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Vol. 71, November-December 1846

July 1844-April 1846 May-July 1846 August-October 1846 November-December 1846 January-February 1847 March-April 1847
May-June 1847 July-August 1847 September-October 1847 November-December 1847 January-March & July December 1848


NNR 71.145 Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny's expedition to Tonie

NNR 71.145 the Union discredits the report that additional volunteers will be called for, remarks thereon

NNR 71.146 Army journal, two companies of troops depart Charleston for Point Isabel

NNR 71.146 Army journal, recruits

NNR 71.146 Army journal, company of 95 sappers

NNR 71.146 legal proceedings against Col. John D. Stevenson

NNR 71.150 congressional nomination in Boston in opposition to Robert Charles Winthrop because of his votes for supplies for the war

NNR 71.151 Gen. Zachary Taylor's congratulatory orders on the capture of Monterey

NNR 71.152 letter about the cause for losses at Monterey, skepticism about results of the armistice, notice of arrival of dispatches from Washington

NNR 71.152 letter from a correspondent of the Boston "Courier" about the advance of Gen. John Ellis Wool toward Presidio Rio Grande and Chihuahua

NNR 71.152-71.153 Gen. John Ellis Wool's division advancing on Monclova, for Chihuahua, letters giving details, list of his officers

NNR 71.153 experience of the Louisville Legion at Monterey

NNR 71.153 Gen. William Orlando Butler's letter detailing affair at Monterey

NNR 71.153 Kentucky mounted volunteers leave San Antonio for Port Lavaca and Camargo

NNR 71.153-71.154 letters of S. D. Allis about the assault on Monterey

NNR 71.154-71.157 letters from Lt. Henry Little and other officers at Monterey

NNR 71.157 list of killed and wounded at Monterey

NNR 71.160 Col. John Charles Fremont's affair in California

NNR 71.160 letter from Col. William Bowen Campbell describing the actions of the Tennessee regiment in the assault on Monterey

NNR 71.164 Union discredits notion that volunteers are to be called, signifies that Gen. Zachary Taylor has not been ordered to advance on San Luis Potosi, &c. , reconciled to his remaining for the present where he is, impression that a peace is about to be effected

NNR 71.164-71.165 letter on the campaign against Mexico

NNR 71.165 brisk trade at Matamoros, order of Gen. Robert Patterson concerning persons trading on the Rio Grande

NNR 71.165 arrival of the company of sappers and miners at Matamoros

NNR 71.165 Mexicans evacuate Saltillo

NNR 71.165 Gen. Zachary Taylor ordered to advance on San Luis, difficulty of so doing

NNR 71.165 correspondence between Gen. Zachary Taylor and Gen. Francisco P. de Morales respecting conduct of volunteers
71.165 correspondence relative to supplies of provisions

NNR 71.165-71.166 express mail with dispatches taken by Mexicans

NNR 71.166 Texas volunteers disbanded at Monterey, their return to Texas

NNR 71.166 Gen. John Ellis Wool crosses Rio Grande en route for Monclova

NNR 71.166 Maj. Lear expected to recover from his horrible wound

NNR 71.166 death of Lt. Richard H. Graham

NNR 71.166 Gen. William Orlando Butler recovering from wound

NNR 71.166 letter reporting that the Mexicans had evacuated Saltillo to stand at San Luis Potosi

NNR 71.166 Gen. Pedro Ampudia and the authorities of Saltillo, his official announcement of the surrender of Monterey

NNR 71.166 Gen. Jose Mariano de Salas' announcement of the loss of Monterey, and calling on Mexicans to rally

NNR 71.167-71.168 Maj. Luther Giddings' account of Monterey and its capture

NNR 71.168-71.169 Col. John B. Weller's report of the actions of the Ohio regiment in the action at Monterey

NNR 71.169 John Wise's project for reducing the fortress of San Juan de Ulloa

NNR 71.173-71.174 letter concerning Capt. John Charles Fremont's operations in California

NNR 71.174-175 Lt. Emory's Journal

NNR 71.176 spirited Mexican exertions for defense

NNR 71.176 Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny's proclamation appointing officers of government for New Mexico, leaves Santa Fe for California

NNR 71.176 Col. Alexander William Doniphan's regiment to proceed from Santa Fe for Chihuahua

NNR 71.177 British press on the Monterey victory

NNR 71.178 advice to government and estimates of force requisite to take the city of Mexico, by correspondent of New Orleans Tropic

NNR 71.178 orders relating to recruiting

NNR 71.179 copy of Secretary of War William Learned Marcy's reply to inquiry from Delaware, saying no more volunteers would be required, requisition upon states for nine regiments of volunteers, rendezvous assigned them, speculation of the public press as to reasons for the sudden change, letter from Camp Crocket, Texas, remarks on letter writing

NNR 71.180 "affairs at Monterey" by "An Actor"

NNR 71.180-71.181 Gen. William Jenkins Worth's general orders after the Battle of Monterey

NNR 71.181 no token of submission on the part of the Mexicans

NNR 71.181 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's letter on his arrival at San Luis de Potosi, his seizure of a conducta of specie

NNR 71.181 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's letter after the disaster at Monterey, his intentions

NNR 71.181 fruits of the Mexican seizure of correspondence between Secretary of War William Learned Marcy and Gen. Zachary Taylor

NNR 71.181 Gen. Pedro Ampudia's assertion that the "generals of the enemy" had suggested the armistice

NNR 71.181 Mexican accounts of the Battle of Monterey, praise for the valor of our troops, Gen. Pedro Ampudia's demand for an investigation of his conduct

NNR 71.181 Gen. Romulo Diaz de la Vega exchanged for Capt. Edward William Carpender of the brig Truxton, &c.

NNR 71.181-71.182 Mexican movements, their account of the Monterey affair, disputes over control of the reins of government, &c.

NNR 71.182 circular of Minister Manuel Crecenio Rejon about resisting the enemies of the existing order

NNR 71.182 resignations of Senor Cortina and Minister Manuel Crecenio Rejon

NNR 71.182 Mexicans perfectly apprised of sickness at Matamoros, their movements in defense of Veracruz

NNR 71.182 enthusiasm among Mexicans for the successful defense of Alvarado

NNR 71.182 Mexican troops from Puebla for Veracruz

NNR 71.182 Yucatan re-incorporated in the Mexican confederacy

NNR 71.182 Mexican troops sent to the defense of Veracruz

NNR 71.182 description of the fortress and defenses of Monterey

NNR 71.182 munitions captured at Monterey

NNR 71.182-184 list of the killed and wounded at Monterey

NNR 71.182-71.184 second attack on Alvarado

NNR 71.185 movement against Tabasco

NNR 71.185 movements on the Pacific coast, expedition against San Diego, Com. Robert Field Stockton takes San Pedro, California ports occupied

NNR 71.185-71.186 arrival of the prize bark Coosa at New Orleans
71.186 the captured Mexican schooner Telegraph brought up to the fleet

NNR 71.186-71.187, 71.194 Daniel Webster's speech at Faneuil Hall (November 6, 1846)

NNR 71.187-71.191 Capt. John Charles Fremont's operations in Upper California, correspondence among Fremont, Jose Castro, Manuel Castro, and Thomas O. Larkin

NNR 71.192 Col. Richard B. Mason dispatched to the Pacific via Panama to supersede Col. John D. Stevenson in command of the California expedition

NNR 71.192, 71.196 rumor that Gen. Pedro Ampudia has not evacuated Saltillo but had marched toward Monclova, rumor contradicted

NNR 71.193 The Americanizing of Santa Fe

NNR 71.193 Com. Robert Field Stockton's proclamation to the people of California

NNR 71.194 general orders regarding preparation of returns and transfer of officers

NNR 71.195 the war assuming a very grave aspect, and promises to continue, review and reflections
71.195 an agent of Mexico and Secretary of State James Buchanan

NNR 71.195-71.196 Mexican operations, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's finances
NNR 71.196 English offer of mediation to Mexico
NNR 71.196 agent sent to Europe to negotiate a loan for Mexico
NNR 71.196 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna concentrating his forces at San Luis Potosi
NNR 71.196 Gen. Gabriel Valencia selected as second in command to Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
NNR 71.196 Mexican reinforcement of Veracruz
NNR 71.196 disputes in Yucatan over re-incorporation into Mexico
NNR 71.196 Alvarado made a city
NNR 71.196 Yucatan ships warned off Mexican ports

NNR 71.196-71.197 disease in our Army, letters describing state of affairs

NNR 71.197 "Jersey Blues" in the conflict with Mexico

NNR 71.197 account of the interview between Gen. Pedro Ampudia and Gen. Zachary Taylor at Monterey

NNR 71.197 Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny orders part of his force back to Santa Fe and proceeds for California with only 200 men
NNR 71.197 apprehensions about winter forage at Santa Fe, large number of men left unemployed there

NNR 71.198 second attack on Alvarado

NNR 71.199-71.200 Com. Matthew Calbraith Perry's operations at Tabasco

NNR 71.200 vessels captured at Tabasco

NNR 71.200-71.201 Gen. Zachary Taylor's official account of taking of Monterey

NNR 71.201-71.202 Jack Hays and his men

NNR 71.208 naval expedition against Tampico

NNR 71.208 Gen. John Ellis Wool's address to his Army on reaching the Rio Grande, dispatches from him

NNR 71.209 review of the condition of affairs
NNR 71.209 Californias occupied, Mexican ports in possession, position of the armies, Gen. Winfield Scott and Com. Charles Stewart to assume command and Veracruz the next point of attack, move-making with that view

NNR 71.209 condensed table of killed and wounded at Monterey

NNR 71.209 Capt John Gross Barnard to supervise fortifications at Tampico

NNR 71.209 Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny's movements toward California

NNR 71.209 concern about subsistence at Santa Fe

NNR 71.209 Mexican recreants

NNR 71.209 naval movements against Tampico

NNR 71.210 march of the Army of the Center from San Antonio de Bexar to the Rio Grande

NNR 71.210-71.211 Gen. Pedro Ampudia's proclamation on the fall of Monterey

NNR 71.218 Com. Matthew Calbraith Perry's official account of affair at Tabasco

NNR 71.218 addition to the official report of the affair at Tabasco

NNR 71.219-71.220 Gen. William Orlando Butler's report on the Battle of Monterey

NNR 71.220 Gen. Thomas Lyon Hamer's report on the Battle of Monterey

NNR 71.220-71.221 Gen. John Anthony Quitman's report on the Battle of Monterey

NNR 71.221 Gen. David Emanuel Twiggs' report on the Battle of Monterey

NNR 71.221-71.223 Gen. William Jenkins Worth's report on the Battle of Monterey

NNR 71.223 Gen. James Pinckney Henderson's report on the Texas volunteers at Monterey

NNR 71.224 traders to Santa Fe proceeding to Chihuahua

NNR 71.225 report of Mexican privateers fitting at Cuba

NNR 71.226 arrest of Mark H. Parkenson at New Orleans for holding intercourse with the Mexican government

NNR 71.226 news of Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny on his way from Santa Fe to California
71.226 Col. Alexander William Doniphan detained for want of provisions, no money, treasury draughts at heavy discounts, predictions, provisions on the way to Santa Fe
71.226 Col. Philip Saint George Cooke, with the regiment of Mormon infantry, leaves Santa Fe for California

NNR 71.226 designation of New York volunteers for Mexico
71.226 letters from the secretary of war declining additional volunteers

NNR 71.240 Panuca captured
71.240 troops arrive at Tampico
71.240 Saltillo occupied by Gen. William Jenkins Worth
71.240 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's movements

NNR 71.240 Gen. John Ellis Wool's reception at Monclova, which he occupies, proceeds for Saltillo

NNR 71.241 speculation as to the disposition of the new Mexican Congress and as to Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's designs, &c.
71.241 urgent appeals to the Mexican Congress to make Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna dictator

NNR 71.241 correspondence between Gen. Zachary Taylor and Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

NNR 71.241 Gen. Zachary Taylor visits Saltillo
71.241 Gen. Winfield Scott's purposes

NNR 71.241 more volunteers called into service

NNR 71.241 state of affairs at Santa Fe

NNR 71.242 Mexican account of affairs at Monterey
71.242 skirmish between Georgia volunteers and Mexicans

NNR 71.242 storming the Bishop's Palace at Monterey, touching incident

NNR 71.243 Com. Robert Field Stockton's proclamation organizing a government in California

NNR 71.243 burning the Mexican brig Creole

NNR 71.256 accurate table of killed and wounded in Battle of Monterey unavailable
NNR 71.256 fifteen hundred volunteers said to be buried on the Rio Grande
NNR 71.256 diminution of the Baltimore battalion

NNR 71.257 loss of the United States sloop of war Boston, capture of Panuca

NNR 71.258 estimate of the prize money from the Tabasco and Tampico captures

NNR 71.258 praise for Midshipman Simpson's gunnery

NNR 71.259 exposed state of the Indian frontier because of withdrawal of troops for the war with Mexico

NNR 71.262 rumors relative to superseding the commanding generals by appointing a lieutenant general, Gen. Robert Armstrong or Thomas Hart Benton considered for post, Com. Charles Stewart's appointment as commander of the Gulf Squadron also being reconsidered, review of results of the campaign, glimpse at the future

NNR 71.262 affair at Angelos, Mexican finances, ordnance at San Luis, Campeche identified with Mexico, Capt. G. T. M. Davis' account of route of Gen. John Ellis Wool's division

NNR 71.263 Wool abandons original object, Chihuahua, marches to Monclova, and thence to Saltillo; letter from "a volunteer" describing the country, condition of the troops, objects, &c.

NNR 71.264 Gen. John Ellis Wool ordered to occupy Parras

NNR 71.264 wounded from Monterey, change of the direction of the Army, Gen. Zachary Taylor proposes to march for Victoria

NNR 71.264 Gen. Robert Patterson's command retiring to the mouth of the Rio Grande en route for Tampico

NNR 71.264 Gen. William Orlando Butler

NNR 71.264 Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow

NNR 71.264 rumor of Gen. Antonio Canales having taken sixty baggage wagons

NRR 71.264 directions of the different corps

NNR 71.265 letter of "Gomez" from Monterey
71.264 rumors respecting Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's movements

NNR 71.266 letter from Brazos

NNR 71.270 letter of Consul John Black to Secretary of State James Buchanan transmitting correspondence of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

NNR 71.270-71.271 plans of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

NNR 71.272 Mexicans determined to defend their country

NNR 71.272 formidable Mexican force assembled at San Luis

NNR 71.272 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at a grand review of the troops

NNR 71.272 defense of the Mexican withdrawal from Tampico

NNR 71.272 accounts of the burning of the Mexican vessel Creole at San Juan de Ulloa

NNR 71.272 prizes taken at Tabasco are wrecked

NNR 71.272 American blockade of Mexican ports

NNR 71.272 Cyane blockading Guaymas

NNR 71.272 American traders arrested at Chihuahua

NNR 71.272 Gen. John Ellis Wool occupies Parras, Gen. William Jenkins Worth at Saltillo

NNR 71.272 Mexican destruction of water tanks between Saltillo and San Luis Potosi

NNR 71.272 Gens. Zachary Taylor and Gideon Johnson Pillow march for Victoria

NNR 71.272 volunteers embark from Rio Grande for Tampico

NNR 71.272 Gen. Winfield Scott arrives in New Orleans on his way to the seat of the war

NNR 71.272 military appointments, &c.

NNR 71.272 Mexicans at El Paso del Norte

NNR 71.272 Mexican levy on the church and clergy to finance the war, shipments of specie to Europe

NNR 71.272 steamer Gopher breaks her chains and is lost in heavy winds, other ships sunk in gale

NNR 71.145 November 7, 1846 Gen. Stephen Watts Kearney’s expedition to Tonie


Santa Fe, Sept. 13, 1846

Messrs. Editors: On the 2d instant, General Kearney, with about eight hundred men, left this town on an excursion south.  We went to a village called Tonie, about one hundred miles distant.  We struck the Rio Grande twenty seven miles from this place, at a village called San Domingo, inhabited by the Puebla Indians.  Our reception at this village was quite a grand affair; the principal men and braves met us six miles from the town, and escorted us in; the braves were mounted on their best horses, and dressed in the most gaudy apparel, and armed and equipped in the same manner as when they go out for the purpose of fighting.  When the general passed the head of their columns, they fired off their guns, and then one file on each side of our companies proceeded to the rear, and then wheeled and came down to close our line at the top of the speed of their horses, yelling and going through all the maneuvers of a regular charge; they met again at the head of our columns, fired at each other with their pistols, made passes with their lances, and then filed off, and returned to the head of our companies.  This was repeated several times, to the great admiration and astonishment to all who witnessed it.  I have never seen better horsemen anywhere, and from what I could discover, I should take them to be formidable in battle, if properly armed.  They are fine looking men, and much superior in every respect to the Mexican population.  They have a very fine village, most splendid vineyards, and appear to be much more comfortable, in every respect than the Mexicans.  When we got into the village, we were invited to the priest’s house, where a most sumptuous repast was set out consisting of the best grapes I ever saw, melons, apples, cakes, and with liquor sufficient to wash them down.

There is at this town quite an extensive church, to which is attached the priest’s house, where he keeps his wives, or concubines.  The priest at this place has four-two of them are quite good looking.  After our repast, the general made a speech to the citizens, who appeared quite well pleased.  They then escorted us out of town, and we went on our way rejoicing, with full stomachs, and every man with just liquor enough in him to make him feel patriotic.  This was the only Indian village we visited.

After we left San Domingo, we passed through villages every eight or ten miles, until we reached the village of Tonie.  Most of them, however, were quite small and the inhabitants, with exception of two or three men in each, are a poor miserable set.

The only villages on the Rio Grande, that we visited worthy of note, are San Domingo, San Phillippe, Albuquerque, and Tonie.  Albuquerque was the residence of Armijo.  We halted a short time at the place, going and returning.  Gen, Kearney called on the late governor’s wife, and passed an hour or two, as he told me, very pleasantly.  She is said to be an intelligent woman, and deported herself with much propriety.  Her husband, (Armijo,) it is said, has gone to the Passo, and it is supposed will continue on to the city of Mexico.  The people near the town of Tonie, and the inhabitants of the different villages, have heard of our intended visit, and the general so arranged our marches as to bring us to this town the evening before the anniversary of our patron Saint – a great day with the inhabitants of that region of the country; and I assure you it was a great day not only with them, but to all who were present.  There was an immense concourse of people, men, women, and children, Mexicans, Indians, and White folks.  They had prepared fire-works, which were gotten up in a very good style, the town was illuminated, they had a theatre- that is, a play in the open yard, which appeared to be well received by the inhabitants.  They also had a fandango, which was not only crowded, nut jammed and crowded to overflowing.  The beauty and fashion were there, and, to my astonishment, I found some of the women quite handsome.  During the day there was mass said, and the Virgin Mary was paraded down the streets followed by the principal men of the town, and also Gen. Kearney and his staff, with lighted candles in their hands.

The priest at Tonie joined in the waltz, and appeared as jovial and as much disposed to participate in all the amusements as anyone else.  The country south of this place, (Santa Fe,) along the Rio Grande, is much better than any portion of the province I have yet visited; yet in my judgment, no Missourian would ever think of locating anywhere here for the purpose of cultivating the soil.  The province has been overrated, and our government has been grossly imposed upon and deceived, as to its resources, commerce, &c.  I have not seen anything since my arrival here that would excite the least desire for me to reside here.  To sum up the whole in a few words, the Mexicans are physically, mentally, and morally, an inferior and “low flung” race.

Yesterday an order was read, assigning the five companies of dragoons for the California expedition; there has not as yet been any place designated for my winter quarters; it is however believed that my company will be attached to Maj. Clark’s battalion, and stationed at this place.  I hope such may be the case, unless I can induce the general to let me go south, to the Passo del Norte.  I saw the general last night, and requested that he would not assign me to Doniphan’s command-he said he would not.

I have found the officers of the army very agreeable companions, and thus far, all has gone on very well.—Our mail will not leave before next Thursday.  Should anything occur before the departure of the mail, I will write you again.

September 15, 1846.—Since writing the foregoing, an order was made, assigning my company to do duty with Maj. Clark’s battalion, and stationing us at this place for the winter.The five companies of dragoons, will, it is said, march on the 25th instant for California.  We have had no news in relation to Price’s regiment, nor of Captain Allen’s command of Mormons. We do not know how to account for the non-arrival of Price, nor the delay of Allen.[MJK]

NNR 71.145 November 7, 1846 the “Union” discredits the report that additional volunteers will be called for, remarks thereon

The Washington Union contradicts the report that additional volunteers have been called for.  That paper of the 4th inst. says:  “The moment ‘new troops’ are wanting, in addition to the regulars and the volunteers now in service, we presume they will be called for.  When, it does not become us to say,; still less to what point any of our troops may be sent-whether to Saltillo, (to which the Inquirer undertakes to say Gen. Taylor has been ordered to advance,’ without any discretion,) or to Tampico, or to Vera Cruz, and the castle of San Juan de Ulloa, as other essayists have urged, or to any other point of the compass.  We avoid touching upon these points.  It is not within our province.  The impartial press will excuse us for saying that, even if any friend of the administration were to be acquainted with the plan of the campaign, or even to suspect it, it would scarcely be his duty to go to the house tops and proclaim it in the ears of our enemies.”The Baltimore American, of yesterday, quoting the above, replies:   “Not withstanding the strict reserve which the Union here professes, it did intimate some time ago, with distinctness enough that an expedition was contemplated against Tampico, and that the men to compose it were to be taken, a portion at least, from the Rio Grande.

With such a disclosure as this, and with the further knowledge that Gen. Taylor had peremptory order to terminate the armistice, with a view, as we are told, of a vigorous prosecution of the war, the public anxiety becomes naturally excited at the apprehension that Taylor’s support is to be withdrawn from his base line of operations at the very moment that he is directed to advance into the enemies country.  It is not from a disposition to indulge in idle speculation that the newspapers in various parts of the country dwell upon this subject.  Great fears are felt that the gallant army in Mexico, which has covered itself with glory, may, by some blunder of the administration, be left in jeopardy.  We say that such fears are felt-and sensitively too.  The country looks with anxiety towards Gen. Taylor, watching every step; and while it has great confidence in him and his brave soldiers it has not a great deal of confidence in the competency of the administration.  This, we believe, is the chief secret of the extreme solicitude which possesses the public mind in reference to affairs in Mexico, and concerning the manifestations of which in the public prints the official paper gives indirect lectured on propriety.”A report has become very general, and was certainly authorized by the highest authority that the President had determined to call for additional volunteers.  At the same time a report prevailed that a formidable diversion was to be made either upon Tampico or Vera Cruz.  It is probable that the two reports were dependant upon each other.  If an invasion of Mexico, at one of these ports was to be attempted, the call would be made, and not otherwise.

We refer to details from the several divisions of the army, for the latest intelligence from each.

The official reports and particulars of the late engagements, and list of the killed and wounded, have not reached Washington. [MJK]

NNR 71.146-11/7/1846 Army Journal/Company Movement

Two companies of the U. S. army embarked from Charleston, S. C., on the 27th ult. in the ship South Carolina, for Pont Isabel. The following are the names of the officers--

Company H--E. J. Steptoe, lieut. Command'g the detachment; Lieuts. H. . B. Judd, L. D. Welch. Company D--Lieut. F. O. Wyse, Lieut. E. G. Beckwith, Lieut. G. P. Andrews. John M. Cuyler, assisstant surgeon. [SCM]

NNR 71.146-11/7/1846 Army Journal/ Recruits

Recruits. - The officers of the army were detached by Gen'l Taylor after the battles of the 8th and 9th May for recruits are now returning with the recruits they have obtained to join the army.A detachment of fifty German recruits, under the command of Lieut. H. Browne, embarked from N. York on the 29th ultimo in the brig Ellen and Clara, for Fort Brooke, Tampa bay, Florida. [SCM]

NNR 71.146- 11/7/1846 Army Journal/Company of Ninety-five Sappers

The company of ninety-five Sappers and Miners reached N. Orleans on the 24th ultimo in the ship Clinton, from New York.The ship John Holland, arrived at Brazoson the 17th with troops.The steamer Florida, with a number of the wounded soldiers from Monterey, had been aground on the bar off Brazos, but got off, and proceeded for New Orleans.Cat. Ruggles, in command of a detachment of the 5th infantry, about 175 men, accompanied by Lieuts. Tyler and Gibson, the latter in command of a detachment of artillery recruits, embarked from New York on the 30th ult., in the ship Corsair for Brazos Santiago. Capt. Ruggles was in the battles of Palo Alto and Reseca do le Palma.Wm. W. Tompkins, esq., formerly captain of the 2d dragoons, U. S. army, and who served in the Florida war until the close of the year 1838, is making vigorous efforts to organize in New York a corps of volunteers for the Mexican war [SCM]

NNR 71.146 November 7, 1846 legal proceedings against Col. John D. Stevenson

     Col. STEPHENSON.—Commander of the California expedition.— In the suit of Ellingwood vs. Jonathan D. Stephenson, colonel, &c. United States army, his honor said the motion to set aside the writ of ne exeat must be denied, and the motion to open the default, and the motion for an attachment against the colonel must be granted.  [N.Y. Gaz & Times.  [MJK]

NNR 71.150 November 7, 1846 congressional nomination in Boston in opposition to Robert Charles Winthrop because of his votes for supplies for the war

     At a public meeting held in Boston on Thursday evening, Charles Sumner, Esq., was nominated as an independent candidate for congress, in opposition to the regularly nominated whig candidate, Mr. Winthrop.  Hon. C.F. Adams (son of the ex-president) presided, and such men as Dr. S. G. Howe, Dr. Channing, Dr. Bowditch, &c., who are opposed to the Mexican war, were concerned in the measure.  They oppose Mr. Winthrop because he voted for supplies.  Whig journals say the true whigs of Boston will be inspired by the result of this meeting to make extra exertions in favor of their candidate.—Four parties are in the field arrayed against them.  [MJK]

NNR 71.151 November 7, 1846 Gen. Zachary Taylor’s congratulatory orders on the capture of Monterey


From Matamoras “American Flag” of October 10

ORDERS-No. 123
Headquarters, Army of Occupation,
Camp near Monterey, Sept. 27 1846.

     The Commanding General has the satisfaction to congratulate the Army under his command upon another signal triumph over the Mexican forces.—Superior to us in numbers, strongly fortified, and with an immense preponderance or artillery, they have yet been driven from point to point until forced to sue for terms of capitulation.  Such terms have been granted as were considered do to the gallant defense of the town and to the liberal policy of our own government.

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

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

      By order of Maj. Gen. TAYLOR:

W.W.S. Bliss

Official:          Ass’t. Adj’t. General.
Geo. A McCall, ass’t Adj’t. Gen.

71.152 November 7, 1846 letter about the cause for losses at Monterey, skepticism about the results of the armistice, notice of arrival of dispatches from Washington.

Another correspondent over the signature of L. writing from Matamoras, under the date of October 5t, says:-   It is generally believed that our great loss was occasioned by a “fool hardy valor” pushing men up in the face of danger, when the exercise of a little military skill would have enabled our troops to have taken the enemy at great advantage.  Our troops are as brave as any in the world, and our regulars act upon the principle—“No nice distinction a true soldier knows, But bid him go to h—l, to h—l he goes.” And under this military axiom would push through death and surrounding dangers-whenever ordered.-But it was wise to place our brave men to be sacrificed to the want of skill on the part of chefs de batallion or of division either?  Certainly not; and the taking of Monterey and its consequences, have demonstrated if any demonstration were needed, that cool courage, skill, and tact do more, with less loss, than impetuous valor without arrangement-whose line of march is marked but by his own dead-however great was the goal at the final end of the bloody trail.

      In relation to the armistice, and prospects of permanent peace, I place no confidence in the benefits to flow from the former, knowing, as I do, that before the fall of Monterey, the Mexican government had, with commendable foresight, called for a draft of 30,000 men, who will, I’m of opinion, be assembled at Saltillo, and fortify the mountain passes before the expiration of the stipulated two months; and as to peace, I conceive the time of its consummation with Mexico far distant.  Heaven grant I may be mistaken.  But it behooves our government to reinforce Gen. Taylor by at least fifteen or twenty thousand men; and if it consult the best interests of the nation, it will dispatch Gen. Scott immediately to the seat of war.  His skill and judgment would give regularity and order, and insure a peace in the shortest possible time.

      October 6th.—Last night a special messenger arrived from Washington, bearer of dispatches to General Taylor- we are ignorant of their import.  If in consideration of overtures for peace from Mexico, distrust them, as Paredes is again getting up, and may be, before long, once more in the ascendancy; and as to Santa Anna, who but an idiot would trust him, even under the most solemn obligation.  I tell you, that unless we send reinforcements here, the termination of the armistice will find General Taylor hemmed in Monterey-mark that!  San Luis Potosi has pronounced against Santa Anna, and in favor of Paredes-this after the taking of Monterey. [MJK]

NNR 71.152 November 7, 1846 letter from a correspondent of the Boston Courier about the advance of Gen. John Ellis Wool toward Presidio Rio Grande and Chihuahua



Letter from a correspondent of the Boston Courier, dated:

Army of Chihuahua,
San Antonio de Bexar, Oct. 2, 1846.

      I avail myself of a short respite from my arduous duties to give you some little information in regard to the movement and operations of this division of the invading army.  I arrived here on the 20th Sept. from La Baca, after a somewhat fatiguing journey.  On the 26th ultimo the advance of this army left for Presidio Rio Grande, consisting of the following troops, viz: company B, 4th light artillery, under captain Washington: two company 2d dragoons, under brevet major Beall; three companies 6th infantry, and one company Kentucky volunteers, under major Bonneville, United States army; six companies Arkansas cavalry, under colonel Yell; four companies of Illinois volunteers, under captains Webb and Morgan; corps of pioneers, artificers, &c. under command of captain Lee, of the engineers U. States army; a train of one hundred and eighteen wagons, loaded with subsistence, ammunition and quartermasters stores, boats and lumber, for making a flying bridge across the Rio Grande-the train under charge of captain O. Cross, assistant quartermaster United States army.  The entire force under command of Col. Wm S. Harney, 2d dragoons, amounting to fourteen hundred effective men.

      On the morning of the 29th ultimo, gen. Wool, with a portion of his staff, and escorted by two companies of the first dragoons, left here to overtake the advance.

       Col. Churchill, inspector general is left in command of the rear division, to follow with the remainder of the forces as soon as sufficient number of wagons (now en route for this pace) shall arrive from La Baca.  Major Thomas, chief of the quartermaster’s department, also remains for the purpose of hastening the forwarding of supplies, &c. and will be here in about five days, with col. Churchill and the remainder of the forces, to join gen. Wool at the Presidio, under command of col. J. J. Hardin, with a train of twenty four wagons and two pieces of cannon.

      The wagons with supplies and stores, are rapidly arriving; one train of fifteen wagons came in on the 30th ultimo, and one to-day of the twenty one wagons.

<>p>      It is almost impossible to imagine the difficulties encountered by the quartermasters department towards fitting out and preparing the “trains” for transporting supplies.  In the first place the mules have to be broken to work in harness.  There is a scarcity of teamsters, and inefficient wagon-masters are sent from New Orleans, where they are picked up and sent out upon their representing that they are first rate teamsters--the greater part of whom scarcely know how to harness a mule, not to speak of their driving a five mule team.

      Too much praise cannot be awarded to Major. Thomas for his untiring exertions and unceasing vigilance in organizing the department, and protecting the interests of the service from the depredations of those who are constantly devising means to cheat the government.  It was really amusing to see coming into La Baca with old wagons and broken down oxen to sell to the government, for which the most exorbitant prices were asked.  Six hundred dollars has been asked for a wagon and five yolk of oxen, for which three hundred dollars might be a great price.  Individuals must have an idea that the government must purchase from them at any price, and that government officers are bound to believe what they say, without examination.  However, they found major Thomas an officer possessing too much practical knowledge to be taken in by them.  Consequently he is abused in the newspapers in the most outrageous manner, and why?  For the simple reason that they cannot deceive him and rob the government.   [MJK]

NNR 71.152-71.153 November 7, 1846 Gen. John Ellis Wool’s division advancing on Monclova, for Chihuahua, letters giving details, list of officers

nbsp;     The New Orleans Delta, of the 27th has the following:


From major M. C. M. Hammond, U.S. army, who arrived a day or two since Port Lavaca and San Antonio, Texas, we obtain the following information:

     One half of gen. Wool’s army left San Antonio for the Presidio on the Rio Grande on the 26th of September.  The general went in person on the 29th.  The remainder, consisting of sixteen companies of Illinois infantry and four companies of Arkansas cavalry, were under command col. Churchill, inspector general United States army.  Between the 5th and 8th of October eight of these companies marched, commanded by Col. Hardin; and colonel Churchill was to have conducted the remainder on the 14th, leaving one or two companies in garrison at Bexar, to protect supplies and furnish escorts.

      Gen. W. expected to reach Presidio in twelve days.  He established a depot at that point, until it was ascertained whether steamers can ascend the Rio Grande to a position more suitable to his operations.  His army will cross the river on a flying bridge, boats for which were constructed at San Antonio, under the direction of capt. Fraser, engineer, and were transported in wagons.

      As soon as supplies are received to enable him to advance, gen. Wool will press on to Chihuahua, taking Santa Rosa and Monclava in his route.  The former town is garrisoned with regular troops and said to be capable of strong resistance.  This line of operations is longer than might be selected, but it has the advantage of turning the mountain passes-of abundance of water and some provisions-and runs within seventy or eighty miles of gen. Taylor’s when co-operation can be readily effected if necessary.

      If it is found impossible to transport supplies by water to the Presidio or other point on the Rio Grande whence to furnish the army, it will be necessary to haul all their provisions from Port Lavaca by way of San Antonio, a distance to Chihuahua of nearly 800 miles, and through a country in a rainy seasons almost impassable for heavy wagons.

     It will be seen that this enterprise is gigantic and its accomplishment will be an achievement more arduous and more creditable than a brilliant victory.  The health of the troops had very much improved.  The sick were left at Bexar under the care of Dr. Glen, U. States army.

       The command consists of the following officers and troops:


          Col. Churchill, inspector gen. Unites States army; captain Prentissm assistant adjt. General; lieuts. McDowell and Bryan, aids-de-camp.
           Captains Lee and Frazer, corps engineers.
           Captain Hughes and Lieut. Sitgreaves and Franklin, topographical engineers.
           Lieut. Kingsbury, ordinance corps.
           Major Thomas, quartermaster; Captains Cross, Will, Chapman, and Chilton, assist quartermasters.
           Dr. Hitchcock, medical director; Drs. Simpson, Levely, and several volunteer surgeons

.          1 company light artillery; 2 do. 1st dragoons; 2 do 2d dragoons; 1 regiment Arkansas Cavalry;3 companies 6th regular infantry, 1 do. Kentucky infantry; 2 regiments Illinois infantry.

          The Kentucky regiment of cavalry left Lavacca on the 13th inst. for Matamoras.  About 40 of them had died, fifty to seventy had been discharged, and one hundred sick had been sent to Matamoras by water.  At one time it was said that 300 men were on sick report.  The Tennessee cavalry followed the Kentucky regiment on the 16th. [MJK]

NNR 71.153-11/7/1846 The Louisville Legion

An officer of the legion writes to the editor of the Louisville Courier:

-“The situation of the Louisville Legion was a very silent, but at the same time a very chafing one. We were obliged to stand the fire from a well directed battery of twelve pounders from the Castle, which were directed at the howitzer and mortar, before mentioned as being immediately in front. Their pieces were very troublesome. Their cavalry formed in front of the Castle frequently, for the purpose, it is supposed, of making an attack upon us, but a bomb thrown in their midst soon dispersed them. The Legion was formed in squares every hour or so for the purposes of receiving their expected attack on our battery. This is the reason why we were not actively engaged. Gen. Butler ordered us into the city at one time, but Major Munroe, who had charge of the pieces, remonstrated in the strongest terms, and said that the mortar battery would be taken by the Mexicans in half an hour after we left, and that the pieces we were protecting were then doing more damage to the enemy than we could possibly do in the city. Upon this, General Butler then countermanded the order.”  [SCM]

NNR 71.153 November 7, 1846, Gen. William Orlando Butler’s letter detailing affair at Monterey


—The following letter from General Butler to a near relative near Louisville is from a Louisville newspaper:

      Monterey, Sept. 25, 1846.

      Monterey is ours, but not without a heavy loss, and my division has probably sustained more that one half of it.  I am myself wounded, but not badly.  I was struck by a musket all below the knee; it entered in front, grazed the bones without injuring them, ranged round through the flesh, and came out on the opposite side.

      I became faint from loss of blood, and was compelled to leave the field after having been in it under a heavy fire of grape and musketry for three hours.—I have been required by my surgeon to keep perfectly still, ever since the battle.

      I was in the act of leading the Ohio Regiment to storm two of the most formidable batteries un the town, flanked by a stone wall, ten feet high, with a deep ditch in front and covered by a strong musketry force in the rear, under complete shelter.  There were two other batteries of grape shot discharged, that swept the ground continually.

      Col. Mitchell, who commanded the regiment of Ohio volunteers, was wounded about the same time that I was, and we then prudently abandoned the enterprise, as we became convinced that our loss would have probably been at least one hundred more men, had we persevered.

      I hope you will not think I acted rashly.  I know that I am often rash where I involve myself alone, not so, however, when the fates of other are at stake.

      The condition in which we were placed fully justified, if it did not positively require us to make the attempt.  The peculiarity of our situation I cannot now explain without going into greater detail than I am able to.

      The battle commenced about 9 o’clock, A.M., and continued without intermission, with various degrees of intensity for eight hours.

      I had almost 1,000 men in the battle (the Louisville Legion having been left to guard our mortars and of that number we lost in killed and wounded  about 250).

      We took one battery and a house fitted up as a fortification, and assisted the regulars in taking a second.  Gen. Worth, with great gallantry and equal success, and with far less loss. Carried on his operations on the opposite side of town.

      Under all the circumstances, the terms of capitulation are favorable to us.  There are still several forts in the hands of the enemy, which we would have been compelled to take by regular approaches with heavy losses.  The plaza is of itself an enormous fortification of continuous houses, with thick stone walls, and all the streets leading into it strongly fortified and filled with guns.

      They admit that they will have at least 8,000 fighting men, whilst our part we cannot muster 5,000 for duty, and have only a few heavy guns, and them we took from them.

      Never, I believe, did troops, both volunteers and regulars, behave with more calmness and intrepidity, and I do not believe that for downright, straightforward, hard fighting, the battle of Monterey has ever been surpassed. [MJK]

NNR 71.153 November 7, 1846 Kentucky mounted volunteers leave San Antonio for Port Lavaca and Camargo


Perhaps a more splendid or spirited regiment of men, officers, and horses never paraded in any country, then composed the Kentucky volunteers that repaired so promptly to the frontier- and were ordered to join the division of the army under general Wool.  They had no sooner reached his headquarters, then they were ordered thence to Port Lavaca en route to Camargo, to join general Taylor.  The following letter from an officer of the regiment is from the Observer and Reporter.

Camp near Port Lavaca, Texas Sept. 23, 1846.

Dear sir- the departure of the steam ship Galveston affords another opportunity to write to you, and more and more at large than I was able to do the other day.  We are somewhat rested from the fatigue of our long and hard march.  The equinoctial gales are in full blast, and the fresh breeze from the sea brings healing on its wings to the sick I our hospitals.  I told you in my last, that Col. Marshall chafed much under the order of brig. gen. Wool directing him to repair with his regiment to this place.  His reasons seemed sound at the time, and subsequent events verify their correctness.  He said that a halt and quiet at a moment just preceding a change in seasons, when the sickness carried in the atmosphere would develop disease lurking in or passing through the system, because the indolence of a stationary camp would aid, where as continual action would enable the system to resist or ward off the attack of disease.  He was anxious to press forward to Camargo without halting and to rest on the Rio Grande after the season changed, which they do generally after the equinoctial storms.  Disease has increased in our camp alarmingly since our arrival here.  Yesterday the surgeon reported 160 new cases in the hospital.  Many of our boys look chap fallen at this sudden reverse of our condition, but the commander and the surgeon seem to recognize the change as one they had expected, and to fear no great degree of fear as a result.  I have no doubt the letters from the regiment will be gloomy enough by this mail, but the writers don’t understand the diagnosis of our malady.  We are sick of an order from a general who don’t know what he is about, and which brings death in its train that could have easily been avoided.  Col. M. sent an express to gen. Taylor the other day, immediately arriving here, remonstrating against the order delaying him here, and predicting just what has occurred.  He also spoke freely to officers on their way to gen. Wool’s camp, and wrote gen. Wool himself.  General Wool sent down an order day before yesterday to Col. M. authorizing him to move forward to Camargo whenever he chose to do so.  The troops expected that col. Marshall would be off directly, and he did make one “revolution,” as they say, but his train wanted repairs and on applications from the shops at Lavaca, he found them employed from gen. Wool’s train, and that the same mail which authorized him to proceed, imperatively directed the quartermaster to confide the shops exclusively to work on wagons destined for San Antonio de Bexar, which cut off all chance of a speedy departure, unless we go without a train.  The col. did talk a little of cold meat, but he abandoned that notion, and now I suppose we may be considered as firmly aground.  Indeed, the news by the Galveston that Mexico had rejected the overtures of our government for peace, on the ground that the Mexican congress alone had power over that object opens a new chance for a contest and seems to have produced a desire on the part of col. Marshall to recruit his men more effectively than he seemed disposed for when he thought there was a slim chance of getting there on time.  I hope by the next letter I write to give you accounts of improving health in the regiment.  You ought to see the boys.  Their condition is a reproach to the government.  They are barefooted, and some of them literally without breeches, many without hats and coats, but they stand up as proud as if they were dressed I imperial purple.  The government is indebted to this regiment this day $75,000- it has received no pay whatever, and though paymasters pass and repass, it hath seen no signs of payment.—

Young men of education and intelligence, used to the luxuries of life, are by this neglect absolutely turned naked in a wild country, and exposed to the climate and suffering from the weather, without any care for their condition on the part of the government they serve.  They would raise a row pretty quickly, but that they respect to highly the feelings of their own officers to place them in an awkward position, by drawing down on them the displeasure of the was department.We shall go to Camargo, and I think we shall leave here between the 1st and 5th of October.  In the meantime we shall drill and be recruited.  The distance to Camargo from our camp is 236 miles.  Col. Marshall has already every creek, spring, pond, bayou, Ranche, sandy piece on the way, and I am indebted to his politeness for information as to the gross distance.  He says he shall march it in 14 days.The arming of our regiment in two different ways attracted originally, some comment, and alarmed the pride of our commanding officer.  He had a correspondence with the war department as to the meaning of this movement, but the secretary repelled the idea that any undue advantage was to be taken of the volunteer officers.  The apprehensions of col. Marshall are beginning to be realized.  For instance, the advanced guard of Wool’s division is made up of thus:

  4 companies United States infantry –  1 company Kentucky infantry- capt. Williams.  2 companies Illinois infantry –Hardin’s regiment.  3 companies Illinois infantry – Sissell’s regiment.

No volunteer colonel or lieut. Colonel obtains the command, but the command is conferred on brevet major Bonneville, of the regular army.  He-a mere major by brevet-it to be placed in command of a full regiment, while superior officers who are volunteers are not noticed at all.  He is forsooth to have ten companies under his charge, while Hardin and Bissell are reduced to seven or eight each by the operation!A similar operation is opening on our regiment.

Gen. Wool has ordered major John P. Gaines to detach C. M. Clay’s and Pennington’s companies from Marshall’s regiment, one company from the Tennessee and one from the Arkansas cavalry, to form a battalion which he now says should be under Gaines’s command.  This robbery of our regiment is to [?]ure to the benefit of Archie Yell, colonel of the Arkansas regiment who will have command of more than a regiment by the operation!  I don’t know what our col. Means to do with these orders.  I see he is moody and clouded to-day, and not disposed to say much about it.  He had a Mexican rider in camp to day and started him to Camargo.  It is supposed he bears dispatches touching on this order to major gen. Wm O. Butler.  I see no preparations making for the departure of our companies, and should not be surprised if this business closes with our colonel in arrest, for if he determines to permit the separation of the regiment into minute detachments for the use and advantage of other officers, he will maintain his position at the cost of his commission.  He has trouble ahead of him I fear, and it is suspected that there had been some intrigue, as the order designates the companies to be detached.  By my next we shall have a development, of which I will apprise you.

NNR 71.153-71.154 November 7, 1846 letters of S.D. Allis about the assault on Monterey

The following letters are copied from the N. Orleans Picayune, and were written by S.D. Allis, who was formerly a clerk with the Picayune office, and was known as “the tall Yankee clerk.” The letters were written for private perusal by his family, but on that account are the more full of those personal details which always interest and enlighten the reader:

-         Monterey, Sept. 24, 1846

Uncle:- I once more have an opportunity to write you, and it would be difficult for me to express the sensations of pleasure I feel in being able to do so, after having participated in many hard fights with the enemy to get possession of this beautiful place.  Yes, Monterey is ours.  After four days’ hard fighting the Mexicans have capitulated.  I have heard and read of battles, but never had an idea what a battle was before.  The whistling of bullets, grape and canister- 6, 12, and 18 pound balls-the roar of cannon and bursting of shells- have become as familiar and common to me during the fight as the alphabet.  Our company has done honor to Louisiana, and our division, under Gen. Worth, all agree, has done its duty.  I was with our company at the storming of three batteries, located on hills so high that you might call them mountains, and so steep that a slip of the foot would have thrown us hundreds of feet below. The Louisiana boys made the attack on the castle, and lay five hours by themselves within 200 yards of it, picking off those that exposed themselves, and all the time the enemy pouring in showers of musket balls and grape; but they flew over our heads.  Finally they sallied forth and charged on us.  The 7th infantry, in reserve all this time came up and rushed on the castle, and raised the stars and stripes.  We fired on the Mexicans as they left the breastworks and the castle, and captured four pieced of artillery.  Our division has done the work; although our loss is small, we have done more to conquer Monterey than the whole of the two divisions who made the attack of the front.  I would give you a description of the fight on our side, but Haile and Kendall, who were there, can do it better than I can. I will say, however, that the first five shells thrown by the Mexicans in the rear, where we made the attack, fell almost in the midst of your company, and burst without doing any harm.  This was the opening of this side of the town, on Monday, the 21st inst. Yesterday, three divisions of Mexican troops marched out of town, and to-day 3,000 more.  The balance have four more days to leave in.  There were troops enough here , had they been Americans to keep of 50,000 good men.  Every house is a fort, and every resident, even the little boys, had muskets and fired them upon the rooftops; but we finally went from house to house until we had taken one half the city, when a flag of truce was sent in by General Ampudia, and the terms of surrender agreed upon.  We are in a most splendid house, near the center of town; but will be removed to the Government barracks as soon as the Mexicans have all left.  The two Nichols have behaved nobly during all the fights, indeed exposing themselves more than necessary.  The old gentlemen may well be proud of such boys as they are.  We are now anticipating a speedy return, for we think that affairs will soon be settled, and that this dose will be enough for the Mexicans.  The taking possession of the big fort was an interesting ceremony.  The Mexicans fired a salute and marched out – we fired one and marched in, then raised the star spangled banner and gave three cheers, while our band played the appropriate air.—We marched in the tune of Yankee Doodle, but it would be hard to tell what tune was played by the Mexican band.  Our company has had two killed and four wounded.  Many of them have the marks of balls in their clothes and caps, and it would seem that a Divine Province had interfered to preserve the lives of our little band.

         Monterey, Mexico Sept. 28, 1846

Dear Uncle:

I am sergeant to the guard to-night, and have concluded to write out a description of my own experience and what I saw at the storming of this place during the three days’ hard fighting, for your amusement and for the benefit of those who left me here in particular—who tried to persuade me to go home, saying that we would never see a Mexican with a musket that would pull a trigger at us.  You, who returned, don’t you wish you had stayed here-that you had come along as far as Monterey and taken a hand in a battle that will be remembered as the United States remains a nation, and perhaps longer?  To thrash these yellow skins in their own forts, cities, and their own mountains-to see the stars and stripes raised in triumph on the ramparts of their fortifications by the boys that can do it handsomely!  Ah, I pity you from the bottom of my heart!  You came a long ways to get a fight and were disappointed-

I came a little further and was in a glorious one.  It would have done you good to have seen what these long understandings of mine have been to me in climbing up the Mexican mountains.  But I must commence more formally.

Saturday morning, Sept 19th.

–The 1st division under Gen. Twiggs took the head at daybreak, and soon ours (the 2d) one hour latter, and the third one soon after us.  About 10 o’clock, we first heard the cannon of the Mexicans in this place, which had been fired at a body of Texas Rangers, who had been reconnoitering and trying to coax out the Mexican lancers, and, oh, with what pleasure did we here it rebound around the fort!  Cheers rent the air for miles- the whole army.  Exhausted as the men were, all appeared to double their speed, anxious to be brought to the scene of action.  But it was not the intention of Gen. Taylor to bring us into action until Monday, so we came to a halt at the walnut springs, distant four miles from town, a beautiful place in a small valley and surrounded by large timber.   The water is cold and delicious, and the springs afford water enough for 50,000 men, if they could all get to it.  The body of water running out of one spring alone is at least a half barrel.

Sunday, Sept. 20th.

-Our division, under the command of Gen. Worth, and composed of the 5th and 7th infantry, eleven companies of artillery with muskets, the 8th infantry, the  Louisiana volunteers and 150 rangers, and two batteries of four guns each, was ordered to march at 12 o’clock and take up a position in the rear of the city and co-operate with the army that made the attack in front.We opened our way around the town at a distance, through fields of corn, sugar cane, and pea fields, without being disturbed until sun down, when a few shots were exchanged at a distance between advance of the enemy and our own, but no harm was done.  At dark we bivouacked for the night, which was quite cold, and no blankets or tents to cover us from the occasional showers of rain; at the point of rain we started again, but had not gone more than two miles before we found ourselves directly under a Mexican battery so high that it was out of reach of our cannon.  They opened lively upon us with shell, the first fire of which appeared to be directed at our company, although they burst without doing the least harm.  But the grand fandango soon commended in front, the lancers and Texas Rangers aided by three regular companies, came to loggerheads, and had a pretty sharp skirmish, killing fifteen Mexicans and wounding several more.  We had two wounded on our side, and the lancers too French leave.  We soon saw that there were two more batteries in front beside the castle of Monterey, off to the left- indeed, it seemed as if the place could never be taken.  We had not gone far before opened us with a 9 pounder, killing one captain and one private of the 8th infantry.  We waited, under their fire, until our train had passed around the hill and up the valley out of reach of their fire, and we all soon followed them to make preparations for the attack.  In the meantime, company was ordered to defend a pass in the mountains I our rear in case the enemy should advance in that direction.

About 12 o’clock, the enemy commenced firing down the second hill with muskets, and occasionally a load of grape and canister.  From where I was I had a most splendid view of the fight as it proved to be, but thus far a one sided one, for not a single shot had been sent forth from below for nearly an hour after the first attack.  Ah!  There goes the volley of muskets; I can occasionally get a peep at our boys, who are climbing the mountain as fast as they can, keeping as much as possible under every nook, bush and rock.  Volley after volley are exchanged on both sides, our boys gain the top and the Mexicans run off on the other side.  The stars and stripes are raised with cheers, which are responded to in the valley below.  It is now our turn.  Another battery still further on, built of stone and on a very steep and high hill, is next to be stormed.  “On the right fire, close intervals!” When we all ran in the double quicktime.  The 5th infantry comprising about 200 men and Louisiana for the next.  It was with good cheer that we marched onto the attack, our company so stationed as to be in advance.  We had hardly reached the roof oh the hill when down came a shower of grape and canister in our midst, but it appeared as if Mexican iron and copper was not made to kill Yankees.  On we went through the showers of musket balls, and soon had climbed the mountain high enough to reach them with our musket balls.  On we went, loading and forming as we advanced, until within fifty yards, when we rushed up as fast as our legs would carry us, driving the Mexican down the other side and taking a 9-pounder brass cannon, ready loaded with grape, but the load intended for us was turned lose on them.

The first hill taken was directly opposite the hill that opened on us in the morning with shell, and the hill taken by us directly in front of the castle, an ugly customer well fixed to kill Yankees, mounting four 9-pounders and two mortars.  They soon opened on us with shell, which burst all around us without doing any harm.  Dark soon put an end to all cannonading, and we lay down to rest anticipating hot work in the morning.  Occasional showers of rain, and no blankets with us, kept up awake during most of the night.  About one hour before the day we heard muskets on the opposite hill, and soon we knew that the 8th infantry, which had not yet had a turn at the enemy, had climbed to the fort and made an attack.  By sunrise they drove the Mexicans out, but they were smart enough to take the canon with them this time and broke for the castle, we cannot climb its walls, nor can we batter it down.  We may drive them out with shells, and kill all those who expose themselves, with out muskets.  Perhaps we can coax them into a bit of a fight outside.  But take it we must.  At 7 o’clock, A.M. we were ordered across to the last place taken.  In the course of an hour we found ourselves at the top of our last prize.  We seated ourselves on the rocks to rest, while I took a glorious nap on an hour.  I heard the alarm, that the enemy were advancing on us around the side of the mountain.  Our company, the immortal “phoenix.” Was ordered out alone to hold them in check; but it was only a small body who were trying to coax us out under the guns of the first, and within reach of about 500 lancers who were at a halt about a half mile off.

Balls began to fly thick as we advance; every bush has a Mexican in it; they upon us from the castle; the lancers move off.  We get under cover of nooks, bushes, and low places, and whenever we get a good shot at a fellow in or near the castle, cut loose.  Volley after volley is fired at us, but we lay low and they shoot high.  They are coming out of the castle, about 500 strong, to make an attack on us.  One of out 12-pound howitzers has been hoisted on the hill in the rear, and the shells commence whizzing over our heads.  Everyone tells, bursting on and in the castle.  They advance on us; we are ordered to close at the right on the top of the hill, and fall back into a ravine one hundred yards distant.  We did so in great order, firing several times as we retreated.  The Mexicans came at us with a yell; the battle grew hot.  The word charge was given when the regulars in reserve came to our aid, and on we rushed, sweeping them and the castle at the same time; and, as usual when we entered the door of the castle, which we had stove, they ran out at the other; but we chased them to the edge of the town, pouring in a deadly fire upon them.  We do not know the number of dead on the Mexican side, but counted 21 in lot.  We lost one noble fellow, as good and brave a spirit that ever moved in the army.  We also had three wounded in this mornings fight.  The day before our company lost one and had four others slightly wounded.  Some have caps, some jackets, and others guns marked with balls.  Of the Wednesdays fight and capture of the town, I will tell you when I see you again.  This latter was a battle on the house tops.

Over 9000 Mexican regulars have already left town, and God only knows how many are in line to leave tomorrow.  Including citizens who turned out to fight, they must have had two men to our one, and perhaps more.

I saw Haile several times during the fight, riding about quite indifferent to the balls which fell around him.  Although he did not run into danger, he did not appear to try to avoid it when it visited him.

We are in a splendid house near the plaza, and have a plenty to eat; thousands of oranges, apples, and other fine fruit.  I forgot to tell you that our brigade marched up to receive the big Mexican fort, with six guns, and raised the big American flag on it, fired salutes, marched out about 2,000 yellow skins, and gave cheers for the star spangled banner.  Had 2,000 Americans been in this fort, half of Mexico could not have wiped us out of it.  We took a mortar in town the next day after taking the castle, and fired one of our shells into the square from it, killing and wounding over thirty Mexicans.  Most of the Mexican soldiers or half of them nearly are married men and have their wives with them.  Between 800 and 1,000 went out with a division of 1800 soldiers yesterday.  It looks bad to see the Mexican army marching off in this way, ready to give us a fight another time, but I believe Gen. T. acted wisely, and has saved a thousand lives which would have sacrificed in the taking of the rest of the fortifications and town.  [MJK]

NNR 71.154-71.157 November 7, 1846 letters from Lt. Henry Little and other officers at Monterey

      The following is an extract of a letter from Lieutenant Henry Little, of the U.S. Infantry, (son of the late Col. Peter Little, who so long represented the District in Congress.) The letter of Lieut. L. was written to his family in this city, of course not for publication, but as everything in relation to the brilliant affair at Monterey is of grossing interest, the letter has, at our request, been furnished to us, and from it we make the following extracts:

Monterey, (Mexico,) September 29th, 1846.

          I wrote you a letter from our camp at Seralvo, and I believe I mentioned that it was pretty generally thought there would be no fighting here.  After leaving Seralvo we took upon our line of march through the mountain passes, surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.  On encamping the second night, the mail reached us and brought me -----‘s letter, dated I think in August, (for I destroyed it going into battle.) The next day we reached a town called Marin, which was deserted by a body of the enemy’s troops on the advance of ours.  We remained there all day for the whole army to concentrate.—

From the belfry of the church we could see Monterey, about 22 miles distant.  The rising and setting of the sun in the mountains exceeded anything I have ever seen, and by lovers of the beauties of nature, was indeed hailed with delight.  One will no doubt read descriptions of our march in the papers from abler pens than mine, as several contributors to different newspapers accompany the march.  On the second days march from Marin, and about 6 or 8 miles from here, our ears were saluted by the firing of artillery.  It afterwards proved to be the town firing upon General Taylor with the advance guard, who were reconnoitering the place.  This of course settled all doubts with regard to a fight.  The town was evidently fortified, and strongly too.  As proved on closer observation.  The strength of the enemy’ forces could not of course be known, but supposed to be large or they would not make a stand.  The army encamped that night about three mile from the town, on a little stream called the Walnut springs.  The army had been previously divided into three divisions, the 1st under General Twiggs, the 2d under Gen. Worth, the 3rd under Gen. Butler. On Sunday the 20th inst. the 2d division consisting of the artillery battalion, 8th infantry, 5th and 7th infantry, one company of Louisiana volunteers, two battalions of light artillery, and some Texas Rangers marched out of camp to take position in the rear of the town, preparatory to storming the fortified hills and Bishop’s palace the next morning.  We marched until near night when very heavy rain commenced and drenched us all to the skin; soon after we halted for the night, and lay on the ground shivering with cold.  I was fortunate enough to get my cloak, a brother officer and myself contrived to cover ourselves with it, and with a stone for a pillow, and the broad canopy of heaven over us, endeavored to get some rest.  At daylight we again commenced our march and soon being in range of the enemy’s guns, they commenced throwing round shot and shells at us, but for some time did no damage.—Soon the head of our column came up with a body of Mexican troops, consisting of lancers and infantry.  After a slight resistance and some loss, they fled, and with some delay we still continued our march.  The road was directly under fire, and they took pretty good advantage of it; their shot fell around us, and one officer (Captain McKeavet, 8th infantry) was killed and several men wounded.  We were then moved out of reach of their fire and soon after two hills from which they had been firing at us were stormed and taken-thus ended the operations on our side of the town the first day.  Our loss was very trifling indeed.  On the other side of the town our loss was very great-some nine or ten officers of the regular army wre killed and I do not know how many volunteers.  A great number of wounded also.-The loss among the men was also very great; I have not heard the exact number.

      That night I was on guard on the road leading into the town.  It was as dark as a pitch, rained nearly all night; I was cold, hungry, fatigued, and wet through, not allowed to have a fire, and I thought I never spent so miserable a night in my life – not even my coat to cover me.  The next day another hill and the Bishop’s palace were taken, and the next day (Wednesday) the town was attacked; the streets were barricaded and fortified, the tops of the houses leading to the main plaza covered by their soldiers.  The roofs of the houses are flat, with a wall of masonry around them, which makes a capital breast work.—And here we fought them, driving them from street to street and house to house- the cannon on both sides were raking the streets with grape shot.  We had nearly driven them into the main plaza when night came on.  The next morning early the firing recommenced, but lasted a very short time, when the enemy sent in a white flag offering to surrender on certain conditions, After much consultation, lasting nearly all day, the terms of surrender were settled.

   -------- I have ever been very brief in my account of the foregoing actions, as I know you will see a full account of them in the papers.  It has been another glorious achievement of our arms, of which every American will feel proud.   The Mexican soldiers have all gone, and my regiment is encamped in the grand plaza.  We have pretty comfortable rooms assigned to us, and after so long living in the streets, I assure you I feel quite comfortable with a table, chair, and bed.  I am told the Mexican forces amounted to about 8000 regular and 3000 irregular troops, with about 40 pieces of cannon of different sizes.  This is indeed a most beautiful place, and some of the gardens almost come up to my idea of Eastern magnificence.  They abound in delicious fruits, and we revel in oranges, pomegranates, grapes, &c. The view from on of the hills is one of the finest things I ever saw.  The valley in which this town is built extends for nearly thirty of forty miles, and looks like a beautiful garden.


The Baltimore Battalion

Extracts of letters of officers belonging to the battalion to our friends.

      The following we take from the Patriot.

Camp near Monterey, September 25, 1846.

      We arrived here on the 20th inst.  and when within three miles of the city we were saluted by a brisk cannonading from the enemies batteries-they fired upon our advance guard and general staff.  We of course countermarched, and encamped within sight of the city.  On Sunday we went out, and returned with out doing anything, the enemy fired upon us—not a shot returned.  Early on Monday the troops were assembled in battle array.  I cannot picture the horrors of the day to your mind, and am thankful that al All –wise Providenee has spared me the fate that many a noble has met with.  Four officers belonging to the army fell near to me, among them Col. Watson, for whom a nation might mourn.  He is no more.

      In a desperate charge against one of the Mexican forts he fell mortally wounded.  He handed his sword to lieut. Bowie, and died with a smile on his face, that indicated more than the tongue could tell.  He died a brave and gallant soldier.  The last words which he uttered were: “Men, your general leads you- who would not follow?”  These were uttered seeing an officer pass who, it is presumed, he, in the expiring agony of death, took for gen. Taylor.

      I deeply regret that Col. Watson was not spared to enjoy the victory with us.  Poor fellow he is gone, and I hope his country will take care of his wife and children.  It will be great loss to them.  So hot was the battle, that we were unable to take the body of our lamented colonel from the street, till nearly 48 hours had elapsed.  We buried whim in a brick house within about 400 yards from where he made a charge with the battalion.  A very singular circumstance occurred while the act was in the act of preparing the grave: a ball came and took his head off; and instead of burying one, we had to have another dirge for the poor soldier. Such is war.

      We have lost a number of men, but nothing appears so horrible to me as those men who have their arms and legs taken off.  I never before imagined what a battlefield was-never thought it like this.—We have some noble fellows in our battalion- instead of being privates they should be generals.-They charged three forts and succeeded in taking them, but many who were foremost are now numbered with the dead.  We passed the forts on Monday and got into the city.  I left my tent determined to surmount every obstacle.  I knew we had eyes looking upon us that had jealousy in them, and we determined to lead the leaders.

      You would not suppose that any one could live in this lane or street which we were fighting.  Three batteries were constantly playing upon us.  Muskets, rifles, and every weapon that could be brought to play was bearing upon us.  The lanes became so dense with dead men and horses, that we had to tread upon them in passing.  The Mexican lancers, not satisfied by seeing the poor fellows wounded upon the ground, must revenge themselves by thrusting their lances into their bodies.  Many of the lancers, however, in turn were made to bite dust.

      Every one thought I was killed.  My horse was found with blood upon him and brought to camp, and finally they sent out to find me, when I discovered sergeant major Day holding my charger near the fort.  I called out and told him to tie the horse to a bush and take care of himself, three forts all the time throwing grape shots at us.  I finally managed to get charge of twenty three prisoners, which our men found had retreated from the fort to the tan yard.- Among them were three officers.  You may be sure we had to run for it, regardless of the lives of the prisoners.  All the forts opened upon us, and such a dodging of balls you’ve never heard of.  I had often heard of getting out of the way of balls, but never believed it before.  Every time while we were running to the camp with our prisoners, as we saw the flash of the old twelve-pounder, down all would go upon the road, get up again and run forward.  At every flash the Mexicans would fall as flat as flounders.

      It is thought that our enemy had some French artillerists among them, as they fired with great skill.  Yesterday they fired at a single Texas Ranger, struck his horse and broke the poor man’s leg, so that it had to be taken off this morning.

      On Tuesday gen. Wool, I understand, wished a suspension of hostilities until he could bury the dead, which was actually refused by the Mexicans, although the truce asked for was only for two hours.  It soon came our time to refuse.  They wanted, as they said, to remove the women and children out of the city.  This was refused.  They were told, if they continued hostilities we would remove the men.—They, however, came to terms last night.

      The slightest wound here, I might say is worse than a mortal one, for the wound is soon filled with worms, and in spite of all physicians can do, the wound cannot be kept clean of them.  They abound in great abundance and of almost every imaginable species.

      I am heartily tired of Mexico, and but for the duty I owe to my country, would be the bearer of this letter.  You can get nothing without great difficulty.

      Our fare has been exceedingly bad.  The provisions which the government allows to soldiers are anything but good.  Contracts are given to political men, and they put such trash upon our troops as Negroes would not eat it in the south- the pork is fat that lean is considered a great rarity;-flour and crackers without worms, are so scarce.  In fact the only thing relishable I am able to get is corn, occasionally.  On the march through this country, I sometimes get a hold of an old hen, and it seemed old enough to be mother to the chickens that crowed in the days of Hamlet’s father.      I have just been informed that on of the Ohio men who received a wound in the arm, and which I bound up with my handkerchief during the battle, was stabbed by one of the infernal lancers while resting himself on the chaparral, whither he had gone to get out of the way of the shot.

      The Mexicans have fought hard-very hard.  No city could have been better forfeited than Monterey, and none but Americans have fought as we have.  Nothing but the principle of “never give up” and our go-ahead business that makes us a people defying nations in quiet arms.  From what I have seen from observation to day, there is no place so well calculated, in regard to power of defiance as this.  In natural advantages I am confident, it has no equal.—Here the Spanish and French forces were separately defeated, and once the combined forces of the two nations.

      You can tell Mr. Rodgers that Seth is well.  We left William Hickman at Camargo with Dr. Miles and about thirty of our men.  Hickman was not in the battle owing to his sickness.  Tell Mr. Boyd that his son is well and makes a first rate soldier.

