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others engaged: one of them, the James Cage, has been obliged to put back on her passage, having broken her propeller, with a heavy load of camp equipage, and other much needed stores. He also says that Captain Sanders reports to him from Pittsburg that he has purchased one boat, and chartered others, to be employed in case they reach the Grande. This will make a large fleet, but may not prove too large for the purposes in view; so General Taylor thinks; so I think, according to present prospects. A short time will prove, when such as are unnecessary will be discharged. About one-third of these boats have been purchased. I have not as yet been able to obtain any report as to the prices paid for those purchased. I will direct Colonel Hunt to make to you specific report; perhaps he has already done so. One of the boats which went up to Camargo returned this day. She reached there without much difficulty-not more than is encountered below this. The troops on board of her took quiet possession.

HENRY WHITING,

Deputy Quartermaster General. Major General Thomas S. JESUP, Quartermaster General U. S. A.,

Washington city, D. C.

MATAMORAS, Mexico, July 23, 1846. GENERAL: We have now twelve boats at work in this river; but even with this steam force we have not yet thrown upon Camargo the 300,000 rations which General Taylor has deemed a necessary preliminary to active operations towards the interior. That number, however, will be there in a day or two, and a portion of the regulars (the 1st brigade, under General Worth) has gone up also: soon, all the transports will be employed to force up the residue of the troops. Other boats are reported to be on their way. These will not be too many for our present purposes, which require despatch, while the river presents many obstacles. Some of our boats, when loaded, draw four or five feet of water. Thus far all have succeeded, excepting one, which had to partly unload at a particular point. Twelve boats have now gone up; two of them now on their second trip. These have effectually paved the way, at the present stage of the water, which, though much lower than when I came up, has still about seven feet. We do not want more. It has rained nearly every day now for a week, and the roads have become so bad that all the movements of the troops have to be by water for the present. This is an embarrassment.

HENRY WHITING,

Deputy Quartermaster General. Major General Thos. S. JESUP, Quartermaster General U. S. Army,

Washington city, D. C.

MATAMORAS, MEXICO, July 28, 1846. GENERAL: No steamboats for the Rio Grande have arrived since my last advice. The Hunter has not yet made her appearance. My reports from Colonel Hunt lead me to expect about four more, including two he believes Captain Saunders has either purchased or chartered. Those we have do not set us forward with the promptitude desired. They are generally an inferior class of boats, and got much racked by the long voyage (and for which they are not fitted) they have to make before they reach us. Our mule and horse wagon train, which I find is reduced to about 175 teams, will but imperfectly supply the column that is to move from Camargo. I am striving to make up the deficiency by hiring mules accustomed tö packing, with conductors and arrieros, all complete, paying them so much per diem. The reports from Captain Crosman, who is up there with Colonel Kinney, who is acting under him, and is familiar with all that part of the country, are encouraging. They have already engaged several hundred; and another person whom I had previously employed at Reinosa has purchased some three hundred gentle mules, which are not to exceed $20 or $25 a head. My hope is that we will be able to pack enough for the companies, and have the train for general purposes-for ammunition, provision, the sick, &c. When the Louisiana volunteers were about going out, and had many good horses for sale, it was deemed expedient by General Taylor, as well as by myself, that the opportunity should not be lost for putting the light artillery and Bragg's company in a fit çondition for the field, as the horses called for from New Orleans might ňot arrive in time for the march. In this way these companies have been recruited at once; and Captain Duncan's company has already marched for Camargo. The price has not always been moderate, but in no instance extravagant.

HENRY WHITING,

Assistant Quartermaster General. Major General Thos. S. JESUP, Quartermaster General U. S. Army,

Washington city, D. C.

MATAMORAS, Mexico, July 31, 1846. GENERAL: I have received your letter relative to the “Harney." I found her on my arrival a wreck, a party being then engaged in saving such parts as could be moved. She was in a position, I un. derstood, which subjected her to the drift of the floating sands, and it was found that all under water (and not much besides the wheelhouses was above water) would soon be buried beneath those sands. Since then I have been so much occupied that it has not occurred to me to call for a report of her present condition. I have now directed Major McRee to make such report both to you and to me.

General Taylor has just issued an order, directing the movement of the remaining troops up the river without delay; and all our means of transportation, both by land and by water, will be put in

requisition. Our train, as I have already reported, will be very inadequate; but I hope to make up the deficiency by hiring and buying mules. My last report from Camargo is favorable. By giving the contract a character of compulsion, there appears to be little difficulty in obtaining them. A contract has been made with a person familiar with that district and its resources, for fifteen hundred pack mules, arrieros, packs, and every thing complete. The per diem to be given was not reported. General Taylor will go up to Camargo in a few days. I either accompany him or follow in a few days, in order to complete the arrangements Captain Crosman has begun.

HENRY WHITING, Assistant Quartermaster General.

Major General Thos. S. JESUP,
Quartermaster General U. S. Army,

Washington city, D. C.

