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forward the howitzers to breach the barricade, and a company of cavalry and two of infantry to force the bridge as soon as a passage was prepared for them. Lieutenant and Adjutant Henry Prince, of the 4th infantry, who had been assigned to command the howitzers, rendered me highly valuable service at this critical moment. He advanced with the battery, and succeeded in breaching the barricades, and preparing the way for our troops to charge, which was made under a heavy fire from the enemy. The heights upon the right, after crossing the bridge, were carried by Captain Pitman's company of the 9th infantry, and a small detachment from other companies, under a fire from the enemy, handsomely led by Brevet Captain Hooker, the chief of my staff. Having thus gained possession of the points on which it was necessary for us to encamp, both on account of water and the security of the train, the latter was ordered forward and parked for the night. I have to regret the loss of thirty-two officers and men, killed and wounded, belonging to the service, with others employed with the train whose names are not known. We have reason to believe that the enemy suffered severely, although no positive information has been communicated to me with regard to their loss, or the numbers engaged. In consequence of our delay in marching from Paso de Ovejas, we were compelled to accomplish a part of our work under cover of the night, and to this I mainly attribute the limited loss we sustained. Had those positions been forced by daylight, the list of killed and wounded would have been, unquestionably, greatly augmented.
« On the 13th, after sending back the wounded with a suitable escort, we proceeded to Plan del Rio, with no other interruption or annoyance than an occasional discharge of escopets at small portions of our troops and train. The discharges usually proceeded from behind dense thickets, almost impracticable for our flankers to penetrate, and not unfrequently resulted in the loss of men, horses, and mules.
“We passeu Cerro Gordo the 14th, having previously taken possession of the commanding positions, and on the 15th reached Jalapa, where we were joined by the brigade under Colonel Childs. Before leaving that city on the 18th, information reached us that the enemy were in force at La Hoya, prepared to resist our advance in so strong a position, and we encamped at the village before entering the pass on the 19th. On approaching it on the 20th, at an early hour, our advance found it occupied with a considerable force, apparently determined to dispute the passage of the train. Four companies, under Captain Winder, of the 1st artillery, were sent in advance, with written instructions to occupy the successive heights in the pass. On gaining the mountain on the left with two companies, he reported the enemy to be also in force upon the intermediate height that he had already gained, from which only the other height, which commanded the road, could be approached. Major Dimick, with two companies, was sent to reinforce him. The approach of this detachment upon the rear of the enemy was unexpected, and they were driven precipitately from the mountains across the road. Captain Winder succeeded in killing four, and taking three prisoners, and three prisoners were taken by Major Dimick. The enemy falling in with a portion of the first regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, and Captain Walker's company of mounted riflemen, under the command of Colonel Wynkoop, a brisk fire was opened by both parties. The advance of the Second Brigade, under Colonel Childs, drove the enemy in confusion for more than two miles, they leaving seven or eight dead upon the field, several who were wounded having made their escape, the enemy admitting a loss of over thirty men. The force of the enemy seen by us, was estimated at about seven hundred, although it was said to have been much greater. The command encamped that night at Rio Frio, and on the 21st reached Perote, at twelve o'clock, M. “ I refer you to the report of Colonel Thomas Childs, in com
mand of the Second Brigade of the division under my command, herewith enclosed, from whom I received valuable assistance from the time he joined me.
“ The miserable mustang ponies, by which our train was drawn, rendered it difficult, over a mountainous country, to keep the train closed up, and to afford proper protection to it in the face of an enemy, without attention to the management of the train by the proper officers, and the assistance of persons of experience and industry.
" At Perote, it became necessary to purchase a number of mules for the train, and on the 230 June, as I was about to march for Puebla, I received an order from Major-General Pillow, by express from Vera Cruz, directing me not to proceed beyond Perote until his arrival at that place.
« On the 1st July, General Pillow arrived at Perote, and assumed the command previously to our march to this place. Enclosed you will find a return of the killed and wounded during the march from Paso de Ovejas to Perote.
“I have the honour to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General U. S. Army, commanding. Captain H. L. SCOTT,
Act'g Ass't Adjutant-General, head-quarters of the army."
On the 17th of June, General Pillow left Vera Cruz for Puebla, with a reinforcement of one thousand men, and arrived safely at the head-quarters of the army, with scarcely the loss of a single man.
General Pierce, who left Vera Cruz in July, to join General Scott, with twenty-five hundred men, one hundred and fifty wagons, seven hundred mules, and a million of dollars in specie, was less fortunate. When he had reached the National Bridge, with his command, he was attacked by fourteen hundred Mexi
cans, when a spirited engagement took place, in which the Mexicans were defeated with a loss of one hundred and fifty men. The American loss in killed and wounded was thirty. General Pierce found it necessary, after this, to return to Vera Cruz for artillery and reinforcements. With these advantages he marched forward, and reached Puebla the day before General Scott marched on the capital.
But a train of wagons, guarded by a force of one thousand volunteers, which started from Vera Cruz on the 6th of August, under the command of Major Lally, met with serious and continual interruptions.
Under the impression that this train conveyed a large amount of specie, the guerrilleros assembled from all quarters, in numbers varying, at different points along the line of route, from twelve hundred to two thousand men.
The first attack, made on the 10th of August, at Paso de Ovejas, was repulsed by Lally, after a severe skirmish which lasted an hour and a half. The American loss was eleven men killed and wounded.
On the 12th, a second and far more serious attempt upon the train was made by the enemy at the National Bridge. The bridge itself was found to be barricaded, and the hills in front and on the right of the town, and the castle on the left, were all occupied by large numbers of guerrilleros.
By the exertions of the Artillery, under Lieutenant Sears, those positions were eventually forced and the guerrilleros compelled to retire. The contest at this point had been unusually obstinate and protracted; and the American loss was correspondingly severe, the number of killed and wounded amounting to fifty-one, of whom thirteen were killed and seven wounded mortally.
On the 15th, leaving his train behind him at Plan del Rio, Lally determined to force the passes of Cerro Gordo with the main body of his command, before advancing his wagons. This was suc
cessfully accomplished on the 16th, by a dashing assault upon the batteries enfilading the road. The storming-party, consisting of a detail of one hundred and thirty men from various companies, was led with great gallantry by Lieutenant Ridgely, of the 4th infantry, the enemy being rapidly driven from all his defensive positions, and two guns and a large amount of ammunition captured. Lally's loss at this point was two killed and eleven wounded.
On the 19th, at Las Animas, within a mile and a half of Jalapa, the enemy made a final attempt upon the train ; but after receiving a few rounds of canister, he was effectually dispersed by a charge of infantry, and the train entered Jalapa a short time afterwards, having sustained a loss, including the skirmishes already mentioned, and desultory attacks along the line of route, amounting in killed, wounded, and missing, to one hundred and five
On the 13th, an expedition left Vera Cruz to reinforce Major Lally's command. It was composed of Captain Wells's company of the 15th infantry, Captain Haile's company of the 14th infantry, and Captain Fairchild's company of the Louisiana Rangers,
all under command of Captain Wells. They proceeded as far as the National Bridge, where they expected to overtake Major Lally's command, but he had proceeded on and carried his train in safety beyond Jalapa. The guerrilleros occupied the heights about the bridge, and opened a heavy fire upon the command of Captain Wells as it came up, killing nearly all the mules, and forcing the whole party to retire. The enemy captured all the wagons save one, the baggage of the officers, and the knapsacks of the men. Before the final affair at the bridge, Captain Wells had five successive engagements with the enemy. The repulse of his command was owing to the advantage of artillery, possessed by the Mexicans, from which they fired grape with good effect.