(1849) The Mexican War and Its Warriors: From the Founding of the Republic to the Present Time


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(11) Tns. WAR. MEXICAN AND. WARRIORS. ITS. COMPRISINO. A COMPLETE HISTORY OF ALL THE OPERATIONS OF THE AMERICAN ARMIES IN MEXICO:. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES AND ANECDOTES OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED OFFICERS IN THE REGULAR. ARMY AND VOLUNTEER FORCE.. BY Author of " The. J?. FROST, L.L.D. History. Pictorial. of. the. World," " Americaa. Naval Biography," " Pictorial History of the United States," " Wonders of History," and late Professor of Belles Lettres in the Philadelphia High School.. )aiustrate^. toftt). numerous. NEW HAVEN AND. PUBLISHED BY (. Hucvabfnjn;.. PHILADELPHIA: H.. MANSFIELD.. 1849. /.

(12) Ektebei), according. BY. H.. to. Act of Congress,. MANSFIELD,. In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Connecticut..

(13) PEEFACE. The. recent contest between the United States. and Mexico has. called forth the military enert^ies. of this country, and has led to displays of valour. and military science which have astonished the whole tles,. In a succession of bat-. civilized world.. marches, and. sieges,. skirmishes,. lasting. through a period of nineteen months, the arms of the United States have been uniformly. umphant.. tri-. Wherever our armies have met the. enemy they have conquered. Of such a contest the history cannot but prove interesting to the whole. people.. The. body of the American. scattered details. which have been. furnished by the public journals, although they. have served. to allay anxiety for the. moment, are. quite insufficient to satisfy the lively curiosity. which such events ". are well calculated to awaken.. A round unvarnished tale" of the whole progress. of the. war. is. necessary to form a portion of the. historical library of every family;. the heroic officers and. and. men who have. it is. due. to. served in. this war, that their claims to the gratitude of their.

(14) PREFACE. country should be distinctly recorded and pieserved in a permanent form.. with these views that the following his-. It is. tory,. pany. and the biographical sketches which accomit,. has been. to. do. justice to. all,. this intention will atone for. v/hich. The. have been written.. this,. in. common. aim. and he hopes that. any imperfections. v;ith. class, is necessarily liable.. author's. every work of. to its.

(15) LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.. ---•••. --..... -------.--32 ----........ ------.--87 ----.--.-. --... Bombardment. of Vera Cruz,. Ornamental Headpiece, Point Isabel,. Fort Brown,. 28. -. Battle of Palo Alto,. 41. American army entering Marin,. 69. Bishop's Palace,. .. 73. Cavalry Charge,. Storming of the Bishop's Palace, Paredes,. -. -. .. -. 93. .. gg. Santa Anna,. loi. Battle of Buena Vista,. 107. Death of Colonel Clay,. Commencement American. -----. -. of the Guerilla Warfare,. 117 125. ..-.--. .-------191 -.--•----,••-------.-----.--.---------••--.---..--. ---------.---. .... fleet saluting. Battle of Cerro Gordo,. Vera Cruz. the castle at. -. -. 141. -. 147. -. 152. Jalapa,. Northern extremity of Puebla de. los. Angelos,. -. -. -. -. 163. General Butler,. 166. Battle of Churubusco,. 175. The. 183. City of Mexico,. (]!hapultepcc,. -. -. -. •. -. -. -. -. 208 212. Capture of Tuspan, Capture of Panuco,. Loss of the Somers,. 215. General Taylor,. 224. Headpiece,. Worth. at. 225. -. General Worth,. -. -. 239. Monterey,. Storming of Federation. 242. Hill,. 247. View from Tacubaya, Headpiece, Headpiece,Tailpiece,. Headpiece,. 238. 255. ^-. 25g 264 265. (7).

(16) LIST OF ILLUSTRATiO.XS.. Vlll. Headpiece,. .-----• ------- -------.«•-•- ----------••.---.--•----.----••--• .-,•---•-•----«. Street fight at Monterey,. -. General Kearny, Headpiece, Headpiece,. •. -. Colonel McCulloch,. Headpiece,. -. Captain Walker, Headpiece,. Colonel Hays,. Headpiece, Headpiece,. General Scott, Headpiece,. General Shields,. •. 271. 273 280 281. 285 292 293 298 299 304 305 311. 314 315 32Q.



(19) THE WAR, Though. several. sub-. jects of dispute existed. between. this. country and. Mexico, previous. to the. annexation of Texas, yet the latter event. was. the. immediate cause of the. war between countries.. the. two. As soon. as. Mexico understood. thai. a project of union. was. entertained between the. United States and Texas, she endeavoured to defeat. it. act. Vv'as. her. ;. and when the consummated,. minister. against. it. protested. as " an act of.

(20) THE. 10. W A R.. Annexation of Texas.. unjust which. aggression the most. can be found. re-. corded in the annals of modern history of despoiling a friendly nation, like Mexico, of a consi-. namely, that. ;. derable portion of her territory.". Immediately. and from. demanded. all efforts at. amicable negotiation entirely failed.. On. his passports,. after,. that time. the n.inister. the 21st of March, 1845, orders were issued for. General Zachary Taylor, commandant. Fort Jessup,. at. Louisiana, to prepare his forces for marching into Texas,. whenever orders to that purpose should be issued. The reasons for this were given by President Polk in his mes" Both the congress and the sage of December, 1845. convention of the people of Texas, invited. ment. to. this. govern-. send an army into their territory to protect and. defend them against a menaced attack.. The moment. by the United States were accepted by Texas, the latter became so far a part. the terms^ of annexation offered. of our country as to tection. make. and defence.. it. our duty to afford such pro-. I therefore. deemed. it. proper, as a. precautionary measure, to order a strong squadron to. and to concentrate an efficient on the w^estern frontier of Texas." Agreeably to instructions received from government, General Taylor concentrated his forces at Corpus Christi,. the coasts of Mexico, military force. Here he remained. in the eastern part of Texas.. March, 1846, when he received from the. until. president. orders to the following effect. " Instructions have been issued to the general in command to occupy the lefl bank of the Del Norte. This river. which. Texas, •ion. is. is. the south-west. an exposed. was threatened. boundary of the. From. frontier. ;. upon. it,. and. state of. this quarter inva-. in. its. immediate.

(21) THE WAR. Taylor leaves Corpus. 11 CliristL. judgment of high. vicinity, in the. military experience,. are the proper stations for the protecting forces of the. government.. In addition to this important considera-. have occurred. tion, several others. Among. ment.. to. induce. moveby the. this. these are the facilities afforded. ports at Brazos Santiago,. and the mouth of the Del. by sea. Norte, for the reception of supplies. ;. the stronger. and more healthful military positions the convenience for obtaining a ready and a more abundant supply of and the advantages provisions, water, fuel, and forage which are afforded by the Del Norte, in forwarding sup;. ;. plies to such ports as. may be. established in the interior,. General Taylor left and upon the Indian frontier." Corpus Christi on the 11th of March, and marched toward the Rio Grande.* The troops marched through a sandy desert, infested by venomous reptiles, until they •. In this march, says a late writer, the. army encountered. the. most. appalling hardships, both from the heat of the sandy deserts over which. The. they passed, and the wemt of food and water. in. camp, where large portions of the troops had. discipline acquired. for the first. time an op-. portunity of seeing and learning the evolutions of the line,. amply. tested. ;. and. that throughout their tience. whole march they bore. their hardships. sufferings. on. this. march were rendered the more painful by con-. with the agreeable sojourn of the army at Corpus Christi, which. Henry. described by Captain. in his entertaining. one of the most delightful regions in the world. bluff,". he. says, " the. east the scene. view. is. ". From. the top of the. Far. magnificent in the extreme.. Flower Bluffs stood out in bold. off to the. plain presented. itself,. and buffalo.". mouth of. the. Nueces. ;. ;. to the. relief; in the north-east,. the distant highlands of Maylone's Bluff were dimly. west, the land near the. is. Campaign Sketches, as. was bounded by the white caps of the beautiful bay. south-east, the. tangr. with pa-. and cheerfulness.. The trast. was here. should be recorded to the honour of the soldiers,. it. \-isible. in the west,. extending to the mountains, the. to the north». ;. one unlimited. home. of the mua«.

