Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 453 pages of information about Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant — Volume 1.
at Bastrop, with a few farms along the Colorado River; but after leaving that, there were no settlements except the home of one man, with one female slave, at the old town of Goliad.  Some of the houses were still standing.  Goliad had been quite a village for the period and region, but some years before there had been a Mexican massacre, in which every inhabitant had been killed or driven away.  This, with the massacre of the prisoners in the Alamo, San Antonio, about the same time, more than three hundred men in all, furnished the strongest justification the Texans had for carrying on the war with so much cruelty.  In fact, from that time until the Mexican war, the hostilities between Texans and Mexicans was so great that neither was safe in the neighborhood of the other who might be in superior numbers or possessed of superior arms.  The man we found living there seemed like an old friend; he had come from near Fort Jessup, Louisiana, where the officers of the 3d and 4th infantry and the 2d dragoons had known him and his family.  He had emigrated in advance of his family to build up a home for them.

CHAPTER V.

Trip to Austin—­promotion to full second lieutenant—­army of occupation.

When our party left Corpus Christi it was quite large, including the cavalry escort, Paymaster, Major Dix, his clerk and the officers who, like myself, were simply on leave; but all the officers on leave, except Lieutenant Benjamin—­afterwards killed in the valley of Mexico —­Lieutenant, now General, Augur, and myself, concluded to spend their allotted time at San Antonio and return from there.  We were all to be back at Corpus Christi by the end of the month.  The paymaster was detained in Austin so long that, if we had waited for him, we would have exceeded our leave.  We concluded, therefore, to start back at once with the animals we had, and having to rely principally on grass for their food, it was a good six days’ journey.  We had to sleep on the prairie every night, except at Goliad, and possibly one night on the Colorado, without shelter and with only such food as we carried with us, and prepared ourselves.  The journey was hazardous on account of Indians, and there were white men in Texas whom I would not have cared to meet in a secluded place.  Lieutenant Augur was taken seriously sick before we reached Goliad and at a distance from any habitation.  To add to the complication, his horse—­a mustang that had probably been captured from the band of wild horses before alluded to, and of undoubted longevity at his capture—­gave out.  It was absolutely necessary to get for ward to Goliad to find a shelter for our sick companion.  By dint of patience and exceedingly slow movements, Goliad was at last reached, and a shelter and bed secured for our patient.  We remained over a day, hoping that Augur might recover sufficiently to resume his travels.  He did not, however, and knowing that Major Dix would be along in a few days, with his wagon-train, now empty, and escort, we arranged with our Louisiana friend to take the best of care of the sick lieutenant until thus relieved, and went on.

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