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Pictures and Illustrations.

Winfield Scott

Map of the Niagara Frontier

Battle of Queenstown Heights, 1812.

Queenston. — Scott's Speech on the Log. — 1812.

The Flag of Truce

Scott Attacked by Two Indian Chiefs

Scott Addressing the Prisoners on the Transport

Scott's Meeting with the Irish Prisoners

Battle and Capture of Fort George.

Fort George — Scott Tearing Down the British Flag

Plan of the Battle of Chippewa

Scott Showing Towson the Position of the Enemy

Plan of the Battle of Lundy's Lane, or Niagara, Just Before the British Battery Was Carried.

Scott Piloting Miller to Lundy's Lane

Lundy's Lane — Scott Wounded

Scott's Reception at Princeton

Medal Presented to Major-General Scott by the United States, front

Medal Presented to Major-General Scott by the United States, back

Scott Visiting the Cholera Hospitals

Indian Chiefs Going to Council

Map of Florida

Passage of the Barcelona up the Niagara River

Scott addressing the Cherokees in Council

Battlegrounds, Taken by Permission from Disturnell's Map of Mexico

City and Castle of Vera Cruz

Battle of Cerro Gordo

Map of the Battles of Mexico Under Gen. Winfield Scott

Entrance of the Army into the Grand Plaza at Mexico



THE life of a public man is a leaf of History. It is a leaf, also, in which minute facts and particular causes and personal transactions are brought out in such strong relief, as to have the effect of a picture, taken from the Great World, but viewed, as we view small portions of the firmament, through telescopic glasses.

Such lives are essential elements in the great picture of Humanity in action, of which the historian is the painter, and whose canvass must contain the portraits of men, as well as the pictured story of events, the memorials, and the movement of nations. We must see the heads of the actors, as well as the great moral of the actions, which together compose the drama of human society.

The life of General Winfield Scott is such an element in the recent History of the American people. It cannot be separated from the great American action. Men may take what view of


him, or the acts in which he was engaged, they please; but some view they must take. Those acts were no trifling parts, nor performed in an unimportant period of American progress. They commenced in the agitations which (excited by European aggressions) preceded the war of 1812. They were brilliant points on the battle-fields of Niagara, the most glowing and exciting scenes of that war. They moved on from the peace of 1815 to the Indian war of 1832, on our western frontier. They made part in the dramatic and deeply-interesting scenes at Charleston, in the year of nullification; in the removal of the Cherokees beyond the Mississippi; and in the pacification of the Maine boundary. In the recent conquest of Mexico, the campaign commencing with the siege of Vera Cruz, and terminating in the surrender of the capital, has few, if any, parallels in military history. In all these scenes, whether of war or peace, the acts of Winfield Scott cannot be separated from history; and he, like Aeneas, (though with better fortune,) was an observed and important actor in the drama of his country.

What opinions of these historical acts an individual, party, or sect may have formed, is not the business of the historian to inquire. His duty, like that of the true painter, is to place the lineaments


of a public character on record, where they may be seen by all observers, and left undisfigured to the final judgement of posterity. This duty, the writer has undertaken to perform with strict fidelity. The records of the country happily furnish the foundation for most of his statements; the testimony of eminent and honorable gentlemen, themselves actors in some of the scenes described, furnishes other materials; and, finally, the papers and narratives of private persons, make up an aggregate of fact and evidence, amply sufficient to satisfy the demands of Truth, Justice, and History.

These facts the writer has undertaken to compose in a clear method, an easy narrative, and, as far as he has the ability, an agreeable style. Beyond this he does not seek to go. He would neither exaggerate the objects in his picture, nor add a coloring beyond the hues of nature. Nor has he need: for the battle-fields of Niagara, the exciting crisis in which civil war threatened to burst out in the streets of Charleston, and the thrilling events of the campaign in Mexico, have interest enough, without any distorted figures drawn by the pen of Fancy.

In fine, the author desires to make a volume of authentic and unimpeachable history. As such, it will be, at least, a small contribution to


public instruction: it may be some testimony to the glory of that country, from whose records it has been chiefly taken. It will aid the historian, who in future time shall wish to fill up his shining page with the actors and action of our days.

This volume has been brought down, in its details, to the year 1851. It embraces a brief, but I believe accurate, account of the Battles in the Valley of Mexico, and the civil arrangements there, which have conferred so much glory upon our country, and so much honor and credit upon the distinguished subject of this Memoir. To the American people, in whose service he has been so long, so honorably, and always so successfully engaged, this work is now committed.

June 25th, 1851


Chapter I.

Period Succeeding the American Revolution.

THE Life of General Winfield Scott extends over the period from the adoption of the American Constitution to the present time. It is a period memorable in events — remarkable for its social changes — splendid in the dramatic exhibition of great historical actions, and curious to the student of human nature, as a continual development of new and various forms of intellectual growth and political arrangements. It can scarcely be touched upon, even in the life of an individual, without calling up some of those strange scenes which, in the half century succeeding the American Revolution, surprised both the actor and the beholder. Whether we dwell upon the rough incidents of war, or the gentle arts of peace, the mind will — in however small a degree — recall something of the fearful shock


which once attended the controversy of nations; something of the glory which once, wrapt in garments of blood, rolled over the battle-fields; something of those benign inventions, which accompanied the returning chariot of commerce; and something of the pleasant and the beautiful in the progress of human reformations.

The war of the American Revolution did not end with the treaty of peace. The conflict of arms continued in Europe, and the clangor of battle was heard across the Atlantic, like the thunders of a retreating storm. The French Revolution succeeded the American, and carried the overthrow of government and the destruction of established institutions to such an extreme issue, that the idea of political reformation on one hand, and the dread of a fearful change on the other, agitated and convulsed the populations of the civilized world.

In America, the Revolution had established a just and noble independence for the once colonized subjects of England; but it had also left them with the debt of a long war to provide for, with much of the spirit of insubordination, with commerce in a great measure destroyed, and with separate states unconsolidated by national institutions. Several years elapsed before the Constitution was formed, and law firmly established under the happy administration of Washington. Even then the fires of war were not wholly extinguished. They broke out anew on the northwestern frontier, in fresh conflicts with the tribes


of the Ohio and the Wabash. The spirit of civilization was again encountered by the retreating warriors of barbarism. The red chiefs of the forest parted with bitter strife from that solemn wilderness in which they so long had wandered, whose wild liberty they so long had cherished, whose homes and graves they so long had loved. They were impelled, if not instigated, by hopes or promises of European assistance. The region of the Miamis was the scene of a fierce war. Battles were fought and lost by the new republic; and it was not till the victory of Wayne, that the supremacy of the whites was established in the valley of the Ohio — its rich lands and delightful climate opened to the possession of emigrants — and Christian civilization left free to fill with cities, with cultivated fields, and humanizing arts, the broad plains and verdant vales, extending from the ridge of the Alleghenies to the Andes of the North.

The Constitution of the United States of North America is at once the true basis of the American nation, and the most splendid monument to its political genius. Unlike the constitutions which were subsequently formed in Europe and in some parts of America, it remains permanent. Unlike other governments also of either ancient or modern times, its principle is, the consent of the governed, and not the power of the governor. It places no restraint upon either the political action or utterance of the people. Hence their minds are free to follow, in regard to either foreign or domestic policy, the dictates of reason, or interest, or passion, or prejudice; and to pursue, wherever it may lead, that wild and fierce spirit of liberty, (as some conservative


minds have thought it,) which has agitated but never disunited the American nation.

Causes of the War of 1812.

Succeeding the formation of the American Constitution, was a rapid succession of dramatic historical acts, from whose vivid and often terrible scenes the excited imaginations of men can scarcely yet be withdrawn. The spirits of revolution and anti-revolution, represented in the French and English nations, struggled for mastery on the continent of Europe, and moved the social waters of the Christian world. They sought for allies in the bosom of every other nation. They flattered or threatened, bribed or destroyed, whatever other governments or nations stood in the way of their dominion. One wielded the empire of the ocean, the other that of the land.

Far over the western seas, as were the United States, yet they could not wholly escape the consequences of such a collision between such mighty forces. Efforts were made to draw them into alliances on the one hand and on the other. England appealed to America by the strong argument of consanguineous kindred, and France, by services rendered in the hour of adversity, and friendships kindled in the season of youth. Both were arguments acknowledged and appeals felt, by large portions of the people of the United States. The neutral policy was, however, preferred, lest we should be involved in controversies alien to the republican principles of the government; and it was further commended by the potential voice of the Father of his Country.

The European nations had, since the Christian era, been without any example of the permanent stability and


widely developed energies of a republic. They therefore believed the American government only the creature of temporary excitement, and its resistance to their solicitations merely the efforts of infantile weakness.

This belief they carried into practice. The institutions of the United States were condemned. Their neutral rights were violated, and their national sovereignty, dear to every people, was attacked, insulted, and despised. In less than twenty years, occurred the insults of the French ambassador to President Washington, the impressment of American seamen, the attack on the Chesapeake, the British Orders in Council, and the French Berlin and Milan decrees, a series of wrongs and contempts, at this time almost incredible. The historian of European opinions has not ventured to defend them, but, in admitting the hard conduct of England and France to neutral nations, only contends that the United States had not equitably assessed the proportions of damage and outrage inflicted on them by the great aggressors in Europe!


The people of America thought differently. They closed these scenes of contempt forever, by the war of 1812 — a war made necessary to sustain the national honor, interests, and independence, against continued aggressions and undeserved contumely.

Its Effects on American Independence.

It was thus the war of the American Revolution agitated the nations of Europe; thus it raised up contending spirits on other continents; and thus it revisited the shores of America long after the independence of its republican states was firmly established. Its return was like the wave cast upon the beach by the agitations of a storm long passed away. These agitations did not cease till Napoleon, the lion of his age, was exiled to the rock of St. Helena; till England had been taught to respect America; till America herself had achieved more than one glorious victory, both by land and sea; and, in fine, till our republic had a second time vindicated its right to the dignity of a nation, and the sovereignty of a separate government.

Fruits of Peace.

The drama thus closed was as beneficent in its effects, as it was grand in action, and momentous in events. All the national relations of the world were changed. Governments of whatever form henceforth professed to live for the people.

The change in the arts of life was no less remarkable. Where the storm of war had passed with its darkness and desolations, the peace of 1815 left its broad sunlight, and diffused its genial warmth. The refreshing verdure of spring upon hills and vales, or the ripening fruits of glorious summer, are not more visible to the eye of the husbandmen, than are the fruits of the national convulsions and controversies, which intervened between the first and


second American wars, to the intelligent and well-instructed mind. They are visible in all the actions of civil and social life. They spring up in the new and wonderful arts of invention; in the increased growth of population; in the multiplied comforts of families; in the diffused benefits of science and literature; and in the wide-spread power of commerce, sweeping round the earth, gathering its continual harvest, and sending forth to once unvisited regions, the bearers of love and mercy. National courtesies are renewed, Christian principles adopted; and mankind seem, at last, engaged in the happy work of bringing from the earth its richest products, and from immortal mind its noblest powers!


Chapter II. 1786 to 1808.

Scott's Parentage.

WINFIELD SCOTT was born the 13th of June, 1786, near Petersburg, in Virginia. His descent may be traced from a Scottish gentleman of the Lowlands, who, with his elder brother, was engaged in the Rebellion of 1745. The elder was slain on the field of Culloden. The younger, involved in the consequences of that severe disaster, emigrated to America, and, bringing with him little except a liberal education, commenced the practice of the law in Virginia. He married there, and was successful in his profession, but died young.

His son William married Ann Mason, a lady of one of the most respectable families of Virginia. He lived a farmer by occupation, and died in 1791, leaving two sons and several daughters. The eldest of the sons was James, who commanded a regiment at Norfolk, in 1812, and the youngest WINFIELD, the subject of this Memoir. At the death of his father, the care of the family and the education of the children devolved upon the widow, who is reputed to have discharged her duties in the most exemplary manner. She died in 1803, leaving Scott, at seventeen years of age, in the very outset of active life.

At this time, his character is described, by one who


well knew him, as distinctly formed. He was full of hope, and animated by a just sense of honor, and a generous ambition of honest fame. His heart was open and kind to all the world, warm with affection towards his friends, and with no idea that he had, or deserved to have, an enemy.


The particulars of his early education are not fully known; but it seems that he was intended for one of the learned professions. He pursued the usual preparatory studies, and spent a year in the high-school at Richmond, under the teachings of Ogilvie, then quite a celebrated man. Thence, he went of his own accord to the College of William and Mary, where he remained one or two years, and attended a course of law lectures. He finished his legal studies in the office of David Robertson, a Scotsman, who had been sent out originally as a tutor in the family of Scott's maternal grandfather. He is said to have been a learned and worthy man.

Early Character.

In 1806, Scott was admitted to the bar, but remained in Virginia only about a year. During this time, he rode the circuit two terms, in the vicinity of Petersburg. In the same period he resided and read much with Benjamin Watkins Leigh, Esq., since well known as one of the chief ornaments of the bar and state of Virginia. He then, and subsequently, enjoyed the advice and instruction of this able counsellor — an advantage and obligation he has ever been ready to acknowledge.

In the autumn of 1807, he emigrated to South Carolina,


intending to practice law in the courts of Charleston. For this purpose he passed through Columbia, the seat of government, to procure from the legislature a special exemption from the general law requiring practitioners to have a year's residence in the state. It passed one house, but failed, from want of time, in the other. This defeated his intention of immediate practice in Charleston, and not improbably turned the current of his life. Disengaged from business, the political events of his country, then rapidly moving to a crisis, soon transferred him to another and a more active and brilliant scene. It was just at this period, that the aggressions of the European powers, especially England, on the commerce of the United States, had reached their height, and inspired the youth of the nation with martial feelings. A spirit of resistance was excited, and, to discerning eyes, not a few indications of war were visible.

Choice of a Profession.

In this spirit of patriotism and of indignant resentment for wrongs endured, Scott largely shared. We have seen that he was then hopeful, ambitious, and emulous of fame. Thus he combined in his character the elements of a patriot soldier.

In the summer of 1807, he had specially volunteered, as a member of a Petersburg troop of horse, that had been called out under the proclamation of the president, forbidding the harbors of the United States to British vessels of war. This was in consequence of the attack on the frigate Chesapeake. Their station was near Lynnhaven Bay, and their duty soon over.

Entrance into the Army.

On his return to the north, after his visit to Charleston, the country was in the midst of the political excitements which attended renewed difficulties with England, and


the enactment of the embargo law. In the winter of 1807-8, a bill was introduced into Congress for the enlargement of the army, and Scott, like many others of his young countrymen, applied for a commission in the new regiments about to be raised. The bill lingered, however, in Congress, and the prospect of war diminished. Scott, impatient at the want of decision in the public councils, and dissatisfied with his own want of employment, returned to his circuit. The augmentation of the army, notwithstanding the delay, took place. The law was passed in April, and in May, 1808, he became, through the influence of his friend and neighbor, the Hon. William B. Giles, a captain of light artillery.

Political Opinions.

The war, however, to which so many of the warm spirits of the country looked forward, was not yet to take place. It was one of the singular results of party spirit, that the nation found it difficult to choose the object of its hostility. It could not be denied, that both England and France had done enough against the neutral commerce of the United States to excite the just resentment of any independent nation, but the sympathies of the people were divided between the French and English parties in the great continental war. It was then too little felt that the republic of the United States was itself a great nation, to which the controversies of Europe were entirely foreign, and to whose views, interests, and principles, those of every other people were dissimilar, if not antagonistic. It was urged by those who sympathized with England, that France was the aggressor in the attacks on neutral commerce,


and by those who sympathized with France, that England had committed other and greater wrongs. The controversy is still kept up in the volumes of respectable historians. There was one claim, however, set up by England, which, in spite of French confiscations, cast the balance greatly against England. It was the claim to search the ships and impress the seamen of neutral nations — a right which she claimed "under the common maritime laws of nations," and which, but for American resistance, she would have continued to exercise, and be, in fact, the mistress of the seas.

It was under the pressure of acts and claims so utterly hostile to the interests and dignity of the United States, that the American nation, with an executive averse to war, and a policy entirely peaceful, were finally induced to take up arms against Great Britain. In the political controversies of this exciting period, Scott was, in his opinions and acts, with the Democratic party. He was educated, believed, and acted, according to the political principles of Mr. Jefferson. He supported the election of Mr. Madison to the presidency, and, from the attack on the Chesapeake to the declaration of war, he was an approver, a supporter, and a writer in favor, of war measures.


Chapter III. 1808 to 1812.

Scott is Transferred to Louisiana.

THE purchase of Louisiana imposed upon the government of the United States the necessity of its defence. The Mississippi disemboguing itself into the Gulf of Mexico, after traversing more than four thousand miles of fertile valleys, its mouth became one of the most important commercial points in America or in the world. The vast importance of that point to the numerous rivers, to the broad alluvial plains, and to the millions of people who should, in after-time, live upon them, had been foreseen by wise men, and caused the purchase of that territory, to secure the growth of the West, the navigation of its rivers to the ocean, the defence of the frontier, and the permanency of the Union. The sagacity of the purchase all history will now admit. Since the days of Alexander no more valuable addition has been made to the possessions of any nation, by the conquests of war, or the arts of negotiation. This peaceful acquisition was to the United States a more solid


property and a more durable laurel, than any acquired by the victories of the Roman Caesar.

When the difficulties arose with Great Britain, it was apprehended that a sudden invasion of Louisiana might be made, and under this apprehension a military force was kept there, under the command of General Wilkinson. In 1809, Scott was ordered to New Orleans, and joined the army there. He was then a captain of light artillery, at only twenty-three years of age, frank, ardent, and bold. It was not at all surprising, then, that he should express his opinions with freedom, or that such freedom should sometimes be ill received by others. This was the case in a difficulty which soon after ensued between Scott and Wilkinson.

His Persecution by Wilkinson.

The origin of this difficulty was in the connection of the latter with the trial and intrigues of Burr. Scott had witnessed the development of these transactions at Richmond, before he joined the army, and thought the conduct of his present commander doubtful. Wilkinson made several unsuccessful efforts to win him to his purposes, as "a young man who could speak, and write, and fight" — qualifications for which he had almost daily occasions. Having failed to gain the confidence of Scott, the general seems to have been determined to force him out of the service by continued persecutions. Scott's frankness, frequently pushed to indiscretion, soon gave the general a favorable opportunity of striking the meditated blow.

Is Tried by a Court-Martial and Suspended.

Circumstances which afterwards occurred, brought on a crisis. The discipline of the Mississippi army became much impaired. The camp established in June, 1809, a little below New Orleans, became as many had foreseen, very sickly. A large part of the army perished. The


survivors were transferred to a new camp near Natchez; and Wilkinson was ordered to the seat of government, to undergo an investigation into his conduct. In the winter of 1809-10, General Hampton took the command in the South, but Wilkinson still remained in the neighborhood.

The fact that Wilkinson was not then in command, caused Scott to think he might indulge in censures of that officer, without violating the rules of military service. Accordingly he was quite free in discussing the conduct of his late commander, who was soon made acquainted with the criticisms of the young captain of artillery, and, as the result showed, deeply offended. Scott was arrested, and tried by a court martial on two charges.

The first was substantially, that of withholding the men's money placed in his possession for their payment, for two months, and withholding it intentionally.

The second was unofficer-like conduct, in using disrespectful language towards his superior officer, in violation of the 6th Article of War, which says, that "any officer who shall behave himself with contempt and disrespect towards his commanding officer, shall be punished, according to the nature of the offence, by the judgment of a court martial."

The first of these charges (substantially that of embezzlement) Scott indignantly denied; but the second, that of "disrespectful language," he acknowledged, and boldly undertook to justify. The trial took place at Washington, near Natchez, in January, 1810. The result was, that the court acquitted him of all fraudulent intention in detaining the money of his men; but convicted him under the second charge of unofficer-like conduct, (for using disrespectful


language towards his commanding officer,) and sentenced him to suspension from rank, pay, and emoluments for one year.


Whatever may be thought of this transaction, there is one fact connected with the general history of the country, which should be here remembered. All who are familiar with the popular feeling of the country at that period, know that it ran very strongly against Burr, and all who were supposed, directly or indirectly, connected with him. Wilkinson was supposed, (whether justly or not,) to have been in some way implicated. It was this feeling, — patriotic in its basis, — which Scott shared, and which urged him subsequently to the use of indiscreet words.

The facts in regard to the first charge (that of retaining money) appear to have been these: Prior to his departure for New Orleans, he had recruited his company in the interior of Virginia. While there, remote from commissary, paymaster, or quarter-master, and without advice or experience, a small sum of money (about $400) was placed in his hands for the service of his company. Some of the receipts taken for payments were irregular, and at the time of his trial, a small part of this small sum (about $50) was uncovered by formal vouchers. The court so found, but expressly acquitted him of all "fraudulent intentions." In fact, he had been charged with all he received at the treasury, where nothing could be received as a credit, except in the shape of a formal voucher.

Thus terminated what, at the time, was a vexatious proceeding to Captain Scott; but which, we shall presently see, was really advantageous to him. The only matter the court had seriously found against him, was an indiscretion in words, and that, too, originating in an excess of patriotism. The trial was very far from producing an unfavorable effect on the public mind; for he was soon after complimented by a public dinner, given by many


officers and citizens of the neighborhood, and followed by the good wishes of all to whom he was personally known.

It may not be out of place to remark, that General Wilkinson first published his attack on the fame of Scott, immediately after the close of the late war. Whether it was prompted by a comparison of his entire failure in the campaign of 1813, and the disgraceful defeat at La Cole Mills in the following spring, with the brilliant achievements on the Niagara frontier, in which Scott bore so conspicuous a part, or whether it was the result of a long-cherished purpose of revenge, is not material to inquire. The public have the facts, and can draw their own conclusions

Pursues his Military Studies.

Scott returned to Virginia, somewhat at a loss what to do in the year of his suspension. He there met again his friend, B. Watkins Leigh, Esq., who advised him to employ his leisure time in the diligent study of such works on the military art, as would be most useful to him in his profession, especially such as taught the principles of the art. He also offered him the use of his house and library. Scott accepted the invitation, and remained at the house of Mr. Leigh near a year, pursuing his studies with such ardor and diligence, that the sentence of suspension was probably one of the fortunate events of his life.

Scott was continually of opinion, with other intelligent men, that war with Great Britain must break out; and hence, while pursuing his studies at Mr. Leigh's, his great anxiety was, lest it should break out while he was under suspension. This, however, was not the case; and he had an opportunity to resume his place in the army, better prepared for the duties of his profession, before active hostilities were commenced.

Acts as Judge-Advocate.

In March, 1812, he acted as judge advocate upon the


trial of Col. C ----. A report of this trial was afterwards published, and it is said that his management of the investigation, and his replication to the defence, afforded honorable proofs of his legal talents and acquisitions.


Chapter IV. 1812.

Commencement of the War.

THE aggressions committed by the English nation, though unavenged, were not forgotten. Still, the American people long cherished the hope that a sense of justice would induce the British ministry to bring to a speedy and honorable termination the unfortunate differences subsisting between the two nations. They were unwilling to resort to the ultimate means of redress until all peaceful measures had been exhausted; and, indeed, so tardy was the government in preparations for war, that the people, in many parts of the country, loudly complained of its want of firmness and energy. But delay brought no redress. Injury was followed by indignity, until the peaceful policy of the government at length yielded, and on the 18th of June, 1812, war was formally declared against Great Britain and its dependencies, by the Congress of the United States.

Previous to that date, General Hull, in anticipation of that event, had been appointed to the command of a numerous


and well-furnished army, intended for the invasion of Canada, from some point near Detroit. This army passed Cincinnati the latter part of May, left Dayton on the 1st of June, arrived on the Maumee River on the 30th, and crossed the River of Detroit, for the invasion of Canada, on the 12th of July. The expedition was attended with the high hopes of the people, the officers, and the men. It was opposed by no superior force, and when in front of the enemy, no sound of discontent was heard, nor any appearance of cowardice or disaffection seen. On the contrary, every man awaited the battle in sure anticipation of victory, expecting a proud day for his country and himself. Notwithstanding all this preparation, notwithstanding the superiority of the force, and notwithstanding these vivid anticipations of success and glory, the entire army was, without apparent cause, surrendered to the demand of General Brock, on the 14th of August.

This event, so unexpected and so disastrous, filled the American people with confusion and mortification. No one, who does not remember the appearance and conversation of the people at that time, can form a correct idea of the mournful effect produced by the surrender of Hull. Indignation, grief, and shame, alternately filled the hearts of the honest citizen and the patriot soldier. It was a veil of darkness drawn over the face of the country.

State of the Niagara Frontier.

Such was the commencement of the war of 1812, unfortunate,


disastrous, and melancholy. It was certainly no encouragement to those who soon after commenced the campaigns of the Niagara, where bloody fields, brave actions, and positive achievement, reanimated the hopes of the country, and gave a durable glory to the American arms. In republican governments, the people are naturally jealous of military power. They regard large standing armies with distrust, and are reluctant to resort to them even for defence, until the peril is imminent. Hence, the commencement of a national conflict will generally be disastrous. The spirit of the people must be aroused by a sense of danger, and the feeling of national honor must be awakened before their energies can be turned from the channels of productive labor, and exerted on the field of war.

Scott Joins the Army on the Niagara Frontier and Aids in a Gallant Enterprise.

In July, 1812, Scott received the commission of lieutenant-colonel in the 2d artillery, (Izard's regiment,) and arrived on the Niagara frontier, with the companies of Towson and Barker. He took post at Black Rock, to protect the navy-yard there established.

Lieutenant Elliott of the navy had planned an enterprise against two British armed brigs, then lying at anchor under the guns of Fort Erie. For this purpose, he applied on the 8th of October, 1812, to Colonel Scott, for assistance in officers and men. Captain Towson, and a portion of his company, were dispatched to the aid of Elliott. The attack was successful. On the morning of the 9th, both vessels were carried in the most gallant manner. The "Adams" was taken by Captain Elliott in person, assisted by Lieutenant Isaac Roach; and the "Caledonia" by the gallant Captain Towson. In dropping down


the Niagara River, the "Adams" became unmanageable, through the occurrence of a calm, and drifted into the British channel. She got aground on Squaw Island, directly under the guns of the enemy's batteries, where it was impossible to get her off. Captain Elliott, therefore, having previously secured the prisoners, abandoned her under a heavy fire from the British shore. Then ensued an interesting and exciting scene, the British endeavoring to retake the abandoned brig, and Colonel Scott to prevent them. The enemy sent off boats, and Scott resisted them, in which effort he was successful. The brig was recaptured, and held until she was subsequently burned, by order of General Smythe, who had then arrived.

As for the "Caledonia," she was preserved by the extraordinary efforts of Captain (now General) Towson, and afterwards did good service in the memorable and glorious victory won on Lake Erie, by the gallant Perry.

This was one of those small but honorable enterprises, of which many occurred during the war, which should be mentioned to the credit of the actors, and as an example to those who hereafter may have similar duties to perform in defence of their country.

Battle of Queenstown Heights.

In the beginning of October, 1812, Major-General Stephen Van Rensselaer had collected together, at Lewistown, about two thousand five hundred of the New York militia. The successful enterprise which resulted in the capture of the "Adams" and "Caledonia," on the 8th of that month, had given such an apparent ardor and impulse to these troops, that it was believed impossible to restrain them. Indeed, the troops declared they must act, or go


home, an alternative which imposed upon the general the necessity of some active movement. Accordingly, he planned an attack on Queenstown Heights. The troops which he had at his command were the New York militia, and about four hundred and fifty regulars under the command of Colonels Fenwick and Chrystie, who, with Major Mullaney, had arrived the night before, in detachments, from Fort Niagara, for the purpose of joining in this expedition. The militia were raw, inexperienced, and undisciplined, circumstances which caused the brunt of the battle ultimately to fall on the regulars, and its final loss.

The object of the movement was to dispossess the enemy from the fort and village of Queenstown Heights, and thus to make a lodgment for the American troops on the Canada shore, the invasion of Canada being then the leading object of the northern campaign. The plan was, to throw over the river two columns of troops, each about three hundred strong. One was commanded by Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer, and the other by Lieutenant Colonel Chrystie. The detachments of Fenwick and Mullaney were to sustain, in the best way they could, these columns. These arrangements were made on the 12th of October. Late in the evening of that day, Colonel Scott had arrived, by a forced march, partly by water, and partly through mud and rain, at Schlosser, one mile from the Falls and eight from Lewistown, with the view of joining in the contemplated attack. He hastened to Lewistown, and volunteered his services to General Van Rensselaer. They were declined, on account of the


arangements already made; but, not without permission, that Scott should bring his regiment immediately to Lewistown, and there act as circumstances might require, or opportunities offer. This permission he at once availed himself of, and arrived with his corps, at four A. M. on the 13th. Finding no boats, he placed his train in battery on the American shore, under the immediate command of Captains Towson and Barker, and when daylight appeared, opened an effective fire on the enemy.

In the mean time, the principal movement, as originally planned, had gone on. All the boats which could be collected were employed to transport the columns of Chrystie and Van Rensselaer. Unfortunately, the boats were insufficient to take the whole number at once, and the passage was made by detachments. The boat in which Chrystie was, became partially disabled, was mismanaged by the pilot, and finally carried out of the way by the eddies of the river. He made a gallant attempt to land, but was wounded, and compelled to return to the American shore. In the after part of the engagement, he returned with reinforcements to the troops in Canada, and shared the fate of the day.

The main body of the first embarkation, under the direction of Colonel Van Rensselaer, was more successful. Two companies of the 13th regiment, with other small detachments of the same regiment, were able to land, and were successively reinforced, from time to time, as the few serviceable boats to be had could transport them. They were landed under a severe fire of the enemy.


At this time the numbers of both contending parties were small. The British force was composed of two flank companies of the 49th, and the York militia. The Americans did not number much over one hundred combatants. Notwithstanding the continued cannonade from the enemy's batteries, this small force formed on the bank, and marched steadily forward.

In a few moments, this fire had killed or wounded every commissioned officer, and among these, Colonel Van Rensselaer himself, who received four severe wounds. Notwithstanding this, he sustained himself long enough to impart the local information he possessed to other officers, who had in the mean while come up. In leaving the field, his last command was, that "all such as could move should immediately mount the hill and storm the batteries." This order was promptly obeyed by Captain (now General) Wool, who greatly distinguished himself, with Captains Ogilvie, Malcolm, and Armstrong, and Lieutenant Randolph. These brave officers stormed the heights, took a battery composed of an eighteen-pounder and two mortars, half way up the acclivity, and were soon in possession of the highest point, called the "Mountain." At this point of time, the enemy were beaten, routed, and driven into a strong stone building near the water's edge. Here the fugitives were rallied and succored by General Brock, the lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, who had returned from the capture of Hull to


defend the Niagara frontier. Here was his last act of gallantry. He fell, at the head of the troops he was leading to the charge, and with him, his secretary, Colonel McDonald. The British troops were again dispersed, and for a time there was a pause in the action of the day.

Exactly at this period, Lieutenant-colonel Scott arrived on the heights. He had been permitted, as a volunteer, to cross the river with his adjutant, Roach, and assume the command of the whole body engaged. On the Canada side, he unexpectedly found Brigadier-general William Wadsworth of the New York militia, who had crossed without orders. Scott, therefore, proposed to limit his command to the regulars. But the generous and patriotic Wadsworth would not consent. He promptly yielded the command over all the forces to Scott. "You, sir," said he, "know best professionally what ought to be done. I am here for the honor of my country, and that of the New York militia." Scott, therefore, assumed the command, and, throughout the movements which ensued, General Wadsworth dared every danger in aiding the views of the commander. Though they had met for the first time, he had become already attached to the young colonel. He repeatedly, during the battle, interposed his own person to shield Scott from the Indian rifles, which his tall person attracted.

Reinforcements having arrived during the previous engagements, the forces under Scott now amounted, in all, to three hundred and fifty regulars, and two hundred and


fifty volunteers, under the direction of General Wadsworth and Colonel Stranahan. These, Scott, assisted by the judgment of Captain Totten, drew up in a strong and commanding situation. The object in view was not only to receive the enemy, but to cover the ferry, in expectation of being reinforced by the whole of the militia at Lewistown.

The interval of rest was but short. The first gun which broke the silence of the morning, had also roused the British garrison of Fort George, eight miles below. Their troops were instantly put in motion. The Indians, who had been concentrated in the neighborhood, sprang into activity. In a short time, five hundred of these forest warriors joined the British light companies previously engaged. A new battle ensued. The Americans received the enemy with firmness, and drove them back in total route. Colonel Chrystie, who had then returned to the Canada shore, states, that he there found Lieutenant colonel Scott leading and animating his troops, with a gallantry which could not be too highly extolled.

The protection of the ferry being the main purpose, and the Indians in the wood presenting no object for a charge, the Americans resumed their original position, and there maintained it valiantly against several successive attacks, till the British reinforcements arrived from Fort George. In one of these affairs, the advanced picquets of the American line were suddenly driven in by superior numbers, and a general massacre seemed inevitable. At this critical moment, Scott, who had been in


the rear, showing how to unspike a captured cannon, hastily returned, and by great exertions brought his line, in the act of giving way, to the right-about. His brilliant example produced a sudden revulsion of feeling. They caught the spirit of their leader. With a unanimous burst of enthusiasm, the line suddenly rallied from right to left, threw itself forward upon the enemy, putting him to a precipitate flight, and strewing the ground with the dead and the wounded. In this manner successive conflicts were kept up, till the main body of the British reinforcements arrived. This was a column eight hundred and fifty strong, under the command of Major-general Sheaffe.

During the action, which had now so long proceeded with credit to the American troops, the militia who had crossed the river, and were engaged with Wadsworth and Stranahan, had fought well, and shared both the dangers and the successes of the day. At this crisis, however, when the result of the battle depended entirely upon reinforcements, information was brought to Scott and those engaged, that the militia on the American shore refused to cross! General Van Rensselaer rode among them, in all directions, urging the men by every consideration to pass, but in vain. Not a regiment nor a company could be induced to move! A panic had seized them; but even had it been otherwise, they could not have crossed, as but a few crippled boats remained to take them over.


Severe was the mortification of this disaster to the brave men engaged, and mournful the result!

At this period, the British force was estimated, regulars, militia, and Indians, at not less than thirteen hundred, while the Americans were reduced to less than three hundred. Retreat was as hopeless as succor; for there were no boats on the Canada shore, and the militia on the other side refused to give them aid. Scott took his position on the ground they then occupied, resolved to abide the shock, and think of surrender only when battle was impossible. He mounted a log in front of his much-diminished band: "The enemy's balls," said he, "begin to thin our ranks. His numbers are overwhelming. In a moment the shock must come, and there is no retreat. We are in the beginning of a national war. Hull's surrender is to be redeemed. Let us then die, arms in hand. Our country demands the sacrifice. The example will not be lost. The blood of the slain will make heroes of the living. Those who follow will avenge our fall and their country's wrongs. WHO dare to stand?" "ALL!" was the answering cry.

Flag of Truce.

In the meanwhile, the British, under the command of Major-General Sheaffe, manoeuvred with great caution, and even hesitation, conscious of the vigorous resistance already made, and determined fully to reconnoitre. They found it difficult to believe that so small a body of men was the whole force they had to contend with, and supposed it rather an outpost than an army. At length, the attack began. The Americans for a time maintained their resolution, but finally began to give way. When nearly


surrounded, they let themselves, (by holding on to limbs and bushes,) down the precipice to the river. Resistance was now ended, and after a brief consultation, it was determined to send a flag to the enemy, with a proposition to capitulate. Several persons were successively sent, but neither answer nor messenger returned; they were all shot down, or captured by the Indians. At length, Scott determined that he himself would make another attempt. He prepared a flag of truce — a white handkerchief fastened upon his sword — and accompanied by Captains Totten and Gibson, went forth, on a forlorn hope, to seek a parley. Keeping close to the water's edge, and under cover of the precipice as much as possible, they descended along the river. They were exposed to a continual random fire from the Indians, until they turned up an easy slope to gain the road from the village to the heights. They had just attained this road, when they were met by two Indians, who sprang upon them. It was in vain that Scott declared his purpose, and claimed the protection of his flag. They attempted to wrench it from his hands, and at the same instant Totten and Gibson drew their swords. The Indians had just discharged their rifles at the American officers, and were on the point of using their knives and hatchets, when a British officer, accompanied by some men, rushed forward, and prevented a further combat.


The three American officers were conducted into the presence of General Sheaffe; terms of capitulation were agreed on, and Scott surrendered his whole force with the honors of war.


To his intense chagrin and mortification, the number of prisoners was soon swelled by several hundreds of militia, who had crossed to the Canada shore, and in the confusion of the moment, had concealed themselves under the rocks higher up the river, and were not in the slightest degree engaged in the action of the day.

Throughout this scene of various action, of mistake and misfortune, of success and disaster, Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, — says an accurate account, — was distinguished for great exertions. He was in full-dress uniform, and his tall stature made him a conspicuous mark. He was singled out by the Indians, but remained unhurt. He was urged to change his dress. "No," said he, smiling, "I will die in my robes." At the same moment Captain Lawrence fell by his side, as it was supposed, mortally wounded.

Thus ended the battle of Queenstown Heights: an engagement desultory in its movements, various in its incidents, and unfortunate in its result; but not without consequences important to the spirit and vigor of the American arms. Magnitude is not always necessary to the dignity of an achievement, nor is defeat always discouraging to the unsuccessful party. It is the nature of the action which gives character to the actor. Judged by this


standard, the events of Queenstown had their value, and their inspiration to every patriot American. Hull had surrendered without a battle; disgrace, not from the mere disaster, but from the mode by which it was produced, was inflicted upon the country, and felt in the, hearts of its children. It was battle, and honorable battle only, which could drive this gloomy shadow from the country, check the taunts of enemies, remove its own doubts, and re-establish its self-respect. The battle of Queenstown Heights did this in no small degree. While the mistakes, the errors, and the losses of that day were deplored, the American press and people recognised, amid regrets and misfortunes, a spirit of achievement, a boldness in danger, and a gallant bearing, which inspired new hopes, and pointed out the way to ultimate success. The daring gallantry of Colonel Van Rensselaer; the capture of the British battery by Wool and his heroic companions; the intrepid conduct of Wadsworth, of Chrystie, of Totten, and many others, and particularly the courage, skill, and continued activity and exertions of Scott, had given a cheerfulness even to the darkness of defeat, and almost a glow of satisfaction to the memory of Queenstown Heights.

Scott's Singular Adventure with Two Indian Chiefs.

After the surrender, the prisoners were escorted to the village now called Niagara, at the mouth of the river, where the officers were lodged in an inn, and placed under guard. The sentinel had received orders to suffer no prisoner to pass out, but not otherwise to restrain their motions. In a little while, a message came that some one wished to speak with the "tall American." Scott passed through several doors into the entry. He was surprised


to find in his visitors the same two Indians, hideously painted as in battle, who had sprung upon him while he was bearing the flag of truce. The elder, tall and strong, was the distinguished chief known by the name of CAPTAIN JACOBS. The other was a young man of fine figure, and only inferior in muscular development. In broken English, and by gestures, the prisoner was questioned as to his shot-marks: the Indians severally holding up their fingers to indicate the times their rifles had been levelled at him. Jacobs grew warm, and seized Scott by the arm to turn him round to see his back. Indignant at this manual liberty, the American threw the savage from him, exclaiming, "Off, villain! You fired like a squaw!" "We kill you now!" was the angry reply, loosening from their girdles at the same instant knives and tomahawks. There was no call for help; none could have arrived in time; and flight would have been, in the opinion of such soldiers as Scott, dastardly. In a corner of the entry, under the staircase, stood the swords of the American officers, which, according to the customs of war, they had been desired to lay aside on their arrival. A long sabre, in a heavy steel scabbard, as readily drawn as grasped, lay on the outside of the stack. A spring swiftly to the rear, and another back upon the foe, brought the American, with blade hung in air, to an attitude of defiance. A second lost — a quiver — or an error of the eye, would have ended this story, and left no further room to the biographer of the "tall American." Of one of his assailants Scott was absolutely sure; but that he would fall by the hands of the other before the sword could be again poised, seemed


equally certain. He had the advantage of position — standing on the defensive, in a narrow entry, just within the foot of the staircase. It was a pass that could not be turned. The savages were held without, in the wider space, near the front door, but maneuvering like tigers to close upon their prey. The parties were thus terribly grouped, when a British officer, entering from the street, and seeing what impended, cried, "The guard!" and at the same moment seized Jacobs by the arm, and put a pistol to the head of his companion. Scott held his blade ready to descend in aid of his gallant deliverer, now turned upon by his foes. The sentinels obeyed the call they had heard, and came in, with bayonets forward. The Indians were marched off, muttering imprecations on all white men, and all the laws of war. The younger of these Indian chiefs was the son of the celebrated Brant, of the Revolutionary war, whose life has recently been given to the public by the late Col. Wm. L. Stone. The officer who so opportunely entered, on a visit of courtesy, was Captain Coffin, then in the staff of General Sheaffe, and now of high rank in the British army. This adventure he frequently narrated, both in New York and on the other side of the Atlantic.

The exasperation of the Indians against Colonel Scott was occasioned by the number of their people killed on Queenstown Heights; and their excitement was so great, that while he remained at Niagara he could not leave his inn, even to dine with Sir Roger Sheaffe, without a British escort.

Funeral of Brock.

Soon after the surrender, the gallant Brock was buried under one of the bastions of Fort St. George, with the highest of military honors. Fort Niagara, directly opposite


on the American shore, was commanded at the time by Captain McKeon. Colonel Scott sent over his compliments, and desired that minute-guns might be fired during the funeral ceremonies. Captain McKeon readily complied with the request; for the noble qualities of Brock had been held in equal esteem on both sides of the line. It is one of the privileges which smooth the rough brow of war, thus to render a just respect to the worthy dead, whether they be of friends or adversaries. It is the right of magnanimity to carry no hostility beneath the green covering of the grave, nor beyond that line which peace has drawn between noble spirits that once were foes, nor against those generous qualities which dignify the man and adorn the race.


Chapter V. 1812.

Reflections on the Principles of the American Government.

THE republic of the United States was founded on the two principles of LIBERTY and CHRISTIANITY. Liberty had been asserted by the republics of Greece, and Christianity had for eighteen centuries maintained its existence. But a liberty professing to be founded on the rights of the people, and a Christianity not united with the state, were never before co-existent and moving together, harmonious among one people, and under one government — in the history of mankind. It was a moral glory — of full-orbed light, which had never before risen on the broad horizon of human hopes. It was, therefore, peculiar in its essential being. This peculiarity penetrated its very nature, was visible in all its operations, and constitutes a continual contrast with all other nations. In the same manner and for the same reason, whether in war or peace, the negotiations of the American government often contain points of discussion, raised by the nature of its republican principles, which are little understood in Europe, and still less assented to by European


governments. In that part of American history now considered, some of these points arose and were discussed.

The battle of Queenstown Heights gave rise to one of these discussions, an account of which, therefore, chronologically, belongs to that event. The question debated was the right of expatriation; that is, whether a citizen of one country has a right to leave that country and attach himself to another, without the consent of the law? This question, considered as an abstract principle, is not new. It has been debated ever since any principles at all were applied to the intercourse of nations. The Romans acknowledged the right of emigration, and claimed it, as one of the firmest foundations of Roman liberty. The people of the United States, and some of the state constitutions, declare and act upon this right. It must be an act done voluntarily, and with the intention of changing residence and remaining in another country, or the emigrant will be entitled to the rights of an American citizen, and be required also to yield allegiance.

On the other hand, the government of Great Britain denies the right of expatriation, and, till recently, denied the right of emigration at all. Laws were, till within a few years, enforced, forbidding altogether the emigration


of artisans, or other persons particularly skilled in work. The doctrine of that government is perpetual allegiance, and the idea that a British citizen could become the citizen of another country, has not heretofore been tolerated in British jurisprudence.

In the courts of the United States the same question has been discussed, but without any final result.

In France, the law allows a French citizen to expatriate himself, but not to bear arms against France. His accepting a foreign naturalization forfeits all his civil and political rights at home. Very nearly the same is true of the Austrian law.

The great principles on which the American government is founded, will throw some light on this subject, considered as an American question. One of these principles is that of Christianity. And has Christianity nothing to do with the political principle of emigration, and, if necessary, of expatriation? The first command given to the disciples, immediately after the full revelation of the Christian code, was, to "go and teach all nations," a command which could not be fulfilled but by personal


presence in the midst of all nations, which required continual commercial intercourse, the propagation and improvement of the arts, and, finally, the protection of strangers in the midst of foreign nations. This was necessary to propagate Christianity, and, when propagated, its effect was to make peace permanent, and the progress of improvement perpetual. In the midst of this progress of Christianity, the United States were brought into being. They adopted in no small degree its spirit. Their people were emigrants over wide oceans, and into forest lands. Should such a people, founding such a government, deny to the emigrant stranger the protection of its laws and hospitality?

The spirit of liberty also requires the unrestrained freedom of intercourse and locomotion. It requires, that the citizen should be allowed to carry his commercial enterprises into all nations, remain there, if he choose, and claim the protection of the laws in that nation where he resides.

The government of the United States, founded on these principles, has recognised the right of emigration and the right of expatriation, by the constitutional adoption of naturalization laws. While it recognised the principle, however, that the citizens of one country may be incorporated in another, it has determined neither the time, mode, or other circumstances, under which that act may be performed. Nor, indeed, has it made the act one of obligation. The act and the mode of the act are, by the Constitution, left to each generation of the American people, and their representatives in Congress to determine,


according to their sense of expediency. Accordingly, they have three times changed the terms of naturalization, to correspond with their sense, at the time, of policy or propriety.

Such were the principles on which the American government was founded, and such was the application of those principles to the questions of emigration and expatriation made in its fundamental law — the Constitution. It follows from these facts, that the national government, in all intercourse, whether of peace or war, with foreign nations, is bound to maintain the position it has assumed. If that position be opposed, as in fact it is, to the principles affirmed by other civilized nations, it equally follows, they will present points of antagonism and frequent controversy. This has been the case, and this antagonism of principles has been one of the subjects of warm debate between the governments of Great Britain and the United States. The former maintained, that citizenship is perpetual, and allegiance perpetual. If this be true, it is an inevitable consequence, that a born citizen of England, whether naturalized or not, may be reclaimed when found in foreign vessels, and incur the penalties of treason, if found fighting against his birth-country. The American government, on the other hand, maintains its right to naturalize a foreigner, and its duty to protect him when naturalized.

The Captured Irishmen.

In October, 1807, Great Britain, by proclamation, recalled from foreign service all seamen and sea-faring men,


who were natural-born subjects, and ordered them to withdraw themselves and return home. At the same time if declared, that no foreign letters of naturalization could divest its natural-born subjects of their allegiance, or alter their duty to their lawful sovereign.

In the United States, by the act of naturalization, a foreigner becomes entitled to all the privileges and immunities of natural-born citizens, except that of holding certain offices, such as President. These two positions are those of absolute antagonism, and were alone sufficient to account for much of the controversy and heat which attended the war of 1812. Claims to the reclamation of British-born subjects naturalized in America, and claims to impress them when found in American ships, were made on the one hand and resisted on the other. This was the state of things when the incidents took place which we are about to relate.

The battle of Queenstown closed with the surrender of Scott and his small force to the greatly superior numbers under the command of General Sheaffe. These prisoners were sent to Quebec, thence in a cartel to Boston, and soon after Scott was exchanged. When the prisoners were about to sail from Quebec, Scott, being in the cabin of the transport, heard a bustle upon deck, and hastened up. There he found a party of British officers in the act of mustering the prisoners, and separating from the rest such as, by confession or the accent of the voice, were judged to be Irishmen. The object was to send them,


in a frigate then alongside, to England, to be tried and executed for the crime of high treason, they being taken in arms against their native allegiance! Twenty-three had been thus set apart when Scott reached the deck, and there were at least forty more of the same birth in the detachment. They were all in deep affliction, at what they regarded as the certain prospect of a shameful death. Many were adopted citizens of the United States, and several had left families in the land of their adoption. The moment Scott ascertained the object of the British officers, acting under the express orders of the governor-general. Sir George Provost, he commanded his men to answer no more questions, in order that no other selection should be made by the test of speech. He commanded them to remain absolutely silent, and they strictly obeyed. This was done, in spite of the threats of the British officers, and not another man was separated from his companions. Scott was repeatedly commanded to go below, and high altercations ensued. He addressed the party selected, and explained to them fully the reciprocal obligations of allegiance and protection, assuring them, that the United States would not fail to avenge their gallant and faithful soldiers; and finally pledged himself, in the most solemn manner, that retaliation, and, if necessary, a refusal to give quarter in battle, should follow the execution of any one of the party. In the midst of this animated harangue he was frequently interrupted by the British officers, but, though unarmed, could not be silenced.

The Irishmen were put in irons on board the frigate, and sent to England. When Scott landed in Boston, he proceeded to Washington, and was duly exchanged. He


immediately related to the president the scene which had occurred at Quebec, and was by him instructed to make a full report of the whole transaction, in writing, to the secretary of war. This was done on the 13th January, 1813.

Scott's Letter to the Secretary of War.

As this letter is an important and authentic portion of the history of the discussion which subsequently ensued, in regard to the rights of naturalized citizens under the code of international law, we insert it in this place.

Lieutenant-Colonel Scott to the Secretary of War.

Sir —

I think it my duty to lay before the department that, on the arrival at Quebec of the American prisoners of war surrendered at Queenstown, they were mustered and examined by British officers appointed to that duty, and every native-born of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland sequestered, and sent on board a ship of war then in the harbor. The vessel in a few days thereafter sailed for England, with these persons on board. Between fifteen and twenty persons were thus taken from us, natives of Ireland, several of whom were known by their platoon officers to be naturalized citizens of the


United States, and others to have been long residents within the same. One in particular, whose name has escaped me, besides having complied with all the conditions of our naturalization laws, was represented by his officers to have left a wife and five children, all of them born within the state of New York.

I distinctly understood, as well from the officers who came on board the prison-ship for the above purposes, as from others with whom I remonstrated on this subject, that it was the determination of the British government, as expressed through Sir George Provost, to punish every man whom it might subject to its power, found in arms against the British king contrary to his native allegiance.

I have the honor to be, sir,
Your most obedient servant,
W. SCOTT, Lieut. — Col. U. S. 2d artillery.

At the instance of Scott, this Report was, the same day, sent to both houses of Congress. It was also by him pressed on the attention of many members in each house. The result was the early passage of the "Act vesting the President of the United States with the power of retaliation;" ordered to a third reading, Feb. 27th, and passed March 3d, 1813.

Scott's Interference in Their Behalf.

Two months after this, (May 27th, 1813,) in the battle and capture of Fort George, Scott made a great number of prisoners. True to his pledge given at Quebec, he, as adjutant-general, (chief of the staff,) immediately selected twenty-three of the number to be confined in the


interior of the United States, there to abide the fate of the twenty-three imprisoned and sent to England by the British officers. In making the selection, he was careful not to include a single Irishman, in order that Irishmen might not be sacrificed for Irishmen. This step led, on both sides, to the confinement as hostages, of many other men and officers, all of whom were, of course, dependent for their lives on the fate of the original twenty-three.

Their Joyful Interview with Him.

In July, 1815, when peace had been some months concluded, and Scott (then a major-general) was passing along on the East River side of the city of New York, he was attracted by loud cheers and bustle on one of the piers. He approached the scene, and great was his delight to find, that it was the cheers of his old Irish friends, in whose behalf he had interfered at Quebec, and who had, that moment, landed in triumph, after a confinement of more than two years in English prisons! He was quickly recognised by them, hailed as their deliverer, and nearly crushed by their warm-hearted embraces! Twenty-one were present, two having died natural deaths.

Scott had not then recovered from the wounds he had received in the bloody battle of the Niagara, and was about to embark on a voyage to Europe. Yet, in conformity with the promises of friendship he had made these men, he found time to write to the departments at Washington, and solicit for them their patents for land bounties, and their long arrearages of pay. He was successful, and they were at length restored both to their adopted country and their promised rewards. Several of these brave sons of Ireland are yet alive, and can testify to the truth of this narrative. They, in common with hundreds of their countrymen taken prisoners in the same war, fighting the


battles of liberty, have good reason to believe that they owe their liberties, if not their lives, to the solicitations, spirit, and zeal, of Winfield Scott!

His Efforts with the Government.

The doctrine that allegiance was perpetual, and that, as a direct consequence, the born-citizens of Great Britain, who were taken in the army or navy of the United States in time of war against Great Britain, were traitors, was a settled doctrine of the British government. The doctrine, also, that they should be made examples of to deter others in similar circumstances, was the doctrine which they practised upon in the beginning of the war, notwithstanding the fact that they might be naturalized citizens of the United States. Examples of this practice were frequent. In the commencement of the war, (August or September, 1812,) the United States Brig of War Nautilus was captured. Six men of her crew were selected, as British subjects, and put in irons, to be sent to England and tried for their lives. The fact being made known to Commodore Rodgers, he immediately took from a number of British prisoners, twelve of them, including a midshipman, as hostages. Five of the six seized by the British officers were found to be Americans, and were


discharged. The sixth was soon after discharged, and the twelve hostages seized by Commodore Rodgers, were also released.

In October following, (1812,) the American Privateer Sarah Ann, of Baltimore, was captured, and sent into New Providence. Captain Moon, in his letter of October 18th, 1812, states that six of his crew had been seized as British subjects, put in jail, and sent in the Brig Sappho to Jamaica to be tried. One of these was a native of Ireland, naturalized in the United States. The others were said to be Americans.

About the same time a boatswain, and some of the crew of the United States Sloop of War Wasp, were detained at Bermuda on the charge of being British subjects.

These repeated instances of the same conduct, justified on the same grounds, prove conclusively, that they were not casual acts of British officers, in the spirit of revenge, or the pride of power; but, at that time, the settled policy of the British government. The principles assumed in the American constitution, that our country would receive into its bosom the worthy exiles of all nations, required the American government to defend them in the rights they had legally acquired. Accordingly, the affair of the Sarah Ann was scarcely known at Washington, on the report of Captain Moon, when the subject of


retaliation was introduced into both houses of Congress. The Senate's committee made no report. But in the House of Representatives, a bill authorizing acts of retaliation was introduced, by Mr. Wright, November 17th, 1812, and on the 19th rejected, by a vote of 61 to 51, on the ground that the President, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, was already vested with retaliatory powers.

Notwithstanding this rejection, Scott's letter to the secretary of war, of January 13th, 1813, followed up by his personal representations to members, induced Mr. Campbell of Tennessee, from the committee appointed on the 9th of November, 1812, to whom the subject was referred, to report, Feb. 12th, 1813, "A Bill vesting in the President of the United States the power of retaliation in certain cases therein specified." This bill passed the Senate on the 18th, (yeas 17, nays 4, ) and the House on the 27th, (yeas 56, nays 17,) and the President gave it his signature March 3d, 1813.

It was under this law, passed at the instance of Scott, that he, as adjutant-general, at the end of his day's operations, at Fort George, May 27th, 1813, selected the Englishmen, and sent them into the United States, as hostages for the imprisoned Irishmen.

Here let the fact be noted that, although other American soldiers, also born in the British dominions, were subsequently made prisoners of war, not another one was set apart by the enemy, to be tried for treason, during the remainder of the war. This was the result of a firm determination to execute prisoner for prisoner. The severity


of justice is sometimes favorable to peace and humanity. This same policy of retaliation was reluctantly but firmly adopted by General Washington, in the Revolution, and with equally happy effects.

Letter of Lord Bathurst.

From August, 1812, when, the first imprisonment of American naturalized citizens (British-born) took place, to the campaign of 1814, in the north, where the tide of war on land turned in favor of America, a succession of hostages was selected, and a discussion on the legal points involved was maintained, between the authorities of Great Britain and the United States. It is interesting to refer to the claims of England at that time, and the defence of them by some persons in America, if it were only to contrast them with the very different acts and opinions upon the same subject, at the present time, both in Europe and America. In a collection of American state papers, may be found a correspondence, of which the following is a part.

Earl Bathurst to Sir George Prevost.

Downing Street, August 12th, 1813.

Sir —

I have had the honor of receiving your dispatch No. 66, of the 6th of June, enclosing a letter addressed to your excellency by Major-General Dearborn. In this letter it is stated, that the American commissary of prisoners in London, had made it known to his government,


that twenty-three soldiers of the 1st, 6th, and 13th regiments of United States infantry, made prisoners, had been sent to England, and held in close confinement as British subjects; and that Major-General Dearborn had received instructions from his government to put into close confinement twenty-three British soldiers, to be kept as hostages for the safe-keeping and restoration, in exchange, of the soldiers of the United States who had been sent, as above stated, to England; and General Dearborn apprizes you that, in obedience to these instructions, he had put twenty-three British soldiers in close confinement, to be kept as hostages.

The persons referred to in this letter were soldiers serving in the American army, taken prisoners at Queenstown, and sent home by you, that they might be disposed of according to the pleasure of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, they having declared themselves to be British-born subjects. Your excellency has been directed to send home the necessary evidence upon this point, and they are held in custody to undergo a legal trial.

You will lose no time in communicating to Major-General Dearborn, that you have transmitted home a copy of his letter to you, and that you are, in consequence, instructed distinctly to state to him, that you have received the commands of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, forthwith to put in close confinement forty-six American officers and non-commissioned officers, to be held as hostages for the safe-keeping of the twenty-three British soldiers stated to have been put in close confinement by order of the American government; and you will at the same time apprize him, that if any of the said British soldiers shall suffer death by reason that the


soldiers now under confinement here have been found guilty, and that the known law, not only of Great Britain, but of every independent state under like circumstances, has been in consequence executed, you have been instructed to select out of the American officers and noncommissioned officers whom you shall have put into close confinement, as many as may double the number of British soldiers who shall so unwarrantably have been put to death, and cause such officers and non-commissioned officers to suffer death immediately.

And you are further instructed to notify to Major-General Dearborn, that the commanders of His Majesty's fleets and armies on the coasts of America, have received instructions to prosecute the war with unmitigated severity against all cities, towns, and villages, belonging to the United States, and against the inhabitants thereof, if, after this communication shall have been duly made to Major-General Dearborn, and a reasonable time given for its being transmitted to the American government, that government shall unhappily not be deterred from putting to death any of the soldiers who now are, or who may hereafter be, kept as hostages, for the purposes stated in the letter from Major-General Dearborn.

I have the honor to be,

The threats contained in this letter were never executed. The British government, either from motives of humanity, from a conviction of error, or from the knowledge that it had no power to carry such principles into effect, retreated, in practice if not in theory, from the bold ground they had assumed; and have never again returned to it.


The principle on which Lord Bathurst founded his instructions, was one which, if allowed full force, would have swept the American republic from existence. It was, that the execution of these Irishmen, naturalized in the United States, was required by the "known law not only of Great Britain, but of every independent state under similar circumstances." What principle peculiar to the American republic was not contrary to the "known law," not only of Great Britain, but of other "independent states" of Europe? The Constitution of the United States was, in many of its most important features, contrary to all precedents in the governments of Europe, Asia, or Africa. The little fragments of republics which claim an independent existence in Europe, whether the San Marino of the Apennines or the free cities of Germany, cannot be deemed independent states, any longer than it may suit the interest or policy of the powerful empires which surround them.

The recognition of political rights in the body of the people; the principle that those rights could not be impaired by any act of the government; and the elective chief magistracy, were all contrary to the "known law," not only of Great Britain, but of other independent states of Europe. If the fact of this opposition of laws could confer a right to execute a naturalized citizen of the United States, might it not as reasonably and righteously authorize the punishment of an American citizen, for sustaining an elective president in opposition to an hereditary monarch?

Precedents which concern the rights of property, and are made venerable by age, are held in a just reverence and regard by the opinions of mankind, because they are


then within the proper sphere of their origin and their influence. But, had the American people searched among the records of nations for a precedent on which to form their government, they had searched in vain. The world had no such precedent. The world had no mould in which to form such a republic, and it had no principles to apply to it when formed. There were no governments whose practices were not contrary to the principles of the United States, and no people who did not profess to venerate and obey other principles of legislation, other modes of procedure, and other foundations of right. Had, then, the United States, in this controversy, conceded the justice of the English principle, as laid down by Lord Bathurst, or failed to defend their own, they would only have left to posterity the duty of defending by other wars, in other ages, the liberties of America.

Such, however, was happily not the case. Notwithstanding the success which then attended the allied aims in Europe, and therefore gave a tone of superiority to the claims of the British ministry, the American government yielded nothing of what it deemed the rights of American citizens, nor failed to defend them by any constitutional means within its power.

The instructions of Lord Bathurst were promptly obeyed by Sir George Prevost, with whom had originated the barbarian idea of hanging the twenty-three captured Irishmen for treason. The President of the United States, Mr. Madison, was neither alarmed by this fact, nor by the threat of the British secretary, that the war should be prosecuted with "unmitigated severity," against the "cities, towns, and villages, belonging to the United States, and against the inhabitants thereof." He directed


that forty-six British officers should be instantly set apart as hostages, for the safety and restoration of our "fortysix officers and non-commissioned officers" designated by Lord Bathurst.

The new hostages were partly selected from Scott's captures, and partly from the prisoners taken by General Harrison at the battle of the Thames. Some other imprisonments were made on both sides, in the following winter. In the campaign of 1814, however, the American arms were crowned with such brilliant success, that Great Britain had little of either power or inclination to pursue the War of retaliation on American prisoners. In fact, it ceased. The prisoners were not executed; and the claims of Great Britain on that subject, were silently left to neglect and oblivion.

In the mean time, a discussion of this question went on among the people, and in the Congress of the United States. While the American principle was ably defended on one hand, it was also vehemently attacked on the other.

Mr. Monroe's Report.

The secretary of state, Mr. Monroe, made a report to the President, dated April 14th, 1814. It was laid before the President two days later, accompanied by various documents illustrating the conduct of the belligerents towards their respective prisoners. In that document, it is said:

"The contrast which these documents present, in the pretensions and conduct of Great Britain, with the pretensions and conduct of the United States, cannot fail to make a deep impression in favor of the latter. The British government impresses into its navy native citizens of


the United States, and compels them to serve in it, and, in many instances, even to fight against their country, while it arrests as traitors, and menaces with death, persons suspected to be native British subjects, for having fought under our standard against British forces, although they had voluntarily entered into our army, after having emigrated to the United States and incorporated themselves into the American Society. The United States, on the other hand, have forced no persons into their service, nor have they sought, nor are they disposed, to punish any who, after having freely emigrated to any part of the British dominions, and settled there, may have entered voluntarily into the British army.

* * * "Although examples may be found of the punishment of their native subjects taken in arms against them, the examples are few, and have either been marked by peculiar circumstances, taking them out of the controverted principle, or have proceeded from the passions or policy of the occasion. Even in prosecutions and convictions having the latter origin, the final act of punishment has, with little exception, been prevented by a sense of equity and humanity, or a dread of retaliation. It is confidently believed, that no instance can be found, in which the alleged purposes of the enemy against the twenty-three prisoners in question, under all the circumstances which belong to their case, even should any of them not have been regularly naturalized, are countenanced by the proceedings of any European nation.

"That if no instances occur of retaliation in the few cases requiring it, or in any of them, by the government employing such persons, it has been, as is presumable, because the punishment which had been inflicted by the


native country might be accounted for on some principle other than the denial of the right of emigration and naturalization. Had the government employing the persons so punished by their native country, retaliated in such cases, it might have incurred the reproach, either of countenancing acknowledged crimes, or of following the example of the other party in acts of cruelty, exciting horror, rather than of fulfilling its pledge to innocent persons in support of rights fairly obtained, and sanctioned by the general opinion and practice of all the nations of Europe, ancient and modern."

In regard to the personal rights of the imprisoned Irishmen, and their claim for defence on the government of the United States, the acts of Congress regulating the army are supposed to furnish another argument, not mentioned by Mr. Monroe. The original act of Congress regulating the recruiting service, required that none but "able-bodied citizens" should be enlisted. But on the approach of war, (Jan. 11th, 1812,) Congress designedly changed this to "able-bodied men," according to the usual practice in recruiting war-establishments. This act of Congress was, in some measure, an invitation to foreigners to join our standard, and therefore created an obligation on the part of the government to defend those who had accepted its offers. The twenty-three men in question had bravely and faithfully performed their parts of the contract. The United States, therefore, were, in good faith, bound to perform theirs.

A different view of this subject, and its relations to the national law of the United States, and their intercourse


with foreign nations, was, however, taken, by some citizens of ability and distinction.

They appealed to what Lord Bathurst called the "known law of Great Britain," and considered the doctrines of the United States but as new theories, entitled to but little weight, when opposed to the British precedents, which sustained the principle of perpetual allegiance. At the moment when this great question was debated, both by arms and by negotiation, between the contending belligerents, on either side of the Atlantic, it was also discussed in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Hanson's Speech.

The Hon. Mr. Hanson, in a speech made Feb. 14th. 1814, took this ground, in opposition to a bill authorizing a loan of twenty-five millions of dollars, to carry on the war. The general object of that opposition was, by stopping the supplies, to force the United States into a peace with Great Britain. He pronounced "the impressment of British seamen from American merchant vessels," to have become "the vital point" in contest, as it respected the supporters of the war.

He said —
"Mr. Chairman — upon this question of impressment, allegiance, protection, and naturalization, which has been connected with it, gentlemen here may fret, rail, and argue, until doomsday. They may set up new-fangled doctrines, and deny old and established principles, but as far as depends on the opinions of the ablest jurists, and the practice of the oldest regular governments, the point in controversy is long ago settled. It is immutably determined.


[Here he quoted "the fundamental maxim of the law of England" — "perpetual allegiance" — "once a subject, always a subject," &C.]

"Now, sir," continued Mr. Hanson, "I am prepared to go a step further than has been deemed necessary from the actual case presented to our consideration. I say, that an Englishman, naturalized or not by our laws, if found in arms against his native country, is a traitor by the laws of his native country. I do not confine the position to British subjects naturalized here, and made captives within the dominions of their sovereign, where the arm of protection cannot be extended; but, if the armies of the enemy crossed the line, and invaded us in turn, and made prisoner a Briton found in arms against Britain, he is as much a traitor as if taken a prisoner in the heart of the British empire.

"Such men are traitors in the legal, true sense of the word, and ought to be treated as such. The good of society and the safety of government require it. If, to protect them, we resort to a bloody, ferocious, exterminating system of retaliation, we shed the innocent blood of our own countrymen.

"I say, then, without reserve, if the President proceeds in the ruthless, bloody business he has commenced, he is answerable, here and hereafter, for all the American lives wantonly sacrificed. Posterity will pronounce him guilty, and heap maledictions upon his name.

* * * "When the party contests of the day are forgotten; when the passions engendered by political strife have subsided; when reason shall resume her throne, and the present generation is swept into the silent tomb, those who live after us will pronounce a judgment


upon the chief actors in this tragedy of blood and murder."

Reflections on the Whole.