      A lancer got after Henry Norris- he ran until he came to a fence, and then leveled his musket and dropped the gentleman from his horse.  He was struck so hard that he never knew what hurt him.  Mr. N. is a great boy.  He says he was never more frightened and that he thought he was a “goner.”

      Please say to John Glenn, esp. that capt. Kenly is well and one of the foremost in the battle-that he was far ahead of his company in the charge.

      A poor old soldier named Kelley, who says he is acquainted in Baltimore, has had his ankle broken by a cannon ball, and will probably lose the leg.  Remember me to all your friends and believe me,

A Baltimorean

        Monterey 26th Sep., 1846

      My dear sir:  The American arms are once more victorious after one of the most glorious contests on record.  The enemy fought us five days and surrendered yesterday  The city of Monterey, with all its public buildings and records; its cathedral, armed to the dome; its plaza, a complete net work of masonry, in some places eight feet thick; its distilleries and tan yards, all turned into forts, and in our hands, impregnable; besides five regularly built forts of the strongest kind-all are ours- 42 pieces cannon, mortars, howitzers and 18-pounders; small arms and ammunition innumerable, together with a large number of prisoners are also ours.  Monterey, the place where has heretofore been invulnerable- the spot where she once defeated the combined forces of Old Spain and France, 17,000 strong, has fallen into our hands.  The regular and volunteer infantry fought like lions charging in several instances right up to the fort walls, six foot thick; jumping and wading the dykes and ditches; climbing the walls and shooting the cannonries at their guns, without any support from artillery whatsoever.  Such a thing was never heard of before.  Our battalion charged upon the city with three forts pouring a continuous cross fire on us, while every roof, window, and door sent forth one uninterrupted stream of musket and rifle balls; bomb shell, 18, 24-pounders, grape, canister, and round shot of all sizes fell around us and passed over us in millions and many a gallant heart that beat high on the glorious 21 September [?] around and within the city of Monterey.  Honored be their memory.  The brave and chivalrous Col. Watson, after making two different charges on the city, after the 3d infantry regiment of regulars and flying artillery had retreated as ordered, on his return to the eastern section of the city, and while again charging on a fort, tannery, and distillery, fell mortally wounded with a musket ball through his neck and separating the jugular vein.  He never spoke, but died in three minutes and lies buried in a grave with officers of the army, 40 feet from the upper fort.  It was reported that our gallant captain, now Colonel Stewart had fallen early in the action, but I found him twice downtown in the thickest of the fight, while death was claiming many around him, ultimately leading and urging is own men and others (for we were all huddled together) to another charge, or directing and pointing out the best shelter a mud hole, hedge, fence, or sapling would afford.  He made a gallant stand after we were ordered to retreat, killing with his own hand an officer and driving back, with a few more, a larger body of lancers who were charging among the volunteers.—

He succeeds to the command of the battalion by seniority, and with, I may say, the universal approval of the officers and men, and Gov. Pratt would do great injustice to the son of an old defender, to a brave and cool officer and warm hearted gentleman, were he to entertain for moment the idea of commissioning any other person as colonel.  Captain Boyd of the Chesapeakes was also reported to have fallen early in action, but I saw him soon afterwards bravely leading his men up the cannon’s mouth, followed by volunteers from others regiments.  Capt. Kenly, bore himself gallantly in the fight, also pressing into the very thickest of the fray; and capts. Pipers and Waters both behaved well. Capt. Bronaugh’s  were on the guard and not in action.  The 1st sergeant in Capt. Waters’ company, (Orderly Trescott, a man about 42 years of age,) and whose place is at my elbow in line, had his head blown about 40 feet in the air by a 12 pound shot.  There are eight men in my mess.  William P. Alexander, one of them, has not been recognized since the action of the 21st.  The lancers killed all the wounded and I fear he had been buried without being recognized.—Robert Caples, another, was mortally wounded, I fear in the groin- the ball was taken out of the back.

      Malcolm Wilson, another, was wounded in the arm by musket ball.  Three out of eight killed or wounded; besides, W. G. H. , another, was in the first fort taken all night, and R. W. R., another, after charging on the fort once and down town twice, was cut off, and taken prisoner, but succeeded, two hours after the Americans had retreated , by the aid of a Mexican officer, in making his escape, running the gauntlet of three batteries without receiving a scratch.  After being forced into the little shelter which a small hole in an open field, raked by three forts, afforded, raising my head a few moments after, I found forty lancers with one hundred yards of my right, and 5 or 600 hundred between me and the American army.  Knowing that their mode of warfare is to show no quarter, and cut the throats of the wounded, you may know I did not feel comfortable, and was glad to see Gold and Freburger, the only two of our company on the field.  I feel grateful God that my life was spared in such hope less circumstances, and a general feeling of gratitude to the Almighty God of battles pervade our men.  We had to run three miles in making the different charges.  Poor Watson said to me a few moments before he fell, “Who will now dare say that American volunteers cannot be depended upon in any fight.” They were the last words I heard him utter, being separated from him when wounded.  Albert Hart, our color sergeant, has lost an arm, and the flag staff of banner presented to the brave Stewart, by the ladies of Baltimore, through the Old Defenders, has a wound upon it, from the same ball.  That flag was the first and only that floated gallantly I n the breeze yesterday from the first fort taken from the enemy.  Joseph Files has lost an arm, and William Lee was wounded slightly in the abdomen.  I merely mention the killed and wounded within our company, knowing that you will see an official list.  General Worth, with two brigades, was led around by a secret pass behind the town, (by a Mexican to save his neck,) and coming into Saltillo road, cut off the enemies supplies and utterly surprised him by a brisk cannonading and bombardment in his rear.  Unfading laurels are due to Worth for his scientific, soldierlike and highly praiseworthy part in the bloody battle of Monterey.  The fight commenced, on our part, Monday morning early and ended late Wednesday night.  They had fired upon us, however, for three days before, but with little success.  Our glorious little battalion has covered itself with honor and with the exception of a very few, who will be duly reported, every individual seemed to think the result depended on him.  All in Captain Stewart’s company not here mentioned as wounded, escaped unhurt and are well.  An armistice had taken place for eight weeks, and we hold this whole country as security for the expenses of the war.  It is said the enemy were 14,000 strong at least, and our forces in the field were less than 6,000.  I had forty odd wounded Mexicans placed under my charge by Col. Stewart night before last.  Miserable objects of compassion some of them are, and they and the stench of the dead lying around the damp, the dirt, and the want of food for almost eighteen hours, almost overcame me.  Monterey is the strangest place naturally I ever saw with the eye or in print.  There is an open plain, three to four miles long or four or five miles wide in front, except a little range hills, about forty feet high, behind which the town lies.  In the rear, and on the right and left, the mountains back right up to it, and rise several hundred feet high abruptly and almost perpendicularly, while the only pass is through a mountain gorge directly in its center.  I was within ten feet of Gen. Taylor, in the town, on the 21st.  He was as cool as a cucumber, and ordered us to pass into the city and break open the houses.  God knows how any of us got out.



      Letter from a Baltimorean commanding one of the companies of the Baltimore volunteers:

      Monterey, Sept. 27, 1846.

     I should like to give you a full account of the operations of our Army from the time we reached this town until it was forced to capitulate, but have neither the time nor space to devote to it.  I shall therefore only speak to the part that our battalion played, including the actions, thoughts and reflections of one of its members, your old friend and humble servant.  On Monday last, the 21st, (after having been under arms a portion of the previous night exposed to a heavy rain,) at 7 o’clock, A.M., we marched for camp with two companies of the 1st Infantry, and after an hours hard marching, we issued from a cornfield directly in front of a battery, or rather fort, of some six or seven pieces of artillery, and crowded with infantry, which opened on us the moment the head of our column made its appearance.  We were within point blank range, and I, for the first time, heard the whistling of shot.  Our battalion was immediately formed in line of battle under this fire, and we were ordered to charge.  Forward I went, cheering and waving my sword, and the men came after me gallantly.  When within a hundred yards of the trenches I looked back to see who was following, being anxious to know the men.  Judge of my astonishment when I beheld the four companies of regulars marching by a flank to the right.  I saw Col. Watson shouting, but as to hearing a command, that was an impossibility, owing to the deafening roar of the cannon and musketry.  I saw the head of our line changing its direction, and I knew at once that the point of attacked had changed, and ran at the head of the company to intercept the head of the column.  I reached just as Col. Watson was dismounting from his horse, which the next moment fell from a shot.  The colonel cried to the men—“Shelter yourselves, men, the best way you can.”  At this time the Battalion was scattered over a space of about an acre, and the men were lying down, the shot in most instances flying over our heads; but the guns were soon depressed, and the shot began to take effect.

      I was lying close to Colonel Watson, alongside of a hedge, when he jumped up and cried out “Now’s that time boys, follow me.”  I was up and after him in a second, my men following me.  We were now in a street or lane with a few houses on either side, and within a hundred yards of three batteries which completely ranked, in addition to which two twelve pound guns were planted in the Castle on the right, and completely infiladed the whole distance we had to make.  Add to this the thousand musketeers on the housetops and in the barricades at the head of the street up which we advanced, and at every cross street, and you may form some idea of the deluge of balls poured on us.  (Bear in mind that the four companies of regulars were now with us, the one intermingled with the other.) Onward we went, men and horses falling at every step.  Sheers, shrieks, groans of words of command added to the dim, whilst the roar of the gen. was absolutely deafening.

      We advanced up the street under this awful and fatal fire nearly two hundred yards, when we reached a cross street at the corner of which all who had succeeded in getting this far alive halted, ad if by mutual consent.  I was shaking Col. Watson by the hand, whilst he was complimenting me, when a shower of grape, round and canister shot came from the corner above, and five officers, fell, and I do not know how many privates.  Each man sought some place of apparent shelter.

      I sat down on the ground with my back to the wall of a house.  On my left two men torn nearly to pieces.  One of them was lying flat on his back with his legs extending farther in the street than mine.  Crash came another shower of grape, which tore one of his wounded legs nearly off.  He reared up and shrieked and fell back a corpse.  I never moved for I was satisfied that one place was as good as another.  Directly opposite to me was a Brevet 2nd Lieut.  Aisquith; on the right hand corner was Lieut. Bowie, also of my company; and close to me sat Colonel Watson, and Adj’t .  Schaefer.  In a few minutes I saw our color sergeant, Old Hart, come past with his right arm shattered (it has since been amputated) and in a few minutes came our Battalion Flag, borne by one of the other color guards, our glorious stars and stripes; and note this, that it was the first American flag in the city of Monterey-an honor which we know belong to our battalion.

      When I saw the flag, not withstanding the novelty of the scene around me, a thrill of pleasure shot through me and I felt as if I could die, for I had made up my mind to die, and no man there ever thought for a moment that he would get out alive, and most of them did not.  The firing still continued without the slightest intermission whilst we remained at the memorable corner, which was perhaps for fifteen minutes.  When we were ordered to charge up the street a slight hesitation was manifested by both regulars and volunteers, but the officers sprang to the front in double file, I being along side of Colonel Watson.

      We advanced, suppose, fifty yards when Col. Garland, of the Army, ordered us to retire. —We still advanced, and he again ordered us to retire, adding this time, in good order.  I now became separated from Col. Watson, and never saw him again.  He took the left hand side of the street and I the right hand, and when I reached the open field where he had first ordered us to lay down, I was joined by Lieut. Aisquith, who, to my inquiry, answered that he had just left the Colonel, and supposed that he would soon be with us.  Seeing no other officer around me, I rallied the Battalion (remember that the firing was just as hot and incessant now as it had been at the firt) and led them down to make another attack on the fort, having made up my mind or take it or die in the attempt.

      Imagine my surprise-a most agreeable one, I confess, to find the fort in our possession, it having been captured by the Mississippi and Tennessee regiments when it turned its fire on us as we charged into the town.  I have not the slightest doubt that it was the charge made by the 1st infantry and our Battalion into the city which made the Mexicans retreat the Fort.

      I was ordered to shelter my men from the fire, and await further orders, I took them in the ditch and than clambered over the ramparts to take a look at what was going on.  My appearance was greeted with a dozen or so of musket balls, which accelerated greatly a retrograde movement, and I sat down quietly in 10 feet of dirt between me and the enemy’s shot.  This was the first spot I had been in which I was out of fire for more than two hours, and I was nearly exhausted.  One of my men now came up to me and reported the death of poor Col. Watson, whom he had seen fall from a musket shot through the neck.

      As well as I can learn, the Colonel, in retiring from the city, inclined a good deal to the left, and became separated from the main body of the battalion; that in company with Lieut. Bowie, who remained with him, he met another column advancing to the attack, joined them with a few men he had with them, and fell a few minutes afterwards.  He met with a gallant soldiers death-his face to the foe.  His loss is deplored by all who knew his generosity of heart and chivalry of character.  His loss to me, individually, is great, but to the battalion it is irreparable.—I know not how we will get along without him.—We have much, very much to contend against, and have ever since we left home.  But of all this more anon.

      We had been in the ditch for about a quarter of an hour whe Capt. Ridgely’s battery came up, also for shelter; but his appearance was the signal for the castle to open before us, which killed one of his horses on the very first shot, and wounded one of my men.  We were now ordered to support Captain Bragg’s battery which had taken position to cut off the lancers who had sallied out to intercept what they thought was our retreat.  We killed 5 or 6 of them, and the rest fled back to the city.

      We were again ordered to the Fort to be ready for another attack on the city.  Again the Castle opened on us and every shot told, and I never was s glad in my life as when I got into the old ditch.  But it was a short lived gratification, for a regiment of Mexican Infantry were firing on Captain Webster’s battery, and their balls raked the whole fort, ditch and all.  We were then ordered to join the Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee troops which were forming on the plain for another attack on the city.

      The attack was not made, although I was burning to have revenge, and from the time I last left the ditch until we were ordered back to the camp by General Twiggs, we were constantly under fire being in open view and fair range of the artillery in the gray castle.  I was under first one General and then another, until I became completely worn out, as well as my command, which had remained so faithful with me.  I returned to camp as night approached, wearied in body and mind, but thankful to God for preserving my life through the perils of the day.

      Thus terminated, as far as our battalion was concerned, one of the longest bloodiest battles ever fought on this continent, and strange to say, our battalion only lost six killed and twenty wounded.  I had about thirty-eight men of my company in the fight, and two were killed and three wounded; yet every one of those that escaped has told me he did not expect to live through the day, and most of them had, their clothes struck by balls.

      I cannot realize that my loss was so small, so completely were my ranked raked by shot.  Above, below, alongside, between legs and arms, everywhere the balls whistles and howled.  The air seemed cut to pieces by the quantity the that the artillery hurled at us, and it would be childish to tell you how close they came to me, and what and how many escapes I had.  Others will hereafter tell you of the first days fight at Monterey, and now I tell you that I was in that fight and exposed to shot for nine hours.

      I have thus given you a hasty and ill digested account of my doings on the 21st.  I could fill fifty pages if I were to give you a detail of the whole week’s work which resulted in the capture of this important town; but I will stop short, for my back aches now from writing this on my knees.  Of my own company I cannot say enough.  I love them.  They stuck to me through every phase of fortune, and one of them, as he was dying, told me to write to his father and tell him, “he died like a true patriot.”

   [Balt. American

      The following letter we copy from the Washington Union:

-Camp near Monterey 27th September, 1846.

To the editors of the Union:

      You have, no doubt, had official information some days ago relating to the battles of the 21st, 22d, and 23d instant; and, without attempting to say anymore of the bloody conflict, I consider it due to Lieut. Taylor, or company B, under the command of Captain Piper, of the Baltimore volunteers to say that his conduct, during the three days fight, was brave and gallant, and that the is the gentlemen the recovered the dead body of our brave Lt. Col. Watson, under the heavy fire of the enemy.  To-day General Twiggs met the officers of our battalion, and conferred the honor of colonel commanding the battalion on Capt. James E. Stewart, of Baltimore city it being due to him as the senior captain; as also a reward of merit for his conduct during the struggle.  Gen. Twiggs also stated, in our presence, that the Baltimore Battalion through out had acted as brave and noble a part in three days’ struggle as any troops in the American army.

I am, dear sir, your very respectfully
K. Bronaugh, Capitan Comp. C.


NNR 71.157--11/7/1846 List of Killed and Wounded

List of Killed and Wounded.

A Washington correspondent of the Baltimore Sun furnishes the following extract of a letter from Captain Piper, of the Baltimore volunteers, to his brother Dr. Piper:“Col. Wm. H. Watson's body was brought into camp by Lieut. Taylor, assisted by privates Hyde and Simpson, who risked their lives under a heavy cannonade to rescue it from where it fell.“

The loss in our batallion during the battle is six killed and fifteen wounded, as follows:“Company A-Captain Stewart's- Joseph Files, wounded in the left arm, since amputated; Albert Hart, color sergeant, wounded in right arm, since amputated; Robert Caples, in the abdomen; William Lee, in the groin; Malcolm Wilson, in the left arm; and Wm. Alexander, in the leg.“

Company B-Captain Piper's- Patrick O'Brien, left killed; Wm. F. Powelson, 1st sergeant, wounded in the left wrist; and George Harold, in the right arm badly.

“Company D-Captain Waters of Washington--1st sergeant Truscott, killed by a cannon ball; Charles Yerst, wounded in the leg; A Parris, in the side slightly.“Company E-Captain Kenly- Alexander Ramsay, killed; Joseph Wharry, killed; James Henry, wounded in the left arm; Henry Elslen, in the thigh slightly.“

Company F-Capt. Boyd's- George A. Herring, son of Henry Herring, Esq., of Baltimore killed; Henry Clifford, wounded in the left arm; William Kelly, in the right foot, slightly; George Pearson, of Co. F, died on Monday morning, having been sick for 10 to 12 days.”

The Sun says-

"The above is evidently a full and authentic list of the killed and wounded, for which we are much indebted. It will be seen there is no reference made to Company C, commanded by Capt. Bronaugh, which was on camp duty during the battle."  [SCM]

NNR 71.160 November 7, 1846 Col. John Charles Fremont’s affair in California

          Col. Fremont- A letter from Monterey on the Pacific to the editor of the Alexandria Gazette contains the annexed notice of our interesting young countryman; Lieut. Col. Fremont.  The letter is dated July 20:

      “Col. Fremont’s party arrived here yesterday, having had some pretty hard fighting with the Mexicans and Indians.  They number about two hundred, and are the most daring and hardy set of fellows I ever looked upon.  They are splendid marksmen, and can plant a bullet in an enemy’s head with their horses at a full gallop.  They never think of eating bread, but live upon meat all the time. They never sleep in a house built on the ground, but a blanket around them, their saddle for a pillow, and a rifle by their side.  I should like to give you some more minute account of them, but time will not admit.” [MJK]

NNR 71.160- 11/7/1846 Letter of Col. W. B. Campbell

THE TENNESEE VOLUNTEERSLetter of Col. W. B. Campbell

        Camp near Monterey, Mexico, September 25,1846Dear Sir: I have not time, as the express leaves very shortly, to write you a letter, but only to let you know that an attack was made by Gen Taylor's army on Monterey on the 21st, which succeeded in part by taking one fortress and portion of the town on that day; and on the 22d and 23d, two other forts fell into our hands, and on the 24thGen. Ampudia sent in a white flag proposing terms. A conference was held yesterday which resulted in an armistice for eight weeks, and an agreement that the Mexican general should march off his hole army with their arms and six pieces of artillery. The stores to be given up to the Americans, and to-day at 10 o'clock, the main fortress is to be delivered up.For all this Tennessee has suffered most severely- my regiment went early into action on the morning of the 21st September, and was ordered to sustain some regulars who were said to be attacking a fort at one end of the city. When I arrived with them within point blank musket shot of the fort, no regulars were visible- they had filed to the right and taken shelter behind houses, and had got into the outskirts of town, so that my command was left exposed to the most severe discharge of artillery and musketry that was ever poured upon a line of volunteers- They bore the fire with wonderful courage, and were brought to charge in a few minutes, and rushed upon the fort and took it at the point of bayonet. It was most gallantly done. The Mississippi regiment sustained my regiment most gallantly in the charge, and came into the fight like valiant soldiers. We passed through the fort and into the town, but other well fortified places put a stop to our progress, and we had to keep up the fight from behind wallfences and houses all day.

The fort which we took has been in our possession ever since. Two other efforts were abandoned by the enemy on the 22d, and taken possession of by our men. On the morning of the 21st September, I marched to the attack on Monterey with my regiment, numbering 379, including officers, non commissioned officers and privates; and my loss during the day was 26 killed, 77 wounded, and 2 missing, supposed now certainly to be dead. This will show you whether we stood the fire, as our march all the time was inward or stationary upon the ground we had taken.I sent you a list of the killed and wounded in the action, that you may publish. I regretted that Capt. Whitfield's company could not have been with us, but one company was to be left, and he had the day before been on hard duty with his company, and was properly the one to be left behind. Myself, Lieut. Col. Anderson, Major Alexander, and Lieut. Adjutant Heiman, were on horseback, and I can say, that never did men act more promptly and gallantly than did Lieut. Col. Anderson, and Adjutant Heiman, and Major Alexander, until the last fell wounded, early in the action. The whole command acted nobly and bravely.

I am yours,
Allen A. Hall, ESQ.


NNR 71.164 November 14, 1846 “Union” discredits notion that volunteers are to be called, signified that Gen. Zachary Taylor has not been ordered to advance on San Luis Potosi, &c., reconcile to his remaining for the present where he is, impression that a peace is about to be effected

For some weeks past the public have been from time to time apprized by publications in the official journal, as well as from other sources of the highest authority, that the war was to be prosecuted with ore vigor and means of, “conquering a peace” speedily.  With this view it was, that the instant information was received of the conclusion of an armistice, order were forwarded by express from Washington to General Taylor to terminate at once, to push on with the army under his command.  The States, it was said, were to be called upon for the residue of the 50, 000 volunteers.  Mexico was to be invaded at some point nearer to the capital than that prescribed as the route from the Rio Grande.  Tampico was to be attacked by the squadron-the most imposing front was to be assumed in every direction, and effective, striking demonstrations given to Mexico, that nothing but a speedy peace could save her national existence.

      Suddenly, however, if any confidence is to be placed in letters from Washington, a very different course has been concluded upon.  The “Union,” without contradicting that orders to terminate the armistice and advance with the army beyond Monterey, now indicated that general Taylor has discretionary powers in the premises and appears reconciled to his so exercising that discretion as to remain for the present where he is.  The department of War, in reply to a tender of volunteers from Delaware, officially announces that no more volunteers are to be ordered out at present.  Preparations for another descent upon the coast of Mexico would seem at least to be differed for the present.

      There are various conjectures as to the cause of this sudden change.  Some attributed it to a renewed prospect of negotiating with Santa Anna or the approaching Congress of Mexico, since they have been beaten out of Monterey, and have lost California.  Others think it impossible that remonstrance’s at an attempt to conquer and dismember Mexico, may have arrived from some of the powers of Europe, since the rejection of offers to mediate a peace.  Others attribute the change to the ascertained expense of the war and the financial difficulties already experienced by the treasurer in providing funds- and others again refer it to the result of recent elections and that probability that an opposition majority will be elected to the next house of representatives.  Quite possibly all these conjectures may be erroneous. [MJK]

NNR 71.164-71.165 November 14, 1846 letter on the campaign against Mexico

           The following extract is quoted by the Monterey correspondent of the New Orleans Picayune as containing the views of an officer of rank and experience in the army of invasion; and with this we conclude for the present:

      There never was a notion so much mistaken as ours in regard to that of Mexico.  I mean in respect to its military resources.  The people are warlike, and have an abundant supply of munitions of war.  Our battles with them improve them as soldiers.  Our invasion is held by them in abhorrence. And has united all classes in determined resistance against us.  The battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de le Palma, and of Monterey with their frontier army.  from this place onward, if we have to march on further in the direction, we shall meet with their home army, made up of hardy mountaineers and a better class of soldiery.  So far I consider we have not injured their nation but done it a service, by defeating their old officers, thus causing their army to be placed under the direction of younger, more ambitious, braver, and more accomplished generals.  In fact, so far from the war being ended, it has just commenced.  Our position is critical.  Our supplies at Camargo, 180 miles distant, must be wagoned to this place.—This long line has no protection.  The ranchero troops, numbering 2,500 are behind us as guerrillas, and if they choose to act our trains must be cut off.  Although this is a rich valley, its supplies are inadequate to our wants except in beef, for any length of time.  Our army, or the effective part of it, is too diminutive to meet a strong force.  It is week, physically, for it has now been in campaign over thirteen months, with scanty clothing and much hardship and exposure.  The volunteers are numerous, but, with exception of those regiments commanded by late officers of the army, without discipline.  I suppose our whole army will muster, when all arrive from below, 9,000 men for they duty, and we her the Mexicans have one on the advance to meet us of 30,000 men.  I am convinced, and so is every officer in the army, that we have done wrong and committed an irreparable error in leaving the Rio Grande to march in this direction.  To end this war a more vital blow must be struck nearer the Mexican Capital; and that it, Vera Cruz should be taken by way of the Alvarado.  We are now over 700 miles from the city of Mexico, with a vast desert to traverse.  In a word, to make peace economically with Mexico some things must be undone, and our government must commence again.  Discharge your volunteers, and raise your regular force to thirty or fifty thousand men.  We have the fullest expectation of the most active guerrilla war against us.  Move where we will, the mountains and passes afford every facility to carry it on successfully and most disastrously for us.  Our army, as now situated, can now be compared o the French in Spain, when Joseph was driven out.” [MJK]

NNR 71.165 November 14, 1846 brisk trade at Matamoras, order of Gen. Patterson concerning persons trading on the Rio Grande

      The Rio Grande is now quite low but its navigation is still good-in fact, it is much easier as the current is not more than half as strong as when it overflowed the banks.

          Merchants apprise us that the trade has been quite brisk for the last few days and continues to increase, Traders have been arriving from Monterey and neighborhood in considerable numbers, and they speak of many others on the way and preparing to come.—They purchase pretty freely.

          In relation to the order issued by General Patterson, concerning persons trading on the Rio Grande, which was interpreted by many as being intended to prohibit the importation of goods, the Flag says General Patterson did not desire that it should be so understood and adds:

      “The order was intended for the government of masters and steamboats in receiving and carrying freight and passengers, and to render more positive and concise the prohibition against receiving on board any spirituous liquors.  As far up as this place, all legitimate freight can be brought without an order, but before sending it higher it is necessary to obtain the consent and an order to the effect from the commander at this post.  The object in thus making it incumbent on persons in order to proceed higher up with goods, to obtain the consent of the commander or quartermaster here, is to prevent individuals from following the army, and hanging around military posts who have no specific business.” [MJK]

NNR 71.165 November 14, 1846 arrival of sappers and miners at Matamoras

      The company of sappers and miners from New York, under command of Captain Swift of the topographical Engineers, arrived at Matamoras on the 23rd.   [MJK]

NNR 71.165 November 14, 1846 Mexicans evacuate Saltillo


      By the arrival of the steamship Galveston at New Orleans on the 2d instant, we have Galveston updates to the 30th ult.  The news of that date says-

      From Col. Davis we learn that the Mexicans have totally evacuated the whole country this side of San Luis Potosi.  The information has been derived from so many sources that there is now no doubt of this fact.  They left behind some forty dragoons to destroy fortifications that had been constructed at Los Muertos, a naturally strong and difficult pass on the road to Saltillo, and about five or six miles beyond the Rinconada.  They have also dismantled Saltillo, destroying whatever might be of use to our army, and which they could not take away.  Thus there is nothing left for General Taylor to conquer, but a barren region of rugged mountains and thirsty plains, affording neither water nor provisions for the sustenance for man or beast, over a distance of two or three hundred miles, to San Luis Potosi.[MJK]

NNR 71.165 November 14, 1846 Gen. Zachary Taylor ordered to advance on San Luis, difficulty doing so

If, as has been said, General Taylor has orders to march upon San Luis Potosi, so as to reach that city by the end of November, the question arises how he is to traverse such a country as he will have to do, by a forced march at the rate of 15 or 20 miles per day?

      The only water on this route is in the Mexican tanks, which will doubtless be all broken up as the enemy retires.  To carry water sufficient to save his army and teams from suffering would probably require more horses, mules and oxen that are now in the army, all of which are required for the transportation of the necessary stores and munitions.  In making this retreat the enemy has doubtless adopted a wise policy, leaving behind them a far more formidable enemy for Gen. Taylor to encounter, (viz: this march) than he could ever find in their own arms and fortified towns.

      This policy has doubtless been dictated by the sagacity of Santa Anna.  It is stated on good authority that he sent orders to Ampudia to evacuate Monterey and all other places this side of the mountains, but that those orders were not received till after the battle.

      After leaving the troops necessary to garrison Monterey, Saltillo and other town, Gen. Taylor will only have an army of about 5000 men with which to penetrate into the heart of the enemy’s country, and far beyond the reach of any reserve upon which he might fall back in support, in case of necessity.- Such, we believe, is an account of the present position and prospect of our army, as derived from good authority.  Gen. Ampudia has been superceded in command, but the name of his successor is not remembered.[MJK]

NNR 71.165 November 7, 1846 correspondence between Gen. Zachary Taylor and Gen. Francisco P. de Morales respecting conduct of volunteers; Correspondence relative to supplies of provisions

      The Matamoros paper, the American Flag, of the 24th ult., says:

      Although several persons have called at our office within the last two days, direct from Monterey and intermediate posts, yet not one word of news do they bring not before published, except that preparations for future hostile operations on our side are rapidly progressing.  By the time the armistice shall have expired, everything will have completed to ensure success in future engagements or movements.—Of the doings of the Mexicans we can learn nothing accurate.  If any belief could be attached to the to the trading parties of Mexicans coming here from Monterey and vicinity, all their troops have been withdrawn from Saltillo and are concentrating at San Luis Potosi, where Santa Anna is stated to arrived.  A Mexican who arrived in town yesterday, states that there is no preparations making at the pass of Rinconada to dispute the passage of our army to Saltillo, and that Saltillo will not be defended.  It is but fair to presume that he knows no more in regard to the intentions of the Mexican Generals, than we do to the intentions of our own Generals.  It would take more than his assurance to make us believe that the passes through the mountains will be left undefended.

      Every thing has remained quiet and peaceable since the battle, both at Monterey and on the road.  The trains were going up without molestation.  The full extent of the American loss in killed and wounded was 480.  The climate favors the healing of the wounds, and many are recovering.  The general health of the troops is good.  Preparations are going forward actively for a renewal of hostilities after the expiration of the armistice- no belief was entertained in Monterey that the Mexicans designed to break it.  If they did, General Taylor was prepared for them.

      The flag contains a translation of a correspondence which tool place after the capitulation of Monterey between General Taylor and Governor Morales, in regard to certain charges made by the latter against the volunteers quartered in the city, of having murdered several Mexicans, and being generally disorderly in their conduct; and also concerning the furnishing of supplies for the American army.—After the capitulation, General Taylor had a conversation with Morales on the last mentioned subject, and subsequently Col. Whiting, Quartermaster General addressed the following to the Governor:-

      “General Taylor orders me to address your Excellency upon various subjects in reference to the conversation had with you the other morning when visiting his camp.

      He desires, in particular, that you will order the inhabitants of this province to furnish mules for burden between this place and Camargo.  Though we have a good number now employed, yet many more are needed.

      He also charges me particularly to say to your Excellency, that you will request or command the inhabitants to bring in their corn and deposit the same to a considerable amount in the city.  It is necessary that this corn should be brought in, and it must be, by your Excellency’s order of by force.  If procured by the first means, it will be paid for at the same price the Mexican government allowed; if by second the owners may look to their own government for redress.

      You will please to inform me officially; (we wish a speedy reply,) what the current prices of transporting each mule load from Camargo to this city, and the prices which the Mexican government have been paying for corn at this season.”

To this note of Col. Whiting, Governor Morales replies as follows.

      “Since this government had the pleasure of conferring with Gen. Taylor upon various subjects of importance, they have taken due measures to accomplish your desires, relative to the accumulation of corn and removal of effects from Camargo belonging to the American army.  I have to inform you that corn will be furnished, (as much as can be gathered) at five dollars per mule load, and also mules for burden, as soon as they arrive from the interior, where they have been sent on business, but ordered to return forthwith-with the understanding that the current prices for freight from this city to Cervalo is two dollars and fifty cents per mule load-to Camargo five dollars- to Cadereita one dollar and fifty cents- the same to the estates of Dolores and Conception, which are below Cadereita.

      Such being the case you will signify the same to General Taylor, adding at the same time that it will not be necessary to use force in procuring the object indicated, for there is no lack of desire to serve.

      With this motive I offer you my consideration and esteem.  God and Liberty.

Monterey, Sept. 30th, 1846.

Francisco P. Morales

Col. Whiting consented to receiving the supplies on these terms.  The flag says the prices are double those paid by the Mexican government.

      The following is what Governor Morales says in relation to the volunteers, in a note dated the 29th of September:

      “Multitudes of complaints have been made to this Government against excesses committed upon persons and property against Mexicans daily by the volunteers, in the service of the United States, and I am this moment informed that three of our citizens have been killed by them, without pity or any reasonable motive.  Only because they possess the power to do so.  Under such circumstances, it is impossible that society can remain in much security, as the most essential guarantees are wanting.  I have the honor of making this known to your Excellency, hoping that measures will be adopted to put an end to such atrocities in the future, and to carry into the effect the assurances given to the protection of the people.

      Repeating my esteem and consideration for your Excellency, I am, &c. &c.

“           On the 1st of October, General Taylor wrote in reply:

      “The communication of your Excellency, dated 29th ult., relative to excessive committed by volunteers in Monterey, was duly delivered.  Some delay has occurred in answering it, in order that I might communicate with the commandant of that post.

      It is with sentiments of regret I learn your just cause of complaint, founded upon the grounds stated by your Excellency.  Your Excellency must be aware that it is no easy task to keep such men in subjection, and although my great desire is to maintain good order, yet excesses have been committed, but I believe, none of grave character.

      The volunteers now in the city, will be removed in a few days, and by their absence, I hope all cause of further complaints will cease.  In the meantime, Brig. Gen. Worth will use all efficacious measures to maintain order in the city.  He is now invested with orders to this effect.  Your Excellency must be aware that my desire is to comply with the guarantees I have given, in the name of my government, relative to the security of persons and property.”

      In order to arrive with a better understanding with General Taylor, while his correspondence was going on, Morales, understanding that General Taylor had a knowledge of the French language, requested that correspondence be carried on in that language.  The old hero, however, determined to stick to the vernacular, and at the conclusion of the last of the above notes, he says:-

      “I take the liberty, at the same time, to add, that your Excellency has been misinformed in regard to my possessing a knowledge of the French idiom, and in consequence, you will please hereafter, as heretofore, receive my communications in English.”[MJK]

NNR 71.165-71.166 November 14, 1846 express mail with dispatches taken by Mexicans

Monterey, Mexico, Oct. 12, 1846

          GENTLEMEN:  We have received new from New Orleans up to the 25 ult.  It seems that there is no probability of peace being established for some time to come.  Lieut. Armistead, of the 6th infantry, has just arrived from Washington with dispatches for Gen. Taylor, but the instructions sent him are not known in the army.

          A mail which was sent from Camargo by a Mexican express rider for the army, about the 21st ult., and which, it is believed, contained important dispatches for Gen. Taylor, besides many private letters was taken by the enemy and conveyed to Ampudia, who received it on the day of the capitulation.  Whether the Mexican mail rider was killed, as is pretended, or carried the mail of his own accord to Ampudia, is not known; but certain is it that the mail is in the possession of the enemy.  After the Mexican army had retired to Saltillo, Gen. Taylor, hearing the loss of the mail, sent a messenger to Ampudia and requested him to return the private correspondence.  The self-appointed postmaster of our army replied, through a Mr. Faullac, that a mail had been taken and received by him, but that he had forwarded the bag to Santa Anna!  Mr. Faullac, however, hoped soon to have the pleasure either of sending back the private correspondence or bringing it in person.  This accounts for the many persons in the army not receiving intelligence from home when they knew it was due.  For instance, I have not received a letter from my family of a later date than six weeks ago.  It is hoped that to Ampudia and all his officers and wives and concubines and Santa Anna shall have read these letters, they will be returned to us.  The ladies who have husbands or lovers in the army will have the satisfaction of knowing that their letters have been read by the illustrious Ampudia.  It is hoped that our wives have written us very becoming letters, and that they have been mum on family secrets.—Happily for their feelings of delicacy on this subject, however, neither Mexican men or women can understand or appreciate the devotion which has been breathed forth in their letters to those who are dear to them here.  I know that I have at least a half a dozen letters in that mail, none of which will assist the Mexican government in the least in the war with us.  I would write to Pedro de Ampudia and ask him to do me the special favor to return them to me, only this, “corresponding with the enemy” is a shooting affair.  You may ask how the mail be entrusted to a Mexican, or to one man, to be carried a distance of one hundred and eighty miles through a country filled with rancheros, and particularly at a time when General Taylor was anxiously expecting instructions from Washington.  I will answer this, if not to your satisfaction, atleast to the best of my knowledge and understanding.  The economical quarter master at Camargo was enabled to hire the Mexican to run the gauntlet for fifteen dollars, where as if any escort had been sent up with it, the expense would have amounted to, just nothing at all.  No American citizen could be hired to take the mail  through alone for $100, but it should be obvious to any one that it is very important to risk a mail with such a chance.[MJK]

71.166 November 14, 1846 Texas volunteers disbanded at Monterey, their return to Texas

          The first part of this statement is not to be relied on.  There were no such accounts at Monterey on the 17th instant.  There is no such place as Labradores near Monterey, unless it be a small rancho—Governor Liano, it is known, was not there, because his whereabouts had been ascertained a few days before.  Salinas is much further than San Luis Potosi than Monterey and that part of the story is but the extension of the report current at the latter place ten days before the time mentioned.  As to the killing of the Texans at Lampasos, it is not improbable.  The troops from that state were disbanded at Monterey, and a number set off on the road to Salinas, Lampasos, &c., to Loredo on the Rio Grande.  They were without provisions for themselves, or food for their horses, a certain sum being allowed for each days expenses.  Their organizations was broken up, and they went off in parties, many without other arms but pistols and knives.  It is very probable they levied contributions on the people, and they got into difficulty.  At first, all the public arms were taken away, and it was not until General Henderson sent Colonel Hays to General Taylor, that the arms were restored to be delivered up to Bexar, in Texas,  Many men would not go to get them.[MJK]

NNR 71.166 November 14, 1846 General John Ellis Wool crosses Rio Grande en Route for Monclava


Monterey, Mexico, Oct. 16, 1846

A chance offers to send a line, which I must write in haste, as the gentleman who takes it will be off in a few moments.  Gen. Wool crossed the Rio Grande thirteen days ago on his way to Monclava.  A train of fifteen hundred mules arrived from Camargo a day or two since, with provisions.  Two thousand mules have been hired at this place for the use of the army at 37 ½ cents per day each.

          Lieut. Graham’s remains were followed to the grave three day’s since, by Gen. Taylor and nearly all the officers.

          No news yet from the first mail that was captured by the enemy.  Another large mail started from Camargo a few days ago (the 5th Inst.) which shared the fate of the first.  This makes two important mails that have been captured from us within a month.—The last was taken out of the mule train.[MJK]

NNR 71.166 November 14, 1846 Major Lear expected to recover from his horrible wound

          The wounded are doing well, better than what was at first anticipated.  Major Lear who was so horribly wounded through the mouth, the ball coming out at the back of the neck, shattering the jawbone and palate, will, it is hoped, recover.  His son, a young gentleman o twenty, is fortunately with him.[MJK]

71.166 November 14, 1846 death of Lt. Richard H Graham

          Lieut. H Graham, of the 4th infantry, died of his wounds last night[MJK]

NNR 71.166 November 14, 1846 Gen. William Orlando Butler recovering from wound

          General Butler, who was shot through the leg, is recovering fast, and begins to attempt, in his impatience to be on his legs again, to hobble about the floor.

          General Taylor keeps his own counsel respecting the nature of the instructions received from Washington.  The Washington letter writers probably know more about the it than a majority of the officers under General Taylor at the moment.  Something is brewing, however, and I can see that some movement is soon to be made, though none has yet been ordered.  [MJK]

NNR 71.166 November 14, 1846 Letter reporting that the Mexicans had evacuated Saltillo to stand at San Luis Potosi

          The following letter from the Commercial Times, states, as a fact, that the Mexicans had evacuated Saltillo, and intended to make their stand, if they stood again, at San Luis Potosi:

Camargo, Mexico, Oct.22, 1846

          Gentlemen:  In my last letter I intimated you that the evening was very quiet about Monterey, and the indications were in favor of a continuance of the calm until the terms of capitulation, or the return of Capt. Eaton, the aid of Gen. Taylor, from Washington city.  Up to the time of my departure on the 16th, nothing indicated any change in the state of things.  The discharge of the Texas troops and their departure caused the town to be more tranquil than ever.  Not many of the Mexicans had returned to the place, as they are yet afraid; but that will not continue much longer.

          Before my departure, the account of the departure of General Ampudia from Saltillo with the army was fully confirmed.  He proposed to fortify that town and make another stand:  therefore he called on the citizens to assist him.  They held a meeting, and the answer to his call was, Monterey was a town naturally easier of defense than Saltillo, that it was well fortified, and he had been driven out of it, therefore they would not expose their families and property to certain injury and danger.—The general then left, taking the road towards San Luis Potosi. [MJK]

NNR 71.166 November 14, 1846 Gen. Pedro Ampudia and the authorities of Saltillo, his official announcement of the surrender of Monterey


          The Washington Union states that dispatched have been received from the U.S. squadron off Vera Cruz.  Before the battle of Monterey, Ampudia boasted that the American army should be defeated, and that not one of our troops would be left to taste the waters of the Rio Grande.  And since the Mexicans were driven from Monterey, they are misrepresenting everything-making our loss to be 1500-and some say near 3000-and stating that they left behind them only about 6 pieces of artillery, not fit for use.  Private letters from Vera Cruz, however, appreciate the depth of the blow they have sustained-Monterey being considered one of the strongest places in the world.  A few numbers of the Locomotor of Vera Cruz, to the 8th of October, inclusive, have been received at the Navy Department.   The intelligence of the capture of Monterey is copied from other papers, with few comments.


      Most Excellent Sir:

  After a brilliant defense, in the course of which the enemy was repulsed, with the loss of fifteen hundred men, from various posts, he succeeded in possessing himself of the heights commanding the Bishop’s palace, and another to the south of it, and likewise a detached breastwork, called the Teneria, and continuing his attacks through the houses, which he pierced in a direction towards the center of the city, he succeeded in posting himself within a half gun-shot of the principal square, where the troops were posted, who suffered much from the hollow shot.

      Under these circumstances, I was requested by various principal officers to come to such terms that would diminish our losses: for to open our way with the bayonet, surrounded as we were by entrenched enemies, would have resulted in the dispersal of the troops, and nothing of the material would have been saved.  These considerations having been weighed by me, I also took into view what the city suffered, and would suffer, from the attacks by the piercing of the houses, as well as the destruction by the bombs; the scarcity of ammunition, which was beginning to be felt; the provisions which we were losing, as the enemies lines approached the center; the distance from our supplies, and finally that to protract this state of things for two or three days, even if it were possible to do so, could not end in a triumph, and I consented to open propositions, which resulted in the annexed terms of capitulation.

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

      With the greatest regret, the army withdraws from their capital, abundantly watered with its blood, leaving under the guarantee of the promises of the American generals the severely wounded and the neighboring population of the state, whose civil authorities will continue in the exercise of the of their functions.  Tomorrow I shall continue my march to Saltillo, where I will await the orders of the supreme government.  And in communicating this to you, I have the honor of reiterating the assurances of my highest respect.

God and Liberty!
Headquarters in Monterey, September 25, 1846.


NNR 71.166 Gen. Jose Mariano de Salas’ announcement of the loss of Monterey, and calling on Mexicans to rally


      Mexicans!  A government established against the will of the nation is interested in concealing from it events which are disastrous to it; above all, when the responsibility of their occurrences must fall upon the government.  A government whose sentiments and interest are no other than those of the nation, and which has emanated from the movement by which it threw off its oppressors, has no need to conceal anything from it, for the nation itself must combat for its preservation and for its honor.

      Mexicans!  Monterey has fallen.  It was not enough to defy death, as our valiant fellow-countrymen did for four days; it was necessary to do more, to defy want in every shape, and the insufficiency of means of resistance.  The intention of the enemy to occupy the whole republic is manifest; but the government is determined to triumph or parish with the republic.  Partial disasters are of no importance; the Spanish nation suffered much more in the space of six years, and the results of her heroic efforts, and the co-operation of all her sons, was that the bones of a half million unjust invaders whiten the fields of the peninsula.  Shall we become unworthy of independence, by not showing ourselves sons worth y of out fathers?  The independence was achieved by us alone, only after ten years of constancy; and it is not possible that an organized nation should show less strength than its oppressed sons, such as our first leaders were.

      Mexicans!  The time to act has come.  Will you suffer your population to be decimated, sending it to perish by the handfuls on the frontier, one to-day, another to-morrow, and to perish less by the enemies’ balls then by neglect?  The government will exert all its power in the defence of its rights; but it has a right to expect that the indifference or inactive contemplation shall not be the recompense of its plan of operation; for the nation will prefer that that not one stone will be left on another, rather than behold its sovereignty, its right and its temples trampled under foot.  The invincible general called by it to place himself at the head of the troops is resolved not to survive the dishonors of the country.

      Will it be less so?  No.  Our blood and our property will be the sacrifice that we offer up; and when you are in the full enjoyment of the rights which you claimed, I do not doubt of your co-operation, and with it we will snatch from fortune a complete victory, which in the end will ensure to us existence and honor.

Mexico, September 30, 1846.


NNR 71.167-71.168 November 14, 1846 Maj. Luther Giddings’ account of Monterey and its capture

      No mention is made in those papers of Santa Anna. Except that he has been ill with a severe constipation, from which he had recovered; and that, after he learned of the capture of Monterey, he wrote several letters to his friends reminding them of his advice to the government to withdraw the troops from Monterey.

      It is mentions in one of the papers, as some indication of public spirit, that the dealers in pulque (a kind of beer) in the city of Mexico, had requested the government to double the tax on that article, which would yield in an increase in revenue, in the capital, of a thousand dollars a day.

      The most exaggerated statements are made of the loss sustained by our troops at Monterey, one account estimating it to be three thousand.


      We publish to-day a long and interesting letter from Major Giddings, giving the most intelligible description we have yet seen, of the city of Monterey, its topography, its defences, and fortifications, the storming the place and its capitulation.  Lieut. Egry resigned a few days after the battle, and reached home last night in good health, but most heartily sick of the war!  He pronounces it a humbug, alike in its origin, design, and conduct.  Gen. Taylor, in his opinion, is really a great man, but in danger of being sacrificed by the feeble and inefficient conduct of the government at Washington.

      We have a private letter from an officer of the 1st Ohio regiment, which speaks highly of the coolness and gallantry of Lieut. Egry.  The Lieutenant gives a good report of the conduct of the Dayton companies-who stood for hours together exposed to the enemy’s fire, suffering a loss in killed equal to all the other companies of the regiment.  But not a man faltered or blenched at the death- shot that rained thick and fast around and among them.  Maj. Giddings was much exposed during the action, and won “golden opinions” from men and officers by his cool courage and self possession throughout.

      Colonel Mitchell being badly wounded, and Lieut. Col. Weller being sick of a fever, Major Giddings has the principal command of the 1st regiment, and will be promoted to the coloneley, in case of Mitchell’s resignation.    [Dayton Jour.


Camp near Monterey, Mexico,
Thursday, Oct. 1, 1845.

      Messers. Comly-Gentlemen: In my last letter from Comargo, I informed you that our army was about moving upon Monterey, at which place we expected to meet the Mexican forces.  We left Comargo on Sunday, Sept. 6.halted three days at Seralvo, and encamped before the walls of Monterey on Saturday, 19th Sept.  The first days of the march were void on interest; the road passing through a wilderness of thorns, broken up in places by immense chasms, hundreds of feet deep.  In these ravines alone, often mile apart, the heated and toil-worn soldiers found water offensive to every sense.  At Mier, the town so celebrated in the History of Texas border warfare-we caught the first glimpse of the distant mountains, and the following day, encamped on a pure, transparent mountain stream, called the Arroya Mier, the murmuring of whose waters made every heart bound with delight.  As we approached the mountains the country improved, and our camps were usually upon the banks of pleasant streams and amid groves of olive trees, whose branches were loaded with both flowers and fruit.  The whole of the vast region between the gulf and the mountains, seems to be thinly populated.  On some days of the march we did not pass a rancho or see a ranchero, (farmer,) the only visible traces of man and his religion, being the cross, which was erected upon almost every hill, and in every valley.  Upon many of these holy emblems were inscriptions in Spanish, requesting the prayers of the clergy for him who died or was murdered there.

      At Marin-two days’ march from Monterey-our army was concentrated, it having hitherto marched by divisions.  Here several handbills, printed in English, were scattered through the camp, signed Pedro de Ampudia, inviting us all to desert, and accept places in the Mexican army, or a free passport to the interior.  Our men, after reading the extra, concluded to visit Gen. Ampudia in a body, and accordingly we marched the next day to San Francisco, a small village about 10 miles from Monterey, and which all those through which we had previously passed, was deserted by all its inhabitants, who were not too poor to move away.

      The following day (Saturday, Sept. 19th) was the last march which many of our brave men performed.  Our regiment was on the rear upon that day, and ere we had fairly left San Francisco, we heard the report of heavy artillery in the direction of Monterey.  Supposing that the advance guard was engaged with the enemy the shout was-“Quick time!  Forward!” and for six miles the men ran, quickening the pace at every report, until we met a dragoon going to the rear, who informed us that the firing was from the town upon the mounted Texans, who had ventured within range of the enemy’s guns.  The American army of invasion, about 6,000 strong-horse, foot, and artillery-encamped that morning in a beautiful grove of live oaks, about 3 miles from the city;- a more suitable spot for a picnic could not be found in the vicinity of our own Dayton.  I am informed that this camp ground of the invaders (and from which I now write) is a place much resorted to by the elite of Monterey.

      The afternoon of the day of our arrival, and morning of the day of the following, were spent by our engineers in the reconnoitering of the defences of the city, which they reported to be splendidly fortified.  Almost everyone seemed to be disappointed in the strength of the place.

      In order that you may better understand the character of the conflict, which I shall presently attempt to describe, and appreciate the indomitable courage and resolution of our little army, as displayed in the “storming of Monterey,” it is proper that you should first learn of the position of the parties at issue.

      Monterey contains about 15,000 inhabitants, and is situated at the base of a lofty range of rugged mountains, called the Sierra Madre.  A branch of San Juan River divides the city in unequal parts, the larger and better proportion being between the river and the base of the mountain.  A gently ascending slope, covered in places with chaparral-with here and there a field of corn or sugar cane, spreads itself before the town.  The road by which our army approached, descends over this plain into the center of the city.  Standing upon the elevated grounds, midway between our camp and town, but little of the latter can be seen.  It is embowered in trees-a spire or white wall being, in some places, all that is visible through their branches.

      In front of the city, and about one fourth of a mile out, upon the plain, stands, solitary and alone, an immense fort, covering 3 or 4 acres of ground.  It s built of solid masonry, with bastions, ditches, &c.- and is one of those strong holds which, in the opinion of our military engineers, can only be taken by what they call regular approaches.  This fort is pierced for 32 guns, and commands every avenue to the city, over the plain upon the east.  It throws both shots and shells from its walls; and it was this fort (named afterwards by our boys-“The Old Colored Gentleman”-from its dingy appearance) that fired upon our advanced division on the day of our arrival.

       In the rear, or west of the city, rises, ridge after ridge, and peak after peak, the lofty Sierra Madre.  On the north of the city is a deep gorge in the mountains, through which is the road to Saltillo and Mexico.  This pass and the approaches to Monterey upon the side, are defended by a series of batteries placed upon peaks jutting out of the sides of the great Sierra, and by a strong and elevated fortress, located about halfway between the pass and the town- known as “the Bishop’s palace.”  It was through this pass alone, that the Mexican army could receive reinforcements or retreat with safety.  The city was protected on the south, by a chain of small forts, (six I think the number,) extending from the foot of the mountain out to the plain.

      In addition to these immense exterior defenses, almost every street and square of the city was barricaded, and raked by field pieces, and every house (being built in the old Mexican style, with thick walls and stone roofs) was a fortress.  These fortifications of Monterey (the position and strength of which we learned by cruel experience) were occupied by at least 10,000 regular Mexican troops, and defended by forty or fifty pieces of heavy artillery.  It will thus be seen that Monterey is one of the strongest places on the continent.

      When it is recollected that the assailants of such places should (other things being equal) be much more numerous than the besieged, you will perceive how great was the work to be achieved by our arms.  Indeed the Mexicans had the advantage in everything but the character of our troops.  The Anglo-Saxon race cannot be beaten by any other on the face of the earth.  The Mexicans having felt the power of our arms at Palo Alto and Reseca, had wisely retreated to one of their strong holds in the interior, knowing well that if we should be unsuccessful there, our army would be utterly destroyed: for had we failed it would have been impossible for us to retreat though the wilderness without provisions:- the first step backwards, would be our ruin.  Every ranchero between the mountains and the coast would have been encouraged to take up arms in defence of his bleeding country, and assist in driving back the bold invaders.

      Such was the position of affairs on the 19th of September.  We all felt that our safety could only be secured, by wresting Monterey from the Mexicans; and as our army was provided with a siege train, or heavy artillery for battering, the city was to be won by downright fighting and good luck; -the place must be carried by storm, and that too without delay, as every hour strengthened the Mexicans and weakened us.

      Accordingly on Sunday, the 20th of September, Gen’l Worth with his division 2,000 strong and the flower of the army, marched out of camp to secure possessions of the Saltillo pass and the heights on the north of the town.  In order to attract attention from Worth’s movements, General Hamer’s brigade made a feint upon the town, which was, however, unsuccessful, as the Mexicans sent out a body of lancers to the north to watch the movements of Gen. Worth’s division.  These lancers were driven back after some skirmishing-by the Texas Rangers, and the division bivouacked that night at the mouth of the pass and within range of the enemy’s guns, prepared to commence the conflict with the dawn of the morrow.

      On the following morning, Monday, Sept. 21, the drums in camp beat to arms, and the regiments were quickly formed.  The wagons were packed and one company from each regiment left to guard them.

       The 1st division of regulars under Gen’l Twiggs and Gen’l Butler’s division of volunteers (four regiments) were marched halfway down to the city and formed in line of battle behind the crest of the hill, which as before remarked slopes down to the walls of the town;-the regulars on the left an volunteers on the right.  A mortar (the only one with our army) had been planted here the night previous, and was engaged in sending bombs against the huge fort that communicated with the approach to the city from our side, the east.  They fell short, however, whilst the guns of “the old colored gentleman” were throwing round shot clear over our heads, and almost into our camp.  Duncan’s battery having accompanied Worth’s division, our three remaining batteries of field pieces (Bragg’s, Ridglely’s and Webster’s) took up position to engage the Mexican forts upon the south of the town.

      The battle commenced with a brisk cannonading on both sides, in which the enemy had much the advantage-our guns not being large enough to be effective in battering; their men were also concealed behind stone walls, whilst our men were in range of their smallest pieces.  The Mexicans excel in the exercise of artillery and indeed the battle was fought on their side, mainly with that strong arm of war.- For about one hour, our division remained in line, anxiously watching a scene so novel to volunteers, their hearts beating with wild enthusiasm, as they beheld the great superiority of the Mexican artillery.  Yes-tell it not at West Point, publish it not in the streets of Washington-the volunteers demanded to be led where veteran troops have often quailed—to the cannon’s mouth.  In the meantime, the first division of regulars had moved off from our left and became engaged with the defenders of the chain of forts on the south of the city.  They drove in a body of Mexican infantry, and in the heat of the pursuit were drawn in between two batteries which poured down upon them a shower of grape and canister, making sad havoc in their ranks, and cutting down thus early in the action, several of the most gallant officers in the service.  At this juncture, our division was put in motion.  Gen. Quitman’s Brigade, composed of the Tennessee and Mississippi regiments, hastened to the left to support the first division of the regulars.  One regiment of Gen. Hamer’s brigade, the Louisville Legion, being left to guard the mortar on the hill, either fortunately or unfortunately, did not get into action at all; whilst the other (1st Ohio regiment) faced to the left flank, and with a loud huzza, rushed down alone upon the center of the town to support Bragg’s battery, which had already been weakened by the loss of seventeen horses, and being in that quarter of the suburbs, was in danger of being captured.  For at least a mile, our regiment advanced under fire of the guns of “the old colored gentleman,” and entered the suburbs of the city, only to find itself raked on all sides, by batteries of whose location we were ignorant, and escopette balls from the tops of the houses, whose occupants were perfectly safe, as we could neither burn nor batter down their stout walls.  But notwithstanding the discouraging and disagreeable position (that of being fired at by an unseen enemy) in which our regiment found itself, the men grouped their way on cheering at every volley that descended upon them.  On we scrambled through the gardens and yards, until we finally reached a ditch and stone wall a few feet beyond and parallel to it, behind which we saw for the first time, some of the black rascals loading and firing off old rusty muskets at us.  This party rapidly retreated with some loss to a battery that was about a hundred yards in their rear, and which immediately commenced sending over and around us a perfect hail storm of grape shot.  Our men waded the ditch, and taking up a position along the wall, began to pick off the Mexicans, whenever their heads would appear above the batteries, or they would expose themselves in working their guns.  We held this position for some time, a few of our men being killed and wounded by the iron showers that were poured over and through some breaches in the wall.  Among the wounded here, were General Butler and Colonel Mitchell.

      At this period the scene must have been “grand and gloomy;” it was certainly very peculiar.  Gen’l Worth’s division was engaged in contending for the heights on the north of the city;- the first division of regulars with the Tennessee and Mississippi volunteers were storming the forts upon the south side, whilst our little regiment (we took about 400 men into action) stood alone in the center, clouds of dense smoke rolled over and through the streets of the town,-through which might be seen the flashes of the musketry, and the redder flames of the deep toned artillery.  In the meantime our people had succeeded in carrying two of the forts upon the left and the Mexicans retreating from that quarter, came up to the support of their center, and bringing around with them a field piece, commenced a raking fire upon our flank.  Our regiment having secured the object of its attack, viz: the safety of captain Bragg’s battery, was ordered to retire.  Our forces having gained a foothold on both ends of the city, the battle was from that time continued by us from those quarters alone.

      Our companies having become very much scattered by this species of Indian fighting in the suburbs, and the order to retire not being generally known, the regiment presented a very ragged and unmilitary front when it emerged upon the plain; so much so, as to embolden a squadron of lancers to charge it.—They it seems were concealed behind the large fort which continued to send us in quick succession its ugly and unmusical iron messengers.  It being impossible to form a square in time to resist this charge as officers had lost their companies and men their officers and the stragglers of other regiments both regulars and volunteers having joined our ranks,-our broken column was hastily formed in line, behind a brush fence which happened as a Paddy remarked-“to be very convanient.”

      On came the lancers dashing over the plain, spearing as they passed at full gallop, the wounded Americans who had been struck down by their deadly artillery, and were strewed like leaved over the field.  Had it not been for this dastardly conduct, I could have almost of imagined that the days of Spanish chivalry were revived, so much did these murderers with their lances and pennants and flowing parti-colored blankets, resemble the knights of olden times.  A single volley from our line emptied several saddles, and put them to flight.  The remainder of the afternoon our regiments remained in position, supporting the battery of Capt. Bragg, a target for the enemy’s artillery without being able to fire a musket in return.

      After hard days work, the settling sun saw us in possession off two of the forts upon the south side of the town, whilst during the day Gen. Worth had won all the heights and batteries on the north, except the Bishop’s palace.  At dark we returned to camp, weary and hungry, to prepare for battle the next morning.  Our men had not eaten anything since daylight, and many of them were so exhausted as scarcely to be able to drag themselves from the field.  As it was many of the companies came home only to sleep in the mud, without blankets or tents, the treacherous muleteers having lost their baggage somewhere upon the march.  The result of that day’s conflict was very unsatisfactory to our regiment.  It had been dreadfully exposed to the enemy’ fire, without being able to return it.

      The evening breeze swept up the mountain side-the clouds of smoke that hung over that beautiful city, and the silence which followed the darkness was almost as appalling as the thunders that heralded the morning.  That night was a gloomy one in our camp.  How great was the contrast between the evening before and then after the battle!  The surgeons were busy amputating limbs, extracting balls, dressing wounds; and all who had walked unmoved through the carnage of the field, then found time to weep for the groaning sufferers.  The loss of our regiment was 15 killed and 39 wounded.  Of the number killed, the company known in Dayton as the “Dayton Riflemen,” lost 5,-being one third of the whole number killed in the regiment.  Lieutenants Motter and M’Carter, of that company, were also wounded-but I am happy to inform their friends, they are fast recovering.  In Capt. Hormell’s company there were three killed.

      At daylight, on Tuesday morning, the battle was renewed by the occupants of the forts and batteries won on Monday.  Early in the day, another fort and some squares of the southern end of the town were wrested from the Mexicans, who fought with desperation over their hearth stones, and being acquainted with all the streets and the alleys of the city, had always much the advantage in position.  For 12 hours more our men sustained most gallantly this unequal contest, calling upon the “yellow villains” to come out from their stone walls, and give us a fair and decent fight.

      General Worth having been taken in succession all the batteries of the enemy, on the northern side of the city, and secured the Saltillo road, was seen in the afternoon to advance upon the Bishop’s palace or castle, which fortress was all that remained to the Mexicans in that quarter.  It was gratifying to see how quickly this strong hold was taken.  I have not yet learned the manner in which it was won, but to us who were looking on from the other side of the town, it appeared as if the Mexicans made a sortie, either to drive back our men, or to effect their own escape; but being met almost at the threshold by Worth’s column, were forced back, and Mexicans and Americans entered pell mell into the castle over the battlement of which soon floated the American flag.

      Thus the evening of the third day saw us in possession of all the strong holds of the enemy, on both sides of the city.  The “old colored gentlemen,” in front of, and the many interior defences of the town, yet remained to be taken.

      On Wednesday morning, Sept. 23d, Gen. Hamer’s brigade marched down to relieve the brigade of Gen. Quitman, which had been holding the position won from the Mexicans on the south side.  The battle raged with great fury during the most of this-the third day.  The Texan Rangers, having dismounted, entered the extremities of the city, now in our possession, and with their axes and rifles cut and fought their way from house to house, shooting, with unerring aim, every Mexican who ventured from their cover.  One of them told me that in one room he found 11 Mexicans, all shot through the head.

      The Mexicans were thus driven by inches toward the center of the city.  In the afternoon of that day Gen. Worth’s division descended from the Bishop’s castle upon the town.  In a few moments after, Duncan’s artillery was heard thundering in the streets of that quarter, advancing half a square at every discharge, driving the Mexicans towards their church and into the large plaza, which they had barricaded for a final and desperate resistance.

      During that day there occurred a few intervals of deathlike silence, in which some exhausted men sunk down and slept, whilst other untiring, reckless fellows, between their work, sang in concert popular negro melodies.

      Thus for three days the work of death had progressed in and around the beautiful city, whose groves of orange and pomegranate were stained with the blood of contending mortals.  That (Wednesday) night, our regiment slept, or rather watched in the forts.  The air was tainted by the dead bodies, that were scattered over the plain and in the streets and which were stripped in the darkness by the prowling rancheros.

      Early on Thursday morning and before it was light enough to renew the attack, a white flag was borne out to our fort, and a proposition to surrender sent to General Taylor in camp.  You will have learned ere this; the terms of the capitulation.  I scarcely know what to say of them.  It was important that we should get possession of Monterey upon any terms, but it is now certain that after another day we could have got it upon our own terms, and made prisoners of war of Gen. Ampudia and his army.  We had him in what is often termed a “tight place.”  The rangers, (of whom I should like to write more,) were much incensed at the capitulation; for as they said, “they had just gotten possession of all the high houses,” and could have slaughtered the Mexicans ad libitum.

      It is to be hoped that these terms were not given to Ampudia in pursuit of the wretched policy of conciliation.  If our government wishes to conciliate Mexico, our cause is a bad one.  If its object is conquest, then have the volunteers been much deceived.  They came here to punish Mexico in the most summary manner, for her aggressions and wrongs committed upon our people, and not by pursuing this sneaking policy of conciliation-this unpleasant mixture of war and peace, to plunder her of her territory.  It is true we have got possession of thirty or forty pieces of artillery, some tons of ammunition, and a lot of good Spanish cigars, which our idle soldiers are now smoking, but they have cost us in killed and wounded about 500 brave men.  The Mexican army and most of the citizens have left Monterey, whose streets are almost as silent and deserted as are ours at midnight.  Our army is still in camp-the wounded alone being removed to the city.

      Whilst the days are still exceedingly hot, the night have been exceedingly cold in this climate, and there is much suffering among many of our men who are without tents and blankets.  Indeed there are but few of them who would not be pleased to return home, as they say they have seen quite enough of the elephant.  I have neither the time nor inclination to describe any of the scenes of the battle field, -besides my letter as already grown to a tedious length.  It would however afford me pleasure to give you some account of a tour which a fellow Daytonian, (Mr. McC****) and myself made through Monterey on yesterday.—to tell you of the magnificence of the church, the beauty of the paintings, (to obtain one of which, I would willingly serve Uncle Sam a year,) and the splendor of Arista’s bath and palace gardens.

      It is reported here to-day that Gen. Ampudia has gone on with his army to San Luis Potosi, to assist Santa Anna in quelling a rebellion in that province.  In the meantime we shall await here the news from Washington,-peace or war!  If war, we shall fight another battle at Saltillo about Christmas.  Of this our government may be assured, we can hold Monterey and the country between it and the coast, if desired-against all Mexico combined.

Yours, &c.


