J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen.

The Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner online

. (page 7 of 16)
Online LibraryJ. G. (John Gideon) MillingenThe Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner → online text (page 7 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

vidual commanders. I am, sir, very^ respectfully,
your obedient servant, Z. TAYLOR,

Brtvet Brig. Gen. U. S. Jl., commanding.
The Adjutant Geseral of the Jrmy, Washivglon.

Head quarters Jrmy of Occupation,
Camp near Fort Broicn, Texas, May 17, 1846.
Sir: In submitting a more minute report of the
affair of " Resaca de la Palma," I have the honor to
slate, that early on the morning of the 9th instant,
the enemy, who had encamped near the field of the
day previous, was discovered moving by his left
flank, evidently in retreat, and perhaps at the same
lime to gain a new position on the road to Malamo-
ros, and ihere again resist our advance.

I ordered the supply train to be strongly parked at
its position, and left with it four pieces of artillery —
the two IBpounders, which had done such good ser-
vice on the previous day, and two 12-pounders,
which had not been in the action. The wounded
! officers and men were at the same time sent back to
I Point Isabel. I then moved forward with the
I columns to the edge of the chaparral or forest, which
i extends to the Rio Grande, a distance of seven
I miles. The light companies of the first brigade un-
1 der Captain C. T. Smith, second artillery, and a
' select detachment of light troops, the whole under



the command of Captain McCali, fourth infantry,
were thrown forward into the chaparral, to feel the
enemy, and ascertain his position. About 3 o'clock,
I received a report from the advance that the enemy
Tvas in position on tlie road, with at least two pieces
of artillery. The command was immediately put in
motion, and abo-.t 4 o'clock 1 came up with Captain
McCall, who reported the enemy in force in our
front, occupyinj5 a ravine which intersects ihe road,
and is skirled by thickets of dense chaparral. Ridge-
ly's battery, and the advance under Captain McCall,
were at once thrown forward on the road and into
the chaparral on either side, while the lifth infantry
and one wing of the fourtli was thrown into tiie
forest on the left, and the third and the other wing
of the fourtli on the right of the road. These cor[is
were employed as skirmishers to cover the battery
and engage the Mexican infantry. Captain McCall's
command became at once engaged witii the enemy,
while the light artillery, though in a very exposed
position, did great execution. The enemy had at
least eight pieces of artillery, and maintained an
incessant fire upon our advance.

The action now became general, and allhougli the
enemy's infantry gave way before the steady fire and
resistless progress of our own, yei his artillery was
still in position to check our advance — several pieces
occupying the pass across the ravine, which he had
chosen for his pusilion. Perceiving that no decisive
advantage could be gained until this artillery was
silen::ed, I ordered Captain May to charge thebalte-
ry with his squadron of dragoons. This was gallantly
and eflectually executed ; the enemy was driven
from his guns, and General La Vega, who remained
alone at one of the batteries, was taken prisoner.
The squadron, which sulfercd much in this charge,
not being immediately supported by infantry, could
not retain possession of the artillery taken, but it was
completely silenced. In the mean time the eighth
infantry had been ordered up, and had become
warmly engaged on the right of the road. This
regiment and a part of the fifth were now ordered to
charge the batteries, which was handsomely done,
and the enemy entirely driven from his artillery and
his position on the left of the road.

The light companies of the first brigade, and the
third and fourth regiments of infantry, had been de-
ployed on the right of the road, when, at various
points, they became briskly engaged with the enemy.
A small party, under Captain Buchanan and Lieu-
tenants Wood and Hays, fourth infantry, composed
chiefiy of men of that regiment, drove the enemy
trom a breastwork which he occupied, and captured
a piece of artillery. An attempt to recover this
piece was repulsed by Captain Barbour's third infan-
try. The enemy was at last completely driven from
liis position on the right of the road, and retreated
precipitately, leaving baggage of every description.
The fourth infantry took possession of a camp where
the head-quarters of the Mexican general-in-chief
were established. All his official correspondence
was captured at this place.

The artillery battalion (excepting the flank com-
panies) had been ordered to guard the baggage train,
which was parked some distance in rear. That bat-
talion was now ordered up to pursue the enemy, and,
with the .'id infantry, Ca|)t. Ker's dragoons, and Capt.
Duncan's battery, followed him ropidly to the river,
making a number of prisoners, (ircat numbers of
the enemy were drowned in attempting to cross the
river near the town. The corps last mentioned en-
camped near the river— the remainder of the army
on the field of battle.