Mr. Burke has said in one of his eloquent productions , that no one was ever known to call up the spirits of the dead, but he was answered with the denunciation of evil upon himself. With equal truth it may be said of those who appeal to posterity for a verdict against their country. Thirty-three years, the average period of a generation, have passed away, since this speech was made. The larger part of those who then lived have been "swept to the silent tomb." The multitudes of advancing posterity already begin to fill up the wide-extended, but then unpeopled regions of that country, whose rights and glory were then at issue on the field of arms. Reason is free to judge who combated for principle and who fur dominion. Where is the American who would now yield any of the objects then contended for? Where is the nation which now affirms against the United States, the doctrines then assumed by Great Britain?

Measures of apparent severity often accomplish the objects of mercy. SCOTT, who was the originator and one of "the chief actors in this tragedy of blood and murder," saw the war close without the execution of one native citizen in British hands, while the lives of many adopted


citizens, taken prisoners in fighting the battles of our country, were, by his firmness, saved from an ignominious death. Thus were the prophecies of evil averted, the rights of the nation vindicated, and the moral power of a victorious principle added to the lustre of glorious arms. Nor were these its only fruits. When some cold skeptic, unmoved by the virtue of patriotism, shall inquire, what was gained by that war? let him be answered, that it defended the rights of the sailor on the ocean, and of the citizen on the land. Let him be referred, in the history of these events, to the contempt they then suffered, and to the usurpations they have now escaped.

It has been gravely said, that the treaty of peace was silent on the rights contended for, and therefore the war was without effect. They who make this objection have forgotten, that silence is often the most expressive of language. Thirty years have elapsed, and the acts of Great Britain, and other European nations, are as silent and as inoffensive as the treaty. They have practically interpreted its meaning. They have ceased from their aggressions, and permitted their insulting claims to pass silently and peacefully into oblivion. From that bourne there can be no return. We might as well expect to see the ghosts of departed warriors resume their armor and renew their battle-fields, as to see these departed claims of Great Britain, against American sailors and American citizens, again become a cause of war, or the subject of any reasonable discussion. They have taken their place among buried abuses.


Chapter VI. 1813.

Capture of York and Death of Pike.

WITH the battle of Queenstown closed Scott's military operations in 1812, on the northern frontier. From Niagara he was sent to Quebec, where, occurred the scene, already described, with the captured Irishmen. Thence he went in a cartel ship to Boston, and in January, 1813, was exchanged. His first duties were performed at Washington, in pressing upon Congress the law of retaliation, and the vindication of American citizenship. His next were to revisit the banks of the Niagara, and there, in fresh actions of courage and achievement, give renewed evidence of devotion to country, and of martial enthusiasm.

The campaign of 1813 opened with one of the most brilliant actions of the war. It was the capture of York, the capital of Upper Canada, by the American troops under the command of General Dearborn. The army was landed from the squadron of Commodore Chauncey, and the assailing party was led by Pike. The place was captured, with a large number of prisoners, and the British naval materiel, there collected, destroyed. At the moment


of success a magazine exploded, and Pike was killed by the fall of a stone. He died, like Wolfe, in the arms of victory, and the tears of grief and joy were mingling together at the story of the battle, which was won, and of the hero who died.

Scott Joins the Army as Adjutant-General.

It was just after this event, that Colonel Scott joined the army at Fort Niagara. He joined in the capacity of Adjutant-General, (chief of the staff,) under the command of Major-General Dearborn. Though thus engaged in staff duties, he insisted upon the right, and it was conceded, of commanding his own regiment on extraordinary occasions. The principal staff-officers were then new to the army, and upon Scott devolved the duty of organizing the details of the several departments, which he did to the satisfaction of both army and commander.

Battle and Capture of Fort George.

On the British side of the Niagara was a peninsula, of which Fort George was the defence. This position General Dearborn determined to carry. He was then at the head of four or five thousand men, and was co-operated with by Commodore Chauncey and his naval force. Arrangements were made for an attack on the morning of the 27th of May. At 3 A. M. the fleet weighed anchor, and before four, the troops were all on board the boats.


The embarkation was made three miles east of our Fort Niagara. It was made in six divisions of boats. In the first was Colonel Scott, who led the advanced guard, or forlorn hope, a service to which he had specially volunteered. In the second was Colonel Moses Porter, with the field train. Then followed the brigades of Generals Boyd, Winder, Chandler, and a reserve under Col. A. Macomb.

In the mean time, Commodore Chauncey had directed his schooners to anchor close in shore, so near as to cover the landing of the troops, and scour by their fire the woods and plain wherever the enemy might make his appearance. Captain Perry, a friend of Scott's, had joined Commodore Chauncey, from Erie, on the evening of the 25th, and gallantly volunteered his services in superintending the debarkation of the troops. It was an operation of nicety, in consequence of the wind, the current, a heavy surf, and the early commenced fire of the enemy. He was present wherever he could be useful, under showers of musketry. He accompanied the advanced guard through the surf, and rendered special services, of which General Scott has since spoken in the highest terms of commendation. It was the budding forth of that professional skill, and that brave and generous conduct, which soon bloomed out in the glory which now surrounds the name of the hero of Lake Erie.

Col. Scott effected his landing, on the British shore of Lake Ontario, at nine o'clock in the morning, in good order, at half a mile from the village of Newark, now


Niagara, and the same distance west of the mouth of the river. He formed his line on the beach, covered by an irregular bank, which served as a partial shield against the enemy's fire. This bank, which was from seven to twelve feet in height, he had to scale against the bayonets of the foe, who had drawn up his force, some fifteen hundred men, immediately on its brow. In the first attempt to ascend, the enemy pushed back the assailants. General Dearborn, who was still in the commodore's ship, seeing with his glass Scott fall backward upon the beach, burst into tears, exclaiming, "He is lost! He is killed!" Scott's fall was, however, momentary. Recovering himself, and rallying his men, he reascended the bank, knocking up the enemy's bayonets, and took a position at the edge of a ravine, a little way in advance. A sharp action of about twenty minutes in length ensued. It was short and desperate, ending in the total rout of the enemy at every point.

Pursuit of the Enemy.

Meanwhile, Porter with his artillery, and Boyd with a part of his brigade, had landed in the rear of the advance guard, and slightly participated in the close of the action. Scott pursued the rout as far as the village, where he was joined by the 6th regiment of infantry, under the command of Colonel James Miller.

As the column was passing Fort George, in pursuit, Scott learned from some prisoners caught running out, that the garrison were about to abandon and blow up the place. Two companies were instantly dispatched from the head of his column to save the work, its guns, and


stores. At the distance of some eighty paces from the fort, one of its magazines exploded. Scott was struck with a piece of timber, thrown from his horse, and much hurt. He nevertheless caused the gate to be forced, and was the first to enter. With his own hand he took down the British flag, then waving over the works. Being reminded by his prisoners of the danger he incurred from explosion, he directed Captains Hindman and Stockton to snatch away the matches, which had been applied by the retreating garrison to two other small magazines. The fort had been rendered untenable by the American batteries on the opposite shore, and its capture was but the work of a few minutes. This accomplished, Scott remounted, and was soon at the head of his column, in hot pursuit. This pursuit was continued for five miles, until, at length, he was recalled by General Boyd in person. He had already disregarded two successive orders to the same effect, sent by General Lewis, saying to the aids-de-camp who came to him, (one of them Lieutenant, now General, Worth, and the other Major Vandeventer,) "Your General does not know that I have the enemy within my power; in seventy minutes, I shall capture his whole force."

In point of fact, Scott was already in the midst of the British stragglers, with their main body full in sight. He would not have been overtaken by Boyd, but that he had waited fifteen minutes for Colonel Burn, his senior officer, who had consented to serve under him. This last colonel


had just crossed the river from the Five-Mile Meadow, in the rear of the main body of the enemy, with one troop of horse, and was then waiting the landing of another now more than half way over. This force constituted the precise additional force which was wanted by Scott to make good the assurances he had sent to General Lewis. With the recall of Scott from the pursuit of the enemy ended the battle and capture of Fort George. The American loss was less than that of the enemy, and one of the objects set forth in the plan of the campaign was decidedly accomplished.


This engagement was not without some incidents, which may serve to illustrate both the character of Scott, and the gallantry of the American army. Scott, as we have narrated, had turned from the head of his column to enter Fort George, and seize the British flag. Just behind him was Colonel Moses Porter, of the artillery. On entering the fort, and finding Scott there, Porter said, "Confound your long legs, Scott, you have got in before me."

After the capture of Scott, the year before, at Queenstown, he was supping with General Sheaffe, and a number of British officers, when one of them, a colonel, asked him if he had ever seen the neighboring Falls. Scott replied, "Yes, from the American side." To this the other sarcastically replied, "You must have the glory of a successful fight before you can view the cataract in all its grandeur," meaning from the Canada shore. Scott rejoined,


"If it be your intention to insult me, sir, honor should have prompted you first to return me my sword!" General Sheaffe promptly rebuked the British colonel, and the matter was dropped.

Scott's Magnanimity.

At the battle of Fort George, among the earliest prisoners taken by the Americans was the same British colonel, badly wounded. Scott politely borrowed the prisoner's horse, not being able to bring his own in the boats, and gave orders that the prisoner should be treated with all possible attention and kindness. That evening, after the pursuit, and as often as subsequent events permitted, Scott called on the British colonel. He returned him the horse, and carefully provided for all his wants. Indeed, he obtained permission for him to return to England on his parole, at a time when the belligerents had begun to refuse such favors, as well as all exchanges. At the first of these visits the prisoner delicately remarked, "I have long owed you an apology, sir. You have overwhelmed me with kindnesses. You can now, at your leisure, view the Falls in all their glory."

It is such acts of magnanimity as these which reflect honor on human nature. Were they more frequent, the rough brow of war would be smoothed to smiles, and the field of battle be as remarkable for the beautiful in character as for the glorious in action.


Chapter VII. 1813.

British Attack on Sacketts Harbor.

Two days after the capture of Fort George by the American forces, a body of British troops, under the command of Sir George Prevost, (Governor-General of Canada,) landed at Sacketts Harbor, N. Y., for the purpose of destroying the naval stores there collected, and the new ship General Pike, then on the stocks. They were fortunately delayed in crossing the lake, by baffling winds, till a body of militia could be collected to reinforce the small regular force there stationed. This corps was commanded by a leader alike sagacious and intrepid, who, like Cincinnatus, was found at the plough. This leader was General Jacob Brown, who soon disposed of his troops to the best advantage, and in the action which ensued, drove the enemy back to their ships, thus saving the port and the stores.

Capture of Chandler and Winder.

To the successful actions of York, of Fort George, and of Sacketts Harbor, there were soon added others of a less fortunate result, and a less pleasant hue. On the 6th


of June, a small brigade of American troops, under the command of General Winder, had been thrown forward to Stony Creek, and there reinforced by another corps under Chandler. Their object was the pursuit and capture of the British corps who had retreated from Fort George, under the command of Vincent. This officer thought it better to risk a battle than to give up his position. He preferred also to make the attack. Accordingly, on the morning of the 6th, by night, a British column was pushed into the centre of the American line, which Vincent had discovered to be weakened by extension, and liable to surprise, by the negligence of camp guards. The attack succeeded so far as to break the American line, and by a strange misfortune, both of the American generals, Winder and Chandler, fell into the hands of the British. The enemy was at length repelled, but the army being without an experienced commander, retreated by the advice of a council of war.

Surrender of Boerstler.

A few days after this adventure, another incident still more disastrous occurred. Colonel Boerstler had been detached, with a corps of six hundred men, to take the British post called the Stone House, two miles beyond the Beaver Dams, and seventeen from Fort George. The British force was larger than was supposed. Boerstler was suffered to advance without annoyance, till at length he was surrounded and compelled to surrender on the 24th of June.

During this time, and for more than three months, the


main body of the army remained for the most part inactive, and intrenched at Fort George, under the command successively of Generals Dearborn, Lewis, Boyd, and Wilkinson. Colonel Scott was in neither of the engagements above narrated. His duty was in foraging at least twice a week, and in other camp duties. In these excursions, repeated skirmishes with small parties of the enemy occurred. Not a load of forage was cut between the hostile camps without a sharp combat, and he never lost one. In these affairs he displayed his usual tact and gallantry, though they afforded no other opportunities of distinction than those which belong to an active and successful partisan officer.

Scott's Promotion.

In July of the same year, (1813,) Col. Scott was promoted to the command of a double regiment, (20 companies,) at which time he resigned the office of Adjutant-General, as it no longer conferred additional rank. In September an expedition was proposed against Burlington Heights, at the lead of Lake Ontario, reported to be the depot of a large quantity of provisions and other British stores. In this expedition he volunteered to command the land troops, and was taken on board the fleet by Commodore Chauncey. Burlington Heights were visited, but neither enemy nor stores were found there. On the return, it was determined to make a descent upon York, (now Toronto.) Accordingly, a landing of the soldiers and marines was effected, under the command of Colonel Scott. The barracks and public storehouses were burnt. Large depots of provisions and clothing were taken, together with eleven armed boats, and a considerable quantity of ammunition, and several pieces of cannon.


Plan of the Campaign.

At the close of this summer a plan of campaign was devised, having for its first object Kingston, and then Montreal. Kingston was deemed the most important British post on the Lakes, and Montreal was the chief trading town of Lower Canada. Had this plan been successfully carried out, it must have resulted in the substantial conquest of both the Canadas. Canada West would have been cut off from its military supplies, and the fall of Montreal would have determined the possession of Lower Canada, with the exception of Quebec.

To accomplish this plan of the campaign, the troops under General Wilkinson were ordered to concentrate at Sacketts Harbor, in the early part of October. With him was ordered to co-operate the division of Major-General Hampton, from the Chateaugue River, in Northern New York. Accordingly, Wilkinson embarked with the Niagara army on the 2d of October. In accordance with the same plan, Fort George was retained and garrisoned. Col. Scott was left as its commander, having between seven and eight hundred regulars, and a part of Col. Swift's regiment of militia, to complete and defend Fort George — the key of the peninsula. This work the Americans, after its capture, undertook to enlarge and reconstruct. A new trace was made by Captain (now Colonel) Totten, of the engineers, but was by no means filled out when Wilkinson sailed in Chauncey's fleet. One of the faces of the work remained open. There was consequently no impediment on that side between the American and the British army. This fort had been taken, as we have said, by


Scott himself, the British colors being taken down by his own hands. He was, therefore, proud of the capture, and determined to defend it as the post of honor. He lost not a moment nor an effort in completing the defences of the fort. Expecting an assault at any moment, all hands, including the commander, worked night and day. A week accomplished much, at the end of which, (October 9th,) the enemy, contrary to all expectations, broke up his camp and followed Wilkinson down the country.

This event had been anticipated, but was supposed to be a distant contingency. On the happening of it, Col. Scott was authorized, by his instructions, to place Fort George under the command of Brigadier-General McClure, of the New York militia, who then commanded on the American side of the Niagara. He was then, with the regulars, to overtake and join Wilkinson in time for his intended conquests on the St. Lawrence. For this purpose it was promised that the fleet should be sent up to receive the regular garrison at the mouth of the Niagara.

Two official reports of Col. Scott, at this time, will show the operations of the corps under his command, and his movement from Fort George.

Report of Colonel Winfield Scott, of the 2d Artillery, to Major-General Wilkinson Regarding Fort George.

FORT GEORGE, Oct. 11th, 1813.

"Within the last five minutes I have had the honor to receive your dispatch by the Lady of the Lake, Captain Mix.

The enemy has treated me with neglect. He continued in his old position until Saturday last, (the 9th inst.,) when he took up his retreat on Burlington Heights, and


has abandoned the whole peninsula. Two causes are assigned for this precipitate movement — the succor of Proctor, who is reported to be entirely defeated, if not taken; the other, the safety of Kingston, endangered by your movement.

We have had from the enemy many deserters, most of whom concur in the latter supposition.

The British burnt every thing in store in this neighborhood; — three thousand blankets, many hundred stand of arms; also the blankets in the men's packs, and every article of clothing not in actual use.

They are supposed to have reached Burlington Heights last evening, from the rate of their march the night before. I have information of their having passed ‘the 40’ by several inhabitants who have come down. They add to what was stated by the deserters, that two officers of the 41st had joined General Vincent from Proctor's army, with information that Proctor was defeated eighteen miles this side of Malden. I cannot get particulars.

From the same sources of intelligence it appears, that the 49th, a part of the 100th, and the Voltigeurs, moved from this neighborhood the day after our flotilla left this, the 3d inst.; but with what destination is not certainly known.

It was first reported (I mean in the British camp) that these regiments had marched to support Proctor, who, it is said, wrote that he would be compelled to surrender, if not supported.


I am pretty sure, however, that they are gone below. The movement of our army below seems to have been known in the British lines as early as the 3d inst., together with the immediate objects in view: hence, I have no difficulty in concluding, that all the movements of the enemy will concentrate at Kingston.

I had made this morning an arrangement, on application to General McClure to be relieved in the command of this post, on the morning of the 13th inst., with an intention of taking up my line of march for Sacketts Harbor, according to the discretion allowed me in the instructions I had the honor to receive from you at this place. My situation has become truly insupportable, without the possibility of an attack at this post, and without the possibility of reaching you time enough to share in the glory of impending operations below. I am nevertheless flattered with the assurance that transports will be forwarded for my removal; and to favor that impression, I propose taking up my line of march on the morning of the 13th for the mouth of Genesee River, and there await the arrival of the vessels you are good enough to promise me. By this movement Captain Mix thinks with me, that I shall hasten my arrival at Sacketts Harbor five, possibly ten, days. Captain Camp (the quartermaster) has a sufficient number of wagons to take me thither. I can easily make that place by the evening of the 15th. I hope I shall have your approbation, and


every thing is arranged with Brigadier McClure. I have, by working night and day, greatly improved the defences of this post, and nearly filled up the idea of the engineer. I flatter myself that I have also improved the garrison in discipline."

Extracts of a Letter from Colonel Winfield Scott to the Secretary of War Regarding Fort George.

At the close of December, 1813, after Wilkinson's campaign on the St. Lawrence was ended, Colonel Scott was three days in Washington, when he addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, of which the following extracts relate to his march from Fort George:

Extracts of a Letter from Colonel Winfield Scott to the Secretary of War.

GEORGETOWN, December 31, 1813.

"At your desire, I have the honor to make the following report: — I left Fort George, on the 13th of October last, by order of Major-General Wilkinson, with the whole of the regular troop of the garrison, and was relieved by Brigadier-General McClure, with a body of the New York detached militia.

Fort George, as a field-work, might be considered as complete at that period. It was garnished with ten pieces of artillery, (which number might easily have been increased from the spare ordnance of the opposite fort,) and with an ample supply of field ammunition, &c., as the enclosed receipt for those articles will exhibit.

Fort Niagara, on the 14th of October, was under the immediate command of Captain Leonard of the 1st artillery, who, besides his own company, had Captain Read's of the same regiment, together with such of General McClure's brigade as had refused to cross the river


Lieutenant-Colonels Fleming, Bloom, and Dobbins, of the militia, had successively been in command of this fort, by order of the Brigadier-General, but I think neither of these was present at the above period. Major-General Wilkinson, in his order to me for the removal of the regular troops on that frontier, excepted the two companies of the 1st artillery, then at Fort Niagara. And under the supposition that I should meet water transportation for my detachment at the mouth of Genesee River, I had his orders to take with me the whole of the convalescents left in the different hospitals by the regiments which had accompanied him. This order I complied with."

His Departure for the St. Lawrence.

It will be observed from the above documents, that Scott expected to embark at the mouth of Genesee River, where Wilkinson was to provide means for his embarcation. On his arrival at that place, the same dispatch-vessel, the Lady of the Lake, again came to Colonel Scott with letters, informing him that Commodore Chauncey was indeed ready to redeem his part of the promise, and desirous of meeting him there; but that General Wilkinson solemnly protested against the absence of the fleet, even for four days, and hence Scott had no alternative but a long march upon Sacketts Harbor, by the way of Rochester, Canandaigua, and Utica. It rained incessantly, and the roads, at that time nowhere good, were never worse. North of Utica, Scott met General Armstrong, then Secretary of War, who permitted


him to leave his column under the command of Major Hindman, the next in rank, and singly to join the army on the St. Lawrence, at whatever point he could. This he accomplished, through mud and rain, the evening of the 6th of November, near Ogdensburg. Wilkinson was then just about to pass the heavy fort (Wellington) opposite, the fire of which Scott had the honor to receive in the leading and largest boat of the American flotilla.

He Commands the Advance in the Descent of the St. Lawrence.

The following day he was appointed to the command of a fine battalion, in the corps d'elite, under Colonel Macomb. In the descent of the St. Lawrence, he commanded the advance-guard of the army; hence he was not present at the action of the 11th of November, at Chrysler's Farm, fifteen miles in the rear.

At the moment of that battle, Scott, with seven hundred men, was engaged with Colonel Dennis and an equal force, in passing Hoophole Creek, just above Cornwall. He effected the passage under the fire of the British force, routed them, captured many prisoners, and pursued the fugitives till night.

Being always in advance, he had the day before landed near Fort Matilda, which commanded the narrowest point on the whole length of the St. Lawrence. There he had a sharp encounter with the enemy, took an officer and some men prisoners, and gained possession of the fort.

At commencing the descent of the St. Lawrence, Wilkinson had proclaimed that he came to "conquer," but


the indecisive action of "Chrysler's Farm," in which a portion only of the army was engaged, was the only event connected with the general movement of the expedition which looked like a resolute determination, or a positive energy, towards decisive action. Even in that action the troops were limited, by the orders of the commander-in-chief, to defensive operations. It was, therefore, attended with no important results.

Retreat of the Army.

On the following day, the 12th of November, a retreat commenced. The army, and when it was promulgated, the nation, heard with astonishment, that the expedition down the St. Lawrence for the conquest of Canada was abandoned! This took place when Scott with the advanced guard was fifteen miles in advance of the parties engaged on Chrysler's Field; when there was no body of British troops between Scott and Montreal which could have arrested his march six hours; and when, finally, Montreal itself contained no garrison sufficient to have obstructed his entry!


This cruel disappointment to the army and the nation, was brought about by the refusal of General Hampton to join Wilkinson at St. Regis, as he himself declared, for fear of a want of provisions and forage; and by the refusal of General Wilkinson to descend the St. Lawrence further, as he said, because Hampton had refused to join him with his division. However satisfactory these reasons may have been to the respective commanders, they were entirely otherwise to the American nation. The northern frontier, from which so much had been expected, was regarded with mingled feelings of shame and regret.

The army which had departed but six days before from Ogdensburg, numerous in array and well-appointed in equipment, retreated, the day after the action of Chrysler's Field, to winter-quarters, and took up its position on Salmon River, at French Mills. On this spot is now a village, called after the gallant general mortally wounded at Chrysler's Field, and whose remains were buried there — Fort Covington.

Reflections on the Campaign.

In the movements of armies, as in the policy of nations, no degree of individual virtue, courage, or effort, will supply the want of skill and energy in the directing minds. In the plan of this campaign there was no want of foresight or sagacity. The capture of Kingston, the main point in the plan, would have destroyed the strongest point of defence, and depot of stores, on the line of


the St. Lawrence and the lakes, from Quebec to Detroit Montreal would then have fallen at any moment the American commander chose.

In the departure from the first object, and deciding on a descent on Montreal, there was yet an important, and, in the event of success, probably decisive movement to be accomplished. The fall of Montreal would have given the Americans the command of the heart of the Canadas, and with the comparatively small regular force of the British, they would have kept it, and commanded the line of the St. Lawrence.

Such was not, however, to be the result. There was enough of individual valor, of skill, of daring, and of enterprise, to have secured success to a competent commander, or victory to the boldness of an ardent leader. But, by a series of unnecessary delays and inexplicable blunders on the part of chiefs, these noble gifts of inferiors were rendered useless to their country and unavailable to themselves.

Amidst the disasters of the campaign there was one benefit. The touchstone of experience had been applied to the temper of the army, and it was now easy to select the pure metal from the dross. It was a hard school of adversity; but many brave and highly gifted young men were trained by its teachings to become accomplished and efficient officers. On the other hand, it detected the emptiness and unfitness of many a fop, both young and


old, who had been seduced into the service by the glitter of uniform and the pomp of military parade. They were made to learn and feel their incompetency to endure the duties or the frowns of war. An elegant writer has well remarked, that the rude winter gales of Canada swept from our ranks the painted insects, which were fit only to spread their glittering wings in the summer sun; but, at the same time, roused and invigorated the eagle-spirits, who during the calm cower in solitude and silence, but, as the tempest rises, come forth from obscurity to stem the storm, and sport themselves in the gale.


Chapter VIII. 1814.

Formation of the Camp of Instruction at Buffalo.

THE campaign of 1813 closed in disaster and disgrace. The hopes of the nation, which had been excited by the brilliant achievements with which it opened, sank to despair, when the army, after sustaining a partial defeat, made an abrupt and hasty retreat. The military spirit of the army was lost. New levies of troops were to be made, and the spirit of daring, of confidence, and energy, was to be created before they could take the field.

To accomplish these objects, Colonel Scott passed a part of the winter, subsequent to the events on the St. Lawrence, at Albany. There he was engaged in preparing the materiel for the next campaign, and, by instructions from the president, in arranging high politico-military questions, with the patriotic Governor Tompkins. The time for the disclosure of the details of these consultations, has, perhaps, not arrived.

On the 9th of March, 1814, Colonel Scott was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and immediately joined Major-General Brown, then marching with the army from the French Mills towards the Niagara frontier.

On the 24th inst., General Brown set out for Sacketts Harbor, expressly for the purpose, as he said, of leaving


it to Scott to establish a camp of instruction, and to prepare the troops, as they arrived, for opening the campaign.

The army was rapidly assembled at Buffalo. It consisted at that lime of Scott's brigade, Ripley's brigade, Hindman's battalion of artillery, (all regulars,) and Porter's brigade of militia.

Scott's brigade consisted of the battalions of the 9th, the 11th, and the 25th regiments of infantry, with a detachment of the 22d, and Towson's company of artillery. The brigade of General Ripley was composed of the 1st, 21st, and 23d infantry. Porter's command was composed of bodies known as Canadian Volunteers, New York Volunteers, and Pennsylvania Volunteers. The signal services rendered by these troops at a subsequent period, and the glory which they won for their country on hard-fought battle-fields, renders it proper that we should record and remember names so justly distinguished in history.

These troops were placed in the camp of instruction at Buffalo, where for more than three months they were drilled in all the evolutions and tactics necessary to give them the most accurate and thorough discipline. The modern French system was adopted. All the officers, without regard to rank, were first rigorously drilled by the commanding general, in small squads. These officers then instructed the rank and file in squads, under his eye. Companies were next formed, and subjected to the same process; then battalions; and, finally, these again were


instructed by General Scott in person. When these details were all learned, the troops were carried by him through the evolutions of the line, (the movement of armies,) with the same strict attention to science and the wants of the field. The effect of this discipline was remarkable, and the results were fully displayed on the fields of Chippewa and Niagara.

In the camp of instruction at Buffalo the army, from constant drill, acquired its organization, exact discipline, and habits of hardihood, and of cheerful obedience. Officers and men were taught the proper distribution of duties between each other, between the different corps, and the different services. From the formation of a column of attack to the presentation of a salute, and from the movement in echelon to the exchange of the minutest courtesies, they learned alike the substance and the form of those duties of the camp and the field, which are developed in the array and the action of war.

The value of discipline, of obedience, and of personal skill in their business, thus acquired by the troops of an army, cannot be over-estimated. For want of it, the brave and gallant (but undisciplined) volunteers of patriot armies have been scattered and driven by veteran soldiers fighting


in a worse cause, and having far less of moral motive to sustain them. With it, the soldiers of despots have fought with invincible firmness, choosing graves where they stood, to life in retreat. The armies of Suwarrow would fall in the ranks, but, without orders, never retreat.

The troops of Great Britain are well disciplined; and it was in the sharpest contests with them that the army of Niagara soon proved how much it had gained in the camp of instruction at Buffalo.

The apparent though not unprofitable inactivity which had pervaded the American army of the north, during the spring of 1814, disappeared before the rising heat of the summer sun. In the latter part of June, General Brown returned to Buffalo; and henceforward the storm of war, with its hurried tramp, its loud clangor, its heroic deeds, and its untimely deaths, was heard swift sweeping along the shores of the Niagara.

Opening of the Campaign.

Early in the morning of the 3d of July, Scott's brigade, with the artillery corps of Major Hindman, crossed the


river, and landed below Fort Erie, while Ripley's brigade landed above. Scott led the van, crossing in a boat with Colonel Camp, who had volunteered his services, and was on shore before the enemy's piquet fired a gun. Fort Erie soon surrendered, and preparations were immediately made to advance, and attack the army of General Riall at Chippewa.

Skirmish with the Marquis of Tweedale.

On the morning of the 4th, Scott's brigade, several hours in advance, moved towards Chippewa. For sixteen miles he had a running fight with the Marquis of Tweedale, who commanded the British 100th regiment, till at dusk the latter was driven across Chippewa River, and joined the main body of the British army under General Riall. The Marquis has since said, that he could not account for the ardor of the pursuit until he recollected the fact that it was the American great anniversary.

Position of the Armies.

That night, Scott took up a position above Street's Creek, two miles from the British camp below Chippewa. The interval between these creeks was a plain, on which was fought the battle of Chippewa.

The positions of Riall and of Scott on the morning of the 5th may be easily understood. On the east side was the Niagara River, and near it the road to Chippewa. On the west was a heavy wood. Between these, running from the woods to the river, were two streams, the principle


of which was the Chippewa. The other was the small creek above, called Street's. Behind, and below the Chippewa, lay the army of General Riall, with a heavy battery on one side and a blockhouse on the other. Scott's brigade had rested for the night on and above Street's Creek. Over these streams the road to Chippewa passed on bridges, the one over Street's near the Americans, and the other over the Chippewa near the British. This was the position of the respective parties on the morning of the 5th, when General Brown was expecting to attack the British, and they in turn determined to anticipate it, by a sortie from the lines of Chippewa. It was a long day in summer; the earth was dry and dusty, and the sun bright and hot, when the best troops of Britain and America met, as in tournaments of old, to test their skill, their firmness, and their courage, on the banks of the Niagara.

Battle of Chippewa.

The day began with the skirmishes of light troops. The British militia and Indians occupied the wood on the American left, and about noon annoyed the American piquets placed on that flank. General Porter, with volunteers, militia, and some friendly Indians of the Six Nations, soon engaged them, and, after some skirmishing, drove them through the wood, back upon Chippewa. Here the British irregulars, finding that their main army under General Riall was advancing, rallied, and in turn attacked Porter, compelling his command to give way. In spite of his own efforts and personal gallantry, these


light troops broke and fled, at sight of the formidable array of Riall.

It was now about four o'clock. General Brown was then in the wood with Porter; when a cloud of dust arose towards the bridge of Chippewa, and a firing was heard. This apprized him that the British army was advancing. At this very moment, General Scott, in ignorance of the British advance, was moving his brigade towards the plain, simply for the purpose of drill, Near the bridge over Street's Creek he met General Brown, who said — "The enemy is advancing. You will have a fight." Beyond this brief remark, Scott received no further orders during the day. General Brown passed to the rear, to put Ripley's brigade in motion, and to reassemble the light troops behind Street's Creek. It was not till he arrived at the bridge, over Street's Creek, two hundred yards to the right of his camp of the night before, that Scott saw the enemy. The army of Riall had crossed the bridge over Chippewa, and displayed itself on the plain before described. It was composed of the 100th regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel the Marquis of Tweedale; the 1st or Royal Scots, under Lieutenant Colonel Gordon; a portion of the 8th or King's regiment


a detachment of the Royal Artillery; a detachment of the Royal 19th Light Dragoons; and a portion of Canada militia and Indians. The main body of these troops were among the best in the British army.

This force was supported by a heavy battery of nine pieces, within point-blank range of the American troops. Under the fire of this battery the corps of Scott passed the bridge in perfect order, but with some loss. His first and second battalions, under Majors Leavenworth and M'Neil, after crossing, formed a line to the front, which brought them opposed respectively to the left and centre of the enemy. The third battalion under Major Jesup obliqued in column to the left, and advanced to attack the right of the enemy, which extended into the wood. Captain Towson with his artillery was stationed on the right, resting in the Chippewa road.

General Scott soon perceived that, although there were no intervals in the British line, yet their right wing outflanked his left. To remedy this difficulty the movement of Jesup was caused, and the interval between the battalions of Leavenworth and M'Neil on the plain, was greatly enlarged. These evolutions were executed rapidly, and with great precision, under the fire of both musketry and artillery.

The action soon became general. Major Jesup now in the wood, and out of view, engaged, and held in check the enemy's right wing. The plain widened on that flank, and the enemy's main line continued to advance. Jesup having thus held in check one battalion in the wood, the engagement there gave the enemy a new right flank


upon the plain. General Scott, who had continued alternately to advance, halt, and fire, was now not more than eighty paces from the enemy. The enemy having a new flank, Scott took advantage of the enlarged interval between Leavenworth and M'Neil, to throw the left flank of M'Neil's battalion forward on its right, so that it stood obliquely to the enemy's charge and flanking him a little on his new right. At this moment Scott called aloud to M'Neil's battalion, which had not a recruit in it, — "The enemy say, that we are good at long shot, but cannot stand the cold iron! I call upon the Eleventh instantly to give the lie to that slander! Charge!" This movement was executed with decisive effect. A corresponding charge was also made by Leavenworth, who held an oblique position on our right. These charges were sustained by the flank fire of Towson's artillery on the right, and quickly put the enemy to rout. The British army broke, and fled in confusion.

In the mean while, and nearly at the same time, Major Jesup, commanding the left flank battalion, finding himself pressed in front and flank, ordered his men to "support arms and advance." This order was promptly obeyed amidst a deadly and destructive fire. Having gained a more secure position, he returned upon the enemy so severe a fire as caused them to retire. Thus was the whole British line fairly routed, in a field action, on an open plain. They fled to their intrenchments beyond the Chippewa, hotly pursued by Scott to the distance


of half musket-shot of Chippewa Bridge. He took many prisoners, leaving the plain behind strewed with the dead and wounded of both nations.

At this point the active and important part of the battle of Chippewa ended, but we must recall the reader to some of its strictly military points, before we pursue our story to other and yet bloodier scenes. A charge, in military phrase, is said to be made, when either party stops firing, throws bayonets forward, and advances to the shock, whether the enemy receive it or fly. An actual crossing of bayonets, therefore, is not indispensable to the idea of a charge. To suppose it is, is a mistake. Another popular error is, that the parties come up to the shock in parallel lines. Such a case has rarely, if ever, occurred. Each commander always seeks by manoeuvring to gain the oblique position, and, if possible, to outflank his enemy. With superior force, both advantages may easily be gained; but with inferior numbers the difficulty is extreme. The excess on the part of the enemy can only be overcome by celerity of movement, accuracy, hardihood, skill, and zeal.

At Chippewa, Scott from the first had been obliged, in order to present to the enemy an equal front on the plain, to extend the interval between the first and second battalions to an unusual width. Late in the action, when the parties had approached to within eighty paces, each having several times halted, fired, and advanced, Scott suddenly threw his first battalion a little forward, obliquely, on its left, and his second more forward, obliquely, on its right. He at the same time caused Towson's battery, on our extreme right, to make a wheel towards the enemy, now nearly up. The whole of the American


infantry, with the shout of assured victory, then rushed to the charge!

Of course, only a few files crossed bayonets at a time, and, from the force of position, there were two or three effective American to one British bayonet, at each successive step. As the enemy advanced, he necessarily became more and more outflanked. This enabled each wing from the first to double some files on the enemy's rear. The flanks so assailed rapidly crumbled away. The process was short. In a few minutes the whole British army broke and fled.

It is evident, that in proportion as the Americans advanced, the interval in their line became less and less. Even if Scott had halted to receive the enemy, that interval would not have been a weak point, because, in that event, the more the enemy advanced within our line, the more he would have been exposed to a cross and oblique fire from the right and left.

When the enemy's battalions, at the beginning, passed from column into line, a part of their artillery became masked by that line. That is, it could no longer, in consequence of the intervention of its own friends, fire direct or over upon the American line. Some pieces, however, continued to play upon Towson's battery, immediately in front, and dismounted one of his three guns. Towson also succeeded in dismounting one of theirs. His last raking discharge to the left, just before the shock of the two lines, was terribly destructive.

The instant that Leavenworth and M'Neil's battalions were thrown into the oblique positions seen in the diagram


gram of the battle, both armies rapidly advancing, Scott galloped to our battery on the right, and called out to Towson — "Captain, more to the left; the enemy is there!" Towson, on foot, and enveloped in smoke, could not see that the enemy's line had advanced inside the range of his last discharge. The gallant captain — than whom no man in the army possessed a greater prowess — instantly changed the direction of his two remaining guns more to the left, and gave the final destructive fire, a second or two before the conflict of bayonets on that flank.

We have described the battle of Chippewa in its detail, as it was described to us by a scientific soldier. It may be verified by the curious reader, in other ways, both oral and written, open to his inquiry.

When the action had just commenced, General Brown had hastened to bring up the brigade of Ripley; and for this purpose the 21st regiment was detached to the left, and moved to the support of Scott, with the intention of attacking the enemy's left; but they arrived too late. The battle was ended. Such was the activity of Scott's movements, and the impetuosity of his attack, that the enemy were already routed and pursued.


Its Consequences.

The battle of Chippewa was an exciting and in some degree poetic scene. It was fought at the close of a long, bright summer's day. On one side rolled the rapids of the deep Niagara, on the other was seen the verdure of the northern forest. The plain on which the hostile forces met was level and smooth, as if prepared for the meeting of the warriors of ancient knighthood. The best troops of England wheeled into it over Chippewa Bridge, and the regiments of America, cool and disciplined, marched to meet them in combat. The sun shone down, and brilliant arms flashed in his beams. Each movement of the troops was distinct. As the battle deepened, fine bands of music mingled their melody, in sudden bursts, with the roar of artillery and the moans of the wounded.

The battle ended, and many were the dead upon that dusty plain, whose last groans had expired with the last rays of the setting sun.

Darkness came on, and wearied with battle and thirsty with heat, each army retired to its camp. The dead woke not from their bloody beds, and the living sank to rest. The wounded and his watcher, the sentinel and the stars, alone kept the vigils of the night.

In the British official account of this battle, the American force is represented as numerically superior. The fact was the reverse. The British idea was founded probably


on the supposition that the whole of General Brown's army was engaged. This, we have seen, was far from being the fact. The reserve under General Ripley was not in the action, in any degree. The detachment of General Porter, after the first skirmishes in advance, broke, returned to the rear, and were not again engaged. Of the artillery under Major Hindman, one company only, that of Towson, was engaged.

In fact, only Scott's brigade was engaged in the main battle. This brigade was constituted as we have narrated in the beginning of this chapter.

At this distance of time, we have opportunities of comparing the accounts, both of the official reports and of personal combatants in the field; of writers who wrote flushed with the excitement of the action, and of those who calmly sought truth, when the action existed only as an event of history. With this comparison made, and with these views examined, we conclude, that the battle of Chippewa was fought, in regard to the actual combat, by the Americans, with rather inferior forces; was fought on an open plain with no peculiar advantage to either party; and was fairly won by the Americans, opposed to some of the best troops of Europe.


The victory, therefore, though attended by no actual conquest, was valuable to the American people. It taught them, and it inspired all ranks of the army with the knowledge, that our troops, when properly instructed, were equal in courage and coolness, in devotion and discipline, to those whose skill and experience had been acquired in the Peninsula of Spain, or under the warm sun of India. This knowledge came when its inspiration was needed. Along this line of Canada frontier, whence so much had been expected, one general had surrendered with shame; another had retreated, to the disappointment of the country; and a third had refused to advance, and retired to inactivity.

This gloomy period had indeed been relieved by the defeat of Proctor; but there had been too many misfortunes or disasters on the northern frontier, not to leave a degree of doubt and uncertainty on the popular mind, respecting the vigor and discipline of our land forces. The battle of Chippewa removed this impression. It blazed up from apparently sinking fires, and illuminated the horizon of hope, not so much by the magnitude as by the brilliancy of its light.

British Views.

Let us turn a moment from the American, to the views taken by English writers of this sanguinary action. They, at least, will not be too partial to America. An English periodical of that day, says —

"On reading the two accounts (English and American) of the same affair, one is forcibly struck with the opposite statements they contain, and which it would be a vain task in me to reconcile. We, as is natural, will be inclined


to believe our general, while the Americans will, as naturally, believe theirs."

* * * "But, whatever may be said as to this, there can be no difference of opinion as to the more important feature in it, namely, the undaunted bravery of the Americans, and the little hope this affords, that the contest will soon be terminated." * * * *

"I do not think there is evidence, that the British army, at or near the scene of action, was upwards of four thousand strong, while the enemy was under three thousand. " * * * *

* * * "Numerous as were the battles of Napoleon, and brave as were his soldiers, I do not believe that even he, the greatest warrior that ever lived, can produce an instance of a contest so well maintained, or, in proportion to the numbers engaged, so bloody, as that of Chippewa." * * * *


"The important fact is, that we have now got an enemy who fights as bravely as ourselves. For some time, the Americans cut no figure on land. They have now proved to us that they only wanted time to acquire a little discipline. They have now proved to us what they are made of, and they are the same sort of men as those who captured whole armies under Burgoyne and Cornwallis; that they are neither to be frightened nor silenced; and that if we should beat them at last, we cannot expect to do it without expending three or four hundred millions of money, keeping up all our present taxes, and adding to their amount, or imposing new taxes. These are the facts that are now proved to us. These are the natural consequences of battles such as that of Chippewa."

* * * "America will have carried on a war single-handed against us; she will have, through the world, the reputation of having been able alone to beat England; for, to defend herself against us is, in such a case, to beat us. Other nations, sore at the sight of our predominance on the sea, will look up to America as the balance against us. They will naturally seek a connection with


a country offering innumerable sources of beneficial intercourse." * * * *

This language may be stronger than what many Americans would be willing to use; but is it not justified by the facts, and by the consequences? Soon after the battle of Chippewa, our arms acquired other victories, both in the north and in the south. Since the war, as the writer predicted, our alliance has been courted and our commerce sought, by every nation on the habitable globe.

We shall close the history of the field of Chippewa with the testimony of him who, alike by station and by skill, was the best witness to the gallant actions of his brave and devoted soldiers.

General Brown, in his Official Report, observes —
"My most difficult duty remains to be performed. I am depressed with the fear of not being able to do justice to my brave companions in arms, and apprehensive that some who had an opportunity of distinguishing themselves, and promptly embraced it, will escape my notice.

"Brigadier-General Scott is entitled to the highest praise our country can bestow — to him more than any other man am I indebted for the victory of the 5th of July. His brigade covered itself with glory. Every officer and every man of the 9th and 22d, 11th and 25th regiments, did his duty with a zeal and energy worthy of the American character. When every officer stands so pre-eminently high in the path of duty and honor, it is impossible to discriminate, but I cannot deprive myself of the pleasure of saying, that Major Leavenworth commanded the 9th and 22d, Major Jesup the 25th, and


Major M'Neil the 11th. Colonel Campbell was wounded early in the action, gallantly leading on his regiment.

"The family of General Scott (his military staff) were conspicuous in the field; Lieutenant Smith of the 6th infantry, major of brigade, and Lieutenants Worth and Watts, his aids.

"From General Ripley and his brigade I received every assistance that I gave them an opportunity of rendering. I did not order any part of the reserve into action until General Porter's command had given way, and then General Scott's movements were so rapid and decisive, that General Ripley could not get up in time with the 21st, to the position, as directed."

The battle of Chippewa, we have already shown, was important in raising the self-estimation of the American people, in regard to military service on land, in open field combat. It was likewise important intrinsically, to the glory and reputation of American arms, both at home and abroad.

General Brown has said, in the preceding Report, that to Scott more than to any other man was he indebted for the victory of the 5th of July; and that he was entitled to the highest praise his country could bestow. No stronger language than this can be used. The


foregoing narrative has proved, that the commander-in-chief was not mistaken. Scott was the actual commander of the forces engaged in battle; and when the day closed, it was not unjust, that to him was assigned the freshest and greenest leaf from the many-laurelled plain of Chippewa.

It is also just to inquire, what, and by what means acquired, were those qualities, by which he became a conspicuous and successful soldier.

The reader will recollect, that we described Scott, after his suspension for words used against Wilkinson, as engaged sedulously, in the house of B. W. Leigh, Esq., in the study of the science of his profession. It was a valuable study to him. Then, and at subsequent periods, he acquired that systematic and technical knowledge of the discipline, organization, and movement of troops, which makes military knowledge, like other systematic branches of learning, practically an art and theoretically a science.

In the Camp of Buffalo, likewise, Scott had shown his acquaintance with the French military tactics, till then not introduced into the American service, and this knowledge was made available to the discipline of the troops.

In his natural character, Scott was daring, ardent, zealous, and quick to perceive. With such qualities, natural and acquired, we at once find a reason for the rapid development of his military talents in the field of action. There we find displayed great personal courage, bold enterprise, and the utmost promptitude of movement, united with a cool presence of mind, and the most ready resource in difficulty. These are the qualities of an able general, and as such, were developed in him on the northern frontier.


Chapter IX. 1814.

American Army Crosses the Chippewa.

THE army of the north had scarcely rested from its labors at Chippewa, when it was called to the still more sanguinary field of Niagara. The second day after the battle of the 5th, the American troops forced their way over Chippewa River. In this, Scott's brigade led, and the enemy retreated before him.

Demonstration Towards Burlington Heights.

After the campaign of 1813, Fort Messasanga was erected near the mouth of Niagara River, and added to the defences of Fort George. These forts General Riall, the British commander, reinforced, and then retired to Burlington Heights, near the head of Lake Ontario. It was the object of General Brown to capture these defences before commencing any ulterior operations. To accomplish this, he sent to Sacketts Harbor for heavy cannon, which were to have been transported by the American vessels. At this time, however, Commodore Chauncey lay sick, and the enemy had a momentary superiority on the lake. The intentions of the


commander, therefore, in regard to the forts at the mouth of the Niagara, were disappointed.

General Brown determined then to attack Burlington Heights; but, to induce the enemy to descend, and at the same time draw a small supply of provisions from Schlosser, he masked his intentions, by feigning a retreat up the Niagara, recrossed the Chippewa, and encamped.

Had this movement failed to withdraw the British troops from the Heights, it was intended to use the 25th as a day of rest, and on the 26th to send Scott forward by the road from Queenstown, and force Riall to action, no matter how strongly he might be posted. Events determined otherwise, and what was meant to be a day of rest, was converted into the most active and bloody day of the campaign.

Battle of Niagara.

In the afternoon of the 25th, amidst general relaxation General Brown received a note from a colonel of militia whose regiment occupied two or three posts on the American side of the Niagara, stating in the most precise terms, that the enemy had thrown a thousand men across from Queenstown to Lewiston, nine miles below the Chippewa, for some object not exactly understood. Brown conjectured that there was an intention to capture our magazines at Schlosser, and to intercept supplies coming down from Buffalo. In order to recall him from this object, Brown immediately determined to threaten the forts at the mouth of the Niagara. In less than twenty minutes Scott's command was put in motion for that purpose. His force consisted of four small battalions,


under Colonel Brady, and Majors Jesup, Leavenworth, and M'Neil; Captain Towson's artillery, and Captain Harris's detachment of regular and volunteer cavalry; in all amounting to thirteen hundred men. There was not time to call in the guards which belonged to those corps.

About two miles from the camp, and just above the Falls, Scott discovered a few British officers, mounted, who, as it turned out, were in advance to reconnoitre, and soon learned that the enemy was in some little force below, and only intercepted from the view by a narrow wood.

In this situation, Scott for a moment reflected on what course should be pursued. He was instructed to march rapidly on the forts, under positive information (given as we have narrated to General Brown,) that Riall had, three hours before, thrown half his force across the Niagara. Reflecting that the whole had been beaten on the 5th inst., he lost no time in reconnoitring, but dashed forward to disperse what he thought was the remnant of the British army opposed to him.

After dispatching Assistant Adjutant-General Jones to General Brown with the information that the enemy was in front, he proceeded to pass the wood, just below Forsythe's House. There he was greatly astonished to find, directly in front, drawn up in order of battle, on Lundy's Lane, a larger force even than that he had encountered at Chippewa twenty days before! The position he was


in, was extremely critical. To stand fast was out of the question, being already under a heavy fire of the enemy's artillery and musketry. To retreat was equally hazardous; for there is always, in such a case, the probability of confusion, and, at this time, the danger of creating a panic in the reserve, then supposed to be coming up, and which had not been in the previous battle.

Scott saw that no measure but one of boldness would succeed. He therefore determined to maintain the battle against superior numbers and position till the reserve came up, thus giving General Riall the idea that the whole American army was at hand. This would prevent him from profiting by his numerical strength to attack our flanks and rear. He would thus lose the initial, a matter of no small importance in military enterprises. The scheme succeeded. For a long time the enemy was kept on the defensive, till the American reserve had come up and entered into the action.

In the mean while Scott had sent back to General Brown, Lieutenant Douglass, as well as Major Jones, to report the condition of affairs. The first was to report that the remnant of Riall's army was manoeuvring to protect the detachment thrown over the Niagara; the second was to inform the general, that so far from being diminished, the British army was actually reinforced, and thus to hasten up the reserve.


On the British side the facts were these. In the night before, the night of the 24th, Lieutenant-General Sir Gordon Drummond had arrived, in the British fleet, at the mouth of the Niagara, with a large reinforcement from Kingston and Prescott. This was wholly unknown to General Brown! Drummond had, in advance, sent instructions to Riall to meet him on the 25th on the Niagara. Accordingly, Riall had marched down the very road it had been arranged that Scott was to take on the 26th. He had come by Queenstown without putting a man across the Niagara! He had continued his route, as the advance of Drummond's army, towards the Falls. On the way, he had already been joined by two of the battalions which had just come up in the fleet. The others arrived successively, at intervals of half an hour or an hour, after the action had commenced.

The battle began about forty minutes before sunset, and, like its predecessor at Chippewa, was the closing drama of a long and warm summer's day. Like that too, it signalized among the affairs of men a spot which in the world of nature had been rendered illustrious by one of the great and glorious works of God. When the battle was about to begin, just as the setting sun sent his red beams from the west, they fell upon the spray, which continually goes up, like incense, from the deep, dashing torrent of Niagara. The bright light was divided into its primal hues, and a rainbow rose from the waters, encircling the head of the advancing column! In a more superstitious age,


such a sign would have been regarded, like the Roman auguries, as a precursor of victory. Even now, this bow of promise furnished the inspiration of hope, with the colors of beauty.

The line which now opened its fire upon Scott, at the distance of one hundred and fifty paces, was already eighteen hundred strong. It was well posted in Lundy's Lane, a ridge nearly at right angles with the Niagara River, a little below the cataract. Its left was on the road parallel to the river, with a space covered with brushwood, of some two hundred yards, between. Scott, observing this interval, soon ordered Major Jesup, sustained by Colonel Brady, to take advantage of it, and, concealed by the bushes and twilight, to turn the enemy's left. The other battalions had been before promptly deployed into line, and the action joined by it (Brady on the right) and Towson's artillery. The small detachments of cavalry on both sides were held in reserve. The enemy, finding after some time that he outflanked us on the left, threw forward a battalion to take us in flank and rear. Scott, although with inferior numbers, caused this movement to be promptly met and repelled by Major M'Neil's battalion, but with great loss on both sides. At the same moment, the action in front was desperately contested by Brady, now in line, and by Leavenworth and Towson. Major Jesup had succeeded in his movement. He had taken Major-General Riall, and several other officers,


prisoners, and then gallantly charged back, (cutting off a portion of the enemy's left wing,) reappearing, and resuming his position in line.

The battle had commenced before sunset. The twilight had gone, and the action was continued into the night. It was now nine o'clock. The enemy's right had been beaten back from its flank assault with great loss. His left was turned and cut off. His centre alone remained firm. It was posted on a ridge, and supported by nine pieces of artillery.

Another battalion of Drummond's reinforcements had


already arrived, and a fourth was only a few miles behind. Such was the state of the field, when Major-General Brown arrived, a little in advance of our reserve. He insisted on having all the particulars, reported to him previously by the detached staff-officers mentioned, explained and confirmed to him by the lips of Scott. At this point. General Brown in his official report takes up the narrative, from his own personal observation. We select a few extracts in continuance of the history.

After speaking of Scott's brigade, and its position in the first part of the battle, he says — "Apprehending that these corps were much exhausted, and knowing that they had suffered severely, I determined to interpose a new line with the advancing troops, and thus disengage General Scott, and hold his brigade in reserve. Orders were accordingly given to General Ripley. The enemy's artillery at this moment occupied a hill, which gave him great advantages, and was the key to the whole position. It was supported by a line of infantry. To secure the victory, it was necessary to carry this artillery and seize the height. This duty was assigned to Colonel Miller.

"He (Colonel Miller) advanced steadily and gallantly to his object, and carried the height and the cannon. General Ripley brought up the 23d, which had faltered, to his support, and the enemy disappeared from before them.

* * * * The enemy rallying his forces, and, as is believed, having received reinforcements, now attempted to drive us from our position and regain his artillery. Our


line was unshaken and the enemy repulsed. Two other attempts, having the same object, had the same issue. General Scott was again engaged in repelling the former of these; and the last I saw of him on the field of battle, he was near the head of his column, and giving to its march a direction that would have placed him on the enemy's right. * * * * * * * Having been for some time wounded, and being a good deal exhausted by loss of blood, it became my wish to devolve the command on General Scott, and retire from the field, but, on inquiry, I had the misfortune to learn that he was disabled by wounds; I therefore kept my post, and had the satisfaction to see the enemy's last effort repulsed."

The crisis of this engagement was the moment when the enemy's battery, which from its position commanded the field of action, was stormed by Miller's regiment. The diagram exhibits the position of the troops at that moment. This charge was one of the finest achievements of the American army. General Brown said to the gallant Miller — "Sir, can you take that battery?" "I WILL TRY," was the reply of the bluff soldier — a phrase now become familiar to all American lips. Scott, who was perfectly acquainted with the ground, conducted Miller, in the darkness of the night, some distance, till he had the right direction. He then returned to renew the attack in front, in order to favor the movement of Miller.


The enemy's battery being taken, and the ridge previously occupied by the enemy being gained, the American army changed position. It was now drawn up nearly at right angles to the lane, with its back to the river. Scott was on the right, Ripley in the centre, and Porter, with the militia, on the left. In this new position, the American line generally acted on the defensive. The British desired to recover the ground they had lost, and made several assaults. These were as often repulsed; but the enemy would again rally and return to the


Scott Wounded and Disabled.

It was in one of these contests General Brown had last seen Scott. About that time, the latter had twice formed small portions of his brigade into column, advanced, charged the British line, also advancing, pierced it, and compelled it to fall back. In such a battle, with such impetuous courage, Scott was necessarily exposed to all the dangers of the field. Two horses were killed under him. In the midst of the action, he was wounded in the side. At eleven o'clock in the night, he was disabled by a wound from a musket-ball through the left shoulder. His aid, Lieutenant Worth, and his brigade-major, Smith, were also both severely wounded.

The contest closed by the possession of the field of battle by the Americans, and the capture of the enemy's cannon.

The world has seen mightier armies moved over more memorable fields, and followed by louder notes of the far-resounding trumpet of fame; but a bloodier scene for those engaged, a severer trial of courage and of discipline, or one whose action was more closely associated


with the sublime and beautiful in nature, the world has not seen. The armies were drawn out near the shores of that rapid river whose current mingles lake with lake. Hard by, was that CATARACT whose world of waters rushes over the precipice, and, rushing, roars into the gulf below! The ceaseless spray rises up, like incense to the eternal Father! The beams of sun, and moon, and stars, fall ceaselessly on that spray, and are sent back in many-colored hues to the source of light! So was it when, wheeling into the field of battle, the slant beams of the setting sun, returning from the spray, encircled the advancing column with rainbow colors! The sun went down, to many an eye, no more to rise on earth!

With the darkness came the greater rage of battle — charge after charge was made. For a time the faint beams of the moon struggled with the smoke, and gave a little light to the combatants; but it was but little. The moon itself became obscured, and no light, save the rapid flashes of musket and cannon, pierced the heavy clouds.

The fight raged in the darkness of the night. From the height on the ridge, the battery of the enemy still poured its deadly fire.

It was then that the gallant Miller said, "I will try." It was then that Scott piloted his column through darkness to Lundy's Lane. It was then that brave regiment charged to the cannon's mouth. The battery was taken. The victory rests with the American army.

It was midnight. The battle is ended. The army, faint and weary, drags itself from the bloody plain.


The well sink to their couch to dream of homes far away! The wounded groan in their painful hospitals. The dead rest till the last trumpet shall summon them to the last array! The warrior, with his garments rolled in blood, has left the scene of struggles, pains, and death! Some kind friend may have sought him, whether alive or dead; but the war-drum had ceased to beat; the artillery ceased to roll; and now the solemn, sonorous fall of Niagara is to the dead their requiem, and to the living their song of glory!

The battle of Niagara has been, by mistake or accident, commonly called in the United Stales, the battle of Bridgewater. In the official report of the British general it was called the battle of Lundy's Lane. It has been usage, however, to call a battle, or other important event, from the most remarkable object near the scene of action.


Fought, as this battle was, near that mighty cataract which makes one of the wonders of nature, on either side of the Atlantic; fought too with a courage and a constancy worthy of such an association, why should it not be named from those loud, sounding waters? Let it then be called, THE BATTLE OF NIAGARA. Let the memory of the dead, and the fame of the living, roll on with those waters to the distant future!


Chapter X. 1814.

Retreat of the American Army.

WE must leave, for a time, the wounded Scott to the applause of his countrymen, so richly deserved, and so freely bestowed, while we briefly describe the closing deeds of the army of Niagara. We have accompanied it through so many scenes of danger and of glory, that we cannot abandon it till the peace, which occurred but six months subsequently, relieved it from the toil and trouble, the hazards and difficulties of war.

General Brown had been taken, wounded, from the field of Niagara. Towards the close of the battle, Scott also, twice wounded, and now exhausted, was borne out of the action.

General Brown did not, however, at once resign the command. He directed General Ripley to return to camp, after bringing off the dead, the wounded, and the artillery. This was done, but unfortunately, for the want of horses, harness, and drag-ropes, the captured artillery of the enemy was left behind — a circumstance much regretted.


Drummond Besieges Fort Erie.

The army fell back to Chippewa, and there converted the works thrown up by the enemy into defences against him. On the report that General Drummond, at the head of a heavy British column, was fast approaching, the American camp was hastily broken up, its position abandoned, and a retreat made to the ferry, opposite Black Rock. At this point General Brown ordered the division to remain at Fort Erie, directed the engineers McRee and Wood to repair the old fort, and make such defences as were in their power; at the same time ordering Brigadier-General Gaines to assume the command.

A week after this, on the 3d August, General Drummond appeared in the neighborhood of Fort Erie, and, finding it impossible to carry it by storm, was compelled to make a regular investment.

Assault of the British on Fort Erie.

Between the 3d and 12th of August, Drummond employed himself in endeavoring to cut off the American provisions, and in the preparatory measures of opening trenches, and establishing batteries. On the morning of the 13th, he commenced a cannonade and bombardment. This was continued through the day, renewed in the morning of the 14th, and continued till seven o'clock in the evening; but without any serious injury to the American works. On that day, General Gaines doubled his guards, and prepared to receive an assault. At two o'clock on the morning of the 15th, a heavy British column was found approaching Towson's battery, stationed at the northwest angle of the work, where it was received by the cannon of Towson, and the musketry of the 25th


regiment, under the gallant Major Wood, and effectually repulsed. A second attack was also repulsed, when the British column changed its direction and attacked the western angle, but with as little success.

In the mean time the central column of the enemy pressed on the line of intrenchment between the batteries of Towson and Williams; but, like the first column, it was soon checked. The British third column was, for a time only, more successful. After several repulses, it got possession of the exterior bastion of the old fort. The Americans attempted to regain it, but failed. Just at this moment, a quantity of cartridges in a small stone building within the bastion, exploded, scattering death and confusion around, and expelling the British from the fort. They suffered severely, having left behind a large number of killed, wounded, and prisoners. In fine, the British were most gallantly and effectually defeated, in their attempt to storm Fort Erie.

Sortie of the Americans from Fort Erie.

On the 2d of September, General Brown, though not yet recovered from his wounds, resumed the command of his division. After a full examination of the topographical position of Drummond's lines, he thought a bold and


vigorous sortie might do more than mere defence, in relieving the American army from the siege of the enemy. Accordingly, on the morning of the 17th of September, General Brown paraded his troops, to the number of about two thousand, in nearly equal proportions of regulars and militia, for a sortie on the enemy's works. The army of Sir Gordon Drummond had then invested Fort Erie regularly, for about fifty days. During that time, they had erected regular lines and batteries. They had bombarded the American defences, and made, as we have seen, an unsuccessful attack upon them. At this time they had erected two batteries, and were about to open a third. Their force was divided into three brigades, each of which in turn guarded the batteries, while the other two were encamped about two miles distant, out of reach of the American cannon, but near enough to support the troops at the batteries.

Retreat of the British Army.

In this position of affairs, General Brown determined to storm the batteries, destroy the cannon, and defeat the brigade. At half-past two, P. M., of the 17th, the American columns sallied out, and the action commenced. So successful was this enterprise, that in thirty minutes from its commencement, batteries numbered 2 and 3 were in possession of the Americans, with two blockhouses. Soon after, No. 1 was abandoned, and the magazine of


No. 3 blown up. The cannon were spiked or dismounted. All the labor of the previous investment was destroyed. So great was the British loss, that it became apparent, that the siege of Fort Erie could no longer be protracted with any hope of success.

Accordingly, Lieutenant-General Drummond broke up his camp during the night of the 21st of September, and retired to his intrenchments behind the Chippewa.

Close of the Campaign.

By the 10th of November, the American army retired into winter-quarters, at Buffalo, and the war on the Niagara frontier was in fact ended. During the year 1814, it had been a succession of brilliant military actions, in which much blood was shed, and much of courage, skill, and energy, exhibited. Taken all and all, no campaign in American history has displayed more of the qualities of mind and body, art and science, which are necessary to the character of a true soldier, or the success of an army in action. In a little less than three months the army of Riall and Drummond, twice renewed and reinforced by troops sent from Europe, had been defeated in four pitched battles! In the two first of these, CHIPPEWA and NIAGARA, where the armies met in open field fight, SCOTT was the real leader, the man, as Brown said in his report, to whom, more than to any other, victory was due. In the two last actions, the same army was engaged; and, without diminishing aught of the praise or glory due to others, may it not be said, that the discipline he had inculcated, and the noble example he had given, were the parents of that energy and good


conduct with which the army of Niagara continued to renew its glory and freshen its laurels?

The zeal, courage, firmness, and discipline, with which troops perform the business of a campaign, encounter its bloody issues, and endure the perils alike of death or defeat, do not depend on numbers, or on results; but on the intrinsic qualities of the action, and the degree of its danger, detriment, or difficulty. Thus, in the combats on the Niagara frontier, there was extreme personal danger, there was great coolness and self-command in action, and there was a discipline and a fortitude, which could hardly be surpassed in the most veteran armies, under the most experienced commanders.

In the descriptions we have given of the several battles the numbers engaged on either side are stated in each one, as near as the materials preserved by history will allow us to estimate. Both armies were, however, successively reinforced by fresh troops. It is therefore difficult to say how many, in all, were engaged. If we say that, in the course of the campaign, there were six thousand men engaged on each side, we shall, probably, not be far from the fact. The tabular view in the note, of the killed, and wounded, and prisoners, will afford a comparative view of the losses, relative to each army, and to the aggregate of both.


The British loss is greater than the American in about the ratio of three to two. If, as we have supposed, the total number of troops engaged in the several battles, on both sides, was about twelve thousand, it follows that nearly one half this whole number were among the killed, wounded, and prisoners! This is a loss exceeding, in proportion, that of the most bloody battles of Napoleon.


Chapter XI. 1814 to 1817.

Scott's Journey from Niagara to Philadelphia.

WE last saw Scott on the field of Niagara. He was borne from that scene of glory, to the care of nurses and surgeons, a wounded and suffering soldier. He had been wounded, as we have narrated, first by a spent ball, in the side, and next by a musket-ball which passed directly through the left shoulder. The last was a wound in its nature serious and painful. His recovery was, for a month, very doubtful. He lay, in great agony, at Buffalo and Williamsville. He was then removed to the house of his kind friend, Mr. Brisbane, in Batavia.

By the nursings of this amiable family, he became able, at the end of some weeks, to bear the motion of a litter. In that way he was taken, on the shoulders of some of the gentlemen of the country, who relieved each other from town to town, to the house of another excellent friend, the late Hon. John Nicholas, of Geneva. Here again, nothing was left unattempted which skill and kindness could devise, for the restoration of the wounded soldier.


His object was to reach Philadelphia, and there place himself under the care of that distinguished surgeon, the late Dr. Physick, and the no less distinguished physician of the same city, Dr. Chapman. Both of these gentlemen have taken a patriotic delight in ministering professionally, and in every case where the patient has permitted them to do so, gratuitously, to those who have sustained injuries in the cause of their country."

At this time, September, 1814, Philadelphia and Baltimore were threatened with an attack of the enemy. Crippled though he was, Scott, at the instance of the delegations in congress from Pennsylvania and Maryland, was requested by the war department to take at least the nominal command of the troops assembled for the defence of those cities. Accompanied by his aid-de-camp Worth, (then promoted to be major for gallant actions, and since general,) the hero of Chippewa proceeded slowly to the Atlantic. Everywhere on the route, the suffering representative of the army of Niagara was received, by patriotic citizens, with the highest evidences of their esteem.

Is Received at Princeton with Honors, by the Faculty and Students of Nassau Hall.

At the classic and memorable ground of Princeton, an incident occurred, alike adapted to cheer the heart of the disabled soldier, and give propriety and freshness to his reception on the spot, where the muse of history has,


not disdained to dwell in the humble abodes of philosophy.

The annual commencement at the College of New Jersey (Nassau Hall) happened to occur on the day Scott reached Princeton. Upon quitting the carriage, he was supported to a bed, intending, by easy stages and proper care, to reach Philadelphia. It was soon whispered about, that General Scott had entered the town. The faculty of the college immediately sent a deputation to the hotel to invite his attendance at the church. He suffered himself to be carried thither. Pale and meager, his left shoulder swollen and bandaged, his arm in a sling, and his furred surtout flung over his person, the invalid with difficulty ascended the stage where the exercises were performed.

There, the president, trustees, and other dignitaries of the college, were waiting his slow approach, amidst learning, beauty, and fashion, collected from far and near. The hands and kerchiefs of the ladies, as well as the voices of men, including hundreds of enthusiastic students, were in constant exercise. The rafters of the old edifice rang and re-echoed with applause.