(22) THE WAR.. 12. Crosses the Colorado.. reached the Arroya Colorado, thirty miles eastward of the Rio Grande.. body of for the. soldiers. On. the opposite. and rancheros. bank of. this river a. w^as stationed, apparently. purpose of disputing the passage.. This place. was favourable for opposing the passage of the army, and General Taylor expected that war was now about to. He made his. begin.. but soon. after. preparations for crossing, however,. received a message from the governor of. Matamoras, stating that an attempt to cross the Colorado. woul. be considered a signal for war.. i. Notwithstanding these warlike demonstrations, General. Taylor crossed the river in face of the. foe.. He. experienced no opposition, although an excellent opportunity. was afforded from the position. in. which the Mexi-. cans were stationed.. Being thus unexpectedly delivered from a disagreeable General Taylor spent a day in refreshing his and then [March 22d] resumed his march for On the 24th, news was received that the Rio Grande. the Mexicans had taken possession of Point Isabel, on the Brazos Santiago, which place the general had precollision,. troops,. viously selected as a military depot.. Knowing. the ad-. vantages to be derived from this station. General Taylor. determined to occupy it and accordingly, leaving his main army with General Worth on the Matamoras road, he pushed toward the Brazos with the dragoons and WTi n near the place, he was met by the artillery train. prefect of Tamaulipas, and other citizens, who protested against the occupation of their territory, and intimated that their government considered it a declara;. tion of war... While General Taylor was considering he observed a column of smoke in the. this protestation,.

(23) THE WAR.. 13. Esciteraent in l^tamoxas.. and conjecturing. direction of Point Isabel-. Mexicans had. fired. it,. that. the. he dismissed the prefect, with. when. the promise of an answer. the Americans. would. Colonel Twiggs was sent. arrive near. Matamoras.. ward with. the dragoons to stop the conflagration, and. arrest those. who had caused. deserted by the soldiery and. He. it.. many. for-. found the station. of the citizens, find. succeeded in saving a few of the burning houses. GeneTaylor arrived soon after, and commenced the con-. ral. struction of a fortification subsequently. known. as Fort. Major John Munroe was intrusted with the com-. Polk.. mand.. Six brass. large quantities of. six-pounders, t\vo. powder and. long eighteens,. ball with. about four. hundred and fifty men, were left for its defence. Having completed such other arrangements. as. were. thought necessary, in order to guard against attack, Ge-. march with the main army, and reached the Rio Grande opposite ^latamoras on the. neral Taylor continued his. 28th.. At. the. city of. ment.. first. appearance of the American army the. Matamoras was thrown. into the greatest excite-. Exaggerated reports both of. strength and and our troops were regarded as lawless banditti, whose sole intention was spoil and plunder. In a few days, however, this feeling seems to have subsided the good behaviour of intentions. had preceded. its. its. coming;. ;. American troops dissipated pre\aous fears and the citizens at least became willing to wait for the result. the. ;. of the natural course of events, rather than immediately. rush. upon the American arnw,. as. was. at first their. intention.. The Americans were now. situated in a beautiful coun-.

(24) THE WAR.. 14. Description of the Country.. try—the more. "Fai. grateful after their fatiguing march.. as the eye can reach," says a volunteer, " one level sur-. face presents itself to view, dotted with cotton. cane. fields,. and sugar-. interspersed with lovely gardens after the. Spanish fashion, the whole cut up and divided in sorts of. ways, by groves of the. finest trees,. th? lignum vitse figures largely. cut in twain. is. river. in. all. among which. and the entire picture by the muddiest, crookedest, and swiftest ;. Neither mountain,. North America.. hill,. nor. elevation of any sort, varies the everlasting level of the. country around.. The scene. nought to mar. appropriate character save the armies. its. of the two nations.. is. rich. Our nights. here, for the. are remarkable for their serenity.. numerous crowds, with moved, not a cloud is seen. in. and peaceful, with. The. rare brilliancy ;. most. part,. stars stand forth ;. not a leaf. is. while ever and anon a me-. teor of surpassing brightness shoots. across the azure. vault.". When. army reached the Rio Grande, and had planted the American flag upon its banks, General Worth crossed to the Mexican side, in order to have an interview with the city authorities, and deliver to them despatches from General Taylor. He was met by General la Vega, the Licenciado Casares, Juan Garza, an interpreter, and two officers, who had been appointed. by. the. the authorities to confer with him.. able. altercation, the reception of the. refused,. and a. like result attended a request for. terview with the American consul. to the. After consider-. despatches was. an in-. Worth then returned. camp.. After this event, the Mexicans, withheld. all. supplies. from General Taylor, and commenced the erection of.

(25) THE W A A.. 16. Mexicaxi Proclamation Inviting Deserters.. and fortifications opposite his position. He had previously begun the construction of a fort, intended to defend his camp and afford a depot for such stores as would be drawn from time to time from Point Isabel. A gloom now settled over both armies, and speculations upon a dark and uncertain future filled the mind of both friend and foe. batteries. The following proclamation chief of the. Mexican army,. of ". to. The commander-in-. the English and Irish. under the orders of the American General Taylor," was distributed in the April. for. It. was. the. American camp,. which the Mexicans seem. adapted " Know ye States. is. :. — That. in the early part of. display of that. first. the. unmanly. craft,. be characteristically. to. government of the United. committing repeated acts of barbarous aggres-. sion against the. magnanimous Mexican nation. government which. exists. under the. ;. that the. flag of the stars, is. unworthy of the designation of Christian.. Recollect. you w^ere born in Great Britain that the American government looks with coldness upon the powerful flag. that. ;. of St. George, and like. people to. provoking to a rupture the war-. is. whom. it. belongs.. President Polk boldly. manifesting a desire to take possession of Oregon, as he already has done of Texas.. Now,. confidence to the Mexican ranks. you upon. my. expenses. shall. then,. and. come with I. be defrayed. until. all. guarantee to. honour, good treatment, and that. beautiful capital of. all. your. your arrival in the. Mexico.. "Germans, French, tians!. ;. Poles,. and individuals of. all. na-. Separate yourselves from the Yankees, and do. not contribute to defend a robbery and usurpation, which,.

(26) THE W A R.. 16. State of Taylor's Forces.. be assured, the civilized nations of Europe look upon with the utmost indignation.. Come,. and. therefore,. ar-. ray yourselves under the tricoloured flag, in the confi-. dence that the. God. of armies protects, and that. it. will. you equally with the English.". protect. This inglorious appeal was not unattended with sucSeveral desertions took place, until. cess.. it. became. necessary to issue orders to shoot every soldier,. should attempt this crime. dealt with, the evil. The foot. By. who. or three being thus. was stopped.. situation of the. critical.. Two. two armies became every day more. order of General Taylor, strong guards of. and mounted men were established on the margin. of the river, for the purpose of preventing course.. below. his. all. inter-. The Mexican pickets extended above and camp for several miles, but were watched by. strong and vigilant guard, so as to prevent the possibility. of surprise under disadvantageous circumstances.. A. tery,. was also erected, together with a strong bata number of buildings for the security of supplies,. and. several. field-work. respectable. works. for. their. protection.. Fronting each other, for an extent of more than two. were batteries shotted, within range of each other, and watched by officers and men who were impatiently. miles,. waiting for orders to apply their matches. still seemed unwilling to interrupt had ever existed between the two republics. Neither army was very well prepared for active hostilities. Taylor's entire force was small, separated into two portions, and ill provided with artillery and ammunition the Mexicans were waiting for rein-. But both armies. the peace which. ;.

(27) THE WAR.. 17. MvLxder of Colonel Cross.. men and. forcements, both of. supplies,. and were uncer-. tain as to a proper point of attack.. On. the 10th of April, an event occurred, which, on. account of. its. being the. sensation in the. first. of the kind, created great. This was the death. American camp.. of Colonel. Truman. had ridden. into the country, to his usual exercise, but. Cross.. Early in the morning he. did not return at his customary time.. was known. to. his non-appearance. ros,. As. the country. be infested with plunderers and ranche-. camp, and several. parties. caused. much. uneasiness. were despatched. in. in quest of. General Taylor then wrote to the commandant of. him.. Matamoras upon the all knowledge of his. subject, but that officer disclaimed fate,. most painful conjectures.. and the army was. left. to. the. This continued until the 21st,. when a Mexican strolled into camp, and stated that the body of an American soldier was lying in the chaparral A party was immediately sent with at some distance. him, and, among some thick bushes, they found a body, w^hich,. by fragments of the dress and. several. other. marks, was recognized as the remains of Colonel Cross.. The. spot. river.. was a. short distance from a road leading to the. He had been. clothing, vultures.. and the. deprived of his watch,. flesh w^as. The account given. can appears worthy of. pistols,. and. picked off his body by the of his death by a Mexi-. credit.. He. stated that he. was. commanded who murdered him with his own. taken by a band of lawless Mexican soldiers,. hj Romano Falcon, after he had been robbed, although his band were Gein favour of taking him a prisoner to Matamoras.. hands,. neral Taylor caused the military honours.. body. to. be interred with fuP.

