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Colonel Harney's dragoon fight.
terson's division by Lieutenant Judd, with two pieces of artillery, about sixty dragoons, dismounted, and six companies of the 1st and 2d Tennessee volunteers, under the command of Colonel Haskell, accompanied by General Patterson in person, although he did not take the command from Colonel Harney, but merely participated as any other individual who was engaged. Colonel Harney then formed the Tennesseeans on the right, his dragoons on the left, and advanced slowly to draw the fire of the Mexicans, until Lieutenant Judd got his artillery in such a position as he desired. The movement succeeded admirably: Lieutenant Judd got his ground within one hundred and fifty yards of the Mexicans, and commenced firing—they attempted to return it, but as soon as a slight breach was made in the parapet, Colonel Harney ordered a charge, which was answered by a yell from the dragoons and Tennesseeans. Colonel Haskell, Captain Cheatham, and Captain Foster, were the first men to leap over the breastwork, and as a naval officer remarked, who witnessed the whole affair, the balance went over so much like a “thousand of brick,” that there was no telling who was first or last. As might have been expected, the Mexicans were unable to stand a charge from “the boys who stood the fire of the Black Fort at Monterey.” A few of the encumbrances were soon thrown out of the way, and Colonel Harney, with his dragoons, leaped the breastwork and gave chase. He had not proceeded more than a mile before he found the enemy formed in line to receive him. He immediately deployed, and from the head of the line ordered a charge. When he
approached within about twenty yards of the enemy’s
Colonel Harney's dragoon fight."
line they gave him a fire from their side-arms, but overshot. Then came the test of strength and skill—the dragoon, with sword in hand, met the confiding lancer, with pointed lance, ready to receive him. The contest was but for a short time. In many instances lances were twisted from their clenched hands; the Mexicans were unsaddled and driven, helter-skelter, in every direction, and pursued by the dragoons in detachments. Colonel Harney and several of his officers met their men in single combat, but none of them received any injury except Lieutenant Neill, adjutant of the regiment, who was wounded severely in two places from his magnanimity in attempting to capture a Mexican instead of killing him. In full run he overtook the retreating Mexican, and placing his sword in front of him commanded him to surrender, whereupon the Mexican drove his lance into his magnanimous adversary. As the lieutenant wheeled his horse to despatch him, another Mexican charged up and struck him with a lance. However, severely wounded as he was in two places, he conquered one of his foes, and a corporal came up in time to “settle accounts’ with the other. In this affair Colonel Harney had four wounded and one killed; Lieutenant Judd had one killed; and the Tennesseeans had Messrs. Fox, Long, Woodly, and one other of Captain McCown's company, whose name I could not ascertain, wounded. Mr. Young, a Texan ranger, who was acting as guide, was also wounded slightly. Nineteen Mexicans were found dead at the bridge behind the breastwork. . Colonel Harney killed fifty and wounded about the same number. The Mexican force near two thousand; Colonel Harney’s about five hundred.
Colonel Haskell, Captains Cheatham, Foster, Snead, Ilieutenant Judd, and all the officers and men in the command, are spoken of in the very highest terms by Colonel Harney for their gallant conduct throughout the whole affair. On the 27th, Commodore Perry was preparing to land another battery of ten guns from the Ohio, but the necessity was obviated by the ratification by both parties of the stipulations agreed upon by the commissioners. The Mexicans surrendered the city of Vera Cruz and castle of San Juan de Ulloa, and the armaments and munitions of war, together with their small arms. The officers retained their side arms, and the whole surrendered as prisoners of war, and were allowed to retire into the country on their parole, General Scott furnishing them four days rations. The surrender of the city took place on the 29th. The Americans were drawn up in two lines facing each other, and extending for more than a mile across the plain. The Mexicans left the city with their national music playing atten o’clock, passed between the American lines, laid down their colours and arms, and marched for the interior. The Americans then entered the city with their national music, the stars and stripes were saluted by the batteries, the castle, and the fleet, (see opposite) as they were flung to the breeze in the Plaza; General Scott established his head-quarters at the place, and General Worth became military governor of the city. The effect of our shells upon the city was now seen, and proved to have been deplorable. Hardly a house had escaped, and a large portion of them were ruined. The shells had fallen through the