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The Columbia Democrat. [volume] (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1837-1850, December 12, 1846, Image 1

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I have swnrtiupon tho Alter of Unit, ctornnl hostility to eVory form of Tyranny over the Mltid of Man." Thomas Jefferson
7 ' . . 3
p , ,, 1 i ; i , t i t 1 -r- 1 1 -- l-TI .. -j- ' -L-lIj. ' "ras
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DECEMBER 12, '.810.
TION. Monterey, Mexico, Sppt. 28, 1S-1G.
Sir. I have ihe honor to report thai
in obedience lo the verba) orders of ihe
general in chief, the division under my
command, composed of Lieut. Colonel
Duncan's battery of horse arlillerj ,artil
lery batlal ion, Lieut. Colonel Child?,
and eighth regiment, Captain Scriven,
constituting the first brigade, under
Lieut Col. Staniford; Lieut. Mackall's
battery, horse artillery, fifth infantry,
Major Scott, seventh, Capt. Milep,
ond one oonipan) Louisiana volunteers,
Capt. Blanchard, second brigade, un
der Brigadier Gen. Persifer F.'Smilh,
colonel of Rifles, and Colonel Hays'
regiment of Texas mounted riflemen,
moved from the main camp at k1 Bos,.
quo de Si. Domingo, at 2, P. M. on the
My instructions were, by a detour
to Ihe right, "J endeavor to find and
reach Ihe Saltillo road, etTect a thorough
reconnoisance of the approaches to the
city from that direction, lo cut off sup
plies and reinforcements, and, if practi
cable, carry the heightc
Owing to the difficulties of Ihe ground
after leaving the Marin, and before strik
ing the Presqnina Grande road, the di
vision had reached only six miles in
consequence of the delay in making Ihe
route practicable for artillery, which
Bervco was executed by Capt. Sander
at 6, P. M., and was hailed just with
out the range of a gun battery upon the
summit of an insulated hill, oiled Loma
de Independent, midway on tho as
cent of which was Ihe Bishop's Palace
Thence a recounoissance was made, un
der cover of detachments of Hay's Tex-
nns, to the intersection of Presequina
Graudt route, then in our possession,
wilh the Saltillo road. This examina
tion resulted in the conviction that the
grounds in our front and on our left, in
advance, constituted at the tame lime
the weak and the strong points of the
enemy' position, and entered mainly
imn lho defences of the city the- weali
point because commanding tho only
lines of retreat, and of supply in Ihe (II
rection of Saltillo, and controlling that
in direction of Presequina Grande; the
strong point, because of tho peculiarly
defensive character of Ihe hills and gor
ges, and of the very careful and skilful
manner with which they had been lor
tified and guarded. It was also clearly
indicated that our further advance would
be strenuously resitted.
On lho morning of lho 21st the divis
ion was put in motion, and wilh such
formation as to present Ihe readies! order
of battle on any point of assault. At
the advance, cnn'ilni of Hay's Texans
brigade, under Oapt. C. F. Smith, both
extended, as Ihe valli-y widened or con
racled, closely followed by Duncan'
light artillery, ond battalion, heads of
columns, on turning an ancle ol Ihe
mountain, at a hacienda rolled Sin Je
rnnimo, came upon estrone mrce u.
i i
cavalry and infantry, mo9lly the former.
conflict immediately ensued. The
I'exans received the heavy charge of
cavalrv with Iheir unerring rifles, anil
usual gallantly; the light companies o
pened a rapid and well directed fire;
Duncanan's battery was in action in one
minute, promptly supposed by a see
lion of Mackall'a, delivering its fi-e o
ver Ihe heids of our men. Ere the
close of the combat, which lasted but
fifteen minutes, Ihe first brigade had
formed lo ihe front, on the right and
left, and delivered its fire. The second
brigade was held in reverse, Ihe ground
not admitting of its deployment.
