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IN" THE YK^ES 1846-7-8. 




18 7 3. 


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by 

JOHN K. KENLY, of Baltimore, Mel., 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 

[Right of Translation reserved.'] 

Lippikcott's Press, 









Preliminary j^g 


Arrival at the Brazos Santiago 36 

The Eio Grande 59 

Camargo 71 

Campaign of the Rio Grande 80 

Monterey ............ 101 

Storming of Monterey ......... 105 

Third Day of the Battle 123 

Capitulation of Monterey 132 

Capitulation of Monterey . 142 

In Camp at Walnut Springs ........ 15 



Sight-seeing in Monterey 156 

Death of Captain Eidgely 160 


End of the Armistice: General Santa Anna for War . . . 164 


Appointment of Major E. C. Buchanan, U.S. Army, to the Com- 
mand of the Baltimore Battalion ....... 169 


March to Victoria 174 

Victoria 191 


The Army of Occupation at Victoria, and the Arrival of General 
Taylor 195 


General Scott placed in Command — His Arrival in the Country . 199 

Departure from Victoria, and March to Tampico .... 210 


Tampico — General Scott marshaling his Forces for the Capture of 
Vera Cruz ........... 229 

Tampico 241 

Tampico — Visit to Vera Cruz 265 




Tampico — Discharged from the Service, etc 272 


The District of Columbia and Maryland Regiment; its Organization, 
Departure for the Seat of "War, and Arrival at Vera Cruz . . 277 

March into the Interior 293 

Capture and Occupation of the National Bridge .... 300 

Guerilleros 308 


Views of our Government as to the Conduct of the War . . . 313 

Operations at and about the National Bridge 318 

Negotiations with El Padre Jarauta ....... 328 

Negotiations for Peace ......... 833 


Scott's Advance.on the City of Mexico 344 

Conquering a Peace .......... 856 

March from the National Bridge 362 

The City of Jalapa 367 




In Garrison 372 


General Santa Anna, and his Reception, by tiie District of Columbia 
and Maryland Regiment, at Jalapa 389 


Visit to the City of Mexico 399 

The City of Mexico 406 

The Court of Inquiry 431 

Negotiations for Peace 4.59 


End of the War — We leave Mexico 468 

Conclusion 474 

Appendix 479 






The recognition of the independence of Texas, and 
its subsequent annexation, may have been the proxi- 
mate cause of the war with Mexico ; but for years 
there had been smouldering embers, which the evolu- 
tion of time alone would have fanned into active war- 
fare against the Mexican people. It was not alone 
because the sympathies of the Americans were with 
the Texans in their brave and heroic struggle for 
liberty from Mexican military domination, that the 
military chieftains of the pseudo-republic were so 
bitter in their hostility to the United States ; and it 
was not alone because the early settlers of Texas were 
our own race and blood that we felt so keenly their 
massacre at Mier, and their triumph at San Jacinto. 
No ! there were deep-seated causes of hostility between 
the two peoples. The one, an antagonism of race 
upon the borders of the two countries, which was in- 
stinctive and involuntary, as much so as between the 
Red Man and the Western Pioneer ; another, a long 

2 (13) 


continuance of outrages upon the persons and property 
of American citizens by Mexican officials, and redress 
either positively refused or vexatiously and willfully 
postponed ; another, the watchful jealousy with which 
the officials of Mexico had been regarding the expan- 
sive growth of the United States, — a jealousy from 
which sprang at first distrust, then hatred. These 
were continuously exhibited. 

General Jackson, the then President of the United 
States, in a Message to Congress on the 8th of Febru- 
ary, 1837, said, "The wanton character of some of 
the outrages upon the persons and property of our 
citizens, upon the officers and flag of the United 
States, independent of recent insults to this Govern- 
ment by the late E.xtraordinary Mexican minister, 
would justify, in the eyes of all nations, immediate 
war." Still no war. 

I was cognizant of some of these outrages. Mr. 
Edward Hoffman, a merchant of Baltimore, after 
having paid duties on his merchandise at Santa Fe, 
to the custom-house officei's there stationed, and ob- 
tained regular permits for the importation of his 
goods into Mexico, was deliberately robbed of the 
same permits by the custom-house officials at Chihua- 
hua, deprived of his goods, and imprisoned in a loath- 
some dungeon, until he bought himself out of their 
hands by money obtained from his friends.* 

The simple narration of the outrages done to other 
Americans by Mexican officials, which he witnessed. 

* His claim for losses was allowed after the war, by the Com- 
mission provided for by the Treaty of Peace. 


filled one with indignation; and well-authenticated 
accounts of the continuous wrongs done our citizens 
were published throughout the country. 

Notwithstanding the independence of Texas had 
been recognized by most of the European powers, and 
the utter inability of Mexico to re-establish her au- 
thority over it,* yet the Mexican Government and 
people, including Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, in- 
sisted upon their right of sovereignty over Texas, 
and declared that no quarter would be given to any 
foreigner iak.Qn fighting against the troops of Mexico. 
This was from 1841 to 1844. 

On the 3d of March, 1845, the joint resolution for 
the admission of Texas into the American Union 
passed both Houses of Congress, and, being signed by 
the President on the same day, became a law. This, 
however, did not consummate the measure ; the con- 
sent of the people of Texas was required, and it was 
supposed by some that the President of the Lone Star 
State might listen to propositions from the represent^ 
atives of England and France, who endeavored to 
defeat the measure. 

All these attempts signally failed. On the 2od of 
June, 1845, the Government of Texas, by the unani- 
mous vote of both Houses, and the approval of the 
Executive, gave its consent ; and the convention to 
which the matter had been finally referred, by its 
ordinance of July 4, 1845, assented to it, and annex- 
ation was consummated. From this time the senti- 

* See a letter from Hon. Daniel Webster to Nicholas Biddle, 
dated September 10, 1838, published in the Life of Webster, by 
George Ticknor Curtis, 1870, vol. i. p. 579. 


ment of the people of Mexico was nearly national,* 
that the " Barbarians of the North" should be chastised 
for their presumption ; and the movement of Tay- 
lor's troops to the west of the Nueces culminated in 
the murder of Colonel Cross, the defeat of a party 
under Lieutenant Porter, the capture of Captain 
Thornton's squadron of dragoons by the Mexicans on 
this side of the Rio Grande, and the Act of our Con- 
gress of the 13th of May, 1846, recognizing the exist- 
ence of a state of war. 

In the President's Message to Congress, which pre- 
ceded by two days the passage of the above Act, he 
told the people of the United States " that American 
blood had been shed upon American soil, and that, by 
the acts of her generals, Mexico had proclaimed that 
hostilities had commenced." 

Was the country between the Nueces and the Eio 
Grande American soil ? The whole casus belli turns 
on this. I say it was : and this assertion is made 
after much reading on the subject. If the province 
of, or republic of, Texas ever owned to the left bank 
of the Rio Grande, we were in, under the terms 
of annexation ; and that she did so claim, after the 
treaty with the Mexican generals in 1836, is not 

* There were some exceptions. The President, Herrera, was 
opposed to war; and I was told in tbe city of Mexico in 1848, 
by an eye-witness of thi^ affair, that in January, 1846, on 
the day that Herrera was compelled to resign by Paredes and 
his adherents, when Herrera left the palace the people in tbe 
plaza made way for him as he passed alone through the crowd, 
and with tears in their eyes prayed God to protect and bless him, 
so highly was he esteemed by all classes. 


disputed. Besides this, I think the probabilities are 
that as a province or state of tlie Mexican confedera- 
tion, the Rio Grande, or Bravo del Norte as they also 
termed it, was its natural western boundary,* as no 
other State of the Mexican republic was lying east of 
this river but Texas. 

After the victories of the Texans, they drove the 
Mexicans across the Rio Grande, and on the banks of 
this river the Texan leaders deliberated upon the 
boundaries of their future republic. Many of them 
were well acquainted with the rich valley of the Rio 
Grande west of that river, and urged that the moun- 
tains of the Sierra Madre, lying about a hundred 
miles back, should be the western limits of their State. 
This would have given to the Texans the Mexican 
State of Taraaulipas, rich in cotton- and sugar-lands, 
and a natural boundary line much preferable to the 
Rio Grande. 

It is related as a factthatevery officer of the Texan 
army present at this conference was in favor of this 
boundary, witli the single exception of their com- 

* I admit there is Mexican authority for the claim made by 
some geographers that the Nueces was the eastern boundary of 
the State of Coahuila ; but General Almonte, high Mexican 
authority, said that this was an error. France claimed by the 
discovery of the Mississippi all the country to the Rio Grande. , 
This is a natural geographical division. When we bought 
Louisiana from Napoleon in 1803, we claimed under its grant to 
the Rio Grande. By our treaty with Spain in 1819 we aban- 
doned our claim to all the territory west of the Sabine River. 
Texas now took up what our statesmen had abandoned, and the 
victory of San Jacinto, with its sequences, removed all doubt as 
to whom the territory belonged on the 4th day of April, 1846. 



manding officer, General Sam Houston. He over- 
ruled the decision of the officers, and insisted that the 
Rio Grande River should be the line from its mouth 
to the 39th parallel of north latitude,* and thus it was 
established by Act of the Congress of the republic of 
Texas in 1836 ; so that, when Texas came into the 
Union, she brought with her the boundary on the west 
gained by her people in their war of independence. 

On the 4th of April, 1846, the Mexican General 
Arista was ordered by his Government to cross the 
Rio Grande, and attack and destroy the American 
army by every means in his power- and he immedi- 
ately announced to General Taylor, on this side the 
river, that he considered hostilities as having com- 
menced. On the 25th of April General Torrejon did 
cross the river, and killed Lieutenant Mason, with a 
large proportion of Thornton's squadron United States 
Dragoons, and captured the balance. 

The war had commenced ; Arista followed Torrejon, 
and, on the left bank of the Rio Grande, in the State 
of Texas, fought and was defeated by General Taylor 
on the 8th and 9th days of May, 1846. 

The news of the battles of the 8th and 9th of 
May — Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma — caused 
the liveliest rejoicing throughout the United States, 
and the victories of our gallant little army of regulars 
raised the military enthusiasm of the nation to the 
highest pitch. 

By the Act of May 13, 1846, the President was 
authorized to call forth volunteers in any number not 

* Doniphaa's Campaign. 


exceeding 50,000, to serve for the period of one year 
or during the war. Prior to the passage of this Act, 
a considerable number of volunteers from Louisiana 
had been called for by Generals Gaines and Taylor for 
three months' service, and had marched with alacrity 
to the support of the army in the field. 

Soon after the news of the battles on the Rio 
Grande had been received in Baltimore, I went to the 
city of Washington, provided with a letter of intro- 
duction to the President of the United States from 
an influential citizen of Baltimore, — Mr. Francis 
Gallagher, — and had an interview with Mr. Polk. 
I solicited from him an appointment to the regular 
army ; he told me that he purposed calling for volun- 
teers — would take some from Maryland, and that then 
I would have an opportunity to i-espond to the call of 
my country with higher rank than he could give me. 

Continued my efforts to enter the regular army 
until the 1st day of June, when after a conversa- 
tion with Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. H. Watson, I deter- 
mined to raise a company of volunteers for a battalion 
which he was organizing for twelve months' service. 

On the next day, the 2d of June, opened a ren- 
dezvous in the armory of the Eagle Artillery Com- 
pany (of which company I was the First Lieutenant), 
and another at Trades' Union Hall, corner of Balti- 
more Street and Tripolett's Alley. Volunteers came 
in with extraordinary rapidity, and on the morning of 
the 4th day of June I carried to the city of Washing- 
ton, by railroad, two officers and fifty-eight men, 
the whole having been recruited by me in less than 
thirty-six hours. Prior to leaving my rendezvous in 


Baltimore Street, I was honored and gratified by being 
presented with a sword and sash by Captain George 
P. Kane, the commanding officer, on behalf of the 
Eagle Artillery Company, with which I had been con- 
nected as private and officer for several years. 

On reaching Washington we were met by the vol- 
unteers from Baltimore who had preceded me, and 
escorted to the War Department, from whence we 
marched to the Marine Barracks, where quarters had 
been assigned my recruits. 

On the next day sent Lieutenants Francis B. 
Schaeffer and Oden Bowie back to Baltimore to bring 
more men, who, I had been informed, were anxious 
to join the company. They returned on the 7th, 
and on the next day, the 8th day of June, 1846, we 
marched to the War Department, and were mustered 
into the service of the United States by Lorenzo 
Thomas, Major and Assistant- Adjutant-General United 
States Army, for twelve months, my company consist- 
ing of three officers and eighty-four non-commissioned 
officers and privates. 

The following is the roll of the company, which 
was known as " Baltimore's Own " : 

Captain, John E. Keuly. 

First Lieutenant, Francis B. Schaeffer. 

Second Lieutenant, Oden Bowie. 

Sergeants: William E. Aisquith, William Hickman, 
George 0. Lansdale, Thomas Tyser. 

Corporals : Benjamin F. Brand, James H. Mans- 
field, James A. Beacham, James Tibbies. 

Privates : John Andrews, John F. Alexander, John 
Allen, Wm. Allen, Lemuel Atkinson, George W. 

i)/.l/i'l7,.l.\7) y(UJ^\'TKF,n. 21 

Bowie, Jolm A. liillington, VVm. A. Biillcr, Win. 
BiinnisttT, Siuniiol Ik'iiston, Jolm Boyd, Kdwai'd 
Bouliuin'cr, JmcoI) lliikor, llilwiud I. Bynun, l{icliii,r(l 
Jl. Holl, .liuiu's B. Cimniii,:;-, (a>orov N. ('ollitis, Do 
Azro A. 1{. ('Mtlini;', Jiuutl) Dc-goinp, Francis M. Dub- 
bin, .losopl. 11. Dick, llcni-y 1. Eldin-, ChiU'lw Fis- 
cluT, lionis Fuller, IKmu'v b'orlm.sli, Fnuicis Fisbcr, 
(ii'ori;(> Gordon, Stunuol (iclston, \'iMi'i'nt ll(>nxlc>r, 
John 11. !li|ikins, Jann's llcMiry, Burnoy lluwkinw, 
(^•or-v 'r. Hugo, (lliarios Hill, ("jeoror iinilry, Wm. 
S, lliilcli, Cliivrlcs Johnson, Jolm S. Jolmsou, David 
Jolmwon, [jiM-oy Kniglil, Thomas Iioybiirn, Tlioniaw 
liOvtMiton, Francis A. Lalicdic, Jolm Lougbry, Sam- 
uel Lockbart, William Macroady, (!eorp;(> iMacnclly, 
Jos(>|ih 15. JNliUard, James II. IMtM'ton, Jacob Morris, 
John Magncss, ('harlcs W. l\la(cbctt, John IMcGun- 
n(>ll, Edward Myers, Henry 1*. NoVris, Kranois Louis 
Nettan, Franklin B. Nimocks, Josiah Bregg, Charles 
Pratt, James Pcrcgtiy, Sctli S. Ivogcrs, Jolm Kcese, 
Jose|iii B. Richardson, Wu». INI. S. Hiley, .\ndre\v 1. 
Bitter. Wui. iva.plcy, Jolm K. Ivohinsoii, James ^V. 
Sullivan, Jolm Smith, Thomas T. Stansbury, Win. 11. 
Sililey, John W. Turner. Joseph Wharry, Daniel 
Williams, Wm. Wilson, and Fiaiest Tressel." 

The (bllowing were subseipiently mustered into the 
company, \i/. : 

Pri\'a.tes : John (^reaTuer, Armistead Henderson, 
Alexander Ivamsay. Henry ilel't.aiid ("has. lleidelhach. 

Under tiie Act ol' (\)ngress before referred to, the 
field and company ollicers of the volunteers accepted 
under the call were tt> be appointed and coHimissit)netl 
ncconling to the laws of the State from whence they 


came; and I, with my two lieutenants, were commis- 
sioned by his Excellency, Thomas G. Pratt, Governor 
of the State of Maryland. 

The organization to which I was attached was des- 
ignated " The Battalion of Baltimoee and Wash- 
ington VoLUNTEEKS," and which became subsequently 
widely and well known as " The Old Baltimore Bat- 
talion." It was composed of six companies of in- 
fantry ; four of them having been recruited in Balti- 
more, and two of them in the city of Washington, 
District of Columbia. They were officered as follows : 

Company A, from Baltimore : Captain, James E. 
Steu'art; Lieutenants, Benjamin Ferguson Owens and 
Samuel Wilt ; add'l. Second Lieutenant, David P. 

Company B, from Baltimore: Captain, James Piper; 
Lieutenants, Lawrence, Dolan, and Marcellus K. Tay- 
lor; add'l. Second Lieutenant, Isaac H. Marrow. 

Company C, from Washington : Captain, Robert Bro- 
naugh; Lieutenants, Phineas B. Bell, William O'Brien, 
Thomas M. Gleason. 

Company D, from Washington : Captain, John Waters; 
Lieutenants, Wm. I. Parham, Eugene Boyle, Edward 

Company E, from Baltimore : Captain, John R. Kenly ; 
Lieutenants, Francis B. Schaeffer and Oden Bowie ; 
add'l. Second Lieutenant, WilUam E. Aisquith. 

Company F,* from Baltimore: Captain, James Boyd; 
Lieutenants, Joseph H. Ruddach and Robert E. Has- 
lett ; add'l. Second Lieutenant, James Taneyhill. 

* Chesapeake Rifles. 


The whole under the command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel William H. Watson, its only field officer. 

My commission bore date the 4th day of June, 1846 ; ' 
and on the 13th of the same month I was oh board 
the transport steamer Massachusetts, bound for the 
seat of war in Mexico, with as brave a set of men as 
ever wore the uniform of the United States army. 
The battalion was of the best material for the service 
and the country in which it was to be engaged, but 
lacked trained officers to set it up and make soldiers 
of its rank and file. This, time and the effect of 
war brought about, and I lived to see the battalion 
second to none in the volunteer arm of the service in 
appearance and efficiency. 

The thread of my memoirs is now taken up from 
notes, letters, and diary, mostly made and written as 
the events occurred. 

June 10, 1846. The battalion was ordered by the 
Secretary of War to leave the Marine Barracks, where 
it had been quartered, for Fort Washington, on the 
banks of the Potomac River, seven miles below the 
town of Alexandria. The cause of this unexpected 
order was an application from the mayor of the city 
of Washington, who had been incensed at the bad 
behavior of some of the men, and Avho, as it was 
alleged, had entered into a personal quarrel with 
them, in which, as may well be supposed, he was not 
much the gainer. 

June 13. Left the fort, and embarked on board the 
steamer Powhattan, and at 8 o'clock p.m. arrived 
alongside the steamer Massachusetts, lying in the 
river, which had been chartered by the Government 


to convey our battalion and a large amount of stores 
to Point Isabel, in the Gulf of Mexico. It had been 
raining hard all day, and suddenly five hundred men 
were throAvn upon a steamer of seven hundred tons' 
burden, whose hold and deck were filled and covered 
with forage and other military stores. A scene of 
indescribal^le confusion ensued, which the darkness 
seemed to swell and magnify; and no repose was had 
on that night of chaos, except that which was obtained 
through pure exhaustion. 

June 14. We were in such a condition to-day that, 
although it was Sunday, we were forced to drop 
down the river about two miles below Alexandria, in 
order to make an effort to clear the decks of the ship, 
and keep the men on board from the allurements of 
their friends, male and female, who had followed 
them from Wasliington and Baltimore. Berths had 
been prepared for two hundred men ; these were in 
the main hold, over the bulk of the Government 
freight; no accommodations whatever were provided 
for the balance of the troops. Carpenters were now 
put to work, and a series of bunks were constructed 
on the main deck, running from the quarter deck, on 
either side of the ship, forward to the forecastle, which 
were constructed so as to contain the largest number 
of soldiers, and yet permit the seamen to work ship. 
These bunks were a frightful source of disorder, and 
were the cause of much trouble on the voyage, be- 
t^^'een the soldiers and the sailors. We had a very 
riotous night; but, all the officers being put upon 
guard duty, we managed to hold our own, although 
it was rough work. 


June lo. Every preparation being made to weigh 
anchor ; all hurry, bustle and confusion. An eiFort was 
made to clear the ship by mustering all that were to 
satl on the upper deck — my men behaving (as I after- 
wards learned soldiers become) more like children 
than grown men ; one Avanted a pen, another a sheet 
of paper, one wanted me to read a letter just received, 
another wanted me to write one for him, another 
wanted me to send his money home, another wanted 
me to keep it for him, one wanted a wafer, another 
ink, one complained that his uniform was too large, 
another that Ms was too small, one said that he was 
sick and wanted me to give him medicine, another 
that he couldn't find the surgeon — not to be wondered 
at, for in the mob that was at that time on board that 
ship one's own identity was almost lost. 

June 16. Our ship got under weigh at 8 o'clock 
this morning, and immediately a change lor the better 
came over every man on boai'd the Massachusetts. 
Hurra ! we are fairly started for the seat of war ! such 
was the joyous greeting which fell from the bright 
faces and smiling lips of all those who now crowded 
the decks of the transport. At 9 a.m., abreast of 
Mount Vernon. Hats off, boys ! Silence, fore and aft! 
and thus we floated past the grave of Washington. 

At 6 P.M. we were off Piney Point, and fired a 
salute as we entered the Chesapeake. Our officers 
still keeping guard, we had a more quiet night. 

June 17. At 9 A.M., off the capes, the pilot left us, 
carrying a large bag of letters. A delightful morning, 
but a long swell rolling in is making the landsmen 
among our soldiers (there were many seamen among 


them ; in my own company there were five men who 
had been several years in the United States naval 
service before volunteering with me) feel the jaremo- 
nitions of sea-sickness. To-day our decks w«e 
scoured, well washed, and some degree of military 
discipline attempted. 

June 18. At 10 o'clock last night we were off 
Cape Hatteras — that dread of all mariners ; we gave 
it a wide berth, though we could distinctly see its 
lighthouse. At 4 a.m. the moon rose, and the sea 
looked like a mass of molten gold ; nothing disturbed 
its repose in my morning watch but the play of dol- 
phins and the dance of Mother Carey's chickens, the 
petrel of the wide Atlantic. A fine run to-day, using 
both wind and steam to urge us forward. 

June 19. Delightful breezes, and making rapid 
progress. At 9 a.m. saw a large vessel, which made 
signals to close ; bore away for her, and all was ex- 
citement, an opinion being prevalent that -she was a 
letter of marque, with a Mexican commission. No 
one could doubt the earnest wish of our men that she 
might prove to be an enemy, but, on speaking, she 
turned out to be an American ship. At 3 P.M; a 
beautiful pilot boat, No. 2, came gracefully alongside, 
and asked if we wished a pilot for Charleston ; large 
shoals of porpoises around us this afternoon. At 6 
P.M., wind increasing, all sail was set and steam dis- 
pensed with ; during the night the wind increased to 
a hurricane, and the rain descended in torrents; 
passed several vessels flying before the wind ; during 
the blow, I was called upon to quell a serious fight 
among my own men. Knives were used, blood spilt. 


and we arrested the offenders. Rum was the cause 
of all the trouble. 

June 20. Calm this morning, and the decks covered 
with sea-sick soldiers, that last night's pitching had 
placed hors du comhat ; dolphins playing around the 
ship, as if to charm vis with their freedom and grace. 
At 4 P.M. the wind suddenly commenced blowing 
violently, causing the ship again to pitch frightfully. 
During the night, despite the rolling of the ship, a 
pretty general free fight occurred in the hold among 
the men, which was difficult to quell ; but the officers 
uniting and mutually assisting each other, were, 
backed by their authority, too strong for the rioters. 
We now saw the impolicy of having had the men 
paid their advance-money (some twenty dollars to 
each volunteer) before we sailed from Alexandria. 
There was a large quantity of liquor somewhere on 
board, and the subaltern officers of the steamer, 
either directly, or indirectly through the sailors, sold 
quantities to our men, which made them mutinous 
and disorderly ; it would not have been the case 
had there been no money to buy whisky with. 

June2\ — Sunday. Progressing finely. At 12 o'clock, 
noon, latitude 30° 9' north, and laying our course 
for Abaco, one of the Bahama Islands ; ship rolling, 
and decks literally jammed full of sea-sick soldiers; 
saw that misery did not like company. 

June 22. A heavy squall this morning, which 
laid the ship over and wet everything ; got sick to-day, 
but ascribed it to sympathy for others; the wind 
being adverse, had to resort to our propeller, which 
screwed us along nobly. At 6.30 p.m. a topsail 


schooner came bearing down upon us, and the fever- 
ish excitement incident to the beginning or first 
stages of a war, which had made our newspapers 
filled with rumors of pnunteers swarming in the Gulf 
of Mexico, was now very apparent among our raw 
soldiers. Of course she was a privateer, but this was 
a very cowardly one; for as soon as those who had 
charge of her made out the number of men about our 
decks, a change was made in her course as swiftly 
as possible; she went about, and ran with all the 
speed that was in her. We pursued with steam, 
and overhauled her, when, with a backed topsail, she 
threw out the Cross of St. George, and the meteor flag 
of Old England was floating over the schooner 
Evander, from Nassau for New York. She was a 
beautiful craft, and I never saw anything on the sea 
more attractive than the picture presented as she 
rolled gracefully on the long swell of the ocean — the 
setting sun mellowing everything, and sea and sky 
in harmony with their glowing, yet dissolving and 
varied, colors, chasing each other into the shadows of 
night. She was loaded with fruit, and the captain 
of the steamer permitted his mate to visit her to 
make purchases. Nearly every man had a commis- 
sion for him to execute, and the mate returned with 
his boat filled with pineapples and bananas, for 
which he had to give, as he said, a sea-i^rice : four 
dollars a bunch for bananas, twenty-five cents apiece 
for pineapples. I gave a lot of the bananas to such 
of the men as had no money, and to those who were 

June 23. Our captain this morning said that we 


had lost sixty miles easting, and that we would reach 
Abaco to-night; cahn all day, and delightful weather; 
the sick getting well, and all in good spirits. 

June 24. At 4 a.m., off the revolving light on 
Abaco. "We had passed the " Hole in the Wall," a rock 
at one of the points of the island, before it was day 
enough to make out, but I saw where it ought to be. 
The sea was as smooth and polished as a mirror this 
morning, and the island lay in all the beauty of the 
tropics, its undulating shores, wooded to the beach, 
reflected and reproduced upon its bosom, while heavy 
clouds, piled like mountains in the background, were 
being gilded, burnished, and made gorgeous, with the 
rays of the rising sun. At 6 a.m. we were in sight 
of Berry Island, another of the Bahama group ; beau- 
tiful water-fowl were floating about us on the smooth 
surface of the sea and shoals, or rather flocks of flying- 
fish were leaping and sporting in the two elements of 
air and water. At 9 A.M. we were east of the Berry 
Islands, and a negro man came off in a boat to us, 
bringing fresh fish, milk, eggs, sponge, and shells for 
sale, which were soon all disposed of. The fish were 
curious to us in shape and color, and made excellent 
pan-fish, as we all agreed, in tliis matter at least, at 
dinner time. 

So far all had gone well, but a fearful danger was 
in close proximity. At 2 o'clock p.m. we were going 
along with a nine-knot breeze, when two large rocks 
hove in sight, which proved to be a couple of A'e^/s, 
known by the name of " Little Isaacs, " the breakers 
tossing madly over them. The men commenced 
looking over the sides of the ship in excited nervous 


manner, talking loudly, and it was soon generally 
known that we were running with our keel pretty 
close to the bottom of the sea; large rocks were 
plainly discernible beneath the water, and an uneasy 
feeling spread through the ship. Still we flew along, 
little dreaming that our captain was utterly lost, as 
he subsequently admitted that he was, when, being 
just abreast of the Little Isaacs, our ship struck. 
Again she struck, still harder, bringing every man to 
his knees who had been standing upon his feet, and 
producing a panic terror such as I hope never again to 
see. Again she struck, and this time remained hard 
and fast upon the rocks beneath us, except, being 
lifted by the swell of the ocean, she would settle 
again, with a thump which strained every timber in 
her, and every human being on board, to their utmost 
tension. The captain screamed and shouted, the men 
cried, prayed, and ran wildly about the decks ; some 
jumped into the quarter-boats which hung upon the 
davits, others stripped themselves of clothing, no one 
doubted but that she would go to pieces. The cap- 
tain threw himself upon his knees in the most abject 
terror. I both saw and heard him crying that all 
was lost. 

No one assumed command, no one issued an order; 
every instant we expected the masts to go over the 
sides, and our bottom to be crushed in; when, no 
one can tell how it was done, but the men, that is, our 
soldiers who had been raen-of-warsmen, lowered a 
sail on the mizen mast, called a spanker, which being 
immediately filled by the wind, the ship rolled off— I 
can describe the sensation I felt in no other way — the 


rocks upon which we had been imbedded, and glided 
into deeper water. We were still in great danger from 
these hidden perils, and all confidence Avas lost in the 
navigation of the ship. The wind increased in vio- 
lence, yet we had to carry every rag of canvas in 
order to weather the "Great Isaacs," another group of 
keys some thirteen miles from where we had struck ; 
it commenced raining very hard, and by 6 p.m. it was 
perfectly dark, the ship rushing like a race-horse 
through the water, with her bulwarks careened to its 
surface, under the force of the gale which was blow- 
ing. It Avas an awful night, and I realized for the 
first time the indescribable sensation and effect caused 
by darkness and the vicinity of danger, when men 
are massed together. About midnight the captain, 
who had somewhat recovered his lost manhood, said 
that he thought Ave Avere now safe and clear of the 
keys. Under the mercy of the Almighty, we owed 
our safety to those who had built the Massachusetts ; 
it was her strong timbers and sound hull that had 
saved us from a frightful end. We all felt, and all 
said, that we owed our lives to the steamer Massa- 
chusetts, and our imminent peril to those who navi- 
gated her. 

June 25. At 4 a.m. I went on deck, the ship still 
reeling on the heavy sea, though the wind had abated 
its violence. The sun rose like a globe of fire, casting 
an angry glance on the turbulent Avaves, and a large 
ship down to the leeward added to the grandeur of 
the scene. It soon began to rain, and the wind rose 
again : we progressed rapidly, and about 12 o'clock, 
noon, we saw land on our lee-bow ; it was the "Carys- 


ford Reef," upon which a light-boat was riding at 
anchor; at 4 p.m. we were sailing slowly along the 
shores of Florida, still anxious about weathering these 
well-known and dangerous reefs, the current drifting 
us nearer and nearer to the shore as the wind died 

June 26. On coming to the deck this morning I 
found it raining, and the vessel moving quite rapidly 
under steam-power, which had been resorted to during 
the night by reason of the calm and our proximity to 
the shore; at noon we were off Key West, whose 
houses and shipping were visible as we lay off and on 
waiting for a pilot. The sea was now as smooth as 
glass, and the heat of the sun oppressive ; Key West 
and its island home, floating upon the bosom of the 
Gulf as Venice amid its lagoons ; and three or four 
lai-ge cotton-ships were in our vicinitj', lazily yielding 
to the gentle motion of the tide. 

While we were at dinner one of the soldiers caught 
a dolphin, and I, gazed with pain at its unrivaled 
colors. It was four feet in length, and looked as if it 
had been gilded, then spotted with blue globes of glass; 
as it flapped out its existence on the deck of our dirty 
transport, the gold and blue would fade, and then re- 
appear with almost their original lustre and beauty, 
until the discoloration of death closed my first (as it 
will certainly he my last) view of the dying dolphin. 
It was a painful sight to me. 

The pilot who came on board told us that the port 
of Tampico had been blockaded by our fleet, and we 
sent by him a package of letters for home. 

At 4 P.M. we were once more out of sight of land, — 


the sea still smooth, no wind, — and making good pro- 
gress, under steam, across the Gulf of Mexico. 

June 28 — Sunday. We have been making good 
headway for the past twenty-four hours, the sea still 
smooth ; and we have thus been able to use our pro- 
peller, which, it seems, as we have been suspecting, 
don't work when the sea is rough. The heat is very 
great, the thermometer (Fahrenheit) ranging from 
ninety to ninety-one degrees in the coolest place on the 
ship, while it stands several degrees higher in the 
cabin : we, the officers, all sleep on deck without any 
covering. We have had a good deal of trouble about 
the allowance of water to the men ; the whole arrange- 
ment was very bad, and constant quarrels, with hard 
fighting, have been going on for the past forty-eight 
hours. We are all now just as anxious to get out of 
the ship as we were to get on board. 

June 29 — six o'clock p.m. Since yesterday there 
has not been much change in the atmosphere, ocean, 
or anything else, except perhaps a greater desire to 
get on shore. It is exceedingly hot, and the crowded 
state of our decks (there are upwards of six hundred 
men on board this ship of seven hundred tons), with 
a tropical sun blazing upon us, and the heat engendered 
by the fiery furnaces in the ship, with the fear that 
our water will give out, — the men already fighting for 
their turns to obtain their rations, — and the sick list 
swelling at a fearful rate, make us anxious and appre- 
hensive ; for if our steam-power were to fail us the 
thing would be up, as there is no doubt but that our 
water is being rapidly exhausted. Our ship has been 
twice on fire from the cooking arrangements of the 


men on dech, there having been no places provided for 
fires to cook with prior to leaving on our voyage, and 
those improvised being very insecure and a constant ' 
source of apprehension, and justly as it turned out to 
my mind. 

I believe that I have heretofore said our men were 
paid an advance of some twenty dollars each before 
leaving Alexandria. I estimate that about one-half 
of the sum paid them, say five thousand dollars, was 
brought on board the Massachusetts. From the first 
hour they came on board until the present time, by 
day and by night, except when we were in such peril 
on the reefs, gambling has been going on under every 
shape and device that skill can suggest; and it has been 
a curious subject of study and interest with me to 
watch how rapidly the gold and silver was passing 
from the many to the few. In less than a week nearly 
all the money was in the hands of about fifty men ; 
now I am sure that the bulk of the five thousand 
dollars is in the pockets, or belonging to, not more 
than twenty of our battalion, if so many. So that 
in two weeks the money belonging to say three hun- 
dred and fifty men (some one hundred of our men did 
not gamble), confined upon one ship, had been Avon 
or got from them by not more than a dozen of their 
comrades, and from my observation I am sure that, 
had the voyage lasted another week, all the money of 
those who gambled would have been possessed by two 
or three. Surely there is an affinity more or less 
strong between certain men and money. 

It may be asked, why was this gambling suffered, 
as it was the fruitful cause of the almost continuous 


fighting in the hold of the ship? The answer is plain : 
what else were they to do in the crowded pen they 
were shut up in? Positively there was barely space 
or room to lie down anywhere, and those who kept 
awake playing cards gave room to the others, and 
opportunity to get a little sleep. Taking into considera- 
tion all the discomforts which the men suffered, and the 
unwarrantable scantiness of the supplies, they behaved 
well, and generally speaking were respectful to their 
officers. If they had been forbidden to play, the order 
could not have been enforced in the hive which 
swarmed on board our ship. 

June 30. Hot, hotter, hottest ! Not a breath of 
wind, but steaming ahead rapidly ; all day long we 
have been panting under the burning rays of the sun, 
but indulging in hopes that land would soon be in 
sight, so that at least we might not famish for want of 
water. We are told that we will make the mouth of 
the Rio Grande some time to-morrow, should no acci- 
dent happen to our machinery or ship. The little 
remaining water in our tanks smells worse than it is 
possible to imagine any fluid could smell, yet we wish 
there was more of it. My goodness ! it seems so 
strange to me now that any one should ever waste 




July 1. After seventeen days' confinement, there 
is now a prospect of a happy release from this ship. 
The island of Brazos is now in sight. At 3 p.m. we 
anchored outside of the breakers, which were wildly 
dashing on the sandy beach. A Government steamer 
came out an hour after our arrival, and took three com- 
panies of our troops on shore. This was my last night 
on board the steamer, and a magnificent one it was in 
the heavens above and the earth and the sea around 
and about us, and I was about being gratified in the 
earnest longing of my heart — to be a soldier. 

July 2. At this 6 A.M. a steamer came alongside, 
under the management of Major Lyons, of the Loui- 
siana Brigade, and my company was transported to the 
island, upon which I landed, and, forming on the beach 
under a burning sun, which peeled me as soon, and as if 
done with, scalding water, marched under orders a short 
distance up the beach, and halted on some sand-hills, 
where, having as yet no shelter, we passed the night 
upon the sand, supperless, bedless, with a foretaste of 
what was in store for us. 

I had worked very hard this day, though but par- 
tially successful, trying to get my stores, tents, and 
company property ashore, and the heat of the sun had 
nearly prostrated me ; but I was full of life and of 
health, and my whole heart was in the business I had 


undertaken. Fortunately we had found water, al- 
though brackish, by digging into the sand and sinking 
wells not far from the edge of the Gulf, and the men 
generally were as full of life and spirits as I was; so 
my first day in the field was one of good hope, despite 
the grumbling and discontent of some. 

Ju/y 3. I had time to look round me this morning, 
and found the island a small sand spit, lying a few 
miles north of the mouth of the Rio Grande, and at 
the outlet of the Laguna — or bay as we would call it 
— del Madre, and distant a mile or so from the main- 
land. Immediately north is another but larger island, 
named Padre Island, between which and the main- 
land the waters of this Laguna or Bay del Madre 
make in from the Gulf of Mexico, and pass out by 
the Brazos Santiago, lying as before said at its mouth. 
Point Isabel is in sight, distant three miles up the 
lagoon. Upon this point is the Government depot of 
supplies for the army of General Taylor. Upon the 
island not a blade of grass or vegetation is growing — 
nothing but sand, and seaward the wrecks of five 
vessels add to the general misery of the landscape. 
Small as is the area, several thousand volunteers from 
Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Loui- 
siana are lying with us, waiting for orders. Though 
the sun was gathering strength hourly, from the 
heated rays reflected from the burning sands there was 
no shelter whatever for my men, and most of them 
threw themselves into the breakers, which tumbled 
with unceasing roar upon the beach, for the grateful 
luxury of a bath. Here I had the misfortune to lose 
one of my men, drowned in the breakers despite the 


desperate efforts made by his comrades to save him. 
His name was Richard H. Belt, from Carroll County, 
Maryland; and his body neatly sewed up in a blanket 
we buried, after the burial service of the Episcopal 
Church had been read by me, in a grave scooped out 
of the sand-hill on the edge of the Gulf. Three volleys 
fired by a platoon of soldiers closed the funeral cere- 
monies, and next morning not a sign could we perceive 
of the grave or of the hill in which it had been dug, 
— all blown away by the wind, which shifts these hills 
as it does the snow-drifts of northern climes. 

July 4. This day one year ago I was playing 
soldier at Westminster, Maryland, with the Eagle 
Artillery Company of Baltimore ; now, to say the least 
of it, things are very different ; busy, very busy, issu- 
ing arms and accoutrements, ammunition, mess-pans, 
and the other etcetera known to captains of companies. 
The heat of the sun almost unsupportable, but not as 
much shelter from its rays as a blade of grass would 
afford, — no tents yet. We buried one of Captain 
Piper's men to-day in the sand. 

July 5. Slept on an arms-chest last night, and arose 
this morning feeling very unwell ; but I kept at work 
during the day, and shoved oflf a spell of sickness. 
After nightfall we buried in the sand one of Captain 
Steuart's men ; this time the grave was hollowed at 
the top of the hill, around whose sides clustered the 
members of his company. A fire had been built in 
the vicinity, to give light. The sea was tumbling in on 
the beach with deafening roar, whilst the moon would 
now and then burst from behind a bank of clouds, 
lighting up, with the rays from the fire, the men who 


with uncovered heads were trying to catch the words 
of the burial service, which it was impossible to hear 
for the noise of the surf. It was a solemn and im- 
pressive scene, producing a marked effect upon the 
rough men gathered around the grave of a comrade, 
thus cut off away from home and kindred, and thus 
buried where to-morrow no one might find his final 

July 6. I paid a visit, by boat, to Point Isabel, on 
the other side of the lagoon. I found the troops here in 
excellent order, very different from our state on the 
Brazos. Things looked tidy and military. Visited the 
hospital, and was much affected by the appearance of 
the wounded Mexicans, they looked so sad and piti- 
able, and will not soon forget the look of gratitude 
which one gave me when I brushed off from his 
wounded stump, to which the sheet was fastened with 
clotted gore, the flies which had settled upon it. I 
also whilst here got copies of the following 


Shortly after arriving opposite Matamoras, the fol- 
lowing proclamation was circulated through the Ameri- 
can camp. 

" The Commander-in-Chief of the Mexican Army to the English 
and Irish under the American General Taylor. 
" Know Ye : That the Government of the United States iS 00m- 
mitting repeated acts of barbarous aggression against the magnan- 
imous Mexican nation ; that the Government which exists 'under 
the flag of the stars' is unworthy the designation of Christian. 
Recollect that you were born in Great Britain, that the American 
Government looks with coldness upon the powerful flag of Eng- 
land, and is provoking to a rupture the warlike people to whom 


it belongs, President Polk boldly manifesting a desire to take 
possession of Oregon as he bas already done of Texas. Now 
then come with all confidence to the Mexican ranks, and I guar- 
antee to you, upon my honor, good treatment, and that all your 
expenses shall be defrayed until your arrival in the beautiful capi- 
tal of Mexico. 

" Germans, French, Poles, and individuals of other nations ! 
separate yourselves from the Yankees, and do not contribute to 
defend a robbery and usurpation which, be assured, the civilized 
nations of Europe look upon with the utmost indignation. 
Come, therefore, and array yourselves under the tri-colored 
flag,* in the confidence that the God of Armies protects it, and 
that it will protect you, equally with the English. 

" Pedro dk Amfudia. 

"FRA.NCISCO K. MoRKXo, Adjutant of the Commander-in-Chief. 
" Head-Quarters upon the road to Matamoras, April 2, 1846." 

On the twenty-first of the same month, April, the 
following proclamation was also circulated among the 
American soldiers, intended, like the former, to make 
them betray their country. 

" Head-quarters at Matamoras, 
" April 20, 1846. 
"Soldiers! You have enlisted in a time of peace to serve in 
that army for a specific time ; but your obligations never implied 
that you were bound to violate the laws of God, and the most 
sacred right of friends. The United States Government, contrary 
to the wishes of a majority of all honest and honorable Ameri- 
cans, has ordered you to %&ke forcible possession of the territory 
of a. friendly neighbor, who has never given her consent to such 
occupation. In other words, while the treaty of peace and com- 
merce between Mexico and the United States is in full force, the 
United States, presuming on her strength and prosperity, and on 
our supposed imbecility and cowardice, attempts to make you 
the blind instruments of her unholy and mad ambition, and/orce 
you to appear as the hateful robbers of our dear homes, and the 

The Mexican flag was red, white, and greeu. 


unprovoked violators of our clearest feelings as men and patriots. 
Such villany and outrage I know is perfectly repugnant to the 
noble sentiments of any gentleman, and it is base and foul to 
rush you on to certain death, in order to aggrandise a few law- 
less individuals in defiance of the laws of God and man. 

" It is to no purpose if they tell you that the law for the an- 
nexation of Texas justifies your occupation of the Rio Bravo del 
Norte, for by this act they rob us of a great part of Tamaulipas, 
Coahuila, Chihuaha, and New Mexico; and it is barbarous to 
send a handful of men on such an errand against a powerful and 
warlike nation. Besides, most of you are Europeans, and we 
are the declared friends of most of the nations oi Europe. The 
North Americans are ambitious, overbearing, and insolent as a 
nation, and they will only make use of you as vile tools to carry 
out their abominable plans of pillage and rapine. 

" I warn you in the name of justice, honor, and your own in- 
terests and self-respect, to abandon their desperate and unholy 
cause, and become peaceful Mexican citizens. I guarantee you 
in such a case a half-section of land, or three hundred and twenty 
acres, to settle upon gratis. Be wise then, and just, and honor- 
able, and take no part in murdering us who have no unkind feel- 
ings for you. Lands shall be given to officers, sergeants, and 
corporals, according to rank, privates receiving three hundred 
and twenty acres as stated. 

" If in time of action you wish to espouse our cause, throw 
away your arms and run to us, and we will embrace you as true 
friends and Christians. It is not decent or prudent to say 
more. But should any of you render important service to 
Mexico, you shall be accordingly considered and preferred. 

" (Signed) " M. Akista, 

" Commander-in-Chief of the Mexican Army." 

July 9. Took up our line of march for the invasion 
of Mexico, and reached the Rio Grande, or Rio Bravo 
del Norte, distant eight miles from where we had 
landed on the Brazos. We crossed the Boca Chica, an 
arm of the sea, about 500 yards wide, which separates 


the island of Brazos Santiago from the mainland, and 
which makes in from the Gulf of Mexico to the Laguna 
del Madre, and through which also the waters of the 
latter communicate with the Gulf 

Our road lay for two miles through a desert of sand, 
the sun blazing down upon us with an intensity of 
heat never before experienced ; we then struck the 
beach, upon which, the sand being harder, the men 
marched with more ease ; we forded the Boca Chica, 
the water averaging about three feet in depth. The 
sea was very grateful to our parched skin, but it was 
very difficult to advance through, and the line of troops 
became straggling and disordered. Another hour's 
marching brought us to the river, within fifty yards 
of which we bivouacked, in rear of a Tennessee regi- 
ment. This was our first march, and no one who 
made it will ever forget it. I felt as if I were on fire, 
my nose being one blister, and my hands apparently 
scorched, and feeling just that way. 

July 10. Face much swollen this morning; so much 
so that my eyes are nearly closed, and face feels as if 
it were burning; a good deal alarmed, until our sur- 
geon told me it was only an effect of the fatigue and 
exposure of yesterday. The mosquitoes troubled us 
all a good deal last night, and the men, generally, out 
of sorts to-day. 

July 12 — Sunday. Still at the mouth of the Rio 
Grande, or Boca del Rio, as the Mexicans call it, which 
means mouth of the river; and a very picturesque place 
it is. But this cannot account for the halt in our ad- 
vance. Last night I went wolf-hunting, but saw none, 
though we heard plenty. Shot a couple of plover by 


moonlight, and ate them this morning for breakfast. 
There appears to be a great deal of game in this coun- 
try, and various kinds of fish are found in the lagoons, 
some large enough to be bayoneted by the men, and 
some are knocked in the head with clubs* — all good 
eating; at any rate the soldiers prefer them to salt 
beef and pork. 

July 16. Still at the mouth of the Kio Grande; 
and we are well enough satisfied, but can't account 
for the unexpected delay to our advance. There is 
one serious trouble here, and that is the mosquitoes. 
We really get but little sleep, and our camp at night 
is filled with men wandering about for shelter from 
these intolerable pests, and filling the air with impre- 
cations upon their ruthless assailants. No kind of 
clothing is proof or protection against their bites; 
they pierce through, with their stings, pantaloons, 
drawers, stockings, and (some deliberately assert) 
boots. All night long, without the slightest intermis- 
sion, they continue their attacks, and the assertion of 
many that they are nearly driven crazy is not much 

This morning three companies of the Tennessee 
volunteers, encamped with us, left for up the river, and 
we are in hopes that our turn will soon come. Already 
this place shows the advance of the Anglo-Saxon 
race : steamboats and schooners arriving and departing 
daily, discharging provisions, stores, and troops for the 
"army of occupation," as some have been pleased to 
call Taylor's troops. To-day a company of strolling 

* This is a camp fish story. 


players, bound for Matamoras, and hailing from New 
Orleans, stopped at the landing. I must confess to 
looking upon them with much interest, and — must I 
say it ? — with pity. The ladies of the troupe grati- 
fied the men of our troop by casting bottles of wine 
from the steamer's deck into their midst, whilst to add 
to the liilarity of tJie occasion, they graciously sang for 
them a few of their favorite airs. Ah, me ! poor 
women ! Though full of apparent gayety, my heart 
bled for them. 

July 18. I crossed the river this morning in a ship's 
quarter-boat, and stepped upon undisputed Mexican 
soil. There was quite a little town here once, called 
Bagdad (I wonder if the Tigris were ever such a river 
as this angry, muddy, crooked Rio Grande!) but some 
seventeen years ago a hurricane destroyed it, with two 
thousand of its inhabitants. It is still called after its 
name, but instead of houses there are but wretched 
cabins, in which dwell fifty or sixty natives, called in 
the language of the country rancheros, whose busi- 
ness, from all I could learn, was herding or having in 
charge herds of cattle, which grazed in the neighbor- 
hood. When we got back we learned that a corporal 
of a company of regulars stationed at the landing 
had been murdered during our absence, by a prisoner 
of his own company whom he had under guard ; his 
burial took place this evening — this is the fourth since 
we landed. 

July 19. This morning it commenced raining, ac- 
companied with a violent wind, and in a short time 
our low land was completely flooded ; directly in front 
and rear of my company the water collected in pools of 


from one to two feet deep, whilst everything in my tent 
was rendered damp and disagreeable by the incessant 
rain. The wind howled around us, and the surf 
thundered on the shore; la,rge flocks of sea-birds flew 
overhead, and the ponds of water within a few yards 
of our camp were covered with plover, snipe, and cur- 
lews. In the course of the day we had to change the 
location of some of the tents, as they were flooded 
with water. 

July 20.- Still raining ; but before noon the sun 
came out, and we dried our clothing and blankets. A 
regiment of Alabama volunteers arrived to-day, and 
encamped upon our left ; they are a fine-looking set 
of men. 

July 22. A regiment of Louisiana volunteers ar- 
rived to-day, from Matamoras, en route for home ; it 
is a portion of the volunteers called forth by General 
Taylor, whose term of three months' service is about 
expiring; the officers were very indignant that the 
General would not accept their offer to continue in the 
service and re-volunteer for twelve months. 

July 23. Left the mouth of the river, and, ascend- 
ing the left bank, after a distressing march of fourteen 
or fifteen miles over a country flooded by the recent 
rains and a rise of the Kio Grande, reached our camp- 
ing ground opposite to the Mexican town of Burita. 

July 24. Our camp was pitched upon a ridge well 
covered with chaparral and well filled with rattle- 
snakes ; we cleared out both, and our men, having got 
up their tents and killed, some wild cattle, were soon 
comfortable with fresh beef and rest. 

July 25. The delay in obtaining transportation 


for army purposes has compelled General Taylor to 
postpone his advance ; and, to preserve the health of 
his troops, whose numbers are daily increasing from the 
continuous arrival of twelve months' men, he has or- 
dered their encampment upon the highlands skirting 
the river between this and Matamoras. It is a wilder- 
ness upon which the foot of man has rarely trod ; 
wild cattle and horses are running over the prairie 
lands which skirt this ridge on either side to the 
river, and the lagoons which chequer the flats are 
filled with red- winged flamingo, — the ibis of the Egyp- 
tians, — wild geese, duck, and other aquatic fowl ; on 
the long branches of the willow-like trees were birds 
swarming, and warbling their peaceful melodies, and 
the open grounds were flowered with all variety of 
cacti and the Spanish bayonet-plant. The back- 
ground of the open vista wore the ever-varying colors 
of the dense chaparral, while the broad and swollen 
torrent of the Rio Grande flowed between us and the 
town of Burita, around whose adobe houses the white 
tents of our volunteers were pitched, adding interest 
by their contrast to the novel country in which we 
were now sojourning. 

July 26 — Sunday. Having received an invitation 
from Captain Arnold, Second United States Dragoons, 
I crossed the river to Burita, and dined with him. 
Here I met my old friend Randolph Ridgely, of Balti- 
more, now a lieutenant in the late Captain Ringgold's 
Battery of Light Artillery, and who had particularly 
distinguished himself in the battles of the 8th and 9th 
of May— Palo Alto, and Resaca de la Palma. After 
dinner we had a horse-race between Colonel Bailie 


Peyton, of the Louisiana Volunteers, and Randolph 
Eidgely, in which Peyton's horse won : which he 
would not have done, as Ridgely laughingly said, if 
the race-course had been the road towards the 

July 28. Our camp was the scene of a fearful riot 
to-day. and one which came near being a bloody 
battle between our battalion and the First Ohio regi- 
ment of volunteers. The difSculty commenced on 
the banks of the river, about a catfish which had 
just been caught, and was claimed by men of both 
regiments. A fight ensued, when Colonel Mitchell, 
the commanding officer of the Ohio regiment, inter- 
fered, and, drawing his sword, cut one of our men in 
several places. His sword was soon taken from him, 
broken in pieces, and he came to camp. I saw him 
approaching, heard him order his men to parade with 
ball-cartridges, and they were soon hurrying in large 
numbers, without any semblance of formation, to the 
river bank, loading their muskets as they ran. At 
the same time the cry was raised, " Turn out, Balti- 
moreans !" in our camp ; the men seized their guns, 
loaded them, and singly and in squads hastened 
down to the river after the Ohio men, to help our men 
there who were armed. Some of our officers, seized 
with the same frenzy as the men, behaved in the 
most outrageous manner, issuing cartridges in person, 
and inciting their companies to hurry into the ap- 
proaching battle. Colonel Watson was absent, and 
somehow or other I took the whole responsibility on 
myself; keeping my own company in their company 
street, with the assurance that if the fight commenced 


they should go to help their comrades. I ran among 
the most violent, and between those who were about 
to fire into each other, and, by commands and entrear 
ties, kept them from firing. I knew that one shot 
would be the signal of a bloody struggle, and for- 
tunately at this moment Lieutenant-Colonel John B. 
Weller, of the Ohio regiment, came upon the ground. 
I shall never forget how his behavior relieved me ; I 
saw him coming, and feared that he was as crazy as 
the others; and if he had been, there's no telling 
where would have been the end of that day's work. 
His first order was for the men to go back to camp, 
and that the officers of the two regiments would 
settle the difficulty; this brought our ranking officer, 
Captain James E. Steuart, and Colonel Mitchell, to 
the front, and they were personally friendly. Soon 
other officers joined the group, and, forming a line 
between the two bodies of men (who by this time 
had arranged themselves in order of battle), we got 
them away from their lines, and finally back to camp. 

On the same night Colonel Mitchell proceeded to 
Matamoras, to lay a complaint before General Taylor 
against the Baltimore Battalion ; thereupon Colonel 
Watson ordered Captain Steuart and me to go there 
also, to rebut any charges which Mitchell might make. 

Jidy 29. Crossed over to Burita, and bought a 
mustang pony for six dollars, to ride to Matamoras ; 
but, a steamer coming along, preferred that way of 
travelling as not being quite so dangerous, apart from 
all other reasons. Went on board the steamer Vir- 
ginia, and ascended the Rio Grande to Matamoras. 
I had seen and heard tell of the crookedness of this 


grand river, but there is no way of showing how 
tortuous is its course except by the illustration given 
by an Alabama volunteer; he said "he had seen a 
croM^ fly from the top of a tree, follow up the course 
of the river for fifteen minutes, then light; and it lit 
on the same tree it had started from."* 

For several miles above Burita both banks were 
lined with the white tents of the volunteers scattered 
along at intervals, where good camping-ground was to 
be found ; soon, however, these disappeared, and were 
succeeded by groves of plantain, willow-cotton, and 
other southern trees. We " pulled up " for the night 
at a rancho on the river bank, at about thirty miles 
by the river below the city. It was at this point the 
Mexicans, four thousand strong, had crossed the river 
to intercept and cut General Taylor's communications 
with Point Isabel. 

July 30. Arrived at the city of Matamoras, and, 
accompanied by Lieutenant Randolph Ridgeiy, who 
had kindly volunteered to introduce us, proceeded at 
once to General Taylor's quarters. We found the old 

* The windings of the Rio Grande are remarljable. There is 
one hacienda on its banks which a boat passes in front of seven 
times after coming in sight of, and before actually reaching it, 
— the river making seven close convolutions east and west in 
perhaps twelve miles of country ; and there is one of the turns 
where you pass a long low bank for five miles, and can look 
over and see the river again not one hundred feet from you on 
the other edge. Thus, after sailing in reality ten miles along 
the voyager has actually only advanced two hundred yards. 
The same writer says that tiie river at Oamargo presented the 
same appearance as it did a thousand miles above. — A Cam- 
paign in New Mexico, by Frank S. Edwards. 




general writing in a tent, around which was strewed 
large numbers of newspapers, and before which— I was 
struck with the fact— no guard was stationed. He 
came out to receive us, when Ridgely, after intro- 
ducing us, left the place. I opened the business, and 
gave our version of the difficulty with the Ohio 
volunteers. As I progressed, the general looked very 
black, and I argued very unfavorably for the success 
of our mission ; but when I told him that my company 
had been kept in camp, and had not participated in 
the riot (although, in point of fact, it was commenced 
by one of my own soldiers; of this, however, I was 
ignorant at the time), his countenance lightened up a 
little. When I had got through with my statement, 
the general said "it was an unfortunate occurrence, 
but inasmuch as the whole matter would be referred to 
a court of inquiry. Colonel Mitchell having preferred 
charges against some of our officers and men, he would 
wait until their finding was made known before he 
would take any further notice of it — and to hold 
ourselves in readiness to march to Camargo in eight 
or ten days."* 

The conclusion of his reply — " to hold ourselves in 
readiness to march" — so warmed my heart to the 
general, that he made me his friend at that instant; 
for it should be remarked that rumor had it we were 
to be disbanded. I was much taken also with his 
simplicity of manner, the total absence of all preten- 

* No court was ever ordered, as far as I know, and the whole 
matter was dropped officially ; but the embers of discontent re- 
mained smouldering, and at times manifesting theraselFes, be- 
tween the two regiments, as long as we were in the service. 


sion in dress and address, and the unmistakable regret 
which he showed that he felt, at this serious difficulty 
between the volunteers of his army. 

We returned to Ridgely's tent, where we dined, and 
then walked from camp into the city. Matamoras is 
an old Spanish town on the right bank of the Rio 
Grande, about forty miles from its mouth, and, though 
bearing marks of decay, is still the second town in 
importance in Northern Mexico. It covers about two 
miles square, but is not compactly built as are Ameri- 
can cities, every house, except in the main plaza or 
public square, having a large garden surrounding it. 
All the windows of the houses in the business part of 
the town are grated from top to bottom with iron 
bars, which gives them the appearance of prisons. 

The plaza, in the centre of the city, has on three 
of its sides very respectable blocks of houses, occu- 
pied by the merchants, and on its other side a cathe- 
dral, which, though unfinished, presents a venerable, 
church-like look. After leaving the plaza the houses 
decrease in size for some distance, until the small reed 
and thatched huts terminate in the suburbs. All of 
the more wealthy inhabitants had fled the city after 
the defeat of their army at Resaca, for it swarmed 
with the robbers and desperadoes cut loose from the 
military bands, and now organized for plunder. All 
military and civil law ended with the defeat of Arista, 
and the inhabitants of Matamoras suffered more 
horrors from these outlaws than they would have 
done from a long siege. 

The stores on the plaza were now occupied by 
American merchants, sutlers, tavern-keepers, billiard- 


rooms, etc., which were crowded with soldiers; and 
the indescribable bedlam which the picture presented 
will not soon be forgotten. Many of the houses show 
the effect of our cannonading from Fort Brown on the 
other side of the river, and I saw two thirty-two- 
pound balls lying in a yard, where, after passing en- 
tirely through several houses, they were now lying 
quietly side by side, as harmless as the dead. 

I went into the market, and here the scene was 
entirely native. A row of women were sitting on 
their haunches, with crocks of milk before them, from 
which they sold the milk by the cupful! to their pur- 
chasers ; others in the same position, selling little par- 
cels of eggs, — three in a pile, — red peppers, peaches, 
melons of several varieties, and many kinds of vege- 
tables unknown by name or sight. Game of various 
kinds was being carried about for sale and the prices 
cried out with melodious voices. Others were engaged 
cooking for the hungry, while the men were busy buy- 
ing and selling horses (all in the same market), cows, 
sombreros, corn, hay, bread, and meat, which latter 
looked as well butchered as any in our markets. The 
place was crowded with our volunteers, and groups 
of Mexicans, clustered together, were eyeing them 
with no friendly gaze, while the demeanor of their 
women was gentle, peaceful, and apparently confiding; 
there was no look or appearance of alann in any of 
the women. After leaving the market, I went into 
several stores still kept by their Mexican shopkeepers, 
and finally got into one which bothered me : persons 
seemed not only to be buying, but also selling, with 
scarcely a word uttered by buyer or seller. I inquired 


the price of an article, and after a good deal of diffi- 
culty of interchanging my good (as I thought) for 
their bad Spanish, I found out that I was in a paion- 
broJcers shop. We went into General Ampudia's 
house and got some refreshonents from its American 
occupant, then into the house of the late prefect of 
the city, to play billiards, and finally into the " Fonda 
del Commercio" to supper, on rabbits, eggs, kidneys, 
and coffee. After supper we went to the theatre, and 
recognized our quondam friends whom we had met at 
the mouth of the river. Such an audience ! The 
Texan Rangers were there, pistols and knives in their 
belts, many with swords at their' sides, others with 
long rifles, while drunken volunteers from nearly 
eveiy southern State of the Union were mingled witii 
regulars of the horse, foot, and artillery arms of the 
service, in a medley of wild, riotous dissipation and 
confusion. I do not believe that anybody ever did 
know what was being played that night in that thea- 
tre. On leaving the house, Steuart and I tried to find 
a lodging-place, and succeeded, Calle Giuinaxuato, in 
finding room on a floor to lie down, as we had stood, 
with fifty or sixty snoring men around, some with, 
others, like ourselves, without, blankets. 

August 1. We left Matamoras by a steamer which 
was going down the river, and had a disagreeable 
time, as we ran aground on a sand-bar, where we laid 
thirty-six hours, exposed to the merciless attacks of 
mosquitoes more virulent in their venom than those 
at the mouth of the river. We arrived at camp on 
the fourth, and I brought the glad tidings that we 
were to march. 


August 5. It is high time that we should leave this 
camp ; it has been raining hard here for the past three 
days, and it is nothing but muck and mire ; besides, 
drinking the muddy water (yes, it is as muddy as 
that in any mud-puddle) of the Rio Grande is be- 
ginning to tell on the men. We have too many 
sick, mostly with the diarrhoea, for our numbers, and 
it is thought a considerable number will have to be 

August 6. We received orders to march ; two com- 
panies, with all the heavy baggage and stores, were to 
ascend the river in a steamer to Camargo, the other 
four companies to go by land ; and it was to be deter- 
mined by lot which companies were to ride. Chance 
decided in favor of Captains Steuart and Waters, and 
the footmen commenced getting ready to tramp. 

August 7. The whole camp alive to-day. Com- 
panies A and D, Steuart's and Waters's, left by steamer 
for Camargo, distant by the river about two hundred 
and fifty miles, some say not more than one hundred 
and eighty miles. I sent my servant Ned by the 
steamer under care of Captain Steuart, and discharged 
four of my men, Boulanger, Cutting, Pratt and Tur- 
ner, on account of inability to march, by reason of 
sickness. | 

August 11 — Sunday. All the sick of the battalion( 
that were discharged, numbering thirty-three, left for 
the United States, and were accompanied by Doctor 
Dove, of Washington, our surgeon, who also desired 
to return ; their departure cast a good deal of gloom 
over those who remained, but as I had sent all my 
men who were unable to march up the river by the 


steamer, and had got relieved from the care of the 
sick, I Avas in good spirits and anxious to start. 

August 13. On the evening of the Hth we crossed 
the Rio Grande in a steamer to Burita, and took up 
our line of inarch for Matamoras, which we reached 
this day about noon ; distance variously estimated at 
from twenty-six to thirty miles. 1 lost a man from 
my company, named McGunnell, on the march, and 
was unable to account for his absence. Our road from 
Burita was mostly through the water, and we waded 
one lagoon of three miles wide, with an average of 
three feet of water in depth, and in some places four 
feet, without a halt ; many of the men caught hold 
of each other for support, as the fatigue of this wading 
through such a depth of water for such a distance 
is inconceivable. For a distance of eighteen miles 
the road was a muck; and happy those who marched 
at the head of the column, for those at the rear had 
to go through a heavier mire on account of the foot- 
steps of those in front. The recent overflow of the 
Rio Grande had made the roads impassable except for 
American volunteers. 

August 14. We are now at Matamoras, and on 
the eve of important operations ; let us take a retro- 
spect, and also a glance at the present status and con- 
dition of affairs. After the battles of the 8th and 9th 
of May, General Arista recrossed the river and occu- 
pied this town with his shattered forces. Our troops 
commenced crossing the river on the 13th, prepara- 
tory to an assault. Arista asked for an armistice, 
which Taylor refused to grant, but said that he might 
withdraw his forces on condition of leaving the property 


of the city uninjured. When our troops had effected 
a crossing (their landing on the Mexican soil being 
undisputed), preparations were made for an assault; 
a parley, however, was sounded, when the authorities 
of the city answered that General Arista had aban- 
doned the place with all his troops, and that the city 
of Matamoras was at the disposal of General Taylor. 
Our troops took possession, the American flag was 
hoisted, and the march to the "halls of the Monte- 
zumas " about to be undertaken. 

Large numbers of volunteers were arriving to swell 
the little army of regulars into an army in fact, but 
supplies were not coming commensurate with the 
number of men, and the means of transportation 
were totally inadequate to move the large force 
now constituting General Taylor's "army of occu- 

Hence the delay on the Rio Grande, and the loss of 
precious time on its banks. In the meantime impor- 
tant movements and changes were taking place among 
the Mexican people and rulers. The defeat of Arista 
had rendered him unpopular, and a great deal of dis- 
satisfaction and confusion of opinions prevailed among 
all classes. Toward the end of June an election was 
held throughout the States of Mexico, and General 
Paredes was declared elected President, over Herrera, 
and General Bravo Vice-President, of Mexico. The 
ultra war party had triumphed, and Arista and other 
revolutionists defied the authority of the new Presi- 
dent, yet united with him in the grito (cry), Giierra cd 
cKcJdUo, "war to the knife," against the Yankees. 
There is no doubt whatever in my mind that the 


sentiment of the Mexicans was unanimous for war.* 
They knew no more of what had brought an army 
of foreigners upon their territory, than did the natives 
of New Zealand. No press, no public opinion, con- 
stant revolutions and internecine strife, hoto were they 
to kiTow what their rulers had been doing, or luhat the 
foreign relations of their Government ? 

General Taylor very wisely, I think, undertook to 
enlighten them, and before we left Matamoras issued 
the following proclamation to the inhabitants of 
Mexico, which had, however, about as much effect as 
the incendiary manifests of Ampudia and Arista. Still 
I thought it was right, and cordially approved its pur- 
pose ; for that General Taylor was sincerely desirous 
of protecting all inhabitants of the country that would 
remain neutral during the impending conflict, I am 
abundantly satisfied. 


" By the General Commanding the Army of the United States of 
America, to the People of Mexico. 

"After many years of patient endurance, the United States are 
at length constrained to acknowledge that a war exists between 
our Government and the Government of Mexico. For many years 
our citizens have been subjected to repeated insults and injuries; 
our vessels and cargoes have been seized and confiscated, our 
merchants have been plundered, maimed, imprisoned, without 
cause and without reparation. At length your Government ac- 
knowledged the justice of our claims, and agreed by treaty to 
make satisfaction by payment of several millions of dollars ; but 
this treaty has been violated by your rulers, and the stipulated 

* After a long sojourn in this country, I have seen nothing, 
heard nothing, to make me change the above opinion. 


payment has been withheld. Our late effort to terminate all the 
difiSculties by peaceful negotiation has been rejected by the Dic- 
tator Paredes; and our minister of peace, whom your rulers had 
agreed to receive, has been refused a hearing. He has been 
treated with indignity and insult, and Paredes has announced 
that war exists between us. This war, thus first proclaimed by 
him, has been acknowledged as an existing fact by our own- Presi- 
dent and Congress with perfect unanimity, and will be prosecuted 
with vigor and energy against your array and rulers; but those 
of the Mexican people who remain neutral will not be molested. 

" Your Government is in the hands of tyrants and usurpers. 
They have abolished your State Governments, they have over- 
thrown your federal constitution, they have deprived you of the 
right of suffrage, destroyed the liberty of the press, despoiled 
you of your arms, and reduced you to a state of absolute de- 
pendence upon the power of a military dictator. Your armies 
and rulers e.xtort from the people by grievous taxation, by forced 
loans, and military seizures, the very money which sustains the 
usurpers in their power. Being disarmed, you were left defence- 
less and as an easy prey to the savage Comanches, who not only 
destroy your lives and property, but drive into captivity more 
horrible than death itself your wives and children. It is your 
military rulers who have reduced you to this deplorable condi- 
tion. It is these tyrants and their corrupt and cruel satellites, 
gorged with the people's treasure, by whom you are thus op- 
pressed and impoverished, — some of whom have boldly advocated 
a monarchical government, and would place a European prince 
upon the throne of Mexico. AVe come to obtain reparation for 
repeated wrongs and injuries; we come to obtain indemnity for 
the past, and secui-ity for the future ; we come to overthrow the 
tyrants who have destroyed your liberties ; but we come to make 
no war upon the people of Mexico, nor upon any form of free 
government they may choose to select for themselves. 
* * * * * *_* * 

" We come among the people of Mexico as friends and republi- 
can brethren ; and all who receive us as such shall be protected, 
whilst all who are seduced into the army of your Dictator shall 
be treated as enemies. We shall want from you nothing but food 


for our army, and for this you shall always be paid in cash the 
full value. It is the settled policy of your tyrants to deceive 
you in regard to the character and policy of our Government and 
people. These tyrants fear the example of our free institutions, 
and constantly endeavor to misrepresent our purposes, and in- 
spire you with hatred for your republican brethren of the Ameri- 
can Union. Give us but the opportunity to undeceive you, and 
you will soon learn that all the representations of Paredes were 
false, and were onlj' made to induce you to consent to the estab- 
lishment of a despotic government. In your struggle for liberty 
with the Spanish monarchy thousands of our countrymen risked 
their lives and shed their blood in your defence. Our own com- 
modore, the gallant Porter, maintained your flag upon the ocean ; 
and our Government was the first to acknowledge your indepen- 
dence. With pride and pleasure we enrolled your name on the 
list of independent republics, and sincerely desired that you 
might in peace and prosperity enjoy all the blessings of free gov- 

"Mexicans! we must treat as enemies, and overthrow, the 
tyrants who, whilst they have wronged and insulted us, have de- 
prived you of your liberty; but the Mexican people who remain 
neutral during the contest shall be protected against their mili- 
tary despots by the republican army of the Union. 

" (Signed) " Z. Taylor, 

" Brevet Major-General U. S. A. Commanding." 



The river Eio Grande, or Bravo del Norte, finds its 
sources in the sierras of the Rocky Mountains in about 
40^° north latitude, and, running a southeasterly 
course of nearly two thousand miles, flows a mighty 


torrent into the Gulf of Mexico. This tiood of waters, 
meeting the swell and tides of the Gulf, causes a bar, 
shifting and dangerous, at the mouth of the river. 
With our command of the sea, the river necessarily 
became the base of General Taylor's objective move- 
ments, and, despite the bar at its mouth, steamers draw- 
ing not less than six to eight feet were carrying by its 
means his supplies some two hundred to three hun- 
dred miles into the interior. 

To cut loose from this base, and advance through a 
hostile country comparatively unknown, in pursuit of 
an enemy whose power of endurance was undisputed, 
and whose numbers were known to be large, required 
courage of a high order and self-reliance in an equal 

General Zachary Taylor possessed both, and he had 
now mapped out in his own mind a campaign which, 
in the end, gave great lustre to the American arms. 
His first move now was to concentrate all the troops, 
regular and volunteer, that he proposed to use for his 
advance, at Camargo, a town on the banks of the San 
Juan River, a few miles above where it empties into 
the Rio Grande. It is worthy of remark, in demon- 
strating that a soldier's value is in proportion to his 
experience, that the steamers first purchased by the 
Government in New Orleans were of too heavy draught 
of water to cross the bar at the mouth of the river, 
and those that could be procured of sufficiently light 
draught it was deemed unsafe to trust to cross the Gulf 
of Mexico ; so that the delay which had occurred was 
owing in fact to an ignorance of detail, the responsi- 
bility for which rested nowhere. Finally light-draught 


steamers ventured across the Gulf, and, with the 
wrecks of some half-dozen of their number lying on 
the bar, they found their way into and up the river 
to Camargo, distant two hundred and fifty miles from 
its mouth, and our future depot of supplies. Strange, 
that an army operating in this valley of the Eio 
Grande should have to look for its subsistence to the 
great valley of the Mississippi, which had been, as this 
now was, the extreme western limit of hardy enter- 
prise and daring. 

In the meantime the Texan Rangers had cleared 
the small posts held by the Mexicans between Mata- 
moras and Camargo of all their armed defenders, and, 
with a regiment of our volunteers at Rej-nosa, the 
enemy had gradually been driven back from the river, 
and was somewhere concentrating at the base of the 
Sierra Madre mountains. 

On the 14th day of August our battalion was bri- 
gaded with six companies of Kentucky volunteers, 
called the Louisville Legion, and twelve companies of 
Ohio volunteers, making a brigade of about two 
thousand men. 

August 15. Left Matamoras, to march with the 
brigade to Camargo, distant from 130 to 150 miles, 
by what was called the mountain road. 

Our march was over a desert rather than a moun- 
tainous country ; from the time we left the Rio 
Grande at Matamoras, until we struck the San Juan 
River on the 23d of August, not a stream, rivulet, 
brook, or spring, did we see or hear of, the only water 
to be had being found in ponds or tanks, as they were 
called, in which rain-water had been collected for the 


use of the cattle. We suffered very much, and our 
march was more that of a routed army of stragglers 
than the advance of a well-organized brigade. 

The distance from Matamoras to Camargo, by my 
calculation, was one hundred and thirty miles, and of 
this we marched seventy-eight miles in four days' 
continuous marching. On the first day of the march 
we made ten miles, on the second day eleven miles, 
on the third day twenty-six miles, on the fourth day 
but five miles, the men being completely exhausted 
from the preceding days' fatigue and suffering ; on the 
fifth day twenty miles, on the sixth day eighteen 
miles, on the seventh day seventeen miles, and on the 
eighth day twenty-three miles ; total, one hundred and 
thirty miles in eight days. This would have been 
excellent marching over good roads, but through the 
country of our route it was a shameful mismanage- 
ment, and reflected but little credit upon all concerned 
in the movement. The excuse was that our guides 
had misled the commanding officer, being themselves 
ignorant of the scarcity of water, and of the very road 
which we traveled. We marched in the middle of 
the day, with a burning sun overhead, and burning 
sand beneath our feet ; not a drop of rain had fallen 
in this section of the country for months, and the 
dust raised by the tramp of so many men hung over 
our heads with a smothering denseness from which 
there was no escape. When we reached a pond, which 
was nothing but a hog-wallow, men and horses rushed 
pell-mell frantically into it, all semblance of rank and 
organization forgotten and disregarded. 

At noon of the third di,iy we reached a pond, in 


the water of which large numbers of cattle were 
standing to escape the heat of the noon-day, and the 
swarm of flies which annoyed them. For how many 
days these cattle had stood in this water we know 
not; but very few of us who drank it kept it down 
after it was swallowed, and the taste of that water 
was remembered for a long time with nausea and dis- 
gust. On this day's march I fell in the road utterly 
broken down, and I saw men toward night frantically 
digging with their bayonets in the dry bed of a water- 
course, in the vain hope of finding water beneath the 
surface, but all was as dry as the arid country around. 
For miles our command was straggling along, day 
after day, some reaching camp long after nightfall, 
inviting attack by their looseness of array, and scorn- 
ing the commands of superior officers, through the 
utter demoralization which prevailed. Curses and 
imprecations loud and deep were heard, and a vindic- 
tiveness was manifested, rarely I expect ever shown 
by American troops. I saw men fall down in convul- 
sions on this march, frothing at their mouths, clutch- 
ing the sand with their hands, and left to lie until 
nature and the shadows of night restored them to 
consciousness and strength. Kentuckians, Ohio men, 
and Baltimoreans, were all mixed together; the 
strongest and best walkers pressing to the front, the 
weak and the weary lagging behind. No word of 
encouragement, none of command, was heard, perhaps 
none was needed, for all who were able to march 
could be found at the tanks, and to reach the river was 
the leading, the only, object of that brigade on its 
memorable march to Camargo. 


August 24. We found here, upon our arrival yes- 
terday, the two companies of our battalion which had 
escaped the march by coming up the river on a steam- 
boat. Our sick, camp and garrison equipage, and my 
servant, were awaiting us, and after getting my com- 
pany into some sort of comfort, I -walked into 
Camargo to take a look around me. I found it a 
much more Spanish-looking town than Matamoras, 
judging from pictures I had seen of Spanish towns. 
It was, to use the expression of one of my men I 
found wandering through the streets, a roclcy-loohing 
place. It has of course a plaza, and a rather dilapi- 
dated cathedral church. It boasted once of having 
two thousand inhabitants; now I am sure there are 
not more than one thousand, with nearly an equal 
number of dogs and chicken-cocks. The houses are 
low heavy stone buildings, with flat roofs, and, having 
been completely inundated last June by an overflow 
of the San Juan, the appearance of the town was not 
clean or attractive. It is the residence of General 
Can ales, a lawyer by profession, and somewhat noted 
as a partisan leader. I found that he was very popu- 
lar here, and when he left, which he did on the ap- 
proach of our troops, he carried with him a consider- 
able number of its fighting population.* 

I found General Taylor here with his head- 
quarters, and an army of regulars and volunteers, in- 
cluding several regiments of Texans. The main 
plaza is the camp of a regiment, and all the larger 

* I have read in a book, since the war, that the arrival of our 
troops was welcomed by the inhabitants of Camargo, as a relief 
from the tyranny of Canales ; this is not the fact. 


houses are filled with quartermaster and commissary 
stores. Everything and everybody is busy and bust- 
ling, and the excitement of an advance and an 
approaching battle is increasing hourly. General 
Worth, with a couple of regiments, has gone to Mier, 
forty miles off; General Smith left this morning, and 
Randolph Ridgely told me that he expects to march 
with his battery this week. Having seen and heard 
enough for one day, I returned to camp, the fatigues 
of the past week already forgotten in the enthusiasm 
engendered by the martial scenes I had witnessed. 

August 26.* I suppose it always has been so in all 
armies, ancient and modern, it certainly is so in the 
" army of occupation," that a vast quantity of 
rumors are flying around. In the absence of news- 
papers, soldiers in the field are very fond of gossip, 
and that gossip is confined to the narrow limits of the 
next march, or the plan of campaign. From morning 
till night, this is the talk. 

The weather ceased to be a topic of conversation 
from the hour of our arrival on the Brazos, and now, 
from the next to the highest in rank down to the' 
enlisted man, at all hours of the day and night you 
may hear a thousand rumors, but all tending to the 
same point, or in the same direction. No one can tell 
from whence they come; the hardiest has not dared to 
say General Taylor said so and so, but rumor says 
we are going to Monterey. And where that is, and 
how we are going to get there, rumor, as yet, knoweth 
not. The Mexicans with whom I have talked say 
the same thing ; they have their rumors, which 
point in the same direction ; they say that their army 



has retired to Monterey, and that it will fight us 
there, muclw fandango, at Monterey. So I have con- 
cluded that we are going to Monterey, wherever that 
may be, and that we will fight a battle there; feel- 
ing ashamed, however, that I didn't know where it 
was, — for I used to be a little vain of my knowledge of 
geography, — but of a town called Monterey, this side 
of the one thus n'amed on the California coast of the 
Pacific Ocean, I was as ignorant as a heathen. Not 
having seen an American newspaper for more than 
a month, and not having the acquaintance of an army 
correspondent, I fed upon rumors, satisfied with that 
pabulum, and an innate soldierly contentment in the 
discharge of my own duties. 

August 30. I have learned by experience the truth 
of a famous saying which Shakspeare makes one of 
his characters use, " Uneasy lies the head that wears 
a crown." I have never been a king, but the symbol 
of authority, whether it be a crown or the shoulder- 
straps of a Captain of volunteers, carries with it so 
much unrest and anxiety that it is strange men will 
seek such trappings. It has been a very trying time 
the past few days. Orders were received that our 
battalion would be mustered to-morrow for payment, 
and that each Captain should have prepared and ready 
for that day four full rolls containing the names of all 
the members of his company, present and absent, 
where mustered, when mustered, when last paid, the 
amount of clothing each man had received, the value 
of the equipments, arms, and accoutrements received 
by each, the amount due the sutler, and a recapitula- 
tion showing the number present for duty, those that 


were present sick, those that were absent sick, those on 
extra duty, those iu arrest or confinement, those on 
detached service, those absent without leave, the num- 
ber joined by transfer, the number joined from deser- 
tion, the number discharged by expiration of service, 
or for disability, the number that had deserted, the 
number that liad died, etc., etc. I looked at the blank 
forms, and my military enthusiasm was oozing per- 
ceptibly through m}' pores. No help for it; the work 
had to be done. So, selecting some half-dozen of the 
best clerks in my company, I went at it. We labored 
hard, for no one officer or soldier in the command had 
ever had anj'thing of the kind to do before. Labor 
as we did, however, I could not make my account bal- 
ance, — that is the only way to express it; in other words, 
1 could not make this roll correspond with the original 
one made at Washington on the 8th of June, when 
we were mustered into the army, by reason of the 
numerous changes which had taken place since that 
time. Finally the mustering-officer came along, and 
I told him my difficulties. Though an entire stranger, 
he sat down alongside of us and kindly assisted and 
explained, until I grasped what was before me, and 
was enabled to complete satisfactorily my rolls. To 
First Lieutenant William A. Nichols, of the Second 
Regiment of Artillery, United States Army, I owe 
my thanks for his courtesy, and gratitude for his 

August 3L This day, looked forward to by me 
with as much apprehension, if not more, than if we 
were going to fight a battle, was the day of muster, 
and all the troops here were mustered for payment. 


Thanks to Lieutenant Nichols my rolls were nearly 
correct, and I had but little trouble in getting thfem 
accepted after the parade. As before said, each com- 
manding officer of a company had to prepare four rolls. 
Of these four, one is sent direct to the Adjutant-Gen- 
eral of the United States Army at "Washington, by 
which means the Government is informed of the num- 
bers present and absent of its armies in the field ; two 
are given to the paymaster, who calculates the pay 
due each soldier, and the amount is placed against the 
name of the soldier upon each roll, and signed by the 
soldier at the time of payment. One copy of the rolls 
is retained by the company commander, as a basis for 
his roll at the next muster. By these means the con- 
dition of an army is verified, and all changes occurring 
are noted upon each successive muster, until the final 
one at the end of the term of service, when every 
man borne upon the original muster-in roll must be 
accounted for. If a Captain can only prepare his first 
rolls correctly, he will have but little thereafter to 
trouble him. A mistake in this, however, leads to 
successive and increasing blunders. It does not follow 
that troops are immediately paid after these musters 
for payment, and we were not; but, our company rolls 
being in, the Captains were free from the responsi- 
bility of delay. 

None other than a man who has been the Captain 
of a volunteer company can appreciate this feeling of 
responsibility. In the regular army, there is not the 
same closeness of relation between the enlisted man 
and his Captain, for he has been assigned to the com- 
mand and may be transferred at any time; but in the 


volunteer service, the men have been, generally speak- 
ing, enlisted by the Captain, and to him alone they 
look for their pay. Without pay, a soldier is one of 
the most disagreeable beings on earth, and without pay, 
soldiers are not easily commanded. As a general rule, 
no amount of pay will make men take up arms in a 
cause for which they have no sympathy; at the same 
time experience has demonstrated that, without pay, 
soldiers won't fight — saints would not do it, if they 
were soldiers. 

My troubles for the day were not yet over, for, being 
in hourly expectation of orders to march, the sick of 
my company gave me great concern. Two months in 
this climate, and two such marches as those from 
Burita* to Matamoras, and from thence to Camargo, 
had frightfully depleted the strength of the volunteer 
regiments. In my own company eighteen men were 
on their backs, unmistakably not fit for the field, and 
what to do with them was the question now uppermost 
in my mind. I'went to see Colonel Watson, and gave 
him a faithful account of the condition of our sick. 
The matter was so grave that he went at once to 
head-quarters and had an interview with General 
Taylor, which resulted in an order being issued that 
such of the sick as were thought unfit by the surgeon 
to march should be left in the general hospital at 
Camargo. I left eighteen, of whom the following 
were discharged on surgeon's certificate of disability 

* The Countess de Burita was the heroine of the first defence 
of Sarag-ossa, when besieged, in 1808, by the French, under 
General Lefebvre Desnouettes. I presume this town was named 
in her honor. 


as soon as they were examined : Corporal James Tib- 
bies ; Privates John F. Alexander, James B. Canning, 
Jacob Degomp, Francis Fisher, George Gordon, Barney 
Hawkins, Charles Johnson, David Johnson, Samuel 
Lockhart, William Macready, Josiah Pregg, James 
Peregoy, Ernest Tressel, arid William C. Wilson ; 
the proportion of sick in the other companies of the 
battalion being about the same, while in some other 
regiments it was much larger. In the First Tennessee 
a large number died, and the general opinion was that 
we were in a very unhealthy camp. No one can tell 
whence the name came, but already in speaking of 
Camargo the men would invariably call it the grave- 
yard. Captain W. S. Henry, of the United States 
Army, in writing from here at this time, says: " The 
volunteers continue to arrive. They have suffered a 
great deal at their encampment at the mouth of the 
river, and at the Brazos Santiago, that barren and 
sandy island where the sand drifts in clouds. Diar- 
rhoea, dysentery, and fevers, have been very fatal. 
Discharges are numerous, and the great majority are 
pretty well disgusted with the service. My only sur- 
prise is that people so suddenly transported from a 
high to a low latitude in the midst of summer should 
have so few cases of disease. They may consider 
themselves very fortunate." 



C A M A R G 0. 

Septemher 1, 184(5. At Camartyo. 

To comprehend this campaign of the Rio Grande it 
will be necessary to go back a few weeks, in order to 
learn what were the plans, if any, which the Govern- 
ment had formed for the prosecution of the war. 
Major-General Winfield Scott, the eminent soldier, 
was the commanding general of the army of the 
United States, but he had written himself into dis- 
favor with both the President and the Secretary of 
War, the Hon. William L. Marcy. General Scott's 
views had no controlling influence upon the campaign, 
and for the present we must leave him where I am 
inclined to think he preferred being left, a watchful 
observer of the course of events and the conduct of 
the war. His reputation as a general officer was 
well established, that of Taylor's comparatively un- 
known, — certainly far below that of Scott's; for as yet 
the laurels gathered at Palo Alto and Resacahad been 
ascribed more to the steady gallantry of the "regu- 
lars" than to the military capacity of Taylor. 

The Government propounded this question to Gen- 
eral Taylor, " Shall the campaign be conducted with 
the view of striking at the city of Mexico, or confined, 
so far as regards the forces under your immediate 


command, to the northern provinces of Mexico ?"* On 
the 2d of July the general answered " That it was his 
intention of moving with a column of six thousand 
men upon an experimental expedition as far as Mont- 
erey. He (fonsidered that six thousand men was the 
maximum force which could be employed on the ex- 
pedition, having regard to their subsistence and the 
resources of the country in pack-mules and transpor- 
tation generally. That from Caraargo to the city of 
Mexico was a line little short of one thousand miles 
in length ; the resources of the country, to say the 
best, not superabundant, and over long spaces of the 
route were known to be deficient. That the road as 
we advanced south approached both seas, yet the topo- 
graphy of the country and the consequent character of 
the communications forbid the taking up a new line 
of supply from Tampico or the Pacific coast;" and con- 
cluded by saying, " Except in the case, deemed improb- 
able, of the entire acquiescence, if not support, on the 
part of the Mexican people, I consider it impracti- 
cable to keep open so long a line of communication. It 
is therefore my opinion that our operations from this 
frontier should not look to the city of Mexico, but 
should be confined to cutting off the northern prov- 
inces, — an undertaking of comparative facility and 
assurance of success." 

On the 9 th of July Mr. Marcy wrote to General 
Taylor as follows : " If, from all the information which 
you may communicate to the Department, as well as 

* Letter from Hon. W. L. Marcy, Secretary of War, to Gen- 
eral Taylor, dated War Department, Washington, June 8, 1846. 


that derived from other sources, it should appear that 
the difficulties and obstacles to the conducting of a 
campaign from the Rio Grande, the present base of 
your operations, for any considerable distance into 
the interior of Mexico, will be very great* the Depart- 
ment will consider whether the main invasion should 
not ultimately take place from some other point on 
the coast, say Tampico or some other point in the 
vicinity of Vera Cruz. This suggestion is made with 
a view to call your attention to it, and to obtain from 
you such information as you may be able to impart. 
Should it be determined that the main army should 
invade Mexico at some other point than the Rio 
Grande, — say in the vicinity of Vera Cruz, — a large 
and sufficient number of transport vessels could be 
placed at the mouth of the Rio Grande by the time 
the healthy season sets in, — say early in November. 
The main army, with all its munitions, could be trans- 
ported, leaving a sufficient force behind to hold and 
occupy the Rio Grande and all the towns and provin- 
ces which you may have conquered before that time. 
In the event of such being the plan of operations, 
your opinion is desired what increased force, if any, 
will be required to carry it out with success. We learn 
that the army could be disembarked a few miles dis- 
tant from Vera Cruz, and readily invest the town in its 
rear, without coming within range of the guns of the 
fortress of San Juan d'Ulloa. The town could be 
readily taken by land, while the fortress, being in- 
vested by land and sea, and all communication cut 
off, must soon fall. From Vera Cruz to the city of 
Mexico there is a fine road, upon which the diligences 


or stage-coaches run daily. The distance from Vera 
Cruz to the city of Mexico is not more than one-third 
of that from the Rio (Irande to the city of Mexico. 
Upon these important points, in addition to those 
mentioned in my letter of the 8th of June, your opin- 
ions and views are desired at the earliest period your 
duties will permit you to give them. In the mean time, 
the Department confidently relies on you to j^ress for- 
ward your operations vigorously, to the extent of your 
means, so as to occupy the important points within 
your reach on the Rio Grande and in the interior." 

To this, General Taylor replied on the 1st of 
August, from Matamoras : "As to the military opera- 
tions best calculated to secure an early and honor- 
able peace, my report of the 2nd of July will have 
put the Department in possession of my views touch- 
ing operations in this quarter, and I have now little 
to add to that report. Whether a large force can be 
subsisted beyond Monterey must be determined by 
actual experiment, and will depend much upon the 
disposition of the enemy toward us. If a column 
(say ten thousand men) can be sustained in provi- 
sions at Saltillo, it may advance thence upon San 
Luis Potosi, and, I doubt not, would speedily bring 
proposals for peace. If, on the other hand, a column 
cannot, be sustained beyond Monterey, it will be for 
the Government to determine, from considerations of 
state, whether a simple occupation of the frontier 
departments (including Chihuahua and New Mexico), 
or, in addition to such occupation, an expedition 
against the capital by way of Vera Cruz, would be 
most expedient. I cannot give a positive opinion as 


to the practicability of an expedition against Vera 
Cruz, or the amount of force that would probably be 
required for it. The Department of War must be 
much better informed than I am on that point. From 
the impracticable character of the routes from Tam- 
pico, particularly that leading to Mexico, I should 
judge an expedition against the capital from that 
point to be out of the question. The simultaneous 
embarkation of a large body of troops at Brazos San- 
tiago, as proposed in the Secretary's communication, 
would be attended with great difficulty, if we may 
judge from the delays and danger which accompany 
the unloading of single transports, owing to the almost 
perpetual roughness of the bar and boisterous charac- 
ter of the anchorage. It may also well be questioned 
whether a force of volunteers, without much instruc- 
tion (more than those now here can receive in season 
for such an expedition) , can prudently be allowed to 
form the bulk of an army for so delicate an operation 
as a descent upon a foreign coast, Avhere it can have 
no proper base of operations or supplies." 

From the above correspondence it will be perceived 
that the War Department, whilst making inquiries 
of General Taylor, gave him no positive instructions, 
except that he should press forward his operations 
vigorously, so as to occupy the important points within 
his reach on the Rio Grande and in the interior, given 
to him by Secretary Marcy in his letter of the 9th 
of July; while as early as the 2nd of the same 
month General Taylor had informed the War Depart- 
ment that it was his intention of moving with a 
column of six thousand men upon Monterey. 


We "were now, at the 1st day of September, 1846, 
at Camargo, and General Taylor was ready to move 
forward. These were his arrangements : the regular 
troops of the army were organized into two divisions; 
the first, under the command of General Twiggs, con- 
sisted of the Second Dragoons, the First, Second, 
Third, and Fourth Regiments of Infantry, and Bragg's 
and Ridgely's Batteries ; the Second, under General 
Worth, of the Artillery Battalion, the Fifth, Seventh, 
and Eighth Regiments of Infantry, Duncannon's Bat- 
tery, and Captain Blanchard's company of Louisiana 
volunteers. Of the twelve months' volunteers that 
were to form part of the column, they were organized 
into a field division under the command of Major- 
General Butler, of Kentucky, with Brigadiers-General 
Hamer, of Ohio, and Quitman, of Mississippi (the latter 
was born in the State of New York) . A large number 
— about six thousand — twelve months' men were to be 
distributed at Camargo and the several posts on the 
river which it was deemed necessary to hold. The fol- 
lowing paragraph of" Orders No. 108" expresses a great 
deal : " The limited means of transportation, and the 
uncertainty in regard to the supplies that may be 
drawn from the theatre of operations, imposes upon 
the commanding general the necessity of taking into 
the field, in the first instance, only a moderate portion 
of the volunteer force now under his orders." 

Of the force thus to be left, the whole was to be 
under the command of Major-General Robert Patter- 
son, of Pennsylvania. 

In the course of the preceding week and since our 
arrival here, the Baltimore Battalion had been bri- 


gaded in three several commands', but on this day we 
had the honor, owing to the personal efforts of Colonel 
Watson, of being attached to General Twiggs' (First) 
Division of Regulars, and brigaded in the Fourth 
Brigade with the First Regiment of Infantry, under 
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Wilson, of 
the United States Army. I was delighted. 

The Baltimore Battalion, as it was generally called 
(without any disrespect to our friends and comrades 
of the two Washington companies), was dressed in the 
regular blue uniform and equipments of the regular 
troops of the line of the army, and was the only 
command of volunteers thus equipped that I am aware 
of, at this time. Its character was that of being dis- 
orderly and riotous, which reputation it had brought 
from Washington, and had been added to on the Brazos, 
at Camp Belknap, and at Matamoras; but I say as a 
soldier that its behavior was as orderly, and that it 
was more obedient and its appearance more soldier- 
like, than that of any volunteers I have seen in the 
country. The reason why, frequently, its conduct was 
considered disorderly, was owing to the facts that 
nearly every man in it was from the cities of Wash- 
ington and Baltimore, many of whom had been sailors, 
others members of fire-companies, fishing-clubs, etc., 
and they were a wild, frolicksome, reckless set, full of 
fun and hard to keep in camp. They were forever 
wandering about, and frequently came into collision 
with volunteers from other States, who, being mostly 
from the rural districts, had some curious-looking 
uniforms and hats, and would not understand the 
character or take the fun of these city fellows, particu- 


larlj as they were dressed in army uniforms. This 
assignment of the battalion to a brigade of regulars 
was regarded as a great feather in our caps. 

