"2. But the war is not yet ended. The Mexican army and Government have fled, only to watch an opportunity to turn upon us with vengeance. We must, then, be upon our guard.
"3. Companies and regiments will be kept together, and all stand on the alert. Our safety is in military discipline.
"4. Let there be no drunkenness, no disorders, no straggling. Stragglers will be in great danger of assassination, and marauders shall be punished by courts-martial.
"5. All the rules so honorably observed by this glorious army in Puebla must be observed here. The honor of the army and the honor of our country call for the best behavior on the part of all. To win the approbation of their country, the valiant must be sober, orderly, and merciful. His noble brethren in arms will not be deaf to this hearty appeal from their commander and friend.
"6. Major-General Quitman is appointed Civil and Military Governor of Mexico.
"By command of Major-General Scott.
"Acting Assistant Adjutant General."
Firing having been heard in the street, General Scott said to an officer: "Will you have the kindness to go and say to our volunteer friends that it is unsoldierlike, bad manners, and dangerous to discharge arms in a city, and to say to their officers that it must not occur again. None of us desire, I am sure, to hear more musketry." When the officer returned he informed the general that it was not the volunteers, but Mexicans, who were firing from the roofs of houses. Orders were at once issued to place soldiers in the steeples of churches and on the roofs of houses as sharpshooters, to sweep the streets with artillery if necessary, and to break open and enter all houses from which the troops were fired upon. The prompt execution of this order soon had the effect of putting a stop to the firing and restoring order in the city.
The retreating Mexican infantry on its arrival at Guadalupe received orders from General Santa Anna to move to Tlalnepantla. One of the Mexican battalions having discharged its guns without orders and the sound being heard, Santa Anna, believing it to have proceeded from the American army, gave orders to countermarch. On learning the truth, the order was countermanded and the march resumed. General Herrera was then ordered with artillery and infantry to march to Queretaro, while Santa Anna would move on Puebla and surprise and capture the small garrison left there by General Scott.
General Santa Anna, learning of the street firing in the city, supposed that the Mexicans had rallied and were contesting the possession of the capital by the Americans. He received this information from Prospero Terez, one of the leaders of the mob, who urged him to return. He at once dispatched a staff officer to General Herrera, ordering his return, and took up the line of march for the capital. Learning on his approach that the Mexicans under Alvarez in their attempt on the city were unsuccessful, he revoked his order to Herrera and ordered him to proceed to Queretaro. Very soon he again sent orders to countermarch and move to the capital. Again he ordered Herrera to move on Queretaro, when he marched to Guadalupe and issued a call for a junta to meet on the 16th.
From General Scott's report we learn that the loss in his army in the various engagements around and in the City of Mexico amounted to two thousand seven hundred and three. The whole force engaged in the capture of the capital was less than six thousand. The Mexicans admit that their force for the defense of the capital was about twenty thousand, with one hundred and four cannon. The Mexican army encountered by General Scott on his move to the capital was not less than thirty thousand. In nearly if not quite all of the engagements they were intrenched, and occupied their own chosen positions. Of these, the American army killed or wounded not less than seven thousand officers and men, captured three thousand seven hundred and thirty prisoners, more than twenty colors and standards, seventy-five pieces of ordnance, besides fifty-seven wall pieces, twenty thousand stand of small arms, and a large quantity of ammunition.
Following are orders issued by General Scott after the occupation of the capital:
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, NATIONAL PALACE OF MEXICO, "September 16, 1847.
"GENERAL ORDERS NO. 286.
"The general in chief calls upon his brethren in arms to return, both in private and public worship, thanks and gratitude to God for the signal triumph which they have recently achieved for their country. Beginning with August 10th and ending the 14th inst., this army has gallantly fought its way through the fields and forts of Contreras, San Antonio, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and the gates of San Cosme and Tacubaya, into the capital of Mexico. When the very limited number who have performed these brilliant deeds shall have become known, the world will be astonished and our own countrymen filled with joy and admiration. But all is not yet done. The enemy, though scattered and dismayed, has still many fragments of his late army hovering about us, and, aided by an exasperated population, he may again unite in treble our numbers and fall upon us to advantage if we rest inactive in the security of past victories. Compactness, vigilance, and discipline are therefore our only securities. Let every good officer and man look to these cautions and enjoin them on all others.
"By command of Major-General Scott.
"Acting Assistant Adjutant General."
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, NATIONAL PALACE OF MEXICO,
"September 17, 1847.
"GENERAL ORDERS NO. 287.
"The general in chief republishes, with important additions, his General Order No. 20, of February 19, 1847, declaring martial law to govern all who may be concerned. There are nineteen paragraphs in the order. (See Ex. Doc. No. 1, Thirtieth Congress, first session, Senate.) The last seven will be copied.
"13. The administration of justice, both in civil and criminal matters, through the ordinary courts of the country, shall nowhere and in no degree be interrupted by any officer or soldier of the American forces except, first, in case where an officer or soldier, agent, servant, or follower of the army may be a party; and second, in political cases—that is, prosecutions against other individuals on the allegation that they have given friendly information, aid, or assistance to the American forces.
"14. For the care and safety of both parties in all cities and towns occupied by the American army, a Mexican police shall be established and duly harmonized with the military police of said forces.
"15. This splendid capital, its churches and religious worship, its convents and monasteries, its inhabitants and property, are, moreover, placed under the special safeguard of the faith and honor of the American army.
"16. In consideration of the foregoing protection, a contribution of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars is imposed on this capital, to be paid in four weekly installments of thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars each, beginning on Monday next, the 20th inst., and terminating on Monday, October 11th.
"17. The Ayuntamiento, or corporate authority of the city, is specially charged with the collection and payment of the several installments.
"18. Of the whole contribution to be paid over to this army, twenty thousand dollars shall be appropriated to the purchase of extra comforts for the wounded and sick in hospital, ninety thousand dollars to the purchase of blankets and shoes for gratuitous distribution among the rank and file of the army, and forty thousand dollars reserved for other necessary military purposes.
"19. This order shall be read at the head of every company of the United States forces serving in Mexico, and translated into Spanish for the information of the Mexicans.
"By command of Major-General Scott.
"Acting Assistant Adjutant General."
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, NATIONAL PALACE OF MEXICO,
"September 18, 1847.
"GENERAL ORDERS NO. 289.
"1. The army by degrees, and beginning as soon as practicable, will be distributed and quartered over the city as follows:
"2. The first division (Worth's) in or near the direct route from the San Cosme toward the cathedral and extending a little beyond the east end of the Alameda. This division will keep a competent guard with two guns of medium caliber at that gate.
"3. The second division (Twiggs's) about the Grand Plaza and extending toward the gate of San Lazaro, or the Penon, at which it will keep a guard and two pieces of artillery, as above.
"4. The third division (Pillow's) on or near the direct route from the gate of Peralvillo, or Guadalupe, toward the cathedral, but not south of the convent of San Domingo, and will keep a guard of two pieces of artillery at that gate.
"5. The volunteer division (Quitman's) on or near the direct route from the gate of San Antonio toward the cathedral, but not north of the Hospital of Jesus, and will keep a guard with two pieces of artillery, as above, at that gate.
"6. The brigade of cavalry (Colonel Harney's) will be quartered in the cavalry barracks near the National Palace (marked on the plan of the city small m). This brigade will furnish daily a detachment of a corporal and six men to the respective gates of division, to serve as couriers between the gates and the commanders of the respective divisions, and for no other purposes.
"7. No private house shall be occupied by any corps or officers until all suitable public buildings within the above ranges shall be first fully occupied, and all officers attached to troops shall be quartered with or near their troops.
"8. No rent shall be paid by the United States for any buildings occupied by troops or officers without a special direction from general headquarters; nor shall any private house be occupied or quartered without the free consent of the owner or orders from general headquarters. No deviations from these injunctions will be tolerated.
"9. The collection of customs or duties at the several gates of the city by the civil authorities of the same will be continued as heretofore until modified by the Civil and Military Governor, Major-General Quitman, according to the views of the general in chief; but supplies belonging to the quartermaster and commissary departments will at once be exempted from all duties.
"By command of Major-General Scott.
"Acting Assistant Adjutant General."