NNR 71.168-71.169 November 14, 1846 Col. Weller’s report of the actions of the Ohio regiment in the action at Monterey


      I have the honor to report that the first regiment of Ohio volunteers, now under my command, was led by its commanding officer, Col. A. M. Mitchell, unto the attack made on Monterey in the 21st instant.- Notwithstanding the galling fire to which they were exposed for many hours from the batteries of the enemy, the loss has been much less than anticipated.  The whole force brought into action, exclusive of commissioned officers, was, as near as can be ascertained, three hundred and seventy.<

      Soon after the column reached the city, and near one of the enemy’s batteries, my immediate commander, then at its head leading the charge, received a severe wound in the leg, compelling him to retire from the field.

      The battalion remained some time exposed to a galling fire in front and upon each flank from the enemy’s batteries, the locations of which could not be ascertained until immediately among them, and apparently increasing in number at every fire, we were ordered to retire from the streets into an open ground, giving us a position less exposed, and with a better opportunity of obtaining a knowledge of the enemies actual position.

      The extent of our impression upon the batteries of the enemy, though severe, cannot be precisely known; a continued fire was kept up by our troops, who exhibited the coolest intrepidity and bravery, though exposed to batteries beyond their reach and by an almost invisible foe.

      When the troops were in position upon the plain, a large body of lancers were seen in the distance advancing with great speed.  We immediately took position under cover of a brush fence, and arranged in line.  Our fire upon them, with the aid of a shell from our mortar at a distance, drove them with precipitation and some confusion into the fort; not, however, until they had speared several of our wounded, as they lay helpless on the ground.

      Our battalion was again remarched to the streets of the small town to sustain our own batteries, and after remaining in this position till near night, were marched from the field into camp, having been exposed to cross fires of four or five batteries for five or six hours.  The men, wore down and exhausted from the day’s fatigue, were ordered to remain in camp the whole of the 22d.  On the morning of the 23d we again took the field, and were ordered in position to sustain Capt. Webber’s batteries, and subsequently into the fort which fell into our hands upon the first day, and which itself was exposed to the range of several of the enemy’s batteries and forts.  We kept possession of the fort until the succeeding day, (24th,) when we were again relieved, and ordered into camp.

       Too much credit cannot be given to the officers and men under my command for the gallant and chivalric manner in which they acquitted themselves during the engagement.  They proved satisfactorily that in their hands the reputation of Ohio will never be tarnished, and that whenever an opportunity is presented they will be found ready and willing to maintain it.  I regret to say that in the battle of the 21st., Adj’t A. W. Armstrong was severely wounded in the leg, making an amputation of the limb necessary; 1st Lieut. Hett, of company H, was killed, 1st Lieut. Niles, of company E, was severely wounded, and Capt. George, of the 2d rifle, and Lieut. Motear, of company B, slightly wounded.  The total killed, wounded, and missing is fifty-two; a detailed statement of which I herewith send you.  It is proper that company F, under Lieut. Beargrand, had been detailed as a guard for the camp, and of course was not in actions.

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

John B. Weller.
Lieutenant Colonel 1st regiment O. V.

Brevet Brigadier General Hamer.  1st Field Brigade of Volunteers. [MJK]

NNR 71.169 November 14, 1846 John Wise’s project for reducing the fortress of San Juan de Ulloa


Mr. Wise the Aeronaut, has become before the public, in the columns of the Lancaster (Pa.) Republican, with a plan of taking the business out of the hands of the Generals Taylor, Worth, and Patterson, and doing up the Mexicans at a short notice.  We do not think our readers would be satisfied with less than the whole article:

      Mr. D. S. Kieffer:- The present condition of the war with Mexico, will require our forces to reduce Vera Cruz.  And it is acknowledged on all sides to be an extraordinarily well fortified point of defence, almost impregnable to the common mode of warfare; and at best cannot be taken in that way, without a great sacrifice of life and ammunition.  I will suggest a plan to our War Department, that will render the capture of the castle of San Juan D’Ulloa as feasible and easy as the launching of a frigate.

      Although the plan I shell propose may seem novel to many, still a brief detail of it, I think, will satisfy the most incredulous of its efficacy.  In the first place, it will require the construction of a balloon of common twilled muslin, of about one hundred feet diameter.  This machine, properly coated with varnish, will retain its buoyancy for many days or weeks.  It will be capable, when inflated, to raise over 30,000 pounds-say, 20,000 of its own weight, net work, car and cable.  It can be inflated in a day, or less time, if necessary.

      The process of inflation may be accomplished on land, board of a man of war at sea, as circumstances may require-the car to be loaded with percussioned bomb shells and torpedoes to the amount of 18,000 pounds, which will leave 2000 pounds for ballast and men.  Thus it will be ready to be placed in a position for deadly action, in a very short time.  The cable by which it is to be maneuvered, may be at least 5 mile long, so that the balloon, at a mile of elevation, would leave the vessel, or land position, which act as the retaining point, out of reach of the castle guns, and under the cover of our own batteries.  The man of war balloon, hovering a mile above the castle like a cloud of destruction, would be entirely out of danger of the enemies guns, since they could not be made to bear at an object immediately above them.  The position of the balloon as to the heighth  and distance above the retaining point, could be easily maintained by keeping a proper eye to its ballasting.  As it would become lightened by the discharge of shells and torpedoes, an adequate quantity of gas can also be discharged.

      If a gun from the castle could ever be made to bear upon the war balloon, it would soon be silenced by the rapidity, precision, and certainty, with which the deadly missiles could be showered down upon them.

      With this aerial warship hanging a mile above the fort, supplies with a thousand percussion bomb shells, the castle of Vera Cruz could be taken without the loss of a single life to the army, and at an expense that would be comparatively nothing to what it would be to take it by the common mode of attack.

      Through the medium of your journal, I would most respectively suggest this plan to our government, and will tender my services for its construction, and when constructed, will, if necessary, most cheerfully undertake its directorship into actual service, at a moments warning.

Very respectfully, your friend and fellow-citizen,

    J. Wise
Lancaster, Oct. 22, 1846


NNR 71.173-71.174 November 14, 1846 Letter concerning Capt. John Charles Fremont’s operations in California


      Sir:  In the absence of official information on the subject of Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain) Fremont’s operation in Upper California, I deem it my duty to lay before you the private letters which I have received from that officer, for the purpose of showing you his actual position at the latest dates; the unwilling manner in which he became involved in the hostilities with the Mexican authorities of that province, before he had heard of the war with Mexico; and especially to disprove the accusation, officially against him by governor Castro, of having come into California with a body of United States troops, under the pretext of a scientific expedition, but in reality to excite the Americans settled in that province to an insurrection against the Mexican government.  The accusation is of the greatest character, most seriously implicating the good faith and honor of our government, and officially made by Governor Castro, in a dispatch to the minister of war and marine, under date of the first of April last, and published in El Monitor Republicano, in the City of Mexico, by the order of the Mexican government, on the 10th of May last.  A copy of this paper was sent to Mrs. Fremont, my daughter, by the Hon. Mr. Slidell, and an English translation of it herewith presented.

      When Captain Fremont left the United States to complete his scientific labors beyond the Rocky Mountains, it was with full knowledge of the Political, as well as personal difficulties of the enterprise.  He knew that the relations of the United States were critical with both Great Britain and Mexico—that he was going through the territories of one, and among the settlements of another-that jealousy would attach to his movements, and all his acts be referred to his government;-and he was perfectly determined to use the utmost circumspection in all his conduct, confining himself wholly to his scientific pursuits, and carefully avoiding as well the appearance as the reality of either a political or military mission.  With this view, and after having traversed the desert, and crossed the great Basin which lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada of the Alta California, he left his men upon the frontier, an hundred miles from Monterey, and went alone to that city to explain his object and wishes in person to Governor Castro.  He did this in the most formal and official manner, in company with the United States consul, Mr. O’Larkin, (at whose house he stopped;) and conforming to the whole detail of the Spanish ceremonial, he not only called on the Governor, but also on the prefect and the alcalde.  The interview was entirely satisfactory.  To the governor’s remark that he was bringing a considerable body of United States troops with him Captain F. answered that it was not so-that he had no troops at all-only a few hired men for security against Indians and Killing game, that he was not even an officer of the line, but of topographical engineers-and that he was seeking a new route (among other objects of science) to the mouth of the Columbia, upon a line further south than the present traveling route, and which had brought him though the unsettled parts of Upper California; and that he now wished to winter in the valley of the San Joaquin, where there was game for his men, and grass, for his horses.  To this the governor agreed, and Captain Fremont left Monterey to bring his men to the beautiful valley which he explored in his previous exploration, and to which both himself and his men looked forward as to a paradise of repose and refreshment, after their toilsome and perilous march of three thousand miles among savage tribes, and through wilderness and desert countries.

      Scarcely had he arrived in this valley, when information began to reach him from all quarters that the governor was raising the province against him, and coming upon him with troops of all arms-cavalry, artillery, and infantry- and that his situation was most critical and dangerous.  The consul sent a special messenger to warn him of his danger; the American settlers below offered to join him; but he utterly refused their assistance, because he would not compromise them.  But he did what honor and self–preservation required, and what the courage and fidelity of his men enthusiastically seconded; he took a position, and he awaited the approach of the assailants; and that position was nearer to them, on the summit of the Sierra, overlooking Monterey, at thirty miles distance, and whence, with their glasses, they could plainly see the troops, with their artillery, which had crossed the bay (of Monterey) to San Juan, on their way to attack him.  The governor, with these troops, and with all his threats, after coming towards the camp on Sierra, did not come to it; and Captain Fremont, faithful to his design to avoid collision, if possible, finding himself not attacked, determined to retire, and to proceed to Oregon, on his intended route to the valley of the Sacramento, the Tlamath Lake, and the valley of the Wahlahmath river.  Accordingly, about the 10th of March, he left his position on the Sierra, descended to the valley of San Joaquin, and commenced his march by slow and easy stages, of four and six miles a day, towards Oregon.

      It is of this encampment on the Sierra that governor Castro makes particular complaint in his dispatch to the minister of War and Marine, as evidence of hostile intentions, and where the American flag was raised, a fortification built, and the American settlers called in for defense.  Unhappily we have no letter from Captain Fremont detailing the events of these days; but the want of such a letter is well supplied by the official communications from the American consul at Monterey to our secretary of state, and by Captain Fremont’s brief note to the consul, (written in pencil) while expecting the attack of Governor Castro, and which has been heretofore published in our papers.  Mr. Buchanan furnished us, as soon as they were received, with copies of these dispatches, which are herewith laid before you, and from which it will be seen that Governor Castro’s accusations against Captain Fremont are entirely unfounded-that so far from having excited the Americans to revolt, he absolutely refused to receive those who offered to join him!  And, more, that when after leaving his position, and granting discharges to five or sic of his men, he refused to fill their places with men in the country!  So determined was he to avoid as well as in appearance, as in fact, the smallest fact offensive or injurious to the Mexican authorities.  The same correspondence shows the entire falsehood of all the superlative gasconade which Governor Castro put into his official report about the spoils of the camp-the dispersion of Fremont and his men-their flight into the brushes, and through the desert, his suffocation in the cradle of a dangerous conspiracy, &c., with all which imaginary exploits his official despatch was filled, while Fremont, with sixty-two men and two hundred horses, were slowly retiring in a body, almost in his view, and utterly abstaining from any act of offense to the province or its authorities.  It was no doubt this false report to his government, and the ridicule he incurred by it in California, that led to his subsequent operations in May to exterminate Fremont’s party, and all the American settlers on the Sacramento.

      On return from the evacuated camp on the Sierra, the governor also put forth a proclamation, in the vein of his report, and even worse, styling Fremont and his men a band of highway robbers, plundering the people, &c., which accusation of plundering, the consul took the trouble to investigate, and found to be a very trivial offense of manners (not of law or morals) which the injured party valued at five dollars, and for which Captain Fremont gave ten.  For the rest, the consul, after all this, declares the inhabitants of the country to be well pleased with Capt. Fremont. And that he might walk the streets of Monterey the next day alone, if he chose.  The only truth in Governor Castro’s dispatch is, that Captain Fremont took a military position, entrenched it, and raised the American flag; but these events were the consequence and not the cause of Governor Castro’s movement against him; and this is fully known in that brief, heroic note, written in pencil in answer to the consul’s warning, in which Captain Fremont, after refusing the aid of the American settlers, declared for himself and his sixty-two men that they had done nothing wrong to the authorities or the people of the country-that if attacked they would defend themselves, and die to last man under the flag of their country, and leave it to their country to avenge their deaths.  All they did was in self defence.  The flag was raised, not as a standard of insurrection, or as a sign of contempt for the Mexican government, but as the American symbol of honor and patriotism, which was entitled to respect from others-to defence from them- and which they had displayed in that hour of danger as a warning to the approaching assailants-as a bond of union and devotion among themselves-and as an appeal and invocation (if they should be destroyed) of the avenging spirit of their far distant country.—To my mind, this entrenching on the mountain, and raising the national flag, was entirely justifiable under the circumstances of the case; and the noble resolution which they took (refusing the aid of their countrymen) to die if attacked under the flag of their country, four thousand miles distant from their homes, was an act of highest heroism, worthy to be recorded by Xenophon, and reflecting equal honor upon the brave young officer who commanded and the heroic sixty-two by whom he was supported.

       The first letter that we received from Captain Fremont after his withdrawal from the Sierra, and from the valley of the San Juan, is dated the first day of April, in latitude 40, on the Sacramento river; and though written merely to inform Mrs. Fremont of his personal concerns, becomes important in a public point of view on account of the subsequent events in June and July, by showing that on the first of April he was on his way to Oregon-that he had abandoned all intention of returning through any part of California-would cross the Rocky Mountains through the Northern Pass on the line between the Upper, or Kettle Falls of the Columbia, and the Great Falls of the Missouri, and be in the United States in September.  This shows that he had, at that time, no idea of the events in which he was subsequently involved, and that he had abandoned the cherished field of his intended scientific researches for the express purpose of avoiding all offence to the Mexican authorities.  Of the events in the valley of the San Joaquin [?] he speaks in few words, without detail but descriptive of his condition, characteristic of his prudence in not compromising his country, and worthy to be repeated in his own language.  He says. “The Spaniards were somewhat rude and inhospitable below, and ordered me out of the country after giving me permission to winter there.  My sense of duty did not permit me to fight them, but we were retired slowly and growingly before a force of three or four hundred men, and three pieces of artillery.  Without the shadow of a cause the governor suddenly raised the whole country against me, issuing a false and scandalous proclamation.  Of course I did not dare compromise the United States against which appearances would have been strong; but although it was in my power to increase my party by Americans, I refrained from committing a solitary act of hostility of impropriety.” 

His next letter is dated the 14th of May, and informs me that, in his progress to Oregon, he found himself and party unexpectedly attacked by the Tlamath Indians-the most warlike of that quarter- had lost five men in killed and wounded-and still expected to be in the United States by September.

      This was the last letter received from Captain Fremont until the one of July 26th, from Monterey, of the Pacific Ocean, and brought in by Com. Sloat.  The events which have brought him back you have learnt from that commodore; but the causes which led to these events are necessary to be known for the justification of Captain Fremont; for, although actually justified by the existence of the war with Mexico, yet he knew nothing of the war when these events took place; and, though knowing of it when he wrote, yet he would not avail himself of the subsequent knowledge to justify his previous acts, and there fore he chose to justify everything on the state of facts, as he saw them, when he resolved and acted.  These causes, and the events to which they led, are rapidly sketched by him in this, his last letter; and while the whole letter is herewith submitted to you, yet for you convenience, I collect its substance into the smallest compass and lay it before you.  The substance is this: At the middle of May, capt. Fremont, in the process of his design reached Oregon, and returned by the Columbia and Missouri through the Northern Pass in the Rocky Mountains, had arrved at the Tlamath Lake, in the edge of the Oregon territory, when he found his further progress completely barred by the double obstacle of hostile Indians, which Castro had excited against him, and the lofty mountains, covered with deep and fallen snows, which made the middle of May in that elevated region, the same as the middle of winter.—These were the difficulties and dangers in front.  Behind and in the North bank of the San Francisco bay, at the military post of Sonoma, was General Castro, assembling troops with the  [?] of attacking [?] Fremont’s party, and at the American settlements, against whom the Indians had already been excited.  Thus, his passage barred in front by impassable snows and mountains- hemmed to by savage Indians, who were thinning the ranks of his little party-menaced by a general ahead with a tenfold force with full arms-the American settlers marked out for destruction on a false accusation of meditating a revolt under his instigation-his men and horses suffering from fatigue, cold, and famine and after the most anxious deliberation upon all the dangers of his position, and upon all the responsibilities under his command, captain Fremont determined to turn upon his pursuers, and fight them instantly, without regard to numbers, who seek scarcely for his party and the American settlers, by overturning the Mexican government in California.  It was on the 6th day of June that he came to his determination; and the resolution being once taken, all halfway measures were discarded, and a rapid execution of the plan was commenced.  On the 11th of June a supply of two hundred horses for Castro’s troops, on the way to his camp, conducted by an officer and fourteen men, were surprised at daylight, and the whole captured- the men and officers being released, and the horses retamed for American use.  On the 15th, at daybreak, the military post at Sonoma, (the point of rendezvous, and the intended headquarters), was surprised and taken with nine pieces of brass cannon, two hundred and fifty stand of musket, other arms and ammunition, with several superior officers, general Vallejo, (Val-ya-ho), his brother captain Vallejo, colonel Greuxdon, and others; all of whom were detained and confined as prisoners.  Captain Fremont repaired to the American settlements on the Rio de le Americanos to obtain some assistance: and receiving an express from his little garrison of fourteen in Sonoma that gen. Castro was preparing to cross the bay of San Francisco and attack them with a large force, he sat out on the afternoon of the 23d of June with ninety mounted riflemen, and traveling day and night, arrived at 2 o’clock the next morning of the 25th at Sonoma-eighty miles distance.  The vanguard of Castro’s forces had crossed the bay- a squadron of seventy dragoons, commanded by de le Torre-which was attacked and defended by twenty Americans, with the loss of two killed and some wounded on the part of the Mexicans, and no injury to themselves—de le Torre barely escaping with the loss of his transport boats, and spiking six pieces of artillery.  In the meantime, two of Captain Fremont’s men, going as an express, were captured by de le Torre’s men, and, being bound to trees, were cut to pieces alive with knives!  In return for which, three of de le Torre’s men, being taken, were instantly shot.  The north side of the bay of San Francisco was now cleared of the enemy, and on the fourth day of July, capt. Fremont called all the Americans together at Sonoma, addressed them upon the dangers of their situation, and recommended a declaration of independence, and war upon Castro and his troops, as the only means of safety.  The independence was immediately declared, and war proclaimed.  A few days afterwards, an officer from commodore Sloat brought intelligence that the American flag was hoisted at Monterey- an example that was immediately followed wherever the news flew.  The pursuit and defeat of Castro was the only remaining enterprise.  He had fled south towards the numerous Mexican settlements beyond Monterey with his four or five hundred men; and, captain Fremont, leaving some fifty men garrisons, set out with one hundred and sixty riflemen in the pursuit, when he received instructions from commodore Sloat to march upon Monterey.  He did so, and found commodore Stockton in command, approving the pursuit of Castro, and aiding by all the means in his power.—The sloop-of-war Cyane was put at his service.- Capt. Fremont, with one hundred and sixty American riflemen and seventy marines, embarked on that vessel, and sailed down the coast on the 26th of July, to San Diego, four hundred miles south of Monterey, and one hundred south of Puebla de Los Angelos where Castro was understood to be, with an increasing force of five hundred men.  The descent of the coast as far as San Diego was to get ahead of Castro, and to be in position to either intercept him if he fled south to Mexico or to Lower California, or to run back upon him if he remained in Puebla de Los Angelos, or any of the numerous towns in its neighborhood.  In either event, the enterprise will probably had its conclusion in early August, and official details may now be looked for by the first arrivals from the North Pacific Ocean.  In the meantime I hope the information I am able to give, though all of a private character, written solely for the information of friends, and never expected to go before the public, may be sufficient to relieve any anxieties, to disprove the accusations of g.v. Castro, and to justify the actions of captain Fremont.  I make this communication to you, sir, upon the responsibilities of an American senator, addressing the president of the United States, and with the sole view of vindicating the American government, and its officer, from the foul imputation  of exciting insurrection in the provinces of a neighboring power, with whom we were at peace.  I could add much more to prove that captain Fremont’s private views and feelings were in unison with his ostensible mission-that the passion of his soul was the pursuit of science- and that he looked with dread and aversion upon every possible collision either with Indians, Mexicans, or British, that could turn him aside from that cherished pursuit.  A more formal occasion for the exhibition of these further and other proofs may soon occur; but the exigency of their circumstances seemed to me to require that no time should be lost in communicating the truth to the public mind, both at home and abroad, in a case so seriously affecting the national character, and in which uncorrected error, for even a short time, would do great mischief.

      Very respectfully, sir, your friend and fellow citizen,


Washington, Nov. 9, 1846.


NNR 71.174-175, 14 November 1846 Lt. Emory's Journal

The last mail from General Kearney’s command brought a continuation of Lt. Emory’s journal, from Santa Fe, which we have now the opportunity of laying before our readers:

September 1.—The day passed away in preparing for tomorrow’s march, and listening to the thousand rumors about the force we are to encounter, not a word of which do I believe.

September 2.—Marched at 9 o’clock out of Santa Fe, taking no one of my party but Mr. Bestor. We descended the valley of the Santa Fe river nearly west for five miles, when we left the river, which is here dry, and struck across a plain intersected by arroyas, (creeks,) in a southwesterly course. Twenty-three miles brought us to Galistea creek, which at the time was barely running. The bed is sand and pebbles of primitive rock, and lies between steep cliffs of clay and limestone, traversed occasionally by trap dykes, which in one place are so regular as to resemble walls pierced with windows. From this place to its mouth there is scarcely a sign of vegetation. At its dry mouth, and directly, on the Rio del Norte, is the town of Santo Domingo.

September4.—This was a great day. The general received some days since an invitation from the Pueblos to visit their town of Santa Fe. From height to height as we advanced we could see horsemen disappearing at full speed. As we arrived abreast of the town, the general was told by a guide posted there for the purpose, that this was the road for Santo Domingo.

He sent the chief part of his command and the wagon train along the highway, and with his staff and Capt. Bargwin’s squadron of dragoons, wended his way along the middle path nearly due west to the town. We had not proceeded far before we met ten or fifteen sachemy looking old Indians, well mounted, two of them carrying gold headed canes with tassels, the emblem of the office of New Mexico, that no dandy, nor even an alcalde, or other magistrate, dare sport.

Salutations through, we jogged along, and in the course of conversation, the alcalde, a grave and majestic looking old Indian, said casually, we shall soon meet some Indians mounted. They are young men of my town, friends, come to receive you, and I wish you to caution your men not to fire upon them when they ride towards them.

Sure enough, within a few miles of the town, we saw a cloud of dust rapidly advancing, and soon a terrible yell; the real Florida war whoop over again.

The first thing that caught my eye through the column of dust, was a fierce pair of Buffalo horns overlapped with long shaggy hair. As they approached, the sturdy form of a naked Indian revealed itself beneath the horns, with shield and lance, dashing at full speed on a white horse, which, like his own naked body, was painted all the colors of the rainbow, and then, one by one, his followers came on painted to the eyes, their heads and their horses covered with all the hideous looking things that the brute creation could afford, in the way of horns, sculls, feathers, and claws.

As they passed us one rank on each side, they fired a volley under our horse bellies from the right and from the left. My horse, a fresh one, had never before smelt gunpowder, and long will my friend, Dr. Decamp. Recollect that fact, for he jumped against him, and the end of my pistol struck his knee, right on what the children call the singing bone. A pure American "God d---n," came, perhaps for the first time from the doctors lips. I muttered some apology, but it was lost in the house that was made to the right and to the left of the passing Indians.

Our well trained dragoons sat motionless on their horses, who went along without pricking an ear or showing any signs of excitement.

Arrived in the rear, the Indian circled round and dropped into a walk o our flanks, until their horses recovered breath, when off they went at full speed, passing to our front, and when there, the opposite ranks met, and each man selected his adversary, and kept up a running fight with masked lances, and bows and arrows. Sometimes a fellow would stoop almost to the earth to shoot under his horse’s belly at full speed, or shield himself from an impending blow. So they continued to pass and repass, all the way to the steep cliffs which overhang the town. Here they filed out on each side of the road, which at this place descended through a deep canon, and halted on the peaks of the cliff. Their motionless figures projected against the clear blue sky above, formed studies for an artist. In the canon we were joined by a priest, a hearty looking old white man, with the idea of the locality, occasioned several of us to say, well, this is really a canonical meeting. We were taken first to the padre’s of course, for here, as everywhere in New Mexico, the padre’s are most intelligent, and the best to do in the world; and when the good people wish to put the best foot foremost, the padre’s wines, beds, and meats have to suffer. The entrance to the portal was lined with the women of the place, all dressed alike, and ranged in simple flies. They looked rather fat and uninteresting.

We were shown into his reverence’s parlor, tapestried with curtains stamped with the likenesses of all the Presidents of the United States up to this time.

The cushions were of spotless damask, and the couch of the luxuriant old saint, covered with a white Navahoe blanket worked in richly colored flowers.

The air was redolent with the perfume of grapes and melons, and every crack of door and window was glistening with the bright eyes of the women of the casilla. The old priest was busily talking to the general in a corner, and little did he know of the game of sighs and signs the young fellows were carrying on with the fair people of his house. We had our gayest array of young men out to-day, and the women seemed to me to drop the usual subdued look and timid motion of the eyelash for good hearty twinkles and signs of unaffected and cordial welcome. Signs in this group was the only conversation, as neither party could speak the language of the other.

This little exchange of artillery of the eyes amused me a good deal; but I was very glad to see the padre put a stop to it, by advancing towards the grapes, melons, and wines. We were as thirsty as dust and heat could make us, and whatever was the quality of the wine, we relished it highly. The sponge cake was irreproachable, and would have done honor to Mrs. Bonlkendorff, on Pennsylvania Avenue. Indeed whenever we have been feasted, we found the sponge cake in profusion and of this best quality.

The general now went forward on the portal, and delivered a speech to the assembled people of the town, which was interpreted into Spanish, and then into Puebla. He was very happy to-day in what he said, and almost every sentence was responded to by grunts of satisfaction. I will not report the speech, as I am not sure that it would be proper, or expected of me to do so.

The population of the town was impossible to arrive, but I should judge it to be 1,000; and the quantity of ground under tillage, for their support, about 500 acres.

The valley of the "Del Norte" is here quite narrow, and the soil sandy. The river itself was viewed, by me for the first time, with strange interest.—The hardships, trials, and perseverance of the gallant Pike, and the adventures of the pious and brave soldiers of the cross-the monks and early adventurers-came to my mind; and as I kneeled down to drink its waters, my thoughts were of them.—The little episode, too, in my own dog-trot life, in relation to this river, was not forgotten. Being stationed at Washington when the annexation of Texas was determined on, I was ordered to compile a map of that country. Instead of going to the hasty compilers, and romantic voyagers of the day, I went back to the original explorers themselves. I pleased neither party, and was roundly scolded in both houses of congress, until Colonel Benton, that able statesmen who is the best informed man in congress in history and geography took the matter in hand, and justified all I had written and done.

Leaving Santo Domingo, we struck the highway in about four miles, and two miles more brought us to the pretty village of San Filippe, overhung by a sleep craggy precipice; upon the summit of which are the ruins of a Roman Catholic church, presenting in the landscape the appearance of the pictures we see of the castles of the Rhine.

Between San Felippe and the Augusturas, 6 miles below, the valley of the river is very narrow, affording no interval for agriculture. On the west side the banks are steep basaltic walls, crowned by table lands the west are rolling sand hills, covered with large round pebbles, terminating at the base of high mountains, running north and south.

The little town of Angosturas, the valley of the river opens into a plain, varying from two to six miles in width, generally low and level to admit the water of the river to be carried over it for purposes of irrigation; but the soil is very sandy, and better adapted to Indian corn than wheat. Of this last, we saw but few stubbles, the ground being chiefly in corn.

News now began to arrive which left but little doubt that the reports which caused our movements down the river, were exaggerated, if not without foundation. People had passed down the river, as was reported to the general, but in no great numbers. A messenger came in, too, from the alcalde of Topie, with an official note, stating that Armijo had left with him 100 mules, pressed into service by him, to meet us at the canon, and that Armijo had also notified him that 100 more would be left at the Passo del Norte. These belonged to citizens of New Mexico, and had been taken from them without their consent. It was his practice, in peace or in war, to seize the person or property of any who fell under his displeasure.

The town of Bernallillo is small, but one of the best built in the territory. We were here invited to the house of a very wealthy man, named Pasilla, to take some refreshment. We were led into an oblong room, furnished like that of every Mexican who is well to do in this world. A banquet runs entirely around the room, except where the "couch" goes. It is covered with cushions, carpets, and pillows, upon which the visitor sits or reclines. The dirt floor is usually covered a third or half with a common looking carpet. On the uncovered part is the table, freighted with grapes, sponge cake, and the wine o f the country. The walls are hung with miserable pictures of the saints, crosses innumerable, and common Yankee mirrors without number. These last are hung entirely out of reach, and if one wishes to shave, or adjust his shirt, he must do it with out a mirror, be there ever so many in the chamber.

Mr. Pasilla was hospitable, but very uncommunicative. He evidently had not yet the news from below, of the retreat of Ugarte and Armijo. We passed on to the house of his wealthy son, where we were invited to dine. Here we found another table of refreshments, and, after waiting some hours, dinner was announced. It was a queer jumble of refinement and barbarism, the first predominating in everything, except in the mode of serving, which was chiefly done by the master, his Mexican guests, and a few female serfs.

The plates, forks, and spoons, were of solid silver clumsily worked in the country. The middle of the table was strewed with the finest white bread, cut into pieces and within the reach of every plate.—At close intervals were glass decanters, of Pittsburg manufacture, filled with wine made on the plantation. The dishes came of separately: the first was soup meager, then followed roast chicken, stuffed with onions, then mutton boiled with onions, and various others, all stuffed with the everlasting onion, and the whole terminated by chile- the glory of New Mexico. This dish, which the Mexicans consider the chef d’oeupre of the cuisine, they seem really to revel in; but the first mouthful brought the tears trickling down my cheeks, very much to the amusement of the leather throated spectators. It was red pepper stuffed with mince meat.

From Bernallillo the valley opens but narrows again at Sandina, an Indian town, on a sandbank, at the base of a high mountain of the same name, said to contain the precious metals. Here they were treading wheat, which is done by making a circular enclosure, on level ground, of clay. Upon this floor they scatter the wheat, turn in a dozen or so of mules, and one or two Indians, who, with whoops, yells and blows, keep the affrighted brutes constantly in motion. To separate the wheat from the chaff, both Indians and Mexicans use a simple hand barrow, with bottom of raw bull’s hide, pierced with holes. I should think it took an hour to winnow one bushel.

After dining sumptuously at Sandiral’s, we went to our camp in the Allabovo. Here the valley is wide, and well cultivated. The people of the surrounding country flocked in with grapes, melons, and eggs. Several very pretty women were clustered around the general’s tent; and, as night approached, he asked them if they were not afraid to venture amongst the strangers at that dangerous hour. "No," said one, "what have we to fear when our general is here?"

Swarms of wild geese and sand cranes passed over camp. They frequent the river; and are undisturbed, save when some American levels his rifle.

September 5.—Encamped last night on very indifferent grass. Breakfasted with Don Jose Chavis, at Pardilla. When sitting, the table was as high as our chins. There were five or six courses, ending with coffee. Before breakfast we were summoned to mass in a private chapel of Don Jose, where officiated the eccentric dandy we met yesterday at dinner. Priest and dandy were curiously combined in this person. Proud of his pure white hands, he flourished them incessantly, sometimes running his fingers through his hair, to give an air of elegant intelligence; and ever and anon, looking into one of the many looking glasses with which they decorate their churches. After mass, to our surprise, he delivered a course-eulogizing the grandeur, magnanimity, power and justice of the United States. When we visited his chapel at the town of Isoletta, near by, some of the gentlemen of the staff stumbled into the refreshment room before it was intended and surprised two or three pretty women aiding in the arrangements.

Mass was anything but an appetizer before breakfast. The church was crowded with women of all conditions; and the horrid reboso, which the poor use for shawls, bonnet, handkerchief, and spit-box, sent out an odor which the incense from the alter failed to stifle.

One thing struck me as singular-in all the houses of the better class, that we visited, the ladies never made their appearance; but here we caught, in the act of running across the court, the very pretty and gay widow of Mr. Chavis, who was killed for his gold, near the western borders of Missouri, a year or two since.

At Isoletta I became tired of the show, and seeing my servant talking, at the door of one of his acquaintances, I took the liberty of asking an introduction, with the intention of taking a quiet siesta, but this was out of the question. The good woman overwhelmed me with a thousand questions about the United States. I could only stop her by asking questions myself. She denounced Armijo as a coward, and said, with a true Castillian flash of the eye. "I do not see how any man, wearing those things," (pointing to my shoulder straps,) "could run away." "he had a good army to back him, and could have driven you all back to the United States."

The valley suddenly contracts below Perdilla.—Between Isoletta and Peralta, on the east side of the river, there is deep sand, and the country perfectly barren.

September 7.—Last night was the most beautiful, light, and scene; the air of the natural temperature of the body, occasionally varied by a gentle breeze from the mountains, wafting along the perfumes of the vineyards.

Observed for time and latitude; the last unsatisfactorily, in consequence of the brightness of the moon dimming the southern stars. About 11 o’clock the whole character of the night was changed by an east wind, that came rustling down from the mountains, and driving the sand before it. Nearly the whole distanced traveled to-day and yesterday, and indeed the day before, was over deep sand, with only occasional patches of deep soil. Although up late, I rose early; and after dispatching ( by order) a note to Colonel Ruff, requiring him to move at 9 o’clock, I walked over the town of Paralta, which is dotted with cotton wood trees, growing in nearly the regular order of an apple orchard. Having seen all, I repaired to headquarters, at the Palace of Mr. Hortera, a spacious edifice, nearly five hundred feet front. I found the general up, and waiting for the slow coming breakfast.—This was announced about ten; and as I had already breakfasted, I stretched myself on the luxurious ottoman that surrounded the whole room, and napped away, well knowing the length of a Mexican dejune. This over, we waited till the rear of the army passed, and escorted the general to Mr. Hortera, senior.

Here ends all my journal that could be copied in time to go to the mail. I wish I could go on, and describe our visit to Tome, the fete, the religious jubilee in honor of the conception, the fandango at night, and the dramatic performance of David and Absaloin. But this must be left for another opportunity.

We ascertained that the reports were all unfounded in reference to Armijo’s rallying the people in the south to resistance; that when near Col. Ugarte, who was marching towards us with a regular force he sent word to him that Kearney was in possession of Santa Fe. Upon this Ugarte left 12 dragoons for Armijo, turned short round, and trotted towards Chihuahua with his whole force.

We returned here on the 12th, and immediately retrieved orders to march for California on the 25th. 1,000 miles, a great portion of which is desert. I am constantly employed in examining guides, trappers, &c., in reference to it.

I studiously avoid giving any general notions of this country. I reserve that till I see all that is to be seen.

Peck and Abert are still too weak to accompany me to California, but both are fast recovering.

I will close this, as we are directed to hand in our official papers at 9 o’clock, and I intend it to go through the bureau. I will write further by this same mail, directed to you in person.

The more I think of the matter, the more I think of this journal, the preceding part of which as already been sent—the more I am satisfied it is unfit for official use in its present state. Therefore let it be considered as an unofficial record of passing, and often even trivial events.[MJK]

NNR 71.176 November 14, 1846 spirited Mexican exertions of defense

      MEXICO-Latest.  The New Orleans Times of the 7th, has a letter from Vera Cruz of the 7th ult.  The news of the fall of Monterey seems only to have inspired the Mexicans with a sense of necessity of more spirited exertions of defense.  Santa Anna had reached  San Luis Potosi and was concentrating an imposing force, at least, according to his own account. [MJK]

NNR 71.176 November 14, 1846 Gen. Stephen Watts Kearney’s proclamation appointing offers for the government of New Mexico, leaves Santa Fe for California

      SANTA FE.  General Kearny, by proclamation dated the 23d September, 1846, announces that, being duly authorized by the president of the United States, he appoints the Governor and administrative officers of the Territory of New Mexico.  He names as governor Charles Bent; secretary of treasury, Don Aduciano Vigil; marshal, Richard Dalain; U.S. District Attorney, Francis P. Blair; treasurer, Charles Blummer; auditor, Eugene Leitensdorfer; Joab Houghton, Antonia Jose Otero, and Chas. Baubie, judges of the supreme court.  [MJK]

NNR 71.176 November 14, 1846 Col. Alexander William Doniphan’s regiment to proceed from Santa Fe for Chihuahua

      Col. Doniphan’s regiment proceeds forthwith towards Chihuahua, which they believe to be in possession of gen. Wool.  Indeed such a movement was necessary, as, owing to some mismanagement, provision were vary scarce, the army being obliged to subsist from Bent’s Fort, (some time in July), up to the last in September, without sugar or coffee, and on half rations of flour, (ground wheat.)

      On the 25th General Kearney left Santa Fe for California, with a detachment of 400 U.S. dragoons; mounted on mules.  They take the route known as “copper mine route,”-down the Rio Grande, to Socorro, 900 miles south of Santa Fe, thence west to Gila, (Heela), thence the head of the Gulf of California and thence N. W. to Monterey.  The route of this small command was considered by many of the oldest and most experienced mountain traders, as one of great hardship and suffering, if not absolutely impracticable. [MJK]

NNR 71.177 November 21, 1846 British press on the Monterey victory

       THE MONTEREY VICTORY.- The Hibernia arrived at Liverpool on the 30th, with intelligence of the storming and seizure of Monterey.  The London papers of the 30th, devoted a large portion of their columns to the details of the news, which created a marked sensation there.  The London journals had not found time or disposition to comment upon the event at any considerable length.  The Times publishes the news without a word of comment.  The herald simply calls attention to the fact, and the chronicle of the 30th, barely alludes to the intelligence as ‘of considerable interest.’

      The Daily News states that “the Mexicans have redeemed their character as soldiers, and maintained to the full the modern reputation of the Spanish race for stubborn valor in defensive war.  Their courage, indeed, has not been crowned with success; they have not been able to repulse from Monterey the well-appointed Anglo-American army, consisting of a force almost as numerous as their own, but they baffled the American general for five days, behind crumbling and inefficient fortifications, disputing each position, inch by inch, and even at the last, when driven by the cannon of the enemy to a mere entrenchment in the public square, and to a church as their chief stronghold; even in this position, the attitude of the Mexican general and his troops, compelled the American commander to grant him not only the most honorable terms that a soldier could require, but top make concessions, which would seem to prove the conquering army to have been completely paralyzed by its very success.

      Creditable as the defense of Monterey is to the Mexicans and Ampudia, it casts not slur on the valor of the Mexican troops or the skill of their commander.  The satisfaction to be derived from it consists not in the incompleteness or the dear purchase of American victory, but in the unexpected assurance that the Mexicans are still possessed of the force and the courage to assert their independence, and compel its being respected even by their formidable neighbors.”

      The Chronicle, of the 31st, recurs to the subject, and speaks of the capture of Monterey as having afforded a stimulus to those who loved war and panted for conquest, and as having excited the dislike of those who began to see that the war was likely to prove long, difficult, expensive, and of doubtful issue.  The American government, moreover, it adds, undoubtedly counted on the treachery of Santa Anna, and is doomed to disappointment.  The Chronicle concludes thus—“It is really a matter of doubt whether the American successes at Monterey have brought the war one step nearer to its termination.  They have exhibited an obstinacy of defence beyond what was expected; they have inflicted no irreparable injury upon the Mexicans; and they have weakened the influence of the peace party both in Mexico and the United States.” [MJK]

NNR 71.178 November 21, 1846 advice to government and estimates of force requisite to take the city of Mexico, by correspondent of New Orleans “Tropic”

       A writer in the New Orleans Tropic, of the 9th instant, states that he has visited and examined thoroughly the entire territory of Mexico; that he is well acquainted with the institutions, its people, its resources, policy, and topography; and therefore he considers himself qualified to offer to the government some useful advice as to the proper mode of prosecuting the war with Mexico.  The conquest of Mexico, (which he seems to take for granted to be the object of this administration,) through an invasion by land, he says, may be deemed extremely problematical.  He then makes the following suggestions:

      “That, to take the city of Mexico in virtue of his arrangements, the president will require an army of 50,000 men, and $50,000,000 of cash, and half of the above 50,000 men, and if he really entertains a serious desire to effectively conquer the country, he is advised to put the navy forthwith into motion; take possession of, garrison, and hold all the Mexican Atlantic ports as well as those of the Yucatan.  In this way he will not only speedily conquer the country, but at once throw open to our commerce the gates of a benighted territory, the resources of which have been hitherto underdeveloped.

      “As to the ports on the Pacific, they have nothing to do with the conquest of Mexico; they are out of the question.  Our ships of war had better all be recalled from there, to act on the Atlantic board, where they would be of some service.  A garrison left in California would be sufficient to maintain it in possession of the United States.”   [MJK]

NNR 71.178 November 21, 1846 orders related to recruiting

      OFFICIAL.-Premium for Recruits.

      War Department Nov. 3 1846.  With a view to expediting the recruiting service, the officers on that duty are hereby authorized to allow to any citizen, non-commissioned officer or soldier, two dollars each for able bodied men he may bring to the Rendezvous, and who shall be accepted for the public service.  Signed,

W. L. Marcy Secretary of War.


NNR 71.179 November 21, 1846 copy of Secretary of War William Learned Marcy’s reply to inquiry from Delaware, saying no more volunteers would be required, requisition among states for nine regiments of volunteers, rendezvous assigned them, speculation of the public press as to the reasons for the sudden change, letter from Camp Crocket, Texas, remarks on letter writing

      When our last number went to press, we were fully under the persuasion that the administration had abandoned their intention of calling upon the States at present for any additional volunteers for the army.  Such was not only the general expression of the public press, hardly excepting the “Union” itself, but also of the head of the Department of war, as will be seen by the following letter, published in the Wilmington (Del.) Gazette, of the 6th Nov.

War Department, October 15, 1846.

      Sir: in reply to your letter of the 12th instant, I have the honor to inform you that it is not contemplated to make any further call on the Executive of your State for any volunteer or militia force, with a view to the existing war with Mexico.  A sufficient amount of force for the prosecution of that war has, it is believed, been already called into service.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY, Secretary of War.

Mr. Willard Saulsbury,
Georgetown, Sussex county, Delaware.

      It was under the impression derived from the foregoing, that the introductory remarks in our last, were predicated.  This change from the course which the Union had previously indicated as about to be pursued seemed so sudden, so contradictory, that nothing short of official authority would have induced us to credit it.

      We had but just time to get the announcement that no more volunteers were to be called for shortly, into the mail, before the Washington Union reached us, with the counter announcement, that requisitions have been sent out from the War Department, calling into service of the United States nine additional regiments of volunteers to serve during the war with Mexico, unless sooner discharged.  They are asked for from the following States:

     One regiment of infantry from Massachusetts; One regiment of infantry from the State of New York; One regiment of infantry from Pennsylvania; One regiment of infantry from Virginia; One regiment of infantry from North Carolina; One regiment of infantry from South Carolina; One regiment of infantry from Louisiana, One regiment of infantry from Mississippi; and One regiment of mounted men from Texas.:

     In allusion to the foregoing announcement the Union says—“We have no time, at the late hour at which we receive the above interesting intelligence, to dwell upon the subject.  It shows,” adds the official paper, “ how little force there is in such suggestions as are thrown out in a Baltimore paper, that “it is believed that nothing decisive will be undertaken, either by our Army or Navy, before the next meeting of Congress.”:

      The Union of the 17th, designates the rendezvous for the above regiments.  The Massachusetts regiment, Boston; New York regiment, City of N. York; Pennsylvania, Pittsburg; Virginia, Guyandotte; N. Carolina, Wilmington; South Carolina, Charleston; Louisiana, New Orleans; Mississippi, Vicksburg.--  The regiment from Texas the Governor of that State will designate the rendezvous and report to General Taylor.

      Whether the cabinet had actually abandoned the purpose of calling for more volunteers, or not, the Union refrains from saying, and leaves us also to conjecture why the reaction so suddenly succeeded if they did.  The Washington correspondent of the New York Commercial Advisor, who seems to be generally well informed on those subjects intimates that a Cabinet Council was convened on receiving the intelligence from Mexico which will be found under our Mexican head, reaching Wilmington, and that the result of their deliberations was, to forward requisitions upon the States designated above, from a regiment of volunteers each.

      The direction for which this additional force is designated, of course is not announced.

      We notice that the leading opposition journals, the National Intelligencer, Baltimore American, and others, are prompt in approving this measure of the Executive.


       The correspondent of the St. Louis Republican of the 12th November writes:

Camp Crocket, (Texas.) Oct. 10.

      “As we are about to leave the United States post office in our rear, you will hear from us only at irregular intervals.  The last detachment of Gen. Wool’s command will march from hence to the Presidio in a day or two, and it is estimated that the effective force with which he will cross the Rio Grande will not exceed three thousand men; from the Presidio it is expected we will proceed to Chihuahua or Monclova, which you will perceive by the map is as near to Monterey as Matamoras is; though in case we shall diverge thence towards Chihuahua, you will behold this striking picture:  A force of three thousand men, without the possibility of early reinforcement, on a march of invasion hundreds of miles into the interior of the enemy’s country, and a country too 9,000,000 of people, accustomed to arms, and of a stubborn military pride, with standing armies, and a wealthy religious establishment.

      At the latest accounts there were 12,000 troops assembled at San Luis Potosi, and a large force at Zucatecas.  If, then, Durango will give her proportion for the western defenses, while Gen. Taylor is attended to by the cities east of the capital, I would enquire what are they of a Fabian character, or more in the line of precedent of Charles XII?

      Whatever may be said of the poverty of the Mexican treasury, and however poor she may be on paper, it is nevertheless now a matter of history that her dominant priesthood holds the coffers, and with the military name and character of her politicians, these coffers once freely opened, could not Mexico defend herself, creditably, among her mountain passes, against an equal foe invading?

      And when the Northern Saxon comes down with his regiments in battle array, will the priesthood be blind enough to see that its dynasty is to receive a shock from the electric influence of American institutions?—Will not, then, the gold and silver of the mines be turned for a time into a channel, by the ruling power of Mexico, for its own necessary self-protection?

      If these questions are to be answered in the affirmative, then three thousand men entering the central dominions of that country will run no ordinary hazard, and most be considered the most fortunate of men, if they ever return.

      This is the position and prospect of our little army; the timid and the tired have already left us, and we now leave them in security in their own homes, and hope the colors of our country will not be stained with dishonor by anything we may do or suffer in our campaign.

      We wage no war of plunder, we disturb no religion; and if a religious zeal shall be infused into the Mexican lines by her wily hierarchy, we believe it only will be done to excite sufficient patriotism in her sons for a proper defense of the country which pays its tribute so generously to the tax-gathering hero of the Crozier and Mitre.

      Our days here are still a little too hot for fair marches, yet we are drawing near the season of active military operations in this climate, and will soon be winding round the hills in the department of Chihuahua, from whence you will get but once in a great while, any tidings of our situation; but this you will know, that we are not reveling in the halls of the Montezumas, though traveling in the hills of the Turantulas.

      Gn. Wool, with the first detachment of our force, is erecting fortifications at the Presidio-Col. Harney waiting there in breathless eagerness to try our fortunes on some bloody field-while Col. Churchill is hurrying on with his portion of the troops, thirteen companies, to share these fortunes.  And in passing, I will remark, that the old colonel, without knowing it himself, has the name among our raw soldiery, of being a very cross, ill contrived old fellow, while in fact he is one of the most amiable and best natured men in the army.  He takes hold of a gun on inspection, he scolds the soldier, then his captain, then the colonel, and looks very thunder at all times; but it you will scrutinize, you will perceive a good natured smile hiding itself in the dimples of his fine face, which seems ready to leap forth and say, you did not see me, but I was surely there.  He is an excellent officer, and has a large share of strong logical mind, with sufficient experience, knowledge of tactics, and military pride, to inspire confidence among the soldiers in his usefulness on the field.

      Your paper have not reached us yet in this camp, with the exception of one which strayed in from stray mail bag, though it bore an ancient date; and we do not now expect to hear from you till the north star shall become our marching guide.” Yours, P.L. [MJK]

NNR 71.180 November 21, 1846 ‘affairs from Monterey” by “An Actor”

From the Charleston Mercury.


Monterey, (Mexico.) Oct. 11, 1846

      Monterey has fallen, five thousand men have seen nine thousand file past them with humbled mien and downcast looks; have gazed proudly on two fortified mountain fastnesses they had escaled; upon a castle of enormous strength bristling with cannon, and upon our formidable forts they had stormed; upon a impregnable citadel, thirty-five pieces of ordinance, countless munitions of war and the loveliest city in the world, with its stately palaces, sparkling streams and fountains, its magnificent gardens and fragrant groves of orange and pomegranate, which their gallantry had won.  Ensconced among the dizzy cliffs of the Sierra de la Madre, circled on three sides by a buttressed wall in many places thirty feet high, the houses built of stone with flat and parapeted roofs for sharp-shooters, with barricades of solid masonry twelve feet thick crossing in all directions,-every house a castle and every street a fortress, defended to by ten thousand veteran troops, the pride of the Mexican soldiery, the city of the Royal Mountain seemed to scoff from her lofty seat at the puny force that lay encamped below.  But in three days this despised band had entered the proud city, defeated an army twice their numbers, one thousand of whom lay stretched on the field of battle, and without ladders, fascines, siege guns, or battering train, had made themselves masters of more than thirty fortifications on which the heaviest artillery could have produced no impression by a six months uninterrupted cannonade.

      Wonderful as is the achievement, the actors know that there will be deep dissatisfaction in the United States.  It was thought a light matter to crush an imbecile people, and thousands of gallant spirits, burning with patriotism and covetous of distinction, had rushed to their country’s standard in the fond belief that in a few months they would be reveling in more than Oriental pomp and luxury in the gorgeous palaces of the capitol of Mexico.  How keenly must be felt the rebuke to the arrogant presumption with which the war begun,-this baffling our arms for three days, and arresting our progress for eight weeks, on the very borders of the country that was to be overrun in six months!  How mortifying too must be the fact that our proud banner would have trailed in the dust, but for the much despised “mercenaries” under Gen. Worth, aided by three hundred ragged Texans almost as much reviled as they.

      No one here pretends to deny that everything was effected by Gen. Worth’s division of regulars, with the assistance of Col. Hays’ little regiment of Rangers acting as light troops.  The other two divisions did nothing whatever but waste their blood like water and inspire the enemy with confidence.  High functionaries of the government had made invidious distinction between the few ‘hirelings’ and that fearful host of “citizen soldiery” so eager to fight for their country.  It was unfortunate for such distinction, that but little more than two thousand of that “fearful host” were here, when tower, castle, citadel, fort, and redoubt sent forth their sheets of flame, and that not a few even of these showed more relish for shelter than danger.  Most of the 1st and 3d divisions; however, fought bravely, and, that the few “hirelings,” among them earned their wages, the havoc made in their ranks but too plainly shows.  One fragment of a regiment, (the 3d infantry,) entered the field with fourteen officers, and returned with seven,- five being killed in the battle and two desperately wounded.  The failure of these divisions is mainly attributable to the rashness of their commanders.  Heavy dragoons on clumsy horses were ordered to charge through the streets barricaded with such wall as the boldest English sportsman, light clad, full of wine and mounted on his finest hunter, would shudder to think of leaping.  Six pounders were sent to batter down fortifications that twenty four would played upon harmless as a child’s bow and arrows.  But it is, and must ever be, a proud reflection to the friends of the army, that one of the strongest cities in the world was captured, and a well-appointed force ten thousand strong, defeated, by fifteen hundred regulars poorly provided, and assisted by three hundred Rangers.

      Gen. Worth volunteered his division to perform what was considered by far the most difficult and dangerous task,-the storming of the castle and the craggy heights that commanded the city and guarded the Saltillo road,-the only avenue for escape or reinforcement to the Mexican troops.  So perilous did this enterprise seem to the rest of the army, that his command as they marched out of General Taylor’s camp, were regarded as doomed men, -a forlorn hope of the most desperate character.  Little was it thought that they were destined, with incredibly small loss, to be captures of this city of stone, while the two other divisions were to be cut to pieces and to achieve nothing.  But every measure of the 2d division was planned by an able general and carried out by his troops with skill, boldness, promptitude, and energy.

      The storming in mid-day, by Captain Smith with three hundred and fifty men, of the rugged, precipitous height of San Pedro, defended by five hundred men and two twelve pounders; the successful night attack upon the strong fastness of the Obispada; the assault and capture of a power castle; the advance of more than a mile into the city of fortresses, where incessant volleys of grape and canister like hurricanes swept every street, and torrents of musket, rifle, and escopette balls poured from every door, window, embasure, and parapet; all these seem rather the fabulous exploits of Paladin and Knight, or the dreams of military enthusiasts, than the sober realities of the times.  The morning of the 24th found the 2d division with but one barricade to storm and but one short street to traverse, to reach La Plaza Grande, in which the masses of the enemy were so crowded as to be helpless as sheep in a fold.  A captured eighteen-pound howitzer was looking down at point blank distance from the roof of a high building, upon the cathedral in the Plaza, full to overflowing with arms and ammunition.  In one hour it would have been blown to atoms and the fragments of Ampudia’s shattered army would have been unconditional prisoners of war.  It was with deep dissatisfaction and indignation even, that the division heard of the capitulation so favorable to the enemy.  From the highest officer to the humblest private, all felt that a great folly had been committed, and that the same army must be fought again under the most adverse circumstances, which would have been here crushed with scarce an effort.  Still, no one blamed Gen. Taylor, for it was universally believed that he was influenced by political reasons and controlled by orders from the war department.

       The folly from which the country suffered so much during the war, of directing the operations of a distant army from a parlor in Washington, it is feared, will be repeated again and again, until our arms are defeated and our country disgraced.  The president distinguished secretary of war seems never to have doubted that with the aid of ridiculously inaccurate maps and ignorant advisors he could plan a campaign with the skill of a Wellington, and thus from the moment our army landed on the shelly shore of the Corpus Christi till now, he has taken upon him to manage every thing,- at one time restraining the general from the performance of possibilities, on another goading him on to impossibilities.—The “Man of Iron,” whom our secretary regards as a brother in arms, would doubtless be filled with astonishment, if not admiration, at some of his performances.  He sent an army of invasion in to the field without a single piece of artillery.  He ordered the same army to encamp under the heavy gun of a fortified city, although entirely destitute of siege train and all the ordinary entrenching elements.  To show that a battle could be fought earlier then Gen. Scott predicted, he urged on Gen. Taylor to the attack of an almost impregnable city, although the general’s weightiest was two twenty-four pound howitzers, whose shot fell back like pebbles from the solid fortifications of Monterey.  And to crown the whole, when every obstacle had been overcome, and the Mexican forces were completely in our power, the secretary’s order determined that it was better to fight them again behind other entrenchments, then to crush them on the spot.  It is supposed here that he is ambitious to occupy a page in Dr. Frost’s Wonders of History, and that to ensure so desirable an end, he will next order us to take San Luis Potosi with slings and pop-guns.

      We are sorry to say, at the close of this rambling letter, that the general of this victorious division, apparently for the sake of popularity, sullied his fair fame by neglecting for some time after the capitulation, to restrain the passions of the volunteers.  The guards were prohibited from sending out patrols to preserve order and quiet in the city; as a matter of course the foul spirit of mischief was no longer in showing itself.  As at Matamoras, murder, robbery, and rape were committed in the broad light of day, and as if desirous to signalize themselves at Monterey by some new act of atrocity, they burned many of the hatched huts of the poor peasants.  It is thought that one hundred of the inhabitants were murdered in cold blood, and one Mexican soldier, with Gen. Worth’s passport in his pocket, was hot dead at noon-day in the main street of the city by a ruffian from Texas.  But for the moral influence and the finally exerted physical force of the “hirelings of the government,” the dark deeds of Badajoz would have been repeated at Monterey.  Guards of “mercenaries” are now placed in every street and over every valuable building in the city to prevent depredations being committed by those who came here from devotion to “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

      We do not care so much for the disregard of authority among the volunteers, -their frays and feuds among themselves, and the unsoldiery scenes between the officers and privates, such as the chasing of a dignified commander through his own camp.  All these are private matters of their own, affecting but indirectly the issue of the campaign.—But outrages on the helpless and unoffending Mexicans, on the contrary, have a direct and palpable bearing on the successful termination of the war.—The Mexicans themselves admit that before the arrival of the volunteers upon the Rio Grande, all eastern Mexico was ripe for revolt and annexation to the United States.  Now there is no portion of the country so bitterly hostile to us and to our institutions.  We have before us at Monterey paper of July, which reminds the disaffected of the atrocities committed at Matamoras, and adds that “the volunteers, the most unprincipled and ungovernable class at home, have been let loose like blood-hounds upon Mexico.”  We fear that very soon there will be kindled a burning hatred towards us, which will make the timid Mexicans rally from every city, village, and rancho around the banner of their country, and fight with a courage and constancy worthy of the descendents of those renowned hero’s who conquered the fairest portion of America.


NNR 71.180-71.181 November 21, 1846 Gen. William Jenkins Worth’s general orders after the Battle of Monterey



      The following order was issued by the general to the officers and soldiers under his commander after the battle of Monterey.

Headquarters second division,
Monterey, September 28, 1846.

      The commanding general of divisions seizes the first instant of leisure to tender to the officers and soldiers of his command the expression of his thanks and admiration.  During the three days’ operations, and down to the final capitulation of this important position, until after they have seen nearly twice their numbers defile before them in retreat-whether on the fatiguing march, in combat, in the valley, or on mountains, on the house-tops or in the streets, this noble division has given an exhibition of courage, constancy, and discipline above all praise, and generous and mainly forbearance towards fallen and humiliated foes, which bear comparison with the proudest achievements that grace the annals of their country.

      The general feels assured that every individual in the command unites with him in admiration of the distinguished gallantry and conduct of Col. Hays and his noble band of Texan volunteers.  Hereafter they and we are brothers, and we can desire no better guarantee of success than by their association.

      To Brig. General Smith, commanding 2d brigade; Lieut. Col. Stanford, 1st brigade; Lieut. Col. Childs, artillery battalion; Major Scott, 5th infantry; Capt. Miles, 7th infantry; Captain Smith, 2d artillery; commanding light troop; Captain Scriven, 8th infantry; to Captain Blanchard, Louisiana volunteers; Lieut. Col. Duncan and Lieut. Mackall he tenders all his thanks and respect.  To the gentlemen of the staff, Major Monroe, chief of the artillery; Captain Saunders, military engineer; Lieut. Deas, division quarter master; Lieut. Daniels, division commissariat; Lieut. Meade, topographical engineers; Lieuts. Pemberton and Woods, Aids de-Camp, his special thanks are due, for the alacrity, zeal and gallantry with which they have performed every service.  To Col. Peyton, Louisiana volunteers, who did him the honor to tender his very acceptable services as Aid de-Camp, he feels under special obligations for his valuable counsel and splendid exhibition of courage.

      To the general himself, the highest and proudest gratification is, that such fortunate results have been attained with comparatively so small sacrifice of the precious blood of the soldier.

      By order of Brig. Gen. Worth:

J. C. Pemberton,
1st. Lieutenant and Aid de-Camp.


NNR 71.181 November 21, 1846 no token of submission on the part of the Mexicans


      By the same correspondence which brought Com. Connor’s official account of his second attempt upon Alvarado, the New Orleans Picayune received Vera Cruz nates to the 22d October.

      That paper says- In the first place we say in general terms, that in no paper which we have opened do we find any token of submission on the part of the Mexicans in their conflict with this country.  Every paragraphs breaths threats of vengeance.  Their losses are enumerated in detail, to found theirupon more urgent appeals to the patriotism of their citizens to give up everything for the support of the war.  It is not too much for us to say that there is the warmest enthusiasm apparent in all that we read whether in editorial remarks or the military addresses with which the papers are crowded.  The spirit all is, “war to the knife.”  But this shows the surface of affairs only.  We shall have occasion to notice incidents, which lead us to suspect the country is by no means so united as the crisis in her affairs would seem to demand. [MJK]

NNR 71.181 November 21, 1846 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s letter on arrival at San Luis de Potosi, his seizure of a conducta of specie

      The news of Santa Anna’s arrival at San Luis de Potosi.  He did not reach there until the 8th of Oct.  As every thing in regard to his movement is sought after, we annex his letter announcing his arrival:

Liberating army of the republic,

Headquarters, San Luis, Oct. 10, 1846.

      Most Excellent Sir-On the evening of the 8th inst. I arrived at this capital, accompanied by my staff, and established therein the headquarters of the army of operations, destined to repel the unjust invasion made upon the republic by the army of the United States on the North.

      I have the pleasure of saying to your excellency that my entrance into this state was made amidst the congratulations of a magnanimous people who have not ceased to bestow upon me profuse marks of consideration, and the same remark will apply to the authorities and public functionaries of all classes.

      Oblige me by communicating these facts to his excellency, the general charged with the supreme executive power, and accept assurances of my consideration and esteem.  God and Liberty.


To the secretary of war.

      One of the first acts of the wily generalissimo was to supply himself with funds.  This he did very effectually by seizing upon a conducta of specie thereby getting a hold of two millions of dollars.  His pretext was that it was unsafe to forward this large amount of money to the sea coast in the present state of affairs.  He gave receipts for the money and his individual bonds for its restoration.  It must be confessed that this mode of supplying his coffers is infinitely more expeditious than advertising for a loan, and more acceptable to the people at large than a forced loan from the clergy.  The accounts we give of this great financial stroke, we do not derive from Mexican papers, but have entire faith in the facts.—We trust they will be satisfactory to English merchants, and be acceptable as earnest of the security of the money they loaned Mexico on the mortgage of the Californias.  We find Santa Anna’s letter, of the 10th ult. In the last paper before us.  We regret to say that the papers give us no clue to his plan of operations. [MJK]

NNR 71.181 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s letter after the disaster at Monterey, his intentions

But while Santa Anna was on his way to San Luis he wrote back from Quertaro on the 3d of October, as follows:  “the disaster which we encountered at Monterey is not so great as I at first thought.  Our troops have left for Saltillo and have already occupied principal points of the Sierra.  So far from the troops having become demoralized, I am assured that great enthusiasm prevails among them.  Their success has cost the enemy, according to uncontestable evidence, more than fifteen hundred men.  Our artillery was well managed and it is said that the enemy believe it was served by French officers.—

****    I am now about to unfold all my character, with the energy which is habitual to me, and the Americans will very soon succumb, or I shall cease to exist.”  Upon copying this effusion of Santa Anna, the Diario breaks forth: “May Heaven crown with the most brilliant results the patriotism of this illustrious child of his country, whom we ardently desire to see return to the capital covered with glory.” [MJK]

NNR 71.181 November 21, 1846 fruits of the Mexican seizure of correspondence between Secretary of War William Learned Marcy and Gen. Zachary Taylor

      We now for the first time learn what the fruits of the Mexican derived from the seizure of our mails near Marin, intended for Gen. Taylor at Monterey.  Among the multitude of papers forwarded by Ampudia to Santa Anna and the government, we find a letter from our secretary of war, Mr. Marcy, to General Taylor, revealing the design upon Tampico and San Luis Potosi.  This letter is dated Washington, Sept. 2d, and though our account of the letter will be an old story at Washington, we may say here that the design of the secretary’s letter is to obtain general Taylor’s opinion, rather than dictate a line of proceeding from him. He is told what the government has thought of doing, and asks what he thinks about it.  The government refers to him for information on various points-as to the difficulties of hi own advance-whether he deems it advisable to continue his march upon San Luis de Potosi, and various kindred topics.  The letter pursues its inquiries in the most respectful terms, deferring it to the better judgment of Gen. Taylor; but of course discloses our plans, the number of troops intended to be used at Tampico, and some other general particulars.  The letter of general Ampudia covering Mr. Marcy’s dispatch, contains a singular paragraph, if in our haste we rightly apprehend it.  It is to the following effect:-“Every moment which passes, confirms my idea of the immense advantages we have gained from fighting four consecutive days at Monterey, since the enemy entertains great respect for the Mexican soldier, and the American blood flowed with such profusion that from the generals of the enemy came the suggestion of an armistice of eight weeks, which disarms, as it were, a great part of his regular troops.” [MJK]

NNR 71.181 November 21, 1846 Gen. Pedro Ampudia’s assertion the “generals of the enemy” had suggested the armistice

      Since writing the above we have seen another positive ascertain made on the authority of Ampudia, that the idea of the armistice was suggested by the American officers, and the Mexicans were led to presume it was suggested by them because the greater part of our regulars were cut to pieces at Monterey. [MJK]

NNR 71.181 November 21, 1846 Mexican accounts of the battle of Monterey, praise for the valor of our troops, Gen. Ampudia’s demand for an investigation of his conduct

      The Mexican accounts of the battle of Monterey are more numerous than have been published in the United States.  As a matter of necessity they praise very highly the valor of their troops, and they insist upon the obstinacy and gallantry of the defense.  The movement of Gen. Worth on the west side of the town are described as very brilliant.  One fort taken by Gen. Worth is said to have been taken and retaken three several times-once by Gen. Mejia at the point of the bayonet, capturing at the same time 300 Americans and eight pieces of artillery.  Some of their first accounts declare that Gen. Worth was killed.  From Saltillo Gen. Ampudia wrote to his government demanding an investigation of his conduct, both before and after Gen. Taylor presented himself at Monterey.  He courts scrutiny, alleging that, “as laws of honor and the good of his country are the only elements of his existence, his mind cannot be tranquil until the secretary of war, the supreme government, and the republic are satisfied with his conduct.” The humble letter does not save him from the letter writers.  They charge him with the grossest cowardice and incompetency.  But we have neither time nor space to-day to enter further in the Mexican accounts of the battles.  One thing we must note, however.  Almost all their accounts say they refused to capitulate until we agreed to salute their flag.  Before the two months’ armistice expires, the Mexicans count confidently that Santa Anna will have an army around him which will prevent ant further advance of Gen. Taylor.