In Nassau Hall, it is customary to select the most graceful and elegant speaker to deliver the valedictory address. On this day, the orator of the valedictory was


Bloomfield M'llvaine, Esq. His theme was "The public duties of a good citizen in peace and war" — a subject well adapted to the then situation of the country, and not improper at any time. Towards the close of his oration, the speaker turned to Scott, and in the most graceful and extemporaneous oratory, made him the personification of the civic and heroic virtues. Nothing could have been more happily adapted to the person and the subject. The sympathies of the audience burst forth in applause, alike to the young and disabled general who was personified, and to the eloquent and enthusiastic student whose ready genius had paid so just and beautiful a tribute.

Receives the Honorary Degree of Master of Arts.

After a brief consultation by the president and trustees of the college. General Scott was complimented with the honorary degree of Master of Arts. Coming from the trustees of New Jersey College, this was a meaning and pointed compliment. They had never made the mistake of conferring honorary degrees inapt to the person complimented and the services rendered. As a member of the bar, distinguished in another line, for the science as well as the art of war, the honorary degree of Master of Arts was deserved, and it was not foreign to the desert.

At Philadelphia, Governor Snyder marched out, at the head of a division of militia, to receive him. From thence, Scott passed on to Baltimore, then threatened with another


other attack from the British, where his shoulder was finally healed, by that distinguished surgeon Dr. Gibson, now a professor in the University of Pennsylvania.

On the 16th of October, 1814, he assumed the command of the tenth military district, whose head-quarters were at Washington City. Here, and at Baltimore, he passed the early part of the winter of 1814-15, the time which intervened before the arrival of the treaty of peace. At that time, he was called upon to furnish plans for the general conduct of the anticipated campaign of 1815, as well as a particular one for the northern frontier.

In February, 1815, the treaty of peace arrived in Washington. Soon after this, General Scott was inquired of, whether he would take the department of war, as its secretary. This he declined, cheerfully admitting to the president, that he was too young for that. He was then requested to act as secretary, holding his rank in the army, till the arrival of the Hon. William H. Crawford, (then minister at Paris,) who received the appointment. This also he declined, from feelings of delicacy towards his seniors, Major-Generals Brown and Jackson, the secretary being at that time, under the President, the immediate commander of the army.

Scott's Journey to Europe.

About this time also, he assisted in reducing the army


from the war to the peace establishment, a service of no small delicacy. This performed, and being yet feeble from his wounds, he went to Europe, by order of the government, both for the restoration of his health and for professional improvement.

Is Intrusted with Diplomatic Functions.

He was also confidentially intrusted with diplomatic functions, of which the object was to ascertain the temper and views of certain courts, respecting the revolutionary struggles then commenced in the Spanish provinces of America, and the apprehended designs of Great Britain upon the island of Cuba, both at that time subjects of no little solicitude to the cabinet at Washington. For this purpose he was furnished with letters to some of the ministers, or other principal men, in Russia, France, and England. He succeeded so well in executing his instructions, that President Madison caused the Secretary of State to write him a very particular letter of thanks for the information communicated.

Correspondence with Kosciusko.

In the course of his abode in Europe, he received, through Baron Hottingeur, an autograph letter from the renowned KOSCIUSKO. It was addressed to the baron, at Paris. Having procured a copy, we insert it here, in regard both to him who wrote it, and him to whom it was written.



"Sir —

May I beg you to express to General Scott my great regrets that, owing to a severe indisposition, I am unable to leave Soleure; otherwise it would afford me the highest gratification to meet him half way between this and Paris, to make his acquaintance; the more so as


he is charged by his government, with the collection of information upon military subjects. I have done myself the pleasure to introduce him to Monsieur Carnot, as a general more capable than any other to give him clear and precise ideas upon military matters, as engineering, and the choice of books proper to form a library for the study of those subjects. I have also given him letters to the Marshals McDonald, Oudinot, Dupont, &c. They will be able to enlighten him upon the subject of the greater operations of armies; what positions to seize, and how to defend them; and finally what measures are necessary in all possible cases, to procure supplies and ammunition for an army, and the best methods to discipline the troops.

Be pleased to convey my compliments to General Scott, and especially for his victories in Canada. I hope the Americans will follow his example — his courage, his energy, and his virtues.

Accept the assurances of my distinguished consideration,

SOLEURE, 12th October, 1815.

General Scott made good use of his opportunities for society and instruction, while in Europe. He arrived in France, by way of England, soon after the battle of Waterloo. There he associated much with the distinguished men of letters and of science in Paris. He attended courses of public lectures, visited the fortresses and naval establishments in the west of Europe, and returned home in 1816, taking Great Britain on his way.

On the arrival of General Scott in the United States,


he was assigned to the command of the seaboard. His head-quarters were at the city of New York. In that city, and near it, at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, and in the same command, with the exception of two years in the West, he resided during the next twenty years.

His Marriage.

In March, 1817, General Scott was married to Miss MARIA MAYO, daughter of John Mayo, Esq., of Richmond, Virginia — a lady whose charms and accomplishments are widely known. They have had several daughters, but no living son.


Chapter XII.

Scott's Promotions.

THE war of 1812 being now ended, and Scott having passed from the battle-field to the domestic fireside, it is fit we should here review some of the promotions, compliments, and honors, which his country and countrymen, at various times, bestowed upon him, for his gallant and successful conduct. Whether it be a weakness or an infirmity of human nature, as some suppose, or a right and generous emotion of justice and gratitude, as others think, it is certainly a natural and universal element of human society, to reward with uncommon honors those who have risked their lives, and endured hardships for their country. If it be sweet and decorous, as the poet thought, to die for one's country, mankind seem to be agreed, that it is equally decorous and honorable to reward those who have offered to die and yet survived, for the hazards they encountered and the sufferings they endured.

Scott entered the army in 1808, at twenty-two years of age. In 1814, when only twenty-eight, he had ascended


to the highest military rank, that of major-general, which is attainable in the United States. In a very short time also, he was distinguished by honors and memorials, from various civil bodies and public authorities, such as have been seldom conferred upon one person, and upon one so young — perhaps never.

In the spring of 1812, when, at the near prospect of war, the army was augmented, and while Scott was yet in New Orleans, the Virginia delegation in Congress presented his name to the executive for a lieutenant-colonelcy. President Madison remarked, that he knew Scott, and thought highly of his merits; but that he was too young for a greater rank than that of major. The objection was, however, overcome, and he was made lieutenant-colonel.

His conduct in the campaign of 1812, already narrated, brought his name again before the President for the appointment of colonel. This promotion was strongly urged by certain general officers of the army, and by the then Secretary of War, General Armstrong. The President now admitted, that Scott had shown himself an excellent lieutenant-colonel, but doubted whether he was old enough to command a double regiment — the second artillery. He was, however, appointed to the vacancy on the 2d of March, 1813.

After the campaign of 1813, Scott was again brought forward by the same parties who had urged his promotion before. Mr. Madison again made the same admission and objection as before, and again yielded. Scott was appointed brigadier-general, March 9th, 1814, in his twenty-eighth year.

In a little more than four months from that date, the


battles of CHIPPEWA and NIAGARA were fought and won. Then, Scott's name was uttered by all voices. It was presented, of course, for further promotion. There was but one higher grade. The President replied with a smile — "Put him down a major-general. I have done with objections to his youth!"

The testimony of legislative bodies, and of men engaged in civil and peaceful duties, to the merit and services of Scott, were not less strong than those of the executive and the military functionaries.

Near the close of the war, Nov. 3d, 1814, Congress passed a vote of thanks, in which Scott was not only specifically complimented for his skill and gallantry, in the conflicts of Chippewa and Niagara, but for his uniform good conduct throughout the war — a compliment paid by Congress to no other officer.

Resolution of Congress, Approved Nov. 3d, 1814.

"Resolved, that the President of the United States be requested to cause a gold medal to be struck, with suitable emblems and devices, and presented to Major-General Scott, in testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his distinguished services, in the successive conflicts of Chippewa and Niagara, and of his uniform gallantry and good conduct in sustaining the reputation of the arms of the United States."

Presentation of the Medal by President Monroe.

The medal thus ordered by Congress, was not presented till the close of Mr. Monroe's administration. On that occasion, the following proceedings took place:


Executive Mansion, February 26, 1825; in the presence of the Cabinet, and of many other distinguished persons.

President Monroe's Address.

"General Scott — Your conduct in the late war merited and obtained, in a high degree, the approbation of Congress and your country. In the battles of Chippewa and Niagara, in Upper Canada, in the campaign of 1814, your daring enterprise and gallantry in action were eminently conspicuous.

"In rendering justice to you, I recur with pleasure to the report made of those actions by the military commander, the most competent judge of your merit. In the battle of Chippewa, he says, you are entitled to the highest praise your country can bestow; and that we are indebted to you, more than to any other person, for the victory obtained in it.

"In the battle of Niagara you commenced the action, and your gallantry in several severe encounters, until disabled by severe wounds, was equally distinguished. As a testimonial of the high sense entertained by Congress of your merit in those actions, I have the pleasure to present you this medal."

Major-General Scott's Reply.

"With a deep sense of the additional obligation now contracted, I accept, at the hands of the venerable chief magistrate of the Union, this classic token of the highest reward that a freeman can receive — THE RECORDED APPROBATION OF HIS COUNTRY.


"If, in the resolve of Congress, or in your address, sir, my individual services have been over-estimated, not so the achievements of that gallant body of officers and men, whom in battle it was my good fortune to command, and of whom I am, on this interesting occasion, the honored representative.

"Very many of those generous spirits breathed their last on the fields which their valor assisted to win; and of the number that happily survive, there is not one, I dare affirm, who will not be ready in peace, as in war, to devote himself to the liberties and the glory of the country.

"And you, sir, whom I have the honor officially to address for the last time; you who bled in the first, and powerfully contributed to the second War of Independence; you who have toiled fifty years to rear and to establish the liberties of this great republic — permit an humble actor in a much shorter period of its history, to mingle his prayers with those of millions, for the happy but distant termination of a life, of which, as yet, others have enjoyed the distinguished benefits, whilst the cares nave been all your own."


The medal is a beautiful specimen of the numismatic art. It is large and of massive gold. The drawing shows both faces of the medal and its exact dimensions. The portrait of the general, in relieve, is true to life. The inscription on the reverse face, as shown in the drawing, is surrounded with a wreath of palm and laurel, entwined about a serpent formed into a circle — emblem of youth and immortality, or youth crowned with victory. It is a cherished memorial of national gratitude.

There is an incident connected with this medal which we cannot forbear to relate. It is not an item of general history, and possibly may not be interesting to the general reader. It illustrates, however, a great principle of human action. It indicates how deeply the feeling of reverence for distinguished and brilliant services sinks into the heart, and how pure that feeling may remain when other and kindred virtues have yielded to temptation.

This medal was deposited by General Scott many years since, for safe keeping, in the City Bank of the city of New York. Some time after, the bank was entered by false keys, and robbed of bullion and other funds to the large amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

The first clerk, on entering the bank the day after the robbery, discovered that the safe had been forced, and soon ascertained the extent of the loss. On examining the trunk in which the medal was deposited, he found, to his surprise and delight, that the medal was safe, though every dollar of the bullion deposited with it had been taken. The matter was inexplicable to the officers of the bank. The robber had burst open the trunk, stripped it of its valuable contents, opened the case which enclosed the medal, and yet left that large piece of massive gold behind. No motive could be discovered for such an act. The robber was finally arrested, the funds recovered, and the law satisfied by a full term of service in the state prison.

At a subsequent period, in passing down the Hudson


River, on board a steamboat, General Scott's purse was abstracted from his pocket. The fact being made known to the chief of the police, the money was soon discovered and restored. It was during the progress of this investigation that the burglar who had robbed the City Bank reproached his confederates with their want of honorable bearing. He said, "that when he took the money from the City Bank he saw and well knew the value of the medal, but scorned to take from the soldier what had been given by the gratitude of his country."

This incident is a curious phenomenon in the operations of the human mind. A man who made theft and robbery his profession, and felt no compunctions in seizing on the property of others, gropes his way with a dark lantern, through damp vaults and narrow passes, until at length he reaches the object of his hopes. He breaks the locks, and his dim light discovers bags of gold. He seizes them with avidity. In his search he discovers the medal of a patriot soldier. One current of virtuous feeling had not been corrupted. He replaces the treasure, and rejoices that he yet loves his country and honors her defenders.

Resolutions of Virginia.

In February, 1816, both houses of the Virginia legislature passed unanimously a vote of thanks to General Scott, for his uniform good conduct in the war. At the same time the governor was directed to procure a suitable sword, with proper emblems and devices, and have the same presented to him as a memorial of their high estimation of his conduct.


"Resolved unanimously, by the Senate and House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in general


assembly convened, that the governor be, and he is hereby requested, to present the thanks of this general assembly to Major-General WINFIELD SCOTT, a native citizen of this state, for his uniform good conduct in sustaining the military reputation of the United States, in every conflict or engagement in which he was present during the late war with England, but more especially in the successive engagements of Chippewa and Niagara.

"Resolved, also unanimously, that the governor be, and he is hereby requested to cause a suitable sword, with proper emblems and devices thereon, to be presented to Major-General SCOTT, as a mark of the high opinion this assembly entertains of his gallantry and distinguished services, in the battles of Chippewa and Niagara.

"Resolved, also unanimously, that the governor be, and he is hereby requested to forward to MAJOR-GENERAL SCOTT a copy of these resolutions, and to present, through him, the thanks of this assembly to his gallant associates in arms, during the campaign of 1814.

"Unanimously agreed to in both houses,
February 12, 1816.

Letter from Governor Nicholas of Virginia, to General Scott.

"RICHMOND, May 31, 1816.

Sir —

I have the honor to communicate to you the enclosed Resolutions of the General Assembly of Virginia, by which they unanimously testify their high sense of your gallant services, in every conflict or engagement in which you were present during the late war with England, and


especially in the successive engagements of Chippewa and Niagara. The sentiments of the General Assembly are best expressed by their resolutions; but I cannot deny myself the pleasure of declaring how cordially I concur in their testimony to your distinguished merits, and of expressing my earnest hopes, that you may long continue to enjoy the fruits of your well-earned reputation. I beg leave, through you, sir, to present the thanks of the General Assembly of Virginia to your gallant associates in arms, during the campaign of 1814, for the noble manner in which they sustained the military reputation of their country.

"I have the honor to be,
With the greatest respect,
Your humble servant,

"Major-General Winfield Scott."

Reply of General Scott.

"NEW YORK, June 26, 1816.

"Sir —

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's letter of the 31st ultimo, covering certain Resolutions of the General Assembly of Virginia, approbatory of my military conduct during the late war, in general, but more particularly in the campaign of 1814, in which my gallant associates in arms are included.

"I am most sensibly alive to the good opinion of my countrymen of Virginia — a state to which I am proud to owe my birth, and whatever of zeal or patriotism I may be supposed to have shown in the late common struggle of the Union. That my humble exertions have attracted


the notice and received the approbation of the General Assembly of Virginia, is to me a proud distinction — one that will bind me still more strongly to those to whom I was before allied by common interests, principles, and nativity.

"I beg your Excellency to accept my best acknowledgments, for the very kind and flattering terms in which you have been pleased to communicate the sentiments of the Legislature, and believe me to be,

With the highest respect and consideration,
Your Excellency's
Obedient and humble servant,

His Excellency Wilson C. Nicholas."

Presentation of Sword.

The sword which the General Assembly of Virginia had directed the Governor of Virginia to procure for General Scott, was not, from some accidental causes, presented to General Scott till the year 1825. In that year, it was presented by Governor Pleasants, to whom Scott made a suitable reply, which we subjoin.

General Scott's Reply to Governor Pleasants, on the Presentation of a Sword, in 1825.

"Sir —

In the part which it was my lot to bear in the late war, I should have deemed myself as still unfortunate, whatever success I might have obtained, or whatever honors might have been accorded to me elsewhere, if I had failed to win the approbation of my native state. But from this I have been happily spared — Virginia, with parental kindness, has deemed me one of her sons who


endeavored well in the second great triumph of our free institutions.

"The law which gave my name to a county; the thanks voted by the General Assembly; and this sword which I now have the honor to receive at your hands, in the presence of the executive council, are the precious evidences of that partiality. Sir — they are appreciated by me in the spirit in which they are bestowed, as inculcating the first lesson of a citizen-soldier, that, as liberty is the greatest of blessings, so should he ever hold himself armed in her defence, and ready to sacrifice his life in her cause!"

The sword which the Legislature of Virginia thus presented, was of the most beautiful kind, mounted with the finest gold, and surrounded with devices classical, enigmatical, and historical, well chosen, and adapted to the actor and the actions it was intended to honor and commemorate.


Resolutions of New York.

About the same time with the passage of the resolutions we have recited, by the State of Virginia, others were passed of similar import, by the Legislature of the State of New York, along whose western-frontier a large portion of Scott's public services had been rendered. The legislature impowered his Excellency DANIEL D. TOMPKINS, governor of that state, to present General Scott its thanks for his services, and a sword, which was done. The presentation took place on what is called in New York Evacuation Day. The following account of the proceedings has a more than common interest, by the peculiar aptness of the addresses made.

In the City Hall of New York; Anniversary, Nov. 25th, 1816, of the Evacuation of the City by the British troops, at the end of the Revolutionary War.

Presentation of a Sword, and the Address, by Governor Tompkins.

"Sir —

I avail myself of an anniversary commemorative of the exploits of our forefathers, to perform the pleasing duty of proclaiming the gratitude of the people of this state to those descendants of the heroes of the Revolution, whose services in the late war have contributed so mainly to perpetuate the independence which our venerated ancestors achieved, and to advance the glory of the American nation.

"In adverting, sir, to your claims of distinction, it


would be sufficient to say, that on all occasions you have displayed the highest military accomplishments, the most ardent attachment to the rights and honor of your country, and the most intrepid exertions in their support. A rapid and unprecedented succession of promotions at an early age, has been the well-earned fruit of your talents. The distinguished notice by your government is the best encomium on your character, and the highest reward to which the virtuous and the great aspire.

"But, sir, your military career is replete with splendid events. Without descending into too much minuteness, I may briefly refer to your exploits in the most interesting portion of the American continent. The shores of Niagara, from Erie to Ontario, are inscribed with your name, and with the names of your brave companions. The defeat of the enemy at Fort George will not be forgotten. The memorable conflict on the plains of Chippewa, and the appalling night-battle on the Heights of Niagara, are events which have added new celebrity to the spots where they happened, heightening the majesty of the stupendous cataract, by combining with its natural, all the force of the moral sublime. The admirers of the great in nature, from all quarters of the globe, will forever visit the theatre of your achievements. They will bear to their distant homes the idea of this mighty display of nature, and will associate with it the deeds of you and your brothers in arms. And so long as the beautiful and sublime shall be objects of admiration among men; so long as the whelming waters of Erie shall be tumbled into the awful depths of Niagara, so long shall the splendid actions in which you have had so conspicuous a share, endure in the memory of man.


"Accept, sir, the sword presented to you by the people of this state, as a pledge of their affection and gratitude for your distinguished services; and may the remainder of your life be as serene and happy, as your early days have been useful and glorious."

Major-General Scott's Reply.

"Sir —

I have heretofore had the honor to express to the Legislature of the State of New York, through your Excellency, my high sense of the distinguished compliment conferred on me by that honorable body, in its resolution on the subject of my military services, and in its vote of the splendid sword, now so handsomely presented by your Excellency.

"On an occasion like this, declarations would but feebly express the volume of obligation contracted. Permit me to assure your Excellency, and through you, the legislature and people of the proud State of New York, that I am sensibly alive to the duties of a republican soldier, armed by the hands of his countrymen to support and defend their national honor and independence; and if my personal services had been more worthy of the distinction bestowed, I should have no wish left me, at this moment, but that the glory and liberties of the republic might be eternal."

Scott a Member of Cincinnati.

In the year 1815, General Scott was unanimously elected an honorary member of the state society of "Cincinnati,"


in Pennsylvania. This venerable society was formed by the officers of the revolutionary army, at the close of the revolution, and has ever been distinguished by worth and patriotism.

In the year 1815, also, the Legislature of Virginia named a new county, in honor of him, SCOTT.

Some other states have done the same.


Chapter XIII.

General Jackson's Order of 1817.

IN the year 1817, a singular and unpleasant controversy occurred between General Jackson, General Scott, and Governor Clinton, arising out of a point of military discipline; but in reality occasioned by an anonymous note, written by a subordinate person to General Jackson. The circumstances are curious, as illustrating how public characters may be involved, and even important consequences produced, by very small acts of inferior parties; and historically valuable, as showing the position of affairs at that time.

General Jackson, then commanding the division of the South in the army of the United States, and annoyed probably by some order issuing from the war department to one of his inferior officers, without his knowledge, promulgated the following general order to his division —


"Head-quarters, "Adjutant-General's Office,
Division of the South. Nashville, April 22d, 1817.

"Division Order.

"The commanding general considers it due to the principles of subordination which might and must exist in


an army, to prohibit the obedience of any order emanating from the department of war, to officers of the division who have reported, and been assigned to duty, unless coming through him as the proper organ of communication.

"The object of this order is to prevent the recurrence of a circumstance which removed an important officer from the division, without the knowledge of the commanding general, and, indeed, when he supposed that officer engaged in his official duties, and anticipated hourly the receipt of his official reports, on a subject of much importance to his command; also to prevent the topographical reports from being made public, through the medium of the newspapers, as was done in the case alluded to, thereby enabling the enemy to obtain the benefit of our topographical researches, as soon as the general commanding, who is responsible for the defense of his division.

"Superior officers having commands assigned them, are held responsible to their government for their character and conduct; and it might as well be justified in an officer senior in command, to give orders to a guard on duty, without passing that order through the officer of that guard, as that the department of war should countermand the arrangements of commanding generals, without giving that order through the proper channel. To acquiesce in such a course would be a tame surrender of military rights and etiquette, and at once subvert the established principles of subordination and good order.

"Obedience to the lawful commands of superior officers, is constitutionally and morally required; but there is a chain of communication that binds the military compact, which, if broken, opens the door to disobedience and


disrespect, and gives loose to the turbulent spirits, who are ever ready to excite mutiny.

"All physicians able to perform duty, who are absent on furlough, will forthwith repair to their respective posts.

"Commanding officers of regiments and corps, are required to report specially all officers absent from duty, after the 30th of June next, and their cause of absence.

"The army is too small to tolerate idlers, and they will be dismissed from service.




To a military mind, the error and impropriety of this order are palpable. The principle of the order is that a colonel of a regiment cannot give an independent order to a subaltern, without sending it through the captain of a company. The immediate application of this principle made by General Jackson's order, was to orders emanating from the war department to inferior officers, which orders General Jackson commanded should not be obeyed except coming through him. This was one of the worst forms in which the application of such a principle could be made. The war department is but the organ, or mouthpiece of the President of the United States. The President is, by the constitution, commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the Union. If the President, then, cannot issue orders to inferiors, or to any one, without the interference of third parties, he is deprived of his highest constitutional function.


The principle thus assumed in the Nashville order is strongly analogous to, and nearly identical with the position of the Governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut in the war of 1812, that the President of the United States could not delegate his authority, and therefore the officers of the United States army could not command the militia. This ground is obviously untenable. Yet, if the President can delegate his authority at all, it is obvious that he is not limited as to whom it shall be delegated. He may, therefore, through the war department, command any officer, however inferior in rank, to perform any service of whatever kind, independent of the opinions or orders of any general officer. Nay, it may be imperiously necessary that he should do so. Shall it be said that the President of the United States, through the war department, shall not require secret service, often so valuable in war, of any subaltern of the army, without asking leave of a general of division? Subjected to this test, the principle of the Nashville order cannot for a moment be defended.

It was very natural, and almost inevitable, that this very extraordinary order should occasion conversation and criticism, among both military men and civilians. This was the fact.

Among the conversations held on this subject, one occurred at a dinner party in New York, at which, with other persons, there were present Governor Clinton and General Scott. The order became the topic of remark,


when Governor Clinton expressed a wish to learn General Scott's views of it. General Scott, who was seated near him, felt called upon to state professionally what were the principles involved in the question raised by General Jackson. This he did, in opposition to the views of General Jackson, and expressed the opinion to Clinton, that the tendency of the "order" was mutinous.

The Anonymous Letter.

At this time there was published in the city of New York a newspaper called the "Columbian," devoted to the interests of Governor Clinton, whom it had supported for the presidency The substance of this conversation got to the ears of its conductors, and an anonymous article appeared in it, questioning the propriety of Jackson's order.

This anonymous article another anonymous writer anonymously enclosed to General Jackson, on the 14th of August, 1817, accompanied by this remark of the unknown writer

"Your late order has been the subject of much private and some public remark. The war-office gentry and their adherents, pensioners, and expectants, have all been busy, but no one, of sufficient mark for your notice, more than General Scott, who, I am credibly informed, goes so far


as to call the order in question an act of mutiny. In this district, he is the organ of government insinuations, and the supposed author of the paper enclosed, which, however, the better to cover him, was not published until he had left this city for the lakes." * * * *

General Jackson to General Scott.

There were some other unimportant remarks in this communication. It was received by General Jackson on the 3d of September. On the 8th, he addressed to General Scott the following letter —

"Head-Quarters, Division of the South,
Nashville, September 8th, 1817.

"Sir —

With that candor due the character you have sustained as a soldier and a man of honor, and with the frankness of the latter, I address you.

"Enclosed is a copy of an anonymous letter, postmarked New York, 14th of August, 1817, together with a publication taken from the Columbian, which accompanied the letter. I have not permitted myself for a moment to believe, that the conduct ascribed to you is correct. Candor, however, induces me to lay them before you, that you may have it in your power to say how far they be incorrectly stated.

"If my order has been the subject of your animadversions, it is believed you will at once admit it, and the extent to which you may have gone.

"I am, sir, respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,


"General W. Scott, U. S. Army."


Enclosed in this letter, was the anonymous document of which we have spoken.

General Scott to General Jackson.

On October 4th, 1817, General Scott addressed to General Jackson a letter, of which we shall insert here only the material parts. In this he denies, peremptorily, that he was the author of the article in the Columbian, and then proceeds thus —


"Conversing with some two or three private gentlemen, about as many times, on the subject of the division order dated at Nashville, April 2d, 1817, it is true, that I gave it as my opinion, that that paper was, as it respected the future, mutinous in its character and tendency, and, as it respected the past, a reprimand of the commander-in-chief, the President of the United States; for although the latter be not expressly named, it is a principle well understood, that the war department, without, at least his supposed sanction, cannot give a valid command to an ensign.

"I have thus, sir, frankly answered the queries addressed to me, and which were suggested to you by the letter of your anonymous correspondent; but on a question so important as that which you have raised with the war department, or, in other words, with the President of the United States, and in which I find myself incidentally involved, I must take leave to illustrate my meaning a little, &c., &c."

[Here General Scott illustrated his opinion by exam ples and arguments.]

"I must pray you to believe, that I have expressed my


opinion on this great question, without the least hostility to yourself, personally, and without any view of making my court in another quarter, as is insinuated by your anonymous correspondent. I have nothing to fear or hope from either party. It is not likely that the executive will be offended at the opinion, that it has committed an irregularity in the transmission of its orders; and, as to yourself, although I cheerfully admit that you are my superior, I deny that you are my commanding officer, within the meaning of the 6th article of the Rules and Articles of War. Even if I belonged to your division, I should not hesitate to repeat to you all that I have said at any time, on this subject, if a proper occasion offered; and, what is more, I should expect your approbation, as, in my humble judgment, refutation is impossible.

"As you do not adopt, the imputations contained in the anonymous letter, a copy of which you enclosed me, I shall not degrade myself by any further notice of it."

"The author is believed to be a young man of the army, and was at the time of the publication in this city; but not under my command, and with whom I have never had the smallest intimacy. I forbear to mention his name, because it is only known by conjecture.

"I have the honor to be, &c.,

"To Major-General Andrew Jackson, &c."

To this letter General Jackson replied in a very angry manner, and with an offer of satisfaction according to the code of honor, if demanded. He seems to have thought, that General Scott ought not to have criticized his


military conduct, and, in fact, ought not to have expressed any opinion at all.

In his reply, Scott waived this idea, knowing, if there were no other reason, that those who had fought on the plains of Chippewa and New Orleans, needed no new evidence that they possessed courage or pursued honor.

This whole correspondence was subsequently printed in a pamphlet — a publicity which made it known to many persons, and requires that it be mentioned here as a part of the history, both personal and political, of the times to which it belongs. The, controversies of distinguished men, their tone of temperament, and their hasty acts of passion, are dwelt upon by the curiosity of others, with perhaps as much interest as any part of their lives. The multitude have a consciousness of greater equality with superior men in these minor developments of a common human nature, than in those greater and nobler deeds by which they have been raised to high eminence. There is a feeling of contact, community, and connection, with those who, like us, breathe the common atmosphere of the common streets of the world; but it is with admiration and with awe, not sympathy, that we gaze upon those whose uncommon strength and extraordinary success have enabled them to ascend the greatest heights, and bathe their heads, like the eagle's wings, in the sublime but cold air of the mountains.

Hence it is that the world is little offended to see distinguished men descend from their eminence to mingle in common affairs, and display those passions which are felt to belong equally to the race — the highest and the lowest.

The eminent men whose personal controversy we have here narrated, have long since been reconciled to each


other. One of them has descended to the grave, honored with the best rewards of his country, and the other was one of the first to pay to his memory the high respect due from one distinguished soldier to another.

The controversy, however, has an interest as connected with the principle of the Nashville Order, and yet more with the peculiar politics of that period. It is a singular fact, that an unknown writer, by a single paragraph of an anonymous letter, could occasion between three of the most eminent public men, such an excitement and such a discussion.

Implication of Clinton.

It seems that at the close of General Scott's second letter, he intimated a suspicion that Governor Clinton was the anonymous correspondent of General Jackson. This suspicion was totally erroneous. De Witt Clinton was above any act of that kind. He stood in no need of such contrivances; for, either at this time, or soon after, he had openly and boldly charged the administration of Mr. Monroe with interfering through the custom-house officers, with the state elections of New York. At this time, or soon after, also, he became allied with the political friends of General Jackson. He had, therefore, no need of communicating secretly with General Jackson, when there was nothing in his position to preclude doing it openly.

It was, however, perfectly natural that such a suspicion should have occurred to Scott at that time; for he was unable to trace the knowledge, or the possibility of reporting his opinions, to any other than the persons present on the occasion mentioned. Happily, however, the truth was discovered. Soon after these transactions, General Scott learned, that Governor Clinton had spoken, as he was perfectly at liberty to do, of Scott's military


view of General Jackson's order, in the hearing of some one connected with the Columbian newspaper. This person, or one associated with him, had written the anonymous letter, without the sanction or knowledge of Governor Clinton. This explanation, or recantation, General Scott has often made before as since the death of the illustrious Clinton. Had Scott known the facts at an earlier date, a most unpleasant controversy would have been avoided.

Reconciliation of Scott and Jackson.

It only remains to record the reconciliation between Scott and Jackson, alike honorable to both. There had been a rumor, no doubt groundless, that General Jackson would, on meeting General Scott, offer him some sort of outrage or indignity. When, therefore, they had been six days together at Washington, and often in the Capitol, in the year 1823, the following letter was written —

General Scott to General Jackson.

"Washington, D. C., Dec. 11, 1823.

"Sir —

One portion of the American community has long attributed to you the most distinguished magnanimity, and the other portion the greatest desperation, in your resentments — am I to conclude that both are equally in error? I allude to circumstances which have transpired between us, and which need not here be recapitulated, and to the fact that I have now been six days in your immediate vicinity without having attracted your notice. As this is the first time in my life that I have been within a hundred miles of you, and as it is barely possible that you may be ignorant of my presence, I beg


leave to state that I shall not leave the District before the morning of the 14th inst.

"I have the honor to be, sir,
Your most obedient servant,

"The Hon. Gen. A. Jackson, Senator, &c."

General Jackson to General Scott.

To this letter, General Jackson returned the following answer —


"Mr. O'Neil's, Dec. 11th, 1823.

"Sir —

Your letter of today has been received. Whether the world are correct or in error, as regards my ‘magnanimity,’ is for the world to decide. I am satisfied of one fact, that when you shall know me better, you will not be disposed to harbor the opinion, that any thing like ‘desperation in resentment’ attaches to me.

"Your letter is ambiguous; but, concluding from occurrences heretofore, that it was written with friendly views, I take the liberty of saying to you, that whenever you shall feel disposed to meet me on friendly terms, that disposition will not be met by any other than a correspondent feeling on my part.

"I have the honor to be, sir,

Your most obedient servant,


"Gen. W. Scott.

The olive-branch was on both sides accepted. From this time, to the recall of General Scott from the Indian


war in 1836, Generals Scott and Jackson were on terms of high courtesy with each other. Both have been subsequently engaged in other and higher actions. They have been engaged in various and important services for their country. Their private griefs have been forgotten, in the various dramatic and dignified scenes in which they were associated with the interests and the glory of their country.

Scott's Notice of His Death.

On the 8th day of June, 1845, General Jackson died at his private residence, the Hermitage, near Nashville, in the state of Tennessee. Demonstrations of respect and sympathy were everywhere manifested.

General Scott was at West Point when the news reached that place. He was president of the board of examiners, which was in session when the morning-boat from New York brought the melancholy intelligence. With the truly great, all differences are forgotten at the grave; and General Scott could retain no recollection of them, on such an occasion. He immediately rose and addressed the board of visitors, the academic staff, and the cadets, as follows —

General Scott's Address.

"Ex-President Jackson died at the Hermitage on the 8th inst. The information is not official, but sufficiently authentic to prompt the step I am about to take. An event of much moment to the nation has occurred. A great man has fallen. General Jackson is dead — a great general and great patriot — who had filled the highest political stations in the gift of his countrymen. He is dead. This is not the place, nor am I the individual to


pronounce a fit eulogy on the illustrious deceased. National honors will doubtless be prescribed by the President of the United States; but in the mean time, and in harmony with the feelings of all who hear me, and particularly with those of the authorities of this institution, I deem it proper to suspend the examination of the cadets for the day, and to wait the orders of the Executive of the United States on the subject."


Chapter XIV. 1821 to 1832.

Scott Writes the Military Institutes.

IN a former part of this volume, we have stated that Scott studied his profession as a science and an art. The science of war is, in relation to physical sciences, very much what oratory, in the contemplation of Cicero, was to other branches of knowledge. In his treatise on that art, he considered that nothing less than the whole circle of human studies was the limit of what an orator should acquire, to be complete and eminent in his art. The same idea is true of the art of war, when considered in relation to the physical elements involved in its practice. The modern art of war, as illustrated in the brilliant campaigns of Napoleon, affords ample proof of this fact.

Military science is in general, however, defined as embracing the discipline of troops, the tactics of the field, the arrangement and police of camps, and the strategy of armies in war. This comprehends the duties and the knowledge required of commanding generals. The art


of engineering, which requires a knowledge of the mathematical and chemical sciences, the art of topographical surveying and drawing, the art of pyrotechny, or the composition of the various explosive materials of war, and the art of surgery, are all confided to special corps, trained to those duties and practised in them. It is tactics and strategy, however, which constitute the particular part of the science of war, falling within the province of a general officer.

In this department of science, General Scott has contributed his full proportion to the knowledge of his country. He thought it no part of his duty to remain merely idle, as too frequently happens to the members of all professions, when the active and practical part of his duties was no longer required. In peace as in war, there is ample room for the employment of that high and cultivated intelligence for which officers of the army, nearly all of whom are educated men, are generally distinguished.

In the year 1821, General Scott published an octavo volume, entitled General Regulations for the Army, or Military Institutes, containing every thing which is necessary for the government and practice of troops, in garrison, in camp, or in the presence of an enemy. No system of the kind had preceded it in America. It as a complete manual for both the regular and the militia officer.

Prepares Reports on Tactics.

Prior to this, in 1814-15, he had also, as president of a board, assisted in preparing a system of infantry tactics, the same which he had introduced and taught in the camp of instruction at Buffalo, in 1814. This was afterwards revised by another board, of which again he was president. It was published in 1825. He was once again, in


1826, president of another board of regular officers and distinguished militia generals, called together by the war department for the purpose of reporting —

1. A plan for the organization and instruction of the whole body of the militia of the Union.

2. A system of tactics for the artillery.

3. A system of cavalry tactics, and

4. A system of infantry and rifle tactics.

All these were designed for the use of the militia, to aid in the improvement and discipline of that branch of the national defense.

Of these several reports, the first and fourth are understood to have been exclusively from the pen of Scott. They have been published for the use and information of the country.

In 1835, under a resolution of Congress, he published a new edition, in three small volumes, of the Infantry Tactics, with all the improvements made thereon since the general peace of 1815. The basis of the system previously in use was, however, preserved.

The reader will readily perceive, that the compilation and composition of several volumes of this kind constitutes no small portion of American military literature. In works of this nature, specially American, our country is


quite deficient. The French have been the great writers on military science, and from their works, as we have already seen, Scott derived much of his knowledge on this subject.

We may here say, that much labor, research, reading, practice, and observation, were required to prepare and put forth the works above enumerated. Of their merits, it is enough to say, that they have been found universally satisfactory to those who are capable of forming an accurate judgment on such topics.

His Essay on Temperance.

On another subject, and one of vast magnitude, though apparently foreign to his profession, Scott became a writer; and such has been the space which that topic has since occupied in the public mind, that we feel it to be only an act of simple justice to record his part in the discussion. That topic was the temperance movement.

That the necessity of a temperance reform should occur to a military man, will not appear strange when it is considered, that his professional pursuits bring him into constant association with all classes of society; and that the exposures of a camp and the hardy life of a soldier, demand from the commanding general the utmost vigilance in protecting the health of his troops.

Scott was among the very earliest pioneers, in the effort to do something to check and prevent the enormous evil of intemperance. That he was so, will appear evident from the dates which we shall present.

The present temperance societies, of all kinds, date back only about twenty years. It is true, that there have been temperance associations and temperance men in all ages since the days of the Rechabites. But that movement now known as the Temperance Reform can claim but little, if any earlier origin, than 1885. About that


year, Dr. Lyman Beecher preached his celebrated temperance discourses. He was not precisely the founder of temperance societies, but he was the earliest and strongest advocate of that noble cause.

Much earlier than this, December 22d, 1821, General Scott published his "Scheme for restricting the Use of Ardent Spirits in the United States." It appeared in the 180th number, of the above date, of the National Gazette, edited by Robert Walsh. It occupied twelve columns of a supplement of that paper, and was commended to the public by the following editorial article of Mr. Walsh. We copy it for the purpose of showing, that both General Scott and Mr. Walsh, at that time, adopted all the leading arguments which have since been used so pertinaciously and effectually by many eloquent and able advocates of temperance.

In the National Gazette of December 22d, Mr. Walsh says —

"We issue, in a Supplement to this day's Gazette, ‘A Scheme for Restricting the Use of Ardent Spirits in the United States.’ The length of this production will not, we trust, prevent it from being generally read. We think the country lies under an obligation to the intelligent and public-spirited author, for the attention which he has bestowed on the subject, and for the instructive and impressive facts and opinions which he has brought together, and skilfully exhibited, in furtherance of his great purpose. The topic of the abuse of ardent spirits hardly admits of exaggeration. That evil is, notoriously, the most extensive and prolific with which these states are now afflicted. In almost every instance, the atrocious murders which it has been our misfortune to be obliged


to report, have arisen from habits of inebriety, or been perpetrated under the immediate influence of liquor. If the exertions of legislatures, and of patriotic and humane individuals, are due in proportion to the magnitude and exigence of a national scourge, then their utmost activity and ability should be exercised without the least delay, to promote the end at which our correspondent aims, though his particular scheme be not thought the most practicable or eligible. They will weigh deliberately and earnestly every repressive or corrective project, and adopt, in preference, that which strikes at the root of the evil, if they do not see insuperable obstacles to its execution."

The scheme of General Scott was not adopted. But the arguments and facts adduced by him were the main arguments and facts afterwards used with such force by the temperance societies. It must be remembered, as a part of the known history of the times, that all the early temperance societies were pledged only against the use of ardent spirits. The idea of total abstinence from wine and malt liquors, was not adopted by any of them till within a very few years. Hence, the scheme of General Scott aimed only to suppress the use of ardent spirits; for, in the army, this was undoubtedly the cause of the largest portion of the prevalent intemperance. The private soldiers, so often intemperate, used almost altogether, rum, brandy, and whiskey.

It should be stated here also, that General Scott was, at this time, (1821,) a member of the societies formed in New York for the "prevention of pauperism" — "the suppression of vice and immorality." It was in that connection, for these evils are kindred, that Scott reflected upon the magnitude of intemperance, and published the essay,


portions of which we are about to extract. They will show both his ability as a writer, and the sound views he there suggested to the public.


"It is now many years since the writer of this essay was first made to reflect, with some intensity, on the vice of drunkenness, whilst endeavoring to apply a remedy, in a small corps, to that greatest source of disease and insubordination in the rank and file of an army. Having the attention so awakened, and subsequently being much accustomed to change of place from one extreme of the Union to another, he has been led to observe, with a more than usual keenness, the ravages of the same habit among the more numerous classes of the community. The conviction has thus been forced upon him that, of all accidental evils, this is the most disastrous to our general population.

"Insanity from other causes is, for example, exceedingly rare. The yellow fever only visits, occasionally, some of our larger cities on the seaboard — the small-pox, once the terror of the world, has disappeared before the benign influence of vaccination — but the virus of intemperance still circulates everywhere, and saps the foundations of morals, health, and happiness! For, not minutely to dwell, in this place, on the innumerable disorders, both domestic and public, which hourly result from the earlier progress of intoxication — happily, in some few individuals never carried to excess, nor ripened into fixed habit — and such ills alone constitute a frightful aggregate — how few are the families that have not been, within


the memory of the living, plunged into the deepest affliction by this baleful vice! — that have not had a son blighted in the vigor of youth and genius by its pestilential breath — a fond husband alienated by the syren — or a father laid in an untimely grave by the destroyer, leaving a tender offspring destitute and forlorn. Lives there a person who believes this picture overcharged? Let him go forth from his corner and inquire of the first man of observation in his way, whether such calamities do not almost daily occur within the sphere of his knowledge? There can be no doubt that magistrates, lawyers, physicians, divines, and others, much in the world, or much connected with its business and sufferings, would universally concur in one mournful reply —

"‘'Tis quenchless thirst
Of ruinous ebriety that prompts
His every action and imbrutes the man —
Who starves his own; who persecutes the blood
He gave them in his children's veins, and hates
And wrongs the woman he has sworn to love.’

"Is there, then, no antidote for this evil — no kind preventive to the mother-vice which augments, in a thousand ways, the general sum of human wretchedness?

"We are told of an ancient spring, the waters of which gave to those who even once drank of them, a sovereign distaste of intoxicating liquors. In our times, private associations have interposed their benevolent efforts to arrest the burning flood: moralists have declaimed, and legislatures enacted partial laws, against it; and the pulpit, too, armed with divine revelation, everywhere sends


forth its denunciations. The evil still spreads. A master remedy yet remains to be found.

"‘The gathering number, as it moves along,
Involves a vast involuntary throng;
Who, gently drawn, and struggling less and less,
Roll in her vortex, and her power confess.’ "

The argument of the essay was that which was adopted by many of the original temperance advocates and temperance societies. It was, that those who drank wine and beer were comparatively temperate, while the great evil to be attacked was the use of ardent spirits.

As these views did not prevail, and our object is only to show that Scott was, in the United States, one of the pioneers on this subject, we shall refer the reader to some other views presented in the essay.

General Scott proceeds to show some of the happy results which would flow from the adoption of temperance principles —

"Thus it has been shown, (and some of the probable results will be more strictly demonstrated,) that, under the operation of the proposed law, ardent or burning spirits might gradually, and in the lapse of a few years, be almost entirely banished from the country; other beverages, salutary in their effects, or comparatively innoxious, substituted by corresponding degrees; home industry maintained and promoted; diseases simplified and diminished; fireside enjoyments fenced in against their


most powerful enemy; — in short, our general population rendered as moral and robust as it is, by inheritance and in fact, politically free.

"It will not be attempted to class the enterprise herein proposed, with the great revolution which gave birth to our country, and a practical example to suffering nations. But, certainly, to break the shackles of that vice which has held and is likely to hold millions of our countrymen in a state of moral bondage and of physical debility, would be a reform only inferior in importance to that happiest and most glorious of human achievements."

This Essay is accompanied by statistical tables of the number of drinkers and sots, which give results very little different from those which were subsequently collected and arranged by temperance societies.

Below is the estimate of those who may strictly be called the intemperate —

  Drinkers Gallons
"Hard drinkers daily becoming sots; and who, on an average, consume three gills each a day, or 34 7-32 gallons a year, 300,000 10,265,625
"Sots rapidly descending into the grave; who, on an average, drink five gills each a day, or 57 1-32 gallons a year; irregularly drank in quantities from a glass to five pints a day, 150,000 8,554,687
"All Indians not included in the census; whose intemperance is only limited by their means, (numbers supposed,) 350,000 2,074,288"

This Essay contains, as above shown, some of the principal facts and arguments used within the last twenty years, so effectually for the suppression of the vice of


intemperance. It is supposed to have led to the formation of the first temperance societies in the United States, some of the earliest in the army. It certainly preceded them, in taking the same ground, and maintaining it by the same arguments. The example of these efforts and associations spread to Europe, and have been followed by benign effects in all quarters of the globe.

Obtains Admission to the Military Academy for the Sons of General Paez.

In the year 1823, General Scott had taken some interest in procuring the admission of the sons of General Paez, of Colombia, into the United States military academy at West Point. As General Paez was one of the most distinguished and enlightened men of South America, and subsequently became president of that republic, the following correspondence belongs to this place, both as relating to General Scott, and as illustrating the cordiality and friendly sentiments existing between Colombia and the United States.

General Paez to President Monroe.


"CARACCAS, July 28th, 1823.
"Most excellent sir —

I have read with most lively satisfaction, in one of the public papers of Venezuela, a statement of the interview which your excellency conceded to Lieutenant Colonel Young, in consequence of the permission you were pleased to grant for the admission of


my sons into the Military Academy at West Point, at the request of General Scott. I have been highly honored by your excellency, and the admission of my sons into your national college, is a laurel presented to me by fortune, but I can never sufficiently appreciate the desire which you express to see me in your country, and exercise your personal courtesies towards me, nor find language eloquent enough to manifest my gratitude. I should be happy if I could soon conclude the sacrifice which my country requires from me, in order to proceed to the United States, and form a lasting friendship with your excellency.

"I beg you will be pleased to accept the just tribute of admiration and respect with which I have the honor to be —

Your excellency's most obedient, humble servant,


"To His Excellency the President of the United States."}

General Scott to General Paez.

"FORTRESS MONROE, May 28th, 1823.
"Dear General —

Our friend Lieutenant-Colonel Young is on the point of returning to Colombia, and will do me the favor to explain to you how our correspondence has been interrupted, and the lively interest I take in the three fine boys you have done us the honor to send among us, for their education. The President deemed this circumstance so flattering to the United States, that, following up his kind feelings for a sister republic, he immediately ordered, with the approbation of Colonel Young,


that the boys should, as they successively attained the proper age, be admitted into our national military seminary, on a footing with our own cadets. The eldest of the three will join in a few days, and I shall have the pleasure of being present, and of rendering him all the assistance in my power. You may rely on a continuance of those attentions to him, and also to the other two, who are placed at school near my head-quarters.

"We have heard with deep regret of the loss of two of your ships of war, in an action with a much superior force. Thank God, however, your independence and liberties are placed beyond the reach of foreign aggression. In a few years more, our continent cannot fail to be occupied wholly by republics. Liberty seems also likely to spread over a large portion of Europe; and among its gallant assertors, the Colombian army certainly occupies a foremost position.

"Permit me, general, to say, that I shall at all times be happy to hear from you, and that I am, with great personal admiration and esteem,

Your obedient servant,

"To General J. A. Paez, &c., &c."

General Paez to General Scott.


"CARACCAS, July 20th, 1823.
"General —

The perusal of your letter of the 28th of May has afforded me the highest satisfaction. In union with the information I have received from Lieutenant Colonel Young, and from the public papers of Venezuela,


it satisfies me how great is the interest you are pleased to take in the education of my children; and I want language to express my gratitude in terms worthy of yourself — worthy of so important a service, and still more so of the government that has given so kind a reception to my boys.

"If you will have the goodness to convey to your government my sentiments of gratitude, admiration, and respect, I shall have fresh motives for entertaining towards you the feelings of esteem which you so well deserve.

"I join you in congratulations for the events which are about to diffuse liberty throughout Europe. Would that its standard could be beheld from pole to pole!

"Colombia, unalterable in her principles, and ready to pour out the last drop of blood, and reduce herself to ashes, rather than renounce her country, her liberty, and her glory, congratulates her ally and her republican neighbor in the north, in having consolidated her greatness, and planted her flag on the downfall of tyrants. Colombia will never forget that North America stood foremost among the nations of the world to receive her as an ally.

"You will do me the greatest honor by accepting the assurances of my respect and friendship, and that I am, with great regard,

Your attentive servant,

"To Major-General Scott, United States service."}

Controversy on Brevet Rank.

In the year 1828, and previously, Scott became involved in a controversy with General Gaines, touching the true rights of brevet rank. Mr. Adams, then President, had appointed General Macomb, major-general of the army,


there being at that time but one major-general. Scott had been brevetted major-general, with an older date than the commission of General Macomb. He therefore contended that brevet commission gave rank, and if rank, seniority to General Macomb. His argument on this subject is contained in a Memorial addressed to Congress, asking for a declaratory statute. His argument was —

1. That "from the commencement of the revolutionary war down to the present year, brevet rank has uniformly been held to give command in common with ordinary rank," except only within the body of a regiment, &c.

2. That there existed, "in law or in fact, no higher title or grade in the army, than that of major-general," there being no such thing as a commander-in-chief, except the President.

3. That he, General Scott, held a commission as major-general, July 25th, 1814, of older date than that of Macomb or Gaines.

If brevet commissions give rank, it must be admitted this argument is complete. There was, in fact, no such thing, by law, as a commanding general, and the command would necessarily devolve, first, on the highest legal grade, and secondly, on the one of the same grade having the oldest commission.

Congress, however, refused to pass a declaratory statute, and the government practically construed a brevet commission as conferring no rank.

In the mean while, General Scott had placed his resignation at the disposal of the government, which, however,


was not accepted. At length, after it appeared that the President and civil authorities took different views of the question from himself, and after consultations with his friends, he concluded to sacrifice his own feelings and yield to the decision against him. We subjoin the correspondence between the Secretary at War and General Scott, alike honorable to him who thus frankly yielded up his own position, and to the President, who, though adverse in opinion, yet cheerfully sought to keep him in the service of the country.

General Scott to the Secretary of War.

"NEW YORK, Nov. 10th, 1829.
"Sir —

I have seen the President's order of the 13th of August last, which gives a construction of the 61st and 62d articles of war, relative to rank or command.

"Humbly protesting that this order deprives me of rights guarantied by those articles, and the uniform practice of the army under them, from the commencement of the government down to the year 1828, when the new construction was first adopted against me; in obedience to the universal advice of my friends, who deem it incumbent on me to sacrifice my own convictions and feelings to what may, by an apt error, be considered the repeated decision of the civil authority of my country, I have brought myself to make that sacrifice, and therefore withdraw the tender of my resignation now on file in your department.


"I also ask leave to surrender the remainder of the furlough the department was kind enough to extend to me in April last, and to report myself for duty.

"The Hon. J. H. Baton, Secretary of War."

Secretary Eaton to General Scott.

"WAR DEPARTMENT, Nov.13th, 1829.}
"Sir —

Your letter of the 10th inst. is received, and I take pleasure in saying to you, that it affords the department much satisfaction to perceive the conclusion to which you have arrived as to your brevet rights. None will do you the injustice to suppose, that the opinions declared by you upon this subject, are not the result of reflections and convictions, but, since the constituted authorities of the government have, with the best feelings entertained, come to conclusions adverse to your own, no other opinion was cherished, or was hoped for, but that, on your return to the United States, you would adopt the course your letter indicates, and with good feelings resume those duties of which she has so long had the benefit.

"Agreeably to your request, the furlough heretofore granted you is revoked from and after the 20th instant. You will accordingly report to the commanding general, Alexander Macomb, for duty.


"To Major-General Winfield Scott."

In conformity to the letter of the secretary, General Scott was assigned, by an order from the commanding


general, to the Eastern department, and General Gaines to the Western.

Goes to Europe.

Just previous to this correspondence, General Scott had visited Europe, and made the tour of France, Belgium, and Germany. For the next three years he was engaged in the ordinary duties of his department, till 1832, when, as we shall soon see, he was called to new and very different scenes, where the controversy in arms was to be exchanged for the controversy with pestilence, that more fearful conqueror than any famed warriors of the battle-field.


Chapter XV. 1831-1832.

Indian Character.

THE North American Indians, if not possessed of strong local attachments, have ever manifested a warm and almost sacred regard for the graves of their ancestors. When passing by, they strew handfuls of earth upon them. They part from these tombs with bitter regret, when necessity makes them wanderers from their native land; and when generations have passed away, even remote descendants return to revisit and honor the spot where their dead have been laid.

This feeling is one of the many ties which united them to their original country, and which have been rudely and suddenly snapped by the whites. Much of the sympathy felt and expressed for the Indians is mere sentiment, totally misplaced, in any wise scheme of policy either for them or for the ultimate progress of civilization. But this feeling of religious veneration for the memory of the dead is one which demands the respect of the highest intellect and the most refined taste. Its violation by the


frequent and often unnecessary separation of the Indians from the spots which they peculiarly cherished, may well excite the indignant censure of the generous and the good.

This disregard of the common rights of humanity has been one of the principal causes of Indian wars, especially of those which have occurred since the Revolution. The superior power of the whites is an idea strongly enough impressed on Indian minds to prevent any aggressions from their side, when they have not been seduced, as by Great Britain in the war of 1812, or have suffered manifest wrongs from the encroaching cupidity of the whites.

Village of the Sacs.

The principal village of the Sacs and Foxes, for a long period of time, was on the beautiful river peninsula between Rock River and the Mississippi, and near their junction. Here, in the midst of a wilderness of beauty seldom equalled, on a soil so rich that the Indian women found little difficulty in planting and gathering their corn, a band of the Sacs resided, as late as 1830. Their chief, known as BLACK HAWK, had been born on that ground. Annually they had planted their corn. They loved the rolling waters of Rock River. They loved the lovely island near its mouth; and they loved, as the white man loves, scenes where, from youth to age, they had beheld the splendors of nature; and they loved that ancient village spot which by repeated burials had become the mournful graveyard of the nation.

Origin of the Black-Hawk War.

By a treaty made with the chiefs of the Sacs in 1804,


these lands east of the Mississippi were ceded to the whites; but it was also provided, that so long as they belonged to the United States, the Indians should have the privilege of living and hunting upon them. The United States also guarantied the Indians against any intrusion of the white settlers. Trespasses, however, did occur, by whites, in violation of the laws of Congress, and these acts, unrestrained by the United States government, were the exciting causes of the jealousy, irritation, and ultimate hostility of the Indians. In 1829, the United States put up to public sale, and it was sold, a portion of the Sac village, which was bought by an Indian trader. Black-Hawk, the Sac chief, became irritated, but was advised, that if the Indians had not sold the lands, and would remain quiet, they would be undisturbed. On the idea that the Indians had not sold their village, he determined to remain.

Progress of the War.

In the spring of 1831 the Indian squaws had planted their corn as usual, when it was ploughed up by the whites, and the trespasses against the Indians continued. Black-Hawk then gave notice to the whites, that they must remove from his village. On the 19th of May, 1831, a memorial was presented to the governor of Illinois, by eight of the settlers, representing that the Indians had threatened them, and were committing depredations on the whites. On the 26th of May, the governor of Illinois writes, that he had called out seven hundred militia to remove a band of Sac Indians. On the 28th of May, he writes the same to General Gaines. On the 29th of May, Gaines replies that he had ordered six


panics of the United States troops from Jefferson Barracks to Rock Island, and four other companies from Prairie du Chien, the object of which was to repel invasion and secure the frontier. On the 30th of May, the United States troops reached Fort Armstrong. A conference held with the Indian chiefs there proved unavailing. General Gaines then called on the governor of Illinois for an additional force, and on the 25th of June, Governor Reynolds and General Joseph Duncan, with 1600 mounted militiamen, reached Rock River. On the morning of the 26th General Gaines took possession of the Sac village, without firing a gun or meeting an Indian. The Indian party had crossed the Mississippi, with their women and children, the night previous.

On the 30th of June, General Gaines and Governor Reynolds concluded a treaty of capitulation, by which this band of the Sacs agreed to live west of the Mississippi.

It is not very interesting, and as little instructive, to recite the petty differences and aggressions between the whites and Black-Hawk's band, prior to their second controversy. It is sufficient to say, that in April, 1832, Black-Hawk's band, in violation of the treaty of the 30th of June, recrossed to the east side of the Mississippi, for the purpose, as they said, of joining the Winnebagoes above, and raising a crop of corn and beans with them. General Atkinson, then in command of the United States troops at Fort Armstrong, twice by express, informed Black-Hawk, that if he did not return peaceably he would be forced back. The Indians refused to be driven back,


and at the same time determined not to make the first attack.

Black-Hawk, finding that the tribes of the Northwest would not join his standard, had resolved to recross the Mississippi. They were encamped at Kish-wa-cokee, when the event occurred which, brought the opposing forces into actual conflict. The Illinois mounted militia had proceeded to Dixon's Ferry, a point on Rock River half way between Rock Island and the Indian encampment. From this point Major Stillman, with about two hundred and seventy-five mounted volunteers, proceeded on a scouting expedition to Sycamore Creek, thirty miles further up the river. Hearing that these men were approaching, Black-Hawk sent three young men to meet them with a white flag. These young men were met by the whites, and one of them taken prisoner and killed. Of a party of five Indians who followed the former one, with pacific intentions, two were also killed. The volunteers pursued till the whole force had crossed Sycamore Creek. Here, on the 14th of May, they met the warriors of Black-Hawk advancing to avenge their companions, were thrown into confusion, recrossed the creek, and, after the loss of twelve killed, were totally routed.

The Indian success in this engagement encouraged them, while it alarmed the people of Illinois. On the


15th of May, Governor Reynolds issued his proclamation, calling out two thousand more militia, to meet at Henne pin, on the 10th of June.

From this time, during three months, a succession of, actions took place between the whites and the Indians, with various success. The banks of the beautiful Rock River, of the Wisconsin, and even of the Mississippi, were stained with the blood of the red and the white man. Women and children were not spared, and more than one Indian squaw fell in battle. It is related, that at one place a ball broke the arm of a little child clinging to its mother's breast, and pierced her heart; while the child, taken up by a kind American officer, was healed and lived! Starvation as well as war pursued the broken and flying Indians, whose place of refuge on the Wisconsin had been discovered, and they driven from it. A portion of them, including a number of women and children, attempted to go down the Mississippi, but they were overtaken; and most of them captured or killed.

The main body, under Black-Hawk, directed their course to the Mississippi, near the mouth of the Iowa River. Here they were overtaken, on the banks of the Mississippi, by General Atkinson, with an army of regulars and militia. They were defeated and dispersed in the battle called Bad Axe, with the loss of many killed and prisoners. Black-Hawk himself escaped, but was soon after taken and delivered up, on the 27th of August,


to General Street, the Indian agent, by an act of treachery on the part of two of his followers.

Its Termination.

Thus terminated what is called the BLACK-HAWK WAR, upon which various opinions have been expressed, but of which the results were what they invariably have been in all contests between the Indians and the whites. The Indians were dispossessed of their lands. They retreated yet further towards the setting sun, leaving the blood of warriors and the tears of women to water the grass which grew upon the graves of their ancestors. The whites occupy their ancient fields, dig up with inquisitive hands the bones of the dead, replant the soil with the rich and verdant maize, build among them other, more beautiful, and far more magnificent towns; build other tombs, and bury other dead; point their spires, like their hopes, to the blue summits of the skies, and fill the circled earth with the resounding fame of arts and arms!

So passes away one race and is followed by another! Each fulfils in turn the decrees of God, working the purposes of his Providence, and all tending to that ultimate and great end — the reforming and reluming the earth.

In the midst of the alarm excited in Illinois, as above narrated, and with the expectation that the Winnebagoes, Pottawotamies, and other tribes of the North would unite with Black-Hawk, and thus occasion a general Indian war, General Scott was ordered by the war department to proceed to the scene of action, and take command of the forces destined to subdue the savages.

Scott Sails with the Troops from Buffalo.

In the beginning of July, 1832, Scott embarked at Buffalo, with a body of nearly one thousand troops, in four


steamboats, for Chicago. The purpose was to reach Illinois as speedily as possible, and there co-operate with the United States forces under General Atkinson, and the Illinois mounted militia, in the campaign against the Indians. This purpose was counteracted by one of those sudden, severe, and solemn dispensations of Providence, which arrests the best-concerted schemes, startles the strongest intellect, admonishes man of his weakness, and demonstrates, in wonderful ways, the power of God!

Progress of the Asiatic Cholera.

If the traveller would pause on the highway, for one sad and thoughtful moment, to contemplate and inquire the name of some pale corpse suddenly brought before him; so should the historian pause in his narrative of events to remember, record, and reflect upon any one of those unaccountable phenomena in the laws of existence by which God visits the sins of men with the sweeping devastations of pestilence.

The ASIATIC CHOLERA is one of these. A native of oriental countries, it was long supposed to be confined to Hindostan and the neighboring regions. But in 1831, it spontaneously, and without any observed cause, burst from its former limits, and, like an avalanche, fell with fearful force upon Northern Europe. Crossing from Asia into Russia, it was stopped neither by lines of latitude, nor by the cold snows of Scandinavia. It entered Moscow, proceeded to St. Petersburg, ravaged Hungary, and visited nearly all the populous and renowned cities of Germany. Before it reached either England or France, two hundred thousand persons had already been slain!


The Destroyer stopped not there. It entered the beautiful metropolis of fashion, and in twenty days slew one in every hundred of its inhabitants! It entered England in May, 1832, and in less than thirty days more, had crossed the broad Atlantic, in emigrant ships, and landed on the shores of North America! There, in a temperate climate, with a sparse and hardy population, it was not yet arrested. Various in its effects, it was still onward. It seemed to move with some invisible spirits of the air. It did not seem to move with the currents of the wind. It did not poison the water. It did not go or come with flaming heats. Nature smiled as serenely beautiful, on these scenes and days of pestilence, as if she were looking down upon a world of joy and ministering to it with


fruitful harvests! One thing only was certain. It moved on with the power of a tempest and the terrors of death. Some fled. Some resigned themselves to what might come. Some resorted to amusements. Some engaged with more activity in business. Some were cheered in the midst of danger by a hopeful disposition and a peaceful conscience. But however received, with hope or fear, the feeling of a darkly overshadowing evil was upon the whole people. There was a sense that this was an enemy who could be neither flattered, nor frightened, nor bribed away. Nor could he be conquered. All medical art failed. He must be met, and met with courage, leaving the event among the unveiled mysteries of Providence.

Thus passed the cholera along, no impediments obstructing.

Over rivers and over lakes, over prairies and over forests, it swept with silent but fatal force. It crept along the low banks of streams, and it ascended with the morning mists the mountain side. In the throngs of populous cities, and in the solitude of thick woods, it was still the same. It struck with the same unrelenting hand the rosy cheek of childhood, and the hoary locks of age. The human race stood before it, like the forest trees or orchard's fruit before the whirlwind; the storm comes, and the trees fall, the limbs break, the shrubs bend, the fruit is scattered: the storm is passed, and the remaining trees stand surrounded by broken trunks and by fallen branches!

Such was the precise effect of the cholera of 1832, in


the United States. No history can exaggerate the suddenness, the terror, or the irresistible force of its approach. Many, who might be expected to fall first, escaped, while many of the bravest died even from fear.

Sufferings of Scott's Troops.

This was the enemy, the conqueror of conquerors, which attacked Scott's expedition up the lakes, and soon destroyed all its power or utility as a military corps.

The Asiatic cholera, brought over the ocean in an emigrant ship, landed at Quebec in the beginning of June, 1832. Thence it proceeded immediately to Montreal, and thence up the St. Lawrence and the lakes with great rapidity.

Scott had, as we have said, embarked at Buffalo for Chicago, in the beginning of July, with nearly a thousand men, in four steamboats. On the 8th of July, while on the bosom of the lake, the cholera broke out among the troops with great fatality.

The facts attending the presence of this plague among the troops of the northwest have been carefully recorded by the journals of the country, and they will illustrate, as forcibly as any which can be produced, its fatal nature.

General Scott, his staff, and about two hundred and twenty men, embarked in the steamboat Sheldon Thompson, in which, on the 8th of July, the cholera broke out. The boat arrived on the 10th inst., in the night, at Chicago, and in a short time left there. In these half dozen days, out of two hundred and twenty men, one officer and fifty-one men died, and eighty were left sick at Chicago.


In the steamboat Henry Clay embarked Col. Twiggs, with three companies of artillery, and two or three of infantry.

The fate of these was even worse than that of those in the Sheldon. Even a greater mortality in proportion was experienced, and several of the most promising officers perished. The troops were landed near Fort Gratiot, at the lower end of Lake Huron, in the neighborhood of which they in a few days met with most extraordinary sufferings. We have before us two accounts of the scenes there, and both authentic statements of actual witnesses.

One is written to the Journal of Commerce, apparently by an officer. It says, July 10

"Our detachment, which consisted of about four hundred, has dwindled down to about one hundred and fifty, by pestilence and desertion.

"The dead bodies of the deserters are literally strewed along the road between here and Detroit. No one dares give them relief, not even a cup of water. A person on his way from Detroit here, passed six lying groaning with the agonies of the cholera, under one tree, and saw one corpse, by the road side, half eaten up by the hogs!"

Mr. Norvell, of Detroit, writes thus to the editor of the Philadelphia Enquirer.

"These troops, you will recollect, landed from the steamboat Henry Clay, below Fort Gratiot. A great number of them have been swept off by the disease.


Nearly all the others have deserted. Of the deserters scattered all over the country, some have died in the woods, and their bodies have been devoured by the wolves. I use the language of a gallant young officer. Others have taken their flight to the world of spirits, without a companion to close their eyes, or console the last moments of their existence. Their straggling survivors are occasionally seen marching, some of them know not whither, with their knapsacks on their backs, shunned by the terrified inhabitants as the source of a mortal pestilence."

Scott's Kindness in Sickness.

At Chicago, as before and after, General Scott exposed himself, though ill, by attending every officer and soldier taken sick. His conduct, in the continual care and effort for those under his charge, has been testified to by numbers of witnesses, themselves actors and observers in these scenes.

Of the nine hundred and fifty men who left Buffalo, the number was in a short time so reduced, that no more than four hundred were left. Scott was detained by these melancholy occurrences for several days, at Chicago. As soon as he was released, he left Colonel Eustis to follow with his reduced command, and hastened across the prairies to join General Atkinson on the Mississippi. He found him at Prairie du Chien, on the 3d of August, the day after the battle of Bad Axe.