The field division of volunteers under the command 
of General Butler consisted of the First Mississippi, 
Colonel Jefferson Davis ; the First Tennessee, Colonel 
William B. Campbell ; the First Ohio, Colonel Alex- 
ander M. Mitchell ; and the First Kentucky, Colonel 
Stephen Ormsby : regiments of volunteers. Two regi- 
ments of Texan cavalry under Colonel James Pink- 
ney Henderson completed the force of the column. 
Before we left Camargo, and on this 1st day of Sep- 
tember, under the authority of the Act of Congress 
and instructions from the headquarters of the army, 
an election was held in the several companies of our 
battalion for an additional second lieutenant. In 
my company it resulted in the choice of Orderly 
Sergeant William E Aisquith,* of the city of Balti- 
more, and he was subsequently duly commissioned. 
He was my choice, and the whole subject is worthy 
of a few reflections. Perhaps in the history of the 

* On the afternoon before 1 left Baltimore with my company, 
Mr. Robert M. McLane came to the rendezvous and asked me to 
do him a favor by accepting Aisquith as a volunteer, and giving 
him a place as one of my officers ; which I declined to do, as I 
had already determined who were to be my Lieutenants ; but 
after he told me that Aisquith was the son of Captain Aisquith, 
who at the battle of North Point, in command of a company of 
sharpshooters, had rendered efficient service and behaved with 
much gallantry, and that he was a graduate of the United States 
Military Academy at West Point, I replied, that I would give 
him the place of Orderly Sergeant of my company, and give 
him a chance for promotion ; and this I did. 


whole world, and of its armies, no such spectacle had 
ever been seen before as the right of suffrage or vote 
by ballot being given to the soldiers of an organized 
army in the field, for the selection of their officers. 
It must be borne in mind that, by the militia laws of 
several States of the Union, the company officers were 
selected by the men, and in some of the States the 
field officers were likewise thus elected. It was so I 
am sure in Maryland, that company officers were 
thus elected ; and inasmuch as the Act of Congress 
which authorized the Government to accept twelve 
months' volunteers, provided that the company offi- 
cers should be commissioned by the Governors of the 
respective States from which they were accepted, it 
followed that the additional lieutenant allowed to 
each company should be elected and commissioned 
as had been the others from the same State. If I had 
been asked at the time I raised my company whether 
I would have permitted the men to select their offi- 
cers, I should have given up its command before I 
would have consented to it ; but now, after two 
months' arduous and active field service, I believed 
the men would select the most competent and trusty 
of their number; and, as far as our battalion was con- 
cerned, they generally did so. In my own company 
it was emphatically so ; for although the ojjponent of 
Sergeant Aisquith was a well-drilled soldier, of very 
pleasing address, generous and popular, .he received 
but six out of the sixtj'-seven votes cast. True it is 
that my influence aided Mr. Aisquith, but the large 
vote he received was due to the consciousness which 
the men now had that playing soldiers at home and 


practicing it here were two very different things, and 
that their lives and their comforts would mainly de- 
pend upon the skill and discretion of their officers. 



On the afternoon of September the 1st we bade 
farewell to the sickly environs of Camargo, crossed 
the San Juan River, and encamped with the First 
Regiment of Infantry, under orders to march to 
Seralvo, some seventy miles distant. In lieu of 
wagons for the transportation of our baggage, eight 
mules on an average were given to each company; 
the orders being, to every eight men a mule, and one 
to the company officers. All the wheel-transportar 
tion which General Taylor had at his disposal was 
being used to carry supplies of all kinds forward to 
Seralvo, which was established as an entrepot, and at 
which a portion of General Worth's division was al- 
ready posted for its protection. No doubt was now 
entertained by any one that heavy work was before 
us ; and the tread of the courageous, and the step of 
the faint-hearted, were as marked and as different as 
day from night. 

September 2. The larger portion of this day was 
spent in getting our baggage packed upon the backs 


of the mules that were driven into our camp for this 
purpose. Their appearance created a profound sensa- 
tion, and the laughter with which they were received 
and appropriated by the various squads rang loud 
and joyously through the valley of the San Juan. 

If there be any one thing which requires patience, 
good humor, and skill, it is to properly load a mule 
so as not to put too much weight upon him, and that 
that which is put shall be equally balanced on either 
side, and carefully fastened to the pack-saddle. It 
amounts to an art. 

I watched the process daily with great interest, and 
each day admired more and more the good qualities 
of the Mexican arrieros or muleteers. You have but 
to know that tents, tent-poles, kettles, mess-pans, 
axes, picks, coffee-mills, boxes of ammunition, etc., 
were to be daily put on and off a mule's back, to be 
carried safely over hill and dale, through thicket and 
through flowing water for miles and miles of toilsome 
march, to appreciate the knowledge requisite to do 
the work well. It toas well done, and I learned to 
have affection for the mule and its keeper, despite the 
many annoyances incidental to this species of array 
transportation. From the very first, our men took 
kindly to the muleteers, and to the end of the march 
the utmost harmony and good will existed between 
them. It may seem strange to say that, notwith- 
standing they knew not a word of each other's lan- 
guage, they understood each other ; but I have seen 
them talking together and laughing heartily over the 
subject of conversation. Owing to the delay in get- 
ting ready, it was nearly nightfall when we had 




marched three or four miles, so we halted and biv- 
ouacked for the night. 

On the 3d, we marched fourteen miles, crossing the 
Arroyo Salado ; on the 4th passed the picturesque- 
looking town of Mier, rendered famous by the des- 
perate battle fought here four years ago between the 
Texans and Mexicans. On the 5th reached the 
Alamo* River, a swift running stream, whose name 
was fresh in the memory of the Texans, and gave 
fierceness to their well-known battle cry, " Remember 
the Alamo!" and on the 6th reached Puntiaguda, dis- 
tant fifty-five miles from Camargo. Here we halted 
for the main body of the troops to join us. 

We had left the State of Tamaulipas, whose eastern 
boundary is the Rio Grande and Gulf of Mexico, and 
had entered the State of Nuevo Leon. The appear- 
ance of the country was very different from what we 
had in a measure become familiar with ; instead of 
the sands, the cactus, the unwholesome water and 
enfeebling atmosphere, we were in a well cultivated 
country, with clear running streams, and gardens 
and fields blooming with the fig and the pomegranate. 
The air was delightful, and the sweet water of running 
mountain brooks was delicious to the palate, which 
for two months had been nauseated with the muddy 
fluid of the Rio Grande. The roads over which we 
had marched were good, and the manner and order of 
the march were grateful to men who had been driven 
in confusion through the lagoons and the mire, over 
sandy deserts and burning plains, from the Gulf to 

* The town of Mier is on the banks of this river. 


the bfiiiks of the San Juan. I was beginning to learn 
my profession, not the least of whose requirements is 
the knowledge of the proper way to inarch troops, and 
was learning in the only mode by which it could be 
acquired. A very marked change was perceptible in 
our ranks ; we were being instructed in guard-mount- 
ing, picket- and outpost-duty, by those who were 
competent to teach, and as we approached the vicinity 
of the enemy the martial spirit of the men revived. 
Our health and strength were being regained in this 
salubrious climate, and the novelty of the ever-vary- 
ing scenery through which we passed cheered and 
brightened the countenances of all. 

I was much pleased with this little village of four 
hundred inhabitants, through whose streets the head- 
waters of the Alamo were rushing over their rocky 
bed to join and mingle with the torrent of the Bravo 
del Norte. 

On the 7th, General Taylor came up with the main 
body, and after resting for two days, we all marched 
on the 9th to Seralvo, distant fifteen miles, which we 
reached the same night. Here we found General 
Worth's division ; and the army of occupation was 
concentrated to take breath, fill cartridge-boxes and 
haversacks, and then to march to Monterey. 

During our halt at Puntiaguda, word was brought 
from General Worth that a large force of cavalry 
was in his vicinity ; and while 1 was gazing in awe 
and in silence at the wonderful phenomenon of a 
lunar rainbow I was startled with the drums beating 
an alarm. We were held in readiness to move to the 
support of Worth, but the affair which caused this 


first stampede* proved to be but a fight on that day 
between Captain McCullough's company of Texan 
Rangers and a portion of General Canales's cavalry. 
It was deemed advisable, however, to proceed with 
caution, and we awaited the arrival of General Tay- 
lor, when we moved forward with his troops. Camp 
rumor, after vacillating and fluctuating between the 
thousand-and-one stories heard daily and hourly since 
we had left the San Juan, was now settled and 
unanimous that fight we must at Monterey. I had 
become satisfied of this from the information given 
to me by the muleteers, one of whom told me he 
l-neio that they were fortifying the town, and General 
Ampudia had marched into it with a large army. I 
could not disbelieve the positive statements of this 
man ; his truthfulness was stamped on every linea- 
ment of his honest countenance. 

This town of Seralvo is one of considerable size and 
importance, beautifully situated in a valley sur- 
rounded by mountains, and in the centre of a highly 
cultivated rich and jsroductive country. A tributary 
to the Alamo flows through it, which supplies water 
to the inhabitants, and, by means of ditches, to the 
gardens which surround every house in the town, and 
which are by it kept in perennial verdure and bloom. 
Several handsome bridges cross this clear bold stream 
in different parts of the town, and on its banks the 
lemon, the orange, and the grand pecan, invite, by 
their beauty and foliage, the ladies of Seralvo to the 

* This word means everytbing from a downright running 
away to a merely being hurried or startled without flight. 


luxury of their shade. "We found plenty of fruit 
here, and enjoyed the fig, the peach, and the pome- 
granate, fresh plucked from the tree, and that deli- 
cious drink, limonada, made from limes taken by 
mj'self from the branches upon which they had grown. 
It is not only by far the n)ost attractive, clean, and 
picturesque town I have yet seen in Mexico, but tlie 
refreshing coolness of its thick-walled dwellings was 
the constant theme of those who had been so long ex- 
posed to the heat of the sun. They not only afforded 
shade, but there was an indescribable atmosphere 
within their walls which gave a sense of pleasure and 
repose to the weary and foot-sore officer fortunate 
enough to find this rest. In the far distance the 
lofty Sierras, overlooking the valley of Monterey, 
loom up grandly on the western horizon, and the bare 
cliffs to the north indicate where the once celebrated 
silver mines of Seralvo were worked for the conquer- 
ing Spaniard, by the helpless natives. It is with its 
surroundings a beautiful country, and for the few 
days that we were here nothing whatever occurred 
to disturb the friendly relations which existed or 
seemed to exist between the people and our army. 
Fandangos, monte, limonada, with a dash now and 
then of vino de Parras, made our halt pass swiftly 
and pleasantly, so that when the bugles sang truce, 
and the reveille was followed by the generale on the 
morning of the 13th of September, we marched from 
Seralvo with regret, and the first pleasant memory of 
Mexico had effected a lodgment in our breasts. The 
following were our orders : 


" Headquarters, Army of Occupation", 
"Seralvo, September 11, 1846. 
" Orders No. 115.] 

" I. As the army may expect to meet resistance in tbe further 
ad stance towards Monterey, it is necessary that tbe march should 
be conducted with all proper precaution to meet attack and to 
secure tbe baggage and supplies. From this point the following 
will be the order of the march until otherwise directed. 

" II. All the pioneers of tbe army, consolidated into one pnrty, 
will march early to-morrow on tbe route to Marin, for tbe pur- 
pose of repairing the road and rendering it practicable for artil- 
lery and wagons. The pioneers of each division will be under a 
subaltern, to be especiallj' detailed for the duty ; and the whole 
will be under the command of Captain Craig, Third Infantry, who 
will report at headquarters for instructions. This pioneer party 
will be covered by a squadron of dragoons and Captain McCul- 
loch's company of rangers. Two officers of topographical engi- 
neers, to be detailed by Captain Williams, will accompany the 
party for the purpose of examining the route. Two wagons will 
be provided by the quartermaster's department for the transpor- 
tation of the tools, provisions, and knapsacks of the pioneer party. 

"III. The First Division will march on tbe 13th inst., to be fol- 
lowed on successive days by the Second Division and the Field 
Division of Volunteers. The headquarters will march with tbe 
First Division. Captain Gillespie with half of his company will 
report to Major-General Butler ; the other half, under the First 
Lieutenant, to Brigadier-General Worth. These detachments 
will be employed for outposts and videttes, and as expresses be- 
tween the columns and headquarters. 

"IV. The subsistence supplies will be divided among the three 
columns, the senior commissary of each division receipting for the 
stores and being charged with their care and management. Tbe 
senior commissaries of divisions will report to Captain Waggoner 
for this duty. 

" V. Each division will be followed immediately by its baggage 
train and supply train, with a strong rear-guard. The ordnance 
train, under Captain Ramsay, will march with the Second Divi- 
sion, between its baggage and supply trains, and will come under 


the protection of the guards of their division. The medical sup- 
plies will in like manner march with the first division. 

" VI. The troops will take eight days' rations and forty rounds 
of ammunition. All surplus arms and accoutrements resulting 
from casualties on the road will be deposited with Lieutenant 
Stewart, left in charge of the depot at this place, who will give 
certificates of deposit to company commanders. 

"YII. The wagons appropriated for the transportation of 
water will not be required, and will be turned over to the quart«r- 
master's department for general purposes. 

"VIII. Two companies of the Mississippi regiment will be 

designated for the garrison of this depot. All sick and disabled 

men unfit for the march will be left behind, under the charge of a 

medical officer, to be selected for this duty by the medical directors. 

" 'S>j order of Major-General Taylor, 

"W. W. S. Bliss, 
"A. A. G." 

" Headquarteks, Army of OocffPATios, 
"Seralvo, September 12, 1846. 
"Orders No. 108.] 

"I. Pursuant to orders of yesterday from headquarters, the 
First Division will be read}' to move at dajiight to-morrow in 
the following order: 

" 1st. Dragoons. 

" 2d. Ridgely's Battery. 

'■3d. Third isrigade. 

"4th. Fourth Brigade. 

''5th. The baggage trains, in the order designated for the 
corps to which they belong. 

" 6th. The medical supplies. 

" 7th. Supply trains. 

" 8th. Rear guard of two companies of infantry, to be furnished 
by the brigades alternately, commencing with the Third. 

" II. The dragoons and the artillery will be foraged, to include 
the Fourteenth. 

"III. The guards for the night will mount an hour before sun- 
set, and will consist of four companies of infantry, two from each 
brigade, to be turned off by the brigade officer. Each brigade 


will, with its two companies for guard, furnish a captain of the 
day detailed from this ofBce, who will have the superintendence 
of the whole and will report at these headquarters for orders 
immediately before guard-mounting. 

" By order of Brigadier-General Twiggs, 

" D. C. BUELL, 

"A. A. A. G." 

Information has been received which places it be- 
yond a doubt that General Ampudia marched into 
Monterey on the 31st of August, and that a large 
force is actively engaged fortifying the town. I took 
a look at General Taylor as he passed us on horse- 
back while we were marching to-day, and I was satis- 
fied that, whatever might be ahead of us, we would 
go on until he gave the order to halt. Ampudia cer-. 
tainly will have to make battle if he expects to hold 
Monterey, for go there General Taylor will. This is 
what I thought. 

We marched along steadily and compactly all day 
a west-south-westerly course, keeping the mountains 
on our right and making apparently for a gorge in 
the sierra. Our division was in the advance, pre- 
ceded by the Texan cavalry and followed by "Worth's 
division and Butler's volunteer division. I was struck 
with the elasticity of the spirits of the men, which, 
notwithstanding the withering heat of the sun, found 
vent in song and laughter as they stepped solidly on 
to the front. The victories at Palo Alto and Eesaca 
had given a confidence to these men which was com- 
municated to the volunteers, and I could not but 
reflect on the value that the prestige of success gave 
to our raw troops, and the good policy which guided 
our being brigaded with the regulars. 


We saw but few people to-day, though the country 
was filled with fields of cane and corn, inviting the 
labor of the husbandman. We saw no cattle ; a few 
frightened long-legged hogs scampered away at our 
approach, and everything indicated, as forcibly as do 
certain signs on the ocean, that a storm was brewing 
ahead of us. 

We marched to-day about fourteen miles, and biv- 
ouacked on a deep and rapid stream whose name we 
could not learn. To-night rumor was rampant, 
through our camps ; a courier had come in from our 
cavalry advance, from Colonel Henderson to General 
Taylor, that four thousand of the enemy's cavalry 
were in front of him, and that he wanted assistance. 
We had something to sleep on, and those who didn't 
sleep, to talk about, until the reveille was beaten on 
the morning of 

September 14. We were up before light, and on 
the march by daybreak. It was cold, and we moved 
briskly ; soon the sun lighted up the conical moun- 
tain peaks on our right, and the tops of the ridges, 
with his glorious coloring, and the freshness of a new 
day gave additional interest to the beautiful coun- 
try we were traversing. All was excitement, for 
McCuUough had had a fight with the enemy this 
morning, and a wounded prisoner was sent to General 
Taylor's headquarters for examination ; this was fact, 
and not rumor, so we hurried forward. We were 
going too fast, for our mules could not keep pace with 
the hasty tramp of the men, and it wasn't good 
management to let there be a gap between us and our 
supplies, with cavalry in our front, and why not on 


our flanks or rear ? We halted now every few miles, 
and leisurely forded two streams which crossed our 
line of march. This was the first day since my land- 
ins: on the Brazos in which I had not suffered from 
the heat of the sun ; for two months and a half I had 
been constantly exposed to its burning rays, and the 
sense of cold experienced last night sent a chill through 
my blood which was exceedingly disagreeable. The 
cool air from the slopes of the adjacent mountains, 
and the elevation we are attaining, have rendered the 
temperature so pleasant that we feel as if we could 
march thirty miles a day with more ease than twenty 
lower down the country. We have now approached 
so close to the mountains on either side, as we near 
the gorge at the head of the valley, that we can see 
the foliage upon the trees which cover them ; and I 
regret to say that our road is becoming so rough and 
stony that my feet are getting tender. So we go, 
complaining of the sand because it was hot, and now 
of the mountain-side because it is rocky ! We halted 
after having marched fourteen miles, and bivouacked 
with our lines drawn, to stand to our arms in military 
array, whether it were necessary by night or by day- 

September 15. I was in charge of our advance 
guard to-day, and, marching at the head of the column, 
perfectly reveled in the enjoyment of the magnificent 
scenery of the mountains and the valleys, and the 
military enthusiasm with which I was in a blaze. 
All was beautiful that was in sight, the air sweet and 
bracing, the sun comfortably warm, and the enemy 
known to be but a few miles distant. I knew not 


where our caValry was, but I knew that our army 
was behind me, and the enemy in front. I pushed 
on, and, ascending a mountain over which our road 
lay, we hastened to reach its crest, for we thought 
that perhaps we might see the long-talked-of Lancers. 
What a prospect burst upon our view ! a valley lay 
below us completely surrounded by mountains : 
through this valley ran a river, making in its course 
the graceful curve of Hogarth's line of beauty, and 
nestling on its banks a town was lying, just being 
lighted up by the sun's rays from over the eastern 
sierra. No famed valley of the Tyrol could be more 
beautiful, no valley hamlet on the banks of the Sus- 
quehanna more at repose; it was the repose of death. 
Gazing long upon this panorama, which nature and 
man had made so interesting, I was roused from my 
reverie by hearing the sound of horses' feet rapidly 
approaching from the rear. One glance was suffi- 
cient, — it was General Taylor, his staff, and a small 
escort of cavalry : dismounting, he approached and 
did me the honor to recognize me by a pleasant 
smile and an extended hand. He said that he re- 
membered our interview at Matamoras, and then 
asked if I had anything to report : I replied that we 
had not met, nor had we seen, a living being since we 
had left camp at daybreak, and that not a creature 
could be seen moving in the valley below, nor in the 
town at our feet, from which I inferred that the 
enemy could not be far off. He said nothing for per- 
haps a minute or two, looking steadily toward the 
valley while thus silent, then suddenly said : "Captain, 
move forward cautiously, and if you can, continue 


your march through that town" (pointing to it as he 
spoke) " and halt on the other side until the column 
gets up." My command was on the march imme- 
diately, silently descending the mountain-road, which 
we could soon discover led right through the town of 
Marin. I was the first, of course, to enter its main 
street, and no man that ever entered a recently 
deserted town will ever forget the effect it produced 
upon him. We saw almost instantaneously — I might 
say we felt — that the town was abandoned ; the men 
huddled together, and pressed on me from the rear 
as if hurrying forward. Not a word was uttered. Our 
tramp resounded from the house walls on either side, 
amid the quiet, the unnatural stillness, the sense of 
danger. What is that? a dead man was lying in our 
track, his feet in a doorway, his body stretched 
toward the middle of the street, and a pool of blood 
about where his head lay. I saw as we passed that 
he was dead and had been recently slain, but when 
or by whom, or for what, who could tell ? So we 
passed on through the town, and — I can speak for 
myself — drew a long breath of relief wdien we got 
into the open country; but there, sure enough, was 
the enemy. 

At the distance of about three-fourths of a mile, a 
body of cavalry, with pennons fluttering on their 
lances, were at halt, seemingly (at least I thought 
so) uncertain what to do. They had evidently passed 
through the town ahead of me, and irresolution was 
apparent in their actions. Suddenly they resumed 
their march slowly, having seen, as I judged, the 
head of our column making its appearance over the 


monntiiin ; and it wns so, for 1 soon heard the ooining 
up of our leading battalions. 

Rc(H>iving no fnrtiior orders, I remained whore I 
was for several hours, the army gradually getting up 
to tlie town : it was evident that something more than 
ordinary kept us in eheek ; finally General Twiggs, 
the eonnnanding general of our division, with his 
stnfl', rode through the town, and presently a stafl- 
ollicer eame from hint with orders for me to follow 
him, that the division Avas going into eamp. This 
was very unusual, as it was not yet noon, and we had 
marehed but a few miles. The meadow selected for 
our camp was a charming one on the banks of the 
San Juan River (there are three or four rivers of this 
name in Northern Mexico — it is a sort of fancy name 
with the jMexicans. this of Saini Jtilni), and liere we 
remained until the ISth. the army again being con- 
centrated, its different divisions refitted, and its 
material of war replenished and carefully inspected. 

We are now within twenty-five miles of Montere}'. 
and the rumors which are npon the lips of the entire 
camp are not based as usual upon y^twr.'j nmde by 
the army gossips, but npon reports received directly 
from the enemy's camp, and more or less reliable. 
A large force is at Monterey pivparing to hold it, and 
dispute by battle our further advance into their coun- 
try. Nine thousand men, it is said, are in the city, 
about one-third of whom are regular troops, the 
other two-thirds militia of the conntry. — perhaps — 
why not? — volunteers. The regulars are the renmins 
of the army that fought on the Rio Grande, and my 
opinion is. that men who fought as bravely as they 


did in a fair stand-up fight, without breastworks, ex- 
posed to the destructive fire of our light artillery, will 
make a stubborn fight behind works which they have 
had ample time to construct, mxicho fandango, at 
Monterey ! I confess that these words were con- 
tinually ringing in my ears, and likewise confess that 
I hoped we would not be disappointed. We were 
two thousand miles away from home, but not a 
thought or a wish was backward ; en avant ! was the 
individual and united sentiment of General Taylor's 
entire army. There is no mistake about this. 

We remained here all of the 16th and 17th days 
of September. They were busy days ; yet, even amid 
the bustle and excitement, the beauty and grandeur 
of the scenery was the theme of general and wide- 
spread admiration. 

September 18. The army moved this morning, the 
three divisions following each other at intervals of an 
hour's march, the First Division still in the advance. 
We passed through the village of Agua Frio, and just 
beyond it saw the enemy's cavalry ; it was doubtless 
the same force which had preceded us all the way 
from Seralvo, and was said to be the cavalry of 
General Torrejon. I had noticed that our arrieros 
had changed their appearance and demeanor very 
materially within the past two or three days. From 
some knowledge of their language, I was enabled to 
make myself understood by them and could gather 
the purport of what they said, and was on pleasant 
terms with the chief of those attached to our battal- 
ion. At first he was cheerful and communicative, but 
since our halt at Marin was taciturn and gloomy. 


I was near him when he caught a glimpse of his 
countrymen, the cavalry of Torrejon, and upon my 
soul I pitied him. He was very much alarmed ; and 
what could I say to him by way of encouragement? 
I was not surprised to hear during the day that a 
number of these muleteers had made an effort to 
escape, by leaving their mules and their cargoes to 
shift for themselves, and taking to the chaparral ; but 
Colonel Kinney, of Corpus Christi, who was the con- 
tractor, and chief of the mule corps, headed them off 
and brought them back to the care of their compan- 
ions in trouble, the patient, oppressed, but ever-faith- 
ful mules. We made eighteen miles to-day, and went 
into camp upon the hacienda or farm of ISan Fran- 
cisco, seven miles from Monterey. 

September 19. We resumed our march this morn- 
ing at 8 o'clock, and were near the head of the 
column when, at about 10 o'clock, while we were 
marching very rapidly, the heavy boom of a cannon 
was heard reverberating with a thousand echoes 
among the mountains ; presently another sullen roar 
was heard, and then another. Every pulse fluttered, 
and many a long breath drawn ; we still hurried on : 
a halt was ordered, and our astonishment was great 
when we saw General Taylor and staff slowly coun- 
termarching, and Paymaster Major Kirby, of Taylor's 
staff, carrying in his hands a twelve-pound ball which 
had been fired at the party and fallen near the feet 
of the general. We also countermarched and en- 
camped in a wood about three miles from Monterey, 
and made preparations for the battle, which, no one 
now questioned, was to be a deadly struggle. 


The Baltimore Battalion, after a long, weary, and 
fatiguing march of a little upwards of three hundred 
miles from the Brazos Santiago, was now in the pres- 
ence of the enemy. 

All day long the firing from heavy guns continued, 
with an occasional rattle of musketry. The Texan 
Rangers were skirting the environs of the town, and 
engineer oflficei's were already making reconnaissances; 
against these the fire of the Mexicans was directed, 
and as I watched their fire, and the movements of our 
cavalry from the edge of the wood in which our 
troops lay, I thought that I had never before beheld 
anything as interesting or attractive. We were just 
out of the range of their guns, and large numbers of 
the men gathered to witness the spectacle which was 
being exhibited upon the plain that extended from 
our camp to the town. On our right was a large 
stone citadel, upon the ramparts of which guns were 
mounted in barbette, and from which jets of flame 
and smoke issued, soon followed by the heavy boom 
of explosion. Immediately in front was the city, upon 
a lofty tower in which the flag of Mexico was flying, 
but its colors were undistinguishable at this distance. 
On our left a large number of mounted men were either 
idly clustered in squads, or else galloping to and fro 
in reckless disregard of the cannon balls ricochetting 
over and among them. Not a sound could be heard 
from the town, not a creature could be seen, not a 
single drift of smoke to indicate that it was inhabited. 
There it lay, its outline clearly marked by lines of 
earthworks, curtains and bastions— against the hazy 
blue of the mountain side in its rear. Volumes of 


smoke were being carried from above the citadel, and 
shaped by a light wind into fantastic figures which 
were repeated upon the earth's surface by tlie sun, 
which shone with resplendent power through all these 
clouds of men and things, as if in mockery of their 
littleness. Now a cheer would ring from the citadel 
as a well aimed shot would produce some confusion 
among the Texans ; then a yell from their side, in 
defiance, would roll down -to our hearing. The dis- 
charge of loaded fire-arms in our own camp, prepai-a- 
tory to inspection of arms, was mingled with the beat 
of drums and bugle-callsof a well ordered force. Guards 
were being marched to their posts, artillery horses 
being led to water, staff-officers were galloping to and 
fro, cook-fires being lighted, wagons corralled, mules 
unharnessed, and all the indesciibable machinery of 
an army on the eve of battle was in the hands of — mil- 
itary discipline. During the afternoon we pitched 
our tents as leisurely, and went through the ordinary 
routine of camp duty as quietly, as we did at Mata- 
moras, but at tattoo roll-call I thought that I noticed 
an unusual degree of quiet and a clearer response as 
each name was called by the orderly sergeant upon 
my company parade. It was a clear, cold night ; that 
is, it was cool enough for the men to desire to 
approach the fire, which they did, and I noticed also 
that they remained up later, and there were more of 
them in a body, than usual. Otherwise nothing indi- 
cated that before morning we might be on our way 
to storm the town, as was pretty generally thought 
would be the case. 

September 20— Sunday. It was late this morning 



before the sunlight made its way into our camp where 
we had passed the night. I arose refreshed by a good 
night's sleep, and ready for the duties of the day. 
All was quiet until after breakfast, when rumors 
announced important movements at hand, and orders 
were received to hold ourselves in readiness to march. 
During the morning, I heard that General Worth's 
Division would be ordered to turn the works on the 
west of the town, and was about marching. I 
stepped over to its camp and saw it leave ; the men 
were in excellent spirits, and that division of regular 
troops presented an appearance which will never be 
effaced from my mind. It was thoroughly military 
and soldierlike ; they looked so clean, their arms and 
accoutrements in such beautiful order, that all my 
enthusiasm for soldiers was greatly gratified. The 
artillery battalion especially attracted my attention ; 
the red-legged infantry (as they were called from the 
broad red stripe running down the seams of their 
blue pantaloons) never on dress parade appeared to 
better advantage. Duncan's battery of flying artil- 
lery looked superb; the guns were as polished as 
those I had seen on Sunday's inspection at Fort 
McHenry, when Ringgold had brought this arm to the 
value now accorded it; and General Worth, the beau 
ideal of a gallant soldier, rode at the head of the 
column, as if conscious of the pride he had reason to 
feel in commanding such a body of troops. Colonel 
Jack Hayes's regiment of Texans, and McCullough's 
and Gillespie's companies of Rangers, accompanied the 

Returning to my own camp, I ascended a tree which 


commanded a view of the city, and here I remained 
for some hours, watching the movements of the 
Texans, who, apparently without any orders, and 
certainly without an}^ semblance of organization, were 
scouring over the plain, inviting the fire of the citadel, 
which answered at intervals by throwing a shot at 
these daring men without doing them any damage. 
The town still lay in its death-like repose; as yet not 
a sound could be heard from it. The only show of 
resistance or of activity was at the fort, which was 
called by us either the hlaclc fort, from the dark-look- 
ing stone of which it was constructed, or the citadel, 
from its size and strength. At four o'clock in the 
afternoon the long roll of the drums called the First 
Division to arms, and we fell into ranks fully believ- 
ing that the hour had come for battle. We marched 
out from camp into the plain, and found Butler's vol- 
unteer division, Ridgely's and Bragg's batteries of 
flying artillery, and Webster's regular battery of 
twenty-four-pound howitzers, ready to move with us. 
General Taylor and staff were also there. We marched 
toward the city, halted within a mile of its works, and 
formed line of battle ; not a shot fired, not a sound 
heard save the word of command. Even the black 
fort was hushed, and the sun went down behind the 
lofty mountain ridge on our right, leaving us in an 
amphitheatre of loveliness, and the peaks of the 
Comanche Saddle Mountain on our left, tinged with 
the gorgeous coloring of our own autumn evenings. 

The town was directly in front of our line ; its 
houses, its churches, its defenses, — all lying in the 
stillness and beauty of that Sabbath evening; nothing 


between us and its people but a few hundred yards 
of open plain. 

It was evident to all that this movement of ours 
was in connection with Worth's; but what that was, 
or ours, a Captain of Infantry knew no more on this 
field than if he were at home. Still standing to our 
arms, night fell upon us, and with it a deluge of rain; 
now commenced the ringing of church bells in the 
town, the barking of dogs, and the flashings to and 
fro of lights, rockets, and alarms. Orders were passed 
down our ranks to maintain complete silence, with 
permission for the men to sit down in their places. 
Suddenly the clangor of bugles and brass bands was 
heard in the city, or emerging from it, and we were 
on our feet in the twinkling of an eye. It was pro- 
foundly dark, and the rain still fell in torrents; no 
enemy came, but we heard in the stillness of the 
night the hurried movements and activity in the 
town, — they had taken the alarm caused by the ap- 
proach of Worth from an unexpected quarter. 

We remained here until between ten and eleven 
o'clock, when we marched back to camp, learning on 
our way that a mortar battery had been constructed 
by our troops while we were lying in the plain ; and 
that the howitzer battery had likewise been put in 

Before the assault, let us take a look at the town, 
its garrison, and its defenses. 




Monterey, the capital of New Leon, a city of eight 
to ten thousand inhabitants, would be considered a 
handsome town in any part of the world. The city 
itself is built upon a plain on the northern side of a 
small river called the San Juan, with a rivulet run- 
ning through it which empties into the San Juan to 
the east of the town. The main road from the Rio 
Grande to the city of Mexico passes through Monterey, 
then on by way of Saltillo and San Luis Potosi to the 
capital. East, west, and south of the town, in close 
proximity, spurs and ridges of the Sierra Madre moun- 
tains limit the area of the plain, which opens to the 
north, and was the road by which we approached it. 
Just outside of the town, on its north-west front or 
angle, was what we called the black fort, — a square 
work with dry ditches and embrasures for thirty-four 
guns; there were but ten or twelve mounted, of various 
sizes from fours to eighteens, but chiefly twelves. 
Within the area of the walls was an unfinished cath- 
edral, which rose to a considerable elevation above 
the parapets, and was occupied by infantry as a strong 
redoubt in support of the batteries en harhette. 

General Ampudia had thrown himself into the 
town about the 14th of August, with about three 
thousand troops of the line, and the number of the 


troops had been daily increased by additions of regular 
and irregular forces until he had ten thousand fiohtinsr 
men of all arms under his command. With these men, 
and reliefs of citizens, an elaborate system of works 
had been constructed for the defense of the town. 
From the citadel a stream of water ran in an easterly 
course through the suburbs into the city, and which 
then emptied into the San Juan beyond the town on 
the east, as I have before stated. Its banks were in 
some places steep and deep ; irrigating ditches ex- 
tended from it to the north. This branch was crossed 
near the middle of its course by a pretty stone bridge, 
called La Purisima. There was a strong work, or 
We du pont, on the south side of the bridge, and two 
long earth breastworks were on the southern bank 
of this &irQSiVL\ within the city ; on the east corner of 
the town a redoubt named Fort Teneria, mounting 
five guns — two sixes, one nine-, one tAvelve-pounder, 
and one howitzer, — connected by any number of 
ditches, hedges and barricades with the line of defense 
of the stream; while immediately in its rear, perhaps 
a little south-west of it, was another fort, called El 
Diablo, with three guns, and still another with four 
guns a little to its west, all of which were connected 
with and supported each other by curtains, ditches, 
and breastworks. Every street was barricaded, — many 
with embrasures for guns, — and every house and house- 
top was an arsenal of arms and missiles. All along 
the streets leading into the town from the north, in 
nddition to the barricades, there were sand-bag pnra- 
pets on the house-tops, behind which a large number 
of infantry were posted. No network of defense 


could have been much better prepared ; and into it 
we got precit^elv by the way they who constructed it 
would have wished us to come. 

I am not so familiar with the defenses on the west- 
ern side, although I have visited and examined them. 
On the hill Independeiicia, overlooking the Saltillo 
road, was a large, venerable-looking building, called 
by us the bishop's palace (it was formerly the seat 
of the bishop of this diocese), which was strongly 
fortified and lined with troops and artillery. This 
hill fell off precipitously- to the plain on its eastern 
side, and the citadel before spoken of commanded all 
the approaches from this direction : the Saltillo road, 
which was a prolongation of the main street of the 
city, running west, was defended by lines of barri- 
cades and the grenelled walls of a cemeterj' until they 
connected with the works that I have referred to — of 
the eastern defenses. In the centre of the city was 
the cathedral, with a large square or plaza in front ; 
all the streets leading into it were strongly barricaded, 
and all the houses in its vicinity strengthened with 
ever}- appliance of military engineering within the 
means of the garrison. la front of the town the plain 
was cut up by numerous quarry-pits from which stone 
had been taken i\iv building purposes, and these pits 
were fringed with low chaparral bushes. With these 
details, and the knowledge that the road by wdiich we 
had marched from Marin entered the city from the 
north through our present camp, a pretty fiiir idea 
may be obtained of our field of battle. 

General Pedro de Ampudia was in chief coumiiind, 
having among his subordinates Brigadiers Torrejon, 


Ortega, Requena, Mejia, Conde, and the Governor of 
the State of New Leon, Don Manuel M. LUino. 

On the 14th day of September, while our army was 
at Seralvo, General Ampudia issued the following 
proclamation, of which I have a copy, and think it 
worthy of preservation, as its style is eminently 
Mexican : 

"The General-in-Chief of the Army of the North, to his com 

" Soldiers I The enemy, numbering only two thousand five 
hundred regular troops, the remainder being only a band of ad- 
venturers without valor or discipline, are, according to reliable 
iufomiation, about advancing upon Seralvo to commit the bar- 
barity of attacking this most important place ; we count nearly 
three thousand regulars and auxiliary cavalry, and these will 
defeat them again and again before they can reach this city. 
Soldiers, we are constructing fortifications to make the base of 
our operations secure, and hence we will sally forth at a conve- 
nient time, and drive back this enemy at the point of the bayonet. 

" Soldiers ! Three great virtues make the soldier worthy of 
his profession: discipline, constancy under fatigue, and valor. 
He who would at this moment desert his colors is a coward and a 
traitor to his country. Our own nation, and even foreign countries, 
are the witnesses of your conduct. The question now is, whether 
our independence shall be preserved, or forever lost ; and its so- 
lution is in your hands. ' 

" I have assured the supreme Governm^t of the triumph of 
our arms, confiding in your loyalty and enthusiasm ; and we 
will prove to the whole world that we are worthy sons of the 
immortal Hidalgo, Morelos, Allende, Iturbide, and so many other 
heroes who knew bow to die combating for the independence of 
our cherished country. 

" Soldiers ! Victory or death must be our only device. 

" Pedko de Ampudia. 

"Headquarters, Mosteuey, September 14, 1846." 




September 21, 1846. I was awakened this morn- 
ing before daylight, by an orderly who brought a mes- 
sage that Colonel Watson desired to see me. I dressed 
hurriedly and went to his tent. He was dressing by 
candle-light, and, as soon as I entered, told me that he 
had received orders to march with the First Division 
to storm Monterey ; that he was troubled with one 
paragraph of the order which directed him to leave 
one company of his battalion as a camp-guard, and 
he wished to consult with me as to the company that 
he should detail. We talked the matter over whilst 
he was dressing, and he determined that Captain 
Robert Bronaugh's company should remain in camp. 
I should further say that one company of each regi- 
ment in the division was likewise detailed under the 
same orders as Colonel Watson had received ; the large 
force of the enemy's cavalry making it dangerous to 
leave our camp without a strong guard. Before he 
had finished dressing, the Colonel, holding in his 
hands a pair of heavy new boots with cork soles, sent 
to him as a present from some of his friends of the 
Baltimore Bar, asked me whether he should wear 
those or a lighter pair, then lying on the floor of his 
tent. I replied, jestingly, that the lighter pair would 
be more suitable, as I thought there would be some 
running done to-day : he laughed heartily, and saying 


that he had the advantage of me, as he was mounted, 
put on the heavy boots. It was by these boots as 
much as by anything else that I identified his remains 
when they were disinterred to send to Baltimore for 
burial. The reveille soon sounded throughout our 
camp, the slumbering fires of the past night were re- 
plenished with wood, coffee was cooked, and by sun- 
rise our men had breakfasted. Before eight o'clock we 
were in line, and the orders detailing Captain Bro- 
naugh's company published on the parade. He be- 
haved as I would have done, I expect, under the same 
circumstances — badly ; and sharp and angry words 
passed between him and our Colonel. We moved out 
of the woods, fell in with the rest of the division, halted, 
a (letail of Lieutenant Owen of Steuart's company 
with two enlisted men from each company was made 
to report for picket duty, resumed our march toward 
the city, and halted again where we had been in line 
of battle the preceding evening. The mortar, which 
had been then placed, was now discharged, and we 
witnessed the flight of the shell and its explosion in 
the air over the town ; several others succeeded with 
very uncertain flight, when, from the citadel, two 
twelve-pound balls were sent in our direction, but 
they fell short. After half an hour's halt, the Fourth 
Brigade, consisting of our battalion, four companies of 
the First Infantry, with six companies of the Third 
Infantry, marched by file to the left, and a;fter 
thirty minutes' hard nuxrching, emerged from a corn- 
field at the distance of five hundred yards from and 
directly in front of a fort (Teneria), which opened 
upon us immediately. 


We had been marching by a flank through the 
cornfield, but now moved forward into line, which 
threw the Third Infantry on the right, the First In- 
fantry in the centre, and the Baltimore Battalion on 
the left. "We advanced toward the fort with steadiness 
and rapidity, receiving its fire of round and grape 
shot, and the musketry of its infantry supports, when 
there came across our line of g-dvance, and apparently 
in close proximity, the sound of an eighteen-pound 
ball sent from the citadel. We were being enfiladed. 
Still we advanced ; another shot from the citadel, and 
the leg of Lieutenant Dilworth, of the First Infantry, 
was taken off as he stepped. If the gun which had fired 
that shot had been aimed the eighth of an inch more 
to the left, there is no telling how many would have 
been crippled. Still we advanced, notwithstanding 
this additional fire on our exposed flaidc, until we 
were within a little less than one hundred yards of 
the fort, until two of the guns were abandoned by 
their gunners, when, just at the moment the fruits of 
our gallant charge were within our grasp, our brigade 
commander committed the unpardonable blunder of 
changing the point of attack, and attempting to move 
by the right flank by file left, into a street of the town 
which debouched into the plain, about opposite the 
right of our line — our battalion being directly in front 
of the fort on its left. I was looking at the embrasure 
of the now silent gun, through which I purposed to 
go into the redoubt, when I observed a great deal of 
confusion on our right, which in a second was com- 
municated to the whole line, and the impetus of our 
charge was gone. No orders could be heard ; the din 


was deafening, shot crashing through our ranks; but 
it was evident what was contemplated, by the direc- 
tion which our right was taking, and our battalion 
followed the Third and First Infantry into the street. 

Our brigade commander was a very brave man, — 1 
saw this now, and repeatedly afterwards during the 
day, — but he was no soldier, for he lacked the natural 
instinct of a soldier. 

If there had been any faltering in his troops, if 
there were any impassable obstacle in our front, then 
there might have been some excuse for changing the 
direction of the brigade ; but, going with the speed 
that we were, the hesitation caused by all not com- 
prehending the movement was of itself sufficient to 
break the elan of the charge, without any regard to 
the severity of the fire to which the men were ex- 
posed at the moment. The dumbest soldier in that 
brigade felt that we had made a false and fatal step. 

General Garland told me that his purpose was, in 
entering the town, "to take the fort in reverse." He 
did not seem to think that those who had put the fort 
where it was would be likely to put a line of defenses 
to its reverse as well as to its front ; he found it out 
before the day was over, and my own opinion is he 
got this idea from what it was said Captain Bacchus, 
of the First Infantry, subsequently did. 

Let us see what is said about this matter by others. 

I cite from Major R. S. Ripley's History of the War 
with Mexico, vol. i. page 206, etc. 

" When Garland's Division moved from off the batteries (the 
mortars), Major Mansfield, with other reconnoitering officers, 
having two companies of infantry as the immediate escort, ad- 


vanced into the suburbs of the town in search of a point of 
attack, and, after a short reconnaissance, sent a request to Gar- 
laud to come forward. Whether he intended that he should 
come forward in person to examine the position, or that he 
should move up his troops to eng-age them, Garland understood 
him in the latter sense. While Mansfield had been employed in 
reconnaissance. Garland bad halted the main body of his com- 
mand out of range. Upon receiving the message, he moved 
forward in line, keeping to the left of the main road. By follow- 
ing the route which Mansfield had pursued, he gave his right 
flank to the citadel, while Fort Teneria was upon his left and 
front. The latter of these works soon opened heavily upon the 
command, and the citadel followed its e.xample with a destruc- 
tive enfilading fire. Still the Americans moved steadily forward 
until reaching the scattered buildings and inclosures of the 
suburb, which broke their formation ; but, although in confusion, 
the advance was rapidly continued, for it was thought that Fort 
Teneria might be turned and taken in reverse. The Mexi- 
can fire from both citadel and Fort Teneria was kept up with 
vigor; and as the command approached the rivulet through the 
suburb, the masked breastworks on its southern bank received 
it with another destructive fire, which increased the confusion. 
Keither officers nor men knew anything of their position. Mans- 
field, who had led the assault when the troops had reached him, 
although wounded, pressed on, pointing out positions for attack, 
and there was no lack of brave officers to lead and brave men to 
follow ; but from the gardens, from the neighboring house-tops, 
as well as from the masked breastworks, an unseen foe pelted 
the troops with musketry, while the heavy fire from Fort Teneria 
and the citadel kept rolling in on their flanks. Movements 
against a seemingly practicable point only brought a greater 
slaughter; and after many officers and men had fallen, still 
ignorant of their locality, the troops paused, and finally took 
shelter in a neighboring street." 

It will be observed that Major Ripley ascribes our 
formation being broken to our reaching the scattered 
buildings and inclosures of the suburb. This is an 


error, as is also another statement made by him, that 
but three officers and some seventy men of our bat- 
talion kept to its work during the assault. Major 
Ripley was not with us, but was engaged gallantly 
fighting in Worth's Division on the other side of the 
town; and I will show farther on how this misstate- 
ment originated, for, up to the period of entering the 
town, not a man had shrunk from the assault. 

To resume the thread of my narration: I have said 
the Third and First Infantry were on our right, and 
necessarily by the flank movement preceded us into 
the street leading into the heart of the town, and they 
caught the severity of the fire of the Mexicans lying in 
wait for our advance. It was a terrific fire from all 
sides, and as we hurried up the street we passed the 
dead, the dying, and those who were seeking shelter of 
the two leading battalions. I was well up with the head 
of our battalion, and did not look behind, but I have 
no doubt that men of ours sought shelter as had those 
who preceded them. I say, however, that the mass of 
our men followed as far as the mass of the brigade, and 
that wag as far as brave men could go. There was 
no going any farther; the brigade was gone as an 
organization, and the last order given in that town 
by Colonel Garland, prior to the order to retreat, was 
obeyed by some twenty or thirty officers and men ; 
the rest were unable to fight or do more than they 
had done, and were lying in the streets by which we 
had reached the shambles in which we were now 
cooped. I am wrong in saying this was all that 
remained of the brigade ; I did not know at the time, 
and I believe it was not known to the commanding 


officers, that Captain Bacchus of the First Infantry 
had crossed the rivulet, and, with men of his own 
company and others, was in possession of a building 
which looked into Fort Teneria, and was firing upon 
its garrison. I have been told this by those who 
were present, and believe it to be true, because I had 
got some men in a house and was firing from its rear 
windows upon the Mexicans at the bridge head, when 
I was ordered out, and felt for the instant, by the tone 
of the order, as if I had been caught skulking; and I 
have a right to say that it was not known Bacchus was 
in a building, or he would have been ordered out of it. 

Garland was on foot, Watson was on foot, Major 
Bainbridge was on foot;* Lieutenant-Colonel Henry 
Wilson, commanding the First Infantry, cool and col- 
lected, was on horseback ; the dead and the dying 
were lying very thick, when there came tearing up 
to this point, designated the shambles, a section of 
Bragg's Battery, under Lieutenant John F. Reynolds; 
it had come in by the way we came, and met with a 
rough reception ; it looked as if it bad, and where it 
now was not much would have been left of it in a 
few minutes if not ordered out, which was done. To 
turn the leading piece was difficult in the narrow 
street ; this was effected by lifting the gun-carriage 
jam up to the wall of the house, in front of which it 
had halted, by officers and men of the Baltimore Bat- 
tahon. This gun disengaged, the other followed it out 
into the plain. 

The Fourth Brigade was gone, but its commanding 

* They had been dismounted by the enemy's fire. 

112 3IEM0IRS OF A 

officer was at his post. As angry as I was, I could 
not but admire the courage of Colonel Garland, for 
even in that storm of missiles he seemed unwilling 
to withdraw. Finally he said to the few about him, 
" We must retreat." "Watson, turning to me, asked 
which way I was going, I replied, " With the men." 
He said, " I am going this way," and crossed to an 
open gateway on the north side of the street, entered 
it, and this was the last I saw of him. My second 
lieutenant, Oden Bowie, followed him; and I, with 
my lieutenants SchaefFer and Aisquith, took the 
streets by which we had entered — there was no diffi- 
culty in finding our route, it was painfully marked — 
to the plain outside the town. We were followed by 
our men, of both regular and volunteer battalions, who 
joined us in the retreat at every step, from the shel- 
ters' they had sought. They were strung along from 
the suburbs up to the sjsot where Garland gave the 
order to retreat. As we emerged from the town, the 
citadel opened upon us with redoubled fury, and a 
portion of the inen, both regulars and volunteers, 
continued their retreat until they got out of the line 
of fire ; and this is the foundation of Major Ripley's 

The Baltimore Battalion went into action with 
about two hundred and thirty men, there being but 
five companies of us, and heavy details (among 
others, one of twelve men for Ridgely's battery) had 
reduced our present for duty to about this number. 
I carried forty-two muskets into action, and my com- 
pany was one of the strongest in the battalion ; so 
that if there were but seventy men, as Ripley says, it 


was a pretty fair proportion, after what had been 
done. But there were more ; I rallied about one hun- 
dred and eighty officers and men, and made so respect- 
able a front that Garland ordered me to unite with 
the .fragments of the First and Tliird, which were 
being formed under Captain Miller, of the First Infan- 
try, to support Bragg's Battery against a body of Lan- 
cers which had shown itself in the field, and whom 
we drove off with loss. I had with me Second 
Lieutenant Samuel Wilt, of Company A ; First Lieu- 
tenant Laurence Dolan and Second Lieutenant M. K. 
Taylor, of Company B; First Lieutenant Eugene 
Boyle and acting Lieutenant John Truscott, of Com- 
pany D; Lieutenants Schaeffer and Aisquith of my own 
Company E; and Captain James Boyd, with Second 
Lieutenant Robert E. Haslett and acting Lieutenant 
James Taneyhill, of Company F. (I am quite posi- 
tive that I saw Captain James Piper in the town, and 
was told by those who had a right to know, that 
Captain James E. Steuart was also there. First Lieu- 
tenant Joseph H. Ruddach, a brave and efficient officer, 
was not with his Company F, being absent, sick at 
Seralvo.) With the Baltimore Battalion as thus 
organized I shared the fortunes of the First Division, 
under very trying circumstances, until night put an 
end to the conflict for the day. 
Again let us hear from Ripley; he says, pages 208-9 : 

"In tbe meantime, Bragg's Battery had been advanced into 
the suburb, and had opened ; but a few discharges proved the in- 
efficiency of his guns in llie position. His men and horses fell 
rapidly under the fire of the unseen enemy, and against the 
heavier metal of Fort Teneria in embrasure he was powerless ; 


and, finally, this first attempt at a demonstration was consum- 
mated by the whole command being ordered to fall back out of 

There are two grave errors here. The first, inti- 
mating that the section of Bragg's Battery to which I 
have referred halted in the suburbs; it did not, it 
was brought far up into the town. The second error 
is in alleging that it opened fire ; it did not ; and the 
reason given by Ripley is why it was not unlimbered 
and put into action, — " his men and horses were falling 
rapidly." Garland did right in ordering it out of 
town ; it was powerless there at that time. 

1 thank Major Ripley for saying that " the whole 
command was ordered to fall back out of range," for 
it was this very order, which I did not hear, that 
justified those officers and men of the Baltimore Bat- 
talion, and abundantly refutes the charge of their 
" having tied beyond the range of fire." They always 
told me that they were not only ordered to retire 
beyond the range of fire, but that they were, led in 
doing so by officers other than their own. 

After having repulsed the Lancers, we were ordered 
to shelter ourselves under the earthworks of Fort 
Teneria, which 'had been carried while we were in the 
town by a battalion of the Fourth Regular Infantry and 
Quitman's Brigade of the First Mississippi and First 
Tennessee regiments of volunteers. It must be borne 
in mind that the guns of the citadel were still sweep- 
ing the plain, and the capture of Fort Teneria enabled 
us, for the first time on that day, to find any shelter 
from its fire. 

Here Brigadier- General Hamer came with the 


shattered fragments of his brigade, and here Randolph 
Ridgely's Battery was somewhat protected, the riders 
and gunners being dismounted. 

Now I can expLain the death of Watson. When 
General Taylor heard the heavy volleys with which 
the appearance of our brigade in town was greeted, 
He sent forward a part of Butler's Volunteer Division 
to our support. These entered the city by several 
streets to the right (west) of the one by which we 
entered. Its leading regiment was Colonel Mitchell's, 
the First Ohio Volunteers, — our old friends of the Rio 
Grande, — and being met with the same reception as 
had been given to us, it was forced to retreat, and 
came out of town a good deal broken up. If Garland 
could have held on longer, as he wanted to do, or 
Hamer had arrived sooner, it is more than probable 
we could have held our own; but we just passed each 
other, Hamer coming in as Garland was going out. 
When Watson left me, inclining to the left, he met 
these troops coming in, and, joining them, fell dead in 
the charge. None of us had seen or heard anything 
of Earner's Brigade until we saw them retreating from 
the town, and it was from them that the distressing 
fact was made known to me. Up to this time T was 
in momentary expectation of seeing him, and was 
imagining the pride he would feel when I turned over 
to him the command of his battalion, whose gallant 
conduct at that time was on the lips of every soldier 
of the First Division who had been in the town. " We 
will fight with the brave Baltimoreans," was heard on 
every side on that morning of the 21st of September, 
after the repulse of the first assault. 


There was a dry ditch about Fort Teneria ; and in 
this ditch and around and in the redoubt a large 
number of troops were collected of the First, and 
Butler's Volunteer Division. Brigadier-General Hamer 
ordered the men to form, but upon its being attempted, 
the fire from the citadel was directed against the 
mass, and, at the same time, the guns of Fort Diablb 
opened upon us. General Taylor now arrived, and 
going into the redoubt in company with him and 
Captain Eandolph Ridgely, I saw the latter, aided 
by those who were around, train the guns of this fort, 
which had been captured, upon Fort Diablo, and its 
fire materially diminished by the fire from our guns 
in this fort. Our men were now enabled to form 
without being so much exposed, and another assault 
was made into the town with the same result as the 

Again I cite from Ripley; he says, pages 211, 212, 
213 : 

" So soon as the event was known, fragments of the different 
regiments, and Bragg's and Ridgely's field batteries [I did not 
see Bra,gg's Battery here ; 1 am sure it was not whilst I wasj 
were collected about the captured work [Fort Teneria]. General 
Taylor determined to hold his position in the town, and attempts 
were made to advance. General Butler first led the Ohio regi- 
ment to the left of the former attack, with the intention of as- 
saulting Fort Diablo ; but that work was stoutly defended, and 
could not immediately be taken. Butler, accordingly, fell back, 
but not until he had been wounded and lost many men. Mean- 
while Taylor had ordered the main force of the First Division 
(still under Garland, although General Twiggs had come up 
from the camp to the captured work*) to extend to the right and 

* I will explain this matter after I shall have got through with 
the extract. 


endeavor to penetrate the town, with the idea of maljing way 
by an extendied circuit to the rear of Fort Diablo. This was 
attempted, and although severely cut up by the fire of the Mexi- 
cans as they crossed the streets, especially from the tete de pont 
of La Purisima, the troops passed beyond the bridge-head, and, 
although in confusion, entered the yards of the street next the 
rivulet, driving the Mexicans from the adjacent houses; but 
further advance was impracticable. Directly in front lay a street 
swept by the fire of the tete de pont, and beyond, the deep 
ditches and high banks of the rivulet : while the Mexicans oc- 
cupied the parapet of the bridge and a low wall which extended 
on the southern bank, whence they plied their musketry with 
unceasing vigor. But still the officers, though falling with the 
men at every moment, called on them to maintain their ground, 
while they searched in vain for a practicable point to pass the 
stream. Captain Ridgelj' brought up a section of his battery, but 
his fire was ineffectual against that of the heavy metal of the 
enemy from behind his parapets, and the battle in this quarter 
continued without any advantage to the Americans. The Mexi- 
cans were nevertheless pressed closely, and a heavy battalion of 
infantry from the interior of the town was sent to support the 
garrison of the ttte de pont. It came down the street leading 
to the bridge, but before it could gain shelter it had to pass 
under the American fire from the houses and yards on the north- 
ern bank of the stream, which was delivered with so much effect 
that the column was driven back into the town. The Mexican 
artillery was then placed in position to bear upon the Americans, 
and, opening from the distance, beat through the walls of the 
houses and yards, whence they delivered their fire and rendered 
the position untenable. After a continued occupation of the 
exposed point, the attempt to pass the rivulet was given up as 
impracticable, and the troops were withdrawn to Fort Teneria. 
"While the various operations had taken place in the suburbs, 
the Mexican Lancers had made many demonstrations of attack- 
ing the American troops in rear and cutting up the camp-guard 
at the wood of San Domingo,* though none of the demonstra- 

* Our camp. 


tions had been serious except that upon the detached companies 
of Garland's retreating command. The main body of the Lancers 
had come down at one time upon the Ohio and Mississippi regi- 
ments [I was in the town when this attack was made], which 
had been withdrawn from Fort Teneria ; but these regiments had 
fallen back against a chaparral fence, whence they delivered a fire, 
and the Lancers had retreated. Bragg's Battery was sent in that 
direction from the captured work, and a few discharges effectually 
dispersed them. The captured guns of Fort Teneria were served 
from time to time upon Fort Diablo, until one of the howitzers 
was brought forward from the first position of the batteries. But 
the principal operations of the day upon the eastern front of 
Monterey were finished. During the afternoon the main body 
of the troops remained in and about the captured work, collect- 
ing the dead and wounded, and strengthening the position. The 
enemy made no direct attempt to dislodge them, but kept up a 
cannonade from Fort Diablo whenever any were exposed, which 
was replied to from a howitzer and with musketry. A move- 
ment of Lancers on the southern bank of the San Juan beyond 
the town was opposed by Ridgely's Battery, and a few shots 
drove them back. When night fell, the First, Third, and Fourth 
Infantry and Ridgely's guns were detailed to guard the captured 
work, and the remaining troops were ordered to the camp at the 
wood of San Domingo." 

It would be very difficult for any one writer to 
have detailed more faithfully than Major Ripley has 
done the events embraced in the above extract from 
his history ; the only material error is in including in 
the second assault some matter of description which 
belongs to the first assault, and connected therewith. 
I doubt much whether a more correct description was 
ever given of the incidents of a day's battle. 

I said that I would explain the matter about 
General Twiggs's arrival at the captured work, and 
why it was that Garland still commanded the First 


Division. I should, before this, have said that Colonel 
Garland was the next senior to General Twiggs, and 
took command of the division in his absence I saw 
General Twiggs when he came upon the field riding 
from the direction of the camp, but well out of the 
range of the guns of the citadel. This was, I think, 
about noon ; it might have been a little earUer, but it 
was after the repulse of our first assault. I was so 
struck with his coming almost alone and in such very 
unmilitary garb, that he noticed me, and, approach- 
ing, said, " I expected a battle to-day, but didn't think 
it would come off so soon, and took a dose of medicine 
last night, as I always do before a battle so as to 
loosen my bowels ; for a bullet striking the belly when 
the bowels were loose might pass through the in- 
testines without cutting them." I was very much 
interested at hearing all this from so old a soldier, 
but still it didn't satisfy me ; and I wasn't astonished 
when I heard subsequently that General Taylor had 
quietly ignored his being present, and suffered the 
command of his division to remain with Garland. 
He, however, remained in and about the field, although 
I did not see him again until late in the evening, when 
he appeared to have assumed command, and ordered 
the division, with the exception of the regiments 
before mentioned, to return to camp. 

Among the many officers who had strenuously 
exerted themselves during the day, after the first 
assault, to reorganize the broken troops of both divi- 
sions, my attention was particularly attracted to one 
by reason of his voice ; it was so clear, so distinct, so 
encouraging, and commanding, that when I first 


heard it I looked toward him and inquired who he 
was, and was told that he was Colonel Albert Sydney 
Johnston, of Texas, serving on the staff of Major- 
General Butler. I was sorry when my command was 
taken from him, as he was the first officer that had 
succeeded in bringing some degree of order out of the 
confusion which prevailed. 

In recalling the effect produced upon me by the 
voice of Colonel Johnston, I cannot refrain from giving 
expression to the cheering influence of the manner 
and words of Captain Randolph Ridgely. When we 
were entering the town at the second assault, Ridgely 
came tearing along with his section, his head slightly 
bent forward, with his face to the right, as if meeting 
a storm of sleet, instead of iron, rain, and leaden hail, 
as it was ; while in this position, passing me, march- 
ing forward with the Baltimore Battalion, his whole 
face lighted up with a smile, and he cried out, 
" Kenly, what do you think of this ?" it seeming to 
do him good to know that I was in the same predica- 
ment with him. 

Of this day's fighting, Major Ripley says truly, 
there were not wanting " brave officers to lead, or 
brave men to follow ;" and we had lost three hundred 
and ninety-four men killed or wounded, including one 
general officer, eight field officers, seven captains, and 
eighteen lieutenants. 

We dragged our weary limbs back to camp, and 
then I realized most painfully the irreparable loss we 
had sustained in the death of Colonel Watson, and I 
almost reproached myself at not having grieved more 
during the day ; he was not only my commander, he 
was my friend, and I mourned his death. 


September 22. A heavy cannonading was kept up 
all last night, and the rockets from the town illumi- 
nated the mountains in the rear to such an extent 
that the scenery was grand, almost sublime. At 
reveille we were ordered to be ready to leave at a 
moment's warning, and the stiffened limbs of the 
men yielded unwilling obedience to orders to fall in. 
During the morning it was reported that the Mexi- 
cans were assembling on the plain, and the divi- 
sion was formed, when my company was detailed 
to move to the front to support Bragg's Battery, 
near the city. I left the camp with my men, and 
once more took the road to the town. We soon per- 
ceived that there was heavy firing on the hill next 
the Loma Independencia, upon which was the bishop's 
palace, and we saw the soldiers fighting ; it was the 
most exciting scene I had ever beheld, for now they 
were advancing to the assault on the palace. How 
my heart beat ! for I felt that if they could carry the 
palace, the town was ours. On rushed the Ameri- 
cans, in full view as we marched, met with the fire 
from the Mexicans; but still they pressed on, and 
now they were getting in the works. Almost simul- 
taneously with the entry of the Americans, we saw 
the Mexicans leaping from the windows, and running 
from the rear of the palace down the hill toward the 
city. We saw the Mexican flag lowered, and such a 
cheer as we sent up was never heard before on that 
plain ; it was taken up by other troops, and the first 
flash of victory filled our breasts with inexpressible 

The bishop's palace carried, it was clear that the 


town was gone, for this hill entirely commanded 
Monterey and its environs, and it was only a question 
of time as to when it would surrender. All the dan- 
gers and fatigues of the preceding day were forgotten, 
and we moved forward almost forgetting the black 
fort, until a well-known sound reminded us that its 
heavy metal was paying its respects to us. I took 
my position on the left of the battery, which was in 
a slight hollow under the brow of a hill, and there we 
lay for two long hours exposed to an uninterrupted 
firing from the citadel, its twelve- and eighteen-pound 
balls flying over us in direct flight, or else made to 
ricochet so as to plunge in our midst. We lay with 
our heads toward the fort, with intervals of several 
feet between each man, and the horses and the guns 
were likewise separated by intervals, so that the rise 
of the hill protected us from the fire ; but many of the 
ricochet shot plunged through, tearing up the earth 
in furrows, and scattering sand and gravel over us ; 
but not one man was struck. Only the arm-chest of 
one of the limbers was shattered, the chips from 
which, flying in the air, were greeted by a loud cheer 
from the fort ; and they never ceased firing as long as 
we remained there. Finally one by one the guns 
were withdrawn, and then in single file we ran as 
fast as we could until we got under shelter from the 
never-to-be-forgotten sound of those cannon-balls. I 
made the experience that nothing is so demoralizing 
to troops as exposure to an artillery fire of solid shot. 
I saw our very best troops on the preceding day quail 
under this fire, and to-day I noticed the dread with 
which our artillerymen regarded it as they made 
ready to withdraw from our position. 


We had been thrown out to check any demonstra- 
tion from the city, but the capture of the bishop's 
palace and the advance of Worth's troops gave the 
Mexicans enough to attend to in town. 

Our division was now allowed to take some much- 
needed rest, and we lay listening to the sounds of the 
battle raging in Monterey, with that interest which 
it is impossible to portray, and which will be forever 
unknown, except to those who had gone through the 
fiery baptism of the preceding day. With us, every 
volume of sound was scrutinized, whether it were ours 
or theirs, every phase of the roar of musketry or boom- 
ing of guns was discussed as to its locality and proba- 
ble effect, the numbers engaged were counted over and 
over again, and the movements of the morrow deter- 
mined, with an assurance of success that the fall of 
the bishop's palace had now given to every man in 
our army. 



At reveille on the morning of Wednesday, Septem- 
ber 23d, we were again ordered to hold ourselves 
in readiness to leave, as a final attack was to be 
made on the town by the whole of the two divisions. 
At 8.30 the long roll sounded and the troops sprang 
to their arms ; at 9 o'clock A.M. we marched from 
our camp, still in the wood of San Domingo, but 


called by us Walnut Springs, and followed our well- 
known road to the city ; we halted within half a 
mile from the town, when the First Division moved for- 
ward into line of battle, and the command was given. 
"In place, rest." This looked like work, and we had 
reason to believe that it was before us, for the town 
was shrouded in a canopy of smoke, within whose folds 
a sanguinary combat was raging. We were compara- 
tively safe from fire, and our interest and excitement 
increased every hour ; bombs were flying continually 
from either side ; volleys of musketry, lighting up the 
smoke with a lurid glare, were mingled with the dull 
heavy roar of cannon flashing their jets of flame 
through the dark cloud enveloping friend and foe, 
and rolling down upon us, reeking with the smell of 
battle. I would have given an arm to have been 
ordered to the attack, and all were alike excited. 
As the fighting continued, I never beheld men in 
such a condition as ours ; it was impossible to keep 
them in the ranks. They would jump up and sit down, 
fix and unfix bayonets, open their cartridge-boxes, un- 
button their coats, stamp with their feet, swear the 
most horrid oaths, and it needed but one single cry of 
" Forward !" to have thrown that division like a torrent 
into the city, to aid their hard-pressed comrades. 
Still we waited for the order, still the fight raged in 
the town ; hour after hour passed, hearing a battle and 
we doing nothing. We had been kept so long momen- 
tarily expecting the order to advance, that we had 
got worked up in the excitement to almost imagining 
that we were in position to participate, expecting to 
see the Mexicans making a sortie ; and this was pre- 


cisely what we were doing, and what we were placed 
here to do, although we were not aware of it at the 

We must now take a glance at what Worth has 
been doing in this great drama, still continuing, and 
see where his troops are on this third day. 

As we have seen, he left our camp at Walnut 
Springs on the afternoon of Sunday, the 20th, and 
after a sharp skirmish on the Saltillo road with a 
large force of Mexican cavalry and infantry, suc- 
ceeded in turning the left or western defenses of Am- 
pudia, and was on the night of that day in rear of the 
town. On the 21st, by a series of brilliant movements, 
he had effected such results that the capture by 
assault of the bishop's palace on the 22d, and the pur- 
suit of its fleeing garrison into the western part of the 
town, followed as necessary consequences from these 
initial steps. His troops, advancing from the west, 
were now on this third day pressing the Mexicans 
toward the fire of the Americans, working their way 
from the east. 

That General Worth handled his troops with con- 
summate skill, and that his division behaved with 
great gallantry, no one has ever questioned. They 
gained great credit, and deservedly won the praise 
and the confidence of our country ; but it would be to 
ignore facts if it were not admitted that General Tay- 
lor's operations on the eastern and northern fronts 
had contributed most materially to Worth's successes. 
In fact, Taylor did the work, and our losses had been 
Worth's gain, our little brigade losing more men on 
the 21st than Worth's whole division in the three 


days' fighting; and this is the way it happened. The 
Mexican General was outgeneraled, outwitted, and 
outmanoeuvred from first to last. He had failed in 
every single instance to divine the object contem- 
plated by us, and in no single instance did he display 
sufficient military judgment to take advantage of our 
mistakes. With a superior force of infantry, he failed 
to make a single sortie after our repulses ; and with 
a superior force of cavalry, he failed to make a single 
successful demonstration upon our broken troops. 

When, on the night of Sunday, Taylor lay in front 
of Monterey to cover Worth's flank movement, Ampu- 
dia was taken by surprise, and, without sufficient 
reflection, believed that ours was the real column of 
attack, and Worth's but a feint. When on the next 
morning he found Taylor had gone and Worth ad- 
vancing, he threw his heavy masses of infantry to the 
line of his western defenses, but to be hurried back as 
soon as he saw Taylor's column advancing to his 
eastern works. He was now sure that Worth meant 
only a diversion in favor of Taylor, and that his origi- 
nal opinion was correct and had been well founded. 
This mistake, while it operated to his destruction, 
was near proving ours, for he threw at least six 
thousand infantry against us and kept them pelting 
away with but little regard to Worth's action. The 
consequences were that though he drove us out of 
town, he failed to sujjport Fort Teneria, which was 
carried, while the Fourth Brigade was fighting the un- 
equal contest and keeping his troops engaged as 
already narrated; and, having effected a lodgment, 
Taylor's position was so threatening on his right flank 


that he kept under the delusion that his danger was 
most imminent here, and kept the masses of his 
troops of the line confronting us. The bishop's palace 
was thus shamefully neglected by him, and when it 
fell, as I have already described, on the 22d, he awoke 
to the startling realities of his false calculations. 

But one step remained for him to take, and that 
was to recapture the palace if it cost him his last 
man ; he had plenty of troops and to spare to do it 
with, and he only made an abortive demonstration on 
the night of the 22d. 

Thus it will be seen, as is unmistakably the fact, that 
Taylor had been fighting, up to this time, the bulk of 
the Mexican army ; and the losses of the respective 
Divisions demonstrate it. 

Now, on this third day, the advance of Worth's 
Division from the west relieved considerably the press- 
ure on Taylor, and the whole army was concentra- 
ting its cordon around the garrison of Monterey. On 
the west, the guns from the bishop's palace were 
throwing shot and shell ; on the south, a single gun 
was plunging solid shot into the main plaza ; on the 
east. Fort Teneria was hurling its missiles toward the 
cathedral; and on the north lay our Division, an 
unbroken line of tried troops, — a dangerous neighbor 
in this hour of battle. 

All this grand panorama was passing before our eyes, 
and until dark, without hunger, and without thirst, 
we waited. The curtain was up, and we were ready 
dressed to play our part. The call was not sounded, 
for we had been performing all that our commanding 
general had wanted us to do ; for he knew where the 


First Division of his army was, and he knew what he 
was doing when he put it there. 

As night approached, the firing gradually dropped 
off, save that now and then a whizzing, which seemed 
more spiteful because less in quantity, might be heard 
cutting the air as the missile sped on its flight; now 
and then the explosion of a single bomb lit up the 
darkness of cloud and smoke with a thousand pictures 
of light and shadow ; but as the cold shades of evening 
fell upon us, a silence, heavy and profound, was over 
camp and field, town and mountains, the living and 
the dead. 

We returned noiselessly to the wood of San 
Domingo for rest, in order to gather strength for 
anotlier day of unrest. 

September 24 — Thursday. The first information I 
received this morning was, that an armistice had been 
agreed upon for the twenty-four hours from the past 
midnight until the next ; all was excitement and 
speculation as to the probabilities of an evacuation of 
the city by the Mexicans. During the day several 
heavy guns were heard, and we thought that hostili- 
ties had recommenced. At 5 o'clock in the after- 
noon the long roll beat, and we fell in hurriedly, not 
knowing what was to be done next; our whole brig- 
ade marched out of camp under command of Colonel 
Garland, and took the road to the fort which he had 
attacked on Monday morning the 21st. As we marched 
along, every eye was turned toward the old gray 
citadel; there was the same grim artillery looking 
from over the parapets, and each instant we expected 
to see the fire belch forth from its open mouths. No 


man would dare to deny the relief he felt when, filing 
from the main road, we obliqued to the left and were 
under cover from its range. We reached the well- 
remembered locality, and learned that we were to re- 
lieve General Hamer's brigade in holding Fort Teneria 
and adjacent works. 

As we neared the redoubt, the stench from the 
buried and unburied dead was so offensive, that many 
of the men were made sick to vomithig. The four 
companies of the First Infantry under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Wilson were stationed in the main fort, and 
he did my company the honor to request that it might 
be detailed to strengthen his battalion. Not knowing 
what work was before us, we bad left camp to go into 
battle without overcoats, and bringing with us neither 
rations nor blankets ; it grew very cold, and there 
was nothing but the bare ground to lie upon. Just 
as they were dressed at midday, the men now lay 
huddled together, with their loaded mnslcets (which 
they were ordered to keep in their hands) sadly inter- 
fering with efforts to afford each other a little warmth. 
We knew not at what moment we would be attacked, 
and the entire absence of rumor kept us in such sus- 
pense, that, with the dreadful steoch, increasing every 
hour, I think that no one fell asleep. Not less than 
thirty Mexicans had been covered up in a breastwork 
or curtain which extended and ran from the fort in 
which we were, to a distillery near by that had been 
converted into a redoubt ; upon some of these bodies 
the earth was very thin, while our own dead were 
adding to the lesson of the day, and preaching to the 
living, as never priest taught in meeting-house or 


minster, that "this corruptible must put on incorrup- 

I was on guard, and, as I could not have slept, was 
rather glad of it; there was no necessity to visit my 
sentries on post — they were wide awake. About mid- 
night I heard the sharp challenge of the most distant 
sentinel, and the next moment the rattling of sabres 
and the noise as if of a body of horse moving rapidly 
toward us. Not a doubt was in my mind but that it 
was a body of Lancers at the head of a sally from the 
town. I gave the alarm instantly, and every man 
was on his feet. Captain Webster, who with his two 
twenty-four- pound howitzers was within the fort, 
pointed his guns, matches were lighted, and every- 
thing was made ready to meet the coming shock. No 
one smelt the dead, but the chill of the night air 
caused many a brave man to shiver with the cold as 
we stood in the darkness, hours of time concentrated 
in the running of a few minutes. Colonel Garland 
came into the fort, told Lieutenant^Colonel Wilson 
that the noise which had alarmed us was " General 
Taylor and staff leaving the city, escorted by a regi- 
ment of Mexican cavalry; tJiat all was settlsd, and 
that a capitulation had been agreed upon." 

So sudden was the transition in our feelings, so 
sudden the unexpected intelligence of a cessation of 
hostilities, that the exultation, which otherwise would 
have been natural, was smothered by a dumb sense 
of wonder and astonishment. 

In the startling alarm of approaching Mexicans in 
the dead of night, we had lost smell of the stench ; ■ 
we now lost all feeling of cold in the variety of 


emotions caused by the knowledge lighting up our 
minds that a great victory had crowned our arms with 
the success we had fought so continuously to win. 

September 25 — Friday. As daylight approached, 
the ramparts were crowded with the soldiers, anxious 
to see the evidence of the town being in our hands. 
Never did the glorious sun shine on a more beautiful 
prospect than was lying stretched around and about 
us. Nature was in unison with our feelings, and the 
happy termination of days and weeks of toil and 
danger added to the delight which a smiling landscape 
awakens in the dullest of human beings. 

Within an hour, hundreds of women came to the 
fort, some sobbing, some smiling, to see the prisoners 
who were confined in the distillery building : they 
were admitted, and it was so affecting an interview 
that I had to go away. 

We still waited to see our flag thrown to the breeze, 
but we waited in vain ; the whole town seemed as if 
dead, so quiet was everything, and rumors started as 
if by magic from all quarters (in the fort and works 
we were holding) that the capitulation was a mere 
ruse, and done to gain time ; that if thei/ had been old 
Taylor, tJieij wouldn't have granted an armistice — not 
a minute; they knew how it would be all along, etc. 
etc. etc. 

We had got some ship-biscuits and salt beef, and 
the most of us were champing away at our hard tack, 
when, at 1 o'clock p.m., there came a flash of fire 
so suddenly, followed by such a density of volume of 
sound like the crash of thunder, that we sprang to our 
feet simultaneously. " They have begun again," was 


the general exclamation of officer and man ; and all 
eyes were directed to the old gray castle. Behold ! 
the American flag was being hoisted on that staff, 
from which the Mexican ensign had so proudly — yes, 
and gallantly — waved. One deafening shout followed, 
as sudden and as overpowering in volume as had been 
the salute which the Mexicans had paid to their flag 
when lowered at the citadel ; three times three was 
huzzaed by every company and regiment of Taylor's 
army ; and the flag of the Baltimore Battalion was 
hoisted on Fort Teneria as Captain Webster's guns, 
under commnnd of Lieutenant James L. Donaldson, 
of Baltimore, fired a national salute in honor of the 
storming and capture of Monterey. 


" General Orders. 

" Terms of the capitulation of the city of Monterey, the capi- 
tal of Nueva Leon, agreed upon by the undersig-ued commission- 
ers, to wit: General Worth, of the United States army ; General 
Henderson, of the Texan Volunteers; and Colonel Davis, of the 
Mississippi Riflemen, on the part of Major-General Taylor, com- 
manding in chief the United States forces ; and General Requena 
and General Ortega, of the Army of Mexico, and Senor Manuel 
M. Llano, Governor of Nueva Leon, on the part of Senor Gen- 
eral Don Pedro Ampudia, commanding in chief the Army of the 
North of Mexico. 

" Article L As the legitimate result of the operations before 
this place, and the present position of the contending armies, it 
is agreed that the city, the forliBcations, cannon, the munitions 
of war, and all other public property, with the under-raeutioued 


exceptions, be surrendered to the commanding general of the 
United States forces now at Monterey. 

" Article 2. That the Mexican forces be allowed to retain the 
following arms, to wit : The commissioned officers, their side 
arms ; the cavalry, their arms and accoutrements ; the artillery, 
one field battery, not to exceed six pieces, with twenty-one rounds 
of ammunition. 

" Article 3. That the Mexican armed forces retire within 
seven days from this date beyond the line formed by the pass of 
the Rinconada, the city of Linares, and San Fernando de Pusos. 
"Article 4. That the citadel of Monterey be evacuated by 
the Mexican and occupied by the American forces to-morrow 
morning at 10 o'clock. 

"Article 5. To avoid collisions, and for mutual convenience, 
that the troops of the United Stales will not occupy the city 
until the Mexican forces have withdrawn, except for hospital 
and storage purposes. 

"Article 6. That the forces of the United States will not 
advance beyond the line specified in the third article before the 
expiration of eight weeks, or until the orders of the respective 
governments can be received. 

"Article 7. That the public property to be delivered shall 
be turned over and received by officers appointed by the com- 
manding generals of the two armies. 

"Article 8. That all doubts as to the meaning of any of the 
preceding articles shall be solved by an equitable construction, 
and on principles of liberality to the retiring army. 

"Article 9. That the Mexican flag, when struck at the cita- 
del, may be saluted by its own battery. 

" (Signed) " W. J. Worth, 

" Brigadier-General United States Army. 

"J. PiNKNEY Henderson, 
" Mujor-General commanding Texan Volunteers. 
"Jefferson Datis, 
" Colonel Mississippi Eiflcmen. 
"J. M. Ortega, 
" T. Requena, 
"Manuel M. Llano. 
, ] f " Pedro Ampudia, 

Approved, j,,^. Taylor, Maj.-Gen. US. A. Commanding. 
"Dated at Monterey, September 24, 1846." 

134 31EM0IBS OF A 

Prior to this capitulation, a fiag of truce had arrived 
at our camp without my knowledge early on the 
morning of the 24th, although I was early informed 
that an armistice for twenty-four hours had been 
arranged. The flag bore the following letter from 
General Ampudia to General Taylor : 

" D. Pedro Amjyudia, Qeneral-in- Chief , to Major-General Taylor. 

" Headquaetees at Monteket, 
September 23, 1846, 9 o'clock p.m. 

" Senor General, — Haying made the defense of which I be- 
lieve this city is susceptible, I have fulfilled my duty, and have 
satisfied the military honor which, in a certain manner, is com- 
mon to all armies of the civilized world. 

" To prosecute the defense, therefore, would only result in 
distress to the population, who have already suffered enough 
from the misfortunes consequent on war; and taking it for 
granted that the Americau government has manifested a dis- 
position to negotiate, I propose to you to evacuate the city and 
its fort, taking with me the personnel and materiel which 
have remained, and under the assurance that no harm shall 
ensue to the inhabitants who have taken a part in the defense. 

" Be pleased to accept the assurance of my distinguished con- 

" Pedro de Ampudia. 
"To Senor Don Z. Taylop., 

"Commander-in-chief of the American Army." 

To this, General Taylor sent the following answer : 

"Headquarters Army of Occupation, 
Camp bekore Monteeky, 
September 24, 1846, 7 o'clock A.M. 
"Sir, — Your communication bearing date at 9 o'clock' p.m. 
on the 23d instant has just been received by the hands of Colo- 
nel Morena. 

" In answer to your proposition to evacuate the city and fort, 
with all the personnel and materiel of war, I have to state that 
my duty compels me to decline acceding to it. A complete sur- 


render of the town and garrison, the latter as prisoners of war, 
is now demanded. But such surrender will he upon terms; and 
the gallant defense of the place, creditable alike to the Mexican 
troops and nation, will prompt me to make those terms as liberal 
as possible. The garrison will be allowed at your option, after 
laying down its arms, to retire to the interior, on condition of 
not serving again during the war or until regularly exchanged. 
I need hardly say that the rights of non-combatants will be re- 

"An answer to this communication is required by 12 o'clock. 
If you assent to an accommodation, an officer will be dispatched 
at once, under instructions to arrange the conditions. 
" I am sir, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servnnt, ' 

"Z. Taylor, 
" Major-General U.S.A. Comniunding. 
" Seflor D. Pedro dh Ampiidia, 
" General-in-chief, llonterey." 

Daring the day a cessation of hostilities took place, 
and, at the request of Ampudia, an interview took 
place between the two commanding generals, which 
resulted in the capitulation, and to which I have 
heretofore referred. 

Before I refer to the terms granted to the Mexicans, 
and which occasioned wide-spread comment and dis- 
satisfaction both at Washington and in the army, — in 
the latter, a reflex of the former, — I shall give ex- 
tracts from the official report of General Taylor: 

" Upon occupying the city it was discovered to be of great 
strength in itself, and to have its approaches carefully and 
strongly fortified. The town and works were armed witli forty- 
two pieces of cannon, well supplied with ammunition, and manned 
with a force of at least seven thousand troops of the line and 
from two thousand to three thousand irregulars. The force 
under my orders before Monterey was four hundred and twenty- 
five officers and six thousand two hundred and twenty men. 


Our artillery consisted of one ten-inch mortar, two twenty-four- 
pound howitzers, and four light field batteries of four guns— the 
mortar being the only piece suitable to the operations of the 

" Our loss is twelve officers and one hundred and eight men 
killed; thirty-one officers and three hundred and thirty-seven 
men wounded.* That of the enemy is not known, but is be- 
lieved to considerably exceed our own." 

The following is a list of the officers killed or those 
Mdio died from their wounds, and the list of the 
wounded, in the operations about Monterey : 

Captain Williams, Topographical Engineers. 
Major W. W. Lear, Third Infantry. 
Lieutenant J. C. Terrett, First Infantry. 
Lieutenant R. Dilworth, First Infantry. 
Captain L. N. Morris, Third Infantry. 
Captain G. P. Field, Third Infantry. 
Captain and Brevet-Major P. N. Barbour, Third Infantry. 
Lieutenant D. S. Irwin, Third Infantry. 
Lieutenant R. Hazlitt, Third Infantry. 
Lieutenant C. Hoskins, Fourth Infantry. 
Brevet-Lieutenant J. S. Wood, of the Second Infantry ; serv- 
ing with the Fourth Infantry. 

Captain H. McKavett, Eighth Infantry. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. H. Watson, Baltimore Battalion. 
Lieutenant Hett, First Ohio Volunteers. 
Captain Allen, First Tennessee Volunteers. 
Lieutenant Putnam, First Tennessee Volunteers. 
Captain Gillespie, Texas Rangers. 

Among the wounded officers were 

Major-General Butler, slightly ; Lieutenant- Colonel McCliing, 
of the First Mississippi Rifles, severely; Colonel Mitchell, of the 

* The total loss in Worth's Division, killed and wounded, in 
the operations about Monterey, was fifty-five, which of course is 
included in the above aggregate of four hundred and eighty-eight. 


First Ohio Volunteers, slightly ; Major Mansfield, of the Engineer 
Corps; Major J. S. Abercronibie, of the First Infantry; Captain 
J. H. Lamotte, of the First Infantry ; Major H. Bainbridge, of the 
Third Infantry ; Lieutenant R. H. Graham, of the Fourth In- 
fantry ; Lieutenant N. B. Rossell, of the Fifth Infantry; Captain 
R. C. Gatlin and Lieutenant I. H. Pollet, of the Seventh Infantry ; 
and Lieutenant C. Wainwright, of the Eighth Infantry. 

The following is the list of the killed or who died 
from their wounds, and the wounded, of the battalion 
of Baltimore and Washington Volunteers, in the opera- 
tions about Monterey, Mexico, September 21st, 22d, 
and 23d, 1846 : 

Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. H. Watson, Commanding Battalion, 

Orderly Sergeant and Acting Lieutenant John Truscott, 
Company D, killed. 
Sergeant George A. Herring, Company F, killed. 
Private Wm. J. Alexander, Company A, killed. 

" Robert Caples, Company A, killed. 

" Patrick O'Brien, Company B, killed. 

" Alexander Ramsay, Company E, killed. 

" Joseph Wharry, Company E, killed. 

" William Kelly, Company F, killed. 


Private Joseph Files, Company A, lost an arm. 

" William Lee, Company A, shot through the body. 

" Robert Donnelly, Company A, slightly. 
Orderly Sergeant Wm. F. Powelson, Company B, slightly. 
Private George Harrold, Company B, slightly. 

" Charles Yeck, Company D, slightly. 

" Andrew J. Morris, Company D, slightly. 
Color Sergeant Albert Hart, lost an arm. 
Color-Guard Corporal Jacob C. Hemmick, slightly. 
Orderly Sergeant G. Oliver Lansdale, Company E, slightly. 
Private John Allen, Company E, slightly. 



Private James Henry, Company E, severely. 

Harry I. Elting, Company E, slightly. 
Henry Gilford, Company F, slightly. 
Melvin S. Stone, Company P, slightly. 
Edward Stephenson, Company F, slightly. 
Total : Killed, nine ; wounded, sixteen ; aggregate, twenty- 

" The battle is over : the army, both regulars and volunteers,— 
or more properly speaking, Americans, — have proved themselves 
invincible. Both officers and men, with death staring them in 
the face, did their duty without flinching, and with a bravery 
worthy of all pr&ise."— From " Campaign Sketches," by Cap- 
tain W. 8. Henry, Third Infantry. 

A meeting of the officers of the battalion was held 
in camp, on September 27th, for the purpose of 
expressing the regret felt by the battalion, and the 
loss it had met with, in the death of Lieutenant- 
Colonel William H. Watson, of Baltimore, its late 
commanding officer. Resolutions were passed, eulo- 
gizing the character of the deceased, and manifesting 
deep sympathy for his bereaved family ; a committee 
was also appointed to prepare suitable resolutions for 
transmission to the newspapers of Baltimore City, for 
publication, so that the sense of the meeting might be 
made known to the people of Maryland. 

Before 1 give place to the report of Captain James 
E. Steuart, the senior captain of the battalion, I tran- 
scribe the following congratulatory order of General 
Taylor : 

"Headquarters Army of Occupation, 
"Camp hear JIonterey, September 27, 1846. 
"Orders No. 123. 

" The commanding general has the satisfaction to congratulate 
the army under his command upon another signal triumph over 
the Mexican forces, superior to us in numbers, strongly fortified, 


and with an immense preponderance of artillery. They have 
yet been driven from point to point, until forced to sue for terms 
of capitulation. Such terms have been granted as were con- 
sidered due to the gallant defense of the town, and to the liberal 
policy of our own government. 

"The general begs to return his thanks to his commanders, 
and to all his officers and men, both of the regular and volunteer 
forces, for the skill, the courage, and the perseverance with which 
they have overcome manifold difficulties, and finally achieved a 
victory, shedding lustre upon the American arms. 

"A great result has been obtained, but not without the loss of 
many gallant and accomplished officers and brave men. The 
array and country will deeply sympathize with the families and 
friends of those who have thus sealed their devotion with their 

" By order of Major-General Taylor. 

" W. W. S. Bliss, 

"A. A. G." 

Official Report of Captain James E. Steuari, commanding 
officer of the Battalion of Baltimore and Waahington Volunteers. 

" Camp near Monterey, Mexico, 
September 26, 1846. 

"The battalion of Maryland and D. C. Volunteers, under the 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Watson, connected with the First 
Regiment of Infantry, the whole under the command of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Wilson, were ordered to march at about 8 o'clock 
on the morning of the 21st inst, for the attack on Monterey. 
The battalion were out in their full strength, save Company C, 
Captain Bi'onaugh, which was ordered to remain on guard-duty 
at camp, and Lieutenant Owen, of Company A, with a detach- 
ment of twelve men, were ordered on picket-guard by General 
Twiggs. The battalion marched towards the city, and charged 
in the most gallant manner on a battery, under a galling fire in 
which it sustained some loss. The point of attack was then 
changed by order of Colonel Garland, and we entered the city 
exposed to a destructive fire from several batteries, supported by 
a large number of infantry, which raked the streets. 

"We remained in the city for nearly half an hour, when we 


were ordered to retire ; in doing so, the battalion became sepa- 
rated. Colonel Watson fell by a musket-shot, whilst gallantly- 
leading on to a second assault on the city. 

"A portion of the battalion was then formed under Captain 
Kenly, and remained on the field of battle until it was ordered 
back to camp by General Twiggs, having been under a heavy 
fire nearly nine hours, losing in action: killed, six; wounded, 

"I take pleasure in noticing the gallant conduct of the battalion 

"(Signed) " James E. Steuart, 

" Captain Commanding." 

It will be observed that this report bears date the 
26th day of September. On the preceding day I had 
handed to Captain Steuart my report of the opera- 
tions on the 21st inst., in which I reported that I had 
rallied the battalion after we had come out of the 
town, and, finding myself the senior officer present, 
had assumed command, had kept it in action, and 
fought with it, until ordered at nightfall to return to 
camp. I also reported the names of the officers 
who were present with their companies, and their 
gallant conduct during the day. 

I was on friendly terras with Captain Steuart, had 
seen him behave with as much bravery as any man 
in the brigade in the assault on the fort, and never 
dreamed that he would do me the wrong to withhold 
from the commanding general the official knowledge 
of my conduct on the 21st. 

He did withhold it, and also his own official report, 
until it was too late for me to remedy the wrong; and 

* Three of these were mortally wounded, and two of them 
were dead at the date of this report. 


the consequence was, my name was not mentioned in 
general orders from the headquarters of the army. 

The bare mention of this behavior will convey to 
a soldier, after reading Captain Steuart's own report, 
a proper sense of the grievous and irreparable wrong 
done me. 

A few days after the capitulation, an officer came 
to me, direct from General Taylor's tent, and in a 
surprised manner asked me why no report had been 
received from the Baltimore Battalion. I was con- 
founded. He said, moreover, that General Twiggs 
and General Taylor had both sent to Captain Steuart, 
saying that they were waiting for his report. 

I hurried to the tent of Steuart, and, in as quiet a 
manner as I could, inquired if he had not sent in his 
official report to headquarters. He hesitated, and 
then answered that he had done so. I then asked if 
he had mentioned my name. He replied that he had 
done so. 

I told him that I had heard differently, but must 
content myself with his assurance. Still not satisfied, 
I called upon him again in the course of the day, when 
he ngain assured me that he had sent in his report and 
had mentioned my conduct. 

It never occurred to me at the time to inquire by 
whom he had sent it, but subsequent events gave me 
good reason to believe that, even if sent, it had been 
destroyed by the messenger, as it never reached Gen- 
eral Twiggs's headquarters. 

There was one very bad man and bad counselor 
about Captain Steuart's headquarters. 

If I had only had the presence of mind to have 


gone further, and traced the report, — for it was un- 
doubtedly written, as Steuart said, — I would yet have 
been in time for General Taylor's report ; but unfor- 
tunately it never entered my thoughts. 

The foregoing report, from the copy in the Adju- 
tant's office, was subsequently published in the Bal- 
timore newspapers, and to some extent satisfied my 

The report-is strictly and literally true, as far as it 
goes, except that we remained in the city longer than 
Captain Steuart reports ; but nothing whatever is 
said of the movements of the battalion on the second 
and third days, although he led the battalion on the 
third day and was present for duty on the second 
day of the battle ; and everything done by the bat- 
talion on the first day after the fall of Watson, except 
that I formed the battalion and remained on the field, 
is quietly ignored. 



In his dispatches to the government. General 
Taylor wrote concerning the terms granted the garri- 
son by the capitulation : 

" It will be seen that the terms granted the Mexican garrison 
are less rigorous than those first imposed. The gallant defense 
of the town, and the fact of a recent change of government in 
Mexico believed to be favorable to the interests of peace, induced 
me to concur with the commission in these terms, which will, I 


trust, receive the approval of the government. The latter con- 
sideration also prompted the convention for a temporary suspen- 
sion of hostilities. Though scarcely warranted by my instructions, 
yet the change of affairs since those instructions were issued 
seemed to warrant this course. I beg to be advised as early as 
practicable whether I have met the views of the government in 
these particulars." 

The Honorable William L. Marcy, Secretary of 
War, replied in a letter dated " War Department, 
Washington, October 13th, 1846" (see Ex. Doc. No. 
60, page 355, etc.) : 

"Tour communications of the 22d, 23d, and 25th ult., detail- 
ing the operations of the army under your immediate command 
at Monterey, have been received. The skill, courage, and gal- 
lant conduct displayed on that occasion by the troops underyour 
command, both regulars and volunteers, have added glory to our 
arms, and merit from the government and people of the United 
States the warmest expressions of gratitude and praise. 

"In relation to the terms of the capitulation of Monterey, the 
President instructs me to say that he regrets it was not deemed 
advisable to insist upon the terms which you had first proposed. 
The circumstances which dictated doubtless justified the change. 
The President, uninformed of these circumstances, does not know 
ia what degree the recent change in the government of Me:!^iuo 
may have contributed to this result. Certain it is, however, that 
the present rulers of that republic have not yet given any evidence 
that they are ' favorable to the interests of peace.' Of this you 
will have already been informed by my dispatch of the 22d ult. 

"The government did not contemplate, as you will perceive 
by the tenor of the dispatches from this department, that there 
would probably happen any contingency in the prosecution of 
the war in which it would be expedient to suspend hostilities 
before the offer of acceptable terms of peace." 

As this subject of the capitulation was the general 
topic of conversation after the fall of Monterey, I 


have chosen to present the views of the government 
before making any reflections of my own. 