(28) THE WAR.. 18. Correspondence between Taylor and Ampudia.. On. Ampudia. the 11th, the arrival of General. moras, caused of the. many demonstrations. citizens. and. soldiers. Americans expected an early day, however. General. that. in. attack.. Ampudia. in. Mata-. of joy on the part city,. On. and the. the following. sent a messenger to. General Taylor with a despatch, requiring him, "in. form and. at the latest in the. four hours, to break. up. his. all. peremptory term of twenty-. camp and. beyond the. retire. Neuces," assuring him, that in the event of a refusal, arms, and arms alone, must decide the question," and advising him that, in that case, the Mexicans accepted the. war. to. which he provoked them.. General Taylor in reply to. this letter,. informed him. that he had been ordered by his government to take a position on the left bank of the Rio Grande, which he had done, and from which he could not recede, except under directions from the same quarter with those which. He farther stated that the movewas expected by his government to be a peaceful one, and that he (Ampudia) was fully at liberty to make it otherwise, at any moment he might see in which case he would be responsible for fit to do so brought him there.. ment. in question. ;. the consequences. all. resulting from the. same.. allotted time expired without being followed. The. by any oc-. currence of interest, notwithstanding the definite form of General Ampudia's notice.. On. the 17th, Lieutenant T. H. Porter, and Lieutenant. Dobbins, started from camp for the purpose of discovering. if. possible, the murderers of Colonel Cross, a step. induced by the rumour that Romano Falcon was prowling in the vicinity with his command.. manded. Each com-. a detachment of two non-commissioned officers.

(29) THE War.. 19. Deatli of Lieutenant Porter.. and ten. privates.. the night. They took. rained hard.. it. opposite directions. During. On. the second day, Lieute-. whom. nant Porter met a party of Mexicans, one of. snapped. his. swered by. piece at him.. Lieutenant. double barrel.. firing a. Porter. an-. The Mexican took to. flight,. whilst Lieutenant Porter took possession of the. camp. of the marauders, containing ten horses, blankets,. &c.. He. then. immediately mounted his men,. started for head-quarters.. It. known. raining with the violence. and. commenced. shortly after. only in tropical climates.. While passing through a clump of chaparral. Lieutenant He instantly ordered his men Porter was fired upon. to dismount, but their arms were useless from the rain, while the enemy continued to pour in a galling. One. of Lieutenant Porter's. men was. fire.. shot down, and he. himself received a ball in the thigh and. exclaiming,. fell,. "Fight on, boys! Take care of yourselves.". The men. then separated into three parties as they retreated into the chaparral, but they. all. finally. reached the camp.. As. Ihey retired, the Mexicans, yelling like Indians, rushed. upon Lieutenant Porter and the wounded. soldier,. plunged. The. their knives into taeii breasts.. and. gallant. young officer whose life was thus early lost to his counwas a son of Commodore David Porter. It has been said of some families that chivalry runs in the blood, and of none can it be more true than of the Portry,. ters.. The. brother of Lieutenant Porter,. similar rank in the navy,. he heard of. is. who. held a. reported to have said,. when. had given only bequest, and with that sword. his brother's death, that his father. him a sword as his he would avenge his. brother's. His American mother had. fall. or share his fate.. written to him,. "come. not to.

(30) 30. T. W A R.. ME. Blockade of the Rio Grande.. me. —but. go the other way,. avenge your brother and. to. defend your country.". On. the 19th of April, General Taylor learned that. vessels from. Mexicans. New. two. Orleans, laden with supplies for the. Matamoras, were off the mouth of the Rio. in. Grande, he ordered the United States brig Lawrence, with the revenue cutter. by water with. nication. St.. Anna,. to cut off the. A. that place.. pudia followed the establishment of. which that step. is. complained. of,. letter. this. commu-. from. Am-. blockade, in. and a demand made. two Mexicans, falsely alleged to be The letter held as prisoners by the American general. Taylor in is of great interest, and is of General reply for the release of. worthy of preservation as an evidence of the dignified yet firm bearing of that officer at this critical period. " Head-Quarters, Army of Occupation, near Matamoras, Texas, April 22, 1846.. Camp. " Sir. ;. —. I. ) ). have had the honour to receive your commu-. nication of this date, in. measures adopted by. which you complain of certain orders to close the mouth of. my. the Rio Bravo against vessels. bound. to. Matamoras, and. two Mexicans camp. the since American "After all that has passed army first approached the Rio Bravo, I am certainly surprised that you should complain of a measure which is no other in. which you. supposed. to. also advert to the case of. be detained as prisoners. in this. than a natural result of the state of war so. upon by the Mexican. You. much. insisted. authorities as actually existing at. me. few cirwar has not been sought by the American army, but has been forced upon. this time.. will excuse. cumstances to show that this. for recalling a. state of.

(31) THE WAR.. 21. Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.. and. it,. state. that the exercise of the rights incident to such a. cannot be. made. " On breaking up. a subject of complaint.. my camp. at Corpus Christi, and moving forward with the army under my orders to occupy the left bank of the Rio Bravo, it was my earnest. my. desire to execute to. instructions in a pacific. manner. observe the utmost regard for the personal rights of. all. citizens residing. on the. left. bank of the. river,. and. to. take care that the religion and customs of the people. With. should suffer no violation. the. minds of the inhabitants,. army, enjoining a interests. of. strict. I. this. view, and to quiet. issued orders to the. observance of the rights and. Mexicans residing on the. all. caused said orders. circulated in the several towns on the Bravo.. orders announced the spirit in which. occupy the country, and this. moment. the. same. tions of the army.. and. river,. be translated into Spanish, and. to. I. am proud. spirit. On. These. we proposed to say that. to. up. to. has controlled the opera-. reaching the Arroyo Colorado. I. was informed by a Mexican officer that the order in question had been received in Matamoras but was told at the same time that if I attempted to cross the river it would be regarded as a declaration of war. Again, on my march to Frontone I was met by a deputation of the ;. civil. authorities of. Matamoras, protesting against. my. occupation of a portion of the department of Tamaulipas,. and declaring. that if the. withdrawn, war would. was. my. result.. army was not at once While this communica-. was discovered that the village fire and abandoned. I viewed this as a direct act of war, and informed the deputation that their communication would be answered. tion. in. hands,. it. of Frontone had been set on.

(32) THE WAR.. 22. Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.. by me Avhen opposite Matamoras, which was done. On. respectful terms.. an. officer,. reaching the river. I. commanding. high in rank, to convey to the. my. general in Matamoras the expression of. my. amicable relations, and tlie. in. despatched. desire for. willingness to leave open to. use of the citizens of Matamoras the port of Brazos. Santiago until the question of boundary should be defi-. This. nitively settled.. officer. received for reply, from. the officer selected to confer with him, that to the. my. advance. Rio Bravo was considered as a veritable act of. and he was absolutely refused an interview with American consul, in itself an act incompatible with. W£ft',. the. a state of peace.. " Notwithstanding these repeated assura part of the. Mexican. ices on the and notwith standing the preparations on the right bank of. authorities,. most obviously hostile the river, accompanied by a rigid non-intercourse, carefully abstained. from any act of. I. — determined. hostility. that the onus of producing an actual state of hostilities. Our relations remained in this had the honour to receive your note of the 12th instant, in which you denounce war as the alterna-. should not rest with me. state until I. my remaining in this position. As I could not, my instructions, recede from my position, I accepted the alternative you offered me, and made all my. tive of. under. dispositions to. meet. it. suitably.. But,. still. willing to. adopt milder measures before proceeding to others, contented myself in the. first. I. instance with ordering a. blockade of the mouth of the Rio Bravo by the naval forces. under. my. orders. — a proceeding. nant with the state of war. perfectly conso-. so often declared to exist,. and which you acknowledge. in. your note of the 16th.

