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THE WAR WITH MEXICO,

The aim of the following is to present ajral received another dispatch from the War simple narrative of the origin and progress Department, in which he was directed to of our War with Mexico up to Sept. 1st, avoid all aggressive measures toward Mexi1846.

co, while he was “ expected to occupy, proAt the time of the passage by Congress of tect, and defend the Territory of Texas to the Joint Resolution, (March, 1845,) admitting the extent that it has been occupied by the

Texas as a State of this Republic, she was people of Texas." Gen. T. was also di. and had been for several years at war with rected to extend his protection up to the Rio Mexico. The Whigs (as Mr. Van Buren had Grande, “ excepting any posts on the eastern previously done,) predicted as the result a side thereof which are in the actual occu

War between that country and the U. S.,' pancy of Mexican forces, or Mexican settleand their opponents cried“ bugbear;” but if ments over which the Republic of Texas did any well-informed man doubted that wars not exercise jurisdiction at the period of} would follow the act of Annexation, his rea- Annexation, or shortly before that event.son for such doubt was founded on the fact

The Army of Occupation remained at Corthat Mexico was weak, distracted, and not

pus Christi for about six months, entirely unable to defend herself.

molested and unmolesting ; but this state of) Texas, through her State Convention, ac

things was not at all pleasing to our peacecepted the terms of Annexation proffered by

loving Executive. He desired war, and had this Government, on the 4th of July, 1845.

waited six long months for the Mexicans to Gen. Taylor, who had been ordered by the

provoke our troops into a fight; but he had Secretary of War to advance with the troops waited in vain. Something must be doneunder his command, from Fort Jessup to

some new indignity must be offered to Mexisome point on the Gulf of Mexico whence he

co by which her people and ours should be could most conveniently march to the West-induced to commence cutting each others ern frontier of Texas, sailed from New Or

throats. So, on the 13th of January, withouts leans for Western Texas immediately after

consulting Congress, which was then in Ses being informed of this event, and arrived at

sion, he ordered Gen. T. to march his army St. Joseph’s Island, (Aransas Inlet,) July through the uninhabited region between the S25th, at the head of a considerable force, and

Nueces and the Rio Grande, and take possessoon after established his camp at Corpus sion of Point Isabel, Laredo and points oppoChristi, on the west side of the Nueces, and

site Matamoros and Mier, the very places and then the farthest point West to which the

occupied by the very persons he had six Texan population had extended. On the 8th

months before directed Gen. T. not to molest. of July, the Secretary of War, in a dispatch The only provocation or excuse he could offer Sto Gen. Taylor, says:

for this act was, that he bad “received such “This Department is informed that Mexico has information from Mexico as rendered it prob. some Military Establishments on the east side of the Rio Grande, which are, and for some time have able, if not certain, that the Mexican Govbeen, in the actual occupancy of her troops;" and that "the Mexican forces at the posts in their pos

"ernment would refuse to receive session, and which have been so, will not be dis

Envoy." turbed, so long as the relations of peace between the United States and Mexico continue."

On the 9th or 10th of March, Gen. T. took On the 30th of the same month, the Gene-lup his line of advance for the Rio Grande.

our

On his way, in the vicinity of the Sal Colo- remain ; and in the mean time he placed his rado, he met several small bodies of Mexican troops in the best possible position to resist Stroops, but neither offered nor received any an attack. He also blockaded the river, thus molestation. As he was approaching Brazos cutting off the supplies of the Mexican army. Santiago or Point Isabel, (now Fort Polk,) On the 10th, Col. Cross, Commissary Genon the 24th, he was met by some fifty citizens, eral of the Army, rode out some two miles at the head of whom was the Prefect of the from the camp, when, as is supposed, he was State of Tamaulipas, who protested against killed by a party of Mexican rancheros. His Shis occupying the country, Gen. T. told body was subsequently found about four Sthem that he would give them an answer miles below the camp, entirely stripped, and when he reached Matamoros. Gen. Garcia from wounds it appeared that he had been was stationed at Point Isabel at the head of murdered. Gen. T. made a formal demand 280 Mexican troops, mostly Infantry and Ar-on the Mexican General for the murderers, Stillery. On receiving this reply, he set fire but they were never found. Lieut. Porter, to the Castom House and some other build-(son of Com. Porter,) while out with a fatigue Xings, and immediately evacuated the town. party of ten men near the camp, on the 19th,

