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July

This webpage reproduces part of the
Journal
of
Philip N. Barbour

G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1936

This text has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

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September
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

Journal
of Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Philip Norbourne Barbour

 p93  August 1st — Made an early start and ran to within 10 miles to Camargo when we had to stop and look for the channel. The Captain found it and tied up for the night, deeming it unsafe to attempt the navigation of this part of the river except in daylight. We passed the "Neva" this afternoon wrecked about ¼ of a mile below us. She had on board Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bomford's company of the 8th who were engaged in fishing their baggage and company property out of the hold. The Captain of the "Neva" thinks she was scuttled as she had struck nothing on her way up and went down suddenly at the bank of the river after he had tied up for the night. Tomorrow I trust we shall reach our destination and encamp before night. I have a letter commenced to my darling Mattie which I shall finish and send back by this boat. I have been thinking more than usual about her today and am more than ever convinced that I shall have no happiness until comfortably settled with her for life. If I were able to resign I would make a present of my Commission to Uncle Sam after the approaching campaign.

August 2d — Arrived at Camargo about 9 A.M. today. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bainbridge and I went up immediately to call on General Worth.a He met us with evident pleasure and entertained us for five minutes with an account of the rigid measures he had taken against the army of loafers who have followed us ever since we arrived at Corpus Christi. If Worth's policy (that of sending off every person  p94 who comes here without authority in writing from some higher source) be carried out, we shall be troubled no more from that class of persons. The General sent Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Wood, Topographical Engineer, to show us our ground. It was covered with a dense chaparral, but when we got fairly at it, it soon disappeared. It has been raining on us nearly all day, nevertheless we are snugly encamped, having cleared off every shrub upon the ground to be occupied by the left wing. This afternoon Major Lear,b Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Irwin and the noncommissioned staff and band, and Craigc with Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sykes and Company D arrived in the "Big Hatchie," Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Morris and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Henry, with their companies, having been left to come up with the train. Two companies of the 4th are also to accompany it, the whole under the command of Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Graham, 4th Infantry. General Taylord and staff were to leave on the 1st inst., a battery of artillery and one company of Dragoons with him. Finished my letter to Mattie this afternoon and sent it up to Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Crosman who sent me word that he would send it down by the "Roberts."

August 3d — This morning after guard mounting, every Officer and man in camp off duty was turned out to clear away the brush from the remainder of the ground for our Regiment and we have been working in the hottest sun all day, until about 3 o'clock when a heavy rain came up and continued until night. The Major sent me up to town to get  p95 a barrel of whiskey from the commissary to issue to the men, which gave me an opportunity of seeing Camargo. It is an old dilapidated-looking town with very few people in it. I never saw so sad a looking place. The recent overflow of the Rio Grande and San Juan did great injury to it. Scarcely a respectable looking house is left standing. There are no stores, and but one house, a druggist shop in the town, to indicate that business of any sort is carried on. The troops (7th Infantry and a section of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bragg's Battery under Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Thomas) are encamped in the plaza. The men occupy the buildings on the four sides to lounge in during the heat of the day. Dined with Thomas and fared well. They had a most excellent dish that I never saw before, though it is an exceedingly simple one, viz.: fried peaches. Thomas told me there were plenty of fine peaches in town just ripening. I succeeded in obtaining the whiskey and returned to Camp, part of the way in the rain. If Mattie had been here now she would have fussed about until I had changed my clothes, but as she was not, I kept on the wet ones — "We must suffer some." This afternoon Major Lear's and Irwin's horses got away and are gone. A soldier sent after them has returned and reports that he tracked them about five miles in a westerly direction. A report came here today, I don't know how, that there were about 300 Comanche Indians in the neighborhood of Mier and that they had killed the Alcalde of that town. Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Vinton's company is stationed there.

