J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen.

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

. (page 8 of 16)
Online LibraryJ. G. (John Gideon) MillingenThe Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner → online text (page 8 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the direction of Lieut. Scarritt, engineers.

The main object proposed in the morning had
been effected. A powerful diversion had been m^ade
to favor the operations of the 2d division, one of the
enemy's advanced works had been carried, and we
now had a strong foothold in the town. But this had
not been accomplished without a very heavy loss,
embracing some of our most gallant and promising
officers. Capt. Williams, topographical engineers,
Lieuts. Terrett and Dilworth, 1st infantry, Lieut.
Woods, 2d infantry, Capts. Morris and Field, Brevet
Major Barbour, Lieuts. Irwin and Hazlitt, 3d in-
fantry, Lieut. Hoskins, 4lh infantry, Lieut. Colonel
Watson, Baltimore battalion, Capt. Allen and Lieut.
Putman, Tennessee regiment, and Lieut. Hett, Ohio
regiment, were killed, or have since died of wounds
received in this engagement, while the number and
rank of the officers wounded gives additional proof
of the obstinacy of the contest, and the good conduct
of our troops. The number of killed and wounded
incident to the operations in the lower part of city
on the 21st is 394.

Early in the morning of this day, (21st,) the ad-
Tance of the 2d division had encountered the enemy
in force, and after a brief and sharp conflict, re-
pulsed him with heavy loss. Gen. Worth then suc-
ceeded in gaining a position on the Saliillo road, thus
cutting the enemy's line of communication. From
this position the two heights south of the Saltillo
road were carried in succession, and the gun taken
in one of them turned upon the Bishop's Palace.
These important successes were fortunately obtained
with comparatively small loss, Capt. McKavett, &th
infantry, being the only officer killed.

The 22d day of September passed without any ac-
tive operations in the lower part of the city. The
citadel and other works continued to fire at parties
exposed to their range, and at the work now occu-
pied by our troops. The guard left in it the preced-

ing night, except Capt. Ridgely's company, w»s re-
lieved at mid-day by Gen. Quitmjn's brigade. Capt.
Bragg's battery was thrown under cover in front of
the town to repel any demonstration of cavalry in
that quarter. At dawn ol day, ihe height above the
Bishop's Palace was carried and soon after meridian
the Palace itself was taken and its ginis turned upon
the fugitive garrison. The object fur which the 2d
division was detached had thus ijcen completely ac-
complished, and I felt confident that with a strong
force occupying the road and heights in his rear, and
a good position below the city in our possession, the
enemy could not possibly maintain the town.

During the night of tiie 22d, the enemy evacuated
nearly all his defences in the lower part of the city.
This was reported to me early in the morning of the
23d by Gen. Quitman, who had already meditated
an assault upon those works. I immediately sent in-
structions to that officer, leaving it to his discretion
to enter the city, covering his men by the houses and
walls, and advance carefully as far as he might deem
prudent. After ordering the remainder of the troops
as a reserve, under the orders of Brigadier General
Twiggs, 1 repaired to the abandoned works, and dis-
covered that u portion of Gen. Quitman's brigade
had entered the town, and were successfully forcing
their way towards the principal plaza. I then or-
dered up the 2d regiment of Texas mounted volun-
teers, who entered the city, dismounted, and, under
the immediate orders of Gen. Henderson, co-ope-
rated with Gen. Quitman's brigade. Capt. Bragg's
battery was also ordered up, supported by the 3d in-
fantry; and after firing for some time at the cathe-
dral, a portion of it was likewise thrown into the city.
Our troops advanced from house to house, and frona
square to square, until they reached a street but one
square in rear of the principal plaza, in and near
which the enemy's force was mainly concentrated.
This advance was conducted vigorously but with
due caution, and, although destructive to the enemy,
was attended with but small loss on our part. Capt.
Fidgely, in the mean time, had served a captured
piece in battery No. 1 against the city, until the ad-
vance of our men rendered it imprudent to fire in
the direction of the cathedral. 1 was now satisfied
that we could operate successfully in the city, and
that the enemy had retired from the lower portion
of it to make a stard behind his barricades. As Gen .
Quitman's brigade had been on duty the previous
night, I determined to withdraw the troops to the
evacuated works, and concert with Gen. Worth a
combined attack upon the town. The troops accord-
ingly fell back deliberately, in good order, and re-
sumed their original positions, Gen. Quitman's bri-
gade being relieved after nightfall by that of Gen.
Hamer. On my return to camp, I met an officer
with the intelligence that Gen. Worth, induced by
the firing in the lower part of the city, was about
making an attack at the upper extremity, which had
also been evacuated by the enemy to a considerable
distance. I regretted that this information had not
reached me before leaving the city, but still deemed
it inexpedient to change my orders, and accordingly
returned to camp. A note from Gen. Worth, writ-
ten at eleven o'clock, P. M., informed me that he
had advanced to within a short distance of the prin-
cipal plaza, and that the mortar (which had been
sent to his division in the morning) was doing good
execution within effective range ot the enemy's po-
sition. Desiring to make no further attempt upon
the city without complete concert as to the lines and
mode of approach, I instructed that officer to sus-



