MARCH TO THE PLAINS
Some three weeks after the capture of Moho--on April 23, 1541, to be exact--Coronado set forth from Tiguex with all the Spaniards still in the Pueblo country. Castafieda tells us the departure was arranged to take place while the ice was yet thick on the Rio Grande, making it possible to cross over on horseback. This would be much easier than getting people and animals through what would soon be a raging flood. Remembering that shortly before this, fugitives from Moho had been drowned in the stream, one must assume that there had been a subsequent freeze, or that this statement was just a literary flourish on the part of our chronicler.
Coronado's retinue when he left Tiguex included, according to the same writer, a thousand horses, five hundred cattle, some five thousand sheep, and more than fifteen hundred persons, counting Mexican allies and recently acquired Tiguex captives. Among the latter was a woman who entered permanently into history, as will appear. Three wives of Spanish soldiers, with their children, rode forth on the historic adventure, to supplement their arduous horseback trip from Mexico to Pueblo Land. These were sharp-tongued Señora Sánchez; Señora Paradinas, known as the Angel of Mercy for her ministrations to the sick; and Señora Caballero, who acquired no special fame except to be listed among these pioneer women in the Southwest. With so unwieldy a caravan, progress was necessarily slow, and the march must have been attended by a constant bedlam of shouting and cursing by herdsmen and horse wranglers, mingled with the bellowing and bleating of the animals. At what he heard, Father Padilla, veteran though he was, perhaps crossed himself many times and said silent prayers. The Turk and Sopete were taken
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Coronado, Knight of Pueblos and Plains. Contributors: Herbert E. Bolton - Author. Publisher: Whittlesey House. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1949. Page number: 238.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.