(1849) The Mexican War and Its Warriors: From the Founding of the Republic to the Present Time
1849 - John Frost, 1800-1859...
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY ASTOR.
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
FROST, L.L.D. History
World," " Americaa
Naval Biography," " Pictorial History of the United States," " Wonders of History," and late Professor of Belles Lettres in the Philadelphia High School.
NEW HAVEN AND
PUBLISHED BY (
Act of Congress,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Connecticut.
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-
through a period of nineteen months, the arms of the United States have been uniformly
Wherever our armies have met the
enemy they have conquered. Of such a contest the history cannot but prove interesting to the whole
body of the American
which have been
furnished by the public journals, although they
to allay anxiety for the
quite insufficient to satisfy the lively curiosity
which such events "
are well calculated to awaken.
A round unvarnished tale" of the whole progress
necessary to form a portion of the
historical library of every family;
the heroic officers and
men who have
this war, that their claims to the gratitude of their
PREFACE. country should be distinctly recorded and pieserved in a permanent form.
with these views that the following his-
and the biographical sketches which accomit,
this intention will atone for
have been written.
and he hopes that
class, is necessarily liable.
every work of
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
---•••. --..... -------.--32 ----........ ------.--87 ----.--.-. --..
of Vera Cruz,
Ornamental Headpiece, Point Isabel,
Battle of Palo Alto,
American army entering Marin,
Storming of the Bishop's Palace, Paredes,
Battle of Buena Vista,
Death of Colonel Clay,
of the Guerilla Warfare,
..-.--. .-------191 -.--•----,••-------.-----.--.---------••--.---..--. ---------.---. ...
Battle of Cerro Gordo,
the castle at
Northern extremity of Puebla de
Battle of Churubusco,
City of Mexico,
Capture of Tuspan, Capture of Panuco,
Loss of the Somers,
Storming of Federation
View from Tacubaya, Headpiece, Headpiece,Tailpiece,
25g 264 265
LIST OF ILLUSTRATiO.XS.
.-----• ------- -------.«•-•- ----------••.---.--•----.----••--• .-,•---•-•----«
Street fight at Monterey,
General Kearny, Headpiece, Headpiece,
Captain Walker, Headpiece,
General Scott, Headpiece,
273 280 281
285 292 293 298 299 304 305 311
314 315 32Q
THE WAR, Though
jects of dispute existed
annexation of Texas, yet the latter event
immediate cause of the
war between countries.
a project of union
entertained between the
United States and Texas, she endeavoured to defeat
and when the consummated,
as " an act of
W A R.
Annexation of Texas.
aggression the most
can be found
corded in the annals of modern history of despoiling a friendly nation, like Mexico, of a consi-
derable portion of her territory."
all efforts at
amicable negotiation entirely failed.
the 21st of March, 1845, orders were issued for
General Zachary Taylor, commandant
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
send an army into their territory to protect and
defend them against a menaced attack.
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
our duty to afford such pro-
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
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
boundary of the
this quarter inva-
THE WAR. Taylor leaves Corpus
judgment of high
vicinity, in the
are the proper stations for the protecting forces of the
In addition to this important considera-
tion, several others
these are the facilities afforded
ports at Brazos Santiago,
and the mouth of the Del
Norte, for the reception of supplies
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
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
appalling hardships, both from the heat of the sandy deserts over which
they passed, and the wemt of food and water. in
camp, where large portions of the troops had
for the first
time an op-
portunity of seeing and learning the evolutions of the line,
that throughout their tience
whole march they bore
march were rendered the more painful by con-
with the agreeable sojourn of the army at Corpus Christi, which
described by Captain
in his entertaining
one of the most delightful regions in the world. bluff,"
says, " the
east the scene
the top of the
magnificent in the extreme.
Flower Bluffs stood out in bold
off to the
relief; in the north-east,
the distant highlands of Maylone's Bluff were dimly
west, the land near the
Campaign Sketches, as
was bounded by the white caps of the beautiful bay
should be recorded to the honour of the soldiers,
in the west,
extending to the mountains, the
to the north»
of the mua«
Crosses the Colorado.
reached the Arroya Colorado, thirty miles eastward of the Rio Grande.
body of for the
this river a
w^as stationed, apparently
purpose of disputing the passage.
was favourable for opposing the passage of the army, and General Taylor expected that war was now about to
He made his
preparations for crossing, however,
received a message from the governor of
Matamoras, stating that an attempt to cross the Colorado
be considered a signal for war.