The fugitive Indians were soon brought in prisoners, both with the remainder of the Sac and Fox confederacy, which had remained in a state of doubtful neutrality, and with the Winnebago nation, which had covertly given aid to Black-Hawk's band.

In the mean while, about the middle of August, the


cholera broke out among the regulars of Atkinson's army, at Rock Island, whither Scott had descended from Fort Grawford, Prairie du Chien.

Here Scott was called upon to exercise his wonted kindness by attendance upon the sick and the dying. Night and day he visited and comforted them, himself always, when near it, laboring under some of the symptoms of the disease. Feeble in body, he was yet almost constantly in attendance on the afflicted. Great were his efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, and to overcome the symptoms of panic, scarcely less to be dreaded than the original calamity, which from time to time were exhibited. The mortality was appalling, but at length, on the 8th of September, the infection disappeared.

To Scott's humane and generous conduct, throughout this terrible battle with pestilence, both at Rock Island and on the Lakes, we have the testimony of one who was an eye-witness, and whose situation made him in all respects disinterested. We shall quote his own words — a language as reliable as that of official documents. He says that "the general's course of conduct on that occasion should establish for him a reputation not inferior to that which he has earned in the battle-field; and should exhibit him not only as a warrior, but as a man — not only as the hero of battles, but as the hero of humanity. It is well known that the troops in that service suffered severely from the cholera, a disease frightful enough from its rapid and fatal effects, but which came among us the more so, from the known inexperience of our medical


men, and from the general belief, at that time, in its contagiousness. Under such circumstances it was clearly the general's duty to give the best general directions he could for proper attendance on the sick, and for preventing the spread of the disease. When he had done this, his duty was performed, and he might have left the rest to his medical officers. But such was not his course. He thought he had other duties to perform, that his personal safety must be disregarded to visit the sick, to cheer the well, to encourage the attendants, to set an example to all, and to prevent a panic — in a word, to save the lives of others at the risk of his own. All this he did faithfully, and when he could have had no other motive than that of doing good. Here was no glory to be acquired; here were none of the excitements of the battle-field; here was no shame to be avoided, or disgrace to be feared; because his general arrangements and directions to those whose part it was to battle with sickness, had satisfied duty. His conduct then exhibited a trait in his character which made a strong impression on me, and which, in my opinion, justice requires should not be overlooked."

This is the language of a calm, intelligent, and impartial observer. It proves that the laurels of Niagara had bloomed again on the banks of the Mississippi, but no longer with crimson flowers. They now appear in those soft and lovely hues which make them kindred with the kindest and gentlest of human emotions.

Indian Council at Rock Island.

Near the middle of September, the cholera having


subsided, the negotiations commenced with the Indian tribes, for the final settlement of difficulties. The scene of negotiation was Rock Island. The commissioners on the part of the United States were General Scott and Governor Reynolds. There, for several weeks, they received and entertained parties of the SACS, FOXES, WINNEBAGOES, SIOUX, and MENOMINIES — all warlike nations, and often at war with one another. They now appeared — constrained into peace or neutrality by the presence of well-disciplined battalions — mingling together in the wild and martial costume of their race.


Of these tribes, the SACS and FOXES, kindred and confederate clans, were the dandies and sometimes the Mamelukes of the forest. Though not very numerous, they are the first in war, the first in the chase, and the first in all that constitutes Indian wealth — cattle, horses, and clothing. Among these there was a master spirit, the celebrated KE-O-KUCK, a Sac, then in the prime of life, tall, robust, manly, and who excelled all the surrounding red-men in wisdom and eloquence in council, in the majestic graces of the Indian dance, and in bold adventure against the buffalo, the bear, and the hostile Sioux and Menominie. Yet this person was not by birth a chief, and therefore held no hereditary power. He rose to be head man of the nation simply by his superior abilities. Becoming jealous of him, however, the tribe at one time deposed him. From this degradation, which he bore with great patience and equanimity, he was not


altogether restored at the time of the treaty of Rock-Island. He was at that time a kind of treasurer and keeper of the records for the nation. In consequence of his great merit and talent, General Scott prevailed upon the principal persons of the nation again to elevate him to the chieftaincy, from which he was not again removed.

Indian Scenes.

The scenes exhibited during these conferences, were of the deepest interest and the most picturesque kind. They were adapted rather to the pencil of a poet or a painter than to the grave records of history. The wild son of nature, scarcely more barbarous than those old Greek warriors whose names the song of Homer has borne from age to age on the wings of fame, here confronted the man of art and civilization, face to face, in warlike array, and in peaceful amusement. The song, the dance, the chase, the rolling drum and the whooping shout, the white soldier and the tawny maiden, were mingled together in this conference between the retreating representatives of barbarism and the advancing children of improvement.

When the chiefs and warriors of the confederacy on extraordinary occasions approached head-quarters, it was always with the loud tramp and shout, which seemed to be rather the clangor of war than the forms of ceremony. When a council was to meet, they came at a furious charge; suddenly dismounted, arranged themselves in order, and then, between lines of soldiers, entered the pavilion with the firmness of victors, but with all the deep solemity of a funeral. Arrayed in scarlet hues, their national color, sometimes on foot and sometimes mounted, nothing could be more striking than the fine figures, arms, and costume of the men. Their wives and daughters, too, were better looking, better clothed and ornamented,


than other Indian women, and generally sustained the reputation of virtue and modesty.

Indian Dances.

In the afternoons the scene was frequently enlivened by Indian dances at head-quarters. These dances are generally pantomimes, remarkably descriptive of the achievements, events, and history of the individual or the tribe. They are exhibited by a large number of young warriors at the same time, to the music of rude instruments, and accompanied by occasional whoopings. The dancers are strictly attentive to time and order, rendering their movements accordant by the modulation of the hand. The dances are principally, either the war, buffalo, or corn dances.

The Sac chief Ke-o-kuck executed a pas seul, presenting a spirited account of a war expedition, which he had himself conducted against the Sioux. The spectator having only a slight intimation of the subject, had yet presented distinctly to his mind the whole story in its vivid details. He saw the distance overcome, the mountains and streams passed, the scouts of the enemy slain, the crooked, stealthy approach, the ambush laid, the terrible whoop and onslaught, and the victory which followed as the crowning triumph of the warrior.

Sometimes these Indian dances were followed by cotillions, to the music of a military band, in which the American officers mixed, as partners and instructors of the Indians. In these amusements the Indian ladies were too modest to engage, but graced the scene, with their presence, and testified their enjoyment by cheers and laughter. Meanwhile, a guard of grenadiers looked


on with quiet delight — a band of martial music sent forth its melody, fireworks sent up their red light and gleamed against the evening sky, shells and rockets burst in the air, the distant hills returned the echo, and these were mingled with the shrill shrieks of Indian applause. Refreshments were handed round nearly in the manner of our cities. Thus the white and the red man, the son of the forest and the pupil of cities, the aboriginal and the Anglo-Saxon, were mingled together in social amusements with strong and singular contrast.

Indian Treaties.

The conferences and treaty which followed were of high importance, both to the Indians and the United States. Governor Reynolds being an eminent lawyer and a high political functionary, was requested to take the lead in the councils. He, however, declining, it became the duty of General Scott to conduct the discussions. His speeches, and those of the Indian orators were ably and promptly interpreted and taken down at the time, by the secretary to the commissioners, the late talented and accomplished Captain Richard Bache, of the army. By him they were deposited in the archives of the war department.

The interviews with the deputations of the Sioux and Menominees were interesting, although merely incidental to the war, which was now about to be terminated. But with the confederacy to which Black-Hawk belonged, as also with the Winnebagoes, their accomplices, the negotiations and their results were at once grave and important. Scott opened the council with a speech to the Sacs and Foxes. He paid a just compliment to Ke-o-kuck and certain other chiefs, for their prudence and patriotism in preventing the larger body of their people from rushing into a war, which Black Hawk madly expected with twelve


hundred warriors, to carry to the shores of the lakes and the Ohio! He adverted to the fact, that the Mississippi was passed and the invasion commenced, without it being known to the government or people of the United States, that any serious cause of complaint existed on the part of their red brethren. He declaimed against the crime of violating a solemn treaty of friendship, such as had long existed between the parties; against the murders and desolations committed upon defenceless and unoffending settlers. He complimented Brigadier-General Atkinson and his troops on their vigorous pursuit and final defeat of the lawless invaders; recalled the pains which had been taken for weeks after the battle, to hunt up the wounded, the women and children, to save them from imminent starvation; and the extraordinary care, seen and admired by all, which had been bestowed on those pitiable captives. He contrasted these acts of humanity with the cruelties perpetrated on the other side; and took care that the great superiority of Christianity and civilization should be perceived and felt by all who heard him.

He next turned to the question of settlement, under the


instructions received by the commissioners, stated the cost of the war to the United States to be more than a million of dollars and claimed the right of holding, without further price, any reasonable portion of the enemy's country, then in the power of the conquerors; and after laying down the principle of indemnity in its utmost rigor, he concluded — "But, as the great God above, alike the Father of the white and red man, often deals mildly with his children, even when they have grossly sinned against his holy law and their own best interests, so would the people of the United States, in the fulness of their power, imitate, the Divine example, and temper justice with mercy, in dealing with their feeble brethren of the forest."

These discussions finally ended in the consummation of treaties with these tribes, which secured to the United States immensely valuable tracts of land, while it also secured to the Indians peace and protection.

Two treaties were concluded. The one with the Sacs and Foxes ceded to the United States about six millions of acres, constituting the greater part of the then territory and now state of Iowa. It is one of the best parts of the Union — fertile in soil, sufficiently temperate in climate, and abounding in lead and other mineral ores.

In consideration of this valuable cession, the United States gave a reservation of about four hundred square miles, on the Iowa River, to Ke-o-kuck and his friendly band; agreed to pay the Indians an annuity of twenty thousand dollars per annum for thirty years; to pay the debts of the tribe; and to employ a blacksmith and


gunsmith, in addition, for them. Besides this, the confederate tribes were left ample space to plant and hunt in, for themselves and their posterity.

A similar treaty was made with the Winnebagoes, by which they ceded to the United States nearly five millions of acres, east of the Mississippi, north of the Illinois, and south of the Wisconsin, comprehending a large and valuable part of the present territory of Wisconsin. To the Indians were reserved the lands beyond the River Wisconsin and Lake Winnebago. To them also were granted annuities nearly as liberal as in the case of the Sacs, together with hunting grounds beyond the Mississippi, and opposite to those reserved.

These treaties have been of great value and importance to the people of the United States. In a little more than twelve years, the lands thus granted have become the abode of tens of thousands of civilized and intelligent settlers. The territory of Iowa as well as that of Wisconsin, promises to be among the most fertile as well as best populated parts of the American Union.

In these transactions with several tribes of Indians, Scott had the good fortune to be regarded by them as a friend and a brother. He has since, in the East, been visited by both Ke-o-kuck and Black-Hawk; and more recently, (in 1839,) has been most kindly received by the Winnebagoes, at their own homes in Wisconsin.

In allusion to these transactions with the Indians, and to his generous services in ameliorating the horrors and sufferings produced by the cholera, the Secretary of War, General Cass, said, in reply to Scott's final report —

"Allow me to congratulate you, sir, upon this fortunate consummation of your arduous duties, and to express my


entire approbation of the whole course of your proceedings, during a series of difficulties requiring higher moral courage than the operations of an active campaign, under ordinary circumstances."

The assertion of the secretary was entirely correct; for there have not been wanting those who had defied, in the high hope of glory, all the death-dealing agents of the bloody battle; and yet, as if terror-stricken by some invisible power, have quietly sunk under the fears of pestilence. Those who knew best, have testified in this as in other actions, not only to the moral courage, but to that invaluable trait of character, a sagacious presence of mind, in General Scott, which has borne him successfully through all the varied scenes of danger, of enterprise, and of high intellectual demand, either moral or physical, into which his active life has led him.


Chapter XVI. 1828 to 1832.

General Scott Ordered to Charleston.

GENERAL SCOTT had scarcely returned from the scenes of Indian wars and Indian treaties in the West, when he was called to mingle in others on the Southern border, which threatened far more danger to the peace and safety of the American Union. He arrived at New York in October, 1832, and had been with his family but a day or two, when he was ordered to Washington, to receive a new mission and a new trust. After a conference with the president and cabinet, on the difficulties which had arisen in South Carolina, he was dispatched in that direction on a business of the greatest delicacy and importance, and with powers requiring the exercise of the highest discretion.


This difficulty was the attempt to nullify the revenue laws of the United States, by the action of a single state, South Carolina. This theory, and the events which followed its assertion in that state, are commonly called "nullification." It is unnecessary here to discuss any of the opinions held by various men and parties in the questions connected with a tariff of revenue duties, or with the reserved rights of the states. It is necessary, however, to give the reader a candid statement of the facts and events in this singular portion of American history, in order that the precise situation of the country, when General Scott arrived at Charleston, its internal dangers, and the part he had in quieting those difficulties, may be fairly understood. In this, there is no need of inquiring into motives, and little chance of error; for the parts of the several actors were performed in public, recorded by the public press, and sent upon the winds by the voices of a thousand witnesses. It was not so, however, with the part of General Scott; for his duties were confidential. They were required to be performed with silence and delicacy. Hence, however much might depend upon his discretion, the mere fact of its exercise afforded little that was tangible and expressive to the pen of history. Yet we shall see, that his position and conduct there exercised a controlling influence over the event, and contributed mainly to the peaceful termination of the controversy.

Tariff of 1828.

The excitement which terminated in what was called "nullification," commenced in consequence of the passage of the tariff act of 1828. That act raised the revenue duties levied on the importation of foreign goods higher than any previous revenue act of the United States. It


was passed avowedly for the protection of American industry. It was resisted by nearly all the representatives of the cotton-planting states, on the ground that it was injurious to their interests and contrary to the Constitution of the United States. They argued, that the greater the duties, the less the importations; and that the less the importations, the less would be the exportations; because foreign nations would have less ability to purchase. They deemed it unconstitutional, because they said it was unequal taxation.

This was the substance of the argument by which a majority of the citizens of South Carolina arrived at a belief, that the tariff act was both injurious to them, and unconstitutional. On this belief, they proceeded to resist the act by public meetings and inflammatory resolves, and finally to advance and carry out the doctrines of nullification.

The tariff act of 1828 was passed on the 15th of May of that year, and from that time henceforward for more than four years, a continual excitement was kept up in the extreme southern states, especially South Carolina and Georgia. In South Carolina, however, the most ultra measures were proposed, and there the question was


brought to a direct issue, and bloodshed even only averted by the great caution of the public officers, and the milder temperament of Congress.

Colleton Meeting.

This act, as we have narrated, was passed by the house on the 15th of May, and on the 12th of June, only twenty-eight days afterwards, the citizens of Colleton district, South Carolina, assembled at the court-house, in Walterborough, and there adopted "an address to the people of South Carolina," which openly avowed the doctrine of resistance to the laws of the Union.

This address contains the following passages —

"What course is left us to pursue? If we have the common pride of men, or the determination of freemen, we must resist the imposition of this tariff. We stand committed. To be stationary is impossible. We must either retrograde in dishonor and in shame, and receive the contempt and scorn of our brethren superadded to our wrongs, and their system of oppression strengthened by our toleration; or we must by opposing, end them.

"In advising an attitude of open resistance to the laws of the Union, we deem it due to the occasion, and that we may not be misunderstood, distinctly but briefly to state, without argument, our constitutional faith. For it is not enough that imposts laid, for the protection of domestic manufactures are oppressive, and transfer in their operation millions of our property to northern capitalists. If we have given our bond, let them take our blood. Those who resist these imposts must deem them unconstitutional, and the principle is abandoned by the payment of one cent as much as ten millions."


In this address, according to its own terms, an attitude was assumed "of open resistance to the laws of the Union."

Resistance to the Laws Proposed.

Another address was adopted at the same time, requesting that Governor Taylor would "immediately convene the legislature of the state." The Colleton movement of "open resistance to the laws" was, however, not seconded by other portions of the state, at that time, and Governor Taylor, in a letter dated the 4th of July, 1828, declined calling the legislature together, prudently remarking, that "the time of great public excitement is not a time propitious for cool deliberation, or wise determination."

McDuffie's Speech.

On the 19th of June, a dinner was given, at Columbia, South Carolina, to Mr. George McDuffie, one of the representatives in Congress. At this dinner, he recommended the laying, by the state, of a tax on Northern manufactured goods, and concluded with the toast, which was drunk with great applause

"Millions for defence, not a cent for tribute."

During the remainder of the year 1828, the excitement increased in South Carolina, Georgia, and some parts of Alabama. Many public dinners were given to the representatives of South Carolina, especially Mr. George McDuffie. At these assemblies inflammatory toasts were given, and numerous warm speeches made. Several of the newspapers in the lower part of South Carolina spoke as if that state had been deprived of her constitutional rights, and the general government converted into an


absolute despotism, which it was as much the duty of citizens to resist, as if they had lived in the days of the Revolution, and were opposing the taxation of Great Britain.

St. Helena Resolution.

Nullification was not then altogether formed and shaped in the plans of those disposed to resist the general government. There was, however, a germ of that idea found in several of the resolutions passed at public meetings. At the parish of St. Helena the following resolution was passed —

"Resolved, That, differing from those of our fellow citizens who look to home production, or more consumption of the fabrics of the tariff states, as a relief from our present burdens, we perceive in these expedients rather an ill-judged wasting of the public energy, and diversion of the public mind, than an adequate remedy for the true evil, the usurping spirit of Congress, which (since that body will never construe down its own powers) can be checked, in our opinion, only by the action of states opposed to such usurpation."

Germ of Nullifaction.

This was the germinal idea of what afterwards became nullification, though perhaps not first announced at that particular place.

In many counties of Georgia the anti-tariff excitement was also developed, in public meetings and resolutions; but there the measures were not of the same species. It was there proposed to lay an excise duty on Northern


manufactures, and it was resolved not to consume the produce, especially the staple articles, of Kentucky, Ohio, and other states, which had supported the tariff.

The grand jury of Wilkes county, Georgia, at the close of the session of the superior court, in which the Hon. William H. Crawford presided as judge, made the subject of the tariff one of the objects of their consideration, and they recommended the legislature and their representatives in Congress, to take such measures on the subject as they constitutionally could. They wisely expressed themselves thus, in regard to the excitement then abroad —

"To our fellow-countrymen we would recommend, moderation in feeling, temperance in language, forbearance in all things."

Major Hamilton's Speech at Walterborough.

At length, in November, 1828, in a speech made by Major James Hamilton, who had been a member of the preceding Congress, at Walterborough, South Carolina, the plan was developed which four years subsequently it was attempted to carry out.

In that speech he represented that the country had reached a crisis, in consequence of the "abuses of internal legislation" among the members of "its separate and confederate sovereignties." He depicted South Carolina as in ruins, and the wilderness returning to cover with


weeds and forests the homes of civilization, and this altogether as a consequence of the tariff.

The picture was drawn with great eloquence and force, and if it were a reality, there was certainly much to lament. "Look abroad," says Major Hamilton, "through this once happy, this once prosperous land; see the wilderness regaining her empire. Look at these waste and desolate spots which once teemed with fertility and life, abandoned to the fern, which rears its head amidst solitudes which were once blessed by the smiling industry of man. Where are now those beautiful homesteads and venerable chateaux which once adorned the land of our fathers, the abodes of hospitality and wealth, from which the most generous benefactions were dispensed to contented labor, by which slavery itself lost half the burden of its chains in the kindness with which they were imposed? Gone, fallen into irreversible decay. On the very hearth-stone where hospitality kindled the most genial fires that ever blazed on her altars, the fox may lie down in security and peace; and from the casement of the very window from which notes of virtuous revelry were once heard, the owl sends forth to the listening solitude of the surrounding waste, her melancholy descant, to mark the spot where desolation has come."


Such were the strains by which South Carolina was called to believe herself deeply injured, her feelings outraged, and her rights violated. "But how," says the orator, "are we to interpose for the purpose of arresting the progress of the evil?" To this he replies — "A nullification, then, of the unauthorized act is the rightful remedy."


This doctrine was professedly founded on the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798, and it was defended as a peaceful measure. Looking, however, to bloodshed as a possible consequence, it was argued that this could only take place as the act of the majority. Such an act, says Major Hamilton, would dissolve the Union; but, says he, "if the Union be dissolved, theirs will be the odium of such a lamentable disruption."

This was the sort of language addressed to the people of South Carolina, and under its influence the excitement increased.

Resolutions of the South Carolina Legislature.

When the legislature of South Carolina met in December, the feeling which was so strongly developed among the people was exhibited with equal strength in that body. Messrs. Preston, Waddy Thompson, and Holmes, offered resolutions in the House of Representatives of which the substance was, that the tariff acts were palpable and dangerous infractions of the Constitution, and that the state had the right to interpose and arrest them.

Other resolutions were offered of various shades of opinion, but the one finally adopted was, that it is expedient again to remonstrate, to enter a protest, and to make a public exposition of wrongs.

In the Senate a more violent course was adopted. It was there

"Resolved, That the tariff acts of Congress for the protection of domestic manufactures, are unconstitutional, and should be resisted, and the other states be invited to co-operate with us in the measures of resistance."

In the mean while, James Madison had written two


letters, published by a friend, declaring the constitutionality of the tariff. These letters appear to have had a sedative effect on the anti-tariff excitement; for the public mind seems immediately afterwards to have been diverted to other objects, and nullification was not attempted till four years had passed away.

In May, 1832, however, Congress again revised the tariff, not for the purpose of increasing the duties — but for that of remodifying them, and rendering some of them more agreeable to the Southern states. That it had done so, Colonel DRAYTON declared in an address to the people of South Carolina, exhorting them to sustain the Union. It proved unsatisfactory, however, to those who had so vehemently opposed it in 1828; and the excitement was again renewed. The remedy which had been suggested by the St. Helena resolutions, and put forth in Major Hamilton's speech, was now openly declared to be the right of the state, and that which the people should adopt, if they had spirit, or liberty. Their imaginations were inflamed with the idea, that they were deliberately imposed upon by the majority of the Union, and that honor required that they should assert their dignity and their rights, by resistance. Inflammatory toasts were drunk at public meetings, and the ablest and most distinguished public men supported the measures, which it was assumed were right, and by which the state was to resist the laws of the Union.

J. C. Calhoun's Letter from Fort Hill.

Mr. JOHN C. CALHOUN, in a letter dated "Fort Hill, 80th of July, 1832," declared that nullification was a peaceful remedy, and necessary to the preservation of other powers.


The ungrounded fear," said he, "that the right of a state to interpose in order to protect her reserved powers against, the encroachments of the general government, would lead to disunion, is rapidly vanishing, and as it disappears, it will be seen that so far from endangering, the right is essential to the preservation of our system, as essential as the right of suffrage itself.

"Thus thinking, I have entire confidence that the time will come, when our doctrine, which has been so freely denounced as traitorous and rebellious, will be hailed as being the great conservative principle of our admirable system of government, and when those who have so firmly maintained it under so many trials, will be ranked among the great benefactors of the country."

The doctrine of "state interposition" against the general government, is here defended as an essential right, and the future approbation of the people confidently expected.

To understand the exact state of things in South Carolina, at that time, and the conflict likely to ensue between the majority in the state supporting nullification by the state power, and the general government executing the laws, with a minority in South Carolina supporting it, we must review two or three other important movements.

The doctrines of Mr. McDuffie, Major Hamilton, Mr. Calhoun, and other leaders of the nullification party, were as strongly opposed by other distinguished men in South Carolina.

Judge Smith's Answer at Spartanburg.

JUDGE SMITH, formerly United States Senator, in an address to the people of Spartanburgh district, thus writes — "To say you can resist the general government, and remain in the Union, and be at peace, is a perfect


delusion, calculated only to hoodwink an honest community, until they shall have advanced too far to retrace their steps; which they must do, and do with disgrace and humiliation, or enter upon a bloody conflict with the general government. For the general government cannot bow its sovereignty to the mandates of South Carolina, while the Union is worth preserving. And be assured, it will not bow to the mandate of any state, while the sovereign people believe that a confederated government is calculated to promote their peace, their honor, and their safety.

Union Party.

It is seen that the political ideas inculcated in the extracts last quoted, are directly opposed to those stated in the former extract from the letter of Mr. Calhoun. The letter assumes the supremacy of the UNION, the former that of the STATE, under the name of state interposition. Hence, in the controversy which ensued, the name of the party of the majority was known as the nullification party, and that of the minority as the Union party. The controversy between these parties in the state was even more excited than that between the state and the general government. This was the state of things when, in October, 1832, the legislature of South Carolina passed an act providing for the "calling of a convention of the people" of that state. The object of this convention in the terms of the act, was "to take into consideration the several acts of the Congress of the United States, imposing duties on foreign imports for the protection of domestic manufactures, or for other unauthorized objects; to determine on the character thereof, and to devise the means of redress."



The convention elected according to this statute, assembled at Columbia, the seat of government, on the 19th of November, 1832. The convention being assembled, enacted an "ordinance," whose title was "to provide for arresting the operation of certain acts of the Congress of the United States, purporting to be taxes laying duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities."

Ordinance of Nullification.

On the final passage of the ordinance the word "nullify" was substituted for "arresting."

This ordinance assumed to nullify the laws of the United States, to prevent the operation of the courts, and finally, to place all officers under oath to obey only the ordinance, and the laws made to give it effect.

The 2d section pronounced the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 "null, void, and no law, nor binding upon the state, its officers, or citizens."

The 3d section declared it unlawful "for any of the constituted authorities, whether of the state or the United States, to enforce payment of the duties imposed by said acts, within the limits of the state."

The 4th section ordered that no case of law or equity decided in that state, wherein was drawn in question the validity of that ordinance, or of any act of the legislature passed to give it effect, should be appealed to the supreme court of the United States, or regarded if appealed.

Section 5th required that every one who held an office of honor, trust, or profit, civil or military, should take an oath to obey only this ordinance, and the laws of the legislature passed in consequence of it.

The 6th section declared, that if the general government


should employ force to carry into effect its laws, or endeavor to coerce the state by shutting up its ports, that South Carolina would consider the Union dissolved, and would "proceed to organize a separate government."

Governor Gayle.

No one could for a moment doubt the meaning or bearing of this ordinance. It was an open, frank, and direct resistance of the laws of the Union, and notwithstanding the confident expectations of fellowship and assistance from other anti-tariff states, it was soon apparent that they would oppose the violent course of opposition to the law marked out by the South Carolina convention. Nor did the measure tend towards peace even in South Carolina. A Union convention was soon after held to counteract this movement. The neighboring states were very explicit in their opposition. Governor Gayle, in his message to the Alabama legislature, condemned nullification in the strongest terms. "If," said he, "it [nullification] shall be recognized as the true constitutional doctrine, that a state can remain a member of the Union, and at the same time place her citizens beyond the reach of its laws, ours will not be the shadow of a government, and for all practical purposes it will be dissolved. But the strife and dissension which have been produced by the persevering efforts of the advocates of this doctrine, to gain for it the favorable opinion of the people, have been carried to such excesses, that it is already growing into an evil not less to be deprecated than the tariff itself. If the first-fruits of this doctrine of peace are deep and bitter feelings of personal hostility, furious family discords, and a destruction, in fact, of the peace and harmony of


society, what are we to expect when it puts forth in all its vigor?"

State Resolutions.

The legislature of Tennessee passed resolutions unanimously (one member declining to vote) denouncing nullification in the strongest terms.

The legislature of Georgia, also a strong anti-tariff state, passed anti-nullification resolutions, by strong majorities.

By the action of these adjoining states, South Carolina was left alone in the plan which she had proposed, of arresting the operation of the United States laws by state interposition. Nevertheless, the ordinance passed by the convention was decisive of her course. The legislature at its next session, passed acts to carry into effect the ordinance, and a large body of volunteers was called into the state service.

General Jackson's Proclamation.

This was the state of things in South Carolina, and in the Union, when, on the 10th of December, 1832, General Jackson issued his PROCLAMATION, exhorting all persons to obey the laws, denouncing the ordinance of South Carolina, and giving a very clear exposition of the principles and powers of the general government. This proclamation was written with great ability, and coming from the most popular man in the United States, exercising the functions of chief magistrate, and taking part with that LOVE OF UNION which, in all times and all circumstances,


has been an element in American character, the proclamation was universally read, and almost universally received with approbation and applause. The legislature of South Carolina answered in an appeal to the people of that state.

Two citations from the proclamation of General Jackson will show the principles and object of that instrument.

"I consider, then," says the President, "the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one state, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed.

"This, then, is the position in which we stand. A small majority of the citizens of one state in the Union have elected delegates to a state convention. That convention has ordained that all the revenue laws of the United States must be repealed, or that they are no longer a member of the Union. The governor of that state has recommended to the legislature the raising of an army to carry the secession into effect, and that he may be empowered to give clearance to vessels in the name of the state. No act of violent opposition to the laws has yet been committed, but such a state of things is hourly apprehended, and it is the intent of this instrument to PROCLAIM not only that the duty imposed on me by the constitution ‘to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ shall be performed to the extent of the powers


already vested in me by law, or of such other as the wisdom of Congress shall devise and in trust to me for that purpose; but to warn the citizens of South Carolina who have been deluded into an opposition to the laws, of the danger they will incur by obedience to the illegal and disorganizing ordinance of the convention; to exhort those who have refused to support it, to persevere in their determination to uphold the constitution and laws of their country, and to point out to all the perilous situation into which the good people of that state have been led, and that the course they are urged to pursue is one of ruin and disgrace to the very state whose rights they affect to support."

The ordinance of South Carolina passed November 24th, 1832, the President's proclamation was signed on the 10th of December, and on the 21st of December, the South Carolina legislature adjourned, having passed the laws necessary to give effect to the ordinance. These were the several acts on which depended the possibility and even probability of an actual conflict between the authorities of South Carolina and the general government. The promulgation and strong language of the President's proclamation was in itself the most authentic proof of the intensity of feeling, and the fear of danger, which existed among the people of the United States in consequence of the South Carolina ordinance, and the military array by which it was proposed to support it.


In the mean while, the President and cabinet were making all arrangements preparatory to a conflict, with a determination to stand on the defensive; but with a firm resolve also, to collect the revenue and enforce the laws of the United States.

It is at this point in history, that General Scott was called, in the exercise of his military functions, to perform a part, not very conspicuous to the public eye, but most important in its consequences to the Union and the future welfare of the republic. What part that was will be shown by the unimpeachable testimony of authentic facts.

Before the ordinance was passed, and about the period of the session of the South Carolina legislature which provided for the meeting of the convention, President Jackson, from facts which came to his knowledge, thought it not improbable that an attempt would be made to seize or in some way get possession of the forts in the harbor of Charleston.

Troops Ordered to Charleston.

To prevent this, General Macomb issued an order, dated "Washington, October 29th, 1832," directed to Major Heileman, commanding the United States troops at Charleston. A paragraph from this order will explain a portion of this history.

The order says — "It is deemed necessary that the officers in the harbor of Charleston should be advised of the possibility of attempts being made to surprise, seize, and occupy the forts committed to them. You are therefore especially charged to use your utmost vigilance in counteracting such attempts. You will call personally on the


commanders of Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie, and instruct them to be vigilant to prevent surprise in the night, or by day, on the part of any set of people whatever, who may approach the forts with a view to seize and occupy them. You will warn the said officers that such an event is apprehended, and that they will be held responsible for the defense, to the last extremity, of the forts and garrisons under their respective commands, against any assault, and also against intrigue and surprise. The attempt to surprise the forts and garrisons, it is expected, will be made by the militia, and it must be guarded against by constant vigilance, and repulsed at every hazard. These instructions you will be careful not to show to any persons, other than the commanding officers of Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie."

This was a confidential order, and its terms express the apprehension and anxiety then felt by the government.

On the 7th of November an order from the war department directed two companies of artillery to proceed forthwith to Fort Moultrie, Charleston harbor.

On the 12th of November, a further order from General Macomb to Major Heileman directed, that the "citadel" in Charleston, and belonging to the State of South Carolina, should be delivered up, with the state arms, if required; that every thing should be done with courtesy, but, if attacked, the troops should defend themselves.

General Scott's Orders.

At this crisis the services of General Scott, in a mission to South Carolina of extraordinary delicacy, were called into requisition by President Jackson. On the 18th of November, 1832, a confidential order was issued from


the war department to General Scott. The order, after expressing the President's solicitude as to affairs in South Carolina, a hope from the intelligence of the people, and a fear lest some rash attempt should be made against the forts of the United States in the harbor of Charleston, proceeds to say —

"The possibility of such a measure furnishes sufficient reason for guarding against it, and the President is therefore anxious that the situation and means of defense of these fortifications, should be inspected by an officer of experience, who could also estimate and provide for any dangers to which they may be exposed. He has full confidence in your judgment and discretion, and it is his wish that you repair immediately to Charleston, and examine every thing connected with the fortifications. You are at liberty to take such measures, either by strengthening these defenses, or by reinforcing these garrisons with troops drawn from any other posts, as you may think prudence and a just precaution require.

"Your duty will be one of great importance, and of great delicacy. You will consult fully and freely with the collector of the port of Charleston, and with the district attorney of South Carolina, and you will take no step, except what relates to the immediate defense and security of the posts, without their order and concurrence. The execution of the laws will be enforced through the civil authority, and by the mode pointed out by the acts of Congress. Should, unfortunately, a crisis arise, when the ordinary power in the hands of the civil officers shall not be sufficient for this purpose, the President shall determine the course to be taken and the measures adopted. Till, therefore, you are otherwise instructed, you will act


in obedience to the legal requisitions of the proper civil officers of the United States.

"I will thank you to communicate to me, freely and confidentially, upon every topic which you may deem it important for the government to receive information.

"Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

"Major-General Winfield Scott."

In addition to this order, there was a personal interview between the President, some of the cabinet, and General Scott, in which the principles and views held by General Jackson and his administration were fully expressed.

General Scott's Arrangements.

General Scott arrived in Charleston on the 28th of November, just two days after the passage of the ordinance. All was excitement. He found the people of Charleston divided into two parties, nearly equal in point of numbers, and each exasperated towards the other.

It happened that this was the usual period for General Scott's annual tour of inspection along the Atlantic coast, in which he included also the arsenals of the interior. He therefore suffered it to be believed, that he was now on this ordinary duty. Fortunately, too, he happened to be lamed, by accident, on the road, which gave him a sufficient pretext for lingering awhile at Charleston, Augusta, and Savannah, without awakening any jealousy or suspicion of the great purpose of his visit.

It was as important that he should not, by his presence


or his acts, increase the excitement of the public mind, already too much inflamed, thus precipitating rash measures on the part of South Carolina, as it was that, in the last resort, he should maintain the supremacy of the laws held to be constitutional by every department of the federal government, and alike binding on all the states. This duty he was resolved to execute at every hazard to himself, but with all-possible courtesy and kindness compatible with that paramount object. In this, his heart's warm feeling was that the disaffected might be soothed, and South Carolina held in affectionate harmony with her sister states.

The 1st of February had been fixed by the ordinance as the crisis, provided Congress did not previously modify the tariff. Scott passed rapidly along to Augusta, Savannah, and Charleston, quietly laying his plans and dispatching orders, so as to be ready for any event. The best understanding was established between the United States district attorney, the marshal, and himself. In conjunction with the collector of the port, it was arranged to establish the custom-house, when necessary, under the guns of Fort Moultrie. This is six miles below the city, and commands the entrance to the harbor. He called for steamboats, armed vessels, and troops, all of which arrived from different points without the knowledge of each other's approach. He caused Fort Moultrie and


Castle Pinckney, in Charleston harbor, and Augusta arsenal, which was full of supplies, and on the borders of South Carolina, to be strengthened and well garrisoned. Then, having seen every thing ready, or in rapid preparation for the worst, he sailed from Charleston for New York, without having awakened a suspicion of his being connected with impending events.

Towards the end of January he returned by sea to Fort Moultrie, and was at the post of danger many days before it was known in the city. His presence, with that of the vessels of war, the revenue cutters, and additional troops, which had now arrived, left no room to doubt that the government was fully determined that the revenue duties imposed by law should be collected in Charleston, as in all other ports of the Union.

During his absence, the leading opposers of the tariff had called a meeting, and informally agreed, that notwithstanding the period for the open resistance of the law had been fixed by the convention for the 1st of February, no attempt to execute the ordinance of nullification should be made before the adjournment of Congress, on the 3d of March, and the second meeting of the convention, which was to be held a few days later. Happily for all, the resolution was strictly observed.

In the mean time, the excitement had greatly increased. The state legislature had met in December, and passed


laws for the raising of troops and money, and for the purchase of arms and ammunition. All these were soon obtained. Volunteers were seen at drill through the state. Charleston was full of them. The palmetto cockade and the palmetto buttons distinguished the nullifiers from the Unionists. A determined spirit of resistance to the revenue laws, however misdirected or deplored, was, in fact, everywhere exhibited.

A scene which took place just at this time in the streets of Charleston, will illustrate most forcibly the violence of feeling then existing on political subjects, the great and instant danger of civil commotion, and the narrowness of that verge of bloodshed and disunion, upon which the people of the state and the nation then stood.

Test Oath.

Determined, if possible, to carry out the desperate plans in which they had most rashly embarked, the milliners had, as we have narrated, not only called out large bodies of armed volunteers, but had actually, by their ordinance, required the citizens of South Carolina to take a test oath of exclusive allegiance to the state. This


perhaps more than any one measure, exasperated the Union party. They deemed it unconstitutional, and destructive of their personal rights, not less than of the general allegiance which was due to the laws of the Union. They therefore, like the nullifiers, formed associations, took measures for defense, and, in a word, two parties stood fronting one another like hostile bodies of opposing nations.

Night Scene in Charleston.

It was just at this time that the respective parties held nightly meetings in the city of Charleston. In those popular meetings, and with this high political animosity, there was danger, great danger of a collision which would result in bloodshed and disaster. Notwithstanding all this, there was great personal courtesy, so becoming to gentlemen and men of honor, between the leaders and chief actors of the opposing parties. On one evening, when there was a meeting of both parties, Mr. PETTIGRU received a note from General HAYNE, requesting that the Unionists would return home through Meeting-street, as by going the usual route there would be danger of collision. The Union party were then in assembly and much excited. It was quite natural that they should answer as they did, that "they were armed, and would go which way they chose." After this message, Mr. Poinsett addressed the meeting, advising them


to wear a white badge on the left arm, to make no attack, but, if attacked, defend themselves at the hazard of their lives. They sent out, and bought a piece of white muslin, which they tore into pieces to make badges of. This done, they marched on the same streets as they were accustomed to. At length, they met the nullifiers marching on the same street with themselves, but in an opposite direction. Just at this moment, whether purposely or accidentally, some of the nullifiers struck the arm of Colonel Drayton. It was observed, and at once the cry ran through the Union ranks — "Colonel Drayton is struck — defend him!" Instantly, with great presence of mind, Colonel Drayton remarked — "Stop; it was only an accident!" The meeting passed on, and Charleston was saved from the blood of her citizens flowing from the worst of all causes — civil war!

Had less prudence or presence of mind existed among some of the leading gentlemen at that crisis, the descendants of a common revolutionary stock, of a patriotic and honorable ancestry, for differences of opinion only, would have been found inflicting mortal wounds on each other, and as mortal wounds on the reputation of their common country. The blood indeed might have been stanched, and the dead replaced, by living shoots. But not so the stain, the grief, and the memories. They would long have lingered, like mourning witnesses to sad disasters.

If history be not silent on the events which then


occurred, or on the part taken by distinguished citizens of South Carolina, still less should it omit a just testimony to the forbearance and prudence of the general and troops of the United States employed in so delicate and dangerous a service.

Conduct of the Army and Navy.

The officers and men of the army and navy bore themselves with the meekness and solemnity proper to so grave and unusual a duty. In no instance did they indulge in any display, except on the 22d of February.

Then rockets blazing through the skies, and guns sounding over the waters, told that, as Americans, they remembered and blessed the anniversary of that day, which gave birth to the FATHER OF THE COUNTRY AND THE UNION! On other occasions, every individual in that service, though firm in his allegiance and resolved to do his duty, evinced by his deportment how painful that duty might become. Scott gave both the precept and the example. Many officers, like himself, had frequent occasion to visit the city. Boats' crews were constantly passing and repassing. It was agreed among the officers, and enjoined on the men, to give way to everybody, and not even to resent an indignity should one be offered; but to look on their fellow-citizens as their fellow-countrymen, whom all were anxious to reclaim from an unhappy delusion. These rules of forbearance were absolutely necessary, because any soldier or sailor, in a drunken rencontre, might have brought on all the evils of a bloody affray.

Fire in Charleston and Incidents.

Just at the period of the utmost anxiety, when all hearts were anxious lest the morrow should bring forth civil war, a fire was seen from Fort Moultrie, at twilight, rising from Charleston, rapidly spreading, and threatening the city with destruction. General Scott happened to be the


first who perceived the conflagration, and with great promptness called for volunteers to hasten to the assistance of the inhabitants. All the officers and men were eager for the service, and, with the exception of a mere guard, all were dispatched in boats and without arms, to subdue the new and dreadful enemy. Each detachment was directed to report itself to some city officer, and to ask for employment. A detached officer preceded to explain the object of this sudden intrusion. Captain (now Major) Ringgold, of the army, who commanded a detachment rushed up to the intendant, (mayor,) and begged to be put to work. A citizen standing by, at once claimed his assistance to save a sugar-refinery, then in imminent danger. "Do you hear that?" said Captain Ringgold to his men: "we will go to the death for the sugar!" This was in allusion to the famous threat of Governor Hamilton, in respect to his importation of that article, before the boxes had arrived, that "they would go to the death for the sugar." It may be added, that the detachment instantly repaired to the spot, and the refinery was saved. Nor was the good-humored quotation lost on the hundreds who heard it.

The navy was not behind the army in this act of neighborly kindness. Both were early at the scene of distress. And all, after distinguishing themselves for zeal and energy, returned as sober and as orderly as they went, notwithstanding refreshments had been profusely handed round by the citizens.

It is not extravagant to say, that this timely movement, so well conceived and so handsomely executed, overcame much of the excitement and prejudice existing against the United States, here represented by their soldiers and


sailors. These men threw themselves, unexpected and unarmed, in the midst of a population strongly excited against them, and by saving a city from fire, powerfully contributed to save the Union from the greater horrors of civil war. The effect was immediate on the spot, and was soon spread to other parts of the state. It was one of those acts better adapted to sooth the asperities of feeling, than would have been any degree of courage, or success, in the forcible maintenance of the law.

Sullivan's Island, on which Fort Moultrie stands, was daily visited by respectable citizens, sometimes in large numbers, most of whom wore the palmetto cockade. All, without distinction of party, were received with that courtesy and kindness for which not only General Scott but our officers generally were distinguished. Some were detained to dine with the general, who, with the other officers, took pains to show the works, and to give the true impression, that they were intended for self-defense.

"We have made ourselves impregnable," he would say, "not for offence, but rather to prevent an attack; for otherwise there might be danger, not from your authorities, but from masses moved by some sudden ebullition of feeling, and we should all regard with infinite horror the necessity of a conflict with any portion of our own people."

Similar explanations and assurances were given, in the same spirit, to the higher political authorities, in his accidental meeting with them in the city.

It will readily be perceived, that the plan of General Scott's measures was not, in any fair sense of the term, directed against the people or the soil of South Carolina.


The works at Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney were upon sites which had long been the property of the United States, and garrisoned by their troops. No new position was occupied. The general object was solely to be in readiness with a sufficient force to act in concert with the civil authorities of the United States, that is, to be able, first, to defend his own position, and next, to compel all vessels from abroad to make the same entries at the Charleston custom-house as at every other port of entry. The point selected for this operation (Fort Moultrie) being distant and isolated, it seems that the possibility of a collision with citizens, taking into view all the means of prevention, both moral and physical, was almost entirely excluded.

At length, Congress passed the celebrated "Compromise Act." The South Carolina Convention rescinded the ordinance of nullification. The troops and ships returned to their ordinary stations; and every officer and man departed — rejoicing in his heart, that not a drop of blood had been spilt, where so much danger had occurred and such fearful results been apprehended.

In the mean while, however, the state of Virginia had taken part in the issue made between South Carolina and the general government, in a way which requires some notice. At the close of January, 1833, the legislature of Virginia passed a series of resolutions in relation to the position of South Carolina.

One of these resolutions requested South Carolina to rescind the ordinance of nullification. Another requested Congress to modify the tariff, and a third resolved to


appoint a commissioner whose duty it was to bear these resolutions to South Carolina, and use his efforts to induce that state to accede to mediation, and listen to conciliatory measures.

The commissioner appointed for this purpose, was Benjamin Watkins Leigh, Esq., a gentleman of acknowledged abilities, of great urbanity, and every way qualified for the mission. It was performed with as much success as was possible. Mr. Leigh arrived at Charleston and made the requests of Virginia known. In a letter dated 6th of February 1833, Mr. Hamilton, president of the convention, said that he would call the convention together at an early day. He did call them. The convention rescinded its ordinance, the troops, as above narrated, were withdrawn, and the scenes of civil commotion which once threatened bloodshed and disunion, were closed without either. Friends in opposing ranks met together rejoicing, and no more was heard of the late storm but the fainter and fainter murmurs of the receding waves of agitation.

At this distance of time, the part performed by Scott may not seem of great importance. But he who thinks so should recollect, that history is obliged to trace the greatest events oftentimes to very small causes; and that such a part as Scoffs at Charleston, though having neither the crimson glare of battle, nor the extraordinary skill of some artful act of diplomacy, may nevertheless have been the hinge of a crisis, and therefore more important than many battles. It is the handling of a delicate subject which makes it difficult, far more than the settlement of a question of exact right or wrong.

Of the part which Scott bore in the pacification of the


South, we shall here give the words of Mr. Leigh, who stood high in the confidence of all parties, whose evidence is unimpeachable, and who had ample opportunities of observing all that was done. He says —

"I was at Charleston when he (Scott) arrived and assumed the command, which he did without any parade or fuss. No one who had an opportunity of observing on the spot the excitement that existed, can have an adequate conception of the delicacy of the trust. General Scott had a large acquaintance with the people of Charleston; he was their friend; but his situation was such that many, the great majority of them, looked upon him as a public enemy. What his orders were, I cannot undertake to tell you, nor have I any means of knowing but from his conduct, which, I take it for granted, conformed with them. He thought, as I thought, that the first drop of blood shed in civil war, in civil war between the United States and one of the states, would prove an immedicable wound, which would end in a change of our institutions. He was resolved, if it was possible, to prevent a resort to arms; and nothing could have been more judicious than his conduct. Far from being prone to take offence, he kept his temper under the strictest guard, and was most careful to avoid giving occasion for offence; yet he held himself ready to act, if it should become necessary, and he let that be distinctly understood. He sought the society of the leading nullifiers, and was in their society as much as they would let him be, but he took care never to say a word to them on the subject of political differences; he treated them as a friend. From the beginning to the


end, his conduct was as conciliatory as it was firm and sincere, evincing that he knew his duty, and was resolved to perform it, and yet that his principal object and purpose was peace. He was perfectly successful, when the least imprudence might have resulted in a serious collision."

We shall close this chapter of American history with the addition of two letters from the politico-military history of that period. They may serve to illustrate the views and peculiar duties of General Scott.

Letter from Major-General Scott to the Honorable Lewis Cass, Secretary at War.


"Head Quarters, Eastern Department, Savannah, December 15th, 1832.}

"Sir —

I have had the honor to address you once from this place since my return from Augusta. The letter bore date the 10th or 11th instant. In it I stated that I had not the time to retain a copy.

"I now take the liberty to enclose a copy of a private letter which I addressed to ------------ , Esq., a leading member of the South Carolina legislature, and a nullifier. I do this, because letters from me to individuals of that party should be seen by the government, and because this letter contains the sentiments and topics which I always urge in conversation with nullifiers.

"It will be seen that I speak of the arrival of troops in the harbor of Charleston. I did this because I knew the movement of the troops was, or would be soon, known,


and because I wish to prevent the idea of offensive operations, (invasion.) Such an idea might precipitate the state authorities into some act of open hostility, which would not fail to be followed by a civil war, at least among her own citizens.

"The Presidents annual message has had the happiest effect already on the temper of nullification in this state, (Georgia,) as far as we have heard, and cannot fail to prevent that doctrine from spreading in the South. What maybe its effects on the original nullifiers in South Carolina is more doubtful. There is good reason, however, to hope, that this healing document may soon reduce them to a small minority, even in their own state, and this apprehension may induce the leaders to attempt something rash, to inflame the passions of their followers.

"The friends of the Union will see, by the arrival of the troops in Charleston harbor, that they are not abandoned by the executive. This will give vigor in another way to the resolutions they are about to take at Columbia, while they will be able to remind their opponents of the soundness of the prediction, that ‘the tariff would be gradually but ultimately brought down to a just point.’ This double operation is manifest on the public mind of this place. I shall proceed by the first safe conveyance, say in four or five days, to Charleston harbor, as I wish to be there to regulate the posting of the reinforcements, which may soon be expected from the North. My aid-de-camp (Lieutenant Mercer) will be left to follow with any letters which may arrive before the 24th instant."


Extracts from a letter from Major-General Scott to a distinguished leader and friend, a member of the S. Carolina Legislature, then in session at Columbia.

"Savannah, Dec. 14th, 1832.


"You have an excellent memory to remind me, after so long an interval, of my promise to visit you when next on a tour to the South, and I owe you an apology for not earlier acknowledging your kind letter. It was handed to me just as I was about to leave Charleston, and I have been since too constantly in motion (to Augusta, and back here) to allow me to write.

"As to the ‘speculations’ at Columbia relative to ‘the object of my visit to Charleston at this moment,’ I can only say, that I am on that very tour, and about the very time, mentioned by me when I last had the pleasure of seeing you. On what evil days we have fallen, my good friend, when so commonplace an event gives rise to conjecture or speculation! I can truly assure you, that no one has felt more wretched than your humble correspondent, since an unhappy controversy began to assume a serious aspect. I have always entertained a high admiration for the history and character of South Carolina, and accident or good fortune has thrown me into intimacy, and even friendship, with almost every leader of the two parties which now divide and agitate the state. Would to God they were again united, as during the late war, when her federalists vied with the republicans in the career of patriotism and glory, and when her legislature came


powerfully to the aid of the Union. Well, the majority among you have taken a stand, and those days of general harmony may never return. What an awful position for South Carolina, as well as for the other states!

"I cannot follow out the long, dark shades of the picture that presents itself to my fears. I will hope, nevertheless, for the best. But I turn my eyes back, and, good God! what do I behold? Impatient South Carolina could not wait — she has taken a leap, and is already a foreign nation; and the great names of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and Green, no longer compatriot with yours, or those of Laurens, Moultrie, Pinckney, and Marion with mine!

"But the evil, supposing the separation to have been peaceable, would not stop there. When one member shall withdraw, the whole arch of the Union will tumble in. Out of the broken fragments new combinations will arise. We should probably have, instead of one, three confederacies — a northern, southern, and western reunion; and transmontane Virginia, your native country, not belonging to the South, but torn off by the general West. I turn with horror from the picture I have only sketched. I have said it is dark; let but one drop of blood be spilt upon the canvass, and it becomes ‘one red.’

"‘Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, which had else,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.’

"But you and my other South Carolina friends have taken your respective sides, and I must follow out mine.

"You have probably heard of the arrival of two or three


companies at Charleston, in the last six weeks, and you may hear that as many more have followed. There is nothing inconsistent with the President's message in these movements. The intention simply is, that the forts in the harbor shall not be wrested from the United States. I believe it is not apprehended that the state authorities contemplate any attack, at least in the present condition of things, on these posts; but I know it has been feared that some unauthorized multitude, under sudden excitement, might attempt to seize them. The President, I presume, will stand on the defensive — thinking it better to discourage than to invite an attack — better to prevent than to repel one, in order to gain time for wisdom and moderation to exert themselves in the capitol at Washington, and in the state-house at Columbia. From humane considerations like these, the posts in question have been, and probably will be, slightly reinforced. I state what I partly know, and what I partly conjecture, in order that the case which I see is provided for in one of your bills, may not be supposed to have actually occurred. If I were possessed of an important secret of the government, my honor certainly would not allow me to disclose it; but there is in the foregoing neither secrecy nor deception. My ruling wish is, that neither party take a rash step, that might put all healing powers at defiance. It is, doubtless, merely intended to hold the posts for the present. A few companies are incapable of effecting any further object. The engineer, also, is going on, steadily, but slowly, in


erecting the new work on the site of Fort Johnson, (long since projected for the defense of the harbor,) the foundation of which is but just laid. When finished, some years hence, I trust it may long be regarded, both by South Carolina and the other states, as one of the bulwarks of our common coast.

"There is nothing in this letter intended to be confidential, nor intended for the public press. When I commenced it I only designed giving utterance to private sentiments, unconnected with public events; but my heart being filled with grief on account of the latter, my pen has run a little into that distress. Let us, however, hope for more cheering times. Yet, be this as it may, and whether our duties be several or common, I shall always have a place in my bosom for the private affections, and that I may ever stand in the old relation to you, is the sincere wish of your friend, WINFIELD SCOTT.

With these letters we close the narrative of one of the most critical periods of American history. It has not been written to add to, or take from, the merit, the errors, or the part, of any one of the actors in those scenes. History is not history when it is not just. It may be a picture of fancy made beautiful by the pencil of flattery, or deformed by the pen of scandal, but it cannot be history, when truth is not the writer and justice the witness of its record.

The veil of confidence yet rests upon many of Scott's acts and letters of this period.


Chapter XVII. 1835 to 1837.

Commencement of the Florida War.

ON the 11th of August, 1835, the United States mail carrier who left Tampa, Florida, was murdered about six miles from that place. The mangled body of the carrier was thrown into a pond, and the mail carried off. The murderers, though not taken, were ascertained to be Indians. At first, this was supposed to be only an isolated outrage. But it was soon discovered that the Seminole tribe of Indians, then resident in Florida, united with a few individuals of the Creek tribe, had become discontented, and determined on opposition to the whites; that able chiefs were exciting them, and that murmurs of injustice perpetrated by the people of the United States


against them, and of an indignant resistance to it, were heard among the small but independent tribes of Florida. In about three months more, this resistance and muttered indignation burst forth, in depredations against property, in plantations ravaged, in dwellings burnt, and in murders committed; in fine, with the desolations and horrors of an Indian war. In return, they were told that they should be swept from the earth; but, if they had the courage to die with arms in their hands, "the white man would not deny them the privilege of sleeping out their death-sleep on the soil upon which he cannot endure their living presence."

Description of the Seminoles.

The Seminoles are said to have been chased into Florida from former habitations among the Creeks. They are said also to have contained a very large portion of the mixed races; partly mulattoes, more of the half-Indian and half-Negro blood; and, in fine, a heterogeneous collection of various origin. However this may be, the body of the tribe was an indigenous family, endowed by nature with courage, ferocity, hardihood, and the love of country. Hemmed in by the whites, among the almost unapproachable fens, hammocks, woods, and creeks, of the peninsula of Florida, they resolved to defend their homes, and, if they could not live, die on the soil they loved. The unfair treatment which in many instances marked the conduct of the whites towards the Indians, and the mistakes as to the terms and meaning of treaties, were, it is believed, in this, as in many other Indian wars, the true causes and foundation of the controversy.


Character of Osceola.

OSCEOLA, or Powell, one of the head chiefs of the Seminoles, is represented as the principal instigator of the war, and one of the boldest warriors engaged in it. His father was a white man, and his mother a Creek Indian; but, among the Indians, the men take rank generally from their mothers. Osceola was therefore known as a Creek. But, like Ke-o-kuck, he inherited no title or command. He was raised to distinction by superior talents, courage, and ambition. Before the war, he was proud, gloomy, and insolent; but on one occasion, in a talk with the agent, (General Thompson,) he burst into a paroxysm of passion, declared the country was theirs, that they wanted no agent, and that he (General Thompson) had better be off. For this he was arrested, and confined. After this, he assumed penitence, appeared cheerful, signed the treaty, and was released, with many fair promises. Subsequent events proved that this appearance was but the acting of a part. At first he performed friendly service to the whites, especially in the daring arrest of criminals who had taken refuge among the Indians. By this conduct he gained the confidence of the agent.

Suddenly Osceola threw off his disguise. He murdered Charley Mathla, a friendly chief, forced his followers to join his own standard, received his former enemies the Mic-o-sukees, as allies, and raised before the astonished gaze of the whites the firebrand and scalping-knife. Soon after, on the 28th of December, 1835, he was seen at the head of a band who murdered General


Thompson, the Indian agent, and some other gentlemen, within range of the guns of Fort King.

Battle of Wythlacooche.

Meanwhile, a detachment of Florida volunteers having joined the regulars, the whole, under General Clinch, marched upon the Wythlacoochee, where the Indians were found embodied. General Clinch having crossed the river, was fiercely assailed, Dec. 31st, 1835, by Osceola and his numerous warriors. The attack was most gallantly repelled by Clinch and the regulars, about two hundred men, aided by a handful of Floridians who had crossed with them. In front, was the daring Osceola, who, after each discharge of his rifle, was seen wiping it with the utmost coolness, and his voice was heard rallying his flying bands.

Massacre of Dade's Command.

The arrangements and battle of Wythlacoochee, honorable to Clinch and the troops engaged, first awoke government to the fixed purpose of the Indians. Three days before this event, the same party of Indians, as it is believed, had met and defeated, with most terrible destruction, the small but gallant band of Major Dade. This command had set out from Fort Brooke, to relieve the post of Fort King, within sight of which, as we have narrated, the Indians had killed five men, and which was in continual danger. In five days Major Dade had marched about sixty-five miles. They were compelled each night to intrench themselves, and moved under continual danger


of surprise. On the day of the attack they had moved four miles from their night position, when they received a heavy fire from an unseen enemy, and before the attack could be resisted, many of the officers and men were killed or wounded. Then the Indians, and negroes with them, swarmed up from the ground, and completed what was literally massacre. Of all this band, one hundred and twelve in number, but three escaped. These three escaped only by artifice.

The annals of war record very many bloody scenes and terrible destructions, but hardly one where the destruction was so total, the disaster so complete. It proved the extreme ferocity of the Seminoles, and the desperate energy with which they waged, what was apparent to all — their last contest with the whites.

The battle of Wythlacoochee, and the destruction of Dade's command, were but parts of the tragedy which, in the winter of 1835-6, was enacted in Florida. Close to St. Augustine itself, on all the outside plantations, on all the highways, and amidst all the white settlements, not immediately defended by soldiers, were seen the blazing fires of sudden conflagration, the mangled body of some surprised inhabitant, or his destroyed property scattered in the fields, or thrown into streams. The Indian of Florida


waged a war of which the knife and the torch were the means, and death and desolation the end. Concealed in impenetrable marshes or tangled thickets, in a country where heat and insects were no small enemies, he appealed to the elements as much as to arms for his defense, and defied the soldiers of civilization in retreats and wildernesses to which civilization was a stranger.

General Scott Ordered to Command the Army of Florida.

Such was the situation of Florida and the progress of the war, when, on the 20th of January, 1836, General Scott was ordered to the command of the army of Florida. He saw the Secretary at War at four o'clock on the afternoon of that day. Being asked when he could set out for Florida, he replied, "that night." His instructions, however, could not be drawn up till the following day. Or the 21st, it appeared probable that many of the Creeks would join the Seminoles, and General Scott received orders to proceed immediately to the theatre of hostilities and assume the command. Having reached Picolata, on the St. John's River, Scott issued his general orders on the 22d of February. He formed the army into three divisions. The troops on the west of the St. John's, under the gallant General Clinch, were to constitute the right wing of the army. Those on the cast of that river, under Brigadier-General Eustis, the left; while those at Tampa Bay, under Colonel Lindsay, were to form the centre. These troops were to be reinforced by volunteers from the neighboring states.

By a report of the adjutant-general, it appears that the regular troops in Florida at this time were twelve hundred,


including officers, and that Scott had authority to call on the governors of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida, for as many militia as he deemed necessary.

Plan of the Campaign.

In the instructions given to General Scott, was the following passage — "In consequence of representations from Florida, that measures would probably be taken to transport the slaves captured by the Indians to the Havana, it appears that instructions were given to the armed vessels to prevent such proceedings, and General Scott was directed to allow no pacification with the Indians while a living slave belonging to a white man remained in their possession."

It appeared also, by the accounts of subsequent battles, and proceedings in the removal of the Indians, that there were many negroes among them. At the battle in which Dade's corps were destroyed, there were no less than sixty in one company, mounted. Whether these were originally slaves or not, is not known. However this may have been, this order, taken in connection with the number of negroes among the Indians, presents one of the remarkable features of this portion of our history. It seems that the negro portion of the Seminoles was among the most ferocious members of the tribe, strongly exasperated against the whites, and it also seems, that the exasperation of the government against them was equally great, when it could occasion an order as severe as that issued by the Secretary at War to General Scott.


Though the regular troops were only about twelve hundred in number, they were reinforced by large bodies of volunteers from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana. This description of troops, however, cannot be retained long in the field, and the campaigns in which they are employed are necessarily short. It was after the middle of March, when General Scott, having made all his arrangements for the three divisions of the army, and they having been joined by the volunteers, the columns of Clinch, Eustis, and Lindsay, respectively moved towards the Wythlacoochee, in order to meet in what was supposed to be the heart of the Indian country. It was then confidently believed that the great body of the Indians were in the swamp, about the junction of the Wythlacoochce.

Its Termination.

The troops, however, moved through the country, without meeting any other enemy than separate parties of the Seminoles, who from time to time were met, and who fought fiercely in their retreat. All the battles and the plans which had preceded this expedition, had evidently failed of either breaking the spirit of the Indians, or even of tracing them to their coverts and towns. The columns of Scott moved through the country which had been the scene of Dado's massacre, and of the battles with Clinch and Gaines, without having discovered the retreats of the Indians, and, in fact, without having met any large body of them.

Meetings of the Troops at Tampa Bay. Expeditions.

On the 5th of April all the divisions of the army had arrived at Tampa Bay. Their arrival was hastened by


both sickness and hunger. It had been found impossible to carry a large supply of provisions through a country where the men alone could scarcely advance, where horses were continually failing, and where climate rendered it dangerous to expose the men to unusual fatigue. Each had in turn hastened to Tampa. The expedition having failed in its main object — the discovery and breaking up of the enemy's main or central stronghold — General Scott determined to scour the country with small detachments and corps, in order, if possible, to uncover the Indian retreats. Five different corps were employed in this way. One was led by Scott himself, which, passing the battle-ground of Dade, crossed the Ocklewaha, and finally ascended in a steamboat from Volusia up the St. John's River. Another corps moved under the command of Clinch; another under Eustis; another under Colonel Smith, up Peas Creek; a fifth moved under Major Reed, up the Wythlacoochee from its mouth; and a sixth was commanded by Colonel Lindsay. None of these parties, however, met with any more important events than that of meeting small parties of the enemy, and occasional skirmishes.

Sickness of the Army.

When this campaign, whose entire period was scarcely one month, had terminated, the troops had already been attacked with severe sickness; near four hundred were in the hospitals; the provisions were totally inadequate to proceed farther, and for the first time it had been fully discovered, and proved, that the enemy to be pursued was lodged literally in wildernesses and swamps, to which the


feet of civilized men had scarcely ever penetrated, and which were inaccessible to the common methods of approach by regular troops. Notwithstanding these facts, it is not very surprising, that many of the inhabitants of Florida on the exposed frontier were alarmed, and freely censured the general, who, however brave, zealous, or indefatigable, had nevertheless been unable to conquer the laws of nature, or resist the approaches of disease.

At various places in the northeastern part of Florida, these censures were cast upon Scott without any inquiry as to the power of the army at that season to accomplish more than had been done. In reply to these ungenerous strictures, he issued an order, dated May 17th, 1836, pronouncing much of the alarm which existed a mere panic, and pointing out the methods and forces by which the settlements would be protected during the summer.

At this time, and with all the subsequent history of the Florida War, the plans of General Scott require no vindication; for they have been amply vindicated by the six years of time, and the immense cost in money, required by the government to accomplish the conquest of the Seminoles, as well as by the knowledge of the country and the Indians, afterwards obtained. The plans of a general or a statesman must be judged by the means he had, and the circumstances in which he was placed at the time, and not by the better knowledge of other men in other times.

Retreats of the Indians.

At the time when Scott formed his plan against the


Indians of Florida, what was known of them or of the country? The greater part of Florida had scarcely been visited, even by the naturalist in pursuit of his science, or by the traveller who seeks curiosities amidst the wilds of nature. It possessed little attractions of soil, and, except innumerable beasts and reptiles, was inhabited only by the ferocious Seminole, and the equally savage blacks, who had taken refuge among them. Of the towns and residence of the Seminoles, little or no knowledge existed among the whites. They were known by their approach to the settlements, and, when the war broke out, by their devastation of the plantations, and by the places where they became visible in attacks on forts and troops. It could therefore only be known where to seek and attack them, by observing where they were most frequently found, and by such information as Indian stragglers in the white settlements could give. At the time of Scott's campaign, all the then information unquestionably pointed to the waters of the Wythlacoochee and the St. John's, as the heart of the Indian country. Accordingly, against this district the movement of the army was directed. The columns into which it was divided, moved in three directions, scouring also the country adjacent to these lines, and finally uniting. This military survey comprehended the general space between Tampa Bay and St. Augustine. Had the Indian domestic population really been there, it is scarcely possible they should not have been discovered and subdued. The plan, therefore, was reasonable, and had a strong probability of success.

Description of Florida.

It was the geographical peculiarity of Florida, the peculiar nature of its marshes, thickets, and woods, with the dangers of the climate, which made this campaign


fruitless, and which for several successive years baffled all the efforts of the government to subdue a small, but brave and desperate band of Indians.

Florida is a long and narrow peninsula, jutting from the main continent out into the ocean. Its entire length is about four hundred miles, and its average breadth scarcely more than one hundred. Through more than three-fourths of this peninsula, the St. John's River flows, occasionally spreading out into lakes and marshes, and finally disemboguing itself into the Atlantic, near the northeastern corner of Florida. Tampa Bay was nearly the Southern extremity of the operations of the army, and that was only about the middle of this long point of land. Hence, it is not difficult to see how it happened, that the domestic coverts of the Indians, the women and children, and their lodgements, were not discovered, and that there were refuges and settlements for them which could not be reached by a regular army, and could only be conquered by an environment of posts, which was the plan finally adopted.

Had Florida been an open country, or had it been like the dry forest-lands of the North, or, finally, had it been hills and vales, the Seminoles could never have maintained more than one campaign. But Florida was peculiar in its natural and geographical circumstances. In addition to the peculiarities already mentioned, Florida is distinguished for the singularity of its vegetable growth. Two kinds of growth, or the scenery of growth, are known


there by the names of the HAMMOCK and the EVERGLADE. These are very elegantly described in a letter which appeared at the time in the Northampton Courier.

The Hammock.

"The HAMMOCK," says the writer, "is an oasis in the desert. After travelling over many a tedious mile of sterile sand, covered with a thin growth of gloomy fir, not a sound to be heard in the dreary wilds save that which you yourself may cause, you perceive in the distance an emerald isle, with all the delight of a sea-worn mariner, who, after a long voyage, hears the first cry of the thrilling land, ho! As you approach this land of promise, you see spread before you one of the most imposing, and at the same time beautiful scenes in nature. A luxuriant soil extending perhaps for many miles, covered with every variety of the laurel and other evergreen trees and shrubs, and in the midst, towering above them all, the stately magnolia grandiflora, the surrounding atmosphere redolent with its delicious flowers, combined with those of the orange, lemon, and endless others. To these add one hundred and twenty varieties of deciduous forest trees; flowers and plants without number, many that have lived and died for ages past unknown, and you will have, after all, but a very faint description of the hammock in East Florida. How can I adequately describe the effect of the many beautiful little rills which, springing from the feet of these giants of the forest, traverse these favored spots in every direction, and finally lose themselves in the adjacent pine forest. The deposite at the bottom of these is generally a perfectly white sand, and the water as pure and limpid as a crystal.


The Everglades.

"THE EVERGLADES you inquire about are immense untenanted tracts, stretching north and south from Lake George to very near the southern extremity of the peninsula, sometimes extending, sometimes contracting in breadth from east to west, till it assumes its greatest dimensions between 27° and 25° 30'. In this immense body of waste, composed principally of morass, and covering probably (for every thing is rather hypothetical that relates to this terra incognita) from four to five thousand square miles, lies Lake Mayaca, and here also is the source of the noble river Charlotte. These vast and inaccessible morasses have always, and will afford a safe asylum to fugitive Indians, so long as they inhabit the peninsula, and they can there, it is said, secure from intrusion, subsist upon such game and fish as these wilds produce. It becomes, therefore, the policy of the commanders of our army to cut them off from this favorite retreat, and this they no doubt will endeavor, as a primary object, to effect."

This is an account of the country as it was in 1836, and exhibits clearly enough the mode by which the Indians eluded successfully the search of Scott's army. When that army retired, as we have stated, to summer (not winter) quarters, already in want of provisions, worn down by fatigue, and with an hospital rapidly filling with invalids, censures in northeastern Florida were freely made against the general. How little reason there was for these censures has been shown by this narrative of facts, and yet more by the subsequent campaigns of the


army in the same region. General Clinch, a most competent judge, approved of the plan then adopted, as is shown by his report of April 27th, in which he says — "The only true plan of operations against them, (Indians,) will be that first designed by you; that is, a force by Peklekoha, a force ascending by my route, and a corresponding one on the north side."

Scott's Report.

Scott, however, had, in this brief campaign, learned the extreme difficulties of the country; and while he did not believe the Indian warriors constituted a large body, he nevertheless believed and apprized the war department, that a much larger force, and very different arrangements, would be necessary. In his report of the 30th of April, he says — "To end this war, I am now persuaded, that not less than three thousand troops are indispensable; two thousand four hundred infantry, and six hundred horse; the country to be scoured and occupied requiring that number." He also recommended "two or three steamers with a light draught of water, and fifty or sixty barges capable of carrying from ten to fifteen men each. I have no desire," said he, "to conduct the operations of the new forces; that is an honor which I shall neither solicit nor decline." In fact, it took much more than this force to accomplish the overthrow of the Seminoles.

The Manner of His Recall.

In the mean while, disturbances broke out among the Creek Indians in Georgia and Alabama. On the 21st of


May, General Scott left St. Augustine for Georgia. There he proceeded forthwith to organize the volunteer corps and commissariat department, so that the operations might be successful. The Indians in Georgia were not favored by the extraordinary nature of the country, and were easily subdued. In the beginning of July, five hundred had already surrendered prisoners, and on the 12th of July, General Jesup (who had assumed the command three days before) writes that nine hundred of thirteen hundred who had previously dispersed, were surrendered and confined.

On the 9th of July, however, General Scott gave up the command of the army, having been ordered to Washington under extraordinary circumstances.

A short time previous some misunderstanding had occurred between General Scott and General Jesup, as to military arrangements. Scott had complained to the war department of an alleged disobedience of orders; and Jesup, on the other hand, had written a letter to the editor of the Globe newspaper, in which he said, that he believed Scott's "course had been destructive of the best interests of the country," and desired that the President should be shown the letter. Mr. Blair, the person to whom it was addressed, did show it to the President, and he very unexpectedly endorsed on the back of the letter, that the Secretary of War " forthwith order General Scott


to this place, in order that an inquiry be had" into the delay in prosecuting the Creek war, and the failure of the Florida campaign. This letter the President chose to consider as semi-official, and ordered it to be filed as a public document.

Demands a Court of Inquiry. Meeting of the Court.

In this manner General Scott was recalled. He proceeded immediately to Washington to demand a court of inquiry, and on the 3d of October a court, composed of Major-General Macomb, and Brigadier-Generals Atkinson and Brady, was directed to assemble at Frederick, in Maryland. After a long delay, occasioned in a great degree by the difficulty of procuring the attendance of witnesses, many of whom were engaged at the seat of war, the trial was had. After a speech by General Scott, clear in its arrangement, close in reasoning, and a complete vindication of his course, the court unanimously acquitted, or rather, as it was a court of inquiry, approved his course. They pronounced the plan of the Seminole campaign well "devised, and prosecuted with energy, steadiness, and ability." In regard to the Creek war, they said "the plan of the campaign, as adopted by Major-General Scott, was well calculated to lead to successful results; and that it was prosecuted by him, as far as practicable, with zeal and ability, until he was recalled from the command."

His Speech.

In order that this subject may be fully understood, we shall cite some passages from the official documents, published by order of the Senate in 1837, containing the


"Proceedings of the Military Court of Inquiry, in the case of Major-General Scott."

When the testimony had been gone through with, General Scott commenced summing up with the following exordium: —

"Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Court:

"When a Doge of Genoa, for some imaginary offence, imputed by Louis 14th, was torn from his government and compelled to visit France, in order to debase himself before that inflated monarch, he was asked, in the palace, what struck him with the greatest wonder amid the blaze of magnificence in his view. ‘To find myself here!’ was the reply of the indignant Lescaro. And so, Mr. President, unable, as I am, to remember one blunder in my recent operations, or a single duty neglected, I may say, that to find myself in the presence of this honorable court, while the army I but recently commanded is still in pursuit of the enemy, fills me with equal grief and astonishment.

"And whence this great and humiliating transition? It is, sir, by the fiat of one, who, from his exalted station, and yet more from his unequalled popularity, has never, with his high displeasure, struck a functionary of this government, no matter what the office of the individual, humble or elevated, who was not from the moment withered in the general confidence of the American people. Yes, sir, it is my misfortune to lie under the displeasure of that most distinguished personage. The President of the United States has said, ‘Let General Scott be recalled from the command of the army in the field, and submit his


conduct in the Seminole and Creek campaigns to a court for investigation.’ And lo! I stand here to vindicate that conduct, which must again be judged in the last resort, by him who first condemned it without trial or inquiry. Be it so. I shall not supplicate this court, nor the authority that has to review the ‘opinion’ here given. On the contrary, I shall proceed at once to challenge your justice to render me that honorable discharge from all blame or censure which the recorded evidence imperiously demands. With such discharge before him, and enlightened by the same mass of testimony, every word of which speaks loudly in my favor, the commander-in-chief of the army and the navy cannot hesitate; he must acquiesce, and then, although nothing may ever compensate me for the deep mortification I have been recently made to experience, I may hope to regain that portion of the public esteem which it was my happiness to enjoy on past occasions of deep moment to the power and the glory of the United States of America."

The general then examined and collated the evidence, making an elaborate exposition of all the circumstances of the campaign, as they are narrated in the facts we have here recorded. He closed his remarks in the following manner: —

"Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Court, — I am exhausted, but should do equal wrong to justice and to my own feelings, not to return to each and every one of you my hearty thanks for the patience and impartiality you have all shown, including the judge-advocate, in this long investigation.

"Every material fact which has been given in evidence that could by mere possibility affect your judgments to


my prejudice, and I recollect but few of that character, will be found carefully embodied, or specifically referred to in this summary. Much, I know, has been wholly omitted on the other side. These declarations, I am confident, no examinations will be able to controvert; and here I may add, that there is not an important circumstance in all my recent conduct in the field, which was not duly reported at the earliest moment, and with my own hand, for the information of government. With, then, this overwhelming mass of evidence in my favor, permit me again to ask, by what strange fatality do I find myself here? It is for this court, with the approbation of the President of the United States, to bid me depart with honor; and that that decision may be without the further alloy of suspense, in which I have now but too long been held, under circumstances which, perhaps, could not have been controlled, I will ask that it be speedily rendered."

Opinion of the Court.

The decision of the court of inquiry was entirely in favor of General Scott. In order that this may fully appear, the following extracts are transcribed from the opinion of the court, in regard both to the Florida and the Creek campaigns: —

"The court, after a careful review of the great mass of testimony taken in the foregoing investigation, (the Florida campaign,) finds that Major-General Scott was amply clothed with authority to create the means of prosecuting the Seminole war to a successful issue; but is of opinion that, at the time he was invested with the command, the season was too far advanced for him to collect, appoint, and put in motion his forces, until a day too late to accomplish the object. It appears that after using great diligence and energy, he was not in a condition to take the


field and enter the enemy's strongholds before the 28th of March, and then without sufficient means for transporting the necessary supplies to enable him to remain there long enough to seek out the scattered forces of the enemy.

"The court, therefore, ascribe the failure of the campaign to the want of time to operate, the insalubrity of the climate after the middle of April, the impervious swamps and hammocks that abound in the country then occupied by the enemy, affording him cover and retreat at every step, and absence of all knowledge, by the general or any part of his forces, of the topography of the country, together with the difficulty of obtaining, in time, the means of transporting supplies for the army.

"The court is further of opinion, from the testimony of many officers of rank and intelligence who served in the campaign, that Major-General Scott was zealous and indefatigable in the discharge of his duties, and that his plan of campaign was well devised, and prosecuted with energy, steadiness, and ability."

On the other charge, which was tried at the same time, of delay in opening and prosecuting the Creek campaign in 1836, the opinion of the court was as follows, viz.: —

"Upon a careful examination of the abundant testimony taken in the foregoing case, the court is of opinion that no delay, which it was practicable to have avoided, was made by Major-General Scott in opening the campaign against the Creek Indians. On the contrary, it appears that he took the earliest measures to provide arms, munitions, and provisions for his forces, who were found almost wholly destitute; and as soon as arms could be put into the hands of the volunteers, they were, in succession, detached and placed in positions to prevent the enemy from retiring


upon Florida, whence they could move against the main body of the enemy, as soon as equipped for offensive operations.

"From the testimony of the Governor of Georgia, of Major-General Sanford, commander of the Georgia volunteers, and many other witnesses of high rank and standing who were acquainted with the topography of the country, and the position and strength of the enemy, the court is of opinion that the plan of campaign adopted by General Scott was well calculated to lead to successful results, and that it was prosecuted by him, as far as practicable, with zeal and ability, until recalled from the command."

Such was the strong testimony which the court and the witnesses bore to General Scott's zealous and judicious arrangements in the campaigns of the south. At this time, looking back upon the events of those campaigns, with a clearer vision than could then be fixed on a contemporaneous field of action, the truth and the justice of this judicial opinion are both manifest and demonstrable.

Mr. Biddle's Speech in Congress.

In the year 1837, when the House of Representatives was engaged in one of those debates on various and miscellaneous topics, which grow out of the management of public affairs, the bill before the House being one containing an appropriation for the Florida war, the Hon. Richard Biddle, of Pennsylvania, took occasion to speak of General Scott, in connection with the Florida Campaigns. His speech was able, eloquent, and effective. He reviewed all the circumstances of the war in Florida, and particularly the part General Scott had taken in those events. As a specimen of the eloquence of Congress, as well as an apt commentary on the subject of this history, we record some portions of Mr. Biddle's speech.


Mr. Biddle said: —
"It would be recollected by all, that after the war in Florida had assumed a formidable aspect, Major-General Scott was called to the command. An officer of his rank and standing was not likely to seek a service in which, amidst infinite toil and vexation, there would be no opportunity for the display of military talent on a scale at all commensurate with that in which his past fame had been acquired. Yet he entered on it with the alacrity, zeal, and devotion to duty by which he has ever been distinguished.

"And here (Mr. B. said) he might be permitted to advert to the past history of this officer.

"Sir, when the late General Brown, writing from the field of Chippewa, said that General Scott merited the highest praises which a grateful country could bestow, was there a single bosom throughout this wide republic that did not respond to the sentiment? I for one, at least, can never forget the thrill of enthusiasm, boy as I then was, which mingled with my own devout thankfulness to God, that the cloud which seemed to have settled on our arms was at length dispelled. On that plain it was established that Americans could be trained to meet and to beat, in the open field, without breastworks, the regulars of Britain.

"Sir, the result of that day was due not merely to the gallantry of General Scott upon the field. It must in part be ascribed to the patient, anxious, and indefatigable drudgery, the consummate skill as a tactician, with which he had labored, night and day, at the camp near Buffalo, to prepare his brigade for the career on which it was about to enter.


"After a brief interval he again led that brigade to the glorious victory of Bridgewater. He bears now upon his body the wounds of that day.

"It had ever been the characteristic of this officer to seek the post of danger, not to have it thrust upon him. In the years preceding that to which I have specially referred — in 1812 and 1813 — the eminent services he rendered were in positions which properly belonged to others, but into which he was led by irrepressible ardor and jealousy of honor.

"Since the peace with Great Britain, the talents of General Scott have ever been at the command of his country. His pen and his sword have alike been put in requisition to meet the varied exigencies of the service.

"When the difficulties with the western Indians swelled up into importance, General Scott was dispatched to the scene of hostility. There rose up before him then, in the ravages of a frightful pestilence, a form of danger infinitely more appalling than the perils of the field. How he bore himself in this emergency — how faithfully he became the nurse and the physician of those from whom terror and loathing had driven all other aid, cannot be forgotten by a just and grateful country."

Mr. Biddle then continued in a defense of the conduct of General Scott in the Florida and Alabama campaigns, concluding with the following eloquent peroration: —
"Mr. Chairman, I believe that a signal atonement to Gen. Scott will, one day, be extorted from the justice of this House. We owe it to him; but we owe it still more to the country. What officer can feel secure in the face of that great example of triumphant injustice? Who can place before himself the anticipation of establishing higher


claims upon the gratitude of the country than General Scott? Yet he was sacrificed. His past services went for nothing. Sir, you may raise new regiments, and issue new commissions, but you cannot, without such atonement, restore the high moral tone which befits the depositaries of the national honor. I fondly wish that the highest and the lowest in the country's service might be taught to regard this House as the jealous guardian of his rights, against caprice, or favoritism, or outrage, from whatever quarter. I would have him know that, in running up the national flag, at the very moment our daily labors commence, we do not go through an idle form. On whatever distant service he may be sent — whether urging his way amidst tumbling icebergs, towards the pole, or fainting in the unwholesome heats of Florida — I would enable him, as he looks up to that flag, to gather hope and strength. It should impart to him a proud feeling of confidence and security. He should know that the same emblem of majesty and justice floats over the councils of the nation; and that in its untarnished lustre we have all a common interest and a common sympathy. Then, sir, and not before, will you have an army or a navy worthy to sustain and to perpetuate the glory of former days."

While such were the sentiments towards General Scott, felt and uttered by men of distinguished intelligence in the highest representative assembly of the people, there were not wanting those who, standing in the first rank of citizens, and of men of business, held the same sentiments; and desired to express towards him the same high respect.

Scott Invited to a Public Dinner in New York. He Declines.

Soon after his entire exoneration from blame by the court of inquiry, he received an invitation to a public dinner at New York, tendered before his return by a large


and respectable number of people in that city, from both political parties. This invitation he accepted. It was, however, afterwards postponed, at his request, until the second Tuesday of May, and before the arrival of that day it was altogether declined, for reasons expressed in the following note, addressed to the committee of invitation:

His Letter.

General Scott to the New York Committee


Early last month I accepted the invitation to a public dinner, which you and other friends did me the honor to tender me. In a few days the embarrassments of this great emporium became such, that I begged the compliment might be indefinitely postponed. You however, were so kind as to hold me to my engagement, and to appoint a day for the meeting, which is now near at hand. In the mean time, the difficulties in the commercial world have gone on augmenting, and many of my friends, here and elsewhere, have been whelmed under the general calamity of the times.

"Feeling deeply for the losses and anxieties of all, no public honor could now be enjoyed by me. I must, therefore, under the circumstances, positively but most respectfully withdraw my acceptance of your invitation. I have the honor to remain, gentlemen, with the greatest esteem, your friend and servant,


On the reception of this note, the subscribers to the proposed dinner held a meeting, the Hon. Cornelius W. Lawrence in the chair, and unanimously adopted the following resolutions: —


"Resolved, That in the decision of General Scott to withdraw, for the reasons assigned, his acceptance of the public dinner designed to testify to him our high appreciation, both of his private and public character, we find new evidence of his sympathy with all that regards the public welfare, and of his habitual oblivion of self, where the feelings and interests of others are concerned.

"Resolved, That we rejoice with the joy of friends in the result, so honorable to General Scott, of the recent court of inquiry, instituted to investigate his military conduct as commander-in-chief in Alabama and Florida, and that the President of the United States, (Mr. Van Buren,) in approving its proceedings, acted in gratifying unison with the general sentiments of the nation."

Asks to Command the Army in Florida, and is Refused.

Scott also received similar invitations from the citizens of Richmond, Virginia, and of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, places which had been his home at different times. These he respectfully declined for the same reasons. After the decision of the court of inquiry, General Scott addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, (Mr. Poinsett,) claiming the immediate direction of the Florida war, on the ground that the theatre of operations constituted a part of the geographical division of which he was the commander; that nearly all the troops of his division were ordered to Florida, and that he was senior in rank to General Jesup, then commanding there.

The Virginia representation in Congress, without any agency of General Scott in the matter, almost unanimously made an appeal to the Secretary in support of that reasonable request. The "Richmond Enquirer," ever a most influential print with the administration of that day, also backed this application in the following complimentary


terms: — "We should have hoped there could be no difficulty in granting it. General Scott ranks pre-eminently high in the confidence of the country and of the army; and we should presume that, in other respects, his claims are superior to those of any other officer. The Secretary of War is well acquainted with the merits of General Scott, and we should hope that he will be willing to assign him so important a command, in which all his heart and all his energies will be powerfully enlisted."

The request was not granted. Scott took no further part in the Florida campaigns, which continued to exhaust the treasury, and employ the ingenuity of government and army for the six following years, when the war was happily concluded by Brigadier-General Worth.


Chapter XVIII.

Troubles on the Niagara Frontier.

IN the year 1837, Canada, which had continued, in spite of the republican influences of the United States, under the government of Great Britain, became the scene of great political excitement, and of warm resistance to the measures of its administration. Towards the close of that year insurgent movements broke out among the French population of the lower province, and the spirit of revolt was spread among the disaffected of Upper Canada. The border population of all nations take great interest in what occurs beyond the boundary line, and are disposed either to invade or sympathize with their neighbors, according to the events by which they are excited. When, therefore, the flame of insurrection was kindled in Canada, it was not arrested by a mere line of jurisdiction. It reached and agitated the frontier inhabitants of the United States, along the long border from the hills of Vermont to the Huron of the northwest. On this frontier, the citizens enrolled themselves as Canada patriots or sympathizers, until, perhaps one fourth of all the inhabitants


capable of bearing arms were professed friends and abettors of the Canada movement. Itinerant refugees were seen everywhere organizing their friends, with a view to descents upon the Canadas. Thousands and thousands met in lodges all along the border, oaths of secrecy were administered, principal leaders appointed, generals and staff-officers chosen, and, at least for Upper Canada, a provisional government formed. The President of the United States issued his proclamation enjoining all good citizens to observe the strictest neutrality towards the British provinces. It had but little effect.

Patriot Excitement.

The arms in the hands of the citizens, and even those in the state arsenals within reach of the borders, were soon seized or purloined, thus affording equipments to the American Canada patriots. At length, a Mr. Van Rensselaer, with some hundreds of followers, crossed from Schlosser, (a mile and a half above Niagara Falls,) and took possession of Navy Island, a small uninhabited spot within the British line, but nearer to our shore. At this time there could be little hope of going further, for the only outbreak in the opposite province had been crushed in a moment by the very people to whom it was proposed to give independence and freedom. At this time also, besides some regular troops, seventeen-twentieths of the provincial militia were firm in their loyalty, well organized, well armed, and commanded by regular officers.

This idle invasion, though unimportant to the Canadas, was not without consequences in history. It was followed


by a very serious incident, which excited deep feeling in the United States, and was the subject of much diplomatic correspondence.

Attack on the Caroline.

Van Rensselaer, we have said, was stationed with a scanty and ill-provided band of forces, at Navy Island. Schlosser, as above stated, was a point on the American shore just opposite. A small steamer called the Caroline was engaged by Van Rensselaer to act as a ferry-boat between these two points. The very first night the Caroline commenced her voyages between these two points, the British fitted out an expedition from the opposite point, Chippewa. Instead of directing their attack, as they might have done, against Navy Island, within their own territory, and which they would probably have captured, they chose to violate our territory, by boarding the unarmed steamer fastened to the wharf at Schlosser. She happened to be full of idle people, including boys unconnected with Van Rensselaer, who had been attracted to the frontier by the rumor of war, and who had simply begged a night's lodgings. One citizen was killed, and several others wounded. The boat was cut loose, set on fire, and sent over the cataract, as was reported, and long believed by many, with several wounded Americans on board. When this occurred, a flame of excitement rose up throughout the interior of the United States. The sentiment of patriotism and the feeling of revenge were frequently mingled together. Orderly citizens seized upon the arms nearest at hand, and flocked to the frontier. Their numbers increased, and the peace of this country, and perhaps of all other civilized nations, was threatened, by the act of outrage committed on the Caroline.

General Scott Ordered to the Niagara. Is Accompanied by Governor Marcy.

That vessel was destroyed December 29th, 1837.


The news reached Washington January 4th. General Scott happened to be there. A cabinet council was called, and Scott was told that blood had been shed, and he must hasten to the frontier. Full powers were given him to call for militia, to put himself in communication with the United States district attorneys, marshals, and collectors, in order through them to enforce the act of neutrality, the good faith pledged to Great Britain by treaty, and, in short, to defend our own territory, if necessary, against invasion, or to maintain peace throughout the borders. No regular troops were at hand. All had been withdrawn for the Florida war. He had ordered up, in passing New York, small parties of unattached army recruits, and at Albany invited the able and patriotic governor (Marcy) to accompany him to the Niagara. The presence of the governor was highly valuable during the few days that he could remain. Being on the spot, he was ready to supply any number of volunteers, on the requisition of Scott, as they might be needed; for it was not known that the violation of our territory at Schlosser might not be followed up by other outrages of the same kind.

Scott's Measures.

All this was quite a new scene for Scott. In 1812 he had appeared on the same theatre as the leader of battalions and the victor of battles. Now, rhetoric and diplomacy were to be his principal weapons, his countrymen and friends the object of conquest, and a little correspondence with the British authorities beyond the line, as an episode to the whole. Had Scott not been a soldier, though he had been the famed Athenian orator or the American

"Henry, the forest-born Demosthenes,
Whose thunders shook the Philip of the seas,"


his entreaties and harangues would have been wholly lost upon his hearers. But the memory of other days gave for him an influence which he would have sought in vain without it. The patriot-warrior of 1812-13-14 reappearing near the scene of his former glory, drew forth the applause of listening multitudes.

During the winter of 1838 and that of 1838-9, he was busy in exercising his influence for peace, and in quieting our disturbed frontier. This was his employment for many months of the coldest season of the year. The patriot movements were chiefly confined to the season of frost, which, bridging with ice some of the waters separating the two countries, greatly favored descents upon Upper Canada. General Scott was ably seconded in watching and counteracting those movements by other distinguished officers. General Brady on Lake Erie and the Detroit frontier, General Worth (made General 1842) on the Niagara, Lake Ontario, and St. Lawrence frontier, and Generals Wool and Eustis on the northern side of New York and Vermont, were active in aiding General Scott in his arrangements, and pacifying the borders. The troops, both regulars and volunteers, proved to be steady supporters of law and order, and were held everywhere ready, as posses, at the call of the United States marshals and collectors. The other officers mentioned were the district commanders.

He Harangues the People.

Scott posted himself nowhere, but was by turns rapidly everywhere, and always in the midst of the greater difficulties. In these winter campaigns against the trespassers of the borders, he passed frequently along the frontier, sometimes on the Detroit and sometimes on the north line of Vermont. His journeyings were made by land, and


principally in the night; oftentimes with the cold from ten to twenty degrees below freezing point. Daylight he chiefly employed in organizing the means of counteraction by an extensive correspondence and the labors of direct pacification. He obtained, and pressed upon district attorneys, marshals, and collectors, information of the designs and movements of the patriots, and tendered to those civil functionaries the aid of the troops. In performance of his duty as a peacemaker, he addressed, on a line of eight hundred miles, immense gatherings of citizens, principally organized sympathizers, who had their arms at hand.

In these addresses he declaimed with fervor, and they were often received with the loud applause of the audience. He handled every topic which could inspire shame in misdoers, or excite pride in the friends of the government and country. His speeches were made with popular illustrations and allusions, and addressed both to the knowledge and the sentiment of the people. He reminded them of the nature of a republic, which can have no foundation of permanency except in the general intelligence, virtue, respect, and obedience of its people; that if, in the attempt to force on our unwilling neighbors independence and free institutions, we had first to spurn and trample under foot treaty stipulations and laws made by our own representatives, we should greatly hazard free institutions at home in the confidence and respect of our own people; that no government can or ought to exist for a moment after losing the power of executing its obligations to foreign countries, and of enforcing its own laws at home; that that power depended in a republic chiefly on the people themselves; that we had a treaty with England,


binding us to the strictest observance of amity, or all the duties of good neighborhood with adjoining provinces, and also an act of Congress for enforcing those solemn obligations; that the treaty and the laws were as binding on the honor and the conscience of every American freeman, as if he had specially voted for each; that this doctrine was of the very essence of a civilized republic, as the neglect of it could not fail to sink us into anarchy, barbarism, and universal contempt; that an aggressive war, waged by a part of the community, without just cause and without preparation, as is common among barbarian tribes, necessarily drags the non-consenting many along with the madness of the few, involving all alike in crime, disaster, and disgrace; that a war, to be successful, must be very differently commenced; and in these addresses he would often conclude: — "Fellow-citizens, — and I thank God, we have a common government as well as a common, origin, — I stand before you without troops and without arms, save the blade by my side. I am, therefore, within your power. Some of you have known me in other scenes, and all of you know that I am ready to do what my country and what duty demands. I tell you, then, except it be over my body, you shall not pass this line — you shall not embark."

To the inquiry everywhere heard, "But what say you of the burning of the Caroline, and the murder of citizens at our own shore?"

In reply to these questions, General Scott always frankly admitted that these acts constituted a national outrage, and that they called for explanation and satisfaction; but that this whole subject was in the hands of the President, the official organ of the country, specially chosen by the


people for national purposes; that there was no doubt the President would make the proper demand, and failing to obtain satisfaction, would lay the whole matter before Congress — the representative of the public will, and next to the people, the tribunal before which the ultimate appeal must be made.

Exciting Adventure with the Barcelona.

These harangues were applauded, and were generally very successful. Masses of patriots broke off and returned to their respective homes, declaring, that if Scott had been accompanied by an army they would not have listened, but persevered. The friends of order were also encouraged to come out in support of authority, and at length peace and quiet were restored. In the mean while, one of those incidents occurred which make history dramatic, and which illustrate how much depends on individual men and single events. Many days after the destruction of the "Caroline," another steamer, the "Barcelona," was cut out of the ice in Buffalo harbor, (January, 1838,) and taken down the Niagara river, to be offered, as was known, to the patriots, who were still on Navy Island. Scott wished to compel them to abandon their criminal enterprise. He also desired to have them, on returning within our jurisdiction, arrested by the marshal, who was always with him. For this purpose, he sent an agent to hire the Barcelona for the service of the United States, before the patriots could get the means to pay for her, or find sureties to indemnify the owners in case of capture or destruction by the British. He succeeded in all these objects. The Barcelona proceeded back to Buffalo, where Scott had immediate use for her on Lake


Erie, yet navigable in all its length. The authorities on the Canada side were on the alert to destroy her.

As the Barcelona slowly ascended against the current on our side of Grand Island, (belonging to the United States,) three armed British schooners, besides batteries on the land, were in positions, as the day before, to sink her as she came out from behind that island. On the 16th of January, Scott and Governor Marcy stood on the American shore opposite that point, watching events. The smoke of the approaching boat could be seen in the distance, and the purpose of the British was perfectly evident in all their movements. The batteries on our side were promptly put in position. The matches were lighted. All was ready to return the British fire. There was a crisis!

The day before this, when it was supposed the Navy Island people were coming up the same channel in other craft, and before it was known that the Barcelona had accepted his offered engagement, Scott wrote on his knee, and dispatched by an aid-de-camp, the following note.

Letter to the Commanding Officer of the Armed British Vessels in the Niagara.

"Head-quarters, Eastern Division U. S. Army, two miles below Black Rock, January 15th, 1838.

"Sir —

With his Excellency the Governor of New York, who has troops at hand, we are here to enforce the neutrality


of the United States, and to protect our own soil or waters from violation. The proper civil officers are also present to arrest, if practicable, the leaders of the expedition on foot against Upper Canada.

"Under these circumstances, it gives me pain to perceive the armed vessels, mentioned, anchored in our waters, with the probable intention to fire upon that expedition moving in the same waters.

"Unless the expedition should first attack — in which case we shall interfere — we shall be obliged to consider a discharge of shot or shell from or into our waters, from the armed schooners of her Majesty, as an act seriously compromiting the neutrality of the two nations. I hope, therefore, that no such unpleasant incident may occur.

"I have the honor to remain, &c., &c.


He Maintains Peace.

The same intimation was repeated and explained the next morning, January 16th, to a captain of the British army, who had occasion to wait upon Scott on other business, and who immediately returned. It was just then that the Barcelona moved up the current of the Niagara. The cannon on either shore were pointed, the matches lighted, and thousands stood in suspense. On the jutting pier of Black Rock, in view of all, stood the tall form of Scott, in full uniform, watching the approaching boat. On Scott's note and his personal assurances, alone depended the question of PEACE or WAR. Happily, these assurances had their just effect. The Barcelona


passed along. The British did not fire. The matches were extinguished; the two nations, guided by wise counsels, resumed their usual way; and war's wild alarms were hushed into the whispers of peace.

Small a place as this incident may occupy in history, it was a critical moment in the affairs of nations. Had one British gun been fired, and much more had the Barcelona been destroyed, no authority or influence would have restrained our excited population. We should probably have had an unpremedited war, one of those calamities which nations have to endure for their sins, and which is without the consoling and self-supporting consciousness of a great moral right. It would have been war from an incident, and not a national controversy.

War may be justified on moral grounds, when the thing in dispute is of small physical magnitude, but there must be a question of right at the bottom. Such was the case when Scott, on this same Niagara frontier, had, by glorious achievement, mingled his fame with the eternal voices of its cataract. Then, he was contending for those rights of man and of citizenship without which a nation could neither be independent, nor respect itself, nor be respected by the nations of the earth. Now, the dictate of right was peace, a peace which should leave the people of Great Britain and its colonies to settle their own domestic government in their own way, while our citizens were left undisturbed in their rights, and our shores untouched by the hand of aggression.


He is Complimented at Albany.

Soon after this time, General Scott passed through Albany, when the legislature was in session, and received the attentions of a large number of public men and other citizens, without distinction of party. A public supper was given him, principally by members of the legislature, at which the lieutenant-governor presided, and Governor Marcy was a guest. All vied in expressions of respect for, and confidence in, the gallant officer whom they had assembled to welcome to the capital.


Among the toasts given on this occasion, may be cited the following, as characteristic of the prevailing tone and spirit —

"WINFIELD SCOTT — not less the scholar than the soldier, whose pen and sword have been wielded with equal skill in the defense of his country."

"THE SOLDIER — who has ever made the law of the land his supreme rule of action, and who, while he has always fulfilled its utmost requirements, has never, in a single instance, transcended its limits."

"OUR GUEST — the invincible champion of our rights, the triumphant vindicator of our laws."

A similar entertainment was given on the following evening at another hotel, the Honorable Gulian C. Verplanck presiding.

The feelings and confidence of his fellow-citizens were thus, in various ways and in numerous quarters, manifested towards the man who was not merely a soldier, nor only a leader, but who was the servant of the laws, the faithful citizen, and the pacificator of troubled communities.


Chapter XIX. 1838.

Cherokee Controversy.

FOR more than ten years, extending from 1828 to 1838, a controversy was maintained, in various forms, between the state of Georgia and the Cherokee tribe of Indians, most of whom were residents of Georgia, and between the United States and each of those parties. The subject of this controversy was the lands belonging to the Cherokees in the state of Georgia. As the white settlements advanced, the Indians were gradually enclosed. They had become cultivators of the soil. They held good farms. They had a yet greater attraction, in the discovery of gold within their territory — that shining object, which had added new energy to the enterprise of settling the Western World, when as yet the ocean was a trackless waste, and the land an unsubdued wild. It is not surprising that these attractions were enough to allure the desires of the whites, and occasion efforts to drive the Indians from their lands. The only question was the justice of the means used to attain the end.


The civil relations of the Cherokees with the United States, and with Georgia, were not a little complicated; so that, in fact, each party to the controversy maintained some shadow of right. In the opinion of Chief Justice Marshall, delivered in the case of S. A. Worcester versus the State of Georgia, the relations which the Indian tribes bear to the United States are fully stated.

"Their relation," says the chief justice, "is that of a nation claiming and receiving the protection of one more powerful; not that of individuals abandoning their national character and submitting, as subjects to the laws of a master."

Speaking of the acts of Congress to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indians, he says, "All these acts, and especially that of 1802, which is still in force, manifestly consider the several Indian nations as distinct political communities, having territorial boundaries within which their authority is exclusive, and having a right to all the lands within those boundaries, which is not only acknowledged but guarantied by the United States."

The relation of the Indians to the United States was that of pupillage and guardianship, the guardian having acknowledged the separate existence, distinct character, and positive rights of the pupil.

In pursuance of this relationship, the United States had made repeated treaties of alliance and friendship with the Cherokees, acknowledging their rights, and offering encouragements for their civilization.

One of these treaties contained the following stipulations.


"Art. 7. The United States solemnly guaranty to the Cherokee nation, all their lands not hereby ceded."

"Art. 14. That the Cherokee nation may be led to a greater degree of civilization, and to become herdsmen and cultivators, instead of remaining in a state of hunting, the United States will, from time to time, furnish gratuitously the said nation with useful implements of husbandry, &c."

Under this encouragement the Cherokees did become "herdsmen and cultivators;" and they are yet by far the most educated and civilized of any aboriginal tribe.

These were the rights which the Cherokees could claim of the United States, and the United States had guarantied to them. The position of Georgia, however, was very different. Georgia, by virtue of her municipal sovereignty as one of the States of the Union, claimed a right to extend her criminal jurisdiction over the Indians, and claimed also that the general government was bound to extinguish the Indian title to lands within her territory. Accordingly, in April, 1802, the United States entered into a compact with Georgia, that the general government would purchase the lands of the Indians, and remove them as soon as this could be peaceably accomplished. Georgia, then, did not acknowledge that any duties were due from her to the Cherokees, while she claimed from the United States the vacation of the Indian lands and claims. On the other hand, the Cherokees replied, that it was no matter what claims, real or imaginary, Georgia might have on the United States, she had none upon them; that they had a right to their lands, and that the United States were bound by the faith of treaties to respect those rights. The refusal of the Indians to sell their lands, and the impossibility of satisfying Georgia without extinguishing


the Indian title, prolonged the controversy through many years, and finally resulted in an unsatisfactory treaty, and a forcible removal of the Indians.

Measures for Removal.

During this controversy, a plan was formed for the settlement of the Indians on lands beyond the Mississippi, where it was supposed they would be undisturbed by the contact or the competition of the whites. In pursuance of this plan, a treaty was at length concluded with a portion of the Cherokee chiefs, and a partial ratification obtained. It was claimed to be legal, although controverted and alleged to be fraudulent by a portion of the Cherokee nation. The United States, however, proceeded to enforce it, and the Indians were, at length, compelled to yield to what seemed an inevitable destiny.

General Scott Ordered to Command the Troops.

On the 10th of April, 1838, General Scott received orders to take the command of the troops dispatched to the Cherokee country, and to assume the general direction of affairs in that quarter. Having concerted measures with the war department for the removal of the Cherokees, and for the protection of the neighboring citizens, he entered upon his painful field of labor with that conscientiousness, and that high regard to duty, which forms a distinguished characteristic of his public as well as private acts.

Indeed, to remove against their general will a large body of Indians, some of whom were wealthy, and most of whom were partially civilized and Christianized, and all tillers of their own lands under a guarantee that their rights should not be disturbed, was a painful and trying duty. That God might enable him so to perform this service that its hard requirements should be tempered with mercy, was now his frequent prayer.


His Arrangements.

According to the terms of the treaty of 1835, the Cherokees occupying portions of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee, were obliged to emigrate, at this time, to lands allotted them by the United States, on the Arkansas River. Of this tribe there were yet left (some had previously emigrated) about fifteen thousand, clinging to their ancient homes and to the graves of their fathers. These it was the duty of General Scott to remove; and his orders were to effect it peaceably if he could, but forcibly if he must. Several regiments of troops were placed at his command, and authority given him to call upon the governors of the neighboring States for all the forces which would be required.

General Order.

On the 10th of May he issued an address to the Cherokee nation, having, two days before, reached the Cherokee agency in Tennessee. There he found Colonel Lindsay, an old and valued friend, in command. The judicious arrangements which had already been commenced by Lindsay, received high praise from Scott. Posts had been established in important settlements of the Cherokees, and the principal mountain-passes were well guarded. It was at this place he issued his address, which was circulated in handbills, and with it an address to the troops. From the last, which was a general order, we extract here enough, separated from military detail, to show the caution, care, discretion, and humanity, which Scott enjoined upon the troops, and the pains he took to prevent any untoward accident, or any acts of unnecessary severity or cruelty: —


"Head Quarters, Eastern Division,
Cherokee Agency, May 17th, 1838.

"Considering the number and temper of the mass to be removed, together with the extent and fastness of the country occupied, it will readily occur that simple indiscretions, acts of harshness, and cruelty on the part of our troops, may lead, step by step, to delays, to impatience, and exasperation, and, in the end, to a general war and carnage; a result, in the case of these particular Indians, utterly abhorrent to the generous sympathies of the whole American people. Every possible kindness, compatible with the necessity of removal, must, therefore, be shown by the troops; and if, in the ranks, a despicable individual should be found capable of inflicting a wanton injury or insult on any Cherokee man, woman, or child, it is hereby made the special duty of the nearest good officer or man instantly to interpose, and to seize and consign the guilty wretch to the severest penalty of the laws. The major-general is fully persuaded that this injunction will not be neglected by the brave men under his command, who cannot be otherwise than jealous of their own honor, and that of their country.

"By early and persevering acts of kindness and humanity, it is impossible to doubt that the Indians may soon be induced to confide in the army, and, instead of fleeing to mountains and forests, flock to us for food and clothing. If, however, through false apprehensions, individuals, or a party near and there, should seek to hide themselves, they must be pursued and invited to surrender, but not fired upon, unless they should make a stand to resist. Even in such cases, mild remedies may sometimes better succeed than violence; and it cannot be doubted, if we


get possession of the women and children first, or first capture the men, that, in either case, the outstanding members of the same families will readily come in on the assurance of forgiveness and kind treatment.

"Every captured man, as well as all who surrender themselves, must be disarmed, with the assurance that their weapons will be carefully preserved and restored at, or beyond the Mississippi. In either case, the men will be guarded and escorted, except it may be where their women and children are safely secured as hostages; but, in general, families in our possession will not be separated, unless it be to send men, as runners, to invite others to come in.

"It may happen that Indians will be found too sick, in the opinion of the nearest surgeon, to be removed to one of the depots indicated above. In every such case, one or more of the family or the friends of the sick person will be left in attendance, with ample subsistence and remedies, and the remainder of the family removed by the troops. Infants, superannuated persons, lunatics, and women in helpless condition, will all, in the removal, require peculiar attention, which the brave and humane will seek to adapt to the necessities of the several cases."

This address, the reader observes, is characterized by humanity, kindness, and a careful regard to the well-being and safety of the Indians.

Address to the Indians.

The Address to the Cherokees was as follows —


"MAJOR GENERAL SCOTT, of the United States Army, sends to the Cherokee people remaining in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, this


"Cherokees — The President of the United States has sent me, with a powerful army, to cause you, in obedience to the treaty of 1835, to join that part of your people who are already established in prosperity on the other side of the Mississippi. Unhappily, the two years which were allowed for the purpose, you have suffered to pass away without following, and without making any preparation to follow, and now, or by the time that this solemn address shall reach your distant, settlements, the emigration must be commenced in haste, but, I hope, without disorder. I have no power, by granting a farther delay, to correct the error that you have committed. The full moon of May is already on the wane, and before another shall have passed away, every Cherokee man, woman, and child, in those states, must be in motion to join their brethren in the far West.

"My friends — This is no sudden determination on the part of the President, whom you and I must now obey. By the treaty, the emigration was to have been completed on or before the 23d of this month, and the President has constantly kept you warned, during the two years allowed, through all his officers and agents in this country, that the treaty would be enforced.

"I am come to carry out that determination. My troops already occupy many positions in the country that


you are to abandon, and thousands and thousands are approaching from every quarter, to render resistance and escape alike hopeless. All those troops, regular and militia, are your friends. Receive them and confide in them as such. Obey them when they tell you that you can remain no longer in this country. Soldiers are as kind-hearted as brave, and the desire of every one of us is to execute our painful duty in mercy. We are commanded by the President to act towards you in that spirit, and such is also the wish of the whole people of America.

"Chiefs, head men, and warriors — Will you then, by resistance, compel us to resort to arms? God forbid! Or will you, by flight, seek to hide yourselves in mountains and forests, and thus oblige us to hunt you down? Remember that, in pursuit, it may be impossible to avoid conflicts. The blood of the white man, or the blood of the red man, may be spilt, and if spilt, however accidentally, it may be impossible for the discreet and humane among you, or among us, to prevent a general war and carnage. Think of this, my Cherokee brethren! I am an old warrior, and have been present at many a scene of slaughter; but spare me, I beseech you, the horror of witnessing the destruction of the Cherokees.

"Do not, I invite you, even wait for the close approach of the troops; but make such preparations for emigration as you can, and hasten to this place, to Ross's Landing, or to Gunter's Landing, where you will all be received in kindness by officers selected for the purpose. You will find food for all, and clothing for the destitute, at either of those places, and thence at your ease, and in comfort, be transported to your new homes according to the terms of the treaty,


"This is the address of a warrior to warriors. May his entreaties be kindly received, and may the God of both prosper the Americans and Cherokees, and preserve them long in peace and friendship with each other.


To show unity of sentiment and purpose, the printed order and address went together to soldiers and Indians.

Enrollment for Removal.

Several families immediately enrolled themselves for voluntary emigration; and but for the rapid circulation, at this time, of a report that the Cherokee delegation, still at Washington, would succeed in obtaining a modification of the treaty, Scott's most anxious desire to effect the removal voluntarily and at once, might have been realized. They believed that the power and influence of their delegation would be sufficient to accomplish that object, and therefore turned a deaf ear to the entreaties and advice of Scott, who was, in fact, their friend. He had deemed it humane, by the strength of numbers and measures, to make resistance hopeless. He had therefore spread his troops rapidly, and soon informed the superintendent of removal, a civil officer, that the Indians from Georgia would be sent in by the end of June, and from the other states by the end of July.

Indian Encampment.

The collection was commenced in Georgia, May 26, under the eye of Scott. The Indians were brought into the military posts, where they were amply provided for. Thence they were escorted to emigrating depots as rapidly as was consistent with the collection of their personal effects, their health, and comfort. By the middle of June the operations in Georgia had been so nearly completed, that orders were issued for the honorable discharge of the


troops of that state. In Scott's order, high praise was bestowed on Brigadier-General Charles Floyd and the troops under his command, who were all of Georgia, for the handsome and humane manner in which their duties were performed.

Scott hoping that the Cherokees in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, might be encouraged to enroll themselves voluntarily, by the kind treatment shown to their brethren in Georgia, now sent Indian runners, who tendered their services, to those distant settlements; and in the mean time suspended further collections to the 20th of June. On the morning of the 13th, those Indiana were found by the troops as entirely unprepared as the Georgian Cherokees had been; yet, at the end of ten days, all but a few stragglers in the mountains were brought in, with their personal property. The volunteers were discharged before the 15th of July, and as rapidly as arrangements could be made for their being mustered and paid, except a single company, retained a little longer for special service. More than a million of dollars was saved by the rapidity of these movements and discharges. With the exception of a few principal families, allowed to remain at their comfortable homes until called for, and some stragglers in the mountains, the whole body of the Cherokee nation had been collected for emigration before the middle of July, and without shedding one drop of blood. They were not without arms and fastness, nor without courage for the defense of their native homes. They were conquered by skilful movements, and yet more by generous kindness. All the volunteers, like the regulars,


had caught the spirit of Scott's addresses and orders. It was a pleasant and edifying scene to see officers and men everywhere giving ready aid, in every difficulty and distress, to the helplessness of age and infancy. Tears were doubtless shed, and not alone by the Indian race.

Scott's Humane Care.

Scott's business up to this date had been simply military. To bring in the Indians, and to turn them over with guards, if needed, to the civil agent for Cherokee emigration, was the only duty assigned him by the government. That agent had already put in motion some three thousand for their Western destination. But now, the Hiwassee, the Tennessee, and the Arkansas rivers had ceased, to be navigable. A drought which had commenced in June, and which lasted to October, had already become distressing. In the next ten days, drinking water for men and horses near the land route of emigration was not to be found, except at intervals of ten, or more frequently, of thirty miles. Scott, from humanity, and at the instance of the Cherokees, took upon himself to stop the emigration until the return of the cool and healthy season. That determination was subsequently approved at Washington.

All the principal Indians were first called to headquarters. Scott spoke of the drought, stated his wish to suspend the movement to the West, the expense of delay, the extreme inconvenience to himself of remaining with them till autumn, the want also of the regular troops elsewhere, and the fear that their people might break and disperse, if not kept within the chain of posts and sentinels. Every chief instantly agreed to sign a solemn pledge, not only for himself but for his family and friends; not only to prevent dispersion, but to send runners of their


own, to bring in the stragglers and those concealed, who still remained out. This written pledge was kept in good faith.

Scott immediately sent off three regiments of regulars to the Canada frontiers and Florida, where he knew they were much needed. The other two were retained more to aid and protect than to guard the Indians.

The Cherokees were now distributed into three large camps; the principal, twelve miles by four, on high and rolling ground, on the Hiwassee, well-shaded and abounding in springs and flowing rivulets. All necessary supplies were abundant and good, including medicines; vaccination was introduced by the personal influence of Scott against the general prejudice; dram-shops were put under the guard of troops, to prevent the sale of liquors; and numerous Indian superiors were appointed to visit every family daily, and to report on their wants. All worked well. Scott established himself for long months at the agency, in the midst of the principal camp, charged with innumerable labors and cares for the good of his pupils; for such they were, both by the relation they sustained to the United States, and the watching and instruction he gave them.

The delegation, with Ross the principal chief, returned from Washington in July, when Scott received authority from the war department to transfer, by negotiation, the further emigration from the civil agent to the Cherokees


themselves. The proposition was submitted to the nation, and adopted with joy. The same delegates were appointed to arrange the general terms with Scott. The cost of the movement, as in the previous arrangement, was to be paid out of the five millions of dollars stipulated by the United States to be given in exchange with the new country West, for the one inhabited by the Cherokees in the East.

To Scott, the sum to be paid per capita, for the removal, as proposed by the delegates, appeared much too high. The subject was referred back to the general council of the Cherokees, the largest they had ever held, who approved the new terms proposed to Scott. The same authority appointed a purveyor of supplies on the route, and the delegates specially charged with that duty proceeded to enroll their people into convenient parties for the road, with a conductor, sub-conductor, and physician, for each, to collect wagons, horses, and every thing necessary for the movement, as soon as the season and rain might permit.

Here was a wonderful change. A few months before, seven-tenths of the Cherokees threatened to die in defense of their ancient homes. Now the only contest among the chiefs and parties was — who shall first take the road to the far West. All were eager to lead or to follow.

At length October came, with some slight showers of rain, and by the 16th of November the last detachment


was in motion. The sick and helpless only were left to proceed by steam on the rise of the rivers.

He is Ordered Again to the North.

Scott followed the line of emigration to Nashville, in order to help and cheer on the movement. He had intended to proceed farther; but an express overtook him from Washington, with dispatches, saying that the Patriots were reorganized to the number of eighty thousand, and were getting ready to break into the Canadas at many points. He instantly departed in that direction. Stopping nowhere to accept the public honors tendered him, he arrived at Cleveland and Detroit at critical moments. Thence he passed down the frontier into Vermont, and completed the work we have described in the preceding chapter. He re-established peace, law, and order all along the disturbed frontier of Canada.


In all this he had moved with almost the swift flight of the birds, and his work was completed in the brief space of their summer excursions. In this short season had Scott performed the work of Cherokee emigration, and returned to new and arduous labors in an opposite region and a very different climate. Such sudden changes, and such rude exposures, are the soldier's lot in pursuit of duty and in obedience to his country.

In this brief story we have narrated the manner in which the Cherokees — fifteen thousand in number — were carried from the homes of their fathers and the graves of their dead. That they left them in sadness, and looked to the uncertain future with dread and dark foreboding, none can doubt. However adventurous, far-searching, or curious may be the human mind when voluntarily pursuing its own objects, it cannot be forced from its ancient associations, without, like the uptorn tree, breaking its deepest


roots, snapping its tendrils, and blighting its softest verdure. This is a shock, too, which is felt the most in the most secluded retreats of the family. It touches the hearts that have grown in the shade, where few rays from the glaring light of the world have ever fallen. It would not be difficult to imagine some Indian woman, and perhaps an aged one, stopping alone by the rippling stream to hear the murmur of waters she should hear no more — to break a twig from trees whose shade she should enjoy no longer — to linger round the lonely mound, which was henceforth to be the only memorial of her race — to cast one last look on the summits of hills, to which, with the friends of her youth, she had often gazed in the glowing sunsets of summer. They fade now in the shades of evening, and she heaves the last sigh, drops her last tear, and hills, and woods, and murmuring streams, live for her only in the memory of the exile!

The remaining years of her life she spends in strange scenes, and looking intensely into the future, hopes, perhaps, for

"Some safer world in depths of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold."

Such scenes as these may be easily imagined, and it is scarcely possible they should not have occurred in any nation, savage or civilized, on leaving their native land. The question, however, remains, whether, in the plans of Providence, and their merciful development, the policy of the United States towards the Cherokees has not really been the true policy, and its effect for their ultimate good? It is certain that they have received a rich and valuable


territory, where, on the waters of the Arkansas, they yet cultivate lands — where they have organized a civil government, and where they appear still to advance in numbers and prosperity. Should this continue to be their history, may they not hereafter become a State of aboriginal inhabitants, in a condition of civilization and Christianity? If this should happily be the case, the Cherokee State will be a monument enduring through after ages of that wild and singular race, who seemed the children of the forest, defying the scrutiny of philosophy, and shunning the gaze of civilized man. The lone mound will not be their only memorial, nor tradition their only story. They will live to enjoy the fruits of legal liberty, to extend the dominion of the arts, to rest in the shade of peace; and, no longer hunters and warriors, adorn the realms of science, religion, and philosophy.

But whatever may be thought of the act or the result of removing the Indians, no one can doubt that the part Scott had in that business was performed with a skill, a humanity, and a forbearance worthy of much admiration.

In the National Intelligencer of that time there appeared an article from a responsible writer, describing the character of Scott's acts, narrated in this and the previous chapter. From that we take the following extract, as just as it is historically true: —

"The manner in which this gallant officer has acquitted himself within the last year upon our Canada frontier, and lately among the Cherokees, has excited the universal admiration and gratitude of the whole nation. Owing to his great popularity in the North, his thorough knowledge


of the laws of his own country, as well as those which govern nations, united to his discretion, his great tact and experience, he has saved the country from a ruinous war with Great Britain. And by his masterly skill and energy among the Cherokees, united to his noble generosity and humanity, he has not only effected what everybody supposed could not be done without the most heart-rending scenes of butchery and bloodshed, but he has effected it by obtaining the esteem and confidence of the poor Cherokees themselves. They look upon him as a benefactor and friend, and one who has saved them from entire destruction.

"All the Cherokees were collected for emigration without bloodshed or violence, and all would have been on their way to the West before the middle of July, had not humanity induced Gen. Scott to stop the movement until the 1st of September. Three thousand had been sent off in the first half of June by the superintendent, before the general took upon himself the responsibility of stopping the emigration, from feelings that must do everlasting honor to his heart.

"An approval of his course had been sent on by the War Department before his report, giving information that he had stopped the emigration, had reached the seat of government.

"In the early part of January last, the President asked Congress for enlarged powers, to enable him to maintain our neutral obligations to England; that is, to tranquilize the Canadian frontiers.

"Before the bill passed Congress, Gen. Scott had finished the work, and effected all its objects. These, too, he effected by flying from one end of the frontier to the other


in the dead of winter, and during the severest and coldest period of it.

"He returns to Washington, and is immediately ordered to the Cherokee nation, to take charge of the very difficult and hazardous task to his own fame of removing those savages from their native land. Some of his best friends regretted, most sincerely, that he had been ordered on this service; and, knowing the disposition of the world to cavil and complain without cause, had great apprehensions that he would lose a portion of the popularity he had acquired by his distinguished success on the Canadian frontier. But, behold the manner in which this last work has been performed! There is so much of noble generosity of character about Scott, independent of his skill and bravery as a soldier, that his life has really been one of romantic beauty and interest."

Dr. Channing's Eulogy.

The truth of this picture may be judged by the facts of this history. But whatever opinion may be formed on that point, there have been men of the most eminent intelligence, themselves disinterested and capable of judging, who have formed the same estimate of the character and acts of Scott. We subjoin the following testimony of the Rev. DOCTOR CHANNING, in a work published in Boston:

"To this distinguished man belongs the rare honor of uniting with military energy and daring, the spirit of a philanthropist. His exploits in the field, which placed him in the first rank of our soldiers, have been obscured by the purer and more lasting glory of a pacificator, and of a friend of mankind. In the whole history of the intercourse of civilized with barbarous or half-civilized communities, we doubt whether a brighter page can be found


than that which records his agency in the removal of the Cherokees. As far as the wrongs done to this race can be atoned for, General Scott has made the expiation.

"In his recent mission to the disturbed borders of our country, he has succeeded, not so much by policy as by the nobleness and generosity of his character, by moral influences, by the earnest conviction with which he has enforced on all with whom he has had to do, the obligations of patriotism, justice, humanity, and religion. It would not be easy to find among us a man who has won a purer fame; and I am happy to offer this tribute, because I would do something, no matter how little, to hasten the time, when the spirit of Christian humanity shall be accounted an essential attribute and the brightest ornament of a public man."


Chapter XX. 1839.

Scott Again on the Northern Frontier. Maine Boundary Question.

FROM the land of the Cherokees and the scene of their exile, General Scott hastened back to that northern frontier, which had so nearly become the theatre of war. He again visited and tranquilized the Canadian borders, from Detroit along nearly the whole line to Northern Vermont. Here he learned that hostile movements were on foot on both sides of what was then known as the DISPUTED TERRITORY. This was a territory on the borders of the State of Maine, the boundaries of which the United States and Great Britain had not been able exactly to ascertain, so as to determine satisfactorily the line between the two nations.

Its Origin.

The territory between the two lines claimed by each party respectively as the true line, was the territory known as the "disputed" district. On one side of this district lay New Brunswick, a British province, and on the other the State of Maine. The governors and authorities of


each of these States were jealous of their respective rights, and felt impelled to aid the settlement of their own citizens, and resist what they called the encroachments of the other side. Trespassers on both sides continued in some form to occupy some parts of the country, especially for the purpose of cutting timber. Both the British and the Americans then established military posts, and in fine, by a succession of claims and counter claims, aggressions and defenses from either side, naturally and necessarily arising out of an uncertain boundary, and an unsettled territory, to which there was an undetermined ownership, there came complicated border difficulties, and extreme danger of hostile collision.

Hearing of these difficulties and of this danger, and fearing that letters to him might be misdirected in consequence of the rapidity of his movements, Scott hastened immediately to Washington. He presented himself at the War Department a day and a half in advance of the mail from the Canada line.

The condition of affairs, on his arrival, was perilous to the peace, not merely of this country or of Great Britain, but of the civilized world; for it can hardly be supposed that the two greatest commercial nations of the world could come in conflict on every sea, and in almost every port of the globe, and yet not involve other nations, or that war would cease with the cessation of the immediate cause. The passion for war is contagious. The bystanders in the play of battles feel an instinctive impulse to share in the action. Their reason and their conscience can hardly restrain them from feeling, and even believing, that their interest, their honor, or their fame requires that they also should enter the arena of a bloody


ambition, pursuing the rewards of conquest or the glory of victories. Hence it is that a war between leading nations, especially between the new and old systems of government, would, reasoning from experience and probabilities, result in one of those general and long-continued seasons of bloodshed, revolutions, and conquests, which have so often impoverished the substance, and corrupted the morals of nations.

When Scott arrived at Washington, such a crisis seemed to be tangibly and visibly present. The President of the United States, Mr. Van Buren, just then announced to Congress, by special message, that "the peace of the two nations is daily and imminently endangered." The President also said, that in a certain event, he should feel himself bound to call out the militia to repel invasion, and he invited from Congress such action as it deemed expedient. So extraordinary was the danger, that Congress adopted extraordinary measures. In five days, an act was passed authorizing the President, if he deemed best, to call out the militia for six months, to accept, if necessary, the services of fifty thousand volunteers; and appropriating ten millions of dollars for these objects.

Scott having arrived at Washington, had interviews with the President, with the Secretaries of State and War, and with the committees in Congress on foreign and military affairs. He assisted in drawing and urging the bills to put at the disposition of the Executive fifty thousand volunteers, and ten millions of dollars to meet exigencies. This


being done, he immediately departed, and reached Augusta, the seat of government in Maine, in about eight days after his arrival at Washington. It turned out that had he been three days later, he would have found a war made to his hands.

Scott's Reception by Governor Everett.

Passing through Boston, and having official business with Governor Everett, of Massachusetts, he repaired to the state-house, where that accomplished officer and scholar addressed him In substance as follows: —


"I take great pleasure in introducing you to the members of the Executive Council of Massachusetts; I need not say that you are already known to them by reputation. They are familiar with your fame as it is recorded in some of the arduous and honorable fields of the country's struggles. We rejoice in meeting you on this occasion, charged as you are with a most momentous mission by the President of the United States. We are sure you are intrusted with a duty most grateful to your feelings — that of averting an appeal to arms. We place unlimited reliance on your spirit, energy, and discretion. Should you unhappily fail in your efforts, under the instructions of the President, to restore harmony, we know that you are equally prepared for a still more responsible duty. Should that event unhappily occur, I beg you to depend on the firm support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

To this address, the general replied in a manner suitable to the place and the subject; and concluded with assuring the governor and council that the executive of the United States had full reliance on the patriotism and public spirit of Massachusetts, to meet any emergency which might arise.


Proceedings of the State of Maine.

Scott had been called to the Maine border to avert a threatened war. This crisis had been brought about by a long series of acts, disagreements, and events, connected with the Maine boundary. How this difficulty arose, and what discussions and events grew out of it, may be learned by a perusal of the American State Papers, especially in the History of the American Diplomacy. In searching, however, for the materials to ascertain and describe the part Scott performed in this critical affair, and one with which it was certain and admitted he had much to do, but little will be found in the official documents of the government. The President's message and accompanying reports, in December, 1839, omitted any account of his connection with the preservation of peace, and the settlement of the pending and instant threatenings of war; perhaps because it was thought that the transactions of a military commander were a matter of course, and not to be deemed part of the diplomatic arrangements by which such questions have finally to be determined. This, however, is a mistake. The questions of peace or war have much oftener depended on the conduct of military officers on the frontiers, than they have on any negotiations. In the history already given, in a previous chapter, of Scott's conduct on the Canada frontier, and his efforts for peace, it is most evident, that had either the British or the American military commanders preferred war, and been unconscientious


as to the means, war must have inevitably happened. Blood would have been shed, the patriots would have moved in masses, and the people and governments would have followed them. The efforts of the military commander were here far more potent than any negotiations.

The War Secretary's report should, at least, have noticed these events, tending more than any other events of the year to show that military men had something beyond and above the mere qualities of a soldier; and that to these superior capacities of mind the war department had been indebted for some of the best acts for the peaceful as well as martial glory of the country.

Early in the winter preceding the period of which we now speak, the State of Maine had sent a land-agent,


accompanied by an armed civil posse, to drive off from the disputed territory certain trespassers, whom she alleged were cutting the timber, which gave the chief value to this cold and not very fertile territory. The land-agent, and head of this posse, was seized by the authorities of New Brunswick, and carried off to prison in that province. This act aroused the indignation of Maine. A spirited correspondence was carried on between the governor of the state and the governor of the province, which was unsatisfactory to both of them, and finally resulted in coolness and silence. The land-agent, however, was soon released; but to carry out her purpose of driving off the trespassers, Maine passed an act placing eight thousand volunteers and eight hundred thousand dollars at the command of the governor. Some of these troops were pushed forward in February; and in the beginning of March the whole force, under a universal excitement, was in motion to conquer, if necessary, and to hold by arms, the long-withheld territory. The other side remained neither ignorant nor inactive. The governor of New Brunswick was Sir John Harvey, a major general, distinguished in the field and in the administration of civil affairs — a man of ability and of high character. He had received, some time before, instructions from his government to meet the case long apprehended, and now about to occur. All correspondence on the part of the two governors had ceased, and British troops, both regulars and militia, were now in march for the theatre of impending hostilities.

Scott's Arrival and Reception at Augusta.

It was just at this time (6th of March) that Scott arrived at Augusta, the seat of government in Maine. He had passed, on the way, many of the fine volunteers of Maine. They were eager for the contest. The Legislature


was in session, and it was thought and believed by many that he had come to put himself at the head of the movement, and to open the war. No person seemed to imagine that the preservation of peace was more than a distant possibility. This impression was common to nearly all the people of the Union, and was attended by all the hopes, fears, and anxieties which are excited by the prospect of so momentous an event.

Remarks in Congress in Anticipation of War.

As evidence of this fact, some passages of the debates in Congress may be cited. Mr. Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts, said, February 26, in the debate on the extraordinary bill for raising fifty thousand volunteers: —

"But how stands the fact? We have these threatening events in the northeast, and these new pretensions of the colonial authorities of Great Britain to show what is doing there. How is it in the North? We have heard much of the success of a distinguished Pacificator in restoring a peaceful state of things there; but the fires of indignation along the whole line, which the misrule of Great Britain, and the misconduct of the ruling party in Upper and Lower Canada, have awakened, are smothered, not extinguished, and it needs but the touch of a spark to kindle them into a devouring flame to spread like lightning from Maine to Michigan."

Mr. John Quincy Adams also said, on the 2d of March:
"Whatever might be the action of the House at the present time, he believed the question would eventually


have to be settled by force of arms, and for one he was not disposed to have much further negotiation."

The Globe, then the official organ of the government, copied a letter from the Boston Atlas, dated Senate Chamber, Augusta, March 2d, 1839, in these words: —
"I speak advisedly when I say, that if the contemplated visit of General Scott to Maine is only to persuade a withdrawal of our troops from the disputed territory, or a relinquishment of our present position, he might as well stay away."

Mr. Van Buren's Message.

On the 27th of February, the President, Mr. Van Buren, transmitted to Congress a message, enclosing a memorandum, mutually signed by the Secretary of State and the British Minister, the object of which was to prevent an instant collision, and consequently war; but by some unaccountable oversight, the interests and sensibilities of the people of Maine were too little considered, and there was much difficulty in reconciling them to the new state of things. The following are copies of the message and memorandum: —


"The President submitted the following message from the President of the United States:

"WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 1839.

"To the Senate of the United States:

"I transmit to Congress copies of various other documents received from the governor of Maine, relating to


the dispute between that State and the Province of New Brunswick, which formed the subject of my message of the 26th inst., and also a copy of a memorandum signed by the Secretary of State of the United States, and Her Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States, of the terms upon which it is believed all collision can be avoided on the frontier, consistently with and respecting the claims on either side. As the British Minister acts without specific authority from his government, it will be observed that this memorandum has but the force of recommendation on the provincial authorities and on the government of the state.


The Memorandum.


"Her Majesty's authorities consider it to have been understood and agreed upon by the two governments, that the territory in dispute between Great Britain and the United States, on the northeastern frontier, should remain exclusively under British jurisdiction until the final settlement of the boundary question.

"The United States government have not understood the above agreement in the same sense, but consider, on the contrary, that there has been no agreement whatever for the exercise, by Great Britain, of exclusive jurisdiction over the disputed territory, or any portion thereof, but a mutual understanding that, pending the negotiation, the jurisdiction then exercised by either party, over small portions of the territory in dispute, should not be enlarged, but be continued merely for the, preservation of local tranquility and the public property, both forbearing as far as


practicable to exert any authority, and, when any should be exercised by either, placing upon the conduct of each other the most favorable construction.

"A complete understanding upon the question, thus placed at issue, of present jurisdiction, can only be arrived at by friendly discussion between the governments of the United States and Great Britain; and, as it is confidently hoped that there will be an early settlement of the question, this subordinate point of difference can be of but little moment.

"In the mean time, the governor of the Province of New Brunswick and the government of the State of Maine, will act as follows: Her Majesty's officers will not seek to expel, by military force, the armed party which has been sent by Maine into the district bordering on the Aroostook river; but the government of Maine will, voluntarily, and without needless delay, withdraw beyond the bounds of the disputed territory any armed force now within them; and if future necessity should arise for dispersing notorious trespassers, or protecting public property from depredation by armed force, the operation shall be conducted by concert, jointly or separately, according to agreements between the governments of Maine and New Brunswick.

"The civil officers in the service respectively of New Brunswick and Maine, who have been taken into custody by the opposite parties, shall be released.

"Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to fortify or to weaken, in any respect whatever, the claim of either party to the ultimate possession of the disputed territory.

