The Mexican-American War and the Media, 1845-1848

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Vol. 71, January-February 1847

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 71.273 withdrawal of the British offer of mediation because of American indisposition to accept

NNR 71.273 rumors about Gen. Zachary Taylor's movement from Monterey to Victoria

NNR 71.273 arrest of the son of the Alcalde of Monterey for inducing American soldiers to desert

NNR 71.273 Kentuckians' guerrilla war with Mexicans at Monterey

NNR 71.273 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna reinforced by Gen. Gabriel Valencia

NNR 71.273 notice of disastrous incident in the Gulf Squadron

NNR 71.273 loss of the US brig Somers

NNR 71.273 Gen. Winfield Scott embarks at New Orleans for Tampico via Brazos

NNR 71.273 apprehensions at Tampico about Mexican cavalry

NNR 71.273 Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow marches from Matamoros for Victoria

NNR 71.273 correspondence between Gen. Zachary Taylor and Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the latter asserts that Congress nor any Mexican will ever listen to overtures of peace until hostile forces are withdrawn

NNR 71.273-71.274 the tale of Sgt. Patrick Kelly

NNR 71.279 adjutant general's report of condition, numbers, and distribution in campaign of the US Army

NNR 71.288 Somers, brig of war, wrecked in storm

NNR 71.288 reconnoitering party from the Somers captured by Mexicans

NNR 71.289 editorial review of the campaign

NNR 71.289-71.290 rumor about the recall of Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny from California to join Gen. Zachary Taylor

NNR 71.290 letters describing state of the Army at Santa Fe

NNR 71.290 reports from the Army of the Center

NNR 71.290 Gen. Zachary Taylor's visit to Saltillo, &c.

NNR 71.290-71.291 further details of the guerrilla war at Monterey between Kentucky volunteers and Mexicans

NNR 71.291 a Marylander, H. P. Lyons, from San Luis Potosi, his report of affairs there, letter from Monterey, position of the several divisions and corps of the Army, Mexican government recruiting in the valley of the Rio Grande, Tampico startled, letter from Saltillo

NNR 71.292 description of Saltillo, items, Tampico, item

NNR 71.304 difficulty in sending supplies ahead from Fort Bent, assaults by Indians

NNR 71.304 news of the captured Santa Fe traders

NNR 71.304 Maj. Gilpin to move against Indians
71.304 Col. Alexander William Doniphan to move forward against Chihuahua

NNR 71.304 complaints about the usage of the sappers and miners

NNR 71.305 US Army general order No. 2 on recruitment

NNR 71.305 US Army enlistments during the year

NNR 71.305 Texas indignation that Santa Fe and surrounding area are treated as conquered territory rather than part of Texas

NNR 71.305-71.306 contract for Samuel Colt's revolving pistols

NNR 71.306 Laguna taken

NNR 71.306 reports that Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was about to attack Gen. William Jenkins Worth at Saltillo, instant concentration of the several divisions of our Army in that direction

NNR 71.307 further intelligence, the valley of the Rio Grande in great ferment, anxiety for the safety of Gen. John Ellis Wool's as well as Gen. William Jenkins Worth's division, troops that were moving towards Victoria return to sustain Worth

NNR 71.307 Gen. Winfield Scott reaches Brazos and proceeds to Camargo

71.307 proceedings against Alcalde of Monterey

NNR 71.307 speculations as to Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's operations

NNR 71.307 Gen. William Gates at Tampico

NNR 71.307 another revolutionary movement in Campeche

NNR 71.307 Mexican Congress assembles, their proceedings, &c.

NNR 71.307 letter from Veracruz

NNR 71.307 suspicion that Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna aspires to dictatorship

NNR 71.307-71.308 election of a mayor (or alcalde) at Monterey

NNR 71.308 printers among the volunteers in Mexico, appearance of American newspapers

NNR 71.308 the ten additional regiments of volunteers nearly completed

NNR 71.308 first Pennsylvania regiment embarked for New Orleans, second regiment assembling

NNR 71.308 New York troops about to depart for Mexico

NNR 71.308 mustering of Massachusetts volunteers for the war with Mexico

NNR 71.308 difficulty in raising a regiment of volunteers in Virginia

NNR 71.308 comment on the employment of the Maine volunteers in the war against Mexico

NNR 71.308 progress of the Palmetto Regiment toward Mexico

NNR 71.308 Mississippi volunteer regiment for Mexican service nearly full

NNR 71.308 preparations for arming and equipping the North Carolina volunteer regiment

NNR 71.308 election of officers of the Louisiana volunteers

NNR 71.308 desecration of the graves of Capt. Gillespie and young Thomas

NNR 71.308 marriage of a Massachusetts volunteer, sermon to the troops

NNR 71.308 deaths of volunteers at Matamoros

NNR 71.308 departure of South Carolina volunteers for Mexico, notice about an additional corps

NNR 71.308-71.309 message of Gov. William Owsley of Kentucky on the raising of volunteers

NNR 71.309 sketch of the Mexican cities on the route from Veracruz to the city of Mexico

71.309 Gen. John Ellis Wool's encampment at Parras

NNR 71.320 letter from Gen. Winfield Scott on his plans

NNR 71.320 report of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna advancing on Saltillo unfounded

NNR 71.320 affair at Los Angeles

NNR 71.320 particulars of the maneuvering

NNR 71.320 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna elected provisional president of Mexico

NNR 71.320 defenders of Chihuahua

NNR 71.320 item from Santa Fe

NNR 71.320 Santa Fe traders reported progressing but US supply trains impeded by snow and want of funds

71.320 Gen. William Jenkins Worth en route for Camargo

NNR 71.320 Gen. Zachary Taylor resumes his march to Victoria
71.320 Gen. Zachary Taylor's general orders directing movement of the Army from Monterey to Victoria

NNR 71.321 extracts from official account of the recent movements and present direction of the divisions
NNR 71.321-71.322 Gen. Robert Patterson's march on Victoria

NNR 71.321 rumors at Washington

NNR 71.321-71.322 Isaac D. Marks' letter to Gen. Zachary Taylor

NNR 71.322 letter of Isaac D. Marks to Secretary of State James Buchanan

NNR 71.322 Mrs. Anna Chase's letter from Tampico

NNR 71.323 announcement of the "new plan of operations" for the campaign about to be commenced by Gen. Winfield Scott, M. Gomez suspected of abstracting it

NNR 71.323 Col. Joseph G. Totten sent to Mexico

NNR 71.333 subscription by Maine state treasurer to loan for war with Mexico

NNR 71.336 comments on aspirants to the presidency, the question of a lieutenant general, and the war with Mexico

NNR 71.336 naval preparations for bomb vessels

NNR 71.336 progress of the California expedition in Brazil

NNR 71.336 reported move in favor of peace

NNR 71.339 Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow's general order relative to sutlers refusing treasury drafts ("hard money")

NNR 71.342 Gen. Zachary Taylor's confidential letter to a friend

NNR 71.352 letter from Camargo to a member of Congress
NNR 71.352 movement of troops, &c.

NNR 71.354 constitutionality of the volunteer act in question

NNR 71.354 regulation of 1825 respecting officers writing letters revived

NNR 71.354 judicial decision that a minor cannot be held under the volunteer act

NNR 71.355 thefts by the Osages because of withdrawal of troops

NNR 71.359 march from Monterey to Victoria

NNR 71.359 loss of Capt. Charles Augustus May's rear guard

NNR 71.359 Mexican view of the war

NNR 71.360 rumor of a Mexican offer for peace

NNR 71.360 items from the Army

NNR 71.360 California items

NNR 71.368 brief review of affairs

NNR 71.368 Mexican privateers

71.368 Gen. John Ellis Wool encamped at a strong pass south of Saltillo

NNR 71.368 more territory seized on the Pacific coast

NNR 71.369 Gen. Winfield Scott in command and yet at Brazos
NNR 71.369 Gen. William Jenkins Worth's division arrives at Brazos from Saltillo en route for Tampico
NNR 71.369 hospitality of Mexican ladies at Parras
71.369 Mexican force said to be posted at San Rosalia under late governor of Chihuahua

NNR 71.369 Gen. Zachary Taylor taking post at Monterey, his forces

NNR 71.369 marauding Mexicans along the line of occupation

NNR 71.369 stormy proceedings in Mexican Congress on raising funds from property of the church
71.369 report that Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was shot
71.369 Mexican clergy refuse to pay the tax levied on church property

NNR 71.370 Maryland resolutions of regret over deaths in "the Maryland line"

NNR 71.385 pressure on shipping and cost of freights because of the war in Mexico and demand for breadstuffs in Europe

NNR 71.395 official papers and letters relative to surrender of Monterey

NNR 71.400 money freely voted by Congress

NNR 71.400 contending proposals for conduct of the war, contentions over slavery in acquired territory, difficulty of ratifying any treaty whatever, ought the people know what is the object of the war? and if a peace is concluded which the Mexican people and their Army disapprove, those that conclude it would be ousted and war renewed

NNR 71.401 war assuming a horrid guerrilla aspect

NNR 71.401 Gens. Winfield Scott and William Jenkins Worth about to embark at Brazos

NNR 71.401 sentence of Col. William Selby Harney

NNR 71.401 Lt. Miller mutilated

NNR 71.401 fate of Lt. Ritchie

NNR 71.401 Majs. Solon Borland and John Pollard Gaines and Capt. Cassius Marcellus Clay surprised and taken prisoners

NNR 71.401 battle at El Paso

NNR 71.401 loss of the transport ship Ondiaka and incidents connected therewith

NNR 71.402 garrison at Pensacola sails for Sacrificios

NNR 71.402 particulars of the capture of Laguna

NNR 71.273 January 2, 1847, Withdrawal of the British offer of mediation because of American indisposition to accept

Accounts from Mexico state, that the British government have withdrawn their offer to mediate for peace between that government and the government of the United States, in consequence of the government of the latter expressing an indisposition to such interference. [RLK]

71.273 January 2, 1847, Rumors about Gen. Zachary Taylor's movement from Monterey to Victoria

From the army of occupation our latest dates are to the 2d Dec. Gen. Taylor is represented in some of the letters as preparing to march from Monterey with his division, in the direction of Victoria, and the opinion expressed that he would quit Monterey by the 10th or 12th of Dec.  Other letters say that he will wait for more explicit orders or authority from Washington before undertaking to move. [RLK]

71.273 January 2, 1847, Arrest of the son of the Alcalde of Monterey for inducing American soldiers to desert

Desertions from the American Army. A correspondent of the New Orleans Tropic, writing from Monterey on the 27th ultimo, says: "This morning three Mexicans were arrested on a charge of trying to induce some of our men to desert. One of them is the son of the Alcalde, and I think it will go hard with them. Gen. Taylor was in town, and told them that unless some three or four men, who had been seduced off, were brought back in a given time, he would hang them in the Plaza. This business induced me to make inquiry as to the number of men who had deserted from our ranks, and was told that not less than fifty had gone over to the enemy since the capitulation of Monterey; but I am proud to state that none of them were native born Americans." [RLK]

NNR47January v71.273, January 2, 1847 Kentuckians' guerrilla war with Mexicans at Monterey

Guerrilla war commenced.  A correspondent of the N. Orleans Delta, writes from Monterey, Dec 1, 1846.  “The war between the Kentuckeyians and Mexicans, as it is fairly termed, has created no little excitement both in town and in camp.  It is thought that not less than forty Mexicans have been killed within the last five days, fifteen of whom, it is said, were killed in one day, and within the scope of one mile.  From this you will see that the boys are determined to have and to take revenge for the assassination of their comrades.” [WWF, RLK]

The trial of the Alcalde’s son and the others accused of tampering with the soldiers to desert was to commence on the 2nd.  It is stated that a thousand including many of the first families in Monterey had precipitately left the city since his arrest.
Accounts from Mexico represented Santa Anna as having 20 to 25,000 men, of which 10,000 are cavalry, and 52 pieces of field artillery, at San Luis Potosi.  Since then we have accounts of his having been joined by General Valencia, at the head of 800 men, raised principally from among the hardy miners of the district of Guanajuato.  Valencia is considered one of the best Generals in Mexico and has been appointed second in command by Santa Anna.

[Private letters have been received from Santa Anna, and from Almonte, in New York, - so says the French Journal published in that city, which state that these officers express great confidence in being able to defend the country and determination to do so.
From our Guilt squadron, we have another and yet the most disastrous incident of the war of which an account will be found under the naval head.  Since placing that account in type, the official account of the loss of the Somers has reached us and will be inserted in our next.  This affair illustrates at once the daring intrepidity of our officers and men, and the dangers of the coast upon which they are serving.  [WFF]

71.273 January 2, 1847, Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna reinforced by Gen. Gabriel Valencia

Accounts from Mexico represented Santa Anna as having 20 to 25,000 men, of which 10,000 are cavalry, and fifty-two pieces of field artillery, at San Luis Potosi.  Since then we have accounts of his having been joined by General Valencia, at the head of 800 men, raised principally from among the hardy miners of the district of Guanajuanto.  Valencia is considered one of the best Generals in Mexico and has been appointed second in command by Santa Anna. [RLK]

71.273 1/2/1847 notice of disastrous incident in the Gulf Squadron

From our Gulf squadron, we have another and yet the most disastrous incident of the war of which an account will be found under the naval head. Since placing that account in type, the official account of the loss of the Somers has reached us, and will be inserted in our next. This affair illustrates at once the daring intrepidity of our officers and men, and the dangers of the coast upon which they are serving. [AKS]

71.273 January 2, 1847, Loss of the US brig Somers

Since placing that account in type, the official account of the loss of the Somers has reached us, and will be inserted in our next.  This affair illustrates at once the daring intrepidity of our officers and men, and the dangers of the coast upon which they are serving. [RLK]

71.273 January 2, 1847, Gen. Winfield Scott embarks at New Orleans for Tampico via Brazos

LATEST - Major General SCOTT, commander in chief of the U.S. Army, and staff, embarked on board the steamer Alabama on the 23rd December for Brazos Santiago and thence for Tampico. [RLK]

71.273 January 2, 1847, Apprehensions at Tampico about Mexican cavalry

Quite an excitement had occurred at Tampico, in consequence of a flying report that that a laege body of Mexican cavalry, had arrived at Tampico from Vera Cruz, where she had left her commander sick. [RLK]

71.273 January 2, 1847, Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow marches from Matamoros for Victoria

General Pillow left Matamoros on the 14th.  He was to proceed 25 miles and then wait for Gen. Paterson with the rest of his division and train. [RLK]

71.273 January 2, 1847, correspondence between Gen. Zachary Taylor and Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the latter asserts that Congress nor any Mexican will ever listen to overtures of peace until hostile forces are withdrawn

Another correspondent has taken place between General Taylor and Santa Anna, - in the course of which the latter holds the following language:

"I believe that I do not deceive myself in assuring you, that neither congress, nor any Mexican, will ever be able to listen to overtures of peace unless the national territory be first evacuated by the forces of the United States, and the hostile attitude of their vessels of war be withdrawn.  This must be without doubt the preliminary of whatever negotiation may be opened; and it may be permitted to me to declare to you, that the nation, moved by a sentiment of patriotism, and determined to defend at every hazard and inch by inch its territory, will never cease to qualify as it deserves, and as the world has already qualified it the conduct of the United States; and it will do whatever it can and ought honorably to deserve the title which it bears, of an independent and free nation." [RLK]

71.273 - 71.274 1/2/1847 The tale of Sgt. Patrick Kelly


No one in the long procession that followed the remains of the lamented Ringgold to the quiet Cemetery where they now repose, was more deeply affected on the occasion, or was as object of more general interest and sympathy, than the wounded teamster, who led the representative for the occasion, of the gallant major's war horse. Alas! The remains of the real steed lay moldering on the battle field. Pierced by the same ball that felled his rider. He breathed no more - and never again responded to the trumpet charge.

Poor Kelly! He is now a cripple for life. Upon the field of Palo Alto he left his good right arm. For twenty years he had been in the United States service, no man more faithful to his trust. On the day before the battle of Palo Alto, the term of his last enlistment expired. He received an honorable discharge and was about to return to the U. States. For eight years he had been sergeant in Major Ringgold's Flying Artillery, and having charge of the teams, was invaluable to him. If a man ever loved his officer, Kelly was that man. He had watched every stage of the major's promotion with all the enthusiasm of a generous heart, and was ever at his side when danger threatened. There was at the moment a prospect of an approaching conflict. The morning of the 8 th of May had but dawned, when, beside the tent of Major Ringgold stood Sergeant Kelly.

The major made his appearance. The sergeant touched his cap in military style, and said - "You'll have a fight today, Major."

"I think we shall, Kelly, and I don't see how I am to do without my old teamster in such an occasion."

"Can Sergeant Kelly be of any service? If he can you shall not be without him."

"You are familiar with duties that may be important. I can depend on you Kelly."

"Can Sergeant Kelly volunteer?"

"You can, and shall have your accustomed station."

Kelly was in his saddle in a moment, and again touching his cap for orders, with a heart glowing with renewed affection for his commander.

The tents were struck. The lines advances. They encounter the foe. As they opened their fire from the chaparral, Kelly, in the act of stooping down with the right hand extended forward, received a ball which shattered the arm to pieces. Slowly raising his body, and grasping his right arm with his left, e quietly went off in search of the surgeon general of the army. His arm was amputated. Whilst lying in the rude temporary hospital he learned that his commander was soon after far more dangerously wounded than himself. After being removed to Point Isabel, Kelly was compelled to submit to a second amputation. He there learned the death of the major.

When the Baltimore committee reached Point Isabel, Kelly applied for permission to accompany the remains of his deceased friend and beloved commander to their last resting place. The request was granted, although he had scarcely sufficiently recovered to endure such a movement. On reaching New Orleans, where the facts were familiarly known, as well as that having been discharged from the service, Kelly would not be entitled by law to a pension, a handsome subscription was immediately raised for him. On reaching Mobile, Ala. , the sum of $250 were tendered him. At Charleston, S. C. , $307 were raised and sent to Baltimore for him.

At every stage, Sergeant Kelly, the rough and stern soldier, the volunteer of the day, with his war cloak close around him, was the chief mourner nearest the coffin that concealed the relics. No smile has been seen to brighten his countenance. His countrymen have promptly pensioned him for life. He asks not where is his own right arm, but, where is his beloved commander? [AKS]

71.279-280 January 2, 1847, adjutant general’s report of condition, numbers, and distribution in campaign of the US Army


Adjutant General’s Office,
Washington, December 5, 1846

SIR: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor herewith to submit the following statements and returns of the army:

1.  Tabular view of organization, marked A.
2.  General return of the regular army, B.
3.  Position and distribution of the troops in the eastern division, C.
4.  Position and distribution of the troops in the western division, D.
5.  A tabular statement of the whole number of recruits enlisted from October 1, 1845, to September 30, 1846, E.

The authorized regular force (officers and men) is 16,998, and is constituted as follows:

Designation of corps Commissioned Officers  Non-commissioned Offic’s and troops of the line
  Aggregate: Officers musicians, artificers, &privates
General Officers
General Staff  
Medical department  
Pay department 
Officers of the corps of engineers
Officers of the corps of topographical eng’rs.  
Officers of the ordnance department  
Military storekeepers  

Two regiments of dragoons  
One regiment of mounted riflemen  
Four reg’ts of artillery  
Eight reg’ts of infantry  

Aggregate troops of the line  

One company of engineer soldiers, (sappers, miners, and pontoniers)  
Ordnance sergeants  

Aggregate of the authorized reg’r force  

The actual force in service, commissioned officers and men, is 10,381 – leaving a deficiency of 6,958 to be recruited. 

The mechanics and laborers belonging to the ordnance department, not being restricted in number by law, are not included in the foregoing exhibit.  The number now in service is 309.

General and staff officers of the volunteer forces in the service of the United States

General officers  8
Quartermaster’s department, (7 majors, 26 captains)  33
Commissary’s department, (7 majors, 22 captains)  29
Medical department, (22 surgeons, 24 assistant surgeons)  46
Additional paymasters, (under the 25 section, act of July 5, 1838)  17
Total general and staff officers provided for the volunteer troops in commission at this time  33

                      The army in campaign.

The army in Mexico has been augmented during the year by recruits and detachments of regular troops drawn from various points, and by numerous regiments of twelve month volunteers.

The land forces employed in prosecuting the war may be estimated as follows:


In the field, officers and men, including general staff  
Troops at sea, and under orders to join the army  
Recruits en route for the seat of war  
Aggregate regulars in campaign
In the field
At sea, for California
Aggregate volunteers in campaign
The regular force on active field service is
composed of the following regiments:

1st dragoons, 8 companies
2d dragoons, 10 companies
1st artillery, 8 companies
2d artillery, 9 companies
3d artillery, 8 companies
4th artillery, 8 companies
1st infantry, 4 companies
2d infantry, 9 companies
3d infantry, 6 companies
4th infantry, 6 companies
5th infantry, 6 companies
6th infantry, 4 companies
7th infantry, 6 companies
8th infantry, 6 companies
Rifle reg’t, 9 companies
Company of engineer soldiers
Recruits en route

The volunteers employed in the war consist of twenty-seven regiments and two companies, of which five regiments are cavalry or mounted men and twenty-two infantry, except a part of one battalion, of which two of the companies are field artillery.

On the 21st of September, it appears by the statement then submitted by the secretary of war that the volunteer force in the field (twelve months men) amounted to 23,161 officers and men, exclusive of the general officers and staff provided for the irregular troops.  This force, it is seen, does not now exceed 16,500, if the data upon which the strength of the army is based be tolerably correct.

                                 Distribution of the army in campaign

Army under command or order of Major General Taylor –

Regular troops                                                         5,663
           En route to Mexico                                                    981
           Recruits en route                                                        762
           Regulars                                                                  7,406
           Volunteers                                                              10,926

Aggregate                                                               18,332

Under Brigadier General Wool, charged with the conduct of a separate division –

Regular troops                                                           621
           Volunteers                                                              2,039

Aggregate                                                               2,660

Under Brig. General Kearney, charged with the conduct of a separate division in

New Mexico and California –

Regular troops                                                           446
           Volunteers                                                              3,546
           Aggregate                                                               3,992

Aggregate force employed in the field                           24,984

Of this force (24,984) 8,473 are of the regular army and 16,511 volunteers.

The achievements of every division and battalion in the field have nobly sustained the character of the regular army.  In the day of battle the efficiency and skill displayed only equaled the expectations of those best acquainted with its high state of discipline, &c.  The victories won and the graves of the fallen attest the ability and valor of the veterans of other wars, as well as of younger officers – eleves of the National Academy, and others.

The volunteer troops won unfading laurels in the sanguinary battle of Monterey.  Their gallantry was conspicuous wherever duty called.  Many fell in the action.

The destination of a part of the troops reported “en route to Mexico” for the army under Major General Taylor has been suddenly changed; and it is also probably that detachments have been drawn from the lower Grande for Tampico, which reduces the force reported under the immediate order that general.  But the additional volunteer force recently called into the service will soon be pushed forward in the direction of the Rio Grande.

Of the force reported as under the orders of Brigadier General Kearney, one company of the third regiment of artillery embarked at New York for Monterey, California, July 14th, and the New York regiment of volunteers for the same destination embarked 25th September.  The brigadier reported, October 16th, that he was en route for that country from Santa Fe, with two companies of the first regiment of dragoons, deeming that force (with the several officers of the staff who accompany him) adequate for the service in view.

Distribution of troops in the eastern and western divisions.

           The forts on the sea coast and the posts on the western frontiers have nearly all been evacuated, and the garrisons of the few now occupied been greatly diminished since the war with Mexico.

New York harbor – Fort Columbus one company second regiment artilley
Chesapeake bay – Fort Monroe one company fourth regiment artillery  
Charleston harbor, S.C. – Fort Moultrie one company third regiment artillery
Gulf of Mexico – Fort Pickens, Pensacola harbor, Florida one company 1st artillery

four companies of artillery
Fort Mackinac, Michigan – one company second regiment Infantry (detached at Fort Brady)
Fort Snelling, Upper Mississippi, Iowa two companies first regiment infantry
Fort Scott, Missouri frontier, (on the Marimitou) one company 1st regiment infantry
Cherokee country – Fort Gibson one company first regiment dragoons

one company sixth regiment infantry

Fort Smith, Arkansas one company first regiment dragoons
Fort Washita, Arkansas one company sixth Regiment infantry
  two companies dragoons and six companies infantry


In addition to the twenty-seven regiments and two companies of volunteers reported in the field, seven other companies are now in the service of the United States, and stationed as follows:

Iowa – one company foot, Fort Atkinson  - 74
Wisconsin – one company foot, Fort Crawford - 67
Arkansas battalion, (two companies horse and three companies foot) -  381
(Three companies at Fort Gibson, Cherokee country                                                 
  one company at Fort Smith, Arkansas
  one company at Fort Wayne, Arkansas)

Aggregate            522

                                            The recruiting service.

The recruiting service has been pushed with vigor.  Several companies, much reduced, have been temporarily broken up, rendering available more officers for this essential service than otherwise could have been withdrawn from active duty in the field.

The whole number of men enlisted from the 1st of October, 1845, to the 30th September, 1846, is 5,945, being an excess of 2,388 over the previous year.  The number enlisted in December, may be put down at 1,500.

The raising of numerous regiments of volunteers and the greater inducements to enter for short periods, satisfactorily accounts for the want of better success in recruiting for the regular army.  High wages for labor is another cause reported as having a decided influence upon the recruiting service; but more than all, perhaps, the distinction seen in the pension laws between the private soldier of the regular army and the volunteer, and which operates so unfavorable to the former.  The widows and orphans of the volunteers who may be killed in battle, or die of wounds received in the service, are pensioned; while the widows and orphans of the regular soldiers who die under the same circumstances are entirely unprovided for by law.

The rank and file of the army, (enlisted men of artillery, infantry, dragoons, and riflemen) including detachments, recruits, and recruiting parties, may be computed to be about ten thousand men by the 31st December.

The objections heretofore urged to the bounty-in-hand system deemed to be valid in time of peace, are not applicable to a state of war.  I recommend, therefore, that the provisions of the 12th section of the act entitled “An act fixing the military peace establishment,” &c. approved March 16, 1802 (repealed in 1833*) be now re-enacted and continued during the war, and no longer.  The impulse given to the recruiting service would be prompt and decisive of better success.

I respectfully request the attention of the department to the special report I had the honor to submit to the secretary of war July 30, 1846, on the subject of providing an addition major for each of the regiments of the line.  I then stated that “a view of the actual service as it has been, and more especially as it now is, must convince you that the complement of the field officers for the several regiments of artillery, infantry, and cavalry is inadequate; and that the service at this time greatly needs the addition of one major to each for duty in the field.  The regiments in Mexico do not average one field officer and when the operations are pushed into the interior of the enemy’s country, there may be several battalions, as is the case now with the 7th infantry, which will be commanded by captains.

To ensure as many as two field officers with the regiments under Gen. Taylor, an additional major should be allowed to be selected from the active captains of their respective arms.  The second major was found indispensably necessary in former organizations of the army, especially during the war with England.  The staff corps are well provided with this very useful grade of field officers; in three of which (engineers, topographical engineers, and ordnance) the same complement is allowed (four each) as the law provides for the whole twelve regiments of infantry and artillery.  The complement of field officers of the marching regiments, officers who recruit, instruct and discipline the troops, and who must lead them into battle, is utterly insufficient, and this the present state of the actual service in the field too clearly demonstrates.  The return and reports from Gen. Taylor show the great deficiency in this, the junior grade of field officers with the army under his command, which it is not possible to supply with our present means; for the disabled and invalid list is not likely to be diminished, but rather increased.”

