Message from the President of the United States: Transmitting reports from the Secretary of State and Secretary of War, with the accompanying documents, in compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 7th February, 1848: 30th Congress, First Session: Executive Document No. 56, House of Representatives [Digital Version]

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United States. President (1845-1849: Polk) and United States. War Dept., Message from the President of the United States (Washington: Wendell and Van Benthuysen, 1848)

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Title: Message from the President of the United States: Transmitting reports from the Secretary of State and Secretary of War, with the accompanying documents, in compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 7th February, 1848: 30th Congress, First Session: Executive Document No. 56, House of Representatives [Digital Version]
Alternate Title: Correspondence between the Secretary of War and Generals Scott and Taylor, and between General Scott and Mr. Trist
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  • United States. President (1845-1849: Polk)
  • United States. War Dept.
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Description: Printed document, 466 pp. Includes reprints of the following documents: 30th Cong., 1st sess. House doc. 56. Correspondence between the Secretary of War and Generals Scott and Taylor, and between General Scott and Mr. Trist. March 20, 1848 (p. 811-1215) - 30th Cong., 1st sess. House doc. 59. Correspondence between the Secretary of War and General Scott. April 26, 1848 (p. 1216-1277).
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Contents




THIRTIETH CONGRESS—FIRST SESSION. Ex. Doc. No. 56. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE SECRETARY OF
WAR AND GENERALS SCOTT AND TAYLOR, AND BETWEEN
GENERAL SCOTT AND MR. TRIST.
MESSAGE
FROM THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
TRANSMITTING
Reports from the Secretary of State and Secretary of War, with
the accompanying documents, in compliance with the resolution of
the House of Representatives, of the
7th February, 1848.
MARCH 20, 1848.
Laid upon the table, and ordered to be printed.

To the House of Representatives:

I transmit herewith reports from the Secretary of State and the
Secretary of War, with the accompanying documents, in compliance
with the resolution of the House of Representatives, of the
7th February, 1848, requesting the President to communicate to
that House, "copies of all correspondence between the Secretary
of War and Major General Scott, and between the Secretary of
War and Major General Taylor, and between Major General Scott
and N. P. Trist, late commissioner of the United States to Mexico,
and between the latter and the Secretary of State, which has not
heretofore been published, and the publication of which may not
be incompatible with the public interest."

JAMES K. POLK.
WASHINGTON, March 20, 1848.


2

REPORT FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE.

To THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred that part of the
resolution of the House of Representatives, of the seventh ultimo,
requesting the President to communicate to that House, "copies of
all correspondence between Major General Scott and N. P. Trist,
late commissioner of the United States in Mexico, and between the
latter and the Secretary of State, which has not heretofore been
published, and the publication of which may not be incompatible
with the public interest," has the honor to lay before the President
the accompanying papers, and to report that they comprise all the
correspondence between General Scott and Mr. Trist, and between
the latter and this department relating thereto, on record or on file
in the department.

All which is respectfully submitted.
JAMES BUCHANAN.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 20, 1848.

LIST OF PAPERS.

  • Mr. Trist to Mr. Buchanan, May 7, 1847, (extract.)
  • The same to the same, May 21, 1847.
  • General Scott to Mr. Trist, May 7, 1847.
  • Mr. Trist to General Scott, May 20, 1847.
  • The same to the same, May 9, 1847.
  • The same to Mr. Buchanan, June 3, 1847, (extract.)
  • The same to the same, June 13, 1847, (extract.)
  • Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Trist, June 14, 1747, (extract.)
  • The same to the same, July 13, 1847, (extract.)
  • Mr. Trist to Mr. Buchanan, July 23, 1847, (extract.)

3

Mr. Trist to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

VERA CRUZ,
Friday night, May 7, 1847.

SIR:

Colonel Wilson left it entirely to me to determine every point
in regard to the despatches for General Scott, and the result of my
consideration of the various alternatives that presented themselves
was, that they left here (including, of course, the letter of
the minister of foreign relations) yesterday, about 5, p. m., in
charge of Lieutenant Lacey, of the Tennessee dragoons, and the
despatches are, before this time, doubtless, in the hands of General
Scott, (at Puebla, in all probability,) together with a letter from
me, of which I had no time to take a copy.

Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.

Mr. Trist to Mr. Buchanan.
[No. 4.]

SIR:

I have the honor to transmit herewith a very extraordinary
letter, (if, indeed, anything from his pen can properly be so designated,)
received by me from General Scott, together with a copy
of my reply and of a letter enclosing that reply.

Although the explicit order delivered to him in the latter, on
behalf of the President, with respect to the transmission of the
communication from yourself to the minister of foreign affairs, may
perhaps prove effectual, I beg leave to suggest for consideration
whether it would not be advisable to despatch to General Scott a
special order, through the War Department, confirming the one
thus delivered by me; for, from the officer capable of writing such
a letter, under any circumstances—and, above all, such as it was
written in, so totally wanting in anything like provocation—I do
not know what to anticipate or not to anticipate.

Excepting a report which came in here last evening, that General
Herrera has been elected President, and that this event is considered
favorable to peace, no news whatever has been received
here since my arrival. When we reach Puebla—for which I shall
set out to-morrow afternoon with General Twiggs's division—I hope
to have it in my power to give at least some account of political
affairs and prospects, whether favorable or unfavorable. A youth


4

from Guadalajara, who is here on his way to Vera Cruz to embark
for England, tells me that in his native place (some 300 leagues
nearly from Mexico) all are in favor of continuing the war, at
least there is but a handful of the opposite sentiment. But in the
city of Mexico, where he passed a month, there is a very strong
party
in favor of peace. This I consider good evidence of the
state of public opinion, on that face of it which is likely to catch
the eye of persons of his class—intelligent and modest lads of the
age of 17 or 18.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. TRIST.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.

P. S.—On the occasion of transmitting this correspondence with
General Scott, I should do him injustice, although he could not be
injured thereby with any person at all conversant with his character,
were I to omit to mention that, so far as "respect" for the
government can be proved by such outward acts as bear the same
relation to this sentiment which genuflexions and upturnings of the
eyes bear to religion, nothing could have been more perfect than
the proof afforded in my case of the sincerity with which he professes
the established creed upon this point. Not only was I met
on the road, as we approached the city, by General Scott's aid-decamp
and the chief of the quartermaster's department, deputed by
him to conduct me to the quarters which he had caused to be secured
for me, but I was subsequently called upon by the governor,
in compliance with orders from the general-in-chief, to offer me a
guard, (which I declined, there being no necessity for it.) So far,
therefore, as ceremonial goes, and attentions to my person, as that
of "a functionary of the government," nothing could be added to
the proof, which it receives in this shape, of respect for its
authority.

Major General Scott to Mr. Trist.
[Enclosure in No. 4.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have just received your note of yesterday, accompanied
by communications to me from the Secretary of War, and one
(sealed!) from the Department of State to the minister of foreign
affairs of the republic of Mexico.

You are right in doubting whether there be a government, even
de facto, in this republic. General Santa Anna, the nominal president,


5

has been, until within a day or two, in the neighborhood of
Oriziba, organizing bands of rancheros, banditti, or guerillas, to cut
off stragglers of this army, and, probably, the very train, all important
to us, which you propose to accompany into the interior;
the safety of which train has detained me here and caused me a
high degree of solicitude. Hence I regret that Colonel Wilson,
commanding at Vera Cruz, has allowed himself, a second time, to
be persuaded to detach, to bring up despatches, (for your accommodation,)
a material portion of the force I had relied upon as the
escort of that train. The other detachment to which I allude came
up some days ago to escort Lieutenant Semmes, of the navy, duly
accredited by Commodore Perry, to the Mexican minister of foreign
affairs, to negotiate the exchange of Passed Midshipman
Rogers, now a prisoner of war. That matter, also, seems to have
been considered too important to be entrusted to my agency!

But, to return to the actual government of Mexico. Señor Anaya,
is, I believe, president, ad interim. But you may have learned
that the Congress, after hearing of the affair of Cerro Gordo, passed
many violent decrees, breathing war, to the uttermost, against the
United States; declaring that the executive has no power, and
shall have none, to conclude a treaty, or even an armistice, with
the United States, and denouncing as a traitor any Mexican functionary
who shall entertain either proposition. I have communicated
a copy of those decrees to the War Department, and, until further
orders thereupon, or until a change of circumstances, I very much
doubt whether I can so far commit the honor of my government as
to take any direct agency in forwarding the sealed despatch you
have sent me from the Secretary of State of the United States.

On this delicate point, however, you will do as you please; and
when, if able, I shall have advanced near to the capital, I may, at
your instance, lend an escort to your flag of truce; and it may require
a large fighting detachment to protect even a flag of truce
against the rancheros and banditti who now infest the national road,
all the way up to the capital.

I see that the Secretary of War proposes to degrade me, by requiring
that I, the commander of this army, shall defer to you, the
chief clerk of the Department of State, the question of continuing
or discontinuing hostilities.

I beg to say to him and to you, that here, in the heart of a hostile
country, from which, after a few weeks, it would be impossible to
withdraw this army, without a loss, probably, of half its numbers,
by the vomito; which army, from necessity, must soon become a
self-sustaining machine, cut off from all supplies and reinforcements
from home, until, perhaps, late in November—not to speak of the
bad faith of the government and people of Mexico—I say, in reference
to those critical circumstances, this army must take military
security for its own safety. Hence, the question of an armistice or
no armistice is, most peculiarly, a military question, appertaining,
of necessity, if not of universal right, in the absence of direct instructions,
to the commander of the invading forces; consequently,


6

if you are not clothed with military rank over me, as well as with
diplomatic functions, I shall demand, under the peculiar circumstances,
that, in your negotiations, if the enemy should entertain
your overtures, you refer that question to me, and all the securities
belonging to it. The safety of this army demands no less, and I
am responsible for that safety, until duly superseded or recalled.
Indeed, from the nature of the case, if the enemy, on your petition,
should be willing to concede an armistice, he would, no doubt,
demand the military guaranty of my signature, for his own safety.

Should you, under the exposition of circumstances I have given,
visit the moveable head-quarters of this army, I shall receive you
with the respect due to a functionary of my government; but
whether you would find me here, at Perote, Puebla, or elsewhere,
depends on events changeable at every moment.

The sealed despatch from the Department of State I suppose you
to desire me to hold until your arrival, or until I shall hear farther
from you.

I remain, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
N. P. TRIST, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Trist to Major General Scott.
[Enclosure in No. 4.]

SIR:

The enclosed reply to the tirade against our government,
which you saw fit to put into the shape of a letter to me, (I regret
exceedingly that it did not receive a more, appropriate form and
direction, by being made up, at once, into an "article" to adorn
the columns of some reckless partisan press,) was commenced at
San Juan del Rio; where, after taking time to recover from the
amazement which your letter occasioned, and coolly to reflect upon
its extraordinary character—as I have repeatedly done since on the
journey—I passed nearly the whole night in writing, so desirous
did I feel to dismiss the unpleasant subject from my mind. Having
motives also for wishing that my reply should reach you before
my arrival here, I purposed finishing it at the first place where
it could be resumed. With this view, when we reached El Encero,
I got out my writing materials, intending to pass the greater part
of the night in this labor, and that of taking a copy. This design
having, however, been defeated by the alerte which we had there
just about sunset, causing Col. Riley to order the advance of the
train, with which I was, to retire from its position in and around
the house and out-buildings; the completion of my task has, from
this and subsequent causes been unavoidably delayed until now.

I was, most assuredly, not sent to Mexico for any such purpose
as that of engaging in a correspondence with you; above all, in one
of the nature of that which I have so unexpectedly found forced upon


7

me; and I doubt whether the government will approve of my having
allowed myself to employ any portion of my time in it. Certain I
am that this would be censured, but for the fact that your letter
found me under circumstances rendering it impossible that I should
occupy myself upon the object for which I was sent here. The
same excuse will not exist hereafter; and even if it should, numberless
other good and sufficient reasons will always exist to compel
me to decline the honor of maintaining a correspondence with
you.

The communication from the Department of State to the Mexican
minister of foreign relations, transmitted to you by me from.
Vera Cruz, has been returned to me, since my arrival at this place,
by your military secretary, Lieut. Lay. So soon as I shall be enabled
to ascertain that the condition of the government of this
country is such as to admit of its delivery, it will be again placed
in the hands of the general-in-chief of our forces for that purpose.

Upon recurring to your letter, I find both its tone and its matter,
with respect to the transmission of this communication, so perfectly
in keeping with the rest of it, and especially with the light in
which you have seen fit to consider me—that of an emissary of the
Secretary of War, through whom and to whom you may "say"
whatever your honor suggests—that I deem it necessary to make a
special endeavor, in regard to this very important point, to bring
down your thoughts from the lofty regions into which they have
soared to the one alone appropriate to such plain matters of
business as I am charged with.

You say that some time hence, perhaps, "I (you) may, at your
(my) instance, lend an escort to your (my) flag of truce; and it may
require a large fighting detachment to protect even a flag of truce
against the rancheros and banditti," &c.

Now, sir, in reply to this, all I have to do is to deliver to you—
as I hereby do in writing—(and this for the second time, unless
my first letter was far more engmatical than I believe it could
seem to any honest men, who, upon their conscience and honor,
should be called to respond to the questions, whether you had or had
not, in this instance, been guilty of a wanton contempt of orders;
and whether this offence had or had not been aggravated by the
character of the pretences under which the contempt was indulged
in, and the contumacy sought to be covered up)—I have, I say,
sir, to deliver to you this message from your commander-in-chief,
the President of the United States, to wit: "When the communication,
bearing the seal of the Department of State, and addressed

to his excellency the minister of foreign relations of the Mexican
republic,' shall be placed in the hands of the general-in-chief of
the United States army in Mexico, it is the will, order, and command
of the President of the United States, that the said communication
shall forthwith be transmitted to its destination under a
flag of truce; which flag of truce is to proceed from
the head-quarters
of the army, and is to be a flag of truce from the general-in-chief.
It is to be protected by such escort as the general-in-chief
shall deem necessary and proper for its security against all


8

dangers of the road in general, (including those from 'rancheros
and banditti' in particular.) Whether the escort necessary and
proper for the purpose shall, in the judgment of the general-in-chief,
be a corporal's guard, a company, a regiment, or a brigade;
such necessary and proper escort, whatever it may be, is to be furnished.
The President, at the same time, commands that the
general-in-chief shall not, for the sake of carrying out this order,
do aught which may jeopard the existence of the army, or interfere
with any movements or operations whatever which he may deem
necessary or expedient for the most vigorous possible prosecution of
the war. The transmission of the communication above referred to
is at all times to be deemed a secondary consideration to any of
those just mentioned; but it is also to be deemed at all times paramount
to every thing else, and, so far as may be compatible with
them, the utmost attention is demanded to it.
"

This, sir, is the order and command of the President of the United
States, which—standing as I do to him, for this special purpose,
in precisely the same relation that one of your aids-de-camp bears
to yourself, when entrusted with a verbal order from you to a subordinate
officer—I do hereby convey to the general-in-chief of the
army.

You will now, sir, I trust, understand, when the communication
referred to shall again be placed in your hands, that greatly deficient
in wisdom as the present (and indeed any democratic) administration
of the government must necessarily be, it has not, in
this particular instance, fallen into so egregious a blunder as to
make the transmission and delivery of that communication dependent
upon the amiable affability and gracious condescension of
General Winfield Scott.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. TRIST.
To Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
General-in-chief of the U. S. Army in Mexico.

Mr. Trist to Major General Scott.
[Enclosure in No. 4.]

BIVOUAC AT SAN JUAN DEL RIO,
May 9, 1847.

SIR:

Your letter of the 7th instant, directed to me at Vera
Cruz, and transmitted by Captain Kearney, has met me at this
place, on my way to the head-quarters of the United States army
in Mexico, where my instructions require me to be, and for which
I set out from Vera Cruz yesterday, in company with Captain
Grayson of your staff, a gentlemen to whose kind attentions I am
already much indebted.

In the exercise of the discretion left me, as to the precise time
for proceeding to head-quarters, I should probably have decided


9

upon remaining at Vera Cruz, until I could obtain some definite
information respecting the aspect which things now wear with
reference to the object of my mission, had it not been for the information
confidentially communicated to me by the governor of
Vera Cruz, confirming, (as your letter again does,) the correctness
of the impression which I found generally prevalent there, that,
after the passage of this well-guarded train, all communication between
our army and the sea-board would probably be cut off, and
remain closed for some time. This consideration, joined with my
utter want of all means of judging at what moment a juncture
might be likely to occur, when every thing, so far as regards the
re-establishment of peace between the two countries would depend
upon my being on the spot, ready to carry out my instructions,
without the loss of a single day, determined me to set out forthwith.
My short stay at Vera Cruz had, consequently, to be employed
in making the requisite arrangements for leaving with the
train, (the departure of which was to take place on the morning
after my arrival, though it did not occur till a day later,) instead
of being given, as it otherwise would have been, to the examination
of files of the Mexican papers for the last five or six weeks;
whereby alone my entire ignorance of all political events since the
capture of Vera Cruz, and indeed for some time previous, could
have been dispelled; for I found all our officers at that city so engrossed
by the urgent demands upon their attention which are
every instant arising, that the only intelligence elicited by my inquiries
was, that every thing was in the utmost confusion, and that
a new president had been elected in place of Santa Anna, and in
utter disregard of his title to that office, under the election of last
year.

No one acquainted with the history of this country could be surprised
at such a proceeding, and I took for granted that it had
happened exactly so, until I learnt from your letter, that this new
president is merely a "president ad interim," not intended to
supersede Santa Anna, the latter being still "the nominal president,"
in other words, the recognized head of the government.

The frantic decrees of the Mexican Congress which you mention,
I had never before heard of, although, if your letter had
found me still at Vera Cruz, it would, most certainly, not have
had any such effect as that of deterring me from proceeding into
the interior, and causing me to abandon all idea that my presence
there might possibly be of use. In themselves, such irksome proceedings
could have had no force whatever upon my mind in forming
an estimate of the probabilities of peace, and, in my endeavors
to judge of the weight to which they might be entitled from concurrent
circumstances, I should not have lost sight of the fact,
that it was from the Mexican Congress that these brute fulminations
had proceeded, the same body, who, calling themselves the
representatives of the people, and with "God and liberty" for
their motto, had allowed their country to be crushed under a domestic
military tyranny, far more grinding than the Janissary oppression,
inflicted upon the Greeks by their Moslem conquerors.


10

Upon despatching to you the hurried note written a few hours
after my arrival at Vera Cruz, I did not at all anticipate, sir, that
a written correspondence was to arise between us, or that any
communication whatever would be made on your part until I
should have the pleasure of congratulating you in person upon the
brilliant success which has attended your movements. Your letter,
however, is one which cannot remain unanswered. It imposes
upon me the duty, at once to reply to it by a written correction of
the misconceptions which, to my very deep regret, no less than
exceeding surprise, have, from some cause or other, taken possession
of your imagination upon the receipt of my letter.

The first of these in importance, is the one evinced by the remarks,
in the course of which you say: "I see that the Secretary
of War proposes to degrade me, by requiring that I, the commander
of this army, shall defer to you, the chief clerk of the
Department of State, the question of continuing or discontinuing
hostilities."

Upon this point, sir, I have to state, that the order conveyed to
you in the letter of the Secretary of War, did not originate with
that officer, but emanated from him, who, if the constitution
of the United States be any thing but an empty formula, is "the
commander-in-chief" of "this army," and of the whole armed
force of the United States, in whatsoever quarter of the globe it
may be directed to operate. In the present instance, this fact is
positively known to me, and had it not been so, I should still,
slight as is my acquaintance with military affairs, have taken it for
granted, for I do not recollect ever to have heard of an instance,
in which an important order issuing from the War Department,
above all, one manifestly founded upon executive determinations
respecting our foreign relations, was ascribed to any other source,
or in which a disposition to treat such order with contempt sought
to shelter itself under any such cover as the pretence, that it was
regarded as the mere act of the Secretary of War.

Commodore Perry, to whom the same identical order was issued
through the Navy Department, and with whom I had a conversation
on the subject, did not see in it any thing at all extraordinary.
This, however, may have been caused by his being less
habitually vigilant of, or less gifted with discernment in regard to,
the honor of his branch of the public service. Or perhaps this
want of penetration on his part may be attributable to his not
having equal reason for believing his own personal consequence to
be so excessive, and the influence of the Secretary of the Navy, to
be so overwhelming, that for the mere sake of affording indulgence
to the personal envy and malevolence of the latter, in the
very vilest shape in which these base passions can manifest themselves,
a most important measure of the government (belonging
obviously to the branch of public duties appertaining to the Department
of State, and having no reference to the functions of the
War Department) was deliberately planned and decided upon,
and a confidential diplomatic agent despatched post haste from
Washington, with a communication for the Mexican government!


11

Thus much in regard to the author of the degradation supposed
by you to be involved in this order. With respect to the degradation
itself, and the imagined necessity of your deferring to me
On "a military question," the following passage in my instructions
(instructions which, in making the full explanation referred
to in my first letter, it was my intention to submit for your perusal)
will suffice. It shows that "the question of continuing or
discontinuing hostilities," so far from having been in any manner
committed to my discretion, is one which the President, in the
discharge of the duty which he owes to our country, has judged
proper to reserve entirely to the chief executive authority of our
government: "If the contingency shall occur, on the happening
of which, as provided by the third article of the proposed treaty,
hostilities are required to be suspended, you will, without delay,
communicate this fact to the commanders of our land and naval
forces respectively, the Secretaries of War and of the Navy,
having already issued orders to them for the suspension of hostilities,
upon the receipt of such notice from yourself."

It is here seen, that the object of the order, thus provisionally
issued to the commanders of our land and naval forces, is simply,
that they shall cease to wage war upon Mexico, on the occurrence
of a certain contingency. This contingency, as it was intended
that you should be fully informed, by the exhibition of the proposed
treaty, immediately upon my reaching head-quarters, is,
the ratification by the Mexican government of a definite treaty,
establishing peace between the two countries.
No power or discretion
whatever, no shadow of any such thing, is vested in me, with
respect to the suspension of hostilities. So far as this measure is
connected with my mission, or can by any possibility grow out of
my mission, it cannot take place except upon the occurrence of
a state of things strictly defined by the President. A treaty of
peace and amity, such as I am empowered to make, must first be
conceded, and not only concluded, but ratified by Mexico; and
then, upon notice of this state of things, given by me to the respective
commanders, the order for the suspension of hostilities is
to come into force, this order being the President's order, emanating
from him, through the appropriate departments, and not my
order. To represent it as mine, strikes me as being no less obviously
erroneous, than it would be to state that the generals of
the army under your command, had been subjected to the authority
of your aides-de-camp, and required to "defer" to them, because
you had issued an order requiring the former to execute a particular
movement, previously prescribed by yourself, whensoever they
should receive from the latter a notice or direction to that effect.
And the error would be no less palpable, if, instead of the course
pursued by the government, in issuing to yourself and to Commodore
Perry the provisional order which you have received, the
President had judged it to be expedient and necessary that you
should never hear of the proposed treaty until it should have been
ratified on the part of Mexico, and I had been instructed then to


12

notify this fact to you, and to require you, in his name, to suspend
hostilities.

So long, then, as the two countries shall continue to be in a state
of war
, the operations of our forces in Mexico, cannot, by the remotest
possibility, be affected by the fact that I am charged with
the duty of making that notification. So far as those operations
are concerned, the case now stands, and cannot but continue to
stand, precisely as if negotiations for peace had taken place at
Washington, and as if no order for the suspension of hostilities
had issued until after those negotiations had been brought to a successful
close. The only difference which can result from our
government's having a diplomatic representative on the spot, is,
that the restoration of peace may possibly be thereby hastened.
And the only difference made by this agent's being instructed to
give notice of its restoration, (instead of waiting till this could
travel from Mexico to Washington, and back again from Washington
to the army,) is, that the calamities of war would be arrested
a month or two or more, the sooner; and that this very consideration
might in itself be the cause of peace, by determining the
enemy to conclude a treaty which, otherwise, he would be unwilling
to enter into. On your part, sir, above all other men, this
certainly could not be objected to; for, unless my memory deceives
me, our batteries before Vera Cruz were, in your official
despatch, reported as being in "a state of awful activity," an
epithet which struck me at the moment as being a somewhat unusual
one in artillery technicals, although the National Intelligencer
very soon afterwards accounted for it to my entire satisfaction,
by the assurance which it gave our country, that you
are "distinguished for humanity," an assurance which receives
the strongest possible corroboration from the little word thus inadvertently
dropped from your pen.

In a word, sir, the course determined upon by our government,
respecting the suspension of hostilities, is what any man of plain
unsophisticated common sense would take for granted that it must
be; and it is not what your exuberant fancy and over cultivated
imagination would make. The question truly presented by it, and
it would require very skilful sophistry indeed to make our country
believe that this could be otherwise than obvious to any man occupying
your position, is not, whether the immediate command and
direction of the United States forces in Mexico is to continue to
reside in the senior officer of the army present, or is to be transferred
to some person not belonging to the army. The question is,
whether the government of the United States is to be permitted by
General Winfield Scott, to discharge its international functions and
duties in its own way, and by agents of its own selection; when he may
have taken a fancy to relieve it of the trouble of attending to them, by
himself settling the preliminaries of peace, in adjusting the terms
of that "armistice" with regard to which he has judged proper so
vehemently to assert his own exclusive competency.

It may be remarked, that, even if the order thus prospectively
given by the President, instead of having reference to a notice of


13

the happening of a certain anticipated possibility, (which it was
deemed expedient and necessary not to refer to specifically in the
order,) had directed that hostilities should be suspended upon the
receipt of a requirement from a secret and confidential agent of the
government; even in this case, a genuine, as contradistinguished
from a merely verbal or formalry "respect" for the authority of the
constitution, would be likely to suggest to any commander receiving
such order and habitually entertaining such genuine sentiment,
at least to abstain from all premature determinations to treat it as
a nullity. He might, through love of country and forgetfulness of
self, make up his mind, should the order take effect under circumstances
rendering it destructive of the public weal, then to disobey
it. But he would scarcely show haste to make a parade of this determination,
or to set to his army an example of insubordination by
any unnecessary disclosure of even this contingent intention, before
those circumstances had become matter of fact and of positive
knowledge, and whilst they had as yet not ceased to be the coinage
of an imagination ready to impute to the chief magistrate elected
by our country—aided in his deliberations by the eminent citizens
whom he had called around him for the purpose—a course of
proceeding so imbecile as to awaken surprise that the bare possibility
of its having ever been contemplated by them should suggest
itself to any sane mind.

With regard to the choice made by the President, of the person
to be charged with the measures dictated by him for bringing about
the state of things whereof notice is thus to be given, I, sir, do not
entertain a doubt but that far better selections might have been
made; and that it has fallen upon myself solely in consequence of
the peculiar circumstances of the juncture. Among these far better
selections, the best of all, perhaps, would have been the present
commander of our land forces in Mexico. This would have been
attended with one advantage at least, that of precluding all danger
of this attempt to restore peace being rendered abortive by collissions
in regard to "military rank." But if the President has proved
himself not duly sensible of this consideration, added to the many
others, which should doubtless have weighed with him in favor of
the appointment now referred to; and should he hereafter have
cause to repent that he did not make it, no part of the blame can
ever attach to me, for he knows that the sin thus committed by him
was not in any way participated in by me, except so far as my consent,
in reply to his own spontaneously expressed wish, no less undesired
than unsought on my part, may have made me one of the
guilty.

My instructions (which, as has already been stated, I am authorized
to make known to you, and had intended to exhibit to you)
show that no ground exists, either for the supposition you have made,
that the object for which I have been sent here is, to "petition" the
enemy to
"concede añ armistice," or for the apprehension which
you express, that the communication from the Secretary of State of
the United States of America, to the Mexican minister of foreign relations,
may be of a nature to "commit the honor of" the government


14

of our country; although this patriotic solicitude, most assuredly
cannot fail to be duly appreciated by that country, and most especially
by all sticklers for military subordination within the army,
and for the strict enforcement of the respect due from the military
to the civil authority. Equally groundless will be found to be the
supposition that "the chief clerk of the Department of State" can
have been taken from his desk, and sent to the seat of war in the
heart of the enemy's country, "clothed with military rank over" the
senior officer of the army of the United States! The propriety of
its finding a place in the reply of that senior officer to the communication
which, in the discharge of the duties confided to me, I
found it necessary to address to him, is a point which does not call
for remark from me. The merits of this jeu d' esprit, as a specimen
of delicate and refined irony, so peculiarly appropriate, too, in the
reply to a letter so offensive as mine, I willingly leave to the good
taste and good feeling of our countrymen. They will not fail to
do justice to it also, as a model of the respect due by all public
servants to the office and the authority of the President of the United
States.

The communication from the Secretary of State to the Mexican
minister, in regard to which you express surprise, (or perhaps indignation
may be the meaning of your note of exclamation,) that
it should have been enclosed to you for transmission "sealed," was
so sealed because it was deemed proper that it should bear the seal
of the Department of State of the United States; and in this there
is no departure from the established practice in similar cases. It
was intended, however, that you should be made acquainted with
its contents, as well as with every thing else relating to the subject,
by means of the copy in my possession; and I had supposed that this
intention was sufficiently expressed in my former letter, though, from
the haste in which it was written and despatched, (and which did
not allow me to retain a copy,) it was doubtless very imperfect in
more than one particular. But, had no such intimation been given,
and had no such intention existed, the doctrine which should deny
to the government of the United States the right to send to its
agents or officers abroad, civil or military, for transmission to foreign
governments, any communications which it might be deemed
necessary to make, and in such state, sealed or unsealed, as it
might be deemed appropriate to the occasion, such a doctrine could,
so far as my very limited knowledge extends, be a most extraordinary
innovation in the conduct of public affairs. Nothing is more
common than to send naval commanders, of any and every rank, to
sea with "sealed orders;" which, although addressed to themselves,
and relating to public interests entrusted exclusively to them, they
are required not to open for weeks or months thereafter; or not at
all, except upon the occurrence of a certain contingency. And if
this be considered as not affecting their honor, and as not giving
them the right to take their government to task, either by the device
of notes of exclamation or by less condensed modes of expression,
it strikes my poor judgment as following, a fortiori, that
no such right can arise from the transmission, through them, of a


15

sealed note to a foreign government, upon matters totally distinct
from their own professional duties.

The haste in which the communications for the Mexican minister
of foreign relations was despatched to you, arose from the utter
uncertainty in which I found myself, whether the state of things
then existing in the interior might not be such as to present a crisis,
rendering it of the highest importance to our country, and to
Mexico likewise, that the moment should be seized for the delivery
of that communication. It was the President's intention, when I
left Washington, that it should be delivered immediately upon my
arrival in this country, and that it should forthwith be placed in the
hands of the general-in-chief of our forces for this purpose. By
transmitting it to you, and making the intention of the President
known, my duty in regard to it is fulfilled. At the same time, had
I been aware that the circumstances of the moment were decidedly
unpropitious for its delivery, I should have deemed it my duty,
perhaps, to retain it, or at any rate to recommend, at the moment of
placing it in your hands, that its transmission should be delayed
until a favorable change should occur, or at least until further instructions
could be received.

Under this view of the subject, I do not regret that its transmission
has been delayed until I shall have reached Jalapa; although
I cannot, I must confess, assent to the correctness of the ground
upon which your determination thus to delay it is placed. It is
impossible for me to perceive how it could have been inferred from
the extreme anxiety evinced by me to transmit that communication
to you at the earliest possible moment, that it was contemplated by
the instructions under which I so acted, that you were to retain it
until my arrival at "the moveable head-quarters."

[Extract.] Mr. Trist to Mr. Buchanan.
[No. 6.]

SIR:

On my arrival here I received a letter from General Scott, to
which I shall make no reply, (as I informed the aid, Lieutenant
Hamilton, who handed it to me,) and which I will transmit at some
other time. No other communication has reached me from him;
and, as was stated at the beginning of this letter, it was through
accident only that I became informed of the opportunity for writing
afforded by the train for Jalapa to-morrow morning.

Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.


16

[Extract.] Mr. Trist to Mr. Buchanan.
[No. 7.]

SIR:

It will be perceived that, in my last letter to ——, I refer to
the corroboration afforded by Mr. ——, to what I had inferred
from a few Mexico newspapers, in regard to the opportuneness of
the period when your communication to the minister of foreign relations
reached the hands of General Scott for its delivery to the
Mexican government. Mr. —— stated that the loss of this opportunity
was much to be regretted, and he mentioned several facts
showing how favorable it had been. The most striking of these
was that Mr. —— had been applied to, on the part of a high personage,
(named,) to know if he would write to General S., asking
whether he would entertain a proposal for the suspension of his
advance, as a measure preliminary to an offer to enter into negotiations.
The motive, too, was stated; it was, that the troops (doubtless
the means also) which it would otherwise be requisite to draw
from the States, for the defence of the capital, might be kept there
to give strength to those who would sustain the government in
such offer.

Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.

[Extract.] Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Trist.
[No. 2.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

SIR:

Your despatch of the 21st ultimo, which you have numbered
4, was received on the 3d instant. None of a later date from you
has yet come to hand.

The original letter from General Scott to yourself, dated at
Jalapa, May 7, 1847, which you have transmitted with your despatch,
is certainly of a most extraordinary character. It was well
calculated to wound your feelings and excite your indignation.
This letter surely never would have been written, had he awaited
your arrival at his head-quarters and read the instructions and the
projet of a treaty with Mexico, which you were authorized to communicate
to him confidentially. The perusal of these documents
must have put to flight the unfounded suspicions, in regard to your
mission, which seem to have pre-occupied his mind and influenced
his conduct.


17

You were entrusted with no further agency in regard to my communication
of the 15th April last, addressed to the Mexican minister
for foreign relations, after it was placed in the hands of General
Scott. Your whole duty respecting it was then performed. If he
has either refused or neglected to transmit that important document
to the minister to whom it was directed, and thus violated a
military order of the President, issued to him through the Department
of War, he has incurred a heavy responsibility; but for this
he is neither answerable to the Department of State nor the commissioner
to Mexico. The question belongs exclusively to the
military branch of the government.

You might safely have relied upon the government here for the
vindication of your character and conduct. Indeed General Scott's
letter to you had upon its face placed him so clearly in the wrong
that no commentary upon it, however able, which you may have
written, can have made the case plainer. Some days before the
arrival of your despatch, the War Department had received a
despatch from the general, enclosing a copy of his letter to you;
and a judicious and appropriate answer, dated on the 31st of May,
was returned to him by the Secretary of War.

Whilst our armies are in the country of the enemy, and our minister
of peace is at the head-quarters of the commanding general,
this is no time for personal altercations between them, if these can
possibly be avoided. Under such circumstances, the greater the
sacrifice of private griefs, however well founded, which you may
make upon the altar of your country, the more will this redound to
your honor hereafter. You have been despatched to Mexico by
your government as a minister of peace; and, to accomplish the
great object of your mission, a hearty co-operation between the
general and yourself may be indispensable. Under these considerations,
I am directed by the President, in case amicable relations
shall not, in the mean time, have been restored, to instruct you to
call upon General Scott and offer to communicate to him, confidentially,
the instructions and the projet of a treaty with which you
have been entrusted, and to report to this department, without
delay, the circumstances and the result of your interview.

Governor Marcy has again written to General Scott by the messenger
who will bear you this despatch.

Yours, very respectfully,
JAMES BUCHANAN.
N. P. TRIST, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

[Extract.] Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Trist.
[No. 3.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

SIR:

A duplicate of your No. 4, dated 21st of May, 1847, together
with a copy of the first ten pages of your letter to General


18

Scott of the 9th of May, and of your letter to him of the 20th of
May, was received at the department on the 28th ultimo. Your
No. 6, of the 3d of June, 1847, was also received on the 29th ultimo;
but your No. 5 (if indeed there be such a number) has not yet
come to hand. It is much to be regretted that you could not have
found time to prepare and transmit copies of your letters to General
Scott of the 9th and 20th of May, with the original of your despatch,
No. 4. In that event they would have been received nearly a month
earlier; and even now we have only a part of your letter to him of
the 9th of May. General Scott's answer to these letters, dated at
Pueblo on the 29th of May, has been received at the War Department,
from which I have obtained a copy.

These documents have produced feelings of deep mortification
and disappointment in the mind of the President. It is lamentable
to reflect that the restoration of peace may have been defeated or
delayed by a violent and embittered personal quarrel between two
functionaries of the government in the enemy's country, and whilst
the war is raging.

You do not seem sufficiently to have reflected that you were entrusted
with no power whatever over the disposition of my communication
of the 15th of April last, to the Mexican minister for foreign
affairs, except that of a mere bearer of despatches. After it had
reached the hands of General Scott, your agency in regard to it
should have terminated, and ought never to have been resumed.
His refusal or omission to forward that communication to the place
of its destination, in obedience to the military order of the President,
through the Secretary of War, was a question in no manner
connected with your mission. It was, therefore, with regret that
the President discovered from your letter to the general of the 20th
of May, that you had consented to take back this communication
from his possession, and to assume a discretion which had not been
delegated, in regard to the appropriate time for forwarding it to
the Mexican minister for foreign affairs. You say to the general
that, "so soon as I shall be enabled to ascertain that the condition
of the government of this country is such as to admit of its delivery,
it will be again placed in the hands of the general-in-chief of our
forces for that purpose."

You have thus done much to relieve General Scott from the responsibility
of disobeying the order communicated to him through
the Secretary of War; and have, in effect, without any authority,
undertaken to decide that it was not proper, under existing circumstances,
to transmit my letter to the Mexican minister for foreign
affairs. In this decision the President cannot concur. That letter
was an answer to the letter of Mr. Monasterio to myself, dated on
the 22d of February last, and was required, not only by courtesy,
but the highest public considerations. Its immediate delivery to
the Mexican minister for foreign affairs could have done no possible
harm, and might have been productive of much positive good.
Indeed, had it reached its destination soon after the victory of
Cerro Gordo, from the state of public feeling then existing in the city
of Mexico, it might and probably would have been productive of the


19

happiest consequences. But, whether or not, the time of its delivery
was a question not left to your discretion.

The greatest pains were taken, in framing your instructions, to
prevent all possible interference on your part with the appropriate
military duties of General Scott. It was partly to convince him of
this fact that you were authorized to exhibit these instructions to
him, together with the projet of the treaty. Your authority, so far
as he was concerned, was limited to the single point of giving him
notice that the contingency had occurred, to wit, the ratification of
the treaty by the Mexican government, "on the happening of which,
as provided by the third article, hostilities are required to be suspended."
The ratification of such a treaty by Mexico, according
to the spirit of the act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1847,
"making further appropriation to bring the existing war with Mexico
to a speedy and honorable conclusion," was to be the signal for
the termination of hostilities. As the negotiator of the treaty, from
his position, must necessarily be first informed of this event, he was
required "without delay to communicate the fact to the commanders
of our land and naval forces respectively." All the rest was
left to the instructions issued by the Secretaries of War and of the
Navy to our military and naval commanders. Up to this last moment
your duties were wholly unconnected with General Scott, and
then they were limited to a mere official communication, that the
Mexican government had concluded and ratified a treaty of peace
with the United States.

Under these circumstances, it was with deep regret that the President
learned, from your letter to the general of the 20th of May,
that you had undertaken, in his name, to become the medium of
giving to that officer an order in advance, to be executed when you
should think proper again to deliver into his hands my communication
to the Mexican minister for foreign affairs; and, to enforce
obedience to this order, you declare that, for this special purpose,
you stand in precisely the same relation to the President that one
of his aids-de-camp bears to himself, when entrusted with a verbal
order from him to his subordinate officer.

It is a most disagreeable task thus to criticise your conduct. General
Scott, by his letter to you of the 7th of May last, had placed
himself clearly in the wrong. Whether any pretext existed for
writing such a letter—justification he could have had none—can only
appear from your letter to him of the 6th of May, to which his was
a response. It is therefore much to be regretted that you have kept
no copy of this letter, which has now become so important, and the
general has not furnished the War Department with a copy.

I purposely forbear to express any opinion of your reply to Gen.
Scott of the 9th of May, until I shall have an entire copy of it before
me; and his rejoinder to you of the 29th of May, I leave in
the hands of the Secretary of War, to whom he is directly responsible.

Your mission was a mere precautionary measure. In the then existing
relations between the two countries the President could not
have appointed public commissisoners to treat with Mexico, because


20

it was morally certain they would not be received. At the same
time it was foreseen that in the progress of our arms a favorable
juncture might occur for the conclusion of a treaty, which, if not
seized at the moment, might not again speedily return. The President
would have been inexcusable had he not provided for such
a contingency. For this purpose you were employed as a confidential
agent, to proceed to the head-quarters of the army with the
projet of a treaty already prepared; and in case the Mexican government
should refuse to conclude this treaty, you were authorized to
make the necessary preliminary arrangements for the meeting of
commissioners. It was almost essential to the success of your mission,
that you should cultivate a good understanding with the commander-in-chief
of the army. It was, therefore, unfortunate that
you had not in person delivered to him the despatches with which
you were entrusted, and at the same time made him fully acquainted
with the character and objects of your mission, as well as with the
nature of my communication to the Mexican minister of foreign affairs.
For these reasons, therefore, although the letter of General
Scott was well calculated to irritate your feelings and excite your
indignation, you would have best performed your duty to your
country had you stifled your resentment, and entrusted your vindication
to the Secretary of War, acting under the order of the President.
Indeed, for this purpose the letter required no studied
reply. It is on its face the production of unfounded jealousy,
which the author's own sober reflection, if left to itself, would most
probably have corrected.

The President trusts that ere this, in obedience to my instruction's of
the 14th ultimo, (of which I now transmit you a duplicate,) you have
called upon General Scott and communicated to him the instructions
and projet of a treaty with which you have been entrusted, and that
even if friendly relations have not been restored, neither you nor he
will suffer your personal feud to defeat or to delay the conclusion
of a treaty of peace with Mexico.

Yours, very respectfully,
JAMES BUCHANAN.
N. P. TRIST, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

[Extract] Mr. Trist to Mr. Buchanan.
[No. 9.]

SIR:

In my No. 8,* under date the 7th inst., I transmitted a copy of
a letter addressed by me to General Scott, under date 25th June,


21

and his reply to the same. This constituted the commencement of
our official intercourse with reference to the duties with which I
am charged. Justice—to say nothing of my own feelings towards
a gentleman and a public servant, whose character I now believe
that I had entirely misconceived—demands that I should embrace
this early opportunity to say, that his whole conduct, in this regard,
has been characterized by the purest public spirit, and a fidelity
and devotion which could not be surpassed, to the views of the
government, in regard to the restoration of peace. This spirit on
his part, as will clearly appear when the details are communicated,
has manifested itself, not in a passive way merely, (as might be
supposed from the nature of our relative positions and duties,) but
in a disposition to assume responsibility, and responsibility of the
gravest kind, in utter disregard of consequences to himself. And
this disposition, or rather, this readiness and fixed determination,
on his part, although the occasion which has called it forth
did not relate to the discharge of his military duties, strictly
speaking, has not required any appeal from me to elicit it; but has
manifested itself in the most spontaneous and patriotic manner.
Under these circumstances, it could not but be a cause of the most
serious regret on my part, if the correspondence between us, that
took place shortly after my arrival in this country, should in any way
be brought to the notice of the public; and consequently, if, in your
judgment consistent with propriety, it would be highly gratifying
to me to be permitted to withdraw it from the files of the department.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. TRIST.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.


22

REPORT FROM THE SECRETARY OF WAR.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

In pursuance of your directions, I have the honor to furnish,
herewith, copies of such papers in this department as are embraced
by the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
7th ultimo, requesting you to communicate to the House "copies
of all correspondence between the Secretary of War and Major
General Scott, and between the Secretary of War and Major
General Taylor, and between the Major General Scott and N. P.
Trist, late commissioner of the United States to Mexico," &c., not
heretofore published.

