Bill Collecting and Other Gossip 1848

Trooper Philip Welsh has run up a sizable bill with the post sutler and the merchant asked Welsh’s company commander Captain Burgwin to extract payment. Unfortunately, the commanding officer died in battle at Taos. The sutler has requested that Lt. John Love find out whether the soldier paid the bill. Philip Welsh stayed in the army after the Mexican War and was found serving Company F at Cantonment Burgwin in 1855. While serving there he has lost his horse pistol and is being assessed $13.00 by the government for the weapon. “You’ll never get rich. You son of a bitch. You are in the Army now.”

Fort Scott MO

April 18, 1848

Lieut John Love

U S Army

Most Worthy old friend:

It is necessary for us to call on some friend to serve us, and as our acquaintance with you gives us claim on you, we respectfully ask this favor of you to learn from Philip Welch in some way if you can, if he ever paid a note to us for $66.28 dated about the 20th March 1844.  Which note was given to Capt. Burgwin the same year some time to collect.  He was so kind as to receive it and said it should be paid, to enable him to collect it he regulated his trade with Mr. Rice to $3.00 Per Month.  We are of the opinion that the Captain collected the amount and hope you can learn from Welch if he has or has not paid the amount &c.  Soldiers like he may plead payment had you not first said you have the note and want him to pay it and in this way he will say what has been done or what amount he has paid.  You will please do the best your can and write us so we can send a copy of your letter to his Capt. Burgwin’s Father.  Private Charles Lynch, late of Company A 1st Dragoons deserted from this post under the command of Capt Burbank and gave himself up at Fort Leavenworth and was not tried for desertion and afterwards sent to Santa Fee.  We certified it for Lieut Wallace on the Council of Administration.  This account was all created before and previous to his desertion which was the 7th May 1847, owing us Ninety Six dollar and Thirty Seven cents, ($96.37) and forwarded to Col. Wharton, and the Col. cannot Say but that he has forwarded it to Santa Fe &c.  This is a tricky man, if you do not know him, please collect it for us.  William Bushnell of the same company left here owing us Fifteen dollars ($15.00) and has, we learn, also gone to Santa Fee.  He is a good man and believe he will pay if he has not already done so—”you will certainly serve us much by giving us your kind ade [sic, aid] and assistance in these bothersome matters.  We shall enclose this letter to Col. C. Wharton and call his attention of the certificate.  Whether he has in his recollection or not forwarded to Santa Fee.  For this and all of your kindness we shall ever be thankful, and should you be able to give the wanted information as in the case of Welch please [indecipherable].

And if you should be able to make the collection, pay yourself and send us the balance to us in some shape through Col. Wharton.  We have but little news in the States to give at this date.  The county is quiet save the difficulties with Mexico, and all are on the look out for the ratification of the treaty by the Mexican congress—”the rupture or revolution is France may result [indecipherable] to the Old World, should it, it will be a very good thing for the United States.   The health of our county is generally good.  Col. Douglass your old friend is very well, and family, he has a fine daughter.  She commands much attention.  Your colt he aimed to race for you is Dead—”The loss of our mutual friends by the Mexican War is very great.  So many valuable lives lost—”our county is clad in Mourning—”You must meet with many Privations in Mexico.  You must be loansum [sic] news very old before you get it out to you—”Dr. W. Wammon is at this Post with his family.  He has two fine Daughters.  Mr. Bugg is absent to St. Louis with Lieut Wallace, our H. T. Wilson is married and flourishing at Scott.  He was married on the 28th of last September to a plane [sic] country Girl and if you were in the States, you should marry, and pleasant life to live, a step every good man should take.  We do not know who you may have about you that we knew, but would be pleased to be kindly remembered to youself, Capt. Grear and all of our acquaintans [sic] with you.

We have the honor to be your very

Sincere and obt Servts


Wilson & Bugg

Captured Mexican Items at Santa Cruz de Rosales

Following the capture of the town of Santa Cruz de Rosales in 1848, the Army inventoried the captured Mexican ordnance. Below is a copy of this report.