I also beg leave respectfully to recall the attention of the department to the recommendation, more than once repeated in the annual reports of the major general commanding-in-chief, in reference to the importance of having the several regiment effective in officers as well as in men.  The plan proposed by the late Major General Macomb was to provide by law for a retired list, which, according to the details submitted, would not cost the government one cent more than the present rates allowed.  “The only difference would be that the places of the non-effective officers would be supplied by the effective officer doing their duty, and the brevet officers at the foot of the list would be sooner advanced; and thus, by the increased efficiency of the several regiments and corps, there would actually a benefit result to the public,” &c.  It is believed that a plan could be devised which would improve the condition of the service, and at the same time do justice to the invalid office whose life had been spent in the faithful performance of public duty.  In his annual report of November 22, 1841, Major General Scott brought up the subject to the consideration of the secretary of war, and at the same time recommended that some provision of law might be adopted “in favor of widows and orphans of regular officers who have died or may die in consequence of wounds received or disease contracted in the service; there being such provision already made in behalf of the widows and orphans of navy, volunteer, and militia officers dying under the same circumstances.”

Respectfully submitted,
Adjutant General U.S. Army.

The Hon. WM. L. MARCY, Secretary of War.

NNR47January v71.288 1/2/1847 Somers, brig of war, wrecked in storm

The writer gives an interesting account of the heroic devotion of the foreign vessels at Sacrificios, two miles distant, to save the crew of the Somers. Two hundred of the crew of the British ship Endymion volunteered for the service, and among the French and Spanish vessels equal heroism was exhibited. The gale, however, was so violent that her boats had to be recalled. When it abated they again put out, and succeeded in saving fourteen lives. We regret that we have not space for these interesting details.

The strange vessel which tempted the Somers from shelter was the Abrasia, bound for the squadron.

Sixteen of those on board the Somers, reached the shore on hen-coops, and are now prisoners in Vera Cruz.

List of officers and men lost in the Somers. Heary H. Clemsen, acting master. John R. Hynson, passed midshipman. Wm. G. Brazier Ebenezer Terrell, Charles H. Haven, James Ryder, James Thompson, Charles Lowe, Thos. Young, Wm. Gillan, Mathias Gravel. Major Cain, Dennis Kelley. Alexander Anker, Charles McFarland, Jas. Fennell, Charles True, John Day. William Purdy, Ed'w McCormick, Wm. Emsley, Wm. Quest, John Hargrave, Wm. W. Cardy, John Christopher Myers, Clement C. Willen, Thomas McGowan, Joseph Antonia, Adolph Belmente, Manuel Howard, William W. Powers, Henry W. Spear, James Jefferson, William H. Rose, Peter Hernandez.

List of those saved. R. Semmes, Lieutennant commanding. M. G. L. Claiborne, Lieutennant. John L. Parker, Lieutennant. John F. Steele, purser. John H, Wright, passed assistant surgeon. Francis G. Clark, midshipman. Edmund T. Stevens, purser's steward. Jacob Hazard, yeoman
Amos Colson, Wm. Johnson, Mathew Buck, John McCargo, John Williamson, John Pollen, John Smith, Henry Strommell, Thomas Muhollen, John Wakefield, William Keys, Francis Haire, Wm. Haire, Wm. Lawrence, Jos. Todd, Stephen Maynard, Samel Bennett, Thomas D. Burns, William Power, Joseph Skipskey, Joseph Jones, Chas. Nutlee, Washington Cooper, William Dix, Francis A. Waldeon, James Chambers.

On the 13 thinst. , the same writer says:-As sailing of the Morgan Dix has been delayed by a head wind, I have an opportunity to add the good news that eight more of the men of the Somers have been picked up by the Mexicans on the beach near Anton Lizardo, whither they were driven by the gale on a hen coop. One of them has since died. They are held as prisoners in Vera Cruz. This makes forty-four all told, who have been saved from the wreck. The Somers had nearly eighty souls on board, all told.

Passed midshipman Hynson, one of the officers lost by the disaster to the Somers, was one of those who participated in the burning of the Creole moored to the walls of San Juan de Ulloa. It is said that he could have saved his life, but for his generosity in giving up his spar to a sailor whom he considered weaker than himself. In seeking another support he went down. [AKS]

NNR47January v71.288 1/2/1847 Reconnoitering party from the Somers captured by the Mexicans

Reconnoitering party captured by the Mexicans. - On the 5 th Dec. , Midshipman R. Clay Rogers, Dr. J. W. Wright, and John G. Fox, a seaman of the Somers, went ashore for the purpose of reconnoitering one of the enemies' magazines, and ascertaining the practicability of destroying it. The party had gone some distance from the boat, when they were surrounded by seven Mexican soldiers. Dr. Wright made his escape. Mr. Rogers and the seaman were made prisoners, and sent to Perote to be confined there. [AKS]

71.289 Dec. 2, 1847 editorial review of the campaign

THE CAMPAIGN OF 1846, has terminated.  Without delaying to learn from all direction the exact attitude of affairs everywhere, at the expiration of the year, this number of the Register details the latest intelligence we have from each point, and summing up the whole, it is worth while to review what has been done, and estimate as well as we have means, what is yet to be accomplished.

It is our duty to look at what is before us, fully in the face, and to take precaution accordingly. 

When the war with Mexico was commenced, the impression prevailed, that it would be but a brief affair.  The Executive, without doubt expected to have it brought to a favorable close by the end of the year, which has expired.  They asked congress for such an appropriation of money as was deemed by them adequate for the occasion, which was granted with great unanimity.  They applied for a law authorising 50,000 volunteers, which was also granted; for an increase of the Army, and that was granted – and larger appropriations for the Navy also.  No measure was proposed to congress by the Administration for prosecuting the war with vigor, that was not readily granted.   The call for volunteers was not even waited for in many of the States; Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and other States hurried more than their quotas to the frontier, before the requisitions reach them.  The party in opposition to the Administration not only voted for the supplies of men and money.  The only whig representative in congress from the state of Illinois left his seat and joined the Army in Mexico.  The older members of the party did not themselves follow this example, but Mr. Crittenden and Daniel Webster, leading whigs of the United States Senate, have each a son commanding volunteers in the war.  Mr. Calhoun’s son is aid to Gen. Gaines – Mr. Van Buren’s son is also with the army.  Cassius M. Clay was one of the foremost to lead the Kentucky volunteers to the field.  Henry Clay has a son amongst the foremost, and it would seem from a toast and speech which the statesman himself uttered at a dinner to which he was invited a few days since at New Orleans, that he has half a notion to start off himself to join his countrymen in arms.  Even the “old man eloquent” John Quincy Adams himself, led off at the head of his party, in the House of Representatives, against any movement to obstruct war measures.

The Administration at Washington planned and directed the campaign.  Six months have elapsed since war was “recognized”.  The frontiers of Mexico are in possession of our armies.  Santa Fe, situated on the east side of the Rio Grande has been taken by Gen. Kearny.  Monclova is in possession of General Wool.  The lower valley of the Rio Grande, after a severe conflict, fell into the hands of General Taylor.  Another conflict not less severe, won Monterey.  The enemy evacuated Saltillo, and the pass at the Sierra Madre is in our possession.  Tampico has just been captured without opposition.  The ports of California are in the possession of our Pacific squadron.

Mexico has lost, of course, just what we have won.

They have lost some of their ports of the Pacific, they have lost the valley of the Rio Grande, from the mouth to Santa Fe – they have lost Monterey, Saltillo, and Monclova – and they have lost Tampico.

They have lost Gen. Arista, Gen. Ampudia, and President Paredes, - as commanders and conductors of the war.  But in their places, unfortunately for us, and partly from our indiscretion too, they have Gen. Santa Anna.

[Word unreadable] of San Jacinto?

Aye, - and the same who at Tampico captured the [word unreadable] of Spain that was sent to endeavor to recover or win Mexico – the same too, that so bravely defended Vera Cruz from the attack of the French army that had won the Castle of San Juan d’Ulloa, -and was attempting to begin a march on the City of Mexico. 

Second in command, they have Velencia, one of the best Mexican General – the same that with 1200 men and a battery of artillery, defeated the Generals Urrea and Mejia, commanders of the federal forces, at [word unreadable], 15 leagues from Puebla, capturing the latter, Mejia was subsequently shot by Santa Anna.  Urrea, by fleetness of his horse, escaped.  A year afterwards, 1840, Valencia was again called to command, and in hours, obliged Urrea to capitulate and surrender the national palace, where he had posted himself. – In 1841 he become the pet of the government, and when Santa Anna raised the standard of revolt, Valencia, was ordered to oppose him.  He deceived the government, took sides with Santa Anna, and seconded his success.  Always lucky, he avoided being banished with Santa Anna, but joins him with 8000 immediately upon his return to Mexico, and is now second in command.

URREA is now also with Santa Anna – with probably the best corps d’armee in the Mexican service.  He is about 50 years of age, of polished manners, and is esteemed an able officer.  We know him to be unscrupulous, by his having obeyed Santa Anna’s ordered to perpetrate the horrible murders at Golial. – He became a federalist in 1835, and for four years resisted the central government.  Santa Anna has gone over to his party.

ALMONTE, unquestionably one of the ablest of the Mexican statesmen, as well as most inveterate opponent to the dismemberment of Mexico, is managing the departments at the Mexican capital.

General WOLL, a Frenchman, and former Mexican commander on the Texan frontiers, has also lately returned from Europe.  Besides this, many experienced and tired officers of ability, are stated to have been in company with Santa Anna himself at his return from Havana, Spanish as well as Mexican.

Such is the array of officers that have now to be combated.

The amount of force which our army encountered at Palo Alto, and Resaca, was below 10,000, and they but that moment concentrated and fatigued with a long and hurried march.  It was there ascertained that we had no child’s play in hand.  Mexicans, it was found, could fight, and would fight.

The force concentrated at Monterey, numbered about 10,000.  General Taylor was entirely uncertain whether he would there meet any opposition, until within sight of the city.  It happened to be commanded by a General, who during the three days fight, instead of exhibiting personal courage, kept himself safely ensconced, - and so exasperated were the Mexicans at his having capitulated whilst the citidsl and the plaza, their strongest fortresses, were yet unassailed, that an American escort was required for his safety on leaving the city, and his is now under arrest for cowardice.

It is admitted on all hands, that Santa Anna had, within the period between his leaving the coast upon which he was permitted to land, or rather from his leaving his hacienda without even an escort, and the latest dates from San Luis, say in less than three months, concentrated an army of 30,000 men, 10,000 of which are cavalry, and that he was just receiving a formidable train of artillery, in addition to the light pieces he had in the field.

He has it in his power to precipitate a large force from the centre he occupies, in which ever direction he may select.  Monclova, Saltillo, Monterey, Matamoros, Victoria, Tampico, - any of them are to him within striking distance.

No indication of a disposition to submit to the terms which our government is understood to demand, is perceived on the part of those in power, - and still less is such a disposition found amongst the Mexican people.  They have their factions and their cliques, but no one of them all, has yet breathed a word like submission to our demands.

The struggle assumes a more serious aspect.  Our own executive perceive that it will require more time, more men, and more money to “conquer a peace,” than they had anticipated.

Immediately upon receiving intelligence of the capture of Monterey, without waiting for the reason which influenced the officers of the army to conclude the armistice, the President ordered the agreement to be annulled, and the army to advance towards the city of Mexico – General Taylor promptly obeyed the order, and occupied Saltillo, evacuated by the enemy.

After receiving the despatches, assigning their reasons, and stating the difficulties, the army would have to encounter by advancing in that direction, orders were sent from Washington to change the whole plan of invasion.  The several divisions were directed to concentrate at a southern point on the gulf, and the formidable movement is to be made from thence.

The commander in chief of the United States army, Gen. Scott, is ordered on to take charge of the campaign and has no doubt by this time reached Tampico, which is already occupied.  Vera Cruz, however is supposed to be the first object of a formidable attack.  Some of our heaviest ships and most experienced officers have orders to join the blockading squadron.  Ordnance of the largest calibre, bombs of immense size and in large quantities are being forwarded.  Everything indicates that a bold attempt is contemplated by the squadron.

A land attack is probably relied upon with no less confidence.  A squadron of flat bottomed transport vessels, suitable for moving troops in shoal waters, are being constructed with the unusual despatch at our eastern building yards.  Some of them are nearly completed.  The newly raised corps of sappers and miners, are  en route for the army, and another corps forming under Captain Walbach, U.S.A., intended to manage mountain howitzers on an improved system, is rapidly organizing.  The eleven additional regiments of volunteers, are being mustered into service, choosing officers, concentrating and disciplining preparatory to embarking for the coast of Mexico. 

To take Vera Cruz – and the castle of San Juan d’Ulloa, - to penetrate the different passes which lead from thence to Mexico or San Luis Potosi, to encounter an army of over 30,000 Mexicans, now in the field for the defence of that post, commanded by the officers we have named, prompted on by a general impulse from the whole Mexican people – fighting, as it will be, for their country and their homes – is no child’s play.

The president and cabinet at Washington apprized of the nature of the case, have applied to congress to authorize the appointment of a “Commanding General,” with a view, it is presumed, of superseding all the officers now in the field, or afloat, in authority and control of the campaign which is about to commence.

This proposition, as will be seen in our columns of congressional proceedings, met with a prompt veto by the house of representatives.  The committee to which it was referred consisted of six administration and three whig members.  Only one member of the committee – it is said objected to the report agreed upon – and although the vote of the house was next day reconsidered, its believed to have been only in respect of the feelings of the president.

How the proposition will far in the senate, is the question.  The committee to whom the subject was referred, stood two for, and two against the appointment, the chairman of the committee, Col. Benton, not present, as he is understood to be probably interested in the issue.  If such an appointment be authorised, he is no doubt to be “Commanding General.”

Mr. Calhoun, is said to be opposed, and Gen. Cass, to be in favor of appointing such an officer.

Views in relation to the next Presidency, may perhaps influence some votes, or may decide the question in the Senate.

This failure of executive influence in the legislation – constituted as it is of the same members that last session so faithfully seconded his recommendations, looks rather ominous.


A still more important recommendation, urged by the secretary of the treasury, all important to his obtaining ways and means for sustaining the government and carrying on the way, was on Saturday last treated with, if possible, a still more emphatic negative.  We allude to the decision, by an overwhelming vote, that it was “inexpedient to lay a duty upon tea and coffee,” – which the secretary has so urgently pressed upon them to lay, and to lay promptly.

The first stage, an agreement between the secretary of the treasury and the committee on ways and means of the house, as to the features of a revenue bill, has not been arrived at.  They differ in opinion – the vote in the house on the secretary’s proposition to tax tea and coffee, it is feared is but on feature of the difference.  A resort to a direct tax upon certain personalities, is favored in committee.  The secretary is opposed to direct taxation. 

How difficult it will be to reconcile the vastly conflicting views entertained by members in the house on such a subject, may be readily conceived.  Several of the last tariff bills have been carried only after a long struggle, by casting votes of the presiding officer.

The Washington correspondent of the New York Courier and Enquirer, writes on the 4th instant, “It is said great companies are made by capitalists who negotiated the late loan at the conduct of the secretary of the treasury.  If I am informed rightly, he gave them positive assurances, that the war was about being terminated, and no more troops would be ordered out.  On the faith of these pledges, offers were made which could not have been induced under other circumstances, and yet the negotiators had hardly turned their backs upon the capitol before every promise was violated. Transactions like these are pre-calculated to impair every sort of confidence in the administration, and this one will be the means of affecting the new loan should it be authorised by congress.”

This is incredible.  If untrue, such a publication is exceedingly imprudent.

These indications of a failure of executive influence in the legislature, are the more portentous from the fact, that it is from the “house of his friends,” from the administration members, that the president has experienced this falling off.

The session of congress has nearly half elapsed, and no report has yet been made as to ways and means, so urgently demanded for sustaining the credit of the government.  It is stated that the committee on finance is in favor of a resort to various internal taxes, which it would take a considerable time to make available if adopted.

But the gravest aspect of all, is the turn which it is feared the whole question is about to assume, in relation to the adding more territory to the Union, whether it is admitted under the Missouri compromise, or whether slavery is to be excluded from the new territory?

On this point, hang the destinies of the country.

In eight weeks, the session of congress must close.

In the house of representatives of the next congress, it is yet uncertain whether the now dominant party will have a majority.  The northern administration men will number far less than in the present congress, and the president will find difficulty in exerting such an influence as he has in the congress that is about to expire. [RLK]

71.289-290 January 9, 1847, rumor about the recall of Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny from California to join Gen. Zachary Taylor

IMPORTANT RUMOR – The St. Louis Republican of the 28th ultimo says: - “It seems to be very well understood here, that on of the objects of the express from Washington city to Santa Fe, which left here a few days ago, in charge of Major Fitzpatrick and Mr. S.P. Sublette, is in part if not entirely, to recall Gen. Kearny from California, and despatch the general and all the troops under his command, which may be spared from the occupation of Santa Fe and other points, to join Gen. Taylor and co-operate with him.  If this be the purpose of the despatches, a considerable period must elapse before the orders can be carried into effect, probably not until sometime in May or June next. [RLK]

NNR47January v71.290 1/9/1847 Mexican American War - Letters describing the state of the Army at Santa Fe

Santa Fe

Fort Leavenworth December 21, 1846.

Dear Sirs: I send you for your disposal the following items of intelligence, this day received by express from Santa Fe. An officer of the medical department of the army writes to this effect, under date of the 9 thof Nov. , from Santa Fe: "Capt. Grier and Lieut. Wilson, with two soldiers , (of the first dragoons,) pursued and overtook a large party of Navajos and killed two of them, recapturing at the same time a flock of sheep. The rest of the company being mounted on poor mules, could not overtake the Indians. The captain's horse was wounded - no other damage done."

An officer if the 1 st dragoons, writing from Albuquerque, under date of the 25 thof October, says to his correspondent: "tomorrow I start on an expedition to the south. I have (at Albuquerque) a soldisant squadron of 175 men. I would feel perfectly satisfied with my situation, were not my command so truly ineffectual. All our horses, you know, have been sent to Missouri, under the belief that they could not sustain the fatigues, and no forage, of the march to California. When the detachment for the march was finally made up at Socorro, all of the really serviceable mules were selected for it, out of the companies that were to remain in this country - so that now I have not only for my mounts, but for my teams, the sorriest lot of animals that were ever seen. I had the greatest difficulty in performing the march back to this place, and now find myself with scarce the ability to move from it. I received today a call upon me, which demands prompt attention, and which requires the exertions of my utmost ability. After pacification of the country, the Chihuahua traders continued their journey towards the south, in order that they might avail themselves of the operations of General Wool's army, for the entrance of their goods into California.

"It seems that some had trusted too far to the peaceful professions of the Mexicans. They have all halted about one hundred and fifty miles from here, and having good reasons, they say, to believe that the Mexicans from the settlements of El Passo, design making the attack on them, for plunder, have written up for troops to protect them. The value of their property is estimated at a half million of dollars. Although these traders have by their own imprudence placed themselves in this danger, yet the protection of so many American lives, and of so large an amount of American property, is a matter of great importance; and I feel it incumbent on me, feeble and small as is my force, to make an effort to accomplish it. What would I not give to have with me a squadron of dragoons! Since receiving the letter from the traders, I have received letters from Gov. Bent, the intelligence communicated in which tends to confirm the impression that there is a very general feeling of discontent existing among the people of the province, and that efforts have been made to get up an opposition towards us, the first development of which is to be an attack on the traders below. It is said that a force of one thousand men has been assembled at El Passo del Norte, to act in concert with the people above in this business. If this should be, or could out approach for the protection of the traders by unknown to them, we may yet have the satisfaction and enjoyment of a battle with these people. Of the fatigues and hardships of a quasi war the 1 stdragoons have had enough, but we cannot boast the honor of having been in a stricken field.

"Gen. Kearney, in making his arrangements for his expedition to California, under the impression that troops enough for the maintenance of the American supremacy in this country were on their way here and would soon arrive, gave orders that Col. Doniphn's regiment should proceed by El Passo to join Gen. Wool's army en route to Chihuahua. I have just learned that Doniphan left Santa Fe yesterday en route to El Passo. We are much concerned at the prospect of starvation amongst us before spring. The supply of provisions is far short of the demand and that to be drawn from the country is far short of the supposed deficiency." [St. Louis Rep]

The Colombia (Boone Co. ) Statesman announces the reception of a letter from Santa Fe, by the same arrival, dated on the 19 th November. From this letter, the editor learns that Price's regiment is stationed in that place for the winter, that great sickness prevails among the troops; hat there have been as many as seven deaths in a day, that loud complaints are made against the government by the soldiers, because they have neither received any pay nor have they been furnished forage for their horses, the consequences of which is that most of their horsed will die.

We learn from Liberty (Mo. Tribune, that a train of twenty four government wagons were attacked and robbed on the 28th Nov. , by a body of about 500 Indians, thirty miles below the crossings of the Arkansas.

The wagons were in charge of Capt. D. S. Marne, who lost all his clothing, collected for a three years' expedition, together with nearly all the mules attached to the train. One man , John Dougherty , was killed, and four others wounded.

A letter written at Santa Fe on the 19th of Nov. , states that Col. Price's regiment is stationed at that place for the winter, and that great sickness prevailed amongst the troops. There had been as many as seven deaths a day.

There are reports, we sincerely hope unfounded reports, as many of those received through Mexico are, that a part of our forces about the gulf of California, have been overcome and killed by the Mexicans. That it is false, is the more probable from our no having any confirmation of the story by later dates received from Mexico. The impression in Texas was, that if true, it must be Col. Fremont's detachment that has suffered.

The posture of affairs in the division of our army at Santa Fe, as furnished by the latest intelligence from thence, is rather uncomfortable, not from dread of the enemy, but of suffering starvation.

The main object for which "The Army of the Centre," under General Wool was understood to have been destined, was, to occupy, Chihuahua and its provinces. This object seems to have been either abandoned by that division for the present, r left to a portion of the forces under Gen. Kearny. General Doniphan was to have left Santa Fe with a view to accomplish, what Gen. Wool was started to effect, immediately after our latest dates from thence. [AKS]

71.290 January 9, 1847, reports from the Army of the Center


Advices have been received at New Orleans from Galveston, Texas, to the 22d December.  The Picayune says – “There is a story in the Galveston News, told be a teamster recently from Mexico, to the effect that Colonel Riley was recently surrounded, at Mroelos, by 500 Mexicans under Gen. Urrea, and that was no hope of Col. R’s escape.  We do not believe a word of it.”

We hear, (says the St. Louis Republican) from a source entitled to confidence, that General Wool’s army has been, or will son be ordered to march to Monterey, where it, together with all the disposable forces under Gen. Taylor, is to march to Tampico, and constitute the advance of the twenty thousand men which, we have already said, are to march against the city of Mexico.  If any demonstration is to be made again Chihuahua by Colonel Doniphan, he must, it is now certain, do it without the co-operation of Gen. Wool, and with a force, the efficiency of which is very much impaired by the want of almost every material for a successful campaign.

A letter dated Parras, Mexico, December 9, says:

“Col. Yell, Lieut. Col. Roane, and Major Borland, are under arrest, for positive disobedience of orders.  The “old war horse” [Gen. Wool] has ordered a court martial. [RLK]

71.290 January 9, 1847, Gen. Zachary Taylor’s visit to Saltillo, &c


                      Dragoon camp, near Monterry, Mexico

November 25, 1846

I have just returned from Saltillo, where I have been with the dragoons as escort to General Taylor, who accompanied the command under Gen. Worth, which marched from here for that place on the 13th instant.

This force, in all numbering about one thousand men, marched into the city and took possession of the same on the 16th instant, and Gen. Worth, with his division of about eight hundred men, now remains in command of the same.

We found no troops in the city, nor met with any resistance in taking possession of it.  It is situated about fifty miles southwest from here, and contains at present over twenty thousand inhabitants.  As a city, it is far inferior to Monterey, the buildings being built of sun-dried tiles in place of stone, thus offering, as you see, a dirty appearance to the observer.

In the nicer parts of the city, however, and around the main plaza, the buildings are covered with a hard white cement which makes them appear quite well.  It has a most magnificent cathedral built of stone, and as I surveyed the “thousand and one” statues, images, candlesticks, crosses, &c., with which its inner walls and domes were ornamented, I almost began to imagine that I was gazing upon the vast riches of the halls of the ancient Montezumas; but it was the house of worship.

The entire route from Monterey to Saltillo lie along a narrow valley, varing from a quarter to three miles in extent, while on either side bold and precipitous mountains rise almost to the very clouds.  They are entirely destitute of timber of timber and vegetation of any kind, and the scene at times was particularly grand and sublime.  On one occasion the sum was obscured from out sight at 10 A.M. by these towering heights.  But I cannot dwell here.  The whole distance was greatly ascending and the road rocky and broken.  As our route for the most part lay along the stream we generally found plenty of water. 

On one of these narrow defiles the Mexicans had thrown us some defences, which were evacuated after the fall of Monterey.  At Saltillo we found no wood of any kind, and were under the necessity of purchasing brush enough from the Mexicans to boil our coffee.  This they brought some ten miles or more upon their backs, or upon pack mules as is customary in this country.  At Monterey the orange, lime, lemon, citron, &c. – prosper to perfection, while at Saltillo, (farther south,) they do not grow or do well.  This is owing to the different altitudes of the two places.

But wheat and apples do well at Saltillo; at Monterey they are not raised.  Corn grows well in both places, and the seasons are so long that two crops are raised from the same piece of ground yearly – Potatoes do not grow here.  About Saltillo the fields are without fences, and are watched for safety against cattle, &c. daily and nightly by sentinels.  As we are arrived at Saltillo we captured 125 pack mules, each loaded with 300 lbs., public flour destined for the Mexican army at San Luis Potosi.  While there Gen. Taylor detached Capt. Graham and myself, with our companies and an engineer officer, to reconnoiter the country and passes lying south of that place, with a view of learning its mean of defence.  We were out three days and examined the country around for about 30 miles.  Found some strong passes, but none so formidable as those on the Monterey road and non which could not be turned by infantry.  They had been represented as stronger. N.Y. Com. Adv.  [RLK]

NNR47January v71.290-71.291, January 9, 1847 further details of the guerrilla war at Monterey between Kentucky volunteers and Mexican

Monterey, December 1, 1846

    The war between the Kentuckeyians and Mexicans, as it is fairly termed, has created no little excitement both in town and in camp.  It is thought that not less than forty Mexicans have been killed within the last five days, fifteen of whom, it is said, were killed in one day, and within the scope of one mile.  From this you will see that the boys are determined to have and to take revenge for the assassination of their comrades.  When it is known that no Mexican, since the commencement of the war, has been punished for outrages committed on the persons and property of American soldiers and they have been numerous, many person will look at the course pursued by the Louisville Legionfirst in a light far from condemnation, and whilst regretting the circumstances which have lead to it, they will ask you the question, “Shall we rest quietly in our tents whilst the enemy is lying in ambush murdering our comrades as they pass the roads?”  Ever since the occupation of Matamores by our troops the Mexicans have been cutting off our men, whenever they could be found in convenient places for the job, and the compliment has been invariably retuned generally two for one, and this too in many cases without regard to the Scriptures, giving out that it is “better to let ninety-nine guilty go than punish one innocent man.”  The first of these difficulties, in different places find their origin in the Mexican disposition to rob, to accomplish which they will murder an American if it be only to get possession of the clothes upon his body.  Retaliation is sure to follow, and in many case the innocent is made to suffer for crimes committed by his guilty countrymen.  This is a state of society deeply to be regretted, and no man in or out of Mexico would feel more pleasure in recording a termination of such proceedings; but I candidly believe that they will continue to exist as long as the difficulties between the two countries remain in the present unsettled state.

    The trial of the Alcalde’s son and the others engaged in  tampering with our men is set for tomorrow.  I should not exactly say trial, for it will for it will be more in the shape of a court of inquiry at first.  I saw this young Alcalde this morning in prison. He is a young and very interesting man, and was weighed down to the ground with irons, not that they fear his escape, but to deter others from following in his footsteps.  At first it was thought that but few men were engaged in the business, but it is now clearly ascertained that many of the principal men the place have had a finger in the pie, and since the first arrest many of the first families of Monterey have left, and the population of the place has decreased in that time nearly one thousand.  The 7th regiment has lost many men by desertion, and I have since ascertained that the number I spoke of before, (forty) as having deserted may be safely trebled, and all since the 25th September.  The regulars have invariably gone to the enemy, but what of the volunteers who have left us “sans ceremonie” have made tracks for a Christmas dinner in the white settlements.  The friends of those arrested, particularly of the Alcalde, fear the worst, and if they were hung in the Plaza, as Gen Taolor threatened, they would not be much surprised.

