« 이전계속 »
nions-in-arms, more than rivalled them in acts of individual daring, and stood coequal with them in the splendour of their successes.
How seemingly inadequate the force was by which these great results were obtained, will be best shown by the following statement:August 19th and 20th, before Contreras and Churubusco, 8497 September 8th, Molino del Rey,
3251 September 13th and 14th, Chapultepec and the Garitas, 7180 And the city of Mexico was finally entered, after deducting the garrison of Chapultepec and the killed and wounded, by less than 6000 men.
The intermediate losses in killed, wounded, and missing, were as follows:
Missing. Contreras and Churubusco,
137 877 38 Molino del Rey,
116 665 18 Chapultepec, the Garitas, and within
130 703 29
383 2245 85 Of the number of killed, 33 were officers and 350 rank and file. The Mexican losses in these engagements, were Killed and wounded,
or 10730, equal to the whole number of the American troops that marched from Puebla upon the capital. The trophies consisted of more than 20 colours and standards, 75 pieces of ordnance, 57 wallpieces, and 20,000 stand of arms.
After the capture of the capital, the disorganization of the Mexican army was so complete, that out of an array of 20,000 men, but three fragments remained, the largest of which did not contain more than 2500 men.
* Scott's Official Despatch, September 18, 1847.
Isolated condition of the American Army-Guerrilla Warfare-Attack on McIn.
tosh's Train-Reinforced by Cadwalader-Skirmish at the National BridgeArrival at Jalapa-Battle of La Hoya-Gallantry of Captain Walker-Cadwalader's Report-Pillow's Reinforcement-General Pierce's-Attack on Lally's Train-Skirmish at Paso de Ovejas-At the National Bridge-At Cerro Gordo -At Las Animas-Arrival at Jalapa-American Loss.
From the time the army of the United States left Puebla, on the 7th of August, to the 14th of September, when it entered the city of Mexico, Scott did not receive a single reinforcement, and for the most part of that period his communication with the coast was completely cut off by the activity of the guerrilleros, who had thrown themselves between the inadequate garrisons established along the line.
These garrisons were themselves frequently threatened, and it required the most incessant vigilance on the part of the commanders both at Perote and Puebla, to avert the designs of the enemy. Puebla was indeed eventually besieged, and its weak but heroic garrison maintained a noble defence until it was relieved by reinforcements under General Lane.
But it was upon the trains, which containing, besides the usual army supplies, large amounts of specie for the use of the disbursing officers, that the attacks of the guerrilleros were most frequently made. The long stretch of wagons and mules of which these trains were composed, and the utterly inadequate force by which they were usually guarded, offered irresistible temptations to roving bands of the enemy, whose knowledge of the country
enabled them to appear suddenly at any designated point, and to disappear with equal rapidity, if the chances of success promised to be unfavourable. The distance between Vera Cruz and Perote is so great, and the points of attack so many, that, notwithstanding the exertions of a company of Mounted Rifles, under the celebrated Captain Samuel H. Walker, which for a time kept the route tolerably clear, there was scarcely a train that ventured up to Perote which did not meet with interruption by the way.
Had there been at this time a subsidiary force sufficient to have maintained posts, such as were subsequently established at the National Bridge, Plan del Rio, and the city of Jalapa, much of the annoyance and loss incident to a line of route continually blocked up and reopened might have been avoided.
On the 4th of June, 1847, a train of wagons left Vera Cruz, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J. S. McIntosh. This brave and gallant officer had already gloriously distinguished himself at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, where he fell pierced with wounds, from which he had not fully recovered when he sought to rejoin his regiment at Puebla.
Subsequently, after enduring the perils of the march and distinguishing himself at the battle of Churubusco, he was again seriously wounded while leading the brigade of Clarke to the terrible assault of Molino del Rey, of which wound, aggravated by those previously received, he shortly afterwards died.
The train of which he assumed the command, was in every respect inefficient. The drivers were bad, the teams unbroken, and the troops, new volunteers from the northern states of the Union, exceedingly debilitated by the heat and unhealthiness of the climate.
The train consisted of one hundred and twenty-eight wagons, loaded with specie and ammunition, and its conducting force amounted in all to six hundred and eighty-eight men, of whom
ATTACK ON M'INTOSH'S TRAIN.
six hundred and six were reported on the 7th of June as fit for duty.
By the evening of the second day, owing to accidents which had befallen them, four wagons were abandoned. On the morning of the 6th the troops broke up their camp on the San Juan, and after proceeding a few miles, were attacked for the first time by the guerrilleros, while ascending a hill. The hills in the distance being also seen covered with the enemy, the wagons were parked, and, after a short contest, the assailants were dislodged with some loss. The march was then resumed, but the train had not proceeded more than a mile when the firing, which was previously in front, now opened in rear. As soon as the enemy was beaten off, the march was again resumed. Half a mile further on he made another and more desperate attack, but was eventually dispersed by a vigorous charge, and his force driven back into the recesses of the forest. It being now dark, and the firing having ceased, the train was halted at this point, and the troops rested upon their arms all night.
The next day, on the route to Paso de Ovejas, the train was again harassed, when finding himself scantily supplied with provisions and forage, and learning that more serious attacks were to be apprehended at the National Bridge and the passes beyond, Colonel McIntosh determined to send back his mules to Vera Cruz for a supply of provisions, and at the same time despatched a communication to General Cadwalader, then at that place, requesting an additional force. In the mean time he encamped at Paso de Ovejas, with the loss of twenty-four wagons, and of twenty-five men killed and wounded.
On the 11th, General Cadwalader joined him with a reinforcement of five hundred men, and assumed command of the whole.
On the afternoon of the 12th the march was continued, and late in the day the column reached the National Bridge.
Here the enemy was discovered strongly posted in occupation
of the fort to the left of the road, and beyond the bridge upon the heights to the right. The bridge was barricaded, and the positions of the enemy were such that it could only be crossed under a raking fire.
A simultaneous attack upon the fort and barricade was accordingly ordered, and as soon as the howitzers, under Lieutenant Prince, had breached the barricade, one company of cavalry and two of infantry dashed forward amid a plunging storm of musketry, and succeeded in crossing the bridge. No sooner was this accomplished than Pittman's company of the 9th infantry, supported by a detachment from other companies, led by Brevet Captain Hooker, rapidly ascended the heights beyond, and after a sharp skirmish drove the enemy from his position and held it.
In this affair the loss of Cadwalader was thirty-two, killed and wounded.
No further interruption of consequence occurred until after leaving the city of Jalapa. From this place the column, being joined by the garrison under Colonel Childs, continued its march on the 18th, and on the 20th approached the pass of La Hoya, where the enemy was known to be already posted in considerable numbers.
The necessary dispositions were accordingly made to repel his attack; but, on nearing the pass, he was found to have been already successfully assailed from the opposite end by Walker's Rifles, supported by five companies of the Pennsylvania regiment, under the command of Colonel Wynkoop, who, being aware of the approach of the train, and of the force by which it was threatened, had marched out from Perote to meet it.
In the battle of La Hoya, great credit is due to Colonel Wynkoop for his promptitude in marching from Perote to assist in disengaging the column of Cadwalader from the apprehended difficulties of the pass; but the honour of dispersing the guerrilleros assembled at that point belongs almost exclusively to the heroic Walker.