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United States did Mexico no wrong in assuming that river as the boundary, while she held out to her at the same time the overtures of an honorable and fair negotiation on that subject, and on all other difficulties existing between the two governments.
In view of these facts, which have been deduced from the correspondence of the functionaries of the two governments -the declarations of the Mexican President-his address to the Mexican Generals—and the position of the armies of the two republics which now confronted each other, and had now already measured arms to the defeat of the Mexican forces, it was not surprising that President Polk should send an extra message to Congress, then in session, which called for immediate preparations for carrying on a war with Mexico, and for a Declaration by the Congress of the United States, THAT A WAR NOW EXISTED BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS.
PASSAGE FROM PENSACOLA TO VERA CRUZ.
AFTER standing south for a day or two from Pensacola, the Cumberland fell in with a ship bound to Europe-an of. ficer boarded her—and she being just out of New Orleans, afforded us a few papers, later than our own. The two ships were again soon on their separate and different courses. Other vessels were occasionally fallen in with, and boarded. A schooner, bearing Spanish colors, at our windward, by a gun from the frigate, was caused to change her course, and come down to us. Her papers were found to have been noted upon by a boarding officer of the Falmouth, a few days before, at the time she was ordered off from Vera Cruz, and she was now on her return way to Havana. The Cumberland deviated several times from her course to overhaul some chase descried from the tops, which, without difficulty, were generally come up with ; and most frequently they proved to be Spanish vessels.
On Monday morning, the 22d of June, ORAZAVA, the high peak of the mountains ranging through Mexico, between seventeen and eighteen thousand feet high, was seen in all its distinct outlines, an object, this morning, of great beauty and sublimity. It was a rarefied state of the atmosphere, through which the distant elevations were throwing up their huge proportions and distinct outlines, strongly defined by their
irregular heights and broken curves, as they lay against the horizon. The fields of snow spread a white cap entirely over the high peak of Orazava, adding interest to the view by its contrast with the less bright ranges of the clouds which lay against the mountain side further down. And still beneath these, yet darker ranges of the blue bases of the mountains were seen, which extend north and south, in their distance and abruptness of peaks and ravines. The vapors too were hanging in their airy forms along the sides of the moun. tains, or reposing in their softness and fleecy volumes in some deep valley of the mountains, appearing as if they were held in some huge bowl of nature, that had been excavated from the table-land of the mountain, to contain them, in their morning repose, before the sun should dissipate them to the higher heavens above. But the snow fields on Orazava. mostly attracted the gaze, as their refreshing look and wintry associations came welcomed to the view and the feeling, while we were sailing in a temperature of 84° of Fahr.
The Cumberland continued to near the land, during the day, and with a press of canvas had reached far in, before sundown, towards the anchorage, where the steamship Princeton was seen lying at her moorings, under Green Island. At length the Princeton was reported as being under way, and was now seen standing directly for us. The two ships-neared each other, though as yet at a considerable distance apart.
The Cumberland still held on her course, and the Princeton still came down to us, like some phantom ship with no sails set, no appearance of smoke, a dark object, noiseless, and yet against the wind, and with her bows directly on.
“Stand by to take in the studding-sails,” cried the officer of the deek. "Haul taught-in studding sails !" continued the officer, through the trumpet; while these many sails came down, in unison, to the deck or in to the tops, like so
many feathers, scattered from the wing of some fleet bird by the shot of the fowler, as the ship seemed, for the instant, to fold her lopped pinion for its rest, and moved less nimbly on her yet even course. Or, in the present positions of the two ships, the meeting of the two frigates might seem like the preparatory evolution for an engagement, in which, in a few moments more, the two ships would be involved. No movement could have been more natural, had the Princeton been an enemy; while the dark vessel still came down in her steady and solemn course, yet more solemn and imposing, for its monotony, and steady, and slow advance.
“ Stand by to take in the royals—man the flying-jib down-haul. Haul taught-in royals—let go the jib-halyards -haul down the flying-jib!”
This order still reduced the sails of the Cumberland, while the evening breeze still lightened and the sun went down; but the Princeton came still on in her monotonous and threatening course, and our own snip luffed a little as we neared her. I was standing on the Jacob's ladder, and every moment was expecting the Princeton to bear up, and pour forth the smoke and flame from her ports, and the thun. der from her guns-not in defiance, but in loud salute to the BROAD PENNANT of the Flag Ship. But the sun had fallen behind the high peaks of the distant ranges
of mountains, and the regulations of the service admit of no salutes after sundown. Still, the Princeton came up to us in a short time—a boat was lowered away, and her Captain came on board the Cumberland, while the Princeton moved about and around us like some mysterious thing, apparently motionless, and perfectly noiseless, while she yet reached on her way, with her sails gathered closely to her yards, now braced obliquely; and in her free, and short evolutions, showing how completely she was at the will of her com
mander, and how easily she could take her position, at her pleasure, to annoy, and injure, and capture her enemy.
The Cumberland soon dropped her anchor for the night, not far from Green Island, which, in the lightness of the winds, she would be unable to reach, before the sea-breeze should favor us in the morning. But little news was communicated from Vera Cruz, Paredes has been re-elected President of Mexico-General Bravo, Vice-President. The Princeton, ere long, stood off to the northward, to intercept any sail that might make an attempt to get into the port of Vera Cruz, during the night; and the next morning, June 23d, the Cumberland anchored under the little island, called Isla de Verde, where we now re at our moorings, to await the developments of the future, and to act as the exigency of the war with Mexico may from time to time suggest.
We found the United States frigate Raritan, Captain Gregory, besides the Princeton, here; and on the 28th, the steam-ship Mississippi, the John Adams, and the Somers, were added to the number of our ships now at this anchorage. The Potomac came in on the 30th, making the force of the squadron at this point, on the 1st of July, to consist of three frigates, two steam-ships, a sloop-of-war, and a brig-in all, seven sail.
FOURTH OF JULY, 1846.
The ships of our squadron put on an unusual quantity of bunting this morning, in honor of the day which declared the United States of America an independent nation. Her British Majesty's ships, with complimentary consideration of the day, hoisted the American ensign at their fore-royal-mast head. The Spaniards followed the movement of the English ships ; and the French elevated our flag to the head of their