pend his advance until 1 could have an interview
with him on the followini; morning at hi3 head-

Early on the morning of the Q4th, I received,
throui^h Col. Moreno, a comnnutiication from Gen.
Ampudia, proposing to evacuate the town, which,
with the answer, were forwarded with my first de-
spatch. I arranged with Col. Moreno a cessation of
fire until 12 o'clock, at which hour I would receive
the answer of the Mexican general at Gen. Worth's
headquarters, to which I soon repaired. In the mean
time, Gen. Ami)udia had signified to Gen. Worth his
desire for a personal interview with me, to which 1
acceded, and which finally resulted in a capitulation,
placing the town and the materiel of war, with cer-
tain exceptions, in our possession. A copy of that
capitulation was transmitted witli my first despatch.

Upon occupying ttie 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 with 42 pieces of cannon, well supplied
with ammunition, and manned with a force of atleast.
7,000 troops of the line, and from 2000 to 3000 ir-
regulars. The force under my orders before Mon-
terey, as exhibited by the accompanying return, was
425 officers, and 6,220 men. Our artillery consisted
of one 10 inch mortar, two 24 pounder howitzers,
and four light field batteries of four guns each— the
mortar being the only piece suitable to the operation
of a siege.

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

I take pleasure in bringing to the notice of the
government the good conduct of the troops, both
regulars and volunteers, which has been conspicuous
throughout the operations. I am proud to bear tes-
timony of their coolness and constancy in batt.'e, and
the cheerfulness with which they have submitted to
exposure and privation. To the general officers
commanding divisions— Major Generals Butler and
Henderson, and Brigadier Generals Twiggs and
Worth— I must express my obligations for the effi-
cient aid which they have rendered in their respec-
tive commands. 1 was unfortunately deprived, early
on the 21st, of the valuable services of Major Gene-
ral Butler, who was disabled by a wound received in
the attack on the city. Major General Henderson,
commanding the Texas volunteers, has given me im-
portant aid in the organization of his command, and
its subsequent operations. Brigadier Gen. Twiggs
rendered important services with his division, and,
as the second in command after Major General But-
ler was disabled. Brigadier General Worth was in-
trusted with an important detachment, which ren-
dered his operations independent of my own. Those
operations were conducted with ability, and crowned
with complete success.

I desire also to notice Brigadier Generals Hamer
aud Quitman, commanding brigades in Gen. Butler's
division. Lieutenant Colonels Garland and Wilson,
Colonels Mitchell, Campbell, Davis and Wood, com-
manding the Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi and 2d
Texas regiments, respectively, and Majors Lear,
Allen and Abcrcroinbie, commanding the 3d, 4th
and 1st regiments of infantry ; all of whom served
under my eye, and conducted their commands with
coolness and gallantry aizainst the enemy. Colonel
Mitchell, Lieut. Col. M'Clung, Mississippi regiment,
Major Lear, 3d infantry, and Major Alexander,

Tennessee regiment, were all severely wounded, as
were Captain Lamotte, 1st infantry, Lieut. Graham,
4th infantry. Adj. Armstrong, Ohio regiment, Lieuts.
Scudder and Allen, Tennessee regiment, and Lieut.
Howard, Mississippi regiment, while leading their
men against the enemy's position on the 21st and
23d. After the fall of Colonel Mitchell, the com-
mand of the 1st Ohio regiment devolved upon Lieut.
Col. Weller ; that of the 3d infantry, after the fall of
Major Lear, devolved in succession upon Captain
Bainbridge and Captain Henry, the former being also