The place was surveyed with a view to its de was fired upon, and himself and three of his fence, a work thrown up, a small garrison men killed. These, and such as these, were left under command of Major Munroe; and fast preparing the way for the open hostili

> Gen. T. proceeding, reached a point opposite ties which followed. Indeed, it would be

Matamoros on the morning of the 28th, and absurd to suppose that two such armies could soon commenced intrenching himself within occupy adjacent (and one of them disputed) short cannon-shot, and in sight of the bayonets territory for any considerable time, even un and banners of the Mexican forces under Gen. der more favorable circumstances, without Mejia. As the army was approaching what coming to blows. is now Fort Brown, two of the advance On the 22d, Ampudia again addressed

guard were taken prisoners, but were subse- Gen. Taylor, stating that he had been informquently released, when demanded by Gen. ed that the River was blockaded, and that STaylor.

two vessels laden with stores for his army Matamoros is the capital of the State of Ta- had been captured by the Americans, and maulipas, containing about 10,000 inhabit-taken into Brazos Santiago. This he comSants, and at this time about 2,000 troops were plained of, as an act under the circum. stationed here under Gen. Mejia. Gen. Am- stances, unauthorized by the Law of Nations, pudia, who had succeeded Gen. Arista in and requested that the blockade be raised, or) command of the army of the North, was soon serious consequences might ensue. To this expected to arrive with as many more. Gen. Taylor replied--reviewing at General Taylor's force was about 2,300 length what had occurred since his departure strong. In this state of things he sent Gen. from Corpus Christi—by saying that “ the Worth to bear to Mejia his answer to the de- blockade of the River was the least offen

putation who met him at Point Isabel. Gen. sive act of War that he could have commitWorth did not succeed in obtaining an inter-ted under the circumstances; that the blockview with Mejia, but communicated with La'ade had been reported to his Government, Vega, the second in command. Nothing and that he should maintain it until he re

came of the interview, however. Our little ceived farther orders.” Gen. T. would raise) Army were now as busy as bees in preparing the blockade provided the Mexican Comworks of defence; and, by the 8th of April, a mander would agree to an armistice until this? small field-work had been completed, in difficulty shonld be settled or War declared which were mounted four eighteen-pound not otherwise. He was equally prepared

In the mean time the troops were ac- for Peace or War, and Gen. Ampudia conld Stively engaged in throwing up a field-work take his choice. The next day Gen. T. reSof six bastion fronts, calculated to hold two ceived information that 2,500 Mexican troops regiments.

had crossed the river above his Camp, when On the 11th, Gen. Ampudia arrived at Ma- he immediately dispatched a squadron of tamoras with 1,000 Cavalry and 1,500 Infan- Dragoons under Capt. Thornton for the purtry. On the following day he sent a commu-pose of reconnoitering and ascertaining their nication to Gen. Taylor, ordering him to quit position. Capt. T. proceeded on his march his position in twenty-four hours, and retire about twenty-six miles, when he was sudto the Nueces, there to await the settlement denly surprised and surrounded by an overSof this question by negotiation, in default of powering Mexican force. He made a bold Swhich Mexico would look upon his attitude but unsuccessful attempt to charge through as a declaration of War. On the morning of the enemy's lines, in which Lieut. Mason and the 13th, Gen. Taylor sent a reply to Ampu- nine men were killed and two wounded. They dia, in which he said he had been sent here balance were taken prisoners of War ands Zby order of his Government, and intended to marched to Matamoros. This command of

some

ers.

Captain Thornton's consisted of Capt. Har.lout much effect. The cannonading had not? dee, Lieuts. Kane and Mason, with sixty-one lasted more than half an hour, when Major privates and non-commissioned officers. Brown's Artillery silenced the enemy's guns,

While Gen. Taylor's forces were engaged having greatly damaged three of the embraSin fortifying the Camp opposite Matamoros, sures, dismounted several guns, and killed a the communication with Point Isabel—their number of men. The Mexican batteries openSentrepot whence supplies were received-ed a fire early the next morning, which lasted was cut off by the Mexicans, who were now an hour, and was promptly answered from in force upon either flank, and in rear of the an eighteen-pounder battery, and a six-> army. Reinforcements for the Mexican army pounder howitzer. Both batteries ceased at were constantly arriving, and several Ameri- the same time. The Mexicans now surcan scouting parties had either been cut to rounded the Fort, and established a battery pieces or taken prisoners. It was a dark in its rear. At 5 o'clock the next morning bour. The strongest fears were entertained the enemy opened from their several batteries that Point Isabel had fallen into the hands of and continued with slight intervals, to pour a the enemy, in which case the supplies of our perfect shower of shot and shells among our Army would have been cut off entirely, and brave and devoted little band in the fort our fortifications, if not the Army itself

