Esperanza: 1846

Brian Vasquez, guest writer

Peter, Peter, Peter!!!” Those were my last words  before becoming the number one Mexican soldier killing in the name of my brother, my partner in crime, my best friend who was killed by a tall white soldier. My name is Sebastián Santos, I am 22 years old, and this is my story.  

September 16, 1846

            I escaped my house to attend the fair, passing through town due to Mexico’s Independence Day. I had been dying to spend time with Esperanza and Peter. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to because I got in trouble for fighting Juan. Who flirted with Esperanza. But I did not care that I was in trouble, because today, I celebrated my anniversary with Esperanza, and Peter’s birthday.

September 17, 1846 1:00 pm

     “Wake up!” Yelled my grandfather. He knew I had escaped and forbid me to have fun. My grandparents were all I had left ever since my parents were killed by Las Serpientes the worst group of thieves in the Texas region. You see, I was raised in an area where farming is prosperous and so is hunting, so as I went to do my chores of the farm. I saw Peter going off into the woods and as always I followed him.

September 17,1846  2:30 pm

             “Boo!” I screamed, almost making Peter fall. Peter and I hadn’t had time to be together as we always did, so I decided to skip my chores and explore with him. Peter and I had been best friends ever since five. We loved to explore new places and dreamed of exploring the new country up north that was three days away from our town. We spent the day exploring, playing, and talking, just having quality time with each other.

September 18, 1846 12:00 am

            “Pow pow!” I got up and ran outside to the sounds of guns and screaming. As I stepped out of the house, I saw soldiers with different uniforms and different skin color attacking our small town; but, the soldiers looked very young like they were teens.  My neighbors grabbed their guns and started shooting. I spotted Esperanza and grabbed her and hid her with my grandparents and the other women and children. I grabbed my grandfather’s rifle and joined Peter and the other men. We were told by the men to split up and to kill as many as possible. We only fought for a couple of hours, but it felt like forever. Around 2:30 A.M., the fifty white soldiers turned into fifteen. As the people returned to their houses to find their fathers, husbands and sons, I went and searched for Esperanza and my grandparents. Fortunately, there were no casualties on our side; but, when the smoke cleared, I could see the body of a young man lying on the ground. I ran to the body and recognized Peter.

            “ Peter!!” I yelled. “Stay with me I begged him”, but he had been shot in the lungs. His last words were,

            Thanks for being a brother to me.” And with that my best friend died in my arms.

    September 19, 1846

            The next morning before the sun rose, the town gathered to bury Peter. I stood in the middle of the crowd with a flame of anger in my heart and a desire for vengeance. The ceremony ended at twelve am and everyone went back to their home except Esperanza. She asked me how I was feeling . I tried not to cry, but with the loss of a loved one and Esperanza by my side, I bursted into tears. As Esperanza comforted me with her soothing voice, my mind was set on vengeance. As the sun started to hide and the moon started to kiss my cheeks , I told Esperanza that I had made up my mind to join the army and fight the Americans.

January 30, 1847

               “Soldier B600.”

            “ Sir yes Sir”, I replied.

            “ Congratulations son you have become the best soldier I have led in this army” yelled my commander. He handed me the defensive medal. I had killed three times more Americans than the others; all 695 of my victims were locked in my memories. I often wrote to Esperanza and my grandparents. They always told me to come back, but I couldn’t let Peter die in vain. 

February 20, 1847

            We were ordered to return back to Mexico because there were rumors of American attacks in Buena Vista and we were not gonna let them win. We marched nonstop to the city. My fellow soldiers were visiting their families as we passed through towns. But unfortunately for me, my town was to the west of the path we were using. We arrived at Buena Vista at 9 P.M. and went to bed, for we knew the Americans would soon arrive and we needed our strength.

February 22, 1847

            “Charge!” yelled the general as we ran to attack the Americans. The Americans had started to shoot at 1 pm. We all shot and fought against the ones who resembled like the clouds. The Americans were all tall and strong but my strength came from my heart. I fought against them with all my might until sunset. As both sides kept fighting from behind a building or a tree, I would run to my victims and shot them. As the night started to become darker, I heard my general shout “ Retreat!” Sadly we had retreated and that meant that the Americans had another victory.

February 23, 1847

            As we arrived in the camp, I started to yell and curse everyone. I told them, “you are pathetic, a disgrace to this country, a waste of life.” I lost my temper and began fighting with a fellow soldier. POW! We  stopped and saw the general standing there abashed of our actions. He called me to his office and yelled at me. “ What the heck are you doing? This is your family, the only people you can trust. They are fighting for the same reason and for the same country, so calm down or I’ll have to punish you.”

