And thereby hangs a little story…
In that first year of the war with Mexico, Capt. Fitzsimon' command was stationed at Camarago when a pack train belonging to the Americans was captured by the Mexicans at a point some 20 miles west. Nearly all the soldiers and teamsters were killed, and all the stores appropriated by the enemy, who was commanded by a general of Santa Anna's army. The spirit of enterprise and adventure was very strong among the Americans, and it was decided that a detail should go to the Mexican town and capture the Alcalde, the officer of supreme local authority.
The detail, though infantry, was mounted. Capt. Fitzsimons was one of the party. They started at ten o'clock at night and reached the town at 5:00 in the morning, before the Mexicans were astir. They galloped down the street to the Alcalde's house, surrounded it, and captured him. They put him on a horse and then returned, leaving behind a Texan to cover their retreat until the mounted party got clear of the town. The moment the party left, the natives rang their church bells and created a great uproar. The alarm was heard at the camp of a large force of Mexicans just beyond the town, but the daring band could not be overtaken.
Their plan was to hold the Alcalde as a hostage and compel the people of the town to make good the loss of the wagon train. But without waiting for that to be done, General Taylor led a force against the Mexicans in the vicinity, routed them, drove the robbers from the territory and compelled the province of Coahuita to pay for the stolen stores.
That night ride from Camarago was probably as brilliant and daring a feat as was accomplished in the Mexican War. At the reunion some of the veterans were speaking about it admiringly, congratulating Capt. Fitzsimons as one of the survivors when another comrade laughingly laid claim to a part of the honor.
"Did you go on that night ride?" asked the Captain.
"I did." replied the other veteran
"What is your name?"
"W.W. Ackerman, of Lowell, Indiana. I was in the same Ohio regiment with you. Shake hands!"
It was a delightful meeting. They had not met since the close of the Mexican War but it will hardly fail to renew the old acquaintance in the future, and to keep bright the flame of an old and glorious comradeship. (taken from the Lafayette Morning Journal, Monday, Feb. 25, 1901)
Mr. Ackerman was the grandfather of Mrs. Walter G. Einspahr, of Castle Street, and great, great grandfather of Miss Betty Einspahr, Lowell librarian.
(Editor's Note: W.W. Ackerman lived at the time of his death in 1915 in the house now occupied by Tom Smith's Electric Shop on Mill Street.)
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