, must until 2 o'clock, P. M. In the mean time the inevitably have fallen into the hands of the signal-guns had been fired as directed by) enemy. Thus on the 1st day of May, while Gen. Taylor, and the gallant Brown had res darkness and doubt brooded over the fate of ceived a mortal wound from a falling shell. his companions at Point Isabel, Gen. Taylor, At half past 4 o'clock, a parley was sounded, leaving a small garrison of less than 300 brave and the Mexican General sent a summons to hearts, with Col. Brown at their head, in the Commander of the Fort to surrender“ for charge of the Fort, marched with the the sake of humanity," offering him one hour (main body of his army to the Point to reopen to return an answer, and threatening to put Sa communication with his stores, and bring the whole garrison to the sword in case his back ammunition and guns for the Fort. He demand should not be complied with. This expected to be obliged to cut his way through was a most trying emergency. What shoulds Mexican troops; but such was not the case. be done? The garrison numbered scarcely

He met no enemy during the whole march, 250 men; their enemy several thousands. (twenty-seven miles,) and found all safe when Their brave chief had been struck downhe arrived.

their ammunition was nearly exhausted. Previous to this, on the 28th day of April, The probabilities were that the Mexican Capt. Samuel Walker, at the head of a small General would be able to carry his infamous company of Texas Rangers, left Point Isabel threat into execution. Men less resolute, less with the hope of opening a communication brave, would have sunk under this accumuwith Fort Brown. But when he had pro-lation of difficulties, and surrendered. Not Sceeded to about midway between the two so the heroes of Fort Brown. Capt. Haw

posts, he was attacked by a large Mexican kins, who succeeded Maj. Brown after his force, and his command routed and dispersed. wound of the 6th, called a Council of War,

When Gen. Taylor left Fort Brown, his composed of the several company commandorders were to defend it to the death; and if ers, in the Fort, and laid the subject before the enemy should surround it, to fire signal-them. They had neither time nor disposition guns at certain intervals to let him know it. to deliberate. Defend the Fort to the As was anticipated, the Mexicans took ad- Death !broke forth almost simultaneously vantage of the departure of the great bulk of from the lips of that devoted band ; and withthe Army, and at daylight on Sunday morn- in a few minutes they had returned the laSing, May 3d. opened their batteries upon the conic reply that they did n't understand Fort. · The holy quiet of that day," says a Spanish; and another shower of shot and writer in describing the attack," was broken shells was raining down upon them from the by the thunder of cannon, and before the sun Mexican batteries, while they were constanthad risen on the scene, that little fort was in ly anticipating a storm, and nerving their a blaze, as gun answered gun; and in twenty hearts and whetting their blades for a last and {minutes' time, one of the Mexican twelve-death grapple with their powerful enemy. pounders was seen leaping twenty feet into the cannonade was continued for the next> (the air, accompanied by arms, legs and man- and last three days with even more spirit? Sgled bodies.” This cannonading on the part than during the four preceding. During most Sof the enemy was kept up with slight inter- of the memorable seven days, a number of Smission until near midnight, and returned men were constantly engaged in completing with effect. Major Brown lost one sergeant, the works. The American loss was only two and one artillery soldier wounded. The next killed, (Maj. Brown and Sergeant Weigart,) morning the Mexicans opened their batteries and thirteen wounded. But we must now again, sending both shot and shells, but with-look after Gen. Taylor.