 p96  August 4th — Resumed the work of clearing our ground this morning and continued it until 12 o'clock when we were driven in by the rain. The water ran through my tent to the depth of several inches and the rain poured through the worn‑out canvas as though it had been a sieve. In the afternoon we were turned out to work again in the rain but it ceased in less than an hour and the remainder of the day was cool and delightful, the sun being obscured by clouds. Tomorrow our Camp is to be pitched "secundum artem" and then we commence preparing a drill grounds. Majors Lear and Irwin recovered their horses. They were brought in today by some Mexicans sent after them by the Alcalde of Camargo, at the request of Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Miles, 7th Infantry, commanding in the town. Craig went up to town this morning and dined with Crosman at his boarding house, kept by a Mexican family. Craig appears delighted with the entire neatness of the establishment and the excellent cooking of the hostess. We killed a very large rattlesnake in Camp today, found by one of the men in a hole. I am detailed as officer of the day for tomorrow and shall devote the day to My Mattie. Received a letter from Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.John Sanders.

August 5th — Pitched the Camp today but have much labor before us yet. It rained again today. Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Brown's company, 4th Artillery, arrived. Wrote part of a letter to Mattie.

 p97  August 6th — Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Munroe's company, commanded by Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bradford, arrived this morning. The 2d Infantry is to be distributed along on the Rio Grande and the General is expected tomorrow or next day. Sent off my letter to Mattie. Continued work all day and have cleared off nearly all the high growth.

August 7th — The Mexicans in Camargo have a report today that Alvarez has succeeded in overthrowing Paredes' Government, and has placed himself at the head of the nation. That a suspension of hostilities will be immediately asked for. That Alvarez has declared the inability of the Government in the exhausted state of its treasury and the disaffected condition of many of the departments to carry on the war and that we may consequently expect overtures to that effect ere long. God grant it may be true. But I doubt exceedingly if the success of any revolution would materially affect the relations between Mexico and the United States: because, although many of the department are disaffected towards Paredes, there appears to be but one feeling with regard to the war against the "North American Barbarians," and no leader could be popular at this time who would not pledge himself to avenge the insulted honor of the "Magnanimous Mexican Nation."

August 8th — Capt. McCullough,e who went with his company of rangers some days ago to China (a village  p98 60 miles distant on the San Juan) to see if the Mexicans as had been reported were assembling there, returned this afternoon and reports that a Col. Sequin with 150 men was encamped in the plaza of the town but on his approach fled. Another small force of 200 men was in the neighborhood. He represents the road as good with plenty of good water. General Taylor and staff arrived tonight in the "Hatchee Eagle." Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bliss says Worth's brigade will be pushed on very soon to China and the remainder of the Army will be in motion in two weeks at the farthest. Received by the mail tonight a letter from Cousin Robert, dated July 2d.

August 9th — This being the Sabbath, has been a day of rest. We had an inspection and dress parade this evening and our men looked exceedingly clean and well considering the little time they have had to devote to their arms, etc., since our arrival. By an order of General Worth all the troops were under arms at the same hour and General Taylor rode along the line to look at them.

August 10th — The heat today has been intolerable. Tonight five of the most brilliant meteors I ever saw shot across the heavens, like rockets, from east to west. 300 Texans of Col. Johnson'sf regiment arrived under Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Wells. Another boat came up tonight. We have not heard what she brought.

August 11th — This day has been the twin brother of yesterday, as hot as a furnace. Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Blanchard  p99 arrived with his company which he calls the Phoenix, it having been raised from the ashes of the Louisiana regiments discharged under the old three months law. Blanchard says his company is the chivalry of Louisiana simmered down and purified of all dross. We will see if they maintain by their deeds their title to this high character.

August 12th — Nothing has occurred to interrupt the usual routine of duty in our Camp today. On yesterday (and I feel mortified that I should have omitted to record it in its place) I received a sweet, sweet letter from my own Mattie. God bless her dear, affectionate, confiding heart. How blest am I in the possession of such a jewel! and although I confess I am not much of a jewel, yet my heart leaps within me at the reflection that she does not outdo me in devotion. Never for one moment has my fidelity been tempted to give way. Nor could it be overcome by all the blandishments of wealth and beauty and power. I wrote her a hurried letter, having but a limited time before the departure of the boat.

