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 20, 2013

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

20th April (Monday). — I slept well last night in spite of the numerous prairie-wolves which surrounded us, making a most dismal noise.

The Jew was ill again, but both Mr Sargent and the Judge were very kind to him; so also was McCarthy, who declared that a person incapable of protecting himself, and sickly, such as this little Jew, is always sure of kind treatment and compassion, even from the wildest Texans.

We started at 5 A.M., and had to get through some dreadful mud—Mr Sargent in an awful bad humour, and using terrific language.

We were much delayed by this unfortunate rain, which had converted a good road into a quagmire. We detected a rattlesnake crawling along this morning, but there are not nearly so many of them in this country as there used to be.

We halted at 9 A.M., and, to make a fire for cooking, we set a rat-ranch alight, which answered very well; but one big rat, annoyed by our proceedings, emerged hastily from his den, and very nearly jumped into the frying-pan.

Two Texan rangers, belonging to Taylor’s regiment, rode up to us whilst we were at breakfast. These rangers all wear the most enormous spurs I ever saw.

We resumed our journey at 12.30, and reached a creek[1] called “Agua Dulce” at 2 P.M. McCarthy and I got out before crossing to forage at some huts close by. We got two dozen eggs and some lard; but, on returning to the road, we found that Mr Sargent had pursued his usual plan of leaving us in the lurch.

I luckily was able to get hold of a Mexican boy, and rode across the creek en croupe. McCarthy dismounted a negro, and so got over.

We halted at 5 P.M.

After dark McCarthy crossed the prairie to visit some friends who were encamped half a mile distant. He lost his way in returning, and wandered about for several hours. The Judge, with great presence of mind, kept the fire up, and he found us at last.

The heat from nine to two is pretty severe; but in Texas there is generally a cool sea-breeze, which makes it bearable.

[1] All streams or rivers are called creeks, and pronounced “criks.”

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