(33) THE WAR.. 23. Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.. instant, relative to the late Colonel Cross.. sure seems oppressive, I wish. me by. has been forced upon fit. to adopt.. it. this. vernment, and shall not remove. it. tions to that effect, unless indeed. pending the. final. it. the course you have seen. have reported. I. mea-. If this. borne in mind that. blockade to. my. go-. until I receive instruc-. you desire an armistice. settlement of the question between the. governments, or until war shall be formally declared by either, in. which case. I. shall cheerfully. open the. river.. In regard to the consequences you mention as resulting. from a refusal. remove the blockade,. to. understand that. am. I. prepared. for. I beg-. vqu. to. them, be they what. they may.. "In regard in. stant,. have the honour. I. pursuance of. bound. my. orders,. to advise. when. you. that,. two American schooners,. Matamoras, were warned. for. your. to the particular vesselr referred to in. communication,. off. on the 17th. in-. near the mouth of the river, and put to sea,. returning probably to. New. They were. Orleans.. not. seized, or their cargoes disturbed in any way, nor have. my knowMexican schooner, understood to be the/ Juniata,' was in or off that harbour when my instructions to block the river were issued, but was driven to sea in a gale, since which time I have had no report concernthey been in the harbour of Brazos Santiago to ledge.. A. ing her.. Since the receipt of your communication,. have learned that two persons, sent. to the. I. mouth of the. river to procure information respecting this vessel, pro-. ceeded thence. to. Brazos Santiago, when they were. taken up and detained by the officer in. my orders. could be received.. diate release.. vice-consul. is. A. letter. I shall. command,. until. order their imme-. from one of them to the Spanish. respectfully transmitted herewith..

(34) THE WAR. 24. Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.. " In. the Mexicans said to have drifted. relation to. and to be prisoners at this time have the pleasure to inform you that no such persons have been taken prisoners or are now deThe boat in question was cartained by my authority.. down in. the river in a boat,. my. ried. camp,. I. the current of the river, and drifted. down empty by. ashore near one of our pickets and was secured by the. guard.. Some time. afterwards an attempt. was made. recover the boat under the cover of darkness. ;. to. the indi-. viduals concerned were hailed by the guard, and, failing. upon as a matter of course. What became of them is not known, as no trace of them could be discovered on the following morning. The officer of the Mexican guard directly opposite was informed next day that the boat would be returned on proper applicato answer,. tion to. were. me, and. fired. I. have. now. only to repeat that assur-. ance.. " In conclusion,. I take leave to state that I consider the. tone of your communication highly exceptionable, where. you stigmatize the movement of the army under my marked with the seal of universal reproba-. orders as. ^. You must be aware. tion.'. while. due. I. that such language is not. my government. itself,. either to. me. observe in. my own. correspondence the courtesy. respectful in. to your high position,. mtere^ts with which. we. and. or. to the. ;. and. magnitude of the. are respectively charged, I shall. expect the same in return.. " I have the honour. to be, very respectfully,. your obe-. dient servant,. "Z. TAYLOR, ^^. ". St.. Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S.. Jl.,. Commanding,. Gen. D. Pedro de Ampudia, Commanding in Afaiamoras".

(35) THE WAR.. 25. Taylor's account of his projarations fcr defense.. On. the 20th of April, an artfully- worded address. issued by General Arista, offering lands to ^. desert from the. was. who should. all. American army and become. citizens of. Mexico, three hundred and twenty acres being fixed as the price of a private, and others in proportion. Any. Mexico were. services to. The. be properly rewarded.. to. state of things at this time. well described by General. is. Taylor in a letter written on the 25th of April. He says, " strong guards of foot and mounted men are established on the margin of the river, and thus efficient. means have been adopted on our part to prevent all While opposite to us, their pickets extend above and below for several miles, we are equally active intercourse.. in. keeping up a strong and vigilant guard. prevent. to. surprise or attacks, under disadvantageous circumstances.. This. is. the. defensive,. more necessary while we. and they. are to act. liberty to take the. are at. course whenever they think proper to do so.. we been. idle in other respects. we have. ;. on the. opposite. Nor have. a field-work. under way, besides having erected a strong battery, and a number of buildings for the security of our supplies, in addition to tion.. We. some respectable works. for their protec-. have mounted a respectable battery, four. pieces of which are long eighteen-pounders, with. we could batter or burn should. down. become necessary. it. work is mounted with. completed its. —which. to. do. will. which. the city of Matamoras, so.. When. our field-. soon be the case. proper armament,. five. — and. hundred. men. could hold it against as many thousand Mexicans. During the twenty-seven days since our arrival here, a most singular state of things has prevailed all through the outlines of the. two armies, which, 2. to a certain extent, havfe.

(36) T. 26. W A R.. HE. Capture of Captain Thornton. all. the feelings as. each. otlier for. if. there were actual war.. Fronting. an extent of more than two miles, ana. within. musket range, are. officers. and men,. in. many. batteries. shotted,. and the. instances, waiting impatiently. for orders to apply the matches, yet nothing has. done. to. lence." adds, ". provoke. the firing of a. gun or any. In the postscript to this. letter.. been. act of vio-. General Taylor. since writing the above, an engagement has. taken place between a detachment of our cavalry and So the war the Mexicans, in which w^e are worsted.. has actually commenced and the hardest must fend off." This significant language has reference to the defeat General Taylor's scouts had of Captain Thornton. brought in intelligence on the 23d, that twenty-five hun-. dred Mexicans had crossed the river to the Texas side, above the American fort, and fifteen hundred below. A squadron of dragoons was despatched to each place of crossing to reconnoiter them and learn. ttPeir. position.. The squadron ordered below was commanded by Captain Ker; that above, commanded by Captain Thornton, consisted of Captain Hardee, Lieutenants Kane and Mason, and sixty-one privates and non-commissioned Captain Ker found that the report of the crossofficers. ing below was. false.. Captain Thornton, how^ever, pro-. ceeded up the country some twenty-six miles, where he into an ambuscade, and found himself surrounded. fell. by about two thousand. hundred of the enemy conThe command behaved with number of the enemy was so. five. cealed in the chaparral. great gallantry, but the. overwhelming that they surrendered as prisoners of war. Lieutenant George Mason, ter, is said to. who was killed in the rencounRomano Falcon for life, in. have maimed.


(38) 1,. ,,illl11illii,!lllilD;i;«.

(39) THE WAR.. 29. Captain Walker's defeat.. a close personal contest.. and. his death is. much. He was. a gallant young officer-. regretted.. Though. the force. which obtained this success was about fifteen to one, it filled the Mexican army with ecstacy, and General Arista addressed to General Torrejon an eloquent gratulation. on. serve they. had. They. aside. all. his great. and glorious. now. hitherto manifested w^as. the. was cut. fall. con-. The. cast. re-. wholj. canie across the river in great numbers;. intercourse between General Taylor's. Isabel. letter of. victory.. off,. camp and Point. and there was imminent danger of. of that place with. all. the military stores. it. con-. had occurred at Point IsaMajor Munroe, who commanded, bel up to this time. had completed his arrangements for defense, and armed some five or six hundred men, among whom were fifty or sixty sailors, collected from the vessels in port. Captained.. Nothing of. interest. Walker of the Rangers, and some small parties of Texans had arrived there, and was speedily engaged upon important duties. Some teams having returned to Point Isabel, on account of the obstructions of the roads by the Mexicans, Captain Walker went out on the 28th with a number of men to reconnoiter. He was driven back to Point Isabel with ^reat loss, having been tain. attacked when midway between that place and the camp, by an overwhelming force of the enemy. His raw" troops fled in confusion, and he was obliged to retreat. He returned with only two men seven afterwards came in. ;. He. estimated the force of the. enemy. at fifteen. and thought that many of them must have. hundred,. fallen in the. skirmish. Notwithstanding this repulse. Captain. Walker. volunteered to carry a message to General Taylor. jor. Munroe having accepted. the. oflfer,. Ma-. he started on the.