The copies now furnished are intended, and are believed, to embrace
all correspondence not heretofore published, between this department
and the general officers above named, except such as related
to matters of detail, returns and condition of the troops,
charges against officers, proceedings of courts martial, and military
commissions, &c., and a few letters from this department accounted
for in the memorandum herewith; and also, the correspondence between
General Scott and Mr. Trist, so far as has been communicated
by the former to this department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
To the PRESIDENT
of the United States.


23

Memorandum of correspondence between the Secretary of War and
Major General Scott, including that between General Scott and
Mr. Trist, so far as has been communicated by the former.

  • Letter of General Scott, November 19, 1846.
  • " Secretary of War, November 23, 1846. (Not sent.)
  • " Secretary of War, November 25, 1846.
  • " Secretary of War, December 7, 1846.
    No No. 1, in General Scott's series of letters.
  • " General Scott, No. 2, December 21, 1846.
  • " Secretary of War, December 14, 1846.
  • " General Scott, No. 3, December 23, 1846.
  • " General Scott, No. 4, December 30, 1846.
  • " General Scott, No. 5, January 12, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 6, January 24, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 7, January 26, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 8, January 28, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, January 4, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, January 15, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, February 22, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 9, February 4, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 10, February 5, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 11, February 12, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 12, February 28, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 12, March 1, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, March 13, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, March 22, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, April 3, 1847, introducing J. B. (Not
    sent.)
  • " Secretary of War, April 3, 1847. (Before published,
    Doc. 1, present session.)
  • " General Scott, No. 13, March 12, 1847. }Reports relative to the siege of Vera Cruz. Pub. Doc. No. 1, 1st session, 30th Cong.
  • " General Scott, No. 14, March 14, 1847. }Reports relative to the siege of Vera Cruz. Pub. Doc. No. 1, 1st session, 30th Cong.
  • " General Scott, No. 15, March 17, 1847. }Reports relative to the siege of Vera Cruz. Pub. Doc. No. 1, 1st session, 30th Cong.
  • " General Scott, No. 16, March 18, 1847. }Reports relative to the siege of Vera Cruz. Pub. Doc. No. 1, 1st session, 30th Cong.
  • " General Scott, No. 17, March 21, 1847. }Reports relative to the siege of Vera Cruz. Pub. Doc. No. 1, 1st session, 30th Cong.
  • " General Scott, No. 18, March 23, 1847. }Reports relative to the siege of Vera Cruz. Pub. Doc. No. 1, 1st session, 30th Cong.
  • " General Scott, No. 18, March 29, 1847. }Reports relative to the siege of Vera Cruz. Pub. Doc. No. 1, 1st session, 30th Cong.
  • " Secretary of War, April 12, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, April 12, 1847. Published, Doc. 1,
    1st session, 30th Congress.
  • " General Scott, No. 20, April 5, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 21, April 8, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, April 30, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 22, April 11, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 23, April 19, 1847. }Reports of the battle of Cerro Gordo, Doc. No. 1, 1st s., 30th Con.
  • " General Scott, No. 24, April 23, 1847. }Reports of the battle of Cerro Gordo, Doc. No. 1, 1st s., 30th Con.

    24

  • Letter of Secretary of War, April 14, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, April 14, 1847. (2d.)
  • " Secretary of War, May 10, 1847. Published, Doc. No.
    1, 1st session, 30th Congress.
  • " Secretary of War, May 14, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, May 17, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, May 19, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 25, April 28, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, May 20, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 26, May 6, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 27, May 7, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, May 31, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 28, May 20, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, June 14, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, June 15, 1847. Published, Doc. No.
    1, present session.
  • " Secretary of War, June 15, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 29, June 4, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, July 12, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, July 19, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, August 6, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, September 1, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, September 23, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, October 6, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, October 22, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, October 22, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, October 24, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, October 26, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, November 8, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 30, July 25, 1847. (Received December
    30, published, Doc. No. 1, present session.)
  • " General Scott, No. 32, Aug. 19, 1847. }Reports of battles of Mexico, published, Doc. No. 1, 1st s. 30th C.
  • " General Scott, No. 32, Aug. 28, 1847. }Reports of battles of Mexico, published, Doc. No. 1, 1st s. 30th C.
  • " General Scott, No. 33, Sep. 11, 1847. }Reports of battles of Mexico, published, Doc. No. 1, 1st s. 30th C.
  • " General Scott, No. 34, Sep. 18, 1847. }Reports of battles of Mexico, published, Doc. No. 1, 1st s. 30th C.
  • Correspondence between General Scott and General Pillow, October,
    1847.
  • Letter of Secretary of War, November 19, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 35, October 27, 1847.
  • Papers transmitted by Major General Scott, October 27, 1847.
  • Letter of General Scott, No. 36, November 27, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 37, December 4, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, December 14, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, January 5, 1848, introduces Mr. H.
    (Omitted.)
  • " General Scott, No. 38, December 13, 1847.
  • " General Scott, No. 39, December 14, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War, January 13, 1848.
  • " Secretary of War, January 13, 1848. (2d.)
  • " Secretary of War, January 19, 1848.
  • " General Scott, No. 40, December 17, 1847.

    25

  • Letter of General Scott, No. 41, December 25, 1847.
  • " Secretary of War to General Scott, inclosing a letter of
    General Jesup, March 11, 1848.
  • " General Scott, No. 42, January 6, 1848.
  • " General Scott, No. 43, January 13, 1848.
  • Papers transmitted, January 14, 1848.
  • Letter of General Scott, No. 44, February 2, 1848.
  • " General Scott, February 6, 1848.
  • " General Scott, No. 45, February 9, 1848.

Papers, omitted in the despatches heretofore sent, communicated to
Congress.

  • A. J. P. De Mora to General Santa Anna, April 13, 1847.
  • B. Lieut. Col. E. A. Hitchcock to Major General Scott, April 24,
    1847.

26

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have the honor to request that a treasury draft for fifty,
forty, or thirty thousand dollars may be passed in my favor, on account
of army contingencies in the prosecution of the war against
Mexico.

"Army contingences" may not be the proper head under which
this sum should be charged to me. The money is wanted for purchasing
intelligence respecting the enemy's numbers, positions,
movements, and designs, or as secret service money.

Quartermasters, from whom to draw money for such purposes,
may, frequently, not be at hand, and it often happens that they, and
other disbursing officers about head-quarters, may be momentarily
out of cash, even for ordinary payments. A small sum, therefore,
in the hands of the commander of the army, to be turned over, on
the proper receipts, to disbursing officers of the different departments,
is of frequent necessity in the field.

To meet all the purposes indicated, I should ask for a larger
amount, but that I am reluctant to take the trouble and responsibility
of a sum of more than fifty thousand dollars at once. Thirty
thousand is the minimum sum—the amount deemed absolutely
necessary.

I make the requisition now, as it may take several days to
pass the draught through the forms of the treasury, and I hope to
leave Washington Saturday evening, or, at the latest, Monday
morning next.

It would be better to make the draught payable at New York,
as I can ship the specie, with myself, from that place, say on the
25th instant.

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

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

The President, several days since, communicated in person
to you his orders to repair to Mexico, to take command of the
forces there assembled; and particularly to organize and set on foot,
an expedition to operate on the gulf coast, if, on arriving at the
theatre of action, you shall deem it to be practicable. It is not
proposed to controly our operations by definite and positive instructions,
but you are left to prosecute them as your judgment, under
a full view of all the circumstances, shall dictate. The work
is before you, and the means provided, or to be provided, for accomplishing
it are committed to you, in the full confidence that
you will use them to the best advantage.

The objects which it is desirable to obtain have been indicated,
and it is hoped that you will have the requisite force to accomplish
them.


27

Of this you must be the judge, when preparations are made and
the time for action has arrived.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT.

SIR:

A letter, of which the enclosed is a copy, was sent to Commodore
Conner, commander of the United States squadron off Vera
Cruz, and by him has been transmitted to the Secretary of the
Navy, with the remark that it is from a reliable source, and is corroborated
by similar information obtained through other channels.

It is deemed important that you should be in possession of the
statements contained in that paper, to the end that means may be
taken to ascertain whether they are well founded; and, if there be
any reason to believe them true, that you may act with reference to
the movements of the enemy therein indicated.

A copy of the enclosed paper has been sent to Major General
Taylor and to General Patterson.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

I sent you, directed to New York, a copy of a letter without
the name of the writer to it, furnished by Commodore Conner,
indicating what was supposed to be the plan of operations of Santa
Anna. I now send you the copy of a letter from Commodore Conner,
written as long ago as the 30th of September, but just received
by the Secretary of the Navy, accompanied by an extract from a
letter of Mr. Black, our consul at the city of Mexico, to the
commodore. I have no doubt that the Mexican policy is to carry on
a guerrilla war, and avoid a regular battle whenever it can be done.
Should they get some trifling successes in this way, they will be
mightily magnified and the Mexican people encouraged. I do not
doubt that a proper degree of caution will be observed to disappoint
their expectations.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General SCOTT,
New Orleans.


28

No. 2.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Opposed by head winds, (northers in the Gulf of Mexico,) I
reached this place at the end of nineteen, instead of twelve days.

I found here your communications of November the 23d and December
the 7th. I have also seen your letter (in the hands of
Lieutenant Colonel Hunt) to the quartermaster general, dated
the 11th.

By the latter paper I perceive that the vessels freighted with
ordnance and ordnance stores are to rendezvous at Pensacola, there
to await my orders, instead of lying out an indefinite time off the
Brassos. This is an excellent arrangement; but as I fear the new
regiments of volunteers will most, if not all of them, be quite backward
in their organization and embarkation, they will have no time
for tactical instruction at Pensacola, or any where else, before a
descent on the coast of Mexico, in front of the enemy. I beg,
therefore, you will cause the chiefs of the staff about you to make
the necessary calculations, and to push forward the new volunteers
to the Brassos, so that as many of the foot regiments as possible
may be off that point by the middle of the next month. Instructions
to the same effect will be left here, with Brevet Brigadier
General Brooke, in respect to the four regiments which will pass
out by the Mississippi. Such of the same corps as may arrive off
the Brassos, after my departure thence down the Mexican coast, will
find instructions to follow me.

There is nothing late of striking interest from the army in
Mexico, other than the death of Brigadier General Hamer, of the
volunteers. This melancholy event is not known officially, but it
is universally credited.

At the latest date, Major General Taylor was supposed about to
make a movement, with a part of his army, upon Victoria, via
Linares. Surplus troops at, or within easy reach of, Tampico, will
not be out of position for operations farther down the coast.

I enclose a copy of my letter of yesterday to that commander.
By instructions to the bearer, (Captain Montgomery,) I have made
it almost impossible that it should fall into the hands of the enemy.

I doubt whether my arrangements here with Brigadier General
Brooke and the staff will be completed in time for me to embark in
the Alabama, to-morrow. That steam-ship takes out many companies
of the rifles. The Massachusetts and other steamers will be
at hand, freighted, to accommodate me a day or two later.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.


29

[No. 1.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I enclose, herewith, a copy of a semi-official letter which I
addressed to you from New York, the 25th ultimo.

A tedious passage only brought me to this place yesterday, and I
now write by a safe conveyance, Captain Montgomery, who sails in
an hour or two. I shall follow, the day after to-morrow, in the
steam-ship Alabama.

The particular expedition I am to conduct is destined against
Vera Cruz, and through it, the castle of San Juan de Ulloa, so as
to open, if we are successful, a new and shorter line of operations
upon the capital of Mexico.

The first great difficulty is to get together, in time, and afloat, off
the Brassos, a sufficient force to give us a reasonable prospect of
success, before the usual period, say the end of March, for the return
of the black vomit on the coast of Mexico.

I have supposed that 15,000 land troops, including five of regulars,
and the co-operation of the blockading squadron, desirable, if
not absolutely necessary; but am now inclined to move forward to
the attack, should I be able to assemble the 5,000 regulars, and,
say three of volunteers.

Of the new regiments of volunteers called for from States this
side of Texas, I can hardly hope that more than four will reach the
Brassos before the 15th of the next month, the day I have appointed
for that general rendezvous; and I have supposed that the descent
ought to be made, in sight of Vera Cruz, at an early day in February.
On all those points, and others connected with the invasion
of Mexico, on this side of the continent, your advice is invited and
will be highly acceptable. Perhaps you may be able to meet me
on the Rio Grande, say at Camargo, or lower down the river; and
I shall send an officer to you, at an early day, who will be able to
communicate my views to you in greater detail.

To make up the force for the new expedition, I foresee that I
shall, as I intimated in my letter, of which I enclose a copy, be
obliged to reduce you to the defensive, at the moment when it
would be of the greatest importance to the success of my expedition
that you should be in strength to manæuvre offensively upon San
Luis de Potosi, &c.

It is not known that Brigadier General Wool's division has yet
joined you, but it is supposed that he is already on your line of
operations.

This letter is written in haste, to enable you to prepare the
troops to be detached from your general command.

Including the regulars and volunteers at Tampico, or on their
way thither, I may now say that I shall want from you, say Worth's
division of regulars, made up to 4,000 men; two field batteries, say
Duncan's and Taylor's, and 500 regular cavalry; besides 500 volunteer
cavalry, and as many volunteer foot as you can possibly
spare—leaving you a sufficient force to defend Monterey and maintain
your communications with Camargo, the mouth of the Rio


30

Grande and Point Isabel. The whole of this force will be needed
at the latter points by the middle of January.

Until I can communicate with you again, I forbear further details,
and remain, with the highest respect, your most obedient
servant,

WINFIELD SCOTT.

P. S.—Troops at Tampico will be, perhaps, in a more favorable
position for embarkation as a part of the Vera Cruz expedition
than if they were at Point Isabel. I propose to leave but a small
garrison at Tampico.

W. S.
Major General Z. TAYLOR,
U. S. A., commanding, &c. &c. &c.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

I send you a copy of a letter written to the Secretary of
the Navy, describing a plan for debarkation in the vicinity of Vera
Cruz. I know nothing of the writer, nor can I find any one who
does; yet it is quite evident he has some personal knowledge of the
localities. I have thought it proper that you should possess a
copy of it.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General SCOTT, New Orleans.

No. 3.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

The steamer Alabama has been detained a day, greatly to
my regret, in receiving freight and five companies of rifles; but I
am in the act of embarking.

I have just had the honor to receive your letter of the 14th
instant.

Enclosed herewith are copies of two letters, one to Brigadier
General Brooke, and the other to Commodore Connor.

Please observe the suggestion respecting the rendezvous between
the Island Lobos and the main, some sixty miles beyond Tampico;
and if the information of the Navy Department should confirm that
I have just received here, I beg that the ships with troops and supplies,
destined against Vera Cruz, yet to sail from Atlantic ports,
may be directed from Washington to rendezvous in that harbor,
rather than at Pensacola, or off the Brassos or Tampico. Volunteer


31

regiments which are not likely to be in time for the descent I am
to make near Vera Cruz, may be excepted. The rearmost of these
may be ordered to the Brassos.

In haste, I have the honor to be, with high respect, your obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Your position here, as the commander of the western division,
is a most important one, in respect to the war against Mexico,
and I know that you will continue to fill it with your accustomed
zeal, energy and judgment.

The object of this letter is to throw together certain memoranda
which demand special attention.

Four regiments of new volunteers are to pass out of this river,
and much materiel, for the theatre of hostilities, and many ships
with ordnance and ordnance stores, perhaps also with troops,
intended for the same destination, may rendezvous, in ten, fifteen,
or twenty days, at Pensacola. As they may arrive, I wish the
whole (troops and supplies) to be despatched for the Brassos San
Iago, subject to my further orders; but the volunteers, ordnance
and ordnance stores, need not arrive at that point earlier than the
12th or 15th of the next month. The larger part of the former,
will, I fear, not reach this place, or Pensacola, till a later day.
Such you will order to follow and report to me, as fast as they may
come within your command.

Each transport should have on board subsistence for its troops to
last (say) three months.

Boats for embarkation and debarkation, now under construction,
on the Atlantic coast, will come out with the troops expected from
that direction.

The current supplies for the army already in Mexico are not alluded
to above. Those will go forward as heretofore, subject to
the changes of positions and numbers, and must always be kept in
advance of the wants of the service. Every confidence is reposed
in your able assistants, the chiefs of the staff here, Lieutenant Colonel
Hunt and Captain Grayson. Any company of regulars or detachment
of recruits which may pass this way will also be pushed
forward. All not under special instructions for particular regiments
will receive orders from me, off the Brassos, whether I may
be personally there or not. Besides the rifles, but few troops will
be landed there.

Captain Dimond, a commissary, attached to the volunteers, may
be soon expected here from a confidential mission. Give him orders
to follow me without unnecessary delay.

It is quite probable that you will receive early instructions from


32

me to give to troops and supplies which may come within your
sphere, particularly after a given day, another destination, without
touching at the Brassos.

I have made you confidentially acquainted with my views and
expectations respecting the further prosecution of the war, to serve
you as a general guide in the support confidently expected from
you, and the better to enable you to comprehend special instructions.
You will keep me constantly advised of the movement
hence of troops and supplies which are to follow me, and take care
to send all officers in health, and not under special instructions, who
fall under your notice, to their regiments or to their proper stations.
Let there be no idling or lingering, on their part, in this
quarter.

Take particular care, through the quartermaster's department, to
forward rapidly all letters and packages to or from my headquarters.

I have just received information of a harbor, said to be a good
one, between the Island of Lobos and the main, some sixty miles
beyond Tampico. I shall probably desire you, in a few days, to
direct many of the ships with troops and supplies to rendezvous,
after perhaps touching for orders, off the Brassos. Get all the information
you can touching that harbor.

With great respect, yours truly,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Brevet Brig. Gen. BROOKE,
U. S. A., Commanding, &c., &c., &c.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

You have, no doubt, been informed by the Navy Department
that I am ordered to Mexico, and of the probability of our
becoming, as soon as practicable, associated in joint operations
against the enemy. I look forward with great pleasure to that
movement. I shall do all in my power to render the combined
service cordial and effective. Of your hearty reciprocation I am
entirely confident. This is the beginning of a correspondence
which the objects in view will render frequent on my part, and I
hope to hear often from you in reply, and on all matters interesting
to the common service.

You are aware of the point near which our more intimate association
will take place. I hope to be ready for the descent at a
very early day in the month after the next. Every effort will be
made to get afloat off the Brassos San Iago, and off Tampico, in
time, the necessary number of troops. I have estimated twelve or
fifteen thousand, besides the numbers you may be able to supply
from the blockading squadron, to be highly desirable; but you may
expect me, if I can get afloat, in time to meet you early in February,
ten, eight, or even five thousand men. The land force is expected
from the Atlantic coast, the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, all


33

new volunteers, to be added to regulars and volunteers to be withdrawn
from Major General Taylor. I have appointed the 15th of
the next month for the assemblage of all intended for the particular
expedition I am to conduct, off the two points mentioned above;
but do not hope that more than three regiments of the new volunteers
will be up so early. I shall, therefore, have to draw more
largely upon the forces already on and beyond the Rio Grande. I
am aware of the usual return of the black vomit, early in April, at
the proposed point of our joint operations, and hence shall not be
able to wait for the largest number of land troops I deem desirable.
This number will greatly depend on the force we may expect
to oppose our descent from the open sea. I mean a Mexican army,
in the field; not the garrisons and guns of any city or fort. Of the
probability of our meeting such army, and of its numbers, I rely
greatly on information you may be able to impart, and on agents
which I have employed or am about to employ, in all, five or six.
Those agents, as they may be able to get out of the enemy's country,
are, or will be, instructed to report in writing or in person to
you, or to some superior officer of your squadron, relying on your
kindness to transmit the information rapidly to me, and beg to suggest
that instructions may be given to board all neutral vessels
coming out of the enemy's ports, after (say) about the 10th of the
next month, in order to receive such agents or their written reports.
Otherwise they may be compelled to return, or to report
from the Havana. I hope in time to be able to give you their
names, and shall be happy to receive your advice and suggestions
on this delicate branch of the service, and all others.

I embark to-day for the Brassos, and hence write in haste.
Thence I may go up to Camargo for a few days, but wherever I may
be, your despatches will follow me rapidly. Perhaps you may appropriate
some steamer to our frequent correspondence. What my
means of that sort may be at the Brassos, I cannot yet precisely
know. Occasionally I may find a steamer for the purpose, at least
as far as your vessels off Tampico.

Upon information just obtained, I think it quite probable that I
may appoint the roadstead between the Island of Lobos and the
main, some fifty or sixty miles beyond Tampico, as a general rendezvous
for the transports and other vessels with troops and supplies
destined for the expedition in question. If a good harbor, as
reported, it will serve and mask my views admirably. Please give
me information on the subject, although I may be compelled to act
to some extent before I can hear from you.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with the greatest respect, your
most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Commodore D. CONNOR, U. S. Navy,
Commanding blockading squadron off the coast of Mexico.


34

No. 4.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I came here this morning and found nothing but the same
contradictory rumors which prevailed yesterday at the Brassos and
the mouth of this river. But an officer has just arrived here (for
additional subsistence) from Major General Patterson, at San Fernando,
who says, positively, that the latter had, on the morning of
the 27th instant, official despatches from Major General Taylor,
saying that he was about to return, with a part of his moveable
column, to Monterey, in order to support Brevet Brigadier General
Worth, understood to be menaced at Saltillo by Santa Anna
and a powerful army.

This information has determined me to proceed up the river to
Camargo, in order to meet despatches from Major General Taylor;
and if his outposts should be seriously menaced, to join him rapidly.
Otherwise, I shall, at Camargo, be within easy corresponding
distance of him in respect to my ulterior destination.

If the enemy be acting offensively, with a large force, which I
yet somewhat doubt, we must first repulse and cripple him in time
to proceed to the new and more distant theatre.

No boat has come down the river in many days, on account of
the heavy winds, which make descent and ascent extremely difficult.
Hence, nothing, it is believed, has passed here from Major
General Taylor's head-quarters of a later date than the 14th instant.

The steamer in which I write is ready to depart.

I have the honor to remain, with high respect, your obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.

I have received no communication from Washington since my
acknowledgments at New Orleans.
W. S.
Hon. WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

No. 5.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I had the honor to address you last the 30th ultimo, from
Matamoras, and indirectly through Colonel Clarke and Brevet Major
General Jesup, the 2d instant, while ascending the Rio Grande,
some fifty miles (by water) below Camargo.

Going up and returning, I was much delayed by the lowness of
the water and heavy gales, (northers,) which are again blowing


35

with such violence as to prevent all communication with vessels
lying off this place and the mouth of the Rio Grande. From those
causes my despatches, which are to go by sea, have been accumulating
for many days. Please read those which accompany this
letter. They contain everything of interest, known to me, respecting
the army and its prospects in this quarter, as I have no
intelligence from Major General Taylor, later than his letter to me
dated the 26th ultimo, and there has not been time to hear from
Major General Butler in reply to my letters to him of the 3d and
6th instant. I transmit copies of all those papers, except the letter
through Colonel Clarke and Brevet Major General Jessup,
which was mainly intended to say that the march and countermarch
of troops upon Saltillo, about the 17th ultimo, were caused by a
false alarm. There has been a subsequent one about the camp of
Brigadier General Wool, and others will probably occur at the advanced
posts, notwithstanding the inactivity of the advanced corps
of the enemy at San Luis de Potosi. Such alarms are very provoking,
and frequently cause the interruption of the wisest conceptions
and plans.

I hope, in four or five days, to hear that Major General Butler
is rapidly despatching the troops I have called for from his immediate
command. No report from Major General Taylor can be expected
in twice that time.

In a week I shall begin to expect the arrival, off this place, of
ships with troops and supplies, destined for the expedition against
Vera Cruz. After replenishing their water tanks, if necessary,
from the Rio Grande, they will all be ordered to rendezvous behind
the Island of Lobos, should I not change that purpose on hearing
from Commodore Conner about that harbor. As yet, I have not
had a word from him, nor from Captain Dimond, who came out via
the Havana.

I do not, at present, doubt my arrival off Vera Cruz, with a respectable
force, by the 15th, I hope, the 10th of next month. The
delay will be in getting down, and embarking in this vicinity, the
troops called for from Saltillo and Monterey, and perhaps in the
march from Victoria upon Tampico. I think four or five new regiments
of volunteers, together with the ordnance and ordnance
stores, will be up with me before the end of this month. I shall
attempt the descent, &c., with even half the numbers I should wish
to give to any one of my juniors for the same service.

Should success crown our arms on the coast—and I will not anticipate
anything less—I beg to repeat that a reinforcement of ten
or twelve thousand regulars (new regiments and recruits for the
old) will be indispensable, (about April,) to enable me to make a
consecutive advance on the enemy's capital. I regret to perceive,
by the newspapers, that, as late as the 19th ultimo, no bill had
been reported in Congress to give such reinforcement. Authority
to raise the new regiments would not fill them or the old in time,
without a liberal land and money bounty to every recruit. A like
compensation in land should be pledged to the rank and file already
in service, on the condition of faithful conduct to the close of the


36

war. Without early legislation to that effect, I see no probability
of a peace until another Congress shall give the necessary means
to enable us to dictate one.

For my early operations on the coast, I find sufficient means of
land transportation may be spared from this region, and the quartermaster
general has my contingent instructions to prepare the
large additions for my advance on the capital. He is now in New
Orleans to procure additional water craft (lighters) for this terrible
coast. Many of the old have been lost, and many more are likely
to be wrecked.

I have received from the department, since my last acknowledgment,
nothing but a copy of your memorandum made for the quartermaster
general's office at Washington. A mail from New Orleans
is expected on the abatement of this raging norther, by the
steamer Massachusetts, on her way with supplies to Tampico. By
her I hope to hear that the volunteers, boats for debarkation, &c.,
&c., are in a state of forwardness; also, that, among the brevets
which the department considered as due, on account of the capture
of Monterey, those of Brevet Brigadier General Worth and Colonel
P. F. Smith, have been conferred. The early confirmation of
the whole number would have a fine effect on the corps, which
are soon to be led to more difficult assaults.

I have the honor to remain, with high respect, your obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.

P. S. I find that I have omitted to acknowledge your communication
of the 14th ultimo, received as I was in the act of leaving
New Orleans.

I trust I may learn, in a few days, that a new assistant adjutant
general, with the rank of major, has been appointed, as I do not
expect to take one from either of the three major generals who are
in Mexico.

Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

From New Orleans I had the honor to address a letter to
you, three days since, of which I shall send with this a duplicate,
via Tampico, by any safe opportunity that may offer at the
Brassos.

In that letter, for which I had no certain conveyance, I obscurely
alluded to the attack we are jointly to conduct against the city
of Vera Cruz, and through it, if successful, against the castle
of San Juan de Ulloa. The point of descent will not be determined
until I shall have looked at the coast, and had the benefit of a full
conference with you; but I now suppose that the nearer to the city


37

we land will be the better. Your knowledge of the beach (its
shoals and surf) is, probably, already sufficiently minute. I, however,
throw out the suggestion that you may, if necessary, make a
particular study of the subject before my arrival. Every transport
will bring open boats sufficient to land her troops, and there will
be others for the field-guns needed at the first moment. Orders for
the construction of those boats, under the supervision of naval officers,
were given last month; but I may need important aid from
your squadron in this particular, as in very many others.

I still think it probable that I may give orders for the transports,
as they successively pass the Brassos, to rendezvous under the
island of Lobos; but will thank you for the earliest information
and advice on that measure. Perhaps you may deem it necessary
to send a vessel to make a cursory survey of the harbor. I have
done all in my power to favor the speculation that my purpose is
to attack San Luis de Potosi, from Tampico, after forming a
junction with Major General Taylor, and it is important that this
belief should prevail up to my arrival off Vera Cruz.

I wish I could name a day, certain, for our meeting. The 1st
of February may be about the time; but, I fear, a little too early.
I shall certainly be infinitely chagrined if I am not in a condition
to attempt the descent, with your cooperation, before the 15th of
that month. Of the new volunteer regiments, I have no encouraging
information as to time, and the troops in Mexico are now
much dispersed; some at Parras, at Saltillo, Monterey, Tampico, or
in march for the latter place and Victoria. More than the half of
the whole, old and new volunteers, as well as regulars, I now suppose
to be indispensable to the success of my expedition; and I
shall have to make the collection, in great part, from some of the
most distant points I have named. The ordnance and ordnance
stores, and other supplies will, I think, be up in good time.

The water in the Rio Grande being low, it is now probable that,
to facilitate the correspondence with Major General Taylor and
the assemblage of the troops to be drawn from him, I shall not be
able to ascend that river higher than Matamoras; but I may find
time, possibly, to run down to Tampico in a steamer, even with
the chance of being obliged to return to the Brassos.

I have no recent official intelligence from the army, or the
enemy, in Mexico. Perhaps the rumored movement of our troops
by land, from Monterey, or Victoria, and from the lower part of
the Rio Grande, on Tampico, may not delay, but rather quicken
the new expedition, as Tampico may be a better point of embarkation
than the Brassos. I have much to learn on these points after
landing, (say) to-morrow.

If not otherwise advised by you, in time, I shall order all the
transports, after passing Lobos, to rendezvous under the shelter of
the Sacrificios.

I have the honor to remain, with great respect, your most obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Commodore D. CONNER, U. S. Navy.
Commanding blockading squadron off Vera Cruz.


38

[Unofficial.]

HEAD-QUARTERS AT MONTEMORELOS,

GENERAL:

Your note of the 25th, from the city of New York,
was received on the 24th, on my route to this place. I avail myself
of the departure of Colonel Croghan, for Monterey and Camargo,
to acknowledge its receipt, and say a few words about the
movements in this quarter.

You will, doubtless, have learned before this can reach you, that
I had advanced to this point on the 17th instant, on my way to
Victoria, when I was suddenly called back to Monterey by news
from the front. On my way to Saltillo, I learned that the cause of
anxiety about the safety of that place had been removed by the
drawing in of Wool's column, and the arrival of reinforcements from
below; and after making all necessary arrangements for the service
in that quarter, I resumed my march with General Twiggs's
division on the 23d. To-day I halt here, and to-morrow move forward
to Victoria, where I shall effect a junction with Quitman's
brigade, and with General Patterson's command from Matamoras.

At Tula, say 100 miles from Victoria, in the direction of San
Luis, the enemy has a corps of observation, under Generals Valencia
and Urrea, which we learn has lately been reinforced. I
am, on this account, anxious to visit Victoria and examine the pass
which leads thence through the mountains.

When my presence shall be no longer required at Victoria, I
propose, unless otherwise instructed, to return to Monterey, which
may be early in February. At all times and places I shall be
happy to receive your orders, and to hold myself and troops at
your disposition.

I remain, general, with high respect, your obedient servant,
Z. TAYLOR,
Major General U. S. Army, commanding.
Maj. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding in chief U. S. Army.
A true copy, received at Camargo, January 3d, 1847.
H. L. SCOTT,
A. D. C., and A. A. A. General.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I received here, soon after my arrival to-day, your letter
of the 26th ultimo, acknowledging mine to you of November 25th.

I am sorry that mine of the 20th ultimo had not been received
by you, as it would, I think, have brought you back to Monterey.
As it is, I am much embarrassed by your great distance from me.
That circumstance, and extreme pressure of time, has thrown me


39

upon the necessity of giving direct instructions, of a very important
character, to your next in command. Please see herewith a
copy of my letter to Major General Butler, of this date. Should
you be back at Monterey in time, you will consider it addressed to
yourself. A part of it I beg you to carry into execution, at Victoria,
or wherever else you may be; I allude to the concentration,
at Tampico, of the troops which marched with Major General Patterson
from Matamoras, those under Brigadier General Quitman
from Monterey, as well as Brigadier General Twigg's brigade,
which marched with you—all, as I understand, upon Victoria.
Should you deem a garrison at the latter place indispensable, you
will please leave one, and also reserve a sufficient escort for your
return to Monterey, or other point, in this direction. I will, on
my arrival there, determine the strength of the garrison to be left
at Tampico; but shall be glad to receive your suggestions on this
point, as well as all others.

My letter to Major General Butler, herewith, is so full that I
have but little to add, even if time permitted. You will consider
yourself as continued in the command you have so long and so honorably
held. I shall not, beyond the necessities of the service, interfere
with you. Your reports will be addressed to me at the
Brassos or Tampico, until I shall be farther down the coast of
Mexico; I mean special, not ordinary reports. They will, when
necessary, be forwarded by me to Washington. After I may be
supposed south of Tampico, you will resume your general correspondence
with the adjutant general of the army at the seat of government,
and report to me specially such matters as may be of
common interest to our two lines of operations, and I shall reciprocate.
Our correspondence with each other ought, however, to be
full, and as rapid as circumstances may permit.

Should I succeed in taking Vera Cruz, and through it its castle,
the new line of operations upon the capitol of Mexico will be
opened. By that time, say towards April, we may both I hope be
sufficiently reinforced to advance, equally, and to meet somewhere
near that goal; which junction, I think, cannot fail to enable us
to dictate an armistice that will insure a satisfactory treaty of
peace.

While engaged in attacking the harbor of Vera Cruz, I regret,
no less on your account than my own, that you will not be in
strength to manæuvre offensively upon San Luis de Potosi, and
points beyond. It would greatly favor my enterprize, and your own
inclinations; but I cannot, on account of the near approach of the
vomito, wait for the new troops (regulars I hope) which Congress
may give us. Hence, I am compelled, by diminishing your forces,
to reduce you for a time to the strict defensive. As I have heretofore
said, you can afford, and the common service requires it.

If the troops arrive in time—and I will not anticipate a failure—
I shall leave the Brassos about the beginning of the next month,
and Tampico for Vera Cruz, some five days later. All the vessels
with troops, ordnance and ordnance stores and other supplies, as
they arrive off or depart from the Brassos and Tampico, will be ordered


40

to the general rendezvous behind the islands of Blanquilla
and Lobos, some fifty miles beyond Tampico—said to be an excellent
harbor. There I shall join them.

I believe my arrangements of every sort to be complete; except
that everything depends on my drawing from your command about
5,000 regulars, and thousand volunteers. With those forces,
and adding three or five regiments of new volunteers,(foot,) Providence
may defeat me, but I do not believe the Mexicans can.

With the greatest respect, I remain, truly yours,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Major General Z. TAYLOR,
U. S. Army, commanding, &c., &c., &c.
Official.
H. L. SCOTT, Aid-de-camp, &c.

HEAD-QUARTERS, MATAMORAS,
December 27, 1846.

SIR:

I am informed, through a source entitled to consideration,
that a force of Mexican cavalry, about two thousand, headed by
General Urrea, has assembled at Lanares, and some two thousand
infantry, which is to be reinforced soon by a like number, under
General Canalesio; that the design is to attack Matamoras within
six or fifteen days. The informant also states that Canales is at De
Los Posos, (a rancho,) on the road from Monterey towards Reynosa;
about 25 or 30 leagues from the latter place, and that he
seen men going to join Canales. He declares, with apparent sincerity,
that he believes the other facts to be as true as if he had
been eye-witness of them himself.

It seems to me that no time ought to be lost in re-occupying
Reynosa, and reinforcing this position; especially if it be true, as
generally believed, that General Taylor has turned back, towards
Monterey and Saltillo, from his expedition to Victoria.

I shall transmit copies of this letter to General Scott, who is
understood to be at Braisos, and to General Taylor.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. S. CLARKE,
Colonel, 6th infantry, commanding.
Major GEORGE A. MCCALL,
Assistant Adjutant General,
Head-quarters of Major General Patterson.


41

[Confidential.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

We are in sight of the above place, and I begin this communication
to save time.

Ascending the Rio Grande, I have learned that Major General
Taylor has, a second time, marched for Victoria from Monterey. It
is probable that he is now near that place.

The copy of my letter to him, of the 20th ultimo, herewith enclosed,
will explain to you my mission, and the necessity I am under
of giving to you, direct, the instructions you will find below.

That letter, I learn here, has been criminally delayed by the
officer to whom I entrusted it at New Orleans, and hence may not
reach its address this side of Victoria. A previous letter of mine,
to the same commander, dated November 25, a copy of which I
also enclose, has, as I have learned, had even a more tedious transmission.
After a detention of some days at New Orleans, it was
twelve more (on board a steamer) in getting to the Brassos, and only
passed Matamoras the 19th or 20th ultimo. Hence, I may find no
communication from Major General Taylor at Camargo, and hence,
probably, his present absence from Monterey.

I give these details as an indirect apology to him for my necessary
interference with his general command, which, otherwise,
would only be done through him. The apology will, on the first
occasion, be made to him direct.

To capture the city of Vera Cruz, and, through it, the castle of
San Juan de Ulloa, I deem it indispensable, in order to anticipate
the usual return of the black vomit, in March or April, that the
whole expedition that I am to conduct should be afloat off the
Brassos and off Tampico in the first week of the next month. Some
three or five of the new regiments of volunteers (not the Texan
regiment of horse) will, probably, be up at the former point, in
time to be included; but my principal force must be drawn from
the troops now under Major General Taylor. Those already at
Tampico, and the greater part assembled at Victoria, may be embarked
at Tampico, leaving a small garrison at Tampico and an escort
to Major General Taylor; and I shall send instructions for
the movement from Victoria upon Tampico. The remaining numbers,
needed from the same command, will move to the mouth of
the Rio Grande, or Point Isabel, in order to embark off the Brassos.
Tampico I suppose to be the better point for embarkations; but the
Brassos may be the sooner reached, and time is an element in the
expedition, as important, perhaps, as the number of the troops to
be employed.

Of the number of troops at Tampico, and assembled at or in
march for Victoria—regulars and volunteers—I can form only a
very imperfect estimate, having seen no returns of a late date. My
information as to the forces at Saltillo, Monterey, &c., &c., is not
much better. I estimate, however, the whole force now under Major
General Taylor's orders to be about 17,000; seven of regulars,


42

and ten of volunteers. Two thousand regulars, and five of volunteers,
I suppose—the whole standing on the defensive—to be necessary
to hold Monterey, Seralvo, Camargo, Reynosa, Matamoras,
Point Isabel, the Brassos, the mouth of the Rio Grande and Tampico.
I do not enumerate Saltillo and Victoria, because I suppose
they may be abandoned or held, without hurting or improving the
line of defence I have indicated. I wish to give no definite opinion
as to either, or as to the other smaller points mentioned above;
but to leave them open to the consideration of Major General Taylor,
or, in the first instance (in his absence) to yourself, as you are,
no doubt, in possession of his more recent views.

[Here, (Camargo,) a little while after reaching the landing, I received
Major General Taylor's letter of the 26th ult., acknowledging
mine of November 25. As he says he intends to proceed to Victoria
—the point in the whole theatre of his operations the most inaccessible
to me, both from this place and Matamoras—I shall proceed
with my instructions to you, taking care to send him a copy,
with such additions as I may deem necessary.]

You will, therefore, without waiting to hear from Major General
Taylor, and without the least unnecessary delay—in order that they
may be in time, as above—put in movement, for the mouth of
the Rio Grande, the following troops:

About five hundred regular cavalry, of the 1st and 2d regiments
of dragoons, including Lieutenant Kearny's troop;

About five hundred volunteer cavalry; I rely upon you to select
the best;

Two field batteries of regular light artillery, (say) Duncan's and
Taylor's; and

Four thousand regulars, on foot, including artillery, acting as
infantry; the whole under Brevet Brigadier General Worth; about
this time, no doubt, a Major General by brevet, and assigned to
duty according to the latter rank.

In addition, put in movement for the same point of embarkation,
(the Brassos,) and to be there, as above, 4,000 volunteer infantry.

Deduct from the above numbers, of regulars and volunteers, as
follows:

The troops at Victoria and at Tampico, less the garrison (say
500) for the latter place, and the escort that Major General Taylor
may need back to Monterey; and

Also, one of the volunteer regiments at Matamoras, I having ordered
Colonel Curtis's regiment to remain there, notwithstanding
the arrival of Colonel Drake's to relieve him. Make no other deductions,
unless pressed by the immediate presence of the enemy
in great force.

Some of those deductions I am myself unable to make, from the
want of returns and other information alluded to above.

Of the volunteers, Major General Patterson, Brigadier Generals
Pillow and Quitman are at, or in march for, Victoria, which I suppose
to be within easy reach of Tampico, in time for my expedition;
and Brigadier General Shields is at the latter place. The President
of the United States may appoint other general officers to the new


43

regiments of volunteers, many of which regiments, I hope, will be
up in time. In the latter case, I may take four or five, and leave
the remainder to join Major General Taylor. Should another major
general of volunteers be required, I shall be most happy to avail
myself of your services with me, if Major General Taylor can
spare you, and he be back at Monterey in time; and, perhaps, if no
new appointments to the rank be made, I may require another volunteer
brigadier general from your present immediate command.

I hope to learn, promptly, at the Brassos, whither I shall immediately
go, (stopping one day, perhaps, at Matamoras,) that the
above instructions are in a train of rapid execution. The troops
should all move with light trains, as they will move upon ample
supplies. I shall, in the first instance, take from Major General
Taylor's theatre of operations but a small part of his means of
land transportation.

Relying upon your known energy and good faith, I remain, sir,
with high respect, your most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.

P. S. I expect to be, personally, at Tampico, to superintend that
part of my expedition that is to embark there, towards the end of
this month.

The whole of the eight regiments of new foot volunteers will be
up with the Brassos, I hope, by that time. Major General Taylor
may rely upon three, if not four of them, for his immediate command,
and make your calculations for him, now, accordingly.

I have supposed, above, that Brigadier General Wool, and Brevet
Brigadier General Worth, with their troops, to be under your
immediate orders. If not already so, you will assume command
over them, in order to carry out the above instructions.

W. S.
To Major General W. O. BUTLER,
U. S. Vols., commanding, Monterey.
Official:
H. L. SCOTT, Aid-de-camp, &c.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I returned here to-day, and shall remain in this neighborhood,
perhaps, till towards the end of this month, when I hope to
be ready to proceed to Tampico and further south. Even after my
departure in that direction, it will be best, probably, that letters
from Monterey and its vicinity, should follow me via the Brassos
and the ocean; that is, when no safe opportunity presents itself to
write via Tampico.

I addressed a second letter to you from Matamoras, of which a
duplicate will go with this, and one of the letters despatched to
Major General Taylor, direct, of the same date—January, 1847.


44

I said nothing, in either letter, of quartermasters to accompany
the troops I have called for from Major General Taylor's command.
A due proportion, no doubt, will be detached with those troops;
and, should Colonel Whiting and Captain Sibley be of the number,
I shall be gratified, although I do not wish to ask, specifically,
for the chief of any branch of the general staff now on duty under
the orders of Major General Taylor. In this remark I include
Colonel Churchill, inspector general. Colonel Croghan descended
this river with me, on his way to muster into service the new Texan
regiment of horse. I shall not interfere with the orders that
he has received, and which, I suppose, will take him back, ultimately,
to Major General Taylor's head-quarters.

If the troops that maybe detached in this direction are not rapid
in their movements, they may not find the Rio Grande navigable
above Reynosa, and should be directed accordingly. I shall hold
the five companies of rifles here, under the temporary command of
Major Sumner, 2d dragoons, until I can learn what number of regulars
I may expect from Major General Taylor's command, here
and at Tampico. My present expectation is, not to take those
companies with me, but order them up to join that general officer.
Major Burbridge was left sick at New Orleans. He may soon be
expected at the Brassos with two other companies of the same regiment.
Captain Ruff is recruiting the 10th company at Mobile.

I will add that Major Sumner is intended, by me, as the commander
of the five hundred regular cavalry mentioned in my letter
to you from Camargo. This intention I failed to give in either of
my previous letters to Major General Taylor or yourself. Please,
if practicable, communicate it to him, to whom this letter will be
considered as addressed, if he (Major General Taylor) should have
returned to Monterey, or within a short distance of that place.
Otherwise, to save time, as I have heretofore said, you will carry
out my wishes without reference to him.