      The Mexican papers are full of the orders of Gen. Salas made through his secretaries, providing resources for the war.  We have various circulars of Almonte, one of which is the nature of a manifesto and written with marked ability. [MJK]

NNR 71.181 November 21, 1846 Gen. Romulo Diaz de le Vega exchanged for Capt. Edward William Carpenter of the brig Truxton, &c.

      EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS.  Col. T. F. Hunt, U.S. army on Saturday, the 7th, notified officially to Gen. Vega and other Mexican officers, prisoners in N. Orleans, that they had been exchanged for Captain Carpender and the crew of the brig Truxton.  They were informed that they could proceed to Pensecola as soon as possible, when they would be taken on board one of the U.S. men-of-war to Vera Cruz.  It was, however, left to the discretion of General Vega and the other gentlemen to return to their country by way of the Havana.  The communication containing this information was dated Washington the 28th ultimo, and signed by Gen. Winfield Scott.

[New Orleans Times.   [MJK]

NNR 71.181-182 November 21, 1846 Mexican movements, their account of the Monterey affair, disputes over control of the reins of government, &c.

      On the morning of the 14th of Oct. a rumor was circulated in the city of Mexico that some battalion of the National Guard designed to issue a pronunciamento, the object of which was to wrest the reins of government from Gen. Salas, on the ground that he was aiming to perpetuate his power and intended to seize upon the property of the commercial classes.  This rumor was followed by another of dissensions in the cabinet, threatening the stability of the government.  The multitude assembled in crowds about the palace, and at last Gen. Salas, accompanied by Senior Gomez Farias, appeared and addressed the people, endeavoring to soothe and quiet them.  The general was received, says the government organ, with enthusiasm of the liveliest kind.

      The excitement subsequently took a new turn.—Senor Cortina, the governor of the federal district of Mexico, was said to have given notice to the merchants that he could no longer guarantee the security of their property,  The warehouses of the merchants were in fact closed in some quarters, and the owners, it was said, were arming themselves in order to protect their property.  This led again to the assemblage of throngs of people deeply anxious to learn the facts, and Gen. Salas and Senior Ferrias again sallied forth and addressed the people, and succeeded in dispersing them quietly.  All this commotion is attributed by the papers in favor of the government to the intrigues of the monarchists.  The church is roundly berated for favoring the designs of the monarchists.  The motives of the clergy were of course their dread lest the government should seize upon their revenue to carry the war against the United States. We find unequivocal indications in the papers that such a seizure would be a very natural and justifiable measure on the part of the government.

      An express arrived at Vera Cruz on the 21st ult., which announced that during the night of the 18th there was another alarm in the capital, similar to that of the 14th, which was quieted, however, like that of the 14th, after some moments of convulsion.  We bitterly regret these commotions, says El Indication, because if they are continued, they will infallibly produce our ruin.  Our enemy is already in the heart of the country, and nothing but the union of our entire strength can save us.  The government is unable to discharge its weighty obligations toward a foreign enemy, when confidence is thus shaken by unfounded alarms and the time of the government is wasted in preventing and dispelling them.  [MJK]

NNR 71.182 November 21, 1846 circular of Minister Manuel Crecenio Rejon about resisting the enemies of the existing order

      We annex a circular from the state department in regard to the last attempt made in the capital.  It is the best mode of giving an insight into the internal affairs of the republic:


      Ministry of Internal and Foreign Relations

      SIR: The enemies of the existing orders of affairs, who are equally enemies of the public repose, have aimed this day to disturb the peaceable inhabitants of this city, by circulating alarming reports, pretending that private property was threatened and the citizens composing the National Guard were divied in opinion-all this being done with the corrupt purpose of perpetuating discord and preventing the assembling of that congress which is to organize the republic.  Conduct do perilous at a moment of extreme peril for the independence of the country, is calculated to affect most deeply every true patriot and the people who eagerly sought to learn the origin of the alarm, and to place themselves around the supreme government.  But the government, supported by public opinion, dictated the most effacious precautionary measures, thanks to which, calm was reestablished, without a necessity of resort to force or any other arms than those of persuasion; and this people, which has been atrociously calumniated, afforded one more proof of the prudence, good sense, and moderation which it has so often given.

      In the supplement of the Diario of this day, of which I send you copies, you will find the proclamation, issued is the circumstances by his excellency charged with the supreme executive power. Firm in his principles, he is determined to carry out the programme of the revolution commenced at Jalisco and seconded in the citadel of this capital.  Standing upon this basis, he directs me to recommend to your excellency that you provide, with the most solicitous that in your state no foothold is found for the suggestions of the enemies of the plan of the citadel, who aim at nothing less than the destruction of the government.  But on the contrary you are directed assiduously to provide for the security of public order and liberty, as well as rendering the assistance indispensable for the prosecution of the war in which the country is compromised.

      I reiterate to you assurances of my regard.  God and Liberty.      REJON.

NNR 71.182 November 21, 1846 resignations of Senor Cortina and Minister Manuel Crecenio Rejon

      Mexico, 14th October, 1846.

Circular to the governors of the state, and the political chief of territories.

      Subsequently to this latter difficulty Senor Cortina sent in his resignation of his post.  His letter is dated the 17th of October.  He says that his services can be no longer useful to the government, as his views and wishes have been misrepresented; and he takes advantage of the order and tranquility which prevails in the capital to lay down his authority.  The newspapers promise that he will follow up his resignation with an expose of his motives in taken a step which was regarded a very critical in the then existing state of affairs.  The subject of these commotions in the capital is touched upon by the papers as a very grave one, and we cannot doubt it is so considered by the government, or the above circular would not have been issued.  We have, however, the papers upon one side only, and are therefore unable to fathom the secret causes of the difficulty.  The promoters of it are stigmatized in general terms as disorganizers, monarchists,  and enemies of the country.

      We may as well mention in this connection that Rejon, the author of the above circular, subsequently resigned his portfolio.  We do not know his motives, but it indicated farther dissatisfaction. [MJK]

NNR 71.182 November 21, 1846 Mexicans perfectly apprised of sickness at Matamoras, their movements in defense of Vera Cruz

      The Mexicans appear to be perfectly apprised of the state of things in Matamoras.  Their accounts of the sickness which prevails there are quite minute. [MJK]

NNR 71.182 November 21, 1846 enthusiasm among Mexicans for the successful defense of Alvarado

     The Mexicans have received intelligence that our government was about to send vessels of a large class against Vera Cruz.  This led to an immediate call upon the troops in the interior to move to the defense of the city and fortress. From Jalapa we have the address of Col. Sayago to his battalion of National Guards.  It is full of enthusiasm and alludes to the success obtained by the inhabitants of Alvarado over our forces, as but the prelude to other victories which await them.  We find numerous military addresses of this kind, all alluding to Alvarado. [MJK]

NNR 71.182 November 21, 1846 Mexican troops from Puebla for Vera Cruz

      In Jalapa volunteers are urged to come forward and be organized as light somewhat on the plan of “minute men” – to be ready at any moment to march to any point which may be assailed.  The enemy evidently are [?] and are organizing [?]. [MJK]

NNR 71.182 November 21, 1846 Yucatan re-incorporated in the Mexican confederacy

      El Indicator of the 22d October has an article eulogizing Gen. Basadre for his skill, tact, and judgment in bringing the reincorporation of Yucatan in the confederacy, notwithstanding the formidable obstacles which he encountered. [MJK]

NNR 71.182 November 21, 1846 Mexican troops sent to the defense of Vera Cruz

      Domingo Ibarra writes to the secretary from Puebla on the 18th of October that a battlion of troops styled “Libres de Puebla,” a part of the National Guard, would leave that city on the following morning, on their way to Vera Cruz, in conformity of the orders of the war department.  From other points, too, troops have gone to the same destination. [MJK]

NNR 71.182--11/21/1846 Siege of Monterey

The correspondence of the N, O. Picayune, furnishes a brief description of the principal redoubts of the enemy in the east and the north of the town, which will convey some idea of the difficulties that had to be overcome.

1 st. A strong redoubt of masonry of four faces, with an open gorge of ten feet, prepared for four guns, overlooked and commanded by a large stone house in rear: prepared with sand-bags and loop holes for infantry.

2d. Strong redoubt of four faces, open gorge of twenty feet, prepared for three guns.

3d. Fleches of masonry for infantry.

4th. Tete de pont, in front of the bridge of the Purisina, a strong work of masonry for three guns.

5th. Strong redoubt for one gun, not occupied by the enemy.

6th. A strong redoubt of masonry for three guns overlooking the approaches from Cadereita, and commanding the gorge of No. 2.

7th. A strong redoubt of masonry for three guns, overlooked and commanded by a large stone house prepared for infantry with loop-holes and sand-bags. Nos. 2,3,4,5,6, and 7 were connected by breast works of earth and brush for infantry, thus forming a complete line of defence from 4 to 7. Barricades of masonry, twelve feet thick, with embrasures for guns, were met with in every direction. The house tops and garden walls (reader will remember the peculiar construction of the house) were loop-holed throughout the city, and prepared with sand-bags for infantry defence.

8th. Fort Independence, or Citadel. - A large rectangular stone building, walls only standing, surrounding by an enclosed work of solid masonry, of four bastioned fronts, and prepared for thirty-one guns. A continued fire of artillery from this place was kept up during the 20th, 21st, 22d, and 23d. From No. 7 along the southern edge of the town, astone wall four feet thick, and prepared with embrasures for guns and banquettes for infantry, extended beyond the plaza.

9th. Cathedral in main plaza, principle magazine of the enemy. [SCM]

NRR 71.182 11/21/46 Munitions Captured at Monterey

MUNITIONS CAPTURED AT MONTEREY Park or Artillery. - Division of the North.

Invoices of Artillery, Arms, ammunitions, and other munitions of War, given in virtue of the articles of capitulation, signed Sept. 24, 1846.

Pieces of Artillery with Equipments and Sets of Arms.

2 - 4-pounders, culverine, mounted. 5 - 4-pounders. 4 - 7-inch howitzers. 1 - 12-pounder, dismounted. 1 - 6-pounder, mounted. 1 - 8-pounder, mounted
1 - 4-pounder, dismounted, conical. 1 - 3-pounder, dismounted. 1 - iron howitzer, unservicable. 6 - rampart guns, (bronzed. ) Arms for Infantry and Cavalry
149 - English muskets
102 - carbines
122 - bayonets
305 - gun barrels, (loose)
100 - carbine barrels, (loose)
43 - lances.

Munitions for Infantry and Artillery
882 - 18-pound balls, (in pile)
320 - 12-pound balls, do. 18 - boxes blank 12-pound cartridges--12 in each. 19 - boxes 8-pound canister shot, do. 40 - rounds 8-pound canister shot, (loose. )
3 - boxes 8-pound blank cartridges. 17 - boxes 6-pound ball cartridges-fixed: 15 and 18 in each box. 59 - boxes 4- pound ball cartridges-fixed; 18 and 24 in each box
2 - boxes 4-pound black cartridges-100 in both together
123 - rounds 3-poud ball cartridges
1 1/2 - boxes 7-inch howitzer blank cartridges
1/2 box 5 ¼ inch do. do. 15 - boxes 6-pound canister certridges--10 and 12 each
14 - boxes 4-pound canister cartridges- 12 and 16 each
40 - 8-pound balls
17 - boxes 12-pound canister cartridges
70 - rounds do. do. 12 - rounds 8-pound do. 28 - rounds do. do. 15 - boxes 7-inch howitzer canister cartridges. 70 - rounds 7-inch do. (loose)
253 - pound cartridges. 27 - boxes loaded grenades, 7-inch howitzer, 4 in each box
20 - boxes loaded grenades, 5 ¾-inch howitzer, 4 in each box. 350 - loose grenades, (part loaded)
248 - boxes musket-ball cartridges- (double ball. ) 1200 in each
83 - boxes cannon powder, (good) ---12,450lbs nett. 35 - boxes cannon powder, (damaged)--- 5,250lbs. Nett not examined probably good
7 - boxes musket powder, (damaged)--1200lbs nett. 3 - boxes rifle powder, (fine) 300lbs. Nett. 680 - pounds slow match. 71 - quintals lead, in balls. (The reader can calculate this)
101 - quintals lead, in bar. 10 - dozen signal rockets.

[Here follows a long list of tools &c] Park of Artillery. --Post of the Citadel. Statement of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores which are at this post on the 24thSept. , 1846. 60,000 - musket cartridges with ball
494 - 12-pound blank cartridges
334 - 8-pound do. 723 - 8-pound cartridges with ball. 294 - 6- pound do. 201 - 7-inch howitzer blank cartridges. 72 - 6-pound cartridges with grape. 171 - 12-pound canister shot. 390 - 8-pound
50 - 6-pound
102 - 7-inch howitzer canister shot. 112 - do. do. loaded shells. 218 - 12-pound balls
710 - 12-pound priming tubes, (paper)
1200 - 8-pound do. do. 160 - 6-pound do. do. 300 - do. do. 6 arobas slow-match, (150lbs)
4 - 8- pounders
2 - 6-pounders
2 - 7-inch howitzers

The special correspondent of the Picayune (who furnishes the above) says "Capt. Ramsay, of the Ordnance Department, who has all these things in charge, informs me that an immense quantity of musket cartridges have been fortified concealed in the city since the property named in the foregoing invoices was turned over by the enemy; also many othre articles in the shape of arms and munitions. Much property no doubt remains yet concealed, As for provisions, enough was found in the city to subsit our army and the citizens a month, and it is known that the enemy carried off large quantities of ammunition and provisions during the attack." An officer of our Army writes, in relation to that part of Gen. Ampudia's proclamation which stated that the Mexicans were short of ammunition and provisions,-"that more ammunition was captured and surrendered than has been sent from the U. States for the use of the army of occupation since the was began, and that the provisions found in the city have mainly subsisted the citizens and entire American forces ever since the capitulation, now more than two weeks, to say nothing of the amount permitted to be carried off by the Mexican army." [SCM]

NNR 71.182-184 November 21, 1846 list of the killed and wounded at Monterey


Wm. H. Watson, Lieut. Col.Balt. Vol.
L. N. Morris,captain3d inf.
G. P. Field, do do  
P. N. Barbour brev. maj. do
C. Hoskins 1st lt. & ad. 4th inf .  
J. C. Terrett 1st lieut. 1st inf.
D. S. Irwin 1st lt. & ad. 3d inf.
R. Haslett 2d lieut. do
J. S. Woods bvt. 1st. lt. 2d inf.
Geo. Waitman, 1st serg’t 3d art. E
John Eagle private do E
Lovell Gregory do do E
Henry Snower do do E
T. J. Babb sergeant3d inf.D
W. Patrick private do D
J. Newman do do D
C. Torskay do do D
J. Young do do D
Wm Brown sergeant do F
Wm Mickle privatedo F
J Harper do do F
C K Brown do do H
J Stubert do do H
Edgar Lavalette do do I
Edward Reilly do do K
Benj Brant corporal 4th inf. E
Thos Salsbury private do A
Henry Conline do do D
Edward Carey do do D
A J Vanceal do do D
M McGouth do do E
John Weeks do do E
J S Doble do do E
P Andrews do do E
Peter Judge do do E
J B Pennington do Texas Vol
Martin Enwul do 1st inf E
T W Gibson do do G
T Perkins do do G
Lawson Stuart do do G
Joseph Wolf dodo G
George Beck do do G
R Buchnan do do C
H K Brown dodo C
J Caroll do do C  
Marcus French do do K
John Savage do do K
Mica Hatch do do E
Wm Raymond do do E
F Sheridan corporaldo E
John Truscott 1st serg’t Balt bat B
G A Herring sergeant do E
A Ramsey private do E
Jos Worry do do E
P O’Briendo do B  
W W Lear major 3d inf.Severly
H Bambridge captain do B slightly
J J Ambercombie brev maj 1st inf B do
J H Lemott captain do B severely
R H Graham 1st lieut 4th inf B since dead
R Dilworth 2d lieut 1st infB do
P Startwout sergeant 3d art C slightly
John Edwards private 2d drag
Wm P Holschea do 3d art C do
John Leedo do Cdo
M McCarthydo do C do
T Frickendo do C do
Bendt Nelson do do C do
B Stokes do 2d drag B do
George Wolfcorporal 3d art E do
S D Coal private do E severely
T Hueson do do E do
Wm Gilmore do do E do
John McCarthy do do E do
M Reilly do do E do
W R Good corporal do E slightly
Austin Clark private do E mortally
P E Holcomb do do E slightly
Thos Wajan musician 3d inf - severely
G Brownly sergeant do A do
Emit Hadduck private do C slightly
D Maloney do do C do
J Hogan do do C do
P White do do C do
C Ichle do do C severely
N Farley do do C do
C Leslie do do D do
D Preslie do do D do
J D Ritters do do D do
W H McDonnell private 3d inf D slightly
I B Tucker do do D severely
M Tyler private 3d inf F severely
J Morris do do F do
W Mullen do do H do
W Rooke do do H do
J Treel do do H do
D Boyle do do H slightly
T Clair do do H do
Wm H Bowden do do I severely
J Mansfield do do I do
C Adams do do I do
Edward Astin do do I do
James Calhoun do do I do
J Kerns do do I do
M Regan do do I do
L Sours do do K do
D Pottsdaner do do K do
G E Radwell do do K do
Thos O’Brien do do K do
G W Andrews sergeant 4th inf A slightly
R Sanders do do B dange’ly
T Mannigan do do E do
James Ryan do do E severely
Thos Hyam corporal do A do
James Wyley do do B dange’ly
D McDonnell do do C slightly
Wm Albison do do D severely
M McCormick do do E do
Wm Taylor private do A do
E Henderson do do A slightly
Wm Holborn do do A severely
Wm Petty do do A dange’ly
Wm Johnson do do A slightly
John Hill do do A severely
E Barnum do do D do
Robt Halden do do D do
Wm A Jones do do D do
James Myersdo do D slightly
Aaron Wriggle do do D severely
Andrew Smith do do D since d’d
Wm C Jones do do E dange’ly
John Maguire do do E severely
John McDuffy do do E dange’ly
John Banks 1st serg’t 1st inf K slightly
Patrick Myles do do K severely
E Ressie do do E slightly
T H Haller do do E do
John Tigart do do E do
E Garver do do C severely
Denton Conner corporal do G do
Robert Aikens do do C do
A Lapple do do C do
C Smith musician do K slightly
Wm McCarty private do K severely
Patrick Neely do do K slightly
John Saunders do do K do
Wm Norlin do do E do
R E Wooley do do E severely
James Crawley do do G slightly
H Duchart do do G do
F Faulkner do do G severely
A Ryan do do G slightly
John Wilson do do G do
Jacob Smidt do do G severely
Chas. Radcliffe do do G slightly
James Delany do do K severely
H. Schrieder do do G do
John Gallagher do do C do
Levi Smith do do G do
P M Cabe do do E do
W P Paulson1st serg’tBalt batB slightly
Robt Caples private do Adange’ly
James Piles do do A severely
Albert Hart do do A do
Wm Lee do do A do
Jacob Hemming do do B slightly
Geo Aunuld do do B severely
Chas Peck do do D slightly
Andrew J Norris do do D do
Geo Allen do do E do
James Henry do do E do
Harry Elting do do E do
Wm Kelly do do F severely
H Gifford do do F slightly
Melvin J Stone do do F do
E W Stevenso do do F do
Wm P Alexander do do Aseverely
E Gromleyprivate 3d inf I presumed dead
Geo O’Brien do do I presumed dead


Ohio Regiment.
Names. Rank Company Remarks
Matthew Hett 1st lieut -
W G Davis 1st serg’t B
D F Smith private B
O B Coxe do B
Elijah Reese do B
Thos McMurray do B
W H Harris corporal 1 R
Rich’d Welch private A
James McGonkey do C
George Phale do C
Wm Weber do C
John Havolet do D
T D Egan do E
Stephen Freeman do 2R
Oscar Behnee do 2R
W O Butler maj gen
A M Mitchell Col. - severely
A W Armstrong lt & adj - do
Lewis Mortar 1st lieut - slightly
N H Niles do - severely
H McCarty 2d lieut - slightly
James George captain - do
Samuel Myers private 1R
J A Kellam do 1R
Edward Wade do 1R
Wm Maloney 1st serg’t A
John Ferrell private A
John Clarken do A
Wm Work do A
T Vande Venter do A
Jon Flannigan do A
Jeremiah Ryan do A
Michael Gilligan do A
Tobia Went do C
Charles Segar do C
Griffin Lowerd do D
Alfred Donohue do D
Joseph Lombeck do D
Silas Burrill do D
Wm Miler sergeant E
G W Fitzhugh corporal E
Robert Doney Private E
Adam F Shane do G
John Fletcher do G
A B McKee do G
George Myer do H
George Webster sergeant 2R
Geo Longfellow do 2R
J F Longley corporal 2R
John Pearson private 2R since dead
R H Alcott do 2R
H Humphries do 2R
W B Allen captain
S M Putnam 2d lieut
J B Porter private C
Wm H Robinson do C
John A Hill sergeant D
B F Coffee private D
E W Thomas do E
B H Dolton do F
I Gurman Elliot do G
P H Martin do G
Edward Prior do G
Benj Soaper do G
Henry Collins do H
Jas H Allison do I
Jas H Johnson do I
Jas B Turner do I
R D Willis do I
J B Burkitt do K
J M L Campbell do K
A J Eatondo K
A J Gibson do K
Finlay Glover do K
A J Prattdo K
Wm Rhodes do K
John W Sanders do K
G W Wilson do K
R B Alexander majorseverely
J L Scudder 1st lieutdo
G H Nixon doslightly
J C Allen2d lieut B severely
F F Winston corporal B slightly
J L Bryantprivate B severely
Alexander Bigam do B do
D C Fleming do B do
Mackey Roney do B do
Samuel Davis do B do
James Thompson do B do
David Collins do B do
A S Duvalldo B slightly
T B Powell do B do
Wm B Davis do C do
Joseph Law do C do
James York do C mortally
William Young do C
Richard Gifford do C slightly
A V Stanfield do C do
Asa Lamb do C do
J J Argo corporal C do
James Todd private D severely
Thomas Vickers do D do
W D Cabler do E since dead
James M Vance 1st serg’t F severely
George W Gilbert sergeant F slightly
Charles M Tally private F do
Michael Crantz do F severely
R C Locke do F do
J F Raphile do F since dead
Thomas Kelly do F severely
Albert Tomlinson do F do
Julius C Elliot corporal C do
R A Cole private G slightly
James H Jenkins do G severely
A G Stewart do G do
Gulinger Holt sergeant H do
James Patterson corporal H slightly
Charley Arnold private H do
J J Blackwell do H do
Joseph Crutchfield do H do
J Freeman do H severely
J D Gilmer do H do
P O Hale do H do
Daniel C King do H severely
C B Maguire do H do
S S Reaves do H do
A W Reaves do H slightly
Augustin Stevens do H do
Thomas N Smith do H do
C B Ward do H do
Charles Davis 1st serg’t I severely
Robert W Green corporal I do
Eli Brown private I do
W F Bowen do I do
Peter Engels do I do
Robert Flannigan do I do
William Lowery do I slightly
S N Macey do I do
E G Zachary do I severely
W M Alfred corporal K do
John H Kay do K do
A S Alexander private K do
M C Abinethy do K slightly
Jesse Brashars do K severely
J M Bailey do K do
Campbell B Boyd do K do
B L Commons do K slightly
J W Curtis do K severely
H H Dawson do K do
John Gavin do K slightly
Aaron Parks do K slightly
F Richardson do K severely
Thomas C Ramsey do K do
John Vining do K do
M D Watson do K do
Thomas Thompson do F
Felix Wordzincki private F
R R Morehead do I
L M Trocur Private C
Silas Mitchum do E
Samuel Potts do G
Joseph H Tenelle do H
William H Grisam corporal
Joseph Heaton privateI
Joseph Downing do I
Daniel D Dubois do H
John M Tyree do K
Alex R McClung lt col. - dang’rously
R N Downing captain - severely
Henry T Cook 1st lieut - slightly
Rufus K Arthur 2d lieut - do
L T Howard do - severely
Henry H Miller private B dang’rously
J H Jackson do B do
A Lainhart do B severely
J L Anderson do B slightly
G H Jones do B do
John D Markham corporal C severely
H B Thompson private C slightly
F W Hollingworth sergeant D do
Dr G W Ramsey private D mortally
Alpheus Cobb do D dang’rously
George Willis do D do
W Huffman do D do
O W Jones do D do
William Orr do D slightly
D Love do D do
Joseph H Langford sergeant E do
A P Barnham private E mortally
H W Pierce do E dang’rously
William Shadt do E do
W H Fleming do E Severely
Jacob Frederick do E slightly
[?] do E do
[?] do E do
M M Smith do E do
James Kilvey do E do
J Williamson do G dang’rously
A W Taig do C do
Warren White do G severely
Robert Bowen do G do
Frederick Mathews do G mortally
v Benj F Roberts do G slightly
Avery Noland do G do
Francis A Wolf sergeantI dang’rously
C F Cotton private I severely
George Williams do I do
Nat Massie do I slightly
William H Bell sergeant K dang’rously
E B Lewis private K do
D B Lewis do K do
Charles Martin do K do
James L Thompson do K slightly
John Stewart do K do
John McNoris do K do
R W Chance do B mortally
P W Johnson do C severely
Robert Grigg do H slightly
Platt Snedicor do K mortally
Valentine Duetche private
Lewis Young do
Joseph Bartlett do I
Philip Smith do I
Thomas Alender do K


Names. Rank Co.Regiment Remarks.
H McKavetcaptain E 8th inf
W Rihl private A do
Charles Hamm do G 4th art
J F Wagner do I do
Irwing do I do
Miller do I do
P Frickicson do Cv 7th inf
S G Alleng do ph La Vol
John Francis do Ph do
N L Rossell1st lt 5th inf
Brandser maj NCSdo
McManus private E do
Grubb do G do
Schriveigman do G do
Belldo H do
Ingalls do I do
Grelan do K do
McGuirk do K do
Hendricks do K do
R C Catlin captain F 7th inf
J H Potter 2d lt I do
R S Cross serg’nt C do
S P Oakley corp’al K do
M Fleming private D do
C Gernsberger do E do
James Myers do E do
A Renebeck do E do died Sep 27
N White do K do
Morron corp’alK 1st art died oct 7
James Harvey private H4th art died Sep 28
Louis Kirk do Ph La Vol
J W Miller do Ph do
W Burton do Ph do
M Morton do Ph do
Basse do A 2d art badly wou’d
Michael Nooman do H 4th art
Joseph Grey do H do
Stephen Edwards do G do
Theopholis Bowis do G do
James Lynch do I 4th inf died Sep 30
Mark Collins do A do
Dennis Kelly do A do
Amos Collins do A do
John Reineck do A do
Isaac Dyer do A do
Boyd do I 4th Inf died Oct 9
Ragan arificer I do
Pual Bunzey private K2d art. died Oct 9
Geo Wainwright 2d lit A 8th inf
Rock serg’nt B do
Wilis do D do
Marshall do D do
R Riley private E do
Lauce Tacey do H do
Jas McKnight do H do
Names. Rank Co. Remarks
Herman S Thomas private A killed sep 22
------- Armstrong do A badly wounded
Fielding Alston do A do
John P Waters do A do
C E De Witt do A do
Oliver Jenks do A slightly woun’d
J F Minter do A do
Thomas Law do A do
John Rabb do C do
Wm E Reese lieut D do
Daniel McCarty private D killed
J W D Austin do E killed 21st
Jesse Perkins do E slightly wounded
N F Browning do F do
------ Roundtree sergeant G do
J B Walker corporal H do
Wm Carey private H badly wounded
R A Gillespie captain I killed
Gilbert Brush private I slightly wounded
John F Fullerton corporal K killed
J B Barry sergeant K slightly wounded
F F Keys private K do

-          Col. Wood’s regiment of TEXAS RANGERS.

Operating in the eastern part of the city on the 23d,
Killed- George Short and Thomas Gregory.
Wounded- Baker Barton, Charles G Davenport, Ira Grisbey, and Calvin Reese.

J Buchanan, H P Lyon, and C W Tufts were left behind on special duty, and are supposed to be killed.  [MJK]

NNR 71.182-71.184 November 21, 1846 second attack on Alvarado

From the New Orleans Picayune Extra, Nov. 7.


Of Antonia Lizardo, October 13, 1846.

GENTLEMEN:  We are on the eve of another attack on Alvarado.  At 5 o’clock this afternoon com. Conner issued orders for the sailing of the squadron (frigates and reritan excepted) for the mouth of the Alvarado river.  The Commodore takes command of the expedition un person, making use of the steamer Vixen as his flag ship for the occasion.  One o’clock tomorrow morning ids the hour fixed for getting under weigh, and already the steamers Mississippi, Vixen, and McLane are firing up.  Besides these vessels the force consists of the revenue cutter Forward, schooners Reefer, Petrel, and Bonito, and prize schooner Nonata.  This latter vessel was recently captured from the Mexicans and and was formerly the American schooner Belle, out of your port.  She now mounts four 42 pound cannonades.  For the past month we have bee drilling our men as infantry upon a small island here, and Jack is so anxious for a fight that he marks time with a good grace, and everyone appears pleased, that at last we are to have a chance at the enemy.

At the mouth of the river the Mexicans have a ten gun battery, and we know of a brig of war and two guns boats being anchored inside.  A number of their small merchantmen have taken refuge in the harbor, and there must be a smart sprinkling of prize money in store for us.

October 16.  Our sailing orders for the morning of the 14th were commanded in consequence of its blowing to fresh for operations-occasioning a delay of the expedition for twenty-four hours.  We sailed, however, at 1 o’clock A.M. yesterday, but I regret to say that we are all at anchor again to-day and Alvarado is yet in possession of the Mexicans.

You were pleased to call the former attack on Alvarado an abortion, and I suppose you will not be sparing of hard names for the greatest failure; but I trust that when you examine the facts of the case, you will understand that it was owing to the effieciency of the means at the disposal of Com. Conner, and to the natural defences of the place itself, that we have not been successful, rather than to any want of skill or courage on his part, or lack of spirit and support by the officers and men under his command.

We were within ten miles of the mouth of the river at daylight and stood slowly into shore, it being dead calm-the Vixen and McLane towing the schooners-the Mississippi anchored at long shot distance and commenced her fire.  Up to this time everything seemed favorable for the success of the expedition.  There being a heavy swell on the bar the pilots declined taking there vessels over.  The commodore leading in the Vixen, with the rest of the force following, passed by the fort, each vessel firing her broadside as she ranged ahead, with but little effect, however, owing to the distance.  A long eighteen in the forward sent a shot directly into the fort-this movement was completed with better success, the distance being lessened and again the Forward made a most beautiful shot.  In the meanwhile the Mississippi had closed up and was exploding her Paixhans about the heads of the Mexicans in a way that must have made some of them see more stars than the Lord had ever made.  One shot from her dismounted a heavy gun of theirs from a stockade, this they soon remedied, but thus far all their shot had fallen short.  During the morning several of our boats surrounded within a half mile of the fort, receiving the fire of the enemy with as much impunity as indifference.  The swell on the bar having somewhat subsided at 1 P.M., the time was formed as follows.  Steamer Vixen, flagship, towing gunboats Reefer, and Bonita; steamer McLane, toeing the Nonata; cutter Forward and gunboat Petrel; then two launchers, three cutters and a barge, but the McLane stuck fast, and the commodore finding himself deprived of two thirds of his force, and being unable to sustain the fire of a twelve gun battery with but four light pieces of his own, was obliged to retreat.  The force in the boats was now exposed to heavy fire, the shot flying thick and fast around us, and had the Mexicans fired grape it would have knocked some of us into fits.  We escaped however, with a good ducking from the spray of the balls.

It being now too late in the day for any further operations, signal was made for return for anchorage, and thus ended this bloodless combat, bloodless not because each and every man of us would not have shed our hearts best to gain the day, not because our plan of attack was not good, or that we were not properly led, but because Providence has provided the enemy with such natural defences as cannot be overcome by a naval attack with such means as Commander Conner has at his disposal.  The McLane is an abominable abortion, (to make use of your own word,) drawing too much water to be serviceable, and with not sufficient power to drive her over three and a half knots an hour-but it is due to Capt. Howard to say that as soon as he got this vessel afloat again he proffered to make another attempt to pass the bar, but the commodore declined, as it was now too late in the afternoon.

There remains one way to take this Alvarado, and mark my words, it will be done before many weeks; meanwhile we must expect to be severely handled by the newspapers at home, and by the people who expect us to accomplish impossibilities and gain glory on a field where none is to be won-although no man, with two ideas in his head, who witnessed our recent defeat can attribute blame to any one. [MJK]

NRR 71.185 November 21, 1846 movement against Tobasco

October 25. On the night of 16th inst., the three steamers, cutter Forward, schrs. Bonito, Reefer, and Nonata, under command of Com. Perry, left Anton Lizardo for an attack on Tobasco. On the morning of the 17th, the Mississippi made a prize of the American bark Coosa. Capt. Hickling, off Alvarado river, and sent her to this place upon suspicion of her being about to land her cargo on the Mexican coast. This vessel was cleared from New Orleans on the 3d inst. for Havana, by Messrs. Wythe & Egana, with 1,600 bales of cotton, put up in 200 pound bales, and there appears good reason to suppose that it was intended for Mexico. She will sail for your port on the 27th, in charge of passed mid-shipman Barrett, son of one of your former collectors.

To day, another prize, the Yucatan schooner “El Telegrafo,”  arrived from the Tobasco expedition on the 22nd, and reports the fleet standing off the land waiting for weather to go into the river.



NNR 71.185 November 21, 1846 movements on the Pacific coast, expedition against San Diego, Com. Robert Field Stockton takes San Pedro, California ports occupied

PACIFIC SQUADRON. Accounts from the Pacific of August 22, afford us some interesting particulars:On the 22d of July, Commodore Stockton assumed command of the United States Naval Forces on the west coast of Mexico. On the 25th, the “Cyane” with the “California company of mounted riflemen,” under Col. Fremont, sailed from Monterey for San Diego, that they might be landed southward of the Mexican forces, amounting to 500 men, under Gen. Castro and Gov. Pico, who were all well fortified at the camp of the Mesa, three miles from the “city of the Angels.” A few days after, Commodore Stockton, in the “Congress” sailed for San Pedro, where he landed with his gallant sailor army, and marched directly for the redoubtable “camp of the Mesa.” When he had come within 12 miles of the camp, General Castro broke ground and ran for the city of Mexico. The governor of the territory, and the other principal officers, separated in different parties; and on the 13th August, having been joined by Col. Fremont and 80 riflemen, and by Mr. Larkin, late American consul, the commodore entered the famous “Ciudad de los Angelos,” the capital of the Californias, and took quiet possession of the government house. Most of the principal officers were subsequently taken.

The American force thus chased the Mexican army more than 300 miles along the coast; pursued them 30 miles in the interior of their country; routed and dispersed them, and secured quiet possession of their territory.

The “Congress” was to sail in a few days on a cruise for the protection of our commerce, and the remaining vessels of the squadron were to be disposed with a view to the same object, so far as they could be spared from the blockade of the southern coast.

The President’s proclamation, and the congressional proceedings in reference to the war , were first received by Commodore Stockton (in a Mexican account) on the 19th of August, by the United States ship Warren, from Mazatian.  The flag of the United States is now flying from every commanding position in the territory of California.

The patriotism and courage of the men who accompanied the commodore on this expedition after Castro, are spoken of in the highest terms. Their march was trying and hazardous , perhaps longer than has ever been made in the interior of a country by sailors after an enemy.—

           Wash. Union. The John Adams U.S. ship, Commander McCluney, sailed on the 4th inst. from Pensacola for Vera Cruz.  [KMK]

NRR 71.185-186 November 21, 1846 arrival of the prize bark Coosa at New Orleans
NNR 71.186 the captured Mexican schooner Telegraph brought up to the fleet

PRIZES.- Bark Coosa, recently seized off Alvarado by the U. States Squadron, arrived at New Orleans on the 10th instant, in charge of Passed Midshipman Barrett.

The Mexican prize schooner Telegraph, taken by the U.S. steamship Mississippi of Tabasco, was brought up to the fleet on the 16th ult. [KMK]

NRR 71.186-71.187, 71.194 November 21, 1846 Daniel Webster's speech at Faneuil Hall

On Friday evening, November 6, 1846: Mr. President and Fellow Citizens: I had not anticipated the pleasure of being present on this occasion. It is my wish rather to avoid, than to seek opportunities of addressing large public bodies. While it is my purpose to discharge, as well as I am able, the duties which devolve on me, as a citizen of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, I must, as a general rule, leave the discussion of particular subjects before you to younger, as well as abler hands. (Great cheering, and cries of “Go on.”)

Gentlemen, since some little while- I think about six or seven weeks ago—great changes have taken place, not only with regard to political parties, but with respect to the great political prospects of the country.

There are many of my fellow citizens who heard me on a former occasion, and many gentlemen here present, this evening, who have heard me declare that it was difficult, and always would be difficult, to maintain such principles unless we could make an impression for the good upon the great central portion of our Union. We had done excellently in the east—excellently in the south, and in the southeast—and excellently in the steady west. But nevertheless, while New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio were against us our difficulty was great. We required them to come forward in the great work of maintaining sound whig principles. Here was our hope. And now or later, to-morrow if not to-day, we trusted that they would array themselves on the right side.

That day has come. (Great cheering.) The brightening of that morning has dawned upon us- and they are here, to- day, not against us, but with us.

        (Renewed applause.)Gentlemen, let me remind you that every election, since the policy of the administration has been developed, has been, more or less, adverse to that administration. The results in Maryland, in New Jersey, in Florida, in Georgia, in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in New York, (loud cheers,) all prove this. And will any man say, can any one suggest, that one single state has sanctioned the policy of the present administration?The most recent denomination has been in New York. (Enthusiastic applause.) The state of this election is very well known to all of you, and I do not know of anything new to communicate, except the following telegraphic dispatch, dated at five o’clock this afternoon—which I will read—

“The good news of yesterday is more than confirmed by telegraph from Buffalo and through this P.M. John Young’s majority will not be less than 11,000; 23 whigs are elected to congress out of 34, and at least 70 whig members of assembly out of the 128. Under the term “whigs” we do not include any ‘anti-renters’ or ‘hunkers.’ Massachusetts will respond to this next Monday, will she not?Gentlemen, will not Massachusetts respond? (Immense cheering.)Now gentlemen, there remains an important question to be answered. It is this. What has produced this great change in the political policy of the people? And upon this question  I confine my remarks to the state of New York, the change in which is the most recent and important of all.

And what is it?It has been said by some that the anti-rent vote, the universal suffrage vote, &c., would greatly affect the result. We have also heard it said that the personal enemies of Gov. Wright would turn the scale of the election. But let me assure you that the case lies deeper than all this.

There are counties on the river which have given positive whig majorities- such as Long Island, and the river counties—wherein the question did not turn upon the local questions affecting the personal choice of members. But, throwing aside these returns for the assembly, and all the local questions connected with them, it is now certain that the whigs have elected the governor of New York by 11,000 or 12,000 majority. Not only is this a very handsome majority for the governor, but when we look at the congressional delegation, we find that more than two thirds (cheers) are ours. (Cheering.) Throughout the whole state we ran for members of congress, and throughout the whole state we are far ahead.  But instead of choosing 23, the whigs ought to have chosen 26 members. Unhappily, in the city, and in Kings’ county, the whigs and the native republicans were divided.

Now, the native republicans and the whigs are divided. Amongst the former I must say there are men of intelligence, and I am glad to say men of the best character. They have all great personal and political respectability, and I should be glad if all could be chosen. I should be happy, too, could, at the same time, some others of our candidates for congress have been elected. James Munroe, inheriting not only the name, but the virtues of his ancestor, Van Wagenen, Phoenix. Unhappily this division amongst our party, and amongst the agents we employed, defeated all, and let in the enemy.

This let in the enemy. This was unhappy. But it does not become me to impute blame to any body, on this account. It was one of the infirmities of human nature.

Gentlemen, I shall go, on Monday, to the meeting in the town in which I live, and there deposit my vote. (Loud applause.)  I shall find many well meaning men who differ from me, though they do not write “conscience” upon their flag. Some of my worthy neighbors will give their votes for the candidates of the 3d party, with the certainty that their votes can only avail to keep the district unrepresented, or let in the opposition candidate. I wish, that upon this subject, I could address myself—feeble as my voice may be—to every voter in the district in which I live.

The evil which threatens us is not to be overcome by railing or reproach, but by reasoning with our neighbors—by representing to them the true consequences of their conduct—and by showing them its inevitable result It is as clear as anything can be, that those persons who voted the third party ticket in 1844, suffered Mr. Polk to be elected and Texas to be annexed. And therefore, so far as their permission extended, they suffered what we call the Mexican war to be suffered upon us. The Mexican war! It was proclaimed on the house- tops by the opposition, that the annexation of Texas would involve a war with Mexico, and denied by the other side. And yet those who professed to be the most zealous of peaceful annexation, did just what they could to bring about a war.

But to return to the causes which have brought about these changes in the middle states. What has caused this change? It is all to be referred to the recent measures of congress, not owing to the change of fifty or a hundred here and there in the state of New York, but because the reflecting men of all parties—the masses, the troops, have come over from the opposite side and voted the whig ticket. In the most effectual manner they have signified their utter disapprobation of the war, the new tariff, the sub-treasury, and the various other projects of the administration. Tried on this standard, New York has gone whig, and especially as to members of congress has she gone whig out and out.  Theresult here opens quite a new view- it opens quite new prospects; and if, as I trust, the whigs will act becomingly and moderately, and discreetly, we shall hold the majority we have gained.

Gentlemen, I do not suppose that the sub-treasury did much for the administration in New York. That is not yet in operation, and its benefits are not yet perceived. (Laughter.) Much as is the influence of the Union, it cannot refer all these results to the sub-treasury, either on one side of the other. The tariff and the war have had their share of these.

The Mexican war is universally odious throughout the United States, and we have yet to find any Sempronius who raises his voice for it.

(Here some one in the gallery asked Mr. Webster who voted for the war. He replied, “nobody at all. The president made it without any vote whatever.”   Tremendous applause.)

And that leads me to say that the war, in its origin, was a presidential war. But the constitution declares that congress alone shall have the power of declaring war; and I beg to know where, when how they so declared it. Every one does know that our army was ordered, by the president, to advance from the Nueces to the Rio Grande, thereby invading a foreign territory. And because the Mexicans resisted this encroachment on their soil, we have next the proclamation of the president that war exists between Mexico and the United States. The proclamation of the president stated that explicitly.

But, gentlemen, there is another question here- Texas had become a part of this Union. We had received her as a state, and had assumed her boundary—the Nueces. Why should we not treat with Mexico for that? Why, when all new territory of the United States was bounded by the Nueces, and everything beyond that was claimed by Mexico; and in the actual possession of Mexico—why, then, I say, should the president of the United States have ordered the army south of the Nueces, to take possession of Mexican land? That was the origin of the war, and that was against the spirit of the constitution of the United States. (Vehement applause.) Congress alone has the power to declare war, and yet it is obvious, under the present construction, that if the president is resolved to involve the country in a war, he may do it. This, I say, is a great misjudgement on the part of the president; it is a clear violation of his duty; in my judgment it is an impeachable offence. (Great cheering.)

The great objection to this war is, that it is illegal in its character. There has been a great violation of duty on the part of the president.  He has plunged the country into war, whereas, unless in case of invasion of our actual limits, he has no right to do so. In that case of such invasion, the power does exist in the president to take measures to repel aggression. But to go out of our limits, and declare war for a foreign occupation of what does not belong to us, is no part of the power invested in our president by our constitution.

So much for the origin of the war.

Mr. Chairman, I wish to speak with all soberness in this respect, and I would say nothing, here, tonight, which I would not say in my place in congress, or before the whole world. The question now is, for what purpose, and to what ends is this present war to be prosecuted.

And in speaking of this, let me, in the first place, put myself right before the people. Individually, I have no respect for the government of Mexico. The people of that country are the worst governed on the face of the earth. They are subject wholly to military despotism, and it matters not whether Faredes, Almonte, Santa Anna, Ampudia, or any one else wields the supreme power.

And I say, also, that Mexico should have come to terms with us before. The United States have well- founded claims against Mexico. There is no doubt of that. And I have as little doubt, and as little hesitation, in saying that Mexico has behaved most wrongfully towards us. She has acted ruinously for her own interests, and injuriously for her own character, in all respects.

Mexico is a republic professedly formed on our own model. I could wish—we all wish—that she could find amongst her sons another Washington. But the truth must be told. And the truth is, that all republics made out of Spanish dominions in America, have been miserable failures. Mexico, especially, has no principles of free government about her at all.

But to indulge these considerations is not to discharge our own duty of inquiry into the objects and ends of this war. Who knows anything about the war, except that our armies have reached to Monterey, and will reach to Mexico if they can.  (Applause.) And what then? Is the whole country to be fortified—taken possession of as American territory—a territory equal to the formation of forty new states?  These are questions which it is time for us to put with sobriety and seriousness. It is time for us to know what are the objects and designs of our government.

The people of these United States are not in the habit of calculating, when a right is to be asserted, what will be the expense, but on an occasion of this kind they will be very apt to ask what the speculation will cost. I have been at some pains to ascertain the facts of this respect, and I submit to your consideration the results to which I have arrived.

It appears from the monthly statements of the treasury of the U. States, that the balance in the treasury on the

27th April was$12,036,000
1st June "11,478000dim. in May$558 ,000
29th June "9,310,000" June$2,168,000
27th July "7,725,000" July$1,585,000
24th Aug. "5,593,000" Aug.$2,132,000
21st Sept. "4,815,000" Sept.$778,000
  Total dimunition in 5 months $7,221,000

And it appears from the monthly statements of the register of the treasury, that the amount of outstanding treasury notes was as follows:

1st Aug. last, $447,000 (being remains of old issues)
1st Sept. "$1,090,000
Increases in August $643,000
1st Oct.$2,240,000
Increases in Sept.$4,150.000

Making the excess of expenditures (beyond receipts) for 5 months $9,014,000.

      The excess being at the rate per annum of $21,633,600.

According to the President’s message to congress last December, the receipts for the year ending 30th June, 1845 were $29,769,000. If they are the same the present year, it would appear that the government is expending money at the rate of $51,000,000 per annum. But as payments are, probably, not made so fast as debts in incurred, it may, I think, be fairly estimated that our present annual expenses are at least double the revenue, that is to say- at least $60,000,000.

So that the result is that the government, for the last five months, has been paying  at the rate of sixty million per annum, or twice the amount of the revenue. And this does not include the outstanding claims.

All this has to be met. And how is it to be met?Congress has given authority to the secretary of the treasury to issue treasury notes, and to effect a loan. The notes have been issued, and the loan has been applied for- at a high rate of interest, 6 per cent. But as the existing debt is not above par, it is doubtful whether the new issue can be obtained on favorable terms.

And here it appears the absurdity of the sub-treasury scheme. And I must say, that if the government were to set itself at work most effectually to thwart its own financial measures, it could not contrive a better means than the sub-treasury for that purpose. Government, for instance, asks for a loan now, and obtains a loan from the capitalists. In January next, it requires another loan to say ten millions, all to be paid in specie. Where will it be found? It would require all the specie in New York and Boston to make the sum. As the matter now stands, the scheme is impracticable; by its operation, if carried into effect, the wheels of government would be clogged; the administration would be obstructed upon its own course, and government would be deprived of all means of action.

It is agreed by all that the administration is not, at present, remarkably strong in financial affairs, taking into consideration the present war- and it seems to be pretty certain that it will be hard work, rather an up-hill business, to carry that war on. And provided that every dollar which government gets locked up, is required by the sub-treasury act, the machine will soon come to a standstill.

Gentlemen, let me refer you to the tariff. That question was one of the causes which operated largely in the recent New York election.  In counties where, for many years before, we had not been able to secure a majority any where, the whigs have now majorities in every town in district. The tariff law of 1846 is found to strike directly at the labor of the country and the interests of labor. (Prolonged cheering.) I have asked a friend of mine what caused the remarkable change in his district, in New York, and he replied that this was not an agricultural, but a manufacturing district, and the new law was a death blow to nearly all its interests. So of nearly all places where manufacturers are established.

Mr. Chairman, it is the Mexican war, the tariff of 1846, and the presidential vetoes, which have produced the great changes we see around us.

     Sir, there are two surprises which have been sprung upon the people of the United States,The first was the nomination of Mr. Polk at the Baltimore convention – for surely no people was less prepared  for any great event than this people for the nomination. (Applause) When the event was first made known, as you are all aware, the great question was, “Who, under heaven is James K. Polk?” But party allegiance was so strong that it overcame the surprise, and convinced the people that Mr. Polk was an especial fit man to maintain  and support the interests of the country, and the interests of Pennsylvania in particular. (Laughter.)The second surprise was the Mexican war. Who expected that? But upon the 11th of May  the war did exist, according to the president’s declaration. Our army was then in a critical condition. I had then, gentlemen, occasion to be absent from congress and at home, never anticipating such a state of things. The war bill which you have so often heard referred to, passed on the 11th, fourteen members voting against it in the house and two in the senate. And upon what ground was it passed? Surely on the part of the whigs, that the country was unexpectedly in a state of war—that our army was in an exposed situation—and that it was absolutely necessary to sustain them. I arrived in Washington a few days afterwards, and never did I hear the suggestion from anybody, that a vote for that bill involved an approval of the course of the administration. Never did I hear such a thing then.

Your excellent representative—than whom very few men, indeed, enjoy more the esteem, respect and confidence of the great whig party of the U. States—(tremendous cheering.) was one who voted for the bill. The opposition to it, and to him, springs up here and no where else. The members from the liberty loving state of Vermont, those from Connecticut—are they accused? And Amos Abbot, from your third district—is there a voice raised against him? Mr. Vinton, of Ohio, one of the most able, intelligent and influential members of congress, and for whom every whig member would this day, with all his heart, cast his vote for speaker—was any thing said against him? Not one word.

Fellow citizens, I am grieved, sorry, that at this late time a clamor should be raised against your member for his vote on that occasion. I do not think it quite fair—it is not reasonable or just—it is not at all like Boston. (Great approbation.)Sir, we live in a day of uncommon prosperity. Heaven has been gracious to us, beyond our hopes. We have been blessed with health. Education has flourished. Commerce and agriculture are prosperous. We have an enterprising and thriving population. But, Mr. Chairman, excesses sometimes lead to discontent, and I am afraid that something of that nature is the case with us. While I admit that the genial influences of our climate, the character of our soil, the energy of our people, much of this prosperity is owing, I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that the protective power over all these—carrying us onward to honor and renown—is the Constitution of the United States. (A tremendous burst of cheers.) And it is, therefore, with the greatest regret, that I hear any suggestions of doing away with that instrument. (Renewed shouts.) I entertain no such counsel. (Cheers.) I am for taking the constitution as out fathers left it to us, and standing by it, and dying by it. (Vehement cheers.) I agree that it has been violated. The admission of Texas—another slave holding state—was a violation of the constitution. But, how was that accomplished? I would indulge in no bitter expressions against our southern brethren. They had education, and hate, and prejudice, all to sustain them in their course. But what shall we say of those members of congress from the north—from New Hampshire, and Connecticut, and Maine—who voted for it? How they so acted, and why they so acted, is almost utterly incomprehensible. How they have since been rejected by the people, is comprehensible enough. (Laughter.)I agree that the annexation of Texas struck a blow at the influence of free institutions. New England might have prevented it if she would, but her people would not be roused. Thank God I did not slumber over that danger. (Cheering.)But if the constitution be violated—what is our duty? To destroy it? To cast it aside? Surely not. But to renovate and restore it. To be more alive to our own duties under it, and more earnest in performing them. If we are true to ourselves, let me say to you, there can never be another annexation of slave territory to this union under heaven. Never- never! (Vociferous plaudits.) But if the people, under the influence of party feelings, and for the sake of the dry and stale loaves and fishes in the gift of party, shall neglect their duty—then there is no limit to such annexation, from the Rio Grande to Patagonia.

Gentlemen, has not the constitution given this people great prosperity? Has not our commerce flourished under it?  Has it not made our flag honored and respected in every sea on earth? Has it not festered our manufacturers? Where would the country have been without it? Where would our Massachusetts have been without it? Not the Massachusetts she is now.

I will not, I cannot contemplate—I cannot endure to turn my eyes to the state of things consequent on an abandonment of the constitution.

Some have spoken of it as violated, and therefore at an end. But it is not plain that to abrogate it involves the abandonment of oaths—the perpetration of violence—the shedding of blood—the existence of civil war? To speak disunion, therefore, without violence and bloodshed is nonsense. We may, it is true, make a revolution more or less bloody—but it will be a revolution still.

Sir, no true whig can, for a moment contemplate disunion. The project has been charged upon the whig party, but it is a false charge. (Immense and long continuous cheers.) From the Orient to the extremity of the west, an American is known—not as a citizen of Massachusetts or any other state—but as a citizen of the United States. It is the union which gives us our character abroad—and may we all and ever—in the language of the Father of his Country—“frown indignantly” on all attempts to dissever it.  (Applause.) It was formed amidst the agitation of the whole European world. The subsequent storms which convulsed that quarter of the gl be reached us likewise, and what carried us safely through them? What but this constitution of the United States? With Him at the helm, the constitution was the ark which bore us over the political ocean of the world, agitated by a thousand whirlpools, as if Eolus had let loose all his winds—and while in Europe there was but one Palinurus who is generally spoken of as the pilot who “weathered the storm” we had in America a yet greater pilot, who not only “weathered” the storm, but controlled it. (Loud applause.) This constitution therefore, is the rallying point of all true Whigs, and should be so, forever. (Vehement cheers.) If we were now to say, because we suffer some temporary grievance from its provisions, that therefore we would destroy it, get rid of it, we should act as wisely as if we struck down the sun from heaven, because the moon sometimes eclipses his light, or a cloud passes over his dise.   [KMK]

NNR 71.187-191 November 21, 1846 Capt. John Charles Fremont's operations in Upper California, correspondence among Fremont, Jose Castro, Manuel Castro, and Thomas O. Larkin

Official dispatch from General Castro to the Mexican Secretary of War and Marine. Dated April 1, 1846. translated from El Monitor Republicano of the 10th of May, 1846, published in the city of Mexico.


General Prefecture of Upper California.

      Your Excellency:

In my note on the 5th of last March, I informed the supreme government of the arrival of several families coming from the United States, who came from the Sacramento River, and of the measures taken to make them leave the department in the coming month of May, for not having brought the legal passports; and of the news communicated by an officer who also entered by the same road a few days afterwards, with an armed party, announcing that during the past winter a considerable number of individuals who were persecuted for their religious opinions were to leave the states for this country; and here I should inform your excellency  of the result of the line of conduct observed by the said officer, to whose affairs I referred in my note of the 6th instant, making reference to my sally from this point in consequence of the intimation given to Don J.C. Fremont, that he should retire from the within limits of this department, as was expressly instructed in the order of 12th July, 1844.

      This officer, failing in the respect due to the laws of the republic and the authorities of the country introduced himself into the midst of the population of the department with a respectable force, under pretext of coming with a scientific commission from his government; and treating with contempt the notice referred to, he took possession of the heights of the Sierra nearest to this point, distant about nine leagues, having only made a verbal answer as to what would be in the conduct of the military command under him in his camp, which was, that they did not intend to obey the order to retire, but would remain on that spot prepared to resist any force that should attack on them.

      It not being possible to endure such a haughty answer, in obedience to the authorities of this place, all the neighborhood collected at this command with the most lively enthusiasm, and having organized a force of 150 men, I went to the vicinity of the Sierra where the said Fremont had entrenched [parapetado] himself under the American flag which he had had the audacity to raise there. I was prepared to attack him in the night of the 10th of the same month, when the said officer taking advantage of the darkness, abandoned the fortification, without doubt precipitately, as we found there the next day some iron instruments and other things belonging to his equipment, and, in trying to find the trail, to know which direction they took, it was impossible for me to know on account of their having withdrawn in complete dispersion: this obliged me to stay for some days in that neighborhood until, by some individuals who came from the valley of the Tulares to my camp, I was informed that the adventurers were taking the road by the river to the north into the desert country.

      The wish to give the supreme government immediate knowledge of this event has rendered it necessary for me to hire a vessel which will sail at once for Acapulco, carrying Captain Andres Castillero, commissioner for the supreme government in this department, which individual, not withstanding his delicate health, undertakes this step alone in a wish to do a service to this country in particular and the nation in general.

      The accompanying letter, translated into Spanish, written to the American consul at this port by Capt. Fremont from the camp he occupied during the days referred to, will be proof of the decision made by this individual to maintain his position, without doubt in the hope of uniting to his forces the American adventurers who are disseminated among the pueblos of the department; but this did not happen, on account of the rapid movements made by the population of the north in consequence of my foresight alarming them in a manner which should suffocate in its cradle and such extravagant design, as it effectually did in the province of Sonora, in which there are indications of having intended to second the views of Captain Fremont, on which affair I occupy myself with some caution to investigate the truth of such event with all suitable precaution, operating with the military commandant of that frontier Lieutenant Colonel Mariano Guadaloupe Vallejo.

      This will enable your excellency to lay all the matter before his excellency the Senior President of the republic, accepting at the same time my assurances of obedience and respect.

      God and liberty, Monterey, in Upper California, April 1st, 1846.



      Official letters from Mr. Larkin, United States consul at Monterey, of Upper California, to Mr. Buchanan, Secretary of State.

Prefecture of the Second District.

      The undersigned, prefect of this district, has the honor of applying to the consul of the United States of the north, by this note, asking if he will favor the prefectory under his charge with an information of the object or commission with which an officer (now residing in your house) has arrived at this district with troops from the atoresaid republic, and has advanced as far as the river Sacramento, that he may be able to do the same to his excellency the governor of the department.

      The undersigned embraces this opportunity of renewing to the senior consul of the United States his highest respect and consideration.




Consulate of the United States of America,
Monterey, California, January 29th, 1846.

      The undersigned, consul of the United States of America, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this morning; requesting information respecting the motives Capt. J.C. Fremont, of the United States army, has in visiting this country. The undersigned is informed by Capt. Fremont that he has been ordered to survey the most practicable route from the United States to the Pacific ocean—that he has left his company consisting of fifty hired men (not of the United States army) on the frontiers of this department for the purpose of resting themselves and animals. He has come himself to Monterey to obtain clothing, and funds to purchase animals and provisions; and when his men are recruited, intends to continue his journey to the Oregon territory.

      The undersigned has the honor to offer to the senior prefect the highest esteem and consideration.




Prefecture of the Second District.

The undersigned, prefect of this district, has received the note of the consul of the United States, Mr. Thomas O. Larkin, dated 6th inst.; and in answer thereto, has the honor to say that far from replying in it that he will order that captain of the United States army, J.C. Fremont, to leave immediately with his force of armed troops (according to the acceptation of the word camp which he uses in his communication) the limits of this department, transgressing the principles established amongst civilized nations, he defends his unjust introduction. The undersigned, when he ordered Capt. Fremont to march back, founded himself on repeated orders and decrees of the supreme government of the Mexican republic which prohibits the introduction not only of troops belonging to any power, but even that of foreigners who do not come provided with legal passports, and not on false reports and false appearances, as the consul of the United States says in his said note. The undersigned promises the consul of the United States that as far as lays in his power, those persons who are subject to the laws of the country and may harass the subjects of his nation, who are under the protection of said laws, shall be punished according to the same, after the necessary proof shall be given and the necessary formalities gone through. The undersigned makes known to the consul of the United States; that if he desires to avoid that the force of Capt. Fremont may come to an unfortunate end in meeting with the force of this department, he ought to inform said Capt. Fremont that since he entered this department with an armed force, whether through malice or error, he must now either blindly obey the authorities, or, on the contrary, experience the misfortunes which he has sought by his crimes.

      God and Liberty! Monterey, March 8th, 1846.

      The undersigned reiterates, &c. &c.




Consulate of the U.S. Monterey
California, March 6th. 1846

Sir: The undersigned, consul of the United States, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your official note yesterday containing a copy of your letter and orders to Capt. J.C. Fremont, United States army, now camped near the Salines river with his men, to leave this country immediately.

      The undersigned understood that your letter was yesterday carried to Captain Fremont by and officer having some eight or ten men under his charge, and that at this moment there is a large number of armed men collecting in this town for the purpose of going to the camp of that American officer; he would therefore take the liberty of saying, that although he is well aware that you, as a Mexican officer and patriot, are bound to take every step that may redound to the integrity and interest of your country, he would further observe that his countrymen must not be unnecessarily harassed from causes that may arise from false reports and false appearances, and would recommend that if any party is going to the camp of Capt. Fremont that it may be commanded by a trustworthy  and experienced officer, which may prevent affairs, on the meeting of the two parties, from being brought  to some unhappy conclusion.

      The undersigned has the honor to subscribe himself as your most obedient servant,


To Senor Jose Castro, commandant general, and D. Manuel Castro, Perfecto of the second district, California

[Copy No.80]

Consulate of the U.S.,
Monterey, California, March 8, 1846.

Sir:  With this you have my consolar answer to the general and prefecto’s letter to you of last week, of which I had the honor to receive copies from them; I also add the honor and prefecto’s second letter to me of this day. By your messenger of last week, I forwarded some United States newspapers, a Spanish grammar, some magazines, and English copies of the general and prefecto’s letters to you on the 5th instant. I then informed you that there was an American brig (brig Hannah, of Salem) at anchor in this port, bound to Mazatlan, whose supercargo I had requested to remain here until the third day, to enable you to send letters to the United States, if you were so inclined. I cannot tell whether my letter reached you, but heard of your man being almost at your camp the day before yesterday. I have now to inform you (and my information is derived from the current reports of the day) that General Castro was on the plain last night, with about sixty people; many more from the rancho joined him to day; at this moment some forty men are preparing to leave Monterey to join the party. I should think tomorrow, he might have two hundred men, perhaps more; many of the common people will join through choice, others by being so ordered by the general. Among the other class, there are some looking on the affair with indifference, some perhaps with favor to either side, as their friendship to the present authorities, or their own interests may govern them. Respecting the result there are various opinions.  It is not for me to point to you your line of conduct; you have your government instructions; my knowledge of your character obliges me to believe you will follow them; you are, of course, taking every care and safeguard to protect your men, but not knowing your actual situation, and the people who surround you, your care may prove to be insufficient. You are officially ordered to leave the country; I am sure you will use your own discretion  on the subject; your danger may remain  in supposing that no uncommon means will be taken for your expulsion, although the expression of the common people under the passions of the moment, breathe vengeance in every form against you. I cannot conclude that so much will be put in force, should they succeed in overpowering you. Therefore only wish you to suppose yourself in a situation where you must take every measure to prevent a surprise from those you may consider partly friends. Should my ideas be correct, the act perhaps will originate, not from their heads, or the respectability of the country, but from those of a more headstrong class, who have fought so many (called) battles, may consider themselves invincible.

      Your encamping so near town has caused much excitement – the natives are firm in the belief that they will break you up, and that you can be entirely destroyed by their power. In all probability they will attack you; the result either way may cause trouble hereafter to resident Americans. I, myself, have no fear on the subject, yet believe the present state of affairs may cause an interruption to business. Should it be impossible or inconvenient for you to leave California at present, I think, in a proper representation to the general and prefecto, an arrangement could be made for your camp to be continued, but at some greater distance; which arrangement I should advise, if you can offer it. I never make to this government an unreasonable request, therefore never expect a denial, and have for many years found them well disposed to me. You cannot well leave your people. Should you wish to see me, I will immediately visit your camp. Please answer directly by the bearer.

      I am yours, very Truly in heart,


Captain J.C. Fremont,
United States army, Alisal


Note in pencil from Captain Fremont to the consul Larkin, from his entrenched camp at Alisal, on the Sierra, thirty miles from Monterey, March 10, 1846.

My dear sir: I this moment received your letters, and without waiting to read them, acknowledge the receipt which the courier requires immediately. I am making myself as strong as possible in the intention that if we are unjustly attacked we will fight to extremity and refuse quarter, trusting to our country to avenge our death. No one has reached our camp, and from the heights we are able to see troops (with the glass) mustering at St. John’s and preparing cannon. I thank you for your kindness and good wishes, and would write more at length as to my intentions did I not fear that my letter would be intercepted. We have in no wise done wrong to the people or the authorities of the country, and if we are hemmed in an assaulted here, we will die, every man of us, under the flag of our country.

Very truly yours,

P.S. I am encamped on the top of the Sierra, at the headwaters of a stream which strikes the road to Monterey, at the house of Don Joaquin Gomez.




Consulate of the United States,
Monterey, California, March 4, 1846.

Sir. The undersigned has the honor to inform the Hon. Secretary that Captain J.C. Fremont arrived within this department in January Last; with his party of fifty men, and was at the house of the undersigned a few days, during the last month, for the purpose of getting funds for refitting and clothing his party; which he received as far as could be procured. He is now in this city surveying, and will be again at this consular house during this month. He then proceeds for the Oregon, returns here in May, and expects to be in Washington about September. To this gentleman is due from the government unqualified praise for the patience, industry, and indefatigable perseverance in the attaining the object he is engaged in.

      Captain Fremont passed three degrees south of Fort Hall, having taken a route supposed to be a desert, which made his distance to California eight or nine hundred less. He considers the distance from Independence to Monterey about one thousand nine hundred miles. He describes the new route he followed far preferable, not only on account of the less distance, but it is less mountainous, with good, pasturage and well watered. The second day of his arrival in Monterey, he visited the commandant general, prefecto, and alcalde; and by verbal request of the general, informed him officially of his object in visiting California. The undersigned forwards, with this, the two annexed letters respecting Captain Fremont’s arrival.

I am, sir, with the highest respect and consideration, your most obedient servant,


To the Hon. Secretary of State, &c.


Consulate of the United States of America,
Monterey. March 5, 1846

Sir: The undersigned has the honor to forward to the Department of State the accompanying translations of letters this day received in this consulate. Captain J.C. Fremont has, for near one month, been slowly traveling; and encamping within this district, (say within eighty miles of this town.) Last week information was received by the prefect from some alcalde, respecting a horse or mule of Captain Fremont, claimed by a Californian. (I understand that the animal came from the States.) Last night notice was received that some of Captain Fremont’s party had offered an insult to some person or persons on a farm. The general, has this day sent out ten or fifteen men, with letters to Captain Fremont, ordering him away. I am not aware that any of the party have committed any excesses, and do not suppose such to be the case.

I am, respectfully, &c.,


To the Hon. Secretary of State, &c.


     Commandant General of Upper California:

      With this date, I say to Captain J.C. Fremont the following: “At seven o’clock this morning the commandant general was given to understand that you, and the party under your command have entered the towns of this department; and such being prohibited by our laws, I find myself obliged to advertise you that on the receipt of this you will immediately retire beyond the limits of this same department, such being the orders of the supreme government; and the subscriber is obliged to see them complied with. And the undersigned has the honor of transcribing the same to the consul of the United States of America for his knowledge of the same.

God and Liberty!
Monterey, March 5, 1846.

Mr. Thomas O. Larkin, Consul U. States of America in this port.


Prefecture of the Second District,
Monterey, March 6, 1846.

Captain J.C. Fremont:

Sir: I have learned with surprise that you, against the laws of the authorities of Mexico, have introduced yourself into the town of this departmental district, under my charge, with an armed force, under a commission which must have been given you by your government only to survey its own proper lands.

  In consequence, this prefecture now orders that you will immediately, on receipt of this, without any pretext, return with your people out of the limits of this territory. If not, this office will take the necessary measures to cause respect to this determination. I have the honor to transcribe this to you for your intelligence that you may act in the case as belongs to your office, and that he may comply with the expressed orders.

      God and Liberty.

Monterey, March 5, 1846

Mr. Thomas O. Larkin.
Consul of the United States of America.

[No. 37]

Consulate of the United States,
Monterey, March 9, 1846

Sir: Enclosed, you have a copy of my answer to the general and prefecto of this place, one to Capt. Fremont, and the second letter from the prefect. Captain Fremont is eight or nine leagues from this place, encamped, intending to move as soon as the state of his horses will permit. There will be two or three hundred people collected together to-morrow, with the intention of attacking the camp. Capt. Fremont has about fifty men- all men in confidence, and remarkably well armed. Neither himself or men have any fears respecting the result of the present state of affairs; yet, be the result for or against him, it may prove a disadvantage to the resident Americans in California. I have at some [risk] despatched out two couriers to the camp with duplicate letters, and this letter I send to Santa Barbara, in expectation of finding a vessel bound to Mazatlan. Having over one-half of my hospital expenses of 1844 cut off, and know not why, and even my bill for a flag, I do not feel disposed to hazard much for government, though the life of Captain Fremont and party may need it. I hardly know how to act. I have only received on letter (of June) from the department for the year 1845. In the month of February, Captain Fremont, in my company, visited the general, prefecto, and alcalde of this place, and informed them of his business; and there was no objection made. Within twenty days, the general says he has received direct and specific orders from Mexico not to allow Captain Fremont to enter California; which, perhaps, accounts for the change of feelings with the people      I am, sir, with the highest respect and consideration, your obedient servant,


To the Hon. Secretary of State, &c.


Consulate of the U.S. of America,
Monterey, March 27,1846

Sir: Captain J.C. Fremont, of the United States army, has arrived at this United States consular house in Monterey, on the 27th of January, 1846. Being very anxious to join his party of fifty men at the second place of rendezvous, without the settlement, they having missed the first place by mistake, he remained but two days, in wich time, with myself, he visited the commanding general, prefecto, alcalde, and Col. Alvarado, informing them that he was surveying the nearest route from the United States to the Pacific ocean.  This information, and that his men were not United States soldiers, was also, by myself officially given to the prefecto. Having obtained funds and supplies from myself, he returned to his camp; it being well known in Monterey that he was to return when he collected hi men. Some fifteen of twenty days after this, captain Fremont, with his party, encamped at a vacant rancho belonging to Captain Fisher, (about ninety miles from here,) to recruit his men and animals. From there, he proceeded towards Santa Cruz, making short journeys. ON the 3d of March, he encamped on the rancho of Mr. E.P. Hartwell, where he received letters from the general and prefecto, ordering him out of the country, and to obey the order without any pretext whatever, or immediate measures would be taken to compel him to do so. This, not corresponding with assurances received at Monterey, it was not answered, and he gave orders to hoist the United States flag the next morning as the only protection his men were to look to. From the 7th to the 10th of March, they fortified their camp with a breastwork of logs. Encamped on a high hill which commanded a view of the surrounding country, they could see (with the use of spy-glasses) the general and his troops, numbering about two hundred men, at their camp, in the mission of St. John’s, preparing their cannon. On the 9th instant, I sent duplicate letters; one by an American, who lost his papers, and the other by a Californian, to Captain Fremont informing him of the movements of the Californians. The California courier returned to the consulate in about nine or ten hours, bringing a letter from Captain Fremont, having traveled in that time sixty miles. He reported being well treated by Capt. Fremont and his men; and that two thousand of his countrymen would not be sufficient to compel him to leave the country, although his party was so small. At the earnest request of the alcalde for a translation of Captain Fremont’s letter, it was given, and immediately dispatched to the general at St. John’s; and one also to the governor of the Puebla of los Angelos  The general informed the alcalde on the night of the 10th instant, the Captain Fremont had left his encampment, and that he (the general) should pursue and attack him the first opportunity, and chastise him for hoisting a foreign flag in California. In the post script of the same letter, the general stated that Captain Fremont had crossed a small river, and was then about three miles distant from them; but the general made no preparation to follow him. On the morning of the 11th, Gen. Castro sent John Gilroy, an Englishman long resident in this country, to make offers of arrangement to Captain Fremont. ON his arrival with his party that morning, the camp fires were still burning. He found in the camp the staff used for the flag, tent poles, (cut on the spot,) some old clothes, and two old and useless pack saddles, which the Californians have magnified into munitions of war. Gen. Castro informed his party that he had received various messages from the camp of Captain Fremont, threatening to exterminate the Californians, &c., ( but will hardly name his messenger, nor did they put any confidence in it themselves.)  From the 11th to the 13th, the natives had returned to their respective homes, to resume their customary occupations. A few people that were ordered to march from San Francisco to join the general at his camp, returned to their homes. On the 12th, a proclamation was put up by the general, in the billiard room, (not the usual place,) informing the inhabitants that a band of highwaymen, (“bandoleros”) under Captain Fremont, of the United States army, had come with in the town of this department; and that he, with two hundred patriots, had driven them out, and sent them into the back country. Some of the officers of the two hundred patriots (and more were expected to join them) arrived in Monterey, and reported that the cowards had run, and that they had driven them to the Sacramento river; some added that they drove them into the bulrushes, on the plains of the Sacramento; and that, in their haste, they had left some of their best horses behind. The horses proved to be those belonging to the Californians themselves, and had strayed into Captain Fremont’s band. (being an everyday occurrence in California and, on raising camp, they were turned out and left behind.  Instead of the Americans being driven out of the country, they traveled less distance, for three or four days, than the natives did in returning to Monterey- moving from four to six miles per day, in order to recruit.  One of the complaints made by the general was that three men, when drinking, went to the house of Angel Castro (an uncle of the general) to purchase some beef for the camp, and insulted his family.  On the 7th, I personally called upon Don Angel, for the truth of the story, and was informed by him (the father himself) that he was frightened by one of the Americans insisting on his daughter drinking with him.  On ordering him to leave the house, he resisted, but was put out by his own companions, he drawing a pistol while they were putting him out.  Don Angel mounted a horse and rode off to Captain Fremont’s, about one mile distant, who on hearing the case, came to the house immediately, and called up the family to inquire into the affair.  On the examination, he asked the father what he should do with the men.  He requested them to be punished, which was promised; and was told, if he would send a boy, a fine of five dollars should be sent to him, (he being alcalde.)  The boy returned with ten dollars from the camp, which settled the business, although there had been nothing of consequence transacted; yet Captain Fremont was anxious not to let the people of the country have any cause of complaint against him.

      The undersigned has the honor to subscribe himself, your most obedient servant,


To the Hon. Secretary of state, &c.

[No. 39]

Consulate of the U.S. of America,
Monterey, April 2, 1846

Sir:  In giving my first information to the department respecting Captain Fremont’s arrival in California, I did not anticipate such an extensive correspondence as it has now reached.  Captain Fremont was well received in this place, and to the last day we heard of him, by the natives individually, who sold him provisions, and liked his presence.  During his encampment, thirty or forty miles from here, dispatches were received by the commandant, General Jose Castro, (a native of Monterey) from Mexico, ordering him to drive Captain Fremont out of this department; which order, with one hundred and seventy or two hundred men present, and over one hundred more daily expected, he pretended to execute.  Capt. Fremont left his camp a few hours after he received the undersigned’s letter of the 9th of March, (not from right of General Castro,) as he had been preparing the week before to travel.  It is supposed he has gone to St. Barbara, where an American was sent by the undersigned, in February, with funds and provisions for his use.  From there he proceeds on his journey, according to his instructions from his department in Washington.  Although from the correspondence it may appear that in the centre of a strange country, among a whole people with real or apparent hostile intentions towards him, the: Captain Fremont was in much danger, it can be believed that he was only annoyed.  Whether he will visit Monterey after this unexpected affair, or not, is uncertain.

      The undersigned has not supposed, during the whole affair, that General Castro, wished to go after Captain Fremont; and was very confident that, with all California, he would not have attacked him even had he been sure of destroying the whole party, as five times their number could have taken their place before the unexpected battle.  Captain Fremont received verbal applications from English and Americans to join his party; and could have mustered as many men as the natives.  He was careful not to do so.  Although he discharged five or six of his men, he took no others in their place.  On the return of General Castro, he published a flaming proclamation to the citizens, informing them that a band of bandeleros, (highwaymen or freebooters, under Captain Fremont of the United States army, had come into this districte; but with the company of two hundred patriots he had driven them away., and exhorted his companions and countrymen to be always ready to repel others of the same class.  This proclamation was missing from the place where it was put up on the third day.

      The undersigned has written to the general for a copy.  To this day there has been no answer received.  Duplicate copies of consular letters to Captain Fremont, and in the hands of General Castro, he having taken them from one of the consular’s couriers, promising to forward them as directed.  These copies he promised to return, but has not done so. This government is about sending a commissioner to-Mexico (as the undersigned believes) to report the country in danger of revolution from the Americans.  By this we understand in California, (foreigners,) that some Americans (who left Capt. Fremont)are joining the Indians to attack the farms, and others were about to take possession of a town in the upper part of the bay of San Francisco; and that Sn. W. Hastings (author of the history of California) is laying off a town in New Helvetia for the Mormons.  None of this information (in the opinion of the undersigned can be relied upon) is to be given to the President to urge upon him the necessity of giving General Castro two hundred men, (he prefers not many men, nor any Mexican general,) with sufficient funds to protect the country.  As a general thing, Hastings’s book is very untrue and absurd.  He brought a number to this country, which do his countrymen no good, and perhaps injures them.  No general English reader will read one quarter of the book.  The arrival of Capt. Fremont has revived the excitement in California respecting the emigration, and the fears of the Californians losing their country.  The undersigned believes that if a new flag was respectfully planted, it would receive the good will of much of the wealth and respectability of the country.  Those who live by office, and the absence of law, would faintly struggle against a change.  Many natives and foreigners of wealth and pursuits, are already calculation on the hopes, fears and expectations from the apparent coming change now before them, from the great influx of strangers.

      In the mean time, the undersigned has the pleasure of saying that, with every department of office in this country he is on the best terms of friendship, as far as appearances are before him.

      With the highest respect and esteem, I am your obedient servant,


To the Hon. Secretary of State, &c.

[No. 81]

Monterey, March 5th, 1846.

      Sir:  I have just received two letters from the commandant general of California, and prefecto of this district, who inform me they have sent you official letters, enclosing me the copies.  The following is a translation.

      I remain, dear sir, yours sincerely,


To Capt. J.C. Fremont,
United State Army.

[No. 82]

Consulate of the Untied States,
Monterey, California, March 9th,

      Sir: Captain J.C. Fremont, with a party of fifty men, has been within the limits of California about two months; within a few days encamped about eight leagues from this town, resting his mena dn animals; he has received two letters from the general and prefecto, wherein he his ordered to leave this country, or they will take measures to compel him.  They sent me copies of the same, which [. . . ] have sent in English to Captain Fremont.  I have not heard from the camp since.  This morning I wrote to Capt. Fremont in duplicate, one by a native, the other by a foreigner.  By to-morrow, there will be collected together nearly three hundred men, with the intention to drive out the strangers; and, if required, there will be by the next week a much larger body collected.  Should this force be used against Captain Fremont, much blood will be spilt.  His party, though of only fifty in number, have from three to six guns, rifles, and pistols each, and are very determined, both commander and men, having every confidence in each other.  It was the intention of Capt. Fremont to leave this week, if his animals were in good condition; perhaps he may not be willing, as the people wish to force him; he was at my house alone, in February, and, in company with me, visited the general, prefecto, and alcalde, informed them of his orders to survey the nearest route to the Pacific, and had come into California to purchase provisions, clothes, and horses; no objection was made at the time.  Since then the general states that he has received by the Hannah, positive orders from Mexico to drive Captain Fremont from the country.

      I shall send his letter open to Consul Parrott, of Mazatlan, with copies of this week’s correspondence.  If there is a fight between these people and Captain Fremont, be the result for or against him, the American residents are under some apprehensions of their safety hereafter.  I would therefore request you, if in your power, to dispatch a sloop-of-war to this port from Mazatlan, on the receipt of this.  I understand there were, in December, five of our ships of war then in that port.  Should this be the case, I hope it will not be inconvenient to comply with this request.  I have looked for the Portsmouth over two months.  Capt. Montgomery informed me he was to return.

      I remain, sirs, your respectful servant,


To the commander of any American ship-of-war, in San Blas or Mazatlan.

[No. 83]

Consulate of the United States
Monterey, California, March 9th,

      Sir: Enclosed with this you will receive several copies of correspondence in this town, for the present week, also an official letter for the captain of any of our ships of war, you may have in your port on your receiving this letter.  It is impossible to say whether Senor Castro, the prefecto, and the general will attack Capt. Fremong; we expect such will be the case.  I am just informed by Senor Arce, the general’s secretary, who has just come from the general’s cap, (St. John’s.) that the whole country will be raised to force Capt. Fremont, if they require so many.  Senor Arce further says , the camp of the Americans is near Mr. Hartnell’s rancho, on a high hill, with his flag flying; of the latter I am not certain.  AS you are acquainted wit this country and its people, you will advise with our naval captains on the subject of sailing immediately for this port.  If the vessel is not actually obliged to go elsewhere, it is my earnest desire she sails for Monterey on the receipt of this, although every thing may end peaceably among us.

      Believe me to be, yours sincerely,


To John Parrott, Esq., United States Consul, Mazatlan.

[No. 84]

Consulate of the United States.
Monterey, California, March 10
, 1846.

      Sir: Your letter of yesterday I received last night at 8 o’clock: I thank you for the same; it took from me a weight of uneasiness respecting your situation.  The alcalde of Monterey has requested of me a copy in Spanish of your letter.  Not knowing what you might approve of in the case, I had some objection; on second thoughts I considered that the alcalde having given the courier a passport for (withoug which he would no go) carrying of the letters both ways, were made public, and people might put a wrong construction on our correspondence, I gave it to him with the following additions.  I also considered the letter contained nothing of importance to keep secret, and now annex my letter of this morning to the alcalde.  AS you may not have a copy of your letter I send you one.  My native courier said he was well treated by you-that two thousand men could not drive you.  In all cases of couriers orders your men have no hints or words with them, as it is magnified: this one said a man pointed to a tree, and said there’s your life; he expected to be led to you [ . . . ] says you have sixty-two men, well armed, &c., &c., &c.

      You will, without thought of expense or trouble, call on me, or send to me, in every case of need, not only as your consul, but your friend and countryman.

      I am yours, truly,


Capt. J.C. Fremont, U.S. army.


Consulate of the United States
Monterey, California. March 10, 1846

      Sir: I am not confident  that Captain Fremont may approve of my giving you a copy of his hasty wrote letter, [but] as you allowed the courier to travel to the camp and return, and hoping the letter may, on being known bring affairs to some better understanding, I send you the translation you request. It may be that the authorities of this department expect something from me as United States consul under the present state of affairs, yet I know nothing that I can do. I have verbally offered my services whenever required, and now do the same in writing. Captain Fremont has his own instructions, and is not to be ordered by this consulate; yet I would with pleasure allay the present sensation if in my power.

      I can  only add, that I would respectfully advise that you would in your letter to the general today, say that I would take the liberty to propose that he should send a letter to Captain Fremont, requesting one hour’s conversation before any extreme measure’s are taken; as I am in the firm opinion, should that officer be attacked, much bloodshed will ensue, that may cause not only loss of life to many of the present parties, but cause hereafter much expense, trouble, and perhaps further loss of life to many of out respective nations, and I am satisfied that no present or future advantage will be obtained by the country from the circumstances as they now appear. I  have reason to believe that Captain Fremont only waits a few days to rest his horses, (having purchased his provision) and intends to remove immediately from California; yet it may be impossible for him to do so while surrounded by people with hostile intentions towards him. Will you please send a copy of this letter to the commandant general , D. Jose Castro.? I have the honor to remain yours, respectfully,



Private letter from Captain Fremont to Mrs. Fremont,
April 1, 1846 Sacramento River, (Latitude 40)
April 1, 1846.

It is hard to say when I shall see you, but about the middle of the next month, at latest, I will start for home. The Spaniards were somewhat rude and inhospitable below, and ordered us out of the country, after having given me permission to winter there. My sense of duty did not permit me to fight them, but we retired slowly and growingly before a force of three of four hundred men, and three pieces of artillery. Without a shadow of a cause, the governor suddenly raised the whole country against us, issuing a false and scandalous proclamation. OF course, I did not dare to compromise the United States, against which appearances would have been strong, but, though it was in my power to increase my party by many Americans, I retrained from committing a solitary act of hostility or impropriety. For my own part, I have become disgusted with everything belonging to the Mexicans. Our government will not require me to return by the southern route against the will of this government; I shall therefore return by the heads of the Missouri, going through a pass of which your father knows, and be at Westport about 1st September. I go in about two weeks through from the Tlamath lake to the Walamath valley, to make a reconnaissance of the pass which I mentioned to you before. Say many kind things for me to all the family. Glad will I be when finally we turn our faces homeward.


Private letter from Capt. Fremont to Senator Benton,
May 24, 1846 Sacramento River, (lat.40) May 24, 1846.

My Dear Sir: Most unexpectedly, and in a remote region of the northern mountains, I had the great pleasure to receive your letters. An express from Mr. Gillespie overtook me, the man being Neal, whom you will remember as having been left by me here in the last expedition. No other man there would have had the courage and resolution to follow us. I had the good fortune to save the lives of Mr. Gillespie and party from the Indians. In a charge at night by the Tlamath Indians I lost threemen killed and had one dangerously wounded, being then with a detached party of fourteen men. You will regret to hear that among the killed was my old companion, Basil Lajeunesse. We afterwards fought the nation from one extremity to the other, and have ever since been fighting, until our entrance into the lower Sacramento valley. I have but a faint hope that this note will reach you before I do; but the object for which I write is a pressing one and therefore I make the experiment. The Tlamath lake on our last map I find to be only an expansion of the river above, which passes by an outlet through a small range of mountains into a large body of water to the southward. This is the true Tlamath lake, and the heart of the Tlamath nation. It is on the east side of a range of mountains, (the Cascade.) Directly west, and comparatively near at hand, is the Umpqua river. Here the British have a post. Why do they keep it there? The trade in fur will not justify it. If there is to be any war with England, it is of great importance that they should instantly be driven from this and similar posts before they furnish the Indians with fire arms, and engage them in their service. These Indians are considered by the Willamette missionaries (who have been able to have only knowledge of those in the north) as the most savage and warlike Indians on the continent. So said Mr. Lee. This post maintains an intercourse with the Tlamaths and other mountain Indians, and furnishes them with the tomahawks and iron arrow-heads, with which they fought us. They are the bravest Indians we have ever seen; our people (my camp, Carson, &c.) consider them far beyond the Blackfeet, who are by no means so daring. You know that the Indians along the line of the Columbia are well supplied with fire arms, ammunition, and horses- hardly a man having  less than forty or fifty of the latter; that they are brave, friendly to the British, and unfriendly to us. These things may be worthy of Mr. Buchanan’s attention. Your letter led me to expect some communication from him. I received nothing. I shall now proceed directly homewards, by the Colorado, but cannot arrive at the frontier until late in September. I saw a notice of your illness in the papers, and your letter relieved me of much anxiety. I trust that I will be able to force my way through this rough voyage, and find all well on the frontier. We certainly commenced our voyage when some malicious and inauspicious star was in the ascendant, for we find enemies and difficulty everywhere. I detain Mr. Gillespie’s to write only to yourself; believing, too, that when this reaches you I shall be near at hand. The letters from home have taken off half the length of the journey, and I have courage now for the rest.

Very truly and respectfully,


My dear sir: when Mr. Gillespie overtook me in the middle of May, we were encamped on the northern shore of the Greater Tlamath Lake. Snow was falling steadily and heavily in the mountains, which entirely surrounded and dominate the elevated valley region into which we had penetrated; in the east, and north, and west, barriers absolutely impassable barred our road; we had no provisions; our animals were already feeble, and while any other way was open, I could not bring myself to attempt such a doubtful enterprise as a passage of these unknown mountains in the dead of winter. Every day snow was falling; and in the face of the depressing influence exercised on the people by the loss of our men, and the unpromising appearance of things, I judged it inexpedient to pursue our journey farther in this direction, and determined to retrace my steps, and carry out the views of the government by reaching the frontier on the line of the Colorado river. I had scarcely reached the lower Sacramento, when General Castro, then in the north (at Sonoma, in the department of Sonoma, north of the bay of San Francisco, commanded by General Vallejo,) declared his determination immediately to proceed against the foreigners settled in the country, for whose expulsion an order had just been issued by the governor of the Californias. For these purposes Castro immediately assembled a force at the Mission of Santa Clara, a strong place, on the northern shore of the Francisco bay. You will remember how grossly outraged and insulted we had already been by this officer; many in my own camp, and throughout the country thought that I should not have retreated March last. I’m humiliated and humbled; one of the main objects proposed by this expedition had been entirely defeated, and it was the opinion of the officers of the squadron ( so I was informed by Mr. Gillespie) that I could not again retreat consistently with any military reputation. Unable to procure supplies elsewhere, I had sent by Mr. Gillespie Captain Montgomery, commanding the United States ship of war Portsmouth, then lying at Monterey, a small requisition for such supplies as were indispensably necessary to leave the valley; and my animals were now in such a state that I could not get out of the valley, without reaching the country which lies on the west side of them in an entirely destitute condition. Having carefully examined my position, and foreseeing, I think, clearly, ALL the consequences which may eventuate to me from such a step, I determined to take such active and anticipatory measures as should seem to me most expedient to protect my party and justify my own character. I was well aware of the grave responsibility which I assumed but I was also determined that having once decided to do so, I would assume it and its consequences fully and entirely, and go through with the business completely to the end. I regret that, by a sudden emergency, I have only an hour for writing to all friends and that therefore from the absence of detail, what I say to you will not be clearly understood. Castro’s first measure was an attempt to unite the Indian population of the Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, and the neighboring mountains, to burn the crops of the foreigners and otherwise proceed immediately against them. These Indians are extremely numerous, and the success of his measure would have been very destructive; but he failed entirely. On the 6th of June I decided on the courses which I would pursue, and immediately concerted my operations my operations with the foreigners inhabiting the Sacramento valley. A few days afterwards, one of Castro’s officers, with a party of 14 men, attempted to pass a drove of 200 horses from Sonoma to Santa Clara, via New Helvetia, with the avowed purpose of bringing troops into the country. On the 11th they were surprised at daylight on the Cosumne river by a party of twelve from my camp. The horses were taken, but they were [the men] dismissed without injury. At daybreak on the 15th, the military fort of Sonoma was taken by surprise, with 9 brass pieces of artillery; 250 stand of muskets, some other arms, and a quantity of ammunition. General Vallejo, his brother, (Captain Vallejo,) Col. Grenxdon, and some others were taken prisoners, and placed at New Helvetia, a fortified post at my command. In the meantime a launch had reached New Helvetia with stores from the ship Portsmouth, now lying at Yerba Buena, on Francisco bay. News of General Castro’s proceedings against me in March had reached  Commodore Sloat at Mazatlan at the end of that month, and he had immediately dispatched the ship Portsmouth to Monterey, with general instructions to protect American interests in California.

    These enterprises accomplished, I proceeded to the American settlements on the Sacramento, and the Rio de los Americanos, to obtain reinforcements of men and rifles.

     The information brought by Mr. Gillespie to Captain Montgomery, in relation to my position, induced that officer immediately to proceed to Yerba  Buena, whence he had dispatched his launch to me. I immediately wrote to him, by return of the boat, describing to him fully my position and intensions, in order that he might not, by supposing me to be acting under orders from our government, unwittingly commit himself in affording me other than such assistance as his instructions would authorize him naturally to offer an officer charged with an important public duty; or, in fine, to any citizen of the United States.

    Information having reached me from the commanding officer at Sonoma, that his post was threatened with an attack by a force under Gen. Castro, I raised camp on the American fork in the afternoon of the 23d, and, accompanied by Mr. Gillespie, at two in the morning of the 25th, reached Sonoma, with 90 mounted riflemen, having marched 80 miles. Our people still held the place, only one division of Castro’s force, a squadron of cavalry, numbering 70 men, and commanded by Joaquin de la Torre, (one of his best officers,) having succeeded in crossing the straits, (Francisco bay.) This force had attacked an advanced party of twenty Americans, and (was) defeated with the loss of two killed and two or three wounded. The Americans lost none. This was an unexpected check to the Californians, who had announced their intentions to defeat our people without firing a gun; to beat out their brains with their “tapaderos,” and destroy them “con cuchillos puros.” They were led to use this expression from the circumstance that a few days previous they had captured two of our men (an express,) and after wounding, had bound them to trees and cut them to pieces while alive, with an exaggeration of cruelty, which no Indian would be capable of. In a few days de la torre was driven from the country, having barely succeeded in effecting his escape across the straits, the guns (six large and handsome pieces) spiked at the fort on the south side of the entrance to Francisco bay, and the communication with the opposite side entirely broke off, the boats and the launches being either destroyed or in our possession. Three of Castro’s party having landed on the Sonoma side in advance, were killed near the beach; and beyond this there was no loss on either side. In all these proceedings, Mr. Gillespie has acted with me. We reached Sonoma again on the evening of July 4, and in the morning I called the people together, and spoke to them in relation to the position of the of the country, advising a course of operations which was unanimously adopted. California was declared independent, the country put under martial law, the force organized and officer elected. A pledge, binding themselves to support these measures, and to obey their officers was signed by those present.  The whole was placed under my direction. Several officers from the Portsmouth present at this meeting. Leaving Captain [ . . . ] with fifty men in command of Sonoma, I left that place on the 6th, and reached my encampment on the American Fork in three days. Before we arrived at that place, Gen. Castro had evacuated Santa Clara, which he had been engaged in fortifying, and with a force of about 400 men, and two pieces of artillery, commenced his retreat upon St. John’s, a fortified post, having 8 pieces of artillery, principally brass. On the evening of [ . . . ] we were electrified by the arrival of an express from Captain Montgomery, with information that Commodore Sloat had hoisted the flag of the United States at Monterey, and taken possession of the country. Capt. Montgomery had hoisted the flag at Yerba Buena, and sent one to Sonoma, to be hoisted at that place. One also was sent to the officer commanding at New Helvetia, requesting that it might be hoisted at his post.

     Independence and the flag of the United States are synonymous terms to the foreigners here, (the northern, which is the stronger part, particularly,) and accordingly I directed the flag to be hoisted with a salute the next morning. The even produced great rejoicing among our people. The next day I received an express from Commodore Sloat, transmitting to me proclamation, and directing me to proceed with the force under my orders to Monterey. The registered force, actually in arms, under my orders, numbered two hundred and twenty riflemen, with one piece of field artillery, and ten men, in addition to the artillery of the garrison. We were on the eve of marching in pursuit of Castro when this intelligence arrived; accordingly, I directed my march upon Monterey, where I arrived on the evening of the 19th, with one command of 160 mounted riflemen, and one piece of artillery. I found also there Commodore Stockton in command of the Congress, and Admiral Seymour, in command of her Britannic majesty’s ship, Collingwood, of eighty guns. I have been badly interrupted, and shall scarcely be able to put you in full possession of occurrences.

     To come briefly to a conclusion, Commodore Sloat has transferred the squadron with California and its appurtenances into the hands of Commodore Stockton, who has resolved to make good the possession of California. This officer approves entirely of the course pursued by myself and Mr. Gillespie, who, I repeat, has been hand and hand with me in this business. I received this morning from Commodore Stockton a commission of major in the United States army, retaining command of my battalion, to which a force of 80 marines will be attached. We are under orders to embark to-morrow morning on board the Cyane sloop of war, and disembark at San Diego, immediately in the read of Castro. He is now at the Puebla de los Angeles, an interior city, with a force of about 500 men, supposed to be increasing. The design is to attack him with my force at that place. He has there seven or eight pieces of artillery.

      Commodore Sloat, who goes home by way of Panama, promises to hand or send this to you immediately on his arrival at Washington, to which he goes direct. It is my intention to leave this country, if it is within the bounds of possibility, at the end of August. I could then succeeded in crossing the aacount of the snow; and by that time a territorial government will be in operation here.

Yours, very truly,

Hon. Thomas H. Benton, United States Senate,
Washington, D.C.

NNR 71.192-11/21/1846 The California Command

The California Command- Col. Mason, of the U. S. Army, who left Washington a few days since for New York,-whince he will sail for Chagres, cross the isthmus of Panama, and proceed to Monterey, on the Pacific Coast,-as to supercede Col. Stevenson, in the command of the California expedition, Colonel Mason outranks Col. S. , and is expected to arrive in California before him, and also before Gen. Kearney, who, on his arrival, will relieve Colonel Mason. [SCM]

NRR 71.192, 196 November 21, 1846 rumor that Gen. Pedro Ampudia has not evacuated Saltillo but had marched toward Monclova, rumor contradicted


      N.O. papers of the 13th brings us the intelligence that Capt. Randolph Ridgely, the gallant successor of Ringgold in command of the U.S. Light Artillery, at Monterey, on the 28th ult., whilst riding swiftly down a hill, was thrown with great violence, by the fall of his horse, which stumbled pitched him off, and fell upon him.  The concussion fractured.  When the express left Monterey, he was speechless, insensible, and no hopes were entertained of his recovery.

      Capt. G.K. Lewis, was the bearer of his melancholy intelligence.  He left Monterey on the 13th ult., and came by the route through San Antonia.

      When Capt. L. quit Monterey it was the general opinion of the army that Ampudia had not evacuated Saltilla, but had marched with a formidable force towards Montelova, to intercept Gen. Whool’s division in their march from Presidio, an operation which the armestice did not forbid his undertaking.  No direct information, but strong presumptive evidence fortified this impression. [KMK]

NNR 71.193- 11/28/1846 Americanizing Santa Fe

Americanizing Santa Fe. - Colonel Doniphan, who was left by General Kearney in command as temporary Governor, military and civil, writes thus:“In addition to other duties, Willard P. Hall and myself are arranging the Government, &c., trying to get thee machine in operation. It is a very arduous matter- the laws are all in Spanish, and every thing is done through and interpreter, and there is much in the laws conflicting with our constitution to be altered. The officers and citizens of the department, for all the counties above and around here, have come in and taken the oath of allegiance. - The Indians are citizens in the full acceptation of the term, and are by far the bravest and some of them the wealthiest portion of the north of the territory.”  [SCM]

NRR 71.193 November 21, 1846 Com. Robert Field Stockton's proclamation to the people of California

      On my approach to this place with the forces under my command, Jose Castro, the commandant-general of California, buried his artillery, and abandoned his fortified camp of the “Mesa,” and fled, it is believed, towards Mexico.

      With the sailors, the marines, and the California battalion of mounted riflemen, we entered the “City of Angels,” the capital of California, on the 13th of August, and hoisted the North American flag.

      The flag of the United States is now flying from every commanding position in the Territory, and California is entirely free from Mexican dominion.

      The Territory of California now belongs to the United States, and will be governed, as son as circumstances may permit, by officers and laws similar to those by which the other territories of the United States are regulated and protected.

      But until the Governor, the Secretary of Council are appointed, and the various civil departments of the Government are arranged, military law will prevail, and the Commander-in-chief will be the Governor and protector of the territory.

      In the mean time the people will be permitted, and are now requested, to meet in their several towns and departments, at such time and place as they may see fit, to elect civil officers to fill the places of those who decline to continue in office, and to administer the laws according to the former usages of the territory.

      In all cases where the people fail to elect, the commander-in-chief and Governor will make the appointments himself.

      All persons, of whatever religion or nation, who faithfully adhere to the new government, will be zealously and thoroughly protected in the liberty of conscience, their persons and property.

      No persons will be permitted to remain in the territory who do not agree to support the existing government, and all military men who desire to remain are required to take an oath that they will not take up arms against it, or do or say anything to disturb its peace.

      Nor will any persons, come from where they may, be permitted to settle in the territory, who do not pledge themselves to be, in all respects, obedient to the laws which may be from time to time enacted by the proper authorities of the territory.

      All persons who, withough special permission, are found with arms outside of their own houses, will be considered as enemies, and will be shipped out of the country.

      All thieves will be put to hard labor on the public works, and there kept until compensation is made for the property stolen.

      The California battalion of mounted riflemen will be kept in the service of the territory, and constantly on duty, to prevent and punish any aggressions by the Indians, or any other persons, upon the property of individuals, or the peace of the territory; and California shall hereafter be so governed and defended as to give security to the inhabitants, and to defy the power of Mexico.

      It is required that all persons shall remain in their houses from ten at night until sunrise in the morning during the time this territory is under military law.

Commander-in-Chief and Governor of the Territory of California.

      City of the Angels, Caliifornia, August 17, 1846. [KMK]

NRR 71.194 November 28, 1846 general orders regarding preparation of returns and transfer of officers


On the 15th of September, 1846, an election will be held in the several towns and districts of California, at the places and hours at which such elections have usually been holden, for the purpose of electing the alcaldes and other municipal officers.

      In those places where alcaldes have been appointed by the present Government, they will hold the election.  In places where no alcaldes have been appointed by the present Government, the former alcaldes are authorized and required to hold the election.

      Given under my hand, this 22d day of August, anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and forty –six, at the Government House, “Ciudad de los Angelos.”

      R.F. STOCKTON, Commander-in Chief, and Governor of the Territory of California.


November 16, 1846.GENERAL ORDER, No. 50.

      Whenever five or more companies of a regiment are serving with the Army against Mexico, the senior officer on duty therewith will be considered the commander of the regiment, and will make the returns, &c., accordingly.  The monthly returns of the companies in the field will be consolidated at Regimental Head-Quarters; those of companies not serving with the army against Mexico, will be sent direct to the Adjutant General.

      In consolidating the regimental retnrns, the field officers absent on duty, will be reported on detached service; and spaces will be left for the insertion, in the Adjutant General’s office, of the returns of the absent companies.

      The adjutant, non-commissioned staff, colors, and band, will, in all cases, be with the Head-Quarters in the field

W.G. FREEMAN,Assistant Adjutant General.


Washington, Nov. 20, 1846.


      The following paragraph of “General Orders,” No. 29, of May 20, 1841, is republished, and made applicable to the theatre of war in Mexico:

   III.      “The President directs, that hereafter all officers of every branch of the service, assigned to duty with the Florida Army, shall only be relieved, or be transferred, through the orders of the General or other officer commanding the troops; and when it may be transferred, through the orders of the General or other officer commanding the troops; and when it may be necessary to withdraw any officer of the staff from duty there, the requisite instructions will be communicated through the Adjutant General’s Office.”

Assistant Adjutant General.


NRR 71.195 Nov. 28, 1846 the war assuming a very grave aspect, and promises to continue, review and reflections
NNR 71.195 an agent of Mexico and Secretary of State James Buchanan


      The war is becoming every day and every way more eventful, and begins seriously to compromise national existence.  It is probably that the whole of the Californias are, or very soon will be in the undisputed possession of the United States forces.  At least they are irretrievably lost to Mexico.  The operations of the American squadron in the Pacific and the diversion of Captain Fremont’s detachment in the interior, have in a great measure anticipated the intended operations of the “Army of the North” under General Kearney, and the principal part of that army will now no doubt be directed to proceed to join the “Army of the Centre” under General Wool.  Interesting details from each of the divisions of the army, as well as of the operations of the navy, are inserted in this number under their appropriate heads.

      The movement of a considerable portion of General Wool’s forces will very probably be in like manner diverted to a considerable extent, from its intended direction, in order to aid the ulterior movements of General Taylor’s division.  General Taylor has communicated with General Wool on the subject, and will no doubt avail of so much of the forces of the latter, as can now be spared from the divisions destined against Chihuahua.  General Wool has detached one thousand men to take possession of Moncloya.

      We have no later dates from Monterey, than those of the 29th ult. Given under the head of Army of Occupation, nor had they any later at Matamoras on the 7th instant.  Robert M. McLane, Esq. who left Washington on the 23d October, reached Matamoras on the 4th instant, and left ath evening for Camargo, on his way for headquarters, which he would probably reach by the 11th.  The Matamoras Flag expresses the opinion, from certain “unmistakable indications,” that the dispatches of which Mr. McLane is bearer, will modify to some extent, the orders previously sent to General Taylor by Major Graham, and adds—“We believe, that in view of the answer of the Mexican government or rulers, to our pacific proposition, the President has concluded to establish and garrison posts along our Southern boundary, from Tampico, to a point on the Pacific, several degrees south of latitude 42; that he will appoint territorial Governors, Judges, and other ministerial officers; that the U.S. revenue laws will be extended over the new country; that people of all classes will be taught to read, and furnished with cheap goods; and that large supplies of human happiness and virtue will be speedily introduced.”

      The regular troops had all been removed from Matamoros; the last company proceeded up the river on the 4th  inst.  The 3d Regiment Ohio, and 3d Indiana volunteers, are now the sole guardians of the city.  Fort Brown is likewise garrisoned by the Ohio troops.  The remainder of the two regiments, with the exception of two companies of Indianians, stationed at Reynosa, are encamped on the bank of the river, just below the town.

      Colonel M’Kee’s 2nd regiment of Kentucky infantry were under marching orders for Monterey, three companies have already left Camargo.  The Georgia regiment had probably reached Gen. Taylor’s camp.  General Marshall’s regiment of Kentucky mounted men were encamped four or five miles below Camargo.  Some companies of Col. Ormsby’s regiment of Kentucky infantry were at Camargo.  The Tennessee regiment of mounted men were encamped a short distance below Matamoros.

      The recruits for the regular army are sent forward to Monterey as they arrive.

      The Executive at Washington, in consequence of the new features of the contest, and the probability from indications evinced not only by Santa Anna, but by the Mexican people, that the war may be protracted, have deemed it expedient to order more formidable operations than have heretofore been resorted to.  Not only is the Gulf squadron to be placed upon a far more effective footing, with a view to the occupation of the Mexican ports upon the Gulf, but there the probability is, that the final demonstrations upon the city of Mexico will be made from that direction.  A Cabinet council it is said, was held at Washington on Saturday evening last, at which several distinguished officers of the Navy attended.  The Commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army, General SCOTT, has received orders, to repair, with his Staff, to the seat of war.  He will probably repair to the coast, and take the immediate command of the operations, with General PATTERSON as commander of the division.  General SCOTT left Washington on the 24th for New York.  It is intimated also, that Commodore STEWART will proceed to the Gulf in a ship of the line, as speedily as one can be fitted out for the purpose, to take command of the squadron.  We judge from these movements that it has been found advisable to delegate a larger discretion to the commander entrusted with the active operations.  Than has hitherto been extended.  The inconvenience of managing a campaign in a foreign country, when orders for every considerable movement have to be obtained from Washington, is obvious, and has already occasioned serious delay and heavy expenses.  At every stop beyond our own borders, these inconveniences would be increased.

      The intelligence from Mexico, (under out Mexican head,) evidences any thing rather than a disposition to accept President Polk’s overtures for a negotiation of peace. Yet if we credit the New York Journal of Commerce, which certainly has access to official authority, a correspondence is actually going on between Mr. Buchanan, secretary of state, and an agent of the Mexican government now in this country, who insists that the disposition and decision of the Mexican government in deferring the propositions of President Polk to their ensuing congress, has been misconstrued. The agent himself, in August and September last, urged in strong language to the Mexican government the entertainment of the propositions to negotiate. Their constitution denied them the power. He says to Mr. Buchanan, “I think you have failed to view in a true light, the reply sent.” * *  “It is not improbable indeed, that you may receive a proposition.” * * . The agent expresses the opinion “that it is the interest of both republics to give each other on mutual concession.” * * *  “An honorable peace to Mexico, you are pledged to assent to, by the tenor of your late dispatches to Mexican minister of foreign relations.” * *    “I send you reasons to believe pacific sentiments of an honorable nature, exists in the minds of the rulers of Mexico.

      The President will hardly allow any overtures to divert him from active operations. It is rumored that his message will ask of congress an additional forty million dollars and 50,000 troops, to prosecute with was with. [KMK]

NNR 71.195-196 November 28, 1846 Mexican operations, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's finances
NNR 71.196 English offer of mediation to Mexico
NNR 71.196 agent sent to Europe to negotiate a loan for Mexico
NNR 71.196 November 28, 1846 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna concentrating his forces at San Luis Potosi
NNR 71.196 Gen. Gabriel Valencia selected as second in command to Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
NNR 71.196 Mexican reinforcement of Veracruz
NNR 71.196 disputes in Yucatan over re-incorporation into Mexico
NNR 71.196 Alvarado made a city
NNR 71.196 Yucatan ships warned off Mexican ports


      The account inserted in our last, that Santa Anna had laid his hands upon a conducta, with $2,000,000, on its way from the mines to the coast, for the purpose of being shipped on board the British steamer, and of his forwarding his own obligations instead of the cash, was probably unfounded.  Santa Anna would hardly venture to incur the responsibility, in his present difficulties, of touching John Bull in so sensible a nerve.  A writer in the N. Orleans Tropic, avers that the seizure was made with the contenance of the British authorities, for the purpose of aiding the Mexicans with funds for the moment.  For our own part, we are better content that Santa Anna did not get the two millions that he wished to avail himself of out of our treasury.  If old John allows him to finger his cash, we doubt his being able to get an insurance for its future forthcoming, work the tack however he may.

      The probability  is, that Santa Anna detained only the amount that would have been levied at the seaport as export duty upon the metal.

      The British steamer Tay arrived at Havana on the 6th with Vera Cruz dates to the 1st November.  A Vera Cruz date of the 31st nit. Says—“A conducta arrived at Mexico on the 20th instant, from Guanajuato, with about $1,200,000, so that money was again abundant there.  Another had left San Luis de Potosi on the 16th inst. for Tampico, with upwards of a million, and was to arrive at the end of the month.  The British sloop Electra has sailed to Tampico, probably on purpose to receive on board the specie for shipment.  Two private conductas arrived here from Mexico, with silver bars and about 200,000 hard dollars.

      “At the middle of this month, private letters from Mexico stated that Mr. Bankhead had offered the mediation of England, and that the ministershad been in session for two days, to deliberate on the subject, but nothing rfarther has transpired since.”

      Don Felix Rivera was among the passengers in the Tay, on his way to Europe, on some mission from the government, one object of which it was said was to negotiate a loan of $30,000,000 by mortgaging the church property.  It was to be submitted at teh next session of congress.  The Mexicans seem determined to fight as long as possible.

      Senor Mier y Teran, a rich merchant at the capital, had advanced $20,000 to pay the troops at San Juan de Ulua, and $30,000 more to be forwarded to Vera Cruz to meet demands against the government there.  Of the loan which was authorized to be obtained from private individuals, the sum of $175,000 had been raised.

      The Tay had 102 passengers, an unusual number, supposed to indicate that many, either Mexicans or foreigners, were quitting Mexico to escape the dangers of war.

      The Republicano of the 27th ult. States that the English have offered to mediate between us at Mexico, and that the British fleet at Lisbon has been ordered to Vera Cruz.

      The late revolution in Mexico was effected by a union of the partizans of Santa Anna with the federalists.  The federalists are divided into two parties, the Puros—conservatives,--and the Moderados—republicans, and Santa Anna holds the balance of power between them.  Salas, in the executive chair, is a conservative.  Gomez Farias, president of the council of government instituted on the 1st ultimo, is a moderado.

      General Salas, who was at the head of the government, attempted to raise a forced loan.  Great disaffection ensued.  In the turmoil Senor Rejon, secretary of state, Senor Pacheco, minister of justice, and other members of the government resigned.  The first has been succeeded by Senor D. Jose Maria Lafragua, and the second by D. Joaquin Ladron de Guevara.  Private letters received in Mexico from San Luis Potosi say that these nominations are entirely acceptable to Santa Anna, although they were old opponents of his.

      Finally an attempt was made to assassinate Salas, and he deemed it expedient to quit the capital for Tacubaya, and reported the state of affairs to Santa Anna.  The latter disapproved of his departure, and he returned to Mexico on the 29th.  Meantime Santa Anna officially noticed the proceeding by publishing the following—


To His Excellency the Minister of War:

           Sir: By the reception of your circular of the 19th instant, I have learned with extremem regret that our foreign enemies, by means of their disguised agents, attempted on the evening of that day a serious outrage, from which it appears that they were endeavoring to dispossess his exceliendcy of the supreme executive power, which circumstances gave rise to a series of alarms, and would have produced the most disastrous consequences had it not been opportunely discovered at the moment.

      I rejoice exceedingly that the tranquility and public confidence remain firmly established in this state, and conforming myself to the wishes of the supreme government, I shall take good care that it is preserved.  I beg leave to assure your excellency, on the part of myself and the troops under my command, that no other thought is given place to here except a burning desire for revenge against our foreign enemy, to fulfil our obligations to the country, and to repel the suggestions of those who endeavor to distract us from such noble objects.  I have the honor to reiterate to your excellency my consideration and high respect.

God and Liberty.
Headquarters, San Luis Potosi,
October 23d, 1846.

      Santa Anna is evidently concentrating all his forces at San Luis Potosi.  What their amount was at the last dates, is not mentioned.  Some accounts by a direction overland, have swelled them to nearly 20,000.  He had undoubtedly ordered Saltillo to be evacuated, and the forces from thence are marching to San Luis.  He has also ordered the forces from Tampico, designing it is said, to make no defence of that place.

      The enemies of Santa Anna accuse him of a design of making himself dictator.  Whe he has a sufficient army concentrated, it will be in his power at any moment to do so.  In his letter announcing the settlement of the difficulties, he repudiates the idea and asserts that no human power will induce him to accept of any office.

      The government of San Luis de Potosi had passed a decree proclaiming Santa Anna Chief of the republic, with the sole power to appoint the president pro tem.

      Gen. Valencia had been selected by Santa Anna as his second in command, and was expected at San Luis with 5000 or 6000 men.  It was pretended there was much enthusiasm in favor of Santa Anna at San Luis, and that he expected to raise a large body of troops, and that Gen Cortazar had raised 2500 to 3000 volunteers.

      There is not the least intimation of any expectation or desire for peace on the part of the Mexicans.

      They were busily employed increasing the defences of Vera Cruz, who garrison is said to be 4000 men and further reinforcements arriving.

      Alvarado had been made a city in compliment for its brilliant and successful defence against Com. Conner.

      YUCATAN.  The schr. Javen Leonidas, arrived at New Orleans on the 17th, from Campeachy, which she left on the 2d.  The New Orleans Times, says: “She brought likewise despatches for the state department at Washington containing, we are informed, full accounts of the origin and progress of the quarrels between the different sections of the peninsula of Yucatan, and copies of the pronunciamentosmade by Campeachy and Laguna, in favor of the independence of the state and its total separation from the Mexican republic.

      “The American squadron was exercising a rigid surveillance along the coast, ordering of all Yucatanese vessels that attempted to enter any of the ports between Tabasco and the Rio Grande, the entire line having been ceclared under blocade.

      “It appears that Campeachy and Laguna are in earnest, in their efforts to maintain the independence of Yucatan, while Merida is equally bent upon securing the union of that state to Mexico.  Since the pronunciamento in Merida, of the 25th of August, declaring the re-annexation accomplished, great discontent has prevailed in Campeachy and Laguna.  In both these towns, the disaflection augmented until the citizens by common consent, agreed to repudiate the connection, and raise the flag of Yucatanese independence.  Merida, it seems, is the principal customer of Mexico, and will reap many advantages from the removal of all comercial restrictions upon the entrance of her products into Mexican ports.  Hence she is particularly interested in effecting the incorporation of Yucatan into the republic.  On the other hand, Campeachy and Laguna have no such interest at stake, but fear the suspension and total destruction of their large foreign commerce by blockade, in the event of taking part with Mexico.  This is the real secret of the various intrigues and intestine bickerings between the several towns of Yucatan.” [KMK]

NRR 71.196-71.197 November 28, 1846 Disease in our Army, letters describing state of affairs


      Brasos Santiago dates to the 5th, the Matamoros Flag to the 4th ist. and Monterey dates to the 29th October have been received at New Orleans.  From these we learn that the health of the troops at Monterey was not so good, diarrhea and chills and fevers prevailed, brought on probably by too free indulgence in fruit, &c.  The Mexicans at Monterey appear as yet not so well disposed towards our folks as at Matamoros.  Major Eaton, bearer of dispatches sent from Washington prior to hearing of the taking of Monterey had reached headquarters.  Major Graham, who was sent subsequently to hearing of that victory, was met between Camargo and Monterey, on the 27th, and probably reached the latter place on the following day, with the orders of our government to terminate the armistice and to pursue the enemy without delay.

      Ths report that the Mexicans had not evacuated Saltillo is contradicted.  Santa Anna’s orders to evacuate reached here on the 10th and the last of the Mexican forces on the 15th October.  They were concentrating their forces at San Luis Potosi, where Santa Anna was said by some accounts to have 12,000 men, and no less than 37 generals!  Other accounts diminish his actually for to about 3,000.  It is doubted whether Santa Anna would venture to detain the specie that he stopped at San Luis Potosi, belonging to the British, for fear of offending that government.  There was a rumor at Monterey on the 29th, so says a ltter from the distinguished officer, that Bustamente had gone north, in the direction of Chihuahua, to meet General Wool.  “And further,” says said letter, “it is positively stated that the Indians are killing and laying waste all before them in the latter state.” [KMK]

Monterey, Mexico, October 20, 1846.

      I can only repeat that I have no news to send. No movements have been made in the army and non are contemplated at present. The health of the army is bad, a very heavy disproportion of officers and men being on the sick list. Dysentery and intermittent fevers are the prevailing complaints; many are suffering with both, and such unfortunates can well exclaim, “Our sufferings is intolerable.” I speak feelingly on the subject for I am one of the doubly stricken. The 8th infantry, for illustration, numbers about 300 men; last evening only 164 appeared at parade, the residue either being sick or wounded, or on guard. A fully appointed regiment ought to have about forty commissioned officers; the 8th has thirteen in the field, four of whom are sick to day, and one, (Lieut. Wainwright), wounded and sick.  The 7th infantry came out to Corpus Christi with about 500 men, and all the officers but three or four. It now numbers 306 men, and last evening only 138 appeared on parade, the residue, being sick, wounded, or on guard. These are tolerably fair samples of the health of the army.

      It is rumored and believed here that Santa Anna, in consequence of information obtained from the captured dispatches from our government to Gen. Taylor, is preparing to send a strong force to Tampico. Santa Anna is at San Luis Potosi, or was a few days since.

      The weather is getting so cool at night and morning that fires would be comfortable; in truth, they are necessary to real comfort; but there is not a solitary fireplace in Monterey! As to fruit, we have enough. The road between Saltillo and this place is lined with donkeys and mules, loaded with apples, oranges, pears, lemons, pomegranates, figs, bananas, &c. All these grow in Monterey, but the two armies here nearly cleared the vast number of orchards of their fruits. The market, near the main plaza, is filled with meat, vegetables, and fruit. As for the curiosities, the scenery, the habits of this singular people, and many rich scenes I have come across here, my notes will enable me to pen descriptions of them for your readers when in health and leisure.

      Gen. Taylor, with the 1st and 2d divisions, is still in camp at Pecan Grove, or San Domingo woods. General Worth is acting governor of Monterey, and keeps everything in perfect order.

      Mier, Mexico, October 30. I have again taken advantage of a cessation of hostilities to return home, and am now speeding on my way as fast as possible. We left Monterey on the 24th October; with a train of fifty wagons, escorted by a detachment of dragoons under Lieut. Campbell. We have in our company a number of wounded officers and men, and others who have been discharged on account of sickness.

      I called on the commanding officer just before leaving, and found them in good spirits. All send compliments and kind wishes to their friends. General Taylor assured me that he should make no movement further than to take possession of Saltillo until he received reinforcements. The volunteer and regular troops had been so reduced by sickness and death, and discharges, that his forces were too weak for the responsible work before him. The people at Monterey and this side seem more spiteful towards us than ever. From the former place they are constantly moving towards San Luis Potosi. I am so confident in the wisdom of our government, that I am sure a new policy will be pursued in the future operations of our army in Mexico. It is useless to conciliate; this has been demonstrated. It is useless for us to expend our means in the enemy’s country, for they charge the highest prices, and receive our money with one hand, while they would cut out throats with the other. As to their disunions, they do us more harm than good.

      Point Isabel, November 4. I am waiting impatiently for a steamship to start for New Orleans. The Virginia is here, and will probably start to-morrow, buit there are about two hundred persons who wish to go in her.  Major Dashiell is here also, waiting impatiently for a conveyance.  He informs me that before leaving Monterey a messenger had arrived, six days from Gen. Wool.  That officer was within a short distance of Monclova, with his command, and with fifty days’ provisions.  It was understood at Monterey that Gen. Wool had been ordered by Gen. Taylor to send a detachment of his troops to Chihuahua, and then join the army at Monterey.  I think you will find I am correct in my opinion that no important movement will be made by Gen. Taylor until he receives considerable reinforcements.  His own opinion on the subject is certainly pretty good evidence.  As to the armistice being overruled by our government, this fact will make little or no difference.  I believe Gen. Taylor hoped and expected that would be so.

      Balize, (La.) November 13.

 The Virginia has arrived with us at last, but we have had “a tough time of it,” I can assure you.  Wee left the Brasos on the eveing of the 4th, with one hundred and fifty passengers, most of whom were discharged volunteers.  Half of these people were wounded or sick, some having lost their legs, others their arms, and others being wounded in their arms and legs.  Night before last, a discharged soldier, who was wounded in the battles of last May, and had been in the hospital at Point Isabel ever since, died on board, and was buried at sea.  Had a severe gale caught us, four or five more undoubtedly would have died.  Will you believe me when I tell you that, with all these sick and wounded and dying men, not a surgeon or a nurse was sent along to attend upon them, not a particle of medicine furnished, not a patch of linen for dressing wounds?  Such is the truth, and such, I understood, is the usual manner in which the men who have been out to fight our battles, but who are unfortunate enough to get wounded or become sick, are sent home like old horses turned out to die!  The Virginia has no accommodation for passengers, having but eight berths, and you may be assured that the condition of the sick was horrible.  Capt. Tucker did all in his power to alleviate their sufferings, but, of course, not much could be done without means.  [Correspondence New Orleans Picayune.  [KMK]

NNR 71.197-11/28/1846 Jersey Blues

Jersey Blues. It is highly complimentary to the character of our state that New Jersey has given two governors of the newly acquired territories of Mexico. Captain Stockton who has taken possession of California, and General Kearney, who has become governor of Santa Fe, are both, we believe, native Jerseymen. Capt. John Drake Sloat, now in command of the United States squadron in the Pacific, and Captain Stringham, of the United States war ship Ohio, we are gratified to state, are also both citizens in the adjoining county of Orange- the former born and brought up at Goshen in that county. Captain Aulick, also, in command of one of the ships of the line, we believe, was formerly from, or is the descendant of a revolutionary veteran in this county. Surely in this region we have no reason to blush for the fame of Jeresymen. [SCM]

NRR 71.197 November 28, 1846 account of the interview between Gen. Pedro Ampudia and Gen. Zachary Taylor at Monterey

      Generals Ampudia and Taylor.-The New Orleans Delta says that the interview between Gens. Taylor and Ampudia, in relation to the capitulation of Monterey, has been described to its editors by a gentleman who was present, as a very rich scene, in which the two chief actors were in fine contrast.

      Ampudia was all courtesy and fine words, big speeches, great volubility, with an abundance of gesticulations, shrugs, nods, alternate smiles and frowns, and that whole catalogue of silent language, with which persons of French origin are wont to help the expression of their ideas.  Gen Ampudia is of a French family, and was born in the West Indies.

      Gen. Taylor, on the other hand, was as dry as a chip, as plain as a pipe-stem, and as short as piecrust.  Dressed in his best coat, (which by the by las if it had served some half a dozen campaigns,) with his glazed oil cloth cap, strapless pants, and old fashioned white vest, he looked more like anold farmer, lately elected militia colonel, who had put on his every day suit, with the slightest imaginable sign of military toggery, to distinguish him from a crowd of mere civilians.  IN his reply to Ampudia’s long harangues, he used such direct, blunt and emphatic language, that the valorous Mexican was thrown all aback and “had nothing to say.”

      Ampudia opened the interview by stating that his forces were too large to be conquered by Gen. Taylor’s army-that he had an abundance of ammunition 7000 infantry and 3000 cavalry, with 40 cannon, and the best artillerists in the world-that his loss was very small-and he felt confident he could defend the city against a much stronger force than that under Gen. Taylor’s command-but that from motives of humanity-to spare the effusion of blood-to save the lives of helpless women and children-he was willing so far to compromise the glory of the great Mexican nation as to surrender the city provided he was allowed to retire with his whole force, and carry the public property with him, and all the arms and munitions of war.  When he had finished his magnificent oration, which in the style of his celebrated proclamation, was garnished with numerous allusions to the stupendous power and unfading glory and renown of magnanimous Mexico, old Zack quietly stuck his hands deep into his breaches pockets, cocked his head a littl on one side, and gently raising his grizly eyebrows, that the bold little black eye lurking beneath might have full play upon the grandiloquent Mexican, replied in these few but expressive words:

      “Gen. Ampudia, we came here to take Monterey, and we are going to do it on such terms as please us.  I wish you good morning.”  And the old General hobbled off on his two short little legs, leaving the Mexican General and Staff in the profoundest bewilderment. [KMK]

NRR 71.197 November 28, 1846 Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny orders part of his force back to Santa Fe and proceeds for California with only 200 men
NNR 71.197 Apprehensions about winter forage at Santa Fe, large number of men left unemployed there


      Upper California. – Santa Fe.  The St. Louis Republican of the 16th inst. Announces the arrival in that city of Major Fitzpatrick, U. S. Indian agent for the Oregon territory.  He was just from Santa Fe, having left that town on the 14th October.

      It was intended that Major Fitzpatrick should accompany Gen. Kearney on his expedition to California, as a guide, his superior knowledge of that country making it very desirable that he should accompany the general.  He accordingly did so; but, when about 175 miles from Santa Fe, down the Rio Grande,, the command was met by an express from Col. Fremont, with information as to the situation of affairs in Upper California.  This party consisted of sixteen.  They left Puebla de los Angelos with fifty mules, each carrying about one bushel of dried corn, and when they met Gen. Kearney, such was the expedition with which they had traveled, and the dangers of the route, that only eighteen mules survived.  They were thirty-one days on the route.  From the express, Gen. Kearney learned that Upper California was completely in possession of her American forces, the Mexicans having been driven out of the territory; that Col. Fremont was acting as provisional governor of that department, and the whole country was quiet.

      On the reception of this news, Gen. Kearney determinated to dispense with the services of a portion of his force, taking only so many men as were deemed necessary for an escort.  He therefore selected one hundred men for this purpose, and ordered the remainder back to Santa Fe.  He was accompanied by Captains Johnson, Turner, and Moore, Lieuts. Hammond and Love, and Lieut. Emory, of Topographical Engineers.  With this command he recommenced his expedition – taking with him three of the persons who had formed a part of the express company, as guides, and thus relieving Major Fitzpatrick of his duty.  He returned with the remainder of the company to Santa Fe, and started thence on the 14th ult. For this city.  He will proceed immediately for Washington, having in his charge dispatches from Com. Stockton, commander of the American fleet on the Pacific, for the government.

      We learn, further, that the permission given to Capt. Hudson, of the Laclede Rangers, to organize a company of mounted volunteers, to go with the Mormons, on their expedition to California, was countermanded.  The Mormons were, therefore, to go without a mounted escort.  It was expected that Col. Price, with about 150 men of his regiment, would proceed to California, but this was not positively determined.

      There was nothing new at Santa Fe.  Much apprehension was felt as to the supply of forage for the horses and cattle, and it was feared that many of them would be lost during the winter.  In returning home, many wagons, containing provisions, were met, broken down, and teams had given out.  Major F. met Col. Thompson 300 miles from Santa Fe; he had recovered his horses, which had been stolen fro him – as heretofore noticed – and was proceeding on his route.  Major F. frequently diverged from the road, so as to find grass for his animals, and for this reason saw nothing of Dr. Penn, who left Santa Fe some days before him.

      Major F. brings information of the death of a young man named Cowie, whose father resides in this city.  He went out with Lieut. Fremont, but at the time belonged to the California volunteers.  He was captured by the Mexicans, and most inhumanly tortured to death.  He also mentions the death of Bazile Lajeunesse, who has friends in this country.  He, and two other persons, were killed by the Klamet Indians, on the route from Oregon to California.

      The change in Gen. Kearney’s disposition of his forces will leave a large number of men unemployed at Santa Fe.  The regiment under the command of Col. Doniphan had not marched for Chihuahua, but that was their destination.  Even then a very considerable military force would be left at Santa Fe – probably not less than fifteen hundred men – and, unless the surrounding Indians should afford them something to do, their career promises to be a very quiet and uninteresting one. [KMK]

NRR 71.198 November 28, 1846 second attack on Alvarado


      There was a general regret, if we are not mistaken, on witnessing, not only in letters from our gulf squadron, but in official reports from the commander himself, which have been published, expressions of such deep mortification at the result of the attacks upon Alvarado, and an anticipation on the part of the writers of these accounts, that severe censure would be heaped upon those engaged in those affairs by their countrymen.  The people, as well as the government of this country, know well enough that our navy, nor any other navy, can surmount impossibilities, navigate where there is not sufficient water, nor achieve victories without adequate means.  What it seemed hardly worth while to attempt, for any useful object in view, has been attempted, rather than endure the idea of inactivity.  An inhospitable coast was the only enemy dreaded.  Who expected our officers to do more than take the chances of fortune in wind and weather, and sea, on which it depended, or who would censure if fortune failed them?

From the Philadelphia U. S. Gazette

We took occasion yesterday to make some remarks upon the failure of Commodore Conner in his attempt to take the city Alvarado, a result which, we suppose, naval men must have foreseen, if they had known the situation of the city to be assailed, and the difficulties of getting vessels into an assailing position; but especially must any man thus informed, have seen tat the forces under the real command of Com. Conner, were wholly insufficient for the object.  One of the greatest dangers of a military man is to underrate his enemy.  But now that the failure has taken place, we are to look out for the assault upon Tabasco – if, indeed, such an assault should really have been ordered.  It is possible that instead of running down to the mouth of the river Tabasco, Com. Conner may try another attack with the aid of some troops to invest the town from the water side.

      But if Tabasco is to be the object of attack, under Com. Perry, all ordinary experience would indicate that there must be a different and a larger force, than that which failed at Alvarado.  The city of Tabasco is about ninety miles up the river, and not like Alvarado, within a few miles of the mouth.  The month of Tabasco river is fortified with a pretty strong fort.  There is, also, a small town, called Frontere, and the custom house. – But there is a bar off this river as, indeed, there is all along the coast; and there are only twelve feet of water on this bar, really one foot less than Alvarado.  The fleet which Com. Perry has at his command is too small for any attack.  The Mississippi steamer cannot come within gun-shot of the fort.  At Frontere, indeed, neither fort nor town is visible at the bar, and all the guns which Com. P. can take in, are about sixteen 12-pounders, and three 18-pounders, viz: six in the cutter Forward, six in the McLane, and four in the Vixen; and the little schooners Petrel, Bonita, and the Reefer, each carries one 18-pounder.  To these may be added the prize schooner Nonata, with four 42-pound carronades.  These are all that can be taken over the bar and the two steamers must tow, the two, and the other three vessels.

      In the fall of 1840, Com. Moore, of the Texan navy, entered the mouth of the Tabasco river, took possession of the fort, which had only forty men, placed it in charge of troops from Yucatan, and then ascended the river with the following vessels:

      The Austin, a twenty gun ship, viz: eighteen 24, and two 18-pounders.
           The schooner St. Bernard, with seven 12-pounders.
           The steamer Zavala, carrying eight 18-pounders.

      These vessels drew the following water, viz: the Austin, eleven feet; St. Bernard, eight feet, and the steamer Zavala, nine feet.  To these vessels was added the Yucatan brig Yman, carrying six 12-pounders, and a long 1S.  (This vessel was afterwards captured by the Mexicans.)  All of these sailing vessels were towed by the steamer, and forty-eight hours were consumed in ascending to Tabasco, against a current of from three to four miles an hour.  Com. Moore, with his force, took the city, though defended by two forts.  He levied a conribution of $25,000 upon the city, before which he lay twenty days, and then departed.

      We mention these facts to show that such things can be done, and also to show how they can be done, I will be seen that the force said to be under Com. Perry, is wholly insufficient for the proposed purpose and that to attempt to cross the bar at Tabasco, accompanied as he is, would be a step so rash, as to call for censure from some quarters.  Success alone could excuse, scarcely any event would justify the measure.

      But why should Tabasco be made the point of attack?  It is no in the way of the city of Mexico.  Its conquest would not facilitate the movement of our troops towards the center of the country, nor enable them to retreat, if necessary, with greater facility and safety.  There is nothing at Tabasco, but Tabasco, and about ten thousand inhabitants, who when conquered, would probably come on board the vessels, and dance with the conquerors, and be as ready the next day to join in a plan to drive them off.  But Alvarado is different.  At that place there are, we believe, a considerable portion of the Mexican fleet, viz:

      The steamer Rejerador, carrying one long 24, and two 18-pounders.
           The brig Euchatache, with sixteen 18 pounders, and one long 18.
           The brig, Santa Anna, with twelve 18 pounders..
           Brig Yman, captured from the Yucatanees, carrying six 12 pounders, and one long 18.
           Schooner Eagle, with six 18-pounders, and one long 32.
           Schooner Campechiani, with four 12 pounders.

      Now the possession of the Alvarado, and the conquest of these vessels, would have been a good day’s work.  But this could not be done, for the force at command was wholly insufficient, and thus by frittering away the means, the hopes, and the enterprise of the navy, upon ill advised projects, we see that right arm of national defence suffering, and a gallant Pennsylvanian laboring under the mortification of a failure, when proper means, and sufficient and easily obtained force, would have insured success.

      The honor of the navy, the honor of the nation, is concerned in a proper management of this part of the war against Mexico, and every American haas a right to demand of the navy department, the employment against assailed points, of a force reasonably large for the object.  It is cheapest, it is safest, it is right.

      The coast of the gulf seems not to be well understood by any one that directs, and there is in consequence, a continual danger.

      The United States Gazette furnishes the following interested article upon the subject: “When the fleet under Com. Perry had been last heard from they were immediately off Tabasco, and were but waiting for a violent swell to subside before passing over the bar to attack the place.

      “The squadron consisted of the Mississippi, (flagship) Com. Perry; the Vixen, Com’r. Sands; revenue cutter McLane, Capt. Howard; revenue cutter Forward, Capt. Jones; prize schr. Nonato, Lieut. Hazard; schr. Reefer, Lieut. Sterrell; and schr. Bonita.  Besides these, there were twelve, besides the crews of the respective vessels number two hundred men, principally marines from the Raritan and Cumberland.” [KMK]

NRR 71.199-71.200 November 28, 1846 Com. Matthew Calbraith Perry's operations at Tabasco


      An Officer of the navy furnishes the New Orleans Picayune with details from which it appears that:

      The squadron dispatched by Commodore Conner, under the command of Commodore Perry, consisted of the Mississippi, Com. Perry; Vixen, Com’r. Sands, Bonita, Lieut. Com’d. Benham; Reefer, Lieut. Steret; Nonita, Lieut. Hazard; revenue steamer McLane, Capt. Howard; revenue cutter Forward, Capt. Jones; 200 seamen and marines from the Raritan and Cumberland, under command of Capt. Forrest, Lieuts. Gest, Winslow, Walsh, Hunt; Capt. Edson and Lieut. Adams of the marines.

      One of the principal objects of the expedition was, to capture several vessels that were lying off the town – they were all taken.  When the city was summoned to surrender, the people were all in favor of yielding at once.  The governor and soldiery opposed it.  Time was given for all peaceable persons, women and children, to get out of harm’s way; but the governor would not allow any one to leave, so that it is feared most of those killed during the bombardment were not soldiers.  Some of the regulars were killed.  Had it not been that the execution was principally done upon inoffensive person, the city would have been demolished, with the exception of the residences of foreign consuls and the hospitals. [KMK]

NRR 71.200 November 28, 1846  vessels captured at Tabasco

List of vessels captured and destroyed during the late expedition to Tabasco, under Com. M. C. Perry:MANNED AND SENT IN.

American barqueCoosa.
Mexican schoonerTelegraph.
" steamer Petrita.
"  steamer Tabasqueño.
"  hermaphrodite brigYunante.
"  schooner Laura Virginia.
"  schooner Tabasco.
"  schooner Amada.
American brig
Plymouth BURNED.
Mexican sloop
"  brig Rentville.
"  tow boat -----------
"  schooner -----------

 Mexican sloop Desada returned to the captain in consequence of his excellent conduct when his vessel was attacked while in charge of Lieut. Wm. A. Parker.



NRR 71.200-201 November 28, 1846 Gen. Zachary Taylor's official account of taking of Monterey


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

      Sir: I have now the honor to submit a detailed report of the recent operations before Monterey, resulting in the capitulation of that city.

      The information received on the route from Seralvo, and particularly the continual appearance in our front of the Mexican cavalry, which had a slight skirmish with our advance at the village of Ramas, 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 force; that a large work had been constructed commanding all the northern approaches; and that the Bishops Palace, and some heights in its vicinity near the Altillo road, had also been fortified and occupied with troops and artillery.  It was known, from information previously received, that the eastern approaches 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.  After establishing my camp at the “Walnut Springs,” three miles from Monterey, the nearest suitable position, it was accordingly, my first care to order a close reconnaissance of the ground in question, which was executed on the evening of the 19th by the engineering officers under the direction of Major Mansfield.  A reconnaissance of the eastern approaches was at the same time made by Capt. Williams, topographical engineer.  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 operation 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 enemy’s detachment works in that quarter, where practicable.  The first regiment of Texas mounted volunteers, under command of Col. Hays, was associated with the second division on this service.  Capt. Sanders, engineers, and Lieut. Meade, topographical engineers, were also ordered to report to General Worth for duty with his column.

      At 2 o’clock P. M. on the 20th, the second division took up its march.  It was soon discovered, by officers who were reconnoitering the town, and communicated 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 Gen. 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 I proposed to make a diversion in favor of Gen. Worth’s movement.  The 4th infantry covered this battery during the night.  Gen. Worth had in the mean time reached and occupied for the night a defensive position just without range of a battery above the Bishop’s Palace, having made a reconnaissance as far as the Saltillo road.

      Before proceeding to report the operations of the 21st and following days, I beg leave to state that I shall mention in detail only those which were conducted against the eastern extremity of the city or elsewere, 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 Gen. Worth, written at half past 9 o’clock the night before, suggesting what I had already intended, a strong diversion against the center 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 impression, if practicable, upon the upper quarter of the city.  Upon approaching the mortar battery, the 1st and 3d regiments of infantry and battalion of Baltimore and Washington volunteers, with Capt. Bragg’s field battery – the whole under the command of the Lieut. Col. Garland – were directed towards the lower part of the town, with orders to make a strong demonstration, and to carry one of the enemy’s advanced works, if it could be down without too heavy loss.  Major Mansfield, engineers, and Capt. Williams 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 ordinance, and the howitzer battery under Capt. Webster, 1st artillery, and 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.  I now deemed it necessary to support this attack, and accordingly ordered the 4th 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 consequently did not join the advance companies until some time afterwards.

      Lieut. Colonel Garland’s command had approached the town in direction to the right of the advanced work (No. 1) at the northeastern angle of the city, and the engineer officer, covered by skirmishers, had succeeded in entering the suburbs & 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 expose to a fire which they could not effectually return, and had already sustained such severe loss, particularly in officers, that it was deemed best to withdraw them to a more secure position.  Capt. Backus, 1st infantry, however, with a portion of his own and other companies, had gained the roof of a tannery, which looked 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 happily 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 important work.

      The three regiments of the volunteer division under the immediate command of Major. Gen. Butler had in the mean time advanced in the direction of No. 1.  The leading brigade, under Brigadier Gen. Quitman, continued its advance upon the work, preceded 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 infantry had advanced within short range of the work, when they were received by a fire that almost in one moment struck down one-third of the officers and men, rendered it necessary to retire and effect a conjunction with the two other companies then advancing.  Gen. Quitman’s brigade, though suffering most severely, particularly in the Tennessee regiment, continued its advance, and finally carried the work in handsome style, as well as the strong building in its rear.  Five pieces of artillery, a considerable supply of ammunition, and thirty prisoners, including three officers, fell into our hands.  Major Gen. Butler, with the 1st Ohio regiment, after entering 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 ordered a retrograde movement; but learning almost immediately from one of my staff that the battery No. 1 was in our possession, the order was countermanded, and I determined to hold the battery and the defences already gained.  Gen. Butler, with the 1st Ohio regiment, then entered the town at a point further 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 the No. 2, and the heavy musketry fire flanking the approach, rendered it impossible to carry it without great loss, the 1st Ohio regiment was withdrawn 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 Capts. Bragg and Ridgely were also partially 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 Twggs, though quite unwell, 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 4th regiments and Baltimore battalion to enter the town, penetrating to the right, and carry the second battery, if possible.  This command, under Lieut. Col. Garland, advanced beyond the bridge “Purisima,” when finding it impracticable to gain the rear of the second battery, a portion of it sustained themselves for some time in that advanced position; but as no permanent impression could be made at that point, and the main object of the general operation had been effected, the command, including a section of Capt. Ridgely’s battery, which had joined it, was withdrawn to battery No. 1.  During the absense of this column, a demonstration of cavalry was reported in the direction of the citadel.  Captain Bragg, who was at hand, immediately galloped with his battery to a suitable position, from which a few discharges effectually dispersed the enemy.  Captain Miller, first infantry, was dispatched with a mixed command, to support the battery on this service. – The enemy’s lancers had previously charged upon the Ohio and a part of the Mississippi 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. Ridgely’s battery, and the squadrons returned to the city.  At the approach of evening all the troops that had been engaged were ordered back to camp except Capt. Ridgely’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 addition strength was given to the works, and protection to the men, by working parties during the night, under the direction of Lieut. Scarritt, engineers.

      The main object proposed in the morning had been effected.  A powerful diversion had been made 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, Capt. Morris and Field, Brevet Major Barbour, Lieuts. Irwin and Hazlitt, 3d infantry, Lieut. Hoskins, 4th infantry, Lieut. Col. Watson, Baltimore battalion, Captain 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 the city on the 21st is 394.

      Early in the morning of this day, (21st,) the advance of the 2d division had encountered the enemy in force, and after a brief and sharp conflict, repulsed him with heavy loss.  Gen. Worth then succeeded in gaining a position on the Saltillo road, thus cutting the enemy’s line of communication.  From the 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, 8th infantry, being the only officer killed.

      The 22d day of September passed without any active 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 occupied by our troops.  The guard left in it the preceding night, except Capt. Ridgely’s company, was relieved at mid-day by Gen. Quitman’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 of day, the height above the Bishop’s Palace was carried, and soon after meridian the Palace itself was taken and its guns turned upon the fugitive garrison.  The object for which the 2d division was detached had thus been completely accomplished, 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 the 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 instructions 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, I repaired to the abandoned works, and discovered that a portion of Gen. Quitman’s brigade had entered the town, and were successfully forcing their way towards the principal plaza.  I then ordered up the 2d regiment of Texas mounted volunteers, who entered the city, dismounted, and under the immediate orders of Gen. Henderson, co-operated with Gen. Quitman’s brigade.  Capt. Bragg’s battery was also ordered up, supported by the 3d infantry; and after firing for some time at the cathedral, a portion of it was like wise thrown into the city.  Our troops advanced from house to house, and from square to square, until they reached a street but one square in the 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 but with small loss on our part.  Capt. Ridgely, in the mean time, had served a captured piece in battery No. 1 against the city, until the advance of our men rendered it imprudent to fire in the direction of the cathedral.  I 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 stand behind hi 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 accordingly feel back deliberately, in good order and resumed their original positions, Gen. Quitman’s brigade 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 inexpedient to change my orders, and accordingly returned to camp.  A note from Gen. Worth, written at eleven o’clock P. M., informed me that he had advanced to within a short distance of the principal plaza, and that the mortar (which had been sent to his division in the morning) was doing good execution within effective range of the enemy’s position.  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 suspend his advance until I could have an interview with him on the following morning at his headquarters.

      Early on the morning of the 24th I received, through Col. Moreno, a communication from Gen. Ampudia, proposing to evacuate the town; which, with the answer, were forwarded with my first dispatch.  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 General Worth’s headquarters to which I soon repaired.  In the mean time, Gen. Ampudia had signified to Gen. Worth his desire for a personal interview with me, to which I acceded, and which finally resulted in a capitulation, placing the town and the materiel of war, with certain exceptions, in our possession.  A copy of that capitulation was transmitted with my first dispatch.

      Upon occupying the city, it was discovered to be of great strength in itself, and to have its approaches carefully and strongly fortified.  The town and works were armed with 42 pieces of cannon, well supplied with ammunition, and manned with a force of at least 7,000 troops of the line, and from 2000 to 3000 irregulars.  The force under my orders before Monterey, 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 hundred 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 note 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 testimony of their coolness and constancy in battle, and the cheerfulness with which they have submitted to exposure and privation.  To the general officer’s commanding divisions – Major Generals Butler and Henderson, and Brigadier Generals Twiggs and Worth – I must express my obligations for the efficient aid which they have rendered in their respective commands.  I was unfortunately deprived, early on the 21st, of the valuable services of Major General Butler, who was disabled by a wound received in the attack on the city.  Major General Henderson, commanding the Texas volunteers, has given me important 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 Butler was disabled.  Brigadier General Worth was intrusted with an important detachment, which rendered his operations independent of my own.  Those operations were conducted with ability, and crowned with complete success.

      I desire also to notice Brigadier General Hamer and Quitman, commanding brigades in Gen. Butler’s division.  Lieutenant Colonels Garland and Wilson, commanding brigades in General Twigg’s division, Colonels Mitchell, Campbell, Davis, and Wood, commanding the Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi, and 2d Texas regiments, respectively, and Majors Lear, Allen, and Abercrombie, commanding the 3d, 4th, and 1st regiments of infantry; all of whom served under my eye and conducted their commands with coolness and gallantry against the enemy.  Colonel Mitchell, Lieut. Colonel M’Clung, Mississippi regiment, Major Lear, 3d infantry, and Major Alexander, Tennessee regiment, were all severely wounded, as were Captain Lamotte, 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 Col. Mitchell, the command 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, former being also wounded.

      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 Cook, Mississippi regiment; also Sergeant Maj. Hearlan, Mississippi 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 regiment, and Lieut. Hooker, 1st artillery, serving on the staff of Gen. Hamer, and Lieut. Nichols, 2d artillery, on that of Gen. Quitman.  Capts. Bragg and Ridgely served with their batteries during the operation under my own observation, and is part under my immediate orders, and exhibited distinguished skill and gallantry.  Capt. Webster, 1st artillery, assisted by Lieuts. Donalds 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 employed under the direction of Lieut. Col. May as escorts, 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 forwarded. – For further mention of individuals, I beg leave to refer to the reports of division commanders herewith respectfully transmitted.  I fully concur in their recommendations, and desire that they may be considered as part of my own report.

      From the officers of my personal staff and of the engineers, topographical engineers, and ordinance associated with me, I have derived valued and different assistance during the operations.  Col. Whitting, assistant quartermaster general, Colonels Crogham and Belknap, inspectors general, Major Bliss, assistant adjutant general, Capt. Sibley, assistant quartermaster, Captain Waggamah, 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 situations, in the communication of my orders and instructions.  I must express my particular obligations to Brevet Majr Mansfield and Lieut. Scarritt, corps of engineers.  They both rendered most important services in reconnoitering the enemy’s position, conducting troops in attack, and strengthening the works captured from the enemy.  Maj. Mansfield, though wounded on the 21st, remained on duty during that and the following day, until confined by his wound 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 on the 21st.  Lieut. Pope, of the same corps, was active and zealous throughout the operation.  Maj. Monroe, chief of the artillery, Maj Craig and Capt. Ramsay of the ordnance, were assiduous in the performance of their proper duties.  The former superintended the mortar service on the 22d, as particularly 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 division.

      Surgeon Craig, medical director, was actively employed in the important duties of his department, and the medical staff generally were unremitting in their attentions to the numerous wounded – their duties with the regular regiments being rendered uncommonly arduous by the small number serving in the field.

      I respectfully enclosed herewith, in addition to the reports of division commanders, a held return of the force before Monterey, on the 21st September – a return of killed, wounded, and missing during the operations – and two topographical sketches – one exhibiting all the movements around Monterey – the other on a larger scale frustration more particularly the operations in the lower quarter of the city – prepared respectively by Lieuts. Meade and Pope, topographical engineers.

      I am, sir, very respectfully, your ob’t serv’t.

Major General U. S. A. Com.

The ADJUTANT GENERAL of the army,
Washington, D. C.

NRR 71.201-202 November 28, 1846  Jack Hays and his men


      Since the opening of the campaign, the regiment of Texas rangers under the command of Col. J. C. Hays, of San Antonio de Bexar, Texas, never been gradually earning a high place not only in the estimation of Gen. Taylor’s army, as appears from numerous letters from the camp, but in the hearts of the people of the United States, until their exploits at the battle of Monterey have created a perfect enthusiasm in the popular mind to know who and what this famous “Jack Hays and his men” really are.  In reply to our inquiries, a friend from western Texas presents us with the following sketch:


      John C. Hays, a native of Middle Tennessee, came to Texas early in the year 1839, I believe, and settling a San Antonio, commenced business as a land locator and surveyor.  This calling was, then, exceedingly dangerous, for it was rare indeed that a surveying party went beyond the settlements without a rencontre with either Mexicans, Camanches, Beediis, Wacoes, Towackanies, Keechies, or straggling bands of some other hostile tribe infesting the western frontier of Texas.  In these encounters, Hays, though hardly a man in age, soon obtained a reputation for coolness, judgment, courage, energy, and a knowledge of frontier life and Indian and Mexican character, which induced the government of Texas to render to him the command of its first company of rangers, which was organized in the winter of 1840 and ’41.  Sometime afterwards, when it was found necessary to raise two more ranging companies, Capt. Hays was invested with the command of the battalion, with the rank of major, and he and “his men” continued to serve as rangers until the annexation.  He is not more than 30 years of age (if so old) and weights from 130 to 140 pounds.  I need say nothing to you concerning his remarkable soldierly qualities, for the pens and voices of such men as Balie Peyton and Gen. Worth have already told the world that it holds few such warriors as Jack Hays.

      In western Texas, where, from habit, all men are good Indian and Mexican fighters, modesty is his most remarkable trait; for it is no uncommon thing to hear an over-modest man characterized as being almost as modest as Jack Hays.  Indeed, I question whether there is a man in Taylor’s army who has as poor an opinion of the merits and services of H. as himself.  He thinks much and speaks little, and that little always to the purpose.  There never lived a commander more idelized by his men; for his word is their law.  Now, as they are regular frontier men, and of course, notoriously restless under any other restraint, his perfect control of them attracted much curiosity, and many inquiries in Texas before its annexation.  Their experience with him as a soldier has given him their confidence; but his rigid and exact justice to him, his habits of living and faring as roughly as any private in the regiment: when on duty, and of treating each comrade in arms as in all respect his equal when not on duty, are probably the reason why the boys, one and all, are so willing, without a murmur, to live on parched corn, ride 70 or 80 miles without demounting for five minutes at a time, or to fight Mexicans with pick axes, when Hays deems either necessary.

      His men, who, in the estimation of Gen. Worth, are the best light troops in the world, are just the men to be led by such an officer.

      Out of the four hundred I presume at least three hundred and fifty are farmers and stock raisers in a small way on the Colorado, Navidad, Layacea, Guadaloupe, and San Antonio, rivers in western Texas.

      From the time of the battle of San Jacinto up to forty-one, when formed into regular ranging companies, they defended the frontier on their own book without pay, employment, provision, or even ammunition at the expense of the government.  Whenever Indians or Mexicans approached the settlements runners were dispatched up and down the rivers I have before named to sound the alarm, and on such notice these now composing Hay’s “first regiment of Texas rangers” rarely required more than six hours to prepare for a campaign of three months; for, after all, catching their horses, running fifty . . ., and parching and grinding a half bushel of corn for cold flour or pan. . as the Mexicans term it, were the only preparation necessary.  Hot or cold, wet or dry, they carried no tents, and required no other provisions than fresh beef, which was usually driven with them.  Once in a while a green horn, on his first campaign, would pack a . . .but he would soon learn that boys who had to fight for nothing and find their own horse flesh and ammunition could it about as well on “…” surplus.  In fact, after . . . experience with such a life, few at least of those then, would be troubled with the care of any other provisions with beef, or with any other equipment than shooting irons, bowie knife, a pair of old blankets, a Mexcan saddletree, and a good horse; which, with leather breeches, indomitable perseverance, an extra shirt, a light heart, great capacity for endurance and sworn hatred to Mexicans and Indians, make up the Texas ranger.

      Suffer me to digress for a moment in order to say that having been “one” four or five times with these men, I claim to know what is necessary for the true comforts of the soldier in active service.  With this knowledge, I was not a little amused the other day, on reading the Baltimore bill of complaints against the government and Gen. William O. Butler, I can well imagine the fun the young gentlemen correspondent of the Sun would afford to a squad or Hays’ men, on telling his griefs over their camp fire.  I refer to the writer who growls about no sugar when his coffee is ready, and no bread when there is beef enough.  Verify, if the boys had not smelt “carni” for a fortnight, they would quit the very interesting work, (under such circumstances,) of roasting ribs to “roast” such a customer after their own fashion; and Heaven help the grumbler who falls into their hands.

      But to continue.  When the government of Texas organized these men into regular companies, they first began to receive pay, and, perhaps, half of those now with Hays, gave up their farms and took to soldiering for a livelihood.

      Capt. Ben. McCulloch, who commands the first company of his regiment, (to which … of the Picayune, is attached;) G. T. Howard, who was lately dispatched to Santa Fe by the president, and has since joined Wool’s force, to which he will soon be what McCulloch is to the main army; poor Gillespie, who was killed in battle, and Hancock Chevallie, originally of Richmond, VA., were Hays’ right hand men in the frontier campaigns of Texas.  McCulloch is a native of Tennessee, near the Alabama line, and came to Texas from the latter state, settling in Gonzales county, as a surveyor.  He served one of the two field pieces in the battle of San Jacinto, “the twin sisters,” as the Texans dubbed them, and there, for the first time, distinguished himself.  He is the hero of what is known as the Plumb creek fight with the Indians who burnt Linnville.  Howard is a native of this city, and commanded in the famous court house fight in the town of San Antonio, when he found it necessary to close the door, and with nineteen men, to fight thirty-seven Camanches, both parties being completely armed.  In this melee, he himself received four wounds, and lost nine men killed, all the rest of the command being more or less wounded.  But seen of the Indians got out of the room alive; and of those, six were subsequently killed in the street.  Gillespie is either a native of Virginia or Tennessee; and being the lieutenant of the first company of rangers, was chosen its captain when Hays was promoted to the command of the original battalion.  Indeed, all these gentlemen are distinguished frontier officers, having long since won their way to fame in Texas, in, I may almost write, a hundred well-fought battles.  S. W. Walker, the Capt. Walker of the beginning of this campaign, who, by the by, is from this city also, is now the lieutenant colonel of the regiment, having fairly earned his election in the events of the month prior the battles of the 8th and 9th of May last.  Ever since the organization of the ranging corps, he has been one of their number; though, heretofore, I do not know that he was distinguished beyond his comrades generally.  Before the annexation f Texas, and election for a lieutenant of the 1st company (Gillespie’s) took place, and Edward Ratcliffe, a brother to Daniel Ratcliffe, Esq., of this city, was chosen, Walker being his competitor.  Ratcliffe, poor fellow, was killed in the little fight between nine men; under Walker, and a party of Mexicans, which took place a few days prior to the battle on the 8th of May.

      But when I think of these men, facts crowd so fast on my memory, that I might write you about them until daybreak.  A personal knowledge of at least three fourths of the men of the regiment, teaches me that Col. Balie Peyton has not praised them beyond their true desserts in saying that –

      “Amongst the volunteers, none have shown more conspicuously than the 1st regiment of Texas mounted riflemen, commanded by that chevalier Bayard, Col. J. C. Hays, better known as Jack Hays.  This corps, from the colonel to the private, has fully sustained its former reputation.  In the first affairs in which Gen. Worth’s division was engaged on the morning of the 21st, Col. Hays, with several companies of his mounted riflemen, were thrown forward to open the bail, which he did most beautifully, encountering and shooting in the presence of the general the colonel of dragoons who commanded the enemy’s forces.  In scaling heights, storming batteries, and clambering over walls and house-tops, the voice of the gallant colonel, and the reports of the unerring rifle of the ranger, were over heard in the yon. – The courage and constancy, and subordination of this corps is the theme of admiration in the army.” [KMK]

NNR 71.208- 11/28/1846 Expeditions Against Tampico

Expeditions Against Tampico. - Commodore Conner on the 11th instant, despatched the frigates Raritan, Captain Gregory, Potomac, Captain Aulic. And sloop of war St. Mary's, Cap'am Saunders for Tampico. On the 12ththe commodore hoisted his broad pennant on board the steamer Princeton. Captain Eagle, and followed them with the steamer Spitfire. Captian Tattnall and gun boat Perot, Lieutenant Shaw, in tow. The tow the Vixen. Captain Sands, the Baulta, Lieutenant Benham the Reefer, Lieutenant Sterrett, and the Nomata, Lieutenant Hazard and proceded for the same destination. [SCM]

NNR 71.209 December 5, 1846 review of the condition of affairs
NNR 71.209 California’s occupied, Mexican ports in possession, position of the armies, Gen. Winfield Scott and Com. Charles Stewart to assume command and Veracruz the next point of attack, move-making with that view


The conquest of the Californias, the occupation of Santa Fe, and that of the province of Cihuahua may be considered as effected.  The entire valley of the Rio Grande will soon be in our occupation and the mountain passes beyond Monterey, as far as Saltillo, are probably by this time occupied by American troops.  Much of the sparse & principally “savage” population of these remote provinces, have never been fairly subjected at any time to Mexican authority.  Adventurers have here and there located themselves and maintained a frontier independence, whist submitting so far to Mexican government as they could distinguish to be to their interest at the moment, and defying authority whenever they thought proper. – The question with all of these, at present is, which government, Mexico or the United States, is likely to afford the best protection, the most indulgence, the cheapest supplies and the best prices for what they have to dispose of?

      These questions are decided.  The choice has no doubt been made.  The forms of ratification alone remain to be adjusted.  The forms will be far more difficult of adjustment at Washington, than within the late Mexican boundaries.

      The ports of the entire coast of Mexico, the Pacific on one side, and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, may be considered as either in possession of the United States forces, or closely blockaded, so as to be no longer ports to Mexico, except by the sufferance of one squadron.

      All this notwithstanding, there is no doubt that the intelligence which our government are now in possession of, has led them to conclude that this war is not likely to be terminated so speedily as they had, until a few days past, flattered both themselves and the people of this country that it would be.  These is no longer a lingering hope that Santa Anna, or that the people of central Mexico are not seriously determined to maintain their nationality and resist invasion to the last extremity.

      This prospect has awakened our government to the necessity of adopting measures which are now in progress, materially changing the whole project of invasion.  The services, talents, and experience of the commander-in-chief, Gen. Scott, heretofore confined to bureau duties at the seat of government, are called into more active requisition.  He proceeded last week, with his suite, to New York, where he embarked for New Orleans, and will embark from that port for Point Isabel, and thence to Tampico, which has just been taken possession of by the American squadron under Commodor Conner.  To this point, troops have been ordered, and are now hurrying on from various directions.  A considerable proportion of the forces under Gen. Taylor posted along the line from Point Isabel to Monterey, for the security of his rear and the safe transport of his supplies, are understood to have been ordered to proceed under Gen. Patterson’s command, towards Tampico. – Marching an army from Monterey, by the Saltillo route, to the city of Mexico, is supposed to have been abandoned.  It is stated and believed that Gen. Taylor, early last spring, expressed to the department of war his opinion that it would be impolitic, if not impracticable, to reach Mexico by that route.  His advice was probably overruled by suggestions of others less qualified to judge.  However that may have been, Gen. Taylor was ordered to advance, first, from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande, from Matamoros to Camargo, from Camargo to Monterey, and from Monterey to Saltillo, and from thence onward.  Instead of exercising his own discretion, he has OBEYED ORDERS, up to the receipt of the very last.  We have no doubt that it was the united recommendation of the principal officers under General Taylor’s command, as well as of that general himself, forwarded after the conclusions of the armistice at Monterey, that contributed to influence our government to relinquish or materially modify their design of progress in that direction, and to countermand their previous orders.

      The impression now is, that the most formidable movement will be from some point on the gulf, either Tampico, Vera Cruz, or some other place, much nearer to the “Hall of the Montezumas,” and to, and from which supplies or reinforcements may be forwarded without on third of the cost of either time or expense, that would be required by the Saltillo route.  To concentrate an adequate force at this new point, and furnish it with ample supplies for a successful invasion through the thickly populated portion of Mexico to its capital, will require some months.  Mean time, whatever has been taken possession of, must be held by our army and navy.

      There are indications also, more emphatic than on several former occasions, that Vera Cruz is to be attacked both by sea and land.  Our taking possession of that place would be nearly as sever a blow to Mexico as the taking of the city of Mexico itself.  Com. STEWART, one of the most experienced officers of the navy, has proceeded to Washington, by direction of the executive, and it is understood will assume the command of the naval operations in the gulf, and hoist his broad pendant on board one of our heaviest ships of the line, now fitting out for that purpose.  Com. MORRIS left Washington on the 2d inst. for New York, it is said, with a view of procuring bombs and other materiel for an attack on Vera Cruz.  Gen. Scott and Com. Stewart are directly to act in concert, and the largest powers have no doubt been confided to their joint descretion for the management of the invasion and conquest of Mexico.  No officers in our service have the advantage of more experience; by age if it qualifies for counsel, is apt, in an equal degree to disqualify for active operations, either at sea or in the field.

      Our latest dates from Brazos San Jago, are to the 21st ult.  The Baltimore committee to bring home the remains of the Maryland heroes that fell that Monterey, reached Brazos on the 19th from New Orleans.  No intelligence from Monterey later than heretofore given.

      From New Orleans we learn that the steamship Alabama, of N. O., has been purchased by the U. S. government for $90,000.

The steamer Neptune, was to leave Brazos for Tampico on the 21st inst., with seven companies of regulars of the second regiment artillery under the command of Col. Belton.  The steamer Sea was taking in the field battery, consisting of to 18-pounders and sixteen 6-pounders.

The U. S. steamer Mississippi, Com. Perry’s flagship, left the Balize on the 23d ult for Tampico.

The schr. J. T. Bertine, from New Orleans for Matagorda, with government stores, was wrecked on the 9th ult. – vessel and cargo a total loss. [KMK]

NNR 71.209 December 5, 1846 condensed table of killed and wounded at Monterey


      We are indebted to the N. O. Picayune for the following recapitulation, prepared from the returns which were inserted in a late number of the Register – page 182.  “This,” says the P. “makes the sum total of killed and wounded 550.  If to these were added a few classed as missing, it would bring up our loss nearly to the figure we once gave – namely, 561.”





- Regulars

- Regulars

- Volunteers

- Volunteers

- Regulars

- Regulars

- Volunteers

- Volunteers



2d Regiment Dragoon's






1st Infantry







2d Infantry



3d Infantry







4th Infantry






3rd Artillery






Light Artillery




Baltimore Battalion






Capt. Shriver's
Company of Texas Volunteers












[Killed 63, wounded 127]


















5th Infantry




7th Infantry






8th Infantry







Phoenix Company of Louisianna Volunteers





Colonel Hays' Regiment of Texas Volunteers















[Killed 39, woundd 41]












Gen. Commanding




Kentucky Regiment



Ohio Regiment







Tennessee Regiment







Mississippi Regiment






Col. Wood's Texas Rangers














[Killed 56, wounded 224]
















Grand Total









Grand total killed 158
- wounded 302


NNR 71.209 December 5, 1846 Capt John Gross Barnard to supervise fortifications at Tampico

TAMPICO. – Captain J. G. Barnard, of the engineer corps, embarked in the Mississippi with Commodore Perry, for Tampico for the purpose we understand, of superintending the fortifications there, and putting them into a suitable state of defence.  We consider that this port is a most important position for the future presecution of the war, and are pleased to see the indications that the government intend to garrison and hold it – General Brooke, will have, in a short time, five or six hundred disposable troops in this place, all of which are to be embarked, without delay, for that place, and an additional force will no doubt be sent from the Rio Grande.

[N. O. Bulletin.

      The bark Ivanona with troops for Brazos, to sail on Tuesday, (December 1st,) has received orders to change her destination to Tampico.

[N. Y. Journal of Commerce


NNR 71.209-12/5/1846 Movement of General Kearney

From Santa Fe, we have dates via St. Louis, to the 20th October. General Kearney had reached 205 miles south of Santa Fe, on his route to California, but had already abandoned his wagons. Serious apprehensions were entertained at Santa Fe in regard to the subsistence of the army there. The troops were without money and the war office currency was hawked about at ten per cent. discount, without finding buyers. Gen. Kearney had sent back all but 100 of the officers and men that he had started from Santa Fe with. [SCM]

NRR 71.209 December 5, 1846 concern about subsistence at Santa Fe

      FROM SANTA FE, we have dates via St. Louis, to the 20th October.  General Kearney had reach 205 miles south of Santa Fe, on his route to California, but had already abandoned his wagons.  Serious apprehensions were entertained at Santa Fe in regard to the subsistence of the army there.  The troops were without money and the war office currency was hawked about at ten per cent. Discount, without finding buyers.  Gen. Kearney had sent back all but about 100 of the officers and men that he had started from Santa Fe with. [KMK]

NNR 71.209-12/5/1846 Mexican Recreants

Mexican Recreants- The Mexican papers state that the following officers have been dispossessed of their command by the order of Santa Anna, and directed to proceed to the town of Los Pozas, to be tried for having misbehaved before the enemy at Monterey. Generals Don Antonio Maria de Jaurequi, and Don Simeon Ramirez; Colonels J. Carrasco and N. Enciso; Lieutenant Colonels J. Castro and J. Fernandez; Majors J. M. Beant of the battalion of San Luis, M. Huerta. General Ponce de Leon is charged with preparing the accusations against them. [SCM]

NNR 71.209-12/5/1846 Naval Expeditions against Tampico

TAMPICO- Captain J. G. Barnard, of the engineer corps, embarked in the Mississippi with Commodore Perry, for Tampico. For the purpose we understand, of superintending the fortifications there, and putting them into a suitable state of defence. We consider that this port is a most important position for the future presecution of the war, and are pleased to see the indications that the government intend to garrison and hold it- General Brooke, will have, in a short time, five or six hundred disposable troops at this place, all of which are to be embarked, without delay, for that place, and an additional force will no doubt be sent from the Rio Grande. [SCM]

NRR 71.210 December 5, 1846 march of the Army of the Center from San Antonio de Bexar to the Rio Grande


[Accompanying General Wool’s Official Report.– See page 208.]

Camp near Presidio de Rio Grande
Mexico, October
13, 1846

      SIR:  In compliance with your instructions, I have the honor to submit, herewith, a brief report of your route and march from San Antonio de Bexar to the Rio Grande:

      First day, September 29th – The march commenced at 9 o’clock in the morning; and in about one hour, the dry bed of the Alazon Arroyo was crossed, water being found there only at uncertain periods.  After leaving this narrow valley, the land rises, and is somewhat rolling, but, with the exception of the lines of shrubbery which skirt the water courses, is generally destitute of vegetation.  The Leon is about three miles from Alazon, and the Medio four or five miles from Leon.  These streams are seldom dry.  The Medina, distant about twenty-six miles from San Antonio, was forded at 4 o’clock P. M. – This is a fine stream of water, rising N. W. of San Antonio, and a never failing tributary of the river of that name.  The village of Castroville is located here; the inhabitants are mostly German.  The place is yet in its infancy, and, of course, incapable of furnishing supplies of any sort to any considerable extent.  It is understood that several hundred bushels of corn have been procured in the vicinity this season.  The camp was a mile west of the village. – On the right bank of the river the grazing was not good; the dragoon horses, were, therefore, sent over the river, where the grass had not suffered from the fire.

      Second day – It was 7 o’clock this morning when we left the camp.  In a short time we reached a hill of considerable height, in descending which, the axle-tree of an ammunition wagon was broken.  The main body, however, passed on, after the necessary means were taken for repairs, and entered upon a wild and broken country, differing very much from that traversed the day before.  The Quije was crossed about 10 o’clock, distant from the Medina about nine miles.  The land here is fertile, and near it a small German settlement is formed, but there is no evidence of prosperity in its appearance, and the people complain of much sickness.  From the Quije to the Alamos there is a distance of five miles, and thence to the Hondo is about seven miles.  The country is rolling and rocky; has more timber than is usual in Texas, among which the stunted live oak, the only kind found here , is most conspicuous.  The Hondo is good water, but is not a continuous stream; near our encampment the water was found only in pools.  We reached this position at 2 o’clock P. M.

      Thirday day – The march of this day commenced a few minutes before sunrise.  Soon after leaving camp, the column entered upon an open prairie, presenting the worst features of the hog wallow species; which in wet weather would be almost impassable.  The Seco is nearly seven miles from the Hondo, and, from its name, is probably dry at certain seasons.

      The Sabinal was crossed a few minutes after 12 o’clock, where we found the advance, under Colonel Harney, in camp.  The soil through which the road of to-day passes is generally of clay, with superficial deposites of gravel.  Distance of to-day about twenty miles.

      Fourth day – The whole body started this morning at 5 o’clock.  The country traversed throughout the day is thickly covered with herbs and dwarf shrubs, but the trees are few and of little size.  Stony creek is about seven miles from the Sabinal, and from it to the west branch of the Frio the distance is nearly the same.  The second dragoons, infantry, and volunteers were encamped at this place, while the first dragoons and artillery passed on over a road of almost solid limestone, shaded at intervals by scraggy live oaks to the Leona, where we arrived about 12 o’clock.  It was necessary to cut down the banks of this creek preparatory to the passage of the train which, after the labors of the pioneers, was successfully accomplished.  The water of this stream is the best on the route, and it is asserted that the quantity is annually increasing.  In its immediate vicinity, on the left bank, the soil is rich, and covered with an unusually dense growth of timber.  The grazing is not good.

      Fifth day – After leaving the bottom of the Leona, the country presents the usual appearance of the prairie, is of a sterile and unproductive character, stony, and without much timber.  We came in sight of the Nueces in three hours’ march, distant about ten miles from the Leona.  On the left bank of the river there is an open prairie; but either from fires or previous encampments, furnished a very scanty supply of grass.

      Sixth day – The Nueces was forded about 6 o’clock in the morning, after which the column entered upon a desert region, abounding in dwarfish specimens of chaparral and mezquite, and a luxurious growth of prickly pear.  Between the Neuces and the Mina, an interval of seven or eight miles, the soil is of clay, with the exception of a belt of sand about half a mile in width, nearly midway between the streams.  The banks of the Mina required a little labor to render the ford practicable.  Traversing a continuation of the same desert waste, we arrived at the channel of the Erquipula about 10 o’clock.  This was found perfectly dry, and made is necessary to proceed to the Chaparoza, distant about ten miles from the Mina, which we reached about noon.  The water here was in stagnant pools, separated from the natural bed of the stream.

      Seventh day – From the Chaparoza the road lies through a hog wallow prairie, extending a mile or two, which then becomes sandy, and abounds in the usual amount of thorny vegetation.  The Saline, or Salidito, is five or six miles distant from the Chaparoza; its name indicates that its waters are brackish, and Mexican guides so report them; such however is not the fact; and in purity of flavor it is hardly surpassed by any stream on the route.  A temporary bridge of branches required a few repairs before the passage of the artillery and baggage wagons was effected.  Passing over a region of the country of the same uninviting aspect as before, we reached the Picoza, about fifteen miles from the Chaparoza, which, like the latter, consisted only of a detached pools of bad water, and so thickly surrounded with the prickly pear as almost to elude the search.  The grazing here was poor, and it was deemed advisable to proceed further.  Four miles in advance we came upon a series of pools, the waters of which are somewhat brackish, and to which, doubtless, the name of Salidito, was originally given, now misapplied, as above stated, to a stream of pure fresh water.  After halting here a short time, intelligence was received that there was good water ahead; and in about an hour’s march we reached another collection of ponds, which, in high water, are supposed to form a rivulet, whose confluence with the Cuevas, ten or eleven miles farther west, it is conjectured, forms the Norita.  The fuel at this place was scarce, and the grazing scanty. – Distance to-day twenty-two miles.

      Eighth day – The country traversed to-day is generally flat, an supports but a very scattered growth of vegetation.  We encamped on the banks of the supposed Cuevas. Fuel was with difficulty procured here, and even the prickly pear was reduced to a dwarf.  The water was in ponds, muddy and unpalatable.  This encampment was continued until the 8th; it having been determined to await the arrival of the troops under Colonel Harney, and effect a concentration of both detachments, before proceeding to the Rio Grande, distant about twelve miles. – These troops came up on the 7th, about 10 o’clock, A. M.

      Tenth day – The army arrived at the Rio Grande this day at 11 o’clock A. M.  The road is very winding, and passes over several narrow and deep ravines, which were crossed, however, without much difficulty.  The country is hilly, the vegetation stunted and scattered, and the soil of indifferent quality.

      The line of march is known as Wool’s road.  It is more circuitous than the old Presidio route; but by crossing the streams nearer their source, it is perhaps practicable for an army during a greater portion of the year.  Its general direction is southwesterly; the southing being mostly made west of the Nueces.

      It may be added that the march was accomplished under circumstances no less favorable than was the success which attended it remarkable.  It had been preceded by a drought of several weeks, which had not only rendered the road hard and in good condition for traveling, but had reduced the streams to a fordable depth.  Over many of the latter it would be very difficult to construct bridges during freshets, and to ford them at such times would be impossible.  A large portion of the route lies through a country, the soil of which is of such a nature that even light rains would convert the roads into a condition so as to be impassable for loaded wagons, even if the streams offered no obstacles.  It is presumed that east of the Nueces, during all seasons, there is an ample supply of water; west of that river, however, the streams are generally shallow, and soon become dry.  It cannot be doubted, therefore, that droughts of long duration are favorable to military operations in this country.

      The temperature during the march has been very unequal, and its extremes appear somewhat remarkable.  On some days the mercury has ranged from 90° to 95° Fahrenheit, and at night it has sunk to 48°.  These nights, though cold, have been favorable, as the heavy deposites of dew thereby produced greatly improved the grazing, and might have proved, if necessary, a substitute for water.

Very respectfully, I am, sir,
Your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Ordinance.

Brigadier General J. E. WOOL,
Comd’ng Centre Division Army of Mexico

NRR 71.210-211 December 5, 1846 Gen. Pedro Ampudia's proclamation on the fall of Monterey


The general commanding the Army of the North to the people of these departments:

      Fellow Citizens:  Occupied before all things else in providing for the defence of the rights and integrity of the territory of our beloved republic against the enemy that has invaded her soil, the supreme government thought proper to entrust to me the command of the patriotic troops destined on the northern frontier to this holy purpose.  I accepted with enthusiasm, the post assigned me – [for the zeal with which I have ever defended the holy cause of the people is notorious to every one] – and in the beginning of the month assumed the direction of such means as were in my power to repel the advance of the enemy, But fearing that the charge would prove too great for my feeble abilities, I solicited the worthy and most excellent Senor Gen. Don Juan Neponuceno Almonte to come and relieve me from the command of the army, presuming that the illustrious conqueror of Panuco would on his return to Mexico resume the reins of our national government.

      On the 19th instant the enemy having appeared in the vicinity of Monterey and encamped in the San Comingo woods – their camp being one league in length and three leagues in circumference, I ordered their movements to be carefully observed, and hostilities to be commenced forthwith; the generals and other officers, who were under my command, of every branch of the service, being all decided to risk combat rather than retreat.

      The redoubts of the Citadel and of the new Cathedral opened their fires the same day upon the enemy, who were occupied during that and he succeeding day in reconnoitering and preparing for the attack.

      On the 21st, the assault was made by a formidable body of their troops, chiefly of the regular army upon the bridge of the Purisima and our redoubts of the Teneria and Rincon del Diablo, but they were gloriously driven back by our valiant veterans, with a positive loss to our adversaries of fifteen hundred men.

      On the morning of the 22d, Gen. Taylor directed his column of attack against the Bishop’s hill, an elevation commanding the city, and although in their first advance they were repulsed in a skirmish, a full brigade of regular troops returned to the charge. – Unfortunately two pieces of cannon and a mortar, which defended the position, go out of order and became useless, and, although as soon as advised of it, I sent a reinforcement of infantry, with two pieces of light artillery, to their aid, it reached the hill too late – the enemy had already succeeded in obtaining possession of the castle.

      This accident compelled me to concentrate my force in the Plaza, in order to present to the foe a more vigorous defence, and to repel on the 23d as was done, the assaults made by them through the streets and houses of the city.  But, as under these circumstances, I suffered great scarcity of ammunition and provisions, and in spite of the ardor with which the entire army, both regulars and auxiliaries, were animated, I proposed to the American general a parley, which resulted in an understanding by which the honor of the nation and the army, the personel of the division under my command, its arms and equipments were preserved.

      This is a true statement of the operations of the campaign up to the 24th inst., and if an inadequate supply of means and other circumstances have led to this result, we have yet no cause for a moment’s dismay, for the republic will now put forward all her elements of greatness: and with one single victory, which we may, shaft, and must obtain, will solve the problem definitely in favor of our arms.

      People of the East: The event which occurred at Monterey is of little moment.  The favorite general of the Mexicans, and worthy and most excellent Senor Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, will promptly take charge, in person, of the direction of the campaign.  Let the sacred fire of patriotism continue to burn in our bosoms, and without fial we will triumph over our enemies.

Headquarters, Saltillo, 29th Sept., 1846


NRR 71.218 December 5, 1846  Com. Matthew Calbraith Perry's official account of affair at Tabasco

A detailed account of the proceedings of the expedition under my command along the eastern coast of Mexico.

I left the anchorage at St. John Lizardo on the evening of the 16th of October, with the steamer “Mississippi,” having on board a detachment of 200 officers, seamen, and marines, under the command of Captain French Forrest, and in tow, the steamer “Vixen,” and schooners “Bonita,” “Reefer,” and “Nonata,” respectively commanded by Commander Sands, Lieutenants Commandant Benham, Sterret, and Hazard, and the schooner “Forward,” and steamer “McLane,” commanded by Captains Nones and Howard of the revenue marine.

      The next daylight I captured, off the bar of Alvarado, the American barque “Coosa,” found in treasonable communication with the enemy: and the same day the “Vixen” chased and boarded the American schooner “Portia.”  The “Coosa” was dispatched to this place as a price, and the “Portia” was permitted to proceed, her papers having been endorsed.  From the day of our leaving “Alvarado” (the 17th) up to the 22d, we had a succession of very bad weather, which gave me much trouble in keeping my little command together.  During the interval however, we captured and sent in the Mexican schooner “Telegraph.” On the 23d, all the vessels, with the exception of the “Reefer,” (previously separated in a gale) reached the bar of the river Tabasco; and having determined on attacking the commercial town of Frontera, at the mouth of the river, and the city of Tabasco, situated 74 miles higher up, I placed myself on board of the “Vixen,” leaving the “Mississippi” in command of Commander Adams, at anchor outside, and taking in tow the “Bonita” and “Forward,” with the barges containing the detachment under command of Captain Forrest, I crossed the bar, the “Nonata” following under sail.

The “Vixen” with this heavy drag steadily ascended the stream against a four-knot current and arriving near to Frontera, I discovered two steamers (of which I had received previous information) firing up, doubtless in the hope of escape, but the “Vixen” proceeded ahead; followed by the other vessels and all the vessels in port were in our possession, excepting only the schooner “Amado,” which vessel, attempting to escape up the river, was pursued by Lieut. Cammandant Benham in the “Bonita,” and captured.

      Desirous of reaching Tabasco before they would have time for increasing their defences, the detachment under Captain Forrest was placed on board the largest of the captured steamers, the “Petrita,” and barges in tow, and the “Vixen,” with the “Bonita,” left Frontera at half past 9 the next morning.  Lieut. Walsh being left in command of the place.

After steaming all night, and encountering various incidents arising from the rapidity of the current and the circuitous course of the stream, we arrived at 9 the next morning in sight of Fort Aceachappa, intended to command a most difficult pass of the river.

On our approach, the men employed in preparing the guns for service fled, and we passed it unmolested, but I was careful to cause the guns to be spiked.

Anticipating serious resistance at this place, arrangement had been made for landing Capt. Forrest with his detachment a mile below the fort, to march up and carry it by storm.

At noon, all the vessels anchored in line of battle in front of the city at half-musket range, when I immediately summoned it to surrender, the boats meanwhile being employed in securing five merchant vessels found at anchor in port.

To my summons sent by a flag with Capt. Forrest, a refusal to capitulate was returned, with an invitation to me to fire as soon as I pleased.  Suspecting, as I did, that this answer was given more in bravado than in earnest, and being extremely reluctant to destroy the place, I entertained the hope that a few shots fired over the buildings would have caused a surrender.  According I directed the guns of the “Vixen” alone to be fired, and at the flag staff, sending an order to all the vessels to avoid, so far as possible, in case of a general fire, injury to the houses distinguished by consular flags.

At the third discharge from the “Vixen,” the flag disappeared from the staff.  On seeing it down, I ordered the firing to cease, and sent Captain Forrest again ashore to learn whether it had been cut down by our shot, or purposely struck; the reply was, that it had been shot away, and the city would not be surrendered.

I now directed Capt. Forrest, with the force under his command, to land and take position in the city, commanded by our guns.  This movement brought on a scattering fire of musketry from various parts of the city, which was returned by the flotilla.

Perceiving towards evening that the enemy did us but little injury, though openly exposed on the decks of the small vessels, and their balls passing through our slight bulwarks, and apprehending, from the proverbial heedlessness of sailors, that should they and the marines be attacked in the narrow streets after dark, they would be cut off by sharp-shooters from the houses, I ordered the detachment to be re-embarked.

In this position the vessels remained all night, the crews lying at their quarters ready to return the fire of the artillery of the enemy, which I was supposed they would have had the courage to have brought down under the cover of the night to the openings of the streets opposite to our vessels, but they left us undisturbed.

Learning that the merchants, and other citizens of the city, were desirous that a capitulation should be made, but were overruled by the governor, who, regardless of consequences, and secure himself against attack, was content that the city should be destroyed rather than surrender, I determined from motives of humanity not fire gain, but to pass down to Frontera with my prizes.

In the morning, however, the fire was recommenced from the shore, and was necessarily returned, but with renewed orders to regard the consular houses so far as they could be distinguished.  In the midst of the fire, a flag of truce was displayed on shore, on perceiving which, I caused the firing again to cease, and Captain Forrest was sent to meet its bearer, who submitted a written communication addressed to me, a copy of which with a copy of my replay, marked B and C will be found enclosed.

As an assurance of my sincerity, I now hoisted a white flag, and directed the prizes to drop down the stream, intending to follow with the flotilla; but, in violation of the understanding implied in the beforementioned correspondence, the enemy, in discovering that one of the prizes had drifted ashore in front of the city, collected a large force within and behind the houses in the vicinity, an commenced a furious fire upon her.  Lieut. Parker, of this ship, in command of the prize, defended her in the most gallant manner, and ultimately succeeded in getting her again afloat, having one of her men killed and two wounded.

It was in carrying an order to Lieutenant Parker that Lieutenant Morris was wounded.  He had been of infinite service to me from the time we left Lizardo, and conducting himself during the bombardment with remarkable deliberation and coolness, he approached the prize in a line to cover his boat, and though apparently regardful of the safety of the officers and men of the boat, who were seated, he stood erect himself, and the ball struck him in the throat.  No one can deplore the fate of this very valuable young officer more than myself. – His loss is irreparable to the service and to his family.

It may well be supposed that on perceiving the attack upon the prize, I reopened upon the city, which again silenced their fire.  I now proceeded with the flotilla and prizes down the river.  One of the prizes, a small schooner of the little value, having grounded in a dangerous pass, and knowing that it would be difficult to extricate her without causing inconvenient delay, I ordered her to be burned.

We arrived safely at Frontera on the evening of the 26th, the “Vixen” having towed down the river five vessels and several barges.

From Frontera I dispatched my prizes to this place; an after destroying all the vessels and craft found in the river of too little value to be manned, I proceeded on the 31st to rejoin you, leaving the “McLane” and “Forward” at anchor opposite Frontera to continue the blockade of the river and to afford protection and shelter to the neutral merchants, residents of the place, who professed themselves in apprehension of violence from the Mexican soldiery should they be left unprotected.

Our our way to this place the prize steamer Petrita, in company and in sight of this vessel, captured the American brig “Plymouth,” found engaged in landing a cargo upon the enemy’s coast.


In regard to the “McLane” I propose to make a special communication.

P. S. – I omitted to mention, that while lying off the bar of Tabasco, this ship boarded the Campeachy schooner “Fortuna” and the French brig “Jenne Amadee,” on the papers of both of which a notification of blockade was endorsed.   [KMK]

NRR 71.218 December 5, 1846  addition to the official report of the affair at Tabasco

U. S. STEAMER MISSISSIPPI St. John Lizardo, near Vera Cruz, Nov 3d, 1846.

      SIRS: It seems to be just and proper, and it is certainly gratifying task, to make known to you for the information of the department, the excellent conduct of the officers and men who served under my command in the late expedition to Tabasco.  The enterprise and spirit displayed by them, on every occasion, gave sufficient evidence that in scenes more sanguinary they would do full honor to the corps.

      I was particularly indebted to Capt. Forrest for his promptitude; cheerfulness, and judgment in carrying out my instructions.

      To commander sands, and officers and men of the “Vixen,” to Commander Adams; to Lieuts. Commanding Benham, Sterrett, and Hazard, and their respective officers and men; to Capt. Edson, and Lieuts. Gist, Winslow, Walsh, Hunt, and Parker, and their detachments – in a word, to all and every one – I am under lasting obligations for the zeal and energy with which they seconded my plans.

      I am, sir, respectfully, Your obedient servant,

Commodore David Conner, commander-in-chief U. S. naval forces, Gulf of Mexico


NRR 71.219-220 December 5, 1846 Gen. William Orlando Butler's report on the Battle of Monterey


Headquarters Field Division Volunteers,
Monterey, Sept 30, 1846

      SIR – Pursuant to the instructions of the Major General commanding, on the 21st instant, at about 8 o’clock A. M. I marched my division, (with the exception of one company from each infantry regiment, left to guard the camp), and placed it in order of battle, under cover, immediately in rear of the mortar and howitzer battery, my left resting on the main road to Monterey.  I had been in position but a short time when I received the General’s further orders to move as speedily as practicable, with three regiments, to the support of General Twigg’s division, then engaged in an attempt to carry the enemy’ s first battery on our left.  To expedite this movement, I marched the three nearest regiments, commanded respectively by Col.s Davis, Campbell, and Mitchell, by the left flank, leaving Col. Ormsby to sustain the batteries.  Finding the rifle regiment in front, that of Col. Campbell was ordered to take its place.  The two last mentioned regiments constituting General Quitman’s field brigade, he took the immediate command of them, and moved off with sprit and promptness in the direction indicated by the enemy’s line of fire.  Having seen General Quitman’s brigade fairly in motion, I turned my attention to that of General Hamer, now consisting of the Ohio regiment only.  Pursuing the instructions of the Major General, I felt my way gradually, without any knowledge of the localities, into that part of the city bordering on the enemy’s continuous line of batteries, assailed at every step by heavy fines in front and flank.  After having traversed several squares, I met Major Mansfield, the engineer who had conducted the movement of General Twiggs’ division on the first battery.  He informed me of the failure of that attack, and advised the withdrawal of my command, as there could no longer be any object in advancing further, warning me at the same that if I advanced I must meet a fire that would sweep all before it.  Knowing the Major General commanding to be but a short distance in the rear, I galloped back and communicated this information, in consequence of which he gave the order to retrograde, and the movement was commenced accordingly.  In a short time, however, it was known that General Quitman’s brigade had not only stormed the battery in question, but had also carried a stone house of considerable strength connected with the first, and occupied by the enemy’s infantry.  The direction of Gen. Hamer’s brigade was at once hanged, and the city re-entered by another route, which, after about a half hour’s march under a destructive fire, brought it within, say one hundred yards of the enemy’s second fort, called El Diablo.  A very slight reconnaissance sufficed to convince me that this was a position of no ordinary strength. – Still feeling its importance, after consulting with a part of my staff as to its practicability, I had resolved to attempt carrying it by storm, and was in the act of directing the advance, when I received a wound which compelled me to halt.  Col. Mitchell was at the same time wounded at the head of his regiment, as was his adjutant.  The men were falling fast under the converging fire of at least three distinct batteries, that continually swept the intervening space through which it was necessary to pass. – The loss of blood, too, from my wound rendered it necessary that I should quit the field; and I had discovered at a second glance that the position was covered by a heavy fire of musketry from other works directly in its rear, that I had not seen in the first hasty examination.  Under all these discouragements, I was most reluctant compelled, on surrendering the command, to advise the withdrawal of the troops to a less exposed position.  There is a possibility that the work might have been carried, but not without excessive loss, and if carried, I feel assured it would have been untenable.

      Accordingly, the division under Gen. Hamer, on whom devolved the command, moved to a new position near the captured fort and within sustaining distance of our field batteries on the left.  The troops remained in and near this position, and under fire of the enemy’s batteries until late in the day.  For the details of the after proceedings of the day, I refer to Gen. Hamer’s report.

      It is with no . . . . pride and gratification that I bear testimony of the gallantry and good conduct of my command.  Were proof . . . .  one is . . . . casualties of the day.  That part of my division properly in the field did not exceed eleven hundred of which number full one fifth were either killed or wounded.  The fact that troops for the first time under fire should have suffered such loss without shrinking, in a continuous struggle for more than two hours, and mainly against a sheltered and inaccessible foe, finds but few parallels, and is of itself an eulogium to which I need no add.  That there were some more prominent for skill and gallantry than others, even in a contest where all were brave, there can be no doubt; and I leave to those better qualified from their situations than myself the pleasing though delicate task of reporting upon their respective merits.

      Of my brigadiers, however, it is proper that I should myself speak.  Gen. Hamer was placed in a situation where nothing brilliant could be achieved, but which at every moment imperatively demanded prudence, and calm unbending courage.  It is but justice to him to say that I found him equal to the emergency.

      General Quitman had before him a field in which military genius and skill were called into requisition, and honors could be fairly won, and I but echo the general voice in saying that he nobly availed himself of the occasion.

      My special thanks are due to Major L. Thomas, assistant adjutant general; Gen. A. Sidney Johnston, of Texas, acting inspector general, and Lieut. G. W. Lay, aid-de-camp, who not only displayed great gallantry and coolness, but, by their professional skill, activity, and energy, rendered valuable service throughout the action.  After my withdrawal they remained with the troops in the field.

      Surgeon R. P. Hunt, my volunteer aid-de-camp, also evinced great coolness, and conveyed promptly the orders confided to him.

      On my way back to camp, I found the Kentucky regiment, under the command of Col. Ormsby, drawn up in find order to repel a threatened charge from a large body of Mexican cavalry then in view.  Though necessarily kept from the held of action proper they occupied a most important position, and had two men wounded in defending it.

      I make no mention of the movement of Captain Webster’s howitzer battery, which was withdrawn from division and placed under charge of the chief of artillery.

      Enclosed are the reports of Brigadiers General Hamer and Quitman of the operations of their respective brigades; also, a statement in detail of the loss sustained by the division.

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

Maj. Gen. Com’dg. Field Division Volunteers

Major W. S. Bliss, assistant adjutant gen.
Headquarters army of occupation, Monterey, Mexico.

NNR 71.220 December 5, 1846 Gen. Thomas Lyon Hamer's report on the Battle of Monterey

Headquarters First Division of Volunteers,

Camp near Monterey, September 28, 1846

SIR – I have transmitted to Major General Butler a report of the operations of this first brigade of this division on the 21st instant; but it becomes my duty as a commandant of the division, to send you an account of the movements of both brigades during the remaining days of our attack upon Monterey.

      For a full statement of the points occupied and the services rendered by the second brigade, I respectfully refer you to the report of Brigadier General Quitman, who accompanied the brigade, and whose communication to me is herewith sent.  I was not with them to witness their gallantry; but from the General’s report, they are all entitled to great credit for the courage, energy, and zeal displayed on the 23d, in pushing their attack so far into the city, and sustaining themselves under the galling fires of the enemy, who had such decided advantages over them in their barricades and other defences.

      On the mornings of the 23d, the first brigade was ordered out in front of the city, and took a position near the infantry of Gen. Twiggs’ command, where we remained until the afternoon.  Whilst on the plain we could distinctly hear the discharges of small arms, occasionally between Gen. Quitmans’ and Gen. Henderson’s command and the forces of the enemy in the city.  When they were ordered to retire from the city and return to camp, the first brigade was directed to march to the town and occupy the fort taken on the 21st; the one above it, “El Diablo,” which had been abandoned by the enemy the previous evening, and tannery between them. – We obeyed the order, approaching them under a regular fire of balls and shells, which fortunately did us no injry.

      Capt. Webster’s battery formed part of my command and, after stationing the brigade, I directed them to throw a couple of shells from his 24 pound howitzers into the plaza, where it was understood the principal force of the enemy was collected.  He did so; and, as far as we could discover, with a great precision and considerable effect.  Subsequently information confirmed our opinions in regard to the injury and alarm produced by these shells.  During the night, General Worth threw several in the same direction from the batteries on the western side of the city, proving to the Mexicans that they were assailable in this form from both flanks.

      Through the whole night the enemy threw up rockets from the plaza and from the citadel; no doubt expecting a night attack, and adopted this method to discover the approach of our troops.

      Early on the morning of the 24th, we had made every preparation for renewing the attack upon the city, when we were suddenly arrested by a bugle with a flag of truce approaching the fort.  It was accompanied by Col. Moreno, one of Gen. Ampudia’s aids, bearing a letter to the General-in-Chief.  He was conducted to me by Lieut. Col. Rogers, from the upper fort, and I furnished him a horse and escort to Major General Taylor’s quarters in camp. – The firing on both sides was suspended until a conference could be held.  This led to the capitulation by which the city was surrendered.

      I have in my former report expressed my opinion in regard to the coolness and gallantry displayed by the officers and men under my command; and have only to add that their conduct, from the firing of the first to the last gun, was of the most meritorious character, richly deserving the approbation of their superior officers, and the gratitude of their countrymen.

      Herewith I send a statement of killed and wounded.  Very respectfully your obedient servant,

Brig. General commanding First Division, Volunteers.

Major W. W. S. Bliss, adjutant general.

NRR 71.220-221 December 5, 1846 Gen. John Anthony Quitman's report on the Battle of Monterey

Camp before Monterey Sept. 28, 1846

GENERAL: In addition to my report to Major Gen. Butler on the action of the 21st instant, I now have the honor to report the transactions of my brigade on the 22d instant, followed up by an attack upon the city of Monterey on the 23d September instant.

      Being ordered on the morning of the 22d to relieve Dol. Garland’s command, which had during the preceding night occupied the redoubt and fortifications taken on the 21st, my command marched from their encampment about 9 o’clock in the morning.  Col Campbell, of the Tennessee regiment, being indisposed from the fatigue and exposure of the preceding day, the command of his regiment devolved on Lieut. Colonel Anderson.  Both regiments were much reduced by the casualties of the preceding day, and the necessary details for the care of the wounded. – The much necessarily exposed the brigade for a short distance to a severe fire of artillery from the works still in possession of the enemy on this side of the city, and from the cross fire of the citadel.  We were not allowed to reach our post without some loss.  Private Dubois, of Captain Crump’s company of the Mississippi riflemen, was killed, and two men of the same company wounded before entering the work.  The redoubt and adjacent works being occupied by my brigade and Lieut. Ridgely’s battery, a portion of the troops were engaged under the direction of Lieutenant J. Scarrett, of engineers, to strengthening our position on the side next to town.

