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comparatively trifling - four men killed, three officers and thirtyseven men wounded, several of the latter mortally. I regret to say that Major Ringgold, 2d artillery, and Captain Page, 4th infantry, are severely wounded. Lieutenant Luther, 2d artillery, slightly so.
“ The enemy has fallen back, and it is believed, has repassed the river. I have advanced parties now thrown forward in his direction, and shall move the main body immediately.
« In the haste of this report, I can only say that the officers and men behaved in the most admirable manner throughout the action. I shall have the pleasure of making a more detailed report when those of the different commanders shall be received. “ I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. TAYLOR, Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. A., commanding. The Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. C.”
In striking contrast with this plain statement is the account of the vanquished Arista, addressed to the Mexican Minister of War and Marine, and dated, «In sight of the enemy, May 8.” Though in sight of the enemy, the Mexican commander was at the time in retreat. This omission, however, is of little moment, when we consider the many misstatements of his despatch.
“ Constant in my purpose of preventing General Taylor from uniting the forces which he brought from the Fronton of Santa Isabel, with those which he left opposite Matamoros, I moved this day from the Fanques del Raminero, whence I despatched my last extraordinary courier, and took the direction of Palo Alto, as soon as my spies informed me that the enemy had left Fronton, with the determination of introducing into his fort wagons loaded with provisions and heavy artillery.
“ I arrived opposite Palo Alto about one o'clock, and observed that the enemy was entering that position.
“ With all my forces, I established the line of battle in a great plain, my right resting upon an elevation, and my left on a slough of difficult passage.
Scarcely was the first cannon fired, when there arrived General D. Pedro de Ampudia, second in command, whom I had ordered to join me after having covered the points which might serve to besiege the enemy in the forts opposite Matamoros.
“ The forces under my orders amounted to three thousand men, and twelve pieces of artillery ; those of the invaders were three thousand, rather less than more, and were superior in artillery, since they had twenty pieces of the calibre of sixteen and eighteen pounds.
« The battle commenced so ardently, that the fire of cannon did not cease a single moment. In the course of it, the enemy wished to follow the road to Matamoros, to raise the siege of his troops; with which object he fired the grass, and formed in front of his line of battle a smoke so thick, that he succeeded in covering himself from our view, but by means of manæuvres this was twice embarrassed.
“General Taylor maintained his attack rather defensively than offensively, employing his best arm, which is artillery, protected by half of the infantry, and all of his cavalry, keeping the remainder fortified in the ravine, about two thousand yards from the field of battle.
"I was anxious for the charge, because the fire of cannon did much damage in our ranks; and I instructed General D. Anastasio Torrejon to execute it with the greater part of the cavalry, by our left flank, with some columns of infantry, and the remainder of the cavalry.
“ I was waiting the moment when that general should execute the charge, and the effect of it should begin to be seen, in order to give the impulse on the right; but he was checked by a fire of the enemy,
which defended a slough that embarrassed the attack.
“Some battalions, becoming impatient by the loss which they suffered, fell into disorder, demanding to advance or fall back. I immediately caused them to charge with a column of cavalry, under the command of Colonel D. Cayetano Montero; the result of this operation being that the dispersed corps repaired their fault as far as possible, marching towards the enemy, who, in consequence of his distance, was enabled to fall back upon his reserve; and night coming on, the battle was concluded, the field remaining for our arms.
« Every suitable measure was then adopted, and the division took up a more concentrated curve in the same scene of action.
“ The combat was long and bloody, which may be estimated from the calculations made by the commandant-general of artillery, General D. Thomas Requena, who assures me that the enemy
threw about three thousand cannon-shots from two in the afternoon, when the battle commenced, until seven at night, when it terminated, — six hundred and fifty being fired on our side.
« The national arms shone forth, since they did not yield a hand's-breadth of ground, notwithstanding the superiority in artillery of the enemy, who suffered much damage.
« Our troops have to lament the loss of two hundred and fiftytwo men dispersed, wounded, and killed, - the last worthy of national recollection and gratitude for the intrepidity with which they died fighting for the most sacred of causes.
“Will your Excellency please with bis note to report to his Excellency the President, representing to him that I will take care to give a circumstantial account of this deed of arms; and recommending to him the good conduct of all the generals, chiefs, officers and soldiers under my orders, for sustaining so bloody a combat, which does honour to our arms, and exhibits their discipline.”
A Council-of-War-Taylor's March resumed-Mexicans killed and wounded
Advance-Guard under Captain McCall-Skirmish with the Enemy-His Position at Resaca de la Palma–Commencement of the Battle-Ridgely's ArtilleryThe 5th Infantry—The 4th Infantry-Service of the Cannon—8th Infantry brought up-May ordered to take the Enemy's Battery—May's brilliant Charge
- Death of Lieutenant Inge-Capture of General Vega-Bravery of LieutenantColonel Belknap-Lieutenant-Colonel McIntosh wounded-Capture of Arista's Camp-Lieutenant Cochrane killed—The Tampico Battalion-Capture of its Flag-Rout of the Enemy--General Taylor's Report--Burial of the DeadHumanity of General Taylor--Exchange of Prisoners-Congratulatory Orders Manifesto of the Mexican Commander.
At daybreak on the 9th, the rear of the enemy was seen retiring through the chaparral towards Fort Brown, and the general belief was, that he was disposed to try his fortunes again, and would further dispute the advance of the American army.
After their morning meal, General Taylor called a council composed of the heads of the commands, in which some were for marching forward; others preferred intrenching where they were, until reinforced by the volunteers that were expected; while others, again, were in favour of returning to Point Isabel. The commanding-general reconciled all differences by declaring, that he would be in Fort Brown before night, if he lived. Thereupon the council closed, and orders were given to form in line, and march forward. In passing over the battle-ground of the former day, the terrible effects of our artillery were visible in the heapedup masses of dead bodies disfigured with ghastly wounds and distained with blood, — in the dead horses scattered along the route of the retreating cavalry,— and in the fragments of arms,
military accoutrements, and clothing strewed over the field in admirable confusion.
On reaching the edge of the chaparral, General Taylor halted the troops at a pond, and ordered forward into the chaparral an advanced corps, to feel the enemy, and ascertain his position. This consisted of the light companies of the First Brigade, under Captain C. F. Smith, 2d artillery, and a select detachment of light troops; the whole under command of Captain A. G. McCall, 4th infantry, and numbering two hundred and twenty men. Captain Smith's party moved along upon the right of the road, the remainder of the command upon the left. In expectation of an engagement, General Taylor parked his supply-train, and fortified its position by intrenchments, and by a battery consisting of the two 18-pounders and two 12's. The artillery battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Childs (excepting the flank companies), was stationed as a guard to the train, some distance in advance of it.
While scouring the chaparral in search of the enemy, the American advance upon the right discovered some small parties of infantry, and one of cavalry, and immediately fired upon them. Shortly after this the head of the command, on reaching the open ground bordering upon the Resaca de la Palma, came within range of a masked battery, and received three rounds of canister, which killed one man, and wounded three others. Upon this the men broke and took to the chaparral. Shortly after, however, they rallied, and uniting with the detachment under Captain Smith, prepared to move upon the flank of the enemy and attack him.
While this was going on upon the right of the road, Lieutenant Dobbins, with a small party, encountered upon the left a large body of Mexicans. The lieutenant raised his rifle and killed the Mexican leader; almost at the same instant his soldiers fired, killing and wounding a number of the enemy, while the remainder