The army was very much divided in opinion ; those 
opposed to its terms as being too lenient increased in 
numbers with the number of days elapsing from the 
surrender of the town. At that time, and when the 
terms granted the garrison were first made known, I 
hazard the assertion that not one hundred men 
thought them too liberal, although a very large num- 
ber became dissatisfied when they saw the Mexicans 
marching out, carrying with them the very battery 
of twelve-pounders from the citadel which had caused 
us so much loss. I confess that I did not like this, 
and felt uncomfortable at the sight; but I had been, 
was, and am now unequivocally of the opinion that 
General Taylor's wisdom in securing the surrender of 
the town and fortifications of Monterey was as great 
as his courage and boldness in the attack upon it. 
Aside from the claims of humanity, the helpless con- 
dition of the women and children, our own disparity 
of force and distance from base of supplies, I saw 
enough of the Mexican troops when they marched 
out, to satisfy me that they only lacked one daring 
leader to have made their escape or a successful de- 
fense. They went out sullenly, defiantly, and their 
attitude was such as to create a well-foimded appre- 
hension that a collision would occur between them 
and our troops who lined the roadside. This behavior 
increased the feeling against the capitulation; and 
when it became known that the administration had 
manifested its disapproval, its opponents largely out- 
numbered its defenders. Another cause, to which I 


shall hereafter refer, added to the clamors against 
General Taylor and fault-finding with his conduct 
toward the Mexicans ; but it came from those who 
would not have followed him when he bared his breast 
in the shock of battle, and who were too heartless 
to appreciate the nobility of character possessed by 
their chief. It is worthy of note that I met with no 
one who had been in the assaults of the first day on 
the eastern defenses that found fault with the terms, 
and I could tell, as soon as I heard an opinion ex- 
pressed, what part the speaker had taken, and to what 
corps he belonged, in the battles which resulted in the 
surrender of Monterey. 

It was a long time after this before I became ac- 
quainted with the views of the general ; and, as I 
have never seen them in print except in a public 
document, it is due to his memory to aid in their 

I give the letter entire, as it can be found in the 
Executive Document before referred to, pages 359, 360. 

" Headquarteks Armt of Occupation, 
" Camp neak Monterey, November 8, 1846. 

" Sir, — In reply to so much of the communication of the Secre- 
tary of War, dated October 13ih, as relates to the reasons which 
induced the convention resulting in the capitulation of Monterey, 
I have the honor to submit the following remarks : 

"The convention presents two distinct points : 

" Firat. — The permission granted the Mexican army to retire 
with their arms, etc. 

" Secondly. — The temporary cessation of hostilities for the term 
of eight weeks. I shall remark on these in order. 

" The force with which I advanced on Monterey was limited, 
by causes beyond my control, to about six thousand men. With 
this force, as every military man must admit who has seen the 



grouQd, it was entirely impossible to invest Monterey so closely 
as to prevent the escape of the garrison. Although the main 
communication with the interior was in our possession, yet one 
route was open to the Mexicans throughout the operations, and 
could not be closed, as were also other minor tracks and passes 
through the mountains. Had we therefore insisted on more 
rigorous terms than those granted, the result would have been 
the escape of the body of the Mexican force, with the destruc- 
tion of its artillery and magazines; our only advantage the cap- 
ture of a few prisoners of war, at the expense of valuable lives 
and much damage to the city. The consideration of humanity 
was present to my mind during the conference which led to the 
convention, and outweighed in my judgment the doubtful advan- 
tages to be gained by a resumption of the attack upon the town. 
This conclusion has been fully confirmed by an inspection of the 
enemy's position and means since the surrender. It was dis- 
covered that his principal magazine, containing an immense 
amount of powder, was in the cathedral, completely exposed to 
our shells from two directions. The explosion of this mass of 
powder, which must have ultimately resulted from a continuance 
of the bombardment, would have been infinitely disastrous, in- 
volving the destruction not only of the Mexican troops, but of 
non-combatants, and even our own people, bad we pressed the 

" In regard to the temporary cessation of hostilities, the fact 
that we are not at this moment (within eleven days of the termi- 
nation of the period fixed by the convention) prepared to move 
forward in force, is a sufficient explanation of the military reasons 
which dictated this suspension of arras. It paralyzed the enemy 
during a period when, from the want of necessary means, we 
could not possibly move. I desire distinctly to state, and to 
call the attention of the authorities to the fact, that, with all dili- 
gence in breaking mules and setting up wagons, the first wagons 
in addition to our original train from Corpus Christi (and but 
one hundred and twenty-five in number) reached my headquarters 
on the same day with the Secretary's communication of October 
13tb, viz., the 2d instant. At the date of the surrender of Mon- 
terey, our force had not more than ten days' rations; and even 


now, with all oui' endeavors, we have not more than twentj'-five. 
The task of fightinj^ and beating the enemy is among the least 
difficult that we encounter ; the great question of supplies neces- 
sarily controls all the operations in a country like this. At the 
date of the convention I could not, of course, have foreseen that 
the department would direct an important detachment from my 
command without consulting nie, or without waiting the result 
of the main operations under my orders. 

"I have touched the prominent military points involved in 
the convention of Monterey. There were other considerations 
which weighed with the commissioners in framing, and with 
myself in approving, the articles of the convention. In the con- 
ference with General Ampudia, I wasdistincth' told by him that 
he had invited it to spare the effusion of blood, and because 
General Santa Anna had declared himself favorable to peace. 
I knew that our government had made propositions to that of 
Mexico to negotiate, and I deemed that the change of govern- 
ment in that country since my last instructions fully warranted 
me in entertaining considerations of policy. My grand motive 
in moving forward with very limited supplies had been to in- 
crease the inducements of the Mexican government to negotiate 
for peace. Whatever may be the actual views or disposition of 
the Mexican rulers, or of General Santa Anna, it is not unknown 
to the government that I bad the very best reason for believing 
the statement of General Ampudia to be true. It was my 
opiaion at the time of tlie convention, and it has not been 
changed, that the liberal treatment of the Mexican army, and 
the suspension of arras, would exert none but a favorable influ- 
ence in our behalf 

" The result of the entire operation has been to throw the 
Mexican army back more than three hundred miles to the city 
of San Luis Potosi, and to open the country to us as far as we 
choose to penetrate it, up to the same point. 

"It has been my purpose in this communication not so much 
to defend the convention from the censure which I deeply regret 
to find implied in the Secretary's letter, as to show that it was 
not adopted without cogent reasons, most of which occur of 
themselves to the minds of all who are acquainted with the con- 


dition of things here. To that end I beg that it may be laid 
before the General-in-Chief and the Secretary of War. 
" I am, sir, very respectfully, 

"Your obedient servant, 
" (Signed) " Z. Taylor, 

" Major-General U. S. A. Commanding. 

"To the Adjutant-General of the Arnij', Washington, D. 0." 

Whilst I fully agree with the plain but cogent reasons 
so simply stated by General Taylor to be laid before 
the Secretary of War, I cannot and did not coincide 
with the view entertained by him, " that the liberal 
treatment of the Mexican army, and the suspension 
of arms, would exert none but a favorable influence in 
our behalf" I think that the general was clearly in 
error in this idea, and that his mistake arose from the 
impression which prevailed at liis headquarters that 
the Mexicans were desirous of making peace, I have 
heretofore said, and now repeat it, that up to this time 
I had found none in favor of yielding one iota of the 
demand for the evacuation of their territory by our 
troops; but that Taylor gained more than did the 
Mexicans by the suspension of arms, is too clear for 
controversy, and the Mexicans, being deceived as to 
our supplies and means of transportation, were the 
losers by their own proposition, upon which Ampudia 
prided himself very much for his diplomacy. 

But motives of state policy, though in the mind of 
General Taylor and duly considered, were not the 
main reasons for granting the terms he did ; these 
were purely military, conjoined with a strong feeling 
of humanity. His sentiment of pity for the helpless 
inhabitants of Monterey coincided with his opinion. 


as a military chief, that the actual status of things 
justified letting go the garrison for the sake of the 
other and manifest advantages resulting to his arms 
from the acquisition of the city, its munitions, and its 
fortifications. Whatever might be the future policy 
of his own or the Mexican government, he had cap- 
tured the capital of an important State of the Mexican 
Eepublic, had strengthened his base for further offen- 
sive movements, and had added very greatly to the 
prestige of American valor by inspiring confidence in 
the steadiness of his volunteer forces. How fully the 
latter view was sustained by the result of further 
operations, history is familiar with, and Buena Vista 
strengthened the confidence which those who knew 
him entertained for the judgment as well as the mili- 
tary capacity of General Taylor. 

In this connection 1 beg attention to the official 
dispatch of General Ampudia, which must be read with 
the previous proclamations issued by him, to be prop- 
erly appreciated. 

"Official dispatch of General Ampudia to the Mexican Secretarii 
of War, announcing the surrender of Monterey. 

"Most Excellent Sir, — After a brilliant defense, in the 
course of which the enemy was repulsed with the loss of fifteen 
hundred men from various posts, he succeeded in possessing him- 
self of the heights eomniandiag the bishop's palace, and another 
to the south of it, and likewise a detached breastwork called the 
Teneria, and continuing his attacks through the houses, which 
he pierced in a direction toward the centre of the city, he 
succeeded in posting himself within half-gunshot of the principal 
square, where the troops were posted, who suffered much from 
the hollow shot. Under these circumstances I was requested hj 
various principal officers to come to such terms as would dimin- 


ish our losses; for to open our way with the bayonet, surrounded 
as we were by intrenched enemies, would have resulted in the 
dispersal of the troops, and nothing of the materiel would have 
been saved. These considerations having been weighed by me, 
I also took into view what the city suffered, and would suffer 
from the attacks by the piercing of the houses as well as the 
destruction by the bombs, the scarcity of ammunition which was 
beginning to be felt, the provisions which we were losing as the 
enemy's lines approached the centre, the distance from our sup- 
plies, and, finally, that to protract this state of things for two or 
three days, even if it were possible to do so, could not end in a 
triumph; and I consented to open propositions which resulted in 
the annexed terms of capitulation.* 

"Your excellency will perceive that they preserve the honor 
of the nation and that of the army, and it is to be observed that 
if they do not grant us as much as was perhaps expected, that 
of itself proves the superiority of the enemy,. — not in valor, which 
he displayed in most of the combats, but in his position within 
the squares of pierced masonry, which surrounded the square 
and cut off any supplies of provisions, wood, or other articles 
necessary to subsistence. 

" With the greatest regret the army withdraws from their 
capital abundantly watered with its blood, leaving under the 
guaranties of the promises of the American generals the severely 
wounded and the neighboring population of the State, whose 
civil authorities will continue in the exercise of their functions. 
To-morrow I shall continue my march to Saltillo, where I will 
await the orders of the Supreme Government ; and in commu- 
nicating this to you I have the honor to reiterate the assurances 
of ray highest respect. 

" God and liberty. 

"(Signed) "Pedro de Amptjdia. 

" Headquarteks in Monterey, September 25, 184G." 

My desire has been to place this matter of the cap- 
ture of Monterey and the incidents connected there- 

* These have already been given. 


with fairly on record ; I have endeavored to do so, 
and upon review am willing to let it stand as true. 
Much of what I have written passed under my own 
knowledge, and when I consulted contemporaneous 
authority I sought that whose authenticity could not 
be questioned. 



General Taylor established his headquarters at 
Monterey in the woods at "Walnut Springs, and the 
troops were camped pretty much as they halted for the 
bivouac of the 19th of September, in, around, and 
about this wood of San Domingo. The Baltimore 
Battalion selected a new camp a little distance from 
their bivouac, and not far from the modest tent of 
the general commanding the army of occupation. 
Immediately in front of the general's tent, — there be- 
ing an open space of some extent, — the Mexicans from 
the surrounding country, who, with that instinct char- 
acteristic of all peoples, knew that Old Zack was their 
friend, had quietly established a market for the sale 
of their products directly under his eyes, and which 
he permitted to continue as long as we were in camp 
near Monterey. They felt that they were safe there ; 
and I am sorry to say it was about the only safe 
place for them within a circuit of twenty miles. 
Already, within a few days after the surrender, a 
series of wanton outrages had been perpetrated upon 


the inoflfensive inhabitants, which caused the liveliest 
sense of indignation among our best troops, and pro- 
voked bloody retaliation from the Mexicans. The 
matter was growing serious; it was no uncommon 
thing for several dead Mexicans to be found lying in 
the road, daily, between camp and town, and our 
men would be assailed on their way to camp from 
town, and several had been seriously wounded. My 
Second Sex'geant, Benjamin F. Brand, was dreadfully 
woilnded between town and camp by a gang of Mexi- 
can desperadoes ; this was followed in a few days by 
a wholesale slaughter of Mexicans, but not by our 
men. The general sentiment of the army was one of 
horror, and a resolute determination to put an end to 
this state of things. In the mean time. Governor 
Morales, of Monterey, addressed a note to General 
Taylor, saying " that multitudes of complaint have 
been made to this government against excesses com- 
mitted upon the persons and property of Mexicans, 
and that he had just been informed that three of their 
citizens had been killed," etc. 

To this the general replied that it was with regret 
that he learned there was just cause of complaint, 
founded upon the grounds stated by his excellency ; 
but that General Worth had been invested with 
authority to adopt measures to maintain order in the 
city, and he hoped all cause of further complaints 
would cease. I was an eyewitness to some of these 
transactions, and more than ever admired the char- 
acter of Taylor for the active steps he took to prevent 
a continuance of these brutalities, both by friend and 
foe ; and though not altogether successful, they became 


of .less frequent occurrence, and a better feeling grew 
up between our people and the Mexicans. 

It was the strong action taken by Taylor in this 
relation that, as I have before alluded to, added to 
the clamors on the part of some against the policy 
which dictated the terms of capitulation ; but the old 
general was as firm in the camp as in the field, and 
he did what was right. 

We soon commenced drilling, and, jointly with the 
regulars with whom we were brigaded, advanced in 
our military knowledge. Our camps were gradually 
brought into good condition, our guards well instructed, 
and picket duty carefully attended to. Each day 
added to the conviction that the war had but begun, 
and our duty as soldiers was now the business of the 
day. Our table was scantily supplied with govern- 
ment rations : this, however, made the delicious fruit 
which we got in abundance more prized. Bread, eggs, 
oranges, lemons, pomegranates, grapes, and bananas 
were brought daily into camp, and now and then a 
cow, and then a goat, were brought to be milked at 
the tent-door, to the great gratification of our men. It 
was growing cold, fires being very desirable at night, 
and, as we had no candles or oil, we passed our even- 
ings around the camp-fires, talking and gossiping as 
only soldiers talk, and weaving that chain of camara- 
derie known only to soldiers and sailors. 

We have just learned that Ampudia has halted at 
Saltillo, of course issued a proclamation, and, after 
calling on the people to take up arms, says that Santa 
Anna in person is coming to direct military opera- 
tions against the invaders. So be it. 


Our men begin to need clothing, particularly shoes ; 
the long marches have been very destructive to the 
latter, and many of the men have made sandals from 
raw hide, which look right well ; on parade, there are 
a good many without jackets, yet they look soldier- 
like and trim with their cross- and waist-belts. 

We have just learned that a mail for our army has 
been captured by the Mexicans and sent to the city 
of Mexico. Eumor says, moreover, that General 
Taylor received a polite note from Ampudia, inform- 
ing him of the fact. We have been for several days 
thinking of nothing but the arrival of this mail, as 
none of us had heard from home since our leaving 
there : our letters, we were constantly told, were lying 
at Point Isabel awaiting an escort ; and now they 
were under the escort of the enemy. I think this 
day was a bad day for Mexicans ; the general feeling 
being, what I heard a soldier say, " He would just 
like to have the eating of a Mexican." Don't take a 
soldier's letters if you want to keep on his best side. 

It is getting very cold at night ; still not a candle to 
be had for love or mone}^, though there is very little 
of the latter. We are beginning to grumble, which 
is a good sign of health and progress in army life. 
We have no battalion drills, which is bad ; company 
drills twice a day; squad drills at all hours; guard- 
monnt, dress-parade, five daily roll-calls, then tattoo 
and taps ; this is our routine. 

Hurrah ! I have received some prize-money, or 
rather loot, in the shape of cigars. I received two 
hundred cigars,— my share, as captain, of those taken 
at the capture of Monterey, and condemned as public 


property. I really think that at the time I would 
have preferred them to as many hard dollars ; now I 
think differently. 

Nothing can exceed the beauty of the surrounding 
scenery. The mountains are grand, especially at sun- 
rise and sunset. 1 have seen the two peaks of the 
spur called from its shape the " Comanche Saddle," 
connected with a light strip of white cloud, and as 
the rising sun would strilce it fleeces were thrown 
upward like the railing on a bridge, presenting the 
appearance of a hand-railing up a stairway, and 
making the whole look as if a bridge had been built 
up there for pedestrians to walk with safety across 
the chasm between the peaks. 

May's Second Dragoons are now passing my tent ; 
Bragg's Artillery are drilling on my left ; the band of 
the First Infantry is practicing its usual morning ex- 
ercises, while its drums and fifes are off in the chap- 
arral at their lesson ; the dead march is being played 
by the superior band of the Fourth Infantry at the 
head of one of the companies following a comrade to 
the grave ; crowds of soldiers are passing and repass- 
ing with the listlessness of men off duty, and with the 
constant interchange of rumors remind me of the 
scenes I have witnessed in and around the old 
Chronicle office at Baltimore when we were waiting 
to hear from beyond the Cayuga bridge, in the old days 
of waiting to hear good news from New York, and 
which, by the by, rarely ever came to our wing of the 
political army. 

On yesterday we buried Kelly, of Company F, 
who had died from the wounds received on the 21st 


ultimo. I bad many reasons to feel very sad, and 
followed his remains, which were wrajDjaed in a 
blanket, to their place of burial with more than usual 
mourning. Our single fife and drum were playing 
the dead march when we passed in front of the First 
Infantry Band practicing ; it was playing " Dance, 
Boatmen, Dance," and involuntarily the escort and 
procession stepped off to the music of its quickstep, 
destroying the cadence if not the entire solemnity 
of the parade. How forcibly this incident struck us, 
and how painfully and rapidly the smile which it 
occasioned was changed to sternness of step and de- 
meanor, will not soon be forgotten by those who were 
at that soldier's funeral. What a mockery to sing "A 
Soldier's Life is always Gay" ! 



I HAVE been into town, sight-seeing. As may be 
well supposed, my steps were first directed to the 
corner where I had seen so many officers and men 
fall. It looked very natural ; the houses tenantless, 
doors open, walls torn and tattered, and all, save the 
dead and dying, the din and uproar of battle, very 
much as it appeared to me on the morning of the 21st. 
I found here some half-dozen American soldiers, who 
like myself had come to visit a well-remembered 
locality. They belonged to our brigade, and we 


spoke quietly together of incidents of battle which 
had been shai^ed in common, and which had made us 
friends without knowing a difference of rank. From 
here I went up the street toward the bridge-head, and 
examined carefully the line of defenses, and more 
particularly the barricades. I learned a lesson in 
constructing them from these erected in the streets of 
Monterey. I do not think they could be improved or 
made more practically useful. I found the streets 
paved with square basaltic rocks, the sidewalks with 
large even flagstones. In many of the streets the 
pavement was torn up for defensive purposes, sand- 
bag parapets on every house, walls grenelled, breast- 
works and bastions at every corner. All who beheld 
these defenses were amazed that they were abandoned ; 
it appeared to me, however, that they were crowded 
too much — too close together, and I was not surprised 
to learn, as I did to-day from a Mexican, that a large 
number of their infantry had not fired a shot. This 
is not improbable, looking to the number so impru- 
dently massed about the centre of the city, and who 
were kept doing nothing for want of a general. 

I visited the cathedral, and was surprised to find 
so large and imposing a church. Its exterior and 
interior are worthy of an extended visit. Some of 
the paintings appeared to me handsome, while others 
were ugly; the main altar was really grand, and 
that peculiar religious tout ensemble characteristic 
of Catholic worship was very perceptible in this 
venerable building. I also visited the pride of the 
town, the palace of General Arista, a very wealthy 
citizen of Monterey. Our wounded filled its corri- 


dors and marble-paved halls, around whose cots heavy 
curtains, mirrors, vases, paintings, etc. were hanging 
and arranged in careless profusion. The gardens and 
baths were fitted up in luxurious style, and the 
orange and the pomegranate mingled their perfume 
with the sweet rose of our own dear land. All was 
attractive, nay, enchanting. 

I clambered up the hill on the west of the town to 
the building called the Obispada, or's Palace. 
I went to the window from which I had seen the first 
of the enemy leap when Worth's troops carried it by 
assault. The view from this windoAv was charming, 
— the whole plain and the town nestling in its lap 
spread out before me ; our camp and the road by 
which we had approached the city were also visible, 
and at my feet I could look into the old gray fort, 
whose guns had been carried off, but whose unmis- 
takable visage was that of a veteran proud of his 

It had a right to be, as all will bear witness who 
were within its range on the three days of last month. 

The main plaza is, however, the great place of 
attraction. Here are already located billiard-saloons, 
restaurants, and drinking-saloons ; in the centre a 
market is held daily, around which our soldiers are 
thronging, or else inspecting the cannon surrendered 
by the enemy, which are ranged on one of the sides 
of the square. Some of these pieces are of recent 
English manufacture and in excellent condition, as 
are also their carriages ; others are old Spanish bronze 
or copper guns capable of good service ; some are very 
old, and look as if they had been used by Cortez; 
altogether there are forty-two guns. 


Having a twenty-four-hour leave of absence, I went 
to see an American circus to-night, the performance 
at which took place in the Mexican cockpit. There 
■were a great many of our officers and soldiers present, 
— some few Mexicans ; we had a grand entree by the 
whole troupe, and then the usual ring ceremonies ; but 
the feature of the evening was the riding by Dandy 
Jack upon the celebrated pony Comanche. The 
monkey's face was as familiar as if he were, or had 
been, in the ring at Front Street, and the shouts 
with which our men greeted his horsemanship must 
have been heard at camp. I noticed that the Mexi- 
cans were more interested in the contortions of the 
india-rubber man than in anything else exhibited. 
During the evening quite an uproar was occasioned 
by a heavy fall of rain ; the galleries of the circus 
were uncovered, — open to the heavens ; up here the 
rank and file were accommodated, and, as the rain 
began to wet them, they clamored for shelter. The 
manager agreed that they might find places beneath 
the boxes in which the officers were standing; they 
descended the ladder by which they had reached their 
elevation, and got under the plank flooring upon 
which we stood. Here they still complained of being 
uncomfortable, and a laughable scene of confusion 
ensued, the pit — in fact, the whole circus — becoming 
so tangled up that the clown announced from the 
now deserted gallery that, owing to the inclemency of 
the weather, the evening's performances were ended. 
They were for this place, but not — in town. 

It is astonishing the number of men, non-com- 
batants, that sprang up, as if by magic, around this 


army of occupation. Where they came from so 
suddenly after the surrender, nobody could tell, but 
really the place was filled with them. American 
stores, American goods, American drinks, and Ameri- 
can faro had driven out Mexican shopkeepers and 
gamblers, and where, but a few days ago, none could 
be seen exdfept in uniform, are now crowded civilians 
of every tongue and people. They follow the array, 
never precede it ; they belong nowhere, — no, I am 
wrong : if asked where they are from, when soliciting 
permission " to open," they invariably answer. New 
Orleans, further than which no man knoweth to the 
contrary, and don't want to know, for you had better 
not press your question. 



October 20, 1846. We have not heard from the 
United States since the news of the surrender must 
have reached there, and we are all anxiety to know 
Avhat the government will do next. Rumors are very 
abundant, not of what we are going to do, but what 
the Mexicans are doing, and old stories revamped 
daily are flooding the camps. One day we hear that 
Santa Anna is within ten miles of Monterey with 
fifteen thousand men ; on the next we hear that the 
Mexican Congress has made peace with the United 
States. Every shade and degree between these two 


extremes are hourly gossiped and discussed with an 
earnestness that would be laughable, were it not real. 
On this day I wrote to my parents a letter, from 
which I make an extract verbatim, as it proved to be 
a prophecy: 

" My own opinion is that the best plan (for conducting the 
war) will be to march to Tampico and operate in that quarter ; 
for it would be suicidal to advance to San Luis Potosi with the 
army which we have ; for there is no doubt but that a large force 
is there to oppose us, and, even if we should drive it before us, 
we would still be a long distance from the capital, where alone 
the terms of a peace can be dictated. The plan of the campaign 
should be to push on to Tampico, obtain the co-operation of the 
fleet, reduce this important town, and then, ho ! for the city of 
Mexico by the way of Vera Cruz : and I should not be surprised 
if this were the very plan of operation adopted." 

If I had been in the War Department at "Washing- 
ton, and in the councils of the government, at the 
time I wrote this letter, I could not have framed a 
more exact plan of what was subsequently done than 
is embraced above. 

But as yet we had heard nothing, and the armis- 
tice was still in force. 

October 31. I have a sad duty now to perform, — 
to record the death of my friend Captain Randolph 

On last Sunday, the 25th inst., he sent over a horse 
to my camp and a message that he wanted me to 
accompany him to town, and I agreed to ride with 
him. In the course of the morning he told me that 
he had received an invitation to dine with Lieu- 
tenant Mackall, of the army, commanding a Battery 
of Light Artillery, and that I was also invited ; he also 



informed me where Mackall's quarters were, so that, 
if we got separated, we might meet there. 

Our horses had been put away in the yard of Mr. 
Lloyd Tilghman's sutler store, and when I went to get 
mine, I was told that Ridgely had just left and that 
I could overtake him, as he was on the road to Cap- 
tain Mackall's Battery. I soon saw a crowd, and to 
my distress learned that Captain Ridgely had fallen 
from his horse. I have before said that the streets of 
Monterey were paved with basaltic rocks, and many 
had been torn up to form barricades ; in the main 
street or road to Saltillo, the street through which 
Ridgely was riding, this was especially the case. 
One of these barricades had been thrown down, and 
the stones which formed it scattered loosely about; 
Ridgely's horse stumbled over one of these stones, and 
fell so quickly that Captain Ridgely was thrown, and 
his head striking the sharp corner of another of these 
rocks, his skull was fractured, and he remained insen- 
sible until his death, on last Tuesday night. I had 
parted with him not an half-hour previously, in the 
full enjoyment of life, health and strength, and now 
I could not realize that though living he was uncon- 
scious. Everything that friends and medical skill 
could do was done to save his life, for we knew that 
in his death one of the most gallant men of the army 
would have perished. He died, regretted and esteemed 
by the whole army; and the unprecedented respect 
paid to his remains, the touching tributes of affection 
showered upon his grave, evidenced the love and the 
admiration of men who had fought side by side with 
the hero. Every officer of standing — regular and 


volunteer — was present: Generals Taylor, Worth, 
Quitman, 1 lamer and Persifer F. Smith, with their 
respective staffs; artillery and infantry paraded, colors 
draped, drums beating the funeral march, and as the 
body was taken from the gun-carriage whicli had borne 
it, an audible sob heaved the breasts of his comrades. 
General Taylor stood immediately in front of me, 
and I saw him weeping, and his strong frame shaking 
with the extremity of his grief; so it was with many, 
and a more solemn occasion was never witnessed than 
the burial of Ridgely. Maryland has now given of 
her sons Ringgold, Watson and Ridgely ! May those 
who have to follow them forget not her glory. 

I give place now most willingly to the following 
handsome tribute, written by Captain William S. 
Henry, of the Third Infantry, and which may be 
found in his Campaign Sketches, pages 234-5 : 

"His body was brought out to the carap of his company, and 
buried with funeral honors on the evening of the 28th of October. 
His company escorted the remains, and the Baltimore Battalion 
attended as mourners. The procession was swelled by nearly 
all the officers of the army. Colonel Cbilds read the service for 
the dead, and three guns were fired over his grave. Dark 
clouds hung o'er the mountain tops ; mists were in the valleys ; 
and all nature seemed in mourning for the departed hero. Cap- 
tain Ridgely graduated from West Point in 1831. He was a 
native of Baltimore, and from a family identified with the State 
of Maryland. He served with distinguished credit in the battles 
of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and in the storming of 
Monterey. For his gallantry in the action of the 9th of May, 
he was brevetted a captain and appointed an assistant adjutant- 
general ; the latter appointment he accepted, the brevet he de- 
clined. He, as well as his friends, thought if he was deserving 
of a brevet for the 9th, he was equally so for the 8th of May. 


It seems strange he should die by such means, after passing 
through three battles. 

"If any officer has parlicularly distinguished himself, it is 
the lamented Ridgely. His dauntless courage and reckless ex- 
posure of person, combined with the most perfect coolness and 
judgment in the hottest fire, won golden opinions for him from 
all. Those who knew him in the social circle can well appreci- 
ate his loss. A bright star is extinguished 1 He will never re- 
turn to pluck fresh honors for, and add new lustre to, the gallantry 
and chivalry of the service. Strange and unfathomable fate! He 
died from a fall from a horse, than whom none could ride with 
more grace and fearlessness, nor manage with more judgment 
and dexterity. He was probably the best rider in the world, an 
accomplished and polished gentleman, and one of the most heroic 
■ and gallant officers of the array." 



On the 2d of November, Major James Graham ar- 
rived at camp from the United States with dispatches 
from Washington. All was excitement, and rumor 
was trumpet-tongued ; it soon became known that the 
government had officially notified General Taylor that 
it disapproved of the armistice, and it was supposed 
had instructed him to terminate it. On the 8th the 
following general orders were promulgated : 

" Headquarters, Army of Occupation. 

" Camp near Monterej', November 8, 1846. 
"General Orders, No. 139.] 

" Under instructions from the Department of War, the general- 
in-chief of the Mexican forces has been duly notified that the tern- 


porary cessation of hostilities agreed upon at the convention at 
Moiitere}' will cease and determine from the 13th instant, after 
which date the American forces will be free to cross the line of 
demarcation established in said convention. 

" Saltillo, the capital of the State of Coahuila, will be occu- 
pied by the United States troops." 

Then follows the order of march. 
On the 6th, Major Graham had been sent forward 
to give notice to the Mexican commanding general of 
the orders of our government; and on the 12th, just 
as General Taylor was preparing to march in the 
same direction, he received notice that a special bearer 
of dispatches was en route to Monterey. He awaited 
his arrival, and Major Kobert M. McLane, of Balti- 
more, presented himself direct from the seat of govern- 
ment with important instructions to the general. 
These, however, did not prevent the contemplated 
advance toward Saltillo, and on the 13th General 
Worth marched with his division, accompanied by 
General Taylor. 

As to the tenor of the dispatches, we know nothing 
positively, for old Taylor is as quiet as the grave ; but 
rumor will have it that the army is to go to Vera 
Cruz, and that our division will remain on this line, 
as it was the most cut up in the capture of Monterey. 
We are at this time drilling three hours a day in 
battalion drill, with the four companies of the First 
Infantry, and one hour at company drill; our vol- 
unteers are pretty generally disgusted with volunteer- 
ing, for it is no child's play, the daily labor now 
being done in earnest. Our camp is all bustle and 
activitv, for althouo-h no one believes we will move 


for a week or so, we yet have orders to be ready to 
march at a moment's warning. 

I was much astonished and gratified when I heard 
of the arrival of Major McLane, and immediately 
called on him. I was very much pleased to see him, 
and we had a pleasant interview ; his citizen's clothes 
and city air brought home fresh to my heart, and his 
kind answers to my many questions made me very 
happy. My ! my ! this love of home ! How strong 
a sentiment in the human breast ! 

General Taylor passed through our camp to-day, 
on his way to Saltillo; May's* Dragoons were his 
escort; as this small body of troops marched along, 
a general interest seemed manifested for Old Zack, as 
the men familiarly called him among themselves. 
There was an unmistakable anxiety felt for his safety, 
for the carelessness in the exposure of his person to 
danger was well known by the Baltimore Battalion. 

Our sick list is increasing, and a very general desire 
to move prevails ; the sun at mid-day is quite warm, 
the nights cold, hence fever and ague is abundant. 
The rumor of to-day was that Santa Anna is march- 
ing from San Luis Potosi toward Saltillo with twenty 
thousand men ; he may have this many men, but he 
is not such a fool as to drive or attempt to drive 
Worth's Division back on Monterey. One of the 

* Colonel Charles A. May: this gallant soldier was a native 
of the city of Washington, District of Columbia. He served in 
the Florida war: was brevetted major "for gallant service at 
Palo Alto," lieutenant-colonel "for gallant and highly distin- 
guished conduct at Resaca de la Palma," and colonel " for gallant 
and meritorious conduct in battle of Buena Vista." 


camp jests for the last fortnight has been to inquire, 
" When did you hear from General Wool ?" there 
being an opinion prevalent that he is marching some- 
where in the wilderness, hunting for the "army of 
occupation." The soldiers have got hold of it, and 
it amuses them greatly. I think from all I can learn 
that there is more truth than fancy in the story. It 
seems that he was sent out to effect a junction with 
Taylor for some ulterior object, but that the geogra- 
phy of the country was unknown, and a mistake 
made in the i-oute of march. I expect that the sol- 
diers have got hold of the right story, or they would 
not have so much fun in inquiring after him. 

It is rumored to-day that the Eegiment intends 

burning the town of Marin in revenge for the murder 
of two of their men ; a heavy detail has just marched 
in that direction with five days' rations. A Mexi- 
can was shot dead in his own doorway yesterday; 
Lieutenant Bowie was passing a fev/ minutes after the 
shot, and was called in to see him breathe his last. 

We need General Taylor's presence all the time, 
and I hope he will soon return, for the bad feeling 
between the soldiers and country people is reviving ; 
there are rumors of our communications with the Rio 
Grande being endangered, and that nearly every train 
is attacked on its way up. 

General Taylor has returned from Saltillo, and we 
will soon move toward the sea ; there seems no doubt 
about this, the only anxiety now is what troops will 
be left, and it has had one most excellent effect. It 
is well known that Taylor will select the troops to 
accompany him ; he did this when he cut loose from 


the Rio Grande, and as there is ahnost a fever to 
leave Monterey the troops are on their very best 
behavior for fear that their corps will be left. 

On his road to Saltillo, General Taylor received an 
answer to his communication informing the Mexicans 
of the cessation of the armistice. Sure enough, General 
Santa Anna was in command, for the note to Taylor 
was from him. The tone of this letter may be seen in 
the single extract that he (Taylor) " ought to discard 
all ideas of peace while a single North American 
treads in arms the territory of this republic, or while 
hostile squadrons remain in front of her ports." 

From this it may be inferred that General Taylor 
had expressed a hope for peace; but Santa Anna's 
voice was still 'for war, and this was just the differ- 
ence between the two men. 

I went over to the market this morning to buy 
some oranges ; having made my purchase, I was re- 
turning with an armful of the fruit, when hearing a 
call of " Captain," I looked and saw General Taylor 
sitting on a camp-stool in front of his tent. I ap- 
proached him, and shaking me by the hand, he gave 
me a seat ; I was so highly flattered that I hardly 
knew what I did, except that I gave him an orange. 
He asked me how we were getting on ; I told him. 
He then said, " What could have induced Watson, 
yourself, and others to come so far from home to go 
through so many dangers and hardships ?" I replied. 
He listened attentively, and when I had got through 
he shook his head, smiled, and said " he couldn't 
understand it." Before I left, General Twiggs came 
to where wc were sitting, and made inquiry of 



General Taylor as to when they would likely march, 
and whether he should take the Baltimore Battalion 
with him. General Taylor turned to me and asked 
whether I wished to go. I replied, " General, loe 
always wish to follow you." He answered Twiggs, 
" Certainly, take them along." I waited to hear no 
more, but ran over to our camp to spread the joyous 



November 24, 1846 ; an important day in the cal- 
endar of the Baltimore Battalion. On this day, by 
order of General Twiggs, commanding the First Di- 
vision, Brevet-Major Robert C. Buchanan, of the 
Fourth Infantry, U.S.A., was assigned to the com- 
mand of the Battalion of Baltimore and Washington 

On assuming command, this gallant and accom- 
plished soldier issued the following order : 

"Headquarters Baltimore axd Washington Battalion. 
"Camp Doar Monterey, Mexico, November 25, 1846. 
"Orders No. 1.] 

"In obedience to special orders No. 5, dated Headquarters 
First Division Army of Occupation, November 24, 1846, the 
undersigned assumes the command of this battalion. 

"Called to the command by the voluntary act of the officers 
belonging to it, bis only method of showing bis appreciation of 


the compliment will be by endeavoring to obtain for the bat- 
talion a name worthy of the State from which it comes. 

" In this attempt he relies with confidence on the cordial co- 
operation of the officers and the good-will of the men for his 
success. With such assistance he has no fears for the result ; 
without it be cannot hope to succeed. 

"A native of Baltimore and a citizen of Washington, his only 
desire is to make the battalion worthy of the cities which sent 

it forth. 

"(Signed) "Robert C. Buchanan-, 

"Brevet-Major Fourth Infantry, Commanding. 


" Adjutant." 

This handsome inauguration of his command 
elicited the hearty approval of the battalion, and 
although there were some few who did * not like a 
regular officer being placed over them, yet the feeling 
was almost unanimous in his favor. To Major 
Buchanan I am under lasting obligations ; to him I 
owe a lesson which was very difficult for me to learn 
— that of obedience. It was he that made me a sol- 
dier, and the respect which I still entertain for him 
is based upon the knowledge of his integrity, his 
honor, and his high military capacity, acquired through 
hard service under his command and his teachings. 
A graduate of the Military Academy of West Point, 
a thorough soldier, a strict disciplinarian, a Mary- 
lander by birth, he possessed in addition just what 
was needed to qualify him for his new duties with a 
volunteer command — a remarkable equanimity of 
temperament. Before we left the service he had as 
handsome a command as a soldier need wish : all 
were in harmony with him, and all appreciated the 
value of the services he had rendered to every sol- 
dier of the battalion. 


We had now been in the service six months, during 
three of which we had been in a brigade of regulars ; 
and yet we were not soldiers. We were becoming 
so, and the fortunate advent of Buchanan marked the 
change into a higher grade of scholarship. 

Drill, drill, drill ; guard-mount and guard-duty ; 
morning reports, provision returns, and inspection of 
arms. All these duties require attention, and with 
proper instruction they may be learned. We were 
taught to do them properly, and no more pride is felt 
in the acquisition of any knowledge than in that of 
the military art. 

On the 9th day of December, Mr. Samuel S. Mills, 
of Baltimore, arrived in camp to convey the remains 
of Colonel Watson for burial in his native city. He 
brought with him an elegant coffin which had been 
provided by the generosity of his friends ; and also, 
having learned at New Orleans the death of Captain 
Eidgely, a lead coffin for his remains. 

On the next day I was directed by special orders 
to superintend the exhumation and the ceremony of 
parade. I found Watson's body in a tolerable state 
of preservation ; he was lying the centre one of three 
bodies, the others were Lieutenants Hoskins and 
Wood, of the Fourth Infantry. I knew Watson by 
his two 'front teeth, beard, shoulder-straps, which 
were those of a major, and the new boots upon his 
feet ; I had no doubt whatever of his identity. I took 
a button from his uniform coat, and his remains, in- 
closed in the coffin brought by Mr. Mills, were escorted 
by the Baltimore Battalion to the regimental parade 
ground, where a guard of honor was detailed to receive 


them. Here they remained until the exhumation of 
Ridgely's body, which was brought and placed side by 
side with that of Watson ; our battalion and Ridgely's 
Battery forming the escort and working-party. The 
whole parade was solemn and interesting, witnessed 
by very large numbers of the troops in camp ; and as 
the bodies were placed in the wagon for transporta- 
tion homeward, a very general feeling of sadness 
marked the departure of all that was mortal of two 
of Maryland's gallant dead. 

Before the arrival of Mr. Mills, Lieutenant Shover, 
of the army, and I, had made arrangements to send 
home the remains of Ridgely with those of Watson, 
and the thoughtful consideration of Mr. Mills had 
relieved us from a great deal of concern about the 
metallic coffin. Mr. Mills also brought coffins for the 
bodies of Herman Thomas, of Harford County, killed 
in the assault of the 22d of September, and George 
Pearson, of Baltimore, a member of our battalion, who 
had died from disease after our arrival at Monterey. 

We are making preparations to march, though the 
orders are not yet out ; another sifting process is 
going on, the last being on the banks of the Rio 
Grande three months ago. The sick and disabled are 
to be either discharged or sent into general hospital. 
The depletion now will not be so heavy as then, but 
still I expect to have to turn down some five or six 
of my company. 

Time and exposure are thinning our ranks, but I am 
learning to be more economical in wasting the strength 
of the battalion by too many discharges. It costs 
the government too much to get a man here and fit 


him to be of some use, to let him go on frivolous pre- 
tence, and I have learned to judge of the sufficiency 
of the disability as basis for a discharge, without too 
much dependence upon the surgeon's opinion. There 
are two influences constantly at work in reference to 
these discharges, leaving out of consideration the sol- 
dier's claim: the one, the surgeon's wish to diminish 
the number of his sick ; the other, the captain's not to 
diminish the strength of his company. I regard it as 
one of the most important of all the duties devolving 
upon the captain of a company, this, of the extent 
of his interference with the surgeons in matter of 
discharges. It is a very delicate responsibility, and 
army regulations do not meet my views upon this 
subject. If the surgeon and the captain were alike 
conscientious in sense of duty to their government, 
there would be no trouble about the propriety of a 
discharge ; but I lean to the opinion, without ques- 
tioning the skill to decide upon the sufficiency of 
cause, that the captain is nearer to the government 
and has a much better idea of the value of a soldier 
and of the use that may be made of him than the 
surgeon, and should have more controlling influence 
in granting the discharge than he now has. 

It would be as well perhaps to make mention of 
our surgeon. Dr. Smythe M. Miles. He was, I believe, 
a native of the State of Georgia, and had been, I was 
told, an Assistant-Surgeon in the United States Navy. 
He became associated with our battalion on the Rio 
Grande the 8th day of August, 1846, by virtue of a 
contract made with Colonel Watson, at the pay of 
one hundred dollars per month, after the withdrawal 


of Dr. Djve, of Washington. There were a good 
many of these contract surgeons, as they were termed, 
now with the army, but I am sure none better than 
Dr. Miles. He continued with us until our end of 
service, and I had much confidence in his natural 
medical ability, if not in his acquirements. 



On the 10th day of December an order was issued 
from the headquarters of the army of occupation, 
which transferred the Baltimore Battalion from the 
Fourth Brigade of the First Division to a volunteer 
brigade, consisting of the First Mississippi, the First 
Tennessee, and the First Georgia Regiments of Volun- 
teers, commanded by Brigadier-General John A. 
Quitman, United States Army. A reorganization of 
the First Division was necessary in view of our con- 
templated march on Victoria, and we were very much 
gratified in being attached to Quitman's Brigade, as 
long as we had to leave our old friends of the First, 
Third, and Fourth Infantry ; the latter . regiment 
being left to hold the citadel of Monterey, the two 
former accompanying our column in the Fourth Brig- 
ade, commanded by Colonel P. F. Smith. 

The First Tennessee and the First Mississippi were 
old friends of the Rio Grande in Hamer's Brigade, 
and we rejoined them with many a friendly shake of 


the hands. I was not personally acquainted with 
General Quitman, but esteemed him for his well- 
deserved reputation. 

The order of march was issued on the 12th day of 
December, and on the 13th Twiggs's Division marched ; 
on the 14th our brigade left its old camp, and the 
Baltimore Battalion, after nearly three months spent 
in the wood of San Domingo, near Monterey, took up 
its line of march for Victoria, distant some two hun- 
dred miles to the south-east. 

General Taylor and headquarters of the army of 
occupation, marched with our brigade, and the initia- 
tive of a new campaign was taken. What might be 
its plan, or what was its object, was left to conjecture, 
as far as a captain of infantry was concerned. 

General Worth, with his division, was at Saltillo. 
General Wool, having, as yet, not succeeded in finding 
Chihuahua, was somewhere about Parras or Mon- 
clova, in the same State of Coahuila. General Butler, 
with his division of volunteers and the Fourth U. S. 
Infantry, was at Monterey ; General Patterson at 
Camargo, or on the line of the Rio Grande. 

As yet we knew nothing of General Scott nor of 
his approaching arrival, nor of the transfer to him of 
the chief command of the armies in Mexico. 

At 9 o'clock A.M. we left our huts, and, with almost 
a feeling of home-sickness, bade a final adieu to the 
grounds so long occupied by us. We tool?; the old 
road to the city which we had followed on the morn- 
ing of the 21st of September; before we reached 
the fort we passed the skeletons of a great many poor 
fellows who had been killed in the assault; their 


bones, flesh, and remnants of clothing were lying 
about exposed to full view, having been dug from the 
earth, where they had been buried, by the wolves.* 
We crossed the San Juan or Tigre Eiver by wading, 
the depth being from two to three feet and the water 
very cold. We marched along a beautiful road, wind- 
ing around the base of the mountain " Comanche 
Saddle," to the east of the city, and reached the most 
beautiful town I ever saw, named Guadalupe. Per- 
haps one reason why we all thought this such a pretty 
town was because a lovely Mexican senorita stood 
gazing at the troops as we passed ; she excited uni- 
versal admiration not only by reason of her beauty, 
but by her modest appearance and demeanor. She 
was the subject of our talk for the balance of the 
day's march, and many a soldier said he was coming 
back to Guadalupe, when the war was over. 

The houses were generally built of cane, with 
thatched roofs, and a paling also of cane surrounding 
the gardens, in which bloomed the orange, the lemon, 
pomegranate, and banana. Outside of the tropics no 
such enchanting picture could be seen as in this little 
town, when the rays of the evening sun fell upon its 

The road, after leaving Guadalupe, passed through 
a sugar-cane country of several miles in extent, and. 

* I have not before noticed the number of wolves in ttie 
vicinity of Monterey; there were very many packs that seemed 
to den on the mountain sides in the environs of the city, and on 
one occasion a pack of at least fifty ran, in full cry, through our 
camp at night. 


the cane being ripe, each officer and man was soon 
seen chewing and swallowing the sweetest of all fluids 
that ever touched the human palate. This sugar- 
cane juice, to the dry throat of a soldier who has 
been marching through clouds of dust, is the consum- 
mation of earthly enjoyments ; as one of our men 
said, " There was no let up in it." As night ap- 
proached, we struck the San Juan again ; the crossing 
was quite difficult, as the river was deeper and more 
rapid than where we had crossed it in the morning. 
Many of the soldiers stumbled and fell into the water, 
which occasioned hearty peals of laughter from those 
who had successfully waded to the other bank. 

We halted and bivouacked on the south bank of 
the river, the men being very much fatigued, though 
we had made but fourteen miles to-day. The sun 
about noon was very hot, and the road ankle-deep in 
dust; as night approached, it grew cold and camp- 
fires pleasant. 

Decemher 15. On the march by sunrise, our direc- 
tion nearly due east, the road good but very dusty ; the 
country arid until we approached the town of Cada- 
rita, when it became good and highly cultivated, corn 
and sugar-cane fields alternating. We were told that 
the corn now in blossom was the third crop this year. 
The San Juan River was becoming a nuisance, as we 
had to cross it three times during the morning's 
march, and at each crossing the water was deeper 
than at the preceding, so that, with the water and 
dust, our pantaloons felt heavy and very disagreeable. 
The street of Cadarita through which we inarched 
was lined with orange-trees loaded with fruit, to 




which we all helped ourselves ad lihiium. In the 
plaza a column was erected, I could not ascertain for 
what purpose ; on one of its sides a very large church 
was in ruins, whilst the several bells belonging to it 
were suspended not more than five or six feet from 
the ground. After passing for six miles through a 
succession of cane-fields, we again had to cross the 
river, making four times in this day's march. The 
men behaved badly to-day, the column being greatly 
scattered, the heat being intense and the marching 
very laborious. We had a long march of twenty-two 
miles, halting for the night on the banks of a race 
which fed a large sugar-mill. My feet were blistered ; 
I suffered a good deal, yet I had to go on guard, and 
passed the night in watchfulness. 

December 16. Stiff and sore, I was relieved from 
guard, and took my place at sunrise at the head of 
my company. I marched with difficulty ; but it was 
not so hot as on yesterday, and the wind was blowing 
so that the dust did not hang upon us. We were 
traversing a belt of sterile country, and at 10 o'clock 
passed through a miserable hamlet, few people being 
visible ; at 2 o'clock p.m. reached the Ramos River, a 
beautiful stream flowing east from the Sierra Madre ; 
wading the river, we bivouacked on the sandy bed of 
its shore, having marched fourteen miles. Here rumors 
spread that we were cut off by the Mexicans, that a 
large force of the enemy was ahead and between us 
and the First Division. We soon found that we were 
halted to let a train close up, to be under the protec- 
tion of our brigade. 

December 17. Last night it was bitter cold, the 


wind from the mountains sweeping down the river 
valley; we were aroused before daylight by the re- 
veille, and stood up in ranks until 8 o'clock, before 
starting. Our battalion was thrown in the advance, 
and for eight miles we marched through a wood of 
moschete- or ebony-trees, which, by the by, had made 
us excellent fires the past night. At noon we ascended 
a mountain, on the top of which we found Generals 
Taylor and Twiggs, Colonel Smith, and their staffs. 
The road now descended rapidly ; but we were ordered 
to move slowly and cautiously ; couldn't think what 
was up, but we kept a sharp lookout ; soon we saw a 
body of troops, which certainly were United States 
soldiers, and so they proved to be ; a regiment of 
Tennessee volunteers were effecting a junction, having 
marched from Camargo. We are now in the vicinity 
of Monte Morelos, and have to wait until the train 
has been passed over the mountain. Fortunately our 
being in the advance saved us from great labor, as 
the rear regiments had to help the teams to pull the 
wagons up the hill. Our men were in huge spirits at 
this luck, and many of them went to see the little 
mules pull ; many were the words of encouragement 
they gave to the Tennesseeans and Georgians, as they 
strained at the wagons. 

Distance made to-day, fourteen miles. 

December 18. In camp near the town of Monte 
Morelos, capital of the department of the same name, 
and called after a famous priest patriot, who distin- 
guished himself in the Mexican war of independence. 
The town is small, Spanish-looking, with a very neat 
cathedral, inside and out. The mountains are all 


around, yet this is a centre of a large sugar trade with 
the miners in the adjoining State of San Luis; it is a 
flourishing well-built city, with well-paved streets and 
a decent-looking set of inhabitants. There are some 
fine stores, and altogether it has a well-to-do appear- 
ance. I noticed that the people seemed frightened, 
and there was unmistakably great excitement about 
headquarters ; we couldn't make it out, or why we 
didn't march. Our astonishment was great when we 
saw the First Division of Regulars marching away 
from us and taking the road by which we had come. 
They left hurriedly, and we hastened to camp to 
learn that General Worth had sent for help, and that 
Taylor was on the march back to Monterey. Now 
for rumors, and they flew magnificently. There was 
no doubt about one thing, — we were left "in the 
mountains," and the next step was looked forward to 
with anxiety. 

During the day orders were published that the First 
and Second Tennessee Regiments were to constitute 
one brigade under Colonel Campbell, of the First Ten- 
nessee ; the First Mississippi, the First Georgia, and 
the Baltimore Battalion, another brigade under Colonel 
Jackson, of the Georgia Regiment ; the whole consti- 
tuting a field division, under Brigadier-General Quit- 
man, and we were all ordered to continue our march 
on to-morrow. 

The most reliable news we could get was that 
Santa Anna was threatening Worth, that Butler had 
left Monterey with all his disposable force to help 
Worth at Saltillo, and that Patterson was marching 
from the Rio Grande with the volunteers to occupy 


Monterey. If all this be true, we are in rather an 
ugly dilemma, and to get out of this there is only 
one way, and that is to push on to the Gulf; lohy we 
did not return with Taylor, we learned as we marched. 
A body of troops were now en route to Victoria from 
the Rio Grande to meet our advance, and if we could 
not effect a junction with them they would be cut 

We have had a delightful day, and with the rest- 
lessness characteristic of our men, some of them sal- 
lied out, gunning ; they returned with several parrots, 
which they had killed, and " Pretty poll" was cried 
by every rascal in the command, during the whole of 
the night, until sleep was nearly out of the question. 

December 19. We were on the march this morning 
at sunrise, our road skirting the base of a mountain, 
and our course east-southeast ; marched very rapidly 
until we reached a stream of ice-cold water, which 
we waded with many a shiver and hard word ; met 
a good many angry-looking Mexicans — real moun- 
taineers they were, and not at all abashed by our 
presence ; they had evidently heard of Santa Anna 
being on the war-path, and hoped to see him at Monte 
Morelos; we would have turned back if we had not 
been ordered forward, for a more reckless, daring body 
of men were never brigaded together than were now 
marching with Quitman through this foreign land. 

One of the rumors circulating on the march to-day, 
coming from the head of the column, was that they 
never slept in the camp of the Baltimore Battalion ; 
that when anybody wanted to sleep, he would go out 
in the chaparral. So much iov pretty poll. 


We made but eleven miles to-day, owing to the 
mountains we had to ascend, and the necessity of 
keeping well closed up. We halted and bivouacked 
with but little wood for fire, and passed a cheerless 

Decemher 20 — Sunday. Got up from my bed on 
the hard earth at two o'clock this morning, being so 
cold that I could not sleep ; found most of my com- 
pany stirring about for wood to make fires with ; 
cooked coffee long before daylight, and awaited the 
reveille ; off at sunrise, and had a hard day's march 
over the spurs of the Sierra Madre. I suffered a good 
deal from my sore feet, the road being hilly and rocky 
hurt them ; water scarce to-day, and for some reason 
impossible to explain, the men marched rapidly with- 
out any apparent cause. We saw wild turkeys and 
several deer running, the mountains being full of 
game. Toward night we descended into the valley of 
Linarez, and were once more among the cane-fields. 
We bivouacked in a thick chaparral among rocks on 
the banks of a rapid stream. Made eighteen miles 
to-day, and instead of rest I was detailed for guard, 
with instructions to be on the alert and to visit my 
posts continually during the night. No rest this 
Sabbath, so I sat by the camp-fires, and with their 
light made my notes of the day's march ; very cold, 
and my eyes full of smoke. 

Decemher 21. After nine miles of pleasant march- 
ing, we halted on the banks of a rapid river called 
the San Fernando, not the San Juan, opposite the 
town of Linarez, one of the principal towns of the 
State of New Leon, distant forty leagues from Mon- 


terey, being about one-half the distance to Victoria. 
Linarez has a population of fi-om six to ten thou- 
sand inhabitants, is a handsome town, and has more 
respectable-looking citizens than any town yet seen. 
The greatest novelty was the large number of its 
people on the streets, which made the contrast to the 
other towns we had passed through striking and 
agreeable. Among the ladies who were looking at 
us, I noticed several with parrots perched on their 
hands, and they seemed pleased with the fun our men 
made as they marched along. I saw here the first 
house I had seen in the country which had the ap- 
pearance of an hotel ; it had for a sign " Tienda de 
Abundancia." In fact, we all voted Linarez mut/ 

On the nine miles of to-day's march we passed 
through thousands and thousands of acres — yes, 
miles — of cane-fields, luxuriant in their growth, and 
with large establishments for the manufacture of 
sugar scattered at intervals through this famous 
valley of Linarez. I thinlc that we were the first 
American troops the inhabitants had seen, and al- 
though they were shy they seemed not to be afraid ; 
it may be that they knew, what we as yet were ignor- 
ant of, that a force of their countrymen was close at 

December 22. Took an early start this morning, 
and confidently expected an attack, as our division 
picket, just in, had reported a body of Mexican 
Lancers to be in sight. We marched with loaded 
arms and in compact column ; as we crossed the 
summit of a mountain, we caught a glimpse of the 


town of Linarez several miles in our rear, lighted up 
with the I'ising sun. I believe that every man in the 
division cast a look upon the charming picture that 
this town presented, in its nest among the mountains. 
Our road was bad, very bad, rocky and uneven, no 
water, and not a ranch to be seen. We halted at 
the first stream we came to, and in a very picturesque 
spot, but a very uncomfortable one ; we pitched our 
tents in the midst of a thick wood with rocks piled 
up all around us. The men soon sallied out, despite 
Lancers, with their guns, to look for game, and they 
returned with wild hogs, turkeys, parrots, and arma- 
dillos. The parrots were excellent eating, but I had 
not the heart to eat the armadillos, — they looked so 
beseeching while alive. 

December 23. It rained incessantly all last night; 
fortunately we had had time to pitch our tents, never- 
theless we were very damp, and the mud was thick. 
We slept but little, as there was firing at intervals 
from tattoo to reveille, and several Mexicans are 
reported to have been shot ; there was more or less 
of alarm all night. We delayed starting this morn- 
ing, so as to have daylight to get out of the forest; 
the road was heavy, and my sore feet were much 
blistered from so frequently treading upon stones 
covered with mud, which I could not avoid ; we 
passed but one ranch until four o'clock in the after- 
noon, when we reached a handsome house on the 
banks of a river, where we halted ; here there was 
much consultation, as it was thought we had lost our 
road, so primeval and undisturbed was the appearance 
of the country. Large flocks of parrots were flying 


overhead in countless thousands, just as I have seen 
the wild pigeons in Maryland ; deer, turkeys, wild 
boar, a bird like a pheasant, and another like a 
guinea-fowl, wei'e numerous and unquestionably not 
much alarmed by man ; the road looked as if it were 
not often travelled, and the few people about the 
ranch knew nothing, or would tell nothing. It was 
determined to pass the night here, and await a recon- 
naissance which was ordered. 

Decemhei- 24. A damp, drizzly morning ; Captain 
Steuart's and my company were detailed for rear- 
guard, just as the brigade was about moving; halted 
until the division and its train had passed, when we 
fell in and marched. The wagons kept well closed 
up, but we had much difficulty keeping the mules 
and their arrieros up with the wagons. I pitied the 
mules and saved them all I could, yet they were 
heavily loaded and seemed to suffer. We crossed a 
river, and here the mules were disposed not to come 
out of the water ; and as there were several hundred 
of them in the stream at the same time, some idea 
may be foi'med of what the rear-guard had to do, with 
the knowledge that every minute's delay increased 
the distance between our troops and us. We got 
them all over after awhile, and pushed on rapidly, 
overtaking our brigade at the town of Villa Grande ; 
we received orders to let the mules go in advance, 
while we waited until a number of wagons were 
loaded with corn, purchased in the town from the 
Mexicans. We helped them to load, and then 
started after the troops. We marched rapidly, but 
did not get into camp until after dark, and bivouacked 


in the midst of a thicket of chaparral and thorns so 
dense that there was scarcely room to pile a stack of 
arms. We had one satisfaction, however, that if we 
did not know where we were, we were certain that 
the enemy would never find us. Here we spent our 
Christmas eve; around the camp-fire I told my 
officers that if they would find the materials for egg- 
nog, I would supply the means ; volunteers were 
soon off in search, but it was midnight before they 
returned with a single bottle of muscal (a strong 
Mexican brandy), and a dozen eggs. A camp-kettle 
filled with water was boiling, and with plenty of 
sugar, we had a sweet but not very strong mess-pan 
full of egg-nog for ourselves, and a tin-cup full for 
each one of my men to drink a happy Christmas to 
all at home. 

Decemher 25. Christmas day, 1846. It rained last 
night, and having no shelter but the bushes our fes- 
tivities were much dampened. To add to our hilarious 
feelings this morning, we were credibly informed that 
General Canales would commemorate the day by 
attacking the Yankees on the march. 

We got out of the thicket about sunrise, ascended 
a high mountain ; descending, we passed through an 
orchard of orange-trees, noticeable for their great size 
and quantity of fruit, then through a forest, when 
we came to a river running alongside the wood. We 
waded this river waist-deep, and took a cold bath by 
way of a Christmas drink, so as to enter the town of 
Hidalgo, now in sight, in proper trim for the festivities 
of the day. We had a hearty laugh before entering 
the town. A dense growth of timber was growing 


on the river bottom, the trees must have been of the 
famous banyan species of Hindostan; from the trunk, 
great arms spread out, from which descended roots or 
branches which entered the earth and gave birth to 
another tree, which in its turn threw out similar arms, 
and again reproduced itself in others. Astride one 
of these huge arms was a Tennessee volunteer with 
his musket at a support, evidently waiting for the 
Baltimore Battalion to come along; as soon as our 
men saw him they sent up a shout which made the 
woods ring. Some one asked him what he was doing 
up there on guard. He replied, " Stranger, I have 
Jie'erd tell of the elephant being on show in this he'er 
country, and seeing as how I've found him, why I am 
jist taking a ride." 

If the Moors in the first century of their occupa- 
tion of the Peninsula had built this Mexican town of 
Hidalgo, which we were now entering, it could not 
have presented a more striking picture of the " Do- 
minacion de los Arabes en Espaua" so graphically 
narrated by Conde. Its very church, now in ruins, 
was a mosque in all its features, and here in New 
Spain, the tramp of the followers of Mohammed was 
marked as distinctly as the heel of the Roman on the 
plains of Carthage. 

Hidalgo, with its high-sounding name, has seen its 
best days ; it was very dilapidated. We saw but few 
people, and no sign of Christmas ; marched two miles 
beyond, and encamped on the road-side. Made fifteen 
miles to-day. 

December 26. On guard again last night; took an 
early start this morning, and after two hours' march 


came to a deep and rapid stream; there was great 
difficulty in fording it, and much delay before our 
whole division had crossed. The First Brigade was 
in line when we got to the further bank, and we 
marched forward, letting it remain to cover the 
wagons and the mule train. At noon we halted and 
went into camp, all wondering why we had done so, 
as we had not made more than six miles. Before 
long we learned that the rear-guard of May's Dragoons 
had been attacked* and his whole baggage captured. 
Things looked squally, everybody on the alert, arms 
discharged, cleaned, and inspected. General Urrea, 
not Canales, was on our flank with a large body of 
good cavalry, and an attack was expected. I now 
admired the order of march of Quitman, and his 
excellent judgment in selecting camps so unfavorable 
for cavalry to act in with any hope of success against 
such troops as we had. 

December 27 — Sunday. March resumed, Baltimore 
Battalion in the advance. We marched this whole 
day with arms loaded and bayonets fixed; and as they 
say of horses sometimes in a race, you might have 
covered the whole division with a blanket, so closely 
did they keep their ranks. At 4 o'clock p.m. we 
reached a large ranch, at which there was a sugar- 
mill. The Mexicans had just left, intending, as they 
said, to fight us at Victoria. We went into camp, 
and here I took a lesson in the proper formation to 
resist a night-attack from cavalry. During the night 
firing was heard, and in a few minutes the division 

* He lost eleven men, twelve horses, and all his baggage. 


was utvler arms. An attack had been made upon the 
picket-guard lying in the road to Victoria, but the 
enemy finding it on the alert and the whole camp 
alarmed did not press the attack. We remained un- 
der arms until nearly daybreak, when we got a little 

Deceynher 28. We are now at the corner where the 
three Mexican States of New Leon, San Luis Potosi, 
and Tamaulipas, join each other ; close on our right, 
the main chain of the Sierra Madre uplifts its tower- 
ing heights, and in the south-west may be seen the 
famous gap in the mountain, called the Tula Pass, 
through which the road from the Gulf of Mexico 
passes into the interior. The river which we crossed 
day before yesterday is named the Santander, which 
finds its sources among these ridges and flows north- 
eastwardly, emptying into the Gulf about the tropic of 

Again we marched slowly and cautiously, hugging 
the base of the mountain on our right flank, still 
under the impression that we would be attacked, 
until we reached a large sugar plantation named the 
Hacienda of Santa En Gracia, distant ten miles from 

Here we halted, and having to report in person to 
General Quitman for orders, I was instructed to march 
with my guard to a ford, a mile distant, and to pre- 
vent the passage of the river, should such be attempted 
by the Mexicans. 

I marched with my guard, and during the night, 
whilst sitting on the river-bank, watching over the 
ford, I was startled by the report of a gun fired by 


one of my sentries. Hastening to his side, as I had 
seen no enemy, I found a Georgian coolly reloading 
his musket. I asked him how he dared to suflfer his 
piece to be discharged, despite my instructions, as he 
knew the whole division would be aroused ; and even 
whilst talking the roll of the drums beating the long- 
roll came drifting down with the wind. The sentry 
saw the scrape he had got himself in, and replied, 
" Captain, you see I was so tired and so sleepy that 
to keep myself awake I kept imiting my gun at a 
duck I saw on the river, and I thought how I would 
like to ivJiisper to it, — and, dang it, I forgot the gun 
was cocked, tind away she went." I had barely placed 
him under arrest, and another sentry on his post, 
when a staff officer came galloping from headquarters 
to ascertain the cause of alarm. I made the best 
excuse I could, that I would prefer charges against 
the sentinel, and said that I would report in person 
at headquarters as soon as relieved, to explain the 
needless alarm. I did so, and after telling the gen- 
eral the soldier's story, he sent for him and told him, 
that if ever he whispered again without orders, it 
would be his last. The general ordered his release, 
and giving me a bowl of hot coffee, we both left 
equally gratified, to take our places in the column then 
forming for the march. 

December 29. We advanced on Victoria and en- 
tered the town at noon, the enemy retiring as we 
approached, which gave me a very good opinion of 
the military capacity of General Urrea. With a 
force of three thousand cavalry, he had been hanging 
on our line of march from Linarez to this place, with- 


out a single opportunity being offered him to make an 
attack with any hope of success, and he very wisely 
saved his command and withdrew it to the Tula Pass, 
among whose mountain fastnesses it was never our 
fortune to follow him. 

I found here a Mexican chart which made the dis- 
tance from Monterey seventy-nine leagues, which at 
two and a half miles to the league (that we learned 
to be the length of their league) gives the distance at 
one hundred and ninety-seven and a half miles ; by 
my itinerary I estimated it at one hundred and ninety- 
two miles ; if we call it two hundred miles in round 
numbers, it will be very near the correct distance by 
a pretty good road between the two capital cities of 
New Leon and Tamaulipas. 



General Quitman took formal possession of Vic- 
toria, the capital of the State of Tamaulipas, on the 
29th day of December, 1846, and the flag of the 
"Baltimore Battalion," of his division, was hoisted on 
the flag-staff of the State House. The ceremonies 
attending the entry and occupation were formal and 
imposing; the infantry, preceded by Bragg's (now 
Thomas's) Battery, formed in close column of com- 
panies, marched with arms at a support and bayonets 
fixed around the main plaza, the artillery filing out of 


the column and massing in the centre ; we then opened 
our column and wheeled into line facing inwards 
from each side of the square, officers to the front and 
arms presented, as the flag selected from our battalion 
was hoisted amid the music of all the instruments in 
our command, playing " Hail Columbia" and the 
" Star Spangled Banner." At this time, the Alcalde 
and municipal authorities came forward and made an 
address to General Quitman, when we marched out of 
the city and went into camp in a charming field near 
by, where, foot-sore and weary, I hoped to get some 

I was disappointed ; at sunset, Major Buchanan 
was ordered into town with three companies of his 
battalion, as rumor was rife that an attempt would 
be made to recapture Victoria. We occupied the 
State House, and I was ordered to fortify it. In doing 
so I necessarily entered the legislative chambers, and 
found on the desks of the members written motions 
made on the preceding day, showing that they had 
only then determined to withdraw without a fight, 
trusting for an opportunity to take us at a disad- 
vantage. So hasty had been their flight that their 
national flag, which had been flying that day, was 
left, and we found it in the Speaker's desk, which 
was upon a handsome rostrum on the south side of 
the hall. I took supper in General Urrea's quarters, 
and as he had breakfasted there and was likely to 
return, I ate a very hearty one. ^ 

It was a beautiful moonlight night, and we 
patrolled the town every half-hour, keeping up com- 
munications with the main body at camp. It was a 


melancholy sort of duty this wandering about an 
enemy's town, and it would have been a pleasant 
relief to have met with armed resistance. A great 
many of the citizens had witnessed the ceremonies 
attending the occupation, and I had looked at them 
carefully. They seemingly beheld the parade with 
that love for military display which is characteristic 
of the nation ; but their countenances showed they felt 
that their country was being humiliated, and I must 
say that I really felt for them. 

Now all was still as death, even the dogs did not 
bark; and, as tired as we all were, it was noticed that 
not a man of our guard even said he was sleepy, — so 
intense was the excitement. 

December 30. On duty all day, patrolling the town 
and strengthening the defenses about the State House; 
the stores were generally closed, all business sus- 
pended, and but few people to be seen. Some few 
Indians gathered in the plaza to hold their accustomed 
market, but even they with all their stolid indiffer- 
ence were forced to yield to the general gloom, and 
soon left for their country ranches. At sundown we 
were relieved by four companies from the First 
Brigade, and gladly got under our blankets at camp 
after forty-eight hours' constant duty. 

December 31. No news from General Taylor since 
he left us at Monte Morelos, — not even a rumor to- 
day. Our single division, with a light Battery, com- 
prising the whole force (as far as we know), now 
confronting the Mexican army gathering in the moun- 
tains on our west. "Where will they strike ? 
General Patterson is undoubtedly coming this way 



with his volunteers from the Rio Grande, and whether 
we shall move toward San Luis Potosi, through the 
Tula Pass, or toward Tampico, is the question now 
upon the lips and iu the thoughts of every one in 
Quitman's Division. There is a very general restless- 
ness, indicative of uncertainty, and groups of officers 
discuss the question with more than usual earnestness. 
We all want to go to Tampico ; this is the military 
judgment, that we should abandon the line of the 
Rio Grande for offensive purposes. 

If Santa Anna had had the same judgment, he 
would not have sacrificed the best army Mexico ever 
put in the field at Buena Vista, but would have saved 
it for the defense of the capital. He made the same 
mistake that Ampudia did at Monterey ; he mistook 
tactics for strategy. Anxious to fight, he fought the 
troops nearest at hand, without an idea that it might 
be possible he could be outgeneraled. 

While he was now marshaling his army in the 
State of San Luis, the near road to the city of Mexico 
was left open ; this was about to be seized by the 
superior genius of one of the greatest soldiers of the 
age — Major-General Winfield Scott. 

We knew nothing as yet of the plan of campaign, 
but we were in the field, and wits become wonderfully 
brightened in the presence of danger. As before 
said, we were unanimous in the opinion that we 
should change our strategy; it was idle to talk of con- 
quering a peace in the valley of the Sierra Madre. 
That we would have to conquer one, no one now 
doubted. Santa Anna, the recognized head of the 
State, had made known the sentiment of the nation, 


that not while a hostile soldier trod their soil would 
Mexico make peace. 

This had been my opinion ; its semi-official promul- 
gation did not startle me. And thus closed upon the 
Baltimore Battalion, at Victoria de Tamaulipas, th.e 
year 1846. 



January 1, 1847 — New-Year's day. Oif duty and 
on a visit to the city ; no school-boy ever enjoyed a 
holiday more than I did this. True, there was not 
much to be seen, but I was free to go where I chose 
and from the cares belonging to a Captain of a com- 
pany. I rambled over the town, visited the cathedral, 
in which divine service was being held, looked into 
the few shops that were open, gossiped with my 
brother otficers of the division, many of whom — like 
myself — were wandering about as only Americans do 
wander, and finally brought up in the market, look- 
ing with interest at the vegetables, fruit, merchandise, 
and country produce ofiered for sale. 

Victoria is on an elevated plain, close to the moun- 
tains on the west. This plain is of great extent, 
highly cultivated, and its chief products, corn and 
sugar, make the town an entrepot and place of con- 
siderable trade with the adjoining mining States of 
San Luis and Zacatecas, the main road to which runs 


from this town through the mountains, by way of the 
gap in the Sierra previously spoken of. Its popuLition 
does not exceed from three to five thousand, although 
the number of houses (many of which are unoccu- 
pied) would lead one to suppose that its population 
was much greater. The plaza is very large, the 
cathedral occupying one of its faces, and the buildings 
in this vicinity are respectable ; as you leave the 
square and approach the suburbs, the houses decrease 
in size, and the outskirts are the reed huts of the 
poorer classes. . It is by no means comparable to 
Monterey, either as a city or in extent of trade or 
population. There are many genteel-looking citizens, 
but they appear to be of a more peaceable disposition 
— milder than any before met. They were not indif- 
ferent to their situation, were not indolent or apathetic. 
I have given the only word by which I can express 
the opinion I formed of them, — mild, they seemed 

I learned that one of the officers who had retired, 
as we approached, was a Captain Augustine Iturbide, 
who had been a scholar at Saint Mary's College, Bal- 
timore, and was now on the staff of General Urrea.* 

I went out to camp at sunset, and was just in time 
to meet with the first norilier I had ever seen or felt. 
The wind blew a hurricane, prostrating in a minute 
nearly every tent, and the air was filled with dust, 

* He subsequently called to see me, and made himself known 
while I was at the National Bridge. He seemed much pleased 
to meet a Baltimorean who knew some of his former scbool- 


sand-burs, ticks, and various flies and insects ; while 
overhead clouds of parrots, disturbed in their roosts 
on the mountain sides, were flying, whirling, and 
screaming like mad. Two thousand men were turned 
out of house and home in the twinkling of an eye, 
and a scene of utter confusion prevailed in the dark- 
ness which fell like a pall over everything. For fully 
half an hour the storm-king was in command, and 
not a rag of canvas could be raised to shelter us from 
the fury of the gale ; by midnight, the wind had 
abated and the thermometer must have been down to 
freezing ; it was very cold, and the noise of driving 
tent-pins into the earth showed the activity with which 
our houses were being reconstructed, for even a canvas 
shelter is better than none, against cold. 

One of the gravest objections to this climate is the 
violent alternation of heat and cold within twenty- 
four hours. I think there must be an average difl^er- 
ence of thirty or forty degrees of Fahrenheit between 
noon and midnight. At mid-day, the sun is hot ; by 
sundown, the weather is so cold that you want the 
heat of a fire; and at midnight, you are lucky if you 
have blankets enough to keep warm enough to sleep. 

This has been so to a greater or less extent since 
last September, and serious fears are expressed by our 
surgeons, that many of our troops will be unfit for 
service three months hence, on account of chills and 

January 4. General Taylor arrived to-day with 
Twiggs's First Division, and we were very glad to 
know that they were again with us. They had had 
a useless and tiresome march back to Monterey from 


Monte Morelos, merely to find that the troops at Sal- 
tillo had been stampeded. So they again set out to 
reach Victoria, and came to find Quitman in posses- 
sion for five days. General Patterson also arrived to- 
day with his division of volunteers, having suffered a 
great deal from the scarcity of water on his march 
from Camargo. 

We of Hamer's Brigade knew all about this last 
August, and it is very strange that these troops had 
not been forewarned to carry water with them. 

The number of troops concentrated here is about 
five thousand men of all arms, and we have un- 
doubted information that a force of the enemy equally 
large, under Generals Valencia and Urrea, is at Tula, 
one hundred miles west, while Santa Anna is at San 
Luis with an unknown force. General Taylor is 
awaiting instructions, as he is not disposed to abandon 
his movement upon Tampico to look after Valencia 
or his chief, the redoubtable Don Antonio Lopez de 
Santa Anna. 

January 8. The weather here has been very dis- 
agreeable ; we have had two more norUiers, and twice 
my tent has been blown down ; cold and stormy 
weather is very bad tor living in the open air. A 
very noticeable fact in these fierce blows of wind is 
the quantity of fine black dust that is carried along 
with the gale ; it is so penetrating that my face has 
been covered with it when I awoke in the morning, 
notwithstanding the tent was tightly closed and my 
head well covered. I am not sure that the ticks (as 
we call them in Maryland) are also borne along by 
the wind ; but that is the opinion in camp, and we 


are more annoyed by them tlian we were by the mos- 
quitoes on the Rio Grande last summer. We have 
another annoyance, destined to persecute us until we 
left the country, — fleas; their number is legion. 

January 9. I think I may safelj' say that every 
tent went down last night ; the wind changed sud- 
denly after dark last evening from the south to the 
north, and again we had a norther from the ice pole 
itself, which had gathered strength from every degree 
as it flew toward the equator ; it is really impossible 
to paint or imagine the quantity of discomfort we 
have experienced in camp this month of January at 



January 11. It was at Victoria that General Tay- 
lor first learned that General Scott was in the country, 
had arrived at the Brazos Santiago; and this was why 
his march on Tampico had been stopped, to await in- 
structions, which it was to be supposed would follow 
the totally unexpected arrival of the Commander-in- 

These instructions came, and were of such a char- 
acter, as now to merit the attention of every citizen, 
and to deserve the profound consideration of every 
lover of his country ; for history cannot show a 


brighter example of patriotism, of military subordina- 
tion, of high-toned integrity, than was presented in 
the conduct of General Taylor at this time. 
On the 7th he had written the following letter: 

" Headquarters Army of Occupation, 
" Camp near Victoria, Mkxico, January 7, 1847. 

" SiR^ — I have the honor to advise you that on the 29th ult. 
Brigadier-General Quitman occupied, without resistance, the city 
of Victoria, capital of the State of Tamaulipas. The enemy 
had a body of some fifteen hundred cavalry in the town, with 
its advanced picket at Santa Bngracia, but it fell back as Gen- 
eral Quitman approached, and is understood to be now at Jau- 
mave, in the direction of Tula. At Tula there is a strong di- 
vision of observation, under the command of General Valencia. 
An examination of the mountain pass leading to Tula shows 
that it is entirely impracticable for artillery or wagons. Such is 
also believed to be the character of the Santa Barbara Pass, 
which opens in the direction of Tarapico. 

"I arrived here with the division of Brigadier-General Twiggs 
on the 4th inst., and was joined on the same day by the force 
which Major-General Patterson conducted from Matamoras. 
The force now collected here is over five thousand strong, and, 
I am happy to add, in excellent health and in good condition for 

" I am unofficially advised that Major-General Scott is now iu 
the country, under orders from the government. I propose to 
remain at this point until I can hear from him, and determine 
what disposition to make of the troops now here. I am con- 
stantly expecting dispatches from his headquarters. 

***** !|! * 

"I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"(Signed) "Z. Taylor, 

" Miijor-Gcneral commanding. 
"To THE Adjutant-General of the Army, 
" "Washington." 

The above letter I did not see or know anything 


about until the year 1850. On the 14th of January, 
1847, I wrote from camp, at Victoria : 

" I have just returned from town ; saw a train of wag-ons, 
escorted by Kentucky cavalry, arrive from Matamoras ; it was 
loaded with supplies. I heard many rumors. There is evi- 
dently some grand move in contemplation, and I am inclined to 
think Vera Cruz will bring us up. I am just informed that Gen- 
eral Scott is at Matamoras, and that General Taylor has received 
dispatches from him ; if so, our movements may be changed. I 
am satisfied that we would not have remained here so long, but 
for the fact that General Scott was in the country, and General 
Taylor would do nothing until he heard from him." 

From the above it will be perceived that on the 
14th I had just learned what Taylor knew on the 
7th, but had correctly surmised the cause of delay, 
although I, in a measure, ascribed it to the want of 
necessary supplies. 

General Scott arrived at Matamoras on the 30th day 
of December, 1846, from the United States, having 
left New Orleans on the 23d of the same month.* 
General Taylor was then on the return march from 
Monterey to Victoria, and he was in the latter city 
when he first heard, unofBcially, that Scott was in 
the country. It is well to bear these facts and dates 
in mind. 

On the day of his arrival at Matamoras, General 
Scott sent the following to the Honorable Secretary 
of War, and the official heading shows that he was 
then in command : 

* He had landed at the Brazos on the 28th, and immediately 
assumed command. 

202 BiEUoms OF a 

" Headquarters of the Army, 

Matamoras, December 30, 1346. 

" Sir, — I came here this morniDg, and found nothing but the 
same contradictory rumors which prevrailed yesterday at the 
Brazos Santiago and the mouth of the river. But an officer has 
just arrived here (for additional subsistence) from Major-General 
Patterson, at San Fernando, who says, positively, that the latter 
had, on the morning of the 2Tth inst., ofiicial dispatches from 
Major-General Taylor, saying that he was about to return, with 
a part of his moveable column, to Monterey, in order to support 
Brevet Brigadier-General Worth, understood to be menaced at 
Saltillo by Santa Anna and a powerful army. 

"This information has determined me to proceed up the river 
to Camargo, in order to meet dispatches from Major-General 
Taylor, and, if his outposts should be seriously menaced, to join 
him rapidly. Otherwise I shall, at Camargo, be within easy 
corresponding distance of him in respect to my ulterior destina- 

" If the enemy be acting offensively, with a large force, which 
I yet somewhat doubt, we must first repulse and cripple him in 
time to proceed to the new and more distant theatre. 

" No boat has come down the river in many days, on account 
of the heavy winds, which make descent and ascent extremely 
diificult. Hence, nothing, it is believed, has passed here from 
Major-General Taylor's headquarters of a later date than the 14th 
instant. The steamer in which I write is ready to depart. 
" I have the honor to be, etc., 

" (Signed) " WiNriBLD Scott. 

" To Hon. W. L. Marcy, 

" Secretary of War." 

It was on the 11th day of January, 1847, that 
General Taylor received the following astounding 
and extraordinary communications, which I give 
entire, because of their interesting character and inti- 
mate connection with the thread of history ; merely 
premising that it must be borne in mind that at this 
time Taylor had by the capture of and terms of car 


pitulation at Monterey, driven the Mexicans beyond 
the Sierra Madre, and that the whole valley of the 
Rio Grande was clear of the enemy ; that the cam- 
paign, inaugurated solely by him, had been success- 
fully terminated, leaving him free to act, as he was 
about doing, from another base on a new theatre. 

"New Yokk, November 25, 1846. 
" Private and Confide) dial. ~\ 

" My Deak General, — I left Washington late in the day yes- 
terday, and expect to embark for New Orleans the 30th instant. 
By the 12th of December I may be in that city, at Point Isabel 
the ITth, and Camargo say the 23d, in order to be within easy 
corresponding distance from you. It is not probable that I may 
be able to visit Monterey, and circumstances may prevent your 
coming to me. I shall much regret not having an early oppor- 
tunity of felicitating you in person upon your many brilliant 
achievements; but we may meet somewhere in the interior of 

"I am not coming, my dear General, to supersede you in the 
immediate command on the line of operations rendered illustrious 
by you and your gallant army. My proposed theatre is differ- 
ent. You may imagine it, and I wish very much that it were 
prudent at this distance to tell you all that I expect to attempt 
or hope to execute. I have been admonished that dispatches 
have been lost, and I have no special messenger at hand. Your 
imagination will be aided by the letters of the Secretary of War, 
conveyed by Mr. Armistead, Major Graham, and Mr. McLane. 

" But, my dear General, I shall be obliged to take from you 
most of the gallant ofBcers and men (regulars and volunteers), 
whom you have so long and so nobly commanded. I am afraid 
that I shall, by imperious necessity, — the approach of yellow 
fever on the Gulf-coast, — reduce you for a time to stand on the 
defensive. This will be infinitely painful to you, and for that 
reason distressing to me. But I rely on your patriotism to sub- 
mit to the temporary sacrifice with cheerfulness. No man can 
better afford to do so. Recent victories place you on that high 


eminence, and I even flatter myself that any benefit that may 
result to me personally from the unequal division of troops al- 
luded to will lessen the pain of your consequent inactivity. 

"You will be aware of the recent call for nine regiments of 
new volunteers, including one of Texas horse. The President 
may soon ask for many more, and we are not without hope that 
Congress may add ten or twelve to the regular establishment. 
These, by the spring, — say April, — may, by the aid of large 
bounties, be in the field, should Mexico not earlier propose terms 
of accommodation ; and long before the spring (March) it is prob- 
able you will be again in force to resume offensive operations. 

" I am writing at a late hour of the night, and more than half 
sick of a cold. I may dispatch another note before I embark ; 
but from New Orleans, Point Isabel, etc., you shall hear from 
me officially and fully. 

" It was not possible for me to find time to write from Wash- 
ington, as I much desired. I only received an intimation to hold 
myself in preparation for Mexico on the 18th instant. Much has 
been done towards that end, and more remains to be executed. 

"Your detailed report of the operations at Monterey, and 
reply to the Secretary's dispatch, by Lieutenant Armistead, 
were both received two days after I was instructed to proceed 
south. In haste, I remain, my dear General, 
" Yours, faithfully, 

" (Signed) " WiNPiELD Scott. 

"To Major-General Z. Taylor, 

" United States Army Commanding, etc." 

On the 12th day of the preceding month of Sep- 
tember, General Scott had written the following : 

" Headquakters of the Army, West Point, 
" New York, September 12, 1846. 
" Sir, — In the'letter I bad the honor to address you on the 
2'7th of May last, I requested that I might be sent to take the 
immediate command of the principal army against Mexico, 
either 'to-day or at any better time he (the President) may he 
pleased to designate.^ 

" The horse regiments (twelve months' volunteers) destined 


for that army being, I suppose, now within fifteen or twenty 
marches of the Rio Grande, and the season for conseoitive ope- 
rations at hand, I respectfully ask to remind the President of 
that standing request. I do this without any hesitation in 
respect to Major-Geneval Taylor, having reason to believe that 
my presence at the head of the army in the field, in accordance 
with my rank, is neither unexpected or undesired by that gallant 
and distinguished commander, 

" A slight return of chills and fever may detain me here with 
my family long enough to receive your reply to this note. 
Should the President yield to my wishes, a few hours in New 
York and Philadelphia would enable me to make certain arrange- 
ments and save the necessity of a return to those cities from 
Washington. I suppose it would be easy for me to reach the 
Kio Grande by the end of this month. 

"With high respect, I have the honor to be, sir, your most 

obedient servant. 

" (Signed) " Winpielb Scott. 

" Hon. "W. L. Makcy, 

"Secretary of War." 

It will thus be perceived that General Scott had 
done all that he could otficially, to take command in 
Mexico, at the commencement of the war; and there 
is nothing to show that he ever, subsequent to this 
letter on the 12th September, directly or indirectly, 
contributed to deprive Taylor of his command. 

To this note of General Scott, the Secretary replied : 

" War Department, 
" Washington, September 14, 1846. 

"Sir, — I have received your letter of the 12th instant, and 
submitted it to the President. He requests me to inform you 
that it is not within the arrangements for conducting the campaign 
in Mexico to supersede General Taylor in his present command, 
by assigning you to it. 

"I am, with great respect, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" (Signed) " W. L. Marct. 

"To Major-General W. Scott." 


This curt answer of the Secretary settled the 
matter, for, as before said, Scott had written himself 
into disfavor with the administration. 

But the terms of the capitulation of Monterey had 
been disapproved, and the following letter of the 23d 
of November speaks for itself: 

" War Department, 
•'Washington, November 23, 1846. 

"Sir, — The President several days since communicated in 
person to tou his orders to repair to Mexico, to take command 
of the forces there assembled, and particularly to organize and 
set on foot an expedition to operate on the Gulf-coast, if on 
arriving at the theatre of action you shall deem it to be practi- 
cable. It is not proposed to control your operations by definite 
and positive instructions, but you are left to prosecute tLem as 
your judgment, under a full view of all the circumstances, shall 
dictate. The work is before you, and the means provided, or to 
be provided, for accomplishing it are committed to you, in the 
full confidence that you will use them to the best advantage. 

" The objects which it is desirable to obtain have been indi- 
cated, and it is hoped you will bave the requisite force to accom- 
plish them. Of this you must be the judge when preparations 
are made, and the time for action has arrived. 

" Yery respectfully, your obedient servant, 

'' W. L. Makcy, 

" Secretary of War. 
" To ilajor-General Winfield Scott, 

" Commanding the Army, Washington." 

More ample powers or more absolute authority were 
never given to general-in-chief ; and the high trust was 
nobly, faithfully, and successfully discharged. But the 
blow fell with crushing effect on the modest soldier 
who had done so much to exalt the character and the 
reputation of Amei'ican valor. 

Beside the disapprobation of the terms of capitu- 


latioii, there was another disagreement between the 
War Department and General Taylor, owing to the 
Secretary having sent orders direct to Major-General 
Patterson on the Rio Grande, without transmitting 
them through Taylor's headquarters. This the latter 
took umbrage at, as it disposed of his troops without 
his knowledge : strictly speaking, General Taylor was 
in the right; but the reasons given by the Secretary, 
the chief of which were the necessity for prompt 
action, the uncertainty of Taylor's whereabouts in the 
enemy's country, and the danger of the orders being 
captured by the enemy on their way from the Rio 
Grande, would seem to justify him. General Taylor 
was very much hurt, as it induced him to think that 
the Department had grown unfriendly; but I believe 
there was no intention whatever to derogate from or 
interfere with the authority of Taylor as the com- 
manding general at the time. 

It was a mistake, however, on the part of the Secre- 
tary, beyond a doubt, and it is equally clear that the 
complaints of Taylor tended to hasten his removal. 

The orders now received by Taylor from General 
Scott were to send his lohole command, with the ex- 
ception of two batteries of light artillery and a squad- 
ron of dragoons, to Tampico, where he. General Scott, 
would meet them in the latter part of this month, 
January, or the 1st of February. General Taylor was 
to return to Monterey and remain on the defensive. 
Orders had been dispatched already by Scott to Gen- 
eral Worth, to move with all tlie regulars, except four 
batteries, to Point Isabel, and thus was the old hero 
stripped. It was a hard blow, but it was met with 


the firmness of a soldier and a patriot. Nothing I 
ever met with in Plutarch surpasses Taylor's behavior. 
Before leaving Victoria he wrote on the 14th to 
Major-General Scott : 

" Had you, General, relieved me at once from the whole com- 
mand, and assigned rae to duty under your order or allowed me 
to retire from the field, be assured that no complaint would have 
been heard from me; but while almost every man of the regular 
force and half the volunteers (now in respectable discipline) are 
withdrawn for distant service, it seems that I am expected, with 
less than a thousand regulars, and a volunteer force partly of 
new levies, to hold a defensive line while a large army of twenty 
thousand men is in my front 

" I cannot misunderstand the object of the arrangements indi- 
cated in your letters. I feel that I have lost the confidence of 
the government, or it would not have suffered me to remain up 
to this time ignorant of its intentions, with so vitally afi'ecting 
interests committed to my charge. But however much I may 
feel personally mortified and outraged by the course pursued, 
unprecedented at least in our own history, I will carry out in good 
faith, while I may remain in Mexico, the views of my govern- 
ment, though I may be sacrificed in the effort." 

General Scott replied on the 26th of January, from 
the Brazos : 

"If I had been within easy reach of you at the time I called 
for troops from your line of operations, I should, as I had pre- 
viously assured you, have consulted you fully on all points, and 
probably might have modified my call, both as to number and 
description of the forces to be taken from or to be left with you. 
As it was, I had to act promptly, and to a considerable extent 
in the dark. All this, I think, will be apparent to you when 
you shall review my letters. 

"I hope I have left, or shall leave you, including the new vol- 
unteers who will soon be up, a competent force to defend the 
head of your line (Monterey) and its communications in the 


neighborbood. To enable you to do tbis more certainly, I must 
ask you to abandon Saltillo and to make no detachments, except 
for reconnaissances and immediate defense, much beyond Mon- 
terey. I know this to be the wish of the government, founded 
on reasons in which I concur ; among them, that the enemy 
intends to operate against small detachments and posts." 

General Taylor issued the following order the day 
he left Victoria : 

" Itiswith deep sensibility that the commanding general finds 
himself separated from the troops he so long commanded. To 
those corps, regular and volunteer, who had shared with him 
the active services of the field, he feels the attachment due such 
associations; while to those making their first campaign, he 
must express his regret that he cannot participate with them in 
its eventful scenes. To all, both officers and men, he extends 
his heartfelt wishes for their continued success and happiness, 
confident that their achievements will redound to the credit of 
their country and its arms." 

Many an eye was filled with tears when this order 

was read, for General Taylor possessed the affections 

of his soldiers. I called to see him and bid him 

good-by; he received me, and I parted from him 

not to see him again until I saw him on the eastern 

portico of the national capitol, being inaugurated 

President of the United States of America, as he 

deserved to be. 





January 16, 1847. General Tajlor left this morn- 
ing to return to Monterey, taking with him the dra- 
goons, two batteries, and the Mississippi Eifles. The 
Baltimore Battalion struck its tents and marched out 
of the camp occupied by it since the 29th ultimo, to 
take its place in the column under orders to march to 
Tampico. We were still in Brigadier-General Quit- 
man's Brigade, now consisting of the First Georgia, 
the Fourth Illinois, and our Battalion, of infantry, and 
one company of mounted Tennesseans. We con- 
stituted the Second Brigade of the Volunteer Divi- 
sion, commanded by Mnjor-General Patterson ; the 
other brigade is composed of the First and Second 
Tennessee and the Third Illinois regiments of infaii- 
try and the Tennessee regiment of cavalry, with one 
section of artillery, under Brigadier-General Gideon 
J. Pillow, which marched on yesterday. 

On the preceding day, the 14th, Brigadier-General 
Twiggs marched with the First Division, consisting 
of the First, Third, Sixth, and Seventh regular regi- 
ments of infantry and two companies of rifles. We 
are now under the orders of Major-General Winfield 
Scott. We marched this day, through an arid and 
mountainous country, a south-east course; the road 
was very dusty and stony, and the heat intense at 


noon. Toward evening we reached the San Rosa 
River, and encamped. 

On our march from Monterey, instead of hard 
ship-biscuit, flour was issued as the ration of bread ; 
we had been told that we could get hard bread at 
Victoria, and such not being the case, there was a 
great deal of dissatisfaction. Three tin cupsful of 
flour was the issue for three days, which was carried 
on the person in the haversacks of the men ; to cook 
this flour, except in one way, was" next to impossible 
on the march : this way was to mix it with water, 
then pour it into a pan in which pork-fat was frying, 
replace it over the fire, and we had slap-jacks — the 
only bread I tasted for weeks. This mixture called 
bread, with the meat, which was from cattle on the 
hoof, driven with the column and slaughtered at the 
evening's halt, laid the foundation for the discharge of 
many soldiers from the army. It took a strong man 
to stand it. 

January 17 — Sunday. Last night, after I had laid 
down in my blanket, I was aroused by a report that 
an express had reached camp with a mail direct from 
the United States. I flew through the chaparral, 
scratching my hands and tearing my clothes, but was 
amply rewarded by receiving two letters from home, 
which I read over and over again before I turned in 
or closed my eyes. The reveille beat this morning 
before daylight, and we were on the tramp before sun- 
rise; our march was a very dusty one, but the heat 
was not so oppressive as on yesterday; the Sierra 
Madre was close on our right and throwing off spurs 
or buttresses toward the east; we had to cross hill and 


dale, up one and over the other for miles, not passing 
a single ranch the whole day. The great object of 
interest on this Sunday's march was the President's 
message, which one of my men had received direct 
from his father, Colonel Nathaniel Hickman, of Bal- 
timore. It was not the message that we cared so much 
about as the paper upon which it was printed; it 
was the first fresh thing we had seen for seven months. 
We had received letters, but they had a travel-stained 
look ; this newspap'er had yet the smell and the damp 
of the press. I think every man in my company had 
it in his hands and handled it with great circumspec- 
tion and decorum. Sergeant Hickman was by long 
odds the man of the brigade on this day's march ; the 
news flew like lightning that the President's message 
to Congress was in the Baltimore Battalion, and from 
headquarters down, applications came through staff 
officers for its loan. 

