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and stores of the enemy, and a great number of prisoners; in short, to destroy entirely the Mexican army. But I was compelled to await the arrival of heavy mortars, with which to menace the town from the left bank, and also the accumulation of small boats. In the meantime the enemy had somewhat recovered from the confusion of his flight, and ought still, with the 3,000 men left him, to have made a respectable defence. I made every preparation to cross the river above the town, while Lieutenant Colonel Wilson made a diversion on the side of Burrita, and the order of march was given out for 1 o'clock yesterday, from the camp near Fort Brown, when I was waited upon by General Requena, empowered by General Arista, commanding in chief the Mexican forces, to treat for an armistice until the governments should finally settle the question. I replied to this that an armistice was out of the question; that a month since I had proposed one to General Ampudia, which was declined; that circumstances were now changed; that I was receiving large reinforcements, and could not now suspend operations which I had not initiated or provoked; that the possession of Matamoras was a sine qua non; that our troops would occupy the town, but that General Arista might withdraw his forces, leaving the public property of every description.

An answer to the above was promised in the afternoon; but none came; and I repaired at sundown to join the army, already in position at a crossing some two miles above the town. Very early this morning the bank was occupied by our two 18 pounders and three batteries of field artillery, and the crossing commenced. The light companies of all the battalions were first thrown over, followed by the volunteer and regular cavalry. No resistance was made, and I was soon informed, from various quarters, that Arista had abandoned the town with all his troops the evening before, leaving only the sick and wounded. I immediately despatched a staff officer to the prefect to demand a surrender, and in the mean time a commission was sent by the prefect to confer with me on the same point. I gave assurances that the civil rights of the citizens would be respected; and our troops at once dropped down opposite the town and crossed at the "upper ferry," the American flag being displayed at "Fort Paredes," a Mexican redoubt near the crossing. The different corps are now encamped in the outskirts of the city. To-morrow I shall make suitable arrangements for the occupation of the town, and for taking possession of the public property. More that 300 of the enemy's wounded have been left in the hospitals. Arista is in full retreat towards Monterey with the fragments of his army.

I deeply regret to report that Lieutenant George Stevens, a very promising young officer of the 2d dragoons, was accidentally drowned this morning while attempting to swim the river with his squadron.

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.

Matamoras, Mexico, May 20, 1846.

[No. 42.]

SIR: On the 26th of April, I had occasion to advise the department that hostilities had actually broken out, and that, in consequence, I had found it necessary to use the authority with which I was vested, and call upon the governors of Louisiana and Texas. for a force each of four regiments. The eight regiments thus called for would make a force of nearly 5,000 men, which I deemed sufficient to meet the wants of the service in this quarter.

At the same time that I wrote to the governor of Louisiana requesting this volunteer force, I addressed a letter to General Gaines desiring him to assist in organizing these regiments and having them properly supplied. In my communication to the governor, the organization was very exactly prescribed, being that indicated from your office on the 25th of August, 1845. I find, however, that this organization has been exceeded; and, moreover, that General Gaines has called for many more volunteers than I deemed necessary, extending the call to other States besides Louisiana. It will, of course, be for the government to decide whether the future operations in this quarter will require the amount of force (entirely unknown) which is coming hither. I only desire to say that this reinforcement, beyond the eight regiments mentioned above, was never asked for by me, and that, in making the call of the 26th of April, I well knew that if the Mexicans fought us at all, it would be before the arrival of the volunteers.

It was for the purpose of clearing the river, and performing such further service as the government might direct, that I thought it proper to ask for Jeinforcements.

It is extremely doubtful whether the foot regiments from Texas can be raised, and I shall desire the governor, who is expected here, to suspend the call for them. None of the mounted companies, except Capt. Price's, already in service, have reported to


I fear that the volunteers have exhausted the supply of tents deposited in New Orleans for the use of this army. We are greatly in want of them, and I must request that immediate measures be taken to send direct to Brazos Santiago say 1,000 tents for the use of the army in the field. The tents of the 7th infantry were cut up to make sand-bags during the recent bombardment of Fort Brown.

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

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

Washington, D. C.

[No. 43.]

Matamoras, Mexico, May 21, 1846.

SIR: Not being fully in possession of the views or policy of the government in regard to operations in this quarter, modified, as they perhaps have been, by the recent defeat of the Mexican army, I have the honor respectfully to solicit further instructions for my guidance.

Our future movements must depend, in a great degree, on the extent to which the Rio Grande is navigable for steamboats, and I fear that my expectations in. this particular will not be realized. Though at times navigable as high as Camargo, or even Mier, it is doubtful whether a boat can now be pushed higher than Reinosa. Indeed, the "Neva," which is in the river and accompanied the expedition under General Smith, has not yet reached this place, though hourly expected. Could we establish and keep up by water a depot at Camargo, operations might be carried on in the valley of the San Juan, towards Monterey, the first city of importance in that direction. A direct movement from this point to Monterey would require vast transportation, chiefly by pack-mules, and would, moreover, be hazardous in summer on account of the scarcity of water, part of the route being supplied by wells only. The country between this and Monterey, by whatever route, cannot support an army.

