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pose. During that night, an attack was commenced upon the Loma d'lndependencia, which terminated on the evening of the 22d, with the capture of the "key of Monterey." Ampudia attempted the recovery of the hill on the next night, but, having been received very warmly, he gave up his design. On the following day, the 23d, the assailants advanced from both extremities of the town, but "instead of risking life in the street, which was raked from end to end by artillery, or rendered untenable by the • hidden marksmen, who shot our men from behind the walls of the house-tops our forces were thrown into the dwellings, and breaking through walls and enclosures, gradually mined their way towards the plaza, or great square of Monterey."
The Mexicans, sensible that their town was doomed, and fearing the consequences if taken by assault, proposed a capitulation, early on the morning of the 24th of September. After some discussion and dispute as to the terms, Ampudia was allowed to evacuate the town, his troops retaining their small arms, and carrying with them one field battery of six guns, with twenty-one rounds of ammunition, and all the cavalry horses. The victors were to have all the other material of war in the town, and all the public property. Taylor's consent to a suspension of arms and to this capitulation was the more readily given, because Ampudia announced, that he had been officially informed that Santa Anna (whose return and resumption of the conduct of affairs Taylor now first heard of) had
agreed to receive commissioners from the United States, and had appointed commissioners on the part of Mexico, to negotiate a peace. Next morning, the evacuation commenced, and, on the 28th of September, the whole town and citadel, together with forty pieces of cannon and a vast quantity of military stores, was given up to our countrymen. General Taylor's loss was one hundred and twenty-eight killed, and three hundred and sixty-eight wounded. The Mexican loss was estimated to be between five hundred and a thousand.
At this point it will be convenient to turn to other portions of the seat of war, which in the present case extended across the continent. Immediately on receiving the news of the commencement of hostilities on the Rio Grande, General Wool was ordered to muster and prepare the volunteers to be raised in accordance with the act of Congress declaring war. At the end of May he set out, and passing by Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee to Mississippi, met the newly-enlisted volunteers at various stations along that route, inspected them, and admitted twelve thousand of them; who, about the middle of July, were directed to join the army. About nine thousand of these were ordered to the Rio Grande, as reinforcements to Taylor's army; the rest rendezvoused at Bexar, in Texas, in readiness to march, under Wool himself, as the "army of the centre," against Chihuahua.
Setting out from Bexar on the 20fch of September, Wool crossed the Rio Grande at Presidis, on the 11th of October, and after a march of twenty days, through mountain passes and deserts, along which in many instances roads had to be formed before his train, (which was immense in proportion to his numbers) could pass, and where the sufferings of the men were often very great, he arrived at Monclova. There he learned from General Taylor that Monterey had been captured, and that he had agreed to an armistice with Ampudia; and was also informed, that the route, by which it was originally intended that he should reach Chihuahua, was impracticable for his train; whilst it was manifest that the conquest of New Leon and Coahuila, effected by Taylor, made the expedition against Chihuahua unnecessary. The forces under General "Wool were accordingly posted at Pan-as, so as to be in communication with the army of occupation.
GENERAL WOOL'S MAECH.
The command of the "army of the west," which was raised principally in Mississippi, was given to Colonel Kearney, who, about the end of July, with less than two thousand men, was at Bent's Fort, on the Arkansas, ready to march for New Mexico. Taking in convoy the annual "caravan" of Santa Fe traders, he then set forth across the prairie; and, after toils and sufferings on the part of his men quite as great as those endured by the other armies, on August the 18th he entered Santa Fe. The governor, Don Manuel Armijo, had intended to oppose him, but thought better of the matter and abandoned the place. Four days afterwards, Kearney issued a proclamation, in which he announced, that the country now having become a part of the United States, the inhabiUnts were to consider them
selves bound to obey the laws, and submit to the regulations of the new government. The whole of New Mexico having submitted without a stroke, Kearney established a territorial gov eminent, and appointing a governoi and other officers, set out, on the 25th of September, with less than a thousand men, for California. Having advanced nearly two hundred miles, he was met by an express from Captain Fremont, in California, which led to Kearney's sending back most of his troops to Santa Fe.
