality; and,
excepting a few just joined, each man was furnished with a soldier's book, containing
his description and an account of clothing. The books had been issued but a day or
two before inspection; consequently the officers, as reported, had not time to make all
the entries required by regulation.
"The regimental books, kept by the Adjutant under the direction of the Colonel,
were in very good order, and especially the record-book, which appeared to contain a
very minute and accurate account of the movements and service of the regiment.
"The sick-seventy-five in number-appeared to be well attended by Assistant-
Surgeon Russell,, and abundantly supplied with medicine and hospital stores of good
The rations furnished by the Commissary of Subsistence were ample and of excel-
lent quality. I have heard of no complaints against this or the medical department in
regard to the supplies furnished by them.

I have already observed that the Second Dragoons, excepting the non-com-
missioned officers, were armed only with carbines. As the rank and file are not taught
the sword exercises, it may not appear necessary to furnish them with swords. The sword,
however, is the legitimate weapon of cavalry; without a practical knowledge of its use
the dragoons would be no better than mounted infantry. The one may be made as
efficient as the other. To make the dragoons what they ought to be, they should not
only be taught the evolutions of cavalry, but the exercises of the sword. A well-
mounted and trained regiment of dragoons, capable of wielding the sword against
Indians in a country where they could operate, would be more efficient and destructive
than three regiments of any other corps. Hence I would have this corps perfected in all
its exercises, and especially in that of the sword. To accomplish the latter each regi-
ment should be furnished with at least one sword-master capable of instructing them in
the sword exercises. In conclusion, I have only to remark that the officers appeared
ambitious to excel in this particular arm, and I have no doubt, with the requisite means
and opportunity, they would make their regiment all that could be desired by the

By the Ioth of November the Second Horse," thoroughly re-
cuperated in health and strength, reorganized and newly equipped,
sailed from Governor's Island for Savannah under command of
Colonel Twiggs." Companies A, E, H reached Savannah on the

3 Appendix XVII.


i4th, and companies G, I, and K and the band arrived on the i6th
of the same month. Both detachments proceeded without delay to
Garey's Ferry, accompanied by one hundred recruits for the com-
panies remaining in the field.
The massacre of Colonel Harney's detachment at the trading-
post effectually dispelled all hopes of an early termination to the
tedious "bush" warfare, now verging on the fifth year of its con-
tinuance. The legislature of the Territory attempted to introduce
a new element, or rather ally. An agent was authorized to proceed
to Havana and procure a kennel of bloodhounds-dogs long noted
in the West Indies for tracking and pursuing the negroes. He
succeeded in obtaining three, and returned on the 6th of January,
1840. The exorbitant price of $151 72 each was paid. Fi\'.
experienced Spaniards accompanied the dogs, and were the only
persons capable of using them effectively. The method adopted
by the Spaniards to hunt the Indians was to feed the hounds libe-
rally on bloody meat, then muzzle and control them by a leash.
The dogs were attached to columns of troops, attended by their
keepers, and young calves were driven with each detachment to
feed them. Tracks of Indians were found, but the dogs, finding
the scent so different from that of a negro, refused to follow, and
the experiment proved a total failure.' The subject caused some
discussion in the North, and an enquiry was made in the House
of Representatives, by Mr. Wise of Virginia, as to whether the
General Government had been a participator in so infamous a
mode of exterminating human creatures." To this the Secretary of
War replied that he had not authorized the employment of blood-
hounds, but that some six months previously he had favorably
endorsed a recommendation of the General5 commanding in Florida
that the experiment was deserving of trial, and that he was of
the same opinion still. The War Department, however, subse-
quently, under date of January 26, directed General Taylor that,
in the event of the dogs being employed by officers under his
command, they be used entirely for tracking the Indians; and
in order to ensure this and to prevent their injuring any person
whatsoever, that they be muzzled and held with a leash while
following the enemy. The sickly season had returned, and opera-
tions were suspended for some months. On the 21st of April,

' Appendix XVIII.


* Sprague.


1840, General Taylor was relieved from command at his own request,
and was succeeded by Brigadier-General Armistead. The Spanish
Indians inhabiting the southern part of the Territory began to be
very troublesome, and under their chief, Che-ki-ka, became the
terror of the coast. The force in Florida at this time consisted
of 4,214 men, of whom 570 were on sick report, leaving 3,644 present
.or duty, comprising the Second Dragoons, nine companies Third
Artillery, and the First, Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth
regiments of infantry. This force was distributed as judiciously as
possible, but rather acting on the defensive to afford protection to
the various settlements, which were in a fair way to become de-
populated unless greater success attended our army in the future.
The dragoons were, of course, in a constant state of "agita-
tin," as is generally the case with mounted troops. The periodi-
cal rains during the months of March, April, and May flooded the
country, rendering many parts inaccessible.
Early in December Lieutenant-Colonel Harney organized an
expedition into the Everglades, which resulted most satisfactorily.
From the minute report' of the commanding officer it appears
that with ninety men, including detachments from the Third Artil-
lery, under Captain Davidson and Lieutenants Rankin and Ord,
and twenty-one dragoons, armed with Colt's rifles, under Lieutenant
Saunders, Second Dragoons, Colonel Harney entered the Everglades
on the 4th of December. He had procured a number of canoes
from an officer of the navy whose vessel was lying off the coast.
After a tedious march-now carrying the canoes on their shoul-
ders, now dragging them through the swamp, and anon launching
them into some small lake or pond with which the vast marsh
abounded-our amphibious friends saw the sun set on the first day
out" with considerable relief, and passed the night, as sailors
should, lying on their oars. The next three days passed without
discovering the enemy, but with an improvement in the depth of
water. On the 7th, after a lively boat-race, two Indians were
overhauled and hung to a tree by order of Colonel Harney, who
had not forgotten the Caloosahatchie affair, but determined to make
the treacherous foe recollect his visit. Within forty-eight hours
Che-ki-ka Island was reached, and Che-ki-ka and ten of his band
were surprised and captured. In the pursuit the chief-the same

SAppendix XIX.


who led the attack on the trading-house-was mortally wounded
by Private Hall, Second Dragoons: truly an act of retributive
justice !
On the 15th, having had several skirmishes with the enemy, with
a loss of one man killed and one wounded, Colonel Harney caused
twelve Indians to be executed and left hanging, ghastly pendants to
the moss-covered pines. A number of squaws and children who
had been captured were brought back by the command. Having
reached the head of Shark River, it was descended to the sea, and
the command returned to Key Biscayne by way of Indian Key,
having been twelve days and nights in the Everglades, striking
consternation to the hearts of the savages, who had hitherto be-
lieved themselves safe from molestation in such a fastness.
The following remarks by Colonel Sprague, in his History of
the Florida War," seem appropriate here:

The peculiar service devolving upon the officer in the scouts through the country
was quite as debilitating in professional exertions as the effects of the climate upon
his constitution. His duties were divested of all the attributes of a soldier.
His command of thirty or forty men resembled more a banditti than a body of soldiers
in the service of their country. At the head of his little band, without shoes or
stockings (although the dragoon might occasionally indulge in one of those luxuries?),
his pantaloons sustained by a belt, in which were thrust a brace of pistols, without
vest or coat, his cap with a leather flap behind to divert the rain from coursing
down his back-in this manner he led his detachment through bog and water day
after day, dependent for food on the contents of his haversack, strapped to his back.
The only stars over his head were the stars of heaven, the only stripes were lacerated
feet, and the only sound to welcome him after his toils was the vulgar abuse of the
inexperienced and vindictive."





N a bright April day in Florida, "in the year of '41," there
crossed the Hillsbbro' River, at Tampa Bay, a handsome
and well-mounted Uchee Indian, in his war-paint and
feathers, who, riding up to the commanding general's
quarters, reported that he had passed at early morning, some forty
miles north of the post, on the Fort Clinch Road, a dead and
mutilated express-rider, surrounded by fragments of a cut-up and
destroyed mail. Suspicion was at once aroused among the soldiers
S of the garrison, pointing to the painted warrior as the perpetrator
S of the bloody deed. This suspicion was not shared in, however,
by the commanding general nor the other officers, who could not
imagine the Uchee's object in reporting the fact, had he committed
the act. The Indian read the suspicion in the fierce and sullen
looks of the soldiery, and at once volunteered to lead to the trail
of the offenders.
Captain Beall had been hilarious during the morning over his
success in a scrub-race, in which he had vanquished Croghan
S K- by two lengths, and distanced Rip A- and L- and
was on the point of making a six-strike under the cotton sheeting
that canopied old Allen's billiard-table when his arms were
arrested by the voice of an orderly, informing him that his
S presence was required immediately at the commanding general's
quarters. The drums were not beaten on that occasion, although
it was seldom that an opportunity was lost of exhilarating the
garrison with that high musical entertainment, the "long-roll," if
a wolf howled in the vicinity or a moccasin-track was reported
S within twenty miles.
Less than an hour saw Captain Beall's company, about forty
strong, drawn up in a line on the banks of the Hillsboro', awaiting
the captain's appearance, who made it a rule never to leave on


any expedition without a farewell word and an embrace with old
Allen, or "Sneezer Thlocko," the "Big Trader," as he was called
by the Seminoles.
The command fairly crossed, the captain remembered that he
had left his jack-knife, corkscrew, or some other utensil indispen-
sable upon a march, at the "shantee," which necessitated his
return to the arms of the Big Trader." The company moved
on, but was soon overtaken by its commander, accompanied by
Lieutenant L-, of the Eighth Infantry, who, not for the first
time, had volunteered and been permitted to accompany the jolly,
brave cavalier and his dashing command.
Those who have never breathed the balmy air of Florida on
the Gulf side, who have never floated on her calm, lullaby waters,
or heard the low whispering of her tall, majestic pines and pal-
mettoes, can know but little of the real joy of simply existing.
But people cannot always swing in hammocks, loll on green grass
under the shade of moss-mantled trees, nor float in fairy boats on
glassy waters. Man was made for something more. He was
made to fight the sterner elements, to roll in stranded ships on
lee-shores, to breast the mad gale, to face the storm of lightning
and thunder, and to go on scouts with Ben Beall.
That April night's ride under the moonlight in the openings,
and through blackness in the dense hummocks, with the jovial
company of Beall and Saunders; the tramp, tramp, tramp, of
the shodden hoof through the ground palmettoes, and the prospect
ahead of a lively chase in the morning, was one not to be
forgotten by the infantry lieutenant whilst moons shine on and
pines cast their shadows over his memory.

"Oh the dragoon bold he scorns all care,
As he goes the rounds with his uncropped hair;
He spends no thought on the evil star
That sent him away to the border war.

His form in the saddle he lightly throws,
And on the moonlight scout he goes,
And merrily trolls some old-time song
As over the trail he bounds along.

"Oh blithe is the life that a soldier leads
When a lawless freedom marks his deeds;
And gay his path o'er the wildwood sod,
Where a white man's foot hath never trod."


Hush! Saunders," exclaimed the Captain,

Don't you see the day's a-breaking?
Redskins near, and their last cake baking."

The day was breaking, sure enough, and, as they were informed
by the Uchee guide, they were nearing the scene of the tragedy.
A short gallop, and the command was checked by the ghastly sight
of a grinning head elevated on a small pyre, baked and blackened,
surrounded by fragments of the unfortunate express-rider-first
mutilated by the red fiends, and afterwards torn and partially
devoured by wolves. The devilish attempt to burn the head of
the slaughtered man, an old dragoon soldier, so incensed the Cap-
tain that he vowed, if he caught the "rag-tailed rascals," their
skins should pay the penalty of the deed.
Whilst the soldiers were employed in scooping out a shallow
grave, and the officers in gathering together the fragments of the
cut-up and torn-up mail, the guides were earnestly seeking for
the trail of the murderers. Indian-like, they had taken every
precaution to obliterate it and to throw pursuers at fault. They
had burned the grounds in the vicinity and up to the margin of a
small stream that ran by the spot, and then taken to the water,.
some up the stream and some down. The artifice was intended
for white men; it was too shallow for the Uchee and Tony, the
red and black guides. The first moccasin-track discovered leaving
the stream was followed up, and the trail was soon augmented'
by the joining-in of others, until it became sufficiently marked and'
plain to enable the guides to follow it at a lope. Their camp of the
night before was soon reached; but, as the fires were out, it was
plain that they had made an early start, and were then probably
hours ahead of their pursuers. The close observations of the-
guides, marking the tracks of each Indian as he joined the main trail,
made out the number of warriors to be seven. Now, it don't seem
like the fair thing for twoscore or more of mounted troops to be
hunting down less than a dozen redskins on foot. Those who think
the odds all on the big side can try it; if they find they have too
many, they can count some out. It is in the memory of one of
the officers who accompanied that scout that some eighty as good
and true soldiers as ever scowled over bad bacon were, with their
officers, driven-literally driven-out of the Big Wahoo Swamp by
less than half a dozen greasy, breech-clouted Seminoles in the last


