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heavy cannonade was heard in the direction of Matamoras. Though not at all solicitous in regard to the safety of our fort, I was anxious to hear from Major Brown, and despatched a party to communicate with him under cover of a squadron of cavalry. The squadron returned on the morning of the 4th, after reconnoitring the enemy's position on the prairie, but without bringing news from Major Brown, the party sent forward to communicate not having returned. This morning, however, the party which was conducted by Captain Walker, of the rangers, returned to this place, bearing a despatch from Major Brown, which I have the honor to submit herewith. I cannot speak too highly of the good conduct of Major Brown and his command, and the excellent dispositions of himself and the engineer officer, Captain Mansfield, by which so severe a cannonade was sustained with so little loss.

I am waiting at this place the arrival of the recruits from New Orleans, when I shall move forward to join Major Brown and assume offensive operations.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. TAYLOR, Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. A. commanding. The ADJUTANT GENERAL of the Army, Washington, D. C.

May 4, 1846.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 3d instant the enemy's batteries opened on us at 5 o'clock. The firing commenced at the small sand bag fort, and was continued with seven guns. Our batteries were immediately manned, and a strong fire kept upon it from our batteries of eighteen and six-pounders until the firing ceased from it; this battery ceased firing in thirty minutes after our batteries opened upon it, two of the guns of the enemy supposed to be dismounted.

The enemy then commenced firing from the lower fort and mortar battery. One mortar only observed, which was removed from the sand-bag fort, from whence the first shell was thrown; this fire was kept up briskly; and although the shot were generally well aimed, they did us no harm.

After this removal of the guns of the enemy from the sand-bag fort, I ordered a deliberate fire from Captain Lowd's battery on their guns and the town, ordering the consulate flags to be respected. My men were sent to work at 7 o'clock on the unfinished curtain and gateway, which was continued during the firing on the 3d instant, and was nearly completed at 9 p. m. Although the fire of the enemy was kept up with little cessation until half-past 7, there was but one casualty, a sergeant of company "B, 7th infantry," killed. At half-past 9 I ordered Captain Lowd to throw hot shot into the town; the attempt was made, but the shot could not be sufficiently heated to effect my object, to fire the town.

Finding that our six-pounders effected little the enemy's guns, owing to the distance, and wishing to husband our men and means, I ordered the fire to cease and the guns posted to repel an assault from the rear. The enemy's fire was then concentrated on Captain Lowd's battery, but doing no harm, although the embrasures were frequently struck. Our 18 pounders were fired deliberately and effectually until about 10 o'clock, when, finding that the enemy could do us no harm, I ordered the firing to cease, as it was impossible to silence the enemy's mortar, and from this we were only in danger; at this time, 10 o'clock, the enemy's fire was suspended temporarily, but recommenced and continued at intervals until 12 o'clock at night. It is believed that during this period the enemy fired twelve or fifteen shot. Between two and three o'clock this morning Captain Walker came in, and left here about 4; shortly after reveillé he returned. At 5 o'clock this morning the firing was recommenced by the enemy, continued for about twelve or fifteen shots, and kept up at long intervals; one shell at 11 o'clock, one at 12, one howitz and shell at 5-all ineffectual. We are constantly on the alert, and I cannot speak too highly of the efficiency of the officers and men of my command. Our defences are continued daily, and, when necessity requires, at night. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

Capt. W. W. S. BLISS,

J. BROWN, Major 7th Infantry, commanding.

Assist. Adj't Gen. Army of Occupation, Texas.

[No. 34.]

HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF OCCUPATION, Point Isabel, Texas, May 7, 1846. SIR: I respectfully report that I shall march this day with the main body of the army to open a communication with Major Brown, and throw forward supplies of ordnance and provisions. If the enemy oppose my march, in whatever force, I shall fight him. Occasional guns are heard in the direction of Matamoras, showing that every thing is right in that quarter.

Yesterday the recruits under Lieutenant McPhail arrived here. After filling up the companies of the permanent garrison, (A, 1st artillery, and G, 4th artillery,) the remainder of the detachment, with its officers, was placed under Major Monroe's orders to assist in the defence of the depot. The men are yet two raw to take the field, though efficient for garrison defence. They will be permanently assigned as soon as practicable.

The four companies of the 1st infantry are hourly expected, and will be a seasonable reinforcement. The first shipment of volunteers from New Orleans may also soon be looked for; their arrival will enable me to open the river and free our communications.

I have to acknowledge your communication of April 20; copies of your letters to Major Clark, April 11; General Brooke, of April 18; and Lieutenant Colonel Pierce, of April 20; "general

orders," Nos. 7 and 8; "special orders," Nos. 28, 29, 30, 32, and 33; and the Official Army Register for 1846.

Í am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.


Z. TAYLOR, Brev. Brig. Gen. U. S. A., commanding.


Washington, D. C.

Camp near "Palo Alto," May 9, 1846.

[No. 35.]

SIR: I have the honor to report that I was met near this place yesterday on my march from Point Isabel by the Mexican forces; and after an action of about five hours, dislodged them from their position, and encamped upon the field. Our artillery, consisting of two 18 pounders and two light batteries, was the arm chiefly engaged, and to the excellent manner in which it was manoeuvred and served is our success mainly due.

The strength of the enemy is believed to have been about 6,000 men, with 7 pieces of artillery and 800 cavalry; his loss is probably at least 100 killed. Our strength did not exceed, all told, 2,300, while our loss was comparatively trifling-4 men killed, 3 officers and 39 men wounded; several of the latter morally. I regret to report that Major Ringgold, 3d artillery, and Captain Page, 4th infantry, are severely wounded; Lieutenant Luther, 2d artillery, slightly so.