I remain, sir, with high respect, your most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Major General W. O. BUTLER,
U. S. Volunteers, commanding.

P. S. It is time that I should give advice that a spy, employed
by my agency, may be expected at Monterey, between the 15th
and 20th instant, with military intelligence from the capital of
Mexico, and other important points occupied by the enemy. Interrogate
him fully, and give him safe despatch to me, if possible,
before I leave this neighborhood. He is to receive his compensation
from me. I cannot yet give his name, but I desired that,
though probably a foreigner, he might, on presenting himself at
Monterey, give Thomas Williams as a concerted pass word.

The detachment of recruits (388) under Lieutenant Gore, that arrived
here a few days ago, will be detained till I know what regiments
of regulars will be detached for my expedition.

W. S.


45

[Confidential.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

In reference to my instructions to you, dated at New Orleans
the 23d ultimo, and at this place five days later, I have now to state
that it is probable the troops I have called for from Major General
Taylor's immediate command, to embark here and at Tampico, will
not reach those points till late in the present month—say about the
25th. Hence, I shall not regret if the ships with troops, ordnance
and other supplies, coming from the Mississippi and other more
distant ports for my expedition, should be equally late in arriving
off this bar. Please give instructions to all that may come within
the sphere of your command accordingly—remembering that several
of those vessels from the Atlantic ports may rendezvous, in the
first instance, at Pensacola.

Regiments of volunteers which have to pass out of the Mississippi,
and out of the harbors of Mobile and Pensacola, will be too
late for my expedition if they arrive off this place after (say) the
10th of the next month. I shall, probably, give orders for the landing
of such regiments here, and for their joining Major General
Taylor.

I wish you to take particular care in causing all the ships which
are to join or follow me to be provided with necessary fuel and
water for sixty days, and, if practicable, ninety days. The water
of the Rio Grande is not good for drinking, and there would be
great difficulty in obtaining it. Spare casks of Mississippi water
on board ships, without troops, may be easily shifted to the transports
with men and horses.

I expect to leave this place to superintend embarkations at Tampico
towards the end of this month. Till about that time I wish
all the vessels of my expedition to call off this place, if practicable,
for orders, and, if I am not here, to call off Tampico for the
same purpose. But I do not expect to be at the latter place later
than the 7th of next month. Three days later, I hope to be at the
general rendezvous, behind the island of Lobos, with the whole, or
at least the greater part of the fleet of my expedition. Some of
the later vessels may find me there, and if not, join me behind the
island of Sacrificios, near Vera Cruz. Assuming those, dates, until
you hear further from me, give instructions to all ships, with troops,
accordingly. Some vessels, with ordnance and ordnance stores,
may be much later. These, and all freighted with ordinary supplies,
as subsistence, forage, &c., &c., must follow me, and, after
I may be supposed to have reached the Sacrificios, without calling
off the Brassos or Tampico. Concert these matters well with the
quartermaster and commissary departments. Many pieces of ordnance
and quantities of ordnance stores may be expected to pass
by New Orleans for my expedition. Get information of all those
matters; see that nothing essential is delayed, and keep me well
advised of every thing.

I have not yet heard from you, and have no late mail from New


46

Orleans. We are now, I hope, near the end of the third heavy
norther we have had within a week. Probably the Massachusetts
may bring us a mail to-morrow.

Communicate freely, but confidentially, with the quartermaster
general, the chief of the corps of engineers, and the surgeon general,
if they are in New Orleans, and always with the principal quartermaster
and commissary stationed there; and I again insist upon
your writing to me, officially, at least once a week.

With great respect, I remain yours, truly,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Brevet Brigadier General BROOKE,
Commanding Western Division, &c., &c.

No. 6.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I enclose, herewith, copies of the following papers: 1. Letters
(two) from Major General Taylor to me and to my aid-de-camp,
both dated the 15th instant; 2. A letter from Major General
Butler to me, dated the 9th; and 3. A letter from Brevet Brigadier
General Worth to me of the last date.

It will be seen that Major General Butler responded to my call
upon him for troops with the utmost promptitude, and Brevet Brigadier
General Worth has made an admirable movement. The head
of his division arrived with him, at the mouth of the Rio Grande,
the day before yesterday.

Embarkations shall commence the moment that the extra water
casks, from New Orleans, arrive and can be filled.

The Pennsylvania and Louisiana regiments of new volunteers
were embarked at New Orleans about the 16th instant. A detachment
of the former arrived off this bar the day before yesterday.
I have not heard a word of the ordnance and ordnance stores, and
other siege materials, since I left Washington. I trust that most
of them are near at hand.

There has been no mail from New Orleans in eleven days. The
steamer Alabama has been hourly expected for some time.

There is an allusion to "a general officer," in Brevet Brigadier
General Worth's letter to me, of a very grave character. That
officer is Brigadier General Marshall, of the United States volunteers.
In passing by his head-quarters, (Monterey,) Brevet Brigadier
General Worth made some hasty inquiries into the conduct he
had reported to me, and obtained from Captain Lincoln, assistant
adjutant general, the duplicate of a semi-official report, on the
same subject, made by the latter to Major General Taylor's head-quarters
a few days before. I enclose, herewith, a copy of that report,
dated the 6th instant.

The despatches opened at Monterey by Brigadier General Marshall,
and read and publicly discussed by him with many officers,
and perhaps others, were my official letters to Major Generals Taylor
and Butler, from Camargo, dated the 3d instant, (copies of


47

which I have heretofore sent to the department,) together with a
private note from me to the latter general. The official letter to
the same was marked "confidential" conspicuously at the head.
The papers, taken together, disclosed, very fully, the plans and intentions
of the government, with the execution of which I am
charged. They almost at once became generally known at Monterey,
and, it was not doubted there, were rapidly sent off by Mexicans
to General Santa Anna at San Luis de Potosi.

This gross misconduct on the part of Brigadier General Marshall
not having been presented to me in the technical form of charges
and specifications
, I am obliged to become his official accuser, and,
consequently, under the new and strange provision of the act, May
29, 1830, section 1, I have no power to order a general court-martial
for his trial. I therefore lay the case, through the department,
before the President of the United States.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.

P. S.—I hope, by the end of this month, that necessaries and
preparations for embarkations here may be such as to allow me to
proceed, with a detachment of troops, in the steamer Massachusetts,
to superintend like operations at Tampico, should Colonel Totten,
chief engineer, and Captain Huger, acting chief of ordnance, arrive
as early. I expect by the two information by which to regulate
the movement of my expedition.

W. S.
Hon. WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

DEAR MAJOR:

Lieutenant Anderson, of the dragoons, arrived this
evening a bearer of important and private despatches from General
Scott to Generals Taylor and Butler, those for General Taylor to
be delivered to the commanding officer here for speedy transmission.

Upon Anderson's arrival, he inquired of the orderly or sentinel
before Colonel Garland's quarters "for the commanding officer."
Was told that he was "within;" that Colonel Garland commanded
the fort, &c. He asked for General Marshall, and was told that
he was not here, &c.; whereupon Anderson entered the house and
delivered the despatches (saying "they were important and private")
to Colonel Garland, who received them, saying "that he
was not in command now, that General Marshall was, but that he
would take them to the general, who would probably open them,"
&c., &c.

The colonel left Anderson for the general's head-quarters, taking
the despatches with him. After reflecting awhile, Anderson, becoming
anxious to learn whether the despatches were delivered to the


48

commanding officer or not, called upon General Marshall, and enquired
if "he had that evening received from Colonel Garland certain
despatches for General Taylor;" to which the general replied
that he had, at the same time observing "we opened them," &c.

It appears that the despatches were opened by General Marshall;
were read and canvassed by himself and Colonel Garland; that
General M. afterwards spoke of the contents to Lieutenants Smith
and Anderson, observing "that they were very important, private,"
&c.; "that troops were to be moved, certain strong places made
weak," &c., &c.

I feel it my duty to mention this extraordinary course of the
general, (it having been brought to my notice,) that you may know,
if the contents are not designed to be made public, from whence
the information comes; and further, if blame attaches to the act it
may be placed in the right quarter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE LINCOLN,
Assistant Adjutant General.
Major W. W. S. BLISS,
Assistant Adjutant General, Victoria.
A true copy.
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.
HEAD-QUARTERS ARMY, January 24, 1847.

GENERAL:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt yesterday
about 4 o'clock, p. m., of your special communication of the
3d instant, by the hands of Lieutenant Anderson, 2d dragoons.

Instructions were immediately issued for the movement of all the
regular troops in and near this place, of the commands of Brigadier
Generals Wool and Worth, except two companies 1st dragoons and
Captain Washington's light batteries, with General Wool and
Captain Webster's company, with two 24-pounder howitzers in
Saltillo. In addition, General Worth was authorized to attach to
his command the 4th infantry, at Monterey, and Thornton's and
Hunter's companies, at Camargo.

The troops, together with those under General Taylor's immediate
command, after deducting the escort for himself and a garrison
for Tampico, will fully comply with your requisition for regulars,
whilst the division of Major General Patterson will, it is believed,
supply the number of volunteers, both horse and foot. I should
state also that Blanchard's company of Louisiana volunteers, acting
with the 5th infantry, and a company of Kentucky foot, with
the 6th infantry, march with General Worth. If a further number
be necessary, which it is believed will not, either the regiment of


49

Colonel Curtis or Colonel Drake, at Camargo, could receive your
orders in time for the movement by water.

It is known that General Patterson's division consists of one
regiment of horse and seven of foot, which cannot number less than
five hundred each, and the Baltimore battalion (three hundred and
fifty) of foot. If the particular troops designated be deemed sufficient
without taking an Indiana or Ohio regiment, General Patterson's
division and my own would be kept entire, which is
extremely desirable.

In regard to the selection of the volunteer horse, it is understood
that there is no difference between the Tennessee and Kentucky
regiments, whilst the former is nearest the point of embarkation.
The Arkansas horse I have not regarded, as the main body is at
Patos, forty miles, and of this a portion is yet on the line by
Monclova.

According to your request I have relieved Lieutenant Lay, 6th
infantry, from duty at my head-quarters, with orders to report to
you in person; and your wishes with regard to Captain De Hart
will be carried out the moment it is ascertained that he has been
appointed an assistant adjutant general.

The package for Major General Taylor was last night sent by
express to him at Victoria.

I respectfully enclose herewith copies of orders No. 23 and 24.*

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. O. BUTLER,
Major General United States Army.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding United States Army.

[Orders, No. 23.]

1. The 2d division will immediately proceed to the mouth of the
Rio Grande, where Brigadier General Worth, its commander, will
report to Major General Scott.

The following additional troops are assigned temporarily to
Brigadier General Worth's command, and will receive his orders,
viz:

Five companies 2d dragoons, under Colonel Harney, at Aqua
Nueva.

Captains Thornton's and Hunter's companies 2d dragoons, at
Camargo.

Fourth infantry, under Colonel Whistler, at Monterey.

Three companies 6th infantry, under Major Bonneville, at
Incantada.


50

2. Major C. Thomas, quartermaster, Captain G. W. Hughes,
topographical engineer, will report to Brigadier General Worth.

By order of Major General Butler.
L. THOMAS,
Assistant Adjutant General.
Major General SCOTT.

HEAD-QUARTERS, 2D DIVISION,

GENERAL:

Major General Butler received your despatches at 3,
p. m., on yesterday. Having his verbal authority in the premises,
my troops are in motion, and ordered to move as follows: artillery
battalion, Duncan's horse battery, moved at day-light this morning;
5th, at 12 m., with Taylor's battery; the 8th to-morrow morning;
6th, three companies, is now entering the town, and will move this
evening. Five companies of cavalry, under Colonel Harney, expected
this evening, being twenty miles in advance, will move tomorrow
morning. I calculate the marches as follows: three or three
and a half days to Monterey, seven to Camargo, five to Matamoras;
all instructed, on reaching Camargo, to place invalids and superfluous
baggage on steamers and continue the land route if, as I suppose,
there be a deficiency of steamers and water.

The corps are moved in echellon for despatch and convenience.
Herewith is an informal statement of the command I shall bring.
With Twiggs's you will receive: 3d, about 350, four companies; 1st,
about 180; one squadron cavalry, (May) about 90, all told. I urged
General Butler to let me take a fine battalion of Kentucky horse,
well officered and commanded, but he declined, saying you would
[have] 500 Tennesseans. As regards volunteers, I can give you no
information; all, except the general, (Taylor,) are in total darkness
as to their numbers or whereabouts, except Wool's command, ten
miles in advance.

I am told that at Monterey your despatches were opened by a
general officer, not him to whom they were directed, and read
aloud to many persons! I shall enquire, and if I find such to be
the fact, make you a formal report thereof.

I delay to see my last battalion in motion, shall then proceed to,
and pass the leading division, to make necessary arrangements at
Camargo.

Rely upon it, my whole soul and that of my entire (original) division
at least, will be thrown into the coming service.

Very respectfully, general,
W. J. WORTH,
Brigadier General.
Major General SCOTT,
Commanding in Chief, &c., &c., Head-quarters.

P. S. General B. has detained two companies 1st dragoons.

W. J. W.


51

Report of the strength of the several corps of the 2d division.

Corps. Command,
officers.
Non com.
officers.
Remarks.
Co. F, 1st dragoons 3 84
Lt. c. A, 2d artillery 5 61
Lt. c. K, 1st artillery 5 83
Lt. c. C, 1st artillery 3 36
Artillery battalion 24 442
8th infantry 19 408
5th infantry 23 397
Louisiana volunteers 3 73
6th infantry 9 196
4th infantry 300 Supposed to be about 300.
5th comp' y, 2d dragoons 16 312 Col, Harney's command.
2d comp'y, 2d dragoons. 4 160 Cap's, Thornton & Hunter.
Total 114 2,552

This report is, in respect to some corps, approximative, but does
not probably vary a dozen men.

W. J. WORTH,
Brigadier General.
J. C. PEMBERTON,
1st Lieut, and A. D. C.
True copy.
T. WILLIAMS, A. D. C.

HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF OCCUPATION,

SIR:

The communication of Major General Scott of the 6th instant,
accompanied by copies of his letters of the 3d to Major General
Butler and myself, was received yesterday. The original of
his letter of the 3d has not yet reached me, nor have I any dates
from Major General Butler later than December 28th. The communication
of December 20th has never been received.

I effected a junction with Major General Patterson at this place
on the 4th instant, and have since been awaiting advices from Major
General Scott, not doubting that I should hear from him on his
first arrival at Matamoras, or perhaps from Tampico, whither a confidential
messenger was despatched on the 6th. But owing to the
state of supplies, it became necessary to move the command, and a
movement was accordingly ordered in the direction of Tampico.
The regular troops under Brigadier General Twiggs marched yesterday.
The brigades of Major General Patterson's division march


52

to-day and to-morrow. This force will reach Tampico by the 25th
instant, or soon after.

The enclosed return* will exhibit the entire force now in route
or about marching on Tampico from this point. I have retained
Lieut. Colonel May's squadron as part of my escort to Monterey,
and also the Mississippi regiment, partly as escort to head-quarters,
and partly to guard a train of supplies just arrived from Matamoras,
and which I deem it unnecessary to send forward to Tampico.
No troops will be left in garrison here.

As I presume that General Butler, under his instructions, has
ordered the batteries of General Worth's command to march with
it to the mouth of the river, and as I infer from those same instructions,
that not more than two batteries are required by Major General
Scott, I have directed the return to Monterey of Captains
Bragg's and Sherman's. If I have mistaken his wishes in this matter,
I beg to be advised without delay, as the batteries may still
join him in time.

To the troops, regular and volunteer, marching hence on Tampico,
may be added perhaps 300 artillery of Colonel Gates' battalion,
and the Alabama regiment, about 500 strong. The Tennessee
horse will more than fill General Scott's requisition for
volunteer cavalry.

Not knowing the action taken by Major General Butler, under
the instructions of the general-in-chief, I cannot now write more
fully. On reaching Monterey I may be able to give my views in
regard to the wants of the service on the defensive line which it is
proposed to hold.

I respectfully enclose a return of the regular troops of the army
of occupation for November. Since its date some 600 recruits have
joined, exclusive of such newly organized companies (rifles or other
corps) as may have recently arrived.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. TAYLOR,
Major General U. S. army command'g.
Lieut. H. L. SCOTT, A. D. C., or Chief of the Staff,
Major General Scott's head-quarters, Brassos Island.

HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF OCCUPATION,

SIR:

In a communication addressed this day to your staff-officer,
I have replied to so much of your letter of the 6th instant,
and its enclosures, as relates to points of detail; but there are other


53

and grave topics embraced in those communications, to which I
deem it my right and my duty to reply directly.

The amount of force to be drawn from this frontier, and the
manner in which it is proposed to withdraw it, had never fully
come to my knowledge until yesterday, though hinted at in your
note of November 25. Had you, general, relieved me at once in
the whole command, and assigned me to duty under your order, or
allowed me to retire from the field, be assured that no complaint
would have been heard from me; but while almost every man of
my regular force and half the volunteers, (now in respectable discipline)
are withdrawn for distant service, it seems that I am expected,
with less than a thousand regulars and a volunteer force,
partly of new levies, to hold a defensive line, while a large army
of more than twenty thousand men is in my front.

I speak only of a defensive line; for the idea of assuming offensive
operations in the direction of San Luis by March, or even
May, with such troops as can then be at my disposition, is quite
too preposterous to be entertained for a moment. After all that I
have written to the department, on the subject of such operations,
I find it difficult to believe that I am seriously expected to undertake
them, with the extraordinarily limited means at my disposal.

I cannot misunderstand the object of the arrangements indicated
in your letters. I feel that I have lost the confidence of the government,
or it would not have suffered me to remain, up to this
time, ignorant of its intentions, with so vitally affecting interests
committed to my charge. But, however much I may feel personally
mortified and outraged at the course pursued, unprecedented,
at least, in our own history, I will carry out in good faith, while I
remain in Mexico, the views of the government, though I may be
sacrificed in the effort.

I deeply regret to find in your letters, of January 3d, to Major
General Butler and myself, an allusion to my position here, which
I can but consider an insinuation that I have put myself, willingly,
out of the reach of your communications. I beg leave to remark,
that the movement of the troops in this direction, and my own
march hither, were undertaken for public reasons, freely set forth
in my reports to the adjutant general, one of them being my desire
to place in position for embarkation to Vera Cruz, should the
government order an expedition to that point, the force (two thousand
regulars and two thousand volunteers) which I reported might
be spared for that service.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Z. TAYLOR,
Major Gen., United States Army, Commanding.
Major Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding United States Army, Brassos Island, Texas.


54

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have received your two letters of the 15th instant. There
are some expressions in those letters, which, as I wish to forget
them, I shall not specify or recal.

You intimate a preference for service in my particular expedition,
to remaining in your present position with greatly reduced
numbers. I can most truly respond, that to take you with me, as
second in command, would contribute greatly to my personal delight,
and, I confidently believe, to the success of that expedition.
But I could not propose it to you for two reasons, either of which
Was conclusive with me at the moment: 1st, I thought you would
be left in a higher and more responsible position where you are;
and 2d, I knew that it was not contemplated by the government to
supersede you in, or to take you from that immediate command.

If I had been within easy reach of you, at the time I called for
troops from your line of operations, I should, as I had previously
assured you, have consulted you fully on all points, and, probably,
might have modified my call, both as to the number and description
of the forces to be taken from, or to be left with you. As it was,
I had to act promptly, and, to a considerable extent, in the dark.
All this, I think, will be apparent to you when you shall review
my letters.

I hope I have left, or shall leave you, including the new volunteers
who will soon be up, a competent force to defend the head of your
line (Monterey) and its communications, with the depots in the
neighborhood. To enable you to do this more certainly, I must
ask you to abandon Saltillo, and to make no detachments, except
for reconnaissances and immediate defence, much beyond Monterey.
I know this to be the wish of the government, founded on reasons
in which I concur; among them, that the enemy intends to operate
against small detachments and posts.

I fear that I may be delayed here, or at Tampico, in embarking
troops, till, perhaps, the 10th of the next month, and again, a few
days more, at the general rendezvous behind the island of Lobos,
waiting for some of the volunteer regiments for debarkation, ordnance,
and ordnance stores.

Finding that Colonel Smith, with two companies of his rifle regiment,
are at Tampico, or in its neighborhood, I shall take with
me his seven companies, now near the mouth of the Rio Grande,
and, perhaps, Colonel Curtis's regiment of Ohio volunteers, detained
at Matamoras. My uncertainty in respect to the latter, refers to
the number of new regiments of volunteers that may arrive in time,
off this bar, for my expedition. I shall not take with me Captain
Hunter's company of the 2d dragoons, as it is dismounted. There
will, however, be horses for it here, in perhaps a week. I shall
leave instructions for him, when mounted, to ascend the river to
Camargo, to meet your orders. No guard will be left by me at the


55

mouth of the Rio Grande. I give you this information that you
may place a detachment there at your own discretion.

I remain, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Major Gen. ZACHARY TAYLOR,
Commanding &c. &c., Monterey.

P. S. I beg you to make my official acknowledgments to Major
General Butler, for the promptitude and zeal displayed by him in
your temporary absence, in detaching the troops I called for in
my despatch to him of the 3d instant. The greater part, if not the
whole, of these troops are now below Matamoros.

W. S.

No. 7.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

The arrrival, day before yesterday, of the steamer Alabama,
from New Orleans, brought me a large mail. Among the letters,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours, dated 4th
instant.

In respect to Saltillo, &c., you will find, by a copy of my letter
of this date, herewith, to Major General Taylor, that I have complied
with your suggestion, in which I concur.

The quartermaster general, (brevet Major General Jessup,) at
New Orleans, has, I find, taken all proper measures, with judgment
and promptitude, to provide everything depending on his
department, for the despatch and success of my expedition. Transports,
casks, filled with water, &c., &c., &c., are, accordingly,
expected to arrive here and off Tampico, before the 7th of the next
month. The embarkation of brevet Brigadier General Worth's
division, I hope to commence at the mouth of the Rio Grande and
at this place, within three or four days.

Colonel Totten, chief of the corps of engineers, came out in the
Alabama. He informs me that it is probable a sufficient quantity
of ordnance and ordnance stores, together with the boats for
debarkation, will be up with me, at the island of Lobos, by the
10th of the next month. I regret that Lieutenant Totten, of the
navy, who was of so much service to me at Washington, in planning
and sketching those boats, is not likely to be detached, by his
department, for service with the expedition.

From the appearance in the offing, I expect to hear, before
night, of the arrival of new ships, with Pennsylvania and Louisiana
volunteers.

I have not yet received a word from Commodore Connor.

In a few days, I intend to request the United States ship the
St. Mary's, off this bar, to run down to the island Lobos, to give
information, aid, and protection, to the transports, &c., which may


56

assemble there; dropping despatches from me, at Tampico, on the
way. I shall follow, a little later, in the steamer Massachusetts.
I hope the ship of the line the Ohio may be off Vera Cruz in time
for the joint attack on the castle.

It is, I think, very doubtful whether the new regiments the
House of Representatives has authorized to be added to the army
can be filled in time, with the money bounty, without the grant of
land. The last section of the bill, as passed by that House,
directing that the "said officers" shall be immediately discharged
on the close of the war, may prevent many efficient captains and
lieutenants of the present regiments from desiring transfers, with
promotion, into the new regiments, because the contingency may
happen in the recess of Congress, when the executive would have
no power to retain them, by selection, as part of the new peace
establishment.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

No. 8.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I beg your attention to the accompanying papers, (numbered
1 to 6,) touching the conduct of Colonel Harney, United States
2d dragoons, who is evidently seeking an issue with me to be tried
by the President, and in succession, by Congress and the public.

In the conduct of the important expedition with which I am
charged, I think myself reasonably entitled to the selection from
the mass of the officers under my command, of the chiefs of the
staff, of the dragoons and artillery, and to send away, on any proper
military duty, any senior officer of either branch of service, (I speak
only of the regular army,) whose presence might interfere with such
selection. Such right of selection has always been exercised by
commanding generals in the field, who are, in their commissions,
their lives and fame, eminently responsible for the results of their
expeditions or campaigns. All junior officers, are, at least, in the
first instance, only responsible to their commanders in the field.

In my opinion, and on the high responsibility to which I have
alluded, Major Sumner, of the 2d dragoons, is a much safer and
more efficient commander of the cavalry in question, (companies of
the 1st and 2d dragoons,) than Colonel Harney of the 2d of those
regiments. That particular command is entirely too important to
the success of my expedition, to allow me to leave anything to
hazard which it is in my power to control in advance.

I have the honor to be, sir, with high respect, your obedient
servant.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


57

P. S. It may be proper to add that I knew nothing of, and had,
consequently, nothing to do with, the arrest of Colonel Harney until
I received the charge and specifications; although I saw a paper
of instructions the day before, from Brevet Brigadier General Worth
to an officer directing the arrest of Colonel Harney, if the latter
had, as had been rumored, resumed the command of the regular
dragoons in question. I am, therefore, in no respect, "the accuser
or prosecutor" of Colonel Harney in this instance. See sec. 1, act
May 29, 1830. Brevet Brigadier General Worth, Colonel Harney
and myself, are many miles apart from each other.

W. S.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

[1.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Major General Scott desires me to say, that upon the receipt
of this communication, you will turn over your command to
the next senior officer, and proceed yourself, personally, to Major
General Taylor's head-quarters, to whom you will report for duty
with the dragoons that remain under his command.

I am, very respectfully, &c., &c.
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.
Colonel W. S. HARNEY,
2d Dragoons, &c., Matamoras.

[2.]

HEAD-QUARTERS, 2D DRAGOONS,

SIR:

Your letter of the 22d instant, directing me to turn over
my command and to report, personally, to the head-quarters of Major
General Taylor for duty, with the companies of my regiment there,
has just been received.

I cannot disguise my surprise at the unexpected nature of this
order, and my extreme regret that it should have been given just at
the moment when my feelings were deeply enlisted in the success
of an enterprise, in which I had fully hoped to share the dangers
and privations of my regiment. It was my ill fortune to be
separated from that portion of the regiment which participated in
the recent actions with the enemy, and I looked forward with much
pleasure and great pride to the time when I should see active service
under the orders of Major General Scott. I shall not speak of
the injustice which I consider to be done in separating me from
seven companies of my regiment, and ordering me on duty with the
remaining two. The bare mention of the fact, is the only allusion
which I design to make on the present occasion, but it is proper to
mention that those two companies, by a letter which I received yesterday


58

from General Worth, are expected here in seven or ten days,
and that I was instructed to unite them with that portion of the
regiment now here.

This fact, I must believe, escaped the attention of the commanding
general, when your letter was written, and I now hope, that
he will take it into full consideration, and reverse the painful
order which I have just received.

If other motives, to which I dare not allude, influenced General
Scott in this decision, I have but to remark that it is natural that
he should select those officers from whom he might expect a hearty
cöoperation; but that, to accomplish this, I do not believe he would
do an act of injustice, and if my recent conduct can be taken as an
earnest of my endeavors to further his views to the fullest extent,
that I can appeal to it with the greatest confidence.

I have turned over my command, and should it not be deemed
expedient to change the order under consideration, I have to request
that I may be informed at what point I may find the head-quarters
of Major General Taylor.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. HARNEY,
Colonel 2d Dragoons.
Lieut. H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. G., Head-quarters of the Army.

[3.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Your communication of the 23d instant, relative to your
command, was this morning received, through Brevet Brigadier
General Worth, and I am directed by Major General Scott to reply
as follows:

When he made his arrangements, which now cannot be changed,
to give Major Sumner the command of the regular cavalry called
for by him (Major General Scott) from the army under the immediate
command of Major General Taylor, he (Major General Scott)
expected the detachments would be made up, in nearly equal parts,
from the 1st and 2d dragoons.

Besides the squadron of the 2d, with Major General Taylor,
who, probably, will be back at Monterey to-day or to-morrow, Captain
Hunter's company of the same regiment is to be soon mounted,
and to return to the orders of Major General Taylor. That general,
it is presumed, (though Major General Scott has not given, and
does not expect to give any order on the subject,) may, probably,
unite the two companies of the 1st, with the three of the 2d, all of
which will be under his command, and, also, a sixth company,
(2d dragoons,) soon expected out under Lieutenant Sibley.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. G.
To Colonel W. S. HARNEY,
2d Dragoons.


59

[4.]

MATAMORAS,

SIR:

Your communication of the 24th instant was received last
night, and I hasten to return a reply.

In my letter of the 23d I endeavored to explain my position, and
to disabuse the mind of Major General Scott, in relation to any preconceived
views he may have formed to my prejudice. It was humiliating
to do so, but I deemed it my duty, in the present state of
affairs, to make any reasonable sacrifice to preserve harmony, and
to enable me to accompany this portion of my regiment into the
field. Your reply has disappointed me; if not a revocation of your
order, I at least expected that some good and sufficient reason would
be given for depriving me of my regiment, or that reparation would
be made to me for it in another quarter; with this view I relinquished
my command. By your letter referred to, you have not
only deprived me of my regiment, but you have placed my junior,
the major of my own regiment, in command of it; and the imaginary
command, to which you have been pleased to allude, I consider
as entirely inadequate to the one you would force me to relinquish,
even should it ever be brought into existence. If General Scott
does not deem me capable of discharging my appropriate duties,
he may arrest, but he shall not unresistingly degrade me. It is
painful to be driven to this alternative. I have endeavored to avoid
the issue; it has been forced on me, and I must abide the judgment
of my peers. As long as I am a colonel, I shall claim the command
of my regiment: it is a right which I hold by my commission and
the laws of the land, and no authority short of the President of
the United States can legally deprive me of it. In adopting this
course, I feel that I am not only defending my own, but the rights
of every officer of the army. It is true another course is open to
me, but it is well known by your presence with the army that an
important expedition against the enemy is at hand, and my desire
to participate in it will not allow me to await redress by an appeal
to higher authority. It is in full view of all the consequences in
which I may be involved, that I have taken this step. I do it with
no desire to show a spirit of insubordination, but because I believe
my honor and my character as a soldier involved in the issue. I
have no hope that any thing I may say will alter your determination:
to discuss the subject further would be useless, and I have
only to add, that I have assume. I the command of my regiment, and
will accompany it to the mouth of the river.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. S. HARNEY,
Colonel 2d Dragoons.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commander-in-chief U. S. Army.


60

[5.]

Charges and specifications preferred against Colonel W. S. Harney,
of the 2d regiment of dragoons.

CHARGE.
Disobedience of orders and insubordinate conduct.

Specification 1st. In this, that Colonel W. S. Harney, 2d regiment
of dragoons, having been instructed by Major General W.
Scott, commanding the army, in an official communication bearing
date Brassos Santiago, 22d January, 1847, "to relinquish the command
of that portion of his, the said Colonel Harney's regiment,
which had reached Matamoras, and then to repair to the head-quarters
of, and personally to report to, Major General Taylor," did fail
to set out as instructed as aforesaid.

Specification 2d. In this, that the said Colonel W. S. Harney, 2d
regiment of dragoons, did, after having relinquished the command
of the troops aforesaid, as instructed as aforesaid, resume the command
of the same; and that, after receiving the reiterated orders
of Major General Scott, dated Brassos Santiago, January 24, 1847,
and in defiance of such repeated orders.

This, near Matamoras, Mexico, on or about the 25th January,
1847.

Testimony.—Written instructions of General Scott, dated 22d
and 24th January, 1847. Colonel Harney's letters in acknowledgment
and reply, dated January 23d, and January 25th, 1847.

By order of General Worth:
J. C. PEMBERTON,
First Lieutenant, A. A. A. General.

[6.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Major General Scott has just received a charge, with two
specifications against you, signed by order of Brigadier General
Worth; a copy of which I herewith enclose.

Considering your well known and long continued personal hostility
to Major General Scott, and that it may, however erroneously,
be supposed that a reciprocal feeling has been generated on his
part; and considering the perfect confidence that all may entertain
in the honor and impartiality of our officers generally and almost
universally, I am instructed by Major General Scott to say, you
may, if done promptly, select yourself, from the officers near at
hand, any seven, nine, eleven, or thirteen, to compose the court for
your trial on that charge and its specification, and that he, Major
General Scott, will immediately order them to assemble accordingly.

As the troops in this neighborhood will be required to commence
embarking, on the arrival of the transports, now hourly expected


61

for them, a list of the officers to compose the court, signed by your
hand, is expected by the return of the bearer, and that he will be
instructed to wait for such list two hours only.

I enclose, to facilitate your action, a list of the officers for court
martial duty at camp Palo Alto, from whom you are at liberty to
select, as well as from the officers of the 2d dragoons, regiment of
mounted riflemen, and infantry, at the mouth of the Rio Grande.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

Some anxiety is felt here in regard to the position of our
troops in Mexico. Every thing indicates that it is the policy of the
enemy to strike at our detached posts, or cut our lines of communication.
We are not fully advised what lines it is proposed to sustain, or
what posts are to be held. The line, should it not extend beyond
Monterey, is a long one, and a considerable force will be required
to keep it open, and to hold that place. If, in addition to retaining
possession of Monterey, an attempt should be made to establish
posts at Parras, Saltillo, Linares, Victoria, &c., it is feared that an
opportunity will be offered to the enemy to gain some advantage
over us, at one or more of these points, or along the chain of connexion
necessarily to be kept up with them. You are well acquainted
with the present plans of operation. While engaged in
an expedition on the sea coast, it is not proposed to penetrate the
country beyond Monterey, with a view to its permanent occupation,
though it is desirable to maintain a threatening attitude at that
point. Monterey must be held with a sufficient force. Such a force
being provided for that object, the remainder will, of course, be at
your disposal, to maintain other proper positions, and to operate on
the gulf coast, and especially at Vera Cruz. Your position will
enable you to determine, better than can be done here, what should
be the best disposition for the safety of our troops, and to disappoint
the expectations of the enemy, who is undoubtedly watching
for opportunities to fall upon them, while in detachments or small
bodies, with greatly superior numbers. No positive directions will,
therefore, be given touching these matters.

It was expected that General Taylor would have deemed it expedient
to order the force under General Wool to join him at Monterey,
and not to extend his line to Saltillo, with a view to hold
permanent possession of it. At the last advices from Gen. Wool,
he had not received orders to unite his forces with those under the
immediate command of General Taylor; but it is hoped that before
this time, the suggestions in my despatch to General Taylor of the
22d of October have been received, approved, and carried into
effect. The detachment which it is proposed to make from the
forces at and near Monterey, for the expedition on the coast, will


62

render it proper, if not indispensable, that they should be reinforced
by General Wool's command.

As a considerable part of the forces under General Taylor may
be withdrawn for the expedition you are to conduct against Vera
Cruz, it is urged that great caution should be observed in regard
to the safety of those which may be left on the present line of operations.

If any reliance can be placed on the accounts which have reached
us, as to the number and condition of the army under the command
of the Mexican general, he could have rendered it difficult and
hazardous for our troops to advance to Saltillo, and his retiring beyond
that place wears the appearance of a ruse to draw us far into
the country in that direction, to the end that he may practice, with
better hopes of success, his system of guerrilla warfare. If such
be his object, I trust proper measures will be taken to disappoint
him. It seems now to be generally understood that he is at Tula,
with a large body of cavalry. The object of this movement is not
clearly perceived. The withdrawing of the Mexican force from
Tampico would seem to indicate a determination on his part to
yeld up to Tamaulipas to our arms; but the occupation of Tula,
with a strong force, does not appear consistent with such a course
of policy, unless he is apprehensive that we may move upon San
Luis Potosi, through the passes of the mountains in that vicinity.
Should we undertake to hold Victoria with a small force, might he
not move from his present position at Tula against that place, and
surprise it, or fall upon some of our detachments moving by land
to Tampico? Though the Sierre Madra is difficult to pass, and,
with wagons or wheel carriages, impassable, yet may not the
enemy's cavalry find a way through the gorges of this mountain?
It is not unreasonable to expect that some such movement is contemplated.
It is, therefore, suggested that this matter should be
well considered, and great care taken to guard against any surprise
in this quarter.

We have no news from Mexico on which much reliance can be
placed; but from such information as we have, it is doubtful
whether a Mexican Congress will have assembled at the time fixed
for it, the 6th of December; and it is equally doubtful whether,
whenever it shall come together, it will be disposed to enter upon
negotiations for peace. Mexico is, undoubtedly, in a wretched condition,
and without the prospect of improvement. A hope was
entertained, and not now wholly abandoned, that the northern departments
would see that their interests would be promoted by
withdrawing from the central government, and forming an independent
republic. Should any such disposition manifest itself, it
ought to be encouraged, and those engaged in the movement should
have all the protection and support from our forces that can be
properly given to them; without any pledge, however, that its separate
existence will be made a condition in the treaty of peace
which may be entered into between Mexico and the United States.

We have not yet learned that Mexico is making any extraordinary
efforts to assemble a large covering army at Vera Cruz, and


63

it is hoped that you will not find a formidable force to oppose
your landing. Securely on shore in the vicinity of Vera Cruz, I
have but little doubt of your success in getting possession of the
city, and hope the surrender of the castle will follow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

I have received several communications from you since your
arrival in Mexico. They will be placed on file in the office of the
adjutant general, and the receipt thereof duly acknowledged by
him.

The several regiments of volunteers, called out before you left
Washington, were organized with as much despatch as was expected;
nearly all have left for the seat of war, and we are advised
of the arrival of several of them off the Brassos.

I am happy to inform you that the bill for raising ten regiments to
serve for the war, has at length become a law. Had this authority
been given, as I hoped and expected it would, within the first two
weeks of the session, I am quite confident that we should now have
had several thousands of these troops on the way to Mexico. Appearances
warrant the belief that they will be speedily raised.
Many persons who are deemed worthy to receive commissions have
companies already prepared to enter into the service. They will
be sent on at once in companies; the regiments can be organized
afterwards. I anticipate that companies will go on before the end
of the present month. There is so much doubt whether officers
now in the regular army would take commissions of not more than
one or two grades above those which they now hold, that it is not
probable many will be selected for the new regiments. As these
regiments are to be disbanded by express provision of the law
which authorizes them, at the conclusion of the war, those officers
who may be transferred to them would be in great danger of being
thrown out of the army.

The additional majors of the present regiments are already nominated.
They have been, as the law requires, taken from the captains,
and seniority, in all instances but one (and that for a special
reason) has controlled in the selection. Some further legislation
for the army is necessary before the adjournment of Congress, and
I hope it will take place.

The President sent a special message to Congress on Saturday,
in which he specified what was deemed necessary. With this I
send you a newspaper copy of it, that you may see what is recommended.

I think it is not reasonable to expect that an additional article of
war; giving authority to military tribunals to try and punish certain


64

offences not expressly embraced in the existing articles, will be
enacted. I have had a conversation on the subject with the chairman
of the committee of the Senate, and understand from him that
he had given it his attention, and did not consider legislation necessary,
as the right to punish in such cases necessarily resulted from
the condition of things when an army is prosecuting hostilities in
an enemy's country.

Your expedition is a matter of deep anxiety to all, and certainly
to none more than myself. Every possible effort, so far as I know,
has been made in each branch of this department, to carry out fully
and promptly all the arrangements which devolved upon it in the
way of preparation and outfit. The difficulties have been more
than were anticipated, but they have been met with energy. The
time for preparations on so large a scale was short, and the
arrangements multifarious; the execution of some depended on the
prior execution of others. Delays to some extent were unavoidable;
but I trust none have occurred which will result in a serious detriment
to the service; none which any one well acquainted with our
condition and what was required to be done, would not have expected.
We are expecting daily information from you, and calculate
that the next we receive will apprise us that you have embarked
and are on your way to the point of your destination. The
account you give of the frequency and violence of the "terrible
northers" is to me a source of deep anxiety. They are, in my
judgment, the most formidable enemy you will have to encounter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding U. S. Army, Mexico.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

I have received your letter of the 28th ultimo, (No. 8,)
with the enclosures, numbered from 1 to 6, inclusive, in relation to
the arrest of Colonel W. S. Harney. These papers have been submitted
to the President, and I am directed by him to say that he
regrets the occurrence. Recognizing, as he does to the fullest
extent, your rights as commanding general in the field, and disposed
to sustain you in the ample exercise of them, he is not at
liberty, as commander-in-chief, to overlook the consideration that
the officers under you have their rights, which it is equally his duty
to sustain.

In the case as you have presented it, he does not discover a sufficient
cause for the order depriving Colonel Harney of the command
which appropriately belonged to him, and devolving it upon
his inferior in rank. Without intending to approve of the conduct
of Colonel Harney in disobeying your orders, the President deems
it proper to apprise you of his opinion that Colonel Harney had


65

good cause to complain of that order, as derogatory to his rights,
and he hopes that the matter has been reconsidered by you, and
that the colonel has been restored to his appropriate command.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding the army of the U. States in Mexico.

No. 9.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

No mail has arrived from New Orleans since I had the
honor to address you the 28th ultimo. Two steamers are now due
from that place. Neither may be expected to return in several
weeks, as all will be needed, probably, to take troops, &c., south.
This despatch will go to-day by a return schooner.

Though many ships, doubtless, must now be nearly up to receive
the troops waiting here and at Tampico, not one has arrived. The
Saint Louis, from Philadelphia, freighted with boats of debarkation,
&c., is off this bar, and we know nothing of the near approach
of any ship with ordnance, ordnance stores, and other siege materials.

I am becoming exceedingly anxious for the arrival of all the
vessels that are due. The season for operations on the coast is
already short, and I am personally wanted at Tampico and Lobos.
I cannot, however, leave here without some certainty as to the
near approach of essentials.

The 1st Pennsylvania regiment of volunteers, the Louisiana volunteers,
and a part of the New York volunteers, had passed this
place before my general order (No. 6) of the 30th ultimo. At
that date, I intended to take with me four regiments of the new
volunteers only, leaving the remainder for Major General Taylor.
The three mentioned, being up, in whole or in part, were ordered to
Lobos; and wishing, as far as practicable, to keep regiments of
the same State together, the 2d Pennsylvania was designated (in
orders No. 6) to follow, making the four regiments. This regiment,
and the 2d Mississippi, were then known to be at New Orleans,
where they have been detained, I learn, by an unusual degree
of sickness. When the latter comes up, it will go, under
that order, to join the 1st Mississippi regiment with Major General
Taylor.

But a fifth—the South Carolina regiment—-has, by some mistake
at New Orleans, sailed, I learn, direct from Mobile for Lobos.
This I do not now regret, as information received yesterday makes
it necessary that the expedition I am to conduct shall be augmented
to the utmost within my power.

I reported in my despatch to you of the 24th ultimo, that my


66

confidential letters to Major Generals Taylor and Butler from
Camargo, had been improperly opened and made public at Monterey
before they had reached those generals; and I added, that it
was believed there generally the substance of those letters had
been, by Mexicans, promptly communicated to the enemy at San
Luis de Potosi.

It is now believed, on the authority of a letter not official, that my
despatches to the same generals, (of the 3d ultimo,) being sent off
by the latter at Saltillo, to the former, then marching towards Victoria,
by 2d Lieutenant Richey, 5th infantry, and ten mounted
men, were met by a party of the enemy, about the 11th ultimo,
and the detachment all captured or killed. If Lieutenant Richey
(reported as being slain) had not time to destroy the despatches
about his person, (which is highly improbable,) General Santa
Anna, at San Luis de Potosi, had them, no doubt, in four days
after their capture. It is, consequently, more than possible that,
before this time, the greater part of the Mexican army lately assembled
at San Luis de Potosi has reached Vera Cruz, or its
vicinity. Major General Taylor's mind has no doubt, ere this,
arrived at the same conclusion; and I shall write to suggest to
him, at his own discretion, the advantage of manœuvring offensively
in the direction of San Luis de Potosi, after being partially
reinforced with some of the new regiments of volunteers. The
suggestion would be unnecessary but for the intimations he has
received to stand on the defensive.

Another painful rumor, generally credited, reached me yesterday
—the capture, at Encarnacion, some 60 miles in advance of Saltillo,
of Majors Bolen and Gaines, and about 80 men of the Arkansas
and Kentucky mounted volunteers. The private letter,
from a highly intelligent officer at Saltillo, represents that not a
shot was fired by either party.

I shall esteem myself happy if, contrary to present hopes, I shall
soon be able to contradict both, or either of these painful rumors.

To elucidate my position, acts, and expectations, I enclose, herewith,
copies of many papers. Letters from Major General Patterson,
Commodore Connor, Brevet Brigadier General Worth, Colonel
Harney, Commander Saunders, of the United States ship St. Mary's,
and Captain Hetzell, senior of the quartermaster's department at
this place, together with letters from me to each of those officers,
except Commodore Connor, to whom I have not written directly
since December 27.

I also put under cover my letter to the commanding officer at
Matamoras, respecting a seizure of certain goods, now in charge
of the military authority there. Please see, in connexion, the letter
to me from Brevet Brigadier General Worth. By whom the
goods were originally seized, for whose benefit, or under what pretext,
I have not had time to inquire; but the marshal of Texas,
with a lawyer, has called upon me to revoke my order in the case,
so as to enable him (the marshal) to get a colorable possession of
the property. Believing that there was something mysterious, if
not wrong, in the pursuit; that the goods had never been within


67

the limits of Texas, and that the whole case had been placed before
the Secretary of the Treasury, I would not revoke the instructions
I had given. The property, of course, will be held, so far
as I am concerned, until the Secretary of the Treasury, or the government,
shall decide the question.

It will be seen by the papers, including the proceedings of the
general court martial in the case, that Colonel Harney, after his
trial, and under my renewed order directing him to proceed to Monterey,
&c., addressed a letter, in a proper tone of submission, to
Brevet Brigadier General Worth; and that, thereupon, contrary to
my original intention, I gave that general instructions to place the
colonel in command of the regular dragoons (parts of the 1st
and 2d regiments) of the expedition.

Colonel Curtis's Ohio regiment of volunteers, at Matamoras,
heretofore mentioned in some of my letters, I have finally determined
to leave under the orders of Major General Taylor, according
to his wish, and that of Major General Butler; and because a
sufficient number of the new volunteers are likely to be up before
the arrival of the transports to take the troops now ready to embark
with me.

I hope in a day or two, by arrivals here, to receive such information
of supplies in arrear as to allow me to proceed with 350
men, on board the steamer Massachusetts, to Tampico, &c.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

P. S. Another detachment of the New York volunteers, under
the command of Captain Shaw, has just been reported to me as on
board the ship Isabel, off this bar. The detachment took on board
water for thirty-five days only, and has now a supply for nine
days, with rations for about twenty, having consumed a large part
of both water and provisions at anchor before sailing. Of course
I should land the detachment at once, but that a part of the regiment
is already at or near Lobos, equally, I suppose, short of water.
Little or none can be obtained there. This is quite an embarrassment,
considering our deficiency in lighters here, and at the
mouth of the Rio Grande. All the transports from the Mississippi
and Mobile, were ordered by me to take water for seventy days at
least.

W. S.


68

Commodore Connor to Major General Scott.

U. S. FRIGATE RARITAN,

SIR:

Your esteemed favor of the 23d ultimo was received two
days since, by the United States ship Albany, from Pensacola.

I had received, some days previously, communications from the
Navy Department, apprizing me of your being about to take command
of the army in Mexico, and of the joint operations contemplated
against the enemy. In the prosecution of these measures,
you may rely on the cordial co-operation of the naval forces under
my command.

In consequence of some apprehensions being entertained of an
attack from Mexican privateers, supposed to be fitting out in the
Island of Cuba, I despatched the St. Mary's some days since to the
Brassos, for the protection of the transports before that place.
Commander Saunders is directed to perform any service you may
require of him; and as I attach little credit to the report concerning
the privateers, the St. Mary's might be withdrawn from the
Brassos, without much risk to the transports, to carry your despatches
to me, or to Tampico, should you wish to communicate
with that place. I would employ steamboats for the purpose of
communicating with you, but unfortunately, with the exception of
the Princeton, (and she is in very bad condition, and scarcely fit to
keep the sea,) I have no steamer that is capable of making the passage
to the Brassos with certainty or safety at this season of the
year.

My information from the shore, in regard to the movements of
the enemy, has not of late been either so full or so exact as could
be desired. From a source, however, which I believe may be relied
upon, I learn that there are now about one thousand men in
the castle; and in the town, eighteen hundred effective men, independent
of the town militia, who do not amount to one thousand
men. The provisions in the town or castle seldom or never exceed
a supply for three or four days. In this matter all accounts concur.
I am not aware of there being any regular force of any consequence
between Vera Cruz and Mexico. There possiby may be
a regiment or more at Xalapa, and also at La Puebla, and the city
of Mexico; but this I think doubtful, as great exertions have been
made by Santa Anna to assemble the whole regular force of the
country at San Luis. The national guards, or such numbers as can
be armed, have in some instances garrisoned the towns, from which
the troops of the line have been withdrawn. Such, it is believed,
has been the case in most, if not all of those above mentioned. I am,
therefore, of opinion, little opposition is to be expected from anything
like a regular army in your descent on the coast, or from any
other force than that within the city of Vera Cruz. Nor do I believe
it in the power of the Mexican government to assemble a
force in a reasonable time in the neighborhood of the city sufficient
for its protection.

No neutral vessels are permitted to enter or depart from the harbor


69

of Vera Cruz, except the English steam packets that arrive on
the 14th and sail on the 2d of every month. Your agents may
either avail themselves of these vessels, which I will direct to be
boarded at their departure, or be conveyed on board the vessels
blockading the port, by means of the fishing boats, which are still
allowed to pass out to sea for the purpose of fishing.

The vessels of the squadron have all been withdrawn from Tampico;
but I will send one to that place without delay, for the purpose
of bringing any despatch you may find it convenient to send
to that place for me.

I am informed there is good shelter at the Isle of Lobos for any
number of vessels; but no water is to be obtained there. Nevertheless,
it is highly important the transports employed should be
well found with ground tackle, to enable them, even in the most
sheltered positions, to ride out in safety the sudden and violent
gales from the north, so frequent at this season of the year. This
anchorage is considered one of the best and safest on the coast, yet
in the gale of the 24th of November, three vessels either foundered
or were driven on shore from their anchors in this road, and lost.
A gale is now blowing, in which, during the last night, this ship
parted one of her best cables, and was only saved from imminent
danger of being wrecked, by others which were down bringing
her up.

Some reduction has occurred lately in the naval force in the
gulf, by the withdrawal of the Cumberland and Mississippi. Still,
it is probable I should be able to land upwards of six hundred seamen
and marines.

I have the honor, &c., &c.,
D. CONNOR.

HEAD-QUARTERS, 2D DIVISION, ARMY OF OCCUPATION,

SIR:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note
of the 6th instant, from Matamoras, inclosing despatches for Major
General Taylor, which reached me at Victoria on the 14th instant,
and were delivered to the general, at that place, the same day.

I have to report my arrival at this place yesterday, with the 1st
regular division, under command of Brigadier General Twiggs.
The 1st brigade of the second division of volunteers, commanded
by Brigadier General Pillow, will be in this vicinity to-day; and
the 2d brigade, with Brigadier General Quitman, will reach the
same ground to-morrow.

I have not yet received a return of General Twiggs's command,
having only joined him on the route. The aggregate of the 2d
division is 3,714. The aggregate of regulars and volunteers under
the command, at present, of Brigadier General Shields, agreeably to
a return received this morning, is 1,726. The force under General


70

Twiggs is not far from 1,460. So that the grand aggregate of the
troops in this vicinity is 6,900.*

I have the honor to be, &c., &c.,
R. PATTERSON,
Major General, U. S. A., Commanding.
First Lieut. H. L. SCOTT,
Aide-de-camp, &c., &c., Head-quarters of the Army, &c.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I wrote to Brigadier General Shields, then commanding at
Tampico, on the 13th and the 21st instant—the second letter by
the steamer Massachusetts; but, as she has not returned, though
many days behind time, I have not a line in reply.

I hope you and the brigades of Twiggs, Pillow, and Quitman,
are all at Tampico. A letter from Major General Taylor, of the
15th instant, informs me that he had given you that destination.

Transports have been taken up, in New Orleans, for all the
troops who are to compose my expedition, and embarked here and
at Tampico. They will begin to arrive, probably, about the same
time at both places. Not one is, yet, as far as we know, off this
bar; but the troops from Saltillo and Monterey (regulars) are at
hand.

The troops with you may begin to embark as soon as you have
transports—the infantry first, for two reasons: 1st. Horses suffer
more on board ship than men; and 2d. It is doubtful whether we
shall have, in all, transports to accommodate the Tennessee horse
with you, or other volunteer cavalry.

Embark no battery of light artillery until you again see or hear
from me. The garrison of Tampico to be left. You will designate
provisionally, say one company of artillery, and three hundred
infantry, the latter mostly or entirely volunteers. On my
arrival, and after consultation with you, I shall be more definite
on these points, and, at the same time, name the commander of the
garrison.

Brigadier General Shields has with him, I think, no organized
brigade of volunteers. It is my intention to embrace him in the
expedition, and to furnish him with a suitable command under
you.

At least four new regiments of volunteers are up with this place,
or are known to be this side of New Orleans; but the ordnance,
ordnance stores, and boats of debarkation, may be not so near me.
I am waiting for information on those matters, for the arrival of
transports for the regulars in this neighborhood, and for the return


71

of the Massachusetts. In her, I hope to be at Tampico in less than
ten days.

Let all transports, as soon as troops are on board, proceed to the
general rendezvous behind the island of Lobos. See general
orders No 1, and my note of the 21st instant to Brigadier General
Shields.

I remain, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Major General R. PATTERSON,
United States Volunteers, Commanding &c., &c.

Brigadier General Worth to Major General Scott.

GENERAL:

The bearer of this will present to your consideration
a very remarkable case, seeming to call for the interposition of
your authority. I heard some time since of this seizure. At that
time, the principle involved in the case had not been laid down by
the treasury; but, since, rules adverse, if you please, to the importers,
have been established—meantime, however, the property was
held under military guard, subject to the decision at Washington,
where the matter was submitted by the party interested. Pending
that arbitrament, and in a case involving the right of a neutral, the
marshal of Texas presents himself on the west bank of the Rio
Grande, and demands this property, in order to take it to Galveston
for adjudication. How comes that officer, of rightful authority,
beyond his jurisdiction? He cannot cross that boundary to arrest
a murderer, much less to exercise civil authority; and how Colonel
Clarke could relinquish his hold of the property, is, to my mind,
totally inexplicable.

Very respectfully yours,
W. J. WORTH.

Major General Scott to Colonel N. S. Clarke, or commanding
officer United States forces at Matamoras.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

A case of great apparent hardship has just been presented
to me, relating to the seizure of certain goods, some time since,
belonging to the commercial house of Charles Ulhde & Co., of
Matamoras, which goods are now said to be stored in that city,
under the care of our military authority. It is further alleged that
those goods are now demanded by the marshal of Texas, in order
to be transferred to Galveston for adjudication, although they were


72

never landed on the left bank of the Rio Grande, and, therefore,
it may be never within the limits of Texas.

As the legality of the seizure is understood now to be before the
Secretary of the Treasury, and that his decision may be daily
expected, I think it my duty to desire you not to allow, in the
meantime, the said goods to be transferred from their present place
of deposit.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have to request that you will please run down in your
ship to the harbor behind the island of Lobos, to give protection,
advice, and it may be, assistance, to any of the ships of my expedition
ordered to await further orders at that general rendezvous.

I may be detained here several days longer, waiting for the transports
to receive the troops in this neighborhood and at Tampico,
and those ships, I know, are detained at New Orleans, waiting for
water casks in the hands of coopers.

I think you have a copy of my general order, No. 6, respecting
the new volunteer regiments. A part of one (the South Carolina
regiment) has, by some mistake, sailed from Mobile direct for
Lobos, and the remaining parts will no doubt follow; all without
calling off this place. It is now too late to correct the mistake; at
least, let it remain until my arrival at Lobos.

I hope to be at Tampico by the 6th instant, at Lobos by the 10th,
and up with Commodore Connor by the 15th.

If an opportunity should offer, please communicate this hasty
note to the commodore.

I cannot ask you to remain any given number of days about Lobos,
but may hope to find you there.

With great respect, &c.,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Commander SAUNDERS,
Commanding U. S. ship St. Mary's.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

1. It is understood by official information received here
from Washington and New Orleans, that a sufficient number of
transports may now be expected off this bar, in a very few days, to
receive General Worth's division, in the neighborhood, consisting
say of 3,300 men and 730 horses, (besides officers' horses,) and
5,000 men, with officers' horses only, at Tampico.

2. A portion of those transports, as fast as they arrive, must be
assigned to General Worth's division, and the remainder to Tampico,


73

to receive there, at least, the number of men and horses stated
above, and if practicable, 500 cavalry men, and their horses in
addition.

3. To enable your department to provide the transportation for
the men and horses, given in the first paragraph above, by an early
day, (say,) at this place by the 10th instant at the latest, and at
Tampico by the 13th or 15th, any deficiency in transports must, as
far as practicable, be made up by means of vessels here, belonging
to the department or in its hire, including steamers, ships, brigs,
and even schooners.

4. But it is known that the craft, of every description in this
harbor and off its bar, are deficient in extra water casks for troops
—men and horses; and further, that with our deficiency in lighters,
(small steamers to communicate with large craft off this bar, and
that at the mouth of the Rio Grande,) combined with stormy
weather, it will be as tedious as difficult, to fill the extra casks that
may be obtained with fresh water, some ten miles up the Rio
Grande. Nevertheless, you will go on, as orally directed some
time since, with all preliminary arrangements, to avoid delay, and
meet the contingency of the non-arrival of sufficient transports from
the northeast.

5. We are advised that six of the expected ships will be loaded
with full water casks; but it is feared that those ships may not
touch here, but proceed directly to the appointed general rendezvous,
behind the island of Lobos. That water there, will be a
great resource, and may be allowed for to some extent, in the embarkation
to be made here. Hence, if a part of General Worth's
division should sail with only water sufficient for thirty, or even
twenty days, it may suffice.

To the foregoing limitations I will add the following: 1. General
Worth's division must, if practicable, be supplied with good and
sufficient means of transportation, at the latest, by the 10th instant;
sooner, I hope. 2. Next, all the remaining transports that you can
possibly obtain, must be promptly despatched to Tampico, where,
if provided with casks, water may be much more easily obtained
than in this neighborhood; that is, transportation for as many men
and horses as I give in the first paragraph above, and, if possible,
for the additions in the following paragraph. Should you not be
able, from this place, as above, to provide for those additions (without
sending to New Orleans) by the 15th instant, I may send back
to Tampico, from Lobos, the ships freighted with water, (mentioned
above,) after discharging that water into the emptied casks of
transports in that harbor. I mention this as another resource which
you may be compelled to take into your calculations.

I give the foregoing general instructions for your guidance, expecting
to embark in a day or two for Tampico, Lobos, &c., having
the greatest confidence in your judgment, zeal and energy.

Yours, very respectfully,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Captain A. R. HETZEL,
or senior officer of the
U. S. Quartermaster's department, Brassos.


74

P. S. I am glad to learn from you that the six ships, freighted
with water, are expected to touch here.

I must not omit to say that some fuel, for cooking, will be
needed in all ships with troops.

I have already discussed and arranged with you the details of
the early land transportation train, say, of one hundred wagons
with mule teams, to accompany, or to follow closely, the troops of
my expedition. If successful in making the descent on the enemy's
coast near Vera Cruz, I may, in a very few weeks, say
in three, need a much more considerable train of wagons and
packs; sufficient for an army of (say) ten thousand men. A portion
of this large addition I may hope to capture from the enemy,
or to purchase in his country.

W. S.

SIR:

In reply to a communication I had the honor to receive from
the commanding general this morning, I have to state, that
the 12 vessels chartered in New Orleans for the transportation of
troops from this place to Lobos, or elsewhere, the arrival of which
may be hourly expected, the six fitted up for troops will carry,
conveniently, four hundred men each, and the others from 175 to
200 horses, with the officers, and men necessary to take care of
them on the passage. These vessels, then, will suffice, excluding
the Massachusetts, for the transportation of the force to be embarked
here, together with the animals required for the "early land
transportation train."

The steamers that may be considered as almost certainly available
for the movement in contemplation, are the Massachusetts,
Alabama, Eudora, McKim, Virginia, and Edith. These vessels will
carry 1,900 men.

Five vessels have already been chartered capable of carrying 800
men, besides supplies. For the transportation of the remaining
2,300, assuming that 5,000 are to be embarked at Tampico, vessels
will be forthwith chartered.

For the transportation of the wagons, tools, implements, &c.,
for the quartermaster's department, vessels have already been taken
up, and the articles are already on board, or ready to be put on
board, as soon as the weather will admit of it.

Of the six vessels freighted with water, four of them may reasonably
be expected to be here either to-day or to-morrow. These
vessels may probably be used, to a certain extent, for the transportation
of the troops. Still they will not enter into my calculations,
and ample transportation be provided independent thereof.

With much respect, &c., &c.,
A. R. HETZEL,
Captain, A. Quartermaster.
To H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.


75

Correspondence accompanying the proceedings of the court martial
in the case of Col. W. S. Harney.

SIR:

I feel deeply indebted to Major General Scott, for his
magnanimity in allowing me to select the members of my court,
but there are many reasons why I should decline this privilege. It
is sufficient that I regard the charge on which I am to be tried as
involving a general principle, which shall not be decided by a court
of my friends, or persons from whom I should look for favor, but
by impartial judges who are to render judgment in a case where
the rights of all are concerned. Wholly concurring in the views
entertained by Major General Scott, "in the honor of our officers
generally and almost universally," I leave with him the entire
selection of the court, requesting to be excluded the first and third
officers named on the list which you enclosed. In regard to the
feelings of personal hostility alluded to by Major General Scott, I
am not aware that any act of mine can indicate such a feeling
towards General Scott, so clearly as his own attempt to remove
me from my proper command will evince in the estimation of all.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM S. HARNEY,
Colonel 2d Dragoons.
Lieutenant H. L. SCOTT, A. D. C.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Major General Scott has instructed me to say, that the application
of Col. W. S. Harney, 2d dragoons, for any endorsement
or letter written by Brigadier General Worth, on forwarding
Colonel Harney's letter of the 23d instant, is irregular, and cannot
be granted. Brigadier General Worth is himself at hand, and can
be required to give oral testimony in the case if needed.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. SCOTT, A. A. A. G.
To Captain W. W. MACKALL,
A. D. C., Judge Advocate general court martial.

GENTLEMEN OF THE COURT:

In answer to General Scott's refusal
to give up the letter or endorsement, written by Brevet
Brigadier General Worth, in forwarding my remonstrance of the
23d instant, I beg leave to state that, it is not for General Scott
to decide what evidence may or may not be proper for this court
to receive in my defence, that it is a matter for the decision of


76

the court, and it is to be presumed the members are fully competent
to decide the question without any instruction, from the commanding
general of the army. In my letter yesterday to the judge
advocate, I stated that I considered this document important to
my defence; in my letter of the 23d, I alluded to my recent conduct
which had come under the notice of General Worth, and I
desire to know what he may have said on the subject. As the
whole testimony on the part of the prosecution is documentary, is
it not right and just to allow me the use of such documents as
may aid to my acquittal? Why were General Scott's letters sent
before the court, if oral testimony is more regular, when the
writer is at hand. Indeed, I do not see how General Worth's
endorsement can be separated from the main document, and I am
sure if he had made any statements derogatory to my capacity to
command, that they would have been produced on the part of the
prosecution. I am entitled to General Worth's oral testimony I
know, but I prefer this document, and I leave it to the court to
decide whether I am entitled to this letter or not.

Respectfully submitted,
WILLIAM S. HARNEY,
Colonel 2d dragoons.
Court room, January 31st, 1847.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have just received your note as judge advocate of the
general court martial, of which Colonel Clarke is president, giving
me the decision of the court that a certain letter to me, from
Brevet Brigadier General Worth, transmitting one of the 23d instant,
from Colonel Harney to me, is legal evidence, which decision
orders you, as judge advocate, to require of me that paper,
viz: the said letter to me, from Brevet Brigadier General Worth,
although I had, by a note to you of yesterday, declined, on the
call of Colonel Harney, to furnish that letter, on the ground expressly
stated, that that general officer was near at hand, and might
be called to testify to the zeal, &c., of Colonel Harney.

I am much surprised at the order and the demand of the honorable
court in this matter, considering that all official correspondence
between a general-in-chief and the principal commanders of
corps under him, is necessarily confidential, (and not public, as the
court supposes,) until duly published by the proper authority. I
might well, therefore, on that and other grounds, refuse compliance
with the most unusual and impolitic order of the court; but having
no time to combat strange propositions, and wishing Colonel Harney
to have, in his own defence the benefit of every thing that
may conduce to his exculpation from error, I send the paper in
question.

There was no endorsement by Brevet Brigadier General Worth,


77

on the letter in question, from Colonel Harney, that I recollect.
The original has been furnished to the judge advocate.

I remain, respectfully, yours,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Captain W. W. MACKALL,
A. A. G., and Judge Advocate of, &c. &c.

HEAD-QUARTERS, 2D DIVISION,

SIR:

I have the honor to forward herewith a communication
just received for transmission, from Colonel Harney. Having
already trespassed freely upon the general-in-chief on this subject,
I forbear any remark other than to say, that since joining me,
Colonel Harney has evinced high zeal, energy, and enthusiasm.
No one has expressed a livelier anxiety for the success of General
Scott's expedition, or deeper solicitude to serve under his orders.
He has availed himself of several occasions to give utterance to
honorable impulses and sentiments.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. J. WORTH,
Brevet Brigadier General.
To Lieutenant SCOTT,
A. D. C., A. A. A. G.

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 11.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

1. At a general court martial convened at or near the mouth of
the Rio Grande, pursuant to general orders No. 5, of the 28th ult.,
and of which Colonel N. S. Clarke, 6th infantry, is president, was
tried Colonel W. S. Harney, 2d regiment of dragoons, on the following
charge and specifications:

Charge.—Disobedience of orders and insubordinate conduct.

Specification first. In this, that Colonel W. S. Harney, 2d regiment
of dragoons, having been instructed by Major General Winfield
Scott, commanding the army, in an official communication
bearing date Brassos Santiago, 22d January, 1847, to relinquish the
command of that portion of his (the said Colonel Harney's) regiment
which had reached Matamoras, and then to repair to the head-quarters
of, and personally to report to, Major General Taylor, did
fail to set out as instructed as aforesaid.

Specification second. In this, that the said Colonel W. S. Harney,
2d regiment of dragoons, did, after having relinquished the
command of the troops aforesaid, as instructed as aforesaid, resume
the command of the same, and that, after receiving the reiterated
orders of Major General Scott, dated Brassos Santiago, January 24,
1847, and in defiance of such repeated orders. This near Matamoras,
Mexico, on or about the 25th of January, 1847.


78

To which the accused pleaded as follows:

To the first specification, "GUILTY."

To the second specefication, "GUILTY."

To the charge, "GUILTY, except the words 'and insubordinate
conduct.
'"

The court, after deliberation on the testimony adduced, find the
accused, Colonel W. S. Harney, 2d dragoons, as follows:

Of the first specification, confirm his plea, guilty.

Of the second specification, confirm his plea, guilty.

Of the charge, confirm his plea, guilty of disobedience of orders,
not guilty of insubordinate conduct.

Sentence.—And the court do, therefore, sentence the said Colonel
W. S. Harney, 2d regiment of dragoons, "to be reprimanded in
general orders.
"

"The court, in awarding this mild sentence, is moved by the belief
that the accused has acted under the impression that he could
not legally be ordered, against his consent, to separate himself
from the principal portion of his regiment; and while he has, in
the belief of the court, been influenced by a laudable desire to lead
his regiment into battle, he has overlooked the paramount importance,
especially with an army in the field, of an immediate and an
unhesitating obedience to orders."

2. The general-in-chief approves the sentence in this case, which
he remits.

3. The general court martial, of which Colonel Clarke is president,
is dissolved.

4. Colonel Harney, therefore, is released from arrest, and will
proceed to execute the instructions which he received from the
general-in-chief on the 24th ultimo.

By command of Major General Scott.

H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. G.

SIR:

Having sought the decision of my peers, in an amicable,
not insubordinate spirit, on a question which I conceived, it seems
erroneously, very seriously involved my rights, and a decision having
been pronounced against me, I cheerfully, as bound in duty and
honor, submit myself to my fate, seriously and deeply lamenting
that untoward circumstances should debar me from participating in
a service which manifestly, so strongly appeals to the soldiership
and patriotism of every officer. As the order is reiterated to proceed
to the head-quarters of General Taylor, I beg to be informed
if it is necessary I should move in advance of Captain Hunter's
company.

I am, very respectfully,
WM. S. HARNEY,
Colonel 2d Dragoons.
Captain W. W. MACKALL, A. A. General.
Endorsed as follows:


79

Respectfully submitted for consideration of the general-in-chief.
W. J. WORTH,
Col., &c., Brevet Brigadier General.

Lieut. H. L. Scott, A. A. A. General, to Colonel W. S. Harney.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Major General Scott has instructed me to say, that your
communication of the present date, addressed to the assistant adjutant,
general at Brigadier General Worth's head-quarters, has
been referred to him, and that you will please report to Brevet
Brigadier General Worth for duty.

I am, very respectfully. your obedient servant,
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

Lieutenant H. L. Scott, A. A. A. General, to Brigadier General
W. J. Worth.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I enclose, herewith, a letter for Colonel Wm. S. Harney,
2d dragoons, and I am instructed by the general-in-chief to say,
that you will, upon assigning Colonel Harney to the command of
the dragoons, disassociate the cavalry and rifles, and say, "Major
Sumner will continue in the command of the rifles until the regiment
shall be united under its colonel."

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

No. 10.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

The schooner for New Orleans, with my letter to you of
yesterday, having failed to get off, gives me the opportunity of enclosing
herewith a copy of a letter received from Major General
Taylor.

It will be seen in that letter, that the rumor respecting the loss
of Lieutenant Richey, with the important despatches I mentioned
yesterday, is confirmed.


80

I am happy to add that the silence of Major General Taylor, in
respect to the rumored capture of the mounted volunteers, in the
neighborhood of Encarnacion, leaves room to hope that they are
in safety.

One transport, from New Orleans, arrived last evening, with a
report that several others, to receive troops, might soon be expected.

The very limited number of regular medical officers will not, I
think, give more than one for every two transports.

I have the honor to be, sir, with high respect, your most obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR.

HEAD-QUARTERS ARMY OF OCCUPATION,

SIR:

I respectfully report my arrival at this place, on the
24th instant. After I had left my camp, near Victoria, I received
Major General Scott's letter, of December 20, and was advised, at
the same time, of the murder of Lieutenant Richey, 5th infantry,
and the loss of despatches conveyed by that officer.

It seems that on reaching the town of Villa Gran, on the 13th
instant, Lieutenant Richey separated himself from his escort, for
the purpose of purchasing provisions and forage; that he was assaulted
by a gang of desperadoes, lassoed and brutally put to death.
He had been despatched to my head-quarters, by Major General
Butler, with some communications, the most important being General
Scott's original instructions to me, of January 3d. Those instructions,
with other despatches found on Lieutenant Richey's
person, were doubtless forwarded to San Luis. Every effort was
made, by the offer of rewards, &c., to recover the despatches and
apprehend the murderers, but, it is feared, without success. I have,
however, in custody a Mexican, who is unquestionably criminated
in the affair.

On reaching this place, I found that Major General Butler had
punctually carried out the instructions of the general-in-chief.
The recruits for the 3d infantry, however, were retained here, and
I only wait advices from General Scott's head-quarters to put them
in march for the mouth of the river.

We hear from the interior that General Santa Anna has certainly
been elected president, and Gomes Farias, vice president of the
republic. The former, at the last advices from San Luis, had gone
thence to the capital. The army is represented to be suffering for
want of supplies, and the Congress seems unwilling or unable to
vote the necessary appropriations.

From the direction of Durango, we learn that an action took
place at the Paso del Norte, between a detachment of troops from
Santa Fé and a Mexican force, which had marched from Chihuahua,
resulting in the defeat and dispersion of the latter with considerable


81

loss. It is presumed that our troops are now in possession
of Chihuahua.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. TAYLOR,
Major Gen. U. S. A. Com.
Lieut. H. L. SCOTT,
Aid-de-Camp, &c.

No. 11.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

In my last despatch (February 5th) I reported that one
transport, to receive troops, had arrived. She took on board, the
day following, the greater part of the 8th infantry and sailed for
Lobos. Of the other ships for the same purpose, taken up at New
Orleans, by Brevet Major General Jesup, and which were to have
sailed, by the first appointment, about the 24th ultimo, not one has
reported here, and so of the ten ordered by you (in your memorandum
to the quartermaster general of December 15th) to be sent,
in ballast, from the north. We are now nearly a month behind the
time appointed by me (in November) for the assemblage of the
whole expedition off this bar; the troops here and at Tampico are
eager for the descent. Mexico is assembling a powerful army (in
numbers) to meet us at Vera Cruz or in the vicinity, and our transports,
ordnance, ordnance stores, &c., are yet nearly all behind.

We are now, perhaps, nearly at the end of a long continued
norther, and cannot yet tell what new vessels have arrived off the
bar.

We have no later official intelligence from Major General Taylor
than that communicated in my letter to the department on the
5th instant; but an officer who left Monterey on the 28th ultimo,
confirms the rumored capture of Major Borland and some fifty of the
Arkansas mounted regiment. It seems that Major Gaines and the
Kentuckians, included in the rumor, were not present.

We have certain intelligence, though not official, that a transport,
with three or four companies of the Louisiana volunteers, was
stranded some thirty miles south of Tampico, about the 6th instant,
and rumor adds, that the detachment was captured the same day.
This I do not credit. That transport did not call off this bar.

In my present cruel uncertainties in respect to the approach of
transports, ordnance, ordnance stores, &c., &c., I cannot name a
day for my personal departure to the south. The Alabama steamer
may arrive to-morrow and relieve me.

I have not received a line from you of a date later than the 4th
ultimo. The papers, under a blank envelope, respecting the apprehended
smuggling of Colt's arms into Mexico, have been duly attended
to.

I put under cover, herewith, copy of a letter from Commodore


82

Connor, dated January 18th; a memorandum from Captain Hetzel,
senior assistant quartermaster here, dated February 9th, and a copy
of my letter to Major General Patterson, dated February 9th.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

UNITED STATES SHIP RARITAN,

SIR:

Your esteemed favor of the 26th ultimo, accompanied by a
duplicate of your communication, of December 23d, dated at New
Orleans, was handed to me yesterday afternoon, by Lieutenant
Rains. My reply to the latter was despatched, some days since, to
Brassos Santiago, in a prize schooner, under charge of Lieutenant
Commanding Smith. By this time it has probably reached its address.

The present would be the most favorable time for the contemplated
attack upon Vera Cruz. There is every reason to believe
the information contained an my former communication, as to the
force now in the castle and town, correct. Provisions for the garrison
are obtained with the greatest difficulty, and in quantities sufficient
only to last from day to day. The supplies at present in
the castle may be, perhaps, enough for a week, or ten days, at the
utmost, all accounts agreeing that there are no salt provisions in
either. So far as I am able to judge, I am of opinion, that if four
or five thousand troops could be landed in the neighborhood of
Vera Cruz, by the end of this month or the beginning of the next,
so as completely to invest the place, and cut off all communication
with the country, its surrender, in less than ten days, with that of
the castle, would be certain, and probably without the necessity of
firing a gun.

The best point for landing can readily be ascertained on your arrival,
after an examination of the coast. Indeed, in my opinion,
there are but two points at all eligible for this purpose—one on the
beach, due west from Sacrificios, the other on the shores of this
anchorage.

I have already given you such information as I possessed in relation
to the anchorage at Lobos. It is perfectly safe and easy of
access—"Blunt's Coast Pilot" contains full and exact directions
for the entrance. Pilots can be procured, should they be deemed
necessary, at Tampico.

I would advise, by all means, that the transports which pass Lobos
be directed to rendezvous at Anton Lizardo, instead of Sacrificios.
The anchorage at the latter place, not already occupied by
foreign men of war, is unsafe at this season of the year; that of
Anton Lizardo, as I have before stated, the safest and best on the
coast, and sufficiently extensive for two or three hundred sail. No


83

apprehensions are, as yet, entertained at Vera Cruz of the design
contemplated against the place. But it is to be feared that, before
long, the movements of the army and other indications may excite
suspicion. It would indeed be greatly to be regretted should so
favorable an opportunity of making a successful attack on the
town, as the present, pass without your being able to avail yourself
of it.

Accounts received here state that General Wool had joined General
Worth, at Monterey, about the 1st of January. The forces of
Santa Anna had commenced their advance some days previously,
from San Luis to Saltillo. The return of General Taylor to Monterey,
which, from all accounts, seems likely, will probably have the
effect of retarding your movements some weeks.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
D. CONNOR,
Comdg. Home Squadron.
Major General SCOTT.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I despatch the sea-going steamer, the Eudora, with important
despatches to the senior quartermaster at Tampico, which, you
will please call for and read.

All the transports, for the reception of the 8,000 men, regulars
and old volunteers, here and at Tampico, were expected to leave
New Orleans the 24th ultimo, and to touch at this place, by the 1st
instant. But one has yet arrived! They were detained, first, for
the want of extra water casks, and, I now learn, by the mail from
New Orleans, for the want of seamen. Some of those ships, however,
are soon expected here, and the quartermaster with me is taking
up some, at hand, to supply deficiencies, as the season for military
operations on the coast, south of you, is already short. A
due proportion of all the means of water transportation, we can
possibly command, will be sent to receive the 5,000 artillery and
infantry, at Tampico, intended for my expedition; and I am very
desirous, also, of taking with me the Tennessee cavalry and a
greater number of the foot from the same place. The enemy having
captured, about the 11th ultimo, my full despatches to Major General
Taylor, with copies of those to Major General Butler, somewhere
between Monterey and Victoria, my plans, views and means
are now as well known at San Luis de Potosi, Mexico and Vera
Cruz, as at these head-quarters. Hence my exceeding anxiety to
take with me the largest possible number of troops, and my extreme
impatience at the non-arrival of sufficient transports. Some, it is
hoped, may be engaged at Tampico, and the instructions to the
quartermaster there are on that subject.

The new regiments of volunteers, to accompany me, are the 1st
and 2d Pennsylvania, the New York, the South Carolina and the
Louisiana. The whole, or a part, of those regiments has passed


84

south, except the 2d Pennsylvania. The South Carolina, it is supposed,
sailed, by some mistake committed at New Orleans, direct
from Mobile to Lobos.

As transports may arrive at Tampico, I wish you to embark the
troops under your command, as follows: 1. Twiggs's brigade; 2.
Pillow's brigade, and 3. Quitman's. As I have heretofore said, I
shall give a brigade to Brigadier General Shields, unless the President
shall have appointed some new brigadiers, with special instructions
to place them in command of the new volunteers of my
expedition. The Tennessee cavalry, as I have also said, I shall endeavor
to provide transportation for, independent of any brigade,
if it be now brigaded. My meaning is, that you will embark that
regiment last, after all the troops, on foot, shall be afloat.

I shall throw all the regular troops, except the 500 cavalry, into
two brigades, under Worth and Twiggs, respectively; and, besides
your division, I may organize an independent brigade of volunteers.
But I shall hold the organization of corps, larger than regiments,
under advisement, until I shall have consulted you. The brigades
of Worth and Twiggs will be equalized as near as may be.

I cannot leave this place for Tampico, &c., until some of the
cruel uncertainties, in respect to the approach of transports, ordnance
and ordnance stores, shall be removed. Sixty odd surf boats,
out of one hundred and forty, are already up. I will make the descent
near Vera Cruz, if not another should arrive.

When the Massachusetts (steamer) shall appear off the bar
of Tampico, please send a lighter to take me ashore.

I remain, sir, with great respect, &c., &c.,
WINFIELD SCOTT.

P. S. Any volunteers, over and above a reasonable garrison for
Tampico, which may be obliged to leave in the first instance, it is
my intention to send for as soon as practicable.

W. S.

2d P. S. I wish you to detain the Eudora for troops, and, perhaps,
part of her cabin may do for your head-quarters. The Massachusetts,
in which I shall embark, will be filled with general staff
officers and officers of the line. I expect Majors McRee and
Kirby to join me.

W. S.
Major General PATTERSON.

Memoranda for the Commanding General.

The six vessels fitted up at New Orleans, for the transportation
of horses, will carry the dragoons and artillerists, with their horses,
and those of the general staff and of the field officers of infantry
and riflemen.

The six chartered and fitted up for troops will, with the Edith
and Massachusetts, carry the balance of the troops of General


85

Worth's division; the Talbot, one of the six, having already sailed
with upwards of 400.

The enclosed statement exhibits the number of vessels, now under
the control of the department, available for the troops to be
embarked at Tampico, with the number of men they can carry conveniently,
and the number they might carry on an emergency.
From this it will be perceived that there may be a deficiency of
transportation, say for 1800 men. To remedy this, in some measure,
the Pharsalia and Medford, capable of carrying conveniently
from 8 to 900 men, might be forced into the service.

The quartermaster general, in his letter to me, under date of the
1st instant, states that seven vessels, freighted with water, had
sailed from New Orleans. Four of these may, certainly, be expected
to touch here. He also makes mention of the Yazoo, a vessel
which, not having been chartered when I left New Orleans, I
can say nothing of her capacity. From these five vessels, however,
something may reasonably be expected, and, at the lowest average,
(they) may be assumed as capable of carrying 200 men each. Here,
then, is transportation for the 5,000 men to be embarked at
Tampico.

The master of the Louisa reports three brigs and several schooners
in the harbor of Tampico, when he left, about a week since.
To write, therefore, to Major McRee, and require him to secure
transportation for 500 men certainly, and as many horses as possible
—relying upon the former as certain—the Eudora, carrying 150
men and 30 horses, the whole or a portion of the mounted Tennessee
volunteers (500) might be provided for.

It is possible that one of the six vessels mentioned in the first
paragraph of this memorandum will also be available for the troops
at Tampico. They are represented as capable of carrying from 120
to 250 horses—an average of which would be 185—affording means
of transportation for 1,110 horses, whereas all the horses that are
to be embarked here do not exceed 850.

But if, as I infer to be the case, from a paragraph in a letter from
the adjutant general to the commanding general, shown to me this
morning by Lieutenant Williams, the ten transports expected from
the north have sailed, the means of transportation for 8,000 men
will be abundant, independent of the Pharsalia and Medford, and
independent of two or three steamers, which may be used to great
advantage for other purposes.

Respectfully submitted.
A. R. HETZEL,
Captain and A. Q. M.
BRASSOS SAN IAGO, February 9, 1847.


86

Vessels available for the transportation of the troops at Tampico.

Steam-ship Alabama, 400 men, probably 500
Do Virginia, 400 " " 500
Do McKim,* 300 " " 350
Ship Henry Pratt, 300 " " 1,050
Do Mary Flower, 300 " " 1,050
Do Prentice, 300 " " 1,050
Do Diadem, 350 " " 400
Do Corsair, 206 " " 206
Do Saldanha, 175 " " 200
Do Brown, 150 " " 175
Do Pensacola, 175 " " 200
Do Importer, 150 " " 175
3,206 3,756

A. R. HETZEL,
Captain and A. Q. M.
BRASSOS SAN IAGO, February 9, 1847.

No. 12.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I left the Brassos the 15th, and Tampico the 20th instant,
having done much official business at the latter place in a delay of
some thirty hours.

But a small part of the transport engaged at New Orleans, under
my orders of December 28, 1846, to receive troops at the Brassos
and Tampico, had reported at the two places, and not one of the
ten ordered by your memorandum of the 15th of that month, and
the whole were due at the Brassos on the 15th of January.

Leaving orders at both places to supply deficiencies, by taking
up any craft—ships, brigs, and schooners—that might chance to be
in the way, I hastened to this first general rendezvous, where, as I
had heard, the small pox had broken out among the volunteers. I
was also anxious to learn what had become of the 2d Mississippi
volunteers, which regiment I knew had sailed from New Orleans
(without its arms) for the Brassos in January, its place of debarkation,
under my general orders, No. 6, of the 30th of that month.
By the strangest misapprehension or fatality, consequent on obeying
a prior instead of a later order received, I found one of the
transports of this regiment off Tampico, and the other two here,
neither having called off the Brassos, where the three ships had
been long, in our difficulties, relied upon to receive other troops.


87

The several detachments of the Mississippians were, as I successively
came up with them, ordered back to the Brassos; but, considering
the accidents and delays on this terrible coast, the ships
cannot be up with me again with troops in time for the descent.
Indeed the season has already so far advanced, in reference to the
usual return of the yellow fever on this coast, that I can now only
wait a day or two longer for Brevet Brigadier General Worth, delayed
as above, and for part of the regulars, yet behind with the
great body of old volunteers, from Tampico. All the troops from
the Brassos are up, except the field batteries and the cavalry; and
I am very anxious to have, in the descent, the whole of Pillow's,
Quitman's, and Shields's volunteer brigades, now reduced to an
average of about 430 men per regiment, but become quite efficient
from tactical instruction and habits of subordination. But, I repeat,
I cannot wait more than forty-eight hours for any body, except
Brevet Brigadier General Worth, and Duncan's and Taylor's horse
artillery companies, or for anything behindhand two-thirds of the
ordnance and ordnance stores, and half the surf boats, are yet unheard
of, although Adjutant General Jones reported to me, on the
23d ultimo, that all those objects had been then shipped, and were,
under way for the Brassos; and so he wrote, as I understand him,
that I might soon expect the ten transports, in ballast, from Atlantic
ports, ordered by you, as arranged with me.

Perhaps no expedition was ever so unaccountably delayed—by
no want of foresight, arrangement, or energy on my part, as I dare
affirm—under circumstances the most critical to this entire army;
for every body, relied upon, knew from the first, as well as I knew,
that it would be fatal to us to attempt military operations on the
coast after, probably, the first week in April, and here we are at
the end of February.

Nevertheless, this army is in heart; and, crippled as I am in the
means required and promised, I shall go forward and expect to take
Vera Cruz and its castle in time to escape, by pursuing the enemy,
the pestilence of the coast.

As I said in my last report, (of the 12th instant,) I have not
received a line from you, or one written by your direction, of a
date later than the 4th ultimo.

I found here, the 21st instant, the 1st and 2d Pennsylvania regiments;
the South Carolina regiment; two-thirds of the Louisiana
regiment, (since ordered to join the other third, at Tampico, as
part of the garrison of that place,) besides the detachments of the
Mississippi regiment, before mentioned, and a third of the New
York regiment. The latter is now complete, and an eleventh company
is also up with the South Carolinians.

The first detachment of the Louisianians, under the colonel,
(De Russey,) was stranded, as I heretofore reported, nearly opposite
to this island, but succeeded in reaching Tampico. That regiment,
the Maryland and Washington battalion, and one company
of regular artillery—the whole to be under the command of Colonel
Gates, of the army—were designated as the garrison of that city.
Its field works are by this time finished.


88

It was the 2d Pennsylvania regiment that brought with it a case
of confluent small pox, and one of varioloid. By landing the
troops and leaving the patients on board, by ventilation and fumigation,
the spread of the infection has been prevented, and the two
patients are again well. To-morrow, under the advice of a medical
board, I shall deem it safe to re-embark the detachments.

We find this harbor, against northers, even better than I had anticipated.
One has now been blowing some forty hours, and has
brought down all the vessels, ready to sail, that were outside of
the bars at the Brassos and Tampico. The next will take the fleet
to Anton Lizardo, whither I am sending off ships with surf boats,
in order that the latter may be launched, under the care of the
navy, and held ready for my arrival.

Captain Saunders, of the United States sloop-of-war St. Mary's,
has rendered me most valuable services in general, besides landing
and re-embarking volunteers. The island has afforded them the
means of healthy military exercises and tolerable drinking water.
The few surf-boats launched are admirably adapted to the purposes
for which they were intended.

Herewith I send copies of letters to Brevet Brigadier General
Worth and to Major General Patterson, together with the report of
the chief engineer on the defences of Tampico. Copies of many
orders go [to] the adjutant general.

I have the honor to be, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

P. S.—This letter is despatched by the schooner (pilot boat)
Pioneer to New Orleans.

W. S.

Memoranda for General Worth.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

I leave you to finish the embarkation of your troops for Lobos
and Anton Lizardo.

The quartermaster's department here seems confident that it will
have vessels for all your troops in a few days, and also for 5,000
men at Tampico. I hope the means may be provided to take off
1,500 more from that place, with 500 horses of the Tennessee
mounted regiment.

Ships being off this bar, fitted up for the reception of horses, I
think you may commence at once to embark your cavalry and horse
artillery.

Every transport must be provided with rations, forage, and water
for thirty days at least; but sooner than stop the embarkation,


89

twenty clays' water may suffice for men and horses, the last to embark.

Of the three steamers, the Edith, the Virginia, and the Alabama,
two are destined as transports from Tampico, and must be despatched
to that place with short intervals between them. By each of the
two, as well as by the third, with your own head-quarters on board,
I desire to receive information from you and the senior quartermaster
at this place, of every thing interesting to the expedition I
am to conduct, viz: in respect to the new transports that may arrive
here, the ordnance, ordnance stores, surf boats, &c., of the expedition,
as well as intelligence of the arrival or approach of new
regiments of volunteers.—See my general orders, No. 6, of the 30th
ultimo.

By the same steamers, as well as by all other vessels, sailing
hence to join my expedition, I desire that letters, &c., for myself
and the general staff may be duly forwarded.

I prescribe no particular day for your departure hence, in order
to follow me, but suppose you will remain here until your troops
have all embarked or are ready for embarkation, when I know you
will be eager to join me at Tampico, and, if I am not there, at the
general rendezvous behind the island of Lobos.

Assistant quartermaster Captain Hetzel is instructed to follow
me, as soon as he shall have seen the troops in this neighborhood
embarked, with the land train, &c, of the expedition. He will
probably take with him assistant quartermaster Captain Wayne.

I wish you to be prepared, on joining me, to give the name of
each vessel having detachments of your command on board, together
with the number of the detachment.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

Major General Scott to Commodore D. Conner.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two
letters, dated, respectively, the 11th and 18th ultimo.

I arrived off this place yesterday, and am afraid that I may be
delayed some days longer, waiting for the arrival of a sufficient
number of transports to receive the troops in the neighborhood.
Many ships, with the materiel of the expedition, are also behind,
though believed to be near at hand; I hope, however, to be up
with you, off Anton Lizardo, before the end of the month. I shall
be in the United States' steamer Massachusetts, with a pendant at
the mainmast head, of a blue ground and a square red field in the
centre.

I doubt not that you will have continued successful in obtaining
information of the enemy's numbers, movements, and designs,


90

about the coast opposite to your anchorage, and for some distance
in the interior, up to my arrival.

With great respect, &c., &c., &c.
WINFIELD SCOTT.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I am desirous that, after designating a competent garrison
for the defence of this place, the strength and composition of which
will be given below, the whole of the remaining forces under your
command should be promptly embarked and despatched to the harbor
behind the island of Lobos, some sixty miles south of this
place, there to await further orders.

The embarkation will be made in the order of the rank of the
four brigadier generals under your command, commencing with
Brigadier General Twiggs's brigade, and other regulars.

If possible, I desire that transportation may be found by the
quartermaster's department, for both the men and horses of the
Tennessee cavalry. Let that regiment be the last to embark; and,
if sufficient transportation should not arrive, embark the men and
leave the horses (to follow as soon as practicable) in the charge of
(say) men per company.

When the embarkation shall have advanced as far as Brigadier
General Quitman's brigade, you will charge him, and in succession,
Brigadier General Shields, with the completion, and personally follow
me to Lobos. Should I have left that rendezvous before your
arrival, you will please direct all vessels of the expedition you
may find there to join me off Anton Lizardo, and follow yourself
to that anchorage; but I shall exceedingly regret to leave Lobos
before you are up with me. You and your troops, however, cannot
fail to join me before any descent can be made in that vicinity, and
I cannot dispense with such important aid.

The garrison to be left for holding and defending this position
may be—one company of artillery, the Maryland and District of
Columbia battalion of volunteers, and the Louisiana regiment of
volunteers; the whole under the command of Colonel Gates of the
United States 3d artillery. You will please give him such instructions
as the importance of the place evidently requires. His command
will commence from the time that he shall find himself the
senior officer of that place. His special reports, of course, will be
made to general head-quarters, with monthly returns of the garrison.
All ordinary returns will be made by him direct to Washington.

Besides the troops, mentioned above, for the garrison of this
place, there will no doubt be a number of men in hospital—invalids
and convalescents left by other regiments—found available in any
emergency.

Please give instructions for saving on board the transports as


91

many subsistence casks as practicable, to be used as gabions to
cover lines in sieges.

I remain, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Brigadier General PATTERSON,
Commanding, &c., &c., &c., Tampico.

Colonel J. G. Totten, chief of the corps of engineers, to Lieutenant
H. L. Scott, acting adjutant general.

SIR:

I have to report for the information of the general,
that I have this day examined with care the works lately thrown
up for the defence of the two avenues into this town. These
works are nearly complete, and it gives me great satisfaction
to state my opinion that they have been planned with judgment
and executed with skill; nothing less, however, was to have been
expected from the officers who have been engaged thereon, namely:
Captain Barnard and Lieutenant Beauregard, of the engineers, assisted,
for the greater part of the time, by Lieutenants Coppé, of
the artillery, and Woods of the infantry. Lieutenants McGilton,
G. P. Andrews, and Sears, are reported to have rendered valuable
aid, though for shorter periods.

Although these defensive lines were designed to meet the case
of a weak garrison, and much talent has been displayed in profiting
of local circumstances to that end, still, the space to be covered
is large, and even a minimum garrison must consist of a considerable
body of men. I do not now take into account the value
of the object covered. If its importance be such as to justify the
leaving of a garrison at all, that garrison must be able to maintain
itself for some time, entirely independent of succor from without;
any less garrison we might expect to lose.

Knowing how important it may be to other issues of the approaching
campaign to take hence all the force that can be spared,
I have looked at the subject with a sincere desire to reduce to the
utmost my estimate of the numbers indispensable to an efficient defence;
but I have not been able to reduce it below the following
figures.

Along the altaniera front of the town, there are eight distinct
works requiring garrisons, varying, according to magnitude or
position, from 20 men to 120 men, each, at least—provision being
made for mounting thereon 26 pieces of artillery.

The aggregate of these posts will be 500 men.
Reserve of 4 companies 320 "
Giving 860 "
On the canal front, at the other extremity of the town,
there will be needed in these posts
200 "
Total 1,060 "

making a total of, say, 1,000 men.


92

There should be a reserve on the canal front, also, of not less
than 200 men, making the whole force of that front 400 men, and
the total force 1,200 men; but, in my desire to reduce the estimate,
I have omitted this reserve, on the supposition that a body of at
least 200 volunteers may be raised at a moment of need among the
residents of Tampico.

Twenty-four pieces of artillery are actually mounted in the several
works, which ordnance should be left in the hands of the regular
artillery only.

I have, therefore, in conclusion, to recommend to the general-in-chief
that there be left, for the defence of Tampico, a force of
not less than 1,000 effective men, with 24 pieces of artillery; of
which force, one full company, at least, should be of regular artillery.

I purpose leaving orders with Lieutenant Beauregard to complete
the defences at once, so that he may be in time to afford his
aid in the contemplated operations at Vera Cruz.

I have the honor to be, &c., &c., &c.,
JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,
Colonel and Chief Engineer.

No. 12.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

The pilot-boat Pioneer, being delayed by the wind, yesterday,
enables me to say, that after closing my report of that date, I
had occasion, most unexpectedly, to issue the accompanying
general orders, No. 37, touching the re-appearance of small pox.
It shall be followed up with the most rigorous measures to prevent
the infection of the transports or detachments.

Writing, before sunrise, a steamer and two other vessels are reported
in sight. The first has, no doubt, Brigadier General Worth
on board, and if the field batteries are in the other two, the signal
shall be instantly made for the fleet to sail for Anton Lizardo.

I have the honor to be, sir, with high respect, your most obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 37.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

1. Several new cases of undoubted small pox having been just
reported on board the transport General Vesay, of this fleet, the
three companies of the 2d Pennsylvania volunteers in this ship, excepting
the sick, with the field company officers attached thereto,


93

will be landed on the island of Lobos, with their arms, ammunition
and tents, the moment that the troops, now ashore, shall have re-embarked.

2. If new cases occur ashore, they will be immediately sent on
board.

3. The detachment will, from time to time, land the necessaries
it may need from the ship, and remain on the island, until it and
the ship shall be entirely freed from the small pox in all its forms,
when, and not before, it will follow the army in the same ship to
Anton Lizardo or Vera Cruz.

4. The commanding officers, and also the medical officer of the
detachment, will be held responsible that the detachment does not
bring to the army the seeds of that prostrating disease, and will,
whilst on the island, as will also the ship, keep a yellow flag flying,
to prevent all persons connected with the army from coming on
board or ashore. If such persons present themselves, they will be
warned off.

By command of Major General Scott.

H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

Very little doubt is entertained here, that by the joint operation
of our land and naval forces, the city of Vera Cruz will be
taken before this communication will have reached you, and it is
hoped that the reduction of the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa will
speedily follow. In the event of the capture of the castle, a question
may arise as to the disposition to be made of it. Shall it be garrisoned
and held during the sickly season, or be dismantled and demolished?
It is certainly desirable, on many accounts, that it should
be occupied by our forces. A small garrison would probably be
sufficient to hold it; and the requisite number of acclimated men, who
would not be likely to suffer from the vomito, might be drawn from
the army or the squadron for that purpose. The castle is represented
to be much less unhealthy than the city of Vera Cruz, and
that the men assigned to the duty of garrisoning it, by frequent
changes, and going to sea occasionally on board of the ships of the
squadron, may avoid the ravages of the disease which is so fatal in
the summer months to strangers on shore. It is, therefore, only in
the event that the castle cannot be held without exposing the garrison
to the fatal effects of the vomito, that it is to be abandoned,
and not then, until it is dismantled and its armament removed.
The importance of holding possession of it must, however, yield to
the consideration of still higher obligation—a regard to the lives of
the men who must necessarily be assigned to that duty. Whatever
arrangements are found necessary on this subject will be made on
consultation and with the concurrence of the commander of the
squadron.


94

But it may be that the castle will be found in a condition to hold
out, for a considerable time, after the occupation of the city of Vera
Cruz by our forces, and that, in order to reduce it, there may be a
necessity of continuing the siege until after the period when the
vomito commences its ravages. Whether you shall delay to advance
into the interior until the castle is reduced, is left to your
own determination. It is the express direction of the President
that the army under your command should not be kept in a situation
where it will suffer by the wasting disease of that climate, either
for the purpose of co-operating with the navy in reducing the
castle, or to carry on any other military operations in that quarter.
During the prevalence of the vomito the troops must be placed in
healthy positions; and to effect this object, you must, if unavoidable,
forego movements which promise successful results.

In the approaching season the diseases which prevail along the
gulf coast, and particularly at, and in the vicinity of, Vera Cruz,
are the most formidable enemy our troops will have to encounter;
and your best consideration will doubtless be given to securing
your command from its attacks.

Where you will find healthy positions, and among them, which
are to be preferred with reference to military operations, can be best
determined by yourself, and the choice is left to your judgment
and better knowledge of localities. Among those here who are
acquainted with the country there is quite a diversity of opinion as
to the extent of the region infected by the vomito. Some are confident
that by removing our troops but a few miles from the city of
Vera Cruz, they can be placed in situations comparatively healthy;
while others believe that to avoid the scourge, so frightful along the
coast, it will be necessary to ascend high up towards the table lands.
Should the former opinion prove to be correct, you may, with
due regard to the health of the troops, select a position which will
enable you to cut off all communication between the interior and
Vera Cruz, and thus essentially aid the navy in its attack upon the
castle, by intercepting supplies and reinforcements. It is, however,
hoped that the object of the expedition will be accomplished, so
far as relates to the city of Vera Cruz and the castle, before the
return of the sickly season.

If you should move into the interior, it is presumed that most of
your supplies must be drawn from the sea coast, and if carried
through Vera Cruz, or some point in that vicinity, the persons employed
in transporting them must necessarily be exposed to the
vomito. As the number of persons required for this service would
be large, a regard to their health is an important matter which
would not, of course, be overlooked by you or fail to exert a
proper influence in determining the choice of your position on the
line of your operations.

The better opinion seems to be that Tampico is much less unhealthy
than Vera Cruz, and your attention is directed to it as the
base of operations, at least during the sickly season. It is confidently
said by some, who profess to have a knowledge of the country,
that there is a practicable route from Tampico to Mexico, but
I fear that this is not so. If there were a road for conducting an


95

army from Tampico to Mexico, on anything like a direct route, it
would be, perhaps, a preferable line for moving on the capital to
that from Vera Cruz. On the Vera Cruz road it is known that
there are several difficult passes, and we are apprised that the Mexicans
are diligently employed in fortifying them. They can easily
be made places of great strength. It is desirable to find some other
feasible way of penetrating the interior of the country. In addition
to the suggested Tampico route, in the practicability of which
I confess I have very little confidence, another road to the southwest
of the main one from Vera Cruz, passing through Cordova,
has been indicated to me. I do not doubt that your best consideration
has been given to this subject, and that you will have more
full and accurate information to act on than can be obtained here.

The object of this communication is much less to make suggestions
in relation to your military movements, either from the coast
or other points, than to make you acquainted with the views of the
President in regard to preserving the health of the troops in the
insalubrious season which is approaching. He is very solicitous
that the valuable lives of the patriotic men who have, in a manner
so creditable to themselves, entered the public service to sustain the
honor and rights of their country, should not be wasted by the
ravages of the malignant disease, which, during several months of
the year, is so fatal on some parts of the gulf coast to those who
are strangers to that climate. Feeling, as I am aware you do, a
common solicitude with him on this important subject, it is scarcely
necessary that I should enjoin upon you to adopt such arrangements
and precautions as will be likely to afford the best security
to your command from the danger in this respect to which they
may be exposed.

The additional force, authorized by Congress at its late session,
will be raised and sent forward as soon as practicable. Some of
the companies are already filled up, while not much progress is yet
made in recruiting others. No avoidable delay will occur in sending
the new levies to the seat of war. The greatest solicitude has
been felt and the most active measures adopted from the moment
provision was made to raise the ten additional regiments and expedite
their departure to Mexico; but from the late period at which
the authority was given by Congress, it is apprehended that a considerable
part of the force cannot be relied on for active service
for some time to come.

The President has under consideration the policy of raising the
blockade of all Mexican ports, as they fall into possession of our
naval or land forces, and to allow all neutral nations the right,
during such possession, to trade in articles not contraband of war,
imposing and collecting, under military authority, import duties,
when definitely settled. Instructions on this subject will be issued
to the commanders of our naval and land forces.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding United States Army.


96

WAR DEPARTMENT, March 22, 1847.

SIR:

The information which had just reached us in the shape of
rumors, as to the situation of General Taylor and the forces under
his command, has excited the most painful apprehensions for their
safety. It is almost certain that Santa Anna has precipitated the
large army he had collected at San Luis de Potosi upon General
Taylor; and it may be that the general has not been able to maintain
the advanced position he had seen fit to take at Agua Nueva,
but has been obliged to fall back on Monterey. It is equally certain
that a Mexican force has been interposed between Monterey
and the Rio Grande, and that it has interrupted the line of communication
between the two places, and seized large supplies which
were on the way to General Taylor's army.

If the hostile force between the Rio Grande and General Taylor's
army is as large as reports represent it, our troops now on
that river may not be able to re-establish the line, nor will it, perhaps,
be possible to place a force there sufficient for the purpose,
in time to prevent disastrous consequences to our army, unless aid
can be afforded from the troops under your immediate command.

From one to two thousand of the new recruits for the ten regiments,
from this quarter, will be on the way to the Brassos in the
course of three or four days. All the other forces will be directed
to that point, and every effort made to relieve General Taylor from
his critical situation. You will have been fully apprised, before
this can reach you, of the condition of things in the valley of the
Rio Grande and at the head-quarters of General Taylor, and have
taken, I trust, such measures as the importance of the subject requires.
I need not urge upon you the fatal consequences which
would result from any serious disaster which might befal the army
under General Taylor, nor do I doubt that you will do what is in
your power to avert such a calamity.

A state of things may exist on the Rio Grande and at Monterey,
which will require that a part of your forces, after the capture of
Vera Cruz and the reduction of the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa,
should return to Tampico or the Brassos, to carry on operations
from these points. It is here deemed of the utmost importance
that the line of the Rio Grande should be maintained, and that
Monterey should be held by our forces. You will be kept advised
of all done here to sustain General Taylor and augment the forces
under him. In ignorance of what may be your own situation, and
what may be required for the relief of General Taylor, I can give
no distinct indication of what is deemed proper for you to do, if
anything beyond what you may have already done, but must request
that no assistance which you can render, without too much
hazard to your own operations, and he may need, should be withheld.

I herewith send you a copy of a letter addressed to General
Brooke. You will learn, as soon as it can be known here, what
action he will take under the authority therein given to him. I


97

also enclose herewith a despatch from the Secretary of the Navy to
the commander of our squadron in the gulf.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding U. S. Army, &c., Vera Cruz.

P. S. I have just received your letters of the 28th ultimo and
the 1st instant.

SIR:

The gratifying intelligence of the bombardment of Vera
Cruz, and of the capture of that city and the strong fortress of San
Juan d'Ulloa, together with the surrender of the Mexican army
which garrisoned the two places, effected by the joint and cordial
co-operation of the army and navy, was officially made known here
by your despatch of the 29th ultimo, and others of a previous
date.

The expedition, so far as it embraced these important objects,
has been carried out in a manner highly creditable to yourself, to
the commander of our squadron in the gulf, and to the gallant officers
and brave soldiers, marines and sailors, engaged in the difficult
and dangerous enterprise.

In compliance with the direction of the President, it is my pleasing
duty to make known to yourself, and through you to the army
under your command, the high gratification which this additional
instance of the eminent skill and good conduct of our officers, and
of the endurance and intrepidity of our soldiers; has given him.

This signal triumph of our arms has called forth rejoicings
throughout the nation, mingled with heartfelt gratitude to those
who, in winning battles for their country, are everywhere securing
glory and fame for themselves. That the possession of so important
a place in the enemy's country as the city of Vera Cruz,
strongly fortified and garrisoned by a large body of troops, and a
castle renowned for its strength and deemed impregnable by its
defenders, have been obtained at so small a sacrifice, is just cause
of admiration; and while millions of our fellow citizens joyously
exult at this splendid achievement, it is pleasing to reflect that so
few among us have occasion to mourn.

Though the sacrifice of life on our part has been comparatively
small, yet the nation has cause to regret the loss of some of the
bravest and best of her gallant sons. The tribute of honor and
respect, rendered by a grateful people, will embalm their memories
and assuage the grief of their relatives and friends.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY, Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding army of the U. S., Mexico.


98

No. 20.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

My hasty report, of the 29th ultimo, made you acquainted
with the capture of this city and the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa.

I beg to offer a copy of general orders, No. 80, herewith, as my
detailed report on the same subject. In the enumeration of the
active and efficient, I might have given the names of many junior
field officers of artillery, who assisted in the batteries, besides field
officers of infantry, both regulars and volunteers, who commanded
the working parties in, and the guards of the trenches. I may
yet supply these omissions, and others, at a future time, if I should
leisure. Both officers and men acquired much distinction on those
arduous and exposed duties.

This army was detained some six weeks at the Brassos and Tampico,
waiting for water transportation that had been, in good time,
specifically required, and it is now delayed by the non-arrival of a
sufficient number of wagons and teams.

Besides repeated and urgent oral instructions on the subject, I
beg you to refer to papers herewith, marked, respectively. A, B,
and C. The quartermaster general, who went from this army
the 20th ultimo, to Tampico, to hasten on land transportation, returned,
and is now gone again to that place, to the Brassos and
New Orleans, for the same purpose.

The chief quartermaster here reports 180 wagons and teams as
ready for the road, and 300 wagons, without teams, afloat. He supposes
many of both to have been lost in the recent heavy storms
on this coast, and I have reported, heretofore, that many of our artillery
and cavalry horses perished on board vessels, in the same
weather. In this neighborhood, notwithstanding every effort, we
are not likely to supply the tenth part of our wants in horses,
mules and oxen. Towards Jalapa, (sixty miles,) the chances of
success are much better.

I am now organizing a movement of three or four brigades upon
Jalapa, and have only waited for the arrival of two steamers, from
Tampico, with mules, for some sixty additional wagons. In the
mean time the city and camps remain free from signs of malignant
fever, and we may hope will continue healthy for weeks longer.

It is evident that the movement of any adequate force, without
the necessary supplies being well assured, might cause a return to
our water depots, which would be much worse than standing fast
for a time. When I commence a march, I shall wish it to be continuous
—with such short delays, only, as may be necessary to occupy
the National Bridge and Jalapa, 30 and 60 miles off, respectively.
At present, I apprehend no serious resistance this side of
Perote, (90 miles,) if there, provided I can find draught animals
for a small siege train.

The conflict of arms between the rival parties, in the capital,
has ceased. I have undoubted information that President Santa
Anna is in full possession of the executive authority, and that


99

Vice President Farias has resigned, or been expelled. There is no
longer an opposing party in arms.

All the intelligent, the wealthy and the sober minded citizens of
the capital and elsewhere, are anxious for peace—yielding to us,
as the basis, the left bank of the Rio Grande and Upper California.
With American commissioners at the head-quarters of this army, I
think it quite probable that by our arrival at Puebla, if not before,
we should be met by Mexican commissioners empowered to treat
on that basis. Other confidential information represents, however,
that the popular masses are in favor of continuing hostilities,
although the government should be hunted from State to State, and
from town to town.

To several of the prisoners of war of high rank, I made known
the terms of President Polk's message to Congress, dated February
13th last, as also those of the act, placing at his disposition three
millions of dollars, all indicating the readiness of the United States
to treat of peace with Mexico, on terms just and honorable to both
republics. I took care to say that I had not been clothed with
diplomatic functions, but thought it probable I should soon be joined
by American commissioners, authorized not to make overtures, but
to be in position and readiness to receive overtures from Mexican
commissioners, and that, in the meantime, the army would continue
to advance, presenting at once the olive branch and the sword. I
have, also, made similar declarations to a very intelligent and influential
person, who has just gone to the capital, and will, I doubt
not, labor to bring about pacific dispositions. I shall soon hear
from him confidentially.

Since my last report, I have received your letters of the 15th and
22d of the month before the last, and of the 13th ultimo.

I might very well controvert the military principles so confidently
laid down by the department, in the second of those letters; but
believing that the practice of the United States armies, in the two
wars with Great Britain, would have no weight in the particular
case, I waive further reply, having, at the moment, no inclination
and no leisure for controversy.

Being, by the default of others, thrown upon this coast six weeks
too late, in respect to the vomito, I have been made to feel the
deepest solicitude for the safety of the army.

Tampico is not less unhealthy than Vera Cruz, and Tuspan is
considered the worst of the three places.

There is no practicable route for waggons from Tampico, to San
Luis de Potosi, except by Victoria and Monterey; but one by the
beach, through Tuspan, might be opened, at the expense of great
labor and time, from Tampico to Perote, or to some other point in
the national road, hence to the capital. That long line of communication,
yet to be opened, in great part, is, of course, out of the
question, and it could not be shortened by making Tuspan the depot,
for two reasons: 1. That harbor is the most difficult of access,
and 2. When reached, it is the worst for health. I might add, it
is further from Jalapa, Perote and the centre of the enemy's resources,
than Vera Cruz.


100

Our depôts, therefore, must of necessity be at this place. The
harbor is the best on the coast, and hence, to the capital, is the best
road in the whole country.

With proper care, I do not apprehend any great mortality in the
garrisons (see herewith, printed general orders, No. 91) to be left
in this city and the castle of San Juan de Ulloa, nor among the
hired people of the quartermaster's and commissary departments,
because we shall principally, if not only, occupy the water front of
the city, separated from the inhabitants and open to the sea breezes.
On that front (looking to the castle) we have, at the extremities of
the city, forts (bastions) San Iago and Conception, and near the
mole, spacious and well ventilated public buildings for the troops,
hospital and depots. I am satisfied that this arrangement is the
best that I can possibly adopt. A medical board has now a part of
the subject under consideration, and may change the distribution of
the troops, above indicated, a little—taking the castle into consideration;
and I may throw down, for better ventilation, a part of the
walls of the city. But the greatest source of malignant fevers will
be found in the want of ordinary cleanliness in doors, and in the
streets, on the part of the inhabitants. Every thing is doing, or
will be done, to correct their filthy habits.

The garrisons mentioned, will be strengthened by two companies
of the 1st infantry, which have been ordered here from Tampico,
Gardenier's and Plummer's.

One of the volunteer companies, Blanchard's, of Louisiana, mentioned
in paragraph 1, general orders No. 91, lays a claim, which
seems reasonable, to be discharged next month, a year from the time
it originally, volunteered, with so many others from that State, for
three or six months.

Points have been made in one of the old volunteer regiments here,
which may, possibly, be propagated throughout the seven, to this
effect: 1. That the regiment is entitled to be discharged, in time to
reach home by the end of its year's service, and 2. That as the regiment
was all the sickly season, last year, exposed to the malaria
of the Rio Grande, it is now entitled to a discharge before it shall
again be more exposed to fever here, and at New Orleans, on its
way home. Far from entertaining such claims, I have taken measures
to silence them, and to prevent their spread among other regiments.

The seven old volunteer regiments with me, now become respectable
in discipline and efficiency, cannot fail to give us much trouble
when the time for their discharge, and transportation, back to their
homes shall arrive. I am looking to that time, and hope for the
previous arrival of the regiments recently authorized by Congress.
With a reinforcement of, eight or ten thousand men, from that
source, and recruits for the old regiments, at any point not beyond
Puebla, I shall, I think, take the capital in all the summer, if
not earlier stopped by a treaty of peace, or such terms for an armistice
as will insure one.

The inhabitants of this city, under the excellent government of
Brevet Major General Worth, are beginning to be assured of protection,
and to be cheerful. Those in the vicinity have suffered


101

more from green recruits, who much dilute the regular companies,
and from volunteers. My last orders, No. 87, herewith, against
outrages, have rallied thousands of good soldiers to the support of
authority. In the meantime, claims for damages, principally on the
part of neutrals, through their consuls, have been many. I am
without authority or means to indemnify, and can only feel and deplore
the disgrace brought upon our arms by undetected villains.
One, however, a volunteer, has been tried by a military commission,
composed, exclusively, of volunteer officers, and the sentence
(fine and imprisonment) is just and appropriate. A few other cases
are now before similar tribunals.

A word as to the demolition of the castle of San Juan de Ulloa:
I know of no other act, on our part, short of the wanton desecration
of the churches in our route, that would, probably, more exasperate
the Mexican government, and, thereby, diminish the chances
of an early peace. The castle was the strength and pride of the
people, who look forward to its peaceful recovery with proportionate
anxiety.

There is nothing in the articles of capitulation that obliges us
to preserve the fortress, and a slight garrison will hold it—though
not less unhealthy than the city—up to a peace. Some of the
beautiful bronze pieces taken with it and the city, (118 out of more
than 400,) I think of selecting and sending home as trophies.
Though held, liable to be restored, they need not be restored,
without the untrammelled consent of the United States. The small
number, probably a dozen, that I propose to send away, as trophies
—as good for that purpose as the whole—can neither of right,
nor otherwise, make any immediate or ultimate difficulty.

Other trophies—flags, colors, and standards—I am about to send
to you by Colonel Bankhead, selected on account of eminent
services in the siege, and partly because of his infirm health. The
number of those objects is small, compared with the strength of
the garrisons, which leads me to remark that the prisoners parolled,
and the stands of arms, &c., &c., &c., stated in general orders,
No. 80, were not therein overstated.

In the act of writing, the arrival, by water, of 180 mules is
reported, and I also learn that, besides an equal number from
Tampico, to-morrow we may hope to obtain some two hundred
from the country around us. These additions to our road train
will greatly aid the forward movement intimated above.

The land expedition that I set on foot the 30th ultimo, under
Brigadier General Quitman, in conjunction with Commodore Perry,
against Alvarado, and the works at the mouth of that river, has not
returned, though I learn, unofficially, that it will be back tomorrow.
The joint forces found that the places had been abandoned
by the enemy, who left some guns, taken possession of by
the naval part of the expedition. My objects in uniting with the
Commodore were, 1st. To neutralize the inhabitants in that
direction, by assuring them of safety to persons and property; and
2d. To open a market for the purchase of horses, mules, and beef
cattle. I fear that we have not succeeded in the purchases. The
commodore had in view the opening a harbor for his smaller


102

vessels, and to obtain good water, &c., for his squadron. If the
enemy had chosen to defend his forts, at the mouth of the river, a
land force would have been necessary to take them in the rear.
But, I repeat, I am without any official report from either branch
of the expedition.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

A.
Extract from a letter, marked "confidential," from Major General
Scott to brevet Major General Jesup, quartermaster general,
dated

Should the attempt on Vera Cruz be successful, and the President
obtain the new regiments proposed to be added to our present
regular force, amounting, say, to about 12,000 men, a movement
will be immediately commenced into the interior upon the city of
Mexico. For this movement, transportation for an army of about
25,000 men, and for several pieces of heavy ordnance, may be
required.

The general desires me to say, expressly, that keeping these
contingencies in view, you will please make preliminary arrangements
to meet them—say, early in April. It is suggested, that,
possibly, a portion of the transportation, already prepared for
General Taylor, may be applied to this purpose, as his column will,
probably, be again considerably reduced.

HENRY C. WAYNE,
Captain, Acting Quartermaster.

B.
Extract from a postscript of a letter addressed to Captain A. R.
Hetzel, senior quartermaster, at Brassos Santiago, by Major
General Scott.

I have already discussed and arranged with you the details of
the early land transportation train—say, of one hundred wagons,
with mule teams, to accompany, or to follow closely, the troops of
my expedition. If successful in making the descent on the enemy's
coast, near Vera Cruz, I may, in a very few weeks, say in
three, need a much more considerable train of wagons and packs,
sufficient for an army of (say) ten thousand men. A portion of
this large addition I may hope to capture from the enemy, or to
purchase in his country.

W. S.


103

C.
Memoranda for Brevet Major General Jesup, Quartermaster General,
U. S. A.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

A sufficient portion of the siege train for the reduction of the
castle of Vera Cruz, though due more than a month, not having
arrived, I can give no definite day for the advance of this army
into the interior of Mexico, say by the national road hence,
towards the capital. But I have every reason to hope that the
heavy guns and mortars, (or most of them,) still due, may be here
in time to enable the army to take the castle in, say, the next ten,
or at the outside, fifteen days, when I shall take up the line of
operations as above.

For that interior march, a very heavy baggage train, wagons and
teams, and pack mules, will be needed for the army, however
greatly I may restrict the articles to be transported with it. For
an army of at least 10,000 men, there will be needed, as early in
April as practicable, means of transportation about as follows:

  • Say from 800 to 1000 wagons with five mule teams;
  • Say from 2,000 to 3,000 pack mules;
  • Say from 300 to 500 draught animals for a travelling siege train,
    including entrenching tools and pioneer tools.

Some of the draught animals, for all the above uses, say two-thirds,
we may hope to obtain in this vicinity and on our line of
operations; but the wagons, and as many of the draught animals as
possible, must be brought hither from our sources of supply, Tampico,
the Brassos and New Orleans.

In making the above estimate, reliance is placed on the country
within reach of our line of operations; for forage, beyond five
leagues from the sea coast; for bread stuffs, at thirty leagues; for
three days in four, and for the meat ration, five days in six. Notwithstanding
this reliance, it will be necessary to transport with us
much hard bread and bacon, coffee, sugar and salt, besides common
tents, at the rate of three per company; some wall tents for the
general officers and general staff, and the field and staff of regiments;
a full supply of ammunition for artillery and small arms;
medicines, some hospital stores, and the personal necessaries of
officers; leaving many wagons for the transportation of the sick, to
the next depot, and pack animals as well as wagons, for gathering
in forage and subsistence within (say) ten miles of our line of operations.
The loss of draught animals may, no doubt, be readily
replaced, all along the line of operations, by capture and purchase.

Besides the estimates above for land transportation, additional
means must be found for a reinforcement of at least 10,000 men,
(new regiments and recruits,) expected to join me in all the month
of May, if not by the end of April.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


104

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 87.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Notwithstanding the strong provisions of printed general orders,
No. 20, proclaiming martial law, many undoubted atrocities
have been committed in this neighborhood, by a few worthless
soldiers, both regulars and volunteers, which, though stamping
dishonor upon the whole army, remain unpunished, because the
criminals have not been seized and reported by eye-witnesses of
the atrocities.

It must be evident to all who honor their country or respect
themselves, that law and order cannot be maintained in the army,
unless every good soldier shall give his personal aid to authority.
This was invited and expected under that printed order, but cruel
have been the disappointments of the general-in-chief and all the
good officers and soldiers of this army.

One more appeal is made to the ninety-seven honorable men,
against, perhaps, the three miscreants in every hundred. Certainly,
the great mass ought not to allow themselves to be dishonored
by a handful of scoundrels, who scout all religion, morals,
law, and decency. Therefore, let every bad man be denounced in
his act of guilt, seized, and reported for trial, and this army will
march in triumph, and be every where kindly received and supplied
with necessaries and comforts, by the peaceful and unoffending
inhabitants of the country.

As one preventive to outrages, and all officers will seek to apply
others, no man will be allowed to stray from his camp or post, in
future, without a written permission, and no such permission will
be given to any soldier not known to be sober and orderly in his
conduct. This restriction upon the good is the first evil brought
upon them by undetected criminals.

All killing of cattle, even for food, and all seizing upon poultry,
vegetables, and other private property, even under the pretence of
supplying the sick, must instantly cease, except by express order
of some officer of high rank. Arrangements have been made to
supply the army and its hospitals by purchase, and individual officers
or soldiers must, each, purchase for himself, fairly and
honestly
, as at home, all comforts not supplied by government.

By command of Major General Scott.

H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 91.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

1. The first infantry, and the two volunteer companies temporarily
attached to the first division of regulars, will, upon the
march of the army hence, remain to garrison this city and the castle
of San Juan de Ulloa, when Brevet Colonel Wilson, assigned to
duty according to his brevet, will become the governor and commanding
officer of these places. In the meantime that officer, by


105

arrangement with the present governor and commander, may, with
his regiment, relieve so much of the actual garrisons as shall be
found desirable. Accordingly, he will report in person to receive
orders for his regiment.

2. With a view to a march into the interior, the baggage of all
corps and officers will be, in the next two days, reduced to the
smallest compass and weight. Not more than three common tents,
principally for arms and the sick, can be allowed for the present,
to the officers and men of any company, and general officers,
general staff and field officers, with limit themselves in proportion.
All surplus baggage, public and private, will, accordingly, be
properly packed, marked, and turned over to the quartermaster's
department for storage.

Requisitions for means of land transportation, (waggons, pack,
and draught animals,) will be made upon the chief quartermaster,
by divisions and by the chiefs of the other branches of the general
staff, subject to the severest revision; and notice is now given
that any excess of baggage, public or private, will be rejected
and thrown aside by the quartermasters and their agents at the
time of loading up, or at any time on the march that such excess
may be detected.

4. It is absolutely necessary to an early march, that all public
means of transportation, waggons, carts, horses, and mules, with
their harness, saddles, bridles, halters, and pack saddles, now in
the use of the corps, or in the hands of individual officers and men,
should, without delay, be turned over to the quartermaster's department,
which has instructions to re-loan three or four horses, in
as many extreme cases, for a very short time longer. This order
includes all such animals as may be held, under the pretence of
capture, or purchase, since the army landed near the city. Captured
property is always held for the benefit of the service
generally, and no purchase can be respected, unless witnessed, and
approved at the time, by a general officer or commander of a
brigade, inasmuch, as if the property be stolen by the seller, it
will certainly be restored, or paid for, by the United States, on
demand and proof on the part of the rightful owner.

5. If the foregoing directions be not complied with fully, before
to-morrow night, measures will be taken, however reluctantly, to
seize every object designated above, and throw the burden of
proving a just private title upon the possessor of the property.

By command of Major General Scott.

H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

HEAD-QUARTERS 2D DRAGOONS,

SIR:

I have the honor to report to the general-in-chief that, in
obedience to his letter of instruction to me, dated April 1st, I proceeded,
on the morning of the 2d instant, on the road to Antigua.


106

My command consisted of two squadrons of dragoons, under the
immediate command of Major Sumner; one section of artillery,
under Captain Taylor, and seven companies of foot, under Major
Bainbridge.

After reaching the mouth of the river, I found the guide furnished
me entirely ignorant of the road; another was procured, however,
from a house near by, and from him I learned that there was
a force of one hundred lancers in the town. The dragoons were
immediately pushed forward on the road, but soon found their progress
stopped by an almost impenetrable barrier of trees and bushes
thrown across the road, and extending some twenty or thirty yards;
with great labor these were removed, as were also three or four
other obstacles of the same character, evidently so placed by the
enemy to retard pursuit.

Arrived at the river, the dragoons crossed immediately to the opposite
bank; the stream was some three and a half feet deep, and
one hundred and fifty yards wide. The head of the column, on
reaching the bank, perceived some lancers escaping through the
main street, and chase was immediately given, which resulted in the
capture of one lieutenant and eight soldiers, with their horses, saddles
and arms; the dense thicket surrounding the town greatly facilitated
the escape of the remainder, (there were about forty in all,
I subsequently learned,) though some twenty-five of their horses
fell into our hands. Believing the enemy's force to be completely
routed and dispersed, I directed the artillery and foot companies to
remain in camp on the right bank of the river, without crossing,
which was done.

It is proper to remark that there are comfortable stone barracks
and stabling for one squadron of dragoons at this town, which appear
to have been recently erected. It was doubtless the object of
the troop stationed here to prevent supplies of any kind being
brought to your camp; their dispersion may, perhaps, have the effect
of opening a market from that quarter. Every inducement was
offered to effect this object, and the residents promised to confer
together, and do all that lay in their power to further your views.

With regard to the other objects of the expedition, I beg respectfully
to say that but little opportunity offers of procuring supplies
from the district in question. I was not able to learn that there
were any mules to be had on any terms, and cattle, though plenty,
would not be sold but at most exorbitant prices.

Believing no further good could be accomplished by a longer
stay, the necessary orders were given to return to this camp, which
I reached about 2 o'clock, p. m., on the 3d instant.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. HARNEY,
Colonel commanding.
Lieutenant H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General, Vera Cruz.


107

HEAD-QUARTERS 2D BRIGADE, VOLUNTEER DIVISION,

SIR:

I have the honor to submit a brief report of the expedition
to Alvarado, with which I was charged, by orders from the Commander-in-chief.

My command, consisting of the regiments from Georgia, Alabama,
South Carolina, a squadron of dragoons, under Major Beall,
and a section of artillery, under command of Lieutenant Judd, left
their camp, about 3 o'clock, p. m., on the 30th March, and advanced
that evening to the mouth of Madelin river, when we encamped. I
had previously arranged with Commodore Perry a plan of co-operation
for the expedition against Alvarado, in which it was stipulated
that, whether resistance were made or not, the land and naval
forces would effect an entrance at the same time, and act conjointly
with each other. In crossing the Madelin river, on the morning of
the 31st, I was greatly indebted to the assistance of the navy, in
preparing a bridge of boats, under the energetic direction of Lieutenant
Whitwell, first lieutenant of the Ohio ship of the line. The
march, on the 31st, lay partly along the beach, through deep sand,
and partly over a plain country, in rear of Lizardo. On the 1st
March, [April,] we again struck the beach, and pursued it to the
mouth of the Alvarado river, with the infantry and train. I reached
the town of Alvarado, with the cavalry, on the evening of the 1st
of March, [April,] about half an hour after Commodore Perry had
landed there. In the mean time, when about fifteen miles from the
town, I had received a note from Midshipman Temple, of the
steamer Scourge, informing me that the town had surrendered, and
requesting the commander of the land forces to hold it. This
note is annexed to this report. Immediately upon my arrival, Commodore
Perry expressed to me his disapproval of the act of Mr.
Hunter, the commander of the Scourge, in landing; and has,
I learn, signified it more publicly by the arrest of that officer.

My command was posted in the town during my stay there. On
the 2d, Commodore Perry, in the steamer Spitfire, proceeded up the
river to the town of Tlacatalpa, having invited me to join him. My
presence being required in camp, I sent with the expedition Lieutenant
Derby, of the topographical engineers. Commissioners from
that town conferred with the commodore and myself at Alvarado.
They had made an unconditional surrender of their town and the
neighboring country to our arms, and promised to furnish a number
of horses, at least 500, to the quartermaster's department, at low
prices. The town of Alvarado contains about 1,200 to 1,500 inhabitants,
most of whom, however, had fled on our approach. With
the surrender of the town, there fell into the hands of our naval
and military forces twenty-two pieces of artillery, some ammunition
and military equipments, of minor value, all of which were left
in the possession of the naval forces on our departure, as the common
capture of the naval and land forces. On the morning of the
4th of April, my command left Alvarado and reached its camp at
Vera Cruz on the forenoon of the 6th, having again been indebted


108

to the active and prompt assistance of First Lieutenant Whitwell,
of the navy, and the officers under his command, in crossing the
Madelin at its mouth. I have the pleasure to report that although
the leading objects of the expedition had been anticipated, by
the surrender of the city, the other objects designated in my instructions
have been fully accomplished. The Mexican population
to the southward of this point have been conciliated by the exemplary
conduct of the troops. On my departure from Alvarado I
had the gratification to receive the thanks of the alcalde, the cura
and the principal men, for the protection afforded to them and to
their property. I feel perfectly assured that our march has made
a favorable impression upon the inhabitants. Communications have
been opened with the people of the fertile country near the river
Alvarado, and negotiations opened for supplies of horses and beef
cattle, in which the country abounds. Lieutenant Mason, of the
engineer corps, was detailed to accompany the expedition. He
joined my staff, and performed, at his own request, the duty of superintending
the pioneers in the repairs of the roads, and greatly
facilitated the march by his attention to this matter. His report to
me, which is transmitted, will show the description and calibre of
the captured guns. Lieutenant Derby, of the topographical engineers,
volunteered to act generally on my staff, and was zealous and
active in the duties assigned him. For the order and good conduct
of my command, I am also greatly indebted to the active assistance
of Captain Deas, assistant adjutant general, and to the respective
commanders of the regiments and separate commands. Commodore
Perry, with his accustomed liberality, regards all captures made
jointly by both commands. I cannot close this report without expressing
the great gratification which an official intercourse with
this patriotic and efficient naval officer has occasioned. I also beg
leave to present the valuable services which I received from that
efficient officer Captain Irwin, assistant quartermaster, who had
been detailed in that capacity under my command.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. QUITMAN,
Brig. Gen. U. S. A., commanding, &c.
Lieutenant H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

SIR:

In compliance with your directions, I present the following
memorandum of the engineer operations, (infinitely small as they
were,) during your recent march to and from Alvarado.

On the 30th of March I joined your command at about 3, p. m.
In less than an hour after, you commenced your march from your
camp towards Alvarado; the South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama
regiments, one section of Captain Steptoe's battery, (3d artillery,)
and a squadron of dragoons, under Major B. L. Beall, constituted
your command. Passing by this city, and keeping constantly on


109

the sea beach, everywhere practicable for horses and wagons, you
reached the mouth of the Madelin river the same evening. The
distance is estimated at eleven miles. Your force bivouacked there
during the night.

Next morning, at an early hour, you commenced your preparations
to cross the river. Lieutenant Derby, of topographical engineers,
and myself went over in a canoe, and found that, at the narrowest
point of the river, the depth of water was between seven and eight
feet. Subsequently a ford was found at the beach. A bridge was
made at the narrows of the river, by the navy officers and men sent
by Commodore Perry, and the infantry passed there, while the artillery,
cavalry, and wagons crossed at the ford alluded to. After
passing the river, the beach was very difficult to artillery and
wagons, for a distance of about two and a half miles. The pioneer
company, ordered out by you, with great alacrity and zeal cleared
the road, removing and cutting the logs and levelling the steep
places. After crossing the two and a half miles alluded to, the
beach broadened and flattened into a good road until we reached
Anton Lizardo. One mile this side of Anton Lizardo we should
have turned off from the beach, but we did not, owing to the ignorance
of our guide. However, retracing our steps, we turned off
from the beach, and, at the spot marked (A) on the map herewith,
we came suddenly on a hill, whose acclivity was so great as to
reach the maximum of steepness practicable by harnessed wagons.
This caused some little delay; but the pioneer company soon constructed
a tolerable road up the steep, and all the wagons and
guns passed it safely. We then entered a fine meadow plain filled
with cattle. We bivouacked that night at the point marked (M)
on the map.

Next day (April 1st) we marched from (M) Loscocos to Alvarado,
following the beach to the point marked (R) on the map. At (R)
we left the beach and followed the bridle path marked on the map.
This was, I think, longer than the beach road, and by no means so
good, the heat being much greater than we should have found on
the beach. This path being impracticable to wagons, the general
took with him only the cavalry and staff, the infantry, artillery, and
wagons following the next day by the beach road.

Alvarado contains 300 houses, and from 1,200 to 1,500 people. It
is protected against naval attacks by five batteries firing on the river,
but possessing no power of resistance to a force that lands and
attacks their rear. I will refer to these batteries, beginning at the
mouth of the river.

  • No. 1 is a semi-circular battery, with embrasures and platforms
    for nine guns. All the guns gave over had been removed. A little
    to its left was a redan, intended for two guns, but containing none
    at the time I visited it.
  • No. 2 was on the right bank of the river. I did not cross the
    river to visit it. My navy friends described it as a five-gun battery.
    It was visible from No. 3, opposite to which it was, and seemed to
    me to be as described.

    110

  • No. 3 was a seven-gun battery, and contained all its guns (carronades)
    excepting one long 24-pounder.
  • No. 4, just below the town, contained one long 24-pounder and
    three carronades.
  • No. 5, triangular work for seven guns—three brass 18-pounders,
    three 24-pounder carronades, and one iron 12-pounder.

On the morning of the 4th April we left Alvarado to return. We
reached this place on the morning of the 6th instant. No circumstance,
on the return march, worthy of special mention now occurs
to me.

Respectfully, yours,
J. L. MASON.
General QUITMAN,
United States Army.

No. 21.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

A vessel, unexpectedly, being about to sail this morning for
New Orleans, I write in haste, principally to forward by Colonel
Bankhead, a passenger, a package of papers from the acting inspector
general, containing lists of prisoners of war paroled,
&c., &c.

The movement upon Jalapa, announced in general orders, No.
94, herewith, commences to-day. Major General Patterson will
follow to-morrow.

This movement is forced, in reference to our very inadequate
means of transportation, but made in the hope of doubling those
means.

Jalapa is the first point from the coast which combines healthiness
with the reasonable prospect of obtaining some of the heavier
articles of consumption for the army: as breadstuffs, fresh beef, and
forage.

Another expedition sails this morning for Alvarado, to ascend
that river some forty miles, with some prospect of obtaining a thousand
or more horses for cavalry, draught, and packs.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with great respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.


111

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 94.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Limited means of transportation being in readiness, portions of
the army will march as follows:

The second division of regulars on the 8th instant, and the division
of volunteers (two brigades only) twenty-four hours later.

Major General Patterson will leave one of his three brigades in
this immediate vicinity for further means of transportation, and also
the Tennessee dismounted cavalry until the arrival of their
horses. Both of these corps, for the time, will be under the immediate
orders of the same brigadier general, and the latter, when
his division marches, will report to general head-quarters for instructions.

The respective chiefs of the general staff will assign to the head-quarters
of each marching division, an engineer, topographical engineer,
and ordnance officer; an assistant quartermaster, an assistant
commissary, and a medical officer.

The chief quartermaster will assign to the 2d division, forty-five
wagons, and to the division of volunteers, fifty-five, for the entire
baggage of the officers of every grade, the regiments and companies.
The interior distribution of wagons will be made at the
head-quarters of each division.

Taylor's and Talcott's field batteries will march with the 2d division,
and Steptoe's with the division of volunteers.

Colonel Harney will detach a squadron of the 2d dragoons with
each of those divisions.

A special requisition for transportation will be made for each of
those field batteries and squadrons, and one wagon will be assigned
to the medical director of the division, for extra medicines and
hospital stores.

Every man will take for his musket or rifle, forty rounds of ammunition,
and in his haversack hard bread for four days, and bacon
or pork (cooked) for two days. Fresh beef, with rations of
salt, will be issued on the march.

The utmost care will always be taken of ammunition and food
issued to the troops.

The chief quartermaster will send, in extra wagons, grain for the
saddle, artillery, and cavalry horses of each division, for four days,
and each baggage wagon will take grain for the same number of
days for its own team.

He will also turn over to the chief of ordnance ten wagons, and
to the chief commissary one hundred wagons, to be loaded by them,
respectively, with cartridges for small arms and subsistence stores.

These extra wagons will be divided between the two divisions,
march with, and be escorted and guarded, like other wagons attached
to the divisions.

The quartermaster's and commissary's departments will take
prompt measures for the purchase and issue, on the march, of such
forage and subsistence as it may be practicable to obtain, as also
for the trains and escorts that may be sent back to this depot.


112

Each general of division will receive a route of march and instructions
from general head-quarters.

BY command of Major General Scott,
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

SIR:

I herewith transmit to you a statement prepared by the
adjutant general, showing the number of troops, of various descriptions,
which, it is expected, will be under the command of
yourself and General Taylor at the time when the volunteers, now
in service for twelve months, will be entitled to their discharge.
The statement also shows the manner in which the President has
organized the volunteers now in the field, and called out for the
war. The law requires that the President should organize the
volunteer force, and he has done so; but if the exigencies of the
service should require a modification or different arrangement, it
will be made by the commanding generals to whom these troops are
assigned.

The number of troops for the main column of the army under
your immediate command, will not, it is believed, be at any time
diminished, but, on the contrary, soon be increased; and, by the end
of June, raised to about twenty thousand. The column under the
immediate command of Major General Taylor, will, it is expected,
be full ten thousand strong. This distribution of our forces has
been made without such means as you possess of determining what
the service may require, and may, therefore, be changed, if the
public good demands a different allotment. On this point the
President wishes to be furnished with your opinion and views.

I herewith transmit to you a copy of General Taylor's letter to
this department, of the 14th of March, presenting his views of what
ought to be the number and character of the column under him,
if it is expected that it should advance into the interior of the
enemy's country. He urges the necessity of having with that
column in case of a forward movement, two or three thousand
veteran troops that have seen service. However desirable it may
be to strengthen his column in the way he proposes, yet, as the
brunt of the war will, most probably, be borne by the army under
your command, it would not, I apprehend, be wise to diminish that
description of your troops, and the number desired cannot otherwise
be obtained. Whether the suggestion of General Taylor can
be carried out or not, can be best determined by you. As the
general commanding in chief in Mexico, this, as well as many
other matters, must, of course, be left to your judgment and direction.

The statement herewith furnished will show the amount of troops
which the government hopes to be able to send to the seat of war,
and it is believed you will have a sufficient force to penetrate the
interior, and even to reach the city of Mexico. What embarrassments


113

may attend your forward movements, arising from the difficulties
of obtaining supplies and the means of transportation, cannot
be foreseen or anticipated here. The movements of General
Taylor's column will depend, in a great measure, upon the movements
of the main column under you. Whether it will be advisable
for him to employ his force to create a diversion, or to move forward,
in order to form a junction with you, or to hold his present
line, or any other more eligible, are points on which the President
desires your views; and it is deemed important that he should be
favored with them at the earliest period. You will not, however,
delay, in the mean time, to confer with General Taylor in relation
to his operations, and give such directions thereto as the exigencies
of the public service may require.

The last communication from you, dated the 8th instant, and received
last evening, furnished the gratifying information that the
advance upon Jalapa had already commenced. It is most anxiously
desired that the army should be placed beyond the reach of the
pestilence which prevails at Vera Cruz and the vicinity, through
the summer months. I cannot too earnestly impress on you this
important consideration, or the deep anxiety here felt that all
possible precautions should be taken, for the preservation of the
health of the troops. That portion of the new recruits and volunteers
destined for the army under your command, must, unavoidably,
debark at Vera Cruz. I trust you will make all the necessary arrangements
to prevent their detention at that unhealthy place.

Intimations have reached here that there is a disposition in some
portion of the people of the department of Vera Cruz, and other
provinces, to sever their connection with the central government.
Should this be found to be the case, you will countenance and encourage
it in the most effective way in your power, but will take
care not to commit the United States to any course which would
embarrass our government in the negociations for peace, or hold
out the promise of aid or protection, beyond the continuance of the
present war.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding United States army in Mexico.


114

STATEMENT, No. 1.
REGULAR ARMY.—ADDITIONAL FORCE.

Organization of the additional military force into brigades and divisions,
pursuant to the provisions of the first section of the act
authorizing the appointment of an additional number of general
officers, approved March
3, 1847.

[Estimated strength at 80 men to a company.]

Officers. Total. Aggregate.
Brigade.—To be commanded by Brigadier General PIERCE.
47 804 851 9th infantry, raised in the New England
States
Col. Ransom.
47 804 851 12th infantry, raised in North and South
Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri
Lt. Col. Bonham,
in absence of Col.
Wilson.
47 804 851 15th infantry, raised in Ohio, Michigan,
Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Lt. Col. Howard,
in absence of Col.
Morgan.
141 2,412 2,553a
Brigade.—To be commanded by Brig. Gen. CADWALADER.
47 804 851 11th infantry, raised in Pennsylvania, Delaware,
and Maryland
Col. Ramsey.
47 804 851 14th infantry, raised in Louisiana, Tennessee,
and Illinois
Col. Trousdale.
47 804 851 Voltigeurs or foot riflemen, raised in Pennsylvania,
Maryland, Virginia, Georgia,
Mississippi, and Kentucky
Col. Andrews.
141 2,412 2,553a
Brigade.—To be commanded by Brigadier General HOPPING.
47 804 851 10th infantry, raised in New York and New
Jersey
Col. Temple.
47 804 851 13th infantry, raised in Virginia, Georgia,
Alabama, and Florida
Col. Echols.
47 804 851 16th infantry, raised in Kentucky, Indiana,
and Illinois
Col. Tibbatts.
141 2,412 2,553a
48 805 853 3d regiment of dragoons—assigned to the command under Major
General Taylor.

RECAPITULATION.

Total. Aggregate.
Brigade 2,412 a 2,553
Brigade 2,412 a 2,553
Brigade 2,412 a 2,553
3d dragoons 805 853
Ten regiments 8,041 8,512

115

REMARKS.

1. One of the major generals of the regular army (appointed under
the act of March 3, 1847,) will continue with the main army,
under the major general commanding-in-chief; and the other he will
order to join the army under Major General Taylor, who will assign
him to the command of a division.

2. Brigadier Generals Pierce and Cadwalader, with their brigades,
as seen above, are assigned to the main army, under the immediate
command of Major General Scott. All the necessary instructions
have been despatched, directing the regiments to join the headquarters
of the general-in-chief, via Vera Cruz. Nearly all of the companies,
(except those of the 9th and 12th,) composing these brigades,
ought to arrive at Vera Cruz by the last of May, and the two brigades
should muster nearly 3,500 strong.

3. Brigadier General Hopping, with his brigade, and the 3d regiment
of dragoons, are assigned to the division of the army under
Major General Taylor; and it is calculated that the 10th and 16th
regiments will soon be filled, and be concentrated at Point Isabel
before the end of May. These two regiments should muster 1,600
or 1,800 strong, if not more.

4. The organization into brigades and divisions, having been made
by the President according to law, he directs, will nevertheless be
subject to such changes and alterations as the good of the service
in time of campaign may, in the opinion of the general-in-chief
commanding in the field, render necessary and proper.

General officers, in the order of rank, for duty with the ten regiments.

  1. Major Gen. Pillow,} One to continue with Major Gen. Scott,
    and one to be sent to Major General
    Taylor.
  2. Major Gen. Quitman.} One to continue with Major Gen. Scott,
    and one to be sent to Major General
    Taylor.
  1. Brig. Gen. Pierce.—Assigned to the main army, under Major
    General Scott.
  2. Brig. Gen. Cadwalader.—Assigned to the main army, under
    General Scott.
  3. Brig. Gen. Hopping.—Assigned to the army under Major Gen.
    Taylor.

By order:
R. JONES,
Adjutant General.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
Adjutant General's Office, Washington, April 26, 1847.


116

STATEMENT, No. 2.
VOLUNTEER SERVICE.

Organization of the regiments of volunteers called out in November,
1846, and April, 1847, into brigades and divisions.

[To join the army under the immediate orders of Major General Scott, via Vera Cruz.]

Strength when mustered in.
Total. Brigade.—To be commanded by Brig. Gen. SHIELDS.
761 a2,541 * 1 regiment from New York.
1,780 * 2 regiments from Pennsylvania.
Estimated 160 2 companies from Pennsylvania, (to be raised.)
2,701
Brigade.—[Vacant.]—Brigadier General to be appointed.
920 a1,653 * 1 regiment from South Carolina.
833 * 1 regiment from Louisiana.
Estimated 400 5 companies, (battalion,) foot, from Louisiana, (to be raised.)
Do 160 2 companies, horse, from Louisiana, (to be raised.)
Do 400 5 companies, (battalion,) foot, from Georgia, (to be raised.)
Do 80 1 company, horse, from Georgia, (to be raised.)
2,793
[Assigned to the division of the army under Maj. Gen. Taylor.]
Brigade.—To be commanded by Brig. Gen. MARSHALL.
814 a2,596 * 1 regiment from Mississippi.
1,042 * 1 regiment from Virginia.
740 * 1 regiment from North Carolina.
Estimated 160 5 companies, (battalion,) foot, from Virginia.
2,756
Brigade.—To be commanded by Brig. Gen. LANE.
Estimated 800 1 regiment from Illinois, (to be raised.)
Do 80 1 company, horse, from Illinois, (to be raised.)
Do 800 1 regiment from Indiana, (to be raised.)
Do 400 5 companies, (battalion,) foot, from New Jersey, (to be raised.)
Do 80 1 company, foot, from Florida, (to be raised)
Do 80 1 company, horse, from Arkansas, (to be raised)
350 a350 5 companies, horse, from Texas, (to be raised.)
2,590
Brigade.—To be commanded by Brig. Gen. CUSHING.
873 a873 * 1 regiment from Massachusetts.
Estimated 800 1 regiment from Ohio, (to be raised.)
Do 80 1 company, horse, from Ohio, (to be raised.)
Do 400 5 companies, (battalion,) foot, from District of Columbia and
Maryland, (to be raised.)
Do 400 5 companies, (battalion,) foot, from Alabama, (to be raised.)
Do 80 1 company, horse, from Alabama, (to be raised.)
2,633

117

RECAPITULATION.

a2,541
a1,753
a2,596
a350
a873
8,113 volunteers called out in November last, and now in
the field—sick included.

General officers for the volunteer forces, in the order of rank: re-assignment
to brigades and divisions.

  1. Major General Butler, to remain with the army under Major General Taylor.
  2. Major General Patterson, to remain with the main army, under Major General Scott.
  1. Brigadier General Marshall, to remain with the army under Major
    General Taylor.
  2. Brigadier General Lane, to remain with the army under Major
    General Taylor.
  3. Brigadier General Shields, to remain with the main army, under
    Major General Scott.
  4. Brigadier General Cushing, assigned to the army under Major
    General Taylor.

REMARKS.

  1. Major General Butler will resume the command of a division
    under Major General Taylor, when able to join the army in the
    field.
  2. Major General Patterson, now with the army in Mexico, will
    continue in command of the division of volunteers serving with the
    Column under the immediate orders of the major general commanding-in-chief.
  3. The regiments and companies marked thus [*] are now serving
    in the field; the others are to be raised under the call of April
    19, 1847.

Recapitulation of strength of volunteer brigades.

Total.
Assigned to main army,
under Major General
Scott
5,494 2,701 Brigade—to be commanded by Brig. Gen. Shields.
2,793 Brigade—brigadier general to be appointed.
Assigned to army under
Major General Taylor
7,979 2,756 Brigade—to be commanded by Brigadier General
Marshall.
2,590 Brigade—to be commanded by Brig. Gen. Lane.
2,633 Brigade—to be commanded by Brigadier General
Cushing.
Total for brigades 13,473

118

REMARKS.

  1. Of this force, (13,473,) 8,113 were mustered into service under
    the call made in November last; but, counting the casualties, it may
    now be computed to be but little, if any, over 7,000. Computing
    the companies to be 80 when mustered into service, the additional
    volunteer force, under the call of April 19th, will amount to 6,480
    men, of which 1,200 are assigned to the army under General Scott,
    and 5,280 to the army under General Taylor.
  2. Of the volunteers called out in November last, (8,113,) 4,994
    are serving with the army under Major General Scott, and 3,819
    with the division under Major General Taylor; but the casualties
    of the service require a deduction of at least 15 per cent. from this
    number—[April 26th, i. e., during the first three months of service.]

By order:
R. JONES,
Adjutant General.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
Adjutant General's Office, Washington, April 26, 1847.

No 22.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

According to general orders, No. 94, Twiggs's division of
regulars (the 2d) marched for Jalapa, the 8th instant, and were
followed, the next day, by Patterson's division (two brigades only)
of volunteers; leaving Quitman's brigade and Thomas's Tennessee
horse. Worth's division of regulars, (the 1st,) and the seige train,
remained behind, from the same cause—the want of means of transportation.
(See general orders, No. 105, of this date.) Brevet
Lieutenant Colonel Martin Scott, and 300 men of the 5th infantry,
sailed the 8th instant, to ascend the Alvarado some 50 miles, in
search of draught and pack animals, to be back in two or three
days from this time.

From the advancing columns I have yet heard not a word. Twiggs
must now be near Jalapa. I sent him, the 9th instant, a note through
the commanders in his rear, advising him that President Santa Anna
had arrived at Jalapa, with a force of, exaggerated by rumor, 6,000
men. I did not believe in half that number. (See the note addressed,
in the first instance, to Major General Patterson, herewith
enclosed.) I, however, made some hasty arrangements to follow,
personally, at the first intimation that a serious conflict might be
expected. I still believe that none is to be expected this side of
Jalapa, or before my arrival there.

In the mean time, our means of transportation are slowly increasing,
by arrivals from the Brassos and Tampico; to be further
augmented, we have some reason to hope, from Alvarado and the
line of operation in front. Captain Irwin, now some days chief of


119

the quartermaster's department, is displaying great energy and
powers of combination.

As the result of an increase of horses, wheels, and packs, three
heavy seige pieces will move to-morrow, and, I think, Worth's division
in twelve or twenty-four hours later. Again, please see
general orders, No. 105.

I hope not to be called to the front in the next day or two, when
my arrangements, of every sort, for this depot, will be so far advanced
as to give to forward movements firmness of step and consistency;
otherwise the army, without reference to the enemy, might
be in danger of retracing its steps towards this water depot, in
search of indispensable supplies.

I have good reason to know that the Mexican Congress have
secretly authorized President Santa Anna to negotiate a peace with
the United States; on what basis or ultimatum I may learn through
my agents in a few days. The department need not fear that I shall,
early or late, consent to any truce, without placing the United
States on a safe footing for negotiations.

The quartermaster's and commissary departments are in want of
funds for disbursements, and there is silver coin in abundance here,
in the hands of, principally, foreign merchants. They are willing
to cash drafts upon the United States, endorsed officially by me,
but demand that we should allow a premium of six per centum—
the amount already paid to Mexico for the privilege of shipment
to Europe. I have replied that, if the United States drafts are
not worth the full amount expressed on their face, that the United
States forces are strong enough not to allow an ounce of the precious
metals to be shipped to Europe, without my consent, or without
payment of a duty equal to the premium demanded. Hence
my order, No. 103, of yesterday, herewith enclosed. The money is
held for shipment in the next steam packet, British. This will soon
show that the United States are sovereign in the principal Mexican
ports, and bring our drafts up to par. Then I may, on the promises
necessary, rescind that order, or take the money that the army
may need and give drafts, at par, for it.

In the act of writing, I have received the report of Brigadier
General Twiggs, with the addition of Brigadier General Pillow on
this side, of which I enclose copies. Major General Patterson,
who has been somewhat out of health, had not quite got up with
Pillow, temporarily in the command of the volunteer division.
Four thousand men I think rather an exaggerated account of the
enemy's force this side of Jalapa. Nevertheless, by working all
night, I shall deem it best to be ready to go forward, personally,
early in the morning.

I have the honor to be, sir, with high respect, your most obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT,
Hon. WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

P. S. I send copies, in English and Spanish, of my proclamation


120

of this date. It is likely to do much good. I enclose also some
other papers, not specifically named above.

W. S.

SIR:

The accompanying package* was entrusted to my care, with
instructions from General Scott to deposite it in the post office at
New Orleans, if, on my arrival there, I should feel unable to proceed
at once to Washington, via Mobile.

In accordance with this direction, I send the letter by mail, and
beg leave to state, in explanation to one of the orders enclosed,
(No. 108,) that it was issued after the parties interested had promised
to receive United States paper at par for the specie of the
country.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
E. P. SCAMMON,
1st Lieut., and A. Aid-de-camp.
To Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 75.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

As soon as the city of Vera Cruz shall be garrisoned by his
brigade, Brigadier General Worth will become the temporary governor
of the same.

Without disturbing the ordinary functions of the civil magistracy,
as between Mexicans and Mexicans, he will establish strict
police regulations for securing good order and good morals in the
said city.

He will also establish a temporary and moderate tariff of duties,
subject to the approval of the general-in-chief and Commodore
Perry, commanding United States home squadron, on all articles
imported by sea from countries other than the United States; the
proceeds of said tariff to be applied to the benefit of the sick and
wounded of the army, the squadron, and the indigent inhabitants
of Vera Cruz.

The tariff so to be established will be continued until the instructions
of the government at home shall be made known in the case.

By command of Major General Scott.
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.


121

The following tariff of duties is decreed and announced for the information
of all concerned:

1. All articles introduced by regularly appointed sutlers, (who
will be required to exhibit to the assistant adjutant general the
evidence of their appointment,) called and known as soldiers'
necessaries, as also supplies of all kinds for officers, are duty free;
but to avoid misapprehension or fraud, all articles imported by that
class of persons will be entered at the custom house, and arrangement
made with the collector for payment of duties on the whole
cargo, subject to restitution (or freedom from duty) of such articles,
or the value thereof, as may be sold to officers or soldiers. Said
articles or value to be certified and sworn to, in a manner satisfactory
to the collector, and in conformity with such regulations as he
may adopt, under sanction of the commander or governor of Vera
Cruz and dependencies.

2. On provisions 5 per cent, ad valorem.

On wines, cider, ale, and porter, 15 per cent, ad valorem.

On all other liquors 75 per cent, ad valorm.

On raw cotton 4 cents per pound.

All other articles of merchandize 10 per cent. ad valorem.

3. Several foreign vessels having arrived and been under detention,
before the occupation, are admitted under the foregoing regulations;
but henceforth all foreign vessels arriving will be held
subject to such duties as said vessels or cargoes would be required
to pay in any port of the United States, or to exhibit, before admission,
evidence of entry and payment of duties in the United States;
but always subjected to the additional duty hereby imposed.

The collector of the port will draw up and submit for approval
port regulations, which, when approved, will be duly imposed.

It is further decreed that foreign goods, in deposit in the United
States, arriving at this port will be admitted by paying duties as
per tariff of the United States, the same arriving at this port in
American bottoms.

The foregoing regulations to be in force until otherwise directed
by the governor for the time being, or the orders of the government
of the United States.

W. J. WORTH, Governor,
Brevet Major General Commanding.

WM. J. McCLUNG,
Commander U. S. Navy.


122

ORDERS,
No. 1.

HEAD-QUARTERS,

In obedience to the order of the general-in-chief, Major General
Worth enters upon the duties of commanding officer and governor
of Vera Cruz and San Juan de Ulloa.

By order of Major General Worth, governor and commanding
officer.
W. W. MACKALL,
Acting Adjutant General.

As the sole civil authority of the city, I announce to its inhabitants
that the actual governor has addressed to me the following
order:
ORDERS,
No. 3.

HEAD-QUARTERS,

1. The alcalde will forthwith cause all citizens of Vera Cruz,
other than such as may receive special authority, to deliver up their
arms into his custody, reports of the same to be made to these
head-quarters.

2. The alcalde will cause every "pulperias" to be forthwith
closed, and none hereafter opened, except under special license.
And none to be opened after 6 o'clock, p. m., when licensed.

3. The alcalde will require every citizen to apply for a letter of
domicil, showing his occupation.

That the foregoing may be better carried into effect, the first officer
of this corporation will receive into the public warehouses all
the arms referred to in article first.

From the secretary of the corporation will be obtained such
licenses as are referred to in article second.

From the same officer will be obtained the letters of domicil referred
to in article third.

The office of the secretary will be opened daily from ten in the
morning until two in the afternoon, and any person neglecting to
comply with the provisions of these articles will be liable to such
punishment as may be awarded to his disobedience.

4. The Mexican laws, as between Mexicans, will be continued
in force, and justice administered by the regular Mexican tribunals.

5. In all cases arising between American citizens of the army, or
the authorized followers of the same, a military commission will be
appointed to investigate the case.

6. All Mexicans will be allowed to enter and leave the city freely
between reveille and retreat.

7. Soldiers on pass can enter the city by the gates of Mercy and
Mexico, and at no other point, between the hours of 10, a. m., and
6, p. m.; at the latter hour all soldiers, not on duty with the guards,
will retire from the city.


123

8. Mr. F. M. Diamond is appointed collector of the port of Vera
Cruz. Mr. Diamond will receive special instructions in respect to
his duties.

9. The following regulations will be observed by the collector
in respect to army sutlers, &c. All soldiers' and officers' necessaries,
(a list of which will be hereafter furnished,) are to be free of
duties; all goods of general merchandise are to be subjected to the
same duties as are imposed upon other merchants; the tariff of duties
to be immediately arranged.

10. The collector will make to this office, weekly, a detailed account
of receipts, and pay out no moneys collected without the
written approval and sanction of the governor and commanding
general.

11. The collector will execute a bond in the usual form in the
sum and security of one thousand dollars.

By order of Major General Worth, governor and commanding
general.
W. W. MACKALL,
Acting Adjutant General.

ORDERS,
No. 4.

HEAD-QUARTERS,

1. All persons, whether neutrals or natives, who received in deposite
public property, such as munitions of war, tobacco, &c.,
during the siege, or since the occupation of Vera Cruz and its dependencies,
will forthwith deliver the same to the custody of the
following officers appointed for that purpose, to wit: Lieutenant
Colonels Childs and Duncan.

2. C. Markoe is appointed notary public, and invested with all
the powers and authority attached to that officer under the laws of
Louisiana and the Mexican laws.

3. Felix Peters is appointed inspector of revenue with all the
powers and authority attached to that office under the laws of the
United States.

By order of Major General Worth, governor and commanding
officer.
W. W. MACKALL,
Acting Adjutant General.

ORDERS,
No. 5.

HEAD-QUARTERS,

1. Senor Ramer P. Vela, finding it necessary to leave the city to
attend to his private affairs, desires to relinquish the office of alcalde,
in which capacity he ceases to act from this date.

2. Lieutenant Colonel Holzinger is hereby named and appointed


124

alcalde, with all the honors which, by the Mexican laws, appertain
to his office.

3. Jonas N. Levy is appointed harbor master in connexion with
the customs.

By order of Major General Worth, governor and commanding
officer.
WM. W. MACKALL, A. A. G.

ORDERS,
No. 6.

HEAD-QUARTERS,

1. To prevent exactions which fall principally on people in moderate
or indigent circumstances, after consultation with the civil
authorities, the following tariff of prices for the necessaries and
comforts of life is decreed and ordered:

1. Bread, loaf of 12 ounces 12½ cents.
2. Beef 12½ " per pound.
3. Mutton 18¾ " "
4. Venison 12½ " "
5. Pork 12½ " "
6. Milk " per quartillo.

2. Every exaction beyond the foregoing regulations will subject
the offender to be debarred the privilege of vending, and to a fine
of ten dollars for each offence.

3. Army meat contractors are prohibited vending meat except as
required under their contracts, and to officers and followers of the
army of the United States.

By order of Major General Worth, governor and commanding
officer.
W. W. MACKALL, A. A. G.

ORDERS,
No. 7.

HEAD-QUARTERS,

1. Juan Bell and Mr. Gallis are authorised to keep fondas, with
privilege to vend liquors to be used therein, for which privilege
each is to pay into the city treasury monthly, in advance, fifty dollars.

2. Senibrelo, Bonificio, and Harry Evans, are authorised to open
cafes, without privilege of keeping or vending liquors, to pay ten
dollars per month for said privilege.

3. Any and every unauthorised person who shall be detected in
keeping liquors for sale by retail, or vending the same, shall, beside
a forfeiture of stock, be subjected to a fine of two hundred
dollars and imprisonment.

By order of Major General Worth, governor and commanding
officer.
W. W. MACKALL, A. A. G.


125

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 101.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

1st. Before a military commission, convened at this place by
general orders, Nos. 83, 88, and 90, head-quarters of the army, and
of which Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, 1st Tennessee foot, is president,
was tried—Isaac Kirk, a free man of color, a resident of the
United States of America, charged as follows:

Charge 1st.Rape.

Specification.—In this, that the said Isaac Kirk, colored man and
a citizen of the United States, did commit, or attempt to commit,
a rape on the person of Maria Antonias Gallegas, a Mexican
woman, on or about the 4th of April, A. D. 1847, on the road between
the ruins of Malibran and her residence, called "La
Boticana," (Mexico.)

Charge 2d.—Theft.

Specification.—In this, that the said Isaac Kirk, a colored man,
and a citizen of the United States, did, on or about the 4th of April,
A. D. 1847, steal from Maria Antonias Gallegas, the sum of ten
dollars and a comb; this on the road between Malibran and her
residence, called "La Boticana," (Mexico.)

To all which the accused pleaded not guilty.

Sentence.

The commission found the accused, Isaac Kirk, guilty as charged,
and sentenced him—four-fifths of all the members present concurring
therein—to be hanged by the neck until dead; and that such
execution take place at such time and place as the general-in-chief
may appoint, and may God have mercy on his soul.

4th. The general-in-chief approves the proceedings and sentence
in the case of Isaac Kirk. The sentence will be carried into execution
at such hour to-morrow, and such place without the walls,
as may be designated by the governor of the city, who is requested
to cause this order to be executed, and also to cause public notice
to be given of the same in the Spanish language.

By command of Major General Scott.
H. L. SCOTT, A. A. General.
Official.
W. W. MACKALL, A. A. General.


126

ORDERS,
No. 6.

HEAD-QUARTERS,

The sentence awarded in the case of Isaac Kirk, approved by
the general commanding-in-chief the armies of the United States,
will be carried into execution, at 5 o'clock, p. m., to-morrow, beyond
the city walls and west of the road leading from the gate de
Merced.

By order of Major General Worth, governor and commanding
general.
W. W. MACKALL, A. A. General.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I send you a paper giving information which, I think, may
be confided in to some extent.

If you are, contrary to my hopes, unable, from bad health, to
proceed with your marching division, send these papers forward to
Brigadier General Twiggs, to be shown, in passing, to Brigadier
General Pillow.

If the former should ask for reinforcements from your division,
you or Brigadier General Pillow will please hasten forward the
field battery of Captain Wall, (the 12-pounder battery,) together
with the squadron of cavalry with the same division, and follow
without delay with your infantry.

Should I receive information from you, Brigadier General Pillow,
or Brigadier General Twiggs in front, confirming that I now
communicate, I shall immediately proceed to the front of our advancing
forces.

If you are detained, or likely to be detained, I need not say that
your written instructions from me should be immediately transferred
to Brigadier General Pillow.

Please send me word, orally, what is the state of your personal
health, and let this note and the accompanying papers go forward,
as above, without delay.

With great respect, &c., &c.,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Maj. Gen. PATTERSON,
United States army, &c., &c.


127

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Major General Scott, general-in-chief of the armies of the United
States of America:

To THE GOOD PEOPLE OF MEXICO.

PROCLAMATION.

Mexicans! At the head of a powerful army, soon to be doubled,
a part of which is advancing upon your capital, and with another
army under Major General Taylor, in march from Saltillo towards
San Luis de Potosi, I think myself called upon to address
you.

Mexicans! Americans are not your enemies, but the enemies, for
a time, of the men who, a year ago, misgoverned you, and brought
about this unnatural war between two great republics. We are the
friends of the peaceful inhabitants of the country we occupy, and
the friends of your holy religion, its hierarchy, and its priesthood.
The same church is found in all parts of our own country, crowded
with devout Catholics, and respected by our government, laws, and
people.

For the church of Mexico, the unoffending inhabitants of the
country, and their property, I have, from the first, done everything
in my power to place them under the safe guard of martial law,
against the few bad men in this army.

My orders to that effect, known to all, are precise and rigorous.
Under them, several Americans have already been punished, by
fine, for the benefit of Mexicans, besides imprisonment; and one,
for a rape, has been hung by the neck.

Is this not a proof of good faith and energetic discipline?
Other proofs shall be given as often as injuries to Mexicans may
be detected.

On the other hand, injuries committed by individuals, or parties
of Mexico, not belonging to the public forces, upon individuals,
small parties, trains of wagons and teams, or of pack mules, or
on any other person or property belonging to this army, contrary
to the laws of war, shall be punished with rigor; or, if the particular
offenders be not delivered up by the Mexican authorities, the
punishment shall fall upon entire cities, towns, or neighborhoods.

Let, then, all good Mexicans remain at home, or at their peaceful
occupations; but they are invited to bring in for sale, horses,
mules, beef, cattle, corn, barley, wheat, flour for bread, and vegetables.
Cash will be paid for everything this army may take or purchase,
and protection will be given to all sellers. The Americans
are strong enough to offer these assurances, which, should Mexicans
wisely accept, this war may soon be happily ended, to the honor
and advantage of both belligerents. Then the Americans, having
converted enemies into friends, will be happy to take leave of Mexico,
and return to their own country.

WLNFIELD SCOTT.


128

Statement of Nicholas Dorich, an agent of Colonel Kinney, viz:

"Nicholas Dorich states, that when General Twiggs passed
through Boca Potraza, he did not permit him (Dorich) to be molested,
and that his division was furnished with beef, cattle, &c.;
but, when General Patterson's division came along, the volunteers
entered his house with an axe, cut down his doors, and he showed
them that he was a Spaniard, and had a Spanish security; the soldiers
tore it up; and a captain came in to prevent him from being
hurt, and the soldiers struck the captain and knocked him down,
and then attacked him, (Nicholas Dorich,) and hurt him in the face,
arm, and leg. Then the American officer told him that he could
not protect him; that, as he saw the men were very bad, he (Nicholas)
then ran away to the woods, and they (the soldiers) overtook
him and stripped him of all his clothes. That same evening he
came across some of our men who, finding him naked and scratched,
gave him a pair of shoes and a shirt.

General Patterson was furnished, by the officers who witnessed
these things, with a certificate of the treatment he had received;
of the fact that he had been robbed; also, the certificate gave the
companies to which the men belonged, and he thinks, their names.
They took from him about $500 in American gold and silver, which
had been paid to him by Colonel Kinney and Mr. Dawley for mules
and cattle. When he called on General Patterson, he was sick,
but he told him not to be concerned, that he would be reimbursed.

In consequence of this, (the outrage,) the people have lost the
confidence they had previously, and have gone into the woods.

They destroyed everything, even his well, though he had supplied
them with water and everything they wanted. They took off six
mules, too, and six asses. He gave one man a horse, saddle, and bridle,
because he had prevented the others from killing him. After he
got into the woods, they shot at him twice. One soldier, for trying
to protect our lives and property, was wounded with a bayonet.
Another died, from what cause I don't know, as I was in the woods.
I had gathered up some three hundred horses, mules, and cattle,
for the army, but owing to this disturbance, I turned them loose,
as did another man who was collecting for the same purpose. He
thinks these men belonged to the New York regiment, but does not
know. As the general (Twiggs) passed his house, he (the general)
ordered him not to sell liquor. When these men came up, they
asked for whiskey; he told them he had none; they threatened to
kill him unless he gave them some. He says the whole road
is lined with volunteers, in parties of 4, 5, and 6. Although
the officers came up after the first outrage, they told him that
the men knew he had liquor, and that they could do nothing with
them, and told him to let them have liquor, which he did. The
officers took it out. Then this party went away, and the following
destroyed everything."

The above named Nicholas Dorich was employed by me to furnish
supplies for the use of the United States army, which he has


129

done, together with Don Manuel Garcia, to [a] considerable extent,
and I believe his statement true.

H. L. KINNEY.

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 103.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Pending the possession of any port of the republic of Mexico,
by the forces of the United States of America, not an ounce of gold
or silver shall be shipped from the same, without a regular clearance
from its collector, who will charge, for the benefit of the
United States treasury, an export duty of six per centum upon
every such clearance and shipment.

By command of Major General Scott.
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 108.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

General orders, No. 103, of the 10th instant, respecting the shipment
of gold and silver, is suspended, and will so remain suspended,
as long as the drafts of the chief disbursing officers with this
army, on the principal cities of the United States, at short sight
(say from three to five days) can be cashed at par.

The present chief disbursing officers, alluded to above, are Captain
J. R. Irwin, quartermaster, Captain J. B. Grayson, commissary,
and Major E. Kirby, paymaster.

By command of Major General Scott.
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. General.

SIR:

I have received General Scott's letter to General Patterson,
of the 9th instant. I cannot determine what Santa Anna's
force is, nor could I be certain he was at Jalapa, or the vicinity,
until yesterday evening. His force is variously stated from two to
thirteen thousand; all the information, of course, from Mexicans,
and not to he relied on. One thing seems to be certain, that the
pass between this and Jalapa will be disputed. I have no doubt
but I shall reach the latter place with my command. The weather
has been so very warm that it is difficult to get the men on. Seventy-five
was absent yesterday afternoon at inspection; many come
up during the night. I shall reach "Plan del Rio," this evening,
where the advance of the Mexicans are posted. All, or nearly all,
of the inhabitants have left their homes, which to me is the
strongest proof that they think a fight is near at hand. Captain


130

Johnson, topographical engineers, who has been in the advance,
and questioned most of the Mexicans, thinks Santa Anna's force
cannot exceed four thousand. To-morrow (the 12th) we shall be
able to state with more certainty the position of the Mexicans.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. E. TWIGGS,
Brigadier General U. S. Army.
Captain H. L. SCOTT,
Adjutant General, U. S. Army.

GENERAL:

I have, from three different Mexicans, who had not
seen each other, information of the pass being in possession of the
enemy in some force. The only question is as to his forces. I do
not believe he is as strong as your information represented. But
that there are troops under arms, and in possession of the pass,
cannot be doubted. My information states that General Langardo
compelled one thousand of the troops, embraced in the capitulation
at Vera Cruz, to take up arms.

Respectfully,
GID. J. PILLOW,
Brigadier General U. S. Army.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

The President has commissioned Brigadier Generals Pillow
and Quitman, Major Generals, and they have been ordered to
report to you for duty. It is the expectation of the President that
they will be assigned to duty with the column of the army in
Mexico under your immediate command.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant.
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General SCOTT,
Commanding, &c.

[Confidential.]

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

The signal successes which have attended our military
operations since the commencement of the present war, would
seem to justify the expectation that Mexico will be disposed to
offer fair terms of accommodation. With a view to a result so
desirable, the President has commissioned Nicholas P. Trist, esq.,


131

of the State Department, to proceed to your head-quarters or to
the squadron, as to him may seem most convenient, and be in readiness
to receive any proposal which the enemy may see fit to make
for the restoration of peace.

Mr. Trist is clothed with such diplomatic powers as will authorize
him to enter into arrangements with the government of
Mexico for the suspension of hostilities. Should he make known
to you, in writing, that the contingency has occurred, in consequence
of which the President is willing that further active military
operations should cease, you will regard such notice as a
direction from the President to suspend them until further orders
from this department, unless continued or recommenced by the
enemy; but in so doing, you will not retire from any place you
may occupy, or abstain from any change of position which you
may deem necessary to the health or safety of the troops under
your command, unless, on consultation with Mr. Trist, a change in
the position of your forces should be deemed necessary to the success
of the negotiations for peace. Until hostilities, as herein proposed,
shall be intermitted, you will continue to carry on your
operations with energy, and push your advantages as far as your
means will enable you to do.

Mr. Trist is also the bearer of a despatch to the secretary of foreign
affairs of the government of Mexico, in reply to one addressed
to the Secretary of State here. You will transmit that despatch to
the commander of the Mexican forces, with a request that it may
be laid before his government, at the same time giving information
that Mr. Trist, an officer from our department for foreign affairs,
next in rank to its chief, is at your head-quarters or on board the
squadron, as the case may be.

You will afford Mr. Trist all the accommodation and facilities in
your power to enable him to accomplish the objects of his mission.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Comd'g the army of the U. S., Mexico.

P. S. Should a suspension of hostilities take place, you will
lose no time in communicating the fact to Major General Taylor.

SIR:

It affords me pleasure to be the medium of communicating
to you, and through you, to the army under your command, the accompanying
preamble and resolutions adopted by the common
council of the city of New York, unanimously expressing their appreciation
of the skill and valor of the officers and men, as therein
named in said resolutions.


132

A copy of these resolutions has been transmitted to Major General
Taylor.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding U. S. Army, Mexico.

SIR:

I am directed by the President to call your attention to the
seventeenth section of the act of Congress entitled "An act to
make provision for an additional number of general officers and for
other purposes," passed on the 3d of March last, and to request
you to take proper measures to enable him to bestow upon meritorious
non-commissioned officers and privates in the army, who have
distinguished themselves, the benefits of its provisions.

He is very desirous that all those who have earned the reward it
confers, by their gallant conduct, should receive it without delay.
It is conceived that the provisions of the seventeenth section are
general; that is, they extend to non-commissioned officers and privates
in the volunteer ranks, as well as those in the regiments constituting
the regular establishment.

To entitle a non-commissioned officer, who has distinguished himself,
to a brevet, he must be recommended by the commanding
officer of the regiment to which he belongs. It will, therefore, be
proper that you should apprise the commanding officers of the several
regiments in the army under your command of this provision
of the law, and the expectation of the President that they should
furnish recommendations of those non-commissioned officers who
have earned for themselves the advancement which Congress has
provided.

The means by which the President is to acquire the information
to satisfy him that privates have so conducted themselves as to be
entitled to certificates, is not indicated in the act of Congress.
You are therefore directed by the President, through the report of
their immediate commanding officers, or in such other manner as
you may think proper, to cause to be presented to the President a
list of those privates in the army under your command who are
deemed to be entitled to the benefit of the seventeenth section of
the act above referred to.

