« 이전계속 »
ATTACK ON MOLINO DEL REY.
Wright, was posted on the same ridge, to the left of Huger's battery, for the purpose of forcing the enemy's centre.
Clarke's brigade, commanded by Colonel McIntosh, and strengthened by Duncan's battery, was stationed still further up the ridge, opposite the enemy's right—Casa de Mata-with instructions to look to the left flank, sustain the storming party if necessary, or to attack the enemy, as circumstances might dictate.
Cadwalader's brigade was held in reserve in a position yet further up the ridge, between Huger's battery and Clarke's brigade, and within easy support of either.
Sumner's cavalry enveloped the extreme left, with orders to act in any manner that commander might think best. *
Accordingly, under cover of the darkness, at three o'clock on the morning of the 8th the troops were put in motion, and at early dawn were found as accurately posted as if for review.
The battle commenced by Huger's guns opening upon Molino del Rey, which was actively continued until that part of the enemy's line was sensibly shaken, when the storming column, guided by Captain Mason and Lieutenant Foster of the Engineers, dashed forward to the assault. Undismayed by a tremendous fire of artillery and small-arms, they rushed upon the artillerymen and infantry, drove them at the point of the bayonet, took the battery, and turned the captured guns upon the retreating masses.
But this success was only temporary. On discovering the smallness of the force by which his position had been stormed, the enemy rallied and made a desperate effort to regain it. Assisted by the infantry which covered the house-tops and had a plunging fire upon the battery, his whole line poured a terrific fire of musketry upon the stormers, which struck down eleven out of the fourteen officers composing the command, among whom Major Wright, Captain Mason, and Lieutenant Foster fell severely wounded. Staggered by this unexpected revulsion, the stormers
* Worth's Report.
were falling back, when the light battalion under Captain E. Kirby Smith moved rapidly up to their support, and, precipitating themselves upon the enemy, shattered his advancing ranks, and recaptured the position, and held it.
In the mean while, Garland's brigade, supported by Drum's artillery, bore down upon Molino del Rey, and although every inch of the ground was obstinately disputed by the enemy, succeeded in driving him from that strong hold, when Drum's section and Huger's battery immediately advanced, and adding the guns captured from the enemy to their own pieces, poured a destructive fire upon his retreating masses until they were beyond reach.
During the time these intrepid and successful assaults were being made on the left and centre, Duncan's battery opened upon Casa de Mata and continued its fire with terrible activity, until Molino del Rey and the enemy's centre were pierced and taken; when, being masked by McIntosh's brigade as it moved to the assault, and observing a large force of cavalry and infantry rapidly moving to the support of Casa de Mata, it dashed forward promptly to meet them, in concert with Andrews' voltigeurs of Cadwalader's brigade, and opening fire upon the cavalry as they came up, shattered their ranks and drove them back in confusion; Sumner's dragoons now dashed gallantly up and completed the discomfiture, while the battery returned to its former position.
During the progress of this brilliant affair, McIntosh's brigade, animated by the successes of their comrades, moved intrepidly to the attack of Casa de Mata; and now, for the first time, its great strength, which had hitherto been skilfully concealed, became fearfully apparent. The reconnoitring parties had mistaken for an ordinary field-work what proved to be a regular fortification, garrisoned by the choicest troops in the Mexican service.
Notwithstanding this ominous developement, the brigade resolutely pressed forward.
STORMING OF CASA DE MATA.
The enemy waited quietly until it approached within one hundred yards of his first position, when he poured in a terrible fire of musketry; but finding the Americans, though much cut up, still undauntedly advancing, he retreated to his second position behind the walls of Casa de Mata and the breastworks in front. From this shelter, he continued to pour volley after volley upon the devoted column of assailants, who, staggering on under a murderous fire, at length reached the slope of the parapet.
Their heroic bravery could carry them no further. Colonel McIntosh and Major White had already fallen severely wounded, and Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Scott was killed in the act of urging his men across the ditch which separated them from the enemy. With their muskets foul and unserviceable, their ammunition nearly expended, and with one-third of the noble brigade, including one-half of the officers, killed and wounded, they fell slowly and reluctantly back in rear of Duncan's battery. These guns, no longer masked by the movements of the brigade, now opened a retributive fire upon Casa de Mata; and so terrible was the effect of the rapidity and precision with which the pieces were served, that the enemy, unable to endure the avenging storm, precipitately abandoned the post he had hitherto so obstinately defended, and sought securer refuge under the guns of Chapultepec.
Thus, in the terse language of General Worth, was “ fought and won” the battle of Molino del Rey, in which his command of three thousand one hundred men, after two hours' severe fighting, carried the strong works at the foot of Chapultepec; routed fourteen thousand of the enemy, led by General Santa Anna in person; killed and wounded twenty-two hundred, among the former of whom were Generals Valdarez and Leon, the second and third in command; took over eight hundred prisoners, including fifty-two commissioned officers; and captured a battery of