The enemy has fallen back, and it is believed has repassed the river. I have advanced parties now thrown forward in his direction, and shall move the main body immediately.

In the haste of this first report, I can only say that the officers and men behaved in the most admirable manner throughout the action.

I shall have the pleasure of making a more detailed report when those of the different commanders shall be received.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. TAYLOR, Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. A., commanding.


Of the Army, Washington, D. C.

[No. 36.]


Camp 3 miles from Matamoras, 10 p. m., May 9, 1846. SIR: I have the honor to report that I marched with the main body of the army at 2 o'clock to-day, having previously thrown forward a body of light infantry into the forest which covers the Matamoras road. When near the spot where I am now encamped, my advance discovered that a ravine crossing the road had been

occupied by the enemy with artillery. I immediately ordered a battery of field artillery to sweep the position, flanking and sustaining it by the 3d, 4th, and 5th regiments, deployed as skirmishers to the right and left. A heavy fire of artillery and musketry was kept up for some time, until finally the enemy's batteries were carried in succession by a squadron of dragoons and the regiments of infantry that were on the ground. He was soon driven from his position, and pursued by the battalion of artillery and a light battery, to the river. Our victory has been complete. Seven pieces of artillery, with a great quantity of ammunition, three standards, and some 100 prisoners, have been taken; among the latter General La Vega and several other officers. One general is understood to have been killed. The enemy has recrossed the river, and I am sure will not again molest us on this bank.

The loss of the enemy in killed has been most severe: our own has been very heavy; and I deeply regret to report that Lieutenant Inge, 2d dragoons, Lieutenant Cochrane, 4th infantry, and Lieutenant Chadbourne, 8th infantry, were killed on the field. Lieutenant Colonel Payne, 4th artillery, Lieutenant Colonel McIntosh, Captain Hooe, and Lieutenant Fowler, 5th infantry, and Captain Montgomery, Lieutenants Gates, Selden, Burbank, Maclay, and Jordan, 8th infantry, were wounded. The extent of our loss in killed and wounded is not yet ascertained, and is reserved for a more detailed report.

The affair of to-day may be regarded as a proper supplement to the cannonade of yesterday; and the two taken together exhibit the coolness and gallantry of our officers and men in the most favorable light. All have done their duty, and done it nobly. It will be my pride, in a more circumstantial report of both actions, to dwell upon particular instances of individual distinction.

It affords me peculiar pleasure to report, that the field work opposite Matamoras has sustained itself handsomely during the cannonade and bombardment of 160 hours. But this pleasure is alloyed with profound regret at the loss of its heroic and indomitable commander, Major Brown, who died to-day from the effects of a shell. His loss would be a severe one to the service at any time, but to the army under my orders it is indeed irreparable. One officer and one non-commissioned officer killed, and 10 men wounded, comprise all the casualties incident to this severe bombardment.

I inadvertently omitted to mention the capture of a large number of pack mules, left in the Mexican camp.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. TAYLOR, Brev. Brig. Gen. U. S. A., commanding. The ADJUTANT GENERAL of the Army,

Washington, D. C.

Point Isabel, Texas, May 12, 1846.

[No. 37.]

SIR: I am making a hasty visit to this place for the purpose of having an interview with Commodore Connor, whose squadron is now at anchor off the harbor, and arranging with him a combined movement up the river. I avail myself of the brief time at my command, to report that the main body of the army is now occupying its former position opposite Matamoras: The Mexican forces are almost disorganized, and I shall lose no time in investing Matamoras, and opening the navigation of the river.

I regret to report that Major Ringgold died the morning of the 11th instant, of the severe wounds received in the action of "Palo Alto." With the exception of Captain Page, whose wound is dangerous, the other wounded officers are doing well. In my report of the second engagement I accidentally omitted the name of Lieut. Dobbins, 3d infantry, among the officers slightly wounded, and desire that the omission may be supplied in the despatch itself. I am under the painful necessity of reporting that Lieutenant Blake, topographical engineers, after rendering distinguished service in my staff during the affair of the 8th instant, accidentally shot himself with a pistol on the following day, and expired before night.

It has been quite impossible, as yet, to furnish detailed reports of our engagements with the enemy, or even accurate returns of the killed and wounded. Our loss is not far from 3 officers and 40 men killed, and 13 officers and 100 men wounded, while that of the enemy has, in all probability, exceeded 300 killed. More than 200 have been buried by us on the two fields of battle.

I have exchanged a sufficient number of prisoners to recover the command of Captain Thornton. The wounded prisoners have been sent to Matamoras; the wounded officers on their parole. General La Vega, and a few other officers, have been sent to New Orleans, having declined a parole, and will be reported to Major General Gaines. I am not conversant with the usages of war in such cases, and beg that such provision may be made for these officers as may be authorized by law. Our own prisoners have been treated with great kindness by the Mexican officers.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. TAYLOR, Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. A., commanding. The ADJUTANT GENERAL of the Army, Washington, D. C.

[No. 40.]

HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF OCCUPATION, City of Matamoras, May 18, 1846. SIR: I have the honor to report that my very limited means for crossing rivers prevented a complete prosecution of the victory of the 9th inst. A ponton train, the necessity of which I exhibited to the department last year, would have enabled the army to cross on the evening of the battle, take this city, with all the artillery

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