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Your acceptable letter of the 9th ins 1 was duly rec d for which you have my sincere thanks. The mail by the N. York referred to by you, was duly rec d here, but brought nothing of interest ; the paper mail brought by her arrived here day before yesterday from which I have gleaned but little of moment. Two of the Gen officers referred to by you, who came over in the New York, reached here several days since, to wit, Mess" Pillow 1 & Quitman, the latter a gentleman of intelligence, of large fortune long a Gen Officer of militia from the state of Mississippi ; the former a lawyer with much to learn as regards his new pro fession ; when they all arrive there will be too much rank I apprehend to get along with, very pleasantly. The wounded who have & may get pension certificates, I will direct the Q r Master at Fort Polk or Brasos Island, to give them every facility which can be done by the dep c to enable them to reach their homes, which I presume he would do without any direction or orders in regard to the same.
I was glad to hear that Dick had reached N. Orleans in safety ; Gen Quitman informed me he left or saw him there, & that his health was much improved ; he also informed me that Gen Butler called at Baton Rouge to see Mrs Taylor, & that Betty was too unwell to leave her room, so that he did not see her. I got no letter from B. Rouge by the N. York. Beatties 1 sickness accounts for it. This has given me much uneasiness ; & I shall be miserable until I hear from her. The Alabama I hope is in by this time, if so I trust I shall receive something by her to allay my apprehensions in regard to her situation. The recruits brought on by L l Blair with the exception of the sick were brought to Matamoros & distributed among the cop s of artillery for the the most part left at that place ; I flatter myself the sick will be taken care of some where. I hope you have accommodations sufficient by this time to accommodate all the sick which has or may be sent to Fort Polk, & will have them taken care of as far as it is possible to do so. The whole country will be filled with sick volunteers & in many instances without suitable accommodations, & I greatly fear many of them will suffer for want of many of the necessaries of life, as well as for medical advice all things considered there are a great scarcity of medical officers, in pro portion to the number of raw troops, when we take into consideration the climate &c ; besides which, many of the Medical Officers recently appointed & attached to the Volunteers to say the least of them are entirely without experience as regards their duties in the field ; but I hope those of the regular army will do all in their power to alleviate the sufferings of that portion they may have to do with, or can administer to, who may fall in their way, no matter where they belong. It is reported here that a part of the 2 d InfV had reached Brasos Island ; but how such a report originated or on what foundation made, I am unable to say ; but I hope it may be true.
Perhaps Anns views on the subject of your remaining here under the contingencies named, may be correct. If she was pleasantly located & satisfied with the same her views would be certainly correct, & may be so under existing circumstances.
I was never sanguine as to Johns rec& the app c in question, my experien in such matters has satisfied me that favors of that kind are only given to the faithful ; & if departed from, it is but seldom, & then under very peculiar circumstances. If the app f is not given John must turn his attention to something else ; at any rate after graduating at some of our respectable literary institutions ; he should not despond, but on the contrary redouble his exertions in such a way as to enable him to get through the world without the patronage of public or private individuals. I presume the party in power is indebted to D. J. Pearce 1 for some dis reputable transaction which Mr P. intends liquidating by giving his grand son an app at West point ; so we go. If seperated from your family, as you correctly say, were they satisfied with their position, it would be somewhat of a matter of indifference as to your position so it was healthy.
The go paper denies that the object of assembling twenty post Capt s at Washington was to consult & decide on the propriety of attack ing the castle of San Juan, near Very Cruz ; but that paper is doubtful authority, as I understand its Se r Editor says that England has never offered her mediations or good offices to bring about a reconciliation between the U. States & Mexico, while Sir R. Peel states distinctly in his able speech in parliament on retiring from office that she had done so. I fear there will be no end to this war in any reasonable time, & that it will be carried on with a view to conquest, with the expection if success ful it will secure Mr Polks reeliction, which in my mind will be the case in that event, so that I think it is now & will be carried on for that object & not so much to conquer a peace
I have commenced to-day throwing in advance toward Monterey an other depot at a point 60 miles from here ; Gen Worth leaves today with
I Dutee Jerauld Pearce (1789-1849) was a native of Rhode Island and an eminent member of the Newport bar. He served many years in the state legislature, was attorney-general from 1819 to 1825, and was a member of the Federal house of representa tives from i8zgtoi849. He was a democrat in politics. about 1000 pack mules & some waggons with 160,000 rations for Surralvo to be escorted & protected until I can join him with eight Comp of artillery, the 8th Infy & Duncans battery of artillery, as soon as the train returns which I expect will be in ten days, I hope to be ready to leave with what force I shall carry to Monterey, say about six thousand men, & if I meet no resistance at that place shall pass on to Saltillo, about seventy miles further in the interior which if I can reach & take possession of, I intend throwing up a strong field work, & if there is flour or Indian corn in the country will establish a large depot & bring forward as large a number of volunteers as can be supported there, & then act as in my judgement the best interest of the country may warrant. I apprehend great dissatisfaction on the part of the volunteers when I leave here as to those who are to remain behind, as they are all, the officers, anxious to go to lead as it were the advance, or the forlorn hope, at least so they say. But I may be disappointed by the Q r M. Dep the ordnance or medical dept as regards my leaving ; none of which are over efficient or rather their heads For the last three months I have be trying to get a supply of horse shoes & nails, & up to this moment not one has been furnished, nor can we possibly move without them as the road over which we have to march beyond this is covered with sharp rocks or stone and the day we commenced Fort Brown, the chief of the ordnance dep was directed to require a number of 12 pounders on traveling carriages, not one of which has reached their place of destination or even so far as I know have they been heard from.
The numerous Steam Boats on the river are doing but very little ; they are about twice as long in making their trips from the mouth of the river to this place as they should be, & when they get here have very little in them. It will be a long time before the volunteers get here the way they are going on. My love to dear Ann & the children when you write, as well as best respects to all inquiring friends & accept my sincere wishes for the continued health & prosperity of you & yours through life.
SURG N R. C. WOOD, Z. TAYLOR
U. S. Army
Fort Polk Texas.
- Zachary Taylor