The effect of the strict enforcement of these admirable orders was to bring the American army under a discipline which won for them the confidence of the people of the city, and to revive and restore trade, open up the churches, and, as near as could be done under the circumstances, to place matters in the city in statu quo ante bellum. At the meeting of the junta called by General Santa Anna he tendered his resignation as President of the Republic and of the command of the army. Under the Constitution of Mexico the office devolved upon Manuel de la Pena y Pena, who at once assumed it, and Santa Anna set out with a view to the capture of Puebla and the occupation of the road leading to the coast.
Instead of marching on Puebla, Santa Anna turned his forces toward Queretaro, but in a few days countermarched. After two or three maneuvers of this kind, he finally invested Puebla with about fifteen hundred cavalry and four field pieces. He summoned Colonel Childs, who was in command, to surrender on the score of humanity. Santa Anna represented his force at eight thousand men, and threatened assault. Colonel Childs declined to surrender, and made preparations to resist the assault by strengthening his position. The threatened assault was not made. On October 1st Santa Anna raised the siege of Puebla and marched toward El Pinal to intercept a train of wagons with supplies and re-enforcements, leaving General Rea with sufficient force to continue operations against the Americans. The Americans were so annoyed by continuous firing from the housetops that Captain William F. Small, First Pennsylvania Infantry, was ordered to dig through the walls of the houses until he had gained a point which would command a barricade that had been thrown up by the Mexicans. The enemy was driven off, leaving seventeen dead on the ground; the barricade was then burned. Hostile parties were constantly annoying the garrison, until two companies of the First Pennsylvania regiment were sent out and dispersed them. Many skirmishes took place, which invariably resulted disastrously to the enemy.
General Joseph Lane's efforts to exterminate the roving bands of guerillos and rancheros involved great rapidity of movement, and he had officers and men under his command eminently fit for such service. One of the most pestiferous of the guerillo leaders was a Catholic priest called Padre Juarata. He seemed to be everywhere at once, and notwithstanding his party was frequently met by the Americans, sometimes surrounded and always beaten, yet the Padre adroitly managed to get out of every trap and escape. Being a priest, he was always ready and willing to administer the last rites of the Church to friend or foe.
While the army was at Puebla, General Scott organized a company of Mexicans under command of one Dominguez, which was regularly mustered into the service of the United States. A battalion of deserters from the American army, known as the San Patricio Battalion, composed almost wholly of Europeans, was organized under the command of one O'Riley. These two commands met in battle in the convent of Churubusco, and fought each other with great desperation. The Mexicans under Dominguez entered Churubusco with the American army, and met the execration of their countrymen, who denounced them as traitors. The American deserters (the San Patricio Battalion) were captured at Churubusco, tried by court-martial, and all but sixteen sentenced to death and executed. Some were pardoned, and O'Riley, their leader, was branded with the letter D on his cheek and released. This clemency was shown him because he deserted before hostilities commenced.
The number of American troops engaged at Churubusco on August 19th and 20th was four thousand five hundred. The entire force engaged at Churubusco was about seven thousand four hundred. General Scott's estimate of the Mexican force on August 20th, including Contreras, Churubusco, and the road between San Antonio and Churubusco, the Portales, and the road to the Capitol, was thirty-two thousand.
In these battles three thousand prisoners were captured, including eight general officers and two hundred and five other officers. The killed and wounded amounted to over four thousand. Thirty pieces of cannon were taken. The loss to the American army was one hundred and thirty-nine officers, including sixteen killed, and one thousand and fifty-three enlisted men; sixty officers and eight hundred and seventy-six men wounded.
Commodore William B. Shubrick having captured Mazatlan and Guaymas, General Scott wrote him, December 2, 1847: "I have been waiting here for two and a half months to learn the views of the Government at home, or at least for re-enforcements, before undertaking any new and distant operations. The forces I have under my orders in the whole of this republic, except the troops immediately under Major-General Taylor, only give me means of holding Tampico, Vera Cruz, Puebla, Chapultepec, and this capital."
General Scott had made a careful study of the statistics of Mexican finances, and previous to ordering the occupation of several important districts near the capital, to be followed by a like disposition in more remote departments, issued General Orders No. 376, December 15, 1847:
"(1) This army is about to spread itself over and to occupy the Republic of Mexico until the latter shall sue for peace on terms acceptable to the Government of the United States. (2) On the occupation of the principal point or points in any State the payment to the Federal Government of this republic of all taxes or dues of whatever manner or kind heretofore, say in 1844, payable or collected by that Government, is absolutely prohibited, as all such taxes, dues, etc., will be demanded of the proper civil authorities for the support of the army of occupation. (3) The State and Federal districts being already so occupied, as well as the States of Vera Cruz, Puebla, and Tamaulipas, the usual taxes or dues heretofore contributed by the same to the Federal Government will be considered as due and payable to this army from the beginning of the present month, and will early be demanded of the civil authorities of said States and districts under rules and penalties which shall be duly announced and enforced. (4) Other States of this republic, as the Californias, New Mexico, Chihuahua, Coahuila, New Leon, etc., already occupied by the forces of the United States, though not under the immediate orders of the general in chief, will conform to the prescriptions of this order, except in such State or States where a different system has been adopted with the sanction of the Government at Washington. (5) The internal taxes or dues referred to are: 1, District taxes; 2, Dues on the production of gold and silver; 3, Melting and assaying duties; 4, The tobacco rent; 5, Rent of stamped paper; 6, The rent on the manufacture of playing cards; and, 7, The rent of post offices. (6) The rent of national lotteries is abolished, lotteries being hereby prohibited. (7) Import and export duties at ports of the republic will remain as fixed by the Government of the United States, except that the exportation of gold and silver in bars or ingot—plata y oro en pasta—is prohibited until the further instructions of the Government on the subjects. (8) All imported articles, goods, or commodities which have once paid or given sufficient security for the payment of duties to the United States at any port of entry of the republic shall not again be burdened with any tax or duty in any port of this republic occupied by the forces of the United States. (9) The levying of duties on the transit of animals, goods, or commodities, whether of foreign or domestic growth, from one State of this republic to another, or on entering or leaving the gate of any city within the republic, will, from and after the beginning of the ensuing year, be prohibited, as far as the United States forces may have power to enforce the prohibition. Other and equitable means, to a moderate extent, must be resorted to by the several State and city authorities for the necessary support of their respective governments. (10) The tobacco, playing cards, and stamped paper rents will be placed for three, six, or twelve months under the contract with the highest bidders respectively, for the several States, the State and Federal district of Mexico being considered one. Accordingly, offers or bids for those rents within each State, or any of them, are invited. They will be sent in as early as possible, sealed, to the headquarters of departments, except for the Federal District and State of Mexico. For this latter the offers or bids will be addressed to the general in chief. (11) Further details for the execution of the foregoing system of government and revenue will soon be given in general orders."
General Scott forwarded the above order to Washington, together with a memoir of the precious metals, showing that he had carefully studied and had thorough knowledge of the subject. In his letter forwarding the order he said:
"The Government of the United States proposes that their forces shall occupy the Mexican Republic, and raise in said country the means to meet the expenses of occupation. To obtain this object, it appears convenient that said resources should be raised so as to interfere as little as possible with the existing interests of foreign as well as of native residents; for if any measure calculated to involve the ruin of a part or the whole of said interests was taken, there is little or no doubt that the results would be as injurious to the interest of the United States as to those of this country, for the destiny of both interests in the case of occupation is linked together. It appears that this recommendation, besides being fully justified by a sound policy, will also be the means of facilitating the organization of a financial system, and ultimately lead to increase of revenue.
* * * * *
"The tariff given by the United States for the Mexican ports occupied allows the free exportation of gold and silver either in bars or coined. Although it has been done, perhaps, with a liberal view, it would seem that the measure was taken to hostilize the Mexican Government, preventing thus any advance from being made to said Government on future export duties on silver or gold, and depriving it of that resource. However, who would benefit by the free export of gold or silver? It is well known that nothing finds its level, respecting prices, as soon as the precious metals, and therefore as soon as the exportation should be carried into effect there would have been exchange on England, France, and the United States, a difference equivalent to the duties taken off on the precious metals. The free exportation would apparently have been advantageous to none but the miners; apparently is the word, for it is evident that the higher prices obtained by them at first would have gradually come down until they were on a level with those obtained in Europe, and ultimately would have become lower than they are to-day, for it is not to be doubted that the free exportation of bars partially or totally occasioning the ruin of the mints, coined specie would have disappeared from circulation, and that miners would have been for the sale of their product entirely at the mercy of the speculators, while, the exportation being prohibited, the mints are obliged to pay to them at any time a fixed price for their gold and silver which can not be altered.
* * * * *
"The exportation of gold and silver in bars has been prohibited in this country by all the tariffs that have existed either under the Spanish or Mexican Government; and though licenses of exportation to a small amount have now and then been granted, the prohibition has been the rule and the exportation has been the exception, until the Mexican Government, having rented all their mines but two to foreign companies, has taken the solemn engagement not to give any more licenses of exportation. As it may easily be supposed, the engagement of giving no more licenses of exportation has been the principal basis on which the companies have relied to make their contracts, and the principal inducement for them to advance the rent as they have done. It is not known what policy will be adopted by the United States respecting neutral interests in Mexico in case the country should be occupied by their armies, but too high an opinion is entertained of the justice of their Government to admit for a moment the possibility of such interests being sacrificed or ruined when no direct benefit could be derived from such a measure for the United States, and when, on the contrary, it might be injurious to them, as may be explained."
On December 17th he again wrote to the Secretary calling his attention to General Orders No. 376, the seventh paragraph of which contained the duties on exported bars of gold and silver, which had been made free by order of the United States Government. Since the publication of the order he had seen a slip cut from a Vera Cruz paper of the 17th, from the Department to him on the subject, which said: "I have taken great pains to obtain correct information in respect to the production and exportation of the precious metals in and from this country. The Mexican policy has been uniform against the exportation of bars and ingots, though, from want or cupidity, special licenses have been given in violation of that sound policy and in gross violation of the rights purchased by the renters of the mints. This army is also interested in some prohibition, for if we permit the exportation of bars and ingots there will be but little domestic coinage, our drafts would soon be under par, and the Mexicans, from want of sufficient circulating medium, be less able to pay the contributions which we propose to levy upon them through their civil authorities."
General Scott, knowing the President's great desire to have the war terminated, embraced every opportunity to keep him advised as to the prospects, more or less remote, of peace, and wrote, December 14th, that he "had received no communication from the Mexican Government, and did not expect any before the Congress and President had been installed, about March 10th. It is believed that both will be inclined to peace." Congress, however, did not meet until May.
General William O. Butler arrived at the capital December 18th with thirty-six hundred men, and the train dispatched November 1st, under Colonel Harney, returned, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph E. Johnston, of the voltigeurs, with thirteen hundred men in addition to the escort that accompanied it on the trip down. These re-enforcements, with those that recently arrived, made a total of eight or nine thousand for duty.
General Scott was anxious to occupy the mining districts of San Luis and Zacatecas, maintain communication with the capital, and open one with Tampico, and for that purpose needed two columns of five thousand men each, and to garrison the State capitals within reach of the two columns. It was represented that great embarrassment would result from the movement on Zacatecas, as that column would have to march through Queretaro to reach its destination. It was represented that it would cause the dispersion of the Mexican Government and make its assembling at any other point doubtful. The Department, however, directed the double movement to be made when the re-enforcements known to have left Vera Cruz would arrive, unless in the meantime otherwise instructed.
The commanding general was greatly disappointed when the first train returned from Vera Cruz without bringing a jacket, blanket, or a pair of shoes for the army. That small depot had been exhausted by the troops of Patterson, Butler, and Marshall, who were fresh from home, or the Brazos, and others that arrived without clothing since June; and on December 25th he wrote of his great disappointments, and stated that this want might delay distant expeditions for many weeks, as some of the new volunteers were in want of essential articles of wear. He called attention to the fact that requisitions for clothing made by the regular regiments over a year previous had not been sent, or at any rate had not reached the regiments. No general ever paid more attention or displayed greater interest in the comfort of his men than General Scott. The quartermaster's and commissary departments were his never-ceasing care, and he gave constant personal attention to both.
On the matter of assessments he says: "You perceive I do not propose to seize the ordinary State or city revenue, as that, in my judgment, would be to make war on civilization, as no community can escape absolute anarchy without civil government. I shall take care, however, to see that the means collected within any particular State or city for that purpose are moderate and reasonable."
Order No. 395 was issued December 31st, specifying the States by name and the several sums they would be annually taxed. The duties paid at the gates of the cities, and in passing from one State to another, as well as the tobacco monopoly and lotteries, were abolished. Governors and members of the Legislature of the different States, and all collecting officers then in commission and charged with the collection of Federal duties of any, were held individually responsible in their persons and property for the collection and payment of the assessment. The order, which was a long one and carefully prepared, gave many details. The last two paragraphs say: "The American troops, in spreading themselves over this republic, will take care to observe the strictest discipline and morals in respect to the persons and property of the country, purchasing and paying for all necessaries and comforts they may require, and treating the unoffending inhabitants with forbearance and kindness. The higher honor of the country, as well as the particular honor of the army, must and shall be maintained against the few miscreants in our ranks. The laws of war will also be strictly observed toward all Mexicans who respect those laws. For the treatment of those atrocious bands of guerillos and armed rancheros, General Order No. 392 of the 12th instant will be rigidly enforced."
To prevent frauds in the payment of dues as assessed, General Orders No. 8, of January 9, 1848, were issued. The orders referred to and quoted in part show that General Scott was eminently qualified to fulfill a position in civil as well as military life. The orders he promulgated were laws to the Mexicans, and show that his administration of the civil affairs of the conquered country was wise, merciful, and judicious. It was here that General Scott's early legal training manifested itself. These orders had anticipated the message of the President which reached him on the 14th in a communication from the War Department, and in which the President's views were given in regard to the future prosecution of the war. He was urged to endeavor to lessen expenses by compelling Mexico to contribute, and see the necessity of making a peace honorable alike to both countries. Says the Secretary: "Our object being to obtain acceptable terms, which it is apprehended can not be speedily obtained without making the enemy feel he is to bear a considerable part of the burden of war.
"Should there not be at this time a government in Mexico of sufficient stability to make peace, or should the authority which there exists be adverse to it, and yet a large and influential portion of the people be really disposed to put an end to hostilities, it is desirable to know what prospect there is that the latter could, with countenance and protection of our arms, organize a government willing to make peace and sustain relations of peace with us. It is presumed that your opportunities of knowing the disposition of the people of Mexico will enable you to furnish your Government with correct information on the subject, and the President desires to be furnished with your views."
On January 6, 1848, General Scott reported to the Department that his total force in the Valley of Mexico was fourteen thousand nine hundred and sixty-four, with only eleven thousand one hundred and sixty-two fit for duty, measles prevailing mainly among the volunteers. Half of General Marshall's force at Jalapa was sick, and he reported, December 22d, that he had sent his wagons back to Vera Cruz for medicines and other supplies. Pachuca was occupied without opposition by Colonel Jones M. Withers, Ninth Infantry, and General Cadwallader marched, December 22d, for Lerma and Toluca, the latter the State capital and thirty-eight miles from the City of Mexico.
On January 13th General Scott reported the unsuccessful efforts of Colonel Wynkoop's First Pennsylvania Volunteers to capture the Padre Jaruata, but the same colonel, learning of General Valencia's whereabouts, made a night march, surprised and captured him and a colonel of his staff. Colonel Jack Hays made efforts to capture Jaruata, but also failed. He had an engagement with the band, killing and wounding many of them.
On January 12, 1848, a letter was dispatched by the Secretary of War to General Scott informing him that he had been relieved from the command of the army by order of the President of the United States, and was to be brought before a court of inquiry to be convened in the Castle of Perote, Mexico, on the 18th of February.
On February 2, 1848, General Scott acknowledged receipt of the Secretary's letters of November 8th and 17th and December 14th. The system of finance—prohibiting the export duties on coins and the prohibition of export in bars, inaugurated by the general—differed materially from the instructions in the Secretary's letter of November 17th, and the general hoped, for the reasons suggested in his letter of December 17th, that the President would consent to adopt his views in respect to the precious metals. He informed the Secretary that the ayuntamiento of the capital had charged itself with the payment on account of the Federal district of four hundred thousand dollars of the six hundred and sixty-eight thousand three hundred and thirty-two dollars imposed per year on the State of Mexico; that General Cadwallader would soon begin to collect through the ayuntamiento of Toluca a large part of the remainder. Colonel Clarke, of the Sixth Infantry, had been ordered into the Cuernavaca Valley, forty-three miles south, with a force amply sufficient to enforce a thorough collection.
General Scott says: "The war of masses ended with the capture of the enemy's capital; the war of detail, including the occupation of the country and the collection of revenue, requires a large additional force, as before suggested." Referring to the fact that he had learned it was thought in Washington that "he had thirty thousand men under his command, while in truth, including the forces at Tampico, Vera Cruz, on the line from that port, and in the valley and vicinity, he had a total of twenty-four thousand eight hundred and sixteen; the sick, necessary, and indispensable garrisons deducted would leave an available force for distant service of only four thousand five hundred, and he did not know of the approach of any considerable re-enforcements. Seven thousand he deemed a minimum number with which the important line from Durango through Zacatecas and San Luis to Tampico could be opened and maintained. Many of the volunteers were sick with measles, mumps, and erysipelas, common among all classes of soldiers."
A treaty of peace had been agreed upon and signed and was to be forwarded at once. Referring to the fact, he says: "In about forty days I may receive an acknowledgment of this report, and by that time, if the treaty of peace be not accepted, I hope to be sufficiently re-enforced to open the commercial line between Zacatecas and Tampico. The occupation of Queretaro, Guanajuato, and Guadalajara would be the next in importance, and some of the ports of the Pacific third. Meanwhile the collection of internal revenue dues on the precious metals and direct assessments shall be continued."
* * * * *
The following is the organization of the army in its march from Puebla to the City of Mexico:
Lieutenant-Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Assistant Inspector General. Captain Henry Lee Scott, Acting Adjutant General. First-Lieutenant T. Williams, Aid-de-camp. Brevet First-Lieutenant George William Lay, Aid-de-camp. Second-Lieutenant Schuyler Hamilton, Aid-de-camp. Major J.P. Gaines, Volunteer Aid-de-camp.
Major John Lind Smith, Chief; Captain Robert Edward Lee; Lieutenants Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, Isaac I. Stevens, Zealous Bates Tower, Gustavus Woodson Smith, George B. McClellan, John Gray Foster.
Captain Benjamin Huger, Chief, with siege train. First-Lieutenant Peter Valentine Hugner. Second-Lieutenant George Thom. Brevet Second-Lieutenant E.L.F. Hardcastle.
Captains James R. Irwin, Chief; Abraham C. Myers, Robert Allen, Henry Constantine Wayne, Justus McKinstry, George W.F. Wood, J. Daniels, O'Hara, Samuel McGowan.
Captain John Breckinridge Grayson, Chief. Captain Thomas P. Randle.
Major Edmund Kirby, Chief. " Abraham Van Buren. " Albert Gallatin Bennett.
Surgeon-General Thomas Lawson; Surgeons Benjamin Franklin Harney, Richard Smith Satterlee, Charles Stuart Tripler, Burton Randall, James Meck Cuyler; Assistant Surgeons Alexander F. Suter, Josiah Simpson, David Camben De Leon, Henry H. Steiner, James Simons, Joseph K. Barnes, Levi H. Holden, Charles Carter Keeney, James Frazier Head, John Fox Hammond, Josephus M. Steiner, Charles P. Deyerle, Ebenezer Swift. Surgeons J.M. Tyler, volunteer; McMillan, volunteer; Courtney J. Clark, volunteer; W.B. Halstead, volunteer. Assistant Surgeons R. Hagan, volunteer; H.L. Wheaton, volunteer. Surgeons R. Ritchie, First Volunteers; J. Barry, First Volunteers; Edwards, First Volunteers; L.W. Jordan, First Volunteers; R. McSherry, First Volunteers; Roberts, First Volunteers.
Colonel Harney's Brigade.
Detachment of First Light Dragoons, Captain James Kearny. Detachment of Second Light Dragoons, Major Edwin Vose Sumner. Detachment of Third Light Dragoons under Major Andrew Thomas McReynolds.
I. BREVET MAJOR-GENERAL WORTH'S DIVISION.
1. Colonel John Garland's Brigade.
Second Regiment of Artillery, serving as infantry. Third " " " " " Fourth " " Infantry. Duncan's Field Battery.
2. Colonel Andrew Clark's Brigade.
Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Regiments of Infantry. A Light Battery.
II. BREVET MAJOR-GENERAL TWIGGS'S DIVISION.
1. Brevet Brigadier-General Persifor F. Smith's Brigade.
Rifle Regiment. First Regiment of Artillery, serving as infantry. Third Regiment of Infantry. Taylor's Light Battery.
2. Colonel Bennet Riley's Brigade.
Fourth Regiment of Artillery, serving as infantry. First Regiment of Infantry. Seventh Regiment of Infantry.
III. MAJOR-GENERAL GIDEON J. PILLOW'S DIVISION.
1. Brigadier-General G. Cadwallader's Brigade.
Voltigeurs. Eleventh and Fourteenth Infantry. A Light Battery.
2. Brigadier-General Franklin Pierce's Brigade.
Ninth, Twelfth, and Fifteenth Infantry.
IV. MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN A. QUITMAN'S DIVISION.
1. Brigadier-General Shields's Brigade.
New York Volunteers. South Carolina Volunteers.
2. Lieutenant-Colonel Watson's Brigade.
A detachment of Second Pennsylvania Volunteers. A detachment of United States Marines.
List of Officers of the Battalion of Marines under Command of Lieutenant-Colonel Watson.
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel E. Watson, Major Levi Twiggs, Major William Dulany.
Staff.—First Lieutenant and Adjutant D.D. Baker, First Lieutenant and Acting Quartermaster John S. Devlin.
Captains.—John G. Reynolds, George H. Terrett, and William Lang.
First Lieutenants.—Jabez C. Rich, Robert C. Caldwell, William L. Young, Thomas A. Brady, John D. Simms, and Daniel J. Sutherland.
Second Lieutenants.—George Adams, E. McD. Reynolds, Thomas Y. Field, Charles G. McCawley, Freeman Norvell, Charles A. Henderson, John S. Nicholson, Augustus S. Nicholson, and Henry Welsh.
Scott's care for the welfare of his army—Account of the money levied on Mexico—Last note to the Secretary of War while commander in chief in Mexico—Army asylums—Treaty of peace—Scott turns over the army to General William O. Butler—Scott and Worth—Court of inquiry on Worth—The "Leonidas" and "Tampico" letters—Revised paragraph 650—Army regulations—General Worth demands a court of inquiry and prefers charges against Scott—Correspondence—General belief as to Scott's removal command—The trial—Return home of General Scott.
As an army commander General Scott had frequent occasion to use money for which vouchers or even ordinary receipts could not be taken and the nature of the service could not be specified; he styled them "secret disbursements." In a letter to the War Department of February 6, 1848, he stated that he "had made no report of such disbursements since leaving Jalapa, (1) because of the uncertainty of our communications with Vera Cruz, and (2) the necessity of certain explanations which, on account of others, ought not to be reduced to writing," and added, "I have never tempted the honor or patriotism of any man, but have held it as lawful in morals as in war to purchase valuable information or services voluntarily tendered me."
He charged himself with the money he received in Washington for "secret disbursements," the one hundred and fifty thousand dollars levied upon the City of Mexico for the immediate benefit of the army, and of the captured tobacco taken from the Mexican Government, with other small sums, all of which were accounted for. He then charged himself with sixty-three thousand seven hundred and forty-five dollars and fifty-seven cents expended in the purchase of blankets and shoes distributed gratuitously to enlisted men, for ten thousand dollars extra supplies for the hospitals, ten dollars each to every crippled man discharged or furloughed, some sixty thousand dollars for secret services, including the native spy company of Dominguez, whose pay commenced in July, and which he did not wish to bring into account with the Treasury. There remained a balance of one hundred thousand dollars, a draft for which he inclosed, saying: "I hope you will allow the draft to go to the credit of the army asylum, and make the subject known in the way you may deem best to the military committees of Congress. The sum is, in small part, the price of American blood so gallantly shed in this vicinity; and considering that the army receives no prize money, I repeat the hope that its proposed destination may be approved and carried into effect.... The remainder of the money in my hands, as well as that expended, I shall be ready to account for at the proper time and in the proper manner, merely offering this imperfect report to explain, in the meantime, the character of the one hundred thousand dollars draft."
On February 9, 1848, General Scott addressed what seems to have been his last note to the War Department as commander in chief of the army of Mexico. It is brief. He adverted to the fact of his not receiving any communication from the War Department or adjutant general's office, and says: "But slips from newspapers and letters from Washington have come to interested parties here, representing, I learn, that the President has determined to place me before a court for daring to enforce necessary discipline in this army against certain of its high officers. I make only a passing comment upon these unofficial announcements, learning with pleasure, through the same sources, that I am to be superseded by Major-General William O. Butler." The admirable recommendation in regard to the draft was adopted and carried out, and the money applied to the purchase of asylums for soldiers.
There was not any general engagement of the armies after the capture of the City of Mexico. General Lane, always vigilant, kept his force in constant motion, pursuing, engaging, when possible, and dispersing the numerous predatory bands that infested his flanks and rear.
The first efforts to agree upon a treaty of peace failed. Active operations were resumed, and so weakened Mexico that she was left no alternative but to make "peace such as her powerful and successful enemy might dictate." By the Constitution of Mexico the office of President in case of a vacancy devolved upon the president of the Supreme Court provisionally; but there was no president of the Supreme Court in September, 1847, the last incumbent having died, and no successor having been elected when Santa Anna resigned. Congress, whose duty it was to elect this officer, could only be convened by proclamation of the President, but, as is seen, there was no President. In this unfortunate state of affairs, the most influential of the Moderado party, with the hope of preventing anarchy, then greatly threatened, if it had not already raised its head, and conclude terms of peace, prevailed upon Pena y Pena, an able and enlightened jurist, statesman, and patriot, and senior judge of the Supreme Court, to assume the provisional presidency. He was recognized by the State authorities, and pledges were given that they would uphold and defend it against all intriguers opposed to peace, through the non-existence of a government competent to make it. It was known that Pena was not averse to peace.
Mr. Nicholas P. Trist, the commissioner on the part of the United States, upon the formation of the new Government, made propositions for a conference of representatives. Owing to the fact that the Mexican Congress had to be called together to elect a President ad interim to serve until January 8, 1848, the overtures of Mr. Trist could not be entertained. By a combination between the Puro party and the adherents of Santa Anna and other factions, the Moderado party came very near being defeated, but the latter were successful and elected General Don Pedro Maria Anaya ad interim President; and Pena y Pena and General Mora y Villamil, both in favor of peace, were made respectively Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of War.
Negotiations were now again formally undertaken. The Mexican Government was represented by Senores Conto, Atristain, and Cuevas. The commissioners of the respective countries met at Guadalupe Hidalgo, three miles from the City of Mexico. After many meetings, long conferences, and discussions, a treaty of peace, friendships, and limits between Mexico and the United States was concluded and signed February 2, 1848.
A synopsis of the treaty is given. Some of the articles are given in full, as the fifth, which secured to the United States the great State of California with its incalculable wealth in mineral and agriculture resources, and the territory of New Mexico, also rich in all that Nature can yield.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, concluded February 2, 1848. Ratifications exchanged at Queretaro, May 30, 1848. Proclaimed July 4, 1848.
The United States was represented by Nicholas P. Trist, and the Republic of Mexico was represented by Don Louis Gonzaga Cuevas, Don Bernardo Conto, and Don Miguel Atristain.
"ARTICLE I. There shall be firm and universal peace between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, and between respective countries, territories, cities, towns, and people, without exception of places or persons.
"ART. II provides that, immediately upon the signature to this treaty, commissioners shall be appointed by the commander in chief of the American forces and the Mexican Government for the provisional suspension of hostilities and the re-establishment of the political, administrative, and judicial branches so far as this shall be permitted by the circumstances of the case.
"ART. III. Immediately upon the ratification of this treaty by the United States orders shall be issued to the commanders of the land and naval forces, requiring the latter (provided this treaty has been ratified by Mexico and ratifications exchanged) to immediately desist from blockading any Mexican ports, and requiring the former (under the same conditions) to withdraw all troops of the United States then in the interior of the Mexican Republic to a distance from the seaport not exceeding thirty leagues—this to be done with the least possible delay; and to deliver up all customhouses at all ports occupied by the forces of the United States to persons authorized by the Mexican Government to receive it, with all bonds and evidences of debt for duties on importations and exportations. An exact account to be rendered of all duties on imports and exports, after the ratification of this treaty by Mexico, deducting only the cost of collection. The City of Mexico to be evacuated within one month after the orders there stipulated shall be received by the commander of said troops.
"ART. IV. Immediately after the ratifications of the present treaty all castles, forts, territories, places, and possessions shall be definitely restored to Mexico; the final evacuation of the territory of Mexico shall be completed within three months, or sooner if possible, the Mexican Government engaging to use all means in its power to facilitate the same. All prisoners of war taken on sea or land to be restored, and all Mexicans held by savage tribes within the United States to be exacted from such tribes and restored to their country.
"ART. V is given in full:
"The boundary line between the two republics shall commence in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande, otherwise called Rio Bravo del Norte, or opposite the mouth of its deepest branch, if it should have more than one branch emptying directly into the sea; from thence up the middle of that river, following the deepest channel, where it has more than one, to the point where it strikes the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence westwardly along the southern boundary of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its western termination; thence northward along the western line of New Mexico until it intersects the first branch of the Rio Gila (or if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to a point on said line nearest to said branch, and thence in a direct line to the same); thence down the middle of the said branch of said river until it empties into the Rio Colorado; thence across the Rio Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower California to the Pacific Ocean. The southern and western limits of New Mexico mentioned in this article are those laid down in the map entitled 'Map of the United Mexican States, as organized and defined by various acts of Congress of said republic, and constructed according to the best authorities. Revised edition. Published in New York, in 1847, by J. Disturnell'; of which map a copy is added to this treaty, bearing the signatures and seals of the undersigned plenipotentiaries. And in order to preclude all difficulty in tracing upon the ground limit separating Upper from Lower California, it is agreed that the said limit shall consist of a straight line drawn from the middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, to a point on the coast of the Pacific Ocean distant one marine league due south of the southernmost point of the port of San Diego, according to the plan of said port made in 1782 by Don Juan Pantoja, second sailing master of the Spanish fleet, and published at Madrid in the year 1802, in the atlas to the voyage of said schooners Sutil and Mexicana; of which plan a copy is hereunto added, signed and sealed by the respective plenipotentiaries.
"In order to designate the boundary line with due precision upon authoritative maps, and to establish upon the ground landmarks which shall show the limits of both republics, as described in the present article, the two governments shall each appoint a commissioner and surveyor, who, before the expiration of one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, shall meet at the port of San Diego and proceed to run and mark the said boundary in its whole course to the mouth of the Rio Bravo del Norte. They shall keep journals and make out plans of their operations; and the result agreed upon by them shall be deemed a part of this treaty, and shall have the same force and effect as if inserted therein. The two governments will amicably agree regarding what may be necessary to these persons, and also as to their respective escorts, should such be necessary.
"The boundary line established by this article shall be religiously respected by each of the two republics, and no change shall ever be made therein, except by the express and free consent of both nations lawfully given by the General Government of each in conformity with its own constitution.
"ART. 6 gives citizens of the United States free navigation of the Gulf of California and the Rio Colorado below its confluence with the Gila.
"ART. 7. The Rio Gila and the part of the Rio Bravo del Norte are made free for the navigation of vessels of both countries without tax.
"ART. 8. Mexicans to remain in the ceded territory if they choose to do so, or to remove at any time to the Mexican republic, retaining the property they possess in said territories, or disposing of the same and removing the same wherever they please. Those who remain in said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens or acquire those of citizens of the United States; but they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States. Property in those territories belonging to Mexicans shall be inviolably respected, and the present owners and their heirs and those who have acquired the same shall enjoy the same, as if it belonged to citizens of the United States.
"ART. 9. Mexicans who do not declare themselves citizens of Mexico shall be incorporated in and become citizens of the United States under such regulations as shall be provided by law.
"ART. 10 of the treaty was stricken out.
"ART. 11. The United States undertakes to deliver up, if possible, any Mexicans that may be captured by any of the savage tribes within the ceded territory; and to prevent purchasing any property from any Mexican while in capture by the Indians; nor to purchase any property of any kind stolen within Mexican territory by such Indians.
"ART. 12. In consideration of the extension acquired by the boundaries of the United States, as defined by the fifth article of the present treaty, the Government of the United States engages to pay to that of the Mexican republic the sum of fifteen millions of dollars, and prescribes the manner and times of payment.
"ART. 13. The United States assumes the payment of all claims now due and those hereafter to become due by reason of claims already liquidated against Mexico under the treaties of April 11, 1839, and January 30, 1843.
"ART. 14. The United States discharges Mexico from all claims of citizens of the United States against said republic.
"ART. 15 provides for the appointment of a board of commissioners to adjudicate all claims against Mexico, the United States assuming the payment of such as may be allowed; the Mexican Government agreeing to furnish such books, papers, etc., as may be deemed necessary as evidence.
"ART. 16. The right of both parties to fortify any point in its territory it may deem proper.
"ART. 17. The treaty of April 5, 1831, and its provisions not inconsistent with this treaty, revived.
"ART. 18. All supplies for troops of the United States shall be exempt from duties or charges of any kind; the United States engaging to prevent merchandise and goods from being landed, under cover of this article, not intended for the army.
"ART. 19. General provisions in regard to merchandise imported into Mexico during hostilities.
"ART. 20 provides what disposition shall be made of merchandise arriving in Mexico, if the customhouses shall be delivered up less than sixty days from the signatures to this treaty.
"ART. 21. If disagreements should arise between the two countries, every effort will be made to adjust the same peaceably; and failing in that, the subject-matter of dispute shall be referred to arbitration.
"ART. 22 provides what shall be done with the citizens of either country residing in the other, should war unhappily break out between the two republics."
The treaty was given to a trusty messenger, dispatched to Vera Cruz, and the general commanding at that point was ordered to forward it immediately by the swiftest steamer in the harbor. The general requested, in case the treaty was accepted and ratified, that he be instructed as early as practicable in regard to evacuating Mexico, and the disposition to be made of the wagons, artillery, and cavalry horses, and the points in the United States to which the troops should be ordered, and hoped the troops could leave Mexico before the return of the vomito, which would probably be in May.
It had been rumored in the army for several weeks that General Scott was to be superseded in command, and he announced the fact in the following order:
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
"MEXICO, February 18, 1848.
"GENERAL ORDERS NO. 59.
"By instruction from the President of the United States just received, Major-General Scott turns over the command of the army to Major-General Butler, who will immediately enter upon duty accordingly. In taking leave of the troops he has so long had the command of in an arduous campaign, a small part of whose glory has been from position reflected on the senior officer, Major-General Scott is happy to be relieved by a general of established merit and distinction in the service of his country.
"By command of General Scott.
"Acting Assistant Adjutant General."
There was nothing for General Butler to do but wait the action of the United States on the treaty that had been forwarded, and then evacuate the Mexican territory. As has been seen, ratifications of the treaty were exchanged at Queretaro May 30, 1848, and proclaimed July 4, 1848.
Although General Worth had served with General Scott as his aid, and the most friendly relations had heretofore existed between them, circumstances occurred in May and June, 1847, that caused an estrangement between them which was never healed. On June 16, 1847, General Worth issued a circular at Peublo of the following purport: "Intelligence has come to the headquarters of this division, in a form and from sources entitled to consideration, that food exhibited, and, in tempting form, for sale to the soldiers, is purposely prepared to cause sickness and ultimately death"; and he appealed to every soldier to forbear the procurement or use of such food, as ample rations were issued, and added: "Doubtless there are among those with whom we are situated many who will not hesitate, as is the habit of cowards, to poison those from whom they habitually fly in battle—a resource familiar in Spanish history, legitimately inherited and willingly practiced in Mexico."
General Scott had animadverted upon the terms granted by Worth to the functionaries of the city of Puebla, about May 15, 1847, and strongly censured the circular referred to. These reproofs induced General Worth to call for a court of inquiry, which was ordered to convene June 17, 1847, at 10 o'clock A.M. The court met, and General Worth submitted a statement of the matters in which he deemed himself wronged by the general in chief, and to which he invited investigation. The court gave the matters before it careful consideration on the evidence adduced and the documents submitted, and pronounced their opinions. The court found nothing in the remarks of the general in chief in regard to General Worth's terms to the functionaries of Puebla to which he [Worth] could take exception; "that the terms or stipulations granted by Brevet Major-General Worth to the functionaries of the city of Puebla upon his entrance with his advance of the army on the 15th of May last were unnecessarily yielded, improvident, and in effect detrimental to the public service," and continues: "The court, as required, further declares its opinion that the 'circular' published by Brevet Major-General Worth to his division, dated Puebla, June 16, 1847, was highly improper and extremely objectionable in many respects, especially as it might tend, by exasperating the whole Mexican nation, to thwart the well-known pacific policy of the United States, and, in view of the high source from which it emanated, to disturb the friendly relations of our Government with Spain, or at least give occasion to that power to call for explanations or apologies. The barbarous offense against which that 'circular' warned the soldiers of the First Division, if it exists at all, equally affected the whole army. The information obtained by General Worth, if worthy of notice, should therefore have been communicated to the general in chief, that he might have exercised his discretion on the means to be adopted for correcting the evil. With these views of the 'circular' alluded to the court is of the opinion that it called for the 'emphatic admonition' and rebuke of the general in chief."
About two months after the occupation of the City of Mexico by the United States forces a mail arrived from the States. It was found that two letters written from the valley a few days after the battles of Contreras and Churubusco had been published in the newspapers. One of them, published in the New Orleans Delta, was known as the "Leonidas letter," and gave to General Pillow nearly all the credit for winning these important battles, and placed him on a plane of military genius far above the facts, as was understood by parties present. Among other things the letter said: "He [Pillow] evinced on this, as he had on other occasions, that masterly military genius and profound knowledge of the science of war which has astonished the mere martinets of the profession. His plan was very similar to that by which Napoleon effected the reduction of the fortress of Ulm, and General Scott was so perfectly well satisfied with it that he could not interfere with any part of it, but left it to the gallant projector to carry into glorious and successful execution."
The "Tampico letter," as the other letter was called, is given in full:
"TACUBAYA, MEXICO, August 27, 1847.
"The whole force which moved from Puebla, amounting to ten thousand, more or less, marched in four columns on successive days, in the following order, viz.: Twiggs, Quitman, Worth, and Pillow. In approaching the City of Mexico by the main highway you go directly on to Penon, which is a strong position, exceedingly well fortified. Before leaving Puebla, it had been considered whether the main road can not be avoided and El Penon turned by passing around to the south and left of Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco. The engineer officers serving immediately at general headquarters had questioned a number of persons, including spies and agents sent expressly to examine the route, and the mass of testimony was entire to the boggy, mucky, and perfectly impracticable character for wagons and artillery of the road leading in that direction. It was therefore in contemplation to turn Penon by forcing Mexicalcinzo, although the ground was difficult and the batteries known to be numerous. This route, you will observe, is to the north and right of the lakes. The reconnoissances of the engineers were consequently directed to this end. In the meantime General Worth, whose division had been left at Chalco, while General Scott, with Twiggs, had gone to Ayotla, sent Colonel Duncan with a large party to examine the denounced route.
"Colonel Duncan found it just the reverse of what it had been pronounced to be; it was firm, rocky, and quite practicable, requiring, to be sure, a little labor here and there. General Worth instantly sent Colonel Duncan with this information to General Scott, and urged the movement of the whole army to the left of Lake Chalco. The direct attack was abandoned, and on the morning the whole army was in motion."
Owing to a letter written by General Taylor to General Gaines, which was intended to be private and confidential, finding its way into the New York Morning Express, the Secretary of War issued the following:
"WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, January 28, 1847.
"The President of the United States directs that paragraph 650 of the General Regulations of the Army, established the 1st of March, 1825, and not included among those published January 25, 1841, be now published, and its observance, as a part of the general regulations, be strictly enjoined upon the army.