City of Chihuahua
March 26, 1848

The Board met pursuant to the foregoing orders, and soon after the
reception of the captured property, as was practicable, and up to the
present time have been busy in assorting and taking inventories of
said property, which they find to be as follows (incl.(?) accompanying
list or inventory as marked “A”).

All the large guns are more or less injured by firing, and some of
them badly cast, full of flaws and honeycombs. The majority of the
muskets and escopetas are in bad order, broken locks and stocks, bent
barrels &c. Three of the muskets are very much injured in the stock
by shot, or shell, of one, the entire stock is gone. The muskets, and
in fact all of the cartridges, are badly made, and only valuable for
the amount of powder they contain. The shells, strap shot, balls, and
canister, are as a general thing very badly made and would be apt to
greatly damage a good piece if fired from one.

One reference to the list, it will be found that there are
eleven large boxes of powder, this is supposed to be for cannons, as
also the five bags. Ten of the kegs contain very fine powder,
supposed to be for rifles, and the remainder for muskets. Having no
means to ascertain the weight, the amount in bulk only is first put
down as it appeared before the Board.

The horses are all small, poor, and weak, and many of the mules are
equally in as bad condition, none of them being fit for present use,
and scarcely any will ever be capable of hard service.

The saddles are of Spanish pattern and much out of order in their
present state worthless.

Of the drums, three are without heads or have but one, and the others
are so heavy and unwieldy as to be almost or quite unserviceable.

The articles, not having (sic) innumerated, are generally
in very good condition, and might, if necessary, be put to immediate

The above is respectfully submitted as a report of the proceedings of
the Board, which, having no further business before it, adjourns sin

B.L. Beall,
Major 1st Dragoons



2 Two 32-Lb. Brass Howitzers

1 One 10-Lb. Brass Cannon by Measurement

1 One 8-Lb. ” ” ” ”

1 One 4-Lb. ” ” ” ”

2 Three Swivels

7 Seven Wall Pieces

1 One Double-Barrel Wall Piece

392 Three Hundred and Ninety-Two Muskets

281 Two Hundred and Eighty-One Musket Bayonets

99 Ninety-Nine Cartridge Boxes & Belts

80 Eighty Escopetas

27 Twenty-Seven Service Rifles

78 Pistols

35 Sabres

122 One Hundred and Twenty-Two Lances Complete

142 One Hundred and Forty-Two Lance Heads and Ferrules

150 ________ Lance Straps

145 Shafts for Lances

6 Six Wipers for Wall Pieces

11 Eleven Large Boxes of Powder

23 Twenty-Three Kegs of Powder

5 Five Bags of Powder

58 Fifty-Eight Cartridges for 32-Lb. Howitzer

72 Seventy-Two Cartridges for 9-Lb. Gun

2600 Twenty-Six Hundred Musket Cartridges

7 Seven Bunches Signal Rockets

9 Nine 32 Lb Grenades

9 Nine 24 lb Shells

4 Four 32 lb Shells

75 Seventy-Five 4 lb Shells

7 Seven 3 lb Strap Shot

24 Twenty-Four 6 lb Strap Shot

4 Four 12 lb Strap Shot

103 One-Hundred and Three 4lb Balls

50 Fifty 3 lb Balls

76 Seventy-Six Cases 32 lb Canister

116 One-Hundred Sixteen Cases 3 lb Canister

1 One Lot Canister for Wall Piece

1 One Lot Balls for Wall Piece

1 One Lot Musket Balls

1 One Ten Ball Roller

10 Ten Bullet Molds

7 Seven Rifle Locks

1 One Lot Gun Flints

11 Eleven Sponges

2 Two Worms

6 Six Hand Spikes

1 One Treatment Scale

A List of Quarter Master Property Captured at the Siege of Santa Cruz
de Rosales, Mexico, March 16th 1848.

