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by the British government of an amicable adjustment, receded from this high ground, and a treaty of compromise was made at Washington by Mr. Buchanan, the Secretary of State, and Mr. Packenham, the British Minister. It was ratified by the senate on the 18th of June, by a vote of 41 to 16, and thus was settled the second of the four* great subjects of controversy between this country and Great Britain, which for thirty years had been regarded with anxious interest by reflecting statesmen.

Our disputes with Mexico were destined to have a very different kind of settlement. Originating in those collisions which are ever likely to take place between border nations, they seemed after a tardy negotiation, about to be adjusted by a convention in January 1843, but they were revived and greatly aggravated by the annexation of Texas to the United States in March 1845. As the Mexican government had not recognized the independence of Texas, which she still regarded as a revolted province, and threatened by renewed hostilities to subdue, it was apprehended that the annexation might be deemed a just cause of war against the United States, and should the fears or prudence of Mexico prevent her from appealing to this last resort of nations, it was foreseen that the question of the boundaries of Texas, in which there seemed to be much uncertainty, and which were vehemently contested by Mexico and Texas, might also lead to war. Neither Mexico nor the United States appeared to shrink from this issue; on the contrary, troops were ordered by both governments to march to the frontier, for the avowed purpose of defending the territory they respectively claimed. Yet as a portion of that territory, the tract lying between the river Nueces and the Rio Grande, or del Norte, was claimed by both nations, nothing less than a forbearance to set foot on the disputed territory could prevent collision between the two armies; and such forbearance was the more difficult, as a portion of the disputed territory was then actually in the occupation of the citizens of Mexico. In the instructions of July 1845, to General Taylor, then at the head of about 3000 men, the secretary of war thus endeavored to compromise between respect for the rights of Mexico and a determination to assert those of the United States:– “The Rio Grande is claimed to be the boundary between the two countries, and up to this boundary you are to extend your protection, only excepting any posts on the eastern side thereof, which are in the actual occupancy of Mexican forces, or Mexican settlements, over which the Republic of Texas did not

These were the Maine boundary; the right to the Oregon Territory; the regula. tion of the West India trade, of which we had been deprived of our just share by the British understanding of the arrangement negotiated by Mr. M'Lave and Lord Aber. deen, and by the subject of impressment. The claim of a right to visit American slips in time of peace was more recent.

exercise jurisdiction at the time of annexation, or shortly before that event. It is expected that, in selecting the establishment for your troops, you will approach as near the boundary line, the Rio Grande, as prudence will dictate; with this view the President desires that your position, for part of your forces at least, should be west of the Nueces.”

Under these and subsequent instructions, General Taylor marched to the left or northwestern bank of the Rio Grande, and on the 28th of March, 1846, 'he was opposite to the Mexican town of Matamoras. This state of things could not last, and a meeting between a detachment of American cavalry and a party of Mexicans brought about the result which every one expected. This skirmish, in which the Americans were overpowered by numbers, was soon followed by the capture of a reconnoitering party of 60 men, under Captain Thornton, which at once irritated the Americans and inspired the Mexicans with overweening confidence; and the sudden march of General Taylor to Port Isabel, the chief depository of his military stores, was regarded by the Mexicans as an ignominious retreat. Having reinforced Point Isabel, in returning to his camp, opposite Matamoras, he met the main Mexican force, advantageously posted at Palo Alto, and near thrice as numerous as his own. After an engagement from two o'clock in the afternoon till night, the Mexicans were driven from the field with the loss of 600 men in killed and wounded. The skill and celerity of the American artillery probably decided the fortunes of the day, but with the loss of its accomplished leader, Major Ringgold. The killed and wounded in the American army were 53.

On the following day, May 9th, when within four miles of the Rio Grande, General Taylor again encountered the Mexicans strongly posted at the pass of Resaca de Palma, and was again victorious. The Mexicans left 200 men on the field, lost eight pieces of artillery, much valuable baggage, and some prisoners. Next to the coolness and firmness of the commanding-general, the individual efforts of Captains May and Duncan and Lieutenant Ridgely mainly contributed to the success of the American arms. Of the 1700 men engaged, the Americans lost in killed and wounded

About ten days afterwards Matamoras, containing from five to six thousand inhabitants, surrendered to the United States.

Soon after these events, General Taylor was joined by several regiments of volunteers from the neighboring states, agreeably to the requisition he had made when he found that the Mexican force in the field greatly exceeded the estimate made of them both by himself and at Washington. The error on this subject was so great and so long continued as to make it probable that it was brought about by the artifices of the enemy. Thus strongly reinforced, the general thought it better to advance into the interior than to remain at Matamoras in an inactivity which would at once encourage the Mexicans and be in many ways injurious to his own army. He accordingly left Matamoras on the 5th of August with about 6000 men, and, marching westward by Camargo, he on the 19th of September reached Monterey, the seat of a bishop and capital of New Leon. The Mexicans seem not to have doubted that the city was capable of effectual resistance, as it possessed nine different fortifcations, and was defended by a force greatly superior to that of its assailants. General Taylor assigned to General Worth the storming of the Bishop's Palace, the strongest fortification of the place, and reserved to himself the general attack on the city. The confidence of the besieged was so far justified by the event, that it was only after a severe contest of three days that the city surrendered. The loss of the Americans was very great. In the first day's attack it was 394 in killed and wounded. The terms were unusually favorable to the vanquished. General Taylor, in his despatches to the government, justifies this liberality on the grounds of the gallant defence made by the garrison, and the prospect of peace afforded by the recent restoration of Santa Anna to power. This consideration led him to consent to a conditional armistice of eight weeks.