"By order of the President.
"W.L. MARCY, Secretary of War."
The following is the paragraph referred to and ordered to be "published":
"Private letters or reports relative to military movements and operations are frequently mischievous in design, and always disgraceful to the army. They are therefore strictly forbidden, and any officer found guilty of making such report for publication, without special permission, or of placing the writing beyond his control, so that it finds its way to the press within one month after the termination of the campaign to which it relates, shall be dismissed from the service."
Upon the appearance in print of the two letters referred to, the commanding general issued the following:
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
"MEXICO, November 12, 1847.
"GENERAL ORDERS No. 349.
"The attention of certain officers of this army is recalled to the foregoing—650th paragraph, 1,825 regulations—a regulation prohibiting officers of the army from detailing in private letters or reports the movements of the army, which the general in chief is resolved to enforce so far as it may be in his power. As yet but two echoes from home of the brilliant operations of our army in this basin have reached us—the first in a New Orleans and the second through a Tampico newspaper.
"It requires not a little charity to believe that the principal heroes of the scandalous letters alluded to did not write them, or especially procure them to be written; and the intelligent can be at no loss in conjecturing the authors, chiefs, partisans, and pet familiars. To the honor of the service, the disease—pruriency of fame not earned—can not have seized upon half a dozen officers present, all of whom, it is believed, belonged to the same two coteries.
"False credit may no doubt be attained at hand by such despicable self-puffings and malignant exclusion of others, but at the expense of the just esteem and consideration of all honorable officers who love their country, their profession, and the truth of history. The indignation of the great number of the latter class can not fail in the end to bring down the conceited and envious to their proper level."
The day after the publication of the above General Orders General Worth forwarded to army headquarters a communication in which he said:
"I learn with much astonishment that the prevailing opinion in this army points the imputation of 'scandalous' contained in the third, and the invocation of the 'indignation of the great number' in the fourth paragraph of Orders No. 349, printed and issued yesterday, to myself as one of the officers alluded to. Although I can not suppose those opinions to be correctly formed, nevertheless, regarding the high source from which such imputations flow, so seriously affecting the qualities of a gentleman, the character and usefulness of him at whom they may be aimed, I feel it incumbent on me to ask, as I do now most respectfully, of the frankness and justice of the commander in chief, whether in any sense or degree he condescended to apply, or designed to have applied, the epithets contained in that order to myself, and consequently whether the general military opinion or sentiment in that matter has taken a right or intended direction. I trust I shall be pardoned for pressing with urgency an early reply to this communication."
On the day General Worth addressed his communication to General Scott, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel James Duncan wrote to the editor of the North American (a newspaper published in the City of Mexico in English), in which he avowed that the substance of the "Tampico letter" was communicated by him to a friend in Pittsburg from Tacubaya soon after the battles, and added: "The statements in the letter are known by very many officers of this army to be true, and I can not but think that the publication of the truth is less likely to do violence to individuals or to the service than the suppression of it." He states that justice to General Worth, who was evidently one of the persons pointed at in Orders No. 349, requires him [Duncan] to state that he [General Worth] knew nothing of the writer's purpose in writing the letter in question; that General Worth never saw it, and did not know, directly or indirectly, even the purport of one line, word, or syllable of it until he saw it in print; that this letter was not inspired by General Worth, but that both the "Tampico letter"—or rather the private letter to his friend which formed the basis of that letter—and this were written on his own responsibility.
On November 14, 1847, General Scott acknowledged General Worth's letter of the 13th, and said: "The General Order No. 349 was, as is pretty clearly expressed on its face, meant to apply to the letter signed 'Leonidas' in a New Orleans paper, and to the summary of two letters given in the Washington Union and copied into a Tampico paper, to the authors, aiders, and abettors of those letters, be they who they may."
It may be well questioned if an officer has a right to demand of his superior in command whether or not certain expressions used in written orders apply to him. If one officer could claim this privilege another also could, until every officer in the command had interrogated the commanding officer as to the intention of words used in general orders. To comment upon and disapprove or censure the official acts of his subordinates is not only a privilege of the commanding general, but an obligation, for the maintenance of discipline and the morale of the army.
But any officer aggrieved by any censure or disapproval may demand a court of inquiry, which General Worth did in a letter dated November 14, 1847, addressed to General Scott, in which he says: "I have the honor to receive your letter in reply, but not in answer to mine of yesterday, handed in this morning. The General Order is too clearly expressed on its face to admit of any doubt in regard to papers, and, in public military opinion, in regard to persons. The object of my letter, as I endeavored clearly to express, was to seek to know distinctly, and with a view to further measures to protect myself, if, as is supposed, I was one of the persons referred to. Regretting the necessity for intrusion, I am compelled again respectfully to solicit an answer to that question. I ask it as an act of simple justice, which it is hoped will not be denied."
To this General Scott replied through his assistant adjutant general [H.L. Scott], November 14, 1847, "that he [General Scott] can not be more explicit than in his reply through me already given; that he has nothing to do with the suspicions of others, and has no positive information as to the authorship of the letters alluded to in General Orders No. 349. If he had valid information he would immediately prosecute the parties before a general court-martial."
The correspondence on this subject was terminated by General Worth in the following letter:
"HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
"MEXICO, November 14, 1847.
"SIR: It is due to official courtesy and propriety that I acknowledge your letter No. 2, in answer to mine of this date; and in doing so, and in closing this correspondence with the headquarters of the army, I beg permission to say, and with regret, that I have received no satisfactory answer to the just and rightful inquiries which I have addressed to the general in chief; but inasmuch as I know myself to be deeply aggrieved and wronged, it only remains to go by appeal, as I shall do through the prescribed channels, to the constitutional commander in chief.
"The general in chief is pleased to say through you that he has nothing to do with the suspicion of others, and that he has no positive information as to authorship, etc., granted. But has not the manner in which the general in chief has been pleased to treat the case established—whether designedly or not remains to be seen—an equivocal public sentiment on the subject? There are always enough of that peculiar pestilential species who exist upon the breath of authority to catch up the whisperings of fancy and infect a whole military community. I do not design to be stifled under the miasma of such, nor stricken down in my advanced age, without an effort to convince my friends that I scorn to wear 'honor not earned.' Your obedient servant,
"W.J. WORTH, Brevet Major General."
Following this, General Worth prepared the following communication, and sent it to army headquarters:
"HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, November 16, 1847.
"To the Honorable Secretary of War, Washington:
"SIR: From the arbitrary and illegal conduct, the malice and gross injustice, practiced by the general officer, commanding in chief, this army, Major-General Winfield Scott, I appeal (as is my right and privilege) to the constitutional commander in chief, the President of the United States. I accuse Major-General Winfield Scott of having acted in a manner unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. He has availed himself of his position to publish by authority to the army which he commands, and of the influence of his station to give the highest effect to an order bearing date November 12, 1847, and numbered 349—official printed copy herewith—calculated and designed to cast odium and disgrace upon Brevet Major-General Worth; to bring that general officer into disrepute with the army, to lessen, if not destroy, his just influence and proper authority with those officers over whom he is placed in command; that he has, without inquiry or investigation, in the said order published to the army and the world, falsely charged Brevet Major-General Worth with having written, or connived at the writing, a certain letter published in the United States, and to which he has been pleased to apply the epithet of 'scandalous,' 'malignant,' etc.; that he has made these statements to the world, giving to them the sanction of his high authority and the influence of his position, while he has had no information as to the authorship of the letters in question; and when respectfully and properly addressed upon the subject by the undersigned appellant, he has declined to reply whether or not he intended to impute to Brevet Major-General Worth conduct which he had characterized as 'scandalous,' 'malignant,' etc.; be pleased to refer to correspondence herewith marked from A to E. I do not urge present action on these accusations, because of their inconvenience to the service in withdrawing many officers from their duties, but I do humbly and respectfully invoke the President's examination into the case, and such notice thereof and protection from arbitrary conduct of said Major-General Scott as he may deem suitable.
"I have the honor to be, etc.,
"Brevet Major General, United States Army."
Upon receipt of the above communication at General Scott's headquarters, General Worth was placed under arrest and charged "with behaving with contempt and disrespect toward his commanding officer," or words to that effect; and the specification to the charge was to the following effect: "Under pretext of appeal he charged his commanding officer to be actuated by malice toward him [Worth] and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman."
