J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen.

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

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the latest dales from there. Admitting that they
will be as long in returning as in getting here, (to
say nothing of the time necessary to recruit their
horses,) and were to be discharged in time to reach
their homes, they could serve in Mexico but a very
short time.

The foregoing remarks are not made wi'ih the
view of finding fault with any one, but to point out
the difficulties with which 1 have had to contend.

Monterey, the capital of New Leon, is situated on
the San Juan river, where it comes out of the moun-
tains — the city (which contains a population of about
twelve thousand) being in part surrotinded by them
— at the head of a large and beautiful valley. The
houses are ot stone, in the Moorish style, with flat
roofs, which, with their strongly enclosed yards and
gardens in high stone walls, all looped for musketry,
make them each a fortress within itself. It is the
most important place in Northern Mexico, (or on
the east side of Sierra Madre,) commanding the only
pass or road for carriages from this side, between it
and the Gulf of IMexico, to the table-lands of the
Sierra, by or through which the city of Mexico can
be reached.

I much fear I shall have exhausted your patience
before you gel half through this long aid luiinteresl-
ing letter. If so, you can only commit it to the
flames, and think no more about it, as 1 write in
great haste, besides being interrupted every five
minutes; so that you must make great allowances
for blots, interlineations, and blunders, as well as
want of connexion in many parts of the same.

Be so good as to prerent me most kindly to your
excellent lady, and accept my sincere wishes for
your continued health, prosperity and fame.
1 remain, truly and sincerely, your friend,

Z. TAYLOR.

GEN. TAYLOR TO SECRLT.ARY OF WAR
RELATIVE TO THE PRECEDLNG LETTER.

Headquarters Army of Occupation, \

AouA Nt'EVA, March 'A, 1847. ^
I have had the honor to receive your communica-
tion of January, enclosing a newspaper slip, and ex-



MILITARY.



31



pressing the regret of the Department that the letter
copied in that slip, and wliich was addressed by my-
self to Major General Gaines, should have been pub-
lished. Although your letter does not convey the
direct censure of the Dej)artnient and the President,
yet, when it was taken in connection with the revival
of the paragraph in the regulations of 1825, touch-
ing the publication of private letters concerning op-
erations in the field, 1 am not permitted to doubt
that I have become an object of Executive disappro-
tion. To any expression of it, coming from the au-
thority of the President, I am bound by my duty,
and by my respect for his high office, patiently to
submit; but lest my silence should be construed into
a tacit admission of the grounds and conclusions set
forth in your communication, 1 deem it a duty which
I owe to myself, to submit a few remarks in reply.

I shall be pardoned for speaking plainly. In the
first place, the published letter bears upon its face
the most conclusive evidence that it was intended
only for private perusal, and not at all for publica-
tion. It was published without my knowledge, and
contrary to my wishes. Surely I need not say that
I am not in the habit of writnig for the newspapers.
The letter was a familiar one, written to iui old mil-
itary friend, vvilli whom I have been for many years
interchangmg opinions on professional subjects. —
That he should think proper, under any circum-
stance, to publish it, could not have been foreseen by
me.

In the absence of proof, that the publication was
made without authority or knowledge, I may be per-
mitted to say, the quotations in your letter of the
650lh paragraph of the superseded regulations of
1825, in which the terms " mischievous and dis-
graceful" are employed to characterize certain let-
ters or reports, conveys, though not openly, a mea-
sure of rebuke, which, to say the least, is rather
harsh, and which I may think not warranted by the
premises.

Again, I have examined the letter in question, and
I do not admit that it is obnoxious to the objections
urged in your communication. I see nothing in it
which, under the same circumstances, [ would not
write again. To suppose tliat it will give the enemy
valuable information touching our posts, or respec-
tive line of operations, is to know very little of
the Mexican sources of information, or of their ex-
traordinary sagacity and facilities in keeping con-
stantly advised of our movements. As to my par-
ticular views in regard to the general policy to be
pursued towards Mexico, I perceive from the public
journals that they are shared by many distinguished
jitatesmen ; also, in part, by conspicuous officers of
the navy, the publication of whose opini<ins is not,
perhaps, obstructed by any regulations of the depart-
ment. It is ditficult, then, to imagine how the diffu-
sion of inine cun render any peculiar aid to the ene-
my, or speciiliy discipline him to enter into negotia-
tions for peace.