On the afternoon of the 7th, Gen. Taylor the 3d advancing in column to the attack, (took up his line of march from Point Isabel wheeled and fled. for Fort Brown, and encamped for the night “While Ringgold was thus making fearfull about seven miles from the former post; but havoc with his Light Artillery on the right, here we find the story so graphically told Duncan, on the left, poured in his destructive Sby the American Review, that we must volleys in such fierce and rapid succession on adopt it:

the

enemy, that their ranks melted away be “On the 8th, Gen. Taylor again commenced fore them like frost-work, and a shout of tri: his march, and about 11 o'clock came in sightlumph rolled along our lines that was heard (of the enemy, drawn up in order of battle, over the roar of battle. Duncan and Ring->

stretching a mile and a half across the plain, gold, occupying the two extremes of the lines, (along the edge of a chapporal ; and a little in sent hope and confidence through the army advance of it, on the left, were their splendid as it saw with what superiority and address Lancers, a thousand strong, while throughout our artillery was managed. To the fierce the rest of the line were masses of Infantry music that thus rolled over the field from either and a battery alternately. Our Army was wing, the two eighteen-pounders in the cenimmediately formed in column of attack, and, ter kept up a steady accompaniment, shaking) curtained by two squadrons in advance the field with their steady fire as, slowly ad moved steadily forward to within cannon- vancing, they sent death through the Mexirange, when one of the enemy's batteries can ranks. But the enemy's batteries were Bopened. The column was then deployed in worked with great vigor, and their shot told Sline, except the 8th Infantry, which still stood on our left severely; yet still the regiments Sin column, and the battle was set. Col. Twiggs destined to support the artillery stood firm, commanded the right, composed of the 3d, while the balls tore through their ranks. At 4th and 5th Infantry, and Ringgold's artillery one time, they lay for three-quarters of an Lieut. Churchill commanded the two eigh-hour in the tall grass, while the shot of the teen-pounders in the center, while Lieut. enemy kept tearing up the ground amids Col. Belknap was placed over the left wing, them, bounding and leaping by, carrying composed of Duncan's artillery and 8th infan- away, here a head and there an arm, and yet) {try-and the BATTLE OF PÅLO ALTO com- not a soldier quailed, but cool and resolute as menced. The gallant Ringgold opened his old veterans, kept their position without a (battery on the right with terrible effect, and murmur or a look of complaint. In the mean our little army for the first time found them-time, Lieut. Duncan set the prairie on fire Sselves in the midst of battle. There stood six with some smoke-balls, and the thick smoke) {thousand disciplined men, supported by a rolling along the lines, shut out the two armpowerful Artillery, and in position of their ies from each other, and stayed for a while Sown choosing; here were scarce two thousand the work of carnage. It was now 4 o'clock, untried soldiers, marching steadily up to the and the bloodshot sun was stooping to the attack. In a moment the field was in an up

western horizon, and silence rested on the) roar, and the mid-day sun looked down on as field of death, save when the groans of the brave a fought battle as ever the stars and dying and wounded arose from the plain. stripes floated over.

Duncan, taking advantage of the smoke, car

ried his artillery through the lane of fire, with The deadly precision of Ringgold's guns the flames rolling ten feet around him. Sud told with fearful effect on the enemy's Caval- denly the enemy saw his horses' heads mov, ry, that were waiting a favorable moment to ing in a trot on their flank, and the next mobear down on our Infantry. Platoons went ment the pieces were unlimbered, and pourdown at every discharge, and wherever his ing in a scouring, galling fire on their ranks, Spracticed eye directed a cannon, a line open- rolling them back on each otherin inextricable Sed amid the riders. At length, unable to stand confusion. The Mexicans had changed their Sthe rapid fire, they wheeled off, and moved line of battle, to escape the murderous effect away in a trot, when a ball from one of the of the close and well-directed volleys of

eighteen-pounders in the center falling into Ringgold’s battery and the eighteen-pounders their midst, hurried them into a gallop. But that had been pushed forward during the making a circular sweep, they suddenly short cessation of the cannonading. The gal} threatened our flank, and the train in the rear. lant Ringgold, while seated on his horse, di

] Downcame the thundering squadrons, making rectipg the movement of the guns, received the plain tremble under their horses' feet, a shot which passed through his horse, cat

> when the 5th Infantry was thrown into square, ting in two the pistols in his holsters, tore Sand with fixed bayonets waited the shock. A away the flesh from both his legs, from his sudden fire from one of the angles of the for- knees upward. As he fell on the field some mation sent twenty horses, emptied of their officers gathered around him, but he waved riders, galloping over the plain; but those be- them away, saying, “Leave me alone; you Shind pressed steadily on, when they, seeing are needed forward.” The sun went down

