Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Three Months in the Southern States–Lieut. Col. Fremantle, Coldstream Guards.

Three Months in the Southern States–Lieut. Col. Fremantle, Coldstream Guards.

April 18, 2013

Three Months in the Southern States–Lieut. Col. Fremantle, Coldstream Guards

18th April (Saturday).—At daylight we discovered, to our horror, that three of our mules were absent; but after an hour’s search they were brought back in triumph by the Judge.

This delayed our start till 6.30.A.M.

I walked ahead again with the Judge, who explained to me that he was a “senator,” or member of the Upper House of Texas — “just like your House of Lords;” he said. He gets $5 a-day whilst sitting, and is elected for four years.[1]

We struck water at 8.30 A.M., and bought a lamb for a dollar. We also bought some beef, which in this country is dried in strips by the sun, after being cut off the bullock, and it keeps good for any length of time. To cook it, the strips are thrown for a few minutes on hot embers.

One of our mules was kicked last night. Mr Sargent rubbed the wound with brandy, which did it much good.

Soon after leaving this well, Mr Sargent discovered that, by following the track of Mr Ward’s waggons, he had lost the way. He swore dreadfully, and solaced himself with so much gin, that when we arrived at Sulphur Creek at 12.30, both he and the Judge were, by their own confession, quite tight.

We halted, ate some salt meat, and bathed in this creek, which is about forty yards broad and three feet deep.

Mr Sargent’s extreme “tightness” caused him to fall asleep on the box when we started again, but the more seasoned Judge drove the mules.

The signs of getting out of the sands now began to be apparent; and at 5 P.m. we were able to halt at a very decent place with grass, but no water. We suffered here for want of water, our stock being very nearly expended.

Mr Sargent, who was now comparatively sober, killed the sheep most scientifically at 5.30 P.M.; and at 6.30 we were actually devouring it, and found it very good. Mr Sargent cooked it by the simple process of stewing junks of it in a frying-pan, but we had only just enough water to do this.

[1] I was afterwards told that the Judge’s term of service had expired. El Paso was his district.

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