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August 31, 1899

Muster and inspection of arms at 7 A.M. Cannot begin work at headquarters until 9 A.M., worked until about 1 A.M. when orderly came down, “Captain wants you.” He was going to send out a reconnoitering party of twenty men and a Lieutenant and wanted me to make the map. Started at 12:15 P.M., marched four miles to Mexico (had mapped it previously) where we started the map. Then commenced the worst march I have ever made. The Lieutenant told me we were going to the enemy’s outposts and drive them in, but we did not get there. It is no exaggeration to say that of the five miles we marched to the north of Mexico (on the right bank of the San Fernando River) we waded four miles in water which varied in depth from ankle deep to shin and in places the men would disappear entirely. What makes the road so bad is that the irrigation ditches have either been broken or burst and the water runs off in the road. We were way beyond our outposts. Mexico is a good two miles beyond them, and the natives, we passed through two large inhabited villages, Bicetre Tanglela and Sapote [Zapote], were very humble and gave us bananas and cigarettes, everywhere displaying the white flag. It commenced to rain and rained with tropical intensity, but we kept on until Mt. Arratrat [Arayat] seemed less than a mile away and San Juan, our destination, was estimated about a mile distant, but it was 5 P.M. and we had orders to be back by dark. Two men had played out on the march out, which was cruelly fast, and now we turned back more began to play out. In one place where the water was waist deep a man laid down and said he had rather die than take another step. He was dragged along. Men began to throw away ammunition, so a short halt, the first, was called and I washed the sand out of my shoes. On again, reaching Mexico after dark and the barracks at 9 P.M.