      At intervals during the whole day until 9 o’clock at night, the enemy kept up from their fortifications and from the citadel discharges of shell, round shot, and grape.  It was in the forenoon of this day that, by the aid of our glasses, we were presented with a full view of the storming of the Bishop’s Palace by troops under Gen. Worth on the heights beyond the city.  The shout by which our brave volunteers greeted the display of the American flag on the palace was returned by the enemy from their works near us by a tremendous fire of round shot and grape upon us without effect.  During the day plans of assault on the adjacent Mexican works were considered of, but in the evening my attention was drawn to a line of about 1,500 Mexican infantry at some distance in the rear of their works.  The presence of this force, amounting to nearly three times our effective number, which appeared to be posted for the protection of the works, induced me to give up all idea of forcing the works without reinforcements.  During the night several reconnaissances were made with details of Captain Whitfield’s company in the direction of the redoubt “El Diablo.” Frequent signals between the different posts of the enemy during the night kept us on the alert; and at first dawn on the day on the 23d, it was discovered that had abandoned, or were abandoning, the strong works nearest to us.  Colonel Davis, with a portion of his command, supported by Lieut. Colonel Anderson, with two companies of the Tennessee regiment, was ordered to take possession of the works.  This was promptly done.  The enemy had withdrawn their artillery during the night, and nothing of value fell into our hands but some prisoners and ammunition.  From this work, which commanded a view of the cathedral and a portion of the great plaza of the city, we perceived another half moon or triangular redoubt in advance of us, and on our right, which appeared to be connected with heavy stone buildings and walls adjoining the block of the city.  Having reported my observations to the Commanding General, who had approached the field of our operations, I received permission to advance upon the defences of the city in this direction, and, if deemed practicable, to occupy them.  It was sufficiently apparent that all the approaches to the city on this side were strongly fortified.  Wishing to proceed with caution, under the qualified permission of the Commanding General, I sent out a party of riflemen, under Lieut. Graves, to reconnoiter, supporting them at some distance by a company of Tennessee infantry, under Captain McMurry.  Some active movements of the enemy in the vicinity induced me to halt this party, and to order out Colonel Davis, with two companies of his command and two companies of Tennessee troops, to advance on these works.  As the troops advanced, armed men were seen flying at their approach.  Upon reaching the redoubt which had attracted our attention, we perceived that it was open, and exposed to the fire of the enemy from the stone buildings and walls in the rear.  It was therefore necessary to select a another position less exposed.  Posting the two companies of infantry in a position to defend the lodgment we had effected, I directed Colonel Davis to post his command as he might deem most advantageous for defence or active operations, intending here to await further orders or reinforcements.  In reconnoitering the place several shots were fired at Colonel Davis by the enemy and several files of the riflemen who had advanced to the slope of the breastworks, (No. 1), which had been thrown across the street for the defence of the city, returned the fire.  A volley from the enemy succeeded.  Our party having been reinforced by additions from the riflemen and infantry, a brisk firing was soon opened on both sides, the enemy from the house tops and parapets attempting to drive us from the lodgment we had effected.  A considerable body of the enemy, securely posted on the top of a large building on our left, which partially overlooked the breastwork No. 1, continued to pour in their fire, and killed private Pyrce, of company K, whose gallant conduct at the breastwork had attracted the attention of both his Colonel and myself.  From this commencement, in a short time the action became general.  The enemy appearing to be in great force and firing upon our troops from every position of apparent security, I dispatched my aid, Lieutenant Nichols, with orders to advance the whole of my brigade which could be spared from the redoubts occupied by us.  A portion of the Mississippi regiment, under Major Bradford, advanced to the support of the troops engaged, but Lieut. Col. Anderson, with a part of the Tennessee regiment, was required to remain for the protection of the redoubts in our possession.  With this additional force more active operations upon the city were begun.  Detachments of our troops advanced, penetrating into buildings and occupying the flat roofs of houses, and, by gradual approaches, driving the enemy back.  They had been engaged more than an hour, when they were reinforced by a detachment of dismounted Texan rangers, commanded by General Henderson, with whose active and effectual cooperations the attack upon the city was gradually, but successfully prosecuted.  Buildings, streets, and courts were occupied by our troops without much loss, until, after being engaged for about five hours, having advanced within less than two squares of the great plaza, apprehensive that we might fall within the range of our own artillery, which had been brought up to our support and our ammunition being nearly exhausted; active operations were ordered to cease until the effect of the batteries, which had been brought forward in one of the principal streets, could be seen.  It being found that the barricades in the neighborhood of the plaza were too strong to be battered down by our own light artillery, the Commanding gnereal, who had taken position in the city, ordered the troops gradually and slowly to retire to defences taken in the morning.  This was done in good order, and the enemy occasionally firing upon us, but not venturing to take possession of the part of the town we had occupied.  Our forces had scarce retired from their advanced position in the city when we heard the commencement of he attack of the division under General Worth on the opposite side of town.  The force under my command had been engaged from eight o’clock in the morning to three P. M.  It should be recorded, to the credit of the volunteer troops, that the greater portion of them had been without sustenance since the morning of the 22d, and exposed throughout the very inclement and rainy night of the 23d, to sever duty without blankets or overcoats, and yet not a murmur was heard among them – their alacrity remained unabated to the last moment.  The character of this affair, the troops being necessarily separated into small parties, gave frequent occasion to the exhibition of individual courage and daring.  The instances occurred so frequently in which both officers and men distinguished themselves, that to recount those which feel under my own observation, or which were brought to my notice by officers, would extend this report to an improper length.  It is my duty and pleasure to mention the fact that veteran Gen. Lamar, of Texas, joined my command as a volunteer in the commencement of the attack on the city, and by his counsel and example aided and encouraged the troops.  Major E. R. Price, of Natchez, and Capt. J. R. Smith, of Louisiana, both from the recently disbanded Louisiana troops, acted with distinguished bravery as volunteers in Colonel Davis’ regiment.  Referring to the reports of Col. Davis, Lieut. Col. Anderson, and Major Brandford for further particulars, and to the lists herewith submitted of the killed and wounded on the 22d and 23d, I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, &c.

Brig. Gen. U. S. A. Com. 2d Brig. Vol.

Brig. Gen. Tho. L. Hamer, Comd’g 1st Div. Vol.

NNR 71.221 December 5, 1846 Gen. David Emanuel Twiggs' report on the Battle of Monterey

Headquarters 1st division Army of Occupation,

           Camp near Monterey, Sept. 29, 1846

      SIR – For the information of the major general commanding the army of occupation I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the divisions of the army under my command against the enemy in position at Monterey.  On the morning of the 21st instant my division advanced towards the city.  Lieut. Col. J. Garland’s brigade, composed of the 3d and 4th regiments of regular infantry and Capt. B Bragg’s horse artillery, Lieut. Col. H. Wilson’s brigade, composed of the 1st regiment of regular infantry and the Washington and Baltimore battalion of volunteers, were ordered to the east and lower end of the city, to make a diversion in favor of Brevet Big. Gen. W. J. Worth’s division, which as operation against the west and upper part of the city.  It being deemed practicable, an assault was ordered against two of the enemy’s advanced works.  The regular force of my division was thrown to the right of the two works, with orders to take possession of some houses in the city on the right and rear of the enemy’s advanced position, with a view of annoying them in flank and rear.  The “Washington and Baltimore battalion” was ordered on the road leading directly to the works.  Under a most galling and destructive fire from three batteries of small arms from all the adjacent houses and some walls, my divisions advanced as rapidly as the ground and the stern opposition of the enemy would admit of.  The 1st, 3d, and 4th regiments of infantry gained the position to which they were ordered, and annoyed the enemy in flank and rear, until he was obliged to evacuate his two advanced works, which were hotly pressed by Gen. Butler’s division of volunteers, and the Washington and Baltimore battalion, under command of Lieut. Col. Watson.

      The 3d and 4th advanced still further into the city, but finding the streets strongly barricaded by heavy masses of masonry, behind which batteries were placed, and the houses filled with tight troops, were obliged to retire to the works first taken by the volunteers.  The position of the enemy’s batteries, and the arrangement of his defences, in every street and corner, rendered it necessary for the regular troops who advanced into the city to be separated, each company being led by its captain or immediate commander, and for the time acting independently.  After a most manly struggle of some six hours, my men succeeded, after various repulses, in driving the enemy from each and every of his positions in the suburbs.  The 3d infantry, commanded by Major W. W. Lear, and part of the 4th, all under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J. Garland, led off towards the right, and in the direction of one of the enemy’s strongest works in front of a bridge in the city. – Captain B. Bragg’s battery accompanied the command, under a destructive fire, which killed and disabled several of his men and horses, until directed to retire beyond the range of small arms.  In this desperate struggle the 3d infantry and Captain L. N. Morris and G. P. Field, Brevet Major P. N. Barbour, First Lieutenant and Adjutant D. S. Irvin, and Second Lieutenant R. Hazllit, killed, together with several non-commissioned officers and men, and its commanding officers, Major W. W. Lear, and Capt. H. Bainbridge, wounded, the former dangerously and the latter slightly; and the 4th lost its adjutant, Lieut. C. Hoskins, and Brevet First Lieut. Woods, of the 2d infantry, serving with the 4th.  The number of killed and wounded amongst the officers shows with what praiseworthy heroism each regiment and company was led against the entrenched enemy. – The 1st infantry, commanded by Brevet Major J. J. Abercrombie, passing two of the enemy’s advanced works, succeeded in gaining possession of some houses on the left of the position of the 3d and 4th. – Captains E. Backus and J. M. Scott, of the 1st, with their companies, took an advantageous position in the rear of the works referred to, and, by firing into the gorges, assisted the volunteer force very materially in driving the enemy from them.  Captain J. H. Lamotte, of the 1st, with his company, was doing valuable service at this time, when he received two wounds, and was obliged to retire.  The hilled and wounded in these three companies in this operation numbers thirty six.  Lieut. R. Dilworth, of Capt. J. H. Lamotte’s company, was mortally wounded by a twelve pounder before entering the town.  The remainder of Capt. J. H. Lamotte’s company being now without an officers, was incorporated with the others of the regiment.  Capt. A. S. Miller’s company 1st infantry was actively employed in driving the enemy from his hedges and stone fences near the advanced work, and having succeeded, with considerable less, took command of what remained of companies C, E, G, and K, 1st infantry, accompanied by Lieut. S. Hambleton, acting adjutant, Brevet Major J. J. Abercrombie, commanding the regiment, having been wounded, and Lieut. J. C. Terrett, his adjutant, and moved to repel a threatened attack on Capt. B. Bragg’s battery by a body of lancers; after which his command joined Gen. Hamer’s brigade, operating in the suburbs, and there remained ‘till the close of the day.  The Baltimore and Washington battalion, commanded by the gallant Lieut. Col. Wm. H. Watson, who was killed whilst advancing under a heavy fire into the city, served in co-operation with the regular infantry.  After their commander fell the companies were detached and did good service till the close of the day.

      The number of killed and wounded in that assault shows with what obstinacy each position was defended by the enemy, as well as the gallantry and good conduct displayed by our officers and men.

      Capt. B. Bragg’s company, having suffered severely, after advancing some distance into the city, was obliged to withdraw to a point out of range of the enemy’s small arms.  Capt. R. Ridgely, with one section of his battery, annoyed the enemy’s advanced works for some time in the commencement of the assault, but was obliged to retire out of the range of their batteries that were playing on him. – Having used a twelve pounder taken from the first work against the enemy till the ammunition gave out, he was sent with one section of his own battery still further in advance; out, being unable to accomplish much against the enemy’s heavy breastworks, returned to and occupied with is battery the first work taken from the enemy.  Captains R. Ridgely and B. Bragg, and their subalterns, W. H. Shover, G. H. Thomas, J. F. Reynolds, C. S. Kilburn, and S. G. French, deserve the highest praise for their skill and good conduct under the heaviest fire of the enemy, which, when an opportunity offered, was concentrated on them.  In the advanced works referred to were taken four officers and sixteen men, prisoners of war, together with five pieces of ordinance, some ammunition, and small arms.  Having thrown up some slight breastworks, the 1st, 3d, and 4th infantry, and Capt. R. Ridgely’s battery, occupied this position until the morning of the 22d.

      Owing to the position of the enemy and the nature of the ground, the two squadrons, of the 2d dragoons, commanded by Lieut. Col. A. May, were not brought into action.  They were, however, actively and usefully employed in collecting and conveying the wounded to our camp.  On the 23d the advance into the city was resumed, the infantry, working their way from house to house, supported by Captains R. Ridgely’s and B. Bragg’s batteries, driving the enemy before them.  When night closed our operations on the 23d, our men had advanced to within two squares of the center of the city.

      A cessation of hostilities on the morning of the 24th stopped our further progress, and gave us time to collect the wounded and bury the dead.  The operating strength of my command on the morning of the 21st was sixty three officers and ten hundred and twenty-two men, and out of that number were killed and wounded fifteen officers and one hundred and sixty-four men.  I enclose herewith a tabular statement of the killed, wounded, and missing.  Of the field officers, I take pleasure in noticing the conduct of the late and lamented Col. W. H. Watson, of the Washington and Baltimore battalion of volunteers, who fell at the head of his command, whilst gallantly leading it against the enemy’s works, as also that of Major W. W. Lear, commanding the 3d infantry, who was dangerously wounded in the same assault, for which good service I present his name for praise and promotion.  Lieutenants G. W. F. Wood, 1st infantry, and W. T. H. Brooks, 3d infantry, were actively and usefully employed as acting assistant and adjutant generals, the former to Lieut. Col. H. Wilson, 4th brigade, and the latter to Lieut. Col. J. Garland, of the 3d brigade.  They were both dismounted by the enemy’s artillery.

      My staff officers, Lieut. D. C. Buell, 3d infantry, acting Assistant Adjutant General, and Lieut. P. W. McDonald, 2d dragoons, Aid-de-Camp, rendered me valuable and meritorious services, in exposed positions, during the time my division was engaged with the enemy.

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

 Brig. Gen. U. S. A. Com. 1st Division.

Major W. W. S. BLISS
Asst. Adj’t. Gen. Army of Occupation
NOTE – After Major W. W. Lear and Capt. H. Bainbridge left the 3d infantry wounded, that regiment was led and commanded by Captain W. S. Henry, 3d infantry, until the close of the day.  [KMK]

NRR 71.221-223 December 5, 1846  Gen. William Jenkins Worth's report on the Battle of Monterey

Headquarters 2d Division Army of Occupation,
Monterey, Mexico, September 28, 1846.

      SIR:  I have the honor to report that, in obedience to the verbal orders of the General-in-Chief, the division under my command, composed of Lieutenant Colonel Duncan’s battery of horse artillery, artillery battalion, (Lieutenant Colonel Childs,) and eighth regiment (Captain Scriven,) constituting the first brigade, under lieutenant Colonel Stanford; Lieutenant Mackall’s battery horse artillery, fifth infantry, (Major Scott,) seventh, (Captain Miles,) and one company Louisiana volunteers, (Captain Blanchard,) second brigade, under Brigadier General Persifer F. S. . . . (colonel of rifles,) and Colonel Hays’ regiment of Texan mounted riflemen, moved from the main camp at El Bosque de St. Comingo  at 2 P. M. on the 20th.

      My instructions were by a detour to . . . endeavor to find and reach the Saltillo road, through thorough reconnaissance of the approaches to the route from that direction, to enroll supplies and reinforcements, and if practicable, carry the heights.

      Owing to the difficulties of the ground after leaving the Marin, and before striking the Presquina Grande road, the division had reached only six miles – in consequence of the delay in making the route practicable for artillery, which service was executed by Captain Sanders – at 6 P. M., and was halted just without the range of a gun battery upon the summit of an isolated hill, called Lomadne Independencia, and way on the ascent of which was the Bishop’s Palace.  Thence a reconnaissance was made, under cover of detachments of Hay’s Texans, to the intersection of the Presquina Grande route, then in our possession with the Saltillo road.  This examination resulted in the conviction that the grounds in our front and on our left, in advance, constituted at the same time the weak and the strong points of the enemy’s position, and entered mainly into the defences of the city – the weak point because commanding the only lines of retreat and of supply in the direction of Saltillo, and controlling that in direction of Presquina Grande, the strong point, because of the peculiarly defensive character of the hills and gorges, and of the very careful and skilful manner with which they had been fortified and guarded.  It was clearly indicated that our further advance would be strenuously resisted.

      On the morning of the 21st, the division was put in motion, and with such formation as to present the readiest order of battle on any point of assault.  At … o’clock the advance, consisting of Hays’ Texans supported by the light companies 1st brigade, under Capt. C. F. Smith, (both extended, as the valley widened or contracted,) closely followed by Duncan’s light artillery, and battalion, heads of columns, on turning an angle of the mountain, at a hacienda called San Jeronimo, came upon a strong force of cavalry and infantry, mostly the former.  A conflict immediately ensued.  The Texans received the heavy charge of cavalry with their unerring rifles and usual gallantry; the light companies opened a rapid and well-directed fire; Duncan’s battery was in action in one minute, (promptly supported by a section of Mackall’s,) delivering its fire over the heads of our men.  Ere the close of the combat, which lasted but fifteen minutes, the first brigade had formed to the front, on the right and left, and delivered its fire, – The second brigade was held in reserve, the ground not admitting of its deployment.  The enemy retired in disorder, (leaving on the ground one hundred killed and wounded; among the former Don Juan N. Najira, colonel of the permanent regiment of laneers,) upon the Saltillo road and was closely pursued until we got possession of the gorge, where all the debouches from Monterey unite, whereby the force just defeated, as also reinforcement and supplies from that direction, were excluded from entering the city.  At this important point the division was halted, and attention directed toward the mountain forts which envelop the city on its western and south western faces.  Soon discovering, however, that our position brought us within effective range of the batteries, the troops were advanced some eight hundred yards further on the Saltillo road.

      The examination thus far had manifested, besides the importance of the positions, the impracticability of any effective operations against the city, until possessed of the exterior forts and batteries.  Independent, however, of ulterior objects, the occupation of these heights became indispensable to the restoration of our line of communication with headquarters, necessarily abandoned for the moment in order to secure the gorges of the Saltillo road.  At 12 M. a force was detached under Captain C. F. Smith, with orders to storm the batteries on the crest of the nearest hill, called Federacion, and after taking that to carry the fort called Soldada, on the ridge of the same height, retired about 600 yards.  The two effectually guarded the slopes and roads in either valley, and consequently the approaches to the city. – This command consisted of four companies (K 2d, B 3d, and G and H, 4th infantry) of the artillery battalion, and Green’s McGowans, R. A. Gillespie’s, Chandler’s, Ballowe’s, and McCulloch’s companies of Texan riflemen, under Major Chevalier, acting in co-operation – in all about three hundred effectives.  It was impossible to mask the movement of the storm-party.  On approaching the base of the mountain the guns of both batteries opened a plunging fire, and numerous light troops were seen descending and arranging themselves at favorable points on the slopes.  Perceiving these indications of determined resistance, Capt. Miles was detached with the 7th to support and co-operate with the first party.  In a short time the fire became general, the enemy gradually yielding and retiring up the rugged acclivity, and our men as steadily pursuing.  The appearance of heavy reinforcements on the summit, and the cardinal importance of the operation demanding further support, the 5th, under Major Scott, and Blanchard’s company of volunteers were immediately detached, accompanied by Brigadier General Smith, who was instructed to take direction in that quarter.  On reaching the advance parties, Gen. Smith discovered that, under favor of the ground, he could, by diverting a portion of the force to the right, and moving it obliquely up the hill, carry the Soldada simultaneously with the Federacion.  He accordingly very judiciously pointed and accompanied the 5th, 7th, and Blanchard’s company in that direction.  Capt. Smith’s command having most gallantly carried the first object of attack, promptly turned the captured gun – a nine-pounder – upon the second, and moved on with his main body to participate in the assault upon Soldada; which was carried in gallant style by the forces under Scott, Miiles, Blanchard, and Hays, (who had been detached on special service, but who returned in time to share with fity of his men in the first assault , and to take a prominent part in the second,) the whole directed by Gen. Smith.

      At this point we secured another 9 pounder, and immediately both pieces were brought to bear upon the Bishop’s Palace, situated upon and midway on the southern slope of the hill Independencia, a valley of only six hundred yards intervening.  We had no secured an important advantage, and yet but half the work was done.  The possession of these heights only made the more apparent the controlling importance of those opposite and the necessity of occupying the palace.  A violent storm ensued, and night closing in, operations for the day ceased.  The troops had now been thirty-six hours without food, and constantly taxed to the utmost physical exertions.  Such as could be permitted slept with arms in hand, subjected to a pelting storm, and without covering, till 3 A. M., when they were aroused to carry the hill Independencia.

      Lieut. Col. Childs was assisted to lead this storming party; consisting of three companies, I and G 4th and A 3d (artillery battalion;) three companies 8th infantry, (A, B, and C,) under Captain Scriven, with two hundred Texan riflemen, under Col. Hays and Lieut. Col. Walker, (captain of rifles,) acting in co-operation.  The command moved at three, conducted to its point of ascent by Captain Sanders, military, and Lieut. Meade, topographical engineers.  Favored by the weather, it reached by dawn of day within about one hundred yards of the crest, in which position, among the cleffs of rock, a body of the enemy had been stationed the previous evening in apparent anticipation of attack.  The enemy’s retreating fire was ineffectual, and not returned until Colonel Child’s and Hays’ command had reached within a few yards of the summit, when a well directed and destructive fire, followed by the bayonet of the regulars and rush of the Texans placed us in possession of the work.  The cannon having been previously withdrawn, no impression could be made upon the massive walls of the palace or its outworks without artillery, except at enormous sacrifice.

      Lieut. Roland, of Duncan’s battery, was ordered from the main camp with a 12 pound howitzer; and in two hours (aided by fifty men from the line, under Captain Sanders, military engineers, for the purpose of selecting the route least difficult) that enterprising and gallant officer had his gun in position, having ascended an acclivity as rugged as steep, between seven and eight hundred feet, in two hours. – A fire was immediately opened from the howitzer, covered by the epaulement of the captured battery, upon the palace and its outworks – four hundred yards distant – and soon produced a visible sensation.

      Meanwhile, to reinforce the position, the 5th, Major Scott, and Blanchard’s volunteers, had been passed from the first heights, and reached the second in time to participate in the operations against the palace.

      After many affairs of light troops and several feints a heavy sortie was made, sustained by a strong corps of cavalry, with desperate resolution, to repossess the heights.  Such a move had been anticipated and prepared for.  Lieut. Col. Childs had advanced, under cover, two companies of light troops under command of captain Vinton, acting major, and judiciously drawn up the main body of his command, flanked on the right by Hays and left by Walker’s Texans.  The enemy advanced boldly, was repulsed by one general discharge from all arms, and fled in confusion, closely pressed by Childs and Hays, preceded by the light troops under Vinton; and, while they fled past our troops, entered the palace and fort.  In a few moments the unpretending flag of the Union had replaced the gaudy standard of Mexico.  The captured guns – one six inch howitzer, one twelve, and two nine pounder brass guns, together with Duncan’s and Mackall’s field batteries, which came up at a gallop, were in full and effective play upon the retiring and confused masses that filled the street (of which we had the prolongation) leading to the nearest plaza, la capella, also crowded with troops.  At this moment the enemy’s loss was heavy.  The investment was now complete.  Except the force necessary to hold positions on Independencia and serve the guns, (shifted to points whence the shot could be made to reach the great plaza,) the division was now concentrated around the palace, and preparation to assault the city on the following day, or sooner, should the general in chief either so direct, or, before communication be had, renew the assault from the opposite quarter. – In the mean time attention was directed to every provision our circumstances permitted to alleviate the condition of our wounded soldiers and officers, to the decent interment of the dead, not omitting in either respect all that was due to those of the enemy.

      About 10 A. M. on the 23d a heavy fire was heard in the opposite quarter.  Its magnitude and continuance, as well as other circumstances, did not permit a doubt that the general was conducting a main attack, and that his orders for my co-operation (having to travel a circuit of some six miles) had miscarried, or failed to reach me by means of the numerous cavalry of the enemy.  Under these convictions the troops were instantly ordered to commence an operation which, if not otherwise directed, I had designed to execute in part, under favor of the night.  Two columns of attack were organized, to move along the two principal streets, leading from our position, in direction of the great plaza, composed of light troops slightly extended, with orders to mask the men whenever practicable; avoid those points swept by the enemy’s artillery; to press on the first plaza, Capella; to get hold of the ends of streets beyond, then enter the buildings, and by means of picks and bars break through longitudinal section of the walls; work from house to house, and, ascending to the roofs, to place themselves upon the breast height with the enemy.  Light artillery by sections and pieces, under Duncan, Roland, Mackall, Martin, Hays, Irons, Clarke, and Curd, followed at suitable intervals, covered by reserves to guard the pieces and the whole operations against the probably enterprises of cavalry upon our left. – This was effectually done by seizing and commanding the head of every cross street.  The streets, were, at different and well chosen points, barricaded by heavy masonry walls, with embrasures for one or more guns, and in every instance well supported by cross batteries.  These arrangements of defence gave to our operations at this moment a complicated character, demanding much care and precaution; but the work went on steadily, simultaneously, and successfully.  About the time our assault commenced, the fire ceased from our force in the opposite quarter.  Disengaged on the one side, the enemy way enabled to shift men and guns to our quarters, as was soon manifested by accumulation of fire.  At dark we had worked through the walls and squares, and reached to within one block of the great plaza, leaving a covered way in our rear – carried a large building which towered over the principal defences, and during the night and ensuing morning, crowned its roof with two howitzers and a six pounder. – All things were now prepared to renew the assault at dawn of day, when a flag was sent in, asking a momentary suspension of fire, which led to the capitulation upon the terms so honorable to our arms. – As the columns of attack were moving from the Palace hill, Maj. Munroe, chief of artillery, reached me with a ten inch mortar, which was immediately advanced to the plaza, Chapel, put in position masked by the church wall, its bed adjusted as rapidly as possible, and by sunset opened upon the great square.  At this period our troops had worked to within one square of the plaza.  The exact position of our comrades on the opposite side was not known, and the distance of the position to be assailed from the bomb battery but conjectural; eight hundred yards was assumed, and fuze and charge regulated accordingly; the first shell feel a little short of the point on which it was directed, and besides our troops; a slight increasing of the projecting charge gave exact results.  The whole service was managed by Major Munroe most admirably, and combined with other operations, exercised a decided influence upon the final results.  Early on the morning of the 23d Major Brown, artillery battalion, was dispatched with a select command, and one section of Mackall’s battery, under Lieut. Irons, to occupy the stone mill and adjacent grounds, constituting, one league in advance, the narrow gorge near St. Catarina.  The major took possession, repulsed the enemy’s picquets, and was preparing his command to resist any attack when he received my orders to retrace his steps, enter the city, and form the main reserve to the assaulting columns.  He came up in good time and good order, and was at once under fire.

      On the 25th, in conformity with the articles of capitulation, the citadel was taken possession of by a command consisting of two companies of each regiment, and one section of each battery, second division.  General Smith was directed to take command of this corps, and conduct the ceremony, which duty he executed with delicacy to the unhappy and humiliated foe.

      You will receive lists of captured munitions of war; lists of such as were surrendered have already been handed in.  It is a source of high gratification that we have been able to accomplish such fortunate results with so moderate a sacrifice of gallant men.  Annexed is a return of killed and wounded, exhibiting dates, actions, and circumstances.

      When every officer and every soldier, regular and volunteer, has, through a series of harassing and severe conflicts, in the valley and on the mountain, in the street and on the house top, cheerfully executed every service and complied with every exaction of valor and patriotism, the task is as difficult as delicate to distinguish individuals; and yet it will always happen, as it has always happened in varied scenes of battle and siege, that fortune presents to some those opportunities which all would have seized with gladness and avidity.  It is my pleasing and gratefully duty to present to the consideration of the general in chief, and through him to the government, the distinguished conduct of Brigadier Gen. Smith, colonel of rifles, Brevet Lieut. Col. Childs, artillery battalion; Col. Hays, Texan riflemen; Brevet Lieut. Col. Duncan, horse artillery, and Captain C. F. Smith, second artillery, commanding light troops first brigade.

      My thanks are also especially due to Lieut. Col. Stamford, 8th, (commanding first brigade;) Major Munroe chief of artillery, (general staff;) Brevet Major Brown, Captain J. R. Vinton, artillery battalion; Captain J. B. Scott, artillery battalion, (light troops;) Major Scott commanding, and Captain Merrill, 5th; Captains Miles, commanding, Holmes, and Ross, 7th infantry; and Captain Scriven, commanding 8th infantry; to Lieut. Col. Walker, (captain of rifles, Major Chevalier, and Captain McCulloch of the Texan, and Captain Blanchard, Louisiana volunteers; to Lieutenants Mackall, (commanding battery,) Roland, Martia, Mays, Irons, Clarke, and Curd, horse artillery; Lieutenant Longstreet, commanding light company, 8th; Lieutenant Ayres artillery battalion, who was among the first in the assault upon the Palace, and who secured the colors.  Each of the officers named either headed special detachments, columns of attack, storming parties, or detached guns, and all were conspicuous for conduct and courage.  My attention has been particularly directed by General Smith to the gallant conduct of Lieutenant Gardner, 7th infantry, during the assault upon the city, on which occasion he threw himself in advance, and on the most exposed points, animating the men by his brave example.  Particular attention has also been called to Lieutenants Nicholls, (brothers,) Louisiana volunteers, as having highly distinguished themselves by personal daring and efficient service.  The officers of brigade and regimental staff were conspicuous in the field, or in their particular departments.  Lieutenants Hanson, (commanding,) Vandorn, aid-de-camp, 7th; Lieutenant Robinson, 5th (quartermaster’s department,) on the staff of General Smith, Lieutenant and Adjutant Clarke, 8th infantry, staff, 1st brigade; Lieutenants Benjamin, adjutant artillery battalion; Peck, ordinance officers, artillery battalion; G. Deas, adjutant 5th; and Page, adjutant 7th infantry, are highly commended by their respective chiefs, to the justness of which I have the pleasure to add my personal observation.  In common with the entire division, my particular thanks are tendered to assistant surgeons Porter (senior,) Byrne, Conrad, DeLeon, and Roberts, (medical department,) who were ever at hand in the close fight, promptly administering to the wounded and suffering soldier.  TO the officers of the staff, general and personal, more especially associated with myself – Hon. Col. Balie Peyton, Louisianna troops, who did me the honor to serve as aid-de-camp; Captain Sanders, military engineers; Lieutenant Meade, topographical engineers; Lieutenants E. Deas, Damets, and Ripley, quartermaster’s and commissary’s staff, and Lieutenants Pembleton; 4th artillery, wood, 8th artillery; my aids-de-camp – I have expressed the greatest obligation.  In such diversified operations; during the three days and nights, they were constantly in motion, performing every executive duty with zeal and intelligence only surpassed by daring courage in conflict.  I beg to commend each to special consideration.

      We have to lament the gallant Captains McKavett, 8th infantry, an officer of high merit, killed on the 21st, and Gillespie, Texas volunteers, on the 22d.  The latter eminently distinguished himself while leaving his brave company at the storming of the first heights, and perished in seeking similar distinction on a second occasion.  Captain Gatlin and Lieutentant Porter, 7th; Lieutenants Russel, 5th, and Wainright, 8th infantry, and Lieut. Reece, Texas riflemen, received honorable, happily not mortal, wounds.

      The following non-commissioned officers are reported as having highly distinguished themselves; Sergeants Hazard, 4th, and Dilworth, 3d artillery; Quartermaster Sergeant Henry, 7th infantry; Cross, company C; Rounds Bradford, (color sergeant,) and Magg, company E; Barley, company I; and Ballard, 7th infantry.

      In the several conflicts with the division, the enemy’s loss is ascertained to exceed four hundred and fifty men; four 9 pounders, one 12 pounder brass gun, one 24 pound howitzer, and two national (garrison) standards captured.

      Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brevet Brig. Gen. commanding 2d division.

Major W. W. S. Bliss.
Assist. Adj. Gen. Army of Occupation

NRR 71.223 December 5, 1846  Gen. James Pinckney Henderson's report on the Texas volunteers at Monterey

Headquarters Texas forces.
Monterey, Oct. 1st, 1846.

      SIR: In submitting a report of the disposition and the conduct of the Texas volunteers under my command during the recent assault upon and capture of the city of Monterey, I shall endeavor to avoid unnecessary details, and confine myself chiefly to a brief statement of such leading and material facts as may seem to be worthy of record and necessary to a right understanding of the character and services of my people.

      The Texas mounted men arrived at Monterey in advance of the balance of the army, (being honored with that position,) and displayed themselves on the plain in front of the city, with the expectation of the immediate battle – an expectation founded upon some demonstration of the foe.  The enemy, however, soon evincing an indisposition to bring on a general engagement, my forces after some reconnoitering, retired, under your orders, to the place of encampment to await the arrival of the balance of the army.  This was on the 19th of September.

      In obedience to your orders, the first regiment of my command was placed, on the 29th ultimo, under the control of General Worth; and I am proud that it had the honor in co-operating in all the brilliant operations of that distinguished officer.  An official account of his bold and successful attack upon the upper part of the city has, no doubt, been already furnished you; and the essential services rendered by the Texas troops upon that occasion cannot be otherwise than a source of exceeding gratification to me, as a Texans; as well as an American – a gratification which is greatly heightened by the reflection that the merits of that gallant band are fully appreciated by yourself, as well as by the talented and high spirited officer (General Worth) whose military genius guided their valor and conducted to victory.

      On the 21st ultimo I was ordered with my second regiment to the support of General Worth; but, on arriving at the gorge of the mountain, I received instructions to countermarch and to rejoin the forces under your immediate command, which had commenced an assault upon one of the enemy’s strongholds near the lower part of the city.  Before I could arrive, however, at the theatre of action, the point assailed was triumphantly carried;  and my men had the mortifying disappointment of not sharing the dangers and participating in the glory of the day.

      Hostilities not being resumed on the 22d, the regiment was variously employed during the day in visiting the Caldarete road, reconnoitering the suburbs of the city, and courting a conflict with the mounted rancheros and lancers, who, it was supposed, might be encouraged to meet us by their superior numbers.  This, however, they carefully avoided; and the regiment continued its system of vigilance until the morning of the 23d, when I was ordered by yourself to repair to the support of General Quitman, who was in hot engagement with the enemy in the lower part of the city.  My union with him was effected under severe fire of the foe; but, on reaching the place of action, I was pleased to find his troops in good heart, holding the enemy at bay, though greatly fatigued by present and previously toils.  My first order to my men was to enter the houses, scale the walls, and fight the enemy in his own way: that is, under cover and from the tops of the houses.  The order was promptly obeyed; and in this manner – working through walls and shooting from the parapet roofs – we continued to advance upon the enemy, driving him from one square to another, until we arrived within a short distance of the church and grand plaza, where the largest portion of the enemy’s force was congregated.  Every foot was sharply contested by the foe; and nothing but the unflinching courage and unerring shot of our men enabled us to progress against a force so vastly superior in numbers to ours.  The fight on the part of the Texans commenced about 11 o’clock in the forenoon, and continued without cessation until they were called off by your order, towards the close of the day.  They retired with reluctance, from a perfect confidence in their ability to continue their onward movement, and to hold the city as far as they might extend their capture.  Our loss, under the circumstances, was surprisingly small, being only one killed and five wounded.  That of  the enemy is not known; but we have reason to believe that it was considerable, not only from their own acknowledgments, but also from signs of blood, as well as from the fact that our men seldom fired except with great deliberation, and only where an object was in view.

      I have no observations to offer upon the events of the day, further than to express my unbounded admiration of the indomitable courage and perseverance exhibited in the attack; and to reiterate the regret experienced by men at being called upon, in height of success and confidence, to retire from the field of their operations.  A sense of duty constrains me also to a public acknowledgment of the good conduct of the command with which I had been ordered to co-operate.  General Quitman, however, a brave and excellent officer, will do justice to the merits of his own men.  Colonel Davis, of that command, I am told, was the first to receive and return the shot of the enemy, and was among the last to retire from the contest. I had the pleasure of his company during the greater part of the fight, and am proud of the opportunity of bearing testimony to his gallant conduct.  I beg leave also, under the authority of General Lamar, to compliment Lieut. Thomas, of the artillery, and his brave men, for the bold advance and efficient management of the gun under his charge.  When ordered to retire, he reloaded his piece, fired a farewell shot at the foe, and returned, (we hope without loss) under a shower of bullets.  Special praise is due to the young soldier who leveled the gun, for the cool and deliberate manner with which he executed his duty amidst the most immenent danger.  His name is not known.

      In the distribution of honors among my own people, I am sensible of the responsibility of the task, and of the great difficulty of executing it to the satisfaction of all.  That some should accomplish more than others is a law of nature.  It may be the result not su much of superiority in physical strength and other adventitious circumstances.  But on occasions like the present, where all did their duty, and did well, it would seem to be proper and just that their fame should be a common one.  For this reason, and other considerations, I must avoid the indulgence of individual eulogy altogether, except so far as it may be inseparable from an exposition of the conduct of my staff which I feel bound to make, inasmuch as I am in some degree responsible to the public for their behavior.  Major Clarke, my junior aid, who had rendered himself useful to me on many occasions was an active officer, conducted himself in battle with the true spirit of the soldier, and had the honor of being the first in the regiment to enter the city. – He was rapidly followed by Mr. Walter Winn, (a worthy gentleman, and soldier of San Jacinto,) who was connected with my military family as the secretary of Gen. Lamar.  During the hottest of the fire, he was frequently by my side, and also acted with Major Clarke in the transmission of my orders, in the face of many perils.  General Barleson, my senior aid, had accompanied the command of General Worth, and acquired fresh laurels for himself, and added new luster to the arms of Texas.  General Lamar, my division inspector, (acting also as adjutant,) was mainly instrumental in causing my troops to be called into requisition.  He had accompanied General Quitman in the occupancy of a point in the lower part of the city, where the battle commenced; and it was at his suggestion that a messenger was dispatched for my command.  He was found in active co-operation with the Mississippi and Tennessee troops, but rejoined my regiment on its arrival, and acted, during the balance of the fight, with the Texans.  Fully satisfied throughout with the conduct of each, I take this method of returning them my sincerest thanks, as well as my best wishes for their welfare; and beg leave also to embrace the opportunity of tendering my gratitude and admiration to the whole force under my command – officers and soldiers – for the important services rendered their country, and the noble manner in which they have sustained the honor and chivalry of their state.

      In doing justice to the living, let us not be forgetful of the dead.  Among the fallen in my command, we have been called upon to mourn the fate of a young officer who was the brightest ornament of the service, the soul of honor, and the pride of chivalry.  He had long been employed by the government of Texas in defence of the western frontier, as the commander of a corps of mounted rangers; and probably no officer ever performed his duty with more activity and efficiency, or with more satisfaction to the country.  He possessed nothing of the rough habits, ignorance, and presuming forwardness which is usually supposed to attach to the frontier soldier.  He was an educated man, and a gentleman by nature; quiet in his manners; amiable in temper; just in his dealings; and strictly moral in all his habits.  During his connexion with the present campaign, his deportment was such – so marked by a happy union of modesty and bravery, and dignity with obedience – as to win the hearts of all and constitute him the chief favorite of the army.  He followed the fortunes of General Worth, shared his brilliant career amidst the shouts of victory.  Though feeble in frame, the inspiring energies of his mind enabled him to keep in advance of his comrades; so that in the storming of the Bishop’s hill he was the foremost man and the first victim upon the ramparts of the foe.  He was buried where he fell – upon the loftiest summit – and the mountain that encloses his remains will stand an eternal monument of his glory – it will be known in history, and long frequented by his grateful countrymen, as the grave of Gillespie.

      I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major Gen. Comd’g Texas Volunteers.

Major Gen. Zachary Taylor,
Commd’g the Army of Occupation.

NRR 71.224 December 5, 1846 traders to Santa Fe proceeding to Chihuahua


  The St. Louis Republican of the 10th instant says. – Our information from Santa Fe advises us of the departure of the traders from Missouri for Chihuahua, about the 20th September.  They expect to find Gen. Wool in possession of Chihuahua by the time of their arrival.  But we know, by accounts direct from Gen. Wool’s command, that he did not expect to reach that city before the latter end of December.  It is very possible, therefore, that if they persevered in entering Chihuahua, they may have been subjected to much inconvenience, if they were not deprived of their goods, and themselves made prisoners.  [KMK]

NNR 71.225 December 12, 1846  report of Mexican privateers fitting at Cuba


Mexican privateers. 

The New Orleans Delta says: “We are informed that about forty commissions have been taken out; that four vessels are already prepared for the service at St. Jago, and others are being prepared as rapidly as is practicable. – That the government is cognizant of these facts, and that is generally believed by those who are presumed to be acquainted with the intentions of the government, that the ports of Cuba will be opened to prizes that may be captured by privateers.  We are not prone to yield to authenticated reports of matters of so grave a character, and we should not publish this statement, if we were not satisfied it was founded on the best authority in the city of New Orleans in regard to matters transpiring in Cuba and Mexico.”  [KMK]

NRR 71.226 December 12, 1846  arrest of Mark H. Parkenson at New Orleans for holding intercourse with the Mexican government

      HIGH TREASON. – Mark H. Parkenson has been arrested at N. Orleans, accused of holding intercourse with the Mexican Government. [KMK]

NRR 71.226 December 12, 1846  news of Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny on his way from Santa Fe to California
NNR 71.226 Col. Alexander William Doniphan detained for want of provisions, no money, treasury draughts at heavy discounts, predictions, provisions on the way to Santa Fe
NNR 71.226 Col. Philip Saint George Cooke, with the regiment of Mormon infantry, leaves Santa Fe for California

      Santa Fe, October 18, 1846. – General Kearney has gone (or rather started) to California.  Whether he will be able to reach there by the route he has taken, is a matter of doubt and speculation amongst the knowing ones of the country.  He has taken no more men than will serve as an escort – the conquest having already been made by Lieut. Col. Fremont, aided by the Pacific squadron.  Conquests in California or New Mexico are a mere matter of parade – resistance being out of the question.  The poor devils neither know nor care anything about the government of either the United States or Mexico.

      Our men have money – government drafts being uncurrent, and the disbursing officers having nothing else to offer.  They have sent to St. Louis to have $100,000 in specie brought out, but it will be towards spring before it arrives, if it arrives at all.

      Col. Brenton’s remarks about the issue of this war office currency were perfectly correct; and they are now hawked about Santa Fe at ten per cent. Discount, and no buyers at that.  In the mean time, the first of November – the time with the volunteers are to be paid, according to law – is rapidly approaching. – One hundred dollar drafts – which is the lowest denomination – are not a convenient kind of funds for soldiers, even if they were at par.  I happened to be at the office of the quartermaster to-day, and found his sergeant trying to buy six mules for the Mormon battalion, for which the Mexican asked $75 each. – He finally (after consulting with a trader) agreed to take $100 each in government checks!  Whether or not they were purchased, I am not able to say.  I mention these things merely to show the shortsighted policy of this hard-money administration.

      We look forward with gloomy anticipation to the future.  There are not provisions enough in the country, including all that are now here or expected to last beyond the first of February.  The country cannot furnish the deficiently, even were there funds to buy it.  Three thousand armed men in a state of starvation is a mass not easily kept in subordination, particularly when a large portion of them came out as armed emigrants to California – a region which none of them (save the Mormons) will see in the service of the United States.  If they go in the spring, they will go on their own hook.  Mark this prediction.

      Not a word has been heard from below, and nothing is known as to the movements or whereabouts of Gen. Wool.  We have a thousand and one reports in circulation – none of which are believed – except that Mr. Maguffin, a trader, has been robbed below by the Indians.  All the traders are waiting in a state of anxious suspense, fearing to advance, and neither able nor willing to return.

      The Mormons under Capt. Cook left this morning for California.

      [We are pleased to hear that there was an abundance of provisions for the army at Bent’s Fort, although it was with great difficulty that they could be transported from that point to Santa Fe.  The baggage wagons and teams were in a broken down and wretched condition.  When one day out from Santa Fe, Lieut. Elliot was met with the advance of a train of provision wagons, and this supply would be amply sufficient until more could be obtained from the depot at Bent’s Fort.   [Correspondence of the St. Louis Republican.

NRR 71.226 December 12, 1846 designation of New York volunteers for Mexico
NNR 71.226 letters from the secretary of war declining additional volunteers


  Gov. Wright has designated the Volunteers of the 1st Military division of the State of N. York, to supply the requisition made by the President upon that State.  This exacts the whole levy from the city of New York.

      The secretary of war makes the following reply to enquiries made by Capt. Pickell, whether the services of more volunteers for the Mexican war would be accepted from the state of Maryland.

      WAR DEPARTMENT. – Washington Nov. 24, 1846      SIR: I have received your letter of the 18th inst., asking whether volunteers for the Mexican war, will be accepted from Maryland, and in reply, have the honor to inform you, that it is not contemplated at present to call for volunteers from that State.

      Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

W. L. Marcy,
Secretary of War.

John Pickell Esq., Balt., Md.

      In reply to an enquiry from the state of Kentucky, the Secretary writes.

      WAR DEPARTMENT, - Nov. 11, 1846

      SIR: In reply to your application of the 2d instant, to raise a company of volunteers to be attached to the 2d regiment of infantry from Kentucky, I have the honor to inform you that it is not contemplated to fill up the regiments that have been reduced; but should the exigency of the war render a further call for volunteers necessary, due consideration will be given to your patriotic offer.  It is proper, however, to say that the amount of force already in service is deemed sufficient for the prosecution of the war.

nbsp;     Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. Marcy, Secretary of War,

B. F. Purdam Esq, Stanford, Kentucky.

NRR 71.240 December 12, 1846 Panuco captured
NNR 71.240 troops arrive at Tampico
NNR 71.240 Saltillo occupied by Gen. William Jenkins Worth
NNR 71.240 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's movements


  The U. S. brig Porpoise, Capt. Hunt, left the squadron at Tampico, all well, on the 22d November, and arrived at Pensacola on the 1st inst.

      PANUCO, was taken possession of by Capt. Tatnall, in the steamer Spitfire, in which he ascended the river. – Not a Mexican in arms to be seen.  No opposition was made.  The fort was taken possession of.  It mounted 16 guns, which, as they could not be transported to Tampico, were spiked, and their carriages broken.

      U. S. troops were arriving at Tampico daily.  Business was brisk, and the Mexicans appeared pleased with the change of government.

      The U. S. sloop of war St. Marys, left Tampico on the 28th November; landed Adju. AUSTIN, 3d artillery at the Rio Grande, on the 30th, and reached the mouth of the Mississippi on the 1st inst.

      The steamer Neptune arrived at Tampico on Sunday, 22d November, from Brazos St. Jago, with 450 regular troops, under the command of Col. Gates, and the steamer Sea, with 200 more troops, on the 23d, when the town was formally handed over to the army.  Fort Andonega was immediately garrisoned, under the name of FORT CONNER, and armed with two long eight pounders.  A battery of two 42-pounder carronades, called Fort Ann, in honor of Mrs. Chase, lady of the late American consul at Tampico, commands the Altamira road.  Besides these, some field pieces are mounted on the house tops.  The town of Tampico is already in a good state of defence.

      Saltillo had been abandoned, and there is no doubt that it is now in the possession of the advance guard of the army under Gen. Worth.

      The state of Mexico is represented to be even worse than ever.  Santa Anna lately made an address to his troops, apparently to extract from them an invitation to install himself at the head of the government.  He was disappointed, however, at finding that his oration was received in profound silence, and immediately afterwards started with all his cavalry on a secret expedition, some think to cut off one of the divisions of our army – which he will not be likely to find.  The most probable conjecture is, that he is gone to Mexico to control the action of the new congress.

      The two regiments which evacuated Tampico revolted when they got to San Louis Potosi, and were disbanded.  They were opposed to Santa Anna.  Great dissentions prevailed at San Louis Potosi – army about 16,000, and in a state of starvation; four different factions among them, as follows: Santa Anna, Arista, Herrera, and Paredes.  The recent election in Mexico was much in favor of ex. President Herrera, who it was generally believed at Tampico would be the president.  [KMK]

NRR 71.240 December 12, 1846   Gen. John Ellis Wool's reception at Monclova, which he occupies, proceeds for Saltillo


      MONCLOVA TAKEN. – Gen’l. WOOL, proceeding with about 2600 men, when within 100 miles of Monclova, was met on the 26th October by a formal protest from General Lopez, governor of the department, against his further invasion of the Mexican territory, informing him of the armistice that was entered into between Generals Taylor and Ampudia at Monterey, and alleging that he should consider any further advance of our forces as an infraction of the same.

      General Wool sent word to General Lopez, in reply, that he was aware of the existence of the armistice alluded to; that his government, whose orders he was obeying, construed its terms differently from the interpretation which General Lopez had given it; that he was determined to continue his march, and would do so with the least possible delay.  He did so, and on the 30th halted four miles north of Monclova.  To this place General Lopez came quickly out, attended by an escort.  He politely welcomed Gen. Wool to Coahuila, and offered him a peaceable surrender of the city of Monclova, explaining, at the same time, that the protest which he had previously forwarded to him was drawn up and dispatched in the discharge of what he believed to be his duty to his own government; but that, so far as he and the civil authorities of the city were concerned – and there was no military force in the place – they would receive the General and his command as friends, and in return they looked for the treatment of friends from them.  General Wool then encamped his men where they were – a most favorable location – and with his staff and a detachment proceeded on, took possession of the city, and raised the American flag over the citadel.  Excellent and comfortable quarters were selected for himself and staff.

      On the second of November Captain Davis left with dispatches for Washington, taking Monterey in his route, having information to communicate to Gen. Taylor also.  The health of Gen. Wool’s command he represents as remarkably good, their march a most agreeable one, and through one of the finest grain, corn, cotton, sugar, and pasturage countries that he ever saw, or can well be conceived.

      Although reports were rife that the country was infested with Mexican banditti and treacherous Indians, Capt. Davis left the camp with only two Mexican guides, and arrived safely in Monterey on the 8th ultimo.  There he found things pretty much in repose, Gen. Taylor awaiting dispatches from Washington.  The camp was still sickly, and among those who were not convalescing as fast as desirable is Gen. Butler.  His wound is still painful to a degree.

      LATER – Mr. A. L. Daunoy, furnished the following – which we find in the Picayune of the 4th inst.

      On the 6th November arrived at Monclova, found General Wool and army encamped, his army in fine condition; remained at Monclova until the 14th, then started with an escort with dispatches for Gen. Taylor; found the road for 100 miles a perfect desert; destitute of water and arrived at Monterey on the 19th; ascertained that Gen. Taylor had left for Saltillo, 70 miles.  Lieuts. Franklin and Dashields, with the dispatches left for Saltillo with the same escort, on the 19th.  The distance from Monclova to Monterey is 180 miles, thence to Saltillo 70 miles, whilst from Monclova to Saltillo it is but 180 miles, water plenty and corn in abundance, and no doubt General Wool will advance direct from Monclova to Saltillo.

      Mr. Daunoy thinks that General Wool and Army are now at Saltillo.  He (Mr. D.) left Monterey on the 19th ult. Eleven miles from Monterey met a train of sixty wagons.  On the 21st, met another train of fifty wagons, escorted by four companies, having two long 18 pounders.  Dr. Hawkins along with the train.  [KMK]

NRR 71.241 December 19, 1846  speculation as to the disposition of the new Mexican Congress and as to Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's designs, &c.
NNR 71.241 urgent appeals to the Mexican Congress to make Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna dictator

      No little anxiety is felt to ascertain what will be the proceedings of the Mexican congress, which was assembling at the capital when our latest intelligence left there, forty of the members having already arrived, in anticipation of the day appointed for meeting, hurried on by the urgent calls of the Mexican press, to the rescue of their country.  The movements of Santa Anna were, for a time, involved in still more profound mystery.  Letters published from writers in our squadron, represented that he had left San Luis Potosi at the head of a body of cavalry, whether for the purpose of restoring his own authority at the capital, or with the view of making a dash at some point in the rear of General Taylor, the writers could not agree in opinion.  The impression appeared to be cherished by some of our journals, that Santa Anna was playing his cards with a view to a speedy peace, according to a supposed bargain made at Cuba, with U. States agents, conceding the invaded provinces to the U. States, pocketing the two millions of the proposed secret service fund, and depending upon the U. States government to sustain him in the government of Mexico.  They predicted these opinions partly upon the suspicious looking facts, that Santa Anna had ordered the evacuation of Monterey, before he heard of the engagement there; that he subsequently ordered the important pass near Saltillo, and that place itself to be abandoned, - still later, he had withdrawn all the troops from Tampico, and left the American squadron to occupy the place without opposition, – and now, that he appears to be about to leave San Luis Potosi to an easy conquest.

      The intelligence received by last night’s mail must somewhat unsettle these impressions as to Santa Anna’s movements and designs.  City of Mexico dates to the 17th November, two weeks later than our previous accounts, furnished a correspondence which took place between General Taylor and Santa Anna, published by the latter in the Mexican papers, which indicates anything rather than concession, and shows that he must have been at San Luis Potosi on the 10th November.  The Mexicans were under the impression that General Taylor would advance on San Luis Potosi early in November, and a corresponding activity was evinced to prepare for defence.

      Urgent appeals to the approaching congress, are published in the Mexican journals, to make Santa Anna dictator, for the purpose of repelling “the barbarians of the north.”  [KMK]

NRR 71.241 December 19, 1846 correspondence between Gen. Zachary Taylor and Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

Headquarters of the Army of Occupations,
Monterey, Nov. 5, 1846

      SIR: In the convention agrred upon on the 24th September it was conceded that the American forces should not pass a stiupalated line before the expiration of eight weeks, or until they should receive orders or instructions from their government.  In conformity therewith I have the honor of apprising you that my government has directed me to terminate the suspension of hostilities, and accordingly I consider myself at liberty to pass the designated line after the 13th instant, by which date I presume this communication will have reached you.

      I have been informed that several Americans, who were taken prisoners at China and other points, are no at San Luis, detained as such.  I trust you will deem it an act of justice to release these men and allow them to rejoin the forces under my command.

      When the convention was entered into to which I have referred, I entertained the hope that the terms in which it was conceived would open the way for the two republics to agree upon an honorable peace; and, acting upon this conviction, I at once released the prisoners of war who were in my power; among them were three officers.

      At that time I did not know that there were any American prisoners who had been sent into the interior.  I trust that my conduct will be deemed a sufficient ground to justify you in yielding to this request and to the dictates of humanity towards the American prisoners who I am told are at San Luis.

      In case Major Graham, the bearer of this communication, reaches your head quarters, I take the liberty to commend him to your courtesy, and I shall be pleased to receive by him your reply to this communication, whatever it may be.  I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your obedient servant,

Major General of the Army of the U. States.

To Gen. D. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Commander in chief
Liberating Republican Army
San Luis Potosi, Nov. 10, 1846

      Senor General – At 10 this morning, by an official communication of the Governor of Coahuila of the 8th inst., I received your letter of the 5th, apprising me of your intention, by order of your Government, of breaking the convention agreed upon at Monterey, on the 24th of September last, and passing on the 13th of the present month the line therein designated, by which date you supposed I should receive your communication.

      Believing that the terms stipulated in said convention should be religiously observed by both parties, I had taken no step which should tend to vacate it; but in view of the obligation you deem imposed upon you by the orders of your government, I confine myself by replying that you can, when it pleases you, commence hostilities, to which I shall correspond accordingly.

      In regard to the American prisoners, let me say that there are only seven of them at this post, a list of whom is annexed; and, relying upon your representation in regard to the release of several Mexicans, I have determined to respond to your generosity by doing the same to the seven referred to, whom the commissary of this army will supply with $70 for their sustenance upon the road.

      You remark that when the convention was entered into at Monterey you entertained the hope that the terms in which it was conceived would open the way for the two Republics to agree upon an honourable peace.

      Laying out of the question whether that convention was the result of necessity or of the noble views now disclosed by you, I content myself with saying, that from the spirit and decision manifested by all Mexicans, you should banish all idea of peace while a single North American in arms treads upon the territory of this Republic, and there remains in front of its ports the squadrons which make war upon them.

      Nevertheless, the extraordinary Congress will assemble in the capital towards the end of the present year, and this angust body will determine what it shall judge most suitable for the honor and the interests of the nation.

      Major Graham has not arrived at my quarters.  Had he done so, he would have been received in the manner due to his rank and employment, and in conformity with the wishes expressed to me in his behalf by you.

      I have the honor of offering you the assurances of my distinguished consideration.  God and Liberty.


Senor Maj. Gen. Taylor, General in Chief of the Army of the United States of the North.

      The following is a list of the prisoners whom Sergeant Mariano Hernandez conducted to San Luis Potosi, and who have been set at liberty by General Santa Anna:

-      Charles W. Tufts, John Harrisman, Edward F. Feeny, Hentry P. Lyon, James Q. Read, Elisha Puett, Thomas Gillespie.  [KMK]

NRR 71.241 December 19, 1846  Gen. Zachary Taylor visits Saltillo
NNR 71.241 Gen. Winfield Scott's purposes

      We have no later news from General Taylor than was inserted in our last.  Gen. Worth had taken possession of Saltillo, and General Taylor had left Monterey to visit that place, and make a reconnoisance.  He was to be back in a few days.

      From “the Army of the Centre,” under General Wool, we are without later intelligence, but furnish interesting details of his movements, &c., not before given.  The report of the taking of Chihuahua was premature.

      From the “Army of the North,” under General Kearny, we furnish interesting details to which we refer.

      We have no intelligence from General Scott, since he sailed from New York for New Orleans. – Dispositions are making to move a large portion of the forces that have been posted at different points in General Taylor’s rear, in the direction of Vera Cruz, upon which it is believed that a formidable assault is to be made both by land and water, as speedily as the requisite material can be contracted for the purpose.  Amongst those, we find it mentioned that a number of flat bottom boats are being constructed at different ship yards east of us, with unusual dispatch.  The St. Louis Iron works have received orders for 1,000 tons of bombshells in the same haste.

      General Patterson has reached Tampico, and taken command.  About 2,000 troops had arrived there.  [KMK]

NRR 71.241 December 19, 1846  more volunteers called into service

      MORE VOLUNTEERS, has been called into service by the President.  An additional regiment is required from Pennsylvania.  [KMK]

NRR 71.241 December 19, 1846  state of affairs at Santa Fe


      FROM SANTA FE. – The letter from which our correspondent quotes below, is from Col. Doniphan, commanding the First Regiment of Missouri volunteers.

[Missouri Republican.
Independence. Nov 26th, 1846

      Messrs. Editors: - Through the kindness of a friend in town, I am permitted to make a few extracts from a letter just received from one of the commanding officers at Santa Fe, which brings us news to the 21st October.  If you have not been apprised of the facts by some of your correspondents at Santa Fe already, the information herein contained may be of some interest to your readers.  He says: “We have established a civil government here, and all things wear the appearance of profound peace and entire satisfaction on the part of the people – but to a close observer, it is evident that it is all hypocrisy; indeed it could be nothing else.  A people conquered but yesterday, could have no friendly feeling for their conquerors, who have taken possession of their country – changed its laws and appointed new officers, principally foreigners.  Yet, such is their cunning and hypocrisy, that they partially imposed on Gen. Kearney up to that very day of his departure; but there are so many troops here now, that their good or bad feeling is a matter of perfect indifference.  On yesterday, we obtained what we deemed pretty correct information from El Passo del Norte, that Magoffin, Dr. Connelly, Col. Owens and Glasgow, were retained there as prisoners, by the troops, but were treated very respectfully, yet not permitted to go to Chihuahua or return.  They had gone in advance of their wagons, and will lose nothing, and will only be detained until orders can be obtained for their release.  Our regiment is under marching orders for Chihuahua, and would have been off before to day, if Gen. Kearney had not sent back orders, after he had got ten ten days from here, requiring us to go into the Eutaw and Navijo countries, and bring both these wars to a close before we left here.  We have made a permanent treaty with the Eutaws – Major Gilpin having penetrated far into their country.  Our whole regiment will march into the Navijo country immediately; this lies between the Del Norte and the waters running into the Pacific.  Major Gilpin goes up the Chanas; Lieut. Col. Jackson up the Puerco of the west, (there being two of them;) and Gen. Doniphan (our command) up the Junes.  As soon as we return, we will start with the traders to Chihuhua.  Col. Price and all his regiment and separate battalion, will remain here this winter.  To-day, John P. Campbell, of Springfield, arrived here, and brings our first positive information that 1000 infantry were on their way for this point, and that our provision trains were all breaking down and giving out, and that few of them could reach here this winter.  If this is the case, starvation will be the inevitable consequence.  No provisions can be had there.  We have not ten days provision at present.  Hon. Willard P. Hall left with Captain Cook, for California.”

      Fearful of the great treachery of the Mexicans and their dealings, particularly with the traders, so far as confiscation of their goods and deprivation of personal liberty are concerned, we will look very anxiously for further news from that quarter, and when we receive any, I will again apprise you of it.  There are many rumors afloat here, but as they are not well authenticated, I will not make mention of them.

Yours, in great haste.

      The editor of the Independence Expositor says that there has been another loss of provision wagons and teams, on the route to Santa Fe.  The Indians surrounded the train, and drove off a large number of mules with perfect impunity – the men not having ammunition enough to protect themselves from the attack.  The Expositor makes some serious charges about the manner in which things have been managed in this department of the army, at Fort Leavenworth.

      All the papers from the upper part of this State contain letters from Santa Fe, of late date, and all of them refer with much solicitude to the prospect of a scarcity of provisions.  A letter of the Palmyra Courier, written on the 11th October, says that Col. Doniphan is unable to get off, for want of money to purchase provisions on his route south, and the Quartermaster has not the privisions or means of transportation for a regiment.  “It will take almost all the means of the different departments here to fit out the Mormon battalion for California, and should the regiment of Infantry ordered here arrive, there will be serious apprehensions of suffering for want of provisions this winter, as the country can furnish but little, and that in cattle.  The soldiers are now upon part rations, expecting supplies daily from Bent’s Fort.”  “The Paymaster has has no money to pay the troops, having been disappointed in his expectations of selling drafts to the traders, to meet the claims of the soldiers.”

      “A short residence here satisfies the most curious, who visit this far famed town of mud houses, filthy streets, and still more filthy people. The Mexicans show but little disposition to mix with the Americans, and are evidently not satisfied with the powers that be.  Many of them, and among them the most wealthy, have left and are daily leaving.  The inter course is confined to the lower class, who find ready sale and good prices for what little corn and meat they have to sell.  The fandangos – the only public amusement here, are generally free to all – are a promiscuous assembly of whites, blacks and copper-colored, and but a grade higher than a Negro dance in Missouri, and not as amusing.  The dreams of rich signors, with beautiful, languishing signorettas, brunettes with black eyes, &c., vanish into dried up, half-breed Indians and Spaniards, in blankets, and swarthy, mulatto, slip-shod wrenches, without modesty or regard to common decency.  If we remain here, we will have a dreary time this winter; but we hope for better luck, and having come this far, think we deserve it.”

      W. C. Remington writes to the editor of the Platte Argus, under date of the 12th October, that “there is no money here to pay off the troops, except checks and they are worse than nothing, as there appears to be no silver in the country.  The pay masters brought some money with them, but they retain it for the use of the officers to buy them provisions.”  The apprehended scarcity of provisions is also noticed.  Mr. Remington says that the Mexican population are leaving Santa Fe daily, for what reason no one knows, but it is supposed that they have sold all their provisions to the Americans, and are compelled to leave or starve.  “To say the best of them, they are a miserable race of beings, and the volunteers consider themselves disgraced by coming so far to fight such a degraded set of men.

      Another letter in the Paris Mercury, dated on the 14th October, says: “The general impression is, that Price’s regiment, will stay in and about this place until spring, and then return home covered with laurels and (lice) glory!  Every officer and private in both regiments, are tired and disgusted with this campaign – all are disappointed.”  He also says:

      This is the poorest country I have ever seen; the natives raise nothing except in the bottom of streams, where they can irrigate the land over by throwing up dams, and the bottoms will not bring as good corn as our poorest uplands – I would say about six bushels to the acre, and wheat in the same proportion. – They raise a few onions and red pepper, which constitute all the vegetables they use.  Onions are worth 6 ¼ cents a piece, and corn $3 per bushel.  They sell every thing they have, and never think of tomorrow.  We will produce a famine here among the Mexicans before spring.  I had a conversation with the men who brought the express from California, and they are well acquainted with the country.  They say that it is just such a country as is about Santa Fe, except that corn will not grow so well there as here; and I have been informed by many others to the same effect.  Admit this to be true, and I cannot see what the United States want with a country which it would be an enormous expense every year to keep.  We would be compelled to maintain an army here to keep down the Mexicans, and protect them from the Indians; and a war with these mountaineers would cost the government more than the Florida war. – As for revenue, we could never raise any here to support government; the great mass of the people are in the most abject poverty.  They come to our camps and gather up the scraps of meat and bread, which we have thrown out and trampled under foot for two or three days; many of them will eat of a dead horse!  [KMK]

NNR 71.242 December 19, 1846   Mexican account of affairs at Monterey
NNR 71.242 skirmish between Georgia volunteers and Mexicans

      There are of course, in the Mexican journals, many truly Mexican versions of the late affair at Monterey, as well as of other wonders, published for effect in Mexico.

      A letter is published by Ampudia, dated the 10th October, from Santillo, in which he gives some information derived by him from Capt. Faulac, who remained behind at Monterey and wrote eight days after the departure of the Mexican army.  These advices are not so late by two or three weeks as our own, but yet posses interest.  Capt. Faulac says that the number of American troops engaged at Monterey was 10,000.  Of these he says that 2204 were either killed or wounded.  He declares that he counted with his own eyes 1080 wounded, many of whom were officers, and among them he mentions Gen. Butler.  He complains of some outrages committed by the volunteers, mentions the disbandment of the Texans, &c. &c.  The artillery taken by the Americans he says has been found for the most part to be in a state not fit for service, and he adds that the American troops have done nothing to the fortifications of Monterey.  He makes particular mention of the estimation in which the American officers hold their army, saying that the valor of the soldiers is highly extolled at the expense of that of the officers.

      The official report of Gen. Mejia of the operations of the second brigade of the army at Monterey under his command on the 21st September, bears date that day.  Gen. Mejia, we had learned from our own officers, distinguished himself at Monterey.  He was continually in sight, urging on his men to action. – He does every justice to the intrepidity of our troops which the Mexicans regarded with great admiration.  In the list of officers who were in the field, he names several who were made prisoners by the Mexicans, and this reminds us to give more prominence to the fact which has scarcely, if at all, been noticed, that by each division of our army many prisoners were taken, and a few of our men were supposed to be taken by the enemy.  After the capitulation of Monterey there was some talk about an exchange of prisoners, but for some reason or other it was not carried into formal effect, but the prisoners we had taken were all released unconditionally and retired with the rest of the Mexican army.

      It was believed at Mexico on the 27th ult., that the Gulf squadron off Vera Cruz was nearly destitute of coal and was suffering greatly from scurvy, and that the war had already cost the United States sixty-five million of dollars.  The Mexican journals say that if hostilities are prolonged, the Republic must triumph; particularly if the Americans are harassed and cut up in detail by skirmishes and flying attacks. – This probably had relation to the following incident which we have from our own army.

      A SKIRMISH. – A letter from Capt. Calhoun, of the Georgia Volunteers, dated at Monterey, October 12th, and published in the Savannah Republican, states that a skirmish took place between some of the Georgians and a small force of the Mexicans on the 11th of October.  A part of the Georgia regiment, on their way from Camargo to Monterey, had encamped about six miles from the latter place, with a heavy train of wagons and mules loaded with provisions for the army.  Early after night fall, it was ascertained that a party of Canale’s men were in a neighboring rancho.  They were attacked by a detachment under Lieut. Horne, of the Sumter volunteers, and ten prisoners and some of the baggage of Canales were taken.  Canales had just left the rancho to arrange te assault for the night.  One Mexican was killed, and the number wounded is not known.  None of the Americans were killed or wounded.