February 23, 1847 3:00 pm

            My punishment was gathering 300 pieces of firewood and bring them to camp, but I had to gather wood for 3 nights so I had to bring 900. Anyways a letter came from Esperanza. Even though I couldn’t hear her say the things she wrote, I imagined hearing her sweet, gentle voice in my head. “ I’ve missed you so much ever since you have left. How have you been? Are you hurt? I love you so much and can’t wait for you to come back. Come back to us we need you, for it is not the same without you.”

 May 16, 1847

             General Santa Anna  was a Mexican politician and general who fought to defend royalist New Spain and then for Mexican independence.” (Wikipedia) He had sent word to our forces with new instructions. We were to march westward of  New Mexico and free a town that was filled with Americans. Santa Anna had also said that the American  James K. Polk said he wanted to end the war before the 4th of July ( Americas Independence Day) “ A man of his word” (History). Many of us proposed a massive unexpected attack on the 4th of July since they wouldn’t being expecting it, but our generals said no. “We are fighting to keep our land. We are not crazy people but, honorable. They respected us on our Independence Day so will we respect them.” No word was said but there was a battle in my mind either to attack or not.

July 4, 1847

            As the men rested, I decided to go explore. I hadn’t gone exploring ever since Peter died. As I walked deep into the forest, I came up to a small town having fun together. I heard laughter and saw love. I saw how they waved their flag so proudly and I almost felt sorry for those innocent people. As I was turning around, I heard horses running into the town. I saw soldiers come in cheering and hugging their loved ones. At that moment I wanted to go and kill them all, but somehow I did not. I told myself that I would comeback in a few days and kill those murderers.

July 15, 1847

            Tonight was the night I would kill those Americans after what they had done. I had spied on the little town for a few days and knew the exits, knew where their weapons were and knew how many people lived in the town. Secretly, I had organized my weapons for days. But there was something else that was in the way of me killing the Americans and that was the general. The General wouldn’t let me go anywhere since we were planning to leave. So I did what I had to do and that was cause a riot. I went up to one of my partners and punched him and as I hoped the others joined and I was punished to go collect firewood at night.

January 15, 1847 10:00 pm

            I arrived in he town when everyone was asleep and I said it’s time. I counted to 3 and ran. I ran to the guard who was watching and shot him. The shot brought the other soldiers out and I started to shoot. As the civilians ran with their wife’s and children I kept shooting. I must have shot at least 22 because their were less soldiers. As the soldiers chased me into the woods my mind was saying your dead. But all of sudden I saw a building and I ran to it. What I didn’t know was that it was a Catholic Church. I ran in there and waited for the soldiers to pass by since they wouldn’t expect a murder to go to church. As I sat down to catch my breath I heard the preacher talk about forgiveness. The testimony he gave of his life sounded just like mine. His wife was killed and he let hate grow in his heart but that was separating him from his kids. So he decided to find God a God that could fill his heart with peace. My mind was like is there hope for me? Will I see Peter again in this Heaven?

January 15, 1847 11:11 pm

            After everyone left and the soldiers had passed by I went up the preacher and told him of my story. We’ve must if talked for like 5 hours cause when I left the church I saw the sun starting to come out. For once in a long time I had felt peace. My heart was full of joy and hope. As I arrived in the camp I saw how everyone was astonished as I walked and saw the general come up to me. And said

             “ What you did was crazy, stupid, and selfish. And for that you can no longer be a soldier of the Mexican Army.”

September 15, 1847

            I had married Esperanza and desired to start a family. The war riddled us with worry so, we prayed that the war would end. And at midday our Town revived the message by a soldier that the Battle of Mexico City  had ended and that U.S. won. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My whole life changed because of a war and now it was time to heal others who needed help “Peter you were right” I assured myself confidently that Peter was smiling from  above. 


                                                            Works Cited                                                                           

“Battles of the War.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 4 Mar. 2007. Web. January 29, 2018. Staff. “James K., A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web.                                    January 26, 2018. Staff. “Mexican-American War.”, A&E Television Networks, 23 Jan.                         2009. Web. January 27, 2018.

Soldiers and Soldados.The U.S. – Mexican War, 1846-1848 – Site Index, 25 Nov. 2017. Web.                             January 26, 2018.

Stein, Conrad. R. The Story of Mexico. Morgan Reynolds Pub., 2008. Print.

Valenzuela, Ricardo. “Timeline of Major Events.” Timeline, Tripod. N. D. Web. January 26,                           2018.

Wikipedia. “Antonio López De Santa Anna.Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation. N. D. Web.                                  28 Jan. 2018.