Tho enemy retirod in disorder, leav
ing on the ground one hundred killed
and wounded, among the former,' Don
Juan N. Najira, Colonel of the perma
nent regiment of lanrers, upon Ihe Sal-
llo road, and was closely pursued un
til we got possession of the gorge, where
II l!ie debdueheB from Monterey unite,
whoieby the force jusl defeated, a a Inn
reinforcements and supplies from that
lircclion were excluded from entering
the city. At this important point lht
livision was halted, and attention di
rected lowaid Ihe mountain forts which
nvelope the ci'y on its wts'ern ami
ouihweslern faces. Soon discovering,
howevpr, that our position brought us
iihin effective range of the batteries,
ihe uoops were advanced some eight
hundred yards further on lho Saltillo
Fhe examination, thus far, had man
ifested, besides lho importance of ih
positions, tho impracticability of any ef
fective operations against ihe cFly, unt;
possessed ol the exterior.foits and bat
leries. Independent, however, of ulte
ior obiecis, the occupation of thesi
heights became indispensable lo the res
loralion of our line of communiciiiof
with head quarters, necessarily nlnn
loned for (he moment, in order in se-
ure the gorges of Ihe Saltillo road. A'
2, M.,a force was detached undeiCapl.
C F.Smilh.with orders to slorm the bat
teries on the crosl of the .loarest lnll.cal
ed Federacion, and after taking thai io
carry the fort called Soldada, on Ihe
dge of the same height, reined aboul
COO yard.
The two effectually guarded the slopes
nd roads in either valley, and conse
quenlly lho approaches to the city. Thi
command consisted of lour companies
(K 2d,B 3d,and G ond H,4lh artillery.)
nf tho arlillerv battalion, ond GreenV
McGowan's R. A. Gillespie's Chand
lers, Ballowe's and M'Culloch's coin
panies of Texan Riflemen, under Major
Chevalier, acting in co operation in all
imm ihrpn hundred el eclive. 11 was
mpossiblo to mask the movement of Ihe
terming parly. On approaching the
base of the mountain, Ihe guns ol boll
ed a plunging fire, and
uaiiviivH j i
.,ni,.rniiB Unlit troons were seen de
sending and arranging thomselues
favorable points on the slopes. Peiceiv
ing these indications cfdetei mined re
sistance, Capt. Miles was detached with
the 7ih to support & co operate with Ihe
first parly. In f short lime tho fire be
camo general, Ihe enemy graduallj
yielding and retiring up the rugged ac
nlivity. and our men as stea,iiiy punu
The appearance ol Heavy
forcemenls on ihe summit, and llie cor
dinal importance of tho operation de
manding further support, Ihe 5ih, under
Major Scoll, and Blaitchard's company
accompanied by Brigadier G-n. Smiih
who was instructed to lake direction ir
that quirter. On reaching the advancr
parlies, Gen. Smith discovered that un
der favor of the ground, he could, b
diverting a portion of ihe force to thf
right; and moving it obliquely up lh
hill, carry the Soldada simntaneously
with the Federacion. 'In accordingly
very judiciously pointed and accompan
ied the 5'hfih nnd Blanohartl's com
pany, In that direction. Capt. Smith's
command having most gallantly carried
the first object of allaek, promptly turn
ed the captured gun a nine pounder
upon the second, and moved on wilh his
main body, lo participate in Ihe asautt
upon Solduda which was carried in
gallant stylo by the force under Scotl,
Miles, Blanchard and May, (who had
been detached on special service, but
who returned in lime to share with fifty
of his men in the first assault, and lake
prominent part in the second, )the whoh
lirected by Gun. Smith.
At this point wo secured another l
pound r-and immediately both pieces
were brought lo bear upon the BishnpV
P.ilac' situated upon and midway thei
Southern Mope of tho hill Independen
cia. a valley of onl' six hundred yards
inlerveneing. We had now secured an
important advantage, snd yet but hall
the work was done. The possession uf
these heights only made the more appi
rent Ihe controlling importance oi Ihott;
ppnstle, and theueccssity of occupping
the P.ilace. A violenl slorm ensued
nd night closing in, operations for Ihe
lay ceased. 'I ho troops had now been
thirty six hours without foud, and con
Hantly taxed to tho utmost physical ex
oi lions. Such as could be permitted
li pt wilh arms in hand, subjected to n
pelting slorm. and without covering,
ill 3, A, M. when trey were aroused
o carry Ihe hill udepcndencia
Lieut. Col. Chilus was as-igned to
lead this storming parly, consisting ol
hree companirs, 1 and G -lib, and A
il (arlilery battalion) three companies
8ih Infantry, fA, B and D.J under
Capt. Scriven, wilh iwo hundred lex
n rifl- me. i, under Col. Ha) and Lieut
Col. Walker, ('Captain of rifles. acting
in co operation. The command moved
it 3, conducled lo ils point of ascent by
Capt. Sanders, and Lieut. Meade, to
nogrBnhical engineers. Favored by
he weather, it itached by dawn ol da)
within abiui one hundred yards of the
rest, in which position, among the
clefts of rocks-j a body of the enemy had
been sialioned the previous evening, in
pparenl onlicijution of alt ck. Th
enemy's retreating fire was ineffectual,
ind not lelurned until Cols. Childb' anc
lays' command had reached within
few vards of lho summit, when a we
lirected and drstruclivo fire, followed h)
he bay one' s of the regulars, and ruh of
I'exans. nlac-d us in possession ol i lit
woik; in camion having been prevtou
y wilh lnwn, no impression could b-
made U)0 massive walls of Ihe Palace,
or it outworks, without artillery, except
it enoi moii- sicrifice.
Lieut. Roland, of Duncan's battery,
was ordered from the main camp with
12 pound hnwitzn; and in two hours,
(aided by filly meo from Ihe line, undei
Capt. Sandeis, military engineers, foi
he purpose of selecting tho route least
liffiicull.) that enterprising and gallani
officer had his gun in position, having
ascended an accllv'Hy, as tugged as steei
between 7 and 600 feel, in Iwo hours.
A fire was immediately opened from the
howitzer, covered by Ihe epaulment of the
nnntiired batterv. upon lho Palaoo and il
outworks four hundred yaids distant
and soon produced a visable sensation.
Meanwhile, to re inforce the position Ihe
Dili Major Scotl and Blanchard's volunteers
had been patted from Ibe first heights,
reached the second in lime to participate in
the operations against the Palace.
After many affairs of light troops and sev-
eral feints, a heavy sortie was made, sus-
ained by a sfroitg corps of cavalry, wilh
lespnrate resolution, lo tepnsseas llie heights
Such a wove had been anticipated and pre-
pared for. Lieut. Col. Child had advanc
ed, under cover, Iwo companions of light
tronpB under command of Capt. Vinton, act
tng major, and judiciously drawn up the
main body of his rommand, flanked on the
riglil bv Hays, and left by Walker's Tex
inf. 7'lie enemy advanced boldly, was
r pulsed by one general discharge from all
inns, fled in confusion closely picssed by
Childs Biid Hays, preceded by Ihe lighi
troops under Vinton; and while ibey fled
past our troops entered the palaco and fori.
In a few moments the unpretending flag of
the Union Ind replaced ihe gaudy standard
of Mexico. Tho captured guns ono six
inch howitzer, one twelve and two nine
poundcr brass guns, together wilh Duncan's
mil Mackall'a field batteries, which came
up at a full gallop, were in full and cfTer
ttve play upon the retiiing and confused
masses that filled Ihe street (of which we
had the prolongation) leading to lho nearest
plaza, la capclla, also crowded with troops.
At ibis momcnl lho enemy's loss W:,3 hea
vy. Tho investment was now complete
Exicpt the force necessary lo hold the po
rtions on Indepcndencia and serve the
guns (shifted to points whence lho sho
otild be made lo renoh lho great plaza, i the
I iv is ion was now concentrated around the
palace, and preparation made to assault the
city on the following day, or sooner, should
the general in chief cither so duect, or be
fore communication bo had, renew tho as
satill from the opposita quarter. In ihe
meantime attention was directed lo eyeiy
provision our circumstances permitted, to
illevinle the condition of ovir wounded sol
tiers and officers; to ihe decent interment
if tho dead, not omitting in either tespeo
-ill that was due to those of lho enemv
About 10 A. M. on the 23d, a heavy fin
was hearu in mo opposite quarter, it-
m g iimue anu continuance, as wen as oiucr
circumstances, did not permit a doubt thai
. 1 1 .1
the gcneial was conducting a main attack,-
nd thai his orders for my co-operation
'having lo travel a circuit of some six miles)
had miscarried, or failed lo resell me b)
ueans of the numerous cavalry of tho ene
ny. Undjr these coiiviclinns, tho Iroops
ivcre instantly ordered lo commence an op
oration which, if not otherwise directed I,
had designed lo execute in pari, under favor
of ihe night. Two columns of attack were
irganized, to move along lho two principal
.ireets, leading from our position, in direc
lion of the great plaza, composed of light
troons slichilv extended, with orders to
nask the men whenever practicable, avoid
those points swept by the enemy's artillery
to press on to the first plazi, Capella, to
!et hold of the ends of Btrents beyond, then
enter the buildings, and by means of picks
and bars break through the longitudinal sec
tion of the wall": work from house lo house
mil, ascending to the roofs, to place them
selves upon the same breast haight with the
enemy. Light artillery by sections and
places, under Duncan, Roland, Mod; all
Martin, Hays, Irons, Claike and Curd, fol
lowing at amiable inter vaU, covered by re
seives to guard lho pieces and the whole
operation against lho probable enlerptisee-
&f cavalry upon our left. This was cflVcl
ii ally done by seizing and commanding the
head of evciv cross street. 1 he streets
wero, at different and well-known points
barricaded by heavy masonry walls, with
imnrcsetircs for one or more guns, and in
every instance well supported by cross bat
leries These ariancHinenta of defence
gave (o our operations at this moment
complicated character, demading much caie
and precaution, but the work went on stead
ily, simultaneously and successfully,
About the lime our assault comraonced
the fire ceased from our force in Ihe oppo
site quarter, Disengaged on the one tdde
the enemy was enabled to shift men and
guns to our quarter as was soon manifested
by accumulation of fire. At dark we had
worked through tho walls and squares and
entrenched to within ono block of the great
plaza leaving a covered way in our reai
carried a large building which lowered nvet
the principal defences and during lho nigln
and ensuing mnrninn crowned its roof with
two howitzers and a six-pounder. Al
things wore now prepared lo renew ihe as
satill at dawn of day when a flag was sen
in asking a momentary suspension of firf
which led lo the capitulation upon terms so
honorable lo our arms. As Ihe columns of
Btiaek worp moving from lho Palace hill,
Major M'tnroc. chief of artillery, ranched
me wilh a ten inch mortar, which was im
mediately advanced lo the plaza Chape,n
in position masked by lho church wall, it;
bad adjusted as rapidly as possibla, and bv
sunset opened upon the great squate.
At this period our troop? had worked to
within one square of the plaza. The ex
act position of our comrades, on tho oppo
site side was not known and the distance n'
the position lo be asiailed from ihe bon
baitery but conjectural; eight hundred yards
was assumed, and fuzo and chargo regula
ted accordingly; tho first shell fell a little
hori of ihe point on which it wa3 directed,
and besido our troops, a slight incroaso of
the projecting charge gave exact results.
The whole service was managed by Major
Monroe, most admirably, and, combined
with other operations, exercised a decided
influence upon tho final results. Early on
iho morning of the 23d, Major irown, ar
tillery battalion, was despatched with a se
lect command, and one section of Mackall'a
battery, undei Lieut. Irons, to occupy the
stone mill and adjacent grounds, constitu
ting, ono league in advance, ihe narrow
gorge near Si. Calarina. The major look
possession, repulsed the enemy's picquela,
and was preparing his command lo resist
anyattack,when he rsceived my ord ro lo re
trace his stops, enter the city, and form the
main reserve to the assaulting columns. He
-ame up in good limo and good order, and
was al once under firet
On the 25th, in conformity with the ar
icles of capitulation, the citadel was taken
possession ofby a command consisting of
wo companies of each regiment, and one
action of each battery, 2d diviainn. Gen
Smith was directed to lako rummand of
his corps end conduct the ceremony, which
duty ho executed with delicacy to the un
happy and humiliated foo.
You will receive lists of captured muni
tions of war lists of such as ware curren-
dercd havo alreidy been handed in. It it
souice of high gratification that wo have
been able to accomplish such fortunate re
sults wilh so moderal a sacrifice of gallant
men, Annexed is a leiurn of killed and
wounded, exhibiting dates, actions and cir-
'hen every officer and every soldier.
regular and volunteer, has through a set it
harassing and severe conflict, in the valh y
nd on the mountain, in the street and on
ihe house-top, cheeifully bravely and snc-
cessfolly executed every service and com
plcied wilh every exaction of valor and pa
ttiolism, the task is as difficult as delicate u
distinguish individuals and yet it will al
ways happen, as it always happened in the
varied scenes of battle and soige, that for
luno presents to some of those opportunities
which all would havo seized with gladnea!-
and avidity. It is my pleasing and grate
ful duty lo piesent to the consideration ol
the general in chief, and through him lo the
government the distinguished conduct cl
Brigadier General Smith colonel of the ri
tics Hrevet Lieutenant Colonel Childs artil
lory battalion; Colonel Ilajs Texan rifle
men Hrevet Lieutenant Colonel Duncan
horse artillery and Capiain 0. F. Smith 2n
artillery commanding light troops first bn
Mv thanks are also especially due h
Lieut. Col. Stifurd Oth (commanding the
first brigade Major Monroe chief of anil
lery (general staff,' Uievet Major Hrown
Capiain J. R. Vinton artillery battalion
(Tight troops,) Aijor Scolt commanding and
Capiain Merrill 5th Captain Miles com
roanding Holmes and Ross 7ili infantry and
Capt, Scriven commanding 8th infantry to
Lieut, Ool. Walker (captain rifles) Majoi
Chevalier and Capiain M'Culloch ofs the
Texans and Captain Dlanchard Louisiana
voluideeta to Lieutenants Mackal (com
manding battery Roland Mirlin Havs roi
Clarke and Curd hone artillery Lieuien
nt Longstreet commanding light company
8th Lieut. Ayres artillery 6attalion who
was among tin first in the assault upon the
Palace, and who secured Ihe colors. Each
if the officers named either headed special
detachments, columns of attack, storming
parlies or delached guns, and all were con
picuous for conduct and courage. Afy at-
tention has been particularly directed by
Oen. Srniih to the gallant conduct of Lieut.