(40) THE. 30. W A R.. Taylor's roarch to Point Isabel. evening of the 29th and,. after. nent dangers, reached the. encountering. camp. in safety.. many immiAs soon as. General Taylor had received Major Munroe's statement,. he determined upon a movement that would release. him from the embarrassment of having the communicati( n cut off Accordingly, on the morning of the 1st of May, 1846, he took up the line of march for Point Isabel, with the main body of his army, leaving the seventh regiment of infantry and two companies of artillery under Captain Lowd and Lieutenant Bragg, to complete the works in the fort, and defend it if it was attacked. The whole was put under command of Major Brown. As the army passed out, the banks of the river on the Matamoras side were crowded with spectators of the departure of what they thought our discomfited army, whilst General Arista employed himself in announcing the " retreat" of General Taylor and his army to his government, taking care to pay to himself and his brave. men. the tribute so signal a triumph deserved.. The Mexicans, however, evinced refraining from attacking. great. him on the way. judgment by. to Point Isabel,. them an opportunity of attacking and trycamp with a weakened garthey would have a vast if successful, rison, by which, he returned, and also they advantage over him when would have more advantage and probability of success as. it. afforded. ing to capture his fortified. in. annoying and harassing his forces, or in fighting a. pitched battle on his return route, encumbered as he. would be by two or three hundred loaded wagons. The Mexicans were too sagacious to delay improving these advantages. On the morning of the 3d, a battery of seven guns placed in the town, opened a.

(41) THE WAR. May and. Exploit of. 31. Walker.. upon the fort. It was returned, and shortly They then fired shells and shot from the lower fort and a mortar battery, which was continued brisk. fire. silenced.. with a short intermission. till. During. midnight.. time a part of the troops laboured to complete the cations, although. By. guns. first. the. exposed fifteen. day, but one. stopped. firing. to the full. fired. killed.. as a. during this. The Americans. about ten o'clock in the forenoon, as they. were wasting ammunition and doing no to the. fortifi-. range of the enemy's. hundred shot. man was. all this. injury,. except. This silence was mistaken by the enemy. town.. symptom. of fear or despair, they momentarily ex-. pected a surrender.. The. noise of this cannonading having reached Point. General Taylor despatched Captain. Isabel,. May. with. Captain Walker and a hundred men, to learn something of the garrison, and reconnoiter the countr}-.. They. avoided the enemy, and penetrated to within a few miles of the. fort.. Captain. May. there concealed his party in. Walker with six rangers proWalker not having returned to the detachment. May feared that he had fallen a victim to the enemy, and as the Mexican scouts had discovered the chaparral, and Captain. ceeded. to the fort.. own position, he decided to return. He reached the camp in safety, having on the way put to flight and pursued for three miles, a very superior body of the enemy's cavalry. The supposed loss of Captain Walker, who. his. was a general. favourite, cast a. gloom over. the. whole. army, which, however, was speedily dispelled by the. appearance of that gallant intelligence that position.. officer,. bearing the gratifying. Major Brown was able. to maintain his. Captain Walker had returned to the place.

(42) THE WAR.. 32. Prepai-ations fcr assault. on Fcrt Brown.. ^-c-^s^-s^--.. Fort Brown.. where he had returned. left. to the. Captain May, and finding him gone, fort,. stating. blocked the game on him give. that. this time,. them another turn when. it. the. Mexicans. was dark.. Starting from. the fort at night with his party, his superior. of the country only enabling parties of the. him. to. ..had. but that he would. knowledge. avoid the numerous. enemy who were aware. of his mission,. and on the alert to capture him. At the fort, during the 4th, the fire of the enemy was not renewed, and the soldiers laboured with energy to complete the works.. On. the following day, large parties. of the enemy, both horse and foot, were discovered in. These thousands were supported by had been erected in the night, and which the garrison named for the sake of distinction, " the Baitery in the country." This battery, with those in Matath^ rear of the. a battery that. fort..

(43) THE W A R.. 33. Signal guns tred. at Fort Ero-wn.. moras, opened with shot and shell in the afternoon, and kept up a galling cross. Hanson,. after a gallant. tion of a. new. At nine. fire.. o'clock, Lieutenant. reconnoisance, reported the erec-. On Wedneswas kept up. battery at the cross roads.. day morning, the. 6th, a spirited. fire. against tke fort, the shot and shells being well directed.. The. balls falling into the fortress afforded considerable. merriment. who were. to the soldiers,. sitting idly about,. reserving their ammunition in case of need under an. An old. assault.. nary. skill,. pour. it. soldier,. who. had made some. into the. prided himself on his culi-. coffee,. and was stooping. to. cups of his mess, when a ball flying over. the parapet, struck in the ashes near the beverage into the. The. fire.. him and overturned Careme and. disciple of. votary of Mars, shocked at the disrespect, gave the ball a kick, while in a dolorous voice he cursed the rascally. Mexicans. for. knocking over. his coffee.. In compliance with the directions given by General. Taylor. to. be pursued. in case the fort. was surrounded,. the eighteen-pounders were fired. at. The enemy,. was a. reopened. as if conscious that this. their fire. upon. the fort.. stated. The. intervals.. call for relief,. officers. of the. garrison, however, reserved their ammunition for the ex-. pected assault.. The bomb. proofs were built at points. convenient for the soldiers to retreat into, and the sentinel on the look out could name the battery from which. soon as he saw the smoke of the discharge, and the soldiers would have time to Shells get under cover before the balls reached them.. a ball or shell was. fired, as. explode harmlessly in the air, by the soldiers falling flat on their faces, when one was fired, a measure which a Mexican, elevated to a. were frequently allowed. to.

(44) THE WAR.. 34. Fall of Major Brown,. considerable height in a. tree,. tall. with a glass in his. his comrades as being what. hand, reported to. it. seemed. him. a mark of the destruction produced by their. to. The lamented death. fire.. at this. We give the following graphic account. May 6th.*. time,. Brown occurred. of Major. "Our Army on the Rio Grajide," by He says, "After the cross firing, T. B. Thorpe, Esq. called forth with so much energy by our signal eighteen of. taken from. it,. pounders, had continued for three hours and a. half, the. noble-minded Major Brown, commander of the fort, with his adjutant-lieutenant by his side, took his usual round. He. and men were. to see that officers. moment. at their posts.. some of employed at one of the bomb proofs. Every instant the men were engaged in dodging to avoid the ball and bursting shell. One of stopped for a. the soldiers. who were. the latter, from. to give directions to. busily. in the country," struck in. "the battery. the parapet, burying itself in the sand without explod-. ing. ;. commander was seen. gallant. He was *. amid which the mortally wounded.. a cloud of dust rose into the air,. The. to fall,. immediately taken to the hospital. death of Major. J.. Brown was. and,. tent,. a severe loss to the army.. He. was a native of "Vermont, and at the age of twenty-four years entered the army as a common soldier, in the 7th infantry, at the commencement of the war of 1812. His merit soon raised him to the rank of and. ensign, Ueutenant,. Florida war fort. ;. where he. fell,. in. courage and abiUty. victory). is. finally. any. did good to. service. command. in. the. at the. consequence of the general's high opinion of his :. ". The. pleasure (of. alloyed with profound regret at the loss of the heroic and. time, but to the. In the case of Major. motions of. He. General Taylor says cf him. indomitable Major Brown. at. major.. and was selected by General Taylor. common. His. loss. army under. Brown we. soldiers to the. would be a severe one. my. orders,. it is. to the service. indeed irreparable.". see the importance of occasional pro-. rank of. officers..

(45) THE WAR. Summons. 35. to S\irrender.. while being borne in the arms of two of his men, he. exhorted those about him never to give up the right leg. had been shot. and jagged crushed bones. command. tortures,. fort.. His. exhibiting the torn muscles,. off,. to the. pained sight of his. Although suffering the most excruciatmg. he remained perfectly calm, and said to those hirti, " Men,. who were sympathizingly standing about go to your duties, stand by your posts;. I. am. but one. among you." having his. most. While suffering under the operation of leg amputated above the knee, which was. skilfully. done, he congratulated his country that the. misfortune had befallen him, and not been meted out to. a younger man.. Attempts were next made by the enemy musketry into play upon the garrison, but those. proached. for the. to. bring. who. ap-. purpose were scattered with some loss. by a few rounds of canister. The bombardment then grew still more severe, and continued till noon. In the At four p.m., two afternoon, a few shells were thrown. Mexican officers approached with a white flag, bearing a communication from General Arista, which proved to be a summons to surrender, the humanity of the Mexicans being given as a reason for the demand, although he is asserted to have had a band of men organized and instructed to slaughter the garrison as soon as the sur-. render was made.. who had succommand, summoned a. Captain Hawkins,. ceeded Major Brown. in the. council of the commissioned officers, and stated the pur-. good Spanish interadding though he knew there was but one sentiment upon. port of the message, (the want of a preter that. making. it. difficult to. the point, he thought. it. be. fully understood,). proper that. all. the officers should.