From the top of a ridge we beheld our camping 
ground at El Pasto, and pushing on through the mos- 
chete bushes reached the pond, where we halted, and 
from the waters of which we made slap-jacks for this 
and the ensuing days' meals. It was a miserable 
place, we had passed over a miserable country, and 
we felt miserable. 

January 18. We this morning buried one of Cap- 
tain Piper's men ; he was sick, too sick to be brought 
on this march, when we left Victoria, and had died 
in the wagon on the road. We were ordered off just 
as his remains were about being laid in their final 
resting place, and Captain Piper's company remained 
to pay the last sad duties to a brother soldier. 


This has been the most disagreeable day's march 
we have had since we left the Brazos ; the dust was 
more than ankle-deep, and the wind blowing hard 
covered us in clouds, rendering it impossible to see 
twenty yards ahead; eyes, mouth, and nostrils were 
nearly closed, and we were as black as negroes when 
we got to camp upon the Arroya Alhagilla, in Avhose 
gullies we found water enough for coffee. We passed 
to-day many isolated palm-trees, which, with their 
tufted tops of long green branches, were very refresh- 
ing to the sight when, emerging from the clouds of 
dust, we would strike a harder bed of earth not yet 
tramped into an impalpable powder. 

January 19. Off before daylight, our road the 
whole day being through a loUderness, nothing more 
nor less. Cloudy, and not so dusty ; passed through a 
deserted village, the picture of wretchedness, and 
crossed a stream called the Tamisee, where we en- 
camped. We made eighteen miles to-day, and were 
pretty tired when we >halted. Our beef contractor, 
Mr. Biglowe, while riding with his party ahead of 
the column, was attacked to-day by Mexican cavalry, 
shot through the leg, and his party dispersed; he had 
been warned not to keep out of sight, but with the 
rashness of his class rode ahead and fell into an am- 
bush ; he will lose his leg if not his life, for his temerity. 

January 20. A long march to-day, but rather a 
pleasant one. My company, the advance guard, came 
up to the Tamisee River again about two miles from 
camp; waded through it, water very cold; passed 
through dense thickets of chaparral and forests of 
large palmetto-trees, and came to a ruinous hamlet 


called Panucho ; here formerly was a mission of pious 
Catholic priests, named the Mission del Refugio, where 
the old Spaniards had labored for a century to Chris- 
tianize the native Mexicans after the conquest. All 
gone, priest and peon, Spaniard and Mexican, before 
the Great Judge of the quick and the dead. He 
will render the proper judgment. 

"All in the grave as equals meet; 
' And God, upon his judgment seat, 
Alike impartially will greet 
The mighty and the mean." 

Being in the advance, and the weather not uncom- 
fortable, we marched rapidly and enjoyed the scenery 
which the mountains presented. The sunset was 
grand, one lofty peak in the far distance being lighted 
up until it looked like a cone of fire ; looking at it as 
we did from the natural amphitheatre in which we 
were, it required but little imagination to realize the 
" pillar of fire" before the Israelites in their journey- 
ings to the promised land. This peak was formerly 
an active volcano, and is named Mount Bernal ; rising 
three thousand feet straight up from the plain, its 
elevation is so great that it is a noted landmark to 
mariners in the Gulf of Mexico. 

We encamped upon the banks of a stream among 
some large beech-trees ; no sooner were arms stacked 
than the men hurried off to gather the fruit from the 
palms, called the cabbage-tree; we had been marching 
by them off and on all day, and fortunately halted 
near a number. This cabbage grows among the leaves 
at the top of the trunk, in the tuft which crowns the 


shaft of the tree, and when boiled is a good vegetable, 
very savory to those whose palate has been cloyed 
with slap-jacks and fried beef. I never learned who 
first told our men about this cabbage, but they prized 
them highly, and never passed a tree without express- 
ing an opinion as to the size of the cabbage hid among 
the foliage. 

January 21. We made a hard march of twenty-three 
miles to-day, nearly the whole of the Georgia regiment 
giving out, and many of our men threw themselves 
down, unable or unwilling to keep up with the column. 
From one of those inexplicable causes, the advance 
started off at such a gait that the left of the line had 
to nearly run to keep up ; the consequence was the 
column became first straggling, finally broken up. It 
was fortunate that we had a division of troops in 
front of us, although I believe we would have done 
better had there been apprehension of attack. There 
is nothing which frets an officer more than a disorderly 
march, and this of to-day was as bad as I ever saw. 

It was a cold and stormy day, the appearance of 
the country rough and rocky. We passed through 
the Hacienda Alamitas, one of the largest in the 
country. By hacienda is meant an estate, upon which 
the proprietor is surrounded with all the buildings 
and appurtenances necessary for successful cultivation 
of the soil, machinery for the manufacture of its pro- 
ducts, houses for his tenants or quasi slaves, called 
peons, and a church for religious worship. The man- 
sion of the owner was a large stone building, quite 
respectable in appearance; the church looked well, 
with a portico of columns recently yellow-washed, 


but the hovels of the peons were nothing like as com- 
fortable looking as the quarters of the slaves through- 
out the Southern States of America. This was the 
largest country establishment I had seen, and in much 
the best condition; there were large droves of ponies 
running about, and such a surplus of corn that our 
quartermaster's department purchased and loaded 
many wagonsful. Our arrival caused an immediate 
suspension of all out-door and in-door labor, except 
that of sight-seeing and indulging in a little harm- 
less conversation with our troops, through the only 
two phrases known to the brigade, — " Aguardiente ?" 
" Mucho fandango." 

Mount Bernal kept in view until night, and the 
chain of mountains on our left hand became more 
distinct as we neared the south, showing that we were 
in a valley between the Sierra Madre and a sierra 
lying between us and the Gulf. 

Night came at last, but not until night did we cease 
marching, and I threw myself on the earth, nearly 
broken down from the fatigues of the day, and so 
helpless that I went to sleep without getting coffee 
or anything else for a supper. 

Janiiary 22. Took an early start, although I was 
so stiff and sore that I could scarcely move ; passed 
through the little village called, I believed, Atamas, 
and beheld the glorious vision of the lofty peak, 
lighted up with the rising sun, more beautiful than 
when its parting rays had fired its summit with a 
beacon for the night. Our road now lay across a 
prairie, upon which large numbers of horses were 
grazing; we could see around us for miles, and our 


road stretching far away in the distance. There was 
no straggling oxer this phiin ; apart IVona reports that 
we would be attacked, our infantry had had some 
experience, and they niarclied as compactly as if 
closing in mass prior to a deployment. At noon we 
unexpectedly closed upon the rear of General Pil- 
low's Brigade, which, like our own, was marching 
slowly; we marched together over the prairie, keep- 
ing a bright lookout ; wc are evidently nearing the 
coast, although the mountains are still on either side 
of us. The cactus exceeds in size anything ever 
seen, and I am sure it would appear IMunchausenish 
if I were to attempt to describe it. There are 
very large numbers of horses running wild over the 
plain, mustangs, jacks, alsi) horned cattle iniunner- 
able. We met a party of Mexicans eii route to Vic- 
toria; they said that the Mexican Congress had 
unanimously determined to continue the war "hasta 
la uuierte." 

Tired enough, we were glad to find water in a 
pond, around which the division was regularly en- 
camped. After the fatigue of a march, the halt and 
movements prior to occupying the site designated to 
a regiment as its camp are trying beyond description; 
there is nothing a soldier dislikes more than this, 
except, after having got through Avith all this march- 
ing and countermarching before settling down for a 
rest, to be called on, as I was to-night, to go ou guanJ. 

I think that all inftmtry soldiers who have been 
thoroughly tired out with marching, entertain a great 
liking for the horse-arui of the service, cavalry. They 
want to ride. Is it to be wondered at? I had now 


walked one hundred and ten miles* in seven consecu- 
tive days, without counting the miles lost in manoeu- 
vring for camp, and, tired as I was and foot-sore, to 
have to be up all night, because a brother captain, 
whose tour of duty it was, played sick, made me a 
very angry man and somewhat disgusted with foot- 
soldiers. If I had anticipated it during the day's 
march, I would not have minded it, being in the 
natural order of things; but just as I had got my 
boots off to look at the condition of my soles pre- 
vious to bathing them (the best of all remedies), to 
have to go on guard, be up all night, and march all 
the following day, was as well calculated to disturb 
one's equanimity as anything one can imagine, par- 
ticularly as I knew the reason of the officer, whose 
name preceded mine on the roster for guard, being 
sick. The very anger, however, that I felt, " made 
me young again," and I marched off with my guard 
some eight hundred yards through the prickly branches 
of thorn, cactus, moschete, and chaparral generally, to 
spend the entire night waiting for the reveille. It 
came at last, and in such a way that it is worthy of 
being noted. It was what was called the Texas 

* It is much more difficult to march with a body of troops 
than it is to walk singly; in other words, a man walking alone 
can make thirty miles a day, and be not more fatigued after a 
week's tramp, than he would be if he had made but one-half the 
distance in the same number of days marching with a. brigade. 
One hundred men can march one hundred miles in less time and 
with less fatigue than if the same hundred men were marching 
with and forming a part of a division or an army corps. Every 
soldier understands this. 


Reveille, and came from the camp of the Tennessee 
regiment of horse attached to Pillow's brigade. 

It will be readily apprehended that there was not 
much music in the army of occupation. Outside of 
the regular regiments there were but few musical 
instruments, except fifes and drums, and of these 
there was a great scarcity among the volunteers. The 
Texas regiment of horse had no music of any kind, 
and, being disturbed in their morning naps at Mon- 
terey by the music of the troops encamped about 
them, had in revenge got up a reveille of their own. 
This was that, as soon as a Texan woke up in the 
morning and found he could not get to sleep again, 
he commenced yelling ; this very naturally awoke 
his comrades, and as fast as each man got cleverly 
awake he united in the cry, and such a din was raised 
that, laughable as it was at first, it became a nuisance 
almost unbearable. Many a sleeper has cursed this 
Texan music, but now I hailed it with pleasure, 
coming from the Tennesseeans, as they heralded the 
new-born day with their shouts of welcome in the 
morning song of military undiscipline. 

January 23. On returning to camp I was told that 
several of our men had been killed yesterday by 
the Lancers, who were still hanging about our march, 
and that one of them was Henry Forbush, a member 
of my company. He had fallen out of the ranks, 
and, failing to overtake us, I felt uneasy about him, 
as he was a quiet, obedient, and orderly soldier, and 
I knew would have come into camp if able to do so. 
He was one of my men that had been detailed to 
serve in Ridgely's Battery at Monterey, and Captain 


Ridgely told me that his behavior was exemplary and 
he was loth to part with him. I regretted his loss 
very much, yet his manner of death was of great 
service in hindering the men from straggling, and 
made them more obedient to authority. 

It is also said, that the Mexican merchants who 
passed us en route to Victoria were first plundered 
and then murdered by their countrymen for alleged 
complicity with us, of which they were as innocent 
as Santa Anna ; and I presume by this time the idea 
that Jte was anything but a thorough Mexican has 
been entirely dissipated. What sheer nonsense to 
have supposed that a man of his distinguished nation- 
ality would have been anything else but a Mexican, 
in a war popular with the entire country. It was a 
folly unexampled in its magnitude, and was near 
proving fatal to our success. 

After some five or six miles' march the plain fell off 
suddenly, and we came to a peculiar country, entirely 
dissimilar to any heretofore traversed ; it appeared to 
be, or to have been, a marshy flat of rich black soil, 
and was heavily timbered. While the earth was still 
wet it must have been much trampled by cattle, for 
now it was in hard lumps, very uneven, making the 
marching laborious, — to tender feet, painful, — and 
the men suffered or seemed to labor more than usual. 
We made very slow progress. I was near giving out, 
but continued the march until we halted at a large 
lake, or, more properly, lagoon, upon an extensive 
flat. This lagoon empties into, or is supplied from, — 
I do not know which, — the Tamisee River. Our officers 
all think that if we had had rain we never would 


have been able to have reached this point on foot. 
The country evidently for miles is subject to overflow, 
and that to such a depth that men could not have 
marched through it. Our opinion is confirmed by 
that of the country people, who seem astonished that 
we should have dared to undertake a march to Tarn- 
pico from Victoria, through the interior of Tamaulipas, 
at this season of the year. 

There was but little wood near our camp, and there 
was difficulty between our men and some of the other 
volunteers about it, as, without wood to cook coffee 
with, there would be no peace in camp. The rule 
established by common law or custom, and well under- 
stood in our army, was that all the wood standing or 
felled in front of or in the rear of the space occupied by 
the regiment's front belonged to it. 

In our order of march, the details. for guard were 
made at roll-call in the morning ; when we halted to 
go into camp, if possible always before dark, the 
brigade was formed in line of battle, with the proper 
intervals between regiments, the lines dressed and 
standing at attention. The sergeant-major of each 
regiment then marched off with his detail for grand 
guard to the parade, where it was turned off by the 
assistant adjutant-general to the field-officer of the 
day, who reported for instructions to the brigade 
commander. The regimental camp-guard, with its 
officer of the day and guard, were then turned off by 
the regimental adjutant and marched to its post; 
after these details, left the ranks, arms were stacked, 
and the accoutrements of each soldier were hung 
upon his stack, the non-commissioned officers having 


a separate stack to themselves. In a country scarce 
of fuel as this was, all the time these details were 
being got ready to march, the rest of the men were 
intently gazing before and behind them to see what 
the prospect was for wood.* This evening a large 
log, the trunk of a fallen tree, was lying opposite our 
right and the left of the regiment on our right. As 
soon as ranks were broken, which was nearly simul- 
taneous, the men of both battalions rushed to the 
log, and a free fight sprung up immediately. It was 
very difficult to say to which regiment the log be- 
longed ; but our men were too quick with their fists 
for the others, and it was dragged, pulled, and rolled 
into our camp. The respective camp-guards were 
already formed, so that there was no difficulty in 
preventing a serious disturbance. If this had not 
been the case, I think we would have had a good 
deal of trouble to-night. 

My tent is pitched near to and immediately facing 
the lagoon, upon the dry mud, over which thousands 
of cattle must have passed while it was wet, as .-I had 
to have men beat it down with axes to make a level 
to stretch my blanlcet for sleep. In the rear is a 
thicket, composed, it might be said, entirely of thorns, 
for no one would dare to enter through the prickly 
pear and other stickers, that grow s.o luxuriantly that 
some of these thorns, shaped like the horns of an ox. 

* In my company it was not an unusual thing, for the men 
to commence picking up wood for the night's coffee, as soon as 
they left camp in the morning. This they would carry until the 
evening's halt. 


and from four to five inches in length, are as formi- 
dable as knives. 

Before dark I took a stroll along the shores of the 
lagoon ; I found an old Mexican, living in a can* hut, 
from whom I learned that the name of the ranch 
was La Tuna, the people of which were principally 
engaged in drying hides, large numbers of which 
were spread upon the ground, with pegs driven 
through the edges into the earth to keep them ex- 
tended ; some hides were also kept stretched by poles 
running athwart them, and were used as sails for 
boats upon the lake. 

The word tuna, which gave name to the ranch, or 
the ranch to the hamlet, means either the American 
fig, fig-tree, or the idle life ivliich vagabonds lead. T 
could not ascertain which signification was adopted 
by its people, although I tried to learn from my aged 
friend, my Spanish not being quite equal to this case. 
During the night, however, I found it out; at least I 
could not help thinking so. 

Our men had by some means discovered a large 
quantity of muscal (an intoxicating drink made from 
sugar-cane) in one of the houses near camp, and it 
was carried by the camp-kettleful through the guards 
into camp. I discovered it by the smell, as it was 
being brought into my company ; and, notwithstand- 
ing every effort to destroy it, such large quantities 
were in camp that we had a night of drunkenness 
which, once seen, is not desired again. We had not 
had such trouble since we left the Brazos, and I 
accepted the latter as the proper meaning of La 


January 24. The Sierra Madre Mountains, it is not 
generally known, — because no thought is given to the 
subject, — are a prolongation of the Rocky Mountains 
of the United States into Mexico, which decreasing 
in size and elevation as they trend southward, are 
finally lost in the Central American States, to be re- 
produced south of the Isthmus of Panama, in the 
Andes of South America. The term Madre, or mother 
mountains, is synonymous with backbone or main 
chain, as used by Americans; and the crest of these 
mountains, as we marched southward, bounded our 
horizon on the west all the way down from Mon- 
terey. Their craggy summits were a never-ending 
variety of castle, cathedral, palace and spires, fre- 
quently reproduced by a mirage so wonderful, as to 
make us at times doubt whether we were not mis- 
taken in our direction, so completely would they be 
transposed by the illusion. I never tired of looking 
at the varied beauties of these mountains, when the 
sun would first strilie their tops in the early morning, 
and to-day they seemed so beautiful that I felt sorry 
to know we were soon to leave them for the uninter- 
esting flats of the Gulf-coast. 

This was Sunday, and it seemed as if we always 
had harder marching and more trouble on this than 
on other days. I was assigned to the command of the 
rear-guard of three companies of infantry, with 
special orders to leave nothing behind me. The road 
was very bad, several of the wagons broke down, a 
considerable number of the men were still drunk from 
last night's debauch, and had it not been for fear of 
the Mexicans, I do not think I could have got them 


all into camp. The main body, without regard to 
the rear, pushed on rapidly, so that when I was in a 
condition to move, we would frequently have to march 
so last to keep within a reasonable distance, that the 
stragglers fell out from sheer exhaustion ; these would 
beg tne not to leave them, and I had a very trying 

Towards evening I got up to camp with my charge, 
and grateful enough that there was no cause of com- 
plaint at headquarters. 

The camp was on the shores of another large fresh- 
water lagoon, upon which was built the old town of 
Altamira, and with its fine large venerable cathedral, 
it looked very pretty rising from the waters. This 
town was the original settlement on the coast, 
Tampico having been Ibunded at a much later 
period, and it continued to be for a long time the 
seat of the Spanish power on the Gulf. It was rather 
a melancholy sight to behold the signs of decay and 
the tumbling into ruin of this old Spanish settlement, 
and I thought I could see in the garb and mien of its 
inhabitants, the haughty pride and sombre dignity 
characteristic of the race that had won, by the sword, 
a new world for the sovereigns of Castile and Leon. 

That we were now approaching the end of our 
march was clear from the arrival of a sutler in camp 
from Tampico. lie brought with him cigars and 
potatoes. All who had money, bought; without money 
they were not to be had ; no kind of promise or en- 
treaty was of any avail; no claim of former acquaint- 
ance either with self or friend was recognized by that 
sutler. He charged just as much as he thought he 



could get, and he did get high prices. My purchase 
of potatoes was soon in a camp-kettle, and I ate the 
first vegetable that I had had since leaving the ship 
last July, with the exception of the cabbage-palm ; 
and these potatoes, with a tin-cup of vinegar, of which 
we had had none for a month past, gave me a relish 
for the cigars known only to those who have been long 
deprived of these necessaries of life, — a soldier's life. 

Our camp to-night was a scene of great noise and 
confusion, but not quite so bad as the past one. We 
were within sixteen or eighteen miles of Tampico, and 
could hear the roar made by the breakers tumbling 
in from the ocean; the approach to a town had 
raised the spirits of the men to the highest pitch, and 
liquors flowed from unknown sources through the 
swarming hive of the division. A town or city is to 
a marching soldier the fountain of life, so long and so 
fruitlessly sought by Ponce de Leon. To our battal- 
ion, the image presented was more attractive than that 
held up before the followers of Mohammed as their 
paradise of repose. A man raised in a city, a genuine 
cockney, is nowhere at home except in a crowd of 
people, traversing thoroughfares lighted up with shop- 
windows, and with resting places for the idle and 
thirsty, in drink-shops and billiard-saloons. 

Our men were good soldiers, but they were all city- 
men, and their absence for nearly eight months from 
the United States had made them picture exaggerated 
pleasures from a visit to Tampico, which the sutler ' 
had told them was overflowing with attractions from 
New Orleans. They were sadly disappointed in the 
realization of their fancies ; but it was enough for the 


present to know, that they were approaching a town 
that was in direct communication with home. 

January 25. After a sultry march of five miles 
through a forest of live-oaks and a dense thicket of 
chaparral, over a sandy road, we were halted on the 
shore of a lagoon. After half an hour or so we were 
told that we were to make our camp here ; if we had 
been ordered to march back to Monterey it would 
not have caused more vexation. Everybody wanted 
to go to Tampico, which was yet ten miles distant, 
and a sullen hum arose through the division, broken 
at intervals by anathemas upon the head of the com- 
manding General. Into camp, however, we went, on 
a narrow strip of clear ground, which ran between 
the chaparral and the water ; the ground was wet, 
and from it a hot steam engendered by the sun arose, 
noisome, stifling, and oppressive ; the thicket in our 
rear was so dense that it Avas useless as a shelter, for 
no one dared to force his way through the thorns to 
find shade. It was a horrid, low, swampy place, and 
a large iguana, running from a tree whjch was being 
burned, gave notice of the kind of reptile by which 
it was peopled. This caused a great deal of amuse- 
ment at the time; the men were just getting their 
cofi'ee, when this huge lizard, several feet in length, 
heated by the fire, ran from the hollow log which was 
being used to cook with, and the men scattered and 
ran for some distance before they rallied and captured 
it. Many a story was subsequently told of the beha- 
vior of some of the men on this occasion. 

January 26. Our blankets were reeking with 
moisture this morning, and the surgeon waited upon 


General Quitman to inform him that the camp would 
prove highly injurious to the health of the command. 
The regimental commanders made a similar remon- 
strance, and General Quitman, accompanied by Major 
Buchanan, rode into the city to induce General Pat- 
terson to order us away from this place. In addition 
to mosquitoes and the usual insects we have been 
tormented with, we had for companions last night 
several varieties of pinching-bugs, large spiders, and 
what the men seemed to dread more than anything 
else, — scorpions ; no doubt about this. I saw where 
one had bitten the leg of a servant ; the bite caused a 
whitish swelling •the size of a hickory nut, but being 
promptly treated by Dr. Miles with hartshorn, the 
swelling subsided, and the man suffered no very great 
inconvenience, except from fright ; he was very much 

We did nothing to-day except lounge about the 
shores of the lagoon, talk about scorpions, and catch 
and kill big spiders, which we were sure were the 
genuine, original tarantula, carried from here into Italy, 
for the dance of the people of that favored land. 

January 27. I have been in some ugly places, but 
this is the worst camp I was ever in. Our clothes as 
well as blankets were all wet this morning from the 
moisture which permeated through all covering, and 
as soon as the sun struck us, we were steaming Uke 
kettles of boiling water; there was barely enough 
wood for cooking purposes, so we dried in the sun ; 
one of my men said that if he stayed there much 
longer his friends would not recognize him, as he 
could feel the moss growing all over him. 


In the afternoon we learned that the application had 
met with favor, as well it might, and we were ordered 
to hold ourselves in readiness to march to-morrow. 

January 28. After a tiresome march — for it 
seemed as if we would never reach El Dorado — of 
eight miles, for part of the way through groves of 
lime- and lemon-trees, we reached some hills distant 
about three miles from Tampico, and went into camp 
on the left of General Twiggs's division. 

We had marched one hundred and fifty-six miles 
from Victoria, making the whole distance from Mon- 
terey between three hundred and fifty and three 
hundred and sixty miles. 

If we call it three hundred and fifty miles from 
Monterey to Tampico, it will be found to approximate 
very nearly to the correct distance. 

The Baltimore Battalion has now marched upwards 
of six hundred miles from the Brazos Santiago, every 
foot of which 1 stepped. 



Tampico, the ancient capital of the Aztec-Mexican 
province of Guasteca or Mechoacan, lies on the left 
bank of the Panuco River, five miles from its mouth, 
in the Gulf of Mexico, in north latitude 22 degrees 
40 minutes, and 98 degrees 36 minutes west longitude 
from Greenwich. 


It was a famed locality in the days of the Monte- 
zumas; and Viejo Tampico, on the opposite side of 
the river, was a bishop's see when Panuco was a de- 
partment of Mexico, in the days of the Viceroys.* 

Being the port of entry for the city of Sun Luis 
Potosi and the adjoining State of Quer6taro, it has 
long had very considerable commerce with England, 
Prance, and Spain ; giving in return for their mer- 
chandise, the precious metals (especially silver in 
large quantities), hides and tallow. 

Were it not for the bar at the mouth of the river, 
rendering access dangerous to vessels of heavy draught, 
this port would always be desirable, be the power 
what it might holding the government of Mexico, by 
reason of its geographical position. 

I found it in the occupancy of the United States, 
having been taken possession of by Commodore Con- 
nor of the United States Navy. 

Tiie activity, the zeal, and the valuable services of 
the navy from the commencement of hostilities, had 
more than justified the high reputation it had won 
in previous wars; and its commanding officers in the 
Gulf and on the Pacific shore had shown as good 
judgment as zeal, in the conduct of their fleets. 

* The site and remains of an ancient city bave been discov- 
ered at but a few leagues from Tampico. Among its interesting 
features may be noted a wild fig-tree growing in the ruins, which 
reaches the gigantic height of more than a hundred feet ; a large 
head beautifully cut in stone; a gigantic turtle, with the head of 
a man protruding from between its highly-wrought stone shells; 
fragments of obsidian and other curious relics of a people far 
advanced in the arts and habits of semi-civilized races. 


General Scott was now about to have its powerful 
co-operation in the great enterprise for which he was 
marshaling his forces. 

Genera.l Santa Anna had ordered the evacuation 
of Taiu|)ico, and this step was se\'erely criticised in 
Mexico and the United States. He defended his 
action on military grounds, which are so conclusive 
to my mind that they need no argument in support. 
He undoubtedly saved its garrison, and by withdraw- 
ing it to Tula and subsecpieutly to San Luis, had it 
within the Held of his contemplated operations. 

The arnjy now being concentrated here was await- 
ing the arrival of General Scott. 

On the .'ul of this numth (January, 1S4 7), having 
learned that General Taylor had returned to ^"ictoria 
upon fniding that Worth's alarn\ was groundless, he 
wrote to iMa,jor-General Butler,* the second in com- 
mand, at Monterey, as follows : 

" Of (lio number of troops at Tauipieo and assembled at or in 
marcli for VioUiria, — ro^nbii's and voluntooi-s, — I can form only 
a very imporfoct ostimato, having- seen no r(>turns of a lalo date. 
I estimate, liowovor, tlio wliolo force now under IMajor-Goneral 
Taylor's orders to bo about seventeen thousand, — seven of 
regulars and ten of volunteers. Two thousand regulars and 
five of voluiUeers I suppose — the whole standing ou the defen- 
sive—to be necessary to hold .Monterey, Seralvo, Oaniargo, 
lioynosa, iMalamoras, Point Isabel, the Brazos, tho mouth of the 
Rio Wrande, and Tampieo. I do not enumerate 8altillo and 

* He also slated particularly to Butler, that it wms his inten- 
tion to embark troops from Tampieo and Brazos for an attack 
upoit Vera Cruz; that this was the object contemplated by his 


Victoria, because I suppose they may be abandoned or held 
without hurting- or improving the line of defense I have indicated. 
You will, therefore, without waiting to hear 
from Major-General Taylor, and without the least unnecessary 
delay, in order that they may be in time, as above, put in move- 
ment for the mouth of the Rio Grande the following troops : 

"About five hundred regular cavalry of the First and Second 
Regiments of Dragoons, including Lieutenant Kearney's troop. 

"About five hundred volunteer cavalry, — I rely upon you to 
select the best. 

" Two field-batteries of light artillery, say Duncan's and Tay- 
lor's, and 

" Four thousand regulars on foot, including artillery acting as 
infantry; the whole under Brevet Brigadier-General Worth. 

"In addition, put in movement for the same point of embark- 
ation, and to be there as above, four thousand volunteer infantry. 

^ ^ >;■ * =f: ^ ^ ^ 

"P.S. — I expect to be personally at Tampico to superintend 
that part of my expedition which is to embark there, towards the 
end of this month. 

" The whole of the eight regiments of new foot volunteers 
will be up with the Brazos, I hope, by that time. Major-General 
Taylor may rely upon three, if not four of them, for his im- 
mediate command ; and make your calculations now for him 

At the date of these interesting instructions, the 
premonitions which that very distinguished soldier 
General Worth had of being attacked, the fact that 
General Santa Anna was massing an army at San 
Luis, the fact that Taylor was to acton the defensive 
after Worth and his best troops were withdrawn, with 
an uncertain reinfoi-cement of new regiments to re- 
place them, seem to have been overlooked, ignored, or 
totally unknown, by General Scott. 

General Taylor was instructed not only to act on 


the defensive, but to enable him to do this, detached 
posts were to be held, scattered over a hostile terri- 
tory with the Rio Grande as a base, whose navigation, 
as Scott well knew, was so uncertain that for days 
steamers could neither ascend nor descend it. 

The game of cross purposes inaugurated by Ampudia 
at Monterey was being continued by the two chiefs of 
rival armies, both alike distinguished as skillful and 
experienced generals, while he who was to be shelved 
in the coming struggle, or else ignominiously driven 
off the fields he had won by his valor, was destined 
to reap additional laurels, and save the name, and the 
army of him who had, perhaps unwittingly, deprived 
him of his command. 

Scott, intent upon Vera Cruz and the city of Mexico, 
looked but to this road. Santa Anna, intent upon 
crushing Taylor, never deigned a glance at the gather- 
ing hosts threatening his Capital. 

Buena Vista was between San Luis and Monterey ; 
General Taylor between Scott and the loss of fame 
and name. 

The friends of Santa Anna say, that he was not 
ignorant of the danger he had exposed the Capital to 
by operating in the northern States, but that he had 
left the government to take care of the road from the 
Gulf The friends of Scott say, that Taylor himself 
did not apprehend the advance from San Luis. 

If Scott were ignorant of the strength of the army 
at San Luis, he is less blameable than Santa Anna; 
if the latter had reason to believe his government 
could protect its Capital, he is less obnoxious to cen- 
sure than Scott ; the whole truth is, however, that 


they were alike indifferent as to the other's purposes 
or means of accomplishing results, violating a maxim 
of war which tyros in the military art are familiar with. 

January 29. Our camp is now on an elevated 
piece of land which separates the lagoons which 
flow, the one into the Gulf, the other into the Panuco. 
On our right, the Georgians are encamped ; on our 
left, General Shields's brigade, consisting of the Third 
and Fourth Illinois regiments ; * in front of us Twiggs's 
division is lying. The different beats and calls of 
each regiment are distinctly heard in our camp, and 
military music — drums, fifes, and bands — is sounding 
at all hours of the day. The main building of the 
hacienda or sugar estate upon which we are encamped 
is within a stone's throw of my tent, and I frequently 
visit it. The huts in which the peons live are like 
those I have heretofore spoken of, made of cane and 
reeds, with interstices through which the Indian-look- 
ing women may at all times be seen crushing or 
grinding the corn for their tortillas or corn-cakes, as 
we would call them ; the men are at work in the ad- 
jacent fields, cutting the sugar-cane or grinding out 
the juice with the huge wooden rollers of the sugar-mill, 
or else drying and making jerked beef out of the long 
strips of meat, cut from the beeves just slaughtered. 

The revenue of this estate, derived from the sale 
of hides, tallow, and sugar, is very large; and the 
owner, having fought with the famous Guarda Costa 
of Tampico, at Palo Alto and Resaca, is left at liberty 

* The Third was commanded by Colonel Ferris Forman, and 
the Fourth by Colonel Edward D. Baker. 


to reap some of the profits, as he had shared in the 
disasters, of the war. 

Borrowing a horse from the adjutant, I rode into 
Tainpico ; a hirge number of troops were constructing 
elaborate fortifications hxndward, steam vessels of war 
in the river; a battery was drilling in the plaza, a 
heavy guard marching off" with field music ; well- 
dressed, business-looking citizens bustling over the 
side flagstones of paved streets, well-looking ladies 
flitting along, in and out of handsome stores, life and 
activity everywhere visible, and the hum of trade 

I visited the " Commercial Exchange" in the main 
plaza : a coflee-house with handsomely decorated 
apartments, billiard-rooms, private parlors, etc., which 
would be considered good in any capital city. I ate 
a meal here which, if not couleur de rose, gave that 
tinge to all I saw. Seven months without a decent 
meal is a good appetizer, and the prospect of visiting 
the theatre at night (which I did) was a dish fit to 
set before the king. 

Riding homeward, General Persifer F. Smith over- 
took and joined me ; the sand in the road was ankle- 
deep, — over the horses' fetlocks ; as we rode along, I 
saw a silver dollar lying in the sand ; to stop and 
pick it up was soon done ; remounting, I told the 
General, and before going a half dozen yards I was off 
my horse again, and picked up another dollar; re- 
mounting, the General said we had better change 
sides so as to give him a chance, as we were certainly 
on the road to fortune. I agreed, and he took my 
side of the road ; going on, we both kept our eyes on 


the sand, when I perceived the bright face of another 
dollar, which I secured. We were both now full of 
laugh, and I believe he was just going to dismount, — 
at least I charged him with it, — when I found half- 
buried in the sand the woolen sock of a soldier, in 
which there were thirty-four silver Mexican dollars, 
and one-half of a dollar, making with the three 
which I had picked up, a total of thirty-seven dollars 
and fifty cents. 

The General claimed halves, and I agreed to give 
it, provided I did not find the right owner ; we both 
concurring that it belonged to some soldier, who after 
having been paid off in town, had got drunk and lost 
his money on the way to camp. 

I gave notice to the various camps, and many an ap- 
jjlicant came for the money, and many and various were 
the schemes to get it from me. It was a source of a 
great deal of amusement, and finally the loser made 
his appearance, but not until several days after my 
finding it. His name was Abraham Murphy, of the 
Third United States Infantry, and his behavior was 
interesting ; he wanted, evidently, to reward me for 
finding his money, to give me some of it; but he 
knew how improper that would be, for he was a dis- 
ciplined soldier, with proper sensibilities, and his em- 
barrassment was very expressive. He thanked me, 
left, and I never saw him again. 

February 14 — Sunday night. We have had more 
than a week of continuous bad weather ; rain-storms 
daily. My dilapidated tent leaks ; being a line officer 
there is no fly, and the earth is wet beneath my feet, 
no amount of ditching sufficing to keep it dry. I 


went out to listen to the music of the Second In- 
fantry's band ; the sergeants were calling the regular 
tattoo roll-call, the rain foiling on the groups assembled 
on their company parades, as each answered quietly 
to his name. The night was intensely dark, and the 
total absence of all life or animation save the dull 
rolling of the drums beating tattoo gave a sombre 
cast to my feelings, in unison with the heavy gloom 
and silence of the camp. For two weeks we have 
been doing nothing ; no drills, no news, nothing but 
rains and storms. The men are complaining ; for 
nearly six months' pay is due them, they complain of 
their rations, and are ragged and nearly barefoot ; we 
are without one scrap of news, knowing nothing of 
our probable movements, and the monotony has be- 
come so wearisome that even rumor has silenced its 
tongue for want of thought. But one question is now 
asked : " Has General Scott arrived ?" and the same 
answer heard, "No; he is expected this evening." 
Everything revolves aroutid this centre. He has been 
expected daily since our two divisions of Taylor's 
army arrived here ; no one blames him, for each man 
knows that Vera Cruz and the plans for its capture 
are of more importance than a soldier's restlessness 
or a soldier's grumbling. None of the new troops of 
which we have heard so much have as yet arrived, 
except a volunteer regiment from New York, and 
they were scanned by our soldiers with much curiosity 
and interest. I met three Baltimoreans in town yes- 
terday, Messrs. George Bradford, Eobert Armstrong, 
and Richard Edes ; they came to seek some position 
in the army, with no very definite idea, I think, of 


what was before them, and I know not what success 
they have met with. Such weather as this, if it does 
not dampen their ardor, will at least warn them what 
they may expect, and may determine their future 

February 16. Our battalion has been paid today 
all arrearages due up to December 31, 1846, and the 
officers and men are as bright and as full of life as if 
the past eight months had been a season of uninter- 
rupted happiness. With the promise of an issue to 
them of new clothing and new shoes, they are as gay 
as boys home for the Christmas holidays, and it is a 
pleasure to see them so happy. 

February 19. The sound of heavy guns firing a 
salute announced to-day the long-looked-for arrival 
of General Scott; and I rode in to the city to see 
him, as I had never had that pleasure, and to learn 
the news. 

The city was in a fever of excitement, the streets 
and the plaza thronged with soldiers and citizens, 
drums beating, cannon firing, troops marching, bat- 
teries hurrying along, and all the indescribable in- 
cidents to an army roused to action were in motion 
and replete with interest. The ladies crowded the 
streets, dressed in a style which astonished me. I 
never saw anywhere more fashionably dressed women, 
European in everything, except where Parisian modes 
fail; the head, adorned with their beautiful black hair, 
braided so as to expose a rare flower, was slightly 
covered with the rebosa*, of gaudy pattern, which fell 

* A long, narrow shawl worn by all classes of the Tampicoans, 
as the only covering for the head. 


gracefully over tlieir shoulders. With their inimita- 
ble carriage, the birthright of a Spaniard, no one 
would suppose that aught but the blood of Castile or 
Aragon was coursing in their veins; they were 
Mexicans, yet they were women, and their curiosity 
to see General Scott subdued their repugnance to the 
Llanquies.* In the centre of the plaza, the fine band of 
one of the artillery regiments was playing, surrounded 
by a dense mass of soldiers of all arms, and sailors 
from the men-of-war in port. The adjacent coffee- 
houses were filled with officers, and rumor, her tongue 
now again free, filled Tampico with the buzz of her 
joy. Everybody talked, everybody knew what was 
just told him, everybody was delighted, and every- 
body made a night of it, except the town-guard, and it 
had a night of it, for there was the sound of revelry 
on the banks of the Panuco. Drunken soldiers and 
drunken sailors fraternized, and the long bitter oath of 
the western volunteer and teamster di'owned the car- 
ambaof the Mexican. The full moon came up to lighten 
the scene, while the glowing fires and the fiery furnaces 
of the steamers in the river threw a lurid glare upon 
the heavy armaments bristling upon their decks. 
The sharp challenge of " Who comes there ?" was 
answered, and " Boat ahoy !" was followed by the 
plunge of oars, deep into the morning watch. Every- 
thing was overflowing with enthusiasm and life on 
the eve of the descent upon Vera Cruz, for it was an- 

* This is the way I saw the word Yankees spelled, written 
with chalk oa a wall, and it was some time before I could make 
out what it meant. 


nounced that this was the step now to be taken. In 
that mass of men, not one reckoned the cost, not one 
doubted the success, not one thought of the future. 

I did not see General Scott, as he was closely en- 
gaged with the chiefs of divisions, preparing his orders 
and necessary details ; and I returned to camp, where 
my arrival was awaited with anxiety, as it was sup- 
posed that I would be able to tell what were to be 
our orders. 

February 25. The orders are out, and we are to 
remain. Colonel De Russey's Regiment of Louisiana 
Volunteers, the Baltimore Battalion, and Captain 
Wyse's Battery of Regular Artillery, are to constitute 
the garrison of Tampico, with Colonel William Gates, 
of the Third Artillery, U. S. Army, commanding. 

The good name and reputation of the Baltimore 
Battalion were now unequivocally established, and 
its designation as a portion of the garrison of this im- 
portant city was due as much to this, as to the sig- 
nal ability and military appreciation of the worth of 
Major Robert C. Buchanan, our commanding officer, 
whose valuable services were thus secured to the sup- 
port of Colonel Gates. 

We marched in on the same day, and I was assigned 
to the command of a fort on the eastern defenses of 
the city, armed with four eighteen- and four thirty- 
two-pound guns, with a detail of sixty picked men 
from the battalion, to be drilled in the manual of 
heavy artillery, for service of the guns. 




On the 19th of February, 1847, ColonelJ. G. Tot- 
ten, Chief of the Corps of Engineers, made the follow- 
ing report to General Scott, at Tampico : 

"Sir, — I have to report, for the information of the General, that 
I have this day examined with care the works lately thrown up 
for the defense of the two avenues into this town. These works 
are nearly complete, and it gives me great satisfaction to state my 
opinion that they have been planned with judgment and executed 
with skill; nothing less, however, was to have been expected 
from the officers who have been engaged thereon, namely : Cap- 
tain Barnard and Lieutenant Beauregard, of the Engineers, as- 
sisted for the greater part of the time by Lieutenants Coppee, 
of the artillery, and Woods, of the infantry. Lieutenants McGil- 
ton, G. P. Andrews, and Sears, are reported to have rendered 
valuable aid, though for shorter periods. 

"Although the defensive lines were designed to meet the case 
of a weak garrison, and much talent has been displayed in profit- 
ing by local circumstances to that end, still, the space to be 
covered is large, and even a minimum garrison must consist 
of a considerable body of men. I do not now take into account 
the value of the object covered. If its importance be such as 
to justify the leaving of a garrison at all, that garrison must 
be able to maintain itself for some time, entirely independent of 
succor from without; any less garrison we might expect to lose. 

"Knowing how important it may be to other issues of the ap- 
proaching campaign to take hence all the force that can be 
spared, I have looked at the subject with a sincere desire to 
reduce to the utmost my estimate of the numbers indispensable 
to an efficient defense ; but I have not been able to reduce ic 
below the following figures. 



"Along the Allaneii-a front of the town, there are eight distinct 
works requiring garrisons, varying, according to magnitude or 
position, from twenty men to one hundred and twenty men 
each, at least, — provision being made for mounting thereon 
twenty-six pieces of artillery. 

" The aggregate of these posts will be . . 540 men. 

" Reserve of four companies .... 320 " 

"Giving 860 " 

" On the canal front, at the other extremity of the 

town, there will be needed in these posts 200 " 

"Total 1060 " 

" Making a total of, say, one thousand men. 

" There should also be a reserve on the canal front of not less 
than two hundred men, making the whole force of that front 
four hundred men, and the total force twelve hundred men ; but, 
in my desire to reduce the estimate, I have omitted this reserve, 
on the supposition that a body of at least two hundred volun- 
teers may be raised at a moment of need among the residents of 

"Twenty-four pieces of artillery are actually mounted in the 
several works, which ordnance should be left in the hands of the 
regular artillery only. I have, therefore, in conclusion, to recom- 
mend to the General-in-Cbief that there be left for the defense of 
Tampico a force of not less than one thousand effective men, 
with twenty-four pieces of artillery; of which force, one full 
company, at least, should be of regular artillery. 

" I purpose leaving orders with Lieutenant Beauregard to com- 
plete the defenses at once, so that he may be in time to afford his 
aid in the contemplated operations at Vera Cruz. 

" I have the honor to be, etc., 

" (Signed) " Joseph G. Totten, 

" Colonel and Chief Engineer." 

On the same day, doubtless after the receipt of 
Colonel Totten's report, General Scott issued the 
following instructions to General Patterson : 


" gia,^I am desirous that, after designating a competent 
garrison for the defense of this place (Tampico), the strength 
and composition of which will be given below, the whole of 
the remaining forces under your command should be promptly 
embarked and dispatched to the harbor behind the island of 
Lobos, some sixty miles south of this place, there to await fur- 
ther orders Should I have left that rendezvous 

before your arrival, you will please direct all vessels of the ex- 
pedition you may find there to join me off Anton Lizardo, and 
follow yourself to that anchorage; but I shall exceedingly regret 
to leave Lobos before you are up with me. 

"The garrison to be left for holding and defending this posi- 
tion may be one company of artillery, the Maryland and District 
of Columbia Battalion of Volunteers, and the Louisiana Regi- 
ment of Volunteers ; the whole under the command of Colonel 
Gates, of the Third United States Artillery. You will please 
give him such instructions as the importance of the place evi- 
dently requires. His command will commence from the time 
he shall iind himself the senior oEScer at that place 

" Besides the troops mentioned above for the garrison of this 
place, there will no doubt be a number of men in hospital — in- 
vaUds and convalescents left by other regiments found — available 
in emergency. 

" I remain, sir, etc., 
".Signed, " Winfjeld Scott." 

It will be perceived, from Colonel Totten's report, 
that he knew that the moment the army left, the 
garrison of Tampico would have to maintain itself 
independent of any succor from without; and General 
Scott, while himself selecting the troops destined 
for the garrison, carefully avoided express instructions 
to General Patterson. He was well acquainted with 
De Russy and Buchanan ; they were both graduates 
of West Point, and De had been a captain of 
artillery in the regular army, so that compelled as he 


was to leave so small a force as one thousand men, he 
at least determined to leave good officers; ^et he 
hesitated to direct by command, General Patterson to 
detail the garrison. Patterson avoided all responsi- 
bility, a,s. he had a right to do, and adopted the recom- 
mendation of Scott, nnd the garrison of Tarapico was 
thus constituted and organized. If the expedition to 
Vera Cruz should prove successful, this garrison could 
maintain itself; but should that expedition fail, we 
would have been badly situated, as the nearest help 
would have to be looked for from General Taylor, 
distant three hundred and fifty miles, at Monterey. 
The navy would have proved a powerful and ready 
ally in case of need, but I am only speaking of the 
militai'y features incident to the defense ; however. 
Colonel Gates was a very cautious conunandant, — in- 
deed, we thought that he kept us too much on the 
alert, for we were nearly all the time apprehensive of 
a real or imaginary attack. 

We will now follow General Scott. On the 28th 
of February he wrote from the Massachusetts, off 
Lobos Island, to the Secretary of War : 

"Sir, — I left the Brazos the 15th and Tampico the 20th in- 
stant, having done much official business at the latter place, in a 
delay of some thirty hours. . . Perhaps no expedition 
was ever so unaccountably delayed, — by no want of foresight, 
arrangement or energy on my part, as I dare affirm, — under cir- 
cumstances the most critical to this entire army ; for everybody 
relied upon knew from the first, as well as I knew, that it would be 
fatal to us to attempt military operations on the coast afier prob- 
ably the first week in April, and here we are at the end of February. 

" Nevertheless, this army is in heart; and crippled as I am 
in the means required and promised, I shall go forward, and ex- 


pect to take Vera Ci'uz and its castle in time to escape, hj pur- 
suing the enemy, tlie pestilence of the coast. 

" Wc (iad this harbor against norther» even better than I had 
anticipated. One has now been blowing some forty hours, and 
has brought down all the vessels ready to sail that were outside 
of the bars at the Brazos and Tampico. The next will take the 
fleet to Anton Lizardo, whither I am sending off ships with surf- 
boats, in order that the latter may be launched under the care of 
the navy, and held ready for my arrival. . . . The island 
(Lobos) has afforded the volunteers means of healthy military 
exercises, and tolerable drinking-water. The few surf-boats 
landed are admirably fitted for the purposes intended." 

In connection with this initial step, — the capture 
of Vera Cruz by Major-General Scott, — I find place 
for two letters from Commodore Connor, interesting 
for the matters embraced in them, but still more as 
showing the zealous co-operation and essential value 
of the services of the navy, in this first effort by our 
government to combine the power of the land and 
naval forces of the republic, in an attack upon a foreign 
port of any magnitude. 

" Commodore Connor to Major-Oeneral Scott. 

" U. S. Frigate Raritan, 

Anton Ltzakdo, .Tanuary 11, 1847. 

" Sir, — Your esteemed favor of the 2Sd ultimo was received 
two days since by the United States ship Albany, from Pensacola. 

"I had received, some days previously, communications from 
the Navy Department, apprising me of your being about to take 
command of the army in Mexico, and of the joint operations 
contemplated against the enemy. In the prosecution of these 
measures, you may rely on the cordial co-operation of the naval 
forces under my command. 

" lu consequence of some apprehensions being entertained of 
an attack from Mexican privateers, supposed to be fitting out in 


the island of Cuba, I dispatched the St. Mary's some days since 
to the Brazos for the protection of the transports before that 
place. Commander Sanders is directed Xo perform any service 
you may require of him ; and as I attach little credit to the 
report concerning the privateers, the St. Mary's might be with- 
drawn from the Brazos without much risk to the transports, to 
carry your dispatches to me or to Tampico, should you wish to 
communicate with that place. I would employ steamboats for 
the purpose of communicating with you ; but, unfortunately, 
with the exception of the Princeton (and she is in very bad con- 
dition, and scarcely fit to keep the sea), I have no steamer that 
is capal)le of making the passage to the Brazos with certainty or 
safety at this season of the year, 

" My information from the shore in regard to the movements 
of the enemy has not of late been either so full or so exact as 
could be desired. Prom a source, however, which I believe may 
be relied upon, I learn that there are now about one thousand 
men in the castle, and in the town, eighteen hundred effective 
men, independent of the town militia, who do not amount to one 
thousand men. The provisions in the town or castle seldom or 
never exceed a supply for three or four days. In this matter all 
' accounts concur. 1 am not aware of there being any regular 
force of any consequence between Vera Cruz and 'Mexico. 
There possibly may be a regiment or more at Xalapa, and also 
at La Puebla and the city of Mexico ; but this I think doubtful, 
as great exertions have been made by Santa Anna to assemble 
the whole regular force of the country at San Luis. The 
National Guards, or such numbers as can be armed, have in some 
instances garrisoned the towns from which the troops of the line 
have been withdrawn. Such it is believed has been the case in 
most if not all of those above mentioned. I am therefore of 
opinion little opposition is to be expected from anything like a 
regular army in your descent on the coast, or from any other 
force than that within the city of Vera Cruz. Nor do 1 believe 
it in the power of the Mexican government to assemble a force 
in a reasonable time in the neighborhood of the city sufficient 
for its protection. 

"Xo neutral vessels are permited to enter or depart from the 


harbor of Vera Cruz, except the English steam packets that 
arrive on the 14th and sail on the 2d of every month. Your 
agents may either avail themselves of these vessels, which I will 
direct to be boarded at their departure, or be conveyed on board 
the vessels blockading the port, by means of the fishing boats, 
which are still allowed to pass out to sea for the purpose of 

" The vessels of the squadron have all been withdrawn from , 
Tampieo ; but I will send one to that place without delay, for 
the purpose of bringing any dispatch you may find it convenient 
to send to that place for me. 

I am informed there is good shelter at the Isle of Lobos for 
any number of vessels ; but no water is to be obtained there. 
Nevertheless, it is highly important the transports employed 
should be well found with ground tackle, to enable them even in 
the most sheltered positions to ride out in safety the sudden and 
violent gales from the north, so frequent at this season of the 
year. This anchorage is considered one of the best and safest 
OD the coast, yet in the gale of the 24th of November three ves- 
sels either foundered or were driven on shore from their anchors 
in this road, and lost A gale is now blowing, in which, during 
the last night, this ship parted one of her best cables, and was 
only saved from imminent danger of being wrecked by others 
which were down bringing her up. 

" Some reduction has occurred lately in the naval force in the 
Gulf, by the withdrawal of the Cumberland and Mississippi. 
Still, it is probable I should be able to land upwards of six 
hundred seamen and marines. 

"I have the honor, etc., etc., 

" D. CONNOK." 

" U. S. Ship Raritan, 

Anton Lizardo, January 18, 1847. 

"Sir,— Your esteemed favor of the 26th ultimo, accompanied 
by a duplicate of your communication of December 23d, dated 
at Xcw Orleans, was handed to me yesterday afternoon by 
Lieutenant Rains. My reply to the latter was dispatched some 


days since to Brazos Santiago, in a prize schooner, under charge 
of Lieutenant Commanding Smith. By this time it has prob- 
ably readied its address. 

"The present would be the most favorable time for the con- 
templated attack upon Vera Cruz. There is every reason to be- 
lieve the information contained in my former communication, as 
to the force now in the castle and town, correct. Provisions for 
the garrison are obtained with the greatest difficulty, and in 
quantities sufficient only to last from day to day. The supplies 
at present in the castle may be perhaps enough for a week or 
ten days at the utmost, all accounts agreeing that there are no 
salt provisions in either. So far as I am able to judge, 1 am of 
opinion that if four or five thousand troops could be landed in 
the neighborhood of Vera Cruz by the end of this month or the 
beginning of the next, so as completely to invest the place, and 
cut off all communication with the country, its surrender, in less 
than ten days, with that of the castle, would be certain, and 
probable without the necessity of firing a gun. 

" The best point for landing can readily be ascertained on your 
arrival, after an examination of the coast. Indeed, in my opinion, 
there are but two points at all eligible for this purpose — one on 
the beach, due west from Sacrificios; the other on the shores of 
this anchorage. 

" I have already given you such information as 1 possessed 
in relation to the anchorage at Lobos. It is perfectly safe and 
easy of access. ' Blunt's Coast Pilot' contains full and exact 
directions for the entrance. Pilots can be procured, should they 
be deemed necessar}^ at Tarapico. 

" I would advise by all means that the transports which pass 
Lobos be directed to rendezvous at Anton Lizardo, instead of 
Sacrificios. The anchorage at the latter place, not already occu- 
pied by foreign men-of-war, is unsafe at this season of the year; 
that of Anton Lizardo, as I have before stated, the safest and 
best on the coast, and sufficiently extensive for two or three 
hundred sail. No apprehensions are as yet entertained at Vera 
Cruz of the design contemplated against the place. But it is to 
be feared that, before long, the movements of the army and other 
indications may excite suspicion. It would indeed be greatly to 


be regretted should so favorable an opportunity of making a 
successful attack on the town, as the present, pass without your 
being able to avail yourself of it. 

" Accounts received hero state that General Woo) had joined 
General Worth at Monterey, about the 1st of January. The forces 
of Santa Anna had commenced their advance some days previ- 
ously from San Luis to Saltillo. The return of General Taylor 
to Monterey, which from all accounts seems likely, will probably 
have the effect of retarding your movements some weeks. 

" I have the honor to be your obedient servant, 

" D. Connor, 
" Commanding Home Sq\iadron 

" Major-General Scott." 

As early as December 20, 1846, General Scott 
wrote to General Taylor, from New Orleans : 

. . . . " The particular expedition I am to conduct is 
destined against Vera Cruz, and through it the Castle of San 
Juan d'Ulloa, so as to open, if we are successful, a new and 
shorter line of operations upon the capital of Mexico. 

"The first great difficulty is to get together, in time, and 
afloat, off the Brazos, a sufficient force to give us a reasonable 
prospect of success before the usual period — say the end of 
March — for the return of the black vomit on the coast of 

"I have supposed fifteen thousahd land troops, including five 
of regulars, and the co-operation of the blockading squadron, to be 
desirable, if not absolutely necessary, but am now inclined to 
move forward to the attack should I be able to assemble the 
five thousand regulars, and, say, three of volunteers. . . . 

" To make up the force for the new expedition, I foresee that 
I shall, as I intimated in my letter, of which I enclose a copy, 
be obliged to reduce you to the defensive at the moment when 
it would be of the greatest importance to the success of my ex- 
pedition that you should be in strength to manoeuvre offensively 
upon San Luis de Potosi, etc." 

The elucidation of what I have meant by cross- 


'purposes, and the key to the approaching grand suc- 
cesses, is to be found in the concluding lines of the 
above extract. 

On the 1st day of February, 1847, Santa Anna 
had the game in his own hands Taylor was too 
weak to act offensively toward San Luis ; Scott had, 
by no fault of his, lost precious time ; yet, with the 
road open and the troops at command, Santa Anna 
elected to march away from his Capital to attack 
Taylor. Nothing but the certainty, the absolute cer- 
tainty, of success, would have justified this movement. 

Doubtless he thought that he could crush Taylor; 
but — he was mistaken, mainly because he did not 
properly appreciate the character of his antagonist. 
He estimated the number of troops he had to en- 
counter, not the weight of the hero at their head. 

We must advance a little in the order of time to 
see how thoroughly the government at Washington 
was alarmed at the status of the war, before informa- 
tion reached it of Taylor's success at Buena Vista, 
and necessarily of the result of Scott's expedition to 
Vera Cruz. 

The subjoined letter, from the able pen of the dis- 
tinguished Secretary of War, Hon. W. L. Marcy, to 
Major-General Winfield Scott, is a compendium of his- 
tory in itself, and the best commentary ever written, 
on the conduct of the war in the Valley of the Rio 
Grande, subsequent to the withdrawal from Taylor of 
the army with which he had stormed and carried the 
city of Monterey : 


" Wak Dkpaktment, March 22, 1847. 

"Sir,— The information which has just reached us, in the 
shape of rumors, as to the situation of General Taylor and the 
forces under his command, has excited the most painful appre- 
hensions for their safety. It is almost certain that Santa Anna 
has precipitated the large army he had collected at San Luis de 
Potosi upon General Taylor; and it may be that the Generalhas 
not been able to maintain the advanced position he had seen fit 
to take at Agua Nueva, but has been obliged to fall back on 
Monterey. It is equally certain that a Mexican force has been 
interposed between Monterey and the Rio Grande, and that it 
has interrupted the line of communication between the two 
places and seized large supplies which were on the way to Gen- 
eral Taylor's army. 

"If the hostile force between the Rio Grande and General 
Taylor's army is as large as reports represent it, our troops now 
on that river may not be able to re-establish the line, nor will it, 
perhaps, be possible to place a force there sufficient for the purpose 
in time to prevent disastrous consequences to our army, unless aid 
can be afforded from the troops under your immediate command. 

"From one to two thousand of the new recruits for the ten 
regiments from this quarter will be on the way to the Brazos in 
the course of three or four days. All the other forces will be 
directed to that point, and every effort made to relieve General 
Taylor from his critical situation. You will have been fully 
apprised, before this can reach you, of the condition of things 
in the Valley of the Rio Grande and at the headquarters of 
General Taylor, and have taken, I trust, such measures as the 
importance of the subject requires. I need not urge upon you 
the fatal consequences which would result from any serious dis- 
aster which might befall the army under General Taylor, nor do 
I doubt that you will do what is in your power to avert such a 

"A state of things may exist on the Rio Grande and at Mon- 
terey which will require that a part of your forces, after the 
capture of Vera Cruz and the reduction of the castle of San 
Juan d'Ulloa, should return to Tampico or the Brazos, to carry 
on operations from these points. It is here deemed of the utmost 


importance that the line of the Rio Grande should be main- 
tained, and that Monterey should be held by our forces. You 
will be kept advised of all done here to sustain General Taylor 
and augment the forces under him. In ignorance of what may 
be your own situation, and what may be required for the relief 
of General Taylor, I can give no distinct indication of what is 
deemed proper for you to do, if anything, beyond what you may 
have already done, but must request that no assistance which 
you can render, without too much hazard to your own opera- 
tions, and he may need, should be withheld. 

" I herewith send you a copy of a letter addressed to General 
Brooke. You will learn, as soon as it can be known here, what 
action he will take under the authority therein given to him. I 
also enclose herewith a dispatch from the Secretary of the Navy 
to the commander of our squadron in the Gulf. 
"Very respectfullj^ etc., 

"(Signed) " W. L. Makot. 

"To Majur-General Scott, etc. 

"P.S. — I have just received your letters of the 23d ult. and 
1st instant." 

If such was the alarm in Washington, then ours 
in Tampico may be readily imagined. We were at 
our guns night and day, for we knew not at what 
moment after the departure of Scott's array we would 
be attacked, it being generally rumored and credited, 
that Santa Anna had abandoned his forward move- 
ment from San Luis, and would debouch from the 
Tula Pass upon Tampico to strike Scott's base. 

But let us return to the expedition on Vera Cruz; 
for, although its success was subsequent to Taylor's 
at Buena Vista, we will follow it so as to continue 
the thread of our narration. 

At the time I paid a visit to General Taylor at 
Victoria, in January, 1847, I found him engaged 
reading a work on Vera Cruz and its castle. Several 


maps and charts were lying about him, and I was 
satisfied that the General at that time was deliber- 
ating upon an attack on Vera Cruz, or an advance on 
that line to the city of Mexico. It will be remem- 
bered that we were then on the march from Monterey 
to Tampico, and that in a few days thereafter General 
Taylor was superseded by General Scott as chief in 
command, and retired to Monterey. 

Before General Scott left the United States, he had 
submitted several projects to the government for the 
capture of Vera Cruz, and he inaugurated his advent 
into Mexico by his preparations for that enterprise. 

All that he did was planned according to military 
art, and was successfully executed. 

Vera Cruz was defended on the land side by several 
redoubts, mounting seventy guns, and was garrisoned 
by three thousand men. The strength of the city as 
a military position, however, was, or was supposed to 
be, in the castle of San Juan d'UUoa. This fortress, 
built upon a reef of coral rock at about the distance 
of one thousand yards north-east and immediately in 
front of the city, on the sea side, mounted upwards 
of a hundred guns, many of them new and of heavy 
calibre. Its garrison was weak for the capacity of 
the work and the weight of its armament; it was 
counted in round numbers at one thousand men. 

On the morning of the 9 th of March, General Scott 
landed Worth's Division on the Gulf shore three miles 
south of the city, by the boats of the navy, pulled 
by the seamen of the fleet. No enemy opposed the 
landing, and before the ensuing morning Scott's whole 
army of about ten thousand men was on shore. The 


investment commenced from the landing of the first 
troops, and was completed by noon of the 12th, 
making a line of six miles, stretching from Punta 
Hornos on the south to Vergara on the north. 

The trenches were opened and batteries planted, 
including one manned exclusively by officers and 
seamen of the fleet, when, on the 22d, General Scott, 
having fruitlessly demanded the surrender of the city, 
gave the orders to commence firing. 

For four days and nights shot and shell were 
poured into the city, and the fire rapidly returned 
by the guns of the city and castle. The suffering 
and loss of life in the city were great, and each hour 
that passed added strength and effect to the fire of 
the besieging force. On the night of the 25th, the 
foreign consuls in the city sent a flag to General Scott, 
asking permission for the foreigners and Mexican 
women and children to leave the city. Scott replied 
that as they had had full knowledge of the proposed 
investment, and had been furnished with safeguards 
which they had failed to take advantage of, they must 
now stand the consequences. 

On the morning of the 26th, General Landero, who 
had succeeded Morales in chief command, sent pro- 
posals to General Scott, which were entertained. 
These led to a convention, by which Vera Cruz and 
the castle with all their guns and ordrvance stores 
were unconditionally surrendered to the United States. 
On the 29th of March the garrisons of both marched 
out with the honors of war, saluted their flag, and 
then laid down their arms as prisoners of war, not to 
serve again unless regularly exchanged. 


As a military achievement, this will rank as one 
of the most brilliant on record, for it was the result 
of calculation and combination, entirely the work of 
the commander-in-chief From the number of men 
requisite, to the number of intrenching tools, the co- 
operation of the navy, and the structure of the surf- 
boats, the number and size of guns and mortars, the 
quantity and chai'acter of ordnance stores, all had 
been prearranged, all were aptly chosen, all system- 
atically used, and all worked as planned. 

The casualties on the side of the Americans did 
not exceed one hundred men, while that of the Mexi- 
cans, soldiers and civilians, was fully one thousand ; 
the best port in the Gulf of Mexico was in our hands, 
and a sure base established for the conquest of Mexico. 

The convention was agreed on by the commissioners 
on the night of the 28th, and approved by General 
Scott, Commodore Perry (who had succeeded Com- 
modore Connor in command of the Gulf Squadron), 
and General Landero. The terms were, the surren- 
der of the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa and the city 
of Vera Cruz, with all their guns and munitions of 
war; the troops to march out with the honors of war, 
and to surrender their arms, and the officers were to 
give their paroles for themselves and their men not 
to serve during the war until regularly exchanged. 
1 give in full the three last articles : 

" 6. The sick and wounded Mexicans to be allowed to remain 
In the city, with such medical officers and attendants and officers 
of the army as may be necessary to their care and treatment. 

"1. Absolute protection is solemnly guaranteed to persons in 
the city and to property, and it is clearly understood that no 


private buildiug or propei'ty is to be talien or used by the forces 
of the UQited States, without previous arrangement with the 
owners, and for a fair equivalent. 

"8. Absolute freedom of religious worship and ceremonies is 
solemnly guaranteed." 

The 1st and 4th articles were as follows : ' 

" 1. The whole garrison or garrisons to be surrendered to the 
arms of the United States, as prisoners of war, the 29th instant, 
at 10 o'clock A.M.; the garrison to be permitted to march out 
with all the honors of war, and to lay down their arms to such 
officers as may be appointed by the General-in-Chief of the United 
States armies, and at a point to be agreed upon by the commis- 

" 4. The rank and file of the regular portion of the prisoners 
to be disposed of after surrender and parole, as their General-in- 
Chief may desire, and the irregular to be permitted to return to 
their homes. The officers, in respect to all arms and description 
of force, giving the usual parole that the said rank and file, as 
well as themselves, shall not serve again until duly exchanged." 

Incidental to the fall of Vera Cruz was the capture 
of Alvarado, a town of some fifteen hundred inhabi- 
tants, distant two days' march from Vera Cruz. On 
the day after the surrender, General Quitman with 
his brigade was ordered there, and on his arrival 
found the place in the virtual occupancy of the 
navy ; Commodore Perry had sent a vessel to watch 
the mouth of the river upon which the town is 
situated, and Lieutenant Hunter, its commander, had 
landed some sailors and taken possession before the 
arrival of General Quitman. 

On the 5th of April General Scott wrote a very 
lengthy communication to the War Department, from 
which I make a few extracts : 


"I am now orgauizing- a movement of three or four brigades 
upon Jalapa 

" In the meantime, the city and camps remain free from signs 
of malignant fever, and we may hope will continue healthy for 

weeks longer Being by default of others 

thrown upon this coast six weeks too late in respect to the 
vomito, I have been made to feel the deepest solicitude for the 
safety of the army. Tampico is not less unhealthy than Tera 
Cruz, and Tuspan is considered the worst of the three places. 
Our depots must of necessity be at this place 
(Vera Cruz). The harbor is the best on the coast, and hence 
to the capital is the best road in the country." 

Leaving General Scott here, preparing to march 
into the interior, we will return to General Taylor 
and the army under his command. 

And first, we must place Brigadier-General John 
E. Wool, which we can now do, and show how won- 
derfully he had turned up at the right time and in the 
right place, to render with his Division highly import- 
ant and valuable service. At the outset of the war, 
an expedition had been organized by the government, 
in Texas, to march overland into the State of Chi- 
huahua, the most northern of the Mexican republic, 
and seize the city of Chihuahua. The column named 
"Central Division, Army of Mexico," marched from 
San Antonio the latter part of September, and got as 
far as Monclova, in the State of Cohahuila, about the 
1st of November, 1846. It was here that General 
Wool, in command of this Division, was enabled to 
learn that General Taylor had captured and was in 
possession of Monterey, the capital of the adjoining 
State of New Leon, and he determined to abandon 
his march after Chihuahua, and endeavor to form a 



junction with Taylor. He established himself at 
Parras, in the same State of Cohahuila, and when 
Worth was alarmed, whilst Taylor was on the march 
to Victoria, General Wool had by a rapid march rein- 
forced Worth at Saltillo, and was now near that place 
in camp, on a ranch named Buena Vista, which had 
been selected by General Wool and his engineer 
officer. Captain George W. Hughes, of the Topo- 
graphical Engineers, with especial reference to its 
suitableness for advantageous defense; a pass two 
miles in advance of this camp was the key to the 
position, and it was here that was fought the battle 
which gave eclat to the name of the ranch, and im- 
perishable renown to American arms. 

General Taylor returned to Monterey about the 
1st of February, 1847, after having been superseded 
by General Scott, whilst at Victoria en route to Tam- 
pico, with the feeble (in point of numbers) escort of 
two companies of dragoons, two batteries, and one 
regiment of rifles. His arrival was greeted with the 
sad news of the capture of several parties of Ameri- 
cans, a general advance of Santa Anna with an over- 
whelming force, and a good deal of demoralization 
among the troops outside of Wool's Division, and not 
including the body-guard he had brought with him. 

His heart must have been very heavy ; he had 
been shamefully outraged, all his tried troops with 
the exception of a handful taken from him, and now 
the life of every American in the valley of the Rio 
Grande, the honor of our arms, the success of the war, 
his own laurels, were in jeopardy, and in his single 


He had said that he would do his duty to his 
country, though he might be crushed in the effort; 
and he was about to illustrate that he shrank from 
no responsibilities which the duties of his office 

Moving rapidly forward from Monterey, he was at 
Agua Nueva, sixty miles from Monterey, and eighteen 
miles south of Saltillo.* On the 5th of February, not 
diking this position, he fell back to the pass in front 
of Buena Vista, which had been observed by Wool 
and Hughes, and this ground meeting with his ap- 
proval, he prepared to resist here the coming of Santa 
Anna and his army. 

On the 8th Taylor had his whole army, including 
Wool's Division, concentrated here ; it was comjjosed 
of two companies of the First Dragoons, under Cap- 
tain Enoch Steen ; two companies of the Second Dra- 
goons, under Lieutenant-Colonel Charles A. May; 
Bragg's, Sherman's and Washington's Batteries of the 
regular army ; one regiment of Arkaiisas Cavalry, 
under Colonel Archibald Yell ; one regiment of Ken- 
tucky Cavalry, under Colonel Humphrey Marshall; 
Second Kentucky Infantry, under Colonel William E. 
McKee ; First Regiment Mississijopi Rifles, under 
Colonel Jefferson Davis ; Second Indiana Infantry, 

* The town of Saltillo was defended by a field worli in which 
our old friends of Monterey, two twenty-four-pound howitzers, 
and Captain Webster's and Lieutenant James L. Donaldson's 
companyofregular artillery, were posted to guard the approaches, 
whilst some infantry were within the city. 

The train was under the care of two companies of infantry, 
with Captain Wm. H. Sbover's field pieces, TJ. S. Army. 


under Colonel Bowles; Third Indiana Infantry, 
under Colonel James H. Lane ; First Illinois Infantry, 
under Colonel John J. Hardin ; Second Illinois In- 
fantry, under Colonel AVilliam H. Bissel ; two com- 
panies of Texas Volunteers, under Captains McCul- 
lough and Conner; making his whole force' three 
hundrQd and thirty-four officers and four thousand 
four hundred and twenty-five men. 

The army of Santa Anna, according to Mexican 
accounts, was composed and numbered as follows : 
sappers and artillerists, with nineteen guns and one 
howitzer, six hundred and fifty men ; First, Third, 
Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, and Eleventh Regiments of the 
line. First and Third Light Troops, six thousand two 
hundred and forty men ; Fourth Light Troops, mixed, 
of Santa Anna ; First Active, of Calayo, of Guadal- 
axara, of Lagos, of Queretaro, and of Mexico, three 
thousand two hundred men ; General Parrodi's com- 
mand from ■ Tula, one thousand men ; artillery, two 
hundred and fifty men ; Mejia's Division, four thou- 
sand men ; with the cavalry of Miiion, estimated at 
two thousand men. General Santa Anna advanced 
from San Luis Potosi with about twenty thousand 
men of all arms, on the 29th day of January, the very 
day that our division marched into Tampico. He was 
going north with the elite of the Mexican army, while 
we were going south away from the great shock of 
battle. Certainly military annals may be searched 
in vain for a parallel campaign. The reader must 
look at a good map, to intelligently comprehend the 
situation and the movements of the armies in Mexico 
in this month of February, 1847. 


On the 18th, Santa Anna reached the hacienda of 
Encamacion, distant sixty miles south of Saltillo ; on 
the 19th, his army was concentrated and he made 
his arrangements for battle ; advancing on the 20th, 
he reached Encantada on the 22d, and immediately 
sent a flag by his Surgeon-General Lindenberger to 
Taylor's headquarters, with a summons, of which the 
following is a copy, translated : 

"You are surrounded by tweQt}^ thousand men, and cannot 
in any human probability avoid suffering a rout and being cut to 
pieces by our troops; but as you deserve consideration and par- 
ticular esteem, I wish to save you a catastrophe, and for that 
purpose give you this notice, in order that you may surrender at 
discretion, under the assurance that you will be treated with the 
consideration belonging to the Mexican character ; to which end 
you will be granted an hour's time to make up your mind, to 
commence from the moment my flag of truce arrives in your 

"With this view, I assure you of my particular consideration. 

" God and Liberty ! 

"(Signed) "Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. 

" at Encantada, Eobruary 22, 1847. 
"To General Z. Tatlok, Commanding Forces of tlie U. S." 

• To this was sent the replj' : 

" Headcjuartep.s. Army of Occufation, 

NEAR BuENA Vi.sTA, February 2:2, 1847. 
"Sir, — In reply to your note of this date, summoning nic to 
surrender my forces at discretion, I beg leave to say that I 
decline iiccedingto your request. 
"With high respect, I am, sir, 

"Your obedient servant, 
" (Signed) " Z. Taylor, 

" Major-Gencral U. S. A. Commanding. 
" SeDor General D. Antonio Lopez de Santa xVnna, 
"Commander-in-Cliiof, La Encantada." 


General Taylor, aware of Santa Anna's approach, 
had marched out of camp on the morning of the 21st, 
and had taken up his previously selected position for 
battle ; it began immediately after the return of the 
flag with Taylor's answer, by an attempt to turn our 
left, but the decisive battle was not fought until the 
next day, the 23d February. 

On this day the battle raged from right to left, with 
varying success, for eight hours. Again and again 
our line was broken, overwhelmed by the masses of 
the enemy. Repeatedly in rear of our broken yet 
unconquered troops, the Mexicans were again and 
again compelled to retire. While one portion of the 
field was ajjparently lost, another was tenaciously 
held by American valor. Cavalry charges alternated 
with the advance and repulse of infantry columns, 
and artillery hurled its missiles at pistol-shot range. 
Two hundred and sixty-seven of our dead were lying 
scattered among five hundred of the enemy, while 
the groans of four hundred and fifty-six Americans 
were mingled with those of fifteen hundred Mexicans. 
Among our killed were Colonels Hardin, McKee, and 
Yell; Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Clay, Jr., a son of Hon- 
orable Henry Clay of Kentucky ; Captain George Lin- 
coln, of Massachusetts, Assistant Adjutant-General 
U. S. Army; Captain Woodward, of Second Illinois; 
Captains Kinder and Walker, of Second Lidiana; Cap- 
tain Taggart, of Third Indiana; Captain Willis, of 
Second Kentucky; Captain Porter, of the Arkansas 
Cavalry; Lieutenants Moore and McNulty, of the 
Mississippi Rifles ; Lieutenant Houghton, of First 
Illinois; Lieutenants Campbell and Leonard, of the 


Texas Volunteers ; and Lieutenants Roundtree, Flet- 
cher, Ferguson, Robbins, Steele, Kelly, Bartleson, 
Atherton, and Price, of tbe Second Illinois. Of the 
little army of Americans, twenty-eight of its officers 
were killed and forty-one wounded, while two hundred 
and eighty-nine dead, and four hundred and fifteen 
wounded of the brave rank and file attested the ten- 
acity and unflinching courage of the United States 
troops. General Taylor, in his official report of this 
battle, dated the 6th of March, 1847, after referiing 
to the general good conduct of his army and its bril- 
liant success, thus speaks of his Batteries : " The ser- 
vices of the light artillery, always conspicuous, were 
more than usually distinguished. Moving rapidly 
over the roughest ground, it was always in action at 
the right place and the right time, and its well- 
directed fire dealt destruction in the masses of the 
enemy." With such officers as Washington, Sherman, 
Bragg, Thomas, Kilburn, O'Brien, Reynolds, Bryan, 
and Whiting, the artillery arm of the service re- 
flected an undying lustre on the Military Academy at 
West Point, and proudly displayed the standard of 
its training, before the admiring gaze of the American 

I have read various reports of this great battle, in 
which five thousand American volunteers (only the 
dragoons and artillerists were regulars) successfully 
fought against four times their number ; and I have 
conversed with officers and men of both armies who 
were in that battle, and ray opinion is this, that the 
victory was due to the facts, that our right was inac- 
cessible by reason of the deep gullies which ran 


athwart the plain ; that our volunteers used their fire- 
arms with telling and fatal accuracy ; that our light 
artillery was served with such fearful rapidity that 
the Mexican infantry could not bear up against its 
fire ; that Santa Anna threw his columns against our 
light batteries, when he had heavier guns and of longer 
range without using them ; that in broad daylight 
Santa Anna or Lombardini, his infantry commander, 
hurled his brave footmen by column in mass against 
artillery, which was capable of and was in fact being 
manoeuvred as rapidly as infantry, precisely as if he 
were sending them against guns in fixed positions ; and 
finally and chiefly was the victory due to the coolness 
and sagacity and personal courage of General Zachary 
Taylor. It is notable of this battle that all who were 
in it bear witness to the great courage displayed 
by both armies ; it was a very sanguinary battle, and 
deeds of personal daring so numerous that they were 
not conspicuous. Its results were of untold import- 
ance, and are incalculable, except to those who know 
that from the Rio Grande to the base of the Sierra 
Madre mountains, from Tampico to Saltillo, the cav- 
alry of Miuon and Urrea held undisputed sway, and that 
the enraged rancheros of the States of New Leon, 
Cohahuiln, and Tamaulipas, would have sprung from 
the earth upon every North American, so luckless as 
to have been in the area described, had General 
Taylor been It-ss the soldier, and less the man he 
was, at Biiena Vista on the 22d and 23d days of 
February, 1847. 

On the night of the 23d, the army of Santa Anna, 
shattered and disorgft,nized, retreated toward San Luis, 


leaving the road as far as Encarnacion strewed with 
the dead, the dying, and debris of a routed army. 

Scott was free to act from a new base ; the laurels 
of Taylor imperishable ; the campaign of the Rio 
Grande was ended. 



I HAD the honor to fire salutes at Tainpico for the 
victories of Buena Vista and Vera Cruz, and we were 
now comparatively at rest; but I had been over- 
worked, and a chronic disease contracted on the 
Rio Grande had become so aggravated, that I was 
forced into the military hospital. Here, at the cool- 
est place in the building, the thermometer stood at 
102 degrees, Fahrenheit, for several successive days, 
and the heat was so smothering and enfeebling that 
the surgeon in charge advised my leaving for tlie 
United States. I determined not to leave before my 
company's term of service had expired, and thinking 
that a trip to Vera Cruz would be beneficial, I readily 
obtained permission to go. On Saturday, the 10th of 
April, I went on board the government steamer New 
Orleans; two companies of the First Infantry, and 
two hundred and eighty mules, also destined for Vera 
Cruz, being embarked, we weighed anchor, and, after 
one or two bumps on the bar at the mouth of the 
Panuco, were rolling in a heavy sea on the Gulf of 

266 31EM0IRS OF A 

Mexico. On Monday we cast anchor between the 

castle and the city, and I went ashore for a stroll 

through the city. On the ensuing day I wrote the 

following letter : 

" Castle or San Juan de UlloAj 
Vera Cruz, April 13, 1847. 

" My dear Parents, — I expected to find on arriving here 
thiit all my friends would have been away, but how agreeably I 
have been disappointed ! My old brigade commander. Colonel 
Henry Wilson, of the First Infantry, is the Governor of Vera 
Cruz, and my friend Major Bacchus is stationed at and in cora- 
raand of this castle ; in fact, it so happens that the First Infantry, 
with whom we were so long a time brigaded, and which we 
served with at Monterey, constitutes the garrison, and I am 
surrounded with acquaintances and comrades. They have all 
been very kind, and have offered their quarters as a home during 
my stiiy, and I am now the guest of Major Bacchus. 

" On approaching this castle from the sea, I was disappointed, 
it being so much smaller in appearance than I anticipated; but 
now I realize its immense strength and its power to resist, if 
well defended, the navies of the world. 

" I have just returned from an expiration of its interior laby- 
rinths, which remind me of my visit to, and recall the wonders of, 
the Mammoth Cave, Kentucky; through vaults, dungeons, case- 
mates, passages, and covered waj'S, deep down beneath the terre- 
plein of the fort; across ditches, moats, bridges, under portcullis 
and over drawbridges ; every side bristling with artillery. I 
wandered with ray guide until I gave up, unable to visit much 
that was yet to be seen of its mysteries. 

" Everything that man as a soldier would require is to be 
found within these walls, from the chapel for worship to the 
dungeon for punishment, from the foundry to the smith's shop, 
from tiie arsenal to the marine rope-walk, from the handsomely 
fitted-up apartments for the priests and officers to the more 
humble barracks of tlie soldiers, from the twenty-four-iuch shell 
to the canisters of grape, from the beautiful bronze English guns 
to the long copper guns of old Spain, from the handsome English 


musket to the matchlock of the buccaneers: the labor of a hun- 
dred years to render this work impregnable, and the wealth of 
the Indies to complete the design, have made this a wonderful 
tower of human strength and skill. 

" The quantity and variety of the munitions of war now piled 
and heaped up are, I should say, inexhaustible, and there are 
enough guns, pistols, swords, iron and copper shot lying beneath 
the water of the ditches, yet plainly visible, to arm at least a 
regiment of troops. 

"Some of the bronze guns mounted en barbette on the upper 
terrace of the works are magnificent; the precision and accuracy 
of their fire you may judge of, when I tell you that the Mexican 
gunners put twent}' -eight shot through the brick wall of the ceme- 
tery, over on the main land, behind which they supposed our 
infantry were, (as we had a mortar-battery next adjoining,) the 
wall being five feet high and about one hundred and fifty feet in 
length, and this at the distance of one and a half miles. 

"When I looked at this perforated and shattered wall on yes- 
terday, and was told that it had been done by, guns at the castle, 
I felt a strong desire to see the guns that did such shooting; 
here they were, made at Deptford, England, but a few years ago ; 
just lovely, they vv'ere so beautiful. I can't say whether they 
are twenty-four- or thirty-two-pounders; somevi'here about that 
calibre, perhaps heavier. 

. "There are, about one hundred and fifty pieces, of various 
calibre, mounted now in this work, but it is capable of sliowing 
twice as much artillery if needed ; built of the coral rock upon 
which its walls stand, it crumbles, but it is not shattered, by 
projectiles fired against it. Seaward, its reefs project far into 
the Gulf, while toward the city a heavy water-battery iidds weight 
to its upper guns. It is truly a formidable fortress. 

"On entering the city, I was disappointed at not seeing as 
many houses in ruins as I had supposed would be the case ; but 
as I continued my stroll, I soon saw the dreadful destruction 
which (lur shells occasioned, while solid shot from our liatteries 
had passed entirely througli the city, reaching in their flight the 
quay or mole running into the sea, upon which the affrighted 
citizens had fled for safetv from the bombs. As I passed along. 

268 ME3I0IRS OF A 

the poor women were cleaning up a house in which a thirteen- 
inch shell, after falling through three stories, had exploded in 
the cellar; among the plaster and bricks and stones were several 
fragments of the shell, and I took a piece to preserve as a curi- 
osity and memorial ; the poor creatures looked at me as if I 
were, or must be, a demon to rejoice at their griefs, for I judged 
from their looks that they supposed I was glorying at seeing 
the effect of our fire upon their homes. How much they were 
mistaken the Good Father knows. Many of the houses were 
completely demolished, and several bear the marks of fire occa- 
sioned by the explosion igniting the wood-work. I went into 
one of the churches, now converted into a hospital, in which 
there are upwards of five hundred patients; it was a curious 
sight thus to see the pallets of the sick placed in the chapels, 
and the various ornaments of the church, sacred to many eyes, 
made use of as need required. On looking up at the vaulted 
ceiling, behold there were several large holes through which the 
sky was visible ; several thirteen-inch shells had dropped through 
the roofing as if it had been paper, exploding within the body 
of the church; all around, walls, paintings, and wood-work 
showed the terrified force of their bursting ; the debris was still 
lying over the floor or swept into piles to make room for beds. 
It is owing to the effect that these shells produced in the city 
that the castle was surrendered, for it was very little damaged; 
it scarcely shows a scar, and I am told was but little injured by 
the French in their bombardment a few years ago. Our victory, 
in its ju'csent gain and future results, is very great indeed, and 
I doubt whether ever as great a one was obtained with less loss 
to the victors. Scott deserves immense praise. 

"One of ni}' companv, Benjamin F. Xiraocks, is on detached 
duty in the Pay Department, and was here during the siege; he 
came after me yesterday, and giving me a horse, guided me 
round our lines of investment and showed me the position of 
all our batteries and the enemy's line of works, fort by fort, so 
that 1 think I am quite conversant with the military opei-ations 
which resulted in the fall of Vera Cruz. The cemetery, a beauti- 
ful burial-place, was an object of especial interest, for I never 
expect to see again a graveyard knocked to pieces — the chapel 


was in ruins, monuments shattered, the graves of the dead torn 
up, and the silent tenant of one coffin was noiv exposed to my 
sight by a solid shot having unburied it. I saw this sight. 

"Vera Cruz reminds me of Havre in its commercial-looking 
houses and filthy streets; it is much larger than any Mexican 
town yet visited. Its mole is magnificent, running far out into 
the sea; here I have passed hours gazing at the throng, who 
find the sea-breeze so grateful, at the castle, the large fleet of 
vessels of war in the offing and the numbers of small boats plying 
between the shore and the vessels lying in the roads ; there are 
one hundred and fifty transports lying here, besides our own, — 
and English, French, and Spanish war-ships. 

"Will we have peace ? This I cannot answer, nor can any- 
one else. I am in possession of much curious and important 
information direct from the city of Mexico, but I do not feel at 
liberty to communicate it, although 1 was not held to secrecy. 
My informant is Mr. Moses Y. Beach, of the New York Sun, 
who came down with me from Tampico. He is direct from the 
city of Mexico, and his conversation was highly interesting. 

"An eminent and wealthy merchant, who has been eighteen 
years in the country, told me on yesterday that he could not tell 
what would be the result, etc. 

"I believe that my health is nearly restored, and that I am 
now acclimated. 1 shall return to Tampico by the first steamer. 
"Your affectionate son, John." 

I copy from " Chambers's Encyclopaedia" its article 
upon Vera Cruz : 

" Vera Cruz, or Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (the Rich City of 
the Real Cross), an ancient city on the east coast of Mexico, about 
one hundred and eighty-five miles* east of the city of Mexico, 
with a population of about eight thousand, composed chiefly of 

* Vera Cruz, by Mexican count, is ninety leagues from the 
city of Mexico, and 1 judged this to be correct, giving two and 
a half miles to the league. I made the distance two hundred 
and thirty miles. 


a motley collection fi-om many nations. The city is built in a 
semicircle, facing the sea, and is regularly laid out; the streets, 
which are wider than is usual in tropical countries, running east 
and west from the harbor, with others crossing them at right 
angles. The town is well defended by a strong wall* and other 
substantral works, as also by the castle of San Juan de Ulloa, 
whicli stands upon an island of the same name about half a mile 
from the shore. The principal buildings are the cathedral and 
fifteen other churches, generally built in the Moorish style, only 
six of which are in use; several monasteries, the court-house 
and prison, which stand on one side of the great square in the 
centre of the city. The houses and public buildings are gen- 
erally built of rubble masonry, formed of small stones, inter- 
spersed with red tiles, the whole being afterwards covered with 
good durable plaster, and colored with a variety of tints; and 
as most of the houses are in the old Spanish style, with open 
arcades, balconies, galleries, etc., the city presents a very pic- 
turesque aspect. There are a few good hospitals. The drainage 
of the city flows down open channels in the centre of the streets, 
which are almost on a level with the sea. This combined with 
the wretched water which the inhabitants are compelled to use, 
the marshy and utterly barren nature of the surrounding coun- 
try, and the pestilential nature of the climate, generally easily 
accounts for the frightful ravages of yellow and other fevers, 
yellow fever is most prevalent from May to November. Al- 
though it is the chief port for all Mexico, Vera Cruz has no 
harbor, but only an open roadstead between the town and the 
castle. The anchorage is exceedingly bad, and when the north 
gales, the norles (terrible hurricanes bearing along with them 
clouds of sand from the sand-hills behind the town), prevail, 
many vessels are wrecked on the adjacent shores. 

"The chief exports are the precious metals, cochineal, sugar, 
flour, indigo, provisions, sarsaparilla, leather, vanilla, jalap, soap, 

* It was much better defended by the prickly pear, which 
grew outside in an impenetrable jungle, than by the walls. In- 
fantry could not, or would not, have forced their way through 
in some places at the time I examined the defenses. 


logwood, and iiinicnto; and tho imports cotton goods, woolen, 
linen, and silk goods, brandy, iron, Htool, wax, quicksilver, paper, 
hardware, and cutlery, cnrtiienware, (!tc. 'I'lio imports in 1856 
were about £3,100,000, and llic exports about £1,803,100, tho 
latter consisting principally of the precious metals." 

On the afternoon of the dtiy of my arrival, the 12th 
of April, I saw General Seott, with his staff' and head- 
quarters, leave Vera Crnz for his march on the city of 
Mexico,* and on the evening of the 15th I re-euibarked 
on the steamer New Orleans to return to my post. 

On the voynge we were overtaken by a iiorllier, 
which exceeded in violence and power all that 1 had 
ever known or imagined the wind to have. Our 
steamer was put head-on to the gale, the full force 
of her steam used, and yet she was driven, stern fore- 
most, before the storm. Fortunately we were enabled 
to get under the lee of Lobos, where the steamer's 
anchors held her securely until 2 o'clock p.m. the 
ensuing day, when we proceeded on our course, and 
reached my quarters at Tampico on the evening of 
the 17th. 

* He entered the city of Mexico at the head of his army, Sep- 
tember 14th, after bis victories in tho valley. 




As the end of our term of service approached, 
various efforts were being made to induce the officers 
and men to re-enter for the war. My friends had 
written to me to come home, that a regiment for the 
war would be accepted from the District of Columbia 
and Maryland, and that Governor Thomas G. Pratt, 
of Maryland, would have the appointment of its 
Major, as soon as a battalion, then organizing in Bal- 
timore, was ready for the field, and that he had said 
I should have the Majority. This determined my 
action, otherwise I might have united with Captain 
James Boyd, of our battalion, who was receiving the 
names of volunteers for a company to be raised at 
Tampico from our own and other sources. 

Our battalion continued on duty until the 30th 
day of May, 1847, at Tampico, when and where we 
were mustered out and honorably discharged from 
the service by Major William W. Morris, of the 
United States Army, under orders of Colonel William 
Gates, commanding United States forces at Tampico. 
Thus, after twelve months of honorable service, the 
Battalion of Baltimore and Washington Volunteers 
completed, with fidelity, its obligations to the govern- 
ment and prepared to return to the United States. 

On the 31st day of May I received my pay and 


allowance for mileage from Major J. Y. Dasliiell, pay- 
master United States Army. The distance from 
Tampico to Washington was computed by the Pay 
Department at eighteen hundred miles, and upon 
this estimate the calculation was made for the pay 
of the men. 

They were generally satisfied to be discharged 
here, although some insisted that the government 
was bound to carry them back to tlie United States. 
I thought so ; but the necessity of the case perhaps 
justified the retention of their services until the last 
hour of the term of enlistment. 

On this night I gave a supper to my own company 
at the Italian Fonda. Our association had been 
pleasant, and our parting was painful. So long as 
hfe lasts will the recollection of their fidelity and 
attachment to me be a bright spot for memory to 
dwell upon. With every man in the company I 
parted in friendship and good-will. 

I had to remain when they left. One of them, 
Henry P. Norris, of Baltimore, had, on the night of 
the 30th, unfortunately killed a man employed in 
the quartermaster's department. I could not leave 
him; Major Buchanan in the kindest manner volun- 
teered to assist in his defense, and we defended him 
before a court and jury organized under general orders 
from the headquarters of the army. He was found 
guilty of murder in the second degree, and sentenced 
to be imprisoned in the prison of Tampico at hard 
labor during the war. 

I was very sick at the time of the trial, sutFering 
from a high fever and a return of my old complaint ; 


274 3IEM0JBS OF A 

but, after the verdict was rendered, I fortified myself 
with such recommendations and evidence as induced 
the President of the United States, James K. Polk, 
promptly to order his unconditional release, when I 
laid the case before him on my return. 

I am satisfied that Norris would not have been 
convicted if his witnesses had remained ; but it was 
uncertain when his trial would take place, and they, 
not dreaming that he would be convicted, left within 
a few days after their discharge, for it was growing 
very sickly. 

Captain James Boyd and Lieutenant James Taney- 
hill remained at Tampico, and accompanied me on 
the 12th of June on board the schooner Elvira, bound 
for Mobile, she being the only vessel then up for the 
United States. Bidding them an affectionate and 
final farewell,* I sailed from Mexico homeward. I 
suffered a good deal during the voyage from my dis- 
ease and want of attention, for the little vessel in 
which I was sailing had no accommodations for 
passengers ; the rain-squalls were frequent, and the 
cabin occupied by the master and I was small and far 
from dry. Still, I was homeward bound, and the 
light at the Balize revived and strengthened me. On 
the 18th I landed, at sundown, at Mobile, and on the 
27th of June, 1847, reached home, after an absence of 
twelve months and twenty-three days. 

I conclude this record of a year's service in the 
army of the United States with the general orders 

* They were both killed in an engagement with the enemy at 
the river Calabozo, not far from Tampico, within less than a 
month after we parted. 


issued by Colonel William Gates, Third Artillery, 
United States Army, commanding the Department of 
Tampico, dated at Tampico, Mexico, May 30th, 1847, 
which honorably discharged me from the service, 
and a letter from Brevet-Major Robert C. Buchanan, 
Fourth Infantry, United States Army, lately com- 
manding the Baltimore Battalion, dated at Tampico, 
May 31st, 1847, to the Hon. Jacob G. Davies, Mayor 
of Baltimore, concerning the presentation of the Bat- 
talion flag to the corporation of the city of Baltimore. 

" Headquarteks Department of Tampico, 
Tampico, Mexico, Mav 80, 1847. 
" Orders No. 2?,.'\ 

" It has been the earnest wish of the Colonel commanding that 
orders from the general headquarters of the army should have 
been received directing him when and where the Battalion of 
Baltimore and District of Columbia Volunteers should be hon- 
orably mustered out of service, but circumstances, not within his 
control have obliged him to detain it at Tampico until the last 
day of its term of service. 

"He cannot here refrain from expressing the satisfaction he 
has experienced in beholding this brave body at its post, where 
it is so much regarded, and where he would gladly retain it 
during the war. Nevertheless, as that period has arrived when 
the expiration of the relations so long amicably existing between 
that corps and their commander must cease, he here proclaims 
it Honorably Discharged this day. 

"His Excellency the President of the United States foresee- 
ing these results, and desiring the continuance of the services of 
volunteers requisite for the prosecution of the plans in the event 
of the prolongation of hostilities with the enemy, the Colonel 
cotDmanding would testify his desire that these well-drilled, ex- 
perienced, and gallant companies would again promptly present 
themselves for enrollment, under the respective officers, deter- 
mined to abide the issue of their country's struggle, whatever it 


may be, secure ia their acknowledged prowess and capacity in 
asserting her rights. 

" Major Buchanan, whose well-tried fidelity and judicious 
performance of service have won the entire confidence of your 
commander, who seizes this opportunity to make known his 
thanks, has been officially authorized to make terms with the 
officers and men of this battalion from the city of heroic monu- 
ments and patriotic associations, by which, if any of you think 
proper to re-enroll yourselves, leave of absence for sixty days 
will be given, and on your return to Mexico, the twelve dollars 
bounty paid ; and highly pleased will the commandant be if even 
one company will raise their standard on the parade for this 
purpose ; but if not, and he is left to see you pass away, he 
offers jovl his cordial good wishes that you may have a speedy 
passage, and find your families, relatives, and friends, ready and 
proud to greet you as your honorable services justly entitle you. 
"(Signed) " "Wm. Gates, 

" Colonel Third Artillery Commanding." 

