This kind of land, with much appearance of firmness to the eye, and sufficiently firm to bear a man's weight, will let horses' feet through; and, after once through the grass sod, the soft quicksand beneath will soon worry the animal down. However, the glory of surprising Laredo put the army in this bog instead of carrying it a few miles  around. Two days were employed in five miles of this kind of land, and during the whole time a scene was enacted ludicrous beyond all power of description. The whole seven hundred and sixty men, horses, and packs were scattered over the prairie as far as the eye could reach, some floundering and plunging forth; some with their bodies down upon the grass, their legs entirely out of sight, and their noses upon the ground in perfect quietude, as well as to say to their owners, "You put me in here, now get me out," while the owner would be standing by, giving utterance to all manner of curious oaths; some would be lying upon their sides, afraid to trust their legs under them; while the poor pack-mules, with their little feet, stood the worst kind of chance. The coffee-pots and frying-pans would go one way, and the aparajos and other camp appurtenances another. One horse, stronger or more used to getting through a bog than another, would call forth from his comparatively happy owner jests upon a more unfortunate comrade, which would be returned in curses upon their general, whom they dubbed all manner of funny names. Here one would strike a fire and go to cooking, as he would say, "while his animal could blow," while there a squad would be discussing the smartness of their general; some would conclude "they had seen enough," while others would say that "they had seen the elephant," and some, "if ever they got out of that place they would  go home." When they got through about twenty did go home.
To a people less patriotic and less anxious to serve their country, this would have driven the whole of them home. They were determined, however, to let nothing dishearten them. Though they had the smallest confidence in General Somerville's ability as a leader, yet they ardently desired to be led against the enemy, believing that sufficient intelligence existed in the army to conduct it to a certain victory; and under this noble impulse they would have followed a crooked stick carried before the army as their general.
This "surprise" march against Laredo, instead of seven days, lasted seventeen. On the night of the 7th of December the Texian forces approached the town, and a most formidable preparation was made for attack. Had this peaceable and defenceless place contained the whole of General Woll's division, greater preparations could not have been made. After travelling all day, the men were kept mounted all night; the mysterious whisperings and grave concealments which the general frequently held, led the men to believe that they would have a fight at daylight, the appointed time. All were ordered to keep dead silence, and all was dead silence. Men never acted better, and a more perfect obedience to orders never existed in any camp. The writer was with the two advance