August 13th — Before I was up, this morning, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Brooks announced to me the approach of Morris and Henry. I jumped out of bed and before I had finished dressing Guyº was in my tent and shaking my hand with a warmth that showed how glad he was to see me. I returned it in the same spirit. After breakfast I saw Morris and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Buell and Bob, p100  etc., etc., and the cordial meeting of the Officers and men in camp was eloquently convincing of the fact by what a strong tie of attachment we are all united. Received another Dear letter from Mattie today and feel so happy that I shall have to get some one to sit up with me. She appeared to be as contented as I could expect her to be, and enjoys excellent health, which I trust the sea bathing will even improve. General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Johnston arrived today with the remainder of his regiment. I saw him for a moment. Saw also my cousin, Will Barbourg, with whom I am well pleased. He is both brave and talented and I have no doubt will distinguish himself if he has a chance in this war.

August 14th — Will Barbour has been with me nearly the whole of the day. He is a talented, noble fellow. Four companies of the Louisville Legion arrived yesterday, the other six are coming by land.

August 15th — Received a dear letter from Mattie today and sent her one, No. 13, by Mr. Rocah who was honorably discharged from service yesterday. The heat for the last four days has been insufferable, thermometer standing in the shade at 103 degrees. Bought a pony today for $8i for Boyd, our cook, to ride. Call him "Oliver Twist" from his orphan appearance. Brooks thinks but poorly of his physique though I think he's a singed cat, better than he looks.

 p101  August 16th — Detailed as Judge Advocate to a G. C. M. for the trial of Lieut. Hobsonj, 7th Infantry. Have been all the afternoon on my bed reading "King Henry the Fifth," one of Shakespeare's plays. Just at dark it rained and is still raining, a Godsend as our camp for a week past has been enveloped in dust which will be settled, we hope, by morning.

August 20th — I have had so much writing as Judge Advocate of a General Court Martial for the trial of Lieut. Hobson, 7th Infantry, for the last five days that I have had to neglect my journal. The Court adjourned sine die this morning and I am once more free. General Johnston's regiment is about to disgrace itself by breaking up and going home before their six months have expired. They avail themselves of the decision of the War Department under which the Louisiana troops were disbanded. Johnston has made every effort to keep them in the field the remaining three months of their term, but to no purpose. He is disgusted and mortified and does not scruple to tell his men to their teeth. Brigadier Generals Pillowk from Tennessee and Quitmanl from Mississippi have arrived. General Worth's Division of the Army has commenced its march to the interior. The 1st Brigade has left and the 2d is under orders. We are the next regulars to go but it will be ten days I think before we can leave. I have this moment heard that Col. Harveym has marched from San Antonio to  p102 Monclova in Mexico with three companies of Dragoons, 500 or 600 Texans that he called out himself and some Delaware Indians! This will astonish old Zac and nettle him too. Monclova is a strategic point and ought to be seized but I rather think old "Rough and Ready" would prefer doing it himself. Harvey had no orders to march. On the contrary he had orders not to march. Anybody else would be hanged for it. He will not be touched being a protégé of General Jackson,n whose ghost Mr. Polkº is afraid of.

August 21st — A letter was received today from the interior containing information deemed at Headquarters reliable, that Paredes has advanced toward this frontier, with 8000 troops as far as San Luis Potosi, that he was there made prisoner by his own army and taken back as such to the capital, that his government was immediately overthrown and another person whose name I do not recall placed temporarily at the head of affairs, and that the capital and all the cities in that section had pronounced for Santa Anna who had been sent for to Havana to return and take charge of the Government. General Twiggso arrived this morning with the Dragoons and two batteries, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Ridgely's and Taylor's (the latter commanded by Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Mackall). They report General Harnerp with parts of several regiments of volunteers within two days march of this place. Two steamboats arrived tonight and I must finish my letter to my dear Mattie  p103 and send it up in the morning to go on the first boat that leaves.


Thayer's Notes:

a William Jenkins Worth: born in New York, appointed from New York. First Lieutenant in the 23d Infantry 19 Mar 1813; Captain 19 Aug 1814; transferred to the 2d Infantry 17 May 1815; transferred to the 1st Artillery 1 Jun 1821; Major in the Ordnance 30 May 1832; Colonel in the 8th Infantry 7 Jul 1838; Brevet Captain 5 Jul 1814 for his gallant and distinguished conduct at the battle of Chippewa, U. C.; Major 25 Jul 1814, that being the day of the battle of Niagara in which he was distinguished by his gallantry and good conduct; Lieutenant-Colonel 25 Jul 1824 for 10 years faithful service in the grade of Brevet Major; Brigadier General 1 Mar 1842 for gallant and highly distinguished service as commander of the forces in the war against the Florida Indians and Major General 23 Sep 1846 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the several conflicts at Monterey, Mex.; presented with a sword by resolution of Congress 2 Mar 1847 in testimony of the high sense entertained of his gallantry and good conduct in the storming of Monterey, Mex. Died 7 May 1849. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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b William W. Lear: born in Maryland, appointed from the Army. Private, Corporal, and Sergeant in the Light Dragoons 18 May 1812 to 15 Jun 1815 and in the 4th Infantry to Mar 1818; Second Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry 13 Feb 1818; First Lieutenant 24 Feb 1818; Captain 1 May 1824; Major in the 3d Infantry 14 Jun 1842; Brevet Major 1 May 1834 for 10 years faithful service in one grade. Died 31 Oct 1846 of wounds received 21 Sep 1846 in the attack on the city of Monterey, Mex. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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c Louis S. Craig: born in Virginia, appointed from Virginia. Second Lieutenant in the 2d Dragoons 14 Oct 1837; transferred to the 3d Infantry 1 Aug 1838; First Lieutenant 1 Jun 1840; Captain 18 Jun 1846; Brevet Major 23 Sep 1846 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the several conflicts at Monterey, Mex. and Lieutenant-Colonel 20 Aug 1947 for gallant and meritorious service in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, Mex. Killed 6 Jun 1852 by deserters. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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d Zachary Taylor: born in Virginia, appointed from Kentucky. First Lieutenant in the 7th Infantry 3 May 1808; Captain 30 Nov 1810, Major in the 26th Infantry 15 May 1814; retained 17 May 1815 as Captain in the 7th Infantry which he declined and was honorably discharged 15 Jun 1815; reinstated as Major in the 3d Infantry 17 May 1816; Lieutenant-Colonel in the 4th Infantry 20 Apr 1819; transferred to the 8th Infantry 13 Aug 1819; transferred to the 1st Infantry 1 Jun 1821; transferred to the 7th Infantry 16 Aug 1821; transferred to the 1st Infantry 1 Jan 1822; Colonel 4 Apr 1832; transferred to the 6th Infantry 7 July 1843; Major General 29 Jun 1846; Brevet Major 5 Sep 1812 for gallant conduct in the defense of Ft. Harrison, Ind.; Brigadier General 25 Dec 1837 for distinguished service in the battle of Kissimmee [Okeechobee], Fla. with Seminole Indians and Major General 28 May 1846 for his gallant conduct and distinguished service in the successive victories over superior Mexican forces at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Tex. on May 8 and 9, 1846; tendered the thanks of Congress 16 Jul 1846 "for the fortitude, skill, enterprise and courage which have distinguished the recent operations on the Rio Grande, with the presentation of a gold medal with appropriate devices and inscriptions thereon, in the name of the Republic, as a tribute to his good conduct, valor, and generosity to the vanquished;" by resolution of 2 Mar 1847 "for the fortitude, skill, enterprise, and courage which distinguished the late brilliant military operations at Monterey," and with the presentation of a gold medal "emblematical of this splendid achievement, as a testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his judicious and distinguished conduct on that memorable occasion," and by resolution of 9 May 1848 "for himself and the troops under his command for their valor, skill, and gallant conduct, conspicuously displayed on the 22d and 23d of February last in the battle of Buena Vista, in defeating a Mexican army of more than four times their number, consisting of chosen troops under their favorite commander, Gen. Santa Anna, with the presentation of a gold medal emblematical of this splendid achievement, as a testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his judicious and distinguished conduct on that memorable occasion;" resigned 31 Jan 1840; President of the United States 4 Mar 1849 until he died 9 Jul 1850. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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e More properly, Benjamin McCulloch: born in Tennessee, appointed from Texas. Captain in the 1st Texas Rangers 26 Apr to 30 Sep 1846; Major and Quartermaster of Volunteers 16 Jul 1845; resigned 6 Sep 1847. Brigadier General C. S. A. war 1861 to 1865; killed 7 Mar 1862 at the battle of Pea Ridge, Ark. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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f Having combed thru all the Johnsons in Heitman's Register, I found very few serving in 1846, and not one who was a Colonel at the time.

