REPORT from THE SECRETARY OF WAR

(Dated 1849)

(The following are excerpts taken directly from the original report)

 
January 10, 1847

The mules were driven at daylight to tolerable grass in the river below.  At 9 and 30’ the pontoon boats arrived; and, at 10 o’clock, three of the pack-mule party, with 420 pounds of flour; to this I added every pound I could spare of my own and the dragoons, which all makes fifteen or sixteen days at half a pound a day.  The corporal and two other men were represented as remaining to hunt for the other deposits of provisions, and that they would not be “up for two days” – a singular notion.  I immediately ordered the companies to cross as soon as possible, leaving only their empty wagons, mules, teamsters, and mule and cattle details; the empty wagons to be drawn over as early as possible in the morning.  The wind blows again, and slow work is made at crossing; the ford leads far down; I sent Francisco, and several of the teamsters followed him afoot half across, to observe the route; it took his mule in places well upon the side.

            The weather is said to be colder than known in many years.

            It seems, by Weaver’s account, that I have done injustice to this river’s uses, &c.; he says it will admit of navigation by steamboats for three hundred and fifty miles from its mouth from April to September, and that the rich bottoms extend that high; it is probable that sugar-cane would flourish here; he says the Cochanos have rich fields as high up as I have names, where the canons commence; he speaks of a very rich extensive bottom below that does not overflow.

            The sick report now numbers ten.

            Night. – The boat has made exceedingly slow work; but the battalion is crossing, and will continue at it, if necessary, all night; the moon will not rise before 2 o’clock.  I have directed the sheep taken over at 5 o’clock in the morning, when the reveille will be sounded; then one load over after daylight will probably complete it.  I have directed a man to ride each mule in the teams; the water will take them above half side.

            The sheep, of which a hundred and thirty are still remaining, have done better of late than I expected a week or two ago, when a few were left every day; the cattle are very poor; there are ten left to us.

            Talking with Dr. Foster, the interpreter, this evening, I for the first time became aware that I had all the time been laboring under a mistake as to the number of Mexican troops at Tueson; that they were about a hundred and thirty, instead of two hundred and thirty, as mentioned in a late official letter to Captain Turner.