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 23, 2013

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

23d April (Thursday).—The wily Mr Sargent drove the animals down to the mud-hole in the middle of last night, and so stole a march upon Ward.

Our goat’s flesh having spoiled, had to be thrown away this morning. We started at 5.30 A.M., and reached “Rocky” at 7.30.; but before this two of Ward’s horses had “caved in,” which completely restored our driver’s good-humour.

Rocky consists of two huts in the midst of a stony country; and about a mile beyond it we reached a pond, watered our mules, and filled our barrels. The water was very muddy to look at, but not bad to drink.

The mules were lazy to-day; and Mr Sargent was forced to fill his bucket with stones, and pelt the leaders occasionally.

At 8 A.M. we reached an open, undulating prairie, and halted at 10.30. Mr Sargent and I killed and cooked the two chickens.

He has done me the honour to call me a “right good companion for the road.” He also told me that at one time he kept a hotel at El Paso — a sort of half-way house on the overland route to California— and was rapidly making his fortune when the war totally ruined him. This accounts for his animosity to “Uncle Abe.” [1]

We hitched in again at 3 P.m., and after pushing through some deepish sand, we halted for the night only twenty-four miles from San Antonio. No corn or water, but plenty of grass; our food, also, was now entirely expended. Mr Ward struggled up at 8.15, making a desperate effort to keep up with us, and this rivalry between Sargent and him was of great service.

This was our last night of camping out, and I felt almost sorry for it, for I have enjoyed the journey in spite of the hardships. The country through which I have passed would be most fertile and productive (at least the last 150 miles), were it not for the great irregularity of the seasons. Sometimes there is hardly any rain for two and three years together.

[1]General Longstreet remembered both Sargent and the Judge perfectly, and he was much amused by my experiences with these worthies. General Longstreet had been quartered on the Texan frontiers a long time when he was in the old army.—August 1863

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