    A train of wagons loaded with provisions started, yesterday for Saltillo, escorted by a company of infantry.  Our dates from Gen. Worth are as late as the 27th.  Every thing is reported quiet, and the command well satisfied with their location.  Nothing from Gen. Wool since my last, and I am unable to say whether he has yet left Monclova for Parras.-If he has not, he will certainly do it when he gets short of provisions and forage.

    It was generally believed yesterday that a movement would be made in less than ten days, originating no doubt from an order for all the infantry to sell their horses, and the small number of men who were permitted to leave camp.  But it is known generally that when Captain Rhine offered the service of his company of rangers to Gen. Taylor, they were declined on the ground that no movement would be made until ordered from Washington, which the gen. said might not reach him until after the sitting of congress; so you can judge what chance there is of an early move.

    The weather is lovely at this time, and forcibly reminds one of the spring time of the year. It is a great climate, and blossoms, half blown, and ripe fruit can be found on the same tree.
[Correspondent New Orleans Delta.]

71.291 January 9, 1847, a Marylander, H.P. Lyons, from San Luis Potosi, his report of affairs there, letter from Monterey, position of several divisions and corps of the Army, Mexican government recruiting in the valley of the Rio Grande, Tampico startled, letter from Saltillo

A MARYLANDER AT SAN LUIS POTOSI.  A correspondent of the New Orleans Picayune, at Monterey, has had a conversation with Henry P. Lyons, one of the American prisoners recently released by Santa Anna at San Luis Potosi.  Mr. Lyons is a native of Maryland, and has been three times in the clutches of the Mexicans.

He says that a short time before the battle of Monterey, and whilst Hay’s Rangers were at or near China, he was shoeing some of the horses in that town, and after f9inishing his work, was ordered by Gen. Henderson to remain in town a short time and dispose of what iron he had not used.  The regiment and his company, (McCown’s) had been gone about an hour when thirteen Mexicans rode up to where he was, and one of them threw a lasso over his shoulders, and immediately pinioned his arms.  He was then dragged in the chaparral, and the same number of lashes laid upon his back as had been given to the Mexican thief near San Fernando, that is, thirty six.  After this operation was gone through with, he was mounted on a mustang and taken to Monterey, where he arrived on Saturday about the same time the black fort opened upon Gen. Taylor.  He was not suffered to remain here any length of time, and after being tied fourteen inches in the rear of Chas. W. Tufts, (I believe of the same company), two traders captured near China tied the same distance in his rear, and two more captured when Harey went to the Presidio Rio Grande in theirs, they were marched off to Saltillo, from which place, after the news of the battle reached it, they were sent to San Luis Potosi.

Mr. Lyons says that the first intimation they had of their release was from a Mexican Colonel, who handed each man $10 from Santa Anna, and told them they were at liberty to depart.  Other than the lashing and forced marches the treatment was good.  It was currently reported and believed in the Mexican camp, on the 10th ult. That Very Cruz had surrendered to the Americans.  The Colonel was interrogated on that head by Mr. L. who answered that he believed it was so.  When asked where Gen. Ampudia was, he stated that he was in the Castle of rote, where Mexico put all cowardly generals. 

Mr. Lyons speaks Spanish, and had an opportunity of learning much of the doings of the enemy – He states that when Santa Anna was notified that the armistice had been terminated by our government he was greatly enraged, and accused us of making our engagement; and this, too, after he had ordered a part of his army back to Saltillo and the pass to Durango.  It was thought that Gen. Kearny was marching down from New Mexico, and the force iguated for the Pass to Durango was to oppose him hat point, but when news of the whereabouts of Gen. Wool reached San Luis, this project was abandoned, for they knew he would be first on the ground.  The forces at San Luis on the 9th ult. are stated by Mr. Lyons to have been 23,000 infantry and 8,000 cavalry.  In addition to the six gun battery taken from this place, they have received two 18’s from Perote, and sixteen pieces, such as 2’s 4’s and 6’s, from other places.  Provisions were getting very scarce in the valley, and they were sending to Chihuahua and Durango for corn and flour.  The latter place is now cut off from them.  Santa Anna had addressed the soldiers on three occasions, and every time on the same subject.  The first time he told them that the force was so large, and the money so scarce, the he was compelled to reduce their pay from 25 cents to 18 cents.  Shortly after it reduced to 12 ½, and then to 6 ¼ .  He pledged them his private name for the remainder at some future day.

Mr. Lyons says that notwithstanding the scarcity of water on the road – one stretch of 52 miles without a drop – they look for our forces there, are ditching and throwing up embankments of earth all around the city.  So terrible has the name of Gen. Taylor become, that the Mexican people believe he can travel 100 miles without water.

With Worth beyond Rinconado – Wool in command of the Pass to Durango, and a force which will shortly be at the lower Pass near Victoria, all the northern provinces will be cut off from the enemy.

Whilst Gen. Wool was en. Route to Parras he captured at least 1,000 mules loaded with flour.  They were from Durango, and destined for San Luis Potosi.

The correspondent of the Delta states that Gen. Taylor is to march from the capital of Tamaulipas, and will take with him the Baltimore battalion, the Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee volunteers, all the regulars, with the exception of one company of artillery, and one or two of the 7th infantry.  The letter giving this information, is dated Monterey, December 8th, and adds!

From this, you will infer that the headquarters will be at or near Tampico.  It may still be 8 or 10 days before this move is made, although some of the regiments are ordered to march next Thursday.  As there is nothing apprehended from the enemy at this time the movement will be made by easy marches, stopping sometimes two and three days at a place. – The division will move down the valley, from the S.E. end of the town, passing through Cayderete, Monte Morales, Linares, Villa Grande and Hidalgo, a distance of nearly 200 miles to Victoria.  After reaching the latter place, a halt will be made for some time, when a garrison will be left of 1,000 or 1,500 men, and the remainder will accompany Gen. Taylor towards Tampico.  For aught I know, a junction may be formed at Victoria with the troops under Gen. Patterson, but I can not speak with with any certainty, on this head, not being advised of the movements below.  This move, leaving Worth and Wool above us, argues very strongly, to my thinking, that offensive operations, for the present, have ceased.

The steamer Fashion arrived at N. Orleans on the 27th ult. from Brazos bringing Capt. Yeatman, aid-de camp to Gen. Wool, bearer of despatches for government, and 80 discharged volunteers.  The remains of young Allison, of Nashville, Tennessee, who was shot at Monterey, was brought in the Fashion.  John Chittick, one of the Indiana volunteers died on the passage, and was buried in the great deep.  The steamer brought a large mail from the army.

GENERAL WOOL'S DIVISON.  General Wool was encamped within two miles of the city of Parras, his force amounting, by the field reports, to 2,900 men.  He is ordered there to establish a depot, and to levy upon all supplies belonging to the Mexican government.  He has already taken large quantities of flour, wheat, and corn.

The 1st and 2d regiments of Indiana volunteers, were on their march from Camargo to join General Wool.

Gen. Worth was at Saltillo, in command of 1,500 men, and the command of Monterey has been assigned to Gen. Butler with 2,000 men to garrison it. 

Gen. Twiggs and Gen. P.H. Smith, with their respective commands, were at Victoria, and Gen. Quitman, with his brigade, left Monterey for Victoria on the 14th inst.

Gen. Taylor, with a squadron of dragoons, also left for Victoria on the 15th inst.

Gen. Patterson was to have left on the 22d inst. accompanied by the Tennessee regiment of cavalry, for Tampico, via Victoria.

The Alabama regiment of volunteers, and the 2d regiment of United Stated artillery, had arrived there already.  The city was in command of Gen. Shields.

Lieut. Col. Henry Clay, with six companies of the 2d regiment of Kentucky volunteers, was at Ceralvo.  Capt. Willis was at Mier with two companies of the same regiment, and Captain, (General M.B. Lamar) with a company, is stationed at Laredo.

The U.S. steamer Major Brown, Captain Steerling, was at Laredo, the stage of the river being such that she could not navigate it.  Lieut. Tilden is about to remove the obstructions in the river, which if successful, will enable the steamer to go up to Camargo. 

Col. Marshall confined by injuries received in falling from his horse, was recovering.  An express had reached Gen. Patterson to the effect that Santa Anna was advancing from San Luis Potosi upon Saltillo, for the purpose of cutting off Gen. Worth.

About 450 regulars were to have left Camargo on the 20th for Monterey; among them were Captains Kerr's and Hunter's command of the second regiment of dragoons.

The Mexican government recruiting in the Valley of the Rio Grande.  The Mexicans are making great exertions to raise troops in all the small Mexican towns on the Rio Grande, and with some success.  About the 15th instant, Captain Stone, with a detachment of 70 men, proceeded to a rancho up the Rio San Juan, a distance of thirty seven miles, where he found about 200 Mexicans collected, and among them Capt. Cantooa, who was the particular object of his search.  Captain C. was captured, and the muster roll of his company, and the letters of instructions from Generals Ampudia and Paredes, with a quantity of blankets, 50 stand of arms, ammunition, etc. were secured.  Captain Cantooa was carried to Camargo, and put in prison.

On the evening of the 16th inst. a Mexican was taken by guards at Camargo, having made an entry into the powder magazine with a design, it is supposed, of blowing it up.

TAMPICO ASSAILED.  The New Orleans Times of the 28th says it learned from a passenger who came direct from Tampico, in the schooner R. M. Johnson, and left the schooner at the South West Pass, and took passage in the steamer Fashion, from New Orleans, that on the 16th instant Tampico had been attacked by an army of 7,000 Mexican cavalry, who thought they would carry the town by coup de main.  Our troops, however, were on the alert, and on the Mexicans making their appearance, opened upon them a brisk fire of artillery, when the Mexicans broke and fled.

Saltillo 20th November, 1846.

"There are a great many Americans, Irish and English in this place, who appear very well pleased to see us.  On the day of our arrival, we were met, some miles from the town, by a whole bevy of 'fair ones,' who appeared to be perfectly delighted - having seen no one from the 'States' for a long while.  Our captain of the day was very much struck by being hailed by a buxom lass, and asked in good sound English, 'how do you do?'  To which he replied, 'where did you come from?'  'Cataraugus county, York state; I am glad to see you; I have seen but one white man for eight years, and he was a nigger!'   The captain being from New York, would not believe her, but thinks she must be of Irish blood, as none other could perpetrate such a bull.

"Our regiment is finely quartered in a monastery from which we have frightened the 'friars of order grey.'  They seemed to believe, from the way they acted, that we were truly heathens, as well as 'barbarians of the north!'

"Saltillo is by far the best town I have seen yet in Mexico.  It surpasses Monterey in all respects.  The Cathedral is a fine building, of a sort of Moorish or Saracen order of architecture, but withal gloomy within and disgustingly filthy.  There is a great deal of gilding upon rude carved work about the altars and chapels; but I have seen but little of the precious metals in the churches, of a solid shape. 

"There is a rumor current here that a party of two hundred Americans were massacred in Upper California lately.  It is supposed to be Lieut. Col. Fremont's party, as none other was known to be in that region.  We hope the rumor may prove unfounded.

"Santa Anna's army is cantoned on the road from Saltillo to San Luis de Potosi, advanced about fifty miles from the latter place.  I do not believe he will advance upon us.  Should he, however, we must abandon Saltillo and fall back upon the pass 'de los Muertos,' or as far as Monterey.  Saltillo we can not retain with less than 5 or 6,000 men and plenty of artillery, as we should have to fortify several heights which overlook the town, and which, in possession of an enemy, we would be driven out of in an hour's firing.  The place itself is not defensible, being commanded by eminences on all sides.  The 'Muertos,' or Death's Passage, we could defend with out present force for a season against a host in arms; and Monterey with a much smaller force than we could Saltillo, and much more effectively.  This is no need of Saltillo: all we want is Monterey and the pass los Muertos, and we have the communication through the mountains sufficiently perfect.  I am astonished that the Mexicans should have left the important pass of Los Muertos undefended.  The fact is, they took the 'big scene' at Monterey, and rushed headlong through the mountain, casting scarce a glance behind.

"Upon our arrival at Saltillo we captured, some four miles beyond, on the San Luis de Potosi road, about 30,000 pounds of excellent flour, on the ay to feed our enemies, together with some 110 mules and packs.  It was quite a strike, and will no doubt annoy Santa Anna no little.  Some 600 mules left here the day before our arrival, with supplies for Santa Anna's army.  It was supposed Gen. Taylor would send forward and capture them, but he did not, and I have no doubt had good reason for his want of action.

"The weather is very cold - about the same temperature in this season as at Baltimore.  There is but little wood in the country, and in the Mexican houses no fire places are known.  I have no doubt there is coal is abundance near here, and a more enterprising race would soon be comfortable before good fires.  Our troops are shivering; and you would hardly believe the difference felt between this place, (Saltillo), and Monterey.  A mountain range of about an hundred miles intervenes, and yet snow and ice are common to Saltillo, whilst Monterey enjoys a tropical climate, and grows all the fruits of the Indies.  Whilst all is sunshine and summer in December, at Monterey, that month is the coldest and dearest in all the year at Saltillo, and plenty of snow falls, and frequently severe storms of almost Alpine wilderness, overtake the traveller in the mountain gorges near the town.

"Since writing the foregoing, I have more certain information of Santa Anna's position and numbers.  He is in the vicinity of San Luis de Potosi, with an army of 22,000 men, certain, and a daily increasing augmentation of force.  He has received twenty pieces of heavy ordnance lately, and was before well supplied with light field pieces.  If he advance upon us we must fall back, even if reinforced by Gen. Wool, unless we get on some heavy guns, of which we are destitute here.  Could we have some 18's and 24's, we might make a stand - I mean a fruitful one.  With our present means, 'twould be the height of folly to remain in face of certain starvation, destruction, or capture.

"eneral Taylor has received from Santa Anna an acknowledgment of the despatches breaking the armistice brought out by Major Graham.  We met the flag at the Rinconada.  'The Mexican chief informs the American General that a peace will never be conquered out of Mexico , and that the magnaninimous Mexican nation cannot listen to them until every North American soldier is off the soil of a sister Republic, and returned to that of his own.  But peace, adds the wily Santa Anna, 'is matter for the congress of both nations to determine.  I am a soldier, and will crown with a glorious victory, the valor of my army, or die in the attempt!'  Only hear the barking of the poodle pup."

November 26th. - "Captain Graham returned last night from a tour of reconnoissance, some thirty miles beyond this place.  He gives a glowing description of the first steppes of the table land, spreading out in vast extent and magnificent prospect.  Captain G. saw no signs of the enemy; and it is believed all the disposable troops are still in progress of concentration upon San Luis de Potosi.  If any thing occurs I will write you again."            L.

NNR47January v71.292 1/9/1847 Mexican American War - description of Saltillo, items, Tampico, item

Saltillo 20 thNovember, 1846

"There are a great many Americans, Irish and English in this place, who appear very well pleased to see us. On the day of our arrival, we were met, some miles from the town, by a whole bevy of fair ones, who appeared to be perfectly delighted - having seen no one from the 'States' for a long while. Our Captain of the day was very much struck by being handed by a buxom lass, and asked in good sound English, 'how do you do?' To which he replied. 'where did you come from?' 'Cataraugus County York state; I am glad to see you; I have seen but one white man for eight years, and he was a [omitted]!' The captain being from New York, would not believe her, but thinks she must be of Irish blood, as none other could perpetrate such bull.

"Our regiment is finely quartered in a monastery from which we have frightened the friars of order grey. They seemed to believe, from the way they acted, that we were truly heathens, as well as barbarians of the north!"

Saltillo is by far the best town I have seen yet in Mexico. It surpasses Monterey in all respects. The Cathedral is a fine building, of a sort of Moorish or Saracen order of architecture, but withal gloomy within and disgustingly filthy. There is a great deal of gilding upon rude carved work about the alters and chapels; but I have seen but little of the precious metals in the churches, of a solid shape.

"There is a rumor current here that a party of two hundred Americans were massacred in Upper California lately. It is supposed to be Lieut. Col. Fremont's party, as none other was known to be in that region. We hope the rumor may prove unfounded.

"Santa Anna's army is cantoned on the road from Saltillo to San Luis de Potosi, advanced about fifty miles from the latter place. I do not believe he will advance upon us. Should he, however, we must abandon Saltillo and fall back upon the pass de Los Muertos, or as far as Monterey. Saltillo we cannot retain with less than 5 or 6,000 men and plenty of artillery, as we should have to fortify several heights which overlook the town, and which in possession of an enemy, we would be driven out in an hours firing. The place itself is not defensible, being commanded by eminences on all sides. The 'Muertos,' or Death's Passage, we could defend with our present force for a season against a host in arms; and Monterey with a much smaller force than we could Saltillo, and much more effectively. There is no need of Saltillo: all we want is Monterey and the pass Los Muertos, and we have the communication through the mountains sufficiently perfect. I am astonished that the Mexicans should have left the important pass of Los Muertos undefended. The fact is, they took the 'big scene' at Monterey, and rushed head long through the mountain, casting scarce a glance behind.

"Upon our arrival at Saltillo we captured, some four miles beyond, on the San Luis de Potosi road, about 30,000 pounds of excellent flour, on the way to feed our enemies, together with some 110 mules and packs. It was quite a strike, and will no doubt annoy Santa Anna no little. Some 600 mules left here the day before our arrival, with supplies for Santa Anna's army. It was supposed Gen. Taylor would send forward and capture them, but he did not, and I have no doubt had good reason for his want of action.

"The weather is very cold - about the same temperature in this season as Baltimore. There is but little wood in the country, and in the Mexican houses no fire places are known. I have no doubt there is coal in abundance near here, and a more enterprising race would soon be comfortable before good fires. Our troops are shivering; and you would hardly believe the difference felt between this place, (Saltillo), and Monterey. A mountain range of about an hundred miles intervenes, and yet snow and ice are common to Saltillo, whilst Monterey enjoys a tropical climate, and grows all the fruits of the Indies. Whilst all is sunshine and summer in December, at Monterey, that month is the coldest and dearest in all the year at Saltillo, and plenty of snow falls, and frequently severe storms, of almost Alpine wildness, overtake the traveler in the mountain gorges near the town.

"Since writing the foregoing, I have more certain information of Santa Anna's position and numbers. He is in the vicinity of San Luis de Potosi, with an army of 22,000 men, certain, and a daily increasing augmentation of force. He has received twenty pieces of heavy ordinance lately, and was before well supplied with light field pieces. If he advance upon us we must fall back, even if reinforced by Gen. Wool, unless we get on some heavy guns, of which we are destitute here. Could we have some 18's and 24's we might make a stand - I mean a fruitful one. With our present means, it would be the height of folly to remain in face of certain starvation, destruction, or capture.

"General Taylor has received from Santa Anna an acknowledgement of the despatches braking the armistice brought our by Major Graham. We met the flag at the Rinconada. The Mexican chief informs the American General that a peace will never be conquered out of Mexico, and that the magnanimous Mexican nation cannot listen to them until every North American soldier is off the soil of a sister Republic, and returned to that of his own. But peace, adds the wily Santa Anna, 'is a matter for the congress of both nations to determine. I am a soldier, and will crown with a glorious victory, the valor of my army, or die in the attempt!' Only hear the barking of the poodle pup."

November 26 th- "Captain Graham returned last night from a tour of reconnaissance, some thirty miles beyond this place. He gives a glowing description of the first steppes of the table land, spreading out in vast extent and magnificent prospect. Captain G. saw no signs of the enemy; and it is believed all the disposable troops are still in progress of concentration upon San Luis de Potosi. If anything occurs I will write you again." [AKS]

71.304 January 9, 1847, difficulty in sending supplies ahead from Fort Bent, assaults by Indians


A letter from Fort Bent, written on the 30th of October, communicates some information which is of interest at the present time.  The proper officer was busily engaged in forwarding to Santa Fe, on an average, about thirty wagon loads of provisions per weeks.  "It will be hardly possible," says the letter, "to get all the stores into Santa Fe this winter, from the very bad condition of the trains which arrive here.  About 140 tons of provisions are stored in this for, all of which have to cross the mountains this winter, if possible.  There are now on the road between this and Fort Leavenworth some dozen trains of wagons, part of which cannot get here this winter, though enough can be got to Santa Fe to last the army until next spring.  Uncle Sam's brav4es have tremendous appetites in this country, and wagon load of provisions does not go far with them."

The writer says that the Indians are getting troublesome between Fort Bent and the states.  "The Pawnees attacked a provision train, a few days ago, near the crossings of the A4rkansas, and killed one man.  The Arapahoes killed two last week, on the road between this and Santa Fe.  After our troops get through with the Indians on the other side of the mountains, they will have to commence on this side; and after thrashing some half dozen nations in all, there will be no more trouble with them."   St. Louis Rep. Dec. 7.  [RLK]

71.304 January 9, 1847, news of the captured Santa Fe traders

Independence, Dec. 1, 1846.

I am able to communicate a little more news from Santa Fe and the adjoining province.  Dr. Vaughn; physician to Doniphan's regiment, accompanied by Messrs. Smith, Fielding, and others, have just this moment arrived from the plains.  They left Santa Fe on the 26th October.  Through the politeness of the doctor, I am permitted to make a few extracts from a letter to Col. S.C. Ownes, dated Valverde, October 20, 1846, which embodies almost all the news we have received.  The colonel says - "We have been here some two weeks, and in all probability, will be here some two weeks, or perhaps two months, longer.  James Magoffin was robbed by the Apache Indians on this side El Passo, and on his arrival at El Passo, he was taken prisoner.  Drs. Connelly, Doane, McManus, Valdez, who reached El Passo some few days after Magoffin, were also made prisoners, and the whole of them have been sent on to Chihuahua, under escort of some soldiers.  This news we have received from different Mexicans, who left El Passo in the last six or eight days.  We have no doubt of the truth of the report, for the entire business of Connelly & Co. was to give us intelligence relative to the situation of affairs in the El Passo.  In short, McManus, agreeably to our arrangement, was to have been here ten days ago - his not coming, or writing, convinces us that they are all prisoners.  We are here in no enviable situation, and do not know whether to go forwards, backwards, or remain.  We cannot get any news from Santa Fe, nor from the United States. - If Col. Doniphan marches his forces immediately to Chihuahua, he will win laurels enough to last him to eternity."

71.304 January 9, 1847, Maj. Gilpin to move again Indians
71.304 Col. Alexander William Doniphan to move forward against Chihuahua

In accordance with the desire of the traders, and more particularly to protect persona and property Col. Doniphan has determined to send Major Filpin out to allay disturbances among the Indians, and move forward himself immediately, with all his regiment, to Chihuaua.  He was to have started on the 27th October. [RLK]

71.304 January 9, 1847, complaints about the usages of the sappers and miners

THE SAPPERS AND MINERS. - A correspondent of the New London "Advocate" furnishes the following information with regard to this new corps:

The corps consists of about 75 men - the finest in point of intellect and general appearance that the army can show - collected together by the above inducements.  Men that stood in high estimation, as citizens and mechanics - that, but for the above, would not have dreamed of the army - and men who now wish themselves anywhere but where they are.  But to facts: - They were taken to West Point, and set to work erecting and fitting up barracks that they were not destined to occupy; and then with an infantry drill in the morning, and an engineer drill of three hours in the afternoon, throwing up breastworks, digging trenches, &c., making in all about ten hours of hard labor per day - until we were ordered off to Mexico.  When out clothing came to us we were indeed surprised, for I am certain that our citizens would not bestow such upon the town's poor.  It is coarse and not half made, and such as it was, half of our pay was requisite to have it altered to fit us.  Several deserted us there; and well they might.  But let me pass on.  The order for Mexico was received with three hearty cheers, for none of us even dreamed of what we were to endure; and on the 24th of September we left West Point, and embarked on board the ship Clinton, which left New York on the 26th for Brazos St. Jago, with a sufficient quantity of provisions for the voyage.  But through the neglect of the proper officers our living was more like hogs than things human - our food was partly raw and not enough of that.

In short time we arrived at Brazos, and since that time (Oct. 11th) we have lived wholly on southern pork, or bacon, and hard bread, which was not only stale, but moldy, and full of bugs, worms, and even lice.  Until yesterday this has been our fare, and our work has been of the hardest kind, for we have to load and unload our pontons, sapping and mining tools, and a great deal more which the quartermaster's men perform for other troops.  In fact we are literal slave, and while we are in some respects the highest company in the regular army, we are in others, the lowest.  The infantry are classed as the lowest in general, and the engineers the highest, but allow me to compare our corps with he body of infantry encamped close to us.  We have to work hard at getting our train ready for Monterey, and have to mount guard every third day, besides our regular drill.  They have to mount guard once in nine days, and have nothing else to do.  We get nothing to eat but hard bread and meat, and not enough of that.  They have baker's bread, beans, peas, sour krout, molasses, and many things that we are not allowed; and in everything they have the advantage of us.

Our spirits are depressed; and that ambition which filled our breasts when we left home, is entirely gone. - We have been humbugged so much that our only thought now is to get out of the scrape.  Thus have the spirits of this noble corps been broken down; and though much is and ought to be anticipated of us, unless a great change is made in our management nothing can be accomplished, for we feel like anything but fighting.  By inserting this you will oblige me, and confer a favor on THE ENGINEER CORPS. [RLK]

71.305 January 16, 1847, US Army general order No. 2 on recruitment


GENERAL ORDERS No. 2, issued from the department of war, January 8th, 1847, quotes the act of congress which passed both houses on the 7th, authorizing enlistments hereafter to be for "during the war," or five years, at the option of the recruit, and offering a bounty of $2 to be paid, $6 of which payment is deferred until he joins his regiment.

The order goes on to give instructions to officers detached for the recruiting service, and is followed by a form for an advertisement for recruits to be published by recruiting officers. [RLK]

71.305 January 16, 1847, U.S. Army enlistments during the year


War Department, Adjutatnt General's office, Washington, January 7, 1847.

Statement showing the number of recruits enlisted in the regular army during the year commencing Oct. 1, 1845, and ending Sept. 30, 1846.

For the general service (or army at large)  2,576
Regimental Recruiting Service
Two regiments of dragoons  471
Regiment of mounted riflemen  729
Four regiments of artillery  1,043
Eight regiments of infantry  1,020
Sappers and miners, and detachments  106
Total number of enlistments for the term of five years,
made in the regular army during the year ending Sept. 30, 1846.

The number of enlistments made in the regular army during the months of October, November, and December, 1846, so far as returns have been received, is 1,673.  This number will probably be increased, when all the returns are in, to 1,800.

Total number enlisted from Oct. 1, 1845, to Dec. 31, 1846.                     7,645

The number of enlistments made during the year ending Sept. 30, 1846, exceed the number made the previous year by 2,388.

In the Adjutant General's letter to the secretary of war on the 5th inst., he states that "men enlisted for the term of 'during the war,' can be recruited for the regular service probably as fast as volunteers can be enrolled and sent to the seat of war.  If the term of service for the regular and volunteer troops be the same, the probability is, there will be but little difference in the time of filling the ranks of either description of force."

And, in the official report of the secretary of war of the 5th Dec., the fact was stated that "the greater inducements to enter for short periods (in the volunteer regiments for the term of one year only) satisfactorily account for the want of better success in recruiting for the regular army;" and, "more than all, perhaps, the distinction seen in the pension laws between the private soldier of the regular army and the volunteer, which operates so unfavorably to the former.  The widows and orphans of the volunteers who may be killed in battle, or die of wounds received in the service, are pensioned; while the widows and orphans of the regular soldiers who die under the same circumstances, are entirely unprovided for by law."

If authorized by law to enlist for the period of during the war, with the small bounty proposed, there is little doubt that the department will be able to fill the ranks of the regular army in a very short time - that is, the five or six thousand men now wanted could be recruited and sent to join their regiments in the field, in as short time as five or six regiments of volunteers could be raised, organized, and dispatched to the army in Mexico, after the date of any requisition from the war department.

