The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #
LETTER NUMBER 48
by WILLIAM L. SMITH on NOVEMBER 18, 1849
Succora, N. Mexico 18th Nov 1849
To Coleman Younger, Esq.
My dear sir. I wrote to you from Santa Fe, via San Antonio, Texas advising you that I had received your esteemed favors of 21st and 23rd of August. In which I was much cheer by the intelligence of my dear daughters health being improved since I left you.
That information with the knowledge of my Son’s and Mr. Burnett’s letters have greatly relieved my anxieties for the present and enabled me to indulge in comforts of a dwelling house of night instead of Camping Out at the mercy of the weather, Mexicans and Indians keeps me unhappy both day and night.
Figure No. 48 November 20, 1849 Socorro, New Mexico
To Coleman Younger, Esq. Liberty Clay County, Missouri
Manuscript postmark by H. W. Edgar, P. M. Routed via San Antonio
With Red Fort Leavenworth Feb 7, 1850 with Red “5” to Liberty
Letters Carried By Military Express
The San Antonio Route was used during the winter months involved four separate military expresses. Santa Fe to Fort Bliss. Fort Bliss to San Antonio. San Antonio to Fort Worth to Fort Worth to Fort Leavenworth. Then U.S. Mail carried on by wagon east to Liberty. The regular route from Santa Fe to Fort Leavenworth took up to 15 days. This letter via San Antonio route made the journey in 80 days.
I stated to you that Mathew had been sick since we crossed the Arkansas, and John Henry had been more unkind and unnamable toward me. Than I conceived possible for any child to behave to his parent. I therefore found it absloutely necessary, first to get into quarters to promote Mat’s restoration to health during which time John became so restless, so much like an Indian, that I promised him, if he would stay with me until we get to Peralta the residence of Dr. Connelly (Gov. of New Mexico Territory)
I would fit him out with fresh mules to pack to California. Accordingly, I was forced to sell my wagon at Santa Fe and pay, or draw upon you for a buggy or Carraige as it is called here, Similar to the one Perry Young offered me. The legerdemain I was compelled to pay $300 for it by valuing on you, which I hope you will duly honor and if I live to return will certainly explain to you how two Americans can combine to pluck one in this Territory. I traveled by very slow stages to Peralta, and upon a free and full consulation with Dr. Connelly I have availed myself of his valuaable friendship and am now striving to get to El Paso and Chihuahua, Sonora and Mazatlan and thence by Sea to San Francisco.
I fitted out John at Peralta with two fresh mules, furnished him with clothes, money and all fixtures for the trip. He came along to this place and overtook his Clay county friends and joined them at this point traveling more slowly. But I did not get here until two days after they started, but say some 30 of the men from Lexington, Carroll and Saline counties who came out with Mr. Cooper at La Joya informed me they would be in company with him (John Henry) and endeavor; to advise and counsel him. Dr. Connelly offered me every aid I desired, and John’s expenses being between $2 & $3 hundred dollars.
On The Road To California
I was compelled to value upon you again for $590 at Sixty days sight. A part of this for musles for John the balance the Doctor insisted upon my taking to guard against the varous danger & difficutlties and causalities arising from traveling in this country; he also gave me letters of introduction at the various pionts on the route, a Letter of Credit at his house in Chihuahua and at Mazatlan, if I needed further resources.
His knowledge of the difficulties of passing through this country without losing one’s scalp has been valueable so far to me – but it is impossible to guard against being robbed, as we have lost at almost every house we stopped at – Something or other frequently of great utility to us.
Recently at this place I had a valuable carriage mule stolen by a servant hired to wait upon me to Chihuahua and a trusted Servant recommended by the Doctor. I here of the difficulties to be encountered, I therefore determinted to await here till Lucas team of wagons comes up and then form a company of Americans to Chihuahua and thence to Mazatlan if possible. Mr. Lucas has been here and is now hourly expected with his wagons although we shall travel slowly it will be more safely and satisfactory to me time being of secondary importance to safety and comfort.
By this route I may avoid packing altogether and keep the cariage until I get in the neighborhood of Mazatlan – At any even safety at Chihuahua I can look after Sublette & Heareford for you, and if possible collect the amount they owe you. J. Sanderson I expect to meet somehwere but quite uncertain at this point.
I have not doubted but the draft enclose to me by Mr. Burrell be paid, as it was in New York papers that several responsible Bankers have gone out to California to establish themselves. I desire you will hold on to the amount when paid and meet my offers upon you. The claim upon Burrell, Warren & Soods post until you get a true exhibit of the sale of every ton of hemp shipped to and before fore you commit me. Consult Hughes of St. Louis. I owe Mr. Hughes for the Freight obtained against Burnet, when ever you are in funds of my beyond my indebtedness to you. Pay him say $50 that Chevis told me was his acc/t against me.
I know my dear Sir your kindness towards me and I am free to acknowledge I feel a great obligations to you. My dear children still uppermost in my mind and my anxiety for them, and for Rebecca’s health, and for the health of happiness of all. I am greatly and occasionally astonished that I ever thought of this separation from them, considering them all and all they mean to me.
The two boys know you will see after them properly, and tell them how gratifying it would be to get a letter from them. Write to Brother and Lester Worsley and Mary – let them all know that I expect to let them know at San Francisco, and the deep interest I feel for and their success.
I would like them to know that if I get to California there is no doubt Mr. B. will pay at least part of the debt, and that Thomas is prosperous and promies to do well Charles might write monthly and tell him how extremely glad I should be to hear from him. Tell him also that it is absolutely necessary to learn the Spanish Language if he intends to go to California, which is as mean and degraded as this country (Mexico).
Here my expenses are daily more then they would be at the Astor House or Tremont and St. Charles Hotel and nearly flawed at that. My love to all and tell each and everyone I daily, hourly think of them, and happiness I have left behind by leaving them.
Kiss Coleman and William for me and believe me most sincerely yours,
William L. Smith
Socorro New Mexico ~ Circa 1850’s
LETTER NUMBER 49
by CAPT. ORLANDO B. WILCOX SEPTEMBER 3, 1850
Camp near Old Fort Mann, Arkansas River Sept 3, 1850
Figure No. 49 September 26, 1850 Independence, Missouri
To Mrs. Almira Wilcox, Kalamazoo, Michigan
From Captain Orlando B. Wilcox with red 10 cent rate
My Dear Mother
We did not march but 100 miles above the crossing before we met Col. Sumner coming down and we all faced about and have been camped aong the river. An express mail from Leavenworth reached us today. Our provision train which left there the third of August will be up to us in a few days then if I get no letters from home shall believe I am forgotten.
The new post will be located near here (Fort Mann). The tools for building it are coming and the company of the 6th Inf’s which is to build it is now under my own command. Its Captain, Brevet Lt. Col Hoffman will not be here yet awhile and hopefully I may be left behind until he relieves me.
Our expedition is pretty much of a failure, as all the Indians hostile to the Americans, except the Comahcnes have gone up in to the mountains. So we have no fighting to do. Today Col S. held a coucil with some of the Chiefs of this tribe which was an imposing farce & humbug on both sides. News today that Comahcnes had carried off 82 American mules on the Santa Fe Road. Delaying a train of Dr. Connelley’s near Cedar Creek. We have been trying without success to bring this tribe to council.
Remember me to all and believe me from your affectionate Son. Orlando Wilcox.
The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #