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VERA CRUZ INVESTED.

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of Lobos, about one hundred and twenty-five miles north CHAP of Vera Cruz. At length the transports were ready, the troops, about twelve thousand strong, embarked, and, on 1847. the morning of the 9th of March, began to land near Vera Cruz. No enemy appeared to dispute the movement.

That city contained about fifteen thousand inhabitants. It was protected on its land side by numerous defences, while on the side of the Gulf, upon a reef, stood the Castle of San Juan d'Ulloa, garrisoned by a thousand men, who manned one hundred and twenty-eight heavy guns; the strongest fortification on the continent, with the exception of Quebec.

The next morning General Worth was ordered to commence the line of investment, which extended nearly six miles. The Mexicans appeared to oppose, but a few shots from the cannon dispersed them. The weather was excessively hot and sultry, and the march through the deep sand laborious and tedious.

The Governor of the State of Vera Cruz now issued a proclamation, calling upon the inhabitants of the town to defend themselves, while he should retire to harass the invaders and cut off their supplies. He soon appeared among the sand hills, but after a short skirmish, he thought it prudent to keep out of sight. The cannonading from the town and castle was incessant, but without much execution, owing to the distance. The men kept close in their trenches and did not reply. The munitions which had recently arrived were now landed, and the Americans were ready to commence the bombardment. General Scott summoned the city to surrender, stipulating, in order to save the lives and property of the inhabitants, that no batteries should be placed in the town to attack the Castle, unless the latter fired upon the Americans. General Morales, the commander of both the city and castle refused to comply with the summons.

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At 4 o'clock in the afternoon the bombardment com

menced. The Mexicans replied with every gun and 1847. mortar that could be brought to bear from the city and Mar.

castle. Some of the smaller American vessels crept near 22.

and with their heavy guns added to the uproar ; thus through the night the contest lasted. Other guns were brought, and other batteries erected within a thousand yards of the devoted city. They were hidden behind the chaparral; this was cleared away, and revealed to the besieged a new foe--the battery of Paixban guns. Their astonishment was great; upon this new enemy who had dared to take position so near, they resolutely directed all their force for many hours. They fired rapidly and with precision, but failed to silence this battery.

How terrific was this storm ! Twenty-one heavy guns pouring forth an incessant stream of balls and shells ; the heavy shot broke through the solid walls and crashed through the houses, while the shells, still more terrible, scattered ruin and death in the streets, and burned every building that would burn. With scarcely any intermission, for four days this horrid work continued. The inhabitants, to be out of range, left their homes, and helplessly crowded upon the mole at the north part of the town,

but ere long the balls began to come nearer and nearer. For twelve days the town had been invested, and its provisions were now nearly exhausted. The foreign residents implored their consuls to aid them. The latter obtained permission of Morales to send a flag of truce to General Scott. They asked a cessation of hostilities till the foreigners, with their families, and the Mexican women and children could leave the place. The request was properly refused, on the ground that permission had once been offered the foreign residents to leave the town, and that the petition to receive attention must come from the Mexican governor.

The American batteries re-opened as soon as the flag

VERA CRUZ CAPITULATES-MARCH ON JALAPA,

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entered the city, and continued during the night. At CHAP. break of day another flag was seen approaching. The firing ceased. Negotiations commenced, and were ter- 1847. minated by the surrender of Vera Cruz, the Castle, the armaments and stores of each, and the soldiers as prisoners of war. These terms were agreed to by General Scott and Commodore Perry, who was in command of the squadron. The soldiers were to march out, with the honors of war, lay down their arms and be dismissed on Mar. their parole. The inhabitants were guaranteed in their civil and religious rights.

29.

General Worth was appointed governor of Vera Cruz. Apri The advance division, under General Twiggs, soon commenced the march for the city of Mexico by way of Jalapa. The whole army amounted to only eight thousand five hundred men, but there preceded them an influence, that threw a shadow of despondency over the minds of the Mexicans.