      One of the Havana papers states that news had been received at the city of Mexico on the 7th ult. That the forces of cavalry under Gen’l. Romero, who had not signed the capitulation of Monterey, had a rencontre with a party of Americans; that 100 of the latter had been made prisoners, and 4 pieces of artillery taken, and that 80 Americans were killed in the action.  This is the first time we have heard of this pretended reencounter.

      Gen. Rincon died at Jalapa on the 11th October.

      The Mexican press contains the most absurd stores – such for instance, as that, out of 1,800 American troops at Matamoros, 1,500 were prostrated by yellow fever.  [KMK]

NRR 71.242 December 19, 1846  storming the Bishop's Palace at Monterey, touching incident

      TOUCHING INCIDENTS.  If there be virtue in Monuments, humanity should rear a pile, loftly as the Bishop’s Palace, to the victem who bled at her shrine, as detailed by a correspondent of the Louisville Journal, thus:

Camp Monterey, October 7, 1848

      “Hungry and cold I crept to one corner of the fort to get in the sunshine and at the same time to shelter myself from the bombs that were flying thick around me.  I looked out, and, some two or three hundred yards from the fort, I saw a Mexican female carrying water and food to the wounded men of both armies.  I saw her left the head of one poor fellow, give him water, and then take her handkerchief from her own head and bind up his wounds;  attending one or two others in the same way, she went back for more food and water.  As she was returning I heard the crack of one or two guns, and she, poor good creature, fell; after a few struggles all was still – she was dead!  I turned my eyes to heaven and thought, “Oh God, and this is war!” I cannot believe but that the shot was an accidental one.  The next day, passing into another fort, I passed her dead body.  It was lying on its back, with the bread and broken gourd containing a few drops of water.  We buried her amid showers of grape and round shot, occasionally dodging a shell or twelve pounder, and expecting every moment to have another grave to dig for one of ourselves.  [KMK]

NRR 71.243 December 19, 1846  Com. Robert Field Stockton's proclamation organizing a government in California


      I, Robert F. Stockton, Commander-in-chief of the U. States forces in the Pacific Ocean, and governor of the territory of California, and Commander-in-chief of the army of the same; do hereby make known to all men, that having by right of conquest taken possession of that territory known by the name of Upper and Lower California, I do now declare it to be a territory of the U. States, now under the name of the territory of California.

      And I do by these presents farther order and decree, that the government of the said territory of California shall be, until altered by the proper authority of the U. States, continued in manner and forms as follows: that is to say:

      The Executive power and authority in and over the said territory, shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his officer for four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the U. States.  The governor shall reside within the said territory; shall be commander in chief of the army thereof: shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of superintendent of Indian affairs; and shall approve of all laws passed by the Legislative Council before they shall take effect; he may grant pardons for offenses against the laws of said territory, and reprieves for offences against the law of the U. States, until the decision of the President can be made known thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to offices under the laws of the said territory, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

      There shall be a secretary of the said territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States; he shall record and preserve all the laws and proceedings of the Legislative Council, hereinafter constituted, and all the acts and proceeding s of the governor in his Executive Department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws of one copy of the executive proceedings on or before the first Monday in December in each year to the President of the United States; and at the same time two copies of the laws of the speaker of the house of representatives, for the use of congress.  And in case of the death, removal, resignation, or necessary absence of the governor from the territory, the Secretary shall have, and he is hereby authorized and required to execute and perform all the powers and duties of the governor during such vacancy or necessary absence.

      The legislative power shall be vested in the governor and Legislative Council.  The Legislative Council shall consist of seven persons who shall be appointed by the governor for two years, after which they shall be annually elected by the people.

      The power of the Legislative Council of the territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation; but no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil; no tax shall be imposed upon the property of the United States; nor shall the land or property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents.

      All the laws of the Legislative Council shall be submitted to, and if disapproved by the governor, the same shall be null and of no effect.

      The municipal officers of cities, towns, departments or districts, heretofore existing in the territory, shall continue to exist; and all their proceedings be regulated and controlled by the laws of Mexico until otherwise provided for by the governor and legislative council.

      All officers of cities, towns, departments or districts shall be elected every year by the people, in such manner as may be provided by the governor and legislative council.

      The legislative council of the territory of California shall hold its first session at such time and place in said territory as the governor thereof shall appoint and direct; and at said session, or as soon thereafter as may by them be deemed expedient, the said government and legislative council shall proceed to locate and establish the seat of government for said territory, at such place as they may deem eligible, which place, however, shall thereafter be subject to be changed by the said governor and legislative council; and the time and place of the annual commencement of the session of the said legislative council thereafter, shall be on such day and place as the governor and council may appoint.  [KMK]

NNR 71.243, 71.257, 71.258 December 19, 1846 burning the Mexican brig Creole

      Burning of the Mexican brig Creole

On the night of the 26th November, about midnight, the U. S. brig Solmers, then lying at Green Island, four or five miles distant from Vera Cruz, sent a boat with Lieut. Parker, Passed Midshipman Robert Clay Rodgers, and J. R. Hynson, with five men, and burnt the Mexican brig Creole, moored to the castle of San Juan.  They also succeeded in capturing seven Mexican prisoners. – No one except Passed Midshipman Hynson, who was burnt by firing his pistol into some powder to set the brig on fire – he is doing well.

      Expedition south.  On the morning of the 2d December, Com. Perry sailed from Tampico on an expedition not known, with the following vessels of war: steamship Mississippi, steamer Vixen, sloop John Adams, and schnrs. Bonita and Petrel.  A correspondent of a New Orleans paper writes that their probably object is to attack, and if practicable, take possession of the ports of Tobasco, Sisal, and Laguna.  The capture of Alvarado, it is stated, will not be attempted again until the attack can be made both by land and sea.  For this purpose a land force of 1,500 or 2,000 men is deemed necessary, as the garrison has been strongly reinforced since the last demonstration by the fleet upon that place.  Campeachy will remain unmolested in consequence of the friendly disposition by the people towards the U. States, and their repugnance to a reunion with Mexico.

      Tampico, Dec. 3.  This city is well garrisoned by our troops under Col. Gates, and that gentleman is delighted with his new quarters.  The greatest activity has been carried on here by the officers of the army and navy for several days, in fortifying all the assailable points, and we are now ready to meet all the force that Mexico can send against us.  The occupation of this place by our navy and army, has caused the greatest alarm in Santa Anna’s army at San Luis Potosi, and his troops are daily deserting.

      The Forward left Tobasco river on the 21st November – all quiet.  Left at that place, U. S. steamer McLane, Capt. Howard, for the purpose of blockading said port; officers and crew well.  [KMK]

NRR 71.256 December 19, 1846 accurate table of killed and wounded in Battle of Monterey unavailable
NNR 71.256 fifteen hundred volunteers said to be buried on the Rio Grande
NNR 71.256 diminution of the Baltimore battalion

      THE KILLED AND WOUNDED AT MONTEREY. – The U. S. Surgeon General announces in the Union, that he has not yet received an official list of the names of the killed and wounded at the several assaults on Monterey, and that he has given up hope of being able to furnish fuller or more accurate lists of them than have been given to the public through the papers.

      VOLUNTEERS. – We find it stated in one of the latest letters published from an officer on the frontier, that at least 1500 volunteers have been buried on the banks of the Rio Grande.

      The Baltimore Battalion that numbered 683 when it reached the Brazos could only muster at last dates 477.  Making the total loss 206.  [KMK]

NNR 71.257 December 26, 1846 loss of the United States sloop of war Boston, capture of Panuco


      LOSS OF THE BOSTON – OFFICIAL REPORT.  Island of Eteuthera, November 16th, 1846 – SIR:  It is my misfortune to be under the necessity of reporting to the department the loss of the United States sloop Boston, under my command.

      On Saturday evening last, at 8 o’clock, the ship was in the lat. of 26 degrees 20 minutes north, and longitude 76 degrees 35 minutes west.

      From this position it was my intention to reach the parallel of Abaco light house, and then haul in for “Hole-in-the-Wall” passage.

      I therefore steered SSW, until half past 1 o’clock A. M. when a light was seen bearing SSW, ½ W. – As it was possible that this might be Abaco light I steered south in order to counteract the effects of a stronger westerly current than already allowed.

      We had light winds during the night, and the deep sea and hand leads were in constant use.

      At 4 hours 35 minutes A. M. when about to haul in for the “Hole-in-the-Wall” passage, we experienced a hard black squall, with rain from the northward, which, notwithstanding all our exertions, swept the ship upon the bank of this island, but she immediately passed into deeper water, when an anchor was let go.  Such was the violence of the sea and the wind, however, that the ship was swept upon the north point of this island, the sea making a breach over her.  It was not until the ship was on shore that we could see the land in any direction.

      I now cut away the masts, and, as all hope of saving the ship was at an end, proceeded to land the property on board, the greater part of which I hope to save.

      I trust that the department will perceive that the “Boston” has been driven on shore owing to circumstances beyond my control; and in order that the matter may be thoroughly investigated, I respectfully request that I may be brought before a court of inquiry, or a court martial, on my return to the United States, and there answer for my conduct throughout the whole of my short and unfortunate command.

      The officers and crew generally, I am happy to add, are in good health.  I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. F. PEARSON, commander.

Hon. JOHN Y. MASON, secretary of the navy, Washington, D. C. U. S. of America.

NRR 71.258 December 26, 1846  estimate of the prize money from the Tabasco and Tampico capture

Prize money. A letter from an officer in the U.S. squadron off Tampico says- “We took an estimate of the prize money accruing on the various prizes taken at Tabasco and this place. It amounts to $220,000- half of which $110,000, goes to the government; so the navy is at last doing something for itself.”  [KMK]

NNR 71.258 December 26, 1846  praise for Midshipman Simpson's gunnery

Midshipman Simpson. A fact worthy of observation occurs in the attack upon Tabasco by Com. Perry. The Mexican flag staff was cut down by a shot from one of our guns. It is said the gun was directed  by passed midshipman Simpson; and it may be thought  accident. We have reason, however, to believe that it could be done again and again. Passed midshipman Simpson is the class of midshipmen who were passed last summer by Com. Kearney and Perry, and Captains McCauley, McKeever, and Mayo, who constituted a board of examiners at the naval school in this place. We are told that such was the precision of experiments in target by the young men of the school, as to call forth from the board the highest commendation, and it is said of Com. Kearney, that he said he had not only ever seen such precision, but stated that he had never heard of such.  [KMK]

NRR 71.259 December 26, 1846  exposed state of the Indian frontier because of withdrawal of troops for the war with Mexico

The Six Nations. Oneidas, & c. – The circumstances of withdrawing the detachments of the regular army, from our extensive Indian frontier, for the purpose of carrying on the Mexico war, leaves an awful responsibility for the safety of frontier settlers, as well as for the protection of the miserable remnants of once formidable tribes of Indians that nothing but the presence of disciplined military authority has been found adequate to protect, so far as they have been protected, from the rapacity of marouders and outlaws that never fail to hover on the confines of civilization. A letter dated November 20, from the neighborhood of Fort Scott, in the Osage nation, published in the St. Louis Republican, gives the most distressing accounts of the exposed state of the frontier left with a mere handful of soldiers, and threatened continually with bands of predatory Indians, whose rude passions have been inflamed by the wars of the white men, raging around them. What is far more to be lamented, and denounced by every independent man who has a particle of respect for justice and the honor of his country, we find detailed in regard to the poor half civilized, half christianized Indians lately removed by the government from Western New York, as detailed in the following paragraph:

“We have on our border, and near us, an unfortunate band of badly treated Indian emigrants. They are portions of the Six nations of New York. They were sent here by the government, according to treaty stipulations. Their treatment, suffering and conditions cannot be described. I have said they were from New York. They were brought hither by the government agents in June last, but with promises that money should be paid them on their arrival here.  By the treaty, they were to have houses, fields, mills, churches, school houses and other comforts erected for, and extended to them. But up to this time, they have not received a dollar of money, nor has a cabin, to say nothing of a house, been erected. No churches nor school houses have been prepared, nor has a field been opened. The consequences are easily told. Of the whole number, more than one half have been consigned to their mother earth- while those who remain are borne down by sickness and the loss of so many friends. The government is responsible for this destitution and affliction. The people of the Six nations have seen better days, and something besides the government ration was necessary to their comfort, and was provided for in the treaty. As yet, the government authorities have not responded to an appeal made by them, through their agent, while other nations, before and since their emigration, have had moneys paid to them. There is something wrong in the proceedings towards these wretched Indians, and some one should be made to suffer, and account for their wrongs. I appeal to Benton, Crittenden, Sevier, and other senators, to move an investigation in this matter. The interposition of the independent press is invoked, and I ask the whole country to see that the stain is removed from the national honor.”  [KMK]

NNR 71.262 December 26, 1846 Rumors

Rumors relative to superseding the commanding generals by appointing a lieutenant general, Gen. Robert Armstrong or Thomas Hart Benton considered for post, Com. Charles Stewart's appointment as commander of the Gulf Squadron also being reconsidered, review of results of the campaign, glimpse at the future   [KMK]

NNR 71.262 December 26, 1846 affair at Angelos, Mexican finances, ordnance at San Luis, Campeche identified with Mexico, Capt. G. T. M. Davis' account of route of Gen. John Ellis Wool's division

The route of General Wool’s Army Captain G.T.M. Davis, aid to Brigadier General Shields, and bearer of dispatches to the President, who arrived in this city on Saturday evening, has favored us with the following very interesting of his journey through Mexico from Monclova, via Monterey.

         “I left Monclova on the 2d of November, and crossed to Monterey, a distance of 288 miles, through a section of country infested with Indians and Rancheros, with no other escort than a Mexican guide and a servant The trip was performed in six days, on horseback, meeting with no interruption except at the town of Sabinos, about 130 miles from Monterey. The interruption was temporary, the Alcalde allowing me to resume my journey with but a few minutes delay.

        “I left Monterey on the 11th, and was detained at the Brasos several days in consequence of no steamer leaving for N. Orleans.

       “On the 30th of Oct. the center division, under Gen. Wool, the advance of which was commanded by Brigadier Gen. Shields, encamped four miles north of Monclova. Within an hour after we had pitched our tents, Gen. Lopez, the governor of the province of Coahuila, of which Monclova is the capital, accompanied by an escort of about twenty principal citizens, rode out to the encampment and called upon Gen. Wool. He informed the general that no resistance would be made to his taking military possession of Monclova, but, on the contrary, our column would be received and treated as friends. On the 31st, Gen. Wool, accompanied by his staff and an escort consisting of two squadrons of the 1st and 2nd dragoons, rode into Monclova and took nominal possession of the same.  One of the best furnished houses in the place was tendered to Gen. Wool as his headquarters, which, in the event of his making his headquarters in the city, he would accept. The health of the entire column was excellent, and the condition of the men, notwithstanding their long march, as good as could be desired.

      “The strength of the column is 2,600, rank and file; and consists of the 1st and 2d regiments of Illinois volunteers, commanded by Colonels Hardin and Bissell; Col. Yell’s regiment of Arkansas cavalry; Major Conneville’s battalion, composed of three companies of the 6th infantry, and Capt. Williams company of Kentucky volunteers; Capt. Washington’s battery of flying artillery; and two squadrons of the 1st and 2d dragoons. The march from the Presidio de Rio Grande at Monclova, a distance of 204 miles, was made in eleven marching days, though somewhat retarded in their progress by an immense provision and baggage train, about 250 in number. The column was highly favored with excellent weather, and with one of the best natural roads ever passed over by and army.

        “The towns through which the column passed after crossing the Rio Grande were, Presidio de Rio Grande, Nava, San Fernando, San Rosa, and Monclova. Presidio de Rio Grande is situated upon a  beautiful and fertile plain, five and a half miles from the Rio Grande; it contains a population of 2,ooo inhabitants, and has no public buildings in it save two Roman Catholic churches. Twenty-five miles from Presidio de Rio Grande you reach the town of Nava, containing 700 inhabitants. It is surrounded by exceedingly fertile country, and corn in great abundance is produced in this region. In fact, the whole country between the above two places is very fertile, and most admirably adapted to agricultural pursuits. Between the two points there is no water, except what is conducted through artificial channels. Twelve miles from Nava is the town of San Fernando, containing from 3,500 to 4,000 inhabitants. It is one of the neatest built towns through which I passed in Mexico, and is abundantly supplied with water, a beautiful little river watering it on both sides. In the vicinity of this town also the soil is of excellent quality and the production of corn and sugar-cane large.  Cotton is also produced here, but not in very large quantities. Seventy miles from San Fernando, we came to the town of San Rosa, with a population from 3,ooo to 3,500 inhabitants. It is situated immediately at the base of a beautiful range of mountains, bearing the same name as the town. Their notoriety in Mexico arises from the fact that they possess some of the richest silver mines in that Republic. In consequence of the unsettled state of that government, these mines have not been worked for some years, as their productions were immediately seized by the government to replenish its exhausted treasury. I was informed by a Dr. Long, of Pennsylvania, who for thirty years had resided in San Rosa, that the mines near the town, when last worked by the Mexicans, yielded at least half a million of silver per annum. By the application of American skill and industry no question can arise but, from the .richness of extend of the veins, they could be made to produce a million per annum. During the periods these mines were worked the town of San Rosa was in a flourishing condition, and it inhabitants in prosperous circumstances. But since they have ceased working them the town has deteriorated, and its citizens, to a great extent, became impoverished. At the end of the first day’s march after we left San Rosa, the Alcalde and several of the principal citizens of San Rosa followed our column, and gave to Gen. Wool and Shields a dinner. The Alcalde also proposed to Gen. Wool to issue a pronunciamento in favor of the government of the U States, provided that he (Gen. Wool) would sustain them in it. But, for reasons best known to himself, he declined the proposition.

      “Monclova is the next place we reached, and where the column still was when I left. It is situated at the base of a beautiful and extensive range of mountains, called the Monclova mountains, but which, in reality, are nothing more than a continuation of the San Rosa chain of mountains. It contains about 4,500 or 5,000 inhabitants, is situated on a fertile and extensively cultivate plain, and is in the midst of what is called the granary of Northern Mexico. Corn and wheat are produced in great abundance, and the whole country abounds with cattle and the finest mutton. In no part of Mexico yet traversed by our army could a large body of men by better or more abundantly subsisted than in the region of Monclova.     “The road from Presidio de Rio Grande to Monclova was over a section of country that was generally level, with the exception of a short distance between San Fernando and San Rosa. The second day’s march after we left San Fernando we crossed a small chain of mountains called the St. Joseph’s. They were from two to three hundred feet high, and filled with extensive beds of the finest limestone rock. After passing this chain of mountains some twenty miles, we crossed two very rapid streams called the Alamos and Sabinos. The former is about seventy yards wide, the latter between eighty and ninety yards, and the distance between them about five miles. The depth is from three and a half to four feet, with the most rapid currents I ever encountered in my life. The water is as pure as crystal, and delightful to taste. Both of these rivers have beds of large sized pebble- stones, and abound with the finest fish. At a point not many miles distant from where the column crossed these two streams, they mingle their waters into one common channel, which finally empties itself into the river Salado. The river Salado is also a beautiful stream, upon the left bank of which stands Guerreo, a flourishing town of 5,000 inhabitants. The Salado empties itself into the Rio Grande, which, in fact, is the principal receptacle of all the small streams over which our army has passed during their invasion of Mexico. After crossing the Sabinos, we came in view of the San Rosa mountains, which lay to the right of us, and in our immediate view, during the whole of the residue of our march until we reached Monclova. It will thus be seen that our army as yet has not crossed any prominent or extensive range of mountains in Mexico. The height of the San Rosa mountains is variously estimated at from 1,500 to 3,000 feet, and a part of them is a continuous range of beautiful peaks, presenting a view which baffles description. The timber through this whole section of country is very scarce, the principal production being musquit. Considering, however, the extreme mildness of the climate and the uniformity of temperature, there may be sold to be sufficient to supply all immediate wants.

      “The latitude of Monclova, derived by actual observation from two astronomers in our column, is 26 56. Oranges, figs, lemons, and grapes are produced in abundance in that vicinity and vegetables that would grow in any country could be produced here by taking the trouble to put the seed into the earth. Monclova is a very old town, and is in a rather dilapidated condition. Its public buildings are several Catholic churches and extensive stone barracks, capable of garrisoning some ten of twelve hundred troops.

       “Notwithstanding the professions of friendship towards us on the part of Lopez, the governor of the province, the inhabitants were very perceptibly far more hostile towards us than those of all the rest of the towns through which we passed. This arises from the fact that it influential citizens are generally strong centralists, favorable to a monarchical form of government; while those of the other towns are as strongly inclined towards a republican form of government.

       “In my journey from Monclova to Monterey, I passed through several towns, descriptions of which I am only precluded from giving through fear of wearying your patience.

        “The towns through which I passed between Monclova and Monterey were Candella, Flascalla, Billoaldama, Sabinos, and Aqualeras. Beyond this last town I struck the main road leading from Camargo to Monterey at Serlavo.

       “The distance from Saltillo to San Luis Potosi is estimated at 300 miles; from Monterey to Tampico 150 miles, from Tampico to San Luis Potosi 350 miles.

Yours Respectfully,

     Geo. T.M. Davis, Aid-de-camp.


NNR 71.263 12/26/1846 Wool's column abandons original object, Chihuahua, marches to Monclova, and thence to Saltillo, a letter from "a volunteer" describing the country, condition of the troops

Monclova, Mexico, Nov. 1 1846.

A few lines from an old friend, especially when written from the seat of war, I trust may not prove unacceptable to you.

On the 30th of last month Gen. Wool's column encamped four miles south of this city, the whole army coming up in fine condition and excellent health. On the day following, accompanied by his staff and a small escort of dragoons he went to the city and took nominal possession of the same, and on Wednesday of this week, on his way to a new encampment, selected south of this place, he intends marching the entire column through Monclova and take actual military possession of the same. Thus it will be seen that the ancient capitol of Coahuila is in the actual possession of our arms, without the slightest resistance having been made on the part of the Mexicans. How long we shall remain here is involved in some uncertainty. The officers commanding that battery of artillery, and the squadrons of the 1st and 2nd dragoons, have required that some two weeks be given them to recruit their horses. Added to this is a rumor which receives credence at headquarters, that General Kearney has sent a detachment of his column that has taken Chihuahua without resistance. Should subsequent information confirm this report as to the movement of Gen. Kearney, then all the anticipated good of this column, on its present destination, will have been realized, and the only alternative left for us will be to form a junction with Gen. Taylor, at Saltillo, or march on our own hook directly upon San Luis Potosi. His last step has been objected to by Gen. Taylor until after the expiration of the armistice. The strong probabilities, therefore are that we shall not move from Monclova before the 25th of this month at least.

Col. Bissell's regiment of Illinois volunteers will be up tomorrow evening, the advance having already reached here. They are in fine health and condition, and have made a very rapid march with a view of overtaking us, previous to our advance from this place.

Monclova contains a population of between four and five thousand inhabitants, many of whom are intelligent and wealthy citizens. The leading spirits among them, however, are strong Centralists, and make no concealment of the hostility of their feelings towards us and our Government. Many of them assert that if peace is not consummated during the pendency of this armistice, a vast amount of blood will yet have to be shed and a large number of lives sacrificed, before they will submit to the dismemberment of a foot of their territory this side of the Nueces . I am satisfied that the liberal policy of our government towards the Mexicans, in the prosecution of this war, is not appreciated by them, and that unless that policy is changed, so far as to subsist our army upon them, at a reasonable price for their produce, this war will be protracted unnecessarily for months, if not years.

This column is now in what is regarded as the granary of Northern Mexico. Wheat is produced in considerable quantities, and flour manufactured from it is of an excellent quality . Corn is not only abundant, but may be regarded as a drug among them in this immediate vicinity. The highest rate it commanded, even when peddled out in the single peck, was not to exceed fifty cents the bushel, but the moment we appeared among them it was put up to a dollar. For this there is no other excuse on earth, except a disposition on the part of the Mexicans to extort from us, believing that our government has sent its armies into Mexico to bribe them into submission by paying extortionary prices for everything we purchase from them, rather than conquer them by a force of arms. The officers have demanded of General Wool that he establish a tariff of prices and insist upon forage and subsistence being furnished us, as far as they have it to spare, at those rates, and , from what I can ascertain today, he will be driven to a line of policy which his own judgement and experience should have dictated, without any such demand being made upon him by his officers.

Their wheat is of good quality, which they dispose of by the mule load. The charge six dollars a load, which comprises two sacks, containing in the aggregate, from three hundred to three hundred and twenty pounds. Not anticipating we would want any of it they did not raise the price of it before General Wool made a formal requisition upon Gov. Lopez, for a given quantity, to subsist his men while here. Lopez replied that is should be furnished. There is small mill in the vicinity of Monclova, constructed on the plan of Gentry's patent, which we have taken possession of, and it will be kept continually running, in grinding flour for the army, while we remain at Monclova. The last train of wagons, with provisions, that we expect to receive from Lavacca, is now on its way hither. That depot will then be abandoned by the subsistence department, and our entire reliance for provisions will be by opening a communication with General Taylor, and drawing them from Camargo, and by obtaining them in part from the country that we march through. Here there is no difficulty whatever in procuring all the beef, wheat, and corn that we may desire, for our subsistence and the forage of the horses.

We have an immense and unnecessarily large train of wagons - numbering over two hundred and fifty - when nearly any other officer in the Army above the grade of a corporal would have been enabled to have gotten along with half the number. If we are compelled to go to Chihuahua by the nearest and most direct route, this train, as well as the artillery, will have to be left behind, as the route will admit of no other kind of transportation than by pack mules. On the other hand , if Gen. Wool persists in dragging at his heels this immense wagon train, and the artillery, then we will be driven to go through Durango, which is the only route admitting transportation by wagons, and which will nearly double the distance we will have to travel - making it between nine and ten hundred miles. You will, therefore, agree with me, that it will turn out a most fortunate thing for the government of the United States, if it be true that Gen. Kearney has taken Chihuahua, as it will save millions of expense that will otherwise accrue, if this whole column is sent there. Most of the officers in the army ridicule, without stint or mercy, this expedition, notwithstanding it is evidently the favorite one with the controlling powers at Washington.

The country in this vicinity is beautiful, and the soil of the most desirable quality for all agricultural pursuits. Of the character of the wheat, I have already spoken; and the corn cannot be surpassed, in my judgement, in any section of the world. The highest encomium that can be pronounced upon it is, that is excels in quality, it exceeds in yield the production of the American bottom, in Illinois. More in its praise could not be said. Very few vegetables are raised here, although the only difficulty is producing them is by putting the seed in the earth. From an actual observation, taken by an astronomer in Gen. Wool's staff, it appears the latitude of Monclova is twenty-six degrees, fifty-six minutes. The weather is excessively warm today, most of the days being as hot as any August days you experience in your city.

This column, though comprised of as able, well disciplined, and brave a body of men as were ever mustered into service, is, notwithstanding, in a most unfortunate condition. It arises from the little confidence reposed in Gen. Wool, and the peculiar faculty he possesses in finding fault, and gaining the ill will of every officer in his column. This state of feeling is applicable to both regulars and volunteers. So marked has been his unwarranted course of conduct towards Col. Harney, that some ten days since he asked and obtained leave to be relieved from duty under Gen. Wool, and to be sent to Gen. Taylor to report for duty. Col. Harney is not in Monclova and leaves in the course of a week for Monterey. His separation from us, has caused universal expressions of regret on the part of both officers and men throughout the entire column; and the treatment he has received from Gen. Wool received equally as united a condemnation. As an officer, none stood higher in the command; and in the event of our encountering the enemy, he was looked up to with far more confidence than Gen. Wool. Yet no one blames him for the course he has felt himself compelled to pursue, although his loss to our column is sensibly felt and universally expressed.

A few days since, a plain and warm expression of opinion passed between Col. Hardin and Gen. Wool, arising from the unjust imputation cast upon the volunteers by the latter. It was only settled by Gen. Wool giving an unqualified disclaimer, that he did not intend to include Col. Hardin's regiment. I also learn that equally as warm a dispute ensued between him and Col. Yell, in which Col. Yell game him distinctly to understand that he should call for an investigation before Congress, of the manner in which the march of this column had been conducted while under the orders of Gen. Wool. It is a violent presumption to suppose, that in all these instances, and a half dozen others that could be mentioned, General Wool was always in the right, and all his officers, regular and volunteer, in the wrong. His falling out and quarreling with the while of them, without distinction, clearly demonstrates that there is something radically wrong in his course of conduct as a military officer. I have no doubt Gen. Wool means well enough. But from what I have seen of him I am confident he has neither the military experience, the stability of character, or the perseverance requisite to constitute a competent commander of such an expedition as this. On this account his entire command are exceedingly anxious he should form a junction with the forces at Monterey, that we may come under the immediate command of old "Rough and Ready." Not during the existence of the barbarous practice of the Bastille in France, where its victims more completely shut out from all knowledge of the world, than we poor devils, in this section, from what is transpiring in the United States. There seems to be systematized attempt to exclude all letters and papers from reaching us, nor is that attempt unsuccessful. Thus the last link that connects us with civilization is cut off, creating, as you may well imagine, a great deal of feeling and excitement among all of us who have left families, kindred and friends behind, that we might serve our country in a foreign land. What adds to that excitement, is, that it is concealed from the officers when expresses are sent to San Antonio; and that when they return they only bring packages from Gen. Wool and a few favorite about headquarters. This line of policy has not added much to the waning popularity of our commanding General. General Taylor adopts the very reverse of such a course of conduct, and every facility is afforded both his officers and his men to receive and transmit all letters and papers that may be designed for them, or that they design for their friends in the United States. Surely if it dies not militate against the public good to allow this interchange of communication with their friends, in Gen. Taylor's command, who has thus far had all the fighting to do, it cannot have the effect in Gen. Wool's column, who has not yet approached the slightest semblance of an encounter with the enemy. I have heard a word from . . . [absent] Now going on for four months; nor have hundreds of others of my acquaintance, although I am satisfied that both letters and papers in large numbers have been transmitted to me from the United States.

A Missouri Republican of the 6th September found its way into our camp a few days since, and never was a popular work of romance sought after with more avidity than it was by all the Suckers. It was read and reread, until if fairly tumbled into pieces from being handled; and when it was gone, there was a general lamentation even among those who had read it once, but were anxious to read it again. The officers have come to he determination to hire an express, and send him to San Antonio for their letters and papers, having ascertained there is any quantity there for them.

A Volunteer.

NNR 71.264 12/26/1846 Gen. John Ellis Wool ordered to occupy Parras

Gen. Wool has been ordered by Gen. Taylor to occupy forthwith the town of Parras, a small but beautiful place seventy miles northeast of Saltillo. Gen. Wool would have no opposition at Parras as the inhabitants were prepared to receive him peaceably. His troops are represented to be in the finest health and discipline. [AKS]

NNR 71.264 12/26/1846 wounded from Monterey, change in the direction of the Army, Gen. Zachary Taylor proposes to march for Victoria.

The ultimate plans of Gen. Taylor had not of course been fully developed, but sufficient was known to render it quite certain that something like the following outline was to be adhered to. He had received intelligence from the government of the call for additional troops. He would therefore occupy all the posts, towns, &c. , either immediately or remotely, on the line of operations to Tampico.

Lieut. Col. Riley now occupies Mount Morales with the 2 nd Regiment of U. S. Infantry. Gen. Taylor would himself take up his line of march for Victoria, where rumor has it, Santa Anna has 10,000 choice troops. This city is indispensably necessary to Gen. Taylor, in order that he may secure his lines of communication in an attack upon San Luis Potosi Santa Anna knows its importance, and will no doubt resist its possession by our troops. But I shall not speculate. Gen. Taylor intended to march, as soon as provisions could be hastened up-which would probably be the 10th December-with the 3rh, 4th and 7thinfantry, the dragoons under Col. Harney, who had arrived at Monterey, Bragg's battery, and two regiments of volunteers, which latter had not been designated.

It would seem that Gen. Taylor himself attached some importance to the rumor of Santa Anna's 10,000 troops, as he heads in person the expedition against Victoria. After taking this point, which he most assuredly must do, it is thought he will make no further demonstration until desired reinforcements reach him from Tampico. [AKS]

NNR 71.264 12/26/1846 Gen. William Orlando Butler's wound

Should Gen. Butler's health admit of it, he will be left at Monterey in command, otherwise Col. Smith, of the rifles, will be detained for that purpose. Gen. Butler's wound was not improving; indeed it is said to be getting worse. The air of Monterey is considered unfavorable to wounded invalids, and the surgeons have advised that all such should leave the country if practicable. [AKS]

NNR 71.264 12/26/1846 Gen. Gideon Pillow��s health improved

Gen. Pillow goes back from this place to take command in Gen. Patterson's column, which marches for Victoria. Gen. Pillow was on his way home. But owing to letters received from above, developing something of the future operations of the army, as well as letters from home rendering it unnecessary for his return, he goes back to his command. His health, too, is greatly improved. [AKS]

NNR 71.264, December 26, 1846 rumor of Gen. Antonio Canales having taken sixty baggage wagons

Dec. 11th.-A rumor which needs confirmation, but which was believed generally, however, reached this place three days ago, stating that sixty government wagons, with provisions, specie, &c. for our army had been captured by Canales somewhere between Camargo and Mier.  No particulars stated.  Whether this be true or not, I understand that it is not improbable, as the incautious and unguarded way in which the trains too often move would render their capture no difficult thing.

From what I see and hear in certain quarters, I am more and more inclined to believe that Santa Anna intends to harass Gen. Taylor, and that a stand will be made against him that will require fighting, and not long first.  [WFF]

NNR 71.264 12/26/1846 Gen. Robert Patterson's command retiring to the mouth of the Rio Grande en route to Tampico

In closing I will add that Maj. Gen. Paterson had left Camargo with the Alabama and Illinois regiments, and was conveying these troops down to the mouth of the Rio Grande, intends to go to Tampico by water. Having duly reported his intentions to the commanding general, an express was despatched and arrived in time, ordering General Patterson to go to Tampico by land. Gen. P. and staff have arrived at Matamoros. [AKS]

NNR 71.265 December 26, 1846 letter of "Gomez" from Monterey
NNR 71.264 December 26, 1846 rumors respecting Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's movements

Monterey, Mexico, Nov. 11th, 1846

Within a day or two past, we have all been on the “qui vive,” arising from the arrival of Major Graham with dispatches to Gen. Taylor from Washington, disapproving of, and terminating the armistice, and directing an immediate renewal of hostilities, and vigorous prosecution of war. General Taylor was somewhat surprised at the disapproval of the government of the terms of the armistice, especially as he had informed them, that under no circumstances whatever could he have moved his army an inch beyond Monterey, short of the sixty days, the term during which the armistice was to last. The locofocos would have been glad to have raised a shout over this action of Mr. Polk, had not their mouths been closed  by the consideration that two of three commissioners who fixed upon and settled the terms of capitulation, were distinguished leaders of their party- Col. Davis, a member of Congress from Mississippi, Governor Henderson, from Texas. The former of the gentlemen has gone home on a furlough, but it is well understood here, that his place of destination is Washington. He goes there with the determination to defend not only the armistice, but the terms of the capitulation itself, in the event of either being assaulted upon the floors of Congress. Both are and have been very unpopular in the army of Mexico from the beginning, although it is an admitted fact, that for sixty days after the sanguinary battle at Monterey, it would have been not only impracticable, but on impossible for Gen. Taylor to have moved towards the city of Mexico.

       Major Graham was dispatched on Thursday last, accompanied by an escort of fifty dragoons, to Saltillo, and from thence to San Luis Potosi, with a formal notice to Santa Anna from Gen. Taylor, informing him of the action of our government relative to the armistice, and notifying him, that within ten days he should regard the armistice as at an end, and in obedience with instructions from his government, renew hostilities against Mexico. Yesterday, about noon, Major Graham returned to this city, not having been allowed by the Mexican authorities to proceed farther than Saltillo. The Governor of that province, however received his communications for Santa Anna, gave him an official acknowledgement that he was aware of their contents, and promised to deliver them to Santa Anna with all practical expedition. While at Saltillo, Major Graham satisfactorily ascertained from sources in which he places the most implicit confidence, that the force under Santa Anna, now garrisoned at San Luis Potosi, is sixteen thousand, and that there were on the way to them, six thousand men. This estimate of the Mexican forces under arms, I entertain not the remotest doubt, is correct, and I hazard nothing in the assertion, that by the time our army can reach San Luis Potosi, that force will be increased to thirty thousand men. I speak advisedly in this matter; and no officer here, of any standing, questions that fact, that we are to have a more desperate and fatal battle at San Luis Potosi, than has yet been fought by us in Mexico.

        Gen. Taylor has determined to move forward with all practical speed, making his depot and starting point at Saltillo. Orders have been issued to Gen Worth to move to Saltillo with his division, and tomorrow morning he takes up his line of march. It is so asserted, and not without good reasons for so doing, that a messenger will be dispatched to General Wool during the day, directing him to march with his column also, to Saltillo. Heretofore, this column has not been relied upon in the least, by Gen. Taylor, to render him ant facilities or assistance in his invasion of Mexico. But the at Monterey, and the immense force of effective men gathering at San Luis Potosi under Santa Anna, has produced a magic image in his mind, and now he takes the ground, at the exigencies that surround him render the necessity imperative, that the column of Gen. Wool could form a junction with him at Saltillo. He plans on making a personal reconnaissance of the country between here and Saltillo, and on his return from that place, he will move forward with all remaining forces that he intends taking up with him. From what I have been able to gather at headquarters, Gen. Taylor expects that I will take at least two months for him to place a sufficient amount of subsistence in his army at Saltillo, to justify his moving from here upon San Luis Potosi. By that time, the entire force he relies upon to attach Santa Anna, will have reached Saltillo, and he can move forward with quantity and safety.

       The distance from Saltillo to San Luis Potosi, is generously estimated from three to four hundred miles. I am inclined to the opinion, that it is about three hundred and fifty miles. Most of this march will be through a country very difficult to subsist an army in a large portion of which is watered by artificial means. Ten miles a day is a fair estimate of the distance the army will average in marching between the two points. So that, taking into consideration that January and February are the two wet months in this country, no fight or collision between the two armies can reasonably be looked for, earlier than the last of March, or the forepart of April. If it be true that Tampico is in the possession of American forces, and a communication is immediately opened between there and Saltillo, sufficiently protected to allow our drawing subsistence from there, instead of Camargo, it would greatly facilitate our operations beyond saltillo, and more especially, if it also turns out correct, that the river above Tampico is navigable for some seventy five or eighty miles.

The impression prevails here in the most intelligent and best formed circles, that the Mexican Government will make its last attempt at resistance at San Luis Potosi, and that if (as they will be) they are defeated there, they will then come to our terms, in establishing peace once more between the two nations. I estimate the Mexican character in a different light, and arrive at the opposite conclusion expressed by the majority in this city. I believe that if defeated at San Luis Potosi, they will fall back within the walls of  the city of Mexico, and that the invasion and conquest of this country is only to be achieved by wading through fields fertilized with carnage. Had the entire Mexican force at Monterey been taken prisoners, deprived of their arms, and treated as enemies of our country, a different state of things would at this time have existed. But allowing nearly five thousand of the flower of their regular army to withdraw with their small farms, furnished the enemy a nucleus around which they have rapidly gathered a force of twenty two thousand to resist our arms. Incapable of estimating or appreciating a magnanimous act, our indulgence and liberality towards them is construed into fear, or the result of compulsion; and that they will only fall back for the time being, that they may attack us with renewed vigor and hostility.

       Ampudia, by surrendering in this city and capitulating, has terminated his military career forever in Mexico. To escape violence at the hands of his own men whom he led to battle, it became necessary for Gen. Worth and one or two others to escort him out of the city. And he only then succeeded in reaching Uadalagra (pronounced Wetherlagara) where he was seized by his own countrymen, incarcerated within the walls of a prison, where he will remain until he is tried and cashiered, or shot as a traitor to his country. During the whole battle of Monterey, he never made his appearance upon the field, but remained safely immured in the large Catholic church on the main plaza, from whence he gave his orders, as the commander-in-chief of the Mexican forces. I mention this, to show you that the surrender of Monterey by Ampudia, met with everything else but the favor or approbation of either his army or his government.

            Maj. Gen. Butler, it is said, is to be left here with his division, to garrison and protect our interests in this city. This has created a great deal of dissatisfaction among the volunteers, and caused no little excitement among the portion of them at least. In his division is the regiment of Kentuckians that were here at the battle in September, and who were the only volunteers on the ground but what participated in the dangers and the glory of that fight. They are exasperated beyond description, at being left behind again, where there is a moral certainty that, by advancing with the main army, they could have an opportunity of displaying their valor in an engagement with the enemy. They have accordingly sent word to Gen. Taylor that under the circumstances, if they are not taken forward and allowed to participate in any future battle that may be fought, they will mutinize to a man and return to their homes. To me it looks like the most short sighted policy, to throw a large body of volunteers together to garrison any town or city. Those at all acquainted with their temperament and habits in life cannot be insensible to the fact that this is the very worst service that can be assigned them. That is a duty, which should in the man be assigned to the regulars, whose rigid discipline peculiarly adapts them to that service, while the volunteers should be led forward and placed in front of the fight. The sinuations of some, and open speculations of others, that in the heat of a battle they would be found incompetent to the contest, has been repudiated by their undaunted bravery, and valorous achievements in the battle of Monterey. Where there is a regiment of regulars, or a regular officer, that would have led a regiment to charge up on a fort containing double their numbers and a large piece of ordnance, with nothing but rifles without bayonets? Yet it was done by the Mississippians, and the enemy was driven from their fort, who surrendered it to the valor and bravery of the volunteers. It is therefore looked upon and regarded here, as a studied design, to reverse the order of things, and leave the volunteers behind to garrison Camargo, Mier, Seralvo, and Monterey, while the regulars to a man are to be pushed forward that the brows of their commanders alone may be decked with the laurels of valorous deeds. By this species of injustice, its participators may hope to crush forever the volunteer system, and thus increase the necessity of enlarging the forces of a mercenary soldiery; but they will in the end, when it is too late to remedy the evil, discover they have reckoned without their hosts. Nearly a majority of the states in the Union, have volunteers in Mexico. The outrage, injustice and indignities that have been visited upon then during this whole campaign, will not go unredressed. And if, when the progress of this war shall come to be the subject matter of investigation before the people of our nation, when its horizon is once more encircled by the bow of peace, the regular army shall find itself on the verge of destruction, hurled thither by the  by the whirlwind of public indignation; they can console themselves with reflection that during the war with Mexico, they aroused the storm, the peltings of which they are then encountering. This is no idle speculation. It is based upon realities that not only exist, but which pervade every volunteer force in this country. They are only restrained from giving vent to their indignation through the public prints, from one end the Union to the other, by the restrictions of the articles and regulations of war, that for the time being fetter them in an unrestrained expression of opinion.

Under instructions from Washington Gen. Patterson has been directed to fit out immediately an expedition that will march against Tampico. Although every exertion has been made on his part to leave at the earliest possible moment, he has encountered nothing but obstacles from those departments filled by regular officers, through which alone he can complete his arrangements and commence his march. The reason for this is obvious. According to the new Army Register, he is one of the classified gentlemen, whose military existence is only to last pending this war; and with the incubus hanging upon him, of being a volunteer, but little regard is to be paid to his wants, though striving to obey the orders of his government. His perseverance and determination will, however, yet overcome all difficulties thrown in his way, and his friends here say that in a few days he will be in motion. Brigadier General Pillow, it is supposed, will accompany the expedition, and General Marshall, of Kentucky, be left at Camargo in command of that post. The principal part of gen. Patterson's command will be composed of volunteers; but what regiments he designs taking, I have not been able to ascertain in this city. It may be that if it be true that the naval forces have taken Tampico, that the necessity of this expedition is at an end, although a force to guard the place and protect the depot that it is contemplated establishing there, will become indispensable.

       Intelligent Mexicans in this city, assert with great confidence, that after General Taylor retires from Monterey, and his forces are divided between this place and Saltillo, an effort will be made to repossess themselves of this hitherto impregnable position. They also express themselves that as sure as such effort is made, it will be crowned with success. It is needles to say, that no apprehensions are entertained upon that score by general Taylor; and if the Mexicans desire to see this ancient city laid waste, and its inhabitants driven off like chaff before the wind, to shelter and refuge in the caverns of the mountains that overhang and surround their city, let them take up arms against general Butler and his division, that will be left to protect and garrison this place. No flag of truce will avail them. Neither will armistice or capitulations be left them, behind which they can retire when over powered and conquered by our forces. The perversion given by them, of the motives that prompted general Taylor to listen to their proposition for an armistice and capitulation in September last, cuts off every hope of any repetition of it, in the event of a renewal of hostilities on the plains of Monterey. I question whether any thing short extermination, would satisfy our forces, if the Mexicans dare to venture an attack upon Monterey with a view of repossessing it.

       Captain Randolph Ridgely, of the 3d artillery, confessedly one of the most valuable officers in the army, and universally esteemed here by all who knew him, died a few days since from a fracture in the skull, caused by being thrown from his horse. He was one of the most finished horsemen in the army, which caused the more astonishment among his friends at the happening of the accident. He lingered three days, during which entire period he lay perfectly senseless, recognizing neither persons nor things. His remains were laid alongside those of his valiant comrades who fell on the 21st, 22d, and 23d of September. Around them all, a beautiful enclosure of faced stone has been reared, in the center of the front wall of which, a large square monument is being built.  A stone with appropriate inscriptions will adorn the monument, about midway of its height, the whole the work of those who participated in the battle that caused the death of the fallen, to whose memory the work is reared. The place where their remains rest, and where this work is done, is immediately fronting the headquarters of general Taylor, at the encampment four miles from the city. The health of the troops generally is excellent, most of the sickness being among the wounded.



NRR 71.266 December 26, 1846 letter from Brazos

Brazos Santiago, Texas Nov. 21, 1846

Ere this reaches you, you will doubtless, have heard of the taking of Tampico by our naval forces, without expending an ounce of powder. The reception of the news here has entirely changed the aspect of things; the depot of subsistence will be changed from this point to Tampico, so far as the main force under gen. Taylor is concerned. The steamer Sea, with a portion of the 2d artillery, was sent round from this place to Tampico on the 20th instant, with a view ascending the river as far as practicable, and to be ready to transport troops and subsistence to its head waters as fast as they can reach here. It is asserted, with much confidence, by those who profess to have knowledge of the navigation of the river, that boats can ascend it some two hundred miles above Tampico. Should this information prove to be correct, upon actual experiment, it will enable the government of the United States to make its provision depot within one hundred and fifty miles of San Luis Potosi. This would greatly accelerate the movements of gen. Taylor, and enable him to make an attack upon San Luis Potosi- now, the strong post of the Mexicans- at least a month earlier than he anticipated previous to that point being secured by our forces.

      The movements here have been attended with a great deal of expedition. This morning at 9 o’clock, the steamship Neptune was dispatched to Tampico with several companies  regulars under the command of Col Gates, 2d artillery; and others will be sent forward in a day or two. The whole number of regulars shipped from here to day on the steamers Sea and Neptune is seven hundred and fifty.

      The steamer Brownsville arrived at the mouth this morning, four days from Camargo, having left there on the 17th instant. By her I learn that Capt. McLean, the bearer of dispatches from Washington, reached Gen. Taylor in the night of the 11th inst. They were of such a nature as to change his previous plan of operations. The idea of making Saltillo his starting point has been abandoned, and the order directing gen. Worth to move on the 12th instant for Saltillo, countermanded. At present, everything will remain in statu quo at Monterey, until it has been positively ascertained how far up the river from Tampico a subsistence depot can be established. That determined upon, Gen. Taylor will march the main body of his forces directly to that point, and remain there until he takes up his march to move directly upon San Luis Potosi, and from thence he will have but one hundred and fifty miles to march his army, previous to paying his respects to Santa Anna. The Mexican force which he will have to meet and conquer, will not be less than thirty thousand. This assertion is based upon information, upon which you can place the most implicit reliance.

      The health of the volunteers from the mouth to Camargo, continues to be bad. From a careful estimate, made by several officers in command of different regiments, it has been satisfactorily ascertained that not less than fifteen hundred volunteers have made their graves upon the banks of the Rio Grande. Many place the number still greater than this, but Heaven knows the estimate of the officers is sufficiently appalling without increasing it. The dissatisfaction among them is very great at their being left in a wholly inactive condition; and this excitement is by no means diminished at their seeing company after company of regulars, and new recruits at that, sent forward to Monterey and Tampico, who have just landed from the United States, while they who have been buffeting the diseases of this climate for nearly four months, are left behind, to be victims of disease and death. If the United States call for more volunteers, those who respond to the call are fools, unless they stipulate, before leaving home, and bring orders to that effect from Washington, that they shall at once be put into active service.

      The steamer McKim, which came in on the 19th from New Orleans, brought the glorious and gratifying news of the great whig victory achieved in the Empire State. It has thrown the locos in this region into a perpetual shake of fear and ague, and they are astonished that the war is not more popular with the people of N. York. Some of them think it looks mightily like making old “Rough and Ready,” president, and they swear that it is too bad that the administration should get up this war with Mexico, expressly for the purpose of making capital for themselves and the whigs are about depriving them all the thunder of it. But enough of politics. The grimaces of my Polk friends have been so terrible since the arrival of the news, that their curses against the whigs are so ferocious, that I could not avoid indulging in a few reflections touching their wailings.

      There is now lying off here about: fifty sail of vessels, most of which are in the employ of the government, transporting subsistence and forage from New Orleans. Several vessels, loaded with government stores, have lately been wrecked, or come here with their cargoes in a damaged state. On Monday, the 23d instant, lieut. French, the acting commissary at this post, has a large sale of damaged stores. Among the items enumerated in his advertisement I notice two thousand three hundred barrels of flour, and eight hundred barrels of bread. There are a number of speculators here with a view of attending the sale, and from present appearances there will be little or no loss.

     The edict has already been issued against the admission of all liquors, or goods of any kind, into Tampico. Even settlers are prohibited from landing goods there, unless called for by the military commander of the post. In time, the notice of major Gardner is, that Tampico is under the most rigid system of martial law. These troops have been sent here without any orders whatever from Washington, or any of the commanding generals in Mexico. It is, as I understand it, the voluntary act of the officer in command at Point Isabel. This regiment was destined for gen. Taylor at Monterey, and their transportation to Tampico may meet with his approbation.

NRR 71.270 December 26, 1846  letter of Consul John Black to Secretary of State James Buchanan transmitting correspondence of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna


Consulate of the United States of America.
Mexico, April 26, 1846

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith, a printed plan, and copy of the communication of General Santa Anna, addressed to a friend in Mexico, dated 8th of March, to which is added a note under date of the 8th of April last, relating to the political regeneration of Mexico. This plan has been secretly circulated amongst the leaders of the federal party, and adopted by them; a revolution to put this plan into operation was to have commenced in Vera Cruz on the first of this month; but owing to some differences of opinion , which took place among the chiefs at the time, the thing failed to be carried into effect. Not withstanding, General Alvarez, who was in the plan, and who was to have acted simultaneously, in concert with the movement intended to have commenced at Vera Cruz, afterwards made a pronunciamento in the south of this department, for the deposition of the present government, and to place in its stead for the present, a triumvirate composed of Generals Santa Anna, Herrera, and Rincon, to occupy the seat of government until a free election could be made of a president by the people. If this pranunciamento, intended to have been commenced at Vera Cruz, has gone into effect, it would been followed by nearly all the departments; but this failing to take place, the departments have not involved in this affair; although a very great majority of the people are strongly opposed to the present order of things, and would be willing by any means in their power to lend their aid to destroy the present government, which they are satisfied are working for the establishment of a monarchy, and intend to call in foreign intervention to secure and maintain the same.

     It is the opinion of many of the liberals, that if the congress meet (which is to be the 1st of June) they will establish a monarchical form of government, and will call in foreign aid.  This act, they then think will have the semblance of legality; it is, therefore, their desire that this government, may be put down before the meeting of said congress, that no foreign power may have such pretext to intermeddle in their affairs.

      I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,


To the Hon. James Buchanan,
Secretary of State, at Washington.

NRR 71.270-271 December 26, 1846, plans of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

Translation of General Santa Anna’s plan.

      The inhabitants and the garrison of the town of , being impressed with the urgent necessity of sustaining the republic, in the serious peril to which it is now exposed, and considering –

      I.  That from the period when the constitution freely and spontaneously provided for the republic by itself, ceased to exist, those since formed have not been compatible with the wants and wishes of the majority of the nation.

      II.  That from this have arisen the continual agitations which have afflicted the country, until it has at length been torn in piece; and after its evils from without had been studiously aggravated, some spurious Mexicans have considered themselves authorized to endeavor to subject it to the most shameful vassalage, attempting to invite a foreign prince to govern it, with the title of monarch.

      III.  That in order to prepare the way for this, they have dared to deny the sovereignty of the people, by summoning a congress in which special care has been taken to bring together elements the most strange, but the best adapted for consummating the disgrace of the nation.

      IV.  That we cannot assent to the meeting of the said congress, without thereby giving a pretext for assuming the will of the nation, which is pretended to be represented, in favor of calling in European intervention, and thus supporting the parricide project of the administration now established in the capital of the republic.

      V.  That the establishment of a monarchy in the nation would involve not only the dissolution of our army, which the new monarch would not suffer to subsist, as he could confide in no other troops than those whom he should bring with him, but also the absolute subjection of the Mexicans, who would be excluded from all public employments, in order to give place to the courtiers or countrymen of the sovereign charged with governing us.

      VI.  That this would render illusory the benefits of the independence for which we sacrificed our blood and fortunes, in order to obtain the right to govern ourselves, with reference to our respective interests.

      VII.  That as these overwhelming evils cannot be averted unless we immediately establish our government in a manner more comfortable with the will of the majority of the nation, in order to give stability to the fundamental code, and, under its benign influence, to develope our great elements of power and wealth.

      We have resolved to proclaim, and do hereby proclaim, the following plan for the real regeneration of the republic.

      Article 1.  The people and garrison of the town of disavow the summons [to a congress] issued on the 27th of March last, by the so called president ad interim and his ministers, as being a direct attack upon the sovereignty of the nation, and issued with the evident object of making the nation appear to call for a monarchy, with a foreign prince to govern it.

      Art. 2.  Instead of the congress summoned by the said decree, another shall be assembled, composed of representatives chosen by the people, according to the electoral laws under which the congress of 1824 was chosen, which body shall be charged to provide a constitution for the republic, and to adopt for it a form of government, such as it may consider best, with the exclusion only of the monarchial form, which the nation detests, and to settle everything connected with the question of Texas, and the other frontier departments.

      Art. 3.  Within four months after the occupation of the capital of the republic by the liberating forces the congress mentioned in the preceding articles shall be assembled; to which end it shall be the duty of the general in chief to issue a decree of summons in the terms herein indicated and to take other measures for the conduct of the elections, with the utmost freedom possible.

      Art. 4.  The existence of the army is guarantied, giving to it all the attention which is due to the meritorious military class of a free people.

      Art. 5.  All persons shall be declared traitors to the nation who shall attempt to impede the assembling of the said congress, or to attack it by placing obstacles to the liberty of its members, by dissolving or suspending its sessions, or who shall endeavor to oppose the constitution which it may establish. [RLK]

NNR 71.272 December 26, 1846, Mexicans determined to defend their country


The French journal published at New York, professes to have information of the election tot he Mexican Congress, of a large portion if not of a majority of member who are in favor of concluding peace with the U.S.  How they have obtained such information, even if true is a mystery.  Certain it is, nothing that we have from Mexico looks of that case.  On the contrary, everything indicates a determined spirit to defend their country.  Even Yucatan, the last to join in the fray, on their legislature recently assembling, promptly ratified their re-annexation to Mexico. [RLK]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 formidable Mexican force assembled at San Luis

The Mexican represent the army at San Luis at 25,000 strong, with 52 pieces of Artillery-24 pounders; 5000 additional troops expected daily. "The magazines of powder and the stores of balls and other missiles are said to exceed belief. Every piece of iron that can be found is converted into pikes or other deadly weapons. In one storehouse alone there are two hundred mechanics working day and night, mounting guns and manufacturing munitions of war. There are five hundred more at work on their fortifications, which are being strengthened in every possible manner. One thousand women, filled with enthusiasm in the national cause, had come down to the camp from San Diego and Tlascala, to aid in making articles for the soldiers, and working on the fortifications. In one store there has been sold 16,000 daggers, bought by the country people, both men and women-in every direction we see them making lances, sharpening swords, and fixing firearms, and other warlike arrangements." [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 Gen. Antonia Lopez de Santa Anna at a grand review of the troops

Santa Anna had a grand review of the whole army on the 13th November. It is described as a magnificent pageant. So overpowered was he by the boundless enthusiasm which greeted him as he passed along the lines that his feelings overcame him, and tears rolled down his swarthy cheeks, amid the prolonged hussas of the various regiments, and cries of "Victory or Death!" "God and Liberty!" "Long live Santa Anna!" "We will beat the Yankees this time!" &c. &c. Provisions were pouring into the camp in immense quantities. Language is said to fail in attempting a description of the formidable preparations making at San Luis. There was to be the last great struggle. There, say the newspapers, will the fate of Mexico be decided. Fears were entertained, however, that even there the fortunes of war would be against them, and accordingly, preparations are going on to defend the road to the capital. Forts were being erected at various points, and passes were being strengthened very rapidly. One large fort is building at Tlascala, another at Santiago. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 Defense of the Mexican withdrawal from Tampico

Santa Anna's evacuation of Tampico is defended on the ground of his inability to resist the vessels of war; and that port being one in which the yellow fever rages fiercely eight months in the year, the editors predict that it will become a grave for thousands of Americans, as it was for the invading Spaniards. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 accounts of the burning of the Mexican vessel Creole at San Juan de Ulloa

The burning of the American steamer at Tampico, the wreck of so many United States vessels on the coast, and the loss of prizes taken at Tobasco, are matters which the Mexican editors record with joyous exclamations. Various accounts are given of the Mexican vessel of war Creole, under the walls of San Juan d'Ulloa. The battlement of San Miguel saw the United States boat approach the fort, but mistook it for a boat from the British steamer, and made no alarm. Others allege that an alarm was given, but the officers of the fort would not fire for fear of killing their own people. Other versions are given of the affair. The fort begins to be an object of suspicion among the Vera Cruzanos, who seems to think it less formidable to the Americans than they did formerly.

On the 21st November, a brig and merchant packet, part of the prizes captured at Tabasco, were wrecked near Alvarado, and of nine Americans on board five were drowned and four were saved.

But no further accounts of the capture and massacre of the 150 Americans at the City of Angels; dates from the Pacific are to the 11th. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 December 26, 1846, prizes taken at Tabasco are wrecked

On the 21st November, a brig and merchant packet, part of the prizes captured at Tabasco, were wrecked near Alvarado, and of nine American on board five were drowned and four saved. [RLK]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 Cyane blockading Guaymas

The United States sloop of war Cyane, was blockading the port of Guaymas. Mazatlan is said to be so loosely blockaded that vessels entered or departed with impunity. [AKS, RLK]

The United States ships Colombia, and Vincennes had not arrived at Monterey, as late as the 20th of September. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 American Traders arrested at Chihuahua

Accounts from Chihuahua to the 20th of October, confirm the arrest of the American Traders, six in all, whose property was confiscated. James McGriffin, Henry Connelly and Mr. Francisco were the principle victims, and lose large fortunes. Mr. Connelly had been an old resident. Several caravans of Mexican traders came down about the same time from New Mexico, who reported General Kearny's departure for California, and Colonel Doniphan's movement upon Chihuahua. Five hundred men were equipped to resist the latter at El Passo del Norte, where there is a fort which they were to occupy.

LATER. By the steamer McKim, which reached New Orleans on the 20th, we have dates two days later from Monterey. Gen. Hamer, of Ohio, died there on the 3rd inst. , of inflammation on the bowels. Gen. Taylor had imprisoned the Alcalde of Monterey, for furnishing deserters with horses. Colonel Harney reached Monterey on the 24th ult. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 Gen. John Ellis Wool occupies Parras, Gen. William Jenkins Worth at Saltillo

Gen. Wool was at Paris, 100 miles north of Chihuahua, with 1,000 men. Gen. Worth was at Saltillo, and will shortly have under his command 2,000. Col. Riley was at Monte Morales with about 1,000 men. Gen. Pillow was to move to Victoria on the 14th. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 Mexican destruction of water tanks between Saltillo and San Luis Potosi

Santa Anna had sent out a detachment of 2,000 men to destroy the water tanks between Saltillo and San Luis Potosi. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 Gens. Zachary Taylor and Gideon Johnson Pillow march for Victoria

Gen. Taylor was to move, in column, on the 8th, 9th, and 10thinst., for Victoria, with about 1,500 men. Victoria is equidistant from Monterey and Tampico, and it was supposed that General Taylor would make that place his headquarters. No further demonstration would be made towards San Luis Potosi until further orders from our government. [AKS]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 volunteers embark from Rio Grande for Tampico

The steamship Virginia left the Brazos for Tampico on Tuesday, 15th inst. , with Lieut. Col. Clarke and six companies of the Alabama regiment, numbering nearly 400 men, rank and file. The steamer Cincinnati and U. S. propeller James Cage, left on the 16th with Gen. Sheilds and staff. Mr. Lumsden of the Picayune, and Capt. Shelly's company of Alabama volunteers-all bound for Tampico. [AKS]

NRR 71.272 December 26, 1846, Gen. Winfield Scott arrives in New Orleans on his way to the seat of the war

   Gen. Scott, accompanied by Major Smith, Capt. Monroe, and Lieuts. Scott and Williams, arrived at New Orleans on the 19th inst. In the ship Union, from New York, all in fine health and spirits, and would leave in a few days for the seat of war. [RLK]

NRR 71.272 December 26, 1846, military appointments, &c.


       Hugh O’Donnell, of Ohio, to be assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain, Oct. 7, 1846, to fill a vacancy.

       Geo. V. Hebb, of Tennessee, to be assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain, Oct. 13, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       Ralph G. Norvell, of Indiana, to be assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain, December 2, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       Geo. M. Lanman, of Penn., to be assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain.


       Frederick A. Churchill, of Ohio, to be commissary, with the rank of major, Nov. 24, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       McDonough J. Bunch, of Tenn., to be assistant commissary, with the rank of captain, Aug. 18, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       Geo. T. Howard, of Texas, to be assistant commissary, with the rank of captain, Aug. 27, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       Francis M. Diamond, of Rhode Island, to be assistant commissary, with the rank of captain, Oct. 26, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       Isaac R. Diller, of Penn., to be assistant commissary, with the rank of captain.


       Alexander Perry, of N. York, to be surgeon , Aug. 21, 1846.
       David McKnight, of Tenn., to be surgeon, Sept. 10, 1846.
       Wm. R. Washington, of Tenn., to be surgeon, Oct. 29, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       John C. Reynolds, of Penn., to be surgeon.
       Geo. B. Sanderson, of Mo., to be assistant surgeon, Aug. 20, 1846.
       Wm. C. Parker, of N. York, to be assistant surgeon, Sept. 2, 1846, to fill a vacancy.
       Enoch P. Hale, of Tenn., to be assistant surgeon, Sept. 10, 1846.
       Thomas C. Bunting, of Penn., to be assistant surgeon.

  Lambert Reardon, to be deputy postmaster at Little Rock, in the State of Arkansas, in the place of Wm. E. Woodruff, resigned.

  The Cincinnati Atlas says: - Col. F.A. Churchill, of Cincinnati, has been appointed commissary in the U.S. Army, in place of Maj. Wm. F. Johnson, resigned.  The appointment entitles him to the rank and pay of major.  He has orders to report himself to Gen. Taylor, at Monterey. [RLK]

NRR 71.272 December 26, 1846, Mexicans at El Paso del Norte

      Accounts from Chihuahua to the 20th of October, confirm the arrest of the American traders, six in all, whose property was confiscated.  James McGeffin, Henry Connelly, and Mr. Francisco were the principal victims, and lose large fortunes.  Mr. Connelly had been an old resident.  Several caravans of Mexican traders came down about the same time from New Mexico, who reported General Kearny’s departure for California, and Colonel Doniphan’s movement upon Chihuahua.  Five hundred men were equipped to resist the latter at El Passo del Norte, where there is a fort which they were to occupy. [RLK]

NNR 71.272 December 26, 1846, Mexican levy on the church and clergy to finance the war, shipments of specie to Europe

The Church and Clergy of “both sexes,” have been levied upon to support the war to the amount of two millions of dollars, of which the Archbishop contributes one million, the bishop of Oajaca $100,000, Guadalaxara $200,000 &c.  This measure was very popular with the army.

      Specie is being shipped for Europe in large amounts.  The British Steamer Clyde alone, took $1,600,000 from Vera Cruz for England, on the 2d Nov. [RLK]

NNR 71.272 12/26/1846 steamer Gopher breaks her chains and is lost in heavy winds, other ships sunk in gale

The U. S. steamer Gopher broke her hog chains, and steam connections in crossing the bar on Sunday, the 13th. She was, however, enabled to get outside and come to anchor in five fathoms of water, but the wind blowing strong from the southeast and a heavy sea running, she was literally smashed to pieces, and sunk at her anchors. The U. S. steamers De Rossett and John R. Thompson were despatched to her assistance, and but barely succeeded in saving some fifty lives before she went down. The pilot boat Ariel was lost the same day, a large sea splitting open her wood ends. Cargo and crew saved-several vessels were blown to sea in a gale on the 7th losing anchors and cables. The barque Wm. Ivy, returned on the 13th with a loss of 50 mules. The McKim was nine days outside the bar before communication could be had to discharge her. [AKS]

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