year of the Florida war. They could not count the Indians,
because they nevcr saw one, and never would have seen one had
they stayed there ,until alligators laid eggs in their boots-yes,
and hatched them out too!
During this digression the scouts and guides must not lose
sight of the seven moccasined gentry of the "Choocachat-
tee Savanna." The savannas of Florida are broad plains, marshy
and covered with grass varying in height from the peeping
young blades to stalks that brush mosquitoes and sand-flies from
flying horsemen's cheeks. The Choocachattee" was the longest
and broadest in Florida, and the most dangerous one upon which
Indians could have ventured when pursued by horsemen. That
Captain Beall's command was close upon the game about mid-day
was evident from the fact that Tony, an Indian negro guide
notorious for his cowardice-always in advance when there was
no danger-had slunk to the rear or in some mysterious way
.disappeared from sight. The fact was communicated to Captain
Beall, when he closed up his men, and, whilst enjoining per-
fect silence, was startled by a shout from Saunders and Lieu-
tenant L- of "There they are! Charge!" A wild yell and a
dash for a clump of bushes, above the tops of which was seen
a turbaned head rapidly getting out of the way. One or two
shots were fired, when a cry from Simon, another guide, of
"'It's Tony! it's Tony!" closed the action.
A halt for refreshments, whilst Tony, flying for his life, was
overhauled and brought to bay by Simon and the Uchee. Ne-
groes do not grow white when scared; but Simon said that
- ashes wouldn't tell de color of Tony's face when he was ober-
Tony had lost his reckoning, and instead of being in the
rear, where he desired and supposed himself to be, found him-
'self in the van, the observed of all observers, with a "smart
chance" of receiving a few holes below his turban. He retired
iin good order, and did not permit either sentiment or curiosity t:
draw him away from the rear of the command again that day.
This little event had a rather depressing effect upon the
,officers and men, who, believing themselves close upon the heels
.of the fleeing band, feared that the firing had reached their ears
;and would cause them to change their course and strike for some
near point of hummock bordering the savanna. However, the




chase was renewed at increased speed; but, the ground being wet
and boggy, horsemen had but little advantage, if any, over foot
Indians in a hurry.
It was drawing towards the close of day when the crossing of
the savanna was accomplished, and as the head of the column was
entering a skirt of pine-barren it came upon a freshly-killed deer-
so lately killed that the flesh was still warm and quivering, the
blood trickling from the parts from which the slaughterers had
severed flesh for their evening meal. Did they enjoy it? Not
much. Ascending a rising ground, a few hundred yards brought
the command in sight, through the open pines, of the head or foot
of a lake, a few rods from which there lay a small pond, beyond
which and along the opposite shore of the lake all was dense, dark
hummock. Such a spot for a camp would not be overlooked by
tired Indians at sunset. Cautiously the command, in single file,
moved down the slope towards the water, the captain leading, the
two lieutenants a few rods to the right and somewhat in advance,
near the edge of the lake. The latter young gentlemen-the
heroes of the mid-day charge on Tony-were the first to sight the
camp of the enemy. "Charge!" rang the wild cry through the
dark pines. "Charge!" was the echo the lake and hummock sent
back. Charge was the dread sound that startled the redskins
in their quiet camp by the still waters. The rush of fierce men
and mad horses, the snapping of young pine saplings, the jingling
of spurs, the clashing of scabbards-what a change of scene in the
silent forest from the moment before!

What a handsome-looking villain he is!" exclaimed Captain
Beall, as the form of a light copper-colored warrior of twenty-five
or thirty years, with limbs round and dimpled as those of a woman,
was dragged from the lake and laid out upon its grassy bank, from
the waters of which, waist-deep, he had delivered his last shot and
sunk without a groan.
Don't fall in love with him, Captain," exclaimed one of the
lieutenants, until you have seen him skinned. Remember your
vow of this morning."
Pshaw! the poor devil is dead now. Does any one know who
he is? Where is that black rascal Tony ?" enquired the Captain.
He ought to know."
Tony knew where he was, whether he knew who the dead war-


rior was or not. After being fished out from the water, where he
had faken refuge during the affray behind a dead cypress, and
brought with trembling knees to face the dead body, he gazed
Supon it with dilated eyes for a moment, and exclaimed:
1: "Bress de Lord! it am Waxehadjo!"
Tony had once been his slave, and fear of him, even when
dead, made the old darky's bones rattle in their casings.
| That was the last of Waxehadjo and his band. The chief had
i for years been an accomplished murderer of express-riders, no less
than seven having fallen at the crack of his unerring rifle. The
i trinkets in watches, guard-chains, gold pencils, rings, and pins which
he wore on his body when avenging fate overtook him would
L have set up a respectable Jew-shop. The ornaments were re-
; moved, and with them the ornament most precious to an Indian's
I heart, and upon the preservation of which depends his eternal life
in the happy hunting-grounds "-his top-knot and the soil that
produced it. If it would be a consolation to any of the surviving
members of his illustrious family who may now inhabit the Semi-
nole Reservation on the sunset side of the Mississippi to gaze upon
the relic, they can do so by making a pilgrimage to Washington,
the city of the Great Father, and applying for the indulgence at
the Smithsonian Institute.

Oh! a jolly, brave knight was our Benjamin Beall
In the Florida war,
As many a jolly, bright camp-fire could tell
In the Florida war.
Oh! the stories he told that could never grow old,
And the songs that he trolled until reveille rolled
In the Florida war,
Made chiefs and subalterns as merry as bold
In the Florida war.

Who was brave as a lion, yet soft as a child,
In the Florida war?
Who could swim the Suwannee when waters were wild.
In the Florida war?
Who could harass Sam Jones till he ached in his bones.
Rap a redskin whilst laughing, then weep o'er his groans,
In the Florida war?
Then chant him a requiem in reverent tones,
In the Florida war?


Who, when shattered and broken from scouting and toils,
In the Florida war,
Could smile at grim Death as he felt his cold coils,
In the Florida war?
Who but valiant old Ben ?-beau ideal of men-
Who wore gay soldier's tog in the days that we ken,
In the Florida war.
God rest his old head where his blanket is spread,
Far from toil and cold lead
And the Florida war!



-HE story of the year 1841 is in many respects but a
repetition of that which had gone before: the theatre
of war a wilderness; the enemy fierce, wily, uncon-
querable; the troops patient, persevering, and plucky.
The last change of commanders had not brought any corre-
sponding improvement in the situation, and the termination of
the war appeared as remote as ever. Occasionally some power-
ful chieftain would come in, profess a desire for peace, and,
meeting with a cordial reception from the authorities, after carry-
ing away presents with loud protestations of good-will and amity,
would startle the community with some act of peculiar atrocity.
Such was the massacre of Mrs. Montgomery and her escort of
eleven men, Seventh Infantry, under Lieutenant Sherwood, De-
cember 18, 1840. Not one was left to narrate the simple tale
of their heroism in laying down their lives in defence of a com-
rade's wife. The Indians-some thirty warriors-were led by
Halleck-Tustenugge and Cosa-Tustenugge. The latter, with singu-
lar audacity, still relying on the forbearance of the whites, assem-
bled his band. near, Pilaklikaha, when he was unexpectedly fired
upon by a scouting party of the Second Dragoons, who cap-
tured them and took them to Fort King. The band, comprising
thirty-two warriors and sixty women and children, was secured,
and on the 20th of June was shipped to Arkansas. The in-
famy of his own acts, accident, and the resolution of the dra-
goon officer had relieved the country of a cruel and cowardly
foe. The field of operations occupied by the regular troops was
divided into seven military districts, viz.: the Atlantic, headquar-
ters St. Augustine; St. John's, headquarters Black Creek; the
Ocklawaha, headquarters Fort King; Micanopy, headquarters Mi-
canopy; the Wacassosa, headquarters Fort Fanning; the Withla-

1 Sprague


coochee, headquarters Fort Clinch; the Tampa, headquarters Fort
Brooke; Southern headquarters, Tarasota, each commanded by
the senior officer present.
General hospitals were established at Picolata and at Cedar
Key, where the surplus sick were sent whenever post hospitals
became crowded. The prevailing disease was dysentery, caused
by bad water and exposure to the hot suns of that region.
On the 22d of January a movement was made towards the Kis-
simmee River2 from Fort Brooke by Colonel Worth, with a detach-
ment consisting of four hundred and fifty men of the Eighth
Infantry, and Captain B. Beall's Company (I) Second Dragoons.
On the 4th the command encamped at Fort Gardner. The country
on the route was found to be entirely inundated. The banks of the
Kissimmee were overflowed. The dragoons and friendly Indians
sent to penetrate by the most frequented trails to the south
returned, unable to proceed on horseback more than six miles,
the water continually increasing in depth. Micco, one of the
guides, was sent to communicate with Coacoochee, or Wild Cat.
After several efforts Micco succeeded in finding the chieftain,
who agreed to meet Colonel Worth on the 5th of March at
Fort Cummings, near the Big Cypress Swamp. At the appointed
time Coacoochee appeared in company with six or seven friends.
Having recently attacked a theatrical troupe near St. Augustine
and appropriated their wardrobe, the Indian delegation was
enabled to appear en grande tenue. Coacoochee had donned the
nodding plumes of the Prince of Denmark. At his elbow ap-
peared, with an evident sense of the fitness of things, Horatio,
and close behind came another proud monarch of the forest
wrapped in King Richard's robes, which were not unbecoming
the wearer, and would have been imposing had not a keen sense
of the ludicrous strongly tempted some of the spectators to
unseemly levity, which was repressed with an effort and in the
interests of diplomacy. As it was desirable that Coacoochee
should be convinced of the necessity of removing from Florida
with his people, he was treated with great consideration, and

SThe Kissimmee is a deep, rapid stream, generally running through a marshy plain; but
sometimes the firm land approaches its borders, and sometimes beautiful live-oak hummocks
fringe its banks. Very often the surface of the river is covered by floating grass and weeds
so strongly matted together that the men stood upon the mass and hauled the boats over it
as over shoals. The Kissimmee runs into the Okeechobee, which filters through its spongy
sides into the Everglades, whose waters finally, by many streams, empty into the ocean."-
Lieutenant Rodgers, U.S.N., Rep.ort of Exp.

* iil *


i: after a stay of four'days assured Colonel Worth that his resolu-
tion was taken, but that it would take until June to collect his
scattered band, when he would submit with them to the "in-
evitable." On this occasion originated the expression Hough,"
which, as an army sentiment, has been uttered by countless lips
from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Lawrence, from the Atlantic
I;: to the Pacific; and even the banqueting-halls of foreign lands
have not been strangers to this little word, so full of joyous
memories to the American soldiers, although few knew when,
where, or how it was coined. Coacoochee, observing that the
officers of the garrison used certain expressions, such as "Here's
luck!" "The old grudge!" etc., before drinking, asked Gopher
SJohn, a negro interpreter, what they said. John was puzzled,
but finally explained by saying, "It means, How d'ye do!"
Whereupon the chief with great dignity lifted his cup, and, ele-
i vating it above his head, exclaimed in a deep, guttural, and
i i triumphant voice, "Hough!"
The word was at once adopted by the officers of the Eighth
Infantry and Second Dragoons, and its use spread rapidly through
the whole army.


Lonely by the camp-fire dreaming,
Whilst the stars are o'er me beaming,
Memory and thought come streaming
Rainbow-like across my brow.
Scenes that fate cannot deny me
Float upon the night-winds by me,
Whilst dark cares forgotten fly me,
And in dreams I drink to "hough !"
"Hough !" boys, "hough !"-" hough !" boys, hough !"
Drink beneath the tall palmetto,
Hough !"

ISoldier boys should never borrow
Idle troubles for the morrow;
Time enough when comes the sorrow
l 'Neath its heavy weight to bow.

S" Army Ballads," etc., by Colonel Lee, U.S.A.


i Then, whilst stars are shining o'er us,
, Let not darker skies before us
In our dreams wake bitter chorus,
Banishing the toast of "hough!"
"Hough !" boys, "hough "-" hough !" boys, hough "
Underneath the green palmetto,
Hough !"

Pressing here my mossy pillow,
Forms that moulder neathh the willow,
Forms that sleep beneath the billow,
Flit and frolic round me now;
Banishing all thought of mourning,
All my dreams with joy adorning,
May they tarry till the morning
Ere they breathe their parting hough!"
"Hough boys, "hough !"-" hough !" boys, hough "
Let the soldiers' toast be ever

Just before the period fixed upon had expired, Coacoochee
succumbed to the pressure from his colleagues, Sam Jones and
Billy Bowlegs, and it became apparent that he was once more
trying to "pull the wool" over his enemies' eyes. Orders were
given on the 21st of May to seize Coacoochee on his return
to Fort Pierce, where he had of late been a frequent visitor.
On the 3Ist of May General Armistead relinquished command
in favor of Colonel W. J. Worth, the officer next in rank.
Fresh instructions were conveyed to Colonel Worth looking to
greater economy in expenditure and increased vigor-if that were
possible-in the prosecution of the war.
The new commander set himself to carry out his instructions
both to the letter and the spirit. The hardest part of his duty
was the reduction of expenses, which, independently of the cost
of the regular force, were over $9o,cco per month. A small army
of civil employes, contractors, and army leeches generally had
been accumulating since 1835, and, backed by powerful political
friends at Washington, might cause an honest soldier some trouble
if he attempted to obey orders. But Worth was equal to the
emergency, and the axe of retrenchment fell remorselessly, cut
away much useless lumber that had long hampered his prede-
cessors, and the military establishment, freed from this impediment,
was once more ready for a move. But a very indefinite idea was


had, even after five years' campaigning, of the number of hostile
Indians in the territory; the location and strength of the principal
bands only was known.
According to Sprague-

"Sam Jones, Billy Bowlegs, Hospetarke, and one or two other chiefs controlled
about 175 fighting men, with their rendezvous in the Big Cypress Swamp, which
commences 'thirty miles south of the Caloosahatchee River, running east and west from
the Everglades to the Gulf. It is thirty-five miles in breadth, north and south, and
fifty in length, east and west. The vegetation is so dense that the sun never pene-
trates to the earth, and the water stands the year round from six inches to two feet
deep, covered with a green slime, which when disturbed emits a most noxious vapor.
Snakes and alligators abound. In the centre of the swamp were a few ridges or
islands, upon which the Indians lived and planted.'"