The same remark applies with greater force, perhaps, to the raising of new regiments for the regular military establishment, if the term be during the way; for all the captains and lieutenants would be employed (under their field officers) in recruiting for their own companies, generally in their own neighborhoods where they are known, and it is believad, could fill their companies within forty or fifty days after receiving orders.  I feel justified in expressing this belief, because several of the companies of the rifle regiment were recruited quickly last summer, some in less than fifty days, although the men were enlisted for five years.  Lieut. Tipton enlisted fifty-six men in less than a month, and Lieut. Van Buren sixty.  Respectfully submitted,

  Adj't Gen. U. S. A.

  Hon. W. L. MARCY, secretary of war.

71.305 January 16, 1847, Texas indignation that Santa Fe and surrounding area are treated as conquered territory rather than part of Texas

STATE OF TEXAS, vers. GEN. KEARNEY, AND THE U. STATES.  The press of Texas exhibits strong indignation at the course of the government in treating Santa Fe and the surrounding country as a conquered foreign territory, and establishing a separate territorial government over it.  They claim the whole country east of the Rio Grande; and are consequently astounded at its seizure as a military conquest from Mexico.  They denounce it as "a violation of the compact of annexation," - a lawless, unjust and forcible seizure of their public domain.  They do not seem to understand how president Polk reconciles his military movements with his assumption of the Rio Grande as boundary.  Santa Fe is equally a part of our annexed territory (on this assumption) as that portion opposite Matamoros.  Gen. Taylor is sent to the one to occupy and defend as our own soil. - Gen. Kearney is sent to conquer and take military possession of the other.

The Austin Democrat says: -"If Santa Fe is a province taken by force of arms from Mexico, so was the country between Nueces and the Rio Grande and the very moment Gen. Taylor set foot on the western bank of the former stream, he committed an aggression upon foreign soil, and hostilely invaded a country with which his government was at peace.  If Laredo was ours so was Santa Fe; if Santa Fe was not, neither was Laredo."

The whig journals are severe upon the administration in their comments upon this subject, and President Polk's message, in reply to the call of the senate for information relating thereto.  As a specimen, the following is from the Baltimore American:

          "We have not space in this paper to comment upon the President's explanation of the authority given to Gen. Kearney and Commodore Sloat and Stockton.  We say, at once, however, that we regard it as unsatisfactory and insincere, and a most palpable afterthought.  The instructions to Kearney direct him to promise the people a government, just like those in our territories; and when he gives them such a one, merely because he justly thinks that a government established in that manner must be intended to be permanent, the president now says that he disapproves of the gallant officer's words, of permanency, making no sort of objection to his acts.  But again: the president excuses himself by alleging that the "form of government" was conveniently delivered, and then it was discovered that it contained some objectionable things.  Now the proclamation of Kearney, Sloat and Stockton, which were just as explicit as this form of government, were all before the president long before he sent in his message.  Why did he not find objections then?  The truth is, since the meeting of congress, he has found it expedient to disapprove of proceedings to which when he wrote his message he fully assented.  We can give no other interpretation to his own account of the matter." [RLK]

NNR47January v71.305-306 1/16/1847 contract for Samuel Colt's revolving pistols

Colt's Patent Revolving Pistols. --Capt. Walker left this city yesterday for Washington, having while in N. York, among other things, made a contract for 1,000 revolving pistols for the new mounted rifle regiment, which is to serve in Mexico. This regiment is to be armed with a pair of these weapons, besides rifles. It was found impossible to obtain any number of these pistols in this city, such has, of late, been the demand for them for soldiers and others going to Mexico. It is a fact worth noting that the German, who has been the principal mechanic or manufacturer of these revolvers, has recently left us, and suddenly, for Mexico, with his chest of tools and machinery. It pretty well ascertained that he has had most liberal and rich rewards from the government of Mexico, which have tempted him to leave N. York, in order to begin the manufacture of that deadly weapon in a foreign country. Capt. Walker is very anxious that the war department should order for the mounted riflemen Wesson's improved rifle, which will carry the ball with unerring precision 400 yards and over. The rifle is light, and well adapted for such service as it will find necessary. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.306 1/16/1847 Laguna taken

Capture of Laguna. The U. S. steamer Mississippi, Com. Adams, left Anton Lizardo on the 29 th Dec. , touched at Havana for coal and water, and arrived at Norfolk on the 13th inst. , bringing as passengers. --J. . L. O'Sullivan, of N. York, from Havana, and Ed. P. Moore, bearer of despatches from the republic of Ecuador to our government.

The U. S. ships Raritan, Princeton, and store ship Relief, were at Anton Lizardo, when the M. sailed. --The John Adams was blockading Vera Cruz.

On the 20 th of Dec. , commodore Perry, with the U. S. steam frigate Mississippi, and steamer Vixen, Bonita, and Petrel took possession of Laguna in Tobasco, and destroyed the guns and munitions of war found in the ports and town. Commander Sands, with the Vixen and Petrel, was left in charge of the place and the Bonita was left to assist in holding the frontier mouth of Tobasco river.

The Mississippi will return to the gulf as soon as some necessary repairs are done to her machinery. --Purser A. D. Crosby, of the Mississippi, was killed by falling from aloft on board the steamer Vixen, which vessel he was assisting to pilot over the bar at Laguna, on the occasion of the attack on that place.

Capture. --Off Alvarado the Mississippi captured the Mexican schooner Amalio, and sent her to New Orleans for adjudication. At the same time she detained the Spanish schooner Isabel, which was released, after examination, by commodore Perry. [PTH]

71.306 January 16, 1847, reports that Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was about to attack Gen. William Jenkins Worth at Saltillo, instant concentration of the several divisions of our Army in that direction



Last Monday's mail brought us New Orleans papers of the 2d inst. teeming with accounts of Santa Anna's advancing upon Saltillo, and of the hastening of our troops towards that post to reinforce General Worth, who is in command at Saltillo with about 1,700 men.

The New Orleans Editor says:

"The steamer Virginia brought as passenger from Brazos, Col. Langdon, who was direct from Monterey, and with whom we have conversed.  He states that an express from Gen. Worth, at Saltillo, arrived at Monterey on the 16th of December.  It brought the news that Gen. Worth had learned through his spies that Santa Anna was within three days' march of Saltillo at the head of an army of twenty or thirty thousand men.  The express bore a call upon Gen. Taylor for reinforcements.  Gen. Taylor and his staff had left Monterey on the 15th ult. - the day before the express arrived - for Victoria, to join his command, which was two days' march in advance of him.

Gen'l Butler, in command at Monterey, immediately sent off despatches to Gen. Marshall, at Camargo, and to Gen'l Patterson, at Matamoros, to send forward without delay all the troops they could spare from their commands.  Gen. Patterson had left Matamoros the day before the news reached that place.  It was at once forwarded to him, and upon learning its purport he immediately started on his return with the view to proceed to Monterey. 

The express reported at Matamoros that the road from Monterey to Camargo was lined with troops - regulars and volunteers - on their march to Monterey, having been previously ordered up.  There were four regiments upon the road.  The road from Monterey is infested by predatory bands of rancheros, by which the travelling is rendered insecure.  One train had been attacked a few days before our informant passed over the road, as had also several small parties and some few men had been killed and wounded."

The journals were immediately filled with editorial speculations as to the truth of these reports, and with statements some contradictory other confirmatory. 

A correspondent of the N. Orleans Bulletin, writing from Matamoros, Dec. 23d, says - "Several persons are going to your city, all of whom are from Monterey, as they say, they will carry alarming accounts as to the situation of Gen. Worth at Saltillo, and the advance of a large force under Santa Anna.  I have endeavored to ascertain the particulars, and do not credit the rumors.  They may be true, but the express spoken of, arrived here yesterday, and no such despatches as are said to have been sent, have been received.  On thing is certain - General Patterson has not changed his route towards Victoria, with the force under his command, as he would probably do, if Santa Anna was advancing towards Saltillo, with the force represented.  The rear of his column left to-day with the exception of a few wagons."

71.307 January 16, 1847, further intelligence, the valley of the Rio Grande in great ferment, anxiety for the safety of Gen. John Ellis Wool's as well as Gen. William Jenkin Worth's division, troops that were moving towards Victoria return to sustain Worth

CONFIRMATORY ACCOUNTS, reached us by Wednesday morning's mail from New Orleans.  The steamer Edith arrived on the night of the 2d, with intelligence from Brazos to the 30th ult.

By this arrival we learn that when Gen. Worth's express reached Monterey, Gen. Taylor had only gone six or eight miles on his march to Victoria, and the troops under Generals Twiggs and Quitman were but twelve miles in advance.  Orders were immediately issued to this division to retrace its steps and proceed at once to Saltillo.

Gen. Butler, who was left in command of Monterey, had already marched with all the troops he could collect to join Gen. Worth at Saltillo.

Before the express reached Camargo Gen. Lane had started for Saltillo with his command - this was on the 20th.  Gen. Marshall set out the next morning, taking with him the remainder of the forces, with the exception of Captains Hunter and Swartout's commands, which were left to protect that point.  The troops from Camargo were on a forced march to reach Saltillo in time for a battle, reports having prevailed for several days before positive advices were received of the movements of Santa Anna.

Gen. Wool was ninety miles from Saltillo at the best advices from him, and it was supposed he would join Gen. Worth in season tom assist in repelling the enemy. 

There was a rumor (not credited) that Santa Anna had thrown a body of 7,000 men between General Worth and General Taylor, to prevent a junction of the American forces.  It does not seem probable that this is true, as the main road to Monterey passes through Saltillo.  True, there is a circuitous mountain road which avoids Saltillo, but it is not favorable to the march of an army, and is impracticable for ordnance. 

It was the impression of a gentlemen who came passenger in the Edith, that a battle was fought about the 25th ult.  It was thought, however, that Gen. Taylor had reached Saltillo before that time, and also Gen. Twiggs', Gen. Quitman's, Gen. Butler's, and Gen. Wool's commands.  It was likewise hoped that the troops from Camargo would also arrive at Saltillo in good season.  If these expectations were realized, Gen. Taylor had about seven thousand men to oppose Santa Anna.

The whole valley of the Rio Grande was in a state of great ferment.  Apprehensions of an attack were entertained at Camargo, Matamoros, and other points, from the rancheros under Canales.  The withdrawal of so many troops from the river left the walley exposed to danger.  At Matamoros, Colonel Clark had called upon the citizens to enrol themselves for service, and at the Brazos General Jesup had done the same thing.  Both these points were sadly deficient in both men and arms.  It was thought Canales had 2,000 men under him, and that the large supply of goods at Matamoros and the exposed condition of that city, might quicken his courage.

It was believed that an express had been sent tGen. Patterson, countermanding his march in the direction of Victoria.

The amount of all intelligence before us is, that General Worth commanding at Saltillo had received information upon which he relied, that Santa Anna was approaching that post, and he had therefore despatched expresses for reinforcements, in consequence of which, the forces that were marching for Victoria were recalled, and, with those from Camargo, were hastening towards Saltillo. [RLK]

71.307 January 16, 1847, Gen. Winfield Scott reaches Brazos and proceeds to Camargo

Gen. Scott arrived at the Brazos on the 28th ultimo.  The following day he proceeded to the mouth of the Rio Grande and was yet at that point when the Edith left, waiting the arrival of the horses belonging to the regiment of mounted riflemen, when it was understood he would proceed immediately up the river to Camargo. [RLK]

71.307 January 16, 1847, speculations as to Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's operations

It remains doubtful whether Santa Anna was in fact approaching Saltillo with his main army, or whether it was but a detachment sent in that direction by Santa Anna with a view to divert General Taylor from advancing upon Victoria - or with a view to prevent Gen. Wool from joining Gen. Worth - or whether it may not be a demonstration against Gen. Wool's division while at the last accounts from them were 115 miles west of Saltillo.

Commercial letter received at New Orleans from San Luis Potosi dated as late as the 17th Dec., make no mention of any movement of the army under Santa Anna.  They do not refer to political or military subjects however in any way - very probably on account of the danger of so doing.  Strict martial law is maintained in San Luis.

Letters have been received in New Orleans from Mexico, to the 8th ult., and from Tampico, of the 26th, the former of which from a reliable and well informed source, state that Santa Anna writes, he will crush any force that may venture to attack him at San Luis, which is well prepared for defence, but does not allude to any intention of advancing from thence; these letters from him, however, must have been late in November or early in December.

Whatever be Santa Anna's object, one thing is certain - that the movement of our army towards Victoria, and the contemplated demonstration upon Vera Cruz, are for the present interrupted.  The troops which were on their march in that direction are retracing their steps, and hurrying towards Saltillo.

Santa Anna will hardly venture to attack our army anywhere without having such an immense advantage in numbers or position, as to flatter him with a certainty of success.  The probability is, that he would not date to attack General Worth in post, at Saltillo, even if he reached the vicinity before any of the reinforcements arrived.  Santa Anna would appreciate 1700 of our men entrenched, as likely to be rather ugly customers to his Mexicans.  His game would be to move as in this case, from his centre of operations a formidable detachment, in this direction, or in any other that would annoy and harass our army, and keep them from making any general effective movement.

By this process he has the advantage of detecting any point in our long line of "occupation" which may be left exposed, and by making a dash in that direction, cut off supplies, reinforcements, - and communication. - This movement upon Saltillo may be altogether a feint, to attract our forces as far into the interior as possible and then to move his main body of troops so as to interrupt supplies from reaching them.  Matamoros or Point Isabel, may be his real aim. [RLK]

71.307 January 16, 1847, Gen. William Gates at Tampico

From Tampico we have dates to the 26th December, Gen. Gates was in command there, with about 1000 men.  The alarm of Mexican forces being in the vicinity, was all occasioned by a party of dashing marauders. [RLK]

71.307 January 16, 1847, another revolutionary movement in Campeche

From Campeachy, we have dates to the 22d December.  A letter of that date states that Campeachy has positively despatched a force of 2500 men, joined by five hundred on the road, with 12 pieces of artillery, all well equipped, with a view to compel the government at Merida to succumb to the pronunciamento of Campeachy of the 8th December.  The object of the pronunciamento and of this movement, is declared to be to maintain the neutrality of the peninsula as between the United States and Mexico, and put down the government, which they say has wed the country to Santa Anna.

The people of Campeachy have elected Domingo Barret Provisional governor.  He addressed, on the 11th ult., a long communication to the government of Merida, setting forth the causes of the insurrection of Campeachy.  We received this document at too late an hour to examine it to-day. [RLK]

71.307 January 16, 1847, Mexican Congress assembles, their proceedings, &c.

MEXICO.  Congress assembled.  Preparatory sessions were held as early as the 30th November.  Congress was duly installed at 11o'clock on the 6th December. - The Committees were appointed on the 7th.  The latest of their proceedings received are to the 11th. 

A resolution was offered, declaring the constitution of 1824 to be in force, with such amendments as congress may see fit to make thereto.

Another resolution, that a committee be appointed to embody the principles entertained by congress, and which will be the foundation of its action in the present war.  No other mention is made of the war in the proceedings, so far as we have them.  They are however, incomplete.  On the 8th the secretary of the treasury made his report, and a project for a conversion of the foreign debt.

Some of us have formed opinions favorable to peace, from the supposed sentiments of the persons named upon the committees, - from the fact that no other reference to the war is found in the proceedings of the body - and from the additional fact, that the usual quantity of tirade against "the audacious North Americans," is not found in the Mexican journals.

On the other hand, no mention or intimation is made of a disposition to settle the differences. [RLK]

71.307 January 16, 1847, letter from Veracruz

A letter from Tampico, to the editor of the New Orleans Picayune, dated December 17, A.M., says:

"Advices via Vera Cruz were received last evening of the action of the Mexican congress.  They declare that they will not think or treat of peace until every hostile foot has cleared from the Mexican soil, and every vessel that lines our coast is withdrawn.  I consider the war as now commenced in real earnest and I prophecy that Tampico will become an American town." [RLK]

71.307 January 16, 1847, suspicion that Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna aspires to dictatorship

A letter from an officer of the navy, dated Anton Lizardo, Dec. 22:

"It is the prevalent opinion at Vera Cruz, as I learned from English officers yesterday, that Santa Anna had intended to march from his present quarters upon the capital and to strike for a dictatorship.  In this case, it is supposed he will be sustained by the regulars and opposed by the militia, and that a battle with probably ensue between the two parties.  If Santa Anna succeeds in becoming dominant, we have a guaranty of peace, as no administration in Mexico can support the burden of a war.  He is much inclined to prefer diplomacy to fighting.  I hope our government will not relax its strong arm, nor permit itself to be cajoled by this wary diplomatist." [RLK]

71.307-308 January 16, 1847, election of a mayor (or alcalde) at Monterey


Next after a newspaper, comes in proper course, AN ELECTION.  The Mayor, or ALCALDE of Monterey, was for the first time, to be elected by the people, and the arts of king caucus being as yet unknown in these parts, there were no less than three 'natives' and four 'foreign citizens' in the field as candidates - "Don Walter Colton (the chaplain of the congress) received 68 votes, Don Juan Malarin 37 votes, Don David Spence 65 votes, Don Manual Dias 60 votes, Don Salvador Munras 40 votes, Milton Little, Esq. 36 votes, William E.P. Hartnell, Esq. 32 votes." Upon this return the chaplain was declared duly elected for one year. In case of his absence of illness, Don Milton Little was elected substitue; Messrs. Hartnell, Spence, Dias and others were chosen councillors, and Don Salvador Munras treasurer. [RLK]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Printers among the volunteers in Mexico, appearance of American newspaper

It is said that upwards of five hundred printers have volunteered during the war with Mexico. They undoubtedly far exceed in proportion, any other of the professions. There are thirty in one regiment. --many a fair as well as foul form will be knocked into pi, and be distributed among the chaparrals.

Matamoros was hardly occupied by our troops before an American press was in motion, ad in a few weeks, two, if not three, public papers were regularly issued in that city. "The Flag," is at this moment one of the most frequently quoted papers we know of, on this continent.

Monterey, in California, surrendered to the American squadron, under Commodore Sloat, on the 9 th July. On the 29 th August, the first number of "The Californian," edited by the Rev. Walter Colton, was published in that city, and has been issued weekly since. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Ten additional regiments of volunteers nearly completed

The ten regiments of volunteers last called for by President to serve "for the war," are nearly all completed.

The first regiment to embark, was that of Pennsylvania. It rendezvoused at Pittsburg, and embarked from thence on the 23rd ult. , and a part of them reached New Orleans on the 28 th, consisting of Capts. Nagle's and Small's companies, and the second detachment, consisting of Capts. Scott's and Bennett's companies--the Philadelphia Light Guards and Cadwallader Greys. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 first Pennsylvania regiment embarked for New Orleans, second regiment assembling

Of the 2 nd Pennsylvania regiment, the Pittsburg Inquirer, of the 3 rd inst says:--The following companies are now at this place, viz: Westmoreland Guards, Greensburg,; Cameron Guards, Harrisburg; Ranger, Philadelphia; Highlander, Cambria county; Columbia Guards, Danville; Maunch Chunk company. None of the Pittsburg companies have been mustered into service (for officers) yet. The Reading and Uniontown troops are expected here to-night. The Westmoreland Guards and Stockton artillerists have been mustered into the service.

The Harrisburg company will be here this evening, and also Capt. George's. At an election of officers fore the second regiment; there were three candidates for Colonel. Roberts of Fayete county wad elected by a majority of six votes over Capt. Hambright. Z. W. Geary, of Cambria was elected Lieut. Col. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 New York troops about to depart for Mexico

NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS. --The time now rapidly approaches (says the Brooklyn Eagle of Thursday the 7 th,) for the final departure of this fine body of men. We were at Fort Hamilton yesterday, and learned from several of the officers that they expected the regiment to embark this day or to-morrow, in three vessels, which have been chartered for the purpose of transporting them to Tampico; and to finally depart some time during the beginning of next week. They will leave here under sealed orders, but it is thought that their first operations will be directed against Vera Cruz. There are ten companies of eighty men each in the regiment, the last one hundred and fifty having yesterday been mustered into the service. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Mustering of Massachusetts volunteers for the war with Mexico

The Massachusetts Regiment. Six companies have been mustered into service and others are organizing. There is not so much of the war enthusiasm in this section of the Union. Captain Webster, son of the senator, was the first to have a full company. The Salem Register says it is rumored that Hon. Caleb Cushing is desirous to take the command of the Massachusetts regiment, should the complement be made up. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Difficulty raising a regiment of volunteers in Virginia

There has been difficulty in obtaining a regiment from this leading administration state, and it is yet incomplete. We notice her officers have been recruiting in Baltimore city, and Washington county, Maryland,--and, if we mistake not, in Philadelphia also. It is also asserted by Whig journals of Virginia, that the first companies of the regiment to organize, were all from Whig districts of the state. This kind of rivalry may have its use. Two of the six companies that rendezvoused at Richmond have proceeded to Old Point Comfort, where Col. Walbach, U. S. A. is in command. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Comment on the employment of the Maine volunteers in the war against Mexico

Maine Volunteers. --The Age, a leading administration paper, says:--"Our readers will recollect that some months since Maine was called upon by the general government to raise one regiment of volunteers for the Mexican war. It was then expected this regiment would be called into the service at an early day. Such however has been the enthusiasm with which the citizens of states located nearer the theatre of conflict have rushed to the army, that the volunteers I this state have not yet been called to the field. From present appearances, it being now understood that a controlling force is about to be brought into the field by our government, this regiment may soon be wanted. There have been enlisted eight full companies, and the other two, necessary to complete the regiment, are, as we understand, nearly full. It is to be hoped that these companies will be immediately filled, and the regiments organized and held in readiness for immediate action. *************

"In this general encounter for justice and right, shall not Maine be represented? Shall the treacherous Mexicans be chastised for their perfidy and our patriotic citizens have no hand in administering the well merited castigation? Let this regiment be organized at once and its services tendered to the government." [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 progress of the Palmetto Regiment toward Mexico

The Charleston Courier of the 8th says--"We understand that the right wing of the Palmetto regiment will leave the camp near Hamburg, this evening, on their route to Mobile, and that the left wing will follow them the succeeding evening. The troops are said to be in fine spirits and eager to move." [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Mississippi regiment

The Mississippi regiment is nearly full. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Preparations for arming and equipping he North Carolina volunteer

North Carolina is making every preparation for the arming and equipping of her sons, and letters from Louisville announce that there is every prospect of success in raising the regiment required of her. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 election of officers of the Louisiana volunteers

Louis G. De Russy, a graduate of West Point, has been chosen Colonel of the regiment of volunteers from Louisiana, and Francis Rigault, Major. --The Lieut. Colonel is yet to be appointed. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 desecration of the graves of Capt. Gillespie and Young Thomas

Capt. Gillespie and young Thomas. A Letter from Monterey says:

"In your paper of the 4 th ult. I saw a biographical sketch of Capt. Gillespie, and on showing it to an acquaintance, he informed me that about four weeks after the battle, he went to the graves of Capt. Gillespie and young Thomas, and found that the bodies had been dug up by the Mexicans, and stripped of every vestige of clothing. The bones were reentered and the graves covered over with large flat rocks. --When it is generally known by these groveling wretches, that nothing but the bones of the heroes are left in the grave, their pilfering propensities will be left to sleep in their quiet but proud homes."

The gentlemen mentioned as having been recommended as Colonel of the Baltimore Battalion, vice Col. Watson, deceased, is not B. Buchanan, but Major Robert C. Buchanan, son of the late Andrew Buchanan, long a distinguished merchant of Baltimore. This officer was brevetted for his good conduct at Pal Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and served with some distinction in the Florida campaign. [PTH]

71.308 January 16, 1847, marriage of a Massachusetts volunteer, sermon to the troops

Marriage of a Volunteer.  Yesterday afternoon, at east Boston, Henry Carney, one of Captain Webster's company, was married to Miss Almira Bent.  Lieut. Kelley, office of the day, allowed an escort of thirteen men in uniform, with side arms, under sergeant Sterns, to accompany the bridegroom from the quarters in Pitts street to East Boston, and witness the wedding.  A furlough of 48 hours was also allowed the bridegroom. 

In the forenoon, twenty men of this company, in uniform, attended the Rev. Mr. Taylor's church. - The reverend gentlemen availed himself of the circumstance to discourse eloquently upon the duties of patriotism, and at the close of the services he prayed that the young defenders of their country present, and their brethren in arms might go forth to battle armed with the breast plate of righteousness, and be sustained in the hour of their utmost danger by a sure hope in Christ. - Boston Post. [RLK]

NNR47January v71.308 1/16/1847 Mexican American War - deaths of volunteers at Matamoros

Deaths at Matamoros. In the General Hospital since 1 stNovember, 1846. L. P. Callagan, Tennessee cavalry; Charles Fough . 1st regiment artillery, company H. ; D Lemmon, 1 stregiment Indiana volunteers, company G; Z. Haynes, 3 rd regiment Illinois volunteers, company A; Paxton, rejected recruit of 1st artillery; W. W. Campbell, 1st regiment Georgia volunteers, company I; John Reynolds 1 st. Mississippi volunteer company D; C. T. Davis, 1 stAlabama volunteer company; Mich. Burke, 7 th regiment infantry, company F; Eli Robinson, 3 rd Ohio volunteer company. [AKS]

71.308 January 16, 1847, departure of South Carolina Volunteers for Mexico, notice about an additional corps

South Carolina Volunteers.  The right wing of the regiment, consisting of the Sumpter de Kalb, Fairfield, Charleston, and Lancaster volunteers departed en route for the seat of war on the 31st; and the left wing, consisting of the Abbeville, Edgefield, Richland, and Chester volunteers, on the day following, in good health and spirits.  The line of march is stated to be as follows: - by Rail Road to Griffin, Georgia - thence march to Notasulga, in Alabama: a distance of 104 miles - next, by Rail Road to Montgomery, and thence, by steamboat, to Mobile; whence they are to embark.

More Supplies. Newbury Mountaineer, publishes the following note from Col. Williams - Newbury Dec. 26, 1846.

Dear Sir: - You will please notice in your paper that I am raising a corps of 100 men, to be attached to the Palmetto regiment.  Newbury court house will be the place of rendezvous.  The company will leave the last of next week.  Persons wishing to join, can do so by addressing a letter to me at Newbury court house.                    Your ob't ser'vt.



71.308-309 January 16, 1847, message of Gov. William Owsley of Kentucky on the raising of volunteers

VOLUNTEERS.  Governor Owsley, in his annual message to the legislature of Kensuekey, furnishes the rare and as some think commendable example of abstaining from any remarks upon national affairs, except what are immediately incident to the affairs of the state over which he presides:  That part of his message is as follows:

"The United States had become involved in war with Mexico, a sister republic.  The calamity was great, and deeply to be deplored; but the rubicon was passed, and it was too late to look back and wrangle as to the manner in which it was brought about.  Our country needed assistance, and most willingly was assistance afforded.  A call was made by the gevernment at Washington, upon Kentucky, for three regiments of volunteers - one of mounted riflemen, and two of infantry - and each to be composed of ten companies.  The requisition was received the 22d of May, but in anticipation of it I had previously, on the 10th of that month, issued a proclamation calling for the organization of volunteer companies, and before the 26th of May, companies for each regiment were organized, their services tendered and accepted by me, and one of the regiments, (the Louisville Legion,) actually embarked on steamers for the seat of war.  There was a burst of patriotic feeling on the occasion, and a promptness in responding to the call of government worthy the sons of Kentucky, and for which they justly merit high commendation.  Party strife gave way to the love of country, and the struggle to be first to tender their services, became common every where throughout the state.  The dispatch was so great and unexpected that means were not provided by the government to pay the incidental and necessary expenses of the Legion.  Unwillingly that the service should be impeded or the brave soldiers who had so promptly stepped forward at the call of their country, should suffer for lack of necessary supplies, I did not hesitate to accept the tender, made to me by an association of patriotic citizens of Louisville, of money adequate to pay the expenses and supply the wants of the Legion.  But I am happy to inform you that the government at Washington has since reimbursed the entire amount expended, and the accounts with those who advanced the money have been finally adjusted and closed.

          "I should do injustices to my feelings, were I not to express my high estimation of the services of quartermaster general Ambrose W. Dudley, and assistant quartermaster, Col. William Preston, in bringing the account to such speedy and satisfactory adjustment.  The prudence, industry and skill of Gen. A.W. Dudley, in keeping with the account of the state's expenditure, and managing his difficult and embarrassing department, this result is chiefly owing.  Other states, less fortunate in this respect, are still involved with the department at Washington, over unsettled accounts for precisely similar expenditures."

NNR47January v71.309, January 16, 1847 City of Jalapa

Jalapa, or Zalapa, the capital of the state of Vera Cruz, is a pleasant town situated 89 miles from the city of Vera Cruz, on a steep declivity of the table land, 4,340 feet above the level of the sea.  It contains eight churches, a good school for drawing, and 13,000 inhabitants.  The principal merchants of the city of Vera Cruz reside at Jalapa, and only visit the sickly city occasionally.  An annual fair is held at Jalapa, and much frequented.

71.309 January 16, 1847, sketch of the Mexican cities on the route from Veracruz to the city of Mexico


The New York Commercial publishes the following sketch of the Mexican cities on the route from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico:

Vera Cruz - The city of Vera Cruz is walled around with a fort at each extremity of the water front; the walls on the land side are loopholed for musketry.  Parapet guns have been recently mounted on the walls.  The city walls are very thick, of coral rock; the walls of the houses are usually 2 1/2 feet thick, and the roofs are flat.  Each house has a cistern or cisterns of rain water.  The city is well paved.

From Vera Cruz to Mexico - About ten miles from Vera Cruz is a stream 200 yards wide, crossed at a ferry in scows, or by swimming horses over.  The next stream, about 30 miles from Vera Cruz, is fordable, and is also spanned by a wooden bridge called Puente del Rey, (the King's bridge,) and also the national bridge.  Near it on the right is an eminence of about 60 feet, on which is a fort completely commanding the approach and bridge.

Between these bridges and Jalapa the road passes near several heights, from which the natives can annoy invaders on the road.

City of Jalapa - This city stands on a very elevated ground, yet for many miles the ascent is quite gradual.  From the city, Vera Cruz is visible, as is also the sea, 90 miles distant.  The city itself is upon a high hill - highest in the centre, so that the streets incline considerably; so much so that no wheeled vehicles can pass along any of them except the main street or road, which has a considerable rise and descent.  The city is surrounded by a wall, and has a strongly built church near the western gate, which could be converted into a citadel.  The streets are paved.  The houses, as in other Mexican towns, are of stone, with flat roofs and iron barred windows. - Opposite the city, on the left of the road, is a hill from which the road might be annoyed, and shells thrown into the town.  For the distance of six or seven miles before reaching the town the road is a handsome and substantial structure of chequered pavement, and must have been very costly.

Perote - At the base of a high mount, bearing the same name, some distance from the road on the left, is a cluster of houses, with a church, called Perote.

Castle of Perote - Opposite, on the right of the road and commanding it in every direction, stands the castle.  It is upon a flat sandy plain, strongly built of stone and encircled by a deep dry fosse or ditch.  The main entrance is by going over a chevaux de-frize by a stile, descending some twenty five or thirty stone steps to the bottom of the fosse and crossing it to the gates, which are on a level with the bottom.

City of Puebla - This city is walled and fortified.  It is built of stone and the streets are well paved. - Contains about 100,000 inhabitants.  Here water is abundant, but from the national bridge to this city no water can be obtained - the natives substituting pulque as a beverage.

From Jalapa to Puebla there are occasional heights nears the road, which if fortified, might annoy invaders.  In fact, from Vera Cruz to Puebla this is the case - the travel being alternately over broad unobstructed roads and narrow passes, commanded by heights.  The road passes through Puebla.  The Pueblanos have a peculiar character; they are cunning and courageous and the most expert robber and assassins throughout Mexico, where there is no lack of such.  If an offender is brought before an alcalde, any where else, and is known or ascertained to be a Pueblano, his condemnation is sure.

Cordova - A small walled and garrisoned town, through which the road passes.  Beyond Puebla the road is good till it reaches the mountain of Cordova, about midway between the former and the city of Mexico, where the ascent is very rugged and steep, though without defiles.  Near the road, at the foot of this mountain, passes the Rio Frio or cold river, which has its rise in the neighboring mountain of Popocatapeti, 17,000 feet above the level of the seas.  A work on some of the heights of Popocatapeti would command the road.

After leaving the mountain of Cordova the road is good and unobstructed, with plenty of waster, to the city of Mexico.  For several miles before reaching that city the road is delightful, passing between parallel canals and rows of Lombardy poplars.

The lake of Tezcuco - This lake commences on the right of the road, near the city, into which its waters are carried by a canal, the latter serving also to drain the gutters, &c., into the lake.  The so-called lake is a large, long and very irregularly shaped basin, shallow, and containing numerous small islands and covered by myriads of wild ducks.  The depth of water varies with the season; in the rainy months the basin is filled, and then it assumes the appearance of a large lake.  Being the receptacle of all the drainage from the city it is very filthy.  The canal from the city passes through it, fed by its waters, five or six miles in a southeast direction to the small fort of Chalco, at the extreme margin of the basin in that direction.  This canal is used for transporting produce into the city and for pleasure excursions in gondolas, &c.

City of Mexico - Like all other Mexican cities this has walls and houses of stone, with flat roofs &c.  It is well paved: a gutter four feet wide passes through the centre of each street, covered by broad flag stones, removable at pleasure, all the gutters are drained into the canal or lake.  The city has many large and strong churches and other great buildings, easily converted into fortresses.  If its walls were repaired and mounted with cannon, and well garrisoned it could make a formidable resistance to besiegers.

During the festival days, which are very numerous, the haciendas for twenty or thirty miles around send into the city not less than 10,000 mounted peasantry of the better class, most expert horsemen. - They are courageous and skillful in the use of the lance, and machete, which is a large and heavy knife.  Nothing more would be necessary than for the padres to go forth into the principal cities; particularly Puebla and Mexico, and elevate their crosses, and appeal to the bigotry of the population, to rally an immense force of blood, active and desperate men, who would make fierce resistance to an invasion and if invaders should force their way in, assassinations by the hands of so many expert murderers would soon make fearful inroads on their numbers. [RLK]

71.320 January 16, 1847, letter from Gen. Winfield Scott on his plans

A letter from Major General Scott, now commanding all the land forces in Mexico, dated December 28th, from Brazos Santiago, states that he should leave the next day via Matamoros and Camargo, in search of official news, by which he should be governed accordingly.  Referring to the reports of the movement of the enemy, he states that, in the meantime, events may take him to Monterey; and that, "if Santa Anna be on the offensive, he must be repulsed," &c. [RLK]

71.320 January 16, 1847, report of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna advancing on Saltillo unfounded


We were hurrying much of the details given in the Union, as mentioned above, into type, when another mail, Friday morning's, brought us a sudden change of scenery.

The U.S. transport steamer Alabama left Brazos on the 3rd, and reached New Orleans on the 7th inst.  Major Butler, U.S. Army, who left Parras, where Gen. Wool's division then lay in good health and spirits, on the 17th ult., and passed the whole line of present exciting operations, furnishes authentic and the latest intelligence.

General Worth on the 16th ultimo received information from the two scouts that the Mexican General-in-chief had left San Luis Potosi, at the head of a body of 15,000 cavalry, with the intention to fall on the American division at Saltillo, which he imagined he could easily crush.  After this, he proposed attacking Gen'l Wool, and if similar success attended him, to repair to Monterey and capture or destroy the magazines and public stores which lay there.  Gen. Worth, without attaching more importance to the report than it seemed to merit, forthwith despatched expresses to Generals Taylor, Wool and Butler, acquainting them with what he had heard, leaving it entirely to them to act in the premises.

An express overtook Gen. Taylor a short distance from Monterey, on the route to Victoria.  He immediately returned to this encamping ground, near Monterey with the whole of his division, and then waited further advices.  After remaining three days, during which he received information of the improbability of the report of Santa Anna's advance on Saltillo, he again took up the line of march, and proceeded onward to Victoria.  Meanwhile, Gen'l. Wool, who had been informed of the rumor current at Saltillo, called in all his detached commands, and at the head of his division, 3000 strong, quitted Parras on the 18th ultimo, and by arrangements previously made, was to enter Saltillo, on the 23rd at farthest, pushing forward with practicable speed.

Gen. Butler had previously reached Saltillo from Monterey.  During this time the intelligence of the reported advance of Santa Anna had reached over more distant points of the line of occupation; and troops, already under orders to march towards Monterey, hastened their progress, onward.

It appears that Generals Taylor and Worth, on mature reflection, readily discovered the improbability of the report of Santa Anna's advance, or, near proximity to Saltillo, from the following facts:

1st.  The distance between San Luis de Potosi and Saltillo was too great to admit of the possibility oof the march of so large a body as 15,000 men, without timely notice being afforded to the American general to prepare for his reception.  2dly.  The ground between the two cities is extremely bare of verdure, or other means of subsistence for man and beast - 90 miles of which, as is well known, being an arid desert, divested of fountains, running streams, or any other source of water, besides affording not the least chance of getting food or fodder, being almost uninhabited, throughout its wide extent.

The report of the Mexican scouts, however, is said to have been corroborated, by information received at Saltillo, in a letter from an English merchant at San Luis de Potosi, who stated that Santa Anna had positively left that city, at the head of a numerous body of cavalry.  Even now, in these parts of Mexico occupied by our troops, it is admitted that Santa Anna is out with a considerable mounted force, but with objects far different from those attributed to him by the scouts.

It was stated in the letter above alluded to, that the Mexicans' intentions were to hurry forward, and occupy the only practicable pass in the mountains, lying between division of Generals Worth and Wool. thus intercepting their communications.  After realizing his anticipated success against them, by cutting them up in detail, he was then to advance on Monterey, &c. &c.  These announcements are now proved to be premature, and things are now proceeding in their former train; accelerated a little by the alarm which has just subsided.

Maj. Butler was in Monterey on the 23d ult. at the time Gen. Taylor was encamped there.  Col. Harney was in that city, on his way to Saltillo.  Everything seemed satisfactory, regarding the conduct of inhabitants, as to peace and tranquility.  One regiment, it is presumed, will be sufficient to form its garrison. [RLK]

NNR47January v71.320 1/16/1847 Affair at Los Angeles

THE REPORTED CALIFORNIA MASSACRE, according to official accounts published in the Mexican papers, signed by Col. J. M. Segura, and addressed to the Gov. of Sonora, turns out to have been a small matter. It appears from this document, that,

On the 23 rd September, the citizens of Los Angeles and its vicinity met, proclaimed liberty from the American rule, and placed Florez at their head. Strife ensued, and actions took place on the 26 th and 27th in the vicinity, in which the Americans were routed, 27 of them made prisoners and 3 were wounded--none killed. The Mexicans had one killed.

The conquerors then laid siege to the city--and on the 30 th it capitulated. The treaty of capitulation at Monterey was not half as formal and minute as this grand treaty.

Commissioners were appointed on both sides, the American commander, Don Archibald Gillespie, being represented by Senor Don Edward Gil Chitre--Surgeon; with the rank of Major--and Lieut. D. Miguel Prior. (The Doctor in this case we presume to be surgeon Edward Gilchrist, of the US sloop of war Portsmouth. ) Capt. Gillespie bound himself to retire with all his force to the port of San Pedro, thence to embark for Monterey, (California), remaining in San Pedro no longer than might be necessary to make all needful preparations for departure. Art. 1, stipulates for their retiring with the honors of war, with their arms and private property. Art 2, gives them the mounted artillery then in Los Angeles to accompany them to San Pedro, but there to be restored to the Mexicans; exchange of prisoners, restoration of property, and &c. The terms of the capitulation would seem to have been religiously observed till the time for embarkation arrived. Then the complaints of the Mexicans begin. Col. Segura says that the guns which should have been restored were all spiked; that arms should have been surrendered; that the American vessel off the port sent her boats ashore with a force of three hundred men, besides the force which had capitulated, and maintained a permanent occupation of the town. Notwithstanding all this, Col. Segura goes on to say that the troops of Sonora continue to be animated with the same enthusiasm for the liberties of the country as heretofore. We give the Mexicans the benefit of their own version of these affairs. [PTH]

NNR47January v71.320 1/16/1847 particulars of maneuvering

MARCH OF TROOPS, &c. On his way from Monterey to Camargo, Major Butler met the Kentucky mounted riflemen, with Gen. Marshall at their head, and one of the Ohio regiments - both corps on their way from the former place. [AKS]

71.320 January 16, 1847, defenders of Chihuahua

CHIHUAHUA - A despatch is published from Gov. Angel Trias, dated the 20th of November, in which he announces that on the day previous a body of 480 troops, part infantry and part cavalry, with four light pieces of artillery, left Chihuahua for El Paso del Norte, under the command of Lieut. Col. Cuilty; with provisions, &c. for one month.  Those forces were to join at El Paso 600 men, previously raised, and the whole were to proceed and make an attempt to surprise General Kearney, who was then with a small force at Cobre, near two hundred mile north of that point.  All classes of the citizens took part in celebrating the departure of these troops. [RLK]

71.320 January 16, 1847, item from Santa Fe


SANTA FE - Letters to the 15th of November, at St. Louis, detailing all the movements previous to that date.  No allusion is made to the reported defeat of the sixty dragoons. [RLK]

71.320 January 16, 1847, Santa Fe traders reported progressing but US supply trains impeded by snow and want of funds

"A letter from Moro, dated on the 21st of Nov, announces the arrival there of Mr. N. Colburn, in advance of the wagons belonging to the last company of the traders which left Independence.  On the 17th they experienced a severe storm of snow, which killed many of the oxen, but they were able to supply themselves, at Moro, and would get safely into Santa Fe.  The United States trains could not, it is said move a wagon on account of snow and the loss of animals, and they were then buying oxen to get the wagon along.  A wealthy Mexican citizen, seeing the embarrassments of the government's agent for the want of money, had generously proffered to loan Major Walker, paymaster, one hundred thousand dollars, at an interest of only three per cent a month." [RLK]

71.320 January 16, 1847, Gen. Zachary Taylor resumes his march to Victoria
71.320 January 16, 1847, Gen. Zachary Taylor's general orders directing movement of the army from Monterey to Victoria

Movement of the army from Monterey for Victoria -

The following general orders show the dispositions made at the date thereof:

[ORDERS NO. 156.]

Headquarters, Army of Occupation

  Camp near Monterey, Mexico, Dec. 10, 1846.

I. The 4th infantry is detached from the 1st division and with company E., 1st artillery, will form the garrison of the citadel, which will be occupied as soon as practicable; the commanding officer making his reports to Major General Butler's headquarters, and receiving his orders therefrom.  The Maryland and District of Columbia battalion is likewise detached from the 1st division and will report to Brig. Gen. Quitman.

II. The 7th infantry and 2 companies of mounted riflemen in Monterey are attached to the 1st division which will be recognized as follows: 3d brigade under Colonel Harney - light company C, 3d artillery; company B, C, D and E, 2d dragoons; the 2d infantry to join at Monte Morales; 3d infantry.  4th brigade under Col. Smith - company E, 3d artillery; mounted riflemen; 1st and 7th infantry; the remaining companies of the 2d dragoons will be assigned when they shall join.

III. The troops of the first division, as organized, will be held ready to march on Sunday, the 13th inst., in the direction of Victoria.

IV. The field division organised, in order No. 108, of August 28th, is broken up; the Ohio and Kentucky regiments will report to Major General Butler and the 1st Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi regiments, will be held ready to march as above under the orders Brig. Gen. Quitman.

V. The troops will carry 4 days rations in their haversacks and 200 rounds of ammunition, per man, of which 40 will be taken in their boxes - the regulation allowance of transport, one wagon for each company, and such allowance for ammunition as may be found necessary.

VI. The regular general hospitals in town will be consolidated into one, to be under charge of Surgeon Jarvis; the following assignments of medical officers are made and will go into immediate effect: Surgeon M'Claren to the 7th infantry; Ass't Surgeon Byrne, 4th infantry; Ass't Surgeon Wills, mounted riflemen; Ass't Surgeon Byrne will also perform the duty of medical purveyor in Monterey; Ass't Surgeon Madison will accompany the medical director as medical purveyor on the march.

By order of Major General TAYLOR:

[Signed.] W. W. S. BLISS

In pursuance of the above orders the army had marched from Monterey, and General Taylor was en route from Victoria. [RLK]

71.321 January 23, 1847, extracts from official account of the recent movement and present direction of the divisions
NNR47January v71.321-322 January 23, 1847, Gen. Robert Patterson's march on Victoria

The general view taken of the campaign in our last remains unchanged during the week, except as regards the movement of General Patterson, upon Victoria, which instead of having been countermanded with a view to the relief of Saltillo, was not countermanded.  He continued his march in that direction, as will be seen by the subjoined article from the Union.  That Santa Anna made some movement, with a formidable portion of his army, though not in the direction of Saltillo - appears to be believed, and apprehensions are expressed that his destination may have been Victoria, to intercept Gen. Patterson, or Tampico.  We doubt his venturing on either of these points.


OFFICIAL DESPATCHES, says the Washington Union, have been received from General Taylor, dated the 23d of December, near Monterey, representing that he had left that place on the 15th, for Victoria, having previously put in motion the troops destined for that point.  At Montemorelos a junction was effected on the 17th with the 2d infantry and 2nd Tennessee regiment of foot from Camargo; and it was intended, with the whole force (3,500 men) to march on the 19th, for Victoria.  But, on the evening of his arrival at Montemorelos, a despatch arrived from Gen. Worth, commanding at Saltillo, with the intelligence that Santa Anna designed to take advantage of the division of force towards Victoria, and, by a rapid movement, to strike a heavy blow at Saltillo; and, if successful, then at General Wool's force at Parras.  Under these circumstances, and with no mean of judging how far this information might be well founded, the general returned to Monterey with the regular force in order to be in position to reinforce Saltillo if necessary.  The volunteers under General Quitman, reinforced by a field battery, were ordered to continue their march and effect a junction with General Patterson at Victoria, while General Taylor returned to Monterey with General Twiggs's division, now increased by the 2nd infantry.

In the meantime, Gen. Butler and Gen. Wool, being advised by Gen. Worth of a probable attack upon his position, moved rapidly to join him with all the available force at Parras and Monterey, while orders were despatched by General Butler, to hasten up troops from the rear.  The latter general proceeded in person to Saltillo and assumed the command, agreeably to instructions which had been given by General Taylor before his departure, to meet a case like this.

General Taylor had proceeded beyond Monterey on his way to Saltillo, when he was met on the 20th by a despatch from the post, announcing the early arrival of Gen. Wool's column, and also that the expected concentration and movement of Mexican troops upon that position had not taken place - instead, that their advanced posts had rather been withdrawn.  Deeming the force there and soon to be at Saltillo quite sufficient to repel any demonstration this season from San Luis Potosi, Gen. Taylor did not think it worth while to throw forward Gen. Twiggs's division to that place, and after resting it a day, designed putting that division again in march for Victoria, to which point he was to proceed himself.

Gen. Patterson was supposed to be then well on his march from Matamoras to Victoria, when his division, except the Alabama rangers (in garrison at Tampico,) will be brought together.  With a force holding in observation the passes from Tula, the garrison at Tampico may be reduced with advantage to the service.  [RLK]

71.321 January 23, 1847, rumors at Washington

RUMORS AT WASHINGTON - The Washington Fountain flows freely, occasionally overflows - Amongst the editorial on dits in Tuesday's paper, one was, that General Taylor was to be recalled.  It goes so far as to predict that he will arrive at Washington, to which it adds that he is ordered to repair - by the middle of February.

The next item is stated to be "on the authority of Commodore Perry" - the Castle of D'ULLOA is not to be attacked, "government having determined to 'conquer a peace' without attacking this stronghold." It adds that Commodore Perry is not to return to the Gulf, - with the saving clause: "How true these rumors are, we do not pretend to say."

Their next rumor is the following:

"Ultimatum of Mexico - We learn that our government is in possession of the ultimate conditions on which Mexico will consent to make a peace with the United States, and that it has determined to accede to them, if Congress will enable the Executive to meet the views of Mexico.  It will be seen by reference to our epitome of the congressional proceedings of yesterday, that the committees on foreign relations in both houses, having already moved the appropriation of large sums of money to be placed at the disposition of the President in treating for peace with the enemy."

The Union referring to the "rumors" inserted in the Washington Fountain, noticed in the above says "we do not believe there is any adequate authority or foundation for either of these 'rumors'." [RLK]

71.321-71.322 January 23, 1847, Isaac D. Marks' letter to Gen. Zachary Taylor


Commanding the U. States troops,

at Corpus Christi, Texas:

SIR, I have the honor to inform you that I have had several conference at Monterey with Gen. Mariano Arista, commander in chief of the Mexican forces on the frontier of the Rio Grande, in relation to the difference at present existing between the United States and Mexico, and I am pleased to state to you that from the opinions and views he made known to me, the cabinet of Mexico is disposed to enter into an amicable arrangement with the United States, in relation to the boundary and all other momentous questions.  Although I was not clothed with any official authority, I took upon myself as a citizen of the United States, desiring to see the two countries in harmony of friendship, to say, that it has ever been and is the policy and sincere wish of the government and people of the United States to cultivate the good will and friendship of the sister republics of the American continent, and most especially Mexico, and that I was confident the United States would make a liberal settlement with Mexico relative to the boundary question.

As General Arista was under the impression that I was a secret agent of the United States, though I declared to him quite contrary, and that I was only acting as a private individual, endeavoring to avoid a recourse to arms between the two countries, he nevertheless thought it advisable to send a minute of our conferences to his government, and assured me that there will be no declaration of war on the part of Mexico, until I can proceed on to Washington and lay before the president the views of Mexico, of which I am possessed.

General Arista pledged his honor to me that no large body of Mexican troops should cross the left bank of the Rio Grande; that only small parties not to exceed 200 men should be permitted to go as far as the Arroya Colorado (20 leagues from the Rio Grande) and that they would be strictly ordered only to prevent Indian depredations and illicit trade.  I then had no hesitation in assuring him that you would not commit any aggressive act against Mexico, or her citizens, and that you would solely maintain the position you at present occupy at or near the Nueces river.  I trust, in having made this assurance to him, though, I again repeat I did it as a private citizen of the United States, it will meet with your approbation and be adhered to, as in a great measure peace depends on your prudent movements in this particular.  General Arista spoke also of Indian incursion on the frontier of the Rio Grande, and is under the impression that they could be prevented by the troops under your command, as the Indians always come from the Nueces river.  I expressed my profound regret at the frequent atrocious acts of the Indians, and said that you would no doubt in future use all endeavors to prevent them as the United States was bound by the treaty of April, 1831, to prevent them as far as possible.  He suggested that if you would station a body of cavalry at the pass of San Salas (head waters of the Nueces) through which mountain pass they invariably proceed to the Rio Grande, it would effectually check them.

I shall leave this village to-morrow for Matamoros to which port I shall arrive in three days; from thence I will embark in the first vessel for the United States, proceeding immediately on to Washington, to lay before the president the information and views of Mexico, which I am possessed of; in the meantime, should you decree this note of sufficient importance, I trust that you will transmit a copy of it by express to the government, as by timely information much good may result therefrom.

I beg to congratulate you that the door is opened to an amicable adjustment of the vexatious questions between the United States and Mexico, and feel happy in having been instrumental in this great and good object.

I am, with great respect, sir, your ob't servant,



71.322 January 23, 1847, letter of Isaac D. Marks to Secretary of State James Buchanan

New Orleans, Oct. 29th, 1845.

To the Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN, Secretary of State:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, a "copy" of a letter I addressed to General Z. Taylor at Corpus Christi, from the village of China, (Mexico). - I despatched it by special courier to him, but was subsequently informed that the express was detained at the town of Camargo, (on the Rio Grande,) up to the 7th instant, by reason of the continual and heavy rains.  I beg leave to add that I arrived in this city yesterday from Matamoros, and will leave to-morrow for Washington.  I am, with great respect, &c.,




71.322 January 23, 1847, Mrs. Anna Chase’s letter from Tampico


All recollect that previous to that taking of Tampico, Mrs. CHASE, the wife of our consul at that place; sent to Com. Conner, an exact plan of the entire town, harbor, and forts of Tampico, with information of the exact strength of the place; and that, on receiving the documents of Mrs. Chase, the commodore immediately set sail for Tampico, and took the place without opposition, owing his success entirely to the information sent him by that accomplished and patriotic lady.  We give below a letter for which we are indebted to the kindness of our friend, Mr. B.M. Norman, to whom it was addressed, written by Mrs. Chase herself, giving, somewhat in detail, the taking of Tampico, and the part she had in it.  Much less praise, we think, has been bestowed on the noble conduct of this courageous and patriotic lady than she deserves, and we trust that our government, in consideration of the very distinguished services which she had rendered, at the peril of her life, will unhesitatingly reward her with enduring honors.

We doubt whether, there is a letter on record, written by a female hand, breathing a purer patriotism, a nobler ardor, a more courageous heart, than that of Mrs. Chase, which we give below.  She is a noble example among our countrywomen, and her name will descend, on the pages of our history, winning the admiration of future ages.  It will be seen that by her skillful management, that would have done honor to the most shrewd general, she succeeded, before sending information to Commodore Conner, in so terrifying the Mexican troops that they evacuated Tampico with precipitation, after throwing into the river six hundred stand of arms and one hundred quintals of powder.  We give the letter entire, it being the most authentic account that can be furnished.  She writes what she saw and did.

[New England Mercury]
Tampico, Dec. 14, 1846.

“MY ESTEEMED FRIEND: A great change has come o’er the spirit of my dream – at least within the last month – so that I almost doubt the evidence of my own senses, we having at this moment some twenty sail of vessels in the river Panuco – steamers passing and repassing, the sight of which pays me, in part, for my six months’ solitude and suffering.  I am not a believer in purgatory, but I think I have passed through that ordeal by residing in an enemy’s country alone; not only hostile in feeling, but subtle and unprincipled.

“My dear friend, I scarcely know how to reply to your friendly solicitude towards me and mine especially.  In beginning my imperfect narrative, one great misfortune seems to accompany me – my pen can never keep pace with my feelings.  You will have been aware of Mr. Chase’s expulsion, agreeably to the decree of the 12th of May last, and in compliance with the act he had only twenty four hours’ notice to embark, or eight days to retire twenty leagues into the interior.  He prudently chose the former, and embarked forthwith on board of the St. Mary’s the blockading vessel off the bar of Tampico, leaving some eighty thousand dollars in his store with no other protection than such as I could afford, and two clerks, one of whom was a Mexican; and he, in accordance with the true spirit of Mexican chivalry, commenced robbing me.  In fact my annoyances were so numerous that I cannot give you them in detail, but merely sketch an outline, knowing the sympathy you feel for my perilous position in this new drama.  In the nest place, Inez de Primera Instancia, by order of the commanding general, passed me a notice that my privileges ceased as the wife of the American consul, and my store must be closed.  I replied to him in the most decisive manner, that I was not only his wife, but also his constituted agent – in addition to this I was a British subject, and, as such, neither the judge nor the general could deprive me of my natural rights, as the English law admitted of no anenation – stating that any infraction on it prerogative would be hastily chastized by that government; and in confirmation of my assertion, referred the learned Inez to the law of nations. 

Thus defeated and exasperated, I was not allowed to send an open note to my husband, then off the bar.  But, thank God, who ‘tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,’ He directed me, and I concerted a plan which again defeated their hostile purpose, and sent by strategem nine letters in eight weeks, and through the same means received replies.  But those things were daily making inroads upon my health and spirits, which I most carefully concealed from my good husband, knowing the intensity of his feelings for his government, and particularly for my welfare.

“I, in the meantime, drew a plan of the city and river, and had it sent to Com. Conner and Captain M’Cluney of the John Adams, with a correct description of all the forts, the number of guns, a list of the troops and how they were posted, and every political movement, so that through Mr. Chase and his agent, they knew every important movement in this section of the country.

“They abused and insulted the American name and nation to such an extent that it often caused me to retire and pray God for the day of retribution – With the exception of my faithful Amelia, I had but little human sympathy, as all the English influence was against our national cause.