This Mexican chief, who has so often been suddenly raised to supreme power and as suddenly lost it, having learnt, while in a state of exile at Havana, that the ruling faction in Mexico was favorable to his reinstatement in the presidency, contrived to impress the American government with the belief that he could and would effect a peace between the countries. Being accordingly permitted to pass the American squadron, then blockading Vera Cruz, unmolested, he proceeded without delay to Mexico, where he had been previously declared commander-in-chief, with the powers of dictator.

The armistice not receiving the sanction of the American government, General Taylor prepared for a renewal of hostilities, and proceeded south towards Saltillo, then in the possession of a part of his army, but threatened by Santa Anna. While on this march, he was ordered by the War Department to detach a part of his force to General Scott, then preparing for an attack on Vera Cruz. With this reduction of strength, he thought it prudent to return to Monterey, but being again reinforced by volunteers, he renewed his march to the south with something upwards of 5000 men; and on the 20th of February he reached Agua Neuva, but there learning that Santa Anna was approaching at the head of 20,000 men, he retreated to Buena Vista, a few miles south of Saltillo, where he thought he could more safely encounter a force so greatly superior to his own.

On Santa Anna's arrival at Buena Vista, his first step, after repelling a small body of cavalry, was a summons to General Taylor to surrender, stating his army to amount to 20,000, and urging the futility of resistance with such disparity of force. The offer was firmly but modestly declined. The action commenced on the afternoon of the 22d of February, was renewed the next morning, and after a furious and bloody contest of ten hours, in which either party had several times the prospect of victory, night put an end to the conflict. Both parties claimed the honors of the day. Yet with little show of reason, for besides that the Mexican force was more than three times that of the American, Santa Anna drew off his forces in the night, leaving his wounded on the ground, on the plea of a want of provisions. In the battle of Buena Vista, the number of American officers killed and wounded was 65, and the whole number about 700. The Mexican loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, was supposed to exceed 4,000. Thus had General Taylor thrice been victorious in pitched battle, when, from the immense superiority of numbers on the part of his enemy, and twice in the advantage of position, defeat would have been no disgrace. But his brief career of glory was here arrested. The councils at Washington thought it better to attack Mexico from another point, and a brother soldier was destined to divide with him the honor of triumph over the Mexican arms.

It being decided by the American government that the chief theatre of military operations should be transferred to the Mexican Gulf, and the city of Mexico be approached in that direction, General Scott, to whom the execution of this plan of operations was confided, reached the Rio Grande on the 1st of January, 1847, and early in March he was before Vera Cruz with about 12,000 men. After a severe bombardment of four days, both the city and the Castle of San Juan de Ulua, deemed the strongest fortress in North America, capitulated on the 29th March. The eclat of this conquest, the difficulties of which had been very highly estimated, filled the nation with a tumultuous exultation, and for a time dimmed the lustre of General Taylor's victories.

On the 8th of April, General Scott set out on his march to Mexico, and on the 17th he came up with Santa Anna at the head of 14,000 men, advantageously posted at a mountain pass called Sierra Gordo, about 50 miles from Vera Cruz. The next day, the Americans attacked the enemy in columns, and obtained a decisive victory, with the loss of 431 men in killed and wounded. They captured 3,000 prisoners, including four generals and a large amount of arms and stores. On the 19th, the city of Jalapa was captured by General Twiggs, and on the 22d, the town of Perote by General Worth ; and lastly, Puebla, the second city of Mexico in population and wealth, all of which were well stored with arms and ammunition. Remaining in the neighborhood some time waiting for rein. forcements, it was the 8th of August before General Scott resumed his march towards the capital. It was known that Santa Anna would endeavor to arrest his course at some of the difficult passes it was necessary for him to cross, but the General and his army marched on in the full confidence of victory, founded on past success. Taking an unfrequented road, his difficulties of approach were lessened, though they were still very great. On the 19th of August they attacked the enemy at Contreros, and on the following day at Cherubusco. On both days the Mexicans were routed with great slaughter. An armistice was proposed by Santa Anna, and acceded to by Scott, but finding that it was used not for the alleged purpose of furthering the negotiations for peace, but merely to make preparations to continue the war, the American general gave notice that the truce was at an end, and on the 7th of September hostilities recommenced. On the next day was fought the battle of El Molino del Rey, in which 3,000 Americans encountered and put to rout 14,000 Mexicans, with the loss, however, of 789 men-more than one-fourth of their number. On the 12th, the strong fortress on Mount Chapultepec, but a mile and a half from the city, was stormed, with great slaughter on both sides. On the following day two columns of the American troops entered the city, and on the 14th General Scott, with the rest of the army, took possession without opposition, except a brief one from the mob, and the American flag was soon seen to wave over the walls of the palace.

Thus fell the ancient metropolis of Mexico, which fifty years ago had no equal in numbers or wealth on the American continent, and which is still associated in our minds with the stern valor of Cortes, and the sad fate of the feeble-minded Montezuma. Of the Mexican

under Santa Anna, which at first exceeded 30,000 men, they had lost in killed and wounded more than 7000, besides 3730 prisoners, including 13 generals, 75 pieces of ordnance, 20,000 small arms, and an immense amount of military stores. The loss sustained by General Scott's army from the battle of Contreros to the capture of Mexico, was, according to the official returns, in killed and wounded, 2703 men, including 383 officers.

Santa Anna had withdrawn from the city on the night of the 13th, and the next day, in a proclamation, he announced his resignation of the office of President. He was not without hopes of raising another army, more competent to cope with his victorious enemies, but losing, in his unvarying ill fortune, the confidence and favor of his countrymen, his efforts were unavailing; and since an attack on a large baggage train on its way to the city under General Lane, in which he failed and was beaten, he has never been engaged in any measures of offence or resistance.


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