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cur ruinous delays, and cannot fail to be embarrassed in all its

movements.

I do not make these suggestions with any expectation that they will lead to a speedy change; much less with an idea that any thing will be done at this stage of affairs to aid our preparations on the present occasion. For our wants here, we must provide now as well as we can. But if this system of non-preparation in such essential means is to be continued, I desire to relieve myself from any reponsibility that might attach from an apparent acquiescence in it. And I will add that my sole motive is the public good; for it is not at all likely that I shall ever again be personally charged with duties that would be facilitated by the improvements here suggested. Respectfully, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

T. CROSS, Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General. To the QUARTERMASTER GENERAL.

CAMP AT CORPUS CHRISTI,

December 17, 1845. Sir: The steamer Cincinnati, which arrived below yesterday from New Orleans, on private account, brought me your letter of the 1st instant, in which you apprize me that you had, a few days prior to its date, renewed your order (the first having been countermanded) for the construction at Philadelphia of the residue of the wagons called for by my requisition of the 10th of September last, (and five in addition,) as means of field transportation for this army; and you desire me, at the same time, in case I should deem the number insufficient, to give you early advice, in order that directions may be given for the construction of a further supply.

In reply to this, I beg to observe that with the very dim lights I have, as to the plan of operations contemplated, and the probability of any in this quarter, I can make no further requisition for field transportation, especially for wagons, which it seems are to be built at the north and sent hither by a double sea voyage, and which can scarcely be received short of four months from the present date. If the competent authority at Washington, with the means at hand of judging what our relations will probably be at that time, and of the prospect of active operations on this frontier, could see no cause for increasing my original estimate beyond what you inform me were added by yourself, I am bound to presume that the whole number of wagons in course of preparation will prove sufficient for our wants.

T. CROSS, Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General. Colonel HENRY STANTON,

Washington.

[Extract.)

CAMP AT CORPUS CHRISTI,

January 16, 1846. Sir: There are at this date ninety-five mule wagons and thirtyone 6-ox teams in charge of the several regiments, for the purpose of hauling in wood, and the grass for the train animals thus employed. Besides these, there are at least forty more employed at the depot in the same operation; that is, in getting wood for general purposes, not immediately connected with the regiments, and grass for the animals in the yard.

I succeeded in getting three hundred oxen from the interior of Texas, and there are now five hundred and ninety-two with the army, of which two hundred and forty are daily at work; the remainder grazing in the vicinity. Those that work are allowed one gallon of corn per day:

What we most feel the want of here is drivers. They are not to be picked up to the extent we require them; and those imported from New Orleans are any thing but what they profess to be. After incurring the expense of bringing them out, they are generally found incompetent, and are either discharged or leave of their own accord, without having rendered any service worth naming. Such is a necessary consequence, however, of the system,

I shall soon have a very respectable mule train, at least in number, and obtained on very good terms; but they should have time and moderate work to break them in, and season them.

T. CROSS, Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General. Major General Tu. S. JESUP,

Washington.

[Extract.]

CAMP AT CORPUS CHRISTI,

February 16, 1846. SIR: I received a few days since your letter of the 13th ultimo, forwarded by way of Galveston, apprizing me that an order had been issued for the advance of the army to the Rio Grande. The original of General Taylor's instructions came by the same conveyance; but he had previously received the duplicate through another channel.

The movement will not take place until towards the 1st of March, but the army will not be delayed for want of transportation, and this I desire to be distinctly understood. Notwithstanding the full number of wagons called for by my requisition, as far back as September last, has not yet arrived, I shall still be able to muster a train of near three hundred-one for every ten marching men in the army, for it will not exceed 3,000.

One hundred and ten wagons have already been assigned for baggage and the hospital department of the several corps, leaving one hundred and ninety for a supply train. This the general admits is sufficient; and it would seem to be abundantly so, regarding the limited force. I hope, however, before we march, to be enabled to increase the latter by the addition of the twenty wagons daily expected.

There has not been much activity heretofore in the way of reconnoissances, though the means of making them have been ample; six officers of the two corps of engineers having been with the army since October. The road towards Matamoras was examined, in a dry season, sixty miles out, and the Laguna del Madre about the same distance; and these are all the reconnoissances that have been made to the front. An experimental train was despatched a week

ago

still further on the Matamoras road, to test its practicability, in wet weather, and a party is engaged exploring Padre island. When they return I will acquaint you with the results, and send you a copy of the report on the survey of the Laguna.

I deem'it in place here to say that, with respect to the means of transportation to be provided, or other preparations in my branch of the service, I have never received a line of instructions or any order whatever from General Taylor.

T. CROSS, Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General. Major General Th. S. JESUP,

Washington.

[Extract.]

