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eturn from Point Isabel, on May 7th, with 2,300 soldiers, and, on the next day at noon, found the Mexican army, under General Ampudia, drawn up on the plain of Palo Alto to dispute his advance. An engagement ensued, in which the artillery acted a conspicuous part, ending in the retreat of the Mexicans with a loss of 600 men. The American loss was nine killed and 44 wounded. On the next day the American army again encountered the Mexicans, strongly posted in a shallow ravine called Resaca de la Palma. It was a hotly-contested fight with 6,000 Mexicans, who showed a stout courage; but they were driven from the field with the loss of 1,000 men. The American loss was 110. The war had begun. Volunteers were called for, and came pouring in from all quarters. The martial enthusiasm of the people — of the United States was only equaled by the imbecility of the Government in its preparations for the conflict. It was a political regime merely, and nowise adapted to organize or carry
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 3: in Mexico. (search)
Chapter 3: in Mexico. The war of the United States against Mexico, beginning with the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma in Western Texas, had rolled its waves, under General Zachary Taylor, up the Rio Grande, and into the province of New Leon. Monterey was occupied after a sanguinary victory, and the advanced forces had proceeded as far as Saltillo. But it was apparent, at the end of 1846, that successes on this line of operations would never bring peace, because it could only away from it, it was condemned to inactivity, and a partial disaster could compel its surrender. But the rapid manceuvring of the light artillery in action was then a new feature in American warfare. Its brilliant results at Palo Alto, at Resaca de la Palma, at Buena Vista, had delighted General Taylor, and electrified the country. Jackson foresaw that this arm of warfare was henceforth destined to be used in every battle, and to be always thrust forward to the post of danger and of honor. T
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 2: birth.-career as officer of Engineers, United States army. (search)
nde with six thousand men, near Fort Brown, Taylor, being in the vicinity, promptly attacked with two thousand men and defeated him, assumed the offensive, crossed the Rio Grande, and war with Mexico became an accomplished fact. Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Matamoras, Monterey, and Buena Vista are the stars in the military crown on the brow of Old rough and ready, as he was called. Calm, silent. stern, possessed of military genius, this soldier at once became a favorite with the American ps table, were to be marshaled under the banners of opposing armies. Ulysses S. Grant was then twenty-five years old, a lieutenant of the Fourth Infantry, self-reliant, brave, and fertile in resources. He fought with old Zach at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and at Monterey; was at Vera Cruz, and in all the battles which followed until the Mexican capital was entered. George Gordon Meade was an officer of topographical engineers, first on the staff of General Taylor and afterward on the staff
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, The Mexican war-the battle of Palo Alto-the battle of Resaca de la Palma-Army of invasion- General Taylor-movement on Camargo (search)
The Mexican war-the battle of Palo Alto-the battle of Resaca de la Palma-Army of invasion- General Taylor-movement on Camargo While General Taylor was away with the bulk of his army, the little towards all points of the compass at times within a few miles. Formerly the river ran by Resaca de la Palma, some four or five miles east of the present channel. The old bed of the river at Resaca : Some one had done that before. This left no doubt in my mind but that the battle of Resaca de la Palma would have been won, just as it was, if I had not been there. There was no further resisted by the fort and troops, which has also taken his name. The battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma seemed to us engaged, as pretty important affairs; but we had only a faint conception of tubt, by the same vessel that carried it. This kept him out of the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. Either the resignation was not accepted, or General Worth withdrew it before action had
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Promotion to first Lieutenant-capture of the City of Mexico-the Army-Mexican soldiers- peace negotiations (search)
. Later I found the fallacy of this belief. The rebellion, which followed as a sequence to the Mexican war, never could have been suppressed if larger bodies of men could not have been moved at the same time than was the custom under Scott and Taylor. The victories in Mexico were, in every instance, over vastly superior numbers. There were two reasons for this. Both General Scott and General Taylor had such armies as are not often got together. At the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, General Taylor had a small army, but it was composed exclusively of regular troops, under the best of drill and discipline. Every officer, from the highest to the lowest, was educated in his profession, not at West Point necessarily, but in the camp, in garrison, and many of them in Indian wars. The rank and file were probably inferior, as material out of which to make an army, to the volunteers that participated in all the later battles of the war; but they were brave men, and then