Santa Anna had been very active since his defeat at Buena Vista, (which he labored hard to prove to his countrymen was not a defeat at all ; he only retreated for want of provisions,) in collecting another army, and he had already arrived with twelve thousand men at Cerro Gordo, a mountain pass at the eastern edge of the Cordilleras. In the midst of revolutions and distractions, he marched to this, the first of the “ Thermopylæs,” which he promised his countrymen to defend. Within two months after a disastrous defeat, without money, without the prestige of success, he had quelled an insurrection and established his own power, raised an army, portions of which had marched from three hundred to six hundred miles ; had constructed the fortifications at Cerro Gordo, and made a ditch twelve miles long to supply the camp with water.

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18.

The positions of the Mexicans were reconnoitred, and

the attack commenced by the division under General 1847. Twiggs, sent to turn their position. Presently the whole April

front was assailed. The Americans seized another hill, El Telegrapho, up the sides of which they dragged heavy cannon, and began to play upon the defences of Cerro Gordo. The Mexicans replied with great vigor. During this mutual cannonade, Colonel Harney led his men rapidly down into the valley between the hills, and began to ascend the slope toward the defences on the top. The declivity was steep and rugged, and soon the entire fire of the battery was directed against these new assailants, but fortunately the balls for the most part passed over their heads. But without wavering they pressed up, carried one breastwork after another, until they presented themselves at the last, the strongest on the summit. Santa Anna, a short hour before, had ordered General Vasquez to defend this post to the last extremity, and he bravely stood his ground, and fell while encouraging his men ; confusion ensued, and the struggle was soon ended. The Americans poured in a stream of balls, forced their way through the breastwork, and then charged with the bayonet. The garrison fled down the western slope in the direction of Jalapa. Twiggs had passed round the bill, their retreat was cut off and they made prisoners. At this moment Santa Anna returned. He was enraged beyond bounds at seeing the discomfiture of his troops in a position which he was certain could have been maintained. He ordered General Canalizo to charge up the hill and re-capture Cerro Gordo; the latter absolutely refused to obey, but led off his cavalry. Then Santa Anna mounted a mule taken from his carriage, and fled, leaving as trophies to his enemies his travelling equipage and his private papers.

The Mexican army was annihilated and scattered in all directions; they had lost more than a thousand men, killed and wounded, three thousand prisoners, five

THE VOLUNTEERS RETURN HOME.

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generals, all their artillery and military stores. This was CHAP. not obtained without a severe loss to the invaders, who, in their rash and headlong charges in the face of batteries, 1847. and well protected musketeers, had lost four hundred and thirty-one, killed and wounded, of whom thirty-three were officers.

Possession was taken of Jalapa, three days later of April Perote, a stronghold on the summit of the Cordilleras, which was abandoned almost without a struggle, and then of the city of Puebla-containing eighty thousand inhabitants. At the latter city General Scott established

May his head-quarters.

15. The volunteers? term of enlistments would expire in one month. They refused to re-enlist, but urged that they should be permitted to return to the United States, and there be disbanded, rather than on the soil of Mexico. They greatly dreaded the vomito, or yellow fever, as the season in which it was most severe was near at hand. Though they had no claims to be thus dismissed, General Scott indulged them, as it would be impossible to secure the capital, if the volunteers insisted on returning home at the end of their term of enlistments. Thus situated he was forced to remain inactive three months, till re-in

Aug forcements arrived from the United States.

15

During this interval several circumstances occurred which embarrassed the General-in-Chief's movements as well as disturbed his equanimity. First was the effort made, as he thought, to degrade him from his position in the army. This was to be accomplished by appointing over him a Lieutenant-General, a rank never held in the service except by Washington. The measure failed to pass the Senate. The same end was apparently aimed at in another measure by which power was given the President to appoint officers to any position in the army, without regard to their previous rank.

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