Notwithstanding these warlike demonstrations, General
Taylor crossed the river in face of the
experienced no opposition, although an excellent opportunity
was afforded from the position
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,
viously selected as a military depot.
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
Esciteraent in l^tamoxas.
direction of Point Isabel-
he dismissed the prefect, with
the promise of an answer
Colonel Twiggs was sent
the dragoons to stop the conflagration, and
who had caused
deserted by the soldiery and
found the station
of the citizens, find
succeeded in saving a few of the burning houses. GeneTaylor arrived soon after, and commenced the con-
struction of a fortification subsequently
Major John Munroe was intrusted with the com-
large quantities of
hundred and fifty men, were left for its defence. Having completed such other arrangements
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
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
American troops dissipated pre\aous fears and the citizens at least became willing to wait for the result
of the natural course of events, rather than immediately
upon the American arnw,
at first their
The Americans were now
situated in a beautiful coun-
Description of the Country.
grateful after their fatiguing march.
as the eye can reach," says a volunteer, " one level sur-
face presents itself to view, dotted with cotton
interspersed with lovely gardens after the
Spanish fashion, the whole cut up and divided in sorts of
ways, by groves of the
th? lignum vitse figures largely
cut in twain
and the entire picture by the muddiest, crookedest, and swiftest ;
elevation of any sort, varies the everlasting level of the
nought to mar
appropriate character save the armies
of the two nations.
here, for the
are remarkable for their serenity.
numerous crowds, with moved, not a cloud is seen
and peaceful, with
rare brilliancy ;
stars stand forth ;
not a leaf
while ever and anon a me-
teor of surpassing brightness shoots
across the azure
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
the authorities to confer with him.
altercation, the reception of the
like result attended a request for
terview with the American consul. to the
Worth then returned
After this event, the Mexicans, withheld
from General Taylor, and commenced the erection of
THE W A A.
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
the English and Irish
under the orders of the American General Taylor," was distributed in the April. for
which the Mexicans seem
adapted " Know ye States
in the early part of
display of that
government of the United
committing repeated acts of barbarous aggres-
sion against the
magnanimous Mexican nation
flag of the stars, is
unworthy of the designation of Christian.
you w^ere born in Great Britain that the American government looks with coldness upon the powerful flag
of St. George, and like
provoking to a rupture the war-
President Polk boldly
manifesting a desire to take possession of Oregon, as he already has done of Texas.
confidence to the Mexican ranks
come with I
honour, good treatment, and that
beautiful capital of
your arrival in the
"Germans, French, tians!
and individuals of
Separate yourselves from the Yankees, and do
not contribute to defend a robbery and usurpation, which,
THE W A R.
State of Taylor's Forces.
be assured, the civilized nations of Europe look upon with the utmost indignation.
ray yourselves under the tricoloured flag, in the confi-
dence that the
of armies protects, and that
you equally with the English."
This inglorious appeal was not unattended with sucSeveral desertions took place, until
necessary to issue orders to shoot every soldier,
should attempt this crime. dealt with, the evil
or three being thus
situation of the
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.
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.
was also erected, together with a strong bata number of buildings for the security of supplies,
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
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
MvLxder of Colonel Cross.
forcements, both of
and were uncer-
tain as to a proper point of attack.
the 10th of April, an event occurred, which, on
sensation in the
of the kind, created great
This was the death
into the country, to his usual exercise, but
Early in the morning he
did not return at his customary time.
be infested with plunderers and ranche-
camp, and several
in quest of
General Taylor then wrote to the commandant of
Matamoras upon the all knowledge of his
subject, but that officer disclaimed fate,
most painful conjectures.
and the army was
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
marks, was recognized as the remains of Colonel Cross.
short distance from a road leading to the
He had been
deprived of his watch,
The account given
can appears worthy of
picked off his body by the of his death by a Mexi-
stated that he
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.
neral Taylor caused the military honours.
be interred with fuP
Correspondence between Taylor and Ampudia.
the 11th, the arrival of General
moras, caused of the
Americans expected an early day, however. General
of joy on the part city,
sent a messenger to
General Taylor with a despatch, requiring him, "in
at the latest in the
four hours, to break
peremptory term of twenty-
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
which he provoked them.