Mere general good deportment, and a faithful discharge of ordinary
duties, will not alone, in the opinion of the department, entitle
either a non-commissioned officer or a private to the benefit of
the law, for so much is expected of all in the service. Such conduct
does not constitute a distinction. It is desired, so far as it
can be practicably done, that the recommendation or report in each
case should specify the conduct or acts of the soldier which are
considered as entitling him to the reward of distinction.

I herewith send you a sufficient number of copies of the section


133

of the act of Congress to which I have called your attention, to
enable you to furnish one to each commandant of a regiment and
other officers from whom information can be derived, which will be
serviceable to the President in the discharge of the pleasing duty
of dispensing rewards to the well deserving.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding U. S. Army, Mexico.

N. B. A similar letter has been sent to Major General Taylor,
with copies of the section of the law above referred to.

SIR:

I have received your despatch of the 19th ultimo, announcing
your signal success over the enemy at Cerro Gordo, and also
that of the 23d of the same month, with the accompanying reports
of those in subordinate command, giving a detail of the operations
of your army at that place.

It is it pleasing duty to be again, and so soon, the medium of
making known to you and to the brave officers and soldiers under
your command, the President's high appreciation of the skill and
prowess by which so decisive a victory was won, and our arms
again crowned with superadded glory. The carrying of positions,
so strong by nature and strengthened by art, and defended by far
superior numbers, followed, as it was, by an almost total rout of a
large army, is an achievement seldom equalled in the records of
military operations. It has called forth the praise and excited the
admiration of a grateful people, and will stand conspicuous on the
pages of our history.

While rejoicing at this signal triumph of our arms, the nation is
not unmindful of what is due to the memory of the gallant men
who fell at Cerro Gordo. It mourns their fate, sympathises with
their afflicted families and friends, and will ever cherish a lively
recollection of their devoted service and heroic deeds.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Comdg. U. S. Army, Mexico.


134

No. 25.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

My present efforts, with very insufficient trains, are to get
up to this place, from Vera Cruz, while we may, say in the next
two weeks, as many essential supplies as practicable—such as
clothing, ammunition, medicines, salt, &c., &c. Breadstuffs, beef,
mutton, sugar, coffee, rice, beans, and forage we may hope to find,
though not in convenient places or in great abundance, on our line
of operations. For these we must pay or they will be withheld,
concealed, or destroyed by the owners, whose national hatred of
us remains unabated. I shall continue to do all in my power to
conquer that hatred, but cannot as yet promise myself success; and
if I cannot enforce the utmost economy in the use of such supplies,
by causing them to be collected and regularly issued by the proper
departments of the staff, we shall further exasperate and ruin
the country, and starve ourselves. A rigid discipline, exact obedience
to orders, is then the first and great want of this army. Of
valor and patriotism there is no deficiency.

The first fifty miles this side of Vera Cruz, up to Cerro Gordo,
with the exception perhaps of one locality, are as deadly to strangers
as any part of the coast from the beginning to the end of the
rainy season. That season may commence in May, but certainly,
if not earlier, the first week in June.

Now, independent of the superabundant cautions given me in
your letter of March 13th, about the health and lives of the troops,
I beg to say, that I am myself too careful of human life, the lives
of all the troops of this army, regulars as well as volunteers, to
risk garrisons along those fifty miles of road during that season.
To be of any service, at least four posts would be necessary, and
those would not dispense with the necessity of escorts to trains as
at present, to guard them against rancheros and other irregular
troops of the enemy, who are well acquainted with the country and
natives of the climate. But I did expect, up to yesterday, that
detachments of the new regiments would, as you had informed me,
begin to arrive in this month and continue to follow, perhaps, into
June. Accordingly, I had made arrangements to place a new train
at Vera Cruz, under each successive detachment of those troops,
to follow me, in addition to the old trains sent back to that depot.
Probably the last of these old trains will go down under a strong
escort, to-morrow; and yesterday I learned, by your letter of the
22d, and the adjutant general's of the 26th ult., that all the recruits
of the regiments—some 3,000, raised or likely to be raised, in time for
this army—have been ordered to the Rio Grande. Therefore the
last supplies that I may expect from Vera Cruz, I know not in
what time, must come up by the train that I am to despatch tomorrow.
But I have caused instructions (copy herewith) to be
sent to Brigadier General Cadwalader, requesting that at least a
part of the new troops, according to the state of the Rio Grande
base of operations, might be sent to this army, via Vera Cruz.


135

The distance is great, and I have no certain intelligence from Major
General Taylor, later than his victory at Buena Vista, save
that he had cleared his rear of the enemy, and the general belief at
this place, which I begin to doubt, that he has reached San Luis
de Potosi. I have sent an emissary to communicate with him,
wherever he may be; but if not at or on this side of that city, I
may not hear from him in many weeks. I may add that it is the
universal opinion of well informed persons in this country, that
troops may land at Vera Cruz, and by marching promptly, reach
this healthy region, with little or no loss from disease, as late as
sometime in June; whereas, even Mexicans, of the upper country,
would suffer greatly in a week, by a visit to the tierra caliente.
Here the weather is uncomfortably cool and requiring winter clothing,
at the end of April; twenty-five miles below, the heat, except
in the northers, is distressing early in March. Unfortunately, very
many of our men, regulars as well as volunteers, have lost both
great coats and blankets, and the volunteers are otherwise badly
clad. How many of the latter will re-engage under the act approved
March 3d, only received two days ago, I know not; probably
but few. Hence the greater my disappointment, caused by
sending the new troops to the Rio Grande; for, besides their keeping
the road in our present rear, open for many weeks, by marches,
in successive detachments, I had intended, as I advanced, to leave
strong garrisons in this place, in Perote, and Puebla, and to keep,
at the head of the movement, a force equal to any probable opposition.
It may now depend on the number of old volunteers who
may re-engage, and the number of new troops that may arrive
from the Brassos in time, as also, in some degree, upon the advance
of Major General Taylor, whether I shall find this army in strength
to leave the garrisons and to occupy the capital. In the mean
time Brevet Major General Worth has advanced a brigade some
fifteen miles beyond Perote, to enlarge his sphere of supplies, and
I shall put the other two divisions in march in order to be able to
occupy Puebla, as soon as the two trains, sent back to Vera Cruz
six and seven days ago, shall have returned.

On receiving the news of the disasters at Cerro Gordo, the Mexican
Congress immediately passed a series of resolutions, (of which
I send an indifferent translation,) breathing defiance and war to the
last extremity. It will be seen that General Santa Anna is virtually
deprived of the presidency. He is at present at Cordova or
Orizaba, endeavoring to create a new army of irregulars; but without
arms, magazines, or a military chest. Other generals are also
endeavoring to prepare for a guerrilla war upon our detachments,
trains and stragglers, and they may, without great precautions on
our part, do much harm in the aggregate.

Notwithstanding the violence of the congress, I know by private
advices, that there is a large party of moderate men, in the capital
and elsewhere, in favor of negotiations and peace. I have also
reason to believe that the British minister has again tendered the
mediation of his government, which the congress has taken into
consideration. After the first effervescence of rage shall have expired,


136

and we shall have approached nearer to the capital, perhaps
the counsels of prudence may prevail with the people and the
government.

I send, through the quartermaster's department, the Mexican colors
taken by Major General Worth at Perote, in all, standards and
guidons, fourteen, which added to seven taken at Cerro Gordo and
at Vera Cruz, may make about twenty-five captured at the several
places.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most
obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

We already occupy Perote, and shall soon occupy Puebla.
Indeed, we might safely take possession of Mexico, without a loss
perhaps, of one hundred men. Our dangers and difficulties are all
in the rear—between this place and Vera Cruz:—1st. The season of
the year, heat—and below Cerro Gordo, sand and disease:—2nd.
An impossibility (almost,) of establishing any intermediate post—
say at the National Bridge—or any other point, on account of disease,
and the want of sufficient supplies within easy reach:—3d.
The danger of having our trains cut and destroyed by the exasperated
rancheros, whose houses are thinly scattered over a wide surface,
and whom it is almost impossible, with our small cavalry
force, to pursue and to punish:—and 4th. The consequent necessity
of escorting trains seventy odd miles up, and the same down, with a
meagre cavalry that must from day to day become, from that intolerable
service, more and more meagre.

I have stated the situation of this advanced army, strongly, to
show how infinitely important it is, that we should, as speedily as
possible, while the season may permit us, get up to this healthy
region, all essential supplies. Those supplies fall within the ordnance,
quartermaster's, commissary, and medical departments. The
chief of each with me, has been instructed to write to the proper
chief at Vera Cruz accordingly, and I desire you to give a rigid
attention to those requisitions, and make yourself sure that, as fast
and as far as practicable, they are complied with. I put down,
myself, in this place, the supplies which I hold to be indispensable,
leaving the amount of each article to the respective chiefs
here and at Vera Cruz, viz: medicines and hospital stores, clothing
for troops, salt, ammunition, shoes for animals, and coffee; articles
only a little inferior in importance are, knapsacks, blankets,
hard bread, bacon, and camp kettles; sugar, flour, rice, fresh meat,
beans, and forage, we hope to find in the country. The above lists
of indispensable articles, and of articles almost equally so, may


137

not be complete, but it is nearly so. See the requisitions which
will be sent from this place.

The new troops raised for the war, and recruits for old regiments,
will arrive after a short time, at Vera Cruz, almost daily.
If the city should become sickly, that is, should an epidemic prevail,
you will detain on board the transports all detachments, until
the means of transportation can be found for each, so that it may
pass rapidly through or around the city, and be as little exposed
as possible to infection. If the railroad can be put into operation, it
will be an immense gain in saving the loaded wagons the necessity
of dragging heavily up the sand hills towards Santa Fé. Give a
prompt attention to this saving, and possibly, in the case of the
vomito, supplies and troops may be advantageously landed by means
of surf boats, north of the city, and thence proceed to join the army.

It is propable that I may establish a small post at Passo de
Obejas, some six miles nearer to you than the National Bridge.
There are many buildings at this point, said to be the least unhealthy
below Cerro Gordo, where there is no shelter and few or
no supplies of any kind within a reasonable distance. At the Passo
de Obejas are bridges, good water, some grain, and beef cattle.
If these be carefully used and not wasted, they will save a great
deal of wagoning from Vera Cruz. The post will be within your
command and require your strictest instructions. I have sent down,
by a train, seven colors and standards, which I desire you to have
carefully boxed up and forwarded to the adjutant general. Another
train, that will pass Cerro Gordo to-day, will take down six
of the forty-three captured guns from that place. Add the twelve
pieces selected by Captain Huger, (inquire of Captain Daniels,)
from the defences of the city, and send the eighteen to New York,
direct, or via New Orleans. On the subject of trophies, give my
compliments to Commodore Perry, and beg him to select and ship
for home, six guns from the Castle of San Juan d'Ulloa. I may
send the remaining guns from Cerro Gordo, but wish no more to
be taken as trophies from Vera Cruz and its castle.

Lose no opportunity of sending the mails of the army, particularly
letters addressed to general head-quarters.

Having not a moment to copy, please send this letter to the adjutant
general for the Secretary of War.

With great respect, yours truly,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
To Brevet Colonel WILSON,
Commander and Governor of Vera Cruz.

P. S. The general-in-chief desires me to add, that the wagons,
eight in number, which Captain Hetzel was desired to appropriate
to the transportation of engineers' tools, must not be diverted from
that use.

Very respectfully,
H. L. SCOTT, A. A. A. G.


138

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have received your very interesting report, dated yesterday,
informing me that you had occupied Perote, and giving a list
of the ordnance found in the castle.

This army cannot advance until we are assured of the receipt of
important supplies from Vera Cruz—clothing, ammunition, salt,
medicines, hospital stores, &c., &c. The remaining section of the
seige train has arrived.

As soon as you can assure me that your means of subsistence
derived from the country, are secured, I shall order Twiggs' division
to replace you at Perote, and allow your division to advance
to Puebla, with the seize train that I shall send forward as soon as
the draught animals are a little refreshed here. Some salt I hope
also to send you. The remainder of your subsistence, and all your
forage, you will have to gather from the country. Forage is very
scarce here as well as subsistence.

One train of wagons was despatched, and another to-day, to Vera
Cruz. Brigadier General Quitman's brigade, and 240 of the Tennessee
horse came up to-day without an extra ration, against my
positive orders, given at Vera Cruz. This neglect cannot fail to
exhaust our supplies here rapidly.

I am organizing measures for protecting our line of communication
with Vera Cruz. There is but one point for a garrison, not
deadly sickly in the whole line, Passo de Obejo, six miles the other
side of the National Bridge.

I have time to say no more.

Yours, &c.,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Brevet Major General WORTH, &c., &c.

SIR:

I am wishing to communicate with you and in the smallest
space. I hear with joy that you are at S. Luis de Potosi, and, perhaps,
in full march near the capital. May continued success attend
you! This army has added something to the glory obtained by
yours. General orders, No. 80, I hope to send with this note.
Delayed at Vera Cruz, by the want of transportation, we began to
advance the 8th instant, and obtained, the 18th, at the Pass of
Cerro Gordo, (21 miles below,) a signal victory—3,000 prisoners,
and twice as many small arms, 43 pieces of artillery, 7 colors,
5 generals, (besides one killed,) ammunition, &c., &c. Santa
Anna, Canalizo, Ampudia, &c., &c., escaped. The pursuit was
vigorous. Some stores were taken here; some abandoned artillery,
at La Hoya, a terrible pass, some ten miles ahead; and at Perote,
66 pieces, ammunition, &c., &c. Mexico has no longer an army,
the foot is nearly dissolved, or certainly much dispersed, and, perhaps,


139

there are not 15 guns in Mexico and on this side. Our advance
is in the castle of Perote; thence to the capital hardly a show
of resistance is to be expected. Yet, we cannot, at once, advance
in force. We are obliged to look to the rear. The yellow fever
at Vera Cruz, and on the road, fifty miles this way, may soon cut
us off from our depot. Deep sand, disease, and bands of exasperated
rancheros, constitute difficulties. With an inadequate train
we are endeavoring to get here, essentials, before heat and disease
cut us off from Vera Cruz. Our cavalry is already meagre, and
from escorting, becoming daily more so. Worth, however, will
march from Perote upon Puebla in a day or two, to be replaced
by Patterson or Twiggs; we shall follow, and be with the advance,
as soon as the essentials are secured. Ammunition, medicines,
clothing (all behind,) salt, &c., &c. A small seige train and half
ammunition, are up. We must subsist on the country, paying for
what is brought in, &c. I am much embarrassed with the old volunteers,
in reference to their return through the yellow fever, if late
in May, or June; and I am wholly ignorant of the approach of the
new regiments lately authorized. The discharge of the former, depends
on the approach of the latter, and the movements of each
may be arrested by the vomito. Yet depots, along a line of 275
miles, will be needed, and a competent fighting force at the head of
operations. When I may advance beyond Puebla, is, therefore,
yet doubtful. I shall feel my way according to information. The
resources of the country are not abundant, or not near the road,
except to a limited extent. If I were sure that you were at San
Luis de Potosi, and in a condition to advance, I should see my way
rather better. I do not mean in respect to fighting dangers; for I
doubt whether we (or either of us,) will have another seige or
battle; but in respect to overtures for a peace, or an armistice. As
yet, no such overture has been heard of. An armistice, if strictly
observed by the enemy, would give security to our lines of communication
with main depots, but still liable to be cut off from the
principal and nearer one (Vera Cruz,) by yellow fever there, and
for fifty miles this side. Within that distance, I doubt whether I
can hazard a depot or garrison. I suppose that your occupation of
San Luis de Potosi, and advance upon the capital, might increase
the chances of a peace or an armistice; but many intelligent persons
believe that to occupy the capital and fifty other important
points would not end the war, and that the enemy, without an
army, would still hold out and operate against our trains, small
parties and stragglers, with rancheros on the guerrilla plan. Let
me hear from you by the return of the bearer, and by others, as
you may. I am only allowed this small piece of paper, to be concealed.

Most truly yours,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
To Major General TAYLOR.


140

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have the instructions of the general-in-chief to say, that
you will please embark such detachments of the new regiments as
may have been ordered by the War Department to Point Isabel, as
rapidly as they arrive, with instructions for them to proceed to
Vera Cruz, and thence join the general head-quarters of the army
in Mexico, where they are much needed.

It is important, to prevent delay, to forward from the Brassos all
available means of land transportation for the march from Vera
Cruz; and you will please make a call on the quartermaster at the
Brassos accordingly.

This order for the troops you will consider conditional on the
safety of the line of the Rio Grande, concerning which little doubt
is entertained by the general-in-chief since the victory of Buena
Vista. He relies, however, upon your own sound judgment to determine,
on the spot, whether that line would be too much exposed
by the withdrawal of the troops in question. You will please
therefore consider yourself authorized to order the whole or such
part as may appear to you most suitable.

If those troops be divided, you will command the larger body,
whether it should come to Vera Cruz or remain upon the line of the
Rio Grande.

Whatever may be your determination in respect to other troops,
you will please at once order Ruff's company of the mounted rifles,
with horses, to join its regiment via Vera Cruz.

Should the line of the Rio Grande appear entirely secure, you
will please stop any further landing of troops at the Brassos, or, if
possible, anticipate their sailing thither from New Orleans, to
direct them as they successively arrive, at either place, to proceed
to Vera Cruz, and thence join the head-quarters of the army.

No doubt is entertained that the health of such troops may be
preserved by the troops being kept on ship-board, in the harbor of
Vera Cruz; until the requisite means of transportation are in
readiness for them to commence their march towards Jalapa and
beyond.

We have information here, which is credited, that Major General
Taylor has taken possession of San Luis Potosi without opposition.

We have also Mexican papers of the 21st instant, from the
capital, which breathe any thing but peace, while they deplore the
total defeat, capture, and rout of the Mexican army, under Santa
Anna, at Cerro Gordo, on the 18th instant.

Santa Anna, after the battle, fled to Orizaba, and is now engaged
in organizing guerilla parties, which policy the Mexicans have determined
in future to adopt. The government, in anticipation of
our advance upon the capital, is already concerting measures for
making the government moveable; and, with additional troops to relieve
the old volunteers whose term of service is about to expire,
we cannot fail to afford the Mexican people such convincing proofs


141

of the imbecility of their government, that every thinking man
must become satisfied that peace must be had.

I have the honor to be, &c.
H. L. SCOTT,
A. A. A. G.
Brigadier General CADWALADER,
U. S. Army, Brassos Santiago.

Extracts from El Monitor, published in the city of Mexico:
PROCLAMATION.

The citizen Mariana Salas, general of brigade and colonel of the
regiment Hidalgo, to my fellow citizens:

My friends:

The present moment is the most proper to excite the
public spirit and form a nation of men truly free. When an enemy
triumphs by his union to rob us of our dearest interests, there is
nothing more sure and more certain than to vanquish him by valor
and constancy.

For this end I have obtained permission to raise a guerilla corps,
with which to attack and destroy the invaders, in every manner
imaginable. The conduct of the enemy, contrary both to humanity
and natural rights, authorizes us to pursue him without pity,
(misericordia.) War without pity, unto death! will be the motto of
the guerilla warfare of vengeance. Therefore I invite all my fellow
citizens, especially my brave subordinates, to unite at general
head-quarters to enrol themselves, from nine until three in the
afternoon, so that it may be organized in the present week.

JOSE MARIANA SALAS. MEXICO, April 21, 1847.

Congress and Government..

Yesterday, at a public session, the ministry gave an account of
the unfortunate events at Cerro Gordo; it showed that the government,
not losing courage at the reverse, were already taking the
most efficacious measures to oppose new forces to the invaders; it
protested that his excellency the president was determined to die
sooner than treat with the infamous government of the United
States, and, in order to act with the energy which circumstances
required, it hoped that extraordinary powers would be granted to
it, demanding to be restricted in such manner as to prevent it from
making peace. Congress, at 10 in the evening, approved the following
law.

"The sovereign constitutional Congress of Mexico, in use of the


142

full powers with which it has been invested by the people of the
republic for the sacred object of preserving its nationality, and
faithful interpreters of the firm determination of their constituents
to carry on the war which the government of the United States is
waging against the nation, without losing courage at any kind of
reverses; and considering that, in these circumstances, the first
public necessity is to preserve a centre of union, to direct the
national defence, with all the energy which the state of things
demand, and to avoid even the danger of a revolutionary power
arising to dissolve the national union and destroy its institutions,
or to consent to dismember its territory, has decreed the following:

Article 1.

The supreme government of the union has power to
take the necessary measures to carry on the war, defend the
nationality of the republic, and to save the republican form of
government, popular and federal, under which the nation is constituted.

2.

The foregoing article does not authorize the executive to make
a peace with the United States, conclude negotiations with foreign
powers, nor alienate the whole or a part of the territory of the
republic.

3.

Neither does it give the executive powers to ratify treaties of
colonization, impose punishments, nor confer other civil or military
offices than those whose appointment is expressly allowed by the
constitution.

4.

Will be null and illegal, all treaties or arrangements that
may be entered into between the United States and any authority
who, subverting the actual order of things, should substitute itself
for the supreme powers of the union legally established.

5.

Every individual is declared a traitor, who, either as a private
individual, or as a public officer, either privately, or invested with
any incompetent authority, or of revolutionary origin, shall treat
with the government of the United States.

6.

In case the present Congress should find it impossible to continue
its sessions, a permanent commission will immediately be
appointed, composed of the oldest individual of each deputation
that may be present.

7.

This commission, for want of the Congress, will perform the
duties of the council of government; will name, in case of vacancy,
the person to perform the duties, for the time being, of the executive
power of the republic; will take an account of the votes in
the coming election for president; place the" person named in
power, and convene the national representation.

8.

The powers which it confers upon the government, in the
present decree, will cease as soon as the war comes to an end."

In honor of this legislative body, it must be said that eighty
members were present, and that no sentiments were heard except
those of patriotism. May thus the common danger unite all Mexicans,
and even the name of our fatal divisions disappear.


143

SIR:

I have received your communication of the 28th ultimo, in
relation to troops having been sent to the Brassos instead of your
column.

It is proper that I should refer to the state of things as they
were here understood to exist in that quarter when General Cadwalader
received orders to repair to the Rio Grande, and the
troops, then about to depart to the seat of war, were directed to
that point. It was then known here that Santa Anna had moved,
with his large army, to attack General Taylor. Indeed, rumors
prevailed here that a battle had been fought at or near Saltillo, of
a much less decisive character than subsequent authentic accounts
showed it to have been. There was reason to fear that General
Taylor had retreated to Monterey. It was known that his communication
with the Rio Grande was interrupted, and the whole line
on that river threatened. The security of General Taylor's army
was deemed to depend upon maintaining the base of the Rio
Grande, supposed to be seriously threatened, and upon opening the
communication between it and our army at Saltillo or Monterey.
In this state of things, the new levies, &c., were urged forward to
the Brassos to meet a critical emergency, not unlikely to happen,
which would require them in that quarter. The Brassos continued
to be the destination of most of the troops sent to the seat of war,
until it was here astertained that General Taylor had achieved
a glorious victory at Buena Vista, and driven back General Santa
Anna and his large army, and that the Rio Grande was secure, and
the communication to the army under General Taylor was firmly
re-established.

This information reached here about the time of that which apprised
us of your successful debarkation and the investment of the
city of Vera Cruz. Thereupon, orders were issued from the department
in April for the troops at the Brassos, and those en route
destined for your column, forthwith to join you, and I trust that,
by this time, a considerable body of them have reached your
column. A confident expectation is here entertained that the
troops which will join you, before the term of those engaged for
twelve months shall have expired, will be quite equal to the number
of volunteers entitled to a discharge, and that, by the end of
June, your column will be nearly twenty thousand men.

My communication of the 30th ultimo, and others of that date
from this department, will give you full information on this subject.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding United States Army, Mexico.


144

No. 26.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

The accompanying papers, general orders No. 135, and
copy of a letter of this date, to Brevet Major General Worth, at
Perote, will show, to some extent, my occupations and the position
of the army.

The subject of that order (the old volunteers) has given me long
and deep solicitude. To part with so large and so respectable a
portion of the army, in the middle of a country, which, though
broken in its power, is not yet disposed to sue for peace; to provide
for the return home of seven regiments from this interior position,
at a time when I find it quite difficult to provide transportation
and supplies for the operating forces which remain; and all
this without any prospect of succor or reinforcement, in perhaps
the next seven months, beyond some three hundred army recruits,
present novelties utterly unknown to any invading army before.

With the addition of ten or twelve thousand new levies, in
April and May, asked for, and until very recently expected, or
even with the addition of the two or three thousand new troops
destined for this army, but suddenly, by the orders of the War Department,
diverted to the Rio Grande frontier, I might, notwithstanding
the unavoidable discharge of the old volunteers, seven regiments
and two independent companies, advance with confidence
upon the enemy's capital. I shall, nevertheless, advance, but
whether beyond Puebla, will depend on intervening information
and reflection. The general panic given to the enemy at Cerro
Gordo still remaining, I think it probable that we shall go to
Mexico; or if the enemy recover from that, we must renew the
consternation by another blow. Puebla, it is known, does not
hope to resist our progress, but stands ready to receive us amicably,
or at least courteously. Our difficulties lie in gathering in
subsistence from a country covered with exasperated guerillas and
banditti, and maintaining, with inadequate garrisons and escorts,
communications with the rear. So far, we have not lost a train or
an express rider between our advanced post at Tepeyalhualco and
Vera Cruz, a distance of forty-one leagues.

The discharge of the old volunteers, and the rather unexpected
increase of the means of transportation, here and at Vera Cruz,
have prevented my personal advance longer than I had expected
at the date (28th ultimo) of my last report. Those new means,
combined with the old, sent down to Vera Cruz, may make up a
train of wheels and packs equal to 600 wagons. It ought to leave
the water depot on the 9th instant, in which case, with an escort
of some 400 men from that point, and the returning volunteers in
detachments, fifteen miles apart, on the road, the train would be
sufficiently protected; but it has become doubtful to-day whether
that valuable train, with, among other supplies indispensable to
this army, nearly a million of dollars in specie, will be ready to
leave Vera Cruz before the arrival there of all the old volunteers.


145

Hence I am engaged in sending off detachments of horse and foot,
to meet and escort the train to this place.

I cannot foresee that more than one other train, from the want of
escorts, may be expected up, in many months. I allude to the
wagons which are going down with the old volunteers, together
with some additions which may be made below, and which must
wait to come up to this depot, under the escort of Captains Ruff's
and Walkers recruits at New Orleans, first ordered to the Brassos,
but by countermand, from Washington, now expected at Vera
Cruz.

I cannot yet say how many of the old volunteers have re-enlisted
for the war, or may so re-enlist at Vera Cruz, prior to embarkation;
but probably in all, not more than four minimum companies. I
preferred that the formation of the new companies should be made
below, as they would be in position to escort up any new train.

I have no news of Major General Taylor, later than, about the
25th of the month before the last. My emissary to him, has not
returned, but has probably gone as far as Monterey.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon WM. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

P. S. My latest despatches from Washington were acknowledged
in my report of the 28th ultimo. It is from New Orleans
that I have learned the rifle recruits there have been ordered to
Vera Cruz.

W. S.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

The general-in-chief desires me to say that, learning that
but few, if any, of the old volunteers will re-volunteer, upon the
expiration of their term of service, he has determined, to avoid exposing
them to the vomito at Vera Cruz later in the season, to discharge
at once all who are not willing to re-volunteer now. He
accordingly desires that you require the quartermaster at Vera Cruz
to have in readiness, in the course of ten or twelve days, or as
soon as practicable, transports for 3,000 troops.

I am, &c.,
H. L. SCOTT, A. A. A. G.
Colonel H. WILSON,
Commanding, Vera Cruz, &c.

GENERAL ORDERS,
No. 135.

HEAD-QUARTERS or THE ARMY,

Extracts of a recent act of Congress, published in the general
orders, No. 14, dated at the War Department, March 27, 1847,


146

provide for and invite the tender of "the services of such of the
volunteers, now in Mexico, who may, at the termination of the
present term, voluntarily engage to serve during the war with
Mexico."

The general order containing those extracts reached the general-in-chief
at this place some nine days ago, and was immediately sent
to the head-quarters of the volunteers for prompt circulation among
the regiments present, and appealed to, viz: the Tennessee cavalry,
the 3d and 4th Illinois infantry, the 1st and 2d Tennessee infantry,
the Georgia infantry, and the Alabama infantry, whose several
terms of service will, it is understood, expire in four, five, or six
weeks.

The general-in-chief regrets to learn, through a great number of
undoubted channels, that, in all probability, not one man in ten, of
those regiments, will be inclined to volunteer for the war. This
pre-determination offers, in his opinion, no ground for reproach,
considering the long, arduous, faithful and gallant services of those
corps, however deeply all will regret the consequent and unavoidable
delay in the prosecution of this war to an early and honorable
peace; for the general-in-chief cannot, in humanity and good faith,
cause regiments entitled, in a few weeks, to an honorable discharge,
to advance farther from the coast in the pursuit of the
enemy, and thereby throw them upon the necessity of returning to
embark at Vera Cruz, at the season known to be, at that place, the
most fatal to life.

Accordingly, the regiments of old volunteers, and the independent
company of Kentucky volunteers, serving with this army, will
stand ready, on the return of the large train from below, to march
to Vera Cruz, and thence to embark for New Orleans, where they
will be severally and honorably mustered out of the service of the
United States, and paid off by the proper officers on duty there.

This order will be sent to those officers, and the governor and
commander of Vera Cruz, who has been instructed to have the
necessary transports ready by the early arrival of the returning
troops.

There is nothing in the foregoing intended to interfere with the
invitation, presented by Congress and the President, to re-enlistments,
on the part of the old volunteers. On the contrary, the
general-in-chief ardently hopes that many new companies will be
formed out of those old troops, and presented for continued service,
according to that invitation. He will gladly accept them for
the war, and cause them, if not embodied into battalions, to be
temporarily attached to the weaker regiments of the regular army,
as indicated in the President's orders, No. 14, above recited.

Horses of the Tennessee cavalry, as well as officers' horses, generally,
if desired by their owners, who may decline re-volunteering,
will be paid for by the quartermaster's department here, at a fair
valuation. The same disposition may be made of saddles and bridles,
if needed for the public service.

The four regiments of new volunteers present will be formed
into a brigade under Brigadier General Quitman, who will designate


147

one of the four for Jalapa and another for Perote, to constitute
parts of the garrisons of those places. He will receive orders
for the commencement of his march at general head-quarters.

Major General Patterson, rendered for the moment supernumerary
with this army, will accompany the returning volunteers of
his late gallant division, and render them such assistance on the
way as he well knows how to give. He will report in person at
Washington, or by letter from New Orleans, for further orders
from the War Department.

This distinguished general officer will please accept the thanks
of the general-in-chief, for the gallant, able and efficient support
uniformly received from the second in rank of this army.

By command of Major General Scott.
H. L. SCOTT, A. A. A. G.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Having designated a regiment to constitute a part of the
garrison at this place, you will advance, with the three remaining
regiments of your brigade, by the national road to Perote, and there
report yourself to Brevet Major General Worth, who has been regularly
assigned to duty according to that brevet.

At Perote you will designate to Major General Worth another
of your regiments, to constitute the principal part of the garrison
of that castle.

I shall endeavor to hold the other two regiments of your brigade
together for the remainder of the campaign.

As you will follow closely the first division of regulars, from Perote
to Puebla, it is not deemed necessary to assign to your brigade
an engineer, topographical engineer or ordnance officer, as officers
of those branches of the staff will be at the head of the movement.

With great respect, &c.,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Brigadier General QUITMAN,
U. S. A., &c., &c., &c.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Brigadier General Quitman, with three regiments of his volunteer
brigade, and a train with some general supplies for
the army, will march for Perote to-morrow morning. Herewith
you will find a copy of my instructions to him.

You will perceive that a regiment of the same brigade is to constitute
the principal part of the garrison of the castle of Perote.
The remainder, artillerists, sufficient to serve the batteries, you will
detach from your division.


148

That matter being attended to, and you being assured of the necessary
transportation and supplies on the road, I wish you to advance,
with your division and Quitman's brigade, (two regiments
of volunteers,) and take and hold Puebla.

No part of the force under your immediate orders will be advanced
beyond Puebla, or detached in any direction, except
for purposes strictly defensive, or to small distances for necessary
supplies, until further instructions from me.

An assistant quartermaster is about to be sent to you, who may
be left at Perote in charge of the depots you have caused to be
collected at the latter place, and for the further purpose of satisfying,
when in funds, any contracts made under your orders for supplies;
or you may leave at Perote, for those purposes, the disbursing
officer or officers now with you, and take the assistant quartermaster
with you to Puebla.

If you commence the advance on Puebla in two, three or four
days, after being joined by the volunteer brigade, it will be sufficient,
as I do not, at present, hope to reach Puebla myself, with the
second division of regulars, or a part of it, in less than fifteen
days, as I shall necessarily be detained here until the arrival of the
heavy train that will leave Vera Cruz between the 9th and 12th instant,
and may rest a day or two at Perote.

You are so well acquainted with all my plans and views—including
the lively desire of conciliating the unoffending inhabitants of
the country, by protecting their persons and property—and my confidence
in your judgment, activity and intelligence being unlimited,
I deem it unnecessary to encumber you with further cautions or instructions.

Most truly, &c., &c.,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Brevet Major General WORTH,
Army, &c., &c., Perote.

No. 27.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have just received from Mr. Trist, chief clerk of the Department
of State, a letter, dated yesterday, at Vera Cruz, with
which he has sent me two from you, dated the 12th, and a third,
the 14th ultimo.

I enclose herewith a copy of my reply to Mr. Trist, and send one
of your letters of the 12th—that relating to the custom houses of
Mexico—to Colonel Wilson, commanding at Vera Cruz, with instructions
that he send a copy to Colonel Gates, commanding at
Tampico, in order that your instructions relative to the collection
of duties at the two ports may be duly executed.

I am too distant from the coast, and too much occupied with the


149

business of the campaign, to charge myself with the execution of
that letter.

I have the honor to remain, sir, with respect, your most obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

I have just received your note of yesterday, accompanied
by communications to me from the Secretary of War, and one
(sealed!) from the Department of State to the minister of foreign
affairs of the republic of Mexico.

You are right in doubting whether there be a government, even
de facto, in this republic. General Santa Anna, the nominal president,
has been, until within a day or two, in the neighborhood of
Orizaba, organizing bands of rancheros, banditti, or guerillas, to
cut off stragglers from this army, and, probably, the very train, all
important to us, which you propose to accompany into the interior;
the safety of which train has detained me here and caused me a
high degree of solicitude. Hence I regret that Colonel Wilson,
commanding at Vera Cruz, has allowed himself, a second time, to
be persuaded to detach, to bring up despatches, (for your accommodation,)
a material portion of the force I had relied upon as the
escort of that train. The other detachments to which I allude
came up some days ago to escort Lieutenant Semmes, of the navy,
duly accredited by Commodore Perry, to the Mexican minister of
foreign affairs, to negotiate the exchange of Passed Midshipman
Rogers, now a prisoner of war! That matter also seems to have
been considered too important to be entrusted to my agency!

But, to return to the actual government of Mexico. Señor Anaya
is, I believe, president ad interim. But you may have learned that
the congress, after hearing of the affair of Cerro Gordo, passed
many violent decrees, breathing war to the uttermost against the
United States; declaring that the executive has no power, and shall
have none, to conclude a treaty, or even an armistice, with the
United States; and denouncing as a traitor any Mexican functionary
who shall entertain either proposition. I have communicated a
copy of those decrees to the War Department, and, until further
orders thereupon, or until a change of circumstances, I very much
doubt whether I can so far commit the honor of my government as
to take any direct agency in forwarding the sealed despatch you
have sent me from the Secretary of State of the United States.

On this delicate point, however, you will do as you please, and
when, if able, I shall have advanced near to the capital, I may, at
your instance, lend an escort to your flag of truce; and it may
require a large fighting detachment to protect even a flag of truce


150

against the rancheros and banditti who now infest the national road
all the way up to the capital.

I see that the Secretary of War proposes to degrade me by requiring
that I, the commander of this army, shall defer to you, the
chief clerk of the Department of State, the question of continuing
or discontinuing hostilities.

I beg to say to him, and to you, that here, in the heart of a hostile
country, from which, after a few weeks, it would be impossible
to withdraw this army without a loss, probably of half its numbers,
by the vomito; which army, from necessity, must soon become a
self-sustaining machine, cut off from all supplies and reinforcements
from home until, perhaps, late in November, not to speak of
the bad faith of the government and people of Mexico; I say, in
reference to those critical circumstances, this army must take military
security for its own safety. Hence the question of an armistice
or no armistice is most peculiarly a military question, appertaining,
of necessity, if not of universal right, in the absence of
direct instructions, to the commander of the invading forces. Consequently,
if you are not clothed with military rank over me, as
well as with diplomatic functions, I shall demand, under the peculiar
circumstances, that, in your negotiations, if the enemy should
entertain your overtures, you refer that question to me, and all the
securities belonging to it. The safety of this army demands no
less, and I am responsible for that safety until duly superseded or
recalled. Indeed, from the nature of the case, if the enemy, on
your petition, should be willing to concede an armistice, he would,
no doubt, demand the military guaranty of my signature for his
own safety.

Should you, under the exposition of circumstances I have given,
visit the moveable head-quarters of this army, I shall receive you
with the respeet due to a functionary of my government; but
whether you would find me here, Perote, Puebla, or elsewhere,
depends on events changeable at every moment.

The sealed despatch from the Department of State I suppose you
to desire me to hold until your arrival, or until I shall hear further
from you.

I remain, sir, respectfully, &c.,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
N. P. TRIST, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

SIR:

I have received your letter of the 6th instant, with copies
of instructions to Generals Worth and Quitman, and Colonel Wilson.
By these I learn that the volunteers, whose term of service
is limited to twelve months, are on their return home. They have
been discharged at an earlier period than was anticipated. The
additional troops for your column will soon be with it in sufficient
numbers to supply, and more than supply, the place of the discharged
volunteers.


151

The reason for a temporary diversion of a part of these troops,
of which you complain, has been explained, and, I trust, in a satisfactory
manner, in a former communication from this department.

I am gratified by the intelligence of your extended progress into
the enemy's country, and hope that your successful operations will
accelerate the conclusion of a peace.

Your course hitherto, in relation to prisoners of war, both men
and officers, in discharging them on parole, has been liberal and
kind; but whether it ought to be still longer continued, or in some
respects changed, has been under the consideration of the President,
and he has directed me to communicate to you his views on
the subject. He is not unaware of the great embarrassment their
detention, or the sending of them to the United States, would occasion;
but, so far as relates to the officers, he thinks they should
be detained until duly exchanged. In that case, it will probably
be found expedient to send them, or most of them, to the United
States. You will not, therefore, except for special reasons in particular
cases, discharge the officers who may be taken prisoners, but
detain them with you, or send them to the United States, as you
shall deem most expedient.

It is an unpleasant duty to advert, as I feel constrained to do, to
your letter of the 7th instant, and more particularly to the copy of
one of the same date, therewith enclosed, addressed by you to Mr.
Trist. With me it is a matter of sincere regret that a letter of
such an extraordinary character was sent to that gentleman, and I
cannot doubt it will be no less regretted by yourself on more reflection
and better information. Such information you would have
received, had Mr. Trist delivered in person, as I did not doubt he
would, my letter to you of the 14th instant, [ultimo,] with the despatch
from the State Department to the Mexican minister of foreign
relations. My letter should have secured you from the strange
mistake into which you have fallen, by regarding him as the bearer
of that despatch to the Mexican government, and yourself called
on to aid in transmitting it. Had such been the true state of the
case, I cannot perceive that you would have had any just ground
of complaint, or any sufficient excuse for withholding the assistance
required; but, by looking at my letter, you will discover your
misapprehension. Mr. Trist was the bearer of that despatch to
yourself—not to the Mexican government—and when he had delivered
it into your hands, his agency ceased; he had no discretion
or judgment to exercise in regard to sending on or withholding it.
This was a matter committed solely to yourself. I refer to the
language of my letter to show the entire correctness of this view
of the subject: "You will transmit that despatch to the commander
of the Mexican forces, with a request that it may be laid
before his government, at the same time giving information that
Mr. Trist, an officer from our department for foreign affairs, next
in rank to its chief, is at your head-quarters, or on board the squadron,
as the case may be." This is a positive instruction to yourself
to send that despatch forward, and it is expected you will
have acted upon it without waiting for the arrival of Mr. Trist at


152

your head-quarters, if thereby any unnecessary delay was likely to
result.

If you infer that the succeeding sentence in my letter controlled,
or in any manner qualified the President's order in regard to forwarding
that despatch, you have been led into an error. Mr. Trist
was directed to exhibit to you, not only his instructions, but the
projet of a treaty with which he had been furnished by his government.
These documents would have fully disclosed to you "the
objects of his mission," for the accomplishment of which you were
requested to afford facilities. None of these objects had relation
to the transmission of the despatch in question.

You have marked with a note of admiration, the fact that the despatch
was sealed. True, it was sealed; but the bearer, who was
charged with the delivery of it to you, had a copy; and had he handed
that despatch in person to you, as it was expected he would do,
he would, no doubt, have exhibited that copy to your inspection.

A still more serious misconception has seized your mind in regard
to an armistice. Before this time, it is quite probable you will
have read the instructions to the commissioner, whom you see fit
to denominate "the chief clerk of the State Department," and,
I trust, that a knowledge of what they contain has dissipated all
your distressing apprehensions of being degraded by me. My letter
informed you that Mr. Trist was "clothed with diplomatic
powers;" and his instructions and the projet of a treaty which he
carried with him have, ere this, apprised you that he is a commissioner,
with full power to negotiate a peace. The treaty which he
was authorized to conclude contains an article, as you will have
perceived, which provides for a suspension of hostilities; but not
until the treaty shall have been ratified by the Mexican government.
Neither the considerations of humanity, nor sound policy,
would justify the continuance of active military operations, after a
treaty of peace had been concluded and ratified on the part of
Mexico, until the information of that fact could be communicated
from Mexico to this place, and an order for the suspension of hostilities
hence transmitted to the commanding general in that country.
It will not be questioned that a commissioner of peace may
be properly vested with the power of agreeing to a suspension of
hostilities in a definitive treaty, negotiated and already ratified by
one party, while waiting the ratification of the other. As the negotiator
is the first to know the fact that a treaty has been concluded and
so ratified, it is, beyond dispute, proper that he should be directed to
communicate the knowledge of that fact to the commanding general;
and it cannot, in my view of the case, be derogatory to that
officer to be placed under instructions to act with reference to that
fact, when duly notified of it by the commissioner. The case cannot
be made plainer, or your misapprehensions in regard to it more clearly
pointed out, than by simply stating it as it must exist if the contingency
should fortunately happen, on which you will be required to
suspend hostilities. A commissioner of peace is sent by the President
to your head-quarters, and he makes known to you his authority
to receive from Mexico offers for concluding a peace. You


153

are informed, by his instructions and the projet of a treaty which
he is required to exhibit to you, that on the conclusion and ratification
of a treaty of peace by Mexico, hostilities immediately
thereafter are to cease. With all these facts fully made known to
you in advance, you are directed by the President to suspend hostilities
on receiving written notice from the commissioner that the
contingency—the conclusion and ratification of a treaty of peace
by Mexico—has happened. Under these circumstances, can you
conceive that, as commanding general of the force in Mexico, you
have the right to raise a question upon your duty to obey this direction,
coming as it does, through a proper channel, from your
superior—the commander-in-chief? In my opinion you could not
have wandered further from the true view of the case, than by supposing
that the President or myself has placed you in the condition
of deferring "to the chief clerk of the Department of State,
the question of continuing or discontinuing hostilities." I cannot
conceive that any well founded exception can be taken to the
order you have received, in relation to suspending hostilities; and
I am fully persuaded that, if the contingency requiring you to act
upon it shall ever occur, you will promptly carry it into full effect.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Maj. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding U. S. Army, Mexico.