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I shall lose no time in ascertaining the practicability of the river for steamboats, and shall occupy Reinosa and such other points as a boat may be able to reach.

All the cavalry, regular and irregular, of the army, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Garland, is in pursuit of the retreating army, to harass its rear and capture prisoners and baggage. We have no authentic intelligence from the lieutenant colonel since his departure; deserters, however, are coming in from the Mexicans.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilson's battalion 1st infantry, with some 200 volunteers, was at Burrita on the 17th, and has since been reinforced by General Smith with about 700 Louisiana volunteers. This column is ordered to move up the right bank of the river, and I look hourly for its arrival.

A large amount of public stores, chiefly ordnance, has been found concealed in this town. We are gradually recovering it from the places where it was hidden. Two field pieces, several hundred muskets, and 200 shells, are among the articles recovered. 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.

City of Matamoras, May 24, 1846.

[No. 44.

SIR: I have to report the arrival this day of General Smith, with the battalion of the 1st infantry, the Washington regiment of the Louisiana volunteers, and a company of volunteers from Mobile. Another regiment of Louisiana volunteers is below, and will probably arrive this evening or to-morrow. This command was accompanied from the mouth of the river by the steamboat "Neva," which succeeded without difficulty in reaching this place.

Lieutenant Colonel Garland returned on the 22d from his expedition in pursuit of the retreating army. He succeeded in capturing a small rear party, after a trifling skirmish in the night, in which a man, and unfortunately a woman, were killed on the Mexican side, and two men slightly wounded on our own. He pursued the route of the army for sixty miles, and then returned agreeably to his instructions. The scarcity of water and condition of his horses made. it useless to proceed further.

I would respectfully solicit instructions as to the disposition to be made of certain property captured in the camp of General Arista. A pavilion and several pieces of massive plate are among the articles. His clothing and other property, purely personal, have been deposited in this city, with a view of being returned to him. I would suggest that the pavilion be sent to Washington, to be disposed of as the President may direct.

The recovery of ordnance and other public stores still continues here. Two pieces of cannon have been taken from the river, and small arms in considerable numbers have been taken in the town. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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


Washington, D. C.

[No. 46.]

SIR: The communication addressed to your office by the Commissary General of Subsistence, dated the 9th instant, relative to the relief of Captain Waggaman, together with a copy of your reply thereto, has been received. In reply, I beg leave to state that the interests of the service will not, in my opinion, justify the relief of Captain Waggaman, except by an officer of the subsistence department proper. In this opinion the captain himself fully concurs. Indeed, the wants of the service in this quarter, particularly in the event of offensive operations, will require an increase rather than admit of a diminution of officers of the subsistence department;

Matamoras, May 29, 1846.

with these views, I must decline giving orders, for the relief of
Captain Waggaman, by an officer taken from the line.
am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Brig. Gen. U. S. A., commanding.

Washington, D. C.

Washington, May 9, 1846.

GENERAL: I have to request that Captain George G. Waggaman, Commissary of Subsistence, may be relieved from duty with the "Army of Occupation," and ordered to report for duty at this office. I regret the necessity of relieving an officer who has been so efficient as Captain Waggaman, but his health is much impaired by the climate, and another summer in that region will endanger his eyesight. This information in relation to Captain Waggaman is derived from General Worth and other officers. He has not applied to be relieved.

I have further to request that General Taylor may be directed to select an experienced assistant commissary to take charge of the commissariat with this army for the present.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier General R. JONES,


Adjutant General, Head-quarters.

Matamoras, May 30, 1846.

[No. 47.]

SIR: In reply to your communication of the 8th instant, calling for information relative to deserters who were shot near Matamoras, I have to state that soon after my arrival on the Rio Grande the evil of desertion made its appearance, and increased to an alarming extent; that inducements were held out by the Mexican authorities to entice our men from their colors, and that the most efficient measures were necessary to prevent the spread of this contagion. As our deserters, by merely swimming the river, were at once in the enemy's lines, pursuit and apprehension with a view to trial were out of the question. I therefore deemed it my duty, and warranted by the hostile attitude of the Mexicans, whose commanders assumed that a state of war existed, to give orders that all men seen swimming across the river should be hailed by our pickets and ordered to return; and in case that they did not return, that they would be shot. These orders were verbally given to the several commanders on or about the 1st of April. I annex a description of two soldiers who are supposed to have been shot under this or

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