Letter from Major Buchanan to the Major of 

" Tampico, Miiy 31, 1847. 

" Dear Sir, — The term of service of the Baltimore Battalion 
having expired, it becomes necessary to make a suitable disposi- 
tion of the flag under whose folds it so gallantly fought and so 
faithfully sustained the toils and privations incident to the last 
twelve months' campaign. 

"The officers of the Battalion desire that it should be pre- 
sented to the corporation of the city, to be kept in the City Hall 
as a memorial of their regard for Baltimore. In this arrange- 
ment 1 most heartily concur. 

" It therefore becomes my agreeable duty to forward the flag 
to you, the Chief-Magistrate of the city, with the request that 
it may be disposed of in accordance with the wishes of the 

" By our fellow-citizens it may well be regarded with feelings 
of pride, as having been the standard of a body of their friends 
which, for good discipline, soldierly deportment, and cfiSciency for 
hard service, stood in a most enviable position. The Rio Grande, 


Monterey, Yictoi'ia, and Tampico will all bear witness to the 
services of the Battalion. 

"Sergeant-Major William T. Lennox, who carried the flag- in 
the battle of Monterey, after Hart was wounded, and who has 
been the color-bearer since that time, will be intrusted with the 
duty of delivering it to you. 

" I am, sir, with much respect, 
"(Signed) " Eobeut C. Buchanax, 

" Brevet-Major Fourth Infautrj', comraauding Battalion. 
"To Hon. Jacob G. Davies, 

"Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland." 



By an understanding between the War Department 
and the Governor of Maryland, a battalion (and in 
certain contingencies a regiment) of volunteers, to be 
enlisted for the war with Mexico, was to be raised in 
the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, 
of which the President was to appoint the Lieutenant- 
Colonel, and the Governor of Maryland the Major. 

Shortly after my arrival at home, I was unofficially 
informed by His Excellency, Thomas G. Pratt, that 
I should be appointed the Major of the battalion as 
soon as the three companies then being recruited at 
Baltimore should be accepted by the government. 

Recruiting had been going on very slowly, and 
there was some difficultv between the several officers 


as to the command of the companies that were being 
organized. I lent my assistance to recruiting and 
reconciling differences, so that by the 20th of July a 
sufficient number of companies were accepted from 
the District and Maryland to authorize my appoint- 
ment ; on that day I was commissioned Major of the 
District of Columbia and Maryland Regiment of Vol- 
unteers by the Governor of Maryland, and entered on 
my duties at once. 

At the time tliese companies of infantry were 
accepted, several gentlemen were engaged in raising 
volunteers for a company of artillery, to be attached 
to the battalion, it being understood that such would 
be accepted by the government. After much discus- 
sion, an amicable arrangement was made by which 
the artillery company was to be commanded by Cap- 
tain Lloyd Tilghman, of Maryland, the other gentle- 
men from Baltimore yielding their claims in his favor. 

There was much difficulty in the District of Colum- 
bia between Brevet-Major George W. Hughes, of the 
United States Army, and Charles Lee Jones, Esq., as 
to the command of the battalion about being jointly 
raised in the District and in Maryland ; each gentle- 
man claiming a right, based either upon personal ser- 
vices or a promise from the War Department to be 
appointed its commanding officer. Finally, Major 
Hughes was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
District of Columbia and Maryland Regiment of Vol- 
unteers by the President of the United States, and 
immediately assumed command. 

The Maryland companies were quartered at Fort 
McHenry; upon the receipt of my commission I took 


command of this detachment, and upon the 23d 
received the following order (the other three com- 
panies from the District having arrived at the fort) : 

" Heabquarteks Battalion oi' D. C. and M'd Vol's., 

" July 23, 1847. 
"Orders Ko. .] 

"I. The three companies heretofore indicated to sail on board 
the transport ship Alexandria will be in readiness to leave Port 
McHenry to-morrow morning the 24th instant. 

"II. The camp and garrison equipage, arm-chests, personal 
baggage, etc., will be deposited on the wharf at 9 o'clock a.m. 
by companies, in the following order, viz. : Captain Barry's, Cap- 
tain Henrie's, and Captain Brown's; and the company property 
will be placed on board by the men of the company to which it 
belongs, quietly and orderly. 

" III. Major Kenly, who takes command of the detachment, 
will assign the men to berths by companies. 

"IV. The officers will select their berths according to rank. 

"V. Dr. Campbell, of the Voltigeurs, accompanies the detach- 
ment as medical officer, under orders from the War Department. 
" By order, 

"George W. Hughes, 

"Lieutenant-Colonel, etc." 

In obedience to the above orders T superintended 
the embarkation from Fort McHenry of the three 
companies designated, and put them on board the 
transport ship Alexandria on the 24th day of July, 
1847. The detachment consisted of eleven officers 
and one hundred and ninety-eight enlisted men, with 
some halfdozen servants. With the experience I had 
encountered, I hesitated going to sea on a voyage to 
the tropics, in the months of July and August, with 
troops on a transport ship, unless I was assured of the 
attendance of a medical officer and a full supply of 


water; to write plainly, I refused to go until a medi- 
cal officer was with the detachment; and then having 
made a personal examination as to the quantity of 
water on board, and being supplied by the quarter- 
master with a barrel of chloride of lime as a disin- 
fectant, I announced myself as ready to sail. There 
was a great deal of preliminary work to do, looking to 
the casualties of a month's voyage, and I attended to 
it in person to see that it was done ; and it was done. 

My instructions were to go to Vera Cruz; being 
ready, as far as my judgment went, on the 26th, the 
steamer Relief, Captain Sprigg, made fast to the 
Alexandria, and towed us as far as Poplar Island, 
where, casting us off, we made sail down the bay. 

Previous to leaving, the following was placed in my 
hands : 

" Baltimoke, 23d July, 1847. 
" Sir, — Enclosed herewith is a charter-party for the ship 
Alexandria, under cover to the quartermaster at Vera Cruz, 
which I request you will seal and hand to him, after having 
placed the requisite certificate upon it, — the same as ou that in 
the hands of the captain of the ship. 

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" (Signed) S. B. Duse^-bkry, 

" Quartermaster. 
" Commanding officer troops on board transport ship 
Alexandria, oil' Fort McHenry, Md." 

From the tenor of the charter-party I learned that 
the captain of the ship could not obtain his freight 
money unless my certificate was given, and I felt 
much greater security for my detuchment when aware 
of this condition to the charter. No security how- 
ever was needed as far as seamanship could go, for a 
better sailor never trod a ship's deck than Captain 


Ordeman, of Baltimore, with whom from first to hist 
my relations were harmonious and agreeable, although 
he was fretted because I would not consent to sail on 
the 24th. 

The other detachment, consisting of Captains 
Degge's, Dolan's and Taylor's companies, were em- 
barked on board the ship Napier ; to this detachment 
was assigned the surgeon of the regiment. Dr. Sted- 
man R. Tilghman, of Maryland, and the ship sailed 
for the same destination a day or two after the Alex- 

We left the capes on the 27th, having had a favor- 
able wind down the bay ; soon the roughness of the 
sea was followed by its usual consequences, and I had 
a very sick detachment of troops ; they were very 
sick. Notwithstanding this, 1 mounted a regular 
guard daily, held the officer of the day responsible 
for the discipline on board, and established a school 
of instruction for the officers. The medical officer 
with the detachment, Dr. A. B. Campbell, of the Vol- 
tigeurs, was efficient, and made daily reports of the 
condition between decks (where the men were quar- 
tered), and the general health of the command. We 
were not too much crowded, the bunks kept scrupu- 
lously clean, decks scraped every morning before 
giiiu'd-mount, and ns soon as the men were able to 
stand, squad drills in the manual of arms were begun 
and continued until our arrival at Vera Cruz. 

On the 9th of August we made the Caycos Islands, 
and on the next day were becalmed between Cuba 
and San Domingo, both islands in sight, Cape Nicola 
Mole twelve miles to the eastward. 


It was now very warm, the heat between decks op- 
pressive, the thermometer standing at 94 degrees of 
Fahrenheit; extraordinary precautions were necessary 
to preserve the health of my command. The hatches 
were kept open, rain or shine, wind-sails for the ven- 
tilation of the hold were rigged, lime liberally spread 
and scattered between decks, and the men made to 
leave their bunks in the day-time, unless excused by 
the surgeon. I established a system of feet ivashing, 
which I claim as an original idea, at least I had 
never read or heard of it when I put it in practice. 
Every evening at retreat the companies were paraded 
successively upon the ship's deck ; every man with 
his shoes and stockings oif and pantaloons rolled over 
and above his knees; details were made who hoisted 
and threw sea-water upon the legs and feet of the 
men as they stood in ranks, until each man had had 
one bucketful as his quota of the briny element. At 
first, the men were very restive, and it required com- 
mand to enforce the order, both to distribute the water 
and submit to the bath, but after a few evenings' ex- 
ercise they became fond of it, and the chief difficulty 
was to make them behave orderly while the douch- 
ing was going on, each man desiring to give jjarticular 
directions Jioio and where the water should be thrown. 

The experiment was very successful, and it was 
continued daily until the end of the voyage ; it con- 
tributed to the preservation of our health, and I was 
enabled to land the detachment without the loss of a 

I had with me an excellent set of officers ; they not 
only assisted me, they did more, for they gave me 


their entire sympathy as well as their support. In 
the thirty days we were together on board the Alex- 
andria, I am sure that a cross word was never heard 
between us ; and I soon had occasion to test the 
strength of the discipline which should mark their 
character as soldiers. There were with me Captain 
Edmund Barry, First Lieutenant John M. Thornton, 
and Second Lieutenants John Carr, Acting Adjutant, 
and Benjamin E. West, of Company B; Captain Dan 
Drake Henrie, First Lieutenant Frederick A. Klopfer, 
and Second Lieutenant Richard P. Henry, of Com- 
pany D ; Captain George W. Brown, First Lieutenant 
Washington Hopper, and Second Lieutenants James 
O'Brien and John H. Gronewell, of Company E. The 
officers of Companies B and D were from Washington ; 
Company E was raised in Baltimore. 

On the 12th of August, while lying to the south- 
ward of Cuba, and in sight of the town of Santo Jago 
de Cuba, the pitch between the seams of the deck 
oozing up from the burning rays of the sun. Captain 
Ordeman informed me that a great deal of water was 
being consumed, that the ship was getting too light, 
and asked me to have the empty water-casks filled 
with sea-water; that he would have the pumps rigged, 
and he Avould like it done at once, as he feared that 
the great heat would be followed by a hurricane. I 
issued an order directing a detail to be made for the 
purpose indicated, and retired to ray cabin to write. 
While thus engaged, the officer of the day came and 
reported that the men detailed refused to work; I 
paid but little attention to him, merely repeating the 
order, and continuing at my desk. In fifteen minutes 


he returned, and asked what he was to do, as the men 
flatly refused to obey his orders. I went on deck, 
saw that the pumps were rigged, the detail standing 
about them, the sailors grouped about the forecastle, 
and an ominous silence over all. I directed the detail 
to be aligned, then inquired why it was they refused 
to work ; several of the men answered at the same 
time, " that it was the sailors' place to pump water 
into the ship ; that they were soldiers, and would not 
do sailors' work." I saw that it was a matured plan 
to refuse this duty, and deeming it advisable to tem-_ 
porize, I replied that the work was necessary for the 
safety of all, that the captain of the ship was the 
judge as to what was expedient to be done for our 
common good, and that when he had told me the ne- 
cessity of filling the empty casks, the reason was so 
palpable that I had not hesitated for an instant in 
giving the order which I had issued, and that they 
must obey it; that a good soldier always obeyed an 
order and discussed its propriety afterward. They 
all answered that they would not obey the order to 
pump water into the casks ; one of them saying he 
had been a sailor and had done sailors' work ; now 
that he was a soldier he would not be a sailor. In- 
quiring this man's name, and calling him by it, I 
ordered him to step two paces to the front ; he did 
so. I directed the officer of the guard to procure 
several pairs of handcuffs; these were promptly 
brought. I ordered the man to hold out his hands; 
fortunately, he obeyed. I told the officer of the 
guard to iron him ; it was done at once ; the mutiny 
was quelled. The second man named in the detail 


was ordered to ^tep to the front, extend his hands, 
and he was ironed; the third was called, and likewise 
ironed. As the fourth man stepped to the front, he 
said he would obey the order, as did all the others of 
the detail, and the pumps were soon going. 

It was a touch-and-go piece of work. 

I kept these men ironed and guarded by officers on 
the quarter-deck until a heavy storm came on ; when 
they begged so hard to have the irons removed, that 
I released two of them, but kept the ringleader se- 
curely fastened. 

I had no more trouble in maintaining discipline on 
board the ship ; the drills were continued, and as 
the fresh water was consumed, sea-water was pumped 
from the ocean and the empty casks filled. We lay 
becalmed for several days to the southward of Cuba; 
the heat continued to increase, as did the consumption 
of water, and grave apprehensions of a want of the 
latter daily arose. On Sunday, the 15th of August, 
when off the island of Jamaica and out of sight of land, 
a bird flew toward the ship and alighted on my head. 
I did not move, and it then hopped on my shoulder. 
We took a good look at each other, then it flew away. 
It would be untrue for me to say that I did not con- 
sider this incident a fortunate augury. 

On the 17th we made Cape San Antonio, the west- 
ernmost point of the island of Cuba; at 9.30 p.m., on 
the night of the 18th, saw a meteor, which like an 
immense globe of fire traversed at least one-fourth of 
the horizon. This was followed by a hurricane storm, 
which drove us rapidly on our course across the Gulf. 
On the 19th we were on the Banks of Campeche, off 


Yucatan, in thirty-six fathom water, and on the 22d 
made the mainland of Mexico, forty miles to the north 
of Vera Cruz. 

At 9 o'clock P.M., on the 23d, made the lighthouse 
on the castle of San Juan de Ulloa, and at the same 
time approached a large ship, which proved to be our 
consort, the '' Napier" from Baltimore, with the other 
detachment of our regiment. I have heard louder 
but never more joyous cheers than those which went 
up from the decks of the two ships, when in response 
to our hail, it was learned that the two detachments 
had again met. 

August 24. This day one month ago we embarked 
at Baltimore, and to-day at 10 A.M. we dropped anchor 
in the roads between the castle and the mole of Vera 
Cruz. Our whole ship's crew was well, our health 
excellent during the voyage, while the Napier buried 
in the sea one of its detachment, and brought along 
a good many sick. The first object that attracted our 
attention was the lowering of two dead bodies in coflGns 
from the sea-wall of the castle into a boat, and the 
next a pile of empty coffins on the mole as we landed 
from the ship to report our arrival. Everything else 
was dead in the blazing, glistening sunlight; not a 
living object, not one moving thing could I see, as I 
walked along the mole to the governor's quarters, 
which I knew where to find. It needed nothing but 
the appearance of things, the absence of all life,-^not 
a soldier, citizen, or sailor to be seen, not an animal, 
— to tell me that the yellow fever, the dread black 
vomit, was raging in this fiery oven of a plague- 
stricken city. 


I found my old friend and former commander, Colo- 
nel Henry Wilson, of the United States Army, still 
Governor, and on his back with the yellow fever. 
After a brief consultation I left him, went to the 
quartermaster's office, and putting life into things 
generally, — I had every man from both transports 
landed on the beach by 4 o'clock in the afternoon. 
Before dark, my camp and garrison equipage, arms and 
stores, were all landed, and a regular camp established 
at a point called Vergara, distant three miles from 
Vera Cruz. 

This night proved a rough beginning for young 
soldiers ; our sentries (with one single exception) 
were driven in by the Mexicans, who fired into our 
camp from the adjacent sand-hills, while the torrents 
of rain which fell washed the sands upon Avhich we 
lay and stood into the surf and ocean, tumbling up 
swelling waves on our parade ground, where I had 
had a dress parade the preceding evening. 

There was much alarm at Vera Cruz ; no tidings 
had been received from General Scott for weeks, as 
the road to the city of Mexico was closed except to 
strong bodies of troops. Eumors were rife that Scott's 
army was in great peril, and the whole country from 
the Gulf coast to the valley of Mexico was swarming 
with guerillas; to add to the demoralization, there 
was lying near my camp a detachment which had 
started to join Scott, but had met with a disastrous 
repulse at the National Bridge, and retreated to Vera 
Cruz. It was believed that the city itself was not safe 
from sudden attack, and Governor Wilson had obtained 
from the naval commander the presence of a vessel of 


war in the roads. On the day next succeeding my 
arrival, I received the following order : 

" Headquaeteks, Department or Vera Cruz, 
"Mexico, August 26, 1847. 
"Orders No. 63.] 

" Major John R. Kenly, Maryland Volunteers, will take the 
entire command at Vergara.* On the 31st inst., at half-past 7 
o'clock A.M., he will muster the Maryland Volunteers ; and Captain 
Sheppard, Eighth United States Infantry, will muster the rest 
of the troops encamped and on guard at that place, except that 
Captain Fairchild's troops of Louisiana Mounted Volunteers will 
be mustered by Lieutenant-Colonel Miles, f United States Araiy. 
" By order of Colonel Wilson, 
" (Signed) B. H. Arthur, 

" Adjutant First U. S. Infantry, and A.A.A.G. Dep't. Vera Cruz." 

Things looked very gloomy ; I had never before 
seen anything like the depression and despondency 
which prevailed. The heat was literally intense, and 
the sun from its rising to its going down looked and 
felt like a huge globe of fire. At night the mosqui- 
toes — and their name was legion — were worse than 
those I had known a year ago on the Rio Grande, and 
the fear of the fever was becoming very general. We 

* The troops thus assigned to my command consisted of one 
company of the Eighth United States Infantry, Captain Sheppard ; 
two companies of the Eleventh United States Infantry, Captains 
W. H. Taliaferro and McComas ; one company of the Twelfth 
United States Infantry, Captain Wells, and Captain Fairchild's 
Louisiana Mounted Men: in all about eight hundred men. On 
the STth I mounted a grand guard with details from the various' 
detachments, which proved an excellent school of instruction, and 
in the several attacks which were nightly made upon our camp, 
displayed a creditable degree of discipline. 

f Lieutenant-Colonel Miles was not with the detachment which 
had just been defeated at the National Bridge, nor was Captain 
W. H. Taliaferro. 


had one relief, one source of great enjoyment: at night 
we rolled among the breakers of the Gulf without 
danger from undertow, and this luxury of a bath 
strengthened us to bear the heat of the day, by 
giving us the sweet sleep of repose. 

At an interview with Colonel Wilson on the 29th 
of August, I told him that Colonel Hughes would 
shortly arrive, and begged him to permit us to pro- 
ceed as soon as he came, to help General Scott, as I 
believed from all I could learn, he needed every man 
that could be raised. The Governor intimated that 
the force could not be spared from Vera Cruz, and was 
not sufficiently strong to force its way through the 
interior, but that he daily expected additional troops 
from the United States, and knowing the efforts I 
had made to hasten forward, he would give me orders 
to march as soon as he deemed it safe. 

In coming out of town on my return to camp, I 
could not but laugh at the handbills staring one in 
the face at every corner : " Zinc coffins of various sizes 
and patterns were to be had on sale, No. so and so, Calle 
de etc. etc. ;" and every man I met looked as if he were 
coming into town to get one of these identical coffins. 
I made this reflection as I rode along, that if I were 
a rich man or of much higher rank than that of Major, 
I would also be afraid of the yellow fever. 

" Headquarters Battalion D. C. and M'd. Vol's., 
Camp, Verqara, August 27, 1847. 
" Order s.l 

"The regular stated calls in this camp will be as follows : 
"I. Reveille at 5 o'clock a.m.; sick-call at 6 a.m.; the first 

call for guard-mounting at T^ a.m.; orderly call at 11 a.m.; 

retreat at 6i p.m., and tattoo at 9 p.m. 



"II. At reveille the men will be turned out, the roll called by 
the orderly sergeants, superintended by a commissioned officer 
of each company, and each company parade will be policed; the 
prisoners at the guard-house will at the same time be made to 
police the regimental parade ; at the sick-call the sick of each 
company will be conducted by the orderly sergeants to the Sur- 
geon's quarters, which will be hereafter designated ; the first 
call for guard-mounting at Tj o'clock, a.m., will be the signal for 
the men warned for duty to turn out on their company parades 
for inspection by the orderly sergeants superintended by a com- 
missioned officer of each company ; at the orderly call each 
orderly sergeant will repair to the Adjutant's office for orders; 
at retreat there will be a dress parade on the regimental parade 
ground, prior to which the commanding officers will make a 
minute iuspection of the arms and ammunition of their com- 
panies ; at tattoo the men will be ordered to their quarters, and 
half an hour afterward taps will be sounded, at which signal the 
patrol will be sent through the camp for the purpose of arrest- 
ing those who, without a legitimate excuse, are found wandering 
about the camp. 

"III. Guard-mounting will take place at 8 o'clock a.m., the 
orderly sergeants of each company conducting their respective 
details to the parade ; and commanding officers will be held 
strictly respon.sible for the fitness of thoir details for guard duty. 

" IV. A morning report from each company must be handed in 
to the Adjutant's office before guard-mounting, each report to 
be signed by the orderly sergeant and the commanding officer 
of the company. 

"V. As it is of the most vital importance that the men should be 
instructed in the scliool of the soldier, the captains of companies 
are hereby strictly enjoined to drill and cause to be drilled at 
every seasonable opportunity, their respective commands. The 
efficiency or inefficiency of a company will rest alone upon its 
commanding officer. 

" VI. No into.xicating drinks will be permitted to be sold, ofl'ered 
for sale, or kept by any sutler, storekeeper, or. camp-follower, 
within the camp, or its immediate vicinity ; any person violating 
this order will be most summarily dealt with and punished. 


"VII. In case of an alarm or a night attack, each company 
will be rapidly formed and marched to the regimental parade, 
with the exception of those companies, the commanding officers 
of which have received separate instructions. 
" By order 

"John R. Kenlt, 
"Mftjor Buttalion D. C. and M'd. Vol's., 
commanding tlie Forces at Vergara." 

"Muster Roll of the Field and Staff of the District of Colum- 
Ma and Maryland Volunteers, on the 3\st day of August, 
184T, at Camp Vergara, near Vera Gruz. 


" Lieutenant Colonel George W. Hughes, absent on duty. 
" Major John R. Kenly, present for duty.* 
"Surgeon Stedman R. Tilghman, present for duty. 
"Adjutant John Carr, present for duty. 

"Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, Henry A. Addison, 
" present for duty. 


"William J. Gary, Sergeant Major, present for duty. 

"John Purden, Quartermaster's Sergeant, present for duty. 

" I certify on honor that this Muster Roll exhibits the true 
state of the Field and Staff of the Battalion of District of Colum- 
bia and Maryland Volunteers, called into the service of the 
United States by the President, under the Act of Congress 
approved May 13th, 1846, and that the remarks set opposite to 

each are correct and just. 

" John B. Kenlt, 
" Major Battalion D. 0. and M'd. Vol's., 
Inspector and Mustering Officer. 

" Camp Vekgaka, near Veka Cruz, 
"August 31, 1847." 

September 1. Colonel Hughes arrived last night 
from New Orleans, and about the same time we 
learned that General Scott had been victorious in a 
battle fought not far from the city of Mexico. The 


change that this news made in Vera Cruz was so 
great that one scarcely recognized his acquaintances 
of the preceding day. It was from darl^ness and 
gloom to sunshine and joy. I this day paraded the 
battalion, and felt great pride in its appearance when 
I turned over the command to my ranking and com- 
manding officer. His praise of my conduct was very 
gratifying, and I had an honest pleasure in feeling 
that I deserved it, for I had made a handsome bat- 
talion out of the command. I had reason to believe, 
that the officers and men shared the pride they knew 
I felt on hearing^Colonel Hughes's address. 

The steamer that brought Colonel Hughes from 
New Orleans brought also five companies of the 
Second Illinois regiment of infantry, so that our force, 
with the co-operation of the sailors, was deemed suffi- 
cient by Governor Wilson to relieve all apprehensions • 
for the safety of Scott's base, which would have been 
seriously endangered had his first battle in the val- 
ley resulted unfavorably. 

On the 5th of September we received orders to pre- 
pare to advance; during the day the 'companies 
selected were notified, and soon the busy hum of men 
was heard through the camp. There was an unmis- 
takeable reluctance to move on the part of those who 
had tried it once before, and the heat, the intense 
heat which prevailed, depressed the spirits of others, 
so that there was not the same enthusiasm I had 
always before noticed among troops ordered to march. 
We all wanted to get away from the fever, but some 
thought we might go further and fare worse. 




The city of Mexico lies to the west and north of 
Vera Cruz, and is distant by my calculation two 
hundred and sixty-two miles from the latter city. 
To reach it from the Gulf, you pass literally through 
the torrid, temperate, and frigid zones, for although 
the valley of Mexico is but seven thousand five hun- 
dred feet above the level of the sea, you have to cross 
the mountains which hem it on its eastern border at 
an altitude of between ten and eleven thousand feet. 

The State of Vera Cruz, into which we were now 
about to penetrate, lies under the burning sky of the 
tropics, between 17° and 22° of north latitude, and 
96° and 101° degrees west longitude from Paris ; it is 
bounded on the north by the State of Tamaulipas, 
on the east by the Gulf of Mexico, and on the south 
and west by the States of Tabasco and Puebla. On 
the Gulf coast and for several miles inland there is a 
belt of sandy desert and burning wastes ; here from 
the month of May to November the black vomit rages 
uninterruptedly, and the city of Vera Cruz, in the 
centre of this arid plain, is the focus of the deadly 
scourge* As you march to the west the country 

* Mr. Brantz Mayer, in his valuable work, " Mexico : Aztec, 
Spanish, and Republican," says " that none but natives of the 
town, or acclimated foreigners, are free from its attacks, and the 


rises gently to the Antigua, and from thence upward 
through the Cerro Gordo pass, toward and beyond 
Jalapa, until you meet with the spur of the grand 
Cordillera, called the Cofre of Perote, whose southern 
apex is the magnificent and unparalleled mountain 
peak of Orizaba.* Still farther to the west, as you 
enter upon the vast plateau or plain of Puebla in the 
State of the same name, you are in a temperate region, 
growing the cereals of an excellent quality and amaz- 
ing productiveness, until finally you commence the 
ascent of the mountains which form the iron and icy 
barrier of the far-famed valley of Mexico. The State 
of Puebla lies west of Vera Cruz, and the State of 

frightful inroads it made among our troops in the year 184T 
will long be remembered in the history of our country^ Time 
does not appear to have bad any effect on this dreadful disease. 
Increase of population and sanitary precautions do not seem to 
abate its malignity, and the science of the ablest physicians is 
entirely at fault in dealing with it." 

When I was in Vera Cruz last, an expedient had been 
adopted which was believed to be beneficial, that was, build- 
ing huge fires in the streets of the town, which were kept burn- 
ing night and day by fresh supplies of fuel. 

* The Peak of Orizaba, in the Aztec tongue " mountain of the 
star," is an extinct volcano which rises to the enormous height 
of seventeen thousand nine hundred and seven feet, and is said 
to be the highest point on the continent of North America. 
Although one hundred miles from the coast in the interior, it 
is visible fifty miles at sea, and is a prominent landmark to all 
mariners who voyage in the Gulf of Mexico. It is covered with 
perpetual snow ; no language can do justice to the beauty and 
unsurpassed loveliness of its majestic cone of silver, when glis- 
tening under the rays of the rising and setting sun. On two 
occasions while in the Tierra Caliente we thought we saw smoke 
issuing from its summit ; we might have been mistaken. 


Mexico, to which its capital gave the name, lies west 
of the State of Puebla. The State of Mexico lies 
between 16° and 21° of north latitude, and 100° and 
105° of west longitude from Paris; it is bounded on the 
north by the State of Queretaro, on the east by the 
State of Puebla, on the west by the States of Guana- 
juato and Michoacan, and on the south-west lies 
the broad Pacific Ocean and its harbor of Acapulco. 

Between the Gulf coast and the valley of Mexico, 
we have three distinct and diverse lands, with three 
several climates, and with three several names, viz. : the 
Tierras Calientes, or hot lands; the Tlei-ras Templadas, 
or temperate lands ; the Tierras Frias, or cold lands. 

Humboldt says " that the climates succeed each 
other in strata or layers as we pass from Vera Cruz to 
the capital — beholding in our varied journey the 
whole scale of vegetable life. The wdld abundance 
of vegetation on the shore of the Gulf — its beautiful 
palms whose stems are wreathed by a myriad of im- 
penetrable parasites which grow with such rank luxu- 
riance in the hot and humid air of the tropics — 
are exchanged, as we begin to rise from the level of 
the sea, for hardier forest trees. At Jalapa the air is 
milder, though the vapors from the Gulf, which con- 
centrate and condense at this height on the sides of 
the mountains, sustain the perpetual freshness of the 
verdure. Farther on, the oak and the orange give 
place to the fir and the pine. Here the rarefied air 
becomes pure, thin and perfectly transparent ; but as 
it lacks moisture, which condenses below this region, 
the vegetation is neither so luxuriant nor so con- 
stantly vigorous. Great plains or basins spread out 


in silent and melancholy vistas before the traveler — 
many of them cold, bleak, and lonely moors, whose 
dreary levels sadden the heart of the spectator. The 
sun which comes down through the cloudless medium 
of an atmosphere, unscreened by the usual curtain of 
vapor, parches and crisps the thirsty soil, whilst the 
winds, that sweep uninterruptedly over the unbroken 
expanse, till the air during the dry season with sand 
and dust." Many of the fruits and flowers, the grains 
and vegetables, the forests and the trees, the birds and 
the animals of the torrid, the temperate, and the 
frigid zones are to be found in this narrow strip of 
less than three hundred miles, lying as above de- 
scribed, between the ocean and the mountains around 
the valley of Mexico. Among the plants and fruits 
and trees which grow luxuriantly may be mentioned 
tobacco, coffee, sugar, cotton, corn, barley, wheat, 
jalap, sarsaparilla, vanilla, pineapples, oranges, cit- 
rons, lemons, pomegranates, bananas, chirim6yas, 
pears, water-melons, peaches, apricots, grapes ; among 
the trees, the mahogany, ebony, cedar, oak, tamarind, 
palm, fig, dye-woods, and near Jalapa., a mimosa, 
from which the pungent gum exudes to make the in- 
cense used in the Catholic church ceremonies. In 
one day's ride a traveler may pass through and expe- 
rience every gradation of climate, from the torrid heat 
of the Gulf coast to the icy shiver of the frigid, from 
the equatorial to the polar circle ; every zone marked 
by its own peculiar vegetation, the sugar-cane and 
the fir, the vanilla and the pine-cone, the cactus and 
the maguey. 

The Tlerras Culkntea is the home of the orange, 


the banana, the pineapple, and the innumei-able 
variety of the cactus. Here swarm countless herds of 
cattle, whose hides, tallow, and horns constitute a 
large portion of the country's commerce. Here may 
be found the Bedouins of the New World, the ranche- 
ros, — herdsmen by name, but true children of the 
desert; nomadic, brave, faithful, and attached to their 
country, thej' furnish arrieros for trade and guerill^ros 
for war. 

The Tierras Templadas is the land of the cereals, 
and the human eye never beheld such fields of bar- 
ley as we saw on the grand jolateau of Anahuac and 
in the valley of San Martin. On its eastern borders the 
sugar-cane and the orange flourish luxuriantly, whilst 
the perennial vegetation in the vicinity of Jalapa 
makes it the garden spot of the world. Tobacco and 
coffee grow side by side with the pineapple and pome- 
granate, and the smoke of the sugar manufactories 
mingles with the perfume of the mimosa and vanilla. 
Countless numbers of orange groves are interspersed 
with orchards of pineapples ; and the melon, and the 
unique chirim6ya aid in making the Department of 
Jalapa the land so long sought by Ponce de Leon, — 
the land where the dolce far niente of life may be en- 
joyed in an unrivaled climate, and amid a people 
whose nature is peace and whose habits are Arcadian. 

There is nothing to mark the Tierras Frias until, 
after ascending the eastern slopes of its rocky ftxst- 
nesses, you perceive the valley of Mexico lying at 
your feet; here is the land of flowers and the maguey, 
both indigenous, both intimately connected with the 
habits and the history, the traditions and the charac- 


ter, of the Aztec Indian race. It was here in the lake 
lying atyourfeet, that the eagle seized the serpent upon 
the cactus, and marked the spot where the wanderings 
of their people should cease ; and the beautiful flowers 
which decked the edges of these magnificent reser- 
voirs of sweet water, and which their women plucked 
with girlish admiration, are still interwoven with the 
dark locks of their descendants at this day, as they 
come in their boats laden with roses to the market- 
places of the capital. The maguey was to the Aztec 
what the cocoa-palm is to the Hindoo and the Malay. 
From its fibres thread was made ; from its bark paper, 
better than the papyrus of Egypt ; their houses were 
covered with its leaves, sewn together by the needles 
in the shape of thorns shooting out from each edge ; 
its fluid — pulque — was meat and drink, life, luxury, 
and the pursuit of happiness then to the Aztec, as 
it is now to the Mexican. 

If, instead of the cactus, the maguey were blazoned 
upon the shield of Mexico, I think perhaps they 
might have better luck. 

The three States of Vera Cruz, Puebla and Mexico 
contain about one-fourth of the whole population of the 
Eepublic, say one and a half millions of inhabitants. 
Some writers estimate the total population of Mexico 
at eight millions. I doubt this ; for from appearances 
the population has been decreasing, and this estimate 
of eight millions was based upon an increase of ten 
per cent, over a former estimate. 

I may as well give some data about Mexico, al- 
though I am only personally acquainted with the 
States of Tamaulipas, New Leon, Coahuila, Vera Cruz, 


Puebla and Mexico. It lies between 17° and 32° 
of north latitude, and 95° and 115° west longitude, 
and comprises an area of about eight hundred and 
fifty thousand square miles. Its population has 
been before referred to, and I think does not ex- 
ceed, if it equals, six millions of inhabitants. The 
States composing the federated republic are : Chiapas, 
Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, 
Mexico, Michoacan, Nueva Leon, Oajaca, Puebla, 
Qu^r^taro, San Luis Potosi, Sinalao, Sonora, Tabasco, 
Tamaulipas, Tlascala, Vera Cruz, Zacatecas, and per- 
haps Yucatan may be included, but its relations with 
the central government have been more than equivo- 
cal for some years past. 

This territory is occupied by three peoples, as dis- 
tinct, as diverse, and as strongly mai'ked in their dif- 
ference as its physical and geographical divisions : 
the Indian, the Spaniard of old Spain, and the off- 
spring of these two races, making a third, known as or 
which we should call, the Mexican. I include among 
the Spaniards the white Creoles, that is, white people 
born in the country, and the whole number does not 
exceed one million ; there are between three and four 
millions of pure-blood Indians, and the remainder of 
the population embraces all the castes and colors from 
the Mestizo, the offspring of the white father and 
Indian mother, to the Mulatto and Brown Mestizo or 
Zambo, which includes the small proportion of negro 
blood brought into the country from the neighboring 
West India Islands. 

I may have occasion hereafter to speak of the 
characteristics of each of these races. 


The religion of the country is Eoman Catholic, but 
it seemed to me that as a people they were not de- 
voted to the church ; the Indians were docile and 
bittable, but it also seemed that the story told of one 
of them shortly after the conquest was still true. He 
was reproached for his inattention to the duties of 
mother church, when he replied that the gods given 
his people by the Spaniards were doubtless very good, 
but he thought that they might have left them a. few 
of their own. 

I make no reflection against the church or its 
clergy ; they have done wonders, and wrought mar- 
vellous works in reclaiming an idolatrous jDCople from 
image worship, and the sacrifice of human beings to 
hideous stones ; yet the field remains seemingly but 
half-worked, and there is abundant room for Christian 
labor, yea, for all manner of labor looking to the wel- 
fare of our fellow-creatures. 



On the morning of the 6th of September, 1847, we 
bade farewell to the sea-breezes of the Gulf and its 
exhilarating surf-baths for nearly ten months. At 4 
o'clock A.M. we broke camp at Vergara, and at 5 our 
command took up its line of march over the sands, 
with our backs to the blazing sun ; for it is a strange 
fact that the sun is as hot a half hour after it rises 


as it is at mid-day, in this tropical region. Our backs 
were also fi'om home, and many a long lingering look 
was turned to the east, as we plodded slowly through 
the desert which environs Vera Cruz. Our force con- 
sisted of five companies of our regiment, one company 
of the Eleventh Infantry, one company of the Twelfth 
Infantry, two squadrons of Louisiana mounted men, 
and one company of United States Artillery, with two 
guns, a six-pounder and a twelve-pound howitzer. It 
was a well organized and appointed force, the whole 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel George W. 
Hughes, of our regiment. 

At noon we arrived at the village of Santa Pe, 
which had been burned at our approach, and we were 
warned by every indication that we would have to 
fight our way. We remained here for rest and re- 
organization until 5 P.M., when we resumed the march. 

As we approached the river San Juan, firing was 
commenced against us on both flanks, but without 
doing us any damage, as the guerillas were away in 
the chaparral, and their aim was uncertain. "We 
drove them back deeper into the thicket, and bivouacked 
immediately upon the stone bridge which spans the 
river, as its parapets were an excellent protection to 
the annoying fire continued at intervals during the 

September 7. At daylight resumed our march ; at 
8 o'clock had a glorious view of the Peak of Ori- 
zaba, whose lofty silver cone was tinged by the sun to 
colors as beautiful as ever charmed the eye ; it soon 
became overpoweringly oppressive and sultry, so that 
the men marched with great difficulty over the heavy 


sands ; we had to halt for several hours to refresh the 
troops ; at 5 p.m. resumed our march and discovered 
a considerable body of the enemy on the first heights 
we had seen since we left the coast; halted, made a 
reconnaissance, and I advanced with two companies of 
infantry, driving the enemy from the hills, which were 
taken possession of and held, while the cavalry was 
thrown forward toward the town which was to be 
seen at our feet. I saw the enemy leaving the town, 
and our cavalry returned and reported it as being 
entirely abandoned. 

This was the famous " Robbers' Den," as it was 
called, a noted haunt of guerillas and robbers, but 
properly named, El Paso de Ovejnfi. 

We marched into it very carefully, after crossing a 
beautiful bridge, and bivouacked in the plaza, occu- 
pying the market-house as a place d' armes. Our 
camp-fires lighted up the gloomy surroundings, and a 
more compact body of men I never before saw than 
was to be found that night in this little town. There 
was no attempt to pass beyond our line of sentries 
by either friend or foe, and the night passed quietly. 

Septemher 8. As Ave left the town we were fired 
upon with great rapidity, the firing seeming to come 
principally from the arches beneath the bridge ; I was 
with the rear-guard at the time. It was at once about- 
faced and put to firing, and this soon checked the 
demonstration. At 9 a.m. our advance guard reported 
large bodies of the enemy ahead; we still advanced, the 
enemy slowly retiring, until we reached a range of hills 
distant some two miles from the Antigua, where we 
halted. The men could go no farther, — the heat was 


fearful. We liacl to stop, or we would have had no 
command, as the men were unable to march. 

During the day, the enemy hovered around us, 
firing, and feeling us, at every step of our march, and 
after we halted they threw a volley into us, having 
approached to within less than fifty yards of our 
camp. Our escape was miraculous; not a man was 
struck. Several of the balls went through our only 
wagon, in which our colored servants were enjoying 
a lunch; their exit was so sudden that a general 
laugh followed their hasty flight to a place of greater 
security. Captain M. K. Taylor's company of rifles 
was thrown out, and the guerillas kept at a more 
respectful distance. About midnight, all lying on our 
arms, in the midst of a deluge of rain, we heard heavy 
firing in the direction of the National Bridge. Spring- 
ing up, we were totally at a loss to account for the 
firing in that direction ; the sharp challenge of our 
sentries soon brought to a halt the party upon whom 
the fire had been directed, and we learned that in 
trying to run the gauntlet of the bridge, the enemy 
had killed two of their party and two of their horses. 
All night long the firing was continued at intervals, 
and the Mexicans seemed to be in great exultation at 
the loss they had inflicted upon our cavalry. It might 
have proved a much more serious misadventure than 
it turned out. As it was, combined with the rain- 
storm which deluged our camp, and the fatigue and 
loss of sleep, our men were a good deal out of spirits. 
On this very day, there was being fought in the 
valley of Mexico a bloody battle at Molino del Rey, 
between the armies of Scott and Santa Anna, the 


result of which caused great gloom among our little 
handful of braves ; for although the Mexicans were 
driven from their defenses, it was at a frightful sacri- 
fice of life, and without any corresponding equivalent 
or advantage. Of course we were entirely ignorant 
of this, but we all felt that duty demanded every 
effort on our part to carry and hold the pass which 
we were now approaching. There was an indescriba- 
ble sense of isolation and of responsibility which was 
shared by each and every one of us. 

Septemher 9. We left our bivouac at sunrise, 
marched slowly and with flanking parties for a couple 
of hours, and came in sight of the large stone fort on 
the summit of the hill to the left of the road, and 
which overlooks the bridge and commands the road 
for a long distance on both sides of the river. We 
could see numbers of the enemy on the walls and 
parapets, waving their guns and swords by way 
of inviting an attack. This we came to do, and pre- 
parations were immediately made to take the fort, to 
drive the enemy from the surrounding heights and 
force the passage of the bridge, which was strongly 
barricaded and covered toward us by an earth-work. 

Our guns were placed in position by Lieutenant 
Fields, United States Army, and opened fire upon the 
fort ; the solid shot flew over it or were buried in its 
parapets, the shell exploded all about it, but owing to 
the elevation the artillery fire did nothing but make 
the Mexicans drop their heads below the walls as the 
missiles came towards them. Colonel Hughes now 
ordered two companies to move to the right of the 
road toward the river, and in person gave me orders 


to take three companies of our regiment, Captains 
Dolan, Barry and Brown, with fifty dismounted dra- 
goons, to endeavor to ascend the hill and take the 
fort in reverse. At the same time he gave to me a 
Mexican who had promised, for the sum of fifty dol- 
lars, to guide my detachment to a pass, and by a way 
through which we could reach the fort. I doubted 
the trustworthiness of this fellow, but he was true to 
us and proved a trusty guide in this instance. 

Dismounting from my horse, and ordering my men 
to throw off jackets and haversacks, I descended the 
slope on the left of the road, the guide at my side, 
with a full understanding that his position was a very 
delicate one ; we were soon in a sedge-grass higher 
than our heads, which fortunately concealed us from 
the enemy, who could easily overlook us from the 
fort, but they were kept close by the shot which were 
flying above us, and which we could see burying 
themselves in the fort. The heat down here was 
smothering, but we toiled noiselessly and rapidly to 
the ridge and reached a break which looked as if 
formerly a rivulet of water had poured down at this 
point. Our guide said this was the place to 
ascend. There was no time for hesitation, though 
I believed that not one half my command could 
get to the top, which was at least fifty feet from 
where we stood. There was a stout grapevine run- 
ning down this washed rut in the face of the cliff, and 
several bushes were growing with their roots in the 
earth between the foot and the crest of the height. 
I ordered the guide to mount, told him that I would 
follow, and rapidly gave my instructions to Captain 



Dolan who was at my side. The guide hesitated, said 
it was not a part of his bargain, — that all he had 
promised to do he had complied with, — had shown 
us the way to get to the rear of the fort. If we were 
now discovered where we were, we were helpless, and 
my command would have been destroyed ; and, still 
doubting the guide, I advanced arguments so forcible 
that he sjjrang to his work and I followed him to 
the top. 

Captain Dolan was next after me. By posting 
several men who held on with one hand to the bushes 
and vine, leaving the other hand free, I passed the 
musket of each soldier after him as he progressed to 
the top, and as soon as I got one company up I felt 
more relieved than words can express. It was a very 
hazardous undertaking; we could hear the voices of 
the soldiers in the fort, and every thud made by the 
solid shot striking seemed to be felt by us, so close to 
the earth were we pressed whilst climbing up the face 
of the height. In much less time than I had antici- 
pated my command was on the plateau in line, with 
the dismounted dragoons advancing as skirmishers. 
There was not width enough for the front of 
my three companies, the precipice on my left drop- 
ping down to the river at its base, and on my right, 
the hillside by which 1 had ascended fell nearly as 
abruptly but not to so great a distance. The spur 
rose rapidly toward the fort, which was built on its 
farther end, overhanging the main road to the city of 
Mexico, and looking down on the bridge which 
crossed the Antigua at this point. Beyond the river, 
on the opposite side of the road, was another and cor- 


responding height, which was likewise occupied by 
the enemy but not fortified. My command formed 
in a column of companieg, dashed forward with a 
yell, and was soon over a wall which I thought at 
first was belonging to the fort, but soon saw my 
mistake, for the main work yet loomed up fifty yards 
farther on. 

The Mexicans were completely taken by surprise ; 
our pace was rapid, we received one straggling fire 
and we were within the fort. I confess to this being 
the happiest moment of my life, for my anxiety had 
been intense. The enemy escaped by leaping over 
the walls which fronted toward the river and de- 
scended well-known paths, but concealed from us, to 
the jungle on its banks; while toiling up the height 
from the road came Major W. B. Taliaferro's com- 
panies of the Eleventh and Twelfth Infantry, firing 
as they advanced, fully believing that the Mexicans 
were still in the fort. Colonel Hughes had sent for- 
ward these companies as a diversion in my behalf, 
and it was their advance which doubtless saved me 
from a severe loss. I had but one man wounded in 
the assault, and one of the strongest natural passes 
in the country was in our possession ; the road to 
Mexico through the Tierras Calientes was never after- 
ward closed during the continuance of the war. The 
loss of this place was the death-blow to the guerilla 
system which had nigh been successful in paralyzing 
the efforts of our army. The view from the parapets 
of the fort was magnificent, and at our feet our men 
were destroying the barricades on the bridge, and the 
artillery passing with the troops. It was really a 


very interesting display, and to Colonel Hughes 
great praise is due for the admirable manner in which 
he had succeeded in the attack and capture of the 
National Bridge, which during the whole war had 
been a thorn in our flanks, and had never before been 
held by the American army. 

In the course of a couple of hours orders were got 
up to me to descend with one of the companies; 
crossing the bridge I passed through the village and 
took up my quarters with Colonel Hughes in the 
mansion of Santa Anna, which fronted the highway 
some hundred yards west of the bridge. 

In its marble-paved halls my hammock was slung, 
and side arms with horse accoutrements soon made 
things look comfortable, despite the absence of beds 
and chamber furniture. 



As early as the 6 th of May, 1847, General Scott 
wrote to Secretary Marcy : 

" Our difficulties lie in gathering in subsistence from a country 
covered with exasperated guerillas and banditti, and maintain- 
ing with inadequate garrisons and escorts communications with 
the rear." 

The following was published in the Monitor news- 
paper, in the city of Mexico : 



" The citizen Mariana Salaa, General of Brigade and Colonel 
of the Begiinent Hidalgo, to my fellow-citizens. 

"My Friends: The present movement is the most proper to 
excite the public spirit, and form a nation of men tnAy free. When 
an enemy triumphs by his union to rob us of our dearest inter- 
ests, there is nothing more sure and more certain than to van- 
quish him by valor and constancy. For this end I have obtained 
permission to raise a guerilla corps, with which to attack and 
destroy the invaders in every manner imaginable. The conduct 
of the enemy, contrary both to humanity and natural rights, 
authorizes us to pursue him without pity. War without pity unto 
death! will be the motto of the guerilla warfare of vengeance. 
Therefore I invite all my fellow-citizens, especially my brave 
subordinates, to unite at general headquarters to enrol them- 
selves, from nine until three in the afternoon, so that it may be 
organized in the present week. 

" JosB Makiana Salas. 

"Hexioo, April 21, 1847." 

On the 4th of June, 1847, General Scott wrote : 

"It is ascertained that any sick or wounded men left in the 
road, or in small villages, would be certainly murdered by guerilla 
parties, rancheros or banditti. And I am not absolutely certain 
that threats of punishment will render our hospitals safe, even 
in large cities. Explain, to all, the rules of war in such cases. 
Military hospitals are universally regarded by civilized enemies 
as sacred." 

On the 19th of July, 1847, the Secretary of War 
wrote to General Scott : 

" The difficulties to be encountered on the route to the interior 
have rendered it necessary to detain the successive detachments 
at Vera Cruz, until concentrated in sufficient force to take up the 
line of march for your headquarters. The breaking up of our 
post at Jalapa appears to have greatly increased the diEQculties 


of our communications with the interior of the country. Efforts 
are making to raise several mounted companies of acclimated 
men at New Orleans and in that region, principally for the pur- 
pose of having them employed at Vera Cruz to protect the pub- 
lic property at that place, and to defend it, and to clear the route 
into the interior, of the guerillas who infest and obstruct it." 

Again General Scott wrote : 

" It is the universal opinion of well-informed persons in this 
country that troops may land at Vera Cruz, and by marching 
promptly reach the healthy region, with little or no loss from 
disease, as late as some time in June;* whereas even Mexicans 
of the upper country would suffer greatly in a week, by a visit 
to the Tierra Caliente. General Santa Anna is at present at 
Cordova or Orizaba, endeavoring to create a new army of irregu- 
lars. Other generals are also endeavoring to prepare for a guer- 
illa war upon our detachments, trains and stragglers, and they 
may, without great precautions on our part, do much harm in 
the aggregate. Our dangers and difficulties are all in the rear, 
between this place (Jalapa) and Vera Cruz : 1st. The season of 
the year, heat ; and, below Cerro Gordo, sand and disease. 2d. An 
impossibility (almost) of establishing any intermediate post, say 
at the National Bridge, or any other point, on account of disease, 
and the want of sufficient supplies within easy reach. 3d. The 
danger of having our trains cut and destroyed by the exasper- 
ated rancheros. And 4th. The consequent necessity of escorting 

"The yellow fever at Vera Cruz, and on the road fifty miles 
this way (Jalapa), may soon cut us off from our depot. Deep 
sand, disease, and bands of guerillas constitute difficulties. 

" Within the distance of fifty miles from Vera Cruz I doubt 
whether I can hazard a depot or garrison (from fear of the fever)." 

In a letter to Lieutenant Semnies, of the navy, 
General Scott wrote from Jalapa : 

* We arrived in August. 


" The difficulty of seuding forward a flag of truoe at this time 
with communications to the Mexican government, if there be a 
competent government anywhere, consists in the necessity of 
protecting the flag by a large escort against rancheros or banditti, 
who infest the road all the w^ay to the capital, and who rob and 
murder even w^ouuded Mexican officers returning on parole to 
their friends." 

On the 1st of September, 1847, Secretary Marcy 
wrote to General Scott : 

" The last communication received from you here is dated at 
PuebJa, on the 4th of June. No doubt is entertained that the 
difficulties of communication with Vera Cruz have produced this 
long interruption in your correspondence with the department." 

And on the 6th of October, 1847, the Secretary of 
War wrote to General Scott : 

" The guerilla system which has been resorted to by the 
Mexicans is hardly recognized as a legitimate mode of warfare, 
and should be met with the utmost allowable severity. Not only 
those embodied for the purpose of carrying out that system, but 
those who at any time have been engaged in it, or who have 
sustained, sheltered, and protected them, are much less entitled 
to favorable consideration than the soldiers in the ranks of the 
regular Mexican army. They should be seized or held as pris- 
oners of war, and sent to the United States if it is not convenient 
to hold them. Their haunts and places of rendezvous should 
be broken up and dcstroj'ed. Those implicated in the murder of 
non-combatants, or in robbery and plunder, should be subjected 
to a severer treatment." 

The nature of the country in this Tierra Caliente 
greatly favored the guerilla system ; for miles from 
the Gulf coast the road was over deep sands, through 
sand-hills and chaparral, and our men marched 
slowly, distressed by the intense heat which pre- 
vailed. The Antigua River, finding its sources in the 


Cordilleras, which fringe the western border of the 
State of Vera Cruz, runs nearly an eastern course to 
the Gulf of Mexico, emptying into the latter about 
forty miles north of the city of Vera Cruz, at the old 
town of Antigua, founded by the companions of 
Cortez. Stretching out on either bank for some dozen 
miles, there is a district of strictly tropical vegetation, 
a dense jungle of nearly impenetrable forest foliage. 
The river and the noble stone bridge which spans it, 
with the surrounding heights, was a formidable mili- 
tary position ; the jungle was a sure refuge in danger, 
and a still better lurking place from which to emerge 
for sudden attack. Thoroughly acquainted with all 
the by-ways among the sand-hills and the trails 
through the wilderness of cane and vine and cacti of 
the jungle, they would pounce upon our troops, dis- 
charge an unexpected volley of balls in their midst, 
and if successful in producing a stampede, would 
plunder and set fire to the wagon or mule-train of 
supplies. If unsuccessful in their first assault, they 
generally withdrew, being lost to view in a few min- 
utes, and their vicinity only known by the dropping 
shots into our ranks, fired from a distance, but suffi- 
cient to harass and annoy the weary men toiling 
through the burning sands. Their chief haunts were 
at El Paso de Ovejas and the National Bridge, where 
they were in considerable force under three of their 
famous leaders, Chico (or little) Mendoza, Zenobio, 
and the Priest Padre Jarauta. It was these bands 
that attacked us, and that we drove from the occu- 
pancy of their strongholds. 




Ui' to tlio 6th day of October, 1847, the War De- 
partiiu'iit was not in receipt of nny hater dispatches 
from General Scott than those dated at Puebla, June 
4tli. At this date, October 6th, however, the gov- 
ernment had learned of the operations at Contreras 
and of the success of our arms in the battle at that 
place. It is interesting to know the views of the 
administration at this epoch, and we have the whole 
history in two letters from the War Department at 
Washington; the one dated September 1, 1847, 
written by the Honorable John Y. Mason, acting 
Secretary of War, the other dated October 6, 1847, 
and written by the Secretary himself. Both of these 
gentlemen were very able men, and this consideration 
gives additional weight to the fact that they were the 
accredited organs of our government and supposed to 
speak its views. 

They were both addressed to General Scott, and the 
first is as follows : 

" Waii DicrAKTMKNT, Poptcniboi' 1, 18-17. 

"Sm, — In the tompoi'nry nliscnco of (lie Soci-etary oT War, 
caused by sickness, tlio rrusidont has reinicsU'd mo to take 
chai'go of this dopai'tnient. 

"Fi'OMi infornialldii which has reached us, it is supposed that 
you comnionced your forward niovcuient on the city of Mexico 


on the 7tli (of June), and it is confidently believed that you are 
now in possession of the enemy's capital.* 

" The obstinate persistence of the ^[exicans to treat, their 
utter disregard to the rules of civilized warfare, and the large 
expenditures we are compelled to make, have impressed on the 
President the firm conviction that those rights of exacting con- 
tribution from the enemy which are conferred ou a belligerent 
by the acknowledged law of nations should be exercised. Tour 
remarks in your dispatch, dated at Jalapa, May 20, 1S4';, have 
been carefnllv observed. Your circumstances are since materially 
changed ; and if, as we doubt not, you have triumphantly en- 
tered the city of Mexico, the President directs me again to call 
your attention to the dispatch of the 3d of April last, a copy of 
which is here inclosed. 

"The property-holders of ^Mexico have no claim to find in the 
market afforded by sales to our army an actual pecuniary benefit 
resulting- from the war. They must be made to feel its evils; 
and it is earnestly hoped and expected that you will not find, in 
your present circumstances, a necessity to adhere to your opinion, 
that a resort to forced contributions will exasperate and ruin the 
inhabitants and starve the army. Contributions may be exacted 
from cities or states or wealthy individuals, and payment made 
for provisions and other supplies brought to the camp or col- 
lected in kind. It is not improbable that men of wealth and 
means nia}- profess to belong mainly to the peace party; and 
it may be apprehended that they will be driven from their 
pacific position by coercive proceedings. But, however such an 
eft'ect may be apprehended, it is more probable that their exer- 
tions to promote a termination of the war will be made more 
serious and efficient when they feel the oppressive evils of the 
state of war. Judging from the cruelties and atrocities which 
are reported in different parts of Mexico to have been inflicted 
by the ^[exicans whenever an opportunity presents itself on a 
single soldier or a weaker party, there is no hope of their recip- 
rocating kind, generous, or humane exercise of the rights of war 

* This was far from the fact, and I am inclined to think that 
Mr. Mason only hojjed so. 


oa our part ; and, without retaliating sucli disg-raceful atrocities 
in kiud, every dictate of duty to ourselves requires that we shall 
not abstaiu from the exercise of our right of exaction from the 

" The mode of exercising this right is, and must be, left to your 
discretion ; but it is earnestly hoped that you will put the system 
into operation to the utmost practicable extent. The safety and 
subsistence of the troops under j'our command will, of course, 
not be placed in jeopardy by the desire to enforce this system if 
you find that in its exercise such a result will follow. 

" Very respectfullj', j'our obedient servant, 
" John Y. Masox, 
" Acting Secretary of Wai'." 

Ml'. Marcy's letter is as follows : 

"War Dei'Aktmext, 
'• AYashingtox, October 6, 1847. 

:i* * ^ 5|c :(; ^ ^ 

" Accounts upon which reliance is placed have recently reached 
us that the negotiations for peace have terminated unsuccessfully, 
and that hostilities recommenced on the 8th or 9th ultimo (Sep- 
tember). We have also the gratifying intelligence that you have 
succeeded in capturing the city of ^Mexico, and are waiting with 
deep anxiety for the particulars of your operations up to and 
including that important event. 

"The terms insisted on b_v Mexico, on which only she will 
consent to conclude a peace (which also have been received 
here), are so extravagant and inadmissible that there is no alter- 
native left but to prosecute the war. 

"It is quite evident that the authorities of Mexico would not 
present and insist upon, as a basis for peace, terms which could 
not be entertained for a moment by us without national dishonor, 
were they not encouraged to continue tlie war by that portion of 
the population as well as others upon which the burdens of the 
war ought to fall, and upon which, in the further prosecution of 
it, they must be made to fall as the only means now left of bring- 
ing it to a close. Wo have hitherto been far more forbearing 


than is customary io exercising the extreme and even some of 
the ordinary rights of belligerents. It is now evident that our 
leniency has not been appreciated nor reciprocated, but, on the 
contrary, has been repaid with bad faith and barbarity, and it is 
only met by a blind obstinacy and a reckless determination to 
prolong the conflict. 

" However unwilling we maybe to modify our humane policy, 
a change now seems to be required even by the considerations 
of humanity. We must take the best measures within the 
clearly-admitted course of civilized warfare, to beget a disposi- 
tion in the people of Mexico to come to an adjustment upon fair 
and honorable terms. It should be borne in mind that the people 
of Mexico, indulging, as it is evident they do, the most hostile 
feelings, are not less parties to the war tlian the Mexican army; 
and as a means of peace they must be made to feel its evils. 

" The guerilla system which has been resorted to is hardly 
recognized as a legitimate mode of warfare, and should be met 
with the utmost allowable severity. Not only those embodied 
for the purpose of carrying out that system, but those who at 
any time have been engaged in it, or who have sustained, shel- 
tered, and protected them, are much less entitled to favorable 
consideration than the soldiers in the ranks of the regular Mexi- 
can army. They should be seized and held as prisoners of war, 
and sent to the United States if it is not convenient to hold 
them. Their haunts and places of rendezvous should be broken 
up and destroyed. Those implicated in the murder of non- 
combatants, or in robbery and plunder, should be subjected to a 
severer treatment. Independent of restraints, etc., upon their 
persons, all their property and effects within our reach should 
be unhesitatingly seized and devoted to public use. In relation 
to other prisoners and officers I refer you to my dispatch of 
May 31st. 

" Permit me to invite your attention to the dispatch from this 
department of the 1st ultimo (a copy of which is herewith sent), 
and urge the suggestions therein contained upon your particular 
consideration. The burden of sustaining our forces in Mexico 
must be thrown, to the utmost extent, upon the people of that 
country ; its resources should be resorted to in every manner 


consistent with the usages of civilized war for that purpose, and 
it is hoped that your situation is such as will warrant you in 
making this resort, at least to the extent required for the sup- 
port of our army. The men of means who have willingly con- 
tributed aid to support the Mexican army should be forced to 
contribute to the support of ours. 

Without a particular knowledge of your situation, of the 
available force you now have at your command, or of the resist- 
ance the enemy are still capable of making, nothing more than 
suggestions, in regard to your future proceedings, will be sub- 
' mitted for your consideration. 

" I need not urge upon you the adoption of all measures 
necessary for holding the city of Mexico and the principal places 
between that city and Vera Cruz. To open and keep open the 
way between these two cities would seem to be required for 
holding securely what is already conquered and for future opera- 
tions. For this purpose a considerable increase of your force, 

it is presumed, will be indispensable 

" With this augmentation of strength, it is 

hoped that you will be able to accomplish not only the objects 
before indicated (should you deem them preferable to others), but 
to carry on further aggressive operations, to achieve new con- 
quests, to disperse the remaining army of the enemy in your 
vicinity, and prevent the organization of another. Left, as you 
are, to your own judgment as to your military operations, the 
fullest confidence is entertained that you will conduct them in 
the most effective way to bring about the main and ultimate 
object of the war, namely, to induce the rulers and people of 
Mexico to desire and consent to such terras of peace as we have 
a right to ask and expect. 

" Should they offer through you terms of accommodation, or 
propose to enter on negotiations, the President directs that such 
propositions be forwarded without delay to him ; but it is not 
expected that your movements or measures for carrying on 
hostilities will be thereby relaxed, or in anywise changed. 

"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient ser- 

"W. L. Makct, Secretary of "War. 
"Major-General WiNriELD Scott, 

" Commanding United States Army, Mexico." 




We were in full occupancy of the pass, but our 
active foe gave us little rest; by day and by night< 
the report of firearms was heard, accompanied by the 
ringing of metal through the air, and we were not less 
active. In fact, there was a busy time about the 
National Bridge, and the kind of warfare waged on 
both sides was entirely opposite to all my feelings. 
This was uncongenial work to me. The system 
inaugurated against us was the apology for our 
course ; but it never met with the approval of my 
judgment, and at the earliest opportunity I made 
known my sentiments with regard to it. But I am 

To return to my journal. 

September 13, 1847. We were under arms all last 
night, hearing, at intervals, heavy firing, which ap- 
peared not far from us, and not knowing which way 
to move, as we could not locate the whereabouts of 
the contest, the windings of the river and nature of 
the country carrying sound in varied reverberating 
echoes. We had to wait until we knew where to strike. 
At 10 A.M. to-day a train of thirty wagons arrived, 
escorted by about five hundred recruits, under Cap- 
tain Heintzelman, Second Infantry, United States 
Army. He had been attacked where we had been, 


at El Paso de Oveja.?, and, less fortunate than we, 
had lost one man killed and one wounded. This 
was the firing which we had heard. He had had a 
lively time on his way up. As his harassed troops 
threw themselves on the ground in front of our quar- 
ters, a musket was accidentally, discharged, and two 
of the men severely wounded. I was struck with the 
absolute indifference with which this mishap was 
treated by the comrades of the wounded men. About 
sundown an odd-looking vehicle — an antique family 
carriage — hove in sight, drawn by any number of 
mules. It contained the family of the Seilor Don 
Antonio de Maria Campos, which had the requisite 
permission to leave the country. We gave up to 
the ladies two of our rooms and made much of the 

Septemler 14. Senor Campos and family left this 
morning. One of our companies scouting to day lost 
one man by drowning in crossing the Antigua River, 
and Lieutenant Thom, of the Eleventh Infantry, was 
wounded. The priest of the neighboring country came 
into camp, waving a white handkerchief. I admitted 
hira, and learned from him his business, which was to 
procure the release of one of our prisoners. 

September 16. A great many of our men are sick, 
and the duty upon all of us who are well is very heavy. 
We don't know what rest is. To-day Colonel Hughes 
issued an order turning over the command to me, as 
he was too sick to continue on duty ; the heat and 
over-exertion had broken him down. Lieutenant 
Newby, of the Second Regiment of Illinois Volun- 
teers, died at 9 o'clock p.m., from the yellow fever con- 


tracted at Vera Cruz ; it was a case which, when once 
seen, would leave no doubt of what was meant by the 
black vomit. 

Septemher 17. I issued the following order: 

" Headquarters U. S. Troops, 
". PuENTE Nacional, September 17, 1847. 
" Orders.'] 

" I. It becomes the painful duty of the commanding officer to 
announce the death of Lieutenant H. B. Newby, of the Second 
Regiment Illinois Volunteers, who died last night of vomito con- 
tracted at Vera Cruz. The deceased, though separated from his 
brother ofBcers and friends, had every attention and medical aid 
furnished him which this post could supply, and by none will 
his death be more regretted than by his brother volunteer officers 
from the District of Columbia and State of Maryland. 

"II. Captain Lawrence Dolan, of Company C, District of Col- 
umbia and Maryland Regiment of Volunteers, is hereby detailed 
to take charge of the funeral escort, and to cause to be paid to 
the remains of the deceased the usual military honors. 

"By command John R. Kenly, Major 
" D. C. and M'd. Regt. Comd'g. 

"James Si'eele, First Lieut, and Adj't." 

His remains were interred in the north-east corner 
of the court-yard of Santa Anna's hacienda. 

September 22. A train got through and reached 
us this morning, escorted by some sixteen hundred 
men under Brigadier-General Lane. It was attacked 
at El Paso de Ovejas, and, among others, Lieutenant 
Klein of the Louisiana mounted men was killed. His 
body was brought to my post and excited great inter- 
est; there was an unmistakable smile on his pallid 
countenance; there was something of fascination 
about it, so much so that you felt indisposed to leave 
the body. He was a large man, and had been shot 


through the head, the ball making but a small orifice 
in the forehead where he was hit; and his features 
were as regular, and his expression as pleasant, as if 
he were dreaming of home and of those whom he 
loved. Groups continued around the corpse until it was 
enveloped in a blanket and buried in the earth. He 
was buried by a detail from General Lane's command. 

September 25. Before leaving, General Lane re- 
viewed all the troops now concentrated at this point; 
the heat was blistering, and ill-health and ill-humor 
sat upon the countenances of many. In the evening 
immense flocks of parrots flew over our camp, going 
in a north-westerly direction. They invariably fly in 
pairs; among the tens of thousands that went screech- 
ing and palavering in the air each pair was notice- 
able ; if there were an odd one, a bachelor or a spin- 
ster, it might be distinguished on the flanks of the 
main body of couples. After night-fall, the perfume 
of the vanilla is very observable in the miasma which 
rises like a fog from the rank vegetation. This fog 
is dense, humid, and unpleasant to all one's sensibili- 
ties ; you feel that there is poison in its vapors ; our 
sick list shovFS its power, and the mounds of upturned 
earth, its effects upon the troops. I would single out 
this place for its unhealthfulness, as the most to be 
dreaded, not excepting Chagres, on the Isthmus, in 
North America. 

September 27. An express reached us to-night from 
above, bringing the extraordinary intelligence that 
General Santa Anna was in the vicinity of Puebla, 
the garrison of which had been driven into the cita- 
del by the inhabitants, and that a general stampede 




existed among the American troops. We had noticed 
during the day that the firing had been more continu- 
ous than usual, and I had held back the scouting par- 
ties. Colonel Hughes was again in command, and at 
the urgent request of General Lane he sent to his 
assistance the commands of Major Taliaferro, McCoy, 
and Captain Simmonds,* which left us in the midst 
of all this excitement with but four companies of our 
regiment to hold the bridge, and but two companies 
occupying the fort on the heights. This was a very 
anxious night ; T can safely say no one slept, and 
from the Colonel commanding to the cooks, the con- 
dition of affairs above and below was the sole subject 
of conversation. 

Seplember 28. An American and a young Mexican 
officer arrived to-day from above (Jalapa), bringing a 
confirmation of the report that Santa Anna was at 
Puebla, and the, to us, astounding intelligence, that 
General Scott had fought another bloody battle and' 
had entered the city of Mexico. The reader will bear 
in mind that this was the first intimation we had 
that Scott was in the enemy's capital. But what was 
Santa Anna doing at Puehla ? The solution of this 
question at this time was beyond my military genius, 
and I gave it up in despair, only after worrying myself 
nearly sick in the efforts I made to understand it. 

September 29. If you ever saw a beehive over- 
turned, an uncommon degree of activity moves the 
busy bee ; imagine a half dozen hives rudely upset, 

* McCoy and Sinimonds had been left by General Lane to 
strengthen the post at the National Bridge. 


and instead of bees, guerillas were the occupants ; 
then you can picture the buzz that was now about 
our post from the swarms of exasperated Mexicans, 
who, maddened by the loss of their capital, threw 
themselves on the line of Scott's communications. 
Whilst at breakfast this morning, a bullet passed over 
our table and buried itself in the wall; it was not 
safe to venture from shelter, and serious apprehen- 
sions existed that we would be unable to get water 
without the sacrifice of life, as our only supply was 
from the Antigua River in rear of the hacienda. A 
system of signals was devised to communicate with 
the fort, and during the day I got up the six-pound 
cannon to the top of the building in which we were 
quartered, and planted the twelve-pound howitzer in 
the piazza which ran around it. We concentrated 
our force in and around the building, grenelled the 
walls, and if we could only get water and rations we 
were going to hold on for some time, at least. 

A little before this time, there had reached us from 
Vera Cruz two young officers of the army, endeavor- 
ing to join their regiments with General Scott. Not 
being able to go farther, they joined our command 
temporarily; their names were Lieutenants Ambrose 
E. Burnside and John Gibbon.* These gentlemen were 
ol material assistance to us, cheerfully laboring to in- 
struct and drill the troops, and upon all occasions 
showing such zeal and alacrity in the performance of 
duty, as to inspire in our officers a noble emulation, 

* Major-Generals, both of them, in the war for the main- 
tenance of the Union. 


to equal the example which the Military Academy 
at West Point had thus placed as frontlets before 
their eyes. 

October 1. The courier of the British Legation, 
Captain John Bernand, an old cavalry officer of the 
Peninsular army, who rides post between the capital 
and Vera Cruz, for his legation, came in last evening 
from above, and although very careful in what he 
said, told me he had seen Santa Anna at Puebla ; that 
Scott's army was in the city of Mexico, and the whole 
country in his rear swarming with armed Mexicans, 
who had escaped the defeat of their armies in the 

We are still fortifying this building, raising the 
parapets on the roof with bags filled with sand, and 
strengthening the palisade fence which surrounds the 
hacienda with chevaux de frise ; it is the opinion of 
the prisoners that we will soon be attacked in force 
and driven out or captured. Vei-emos. 

We may be starved out, for we are now living upon 
ship-biscuijt (hard-tack) and beans, this is all we have 
of any kind of food ; it is healthy, if not savory. The 
news we have heard, and the rumors on the lips of 
all, are meat and drink ; and the very uncertainty 
which prevails as to each and everything, — whether 
this be true, or that but a rumor, — keeps us on the qui 
vive and out of the hospital. 

They say that Colonel Childs is having a rough 
time in Puebla, and as soon as he is routed our turn 
will come ; that Scott hemmed in at Mexico is in 
worse plight than if he had been repulsed in his 
attack ; and that the loss of the national capital has 


united all classes and factions to a prolonged war of 

October 8. There is no further intelligence from 
above; the guerillas have been quiet for the past 
few days, rumor saying that they are being concen- 
trated on the Orizaba Road. We are in the most 
intense anxiety to hear from Puebla and the fate of 
General Lane's column, which moved to the support 
of Colonel Childs, beleaguered at that city. We have 
abnndoned all ideas of peace unless it be made by our 
Congress. We can get no particulars of the last bat- 
tles at the city of Mexico, nor of what is transpiring 
there or elsewhere ; rumors reach us that Tilgh- 
man's battery is en route from Baltimore to join us. 
Would that it were here ! 

October 12. A Frenchman arrived to-night at our 
post from the city of Mexico. He says that General 
Scott's force in the city is considered in a precarious 
situation, being reduced by his losses in the late bat- 
tles to six thousand effective men ; that the Mexican 
Congress will disband ; that he saw Santa Anna at 
Puebla, but he was without artillery and his troops 
dissipated ; that General Lane had arrived and our 
people had now no apprehensions ; that the whole 
country was in a dreadful condition, and that Jalapa 
had been entered by robbers and guerillas who plun- 
dered all those said to be friendly to the Americans, 
many of the same unfortunates having been hereto- 
fore punished by our troops for furnishing the guerillas 

* These were the rumors current at the time, and serve to 
illustrate the actual condition of atfairs. 


with supplies and munitions of war; and finally that 
anarchy reigned supreme in the capital, there being 
not even the semblance of a government anywhere. 
I really felt sorry for the poor Mexicans ; their condi- 
tion is deplorable. 

October 16. Scouting to-day, my horse fell, and I 
with him, into a pit which looked to nie like the cellar 
of one of our city houses ;* neither of us were much 
hurt, but it required a good deal of labor to get us up 
again. The heat in this chaparral I lack language to 
describe; it radiated from the sands and danced about 
in front of you, impalpable but visible, like hideous 
phantoms of a diseased brain. We were glad enough 
to get again under the shelter of our hacienda when 
night brought to a close the labors of the day. 

October 29. The English minister, Mr. Bankhead, 
arrived to-night en route to embark at Vera Cruz for 
home ; an escort had been furnished him in Jalapa 
by the Mexicans, as they were in full possession of 
that city; and as the cavalcade approached I had 
directed, in obedience to orders from Colonel Hughes, 
that a salute should be fired. Whether by accident 
or design (I judge the latter), the non-commissioned 
olficer in charge of the squad had trained the gunf on 
the crest of the ridge over which the road dipped as 
it descended to the bridge. As soon as the cortege 

* I read, after I had returned home, in Mr. Brantz Mayer's 
interesting book, that there were ruins of au ancient Aztec tem- 
ple within a couple of leagues of the National Bridge, and I had 
no doubt that it was these ruins I had fallen among; how I 
regretted I was ignorant of this when at the Bridge ! 

f It was the gun which was mounted on the lop of the hacienda. 


appeared the gun was disohnrgod, and that Avns the 
hist of the escort ; wo had no very good name before 
this, but fixnn one end of the Tierra Caliente to the 
other it was soon known that we had not hesitated 
to fire on the British fh\a;. It was a very hidicrous 
affiiir, and no one enjoyed it more than Mr. Bankhead. 
He was accompanied by a considerable number of 
Mexican families who were fleeing from the country 
under the shelter of his official protection. Under 
instructions. Colonel Hughes provided him with an 
escort to the coast; Captains Pairchild and Biscoe,witli 
their respective companies of Louisiana mounted men, 
doing that duty to the satisfaction of tlie minister. I 
will mention here, and have no reason to doubt the 
truth of the story, for I hear^ it froiii one of the 
party, that whilst at Jalapa, after his escort had been 
provided, the minister had to pay five hundred doUai-s 
to the chief of one of tlie guerilla bands for j>f'*-?;)>,<vs*o» 
to reach our post through his district. I was glad to 
learn from Mr. Bankhead that our sick which had 
been unavoidably left at Jalapa had not been ill- 
treated by the guerillas, being only compelled to give 
their paroles not to ser\c again during the war or until 
duly exchanged. 

It will be borne in mind that we were literally in 
a .state of siege ; it wa^s only when the siege was 
raised by the aiTival of a body of troops sufficiently 
strong to fight its Avay successfully through, or the 
departiu-e and return of our own mounted men. that 
we had communication with the outside world. We 
were surrounded by the guerillas, who gaw us but 
little quiet, yet wh(^e desultory firing annoyed with- 


out doing us much harm ; they were in sufficient 
numbers to render it necessary to organize a consider- 
able force at Vera Cruz before marching into the inte- 
rior, and to keep us on the alert to hold the bridge. 
This Ave had done successfully for nearly two months, 
and had swept the country from the Cerro Gordo 
Pass to the San Juan River, north and south of the 
main road. A period was approaching, when we 
were to be relieved from the unpleasant and danger- 
ous field of duty in which I had been so unwiUingly 
compelled to act, and no wearied sentry ever hailed 
the approach of a relief with more pleasure, than I 
did the prospect of leaving this post. 



Our sentries and outlying pickets were instructed 
to recognize the holding up or waving anything white 
as a token of peace, and under proper precautions to 
suffer the party to approach our lines for intercourse. 
Scarcely a day passed in which women were not per- 
mitted to come into camp to visit the prisoners, under 
the white flag, nnd I can say positively, that I never 
knew or never heard of a woman being treated rudely 
or unkindly by us, who came in under this flag. 

On the 3d of November a woman was brought to 
our headquarters who had come into camp in this 
way : she said that what she had to say was important 


and confidential. She told us that the guerillas were 
tired of the war, and wanted to know if two of them 
were to approach our lines under a flag of truce, w^ould 
we receive them and permit them to return "free 
and unharmed." 

My relations with Colonel Hughes were intimate 
and friendly from first to last ; we were alone with 
the woman when I interpreted the substance of what 
she had said, and we both saw at once the importance 
of this overture, and the probable consequences which 
might flow from it. Our intimacy was such, and we 
shared each other's confidence so fully, that a few 
words between us sufficed to determine our plan. 

We answered that she might assure any two un- 
armed Mexicans that they could enter our lines in 
the daytime, and depart when it pleased them, with 
the usual reservation not to communicate anything 
which might prove prejudicial to us ; that we would 
send an officer with her to receive the flag at our 
picket-post, and escort the bearers to headquarters. 

In the course of the afternoon of the same day, 
the flag came in, and with it two officers of Jarauta's 
band. They were both white men, well-looking, and 
well appareled in the uniform of Mexican officers of 
the fine. One of them I think was a Frenchman, as 
it was in the French tongue we communicated, this 
language being more easy for me to speak than the 
Spanish. They told us that the guerillas were tired 
of the war, as there appeared to be no national resist- 
ance to our arms ; that they had been fighting us for 
months without any result, and they could see none 
as long as we could continue to send additional 


troops into the field ; that the country was being de- 
vastated to no purpose, and that the capital having 
fallen, they could find nothing to encourage them in 
the future. They told us that they belonged to 
Jarauta's band, and named the chiefs of other bands 
with whom they federated for general purposes, but 
with whom they were not very closely allied, and 
they could not, nor were they authorized to say what 
might be their action hereafter; but they believed 
that if we could agree upon terms with the padre, 
that his voice would control their future course. 

Colonel Hughes told them the terms upon which we 
would receive their submission, and as the officer said 
that the padre only understood Spanish, I sat down 
and framed the following communication, which I now 
copy from the original sent to Jarauta. 

As I had no grammar with me, the Spanish scholar 
must not criticise it too closely. 

"El Senor Jarauta habiendo enviado una proposicion il saber 
sobre cuales tenninos se le vecibiria; este es para garantizar la 
seguridad corapleta de su persona y la de sus oficiales y solda- 
dos y sus propriedades, con la condicion quo se rinden sujetos a 
la disposicion del General Scott. 

" Ea cualquiera ev^nto, sus vidas y propriedades del seiior 
Jarauta, los de sus oficiales y sus soldados estaran solemnamente 

" PuENTE Nacional, 3d November 1847." 

These terms were, that if Jarauta would surren- 
der, together with his officers and men, they would 
be guaranteed the complete security of person and 
property, subject, however, to the orders of General 
Scott, as Hughes had no orders or instructions to 


make terms with the guerillas, but neither of us had 
the shadow of a doubt but that our action would be 
approved. For greater security, however, to those 
who might surrender under this pledge, I added the 
concluding paragraph, " That under any contingency 
(should they surrender) their lives and their property 
should be solemnly respected." 

After the delivery of this paper, which they as- 
sured us would be accepted by the padre, and, with a 
smile, they said hy many others, we parted in the best 
of humors, and full of hopes. 

Our arrangement was, that at 3 o'clock the next 
afternoon, the 4th instant, we were to get an answer 
at the same picket where we had received their flag. 

November 4. During the morning, we learned that 
a column of troops was approaching from Vera Cruz, 
and might be expected at any moment. Here was a 
dilemma ; for the war might recommence along the 
entire line at any moment ; and our honor was in- 
volved in the pledge given to Jarauta, which he might 
accept, and coming in under it, might — and itwas quite 
possible — be attacked by our troops, ignorant of the 
terms granted. We felt very awkward and uneasy all 
the morning ; at 3 p.ii. our officer was at the picket, 
and punctuall}^ came the same Mexican officers ; 
again conducted to our quarters, they brought us the 
gratifying intelligence that Padre Jarauta had agreed 
to and accepted our terms, and that he was at that 
moment but a short distance outside of our lines, await- 
ing their return to come in person into our camp. 

It may be, and the chances are many against its 
probability, that no one will ever read these lines who 


is acquainted with the facts I have narrated and am 
about to write, yet I cannot resist the sense of right 
and justice which drives me nolens volens to speak. 

We were in the full height of mutual congratula- 
tions, at the end of the guerilla war, — for this, if it 
had been consummated, would have ended it at least 
upon our line, — when an orderly announced the ar- 
rival of the commanding officer of the troops en route. 

Colonel Hughes hurried to meet him at the gate of 
the hacienda, and soon he came into the hall where 
our staff was entertaining the Mexican officers. 
Hughes was explaining the business to the general 
when they entered, and I saw at a glance something 
was wrong. 

The first words uttered in reply to my presentation 
were, " Tell them that if I catch Jarauta I will hang 
him to the highest tree in the Tierra Caliente." 
These words and this language are yet ringing in my 
ears ; there is not a letter, much less a syllable, added 
to or taken from the sentence. 

The language needed no interpretation ; but it is a 
pleasure to say that those Mexicans left our lines in 
safety ; and the warm grasp of the hand, the up- 
lifted cap, bade a final adieu without the utterance 
of a word. 

The Thirteenth Regiment of United States Infantry, 
Colonel Echols, having been ordered to relieve us, we 
left the post on the 5th of November, and marched to 
reinforce General Scott. 




It will be borne in mind that at the time of our 
arrival at Vera Cruz, on the 24th of August, all was 
suspense and anxiety about the fate of our ariny, as 
no authentic information had been received from 
General Scott for several weeks. It was not until 
the night of September 1st that we learned of his 
success in the first battle fought in the valley of 
Mexico, and we must now glance at things past and 
present essential to a proper understanding of the 

Although the battle of Cerro Gordo was fought on 
the 17th of April, 1847, no battle was fought between 
the two armies of American and Mexican troops until 
the 19th day of August following, when Scott struck 
Santa Anna a powerful blow, at Contreras, in the 
valley of Mexico. 

To explain this delay in the advance of our army 
less than two hundred miles toward the capital in 
four months, would be to write a very interesting 
history, and it would be as difficult to write as it 
would be interesting to read. There was ill-feeling 
between the general-in-chief and the government. 
Instructions had been given him to impose a tariff 
for revenue, and a schedule of articles of trade to be 
admitted at such ports or places as might be at any 
time in his military possession, was furnished him. 


with such rates of duty, as well also upon tonnage, 
as would produce the greatest amount of revenue. 
The enforcement of this tariff was not all that was 
imposed upon him. He was informed, that it was 
expected of hitri to exercise all the acknowledged 
rights of a belligerent, for the purjDOse of shifting the 
burden off from ourselves ujDon the Mexicans. 

"The right of an army operating in an enemy's country to 
seize supplies, to forage, and to occupy such buildings, private 
as well as public, as may be required for quarters, hospitals, 
storehouses, and other military purposes, without compensation 
therefor, cannot be questioned ; and it is expected that you will 
not forego the exercise of this right to any extent compatible 
with the interest of the service upon which you are engaged."* 

The general was sadly in want of money for present 
purposes, yet these imposed military contributions 
were foreign to his nature, habits, and military train 
of thought. He openly expressed a desire to be re- 
lieved trom the command of the army, and on the 
20th of May, 1847, wrote as follows to the Secretary 
of War : 

" If it is expected at Washington, as is now apprehended, that 
this army is to support itself by forced contributions levied upon 
the country, we may ruin and exasperate the inhabitants and 
starve ourselves ; for it is certain they would sooner remove or 
destroy the products of their farms than allow them to fall into 
our hands without compensation. Not a ration for man or horse 
would be brought in except by the bayonet, which would oblige 
the troops to spread themselves out many leagues to the right 
and left in search of subsistence and to stop all military opera- 

* Secretary of War to General Scott. Ex. Doc. No. 1, Senate, 
1st Session, Thirtieth Congress. 


These views of this eminent find distinguished 
soldier are worthy the deepest consideration of all 
who would make the profession of a soldier subor- 
dinate to the duty of a citizen, and the honor of 

In point of fact, supplies for men and animals were 
bought in the country and paid for at fair prices, from 
the commencement to the end of the war, as far as 
my knowledge extends, both on the line of the Rio 
Grande and on Scott's line. The only revenue de- 
rived from the country was from duties collected 
under the tariff above referred to, at the ports in our 
possession from which the naval blockade had been 

There were some buildings occupied as quarters and 
as depots for supplies, and some churches and other 
edifices used for hospitals and public purposes, without 
, compensation ; but from the barley growing in the 
fields, gathered by our men, to the corn husked by 
the soldiers for daily food to themselves and animals, 
all was paid for in hard dollars ; and I have seen sugar 
taken from manufactories loitliin our line of sentries, 
paid for by the commissaries of our army in coin 
brought from the United States. 

Surely the history of the world cannot produce a 
parallel to this conduct, which was owing in a great 
measure — it might be said with truth, entirely — to the 
thorough American character of Generals Taylor and 
Scott, whose magnanimity and nobility of sentiment 
outweighed the meaner attributes of less exalted 
characters, which would seek elevation and success 
by subserviency to base motives. 


Well, the forced contributions were not levied, and 
the genera,l-in-chief was master of the situation, but 
there came a blow from Washington which nearly 
overthrew his equanimity. 

I desire to say here, in all truth, and I think I 
have heretofore said it, that from the outbreak of 
hostilities to the present time, I fully believe that the 
administration of President Polk was sincerely de- 
sirous of making an honorable peace with Mexico, — 
such a one as would satisfy our just demands, without 
compromising the honor or integrity of Mexico. 

I repeat it, with as full an understanding of the 
matter as observation and personal knowledge can 
give one, that the above were the views of the 
American government up to the departure of General 
Scott from Puebla on the 10th of August, 1847. 

The blow referred to was the arrival in Mexico, 
while Scott was at Jalapa, in May, of Mr. Nicholas 
P. Trist as a commissioner from Washington to ac- 
company the headquarters of the army, for diplouiatic 
purposes. His mission was peace, his powers were 
well defined and limited, yet all the pride of a soldier 
(and if Winfield Scott were not one, history may be 
searched in vain) revolted at the presence about his 
headquarters of a civilian, whom Scott regarded as 
an aide-de-camp of the President of the United States, 
sent to degrade him in the eyes of the army and the 
authorities of Mexico. 

Fortunately for the interests of humanity and the 
glory of our country, these gentlemen became recon- 
ciled, and worked harmoniously for the attainment of 
great ends. 


O -J I 

Let 11* look at the turn of affairs in the interior. 
beyond our lines, before we take up the negotiations 
between American and Mexican officials, to which 
we propose to refer. 

Santa Anna had lost Buena Vista, yet had noblv 
struggled to regain his tarnished railitarv fame : 
CerroCrordo lost, any other than a general bred amid 
the internecine strife of Mexico would have been 
irretrievabl}- ruined, when the flower of his army laid 
down its arms because taken in reverse and rendered 
powerless through sheer negligence of military art. 

The pride of the Mexican soldiers of the line had 
not been lowered by Monterey or Buena Tista; but it 
could not stand the humiliation of Cerro (rordo. They 
had been defeated, when most willing to fight; they 
had grounded their arms, with their boxes full of car- 
tridges, after repulsing one and awaiting another 
attack: there was no road for escape, nothing but 
surrender before them ; all owing, as all knew, to 
the incapacity of their chiefe. — not Santa Anna espe- 
cially, but some to whom had been confided high 
trusts and grave responsibilities. 

The courage of Caesars tenth legion would have 
been shattered by three such disasters as the battles 
of Monterey, Buena Vijta. and Cerro Gordo. Yet the 
Mexicans did not abandon their grito of war to the 
knife; and their semblance of a Congress — yet still a 
rtspeetable assembly of deputies — declared every in- 
dindual a traitor who should make peace with the 
United States. Such a resolution was passed after the 
news of the loss of the battle at Cerro Gordo had been 
received in the citv of Mexico. 


General Scott had said that he wanted to make his 
army "a self-sustaining machine," and he depended 
for this, not upon forced contributions, but upon the 
credit of the United States ; to raise this credit, as 
well as his own, there is no doubt but that he was as 
desirous to make a peace and to conclude a treaty as 
he was to win a battle or to fight one when ready. 
He was always open to propositions, perhaps too much 
so, and when arrived at Puebla, in June, there com- 
menced the celebrated negotiations which were also 
self-sustaining; for, dig as deep as you may, no founda- 
tion can be found, no beginning, as there was no end- 
ing, none whatever, to those entam^es at Puebla to 
which I shall now refer. 

We must know that despite the defiant attitude of 
the Congress, Mexico was cruelly divided by faction, 
and the capital a prey to the fierce and apparently 
irreconcilable strife between the Puros and the Mod- 
erados. The army proper was demoralized, and a 
considerable number of leading and influential men 
were opposed to making the city of Mexico the area 
within which the further march of Scott's army was 
to be opposed. These men, if not a party, were at 
least a power in the state, and they determined to 
try diplomacy to stay, if not to avert, the loss of their 
capital. There was one man eminently fitted to em- 
brace and further their views, none other than An- 
tonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The necessity for his 
services, for the aid of his powerful and unquestioned 
capacity for such business, saved him; for the elections 
having gone against him, as he learned, he got Con- 
gress to postpone counting the ballots from the 15th. 


of June, when they ought to have done it, until 
January, 1848, and this restored him once more to 
power and to the head of affiiirs. 

In Executive Document No. 60 may be found the 
following, on page 967, dated Puebla, May 19, 1847. 
I insert it, as it was undoubtedly the general opinion 
at its date. 

" The elections came off in the States on the 15th. It is gen- 
erally believed Herrera will succeed. Shots are being fired in 
the capital. A pronunciamenlo is hourly expected, and this is 
probably the secret of Santa Anna's march upon that point. He 
is in extremis. All agree that bis day is passed." 

Pas encore. 

Mr. Trist was anxious to begin negotiations, and 
hoped through the channel of the British embassy at 
Mexico to open his guns; a letter from our Secretary 
of State, Mr. Buchanan, was forwarded, and there 
came, in reply, a guarded answer which amounted to 
just exactly what it was intended to amount to, — 
nothing. There was nobody to treat with, but there 
was somebody to do that which no nation that ever ex- 
isted could surpass the Mexican in doing, loriting letters. 

Along with the Mexican minister's letter, there 
were found communications in cipher (key furnished) 
from parties in the city of Mexico, declaring them- 
selves to be but agents, not naming however their 
principal, in which extraordinary propositions were 
contained in reference to making peace between 
Mexico and the United States. These propositions 
were deemed worthy the notice of the commander-in- 
chief, and were considered by him entitled to serious 
consideration. A reply was sent through the diplo- 

340 31EM01RS OF A 

matic pouch of England in Mexico (acting in good 
faith I believe to both belligerents), the purport of 
which can only be surmised. Now came distinct and 
unequivocal terras as a basis of agreement addressed 
to the commander-in-chief and signed by the "agents" 
for whom ? — this time it was mysteriously hinted that 
none other than Santa Anna was the primum mobile 
of the cipher correspondence, and was himself the 
key of the whole transaction. 

There is no doubt whatever of what I am now 
about to write : General Scott convened a council of 
general officers at Puebla, and to them was made 
known that there had come from the city of Mexico 
propositions looking to making a treaty of peace; 
that for purposes, as yet undeveloped, a million of 
dollars was asked for : that said sum was not in the 
military chest, but a project was submitted of the 
ways and means by which it might be raised; and 
finally, that the sum of ten thousand dollars cash in 
hand was demanded to bind the bargain. 

There was difference of opinion in that council : 
to the honor of the American name be it known that 
there were gentlemen present who protested against 
the whole scheme, if even the same had come from 
the authorities of Mexico or other legitimate source; 
they protested against all secret machinations, and 
especially against the bribery which was indisputably 
the aim, if not the acknowledged purpose, for which 
the money was to be used ; they lifted their voices 
and proclaimed the whole thing anti-American, and 
unworthy the consideration of honorable men. 

Nevertheless, strange as it may seem, ten thousand 


dollars was paid, cash in hand, to somebody, out of the 
fund at the disposal of General Scott. 

Notes in cipher now flew thickly, and the hum of 
secret intrigue, for the first (and may it be the last) 
time, was heard in the camp of an American army. 

The plan was somewhat modified when the ten 
thousand dollars in money fell upon its platform ; 
with a finesse worthy of the policy which has given 
eclat to Florence, queries were covertly embodied in 
other propositions, the plain English of which was : 
Our palms itch more than ever since the gentle tick- 
ling you gave them ; how about the million of dol- 
lars? there are deputies in a certain Congress whose 
motions are slow, but whose principles are well 
known ; when may we expect the million of dollars ? 
its receipt will antedate but a few days a treaty of 
peace. Memorandum : Congress will meet next week.- 

Still no million of dollars was sent, but cinother 
modification of the basis for the purchase of peace 
came from the " agents ;" it was now intimated as 
delicately as the faintest penciling, that General 
Santa Anna thought it indispensable that Scott should 
advance and carry at least one outwork of the capital, to 
give color to the terms of surrender, which he, Santa 
Anna, would then submit. 

Will it be believed in this age that such infamy was 
ever written, much less seriously considered ? It was 
both written and received consideration, but there is 
nothing to show that General Scott ever believed that 
Santa Anna would give him an outwork of the city 
of Mexico. 

He may have been deceived in his hopes and ex- 


pectations ; he may have mistaken, as he undoubtedly 
did, the character of Santa Anna; he may have lent 
too much of his high official position to these secret 
negotiations : but his native integrity was so lofty and 
his patriotism so pure, that never for one moment did 
he do other than what he thought was right, and 
never ceased an instant in the preparations daily 
made for strengthening his army for future battle. 

And this is the remarkable feature of these nego- 
tiations, that neither of the high contracting parties 
seemed to have the least idea of each other's character. 

This is my opinion : that Scott thought Santa Anna 
venal, and that it would be to the interest of our 
country to buy him ; Santa Anna thought he was 
deceiving Scott, might get a million of dollars, and 
was getting and gaining precious time to strengthen 
the defenses of his capital, in every cipher transmitted 
to Scott's headquarters. 

Both were deceived ; Santa Anna was ten thousand 
dollars ahead, and this payment tended to strengthen 
his blindness, for what could he think of a general 
who had suffered himself to be humbugged out of so 
much money? He thought Scott an old fool, — he 
was much mistaken. 

Scott was outwitted in diplomacy, he failed to see 
through the astute mystification which the wily 
Mexican had placed him in, he utterly ignored the 
honesty of Santa Anna and his fidelity to country, 
he was grossly deceived ; but liis instinctive military 
genius was a clue by which he disentangled the 
maze of his enemy's subtle intrigue. Following the 
path of duty, it led him safely through the mire of 


political machinations to the fields where glory 
crowned his brow with undying fame. 