Coacoochee with eighty warriors, Halleck-Tustenugge with
thirty-five, Thocklo-Tustenugge with sixty, Otiarche with nine-
teen, Halpather-Tustenugge with forty-two braves, together with a
band of forty refugee Creeks and many smaller bands acting as
videttes and scouting parties, were scattered over 47,000 square
miles of swamp and forest, and with the advantages of lords of
the soil, inured to the climate, and accustomed to pursue or elude
their foes at will, each redskin was equal to ten white men. The
force in Florida at this time-June I, 1841-compared with the
Indians, was as five to one.
To inaugurate a campaign at this season of the year had
hitherto been considered impracticable. The troops had invariably
sunk under the debility arising from exposure to noonday sun,
constant rains, cool nights, turbid water, and the heavy marches
through deep sand. One thing was certain: that the summer
season was the Indian's ally, enabling him to provide stores
against the ensuing campaign; and it was determined to try what
effect unremitting warfare and "unseasonable" operations would
The following extract from the History of the Eighth
Infantry," by Lieutenant Wilhelm, in "Reminiscences" by Colonel
A. T. Lee, describes the flutter into which the troops were

"'Worth is crazy!' exclaimed old Gustavus L- who had been fighting Indians
on the chess-board in cool quarters for two summers.
"'I will make a requisition on the Surgeon-General for a ton of quinine,' said
Doctor HI-y; 'd-d if I don't.'


"'I'll desert,' says Lieutenant B-w-e.
"He changed his mind and went on sick report. He had an accommodating series
of disorders that, unlike the 'spirits of the vasty deep,' had only to be invited to
come forth.
"'I'll drop around to the sutler's and lay in a stock of preventive,' said Captain
Ben B-
"'I'm in for that,' cried Lieutenant L- .
Others joined in the chorus. That last suggestion broke up the council of war,
and immediately thereafter a caucus assembled around old Allen's counter, in his
noted shanty on the banks of the Hillsboro', to consult on sanitary measures to be
adopted, and to look into some other 'measures' immediately at hand.
"'A-n-d,' enquired Captain B-11, 'have you your mess-chest packed?'
"'All packed,' answered the Lieutenant.
Curiosity prompted the Captain to take a glimpse of its contents, which disclosed
four three-gallon demijohns and one string of small red onions.
"'Why, Lieutenant,' exclaimed the Captain, 'what is the meaning of this? I see
no provisions here excepting a string of vile onions.'
"' Why, they are not provisions,' replied the Lieutenant; 'they are refreshments.
Now, Captain, I have been in a good many camps and I always found plenty to eat;
but confound me if in any one I ever found plenty to drink.'
"'That officer,' said Captain B-11, who never hesitated to acknowledge merit or
genius when found-'that officer, if he lives, will be an honor to the service; why,
he has more consideration to-day for the comfort of others than an army sutler, and
more brains than Sergeant St-ng-r.'"

The force present for duty numbered about 3,400 men and
190 commissioned officers, distributed among the Second
Dragoons, Major Fauntleroy; nine companies Third Artillery,
Lieutenant-Colonel Gates; First Infantry, Colonel Davenport;
Second, Lieutenant-Colonel Riley; Third, Major Wilson; Sixth,
Lieutenant-Colonel Loomis; Seventh, Lieutenant-Colonel Whistler;
and Eighth, Lieutenant-Colonel Clarke.
On the 8th of June the colonel commanding organized an
expedition against Halleck-Tustenugge, who had been prowling
about the vicinity of Fort King, where army headquarters -were
The command consisted of Captain B. L. Beall's Company (I)
Second Dragoons, one hundred men of the Second Infantry, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Riley and Major Plympton, together with
forty men of the Eighth Infantry, under command of Lieutenant
At midnight on the loth the swamp in which the Indians were
encamped was reached after a march of forty-four miles. To
surprise the camp just at break of day was the only chance of



success. The guides represented it to be on the other side of
the swamp, five or six miles through. The horses were picketed,
and the baggage left with a small guard on the margin of the
The soldier carried only his musket and ammunition, the officer
a rifle or sword.'
'.' Colonel Lee's graphic account of the sequel, as it concerns
officers of Ours," is also taken from the History of the Eighth
Infantry ":

After many scientific evolutions, marching, and counter-marchings, calculated to
throw at fault the wary enemy, on a dark night, just as the young moon had called in
its last faint light from the waving tops of the tall pines that bordered the dark and
forbidding swamp, a column of some four hundred men, headed by the gallant Colonel,
advanced silently and cautiously out of the pines into its dense blackness : now
floundering through deep waters, now struggling and tumbling through tangled bram-
bles, briers, and brushwood, on weird islands, again plunging into the cold cypress-
coves, that had never drunk a smile from heaven in their black recesses-onward !
onward through the long night, closer and closer upon the stronghold of de much
Bloody, fierce, and terrible as those wild children-or devils, as the case may be
-of the hummock, swamps, and everglades were, one could but feel a kind of sym-
pathy for them in this their terrible hour. The tall, brave warrior at that midnight
moment dreaming of the manly, stand-up fight, and we stealing like serpents into his
quiet bower to 'crunch' him; and the dark-eyed mothers and maidens, dreaming of
chasing bright butterflies in the dewy morning, and of the succulent green-corn and
exhilarating 'sofkey' for breakfast-oh! it was too much. But let us not dwell upon
the painful subject.
"'Who is that in advance?' enquired Seth Thorn-n, in a whisper.
S"' L- ,' was the whispered reply.
"'Give us your arm, old 'fel'. I am a fallen swamp-angel, weak in the knees, and
d-d near dead. Hold on to me while I drink like a horse.'
Poor Seth he had a lion's heart, but no physical ability. The Colonel had in
kindness ordered him to remain back in the pines with the train, finding that persuasion
was of no avail; but, orders or no orders, if there was any fighting to be done, Seth
Thorn-n wouldn't be scarce.
We all know how he battled with disease to the last, and died, as he wished to
die, a soldier's death on the plains of Mexico.
Lin-ln, is that you?'
"This interrogation was prompted by an unchristian exclamation of 'D-m-n!'
in our immediate vicinity and in deep water.
i, Yes. Where the h- is the trail, and who are you ?'
Friend, with the countersign.'
"'All right, L- Advance and take something. Who is with you?'



Seth Thorn-n ? Why, Thorn-n, I told you that you were a fool to attempt this
expedition. Your heart is too big for your legs; you have the legs of a coot.'
"'Fool! coot!' exclaimed Seth. 'I will hold you responsible for this language,
sir, to-morrow.'
"Poor Seth's head was carried off by an eighteen-pound ball in the advance on
the City of Mexico, so he had no chance for last dying words; but had he died with
the death-rattle in his throat, there is little doubt but that in his last utterance he
would have been holding somebody responsible for something 'to-morrow.'

"'What a splendid place it would have been to have trapped them exclaimed
a second lieutenant enthusiastically, wringing the water out of his cap, 'if they had
only been here.'"

Unfortunately for the success of the "surprise party," the late
dwellers in the Wahoo had "lit-out "-to use a frontier phrase-
and left the visitors to the peaceful possession of their villages and
corn-fields, with the gleanings of which they were fain to be
Colonel Lee concludes his account thus:

"We did not relish that night's work. We got very wet, we spoiled our best
pair of boots, we 'cussed' once or twice-and yet we look back upon it with a sad
and painful pleasure, and would be willing to get doubly wet, and give any number of
pairs of boots, and promise not to 'cuss' once, if we could but again stand in those
dark waters, surrounded by the brave, whole-souled spirits who filed into them on
that toilsome night from the starlight and the low song of the whispering pines."

The campaign was prosecuted with exceeding energy in every
quarter. Scouting parties, commanded by officers of rank and ex-
perience, were sent out frequently by district commanders, who in
many instances accompanied the troops in person. There was ab-
solutely no rest for the wicked," either among friends or foes.
Captain Croghan Ker, Second Dragoons, with a force of seventy
men, ascended the Ocklawaha River in canoes to Lake Aha-
This expedition consumed twenty days. Starting on the 25th of
June, the detachment proceeded in a small steamer to the Ockla-
waha, which they reached in about three hours. Disembarking,
they took to the canoes, proceeding up the river for several days,
at times detaching small scouting parties from the main body to
penetrate the interior in search of Indians or their "signs." In-
structions were given to capture and destroy everything calculated
to give aid or sustenance to the enemy. Several fields under culti-
vation, with the crops almost ready to harvest, were discovered and


destroyed. Among these was one belonging to Tiger-Tail, who
declared subsequently that it was his principal dependence for the
coming year. Immense swamps of saw-grass-nature's cutlery-
were met with, en route, through which Ker's men were forced to
drag their canoes slowly and painfully for miles, until, exhausted
and with bleeding hands and bruised limbs, the troops reached the
daily camping-ground. Near Lake Eustis the river was much ob-
structed with logs, which made its navigation still more toilsome.
On the 4th of July the voyageurs discovered a large lake hitherto un-
known, which was named Lake Worth, in honor of the colonel
commanding. The troops having accomplished their object, re-
turned, on the 15th of July, to Pilatka. Captain Ker, in his report,.
says: Too much praise cannot be awarded to the officers and
soldiers under my command for their unwearied exertions in over-
coming the many difficulties I encountered, and for the patient
endurance of the great fatigue occasioned by their exposure."
The operations of the army during the month of June carried
desolation into every part of the country known or supposed to
be occupied by Indians. Heretofore these swamps and hummocks
had been the depot for an active and vigilant foe. Slowly but
surely was the net closing around them-the game was soon to
be bagged; and yet one cannot but admire the dogged resolu-
tion, the wonderful dexterity, and the variety of expedients with
which the closely-pressed enemy contrived so often to baffle the
invader. An incident is mentioned by Colonel Sprague as occur-
ring during the operations at this time.
While a detachment of troops to which he was attached were
scouting on the Withlacoochee, they observed an Indian approach-
ing in a canoe. Finding himself discovered, he turned, pursued
by several soldiers, but taking an obscure route around a wil-
low island, he gained upon the men. Reappearing soon after,
but still within rifle range, he was ordered to surrender. Naked
and alone, the Seminole still plied his paddle with wonderful
effect, and finding it impossible to reach terra firma, plunged into
the swamp with his rifle in hand. Several muskets were discharged
at him, and he was supposed to have fallen; but although the
soldiers jumped from their canoes into four feet of water, and
searched the swamp in all directions, nothing could be found but

Appendix XXII.


the Indian's cancer. Months after this man was captured, when
he stated that the entire 1,oi.';nmand had passed over him while he
was lying under water by the side of a log, his form covered
by a pond-lily leaf; afterwards he remained quietly, biding his
time until they had split up his canoe and abandoned the chase.
The summer campaign, if destructive to the natives, was also ter-
ribly injurious to the troops. Out of six hundred men engaged
in constant scouting, two hundred and twenty were from time to
time reported sick. Of this number, one hundred and thirty were
sent to general hospital, totally unfit for duty. The thermometer,
during this period, averaged 86, and it is no exaggeration to
say that the exposure to which our troops were subjected, and
the natural obstacles to their progress through the country, even
in small bodies, have seldom been equalled in military history.
The various corps comprising Colonel Worth's command shared
with each other these hardships without disagreement or petty
jealousies, and, as Sprague says:
"There was at one time to be seen in the Everglades the
dragoon (dismounted) in water from three to four feet deep, the
sailor and marine wading in the mud in the midst of cypress
stumps, and the infantry and artillery alternately on the land, in
the water, or in boats."

"For thirteen long months did I serve in the Everglade,
Neck-deep in debt, and full waist-deep in mud;
O'er dirty lagoon and through streams I could never wade,
Battling it bravely, but spilling no blood." 6

* Army Fallads." Lee.