ttardnf r. 7ih infantry, during the assault
ipnn the cily, on which occasion he threw
himself in advance, and on the most expos-
(l points, antmaliug ihe men by hie bravo
Particular attention has also been called
o tho Lieutenants Nicholls, (brothers,)
l.ouisiana volunteor?, as having highly dis
tinguished ihemselves by personal daring
nd efficient service. The officers of bri
gade and regimental slaffs were conspicu
ius in Ihe field, or in their particular de
partments. Lieuts. Hanson. f commanding)
vandorn, aid decamp, 7ih; Lieut. Robinson
5th, ("quartermaster's department,,) of tho
staff of CJen. Smilh; Lieut, and Adjutant
Clarke, 8th infantry, suff 1st brigade; Lieu-
tcnanto Benjamin adjutant artillery battalion
-Peck ordnance officer, artillery battalion
G. Deas, adjutaul Sih and Page adjuiant7th
infantry, aro highly commended by their
rjspeclivo chiefs, to the justness of which I
havo the pleasure to add my personal ob
servation. In common with the eniiri? Hi-
vision, my particular thanks are rendered to
assistant sergaons Porter, ("senior, Dyrne,
Conrad, De Leon and Roberts (medical de
partment who were ever at hand in the
close fight, promptly administering to the
founded and suffering soldiers.
To the officers of lho sialT genera! and
personal mote especially associated wilh
nyselfHon. Col. Balie Peyton Louisiana
troops who did me the honor to serve as
aid-de-camp; Capt Sanders military engN
neersjLieut. Acado topographical engineers
Lieun E. Dease Daniels and Ripley quar
termasters and commissary's staff, and
Lieut. Pemborion 4h artillery and Wood
8th infantry my aide-de-camp I have to
express ihe greatest obligation. 7n such
diversified operations during the three days
and nights they were constantly in motion,
performing every executive duty wilh zeal
ind intelligence only surpassed by daring
itourage in conflict. I beg to commend
each to special consideration.
We have lo lament the gallant Captains
M'Kavoit 6th infantry an officer of high
merit killed on the 2Isi and Gillespie Tex
as volunteers on the22d. The latter emi
nently distinguished himself while loading
his brave company al ihe storming of the
first height and perished in seeking similar
distinction on a second occasion Captaiu
Gathn and Lleul. Porter 7h Lieuts. Rossell
5th and Wainrighl 8th infantry and Lieuts.
Reeco Texas riflemen received honotablo
happily not mortal wounds.
rite following non-commissioned officera
are reported as having highly disiinguished
themselves Sergeants Ihzard 4th and Dil-
vrirth 3d artillery Quartermaster Sergeant
Henry 7th infantry Ciots company C-
Rounds Bradford, (color sergeant, and
Magg, company D; Bailey, company I; and
Palland, 7th infantry.
In the several conflicts, with ihe division
he onemy's loss, is ascertained to exceed
four hundred and fifty men; four nine, poun
ds, one twelve-pounder brass gun, ono
wenly-four pounder howilzer, and iwo na
tional (garrison) standards captured.
I am, sir very respectfully.
Your obedient servant;
Brevet Brigadier Gon'l, coiumamliug 2d
Major W. W. S. Buss, Assistant Adju
tant General Army of Occupation.
A Novel Plea A. murderer was acquit
ted in Illinois a 6hnrt time since, the jury
having probably sanctioned the doctrine of
ihe coun el thai theie were soma men in
every community who ought to be killed.
.ind' that the unfortunate man who had been
murdered belonged to that class,

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