Santa Anna never for an instant dreamed of betray- 
ing his country, much less selling for money the life's 
blood of the brave defenders of a post, his old com- 
panions in arms, to whom he had entrusted the iden- 
tical outwork indicated as the one to be assaulted ; 
but his cunning overleaped itself, when after receiv- 
ing the ten thousand dollars, the latter proposition 
came from the " agents ;" for there were officers in the 
American army not as good soldiers as General Scott, 
but who possessed infinitely more shrewdness, and 
they openly denounced the base proposition as too ab- 
surd for serious thought. 

It was the monstrous perfidy of this proposition 
which destroyed " the plan for the purchase of peace," 
and was near involving in its destruction tlie charac- 
ter of more than one of those who interested them- 
selves in its success. 

Negotiations, open and secret, failed ; the Mexican 
Congress, after passing a resolution on the loth of 
July, " that it was the duty of the President to make 
treaties, and theirs to approve or disapprove them," 
quietly dispersed, leaving the responsibility with 
Santa Anna ; he, alleging a constitutional incapacity, 
and quite likely remembering the council of the Texan 
generals on the banks of the Rio Grande, referred the 
question to his generals ; they relieved themselves of 
diplomatic functions, by saying, their voice was still 
for war. 

Both armies prepared for battle. 



SCOTT'S advance on the city of MEXICO. 

On the 10th day of August, 1847, General Scott 
left Puebla with an army of ten thousand men, to 
attack the enemy in the valley of Mexico, and to 
conquer a peace. It was a daring plan, a daring 
march ; for he knew that General Santa Anna had 
gathered thirty-five thousand men to defend their 
capital, and that military skill of no ordinary charac- 
ter had strengthened the natural defenses of the city 
and its environs. 

On page 175 of vol. ii., Major R. S. Ripley's War 
with Mexico, the author says : 

" Under these circumstances, the American advance is with- 
out parallel. In daring and in rashness the march of Cortez over 

the same route, centuries before, can hardly compare with it." 


The strength of this army lay in its prestige of suc- 
cess, the genius of its leader, the material of which 
it was composed, and especially in its undaunted 

On the 18th day of August, there fell the first 
American soldier in the valley of Mexico. Strange, 
that he whose misfortune had been the commence- 
ment of the war should find the first soldier's grave 
thus far beyond the Rio Grande. So it was. Cap- 


tain Thornton, of the Second Dragoons, was killed 
by a cannon ball as our reconnoitering parties ap- 
proached San Antonio. 

On the 20th of August was fought the battle of 
Contreras ; General Valencia with his division of seven 
thousand men and twenty-two pieces of artillery had 
left the position assigned him, and, contrary to the 
advice and in the teeth of positive orders from Santa 
Anna, had taken up a position about Contreras. There 
was an immense tield of broken lava lying in front of 
his camp and between it and San Antonio, which was 
deemed impassable for troops, but through and over 
which our engineer officers had found several trails 
which were soon made practicable for troops. This 
field was called the Pedregal, and was a great natural 
obstacle in an advance on the Acapulco road through 
San Antonio directly to the southern gate of Mexico. 
Valencia must have thought that our army having 
turned from the eastern defenses of the city, and find- 
ing the southern approaches so strongly guarded by 
the lines of San Antonio and Churubusco, would de- 
flect still more to the left and approach the city from 
the west ; it being generally known that the fortifica- 
tions on this west side, the farthest from the approach 
of the Americans, were of much less strength than the 
others. A road ran through Contreras from the south- 
west to the city, and here he posted his division in an 
intrenched camp, without any regard to the disposi- 
tions of the commander-in-chief, or, as before said, to 
his positive orders. 

Valencia was the rival of Santa Anna ; he com- 
manded a corps d'elite, — the army of the north, had 


criticised his line of defenses on the east, and, when 
Scott wisely avoided risking heavy losses, by attacking 
very strong points, and was now feeling his way, as 
if from the south, Valencia is said to have exulted 
and boasted that now Ids time had come to chastise 
the Yankees. 

Santa Anna is a lucky man, for it was the disaster 
now about to befall his rival which once more saved 
his reputation among his fellow-countrymen ; for to 
the willful disobedience of Valencia to his orders was 
attributed, by the whole army and population of the 
capital, the final and sad termination of their heroic 

Scott had sent General Pillow's division, which was 
followed by General Twiggs's, across the Pedregal on 
the afternoon of the 19th. These troops, supported 
by Magruder's and Callender's batteries, had engaged 
the enemy in front without doing him much damage. 
During the night General Persifer F. Smith devised 
a plan, which was approved by General Scott, for 
taking the camp in reverse and dislodging the Mexi- 
cans. At sunrise, on the morning of the 20th, Col- 
onel Riley, with Cadwalader's and Smith's brigades, 
were in the rear of Valencia, and in half an hour were 
in the possession of the intrenched camp. The division 
of Valencia was routed with an actual loss of some 
seven hundred killed, one thousand prisoners, and 
the demoralization of the whole corps, if not of the 
entire Mexican army. There were twenty-two pieces 
of artillery, some of heavy calibre, within the work, 
all of which were secured by our force, which did 
not exceed in the aggregate four thousand five hun- 


dred men, and did not lose more than sixty men 
killed and wounded in these successful operations. 

Well might General Scott doubt whether a more 
brilliant or decisive victory be found on record. It 
was a brilliant feat of arms, and a glorious forerunner 
of subsequent grand achievements. 

Santa Anna is blamed for not making greater efforts 
to support Valencia, and gravely censured for not 
compelling him to withdraw on the night of the 19th, 
as his engineer officers had pronounced the position 

I regret very much that I have never met with 
the pamphlet which was published by Valencia in 
defense of his conduct at Contreras. 

Exhilarated by the success, our victorious troops, 
being rapidly brought together, pushed on through 
San Angel to Coyacan, which was well beyond and 
to the left of San Antonio, in front of which General 
Worth was awaiting orders for the assault. General 
Bravo, in command at San Antonio, had been ordered 
to retreat as soon as the fall of the intrenched camp 
was known ; his troops, marching toward the capital 
by the causeway, and closely followed by Worth's 
division, were intercepted and cut in two by Clark's 
Brigade and Lieutenant-Colonel C. F. Smith's Light 
Battalion, which General Worth had sent to turn 
Bravo's right by the Pedregal. Another utter rout 
here ensued, although General Bravo escaped, with 
numbers of his division, by leaving the causeway 
and crossing the marshes to the east of the road. 
Our troops pressed on toward the city, and soon the 
sanguinary battle of Churubusco was begun. 


The enemy held a very strong position : in front 
ran in an easterly course the river Churubusco, and 
in the small village of the same name, a little to the 
south of the river and toward the advancing Ameri- 
cans, was a large stone building, called the Convent, 
which was strongly fortified. The bridge which 
crossed the river on the San Antonio causeway was 
protected by an elaborate fortification or tete du pont, 
and in and about these lines and works, the army of 
Santa Anna resolutely stood to their guns. But they 
were in a distressed condition from the disorganiza- 
tion created by the rout of the two divisions of Va- 
lencia and Bravo, and, to add to their discouragement, 
the artillery and the ammunition train sent forward 
by Bravo from San Antonio had not yet entered the 
tete du pont, with the exception of three guns, and 
were jammed up on the causeway in inextricable 
confusion, when the advance of the American troops 
opened fire upon the mass of fugitives and upon the 
horses of the artillery trains. 

Santa Anna still held the left and centre of his 
army intact ; they numbered at least twenty thousand 
men, — outnumbered more than two to one the army 
of Scott, and behind chosen lines he ought to have 
repulsed his attack. 

The battle soon commenced in earnest, our troops 
rapidly coming up, and along the extended front and 
about the detached works of the Mexicans a fierce 
struggle ensued between nearly the entire strength of 
the two armies ; it raged for several hours with intense 
fury. The desperate courage and skill of the Ameri- 
cans was never more signally shown, and out of not 


moi'e than eight thousand five hundred men, there 
Avere one thousand killed or disabled in this bloody 
encounter; but the Mexicans were forced to retreat, 
after suffering great loss, and our cavalry pursued the 
fugitives to the very gates of the capital. 

Our troops did justice to the bravery of their foe, 
and no language is too strong in admiration of the 
gallant army of Americans that gained the victory at 

The estimated loss of the Mexicans in killed, 
wounded, and missing at Churubusco was seven thou- 
sand men ; but the eflfect of this disaster in the city of 
Mexico cannot be measured by the number lost to the 
army. When night fell on this memorable day, the 
population of the city was panic-stricken ; all were in 
fear of the immediate entrance of the American army. 
But General Scott had apparently other views, and 
never showed more judgment, in my opinion, than 
halting, as he did, outside the city on the night of the 
20th of August.* 

I cannot say as much for his conduct on the ensuing 
days, with reference to the armistice which was agreed 

When Santa Anna entered the city he assembled, 
at midnight, those of the ministry whom he could 
find and several leading citizens. He told them that 

* The city of Mexico contained at this time nearly 200,000 
inhabitants; its streets and quarters were entirely unknown to 
our army. If the streets were barricaded and the houses de- 
fended, as at Monterey, our army might have been sacrificed by 
the infuriated leperos and soldiers of the beaten army, who could 
yet be numbered by thousands. 


there must be a suspension of arms to enable him to 
reorganize his shattered army, that time must be 
gained, or else the city was lost, and that they must 
take steps to interview Scott at once for this purpose. 
Again the British embassy was looked to as a medium 
of communication, and the minister of Spain lent his 
friendly offices to aid the beleagured capital. 

General Scott on the same night matured his plan, 
which was to summon the city to surrender (and it 
was now at his mercy), and only to agree to an armis- 
tice upon the pledge that negotiations should be en- 
tered upon for a treaty of peace. 

If he had firmly stood to this plan, it is more than 
probable that months of future toil would have been 
spared him ; but it is not my purpose to assail him, 
or endeavor to meet the powerful reasons which were 
successfully urged against the maintenance of his 
original determination. 

The main reason which induced him, as I under- 
stood from competent authority, was that, if he per- 
sisted in either taking the city or driving Santa Anna 
away with his army, there would be no government 
to treat with, and that nothing would be left to be 
done but pursue a war of conquest until all Mexico 
Avas held by American troops. 

An armistice for the suspension of arms and other 
purposes was agreed upon the 22d, ratified by Scott 
on the 23d, and finally ratified by Santa Anna on the 
24th of August. 

It met with but little favor in the American army, 
chiefly because it was thought that the recommenda- 
tion of Major-General Worth, that the Mexicans 


should give up to our army the possession of the 
military castle and hill of Chapultepec as a guaranty 
for good faith on their part, should be a sijte qua non 
in the negotiation for the armistice. 

The Mexican commissioners stoutly and successfully 
resisted the introduction of this article into the pro- 
ject, which was ratified as above related loitliout this 

In one of the articles, it was agreed that our army 
might obtain supplies from the city ; a train for this 
purpose was attacked by the lep6ros, the worst class 
of the most vicious of Mexicans who swarmed in the 
alleys and faubourgs of the metropolis, and blood was 
shed in the streets of Mexico. 

Recrimination followed the just complaints of the 
American general, and the armistice was terminated 
on the 6tli of September with a loss to the Americans 
of prestige, character, and much of the fruits of hard 
won battles. 

The negotiations for peace industriously plied 
during its continuance had miserably failed, Santa 
Anna had recuperated his army, whilst that of Scott's 
was mildewing away under the malaria of the valley. 
He had now but eight thousand five hundred effect- 
ives of all arms, but he was a host in himself, and 
the consciousness of having acted in good faith left 
him the invincible support of his honor and his con- 

On the 8th were delivered the bloody and fruitless 
battles of Molino del Rey and the Casa Mata with a 
loss of one hundred and sixteen killed and six hun- 
dred and sixty-five wounded out of our little army ; 


a still further demand was to be made upon a resource 
which had never yet failed, American pluck, and the 
enemy's capital was to be stormed. 

Worth wanted to push on, and so did Pillow, after 
our troops had gained with such a loss of life the 
mill or foundry (as some called it) del Eey, but Scott 
held them back, for lie was not yet ready. 

The frowning hill of Chapultepec was the key to 
the Mexican line of defenses on the south and west 
of the city. To carry this was now the immediate 
object of the commander-in-chief. A strong corps 
held the hill, and Santa Anna had gathered the 
remainder of his army about the garitas (gates) on 
the southern side of the city, posting them in well- 
made field-works designed- for the protection of this 

During the afternoon of the 8th, bold reconnais- 
sances were made under the superintendence of Cap- 
tain Robert E. Lee, of the Engineers, and that night 
General Scott was occupied in gaining further informa- 
tion and maturing his plan of operations. 

On the morning of the 9th there were twelve 
thousand Mexicans at work throwing up a line of 
intrenchments between the garitas Belen and San 
Antonio, and they continued at their labors during 
the entire day without interruption. As this was the 
front Scott purposed to attack, he was notified of 
what was being done by the enemy ; but our troops 
remained quiet. 

On the 10th the engineer officers again made recon- 
naissances; they found eleven pieces of artillery in 
position at the garita San Antonio, the other works 

,1/ ,1 A" jVy.i \n VOL I 'A' r/c /■;/>'. 353 

strong and oooupiod in foivo. the ourtiiins fiiiisluMl and 
tlio ditchos lull ot'wator. 

On tho 11th. continuing thoir iwonnaissiuicos. thoy 
ftmnd tlio works ^tivngtluMUHl and noarlv tho wholo 
southern tmnt of tho oity inundntod. 

Soott in person oxauiiuod tho ouonn 's linos, then 
called a nuH>tiug of gonornl othoor.s; tlioro wore pros- 
ent Pillow, Quitnum, Twiggs, Pioroo, Ondwsihidor, 
wul Kiloy. Tho rosult of this uiootiug was ordors 
from Ciouoriil Soott for tlio attaok upon Cliapiiltopoo, 

On tho morning oT the llitli of Soptenihor. tho 
battlo oponod against (^hnpultopoo, whilst a douion- 
stration was inado against tho linos of Sun Antonio; 
a bombardn>ont of the oastlo whioh <'ro\vnod tho hill, 
(Uid a oanuonado against tho linos, oontinuod during 
the day. Night loll without anything dooisivo being 
ftcoouiplishotl ; soaling-laddors had boon brought up, 
but no assault was ordorotl, and tho troops wore ooon- 
pyiug tho positions thoy hold in (ho niorniug. All 
uight long pivparations woro boiug uuvdo by both 
armies lor tho struggle oC tho ensuing day ; it was a 
ttight of slooplossnoss and anxiety to every huunm 
being in tho valley of Mexico, for all know that to- 
morrow would decitlo tho fate of the capital. 

At daybivak on tho morning of tho ISth day of 
September, 1817. the American batteries opened on 
tl>e oastlo of Chapultopoc and the lines of San Anto- 
nio; the A[exic«n guns ivpliod, and for several houi"s 
tlie cannonading was very heavy ; in tho mean time 
storaiing pjwties were being organized and pivperly 
equipped lor tho assault. Bravi>. seeing that it was 
bis post that wiws thivateued. sent for a reiuforce- 



ment, which had been promised him; no attention 
was paid to his request. He ordered two brigade com- 
manders to bring their troops to his support; they 
properly refused to move from the positions to which 
they had been assigned, without orders from their 
commander-in-chief. He had six thousand men 
within his lines, and these ought to have been 
sufficient for the defense of the castle and its out- 
worl^s, but they were not. For onward and upward 
came the gallant heroes of the Republic of the North, 
sweeping from their front all who dared to oppose, — 
leaving behind in their bloody tracks the dead and 
the dying, then planting their ladders they scaled the 
walls of the castle. Chapultepec was in their posses- 
sion, and the flag of our Republic was floating from 
its summit. 

One cheer of victory rolled its volume of sound into 
the terror stricken city, and then " Forward !" was 
again the word of command. 

Worth's command took the road to the San Cosme 
garita on the north; Quitman followed the fugitives 
from Chapultepec by the aqueduct, which entered 
the city by the Belen garita at the south-west angle 
of the city. The enemy made continued resistance 
with artillery and small-arms from behind every 
available point between the base of the hill and the 
garita; finally Quitman carried this, but found a 
strong obstacle in the citadel within the walls, which 
was being rapidly filled with troops brought by Santa 
Anna from the eastern defenses. During the after- 
noon, a fierce struggle ensued between the reinforce- 
ments brought up and the wearied American soldiers 


who were in the works at the garita, which they still 
continued obstinately to hold against the several at- 
tempts made to recapture them. 

Worth had met with the same resolute resistance, 
the same fierce struggle; and, finally, Santa Anna 
having checked Quitman's advance beyond the Belen 
gate had now come up to San Cosme to beat him, if pos- 
sible ; this he did not do, but eight hundred and sixty- 
three killed and wounded of our army, in to-daj^'s 
tighting, attested the spirit of the Mexican resistance. 

Night fell upon the combatants lying upon their 
arras at these two gates of the capital, General Worth 
being icitldn the garita San Cosme and in the city of 

At 9 P.M. General Worth thought he would show 
where he was, and directed a mortar, which was 
planted in front of his quarters, to be fired in the 
direction of the main plaza. This completed the 
work. The city was evacuated during the night; the 
Mexican generals having determined to give up the 
city and withdraw their beaten army before the en- 
suing day, when it might be too late. They left by 
the northern road, carrying with them a considerable 
park of artillery. 

Early on the morning of the 14th, the town coun- 
cil approached Scott's headquarters to make terms 
with the conqueror; this time there was no negotiat- 
ing; he told them that the city of Mexico had been 
in his power since the afternoon of the preceding day, 
and that now he was going to take it; and he did 
take it. On the same day General Scott established 
his quarters in the Palace (halls of the Montezumas, 


in newspaper parlance), the American army was 
quartered in its vicinity; hospitals were organized, 
the leperos thrashed, the inhabitants protected from 
the villains turned loose in their midst, order Avas 
restored, life and property made secure, religion 
respected, by the army which had marched from the 
distant north to plant its victorious banners in the 
valley of the Aztecs. 

All honor to "Winfield Scott! ever green be his 
laurels, and forever honored may be the companions- 
in-arms who shared the glory of his conquest ! Honor 
to the memory of the dead, who fell before victory 
was won ! and honor, ye American citizens, the rank 
and file of an army, that sullied not the hour of 
triumph with the stain of rapine or lust ! 

No days of ancient Rome ever beheld on its Appian 
or Flaminian Ways a nobler host than that which 
crossed the Cordilleras of Mexico ; and the Capitol 
never witnessed honors more nobly won, than those 
which this army placed upon the brows of Scott. 



The American army was in the city of Mexico, 
the capital of the country in the occupancy of the in- 
vaders ; and that which Scott foresaw, and which 
doubtless influenced him, as I have before said, to 
agree to an armistice, had now happened. There was 
no government to treat toWi. The armistice was a mis- 


take ; it had cost the lives of many brave men, was 
near losing everything previously gained by American 
valor, yet it was granted in pursuance of and in 
furtherance of the policy of our government, in the 
hope it might lead to a treaty. 

It looked much like a stalemate now. Santa Anna 
resigned the Presidency ; even lie could not meet the 
overwhelming indignation of the country at the loss 
of its capital, so he said he would continue to serve 
his country in the field. 

I believe the executive functions of the government 
devolved upon the Justices of the Supreme Court ; be 
that as it may, Santa Anna sent a corps of tbi'ee 
thousand men to Queretaro, and a decree from some 
source made that city the seat of government ; but 
there Avas no government there, not even the sem- 
blance of one; nor was there any government any- 
where else; nor was there any army, unless that be 
called one, which Santa Anna led to throw upon 
Scott's communications. I doubt whether the world's 
history can show a similar spectacle to that which 
Mexico presented at this period. It was not only 
distressing to its citizens, it was most embarrassing to 
its conquerors. 

Scott could not press hostile operations even if such 
had been his wish, for up to the last of November no 
reinforcements had reached him. He had levied a 
contribution of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars 
upon the city, and had issued orders forbidding the 
exportation of coin or the precious metals, or the pay- 
ment of rent for any buildings required as quarters or 
storehouses for the army. The troops en route to the 


valley were stretched from Vera Cruz to the Rio 
Frio. A goveriunent was being formed or attempted 
to be formed at Queretaro by Peiia y Pena, President 
of the Supreme Court, and General Santa Anna, re- 
lieved from the command of his troops by order of the 
latter, signing himself " Provisional President." Gene- 
ral Paredes, a known and avowed monarchist, had 
come into the country, and General Bustamente re- 
appeared and issued his j^ronimciamento. All the 
former factions and elements of strife, strengthened 
instead of diminished by the misfortunes of the coun- 
try, rallied at Queretaro, to thwart the good inten- 
tions and paralyze the efforts of all who labored for 
the good of Mexico. On the 11th of November a 
number of deputies, assembled at Queretaro, elected 
General An ay a (who had been unconditionally re- 
leased by Scott) as Provisional President. He made 
Peiia y Peiia his Ciiief Minister; Senor Rosa, Secre- 
tary of State ; General Moray Villamil, Secretary of 
War; and appointed General Bustamente Commander- 
in-Chief of the Army. This administration was 
regarded at army headquarters as favoring negotia- 
tion!^, but it was only to last until the 8th of January 
ensuing; and Scott, now diplomatic agent, as Mr. 
Trist had been recalled, was compelled to rely more 
upon his "self-sustaining machine," his army, than 
upon hopes of a peaceable settlement of existing diffi- 
culties between the two nations. 

On the 27th of November, 1S47, he wrote to Mr. 
Marcy, our Seci'etnry of War, a letter dated Head- 
quarters of the Army, Mexico, of which the following 
extracts will give a correct idea of the then situation : 


"I have now been waiting- witli anxiety, for nearly a month, 
the arrival of the reinforcements with Major-General Patterson, 
and others, coming up from Vera Cruz. That general in an offi- 
cial report, dated the 10th inst., informs rae that he halted, with 
some twenty-six hundred men, for duty at Jalapa. 

"He had received my instructions of the 13th and 28th ult., 
directing there-garrisoning of Jalapa with some twelve hundred 
men, and the establishing of at least two new posts between 
that city and Vera Cruz. 

" I am happy to learn that Major-General Butler was hourly 
expected at Vera Cruz early in this month. On his or Major- 
General Patterson's arrival here, with four thousand or more 
reinforcements, over and above the eastern garrisons, I shall 
dispatch that surplus, or a force equal to it, to occupy the mining 
districts within — miles of Zacatecas ; and should the surplus 
be suflScient, I shall also occupy the mining district of San Luis 
de Potosi." 

On the 4th of December he again wrote to Mr. 
Marcy, from the city of Mexico : 

"The force here and at Chapultepee, ' fit for duty,' is only about 
six thousand rank and file; the 'number of sick,' exclusive of 
officers, being two thousand and forty-one. 

"No proposition looking to a peace has been made to me by 
the federal government of this Republic, or its commissioners." 

Oil the 2d of December General Scott wrote to 
Cummodore William B. Shubrick, U. S. Navy, com- 
manding Pacific Squadron : 

"Sir, — I have the honor to receive your letter, dated at 
Mazailan, the 16th ult., and I am happy to learn that our 
Pacifle Squadron, under your command, has, among other im- 


portant points, captured Mazatlan, Guayamas, and, I suppose, 
San Bias. 

" I have been waiting here two months and a lialf to learn 
the views of the government at home, or at least for the arrival 
of reinforcements, before undertaking any new and distant opera- 

"According to instructions from the War Department, which 
may be changed on receiving late dispatches from me, I shall, 
in proportion to the arrival of reinforcements, occupy, suc- 
cessively, the principal mining districts, of which Zacatecas and 
Sau Luis de Potosi are the respective centres ; next, the State 
capitals within my reach and surplus means ; all with a view to 
the internal trade and revenue that may be derived therefrom, 
to aid in the payment of the expenses of the occupation, that is, 
should the government decide upon covering the country in 
order to force this Republic to sue for peace ; and we now have 
in Mexico no minister or commissioner (since the recall of Mr. 
Trist) to negotiate a treaty. To effect that object, by occupying 
the sources of trade and revenue, the mining districts and princi- 
pal cities, including State capitals and ports of entry, at least 
fifty thousand men in the ranks, not on paper (the number I have 
asked for), will be indispensable. .... The 
common service intrusted to us, respectively, is interested in 
frequent inter-communication. I shall avail myself of every 
opportunity to give you information of the movements and opera- 
tions of this arm}'. 

" I have the honor to remain, with high respect, your most 
obedient servant, 

"(Signed) " WiNFiELD Scott." 

The intelligent reader has before him a picture of 
the war with Mexico as it existed on the 2d day of 
December, 1847, drawn in such a masterly manner 
that no comment is necessary. I will add a single 
remark, that for months subsequent to this period our 
married officers seriously entertained the idea of send- 


ing to the United States for their families, lool^ing to 
a permanent residence in Mexico. 

Nearly cotemporaneous with General Scott's letter 
to Commodore Shubrick, instructions for General 
Scott were penned at Washington, which will show 
the views of our government ; they were dated War 
Department, December 14th, 1847 : 

"It is expected that you will use the force under your com- 
mand to hold the city of Mexico, and other places now in your 
possession, and to keep open the communication between that 
place and Vera Cruz, so that supplies, munitions of war, and 
merchandise, can be safely conveyed along that line with only 
a small force to escort and protect them. Should robbers and 
guerilleros continue to obstruct the road, to plunder and murder 
as heretofore, the most vigorous measures should be pursued to 
punish them and prevent their depredations. It is desirable to 
open the country to the ingress of merchandise, from the ports 
in our possession, to the utmost practicable extent. In this way 
it is anticipated that considerable assistance will be derived 
toward meeting the expenses of the war. 

'' You will perceive that the government here contemplate that 
the resources of the country are, to a considerable extent, open 
to us, and that they are to be resorted to for the purpose of 
diminishing the burden of our expenses. It is also expected you 
will make them available for this purpose as far as practicable. 

"The internal reveuues, to the extent, at least, to which they 
were levied by the Mexican government, are to be kept up and 
paid over to the use of our army, so far as it is within our power 
to control them, with the exception of the departmental or tran- 
sit duties mentioned in a former communication. For this pur- 
pose, and to deprive the enemy of the means of organizing 
further resistance to protract the war, it is expedient to subject 
to our arms other parts of his country. What those parts shall 
be is left to your judgment. Our object is to obtain acceptable 
terras of peace within the earliest practicable period, and it is 
apprehended that this object cannot be speedily obtained without 

362 MEMOIRS or A 

making the enemy feel that he is to beai- a considerable part of 
the burden of the war. 

" Should there not be at this time a government inMexico of 
sufficient stability to make peace, or should the authority which 
there exists be adverse to it, and yet a large and influential por- 
tion of the people really disposed to put an end to hostilities, it 
is desirable to know what prospect there is that the latter could, 
with the countenance and protection of our arms, organize a 
government which would be willing to make peace, and able to 
sustain relations of peace with us. . . . 

" ( Signed ) " W. L. Makct, 

"Secretary of War. 
"Major-General W. Scott, 

" Commanding U. S. Army in Mexico." 

There was as much, if not more, embarrassment in 
administration circles at Washington, than at army 
headquarters in the valley of Mexico. Politicians 
could with great unction preach, Conquer a peace, but 
far-seeing men had difficulty in the savoir /aire : it 
was unmistakably a difficult problem, so we will 
step along with the column now about to march, and 
await its solution. 



Novembe?- 5, 1847. We bade adieu to the bridge, 
marching with a column of two thousand five hun- 
dred men of all arms to reinforce General Scott, who 
was clamoring, we were told, for our advance. I was 
glad to leave this post, not because it was unhealthy 
and the duty arduous, but because the warfare we had 


been engaged in was exceedingly distasteful to me. 
The whole command was, I think, glad to get away ; 
it was still hot, though the rainy season had set in, 
and our sick list was increasing at a rapid rate ; the 
incessant watchfulness, the same monotonous stillness, 
broken only by the sound of fire-arms, the isolation of 
the post, the enervating and depressing atmosphere, 
the indescribable earthy smell of vegetation which 
arose as the shades of night fell, the sultry oppress- 
iveness of the heat, all had tended to dispirit us. 
The most of those we were now thrown with were 
new troops, and as our men regarded themselves as 
veterans, the association was beneficial in restoring 
health and spirits, so that by the time we reached 
Cerro Gordo we were once more in pretty good trim. 
We had had no rest since leaving the transport, and 
the novelty of the march with enough support to for- 
bid all anxiety, exhilarated our men, and they really 
were beginning to step and look like soldiers when 
we passed through the city of Jalapa, distant seventy 
miles from Vera Cruz. 

We had marched some half dozen miles beyond 
Jalapa, when we went into camp at a village called 
Cedeno ; we were brigaded with the Second Illinois and 
Colonel Withers's Rille Battalion ; the other brigade, 
commanded by General Gushing, was composed of the 
First Massachusetts and Second Ohio Regiments. We 
learned here that General Lane's command, which 
preceded us, had had a sharp affair at Huamautla, 
and that Captain Samuel Walker, of the Rifles, whose 
company was raised principally in Baltimore, had been 
killed, with a good many of his company. I knew 



Walker on the Rio Grande, and he had a high repu- 
tation among the Texans as a skillful soldier. As 
well as I could learn, he charged into the town before 
the infantry supports were up, and was overwhelmed 
by superior numbers. We also learned that our turn 
would come next, as Santa Anna, having abandoned 
his attempt upon Puebla, was now devoting himself to 
the troops marching to Scott, and that it was his 
troops which had handled Lane so roughly. 

This portion of Mexico is far superior to any have 
yet seen, more populous, and in a better state of cul- 
tivation ; whilst the town of Jalapa will rank with 
any European city of its size and population in refine- 
ment and civilization. We are now in the Tierra 
Templada, and feel the comfort of a blanket at night, 
though at mid-day it is nearly as warm as it was at 
the National Bridge. The objection to the climate is 
its humidity ; at night we are dripping wet in our 
tents, and already the recognized grumblers are wish- 
ing they were somewhere else. 

November 11. I rode in from camp to pay my re- 
spects to my old brigade commander, Major-General 
John A. Quitman, who was on his way home from the 
city of Mexico. The meeting was most cordial, and 
I congratulated him sincerely upon his well-earned 
reputation ; he could give me no news as to the proba- 
ble results of the victories in the valley, and seemed 
to be as much at a loss concerning the future of the 
war as we were. A year had elapsed since I was in 
his brigade, and he told me it was very likely we 
would be together, if living, a year hence, as it looked 
as if we would hold the country. 


We are still uncertain as to our movements, and 
for the life of me I cannot comprehend this delay in 
our march; the whole command is fretting and chaf- 
ing in a camp seemingly selected for those who, tired 
with sand, must necessarily need wet earth, for a couch. 

Novemler 16. The Massachusetts Regiment left for 
Perote. This was the regiment originally commanded 
by Colonel Caleb Cushing, now a Brigadier-General ; 
the rest of the troops are still in the marsh, gradually 
losing strength as well as spirits ; the calculation is, 
that one month more of this service, and there will 
be little remaining except what may be found in the 

November 22. Our regiment has been ordered into 
Jalapa as a portion of its garrison, and Colonel George 
W. Hughes appointed Military Governor of the depart- 
ment; the Second Illinois Regiment and the Battalion 
of New Jersey Volunteers, Lientenant-Colonel Wood- 
ruff, being likewise ordered in from camp to the cit}^ 
We relieved the First Pennsylvania Regiment, Colonel 
Wynkoop, and a brigade previously stationed here. 

November 23. Two American teamsters were hung, 
by sentence of a military commission, for a cold- 
blooded unprovoked murder of a Mexican boy. 

November 24. Two Mexican officers, Lieutenant 
Ambrose Alcalde and Second Adjutant Antonio 
Garcia, were shot to-day by sentence of a military 
commission for breach of parole. They both ad- 
mitted that they had broken their paroles, and plead 
in justification an order, which they produced, from 
Juan de Soto, Governor of the State of Vera Cruz, 
commanding them to take up arms again, or they 


would be reduced to the ranks. They both died like 
brave men, the words " Viva la Republica Mejicana,"* 
being the last that fell from their lips, 

Noveivher 25. Large numbers of paroled Mexican 
officers came into the city to-day, and registered their 
names at the adjutant's office, as a pledge that they 
would not take up arms until regularly exchanged. 

November 27. Upwards of one hundred officers 
have already registered their names as having been 
paroled by the American arms ; they protest in the 
most indignant terms against the conduct of De Soto. 

November 30. I was this day appointed by Colonel 
Hughes the Military Commandant of the garrison at 
Jalapa; Colonel Cheatam arrived with a regiment of 
Tennesseeans ; our troops were paid up to the 31st of 
August, 1847; and Major-General William O.Butler, 
of Kentucky, arrived with a large number of troops 
from Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky. 

December A. My command was reviewed by Major- 
General Butler on the plain adjacent to the city ; it 
was a charming day, the troops looked and behaved 
well, and large numbers of the population turned 
out to see the parade. Captain Lloyd Tilghman's 
battery of artillery from Baltimore has arrived, and 
is attached to our regiment. I have no hesitation in 
saying it is among the best volunteer organizations 
in the army ; the material of which it is composed 
is excellent, and Captain Tilghman's ability cannot 
ftiil to make it very efficient; a company of cavalry 
recruited at Vera Cruz by my old comrade, Captain 

* " Long live the Republic of Mexico." 


Chatam R. Wheat, of Tennessee,* has been attached 
to our regiment, and the Twiggs Rifles, mounted by 
order of General Twiggs ; so that our own command is 
now composed of the necessary arms to constitute it 
a legion, viz., infantry, cavalry, and artillery. This 
looks as if there were some truth in the rumors flying 
about, that, since the appointment of Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel William H. Emory, another topographical engi- 
neer, by the President, our regiment is destined for 
service on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. 



jALiPA (pronounced Halapa) is a handsome city, 
with charming environs; the surrounding country 
fertile, the vegetation perennial ; the lands are well 
cultivated, producing sugar-cane, coffee, and some few 
cereals, while groves of orange trees and orchards of 
pineapple flourish in luxuriant abundance. The 
people are generally peaceful and well disposed ; 
many of the wealthy families of the city and neigh- 
borhood are refined, well educated, and hospitable ; 
we have already been the recipients of well-bred 
civilities, without any attempt on the part of our hosts 
to be anything other than Mexicans in character, 
habits, and sentiments. I was much pleased at 

* I have been told that his family was originally IVom the city 
of Baltimore. 


noticing one habit of the Mexican ladies, heads of 
families : whenever they received us, all the children 
were invariably brought into the parlor, and when 
we dined or breakfasted with them the children were 
seated at the table with the family and guests. 

This portion of Mexico has a high reputation for 
its climate, and Jalapa is visited during the sickly 
seasons by the citizens of Vera Cruz, as our summer 
resorts are frequented by our people. It is, however, 
at this, the rainy season, far from being a comfortable 
residence to North Americans, there being a great 
deal of rain with cold nights ; so cold that blankets 
are indispensable for warmth. 

There are many pretty women here, some with fair 
hair and blue eyes; all the ladies are seemingly highly 
prized by the gentlemen, for a more jealous set cannot 
be found elsewhere. In the main plaza, where the 
market is daily held, the Indian women are to be 
seen with their hair braided with flowers, sitting near 
their heap of oranges, vegetables, and fruits, gently 
inviting by their modest glances the attention of the 
purchaser, and never by look, manner, or speech show- 
ing aught else than innocence and purity of character. 
It seems so strange to me that an opinion should have 
got among the people of the United States that the 
Mexican women were immoral in their conduct. It is 
as groundless an error as ever prevailed, and as gross a 
calumny as was ever uttered or thought. So far from 
it, I can speak from an experience of nearly two 
years' acquaintance, that the women of Mexico are as 
pure as those of any land, and that in the relations 
of wife and mother they are unsurpassed in the per- 


formance of domestic duties. One fact will demon- 
strate this assertion : nowhere on the face of the 
eartli is the wife and mother more loved and respected 
than in Mexico. I challenge any one to contradict 
this who has had the same opportunity of knowing 
as myself 

There is one feature connected with these markets 
which is interesting: the pulque is brought in skins 
of hogs and goats securely sewed to prevent leakage, 
the beverage being drawn from one of the animal's 
legs. Over and over again I have seen a Mexican 
mother, surrounded by her little flock of half a dozen 
children, from the babe in arms to the child of ten 
or twelve years, approach a pulque seller, take the 
skin from his hands, and, applying the leg to the 
open and expectant mouth, suffer the delicious (to 
them) drink to flow down the greedy throat. It was 
very attractive to me to witness this treat of the little 

This Indian blood of Mexico, as far as I have seen, 
is certainly the gentlest of any that runs among the 
creatures of the Almighty's hands. Men, as well as 
women, are mild and docile ; no one can see them 
without being struck with these traits. Fire-arms 
and whisky destroyed our North American Indians. 
They cannot effect the same i"esult with these races; 
for, unlike ours, these yield. On the advance of Scott 
he found the road filled with rock and other obstacles 
placed by the enemy to impede his advance. A large 
force of Indians was brought from a neighboring 
village to remove the impediment. They were the 
same men who, by order of the Mexican military, 



had placed them there. They smilingly went to 
work and got them out of the way, looking upon the 
whole matter as a good joke, thus to undo for one, 
without comijensation, that which they had labor- 
iously wrought, for the other army. 

I never saw a Mexican woman show what we call 
temper, except upon one occasion, and that Avas in 
this town of Jalapa. General Scott had employed a 
spy comjDany for escort and scout duty, which was 
composed of the worst-looking scoundrels I ever 
saw. Robbers and banditti before the war, being 
renegades, their characters were not improved. They 
came down from the city with their captain — Colonel 
Dominguez — as an escort to a specie train. Stopping 
in front of my quarters, I was looking at them with 
interest, when I noticed one of them, quite a lad, 
drinking from the usual drinking-cup, a gourd, which 
a woman on the sidewalk had just handed him. He 
drank with his head averted, unmistakably ashamed 
of the company he was in. He returned the gourd 
to the woman, who, without a word, threw it on the 
ground and crushed it under her foot. The action 
was seen by several of the villains, whose savage 
looks might have been followed by blows ; but I 
made a move which attracted their attention, and 
the woman slipped into her house. 

The society of Jalapa would be considered good in 
any metropolitan city, and I hope I may be pardoned 
for mentioning the name of Mr. James Kennedy, an 
American gentleman intermarried with a Mexican 
lady, whose interesting family and hospitable man- 
sion were always open to our visits, and whose con- 


tinued civilities to us all will be long retiiembered. 
We were also under great obligations to Mr. Henry 
Hall, of Ponghkeepsie, New York, the superintendent 
of a cotton factory in the vicinity of the town, whose 
long residence in the country, and familiarity with the 
Mexican language and character, rendered his society 
not only agreeable but at all times advantageous to 
the officers of our garrison. Neither of these gentle- 
men had lost any of their attachment to their native 
country, and both were highly I'espected by the in- 
habitants of Jalapa. 

Several of the Mexican residents were owners of 
estates in the vicinity, to which we were frequently 
invited, and where we enjoyed the delicious fruit of 
the country freshl}' gathered from plant and tree, 
where the luscious chirimoya, the pomegranate, and 
the pineapple were piled upon tables already beautiful 
with the golden hue of the orange and the dark green 
of the lime, and where the perfume of the vanilla 
mingled with the aroma of the mimosa and the arbor 

On one of these haciendas, belonging to Seiior G., 
lying five miles south-west of Jalapa, and called 
Apacho, there was one field of cane three leagues 
square, which produced twenty thousand pounds of 
sugar per week for eight months in the year. As the 
fortune of this gentleman was princely, his entertain- 
ment was magnificent. After the repast we accom- 
panied him to the pineapple orchard, which was then 
in full fruit; the laborers were all clad in skins, each 
with a long knife, called a machete, very sharp on 
both edges, with which the bushes or trees are kept 


trimmed. These trees are not more than four or five 
feet high, and the peon (laborer), severing the fruit 
from the tree by a single touch, seizes the branch be- 
neath the fruit, when, with two or three rapid and 
dexterous cuts, the apple is pared, and, dripping with 
its fragrant juice, is banded you on the end of the 
knife. I am sure in this way the pineapple as a 
tropical fruit is unsurpassed for flavor, except by the 
peach and cantaloupe of dear old Maryland, in the 
temperate regions of the north. The orange-groves 
on this estate were so large and the quantity so great 
that Seiior G. said he knew not what to do with the 
fruit, — the beauty of the orchard when the fruit was 
ripe, as now, and the perfume of the blossoms earlier in 
the season, compensating for their care and expense. 



The Ayuntamiento or Town Council of Jalapa 
was continued in its civil functions, working har- 
moniously with the military authorities of the United 
States. The town was quiet, except when the pass- 
age of a train with its escort left in its wake the 
worthless and dissolute, to molest the citizens and 
annoy the military ; as a general thing, the relations 
between our soldiers and the townspeople were 
friendly, and it was not at all an uncommon sight to 
see an American soldier mending his boots alongside 


a Mexican shoemaker, or a carpenter in uniform work- 
ina; at the same bench with a Mexican mechanic. I 
saw a soldier looking with great interest at some native 
masons laying brick.* They were at work upon a 
platform, elevated some dozen or so feet from the 
earth, to which a man was carrying mortar upon his 
head on a square board instead of a hod. The masons 
stood immediately in front of the wall they were 
constructing, placed each brick separately on its bed, 
used a plumb line, square, etc., to see that eacJi brick 
was correctly aligned, occupying as much time in 
laying a half-dozen bricks as an American mechanic 
would in laying one hundred. The soldier asked if 
he might show the Mexicans how to work. I re- 
plied, certainly, if he were a bricklayer. He said 
that he was. Mounting to the platform, one of the 
Mexicans gave to him his trowel, the ordinary steel 
tool of English manufacture, and the soldier went to 
work. It was really a pleasure to witness the grati- 
fication of the Mexicans as they saw the rapidity 
and skill with which the American mason did his 
work. I left him instructing his fellow-craftsmen ; and, 
as the genius of the Mexican is in imitation, I have 
no doubt that hereafter Mexican bricklayers will 
work secanchtm artem. 

There were twenty-one companies of troops and a 
battery of artillery distributed over the town; the 

* Bricks are now burned in kilns set up recently by Americans 
in several parts of Me.xico. They are made of good quality, 
.and the contrast between these kiln-burned brick and the sun- 
dried adobe o( ancient days is greatly in favor of the former. 


daily duties were onerous upon the Military Com- 
mandant; it was his duty to approve all the requisi- 
tions and returns, to receive and revise the morning 
reports (which I regard as second in importance to no 
duty devolving upon an officer), to attend or be pres- 
ent when the grand guard was turned oif, to receive 
the reports of the old officers of the guard and to give 
instructions to the new, to inspect the company drills, 
the company quarters, and the hospitals, to revise 
and sign the consolidated morning reports, then pre- 
sent himself in person at the Governor's quarters for 
orders and instructions. These were the invariable 
regular morning duties ; the afternoons were employed 
in drilling the District of Columbia and Maryland 
Eegiment or the several Battalions, in evolutions of 
flie line. At night the town was thoroughly patrolled 
by details made from the mainguard, the commis- 
sioned officer in charge being required to report imme- 
diately to the Commandant any cause for danger or 
disturbance. Scouts were daily sent in various direc- 
tions, the main road patrolled by mounted men, 
pickets and videttes established on prominent land- 
marks, everything which ability or experience could 
suggest for the proper maintenance of the post was 
successfully done. 

One of our greatest sources of anxiety was the ill 
health of the command, especially the mortality in 
the Second Illinois Regiment, one company of which 
had lost twenty-six men, including the captain and 
first lieutenant, since reaching Jalapa; in all, the 
seeds of disease were planted in the Tierra Caliente, 
and the imprudence of the sick in eating pineapple 


ines did the rest. Notwitlistiinding the advice of the 
surgeons, despite the most stringent hospital reguLi- 
tions, the invalids would eat these pies, and they 
were alinost as certain death as a bullet through the 
body. The desire of the sick, the morbid craving of 
these poor fellows for cheese and pineapple, was as 
wonderful as it was painful to witness; no amount 
of punishment inflicted upon the vendors could 
keep them from selling their pernicious articles to 
the sick. 

In the month of December, Major-General Thomas 
Marshall, of Kentucky, arrived with troops, among 
which was a fine company from Washington, recruited 
and commanded by my lieutenant and friend, Cap- 
tain Francis B. Schaeflfer; it was a rifle company, 
handsomely dressed in dark blue jackets and pants, 
and attracted marked attention from our weather- 
beaten companies from the same city. It was perma- 
nently attached to our regiment. 

December 11. General JNlarshall reviewed the garri- 
son of Jalapa on the parade-ground, and the concourse 
of people to witness it was greater than on the pre- 
vious review. I dined with the general, and had the 
pleasure of hearing from his lips an account of the 
"free fight" which took place in Louisville some years 
ago, and which gave an oclat to his name. 

January 1, 1848. Last evening I visited by invi- 
tation the dwellincrof a citizen to witness a Nathndad 
or Naclmiento, illustrative of the nativity of our 
Saviour. It was a scenic and panoramic representa- 
tion of the manger, the adoration of the shepherds, 
the worship of the Magi, the star in the east, the 


hills of Bethlehem, etc., which occupied the walls of 
two parlors and wns an nrtiatic and creditable piece of 
work. These representations take the place of our 
Christmas-trees, much time and money being ex- 
pended on their construction and adornment, the old 
as well as the young manifesting much interest in the 
display and the fetes to which they give rise. On 
this evening, the house was visit'^'d by a procession of 
young girls dressed in white with wreaths of flowers 
on their heads, who passed round the rooms singing 
a hymn in adoration of the blessed virgin and the 
infant Messiah. Music frf)m a piano, harp, and 
guitars accompanied the singing, adding to the 
melody and sweetness of the voices and the measured 
cadence of the march. Altogether it was a pleasing 
and attractive entertainment. 

To-day I attended high mass at the cathedral ; the 
church was filled, and as the bells pealed twelve 
meridian, the crowd which filled the main plaza 
uncovered, and for a few seconds a silence still as 
death reigned over all. The solemn ritual of the 
Roman Catholic Church, impressive at all times, is 
particularly noticeable in its effects upon the Indian 
population of this country; no man who knows its 
character would ever doubt the good results flowing 
from these ceremonies, and the introduction of paint- 
ings and music, to lead their plastic minds to the wor- 
ship of the only true God, and away from the deviltries 
and superstitions of their former priests, and altars 
smoking from the blood of human victims sacrificed 
to their hideous idols of stone. Civilization has 
done, and will do, much to modify church ceremonies, 


but you might as well expect a child to read without 
knowing letters, or to speak other languages than its 
mother-tongue, as to expect an idolater to give up 
his images and accept a spiritual worship before his 
understanding can grasp the lesson intended to be 
taught. All men have a spiritual worship within 
their souls; and to guide it and to lead it, whether 
such be on the plains of Mexico or in the streets of 
London, requires all the wisdom of man, enlightened 
with the grace of God. To teach an Indian the ten 
commandm.ents, is quite feasible; to explain the re- 
hgion of Christ to them, is another matter ; if a paint- 
ing will illustrate a half intelligible idea, and music 
elevate the soul, why not use these adjuncts to in- 
struction ? Object-teaching ever has been, and ever 
will be, the true and elementary means of instruction, 
in the infant schools of the world. 

Jayiuary 6. To-day I was awakened early with 
the information that a train coming up had been 
attacked by guerilleros, and reinforcements asked 
for from our garrison. I soon received orders from 
Colonel Hughes to march with our regiment, and was 
informed by him that he would follow with the 
mounted men and the New Jersey Battalion. I 
marched rapidly, reaching Cerro Gordo eiirly next 
morning; Colonel Hughes coming up with the cavalry 
assumed command and pushed the cavalry forward 
to Plan del Rio. Holding Cerro Gordo Pass, we 
watched the approach of the train, which we could 
plainly do by reasnn of the cloud of dust which hung 
over and above the line of wagons and column of 
troops. During the morning couriers reached us 


from the commanding officer of the train, with news 
that everything was going on well, that he had re- 
pulsed the attack, with a loss of three men killed, and of 
two hundred pack mules with their cargoes, and that 
he anticipated no further danger. This gave us leisure 
to look over the battle-field, which will forever prove 
an interesting study to soldiers. I have before referred 
to it, but notice it again to say that the whole right 
of the Mexican army was in a perfect cul-de-sac ; as 
long as the line of Mexican battle was intact, the right 
was formidable, as the action proved ; but when the 
left was turned, as it was, the centre was powerless, 
and the right prisoners of war, without a chance of 
escape. The observation of this field I would recom- 
mend to all students of the military art; it would be 
worth months of study in books at college. The 
field was yet strewn witli the debris of battle, Ameri- 
can and Mexican bones, clothing, arms, belts, cartridge- 
boxes, and some half-dozen heavy guns lying with 
battered carriages about their silent embrasures. It 
is a solemn feeling to look on, in stillness, where the 
crash of battle has been heard, and see the eai'th en- 
cumbered with the harness of men who grappled in 
mortal conflict, a belt plate here, a tuft of hair there, 
with a few buttons and a broken gun ; these tell of 
anything else than soldier's glory living in story. 
They tell, in the solitude of your heart, of the utter 
nothingness of all this trash, that the living reap what 
the dead perished to win, and that the peace of God, 
which passeth all understanding, is more to be desired 
than all this world can give of honor or of riches, of 
glory or of renown. 


We returned to Jalapa on the evening of the 8th, 
the head of the train being well up with us when we 
marched into the city. There was a good deal of 
amusement occasioned by the plunder of the mule 
train, as the merchandise belonged to English mer-. 
chants, who had been loudest in their professions of 
friendship to the guerilleros, and who had boasted of 
the security with which their goods could pass through 
the Tierra Caliente. 

January 10, 11, 12. President of a court of in- 
quiry, convened by order of Colonel Hughes, to in- 
quire into the matter of an alleged robbery of the 
church at the village of San Andres, by Lieutenant 

and a scouting party from the garrison. 

The court could find but little to sustain the charge, 
and the proceedings were abandoned. 

Jamiary 15. In corapanj^ with Colonel Hughes 
and a large number of officers, I went by invitation 

to the hacienda of Seitor to witness some of 

the sports of the connti-}'; a large nunjber of Me.xi- 
cans were present. The first performance was this : 
a bull was driven from the corral or cattle-pen, and 
after he had got into the open fields numbers of men 
on honseback pursued ; the foremost seized the bull 
by the tail, then by wrapping it round the leg and 
giving the horse a spur so as to make him turn sud- 
denl\', letting go the tail of the bull at the same time, 
they generally succeeded in pitching the bull on its 
head, when it would lie stunned and motionless for 
some time. Several cattle were subsequently started 
out together, and as many as thirty horsemen pur- 
sued with the same result, the most skillful riders and 


tail-geizers being first to catch and throw the startled 
and disconcerted animals. I could not but be pleased 
with the admirable horsenninship displayed, but was 
disgusted with this sport, and still more when a man 
bestrode the neck of a bull, and made him run by 
spurring him in the face, the rider holding on to the 
horns of the poor benst. They then gave us displays 
of horse-racing and throwing the lasso, which were 
interesting and novel, but I had become so vexed at 
the wanton cruelty of the pi'eceding entertainments 
that I paid but little attention to the feats of skill. 
My estimate of Mexican character was not much 
raised by the visit to this hacienda, and I concluded 
that I had seen my last bull-chase. 

January 20. Information having reached here that 
an attack was to be made on a train under charge of 
Captain M. K. Taylor of our regiment, the New Jersey 
Battalion and a section of Til gh man's Battery were 
dispatched to Corral Falso ; these troops returned on 
the 22d, bringing the train in safely. 

Januarij 23. A prisoner named , under 

sentence for killing a Mexican, made his escape early 
this morning from the guard-house ; he was recap- 
tured at Coatepec, brought back, and at evening 
parade he and an accomplice were tied to the wheels 
of a cannon and received, each, fifty lashes on their 
bare backs, as a portion of their sentence. 

January 24. In obedience to orders from the head- 
quarters of the army, the larger portion of the garri- 
son was marched out of the city to Coatepec, five 
miles distant, so as not to interfere with the Mexi- 
cans, who were to hold an election. There being 


much aguardiente — Mexican brandy — in this village, 
some of the command got drunk, and we had con- 
siderable trouble; two of the stragglers were mur- 
dered, and their bodies shockingly mutilated. 

Junuary 27. Having received information that a 
considerable number of deserters from the American 
army were being secreted in a village fifteen miles 
distant, Captain Lloyd Tilghman was sent with one 
hundred mounted men to capture them and the 
parties who were keeping them. He returned on the 
28th, bringing with him four deserters, and on the 
29th three more were brought in by a portion of his 
command. It is alleged that these men were seduced 
from their duty by an organization now existing 
among Mexicans, whose object is to corrupt the rank 
and file of the American army by money and promises 
of promotion in their army. Among these so charged 
is a priest or curate of Naolinco, with whom some of 
these deserters were found by Captain Tilghman ; he 
has been arrested, and will be tried by a military 

January 30 — Sunday. Inspected the garrison, hos- 
pital, and company quarters ; in the evening went to 
an American circus which had travelled here from the 
coast en route to the city of Mexico ; the soldiers were 
delighted, and it reminded one of home to hear the 
familiar cries of boyhood uttered by them at the ring 
performances, the antics and the witty sayings of the 
clown; I am sure our men were as near happy as it 
is in the power of mortals to be. 

February 3. More rumors from Cerro Gordo; sent 
Oaptaius Brown and Schaeffer's companies, which 


brought in safely the train said to have been threat- 

February 5. A Mexican named Bustamente was 
shot to-day by sentence of a court-martial, for being 
a guerilla, and for numerous acts of villainy. Having 
been solicited to act as counsel for the priest Rafael 
Tgnacio Cortez, charged with seducing American sol- 
diers to desert and harboring them in his house at 
Naolinco, I appeared to-day before the militarj^ com- 
mission in his behalf I continued to act in his de- 
fense daily, until the 8th, when the proceedings 
against him were suspended. 

February 9. A deputation of the citizens of Nao- 
linco waited upon me to thank me for my services in 
behalf of their curate, the priest Coitez. They knew 
my services had been voluntary, and they behaved 
very well ; no gentlemen anywhere could have shown 
more propriety of conduct. 

February 15. To-day, for the tenth time at least, 
we have certain news from the city of Mexico that a 
treaty of peace has been signed by commissioners; a 
certain gentleman of high standing heard Mr. So-and- 
so, brother-in-law of the minister of foreign relations, 
say — these are the kind of rumors that occupy much 
of the conversation of this garrison. 

February 16. To-day, Major C. and Ilerr , 

a magician, en route to the city, dined with us ; after 

dinner, Ilerr amused us with a variety of 

tricks, which suspended during their performance all 
military and domestic duties about my headquarters. 
I cannot say which were the most interested, the sol- 
diers or the Mexican servants; this was inside the 


house, while outside the crowd was so great that the 
patrol had difficulty in dispersing it Before tlie guests 
left, I had inwardlj- resolved never to have a magldan 
at headquarters, it not being conducive to military 

February 20 — Sunday. Having been officially in- 
formed that a bull-fight was to take place to-day at 
the amphitheatre for such purposes in the town, and 
further, that it was expected I would be present as 
commandant of the garrison, I went with all cere- 
mony, and was ushered into a room or hox of state, 
over the main entrance, and opposite to where the 
matadors entered. These soon came in, gaudily 
dressed, preceded by a clown, holding a baton, which 
be flourished as they approached, and made obeisance 
with oriental dignity. When the bull came in, the fight 
commenced by goading him with lances in the hands of 
the picadors, and shaking red flags by the banderillos 
before his eyes; finally, blazing fireworks were attached 
to the flanks, shoulders, and foreliead of the agonized 
beast, until, maddened to desperation, he received the 
fatal blow from the chief killer, who was honored by 
an enthusiastic round of vivas by the large audience 
which was present. 

I saw several bulls killed, several horses ripped up, 
and was very much in hopes that I would see some 
of the Mexican performers killed or nicely gored, for 
the effect of the whole exhibition was to make me 
side with the bull, and it was as much as I could do 
to keep quiet. Nothing but what I deemed official 
etiquette kept me in my seat to the close of the per- 
formance. I permitted another one to take place on 


the 23d, and suspended the drills so as to enable the 
men to witness a bull-fight, but none other were ever 
allowed whilst I was in command. 

Fehruarij 29. Brigadier-General N. Towson, Pay- 
master-General, arrived to-day from Vera Cruz, es- 
corted by Captains White and Besan^on of the 
Louisiana Mounted Men. I gave him a review, and 
drilled the brigade in evolutions of the line; it was 
a beautiful day, the troops looked splendidly, and 
manoeuvred so well that I was much pleased. 

March 1. To-day the following order was issued 
at the headquarters of the army : 

" Headquaeteks, Army or Mexico, 
" Mexico, March 1, 1848. 
"Orders No. 16.] 

" I. The troops of this aniiv are organized into divisions as 
follows : 


" 1. Brevet-Major-General Worth's Division. Brevet- 
Captain George Deas, Assistant Adjutant-General. — Light Com- 
pany A, Second Artillery; the Second and Third Artillery; 
Fourth, Fifth, Si.xth and Eighth Infantry. 

" 2. Brevet-Brigadier-General Smith's Division. Brevets 
Captain J. Hooker, Assistant Adjutant-General. — Light Com- 
pany K, First Artillery ; Regiment of Mounted Fourth Artillery ; 
First, Second, Third and Seventh Infantry, and Marine Corps. 

" 3. Brigadier-Ge.\eral Cadwalader's Division. Brevet- 
Captain F. iS. Page, Assistant Adjutant-General. — Field Bat- 
tery under the command of Captain Steptoe ; Third Artillery; 
Kinth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth 
Infantry, and Voltigeurs. 

"1. Major-General Patterson's Division. Brevet-Captain 


W. W. Mackall, Assistant Adjutant-General. — Battalion Georgia 
Horse, three companies Illinois Horse; Massachusetts, First 
and Second Pennsylvania, New York, District of Columbia and 
Maryland, South Carolina, Second and Fourth Ohio, Second 
Illinois, Regiments of Foot ; New Jersey and Georgia Battalions 
of Foot, and one company of Florida Foot. 

"2. Brioadike-General Marshall's Division. Brevet-Cap- 
tain E. R. S. Canby, Assistant Adjutant-General. — Seven com- 
panies Louisiana Horse, Battalion Texas Horse, Lawler's 
Company of Horse ; Third and Fourth Kentucky, Fourth and 
Fifth Indiana, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Tennessee ; Louisiana 
Regiment of Foot ; Mississippi and Louisiana Battalions of Foot. 

"II. The field-batteries under the command of Lieutenants 
W. H. French, First Artillery, and M. Lovell, Fourth Artillery, 
are assigned to the First and Second Divisions of Volunteers, 

" III. Commanders of Divisions will organize the troops under 
them into brigades ; the Regulars into two and the Volunteers 
into three brigades. 

" IV. The Fourteenth Infantry and Voltigeurs, underthesenior 
o£6cer, will proceed to Toluca, and there relieve the Sixth and 
Eighth Infantry, which latter regiments will then proceed to the 
city of Mexico. 

"V. Colonel Bonham with the Twelfth Infantry will proceed 
to Cuernavaca, and relieve the First Infantry, which regiment 
will then proceed to the city of Mexico. Colonel Bonham is 
assigned to the command of the department of Cuernavaca, and 
will relieve Colonel Clarke, Sixth Infantry, who, on being re- 
lieved, will join his regiment. 

"VI. The chiefs of the several departments will avail them- 
selves of the change of troops to send supplies, should any be 
required, to Toluca and Cuernavaca, as well as receive stores 
from those posts. 

" By order of Major-General Butler, 

" (Signed) " L. Thomas, 

"A. A.-G." 

This was the first official order we had seen not 


386 ME3I0IRS OF A 

issued by Major-General Winfield Scott ; we knew he 
had been superseded, or suspended from command, 
but it pained me to see that, though in the country, 
another general officer was in command. 

It will be perceived that we were in the First Divi- 
sion of Volunteers, and I was officially informed that 
unless peace was soon made our regiment would be 
relieved and ordered to the city of Mexico, that I 
might expect orders to march at any moment. 

March 2. General Towson and staff left for Puebla 
and Mexico. 

March 6. On court of inquiry in case. 

March 7. Visited the cotton factory under the 
superintendence of Mr. Hall. 

March 8. Brigade drill and evolutions of the line ; 
a train arrived from the city of Mexico, bringing me 
copies of an armistice which had been agreed upon; 
sent copies of the armistice to my father, to Hon. 
Reverdy Johnson, Hon. John Glenn, Mr. Thomas 
Hollingsworth Morris, and to Mr. A. S. Abell, of the 
Baltimore Sun newspaper. 

March 10. The Illinois Volunteers left for Puebla; 
we are expecting daily our orders to march ; peace- 
stock low to-day. 

March 16. A train came down from the city es- 
corted by the First Pennsylvania Regiment, under 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Black, an 
old friend ; Brigadier-General Joseph Lane was with 
the escort, en route for home ; he seemed much pleased 
to meet me once more, and gave a full account of his 
fight at Huamantla and other incidents of the cam- 
paign. Captain Walker's company fought very bravely 


at Huaraantla and lost heavily, which I have before 
stated, but mention again, as General Lane gave me 
the information. The general also said that General 
Butler had told him there would be a peace negotiated 
beyond a doubt, and that he thought the troops would 
be leaving the country about the middle of May ; 
peace-stock up again to-day. After leaving General 
Lane, I met several of my old companions-in-arms, 
who agreed that the prospects of a peace were not 
encouraging, and the general opinion of army officers 
in the city of Mexico was that it was doubtful whether 
the Mexica7is would make peace. I visited at night 
the principal hotel in Jalapa, the Vera Cruzano, which 
was thronged with officers of our army from above 
and below, a considerable number of paroled Mexican 
ofiicers, and many citizens ; there was but one subject 
of conversation, — the probabilities of peace. I knew 
nearly every gentleman in the hotel, and after hear- 
ing and observing all I could, arrived at the conclu- 
sions that a peace was doubtful, that the minds of 
both Americans and Mexicans were in doubt as to 
what was best to be done, and that neither cared much 
whether the armistice would end in peace or war. 

March 21. Captain Marcellus K. Taylor, of the 
Twiggs Mounted Rifles, with his company, came up 
from Vera Cruz, bringing a mail-bag found by one of 
his men lying in the chaparral near the National 
Bridge. It had contained a mail sent from this post, 
and all the letters which were recovered had been 
torn open, presenting a muddy and very sorry ap- 
pearance. I caused notice to be given to the garrison, 
and soon a very animated and amusing scene was 


witnessed. The officers were first permitted to ap- 
proach the pile of soiled and crumpled letters, from 
which any written by themselves might be reclaimed. 
Next the non-commissioned officers came ; then the 
privates. There were several hundred — perhaps five 
hundred — letters, and there were at least one thou- 
sand soldiers, many of whom had never written a 
letter in their lives, all desirous of a personal ex- 
amination of the pile, to find a letter. There were, 
perhaps, fifty of these letters upon which the address 
could not be made out, nor the names of the writers. 
These were, however, claimed by one or other of the 
soldiers, and formed the reading matter of the entire 
garrison for several weeks. The shouts of laughter 
which at times were heard from the barracks indi- 
cated that one of these letters, containing oiews from 
the army, was being read to the great delight of the 

March 2.3. Visited to-day Coatepec, the Eancho de 
los Manueles, the Hacienda of Orduiia, and a famous 
pineapple orchard near Coatepec. 

March 25. A mail arrived to-day from the United 
States, bringing the intelligence that our Congress 
was expected to reject the project of a treaty of peace 
which had been received from the city of Mexico. 
The leading inhabitants of Jalapa were soon in pos- 
session of the information, and it created an immense 
excitement. The news took the Mexicans completely 
by surprise, as no one in this country thought that 
ive would reject any treaty of peace. It will have a 
good effect. 




After Santa Anna left the city of Mexico, on the 
morning of the 14th of September, he went to Guada- 
lupe, where he resigned the Presidency to PeHay Pena, 
dispatched General Herrera to Queretaro, which, by de- 
cree, he made the seat of government, and then with 
his command marched eastward to Puebla. He had a 
double purpose in view : he was in rear of Scott and on 
his line of communications ; and if he could get pos- 
session of Puebla, he was in a strong position, as a 
point d'appui for bis friends and pai'tisans. Puebla 
was near falling; but Colonel Childs heroically held 
out, until the approach of General Lane's column 
relieved him, by withdrawing Santa Anna and his 
troops to meet the latter at Huamantla. It was 
evidently the purpose of Santa Anna to fall upon 
the column of Americans, while on the march to the 
relief of Puebla. If he could have severed this, 
General Rea would have sallied out from Puebla, 
and thus Lane's troops would have been between the 
two bodies of Mexicans. Captain Walker brought 
on the combat before either genernl was ready ; but 
the attack coming from the Americans disarranged 
Santa Anna's plans, and gave the victory to Lane. 
There were thirteen killed and eleven wounded, 

390 MEMoms OF A 

nearly all of which fell upon Walker's mounted rifles 
and the volunteer cavalry. The result of this engage- 
ment was, the relief of Puebla by the retreat of the 
Mexicans, and General Lane entered the city. This 
was on the 13th of October, and Huamantla was 
Santa Anna's last battle. He had fought his last 
fight for a country which requited his services by 
depriving him of command. Peiia y Peua directed 
him to turn over his troops to General Rincon, and 
the greatest of all the generals of Mexico was an 
outcast and a fugitive. 

There is nothing connected with the history of the 
war with Mexico so unintelligible as the permission 
given by our government, in May, 1846, to permit 
General Santa Anna to enter Mexico. He was at 
the time in Havana, and instructions were given 
Commodore Conner to let him pass, should he desire 
to return to Mexico. He did return, by means of 
having his agents and emissaries, thoroughly to blind 
and deceive those, who thought that through his 
agency peace might be made with the United States. 

No fair man who was in the war from the begin- 
ning, but must admit, that Santa Anna was true to 
his country from first to last. But he never recov- 
ered from this act of our government, for it made the 
Mexicans distrust him. It was beyond even tlieir 
statecraft, to imagine, that the United States would 
suffer their ablest man to return to Mexico, unless he 
had been bought. 

It will be remembered that Buena Vista was his 
first battle, and a Mexican officer told me, at Tampico, 
that Santa Anna had designedly suffered his troops 


to be cut to pieces, and in that battle he had heard 
soldiers say " tliey were sold hy Santa Anna," as they 
were falling beneath the fire of the Americans. Such 
language as this was the result of our policy, unin- 
tentionally sowing distrust among the soldiers of 
Mexico ; yet Santa Anna led the survivors from that 
field to meet the Americans again and again, until 
Valencia's conduct at Contreras crushed his fortunes 
and his military prestige. When the city of Mexico 
fell, the star of Santa Anna sunk beneath the horizon 
of his country; yet he continued to struggle, while 
there was the semblance of a hope, or the shadow of 
armed resistance to the American troops. 

No man who claims to be a soldier can deny to 
Santa Anna military genius, courage, and fidelity to 
his country, in the war with the United States. 

Some time in January, 1848, he made application 
to the Queretaro government for permission to leave 
Mexico. After some delay passports were granted, 
and, having opened a correspondence with Colonel 
Hughes, through two of his friends in Jalapa, he 
informed Colonel Hughes that he proposed, to take 
up his residence at an estate belonging to him near 
Jalapa, called Encerro, until a vessel was ready to 
receive him at Antigua, when he would sail for for- 
eign parts. He desired to know whether Hughes 
would give him a safeguard, concluding his letter 
with complimentary allusions to Colonel Hughes and 
this garrison. Hughes replied that he would receive 
his Excellency with all honors, and furnish him with 
the necessary safeguard and an escort when he wished 
to leave the country. 


At 8 o'clock on the morning of the 28th of March 
Colonel Hughes and staff left the main plaza with 
the intended escort for Santa Anna of three com- 
panies of mounted men, which I had the honor to 
command. We marched on the Perote road six miles 
to the village of San Miguel, and halted at the resi- 
dence of General Durand, who had command of the 
castle of San Juan de Ulloa at the time of its surrender 
to Scott. The general had a collation prepared for 
us of bananas, oranges, frijoles, cheese, wine, etc., 
which we heartily enjoyed. After lunch our videttes 
announced the approach of the distinguished Mexican 
leader. My command was formed to receive him. 
The first of the cavalcade was a small body of well- 
equipped and well-appointed lancers; next followed 
the General's carriage drawn by eight mules, close 
behind which another company of lancers followed. 
As the carriage was nearly up to my right, I gave 
the command, " Present sahres !" saluting at the same 
time. The General, who was sitting on the rear seat, 
arose and returned the salute, and I noticed, sitting 
at his side, his wife, "el flor de M^jico." The carriage 
halted at General Durand's house, and the ex-Presi- 
dent, wife, and daughter alighted. We were pre- 
sented formally, and I had an opportunity of looking 
at this extraordinary man. My first thought was. 
How like my father he is ! and, whilst this first im- 
pression was dwelling in my mind. Captain Lloyd 
Tilghman remarked, " How much he is like Major 
Kenly's father !" 

General Santa Anna is a little over the middle 
height in stature, rather stout, with a quiet, sedate 


air, and a countenance expressive of great firmness; it 
was now shaded witli tliat cast wliich trouble and 
sorrow always give. He was dressed in a dark olive 
suit, the coat being large and long, like what we call a 
surtout, with large brass buttons. When he received 
me, he was standing up with his cork leg extended 
shghtly out from his body, and his left side he was 
supporting with a cane. T begged him to be seated, 
but he declined, saying that although he was lame he 
was not fatigued, as he was accustomed to standing. 
I told him that to a soldier the honor of losing a leg 
in battle compensated for the inconvenience occasioned 
by its loss. He seemed pleased with the remark, and 
I stepped aside to permit others to be presented. I 
sat down by the daughter, who is a child of his first 
wife, and looked with interest at his present wife of 
whom I had heard so much. I judged her to be about 
eighteen or twenty years old, medium height, a beau- 
tiful figure, and with as lovely a face as I had ever 
seen — nothing at all Mexican in it, entirely Anglo- 
Saxon, fair skin, hazel eyes, dark hair, sweet mouth, 
and a set of teeth rivaling ivory in beauty. I readily 
understood why she was called the floioer of Mexico. 
Her manner was ladylike and pleasing, but as cool as 
if she were dining in the President's house at Mexico, 
surrounded by the body-guard of her husband. How 
different the demeanor and conduct of the daughter, 
a girl about fourteen years of age ! her features were 
hterally pinched sharp with the most evident anxiety 
and trouble, her manner so nervous and uneasy that 
I pitied her very much. I asked her if she had ever 
studied the English language; she replied, No, that 


she was siempre caminando, that is, always on the 
move or traveling; it is difficult to give the fall force 
of this sentence, accompanied as it was by a look of 
much sadness. Knowing as I did that her father 
had been hunted for months, narrowly escaping 
with his life, I could not doubt that she had been 
siempre camiiiaiido. Dinner was announced at two 
and a half o'clock p.m., and we sat down. Madame 
Santa Anna sat at the head of the table, the Gen- 
eral on her right, with Colonel Hughes on her left. 
After dinner the General asked me if I would smoke, 
at the same time handing a case containing about 
a dozen cigars. I declined receiving them, when 
he inquired if I did not smoke; I replied that I 
did ; he then asked me why I did not take one, to 
which I replied, that they were all such great smokers 
at my end of the table, that if they once got hold of 
his case he would never see his cigars again. He 
laughed very heartily and made me take them ; they 
were soon distributed, except two, which I kept for 
my father, and subsequently sent home to him. 

I was getting very uneasy ; a few days before this 
there had arrived a regiment of Texas Rangers, who 
were encamped between San Miguel and Jalapa on 
both sides of the main road along which we had to 
pass. I was well acquainted with its commander, 
Colonel Jack Hays, a famous partisan, with whom I 
had served at Monterey and on the Rio Grande. 
Having heard that threats were made, that Santa 
Anna should not pass alive through their camp, I had 
spoken to Colonel Hays on the subject. He told me 
he thought there was no danger, but I was not satis- 


fied, and now among the crowd which thronged at the 
door of the dining-room I noticed Colonel Hays. I 
rose from the table, and approaching the colonel, 
who was dressed as usual, with a round jacket, Mexi- 
can hat, and no badge of rank other than a silk sash 
tied round his waist after the fashion of the Mexicans, 
said to him, " Suppose you let me present you to Gen- 
eral Santa Anna;" he said, "Well," and we walked 
toward the head of the table. As we approached him 
there was general suspension of conversation, a move- 
ment of alarm was perceptible among the Mexican offi- 
cers of the escort, and a silence very painful to me per- 
vaded the hall. Santa Anna as yet was eating fruit. 
I said, "General, permit me to present to you" — when 
I had got thus far, he turned his face toward us and 
was in the act of rising — "Colonel Jack Hays." When 
I pronounced this name, his whole appearance and de- 
meanor changed, and if a loaded bombshell, with fuse 
burning and sputtering, had fallen on that dinner- 
table, a greater sensation would not have been caused. 
The Mexican officers arose from their seats; standing 
and motionless, they looked at me. Mrs. Santa Anna 
turned very pale ; the General resumed eating fruit, 
with his gaze on the table ; Colonel Hays, gentleman 
as he was, bowed politely and withdrew from the 
room. Almost immediately after his withdrawal the 
Mexicans surmised what had been my object, and, 
headed by the General, came pleasantly toward me 
and said they were ready to march. I had time to 
speak to Hays, and then mounted. Placing a com- 
pany on either side of the carriage (which was 
resisted by the Mexican escort commander until I 


made him give way) , with Sergeant David G. Murray, 
of Tilghman's Battery, and Sergeant William U. 
Stuart, of the Twiggs Rifles, each carrying a United 
States flag and riding at the head of each company, 
opposite the carriage-doors, I gave the command 
" Trot, march !" and we started at a swinging gait to 
Jalapa. The escort of Mexicans was next, the car- 
riage and my remaining company closed the column. 
As we approached the camp of the Texans, they were 
seen on the stone fences on either side which separated 
their camp from the road. There were several hun- 
dred of them, and apparently as quiet as if at a camp- 
meeting listening to a sermon ; with one of these 
companies I was on very friendly terms, as they had 
served with me ; and, knowing this, I galloped to the 
head of the column, placing myself in the middle of 
the road just in front of the leading mules' heads. 
The Mexicans had now taken the alarm, and pressed 
forward; the drivers, there were two of them, whistled 
and cried their tipas, upas, vociferously, the mules 
took the alarm, and away we came at a killing pace. ■ 
We were now among the Texans ; not a sound to be 
heard ; not a motion perceptible ; there they were in 
all manner of postures on and about the stone fences. 
At this moment I saw coming toward us a mounted 
Texan riding in the middle of the road. I made 
right at him, struck the right side of his horse's 
head with the flat of my sabre, he swerved, and we 
were past horse and rider before either I am sure was 
aware of what was the matter. There was no time 
for exclamation or explanation ; we were going at full 
speed, and I drew one long breath when I saw the 


steeples of Jalapa. The Texans had behaved with 
great propriety, the well-disposed among them check- 
ing even an utterance of what might have been 
deemed disrespectful, to one under the safeguard and 
honor of our flag.* 

When we got to the garita, the General halted, and, 
expressing a wish not to pass through the city, Cap- 
tain Tilghman's company was detailed to escort him 
to Encerro, distant eight miles from Jalapa, and bid- 
ding us adieu, with a regret for having incommoded 
us, the carriage, with its escort, proceeded to its des- 
tination by the road outside the city. 

March 30. In company with Colonel Hughes and 
most of our officers, we went by invitation to break- 
fast at 12 with General Santa Anna at his hacienda 
of Encerro. The General received us kindly, and we 
sat down to a sumptuous dejeuner a la fourcliette. The 
ex-President spoke with much feeling of the conduct 
of the Mexican people toward him, and said that he 
would never return until recalled by the nation. He 
seemed in good spirits to-day, and said it was his in- 

* It gives me pleasure to record an instaoce of the chivalric 
character of this regiment of Texaiis, with which I was unac- 
quainted at the time of the occurrences I have just related. Just 
previous to his application for passports, Santa Anna had been 
surprised by a body of cavalry in his hiding-place near Puebla, 
and narrowly escaped with his life, leaving everything in his 
rapid flight. All his personal effects, carriage, writing-desk, 
money-chest, were captured, and the wardrobe of his wife. 
Among these troops was the regiment of Texans led by Colonel 
Jack Hays, who, without disturbing an article of the lady's ap- 
parel, sent the whole of it, under charge of some Mexicans, to be 
delivered to Mrs. Santa Anna. 

398 31EM0IRS OF A 

tention to embark from Antigua for Jamaica, thence 
to England. 

After breakfast I accompanied him to an adjoining 
room, where some half-dozen or more of his suite were 
engaged writing ; at the head of the table, on an ele- 
vated seat, sat a fine-looking man, who was dressed 
in a blue coat with brass buttons, white vest and 
pants. He was a native of Belgium; the others were 
Mexicans, some in uniform, some in civilians' dress. 
After a few words between the Belgian and the 
General, the writers took fresh paper. Santa Anna com 
menced walking slowly about the room, and I soon 
understood him to be dictating his farewell address 
to the Mexican people. He spoke slowly and senten- 
tiously, the Belgian making occasional notes, the 
others writing rapidly. I left whilst the work was 
going on, and I much regret not having seen this 
address, if it were ever published. 

After several hours pleasantly spent with the ladies 
of the family, and several other guests, friends of 
Santa Anna, we gave good-by to all, and in a few 
days Santa Anna had left Mexico, we giving him 
an escort to the ship's side in which he sailed for 




April 3, 1848. Colonel Hughes having official 
business with the headquarters of the army, I accom- 
panied him and Surgeon Stedman R. Tilghman of 
our regiment, to the city of Mexico. With a mounted 
escort, we left Jalapa in the morning, and reached Pe- 
rote, distant thirty-two miles, in the afternoon. Jalapa 
being situated on the eastern edge of the first plain or 
terrace which lies at the base of the Cordilleras, at 
an elevation of four thousand three hundred feet 
above the sea-level, the road rises gradually, passing 
through the villages of San Miguel, La Hoya, and Las 
Vigas, until we turn the northern end of the mountain 
chain at Cruz Blanca, which is at an elevation of 
seven thousand and forty-eight feet. The famous 
landmark, El Cofre de Perote, which rises to an alti- 
tude of twelve thousand feet, is on our left as we 
follow the road at its base, which leads into Perote, 
three leagues from Cruz Blanca. I visited the castle, 
(now in the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Seymour, 
of the Georgia Battalion,) which is a mile or so from the 
town, and was less amazed at its strength than at its 
location. Why the Spaniard expended several mil- 
lions of hard dollars on this immense fortress is a 
mystery; it commands nothing, being built on a plain 
of several miles in extent, and if it was intended, as 
some assert, for an arsenal, why locate it on an arid 


plain nearly destitute of water, and one hundred 
miles from Vera Cruz, at which post the castle of San 
Juan de Ulloa was of sufficient capacity to hold all the 
war material of Spain. It was called by our people the 
graveyard of Mexico, its reputation for unhealthfulness 
surpassing that of any other place in the country* 
At sunrise the next morning we left, and after pass- 
ing through several large Haciendas,-)- reached the 
town of Tepeyahualco, a miserable place, nearly 
deserted, seven leagues from Perote; our ride now 
was over a sandy desert, with columns of sand moving 
and whirled by the wind over the plain, like huge 
water-spouts ; for a distance of twenty miles not a 
vestige of vegetation was apparent, except the Agave 
Americana, the maguey, from which the pulque is 
made. We halted at the corral of Ojo de Agua, which 
means literally, " eye of water ;" this was a beautiful 
spring of water gushing from the earth, around which 
the corral had been erected. Distance from Perote 
forty-two miles, and in a south-westerly course. 

April 5. Left Ojo de Agua at 5 o'clock a.m., just 
as the peons (laborers) were going forth to their 
daily toil; there were several hundred of them, men, 
women, and children, moving in gangs, as I have seen 
slaves on the cotton plantations of the south ; and 
these poor creatures were, in all but the name, held 

* Except Camargo and the National Bridge. 

■j" A hacienda is a large estate; a rancho or ranch, a unia-ll 
farm ; a corral signiSc;s what the word caravansary does in the 
east, a place of shelter for man and beast, within walls; it also 
means a pen or pound for horses and cattle, and also, an inclosure 
formed by an army or wagon-train for safety from attack. 


to the same servitude. They were chanting, not sing- 
ing, a kind of hymn, which was as melodious as it 
was melancholy ; its tone was that of subdued grief, 
of passive obedience to a fate beyond their power to 
change, and a helpless submission to a tyranny it was 
impossible to be freed from. It made a strong impres- 
sion upon me. I looked at the faces of many of them 
as they passed ; each countenance was indicative of a 
soul's sadness, each lineament portrayed the senti- 
ments I have endeavored to express above. 

At 8 A.M. we got to Nopaluca, a smnll town or 
pueblo, situated at the crossing of the main road by 
a road which leads from Orizaba to a more northern 
route to the capital. Here we found my friend Colo- 
nel Willis A. Gorman, with his Indiana Eegiment and 
some dragoons : our road, still going south-west, 
passed the base of El Gerro del Pinar, whose summit 
is nearly eight thousand feet above the sea-level, then 
on to Amazourka, famous over the whole of Mexico 
and Central America for its manufacture of steel spurs, 
bridle-bits, and horse-ornaments ; we went through 
several of the manufactories, and were pleased and as- 
tonished at the skill and beauty of their workmanship. 

We pushed on, and, considerably after nightfall, 
reached the City of the Angels, known more generally 
by the name of Pnebla, where, after much difficulty, 
we found lodgings at a meson.* Distance, forty-five 
miles from Ojo de Agua, and still in a south- 
westerly course. 

* The words Meson, Venta and Fonda, all mean hotel, or 
rather, what we used to call in English, a tavern. 



Puebla is at an altitude of six thousand seven hun- 
dred and fifty-six feet above the level of the sea, 
nearly two thousand five hundred feet higher than 
Jalapa. It is really a beautiful city, and the day I 
passed here was one of enjoyment. Situated in a fer- 
tile plain, with a population of seventy thousand in- 
habitants, with wide, well-paved streets, a large cathe- 
dral, many imposing public edifices, and many of its 
dwelling houses ornamented in front with glazed 
tiles representing scriptural and allegorical subjects, 
it is no wonder that the Mexicans regard it with so 
much pride, and boast of it as being the City of the 
Angels. This name, however, was given it, I believe, 
because of its numerous churches, and the number- 
less sweet-toned bells, which, even yet, attract the 
population and the stranger to the portals of the con- 
vents, churches, and missions, with which .the city 
abounds. The cathedral is very rich in its property, 
as well as in the gorgeous decorations of its interior — 
its altars, shrines and chapels; a chandelier, cele- 
brated for its magnificent workmanship, hangs in the 
church, weighing several tons, and which is said to 
be mainly wrought from gold and silver metal. The 
Carmen convent, the San Franciscan, and the 
Bishop's palace, are large piles of masonry, which yet 
attest the power and wealth of a church that, in the 
days of the Viceroys, swayed the destinies of the 
Indias. We dined with Colonel Childs of the U. S. 
Army, the commandant, who showed us the defenses, 
made by him in his successful resistance against the 
populace of the city and the army of Santa Anna, 
when besieged by them ; and we visited with him the 


other memorable places in the city and vicinity. I 
regretted not being able to go to Huamantla, which is 
in the adjoining district of Tlascala, so well known for 
the brave race of Indians who fought side by side with 
Cortez in the first conquest of Mexico. This race is 
nearly extinct, though I have seen some of its caste. 

April 7. Left Puebla and marched a due north- 
west course to the pretty village of San Martin, 
twenty-one miles from Puebla. We breakfasted at 
the hacienda San Christobal, by the polite invitation 
of the proprietor, Seiior Saviiion, who gave us an 
entertainment as abundant as it was in good taste. 
There was hitter on the table, the first I had seen 
which had been made in the country ; by a North 
American this luxury was highly prized, and, being 
deprived for so long a time of its use, we made fear- 
ful inroads upon the dairy product of San Christobal. 
A league from the town we were at the corral Buena 
Vista, whose name indicates the lovely view of a val- 
ley unsurpassed in beauty — the famed Valley of San 
Martin ; it reminded me of a valley which one day 
will become celebrated, the Middletown Valley, be- 
tween Frederick and Plagerstown, Maryland. This 
Valley of San Martin, though seven thousand two 
hundred feet above the sea, is luxuriant beyond de- 
scription, producing not only the corn, wheat, and 
barley of the temperate zone, but pepper (chile), 
beans (frijoles), banana, tobacco, eollee, and maguey 
of the tropics; its wheat flour makes the bread which 
rivals the Parisian baker's loaf, and its pulque is as 
prized as the Lachryma Christi of Vesuvius. 

Rising rapidly from the valley, we commence the 


ascent of the Sierra Madre, crowned by the once-seen, 
never-to-be-forgotten mountains, Popocatapetl (the 
smoking mountain) and Iztaccihuatl (the white wo- 
man), the one seventeen thousand eight hundred and 
eighty-four feet, the other sixteen thousand feet, above 
the sea. We were now surrounded by mountains 
covered with eternal snow, but they were as pigmies 
by the side of these two colossi of the Sierra Madre; 
the crater of one receiving the first kiss of the rising 
sun, and the summit of the other its parting rays, as 
it sinks in the west. Called by the natives husband 
and wife, the traditions of the country are full of 
the poetry of an imaginative people about these two 
mountains : the one a volcano, of once frightful 
eruptions, the other forever at rest in the gorgeous 
grandeur of nature's dressing. There is a sublimity 
and mystery round and about them which impresses 
a traveller from their first view, and the charm in- 
creases as you lessen the distance ; crossing the Sierra 
at g,n elevation of ten thousand feet, the summit of 
the White Woman on your left is so far and high up 
in the heavens above you, with her robe of spotless 
white and her diadem of gilded sunset, that you con- 
tinue to gaze, for her beauties continue to increase, 
until dimness of sight — or is it the darkness? — 
conceals her in its embrace. 

Before reaching Rio Frio (the cold river) we passed 
through an immense pine forest, and came to the little 
hamlet which takes its name from the river. It was 
a miserable place, the night cold and dark, but while 
shivering in the unaccustomed temperature of the 
frigid zone, we received an invitation to accept the hos- 


pitality of Colonel Wm. Irvin, whose Ohio Regiment of 
Volunteers was stationed here. Distance from Puebla 
forty-two miles, north-west course. 

April '?>. We got an early start; at daylight we 
saw a gang of rough-looking, armed Mexicans ap- 
proaching, which caused us some uneasiness, as I am 
quite confident there was not a soldier in our party 
who could have used either sabre or pistol, we were 
so benumbed with cold. Both parties halted ; after 
a reconnaissance, we saw a train of pack-mules and 
another gang of these ruffians escorting it ; we learned, 
after a brief parley, that they had been hired to guard 
a specie train from the city to Puebla. We passed 
each other, and hailed the warmth of the rising sun 
with unalloyed pleasure, as it restored to us the use 
of our limbs. At 8.30 a.m. we caught our first view 
of the far-famed valley of Mexico, and, halting for 
breakfast at the Venta de Cordova, twenty miles from 
the city, we spent an hour in looking at the unrivaled 
view spread out before and beyond us. Passing by 
Lake Chalco and through the town of Ayotla, at 2 
o'clock P.M. we were up with the PeSon mountain, 
an isolated mass of rock several hundred feet in 
height, rising up from the plain, at the base of which 
the road runs toward the city. Here was the first 
exterior line of Mexican defenses to guard the approach 
by the causeway, over which we rode for eight miles, 
and entered the capital city of Mexico at 4 o'clock in 
the afternoon. Distance from Eio Frio thirty miles. 
Course, west to Lake Chalco, then north-west to the 
city. Distance by my calculation, from Jalapa, one 
hundred and ninety-one miles. 




Soon after our arrival we called to see Major-Gene- 
ral Scott, though etiquette required that our first visit 
should be to Major-General Butler ; our first duty, as 
it was our pleasure, was to call on General Scott, 
though be was not in command, and neither Colonel 
Hughes or I hesitated a moment in telling General 
Butler, when we called on the same evening, that we 
had been to see Scott. 

Hughes was an old acquaintance and friend, so 
that our reception was cordial and pleasant ; telling 
him our purpose to call on Major-General Butler, the 
Commander-in-chief, he invited us to come after our 
visit to sup with him at 10 o'clock. We returned, 
sat down to the first supper of the kind I had seen 
in Mexico, cold roast fowl and champagne wine, and 
spent one of the most agreeable evenings of my life. 
The General was in excellent humor; jested about 
his being superseded in command, said he was an old, 
broken-down soldier, in disgrace, etc., and, observing 
me looking at an object in the corner of the room 
which had attracted my attention, he changed his 
discourse, inquiring what I saw. Without waiting 
for a reply, he said, "Bring it to me." Leaving ray seat, 
I went over to the corner, and took up what appeared 
to be a stick of round wood, cajjped with brass at 
either end ; noticing a brass plate, with an inscription, 
attached to the middle of the log, I was about read- 


ing it, when he arose suddenly from his chair, and 
took it from me, saying, " What do you think this 
is?" I made no reply, for I did not know what it was, 
or what I should say. Holding the log at arm's 
length from him, so that the light fell upon the plate, 
he said, "This is my spy-glass; read," and I read 
that this was a portion of the " flag-staflf of Cliapulte- 
pec," captured by the American Army, and presented 
by General Scott to the United States Military Acad- 
emy at West Point.* This is about the substance of 
what was engraved on the plate, and which I read 
with every nerve thrilling with a creeping sensation 
impossible to describe. When he saw that I had read 
the inscription, he rapidly reversed the stick, and 
placing one end, as if it were an elongated spy-glass, 
toward my eye, asked me " what I saw?" Without a 
thought, I replied, " Olory !" From that moment 
General Scott and I were friends. I was a young 
man, very fond of the profession of arms, and this 
notice from so distinguished a soldier was inexpress- 
ibly gratifying. 

During the evening a gentleman came in hurriedly, 
and told the General that a courier from Vera Cruz 
had brought the astounding intelligence to the British 
Legation that Louis Philippe, King of France, had 
been driven from his throne, by a revolution in Paris. 
This news became the theme of conversation. General 
Scott saying that he was personally acquainted Avith 
the king, etc. 

* As I was never at West Point, and never inquired, I do not 
know whether this is there or not. 


That night the French residents in the city para- 
ded in the main plaza, singing the Marseillaise, and 
I rarely ever witnessed a scene of wilder riot and con- 
fusion ; there were twenty or thirty of these half- 
crazy Frenchmen, who entered the different gambling 
saloons, singing their songs and brandishing bottles 
from which they were drinking without stint. As 
the players did not like the interruption, I thought 
once or twice that there would be a serious ending 
to the frolic; finally, the party was induced to with- 
draw, but they kept the main-guard busy until 

April 9 — Sunday. Major Osboiuie Cross (of Mary- 
land), Quartermaster U. S. Army, had kindly invited 
us to share his quarters while in the city. These 
were in the principal street, the Galle de Plateros 
(Street of the Silversmiths), not far from the grand 
square or main plaza. As the cathedral fronted this 
square, our first visit was there, but before speaking 
of it, I will try to give a general description of the 

The mean elevation of the great valley of Mexico 
is seven thousand five hundred feet, while the moun- 
tain barrier which encloses it will average ten thou- 
sand feet above the sea-level, on the east, south, and 
west sides. Its area is eighteen leagues, or forty-five 
miles, in length, and twelve leagues, or thirty miles, 
in width, or two hundred and forty-five square 

There are five lakes in the valley, which cover an area 
of a hundred square miles, with a depth of from eight 
feet to several inches of water. When Cortez arrived 


in 1520, these lakes were surrounded with numerous 
populous villages, communicating with each other by 
canals supplied from these lakes, and in the centre 
of the largest lake, Tezcuco, was built the capital 
city of the Aztecs, called Tenochtitlan. The city was 
reached from the shores of the lake by well-constructed 
causeways, which were intersected by canals for the 
passage of boats ; by which also the neighboring 
populations approached the capital for commerce or 
rehgious duty. 

The present city of Mexico was built upon the site 
of the ancient Tenochtitlan, and amidst its ruins ; 
but the lake no longer surrounds the city, it has 
been filled by the destruction of the old city, and the 
gradual evaporation of its waters has diminished its 
size, so that, unlike Venice, the water no longer occu- 
pies the place, nor is used for thoroughfares in the 
city. Nevertheless, as in the days of Cortez, the 
Indians come to the capital of the conquerors as their 
ancestors, in boats, from the neighboring shores of 
Chalco, Xochimilco, and San Christobal, the waters 
of whose lakes communicate with those of Tezcuco. 
The causeway by which we entered the city is the 
same that was in existence at the time of the con- 
quest, but instead of passing through and over a lake, 
there are dry patches of earth and edifices where there 
was formerly water, except at intervals, which are 
fringed with the waters of Chalco and Tezcuco. The 
Lake of Tezcuco, being the lowest and the most south- 
erly, receives the waters of the northern lakes, and, 
there being no outlet, it occasionally overflows its banks 
when flooded in the rainy season, inundating the city 


of Mexico to the depth of several feet. Were it not 
for the rapid evaporation, owing to the great altitude 
of these waters, there would yet be serious cause for 
alarm, that the modern, like the ancient city, would 
be in the midst of the waters. There have been 
several attempts to provide against such a fate by 
constructing a desagua, and it is related that upon 
several occasions, when the valley was in danger of 
being submerged, the earth was split open by earth- 
quakes, and the waters escaped through the fissures. 

The modern city of Mexico is as regularly laid out 
as Philadelphia, with blocks or squares of large 
stately-looking stone houses, capacious streets, showy 
and attractive shops, and, were it not for the flat level 
upon which it is built, would be a handsome city. 
There is always a large concourse of people moving 
through its main streets and grand square ; and its 
alameda, or public square, and its passes, or public 
walks, are thronged during the day and evening, with 
a motley crowd of all classes sauntering in shade or 
sunshine, in light or darkness, as the humor or taste 

The great centre of the city is the grand square, 
upon which fronts the cathedral, the President's palace, 
the public buildings, and the richest shops of the 
metropolis. It is a large open space worthy of a 
large city; nothing contracted about it; paved with 
square flag-stones, regularly and artistically disposed, 
and radiating from the outer limits to a circular space 
in the middle, where it is designed to erect a monu- 
ment commemorative of the independence of the 
country from Spain. 


