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    [Jack Hays' 1st Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers] and [Mexican War]. David P. Marshall Autograph Letter Signed. Three integral pages, 7.75" x 9.75", San Antonio de Bexar, May 11, 1847. Great content letter by Marshall, who served in Hays' first regiment. Recently arrived from New Orleans, Marshall writes:


    "To the Old Heads
    Bhoys we had a pleasant trip to New Orleans but with nothing of interest occurring except that Tom was affected with the Fever and Ague. We Arrived in New Orleans on Thursday and remained until the following Saturday. While there I had the devils delight with Tom I got a French Doctor who cupped him and prescribed medicine enough to Kill a horse at night I gave him an injection with a Syringe that I made out of an India rubber bottle and the way I ejaculated him was a caution the next day I physicked him and on Saturday he was able to go down to the propeller Florida. The Florida was an old hulk with accommodations for Sixteen passengers but she had Forty Five on board among whom was Col. Hays and Ben McCullough who is now a major with a seperate [sic] command the First day out I commenced singing New York as also for about an hour on the following day but after that I had no unpleasant feelings. We were Five days in crossing but the weather was delightful. We Remained 2 days in Galveston and then started by land for San Antonio crossing the Bay in the damnedst [sic] old Ferry that ever was floated being detained two days before we could cross and then it took us half a day to get over. We had to ride in the water fifty yards to get on board and on the other side we grounded or horses were led ashore by a nigger who returned and took us on his back our saddle sacks on our shoulders for this benefit of navigation We forked over 6$ like a damn. A little boy started us on the national Road to San Antonio being what looked to us a cow trail across the prairie a mile from the place where we started there was 40 similar roads and in an hour we were completely lost but just at dark by main strength and akwardness we lit upon a house at Hays Bayou 17 miles from where we started. Here we tried something new to Crhistian [sic] beasts I mean hobbling our horses they raised the devil for about half an hour but finally became quiet and conducted themselves with due gravity and propriety. We rested that night with our heads under a roof and our heels ad libitum out on the prairie. The next day we rode 40 miles but being lost during the day we were only thirty miles from where we started. The next day we crossed the Brazos River at Richmond. the next we rode six miles got our horses bogged got lost and was twenty five miles from Richmond the next we crossed the Colorado at Columbus. The next we were lost again and made 20 miles on our route the next were lost and rod 10 miles on another road towards Columbus but being set right we struck the Le Grange road the only thing like a road in Texas from that time we made Gonzales where we were detained 2 days on a/c of rain crossed the San Marks thence to Seguin Crossed the War Loup [?] thence to San Antonio. San Antonio is a dilapidated city the Houses are built of mud and sticks or limestone all however have one story and are unanimous in having mud floors. The inhabitants are convinced that Texas contains more fleas than any two states in the union and after a due suffering of Phlebotomy we heartily coincide with them. The inhabitants of San Antonio for the most part are Mexicaners and the principal attraction here is the Fandangoes which we make it a moral duty to attend. The felines or senoritas are generally speaking about the color of a new saddle and ver [sic] sociable. A Mexicaner insulted one of our company the other night and Tom and me made him call Senor out the mayor being in the room I took the liberty of taking him away to drink and made his as drunk as a coon a Mexicaner interfered in the fight outside and tried to draw his knife Tom gave him a gun and introduced the game of Foot Loo[?] to the edification of the Senors [sic]. The sheriff and posse interfered made a polite speech and stopped the fun. We have joined Capt [William G. ] Crumps Company and will start in 10 days for Monterey. Some of you must write and tell us about the election and about the Old Head. A damned old muel [sic] kicked Tom the other day but he is now all straight. If Wilson was here we would have lots of fun as it is we manage. like a damn. The beverage here is awful so we are constrained to live sober and temperate. Tell McGowan we are a thousand times obliged for that Pipe it is mighty convenient. Much obliged to Gregg McGrew and Bailey for Canteens and Belts. rememer [sic] us and send us newspapers also write occasionly [sic]. Direct all documents, David P Marshall Texas Rangers care of Col John C Hays."

    At the outbreak of war with Mexico, Col. Jack Hays (1817-1883), arguably the most famous Ranger of all time, entered United States service with his men as the First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen. The date of this letter (May 11, 1847) coincides with the day that Hays' first regiment of Mounted Volunteers is mustered in for six months. The Rangers had been furloughed since the previous October, and were now being brought back into U.S. service. Though we cannot determine which company the author, David Marshall, served, he does mention Captain William G. Crump's Company in his letter. Eight other companies served under Colonel Hays in the 1st Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers; Marshall most likely belonged to one of them.

    Ben McCulloch (1811-1862), an equally legendary figure in Ranger history, had initially commanded Company "A" in the First Regiment, but in January 1847 was named by General Zachary Taylor as the army chief of scouts and commander of McCulloch's Company, Texas Mounted Volunteers (Spies).

    The involvement of the Texas Rangers as a fighting force during the Mexican War brought them to national prominence. Serving as General Zachary Taylor's "eyes and ears," the Rangers participated in most of the major battles of the war and fought so ruthlessly against Mexican guerillas that the citizens of Mexico learned to respect and fear them, bestowing upon them the moniker "Los Diablos Tejanos."

    Folds are weak and separating in places with minor loss of paper, but not affecting the text. Separation on page three has been repaired. Some areas of ink smudging. Discoloring of the paper, especially along the folds. Small holes on page three from opening at the wax seal, the remnant of which is present on the address leaf. Edges are lightly chipped.


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