General Taylor in reply to
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.
resulting from the
allotted time expired without being followed
by any oc-
currence of interest, notwithstanding the definite form of General Ampudia's notice.
the 17th, Lieutenant T. H. Porter, and Lieutenant
Dobbins, started from camp for the purpose of discovering
possible, the murderers of Colonel Cross, a step
induced by the rumour that Romano Falcon was prowling in the vicinity with his command.
a detachment of two non-commissioned officers
Deatli of Lieutenant Porter.
opposite directions. During
the second day, Lieute-
nant Porter met a party of Mexicans, one of
piece at him.
The Mexican took to
whilst Lieutenant Porter took possession of the
of the marauders, containing ten horses, blankets,
immediately mounted his men,
started for head-quarters.
raining with the violence
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
of Lieutenant Porter's
shot down, and he
himself received a ball in the thigh and
"Fight on, boys! Take care of yourselves."
then separated into three parties as they retreated into the chaparral, but they
reached the camp.
Ihey retired, the Mexicans, yelling like Indians, rushed
upon Lieutenant Porter and the wounded
their knives into taeii breasts.
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,
brother of Lieutenant Porter,
similar rank in the navy,
he heard of
reported to have said,
had given only bequest, and with that sword
his brother's death, that his father
him a sword as his he would avenge his
His American mother had
or share his fate.
written to him,
W A R.
Blockade of the Rio Grande.
go the other way,
avenge your brother and
defend your country."
the 19th of April, General Taylor learned that
Orleans, laden with supplies for the
Matamoras, were off the mouth of the Rio
Grande, he ordered the United States brig Lawrence, with the revenue cutter
by water with
to cut off the
pudia followed the establishment of
which that step
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.
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
the Rio Bravo against vessels
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
also advert to the case of
be detained as prisoners
than a natural result of the state of war so
upon by the Mexican
authorities as actually existing at
few cirwar has not been sought by the American army, but has been forced upon
cumstances to show that this
for recalling a
Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.
that the exercise of the rights incident to such a
" On breaking up
a subject of complaint.
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
desire to execute to
instructions in a pacific
observe the utmost regard for the personal rights of
bank of the
take care that the religion and customs of the people
should suffer no violation. the
minds of the inhabitants,
army, enjoining a interests
view, and to quiet
issued orders to the
observance of the rights and
Mexicans residing on the
caused said orders
circulated in the several towns on the Bravo.
orders announced the spirit in which
occupy the country, and this
tions of the army.
be translated into Spanish, and
we proposed to say that
has controlled the opera-
reaching the Arroyo Colorado
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 ;
Matamoras, protesting against
occupation of a portion of the department of Tamaulipas,
that if the
withdrawn, war would
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
of Frontone had been set on
Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.
by me Avhen opposite Matamoras, which was done
reaching the river
high in rank, to convey to the
general in Matamoras the expression of
amicable relations, and tlie
willingness to leave open to
use of the citizens of Matamoras the port of Brazos
Santiago until the question of boundary should be defi-
received for reply, from
the officer selected to confer with him, that to the
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
a state of peace.
" Notwithstanding these repeated assura part of the
ices on the and notwith standing the preparations on the right bank of
most obviously hostile the river, accompanied by a rigid non-intercourse, carefully abstained
from any act of
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
adopt milder measures before proceeding to others, contented myself in the
instance with ordering a
blockade of the mouth of the Rio Bravo by the naval forces
— a proceeding
nant with the state of war
so often declared to exist,
and which you acknowledge
your note of the 16th
Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.
instant, relative to the late Colonel Cross.
sure seems oppressive, I wish
has been forced upon fit
vernment, and shall not remove
tions to that effect, unless indeed
the course you have seen
borne in mind that
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
In regard to the consequences you mention as resulting
from a refusal
remove the blockade,
them, be they what
"In regard in
have the honour
two American schooners,
Matamoras, were warned
to the particular vesselr referred to in
on the 17th
near the mouth of the river, and put to sea,
returning probably to
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.