SINCE the Indian of Fenimore Cooper and William
I;.., Penn was accepted by the world as the true type
of his race, our eyes have been opened to some of
j his ignoble qualities, and scarce a schoolboy in the land
jbut will tell you that the redskin of his day is a dirty, thiev-
' ish, drunken brute, with an inherited taste for blood and other
people's scalps, and a cultivated one for the fire-water of the
I Widow Clicquot on occasions where his ancestors would have
been satisfied with the juice of corn or rye. This, so far as your
average Modoc, Cheyenne, or Sioux is concerned, is undoubtedly
, true, although there are to be found later Penns who claim for
him the innocence and affability of Harte's "Chinee," and who
: disapprove of "military interference" with the Indian Bureau.
But it is just possible that there may be now and then a Logan
or a Tecumseh-a real child of the forest-physically and men-
tally a leader among his people; one who can both talk and
fight, and whose name is worthy of a place in the list of great
soldiers and statesmen. One such goes far to leaven the mass,
and should make us more charitable, perhaps, in our estimate of
the race. We are by no means sure that Coacochee, or Wild Cat,
comes up to our exceptional standard, but he undoubtedly was a
remarkable chieftain. With good cause he had gone upon the
war-path, and his resolution "to fight it out on that line," etc.,
entitled him to as much praise as has been granted to patriotism,
pluck, and perseverance elsewhere.
Coacoochee's father was a Seminole chief, known as King
SV'N Philip, who was captured by Lieutenant May, Second Dragoons,
\ in 1837, in the affair at Welika Pond, in which Lieutenant McNeil
; was killed. His son was about thirty-two years of age, five feet
Eight inches in height, with limbs of the most perfect symmetry.
His eye was dark, full, and expressive, and his countenance ex-


tremely youthful and pleasant. His voice was clear and soft,
speech afueit, and gestures rapid and violent. It is not wonderful
that, with these advantages, his band was governed firmly
yet mildly. He had led the Indians in nearly every encounter of
importance they had with our troops. In October, 1837, Coa-
coochee was captured and imprisoned in Fort Marion, at San
S Augustine, and his escape from that stronghold was accomplished
in a manner that would have done credit to Jack Sheppard.
On the 5th of June, Major Childs, commanding at Fort
Pierce, reported that, in compliance with orders from Brigadier-
General Armistead (then in command of the army) of the 2Ist of
May, he had seized Coacoochee, his brother, and a brother of King
Philip, together with thirteen warriors and three negroes, and that,
in accordance with instructions from the district commander, he
had sent them to New Orleans, en route to Arkansas. This act
was without authority, but, under the circumstances, by many
thought justifiable. A messenger was at once despatched to inter-
cept the party and return with them to Tampa Bay.
This step was severely criticised by the territorial press and
others, who believed that "a bird in the hand" was worth
several Indians in the bush; but Colonel Worth was not to be
diverted from his purpose by idle clamor, and the 4th of July
found him face to face with the captive warriors on board a trans-
port in the bay. Coacoochee, pale and haggard from confinement,
and, with his companions, heavily ironed, was surrounded by a
guard of thirty soldiers.
At this moment-chained, in the midst of his enemies, and,
for aught he knew, menaced by an ignominious death-the bear-
ing of the distinguished prisoner was grand. Brave blood flowed
in his veins, and, as he sat opposite his captor, not a muscle
in his bronzed visage quivered, but, with a wonderful composure
and dignity, Coacoochee awaited his doom. We take from
Sprague's "Florida War" some extracts:
"Colonel Worth arose and said: 'Coacoochee, I take you by the hand as a
warrior, a brave man. You have fought long, and with a true and strong heart,
for your country. I take your hand with feelings of pride. You love your country,
as we do; it is sacred to you. The ashes of your kindred are dear to you and
to the Seminole. These feelings have caused much bloodshed, distress, and horrid
murders. It is time now the Indian felt the power and strength of the white man.
Like the oak, you may bear up many years against strong winds. The time must
come when it will fall; the time has arrived. . .Coacoochee, I am your friend.
i s


So is your great father at Washington. What I say to you is true. My tongue is
not forked like a snake. My word is for the happiness of the red man. You are a
great warrior. The Indians throughout the country look to you as a leader. By
your counsels they have been governed. . This war must now end. You are
the man to accomplish it. You must and shall do it. I sent for you, that through
the exertions of yourself and men you might induce your entire band to emigrate.
. You can select three or five of these men to carry your talk. Name the
time. It shall be granted. But I tell you, as I wish your relatives and friends
told, that unless they fulfil your demands, yourself and these warriors now seated be-
fore us shall be hung to the yards of this vessel, when the sun sets upon the day
appointed, with the irons upon your hands and feet. I tell you this, that we may
well understand each other. I do not wish to frighten you; you are too brave a
man for that. But I say what I mean, and I will do it. . This war must end,
and you must end it."

Silence pervaded the company as the speaker closed. The
harsh grating of the handcuffs broke the spell. Coacoochee rose,
evidently struggling to suppress a feeling which made his manly
form quiver with excitement.

"I was once a boy," said he, in subdued tones. "Then I saw the white man
afar off. I hunted in these woods, first with a bow and arrow, then with a rifle.
I saw the white man, and was told he was my enemy. I could not shoot him as
I would a wolf or a bear; yet like these he came upon me. Horses, cattle, and fields
he took from me. He said he was my friend. He abused our women and chil-
dren, and told us to go from the land. Still he gave me his hand in friendship.
We took it. Whilst taking it he had a snake in the other. His tongue was forked.
He lied and stung us. I asked but for a small piece of these lands, enough to
plant and to live upon, far south-a spot where I could lay the ashes .of my kin-
dred. This was not granted me. I was put in prison. I escaped. I have again
been taken. You have brought me back. I am here. I feel the irons in my heart."

At this moment the battery of the government vessel lying at
anchor near them fired the first gun of a national salute in honor
of the day. Coacoochee paused and watched the little craft
as peal after peal and flash after flash, with beautiful regularity,
marked another year for the Republic. The council indulged
in a brief recess, but as the echo of the last gun resounded
in the neighboring groves and was lost in the distance, resumed
their places opposite the "nation's wards." Coacoochee, who
had been interrupted by this incident, enquired of the inter-
preter, What does it mean?" The interpreter with some hesi-
tation explained that on that day many years ago the white
people gained their rights as free men, and became their own
masters." As he listened, the young chiefs eye flashed, involun-


tarily he clutched at the handcuffs, and, turning to Colonel
Worth (who for the first time in his life, perhaps, felt like
going home"), exclaimed bitterly, "Yes! the white man is free,
but he would make the red man his slave!" Then lifting his
hands he continued, "You say I must end the war. Look at
these irons. Can I go to my warriors? Coacoochee chained!
No! do not ask me to see them. I never wish to tread upon
my land unless I am free. If I can go to them unchained, they
will follow me in; but I fear they will not obey me as I am."
This request was of course refused, and he was again reminded
that, unless his band agreed to come in, "the sun as it
goes down on the last day appointed for their appearance will
shine upon the bodies of each of you hanging in the wind! "
Coacoochee selected five young braves to carry his message
to his people-for whose appearance in forty days his life was
to be the hostage. Carefully instructing them, he bade them

"Has not Coacoochee," said he, sat with you by the council-fire at midnight,,
when the wolf and the white man were around us? Has not my scalping-knife.
been red with blood, and the scalps of our enemy been drying in our camps? Have;
I not made the war-path red with blood, and has not the Seminole always found,
a home in my camp? Then, will the warriors of Coacoochee desert him? . .
Take these sticks; here are thirty-nine-one for each day; this, much larger than the
S rest, with blood upon it, is the fortieth. When this only remains, say to my people
S that with the setting sun Coacoochee hangs like a dog, with none but white men to
hear his last words. Come, then ; come by the stars, as I have led you to battle !"

Unusual interest was felt in the result of the mission, extend-
ing to every soldier in the vicinity. Bets were freely offered
among the officers that the band would not come in; but the
majority sympathized-as brave men only can-with the prisoner,
whose life hung in the balance. On the tenth day the first
detachment arrived, bringing the welcome intelligence that many
more were on the way. Before the fortieth stick had been.
thrown away the chief was informed that all were in-he was
saved! Coacoochee was released from his bonds and once more
appeared before his people clad in his most brilliant attire, and
with a proud, elastic step, and a right royal mien moved among
them; and they, filled with joy at the sight, received their chief-
tain with the utmost deference, and a tender regard for one whose
life had been purchased so dearly-how dearly they did not. then.


comprehend. Coacoochee, grateful, too, for the sacrifice, gathered
them about him, and with a voice shaken with emotion said,
ij "My children, Coacoochee thanks you; henceforth he lives but
for his people."
Coacoochee having determined upon emigration for himself, be-
came an active ally of the government, and rendered valuable
service in causing other bands to come in and surrender. His
I departure for Arkansas was delayed for obvious reasons.

iiiBut yesterday, and I could claim
i The eagle feather for my brow;
Lord of a heart no fear could tame,
i Men trembled when they heard my name:
And now these chains-what am I now?1

Operations were partially suspended, but the scouts along the
frontier were still continued.2 On the last of July, Colonel Worth
forwarded several reports to the Adjutant-General at Washing-
-ton, with these remarks:

| " I am aware many of these reports may be uninteresting. The whole is never-
theless forwarded as honorable testimony to the zeal and activity of the officers and
troops, respectfully soliciting particular examination of those of . and Cap-
i tain May, Second Dragoons. I must be allowed to accompany these reports with
the highest testimony to the activity, intelligence, and untiring zeal of officers of all
grades, and the good and patient endurance of the soldiers."

Lieutenant-Colonel Whistler, Seventh Infantry, moved with his
regiment in detachments from Micanopy, while the companies of
the Second Dragoons within his district patrolled the country on
t the Georgia frontier. Lieutenant-Colonel B. Riley, Second In-
Ifantry, aided by detachments from the Second Dragoons, ex-
i amined the country in all directions from Fort King, to find the
!trail of Halleck-Tustenugge. During the months of August and
i 'September, several small bands of Seminoles and Mickasuckies sur-
rendered, and on the 12th of October two hundred and eleven In-
^i dians, including Coacoochee, Hospetarke, and eighty-two warriors,
| .embarked under charge of Captain Seawell, Seventh Infantry, for
| Arkansas, via New Orleans. Among these emigrds were fourteen
i N Mickasuckies, a remnant of the oldest and most powerful tribe in

2 Appendices XX., XXIII., XXV.

1 E4Army Ballads." Lee.


S Florida. They utterly refused to have anything to do with other
tribes, and in 1539 (according to Sprague) they resisted the ad-
vance of Ferdinand De Soto, down upon the Swa-a-nee River," with
much vigor, and cost him the lives of a number of men before
they were finally repulsed. Within a month after the departure of
the above cargo, six companies of the Fourth Infantry arrived in
the harbor, and completed the demoralization which the events
of the past season had spread among the natives. They saw
that while they were growing weaker fresh troops were pouring
into the territory. Under these circumstances, Colonel Worth con-
cluded to dispense with the services of five companies of the
Second Dragoons, in order that they might be ordered to stations
more salubrious and comfortable than they had for years been
accustomed to. Accordingly, on the I7th of October, Companies
A, D, E, F, G were ordered' to proceed to Fort Jesup, Louisi-
ana, and Fort Towson, Arkansas. This portion of the regiment
was relieved by detachments from the Second and Seventh In-
fantry. On the Ist of October, Major Fauntleroy reported' the
result of certain scouts made by Captains Blake, May, Ker, and
Lieutenants Graham, Robertson, and Thayer, and at the same
time forwarded Doctor Moore's report of the health of the com-
mand at Fort Mellon, but they lack especial interest. In a sub-
sequent report,' made on the 12th of October, the regimental
commander alludes to the changes of station of certain companies,
and remarks that "the reduced state of H troop from sick-
ness forbids the possibility of marching by land to their des-
tination," and that he has put it on board of a steamboat bound
for Trader's Hill; that in consequence, "C troop will be de-
tained in the vicinity of Fort Heileman to repair bridges, etc.,"
a duty which, although not technically or theoretically intended
to be performed by mounted troops, nor the most economical
S use to which they could be put, is accounted for in this instance
-as it may have been many times since in our military history-
because there were "no other troops available." Alas! for the
short-sightedness of legislative "tinkering."
4 On the Ist of November, a combined movement by land and
S water was made against the enemy, supposed to be in the Big
S Cypress swamp. Brevet-Major Belknap, of the Eighth Infantry,

4 Appendices XXVI., XXVIII.

a Appendix XXVII.

5 Appendix XXIX.


was assigned to command the troops, which comprised Ker's and
Thornton's companies. Three depots were established on the bor-
der of the swamp, from which supplies were drawn by the de-
tachments acting in the depths of that dismal spot. Officers and
men packed on their backs, in blankets, seven days' rations; one
mule to each company carried the necessary cooking utensils.
A very minute record of the expedition was kept by Lieutenant
Gates, Eighth Infantry, from whose diary (as published by Col-
onel Sprague) have been taken some extracts. On the 7th of
February, 1842, the arduous wanderings of the soldiers came to
an end, and Gates sums up after an original and laconic fashion:

"Thus ended the Big Cypress campaign, like all others: drove the Indians out,
broke them up, taught them we could go where they could; men and officers worn
down; two months in water; plunder on our backs; hard times; trust they are soon
to end. Hear of good success at Fort Brooke. . Coacoochee and Hospetarke
gone. Indians asking for peace in all quarters. The only reward we ask is the
ending of the Florida War."