98 Ninety-Eight Horses

66 Sixty-Six Mules

7 Seven Wagons

52 Sets of Harnesses, four collars wanting

9 Nine Pack Saddles

35 Thirty-Five Spanish Bridle Bits

32 Thirty-Two Sets Spanish Saddle Rigging

1 One Bulk ” ” ”

35 Thirty-Five Buckles

7 Seven [Screw} Drivers

43 Forty-Three Files

8 Eight Hammers

4 Four Vices

2 Two Wrenches

1 One Grinding Stone

65 Sixty-Five Edge Tools

13 Thirteen Augers

18 Eighteen Saws

3 Three Screw Plates

2 Two Anvils

10 Ten Pounds Rod Steel

2 Two Boxes Tin

2 Two Boxes Shoes

8 Eight Boxes Blue Clothe

1 Lot Printing Type

1 Lot Duct Parts

1 Lot Rosin

2 Lots Steel Yards

12 Twelve Empty Boxes

11 Eleven Boxes Cigarilos

Love's artillery

In August of 1847, the Army command at Santa Fe decided to convert Company B, 1st United States Dragoons, into a field artillery battery. The company had only recently arrived at Santa Fe and was composed of, in the main, new recruits. Lt. Jone Love, its field commander, drew weapons, mules, tack and equipage from Lt. A.B. Dyer, the post ordnance officer. Below is a four-page receipt for the stores drawn by Lt. Love to outfit the new battery. Of note, is a 6 pounder that had been captured in 1843 by Mexican forces from a party of Texas invaders. This cannon was, in turn, captured when, in 1846, the Army of the West marched into Santa Fe.

Saltillo, Mexico 20 May 1848: Lt. Couts to Lt. Love

Dear Love,

I have come this far with the Capts. Whiltsey and Adams–the orphans of Chihuahua.
Through they leave for that forsaken community, I do not give them up until sufficient time shall have elapsed for them to pass Parral; for our Genl. is famous for countermanding orders. The old man Grier, however, will give you an account of him (the Genl, who is accused of all the vile things that could be heaped upon mortal man).
Cpt. Rucker comds. our squ’d at the Willow Spring near Monterey. Maj. Bragg, Comdg. Offr:–I presume you know Cpt. R. and knowing him, you may well fancy how subservient he is to Bragg.
I was very anxious to go up in place of Capt. Grier with “A” Compy–or for Capt. Rucker’s Compy. to go–or for Capt. Grier to remain with us & not go, but things turned out in every way, contrary to my wishes.
When will any portion of the Regt. ever get together again. The Northern Hemisphere, at present, contains the whole of the Regt.–but in the course of time, the Southern may get a small portion of us, if lucky.
We are delighted to hear from Capt. Grier that you had nothing to do with “Cowpen Pen Slaughter” at Santa Cruz.
Something had been heard of it previous to the arrival of the Capt., which agreed with his version of the affair, viz: you penned up a number of Mexican regular greasers, and slaughtered them by file. We are all proud , and feel happy in learning that you gave countenance to no such inhumanity.
A letter was received from Franklin in Monterey, a short time since, and he states that Capts. Turner & Kearney, and a third one, whom he does not recollect, have resigned–the letter was written from Washington. Capt. Rucker is daily in a melancholy mood and always talks of resigning, but this is all in my eye–he is desirous (I believe) of getting a Paymaster’s appointment!
As to the current news, slander too, Grier, Whittlesy & Adams will tell you all of ours.
I have my tail up for the 3d Dragoons; if I can get there as I wish, will have fair promotion–there is no doubt of its being retained–indeed there is a requisition in the War Office for a 4th Regt. of Dragoons.
Buford & Pat. Noble have transferred companies. Buford goes to Gibson & Pat. to City of Mexico.
There are some few in the states–so many indeed, that I cannot enumerate them. Carleton is in Maine exhibiting his various curiosities that he took during the Battle of Buena Vista–presenting them to museum etc.
I had forgotten at the commencement of my letter to congratulate you on your Captaincy–allow me to do so, in a few minutes, with a good gulp of Puros (1200) Ano, not least a keg of fine old Brandy (15 galls). Take a drink with all the fellows in Chihuahua also, for me.
If peace is not mde, we will probably meet in the next world, if not before. In haste.

Truly yr. friend,

Cave S. Couts