Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 1848, New Orleans to Veracruz

The Tennessee 5th Infantry regiment arrived in New Orleans by 28 December 1847. This was the departure point for Veracruz, Mexico. "The fifth regiment of East Tennessee volunteers, numbering 684 privates, arrived at New Orleans on the 28th, and went on board the ships Tahmaroo and Mississippi, about to start for Vera Cruz." [source, Niles' National Register via University of Vermont].

This excerpt from J. Jacob Oswandel from the beginning of January 1847 provides some flavor of scene in New Orleans for arriving troops:

"Saturday, January 2, 1847 - This morning, after breakfast, orders were read for each captain of their respective companies, to give each company ten passes to go to New Orleans. Louis Bymaster and myself got passes and soon afterwards started for the city. We walked it all the way, which is about five miles from our camp-ground; we, of course, first struck for the St. Charles Hotel, here we met some of our own company, and some belonging to the Louisiana regiment; after we had several drinks and good lunch, we left the hotel and walked around the city, and we find it to be a beautiful and well planned city."
...
"Along its levees you can see moored to the shore hundreds of steamboats, at one section of the city arriving and departing for Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, besides hundreds of flat boats and barges. Also hundreds of sea-going ships at another section of the city, arriving and sailing for London, Liverpool, and German ports; besides steamships to Havana, Galveston, Panama, St. Domingo, New York, Boston, bringing the merchandise of the whole world to the warehouses of the merchants of New Orleans."

From New Orleans, the department troops would have followed along the Gulf Coast to Corpus Christi, Texas before arriving in Mexico. By 13 January 1848, the 5th Infantry was encamped outside Veracruz.

[source, Niles' National Register via Google Books]

I have ordered a copy of "Down the Tennessee" by Richard Mitchell Edwards. This is supposed to describe the journey of the 5th Infantry to Mexico. According to his Muster Roll on Fold3.com, Edwards was a Corporal in Company C. He was 24 years old when he departed Knoxville in late 1847. Company C made the journey to National Bridge with Company G, in which my Jones ancestors were enlisted. Edwards' account of the journey should be an interesting read.

New Orleans is a location which features prominently on part of my wife's side of the family. Some of her relatives would have been in New Orleans at this time. I'll revisit New Orleans in future posts.

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