hurried at a rapid gait to the foot of the mountain, the abrupt ascent of which for several leagues made us all wish for asses. To attempt to describe how tired one may be when broken down, but still forced on with the "sharp sticks," as our boys familiarly called the bayonets, at our backs, would be unintelligible to all except those who have experienced it. To be ordinarily broke down is bad enough, but to be broke down going up a steep mountain, too rough for any animals except mules or goats to travel, is the worst kind of fatigue: you experience a total giving way of the muscles of your thighs, and, however willing you may be to proceed, your legs will not respond. The greatest consolation we found in this fix was to gnash our teeth, and hope to see the day when we could balance this account.
Having proceeded several miles up the mountain side, I procured from one of the followers of the army the use of a mule to help me on. I rode but a few hundred yards, when I overtook my young friend Billy Reese, who begged me, "for God's sake, to let him ride some." I promised him that at such  a pile of stones a short distance above he might take the mule. Upon reaching this place he blazed away with his walking cane, and knocking the Catholic cross from the pile, turned to me and said, "Now, general, I feel a little better; I think I can go another league;" so saying, our boys raised a shout, and pulled on up the mountain.
This very broken and stony mountain pass has been, from the first settlement of the country, more or less infested with robbers, and wherever they have murdered a traveller, on the spot is raised a cross, which the ignorant Catholic erects, not as the memento mori of our nation, but they believe it to be the key to heaven. Every good Catholic after, in passing the place, will cross himself in prayer, and throw upon the spot a pebble the size of a partridge egg, or larger, according to convenience. In proportion to the number killed upon the spot, or the character of the individual, and the time when murdered, so is the size of the pile. If the murdered was of high character or esteemed goodness, the greater the interest felt in redeeming him from purgatory, and, consequently, his pile is larger than that of the humble Péon. In this pass, at every few steps for several miles, the traveller will notice these pyramids of pebbles, from the size of a barrel to ten feet high, terminating in a cone, with a corresponding sized cross in the centre. Several of these crosses felt the weight of Billy's staff, to the unutterable horror of our black guards of the "true faith."
Young Billy Reese had more cause of complaint than most of us. He was one of the four small boys whom General Ampudia released from prison at Mier, and whom he promised to send home from Matamoras; but, when reminded of his promise, he said, "If I send you home now, you will be back upon the Rio Grande in three weeks, fighting us again:" so young Reese was sent on to the capital, where, through the influence of the United States minister, General