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the 24th of February, it was found that Santa Anna had retreated.

The Mexican retreat was attended 'with intense and pitiable distresses; the sick, the wounded, the dying, and the dead were abandoned at every step. The- Americans were too few in number, and too much exhausted by the conflict, to allow a pursuit; and there were the dead to be buried, and the wounded to be cared for. An interchange of prisoners was arranged with Santa Anna; and Minon with the rancheros under Urrea, whose exploits had not been of a kind to compensate for the defeat, were withdrawn. The total loss, on the part of our countrymen, was, amongst the regulars, eight killed and fifty-three wounded; amongst the volunteers, two hundred and sixty-four killed, three hundred and thirty-five wounded, and six missing; in all, six hundred and sixty-six killed, wounded, and missing. The Mexican loss was about two thousand five hundred, in killed and wounded; whilst in missing, and deaths during the retreat, their own authorities say, that at least ten thousand five hundred more were lost. They captured three guns in the battle; but they were defeated, completely and disastrously. By the middle of March, the American communications were completely restored; and the northern Vol. III.—50

frontier of Mexico was entirely in possession of our troops.

General Taylor having little to do now, in consequence of the new line of operations which had been marked out, in the month of November left General Wool in command, and reached New Orleans on the 1st of December. He was received with the most flattering attentions, and everywhere throughout the country the voice of the people was heard in praise of his bravery and his ability as a general.

There can be no doubt, that the qualities displayed by General Taylor, during his campaigns in Mexico, commended his name to the whig party as a candidate for the presidential chair likely to command a large vote of the people in his favor. His sound good sense, his firmness, his excellent private character, and his political views, added to his brilliant reputation as a brave and victorious general, gave promise of success in the great political contest approaching; and the veteran hero was early applied to on the subject of his being nominated for the presidency. The letters from him in respect to this matter were characterized by his plain, good sense, and his willingness to serve his country in any station to which he might be called by the voice of his fellow-citizens'.

CHAPTER VI.

1847-1849.

Folk's Administration: Concluded.

General Scott at Vera Cruz — Bombardment of the city and castle — Advance into Mexico — Battle of Cerro Gordo —Other successes—Scott and the army at Perotc—N. P. Trist's mission—Mexican efforts to defend their capital —Santa Anna's plans — Battle of Contreras— Brilliant affair — Armistice of Tacubaya — Result — Assaults an Molino del Eey and Casa Mata — Chapultepec taken — Entire success of the American arms — Entrance into the city of Mexico — War virtually ended — Colonel Childs at Puebla — Attacked by Santa Anna —Dissensions among Scott and his officers—Negotiations for peace—Substance of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo—Reflections on the Mexican war — Congress in session, December, 1847 — Mr. Polk's message—The work done — John Quincy Adams's death — Party conventions for nominating candidates for president and vice-president — The election—Taylor and Fillmore elected—Second session of the thirtieth congress—Mr. Polk's laBt message—Abstract of its contents — The gold region discovered — Work of the session — Action in regard to California and New Mexico—Principal acts passed—Convention of southern members of Congress on the subject of alaverv—— Plans for railroad communication with the Pacific coast—End of Mr. Polk's administration.

At the earliest practicable period after his appointment as commander-inchief of the army in Mexico, General Scott hastened to take command of the expedition. On his arrival at Tampico, he immediately infused vigor into the operations on foot, and by issuing martial-law orders, put a stop to the disgraceful acts of violence and outrage in which many of the troops had previously been permitted to indulge without punishment. He also, as we have before stated (p. 439), withdrew from General Taylor's command the regulars, and a large portion of the volunteers, in order to increase his own force as much as possible; and, relying upon the support of the government at home, set himself earnestly to work to carry out the campaign in gallant style, as became a warrior of his distinguished reputation.

Lobos, an island to the south of Tampico, and about a hundred and twentyfive miles from Vera Cruz, was the rendezvous appointed for the armament which was to be thrown upon the coast at the nearest point to the capital; and there, in the beginning of March, 1847, were collected above twelve thousand men, and a fleet of a hundred and sixty-three vessels to transport the army, with its guns, stores, and equipage of every kind, to its destination. On the 7th of March, the embarkation was effected; and two days afterwards, the whole force was landed, without the loss of a man, at the island of Sacrificios, in close proximity to Vera Cruz. On the 18th, having, without effect, summoned the city to surrender, Scott broke ground before it; he also gave free permission to the non-combatants, such as women and children,

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