"The Minister Plenipotentiary of Her Britannic Majesty having no specific authority to make any arrangement on


the subject, the undersigned can only recommend, as they now earnestly do, to the governments of New Brunswick and Maine, to regulate their future proceedings according to the terms herein set forth, until the final settlement of the territorial dispute, or until the governments of the United States and Great Britain shall come to some definite conclusion on the subordinate point upon which they are now at issue.

"JOHN FORSYTH, Secretary of State of the United States of North America.

"H. S. Fox, H. B. M. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.

"WASHINGTON, February 27, 1839."

Effect of the "Memorandum" in Maine.

This memorandum did not settle the difficulty. The Baltimore American, in making a summary of some intelligence from Maine, says: —

"The President's message and the recommendatory agreement do not appear to be received with favor in Maine; but there is hope that after they have been duly considered by the good people of that State, they will see the propriety of falling in with the pacific policy which they go to maintain.

"Major-General Scott reached Portland on Tuesday afternoon last, and was to address the citizens that evening. We rely much on the discretion, zeal, and talent of this invaluable officer, in bringing matters back to a peaceful attitude."

This MEMORANDUM, which, at first view, seemed to smooth the way to an honorable retreat for both parties, and consequently to the adjustment of the immediate


quarrel between the quasi belligerents, was found by General Scott, at every step, the most difficult element to conquer. Both Maine and New Brunswick had long exercised jurisdiction "over small portions of the territory in dispute," as recited in the memorandum. But when that was signed, it was known each had extended her forces to other portions. The recommendation, therefore, that "Maine will, voluntarily and without needless delay, withdraw beyond the bounds of the disputed territory any armed force now within them," merely on the consideration that "Her Majesty's officers will not seek to expel, by military force," the troops of Maine, without the reciprocal injunction that "any armed force" of the opposite side "will" also be withdrawn, evidently authorized the continued presence of the British forces within those bounds. This necessary construction gave great offence to the people, including the governor of Maine and the majorities in the Legislature, although they were of the same party with the national administration which had made the memorandum. The administration, it was said in Maine, had been outwitted, or had willfully abandoned the pride, the honor, and the interests of Maine. General Scott, in the discharge of his official duties, was only an American charged with important trusts, and therefore devoted himself m good faith to smooth these difficulties, and reconcile the state and national authorities.

His reception by the people and authorities of Maine at Augusta, the seat of government, was such as to increase his power of harmonizing opposite feelings, by showing the strong sympathy between himself and the body of the people. On Thursday, the 7th of March, General Scott met the citizens of Augusta, representatives


and soldiers, in the Legislative Hall. A correspondent of the Portland Argus says: —

"The hall was full and the galleries were crowded. Many could not get places. The greeting of the general to the officers and soldiers introduced to him was peculiarly happy. In one of the representatives, Mr. Frost of Bethel, he recognized a fellow-soldier of the last war. They were both wounded in the same battle. The interview was enthusiastic. The general seemed hardly willing to part with his hand.

"After a half hour spent in these mutual interchanges of friendship, Mr. Allen of Bangor, in a few remarks, welcomed General Scott among us, to which welcoming he replied by thanking the audience for the hearty reception they had given him in the capitol of Maine, and by expressing his happiness at being enabled, face to face, to see so many of her sons — and, should war come, he should be glad to be found shoulder to shoulder, breast to breast with such soldiers."

Governor Fairfield's Message.

General Scott remained at Augusta several weeks, and on the 12th of March Governor Fairfield, of Maine, transmitted a message to the Legislature, stating strongly the objections to the terms of the memorandum, as we have already narrated them, but concluding with the following recommendation —

What then shall be done? The people of the State surely are not desirous of hurrying the two nations into a war. Such an event is anxiously to be avoided, if it can be without dishonor. We owe too much to the Union, to


ourselves, and, above all, to the spirit and principles of Christianity, to bring about a conflict of arms with a people having with us a common origin, speaking a common language, and bound to us by so many ties of common interest, without the most inexorable necessity. Under these circumstances I would recommend that, when we are fully satisfied, either by the declarations of the lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, or otherwise, that he has abandoned all idea of occupying the disputed territory with a military force, and of attempting an expulsion of our party, that then the governor be authorized to withdraw our military force, leaving the land-agent with a posse, armed or unarmed, as the case may require, sufficient to carry into effect your original design — that of driving out or arresting the trespassers, and preserving and protecting the timber from their depredations."

Resolutions of the Legislature.

On the 20th inst. the Legislature passed resolutions accordant in spirit with the above message of the governor.

Thus far the presence of Scott in Maine had been attended by a pacific temper and salutary effects; but it will be observed, that the recommendation of the governor and the resolution of the Legislature in accordance with it, required a declaration, or its equivalent, from the lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick; that is, they required the British governor to take the first step. To understand the difficulty of this requisition, it should be remembered, that just at this moment the people of the Province of New Brunswick were highly inflamed against the people of Maine; that the Provincial Legislature had authorized a call for volunteers; and that large reinforcements of British troops were on their march to this frontier.


Yet, notwithstanding the advantage conceded to Great Britain apparently, in the memorandum made at Washington, it was necessary to induce the governor of New Brunswick to make the first advance towards the local adjustment, in the hope of one general and final.

The two governors, it will be remembered, had from some personal offence, given by one side or the other, long ceased all correspondence. A mediator was needed. Scott fortunately had some peculiar advantages for that office, and now applied himself to it with all his heart and might.

Former Friendship of Scott and Harvey.

Colonel Scott and Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey were, in the campaign of 1813, the adjutant generals of the opposing armies in Upper Canada. Both being always in front, they very generally found themselves pitted against each other in the battlefield. Their staff positions also made them the organs of their respective armies, by letters and by personal interviews, under flags of truce. In that official intercourse they cordially united to soften down the asperities of war — to provide for the general wants of prisoners, to appoint exchanges and to obtain paroles, and to the devising of means for enforcing the laws of civilized war on the Indian allies of the two armies. It was also through them that letters and money passed from one army into the hands of the prisoners of the other. Thus it happened that sentiments of high respect between the parties were soon ripened into personal friendship, leading (for both were remarkable in stature) to mutual


recognition and salutes, when advancing to close combat. If their chivalry went not as far as that of the French officer at the battle of Fontenoi, who, standing in front of his troops, exclaimed, "Gentlemen of the English guards, give us your fire!" yet there was not wanting a touch of the romantic in their meetings.

Interesting Anecdote.

Once, when reconnoitring and skirmishing, Scott contrived, as he thought, to cut off his daring opponent from the possibility of retreat. In an instant, an American rifle was leveled upon him. Scott struck up the deadly weapon, crying — "Hold! he is our prisoner." But Harvey, by a sudden turn and desperate leap of his horse, broke through the skirmishers, and escaped under a shower of balls, to reappear in the following campaign, a formidable opponent of his enemy and friend in the fields of Chippewa and Niagara.

Correspondence of Scott and Harvey.

When Major-General Scott arrived in Maine, it so happened, that he had with him an unanswered private letter from Sir John Harvey, written before the troubles on the borders of New Brunswick, and received at the far South. A reply to that friendly letter brought on at once a semiofficial correspondence between the parties, which soon became brisk and public. Each established a line of estafettes (couriers) to the frontiers.


Standing high in the confidence of his own government, and being above pique and petty advantages, all repugnance towards the first step, which was required by the resolution that passed the Maine Legislature, towards preserving the peace of the borders, and the consequent peace of two great nations, on honorable terms, was soon conquered by the governor of New Brunswick. When this was done, Scott felt himself at liberty to appeal to the same generous sentiments on the part of the Maine authorities.

The correspondence above referred to, and the concessions in this correspondence of Sir John Harvey, had occurred previous to the resolutions of the Legislature narrated above; and when that point was gained, the difficulty was to procure the pacific action of the governor and Legislature of Maine.

The governor of Maine became satisfied that he might take the second step, but thought he could not withdraw the troops from the disputed territory without the concurrence of the Legislature. With his approbation, Scott had now to urge his suit for peace and compromise with the members of the Legislature. Both political parties had been equally excited against New Brunswick and Great Britain about the boundary; but both were jealous and watchful of each other. Each had, within a few years, gained predominance, by the use of this foreign question. It was natural they should think, that a too ready yielding might be unpopular at home. It was therefore necessary that the members of these political parties in the Legislature should make a simultaneous movement. Scott had succeeded in reconciling the leading members of the dominant party in Maine to the measures of their political


friends at Washington; he had succeeded in obtaining a friendly concession from the Governor of New Brunswick; and now he had the address to reconcile opposing parties in the Legislature. We have been told, and indeed the newspapers of the day show something of it, that this was a remarkably interesting scene. The details belong chiefly to that private history which public reports do not reach, and which rarely or never are developed till another generation.

Scott's "Memorandum."

The resolutions of Maine were passed on the 20th instant. By that time Scott was prepared with his memorandum, signed by Sir John Harvey, and containing all that was necessary to establish peace. Governor Fairfield immediately added his signature. Copies were duly interchanged by General Scott. Tranquillity was restored on the borders, and the subject of peace and war transferred to the national authorities.

The resolutions of the Maine Legislature were passed on the 20th of March, and on the 21st instant, General Scott sent his official communication to Sir John Harvey, which was the memorandum of what was assented to by the Governors of Maine and New Brunswick. Below are the official papers by which the instant danger of war was averted and a foundation laid for future negotiations.


Termination of the Difficulties. Important Correspondence.

From the Augusta (Me.) Journal, March 26, 1839.

"The War ended. — Important Correspondence.

"Head-Quarters, Eastern Division U. S. Army,
Augusta, Me., March 21, 1839.

"The undersigned, a Major-General in the Army of the United States, being specially charged with maintaining the peace and safety of their entire northern and eastern frontiers, having cause to apprehend a collision of arms between the proximate forces of New Brunswick and the State of Maine on the disputed territory, which is claimed by both, has the honor, in the sincere desire of the United States to preserve the relations of peace and amity with Great Britain — relations which might be much endangered by such untoward collision — to invite from his Excellency Major-General Sir John Harvey, Lieutenant-Governor, &c., &c., a general declaration to this effect.

"That it is not the intention of the Lieutenant-Governor of Her Britannic Majesty's Province of New Brunswick, under the expected renewal of negotiations between the cabinets of London and Washington on the subject of the said disputed territory, without renewed instructions to that effect from his government, to seek to take military possession of that territory, or to seek, by military force, to expel therefrom the armed civil posse or the troops of Maine.

"Should the undersigned have the honor to be favored with such declaration or assurance, to be by him communicated to his Excellency the Governor of the State of Maine, the undersigned does not in the least doubt that he


would be immediately and fully authorized by the Governor of Maine to communicate to his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick a corresponding pacific declaration to this effect:

"That, in the hope of a speedy and satisfactory settlement, by negotiation, between the governments of the United States and Great Britain, of the principal or boundary question between the State of Maine and the Province of New Brunswick, it is not the intention of the Governor of Maine, without renewed instructions from the Legislature of the State, to attempt to disturb by arms the said Province in the possession of the Madawaska settlements, or to attempt to interrupt the usual communications between that province and Her Majesty's Upper provinces; and that he is willing, in the mean time, to leave the questions of possession and jurisdiction as they at present stand — that is, Great Britain holding, in fact, possession of a part of the said territory, and the government of Maine denying her right to such possession; and the State of Maine holding, in fact, possession of another portion of the same territory, to which her right is denied by Great Britain.

"With this understanding, the Governor of Maine will, without unnecessary delay, withdraw the military force of the state from the said disputed territory — leaving only, under a land agent, a small civil posse, armed or unarmed, to protect the timber recently cut, and to prevent future depredations.

"Reciprocal assurances of the foregoing friendly character having been, through the undersigned, interchanged, all danger of collision between the immediate parties to the controversy will be at once removed, and time allowed


the United States and Great Britain to settle amicably the great question of limits.

"The undersigned has much pleasure in renewing to his Excellency Major-General Sir John Harvey, the assurances of his ancient high consideration and respect.


"To a copy of the foregoing, Sir John Harvey annexed the following —

"The undersigned, Major-General Sir John Harvey, Lieutenant-Governor of Her Britannic Majesty's Province of New Brunswick, having received a proposition from Major-General Winfield Scott, of the United States Army, of which the foregoing is a copy, hereby, on his part, signifies his concurrence and acquiescence therein.

"Sir John Harvey renews with great pleasure to Major-General Scott the assurances of his warmest personal consideration, regard, and respect.


"‘Government House, Frederickton,
New Brunswick, March 23, 1839.’

"To a paper containing the note of General Scott, and the acceptance of Sir John Harvey, Governor Fairfield annexed his acceptance in these words —

"Executive Department,
Augusta, March 25, 1839.

"The undersigned, Governor of Maine, in consideration of the foregoing, the exigency for calling out the troops of Maine having ceased, has no hesitation in signifying his entire acquiescence in the proposition of Major-General Scott.


"The undersigned has the honor to tender to Major-General Scott the assurance of his high respect and esteem.


"We learn that General Scott has interchanged the acceptances of the governor and lieutenant-governor, and also that Governor Fairfield immediately issued orders recalling the troops of Maine, and for organizing the civil posse that is to be continued, for the time, in the disputed territory. The troops in this town will also be immediately discharged."

These were the official communications; but Sir John Harvey did not leave it at all in doubt as to whom he relied upon and looked to as the preserver of peace, even if these documents did not disclose that fact. In a letter of even date with the above-written acquiescence, (March 23d,) General Harvey wrote to General Scott thus —


"Upon my return from closing the session of the Provincial Legislature, I was gratified by the receipt of your very satisfactory communication of the 21st instant. My reliance upon you, my dear general, has led me to give my willing assent to the proposition which you have made yourself the very acceptable means of conveying to me; and I trust that as far as the province and the state respectively are concerned, an end will be put by it to all border disputes, and a way opened to an


amicable adjustment of the national question involved. I shall hope to receive the confirmation of this arrangement on the part of the State of Maine at as early a period as may be practicable."

The people of the United States, like Sir John Harvey, looked upon Scott as the PACIFICATOR, who had now made himself as much the friend of peace, as he once had been distinguished as the warrior of battles.

Treaty Made by Daniel Webster.

It was but a short time after this transaction, that another distinguished man, of singular ability and great influence, had the honor of terminating this vexed question, of fixing, so that it could no longer be mistaken, our northern boundary, from the foot of the Rocky Mountains, by the Lake of the Woods, and down the St. Lawrence, and through this disputed territory to the Atlantic. Met in the same peaceful spirit by the British minister, he was able to close these harassing difficulties, to quiet the disturbed minds of the people, and in this olive-branch, plucked from the midst of agitated waters, offer to the nations another evidence that a kindlier and better spirit had begun to govern human affairs. He had already been the strongest actor in forensic combats, the noblest orator of senate halls; and the ASHBURTON TREATY, negotiated on the part of the United States by Daniel Webster, received the speedy confirmation of the Senate.


Chapter XXI. 1839 to 1845.

Scott Presented for the Presidency in 1839.

A LIFE devoted to the public service, and made splendid by successful achievements, whether civil or military, cannot be without its effect on the public mind of a nation. Envy may place its results among the accidents of fortune, or jealousy attribute it to the favor of friends, or calumny assert that it is overrated, and the reality does not sustain the appearance. But it is not so that the common sense of mankind makes up its judgment. It believes that services rendered to the public deserve consideration; that when well performed they are meritorious; and that when to these conditions there is added an unusual success and a shining career, there is something in all this worthy to receive the applause of men and the highest rewards of public life. Whatever envy, or jealousy, or calumny, may affirm, the masses of men will ever believe, that there are no effects without causes, and few appearances not sustained by the reality. Had they not so believed, Washington might have remained forever a surveyor, Franklin a printer, and Roger Sherman


man never have been numbered among the most sagacious statesmen of the Revolution. The millions who make up the body of the people never seek for defects in a public character with the eye of a critic, nor calumniate their acts with the malice of a rival. Public men are the property of their country. The success of their achievements is the success of the country. The glory they have won is a common heritage. It is not, therefore, strange, that when Scott had added to the fame of a warrior the glory of a peacemaker; that when he had sought by acts of charity and kindness towards the Cherokees, to efface some little of that hard fate by which they had been driven from their homes; that when he had exhibited his abilities as a writer; when, in fact, repeated success had crowned repeated labors; it is not strange that the people should have looked upon him as one of those from whom they might select a President in cabinets not less than a general among soldiers. Nor was this feeling diminished by the fact that the venerated Constitution of our country had made the President the commander of the army, not less than the chief magistrate among citizens — one who was to bear the sword not less than the mace.

Accordingly, in 1839, Scott was looked upon as one of those who probably would, or might be, presented as a candidate for the presidency. Not deprived by offices or public service, of the right possessed by every citizen to his own political opinions, and his own views of public policy, he had nevertheless never volunteered himself as a partisan. He had not mingled in public discussions, and had served as much for those who differed from, as for those who agreed with him in opinion. Parties had


been organized under other leaders. He meddled not with these organizations. Hence he was made a candidate by the spontaneous action of the people. They who took part in his favor were patriotic citizens, who remembered his services in peace not less than those in war.

Whig Convention of 1839.

Fully informed on all the great questions which had divided parties, and feeling in them the warm interest of a patriotic citizen, that interest had been frequently expressed, and it was well known that his opinions harmonized with the principles and policy of the Whigs. When presented by his friends as one of the candidates of the Whig Convention of 1839, it was, however, not so much by his consent as by his sufferance. He believed MR. CLAY the proper Whig candidate and leader, and after him, GENERAL HARRISON. He therefore addressed no less than five letters to as many members of the Convention, (all to be shown,) urging that, if there appeared any prospect of success before the people, Mr. Clay might be selected, and if not, General Harrison. He further added, that he wished himself not to be thought of as a candidate, if the nomination of either of the others promised success.

The Convention met on the 4th of December, 1839, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and must be admitted by all who are acquainted with its members to have been one of the ablest and most important political bodies ever assembled in this country.


The result of the nomination, and the political events which immediately followed, are well known to all the people of the United States.

General Harrison received the nomination. The friends of General Scott as well as those of Mr. Clay were among the foremost and ablest of those who yielded to that nomination their hearty concurrence, and gave to its support their best political services. In an election which called forth nearly every voter in the Union, General Harrison was chosen by a popular majority as unprecedented as it was remarkable in the strength and fervor of the popular feeling with which it was accompanied. The five states which had originally voted for General Scott in the Convention, gave their entire vote, by great majorities, to General Harrison.

The President elect was inaugurated, but had scarcely more than chosen his cabinet and entered on the duties of his office, when Death, the conqueror of conquerors, laid him beyond the means of action or the reach of applause. The traveler who now descends the Ohio, and looks upon the green turf which covers his buried remains, will be reminded at once of the brevity of life, the instability of prosperity, and the uncertain tenure of political power!

Scott is Made Commander of the Army.

A few months after this event, in consequence of the death of Major-General Macomb, which occurred June 25th, 1841, General Scott was called to the command of the entire army. This duty, in ordinary times, requires his presence three-fourths of the year at the seat of government. A part of each year is spent in the duties of inspection, visiting the remote military posts, and acquainting himself personally with the wants and discipline


of the army. It is thus that, in peace as in war, his duties call him to all parts of the Union, make him acquainted with large masses of the people, and with the various districts and interests of the country. The summer residence of his family is at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where, and in the city of New York, he resided for the greater part of the time from 1817 to 1840; and where yet are centred those pleasing associations which encircle the expressive word — HOME.

His Letter in Answer to Queries.

In less than a year after the death of General Harrison, many of the Whigs, as well as members of other parties, began to look around for a candidate at the election of 1844. Among those who might be selected, General Scott stood prominent, as he had done in 1839. There were many citizens, eminent for public service, for great abilities, and enlightened patriotism, any one of whom might with great propriety have been chosen as a candidate for the highest honors of the republic. But practically the choice was confined to but very few. General Scott was one of these, and as there was no small share of popular feeling in his favor, there were very many letters addressed to him, as there are to all who are supposed to be within the least probability of choice, as to what his opinions were on various subjects. He found it inconvenient, if not impossible, to answer these; and hence adopted the form of a circular, as the best mode of reply to these various interrogatories. The circular embodied the opinions of General Scott long entertained and frequently expressed.


It has been so widely published, and the opinions are so generally known, that we extract only what relates to the Supreme Court of the United States.

"The Judiciary. From an early and long-continued study of elementary law, my mind has ever been imbued with deep reverence for the bench, state and federal, an independent department in our systems of government, and which, holding neither the purse to corrupt, nor the sword of power to terrify, addresses itself only with the mild force of persuasive reason to the intelligence and virtue of the whole community. By the federal constitution every possible safeguard is provided to shield its judiciary against fleeting prejudice, political rancor, and party dependence, to which legislators and the executive are unavoidably, directly, and constantly exposed. Hence, to the ‘one supreme court’ is wisely extended (by ‘appellate jurisdiction’) ‘all cases in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority.’

"Looking to this express provision, I have always held, that when a doubtful question, arising under either the constitution itself, the supreme law of the land; under an act of Congress, or a treaty has once been solemnly adjudicated, by that court, the principle of the decision ought to be taken by all, as definitively settled, unless, indeed, it be upon a rehearing before the same tribunal. This appears to me too clear for disputation; for the court is not only declared to be supreme, and hence there can be no bench beyond; but to Congress is only given the power to constitute ‘inferior’ tribunals. By appeals to the Supreme Court a settlement was intended to be reached, and anarchy, through a long distraction of the


public mind, on great questions of legislative and executive power, thus rendered impossible. Practically, therefore, for the people, and especially their functionaries, to deny, to disturb, or impugn principles thus constitutionally established, strikes me as of evil example, if not of a direct revolutionary tendency, except, indeed, in the case of a judicial decision enlarging power and against liberty; and any dangerous error of this sort can always be easily corrected (and should only be corrected) by an amendment of the constitution, in one of the modes prescribed by that instrument itself, the organic law of the states and the people. Misconstructions of law, other than the constitution, are yet more readily corrected by amendatory or declaratory acts of Congress."

This letter was looked upon by some as rather too frank; but it should be remembered that frankness in a republican country is a virtue. A cautious silence, or a reply in double meanings, may be prudence, but it is the prudence of a courtier, rather than the honesty of a patriot. Whoever replies to questions of his political life and opinions, must speak personally; and whoever replies to them honestly, must speak frankly. In an hour of the deepest political darkness to his political friends, Scott hesitated not to answer openly and fairly the questions proposed to him on long-agitated subjects of public policy.

In the summer of 1842 he was nominated by a full state convention in Pennsylvania, and was supported by numerous friends elsewhere.

His Letter to the Dayton Committee in 1842.

Notwithstanding this, however, he wrote the following letter to a committee in Dayton, Ohio, which was intended, and was so understood, to withdraw his name from the field of selection, in deference to the superior claims of Mr. Clay.


From the Dayton (Ohio) Journal.

"The press of other matter from the 29th to the day of election prevented the publication of the letters received from many distinguished Whigs in reply to the invitations given them to attend the barbecue. After the election they were considered rather out of season. Among the number, however, is one from General Scott, which is of general interest, and it is here given:

"Detroit, September 22, 1842.

"Gentlemen —

"Your letter of the 7th instant, addressed to me at Washington, has followed me to this distant region.

"With your invitation requesting my presence at the entertainment about to be given by the Whigs of Ohio to the Whigs of Kentucky, who in 1840 so magnanimously postponed their first choice for the Presidency, I am highly honored; and, if it were compatible with my position as a Federal officer, I should certainly be in the midst of you on the interesting occasion.

"With one candidate for the Presidency, and the best interests of the country at heart, it ought not to be doubted that the Whigs, appealing to the virtue and intelligence of the people, will be as successful in 1844 as they were in 1840. Whether that one candidate be, as all indications seem to determine, Kentucky's illustrious son, or any of hundreds of his followers, my prayers for a Whig triumph shall be ardent and unceasing.

"I have the honor to remain, gentlemen, with high consideration, your friend and fellow-citizen,


" ‘Messrs. J. H. Crane, S. Forrer, H. G. Phillips, R. Green, D. A. Haynes, and Charles Anderson, Corresponding Committee, Dayton, O.’ "


His Letter on Slavery in 1843.

Among the subjects of political and social interest in the United States, few have been more discussed, or with more various and opposite opinions, than that of domestic slavery. The complex nature of an association of states, each of which held certain political rights exclusively its own, and yet all of which were bound by a common national constitution, a part of which also held slaves and a part of which none, made the subject more difficult to handle properly, and the problem presented to political philosophy, by the existent fact of acknowledged slave property, more difficult of solution. The civil rights which law concedes and guaranties must be maintained; while, on the other hand, in our country and our age, full scope must be given to the utterance of opinions, the progress of legislation, and the development of a Christian civilization.

General Scott owned no slaves, but he was educated in a community where slavery existed, and where intelligent men were familiar with all the practical bearings of this profound and difficult subject. A gentleman of Virginia addressed him a letter of inquiry, to which he replied in the following expression of his opinions:

General Scott's Letter on the Subject of Slavery.

"Washington, February 9, 1843.

"Dear Sir —

I have been waiting for an evening's leisure to answer your letter before me, and, after an unreasonable delay, am at last obliged to reply in the midst of official occupations.

"That I ever have been named in connection with the


Presidency of the United States, has not, I can assure you, the son of an ancient neighbor and friend, been by any contrivance or desire of mine; and certainly I shall never be in the field for that high office unless placed there by a regular nomination. Not, then, being a candidate, and seeing no near prospect of being made one, I ought, perhaps, to decline troubling you or others with my humble opinions on great principles of state rights and federal administration; but as I cannot plead ignorance of the partiality of a few friends, in several parts of the Union, who may, by possibility, in a certain event, succeed in bringing me within the field from which a Whig candidate is to be selected, I prefer to err on the side of frankness and candor, rather than, by silence, to allow any stranger unwittingly to commit himself to my support.

"Your inquiries open the whole question of domestic slavery, which has, in different forms, for a number of years, agitated Congress and the country.

"Premising that you are the first person who has interrogated me on the subject, I give you the basis of what would be my reply in greater detail, if time allowed and the contingency alluded, to above were less remote.

"In boyhood, at William and Mary College, and in common with most, if not all, my companions, I became deeply impressed with the views given by Mr. Jefferson, in his ‘Notes on Virginia,’ and by Judge Tucker, in the Appendix to his edition of Blackstone's Commentaries, in favor of a gradual emancipation of slaves. That Appendix I have not seen in thirty odd years, and, in the same period, have read scarcely any thing on the subject; but my early impressions are fresh and unchanged. Hence,


if I had had the honor of a seat in the Virginia Legislature in the winter of 1831-2, when a bill was brought forward to carry out those views, I should certainly have given it my hearty support.

"I suppose I scarcely need say that, in my opinion, Congress has no color of authority, under the Constitution, for touching the relation of master and slave within a state.

"I hold the opposite opinion in respect to the District of Columbia. Here, with the consent of the owners, or on the payment of ‘just compensation,’ Congress may legislate at its discretion. But my conviction is equally strong that, unless it be step by step with the Legislatures of Virginia and Maryland, it would be dangerous to both races in those states to touch the relation between master and slave in this District.

"I have from the first been of opinion that Congress was bound by the Constitution to receive, to refer, and to report upon petitions relating to domestic slavery as in the case of all other petitions; but I have not failed to see and to regret the unavoidable irritation which the former have produced in the Southern States, with the consequent peril to the two colors, whereby the adoption of any plan of emancipation has everywhere among us been greatly retarded.

"I own, myself, no slave; but never have attached blame to masters for not liberating their slaves — well knowing that liberation, without the means of sending them in comfort to some position favorable to ‘the pursuit of happiness,’ would, in most cases, be highly injurious to all around, as well as to the manumitted families themselves — unless the operation were general and under


the auspices of prudent legislation. But I am persuaded that it is a high moral obligation of masters and slave-holding states to employ all means, not incompatible with the safety of both colors, to meliorate slavery even to extermination.

"It is gratifying to know that general melioration has been great, and is still progressive, notwithstanding the disturbing causes alluded to above. The more direct process of emancipation may, no doubt, be earlier commenced and quickened in some communities than in others. Each, I do not question, has the right to judge for itself, both as to time and means, and I consider interference or aid from without, except on invitation from authority within, to be as hurtful to the sure progress of melioration, as it may be fatal to the lives of vast multitudes of all ages, sexes, and colors. The work of liberation cannot he forced without such horrid results. Christian philanthropy is ever mild and considerate. Hence all violence ought to be deprecated by the friends of religion and humanity. Their persuasions cannot fail at the right time to free the master from the slave, and the slave from the master; perhaps before the latter shall have found out and acknowledged that the relation between the parties had long been mutually prejudicial to their worldly interests.

"There is no evil without, in the order of Providence, some compensating benefit. The bleeding African was torn from his savage home by his ferocious neighbors, sold into slavery, and cast upon this continent. Here, in the mild South, the race has wonderfully multiplied, compared with any thing ever known in barbarous life. The descendants of a few thousands have become many millions;


and all, from the first, made acquainted with the arts of civilization, and, above all, brought under the light of the Gospel.

"From the promise made to Abraham, some two thousand years had elapsed before the advent of our Saviour, and the Israelites, the chosen people of God, were, for wise purposes, suffered to remain in bondage longer than Africans have been on our shore. This race has already experienced the resulting compensations alluded to; and, as the white missionary has never been able to penetrate the dark regions of Africa, or to establish himself, in its interior, it may be within the scheme of Providence that the great work of spreading the Gospel over that vast continent, with all the arts and comforts of civilization, is to be finally accomplished by the black man restored from American bondage. A foothold there has already been gained for him, and in such a scheme centuries are but as seconds to Him who moves worlds as man moves a finger.

"I do but suggest the remedies and consolations of slavery, to inspire patience, hope, and charity on all sides The mighty subject calls for the exercise of all man's wisdom and virtue, and these may not suffice without aid from a higher source.

"It is in the foregoing manner, my dear sir, that I have long been in the habit, in conversation, of expressing myself, all over our common country, on the question of negro slavery, and I must say that I have found but very few persons to differ with me, however opposite their geographical positions.

"Such are the views or opinions which you seek. I cannot suppress or mutilate them, although now liable to


be more generally known. Do with them what you please. I neither court nor shun publicity.

"I remain, very truly, yours,


"T. P. Atkinson, Esq., Danville, Virginia."

His Letters on the Question of Peace and War.

For many years a numerous body of religious and philanthropic individuals in the United States have believed and inculcated, that peace was the best condition of human society, and that wars were injurious and ought to be discouraged. The Society of Friends were foremost in this, as they have been in several other noble and excellent principles and practices. Many members of other religious societies adopted the same ideas, and have been consistent and firm in their endeavors to impress them on the public mind.

General Scott, though a soldier by profession, and certainly one of no little renown, had nevertheless, at three several and remarkable epochs, been not only the friend of peace, but had exerted himself successfully in preserving it.

About a year since, the secretary of the General Peace Society addressed to General Scott a letter on the same subject, of his answer to which the following is a copy —

"Washington, March 24th, 1845.

"I have received your letter of the 21st instant, accompanied by certain Proceedings of the General Peace Convention.

"My participation in war, as well as endeavors on several occasions to preserve peace, without sacrificing the


honor and the interests of my country, are matters of public history. These antecedents, together with my sentiments on the abstract question of peace and war, inserted a year ago in a Peace Album, and since published, I learn, in several journals, might be offered as a sufficient reply to your communication.

"I have always maintained the moral right to wage a just and necessary war, and, consequently, the wisdom and humanity, as applicable to the United States, in the present state of the world, of defensive preparations. If the principal nations of the earth liable to come in conflict with us in our natural growth and just pursuits, can be induced to disarm, I should be happy to see the United States follow the example. But without a general agreement to that effect, and a strong probability that it would be carried out in good faith by others, I am wholly opposed to giving up home preparation, and the natural and Christian right of self-defence.

"The published sentiments alluded to may not have fallen under your observation. I enclose a copy.

"I remain respectfully,

"Your most obedient servant,


"J. C. Beckwith, Esq., Corresponding Secretary."

[Written in a Peace Album.]

"Peace and War.

"If war be the natural state of savage tribes, peace is the first want of every civilized community. War no doubt is, under any circumstances, a great calamity; yet


submission to outrage would often be a greater calamity. Of the two parties to any war, one, at least, must be in the wrong — not unfrequently both. An error in such an issue is, on the part of chief magistrates, ministers of state, and legislators having a voice in the question, a crime of the greatest magnitude. The slaying of an individual by an individual is, in comparative guilt, but a drop of blood. Hence the highest moral obligation to treat national differences with temper, justice, and fairness; always to see that the cause of war is not only just but sufficient; to be sure that we do not covet our neighbor's lands, ‘nor any thing that is his;’ that we are as ready to give as to demand explanation, apology, indemnity; in short, we should especially remember, ‘all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’ This divine precept is of universal obligation: it is as applicable to rulers, in their transactions with other nations, as to private individuals in their daily intercourse with each other. Power is intrusted by ‘the Author of peace and lover of concord,’ to do well and to avoid evil. Such, clearly, is the revealed will of God.


"Washington, April 26, 1844."


Chapter XXII. 1846, 1847.

General Scott Ordered to Mexico in May, 1846.

WHEN the information reached Washington, in May, 1846, that the Mexican forces had crossed the Rio Grande, the President of the United States immediately communicated to General Scott his intention of sending him to the army to assume the chief command. General Taylor had been placed in command of the troops, then in the presence of the enemy, on the recommendation of General Scott, who well knew that a proper occasion only — was necessary for a development of those brilliant qualities of soldiership which have since rendered the name of Taylor so illustrious.

Correspondence with the Secretary of War. Reasons Why He Did Not Go.

Not wishing to assume the immediate command of the army, and thus snatch from his old companion in arms the glory he was about to acquire; nor willing, at the same time, to decline a service corresponding to his rank, he suggested to the President, through the Secretary of War, that he be permitted during the summer months to collect and drill the troops destined for service in Mexico, — to collect the materiel of the army, and, after the wet


season on the Rio Grande had passed, to join General Taylor with such additional forces as would secure with certainty the objects of the campaign, and at the same time respect the well-established military usage, "that a junior of distinguished merit ought to be superseded by a senior in rank, only by the addition of large reinforcements." The spirit in which these suggestions were received by the President and Secretary of War, evinced a want of confidence in the plans proposed by General Scott; and a fear lest the political effect of the measure might prove injurious to the administration, was doubtless the main reason which caused the order to be countermanded.

Smarting under a rebuke so little deserved, General Scott addressed a letter to the President, recapitulating the difficulties that lay in the way of immediate action on the Rio Grande, stated anew his plans for prosecuting the war, and concluded by reminding the President, that no general, exercising the difficult function of a distant command, could feel secure without the support and confidence of his government at home. He said, in terms, what General Taylor has so painfully realized, "that the enemy in front is not half so much to be feared as an attack from the rear."

The views of General Scott, set forth in this correspondence, have been realized by the events that have since transpired; and what seemed at the time to be but vague opinion has now become a matter of history. After the correspondence with the War Department reached the banks of the Rio Grande, officers near General Taylor, and known to be his personal friends, addressed letters to the friends of General Scott, expressing the kindest


feelings on the part of General Taylor, and the hope that the general might yet assume the command of the army. Being satisfied that his presence on the Rio Grande would not be unacceptable to General Taylor, he addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, early in September, requesting to be assigned to that command, to which request he received a rude and flat denial.

Again Ordered in November.

About this time, as subsequently appeared by the statements of Senator Benton, the President decided to create the office of lieutenant-general, and thus supersede not only the scar-marked hero of Chippewa and Niagara, but also to tear the fresh laurels of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma from the brow of the gallant Taylor. After this plan had been finally arranged, the President sent for General Scott, and confided to him the command of the army in Mexico, and gave to him the most solemn assurance of his confidence and support. The following order was from the Secretary of War: —

Letter of the Secretary of War.


November 23d, 1846.

Sir — The President, several days since, communicated in person to you his orders to repair to Mexico, to take the command of the forces there assembled, and particularly to organize and set on foot an expedition to operate on the Gulf coast, if, on arriving at the theatre of action, you shall deem it to be practicable. It is not proposed to control your operations by definite and positive instructions, but you are left to prosecute them as your judgment, under a full view of all the circumstances, shall dictate. The work is before you, and the means provided, or to be provided, for accomplishing it, are committed


to you, in the full confidence that you will use them to the best advantage.

"The objects which it is desirable to obtain have been indicated, and it is hoped that you will have the requisite force to accomplish them.

"Of this you must be the judge, when preparations are made, and the time for action arrived.

"Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of War."

"General Winfield Scott."

Departs for the Brazos.

General Scott immediately made all the arrangements to carry the plan into full effect. The requisite number of transports were to be provided, surf-boats for the landing of the troops constructed, a train of siege ordnance was to be collected and sent forward, and ten new regiments were to be added to the line of the army, at the earliest possible moment after the meeting of Congress. In a very few days all the preliminary arrangements were completed, and General Scott left Washington on the 24th November, in the full belief that he enjoyed the confidence of the government, and that the conduct of the war, under general instructions, had been entirely confided to his discretion and judgment.

Immediately on the opening of Congress the project of creating a higher military grade was brought forward, and the friends of Generals Scott and Taylor saw with alarm that a plan was maturing by which they were both to be degraded to subordinate stations, and the entire direction of affairs in Mexico confided to other and untried hands The friends of General Scott now saw that his apprehensions


of an attack "from the rear," and which had been frankly expressed in his former letters, were indeed but too well founded; and that notwithstanding the assurance given on his departure from Washington for the army, of the full and cordial support of the government, the plan of wresting from him the command, at the earliest possible day, was then matured, and ready for speedy execution. In view of all the circumstances, it is, perhaps, not uncharitable to suppose that he was selected for that command, for the purpose of stirring up a spirit of rivalry between his friends and those of General Taylor, and thus affording a plausible pretext for superseding them both.

On the 30th of November General Scott sailed from New York, in the fullest confidence that the government was acting in good faith, and that every means would be furnished him for the prosecution of the war. Little did he then suppose, that before he could reach the theatre of active operations the government which had selected and sent him, would attempt to degrade him in the eyes of the world, by declaring, in effect, that he was unfit for the very place to which he had been so recently appointed.

With the generous confidence of a brave soldier, who had often met the enemy in deadly conflict, he received through the President the plighted faith of the nation that all was right. The President saw him depart in the fullness of this confidence, and yet before he reached the army, the proposition to supersede him was already there. Yes, the very army into which he was to breathe the inspiration of hope — which he was to train and prepare for the deadly conflicts that awaited them — was informed,


in advance, that the President had no confidence in their commander-in-chief.

Siege and Capture of Vera Cruz.

General Scott reached the Rio Grande about the first of January. Early in the month it became evident that some of the principal arrangements for the attack on Vera Cruz were not likely to be carried out by the government. The bill for raising the ten additional regiments was lost sight of by the administration, in the desire to carry their favorite project of placing a political partisan at the head of the army; and this bill, which ought to have been passed in the first week of the session, was not finally disposed of till a day or two before the adjournment.

What was the condition of things in Mexico at this critical period?

Santa Anna, with a force of twenty-two thousand men, was at San Louis Potosi, a fortified city containing sixty thousand inhabitants and about equally distant from Monterey, Vera Cruz, and Mexico.

General Taylor was in the vicinity of Monterey, in the command of a force of about eighteen thousand men, occupying the long line from Saltillo to Camargo, and thence to the mouth of the Rio Grande, where General Scott had just arrived with a small force, for the purpose of attacking Vera Cruz as soon as possible. He well knew that the vomito makes its appearance there in the early spring, and that delay would be fatal. The transports, stores, and munitions, were beginning to arrive. What was to be done? Was the expedition against Vera Cruz to be abandoned, or was General Scott to go forward and do the best he could under circumstances so discouraging? He adopted the latter alternative. He reviewed all the disposable forces within his command,


and carefully weighed chances and probabilities. He forwarded to General Taylor a full plan of his proposed operations. By the capture and assassination of Lieutenant Ritchie, the bearer of these dispatches, the plans were fully disclosed to Santa Anna, and he became apprized that Vera Cruz was to be the main point of attack. At Vera Cruz, and its immediate vicinity, there were six or seven thousand men, and a much larger number could be collected from the adjoining country on a short notice. Would Santa Anna break up his camp at San Louis Potosi, and march on Vera Cruz fill the city and castle with his best troops, and oppose the landing of General Scott with a selected army of forty thousand men? Or, was he likely to abandon the town and castle to their fate, thus leaving open the road to Mexico, and march with his whole force against General Taylor, over a desert of 150 miles, with a certainty of having to encounter his enemy either in the defiles of the mountains or from behind the impregnable battlements of Monterey?

Under such circumstances it became the duty of General Scott so to divide the forces of the Rio Grande as would be most likely to meet any contingency that might arise. He collected the regular infantry — for these might be necessary to carry with the bayonet the fortified city and castle of Vera Cruz. He left within the limits of General Taylor's command, about ten thousand volunteers and several companies of the best artillery of the regular army. These General Taylor might have concentrated at Monterey, and General Scott suggested to him, in his instructions, to do so, if it became necessary. With this comparatively small force, General Taylor not only maintained all the posts within his command, but


with the one-half of it achieved the memorable victory of Buena Vista.

General Scott assigned twelve thousand men to the expedition against Vera Cruz, and had Santa Anna concentrated his forces at that point, the disparity of numbers would have been much greater than at Buena Vista. These remarks are not made for the purpose of comparing the skill, or the conduct, or the claims to public gratitude of the two distinguished generals who have so well fulfilled every trust reposed in them by their country; but simply to show that in the disposition of the forces made by Gen. Scott, he did not take a larger portion for his own command than the interests of the service imperatively demanded.

The troops which were recalled from the upper Rio Grande halted for a few days at the mouth of the river, and were then taken on board transports, and joined others who had made their rendezvous at the island of Lobos, about 125 miles west and north of the city of Vera Cruz. The troops being thus collected, the whole armament proceeded to Antonia Lizardo.

On the morning of the 7th of March, General Scott, in a steamer, with Commodore Connor, reconnoitered the city, for the purpose of selecting the best landing-place for the army. The spot selected was the shore west of the island of Sacrificios. The anchorage was too narrow for a large number of vessels, and on the morning of the 9th of March the troops were removed from the transports to the ships of war. The fleet then set sail — General Scott in the steamship Massachusetts, leading the van. As he passed through the squadron, his tall form, conspicuous on the deck, attracted the eyes of soldier and of sailor; a cheer burst spontaneously forth, and from vessel to vessel


was echoed, and answered through the line. The voices of veterans, and of new recruits — of those who had been victorious at Monterey, and of those who hoped for victories in the future — were mingled in loud acclamation for him, whose character inspired confidence, and whose actions were already embodied in the glorious history of their country!

Near Sacrificios the landing commenced. It must be observed at this point, that every man expected to be met at the landing; for such, in military judgment, should have been the course of the enemy, and such would have been the case had the landing been made at the point where the enemy expected it, and where his forces were collected. Preparations were therefore made for any possible contingency. Two steamers and five gunboats, arranged in line, covered the landing. Five thousand five hundred troops embarked in sixty-seven surfboats. The signal-gun was fired. The seamen bent to their oars, and in a magnificent semicircle the boats swept rapidly towards the beach. Every man is anxious to be first. They plunge into the water before they reach the shore! they rush through the sand-hills! and with loud shouts they press forward! They wave the flag of their country in the land of the Aztecs! Where are their comrades? They also soon embark — they hurry through the water — they land in safety — they rejoin their companions — they return shout for shout, to friends in the vessels and friends on shore. Safely, but hurriedly they then pass through this exciting crisis.

In the meanwhile, the sun shines down in the brilliance of his light, the waters are but just ruffled by a breeze, while the deep waves are calm and the sky serene. Full


in view lies the city of Vera Cruz, and near is the renowned castle of San Juan d'Ulloa! The harbor is crowded with foreign vessels, and decks and rigging are filled with wondering spectators! Never, says one, shall I forget the excitement of that scene!

The first division of troops had landed a little before sunset, the second and third followed in succession, and before ten o'clock the whole army (numbering twelve thousand men) was landed, without the slightest accident and without the loss of a single life!

Thus, at the distance of more than three hundred years, was renewed the landing and march of Cortez! Both were brilliant and remarkable in history and conduct. The Spanish hero came to encounter and subdue on unknown shores, the Aztectic-American civilization. The Anglo-American cams to meet and prevail against the Spanish-Aztec combination. Both came with inferior numbers, to illustrate the higher order and vastly superior energies of moral power. Both came agents controlled by an invisible spirit, in carrying forward the drama of Divine Providence on earth. In vain do we speculate as to the end; it will be revealed only when the last curtain is drawn from the deep, mysterious Future.

The landing at Vera Cruz, as a military operation, deserves a credit which is seldom awarded to bloodless achievements. It is common to measure military operations by the current of blood which has flowed. But why? Is he not the best general who accomplishes the greatest results with the least loss? Or must we adopt the savage theory, that the greatest inhumanity is the greatest heroism? Mere animal bravery is a common quality. Why, then, should the exhibition of so common


a quality, in an open battle, give distinction, when it is skill only that is valuable, and science only that is uncommon? This skill and science were exhibited in a most singular and felicitous manner, in the pre-arrangements, combinations, and success, which attended the landing of the American army under the walls of Vera Cruz.

Of this landing, as compared with a similar one by the French at Algiers, the New Orleans Bulletin of March 27th makes the following correct and interesting remarks:
"The landing of the American army at Vera Cruz has been accomplished in a manner that reflects the highest credit on all concerned; and the regularity, precision, and promptness with which it was effected, has probably not been surpassed, if it has been equaled, in modern warfare.

"The removal of a large body of troops from numerous transports into boats in an open sea — their subsequent disembarkation on the sea-beach, on an enemy's coast, through a surf, with all their arms and accoutrements, without a single error or accident, requires great exertion, skill, and sound judgment.

"The French expedition against Algiers, in 1830, was said to be the most complete armament, in every respect, that ever left Europe; it had been prepared with labor, attention, and experience, and nothing had been omitted to ensure success, and particularly in the means and facilities for landing the troops. This disembarkation took place in a wide bay, which was more favorable than an open beach directly on the ocean, and (as in the present instance) without any resistance on the part of the enemy — yet, only nine thousand men were landed the first day, and from thirty to forty lives were lost by accidents, or


upsetting of boats; whereas, on the present occasion, twelve thousand men were landed in one day, without, so far as we have heard, the slightest accident, or the loss of a single life."

No troops of the enemy made direct opposition to the American army on reaching the beach, but the guns of the castle and city kept up a constant firing with round-shot and thirteen-inch shells. The several corps immediately occupied the lines of investment to which they had been respectively assigned by General Scott's orders. These orders pointed out the most minute particulars, and were based on prior information, obtained by the engineer and topographical departments, and carefully analyzed and thoroughly studied, by the commander-in-chief. This information was so accurate, and so well understood by the commander, the engineers, and the chief of the staff, that they made no mistakes. They found all as they anticipated; their arrangements resulted as they intended, and the regiments and companies took their respective places as quietly and orderly as if they were parading on the green banks of the Potomac! Parties of the enemy appeared, and skirmishes took place, but nothing seriously interrupted the progress of the investment. On the 12th instant, the entire army had completely occupied its positions.

All this was not done without labor, fatigue, and exposure of the severest kind. The carts, horses, and mules, except a very few, had not yet arrived. Innumerable


hills of loose sand, and almost impassable thickets of chapporal, covered the ground of operations. Through these, by their own hands, and on their backs, soldiers, both regular and volunteer, dragged their provisions, their equipments, and munitions of war, under the rays of a sun already hot in a tropical climate. The sands of this peculiar region are so light, that during the existence of a "northern," (a so-called wind of the Gulf,) if a man should lie down for an hour or two, he would inevitably be buried in the floating drifts! He must therefore, at this season, seek shelter in chapporals. In such circumstances — under the distant fire of the enemy's fortresses, and in the midst of sharp skirmishes — the investment was completed. The lines of siege were five miles in length, and on that whole distance provisions must be carried and communications kept up with depots, and with ships at sea. In this, the officers and seamen of the navy cooperated with those of the army, in the most gallant and skilful manner.

During this part of the siege, a "northern" prevailed, which rendered it impossible to land heavy ordnance. On the 17th, a pause occurred in the storm, and ten mortars, four twenty-four-pound guns, and some howitzers were landed. On the night of the 18th, the trenches were opened, and, the engineers with the sappers and miners leading the way, the army gradually closed in nearer the city.

On the 22d of March — seven of the ten-inch mortars being in battery, and other works in progress — General Scott summoned the Governor of Vera Cruz to surrender the city. The governor, who was also governor of the castle, chose to consider the summons to surrender that,


as well as the city, and rejected the proposition. On the return of the flag, the mortar battery, at the distance of eight hundred yards from the city, opened its fire on the city, and continued to fire during the day and night.

On the 24th, the batteries were reinforced with twenty-four pounders and paixhan guns. On the 25th, all the batteries were in "awful activity." Terrible was the scene! The darkness of night was illuminated with blazing shells circling through the air. The roar of artillery and the heavy fall of descending shot were heard through the streets of the besieged city. The roofs of buildings were on fire. The domes of churches reverberated with fearful explosions. The sea was reddened with the broadsides of ships. The castle of San Juan returned, from its heavy batteries, the fire, the light, the smoke, the noise of battle. Such was the sublime and awfully terrible scene, as beheld from the trenches of the army, from the 22d to the 25th of March, when the accumulated science of ages, applied to the military art, had, on the plains of Vera Cruz, aggregated and displayed the fullness of its destructive power.

On the evening of the 25th instant, the consuls of European powers residing in Vera Cruz, made application, by memorial, to General Scott for a truce, to enable them and the women and children of the city to retire. To this General Scott replied, — that a truce could only be granted on application of General Morales, the governor, with a view to surrender; that safeguards had already been sent to the foreign consuls, of which they had refused to avail themselves; that the blockade had been


left open to consuls and neutrals to the 22d proximo; and that the case of women and children, with their hardships and distresses, had been fully considered before one gun was fired.

The memorial represented, that the batteries had already a terrible effect on the city — and by this, and other evidence, it was now clear that a crisis had arrived. The city must either be surrendered, or it must be consigned to inevitable and most melancholy destruction.

Accordingly, early on the morning of the 26th,of March, General Landero, on whom the command had been devolved by General Morales, made overtures of surrender. Arrangements had been made by Scott for carrying the city by assault on that very day. The proposition of the Mexican general made this unnecessary, and Generals Worth and Pillow, with Colonel Totten of the engineer corps, were appointed commissioners on the part of the American army, to treat with others appointed by the Governor of Vera Cruz. Late on the night of the 27th the articles of capitulation were signed and exchanged.

On the 29th of March, the official dispatch of General Scott announced that the flag of the United States floated over the walls of Vera Cruz and the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa. The regular siege of the city had continued from the day of investment, the 12th of March, to the day the articles of capitulation were signed, the 27th, making a period of fifteen days, in which active, continuous, and vigorous operations were carried on. During this time, our army had thrown 3,000 ten-inch shells, 200 howitzer shells, 1,000 paixhan shot, and 2,500 round-shot, weighing on the whole about half a million of pounds! Most


effective and most terrible was the disaster and destruction they caused within the walls of the city, whose ruins and whose mourning attested both the energy and the sadness of war.

By some, it was thought strange that the Governor of Vera Cruz should have surrendered so soon; but, on a full exhibition of the facts of the siege, surprise gives place to admiration at the progress, power, and development of military science. The thirty years which had elapsed since the fall of Napoleon, had not been idly passed by military men. They had acquired and systematized new arts and new methods in the art of war. Nor were American officers inattentive to this progress. They had shared in it all, and when the siege of Vera Cruz was undertaken, this new power and method were fully displayed. The city was environed with cords of strength, in which all its defenses must be folded and crushed. The result was inevitable. The officers of Vera Cruz saw this, and although the castle of San Juan might have held out a few days longer, for what purpose would it have been? There is no rule of military science which requires fighting when fighting is useless. There is no law of humanity which would not be violated by the wanton exposure of towns and inhabitants when defense was impossible. The surrender was, therefore, alike just to victors and defenders, both of whom had arrived at an inevitable end, — the result of progress in high civilization, and of the highest military skill and accomplishments.

By the terms of capitulation, all the arms and munitions of war were given up to the United States; five thousand prisoners surrendered on parole; near five hundred


pieces of fine artillery were taken; the best port of Mexico captured and possessed; and the famed castle of San Juan, said to be impregnable, and which had been refitted and equipped in the best possible manner, yielded its defenses to the superior skill and energy of the Anglo-Americans. At 10 A. M., on the morning of the 29th, that people, who centuries before had, with a small band, marched through the Aztec empire, and, with the pride of power, supplanted its ancient dominion, struck their flags, and quietly submitted to another and a newer race, who had come over the Atlantic later than themselves, but who had imbibed other principles, and been impelled by stronger energies, in the colder regions of the north. On the castle of San Juan, on the forts of Santiago and Conception, the banner of the American Union gracefully ascended, and, amidst the shouts and cheers of warriors on sea and shore, bent its folds to the breeze, and looked forth over the Mexican Gulf.

In this great and successful enterprise, the American arms met with but little loss. Two officers, (valuable, however, to their corps and country,) with a few soldiers, were all the deaths. So great a result, obtained with so little loss, may be sought in vain among the best campaigns of the best generals of modern times. There are those, who think victory brightest when achieved in the carnival of death, and the laurel greenest which is plucked from a crimson tree. But this is not the estimate of the humane, the honorable, or the intelligent. They, in this age of the world, will deem that achievement greatest


which costs the least, where skill has been substituted for death, and science for the brave but often wasted energy of bodily force.

Some incidents of this siege are related, which illustrate the character of General Scott and the nature of the war. On one occasion, when the general was walking along the trenches, the soldiers would frequently rise up and look over the parapet. The general cried out, "Down — down, men! — don't expose yourselves." "But, General," said one, "you are exposed." "Oh!" said Scott, "generals, now-a-days, can be made out of anybody, but men cannot be had."

Something has been severely said, as to the loss of women and children by the bombardment of the city; but this is unjustly said. Scott, as appears by the official papers, gave ample notice of the danger to consuls, neutrals, and non-combatants in the city, and ample time for them to remove. That they, or at least many of them, did not avail themselves of that notice, was their own fault; and, by the laws of war, it was both unnecessary and impossible that the siege should be delayed, or given up, on account of the inhabitants within, who had long known that the United States army would land there, and who had received from the commander full notice of danger.

March of the Army into the Interior.

We must now resume the march of Scott's army to the capital of Mexico. Worth is appointed (for the time) governor of Vera Cruz. The army is organized for an advance on the Jalapa road, but wagons are wanting. Eight thousand men are to be thrown forward into the heart of Mexico. Quantities of ammunition, provisions, cannon, arms are to be carried. Yet the wagons, horses and mules which are to do this service are not yet arrived.


A little while since, and they were two thousand miles off, in the heart of the United States. But, they will come. They are descending the Ohio and the Mississippi. They will be here. One by one, dozen by dozen, they arrive. On the 8th of April, ten days after the surrender of Vera Cruz, the veteran Twiggs, with his heroic division, takes the Jalapa road. Other divisions rapidly follow. In three days they reach the foot of the mountains, from whose heights may be seen the splendid vision of Orizabo, and its snow-crowned tops, along whose ridges the road continues to the ancient capital of the Montezumas; and from whose almost impregnable sum mits, looks down Santa Anna with fifteen thousand men. The Mexican chief, defeated at Buena Vista, had rapidly traversed the interior provinces with the greater part of his army, and now sought to defend the heights of Cerro Gordo, formidable by nature, with batteries and intrenchments.

Battle of Cerro Gordo. Scott's Order.

Here Twiggs makes a reconnoissance on the 12th, and determines to attack the enemy next morning. In the meanwhile Patterson arrives with volunteers, and delays the attack till the arrival of the general-in-chief. Scott makes a new reconnoissance, and perceives that an attack in front would be in vain, for the batteries there are commanded by the still higher ones on the summits of Cerro Gordo. He orders a road to be cut to the right of the American army, but to the left of Cerro Gordo, which winds round the base of the mountains and ascends them in the rear of the Mexican forts, there rejoining the Jalapa road, and behind the whole Mexican position. The labor, the skill, the courage of American soldiers accomplish it. For three days the Mexicans do not discover it. It is


nearly done on the 17th, when they fire with grape and musketry on the working parties. Twiggs again advances to the storm. He carries the hill below Cerro Gordo, but above the new road. All is safe now, and all is ready for the coming battle. On the 17th of April Scott issues his celebrated order, dated Plan del Rio. It details, with prophetic accuracy, the movements of the following day, — the positions, the attack, the battle, the victory, and the hot pursuit, till the spires of Jalapa should appear in sight. It is an order most remarkable in history. Here it is: —


Plan del Rio, April 17, 1847.

The enemy's whole line of intrenchments and batteries will be attacked in front, and at the same time turned, early in the day tomorrow — probably before ten o'clock, A. M.

The second (Twiggs') division of regulars is already advanced within easy turning distance towards the enemy's left. That division has instructions to move forward before daylight tomorrow, and take up a position across the National road in the enemy's rear, so as to cut off a retreat towards Xalapa. It may be reinforced today, if unexpectedly attacked in force, by regiments — one or two taken from Shields' brigade of volunteers. If not, the two volunteer regiments will march for that purpose at daylight tomorrow morning, under Brig. Gen. Shields, who will report to Brig. Gen. Twiggs, on getting up with him, or the general-in-chief, if he be in advance.

The remaining regiment of that volunteer brigade will receive instructions in the course of this day.

The first division of regulars (Worth's) will follow the movement against the enemy's left at sunrise tomorrow morning.


As already arranged, Brig. Gen. Pillow's brigade will march at six o'clock tomorrow morning along the route he has carefully reconnoitred, and stand ready as soon as he hears the report of arms on our right, or sooner if circumstances should favor him, to pierce the enemy's line of batteries at such point — the nearer the river the better — as he may select. Once in the rear of that line, he will turn to the right or left, or both, and attack the batteries in reverse; or, if abandoned, he will pursue the enemy with vigor until further orders.

Wall's field battery and the cavalry will be held in reserve on the National road, a little out of view and range of the enemy's batteries. They will take up that position at nine o'clock in the morning.

The enemy's batteries being carried or abandoned, all our divisions and corps will pursue with vigor.

This pursuit may be continued many miles, until stopped by darkness or fortified positions towards Xalapa. Consequently, the body of the army will not return to this encampment, but be followed tomorrow afternoon, or early the next morning, by the baggage trains of the several corps. For this purpose, the feebler officers and men of each corps will be left to guard its camp and effects, and to load up the latter in the wagons of the corps. A commander of the present encampment will be designated in the course of this day.

As soon as it shall be known that the enemy's works have been carried, or that the general pursuit has been commenced, one wagon for each regiment and one for the cavalry will follow the movement, to receive, under the directions of medical officers, the wounded and disabled, who will be brought back to this place for treatment in general hospital.

The Surgeon-general will organize this important service and designate that hospital, as well as the medical officers to be left at it.

Every man who marches out to attack or pursue the enemy,


will take the usual allowance of ammunition, and subsistence for at least two days.

By command of Maj. Gen. Scott,

H. L. SCOTT, A. A. A. General.

The order thus given was realized to the letter, with the exception that General Pillow's brigade was repulsed in the attack on the batteries in front. They were, however, taken, and their garrisons made prisoners, by the advanced corps of the army, at the close of the battle. In each particular — of march, battle, victory, and pursuit — the order of Scott was prophetically correct. It proves the confidence of the commander in the indomitable energy of his troops. On the night of that day, (the 17th,) the enemy's position appears almost impregnable. On their right rolls a deep river. Along its side rises a chain of mountains one thousand feet in height. On these, heavy batteries frown down on all below. Over all rises the summit and tower of Cerro Gordo. Winding among the gorges of these mountains, and at last turning between the highest battery and the river below, is the National road, by which only the American army must pass. The Anglo-American soldier looks out from his camp at Plan del Rio, and sees this deep river on the side, this rampart of mountains in front, the high batteries beyond, and knows that the Mexican chief with fifteen thousand men is encamped on these mountains thus strongly defended. How shall he be attacked? The General order points out each step in the way.

On the night of the 17th, a thousand men of Twiggs' division are detailed on their route to plant an American battery on the captured hill below Cerro Gordo. A heavy twenty-four pounder was brought up, and two twenty-four


pound howitzers. These were dragged by main force up the hill, hundreds of feet high, in a night of total darkness. A fire is built below, and the officers and men are told to take the cannon straight up. They are already fatigued, exhausted, and parched with thirst; but they stop not for these. They are divided into two parties, of five hundred men each, for relief. They drag the pieces up with the hands. Here they stop, block up, and chain the wheels, till they are relieved by the other division. Again they go on, and again they relieve. Thus they go on from seven in the evening till three in the morning. The ground is covered with exhausted soldiers, some to sleep and some to rest. But the cannon are carried up. The morning finds them on the hill, and as the rosy light blushes in the heavens, the soft music of the Mexican reveillee is heard summoning their men to the muster. The batteries and encampments are revealed. The fine body of Mexican lancers, in splendid uniforms and with an unfurled standard, are moving along. Here battalions of artillery, and there a dense column of infantry, arrest the attention. Below and above are batteries darkly threatening to open their fire. This captured position thus commands all the defenses but Cerro Gordo. But that is above. That can fire down upon every position which could be taken. It is plain then, that the fort of Cerro Gordo is the key position of all the rest. This the discriminating eye of military science had clearly seen. Scott sees it, and has prepared for it. Hence the new road was made, winding, as you see, around the base of the mountain to our right, but to the left of Cerro Gordo, so that this citadel of the Mexican camp may be stormed from the flank, and the retreat of the troops by the National


road cut off. Hence, Pillow's brigade is to attack their batteries on the front-hill rampart, and either take them, or divert their attention from our flank movement. Hence, the night work of our men, so that our new hill fort may command these batteries of the enemy, and at the right moment compel their surrender. All is well done. All is ready. The night-watch is past. Twiggs' division, which has rested on its arms, is rousing itself at the first light. The gallant artillery men and engineers on the hill cut away the light brush in front of their gun's, and now the heavy cannon begin their fire on the hill batteries. Their thunder tones are echoed from the mountain sides, and returned from the pieces of the enemy. The division of Twiggs is marching. The volunteers of Shields are hurrying on to seize the Jalapa road in rear of Santa Anna. Cerro Gordo now opens its plunging fire on Twiggs, and the issue has come. Cerro Gordo must be stormed. The storm is led by the gallant Harney. They fight under the eye of Scott. Here march the rifles, the 1st artillery, the 7th infantry; and near them, and with them storming the heights, are the 2d and the 3d infantry, and the 4th artillery. These are the regulars of Twiggs, and here they march up the rocky ascent, so steep that they must climb as they go, and with no covering but the very steepness of the hill. They receive a plunging fire in front and a rolling fire on the flanks — but, on they go. On — on, Harney leads his men. The front rank melts away before the shot; but they stop not till the hill is gained, and then a long and loud shout echoes from the mountain sides — Cerro Gordo is gained! Vasquez, the Mexican general, is killed in the fortress. Now the flags of the 1st artillery and 7th infantry are planted on the


batteries, and now Sergeant Henry hauls down the national standard of Mexico. The Anglo-American again unfurls the flag of his country, and again renews the victories of Cortez. But where are the Volunteers? Yet further to the right, and hastening to the Jalapa road. They storm a fort in front — the heroic Shields is shot through the lungs — but the fort is taken — the road is gained — and the flying army of Santa Anna is pursued in all directions.

On the river batteries in front, Pillow's attack is not successful. The batteries enfilade our men, and after bravely fighting, they are drawn back; but their effort is not lost. The corps of General La Vega is kept employed till Cerro Gordo has fallen. Then he surrenders, with three thousand men prisoners of war. Santa Anna, with Almonte, Canalizo, and eight thousand have escaped, leaving carriages and baggage behind, and are now on the road to Jalapa. The sun is at noon, and the battle is ended; but the pursuit continues. The reserve division of Worth comes up, passes Twiggs, and hurries rapidly on after the confused and flying Mexicans; nor does he stop till Jalapa appears in sight!

On the 19th of April, from Plan del Rio, Scott announces to the War Department, that he is embarrassed with the results of victory! Three thousand prisoners, forty-three pieces of bronze artillery manufactured at Seville, five thousand stand of arms, five generals, with the munitions and materials of an army, captured in a single battle, are the fruits of victory, and demand the earnest care of the conquering general! The men must be paroled; the small-arms must be destroyed; we have not men to take care of them.


Such was the BATTLE OF CERRO GORDO. In the skill with which it was planned, in the formidable defenses to be surmounted, in the heroism of the attack, and in the magnitude of results, with which of American battles will it not compare? There were almost impassable obstacles, surmounted by skill; there were almost impregnable batteries, stormed by valor; there were thousands of prisoners captured, and an army destroyed; there was a road to the capital laid open, and towns and cities taken in the long vista of a victorious march! The Mexican empire lies under the feet of the conqueror, and again is the Aztec compelled to witness the triumphs of power, and utter by the Ruins of the Past, the mornings of the Present!

Look around you upon the battle-field, now that the dark chariot of war has driven by! Hear the description of one who has been to look upon the dead.

"A dragoon we encountered on the way kindly offered to be our guide, and from him we learned the positions of the different armies, their divisions and subdivisions. As winding around the hills by the National road, the enemy's intrenchments, their barricaded heights, strong forts, and well-defended passes, came in view, we halted, and gazed for several moments in mute amazement. No one, from reading the newspaper accounts or the reports of the generals, can form a proper idea of the advantages possessed by the enemy in his chosen position. The battle, I knew it had been fought and won by our troops; yet it seemed, in its bare, still reality, a dream. I could not shake off this feeling as I rode along the enemy's lines of intrenchments, entered his dismantled forts and magazines, and looked from his chosen heights upon


the paths up which our troops rushed into the jaws of death.

"Passing down the ravine where the National Guard had three times attempted to dislodge the mounted riflemen, who, supported by the howitzer battery, literally rained death among their ranks, I was obliged to turn back and retrace my steps. The gorge was choked up with the mangled bodies of the flower of the Mexican army. The wolf-dog and the buzzard howled and screamed as I rode by, and the stench was too sickening to be endured. Returning to the National road, we passed a large number of cannon taken by our troops, and saw piles of muskets charred with fire in heaps, where they had been heaped and burned.

"All along the road were the bodies of Mexican lancers and their horses, cut down by Colonel Harney's dragoons, when these fire-eaters chased Santa Anna and his retreating troops into and beyond Jalapa. Almost every man's skull was literally split open with the sabres of our horsemen, and they lay stretched, upon the ground in ghastly groups."