Colonel Doniphan, early in December, left Santa F6 with eight hundred men, in three divisions, for the purpose of reinforcing General Wool, who, as was supposed, was advancing upon Chihuahua. Being through unknown regions and attended with peculiar trials, this march of Doniphan's force was hazardous in the extreme. His men suffered intensely, but their courage and perseverance did not fail. At Brazitos, on the 21st of December, Doniphan encountered a large body of Mexicans, and defeated them without difficulty. On the 27th, he entered El Paso del Norte, where he was compelled to wait for a month in inactivity, and anxiously looking for news from General Wool. Late in February, 1847, Doniphan left El Paso, and on the 28th, discovered the enemy near the Rancho Sacramento, on the river of the same name. The superior skill and the impetuous bravery of the American troops led to a speedy victory. The enemy left on the field three hundred dead and as many wounded, all their guns, and stores, and forty prisoners; while
Doniphan lost but one man killed and eight wonnded, one of whom afterward died. Chihuahua fell into Doniphan's hands on the 1st of March; and there he rested his toilworn band for six weeks; then, continuing his march, he reached General Taylor's encampment, near Monterey, late in the month of May, 1847 *
Captain Fremont, of the topographical corps, set out in the spring of 1845, with an armed party, for the purpose of crossing the mountains and penetrating to the interior of California. His object was stated to be of a purely scientific character. On the 29th of January, 1846, he arrived in the neighborhood of Monterey, California. Here he sought and obtained permission of De Castro, the Mexican governor, to enter the valley of the San Joaquin, in order to obtain forage for
1846* i*i -I • • /*
his horses, and provisions tor the men. Whilst availing himself of this permission, in March, 1846, he was informed by some American settlers, that De Castro was preparing to attack him and his men upon the pretext, that, under the cover of a scientific mission, he was exciting the American settlers to revolt. Fremont then, in self-defence, took a position on a mountain overlooking Monterey, at a distance of about thirty miles, entrenched it, raised the flag of the United States, and with his own men, sixty-two in number, awaited the approach of the Mexican general. Having remained in this position from the 7th to the 10th of March,
* See Mr. Benton's address to the corps under Doniphan, on their return; " Thirty Yeari View,'" voL ii., pp. 684r~8a
without molestation from De Castro, Fremont continued his march for Oregon. After entering Oregon, and being attacked by hostile Indians, who, it was alleged, were urged to this by De Castro, and having been informed that the Mexican general intended to crush him and his force, Fremont turned back, and resolved to overthrow the Mexican authority in California and establish an independent government there. Hurrying to the Sacramento, while lieutenant Gillespie of the marines, (who had joined Fremont early in May), went down the river to secure the co-operation of the fleet, Fremont commenced operations; he captured two hundred horses one day; another day took Sonoma, with all its armament; and another attacked and defeated a squadron of seventy dragoons; he rallied round him, now forty settlers, now ninety, and soon had above two hundred at his command; and finally, on the 5th of July, at Sonoma, he and the American settlers proclaimed the Republic of California, with himself at the head of its affairs.
Commodore Sloat, in command of the squadron of observation, had been ordered at the breaking out of the war, "to take and hold San Francisco;" but before that order reached him, on the 7th of June, he heard of the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and the next day sailed for Monterey. With proclamations in Spanish and English, on July the 7th, just two days after Fremont's proclamation, Monterey was in his hands; and on the 9th, San Francisco fell, and Sloat announced, "henceforward California will be a por
tion of the United States." Commodore Stockton succeeded Sloat in his command, and Fremont having formed a junction with him, entered Ciudad de los Angelos, on the 12th of August, the Mexicans having fled. Stockton took possession of the country, and appointed Fremont governor. Thus the conquest of California, like that of New Mexico, was effected without the loss of a single life in battle*
Turn we now to General Taylor, and the progress of affairs in which he was concerned. On a previous page (p. 435,) we have stated, that a suspension of hostilities had been agreed upon by the commanding general, under the conviction, that Mexico had already been brought to that position, that she would be glad to make peace on terms agreeable to the United States, and that the home government would sanction this proceeding on his part. But "the authorities at home," as Mr. Mayer states, "eager for fresh victories, or pandering to public and political taste, did not approve and confirm an act, for which General Taylor has, nevertheless, received, as he truly merits, the just applause of impartial history." The armistice at Monterey accordingly ceased, and Taylor having been informed, on the 25th of November, that Tampico was occupied by the naval forces of the
* For the account which Mr. Benton gives of the court-martial on Colonel Fremont (early in 1848), and its results, see his "Thirty Yearn' View" voL ii., pp. T15-19. It is worth the reader's examination, and will help him towards understanding various matters connected with the California business, the Mexican war, etc
United States, left Worth and Butler at Monterey and at Saltillo, (which had fallen soon after the capture of Monterey,) and about the middle of December, set out for Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, where he designed to concentrate a portion of his army.
While absent on this expedition, General Worth informed Taylor, that Santa Anna was making quite extensive preparations to expel the Americans from Mexico. After a careful calculation of the chances in his favor, he had judged it best to take the lead in that policy which was most popular in Mexico, viz., to resist the aggressions of the United States. Accordingly, at San Louis de Potosi, in the heart of Mexico, and on the high road from Monterey to the capital, he had collected an army of twenty thousand men, all eager for the combat, and confident of victory. The scanty and scattered detachments of the American army could scarcely have stood before a well-planned and resolute movement of such a force; but Wool was summoned from Parras to join Worth at Saltillo, and Taylor, finding that the movement against Saltillo was not likely to take place, ordered General Quitman with the volunteers to march to Victoria, where he himself arrived, on the 4th of January, 1847.
The administration, meanwhile, had come to the conclusion that a change in the plan of operations against Mexico must be made. Taylor's line of attack was not likely to prove successful; and hence, as our ships had possession of the sea, and an army could be thrown upon any point of the coast which might