MATAMORAS, Mexico, August 3, 1846. GENERAL: One of the boats, the Whiteville, purchased by Captain Sanders, has reached the mouth of the river. The Hatchee Eagle, procured by Lieutenant Colonel Hunt, is also, at the Brazos. These boats, as well as all the others which are expected, will be serviceable. General Taylor's first calculations were upon about 6,000 men at Camargo, and the depot was established there accordingly. Double that number are now upon the river, and to be provided for. As the water falls, the loads must be reduced. I do not anticipate that even twenty boats upon the river would be an excess, particularly as they are most of them liable to be occasionally disabled, and some of them to be discharged. Our greatest difficulties will be found in keeping up the supply at the mouth of the river. When all the mule trains now on the Brazos are withdrawn, as they will be on the 9th instant, in order to move upon Camargo, the forty or fifty ox teams left there will not fill onequarter of the river boats. We have, in addition, a steamer or two and some small vessels, which ply around. This will be our main reliance; but it is liable to be suspended by a wind, which may last from one day to a week, or even more, which makes the river bar impassable. In order to improve our chances there, I propose to set up a new mule train as soon as new wagons arrive, which may now be daily expected, as well as harness. And I have proposed to General Taylor to make a call, with his sanction, upon the magistracy of the district between this and the mouth of the river for 500 mules, to be delivered within a certain time at the mouth of the river, and to be paid for at a fair valuation; not relying, however, upon this resource alone, but, at the same time buying ourselves. Until this arrangement can be made, I propose to hire all the ox carts which can be conveniently had. They are an awkward vehicle, but can be serviceable on a beach road.

It requires various expedients to make out our inadequate means of transportation and keep up the chain of supplies between the Brazos and Cåmargo. Sometimes I feel an extreme anxiety about it, so many embarrassments arise at each link of this chain; and I remark to General Taylor that our relief is, that in case of a partial or even total privation of our own supplies after we have left the river, we shall probably find sufficient sustenance in the country through which we will be marching—that is, beef for the men, and grass (the occasional showers we have had will have made that unusually luxuriant for this season) for the animals. Corn may, perhaps, be found in addition.

I have just been with General Taylor, in order to report to him some of the misfortunes and unavoidable delays at the mouth of the river and at the Brazos, so frequently occurring there. At such times he often speaks impatiently, and is inclined to be unjust to the department. I feel fully competent to defend its rights here, and only ask that in case any charge is made at Washington I may know it, and be asked to explain. So far as respects the time I have been here, I stand on sure ground. The department cannot control the elements nor prevent unavoidable accidents, much less resist a torrent of volunteers which overwhelms, for a time, all its

These things do not stop the campaign, though they retard its operations, as a matter of course.

HENRY WHITING,

Acting Quartermaster General. Major General Th. S. JESUP,

Quartermaster General U. S. A., Washington city, D. C.

means.

MATAMORAS, Mexico, August 6, 1846. GENERAL: General Taylor went up to Camargo on the 4th. I could not so soon leave this place. The removal of two-thirds of the train from Brazos island, where for the last three weeks we have had 150 teams, makes a breach in our means of transportation there that will be filled up with difficulty. This removal of all mule teams to Camargo is an unavoidable step. Embarrassing as it would be below, not to take it would be still more embarrassing above. No movement could be made on Monterey without so much of the train. In order to supply that defect an extra exertion has to be made. Wagons are now coming in below, and I trust we shall soon have a hundred at least at the Brazos: the mules can be had only of the Mexicans. I have, with the sanction of the general, called on the alcaldes to assist us in bringing them in; promising that each gentle mule should be paid for at a fair price, not to exceed $20. This call might have been ineffectual, had not a Texan mounted regiment (Colonel Hays's) been moving into the quarter whence we expect these mules. The alcaldes have expressed a determination to fulfil the call, if possible. A regiment will make that possible which might otherwise be deemed impossible. As soon as these mules come in, they will be put to the harness. In two or three weeks I hope in this way to restore our means of transportation at the Brazos, on which so much depends. In the mean time I am endeavoring to collect one hundred oxcarts, (Mexican,) to be hired by the day until the mules are at work. We have had daily rains now for a week past. The river has risen again some three or four feet; this improves the water highway, but renders the land highway difficult. The troops are now going up both ways; all the boats we have are usefully employed. Had we more, (as we expect more,) they would not be too many:

To put more than 10,000 men more than four hundred miles up the river, with all the feed for them, and some 4,000 animals to boot, is not the work of a few days, or even weeks.

I shall follow General Taylor in a few days. Captain Crosman, who is at Camargo, reports that he has now" on hand, in readiness for the field, about 900 pack mules, with all the equipments and arrieros complete.”. Double that number will probably be needed and obtained. The Mexicans like their country well, but they like money better.

HENRY WHITING,

Assistant Quartermaster General. Major General Thos. S. JESUP, Quartermaster General U. S. Army,

Washington city, D. C.

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MATAMORAS, Mexico, August 12, 1846. GENERAL: The train, about 150 strong, will leave here for Camargo on the 16th and 17th; one half with Brigadier General Hamer's column of volunteers, and the other half with Brigadier General Twiggs's column, embracing all the regulars yet to go up. Other volunteers are moving up by water. The ordnance supplies go up in two or three days; Major Craig is below, attending to them. The hospital supplies are also below. I understand from the medical director that transportation will soon be required for them also.

Colonel Hunt's purchase of horses is fast coming in, and will enable us to set up the light artillery companies in time for the field. It will also supply in part the dismounted dragoons, as many favorable purchases were made here of horses from discharged vol. unteers. Lieutenant Bragg's company entirely, and Captain Ridgely's in part, were supplied in this way a week or two since.

HENRY WHITING,

Assistant Quartermaster General. Major General Thos. S. JESUP, Quartermaster General U. S. Army,

Washington city, D. C.

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