A-M #08 2021-06-10T21:24:47+00:00

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War 1846 – 1848

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #

frightened the others and about 400 broke, helter-skelter and scattered in almost every direction, some across the Arkansas some across the picket wire and several to the plains, almost every man in the camp was seen running to and fro in a state bordering on distraction for the loss of horse that distance from home with but little chance of getting another compelled to keep up with the army or left to the tender mercies of the savages was enough to distract almost any man not fortified by former trials, but different companies were perhaps more united by a common sense of their loss that at any other time, and every exertion was made to brig them back to camp.

No one stopped to ask Whose horse but caught all that he could, some went so far that they did not return that night whilst others were constantly returning with horses until late in the night which kept the camp in commotion during most of the night, the next morning the roll was called when it was found that some ten or twelve were yet missing from our Co.

A detail of ten men was then made from our company and from others also, to go in search of them after we had drawn our provisions we started in a southwest direction across the picket wire the sun being about one hour and half high we traveled about two degrees to the right of the sun until two o’clock our route lay over a sand plain, almost destitute of vegetation with but few undulations, and no water except a little

Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe ~ 50 Day March

Courtesy of Richard Frajola

Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe  ~  50 Day March

stagnant water in one place, which almost vomited us, we crossed and re-crossed during the day several times the tracks of horses but did not see any although we went about 30 miles and owing to levelness of the plains could see to the distance of several miles farther.  You may judge of the feeling of some of us about the time we changed our direction for the camp for my own party I felt pretty much as I suppose a mariner would when cast off in the broad ocean with no visual in sight, compelled to buffet the wave to support his existence and indeed our situation was in some respect not very dissimilar for we were in an ocean of sand almost as level as the ocean without any living thing in sight except the nimble antelope which caused a feeling of loneliness and of impatience and a sort of melancholy.

I never experience before and I hope I never shall again.  I gazed around me for along time until my head became dizzy, but could see noting to enliven us except an appearance very much resembling water in the in the distance , which reminded me of the sufferings Dobin’s, and made me ashamed of my own, we then turned our course toward Picket Wire at the near point which we reached twelve miles above the camp.

After picketing our tired horses we proceeded to cook our suppers when we espied men coming across the plains in the same direction in which we came after they had come within 400 yards they called when we stepped out and made signs for them to approach which they did.

It proved to be a party that has been out hunting horses also, they informed us they had been about 20 miles farther up the Picket wire and that they had seen 5 horses one of which answered to the description of mine so well that I became satisfied I will never see (little roan) again.

She had stood the journey remarkably well and was full of fire and could take a Buffalo as quick as any animal in the regiment.   One of which I had the pleasure of killing about a hundred miles below Bents fort while riding her under full tilt.  After leaving Bents fort we traveled one days journey up the Arkansas and changed our direction to the southeast though a parched plain where their was scarcely any grass and the dust and sand flying so that not ten men out of the two regiments could be seen at times by a speculation on we camped for two successive nights where their was scarcely any grass but little water and that very salty the 3rd or 4th day we reached the picket wire near the mountains where we had excellent water, but little grass.  I have saw that the appearance of the country was mountainous one which up to this place had been the case, but her the appearance of the country was very much altered we were within full view of the Spanish peaks as they are called which are spurs of the rocky mountains and tending to a great distance to the eastward appeared like an interminable range of hills and mountains.  I must here remark that I was never more deceived as respects to distance that at this place.

The Rattoon peak at the highest of the snowy mountains appeared here at sunset to be at the distance of Two miles and owing to the purity of the atmosphere appeared with as much distinctiveness as if it has been a the distance, its real distance was about 20 miles and it was not until twelve of the 2nd

1st Reg't Missouri Mounted Vols.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Missouri Volunteer

Missouri Volunteer


day that we arrived at the foot of the Rattoon peaks we were then several hundred feet higher than the picket wire but the Rattoon peaks appeared stretching its veiled head several hundred feet higher than where we were the Spanish speaks appeared at great distance to the right covered with snow which could be seen distinctly through the opening

in the clouds which hang around it summit to summit on each side the distance of 15 miles in the assent and about the same distance in the decent at the fact of which one of the Howard men was burned after traveling the distance of 60 or 70 miles through a valley or plain we crossed covers low range of mountains and the valley of the Mora area  a beautiful and picturesque valley covered with flocks and herds.  Another days travel bought us to the Bagus (Las Vegas) a small town situated between high mountains containing about 200 inhabitants we were here informed that the Spaniards had collected a force of 1,500 men to oppose us but they disappeared before we reached the place.  After passing several little towns all of which swore allegiance to our government we came to the pass in the Mexican cordellourous where Armeho the governor of Santafee had collected a force of 4,000 or 5,000 men be upon hearing of our near approach dispersed already the next day we took peaceable possession of Santa Fee,  The company are now divided for the purpose of grazing one half of the men remain at Santafee the other half about 10 miles south with the horses.  I have many other things I could write but my limits will not permit.  Addison Smith desired you to let his parents know that he is well.

