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Chapter 8 Y On to Mexico City Saturday, December 4, 1847. The train did not get off until noon; it is composed of the First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Massachusetts and Ohio regiments. Colonel John Coffee Hays, with five companies of mounted Rangers, and Maj. Lally, with fifteen hundred regular recruits, assigned to different regiments at the capital. There were four of our company left back on account of sore and blistered feet and colds, which we contracted on our last march. Your humble servant is one of the four. After the division had left the city of Puebla, we were puzzled to know what we had to do and where to go. We did not want to attach ourselves to any company here, fearing that we could not get off so easy when the next train comes up, which we intend to follow to the capital and again join our companies. So four of us made up a mess, hunted and rented a room, promising to pay seventy-five cents per week for the same, and laid in some rations, but how long we will be able to stay here without being found out by the officers, time will tell; but I hope they will let us rest a few days anyhow. In the evening, I went to the hospital to see how our friend John B. Herron, who was wounded during the siege of Puebla, was getting along, and to my surprise I was informed that he died of his wounds on the 25th of November last. Mr. Herron was a well educated man, and when he first started out with our company he expected something better than a mere private. He expected to be either Quartermaster or Sergt. Major of our regiment, but Capt. Small, being defeated for the Colonelcy of our regiment, his plans and hopes were dashed. He was very much of a gentleman in all his ways and manners, and was also a good soldier. He prophecied previous to his going on picket guard, that he would be shot that day. His prophecy proved too true. Sunday, December 5, 1847. This morning, after breakfast, we were busy in arranging our room, so as to make everything look neat and comfortable. My feet are very sore and I am compelled to stay in our room, and am passing my time in writing, and examining ancient histories of Mexico. Today I have written several letters to my parents and friends so as to have them ready to send home by the next train. This being Sunday, I went to the Cathedral, which is close by, and it was surprising to see the numerous clergy or Catholic priests and monks in this city; and it is true, as a writer said: “Catholicism has found a virgin field in America where it had luxuriated and spread its dogmas. The religious force which had concentrated itself in the old world burst over the virgin wilds of the new world like a 230 On to Mexico City pestilence. The fanatical monk penetrated with the crucifix into the midst of the most savage tribes, while swords, fire and massacre were the true instruments used in the propagation of the faith, and made more converts than the Bible, whose blessed teachings the poor Indians received at the point of the spear and sabre.” It has always been said and very truly, that the sword holds mighty arguments, and as Mahommedan and Christian have proven, makes more converts than tongue or pen. In touching the results of the establishment of Catholic power in the new world, I am not attacking the high moral teachings of the Church of Rome, but the perversion of its religion when in the hands of bad men, and its wonderful capacity for such perversion. I know that the Catholic religion was born of the moral wants of the Mediterranean nations, who, completely sunk in immorality, were ready to seize upon any faith which could lift them from the degradation into which the crimes and lust of the Roman Empire had sunk them; but like any other great monopoly of the human mind in a single direction, it soon becomes perverted and deems no measure too atrocious to obtain proselytes. In tracing the causes of the numberless revolutions of Mexico and the Spanish American States, we shall find that every phase of their history, and especially in Mexico, the Catholic clergy, have been the great vital principal which has occasioned...


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