But if run down, the game died hard, using teeth and talons
if opportunity offered. On the 2oth of December, Tiger-Tail,
with a small party, attacked the settlement of Mandarin, 35 miles
from San Augustine, on the St. John's, and burned most of the
houses, killing five persons. The neighboring settlements were
again alarmed, and petitioned the commander of the Florida
army for protection. We now," said they, most humbly pray
that you will allow us a mounted force." Colonel Worth assured
them that measures had already been taken for their better se-
curity. The Second Dragoons were extremely active, patrolling
the highways, co-operating with the infantry, which penetrated
such localities as were impracticable for cavalry. Ker and Thorn-
ton were especially active. The latter reports' the result of
various operations during the month of February, showing that
but few Indians remained in the country. Lieutenant Steele is
mentioned as serving with the same troop. On the 14th of Feb-
ruary, Colonel Worth wrote to the General-in-Chief that, as only
one hundred and twelve warriors yet remained, he advised a re-
duction of the force then in Florida, and stated that-
"The operations since June conclusively demonstrate to my mind the utter
impracticability of securing them by main force. The first step, in my

*Appendix XXX.


judgment, towards closing the contest, if not finishing it, is to reduce the force.
. Authority has been asked to order out the remaining companies of the
Second Dragoons, and by the Ist of May an additional regiment of infantry may
be dispensed with."

Colonel Worth's letter was duly considered at Washington,
but, from certain "reasons of state," all of his suggestions were
not approved. His recommendations in the way of retrenchment
were eventually partially adopted,' but orders were given to
push the campaign with vigor-in short, capture or exterminate.
The colonel commanding was satisfied that the enemy had con-
centrated for defence, as a last ditch," in the Wahoo swamp.
Strong detachments scouted the locality from every direction, but
without success. On the fifth day, Holartooche, an old chief
i who was the principal guide, reported that he had discovered
S a single Indian track leading into the PILAKLIKAHA HUMMOCK, about
twenty miles from Tampa Creek, and by the movements indi-
cated by the footprint he believed the man to be a spy upon our
troops. Sprague thus describes the approach and attack, in which
Captain Ker's troop, under Colonel Worth's immediate direction,
took a prominent part:

"The next day the command took up its line of march, and encamped at
Abraham's old town, four miles from the hummock in which it was believed the
* Indians were secreted. Preparations were made to move at the break of day, under
' the guidance of Holartooche, with three days' rations. The chief was satisfied the
Indians were there. At one o'clock at night he sought the tent of Colonel Worth,
and there privately, with deep interest and feeling, pleaded for the lives of women
S and children in the approaching conflict; and that the men, if taken prisoners,
might not be hung. The fervent appeals of this old chieftain, at such an hour,
could not but be regarded. 'The Great Spirit,' he said, 'told him the Indians were
there prepared to fight.' Old as he was, his sturdy heart never failed him.
"The impulses of a generous and honorable sentiment induced him to ask that
the fate of his own color, hard as it was, might not be aggravated by cruelties;
and the conflict rendered more deadly by the indulgence of violent passions, and
shedding the blood of women and children. At the break of day the column was
i in motion. The actions of the negro interpreters and friendly Indians denoted their
feelings and expectations, as they quietly rode in advance of the troops. They re-
loaded their rifles, carefully patching the ball, repriming and pricking the vent,
S taking off the covering from the lock usually placed over it to prevent dampness-
examined the quantity of powder in their horns, and arranged the bullets and
patches about their persons, to be convenient in the haste of battle; and then
gazed intently around, inspecting every twig and blade of grass, and soft places in

7 Appendix XXXIII.


the soil to discover traces of a footstep. The quiet, steady tread of the soldier
shook the heavy dew from the foliage, as the breaking of day and the rising sun
dispelled the moisture, and gave to the mornings in this climate, at this season, a
loveliness calculated to inspire the most feeble and weary. The officers noted en-
quiringly the Indians as they dismounted from time to time to remove the high grass,
in hopes of finding a track to guide them direct to the camp of the enemy. 'An In-
dian has just passed here,' said the chief, much excited. 'How do you know?' was the
eager enquiry. 'This blade of grass,' he replied, holding it up, 'was trod upon this
morning; you see it is crushed'; the sun nor the light of day has not shone upon it-
had either, it would have wilted-you see it is green, but crushed. Here are more-
there is the print of a foot!' The column halted, when tracks were discernible at
a great distance from each other. 'He is running,' said the chief, 'to make known
the approach of the troops.' This foot-print was followed three miles, when the
hummock in the distance was seen, in which it was not doubted the enemy were
prepared to stand their ground, or it might be, what was too often found, a for-
saken camp. A trail was now struck, leading direct through mud and water from
one to three feet deep. The hummock in full view, surrounded by water; looked
like a mass of dark-green foliage, almost impenetrable. The detachments of the
Second, Fourth, and Eighth Infantry, under Lieut.-Colonel Garland and Major Plymp-
ton, in extended order, charged the hummock at a rapid pace; first discharging a
volley, which was responded to by the crack of rifles and the shrill, unceasing war-
whoop. The soldiers returned it with redoubled energy by the rapid and steady
advance of bayonets, backed by men determined to wreak their vengeance for the
privations and disappointment so long and often endured. Yell after yell rever-
berated through the dense foliage; the crack of the rifle, the dull, heavy dis-
charge of musketry, the whoop, which became louder and louder, until the shrill
voice of the savage was lost in the repeated imitations and shouts of the soldiers.
"Colonel Worth, with a company of the Second Dragoons, assailed their position
in the rear, intercepting them as they retreated in small parties, giving battle in all
quarters. For a time they stood their ground firmly, relying upon a partial breast-
work of fallen timber and the thick undergrowth, which totally obscured the view
of a man twenty feet distant. This was to be the desperate battle-ground of the
band. The manly voice of Halleck-Tustenugge arose above the discharge of mus-
ketry, the crack of rifles, the smoke and foliage, and his flying band, thrown into
confusion by finding their retreat thus unexpectedly attacked by dragoons. He, as
well as his followers, were in a state of nudity, their bodies painted scarlet, and
the scalps and other trophies from the whites decorated the foremost in the fight.
The steady advance of the troops, returning yell for yell, satisfied the chief that
further resistance was useless. To ensure a safe retreat, they broke into parties of
four or five, leaving the soldiers in quiet possession of the camp, abandoning large
quantities of dried deer-meat, dressed deer-skins, half-finished moccasins, axes, hoes,
kettles, and articles of clothing. The position of the camp was selected with judg-
ment and caution. Well-constructed bark and palmetto huts indicated a permanent
abode. The women and children had left the night before in such haste as to leave
behind thimbles, needles, thread, and several highly-ornamented dresses. The trails
from the hummock were taken up by the guides, but soon lost in water, which
covered the country for two miles around. Two Indians were seen carried off by
' their comrades, badly wounded. The determination that neither the killed nor
wounded shall fall into the hands of the whites overrules all other considerations-


even the chances of victory or plunder. Detachments followed the trail whenever
a single print of a foot could be seen, without success other than the capture of
an old Indian, who proved to be the father-in-law of Halleck-Tustenugge. He
pleaded most earnestly that he might be allowed to carry a talk to his son, and
that the troops would refrain from further pursuit. The enemy was dispersed, and
whether this man proved faithful or not, it was the only chance, however doubtful,
of ever getting Halleck-Tustenugge within reach of negotiations or military authority.
The old man started on his mission the ensuing morning, with the understanding
that he was to meet the command at Warm Spring, near Lake Panee Sufekee, in
five days. This point was reached on the 23d. The enemy had been routed, two
of their number killed, three badly wounded, and one taken prisoner. Private
Augustus R. Wandell, K Company Second Dragoons, was killed; and Sergeant
Theodore Bingham of the same company, Private Thomas J. Roberts and Private
John Hitchcock, severely wounded; Private Joice, of G Company Second Infantry,
badly wounded. The band numbered forty active young warriors, having the advan-
tage of position, protection from logs, the first fire, and knowledge of the ground;
while the troops plunged through mud and water, thick foliage, and entangled
grape-vines, to the muzzles of the Indian rifles, often so surrounded by the under-
growth as to prevent the soldier bringing his musket to his shoulder. In the con-
flict, comparatively bloodless for the number engaged, the men stood firmly by each
other, separated as the commands unavoidably were from the density of the hum-
mock. The discharge of rifles and muskets was continued, with slight intervals,
about four hours. The light infantry exercise which had been inculcated taught
the soldier that in service of this character his strength was augmented by having a
companion whose drill enjoined the necessity of always being at his side. This
being the case, when the soldier was unavoidably separated by obstructions, and
unable to see hardly beyond the length of his musket, he could, with two or three
companions, successfully encounter the Indians, secreted in small numbers in hopes
of cutting off detached parties. In this manner firing was continued in a hummock
about two miles long and one broad. Companionship was here realized and appre-
ciated, and that feeling predominant with a soldier, to give his comrade a decent
burial under all embarrassments, prevailed in the resolution evinced by those who
made the grave and buried the gallant and lamented Wandell. On their knees they
dug a hole with their hands and tin cups, sufficiently deep to protect his remains, and
wrapping his body in a blanket, deposited it in its lonely resting-place, disguising
the spot in such a manner as to prevent disinterment by the Indians. His requiem
was the distant yell of the savage, the discharge of musketry, and the shout of the
The fire of the enemy was concentrated principally upon the Indian guides
and negro interpreters. As the dragoons were skirting the hummock, a volley of
rifles was discharged at Negro Morris. He immediately threw himself upon the
opposite side of his horse in water two feet deep, and crawled into the high grass.
His horse was wounded, and it was supposed he was killed, until after the action,
when he made his appearance as the hero of the day, having been nearly shot, and
successfully secreted himself during the entire conflict. Two friendly Indians remained
beyond the reach of danger, and when called to an account for their absence, ex-
cused themselves, as their horses' tails were so short, and the flies being so thick
in the hummock, they would have found it impossible to ride them.' The tall figure
of the negro interpreter, Gopher John, his loud voice and negro accent, the repeated


discharge of his unerring rifle, well known to the Indians as he was, made him a
conspicuous object of assault. The balls flew by him so thick, striking the trees
around, that he suspected his courage was oozing out, when, pulling from his pocket
a well-filled flask, 'God-e, massa,' said he to an officer by his side, 'I feel all
over mighty queer, de Ingen fight so strong! I must take a big un'; and suiting
the action to the word, he drained his bottle, reprimed his rifle, whooped, and was
soon lost in the midst of foliage and smoke."

Colonel Worth remarks in his report to the Adjutant-Gene-
In respect to the affair I have already made brief but suf-
ficient report." That officers and soldiers evinced the highest spirit
and gallantry in the presence of an enemy is a matter of course;
but all exhibited, under every circumstance of continued fatigue
and of privation of food, the higher excellence of patient and
unrepining endurance. I am much indebted to the zealous sup-
port and exertions of Lieutenant-Colonel Garland, of the Fourth;
Major Plympton, of the Second; Major Belknap, of the Eighth:
and Captain Ker, of the Second Dragoons. The first two and
the last gave a fine example in the presence of the enemy. The
third, as before stated, had been detached in a different direc-
On the I th of May, President Tyler recommended to Con-
gress, in a special message, the cessation of hostilities in Florida,
remarking that "the further pursuit of these miserable beings by
a large military force seems to be as injudicious as it is un-
availing"; and, in accordance with Worth's original suggestions,
orders were issued on the 29th inst., from the headquarters of
the army, directing the departure of the five remaining com-
panies Second Dragoons from the land of alligators and water-
snakes to the more civilized precincts of Baton Rouge. Colonel
Sprague says:

"The regiment had served in Florida since its organization, June, 1836. Its
duties were laborious and incessant, accomplishing all that could be expected to re-
ward the officers and men for their zeal and enterprise. The peculiarity of the ser-
vice required them to act in detachments, giving their duties a partisan character,
which were performed at all times in such a manner as to merit from commanders
the highest commendation. Two officers were killed in action: five commissioned
officers died from the effects of the climate; twenty non-commissioned officers, musi-

8 Appendix XXXI.


cians, and privates were killed in action, and one hundred and ninety-two died
from diseases incident to the service."

Before the force in Florida had been materially reduced, the
project had been discussed of erecting a monument to the
memory of those who fell with Major Dade in 1836, such
officers as had been killed in battle or died in service, and certain
enlisted men who had lost their lives "under peculiar circum-
stances of gallantry and conduct," and a circular letter was
sent to each regiment soliciting subscriptions. On the 5 Sth of
August, 1842, the monument9 having been completed, the gallant
dead were interred in the ground selected near Fort Marion at
San Augustine.
A mound of pyramidal form had been erected over each of
the three vaults in which the remains were placed; each mound
was five feet high, and rested on a bank of turf nicely terraced;
on the marble surface of the tombs had been inscribed the
names of those resting beneath. The funeral ceremonies were
very impressive even for a military funeral, the most imposing
of all sad pageants:


Hollow ye the lonely grave.
Make its caverns deep and wide;
In the soil they died to save
Lay the brave men side by side.
Side by side they fought and fell,
Hand to hand they met the foe;
Who has heard his grandsire tell
Braver strife or deadlier blow?