(46) THE WAR.. 36. be represented in the reply.. voted to defend the. It. was then unanimously. The. to the death.. fort. following. and despatched to General Arista, within the hour that had been allowed for a reply. "Sir: Your humane communication has just been received," and, after the consideration due to its importreply. was. therefore prepared. —. ance,. I. must respectfully decline. to surrender. my. forces. to you.. The exact purport. of your despatch. my. confident that I understand, as skilled in your language correctly,. The. you have. my. ;. but. cannot is. feel. not. have understood you. reply above," &c., &c.. reception of this answer. ral burst of. if I. I. interpreter. was the. hea\y shot upon the. fort. ;. signal of a gene-. but the Americans. saved their ammunition and doubled their sentinels dur-. During the was manifested, a heavy ca'nnonade being maintained all day, and various parties firing with muskets into the fort from every position. The garrison, however, were directed not to return the fire unless they advanced within eighty yards, and they therefore preserved silence. In the evening, the gallant Major Mansfitld advanced with a small party into the plain, and leveled the traverse formerly occupied by the Americans, and which now served to shelter the enemy while firing on the fort. A large quantity of chaparral, used in a similar manner, was also cut down. At midnight the garrison were roused by a terrible discharge of musketry, and the sound of bugles, but the anticipated assault did not follow. On the 8th, the cannonade was recommenced at daybreak, and continued till the afternoon. The bombardment had hardly ceased when a severe cannon* ing the night, in expectation of an attack. 7th,. much. activity.

(47) THE WAR.. 37. Death of Major Erown.. ading was heard. in the direction of Point Isabel, so sud-. den and so rapidly that volley of field-pieces. it. by hearty cheering. newal of the. firing. ;. seemed. it. be one continuous. to. The. soldiers in the fort. the. men. answered. of Matamoras,. from four mortar, batteries. by a. re-. at once.. Yet the gallant defenders knew that General Taylor was on his way. to. succour them, and they stood upon the. parapet to listen to the far distant rific. rain from the. while the. firing,. ter-. enemy's batteries poured unheeded. around them. Towards night, they learned from a Mexican the events of the. field of. Palo Alto, and the know-. ledge that the victory rested with their friends quiet night, their nearer enemies permitted. the. more. refreshing.. officer of the. On. them. made. the. to enjoy,. the morning of the 9th, an. 7th regiment went outside of the fort to. the flagstaff, for the purpose of arranging the halyards,. which bad become unrigged on the previous day. succeeded in lowering the topmast of the. He. and rigging the halyards, the enemy playing upon him with round shot and shell from all their batteries. He was not strong enough to raise the flagstaff to its proper place, he therefore coolly lashed. gave the. On. it. staff. in its position,. and. flag to the breeze.. this. day Major Brown expired.. his death every thing in the fort. the silence. was unbroken. was. At the time of still, and. perfectly. until the report of Ridgely's. Palma were heard. "No language," says Mr. Thorpe, "can describe the intense interest with which the raging battle was listened to: each man was at his post, and every booming gun called forth an almost agonizing interest to Meanwhile the bomlearn its nationality and effects. 4 batteries. on the. field of the. Resaca de. la.

(48) W A R.. THE. 38 Flight of. th.e. enemy. seen from, the Fort.. bardment opened simultaneously with the firing on the field, and continued to increase with unprecedented but it was not to the batteries of the Mexicans severity Our eighteen-pounders attention was directed. tha.t ;. know that. w^ere occasionally fired, to let General Taylor. was still well in the fort. The firing on the battlefield was now growing less and less powerful, and the They have charged discharges w'ere becoming irregular. on the guns !' shouted one of the officers Another and They have carried them!' another was silenced.. all. *. !. ^. shouted another, in uncontrollable ecstacy; ing ceased. was. still.. ;. How. hand-to-hand. eloquently the. cannonad-. in the hearts. men went and came from. excitement to. be engaged in. was now almost. The. it!. certain.. victorious result of our arms. General Taylor and his brave. w^ould either conquer or die.. No. bells. were now. ringing in Matamoras, and the noisy music that. wont. all. spoke of the. silence. and how the blood. conflict,. of these brave. men. all. volleys of musketry w^ere next heard, then. to belabour the air. evening of the 8th.. had been silenced. This, to the heroes of the. was full of meaning, and the. tale. was soon. told.. was. since the fort,. At a little. before six a confused rush of cavalry and straggling infantry towards the Rio Grande,. of the Americans, 7th regiment. announced the victory. at sight of which, an. jumped. officer. of the. upon the parapet, beside the regi-. and gave three cheers, which w^ere reand heartily by all in the fort, that they silenced the enemy's batteries, for from that moment The news had reached Matamoras, they ceased firing. mental. flagstaff,. sponded. to so loudly. to Mexico the day w^as Brown, one non-commissioned. that. lost.". Besides Major. officer killed,. and ten.

(49) THE WAR.. 39. Maxell from Point Isabel.. men wounded was. the. amount of. loss that the garrison. sustained during one hundred and sixty hours severe. bombardment. General Taylor had of the 7th of the. left. Point Isabel on the evening. May, and moved with the main body of. army towards the Rio Grande.. After marching. seven miles, they bivouacked on their arms, and resumed the. march on the following morning.. At noon they. dis-. covered the enemy, prepared to oppose their progress, stretched out on the. We battle,. fiat. prairie. more than a. mile.. give here the clear and concise account of this. given by General Taylor in his. official. despatches,. reserving for another portion of the work more minute details. and personal anecdotes.. "About noon, when our advance reached the water hole of. ^. of. cavalry had. Palo Alto,' the Mexican. troops were reported in our front, and were soon dis-. covered occupying the road in force.. I. ordered a halt. upon reaching the water, with the view to rest and refresh the men, and to form deliberately our line of battle. The Mexican line was now plainly visible across the prairie, and about three-quarters of a mile distant. Their left, which was composed of a heavy force of cavalry, occupied the road, resting. chaparral, while masses of infantry. upon a. thicket of. were discovered. in. succession on the right, greatly outnumbering our o%vn force. line of battle was now formed in the following commencing on the extreme right: 5th infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Mcintosh Major Ringgold's artillery 3d infantry, commanded by Cap-. Our. —. order,. ;. ;. tain. L. N. Morris. ;. tw^o eighteen-pounders,. commanded.

(50) THE WAR.. 40. Battle of Palo Alto.. by Lieutenant Churchill, 3d artillery 4th infantry, commanded by Major G. W. Allen the 3d and 4th regiments composed the third brigade, under command of ;. ;. Lieutenant-Colonel Garland. ;. and. all. the above corps,. together with two squadrons of dragoons under Captains. Ker and May, composed the right wing under the orders The left was formed by the battalion of artillery commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel. of Colonel Twiggs.. Childs.. Captain Duncan's light. infantry,. under Captain Montgomery. first. nap.. brigade, under. The. train. artillery,. and the 8th. —. forming the. all. command of Lieutenant-Colonel Belk-. was packed near the water, under direcGrossman and Myers, and protected by. tion of Captains. Captain Ker's squadron.. At two oclock we took up the march by heads of. —the eighteen-. columns, in the direction of the enemy. pounder battery following the road. While the columns were advancing, Lieutenant Blake, topographical engineer, volunteered a reconnoisance of the enemy's line, which was handsomely performed, and resulted in the discovery of at least two batteries of artillery in the intervals of their cavalry and infantry. These batteries were soon opened upon us, when I ordered the columns halted and deployed into line, and the fire to be returned by all our artillery. The 8th infantry on our extreme left, was thrown back to secure that flank. The first fires. of the. enemy did. little. execution, v/hile our eighteen-. pounders and Major Ringgold's the cavalry battery,. which formed. his. artillery. left.. soon dispersed. —Captain. thrown forward in advance of the. doing good execution. squadron was. this. at. now detached. time.. Duncan's line,. was. Captain May's. to support that battery,. and.



