a watch upon the enemy, which the facility of crossing furnished by the boats made entirely practicable. As the different boats were governed by signals from the flag-boat, it was easy to direct their movements for this or any other purpose.
On the 21st of December, both the land and river forces encamped together upon the east bank of the river, about seven miles from the city of Mier, when Colonel Benjamin M'Cullough and some choice spies were despatched to reconnoitre the city, and ascertain if any troops were in the neighbourhood, their strength, &c. Colonel M'Cullough went into the city, conferred with the alcalde and some Americans living there, who informed him that Canales had just before evacuated the place, but that more troops were expected hourly. On the morning of the 22d, after a council of war, it was determined to march into the city and make a requisition upon the authorities for necessaries for the army, and that in no instance would anything like plunder be countenanced. So, after detailing a sufficient camp-guard, the troops were crossed over about 9 o'clock A.M., and addressed by Colonel Fisher in an appropriate manner. He called upon them to bear in mind "that they were upon an honourable service, and not one of pillage, and that their country would look to them for a soldier-like discharge of that service;" "that they had before them the recent plunder  of Laredo, and the ill effects of that plunder; a plunder calculated to unfit a soldier in his duty, and to create anxious desires to go home." It is a singular fact in our physical constitution, that if we become loaded with gains either justly or unjustly, whether these gains be in the way of a caballada or baby-clothes, it increases a home desire to such an extent that none can resist it. In the fresh example of Laredo and Guerrero, it was manifest that in the few who indulged this way, their amor patriæ was lost sight of in their multiplied excuses to go home, for it is certain that they did go home. The troops responded to these sentiments as men and patriots who had a more exalted object in view, and they were marched into the public square and kept under arms without even attempting to violate orders in a single particular. The alcalde7 and principal men of the town invited Colonel Fisher and the author to the city hall, where they were informed that we wished a requisition of necessaries to be furnished to the army; that so soon as this was done the troops would withdraw, and then the citizens had nothing to fear from them. The alcalde expressed his willingness to comply in furnishing all necessaries for the army, and remarked that "he had it to do for the Mexican army, and could not expect to do less for us." Colonel Fisher requested me to make out the requisition, which I did. The following is a copy of the same:
"The alcalde of Mier will forthwith furnish and  deliver at headquarters upon the Rio Grande the following requisition for the use of the army, to wit: All the government stores of every kind, including cannon, small fire-arms, powder,