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 1: the Ante-bellum life of the author. (search)
till in her body, and her expression life-like. A profusion of black hair covered her shoulders and person, the only covering to her waist. This sad spectacle, so unlike our thoughts of battle, unnerved us a little, but the crush through the thorny bushes soon brought us back to thoughts of heavy work, and then came reports of several guns and of grape-shot flying over our heads and tearing through the wood. A reconnoissance found General Arista's army on the south bank of a stream, Resaca de la Palma, which at this season had dried into lagoons with intervening passes. The road crossed at a wide gap between two extensive lagoons. The most of the enemy's artillery was near the road, the infantry behind the lagoons, with improvised breast defences of pack-saddles and other articles that could be found to stop musket-balls. The lagoons were about a hundred feet wide and from two to three feet deep. The position was so strong that General Arista thought it would not be attacked
Chapter 2: In the army. frontier service. characteristics as a young officer. in Texas. the Mexican war. his first battle. coolness and bravery at Resaca de la Palma. a steady, plucky officer. appointed regimental quartermaster. Joins Scott's army. tact, energy, and perseverance. not content with quartermaster's duties. Participates in battles. conspicuous gallantry at Chepultepec. brevet first Lieutenant and brevet captain. his reputation earned by merit and servlto took place, May 8, 1846. Grant was with his regiment upon that field, and discharged his duties with a steadiness which was commended by his comrades and honorably mentioned by his superiors. The next day the more severe battle of Resaca de la Palma was fought, and the young lieutenant showed his quality as a soldier by his cool and persistent bravery. Those solid qualities, which in time of peace seemed to be of little account in a junior officer, began to reveal them-selves and prove t
sons, he has preserved uninterrupted good health. He could to-day discharge with ease the duties of a common soldier in any arm of the service; and in the shock of encountering steel, few men would be more formidable, whether on horseback or on foot. At the close of his student-life, a new impulse had been given to the military spirit of the country, and of the army especially, by the breaking out, a few weeks previously, of the Mexican War. The brilliant victories of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma (May 8 and 9, 1846), gained against immense odds, had shed new lustre upon American arms, and opened to the officers of the army the prospect of a more congenial and animating employment than the dreary monotony of a frontier post or a harbor fort. McClellan went at once into active service as brevet second lieutenant of engineers, and was assigned to duty as junior lieutenant of a company of sappers and miners Sappers and miners form a part of the Corps of Engineers. They are emp
lating the pending question relative to Texas; with a warning that his refusal would be regarded by Mexico as a declaration of war. Gen. Taylor courteously replied that he was acting under instructions that were incompatible with the Mexican's requirement. Ampudia was soon after superseded by Arista, who, early in May, crossed the Rio Grande at the head of 6,000 men, and, on the 8th, attacked Gen. Taylor's 2,300 at Palo Alto, and was badly defeated. Retreating to a strong position at Resaca de la Palma, a few miles distant, he was there attacked next day by Gen. Taylor, who routed his forces, after a sharp conflict, and drove them in disorder across the river. The Mexican loss in these two affairs was 1,000 men, with eight guns, and a large amount of baggage. The undisturbed possession of the entire left bank of the Rio Grande was among the spoils of victory. President Polk (May 11th) communicated some of these facts to Congress in a Special Message, wherein he averred that the
William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs of General William T. Sherman ., volume 1, Chapter 1: early recollections of California. 1846-1848. (search)
eatening war with Mexico made a demand for recruits, and I received authority to open another sub-rendezvous at Zanesville, Ohio, whither I took the sergeant and established him. This was very handy to me, as my home was at Lancaster, Ohio, only thirty-six miles off, so that I was thus enabled to visit my friends there quite often. In the latter part of May, when at Wheeling, Virginia, on my way back from Zanesville to Pittsburg, I heard the first news of the battle of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, which occurred on the 8th and 9th of May, and, in common with everybody else, felt intensely excited. That I should be on recruiting service, when my comrades were actually fighting, was intolerable, and I hurried on to my post, Pittsburg. At that time the railroad did not extend west of the Alleghanies, and all journeys were made by stage-coaches. In this instance I traveled from Zanesville to Wheeling, thence to Washington (Pennsylvania), and thence to Pittsburg by stage-coach.
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