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g There is no officer by that name in Heitman's Register; he very likely belonged to the Texas Militia or a State Militia.

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h There is no officer by that name and spelling in Heitman's Register. He may not have been an officer before his discharge.

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i Equivalent in 2015 to about $175.

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j Heitman's Register lists no officer named Hobson (Hodgson, Holson, Dobson) in the 7th Infantry in 1846.

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k Gideon Johnson Pillow: born in Tennessee, appointed from Tennessee. Brigadier General of Volunteers 1 Jul 1846; Major General 13 Apr 1847; honorably discharged 20 Jul 1848. Brigadier General, C. S. A., in the war 1861 to 1865. Died 8 Oct 1878. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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l John Anthony Quitman: born in New York, appointed from Mississippi. Brigadier General of Volunteers 1 Jul 1846; Major General 14 Apr 1847; Brevet Major General 23 Sep 1846 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Monterey, Mex.; received by resolution of Congress 2 Mar 1847 the testimonial of a sword "in testimony of the high sense entertained by the Congress of his gallantry and good conduct in storming Monterey;" honorably discharged 20 Jul 1848. Died 17 Jul 1858. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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m There is no officer named Harvey in Heitman's Register who was a Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel, including by brevet, in 1846.

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n Andrew Jackson: born in South Carolina, appointed from Tennessee. Major General of Volunteers 1812 to 1814; Brigadier General in the United States Army 19 Apr 1814; Major General 1 May 1814; received the thanks of Congress 27 Feb 1815 as follows:

"That the thanks of Congress be, and they are hereby, given to Maj. Gen. Jackson, and through him to the officers and soldiers of the regular army, of the militia, and of the volunteers, under his command, the greater proportion of which troops consisted of militia and volunteers suddenly collected together, for their uniform gallantry and good conduct conspicuously displayed against the enemy from the time of his landing before New Orleans until his final expulsion therefrom; and particularly for their valor, skill and good conduct on the 8th of January last in repulsing with great slaughter a numerous British army of chosen veteran troops when attempting, by a bold and daring attack, to carry by storm the works hastily thrown up for the protection of New Orleans; and thereby obtaining a most signal victory over the enemy, with a disparity of loss on his part unexampled in military annals.

"Resolved, that the President of the United States be requested to cause to be struck a gold medal, with devices emblematical of this splendid achievement, and presented to Maj. Gen. Jackson as a testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his judicious and distinguished conduct on that memorable occasion.

"Resolved, that the President of the United States be requested to cause the foregoing resolution to be communicated to Maj. Gen. Jackson in such terms as he may deem best calculated to give effect to the objects thereof."

Honorably discharged 1 Jun 1821; President of the United States 4 Mar 1829 to 4 Mar 1837. Died 8 Jun 1845. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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o David Emanuel Twiggs: born in Georgia, appointed from Georgia. Captain in the 8th Infantry 12 Mar 1812; Major in the 28th Infantry 21 Sep 1814; honorably discharged 15 Jun 1815; reinstated as Captain in the 7th Infantry 2 Dec 1815 with brevet of Major from 21 Sep 1814; transferred to 1st Infantry 14 Dec 1821; Major 14 May 1825; Lieutenant-Colonel in the 4th Infantry 15 Jul 1831; Colonel in the 2d Dragoons 8 Jun 1836; Brigadier General 30 Jun 1846; Brevet Major General 23 Sep 1846 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the several conflicts at Monterey, Mex.; received by resolution of Congress of 2 Mar 1847 the presentation of a was done "in testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his gallantly and good conduct in storming Monterey;" dismissed 1 Mar 1861. Major General C. S. A. war 1861 to 1865. Died 15 Jul 1862. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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p There is no officer by that name in Heitman's Register.


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