(53) THE WAR.. 43. Battle of Falo Alto.. the. of our position.. left. two pieces of. artillery,. The Mexican. were now reported. cavalry, with to. be moving. through the chaparral to our right, to threaten that flank,. make a demonstration against the train. The 5th was immediately detached to check this move-. or. infantry. ment, and supported by Lieutenant Ridgely, with a sec-. Major Ringgold's battery and Captain Walker's. tion of. company. of volunteers, effectually repulsed the. enemy. the 5th infantry repelling a charge of lancers, artillery. was now detached. infantry. and the. The 3d. doing great execution in their ranks. to the right as a. still. farther. by the enemy. Major Ringgold, with the remaining section, kept up his fire from an advanced position, and was supported by. security to that flank yet threatened. the 4th infantry.. The by our. had been accidentally fired and the volumes of smoke now partially. grass of the prairie artillery,. concealed the armies from each other.. As. the enemy's. had evidently been driven back and left the road free, as the cannonade had been suspended, I ordered left. forward the eighteen-pounders on the road nearly to the position. first. caused the. on the. occupied by the Mexican cavalry, and. first. brigade to take up a. was advanced from. its. and v.'as. position. new. line.. The enemy. a change of position corresponding to our. after the. still. The 5th. former position and occupied a. point on the extreme right of the. made. new. of the eighteen-pounder battery.. left. own,. suspension of nearly an hour the action. resumed.. The. fire. by our. now most made through. of artillery was. ings were constantly fire,. destructive. —open-. the enemy's ranks. and the constancy with which the Mexican.

(54) 44. THE Death of. \V. l}£i^oT. infantry sustained the severe. A. R.. Ringgold,. cannonade was a theme of Captain May's squad-. universal remark and admiration.. ron was detached to. make. a demonstration on the. left. of the enemy's position, and suffered severely from the of artillery to. fire. The. which. it. was. for. some time exposed.. 4th infantry, which had been ordered to support. was exposed to a most by which several men were killed, and Captain Page dangerously wounded. The enemy's fire w^as directed against our eighteen-pounder battery, and the guns under Major Ringgold, in its vicithe eighteen-pounder battery, galling. nity.. of artillery,. fire. The major. himself, while coolly directing the. fire. of his pieces, was struck by a cannon ball and mortally. wounded.* In the. mean. time the battalion of artillery under Lieu-. tenant-Colonel Childs, had been brought up to support. A. the artillery on our right.. cavalry was. now made by. the. strong demonstration of. enemy. against this part. of our line, and the column continued to advance under a severe. fire. w^as instantly *. The. The. from the eighteen-pounders.. formed. in square,. and held ready. battalion. to receive. death of Major Ringgold was universally lamented.. a native of Washington county, Maryland, born in 1800.. educated at the Military Academy, entered the army as lieutenant in 1822,. was. and. ;. West Point; graduated. promoted. to that of captain in. to the. 1834.. rank of. first. in 1818;. lieutenant. His brevet rank of major. the reward of severe service in the Florida war.. To. his exertions. in perfecting the discipline of the hght artillery, the country. indebted for the eflSciency of that important. He was He was. arm. is. chiefly. of the national defense.. Major Ringgold's connections were of the first respectabihty. His was General Samuel Ringgold, and his mother was a daughter. father. of General John Cadwalader, of the Revolution.. man. who was. greatly distinguished in the. His conduct and character as an. officer. war. and a gentle-. were in every respect worthy of so highly honourable a descent..

(55) THE WAR.. 45. Less, &c., at Falo Alto.. the charge of cavahy. but. ;. when. the advancing squad-. rons were within close range a deadly. of canister. fire. A. from the eighteen-pounders dispersed them. fire. of small arms was. which one slightly. officer,. wounded. now opened upon. Lieutenant Luther, 2d. ;. brisk. by was. the square, artillery,. but a well-directed volley from the. front of the square silenced all farther firing from the in this quarter. It was now nearly dark, and the was closed on the right of our line, the enemy having been completely driven back from his position,. enemy. action. and foiled in every attempt against our line. While the above was going forward on our right, and under my own eye, the enemy had made a serious attempt against the. brilliant. movement, and by the bold and. manceuvering of. this battery,. several successive efforts of the force. upon our. Captain Duncan. of our line.. left. instantly perceived the. completely repulsed. enemy. Supported. left flank.. to. advance in. in succession. by. the 8th infantry and Captain Ker's squadron of dragoons,. he gallantly held the enemy. immense. him, with. loss,. at. bay, and finally drove. from the. field.. here and along the whole Hne, continued. when. the. enemy. The until. action. dark,. retired into the chaparral in rear of his. position.. Our. loss this. day was nine. and two missing.. Among. the. killed, forty-four. wounded,. wounded were Major Ring-. gold, who has since died, and Captain Page dangerously wounded, and Lieutenant Luther slightly so. I annex. a tabular statement of the casualties of the day.. Our own. force. engaged. is. shown by. the field report,. herewith transmitted, to have been one hundred and seventy-seven officers and two thousand one hundred.

(56) THE WAR.. 46. Arista's Despatch... and eleven men aggregate, two thousand two hundred and eighty-eight. The Mexican force, according to the ;. own. statement of their of the 9th,. affair. taken prisoners in the. officers,. was not. less. than six thousand regular. and probably exceedknown. Their loss was not less than two hundred killed, and four hundred wounded probably greater. This estimate is very moderate, and founded upon the number actually troops, with ten pieces of artillery,. —the. ed that number. irregular force not. —. counted on the. and upon the reports of. field,. their. own. officers.. As. already reported in. conduct of our. Exposed. could be desired. trials. my. — a cannonade of. first. brief despatch, the. and men was every thing. officers. for. artillery. — our troops displayed a. coolness and constancy which gave. assurance of victory. individuals until I will. endeavour. I. me. throughout the. purposely defer the mention of. my report of the to. that. hours to the severest. do justice. action of the 9th,. to the. many. when. instances of. distinguished conduct on both days.". The Mexicans evinced. great determination in this. first. and remained almost within sight of the General Arista emduring the night. army American day's battle,. ployed the night in writing a despatch to the minister of war and marine, giving an eloquent account of what he claimed as his victory, and slowly. moved. at. daybreak on the 9th,. into the chaparral, leaving General Taylor. in possession of the battle-field.. Fearing that the enemy. might dispute his progress towards Fort Brown, as the fortification opposite Matamoras was now named, he ordered the train to be strongly parked.. ment was thrown up, and. An. intrench-. the artillery battalion, with. two.

(57) THE WAE.. 47. Death, of Lieutenant Blake.. eighteen-pounders and two twelve-pounders were assigned to. its. defence.. The army then moved over. the plain in line of battle. with lively music, marking every where around them the evidences of the terrible destruction the. produced by on the previous day. Wounded dying of thirst and hunger, received relief from. American. soldiers,. their. artillery. generous enemies.. The ground was covered with. torn clothing, military caps, gun-stocks, tities. of the chaparral, the to. and. of cartridges for muskets and artillery.. water.. A. army halted. at a. large quan-. On. the edge. place convenient. detachment under Captain McCall was. sent forward into the chaparral to ascertain the position. of the enemy. train,. General Taylor then rode back to the. accompanied by Lieutenant. topographical corps, lantry. who had. J.. E. Blake of the. displayed the utmost gal-. on the previous day.. At the. train,. Lieutenant. Blake dismounted from his horse to procure some refreshment, and expressed gratification little rest,. at the. prospect of a. his labours during the previous twenty-four. hours having been very arduous.. He unbuckled. his. pistols. and threw them on the ground, when one of the unaccountably exploded, throwing the ball up-. wards. into his. holsters. expired shortly. body. after,. He was. mortally. wounded, and. expressing his regret that he had. not died on the battle-field on the preceding day.. Captain McCall with the advance guard found the. enemy intrenched. at. La Resaca de. la. Palma, the Dry. River of Palms, a strong position entirely commanding the approach to Fort Brown.. At this place the road wide and nearly breast high, the bottom being wet, forming long and serpentine ponds crosses a ravine sixty yards.

