Chapter 25: the storming of Monterey-report of Mr. Davis.Professor William Preston Johnston, the son of the distinguished General Albert Sidney Johnston, in the life of his father, furnishes another account of the storming of Monterey, written by Mr. Davis in a private letter. The Professor thus quotes:
The first attack was made on Fort Taneria, a stone building covered by a low and hastily constructed redoubt. Twigg's brigade, led by Colonel Garland, was in advance, and, after a brief attempt, was moved out to the right in a cornfield. Then the Tennesseeans and Mississippians moved up. The former were brought into line to the left of the redoubts, the Mississippians on their right, and in front of the work. The firing commenced on our side, and was continued on that of the enemy. In the redoubts musketeers lined the breastworks between the pieces of artillery, and, on the flat roof of the Taneria, musketeers in large numbers fired over the heads of men in  the redoubt. After firing a few minutes it was perceptibly our best policy to storm the covering work, and I ordered my men to advance. Lieutenant--Colonel McClung had been the captain of the company raised in the Tombigbee Valley, and which was on the left of the centre. He sprang up before it and called out, ‘ Tombigbee boys, follow me! ’ The whole regiment moved forward-that company most rapidly-and Lieutenant-Colonel McClung and Lieutenant Patterson first sprang upon the breastwork. The Mexicans ran hastily out of the redoubt to the stone building in the rear; and we pursued them so closely that I reached the gate as they were closing it, and, jumping against it, forced it open. The cry immediately went up of surrender, and the officer supposed to be in command advanced and delivered his sword. After the capture of the redoubts and the Fort Taneria, I followed the flying Mexicans with a large part of my regiment to attack the Fort El Diablo, and when near to it was ordered back by General Quitman, the brigade commander and director of our division. It was behind a long wall and under cross-fire of the artillery of the enemy's salients on our left. I approached General Johnston and told him I had been recalled when about to take the salient on our left; that we were uselessly  exposed where we were, and said, ‘ If not to the left, then let the right salient be attacked.’ He answered with his usual calm manner and quick perception: ‘ We cannot give any orders; but if you will move your regiment to the right place, the rest may follow you.’ I moved off, across a small stream, and through a field, to the front of the tete de point, which covered the front of the Purissima Bridge, where I met Captain Field, of the United States Infantry, with his company, and Colonel Mansfield, of the United States Engineers. Under their advice a plan was formed for immediate attack; and while we were making the needful dispositions, General Hamer, who had, in the meantime, succeeded to the command of the division-General Butler having been wounded-came up with his command, and ordered me to retire. Both Colonel Mansfield and I remonstrated with him, and endeavored to show him the importance of our position. He was not convinced, but persisted in his own view. My men were withdrawn from the several points assigned to them, but before this could be done the division had gone a considerable distance. Captain Field withdrew with me, and was killed, while crossing the open field, by fire from the main fort. The field was inclosed by a high fence made of chaparral bushes,  beaten down between upright posts. My regiment (the First Mississippi) was following the movement of the division, and some distance in the rear, when the Mexican lancers, seeing the movement from off the field of battle, came from the direction of the Black Fort, and, passing behind the column to a place where the fence was old and low, leaped into the cornfield and commenced slaughtering stragglers and wounded men. I halted my regiment, formed line to the rear, and advanced on the enemy, firing. The effect of this attack was the sudden flight of the lancers, leaving a number of killed and wounded, their leader being of the killed. General Johnston afterward spoke of it as a remarkable event in war. During the passage through the cornfield General Hamer moved on until he reached a point where the fence was too high to be crossed by horsemen. A deep irrigating ditch was before them, and the lancers in their rear. Your father told me that the signs were such as precedes a rout, and he felt that his hour was near. His only weapon was a sword I had received from the commanding officer when we burst open the gate of Fort Taneria and received the surrender of the garrison, which I subsequently handed to him. Other reliance had he none. Just then, he said, he  heard some one giving orders in tones welcome and familiar to his ears, and saw the Mississippi Riflemen formed and advancing on the enemy. 1On the third day after the attack commenced the enemy announced a willingness to surrender on terms, and General Taylor appointed three commissioners, viz., Governor Henderson, of Texas, General Worth, of the United States Army, and Colonel Davis, Mississippi Rifles, to meet a like number who should be appointed by the Mexican General, Ampudia, to arrange the terms of capitulation, which were as follows:
 Of this capitulation Mr. Davis wrote: “As to the wisdom of the course adopted in this capitulation men did, and probably will, differ. For myself, I approved it when it was done, and now, viewing it after the fact, I can see much to convince me in the view I originally took. We gained possession of a fort, large and well constructed. We had neither a battering train nor intrenching tools to reduce it; to carry the work by storm must have cost us many men, when we had not one to spare. We gained a large amount of powder and fixed ammunition. Much of this was stored in the main cathedral, and the fire of our mortars directed against that building must have produced an explosion which would have destroyed the ammunition, a great number of houses which have been useful to us, and with the enemy's troops in the plaza, must have destroyed many of the advance of our own forces.” Colonel Davis told me many anecdotes of the battle, but out of them I have retained but two in such continuity as will enable me to repeat them. He said that after the Black Fort had been taken his men forced the doors of the dwellings to reach the flat roofs and fire from them. He found a number of women in one room, and one of them held up a little blue-eyed baby, and told him, “This  is like you-do not kill it, but take it for your own.” He had not time to explain, and left her wild with terror. While the regiment was firing at the roof of the opposite house, which was in like manner occupied by Mexican soldiers, he noticed a little trim officer blazing with embroidery, in full uniform, standing in front of his men and urging them on, but they did not seem ardent for the fight. One of the Mississippi regiment raised his rifle to shoot him, but he looked so young and gallant the Colonel said, “Cover him, but do not shoot.” However, the officer was so much in earnest that he jumped on the edge of the roof and was followed by some of his men. The dread of their shooting our soldiers caused the order to “fire” to be given, and the rifleman, as he saw the poor fellow drop in the street a gleaming, shapeless mass, remarked, “Colonel, I saved him.” A cannon at the plaza was trained on this street, and fired every few minutes, raking the centre of the street. As the regiment had done all the execution they could from the house-tops, and the street must be crossed, Colonel Davis ordered them to follow him and cross between the discharges of the cannon. He took the lead. The regiment followed by twos and threes under  cover of the smoke, and all turned into another street safely, and continued the fight. Perhaps contemporary letters give a more vivid idea of the conduct of the war and of persons, and I have made quotations from some written at that time.
A short extract is subjoined from the report of General Taylor on the battle of Monterey:
I desire also to notice Generals Hamer and Quitman, commanding brigades in General Butler's division; Lieutenant-Colonel Garland and Wilson, commanding brigades in General Twigg's division; Colonels Mitchell, Campbell, Davis, and Wood, commanding the Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Second Texas Regiments respectively; and Senior Majors Allen and Abercrombie, commanding Third, Fourth, and First Regiments of infantry, all of whom served under my eye and conducted their commands with coolness and gallantry against the enemy.