Wake no mournful harmonies,
Shed no earthly tear for them;
Summer dew and sighing breeze
Shall be wail and requiem.
Pile the grave-mound broad and high
Where the martyred brethren sleep;
It shall point the pilgrim eye
Here to bend, but not to weep.

9 Appendix XXXII.


Not to weep! Oh no; the grief
Springing from a blow like this
May not seek a fond relief
In the drops that mothers' kiss;
But the kindling heart shall bear
Hence the lesson, stern and high,
With as proud a flame to dare,
With as proud a throb to die.






IROM the birth of the Republic the Army Question has
been a sort of foot-ball with which fresh games, at
each successive session of Congress, have been played
by ambitious and politic young legislators, and in
which exercise older members and graver senators have not scru-
pled occasionally to take part. With the fierce shout of Stand-
ing Army!" the battered plaything is tossed about by the careless
or unreflecting contestants until, wearied or satiated with the sport,
they retire from the field, while the ball is kicked into a corner
to await new players and the next game.
When an enemy appears at our gates the regular army is
hastily and imperfectly "expanded"-three or four regiments of
infantry, one or two of cavalry, perhaps-whilst, throwing economy
to the winds, a vast volunteer army is called out, vessels are
chartered at their owners' moderate charges, and extravagance rules
the hour. For the first six months at least, the organization, the
training, the supply, and the practical direction of this force rests
with the small but compact body of trained soldiers-suffered to
exist through no fault of certain law-makers-who, under mistaken
views of retrenchment and an advanced idea of the importance
and influence of the "peace congress" would have abolished the
army altogether-horse, foot, and dragoons-trusting to the ability


of the Capitol police to guard the national honor and settle any
little family difficulty that might arise.
But legislation is not always unfavorable to the army. Often
some special measure affecting rank, pay, or a question of privilege
becomes a law, and its justice and liberality contrast favorably
with similar features of foreign military systems, and the soldier
in his far frontier quarters is encouraged and newly-nerved to
endure fresh privations and encounter fresh peril pro patria.
It is the instability of military legislation, the uncertainty of the
situation, that saps the strength of the army and is felt in every
department of the service. It will be admitted that the smaller
the military establishment the better should be the personnel of
which it is composed. In our army, according to General Sher-
man's recent testimony before a Congressional Committee, many
of the best officers are gradually leaving a service they love, and
engaging in civil pursuits, for fear they may awake some morning
to find supernumerary" marked opposite their names as the last
measure of economy.
Very recently (February, 1874) one of the greatest generals of
modern times, the commander of the most powerful army of
Europe, in his speech before the German Reichstag on the army,
quoted the words of a great republican, our own Washington,
who said:
Experience, which is the best guide for our actions, repudiates so perfectly clear
and determinedly a confidence in militia, that no one who treasures order, regularity,
and economy, or loves his own honor, his character, and peace of soul, would risk
these on the results of an undertaking with militia. Short time of service and an ill-
fou'nded confidence in the militia are the causes of all our mishaps and the growth of
our debt."

Defining the word militia to mean "State troops" simply,
General Washington's words are as applicable to-day as when
first written.
In a broader sense, meaning volunteer troops, a great change
has taken place. Since then the country has passed through a
terribly severe military "school of instruction," and the grand
reserves, soldiers of '64-now peaceful citizens-could in a few
months be organized into a magnificent army fit to cope with
any. But in those few months the regular army would not be
found an expensive and superfluous body.
Von Moltke says: "But we must not forget at the same time


that the economy practised in nzilitary matters during a long series
of years can be lost in but a single year of war."
The writer has been led into these apparently irrelevant
reflections by the action of Congress in the case of the Second
Dragoons, when, after six years of the most severe service in a
deadly climate, and over a country half under water, having
assisted in terminating a tedious and expensive struggle, which it
is safe to say would not have ended so soon without mounted
men, it was proposed to wipe them out of existence!
It is interesting to trace the progress of the measure for the
reduction of the army introduced in the House of Representatives
May 24, 1842. Under cover of the Appropriation Bill, Mr. Cave
Johnson offered an amendment-

That no money appropriated in this act, or to be appropriated, shall be applied
to the payment of any soldier hereafter to be enlisted, or officer hereafter to be
appointed, until after the army is reduced to the number of 5,000 men."

Mr. Adams said:

"That from 1831 the army had been growing until now it had more than double the
number of officers and men it then had, and was maintained at double the expense.
The monster had grown until it had reached a size at which he, for cne, was startled.
lie thought the proposition of Mr. Johnson went further than the country at first
could well bear. .. ."

Mr. Fillmore said:
"The proposition was so unexpected that the chairman of the Military Committee
(Mr. Stanley) was not in his seat. So important a question required the consideration
of some committee. It would be sweeping away the army-the institutions of the
country. I regret extremely what has been done in reference to the navy. But this
is a different case-it is a repudiation of the laws of our creation. He hoped it would
not be sanctioned."

Mr. Reynolds wanted
"This bill killed or maintained in a scientific manner. It was the dragoons
and mounted volunteers that would be effective against Indians. If the Indians saw
one of our old soldiers, who had not joined the temperance society, with a knapsack
on his back and a Harper's-Ferry rifle on his shoulder, they would laugh at him all
day. . He thought the army ought to be reduced to the lowest notch. After all,
in case of war, we had to resort to the militia."

Mr. Campbell was
"In favor of retrenchment. . In 1836, the Florida war breaking out, io,ooo
volunteers were authorized and an additional regiment of dragoons was raised, with
the express provision that it should be disbanded as soon as the public interest would
permit it. As the Florida war is ended, there is no propriety in keeping it longer in


service. The emergency calling for it is over, and it should no longer be sustained.
He wished to see the army reduced to the standard of 1821 (seven companies of infantry
and four of artillery). .. ."

Messrs. Williams, Black, and McKay advocated reduction.
Messrs. Ward, W. C. Johnson, Granger, Thompson, and Allen op-
posed the proposition, and the subject went over until the next
day, when debate was resumed.
Mr. Fillmore stated that the Secretary of War wanted at least
two regiments to make the peace establishment equal to the ne-
Mr. Cushing, in an elaborate and eloquent speech, opposed any
reduction at this time. He referred to our relations with Great
Britain and the important questions then pending with that

"Great Britain is taking the means necessary to augment and support her army
and navy. What a spectacle do we present! . Degradation is to be feared
more than war. There are abuses in the army; therefore the army must be
abolished! Such an argument would abolish this House also. Our troops were net
enough to mount guard on the frontier. They could scarcely see each other; it was
one man for every two miles. . The prostration of the army and navy was of
a piece with all the rest. The course of the House reminded him of the language
of Regan and Goneril, in Shakspeare's immortal play:
"'What, fifty followers?
Is it not well? What should you need of more?
Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger
Speak againstt so great a number . .
What, must I come to you
With five-and-twenty, Regan? Said you so?
Regan. And speak it again, my lord; no more with me.
Goneril. Hear me, my lord:
What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five?
Regan. What need ONE?'
This seemed to be much like the argument of the Democrats of the House."

Mr. Gilmer followed, in a speech of equal length, on the oppo-
site side.
Mr. Meriwether was
"Satisfied as to the propriety of retaining both regiments of dragoons. .. IHe
would, however, cut down the two additional regiments of infantry added in 1828, and
would empower the President to convert one of the dragoon regiments into a
rifle corps."

Finally, on the 7th June, a vote was reached on an amend-
ment stopping enlistments and reducing the army gradually by


casualty, until the establishment of 1821 was reached; and further

"That no part of this appropriation shall be applied, after the thirtieth day of Sep-
tember next, to the payment of the regiment of dragoons established and authorized
by the act of twentieth May, eighteen hundred and thirty six."

The above proviso was at first rejected by a vote of 98 nays
to 92 yeas; but a few minutes later, upon the yeas and nays being
called, the rejection was r:co;:siJ'rcd by a vote of 94 to 89, and
"the question recurring on concurring in the proviso, it was con-
curred in, yeas 94, nays 93." The vote of the House was then
taken upon the whole amendment, which was passed by a vote
of 163 yeas to 22 nays.
The Senate took a different view of the case, as is customary with
that dignified body, perhaps, and "amended" the bill so that its
author hardly recognized it. In the talk which necessarily ensued
in the House, Mr. Adams, the champion of retrenchment, observed
that- :

He desired the gentleman from Tennessee to withdraw that portion of his amend-
ment which authorized the President to form a regiment of mounted riflemen to take
the place of the Second Dragoons, which the House had decided should be disbanded.
Should that amendment prevail, he was apprehensive that the sole effect would be a
mere change of name, while the corps remained substantially the same. Instead of
being called dragoons, they would be called mounted riflemen, and there it would
end. For his part, he was so little of a military man he did not know the essential
difference between the two. He supposed the dragoons carried a musket and the other
a rifle. (A voice: 'No; the dragoons carry carbines.') Well, then, it would be a
rifle instead of a carbine. The President, by the act of 1838, had a discretionary power
to convert this Second Dragoons either into mounted men or infantry. Mr. A. would
venture to predict that they would be mounted; so that the whole practical result
of abolishing the dragoons-an event that had created such intense interest in the gen-
tleman from Georgia (Mr. Black) as soon as he discovered that the corps was com-
manded by a Georgian-would be to substitute a mounted corps carrying rifles for a
mounted corps carrying carbines. . As to what the gentleman from Georgia so
vehemently complained of-having the Second Dragoons disbanded rather than the
First--it was no matter of free choice with him (Mr. Adams). The Second Regiment
had been created on the condition that the President might disband it; . te
First Regiment had been created on no such condition. .. He (Mr. Adams) was
actuated by no feeling towards the commanders of the two corps or the other officers.
They were both gallant, faithful, and honorable men, and the officers of both regiments
were admirable officers in all respects. He was governed solely by the reasons he had
stated; nor could he bring himself to believe that any injustice would be done to the
Second Regiment by retaining the First in service."


The whole matter was then referred to a committee of con-
ference, which on the 8th of August recommended, through its
chairman, Mr. Stanley, that the regiment be retained in service, but
that it be dismounted and be converted into a rifle corps.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Con-
gress assembled :
That hereafter, and so soon as the reduction can be effected as herein provided, each company of
dragoons shall consist of the commissioned officers as now provided by law, and of four sergeants, four
corporals, two buglers, one farrier and blacksmith, and fifty privates, and the SECOND REGIMENT OF
DRAGOONS, now in service, shall be converted, after the fourth day of March next, into a regiment of
rifemen, . and that no recruits shall be enlisted for the dragoons, artillery, or infantry until
the numbers in the several companies shall be reduced by the expiration of the term of service, by
discharge, or other causes, below the number herein fixed for the said companies respectively. Pro-
vided : that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the re-enlistment of non-commissioned
officers whose terms of service may expire before the army shall be reduced to the number heretofore
established . .
Approved August 23, 1842.

The mingled sensations of disgust and resignation with which
the regiment received the news of its "peace basis" are aptly
expressed in


Know ye the land where the River St. John's
Rolls on through the palm-forest to the salt sea;
Where Sol gilds the mule-yard when morning first dawns,
And the sheds that give shade to my brothers and me?

Through its hummocks and forests, for many a day,
Have I toiled o'er the sands for my pitiful grain ;
And sighed at my trough till my tail has grown gray,
And sweat for my country again and again.

When the war-whoop was heard in the pine-shadowed wood;
When the drivers all ran, and the fight was a race,
Like a Holy Cross knight in my harness I stood,
Calmly smiling at fate, with my leg o'er the trace.

'Midst this donkey brevetment, oh! where my reward?
Ungroomed and unshodden, faint, foundered, and sick:
The first transport that passes will bear me on board,
Floating down the St. John's, to be sold at Black Creek.

My brothers in toil, yet uncrushed by the chains,
Be warned by my fate-this your doom I foretell:
When the war-trumpets cease, for your service and pains,
You'll be sold at Black Creek by the auctioneer Bell.