The strength of our marching force on this day,
as exhibited in the annexed field report, was 173 ofii-
cers and 2,049 men— aggregate 2,222. The actual
number engaged with the enemy did not exceed
L'/OO. Our loss was three officers killed, thirty six
men killed and seventy-one wounded. Among the
ofilcers killed 1 have to report the loss of Lieut. Jnge,
2d dragoons, who fell at the head of his platoon,
while gallantly charging the enemy's battery; of
Lieut. Cochrane, of the 4th, and Lieut. Chadbourne,
of the &lh infantry, who likewise met their death in
the thickest of the fight. The officers wounded were
Lieut. Col. Payne, inspector general ; Lieut. Dob-
bins, 3d infantry, serving with the light infantry ad-
vance, slightly ; Lieut. Col. Mcintosh, 5th infantry,
severely, twice; Capt. Hooe, 5lh infantry, severely,
(right arm since amputated ;) Lieut. Fowler, 5lh in-
fantry, slightly ; Capt. Montgomery, 8th infantry,
slightly ; Lieuts. Gates and Jordan, 8th infantry, se-
verely, (each twice;) Lieuts. Selden, Maclay, Bur-
bank and Morris, 8th infantry, slightly.

I have no accurate data from which to estimate
the enemy's force on this day. Pie is known to have
been reinforced after the action of the 8th, both by
cavalry and infan'ry, and no doubt to an extent equal
to his loss on that day. It is probable that 6,000
men were opposed to us, and in a position chosen by
themselves, and strongly defended with artillery.
The enemy's loss was very great. Nearly 200 of his
dead were buried by us on the days succeeding the
battle. His loss, in killed and wounded and missing,
in the two afi'airs of the 8th and 9th, is, I think,
moderately estimated at LOOO men.

Our victory has been decisive. A small force has
overcome immense odds of the best troops that
Mexico can furnish; veteran regiments perfectly
equipped and appointed. Eight pieces of ariillery,
several colors and standards, a great number of pri-
soners, including fourteen officers, and a large
amount of baggage and public property, have fallen
into our hands.

The causes of victory are doubtless to be found
in the superior quality of our officers and men. I
have already, in former reports, paid a general tribute
to the admirable conduct of the troops on both days.
It now becomes my duty, and 1 feel it to be one of
great delicacy, to notice individuals. In so exten-
sive a field as that of the 8lh, and in the dense cover
where most of the action of the 9th was fought, I
could not possibly be witness to more than a small
portion of the operations of the various corps, and
1 must therefore depend upon the reports of subor-
dinate commanders, which 1 respectfully enclose

Col. 'I'vviggSjthe second in command, was particu-
larly active on both days, in executing my orders
and directing Ihe operations of the right wing.
Lieut. Col. Mcintosh, commanding the 5th infantry j
Lieut. Col. (iarland, commanding the third brigade;
Lieut. Col. Belknap, commanding the Jirsf brigade ;
Lieut. Col. Childs, commanding the artillery bat-
talion ; Major Allen ; Cajjts. L W. Morris, and Mont-
gomery, commanding respectfully the 4th, 3d, and
8th regiments of infantry, were zealous in the per-
formance of their duties, and gave examples to their
commands of cool and fearless condnci. Lieut. Col.
Mcintosh repulsed with his regiment a charge of
lancers in the action of Palo Alto, and shared with
it in ttie hoii'.rs and darigers of the fallowing day,
being twice severely wounded. Lieut. Co), llelknap
headed a charge of the 8lli infantry, which lesulled
in driving the enemy frt)m his guns, and leaving us
in possession of that part of the field.



Captain Duncan and Lieut. Rid2;eiy deserve spe-
cial notice for the gallant and efficient manner in
which they manojiivied and served their batteries.
The impression made by Captain Duncan's battery
upon the extreme right of the enemy's line at the
affair of Palo Alto contributed largely to the result
of the day; while the terrible fire kept up by Lieut.
Ridgely in the all'alr of the 9lh inflicted heavy losses
upon the enemy. The 18-pounder battery, which
played a conspicuous part in the action of the 8th,
was admirably served by Lieut. Churchill, 3d artil-
lery, assisted by Lieut. Wood, topographical engi-
neers. The charge of cavalry against the enemy's
batteries on the 9th was gallantly led by Captain
May, and had complete success. Captain McCall,
4th infantry, rendered distinguished service with the
advanced corps under his orders. Its loss in killed
and wounded will show how closely it was engaged.
1 may take this occasion to say that in two former
instances Captain McCall has rendered valuable ser-
vice as a partisan officer. In this connexion I would
mention the services of Captain Walker, of the Teicas
rangers, who was in both affairs with his company,
and who has performed very meritorious services
as a spy and pariisan. I must peg leave to refer to
the reports of subordinate commanders and privates,
who were distinguished by good conduct on both
days. Instances of individual gallantry and personal
conflict with the enemy were not wanting in the
aff"air of the 9th, but cannot find place in a general
report. The officers serving in the staffs of the
different commanders are particularly mentioned by

