« PředchozíPokračovat »
floated in its beauty and grace. Nor had this pretty act of the lady of the American Consul, who had remained in Tampico during the banishment of her husband from the city, scarcely met the eye of the little squadron as they were advancing, before a boat conveying a Flag of Truce and a deputation from the government of the city, came down to the squadron, offering the surrender of the town. After some delay, the preliminaries were adjusted, and the keys of the public buildings and the city were resigned to ihe Commander-in-chief of the American Squadron.
No force was landed. The vessels of the squadron still held their position off the town, while the Mississippi, with the intelligence of the surrender of Tampico, was immedi. ately dispatched to the Brazos de Santiago, to secure troops for holding possession of Tampico. Circumstances favored the expedition-Commodore Perry, in the Mississippi, finding, on his arrival at the Brazos, a force of artillery under Colonel Yates, just arrived at Point Isabel, who immediately proceeded to Tampico, and thus, without delay, presented a sufficient number of troops to gárrison and hold the place. On the arrival of the troops under Colonel Y., Commodore Conner directed Captain Edson of the marine corps, with a company of marines, to proceed to the city, and formally to turn over the keys of the public buildings to the Colonel. This was done, with the formality and good order of the representative of father Neptune, now personified by the Navy, to his younger brother, who wages war on land, of the olden and shore association and name of Mars, now represented by the Army. And it is to be hoped, and I trust there will never be reason to doubt it, that both the Navy and the Army will manifest the greatest courtesy to the citizens of Tampico, and diminish, in the case of private individuals, as far as the circumstances of holding possession of the town will permit, the inconveniences and the ap
prehensions attendant on the war waging between the two republics.
The city having surrendered to the Commander-in-chief, Commodore Conner dispatched a detachment up the river under the command of Commander Tatnall, a gallant and meritorious officer, characterized for his energy in his profession, to take possession of some military stores at Pa.
The success of the expedition is narrated in the reports of Commander Tatnall to the Commander-in-chief.
The taking possession of the city of Tampico, at this particular crisis of our military operations against Mexico, is the most important movement of the feet, during the war. It will give to the American forces the power of acting on any and every point of the enemy's coast and of the interior. Mexico itself may be approached from Tampico, by flanking the Mexican army, now concentrated at San Luis de Potosi, leaving Santa Anna with his force in possession of his position, which he has taken with reference to the probable ad.vance of General Taylor from Monterey to meet him at his present post. Or, if this would be an unmilitary move, to leave a hostile army in the rear of an invading force, Tampico affords the needed facilities for sending a force to operate against San Luis de Potosi, in conjunction with General Taylor, when he shall have advanced thus far. And still farther, what is almost necessary for the success of a farther invasion, which seems to be the present intentions of the government, Tampico presents a practicable and convenient route for transporting provisions for General Taylor's army, to meet him at that point. The river extends a long distance of the way, and affords an easy communication, the greater part of the distance by water. And if the attack is to be made on Vera Cruz and the castle of St. Juan de Ullua, Tampico is equally important as a position for disembarking troops, either for Anton Lizardo or Sacrificios, whence a
landing can be effected for taking the city and besieging the castle. In every point of view, the possession of Tampico is of the greatest importance for the successful operations of the American arms, whatever may be further contemplated by our Government.
But I cannot otherwise believe than that the Mexican Con. gress, which is to assemble on the 6th of December coming, being only a few days hence, will be sufficiently wise in their deliberations, to see the necessity on the part of the Mexican Government, to come to terms with the Government of the United States. The possession of Tampico by the American forces will add to the feeling of apprehension on the part of the Mexicans. And yet, these conceited and ill. advised people may yet determine to carry on the war, with the expectation that the expense in which it will involve the American Government, will lead the American Congress into dissensions, and secure more favorable and honorable terms to the Mexicans, when finally treating for the cessation of hostilities and the adjustment of boundaries.
The true policy of our Government evidently now is, to push forward to the capture of Vera Cruz and the reduction of the Castle of San Juan de Ullua. Long before this should this Castle have fallen before the American arms.
An early demonstration at Vera Cruz of a force on shore, which could easily have been landed under cover of our ships near the city, would readily have taken the city; and a strict block. ade by sea and investment on shore, with bombardment by the squadron, would long ago have secured this place, on which the Mexicans look as the grand bulwark of their safety, and as impregnable before any supposable force that can be brought against it by their foes. But there have been frequent occasions when the force of the Home Squadron, with the assistance of two thousand men, would have taken the city and secured the Castle. It is believed, that, at times,
two hundred men have been all that the Castle could number. At other times, for the want of provisions and pay, it is said the soldiers have threatened to declare for the Americans. The citizens of Vera Cruz have been living in continual alarm, expecting an attack on several occasions and at different times, by the American forces. And I venture to predict that this formidable hold of the Mexicans, if the American Government directs its reduction, will fall into our hands with less bloodshed and delay than the apprehension of the American people or the hopes of the Mexicans anticipate. And when this city and its Castle are once in the hands of the Americans, it will produce a greater effect upon the Mexican people and the Mexican Government, than all the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterey, on their frontier, or than would the defeat of Santa Anna at San Luis de Potosi, or any or all other supposable military operations of the fleet and army, save the taking of the Capital of Mexico itself. In this point of view, the occupation of Vera Cruz and the possession of the Castle is important, as such importance is placed upon it by the Mexicans themselves. Otherwise, Vera Cruz and its Castle are of little consequence to the American forces. Mexico can be reached without them, and the war carried on, aside of them; but their possession, magnified as their importance is in the eyes of the Mexicans, would tend to terminate the war sooner than the conquest of half of Mexico beside.
But the hour for the meeting of the Mexican Congress is just at hand. It is to be hoped that wise counsels may prevail in that body, and that its decision may be, that negotiations shall be renewed between the two countries, which shall lead to the renewal of amicable relations—the adjustment of difficulties between the two Governments and a lasting peace and friendship between the sister Republics.
THE AMERICAN ARMY.-ITS BATTLES.STORMING OF MONTE
While the American squadron has been thus lying at anchor or blockading different ports—passing and repassing from Pensacola and back-transmitting, sending, and receiving despatches—making various demonstrations along the coast--and finally, successfully operating against some of the enemy's ports, the ARMy, under more favorable circumstances for gaining a reputation, has been steadily advancing upon the enemy-gaining additional fame; while the success of its movements has made it the object of admi. ration, both at home and abroad, for its brilliant operations and triumphs.
It is not my purpose, however, to follow the Army in its regular advance from Matamoras along the banks of the Rio Bravo del Norte-taking possession, successively, of the different towns on this river, otherwise called the Rio GRANDE, until the morning of the 19th of September found the American forces encamped at “ Walnut Springs” near the city of MONTEREY. It was at Monterey the Americans rightly presumed, they would meet with a strenuous effort on the part of the Mexicans to oppose the further advance of the American armies. The reports of scouts and advanced parties sufficiently assured the American General