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mander, appearing at the balcony with Captain Alexander, just as a staff officer despatched by Worth to receive the surrender, arrived within the works.
After the storm of the tête-du-pont, and the surrender of San Pablo, that portion of the enemy engaged with Garland's and Clarke's brigades, to the left and rear of the former work, gave way precipitately.
Still further to the rear, Shields, operating against the reserve, having determined upon an assault in front, formed his command accordingly. Selecting the Palmetto regiment as the base of his line, the New York and 12th and 15th were deployed to the right, and the 9th to the left; the whole then gallantly advanced, under a withering discharge of small arms, opening their fire as they came up and moving steadily forward. As soon as the enemy was observed to waver, the order to charge was given, and the men rushed upon him with the bayonet, broke his ranks, and put him to the rout, just as the fugitives from Churubusco came wildly up
the road, closely pursued by the head of Worth's division
All was now confusion. The Mexican cavalry, putting spurs to their horses, fled panic-struck; while the infantry, throwing away their arms by thousands, either knelt down by the wayside, and with uplifted hands prayed for quarter, or scattered with the speed of fear in every practicable direction.
Harney's bold dragoons were now let loose upon the fugitives, and, galloping along the high road to the capital, sabring as they went, dashed into the enemy's intrenchments at the very gate of the city; but this impetuosity laid them open to a severe fire of grape from one of the batteries in that quarter, whereby Major Mills, of the 15th infantry, a volunteer in the charge, was killed. Captain Kearney, who led the squadron, lost his left arm;
Shields's Official Report.
RESULT OF THE VICTORY.
Captains McReynolds and Duperu were severely wounded, and several of the dragoons placed hors du combat.”
Thus ended the famous 20th of August, a day upon which the American troops, in three separate and distinct actions, upon the same field, assaulted and signally defeated an enemy from three to five times their own number; captured no less than three strong positions, protected by ten batteries, prepared for sixty-one guns, and within which thirty-eight guns were taken, together with an immense quantity of small arms and ammunition, sufficient to supply a large army.
In these actions the Mexicans suffered a loss in killed and wounded of three thousand two hundred and fifty; and in prisoners two thousand six hundred and twenty-seven, among whom were eight generals, and one hundred and ninety-seven subordinate officers.
The American loss was, in killed, sixteen officers, and one hundred and twenty-three rank and file; and in wounded, sixty officers, and eight hundred and sixteen rank and file.
But, though these brilliant events occurred within a few miles of each other, the storm of Contreras and the turning of San Antonio were but subordinate parts of the main action at Churubusco. Here General Santa Anna concentrated all his forces for a final and determined resistance ; and it is but justice to the Mexicans to say, that, at this point, the severe loss on both sides affords the strongest evidence that they fought with greater intrepidity than had been exhibited in any previous engagement.
The battle was indeed most obstinate and bloody, and that a crowning triumph should at length have been obtained over a resolute enemy, numbering from twenty-seven to thirty thousand men, by a force of nine thousand Americans, exhausted by fighting, marching, and countermarching for thirty-six hours, is a significant proof of the indomitable courage, energy, and perseverance by which the latter were animated.
Scott's Note to Santa Anna-The Reply-Armistice-Its questionable Policy
Peace Negotiations Mexican Commission-Boundaries-American Project Mexican Counter-Project-Failure of Negotiations-Infringements of Armistice -Warlike temper of the Mexicans-Scoti's Letter to Santa Anna-His Answer -Trial of the Deserters-Sentence and Execution.
AFTER the victory of Churubusco, and while the American troops were hotly pursuing the discomfited enemy, Scott proceeded to Tacubaya, and established his head-quarters in the bishop's palace.
The next morning, while on his return to Cuyoacan, he was met by commissioners to propose a truce, the terms of which were promptly rejected; but, previous to this, an intimation having been received from reliable sources, that an armistice for the purpose of opening negotiations for peace would be eagerly accepted. Scott despatched from Cuyoacan the following note :
“HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY U. S. AMERICA,
Cuyoacan, August 21, 1847.} "To his Excellency the President and General-in-chief of the Republic of
“Sır: Too much blood has already been shed in this unnatural war between the two great Republics of this continent. It is time that the differences between them should be amicably and honourably settled, and it is known to your Excellency that a commissioner on the part of the United States, clothed with full powers to that end, is with this army.
• To enable the two republics to enter on negotiations, I am willing to sign, on reasonable terms, a short armistice.
" I shall wait with impatience until to-morrow morning for a direct answer to this communication, but shall, in the mean time, seize and occupy such positions outside of the capital as I
may deem necessary to the shelter and comfort of this army.
" I have the honour to remain, with high consideration and respect, your Excellency's most obedient servant,
This letter met with an immediate reply from the Mexican Secretary of War, in which he stated that the proposition for an armistice with the view of an honourable termination of the war, had been received with pleasure, by his Excellency the President and Commander-in-chief, and that Brigadier-Generals Villamil and Quijano, were appointed commissioners to agree upon the terms of the armistice.
The commissioners subsequently appointed on the part of the United States, were Major-General Quitman, and BrigadierGenerals Smith and Pierce. Shortly afterwards, articles of agreement were drawn up, and, after some slight modification, received the signatures of Generals Scott and Santa Anna.
The terms of the armistice were as follows:
“ The undersigned, appointed respectively, the first three by Major-General Winfield Scott, commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States, and the last two by his Excellency D. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, President of the Mexican Republic, and commander-in-chief of its armies, met with full powers, which were fully verified in the village of Tacubaya, on the 23d day of August, 1847, to enter into an armistice for the purpose of giving the Mexican government an opportunity of receiving propositions
of peace from the commissioners appointed by the President of the United States, and now with the American army, when the following articles were agreed upon :
“ ART. 1. Hostilities shall instantly and absolutely cease between the armies of the United States of America and the United Mexican States, within thirty leagues of the capital of the latter States, to allow time to the commissioners appointed by the United States and the commissioners to be appointed by the Mexican Republic, to negotiate.
62. The armistice shall continue as long as the commissioners of the two governments may be engaged on negotiations, or until the commander of either of the said armies shall give formal notice to the other of the cessation of the armistice for forty-eight hours after such notice.
63. In the mean time, neither army shall, within thirty leagues of the city of Mexico, commence any new fortification or military work of offence or defence, or do anything to enlarge or strengthen any existing work or fortification of that character within the said limits. « 4. Neither
shall be reinforced within the same. Any reinforcements in troops or munitions of war, other than subsistence now approaching either army, shall be stopped at the distance of twenty-eight leagues from the city of Mexico.
“5. Neither army, nor any detachment from it, shall advance beyond the line it at present occupies.
“6. Neither army, nor any detachment or individual of either, shall pass the neutral limits established by the last article, except under a flag of truce, bearing the correspondence between the two armies, or on the business authorized by the next article; and individuals of either army, who may chance to straggle within the neutral limits, shall, by the opposite party, be kindly warned off, or sent back to their own armies under flags of truce.
667. The American army shall not, by violence, obstruct the