I derived efficient aid on both days from all the
officers of my staff. Captain Bliss, assistant adjutant
general; Lieut. Colonel Payne, inspector general;
Lieut. Eaton, A. D. C; Capt. Waggaman, commis-
sary of subsistence; Lieut Leavitt, engineer, and
Lieuts. Blake and Meade, topographical engineers,
promptly conveyed my orders to every part of the
field. Lieut. Colonel Payne was wounded in the
affair of the 9th, and I have already had occasion to
report the melancholy death of Lieut. Blake, by ac-
cident, in the interval between the two engagements.
Major Craig and Lieut. Brcreton, of the ordnance
department, were actively engaged in their appro-
priate duties, and Surgeon Craig, medical director,
superintended in person the arduous service of the
field hospitals. I take this occasion to mention gen-
erally the devotion to duty of the medical staff of
the army, who have been untiring in their exertions,
both in the field and in the hospitals, to alleviate the
sufferings of the wounded of both armies. Captains
Grossman and Myers, of the quarter-master's de-
partment, who had charge of the heavy supply train
at both engagements, conducted it in a most satisfac-
tory manner, and finally brought it up, without the
smallest loss, to its destination.

I enclose an inventory of the Mexican property
captured on the field, and also a sketch of the field
of "Resaca de la Palma," and of the route from
Point Isabel, made by my aid-de-camp, Lieut. Eaton.
One regimental color (battalion of Tampico) and
many standards and guidons of cavalry were taken
at the affair of the 9th. I would be pleased to re-
ceive your instructions as to the disposition to be
made of these trophies; whether they shall be sent
to Washington, &c. I am, very respectfully, your
obedient servant, Z. TAYTOR,

Brevet Brigadier Geneial, U. S. .^. Commanding.
The Adjutant General of the Army, Washington,


Headquarters Army of Occupation,
Camp near JMonteriy , Oct. 9, 1846.

Sir : I have now the honor to submit ;i detailed re-
port of the recent operations before Monterey, re-
sulting in the capitulation of that city.

The information received on the route from Serai-
vo, and particularly the continual ai)pearance in our
front of the Mexican cavalry, which had a slight
skirmish with our advance at the village of llamas,
induced the belief, as we approached Monterey, that
the enemy would defend that place. Upon reaching
the neighborhood of the city on the morning of the
19th of September, this belief was fully confirmed.
It was ascertained that he occupied the town in
lorce; that a large work had been constructed com-
manding all the northern approaches; and that the
Bishop's Palace, and some heights in its vicinity near
the Saltillo road, had also been fortified and occupi-
ed with troops and artillery. It was known, from
information previously received, that the eastern ap-
proaches were commanded by several small works
in the lower edge of the city.

The configuration of the heights and gorges in the
direction of the Saltillo road, as visible from the
point attained by our advance on the morning of the
19th, led me to suspect that it was practicable to
turn all the works in that direction, and thus cut the
enemy's line of communication. Afier establishing
my camp at the "Walnut Springs," three miles from
Monterey, the nearest suitable position, it was, ac-
cordingly, my first care to order a close reconnois-
sance of the ground in question, which was executed
on the evening of the 19th by the engineer officers
under the direction of Major Mansfield. A recon-
noissance of the eastern approaches was at the same
time made by Capt. Williams, topographical engi-
neer. The examination made by Major Mansfield
proved the entire practicability of throwing forward
a column to the Saltillo road, and thus turning the
position of the enemy. Deeming this to be an ope-
ration of essential importance, orders were given to
Brevet Brig. Gen. Worth, commanding the second
division, to march with his command on the 20th ;
to turn the hill of the Bishop's Palace ; to occupy a
position on the Saltillo road, and to carry the ene-
my's detached works in that quarter, where practi-
cable. The first regiment of Texas mounted volun-
teers, under command of Colonel Hays, was associ-
ated with the second division on this service. Capt.
Sanders, engineers, and Lieut. Meade, topographical
enaineers, were also ordered to report to General
Worth for duty with his column.