From this sad scenery of war, as exhibited in the relics of a battle-field, we must hasten on with the gallant general, who renewed with yet deeper verdure the laurels of Niagara on the summits of Cerro Gordo. Scott was no distant spectator of the combat. He had called others to the field, and he shared its dangers himself. Having prepared all things for the storm of the tower, (called by the Mexicans the Telegraph,) he took post at the point Colonel Harney charged, and under the heavy fire of the enemy's artillery. There he witnessed the gallant charge, and there he encouraged the troops. It was then that he


thus addressed Colonel Harney, (between whom and himself there had been some coolness:) "Colonel Harney, I cannot now adequately express my admiration of your gallant achievement, but at the proper time I shall take great pleasure in thanking you in proper terms." Harney, with the modesty of true valor, claimed the praise as due to his officers and men.

At this time Captain PATTEN, an excellent officer of the 3d infantry, was wounded, losing a part of his left hand. It was in the midst of the thunder-crash of battle, when the dying fell thickest, and when the crisis was at hand. It was a plunging fire; and after thus wounding Captain Patten, the ball struck a rock which it broke into fragments, one of which cut down and wounded the second sergeant of Captain Patten's company.

While Captain Patten was yet in the field, holding with his right hand the arm of the shattered left, General Scott rode slowly by, "under a canopy," to use Captain Patten's expression, "of cannon-balls." Seeing a wounded man, and supposing him to be a soldier, he exclaimed, slacking his pace, "There is a brave soldier badly wounded, I fear," and then, being told by an officer that it was Captain Patten, the general halted, and called to Captain Patten to inquire the nature of the wound; but in the roar of battle he was not heard.

Captain Patten spoke with enthusiasm as well of the calm and soldierly bearing of his gallant commander, amid the hottest and thickest of this murderous cannonade, as of his ready sympathy with, and attention to the wounded men and officers.

When the battle was closed, the hoped-for victory had become reality, and the future no longer absorbed all the


mind, Scott hastened to the side of the wounded. It was from an hospital of wounded and sick, that his first official report, dated April 19th, was dispatched. An officer who was present in these scenes, relates that General Scott visited in person the wounded, and saw, himself, that they were attended in the best manner. His men were in all cases, when the events of the campaign allowed him any time for thought on other subjects, his first care. He was ever as humane as heroic. He attended the bedside of the sick with cholera in the Northwest, and he now visited and aided, in the hospitals of the wounded of Cerro Gordo. Soon after this event, and on the occupation of Jalapa, he caused the removal of the wounded and sick to the more comfortable and healthier quarters in that town. Among these was the brave Shields, in whose dangerous condition he deeply sympathized.

It will be recollected that Santa Anna's carriage, with a large amount of specie, was captured, just after the Mexican army fled from the field. Whatever of this property belonged personally to General Santa Anna, Scott was most careful to return to his agent and man of business. It was a principle with General Scott, which he has most carefully carried out, that war was not a scheme for robbery, but the honorable contest of nations for national rights. He suffers no plunder of private property, no aggression on the rights of citizens, and he is most anxious to vindicate the American soldier and the American name from that barbarism which would convert war into the pillage of plunderers, and the glory of victory into the grossness of brutality.

From the field of Cerro Gordo the rout of the Mexican army was complete JALAPA was entered on the 19th.


The strong position of LA HOYA was abandoned, with its artillery and works; and on the 22d of April, Worth and his division occupied the strong castle and town of PEROTE! Here fifty-four pieces of cannon, and mortars, (both bronze and iron,) eleven thousand cannon-balls, fourteen thousand bombs, and five hundred muskets, swelled the vast amount of the munitions of war captured from the army of Mexico!

Army Enters Puebla.

On the 15th of May, General Worth, after encountering but little resistance, entered the ancient city of Puebla. Thus, in a campaign which extended only from the 12th of March to the 15th of May, the city of Vera Cruz had been besieged and taken, the famed castle of San Juan d'Ulloa had fallen, the battle of Cerro Gordo was fought and won, the city of Jalapa taken, the castle and town of Perote captured, and the fine city of Puebla occupied! Ten thousand men made prisoners of war, seven hundred splendid cannon, ten thousand stand of arms, thirty thousand shells and shot, were the spoils of the triumphant victories which had attended the American army, in a campaign of only two months! History has few parallels for such rapid and such brilliant achievements! But a few months before an unguarded expression had made WINFIELD SCOTT the mark of a ribald ridicule! Now, the government journal pronounces his campaign the rival of European splendor in war, eloquence is fervid in its declamatory praises, and the more just and grateful sentiment of the people renders back to the commander at Cerro Gordo, the admiration so gloriously won on the memorable plains of Niagara!


Chapter XXIII. 1846-1848.

Entrance of the American Army Into Puebla.

IN a morning of the beautiful month of May, and within the tropical zone, the American army of the north entered the "City of the Angels;" in the Spanish tongue, Puebla de los Angelas. They came with the renown, sounding far in advance, of San Juan de Ulloa captured, and the heights of Cerro Gordo victoriously stormed. They had landed on the shores of the Mexican Gulf, entrenched themselves in the wind-driven sands, battered the defences of Vera Cruz, received the surrender of the castle, and marched two hundred miles into the land of the Spanish-Aztec Americans. The National Bridge had been passed, Jalapa had surrendered, Perote made no resistance, and now the bold invaders of Mexico approached a city surrounded by the monuments of ancient civilization, and deemed fit, in the warm imagination of southern climes, for celestial residents.

The citizens of Puebla crowded the streets, and the balconies, on the line, were filled with spectators. They had formed the idea, that such troops must be extraordinary


in appearance, or superhuman in power. But, what was their surprise, when they beheld men of common stature, dressed in the common gray uniform, and with weary aspect! In truth, many of them had been ill; they were fatigued with their march, and negligent of their dress. They piled their arms in the public square, and lay down to sleep, as if no enemy were near!

Strength of the Army.

The army, as it entered Puebla, was stated, by a Mexican eye-witness, to have numbered four thousand two hundred and ninety effective men, with thirteen pieces of artillery. This was the marching force, at that date, and the official returns prove that this statement was very nearly correct. Scott's force, at that time capable of marching on Mexico, did not exceed four thousand five hundred men. This will be explained by a brief reference to previous facts.

The army of all sorts and kinds, (including the laborers of transportation,) when concentrated at the island of Lobos, numbered fourteen thousand men. A portion of this army consisted of several of the twenty-three regiments called out in May, 1846, and whose time (twelve months) expired in May, 1847. These were discharged on the march to Puebla. Sickness, also, had been rife among the soldiers. The camp-dysentery had disabled many, and destroyed others. At Vera Cruz, at Cerro Gordo, and in various skirmishes, many of the brave men who had landed in May, had fallen in battle, or been wounded, and consigned to the hospitals. Detachments of men were also left in garrison. Finally, numerous desertions


from the regular army took place, of whom there were no less than seventeen hundred reported in one year.

Thus it happened, that only five thousand effective men could be gathered in Puebla immediately after Scott's arrival. Was this small force (henceforth to be isolated) to march on the capital of Mexico? With the confidence of an American, the ardor of a successful general, and in full reliance on the energies of the American soldier, Scott would have advanced, even with this diminished force. He was stopped, however, by other and unexpected events.

The cabinet at Washington both professed and felt an anxious desire for peace. The war had not been anticipated. The results, however successful and glorious to the United States, were, politically, very uncertain. If Mexico was entirely conquered, what could be done with its strange and heterogeneous population? If new territories were acquired, what would be their influence on the various sections of the Union? How were the fruits of victory to be handled and disposed of? Fearful, not of failure in arms, but of results in peace, the cabinet of Mr. Polk held out professions of amity whenever it honorably could. The campaign of the Rio Grande had been planned and conducted on the same principle. Its object was to cut off the Rio Grande provinces, and thus induce Mexico to make peace, without forcing us to conquer the heart of the country.

Mission of Trist. Reasons for Remaining at Puebla.

It was with these views and feelings that the Executive Government undertook, the singular and remarkable


mission of Mr. Nicholas P. Trist. This gentleman was, in the commencement of 1847, chief clerk in the Department of State. He was dispatched by the cabinet with letters to certain persons in Mexico, and with powers to conclude a peace. He was not an envoy — a character known only in peace — but a sort of extraordinary Commissioner near the seat of war. Trist arrived at Jalapa just before Scott's departure for Puebla. He immediately intimated a desire to transmit certain papers to the Mexican government. The army, however, continued its march to Puebla. Such was the condition of things in the beginning of June. A Government Commissioner was there, anxious for peace, and seeking negotiation. The army was reduced to less than five thousand men, — in the midst of an enemy's country, and already nearly isolated in its communications; while Scott is anxious to go forward, and, in the city of Mexico, complete that "conquest of peace," which, from the beginning, he had foreseen must be done. Yet he is restrained, by imperative considerations, both civil and military. The civil reason was this mission of Mr. Trist. If the propositions he made were acceptable to the authorities in Mexico, then the negotiation necessarily implied a cessation of hostilities.


The military reasons were sufficiently serious to restrain the ardor of the boldest commander; and the event proved the sagacity of the General, who, anticipating only victory, nevertheless sacrificed his ardor to the highest prudential considerations. 1st. The small force of which the army was then composed, was unable to keep open


its communications. In fact, notwithstanding all the reinforcements which arrived between May and September, the communication of the main army with Vera Cruz was cut off during the whole period. 2dly. The whole army, then at Puebla, was only sufficient to constitute a garrison for the city of Mexico, — in which it would have been shut up, incapable of offensive movements. 3dly. The main army of Santa Anna was yet unbroken, and would have been left free to have fallen on the advancing reinforcements, attacking them in detail. Such were the conclusive reasons which restrained General Scott's desire to advance, and obliged him to remain at Puebla.

Happily the delay was most fortunate. The opportunity for peaceful negotiations was offered to Mexico. Reinforcements arrived. The possibility, almost, of misfortune or accident was removed by the care, foresight, and precautions which time enabled the commander to take. Nor was that time unemployed or useless in the army. None knew better than Scott the necessity and advantage of discipline to an army. None knew better the value of the drill, in giving the soldier a facile use of arms, and ready movement of the body. More than thirty years previous, Scott had, in the camp of Buffalo, availed himself of a leisure period to drill and discipline that gallant brigade, which figured so gloriously on the fields of Chippewa and Niagara.

Scott's Proclamation. His Humanity.

Previous to the mission of Trist, General Scott had himself made every possible effort to conciliate the Mexican people, to inform them of the true condition of things, to point out the disasters which certainly awaited them in future combats, and the ultimate triumph of the United


States, if the war was not immediately closed. Some of his orders and proclamations in Mexico bear the stamp, not merely of military genius, a clear foresight, and a sagacious comprehension of surrounding events, but they have also the marks of a high literary excellence, which is seldom found in the camp and the field. Of this character was his Proclamation from Jalapa, dated May 11th, 1847. After reciting the military events which preceded the battle of Cerro Gordo, the triumph of the American arms, the unskillfulness of the Mexican generals, the certain fate of the soldiers, he calls upon the Mexicans to look at the condition of their country; its citizens and property threatened, — the possessions of the Church menaced, — the fortunes of the rich held out for plunder, — all classes of people subjected to contributions, excises, and monopolies, — persecutions abounding, and criminals unpunished — he thus continues:

"I will not believe that the Mexicans of the present day are wanting in courage to confess errors which do not dishonor them, and to adopt a system of true liberty, of peace and union with their brethren and neighbors of the north; neither will I believe that they are ignorant of the falsity of the calumnies of the press, intended to excite hostility. No! public sentiment is not to be created or animated by falsehood. We have not profaned your temples, nor abused your women, nor seized your property, as they would have you believe.

"We say this with pride, and we confirm it by your own bishops, and by the clergy of Tampico, Tuspan, Matamoras, Monterey, Vera Cruz, and Jalapa, and by all the authorities, civil and religious, and the inhabitants of every town we have occupied. We adore the same God,


and a large portion of our army, as well as of the population of the United States, are Catholics, like yourselves. We punish crime wherever we find it, and reward merit and virtue.

"The army of the United States respects, and will always respect, private property of every description, and the property of the Mexican Church.

"Mexicans! the past cannot be remedied, but the future may be provided for. Repeatedly have I shown you that the government and people of the United States desire peace, desire your sincere friendship.

"Abandon, then, rancorous prejudices, cease to be the sport of individual ambition, and conduct yourselves like a great American nation; leave off at once colonial habits, and learn to be truly free, truly republican, and you will become prosperous and happy, for you possess all the elements to be so. Remember that you are Americans, and that your happiness is not to come from Europe."

General Scott concludes this beautiful letter with the declaration, which time so amply fulfilled, — "I am marching on Puebla and Mexico; and from those capitals I shall again address you."

Nothing has more surprised European observers of the war with Mexico, than this prophetic precision with which Scott announced, in advance, all the events of his military operations! The order for the battle of Cerro Gordo contained, also, the announcement of its perfect success in every detail! And now this proclamation announced, as an absolute fact — predestined — that from the walls of Puebla and the halls of Mexico, he would again address them. This page, which narrates these events,


glides on with no more certainty than did the events so prophetically announced!

This proclamation contained no vain boast of the humanity or the power of the American. Except in battle, no injury had been done the citizens of Mexico. Scott entered Mexico with the avowed determination that no lawless plunder, no acts of unnecessary violence, no disrespect to the sacred character of the Church, no unhappy victims of military crime should disgrace his army, or rise in judgment against it at the tribunal of history. His determination was faithfully carried out. Private property, personal rights, the temples of worship, were all respected, and the army was made illustrious, not less by its humanity than its victories.


The delay at Puebla, as we have stated, proved eminently advantageous to the future operations of the army. The troops were drilled, disciplined, and recruited in strength. In the mean while, the government had exerted itself to supply the places of the discharged volunteers with new regiments. Congress had authorized the enlistment of ten new regiments. The recruiting went forward rapidly; and, as fast as the men could be got ready, they were sent forward. On the 5th of May, Colonel McIntosh left Vera Cruz with a large train and eight hundred men. They were attacked at Passo de Ovejas, and checked; but were, in a few days, joined by General Cadwallader with six hundred men and six howitzers.

Concentration of the Army.

On the 17th of May, General Pillow left Vera Cruz with another detachment of one thousand men; and, at a subsequent period, General Pierce was sent forward with two thousand five hundred. The garrison at Jalapa was also broken up and added to the main army. These various


reinforcements, minor detachments, the garrison of Jalapa, the convalescents, invalids, and garrison of Puebla, with the original force, constituted the army of Scott in the beginning of August, and is represented in the following table:

Scott's forces at Puebla, (including all,) 7,000
Cadwallader's Brigade, 1,400
Pillow's 1,800
Pierce's Corps 2,409
Garrison of Puebla, under Colonel Childs, 1,400
Total arrived at Puebla, 14,009
Deduct from this, garrison of Puebla, with the Sick in hospitals, 3,261
Total marched from Puebla, 10,748

Thus the effective force of the army which left Puebla for the city of Mexico was just 10,748 men. There were left in Puebla 3,261 men; of whom no less than 1,900 were, at one time, in the hospitals! Of these, 700 there found their graves!

On the 5th of August, a council of war was held in Puebla, at which the heads of Divisions and Brigades were present; among whom were Major-Generals Worth, Quitman, and Pillow, with Brigadiers Twiggs, Shields, and Cadwallader. At this council, the General-in-Chief (Scott) laid down distinctly the plan of operations, the routes, and the modes by which he proposed to reach, attack, and capture the city of Mexico. The general plan had been formed before he left the city of Washington; and it is the most remarkable among the remarkable


events of this campaign, that a plan formed thousands of miles from the scene of action, should, even in its details, be carried so completely into effect. Of the ability and sagacity with which this plan was formed, its complete success, and the approval of all intelligent men, furnish the most solid and ample evidence.

Its Divisions.

The time had now come for the army to commence its march to Mexico. It was divided into four Divisions, with a Cavalry Brigade, of which the following is a tabular view:

Cavalry Brigade,
Col. Harney
1st Dragoons, Capt. Kearney,
2d Dragoons, Maj. Sumner,
3d Dragoons, Capt. McReynolds,
1st Division,
Gen. Worth.
1st Brigade,
Col. Garland.
2d Regiment Artillery.
3d Regiment Artillery.
4th Regiment Infantry.
Duncan's Field Battery.
2d Brigade,
Col. Clarke.
5th Infantry.
6th Infantry.
8th Infantry.
2d Division,
Gen. Twiggs,
1st Brigade,
Gen. Smith,
Rifle Regiment.
1st Artillery.
3d Infantry.
Taylor's Battery.
2d Brigade,
Col. Riley.
4th Artillery.
1st Infantry.
7th Infantry.
3d Division,
Gen. Pillow.
1st Brigade,
Gen. Cadwallader,
11th Infantry.
14th Infantry.
2d Brigade,
Gen. Pierce,
9th Infantry.
12th Infantry.
15th Infantry.
4th Division,
Gen. Quitman,
1st Brigade,
Gen. Shields,
South Carolina Volunteers.
New York Volunteers.
2d Brigade. 2d Penn. Volunteers.
Detachment of U. S. Marines.

These regiments would represent, according to military computation, twenty thousand men. But, it must be


recollected, that they were many of them only skeleton regiments. They averaged not more than half the nominal number of a regiment, and some of them had not more than three hundred men each.

As there was no large Mexican army immediately in front, Scott directed these divisions to move forward separately on different days, that they might move easily, and without confusion, but so that they could reinforce each other at four hours' notice.


On the 7th of August, Harney's Brigade of Cavalry, followed by the 2d Division under Twiggs, commenced their march. On the 8th, Quitman's Division of volunteers moved forward; on the 9th, the 1st Division under Worth; and on the 10th, the 3d Division, under Pillow. General Scott himself joined and continued with the leading division.

Thus commenced the march of the Anglo-American army from Puebla to Mexico, through the country once densely populated by the Tlascalans, and not far from the road traveled by Cortez in the first conquest of Mexico. The troops followed the stage-traveled route. But the route of Cortez here crossed the modern road, and, passing to the left through Cholula, and round the base of Popocateptl, rejoined the present road near Lake Chalco. Cholula was then a magnificent city, and Cortez pursued the common road; but that city is now a ruin, and the road has been changed to suit the modern towns.

Pass of Rio Frio.

On the morning of the 7th, Twiggs' Division took up its march through a beautiful rolling country, whose gardens supplied the city with fruits and vegetables. The road passed over the Anahuac range of the Cordilleras, and from point to point presented some of the finest


scenery in the world. Nearly thirty miles to the left, but in full view, arose the snow-topped Popocateptl and its twin summit Iztaccithuatl, whose icy brows, far above the region of perpetual congelation, rose eighteen thousand feet in the air, in cold and isolated glory! Underneath these sublime summits, and amidst the ruins of Cholula and Tlascala, the army moved on. Gradually the road ascended through mountain hills, now covered with woods, and now presenting little lakes interspersed in the valleys. They had ascended a height of ten thousand feet, amidst the Cordilleras, when the thirsty soldier was refreshed with the water of a little stream, of icy coldness and crystal purity, whose springs were in the now Mountains.

This was the pass of Rio Frio. Here the army had anticipated resistance, for the mountains closed upon and overhung the road, so as to offer great capabilities of defense. Some signs of preparation were found, but they had been abandoned, and the troops passed on without seeing an enemy. A few miles farther and they passed over the crest of the mountains, where suddenly burst upon them the brilliant scenery of the Valley of Mexico, — scenery which has been described by travelers as among the most beautiful and picturesque in the world. It is thus described by an officer of the Rifles:

"When all were pretty nearly worn out, a sudden turn in the road brought to our view a sight which none can ever forget. The whole vast plain of Mexico was before us. The coldness of the air, which was most sensibly


felt at this great height, our fatigue and danger, were forgotten, and our eyes were the only sense that thought of enjoyment. Mexico, with its lofty steeples and its checkered domes — its bright reality, and its former fame — its modern splendor, and its ancient magnificence, was before us; while around, on every side, its thousand lakes seemed like silver stars on a velvet mantle."

This was the picture of that city and its remarkable environs, which the Anglo-American now came to conquer. From the summit of volcanic mountains he looked down, like an eagle from the cliffs, upon his prey below, but not without admiration of the beauty which surrounded his weaker adversary.

The army was now on the great road from Puebla to Mexico, which passed to the east of Lake Chalco, and between that and Lake Tezcuco. On the 11th inst., the division reached Ayotla, north of Lake Chalco, and only fifteen miles by the National Road from the city of Mexico, where it waited for the other divisions to come up. As yet, they had met no enemy. The time had now come, however, in which it was necessary to reconnoitre the defences of Mexico, and determine on the ultimate plan of action.

By referring to a map of the valley of Mexico, it will be seen, that in front (to the north) lay the great Lake of Tezcuco, along the south border of which wound the National Road to the city of Mexico, on the west side of the lake. South of Ayotla, where the division of Twiggs now lay, is Lake Chalco. West of Ayotla, and near Chalco, is Lake Xochimilco. West of that, and nearly


at right angles with the National Road, is the Acapulco road, leading from Mexico to the Pacific, and passing through the villages of San Antonia and San Augustine. Still further west is the Toluca road, passing through Tacubaya. The ground through which these roads enter Mexico is generally a marshy valley or plain, which is protected from the water by dykes and causeways. The intermediate marshes, filled with bogs and water, were almost or quite impracticable for the passage of troops. On the other hand, the great roads and causeways were fortified by the Mexicans, In front, near the National Road, and about seven miles from Mexico, was El Penon, a fortified mountain. West of that, near the head of Lake Xochimilco, and five miles from Mexico, is Mexicalcingo, another fortified point. To the west of the lakes, and on or near the Acapulco road, (between San Augustine and the city of Mexico,) lay, in succession, San Antonia, Contreras, and Churubusco, fortified points. Contreras was a hill rather to the west of San Augustine. Churubusco was at the crossing of a canal or river, called the Churubusco River. At this point was a tęte du pont, or bridge-head, a fortification. Much nearer to the city were the King's Mill (Molino del Rey) and Chapultepec. Thus there was a continuous circle of fortified points, on the practicable roads or approaches to the city.

Position of the Army on the 13th of August.

On the 13th of August, the position of the American army was as follows, viz.: Twiggs' division, at Ayotla, north of Lake Chalco; Worth's division, near the village of Chalco, at the south end of the lake; and the divisions of Pillow and Quitman, intermediate. Between Ayotla and Chalco may have been five miles.

The problem now presented to Scott was, on which of


the main roads should he march to and attack the city? Should he continue on the National Road, and storm El Penon? or should he turn off and gain the Acapulco road? Was the last practicable?

Reconnaissance of El Penon.

General Scott had long previously determined, if possible, to turn the enemy's defenses on the Puebla road, and passing round Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco, approach the city on the Acapulco road, by San Augustine. The commander of an army, however, must act practically in reference to the circumstances which surround him. Having advanced the army to the point at which the choice of approaches must be determined, a reconnaissance must now be made to settle the question. This duty was intrusted to the Rifle regiment, accompanied by three companies of cavalry; and it was successfully and gallantly performed. On the 12th of August, they advanced to El Penon, and ascertained its position and defences. Turning to the left, and endeavoring to find an easier approach to the city, they came upon Mexicalcingo, where five strong batteries commanded the road. Countermarching, they found themselves under the bristling batteries of El Penon, which now lay between them and Twiggs' camp. They were not attacked, and, after a rapid march, arrived in camp at midnight. This was pronounced by General Scott, "the boldest reconnaissance of the war."

El Penon is a rocky hill, impassable on one side, surrounded by a deep and broad ditch, and mounted with batteries having fifty-one guns, completely commanding and enfilading the National Road. Gen. Scott thus speaks of it, in his report of the 19th of August, 1847:


"This mound, close to the National Road, commands the principal approach to the city from the east. No doubt it might have been carried, but at a great and disproportionate loss, and I was anxious to spare the lives of this gallant army for a general battle, which I knew we had to win before capturing the city, or obtaining the great object of the campaign — a just and honorable peace."

Turning of Lake Chalco.

Of the pass of Mexicalcingo he thus writes, and discloses the plan which he had originally conceived, and was ultimately adopted:
"It might have been easy (masking the Penon) to force the passage; but on the other side of the bridge we should have found ourselves, four miles from this road, on a narrow causeway, flanked to the right and left by water, or boggy grounds. These difficulties closely viewed, threw me back upon the project long entertained, of turning the strong eastern defenses of the city, by passing around south of Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco, at the foot of the hills and mountains, so as to reach San Augustine, and hence to maneuver on hard, though much broken ground, to the south and southwest of the capital which had been more or less under our view since the 10th inst."

The real question on the ground was, Could the Luke Chalco be turned? The reconnaissances made, and the information of scouts, determined that point, and the order was immediately given to reverse the movement of the entire army.

On the 15th of August, the several divisions took up


their line of march, Worth's corps being now in advance, and the others following in the reverse order of their advance.

The road lay along the margin of the lake, at the base of rocky mountains, and at times crossing their spurs. The hills were often precipitous, and the army might have been much obstructed and annoyed by sharp-shooters and the rolling of stones. Little of this, however, was attempted; and in two days' time (on the 17th) the head of Worth's division had reached San Augustine, on the Acapulco road. Twiggs' division, which was in advance, but was now in rear, left Ayotla on the 16th, with the train; he brigade of General Smith forming the rear-guard.

At the village of Buena Vista, near Lake Chalco, a Mexican division appeared, and there was a slight skirmish, but it was soon ended, the Mexicans retreating.

Position of the Army on the 18th of August.

On the 18th of August, the army of Scott was concentrated in the valley of Mexico, his head-quarters being at San Augustine. The movement of the last two days was one of great importance. On the 13th, as we have seen, the army had taken position east of and beyond Lake Chalco, on the National Road, the advance being at Ayotla, fifteen miles from Mexico. On the 18th, it was to the west of Lake Chalco, on the Acapulco road, and nine miles from Mexico. Lake Chalco and the Mexican defenses on the National Road had been completely turned. The fortifications in front were not so strong, the distance to the city less, and the field of operations for the army better.

We have now followed Scott from the 7th of March, on which he left the Island of Lobos, to the 18th of August, on which he is in full view of the capital of Mexico. In


that time, he had captured the castle of Vera Cruz, won the great battle of Cerro Gordo, received the capitulations of Perote, Jalapa, and Puebla, turned the Lake Chalco, and was now ready to descend, with victorious arms, on the city of the Montezumas. His plans were formed with the highest military skill, and were executed with the utmost success. His conduct was marked with humanity and discretion. He was now come to the crisis of the campaign, and we shall see with what brilliant victories and extraordinary success this great American general was crowned, in the battles of Mexico.


Chapter XXIV. 1850.

Mexican Line of Defences.

ON the 18th of August, when the American army had gained its position on the Acapulco road, the city of Mexico was surrounded by two lines of defenses, manned by a numerous and well-appointed army, under the command of General Santa Anna. These defenses must be overcome and that army defeated, before Scott can enter the city and conquer a peace. The fortifications were of a most formidable character, and the ground of such a nature that they could not be passed with safety. Mexico, as we have seen, lies in a valley, and is almost the lowest spot in the valley. This valley was probably, at some time, the bottom of a great lake, of which Lakes Tezcuco, Christobal, Chalco, and Xochimilco are the remains. Not many centuries since, the city of Mexico was surrounded wholly by water, and approached only by great causeways, built up in the water. These causeways yet make the only good and safe approaches to the city; for, in the wet season, the intermediate spaces are covered with water,


and in the dry season are boggy and marshy. Scott's army approached the city in the month of August, when the country was dry, yet the fields were unfit for the passage of an army. Hence it was by the main roads that the army must attack the city, and, in moving forward, must attack and capture the defenses on one or more of the causeways. Let us see how the Mexican defenses were situated.

The exterior line of defenses commenced with El Penon, a rocky and precipitous hill, near Lake Tezcuco, surmounted with batteries of heavy cannon, and impregnable, except with great loss of men. This fortress commanded the National Road, by which the American army had advanced beyond Lake Chalco, and to defend which Santa Anna had placed his strongest preparations. West of this, on another causeway leading from Lake Xochimilco to the city, was Mexicalcingo, also surmounted with batteries and breastworks. To attack these had been decided by Scott inexpedient. He therefore, as we have seen, turned all these defenses, and, marching round Lake Chalco, was now at St. Augustine, on the Acapulco Road. But here, again, the line of defenses was continued. Immediately in front lay the fortified village of San Antonia. Nearer the city, where the road crosses a canal or stream, was Churubusco, defended by a Tęte du Pont (Bridge-head) in front, by stone houses garrisoned, and by a line of intrenchments. To the left (west) of St. Augustine was the hill of Contreras, also fortified with batteries. Between that and St. Augustine the ground was covered with pedrigal, or lava-stone, broken, rough, and almost impassable. Nearer Mexico is Chapultepec, a hill strongly fortified, on which is situated the Mexican


Military College. At the foot and near the hill is Molina del Rey, (the King's Mill,) Casa de mata, and a fortified stone wall.

These defenses, as will be observed by reference to the map, covered every practicable road to the city of Mexico; and it cannot be denied that the Mexican general (Santa Anna) had chosen and prepared his plan of defense with great military skill. There was no neglected point by which the city could be assailed, without a battle previously fought and won. The fortifications which must be taken before the army stormed Chapultepec or captured Mexico, were these:

  Batteries. Guns. Infantry Breastworks.
Contreras 1 22 0
San Antonia 7 24 2
Churubusco 2 15 0
Total 10 61 2

These fortifications could not be turned, on account of the nature of the ground; and, even if turned, could not be safely left in the rear. The time had now come for the battle of Mexico, which, whether it were one or several, must in its finality terminate in the capture of these fortresses, and the total defeat of the Mexican army; or the city of Mexico could not be taken, nor peace result from previous victories. This Scott had foreseen; had calculated with precision the surrender of San Juan de Ulloa, the successful march from Vera Cruz to Mexico, and the turning of the strong defenses to the east of Lake Chalco.


The hour had now come when the final issue of the campaign must depend only on the victory of arms.

Position of the American Army.

On the night of the 18th of August, 1847, the position of the American army was thus: — The head-quarters of General Worth, with his division, was at a hacienda on the road near Antonia, and within reach of the enemy's guns. Twiggs' division slept at a little hamlet, in sight of Worth. The divisions of Pillow and Quitman were not far off. The head-quarters of Scott were at San Augustine.

On the night of the same day, General Valencia, with "the flower" of the Mexican army, about seven thousand strong, occupied the fortified intrenchments on the heights of Contreras, about five miles to the northwest of San Augustine. The garrison of that post was composed of the battalions of National Guards called Independencia and Bravo, and on the 19th and 20th were reinforced by different batteries of artillery.

At San Antonia was another Mexican division, reinforced, on the morning of the 19th, by the battalions of Hidalgo and Victoria. Besides these several garrison, General Santa Anna commanded an army of about twelve thousand men, posted on the hills beyond Contreras, in the village of San Angel and the neighborhood, so as to reinforce the points most exposed to attack.

This was the position of the American army on the night of the 18th. During that day, reconnaissances had been made by the engineer officers, with a view to ascertain the best point of attack. Captain Mason ascertained


that San Antonia could only be approached in front, over a narrow causeway of great length, flanked by wet ditches of great depth. To the right, the ground was too boggy to turn this post; and to the left, the movement of troops must be over the pedrigal, or broken stones and lava. This consisted of such sharp rocks and broken pieces, that it was supposed impassable. Yet it was over this difficult ground that Scott determined to advance, by cutting a road through these obstructions, and finally turning San Antonia, by gaining position at Coyahacen, on the San Angel road, and whence they might attack Antonia in the rear. Accordingly, Worth, with his division, was ordered to mask, but not to attack Antonia; while the advance on Contreras was to be made by Pillow's division cutting a road, and Twiggs' covering it in the front.

Battle of Contreras.

On the morning of the 19th, all was activity. Valencia was strongly posted in the entrenched camp on the heights of Contreras. Rincon was busy fortifying Churubusco; and Santa Anna was reinforcing Contreras and San Antonia with bodies of troops drawn from the city. The camp of Contreras contained about seven thousand of the best Mexican troops. Santa Anna commanded full twelve thousand, held on the heights, in the rear of Contreras, in the intrenchments, and behind causeways, between that and the city. The divisions of Rincon and others on the Churubusco side, and others near, amounted to several thousand more. The whole Mexican force present on the 19th and 20th amounted to twenty-five thousand men.

On the American side, all was prepared for an advance in the direction of Contreras. Captain Lee, of the Engineers,


having, in the reconnaissance of the 19th, discovered an enemy's column of observation in front, near Contreras, Twiggs' division, as stated above, was thrown forward. At 1 P. M. of the 19th they advanced from the village of San Juan, where posted, with blankets on their shoulders, knapsacks in their wagons, and two days' supply of bread and beef in their haversacks. They proceeded forward, dragging with them Magruder's battery and the mountain howitzers. At 2 P. M., General Smith's brigade had arrived at the crest of a hill, from which Valencia in his intrenchments was plainly visible. He had twenty-two pieces of artillery (mostly heavy) in battery, commanding the broken and rocky ground on which the American troops had now to maneuver. His position was connected with the city of Mexico by an excellent road, leading down the heights, by the hamlets of Contreras and Anselda, and through the village of San Angel. On this road, but out of reach, great bodies of Mexican troops could be seen advancing to the support of Valencia.

The American batteries, of twelve and six pounders, under Captain Magruder, and the howitzers, under Lieutenant Callender, were brought with extreme difficulty. An officer writing from the spot says, that the ground was "covered with rocks, large and small, prickly pear, or cactus, intersected by ditches filled with water, and lined with maguey plant, itself imperviable to cavalry, and with patches of corn which concealed the enemy's skirmishers, while it impeded our passage."

General Scott took position on an eminence in front of Contreras, at 4 P. M. of the 19th, and continued to direct


the movements of troops during the action which ensued. Our artillerymen could get but three pieces into play, while the batteries of Contreras had twenty-two, which therefore rendered our fire nearly nugatory. The same officer quoted above, and who was an eyewitness, says: "For two hours, our troops stood the storm of iron and lead which hailed upon them, unmoved. At every discharge they laid flat down, to avoid the storm, and then sprung up to serve the guns. At the end of that time, two of the guns were dismounted, and we (the Rifles) badly hurt. Thirteen of the horses were killed and disabled, and fifteen of the cannoniers killed and wounded. The troops were then recalled."

The American cavalry could not advance on the ground passed, and the infantry could not advance in column, without being mowed down by the grape and canister of the batteries, nor advance in line, without being ridden over by the enemy's numerous cavalry. The action of the 19th lasted three hours, till nightfall, in which time the American troops sustained several charges of the Mexican cavalry, and maintained their position. The action of the day was indecisive. Our army, however, had gained the great point of seeing precisely what was to be done the next day, and of making important movements during the night.

From his position in front of Contreras, Scott, with the quick perception of military relations which belongs only to high military genius, had seen Santa Anna reinforcing Contreras by troops from Mexico, along the San Angel road; had seen the hamlet at the foot of Contreras commanding


that road; had seen the ravines in rear (west) of Contreras; and had seen the covering of woods and orchards near the hamlet; and had formed, at a glance, the plan which was ultimately carried into effect. This was to throw forward a body of troops, in the evening, into the hamlets of Contreras and Anselda, which would cut off reinforcements during the attack on Contreras, and intercept the retreat of the enemy, when that entrenchment was taken; then to attack Valencia from the ravine in the rear, while a strong diversion was made in front. When this succeeded, San Antonia could be turned, and attacked in rear, as well as in front. Accordingly, all arrangements were made for this result. It was now evening, and the brigade of Cadwallader had already advanced in the direction of the hamlet. The 14th Regiment of Infantry, under Col. Morgan, was then ordered by Scott to occupy the village; and a few minutes later, they were joined by the brigade of Shields, composed of New York and South Carolina volunteers. These troops made their way through a dense forest, and in the night took post on the road in the hamlet. The brigades of Riley and Smith advanced still further, and had taken post in rear and flank of the enemy's camp on the hill of Contreras.

The night of the 19th was by no means promising. That portion of the troops immediately engaged (the Rifles, 1st Artillery, and 3d Infantry) had terminated a day of conflict, without any decisive result; and had marched to their new position, through chapporal and cacti, tired, hungry, and dispirited. The night was dark, rainy, and cold. So dark was it, that seven officers sent on by Scott for information from Shields and Smith, had failed to return; and one only (Captain Lee) had been


able to bring intelligence from Shields. At night, when the brigades of Smith, Riley, Shields, and Ransom's regiment, lay in and about the hamlet of Contreras, or Anselda, the rain poured down, so that the stream in the road flooded them. There they stood, crowded together, drenched and benumbed, waiting till daylight. The cry, however, that they were "to storm" the enemy's post, reanimated them, and all was again ready for action.

At 3 A. M. of the 20th, the decisive movements of the day commenced. General PERSIFER F. SMITH, an officer whose skill and gallantry are of the highest order, was first on the ground, and became the immediate commander in the action. General Shields, his senior, yielded that position to him, and undertook to hold the village, and cut off the enemy's retreat, which was gallantly performed.

At 4 A. M., the troops of Riley and Smith, which had occupied the hamlet and road of Contreras during the night, defiled into their position in rear of the enemy, through a ravine covered by orchards and cornfields. The nature of the ground, and the negligence of the Mexicans, favored our troops in a remarkable manner. The enemy's batteries and their whole attention appear to have been directed to the eastern and southern declivity of the hills, where our first attack had been made, and where they anticipated another. On the contrary, however, the brigades of Riley, Smith, and Cadwallader had, during the night, lain in the village on the north, and had now crept up the ravine on the west, till nothing but the crest of a hill intervened between them and the Mexicans!


Riley's brigade was on the extreme south, in the ravine behind the enemy's right, Cadwallader's next, and Smith's behind the enemy's left, all ready to spring up, at 6 A. M., when the arrangements were completed.

Rout of the Mexicans.

When the word of attack was given, our men sprung up in both rear and flanks of the astonished Mexicans, rushed headlong over the crest of the hill, and dashed pell-mell into the entrenchment's! The batteries were taken, the army of Valencia driven out, and its flying remnants pursued on the road to Mexico! So admirable were the dispositions, and so energetic the action, that the battle was ended almost as soon as begun! The actual conflict lasted but seventeen minutes! The pursuit was for hours. The results were gigantic. Of the scene during the battle, we take a description from the same graphic writer to whom we have before referred:

"At last, just at daylight, General Smith, slowly walking up, asked if all was ready. A look answered him. ‘Men, forward!’ and we did ‘forward.’ Springing up at once, Riley's brigade opened, when the crack of a hundred rifles startled the Mexicans from their astonishment, and they opened their fire. Useless fire, for we were so close that they overshot us, and before they could turn their pieces on us, we were on them. Then such cheers arose as you never heard. The men rushed forward like demons, yelling and firing the while. The carnage was frightful, and though they fired sharply, it was of no use.


The earthen parapet was cleared in an instant, and the blows of the stocks could be plainly heard, mingled with the yells and groans around. Just before the charge was made, a large body of lancers came winding up the road, looking most splendidly in their brilliant uniforms. They never got to the work, but turned and fled. In an instant all was one mass of confusion, each trying to be foremost in the flight. The road was literally blocked up; and, while many perished by their own guns, it was almost impossible to fire on the mass from the danger of killing our own men. Some fled up the ravine on the left, or on the right, and many of these were slain by turning their own guns upon them. Towards the city, the rifles and 2d infantry led off the pursuit. Seeing that a large crowd of fugitives were jammed up in a pass in the road, some of the men ran through the cornfield, and by thus heading them off and firing down upon them, about thirty men took over five hundred prisoners, nearly a hundred of them officers."

The position of Shields was now made effective. His New York and South Carolina volunteers were now ordered into the road to cut off the retreat of Valencia's corps. Large parties were met by the fire of these regiments, and either scattered or made prisoners. Three hundred and seventy-five were taken, of whom twenty-five were officers, including General Nicholas Mendoza.


The results of the battle are thus described by General Scott, in his Official Report:
"Thus was the great victory of Contreras achieved; one road to the capital opened; 700 of the enemy killed; 813 prisoners, including, among 88 officers, 4 generals; besides many colors and standards; 22 pieces of brass ordnance, half of large calibre; thousands of small arms and accoutrements; an immense quantity of shot, shells, powder, and cartridges; 700 pack mules, many horses, &c., &c. — all in our hands."

Recapture of the Buena Vista Guns.

SALAS, MENDOZA, GARCIA, and GUADALUPE, among the principal Mexican generals, were captured. The two brass cannon taken from us in the battle of Buena Vista were recaptured. Of this event General Scott thus speaks:
"One of the most pleasing incidents of the victory is the recapture, in the works, by Captain Drum, 4th artillery, under Major Gardner, of the two brass six-ponders taken from another company of the same regiment, though without the loss of honor, at the glorious battle of Buena Vista, about which guns the whole regiment had mourned for so many months. Coming up, a little later, I had the happiness to join in the protracted cheers of the gallant 4th, on the joyous event; and, indeed, the whole army sympathizes in its just pride and exultation."

The BATTLE OF CONTRERAS was both brilliant and decisive. It was fought by four thousand five hundred men against seven thousand, under Valencia in the entrenchments, and twelve thousand, commanded by Santa


Anna, supporting them, — making nearly twenty thousand of the enemy actually in the field. It was fought and won so rapidly, that the divisions of Worth and Quitman, which had been ordered to make a diversion in front, east, had not time to arrive! But it was not merely the battle which gave consequence and brilliancy to this achievement: it illustrated, in a remarkable manner, the high skill and superior strategy by which Scott accomplished his triumphal conquest of Mexico. We have seen him turning all the strong eastern defenses of Mexico, making San Augustine the centre of his operations; and now we see him turning San Antonia, by this storm and victory at Contreras. The moment the divisions of Twiggs and Pillow had achieved the victory, and were in pursuit of the Mexicans, they were on the road, through San Angel and Coyohacan, to Churubusco, which they would attack in flank, and San Antonia in the rear! It was this strategic movement, and its successful result, which cleared the road to Mexico.

At 8 A. M., five hours after the troops commenced taking their positions in the ravine of Contreras, and two after the commencement of the battle, all was ended on the heights and in the village of Contreras. The remnants of Valencia's corps, who had escaped death or captivity, had fled to the main army. The decisive movement which cut the enemy's line, and opened the road to Churubusco, was completed. The divisions of Twiggs and Pillow were now in full march through the village of San Angel towards the Bridge-head.

From the village of Contreras to that of Churubusco is about five miles by the road which crosses from San Angel through Coyohacan, — the last village being about one


mile from the fortified church. This distance it would take two or three hours for troops with artillery to pass over and be prepared for action.

In the mean while, (as we have stated,) Worth's and Quitman's divisions, which had moved towards Contreras to make a diversion in front, but which had not arrived when the battle was terminated, were countermarched to attack and carry Antonia. That post, being now deprived of the support of Contreras, could be turned; and it was turned by Colonel Clarke's Brigade, which (conducted by Captain Mason of the Engineers, and Lieutenant Hardcastle of the Topographical Corps) made a sweep to the left, and came out on the high road to Mexico. While this was doing, however, the garrison of Antonia, perceiving that their position was now untenable, evacuated the post. In retreating, they were met in flank by the advancing column of Clarke, and cut in two, the advanced portion moving upon Churubusco, and the remainder, about two thousand, under General Bravo, retreating east towards Dolores.

Garland's Brigade, advancing on the causeway, soon took possession of Antonia, with its defenses, which made the second victory of the day. The Brigades of Clarke and Garland were united about six hundred yards beyond Antonia, and moved on simultaneously in hot pursuit of the enemy, towards Churubusco.

Battle of Churubusco.

The crisis of the day had now come. The enemy were united at the Tęte du Pont and its neighborhood. Scott's army were now rapidly advancing on different roads to concentrate in the final attack. The capital of the Mexican


Republic, the heart of the Spanish-Aztec empire, lay in full view, — to be defended on one side with all the strength of excited nationality, and assailed on the other with all the energy of the Anglo-American, — determined to conquer a peace by glorious victory! None in our camp doubted the issue. With the American soldier, to march is to fight, and to fight is to conquer. The fortifications of Churubusco presented two points of strong defense, which must be carried by main force. The first was the Tęte du Pont, (Bridge-head,) which was erected on the main causeway, in front of the Bridge over Churubusco river, and consisted of two bastions with flanks. This was strongly garrisoned, and mounted with batteries.

The second fortification was the Convent-Church, about five hundred yards to the west, and a little in advance of the river. Around this lay the hacienda, or hamlet. The defenses were, on the outside, a covering of stone walls; next to these a stone building or fortification with higher walls, and above all a stone church higher than either. The outside walls were pierced with two ranges of embrasures, and high enough to command the surrounding country, and fire plungingly upon those approaching to the assault. The church and the hacienda were surrounded by this outside field-work. By passing along the causeway, the church and field-work would be left a little on the west side, and the troops would be first arrested by the Tęte du Pont. This was the case with Worth's division.

The retreat of the enemy from San Antonia, and the


general march of all the American divisions soon after 8 A. M., commenced the grand movement of the day. On the west, the divisions of Twiggs and Pillow were advancing on the cross-road from San Angel, by Coyohacan; and on the causeway south the division of Worth was rapidly coming up to storm the Tęte du Pont. The brigade of Quitman, consisting of the Pennsylvania Volunteers and U. S. Marines, were left in charge of the general depot at San Augustine. General Scott well remarked in his report, that this might have become the post of honor; for it might have been suddenly attacked, and its loss would have endangered the existence of the army.

At 1 P. M. the different divisions of the army were united (not in line) in one circuit of attack; those on the west preparing to attack the fortified church, and those from the south, under Worth, to attack the Tęte du Pont.

In the mean while, the enemy were concentrated at the fortifications of Churubusco, and behind Churubusco river, in the same manner and for the same reasons as the American army were in front, the one to attack, and the other to defend. Correra, commander of Artillery, had arrived in the morning with six pieces of artillery, which were placed in battery on the road to Coyohacan, in a field-work surrounding the hacienda, at the commencement of the causeway leading to the western gate of the city. The retreating corps from San Angel, the brigade of Peres at Portalis, a part of the garrison of San Antonia,


and, in fine, the residue of Santa Anna's army, were all concentrated in or behind Churubusco.

General Scott had, in the mean while, placed himself at Coyohacan, where, just one mile from Churubusco, he made the arrangements of the day. On the 19th he was posted on an eminence in front of Contreras, whence he had given directions for the storm of hill and batteries. Early this morning he had directed the forward movement of Worth on the Tęte du Pont. Being without escort at Coyohacan, the General-in-chief now advanced in the rear of Twiggs' division, as it advanced to the storm of the fortified church and convent. The attack on that post was made by the brigades of Smith and Riley (Twiggs' command) — less the Rifles, who were soon after sent to the support of Shields. That officer, with his own brigade, (New York and South Carolina Volunteers,) and the brigade of Pierce had been placed in command of the American left wing, which were advancing to attack the enemy's right and rear, by a third road leading in that direction. The object of this movement was to favor the movement on the convent, and cut off the enemy's retreat to the capital.

In the morning two battles had been fought and won, at Contreras and Antonia. Now three battles were going on at once! On the right of the American line. Worth advancing on the causeway was storming the Tęte du Pont. In the middle ground, Twiggs was assaulting, amidst a tremendous fire, the church and convent; and far to the left, and on the right and rear of the Mexicans, Shields was assailing their lines. When Scott reached


the scene of action, the battle raged from the right to the left of our whole line.

Storm of the Tęte du Pont.

The battle of the Tęte du Pont was first decided. Two columns, under Garland and Clarke respectively, advanced to the front of the work under the fire of a long line of infantry, to the left of the bridge, and of several pieces of artillery in battery. Moving perpendicularly to the work, they suffered much; but their coolness, energy, and determination overcame all difficulties. The Tęte du Pont was assaulted and carried by the bayonet. Its deep and wet ditch was first gallantly crossed by the 8th and 5th infantry, commanded by Major Waite and Lieutenant-colonel Scott. The storming parties entered the fort, and the enemy rapidly retreated on the road to Mexico. This was the third victory of the 20th of August!

Defeat of the Mexicans.

About an hour before Worth had reached the Tęte du Pont, Twiggs had commenced the attack on the citadel of Churubusco, consisting, as we have said, of the fortified church and hacienda. Here the battle raged more fiercely, and was more bloody and eventful. The walls of the church were pierced with loop-holes, and so arranged that two tiers of men fired at the same time. A field-work surrounded the church, and seven pieces of artillery inside were well manned and served. The position was, in all respects, a strong one, and it was defended by the best officers and bravest men in the Mexican service. It was at this point in the middle of the afternoon of the 20th, that the storm of war, in the valley of Mexico, raged the fiercest. It was here that for three hours


the hot elements of destruction rolled over the field! The harsh voices of death were mingled with the roar of artillery, and crimson banners flamed over the battle.

The veterans of Smith and Riley quailed not amidst the whirlwind of fire and the storm of balls which rolled from the well-directed guns of San Pablo in front, while far to the left, the gallant volunteers of Carolina and New York were rapidly filling their untimely, though glorious graves! Here, the Mexican general, Rincon, ably defended his post. There, the masses of Santa Anna poured themselves on the division of Shields! A lurid canopy of sulphurous smoke rose over the heads of the combatants, and, far over the ancient plains of Mexico, rolled the roar of cannon and the crash of arms — that awful music which makes the song of battle the prelude of death, and the voice of angry nations. One might imagine the fierce spirit of Guatimozin hovering exultant over the plain, where the Celt and the Saxon, the enemies of his race, poured out in mortal conflict (as if in just retribution) their blood and their lives, over the graves of his fathers.

It is remarkable that the most desperate defense was made at San Pablo, by a company of deserters from the American army, — more than a hundred in number, and commanded by Thomas Riley, a deserter from the 3d Infantry They manned three pieces of artillery, and often


tore down the white flag, when hoisted by the Mexicans! They fought desperately, and, from their position, the firing was tremendous.

In vain, however, was displayed all this fierceness, and in vain were the strong defenses of Churubusco! The fall of the Tęte du Pont enabled Captain Larkin Smith and Lieutenant Snelling of the 8th Infantry, to seize upon a field-piece and fire from the flank upon the citadel. In just three hours from the commencement of the battle by Twiggs, the citadel (San Pablo) was entered, sword in hand, by two companies of the third Infantry, under Captains Alexander and J. M. Smith, with Lieutenant Shepler. Captain Alexander received the surrender, and hoisted on the balcony the flag of the 3d Infantry. This was the fourth victory of the day!

Another battle yet raged! Another victory was yet to be won! We have seen the brigades of Shields and Pierce, with the gallant Rifles, advancing to the right of the Mexican line, and turning to the rear of the defenses of Churubusco. There, behind the river of Churubusco, was the main army of Santa Anna. Four thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry there met our brave troops. Hotly and furiously the battle raged! Regiment after regiment came up to the charge. There the chivalry of Carolina and the volunteers of New York were covered with glory and with blood! There Pierce was


taken fainting from the field; the brave Butler fell; and many a gallant soldier sunk to rise no more! It was a memorable field. And victory again crowned the American arms, in this fifth battle of this illustrious day!

The enemy retreated rapidly from the scene of their defeat. The fugitives were pursued along the causeway and over the dead; and it was not till the gates of Mexico were reached, that the impulsive Kearney reined in his horse.

Thus closed what may be historically termed the BATTLE OF THE VALLEY OF MEXICO, consisting, in fact, of five detached actions, each gallantly fought and triumphantly won!

The numerical forces engaged were in all about 9000 effective American soldiers to 32,000 Mexicans; the former commanded, in chief, by General SCOTT, and the latter by General SANTA ANNA. The grand result was a complete forcing and capture of the exterior line of Mexican defenses — of Contreras, San Antonia, and Churubusco — opening the causeways to the city, and leaving it no resources but its gates and the Castle of Chapultepec. The loss on both sides was very great, but not more than


seemed inevitable to the defense of a great, city, in the heart of a great empire. The Spanish-Aztecs had reigned here for near three hundred years, and the Lake of Tezcuco reflected back more than the splendors which had shone from the capital of the Montezumas! Here was their battle-field; and it could not be imagined that such a city, and such an empire, would be yielded without fierce conflicts and bloody fields.

Scott was now at Churubusco. The battle is over — the victory won — and he turns from the bloody field to rejoice with his soldiers in the success of their achievements and the glory of their country. He pours out his thanks to officers and men. The old soldiers seize his hands. There is silence; and in "eloquent and patriotic words," he commends their gallant conduct. When he ceased, there arose a shout that might have been heard on the grand Plaza of Mexico.

An officer, who was present, says: "During this thrilling scene, I looked up to a balcony of the church that had been so bravely defended. It was filled by Mexican prisoners. Among them General Rincon, a venerable old soldier, was leaning forward, his countenance glowing and his eyes sparkling with every manifestation of delight. I verily believe that the old veteran, with the spirit of a true soldier, upon beholding a victorious general so greeted by the brave men he had just led to victory, forgot


got for a moment his own position, that he was defeated and a prisoner; and saw and thought only of the enthusiasm by which he was surrounded."

Thus passed the 20th of August in the valley of Mexico. It was unsurpassed in dramatic interest or national glory by any thing which had preceded it in American military history. The shades of evening gathered round the hamlet of Churubusco, and all was still, as if no fierce tempest of bloody war had ever passed over that peaceful scene! The bugle sounded the last call. The wearied soldier sank to rest. The moon and the stars kept watch over the bodies of the slain. Passed were the thunders of artillery, and quenched their fires, as is the roar and flame of that silent volcano, which now rears its snow-crowned summit on the distant horizon!


The next morning (the 21st) General Scott, on his way to Coyohacan, was met by propositions for an armistice. He rejected them, the time asked being not agreed to. He informed the commissioners that he should sleep at Tacubaya. They told him if he would delay his march, they would direct the fortress of Chapultepec not to fire on him. But he did not delay his march. He entered Tacubaya, attended by the dragoons alone, and that night occupied the Archi-Episcopal palace of Mexico. He might have entered the Plaza of Mexico by storm, but did not. He chose rather to cultivate the milder graces of humanity, than to seize, at the expense of new blood, new laurels in Mexico. The voice of Peace whispered "Forbearance" in his ear, and he answered, in the spirit of Christian magnanimity, "Too much blood has been


already shed in this unnatural war." No laurel he has won in war, no renown which is chanted by the voice of victory, will, in the estimation of posterity, be greener or more worthy, than that which he has won by a continual deference to the claims of peace and humanity.

Trist's Negotiations.

The views of General Scott, in reference to the effort he should make for peace, are contained in the following extract from his Report of the 28th of August:
"After so many victories, we might, with but little additional loss, have occupied the capital the same evening. But Mr. Trist, commissioner, &c., as well as myself, had been admonished by the best friends of peace — intelligent neutrals and some American residents — against precipitation; lest, by wantonly driving away the government and others, dishonored, we might scatter the elements of peace, excite a spirit of national desperation, and thus indefinitely postpone the hope of accommodation. Deeply impressed with this danger, and remembering our mission — to conquer a peace — the army very cheerfully sacrificed to patriotism, to the great wish and want of our country, the eclat that would have followed an entrance, sword in hand, into a great capital. Willing to leave something to this republic — of no immediate value to us — on which to rest her pride, and to recover temper, I halted our victorious corps at the gates of the city, (at least for a time,) and have them now cantoned in the neighboring villages, where they are well sheltered and supplied with all necessaries."

In conformity with these views, General Scott had written a note to Santa Anna; and on the 22d,


commissioners to treat of peace were appointed on both sides. We need not detail the negotiations which took place. They belong to general, rather than personal history, and may be found in the account of the Mexican war. It is sufficient to say, that the discussions between Mr. Trist on the part of the United States, and the Commissioners (General Herrera, General Conto, General Villamil, Mr. Arroyo, Secretary, and Mr. Atristain) appointed on the part of Mexico, were continued from the 22d of August to the 7th of September, when they were broken off.

Their Failure.

While these discussions were going on, the Mexicans of the city were secretly conveying arms and munitions of war to the Castle of Chapultepec. A letter from a Mexican to a correspondent in New York, thus expresses the manner in which this was done; — "Anticipating a breach of the armistice, Santa Anna, for several days,had caused to be conveyed, in every possible manner, so as not to excite suspicion, arms, munitions, and food to the fortress of Chapultepec. Our citizens had carried under their mantles, and on their mules, a great quantity of powder, balls, and provisions, without being once discovered, so great was the feeling of security and confidence among the Americans. General Scott was not a little surprised, on attacking Chapultepec, to find such obstinate resistance."

Whether General Scott was surprised or not, (though it is not probable that he was unsuspicious of that


insincerity which seems habitual in the Mexican character,) this letter (which appears authentic) proves that the armistice was intentionally violated by Santa Anna.

General Scott, however, seems to have known what was going on. For, on the 6th of September, he addressed, from Tacubaya, a note to Santa Anna, in which he states that the 7th and 12th Articles of the Military Convention, which stipulated for a supply of provisions from Mexico, had been violated; and that he had good reason for believing, that within twenty-four hours, the 3d Article also had been violated. He stated that he had, therefore, a right to recommence hostilities without notice; but that in order to allow time for explanation, he would notify him, that if satisfaction on these points was not given by 12 o'clock the next day, (the 7th,) the armistice would terminate at that hour.

The same day (the 6th) General Santa Anna returned a reply, in which he denied the charges made; complained that the American army had, in some cities and villages, violated temples, plundered the sacred vases, and profaned "the images venerated by the Mexican people;" and finally, that the true cause of recommencing hostilities was that he (Santa Anna) was not willing "to sign a treaty which would lessen considerably the territories of the Republic."

In relation to the charge of profaning "temples," it was the very opposite of truth. Scott had incurred the danger of reproaches at home, and of murmurs in the army, in order to repress any tendency to a violation of the religious feelings or public worship of the Mexican people.


No hand of violence or word of contempt was allowed among the soldiers of the army, in regard to the temples and worship of religion in Mexico. There was, in all the conduct of Scott towards the private property and religious rights of the Mexican people, a high honor and a manly humanity which claims praise from all who love mercy or regard justice.

Thus ended the armistice; and the American army, which had closed the 20th of August in a series of splendid victories, now prepared to resume, amidst struggle and battle, its triumphant march to the city of Mexico.


Chapter XXV.

Description of the Defences of Mexico.

AT 12 meridian of the 7th of September, 1847, the armistice, or military convention, between the armies of Mexico and the United States, terminated, by the terms of General Scott's note to Santa Anna. The Mexicans, as we have seen, had availed themselves of the time occupied in negotiations to arm and provision their remaining fortifications. We must now take a glance at their defenses, in order to understand what was yet necessary to be accomplished by the American army.

The exterior line of defenses had now been either turned or forced. Scott and his troops were on one of the main causeways, and in full sight of the city. It was yet defended, however, by its garitas, or fortified gates and posts, and by the formidable castle of Chapultepec. Tacubaya, the head-quarters of Scott, was, at the nearest point, about twelve hundred yards (point-blanc range for twelve-pounders) from the fortified hill of Chapultepec. The city of Mexico is two and a half miles off. At the foot of Chapultepec, and on the east side, the Tacubaya causeway branches into two; one eastwardly to the Belen gate, and one northwardly to the San Cosmo gate. At the


village of Tacubaya, another road led to the Piedad causeway; also leading to the Belen gate. The farthest point of either of these three roads (the Piedad causeway) was only 2500 yards; while the whole of the Tacubaya causeways to the Belen and San Cosmo gates was under the fire of the castle. The city itself was within reach of bombardment from heavy mortars. This view of the topography and localities around Chapultepec will inform the reader why it was necessary to the military possession of Mexico, that Chapultepec should be taken. Let us now examine the nature and extent of the defenses which remained to be taken.

Of Chapultepec.

Chapultepec is a porphyritic rock, called, in the Aztec language, "Grasshopper's Hill." It rose from the former margin of the lake, was the resort of the Aztec princes, and is the real site of the much-sought Halls of the Montezumas. Here are the remains of gardens, groves, and grottoes — the lingering remnants of that magnificence which adorned the ancient city of Mexico. Here, also, the Spanish viceroys selected their residence, as the most beautiful spot in the valley of Mexico. And here was now placed the Military College. The cadets of the institution were now among its defenders. The buildings on the top were well fortified, and the base of the hill was nearly surrounded by a thick stone wall. On the north, east, and south, this hill was abrupt and stony. On the west only (from the city) it seemed to permit any approach. On this side, down the slope, was a heavy forest. On this side, the American commander determined to assault it; but here, also, were formidable defenses.


Of Molino del Rey.

El Molino del Rey is just at the foot of this hill-slope, adjoins the grove of trees, and is a stone building of thick and high walls, with towers at the end. This was strongly garrisoned, and made a sort of depot, and was supposed to have been used as a foundry recently, though really built for mills, and called "the King's Mill."

Casa de Mata is another massive, thick-walled stone building, standing about four hundred yards to the west of Molino del Rey, and in a straight line with that and the castle of Chapultepec. It is also at the foot of a gentle declivity or ridge, descending from the village of Tacubaya.

General Scott had ascertained that the Molino del Rey actually contained a cannon foundry of great use to the enemy; and that within the last two days (prior to the 7th), church bells had been sent out to be cast into cannon. In addition to this, it was discovered that Casa de Mata contained a large supply of powder. A large body of the enemy were now hovering about Molino del Rey, and General Scott determined at once to destroy the foundry, arms, and munitions there, to prevent the enemy from arming the city with cannon; and thus, perhaps, to avoid the necessity of taking Chapultepec, if the southern gates of the city could be approached easier.

Battle of Molino del Rey.

The assault on Molino del Rey was intrusted to General Worth, one of the most gallant officers of the army. He was ordered to carry the enemy's lines, capture their artillery, destroy their machinery, and then return to Tacubaya; the army being not prepared to make the final attack on Chapultepec, if that attack should prove to be inevitable. The actual number, strength, and batteries of


the enemy were unknown before the attack, and proved in the end to be greater than was anticipated. According to the Mexican account, the Casa de Mata was occupied by 1500 Mexican regulars, under the command of General Perez. The Molino del Rey was commanded by General Leon, who had with him the battalion of Mina, commanded by Colonel Balderos; the battalions of Union and La Patria, from Oaxaca; and a body from Queretaro, mostly National Guards. Besides these, there were in lines, extending from post to post, ten thousand men, under the command of Santa Anna. It was afterwards ascertained from prisoners that the whole Mexican force engaged amounted to fourteen thousand men.

The corps ordered by General Scott to the attack of this line was composed as follows:

1st Division (General Worth) about 2,000
Cadwallader's Brigade (11th, 14th, and Voltigeurs) 784
Three squadrons of dragoons and company of mounted riflemen, under Major Sumner 270
Drum's battery (three field-pieces)
Huger's battery (two 24-pounders)
Total corps of General Worth men, 3154

Worth's dispositions for the attack conformed to the enemy's line of defenses. The enemy's left wing rested on Molino del Rey, extending to Chapultepec; his centre was formed in lines, defended by a field-battery; and his right wing rested on Casa de Mata. The weak point was the centre, and it was there that Worth directed an assaulting party of five hundred picked men, under the


command of Major Wright, of the 8th Infantry. This was supported by Huger's battery. Garland's brigade formed the right wing, supported by Drum's battery, attacking Molino del Rey, and endeavoring to cut it off from the support of Chapultepec. The 2d Brigade, commanded by Col. Mclntosh, and supported by Duncan's battery, formed the left; between which and Huger's battery, on a ridge, was placed Cadwallader's brigade, in reserve.

At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 8th of September the several columns were put in motion; and at dawn the action commenced, by the opening of Huger's guns on Molino del Rey. A sensible effect was produced, when the column under Wright, guided by Captain Mason of the Engineers, dashed forward to the assault. Rushing forward, they drove infantry and artillerymen before them. The field-battery was taken, and the guns turned upon the enemy. Just then, however, he rallied, and, with superior forces, poured in a destructive fire of musketry. The column falters. Eleven officers out of fourteen are killed! The Mexicans regain their position; but they are not destined to keep it. A portion of Cadwallader's brigade, under Captain Kirby Smith, come into action. The enemy is driven back again, and routed. His two wing forts, Casa de Mata and Molino del Rey, are left isolated.

Molino del Rey, on the right, was assaulted and carried by Garland's brigade; but on the left of our line, a more desperate and doubtful battle was maintained around Casa de Mata. It proved to be a strong stone citadel, with bastions and ditches. Here was a hot fight; the column


of Mclntosh charging on, and the enemy, behind walls and parapets, pouring upon them a deadly fire. Here Col. Scott, Waite, and Mclntosh fell; while our gallant men, for a moment dismayed, fell back behind Duncan's battery. Then advanced a splendid column of Mexican cavalry, in bright uniforms, defiling round the right of their intrenchments, to fall upon our repulsed column. But now the fire of Duncan's battery opens upon them, when near by, scattering their columns in confusion. Sumner's dragoons then charge upon them, and the rout of the enemy is complete! Our battery again re-opens upon Casa de Mata. A few shots more, and the Mexican infantry retreat. The cavalry is already routed, and the fortifications are abandoned. The battle of Molino del Rey has been fought and won. The Mexican army, numbering fourteen thousand, when well posted, and supported by three strong fortifications, had been defeated by one-fourth their number, fighting without defenses! This victory, though glorious, was one of the bloodiest recorded in American history.

Nearly one-fourth of Worth's whole corps were either killed or wounded! The Mexican loss was equally great. Leon, Balderos, Huerto, Mateos, and others of their best officers, were killed; while fifty-two commissioned officers and eight hundred men remained prisoners in the American hands.


General Worth immediately blew up Casa de Mata, destroyed the machinery and materiel in the mill, and carried off large quantities of arms and ammunition. These were the objects of the battle — to cut off these resources from the defense of Mexico. When this was accomplished, the ruins were evacuated, and the army withdrew to Tacubaya.

There is no doubt that in the battle of Molino del Rey, the fortifications of the enemy, and the garrison and munitions within them, were greater than General Scott anticipated; but this was from no want of proper precaution. The most daring reconnaissance of the ground had been made by Captain Mason of the Engineers, on the day previous (the 7th) ; and so far as the defenses could be measured in advance, they were so. The heavy walls and deep ditches, however, of both the stone buildings, enabled the enemy to maintain a steady and well-directed fire upon the assaulting column, so that the battle, though won, was attended with severe loss.

Storm of Chapultepec.

The city of Mexico now lay under the eye of General Scott, with none but its own peculiar defenses — the Military College, on Chapultepec hill, being one. It undoubtedly occurs to the reader, as it did to General Scott — Could not Mexico be approached on another causeway, and thus avoid Chapultepec? To determine this point, he immediately detached the engineer, Captain Lee, with Lieutenants Beauregard, Stevens, and Tower, to make reconnaissances of other approaches, especially the southern gates, the Piedad Nino Perdido, and Paseo de la Viga.


"The city of Mexico stands on a slight swell of ground, near the centre of an irregular basin, and is girdled with a ditch in its greater extent — a navigable canal of great breadth and depth — very difficult to bridge in the presence of an enemy, and serving at once for drainage, customhouse purposes, and military defense; leaving eight entrances or gates, over arches, each of which we found defended by a system of strong works, that seemed to require nothing but some men and guns to be impregnable."

