we had a new lease on life when we got fairly out from between these two pickets.
I don't think my feeling was ever wrought up to such a pitch. It would have been a relief to me at the time to have given them a fire, raised the war-hoop and broke it up with a race; this I was restrained from doing for fear of their outer picket at Tank Lavacca. As soon as we got within four miles of that point I assended the side of the mountain "leaving Phillipps to hold the horses at the foot" and soon succeeded in finding four fellows on a hill dressed as regular cavalry. To pass them without our being seen seemed to be impossible as the gorge between the mountains at this point narrowed down to a very small gap, so we thought it best to wait and see if they could not be called in, as there was no water between the two armies. We remained in this position until about 11 o'clock A. M. and still no attention took place in the guard. This with the clouds of dust to be seen about the Mexican Army was "proof". Positive of their going to march immediately, there was no more time to spare. Gen. Taylor might await our arrival, Alston's party may have been killed or captured and should our army be attacked in its present position, defeat was inevitable.
These conditions induced us to attempt to pass, notwithstanding the apparent impossibility of the undertaking. We clung closely to the rugged mountain on the north or west side intending, if we were discovered and cut off, to take to its rugged rocks for protection. We could have baffled them a long time and killed many of them with our rifles ere we were captured, or I should say killed, surrendering being out of the question, to do so was to be "hanged". We both agreed to take shooting in preference. The ground we had to pass over was very difficult, the mountain's side being very rocky, yet it was the only chance of concealing ourselves. The valley was occupied by a prairie dog town over which it would be almost impossible