It must have been under a painful stress of duty that General Scott preferred charges against General Worth; they had been friends for over thirty years, and the latter had been aid-de-camp to the former. Worth was the first general officer ordered from General Taylor's army to report to General Scott on his arrival in Mexico.
It was shown that General Pillow had given a written account of the battles of Contreras and Churubusco to the correspondent of a newspaper about August 25th, expressing a desire that it should go off with first impressions and form a part of the correspondent's letter. The general told the correspondent he had prepared it for him. The latter examined the paper submitted by the general, found it incorrect in many details, and did not send it as requested. When, however, the mail from New Orleans brought the newspaper with the "Leonidas letter," the correspondent compared the letter with the memorandum or statement given him by Pillow and pronounced them almost identical.
The arrest of General Pillow was ordered. He was charged: 1. With a violation of a general regulation or standing order of the army. 2. With conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
The specification to the first charge was, that he [Pillow] wrote or caused to be written an account of military operations between the United States forces and those of the Republic of Mexico, August 19, 1847, in and about Contreras and Churubusco, in which operations said Pillow bore a part, and which account was designed by said Pillow and in due time, over the signature of "Leonidas," partially printed and published in the New Orleans Delta of September 10, 1847, and reprinted entire in the Bulletin and the Daily Picayune of the 15th and 16th of the same month, all this pending the campaign between the forces before mentioned. There were eight different specifications to the second charge, and under the first there were eight different items or headings. The specifications cover eleven printed pages. Their substance and effect was that General Pillow's account was not correct in the very many particulars specified.[B]
Colonel Duncan was charged: 1. With violation of the 650th paragraph (revised), General Regulations of the Army; and the specification cited the "Tampico letter," which he confessed to have written. The second charge had relation solely to matters of fact set forth in the "Tampico letter."
On January 13, 1848, the Secretary of War addressed a communication to General Scott in which he said: "The President has determined to relieve you from further duty as commanding general in Mexico. You are therefore ordered by him to turn over the command of the army to Major-General Butler, or, in his absence, to the officer highest in rank with the column under you, together with all instructions you have received in relation to your operations and duties as general in chief command, and all records and papers properly belonging or appertaining to general headquarters.
[Footnote B: See Ex. Doc. No. 65, Thirtieth Congress, first session.]
"Desirous to secure a full examination into all matters embraced in the several charges which you have presented against Major-General Pillow and Brevet Colonel Duncan, as well as the charges or grounds of complaint presented against you by Brevet Major-General Worth, and deeming your presence before the court of inquiry which has been organized to investigate these matters indispensably necessary for this purpose, you are directed by the President to attend the said court of inquiry wherever it may hold its sittings; and when your presence before or attendance upon the court shall no longer be required, and you are notified of that fact by the court, you will report in person at this department for further orders."
General Scott while in Puebla had asked to be relieved from command of the army because of the want of sympathy and support of the home Government. He thought active operations would cease in November, and the passage through Vera Cruz would be safe by that date. The Secretary, in reply to this request of General Scott, said:
"Regarding the inducement you have assigned for begging to be recalled as deserving to have very little influence on the question, it will be decided by the President with exclusive reference to the public good. When that shall render it proper in his opinion to withdraw you from your present command, his determination to do so will be made known to you."
"The perusal of these communications by the President has forced upon his mind the painful conviction that there exists a state of things at the headquarters of the army which is exceedingly detrimental to the public service, and imperiously calls upon him to interfere in such a way as will, he sincerely hopes, arrest and put an end to the dissensions and feuds which there prevail.... The documents show that General Worth felt deeply aggrieved by your General Order No. 349.... With this view of the import and object of the order, his attempt by all proper means to remove from himself the ignominy of these imputations can not be regarded as an exceptionable course on his part. If he was actually aggrieved in this matter, or believed himself to be so, he had an unquestionable right to have the subject brought to the consideration of his and your common superior—the President. He prepared charges against you, for his letter of November 16th to the Secretary of War can be viewed in no other character, and endeavored to send them through you, the only channel he could use without violating established regulations to his common superior.... General Worth having preferred charges against General Scott before the latter preferred charges against him, both law and natural justice require that the order of events should be pursued in such cases. The charges which he prefers against you should be first disposed of before proceedings can be instituted against him for malice in preferring charges, or for presenting such as he did know or believe to be well founded."
The President was evidently laboring under a misapprehension in regard to the condition of affairs at the headquarters of the army. Everything was quiet, industry prevailed, and constant watchfulness for the comfort of the men of his command was being observed by the general in chief. The public interests under his charge received his constant care. No feuds were known to the army, and it was expected that if there was anything done by the President it would be to sustain the commanding general. At the time the order was issued relieving General Scott, both Generals Quitman and Shields were in Washington, but they were not consulted by the President or Secretary of War. General Quitman wrote from Washington to his aid, Lieutenant Christopher S. Lovell: "You are long since informed of the course the War Department has thought fit to pursue in relation to the difficulties between some of the generals. Though General Shields and myself were at Washington when the information came, we were not consulted."
It was believed by a large number of persons both in and out of the army that considerations of public good had not in themselves caused the President to relieve General Scott from command of the army. It was well known that his political opinions were not in harmony with the Administration, while those of his successor were. There had been anything but that amenity which should exist between a commissioner to negotiate a treaty of peace and the commanding general. General Scott did not think that Mr. Trist treated him with the consideration his position required—rejecting all overtures on the part of the general. General Scott ascribes Trist's conduct to sickness, which is throwing the mantle of charity over a series of slights amounting almost to insults, which a general less solicitous for the cause he was engaged in, and less regardful of his country's good, would have resented in a manner that would have produced a crisis detrimental to the interests of the Government.
General Scott, commander in chief, being the accuser, and Pillow, Worth, and Duncan the defendants, the duty devolved upon the President to appoint the court, which he did, composed of Brigadier-General Nathan Towson, paymaster general, Brigadier-General Caleb Cushing, and Brevet Colonel William G. Belknap, with Captain S.C. Ridgely, judge advocate and recorder.
The court organized and adjourned to the City of Mexico, where it met March 16, 1848, all the members present, the judge advocate and recorder. General Pillow was also in attendance. No objection being made to any member of the court, they were duly sworn. General Scott then read a paper, from which the following extracts are made:
"Having, in the maintenance of what I deemed necessary discipline, drawn up charges and specifications against three officers then under my command, I transmitted the papers November 28, 1847, to the Secretary of War, with a request in each case that the President, under the act of May 29, 1830, would appoint a general court-martial for the trial of the same. This court of inquiry is the result. I am stricken down from high command; one of the arrested generals is pre-acquitted and rewarded, and of the other parties, the judge and his prisoners, the accuser and the accused, the innocent and the guilty, with that strange exception, all thrown before you to scramble for justice as we may.
"In the case of Major-General Pillow I preferred two charges: the first with one specification, respecting a prohibited publication in the newspapers of the United States, and the second embracing a great number of specifications.
"Considering, Mr. President, that I asked for a general court-martial to try and definitely determine cases specifically defined and set out, and that this preliminary court has no power beyond the mere collection of facts and giving an inoperative opinion thereon; considering that, if we now proceed, the whole labor must be gone over again at least by the parties and witnesses; considering that the court will be obliged to adjourn to the United States in order to have the least hope of obtaining the testimony of these important witnesses, now retired to civil life, and therefore not compellable to attend a military court even at home, or to testify before a commission duly appointed by such courts, and the parties will not be able to leave this country for home without peril of life. Considering that there is a near prospect of peace between the United States and Mexico, which may be consummated in time to enable this whole army to return home at once in safety; considering immediately, on such consummation, that Major-General Pillow would, by express terms of the law under which he holds his commission, be out of the army, and therefore no longer amenable for his acts to any military tribunal; considering that, in preferring the charges against that officer, I was moved solely by the desire to preserve the discipline and honor of the army, not having even had the slightest personal quarrel or difficulty with him, and that the time had probably gone by for benefiting the service by a conviction and punishment—in view of these circumstances, I shall, Mr. President, decline prosecuting the charges and specifications against Major-General Pillow before this preliminary court, without its special orders, or further orders from the President of the United States."