In conclusion, I would say that it lias given me
great pain to be brought into the position in which 1
now find myself in regard to the department of war
and the government. It has not been of my own
seeking. To the extent of my abilities, and the
means placed at my disposal, I have sought faithful-
ly to serve the country, by carrying out the rules
and instructions of the Executive ; but it cannot be
concealed, that since the capitulation of Monterey,
the confidence of the department, and I too much
fear, of ths President, has been gradually wilhdiaw-
tng, and my consideration and usefulness correspond-



ingly diminished. The apparent determination of
the department to place me in an attitude antagonis-
tical to the government, has an apt illustration in the
well known fable of il'^op.

I ask no favor and I shrink from no responsibility,
while entrusted with the command in this quarter
1 shall continue to devote all my energies to the
public good, looking for my reward to the ronscious-
ness of pure motives, and to the final verdict of im-
partial history.

I am, sir, your very obedient servant,

Z. TAYLOR,
Maj. Gen. U. S. A., commanding.
For Hon. W. L. Makcy,

Secretary of U ar, Washington, D. C.



Refutation of Slanders

RELATIVE TO THE

CAPITULATIOIS' OF MONTEREY.
[Official Papers and Letters.]

Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico,

January 6, 1847.

Dear Sir: After much speculation and no little
misrepresentation about the capitulation of Monte-
rey, I perceive by our recent newspapers, that a dis-
cussion has arisen as to who is responsible for that
transaction. As one of '.he commissioners who were
entrusted by General Taylor with the arrangement
of the terms upon which the city of Monterey and it.s
fortifications should be delivered to our forces, I have
had frequent occasion to recur to the course then
adopted, and the considerations which led to it. My
judgment after the fact has fully sustained my deci-
sions at the date of the occurrence ; and feeling my-
self responsible for the instrument as we prepared
and presented it to our commanding general, I have
the satisfaction, after all subsequent events, to believe
that the terms we offered were expedient and honor-
able and wise. A distinguished gentleman witli
whom I acted on that commission. Governor Hen-
derson, says, in a recently published letter, " I did
not at the time, nor do I still like the terms, but acted
as one of the commissioners, together with General
Worth and Colonel Davis, to carry out General
Taylor's instructions. We ought and could have
made them surrender at discretion," &c. &c.

From each position taken in the above paragraph
1 dissent. The instructions given by General Taylor
only presented his object, and fixed a limit to the
powers of his commissioners; hence, when points
were raised which exceeded our discretion, they
were referred to the commander; but minor points
were acted on, and finally submitted as a part of our
negotiation. We fixed the lime within which the
Mexican forces should retire from Monterey. We
agreed upon the time'we would wail for the decision
of the respective governments, which I recollect was
less by thirty-four days than, the Mexican commis-
sioners asked — the period adopted being that which,
according to our estimate, was required to bring up
the rear of our army, with the ordnance and supplies
necessary for further operations.

I did not then, nor do I now, believe we could have
made the enemy surrender at discretion. Had I en-
tertained the opinion, it would have been given to the
commission, and to the commanding general, and
would have precluded me from signing an agreement
which permitted the garrison to retire with the honors
of war. It is demonstrable, from the position and



32



MILITARY.



known prowess of the two armies, that we could
drive the enemy from the town ; but the town was
untenable whilst the main (brl (culled the new cit;i-
del) remained in the h;ind3 of the enemy. Being
without siege artillery or entrenching tools, we could
only hope to carry this fort by storm, after a heavy
loss from our army; which, isolated in a hostile
country, now numl)ered less than half the forces of
the enemy. When all this had been acriieved, what
more would we have gained than by the capitu-
lation ?