“I am, perhaps, a little prosy, but I well know the sensitive heart to whom these lines are addressed, and so continue.  I daily watched, not very christian-like, for the moment of retaliation, hoping to be able although alone in the combat, to “square accounts” with my fierce debtors, and, if possible, place myself and party on the credit side of the entangled account.

“Santa Anna recommended to the government of Mexico the confiscation of all American property in order to carry on the war, and that all Americans residing in this country should be make prisoners of war, as a fatal stroke of those usurping pirates – the gentle name generally applied to them – and that this garrison should be reinforced with some 3,000 more troops.  When I read this article in one of the flaming periodicals, it was rather grating to me in my isolated condition.  I determined, however, upon the old Roman motto –

‘Who would be free, himself must strike the blow,’ or in other words, my case was at best helpless, and now even desperate, and required a desperate remedy.

“Two spies came daily to my house, always under the guise of friendship; and on one occasion, one of the wretches believe that I was possessed of items concerning American movements, I represented him that 30,000 troops were to join Gen. Taylor at Matamoros, 30,000 more had been despatched to capture San Juan, &c., and closed with remarking that I would be compelled to close my house within a day or two as a force of 25 to 30,000 troops was coming against this place – which bit of romance so frightened my poor Amelia, that she thought the general here would call me to account for it.

“Next day I had a call from the captain of the port who wished to know the truth, and inquired if Mr. Chase had written to me to that effect; and soon after some other of the high functionaries discovered me to be an important character, in their daily rounds.  In a conversation with the father in law of the general, I recommended to him an early retreat, as the wisest course to be taken; and that same night a private post was despatched to San Luis Potosi upon the strength of the information so received, through me; the town of Tampico was ordered to be vacated on the appearance of this large force off the bar; scouts were sent in every direction, to procure muleteers, for the conveyance of property to the interior; and two schooner loads were shipped to the city of Panuco; six hundred stand of arms were sunk, the cannons were removed from the fort, and the troops evacuated the place.  I then despatched to Com. Connor an account of the state of things, and in triplicate to Havana, under different covers to my husband, urging his return forthwith.  These were sent by an agent, who supposed them mere letter conveying a wish to my husband to meet me at Vera Cruz, to accompany me to Havana.  I spent a restless night and morning, but it has certainly brought its reward.  My letter to the commodore was dated October 23d; he received it October 27th, and immediately called a meeting of his senior officers and laid my despatch before them.  It had due weight.  Provisions were brought from Point Isabel and distributed among the squadron, and on the morning of the 13th have in sight, twelve sail off the bay of Tampico.  I was so confident of the coming of the squadron, that in anticipation of their coming, I had a flag staff made one week previous, and had it erected upon the house-top, in order to raise the first American flag hoisted as a right over Tampico.  On my first sight of the fleet, my pent up feelings gave way and I wept as a child for joy, seeing that God had brought deliverance to the captives, and in anticipation of soon seeing the object of my affection, and also in gratitude to Him who is mighty to save, and that my feeble efforts had wrought so strange in our national welfare.

Here I must pause, and say I cannot pretend to describe my feelings at that time.  Fortitude seemed to give way, and in the midst of this emotion, I again saw the squadron nearing to the bar, the boats managed and the line passing, (they standing their own pilots over their intricate passage.) and broad pennant flying at two mast heads – the blue and red.  My faithful Amelia and myself ran to Mr. Chase’s office, and in solitude offered up a prayer, then pulled the flag down and alone rushed to the house-top.  I carried it up and tied it on the line with my own hands, and we – Amelia, myself, and Mr. Uder – hoisted it, myself giving the first pull.  Thus we defied the whole town of Tampico.  I sent for some Americans, but not one possessed courage or national spirit enough to lend a hand.

In thirty minutes the Ayuntamiento called upon me and ordered me to haul it down.  I replied it was raised as a right of protection.  They said I had no such right as I rejoined that that it was a matter of opinion in which we could not agree.  They said it was a burlesque upon their nation – a lady taking the city – and what would the supreme government of Mexico say?  I replied very laconically, ‘Quien sabe!’ and offered them wine under the new banner.  They threatened the house.  I ran to its top, and asked Mr. Uder if he would stand by me.  He replied, “Yes.”  “Then,” said I, “”the flag must remain, or all of us sent over the house-top, as I shall never pull it down or suffer any Mexican to sully it by his touch.”  I had been robbed, - my store entered and pillaged of more than two thousand dollars, in the dead of the night; and when the regiment from Puebla entered this city, they entered my store and carried off my goods, and I had no redress and still less sympathy; and although alone, the God of the just was my captain general, and I had nothing to fear from all Mexico.  And now the house of redemption was at hand.  I expected they would either fire upon or storm the house.  I rested with my right arm round the flag staff, the banner waving in majestic beauty, and the squadron nearing the city, where they saw the flat.  It was like lightning to pilgrims to know from whence it came, but soon the officers saw two female forms standing by it, and gave three cheers in front of the city, and then came to my house, which had been now nearly six months as if proscribed by some crime or plague, and my fault was that o being the wife of an American.  Commodore Perry and the municipal authorities came to my house on arrival, also Commodore Conner.  My despatches have been sent to the state department, and I have letters of thanks from the officers commanding, who have changed the name of Fort Libertad to Fort Ann, in compliment to me.  They arrived on the 16th.  Forty eight hours after came Mr. Chase, crowning all my happiness.

“You will no doubt have heard part of my story previous to this reaching you, knowing the interest you feel; and this unlimited friendship evinced by you, I thus have taken the liberty to give as far as practicable in detail, and have extended my account far beyond my intention, and at the same time trusting that you will give at least a reading to this imperfect scroll, and may never feel the pangs of mental affliction, as felt by me.

“You very kindly inquire if the existing war has injured us in a pecuntary point?  It has very materially, but that loss has not in the least allowed my spirits to flag.  My trust is in Him, who can withhold and best.  We have suffered in mind, in person and pocket, but with feelings of interest toward our beloved country and duty to the cause, and like the widow I was writing to contribute my might for the honor of the country he had so long represented, and as a dutiful wife to follow him in weal or woe, according to the pressure of misfortune, and in impending anger, the break blasts of adversity should not chill my ardor, in following his advice and his cause and trust to God.

“We will lose nearly one half of our stock goods.  No doubt the U.S. government will indemnify Mr. Chase at a future day.

“Our house will be turned into a garrison, and three field pieces will be placed upon it.  I am willing to stand by my husband at a gun until we both die or are victors.

“I have been trying to keep a journal of the beauties of the drama, in rather a rough form, and may place it in your hands at a future day. [RLK]

71.323 January 23, 1847, announcement of the “new plan of operations” for the campaign about to be commenced by Gen. Winfield Scott, M. Gomez suspected of abstracting it

THE WAR. – New Plan of Operations – Extraordinary Revelations – We read in the La Patria of the 31st ult., a Spanish paper published in New Orleans, by Aleman & Gomez, the following extraordinary revelation of the new plan of operations in the war with Mexico:

“The government appears to confide much in General Scott, who has just gone to the field of operations, and from whose diplomatic and military tactics, it hopes to gain great advantages.  The plan of operations, we learn, is as follows:

Gen. Taylor, instead of moving upon San Luis Potosi, will repair to Saltillo, where he will remain for a short period.  Gen. Scott, after having made some arrangements on the Rio Grande, will hasten to Tampico, where he will assume the command of the 7,000 volunteers recently called out and ordered to assemble at that point.  From Tampico, General Scott will march towards Vera Cruz, and Gen. Taylor will make a simultaneous movement towards Tampico, with all the troops he can muster, after leaving sufficient force to garrison Saltillo, Monterey, Victoria, &c., and in union with Gen. Worth’s division, will join Gen. Scott, who will have at his command the new military arm of rocketeers and howitzeers.

At the proper moment, fifteen or sixteen vessels of the American squadron, with a force of from 230 to 300 guns of all sizes and calibres, will appear off San Juan de Ulloa, and begin the attack upon the castle.  According to the new plan of operations the land forces will rendezvous at the mouth of the river Antigua, which empties into the Gulf a short distance to the north of Vera Cruz, and ascend the same to where the main road to Jalapa crosses it.  If this plan be speedily put into execution, there can be no doubt that Vera Cruz and the Castle will as speedily fall into the power of the American forces; but if any faith be put in Santa Anna’s declaration, it is plain he will be able to cut off the advance of Gen. Taylor from Saltillo.”

Mr. Gomez, the editor of La Patria, and the author of the above, is the same person, who was appointed by Gen. Scott, while tarrying in N. Orleans, to be one of his staff, and whose commission was afterwards revoked by the General on the ground that he was not a friend to the American cause.  Did Gomez obtain the above information while he was Gen. Scott’s aid? – Washington Fountain  [RLK]

71.323 January 23, 1847, Col. Joseph G. Totten sent to Mexico

A Washington letter in the New York Commercial Advertiser thus refers to the above publication:

Colonel Totten, chief of the engineer department, has gone to Mexico, secretly and with despatch. [RLK]

71.333 January 23, 1847, subscription by Maine state treasurer to loan for war with Mexico

The treasurer of Maine has subscribed one hundred and fifty thousand dollars of the 5,000,000 loan for carrying on the war with Mexico. [RLK]

71.336 January 23, 1847, comments on aspirants to the presidency, the question of a lieutenant general, and the war with Mexico

PRESIDENTIAL, 1848 – The different aspirants and their partizans in congress it is said by letter writers at Washington, seriously influence the questions now before that body.  Without room for many of those speculations, we insert the following from the correspondent of the Balt. Sun, (a decidedly administration writer) – as a specimen:

“Every measure which may now be brought forward, - every demand made by the president, - every bill introduced in either house by a member of congress, will lead to slavery and anti-slavery discussions, in which the moral and statesmanlike views of the question will be made to yield to the inordinate desire for power, for in all these discussion no other issue is made than this: Which shall predominate, “the South or the North?”  “From which section of the country shall the next president be taken, from the slave or from the free states?”  Shall Silas Wright be brought forward, or John C. Calhoun, General Cass, or Sam Houston?  The Lieutenant Generalship is supposed by many to be very intimately connected with this question; for if Colonel Benton is to be Lieutenant General, he and senator Dix and Silas Wright will lead off the Northern and Northwestern wing of the party – and, for this very reason, the south will steadfastly oppose it.  It is now pretty certain that a Calhoun man will be elected in the place of Mr. Pennybacker, in the same manner that Mr. Hunter was elected in the place of Mr. Archer; which will make the democratic vote against the Lieutenant General, should he again be galvanized, stand thus: Calhoun, Butler, Colquitt, Lewis, Yulee, besides the two senators from Virginia; making in all 7.  These, with the 24 whigs, who will vote to a man against him, the friends of Col. Benton will never overcome, and thus the measure will be lost, unless skillfully brought forward in another form.  This will be done before the next 4th of March, with what success remains to be seen. – I am even very creditably informed that Col. Benton will himself defend the creation of a Lieutenant General, and state his reasons for doing so at full length.  They will, no doubt, be very interesting and command the attention of the country; especially if, as it is rumored, the charges brought by Mr. Ficklin, of Illinois, and Thompson, of Mississippi, against Scott and Taylor, should receive some new coloring, or be in some measure substantiated.  But, gentlemen had better take care how they make those charges; as, if they cannot prove them, the accusation will, with unerring certainty, recoil upon the calumniators.  But nous verrons.

While an attempt is thus made to force a new organization of the army on the country, Mr. Calhoun intends to wait for an opportunity of presenting his proposition for peace, amity and a treaty of commerce and navigation with Mexico.  He deprecates the war and its consequences, but thinks that peace may yet be concluded on terms mutually honorable and without depriving us of our legitimate inheritance, California. 

If Mr. Calhoun’s plan succeeds in enlisting a majority of congress in its favor, he will be the candidate of the juste milieu party at the next presidential election, and, perhaps, be elected in the same manner that Hunter was returned senator from Virginia.  His friends, I can assure you, intend to run him at all hazards; urging that it is better that “half a dozen first rate men should be brought forward, than a compromise be made in favor of a secondary one.”

If the spring elections turn out against the administration, the Calhoun men, in both houses, will hold the balance of power, and in that position, elect the policy which they deem proper.  We shall then have a regularly organized juste milieu, and a consequent lopping off of the wings of parties.”

The Washington correspondent of the Evening Post, a leading administration paper of New York, writes on the 5th inst.:

“The proceedings of the House today will be looked to by the country with great interest.  The remarks of Mr. King on the subject of the admission of more slave states into the Union, is denounced by the southern members as a concerted movement for the benefit of Mr. Wright, as the northern candidate for the presidency, and the exceedingly able and well written speech which he this morning read to the house, as an exposition of his motives in offering it, were both prepared at Albany by the special and particular desire of Mr. Wright.  No one acquainted with Mr. King will question his capacity to conduct such a business as the management of the northern side of the impending controversy, with judgment and skill.”

REPORTED MOVEMENT IN FAVOR OF PEACE. – The Washington Union, makes the following allusions to a reported movement in congress for effecting a peace with Mexico:

“A rumor has gone forth that a resolution will be submitted to our own congress to recall our troops, and take our position on the Rio Grande.  It is a mere rumor, and we trust, without the slightest foundation.  We do not credit it.  We cannot believe that any statesman would dare to rise in his place, and submit a proposition which is to cast such a slur on the institutions of his country – which tells Mexico, or the nations of Europe, that our internal feuds are so embarrassing, our government so cursed with imbecility, that the nation is too divided and too weak to avenge the wrong, and asset the rights of our country.  Mr. Jefferson asserted in his inaugural address, that, “This is the strongest government on earth.”  We are satisfied that no politician will hazard a proposition which would prove it to be one of the weakest.  Away then with such a suggestion!  The rumor must be like the thousand and one other gossips of Washington, unfounded and false.  We do not believe it.”

The subject is alluded to in a Washington letter published in the N.Y. Herald, thus:

For some days past it has been whispered about that a distinguished senator from the south was resolved at an early day to propose to the senate to withdraw our armies from Mexico, for the following reasons:

1.  We want peace.

2.  We can acquire it by withdrawing our forces, military and naval, from the lands and waters of Mexico.

3.  We can gain nothing by the continued prosecution of the war.

4.  The question of slave or free territory puts a bar of acquisition of land south of the Rio Bravo.

5.  And Mexico has no money, and the longer the war is continued the poorer she will become.

6.  We have, therefore nothing to gain from the prosecution of the war but peace, which we may easily obtain at once by the withdrawal of our forces.

Such, we understand, is the proposition, but we rather suspect a majority of congress would prefer fighting it at a dead expense.  But we shall see. [RLK]

71.336 January 23, 1847, naval preparations for bomb vessels

“NAVAL PREPARATIONS” – The New Orleans Picayune of the 13th states that orders were issued by the Navy Department on the 4th inst., for the purchase without delay of four brigs or schooners to be converted into bomb vessels to carry each a gun ten feet in length and ten inches calibre, alterations to that effect to be made with the utmost despatch.  A ship of 500 tons is to be procured right away to carry munitions and stores for the bomb vessels.  The Bangor and the Aurora steamers have been purchased, and alterations are making in them, to fit them for the service; names changed to Scourge and Scorpion. [RLK]

71.336 January 23, 1847, progress of the California expedition in Brazil

THE CALIFORNIA EXPEDITION, was to leave Rio on the 28th November for the Pacific.  The design of stopping at Valparaiso had been abandoned.  Capt. Turner, of the California volunteers, came passenger in the Reindeer, at New York, bearer of despatches from Mr. Wise.  He proceeded immediately to Washington.  Mr. Wise’s version of the affair should be in hand before making up an opinion.  As between ourselves and any foreign government we are bound to presume our agents to be in the right till after a fair hearing, the contrary is shown.    [RLK]

NNR47January v71.336  January 23, 1847 Reported in favor of peace

The Washington Union makes the following allusions to a reported movement in Congress for effecting a peace with Mexico:

"A rumor has gone forth that a resolution will be submitted to our own congress to recall our troops, and take our position on the Rio Grande. It is a mere rumor, and we trust, without the slightest foundation. We do not credit it. We cannot believe that any situation would fare to rise in his place, and submit a proposition which is to cast such a slur on the institutions of his country — which tells Mexico, or the nations of Europe, that our internal feuds are so embarrassing, our government so cursed with imbecility, that the nation is too divided and too weak to average the wrongs, and assert the rights of the country. Mr. Jefferson asserted in his inaugural address the ‘This is the strongest government on earth.’ We are satisfied that no politicians will hazard a proposition, which would prove it to be one of the weakest. Away, then, with such a suggestion! The rumor must be like the thousand and one other gossips of Washington, unfounded and false. We do not believe it.”

The subject is alluded to on a Washington letter published in the N.Y. Herald, thus:

1. We want peace.

2. We can acquire it by withdrawing our forces, military and naval, from the lands and waters of Mexico.

3. We can gain nothing by the continued prosecution of the war.

4. The question of slave or free trade territory puts a bar of acquisition of land south of the Rio Bravo.

5. And Mexico has no money, and the longer the war is continued the poorer she will become.

6. We have, therefore, nothing to gain from the prosecution of the war but peace, which we may easily obtain at once by the withdrawal of our forces.

Such, we understand, is the proposition, but we rather suspect a majority of congress would prefer fighting it at a dead expense. But we shall see.    [MLL]

NNR47January v71.339 January 30, 1847 General Gideon Johnson Pillow’s general order relative to suffers refusing treasury drafts (“hard money”)

Hard money—Treasury drafts are paid out to the troops in Mexico in thus wise;--Four volunteers have $100 due to them. The paymaster calls them up and gives them $100 treasury draft. The four owe the sutler $40, and hand him the draft—if he has the change he gets the money—if not, he goes without. This has produced much dissatisfaction among the men and sutlers, and the paper was reluctantly received, if at all. This brought out by Gen. Pillow, of the volunteer service, the following order, to compel the refractory to receive the papers. Nat. Intel.

1. Sutlers will receive treasury notes in payment for grade purchased by the soldiers, or any balances that shall or may be against them, at their par value, and any attempt to extort more than this value for them will be punished, when properly brought before the general commanding the brigade, by shutting up the store and sending the goods or the offender out of the country.

2. The general commanding the brigade can scarcely find words to express the astonishment he feels at the rapacity which is not constant with absorbing every copper of the soldier’s hard-earned pittance; but it must turn to shaving the money which he is bound to take when offered by the government, or none. He trusts that none of the sutlers of his brigades have been guilty of these outrages; but, if they have, he warns them against it. Its repetition in the future, so he is determined     to carry out his measures to the very letter.

3. Commanding officers of regiments are held strictly responsible for the literal enforcement of the above order.

By order of Brigadier General Pillow
O.F. WINSHIP, Asn’t Adj. Gen.


NNR47January v71.342 January 30, 1847  General Zachary Taylor’s confidential letter to a friend

My Dear *****

Your very kind and acceptable letter of the 31st of August, reached me only a short time for which I beg leave to tender to you my sincere thoughts.{A few confidential remarks on certain transactions are here emitted.}

After considerable apparent delay on the part of the Quarter Master’s department, in getting steamboats late the Rio Grande adapted to its navigation, I succeeded, towards the latter part of August, in throwing forward to Camargo, (a town situated on the San Juan River, three miles from its junction with the Rio Grande, on the west side, nearly 500 miles from Bragos Island by water and 200 by land, and 140 from this place) a considerable depot of provisions, ordnance, ammunition, and forage, and them, having brought together an important portion of my command, I determined on moving this place. Accordingly, after collecting 1,700 peek mules, with their attendants and conductors, in the enemy’s country, (the principal means of transportation for our provisions, baggage, &c.,) I left, on the 5th of September, to join my advance, which had preceded me a few days to Serraivo, a small village 75 miles on the route, which I did on the 9th, and, after waiting there a few days for some of the corps to get up, moved on and reached here on the 19th, with 6,250 men—2,700 regulars, the balance volunteers. For what took place afterwards, I must refer you to several reports,--particularly to my detailed one of the 9th unit. I do not believe the authorities at Washington are at all satisfied with my conduct in regard to the terms of capitulation entered into with the Mexican commander, which you no doubt have seen as they have been made public through the official organ, and copied into various other newspapers. I have this moment received an answer (to my dispatch announcing the surrender of Monterey, and the circumstances attending the same,) from the secretary of war, stating that “it was regretted by the president that it was not advisable to insist on the terms I had proposed in my communication to the Mexican commander, in regard to giving up the city,”—adding that, “the circumstances which dictated, no doubt, justified the changes.” Although the terms of capitulation may be considered too liberal on our part by the president and his advisers, as well as by many others at a distance, particularly by those who do not understand the position which we occupied (otherwise they might come to a different conclusion in regard to the matters,) yet, on due reflection, I see nothing to induce me to regret the course I pursued.

The proposition on the part of General Ampudia, which had much to do in determining my course in the matter, was based on the ground that our government had proposed to his to settle existing difficulties by negotiation, (which I knew was the case, without knowing the result,) which was then under consideration by the proper authorities, and which he (Gen. Ampudia,) had no doubt would result favorably, as the whole of his people were in favor of peace. If so, I considered the further effusion of blood not only unnecessary, but improper. Their force was also considerably larger than ours; and from the size and position of the place, we could not completely invest it; so that the greater portion of their troops, if not the whole, had they been disposed to do so, could, any night, have abandoned the city, at once, entered the mountain passes, and effected their retreat,--do what we could! Had we been put to the alternative of taking the place by storm, (which there is no doubt we should have succeeded in doing,) we should have, in all probability, have lost fifty or one hundred men in killed, besides the wounded,--which I wished to avoid, as there appeared to be a prospect of peace, even if a distinct one. I also wished to devoid the destruction of women and children, which must have been very great, had the storming process been resorted to. Besides, they had a very large and strong fortification, a short distance from the city, which, if carried with the (?) , must have been taken at great sacrifice of life; and, which our limited train off heavy battering artillery, it would have required twenty or twenty-five days to take it by regular approaches.

That they should have been surrendered a place nearly as strong as Quebec well fortified under the direction of skillful engineers,--their works garnished with forty two pieces of artillery, abundantly supplied with ammunition, garrisoned by 7,000 regulars and 2,000 irregular troops, in addition to some thousand citizens capable of, (and no doubt actually,) bearing arms, and aiding in its defense,--to an opposing force of half of their number, scantily supplied with provisions, and with a light train of artillery,--in among the unaccountable occurrence of the times.

I am decidedly opposed to carrying on the war beyond Baitillo in this direction, which place has been entirely abandoned by the Mexican forces, all of whom have been concentrated at San Luis Potesi; and I shall lose no time in taking possession of the former as soon as the cessation of hostilities referred to expires,--which I have notified the Mexican authorities will be the close on the 13th instant, by direction of the President of the United States.

If we are (in the languages of Mr. Polk and General Scott) under the necessity of “conquering a peace,” and that by taking the capital of the country,--we must go to Vera Cruz, take that place, and then march on the city of Mexico. To do so in any other direction, I consider out of the question. But, admitting that we conquer a peace by doing so—say, at the end of the next twelve months—will the amount of blood and treasure, which must be expanded in doing so, be compensated by the same? I think not—especially, if the country we subdue in to be given up; and I imagine there are but few individuals in our country who think of annexing Mexico to the United States.

I do not intend to carry on my operations (as previously stated) beyond Saltillo,--deeming it next to impractical to do so. It then becomes a question as to what is best to be done. It seems to me, the most judicious course to be pursued on our part, would be to take permission at once, of the time we would accept by negotiations, extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific, and occupy the same or keep what we already have possession of, and that, with Tampico, (which I hope to take in the course of next month, or as soon as I can get the means of transportation,) will give us all on this side of the Sierra Madre, and as soon as I occupy Saltillo, will include six or seven states or provinces, thus holding Tampico, Victoria, Monterey, Saltillo, Monclova, Chulluahua, (which I presume General Wool has possession of at this time) Santa Fe, and the California, and sat to Mexico, “drive us from the country!”—throwing on her the responsibility and expense of carrying on an offensive war—at the same time closely blockading all of her ports on the Pacific and the Gulf. A course of this kind, if persevered on for a short time, would soon bring her to her proper senses, and compel her to sue for peace—provided there is a government in the country sufficiently stable for us to treat with, which I fear will hardly be the case for years to come. Without large reinforcements of volunteers from the U. States—say ten or fifteen thousand, (those previously sent out having already been greatly reduced by sickness and other causalities) I do not believe it would be advisable to search beyond Saltillo, which is more than 200 miles beyond our depots in the Rio Grande--a very long time on which to keep up the supplies (over a land route in a country like this) for a large force, and certain to be attended with as expense which it will be frightful to contemplate, when closely looked into.

From Saltillo to San Luis Potesi, the next place of importance on the road to the city of Mexico, is three hundred miles—one hundred and forty badly watered, where the supplies of any kind could be procured for men and horses. I have informed the war department that 20,000 efficient men would be necessary to insure success if we move on that place—(a city containing a population of 60,000 where the enemy could bring together and sustain, besides the citizens, an army of 50,000) a force which I apprehend will hardly be collected by us with the train necessary to feed it as well as to transport various other supplies, particularly ordnance and munitions of war.

In regard to the amenities, which would have expired by limitations in a few days, we lost nothing by it as we could not more even now, had the enemy continued to occupy Saltillo for, strange to say, the first wages which has reached me since the declaration of war was on the 2nd instant, the same day on which I received from Washington an acknowledgement of my dispatch announcing the taking of Monterey; and then I only received 125, as that I have been, since May last completely crippled and am still so, for the lack of transportation. After reaching and scraping the country for miles around Camargo, selecting every pack mule and other means of transportation, I could bring here only 80,000 rations (15 days supply,) with a moderate supply of ordnance, munitions, &c., to do which, all the corps had to leave behind a portion of their camp equipment necessary for their comfort, and, in some instances, among the volunteers, their personal baggage. I moved in such a way, and with such limited means, that, had I not succeeded, I should no doubt have been extremely reprimanded, if [2-3 illegible words] I did so to sustain the administration.

* * * * * * * * * *

Of the two regiments of mounted men from Tennessee and Kentucky, who left the respective states to join me in June, the letter has just reached Camargo; the former had not gotten to Matamoros at the latest dates from there. Admitting that they will be as long in returning as in getting here, (to say nothing of the time necessary to recruit their horses) and were to be discharged in that time to reach their homes, they could serve in Mexico, but a very short time. The foregoing remarks are not made with the view of finding fault with any one, but to point out the difficulties with which I have had to contend.

Monterey, the capital of New Leon, is situated on the San Juan River, where it comes out of the mountains,--the city (which contains a population of about 12,000) being in part surrounded by them, at the head of a large and beautiful valley.  The houses are of stone in the Moorish style, with flat roofs, which, with their strongly enclosed yards and gardens, in high stone walls all looped for musketry, make them such a fortress within themselves. It is the most important place in Northern Mexico, (or on the east side of the Sierra Madre, commanding the only pass or road for carriages from this side, between it and the Gulf of Mexico is the table lands of the Sierra, by or through which, the city of Mexico can be reached.

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

Be so good as to present me most kindly to your excellent lady, and accept my sincere wished for your continued health, prosperity and fame.

I remain, truly and sincerely, your friend,


NNR47February v71.352 1/30/1847 letter from Camargo to a member of Congress

Extract of a letter to a member of Congress, dated Camargo, December 19, 1846

Dear Sir: I have just arrived here in haste from Monterey, the expedite the movement of troops that have been ordered forward. I left Monterey on the morning of the 17 th, and arrived here this morning. The emergency was this: Gen. Worth on the 16th, despatched an express from Saltillo to Gen. Butler, at Monterey, to inform him that Santa Anna, with his whole army, would attack Saltillo in a few days, perhaps in three, and requesting all the aid that he could get, and stating that his whole force for duty did not exceed 900 men. The general belief is, that Santa Anna's force is at least twenty or thirty thousand men. Upon the recept of Worth's letter, an express was sent by Butler to Gen. Taylor, who had left two days for Victoria, and was supposed to be about thirty miles from Monterey, with some regular force, and Gen. Quitman's brigade. He also sent an express to Gen. Wool at Parras, (Worth having also sent an Express to Wool,) commanding him to proceed at once to Saltillo. Should Taylor and Wool reach Saltillo in time, there will be a force there of between six and seven thousand men, which will be all that can be got there in any reasonable time. I forgot to say that Ben. Butler left for Saltillo immediately with the Kentucky and Ohio regiments, that were at Monterey, numbering together, about eight hundred efficient men. The two regiments, at a moments warning in the dead of night, broke up their camp, and, in fine order, moved off for Monterey, to start from that place at daylight o the morning of the 17 th. On my return from the city to the camp about an hour before day. I met them, marching in quick time, and in the finest possible spirits, the Kentucky regiment under command of Major shepherd, and the Ohio regiment under command of Major Giddings.