The cathedral occupies the site of the temple so 
famous in the history of the conquest; its chief at- 
traction to me was the Calendario Azteca, or Mexican 
calendar, which has been placed in its western wall near 
the angle formed by that and the main front of the edi- 
fice. This stone, or basaltic rock, exquisitely and elab- 
orately carved, is the most interesting object of an- 
tiquity on the North American continent; in size it 
is thirteen and a half feet by thirteen and a half feet, 
weighs forty-eight thousand two hundred and seventy- 
five pounds, and upon its face is sculptured the sun 
in its four seasons, movimientos, represented by the god 
Tonatiuh, with open mouth and extended tongue to 
picture the flight of time. This huge face of the sun, 
or god, is surrounded by several circles filled with 
hieroglyphics, expressive of the division of the days and 
nights by the revolution of the earth on its axis ; of 
the days of the month ; of the signs of the zodiac, 
and the number of days in the year. Upon the stone 
is also delineated the great feasts celebrated at the 
solstices and equinoxes, as, like the Egyptians, and 
subsequently the Israelites, the feasts were celebrated 
at the time of these celestial phenomena by the Tol- 
tecs and the Aztecs. The stone was found some feet 
below the surface of the main plaza in front of the 
cathedral in the year 1790, and was most judiciously 
preserved by being built in the existing wall of the 
church. There were observed upon its face on the 
outer edge several small holes. The Mexican savants 
judged the use of these ; by placing wooden pegs in 
them and stretching strings over and above the sur- 
face of the calendar, the meridian was accurately 


marked upon the face at noon, and other most inter- 
esting astronomical observations made upon the stone. 
They reached the conclusion, that a people who regu- 
lated their religious festivals by the movements of the 
heavenly bodies, and sculptured their historic deeds 
upon a public monument such as this, had attained 
a high degree of civilization, and showed by their art 
and knowledge of astronomy a close analogy between 
the peoples of Asia and America. By placing this 
stone vertically on a horizontal plane, with the face 
to the south and fronting a line drawn due east and 
west, it was demonstrated that the artificers, or those 
who superintended its construction, were well ac- 
quainted with all the principal celestial movements, 
and had added to their division of the year into days 
even the number of intercalary days, to preserve the 
equation of time. 

The cathedral church, outside and inside, is worthy 
the metropolitan see of the first city of the Hispano- 
Americans ; you may measure its wealth of interior 
church adornments by its exterior size, four hundred 
feet front by five hundred feet in depth. We wand- 
ered through its maze of columns and chapels, through 
its atmosphere of incense and amid its altars and 
paintings, its gold and silver vessels and figures, with 
uncertain steps and undefined impressions. While all 
was gorgeous and rich, you trod upon uneven or sliding 
planks beneath you, which alone separated your feet 
from the dust and ashes of the graves beneath, which 
smelled of earth, earthy. 

That which most excited my attention in the cathe- 
dral was a railing several hundred feet in length, the 


rails of which were at least three feet high, all of 
which, rails and balusters, top and bottom, inside 
and outside, were made of gold and silver metal ; 
within this railing approach was had to the sanctuary, 
within which was an image of the Virgin Mary, 
dressed with brilliants, whose value is estimated by 
millions of dollars. 

What a commentary this wealth was upon the 
character of our army ! nothing whatever between it 
and sequestration, but the honor of a nation, which 
waged this war, not for pillage, but for a peace which 
would redress the wrongs done our citizens and give 
us compensation for losses occasioned thereby. 

The eastern front of the square is flanked by the 
National Palace, a long line of not very showy build- 
ings, yet imposing from their great length and uni- 
formity of appearance. These were, when Mexico 
was a province of Spain, the residence of the Vice- 
roys, and in republican days the Executive Mansion 
and halls of Congress ; now, they are the headquarters 
of the American army, and the barracks of the main- 
guard of the city. Here is now sitting the court of 
inquiry, convened by order of the President of the 
United States, to inquire into the differences which 
unfortunately arose between Major- Generals Scott, 
Worth, and Pillow, after the fall of the city, and the 
publication of tlie official reports in relation thereto. 

I have never witnessed a court whose proceedings 
were marked by more dignity and decorum than 
characterized this high military tribunal. I attended 
several of its sittings, which were deeply interesting, 
from the eminence of those who participated in the 


events which were the subject of the evidence ad- 
duced, and whose presence at the trial table, with their 
respective staffs, added weight to the prominence of 
the grave questions under discussion. 

Military law and usage found able exponents among 
the experienced soldiers present, and when such 
officers as Major-General Worth gave their testimony 
as to the strategy or tactics of certain movements 
the evidence was listened to with profound attention. 
Large numbers of officers of the army occupied the 
court-room and galleries, groups of Mexican officials 
were noticeable, while numbers of Mexican officers, 
prisoners of war, passed away their time quietly 
listening to the proceedings, which they could not 
understand, but closely scanning the appearance and 
demeanor of the dramatis personse. 

The south side of the square was the building de- 
voted to municipal purposes, and on the west the old 
palace of Cortez, still belonging to his family, now in 
its lower stories filled with shops, before which a por- 
tico forms, I think, the most attractive part of the 
city. This portico is ten or fifteen feet wide, arched, 
and covered with the second story of the long pile of 
buildings. It opens on the grand square, toward which 
the front windows of the shops expose their wares, 
and is the select promenade of the ladies, who manage 
to do a little shopping even in war times. There 
were large crowds of well-dressed people circulating 
along this portico for several hours of mid-day, and 
this, with loolcing in the shop windows, made the place 
a favorite resort of mine. It was much larger and 
more unique in its appearance and in the character of 


its merchandise exposed for sale, than the galerie 
d' Orleans in the old Palais Royal at Paris. 

I was chiefly to be found, however, at the National 
Museum, in the university building, not far from the 
Plaza Mayor. It will repay any archaaologist or 
antiquarian to visit the citj^ of Mexico, by an exam- 
ination of the interesting relics of an age and a peo- 
ple now unknown, which may be found about this 
building, in its galleries, courtyards, cellars, and gar- 
rets, for all is in confusion, as all is wonderful and 
strangely attractive to the imagination and the senses. 

Hei-e is the sacrificial stone as when it was thrown 
down by the Spaniards from the summit of the Teo- 
calli, while the red blood of their countrymen, sacri- 
ficed a few nights previously, still added its stain to 
the countless rivulets which had flowed down the 
side, until the whole place smelt like a slaughter-house, 
as described by Bernal Diaz. Here is the stone yoke 
which was placed over the neck whilst the villains 
tore the heart out from the breast of the murdered 
victim ; here the groove down which the blood ran, 
and here the obsidian knives with which the priests 
made the incision between the ribs. Here are idols, 
and there the huge basaltic block carved into the 
grotesque and yet grand image of Huitzilopuxtli, the 
god of war. Here the face of the mysterious Quet- 
zalcoatl, the god of the air, which you will not pass 
without its attracting more than a casual glance; 
there is something in its expression that rivets your 
attention. Here a painting of a Mexican emperor in 
the Council of kings, and there the coronation of 
Yxtlixochitl by the high-priest Taratzintin 141 5. Here 

416 ME3I0IBS OF A 

a painting of the army of Cortez, painted by the en- 
voys sent by Montezuma for this purpose, and show- 
ing the effect produced upon them at first hearing 
a discharge of firearms ; and here is another, painted 
by the same artists, of the tent in which, and the 
appearance of, Cortez when he received the presents 
sent him by Montezuma. Battles between the naked 
Indians, armed with sword, sjjear, and shield, are 
graphically represented, as the iron-plated, half- 
centaur warrior of old Spain slaughtered them, with 
the destructive and unseen missiles sent by heaven 
from the mouthsof fiery serpents. Here are hundreds 
of square feet of hieroglyphic writing on maguey 
paper, as plain as when written hundreds of years 
ago, to record the daily marches of the Aztecs in their 
long pilgrimage. Here is a hieroglyphic delineation 
of the deluge and the confusion of languages, and 
here a genealogical tree of the Aztec family, mount- 
ing to the first couple (they go back to our first 
parents) ; here are the musical instruments, curiously 
wrought, mingled with the bow and the arrow, the 
sword and shield of the warrior ; here a portrait of 
Zitlalpopoca, a senator of Tlascala; there the sad and 
handsome face of Montezuma; here the armor of 
Cortez, there the portrait of Don Diego de Almagro; 
here Pedro de Alvarado, there Diego de Ordaz ; here 
Fr. Bartolome de las Casas, there Fr. Bernardino de 
Sahagun. In the courtyard is the very fine eques- 
trian statue of Charles IV. of Spain, by Tolsa, a 
Mexican artist; here are also several huge idols and 
feathered serpents grotesquely carved in stone, which 
will give a better idea of idolatrous worship than 
tomes of description. 


The museum contains numberless little things 
which the curiosity-hunter loves more than gold; and 
to such I say, you have a jjleasure in store, if you 
have not seen the museum in the city of Mexico. 
Eead and read again the charming history of the 
conquest by William H. Prescott ; then read the ex- 
planation of the ancient history of Mexico, by Isidro 
R. Gondra, it being the introduction to Prescott's his- 
tory translated into Spanish, by Ignacio Cumplido. 

As in all Spanish cities, there are public walks, or 
paseos, and an alameda, which corresponds with the 
English parks or the public squares of the American 
cities. The Paseo Nuevo is at the western, the Paseo 
de la Viga at the eastern, end of the city. Both are 
alike broad avenues for equestrians, with narrower 
ones for pedestrians, — planted with stately trees, 
adorned with fountains, plentifully supplied with 
seats comfortably located. The Mexican population 
of all ranks and conditions frequent these airy and pic- 
turesque walks to indulge in the luxuries of idleness 
and sight-seeing. It is delightful to sit and look at 
the handsome equipages, the tastefully-dressed ladies, 
the excellent horsemanship of the caballeros, the 
proud Don in his mantle and the poor lepero in 
his blanket, passing in crowds, like a spectacle on 
theatrical boards ; but nothing charmed me so much 
as to see the Indian girls, crowned with wreaths of 
roses, as they danced in their boats, returning from 
the city to their homes on the shores of Lake Chalco, 
by the canal which runs for a long distance alongside 
the Paseo de la Viga. This sight, as historic as ro- 
mantic, brought to memory the same scenes, related 



with so much pleasure by the companions of Cortez 
as so attractive when seen by them on their first 
entrance into the valley of Mexico. I have no doubt 
that the songs the girls were now singing, and to 
which the dance kept cadence, were the same which 
allured the soldiers of Spain, and which kept the 
hardy warriors in these Ely si an fields of the New 
World. There was but little gold, plenty of hard 
blows; and a soldier must think that there were other 
attractions, besides the destruction of idols and the 
elevation of the cross, to the bold adventurers who 
climbed the sierras of this far-distant land and who 
planted the banner of Castile and Leon amid the 
ruins of the Aztec dynasty. Boat-load after boat-load 
of girls passed along this canal, as happy in their 
innocent merriment as if their parents had never 
known sorrow and the future would prove a dream 
of the present. Differing from all other Mexican 
songs I had heard, there was no melnncholy what- 
ever in the music, as there was none in the manner or 
tone of the singers. Coming from a district, Xochi- 
milco, known in their language as the land of flowers, 
these artless children of nature mingled with the 
perfume of roses their melodious voices, in unconscious 
thanksgiving to the Almighty Creator of heaven and 
earth, as the bird warbles its praise, as the flower 
sends forth its fragrance. 

There was one other place in the city of Mexico I 
liked to visit, and this was the Monie de P'ledad, or 
pawnbroker's shop. Here were gathered the most 
bizarre articles, from the time of the conquest to the 
present day. Next to the museum, here were to be 


seen such curiosities as could be found nowhere else, — 
no, not in the broad world. It would not be saying too 
much that there are articles in this pawnbroker's 
establishment, that look as if they had been pledged 
by the companions of the Cid or the followers of 
Cortez. The offerings of all ages and all countries, 
of all sexes and conditions, seem to have been pro- 
miscuously heaped about this grand altar to the 
penury of mankind. Here, in this mountain-locked 
region, thousands of miles from the great world, have 
drifted and lodged the fragments of wreck scattered 
o'er the ocean of distress by the storms of life, until, 
mouldering away, their dust repeats the language of 
Solomon, "Vanity of vanities, — all is vanity!" 

There was, indeed, pride as well as vanity in a 
pair of earrings which excited my admiration : they 
represented a pair of pea-fowl ; the bodies, half an 
inch long, were formed of pure brilliants, the necks 
of small rose diamonds, topaz, and emerald, the tail- 
feathers, a little more than half an inch in length, of 
sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, all exquisitely set, and 
glistening with the unrivaled colors of these precious 
stones. I had the temerity to price them. Eight hundred 
dollars, and muy barato (very cheap), was the reply. 

We called to see Major-Generals Worth and Patter- 
son, and Brigadier-General Persifer F. Smith, the 
military commandant of the city, by each of whom 
we were kindly received and hospitably entertained. 
We attended guard-mount in the grand square, and 
were present at several drills of the division of reg- 
ulars. We promenaded the portales, the paseos, the 
alameda, visited the mint, the aqueducts (which 


bring fresh water from the hills into the city), the 
citadel, the convent of La Merced, and the quarters 
of the canaille of Mexico, — the leperos, as bad a 
looking class of men as one would wish to avoid. 
We also visited the church of the Virgin of Guada- 
lupe, in the village of Guadalupe Hidalgo, three miles 
north of the city. It was here, that the well-known 
picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have 
been miraculously painted on the blanket of an Indian, 
and which has given to its cathedral church a high 
reputation for sanctity over all Mexico. The name 
of Guadalupe is so entirely Mexican that it was a 
pleasure to be at the home of its nativity, and I 
visited the church with respect, if not with faith, to 
look upon the miracle as it is now shown to the 
public. There is a fountain adjoining the church, 
and carefully guarded, whose bubbling and muddy 
waters deposit a sediment, which, collected in a matrix 
at the bottom, gives a representation of the picture of 
the Virgin on the blanket, as seen by the Indian on 
this hill-top, the site of the church. I witnessed the 
manner of formation, and possessed myself of one 
of these casts as a memorial of a visit long to be 

Honored by an invitation from General Worth, we 
accompanied him over the battle-fields of the valley. 
Leaving the city by the garita of San Antonio, we 
followed the causeway through Churubusco and San 
Antonio to San Augustin. Crossing the Pedregal by 
the route over which our troops marched on the 19th 
of August, we reached the point at which Captains 
John B. Magruder and Franklin D. Callender planted 


their guns and received the fire of the twenty-two 
pieces of Mexican artillery from Valencia's intrenched 
camp. We admired the daring and skill of our artiller- 
ists, and wondered that anything had been left of 
men, horses, or material in this unequal contest. The 
courage which brought the American guns here 
amounted to rashness; 3'et its result tended to in- 
crease the self-sufficiency of Valencia and keep him 
within the lines he had been twice ordered to leave. 
Crossing the ravine to Contreras, we next followed 
the road to San Angel, passing the fields within which 
Santa Anna unaccountably (to us) held his reserves 
on the 19th and came up to the lines of Churubusco. 
These must be seen to appreciate the obstacles that 
were overcome by the gallantry and steadiness of the 
American troops. The convent is a fortress, the 
tSte da pont an elaborate fortification, and the river 
a natural defense, from which troops should not have 
been driven. 

I listened and looked, and was silent ; for the whole 
success of these operations was mysterious. 

Out of eight thousand four hundred and ninety-seven 
Americans engaged, one thousand and fourteen fell 
killed and wounded here and at Contreras : this will 
give an idea that the Mexicans fought well ; but how 
and why fifteen thousand armed men fled from such 
a position is mysterious. 

We next went from Piedad, through Tacubaya, to 
Molino del Rey. There was not much said, but a 
great deal was noticed, on this field. Fronting the 
mill, and' looking over my left shoulder, there was the 
lone fortress, forever memorable as the Casa Mata; in 


its front the drj' ditch and maguey bushes from which 
the stream of fatal fire was poured upon the front and 
flanks of the Americans ;* and here on this narrow field 
the blood of the flower of our army moistened the 
Mexican soil. General Worth led his division three 
thousand two hundred and fifty-one strong into this 
battle ; he left seven hundred and eighty one of these 
killed and wounded, to mark the victory won by the 
individual gallantry of the officers and men of the 
regular army of the United States. 

It was the most desperately contested battle of the 
war, and was the proximate cause of much ill feeling 
among officers of high rank. 

Going through the mill-building and adjacent 
grounds, we approached and entered the cypress- 
grove at the base of Chapultepec. This grove of 
trees — so old that the memory of man and the tra- 
ditions of a race run not to the contrary — seems 
to have grown, for a Druidical order of j^riesthood. 
There is solemnity and priestcraft in every trunk, 
mystery in every rustle of a branch, dark and hidden 
ways in the sombre gloom of its shade. High up, 
isolated and grand, the rock of Chapultepec shoots 

* Brevet-Major Daniel H. McPhail,a native of the city of Bal- 
timore, and a gallant officer of the United States Army, com- 
manded a company of the .5th U. S. Infantry in the attack upon 
the Casa Mata. His uniform coat evidenced and illustrated the 
character of the fire to which the troops were exposed : one 
bullet passed through it from the front, and another, striking near 
the right shoulder of the coat, passed entirely across the back 
and made its exit at the left shoulder. He providentially escaped 
without a wound 


into the heavens : made by nature for a temple, idol- 
aters may be excused for using it as such, soldiers 
pardoned for making it a fortress. It is now a fortress; 
and as the military college of the Republic of Mexico, 
it witnessed a brave defense made by professors and 
cadets, with the best Division of its army, on the 13th 
of September, 1847; but it fell, and with it the last 
hope of patriotic Mexicans. Yet they fought; and, 
descending the hillside, we continued along the line 
of their retreat, by the aqueduct, to the San Cosme 
garita, and halted at the building occupied by General 
Worth, when he entered the city, on the night of the 
13th of September, 1847. 

Going from here by the way of the alameda and 
the citadel, we were at the Belen garita, where Gen- 
eral Quitman so heroically held the position he had 
gained after his hard fighting on the Tacubaya cause- 
way, and where, fortifying himself on the night of 
the 13th, he first learned that the Mexicans were 
evacuating the city. 

Under no more favorable circumstances could we 
have gone over these fields, and we felt under great 
obligations to General Worth for the knowledge and 
instruction it had been our good fortune this day to 

While in the city there was an earthquake felt, 
which was so alarming that large numbers of the 
people rushed through the streets to the main plaza, 
where on their knees some gave vent to paroxysms of 
prayer and terror. It was an exciting time, and we 
went into the square, as it was considered the safest 
place. I noticed that there was no disposition on the 


part of any one to smile at the terror of others. 
There were two distinct shocks, one of them sufficiently 
strong to make a mantel-clock in our room lean for- 
ward considerably from its original perpendicular 
position. During the day I was shown a church- 
tower, in which a fissure twenty or thirty feet long, 
and from half an inch to an inch in width, had been 
caused by the second shock of the morning, and it 
was said that a little more heaving of the earth would 
have toppled over every steeple of the capital. It 
was a very unpleasant sensation while it lasted, and 
I had no desire to experience another. 

We also had a horse-race, which was attended by 
every officer and soldier that could get to the grounds, 
outside the city. There were many Mexicans present, 
and the occasion which caused such an assemblage, 
presided over as it was by the Commander-in-chief of 
the army, was celebrated with all the eclat of a Derby 
or a St. Leger. 

The captain of our escort had brought with him a 
horse which had won the money of both Mexican and 
American horse-fanciers at Jalapa. The captain had 
had much experience in racing in Texas, as well as 
Mexico ; he was a natural born horse-jockey, and 
boasted of having learned horse-taming from the Go- 
manches. Warily he had been making inquiry, and 
had gotten up a match between his horse and a fast 
horse of one of the Valley officers ; we were confiden- 
tially advised that we could safely bet upon our 
horse. As the time for the starting approached, our 
excitement increased, and every man of our party 
wagered money on the result. We took so much in- 


terest in the race that the judges upon the stand invi- 
ted several of us into that august presence. The time 
was blown from a bugle, the horses were brought to the 
starting-pole, the word was given, and away they went, 
the Jalapa horse ahead. Alas! and alas! he broke 
down, and was distanced, shamefully beaten. Unused 
to exertion at this great altitude, the extreme rarity 
of the air had exhausted his powers before the race 
was fairly begun, and our captain, looking upon the 
distressed and heaving flanks of his poor beast, ex- 
claimed, "As big a fool as I ought not to own so good 
a horse." We lost our money, but we gained its value 
in experience, — never to depend upon a horse's bottom 
when the horse has not been trained to the climate, 
in which it is to be tested.* 

We heard but little from our Captain on the home- 
ward march about his experience in horse matters in 
Texas and the Tierra Caliente. He had been com- 
pletely whipped. 

A few words about peace. As near as we were to 
headquarters, we could learn but little more than we 
knew at Jalapa. The senior officers of the army be- 
lieved that we would have peace before long ; this 
was the opinion of a majority of the officers ; there 

* We had all suffered more or less from difficulty of breath- 
ing, soi-e throat, and dizziuess, yet not one of us had had the 
judgment to think of the horse : though we found it difficult to 
make undue exertion, as to ascend a flight of stairs, without 
several halts to recover breath, we had permitted our horse to 
run a race without a thought of his powers of endurance. All 
this was so well known, that in more instances than one those 
who had won tendered the money back to the losers of our party. 


were others who thought differently. My own opinion 
was, from all I could hear, read, and see, that there 
would be no treaty made before the end of the armi- 
stice, which would terminate June 2, and then, if 
nothing favorable turned up for the Mexicans, their 
Congress would seriously look to the ratification of a 
treaty of peace ; not before. 

We all feared that it would be impossible to leave 
the country before October or November. 

On the 18th I dined at the Gran Sociedad with my 
old friend of the Tierra Caliente, Captain John Ber- 
nand, courier of the British Embassy; he was thor- 
oughly au courant with the news and gossip of the 
capital, and it is quite likely the above views were 
chiefly drawn from him. We parted with mutual re- 
grets, and indulged the hope of meeting again at 
London or Washington, to talk over our incidents at 
the National Bridge and along the Antigua. 

On the 19th our party dined with General Worth ; 
and now, after a stay of twelve days, having exhausted 
our leave, and, I much feared, the patience of our hosts, 
we prepared to leave the city of Mexico on the morrow, 
to return to our own post and our own duties. 

We left the city of Mexico at noon on the 20th of 
April, and rode to the Venta de Cordova, where we 
remained all night. With a beautiful moonlight we 
left next morning, crossed the sierra six miles beyond, 
and, descending rapidly, for it was very cold, we got 
to Rio Frio at 8 a.m.; by 3 p.m. we were at San Mar- 
tin, and halted for the night at the hacienda or corral 
of San Bartolo, distant from Cordova thirty-three miles. 

April 22. Before daylight we were on our march. 


and still in this lovely Valley of San Martin. On 
reaching the Casa de Diligencias, called Prieto, we 
procured a guide and started to visit the pyramid of 
Cholula, some three leagues distant. At ten o'clock 
we were in the village of Cholula, a pueblo of a few 
thousand inhabitants. At the time when Cortez 
was here, in 1520, there was a city on the present site, 
of the same name, which, in a letter written to the 
Emperor Charles V., he described as being as large 
as any city of Spain, and with as large a population. 
It was at that time regarded as a sacred city, and on 
these plains there existed a mighty population. On 
the pyramid, now in sight, was the chief temple of a 
nation whose mythology is believed to be more ancient 
than that of Greece, and in this temple was the altar 
to Quetzalcoatl (god of the wind, or air), wdiose his- 
tory belongs to the golden age of the Indian race of 
America. This word Quetzalcoatl signifies a " ser- 
pent with green plumage ;" yet so mysterious is all 
connected with the god, that he was represented with 
a white face and with a beard. He was the great high- 
priest of Tula ; he founded colonies ; would tolerate 
no sacrifices but those of fruits and flowers ; estab- 
lished religious orders ; was so great a friend of peace 
that he stopped his ears when they talked of war, 
and finally disappeared, to the great grief of his wor- 
shipers, who yet await his return, and who, it is said, 
secretly worship the god of their fathers, in the pres- 
ent temple of Christian worship which has replaced 
the temple of the lost Quetzalcoatl. 

I ascended this pyramid, whose sides face lines 
running due north and south, east and west; it is 


upwards of two hundred feet high, rising by four 
successive terraces from a base of more than a thou- 
sand feet square; built mainly of sun-dried brick- 
adobes, and covered apparently with earth, giving 
support to the seed, wafted hither by the winds or 
brought by birds. The bushes and the trees growing 
in its soil hinder and obstruct a clear view of its 
shape and beauty. The platform on the summit of 
this pyramid is about two hundred feet square, and 
here Baron Humboldt made many astronomical ob- 
servations. The temple of the Indian lias given 
place to the church of the Christian, and the chapel, 
surrounded by cypress growing luxuriantly on this 
high terrace, is dedicated to the Seiiora de los Reme- 
dios, our Lady of Remedies. 

I do not wonder that Humboldt wrote so enthusias- 
tically of the view from this spot. He says " that 
you can enjoy the sight, at the same time, of three 
mountains, each higher than Mont Blanc, viz.: Popo- 
catepetl, Iztaccihuatl, and the Peak of Orizaba (two 
of which are known to be volcanoes), without counting 
the Sierra of Tlascala, around whose summit the 
hurricanes are now forming." 

It is a grand view ; and when this plain of Cholula 
was filled with four hundred villages, each teeming 
with population, and the sacred city at its base a 
living swarm of priests and attendnnts, those who 
stood on this apex must have been bewildered with 
the multitude of objects that passed before the vision. 

There is no tradition, much less history, that gives 
the slightest clue when, or by whom, this pyramid 
was constructed, and there are no ruins on the Ameri- 


can continent at all comparable to it or more worthy 
the research of the historian or the examination of 
the archfeologist and antiquary. 

Some Mexican writers have drawn very cleverly 
an analogy between this construction and the remains 
on the plain of Babylon in Assyria. They have 
noticed that while this is a truncated pyramid, rising 
by terraces, so w^ere those of Babel and Nineveh ; 
that this, wdth half the elevation of the great pyra- 
mid of Cheops in Egj-pt, has double its extent of base. 
I have read also a costly and interesting work written 
by an English gentleman named Jones (whose Chris- 
tian name I regret to have forgotten), on the ruins of 
Central America, who made the discovery that all 
these constructions were totally unlike those of Egypt, 
in their being terraces and not pyramids, yet of pyra- 
midal form : his opinion was that the ruins of Yucatan 
were of Phoenician origin, that the ships of Tyre and 
Sidon had brought hither colonists, as they had landed 
them at Carthage, at Marseilles, in Britain, and else- 

My own opinion is that whoever finds the key to 
the history of the people who built the pyramid of 
Cholula, and who dwelt on its plains, will find the 
history of the race that built Paleuque, Uxmal, and 
the other cities of Central America. I do not at all 
agree with the general current of opinion that the 
Toltecs, the Aztecs, and other races of which we 
know a little, came from the north : far from it ; there 
is not a trait in common between their descendants 
and those from known northern hives. It has been 
a subject of reflection with me, the present configura- 


tion of the two continents; and, as I have never met 
with the idea, I throw this out for the investigation of 
geographers and the curious. Look at the map of the 
world on Mercator's projection. See Cape San Roque, 
an extreme western projection of Brazil, in South 
America, throwing out its promontory toward the 
African coast ; look at the comparatively narrow 
Atlantic Ocean between these two lands, the one of the 
western, the other of the eastern continent, and then 
look northward and southward at the immensity of 
the volume of water ; the conclusion is irresistible to 
my mind that the two continents were one, that here 
the waters of the one or the other pole had cleft in 
twain the earth from some unwonted disturbance of 
its equilibrium, and that the inhabitants of Mexico, 
the races of whom we have been speaking, are of 
Asiatic origin; that the Aztec hieroglyphics depict the 
deluge recorded in the Bible, and their genealogy their 
descent from Adam. 

After gathering a few small idols* of baked clay, 
by digging among tiie debris, we rode over the plain 
to Puebla, whose spires were in sight, distant eight 
miles due east. 

April 23. This being Sunday, we remained at 
Puebla, entered once more the cathedral, and my 
recent visit to Chohila seemed to impart additional 
interest to my observation of the people who thronged 
its aisles and who worshiped at its altars. After 

* All through the pyramid, as far as excavations have been 
made, these idols are found, having been evidently thrown in 
during its erection. 


dining with Colonel Childs, we rode with him over 
the paseo, and again enjoyed the pleasure of viewing 
this gay and handsome capital in its holiday dress 
and favorite promenade. 

We left Puebla on the morning of the 24th, and 
arrived at Jalapa the night of the 26th, after an ab- 
sence of twenty-three days. 

During our absence, Lieutenant-Colonel William 
H. Emory, of the Topographical Engineers, joined 
our regiment, having been appointed by President 
Polk. This gallant and accomplished officer gave to 
the regiment the benefit of his skill and experience 
by zealous eiforts in its drill and instruction. He was 
successful in adding increased efficiency to the com- 
mand and in winning the confidence and esteem of 
us all. From first to last, my relations with him, as 
they had been with Colonel Hughes, were intimate 
and friendly. He remained with the regiment until 
its final discharge at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. 



While a nominal government was struggling into 
existence over distracted Mexico, a serious misunder- 
standing had arisen between Generals Scott, Worth, 
and Pillow, at the city of Mexico. The trouble had 
its origin in the several official reports of the Valley 
campaign, made by the General-in-chief and his Lieu- 


tenants. There were alleged errors and mistakes 
in detail and in substance, in essential and non- 
essential particulars, in these reports of the oper- 
ations of the American army in the series of battles 
which led to the capture of the enemy's capital, 
which provoked a correspondence between the gene- 
rals above named, and the issue of General Order 
" No. 349" by General Scott, that reflected severely 
upon several of the most distinguished soldiers, and 
caused intense feeling throughout the entire army. 

The immediate cause of the promulgation of this 
memorable "Order No. 349" was the publication of 
a letter, signed Leonidof, in the New Orleans papers, 
and subsequently published at Tampico and Mexico. 
This led to the arrest of several officers, and personal 
quarrels between those highest in rank, and would 
have, in any other than the American army, shattered 
it into bloody fragments. I sometimes thought that 
the picture which was presented to our eyes by the 
condition of Mexico, mainly the result of the quarrels 
of its generals, helped to steady our devotion to coun- 
try and government by elevating our patriotism above 
the fortunes of individuals. These disputes between 
the commanding generals of our army culminated in 
charges being preferred by General Scott against 
Generals Pillow and Worth and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Duncan, the latter having avowed the authorship of 
the Leonidas letter, at the same time expressly ex- 
onerating Pillow and Worth from all knowledge of or 
connection with it. General Worth also preferred 
charges against General Scott, and appealed to the 
President of the United States. General Scott was 


recalled, his recall being based on two grounds : first, 
his own request, and, secondly, for having placed 
General Worth in arrest, because the latter had ap- 
pealed, from and through General Scott, to the War 

The order of recall was received on the 18th day of 
February, 1S48, and on that day General Scott issued 
the following noteworthy order, formally transferring 
the command to Major-General Butler, in a vein that 
will never be forgotten by those who received the 
first notice of his recall through these orders: 

" Headquarters of thk Army, 
Mexico, Februarj' 18, 1848. 
"General Orders No. 59 ] 

"By instructions from tbe President of the United States, just 
received, Major-General Scott turns over the command of this 
array to Major-General Butler, who will immediately enter upon 
duty accordingly. 

" In taking leave officially of the troops he has so long had the 
honor personally to command in an arduous campaign, — a small 
part of whose glory has been, from position, reflected on the 
senior officer, — Major-General Scott is happy to be relieved by a 
General of established merit and distinction in the service of his 

" By command of Major-General Scott. 
" (Signed) " H. L. Scott, A. A. A.-G." 

Major-General Butler on assuming command issued 
the following order, characterized by good sense and 
good taste : 

" Headquarters Army of Mexico, 

Meiico, February 19, 1848. 
"Orders iVo 1.] 

" Pursuant to the orders of the President of the United States, 

and the instructions of Major-General Scott, communicated in 

his General Order No. 59, of yesterday's date, Major-General 

Butler hereby assumes command of the army of Mexico. 



" In entering upon the duties assigned him, General Butier 
cannot be unmindful that he succeeds a General familiar alike 
with the science and the art of war, and who has but recently- 
brought to a glorious termination one of the boldest campaigns 
to be found in its annals. He, however, feels less diffidence in 
assuming the important and responsible command assigned him, 
from the conviction that he is aided and sustained by many of 
the talented and experienced officers who contributed nobly to 
our recent success in arms, and by a gallant army who have 
learned too well the road to victory easily to mistake it. 

" The orders and instructions issued by Major-General Scott 
for the government of this army vi^ill be continued in force. 
" By order of Major-General Butler. 
" (Signed) " L. Thomas, A. A.-G." 

When the news of these disputes reached Washing- 
ton, they caused painful anxiety to the Cabinet, and 
it was not until after full deliberation that the gov- 
ernment acted. On the 13th day of January, 1848, 
the orders of the War Department were issued : these 
embraced the recall of Scott, and the appointment, by 
direction of the President, of a Court of Inquiry, to 
consist of Brevet Brigadier-General N. Towson, Pay- 
master-General, Brigadier-General Caleb Gushing, and 
Colonel E. G. W. Butler, Third Dragoons (the above 
order was modiiied by detailing Brevet Colonel Wm. G. 
Belknap, of the Fifth Infantry, a member, in the place 
of Colonel Butler) members, to assemble in Mexico, to 
inquire and examine into the charges and allegations 
preferred by Major-General Win-field Scott against 
Major-General Gideon J. Pillow and Brevet Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel James Duncan, Captain of the Second 
Eegiment of Artillery, and the charges or matters of 
complaint presented by way of appeal by Brevet 
Major-General William J. Worth, Colonel of the 


Eighth Regiment of Infantry, against Major-General 
Winfield Scott; and also into any other matters con- 
nected with the same, as well as such other transac- 
tions as may be submitted to the consideration of the 
court; and, after duly investigating the same, the court 
will report the facts in each case, together with its 
opinion thereon, for the information of the President. 

Tn a letter of the same date with these orders, the 
Secretary of War wrote to General Scott, giving him 
the reasons why the President had determined upon 
a court of inquiry rather than a court martial, and 
said : " Desirous to secure a full examination into all 
the matters embraced in the several charges which 
you have presented against Major-General Pillow and 
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan, as well as the 
charges or grounds of complaint presented against you 
by Brevet Major-General Worth, and deeming your 
presence before the court of inquiry which has been 
organized to investigate these matters indispensably 
necessary for this purpose, you are directed by the 
President to attend the said court of inquiry, wherever 
it may hold its sittings; and when your presence 
before or attendance upon the court shall no longer be 
required, and you are notified of that fact by the 
court, you will report in person at this Department 
for further orders." 

There were various and sincere efforts made in 
Mexico to settle these difficulties before the meeting 
of the court, in order to prevent the injury to the ser- 
vice likely to arise therefrom. They were mainly 
successful : the fiery spirit of Worth was appeased ; 
for he had been released from arrest, and restored to 


command, until his appeal had been disposed of; he 
withdrew his charges against General Scott, although 
it is well known it was against the wishes of the 
latter. General Scott refused to prosecute his charges 
against General Worth, and withdrew those against 
Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan. In the case of General 
Pillow, the proceedings went on ; they were interest- 
ing and lengthy, involving not alone the operations 
of the army in the Valley, but, incidentally, much of 
the history of the entire war. 

The opinion of the court put an end at once and 
forever to these troubles. It concluded thus : " The 
court is of opinion that no further proceedings 
against General Pillow in the case are called for by 
the interest of the public service." 

During the investigation there were offered in evi- 
dence several letters written by Mexicans in the city 
to parties outside, which were intercepted and cap- 
tured by the American guard at Tacubaya. Their 
authenticity has never been questioned. I give them, 
with the testimony of several of our officers, as matters 
of interest, interwoven with the thread of my history. 


(written by MEXICANS.) 

" San Aktonio, Aucnst 19. 
" Yesterday we commenced firing upon the enemy with our 
cannon, and killed some men and horses. To-day, up to 12 m., 
we have fired but few shots, and the enemy are relreatinpc, with 
the object, I suppose, of going to Tacubaya by the way of Pedre- 
gal (Contreras). They have a long distance to march, and 1 do 
not know what will become of them in their unfortunate situa- 
tion. Every day is a loss to them and a gain to us. The struggle 
will be severe, but favorable to us, as the measures we have 


taken are ^^ery good, and they will not laugh this time in their 

beard, as thoy have on former occasions. 

"Dn. p. I." 

The following letter is from a member of the 
Mexican Congress, and is marked iwivate. 

" Mexico, August 21, 1847. 
"My DEAR Friend, — I have before me your welcome letter 
of the 10th instant, in which, among other things, you ar^ 
pleased to point out to me the reasons why you had suspended 
our correspondence. The idea you present to me, that I ought 
not to leave this place before having arranged everything rela- 
tive to that , is a good one, but cannot be realized at 

present, owing to the afflicting circumstances which overwhelm 
us, everything being in the greatest disorder, and there being 
in fact no Congress, and government occupying itself only with 
matters of the war, and absolutely no other business can be at- 
tended to. In truth, this war is going to cease, as I suppose, 
because, on the 19th and 2uth, at the gates of Mexico, our nation 
has covered itself with mourning and dishonor, and our generals 
and chiefs, in particular, with opprobrium. There isnotevenleftto 
us the glory to say, with that French personage well known in 
history, that ' All is lost but our honor,' as our army has long 
since lost both honor and shame, which is not necessary to prove, 
when this capital groans with sorrow and anger against those 
who call themselves its defenders. The enemy has as yet not 
soiled with his tread the palaces of the Montezumas, but that is 
because a suspension of hostilities has caused him to pause in 
his triumphant march. This suspension, which has no other 
object than to collect the wounded and to bury the dead, as some 
say, has also another purpose, and that is to see the propositions 
of peace from the Government of Washington, of which Mr. 
Nicholas Trist is the bearer. The actual government, that is to 
say, the President, who finds himself compromised before the 
nation, has seut a message to Congress, which I take to be a 
matter of mere form, that upon hearing the above-mentioned 
propositions he would use only the powers belonging to him by 
the constitution. The Congress, besides the fact that it does not 


exist, there being assembled to-day but twenty-five deputies, as 
yet has nothing to do with the matter, so that the message of 
the President seems to me to be untimely ; nevertheless, being 
so or not. Congress, as I said before, as it does not exist, can do 
nothing. From this I deduce, with other friends of the same 
opinion, the following results: that the case being an urgent one, 
tlie enemy waiting an answer at the gates of the city, a meeting 
of Congress being impossible in. order to review treaties which 
*nust be concluded at the latest next week, the executive is 
necessarily obliged to assume powers not conceded to it by the 
constitution, — to wit, that of approving treaties after having 
made them. In a normal state of the country, this would be 
an assumption and against law, so that the executive, in order to 
exercise this power, finds it necessary to use revolutionary 
means. Hence the necessity for a dictatorship, which is already 
announced to us, and I think that but a few days will elapse 
before this will be realized. Be on the lookout. If I learn any- 
thing more I will inform you of it. It is true that if our army 
had been successful we should have fallen under a dictatorship, 
about which our military chiefs have so much occupied them- 
selves, and perhaps they were dreaming of that when they were 
all beaten; but, being beaten, the same hope remains, with this 
difference, that as they must have something to lean upon, that 
support I suppose will now be the Yankees. Be that as it may, 
I will soon ascertain and tell you. I will not occupy myself in 
giving you a minute description of how the action was brought 
on and how lost, nor will I give you a formal opinion of the 
motives of the parties : however, I will tell you what I hear 
from rational and well-informed people. General Valencia, the 
rival of Santa Anna, wished the glory of defeating the enemy; 
but he needed assistance, which should have been sent hira. 
Well, the battle once commenced, whether right or wrong, Santa 
Anna looked upon the rout of Valencia as a cold spectator, send- 
ing him no assistance, after which everything was rout and dis- 
order on our part. You can make such commentaries as you 
please, but bear in mind, in order to make no mistakes, that our 
army was composed of twenty -four or twenty-five thousand men, 
and that of the enemy of only twelve thousand men, and that 


after the actions of the 19th and 20th oui' forces do not amount 
to over eleven thousand men, all of whom are frightened to 
death. Among the misfortunes which have befallen us, we have 
in the hands of the enemy many hundreds of prisoners, including 
the battalion of Independence and Bravo, the loss of Perdig-an, 
Blanco, and Prontera, and other generals, and a great many killed. 
The ex- President Anaya and many others are prisoners, all our 
artillery lost, and our regular troops dispersed or cut to pieces. 

" My friend, in all our misfortunes I do not note, as some 
people will have it, that there has been any treason or secret 
understanding, but I must say that there is great weakness and 
ignorance, and very little honor shown on the part of our gen- 
erals-in-chief. We must only look to God for the salvation of 
our country. I am pleased that you intend to enter into rela- 
tionship with the ministers and with his excellency the President; 
but I must recommend that you be very respectful in your letters, 
that you touch their pride without adulation. The minister of 
T says he will answer your note. 

" No one knew of the intentions Valencia had ; but after his 
rout it was said that had he gained the victory he would have 
overpowered Santa- Anna and made himself dictator; for which 
purpose he had alreadj^ named his ministers, and had promised 
the rank of general to several of his friends. Others say that 
Valencia was in league with the enemy ; but this, to speak the 
truth, I cannot and shall never believe. However, the man 
(Valencia) who has been ordered to be shot by Santa Anna has 
escaped through the State of Mexico, which government has 
received him well, which I do not understand. 

"Should there be a dictatorship or not, you must be very 
vigilant and take care of our interests; that is to say, should 
our territory not be benefited, that we shall not lose. I have 
heard it announced that the States of Jalisco, Guanajuato, and 
Zaeatecas, etc , wish to make a separate republic, but I do not 
know what to think, Colina; on which account it would be ne- 
cessary for them to think us instruments (tools) to be cheated. 
Others say that those States which are against the army will 
annex themselves, together with other States of the North, to 
the United States of America. 


" August 21, 1847. 
" Old Man, — Although I am a regidor (a civil officer), still I 
resolved to go to the fight, as I could no longer remain in the city 
taking care of disorderly women and drunkards. I determined 
to see the fate of ray unfortunate country; consequently, on 
Tuesday last, I received an order from the Minister of War and 
government, directing me to join General Alcorta, as his aide-de- 
camp ; and on Wednesday morning I went to the Peiion, re- 
solved to endure all the privations of a campaign and to see in 
what I could serve ray country. The eneray presented himself 
on Thursday morning before us, in order to allow their engi- 
neers to make a reconnaissance of our position, but he did not 
like the patato, and on Sunday night Santa Anna heard that the 
eneray had certainly taken the route towards Tlalpan (Sao Au- 
gustin). On Monday morning at nine o'clock we commenced 
our march towards the same place (by the city), and on Tuesday, 
after an examination of the place, we saw that we could not make 
resistance there, and it was resolved that we should take up our 
position at San Antonio. That same afternoon the Yankees 
arrived at San Augustin at 2 p.m. We proceeded with the 
greatest activity to make preparations for resistance, and ordered 
the heaviest pieces of ordnance to be brought from Peiion to San 
Antonio, and we protected our right flank as much as possible, 
fearing that the enemy might take advantage of us in that 
quarter. We made ditches and redoubts, and General Perez's 
brigade, composed of four thousand infantry, and seven hundred 
horse, of the hussars, who were at Jalapa, was ordered to go 
around by Coyoacan (near San Angel) The Fifth Brigade, 
composed of Victoria, Independence, Hidalgo, and Bravos, were 
ordered to march to Churubusco ; this brigade was composed of 
two thousand men, and generally called Polkas. On Wednesday 
the Yankees presented themselves at the hacienda of Coapa, 
about the fourth of a league from San Antonio. There must 
have been seven or eight hundred men ; and we fired several shots 
at them with our twenty-four-pound piece, and some shells, with 
a good result. In the mean time I took a nap at general head- 
quarters, about half a league this side of San Antonio, where 
Bravo commanded. Day before yesterday (Thursday) we con- 


tinned firing cannon on the enemy, and at one o'clock we observed 
that Valencia, who was posted at Magdalena to impede the enemy 
that way, commenced firing cannon. The fire was heavy, when an 
aide of Valencia's arrived, saying that he was being surrounded, 
and we sent an aid to Perez, and another to Mexico to Lombar- 
dini (Minister of War), in order that he might tell Range! to march 
vifith his two thousand men, together with Perez's brigade, to the 
support of Valencia. At about half-past three o'clock in the after- 
noon we found ourselves in front of the enemy, who were taking 
a position on the left flank of Valencia, who, the enemy, on see- 
ing five thousand men who came to reinforce Valencia, com- 
menced covering themselves in the bushes and beiiind the church 
of San Geronimo. However, the enemy's forces in front of Va- 
lencia continued to fire upon him, and he, Valencia, returned 
their fire with twenty-one pieces of cannon. A little before dark 
we received three light pieces we had sent for, and we fired six 
times with good result. I had proposed not to ask where we 
were going, and what was my astonishment when, at night, we 
were ordered to retire to San Angel, two and a half leagues dis- 
tance from Valencia's camp ! We there met llangel's division ; 
and ours, together with his, amounted to twelve thousand men. 
"Well, old gentleman, instead of marching early the next 
morning to the beautiful position we left on the 19th, we did 
not start till after six o'clock, merely, as it were, to see the de- 
struction of Valencia, and we had not arrived at the position of 
the preceding day when we met two flying soldiers, at about 
seven o'clock, who brought the fatal news of the complete rout of 
Valencia. Then Don Antonio (Santa Anna) gave orders for 
our return to Mexico, as it was to be made another Troy. Ran- 
gel's brigade was ordered to take possession of the citadel, and 
Santa Anna gave Perez and Bravo orders to retire from San 
Antonio, as, San Angel being taken, we were cut off by the 
enemy ; and you can imagine the confusion and the destruction of 
the morale of our army which ensued. In moving our artillery 
and ammunition we were put to much inconvenience and delay ; 
for, as it had rained the night previous, the wheels stuck in the 
mud, and the mules, fatigued, could not haul them. The result 
was that, when the Yankee observed our movements, and saw 



us withdraw our pieces from the embrasures at San Antonio, he 
detached two columns, one by the Pedregal (rough, volcanic 
ground), and the other down the main road, and consequently 
took San Antonio; and most of Alvarez's troops, brought from 
the south, were made prisoners. Whilst this was going on at 
San Antonio, the same troops which had routed Valencia were 
detached in two columns, one of which attacked Churubusco, 
where, after a small resistance, the companies of Independence 
and Bravo were taken prisoners, as also other companies that 
were cut off in their retreat. The other column came down the 
main road and attacked the bridge by the same name, where our 
w^agons (returning fi-om San Antonio and fast in the mud) 
served them as trenches, and, after an attack of infantry alone, 
they took our position, which appeared impregnable, putting us 
shamefully to flight, and, had the enemy been any other, they 
would have gone directly into Mexico, for our cursed soldiers, 
frightened to death, were bellowing in the streets, 'Here come 
the Yankees !' Finally Santa Anna resolved to defend the city 
at the first line ; and, if our soldiers would not run, we had a 
sufficient number left to defend this unfortunate city. 

"But now they speak of a capitulation, or 1 know not what. 
The result is that the Yankees can march directly into Mexico 

at any hour they please, owing to the cowardice and of 

our generals-in-chief Bassadva, Mora Villamil, and Aranjois 
started at daybreak this morning, with orders from Pacbeco, to 
ask Scott for thirty hours' armistice, in order to bury the dead 
and collect the wounded. Santa Anna became very angry, and 
said. This cursed Pacbeco has made a fool of himself and com- 
promised me, which remark having come to the ears of Pacheco 
he resigned. Some say it was a preconcerted affair. I will now 
give you, my old man, my opinion of all this. Valencia wished 
to be the hero, but had not the elements to make him so. Santa 
Anna wished to destroy him, and, by not sending him reinforce- 
ments day before yesterday, he has lost the nation. Keep this 
to yourself. Valencia received positive orders not to engage in 
fight; but, notwithstanding these orders, and the order to spike 
his artillery and retire if necessary, he remained, and replied 
that he considered himself strong enough to beat the enemy, 


and that liis army from the north (it wns from San Luis Potosi) 
, could not be overcome, much less would it retreat before the 
enemy. From all I have said, you will judge the future destiny 
of our unhappy country. 

" JUAX." 

From a young lawyer to his father. 

" Mexico, August 21, 1847. 

"Dear Father, — The end hasproved, in the most unequivocal 
manner, the correctness of our prophecies. The brigade under 
Valencia was completely routed between seven and eight o'clock 
yesterday morning, and, in continuation, the same fate befell 
the brigade of Perez, stationed at Coyoacan, and the troops at 

" Who is to be punished for these disasters ? The public voice 
accuses Santa Anna of having been a cold and impassive spec- 
tator of the rout of Valencia, whilst his assistance might possibly 
have decided the battle in our favor. The Yankees surrounded 
Talencia, and some of them placed themselves between him and 
Santa Anna, without any interruption from the latter. Some 
say that Valencia disobeyed the orders of Santa Anna, and 
Santa Anna was piqued by the disobedie'nce ; but this does not 
lessen the culpability of the rascal who gratifies a private feel- 
ing and thereby jeopardizes the most sacred interests of his 

"The fact is that everything is lost, and the Yankees will be 

here to-morrow. 

"J. "VT." 

From a member of Congress. 

"Mexico, August 21, 1847. 
"Loved Friend,— The 19th and 20tb of August have been 
to Mexico days of mourning and ignominy, as we have lost a 
great many valiant Mexicans, and our immense army has been 
routed by a handful of adventurers. We are all choking with 
grief at such a catastrophe, and we fear the sad consequences 
of the triumph of the enemy. The enemy has not yet entered 


the city, but they are at our very gates, awaiting the answer of 
our government, which has already entered into negotiations 
for peace. What will follow this negotiation, God knows. What 
does the United States want? Who knows ? Congress cannot 
assemble, nor will it assemble ; therefore I shall go to you in a 
few days, as I am anxious to see you and my family. Work for 
your country. Do not cease your labor. Do what you can to 
protect the public institutions, the arts, sciences, etc. 

"L. B." 

The first sheet of the oric;inal of this letter was 



" Scott, a man of superior talents in the art of war, as it 
appears, considering the position of Valencia very advan- 
tageous, established a small portion of his troops in a ravine 
very near our batteries, from whence he could use his muskets 
to advantage without injury from us, he, Scott, having no artil- 
lery. Afterwards he sent a column, with three light pieces of 
artillery, to take a position on the heights on the right of 
Valencia's camp, and. another body of troops on the left of 
Valencia, in order to flank this general. At about six o'clock in 
the morning of the 20th of August he obtained his object, 
having troops concealed on both flanks of Valencia, and a very 
few in front, with a number of wagons, to call the attention of 
Valencia that way. 

" The column which on the previous afternoon had taken 
position on the right of Valencia, Scott ordered should get in 
the rear during the night, and the body of troops that were in 
front of Valencia the same afternoon were divided, one part of 
which took the right of Valencia ; and in the mean time he had 
sent reinforcements to the body stationed on the left, obliging 
his soldiers to cross a river half-body deep. In this manner 
Valencia during the night was entirely cut off, and at six o'clock 
the next morning he was attacked at the same time in the front, 
in the rear, and on both flanks. The engagement lasted about 
two hours, the result of which was that all our artillery was 


lost, with the entire train, nmniunition and all, a great many 
killed and wounded, and those who were not made prisoners 
were entirely dispersed. On the afternoon of the day previous, 
Valencia, seeing that be was in danger of being flanked, asked 
assistance of Santa Anna, who ordered him to retire imme- 
diately ; but he, Valencia, did not retire, probably because he 
considered victory possible. Valencia did not send for reinforce- 
ments once, but several times, on all which occasions he was 
refused by Santa Anna, and the order to retire was repeated, on 
account of which, after the unfortunate result of the engage- 
ment, Santa Anna ordered this general to be shot for dis- 
obedience. Some assure us there is foundation for this order; 
for Valencia was very obstinate, and thereby caused the loss of 
the whole ami}'. Still, others do not think so, as having be- 
haved with valor saves him from all discreditable imputation. 

" Mv opinion is that Santa Anna should have sent Valencia re- 
inforcements, and should have procured a victory by any means, 
and after that chastised him for his disobedience of orders. In 
this manner he would have rendered an important service to the 
nation, and it would have been a salutary example for generals- 
in-chief in future. Scott, having destroyed our best troops, the 
flower of the army, then proceeded with his forces and attacked 
the main army immediately afterwards, that is to say, those 
stationed at San Antonio and Churubusco and Mexicalcingo, 
thereby effecting in one single day the destruction of an army 
of more than thirty thousand men. The North American gen- 
eral, in a strange country, has fought us in detail and destroyed 
our large army, a thing which our general should have done 
with respect to his army. 

" It is now five o'clock in the afternoon, and the enemy has sent 
in an intimation allowing forty-eight hours for the evacuation 
of this city, so that their troops may occupy it. Our troops, 
which with great difficulty have been brought together, do not 
exceed eight or nine thousand men, with which we can do 
nothing, as they have lost their morale. 

"The companies of Bravo and Independence, with the excep- 
tion of a few killed, are prisoners. Generals Salas and Goros- 
tiza are prisoners, as also others, whose names I do not recollect. 


As yet I hear only of the death of Generals Mejia and Frontera, 
colonel of cavalry. It is also said, but not certainly, that Per- 
digan was killed. I have just been told that Bravo is a prisoner, 
and also Anava." 


"Brigadier-General Persifer P. Smith, duly sworn. 

"Question by i)rosecution. — By whose orders did the witness 
pass the Pedvegal, near the enemy, on the afternoon of August 
19th last; about what hour did he reach the hamlet called San 
Geronimo, that afternoon ; what does the witness know of any 
plan or order of battle respecting an attack by the American 
forces on the enemy's left flank, rear, or intrenched camp, coming 
from Major-General Pillow, and by whom was the plan actually 
executed upon that camp, conceived, laid down, and executed, 
on the morning of the 20th of August? 

"Answer. — ily brigade was in General Twiggs's Division. 
That division, by General Scott's order, communicated through 
General Twiggs to me, passed through San Augustin, and in front 
of General Pillow's Division, to cover that division in making a 
road by which the army might reach the San Angel road to 
turn the position at San Antonio. That was the explanation 
that accompanied the order for our movement through San 
Augustin and to the front of General Pillow. After passing a 
hill or mound to the right, we got under the fire of the enemy's 
position at Contreras. General Twiggs then ordered the ad- 
vance, composed of two companies of riflemen, to drive the 
skirmishers of the enemy, which were in the corn in front, and 
cover the engineers in their reconnaissance. While that was 
doing, Magruder's Battery came to the front. On the report of 
the engineers, the battery was ordered to advance, and I was 
ordered with my brigade to support it. General Twiggs at the 
same time turned Taylor's Battery and Riley's Brigade off to 
the right, and they soon disappeared around the corn-field and 
into the Pedregal ; one of the pieces of Magruder's Battery got 
fast in a stone wall, through which it was passing, which delayed 



us a few minutes. Just as we started again, General Pillow 
rode up. He asked me where General Twiggs was. I told 
him he had gone in that direction, pointing to the right, and he 
turned and went after him ; at that very moment, as he turned 
off, I entered the corn-field, and could see no more of him. 

" The next I saw of either of these general officers — General 
Twiggs or General Pillow— was after the action, next morning. 
General Twiggs joined the division just as its head was march- 
ing out of the village of San Geronimo. General Pillow came 
up to the head of the column where I was, just before entering 
San Angel, near some ruined arches of an aqueduct, on the left- 
hand side going in. 

"The only orders I had received up to the time of General 
Pillow's turning off to the right, to follow General Twiggs, was 
the first order of General Scott in relation to the movement on 
to the San Angel road. The order of General Twiggs to move 
to the front and support Magruder's Battery, with some orders 
of detail, in the mean time, from General Twiggs General Pil- 
low gave me no order at all. Magruder's Battery moved for- 
ward and occupied a position pointed out by the engineers, and 
I moved my brigade to the left, and in a position to support the 
battery. There was a very heavy fire from the enemy's artillery, 
and the attack directly in front would have occasioned a very 
great loss. To turn their position by our left would not cut 
their line of retreat; and, seeing the church of the village be- 
tween their position and the city, I determined to move round 
by our right into that village and take possession of it. I called 
the officers of the battalion together to explain my object, and 
that I should execute it in a few minutes if no orders came up 
'to the contrary. After waiting probably fifteen minutes longer, 
to see if any order should come from the rear, I directed Captain 
Magruder to open again his fire, which had been pretty much 
silenced by the enemy, in order to cover my movement to the 
right. I then moved off by the right flank, filing round and 
then toward ihe village. I happened to come out from the 
Pedregal along with the rear of a regiment that was under the 
command of General Cadwalader. I do not know what regi- 
ment it was, but think from other circumstances that it was 


Morgan's regiment. It was more than an hour before sunset 
when we got on the open field on the right of the village. As 
we started from the position of Magruder's Battery, we saw 
reinforcements coming out fi'om the city. When we came out 
from the Pedregal, they were formed in considerable force between 
the village and San Angel, their left on a wood, their line per- 
pendicular to the San Angel road. As my brigade was forming 
after getting to the village, these reinforcements filed round by 
their right flank and formed in two lines parallel to the road. 
At this moment General Cadwalader came up and reported to 
me. 1 inquired, first, if Colonel Riley's Brigade was over there, 
but could get no information about it. I then, in order to make 
force against the new line of the enemy, ordered General Cad- 
walader to form his brigade, or four regiments, by a movement 
by his flank in a line parallel to the enemy. I put Major Dim- 
ick's regiment of artillery in the orchard on the main road 
leading from Contreras to San Angel, and formed the third regi- 
ment and the rifles on the right flank of the village in column. 
I directed a company from Lieutenant-Colonel Graham's regi- 
ment, and Lieutenant Smith's engineer company, to take posses- 
sion of the church in the centre of the village. Shortly after, 
an officer reported that he had met Lieutenant Porter, of the 
Fourth Artillery, who had informed him that Riley's Brigade 
was then at the farther end of the village, or beyond it, and 
Colonel Riley soon after reported to me that liis brigade was 
there. The enemy in front were commanded by Santa Anna, 
those in camp by General Valencia, though then we did not 
know who commanded them. After examining Santa Anna's 
position, I ordered an attack upon it; Riley to attack towards 
his left, Cadwalader about one hundred and fifty yards to the 
right of Riley, and retire in echelon, both in column, by divi- 
sion, left in front. Riley was to pierce the right of the enemy's 
line about two battalions from the right, and then retreat to the 
right and take the enemy in flank ; Cadwalader to form to the 
front. This was just about sunset, when the order was given. 
General Cadwalader had examined the ravine in his front, and 
reported that, though difficult, it could be passed. Riley soon 
returned, and reported his brigade ready to march out. In a few 



minutes afterwards General Cadwalader came up for some 
explanation of the order, and reported that the ground occupied 
by his brigade was so difficult, from ditches, walls, and bushes, 
that it would be some time before he could get his regiments out, 
as the staff-officers had to make great circuits on account of the 
obstructions, in order to convey orders for the movement to the 
different regiments. 

" By this time it had got so dark that you could scarcely per- 
ceive the enemy's lines as be stood under the brow of the hill ; 
and, as it would be, evidently, quite dark before we crossed the 
ravine, the order to attack was countermanded. 

" Colonel Riley mentioned that while he had been to the 
upper end of the village, and outside of it towards the enemy, 
Captain Canby and Lieutenant Tower, engiueets, had reconnoi- 
tered the ground towards Valencia's position, and had found that 
the ravine in front of the village led up entirely in rear of Val- 
encia's camp, and that infantry could move up it. I then 
determined to attack before day, in that direction, and, upon my 
saying that I should be very glad to communicate my position 
and intentions to General Scott, Captain Lee volunteered to 
go to hira. I desired him to go over and report that we 
should march out at 3 o'clock, attack Valencia's position in the 
rear, and requested that such diversion as could be made might 
be made on the front of said position. I then sent Lieutenants 
Brooks and Tower to examine again this ravine after dark, in 
order that we might be sure to find it before daylight in the 
morning. I then disposed of the troops to defend the place if 
attacked in the night, and to march out with most facility before 
day. After the return of Lieutenants Brooks and Tower, I 
sent for General Cadwalader, Colonel Riley, and Major Dimick, 
the commanders of the three brigades, and gave to each detailed 
instructions what he was to do in the attack in the morning, 
providing particularly for the case of an attack on us by Santa 
Anna while we were marching out to attack Valencia. About 
10 o'clock, General Shields's Aide, Lieutenant Hammond, came 
up and reported to me that the general, with two regiments, had 
got through the Pedregal, and was lying between, I think, one 
of the ravines, at the edge of the Pedregal, and the road. Being 



under the impression that I ranked General Shields, I directed 
that his two regiments should occupy the position that Major 
Diniick had occupied when we first got over, — that was the 
orchard in the road, — directing that tlie whole of my own bri- 
gade should then join the column that was moving out to the 
attack. About 12 o'clock General Shields came himself. I re- 
peated the instructions to him, still under the impression that I 
ranked him; and he, with great delicacy, as well as with great 
magnanimity, did not even hint at his actual position, which was 
that iif my senior. He went and joined his brigade, which was 
then in the orchard. He was to occupy the village after we 
marched out. A few minutes before 3 o'clock, Riley's Brigade 
marched out; two of Cadwalader's regiments followed; the 
other two, which were at the further end of the village, and in 
very difficnlt ground, not being ready. General Cadwalader 
undertook to remain and bring them up in time ; Major Diraick 
followed the two leading regiments of Cadwalader with my 
brigade, and then the two other regiments of Cadwalader fol- 
lowed. Owing to the extreme difficulty of the path, it took us 
three hours until Riley's Brigade got into position in the rear of 
the enemy's works. It had been broad daylight for some time 
before he arrived there. As the enemy had a great deal of cav- 
alry about their position, Riley was ordered to attack in two 
columns, and to deploy when the nature of the ground would 
permit him. Cadwalader's Brigade had been intended to make 
face against Santa Anna, if he moved to the assistance of Val- 
encia, and Dimick to have assisted in either the one or the other 
attack, as circumstances might require. But Santa Anna, dur- 
ing the night, had withdrawn his infantry to some houses at the 
upper end of San Angel, so that, when it got to be broad day, we 
could only see Santa Anna's cavalry in its position, and the head 
of his infantry a great distance off, returning to its position. Ue 
was so far off that it was evident we had nothing to i'ear from 
any movement he could make. Just as Riley's column was 
formed for attack, cavalry were seen moving out from Valencia's 
position up towards the mountains. As they might by that way 
turn Riley's right flank, and as it was not necessary to pay any 
further attention to Santa Anna's force, I directed that Cadwal- 


ader's Brigade should also form in two columns, one to move 
round on Riley's right flank and rear, and the other on his left 
flank. This order was communicated to the senior ofBcer of the 
two first regiments that had marched out; and at this moment 
General Cadwalader came up with the other two, and imme- 
diately the attack commenced. Seeing that there was no neces- 
sity for reserving any troops to meet the force under Santa Anna, 
Dimick was ordered to face to the left, and advance in line across 
the ravine, against the flank of Valencia's work, at the same 
time. I forgot to mention that the Engineer company and Rifles 
had heen thrown on Riley's left and front, under the brow of 
the hill, to clear his front of tbe skirmishers. 

" The whole of the enemy's works and position were carried at 
one sweep. A good many of the fugitives were intercepted by 
General Shields, at his position. After directing the artillery, 
prisoners, pack-mules, etc., to be secured, I directed the column 
to be formed to advance in pursuit of the enemy. I sent an 
order to the rear that Major Gardner's regiment of artillery 
should take charge of the captured artillery and ammunition ; 
and another regiment of infantry, Colonel Trousdale's I think, 
to take charge of the other captured property ; and General 
Shields's Brigade to take charge of the prisoners. I moved on, 
however, towards San Angel before these dispositions were com- 
pleted; and I believe they were altered afterwards by other offi- 
cers who came up. As the Rifles and Third Infantry moved out 
from among the incumbrances which were strewn along the 
road, General Twiggs came up ; he directed the pursuit to be 
continued, making occasional short halts, until the other regi- 
ments could get into their positions in the column. We con. 
tinued until, on approaching San Angel, General Pillow came 
to the head of the column and assumed command." 

" Mexico, April 16, 1848. 
"Colonel Bennet Riley,* U.S.A., duly sworn for the defense. 

* This gallant old soldier was born in Saint Mary's County, 
Maryland. He entered the army as an ensign in the Rifle Regi- 


" Question by defense. — Was witness upon the battle-field of 
Contreras, on the 19th of August? if so, he will please state his 
movements upon that field upon that day. 

"Answer. — I was upon the battle-field of Contreras on the 
19th of August last. After Twiggs's Division joined General Pil- 
low on the hills in front of the works, General Pillow rode up to my 
brigade and gave me two or three orders to move a little further 
to the right, or a little to the left, and, finally, to move forward. 
After baiting a short time, General Pillow gave me an order to 
cross the Pedregal. I asked him if General Twiggs knew of the 
order. He said he did, and that he had sent the order to him. 
I think the direction was, as well as I can recollect, to cross the 
Pedregal, turn the enemy's left, and he would support me. He 
had scarcely done speaking, when Lieutenant Brooks, the acting 
Adjutant-General of the Division, came up and gave me a simi- 
lar order. 1 executed the movement, and did not see General 
Pillow again that day. 

" Question by defense. — Where Avas witness when the order 
spoken of by General Pillow was delivered ? was he at or near 
the base of the hill ? and where was witness's command when 
Brooks delivered the order ? 

"Answer. — I was on the left flank, I think, of the brigade, near 
some trees, and the brigade was in the same position, when I 
received the order through Lieutenant Brooks; as it was when 
General Pillow gave the order, I was near the Pedregal. 

" Question by defense. — When witness asked General Pillow 
if General Twiggs knevv of the order then given him (witness), 

ment, in the year 1813 ; served through the war with Great 
Britain, and through the Florida and Black Hawk Indian wars. 
Brevetted Colonel U.S.A.,' for gallantry at the battle of Choka- 
chatta, Florida ; Bi-igadier-Gencral U.S.A. for gallantry at Cerro 
Gordo, and Major-General U.S.A. for gallantry at Contreras. 
He was the first Military Governor of the newlj^-acquired 
Territory of California, and transferred the military to the civil 
powers, upon the inauguration of Peter H. Burnet, the first Gov- 
ernor, on the 20th day of December, 1849, at San Jose, the then 
capital of the new State of California. 


did ov did not General Pillow say to witness tlial; he bad given 
Twiggs the same order, and told witness he would proba.bly; 
meet Twiggs, who would deliver him the same order, and if he 
did not meet Twiggs, that he (witness) would go forward and 
execute the movement without further order ? 

"Answer. — He did not say that he had given the order to 
General Twiggs; he did tell nie to go forward and I would prob- 
ably meet General Twiggs, who would give me the same order 
about the cornfield, but if I did not meet him t^ go forward and 
execute the movement. 

" Question by defense. — Did witness see and understand from 
the movement of General Smith's Brigade and the explanation 
and the orders given him (witness), that General Smith had then 
moved off to attack the enemj^'s works in front ? and did witness 
understand that he was to turn the enemy's left and gain his 
rear? and if so, for what purpose? 

"Answer. — General Smith's Brigade had moved off as I un- 
derstood, to support Magruder's Battery ; I never heard any- 
thing of the attack on Contreras, how it was to be made, or 
anything of the kind at that time. I supposed that the attack 
was to be made in front, and that I was sent across the Pedregal 
to cut off the retreat of the enemy, and check reinforcements 
coming from the city. This was, however, only my supposition 
at tlie time ; I never had any explanation given to me. 

" Question by defense. — Where was Magruder's Battery 
placed in position ? was it in front of the entrenched camp, or in 
some other position ? 

"Answer, — I thought it was in front or nearly so; I judged 
so from the firing ; I did not go near the battery. 

"Question by defense. — Did witness pass the Pedregal, pass 
through the village, and engage the enemy's Lancers in the rear 
of the enemy's position in several conflicts ? if so, was he or not 
endeavoring to gain the rear of the enemy's entrenched camp, 
with the view of assaulting that work? if not, why did he pass 
so far to the rear and beyond the road leading from the city to 
the camp ? 

"Answer. — I did pass the Pedregal and the village; I en- 
gaged the enemy in the first instance, in front of the village, 


between the village and the city. I passed the village and drove 
the enemy's Lancers from their position, which was on our right, 
but not exactly in rear of the entrenched camp. I passed 
through the village with the view of reconnoitering the rear of 
the enemy's works, and kept the enemy busy to cover my re- 
connaissance. I was not endeavoring to gain the rear with a 
view of assaulting the work; I passed so far beyond the village 
in chase of the enemy. 

" Question by defense. — What was the object of making a re- 
connaissance ? was it with the view of ascertaining the practi- 
cability of an assault from the rear, or with what view ? 

"Answer. — It was my object to get as much information of 
the practicability of an assault upon the rear as I could, to give 
my commanding officer, without knowing where or when he was 
going to make the general attack. 

" Question by defense. — If witness had ascertained that an as- 
sault from the rear was practicable, and he had been supported, 
would he have assaulted that work on the 19th of August? 

" Answer. — I should. 

" Question by defense. — Did witness or not ascertain from the 
reconnaissance that an assault in the rear was practicable ? and 
did he report that fact to Brigadier-General Smith ? 

" Answer. — I did discover that the assault in rear was prac- 
ticable, and that it was the best possible place to attack the en- 
trenched camp of Contreras ; and I caused it to be reported to 
General Smith by Lieutenant Tower, engineer, that same even- 
ing about sundown. 

" Question by defense. — Did witness on the 19th have a knowl- 
edge that General Cadwalader was sent to his support with four 
regiments; and that he was in the village of Ensalda that even- 
ing, shortly after witness left it, but was prevented from support- 
ing witness by the large body of the enemy's reinforcements? 

"Answer. — I never knew that there was a soul in the village 
belonging to the army, until I was returning to make a camp for 
the night ; consequently, I did not know that he was stopped by 
a large force of the enemy. If I had known it I should have 
attacked the entrenched camp of Contreras on my own respon- 
sibility that evening. 


" Question by prosecution. — Had or not any written or oral 
order been communicated to the witness on tlie said l^th of 
August last, either directly from general lieadquarters, or tlirough 
Brigadier-General Twiggs, respecting the operations against the 
enemy ? 

" Answer. — Order No. 258 was read to me and brigade and 
regimental commanders at San Augustin, before I started, either 
by a staff-officer of General Scott or General Twiggs, I don't 
remember which ; and he, the staff-officer, said that he had not 
time to copy it. 

" Question by prosecution. — Had or had not the order, witness 
so heard read, any bearing or not upon the operations tliat fol- 
lowed against Ensalda and the enemy who might be found in 
that direction ? 

"Answer. — The order was to get everything ready, the tools 
and so forth ; and that General Twiggs's Division should sup- 
port General Pillow's; and that the army should gain the San 
Angel road ; all of which I thinlv bore upon the operations 
against the enemy — every part of it. General Pillow never 
gave me any instructions at all concerning the attack of the 
camp. I have always believed myself that any and every order 
from headquarters has a bearing upon the movements of the 
army. I knew of no instructions from headquarters further 
than the general order I have already stated. 

" Question by prosecution. — On meeting Major-General Pillow 
at or near the captured camp on the 20th of August, did he then 
in conversation or remark claim to have given the plan of attack 
which had been so successfully executed ? 

"Answer. — He did not. 

" Question by prosecution. — By whose order was the brigade 
of witness put in march from the captured camp, and again from 
Coyoacan, to support Twiggs, Smith, and Taylor, in the attack 
upon the convent? 

"Answer. — By General Scott in person." 

" Captain Joseph Hooker, Assistant xVdjutant-General, for the 
defense, duly sworn. 
" Question by defense. — Was witness present at a conference 


of officers on the 11th of September last, at Piedad ? If so, state 
what were the views of Major-Generals Scott and Pillow in ref- 
erence to an earljf attack npon the enemy, in the direction of San 
Antonio (garita) and Chapultepec. 

" Answer. — I was present during the greater part of that con- 
ference. I am confident, from the views expressed by General 
Scott, that he was decidedly in favor of attacking' Chapultepec. 
He called on a number of officers present to express their views 
in regard to the proper point of attack, whether Piedad or Cha- 
pultepec. Several of the officers present, General Pillow among 
the number, evinced a great desire for more information than 
they possessed on the subject. Tliey appeared to be anxious to 
know what position we should occupy in regard to the city and 
the interior defenses, after we gained possession of either one of 
those points. The difficulty appeared to be a want of knowledge 
of what was behind these two positions. General Pillow sug- 
gested or asked for information with regard to the citadel. Other 
officers present inquired as to the same fact, and suggested other 
difficulties on the Chapultepec route. There was one officer 
present, of whose views I coiild speak with more certainty, which 
was Captain Lee, who preferred the attack on Piedad. 

" Question b}' defense. — What does witness faiean by the Piedad 
works ? 

"Answer. — I mean the work at the San Antonio garita. 

"Question by the defense. — Does witness chance to remem- 
ber any prominent reasons advanced by General Scott in favor 
of attacking Chapultepec? 

"Answer. — I know that General Scott said that he would 
have more elbow-room if he had Chapultepec ; and also that he 
had reason to believe, or words to that effect, that he would be 
met by a white flag on taking it. I would also state that, during 
that conference, General Scott said to one of the engineers 
present that Captain Huger said he thought he could reduce 
Chapultepec with bis batteries in one day. This was stated in 
form of a question when the engineer said he had his doubts. 

"Question by defense, — At what hour of the night of the 
11th of September did General Pillow move with his command 
from Piedad to Tacubaya, preparatory to the operations upon 
Chapultepec ? 


"Answer. — I think we moved between nioo and ten o'clock 
at night. 

" Question by defense. — What knowledge has witness of 
General Pillow having continued to direct the operations of the 
forces (after he was wounded) which made the successful as- 
sault upon Chapultepec on the 13th of September? state also 
what forces carried that work; was it those under his command, 
or other forces? if other forces, state what forces they were. 

"Answer. — On the morning of the 13th, three regiments from 
General Pillow's Division, with a storming party from General 
Worth's Division, were ordered to move to the assault of Cha- 
pultepec. Four companies of the Voltigeur Regiment, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, followed by the storming party 
under Captain Mackenzie, were the first troops put in motion. 
The balance of the Voltigeur Eegimeut, under Colonel Andrews, 
were the next to move to the attack. Colonel Johnston moved 
outside of the wall surrounding the grounds at tlie base of the 
hill at Chapultepec, the others passed through the Molino del 
Rev into the inside of the walls. The Ninth Infantry followed 
the Voltigeurs, and formed line of battle directly after passing 
through the gate into this field, at the base of Chapultepec. The 
Fifteenth Regiment of Infantry followed the Ninth, and formed 
line on the Ninth. In that order they moved forward to the at- 
tack. With slight interruptions they progressed until they 
reached the ditch inclosing part of the work on the summit of 
Chapultepec, at which place the Fifteenth, the Ninth, and a part 
of the Voltigeur Regiment, and the head of the storming party 
under Captain Mackenzie, were stopped by the wall inclosing 
the summit of the hill. Many of these men entered the ditch, 
and many of them concealed themselves behind rocks which lay 
upon the surface of the ground. The Voltigeurs that 1 refer to 
were particularly a part of Colonel Andrew's party; appeared 
at this time to be under the command of Major Caldwell. 
Colonel Johnston's command was more to the right. The hill 
prevented me from seeing the main body of the command. 
While these troops were occupying this position, the fire from 
the crest of the work directly in our front ceased. I saw sev- 
eral pieces discharged in the air behind the breastwork, but the 


Mexicans appeared to be afraid to expose even tbeii' liands above 
the crest of the worls. A fire, however, was delivered by the 
Mexicans from the roofs of the houses apd from the windows, 
and at that time their riglit flank was occupied by the enemy. 
The fire did but little execution, as the shots were most of them 
high. I'he troops I have named, or the main body of them, 
were kept in this position I should think at least fifteen minutes 
■ — it seemed to me much longer — waiting for the ladders to come 
up. When the assaulting column was put in motion, these ladders 
were in rear of the storming party. After waiting some time with . 
the troops at the top of the hill, I went after the ladders. 

" In descending the hill, and nearly at the redan, about half- 
way up the hill, I saw the head of the Second Pennsylvania 
Regiment, the bead of the South Carolina Regiment, and what 
I took to be the New York Regiment, for the colors were with 
that party, but which I have since been told were only two com- 
panies of the New York Regiment under Lieutenant Reid. The 
last named party were a little in the advance of the others, but 
they were all moving up the hill, and moving by a flank. These 
troops as I stood near the redan and facing down the hill were 
on my left ; on ray right was the head of Colonel Clark's Brigade. 
On reaching the foot of the hill, I found General Pillow wounded ; 
I asked him where the ladders were, and said to him that we 
had more troops than were necessary at the top of the hill. I 
asked him for authority to take a regiment to attack the right 
flank of the enemy. He told me to take any regiment, and as 
the Eighth was on its way up the hill, I took the Sixth, which 
was directly in rear of the Eighth. On reaching the point on 
which the attack was intended to be made, we found that the 
ascent was very difficult. There was no cover, and that flank 
was occupied by the enemy, and they were firing very rapidly. 
I then directed Captain Hoffman to halt and move to the rear of 
Chapultepec with his command around the hill. I then returned 
to the troops who had been in advance, and reached the summit 
of the hill in time to see the first ladder planted to enter the 
work. It was planted in the bottom of the ditch, with one or 
two others ; the others were laid across the ditch. The first man 
that I saw enter the work — and I think I saw the first one — was 


a private, I took to be of the Yoltigeur Regiment; following- 
him were officers and men rushing over the worlc in great rapidity. 
I think that the greater part of them belonged to General Pillow's 
Division, and to the regiments of his division I have before named. 
I think that the first officer that went into the work belonged to 
the Voltigeur Kegiment,* and I know that the first colors that 
entered the work were those of the Voltigeur Regiment. When 
I entered the work — and I was not among the foremost — the 
terreplein was clear of our troops, except those that had entered 
■on the side of which I spesik. We had a number of men shot 
beloDging to our party, by the cadets — they appeared to be — 
who were occupying the upper terreplein, the ground on the 
side of the work opposite to the point of our attack. They 
would not have fired upon us had an enemy been nearer to them 
than we were. I have said that the Voltigeurs, Ninth, Fifteenth 
R.eginients, with a portion of the storming party, were the first 
as a body to enter Chapultepec ; there may have been individ- 
uals of other regiments, but the regiments I have named were 
started in advance, and they kept it until they reached the summit 
of the hill, where they were so densely crowded together that it 
was impossible for any large body of men to pass through them." 



Although Mr. Trist had been recalled, he had not 
yet left the country, and, acting in harmony and con- 
junction with General Scott, continuous efforts were 
made, through the channels heretofore referred to, 

* Captain John E. Howard, of Baltimore, of the Voltigeur 
Regiment, grandson of Colonel John E. Howard, of the Mary- 
land Line, in the war of the Revolution. 


the British embassy and consulate at the city of 
Mexico, to make a treaty between the United States 
and the acting government at Queretaro. 

On the 27th of November General Scott wrote to 
Mr. Marcy, informing him that commissioners had 
been appointed to negotiate for peace, but that, al- 
though they were in the city, they had not called on 
him, nor had they submitted to him any propositions 
whatever, although the government at Queretaro had 
been informed that he was at all times ready to send 
home any communication looking to a renewal of 
negotiations. He concluded by saying that it was 
doubtful whether the Mexican government or its 
commissioners would adopt that course. 

On the 2d of February, 1548, General Scott wrote 
to the Honorable Secretary of War this important 
communication : 


"I write, ia baste, by the e.xpress who carries the project of 
a treaty, that Mr. Trist has, at the moment, signed with Mexi- 
can commissioners. If accepted, I hope to receive, as early as 
practicable, in.structions respecting the evacuation of this coun- 
try, the disposition to be made of wagons, teams, cavahy and 
artillerjr horses, the points in the United States to which I shall 
direct the troops, respectively, etc. (I have not yet read the 
treaty, except in small part.) In the same contingency, if not 
earlier recalled (and I understand my recall has been demanded 
by two of my juniors!), I hope to receive instructions to allow 
me to return to the United States as soon as I ma3' deem the 
public service will permit, charging some other general officer 
with completing the evacuation, which ought, if practicable, to 
be finished before the return of the voniito, say early in May. 

" In about forty days I may receive an acknowledgment of 
this report. By that time, if the treaty be not accepted, I hope 
to be sufficienll3' reinforced to open the commercial line between 


Zacatecas and Tampico. The occupation of Queietavo, Guana- 
juato, and Giiadaliijara would be next in importance, and some 
of the ports of the Pacitic the third. Meanwhile the collection 
of internal dues on the precious metals and the direct assess- 
ments shall be continued." 

The dangers of a foreign war waged by a republic, 
no matter how justifiable the cause, need not be 
searched for in the speeches of Cicero, the doings of 
proconsuls, the history of Rome, or in the annals of 
later times. American citizens will reflect upon the 
subject-matter of the following letter and memoranda, 
and inquire if General Scott had not been the inire man 
he loas, what might he not have done, or any other gen- 
eral similarly situated, loaging a tvar thousands of miles 
from the seat of our government ? 

" Headquakteks of the Army, 

" Mexico, February 6, 1848. 

" Sir, — I have not reported on the subject of secret disburse- 
ments since I left Jalapa. First, because of the uncertainty of 
our communications with Vera Cruz, and, second, the necessity 
of certain explanations which, on account of others, ought not 
to be reduced to writing. I may, however, briefly add that I 
have never tempted the honor, conscience, or patriotism of any 
man, but have held it as lawful in morals as in war to purchase 
valuable information, or services voluntarily tendered me. 

"Charging myself with the money received at Washington 
for the -purposes indicated, the $150,000 levied upon this city 
for the immediate benefit of this army, in lieu of pillage, the 
proceeds of captured tobacco taken from the Mexican govern- 
ment, and with some other small sums, all of which I shall 
strictly account for, I have, on the other hand, expended 
$63,Y45.57 in blankets and shoes gratuitously distributed to 
enlisted men; $10,000 extra on account of hospitals, allowing 
$10 each to every crippled mau discharged or furloughed ; some 
$60,000, I think, for secret services, including a native spy com- 


pany, whose pay, commencing in July, I did not wish to bring' 
into txcconnt with the treasury, and I enclose herewith a draft 
for $100,000, making up according to the memorandum, also 
enclosed. I hope you will allow the draft to go to the credit of 
the Army Asylum, and make the subject known in the way you 
may deem best to the military committees of Congress. That 
sum is in small part the price of the American blood so gal- 
lantly shed in this vicinity, and, considering that the army 
receives no prize money, I repeat the hope that its proposed 
destination may be approved and carried into effect. 

" Number one, of the san)e set of bills, is this day transmitted 
direct to the Bank of America. 

" The remainder of the money in my hands, as well as that 
expended, I shall be ready to account for at the proper time and 
in the proper manner, merely offering this imperfect report to 
explain, in the mean time, the character of the $100,000 draft. 

"I have the honor to remain, with high respect, sir, your 

obedient servant, 

"WiNi'iELD Scott. 
" The Ilonorahlo Secretary of War. 

"Memorandum of account between Major-General Winfield 

Scott and Paymaster E. Kirhy, at the city of Mexico, in the 

matter of the Asylum Fund. 

" 1848, January 19. By amount of gambling license, 

money received from Bi'igadier-General V. F. Smith $9,000.00 

" February 3. By the check of General Scott on Man- 
ning and Mackintosh 26,000.00 

" February 3. By proceeds of tobacco sales received 

from Captain Lowry, account of late Captain Irwin 49,569.44 

"Februarys. By the check of Captain Grayson in 

favor of Surgeon Satterlee .... 2,650.40 

" February 5. By the check of General Scott on Man- 
ning and Mackintosh ..... 12,780.16 

"Balance by my bill of exchange No. 18, in triplicate, in favor 

of Major-Goneral Winfield Scott, upon the Paymaster-General, 

at ten days, at Bank of America, $100,000. 
" [No. 18.] Pay of the army, $100,000. 


"City of Mkxico, Jnnnnry 21, 1848. 
"At ton (lays' sight, for valiui received, ploaso pay this my 
second of oxi-liani^'o ((ho first uiiil tiiifd Ijoing unpaid) to the 
ordor of IMiijor-d'enoral Winfield iSi'ott, ono hundred thousand 
dollars, on account of the pay of the army, for which I am 
ftcconntaliki to the treasury. I'nyable at tiie Bunk of America 
oily of Now York, without further advice. 

" K, KlHBY, 

" Ai'ling cliiof of tlio Pay Dfpnrtmoiit nttlio lioiulquni'tcrs of thoarmy. 
Urigndii'i'-Goiiornl N. Towson, 

PaymMster-Genornl Unilod States Army, 
City of Wiisliington." 


"'I'lie Uaiik of America, city of New \o\\i, will place the 
vvilhin amount to the credit of the Army A.-^ylum, subject to 
the order of Congress. 

" WiNPiELD Scott, 

" Major-GenorKl, etc." 

Here was one hundred thousand dollars, tlie pro- 
ceeds of gambling licenses, sales of captured tobacco, 
a levy upon a captuiod city, assigned for the benefit 
of an army under the immediate command of one 
who had distributed money to his soldiers without 
the shadow of other law than his own will. What 
might not a bad man do under similar circumstances, 
is the query I wish m^' countrymen to consider when 
war is suggested or advised. 

I have said that General Scott was a pure man. 
lie was, and so was General Taylor ; and fortunate 
for our infant republic was the sterling integrity 
and genuine patriotism of its two chiefs in the war 
with Mexico. 

Peila y Peiia was again provisional President of 
Mexico, by virtue of his office as Chief Justice of the 


Supreme Court, succeeding Anaya, whose term of 
office expired by limitation on the 8th of January, 
1848, and who accepted the office of Secretary of 
War under Peiia y Peiia. Senor Rosa was the Sec- 
retary of State, with whom the chief responsibility 
of the new government rested. Its difficulties were 
innumerable, its dangers great and imminent. Pro- 
tecting itself against the unfounded charge of bartering 
the national honor, it was at the same time resisting 
the pronunciamentos of Paredes and the insurrec- 
tionary movements of Alvarez ; combating the friends 
of monarchy, and maintaining the army of Busta- 
mente at Quer6taro ; struggling with honest zeal to 
keep alive and intact the government of their coun- 
try, these officials, with Riva Palacios, the Minister 
of Justice, had to meet the stormy opposition of the 
majority of their countrymen and the vindictive 
machinations of disappointed generals, while endeav- 
oring to heal the wounds of Mexico by an honorable 
peace with its invaders. 

In an able address to the nation, Seiior Rosa said 


"That the existing government was that which bad been 
fovraed when the country was without a head, and all the ele- 
ments of strength and order were in atter confusion, and that 
one of the principal causes of the inability of the government 
to carr}' on the war was owing to the action of the generals in 
dispersing the army when discouraged by the results of the bat- 
tles in the environs of the capital. The statements and Insinua- 
tions that an ignominious treaty of peace had been concluded 
were calumnies. It is a calumny to assert that the national 
government has humbled itself to send propositions of peace to 
the cabinet at Washington, or that it has offered, in order to 


terminate the war, advantages which the same cabinet did not 
exact. His Excellency the President authorizes me to give the 
lie to these calumnies, and to assure j-ou that, in the midst of 
the misfortunes of the country, the national honor has not been 
tarnished, and will not be under the present government, even 
should the condition of the republic become worse than it is. 
But it is also resolved to make peace, if the end of putting a 
stop to the calamities of a bloody and disastrous contest, which 
has been so long continued, can be accomplished." 

This bold defense of the government, and its 
avowal of a determination to make peace, preceded a 
circular from the same minister, dated February 6, 
1848, in which he announced to the Governors of 
States that the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo hud 
been concluded. The main and chief difficulty of 
the administration of Pena y Peria was to secure its 
ratification by a Congress not in esse. An armistice 
had been wisely agreed upon by commissioners of the 
Mexican government, Generals Mora y Villamil 
and Quijano, and Generals Worth and Smith on the 
part of the Americans, in pursuance of an article in 
the treaty. One of the articles of this armistice is 
so notable, and its being announced in General Or- 
ders No. 18, March 6, 1848, the occasion of its being 
obeyed by the troops of our garrison at Jalapa, that 
1 give it entire : 

"Article 6. Whenever an election is to be held in any town 
or place occupied by the American troops, upon due notice thereof 
being given to the commanding officer, he shall march the whole 
of his force out of the limits of such town or place, and there remain 
with them until after the hour at which such elections should be 
concluded, leaving within the town or place only the force neces- 
sary for the security of his barracks, hospitals, stores, and 



quarters. And no person belonging to the American army shall 
by any means, or on any consideration, attempt to obstruct or 
interfere with any elections, in order that they may be conducted 
according to Mexican laws. In Vera Cruz the troops shall 
retire within the walls of the fortifications, and there remain until 
the election is concluded " 

This article was introduced by the Mexican com- 
missioners doubtless to save the government from the 
chiirge of the Congressmen to be elected being the 
choice of the American army. At any rate the arti- 
cle met with great disfavor in our army, though I 
believe it was the result* of wise counsel, as was 
proved in the end. 

It had leaked out that New Mexico and California 
had been ceded to us ; and though it was likewise 
known we were to give Mexico fifteen millions of dol- 
lars, yet there was violent opposition to the cession of 
any territory, and members elect to Congress were 
afraid to assemble to assume the responsibility of 
severing the national domain. New elections were 
ordered, the government vigorously prosecuting its 
measures looking to the ratification of the treaty it 
had made, many wealthy citizens lending the aid of 
money and their influence, and finally the clergy sec- 
onding its efforts to assemble a congress at Queretaro. 

The treaty had been sent to the United States, as 
the Secretary of War had been advised by General 
Scott, on the 2d of February, and early in March it 
was ratified by the Senate of the United States, to 
whom it had been transmitted by President Polk for 
its action. There were but slight modifications to 
the original articles, and to consummate the treaty 


Messrs. Sevier, of the Senate, and Attorney-General 
Clifford, having previously resigned their respective 
offices, were sent as commissioners to the seat of the 
Mexican government. 

Between the 5th of March and the 2d of June, 
1848, the beginning and the end of the armistice 
agreed upon as a condition of the treaty, the fate of 
Mexico for a long series of years was to be settled. 

In this period the elections took place, and the 
choice for President was General Don Jose Joaquin 
de Herrera, a native of Jalapa, of whose good name 
and character I have heretofore spoken. A Congress 
met, but there was no quorum until the 3d of May, 
though the election of Herrera had just shown that 
a change for the better had been effected, and the 
folly of continuing a war while Mexico was in such 
a distracted condition had been seen and felt by the 
good men of all parties. 

Peua y PeiLa, still at the helm, as the time for the 
inauguration of Herrera had not yet arrived, strongly 
urged upon Congress the ratification of the treaty; 
the seasonable arrival of the American commissioners 
at Queretaro closed up the business so long, so 
anxiously, so earnestly labored for and desired, in 
the ratification of the treaty by the Mexican Congress 
on the 24th day of May, 1848. 

The main features of this treaty were that Mexico 
gave to the United States the territories of New 
Mexico and California, and relinquished all claim to 
Texas and the country between the Nueces and the 
Rio Grande. In consideration of these grants, the 
United States were to pay to Mexico the sum of 

468 31 E MO IBS OF A 

fifteen millions of dollars, and to assume the debts due 
by Mexico, estimated at three millions of dollars, to 
American citizens. 

Thus I lived to see the war ended, and the objects 
for which I had taken up arms successfully vindicated. 
I sincerely hoped that a peace, lasting and honorable, 
between the two republics would continue, and that 
those who had fought against each other would hence- 
forth and for ever be friends and allies. 



On the 29th day of May, 1848, at the city of 
Mexico, Major-General Butler announced in general 
ordei's that the loar ivas ended, and tha>t the object of 
it, a treaty of peace, just and honorable to both 
nations, had been duly ratified. 

On the 12th of June the American flag was lowered 
from the National Palace, under a salute from Mexican 
batteries in the grand square, the Mexican flag 
hoisted with the same compliment, and Worth's Divi- 
sion, the rear of our army, marched out of the city of 

On the afternoon of the 15th we received orders 
to get ready to leave, and I copy from my journal : 

June 16. At sunrise our regiment was formed in 
the plaza, and shortly after we took up our line of 
march for home. We halted for a short time at the 


garita of Vera Cruz, and I turned to take a last look 
at Jalapa, the garden of Mexico, and never had it 
seemed more beautiful. I really regretted to leave it, 
and our whole command seemed to feel with me. 

We had abundant evidence of the good-will of 
many of its citizens, and I can unhesitatingly say that 
our departure was looked upon with sincere regret by 
a large portion of its people. 

We halted and encamped at Encerro, where the 
whole of the volunteers were lying, except the Massa- 
chusetts and Peinisylvania regiments, which had 
moved off that morning. 

June 17. The reveille was beat at 2 o'clock a.m., 
and with a bright moonlight we marched to Plan del 
Piio ; we halted for the day at our old post, the 
National Bridge, and as soon as the ranks were broken, 
the men ran like boys out of school to visit the well- 
remembered haunts of former days. 

June 18 — Sunday. In the midst of heavy rain we 
left this morning at 3 o'clock and marched to the San 
Juan, where we halted to dry our blankets and wet 
clothing in the sun. At 8 o'clock p.m. we resumed 
our march, and at 1 o'clock A.M., the morning of the 
19 th, we arrived at Vergara ; as soon as the guns were 
stacked, one rush was made, and the regiment was 
bathing in the waters of the Gulf. Oh, the luxury of 
this bath ! 

June 19. There being no vessels ready for us to 
embark in, and the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania 
regiments awaiting their turn ahead of us, I pitched 
my tent on the sands, in the identical place where I 
had put it when we landed last August. 


Jime 20. This morning, with colors flying and 
music sounding, the Second Pennsylvania Regiment 
marched along the beach past our camp to embark 
from the mole at Vera Cruz ; several vessels are to be 
seen in the offing, and we are in great hopes our turn 
will come in a few days. 

June 21. This morning the Fourth Ohio Regiment 
marched past and embarked on a large ship lying off 
the castle. 

June 22 — Thursday. Happy day, and adieu to 
Mexico. At sunrise we struck our tents, and, marching 
through the city to the mole, we got on board a small 
steamer and were transferred to the decks of the 
steamer James L. Day, bound for New Orleans. As 
the steamer's capacity was not sufficient for our whole 
regiment. Companies A and F were embarked on the 
transport schooner Velasco, for the same destination. 
At noon we got under way, and, passing under the 
frowning walls of San Juan de Ulloa, before night the 
shores of Mexico had disappeared from our view. We 
watched its receding land, full of emotion ; all eyes 
were turned toward it, and as it faded from the sight 
men looked at each other as if they were parting from 
home and from friends, so many had been the incidents 
and associations of ten months' service in that country. 
Soon there arose the favorite song of the regiment, 
" Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean ;" and the voices of 
five hundred men swelled the anthem, " To the shrine 
of each patriot's devotion." 

June 26. At noon we were in sight of the cupola 
of the St. Charles Hotel, and in the Mississippi, abreast 
of General Jackson's lines, so memorable in the history 


of the war with Great Britain. In an hour we were 
abreast of the levee in New Orleans, when Colonel 
Hughes went ashore for orders. We were ordered 
to proceed up the river to the CarrolUon race-course, 
distant eight miles, and go into camp there. 