General Taylor's force was too small to invest the
town. It was, therelore, always in the power nf the
enemy to retreat, i)earing his light arms. Our army —
poorly provided, and with very insufficient transpor-
tation — could not have overtaken, if they had pursued
the tlying enemy. Hence the conclusion ttial, as it
•was not in our power to capture the main body of
the Mexican army, it is unreasonable to suppose their
general would have surrendered at discrelicjn. The
moral efi'ect of retiring under the capitulation was
certainly greater than if the enemy had retreated
without our consent. By this course we secured the
Jargesupply of ammunition he had collected in Mon-
terey — which, had the assault been continued, must
have been exploded by our shells, as it was princi-
pally stored m "the Cathedral," which, being sup-
posed to be tilled with trooj)S, was the especial aim
of our pieces. The destruction which this explosion
would have produced must have involved tlie ad-
vance of both divisions of our troops; and I commend
this to the contemplation of those whose arguments
have been drawn from facts learned since the com-
missioners closed their negotiations. With these in-
troductory remarks, 1 send a copy of a manuscript
in my possession, which was prepared to meet such
necessity as now exists for an explanation of the
views which governed the commissioners in ar-
ranging the terms of capitulation, to justify the
commanding general, should misrepresentation and
calumny attempt to tarnish his well-earned reputa-
tion, and, for all time to come, to fix the truth of
the transaction. Please publish this in your paper,
and believe me your friend, &c.,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

.Memoranda of the transactions in connexion with the
ccipitulalion of Monterey, capital of J^ueva Lton,
.Mexico.

By invitation of General Ampudia, commanding
Mexican army, General Taylor, accompanied by a
number nf his officers, proceeded on the 24th Sep-
tember, 184G, to a house designated as the place at
which General Ampudia requested an interview.
The parlies being convened. General Ampudia an-
nounced, as official information, that Commissioners
from the United Slates had been received by the
government of Mexico; and that the orders under
which he hud pre[iared to defend the city of Monte-
rey, had lost their force by the subsequent change of
his own gfovernmeiit, therefore iie asked the confer-
ence. A brief conversation between ihe command-
ing, generals, showed their views to be so opposite,
as to leave little reason to expect an amicable ar-
rangement between them.

Gen. Taylor said he would not delay to receive
such propositions as fJeneral Am[)udia indicated.
One of General Ampudia's party, 1 think, the gover-
nor of the city, suggested the appointment of a mixed
commission ; this was acceded to, and Gen. W. G.
Worth, of the United States army. General J. Pinck-
nej Henderson, of the Texas volunteers, and Col.



Jefferson Davis, of the Mississippi riflemen, on the
part of General Taylor; and General J. Ma. Ortega,
General P. Requena, and Senor the Governor, M.
Ma. Llano, on Ihe part of General Ampudia were
appointed.

General Taylor gave instructions to his commis-
sioners, which, as understood, for they were brief
and verbal, will be best shown by Ihe copy of the
demand which the United Slates commissioners pre-
pared in the conference room here incorporated:
Copij of demand by United 8tates Commissioners.
" I. As the legitimate result of the operations be-
fore this place, and Ihe present position of the con-
tending armies, we demand the surrender of the
town, the arms and munitions of war, and all other
public property wiihin the place.

" H. That the Mexican armed force retire beyono
the Kinconada, Linares, and San Fernando on the
coast.

" in. The commanding general of the army of the
United States agrees that the Mexican officers re-
serve their side arms and private baggage ; and the
troops be allowed to retire under their officers witii-
out parole, a reasonable tune being allowed to with-
draw the forces.

"IV. The immediate delivery of the main v/ork,
now occupied, to the army of the United Stales.

" V. To avoid collisions, and for mutual conveni-
ence, that the troops of the United Slates shall not
occupy the town until the Mexican forces have been
withdrawn, except for hospital purposes, store-
houses. Sec.

"VI. The commanding general of the United
States agrees not lo advance beyond the line speci-
fied in the second section before the expiration of
eight weeks, or until the respective governments can
be heard from."

The terms of the demand were refused by the
Mexican commissioners, who drew up a counter
proposition, of which I only recollect that itcontain-
ed a permission to the Mexican forces to retire with
their arms. This was urgid as a matter of soldierly
pride, and as an ordinary courtesy. We had reach-
ed the limil of our instructions, and the commission
rose to report the disagreement.