Orders had been issued at least six weeks ago To General Lane to move forward with two Indiana regiments, in order that Worth might be reinforced; but by some means, the orders, although they arrived in Matamoros, did not reach General Lane. This matter, I suppose, will be looked at into hereafter. I do not mean hear the result, though matters now look a little precarious. I foud that Gen. Lane in motion; and though he cannot reach Saltillo by the time the fighting is expected, he may possibly get to Monterey in time to reinforce our troops. If they should be compelled to fall back upon that place. I will leave here tomorrow or next day for headquarters, with General Marshall and the Kentucky cavalry. [AKS]

NNR47February v71.354 2/6/1847 constitutionality of the volunteer act in question

CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE VOLUNTEER ACT. Wilst thousands of volunteers are in arms invading Mexico, some of them fighting furiously, many falling in battle, and many others in hospitals, and whilst thousands more are hurrying on to other battle fields and greater dangers. The courts of our country, it seems, entertain doubts of the constitutionality of the law under which all these are serving. The Constitution makes no reference whatever to, nor recognizes any other military force than those of the regular army and militia. It is not easy to classify volunteers as organized for the invasion of Mexico, and especially those enlisted under the recent orders "to serve during the war," as militia. The Constitution limits the term for which militia may be called into service, and as militia, of course, they cannot be detained beyond that limit. The purpose for which militia may be called into service by the United States, are also expressly laid down, and amongst those, the invasion of a foreign country is not included. [AKS]

NNR47February v71.354 February 6, 1847 Regulation of 1825 respecting officers writing letters revived

The following is the paragraph of the general regulations for the army established on the 1st of March 1825, referred to the above. “650…Private letters or reports, relative to military marches and operations, are frequently mischievous in design, and always disgraceful to the army. They are, therefore, strictly forbidden and any officer found guilty of making such report for publication, without special permission, or of placing the writing beyond his control, so that it finds way to the press, within one month, after the termination of the campaign to which it relates, shall be dismissed from the service.”

BY ORDER W.G. FREEMAN, Assistant Adjacent General


NNR47February v71.354 2/6/1847 judicial decision that a minor cannot be held under the volunteer act

A case of habeas corpus was argued at Boston for several days last week. Kimball, Murray, and Stone, three volunteer minors in the Massachusetts regiment, were brought before the supreme court, and their cases were elaborately argued, and excited much interest. The court decided that a minor cannot be held under the volunteer act of May 1846. The question of the Constitutionality of the act itself, the court declined to entertain in the present proceedings. [AKS]

NNR47February v71.355 February 6, 1847 Thefts by the Osages because of the withdrawal of troops


The Osages and the Sioux

Massacre—Butchery of women and children —A letter from a gentleman at Council Bluffs, dated, on the 17th of December, to his correspondence in St. Louis states that, on the previous day, a band of the Omaha were met by a band of the Sioux, in the neighborhood of the Bluffs, that a battle ensued between them; and that the Sioux killed sixty of the Omaha before the conflict terminated.

It was a cold-blooded butchery of women and children, in the absence of all the warriors of the villagers. On the night of the 12th and 13th, the letter states, a war party of Yancton Sioux Indians defeated and destroyed fourteen tribes of the Omaha tribe of Indians, located at the time of Wood’s Bluff, situated about sixty miles from this place—Belleview. The men and warriors of the Omaha had left the camp on a hunt, and the Sioux soon after they reached the camp discovered that they only had women and children to contend with. The slaughter was terrible—seventy-three were killed and nineteen mortally wounded. Two men made their escape—one of them, Joseph Lafteehe, a trader in the employ of Mr. Peter A. Sarpy, and at the time in charge of a stock of goods. He ran from the scene of blood bare-footed, and arrived at Belleview with both feet frozen. Mr. Sarpy and Major Miller, the present agent, dispatched a party of men to ascertain the facts, and they confirmed, on their return, the report of Lafteehe. They also reported that five of the Sioux Indians had been killed, no doubt, stabbed by the Omaha squaws. Going twenty miles further than the ground of the massacre, they found the place where the goods of the trader had been divided among the robbers.

It seems, adds the letter, that fate is against the Omaha Indians. Four or five days before the event took place, one lodge, camping at Cabanne’s old trade log house, was attacked by a war party of Ayonas, commanded by the well-known chief White Cloud, and four of the men wounded, and one woman killed. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.359 February 6, 1847 March from Monterey to Victoria


THE COUNTRY. A letter from an officer of the army, dated Victoria, January 6th, obligingly handed for our perusal, gives us an account of the march communed the 13th of December from Monterey, to Mont Morales; a small town about 50 miles on the road to Victoria, there, being overtaken by the express from Gen. Worth, of the countermarch to Monterey, where it was ascertained to have been a false alarm for the safety of Saltillo—after resting for two days at Monterey, they started again for Victoria where they arrived on the 4th of January. Their route was along the range of the lofty mountains on the right—on their left an open country, part of it very beautiful, and in quite a high state of cultivation—some very large sugar plantations;--great abundance of fruit. Many of the little lawns were very pretty and clean, the churches are generally the quite prominent buildings in the place, and in some instances have an antiquated and picturesque in appearance. The letter says, “I enjoyed the march very much when all things went on smoothly and the wagons did not stall, sitting upon my horse, eating sugar cane, oranges, and thinking about all my old sweet hearts and love serapes.”—“Christmas day was as hot as midsummer.” [MLL]

NNR47February v71.359 February 6, 1847 Loss of Captain Charles Augustus May’s rear guard

Particulars of the loss of Capt. May’s rear guard—Arrest of the Lieut. in command.

Florida, January 1st, 1847—Between 7 and 8 o’clock, Capt. May got in with his dragoons.—He reports the loss of eleven men and their horses and seven pack mules. As far as I can gather the particulars, and they come from Capt. May, they are these.

“Between Monte Morales and Lineres, Capt. May ascertained that there was a pass in the a gorge of the mountains, and determined to ascertain the nature of it. His command consisted of two companies of dragoons—some seventy or eighty men. On approaching the foot of the mountain every precaution was used to guard against surprise. A lieutenant with twelve men noted as the rear guard and guard of the pack mules of the command, who remained some few hundred yards in the rear, and in this way they progressed slowly and carefully until they found out the pass, which was so narrow that is was with much difficulty a single horse could go through it.—But May was determined to transverse it, and make what discoveries he could on to the other side. Dismounting himself and men, he led his horse on the way, and, after experiencing much difficulty in getting from rock to rock, the command ultimately succeeded in getting through. On the right hand side of this pass there is a perpendicular cliff of some six hundred feet. On the left hand, after ten or twelve of perpendicular, there was a gradual slope to the top, on which any enemy could run down, fire a place, and then return. It is represented as being the most dangerous pass to a daring enemy that is known, and one where a few determined men could stop the advance of thousands. After going as far on the other side as was thought necessary, they turned to come back, and the main body retraced their steps with the same caution observed in effecting the first passage. But the rear-guard were not so lucky in getting through this time; for it appears after the lieutenant and sergeant got through, a large body of men, who stationed themselves on the perpendicular side, showered down stones from the top so fast and so heavy that their advance was completely out off, and that they were wither killed, taken prisoner, or made their escape to the other side.

“It seems that Capt. May was not taken by the surprise, for he was continually urging vigilance, and left his best bugler in the rear to sound the alarm in case of accident, as though he anticipated an attack. A rumbling sound in the pass caused him to halt for the rear guard, but they not coming up when he thought it was time to reach him, he wheeled about and went in the direction of the pass at full speed. He shortly met the lieutenant and a sergeant and immediately demanded of the former, ‘Where’r your men?’ The answer of the lieutenant was, ‘close at hand’, at the same time turning his head around as if with the expectation of seeing them just behind him. But there were none there save the sergeant, and the truth immediately flashed upon the commander that something was wrong with them. As quick as thought, and the nature of the path would permit, they dashed off for the pass, and when they reached it found that a large number of stones had been thrown, and discovered traces of blood along the debris. They followed up as fast as possible, but it was to no avail; they could make no further discoveries, nor learn anything of the fate of their companions. So they sorrowfully retraced their steps, and arrived here as noticed.

“I have given the above as truly as it was related to me, without omission or addition, and it is the received and acknowledged amount of the unfortunate affair. It may seem strange, and wanting in detail; but, as it involves several delicate points, I do not feel warranted in surmising what may have made out a good story. Capt. May has Lieutenant under arrest, and many blame him for being in advance of the guard when his post was in the rear of it. His traveling on without discovering that his command was absent, will readily be credited by any who is familiar with travel in a chaparral country, or in any narrow pass where two abroad cannot proceed. In coming through the pass, the men were necessarily fifteen to twenty feet apart;--their safety demanded this, and with the noise on the stones made by his horse’s own feet, and those of the sergeant’s horse, and this in coming down a declivity, it is not strange (at least to me) that he did not miss them; and as to him looking back to see them, that may have been out of the question, as it is natural to suppose he needed to constant use of his eyes to guide his horse over the rugged path.—Military discipline, no doubt, demanded his arrest, but censure should be reserved until the whole statement of the mishap is made known by some one who witnessed it.

“It is not thought that any regular soldiers of the Mexican army had a hand in this business. Rancheros and banditti, actuated by plunder than anything else, are believed to have cut them off, thinking probably that there was more value than what they obtained. In the hands of such men the fate of the prisoners are doubtful, though they would be perfectly safe in falling into the hands of an officer of the army. * * * * * *

“January 4th—About 10 o’clock this morning

NNR47February v71.359 February 6, 1847 Mexican view of the war

MEXICAN VIEW OF THE WAR—Santa Anna’s campaign for the war. A letter dated at the city of Mexico, on the 29th December, and published in the New Orleans Delta, thus speculates on the warlike movements and intentions of the government of Mexico:
    “The newly elected President still remains at the head of the army at San Luis Potesi; and, according to what I understand, he will remain there with it whilst there is a necessity for sustaining a hostile position. The troops, notwithstanding the want of resource and comforts, are kept united; and as good Mexican soldiers, are enthusiastic and contented, even in the midst of the poverty which prevails among them. Santa Anna is probably the only Mexican general who knows how to behave with his troops, and keep the men always pleased and already to the good cause. Gomes Farias is as much disposed and determined to prosecute the war, cost what it may, as Santa Anna himself is. On this subject, I believe every Mexican, at present connected with the government, holds a little resolve.
    “The plan of the campaign, if we may so style it, which Santa Anna has adopted, is an admirable cause, and perhaps the only one which may serve to punish the North Americans as they deserve. I, who am well acquainted with their character, and have been able to study well their inclinations during my residence in the United States, think the plan a feasible and practical one, and entitles the commander-in-chief of the Mexican forces to high praise. Here it is a few words.
    “Every means of precaution will be taken in order to fortify well one point of the republic, with all the necessary reinforcements within a radius not very extended, but well traced, distracting in every possible manner the enemy, and calling his attention to insignificant movements. By these means, it is hoped that much precious time will be lost by the troops of the United States, and thus at the beginning of the summer, they will be scattered all about the country at different points, so that, at no single place, they may have a force as large as the central division of the Mexican army. Thus the advances into the country will cost the Americans a large sum of dollars, which will be touching them is a tender point.
    “Besides the loss of time and the exorbitant expenses of the North Americans, which are three times as great as those of the Mexican army, the summer season will fall upon them unexpectedly, with its numerous diseases and epidemics, as perilous to the unecolimated [?]; and thus, without a single shot from the Mexican ranks, they will perish daily by hundreds, both men and beasts, who will not have the strength to resist out climate, and in a short time their regiments will be decimated. In that season of the year, when the native Mexican is better fitted for the war, the Mexican army will be able, by one bold and concentrated movement, to suddenly fall upon and tear to pieces the remnant of Taylor’s army. And in case the North Americans should wish to retire, their retreat will prove as fatal to them as any death-bearing epidemic, for they would find no resources on the line of their retreat, and will be exposed to attack from roving bands of highway men and bandits, which the miseries of war are calculated to increase.
    “This is, in brief, the please which, according to information gathered from several persons, whom I believe to be well acquainted with such affairs, I have been able to trace out. But I must remark that the whole complot is not divulged. It is said that Santa Anna will not leave San Luis Potesi, although some movements and apparent marches will be practiced, so that the enemy may believe that he is about to leave. Every necessary precaution has been taken, and all means are daily used, to collect at San Luis Potesi all possible provisions and munitions of war. It is believed that the North Americans are determined to leave Saltillo and Tampico. They will come towards San Luis, and there fight the great decisive battle, as Santa Anna will not leave that city, and will keep there constantly about 25,000 men.
    “There are, at present, in a distance of about one hundred and 50 miles or less, nearly 45,000 men of all arms, and it is expected to raise, during the month of January, about 8,000 more of infantry and cavalry. A considerable amount of troops are stationed at proper points to cut off the North Americans as their retreat, in case they should come so far as San Luis where they will not be able to sustain the resistance of the Mexicans.” [MLL]

NNR47February v71.360 February 6, 1847 Rumor of Mexican offer for peace

MEXICAN PROPOSITION FOR PEACE— An American minister asked for—Letter from Santa Anna to General Worth.—We learn from Washington that the rumor prevailing at Tampico from the last dates, to the effect that the Mexican congress, has agreed to receive an American minister to treat for peace, and had sent a messenger to Gen. Taylor to that effect, is believed to be well founded in that city. The following letter from our correspondent at Saltillo, also shows that the same rumor, in a pretty strong form, has reached that place;--

Saltillo, (Mexico,) Dec. 21, 1846

Dear Sirs: Since I closed my letter to you yesterday, another batch of news has arrived here from San Lula de Potesi, which, if true, is certainly important. I believe it can be relied or correct, coming, as it does, very straight. The Mexican congress has agreed to accept a minister from the United States to treat for peace! Some say, however, they are only disposed to receive one, whilst again it is confidently asserted that they have agreed to make peace at all hazards.

General Worth received yesterday, through a courier, from Gen. Santa Anna, a letter which is said to be of a very pacific character. An individual in Saltillo who says he has seen the bill passed by the Mexican congress, authorizing the appointment of a commissioner, to meet one from us, to treat for peace; and that he saw it distributed in the form of a hand bill, and posted up in the city of Mexico and at San Lois de Potesi. Report says there is a copy in this place at this time. From the confidences with which some of my Mexican friends speak of the matter, I am myself disposed to believe it true—should it turn out so it will be a great cause for rejoicing, no doubt, throughout the United States as well as Mexico, and prove most acceptable in the army.

Santa Anna is still at San Lois de Potesi, and I believe now, without an intention of advancing. His army there is represented to be inactive—this is a good omen.[Corres. Balto. Sun.] [MLL]

NNR47February v71.360 February 6, 1847 Items from the Army

FROM THE ARMY. Late letters have just been received at Washington from the army, down to the 7th of January, from Victoria, in Mexico. They state that Brigadier Gen. Quitman had, on the 29th December, occupied the city of Victoria, the capital of the state Tamaulipas. The enemy had a body of some 1,500 cavalry in the town with its advanced picket at Santa Eugracie; but it fell back as General Quitman approached, and as understood to be now at Juanmare, in the direction of Tula. At Tula, there is a strong division of observation under the command of Gen. Valencia.

An examination of the mountain pass leading to Tula, shows that it is entire impracticable for artillery or wagons. Such is also believed to be the character of the Santa Barbara pass, which opens in the direction of Tampico.

General Taylor arrived with the division of Brig. Gen. Twiggs on the 4th of January, and was joined on the same day by the force which Gen. Patterson conducted at Metamoros. The force then collected at Victoria is more than 5,000 strong, in excellent health, and in capital condition for the service.

It was there unofficially know that Gen. Scott was there in the country under orders from the government. Gen. Taylor would probably remain at Victoria until he should hear from Gen. Scott, and determines what disposition to make of the troops.

The reconnaissance of the mountain passes leading to Labradores was completely successful, so far as to regret to learn that on the return of the party to Lennerve [?], the effort was attached to a difficult pass of the mountain, and the baggage and the men of the rear guard cut off. It is yet hoped that the rear guard has effected their escape and may yet regain the army. The officer and non-commissioned officer of the rear guard are in arrest, and the former under charges. No blame can possibly attach to Lieut. Colonel May who commanded the escort for this unfortunate occurrence.

Newspapers have been received from the city of Mexico to the 19th of December, at which sate the congress had taken no action in regard to the war or the shooting of the president. The country seems to be (says one of the letters) in a very distracted condition, and the tone of the public press more desponding than heretofore.

A letter has also been received from Tampico, stating that the writer has just arrived from Tamaulipes, where he left General Taylor, General Patterson, General Pillow, and General Quitman, with the various commands, amounting to six thousand men. He had a very hazardous and fatiguing trip from Victoria to Tampico, and had to pass the line of the Mexican cavalry twice on the road. He reports a large force of the Mexicans at Tula (between which and Victoria there is an almost impossible range of mountains,) under the command of General Valencia, Urrea, Fernandez, Romero, Lorbarre, and Monta Negro amounting to eight thousand men.

[Washington Union.]

NNR47February v71.360 February 6, 1847 California items

JURY TRIAL IN CALIFORNIA—The first jury ever summoned in California was empanelled in the Alcaldo’s court at Monterey on the 4th of September last. It was for the trial of a case in which Isaac Graham was the plaintiff and No Carlos Rouissillion defendant. The jury was composed of Mexican and Americans—about “half and half” we infer from the names—a Mexican being foreman. The defendant was indicted for fraudulently shipping of lumber, the property of the plaintiff. Mr. Colton presided and heard testimony for several hours. The jury acquitted the defendant of felonious intent, but found a balance due plaintiff of $65, but on the defendant had before offered to this without suit, the plaintiff was ordered to pay the costs. The verdict gave satisfaction, and the plaintiff published a card exonerating the defendant from suspicions of unfairness.

The New York Gazette, on inserting the above, adds, “if things continue to be thus conducted in California, the Stevensons adventurers will have to carry themselves pretty straight, when they arrive in that land of law and order.”

A letter from the Rev. Mr. Colton says, “that 3,000 emigrates from the United States, it is understood, have just arrived at San Francisco in two companies, one commanded by Capt. Hastings and the other is commanded by Capt. P. Russell and 10,000 are on their way.

The first article in the California of Aug. 29th is a brief history showing the foreign residents in California were induced to set up the standard of revolt—the movement seeming to have a result of false information communicated by the Indians.—Gen. Castro had ordered Lieut. De Area to bring in some horses from the mission at San Raphael. The lieutenant and his party of fourteen men were seen by the Indians, who set off immediately for some place not named in the account and reported that he had seen two or three hundred armed men on horseback advancing up the Sacramento; and it was inferred that these were troops of Castro, marching to attack Captain Freemont, then encamped at the junction of the Feather river and the Sacramento. The foreign residents hastily assembled and marched to the relief of Freemont; a party overtook the Lieutenant and captured the horses, dismissing the officer and his party; and this was the first overt set of the revolution. It was followed by the capture of the Iowa of Sonoma without resistance, the captors being only thirty-three in number. At Sonoma a Mexican general and three other officers were made prisoners.

In the same number is a notice from Capt. Mervince, commander of the United States forces in Monterey, offering a reward of $50 for the apprehension of William Parker, a deserter. Also a notice from Mr. Alcaldo Colton, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquor, on penalty of fine and imprisonment, and forfeiture. Shopkeepers and keepers of public houses are forbidden to have liquors or wines in their possessions.

In the paper of September 5, the history of the revolt is continued, some details being given of the capture of the Sonomas. The conduct of the captors is described as generous in the extreme, not a dollar’s worth of private property having been taken, or any set of violence committed.

This number contain the various proclamations of Commodore Stockton which have appeared in our columns.

The following ostraet [?] is given from a letter to the editors written by Lieut. W.A. Bartlett:

“There is regular express mail from the headquarters of the Northern military district at Yerba Buena in Sonoma and New Helvetia (Sutter’s fort) leaving every Wednesday morning and returning from Sonoma as soon as the river mail arrives.”

Also constant communication from headquarters at Yerba Buena to Salsalito, San Rafael, San Peribo, Corito, and other posts on the opposite coast.


NNR47February v71.368 February 6, 1847 Brief review of affairs


We have not been without the usual supply during the week or “rumors of battles”, perils and predicaments, as well of “glorious achievements”. The most prominent was a story “brought by reliable authority”, direct from Saltillo, that a “battle had been fought”—the when, or where, not given— and the with whom was a debated point. It lay between Generals Taylor, Patterson, or Quitman—the result was a victory, of course, but it was one of those equivocal kind of victories after which the victor finds it prudent to retreat. The whole story was untrue—Gen. Taylor has reached Victoria where he found General Quitman quietly in “occupation”—and General Patterson was on his march by the road which passes from Metamoros from Victoria, nearer the last. The whole force at Victoria will then be over 7000. General Scott was on his way to Tampico to take command of the whole. The additional regiment of volunteers which have been organized by from the several states are now most of them being embarked for the rest of the war, and also some of our heaviest as well as many of our light ships are now under orders for the Gulfs—and transports are landing at various ports with munitions. Everything on one hand looks like formidable war.

The plan of the campaign, as directed by the cabinet at Washington, and under which Gen. Taylor was ordered to terminate the armistice and advance upon Saltillo, San Luis, &c. has, at the representation of Gen. Taylor, and the officers who acted under him at Monterey, been entirely changed. All ideas approaching the city of Mexico have been abandoned, and the plan of attempting the march from Vera Cruz or Tampico recommended by Gen. Taylor was adopted. General Scott was ordered to proceed forth with concentrated forces destined for the object, and to take command. He had not the time to reach his destination, however, before another project and another commander, proposed by the cabinet, and is strenuously advocated in congress. We are assured that another effort is to be made to pass the bill for the appointment of a Lieutenant General, for the purpose of superseding the officers now in the field. If we understand the scheme rightly the object is for congress itself, through certain commissioners that are to go as and, to the Lieutenant General, to have share in controlling the campaign and “conquering a peace.” This reminds us strongly of an expedients resorted to by the French convention, at the commencement of the French Revolution. Whenever one of their generals was victorious, a party in the convention, could no longer confide in him, and finally commissioners were sent from the convention to control each of their armies. Doumouriers’ famous victory over the slaves, rendered him as an object of suspicion, and three of the commissioners were dispatched to control him, as preliminary to him being ordered to Paris—seeing the Guillotine as the end of that avenue, Doumourier’s arrested the commissioners and like the Roman Carolinians—marched off with them to the aliens to save his own head.

In the meantime we have certain inklings again to make peace.

Mr. Sevier, chairman of the senate committee on foreign relations, in a speech delivered this work, informed the senate that the president has in confidence communicated to said committee certain documents and correspondence upon which he predicated expectations of affecting a speedy peace with Mexico, provided congress would press the bill appropriating three million dollars now before that body, and which will be sent upon the ensuing week. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.368 2/6/1847 Mexican Privateers

Mexican privateering. - The Mexican attempt to enlist adventurers in the West Indies, and praticularly at Cuba, in privateering was as to the latter promptly met by the authorities of that island. New reports however are in circulation, and it is asserted that several"long low sharp built clippers" are actually fitting out, for some purposes. Instead of attempting to operate in the neighboring seas, it is intimated that they will proceed to remote places - the Pacific - the Chinese and Indian seas - even the . . . [missing] [AKS]

NNR47February v71.368 February 6, 1847 Gen. John Ellis Wool encamped at a strong pass south of Saltillo


Our last accounts from Gen. Wool left him in December 26th encamped at a strong pass called Eucornation, 20 miles south of Saltillo. Perras, the day after Gen. Wool left it, was occupied by a body of Mexican cavalry. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.368 February 6, 1847 More territory seized off the Pacific coast

Santa Fe, Nov. 29, 1846

About 400 of the Mormon troops left this place for California, under the command of Colonel Cook, on Sunday, the 18th. The residue amounting to about 100 men and 23 women, were sent back to Fort Puebla, on the Arkansas, by order of Colonel Doniphan, as the inclemency of the season rendered it impractical for them all to complete their march to the Pacific this winter. The Mormon battalion is composed of 5 companies, and numbers 500 men, 25 women for laundresses, and some boys and girls.—They are well drilled troops, and were apparently in good condition when they arrived here, and also when they commenced their march for California.

This 1st regiment will march against the Navahos forthwith. The 1st battalion is already on the march. Captain Morin’s company from Platte is ordered to proceed against the Apache Indians on the headwaters of the Rio Mora. They are said to have killed one of the men and driven off some stock. The Indians are much more troublesome than the Mexicans. They sally forth from the gorges of the mountains and commit murder, and so soon as an armed force is sent against them, they fly back to their inaccessible retreats and lurking places. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.369 February 13, 1847 Gen. Winfield Scott in command and yet at Brazos and Lt. Col. William Shelby Harney expected at Matamoros, Col. Duncan arrives at Matamoros and Col. Harney to be court-martialed and

The arrival of the steamship McKim, at New Orleans furnished Brazos dates to the 24th and Galveston to the 29th of January. The steamer Alabama subsequently brought Brazos to the 31st.

General Worth with his command, arrived at Brazos on the 23rd by way of Camargo. The Galveston News says that Gen. Scott and Gen. Worth are to have command of the main and regular army which is now concentrating at Tampico, or at some place in the neighborhood. The new recruits have their place of rendezvous at the new island of Lobos about 60 miles south of Tampico. The opinion is almost universal that a movement is now to be made against Vera Cruz. It is understood that that place is to be invested both by land and water.

Col. Harney with five companions of the 2nd dragoons, was expected in Metamoros on the 21st unit, on which day Col. Duncan arrived there, and his battery was hourly expected. Lieut. Kearney had arrived with his company the day before.

The Galveston News says: “Col. Harney is again in limbo. It appears he was ordered to proceed to Monterey with four companies, while Major Torrens of the regiment was ordered to take command of the remaining six companies and march for the south of the river to join Worth’s division.

Col. Harney said he was not to be disgraced, though they might arrest him, and he accordingly marched with the largest portion of his regiment.

A court martial is ordered to convene for the trial of Col. Harney, on the 30th instant. It is generally believed that Col. Harney will plead guilty of the charge and leave it for the court to decide the offence.

Gen. Taylor has returned from Victoria to Monterey with a small escort. He is to remain at the latter place in command of the volunteers. His orders to this effect proceed from Gen. Scott, who now holds the chief command.

The vessels with the 1st regiment Pennsylvania volunteers on board have arrived off the Brazos—all well. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.369 February 13, 1847 Gen. John Ellis Wool encamped with 3,000 men south of Saltillo and Lt. Phillip Kearney at Matamoros, &c. and Mexican troops posted for defense of Chihuahua and the hospitality of Mexican ladies at Parras and Gen. Wool to abandon Parras, Saltillo, and Riconda Pass to the Mexicans and Gen. Taylor…taking command of the volunteers and Mexican force said to be posted at San Rosalia under late governor of Chihuahua

The Matamoros Flag of the 24th of January, announcing the arrival there of Gen. Worth’s division says:

“It is composed of the fourth infantry, under Col. Whistler; fifth infantry under Major Martin Scott; eighth infantry, Major Wright; second dragoons, Colonel Harney; Col. Child’s artillery battalion; Lieutenant P. Kearny’s company of dragoons, and Capt. Blanchard’s company of Louisiana volunteers, the latter setting with the fifth infantry.

The whole command appear to be in fine health and spirits, and the horses in excellent condition—in fact, a more hardy and efficient body of men than this command, cannot be produced in any country, and we look forward with much interest to their future operations, being satisfied they ‘go where glory waits them.’

General Butler was at Saltillo, on the 17th, when Worth’s division left, but it was understood that he would fall back on Monterey with his troops. Gen. Wool was still at Parras, but it is said that he will also march for Monterey—thus abandoning Saltillo, Parras, and Rinconada Pass to the possession of the enemy. This step is to be taken on account of the indefensible state of these places with their diminished forces. The severity of the climate and the scarcity of wool, forage, &c. combine to render them unpleasant quarters for this season of the year.

General Taylor has established his headquarters at Monterey and the p lace is being put in such a state of defense that all the troops of Mexico, with Santa Anna at their head, will not be able to disturb him.

We suppose that General Taylor will be left in command of all the forces above, while the invading army of General Scott, consisting now of almost all of the regulars now in Mexico, some seven thousand strong, and nearly twice that of the number of volunteers, will set in conjunction with the navy in attacking Vera Cruz.

There are two companies of dragoons with Gen’l. Taylor—Colonel May’s and Capt. Graham’s—Captains Washington and Webster batteries are at Saltillo, and one company of artillery at Camargo, which comprise nearly all the regulars above.—At Camargo, are the second Ohio volunteers, and a few others are stationed at Punta Aguda and Cerralvo, comprising nearly all the forces from between this and Monterey.

The Ohioans are under orders for Tampico, leaving the third Indiana regiment at this place, with a company of two regulars in Fort Brown.

The last previous accounts left Gen. Wool in command at Saltillo or in the neighborhood retaining his original force, 3,000 men. He was encamped on an elevated and commanding position 10 miles to the south of Saltillo on the road to San Luis Potosi called Buena Vista, and Gen. Wool, with a battery of twelve pieces of ordnance, commands the only possible route to and from San Luis. Col. Hardin and his regiment from Illinois—a part of Gen. Wool’s command—are spoken of in the highest terms. In fact, the whole of Gen. Wool’s army is represented as composed of excellent troops.

The country from Reynosa to Camargo and Mier, and through to Monterey, is filled with marauding Mexicans, robbing and murdering whenever they care to do so with impunity.

The kindness and hospitality of the Mexican ladies at Parras are highly eulogized. At the same time as Gen. Wool’s departure from that place where they were 13 invalid soldiers, too much worn by sickness to accompany the army. On this occasion some fifty or sixty Mexican ladies, favorably to the American cause, visited the hospital, everyone of whom sought it as a favor she might be permitted to take home one of those suffering soldiers, where she might be able to nurse and restore to health.

Another similar case is given of the two daughters of Don Lorenzo Yarto, a citizen of Parras, who took a sick soldier in their charge, and for several days in succession they kept a constant watch over him, the one sitting by his bedside by day and the other performing the same service at night.

A Mr. Daing, who has been engaged in the wine trade between Parras and Chihuahua, recently returned from the latter city , and reports that Gen. Cuilty, late governor of Chihuahua, was posted at San Rosalia as early as the 10th of December, with a force of 2,000 citizen soldiers or rancheros, with a view to intercept Gen. Wool, who was expected to march upon Chihuahua from Monclova. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.369 2/13/1847 Gen. Zachary Taylor taking post at Monterey, his forces

General Taylor has established his headquarters at Monterey, and the place is being put in such a state of defense that all the troops of Mexico, with Santa Anna at their head, will not be able to disturb him.

We suppose that General Taylor will be left in command of all the forces above, while the invading army of General Scott, consisting of nearly all the regulars now in Mexico, some seven thousand strong, and nearly twice that number of volunteers, will act in conjunction with the navy in attacking Vera Cruz.

There are two companies of dragoons with Gen'l Taylor - Colonel May's and Captain Graham's. Captains Washington and Webster's batteries are at Saltillo , and one company of artillery at Camargo, which comprise nearly all of the regulars above. At Camargo, are the second Ohio volunteers and a few others are stationed at Punta Aguda and Cerralvo, comprising nearly all the force between this and Monterey.

The Ohioans are under orders for Tampico, leaving the third Indiana regiment at this place, with a company or two of regulars in Fort Brown.

The last previous accounts left Gen. Wool in command at Saltillo or in the neighborhood, retaining his original force, 3,000 men. He was encamped on an elevated and commanding position ten miles to the south of Saltillo on the road to San Luis Potosi called Buena Vista, and Gen. Wool, with a battery of twelve pieces of ordinance, commands the only passable route to and from San Luis. Col. Hardin and his regiment from Illinois - a part of Gen. Wool's command - are spoken of in highest terms. In fact, the whole of Gen. Wool's army is represented as composed of excellent troops. [AKS]

NNR47February v71.369 2/13/1847 marauding Mexicans along the line of occupation

The country from Reynosa to Camargo and Mier, and through to Monterey, is filled with marauding Mexicans, robbing and murdering wherever they can do so with impunity. [AKS]

NNR47February v71.369 Stormy Report in Mexican Congress

MEXICO.—By the Loredo, arrive at N. Orleans, the Picayune received letters from Point Anton Lizardo, which states that the Mexican congress on the 9th, after a stormy session, approved the first section of a bill authorizing the government of Mexico to raise $15,000,000 by the hypothecation or sale of certain goods of the Church. Santa Anna opposes this, and it is rumored that his opposition so exasperated his soldiers that they had shot him! Our correspondent says that this report requires confirmation, but there are still many circumstances which still render it not impossible such has been the fate of Santa Anna. The army was in great distress.

“The passage of the above law has certainly created the greatest excitement in Mexico. The churches are closed, and every indication of mourning and of resistance has been envied by those who support the religious establishments. The Mexican congress and the Mexican press everywhere, appear to be thoroughly aroused. The issue they make is “Ser o no ser”—to be or not to be:

Mr. Rogers was still in confinement in Vera Cruz, but was well treated.

On the day Loredo left, the U.S. steamer Princeton went into Vera Cruz, with Lieut. Raines on board of bearer of dispatches, and sixteen Mexican prisoners who had been taken at the mouth of the Rio Grande.

The frigate Raritan was lying at Anton Lizardo; the rest of the U.S. squadron were at Sacrificious.”

The latter arrivals at New Orleans furnish no confirmation of the above report of Santa Anna being shot. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.370 Maryland resolutions of regret

“THE MARYLAND LINES” The following resolutions have been submitted on the 3rd in the house of delegates of Maryland, by Mr. Wiggs [?] accompanied by a few eloquent and deeply touching remarks from Mr. W. and Mr. Dawnson, were unanimously adopted. In the senate, a few impressive words were also uttered, upon receiving the resolution from the house. They adopted them also by unanimous vote.

Resolved. That the General Assembly of Maryland record with melancholy pleasure their profound sensibility of the loss which this state has sustained in the death of Col. Truman Cruise, of Major Samuel Reingold, of Col. William H. Walton, of Major William Lear, of Capt. Randolph Ridgley, of Passed Midshipman John Ringgold, his son, and her other brave sons who have fallen over in conflict with Mexico: and that while as Americans we cordially unite in national tribute of admiration so justly and enthusiastically paid to their memory; yet as Marylanders we feel entitled to cherish with particular pride the honor which from the ashes of the dead have been gathered to her name.

Resolved. That in thus expressing our profound respect for the memory of the dead, we should do violence to feeling and to justice, were we mindful of those whose swords, though entwined with cypress, have yet won for them a need of glory such as reflects the name of Maryland, and stands a proud trophy of intrepid valor, the cool discipline, and the uniting ardor of the gallant men—regulars and volunteers—who followed their bold leaders to desperate and brilliant victories.

Resolve. That this general assembly take great pride in commending the gallantry of the Maryland battalion, and in returning their thanks to them for the aid they have contributed to the brilliant victory of Monterey, exhorts them by the glamorous recollections which cloister around the name “the old Maryland line” to believe that the ancient renown of Maryland is committed to their keeping, and that their fellow citizens at home look to them with undoubting confidence to preserve that renown untarnished.

Further resolved. That his excellency the governor be requested to transmit a copy of these resolutions to the commanding officer of the Maryland battalion, to he by him read to the officers and men as a slight token of that high respect and pride with which their fellow citizens of Maryland regard their indomitable gallantry and courage. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.385 February 20, 1847 Pressure on shipping and cost of freights because of war in Mexico and demand for breadstuffs in Europe


Mr. McKerr, from the committee of ways and means, on the 17th, reported a bill to modify the existing TARIFF,--and graduate the price of PUBLIC LANDS.

The bill proposes a duty of TWENTY PER CENT on tea and coffee.

TEN PER CENT on loaf and other refined sugars—on coal, bar iron, manufactured by rolling, or pig iron, round iron, as brazier rods of 3.16 to 10.16 of an inch in diameter, inclusive; nail and spike rods, slit, rolled or hammered sheet iron, hoop iron, branded scroll iron, easement rod, slit, rolled, or hammered, wood screws of iron, spikes, out or wrought, and white and red lead.

FIVE PER CENT on manufacturers of cotton if dyed, colored, printed, or stained, exceeding in value of 30 cents per square yard; and manufactures of cotton not dyed, colored, printed, or stained, exceeding in value of 20 cents per square yard.

These duties to close two years after the conclusion of a peace with Mexico. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.395 Official papers and letters


From the Washington Union of the 10th

Victoria, Tamoulipas, Mexico, Jan. 6, 1845

Dear Sirs,

After much speculation and no little misrepresentation about the capitulation of Monterey, I perceive by our recent newspapers, that a discussion has arisen as to who is responsible for that transaction. As one of the commissioners who were entrusted by Gen’l. Taylor with the arrangement of the terms upon which the city of Monterey and its fortifications should be delivered to our forces, I have had frequent reasons to recur to the course then adopted, and the considerations that led to it. My judgement after the fact has fully sustained my decisions at the date of the occurrence; and feeling myself responsible for the instrument as we prepared and presented it to our commanding general, I have the satisfaction, after all subsequent events, to believe that the terms we offered were expedient and honorable, and wise. A distinguished gentleman with whom I was seated with on that commission, Governor Henderson, says, in a recently published letters, “I did not at the same time, nor do I still like the terms, but acted as one of the commissioners, together with General Worth and Colonel Davis, to carry out General Taylor’s instructions. We ought to and could have made them surrender at discretion,” &c.&c.

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

I did not then, nor I do I now, believe we could have made the enemy surrender at discretion. Had I entertained the opinion it would have been given to the commissioners, and to the commanding general, and would have precluded me from signing an agreement that would have permitted the garrison to retire with the honors of war. It is demonstrable, from the position and known prowess of the two armies, that we could drive the enemy from the town; but the town was untenable whilst the main fort (called now the citadel) remained in the hands of the enemy. Being without siege artillery or entrenching tools, we could only hope to carry this fort by storm, after heavy loss from our army; which, isolated in a hostile country, now numbered less than half the forces of the enemy. When all this had been achieved, what more would we have gained than by the capitulation?

General Taylor’s force was too small to invest the town. It was, therefore, always in the power of the enemy to retreat, bearing his light arms. Our army, poorly provided, and with very insufficient transportation—could not have overtaken, if they had pursued the flying enemy. Hence, the conclusion that, as it was not in our power to capture the main body of the Mexican army, it is unreasonable to suppose their general would have surrendered at discretion. The moral effect of retiring under the capitulation was certainly greater than if the enemy had retreated without our consent. By this course was secured the large supply of ammunition he had collected in Monterey—which, had the assault been continued, must have been exploded by our shells, as it was principally stored in “the Cathedral,” which, being supposed to be filled with troops was the special sum of our pierces. The destruction, which this explosion would have produced, must have involved the advance of both divisions of our troops; and I commend this to the contemplation of those whose arguments have been drawn from facts learned since the commissioners closed their negotiations. With these introductory remarks, I send a copy of manuscript in my possession, which was prepared to meet such necessity as now exists for an explanation, to justify the commanding general, should misrepresentation and cautiously attempt to tarnish his well earned reputation, and, for all time to come, to fix the truth of the transaction. Please publish this in your paper, and believe me as your friend, &c.



NNR47February v71.400 Finances

FINANCES—Hardly any direct opposition was made to passing the bill for raising additional army. All the debate was upon the details of the bill.

And so also in regard to the financial resources which so promptly passed both houses a week before, as to the grant of authority to obtain the money, hardly an objection was made,--though much difference of opinion existed as to the most eligible means of obtaining it.

The money required my the government for immediate emergencies, has been procured by the secretary of the treasury, by selling treasury notes authorized under the net to the amount of four million dollars—most of it to New Orleans banks and operators. These notes are to bear an interest of six percent and sold at par. The N.Y. Journal of Commerce says:

“The Treasury note operation while it was a good one for the government, was a good one also for the contractors. They sold out a million in this market at two percent advance, and could get two or two and one half percent profit on the whole, making a net three thousand dollar profit without using a dollar of the capital.”

This arrangement having been effected, the secretary of the treasury immediately advertised to receive proposals for a loan under the recent act. The advantageous position of our foreign exchangers, superinduced by the unprecedented quality and high prices of our provisions shipping to Europe, affords fortuitous opportunity to obtain the loan upon good terms, provided laws be passed to sustain the national revenue for the payment of the interest.

That additional sentiments to secure this object are indispensable is manifest from the official statement of receipts and expenditures of the quarter ending the 30th of December last, inserted in our last number. The receipts from customs, the same of public lands, all the regular revenue resources for the quarter amounted to an average of only sixteen million per anum, whilst the expenditure for the same period averaged a rate of over forty-eight million per anum.

The quarter may not be a fair one to average by, but the disparity between the receipts and the expenditures, is of too serious an amount.

Heavy complaints are made in the New York Courier and Enquirer and in some others of the journals, of the secretary of treasury having adopted means for obtaining the five millions loan a few months since, as well as effecting the sale of the treasury notes last week, which were not justifiable in a high officer of the government. We merely the complaints, without knowing whether they will be founded or not.

A FURTHER LOAN ANTICIPATED—Some of the last New York papers anticipate an application from the executive for authorities to raise still another loan, for carrying on the war with Mexico. They say that when the estimates were made upon which the application for the loan and treasury note bill of twenty-eight millions which was passed last week, was sent to congress, the expenses incident to the additional army since authorized, and the additional bounty to the soldiers were not included, and that ten millions will be asked for, to cover the items of additional expenditure. They signify also that the line following the paragraph in the message sent by the president to congress on Saturday last (inserted in this number) has reference to such additional loss.

“The increased revenues which the measure now recommended would produce, would moreover enable the government to negotiate a loan for any additional sum which may be found to be needed, with more facility and at cheaper rates, than can be done without them.” [MLL]

NNR47February v71.400 Contending proposals for the conduct of the war


The house of representatives in the meantime have been discussing a bill of still more intricate and exceeding character, and which not only has reference to how the war is to be conducted or concluded, but what disposition is to be made of the acquired territory, if territory be acquired by the terms of a peace.

On this point hangs the delicate question, of adding additional territory to the Union, with or without allowing slavery to exist if the territory is acquired.

The administration party appeared to be divided upon the question beyond any present proposal of reconciliation. The “Wilmot Proviso” has been attached to the bill by majority in the House of Representatives, stipulating against the admission of any more territory, unless slavery be excluded therefrom. In this form the bill passed the house and is now before the senate.

Even if it were to pass the senate in that form, it is certain that the president would not sign the bill.

This part of the executive project for terminating the war, would appear therefore hopeless.

Indeed, to our apprehension, the probability of a termination of the war, under any circumstances, seems to be very remote. The country is at war—the constitution provides that congress “may declare war”—and it can be done by a majority of each house so deciding. We have seen sufficient to convince us that the Executive may so order the operations of the army and navy as at any time to make a war inevitable,--and that virtually, he has it in his power to place the country in a state of war. But to make peace under our constitution is rather a more difficult process. After the enemy, whoever they may be, shall consent to treat, the executive had the entire control of the initiative proposition to congress. The President must be satisfied in the first place, so far as least, as that he would finally approve of the conditions of the treaty. Having no doubt at this time, if he had not at the origin of the war, a definite object in view in relation to Mexican territory, it is not probable that he will originate any negotiation that does not correspond with that object.

But supposing Mexico to be, by some means,--the force of arms—or the influences of three millions of secret service money proposed in the bill to be placed at the disposition of the executive—suppose Mexico by either or both those influences to be brought to the terms which our executive may demand—and a treaty to be negotiated and submitted to the senate for ratification. Would two thirds of the senate be found to advise the ratification of such a treaty, without the stipulation that the territory acquired by the treaty [?] would be excluded?

It is believed that two thirds of the Senate would not ratify the treaty without, not with, such a stipulation.

The slave states and the free states are at issue so radically on the subject, that the prospect of any adjustment of the difficulty appears very gloomy.

It may be said, perhaps, that we are anticipating a difficulty which may never be realized. True.—Before the difficulty can be realized, Mexico must consent to treat for a relinquishment of territory which to this time her government and her people appear determined not to entertain a thought of submitting to. Yet although a discussion of the origin of the war, has been but incidentally entertained in congress, the period seems now to have arrived when the objects intended to be obtained by the war, should distinctly ascertained and sanctioned by congress.

The people of the United States will hardly be satisfied to be carrying on a war, at heavy expense of both man and money, the objects of which war they are not fully approve of. It is the duty of their representatives in congress, as well of the executive, to let them understand the true position of the question.

Mr. Calhoun, yesterday, the 19th, submitted to the senate, resolutions counter to the “Wilmot Proviso” incorporated in the house “three million bill” which resolution he signed his intention to call up for consideration on Monday next. A keen pass between him and Colonel Benton took place on his introducing the resolution.

Suppose a treaty made—whether coerced or bought—which the Mexican people and the Mexican army disapprove, how long would those who conclude such a treaty remain in power in Mexico—how long would the treaty endure?    [MLL]

NNR47February v71.401 2/27/1847 war assuming a horrid guerrilla aspect

The war is rapidly assuming a most horrible guerrilla aspect, at which humanity cannot but shudder. [AKS]

70.401 2/27/1847 Gens. Winfield Scott and William Jenkins Worth about to embark at Brazos

Brazos Santiago, dates t the 5th instant, received at New Orleans, acquaint us that General Scott was still there, about to embark for Tampico or the Island of Lobos, preparatory to the attack upon Vera Cruz. A letter of the 4 th says: "Several vessels with troops and stores, munitions of war, &c. have sailed already. General Scott and staff, will go in a few days, and other troops in transports, with necessaries, will follow as soon as possible. The regular troops, under the command of General Worth, are still encamped on the Rio Grande, but will all be here in a short time. They will come in detachments, so that they can embark conveniently. It is now well understood that the expedition is to rendezvous at the Island of Lobos, a short distance north of Vera Cruz. Between the island and mainland there is an harbour or roadstead, where the vessels can lie in safety. The shore, it is said, is bold, and there is water enough to enable the armed vessels to get sufficiently near to protect the landing of the troops. The island is represented as nearly barren, but will be occupied as a depot and encampment. The troops will be landed in boats, some ten or twelve miles from town, and a combined attack by land and water made on it, and the castle of San Juan in the harbour.

"The preparations for the expedition are on a grand scale, and if the elements are favorable, it must succeed. But it is well known, this and--the next month are always boisterous on this coast; and men cannot control the winds and waves. Our land force will be about 15,000 strong and our squadron be able to bring about 300 guns to bear on the fortifications." [LA]

NNR47February v71.40l 2/27/1847 sentence of Col. William Selby Harney

The court martial which tried Col. Harney on the charge of disobedience of orders, sentenced him to be reprimanded. Gen. Scott remitted the sentence, and ordered him to the discharge of the duties for the neglect of which he had been tried. [LA]

NNR47February v71.401 2/27/1847 Lt. Miller mutilated

A few days ago, an officer of the Ohio regiment, Lieut. Miller is believed to be his name, was murdered, at Chichironi, and awfully mutilated. His heart was cut out and hung upon a shrub, to show us, I suppose, how deeply seated was their hatred towards us. [AKS]

NNR47February v71.401 2/27/1847 fate of Lt. Ritchie

Fate of Lieut. Ritchie U. S. A. Lieutenant R. Belonging to the 4 th infantry, but acting with the 2 nd dragoons, was started about the 11 thult. , with important despatches from General Scott and other officers, to General Taylor then at or on his route to or from Victoria. The despatches were supposed to contain a plan of the campaign about to commence, as well as orders to General Taylor and other commanders. The Lieut. Had ten men to accompany him. They reached Monterey in safety, spent a night and next evening at La Grande, a small village 23 miles on the road, Lieut. R. Whilst occupied in procuring something for the party and their horses, to eat, in company with an English resident of the place; crossing the plaza, a Mexican on horseback, whirled past, threw his lasso over Lieut. Ritchie, and dashed off with a prize at full speed. A mile or two from the place the lieutenant's body was afterwards found, stripped and dreadfully lacerated. His despatches were in the hands of the Mexican. The men of the detachment reached Victoria in safety. If we mistake not, Lit. Ritchie, was of Ohio. [AKS]

NNR47February v71.401 Majs. Solor, Borland, and Gaines surprised by Minion.

MAJOR BORLAND, OF THE ARMY CAVALRY WITH 40 MEN, AND MAJOR GAINES AND CAPT. CASSIUS M. CLAY, WITH 30 MEN, SURPRISED AND MADE PRISONERS. The following letter from Captain Chapman of the army, reached General Worth last evening.

Saltillo, January 25, 1847

I have only time to write a word. Maj. Borland, of the Arkansas cavalry, with 50 men, and Major Gaines and Captain M. Clay, with 30 men, were surprised and captured at Encarnacion (about 45 miles beyond Saltillo) on the morning of the 23rd, by General Minion. He heard that Borland was there, and marched from Matchuala with 500 cavalry and taking them without firing a gun. This is no stampede.

Yours Truly,
           W.W. Chapman

The above is all that has reached us on the subject, in fact, it is clear enough. Between 80 and 90 of our men have been taken prisoners, and undoubtedly at San Luis Potesi ere this. The hatred of the Mexicans is so inveterate, however, against our volunteers, that fears are entertained for the safety of the prisoners. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.401 February 27, 1847 Battle at El Paso

A BATTLE AT EL PASO—ANOTHER VICTORY—We have been exceedingly anxious to learn something from the detachments which left Santa Fe for Chihuahua. The only news received, is from papers from the city of Mexico, of the 26th, which we find thus condensed by the National Intelligence.

On the 25th of December Senior Cuylti was at El Paso at the head of 480 regulars, who added to the Pasenos, of troops retired near El Paso, exceeding 1,000 in number. The Americans were at Dona Ana, 300 strong. They advanced upon El Paso. Cuylti prepared to fight them, but the evening he was to set forth on his march he was seized with brain fever which rendered him helpless. The command devolved upon Vidal, who possessed little military skill, and expected to surround and destroy the Americans like so many rabbits. He pushed forward 500 cavalry under Captain Antonia Ponee, of which one half were Rancheros. The Americans demanded a parley, which was denied, and fight immediately commenced. Ponee charged at the head of the cavalry, but in vain, as he was wounded in the first onset. Just then the Pasenos ran; and threw such disorder into the whole, that all took to flight, leaving a howitzer [?] in the hands of the Americans, but carrying off three other pieces. Vidal returned with all speed to Carrizal, forty leagues from El Paso. The loss on each side was not known, nor was it stated. On the 27th the Americans took possession of El Paso with 600 cavalry and 400 infantry. The cavalry immediately started in pursuit of the runaways and although it was not known at Chihuahua, on the 21st of January that they had overtaken them; it was thought likely they would get possession of two wagons which were in the rear with the park, as well as of thirty men who escorted them. This seems probably to us, too; thought we much doubt if the Americans ever got up with the runaways. [MLL]

NNR47February v71.401 2/27/1847 loss of the transport ship Ondiaka and incidents connected therewith

LOSS OF THE TRANSPORT SHIP ONDIAKA, WITH TROOPS ON BOARD. This fine ship got away from the Balize about the 20th ult. , with four companies of the Louisiana regiments of volunteers, viz: Company E, Capt. Preg; company F, Capt. Hunt; company G, Capt. Pope; and company K, Capt. Lewis. They were under the immediate command of Col. DeRussy, and exceeded three hundred in number. The Ondiaka touched at the Brazos and sailed thence on the 25th ult. She was off the bar of Tampico on the 28 th, and the next we hear of her is her total loss. It must have happened about the 1st inst. and near to the Island of Lobos. [AKS]

The first rumor was, that all troops on board and crew, got safely on shore, but were taken prisoners as they landed.

The next account was, that they succeeded in landing with their arms and a week’s provisions, erected a temporary defence, and dept the Mexicans at bay.

Rumor was now kept busy enough; we omit most of the sotries

Upon hearing of the disaster, at Tampico, the steamer Undine, was dispatched, with company H, of 3d artillery on board, to look after the wreck and the troops on shore.

Rumor reached Tampico by a pilot boat, that this compamy of artillery had been surprised and cut off by a body of 800 Mexicans.

Tampico, Feb. 6, 1847. Last night the town was rife with rumors of the caputure of the wrecked Louisianians, by la large Mexican force. The captain of a schooner had been sent to the wreck, and he returned yesterday, reported that he could not get to it, and that a Mexican force had surrounded and captured Col. De Russy and his command. At first little credit was attached to the report, but at a later hour in the night, there was a sort of change in the unbelievers. Lieut. Miller, who had been sent down to their assistance was looked for during the day, and his non-arrival, coupled with the report of the captain, caused much uneasiness, and at eleven o’clock, a command of men was hurried off for the wreck, who took with them two pieced of artillery. - This evening and to-morrow morning we will probably know the truth. [LA]

NNR47February v71.402 February 27, 1847 Garrison at Pensacola sails for Sacrificios


The Pensacola Gazette, of Feb. 7th, reports that the garrison at Fort Barancas, in that harbor, has been removed, having sailed under orders to Sacrificios. It was commanded by Capt. Winder, of the 1st artillery, with whom were two subaltern officers, Lieutenants Grafton and Seymour, also of the 1st artillery. [MLL]

71.402 2/27/1847 particulars of the capture of Laguna

Gulf Squadron. - Arrival of General La Vega at Vera Cruz,- American Prisoners released. - In the account given of the arrival of the United States steam ship Mississippi, Com Perry, at Norfolk, it was stated that that vessel had captured a Campeachy schooner (Amalio) and sent her into New Orleans as a prize.

The captshipmen Barbour, of the Mississippi, and a prize crew.

The full particulars of the taking of Laguna are given. The place was yielded without resistance. Fifteen cannon were destroyed, some 800 lbs. Of powder taken, and fifty soldiers disarmed, although the latter affected to be favorably disposed to the cause of the Campechains , who had declared themselves entirely independent of Mexico, and had sent their commissioners on the schooner Sisalmo to Com. Conner, at Anton Lizardo, to request him to desist from any hostile measures against Yucatan , until commissioners could be sent to the government of the United States to obtain the recognition of the independence of the State. These commissioners left Anton Lizardo on the 20th, to return, but the result of their conference with Com. Conner is unknown.

We mentioned, a few days since, that a boat from the John Adams had made a thorough night examination of the castle of San Juan de Ulna. The officer who had charge of the boat, as we learn from N. Orleans Mercury, was passed midshipman Fitzgerald. He had eight men in his boat, with muted oars, and in the darkness of the night rowed around and around the castle, went under the drawbridge, entered the water battery, and made a thorough reconnaissance in every part. This gallant exploit has proved that men may be landed from the boats at night, and that the water batteries may easily be taken.

Com. Perry, on his return to Anton Lizardo from Laguna, looked in at Alvarado and Tobasco, and found that the fortifications of both places have been repaired and much strengthened since they were attacked by the squadron. At Tobasco there were about three thousand troops, and at Alvarado about four thousand. Notwithstanding, these formidable preparations, the general impression is that Com. Conner will soon attack these places.

On the arrival of Gen. La Vega at Vera Cruz on the 15th, all the prisoners from the squadron in the hands of the enemy were released. It is now ascertained that but eleven of the crew of the Somers had drifted to the main land when she had wrecked, and not sixteen as was first stated. Midshipman Rogers was at Vera Cruz. He had been tried by the civil and military tribunals as a spy, and had been acquitted by the former, but found guilty by the latter. It was believed, however, that the more favorable verdict would prevail, and that he would be liberated. [AKS]

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