(58) THE WAR.. 48. Gallantry of Kidgely.. Along the banks of this dry river, tlie prairie. and more particularly on the side then occupied by the Mexicans, the chaparral grows most densely, and at this through. time, save where. it. was broken. in. by the passage of the. The enemy occupied. road, formed almost a solid wall.. double line. one behind and under the. this ravine. in. front bank,. and the other intrenched behind the wall of. the chaparral. was. ;. A. on the top of the rear ridge.. battery. placed in the centre of each line on the right. left. of the road, and a third battery. the. first line.. was on the. and. right of. Six or seven thousand troops were thus. strongly fortified in a form resembling a crescent, be-. tween the horns of which the army had to pass, while the Mexican batteries were enfilading and cross firing, the. narrow road which formed the only unobstructed. approach to. their. position.. Lieutenant Ridgely, the. successor of Ringgold, was ordered forward on the road, while the 3d, 4th, and 5th regiments of infantry were. ordered forward as skirmishers to cover the battery and. engage the infantry of the enemy. his staff. four o'clock.. He. and Captain C. F. Smith. to the. with orders to bring on the action.. Having received orders ly. his party at. immediately deployed Captain McCall. to the left of the road, right,. General Taylor and. came up with Captain McCall and. moved. to advance. Lieutenant. Ridge-. cautiously forward with Captain Walker, w^ho. was charged with batteiies. At the. assisting. him. to find. the. enemy's. instant they discovered them, they. fire from them, which Ridgely, moving about hundred yards to the front, returned with spirit. This contest was maintained for some time, their balls filling the air, and passing through Ridgely's battery in every direc*.. received a a.

(59) T. W A R.. HE. 49. Action Commences.. His. tion.. men worked. at their. guns with invincible de-. termination, and he himself sighted. them with. all. the. coolness and certainty of ordinary target practice. These well-directed charges were necessary to keep off the. enemy who were. whom. constantly charging upon him, and. he had sometimes. The. sword.. back with. to beat. his. own. rapid firing of the artillery on both sides pro-. duced an unintermitted roar. Colonel Duncan's batwas at the edge of the ravine, but he could not. tery. use. Lieutenant Ridgely holding the only position. it;. from which the enemy could be assailed without galling These had come into the action in the most our troops. extraordinary manner, the firing of their musketry being. almost the same instant that Ridgely opened his. heard. at. fire in. the centre.*. The 6th regiment under. Lieutenant-. Colonel Mcintosh supported Ridgely's battery. • It is to. be observed that the. artillery,. The 3d. during the whole course of the. present war, has proved the most efficient arm of the service in deter-. mining the. fate of battles, with, perhaps, the exception of the rifle corps. Nothing can exceed the. in the recent battles near the city of Mexico. efficiency and bravery of the. rifle. corps.. General Scott's pointed eulogy. of their conduct was richly deserved.. The. efficiency of this. arm of the. occasion to remark in another place, exertions of Major Ringgold.. In. national defense, as. is. this. greatly. owing. we have had. to the indefatigable. important service the major was. aided by Captain Duncan, whose battery rendered most efficient service in the battles of the 8th and 9th of. May,. important engagements of the war.. The. and Washington have service at. The. Buena. also. as well as in the other most batteries of. become famous,. Vista.. services of the artillery in the battle of. sential, that. it. is. small portion of. Sherman, Bragg,. especially by their efficient. considered by it. all. military. Buena. Vista were so es-. men, that the absence of a. would undoubtedly have occasioned the. battle.. 3. loss. of the.

(60) THE WAR.. 60. May's charge.. regiment with a part of the 4th came up on the enemy's right,. and the other portion of the 4th joined with the. 5th on the cliuparral,. The 3d and 4th were separated by. left.. through which the soldiers. each other into squads of. Montgomery,. w^ith. to the right.. The. or six,. five. The. obliged to form in the ravine.. literally. 8th,. the. pushed. and they were under Captain. Smith's light and other corps, faced best troops of. Mexico were now con-. The con-. tending with the greatest bravery for victory.. and musketry, the sword and the bayonet, at the end of two hours, resulted in the Americans gaining possession of the ravine in which the enemy were posted at the beginning of the action. Yet the. test with. artillery. batteries in the centre. shower of grape and. still. stood firm, pouring a perfect. shells into the. American. front,. and. prevented General Taylor from reaping the advantages. which the bravery of secured.. asked. if. Captain. would otherwise have. his troops. May. rode back to the general, and. he should charge the battery on the other side. of the ravine.. " Charge,. the reply, and. away dashed. rode to the head of his. captain, nolens volens,". the. command. gallant fellow.* ;. was. He. every rein and sabre. was. tightly grasped. Raising himself in the saddle, he shouted to his command, " We are ordered to take that. —follow. battery. !". In columns of fours, they dashed. along the narrow road, until they came to where Lieutenant Ridgely obstructed their advance. to charge those batteries," said. ''. I. am. May, coming. ordered. to a halt.. Ridgely knowing the perilous nature of the duty, said,. "Wait, Charley,. till. I. draw. their fire!". Henry's Campaign Sketches.. All begrimed.

(61) THE WAR.. 51. Capture of La Vega.. with powder and labouring with his his pieces. own. hands, he fired. slowly and with the usual deadly. effect.. A. storm of copper balls came whizzing and crushing the artillerists. iii. reply, while Ridgely. and. his. among men lim-. bered up, jumped on their pieces, and cheered as. dashed forward.. An. May. overwhelming discharge of grape. and bullets from the other battery dest;oyed his first and second platoons, but he was unhurt, and with those who lived swept to the left of the road leaped over the bat-. tery and drove the Mexicans from their guns.. But they. they seemed determined and commenced rushed back to them with the bayonet, May then charged back to load them again with grape. upon our own lines, and the enemy shrunk in terror from the stroke of his sword. One man, General La Vega, alone maintained his ground, and tried to rally his men but was made a prisoner by Captain May, and carried under a galling fire from his own countrymen to to retain their pieces or die. :. ;. our. The. lines.. ries in. infantry. now. gathered round the batte-. masses, crossing bayonets for their possession,. over the very muzzles of the guns.. In a short time,. Captain Belknap, with the 8th. and Captain Mar-. tin Scott,. infantr}^,. with the 5th, were engaged in a hand-to-hand. conflict with the far-famed. Tampico. veterans,. who had The. been in twenty battles and were never defeated.. and the 8th and the 5th charged up the ravine amidst a terrible fire from the enemy's The battery of Colonel Duncan now right and front. came into the front, and the retreat of the enemy was While the centre battery hastened by his deadly fire. of the enemy was being carried, Lieutenants Ruggles. battery. was. carried,. and Crittenden, with a small command of the 5th and.

(62) THE WAR.. 52. Captixre of Arista's Despatches.. the 8th infantry,. under Captain Montgomery, routed. all. wing and carried the. the right. right battery.. Between. and the centre battery, the Tampico regiment had. this. been posted, have. Mexican. flag. who bore staff,. all. of. whom, except. fallen at their posts.. it,. last. waving on the field, and the gallant fellow when all hope was lost, tore it from the. and concealed. tempted. seventeen, are said to. Their tri-colour was the. it. about his person while he. He w^as ndden. to fly.. at-. dow^n by the dragoons,. however, and made a prisoner, and his. flag. was a trophy. of the victory.. The hurry of the Mexicans to escape was so great, many of them were drowned in the river. Immense quantities of baggage, military stores, and camp equipage. that. hands of the Americans. fell. into the. lic,. and private property of. being. among. the spoils.. Arista,. ;. the personal, pub-. and. all his. despatches. The American army passed. the night on the battle-field, in the enjoyment of the fes-. which had been prepared by the followers of the Mexican camp to regale their friends after the anticipated tival. victory.. In his despatch after this brilliant victory Ge-. neral Taylor says. " The. :. enemy in killed has been most Our own has been very heavy, and I deeply regret to report that Lieutenant Inge, 2d dragoons, Lieutenant Cochrane, 4th infantry, e.nd Lieutenant Chadbourne, 8th infantry, were killed on the field. Lieuloss. of the. severe.. tenant-Colonel Payne, 4th artillery, Lieutenant-Colonel. Mcintosh, Lieutenant Dobbins, 3d infantry. Captain. and Lieutenant Fowler, 5th infantry. Hooe. and Captain Montgomery, Lieutenants Gates, Selden, McClay, Burbank, and Jordan, 8th infantry were wounded. The extent of ;.





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