In one place, which almost vomited us, we crossed and re-crossed during the day several times the tracks E. W. Crafster was well when I left him the other day at Santa Fee.  Write the first opportunity and let me know how all are doing at home how fathers crops are doing and how Sarah and Martha are getting along and whether little William has forgotten me or not, give me all the general news.  What is the feeling of the people towards this expedition and last but not least of all how the girls of my acquaintance are doing We are now about 2,000 strong and have taken the cannon which Armeho has in a little town about two miles from where we are grazing together with ammunition.  It is not yet known whither we will return this winter or not but supposition is that we will remain here until peace is made with Mexico.

P. S. I had forgot to tell you that I purchased a horse at Bents Fort for which I paid 70 dollars.  There is also a rumor afloat that we leave in ten days for the south al passo (El Paso) and from thence to New Orleans and home.  If you have any small works in pamphlet form that would amuse or benefit me please to send them as I am often lonesome and desirous of having something to relieve my mind.

     If you know how difficult a matter was to write on rumpled paper on the ground a note from an old hand on a wagon-tongue in a hurry in the confusion of the camp interrupted half a dozen times while writing you would be ready to excuse the deficiencies of this and also of my former one.

     Yours affectionately

James M. Finley

Born 1825     Private Finley fought bravely at the battle of Brazito

and died of influenza at El Paso  January 23, 1847   Age 22

“The ladies of Liberty and its vicinity have deputed me, as one of their number, to present this flag to the volunteers from Clay county, commanded by Captain Oliver Perry Moss, and I now, in their name, present it to you, as token of their esteem for the manly and patriotic manner in which you have shown your willingness to sustain the honor of our common country, and to redress the indignities offered to its flag.

In presenting to you this token of our regard and esteem, we wish you to remember that some of us have sons, and some brothers, and all of us either friends or relatives among you, and that we would rather hear of your falling in honorable warfare, than to see you returned or disgraced by cowardice.

We trust then, that your conduct, in all circumstances will be worthy the noble, intelligent and patriotic nation whose cause you have so generously volunteered to defend; your deportment will be such as will secure to you the highest praise and the warmest gratitude of the American people; — in a word — let your motto be   “Death before Dishonor”  And to the gracious protection and guidance of Him who rules the destinies of nations, we fervently commend you.

The captain modestly received the Flag, in a brief and pathetic response.

Its motto was, The Love of County and the Love of God

1845 ~ 1846

1845  ~  1846

At this time, Capt’s Waldo and Reid of the volunteers and Capts. Moore and Burgwin, of the 1st dragoons U. S. Army, were dispatched by Col. Kearny with their respective companies, upon the route to Santa Fe.


by E. W. POMEROY on AUGUST 30, 1846

Santa Fe August 30th 1846

Santa Fe   August 30th 1846

Dear Maria

     Your letter by Capt. Bint of the last of July came safely to hand in the shortest space of thirty days or less. I am better in health, better in spirits, in every way better & happiness then I have been in a long time.

     Our business is all satisfactory and will pay us great profits thou there hare to many divisions to come out of it.  I was at General Kearny’s ball the other night and witnessed a gather of the Elite of Santa Fe.  A more miserable lot of women never congregated together not a virtuous one in the room & all as ugly as sin.  They do not compare with decent Indians.

     At the present time I shall remain here as I can be of much service to the Sutler business & of no benefit to anyone if I go on to Chihuahua.  The teams will start with James and Mr. Owen in a few days tho’ they will be stopped on the way & many be months in reaching their destination  I may go on when the weather gets cold here.

Figure 15 October 5, 1846 Independence

Figure 15   October 5, 1846  Independence, Missouri

To  Mrs. Maria Pomeroy  Lexington  Missouri

Carried by Military Courier with 5 cent rate


    General Kearny will go to California with seven hundred troops only the balance will remain here unless they get orders to go South.  Ewing, Bray and Robinson and all from Lafayette are well.  Young Bangs has been guilty of sleeping on his post.  The punishment is death, but he will be let off with a lighten punishment.  I really worked hard all day yesterday which I have not done before for a long time.  The goods have arrived which gives employment to all hands.  Hamelin is with us and Pirson will probably be here in a few days.  The only inconvenience I feel from the work done is a trembling of my hand which makes me tired.    May God have you in his Keeping,   Your Afft husband,

E. W. Pomeroy

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #