A. says, "They surely have not the audacity to pursue and attack me in town." "Yes, general," says Walker, "you need not have any doubts upon that point; they will pursue and attack you in ---------."
After the council of war had determined upon crossing and fighting the enemy, the writer returned to the boats to prepare for their embarcation. Here he found the alcalde asleep, and the most of the boats, hands cooking their beef and mutton. The surplus small boats were fired, and most of the troops crossed over before the alcalde awoke. He arose in the greatest possible alarm, asking what all this meant. He was told that General Ampudia and Canales had stopped our rations, and we were going to see by what authority they did so. He protested that, inasmuch as he had complied all in his power, they ought not to carry him into battle; that he had a dear wife and children at home. We  told him that during the battle he could stand behind us, and that there was not so much danger there. This provoked a laugh at the expense of the poor alcalde, but did not make his countenance less dolorous. The writer, with a portion of his boat-hands, occupied the extreme right, among whom the alcalde was marched in file. Upon the retreat of the enemy to the city there was but one general impulse throughout the line, and that was to pursue and fight them, they having that day and the day previous taken five of our men who were believed to be in the city. Our march was pursued in the direction of the city, and about one mile therefrom we were hailed by a picket-guard, which fired into us and fled. This fire was answered by all the other sentinels in the neighbourhood, giving us a good opportunity to ascertain their position. Seven o'clock found us in midnight darkness upon a high hill on the east side of the Rio Alcantra, which separated us from the city, and here commenced the battle of Mier. 
The Rio Alcantra is a small but rapid stream, about sixty yards in width, which forms a semicircle upon the east side of Mier, the city being built in the curve.1 The position which our troops occupied was upon a high hill, difficult of descent, and between the upper and lower crossings of the river. Here it was necessary to feel our way with great caution and profound silence. The night being dark and drizzling with rain, the troops were ordered to sit and protect their arms from the damp until