Since the receipt of your communication,
have learned that two persons, sent
mouth of the
river to procure information respecting this vessel, pro-
Brazos Santiago, when they were
taken up and detained by the officer in
could be received.
order their imme-
from one of them to the Spanish
respectfully transmitted herewith.
Taylor's Letter to Ampudia.
the Mexicans said to have drifted
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.
the river in a boat,
the current of the river, and drifted
down empty by
ashore near one of our pickets and was secured by the
afterwards an attempt
recover the boat under the cover of darkness
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,
only to repeat that assur-
" 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-
You must be aware
that such language is not
correspondence the courtesy
to your high position,
mtere^ts with which
magnitude of the
are respectively charged, I shall
expect the same in return.
" I have the honour
to be, very respectfully,
"Z. TAYLOR, ^^
Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S.
Gen. D. Pedro de Ampudia, Commanding in Afaiamoras"
Taylor's account of his projarations fcr defense.
the 20th of April, an artfully- worded address
issued by General Arista, offering lands to ^
desert from the
American army and become
Mexico, three hundred and twenty acres being fixed as the price of a private, and others in proportion. Any
be properly rewarded.
state of things at this time
well described by General
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.
keeping up a strong and vigilant guard
surprise or attacks, under disadvantageous circumstances.
more necessary while we
are to act
liberty to take the
course whenever they think proper to do so.
idle in other respects
under way, besides having erected a strong battery, and a number of buildings for the security of our supplies, in addition to tion.
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
work is mounted with
the city of Matamoras, so.
soon be the case
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
W A R.
Capture of Captain Thornton. all
the feelings as
there were actual war.
an extent of more than two miles, ana
musket range, are
instances, waiting impatiently
for orders to apply the matches, yet nothing has
lence." adds, "
the firing of a
gun or any
In the postscript to this
act of vio-
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
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
Captain Thornton, how^ever, pro-
ceeded up the country some twenty-six miles, where he into an ambuscade, and found himself surrounded
by about two thousand
hundred of the enemy conThe command behaved with number of the enemy was so
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
Captain Walker's defeat.
a close personal contest.
his death is
a gallant young officer-
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
hitherto manifested w^as
canie across the river in great numbers;
intercourse between General Taylor's
camp and Point
and there was imminent danger of
of that place with
the military stores
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.
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. ;
estimated the force of the
and thought that many of them must have
fallen in the
skirmish. Notwithstanding this repulse. Captain
volunteered to carry a message to General Taylor. jor
Munroe having accepted
he started on the
W A R.
Taylor's roarch to Point Isabel
evening of the 29th and,
nent dangers, reached the
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
the tribute so signal a triumph deserved.
The Mexicans, however, evinced refraining from attacking
him on the way
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
ing to capture his fortified
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
THE WAR. May and
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
with a short intermission
time a part of the troops laboured to complete the cations, although
day, but one
to the full
about ten o'clock in the forenoon, as they
were wasting ammunition and doing no to the
range of the enemy's
This silence was mistaken by the enemy
of fear or despair, they momentarily ex-
pected a surrender.
noise of this cannonading having reached Point
General Taylor despatched Captain
Captain Walker and a hundred men, to learn something of the garrison, and reconnoiter the countr}-.
avoided the enemy, and penetrated to within a few miles of the
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
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
was a general
favourite, cast a
army, which, however, was speedily dispelled by the
appearance of that gallant intelligence that position.
bearing the gratifying
Major Brown was able
to maintain his
Captain Walker had returned to the place
Prepai-ations fcr assault
on Fcrt Brown.
where he had returned
Captain May, and finding him gone, fort,
blocked the game on him give
them another turn when
the fort at night with his party, his superior
of the country only enabling parties of the
but that he would
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.
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
THE W A R.
Signal guns tred. at Fort Ero-wn.
moras, opened with shot and shell in the afternoon, and kept up a galling cross
after a gallant
tion of a
reconnoisance, reported the erec-
On Wedneswas kept up
battery at the cross roads.
day morning, the
6th, a spirited
against tke fort, the shot and shells being well directed.
balls falling into the fortress afforded considerable
to the soldiers,
sitting idly about,
reserving their ammunition in case of need under an
had made some
prided himself on his culi-
and was stooping
cups of his mess, when a ball flying over
the parapet, struck in the ashes near the beverage into the
him and overturned Careme and
votary of Mars, shocked at the disrespect, gave the ball a kick, while in a dolorous voice he cursed the rascally
In compliance with the directions given by General
in case the fort
the eighteen-pounders were fired
as if conscious that this
call for relief,
garrison, however, reserved their ammunition for the ex-
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
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
Fall of Major Brown,
considerable height in a
with a glass in his
his comrades as being what
hand, reported to
him. a mark of the destruction produced by their
The lamented death
We give the following graphic account
"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
pounders, had continued for three hours and a
noble-minded Major Brown, commander of the fort, with his adjutant-lieutenant by his side, took his usual round
and men were
to see that officers
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 latter, from
to give directions to
in the country," struck in
the parapet, burying itself in the sand without explod-
commander was seen
He was *
amid which the mortally wounded.
a cloud of dust rose into the air,
immediately taken to the hospital
death of Major
a severe loss to the army.
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
Florida war fort
courage and abiUty. victory)
did good to
consequence of the general's high opinion of his :
alloyed with profound regret at the loss of the heroic and
time, but to the
In the case of Major
General Taylor says cf him
indomitable Major Brown. at
and was selected by General Taylor
soldiers to the
would be a severe one
to the service
see the importance of occasional pro-
THE WAR. Summons
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
exhibiting the torn muscles,
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;
among you." having his
While suffering under the operation of leg amputated above the knee, which was
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
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
ceeded Major Brown
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
the point, he thought
the officers should
be represented in the reply.
voted to defend the
was then unanimously
to the death.
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
must respectfully decline
The exact purport
of your despatch
confident that I understand, as skilled in your language correctly,
have understood you
reply above," &c., &c.
reception of this answer
ral burst of
hea\y shot upon the
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,
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
be one continuous
soldiers in the fort
from four mortar, batteries
Yet the gallant defenders knew that General Taylor was on his way
succour them, and they stood upon the
parapet to listen to the far distant rific
rain from the
enemy's batteries poured unheeded
around them. Towards night, they learned from a Mexican the events of the
Palo Alto, and the know-
ledge that the victory rested with their friends quiet night, their nearer enemies permitted
officer of the
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
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
in its position,
flag to the breeze.
day Major Brown expired.
his death every thing in the fort
At the time of still, and
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
field of the
W A R.
38 Flight of
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 ;
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.
shouted another, in uncontrollable ecstacy; ing ceased
in the hearts
men went and came from
be engaged in
was now almost
victorious result of our arms
General Taylor and his brave
w^ould either conquer or die.
ringing in Matamoras, and the noisy music that
spoke of the
and how the blood
of these brave
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
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
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
to so loudly
to Mexico the day w^as Brown, one non-commissioned
Maxell from Point Isabel.
men wounded was
loss that the garrison
sustained during one hundred and sixty hours severe
bombardment. General Taylor had of the 7th of the
Point Isabel on the evening
May, and moved with the main body of
army towards the Rio Grande.
seven miles, they bivouacked on their arms, and resumed the
march on the following morning.
At noon they
covered the enemy, prepared to oppose their progress, stretched out on the
more than a
give here the clear and concise account of this
given by General Taylor in his
reserving for another portion of the work more minute details
and personal anecdotes.
"About noon, when our advance reached the water hole of
Palo Alto,' the Mexican
troops were reported in our front, and were soon dis-
covered occupying the road in force.
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
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-
L. N. Morris
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 ;
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.
Captain Duncan's light
under Captain Montgomery
and the 8th
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
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
execution, v/hile our eighteen-
pounders and Major Ringgold's the cavalry battery,
thrown forward in advance of the
doing good execution
to support that battery,
Battle of Falo Alto.
of our position.
two pieces of
were now reported
cavalry, with to
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-
ment, and supported by Lieutenant Ridgely, with a sec-
Major Ringgold's battery and Captain Walker's
of volunteers, effectually repulsed the
the 5th infantry repelling a charge of lancers, artillery
was now detached
doing great execution in their ranks. to the right as a
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.
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
occupied by the Mexican cavalry, and
brigade to take up a
was advanced from
a change of position corresponding to our
former position and occupied a
point on the extreme right of the
of the eighteen-pounder battery.
suspension of nearly an hour the action
now most made through
of artillery was
ings were constantly fire,
the enemy's ranks
and the constancy with which the Mexican
THE Death of
infantry sustained the severe
cannonade was a theme of Captain May's squad-
universal remark and admiration.
ron was detached to
a demonstration on the
of the enemy's position, and suffered severely from the of artillery to
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
himself, while coolly directing the
of his pieces, was struck by a cannon ball and mortally
wounded.* In the
time the battalion of artillery under Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Childs, had been brought up to support
the artillery on our right.
now made by
strong demonstration of
against this part
of our line, and the column continued to advance under a severe
w^as instantly *
from the eighteen-pounders.
and held ready
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,
West Point; graduated
to that of captain in
His brevet rank of major
the reward of severe service in the Florida war.
in perfecting the discipline of the hght artillery, the country
indebted for the eflSciency of that important
He was He was
of the national defense.
Major Ringgold's connections were of the first respectabihty. His was General Samuel Ringgold, and his mother was a daughter
of General John Cadwalader, of the Revolution.
greatly distinguished in the
His conduct and character as an
and a gentle-
were in every respect worthy of so highly honourable a descent.
Less, &c., at Falo Alto.
the charge of cavahy
the advancing squad-
rons were within close range a deadly
from the eighteen-pounders dispersed them. fire
of small arms was
which one slightly
now opened upon
Lieutenant Luther, 2d
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,
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
movement, and by the bold and
several successive efforts of the force
of our line.
instantly perceived the
the 8th infantry and Captain Ker's squadron of dragoons,
he gallantly held the enemy
bay, and finally drove
here and along the whole Hne, continued
retired into the chaparral in rear of his
day was nine
and two missing.
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.
the field report,
herewith transmitted, to have been one hundred and seventy-seven officers and two thousand one hundred
and eleven men aggregate, two thousand two hundred and eighty-eight. The Mexican force, according to the ;
statement of their of the 9th,
taken prisoners in the
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,
ed that number
irregular force not
counted on the
and upon the reports of
already reported in
conduct of our
could be desired. trials
— a cannonade of
brief despatch, the
and men was every thing
— our troops displayed a
coolness and constancy which gave
assurance of victory. individuals until I will
purposely defer the mention of
my report of the to
hours to the severest
action of the 9th,
distinguished conduct on both days."
The Mexicans evinced
great determination in this
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
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
the artillery battalion, with
Death, of Lieutenant Blake.
eighteen-pounders and two twelve-pounders were assigned to
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
The ground was covered with
torn clothing, military caps, gun-stocks, tities
of the chaparral, the to
of cartridges for muskets and artillery.
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
E. Blake of the
displayed the utmost gal-
on the previous day.
Blake dismounted from his horse to procure some refreshment, and expressed gratification little rest,
prospect of a
his labours during the previous twenty-four
hours having been very arduous.
and threw them on the ground, when one of the unaccountably exploded, throwing the ball up-
expressing his regret that he had
not died on the battle-field on the preceding day.
Captain McCall with the advance guard found the
La Resaca de
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
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
by the passage of the
The enemy occupied
road, formed almost a solid wall.
one behind and under the
and the other intrenched behind the wall of
on the top of the rear ridge.
placed in the centre of each line on the right
of the road, and a third battery
was on the
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
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
and Captain C. F. Smith
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
to advance. Lieutenant
cautiously forward with Captain Walker, w^ho
was charged with batteiies. At the
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
W A R.
guns with invincible de-
termination, and he himself sighted
coolness and certainty of ordinary target practice. These well-directed charges were necessary to keep off the
enemy who were
constantly charging upon him, and
he had sometimes
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
Lieutenant Ridgely holding the only position
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
The 6th regiment under
Colonel Mcintosh supported Ridgely's battery. • It is to
be observed that the
during the whole course of the
present war, has proved the most efficient arm of the service in deter-
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
General Scott's pointed eulogy
of their conduct was richly deserved.
efficiency of this
arm of the
occasion to remark in another place, exertions of Major Ringgold.
national defense, as
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
important engagements of the war.