Upon returning to the reception room, after the
fact had been announced thai ihe coniniissioners
could not agree upon terms. General Ampudia en-
tered at length upon the question, treating the point
of disagreement as one which involved the honor of
his country, spoke of his desire for a settlement
without further bloodshed, and said he did not care
about the pieces of artillery which he had at the
place. General Taylor responded to the wish to
avoid unnecessary bloodshed. It was agreed the
commission should reassemble, and we were instruct-
ed to concede the suiall arms; and 1 supposed there
would be no question about the artillery. The Mexi-
can commissioners now urged that, as all other arms
had been recognised, it would be discreditable lo the
artillery if required to march out without any thing
lo represent their arm, and stated in ansv/er lo an
inquiry, Ihat they had a battery of light artillery,
manceuvred and equipped as such. The commission
again rose, and reported the disagreement on the
point of artillery.

General Tayloi hearing that more was demanded
than the middle ground, upon which, in a spirit of
generosity, he had agreed lo place the capitulation,
announced the conference at an end ; and rose in a
manner which showed his determination to talk no
more. As he crossed the room to leave it, one of



MILITARY.



3^



the Mexican commissioners addressed him, and some
conversation, wliich I did not hear, ensued. Gen.
Worth asked permission of Gen. Taylor, and ad-
dressed some remarlis to Gen. Ampudin, the spirit
of which was tliat wliich he manifested lliroughout
the negotiation, viz: generosity and leniency, and a
desire to spare the further ell'usion of blood. The
commission reassembled, and the points of capitula-
tion were agreed upon. After a short recess we
again repaired to the room in which we had parted
from the Mexican commissioners; they were tardy
in joining us, and slow in executing the instrument
of capitulation. The 7ih, 8th, and 9th articles were
added during this session. At a late hour the Eng-
lish original was handed to Gen. Taylor for his ex-
amination ; the Spanish original iiaving been sent to
General Ampudia. Gen. Taylor signed and deliv-
ered to me the instrument as it was submitted to
him, and 1 returned to receive the Spanish copy
with the signature of Gen. Ampudia, and send that
having Gen. Taylor's signature, that each general
might countersign the original to be retained by the
other. Gen. Ampudia did not sign the instrument
as was expected, but came himself to meet the com-
missioners. He raised many points which had been
settled, and evinced a disposition to make the Span-
ish differ in essential points from the English instru-
ment. Gen. Worth was absent. Finally he was
required to sign the instrument prepared for his own
commissioners, and the English original was left with
him that he might have it translated, (which he pro-
mised to do that night,) and be ready the next morn-
ing with a Spanish duplicate of the English instru-
ment left with him. By this means the two instru-
ments would be made to correspond, and he be com-
pelled to admit his knowledge of the contents of the
English original before he signed it.

The next morning the committee again met, again
the attempt was made, as had been olten done before
by solicitation, to gain some grant in addition to the
compact. Thus we had, at their request, adopted
the word capilululion in lieu of surrender ; they now
■wished to substituted slipulution for capilululion. It
finally became necessary to make a peremptory de-
mand for the immediate signing of the English in-
strument by General Ampudia and the literal trans-
lation (now perfected) by the commissioners and
their general. The Spanish instrument first signed
by General Ampudia was destroyed in presence of
his commissioners ; the translation of our own instru-
ment was countersigned by General Taylor, and de-
livered. The agreement was complete, and it only
remained to execute the terms.

Mucli has been said about the construction of Ar-
ticle 11. of the capitulation, a copy of which is here-
to appended. Wliatever ambiguity there may be in
the language used, there was a perfect understand-
ing by the commissioners upon both sides, as to the
intent of the parties. The distinction we made be-
tween light artillery equipped and manoeuvered as
such, designed for and used in the field, and pieces
being the armament of a fort, was clearly stated on
our side; and that it was comprehended on their's,
appeared in the fact, that repeatedly they asserted
their possession of light artillery, and said they had
one battery of light pieces. Such conformity of
opinion existed among our commissioners upon every
measure which was finally adopted, that 1 consider
them, in their sphere, jointly and severally responsi-
ble for each and every article of the capitulation.
If, as originally viewed by General Worth, our con-



duct has been in accoidance with the peaceful policy
of our government, and shall in any degree tend to
consummate that policy, we may congratulate our-
selves upon the part we have taken. If otherwise,
it will remain to me as a deliberate opinion, that the
terms of the capitulation gave all which could have
followed, of desirable result, from a farther assault.
It was in the power of the enemy to retreat, and to
bear with him his small arms, and such a battery as
was contemplated in the capitulation. The other
grants were such as it was honorable in a conquer-
ing army to bestow, and which it cost magnanimity
notliing to give.