No. 28.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

Less than half the train, and less than a third of the supplies,
expected up about the 14th instant, at the date of my report,
No. 26, arrived. The quartermaster, at Vera Cruz, had overestimated
his number of wagons and animals, and the latter were
found too feeble to transport full loads through the heat and sands
of the low country. No money came by that train to the quartermaster
or commissary, as none had arrived, for either, at Vera Cruz,
from New Orleans. The paymaster here received about $280,000—
the half of his estimate for January, February, March, and April.

If it be expected at Washington, as is now apprehended, that this
army is to support itself by forced contributions, levied upon the
country, we may ruin and exasperate the inhabitants and starve
ourselves; for it is certain they would sooner remove or destroy
the products of their farms than allow them to fall into our hands
without compensation. Not a ration for man or horse would be
brought in, except by the bayonet, which would oblige the troops to
spread themselves out, many leagues, to the right and left, in search
of subsistence, and to stop all military operations.

Of money there is but little in any part of the country, except


154

in the hands of foreign miners and merchants, intended for exportation.
None has come down as low as Jalapa since we invested
Vera Cruz; but we suppose that at Puebla, and beyond, we shall
be able to sell drafts on the United States readily at par, or, perhaps,
at a premium.

I know nothing of the receipts at the custom-houses of Vera
Cruz, Tampico, &c. Probably they are but inconsiderable; but, if
great, we could not, after this date, and when further advanced,
draw upon them for the uses of this army.

Another train of wagons (170) is just entering this city from
Vera Cruz, under the escort of Captains Walker's and Ruff's riflemen.
If it has a second or third of the essential supplies now long
waited for—medicines, ammunition, clothing, salt, &c.—I shall advance,
having lost the hope of receiving further reinforcements,
except some 900 recruits for the old regiments of this army, of
which we have notice of the adjutant general at Washington. I
send down by convalescent officers and men, principally belonging
to the discharged volunteer regiments, a small train of wagons to
meet those recruits, and to be added to any new means of transportation
the quartermaster may have at Vera Cruz. When they
come up we shall lose, for months, all dependance on that depot.

I shall leave in garrison here the 1st artillery, (five companies,)
serving as infantry; one troop of horse; the whole of the 2d Pennsylvania
and three companies of the 1st Pennsylvania regiments.
Brevet Colonel Childs is designated as the governor and commander
of the place.

The garrison of the castle of Perote will continue as at present:
a detachment of artillerists, to serve the batteries; a troop of horse,
and seven companies of the 1st Pennsylvania volunteers, with Colonel
Wynkoop, of the latter, as governor and commander.

Worth's and Quitman's divisions entered Puebla the 15th instant.
Santa Anna, from Orizaba, preceded them a short time, and has, it
is said, taken up a defensive position near Rio Frio, equidistant (14
leagues) from Puebla and the capital, with a force (variously reported)
of from two thousand to four thousand men. If he stand,
we shall assault him, with confidence, no matter what may be his
numbers. The advance, at Puebla, has instructions, as I have heretofore
reported, to wait there for the arrival of the reserve,
(Twiggs's division,) or until further orders.

I find that the train, just in, has brought up but a small part of
the ammunition needed. Nevertheless, we shall advance without
further delay.

I enclose, herewith, copies (in English and Spanish) of a proclamation
I was induced to issue on the 11th instant. It was, originally,
under my directions, written in Spanish, at the instance of
persons of very high standing and influence—some of them of the
church—who suggested the topics and sentiments the most likely
to find a response in the bosoms of Mexicans, and to promote the
cause of justice, moderation, and peace. To the cast of the proclamation
I saw no American objection. Its effects, as far as we have
heard, are very favorable; but the express (a Mexican) engaged by


155

the deputation to take the printed copies to the capital was intercepted
near Puebla.

Mr. Trist arrived here on the 14th instant. He has not done me
the honor to call upon me. Possibly, he has thought the compliment
of a first visit was due to him! I learn that he is writing a
reply to my answer to him, dated the 7th instant. A copy of that
answer I enclosed to you the moment it was written. It is not
probable that I shall find leisure to read his reply, much less to
give a rejoinder.

When I wrote to you and Mr. Trist, late on the night of the 7th,
to go down by a detachment of horse that I was obliged to despatch
early the next morning, I had not time to defend the position you
had forced me to assume, and shall I now but glance at that position.

The honorable Mr. Benton has publicly declared that if the law had
passed making him general-in-chief of the United States armies in
Mexico—either as lieutenant general, or as junior major general over
seniors, the power would have been given him not only of agreeing to
an armistice, which would, of course, have appertained to his position,
but the much higher power of concluding a treaty of peace; and it will
be remembered, also, that in my letter to Major General Taylor,
dated June 12, 1846, written at your instance, and, as I understood
at the time, approved by the cabinet, his power to agree to an
armistice was merely adverted to in order to place upon it certain
limitations. I understand your letter to me, of the 14th ultimo, as
not only taking from me, the commander of an army, under the
most critical circumstances, all voice or advice in agreeing to a
truce with the enemy, but as an attempt to place me under the military
command of Mr. Trist; for you tell me, that "should he make
known to you, in writing, that the contingency has occurred in consequence
of which the President is willing that further active military
operations should cease, you will regard such notice as a direction
from the President to suspend them until further orders
from this department." That is, I am required to respect the judgment
of Mr. Trist here, on passing events, purely military, as the
judgment of the President who is some two thousand miles off! I
suppose this to be the second attempt of the kind ever made to dishonor
a general-in-chief in the field before or since the time of
the French convention. That other instance occurred in your absence
from Washington in June, 1845, when Mr. Bancroft, acting
Secretary of War, instructed General Taylor, in certain matters, to
obey the orders of Mr. Donaldson, chargé; d'affaires in Texas; and
you may remember the letter that I wrote to General Taylor, with
the permission of both Mr. Bancroft and yourself, to correct that
blunder. The letter may be found on record in my office at Washington.

Whenever it may be the pleasure of the President to instruct me
directly, or through any authorized channel, to propose or to agree
to an armistice with the enemy, on the happening of any given contingency
or contingencies, or to do any other military act, I shall
most promptly and cheerfully obey him; but I entreat to be spared
the personal dishonour of being again required to obey the orders
of the chief clerk of the State Department, as the orders of the constitutional


156

commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United
States.

To Mr. Trist, as a functionary of my government, I have caused
to be shown, since his arrival here, every proper attention. I sent
the chief quartermaster and an aid-de-camp, to show him the rooms
I had ordered for him; I have caused him to be tendered a sentinel
to be placed at his door, and to receive his orders, I shall from time
to time send him word of my personal movements, and I shall continue
to show him all other attentions necessary to the discharge of
any diplomatic functions with which he may be intrusted.

I have the honor to be, sir, with high respect, your most obedient
servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

P. S.—May 21. I put under cover portions of an unofficial letter
just received from Major General Worth. They are highly interesting.

But one company, mounted, under Captain Wheat, was re-enlisted
(for the war) out of the whole of the old volunteers. It has
just arrived from Vera Cruz.

The reserve will positively advance to morrow. The deficiency
in supplies from Vera Cruz, has resulted, I find, not so much from
the want of wagons and animals there, as from the want of drivers
and conductors. Some 400 old volunteers, engaged here, for the
wagons and pack mules, broke off at Vera Cruz, and embarked with
their respective companies.

W. S.

[Copy of letter referred to above.]

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

SIR:

In the instructions to you from the acting Secretary of
War, dated the 15th ultimo, an expression is used which might
seem to place you, in certain matters, under the directions of the
United States chargé; d'affaires in Texas. I, yesterday, on seeing
those instructions for the first time, called the attention of both Mr.
Secretary Marcy and Mr. Secretary Bancroft, to that expression,
when both promptly agreed that the word information, or advice,
ought to have been substituted "for directions." The true rule, on
this point, is laid down in the letter to you from the War Department
of the 28th of May last, which I find acknowledged in your
report, just received, of the 18th ultimo. The views of the report
are highly approved.

I remain, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
WINFIELD SCOTT.
Maj. Gen. Z. TAYLOR.
True copy:
R. JONES, Adjutant General.
January 14, 1847.


157

Extracts of an unofficial letter of Major General Worth to Major
General Scott, dated at

"Many supplies bespoken on the route, of persons exceedingly
well disposed, have been kept back by menaces and the interposition
of guerilla bands.

I beg to suggest the convenience of securing as much corn as can
be taken into the wagons and packed upon mules, pressed en route,
particularly at Venta el Penal, around which, in short distances,
there is a large amount and every disposition to sell.

I commend the principal person you will find there to special
consideration. There must be the semblance of coercion.

I incline to the belief that there may be some 6 to 800 of beggarly
cavalry between us, perdu, to strike at some miserable straggler
or a loosely conducted train; but no force that could be whipped
to the assault of 100 of our men in compact order and good
array.

My intelligence is limited to the reports of spies, the concurring
information of several sets amounts to this; that yesterday and
the day before Santa Anna's force abandoned the project of making
a stand at San Martin on the Rio Frio, (Tesmaluca,) where works
had been constructed, having discovered, on more detailed examination,
that both points could be easily turned; that the whole of
his badly armed force is marching on the capital. Again, there are,
as usual, abundance of rumors of heavy forces approaching from the
south and southwest.

We are rapidly accumulating supplies of the essentials, and could
soon garner up sufficient for all our wants, with a few hundred cavalry
to control actively a large circle and allay the fears of holders.

It was most fortunate that I got hold of one copy of your proclamation.
To day I had a third edition struck off, and am now
with hardly a copy on hand.

It takes admirably, and my doors are crowded for it—with the
people (of all classes) it takes admirably, and has produced more
decided effects than all the blows from Palo Alto to Cerro Gordo.

I have scattered them far and wide, and taken three chances to
get them into the capital.

I have already told you that those you sent were intercepted, as
also all your communications.

The elections came off in the States on the 15th. It is generally
believed Herrera will succeed. Shots are being fired in the
capital. A pronunciamento is hourly expected, and this is probably
the secret of Santa Anna's march upon that point.

He is in extremis. All agree that his day is passed.

The archives, and much public property, has already been removed
from the capital to Morales, whither the Congress is to go,
if not already gone, as also most of the notables.

Here we are greatly straitened for funds, but I think, through


158

certain high moral influences, we may get along until you come
up."

Respectfully communicated for the information of the Hon. Secretary
of War. By command.
G. W. LAY,
Lieutenant and Military Secretary.
HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Jalapa, May 21, 1847.

El General-en-gefe de los Egércitos de los Estados-Unidos de
America, a la nacion Megicana.

MEGICANOS:

Los ultimos sucesos de la guerra y las providencias
que en consecuencia ha dictado vuestro gobierno: me ponen en el
deber de dirijirme á vosotros para demostraros verdades que ignorais,
porque os las ocultan maliciosamente. No quiero que me
creais por mis palabras, aunque tiene derecho para que lo crean el
que jamas ha faltado á ella, sino que juzgueis de estas verdades,
por los hechos que están á la vista y á la calificacion de todos
vosotros.

Cualquiera que fuera el orígen de esta guerra que mi nacion se
vió obligada á emprender por causas imprescindibles, que entiendo
desconoce la mayor parte de la nacion Megicana, lo consideramos
como una fatalidad, porque siempre lo es una guerra para las dos
partes beligerantes, y la razon y la justicia se ponen en duda, si no
se desconocen enteramente por ambos lados, creyendo cada cual
que êl las tiene. La prueba de esta verdad la teneis los Megicanos
lo mismo que nosotros; pues en Mêgico, así como en los Estados-Unidos,
ecsistieron y ecsisten dos partidos oquestos, que desean
la paz el uno y la guerra el otro. Pero los gobiernos tienen
deberes sagrados de los que no pueden prescindir, y muchas veces
estos deberes imponen por conveniencias nacionales un silencio y
una reserva que algunas veces desagradan á la mayoría de los que
hacen la oposicion por miras puramente personales ó particulares,
y que no deben considerar los gobiernos, suponiendo que la nacion
tiene en ellos la confianza que merece un magistrado que ella
misma eligió.

Razones de alta política y de interes continental Americano comprometieron
los sucesos apesar de la circunspeccion del gabinete
de Washington, que deseando ardientemente poner un término á
todas sus diferencias con Mégico, no perdonó recursos de cuantos
fueron compatibles con su decoro y dignidad para llegar á tan
deseado fin; y cuando alimentaba la mas lisonjera esperanza de obtener
por medio de su franca esplicacion y del razonamiento sometido
al juicio y cordura del virtuoso y patriótico gobierno del
General D. J. Herrera, la desgracia menos esperado hizo desaparecer
aquella grata esperanza, y á la vez obstruyó todos los caminos
que pudieran conducir á una transacion honrosa para las dos naciones.


159

El nuevo gobierno desconoció los intereses nacionales así
como los continentales Americanos, y eligió ademas las influencias
estrañas mas oquestas á estos intereses y mas funestas para el porvenir
de la libertad Megicana y del sistema republicano que los
Estados-Unidos tienen un deber de conservar y proteger. El deber,
el honor y el propio decoro nos puso en la necesidad de no
perder un tiempo que violentaban los hombres del partido monárquico,
porque era preciso no perder momento, y obrámos con la
actividad y decision necesarias en casos tan urgentes, para evitar
así la complicacion de intereses que podrian hacer mas dificil y
comprometida nuestra situacion.

De nuevo en el curso de la guerra civil fué derrocado vuestro
gobierno del General Paredes, y nosotros no pudimos menos que
creer que esto seria un bien, porque cualquiera otro personel que
representára al gobierno seria menos iluso, á la vez que mas patriota
y mas prudente, si habia de atender al bien comun considerando
y pesando todas las probabilidades, su fuerza, elementos, y
sobre todo la opinion mas general respecto de resultados positivos
de la guerra nacional. Nos equivocamos nosotros, como acaso se
equivocaron los Megicanos tambien, al juzgar de las intenciones
verdaderas del General Santa Anna, à quien ellos llamaroii y nuestro
gobierno permitió regresar.

En este estado, la nacion Megicana ha visto cuales han sido los
resultados que todos lamentan, y nosotros sinceramente, porque
apreciamos como es debido el valor y la noble decision de los desgraciados
que van al combate, mal conducidos, peor dirijidos, y
casi siempre violentados por el engaño ó la perfidia.

Somos testigos, y como parte afectada no se nos tachará de parciales,
cuando hemos lamentado con admiracion, que el heróico
comportamiento de la guarnicion de Veracruz en la valiente defenza
qu hizo, fué infamado por el general que acaba de ser derrotado
y puesto en vergonzosa fuga por un número muy inferior al
de las fuerzas que mandaba, en Buena Vista: que este general premio
á los pronunciados en Mégico, siendo promovedores de la
guerra civil, y ultrajó á los que singularmente se acababan de distinguir
resistiendo mas allá de lo que podia esperarse, con una decision
admirable.

Por último, el sangriento suceso de Cerro Gordo ha puesto en
evidencia á la nacion Megicana lo que razonablemente deberá esperar
si por mas tiempo continúa desconociendo la verdadera situacion á
que la han conducido algunos de sus generales á quienes mas ha
distinguido y en los que mas ha confiado.

Dolor y lágrimas causaria al hombre de mas duro corazon contemplar
los campos de battalia en Mégico un minuto despues del
último tiro. Los generales á quienes la nacion ha pagado por tantos
años, sin que la sean útiles, con algunas honrosas escepciones,
el dia que los ha necesitado, han servido de perjuicio con su mal
egemplo ó su impericia. Allí entre los muertos y los heridos no
se ven pruebas de honor militar, porque están casi reducidos á la
triste suerte del soldado, y esta ha sido en todas ocasiones desde
Palo Alto hasta Cerro Gordo, quedar los muertos insepultos y los


160

heridos abandonados á la clemencia y caridad del vencedor; y soldados
que van á batirse con conocimiento de esperarles esta recompensa,
bien merecian ser reconocidos por los mejores del mundo,
porque no los estimula ni una gloria efimera, ni un suspiro, ni un
recuerdo, y ni siquiera un sepulcro.

Pues bien, contemplad ahora Megicanos honrados, la suerte de
los ciudadanos pacíficos y laboriosos en todas las clases de vuestra
sociedad. Los bienes de la iglesia amenazados y presentados como
aliciente para la revolucion y la anarquía; la fortuna de los ricos
propietarios señalada para rapiña de los perversos; el comerciante
y el artesano, el labrador y el fabricante agoviados de con, tribuciones,
alcabalas, estancos, derechos de consumorodeado de guardas y
empleados de las odiosas aduanas interiores. El literato y el legista,
el hombre libre de saber que se atreve á hablar perseguido sin ser
juzgado por algun partido ó por los mismos gobernantes que abusan
del poder; los criminales sin castigo y puestos en libertad, como
los que estaban en la fortaleza de Perote ¿cual es pues, Megicanos,
la libertad de que gozais?

Yo no creo que los Megicanos hijos del siglo presente les falte
el valor para confesar errores que no les deshonran y para adoptar
un sistema de verdadera libertad, de paz, y union con sus hermanos
vecinos del Norte.

Tampoco puedo creer que ignoren la infamia con que nos ultrajan
en los periódicos para concitar á la rebelion; no, el espiritu
público no se crea ni se reanima con falsedades. Nosotros no
hemos profanado vuestros templos, ni abusado de vuestras mugeres,
ni ocupado vuestra propiedad, como os lo quieren hacer creer,
y lo decimos con orgullo y lo acreditamos con vuestros mismos
obispos y con los curas de Tampico, Tuspan, Matamoros, Monterey,
Veracruz, y Jalapa; con todos los religiosos y autoridades
civiles y vecinos de los pueblos todos que hemos ocupado. Nosotros
adoramos al mismo Dios, y una gran parte de nuestro egército,
así como de la poblacion de los Estados-Unidos, somos catolicos
como vosotros: castigamos el delito donde quiera que le hallamos
y premiamos al mérito y á la virtud.

El egército de los Estados-Unidos respeta y respetará siempre la
propiedad particular de toda clase, y la propiedad de la Inglesia
Megicana; y des graciado de aquel que así no lo hiciere! donde
nosotros estemos.

Megicanos, lo pasado no puede ya remediarse; pero lo futuro
puede precaverse todavía: repetidas veces os he manifestado que el
gobierno y pueblo de los Estados Unidos desea la paz, desea vuestra
sincera amistad. Abandonad pues rancias preocupaciones y
dejad de ser el juguete de la ambicion particular y conducios como
una nacion grande Americana; dejad de una vez esos hábitos de
colonos y sabed ser verdaderamente libres, verdaderamente republicanos,
y muy pronto podeis ser muy ricos y muy felices, pues
teneis todos los elementos para serlo, mas pensad que sois Americanos
y que no ha de venir de Europa vuestra felicitad.

Deseo en conclusion manifestar, y con igual franqueza, que si
necesario fuese vendria muy pronto un egército de cien mil hombres,


161

y que los Estados-Unidos no terminarian sus diferencias con
Mégico, teniendo que hacerlo por las armas, de un modo incierto,
ni precario, y menos deshonroso, y yo agraviaria á la parte ilustrada
de este pais si dudára que ellos conocen esta verdad.

La autorizacion para forma guerrillas que nos hostilicen, os
aseguro no producirá sino males al pais y ningun mal á nuestro
egército que sabrá precaverse y proceder contra ellos; y si, lejos
de calmar los ánimos y las pasiones procurais irritarlas nos pondreis
en el duro caso de las represálias y entónces no podreis ni
culparnos de las consecuencias que recaerán sobre vosotros.

Marcho con mi egército para Puebla y Mégico, no os lo oculto;
desde estas capitales os volveré á hablar; deseo la paz, la amistad
y la union; á vosotros os toca elegir si preferis continuar la guerra;
de todos modos, estad seguros que nunca falta rá á su palabra el
general.

WINFIELD SCOTT,
Cuartel General del Egército.
JALAPA, Mayo 11 de 1847.

The general-in-chief of the armies of the United States of America,
to the Mexican nation:

MEXICANS:

The late events of the war, and the measures adopted
in consequence by your government, make it my duty to address
you, in order to lay before you truths of which you are ignorant,
because they have been criminally concealed from you. I do not
ask you to believe me singly on my word—though he who has not
been found false has a claim to be believed—but to judge for yourselves
of these truths, from facts within the view and scrutiny of
you all.

Whatever may have been the origin of this war, which the
United States were forced to undertake by insurmountable causes,
we regard it as an evil. War is ever such to both belligerents;
and the reason and justice of the case, if not unknown on both sides,
are in dispute, and claimed by each. You have proof of this truth
as well as we; for in Mexico, as in the United States, there have
existed, and do exist, two opposite parties—one desiring peace;
another, war.

Governments, however, have sacred duties to perform, from
which they cannot swerve; and these duties frequently impose,
from national considerations, a silence and a reserve that displease,
at times, the majority of those who, from views purely personal or
private, are found in opposition; to which governments can pay
little attention, expecting the nation to repose in them the confidence
due to a magistracy of its own selection.

Considerations of high policy and of continental American
interests precipitated events, in spite of the circumspection of the
cabinet at Washington. This cabinet, ardently desiring to terminate


162

all differences with Mexico, spared no efforts compatible with
honor and dignity. It cherished the most flattering hopes of
attaining this end by frank explanations and reasonings addressed
to the judgment and prudence of the virtuous and patriotic government
of General Herrera. An unexpected misfortune dispelled
these hopes, and closed every avenue to an honorable adjustment.
Your new government disregarded your national interests as well
as those of continental America, and yielded, moreover, to foreign
influences the most opposed to those interests—the most fatal to
the future of Mexican liberty, and of that republican system which
the United States hold it a duty to preserve and to protect. Duty,
honor, and dignity, placed us under the necessity of not losing a
season, of which the monarchical party was fast taking advantage.
As not a moment was to be lost, we acted with a promptness and
decision suited to the urgency of the case, in order to avoid a complication
of interests which might render our relations more difficult
and involved.

Again: in the course of civil war, the government of General
Paredes was overthrown. We could not but look upon this as a
fortunate event, believing that any other administration, representing
Mexico, would be less deluded, more patriotic, and more prudent
—looking to the common good, weighing probabilities,
strength, resources, and, above all, the general opinion as to the
inevitable results of a national war. We were deceived—as perhaps
you, Mexicans, were also deceived—in judging of the real intentions
of General Santa Anna, whom you recalled, and whom our
government permitted to return.

Under this state of things the Mexican nation has seen the results
lamented by all, and by us most sincerely; for we appreciate, as is
due, the valor and noble decision of those unfortunate men who go
to battle, ill-conducted, worse cared for, and almost always
enforced by violence, deceit, or perfidy.

We are witnesses—and we shall not be taxed with partiality, as
a party interested, when we lament with surprise—that the heroic
behavior of the garrison of Vera Cruz, in its valiant defence, has
been aspersed by the general who had just been routed and put to
shameful flight at Buena Vista, by a force far inferior to his own;
that the same general rewarded the insurgents of the capital—promoters
of civil war—and heaped outrage on those who had just acquired
for themselves singular distinction by a resistance beyond
expectation, and of admirable decision.

Finally, the bloody event of Cerro Gordo has plainly shown the
Mexican nation what it may reasonably expect, if it longer continues
blind to its real situation—a situation to which it has been
brought by some of its generals, whom it has most distinguished,
and in whom it has most confided.

The hardest heart would have been moved to grief in contemplating
any battle-field of Mexico, a moment after the last struggle.
Those generals whom the nation has paid without service rendered,
for so many years, have, in the day of need, with some honorable
exceptions, but served to injure her by their bad example or unskilfuness.


163

The dead and wounded on those fields received no
marks of military distinction, sharing alike the sad fate which has
been the same from Palo Alto to Cerro Gordo; the dead remained
unburied, and the wounded abandoned to the clemency and charity
of the victor. Soldiers who go to battle, knowing they have such
reward to look for, deserve to be classed with the most heroic; for
they are stimulated by no hope of glory, nor remembrance, nor a
sigh—not even a grave.

Again contemplate, honorable Mexicans, the lot of peaceful and
industrious citizens in all classes of your country. The possessions
of the church menaced, and presented as an allurement to revolution
and anarchy; the fortunes of rich proprietors pointed out for
the plunder of armed ruffians; the merchant and the mechanic, the
husbandman and the manufacturer, burdened with contributions,
excises, monopolies, duties on consumption, and surrounded by officers
and collectors of these odious internal customs; the man of
letters and the legislator; the freemen of knowledge, who dares to
speak, persecuted, without trial, by some faction, or by the very
rulers who abuse their power; and criminals, unpunished, are set at
liberty, as were those of Perote. What, then, Mexicans, is the
liberty of which you boast?

I will not believe that Mexicans of the present day want the
courage to confess errors which do not dishonor them, or to adopt
a system of true liberty—one of peace and union with their
brethren and neighbors of the north.

Neither can I believe Mexicans ignorant of the infamy of the
calumnies put forth by the press, in order to excite hostility against
us. No; public spirit cannot be created nor animated by falsehood.
We have not profaned your temples, nor abused your
women, nor seized your property, as they would have you believe.
We say it with pride, and we confirm it by an appeal to your
bishops and the curates of Tampico, Tuzpan, Matamoras, Monterey,
Vera Cruz, and Jalapa; to all the clergy, civil authorities, and inhabitants
of all the places we have occupied.

We adore the same God; and a large portion of our army, as
well as of the people of the United States, is Catholic like yourselves.
We punish crime wherever we find it, and reward merit
and virtue.

The army of the United States respects, and will ever respect,
private property of every class, and the property of the Mexican
church. Wo to him who does not—where we are.

Mexicans: the past is beyond remedy, but the future may yet be
controlled. I have repeatedly declared to you that the government
and people of the United States desire peace—desire your sincere
friendship. Abandon, then, State prejudices; cease to be the
sport of private ambition; and conduct yourselves like a great
American nation. Abandon at once those old colonial habits, and
learn to be truly free—truly republican. You may then soon
attain prosperity and happiness, of which you possess all the elements;
but remember that you are Americans, and that your happiness
is not to come from Europe.


164

I desire, in conclusion, to say to you, with equal frankness, that,
were it necessary, an army of one hundred thousand Americans
would soon be among you; and that the United States, if forced to
terminate, by arms, their differences with you, would not do it in
an uncertain or precarious, or still less in a dishonorable manner.
It would be an insult to the intelligent people of this country to
doubt their knowledge of our power.

The system of forming guerilla parties to annoy us, will, I assure
you, produce only evils to this country, and none to our army,
which knows how to protect itself, and how to proceed against
such cut-throats; and if, so far from calming resentments and passions,
you try to irritate, you will but force upon us the hard necessity
of retaliation. In that event, you cannot blame us for the
consequences which will fall upon yourselves.

I shall march with this army upon Puebla and Mexico. I do not
conceal this from you. From those capitals I may again address
you. We desire peace, friendship, and union; it is for you to
choose whether you prefer continued hostilities. In either case, be
assured I will keep my word.

HEAD-QUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Jalapa, May 11, 1847.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

In my letter of the 17th ultimo, I sent you several printed
copies of the seventeenth section of "An act to make provision for
an additional number of general officers, and for other purposes,"
and requested that measures might be taken to secure the benefits
of that section to the non-commissioned officers and privates entitled
to them. When that letter was written, I was under the impression
that the means by which the President is to acquire the
information, to satisfy him that privates have so conducted themselves
as to be entitled to certificates, were not indicated in the act
of Congress. Upon a more careful examination of that act, it is
believed that this is not correct. By virtue of the terms "in like
manner
," used in reference to granting these certificates, it has been
determined that they are to be issued by the President, on the "recommendation
of the commanding officer of the regiment" to which
the privates belonged; and it is very questionable whether he can
issue them without such recommendation. It is therefore proper,
that those who may consider themselves entitled to the distinction
of a certificate and the allowance of extra pay, should be informed
of the construction given to the act, that the recommendations of
the commanding officer of the regiment is deemed necessary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding United States army, Mexico.

P. S. As the duties, in relation to the trade, and the collection of


165

duties as contributions at the ports of Vera Cruz and Tampico, have
been devolved upon the governors of those places, and they have
communicated with me on the subject, my reply and suggestions
relating thereto have been directly addressed to them.

SIR:

I have received your letter of the 20th of May, and regret
to learn that you have been disappointed in your expectations, in
regard to receiving supplies and munitions from the depot at Vera
Cruz. This disappointment was caused, as appears by the last paragraph
in that letter, by the failure of the arrangement made with
persons who engaged to accompany the train as teamsters.

I have received, and laid before the President, the copy of your
proclamation to the Mexican nation of the 11th of May. The considerations
you have presented to the people of Mexico, as inducements
to them to wish for peace, and to concur in measures for the
accomplishment of that desirable object, are well selected and ably
enforced. As it could not have been your design to enter into a
full discussion of the causes which led to the war, it is not to be
taken as an authoritative exposition of the views of the Executive
in this respect, but he regards it as a document containing "topics
and sentiments the most likely to find a response in the bosoms of
the Mexicans, and to promote the cause of justice, moderation, and
peace." Such were properly the scope and end of the proclamation,
and most ably have they been carried out.

You again advert to the subject presented in your letter of the
7th ultimo to Mr. Trist, and appear still to be laboring under an
unaccountable misconception in regard to it. My letter of the 31st
of May (a copy of which I herewith transmit) presents this matter
in its true light. It will show you how far you have mislead yourself,
and how causelessly you have indulged in complaints, better
characterized as reproofs, against the President and this department.

The President would not have deemed it proper that I should
advert again to this subject, but for the apprehension he has that
your course may obstruct the measures he has taken to procure a
peace. It does not appear, from any communication made by you
to this department, that you have executed, or attempted to execute,
the order which you have received, to forward the despatch from
the Secretary of State addressed to the Mexican secretary of foreign
affairs. The President is, however, unwilling to believe that you
have not done your duty in this respect. If it has not been sent,
he presumes that you have not been able to send it, and that you
will in due time explain the causes which compelled you to detain it.

My letter, taken by itself, neither sustains or excuses such an interpretation
as you have given to it; and, taken in connexion with the
facts which Mr. Trist was directed to communicate to you, and
which it was expected would have been communicated with that
letter, shows how idle it is to imagine that there was any attempt


166

to place you "under the military command of Mr. Trist," or that you
were "required to respect the judgment of Mr. Trist here (in
Mexico) on passing events purely military, as the judgment of the
President, who is some two thousand miles off." The respect due
to yourself, as well as that due to the President, who had placed
you in chief command of our armies in Mexico, should have made
you extremely reluctant to adopt such a conclusion, even on adequate
proof of the fact; and to me it seems, as I am sure it will
appear to others, strange indeed, that you have been able to extract
any such inference from my letter. You and Mr. Trist are both
functionaries of the government of the United States, with important
public interests confided to each in his respective sphere of
action; cordial co-operation was expected, duty imposed it, the public
good, the cause of humanity, demanded it. If there has been a
failure in this respect, and from the tenor of your despatch the President
fears there has been, a high responsibility rests somewhere.

In relation to the direction for an armistice, or the suspension of
hostilities, the President, after duly considering all you have said
on the subject, does not doubt that it was an order proper and right
for him to give, and consequently one which you were bound to
obey. He sincerely regrets your strange misapprehension of it;
and he is wholly unable to conceive how you can reconcile with
duty and subordination the making of it a topic of remark, I may
say, of incidental reproof of your common superior in an official
communication to a subordinate officer in another branch of the
public service.

The information, recently received here, has caused a painful apprehension
that Colonel Sours, who was bearer of despatches from
this department to you, was murdered between Vera Cruz and Jalapa.
I herewith send copies of the communications from this department
which were intrusted to him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Commanding United States army, Mexico.

N. B. The following is an extract from a copy of an official letter,
purporting to have been written by you to Lieutenant Semmes of
the navy, dated head-quarters, Jalapa, May 9, 1847.

[EXTRACT.]

"But there is at hand another functionary, who, under very recent
instructions from the President of the United States, may perhaps
claim to supersede me, in the business of exchanging prisoners of
war, as in other military arrangements. Mr. Trist, chief clerk of
the Department of State, appointed minister or commissioner to
Mexico, has arrived at Vera Cruz, and may be at this place with
the train expected up in a few days. Perhaps you had better refer
the business of your mission to him. I only make the suggestion."


167

WAR DEPARTMENT,

SIR:

In one of my letters to General Scott, (called for by a late
resolution of the House of Representatives,) there is a quotation
from a letter of the general to Lieutenant Semmes, of the navy.
It is deemed, by the President, but fair towards General Scott,
that the whole correspondence on the matter, to which the quotation
in my letter relates, should be sent to Congress. I therefore
request to be furnished with it for that purpose. The correspondence
related to measures taken for the release of Lieutenant
Rogers, of the United States navy.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.
Hon. J. Y. MASON,
Secretary of the Navy.

SIR:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
of the 14th instant, and, in compliance with your request, transmit
to you copies of the correspondence on file in this department to
which you refer.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. Y. MASON.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War.

Papers furnished by the Navy Department, in compliance with the
foregoing request.

SIR:

Transmitted herewith, are copies of letters received at this
department from James Rogers, esq., dated the 21st and 25th instant,
in reference to the captivity of his son, Passed Midshipman
Robert C. Rogers, by the Mexican authorities.

Your earnest and immediate attention is invited to the case of
Midshipman Rogers, and the seamen in captivity with him. There
is no principle of the laws of nations on which Mr. Rogers can be
regarded as a spy. As an officer of the navy, he was attached on
duty to one of our national vessels of war operating against Mexico,
as a public enemy. He was engaged in a reconnoissance,
with the insigna on his person, which afforded full evidence of his
character of an officer of the United States navy. And you will


168

make known, if you find it necessary to secure to Mr. Rogers the
treatment due to him as a prisoner of war, and in such mode as
shall not be deemed offensive as a menace, that the punishment of
this young officer as a spy, will be regarded as an unjust departure
from the humane interpretation of the laws of war, adopted by all
civilized nations, and will be met by the severest retaliation. The
kind and liberal treatment extended to our officers and men who
have had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Mexican forces,
and which, without boast, I may state has been fully reciprocated
towards their officers and men, prisoners with us, does not
permit me to expect that the Mexican government will make a
cruel and unjust exception in the case of Mr. Rogers. But the
President deems it his duty to urge the case on your immediate attention,
that the anxieties of his friends may be relieved.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. Y. MASON.
Commodore M. C. PERRY,
Commanding U. S. naval forces, Gulf of Mexico.

BOOTH HURST,

SIR:

I beg leave to express to you my thanks for the extract
from the despatch from Commodore Connor to the department,
and the letter from Doctor Wright, transmitted to me
with your note under date of the 12th instant. The expectations
expressed in each of them that my son would be soon released
from his captivity, relieved myself and his friends of much anxiety.
But the mail of this day has brought me intelligence very
unfavorable in its aspect. Short extracts from two of the letters,
and also others previously received, I ask permission to lay before
you.

Doctor Wright, under date of February 21st, says:

"The enclosed note from your son, addressed to me, will give
you intelligence of his having been ordered to Perote. I also have
learned, from other sources, that he left Vera Cruz on the day specified,
or the day after—the 15th or 16th. We have no hint of the
occasion for this rigor, and are left to conjecture."

Extract of a letter from my son.

"QUARTEL DEL REGT'S. No. 2,

The fact of my being a prisoner, will readily suggest an
excuse for the shortness of my letters. My opportunities for writing
are those of chance. This must be brief, for I have just received
marching orders for Perote. I must confess that my impressions
of this place, derived from the accounts of persons who
have visited it in my capacity, are not of the most favorable character.


169

But, in spite of these pre-conceptions, I welcomed my orders
with much pleasure; for any change will be preferable to my
present confinement, which has been irksome in the extreme for
some days past.

"A change of governors brought a difference in my treatment,
corresponding to their respective characters. Formerly, I was permitted
to take exercise, and the salutary refreshment of the bath,
under the charge of Colonel Caranova, and to see my English
friends. But, latterly, I have been confined to one apartment, and
denied intercourse with all. I have endured the rigors of my situation
with tolerable fortitude, and preserved an equable temper,
my temptations to irrascibility to the contrary notwithstanding.
Whether, in the situation to which I am about to be removed, there
will be greater or less demand for the support of philosophy, is
soluble alone by absolute experience.

I have received a letter from General La Vega, who is in Mexico,
saying, that he will exert his influence to have me liberated,
or sent to Jalapa—certainly a more agreeable place than Perote.
It is written very kindly and commiseratingly. He addresses me
as his "dear friend," and asks me to apply to him for anything
that I may wish, or in any strait that I may be placed. I hope
much advantage from his great influence and reputed sincerity.

So you see that I can say nothing in reference to freedom from
my 'durance vile.' I may receive it soon, or it may not be fo
long, long months. What adds to the pain of my position, is, the
anxiety of mother—her constant self-torturing fancies and imaginary
evils. I deem myself safe from physical violence. If I am
not really so, what avails complaint? I am sure that I can manfully
suffer the worst that the enemy can inflict.

It is my duty to tell you that my case is yet before a tribunal.
I was not aware of this until informed by General La Vega.
When
they will render their decision, it is impossible to say; for delay is
peculiarly their national characteristic. At first they were for
shooting me. I was denounced as a spy by the press of the city,
and the belligerent editors demanded the penalty from the government.

This will be my last letter for some time to come. My remoteness
from all lines of communication, and the special orders
against my sending or receiving letters, will prevent me from apprising
you of my well-being.

This vicissitude may return me to you a better, a wiser man—
one who has found the jewel from adversity, and who has been tutored
by experience. May my tears now be my baptism and sponsors
for the future."

Extract from a letter dated December 25.

"I am undergoing a careful investigation. I was questioned as
to my motives and object in coming on shore, and as to the uses of
a small compass and spy-glass in my possession. My replies were
amusing when I consented to answer, and just as vague and farcical


170

as possible. I told them I should answer nothing, except when
it suited me; and that if they hoped to derive any knowledge of my
movements, and those of the squadron, from me, they would be
disappointed. They brought one of the crew of the Creole, to recognise
whether I assisted at her destruction. He said I was one
of the party—information I was willing they should possess. I asserted
to them, I was captured in the uniform of an officer, and
this fact alone was all they should know from me. I am told the
attorney general has transmitted his opinion to the government,
and I now await its decision."

Extract from a letter dated January 17, 1847.

"My situation was, at first, critical; for the advising power decided
me a spy.
The commander-in-chief overruled this decision,
and reference was made to the president.

Although I cannot complain of a want of personal kindness,
yet I feel that this government has not treated me with that courtesy
that is ever due an officer in my situation. It is an inexcusable
harshness to confine me so long; to deprive me of all liberty,
and leave me unprovided with the common necessaries of life. General
Landero told me yesterday, that I would very soon be liberated
on parole, or sent in the interior, where I would be unrestrained
until exchanged."

As a parent, I cannot do less than I now do, to make known to
the proper department of the government the material facts which
are to be gathered from the preceeding extracts. In relation to his
capture, it is certain he was taken in an open act of war, commanding
an armed party, and in uniform, with side-arms. It is also certain
he has been placed upon trial before a civil tribunal, which has
made an adverse decision upon a question, which, if carried out,
would reach his life; and he is now informed, from an authentic
source, this outrage upon his rights is still hanging over him, yet
in suspense.

It is true, Commodore Conner, as well as himself, has received
assurrance of an early liberation. But another commandant, General
Morales, comes into power, (as stated in one of his letters,)
and my son is subjected to unusual severity in his imprisonment,
and sent, with the seaman Fox, to the castle of Perote, under strong
guard, to be held in close confinement. This would disturb me but
little, except from its connection with the other matters—a trial
and conviction by a civil tribunal, now unreversed.

In conclusion, I beg leave to say there is involved in these
extraordinary proceedings, matters of high importance to all who
bear arms, and which have claims upon the government entirely
apart from the case of the humble individual whose honor and safety
are as dear to me as life itself.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
JAMES ROGERS.
To the Hon. JOHN Y. MASON,
Secretary of the Navy.


171

BOOTH HURST,

SIR:

I herewith enclose a letter, received yesterday, which, in
connection with the extracts in my communication to you of the
21st instant, shows the critical condition of my son; and that the
Mexican authorities have now shut out all conclusion, that he is
held as a prisoner of war.

The influence of deep family distress leaves me nothing to say,
except to express an earnest hope, in the language of the resolutions
of the legislature of his native State, "that the power of the
United States may be immediately interposed to protect him from
outrage, and to procure his early and honorable release."

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
JAMES ROGERS.
The Hon. JOHN Y. MASON,
Secretary of the Navy.

SIR:

In answer to your letter of yesterday, which reached me
this morning, I beg to state that on my return from Mexico to
Jalapa I learned that Mr. Rogers had been transferred to the fortress
of Perote. On my arrival at Vera Cruz, 26th February last, I
enquired from the commanding general the reasons which had induced
him to send Mr. Rogers to that fortress, and his answer was,
that it had been in consequence of an order from the supreme
government. But he informed me, at the same time, that, having
since received orders from the government to continue the trial of
Mr. Rogers, that he had on that same day written to the governor
of Perote to again return him to Vera Cruz. At the request of the
commander and officers of the revenue cutter Forward, as well as
from my own feeling in behalf of your brother, I solicited for him
the kindest treatment, and General Morales, the commanding general
of Vera Cruz, who is a particular friend of mine, promised me
that he would be well attended to—of which I am quite certain,
knowing, as I do, the honorable and generous disposition of this
gentleman.

I believe that it will be attempted to try Mr. Rogers as a spy,
but my impression and that of many others is, that he will be acquitted.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. Y. N. ATOCHA.
WILLIAM H. ROGERS, Esq.,
Wilmington, Delaware.


172

U. S. FLAG SHIP MISSISSIPPI,

SIR:

As an earnest of my desire to carry out the wishes of the
President and yourself, in regard to Passed Midshipman Rogers, I
have despatched Lieutenant R. Semmes, as a special messenger, to
Mexico, to demand, in person, the release of Mr. Rogers.

The accompanying copies of papers relating to the subject, will
fully explain my object in sending Lieutenant Semmes.

With great respect, I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
M. C. PERRY,
Commanding home squadron.
Hon. JOHN Y. MASON,
Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. FRIGATE RARITAN,

SIR:

In obedience to your verbal instructions, I proceeded,
yesterday afternoon, to the city of Vera Cruz, and had an interview
with Colonel Wilson, of the United States army, the governor of
the city, and afterwards with General La Vega.

Upon my mentioning to the former your desire of sending me to
the city of Mexico, to effect the exchange of Passed Midshipman
Rogers, he politely offered to do everything in his power to forward
your views and put me in communication with General Scott. He
called with me on Quartermaster Hetzel, and it was arranged that
I should be provided with a couple of horses and an escort of twenty
mounted men, if possible; but if, from any unforeseen cause, it
should be impossible to furnish a special escort, I was to start with
the first wagon train.

From General La Vega I learned that Passed Midshipman Rogers
was, at last accounts, at Puebla—he having been recently removed
thither, from Perote. His case is in the hands of the federal government,
and has been referred to a military commission, which, as
yet, has made no decision.

I informed General La Vega of the determination of our government
to demand his release, and, in the event of this not being acceded
to, to retaliate upon any Mexican prisoners that might be in
our power, the same treatment which Mr. Rogers should receive at
the hands of his countrymen. He replied that he was one of those
who had not regarded Mr. Rogers as a spy; that he had no apprehensions
for his safety, and that his life was perfectly secure. He
says the proper person to whom to address your despatch on the
subject, will be the minister of foreign relations, Señor Don Manuel
Baranda.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. SEMMES,
Lieutenant.
Commodore M. C. PERRY.
Com. home squadron, U. S. steamer Mississippi.