1 Army Ballads." By Colonel Lee, U.S.A.



LL unconscious of the impending blow, the headquar-
ters and seven companies of the regiment had settled
themselves comfortably at Fort Jesup, then a fine post
with substantial quarters for officers and men, spacious
parade and drill ground, and every convenience for comfort and
amusement possible to procure on the frontier. There was a
theatre and a gymnasium ably supported by the men, under the
patronage of the officers, a school, a chapel, and that ingenious
contrivance for absorbing one's pay-a sutler's store, filled with
most attractive wares.
If the Second acquired a reputation for courage and endur-
ance in Florida, its early proficiency in drill and its proverbially
good discipline were gained at "Jesup," in the seventh year of
its existence as an organization.
At this time (October), Companies H" and I" were sta-
tioned at Fort Washita, Arkansas, just established at the junc-
tion of the False Washita with the Red River. It was designed
for the protection of the Chickasaws from the predatory Indians
of the Southwest. Major Fauntleroy commanded the garrison,
which included one company of the Sixth Infantry. G" Com-
pany was at Fort Towson, "B" and K" at Baton Rouge,
while the remainder formed the garrison at "Jesup."
Although Colonel Twiggs instituted a rigorous administration
in all that tended to the improvement of his command, yet his
executive officer, to whom was entrusted the tactical exercises
and mounted drill, was Captain William J. Hardee, who had
but recently returned from "foreign service," or duty as one of
a military commission to Europe, where he had been especially
charged with observing and reporting upon the organization and
operation of the European cavalry.
L Hardee personally directed the sabre exercise of the officers,.


and superintended that of the men. Two squadrons were armed
with lances (constructed at the post), and became very expert ik
their use.' The companies were full, well mounted, and full of
zeal and emulation. Although the sutler was permitted to sell
whiskey to the men under proper restrictions, drunkenness was
rare, and the health of the troops excellent.
It may be readily imagined that the news of their probable
degradation-for so was the deprivation of their horses considered
-caused mingled emotions of rage, chagrin, and regret among the
unfortunate dragoons. Threats of resignation and desertion, both
loud and deep, were freely uttered, and for a time the very worst
feeling prevailed. Such was the force of habit, and such the
influence of the regimental commander, however, that "duty"
was performed much as usual to the eye, although a close ob-
server would detect a want of life and that elasticity of spirits and
.-., for which the Second had so recently been noted.
Three months after the passage of the act converting the regi-
ment into rifles, the first shot was fired looking to a repeal of the
mistaken legislation. Major-General Scott, in his annual report,-
after referring to the disposition of the Second Dragoons since
:their departure from Florida, stated that no early change in
:assignment of troops would be made unless induced by-

. 3. The extension of the First Dragoons to the left as far south as
the junction of the False Washita with the Red River, which will be necessary, if
,ihe Second should be dismounted after the 3d of March next, together with a re-
distribution of the latter as a rifle regiment. The changes last indicated involve ser;-
.ous frontier difficulties. The country west (and in part east) of a deflecting line
passing from the upper Red River through our cavalry posts to Fort Snelling at
the Falls of St. Anthony, a distance of a thousand miles, is very generally of the
character called prairie, or wild meadow, and abounds in warlike Indians, who are
mostly mounted. A warrior on horseback looks upon foot-soldiers beyond musket-
shot without any sense of danger. We now have seven cavalry posts in that im-
mense country. With fewer there would be no chain and no moral influence ex-
tended over many of the wild tribes. It is proposed to keep all those stations re-
inforced with portions of infantry, so that the whole cavalry may be constantly in
readiness to dash over the wide prairies, as occasions require, or at least yearly, i!
only to exhibit themselves. The strength of a troop, under the late act, will soon
be reduced from sixty to fifty privates. One will not then be able to take thc

A distinguished officer who was present at several drills of the Second Dragoons at
Jesup, in the spring of 1843, and who saw them charge in line with lances, stated that the
compactness and precision of their alignments at the gallop and at thi movement of coming
to a "halt" from the "charge" were equal to the performances of the best mounted troops
of England or France, from which countries he had recently returned.
2 Appendix XXXIV.




field singly. Two (a squadron) will be indispensable to each of the four smaller,
and four to each of the three larger posts-in all, two regiments. For these reasons,
tic' n:ar prospect of disnmounting the Second Dragoons is deeply to be regretted."

The winter rolled by, and the dreaded "ides of March" drew
near. On the 8th of March, 1843, orders' were issued providing
lwr a redistribution of the regiment, and directing that until a
uniform was prescribed for the "riflemen," the latter would con-
tinue to wear the dress of the late Second Dragoons." On the
13th another order4 distributed the horses to the First Dragoons.
The summer passed quickly, and, on the 30th of November,
another good word was spoken by the Honorable Secretary of
War in his report:

By the act of the 23d of August, 1842, very considerable reductions were made
in the army. . The first section of the same act converted the Second Regi-
ment of Dragoons, after the 4th of March last, into a regiment of riflemen. The
regiment has accordingly been dismounted and the horses sold. It is respectfully
recommended that this provision of that law be repealed, and the said regiment be
remounted and continued as the Second Regiment of Dragoons. This can be effected
at a very moderate expense; an advance of perhaps twenty per cent. on the amount
for which the old horses were sold will furnish them with new and better horses.
Their uniform has not been changed, in consequence of the quantity of dragoon
clothing on hand, and a hope that the result now recommended might be consum-
mated. The extended frontier on our entire west is subject to Indian invasions.
Many of the tribes are mounted, and it is impossible either to overtake them, to
protect the inhabitants, or repress the marauding of the savages by the small body
of mounted soldiers which would be stationed on that frontier, or in the Indian
country, or brought to act against them. Celerity of movement is required, and it
is of the utmost importance to the security of our citizens. This can, it is believed,
aloi.e be completely effected by dragoons, and the single regiment in service is not
sufficient for the purpose."

In the month of December petitions from the legislatures of
Missouri and Louisiana, praying that the Second Regiment of
Dragoons might be reorganized and mounted," were presented in
the Senate, and on January 4, 1844, a bill was introduced by Mr.
Jameson to bring about the desired result. On the 4th of March,
1844, the same bill was ordered to be engrossed, and on the 7th
was passed in the Senate.
If men can ever be called "hysterical," such would be the term
to describe the frantic and excessive rejoicing which took posses-

3 Appendix XXXV. 4 Appendix XXXVI.

----YI-*I.L. -u


sion of the garrison at Fort Jesup. A loose rein was given to the
restraint which usually curbed the passions of the careless soldier,
and for some hours after the receipt of the news everybody joined
in one grand frolic. An "extra gill," and immunity from all duty
excepting the necessary guards, marked a holiday to the en-
listed"; but it would puzzle the Lightning Calculator," we are
afraid, to have kept the tally of the extra gills that moistened the
commissioned clay, or the number of eccentricities in which the
latter favored material manifested its appreciation of the important
event. After a variety of performances of a light and inspiriting
nature, it was determined to fire a mounted salute. No more
foot degradation; hereafter! "-so declared an unsteady plebe-
" we'll do e-ev'thin' mounted! We'll eat (hic), drink (hic), and
sleep in the (hic) sad-saddle; we'll live m-mounted and (hic) we'll
d-die mounted "-a sentiment receiving grave approval from his
In the absence of any light artillery at the post, two of the
soberest of the party, Captains G- and M- were escorted to
the parade and, with much ceremony, mounted upon a six-pounder
howitzer, which, already loaded with blank-cartridge, quietly
awaited the hour when it was wont to salute the setting sun.
The frolicsome dragoons, astride the gun, began to contend for the
honor of pulling the lanyard, and, after some playful gymnastics,
G- was forced almost over the vent-hole of the piece-when
p-f! bang! A cloud of smoke, a brief pause, then a slight
swear, almost drowned in shrieks of laughter, which greeted poor
G- as he emerged from the ordeal of saltpetre, with his best
stable-jacket in flames and the "reinforce" of his light-blue
breeches not so apparent as it had been. With no gentle hand
he was rolled over and over in the grass, until, no longer a dash-
ing cavalier, but a melancholy and smouldering ruin, in the frag-
ments of a red vest and most thoroughly ventilated-" as by fire "
-pantaloons, our hero stole away. For him "joy" was becoming
a trifle monotonous.
Lest the reader should imagine that these were every-day oc-
currences, and that Mr. J. Barleycorn was supreme, it may be said
that at this time there was less drunkenness at Fort Jesup than at
almost any other post in the country. It was very soon after that
an order was issued by the War Department authorizing com-
manding officers of certain military posts to allow sutlers to keep


ardent spirits and sell to soldiers, with the permission of their com-
pany commanders:
WASHINGTON, May 30, 1845.
SIR: Many officers of experience and observation concur in the opinion that a
modification of paragraphs 192 and 193, Army Regulations, and as subsequently
amended (Dec. 23, 1842), would greatly conduce to the sobriety and good conduct
of the soldiers at certain frontier posts. Accordingly, you are hereby authorized to
exercise a sound discretion in allowing the sutler at your post to keep ardent spirits,
etc., and sell the same to the soldiers of the garrison (under wholesome post regula-
tions) with the permission of their company commanders. At the end of three months
you will please report the result-whether the open, moderate use of ardent spirits,
with authority, be less hurtful to the service, etc.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
R. JONES, Adjutant-General.
Colonel D. E. TWIGGS, Second Dragoons,
Com'g Fort Jesup, La.

Among the papers of the regiment we find a mass of testimony
in favor of the continuance of the regulation as conducive to the
best interests of the service.
Major Fauntleroy reports his

Decided opinion that it is an advantage to the soldier to allow him (the soldier)
the privilege to buy spirits in moderate quantities, and that all regulations should
have greater reference to the seller than to the buyer. . This is my experience
for two years past at this post, and the truth of this position was strikingly exempli-
fied during some months' stay at Towson, where both systems were tried within a
short period of time in 1842."

Captain Hardee agrees with the above, and adds:

"The usual restraints upon the appetite for drinking which discipline has
imposed elsewhere have been wholly removed at this garrison, and the men have
been free to partake at all times and in such quantities as their inclinations might
dictate. . No evil has hitherto resulted from this system; on the contrary, it
has worked admirably and to my entire satisfaction as a company commander. My
men appreciate the liberty they enjoy, are cheerful and happy, and rarely abuse the
confidence reposed in them. For the last eight months, since I took command of my
company (B), only six men have been confined for drunkenness, during which time there
has been a constant change of men. . Pay-day, so terrible in some places, passes
off without any unusual excitement, and no necessity ever exists for sending out
patrols in the neighborhood for stragglers who are either besotting themselves or
'running the mail.' . ."

Captains Graham, Hunter, and Fulton bear similar testimony,
and the last-named officer remarks: I could with propriety refer


to the authorized use in the Second Dragoons, than whieci I kno;u
of no regiment having more sober men and so few drunkards "
The medical officers (Surgeons Jarvis and Wharton and Assis-
tant-Surgeon Barnes ) gave exhaustive opinions and statistics.
Dr. Barnes reported that-
"Since January I, 1844, but thirty cases of delirium tremens have occurred in a
command of seven companies of dragoons. Some of these were incorrigible drunk-
ards, and a majority of them were but just returned from furlough."

Dr. Wharton corroborated the foregoing, and made a compari-
son between the relative sobriety and health cf the troops at Forts
Gibson and Leavenworth, where total prohibition was attempted,
and at Fort Jesup, greatly in favor of the latter post. He added
"On a single occasion, at Fort Gibson, I have witnessed the recovery of an en-
tire wagon-load of public property previously bartered away by only three companies
of the regiment for whiskey."

Dr. Jarvis's opinion was in the form of an elaborate essay on
intemperance in and out of the army, treating the subject with all
the enthusiasm of one with whom temperance was a hobby. For
instance :
"Soldiers, with the true characteristics of human nature, will use every effort,
incur any risk or danger, or undergo any labor or fatigue, to obtain that which is
prohibited them. . But this is not the case in civil life. There a man's living
depends in a manner on his conduct, and intemperance is certain to be followed
by loss of support or actual want. Neither is the vice viewed by the world in that
same mild and forgiving light that it is in the gay and thoughtless soldier or sailor,
whose very privations and dangers seem to give him, in some measure, a certain
degree of indulgence which is not accorded to those in other professions.
He drives away all grief and sorrow
And drowns the thoughts of what's to-morrow
In a can of grog."

The learned physician concludes that under all circumstances
I am decidedly in favor of its being sold to soldiers under
proper restrictions and a judicious control of the commanding
The tradition (or may we call it a superstition?) that the
Second Dragoons at this time were followers of Bacchus, as well
as sons of Mars, is thus, we trust, destroyed for ever, even as

5 Now Surgeon-General of the Army.



the theory that public men in days past were more honest and
upright than now.



How stands the glass around?
For shame ye take no care, my boys;
How stands the glass around?
Let mirth and wine abound.
The trumpets sound!
The colors flying are, my boys,
To fight, kill, or wound;
Content with our hard fare, my boys,
On the cold ground.

Why, soldiers, why
Should we be melancholy, boys?
Why, soldiers, why?
Whose business 'tis to die.
What! sighing? Fie!
Drink on, drown fear, be jolly, boys;
'Tis he, you, or I;
Cold, hot, wet, or dry,
We're always bound to follow, boys,
And scorn to fly.

'Tis but in vain
(I mean not to upbraid you, boys),
'Tis but in vain
For soldiers to complain;
Should next campaign
Send us to Him that made you, boys,
We're free from pain;
But should we remain,
A bottle and kind landlady
Cures all again.

In his report, dated November 28, 1844, the Secretary of War
remarks that-
"The remounting of the Second Regiment of Dragoons will
enlarge the very best force for military service on the prairies-
an indisputable duty now devolving on the Government. As long

Written and sung by him the night before the storming of Quebec (inth of September,
1759), and afterwards set to music by Handel.


as a foreign territory makes so marked an encroachment into the
natural boundary of the south-western frontier, Fort Jesup, or a
post in rear of it on the Sabine, must remain one of the most
important military positions on any of our frontiers. In addition
to the propriety of having a large force stationed there, it was
increased by the necessary detention of the rifle regiment, pre-
paratory to its being reconverted into the Second Regiment of
Dragoons, whose proper station is in the Indian country."