The following named officers have been favorably
noticed by their commanders: Lieut. Col. Anderson
and Adjutant Herman, Tennessee regiment ; Lieut.
Col. M'Clung, Capts. Cooper and Downing, Lieuts.
Patterson, Calhoun, Moore, Russel and Cooke, Mis-
sissippi regiment; also Serjeant Maj. Hearlan, Mis-
sissippi regiment, and Major Price and Capt. J. R.
Smith, unattached, but serving with it. I beg leave
also to call attention to Captain Johnson, Ohio regi-
ment, and Lieut. Hooker, 1st artillery, serving on
the staff of Gen. Hamer, and of Lieut. Nichols, 2d
artillery, on that of Gen. Quitman. Capts. Bragg
and Ilidgely served with their batteries during the
operations under my own observation, and in part
under my immediate orders, and exhibited distin-
guished skill and gallantry. Capt. Webster, 1st ar-
tillery, assisted by Lieuts. Donaldson and Bowen,
rendered good service with the howitzer battery,
which was much exposed to the enemy's fire on
the 21st.

From the nature of the operations, the 2d dragoons
were not brought into action, but were usefully em-
ployed under the direction of Lieut. Col. May as es-
corts, and in keeping open our communications.
The 1st Kentucky regiment was also prevented from
participating in the action of the 21st, but rendered
highly important services under Col. Ormsby, in
covering the mortar battery, and holding in check
the enemy's cavalry during the day.

I have noticed above the officers whose conduct
either fell under my own immediate eye, or is noticed
only in minor reports which are not forwarded.
For further mention of individuals, 1 beg leave to
refer to the reports of division commanders herewith
respectfully transmitted. I fully concur in their re-
commendations, and desire that they may be con-
sidered as a part of my own report.

From the officers of my personal staff, and of the
engineers, topographical engineers, and ordnance as-
sociated with me, I have derived valued and efficient
assistance during the operations. Col. Whiting, as-
sistant quartermaster general. Colonels Croghan and
Belknap, inspectors general, Major Bliss, assistant
adjutant general, Capt. Sibley assistant quartermas-
ter. Captain Waggaman, commissary of subsistence,
Capt. Eaton and Lieut. Garnett, aids de camp, and
Majs. Kirby and Van Buren, pay department, served
near my person, and were ever prompt in all situa-
tions!, in the communication of my orders and instruc-
tions. 1 must express my particular obligations to
Brevet Major Mansfield and Lieut. Scarritt, corps of
engineers. They both rendered most important ser-
vices in reconnoitering the enemy's positions, con-
ducting troops in attack, and strengthening the works
captured from the enemy. Major Mansfield, though
wounded on the 21st, remained on duty during that
and the following day, until confined by his wounil
to camp.

Captain Williams, topographical engineers, to my
great regret and the loss of the service, was mortally



wounded while fearlessly exposing himself in the
attack of the 21st. Lieut. Pope, of the same corps,
was active and zealous throughout the operation.
Maj. Munroe, chief of the artillery, Maj. Craig and
Capt. Ramsay, of the ordnance, were assiduous in the
performance of their proper duties. The former su-
perintended the mortar service on the 22d, as par-
ticularly mentioned in the report of General Worth,
to which I also refer for the services of the engineer
and topographical officers detached with the second

Surgeon Craig, medical director, was actively em-
ployed in the important duties of his department,
and the medical staff generally were unremitting in
their attentions to the numerous wounded — their du-
ties with the regular regiments being rendered un-
commonly arduous by the small number serving in
Uie field.

I respectfully enclose herewith, in addition to the
reports of division commanders, a field return of the
force before Monterey, on the 21st September — a re-
turn of killed, wounded and missing during the ope-
rations — and two topographical sketches — one ex-
hibiting all the movements around Monterey — the
other on a larger scale, illustrating more particularly
the operations in the. lower quarter of the city — pre-
pared respectively by Lieuts. Meade and Pope, topo-
graphical engineers.

1 am, sir, very re.ipectfully, your ob't serv't,

Major General U. S. A. Com.

The Adjutant General o*" the Army,

Washington, D. C.

Defence of Capitulation of Monterey , &c.


jFVoju the JVeiw York Express, Januartj 22, 1847.