At 2 o'clock, P. M., on the 20th, the second divi-
sion took up its march. It was soon discovered, by
officers who were reconnoitering the town, and com-
municated to Gen. Worth, that its movement had
been perceived, and that the enemy was throwing
reinforcements towards the Bishop's Palace and the
height which commands it. To divert his attention
as far as practicable, the first division under Brig.
Gen. Twiggs, and field division of volunteers, under
Major General Butler, were displayed in front of
the town until dark. Arrangements were made at
the same time to place in battery during the night,
at a suitable distance from the enemy's main work,
the citadel, two 24-pounder howitzers and a 10-inch
mortar, with a view to open a fire on the following



day, when 1 proposed to make a diversion in favor
of Gen. Worth's movement. The 4th infantry cov-
ered this battery during the night. Gen. Worth had
in the mean lime reaclied and occupied for tiie nij;iit
a defensive position just without range of a battery
above the Bishop's Palace, liavingmaae a reconnois-
sance as far as the Saltillo road.

Before proceeding to report the operations of the
21st and following days, 1 beg leave to state that I
shall mention in detail only those which were con-
ducted against the eastern extremity of the city or
elsewhere, under my immediate direction, referring
you for the particulars of Gen. Worth's operations,
which were entirely detached, to his own full report
transmitted herewith.

Early on the morning of the 21st, I received a note
from General Worth, written at half past 9 o'clock
the night before, suggesting what I had already in-
tended, a strong diversion against the centre and left
of the town, to favor his enterprise against the
heights in rear. The infantry and artillery of the
first division, and the field division of volunteers,
were ordered under arms and took the direction of
the city, leaving one company of each regiment as a
camp guard. The 2d dragoons, under Lieut. Col.
May, and Col. Wood's regiment of Texas mounted
volunteers, under the immediate direction of Gen.
Henderson, were directed to the right, to support
Gen. Worth, if necessary, and to make an impres-
sion, if practicable, upon the upper quarter of the
city. Upon approaching the mortar battery, the 1st
and 3d regiments of infantry and battalion of Balti-
more and Washington volunteers, with Capt. Bragg's
field battery — the whole under the command of
Lieut. Colonel Garland — wei e directed towards the
lower part of the town, with orders to make a strong
demonstration, and to carry one of the enemy's ad-
vanced works, if it could be done without too heavy
loss. Major Mansfield, engineers, and Capt. Wil-
liams and Lieut. Pope, topographical engineers,
accompanied this column. Major Mansfield being
charged with its direction, and the designation of
points of attack. In the mean time the mortar,
served by Capt. Ramsay, of the ordnance, and the
howitzer battery under Capt. Webster, 1st artillery,
had opened their fire upon the citadel, which was
deliberately sustained, and answered from the work.
Gen. Butler's division had now taken up a position
in the rear of this battery, when the discharges of
artillery, mingled finally with a rapid fire of small
arms, showed that Lieut. Col. Garland's command
had become warmly engaged. 1 now deemed it ne-
cessary to support this attack, and accordingly or-
dered the 4lh infantry and three regiments of Gen.
Butler's division to march at once by the left flank
in the direction of the advanced work at the lower
extremity of the town, leaving one regiment (1st
Kentucky) to cover the mortar and howitzer battery.
By some mistake, two companies of the 4th infantry
did not receive this order, and consecjuently did not
join the advance companies until some time after-

Lieut. Colonel Garland's command had approach-
ed the town in a direction to the right of the ad-
vanced work (No. 1) at the northeastern angle of
the city, and the engineer officer, covered by skirm-
isher3, had succeeded in entering the suburbs and
gaining cover. The remainder of this command now
advanced and entered the town under a heavy fire of
artillery from the citadel and the works on the left,
and of musketry from the houses and small works in
front. A movement to the right was attempted with

a view to gain the rear of No. 1, and carry that
work, but the troops were so much exposed to a fire
which they could not effectually return, and had al-
ready sustained such severe loss, particularly in of-
ficers, that it was deemed best to withdraw them to
a more secure position. Capt. Backus, Ist infantry,
however, with a portion of liis own and other com-
panies, had gained the roof of a tannery, which look-
ed directly into the gorge of No. 1, and from which
he poured a most destructive fire into that work and
upon the strong building in its rear. This fire hap-
pily coincided in point of time with the advance of
a portion of the volunteer division upon No. 1, and
contributed largely to the fall of that strong and im-
portant work.

