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of New Mexico, anc eter: 1.-
Mounted troops were cons...es
uds for Mexico. The little are D'
adic with sixteel pietrit
soil, pound howitzer:
le concompanies 1s regnes
hite man Sumner, thret juntas. Ser
..; and here Captair Hudson
the advance, Rangers," D. DURUR.
1 Doniphan. The artillery, under Carsten
were so high as to and fifty strong
the sides of the banks infantry, sumber
were rushing along with tains Anges 20
on the bank were waving 1st regiment
ter, and brush and large logs fifty-six sen
e turbid bosom of the stream.” Major: CE
Ever, whose angry condition is thus Colonel,
tvert, the men were promptly set to column
of raft. The energy
of the comacco
the cheerful labours of his soldiers, and Irked their struggles with, and triumph over,
nt that presumed to obstruct their onward on of the 16th, immense toil and resolution i passage across, and on the 17th, the whole
Kearny at Fort Leavenworth, in time to take their line of march across the prairies ahead of the main column.
A short time previous to his departure, Colonel Kearny received a communication from the Secretary of War, covering additional instructions and extended command. After the conquest and occupancy of Santa Fé, he was to press forward to California, and co-operate with the fleet there in conquering and holding that province. Besides one thousand men added to his column, he was empowered to call for additional troops, and was directed to secure the aid of a large body of Mormon emigrants, en route for that distant region. His orders in relation to the route, and many other things appertaining to the expedition, were discretionary, and he was informed that the rank of Brigadier-General would be conferred on him as soon as his movement to California should be commenced.
In the last days of June, the army, broken into divisions, and preceded or accompanied by long trains of baggage and provi: sion wagons, set forth on its toilsome westward march. Health, hopeful impatience, confidence in their chief and in each other, gave nerve to every limb, and to every bosom soldierly pride. For some days their wholly pathless route lay over elevated and rolling plains, covered with tall luxuriant grass and matted vines, and traversed by many deep ravines and steep-banked streams, the tributaries of the Kansas, or “ Kaw,” and its sovereign, the Missouri. The country, rich in picturesque beauty and fertility, presented the general appearance of “ vast, rolling fields, enclosed with colossal hedges.” The army, on the 1st of July, struck upon the great Santa Fé road. The earliest rays of the morrow's sun glanced brightly back from the long lines of polished arms and streaming banners that already moved across the broad, level plain, or rose over the gently-heaving bills, which here and there diversified the boundless sea of green. Out upon the silence of the mighty solitudes, with nought but plain and sky on every
side, burst forth the mirthful shout and spirit-stirring strains of martial hymns, on Independence Day. The afternoon of the 5th brought the advanced battalion of the army to the well-known Council Grove, the general rendezvous for union, rest, and repair, of all caravans and hunting companies, and prized deservedly for its hospitable pasturage and shade, its copious springs of most delicious water, and its abundance of serviceable timber of various kinds. Here, at a distance of about one hundred and fifty miles from the western borders of Missouri, runs the line that limits the eastward roamings of the savage tribes of Pawnees, Osages, and Sioux. The intermediate country is in the hands of Indians who own allegiance to, and receive stipends from, the United States; and who, having abandoned nomadic life, dwelling in log-houses, rearing cattle, cultivating the soil, and pursuing some of the other arts of peace, “form the connecting link between the savage of the plains and the white man of the States.” Pawnee Fork was reached on the 14th ; and here Colonel Kearny, with the rear division, overtook the advance, and formed a junction of forces with Colonel Doniphan. The waters of this creek, swollen by recent rains, were so high as to be then impassable ; “ the trees along the sides of the banks were half hidden; the whirling eddies were rushing along with great velocity; the willows that grew on the bank were waving under the strong pressure of the water, and brush and large logs were hurriedly borne along on the turbid bosom of the stream.' Having encamped beside the river, whose angry condition is thus described by Lieutenant Abert, the men were promptly set to work on the construction of a raft. The energy
of the commander was rivalled by the cheerful labours of his soldiers, and a wild excitement marked their struggles with, and triumph over, the fiercely rapid current that presumed to obstruct their onward way. In the forenoon of the 16th, immense toil and resolution had accomplished the passage across, and on the 17th, the whole
column was again in motion, the Arkansas river route having been chosen as the most practicable. Here commenced that portion of the prairies that may justly be considered as the outskirt of the Great Desert. A scanty vegetation sprang from the soil of these plains of granite sand, over which the eye wanders in search of trees, but wanders in vain. In all directions lay the short, curly buffalo-grass, with thistles and endless varieties of cactus. Wild horses, large and well-proportioned, stood in groups watching the approach of the troops, then dashed off into their native wilds in wonder and alarm. The ground was darkened and the horizon lined with herds of buffaloes; and in close proximity to these prowled gray wolves, eagerly watching the opportunity of prey. Along the margin of the Arkansas, a strip of luxuriant bottom-land afforded suitable places for encampment, and here occasionally scattered clumps of the cotton-wood extended an irresistible invitation to the wearied and sunburnt soldier, after his march over the sandy plains, whose monotony was sometimes relieved by the villages of prairie dogs that dotted the solitudes. Bois de vache and wild sage was the only fuel to be procured. Sickness assailed the troops. On the 20th, the severe illness of Colonel Kearny caused general anxiety, while the doctors' lists exceeded one hundred men. The anxiety respecting the leader of the column was, however, quickly relieved, nor was the sickness generally, though extremely harassing and debilitating, attended with fatal results. By the 24th, many of the gallant steeds that had thus far borne their owners over the wilderness of the strange land, failed, and were reluctantly abandoned on the prairie. Still with unabated vigour was the march continued, while the sun came hotly and witheringly down upon arid plains, that marked further entrance on the desert, and the buffalo ceased by his presence to give somewhat of life and interest to the scene. On the 28th, the troops first caught glimpses of the enemy's country, and every heart beat responsive to the challenge