O regiment took a more glorious or prominent part in
the war with Mexico than did the Second Dragoons.
It was their fortune-good or bad-to shed the first
blood in that conflict; theirs to perform one of the
most brilliant-certainly one of the most conspicuously gallant-
actions of the subsequent campaigns, and, after two years of
arduous and honorable warfare, in which the regimental standard
had been borne into the heart of the enemy's country, it was
the privilege of a troop of Second Dragoons to strike the last
blow of the closing campaign in a successful encounter with
double their number of the enemy's best horsemen.
The causes which led to the war can be briefly disposed
of. President Tyler, in the spring of 1844, introduced a treaty
w' ith the Government of Texas providing for the annexation ot
that State to the Union. This treaty was rejected by the Senate.
With the approval of the authorities of Texas, and pending the
consummation of fresh negotiations, a force was concentrated on
the border, under command of Brevet Brigadier-General Zachary
Taylor, Colonel Sixth Infantry, and called the "Army of Observa-
tion." Fort Jesup, the headquarters of the regiment, was se-
lected as the point of rendezvous.



During the month of May, 1844, the troops, comprising the
corps of "observation "-seven companies Second Dragoons, the
Third Infantry, and eight companies of the Fourth Infantry-
reported to General Taylor at Fort Jesup.
In February, 1845, the resolutions annexing Texas passed both
Houses, and on the 28th of May General Taylor received the
following instructions:

"So soon as the Texas Congress shall have given its consent to annexation,
and a convention shall assemble and accept the terms offered in the resolution of
Congress, Texas will then be regarded by the executive Government here so far a
part of the United States as to be entitled from that moment to defence and pro-
tection against foreign invasion and Indian incursions. The troops under your com-
mand will be placed in readiness to perform that duty."

On the i5th of June, 1845, further instructions were sent to
General Taylor that, in anticipation of the probable agreement
with Texas, he was to advance to some point on the Gulf of
Mexico, which he might deem convenient for the embarkation of
his command to the western frontier of that State. New Orleans
was selected as this point, to which the infantry was ordered to
proceed immediately.
The "Second" was, however, ordered to march across country
to Corpus Christi, where the Army of Occupation would
General Taylor remained at Jesup some days, supervising in
person the arrangements for moving.
The command comprised seven companies, numbering about
500 men, under the following officers:

Field and Staff.
Colonel-D. E. TwIGGs. R. C. S.-Brevet Captain R. A. ARNOLD.
Major-T. T. FAUNTLEROY. Surgeon-W. L. WHARTON.
Adjutant-H. H. SIBLEY. Assistant Surgeon-GEORGE BUIST.
Quartermaster-Capt. CRoss, A.Q.M. Topographical Eng.-Lieut. GEORGE STEVENS.

Comf;anies. Caftains. First Lieutenants. Second Lieutenants. Br'tSecond Lieutenants.

SLieutenant Inge was left behind in charge of the post, and sick in hospital, etc.


A train of sixty wagons was provided for the transportation
of supplies. The route they were to march over was a difficult
one, and much doubt was expressed outside of army circles as
to the ability of the troops to reach their destination successfully.
All being in readiness, the dragoons left Jesup on the 25th of
July, and arrived at Corpus Christi on the 27th of August, having
rested eight days on the road. Their experiences are told by
one of the officers as follows:

"Anticipations and predictions of a disastrous march for the dragoons, on account
of the drouth and warm season, were rife among certain wiseacres; and verifica-
tions of the same, in the shape of vague rumors of sickness and distress, were ac-
cordingly sent abroad ere we had fairly started. Indeed, a report reached us before
we left Fort Jesup that Colonel Twiggs, who had preceded the command an hour
or two, was lying dangerously ill five miles on the road. This we discovered to
be utterly false. . Passing through a comparatively unsettled country, a southern
clime, a six weeks' drouth, the month of August, the various and contradictory
reports in reference to forage, etc., with seven companies of dragoons and a train
of sixty wagons, might well have staggered a firmer and more practical mind. Put
the task voluntarily undertaken has been accomplished, and the regiment and train
presented to the commanding general in such fine condition as to have elicited the
admiration of our friends of the infantry regiments, and a complimentary order from
General Taylor himself. True, we encountered difficulties on the route, and obsta-
cles that seemed insurmountable ; but nothing impeded our progress. Starting at three
o'clock in the morning, and frequently at midnight, our marches of twenty-five and
sometimes thirty miles were terminated before the heat of the day. Upon our arrival
at the towns and villages, we were greeted by the acclamations of the multitude
assembled to welcome us. Balls and parties were immediately gotten up, and com-
mittees, composed of the magi of the people, sent to solicit our attendance. The
ladies-God bless them !-we found always first and most enthusiastic in the expres-
sion of their joy and gratitude. Our losses upon the route were principally frcm
desertion, only three deaths having occurred on the march. One, the first day, was
occasioned by overheating himself and drinking cold water, and two others from a
stroke of the sun, having been obliged, on account of the soreness of their horses'
backs, to walk across a prairie fifteen miles wide on the borders of the Guadalupe.
Indeed, much of the distress and the consequent desertions may be attributed
mainly to the circumstance, that during the first six days over sixty horses' backs
were injured by the miserable saddles lately adopted by the Government, and the
riders consequently were dismounted and made to walk the remainder of the way.
An amusing circumstance, and one that is more flattering to the regiment than anv
other occurrence on the route, took place at San Patricio. The regiment had made
an early start (twelve M.), in order to accomplish a distance of twenty-seven miles
to San Patricio, and cross the Nueces by means of a raft which had been previ-
ously constructed by a party thrown forward the night and day before. We arrived
about eight A.M. By nine every dragoon had swum the river, with his equipment.
fDuring the whole morning, and especially at this hour, had been heard what was
at first supposed to be the firing of a salute at CorFus Christi. The continuation




of the distant reports, however, together with the absence of General Taylor, who had
informed Colonel Twiggs by express that he should meet him at San Patricio that
day, convinced even the most skeptical that Corpus Christi had been attacked. *To
horse' was immediately sounded, then 'the advance,' and the sick and convalescent
were ordered to remain as a guard to the train. When we were fairly under way.
however, and the stragglers were all up, the officer left in charge reported that there
were no sick, the number having suddenly been reduced from fifty to nothing! We had
scarcely proceeded three miles, however, before we met the General himself, and soon
discovered that instead of the enemy we were about to meet a violent thunder-siorm.
We were not much vexed, as the occurrence displayed to us the alacrity with ilhich
our men would prepare to meet the enemy, and the stuff the regiment is
of. Nous verrons.
"Ere I conclude, it is but just that I should inform the public that to Lieut.nmat
George Stevens, Second Dragoons, acting topographical engineer, is due the credit at
surveying and measuring the entire route from Fort Jesup, Louisiana, to Corpus Chi,-l.
having with his own hands constructed an odometer for that purpose. The distance to
this point has been thus ascertained to be five hundred and one and a half miles,
The regiment arrived at Corpus Christi on the 27th of August, having rested eight
days on the march."

The three companies of the regiment at Washita, under com-
mand of Brevet-Major B. L. Beall, were ordered to proceed to
San Antonio and Austin.2
The commanding General displayed great energy in collecting
supplies of all kinds, transportation, and perfecting the organiza-
tion and discipline of his little army-at this time about 3,000
men--in readiness for any contingency.
General Taylor's forces could not complain of their first im-
pressions of Texas. Says one writer:

"The position taken by General Taylor is one of extreme beauty, and when
the dye first rests upon his camp, clustered with a thousand spotless white tints
along the shelly margin of the shore of Corpus Christi Bay, irresistible bursts ol
admiration follow It is a position of security as well as of beauty. His tents are
pitched on a piece of table-land that reaches about a quarter of a mile to a rangc
of hills. At the distance of a quarter of a mile from the crest of these hb has
stationed as an out-guard a force of one hundred and twenty hardy and well-tried
Texans, to whose fidelity is entrusted this otherwise assailable point. .. Major
Gally, commanding the volunteers from New Orleans, is entrusted with guarding the
extreme left, whilst the extreme right is guarded by Colonel Twiggs, commanding
the Second Dragoons. The centre is composed of the Third, Fourth, and Seventh
regiments of infantry. ... .It is probably one of the healthiest and pleasantest
spots in the world. From the earliest dawn refreshing breezes invigorate the body,
dissipate the intensity of the heat, and nerve the system to a healthful action.

2 Appendix XXXVII.



SThe cool nights invite weariness to repose, disturbed neither by the promenading
[ rei nor the buzzing mosquito. .. The waters abound with fish and oysters,
botl of a superior kind, and the prairies adjacent teem with rich-flavored venison."

Captain Henry calls it God's favored land-the Eden of
The same writer, a little later in November, must have thought
ol '" Paradise Lost" when he thus laments:

Hast thou, dear reader, ever felt a 'norther'-heard tell of one? No? Well
your northern cold is nothing to it. It comes like a thief in the night and all but
-tal your life. You go to bed; weather sultry and warm; bed-clothes disagreeable;
trni open; before morning you hear a distant rumbling; the roaring increases;
Sthe norlther comes. For several minutes you hear it careering in its wild course ; when
It reaches you it issues fresh from the snow mountains. . The change in one's
f:eligs is like an instantaneous transit from the torrid to the frigid zone.
Ice has formed in pails several times, and one morning every tent had an ice cov-, ; the sleet had frozen on it, and the crackling of the canvas sounded like
anything but music. We were forced to throw up embankments, and plant chap-
arral to the north of our tents to break the wind. . The beauty of this
.-,:,'e is decidedly in the summer. I'll venture to say there is no part of the United
St.ilts cursed with such a variable one in the winter. . The morning after
:.ur coldest night, cartloads of the finest fish and green turtle were driven on shore
ai the Nueces reef in a torpid state."

The time passed rapidly, and not unpleasantly, in drilling, hunt-
ing, racing, and the drama. Game abounded. Mischievous Mexi-
can ponies were to be had for a song, and a theatre of calibre
So:." had recently been completed for the entertainment of the
s.,ni of Mars. From time to time parties of dragoons were sent
int.. the interior on "tours of observation." In October, Captain
Ker penetrated the country fifty miles west of the headquarters,
and described it as beautiful beyond description, finding deer, tur-
keys, and wild horses in abundance.
On the 8th of March the army of occupation broke camp--
for the first time in seven months-and, preceded by the Second
Dragoons and Ringgold's Light Battery, started for the Rio
Grande. The march thither was comparatively uneventful, al-
thcoutgh the route lay partly through a picturesque region covered
with luxuriant vegetation, over which herds of mustangs galloped
Wildly, and the fleeter antelope surveyed from a safe distance the
invading strangers. On the 15th, the dragoons entered a com-
paratively barren waste, thirty-four miles wide, half way between
the Nueces and the Rio Grande. The soil was a deep sand



covered with numerous ponds of salt water, but for miles a.Iord-
ing no fresh water.
On the i6th, Lieutenant Hill, commanding the advance-,iaird
of the regiment, met some twenty-two mounted Mexicans, sup:,i-ed
to be the scouts of a larger force. The officer in command t ld
Lieutenant Hill he must not advance further.
Hill told them our troops were only going to take peacrtblc
possession of the country, but that he would return and report to
Colonel Twiggs, and would meet him at 3 P.M. at the same -pot.
At the appointed time the dragoon officer, having been sp:ciall!
instructed, returned; but no Mexicans were visible.
On the 20th inst. the dragoons, horse artillery, and two bri;:iales
of infantry crossed the Colorado, with some slight show of re!i'st
ance. About thirty Mexicans appeared on the opposite bank, :and
threatened to fire upon any one who attempted to cross.
General Taylor, having cut down the bank for the pass..:;,' .if
the train, crossed his entire force without molestation, althou-h I-i
was met on the opposite bank by a message from General 1L-:jii
(afterwards shot with Maximilian), commanding at Matarn.,.r;s,
stating that the crossing would be looked upon by him as a 'd.l:-
ration of war.
After resting one day, the army resumed the march to M.:..-
moras, in four columns, the dragoons on the right. The c.unti v
became, if possible, more beautiful, the weather more deliohit;ui.
On the 24th of March the command was halted within twelve mil-.,
of Matamoras, and all the empty wagons of the army train,
escorted by the dragoons, accompanied by General Taylor, srit:. -
for Point Isabel for subsistence. The next day the arm, **:.-.:
moved by General Worth to Palo Alto, where they were re :-!.ii,:l
by General Taylor and the Second Dragoons. On the 28th the
city of Matamoras appeared in sight on the opposite bank ..I' I!
Rio Grande.
Captain Henry says:
"We reached the river at eleven o'clock. . When we arrived, some two
hundred persons were on the opposite bank. The Mexican colors were flying from
the quarters of the commander, General Mejia, from the Place d'Artillerie, and from
the quarters of the sappers and miners. . Two of the advanced guard of the
dragoons, being some distance from the main body, were pounced upon by some
Mexicans and carried off prisoners to the city; a little bugler-boy was also dismounted,
and his horse taken from him. This seizure caused no little excitement, and we were
all ready to take the city at any risk."


Full Text
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