The three regiments of the volunteer division un-
der the immediate command of Major General But-
ler had in the mean time advanced in the direction
of No. 1. The leading brigade, under Brig. Gen.
Quitman, continued its advance upon the work, pre-
ceded by three companies of the 4th infantry, while
Gen. Butler, with the 1st Ohio regiment, entered the
town to the right. The companies of the 4th infan-
try had advanced within short range of the work,
when they were received by a fire that almost in
one moment struck down orie-third of the officers and
men, and rendered it necessary to retire and effect a
conjunction with the two other companies then ad-
vancing. Gen. Quitman's brigade, though sufl'ering
most severely, particularly in the Tennessee regi-
ment, continued its advance, and finally carried the
work in handsome style, as well as the strong build-
ing in its rear. Five pieces of artillery, a consider-
able supply of ammunition, and thirty prisoners, in-
cluding three officers, fell into our hands. Major
Gen. Butler, with the Isl Ohio regiment, after en-
tering the edge of the town, discovered that nothing
was to be accomplished in his front, and at this point,
yielding to the suggestions of several officers, I or-
dered a retrograde movement; but learning almost
immediately from one of my staff that the battery
No. 1 was in our possession, the order was counter-
manded, and 1 determined to hold the battery and
defences already gained. Gen. Butler, with the 1st
Ohio regiment, then entered the town at a point fur-
ther to the left, and marched in the direction of the
battery No. 2. While making an examination with
a view to ascertain the possibility of carrying this
second work by storm, the general was wounded
and soon after compelled to quit the field. As the
strength of No. 2, and the heavy musketry fire flank-
ing the approach, rendered it impossible to carry it
without great loss, the 1st Ohio regiment was with-
drawn from the town.

Fragments of the various regiments engaged were
now under cover of the captured battery, and some
buildings in its front and on the right. The field
batteries of Capt. Bragg and Ridglcy were also par-
tially covered by the battery. An incessant fire was
kept up on this position from battery No. 2 and
other works on its right, and from the citadel, on all
our approaches. General Twiggs, though quite un-
well, joined me at this point, and was instrumental
in causing the artillery captured from the enemy to
be placed in battery, and served by Capt. Ridgely
against No. 2 until the arrival of Capt. Webster's
howitzer battery, which took its place. In the
mean time I directed such men as could be collected
of the 1st, 3d, and 4ih regiments and Baltimore bat-
talion to enter the town, penetrating to the right,
and carry the second battery, if possible. This com-
mand, under Lieut. Col. Garland, advanced beyond


the bridge "Purisima," when finding it impractica-
ble to gain the rear of the second battery, a portion
of it sustained themselves for sometime in that ad-
vanced position ; but as no permanent impression
could be made at that point, and the main ol)ject of
the general operation had been elfeeted, the com-
mand, including a section of Capt. llidgely's battery,
which had joined it, was withdrawn to battery No. ].
During the absence of tiiis column, a demonstration
of cavahy was reported in the direction of the cita-
del. Capt. Bragg, wlio was at hand, immediately
gallopped with his battery to a suitable position,
from which a few discharges effectually dispersed
the enemy. Capt. Miller, first infantry, was des-
patched with a mixed command, to support the bat-
tery on this service — The enemy's lancers had pre-
viously charged upon the Ohio and a part of the Mis-
sissippi regiment, near some fields at a distance from
the edge of the town, and had been repulsed with
considerable loss. A demonstration of cavalry on
the opposite side of the river was also dispersed in
the course of the afternoon by Capt. Ridgley's bat-
tery, and the squadrons returned to the city. At the
approach of evening all the troops that had been en-
gaged were ordered back to camp except Capt.
Ridgley's battery and the regular infantry of the
first division, who were detailed as a guard for the
works during the night, under command of Lieut.
Col. Garland. One battalion of the first Kentucky
regiment was ordered to reinforce this command. —
Intrenching tools were procured, and additional
strength was given to the works, and protection to
the men, by working parties during the night, under

1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryJ. G. (John Gideon) MillingenThe Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner → online text (page 7 of 16)