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To divert his attention as far as practicable, the 1st division, under Brigadier-General Twiggs, and field division of volunteers, under Major-General Butler, were displayed in front of the town until dark. Arrangements were made at the same time to place in battery, during the night, at a suitable distance from the enemy's main work, the citadel, two twenty-four-pound howitzers, and a ten-inch mortar, with a view to open a fire on the following day, when I proposed to make a diversion in favour of General Worth's movement. The 4th infantry covered this battery during the night. General Worth had in the mean time reached and occupied, for the night, a defensive position just without range of a battery above the Bishop's Palace, having made a reconnoissance as far as the Saltillo road.
Before proceeding to report the operations of the 21st and the following days, I beg leave to state that I shall mention in detail only those which were conducted against the eastern extremity of the city, or elsewhere, under my immediate direction, referring you for the particulars of General Worth's operations, which were entirely detached, to his own full report transmitted herewith.
Early on the morning of the 21st, I received a note from General Worth, written at half past nine o'clock the night before, suggesting what I had already intended, a strong diversion against the centre and left of the town, to favour his enterprise against the heights in rear. The infantry and artillery of the 1st division, and the field division of volunteers, were ordered under arms, and took the direction of the city, leaving one company of each regiment as a camp guard. The second dra
General Taylor's despatch.
goons, under Lieutenant-Colonel May, and Colonel Woods' regiment of Texas mounted volunteers, under the immediate direction of General Henderson, were directed to the right to support General Worth, if necessary, and to make an impression, if practicable, upon the upper quarter of the city. Upon approaching the mortar battery, the 1st and 3d regiments of infantry, and battalion of Baltimore and Washington volunteers, with Captain Bragg's field battery—the whole under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Garland—were directed towards the lower part of the town, with orders to make a strong demonstration, and carry one of the enemy's advanced works, if it could be done without too heavy loss. Major Mansfield, engineers, and Captain Williams and Lieutenant Pope, topographical engineers, accompanied this column, Major Mansfield being charged with its direction, and the designation of points of attack.
In the mean time, the mortar, served by Captain Ramsay, of the ordnance, and the howitzer battery under Captain Webster, 1st artillery, had opened their fire upon the citadel, which was deliberately sustained, and answered from the work. General Butler's division had now taken up a position in rear of this battery, when the discharges of artillery, mingled finally with a rapid fire of small arms, showed that Lieutenant Garland's command had become warmly engaged. I now deemed it necessary to support this attack, and accordingly ordered the 4th infantry, and three regiments of General Butler's division, to march at once, by the left flank, in the direction of the advanced work at the lower extremity of the town, leaving one regiment (1st Kentucky) to cover the mortar and howitzer battery. By
General Taylor's despatch.
some mistake, two companies of the 4th infantry did not receive this order, and, consequently, did not join the advance companies until some time afterwards.
Lieutenant-Colonel Garland's command had approached the town in a direction to the right of the advanced work (No. 1,) at the north-eastern angle of the city, and the engineer officer, covered by skirmishers, had succeeded in entering the suburbs and gaining cover. The remainder of this command now advanced and entered the town under a heavy fire of artillery from the citadel and the works on the left, and of musketry from the houses and small works in front. A movement to the right was attempted, with a view to gain the rear of No. 1, and carry that work, but the troops were so much exposed to a fire which they could not effectually return, and had already sustained such severe loss, particularly in officers, that it was deemed best to withdraw them to a more secure position. Captain Backus, 1st infantry, however, with a portion of his own and other companies, had gained the roof of a tannery, which looked directly into the gorge of No. 1, and from which he poured a most destructive fire into that work and upon the strong building in its rear. This fire happily coincided in point of time with the advance of a portion of the volunteer division upon No. 1, and contributed largely to the fall of that strong and important work.
The three regiments of the volunteer division, under the immediate command of Major-General Butler, had in the mean time advanced in the direction of No. 1. The leading brigade, under Brigadier-General Quitman, continued its advance upon that work, preceded by three companies of the 4th infantry, while General But
General Taylor's despatch. ler, with the 1st Ohio regiment, entered the town to the right. The companies of the 4th infantry had advanced within short range of the work, when they were received by a fire that almost in one moment struck down onethird of the officers and men, and rendered it necessary to retire and effect a conjunction with the two other companies then advancing. General Quitman's brigade, though suffering most severely, particularly in the Tennessee regiment, continued its advance, and finally carried the work in handsome style, as well as the strong building in its rear. Five pieces of artillery, a considerable supply of ammunition, and thirty prisoners, including three officers, fell into our hands.
Major-General Butler, with the 1st Ohio regiment, after entering the edge of the town, discovered that nothing was to be accomplished in his front, and at this point, yielding to the suggestions of several officers, I ordered a retrograde movement; but learning almost immediately from one of my staff, that the battery No, 1 was in our possession, the order was countermanded, and I determined to hold the battery and defenses already gained. General Butler, with the 1st Ohio regiment, then entered the town at a point farther to the left, and marched in the direction of the battery No. 2, While making an examination with a view to ascertain the possibility of carrying this second work by storm, the general was wounded and soon after compelled to quit the field. As the strength of No. 2, and the heavy musketry fire flanking the approach, rendered it impossible to carry it without great loss, the 1st Ohio regiment was withdrawn from the town.
Fragments of the various regiments engaged were
General Taylor's despatch.
now under cover of the captured battery and some buildings in its front and on the right. The field battery of Captains Bragg and Ridgely was also partially covered by the battery. An incessant fire was kept on this position from battery No. 2, and other works on its right, and from the citadel on all our approaches. General Twiggs, though quite unwell, joined me at this point, and was instrumental in causing the artillery captured from the enemy to be placed in battery, and served by Captain Ridgely, against No. 2, until the arrival of Captain Webster's howitzer battery, which took its place. In the mean time, I directed such men as could be collected of the 1st, 3d, and 4th regiments and Baltimore battalion, to enter the town, penetrating to the right, and carry the second battery if possible. This command, under Lieutenant-Colonel Garland, advanced beyond the bridge “Purisima,' when, finding it impracticable to gain the rear of the second battery, a portion of it sustained themselves for some time in that advanced position; but as no permanent impression could be made at that point, and the main object of the general operation had been effected, the command, including a section of Captain Ridgely's battery, which had joined it, was withdrawn to battery No. 1. During the absence of this column, a demonstration of cavalry was reported in the direction of the citadel. Captain Bragg, who was at hand, immediately galloped vith his battery to a suitable position, from which a few discharges effectually dispersed the enemy. Captain Miller, 1st infantry, was despatched with a mixed command to support the battery on this service. The enemy's lancers had previously charged upon the Ohio and a part