CAMP AT CORPUS CHRISTI,

February 17, 1846. SIR: I beg leave to observe that you greatly overrate the force of the department under my command here, if you think I can spare officers to make extensive surveys, however important and desirable they may be. The absence of Captain Hill since the middle of November, in search of lumber, and the resignation of Captain Ketchum, have left me without an adequate number of officers to carry on the duties of the depots, and at the same time the organization of the trains, formed, as they have been, from the crudest materials: one thousand wild mules, drawn by stealth from Mexico, (for the trade is contraband;) six hundred half-broke oxen from the interior of Texas, and drivers from all parts of the civilized world.

T. CROSS, Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General. Major General Th. S. JESUP,

Washington.

CAMP ÁT CORPUS CHRISTI,

February 25, 1846. Sır: I have just received your letter of the 6th instant, which was sent out from New Orleans by one of the Galveston steamers.

In regard to the horses on hand with the army, about which you express anxiety to be informed, I can do no more, in the midst of the preparations for the march to the Rio Grande, than send you the enclosed lists of property, in the depot at this place and at St. Joseph's island, whither we are daily transferring such articles as are to be sent round by water to the Brazos de Santiago. Those lists comprehend every thing of any consequence except the train, which may be rated at 300 wagons, 1,100 effective mules and horses, and about 500 work oxen.

T. CROSS, Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General. Major General Tu. S. FesUP,

Washington.

CAMP ON THE RIO GRANDE,

Near Matamoras, April 4, 1846. Sir: I deem it necessary, in the march of the army to the Rio Grande, to have an officer of the department with each brigade; and as Major Thomas was charged with the important duty of conducting the fleet of transports to the Brazos de Santiago, and it was impossible to disengage Major McRee from the depot at Corpus Christi in season for the march, I was obliged to withdraw Captain Myers from the command at San Antonio de Bexar, Captain Ogden being necessarily left for a time at St. Joseph's island, until all the supplies can be withdrawn from that place.

I accordingly assigned Captain Myers to the command of Colonel Twiggs, consisting, as I have heretofore stated, of the dragoons : and Major Ringgold's battery of horse artillery; Captain Sibley to the 1st brigade; Captain Hill to the 2d brigade; and Captain Crosman, whose connexion with the general train rendered it impracticable to detach him sooner, to the 3d brigade, which brought up the rear.

The army, which commenced its march very unnecessarily by detachments, concentrated after it crossed the little Colorado river, and has since moved in a body. The Colorado was the only serious obstacle encountered on the march, and this was passed by the train without any loss or accident worth naming. The road, about which the army remained for months in doubt until the experimental train sent out at my instance under Captain Sibley returned, was found perfectly practicable-indeed good, with the exception of about ten miles of miry prairie. We were, however, greatly favored by the weather.

The entire train consisted of 307 wagons, of which number 84 were drawn by ox teams. The whole were brought through with but few losses or casualties on the way; .a fact highly creditable to the officers of the department in charge of them, considering the distance, which, by way of Point Isabel, is ascertained to be 188 miles, according to a measuring machine that accompanied one of the columns.

We left at Corpus Christi some surplus wagons and a number of broken down oxen. I ordered them sent down to St. Joseph's island to recruit the animals, and directed three of the muleteers to be transferred to the San Antonio train to strengthen it, so as to enable it to haul the supplies for that post in future.

T. CROSS,
Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General.

Major General Th. S. JESUP,

Washington.

[Extract.)

CAMP AT CORPUS Christi, March 6, -1846. Nineteen hundred horses and mules and five hundred oxen will move with the army-almost one quadruped for each man.

T. CROSS,
Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General.

Lieutenant Colonel Th. F. Hunt,

New Orleans.

Deputy QUARTERMASTER GENERAL'S OFFICE,

New Orleans, May 23, 1846. General: Major Thomas, quartermaster, in a letter to me, dated Point Isabel, 18ih instant, says: “So many troops arriving, I fear I shall not have sufficient sand transportation, and therefore request that you send fifty mule-wagons and twenty ox-wagons complete

, with harness, yokes,” &c: I have made a bargain for having the twenty ox-wagons constructed here in two weeks, with bows, yokes, &c., and shall get ten or twelve horse or mule-wagons. The demand for this means of transportation, including horses and mules, will, if the regiments or battalions authorized by Major General Gaines be raised—as I have no doubt they will, unless otherwise directed from Washington-be immense; much greater than can be complied with in this section of country, except, perhaps, in regard to the animals; and I beg that at least two hundred (200) wagons, with covers, harness, &c., complete, be ordered from Philadelphia, or some other place at the north, in the earliest possible time. The harness, including collars and hames, should be of small size, for mules: to alter, when that can be done, takes up a great deal of time, and the work may not be well done.

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