Headquarters ^rmy of Occnpatiun, or Invasion,
Monterey, Mexico, Jfuv. 9, 1846.
My Dear*******: Your very kind and accepta-
ble letter of the 31st of August ******** reached me
only a short lime since, for which 1 beg leave to ten-
der you ray sincere thanks. [A few confidential re-
marks on certain public transactions are here omit-

After considerable apparent delay on the part of I
the Quartermaster's Department, in getting steam-
boats into the Rio Grande adapted to its navigation, I
succeeded, towards the latter part of August, in
throwing forward to Camargo (a town situated on
the San Juan river, three miles from its junction
with the Rio Grande, on the west side, nearly 500
miles from Brazos island by water, and 200 by land,
and 140 from this place) a considerable depot of
provisions, ordnance, ammunition, and forage, and
then, having brought together an important portion
of my command, 1 determined on moving on this
place. Accordingly, after collecting 17U0 pack
mules, with their attendants and conductors, in the
enemy's country, (the principal means of transporta-
tion for our provisions, baggage, &c.) 1 left, on the
5th of September, to join my advance, which had
preceded me a few days to Seralvo, a small village
75 miles on the route, which I did on the 9th, and,
after waiting there a few days for some of the corps
to get up, moved on and reached here on the 19th,
with 6250 men — 2700 regulars, the balance volun-
teers. For what took place afterwards, 1 must refer

yen to my several reports — particularly to my de-
tailed one of the 9th ultimo.

1 do not believe the authorities at Washington are
at all satisfied with my conduct in legard to the
terms of the capitulation entered into with the Mexi-
can commander, which you no doubt have seen, as
they have been made public through the official or-
gan, and copied into various other newspapers. I
have this moment received an answer (to my desiiatch
announcing the surrender of Monterey, and the cir-
cumstances attending the same) from the Secretary
of War, stating that^" it was regretted by the Presi-
dent that it was not deemed advisable to insist on
the terms I had proposed in my first communication
to the Mexican commander in regard to giving up
the city," adding that "the circumstances which
dictated, no doulk justified the change." Although
the terms of capitulation may be considered too libe-
ral on our part by (he President and his advisers, as
well as by many others at a distance, particularly by
those who do not understand the position which we
occupied, (otherwise they might come to a difierent
conclusion in regard to the matter,) yet, on due re-
flection, 1 see nothing to induce me to regret the
course I pursued. The proposition on the part of
Gen Ainpudia, which had mucii to do in determin-
ing my course in the matter, was based on the ground
that our government had proposed to his to settle
the existing difiiculties by negotiation, (which I
knew was the case without knowing the result,)
which was then under consideration by the proper
authorities, and which he (Gen. Ampudia) had no
doubt would result favorably, as the whole of his
people were in favor of peace. If so, I considered
the further eff"usion of blood not only unnecessary
I but improper. Their force was also considerably
' larger than ours, and, from the size and position of
the place, we could not completely invest it; so that
the greater portion of their troops, if not the whole,
had they been disposed to do so, could any night
have abandoned the city, at once entered the moun-
tain passes, and ellected their retreat do what we
could. Had we been put to the alternative of taking
the place by storm, (which there is no doubt we
should have succeeded in doing,) we should in all
probability have lost fifty or a hundred men in killed,
besides the wounded, which I wished to avoid, as
there appeared to be a prospect of peace, even if a
distant one. I also wished to avoid the destruction
of women and children, which must have been very
great had the storming process been resorted to.
Besides, they had a very large and strong fortifica-
tion a short distance from the city, which, if carried
with the bayonet, must have been taken at great
sacrifice of life, and, with our limited train of heavy
or battering artillery, it would have required twenty
or twenty-five days to take it by regular approaches.
That they should have surrendered a place nearly
as strong as Quebec, well fortified under the direction
of skilful engineers— their works garnished with
forty-two pieces of artillery, abundantly supplied
with ammunition, garrisoned by 7000 regular and
2000 irregular troops, in addition to some thousand
citizens capable of (and no doubt actually) bearing
arms, and aiding in its defence— to an opposing force
of half their number, scantily supplied with provi-
sions, and with a light train of artillery, is among
the unaccountable occurrences of the times.

I am decidedly opposed to carrying the war be-
yond Saltillo in this direction, which place has been
entirely abandoned by the Mexican forces, all of
! whom have been concentrated at San Luis Potosi -,



and I shall lose no time in taking possession of the
former as soon as the cessation of liostilities referred
to expires — which 1 have notified the Mexican au-
thorities will he the case on the I3th instant, by di-
rection of the President of the United States.