and Washington have service at
as well as in the other most batteries of
services of the artillery in the battle of
small portion of
especially by their efficient
considered by it
Vista were so es-
men, that the absence of a
would undoubtedly have occasioned the
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
through which the soldiers
each other into squads of
to the right.
obliged to form in the ravine.
and they were under Captain
Smith's light and other corps, faced best troops of
Mexico were now 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
batteries in the centre
shower of grape and
stood firm, pouring a perfect
shells into the
prevented General Taylor from reaping the advantages
which the bravery of secured.
would otherwise have
rode back to the general, and
he should charge the battery on the other side
of the ravine.
the reply, and
rode to the head of his
captain, nolens volens,"
gallant fellow.* ;
every rein and sabre
tightly grasped. Raising himself in the saddle, he shouted to his command, " We are ordered to take that
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
to a halt.
Ridgely knowing the perilous nature of the duty, said,
Henry's Campaign Sketches.
Capture of La Vega.
with powder and labouring with his his pieces
hands, he fired
slowly and with the usual deadly
storm of copper balls came whizzing and crushing the artillerists
reply, while Ridgely
among men lim-
bered up, jumped on their pieces, and cheered as
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.
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
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-
with the 5th, were engaged in a hand-to-hand
conflict with the far-famed
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
and Crittenden, with a small command of the 5th and
Captixre of Arista's Despatches.
the 8th infantry,
under Captain Montgomery, routed
wing and carried the
and the centre battery, the Tampico regiment had
been posted, have
who bore staff,
fallen at their posts.
waving on the field, and the gallant fellow when all hope was lost, tore it from the
seventeen, are said to
Their tri-colour was the
about his person while he
He w^as ndden
dow^n by the dragoons,
however, and made a prisoner, and his
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
hands of the Americans
and private property of
the personal, pub-
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
In his despatch after this brilliant victory Ge-
neral Taylor says
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
tenant-Colonel Payne, 4th artillery, Lieutenant-Colonel
Mcintosh, Lieutenant Dobbins, 3d infantry. Captain
and Lieutenant Fowler, 5th infantry
and Captain Montgomery, Lieutenants Gates, Selden, McClay, Burbank, and Jordan, 8th infantry were wounded. The extent of ;
General Taylor's Despatcli.
our loss in killed and
not yet ascertained,
reserved for a more detailed report. affair
regarded as a proper sup-
plement to the cannonade of yesterday taken together,
exliibit the coolness
and the two and gallantry of our
duty and done
more circumstantial report of both upon particular instances of individual
actions, to dwell distinction.
peculiar pleasure to report that the field-
Matamoras has sustained
somely during a cannonade and bombardment of one
with profound regret
But the pleasure
at the loss of its heroic
mitable commander. Major Brown, the effect of a shell.
died to-day from
His loss would be a severe one to
army under my orders, and one non-comkilled, and ten men wounded, comprise incident to this severe bombardment.
the service at any time, but to the it is
the casualties I
mention the capture of
lefl in the Mexican camp." " So confident," says Captain Henry, in his interesting work, Campaign Sketches of the War with Mexico,' **were the Mexicans of victory, that Ampudia, speaking to Captain Thornton, who was then their prisoner, said, it was utterly impossible it could be otherwise ; that their numbers alone were sufficient, independent of those veteran regiments.' General La Vega said, that if he had any sum of money in camp he should have considered it as safe as if at the city of Mexico and he
W A R.
Taylor's maTch. to Point Isabel.
would have bet any amount' that no ten thousand men could have driven them off.'" Our loss in this action was three officers and thirty-six men killed, and twelve officers and fifty-nine men wounded. The loss of the enemy in killed, wounded, and missing, was not less than two thousand, taking the two days
after the battle.
General Taylor, with
Matamoras for Mexican surgeons to attend to their wounded, and for men to bury their dead. The American army was occupied at the same time upon the same mournful duty. characteristic humanity, sent to
the 11th General Taylor again
Point Isabel, in order to arrange with
left Fort Brown for Commodore Conner
combined land and naval attack upon the Mexican posts on the Rio Grande. While at the Point, he despatched a hasty letter to Washington, from which we
the plan of a
of the army site
the following extracts:
brief time at
I shall lose
myself of this
to report that the
forces are almost disor-
no time in investing Matamoras, *
and opening the navigation of the river." have exchanged a
former position oppo-