The above recollections are submitted to Generals
Henderson and Worth for correction and addition,
that the misrepresentation of this transaction may
be presented by a statement made whilst the events
are recent and the memory fresh.

JEFFERSON DAVIS,
Colonel Mississippi Riflemen.

Camp near Monteuet, October 7lh, 1846.

The above is a correct statement of the lead ino:
facts connected with the transaction referred to, ac-
cording to my recollection. It is, however, proper
that I should further state, that my first impression
was, that no better terms than those first proposed,
on the partof Gen. Taylor, ought to have been given,
and 1 so said to Gen. Taylor when I found him dis-
posed to yield to the request of Gen. Ampudia ; and,
at the same time, gave it as my opinion that they
would be accepted by him before we left the town.
Gen. Taylor replied, that he would run no risk where
it could be avoided — that he wished to avoid the fur-
ther shedding of blood, and that he was satisfied that
our government would be pleased with the terms
given by the capitulation ; and being myself per-
suaded of that fact, 1 yielded my individual views
and wishes; and, under that conviction, 1 shall ever
be ready to defend the terms of the capitulation.
J. PINCKNEY HENDERSON,
Major General Commanding the Texan Volunteers.

1 not only counselled and advised, the opportunity
being offered by thegeneral-in-chief, the first proposi-
tion ; but cordially assented and approved the deci-
sion taken by Gen. Taylor in respect to the latter,
as did every member of the commission, and for good
and sufficient military and national reasons — and
stand ready, at all times and proper places, to defend
and sustain the action of the commanding general,
and participation of the commissioners. Knowing
that malignants, the tremor being off", are at work
to discredit and misrepresent the case, (as I had an-
ticipated,) 1 feel obliged to Col. Davis for having
thrown together the material and facts.

W. J. WORTH,
Brig. Gen. commanding 3d division.

Monterey, Oct. 12th, 1846.

Terms of the capitulation of the city of Monterey,
the capital of Nueva Leon, agreed upon by the un-
dersigned commissioners — to wit. — General Worth,
of the United States array ; General Henderson, of
the Texan volunteers ; and Col. Davis, of the Mis-
sissippi riflemen, on the part of Major General Tay-
lor, commanding-in-chief the United States forces ;
and General Requena and General Ortego, of the
army of Mexico, and Senor Manuel M. Llano, Gov-
ernor of Nueva Leon, on the part of Senor General
Don Pedro Ampudia, commanding-in-chief the army
of the north of Mexico.

Article 1. As the legitimate result of the opera-



34



MILITARY.



tions before this place, and the present position of
the contending armies, it is agreed lliat tiie city, the
fortifications, cannon, the munitions of war, and ail
other public property, with (he undermentioned ex-
ceptions, be surrendered to tiie commanding general
of the United Slates forces now at Monterey.

Article 2. That the Mexican forces be allowed
to retain the following arms — to wit: Tiie commis-
sioned officers, their side-arms; the infantry, their
arms and ac(!Outrements; liie 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 dale, beyond the line
formed by the pass of the Rioconada, the city of Li-
nares, and San Fernando de Pasos.

Article 4. That the citadel of Monterey be evacu-
ated 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 States
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 lines specified in the 3d
article, before the expiration of eight weeks, or un-
til the orders of the respective governments can be
received.

Article 7. That the public property to be de-
livered, shall be turned over and received by officers
appointed by the commanding 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 Uie citadel, may be saluted by its own battery.
W. J. WORTH. Brig. Gen. U. S. A.


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Online LibraryJ. G. (John Gideon) MillingenThe Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner → online text (page 9 of 16)