Chapter Twenty ~ Notes
1. A stone structure at the mouth of a harbor, serving the purpose of a breakwater and pier.
2. After his victory against the Texans at Mier, General Ampudia was promoted to commander-in-chief of the Army of the North, replacing Isidro Reyes, who had failed to act decisively against Somervell's Southwestern Army of Operations in late 1842. Two months later, Ampudia assumed command of centralist troops engaged against rebel forces in the Yucatan. Carreño, Jefes del ejército mexicano en 1847, 146-147.
3. Dr. Sinnickson, whom many prisoners still blamed for their defeat at Mier, had been released from Molino del Rey in June. One embittered prisoner wrote: "Conscious of the odium in which he was held, he sought to resent it by a base neglect of such of the soldiers as were dependent upon his aid; suffering them to die in the same room with himself, for the want of those services they were too destitute to command." Stapp, Prisoners of Perote, 139.
4. Daniel Drake Henrie served as a scout for Zachary Taylor's army in the Mexican War. Captured at Encarnación, he feared he would be shot when Mexican authorities learned of his role in the Mier Expedition and escape from Perote. Borrowing a particularly fleet horse from a fellow prisoner, he succeeded in making his escape. This widely publicized exploit made him one of the better-known regular soldiers of the war. United States Magazine and Democratic Review 24(1849):33-43.
5. In all, twenty-three Texas prisoners died at Perote Castle during the years 1842-1844. The vast majority appear to have succumbed to a typhus epidemic that made its appearance at the fort in October 1843, following Green's escape, and continued to claim victims until late January 1844. In mid-February, Mier prisoner Campbell Davis, dispirited after months of illness, committed suicide by taking an overdose of laudanum, and thus became the last Texan to die at Perote. "Names of Texian Prisoners who died in Perote Castle," April 8, 1844; James A. Glasscock, "Diary of James A. Glasscock," Texana 1:111-119, passim.
6. Typhus, not "hard work and starvation," was the principal cause of the high death rate among the prisoners during the winter months of 1843-1844; the disease also affected soldiers at the fort, as well as the townspeople of Perote. To combat the epidemic, General José Maria Jarero, the new prison commandant, ordered the damp stone floors on which inmates slept to be covered with wooden boards. Haynes, Soldiers of Misfortune, 167-168.
7. The sixteen prisoners were all members of the Mier Expedition, the Bexar prisoners having been released three days earlier by special order of Santa Anna. Nine were eventually recaptured.
8. Carajo: damn it.
9. It seems unlikely that Green intended to refer to Heraclitus, a little-known Greek metaphysicist, but rather to the Greek hero Heracles, better known by his Latin name, Hercules. Although renowned for his extraordinary physical strength, Heracles also endured great personal tragedy. In The Madness of Heracles, by Euripides, the hero contemplates suicide after mistakenly killing his wife and sons but ultimately resigns himself to a life of pain and sorrow.
10. Captain Antonio Piñeda was a battalion commander in the Puebla infantry regiment.
11. In his last meeting with Santa Anna before returning to the United States to campaign for Henry Clay in the 1844 presidential election, Waddy Thompson once again raised the issue of the incarcerated Texans. After some deliberation the Mexican leader consented to the release of the remaining San Antonio prisoners but refused to extend clemency to the Mier men, who had invaded Mexico with plunder as their sole motive. According to the New Orleans Daily Picayune, Santa Anna later informed Thompson that he had decided to release all the prisoners, but changed his mind when he learned of the second escape attempt. Thompson, Recollections of Mexico, 77-79; New Orleans Daily Picayune, April 2,1844.