If we are (in the language of A'r. Polk and Gene-
ral Scott) under the necessity of "conquering a
peace," and that by taking the capital of tlie country,
we must go to Vera Cruz, take that place, and then
march on to the city of iMexico. To do so in any
other direction I consider out of the question. But,
admitting that we conquer a peace by doing so — say
at the end of the next twelve months — will the
amount of blood and treasure which must be expend-
ed in doing so be compensated by the same ? 1 think
not — especially if the country we subdue is to be
given up; and I imagine there are but few individu-
als in our country who think of annexing Mexico to
the United States.

I do not intend to carry on my operations (as pre-
viously staled) beyond Saltillo, deeming it next to
impracticable to do so. It then becomes a question
as to what is best to be done. It seems to me that
the most judicious course to be pursued on our part
■would be to take possession at once of the line we
would rccepl by negotiation, extending from the
Gulf of iMexico to the Pacific, and occupy the same,
or kee[) what wc already have possession of; and
that, with Tampico, (which I hope to take in the
course of the next month, or as soon as I can get the
means of transportation,) will give us all on this
side of the Sierra Madre, and, as soon as 1 occupy
Saltillo, will include sis or seven Stales or Provin-
ces, thus holding Tampico, Victoria, Monterey, Sal-
tillo, Monclova, Chihuahua, (which I presume Gen.
Wool has possession of by this time,) Santa Fe and
the Californias, and say to Mexico, " Drive us from
the country"— throwing on her the responsibility and
expense of carrying on offensive war ; at the same
time closely blockading all her ports on the Pacific
and the Gulf. A course of this kind, if persevered
in for a short time, would soon bring her to her pro-
per senses, and compel her to sue for peace, provided
there is a Government in the country sufiicienlly
stable for us to treat with, which 1 fear will hardly
be the case for many years to come. Without large
reinforcements of volunteers from the United Stales
—say ten or fifteen thousand, (those previously sent
out having already been greatly reduced by sickness
and other casualties)—! do not believe it would be
advisable to march beyond Saltillo, which is more
than two hundred miles beyond our depots on the
Rio Grande— a very long line on which to keep up
supplies (over a land route, in a country like this)
for a large force, and certain to be attended with an
expense which will be frightful to contemplate when
closely looked into.

From Saltillo to San Luis Polosi, the next place
of importance on the road to the city of Mexico is
three hundred miles; one hundred and forty badly
watered, where no supplies of any kind could be pro-
cured for men or h.orses. 1 have informed the War
Department that 2U,000 eflicient men would be ne-
cessary to ensure success if we move on that place,
(a city containing a population of GU,Ul)(), where the
enemy could bring together and sustain, besides the
citizens, an army of 50,000,) a force which, I appre-
hend, will hardly be collected by us with the train
uecC'Sary to feed it, as well as to transport various
other supplies, particularly ordnance and munitions
of war.

In regard to the armistice, which would have ex-

pired by limitation in a few days, we lost nothing by
it, as we could not move even now, had the enemy
continued to occupy Saltillo ; for, strange to say, the
first wagon which has reached me since the declara-
tion of war was on the 2d instant, the same day on
wliich I received from Washington an acknowledg-
ment of my despatch announcing the taking of Mon-
terey ; and then 1 received only one hundred and
thirty five ; so that 1 have been, since May last, com-
pletely crippled, and am still so, for want of trans-
portation. After raking and scraping the country
for miles around Camargo, collecting every pack-
mule and other means of transportation, 1 could
bring here only 80,000 rations, (fiiteen days' supply,)
with a moderate supply of ordnance, ammunition,
&c., to do which all the corps had to leave behind a
portion of their camp equipage necessary for their
comfort; and, in some instances among the volun-
teers, thsir personal baggage. 1 moved in such a
way, and with such limited means that, had I not
succeeded, I should no doubt have been severely rep-
rimanded, if nothing worse. I did so to sustain the
administration. * * » *

Of the two regiments of mounted men from Ten-
nessee and Kentucky, who left their respective
States to join me in .June, the latter has just i cached
Camargo ; the former had not got to Matamoras at

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryJ. G. (John Gideon) MillingenThe Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner → online text (page 8 of 16)