Our surgeon. Dr. Stedman R. Tilghman, was 
sent on shore for medical treatment ; he had been 
gradually sinking for the past four or five months, 
but none of us had serious apprehensions about his 
condition. He was much worse than we thous;ht ; 
going to see him on the ensuing day, I told him that 
if he wished me to remain I could easily get permis- 
sion to do so. He rose from his cot, and replied, 
that I should go with the regiment, and that 
if it were his last request, he begged me to leave. 
Poor Tilghman ! this was my last interview with 
him ; we had been inseparable friends and companions 
since our first nisrht on the beach together at Vera 
Cruz. The climate had been too trying on his con- 
stitution, and he succumbed to its influence. De- 
scended from a Maryland family distinguished for its 
services to the country, he had abandoned the prac- 
tice of his profession in the civil walks of life, to enter 
the army ; an enthusiast in the science of medicine 
and surgery, he gave the whole of his energies and 
his superior natural and acquired abilities to their 
study and practice. No more faithful officer in the 
line of his duty could be found, no more honorable 
gentleman, than Surgeon Tilghman, of the District of 
Columbia and Maryland Regiment of Volunteers. 
He died at New Orleans, surrounded by sorrowing 
relatives and friends, on the 28th of July, 1848. 


June 27. It being rumored that we were to be 
sent by sea from here to Baltimore, and the men 
being very averse to another sea-voyage in a trans- 
port ship, I went into the city of New Orleans, and 
returned with orders that we should go home by the 
way of the river. 

June 28. Embarked on board the steamer John 
Hancock, and ascended the Mississippi. We spent 
the Fourth of July, the steamer halting for the pur- 
pose of accommodating us, at a noted place on the 
Ohio River, called " Cave in the Eock." A large con- 
course of the neighboring people had gathered here 
to attend a barbecue, which was largely attended by 
our regiment, and I think that the celebration of the 
Fourth of July at that barbecue will long be remem- 
bered at the " Cave in the Rock." 

July 7. Arrived at Cincinnati; on the 9th — Sun- 
day — the steamer Taglioni, on board which were some 
Pennsylvania troops, came alongside and commenced 
racing; for several l\ours, while under full speed, we 
were locked together, the men from either boat jump- 
ing on to the other ; a scene of confusion and danger- 
ous excitement ensued, which the officers of both 
regiments found it impossible to subdue or suppress. 
We expected every moment an explosion or the boats 
being set on fire from the fuel which was being put 
on the fires to increase the steam. We were finally 
separated, a volley of oaths being fired by the crews 
of the two steamers, whose animosity against each 
other seemed fierce and unrelenting. 

JuJt/ 10. At 9 o'clock A.M. we neared Pittsburg, 
the Taglioni close behind us. A steamer came down 



to us from the city with a committee of reception 
on board ; we were to be received with all honors by 
the authorities. The Committee's steamer and the 
Taglioni made fast to the John Hancock, and the 
three approached the levee, where thousands had 
assembled to greet our arrival. We landed amid vo- 
ciferous cheering, firing of cannon, ringing of steam- 
boat bells, etc. Our reception was enthusiastic and 
highly gratifying ; we paraded through the city, and 
from all hands and quarters the evidences of a hearty 
welcome were showered upon us. 

July 12 When we landed, we were met with a 
telegraphic dispatch from the Adjutant-General U. S. 
Army, giving the regiment the option of being dis- 
charged at Pittsburg or Baltimore After many 
consultations and much diiference of opinion, the 
regiment elected to be discharged here, and receive 
allowance for travel to Baltimore. 

July 15. This evening the Pennsylvania officers 
gave a handsome entertainment to the officers of our 
regiment, at which T was present, and we parted as we 
had served, — as friends and comrades. 

The First Pennsylvania Regiment arrived to-day, 
and many of its officers participated in the festivities 
of the evening. 

July 20 Our companies having all been dis- 
charged and my duties ended, I left Pittsburg for 
Brownsville by the Monoiigahela River. Reaching 
here, I had come by steam direct from Vera Cruz well 
up into the interior of Pennsylvania, and was tired of 
steamboat navigation. I felt delighted to ride in a 
stage-coach, which I did to Cumberland, Maryland, 


and thenee by rail to Baltimore and my home, the 
home of my parents. 

On the 24th day of July, 1848, I was honorably 
discharged from the service at Fort McHenry; and, 
closing these memoirs of two years in the armies of. 
the United States, I bid you, my comrades, friends, 
and companions of the Battalion of Baltimore and 
Washington Volunteers, and the District of Colum- 
bia and Maryland Regiment, an affectionate good-by. 
I know you well; and the memory of the fidelity, the 
readiness, and the good nature with which you per- 
formed all the duties required of an American soldier 
in the field, will forever be associated with the proud 
recollection of your continuous acts of kindness done 
to me while serving with you in the War with 
Mexico. Once more — Good-by. 



The army and navy of the United States had co- 
operated zealously and had served harmoniously to- 
gether in the prosecution of the war. In the far west and 
on the shores of the Pacific, Commodores Sloat, Stock- 
ton, Shubrick, Samuel F. Dupont, with Commanders 
Selfridge and Lavellette, had fought the seamen and 
marines side by side with the soldiers of Generals John 
C. Fremont, Kearney, Wm. H. Emory, Price, and 
Mason ; at San Jos6, the life of a gallant young ofiicer 


of the navy, Midshipman Tenant McClenahan, of Bal- 
timore, was lost in one of the many combats fought on 
that distant shore, and the possession of all the ports 
on the Pacific from San Francisco to Guayamas marked 
the successful career of the two arms of the service. In 
the Gulf, the blockading and capture of all the ports 
of Mexico displayed the zeal and arduous services of 
the navy, and the capture of Vera Cruz and the cas- 
tle of San Juan de UUoa was in a great degree suc- 
cessful, by reason of the powerfully efficient fleet of 
Commodores Connor and Perry, and the courage and 
skill of its seamen and marines ; t^o that at the end of 
the war the whole nation looked with pride upon its 
array and navy, and everywhere was heard exultation 
at the victories won by their valor. 

The government of the United States had waged a 
foreign war upon a distant theatre ; it had raised and 
transported troops to that country; its generals had 
fought battles and gained them ; it had dictated 
terms of peace and they were granted ; its armies had 
been brought home and were disbanded ; and now the 
Republic, scarce half a century old, could contemplate 
with the pride of a veteran the results of the battles 
it had fought. 

Look at the map ; all the territory between the 32° 
50' and 40° north latitude, and 106° and 124° west 
longitude, had been acquired by the United States : 
all of New Mexico and Arizona, California, Utah, 
and Nevada, with the gold fields lying unknown 
in the lap of the new acquisition. The area of this 
district of country is greater than that covered by the 
States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachu- 


setts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and 
Wisconsin. But this land and this gold in its bosom 
are as nothing to the power gained by the Republic 
in having it? grasp upon the waters of the ocean, that 
bathes the Indias and the islands of the South Seas. 

The human mind is not broad enough to compass 
the torrent of traffic and travel that is destined to 
flow through this western gate of the Republic ; if we 
held the Isthmus of Panama, the keys to the world's 
commerce would be at Washington ; holding as ice do 
the harbor of San Francisco, the merchants command 
the trade of the East, which will bring wealth and 
prosperity along with its teas and its silks. 

If we were to try, we could not lose the advantages 
gained by the war with Mexico : they are incalcu- 
lable — the future alone will raise the veil. 

May the same future be propitious to Mexico and 
all classes of its people ! the causes of its internecine 
strife and destructive political action are plain to our 
mind — these result from attempting to settle their 
differences of opinion by a resort to arras. Mexicans! 
believe one who wishes you well ; bury in the earth 
for ten years every fire-arm ; pledge each other, 
simply upon the honor of men, not to take them up 
again for that length of time ; and my word for it, 
you will regain confidence in each other ; and that will 
establish a government of your choice, a government 
that Avill be unstained with the curse of Mexican 
blood shed by Mexican hands. Bury your fire-arms, 
and remember that the women of your land are 
struck by every bullet fired into a brother's breast. 







List of the Officers of the First Battalion of Baltimore and 
Washington Volunteers. 


Lieutenant-Colonel William H. Watson, commanding : com- 
missioned June, 1846 ; killed at Monterey, Mexico, Septem- 
ber 21, 1846. Robert C. Buchanan, commanding, Brevet- 
Major U.S.A.* Assistant Surgeon George M. Dove, resigned 
August 8, 1846. Assistant-Surgeon Smythe M, Miles, mus- 
tered out May 30, 1847. Adjutant F. B. Schaeffer, mustered 
out of service as captain May 30, 1841. Adjutant William E. 
Aisquith, mustered out of service May 30, 1847. 









James E. Steuart. 

May 30. 

Mustered out of service 


at Tampico, May 30, 



1st Lieut. 

r. B. Owen. 


Resigned at Tunipico. 

2d Lieut. 

Samuel Wilks. 


Mustered out of service at 
Tampico, May 30, 1847. 

2d Lieut. 

David P. Chapman. 

Elected at Caniarp;o, Sept. 
1, 1846. Mustered out 
May 30, 1847. 



James Piper. 

May 30. 

Mustered out May 30, 




1st Lieut. 

Lawrence Dolan. 

Resigned after battle of 
Monterey. Service sec- 
ond time as Captain in 
Second Battalion. 

*Brevet-Major-GenGral U.S. Army. He commanded a Brigade of Regulars in the Peninsula 
campaign and at the battle of Antietam ; subsequently he was in command of the District 
of Louiaiana, 1861-5. 











B Co.— a>J^^ 

2ii Lieut. 

M. K. Taylor. 

May 30. 

Mustered out Mny 30, 
1847, whilst detached. 
Service second time as 
Captain in Second Bat- 

2d Lieut. 

J. H. Harrows. 

ElcctrdatCamargo. Mus- 
tered out May 30,1847. 
Second time jus Lieu- 
tenant in Second Bat- 



Robert Bronaugh. 

May 30. 

Resigned at Tampico, 


1847. afterwards killed 


by tlie enemy near Pue- 
bhi, Mexico. 

1st Lieut. 

Phineas B. Bell. 


Resigned. Service second 
time as private. 

2d Lieut. 

William O'Brien. 



2d Lieut. 

Thumas M.Gleafion. 

Com d by tlie President. 
Appointed A. A. C. S. 
Mustered out May 30, 

2d Lieut. 

Jacob Hennnick. 

Elected after batlle of 
Monterey, Oct. 20, 1846. 
Mustered out May 30, 
1847. Service second 
time as Sergeant in 
Capt. SchaefFer's Com- 



John Waters. 

May 30. 



1st Lieut. 

William J. Parliam. 

Resigned at tlie Brazos 


Santiago, July, 1846. 

2d Lieut. 

Eugene Boyle. 

Resigned after battle of 
Munterey on account of 
ill lioalth, and died on 
his wav to the United 

2d Lieut. 

Edward Murphy. 

Elected Sept. 27, 1S46. 
Mustered out May 30, 



John R. Kenly. 

June 4. 

Mustered our at Tampico, 


May 30, 1847. Service 


second time as Major of 
Second Battalion. 

1st Lieut. 

F. B. Schaeffer. 

Adjutant of Battalion. 
Mustered out May 30, 
1847. Service svcund 
time as Captain. 

2d Lieut. 

Oden Bowie.* 

Resigned at Tampico by 
reason of promotion to 
the U. S. Army, and np- 
pointfd Ciiplain U. S. 

2d Lieut. 

William E.Ai^quitti. 

Elected at Cannirgo, Sept. 
1, 1846. Adjutant of 
Battalion, and mus- 
tered out May 30, 1847. 



James Boyd. 

June S. 

Mui^tered out" Mny 30, 


1847. Reniiiined in Tam- 


pico, raised a company 
of dragoons, and was 
killed bv the enemy 
July. 1S47. 

1st Liout. 

Jos. II. Ruddach.f 


Resigned at Tampico. 

* Governor of the State of Marylund from 1868 to 1872. 

t Resigned at Tampico on account of ill health, March 1847. 









F Co.— Cwit. 

2d Lieut. 

Robert B. Haslett. 

June 8. 

Resigned at Tampico. Ser- 
vice second time as 
Lieutenant of Dragoons, 
U. S. Array. 

2d Lieut. 

James Taneyhill. 

Elected Sept. 1, 1846. 
Mustered out May 30, 
1847. Remained with 
Captain Boyd as Lieu- 
tenant of his company, 
and shared his fate, be- 
ing mortally wounded 
in the same action. 


SergeaDt-Major William S. Reed, discharged from the seryice September 1,1846. Quarter- 
master Sergeant Johu Hooper, discharged from the service December 3, 1846; service second 
time as Lieutenant in Second Battalion. Sergcant-Mtijor Alfred Day, appointed Sergeant- 
Major September 1, 1846 ; discharged on surgeon's certificate November 12, 1846. Ser- 
geant-Major Richard "W. Reaney, appointed Sergeant-Major September 14,1846; reduced 
to the ranks by order of Major Buchanan. Sergeant-Major William G. Lennox, appointed 
Sergeant-Major by Major Buchanan February 18, 1847 ; mustered out May 30, 1847 ; service 
second time as Sergeant in Captain Schaeffer's Company. Quartermaster Sergeant William 
S. Hyde, mustered out May 30, 1847. 

List of Officers of the District of Columbia and Maryland 
Regiment of Volunteers, enlisted for service during the war 
with Mexico, June and July, 1847. Honorably discharged from 
the service July 24, 1848, at the end of the war. 


George W. Hughes* (Captain and Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel 
Topographical Engineers). 

* Colonel Hughes was a graduate of the military academy of 
West Point, and a captain in the corps of Topographical 
Engineers, United States Army. He was brevetted major " for 
gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Cerro Gordo," 
and lieutenant-colonel " for meritorious conduct while serving in 
enemy's country" during the war with Mexico. He resigned 
from the army in 1851, and was elected to the Congress of the 




William H. Emory* (First Lieutenant and Brevet-Major Topo- 
graphical Engineers) 


John R. Kenlyf (Captain in Watson's Baltimore Battalion). 


Stedmau R. Tilghman. 


Wakeman Bryarly. 


James Steele (Second Lieutenant). 


William H. Degges. 

Edmund Barry. 

Lawrence Dolan (Lieutenant in Watson's Battalion). 

Dan Drake Henrie (Texan Ranger). 

Marcellus K. Taylor (Lieutenant in Watson's Battalion). 

Francis B. Schaeffer (Lieutenant in Watson's Battalion). 

George W. Brown. 

Lloyd Tilghman (Light Artillery Company). 


Frederick A. Klopfer (commanding Company D). 
Henry S. Addison. 

United States as a memher of the House of Representatives 
Abandoning the political arena, he devoted himself to agricul- 
tural pursuits, and died at his estate on West River, Maryland, 
in the year 1871, greatly regretted by family and friends. 

* Brevet-Major-General U.S. Army. He commanded the 
Nineteenth Army Corps in Louisiana and Texas, and subse- 
quently in the Army of Virginia to the end of the war, 1861-5. 

f Colonel First Mainland Infantry and Brevet-Major-General 
U.S. Volunteers, 1861-5. 



John M. Thornton. 
Frisby Tilghman. 
Washington Hopper. 

Isaac H. Morrow (Lieutenant in Watson's Battalion). 
Jacob S. Klassen. , 

William J. Corcoran. 

John Hooper (Regimental Quartermaster ; Quartermaster Se 
geant Watson's Battalion). 


John Carr (Actiog Adjutant). 

Benjamin R. West. 

James O'Brien. 

David A. Griffith. 

William H. Baker. 

Richard P. Henry. 

John H. Ballman. 

Arnold Teusfield. 

John H. Gronewell. 

William J. Garey. 

Henry M. Milnor. 

Ira Mabbett. 

Robert 0. Bell. 

List of Officers of Companies attached to the Regiment. 

Chatam R. Wheat, Captain. 

Charles McDonald, First Lieutenant. 
Francis E. Smith, Second Lieutenant. 
Abner C. Steele, Second Lieutenant. 

Thomas A. Rowley, Captain. 
Andrew McClure, First Lieutenant. 
James McLean, Second Lieutenant. 
Alexander Scott, Second Lieutenant. 

Company of Mounted 
Volunteers ; served 
from July, 184Y, to 
July, 1848. 

Company of Infantry 
from Pittsburg, Penn- 
sylvania ; served from 
October, 184T, to July 
24, 1848. 



James Boyd,* Captain (Captain in 
Watson's Battalion) ; killed, July 
12, 184Y. 

Joseph R. West, Captain after death 
of Captain Boyd. 

James Taneyhill, First Lieutenant 
(Lieutenant in Watson's Battal- 
ion); killed, July 12, 184Y. 

Franklin B. Niraocks, Second Lieu- 
tenant (Private in Captain Kenly's 
Company, Watson's Battalion). 

George De Groote, Second Lieu- 

John A. Letten, Second Lieutenant. 

Company of Mounted 
Tolunteers ; served 
from June, 1847, to 
July, 1848. 

Letter from Colonel George W. Hughes, TJ. S.Army. 

West Eitek, Maryland, January 2-5, 18-51. 

Mr Dear Kbnly, — I have been directed to prepare an official 
report in reference to our operations in Mexico, and wish you to 
assist me, especially in regard to facts and dates. I kept no 
memoranda, and must therefore trust to recollection, assisted by 
my letter-book. I will thank you to state the days of sailing 
from Baltimore, the names of the transports (and captains), 
companies, etc., respective times of arrival at Vera Cruz, time 
of departure from Vera Cruz, and incidents of campaign, more 
particularly till the capture of the National Bridge ; also, the 
designation of the troops, not of our battalion, that accompanied 
us. What is Taliaferro's Christian name, and to what re":iment 

* Captain Boyd's company was raised at Tampico upon the 
muster-out of the Baltimore Battalion. It served honorably 
until the end of the war, losing heavily at the battle of Rio 
Calabaso, fought by Colonel de Russey, of the Louisiana Vol- 
unteers, against the Mexican General Garay. 


was he promoted as Major ? Have you the Regimental Order 
Book ? Write me as fully as you can. 

I am glad of the opportunity of doing justice (however tardy) 
to my companions-in-arms, and especially to yourself 
Most truly your friend, 

Geoeqe W. Hughes. 
Major John R. Kenlt, Baltimore. 

Note. — ^Colonel Hughes left the army before he had com- 
pleted his report, and it was never sent to the Adjutant-Gene- 
ral's office. 

Notification of Membership of the Association of the Soldiers 
of the Mexican War. 

"Washington, August 9, 1854. 
Sir, — I have the honor to inform you that, at the regular 
monthly meeting of the " Association of the Soldiers of the Mexi- 
can "War," you were unanimously elected an honorary member 
of the Association. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
(Signed) Joseph P. Shillenn, 

Cor. Sec'y Association, etc. 
Major John R. Kenlt, Baltimore, Md. 

Letter from. Major- General Wm. JS. Emory, U. S. Army. 

Headqitakters Department oe the Gulf, 
New Orleans, September 30, 1872. 

My Dear General Kenlt, — Your letter of the 16th Septem- 
ber, and that preceding, followed me as far as Syracuse, N. Y., 
and back to this place, where they only reached me to-day. 

I hasten to reply, and take great pleasure in stating that the 
Maryland Regiment, for the time it was under my command, 
during and toward the close of the war with Mexico, acted uni- 
formly with great gallantry, steadiness, and good conduct. 


When I took command of the regiment as Lieutenant-Colonel 
I had just returned from the expedition engaged in the conquest 
of New Mexico and California, under the lamented Genera) 
James W. Kearney. There I served with what was then con- 
sidered one of the crack regiments of the army, the old First 
Dragoons, and of course my ideas of discipline and efiSciency 
were pitched pretty high, yet I was not disappointed in either 
the discipline or the efficiency of the gallant Maryland Regiment, 
with which your name is so honorably identified. 

Excuse the shortness of this note, and believe me very faith- 
fully yours, 

(Signed) "W". H. Emory, 

Brevet-Major-General IT. S. Army. 

General John B. Kesly, Baltimore, Md. 

Resolutions and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland. 

Eesolved, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the 
thanks of the General Assembly of Maryland are justly due and 
are hereby tendered to the rank and file of the Baltimore and 
District of Columbia Battalion, also to the Maryland Battalion, 
and all other officers and citizens of Maryland, serving in the army 
and navy of the United States, for gallant and meritorious con- 
duct during the late war with Mexico. 

Pesolved, That the Governor be requested to make the above 
resolution known in General Orders. — Passed January 29, 1850. 


Eesolved, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That His 
Excellency the Governor be respectfully requested to make ap- 
plication to the proper department at Washington, to obtain a 
certified copy of all the muster and pay rolls, or other evidence 
of the services of the commissioned and noQ-coramissioned offi- 
cers, musicians, or privates of the State of Maryland, who were 
in the service of the United States in the war with Mexico ; and 


upon application of any of those whose names appear upon said 
rolls, or of the nearest relative of any deceased soldier thereia 
named, to furnish such person a copy of the same, duly authen- 
ticated with seal and signature. — Pasned May 14, 1853. 


An Aot authorizing the Governor to grant duplicate discharges 
to the Maryland Volunteers and certain citizens thereof, who 
enlisted in the Mexican war. 

Section I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Mary- 
land, That the Governor be and he is hereby empowered and 
directed, upon the application in writing of any volunteer officer 
or soldier who served in the First or Second Battalions of Mary- 
land Volunteers in the Mexican war, or any citizen of Maryland 
who enlisted in any company composing a portion of the ten 
additional regiments called into service by Act of Congress 
during the said war, and served therein ; and upon such 
proof as he may deem necessary to establish such service and an 
honorable discharge or muster-out from the same, to issue to 
such volunteer or enlisted officer and soldier a copy or dupli- 
cate of the discharge received by him when so discharged or 
mustered out of service, the said copy or duplicate to be printed 
upon parchment and signed by the Governor, the Secretary of 
State, and Adjutant-General of Maryland, and attested by the ' 
great seal of the State. 

Sec. 2. And be it enacted, That the sum of five hundred dol- 
lars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, be and the same 
is hereby appropriated out of any unappropriated money now in 
the Treasury, to defray the expenses of carrying into effect the 
provisions of the first section of this act. 

Sec. 3. And be it enacted. That this aot shall take effect from 
the day of its passage. — Panned March 10, 1854. 






Treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and settlement between the 
United States of America and the Mexican republic. Dated 
at Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848 ; ratified by the 
President of the United States, March 16, 1848; exchanged 
at Queretaro, May 30, 1848; proclaimed by the President of 
the United States, July 4, 1848. 

In the name of Almighty 

The United States of Amer- 
ica and the United Mexican 
States, animated by a sincere 
desire to nut an end to the 
calamities of the war which 
unhappily exists between the 
two republics, and to establish 
upon a solid basis relations of 
peace and friendship, which 
^hall confer reciprocal benefits 
upon the citizens of both, and 
assure the concord, harmony, 
and mutual confidence wherein 
the two people should live, as 
good neighbors, have for that 
purpose appointed their respect- 
ive plenipotentiaries, that is to 
say, the President of the United 
States has appointed Nicholas 

En el nombre de Dios Todo- 
Poderoso : 

Los Estados Unidos Mexi- 
canos y los Estados Unidos 
de America, animados de un 
sincero deseo de poner termino 
a las calamidades de la guerra 
que desgraciadamente existe 
entre ambas republicas, y de es- 
tablecer sobre bases s61idas re- 
laciones de paz y buena amistad, 
que procuren reciprocas venta- 
jas & los ciudadanos de uno y 
otro pais, y afianzen la coneor- 
dia, armonia y miitua seguridad 
en que deben vivir, corao buenos 
vecinos, los dos pueblos han 
nombrado d este efecto sus res- 
pectivos plenipotenciarios; & 
saber, el Presidente de la repu- 
blica Mexicana & Don Bernardo 



p. Trist, a citizen of the United 
States, and the President of the 
Mexican republic has appointed 
Don Luis Gonzaga Cuevas, Don 
Bernardo Couto and Don Mi- 
guel Atristain, citizens of the 
said republic, who, after a re- 
ciprocal communication of their 
respective full powers, have, 
under the protection of Al- 
mighty God, the author of 
peace, arranged, agreed upon, 
and signed the following 

Treaty of peace, friendship, 
limits, and settlement between 
the United States of America 
and the Mexican republic. 

Article I. 
There shall be firm and uni- 
versal peace between the Uni- 
ted States of America and the 
Mexican republic, and between 
their respective countries, terri- 
tories, cities, towns, and people, 
without exception of places 
or persons. 

Article II. 
Immediately upon the signa- 
ture of this treaty, a convention 
shall be entered into between a 
commissioner or commissioners 
appointed by the general-in- 
chief of the forces of the United 
States, and such as may be 
appointed by the Mexican gov- 
ernment, to the end that a pro- 

Couto, Don Miguel Atristain, 
y Don Luis Gonzaga Cuevas, 
ciudadanos de la misma repi'i- 
blica ; y el Presidente de los Es- 
tados Unidos de America i. Don 
Nicolas P. Trist, ciudadano de 
dichos Estados ; quienes des- 
pues de haberse comunicado 
sus plenos poderes, bajo la pro- 
teccion del Senor Dios Todo- 
Poderoso, autor de la paz, han 
ajustado, convenido, y firmado 
el siguiente 

Tratado de paz, amistad, limi- 
tes y arreglo definitive entre 
la republica Mexicana y los 
Estados Unidos de America. 

Articulo I. 
Habva paz firme y universal 
entre la repiibliea Mexicana y 
los Estados Unidos de America, 
y entre sus respectivos paises, 
territories, ciudades, villas, y 
pueblos, sin escepcion de lu- 
gares 6 persones. 

Artiotjio II. 

Luego que se firme el pre- 
sente tratado, habra un con- 
venio entre el comisionado 
u comisionados del gobierno 
Mexicano, y el 6 los que nom- 
bre el general-en-gefe de las fuer- 
zas de los Estados Unidos, para 
que cesen provisionalmente las 
hostilidades, y se restablezca 



visional suspension of hostilities 
shall take place, and that, in the 
places occupied by the said 
forces, constitutional order may 
be re-established, as regards 
tiie political, administrative, and 
judicial branches, so far as this 
shall bo permitted by the cir- 
cumstances of military occupa- 

Article III. 

Immediately upon the ratifi- 
cation of the present treaty by 
the government of the United 
States, orders shall be trans- 
mitted to the commanders of 
their land and naval forces, re- 
quiring the latter (provided 
this treaty shall then have been 
ratified by the government of 
the Mexican republic, and the 
ratifications exchanged) imme- 
diately to desist from blockad- 
ing any Mexican ports ; and re- 
quiring the former (under the 
same condition) to commence, 
at the earliest moment practi- 
cable, withdrawing all troops 
of the Ujiited States then in the 
interior of the Mexican repub- 
lic, to the points that shall be 
selected by common agreement, 
at a distance from the seaports 
not exceeding thirty leagues ; 
and such evacuation of the in- 
terior of the republic shall be 
completed with the least possi- 
ble delay ; the Mexican govera- 

en los lugares ocupados por las 
mismas fuerzas el orden consti- 
tucional en lo politico, adrainis- 
trativo, y judicial, en cuanto lo 
permitan las circunstancias de 
ocupacion militar. 

Articulo III. 

Luego que este tratado sea 
ratificado por el gobierno de los 
Estados Unidos, se cxpediran 
6rdenes & sus comandantes de 
tierra y mar previniendo il estos 
Bcgundos (siempre que el tra- 
tado haya sido ya ratificado 
por el gobierno do la i-epiiblica 
Mexicana, y cangeadas las rati- 
ficaciones) que iumediatamente 
aloen el bloqueo de todos los 
pucvtos Mcxicanos, y mandando 
il los primeros (bajo la misma 
condicion) quo d la mayor posi- 
ble brevedad comiencen il reti- 
rar todas las tvopas de los Esta- 
dos Unidos quo se ballilren 
entonces en el interior de la re- 
publica Mexicana, il puntos que 
se elegiran do comuu acuerdo, 
y que no distariln de los puertoa 
mas de treinta leguas ; esta 
evacuacion de! interior de la 
repi'iblica se consumeril con 
la menor dilacion posible, com- 
prometi(5udoso il la vez el go- 
bierno Mexicano tl facilitar, 



ment hereby binding itself to 
afford every facility in its 
power for rendering the same 
convenient to the troops, on 
their march and in their new 
positions, and for promoting a 
good understanding between 
them and the inhabitants. In 
like manner, orders shall be dis- 
patched to the persons in charge 
of the custom-houses at all 
ports occupied by the forces of 
the United States, requiring 
them (under the same condition) 
immediately to deliver posses- 
sion of the same to the persons 
authorized by the Mexican gov- 
ernment to receive it, together 
with all bonds and evidences of 
debts for duties on importations 
and on exportations, not yet fal- 
lendue. Moreover, a faithful and 
exact account shall be made 
out, showing the entire amount 
of all duties on imports and on 
exportscollectedat such custom- 
houses, or elsewhere in Mexico, 
by authority of the United 
States, from and after the day of 
the ratification of this treaty by 
the government of the Mexican 
republic; and also an account 
of the cost of collection ; and 
such entire amount, deducting 
only the cost of collection, shall 
be delivered to the Mexican 
government, at the City of 
Mexico, within three months 

cuanto queda en su arbitrio, la 
evacuacioD de las tropas Ameri- 
canas ; a hacer comodas su 
marcha y su permanencia en 
los nuevos puntos que se elijan ; 
y il promover una buena inteli- 
gencia entre ellas y los habi- 
tantes. Igualuiente se libraran 
6rdenes &, las personas encarga- 
das de las aduanas maritimas 
en todos los puertos ocupados 
por las fuerzas de los Estados 
Unidos, previniendoles (bajo la 
misma condicion) que pongan 
inmediataraente en posesion de 
dichas aduanas a las personas 
autorizadas por el gobierno 
Mexicano pararecibirilas, entre- 
gandoles al mismo tiempo todas 
las obligaciones y constancias 
de deudas pendientes por dere- 
chos de importacion y exporta- 
cion, cuyos plazos no esten 
vencidos. Ademas se formara 
una cuenta fiel y exacts que 
manifieste el total monto de los 
dereehos de importacion y ex- 
portacion, recaudados en las 
mismas aduanas maritimas 6 
en cualquiera otro lugar de 
Mexico por autoridad de los 
Estados Unidos desde el dia de 
la ratificacion de este tratado 
por el gobierno de la republica 
Mexicana; y tambien una cu- 
enta de los gastos de recauda- 
cion ; y la total suma de los 
dereehos cobrados, deducidos 



after the exchange of the ratifi- 

The eyacuation of the capital 
of the Mexican republic by the 
troops of the United States, in 
virtue of the above stipulations, 
shall be completed in one month 
after the orders there stipulated 
for shall have been received by 
the commander of said troops, 
or sooner, if possible. 

solamente los gastos de recau- 
dacion, se entregara al gobierno 
Mexicauo en la ciudad de Me- 
xico A los tres mesas del cange 
de las ratificaciones. 

La evacuacion de la capital 
de la repiiblica Mexicana por 
las tropas de los Bstados 
Unidos, en consecuencia de lo 
que queda estipulado, se com- 
pletard al mes de recibirse por 
el comandante de dichas tro- 
pas las 6rdenes convenidas en 
el presente articulo 6 antes si 
fuere posible. 

Article IV. 

Immediately after the ex- 
change of ratifications of the 
present treaty, all castles, forts, 
territories, places, and posses- 
sions, which have been taken 
or occupied by the forces of the 
United States during the pres- 
ent war, within the limits of the 
Mexican republic, as about to 
be established by the following 
article, shall be definitively re- 
stored to the said republic, to- 
gether with all the artillery, 
arms, apparatus of war, muni- 
tions, and other public prop- 
erty, which were in the said 
castles and forts when captured, 
and which shall remain there at 
the time when this treaty shall 
be duly ratified by the govern- 
ment of the Mexican republic. 

Articulo IV. 

Luego que se verifique el 
cange de las ratificaciones del 
presente tratado, todos los cas- 
tillos, fortalezas, territories, lu- 
gares, y posesiones que hayan 
tornado ii ocupado las fuerzas 
de los Estados Unidos, en la 
presente guerra, dentro de los 
limites que por el siguiente 
articulo van i, fijarse d la repu- 
blica Mexicana, se devolverda 
definitivamente i. la misma re- 
piiblica, con toda la artilleria, 
armas, aparejos de guerra, mu- 
niciones, y cualquiera otra pro- 
piedad publica existentes en 
dichos castillos y fortalezas, 
cuando fueron tornados, y que 
se conserve en ellos al tiempo 
de ratificarse por el gobierno 
de la repiiblica Mexicana el 



To tbis end, immediately upon 
the signature of this treaty, 
orders shall be dispatched to 
the American officers command- 
ing such castles and forts, se- 
curing against the removal or 
destruction of any such artil- 
lery, arms, apparatus of war, 
munitions, or other public prop- 
erty. TheCityof Mexico, within 
the inner line of intrenchments 
surrounding the said city, is 
comprehended in the above 
stipulations, as regards the res- 
toration of artillery, apparatus 
of war, etc. 

The final evacuation of the 
territory of the Mexican re- 
public, by the forces of the 
United States, shall be com- 
pleted in three months from 
the said exchange of ratifica- 
tions, or sooner, if possible ; the 
Mexican government hereby 
engaging, as in the foregoing 
article, to use all means in its 
power for facilitating such evac- 
uation, and rendering it con- 
venient to the troops, and for 
promoting a good understand- 
ing between them and the in- 

If, however, the ratification 
of this treaty by both parties 
should not take place in time 

presente tratado. A este efecto, 
inmediatamente despues que se 
firme, se expedirdn ordenes & 
los oficiales Americanos que 
mandan diehos castillos y for- 
talezas para asegurar toda la 
artilleria, armas, aparejos de 
guerra, municiones, y cual- 
quiera otra propiedad publica, 
la cual no podrA en adelante 
removerse de donde se halla, 
ni destruirse. La ciudad de 
Mexico dentro de la linea in- 
terior de atrinchoramientos que 
la circundan queda comprendida 
en laprecedente estipulacion en 
lo que toca a la devoluoion de 
artilleria, aparejos de guerra, 

La final evacuacion del terri- 
torio de la repiiblica Mexicana 
por las fuerzas de los Estados 
Unidos quedard consumada & 
los tres meses del cange de las 
ratificaciones, 6 antes si fuere 
posible, comprometiendose d la 
vez el gobierno Mexicano, como 
en el articulo anterior, & usar de 
todos los medios que esten en 
su poder para facilitar la tal 
evacuacion, hacerla c6raoda i. 
las tropas Aniericanas, y pro- 
mover entre ellas y los habi- 
tantes una buena inteligeneia. 

Sin embargo, si la ratificacion 
del presente tratado por ambas 
partes no tuviera efecto en 



to allow the embarkation of the 
troops of the United States to 
be completed before the com- 
mencement of the sickly season, 
at the Mexican ports on the 
Gulf of Mexico, in such case 
a friendly arrangement shall be 
entered into between the gen- 
eral-in-chief of the said troops 
and the Mexican govern raent, 
whereby healthy and otherwise 
suitable places, at a distance 
from the ports not exceeding 
thirty leagues, shall be desig- 
nated for the residence of such 
troops as may not yet liave 
embarked, until the return of 
the healthy season. And the 
space of time here referred to 
as comprehending the sickly 
season, shall be understood to 
extend from the first day of 
May to the first day of Novem- 

All prisoners of war taken on 
either side, on land or on sea, 
shall be restored as soon as 
practicable after the exchange 
of ratifications of this treaty. 
It is also agreed, that if any 
Mexicans should now be held 
as captives by any savage tribe 
within the limits of the United 
States, as about to be estab- 
lished by the following article, 
the government of the United 
States will exact the release 
of such captives, and cause 

tiempo que permita que el 
embarque de las tropas de los 
Estados Unidos se complete, 
d,ntes de que comience la esta- 
cion malsana en los puertos 
Mexicanos del golfo de Mexico; 
en tal caso, se hard un arreglo 
amistoso entre el gobierno Mexi- 
cano y' el general-en-gefe de 
dichas tropas, y por medio de 
este arreglo se senalaran lugares 
salubresy convenientes (que no 
disten de los puertos mas de tre- 
inta leguas) para que residan en 
ellos hasta la vuelta de la estar 
cion Sana las tropas que aim 
no se hayan embarcado. T 
queda entendido que el espacio 
de tiempo de que aqui se habla, 
como comprensivode laestacion 
malsana, se extiende desde el 
dia primero de Mayo hasta el 
dia primero de Noviembre. 

Todos los prisioneros de 
guerra tornados en mar 6 tierra 
por ambas partes, se restituiran 
d la mayor brevedad posible 
despues del cange de las rati- 
ficaciones del presente tratado. 
Queda tambien convenido que 
si algunos Mexicanos estuvieren 
ahora cautivos et) poder de 
alguna tribu salvage dentro de 
los limltes que por el siguiente 
articulo van <l fijarse a los 
Estados Unidos, el gobierno 
de los mismos Estados Unidos 



them to be restored to their exigird su libertad y los hara 
country. restituir & su pais. 

Article V. 
The boundary line between 
the two republics shall com- 
mence in the Gulf of Mexico, 
three leagues from land, op- 
posite the mouth of the Rio 
Grande, otherwise called Rio 
BraFO del Norte, or opposite 
the mouth of its deepest branch, 
if it should have more than one 
branch emptying directly into 
the sea; from thence up the 
middle of that river, following 
the deepest channel, where it 
has more than one, to the point 
where it strikes the southern 
boundary of New Mexico ; 
thence westwardly, along the 
whole southern boundary of 
New Mexico (which runs north 
of the town called Paso) to its 
western termination ; thence 
northward, along the western 
line of New Mexico, until it 
intersects the first branch of 
the river Gila (or if it should 
not intersect any branch of 
that river, then to the point on 
the said line nearest to such 
branch, and thence in a direct 
line to the same) ; thence down 
the middle of the said branch 
and of the said river, until it 
empties into the Rio Colorado ; 
thence across the Rio Colorado, 

Articulo Y. 
La linea divisoria entre las 
dos republicas comenzard en el 
golfo de Mexico, tres leguas 
fuera de tierra frente d la des- 
embocadura del rio Grande, 
llamado por otro nombre rio 
Bravo del Norte, 6 del mas 
profundo de sus brazos, si en la 
desembocadura tuviere varios 
brazos ; correra por mitad de 
dicho rio, siguiendo el canal 
mas profundo, donde tenga mas 
de un canal, hasta el punto en 
que dicho rio corta el lindero 
meridional de Nuevo Mexico ; 
continuara luego hacia occidente 
por todo este lindero meridi- 
onal (que corre al norte del 
pueblo llamado Paao) hasta su 
termino por el ladode occidente; 
desde alii subira fa linea divi- 
soria hiicia el norte por el 
lindero occidental de Nuevo 
Mexico, hasta donde este lin- 
dero esta cortado por el primer 
brazo del rio Gila (y si no esta 
cortado por ningun brazo del 
rio Gila, entonces hasta el punto 
del mismo lindero occidental 
mas cercano al tal brazo, y de 
alii en una linea recta al mismo 
brazo) ; continuara despues por 
mitad de este brazo y del rio 
Gila hasta su confluencia con el 



following the division line be- 
tween Tipper and Lower Cali- 
fornia, to the Pacific Ocean. 

The southern and western 
limits of New Mexico, men- 
tioned in this article, are those 
laid down in the map, entitled 
"Map of the United Mexican 
States, as organized and de- 
fined by various acts of the 
Congress of said republic, and 
constructed according to the 
best authorities. Be vised edi- 
tion. Published at New York, 
in 1847, by J. Disturnell." Of 
which map a copy is added to 
this treaty, bearing the signa- 
tures and seals of the under- 
signed plenipotentiaries. And, 
in order to preclude all difficulty 
in tracing upon the ground the 
limit separating Upper from 
Lower California, it is agreed 
that the said limit shall consist 
of a straight line drawn from 
the middle of the Rio Gila, 
where it unites with the Colo- 
rado, to a point on the coast of 
the Pacific Ocean distant one 
marine league due south of the 
southernmost point of the port 
of San Diego, according to the 
plan of said port made in the 
year 1782 by Don Juan Pantoja, 
second sailing-master of the 

rio Colorado; y desde la con- 
fluencia de ambos rios la linea 
divisoria, cortando el Colorado, 
seguira el limite que separa la 
Alta de la Baja California hasta 
el mar Pacifico. 

Los linderos meridional y oc- 
cidental de Nuevo Mexico, de 
que habla este articulo, son los 
que se marcan en la carta titu- 
lada: "Mapa de los Estados 
Unidos de Mexico segun lo 
organizado y definido por las 
varias actas del Congreso de 
dicha repuhlica, y construido 
por las mejores autoridades. 
Edicion revisada que publico 
en Nueva York en 1847, /. 
Disturnell;" dela cual se agrega 
un ejemplar al presente tratado, 
firmado y sellado por los pleni- 
potenciarios infrascriptos. Y 
para evitar toda dificultad al 
trazar sobre la tierra el limite 
que separa la Alta de la Baja 
California, queda convenido que 
dicbo limite consistira en una 
linea recta tirada desde la mitad 
del rio Gila en el punto donde 
se una con el Colorado, hasta 
un punto en la costa del mar 
Pacifico, distante una legua 
marina al sur del punto mas 
meridional del puerto de San 
Diego, segun este puerto estil 
dibujado en el piano que levant6 
el aiio de 1782 el segundo piloto 
de la armada Espaiiola Don 



Spanish fleet, and published at Juan Pantoja, y se publico en 

Madrid in the year 1802, in the Madrid el de 1802, eu el atlas 

atlas to the voyage of the para el viage de las goletas 

schooners Sutil and Mexicana, Sutil y Mexicana ; del cual piano 

of which plan a copy is hereunto se agrega copia firmada y se- 

added, signed and sealed by the llada por los plenipotenciarios 

respective plenipotentiaries. respectivos. 

In order to designate the Para consiguar la linea di- 
boundary line with due preci- visoria con la precision debida 
sion, upon authoritative maps, en niapas fehacientes, y para 
and to establish upon the estableeer sobre la tierra mo- 
ground landmarks which shall jones que pongan A la vista los 
show the limits of both repub- limites de ambas republieas, se- 
lics, as described in the present gun quedan descritos en el pre- 
article, tlie two governments sente articulo, nombrara cada 
shall each appoint a commis- uno de los dos gobiernos un 
sioner and a surveyor, who, comisario y un agrimensor que 
before the expiration of one sejuntardn antes del termino de 
year from the date of the ex- un ano contado desde la fecha 
change of ratifications of this del cange de las ratificaciones 
treaty, shall meet at the port de este tratado, en el puerto de 
of San Diego, and proceed to San Diego, y procederan &. se- 
run and mark the said bound- nalar y demarcar la expresada 
ary in its whole course to the linea di visoria en todo su cnrso 
mouth of the Rio Bravo del hasta la desembocadura del rio 
Norte. They shall keep jour- Bravo del Norte. Llevaran 
nals and make out plans of diaries y llevantaran pianos de 
their operations ; and the result sus operaciones : y el resultado 
agreed upon by them shall be convenido por ellos se tendra 
deemed a part of this treaty, por parte de este tratado, y 
and shall have the same force tendra la misma fiierza que si 
as if it were inserted therein, estuviese inserto en el ; debi- 
The two governments will ami- endo convenir amistosamente 
cably agree regarding what may los dos gobiernos en el arreglo 
be necessary to these persons, de cuanto necesiten estos indi- 
and also as to their respective viduos, y en la escolta respec- 
escorts, should such be neces- tiva que doban Ilevar, siempre 
sary. que se crea necesario. 




The boundary line established 
by this article shall be relig- 
iously respected by each of the 
two republics, and no change 
shall ever be made therein, ex- 
cept by the express and free 
consent of both nations, law- 
fully given by the general gov- 
ernment of each, in conformity 
with its own constitution. 

La linea divisoria que se es- 
tablece por este articulo seril 
religiosamente respetada por 
cada una de las dos republicas, 
y ninguna variacion se harA 
jamis en ella, sino de expreso 
y libre consentiraiento de ambas 
naciones, otorgado legalmente 
por el gobierno general de cada 
una de ellas, eon arreglo a su 
propia constitucion. 

Article VI. 

The vessels and citizens of 
the United States shall, in all 
time, have a free and uninter- 
rupted passage by the Gulf of 
California, and by the river 
Colorado below its confluence 
with the Gila, to and from 
their possessions situated north 
of the boundary line defined in 
the preceding article ; it being 
understood that this passage is 
to be by navigating the Gulf of 
California and the river Colo- 
rado, and not by land, without 
the express consent of the Mexi- 
can government. 

If, by the examinations which 
may be made, it should be as- 
certained to be practicable and 
advantageous to construct a 
road, canal, or railway, which 
should in whole or in part run 
upon the river Gila, or upon its 
right or its left bank, within the 
space of one marine league from 

Articulo VI. 

Los buques y ciudadanos de 
los Estados Unidos tendrsln en 
todo tiempo un libre y no inter- 
rumpido transito por el golfo de 
California y por el rio Colorado 
desde su coiifluencia con el Gila, 
para sus posesiones y desde sus 
posesiones sitas al norte de la 
linea divisoria que queda mar- 
cada en el articulo precedeote ; 
entendiendose que este transito 
se ha de hacer navegando por 
el golfo de California y por el 
rio Colorado, y no por tierra, 
sin expreso conseutimieuto del 
gobierno Mexicano. 

Si por reconocimientos que 
se practiqueu, se comprobare la 
posibilidad y conveniencia de 
construir un camino, canal, 6 
ferro-carril, que en todo 6 en 
parte corra sobre el rio Gila 6 
sobre alguna de sus niargenes. 
derecha 6 izquierda en la latitud 
de una legua marina de uno 6 



either margia of the river, the de otro lado del rio, los go- 
governments of both republics biernos de ambas republicas se 
will form an agreement regard- pondran de acuerdo sobre su 
ing its construction, in order construccion Ei fin de que sirva 
that it may serve equally for igualmente para el uso y pro- 
the use and advantage of both vecho de ambos paises. 

Article VII. 

The river Gila, and the part 
of the Rio Bravo del Norte lying 
below the southern boundary of 
New Mexico, being, agreeably 
to the fifth article, divided in the 
middle between the two repub- 
lics, the navigation of the Gila 
and of the Bravo below said 
boundary shall be free and com- 
mon to the vessels and citizens 
of both countries ; and neither 
shall, without the consent of 
the other, construct any work 
that may impede or interrupt, 
in whole or in part, the exercise 
ofthisright; not even for the pur- 
pose of favoring new methods 
of navigation. Nor shall any 
tax or contribution, under any 
denomination or title, be levied 
upon vessels, or persons navi- 
gating the same, or upon mer- 
chandise or effects transported 
thereon, except in the case of 
landingupononeof theirshores. 
If, for the purpose of making 
the said rivers navigable, or 
for maintaining them in such 
state, it should be necessary or 

Artioulo VII. 

Como el rio Gila y la parte 
del rio Bravo del Norte que 
corre bajo el lindero meridional 
de Nuevo Mexico se dividen 
por mitad entre las dos republi- 
cas, segun lo establecido en el 
articulo quinto, la navegacion 
en el Gila y en la parte que 
queda indicada del Bravo, sera 
libre y comun a los buques y 
ciudadanos de ambos paises, 
sin que por alguno de ellos 
pueda hacerse (sin consenti- 
miento del otro) ninguua obra 
que impido 6 interrumpa en 
todo 6 en parte el ejercicio de 
este derecho, ni aun con motive 
de favorecer nuevos metodos de 
navegacion. Tampoco se podra 
cobrar (sino en el caso de des- 
embarco en alguna de sus ribe- 
ras)ningunirapuesto ocontribu- 
cion bajo ninguna denominacion 
6 tilulo il los buques, efectos, 
mercanciasopersonasque nave- 
guen en dichos rios. Si para ha- 
cerlos 6 mantenerlos navegables 
fuere necesario 6 conveniente 
establecer alguna contribucion 



advantageous to establish any 
tax or contribution, this shall 
not be done without the con- 
sent of both governments. 

The stipulations contained 
in the present article shall not 
impair the territorial rights of 
either republic withiu its es- 
tablished limits. 

6 impuesto, no podr<l esto ha- 
cerse sin el consentimiento de 
los dos gobieraos. 

Las estipulaciones contenidas 
en el presente articulo dejan 
ilesos los derechos territoriales 
de una y otra republica dentro 
de los limites que les quedan 

Article VIII. 

Mexicans now established in 
territories previously belonging 
to Mexico, and which remain 
for the future within the limits 
of the United States, as defined 
by the present treaty, shall be 
free to continue where they, now 
reside, or to remove at any time 
to the Mexican republic, retain- 
ing the property which they 
possess in the said territories, 
or disposing thereof, and re- 
moving the proceeds wherever 
they please, without their being 
subjected, on this account, to 
any contribution, tax, or charge 

Those who shall prefer to 
remain in the said territories 
may either retain the title and 
rights of Mexican citizens, or 
acquire those of citizens of the 
United States. But they shall 
be under the obligation to make 
their election within on& year 
from the date of the exchange 

Articulo VIII. 

Los Mexicanos establecidos 
hoy en territorios pertenecientes 
antes a Mexico, y que quedan 
para lo futuro dentro de los 
limites seiialados por el pre- 
sente tratado il los Estados 
Unidos, podrAn perraanecer en 
donde ahora habitan, 6 trasla- 
darse en cualquier tiempo A 
la republica Mexicana, conser- 
vando en los indicados terri- 
torios los bienes que poseen, 6 
enagenandolos y pasando su 
valor a donde les convenga, sin 
que por esto pueda exigirseles 
ningun g^nero de contribucion, 
gravamen 6 impuesto. \ 

Los que prefieran permanecer 
en los indicados territorios, po- 
dran couservar el titulo y dere- 
chos de ciudadanos Mexicanos, 
oadquirir el titulo y derechos de 
ciudadanos de los Estados Uni- 
dos. Mas la eleccion entre una y 
otraciudadaniadeberan hacerla 
dentro de un ano contado desde 



of ratificatioDS of this treaty ; 
and those who shall remain in 
the said territories after the 
expiration of that year, without 
having declared their intention 
to retain the character of Mexi- 
cans, shall be considered to have 
elected to become citizens of the 
United States. 

In the said territories, prop- 
erty of every kind, now belong- 
ing to Mexicans not established 
there, shall be inviolably re- 
spected. The present owners, 
the heirs of these, and all Mexi- 
cans who may hereafter acquire 
said property by contract, shall 
enjoy with respect to it guar- 
anties equally ample as if the 
same belonged to citizens of the 
United States. 

la fecha del cange de las ratiS- 
caciones de este tratado. Y los 
que permanecieren en los indi- 
cados territorios despues de 
transcurrido el ano, sin haber 
declarado su iutencion de re- 
tener el canlcter de Mexicanos, 
se considerara que han elegido 
ser ciudadanos de los Estados 

Las propiedades de todo 
genero existentes en los ex- 
presados territorios, y que per- 
tenecen ahora a Mexicanos no 
establecidos en ellos, serAn res- 
petadas inviolablemente. Sus 
actuales dueiios, los herederos 
de estos, y los Mexicanos que 
en lo venidero puedau adquirir 
por contrato las indicadas pro- 
piedades, disfrutaran respecto 
de ellas tan aniplia garantia, 
como si perteneciesen a ciuda- 
danos de los Estados Unidos. 

Article IX. 

The Mexicans who, in the 
territories aforesaid, shall not 
preserve the character of citi- 
zens of the Mexican republic, 
conformably with what is stipu- 
lated in the preceding article, 
shall be incorporated into the 
union of the United States and 
be admitted at the proper time 
(to be judged of by the Con- 
gress of the United States) to 
the enjoyment of all the rights 

Aetiodlo IX. 

Los Mexicanos que, en los 
territories antedichos, no con- 
serveu el cardcter de ciuda- 
danos de la republica Mexieana, 
segun lo estipulado en el ar- 
ticulo precedeute, serdn incor- 
porados en la union de los 
Estados Unidos, y se admitirsln 
en tiempo oportuno {i. juicio 
del Congreso de los Estados 
Unidos) al goce de todos los 
derechos de ciudadanos de los 



of citizens of the United States, 
according to the principles of 
the Constitution ; and in the 
mean time shall be maintained 
and protected in the free enjoy- 
ment of their liberty and prop- 
erty, and secured in the free 
exercise of their religion with- 
out restriction. 

Estados Unidos conforme & los 
prineipios de la constitucion ; y 
eutretanto seran mantenidos y 
protegidos en el goce de su 
libertad y propiedad, y ase- 
gurados en el libre ejercicio de 
su religion sin restriccion al- 

Article X. 
[Stricken out.] 

Article XI. 
Considering that a great part 
of the territories which, by the 
present treaty, are to be com- 
prehended for the future within 
the limits of the United States, 
is now occupied by savage 
tribes, who will hereafter be 
under the exclusive control of 
the government of the United 
States, and whose incursions 
within the territory of Mexico 
would be prejudicial in the ex- 
treme, it is solemnly agreed that 
all suoh incursions shall be forci- 
bly restrained by the govern- 
ment of the United States when- 
soever this may be necessary ; 
and that when they cannot be 
prevented they shall be pun- 
ished by the said government, 
and satisfaction for the same 
shall be exacted — all in the 
same way, and with equal dili- 
gence and energy, as if the 

Artictjlo X. 

Articulo XI. 
En atencion a que una gran 
parte de los territorios que por 
el presente tratado van a quedar 
para lo future dentro de los 
liraites de los Estados Unidos, 
se halla actualmente ocupada 
por tribas salvages, que hau 
de estar en adelante bajo la 
exclusiva autoridad del go- 
bierno de los Estados Unidos, 
y cuyas incursiones sobre los 
distritos Mexicanos serian en 
extremo perjudiciales ; esta so- 
lemnemente convenido que el 
mismo gobierno de los Estados 
Unidos contendra las indicadas 
incursiones por medio de la 
fuerza sieiopre que asi sea ne- 
cesario ; y cuaiido no pudiere 
prevenirlas, castigara y escar- 
mentanl ;l los invasores, exi- 
giendoles ademas la debida re- 
paracion : todo del raismo raodo, 
y con la- misma diligencia y 



same incursions were meditated 
or committed vvitbiu its own 
territory, against its own citi- 

It shall not be lawful, under 
any pretext whatever, for any 
inhabitant of the United States 
to purchase or acquire any 
Mexican, or any foreigner re- 
siding in Mexico, who may 
have been captured by Indians 
inhabiting the territory of 
either of the two republics, 
nor to purchase or acquire 
horses, mules, cattle, or prop- 
erty of any kind, stolen within 
Mexican territory by such In- 

And in the event of any per- 
son or persons, captured witbin 
Mexican territory by Indians, 
being carried into the territory 
of the United States, the gov- 
ernment of the latter engages 
and binds itself, in the most 
solemn manner, so soon as it 
shall know of such captives 
being within its territory, and 
shall be able so to do, through 
the faithful exercise of its in- 
fluence and power, to rescue 
them and return them to their 
country, or deliver them to the 
agent or representative of the 
Mexican government. The 
Mexican authorities will, as far 
as practicable, give to the gov- 

energia con que obraria, si las 
incursiones se hubiesen medi- 
tado 6 ejecutado sobre terri- 
tories suyos 6 contra sus propios 

A ningun habitante de los 
Estados Unidos sera licito, bajo 
ningun pretesto, comprar 6 ad- 
quirir cautivo alguno, Mexicano 
6 extrangero residente en Mexi- 
co, apresado por los Indies 
habitantes en territoriode cual- 
quiera de las dos republicas, ni 
los caballos, mulas, ganados, 6 
cualquiera otro genero de cosas 
que hayan robado dentro del 
territorio Mexicano. 

Y en caso de que cualquier 
persona 6 personas cautivadas 
por los Indies dentro del terri- 
torio Mexicano sean llevadas al 
territoriode los Estados Unidos, 
el gobierno de dichos Estados 
Unidos se comproraete y liga 
de la manera mas solenme, en 
cuanto le sea posible, d resca- 
tarlas, y a restituirlas ;l su pais, 
6 entregarlas al agente 6 repre- 
haciendo todo esto, tan luego 
como sepa que los dichos cau- 
tivos se hallan dentro de su 
territorio, 3' empleando al efecto 
el leal ejercicio de su influencia 
y poder. Las autoridades 
Mexicanas danin a las de los 



eminent of the United States 
notice of such captures; and its 
agent shall pay the expenses in- 
curred in the maintenance and 
transmission of the rescued 
captives; who, in the mean 
time, shall be treated with the 
utmost hospitality by the 
American authorities at the 
place where they may be. But 
if the government of the United 
States, before receiving such 
notice from Mexico, should ob- 
tain intelligence, through any 
other channel, of the existence 
of Mexican captives within its 
territory, it will proceed forth- 
with to effect their release and 
delivery to the Mexican agent 
as above stipulated. 

For the purpose of giving to 
these stipulations the fullest 
possible efficacy, thereby afford- 
ing the security and redress 
demanded by their true spirit 
and intent, the government of 
the United States will now and 
hereafter pass, without un- 
necessary delay, and always 
vigilantly enforce, such laws 
as the nature of the subject 
may require. And finally, the 
sacredness of this obligation 
shall never be lost sight of by 
the said government when 
providing for the removal of 
the Indians from any portion 
of the said territories, or for 

Estados Unidos, segun sea 
practicable, una noticia de tales 
cautivos ; y el agente Mexicano 
pagara los gastos erogados en 
el mantenimiento yremision de 
los que se rescaten, los cuales 
entre tanto serAn tratados con 
la mayor hospitalidad por las 
autoridades Americanas del 
lugar en que se encuentren. 
Mas si el gobierno de los Estados 
Unidos, antes de recibir aviso 
de Mexico, tuviera noticia por 
cualquiera otro conducto de 
existir en su territorio cautivos 
Mexicanos, procederA desde 
luego a verificar su rescate y 
entrega al agente Mexicano, 
segun queda conveuido. 

Con el ohjeto de dar a estas 
estipulaciones la mayor fuerza 
posible, y afianzar al mismo 
tiempolaseguridad y las repara- 
ciones que exige el verdadero 
espiritu e intencion con que se 
ban ajustado, el gobierno de 
los Estados Unidos dictara, sin 
ifiutiles delaciones, ahora y en 
lo de adelante, las leyes que 
requiera la naturaleza del 
asunto, y vigilara siempre sobre 
su ejecucion. Pinalniente, el 
gobierno de los misnios Estados 
Unidos tendra muy presente la 
santidad de esta obligacion 
siempre que tenga que desalojar 
a los Indios de cualquier puuto 



its being settled by citizens of 
the Uaited States; but, on the 
contrary, special care shall be 
taken not to place its Indian 
occupants under the necessity 
of seeking new homes, by com- 
mitting those invasions which 
the United States have sol- 
emnly obliged themselves to 

Article XII. 

In consideration of the exten- 
sion acquired by the boundaries 
of the United States, as de- 
fined in the fifth article of the 
present treaty, the government 
of the United States engages 
to pay to that of the Mexican 
republic the sum of fifteen mil- 
lions of dollars. 

Immediately after this treaty 
shall have been duly ratified by 
the government of the Mexican 
republic, the sum of three mil- 
lions of dollars shall be paid to 
the said government by that of 
the United States, at the City 
of Mexico, in the gold or silver 
coin of Mexico. The remaining 
twelve millions of dollars shall 
be paid at the same place, and 
in the same coin, in annual 
instalments of three millions of 

de los indicados territorios 6 
que establecer en el a ciuda- 
danos suyos : y cuidara muy 
especialmente de que no se 
ponga & los Indies que habita- 
ban iintes aquel punto, en 
necesidad de buscar nuevos 
hogares por medio de las incur- 
siones sobre los distritos Mexi 
canos, que el gobierno de los 
Estados Unidos se ha compro- 
nietido solemnemente a re- 

Articulo XII. 

En consideracion A la osten- 
sion que adquieren los limites 
de los Estados Unidos, segun 
quedan descritos en el articulo 
quinto del presente tratado, 
el gobierno de los mismos 
Estados Unidos se compromete 
& pagar al de la repiiblica 
Mexicana la suma de quince 
millones de pesos. 

Inmediatamente despues que 
este tratado haya sido ratificado 
por el gobierno de la repiiblica 
Mexicana, se entregara al mis- 
mo gobierno por el de los Esta- 
dos Unidos, en la eiudad de 
Mexico, y en moneda de plata 
II oro del cufio Mexicano, la 
suma de tres millones de pesos. 
Los doce millones de pesos 
restantes se pagaran en Mexico, 
en moneda de plata u oro del 
cuSo Mexicano, en abonos de 


dollars each, together with ia- tres millones de pesos eada 

terest on the same at the rate ano, con un redito de seis por 

of six per centum per annum, ciento anual : este redito comi- 

This Interest shall begin to enzard. a correr para toda la 

run upon the whole sum of suma de los does millones el 

twelve millions from the day dia de la ratificacion del pre- 

of the ratification of the present sente tratado por el gobierno 

treaty b}' the Mexican govern- Mexicano, y con cada abono 

ment, and the first of the instal- anual de capital se pagarA el 

nients shall be paid at the redito que corresponda & la 

expiration of one year from suma abonada. Los plazos 

the same day. Together with para los abonos de capital cor- 

each annual instalment, as it ren desde el misnio dia que 

falls due, the whole interest ac- empiezan k causarse los reditos. 
cruing on such instalment from 
the beginning shall also be paid. 

Article XIII. Articulo XIII. 

The United States engage, Se obliga ademas el gobierno 

moreover, to assume and pay de los Estados Unidos a tomar 

to the claimants all the amounts sobre si, y satisfacer cumpli- 

now due them, and those here- damente a los reelamantes, 

after to become due, by reason todas las cantidades que hasta 

of the claims already liquidated aqui se les deben y cuantas se 

anddecided againsttheMexican venzan en adelaate por razon 

republic, under the conventions de las reclamaciones ya liqui- 

between the two republics dadas y sentenciadas contra la 

severally concluded on the republica Mexicana conforme il 

eleventh day of April, eighteen los convenios ajustados entre 

hundred and thirty-nine, and ambas republicas el once de 

on the thirtieth day of January, Abril de mil ochocientos treinta 

eighteen hundred and forty- y nueve, y el treinta de Enero 

three ; so that the Mexican de mil ochocientos cuarenta y 

republic shall be absolutely tres; de manera que la repu- 

exenipt, for the future, from all blica Mexicana nada absoluta- 

expense whatever on account mente tendrd que lasta en lo 

of the said claims. venidero, por razon de los in- 

dicados reclames. 



Article XIV. 
The United States do further- 
more discbarge the Mexican 
republic from all claims of 
citizens of the United States, 
not heretofore decided against 
the Mexican government, which 
may have arisen previously to 
the date of the signature of this 
treaty ; which discharge shall 
be final and perpetual, whether 
the said claims be rejected or 
be allowed by the board of 
commissioners provided for in 
the following article, and what- 
ever shall be the total amount 
of those allowed. 

Article XV. 

The United States, exon» 
erating Mexico from all de- 
mands on account of the claims 
of their citizens mentioned in 
the preceding article, and con- 
sidering them entirely and for- 
ever cancelled, whatever their 
amount may be, undertake to 
make satisfaction for the same, 
to an amount not exceeding- 
three and one quarter naillions 
of dollars. To ascertain the 
validity and amount of those 
claims, a board of commission- 
ers shall be established by the 
government of the United 
States, whose awards shall 
be final and conclusive : Pro- 

Articulo XIV. 
Tambien exoneran los Esta- 
dos Unidos a la republica Mexi- 
cana de todas las reclaraaciones 
de ciudadanos de los Estados 
Unidos no decididas aun contra 
el gobierno Moxicano, y que 
puedan haberse originado antes 
de la fecha de la firma del pre- 
sente tratado : estaexoneracion 
es definitiva y perpetua, bien 
sea que las dichas reclamaciones 
se admitan, bien sea que se 
desechen por el tribunal de 
comisarios de que habla el 
articulo siguiente y cualquiera 
que pueda ser el monto total 
de las que queden admitidas. 

Articulo XV. 
Los Estados Unidos, exone- 
rando a Mexico de toda respon- 
sabilidad por las reclamaciones 
de sus ciudadanos mencionadas 
en el articulo precedente, y 
considerandolas completamente 
canceladas para siempre, sea 
cual fuere su monto, toman a 
su cargo satisfacerlas hasta una 
cantidad que no exceda de tres 
millones doscientos cincuenta 
mil pesos. Para fijar el monto 
y validez de estas reclamaciones, 
se establecera por el gobierno 
de los Estados Unidos un tri- 
bunal de comisarios, cuyosfallos 
seran definitivos y concluyeutes, 
con tal que al decidir sobre la 



vided, That, in deciding upon 
the validity of each claim, the 
board shall be guided and 
governed by the principles 
and rules of decision prescribed 
by the first and fifth articles of 
the unratified convention, con- 
cluded at the City of Mexico on 
the twentieth day of November, 
one thousand eight hundred 
and forty-three ; and in no 
case shall an award be made in 
favor of any claim not embraced 
by these principles and rules. 

If, in the opinion of the said 
board of commissioners, or of 
the claimants, any books, re- 
cords, or documents in the 
possession or power of the 
government of the Mexican 
republic, shall be deemed neces- 
sary to the just decision of any 
claim, the commissioners, or the 
claimants through them, shall, 
within such period as Congress 
may designate, make an appli- 
cation in writingforthe same, ad- 
dressed to the Mexican minister 
for foreign affairs, to be trans- 
mitted by the Secretary of State 
of the United States ; and the 
Mexican government engages, 
at the earliest possible moment 
after the receipt of such de- 
mand, to cause any of the 
books, records, or documents, 
so specified, which shall be in 
their possession or pOwer (or 

validez de dichas reclamaciones, 

el tribunal se baya guiado y 
gobernado por los principios y 
reglas de decision establecidos 
en los articulos primero y quinto 
de la convencion, no ratifieada, 
que se ajusto en la ciudad de 
Mexico el veinte de Novierabre 
de mil ochocientos cuarenta y 
tres ; y en ningun caso se dara 
fallo en favor de ninguna re- 
clamacion que no este compren- 
dida en las reglas y principios 

Si en juicio del dicho tribunal 
de comisarios, 6 en el de los 
reclamantes se necesitaren para 
la justa decision de cualquier 
reclamacion algunos libros, 
papeles de archivo 6 docu- 
mentos que posea el gobierno 
Mexicano, 6 que esten en su 
poder ; los comisarios, 6 los 
reclamantes por conducto de 
ellos, los pediran por escrito 
(dentro del plazo que designe 
el Corigreso), dirigiendose al 
miuistro Mexicano de relaciones 
exteriores, A quien transmitirA 
las peticiones de esta clase el 
Secretario de Estado de los 
Estados Unidos ; y el go- 
bierno Mexicano se compro- 
mete A entregar a la mayor 
brevedad posible, despues de 
recibida cada denianda, los 
libros, papeles de archivo 6 
documentos, asi especificados. 



authenticated copies or extracts 
of the same), to be transmitted 
to the said Secretary of State, 
who shall immediately deliver 
them over to the said board 
of commissioners : Provided, 
That no such application shall 
be made by, or at the instance 
of, any claimant, until the facts, 
which it is expected to prove 
by such books, records, or docu- 
ments, shall have been stated 
under oath or affirmation. 

que posea 6 est^n en su poder, 
6 copias 6 extractos autenti- 
cos de los mismos, con el objeto 
de que scan transmitidos al 
Secretario de Estado, quien 
los pasara inmediatamente al 
expresado tribunal de comi- 
sarios. T no se harfi peticion 
alguna de los enunciados libros, 
papeles 6 documentos, por 6 a 
instancia de ningun reclamante, 
sin que antes se haya aseverado 
bajo juramento 6 con afirmaeion 
solenine la verdad de los hechos 
que con ellos se pretende probar. 

Article XVI. Artioulo XVI. 

Each of the contracting par- Cada una de las dos repii- 

ties reserves to itself the entire blicas se reserva la completa 

.right to fortify whatever point facultad de fortificar todos los 

within its territory it may judge puntos que para su seguridad 

proper so to fortify, for its se- estime convenientes en su pro- 

curity. pio territorio. 

Article XVII. 
The treaty of amity, com- 
merce, and navigation, con- 
cluded at the City of Mexico 
on the fifth day of April, a.d. 
1831, between the United States 
of America and the United 
Mexican States, except the ad- 
ditional article, and except so 
far as the stipulations of the 
said treaty may be incompati- 
ble with any stipulation con- 
tained in the present treaty, is 
hereby revived for the period 

Artioulo XVII. 
El tratado de amistad, co- 
mercio y navegacion, concluido 
en la ciudad de Mexico el cinco 
de Abril,del afiodelSenor 1831, 
entre la repiiblica Mexicana y 
los Estados Unidos de America, 
esceptuandose el articulo adi- 
' clonal y cuanto pueda haber en 
sus estipulaciones incompatible 
con alguna de las contenidas en 
el preseute tratado, queda res- 
tablecido por el periodo de echo 
afios desde el dia del cange de 



of eight years from the day of 
the exchange of ratifications of 
this treaty, with the same force 
and virtue as if incorporated 
therein ; it being understood 
that each of the contracting 
parties reserves to itself the 
right, at any time after the 
said period of eight years shall 
have expired, to terminate the 
same by giving one year's no- 
tice of such intention to the 
other party. 

Article XVIII. 

All supplies whatever for 
troops of the United States in 
Mexico, arriving at ports in the 
occupation of such troops pre- 
vious to the final evacuation 
thereof, although subsequently 
to the restoration of the custom- 
houses at such ports, shall be 
entirely exempt from duties 
and charges of any kind ; the 
governmentof the United States 
hereby engaging and pledging 
its faith to establish, and vigi- 
lantly to enforce, all possible 
guards for securing the revenue 
of Mexico, by preventing the 
importation, under cover of this 
stipulation, of any articles other 
than such, both in kind and 
in quantity, as shall really be 
wanted for the use and con- 
sumption of the forces of the 
United States during the time 

las ratificaciones del mismo pre- 
sente tratado, con igual fuerza 
y valor que si estuviese inserto 
en el ; debiendo entenderse que 
cada una de las partes contra- 
tautes se reserva el derecho de 
poner termino al dicho tratadode 
coraercio y navegacion en cual- 
quier tiempo luego que baya 
expirado el periodo de los echo 
aiios, comunicando su intencion 
A la otra parte con un aiio de 

Artioulo XVIII. 

No se exigirdn derechos ni 
gravamen de ninguna clase a 
los articulos todos que lleguen 
para las tropas de los Estados 
Unidos d los puertos Mexicanos 
ocupados por ellas, Antes de 
la evacuacion final de los mis- 
mos puertos, y despues de la 
devolucion & Mexico de las adu- 
anas situadas en ellos. El go- 
bierno de los Estados Unidos 
se compromete a la vez, y sobre 
esto empena su fe, & establecer 
y mantener con vigilanciacuan- 
tos guardas sean posibles para 
asegurar las reutas de Mexico, 
precaviendo laimportacion, a la 
sombra de esta estipulacion, de 
cualesquiera articulos que real- 
mente no sean necesarios, 6 que 
excedan en cantidad de los que 
se necesiten para el uso y con- 
sumo de las fuerzas de los Es- 



they may remain in Mexico. 
To this end, it shall be the duty 
of all officers and agents of the 
United States to denounce to 
the Mexican authorities at the 
respective ports any attempt at 
a fraudulent abuse of this stipu- 
lation which they may know of 
or may have reason to suspect, 
and to give to such authorities 
all the aid in their power with 
regard thereto ; and every such 
attempt, when duly proved and 
established by sentence of a 
competent tribunal, shall be 
punished by the confiscation of 
the property so attempted to 
be fraudulently introduced. 

tados Unidos mientras ellas 
permanezcan en Mexico. A 
este efecto, todos los oficiales y 
agentes de los Estados Unidos 
tendran obligacion de deuun- 
ciar a las autoridades Mexicanas 
en los mismos puertos, cualquier 
conato de fraudulento abuso de 
esta estipulacion que pudieren 
conocer 6 tuvieren motivo de 
sospechar ; asi como de impar- 
tir a las mismas autoridades 
todo el auxilioque pudieren con 
este objeto ; y cualquier conato 
de esta clase, que fuere legal- 
mente probado, y declarado per 
sentencia de tribunal compe- 
tente, sera castigado con el 
comiso de la cosa que se haya 
intentado introducir fraudu- 

Article XIX. 

With respect to all merchan- 
dise, effects, and property what- 
soever imported into ports of 
Mexico whilst in the occupation 
of the forces of the United 
States, whether by citizens of 
either republic, or by citizens 
or subjects of any neutral na- 
tion, the following rules shall 
be observed : 

1. All such merchandise, ef- 
fects, and property, if imported 
previously to the restoration of 
the custom-houses to the Mexi- 

Articulo XIX. 

Respecto de los efectos, mer- 
cancias y propiedades importa- 
dos en los puertos Mexicanos 
durante el tiempo que hanestado 
ocupados por las fuerzas de los 
Estados Unidos, sea por ciuda- 
danos de cualquiera de las dos 
republicas, sea por ciudadanos 
6 subditos de algnna nacion 
neutral, se observaran las reglas 
siguientes : 

1. Los dichos efectos, mer- 
cancias y propiedades, siempre 
que se hayan importado antes 
de la devolucion de las aduanas 



can authorities, as stipulated 
for in the third article of this 
treaty, shall be exempt from 
confiscation, although the im- 
portation of the same be pro- 
hibited by the Mexican tariff. 

2. The same perfect exemp- 
tion shall be enjoyed by all such 
merchandise, effects, and prop- 
erty, imported subsequently to 
the restoration of the custom- 
houses, and previously to the 
sixty days fixed in the following 
article for the coming into force 
of the Mexican tariff at such 
ports respectively ; the said mer- 
chandise, effects, and property 
being, however, at the time of 
their importation, subject to the 
payment of duties, as provided 
for in the said following article. 

3. All merchandise, effects, 
and property described in the 
two rules foregoing shall, during 
their continuance at the place 
of importation, and upon their 
leaving such place for the in- 
terior, be exempt from all duty, 
tax, or impost of every kind, 
under whatsoever title or de- 
nomination. Nor shall they be 
there subjected to any charge 
whatsoever upon the sale 

4. All merchandise, effects, 
and property described in the 

fl las autoridades Mexicanas 
conforme & lo estipulado en el 
articulo tercero de este tratado, 
quedarAn libres de la pena de 
comiso, aun cuando scan de los 
prohibidos en el arancel Mexi- 

2. La misma exencion goza- 
ran los efectos, mercancias y 
propiedades que lleguen A los 
puertos Mexicanos, despues de 
la devolucion 4 Mexico de las 
aduanas maritimas, y antes de 
que expiren los sesenta dias 
que van a fijarse en el articulo 
siguiente para que empieze fl 
regir el arancel Mexicano en 
los puertos; debiendo al tiempo 
de su importacion sujetarse los 
tales efectos, mercancias y pro- 
piedades, en cuanto al pago de 
derechos, & lo que en el indicado 
siguiente articulo se establece. 

3. Los efectos, mercancias y 
propiedades designados en las 
dos reglas anteriores quedar<in 
exentos de todo derecho, alca- 
bala 6 impuesto, sea bajo el 
titulo de internacion, sea bajo 
eualquiera otro, mientras per- 
manezcan en los pantos donde 
se hayan importado, y a su 
salida para el interior ; y en 
los mismos puntos no podrtl 
jamas exigirse impuesto alguno 
sobre su venta. 

4. Los efectos, mercancias y 
propiedades designados en las 



first and second rules, which 
shall have been removed to any 
place in the interior whilst such 
place was in the occupation of 
the forces of the United States, 
shall, during their continuance 
therein, be exempt from all tax 
upon the sale or consumption 
thereof, and from every kind of 
impost or contribution, under 
whatsoever title or denomina- 

5. But if any merchandise, 
effects, or property described 
in the first and second rules 
shall be removed to any place 
not occupied at the time by the 
forces of the United States, 
they shall, upon their introduc- 
tion into such place, or upon 
their sale or consumption there, 
be subject to the same duties 
which, under the Mexican laws, 
they would be required to pay 
in such cases if they had been 
imported in time of peace 
through the maritime custom- 
houses, and had there paid the 
duties conformably with the 
Mexican tarilf, 

6. The owners of all mer- 
chandise, effects, or property 
described in the first and second 
rules, and existing in any port 
of Mexico, shall have the right 
to reship the same, exempt from 
all tax, impost, or contribution 

reglas primera y segunda que 
hayan side internados d cual- 
quier lugar ocupado por las fuer- 
zas de los Estados Unidos, que- 
darAn exentos de todo derecho 
sobre su venta 6 consume, y de 
todo impuesto 6 contribucion, 
bajo cualquier titulo 6 denomi- 
nacion, mientras permanezcan 
en el mismo lugar. 

5. Mas si algunos efectos, 
mercancias 6 propiedades de los 
designados en las reglas primera 
y segunda se trasladaren il algun 
lugar no ocupado 4 la sazon por 
las fuerzas de los Estados Uni- 
dos, al introducirse d tal lugar, 
6 al venderse 6 consumirse en 
^1, quedardn sujetos d los mis- 
mos derechos que bajo las leyes 
Mexicanas deberian pagar en 
tales casos si se hubieran im- 
portado en tiempo de paz por 
las aduanas maritimas, y hu- 
biesen pagado en ellas los 
derechos que establece el aran- 
cel Mexicano. 

6. Los duefios de efectos, 
mercancias y propiedades de- 
signados en las reglas primera 
y segunda, y existentes en alguu 
puerto de Mexico, tienen derecho 
de re-embarcarlos, sin que pueda 
exigirseles ninguna clase de im- 
puesto, alcabala 6 contribucion. 




With respect to the metals, 
or other property, exported from 
any Mexican port whilst in the 
occupation of the forces of the 
United States, and previously 
to the restoration of the custom- 
house at such port, no person 
shall be required by the Mexi- 
can authorities, whether general 
or State, to pay any tax, duty, 
or contribution upon any such 
exportation, or in any manner 
to account for the same to the 
said authorities. 

Respecto de los metales y de 
toda otra propiedad exportados 
por cualquier puerto Mexicano 
durante su ocupacion por las 
fuerzas Americanas, y antes de 
la devolucion de su aduana al 
gobierno Mexicano, no se exi- 
gir^ d. ninguna persona por las 
autoridades de Mexico, ya de- 
pendan del gobierno general, 
ya de algun estado, que pague 
ningun impuesto, alcabala 6 
derecho por la indicada expor- 
tacion, ni sobre ella podri exi- 
girsele por las dichas autori- 
dades cuenta alguna. 

Article XX. 

Through consideration for 
the interests of commerce gen- 
erally, it is agreed, that if less 
than sixty days should elapse 
between the date of the signa- 
ture of this treaty and the re- 
storation of the custom-houses, 
conformably with the stipula- 
tion in the third article, in such 
case all merchandise, effects, and 
property whatsoever, airiving 
at the Mexican ports after the 
restoration of the said custom- 
houses, and previously to the 
expiration of sixty days after 
the day of the signature of 
this treaty, shall be admitted 
to entry; and no other duties 
shall be levied thereon than the 
duties established by the tariff 

Abticulo XX. 

Por consideracion A los in- 
ter^ses del comercia de todas 
las naciones, queda convenido 
que si pasaren menos de se- 
senta dias desde la fecha de la 
firma de este tratado hasta que 
se haga la devolucion de las 
aduanas maritimas, segTin loes- 
tipulado en el articulo tercero ; 
todos los efectos, mercancias y 
propiedades que lleguen a los 
puertos Mexicanos desde el dia 
en que se verifique la devolu- 
cion de las dichas aduanas hasta 
que se completen sesenta dias 
contadoB desde la fecha de la 
firma del presente tratado, se 
admitirin no pagando otros 
derechos que los establecidos 
en la tarifa que este vigente 



found in force at such custom- en las expresndas aduanas al 
bouses at the time of the restora- tiempo de su devolucion, y se 

tion of the same. And to all 
such merchandise, effects, and 
property, the rules established 
by the preceding article shall 

Article XXI. 

If unhappily any disagree- 
ment should hereafter arise 
between the governments of 
the two republics, whether with 
respect to the interpretation of 
any stipulation in this treaty, 
or with respect to any other 
particular concerning the politi- 
cal or commercial relations 
of the two nations, the said 
governments, in the name of 
those nations, do promise to 
each other that they will en- 
deavor, in the most sincere and 
earnest manner, to settle the 
differences so arising, and to 
preserve the state of peace and 
friendship in which the two 
countries are now placing them- 
selves ; using, for this end, mu- 
tual representations and pa- 
cific negotiations. And if by 
these means they should not 
be enabled to come to an agree- 
ment, a resort shall not on this 
account be had to reprisals, 
aggression, or hostility of any 
kind, by the one republic against 
the other, until the government 

extenderdn il dichos efectos, 
mercancias y propiedades las 
mismas reglas establecidas en 
el articulo anterior. 

Articulo XXI. 

Si desgraciadaraente en el 
tiempo futuro se suscitare algun 
punto de desacuerdo entre los 
gobiernos de las dos repiiblicas, 
bien sea sobre la inteligencia 
de alguna estipulacion de este 
tratado, bien sobre cualquiera 
otra materia de las relaeiones 
politicas o comerciales de las 
dos naciones, los mismos go- 
biernos, i. nonibre de ellas, se 
comprometen & procurar de la 
manera mas sincera y empefiosa 
a llanar las diferencias que se 
presenten y conservar el estado 
de pas y amistad en que ahora 
se poneu los dos paises, usando 
al efecto de representaciones 
miituas y de negociaciones paci- 
ficas. Y si por estos medios 
no se lograre todavia ponerse 
de aeuei-do no por eso se ape- 
lard d represalia, agresion ni 
hostilidad de ningun genero de 
una repiiblica contra otra, hasta 
que el gobierno de la que se 
crea agraviada haya consi- 
derado raaduramente y en es- 
piritu de paz y buena vecindad, 



of that which deems itself ag- 
grieved shall have maturely 
considered, in the spirit of peace 
and good neighborship, whether 
it would not be better that such 
difference should be settled by 
the arbitration of commission- 
ers appointed on each side, or 
by that of a friendly nation. 
And should such course be pro- 
posed by either party, it shall 
be acceded to by the other, un- 
less deemed by it altogether 
incompatible with the nature 
of the difference, or the circum- 
stances of the case. 

si no seria mejor que la diferen- 
cia se terminara por un arbitra- 
mento de comisarios nombrados 
por ambas partes, 6 de una 
nacion amiga. Y si tal medio 
fuefe propuesto por cualqiiiera 
de las dos partes, la otra acce- 
dera A el, fl no ser que lo juzgue 
absolutamente incompatible con 
la naturaleza y circuustancias 
del caso. 

Article XXII. 

If (which is not to be ex- 
pected, and which God forbid !) 
war should unhappily break out 
between the two republics, 
they do now, with a view to 
such calamity, solemnly pledge 
themselves to each other, and 
to the world, to observe the 
following rules : absolutely, 
where the nature of the subject 
permits, and as closely as pos- 
sible in all cases where such 
absolute observance shall be 

1. The merchants of either 
republic then residing in the 
other shall be allowed to re- 
main twelve months (for those 
dwelling in the interior), and 

Artioulo XXII. 

Si (lo que no es de esperarse, 
y Dios no permita) desgraciada- 
mente se suscitare guerra entre 
las dos republicas, estas para el 
caso de tal calamidad se com- 
prometen ahora solemnemente, 
dnte si mismas y ;lnte el mundo, 
a observar las reglas siguientes 
de una manera absoluta si la 
naturaleza del objeto <l que se 
contraen lo permite; y tan ex- 
trictamente como sea dable en 
todos los casos en que la abso- 
luta observancia de ellas fuere 
imposible : 

1. Los conierciantes de cada 
una de las dos republicas que a 
la sazon residan en territorio 
de la otra, podnin permanecer 
doce meses los que residan ea 



six moDths (fov those dwelling 
at the seaports), to collect their 
debts and settle their affairs, 
during which periods they shall 
enjoy the same protection, and 
be on the same footing, in all 
respects, as the citizens or sub- 
jects of the most friendly na- 
tions; and, at the expiration 
thereof, or any time before, 
they shall have full liberty to 
depart, carrying off all their 
efifects without molestation or 
hinderance — conforming there- 
in to the same laws which the 
citizens or subjects of the most 
friendly nations are required to 
conform to. Upon the entrance 
of the armies of either nation 
into the territories of the other, 
women and children, ecclesi- 
astics, scholars of every faculty, 
cultivators of the earth, mer- 
chants, artisans, manufacturers, 
and fishermen, unarmed and 
inhabiting unfortified towns, 
villages, or places, and in gen- 
eral all persons whose occupa- 
tions are for the common sub- 
sistence and benefit of mankind, 
shall be allowed to continue 
their respective employments 
unmolested in their persons. 
Nor shall their houses or goods 
be burnt or otherwise destroyed, 
nor their cattle taken, nor their 
fields wasted, by the armed 
force into whose power, by the 

el interior, y seis meses los que 
residan en los puertos, para re- 
eoger sus deudas y arreglar sus 
negocios ; durante estos plazos 
desfrutardn la misma proteccion 
y estarAn sobre el mismo pie 
er\ todos respectos que los ciu- 
dadanos 6 siibditos de las na- 
ciones mas amigas ; y al expirar 
el tcirmino, 6 Antes de el, tendrdn 
completa libertad para salir 
y Uevar todos sus efectos sin 
molestia 6 embarazo, sujetjln- 
dose en este particular A las 
mismasleyes A que esten sujetos, 
y deban arreglarse los ciudada- 
nos 6 subditos de las naciones 
mas amigas. Cuando los ejer- 
citos de una de las dos naciones 
entren en territories de la otra, 
las mujeres y ninos, los eclesi- 
asticos, los estudiantes de cual- 
quier facultad, los labradores, 
comerciantes, artesanos, manu- 
factureros, y pescadores que 
esten desarraados y residan en 
ciudades, pueblos 6 lugares no 
fortificados, y en general todas 
las personas cuya ocupacion 
sirva para la comun subsisten- 
cia y beneficio del genero hu- 
mane, podrAn continuar en sus 
ejercicios, sin que sus personas 
sean molestadas. No serAn in- 
cendiadas sus casas 6 bienes, 
6 destruidos de otra manera ; 
ni serin tomados sus ganados, 
ni devastados sus campos, por 



events of war, they may hap- 
pen to fall ; but if the necessity 
arise to take anything from 
them for the use of such armed 
force, the same shall be paid 
for at an equitable price. All 
churches, hospitals, schools, 
colleg-es, libraries, and other 
establishments for charitable 
and beneficent purposes, shall 
be respected, and all persons 
connected with the same pro- 
tected in the discharge of their 
duties and the pursuit of their 

2. In order that the fate of 
prisoners of war may be alle- 
viated, all such practices as 
those of sending them into 
distant, inclement, or unvthole- 
some districts, or crowding 
them into close and noxious 
places, shall be studiously 
avoided. They shall not be 
confined in dungeons, prison- 
ships, or prisons ; nor be pat 
in irons, or bound, or otherwise 
restrained in the use of their 
limbs. The officers shall enjoy 
liberty on their paroles within 
convenient districts, and have 
comfortable quarters ; and the 
common soldiers shall be dis- 
posed in cantonments, open 
and extensive enough for air 
and exercise, and lodged in 

la fuerza armada en cuyo poder 
puedan venir & caer por los 
aeontecimientos de la guerra ; 
pero si hubiere necesidad de 
tomarles alguna cosa para el 
uso de la misma fuerza armada, 
se les pagard lo tomado a un 
preciojusto. Todaslas iglesias, 
hospitales, escuelas, colegios, 
librerias, y demas estableeimi- 
entos de caridad y beneficencia 
serau respetados ; y todas las 
personas que dependan de las 
mismas ser^n protegidas en el 
degerapeno de sus deberes y en 
la eontinuacion de sus profesi- 

2. Para aliviar la suerte de 
los prisioneros de guerra, se evi- 
tardn cuidadosamente las pra- 
ticas de enviarlos d distritos 
distantes, inclementes 6 mal- 
sanos, 6 de aglomerarlos en 
lugares estrechos y enfermizos. 
No se confioariln en calabosos, 
prisiones ni pontones ; no se les 
aherrojard, ni se les atara, ni 
se les impedird de ningun otro 
niodo el uso de sus miembros. 
Los oficiales que daran en 
libertad bajo su palabra de 
honor, dentro de distritos con- 
comodos ; y los soldados rasos 
se eolocarstn en acantonamlentos 
bastante despejados y extensos 
para la ventilacion y el ejercicio, 
y se alojariin en ciiarteles tan 



barracks as roomy and good 
as are provided by the party 
in whose power they are for 
its own troops. But if any 
officer shall break his parole by 
leaving the district so assigned 
him, or any other prisoner shall 
escape from the limits of his 
cantonment, after they shall 
have been designated to him, 
such individual, officer, or other 
prisoner shall forfeit so much 
of the benefit of this article as 
provides for his liberty on pa- 
role or in cantonment. And if 
any officer so breaking his pa- 
role, or any common soldier so 
escaping from the limits as- 
signed him, shall afterwards be 
found in arms, previously to his 
being regularly exchanged, the 
person so offending shall be 
dealt with according to the 
established laws of war. The 
officers shall be daily furnished 
by the party in whose power 
they are with as many rations, 
and of the same articles, as are 
allowed, either in kind or by 
commutation, to officers of equal 
rank in its own army ; and all 
others shall be daily furnished 
with such ration as is allowed 
to a common soldier in its own 
service — the value of all which 
supplies shall, at the close of 
the war, or at periods to be 
agreed upon between the re- 

araplios y comodos como los 
que use para sus propias tropas 
la parte que Jos tenga en su 
poder. Pero si algun oficial 
faltare d su palabra, saliendo 
del distrito que se le ha seSalado, 
6 algun otro prisionero se fu- 
gare de los liraites de su acan- 
tonamiento despues que estos 
se les hayan fijado, tal oficial 6 
prisionero perdera el beneficio 
del presente articulo por lo que 
mera i. su libertad bajo su pa- 
labra 6 en acantonamiento. Y 
si algun oficial faltando asi a su 
palabra, 6 algun soldado raso 
saliendo de los limites que se 
le ban asignado, fu6re encon- 
trado despues con las armas eij 
la mano antes de ser debida- 
niente cangeado, tal persona eo 
esta actitud ofensiva serd tra- 
tada conforme a las leyes 
comunes de la guerra. A los 
oficiales se pro veerS diarianiente 
por la parte en cuyo poder 
esten, de tantas raciones com- 
puestas de los mismos articulos 
eorao las que gozan en especie 
6 en equivalente los oficiales de 
la misma graduacion en su pro- 
pio ejercito ; a todos los demas 
prisioneros se proveerA diaria- 
mente de una racion semejante 
a la que se ministra al soldado 
raso en su propio servicio ; el 
valor de todas estas suministra- 
ciones se pagari por la otra 



spective commanders, be paid 
by the other party, on a mutual 
adjustment of accounts for sub- 
sistence of prisoners; and such 
accounts shall not be mingled 
with or set- off against any 
others, nor the balance due on 
them be withheld, as a compen- 
sation or reprisal for any cause 
whatever, real or pretended. 
Each party shall be allowed to 
keep a commissary of prisoners, 
appointed by itself, with every 
cantonment of prisoners in 
possession of the other ; which 
commissary shall see the prison- 
ers as often as he pleases; shall 
be allowed to receive, exempt 
from all duties or taxes, and to 
distribute, whatever comforts 
may be sent to them by their 
friends; and shall be free to 
transmit his reports in open 
letters to the party by whom 
he is employed. 

And it is declared that neither 
the pretence that war dissolves 
all treaties, nor any other what- 
ever, shall be considered as an- 
nulling or suspending the sol- 
emn covenant contained in this 
article. On the contrary, the 
state of war is precisely that 
for which it is provided, and 
during which its stipulations 

parte a) concluirse la guerra, 6 
en los periodos que se ponven- 
gan entre sus respectivos co- 
mandantes, precediendo una 
mutua liquidacion de las cuentas 
que se lleven del mantenimiento 
de prisioneros ; y tales cuentas 
no se mezclardn ni compensaran 
con otras ; ni el saldo que 
resulte de ellas, se rehusara 
bajo pretesto de compensacion 6 
represalia por cualquiera causa, 
real 6 figurada. Cada una de 
las partes podril mantener un 
comisario de prisioneros nom- 
brado por ella misma en cada 
acantonamiento de los prisio- 
neros que esten en poder de 
la otra parte ; este comisario 
visitard, & los prisioneros siem- 
pre que quiera ; tendra facultad 
de recibir, libres de todo dere- 
cho 6 impuesto, "y de distribuir 
todos los auxilios que pueden 
enviarles sus amigos, y podril 
libremente transmitir sus partes 
en cartas abiertas ^ la autoridad 
por la cual,estil empleado. 

Y se declare que ni el pre- 
testo de que la guerra destruj'e 
los tratados, ni otro alguno, sea 
el que fuere, se considerara que 
anula 6 suspende el pacto so- 
lemne contenido en este articulo. 
Por el contrario, el estado de 
guerra es cabalmente el que se 
ha tenido presente al ajustarlo, 
y durante el cual sus estipula- 



are to be as sacredh' observed ciones se han de observar tan 

as the most acknowledged obli- aantaniente como las obliga- 

gations under the law of nature ciones mas reconocidas de la 

or nations. ley natural 6 de gentes. 

Article XXIII. 

This treaty shall be ratified 
by the President of the United 
States of America, by and with 
the advice and consent of the 
Senate thereof; and by the 
President of the Mexican re- 
public, with the previous ap- 
probation of its General Con- 
gress ; and the ratifications shall 
be exchanged in the City of 
Washington, or at the seat of 
government of Mexico, in four 
months from the date of the 
signature hereof, or sooner if 

In faith whereof, we, the re- 
spective plenipotentiaries, have 
signed this treaty of peace, 
friendship, limits, and settle- 
ment ; and have hereunto af- 
fixed our seals respectively. 
Done in quintuplicate, at the 
City of Guadalupe Hidalgo, on 
the second day of February, in 
the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand eight hundred aud forty- 

N. P. Trist, [l. s] 

Luis G. Cuevas, [l. s.] 

Bernardo Couto, [l. s.] 

MiOL. Atbistain. [l. s.] 

Artioulo XXIII. 

Este tratado seril ratificado 
por el Presidente de la repii- 
blica Mexicana, previa la apro- 
bacion de su Congreso Ge- 
neral ; y por el Presidente de 
los Estados XJnidos de America, 
con el consejo y consentimiento 
del Senado ; y las ratificaciones 
se cangearan en la ciudad de 
Washington, 6 donde estuviere 
el gobierno Mexicano, il los 
cuatro meses de la fecha de la 
firnia del misnio tratado, 6 antes 
si fuere posible. 

En U de lo cual, nosotros 
hemos firniado y sellado por 
quintuplicado este tratado de 
paz, araistad, limites y arreglo 
definitivo, en la ciudad de 
Guadalupe Hidalgo, el dia dos 
de Febrero del ano de nuestro 
Seiior mil ochocientos cuarenta 
y ocho. 

Bernardo Couto, [l. s.] 

MiGL. Atristain, [l. s ] 

Luis G. Cuevas, [l. s.] 

N. P. Trist. [l, s.]