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on the field of blood, and as his departing live !" Noble words that deserve to be rays struggled for a moment to pierce the written in letters of gold. That feeble garriwar-cloud

that curtained-in the two armies, son, which had for a whole week so firmly Sthe firing, by mutual consent, ceased, and the withstood the close siege of the enemy, lay Battle of Palo Alto was over. Our little army on his brave heart, and he resolved to succor Sencamped on the field where they fought, it or fall in the attempt. There spoke out the amid their dead and dying companions. spirit of the true hero-the same that on the

“ This was one of the most singular battles Hights of Bennington exclaimed, as the the records of our military history exhibit. It sword pointed to the enemy moving to battle, was a pure cannon fight, in which our In-"Those red coats, men-before night they are fantry, though cool and steady throughout, ours, or Molly Stark's a widow ! The same and ready at any moment to pour themselves that uttered in the very blaze of the hotlyin a furious charge on the enemy, took scarce worked battery at Lundy's Lane, I'll try, sly any active part. Appointed simply to sus- sir!" the same that on the rending decks of the Stain

batteries, they stood and saw the artillery Chesapeake, faintly murmured, “ Don't give contest the field.' Gen. Taylor, who evinced up the ship.It was a noble resolution to the utmost coolness and bravery, evidently save that garrison or leave his body at the feared to engage the enemy mass with mass, foot of the walls, and right nobly was it carwith so inferior a force--hence there was not ried out. a single column of Infantry sent forward "The next day the army recommenced its against his lines--no concentrated movement march, and found the

enemy gone, leaving on either wing or the center to break his or his dead unburied. The number of bodies der of battle, and convert a retreat into a rout. lying around the spots where the artillery

*** “ When night closed over the scene of was posted, showed how terrible the fire of? strife, the Mexican Commanders saw that our guns had been, and with what steadiness Sthey could do nothing in an open field and and bravery the Mexicans had stood to their Sfair fight, and so retreated to a still more for- pieces. In one place, fifty-seven bodies were

midable position. The only mistake, if any, found in a heap, or about the entire number which Gen. Taylor made in this engagement of killed and wounded together on our side. was, in not advancing with his whole army Gen. Taylor soon came ap with the eneon the enemy's lines at the time they were so my, occupying a strong position on the farterribly shaken and thrown into disorder by ther side of a ravine, and resting his left on a Jour artillery. There is no doubt, had he done pond so as to prevent the possibility of being {this, but that the enemy would have been ut- outflanked on that side. Eight pieces of arSterly routed, and the next day's battle pre tillery defended this position, divided into vented.

* three portions one on the left side of the The weary night wore away—the gallant road, one on the right, and one in the center. Ringgold lay dying--Page speechless and It was evident from the outset, that the great *faint, and scores of our brave men stretched struggle was to be along the road where the on the field of their fame, wounded or dying, batteries were placed, protected by a ditch while hundreds of the enemy made the night and breastwork in front. Reinforcements of bideous with their cries and groans. That 2,000 men had arrived during the night, and was an anxious night for the brave Taylor. here, within three miles of the Fort, the BatHe had advanced to within a short distance tle of Resaca de la Palma was fought. The of the fort, and found the enemy strong, and victory of the day before, and the recital of (resolved to dispute his entrance. He had the gallant deeds at night, had filled every Sfought one battle, lost one of the most efficient bosom with a fierce desire to perform some Sofficers in the army, and was far from reïn- brave act, and the troops defiled past the wagSforcements, and without a protecting breast-ons and deployed in front of the enemy, with work, while the enemy were in reach of help an alacrity and ardor which showed that wild from Matamoros, and could choose their posi- work would be done before night should tion at leisure. With 2,000 men he had beat close over the scene. Scarcely were our 16,000, and killed and wounded nearly 800 ; troops in order of battle, before the artillery but knew that loss would be more than of the enemy opened and rained a perfect> made up before morning by reïnforcements. shower of balls on our ranks The road was In this trying position, he called a Council of swept at every discharge with grape-shot and War, composed of thirteen officers, and asked ball, that threatened to carry entirely away them what he should do. Four only out of the daring squadron which should presume the whole number were in favor of advanc- to advance along it. To the left of the road, ing—the remainder advised either to intrench the conflict at once became fierce and bloody. where they were, or retreat to Point Isabel, The 4th, 5th and 8th Infantry, and a part of and wait for reinforcements. When all had the 3d, were there, mowing down the enemy spoken, the brave old veteran exclaimed with their steady volleys, strewing the road$"I will be at Fort Brown before night, if I side with the dead, and sternly forcing back

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