The approaches to the city are over elevated causeways, flanked by ditches. The roads and bridges were in many places broken by the enemy, to prevent the approaches of our army. It had now got to be the wet season, and the intervening meadows were in many places covered with water, or covered with marshes. After a personal survey of the whole ground, General Scott deemed the approaches by Chapultepec less difficult, and determined to adopt that route.

In the mean time he had advanced (to cover the reconnaissance) the division of Pillow and Riley's Brigade, on the San Antonia road, towards the southern gates; and now he made a sudden inversion of that movement towards the south-west, in order to approach by Chapultepec. In order to do this with less loss, he masked the real movement by the appearance of a general attack on the southern gates. Accordingly, Pillow's division was marched up, in the day-time, the 11th of September; while both divisions of Pillow and Quitman were ordered back, by night, to rejoin Scott at Tacubaya. Twiggs, with Riley's Brigade, and Taylor's and Steptoe's batteries,


were left in front of the southern gates, to maneuver and make false attacks. It appears, from Mexican accounts, that the feint was entirely successful. The light batteries of Steptoe and Taylor, on the San Antonia road, diverted the enemy's attention, and left them uncertain where the real attack was to be made.

The first thing to be done was to carry Chapultepec. This hill we have already described. A steep, rocky height, rising one hundred and fifty feet above the surrounding grounds, it was defended by a strong castle of thick stone walls. The whole fortress is nine hundred feet in length, and the terre-plein and main buildings six hundred feet. The following description is by an officer of the army:

"The castle is about ten feet high, and the whole structure, including the wings, bastions, parapets, redoubts, and batteries, is very strongly built, and of the most splendid architecture. A splendid dome decorates the top, rising in great majesty about twenty feet above the whole truly grand and magnificent pile, and near which is the front centre, supported by a stone arch, upon which is painted the coat-of-arms of the republic, where once floated the tri-colored banner, but is now decorated by the glorious stars and stripes of our own happy land. Two very strongly built stone walls surround the whole; and at the west end, where we stormed the works, the outer walls are some ten feet apart, and twelve or fifteen feet high, over which we charged by the help of fascines. It was defended by heavy artillery, manned by the most learned


and skilful gunners of their army, including some French artillerists of distinction. The infantry force consisted of the officers and students of the institution, and the national guards, and chosen men of war of the republic — the whole under the command of General Bravo, whom we made prisoner. The whole hill is spotted with forts and outposts, and stone and mud walls, which were filled with their picket or castle guard. A huge, high stone wall extends around the whole frowning craggy mount, and another along the southeast base, midway from the former and the castle. A well-paved road leads up in a triangular form to the main gate, entering the south terre-plein; and the whole works are ingeniously and beautifully ornamented with Spanish fastidiousness and skill."

To carry this fortress with the least loss, General Scott determined to batter it with heavy ordnance, so as to make a decided impression before the storming parties advanced. This could be easily done, as Tacubaya was within cannon-shot; and a ridge or hill in front, declining towards Molino del Rey (foot of Chapultepec), afforded a good position for batteries. Accordingly, on the night of the 11th, four batteries of heavy cannon were erected between Tacubaya and Chapultepec, commanded respectively by Captain Drum, Captain Hagner, Captain Brooks, and Lieutenant Stone. These batteries were placed in position by the engineer officers, Huger and Lee, so that they were within good range for siege-pieces. On the morning of the 12th, the batteries commenced their fire. That day was occupied entirely in the cannonade on both sides. It was a splendid sight. Burning fuzees passed


through the air; bombs burst around; every ball went crashing through the building, and every shell tore up the ramparts! The fire of the enemy was scarcely less severe; and night only closed this scene of fiery illumination and descending balls.

On the 13th, all arrangements were made for the assault. General Smith's Brigade, which, on the afternoon of the 12th, had moved up to Piedad, had now arrived on the ground. The attack is to be made in two columns: one on the west side, under the command of Pillow; and one on the southeast, under the command of Quitman. Each is to be preceded by a storming party: that of Pillow, by 250 men, volunteers from Worth's division, under Captain McKenzie, of the 2d Artillery; that of Quitman, by the same number, under Captain Carey, of the 2d Infantry. Each of the storming parties was furnished with scaling-ladders.

The signal for the attack was given at a momentary cessation of fire, on the part of our batteries. This was at 8 A. M. of the 13th, when the divisions of Pillow and Quitman moved forward; while our batteries, when they had opportunity, threw shot and shells over the heads of our men, to deter the enemy from reinforcing the castle. While this was going on, the Reserve, under Worth, was to turn Chapultepec, and, gaining the north side, either assist in the attack, or cut off the enemy's retreat.

The assaulting column under General Pillow advanced on the west, through an open grove filled with sharp-shooters, which were speedily dislodged, and rapidly gained the foot of the rocky acclivity. Here Pillow was


wounded, by a shot in the ankle; and the command (reinforced by Clarke's Brigade from Worth) devolved on General Cadwallader. Here occurred the main battle, and it is best described in the words of General Scott:

"The broken acclivity was still to be ascended, and a strong redoubt, midway, to be carried, before reaching the castle on the heights. The advance of our brave men, led by brave officers, though necessarily slow, was unwavering, over rocks, chasms, and mines, and under the hottest fire of cannon and musketry. The redoubt now yielded to resistless valor, and the shouts that followed announced to the castle the fate that impended. The enemy were steadily driven from shelter to shelter. The retreat allowed not time to fire a single mine, without the certainty of blowing up friend and foe. Those who, at a distance, attempted to apply matches to the long trains, were shot down by our men. There was death below as well as above ground. At length the ditch and wall of the main work were reached; the scaling-ladders were brought up and planted by the storming parties; some of the daring spirits first in the assault were cast down — killed or wounded; but a lodgment was soon made; streams of heroes followed; all opposition was overcome, and several of our regimental colors flung out from the upper walls, amidst long-continued shouts and cheers, which sent dismay into the capital. No scene could have been more animating or glorious."

While this was going on to the west of Chapultepec, the column of Quitman was performing a similar part on


the east. Having to advance on a causeway, flanked by deep ditches, he had little room for manoeuvring. In front was a strong body of the enemy and two batteries. These were soon carried; and the volunteers of New York, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania, with the gallant Rifles, under Smith, arrived in time to join the storming party of Pillow's division, and capture together this formidable fortress. The enemy was chased in every direction; many killed, and many more captured. "The castle," says an officer, "was completely torn to pieces. Nearly every part was riddled by our shot, while the pavements and fortifications were completely torn up by the shells. In it were crowds of prisoners of every rank and color; among whom were fifty general officers, and about a hundred cadets of the Mexican Military Academy. The latter were pretty little fellows from ten to sixteen years of age. Several of them were killed fighting like demons; and, indeed, they showed an example of courage worthy of imitation by some of their superiors in rank."

CHAPULTEPEC is taken. Here were the true Halls of the Montezumas; those halls which had so allured the adventurous soldier. Here Montezuma himself had retired from the cares of business, and the heat of the city, to enjoy the ease of retirement. Here the luxurious Viceroys of Spain had erected their regal palaces; and here was now the National Military School, placed amidst the remains of gardens, and the ruins of palaces, once occupied by the royal race of the Aztecs. Fallen now are the monuments of the Aztecs; fallen, too, their Spanish conquerors; and fallen, also, the mixed


descendants of both, who had here planted the standard of independence. The Anglo-American replaces both with the arms of a superior skill and a greater strength. It was a triumph of civilization, as well as a victory to military genius, when Scott's victorious troops shouted their conquest from the battlements of Chapultepec! It was a demonstration of the superior strength and energy imparted to a people, both physically and morally, by the freedom, tolerance, and general education of a really republican government.

Capture of Mexico.

Nothing now remained between the victorious army and the National Palace but the gates, or garitas, which were small fortified posts, serving as custom-houses in time of peace, and forts in war. Between Chapultepec and the city, on two causeways, lay the gates of Belen and San Cosmo.

Scott had arrived on the walls of the castle just as it had been carried, and, with a rapid coup d'oeil, surveyed the city, the fields, and the causeways before him. He immediately determined to enter the city with Worth's corps, by the San Cosmo gate, leaving Quitman's division to make a feint by the Belen gate. Both attacks, however, proved real. Worth's division, during the assault on Chapultepec, had turned the hill, and got round by the north-centre of that fortress, where he attacked the right wing of the Mexican army, and was now pursuing him on the San Cosmo road. Quitman, on the other hand, was in full march on the causeway to the Belen gate.

Scott, after garrisoning Chapultepec with the 15th Infantry, and ordering Cadwallader to the support of Worth,


joined the advance of his corps, in the suburb of San Cosmo. Here, at the junction of the roads, he found one of the enemy's most formidable defenses dismantled — a proof that the enemy had been mistaken in the movements of our army. They either expected that the southern gates would be attacked (where the feint was made by Twiggs), or that our army would fail in their attack on Chapultepec.

In this suburb, however, Worth's troops became engaged in a street fight with the enemy, posted in gardens, at windows, and on house-tops. The mountain howitzers of Cadwallader's Brigade, preceded by pioneers, with pick axes and crowbars, soon opened the way. Two batteries were carried; and by 8 A. M., Worth had placed his sentinels and sheltered his troops for the night.

In the mean time, Scott had returned to the fort of Chapultepec, and ordered up siege-guns, intrenching tools, ammunition, and reinforcements. Quitman had continued his advance towards the Belengate. The general-in-chief had repeatedly stated to him, that the San Cosmo gate was the easiest to carry, and hence he need not press his advance on this route. But the gallantry and impetuosity of the corps urged them forward; so that, at 2 P. M., this division had carried a battery of two guns, and, at length, the Belen gate itself! This was not done, however, without hard fighting, and a tremendous fire of artillery from both front and flank batteries. In the centre of the causeway was an aqueduct, from arch to arch of which the men crept along. About 1 P. M., the garita was charged by the Rifles, and carried. Here the men constructed a battery of sand-bags, and commenced a sharp fire on the enemy. Thus Quitman's division was actually within


the city; and that night the men slept within the arches of the aqueduct and the houses of the garita.

Thus closed the 13th day of September. On the 8th, the battle of Molino del Rey had been fought. On the 9th and 10th, reconnaissances had been made. On the 11th and 12th, the preparations were finished, and the troops moved into position.

On the morning of this day, Chapultepec had been stormed; and all day, the corps of Worth and Quitman had been pursuing the remnants of Santa Anna's army — fighting their way to the San Cosmo and Belen gates — and were now within the very precincts of Mexico. In all this arduous and glorious day, SCOTT had been wherever he could best give his directions, or animate his men, or share in the conflicts of glorious battle. From the ridge of Tacubaya, he directs his engineers to place the batteries against Chapultepec. On the summit of that renowned castle, he joins the victorious columns, who plant their colors and shout their joy on its dismantled walls. On the San Cosmo causeway, he hastens on with the advancing division of Worth. In the suburb, he finds them engaged in a street fight, and returns to send up the siegetrain, and collect the scattered men. Thus, from point to point, he overlooks and superintends the complicated operations of this eventful day; in every place manifesting the highest military genius, and in all circumstances exercising the greatest self-command, the most prudential care, and the most sagacious foresight.

Night has gathered round the valley of Mexico. The army of Santa Anna, which in the morning had displayed


its brilliant uniforms, poured its deadly fire from the battlements of Chapultepec, defended the causeways, and fought at San Cosmo and Belen, had now disappeared! The flag of the Union, with its stars in azure, and its bars of crimson, floated gracefully from the walls of the castle and the garitas of the city. The sentinels are set. The weary soldiers have sunk to rest, as if no battle had ever been fought — no dangers ever incurred! The stars shine above; but, alas for the dead! the famished dogs of the city are seen to prowl out, and seize upon their cold bodies — the once-loved bodies of those for whom mothers, sisters, wives, will wait and long for in vain!

In the midst of the night, Santa Anna, with the small remains of his army — about two thousand in number — marched out by a northwestern gate, and Mexico was left at the mercy of our army. At 4 A. M. (about daylight) of the 14th, a deputation of the Ayuntamiento (city council) waited upon General Scott, to inform him that the army and federal government had fled, and to demand terms of capitulation for the church, the citizens, and the municipal authorities. He promptly replied that he would sign no capitulation, for the city was virtually in possession of the divisions of Quitman and Worth the day before. He informed them that he should levy on the city a moderate contribution for special purposes; but the army would come under no terms not self-imposed, and such as its own honor, the dignity of the United States, and the spirit of the age demanded. He then sent orders to the divisions of Worth and Quitman to advance cautiously to the heart of the city, and occupy its strong and commanding points.


By express order of Scott, the division of Worth, which might have been in advance, were halted at the Alameda — a green park, within three squares of the Grand Plaza. This was an act of honorable justice to the corps of Quitman, which had, the night before, been the first to capture a gate, and enter the city.

Entrance into the City.

And now a detachment of Quitman's division marches into the Grand Plaza of Mexico; and from the top of the National Palace, the stars and stripes of the Union, and the regimental colors of the "Rifles," floating on the wind, gave notice to the world that the second conquest of Mexico was complete!

Just at this moment, Scott, in full uniform, mounted on his charger, and conspicuous amidst his staff, rode through the column to the Plaza. The enemy were still firing from the house-tops; and as he passed the Voltigeurs, who were yelling and cheering, he waved his cap, while the tears ran down his cheeks, and exclaimed, "My heart is with you."

It was just 9 o'clock in the morning when he made his way to the National Palace. "A tremendous hurrah broke from the corner of the plaza, and in a few minutes were seen the towering plumes and commanding form of our gallant old hero, General SCOTT, escorted by the 2d Dragoons. The heartfelt welcome that came from our little band was such as Montezuma's halls had never heard, and must have deeply affected the general. Well they might, for of the ten thousand gallant spirits that welcomed him at Puebla, scarcely seven thousand were left. The bloody fields of Contreras, Churubusco, San Antonio, El


Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and the Garita had laid low three thousand of our gallant army, and filled with grief and sorrow the hearts of all the rest."

Scott's Address.

Wherever Scott moved among the soldiers, he addressed them with warm affection, participating both in their joys and their sorrows. The campaign had been one of hardship and loss. Glorious were its victories, but bloody its battlefields! He remembered this, and sympathized with the soldier. His short but emphatic addresses had a profound effect on the men. As he passed a portion of the Rifle Regiment, he returned their salute, saying with energy and emphasis — "Brave Rifles! Veterans! You have been baptized in fire and blood, and have come out steel!" The unbidden tear stole to the eyes of those rough but gallant spirits, whose hearts knew no fear, and who had never yet, in their long trial, faltered or fallen back, while their flashing eyes and upright forms declared its truth. "Had you seen this," said one who was present, "you would have felt, with me, that such words as those wiped out long months of hardship and suffering."

Insurrection of the Leperos.

Scott was now standing in the Grand Plaza of Mexico, and the band of the 2d Dragoons played Yankee Doodle. An immense crowd of blanketed leperos, the scum of the capital, were congregated in the Plaza. They pressed upon our soldiers, and eyed them as if they were beings of another world. So much were they in the way, that General Scott was obliged to clear the street with the dragoons, being careful, however, not to injure them. In a short time, a fire was commenced on our troops from the tops of houses, windows, streets, and wherever a place


of refuge could be found. A large number of prisoners had been let loose the night before. These were joined by scattered bands of Mexican soldiers, and finally by the leperos who had crowded the Plaza. It seems that this attack was deliberately made by the people and soldiers, but was not approved by the municipal authorities.

This was the commencement of a house-battle in the city. It continued during the greater part of the day (14th), and many of our men and officers were killed or wounded. The divisions of Twiggs and Worth were engaged in a severe fight; but, by sweeping the streets with light batteries, and picking the enemy off by the rifles, the enemy were silenced before night. Some houses were blown up, and General Scott was obliged to threaten the destruction of all houses, convents, or buildings, from which the army should be fired upon. At length, however, all was quiet. In a few days the people began to resume their business, and all things went on as usual. This was owing, in a great degree, to the humanity and moderation of Scott in his treatment of the Mexicans, and his careful forbearance from any injury or insult towards the religious or social institutions of the country. Indeed, no conqueror has ever entered a city on earth, either within Christian or pagan times, and exercised so much kindness, withheld so much that might have been done within the rules of war, and exhibited so much of that knightly courtesy which alone graces a Christian soldier in the best period of civilization! The proof of this will be found in his orders, police regulations, and whole military conduct within the city.


Scott's Orders.

No sooner was the insurrection in Mexico entirely quelled, than Scott issued General Order No. 286, dated Sept. 16th, 1847, which begins with these words:
"The general-in-chief calls upon his brethren in arms to return, both in public and private worship, thanks and gratitude to God for the signal triumphs which they have recently achieved for their country."

It is well known that the religion of Mexico is Roman Catholic. On the other hand, the great body of the Americans, as well as General Scott himself, were Protestants. That in such a case there should be some disturbance or annoyance to the religious customs and feelings of the conquered, by the conquerors (however wrong such things intrinsically are), is no more than natural, and what has certainly happened in all the previous history of the world. Aware of this, and determined that his country should have no such wrong laid to its charge, Scott had, on his departure from Washington, and on his arrival at Vera Cruz, taken measures to prevent such an occurrence. He issued the strictest orders that the churches and religious property should be held sacred, that no interruption to religious ceremonies should be allowed, and that a decent respect should be paid to the religious opinions of all. In conformity with this principle, Order 297, dated September 24th, 1847, was issued, which contained the following paragraphs, viz.:

"1. Here, as in all Roman Catholic countries, there are frequent religious processions in the streets, as well as in churches — such as the elevation of the Host, the viaticum, funerals, &c.


"2. The interruption of such processions has already been prohibited in orders; and as no civilized person will ever wantonly do any act to hurt the religious feelings of others, it is earnestly requested of all Protestant Americans either to keep out of the way, or to pay to the Catholic religion and its ceremonies every decent mark of respect and deference."

Police Regulations.

General Quitman was appointed by Scott civil and military governor of Mexico. In this capacity, he issued orders establishing police regulations, insuring the quiet of the city; but, at the same time, the mildest and most moderate in terms towards the Mexicans. The city council were left in possession of the custom-house, post-office, public records and archives, and were made responsible for the protection of private property. On the 16th, the Ayuntimiento organized a civic force of six hundred men, who, under the protection of the American army, should preserve order and quiet. On the 18th, they issued a decree directing the courts, custom-house, and post-office to reopen, and the people to resume their business, trades, and occupations.

These prompt measures on the part of the commander-in-chief, the city governor, and the Ayuntimiento had the most happy effect. In a few days, all was quiet. The people recommenced their affairs, and the streets again appeared busy and cheerful. The storm of war was passed, and commerce resumed its wonted sway.

In all conquests of cities, without an express capitulation, it has been usual either to deliver them over to the sack of soldiers, or to impose upon them enormous contributions.


Even in Christian countries, this has been the case. General Scott permitted neither of these. Although he signed no capitulation, he observed towards Mexico, now a conquered city, all the courtesy and kindness which it was possible to bestow. History presents scarcely a parallel to such generous conduct in war. It was felt by all present. A foreigner says: "General Scott is taking great precautions to prevent outrages; and I must say, to the credit of the Americans, that they have behaved with much more prudence than could have been expected under existing circumstances, and the inhospitable reception they met with."

A slight contribution of $150,000 was imposed on the city, for the use of the army. This was distributed by Scott as follows: — $20,000 for "extra comforts for the wounded and sick in hospitals;" $90,000 for the purchase of "blankets and shoes for gratuitous distribution among the rank and file of the army;" and $40,000 "for other necessary military purposes."

This last sum, with other military funds, was, in the session of Congress 1850-51, made the basis of a permanent fund for the establishment of military asylums for the retired invalids of the army. This measure is alike honorable to Congress and to General Scott. When these asylums shall arise to meet the eyes of coming generations, and the war-worn veteran be seen reclining in his comfortable quarters, it will be remembered that the hero who was made illustrious by battles, was also graced by humanity to a fallen foe, and a generous gratitude to his companions in arms.


Chapter XXVI.

Relative Loss of the American and Mexican Armies.

ON the 18th September, 1847, the American army was in quiet possession of the city of Mexico. The roar of battle was heard no more; the insurrection of the city was over ; the shops were opened; the church-bells rung; the theatres were thronged; and the conquerors had restored order, repressed crime, and reanimated the people. The genius of Scott was as much exhibited in the charms of peace as in the terrors of war.

All this was accomplished with the smallest possible force. After deducting the positive losses, and the garrison of Chapultepec,with the sick in hospitals, the effective men which composed the army in Mexico were only six thousand!

The following tables represent the losses of the American and Mexican armies respectively:

  Killed Wounded
August 19, 20.
Battles of Contreras, Antonia, and Churubusco
137 877
September 8.
Battle of Molino del Rey
116 665
September 12, 13, 14.
Chapultepec, and Gates of Belen and San Cosmo.
130 703
Missing, (probably killed) 85  
Total Losses 468 2,245
Aggregate   2,713


Army marching from Puebla 10,738
Deduct losses 2,713
Remaining 8,025
Deduct sick and garrison of Chapultepec 2,000
Effective men in Mexico 6,025
Losses of the Mexican Army.
Killed and wounded 7,000
Prisoners 3,730
Total hors du combat 10,730

Among the officers killed or taken were thirteen generals, of whom three had been presidents of the republic.

The entire force of the Mexican army in the field in the valley of Mexico was more then thirty thousand men! Of this army, not more than three or four thousand were now together; and these so dispirited, that in a few days afterwards they were entirely disbanded. Santa Anna appeared a few days before Puebla, and undertook the siege of Col. Childs' intrenchments. The attempt, however, was abortive; and in a short time his men deserted him, and he was left with scarcely a guard of cavalry. Thus ended the active part of the war in Mexico. Scott's march into the Grand Plaza of Mexico proved in reality the "conquest of peace."

Scott found himself, as we have said, with only six thousand effectives in the city of Mexico. It appeared, however, in official reports, that many thousand men had been sent him beyond what were ever present with the army. This was true. But while thee men were on the way, sickness, battle, and desertion were rapidly diminishing the active corps in the field; so that there were never


so many, by at least one-third, as were represented in the official returns of the numbers sent out to recruit the army.

The following table of the original strength and subsequent losses of five regiments (three of regulars, and two of volunteers) will illustrate the manner in which the troops dwindled away:

Regiments Original Strength Strength at Mexico Diminution
South Carolina Volunteers 750 203 557
Rifle Regiment 659 170 489
New York Volunteers 700 158 542
Voltigeurs, and the 11th and 14th Regiments of Infantry 2,000 784 1,216
Total of six regiments 4,109 1,315 2,804
Reported for duty near Mexico 33 per cent
Lost by sickness, battle, desertion, and wounded in hospitals 67 per cent

In the Appendix to the "Mexican War" is the following table of the "Killed," "Died of Wounds," "Died of Sickness," and "Deserted," in these five regiments, vis.:

Regiments Killed in battle. Died of Wounds. Died of Disease. Deserted. Disch. from disability. Total.
S. Carolina Volunteers. 30 26 234 41 104 435
New York Volunteers. 29 19 77 362 117 604
Rifle Regiment 27 18 120 64 229
Voltigeurs, and 11th and 14th Regiments 27 31 279 186 523
  113 94 710 653 221 1791


The diminution here is 1013 less than in the former table; but the difference is probably caused by the fact, that the sick and the wounded in hospitals is not included in the last table, while they are included in the former: the "strength at Mexico" being the "effectives" only.

Plan of the Campaign. Its Consequences. Fruits of Victory. Acquisitions of Territory.

The general order of the army (No. 284), on the morning of the 18th of September, announced that through "God's favor and the valor of the army have the colors of our country been hoisted in the capital of Mexico, and upon the palace of its government." The army had indeed been most signally blest, both by the Divine favor, and in the successful conduct of its own arrangements. To the origin and direction of those arrangements it is the duty of history to refer, that posterity may know to whose skill, prudence, or sagacity are due results which were at once so glorious and so much applauded by mankind.

The war with Mexico had been prosecuted through 1846, up to the battle of Buena Vista, with a view to force a peace with Mexico, by cutting off the provinces of the Rio Grande. That this was a mistaken view of policy, was proved not only by the result, but by a mere glance at the actual condition of the Mexican Republic. The central States — Mexico, Puebla, Queretaro, &c. — contained four-fifths the population and wealth of the whole country. Those on the Rio Grande, and those on the Pacific, though extensive in territory, were sparse in numbers, and scant in commerce and wealth. The attack and even conquest of those new and unsettled States would, therefore, be comparatively unfelt in the heart and body of the empire. The invasion and conquest of the country on the Rio Grande was, however, made the object of the campaign of 1846. General Taylor's gallant army commenced


its march from Corpus Christi. Matamoras was taken. The brilliant battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma were won. The army advanced to Camargo, and at length stormed and took the well-defended walls of Monterey. But had all this series of successes availed any thing? Were the enemy disposed to peace? Not in the least. In vain had Taylor waved his banners along the Rio Grande, and sounded his bugles amidst the summits of the Sierra Madre. In vain had he conquered or hard-fought fields, and stormed almost invincible battlements. The army was still separated by hundreds of miles from the heart of the enemy's country; who, secure in his capital, smiled at this distant war, and made preparations for more vigorous defense.

It was in the autumn of 1846, when Taylor's victories were yet fresh, that the administration felt constrained, by a political necessity, to change the plan and seat of the war, lest it should be indefinitely prolonged, at an indefinite expense.

It was in November 1846, that Secretary Marcy communicated to General Scott, officially, the President's order to repair to Mexico, take command of the troops there, and operate on the Gulf coast. In this order, Mr. Marcy said that it was not proposed to control General Scott; but that he should be left to prosecute the object as "his judgment, under all the circumstances, shall dictate."

This discretionary power required that Scott should arrange and direct the preparations of the army, so as to secure final success in the distant and dangerous campaign in the heart of an enemy's country, of which but


little was known, and which was continually filled with a larger army than the United States had heretofore ever maintained. Nor was this all. The supposed invincible castle of San Juan de Ulloa must be captured, the enemy beaten from point to point of strong positions, and his numerous and well-appointed army driven back to the gates of the capital, before the capital could be besieged, and peace forced, by its surrender. Scott foresaw all the difficult task placed before him. His spirit rose equal to the occasion, and he devised, directed, and secured the performance of even the details of the numerous arrangements which such an extensive plan required. Two qualities, which belong only to minds of the highest executive order, are possessed by him in large measure: the sagacity to foresee what means and instruments are required to fulfil the end, and the judgment to select the proper men to use those means and instruments. These qualities he immediately brought to bear with singular success. The amount of munitions and materials requisite for the campaign; the proper kind of provisions to supply the army in that climate; the proper equipage; the surf-boats, for landing; the siege-train, which would be needed in the valley of Mexico; all these and numerous other details were attended to by him before he left the city of Washington, These details were so accurately arranged, that there was nothing wanting to their completeness, when, in the coming year, they were actually employed in the support, progress, comfort, and conquests of the army in Mexico.

In obtaining the proper information and availing himself of valuable ideas, General Scott never disdained the suggestions of even the youngest officer. Always generous


and high-minded, he sought to develop talent, even in the humblest of his subordinates, and to make all classes of mind and experience useful to the general end.

In the choice of his staff and superior officers, he was equally discreet. He knew the importance of the object, and he adapted his men and measures to prevent the possibility of failure. The engineer and topographical corps, the inspectors and adjutants, the generals of brigade, and, in fine, all upon whose skill and fidelity much depended, were men of disciplined minds or much experience — men who could be charged with neither want of talent nor want of knowledge, in their respective departments. It was this fact which caused a writer from Puebla to say, that while the appearance of the American army presented nothing uncommon or superior, it was evident its victories were chiefly due to the superior skill and experience of its officers.

Thus had Scott made every needed and practicable preparation. To this must be added a feasible and sagacious plan, looking not merely to victory, but to the consequences of victory, which in this case was to force a peace. The campaign of the Rio Grande had been tried, and brought no peace. It was evident the enemy must be conquered in his capital.

The plan of the campaign comprehended the landing of an army sufficiently strong, in the judgment of the general, to overcome all obstacles and vanquish all opposing forces, on the coast of Mexico, at or near Vera Cruz; capture that city and its castle; thence proceed on the National Road to Perote, Jalapa, Puebla, and finally the city of Mexico — if peace should not be made before the conquest of that city. This plan had the superior advantage over


all other plans, if successful, of penetrating to the very centre of the nation, capturing its strong places, destroying its munitions of war, possessing its richest cities, and finally leaving the enemy almost without resources. The result corresponded with the plan. The thing intended was done, and peace was the fruit of victory. In the preceding pages, we have traced, step by step, the complete execution, in detail, of this whole plan, and the final accomplishment of all the objects contemplated. The army was assembled at the island of Lobos. Every man was safely landed in surf-boats, at Vera Cruz — an enterprise which is seldom accomplished without loss by the best-appointed armies of Europe. A siege-train was landed, with all its munitions, in perfect order. The city of Vera Cruz was regularly invested by trenches. The castle of SAN JUAN DE ULLOA was bombarded. The castle and the city surrendered. Over the heavy sands, and through the thick bushes which beset them; the army marched on. The heavy cannon and mortars were dragged along. The battle of CERRO GORDO is fought and won. The Mexican army flies in disorder. JALAPA surrenders. LA HOYA is abandoned. The strong castle of PEROTE, with its immense supply of all the munitions of war, surrenders. At length PUEBLA is taken, and the army rests a while from its fatigue.

Again it resumes its triumphant march, and the valley of Mexico, with all its splendor and beauty, soon appears before the eyes of the astonished soldier. From the crest of the Anhuac range of mountains he looks down upon that splendid vision, which seems more like the creations of fancy than the realities of earth. In the midst of the valley is a beautiful city, surrounded by shady paseos,


bright fields, and picturesque haciendas. There is the Lake Tezcuco, shaded by floating clouds; while beyond and above rise the snowy summits of volcanic mountains, glowing in the rays of the sun, while they shade the plain below.

Suddenly did this view burst upon the army; but the soldier passes on. New fields must be won before that city is his. Chalco and its lake appears. He still presses on, till, at last, he encamps in San Augustin. Then come the glorious 19th and 30th of August. Fields are crimson with blood; batteries are stormed; fortresses carried; till at length the American army inscribes upon its banners, in vivid colors, the victories of CONTRERAS, ANTONIA, and CHURUBUSCO. Again there is a pause. Scott, whose march is a continued triumph, waits for the offer of peace. He desires that no more battles may be fought, if they must be won at the expense of so much blood. The army has won laurels enough. Let humanity demand the rest. The pause and the parley are in vain. Other battles must be won. MOLINO DEL REY, CHAPULTEPEC, and the gates of BELEN and SAN COSMO remain to offer new glories to the conquering American. At last MEXICO itself is taken, and the last battle is fought in its streets! EIGHT BATTLES gloriously won; TWO CITIES BESIEGED and taken. Two CASTLES and numerous STRONGHOLDS, with thousands of prisoners, and an immense quantity of all the munitions of war, were the immediate trophies and results of that wonderful campaign, which, commencing on the 7th of March, at the landing at Vera Cruz, terminated on the 17th of September, in the city of Mexico.


But the immediate trophies and victories of the campaign, however brilliant and admirable, were less important than the ultimate results to this country and the world. The campaign of Scott in Mexico conquered peace. It did more. It restored good feelings to both countries, and gave order and confidence to vanquished Mexico. It added to our own country the immense territories of California, Utah, and New Mexico. It opened a new and vast field to American enterprise. It has developed the marvelous gold mines of the Sierra Nevada, whose overflowing wealth pours into all the channels of commerce, and quickens the energies of industry. It has given us a coast and ports on the Pacific, whence we look out on the islands of the sea, and can hold intercourse with the nations of Asia. A new era opens on the hills and valleys of our Western wilderness. Soon, a wilderness no longer, they will bloom with the roseate hues of civilization, and be filled with a people breathing the air of liberty, and diffusing light through the regions of darkness!

Scott's Uniform Success.

Such were the direct results of Scott's campaign — victory, peace, and empire.

One thing only we note beyond the even course of this narrative. In all the arrangements, all the contests — in all the wide field of action we have described, there was no failure. Even accidents, such as often mar the happiest plans, seemed here to have forgotten their customary office. The army was, indeed, long cut off from its communications; it was delayed at Puebla for want of reinforcements; it was delayed by the first negotiations; but still it marched on — still victory attended its banners, and all things conspired to give it a glorious fortune.


Scott's Sagacity.

Scott demonstrated in this campaign that his genius was equal to devising the best of plans; his administrative talent adapted to securing the best means; and his energy in action capable of carrying his designs into execution, and giving complete success to every enterprise. He left nothing undone which it was his duty to accomplish; and has left nothing for history to record but a series of illustrious triumphs, achieved without a single failure — without a single act of inhumanity — without a single shade of any kind upon his fair renown. Such success is rare in any nation, and in any pursuit. It can only be attributed to some remarkable gifts of mind, as well as to an extraordinary measure of Providential favor.

Cass's Speech.

It was in reference to this triumphant march from Vera Cruz to Mexico, that GENERAL CASS, in the United States Senate, pronounced the following eloquent and beautiful tribute:
"The movement of our army from Puebla was one of the most romantic and remarkable events which ever occurred in the military annals of our country.

"Our troops did not, indeed, burn their fleet, like the first conquerors of Mexico; for they needed not to gather courage from despair, nor to stimulate their resolution by destroying all hopes of escape. But they voluntarily cut off all means of communication with their own country, by throwing themselves among the armed thousands of another, and advancing with stout hearts, but feeble numbers, into the midst of a hostile territory. The uncertainty which came over the public mind, and the anxiety everywhere felt, when our gallant little army disappeared from our view, will not be forgotten during the present generation. There was a universal pause of expectation


— hoping, but still fearing; and the eyes of twenty millions of people were anxiously fixed upon another country, which a little band of its armed citizens had invaded. A veil concealed them from our view. They were lost to us for fifty days; for that period elapsed from the time when we heard of their departure from Puebla, till accounts reached us of the issue of the movement. The shroud which enveloped them then gave way, and we discovered our glorious flag waving in the breezes of the capital, and the city itself invested by our army."

There are but two passages in modern history which present parallels to the march of Scott from Vera Cruz to Mexico. These are the first conquest of Mexico by Cortez, and the other is the campaign of Napoleon in Egypt. Each of these has a strong resemblance to the second conquest of Mexico by Scott. In the march of Cortez, the observer is struck by the smallness of numbers in the Spanish invaders — the contrasted multitude of those opposed to them — the desperate energy of Cortez, which destroyed retreat, and threw him unaided amidst unknown enemies — and, finally, the novelty, the mystery, and the romance which then threw a charm of marvellous interest over the New World.

The reader will at first be inclined to say, that these incidents have been unequalled by any thing in the campaign of Scott. There are, however, striking similarities; and to the apparently greater marvels in the march of Cortez, there are parallel incidents in that of Scott. If the troops of Cortez were cut off by design, as well as Providence, from the distant shores of their mother country,


there was nearly two months, as stated by Senator Cass, when the army of Scott was cut off from its depots, by total inability to perform the double operation of advancing on the enemy, and keeping open its communications. Its skillful and daring commander chose the former, not by any rash reliance on the chances of good fortune, but by deliberate calculation on the valor and discipline of his troops, and the superior skill of their officers. If the band of Cortez appears comparatively small, it must be observed that it had two advantages, in the relative contest, over the army of Scott. The difference between the military science of the Spaniards and that of the Aztecs was far greater than that between the Anglo-Americans and the Mexicans of this day. The latter are students in the same military school with the English, the French, and the Americans. The castle of San Juan, the batteries of Cerro Gordo, the defenses of Churubusco, and the ramparts of Chapultepec, all bear witness to the fact that they were well acquainted with the modern science of war, and made no mean use of their knowledge in defense of their native land. Another and the greatest advantage possessed by the army of Cortez was, that he divided his enemies. He succeeded in convincing many that he was their destined conqueror, invincible to all opposition. They joined his standard, and he entered the city at the head of ten thousand Tlascalan troops! Such was not the case with Scott. He met troops disciplined in the science of modern warfare. He received no aid from his hostile opponents. He entered the city of Mexico amidst the fires of both citizen and soldier, rode into the Plaza with no troops but his own, and waved on its palace walls no banner but that of the victorious American!


Scott's conquest of Mexico bear a strong resemblance, also, to Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, but was unlike it both in conduct and results. Napoleon left France at the head of forty thousand men, crossed the seas in ships, was cut off by the destruction of his navy in Aboukir Bay, entered the ancient cities of Egypt, and conquered on the shores of the Nile. At length, tired of battle in Egypt, he left his army to his subordinates, and returned, like Caesar, to become the Dictator of France. No love of peace adorned his character; no gentle humanity graced his conduct; no strong devotion to liberty restrained his ambition, or made him obedient to the claims of duty or of law. His generals, left to pursue a various fortune, were at length driven from the land which they came to conquer.

Scott also embarked in ships; was cut off from his depots of supply; was engaged against an enemy better acquainted with the art of war than the Egyptians; but pursued his even way, victorious in battle, yet using every effort to procure peace and to soften the asperities of war. No cruelties are permitted — no wanton insults given. He returns not till the conquest is achieved, and his part fully performed in all that grand drama of action.

Such was the second conquest of Mexico by Winfield Scott. Is there one who delights in the sound of glorious victory, and will not say that his victories were complete, and his action honorable? Is there one whose heart is pained with every sound of war, and will not say that he performed the painful duties of war with the strictest regard to the claims of humanity, and with the utmost solicitude for the return of peace?


Chapter XXVII.

Scott's Ideas of Military Occupation.

On the 18th of September, the valley of Mexico reposed in peace. The storm of war had in a great degree passed over. A few dark clouds and an occasional flash of lightning were alone visible on the horizon. The victories of Scott had accomplished their object. Peace was surely though slowly approaching. There was yet another task to be performed — to organize a civil administration under military authority, capable of maintaining the civil functions of the country. This was no easy affair; and for the next five months, Scott applied his mind to this object with energy and industry. This part of his conduct, though brilliant with no glare of battle, is illustrative of his character and qualifications as a civilian. It exhibits him actually performing, and fully adequate to, all the duties of an eminent statesman. Left in the sole command not only of the city of Mexico, but of all the rich provinces around, with the Mexican government scattered and prostrates, and uncertain how long this state of things might continue, Scott was now obliged to consider how, if war continued, the country was to be occupied, and how the army was to derive a revenue from the districts in their occupation.


In a letter written by the War Department, after having heard of the victories of Contreras and Churubusco, Scott is told to levy on the Mexicans contributions for the support of the army, in every way consistent with the usages of civilized warfare. In this he is left to his own discretion. The Secretary says: "Left as you are to your own judgement as to your military operations, the fullest confidence is entertained that you will conduct them in the most effective way to bring about the main and ultimate object of war — namely, to induce the rulers and people of Mexico to desire and consent to such terms of peace as we have a right to ask and expect."

Left with the discretion, there were two things to be considered — the military occupation of the country, and the assessment of contributions. Scott's general views of a military occupation in Mexico were given in several subsequent dispatches. In one of thee he gives his opinion, that no annexation could take place without occupation, and thus describes the character of the Mexican rulers:

"Annexation and military occupation would be, if we maintain the annexation, one and the same thing, as to the amount of force to be employed by us; for if, after the formal act, by treaty or otherwise, we should withdraw our troops, it cannot be doubted that all Mexico, or rather the active part thereof, would again relapse into a permanent state of revolution, beginning with one against annexation. The great mass of this people have always been passive under every form of government that has prevailed in the country; and the turbulent minority, divided into


ins and outs, particularly the military demagogues, are equally incapable of self-government, and delight in nothing but getting power by revolution, and abusing that power when obtained."

Military occupation, then, was the sole resource of the conquerors, should the war be continued. Accordingly, Scott was directed by the War Department to dispose his troops in such a manner as to occupy as many of the principal places as possible. Ten days before the letter quoted above, Scott issued his order announcing the intended occupation of Mexico, until the latter shall sue for peace on terms acceptable to the government of the United States."

His Civil Administration.

At the same time, he proceeded at once to take possession of the revenues of the districts occupied, for the support of the army, and the maintenance of the American government over that country. In the same "order," he forbid the payment of any taxes or dues (which were heretofore collectable) to the Mexican government, after the occupation of the "principal point or points in any State, as all such taxes and dues will be demanded of the proper authorities, for the support of the army of occupation." As Mexico, Vera Cruz, Puelba, and Tamaulipas were so occupied, all takes were considered as due and payable to the army in those States, after the 1st of December. The exportation of gold and silver in "bars or ingots" was forbidden; for the reason, that when the


precious metals are exported in bulk, without being converted into a currency, they are of no practical use to the people of the country in their domestic exchanges. The rents, as they were called, of tobacco, playing-cards, and stamped paper, which had been allowed heretofore by the government, were offered to the highest bidders.

In fine, this "general order" from the commander of the army marked out an entire system of finance for the conquered provinces of Mexico. This was, in fact, to solve a problem of great importance to our government, for the support of the army in Mexico had become an exhausting burden on the Treasury Department, and was a source of anxiety to the administration. While so successfully establishing a system of revenue for Mexico, General Scott's correspondence with the War Department shows his high and delicate sense of the limits which civilization, properly understood, places to the exactions of an army. In his letter to Secretary Marcy, of December 25, 1847, he says: "It will be perceived that I do not propose to seize the ordinary state or city revenues, as that would be, in my humble judgment, to make war on civilization; as no community can escape absolute anarchy without civil government, and all government must have some revenue for its support. I shall take care, however, to see that the means collected within any particular State or city, for that purpose, are moderate and reasonable."

Thus, in the midst of an enemy's country, where, according to the policy which had governed the Clives, Napoleons, and Bluchers of the world, he had a military


right to make what exactions he pleased, Scott guarded, with scrupulous care, the rights of civilization. In the above paragraph he states clearly the principles which originate and support civil government. There is no escape from anarchy, that wild beast of society, but by civil government; and there can be no civil government without regular and adequate means of support.

In the same dispatch he states the manner in which the revenue is to be collected. He says: "Each State will be required to collect the amount claimed, according to the federal assessment for the year 1843, under certain penalties, which may be the seizure, without payment, of the supplies needed for the support of the occupation, and particularly the property of the State functionaries, legislative and executive, with the imprisonment of their persons, &c., &c., &c. The fear is those functionaries may abdicate, and leave the States without governments. In such event, the like penalties will be, so far as practicable, enforced."

Still intent on the means of peace, he says, in reference to the execution of his plan: "The success of the system — on the details of which I am now with ample materials employed — depends on our powers of conciliation. With steady troops, I should not doubt the result; but the great danger lies in the want of that quality on the part of the new reinforcements, including the recruits of the old regiments." In one word, Scott was bent on the conciliation of the Mexican nation by the restoration of order, the restraint of his troops, the prevalence of law, and an exhibition of all the genial qualities of high civilization. It


will here be remarked, that none but one who had won his right by victories, attended by no failure, could safely undertake such a task. In any other, it would be regarded as timidity; as the exhibition of weakness, rather than of humanity. It was success in battle which gave Scott the power to become the conciliator of Mexico.

Gathers Statistics. Reports on the Coinage.

In the mean while, from September to December, he had been acting the part of a prudent and sagacious statesman. He had been gathering statistics of the country, and especially had procured and sent on to Washington a valuable memoir on the coinage and exportation of bars and ingots of silver.

Six days after his dispatch of the 25th of December, Scott issued an order levying three millions of dollars on the several States of Mexico, and giving the details, at length, of the manner in which it should be paid. This was just quadruple the ordinary direct taxes; but, on the other hand, the transit duties payable at the cities were abolished. This order was accompanied by a circular to the commanders of the military departments, instructing them to conciliate rather than enforce payment, if possible. Force was only to be resorted to in case of extreme necessity.

Prepares to Occupy the Country.

In the general order of the 31st of December, he says: "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."


Such were the measures taken by General Scott to support the American army in Mexico, while he observed all the humanity and consideration towards the citizens of that country which could have been observed by civil officers towards citizens of his own. In the six months during which he was commander in Mexico, after the storm of Chapultepec, he performed the several duties of general-in-chief, president of the country, and secretary of the treasury. His were not, indeed, the nominal titles to these offices of statesmen, but they were his in substance; and that their functions were carefully and judiciously performed, the official records of our government amply prove.

In the mean while, a correspondence took place between General Scott and the Archbishop of Mexico, in relation to the Mexican prisoners, honorable to the humanity of both. Archbishop Juan Manual addresses General Scott, November 5th, thus:

Nov. 5, 1847.

"MOST EXCELLENT SIR — The respect which your Excellency has manifested to the Mexican church (of which I am the unworthy head) in calling upon me, has induced me to take advantage of the favorable disposition of your Excellency, to ask a favor which will perpetuate your memory, and will make known to the faithful members of my diocese the feeling of benevolence which you entertain towards them.

"A multitude of fathers, wives, children, brothers, and other relations of the prisoners who are now confined


under the order of your Excellency, loudly entreat their liberty; and the prisoners themselves vehemently lament the many evils which their confinement has brought down upon their families, who depend upon them for subsistence, and who, consequently, are reduced to misery, and in many cases to an absolute state of indigence. Were there any important political reason why these prisoners should not be liberated, I should not have been so bold as to ask it; but their number is small, and distributed, as they will be, in different parts of the republic, their importance must be insignificant.

"I ask their liberty, not only because it is a duty of my office, but my heart also impels me to solicit some real consolation for these unfortunate men, whom the fates of war have reduced to so lamentable a condition."

General Scott received this communication with great respect, and stated that at Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo the Mexican prisoners were promptly and cheerfully paroled (that is, released on word of honor not to take up arms), but that they had repeatedly violated their paroles; that of the officers taken in the valley of Mexico, but one remained in confinement, and he only because he asserted his intention to take up arms again; and that in regard to certain propositions for the release of certain American prisoners taken from the army of the Rio Grande, he had received only evasive replies. Notwithstanding these things, however, General Scott replies:

"But the application of your grace comes to me under sanctions too high to be neglected.

"I therefore beg to say, that if your grace will have the goodness to appoint some dignitary of the church to visit


the Mexican prisoners of war (rank and file, or common men), now confined in this capital, and explain to them the customs and usages of war in such cases, viz. that prisoners, released on parole, are always put to death, if taken in arms against the same belligerents before being duly exchanged, and add the solemn admonition of the church against the violation of their paroles, I will immediately, under that holy sanction, cause the said prisoners to be released on parole, so that they may return to their respective families, friends, and peaceful occupations."

The Archbishop replies (December 16) that he will fulfil all the conditions; and that he will "personally administer the requisite oath."

On the 22d of December, the Archbishop, in the presence of Lieutenant-Colonel Hitchcock, Inspector-General, administered the oath to eight hundred men, who were released on parole.

The period now approached when Scott was to be relieved (suspended) from the command in Mexico. His two last acts were, happily for him, and happily for the completeness of that fame which he and the country shared in common, the only two which remained for him to perform in Mexico, either in reference to his own character or his public duties. These were the settlement of his accounts, and the transmission of the Mexican propositions for peace.

Secret Service Fund.

As a commander taking possession of a distant country, and having continual need of funds for contingent services, and for the unexpected and frequently pressing wants of the army, Scott, at different times, received and


expended large amounts of money. Much of this money was expended in services for which a detailed account ought not to be made public. This is set down in government accounts as a "secret service fund." In his letter of February 6, 1848, he says that certain "explanations" ought not to be reduced to writing; but adds — "I may, however, briefly add, that I have never tempted the honor, conscience, 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." For these secret services he paid about sixty thousand dollars, including the service of a "native spy company."

His Accounts.

In this letter, he states that he had charged himself with the amount of money received at Washington; the $150,000 levied upon Mexico for the army, in lieu of pillage; for the proceeds of captured tobacco, and other smaller sums; for all of which he will "strictly account."

Among the expenditures, he enumerates the following:

Blankets and shoes (gratuitously distributed) $63,745
Hospital comforts (extra) 10,000
Each crippled man, discharged or furloughed 10,00
Secret services some 60,000

Military Asylum.

After saying thus much, he encloses to the Paymaster-General a draft for one hundred thousand dollars, which,


by special request of General Scott, became the foundation for the Army Asylum Fund, as established by act of Congress, in the session of 1850-51.

Military Controversy.

Since the occupation of the city of Mexico, one of Scott's desires was, by conciliation, by the re-establishment of order, the occupation of the country, and, in fine, by all honorable means, to induce a peace. There was reason to suppose this could be done, if the Mexican government itself could be protected against the violence of the military and the mob. On the 11th of November, General Anaya had been elected president, and Pena y Pena secretary of state. A commission was immediately appointed to negotiate peace. Mr. Trist, the American commissioner, had been recalled, but fortunately, as it turned out, had not left Mexico.

On the 27th of November, Scott wrote to the War Department that the commissioners were understood to be present in Mexico; and that he had informed the government at Queretaro that he would send home any


communications looking to a renewal of negotiations. On the 2d of February, 1848, the treaty of peace was signed at Guadalupe by Trist and the Mexican commissioners. The last important dispatch of General Scott to the War Department was transmitted by the same express which carried to Washington the treaty of peace. Without probably any very prophetic calculations as to the concurrence of the two events, it happened, in the course of history, that when Scott had finished the last acts which he could perform, in securing to his country the fruits of victory, by the restoration of peace, that just then the order arrived which suspended him from the command of the army of Mexico, and summoned him to answer the captious charges of inferiors, before a tribunal of inferiors! He who had won the battle of Marathon was condemned as a criminal, and finally died in prison of the wounds received in battle! Scott was not condemned as a criminal, nor imprisoned as a felon; but he was made to feel that, in the estimation of his government, there was nothing in his eminent position, in his life of successful service, in his devotion to country, in his brilliant successes, and in his great renown, which should place him above the level, or beyond the reach of envious or malicious subordinates.

On the 13th of January 1848, Secretary Marcy ordered Scott "to turn over the command of the army to Major-General Butler, or, in his absence, to the highest in rank, with the column under you."


At the time this order was issued, the treaty of peace had not been signed, and the President could not be certain that the war would not be continued. He suspended the most successful general of the age from a command in which his services were yet needed, to gratify the caprices of subordinates who chose to be displeased with his conduct!

The object and principles of the cabinet, in regard to the suspension of Scott, are, fortunately for the truth of history, recorded in the official correspondence of the War Department. On the 13th of January, 1848, another order was issued, directing Brevet Brigadier-General N. Towson, Paymaster-General, Brigadier-General Caleb Cushing, and Colonel E. G. W. Butler, of the 3d Dragoons, to assemble at the castle of Perote, to inquire into the charges and allegations preferred by General Scott against Major-General Pillow and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Duncan; and "the charges, or matters of complaint, presented, by way of appeal, by Brevet Major General Worth against Major-General Winfield Scott."

The object, then, of suspending Scott, was to bring him before a court of inquiry composed of a Paymaster-General, a Brigadier of Volunteers, and a Colonel of Dragoons, to answer complaints made by a subordinate! What were those complaints? It is unnecessary to enter into the details of the army controversy (confined chiefly to four or five officers) which unfortunately arose in the military camp of Scott, in order to understand the injustice and inhumanity with which the veteran commander of Mexico


was treated. A single feature of the transaction will be sufficient to show the origin and character of the whole. The following sentence commences one of the paragraphs in Mr. Marcy's letter to Scott, dated 13th of January, 1848:

"Considering the nature and multiplicity of the matters embraced in the charges preferred against Major-General Pillow and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan, especially the former (some of which are hardly consistent with your official reports and commendations)," &c.

The official reports of Scott are here referred to, as inconsistent with some of the charges against these officers. This very fact illustrates the generous conduct of Scott towards them and others. In making up his reports, he assumed as correct the reports of the commanders of different detachments, and especially when they spoke of themselves. Such generosity is not always safe. Errors in the accounts of subordinates may sometimes occur, which require future correction. The official correspondence shows that, on the 2d of October, General Scott addressed a note to General Pillow, calling his attention to certain material errors in the report of General Pillow, concerning his part in the battles of Mexico, and pointing out in what they consisted. The next day, General Pillow acknowledges General Scott's kindness, speaks of his gratitude, and says he has "no hesitation in correcting anything in his report deemed erroneous." Two other notes were written, which General Scott concludes with the remark, that the discrepancies in their memory were so material, that he should forward the reports to Washington with these notes. It thus appears there were errors in the reports of those whose accounts were received


at first as entirely reliable. In that fact originated the controversy, which resulted in the court of inquiry. But upon what principle was General Scott held responsible to that court? Why should he be tried for the errors of his subordinates? What were the matters of complaint charged by General Worth? They were simply that General Scott had refused to say whether he was the person referred to in a recent army order, and refused to forward complaints against himself to the War Department! In whatever aspect they might be considered by a court, none of General Worth's "complaints" at all impeached Scott's capacity, integrity, or merit, as the commander of an army. Why, then, suspend him, while engaged in the duties of war? General Worth, one of the most gallant officers of the army, and Colonel Duncan, a distinguished soldier, have both passed beyond the tribunal of human praise or censure. We may safely assume, that a controversy with their commander about fields of glory, in which they had all a common share, would not have been continued by them, if living. On the contrary, they would have sought to freshen and deepen the laurels; which, the greener they grew on the brows of Scott, the more they would bloom in their own fair fame.

Their conduct may be attributed to the heat of passion, and allowed to pass in silence; but that of the cabinet is not so easily excused. Mr. Marcy seems to have felt the necessity of defending the suspension of a commander under such circumstances, at the complaint of his inferiors; and, in his letter of the 13th, makes an argument in his defense. It appeared in the sequel, however, that the cabinet had greatly underrated the sensibilities of the people to this species of wrong. The whole country was struck with


astonishment at the suspension of Scott. The people could not realize the propriety, asserted by the War Department, of holding a patriotic and successful general, charged with no neglect of duty, to account, at any moment, to the captious complaints of inferior officers. They had no sympathy with that cold indifference which overlooked his forty years of service, and his high renown, in a pretended equality with his subordinates! There was a universal conviction that a positive injustice and an undeserved insult had been offered to the conqueror of Mexico. Nor was it unfelt by him, nor altogether unanticipated. In his dispatch of the 25th of July he had alluded to the possibility, that when in two months the army should have entered Mexico, he might be recalled.

With a profound feeling of injustice — one of the keenest wounds which humanity ever suffers — he thus writes on the 9th of February 1848, after reading in the newspapers an unofficial account that he was superseded:
"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 Butler. Perhaps, after trial, I may be permitted to return to the United States. My poor services with this gallant army are at length requited as I have long been led to expect they would be."

Suspended from his Command.

If this natural outburst of feeling contains a sharper charge against the justice and candor of the cabinet than it deserved, it is due to that keen sensibility to personal wrong which is ever one of the qualities of an honorable


mind, and which was now made poignant by an official attempt to degrade his services and his position.

Scott quietly delivered over the army to the command of General Butler, and took his place before the court of inquiry on a level with his factious accusers; as if he had never commanded a victorious army, or won laurels whose verdure will quicken with time, and be deposited among the memorials of recorded glory.

Court of Inquiry.

The court of inquiry met in Mexico, and sat several weeks, engaged in examining many witnesses, in respect to some of the minor details of the war; especially the part taken by General Pillow in the battles of the valley of Mexico; and as to the authors of certain letters published in newspapers, signed "Veritas" and "Leonidas," and generally attributed to that officer. In this court General Scott was present, cross-examining the witnesses with great acumen, but generously conceding every fact which, being true, was fairly applicable to the case. At length the court adjourned in the month of April, to meet again in Washington. The meeting was indeed held; but, in the mean time, the war ended, and the business of the court of inquiry became so obviously odious to the people, that the cabinet were willing to let its proceedings drop into a speedy and deserved oblivion. The court dropped its inquiries, and simply reported a voluminous mass of testimony relating to the affairs of the war, which may be of great use to the future historian, if the records are still preserved.

The idea of visiting a palpable degradation upon the man whose conduct was faultless, whose character was pure, and whose successes were altogether unparalleled, was not only odious, but absolutely detestable to the people.


This feeling became general, and roused an indignation in the minds of many, even of those who were the political friends of the administration, which contributed not a little to its subsequent downfall. The spirit of injustice does not belong to the American people. They are ready to contribute their full share of praise to those who, on their part, have contributed to the glory and grandeur of their country.

Returns Home.

Scott having waited patiently upon the sittings of the court of inquiry, at length embarked in the "Petersburg" vessel for his home in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where he arrived on the 20th of May, 1848, intending quietly to remain a short time in that calm domestic retirement, happier than any field of war can ever be, however glorious or successful — however much coveted now, or renowned hereafter.


Chapter XXVIII.

General Scott's Return.

SCOTT, on his return from Mexico, had respectfully declined the honor of a reception at New Orleans, stating that he was under the displeasure of the executive. On the 20th of May, he arrived in a private vessel at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, the residence of his family, having carefully avoided all the cities, and refused to join in any public ceremonial. In the mean while, however, the corporation of New York having learned his departure from Mexico, and his probable arrival at Elizabethtown, determined that he who had so often resided among them, who had signalized the Niagara frontier with the glory of victory, and who was now returning from a foreign land crowned with the honors of successful war, but overclouded with the shadows of executive displeasure, should be received in the commercial metropolis of the nation in a manner to signalize his merit and their gratitude.

His Reception at New York.

On the 10th of May, 1848, Mr. HAVEMEYER, Mayor of New York, addressed a message to the Common Council, stating that information had been received that MAJOR


GENERAL SCOTT had embarked on his return home, and he submitted the propriety of "receiving him in a manner commensurate with a proper appreciation of his gallant achievements, and those of his companions in arms." On the reception of this message, resolutions in conformity therewith were, on motion of Mr. CROLIUS, passed by the Board of Aldermen, and concurred in by the Assistants.

Arrangements of the Council.

On the 21st of May, General Scott arrived in the brig "Petersburg," and immediately proceeded to Elizabethtown. The next day (22d) he was waited upon by a committee of the Common Council of New York, and accepted their invitation to visit and receive the hospitalities of New York.

As the reception of General Scott in the great city of New York was among the most interesting and magnificent ceremonials our country has witnessed, it is the proper province of history to record so much of the proceedings as will illustrate the character of the times, and the high estimation in which the hero of Mexico was held by his fellow-citizens.

Thursday, the 25th of May was the day appointed for the reception. The general was to be escorted from Elizabethtown by the committee, the Common Council, and the civic authorities. He was to review the New York division of troops, in four brigades; be addressed at the City Hall by public functionaries; and finally escorted to his quarters. In conformity with this plan, all arrangements were made by the military and civil authorities. Orders were issued by Major-General Sandford, and the commanders of brigades and regiments, to parade, on


the morning of the 25th, in full uniform and equipment. This division comprehends twelve regiments, and is one of the best uniformed and trained corps in the United States.

Military Procession.

The day was an auspicious one. A cloudless sky, a brilliant sun, and streets lined and crowded with dense masses of people eager to behold and receive the gallant and successful hero returning from the scene of his glory, seemed an auspicious augury of the welcome which would now greet him, and the fame which coming posterity will gladly bestow. Cannon were fired from the Battery, the national flag floated from the City Hall, and streamers waved from the shipping in port. The steamer St. Nicholas, crowded with public functionaries and citizens, proceeded gayly on her way to Elizabethtown. There they were met by the corporate authorities of the borough, who, by their mayor, Mr. Sanderson, committed General Scott, with suitable remarks, to the charge of the Common Council of New York.

Address of the Mayor and Aldermen.

When the cheering had subsided, MORRIS FRANKLIN, Esq., president of the Board of Aldermen, addressed General Scott in an excellent address, of which the following are passages:
"In contemplating upon the thrilling events which have characterized your history, we find so much to excite our admiration, and to call into action the patriotic emotions of the heart, that we feel proud, as American citizens, that among the many illustrious names which now are, or may hereafter be emblazoned upon the escutcheons of our country, yours will appear in bold relief, as among her noblest and most honored sons; for whether upon the plains of Chippewa, or Lundy's Lane — whether at the


sortie of Fort Erie, or on the heights of Queenstown — whether landing on the shores of Vera Cruz, or bravely contending at the pass of Cerro Gordo — whether entering in triumph the capital of Mexico, and there planting the American standard upon its battlements — whether in the warrior's tent, at the solemn hour of midnight, arranging the operations of the coming day, while your faithful soldiers were slumbering around you, dreaming of their friends and their homes — or whether attending upon the wounded, the dying, and the dead, regardless of yourself in your anxiety for others — we find all those characteristics which mark the true dignity of man, and bespeak the accomplished and victorious chieftain.

"Under circumstances such as these, and fresh from the well-fought battle-fields of our country, we now welcome you within our midst, as one worthy to receive and forever wear that victorious wreath which the American people have entwined to decorate and adorn your brow; and we cannot omit, upon this occasion, to bear our testimony to the valor, bravery, and skill displayed by that noble band of our adopted fellow-citizens, who, side by side with the natives of our soil, stood bravely by the common standard of our country, or fell nobly struggling in its defense. Peace be to the ashes of those who thus sacrificed their lives, for they died as brave men love to die — fighting the battles of their country, and expiring in the very arms of victory."

Mr. Franklin's address was received with enthusiastic huzzas.

His Replies.

GENERAL SCOTT made the following reply, which, with the others made in New York, are inserted here, for the purpose of showing the character of his addresses


when drawn from him on public occasions, and the sentiments he felt and uttered, in reference to the acts and conduct of the army.

After stating that he had "surrendered himself a prisoner" to his fellow-citizens of New York, who had determined to honor a public servant, and, without measuring his little merit, had also determined to do it "in a manner worthy of herself and of the United States," he proceeded:

"If I had looked to considerations merely personal, I should have declined the high distinction tendered me; but I knew I was to be received by you as the representative of that victorious army it was so lately my good fortune to command — an army that has carried the glory of American arms to a height that has won universal admiration, and the gratitude of all hearts at home.

"A very large portion of the rank and file of that army, regulars and volunteers, went forth from the city of New York, to conquer or to die. It was my happy lot to witness their invincible valor and prowess. All dangers, difficulties, and hardships were met and conquered.

"You have been pleased, sir, to allude to our adopted citizens. I can say that the Irish, the Germans, the Swiss, the French, the Britons, and other adopted citizens, fought in the same ranks, under the same colors, side by side with native-born Americans — exhibiting like courage and efficiency, and uniting at every victory in the same enthusiastic shouts in honor of our flag and country. From Vera Cruz to the capital of Mexico, there was one generous rivalry in heroic daring and brilliant achievement. Let those who witnessed that career of valor and patriotism say, if they can, what race, according to numbers,


contributed most to the general success and glory of the campaign. On the many hard-fought battlefields there was no room for invidious distinction. All proved themselves the faithful sons of our beloved country, and no spectator could fail to dismiss any lingering prejudice he might have entertained as to the comparative merits of Americans by birth and Americans by adoption.

"As the honored representative of all, I return among you to bear testimony in favor of my fellow-brothers in the field, the army of Mexico; and I congratulate you and them that the common object of their efforts, and of your hopes — the restoration of peace — is in all probability now attained."

As the boat passed on from Elizabethtown to the city, large numbers of people on the shore saluted the company, with their distinguished companion, by waving handkerchiefs. At Sailors' Snug Harbor they received the united cheers of its inmates; and at Castle Garden, the general landed under a national salute, fired by the 4th Artillery, under the direction of General Morris.

The mayor of the city being absent, Morris Franklin, Acting Mayor, again addressed General Scott. After congratulating him on his return to his home and friends, he said:
"And now, fellow-citizens, you have before you the hero of Chippewa, of Queenstown, of Lundy's Lane, and the conqueror of Vera Cruz and the capital of Mexico, and it remains for you to say whether you will receive and welcome him as the guest of our patriotic and noble city; and for the purpose of testing this, I propose that all who are in favor of receiving him as such, will signify by saying aye."


One universal aye burst from the immense assemblage; after which, Mr. Franklin, turning to the general, continued as follows:
"GENERAL SCOTT — You are now the guest of the city. You have surrendered to the entreaties of your fellow-citizens, and we shall celebrate the victory in such a way as will satisfy you and them, that we appreciate the services of one of the best and noblest sons connected with the great American family."

This address was received with great cheering, and replied to by General Scott briefly and happily.

He was then received at the outer entrance of the Garden by Major-General Sandford, with his staff, and proceeded to review the line of military on the Battery. The greatest enthusiasm was manifested by the several regiments. Cheer on cheer burst forth, in which officers and men joined, in token of their admiration for the hero of Mexico.

After the review was ended, the military formed in column, and the procession moved through the streets in the order of the programme:


The First Division of New York State Militia, under the command of Major-General Sandford, acting as the escort to Major General Scott, in the following order:

Under the command of Brigadier-General Storms.

Under the command of Brigadier-General Morris.

Under the command of Brigadier-General Hall.

Under the command of Brigadier-General Ewen.



Ex-President of the United States.
Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of the State of New York.
Senators and Representatives in Congress.
Senators of this State.
Members of Assembly.
Officers of the Army and Navy of the U. States.
Joint Special Committee of the Common Council.
His Honor the Mayor.
Members of the Common Council of the City of New York.
Heads of Departments of the City Government.
Collector of the Port of New York.
Surveyor of the Port of New York.
Naval Officer.
Postmaster of the City of New York.
United States District Attorney.
Marshal of the United States for this District.
Citizens in carriages and on horseback.

In the Park, he received a marching salute from the whole division of military, and thence proceeded to the Governor's Room. From every balcony, stoop, window, and house-top in the streets through which the procession moved, there went up the warmest welcomings from both sexes and all ages.

In the Governor's Room, he was again addressed briefly by ALDERMAN CROLIUS, to whom he replied in the following terms:

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMON COUNCIL: — My obligations to the city of New York are known to you all; but the kind reception of the Common Council, and of the inhabitants of this great emporium of commerce, has bound me to it forever. Had my life been twice as long — had my services been treble what they have been — had my sufferings been multiplied, no matter by what figure — all would have been more than


compensated by the generous welcome you have given me."

He then said, "since the termination of the war with Great Britain, now thirty-four years, I have resided a portion of every year, with the exception of four or five, with you. The first honors I ever received were from the hands of the Legislature of New York. Well, then, may it be believed that every pulsation of my heart beats in unison with her well-being."

General Scott then proceeded to give his views on the great subject of PEACE AND WAR, in which every friend of civilization is interested:
"Though I am a soldier, and therefore supposed to be fond of fighting, I abhor war, except when prosecuted in the defense of our country, or for the preservation of its honor, or of some great, important, nay, cardinal interest. I hold war to be a great moral evil. It must be for good and substantial reasons — for no forced or false pretext, however plausibly set forth — that war can be warrantably waged, or that can justify one man in shedding the blood of his fellow-being. The interests of New York, and of our whole country, are identified with peace and with every duty of Christian morality. I doubt if there be any member of that respectable body of our fellow-citizens, the Friends, who is a more zealous advocate for peace. Unhappily, too much of my life has been spent on the field of battle. Let us, then, maintain our peace by all honorable efforts — by such efforts as Washington, the father of our country, made, to establish and preserve a system of equal and impartial neutrality — a system which some of his most distinguished successors, even to a recent period, have commended, with the entire approbation of the


American people. And now, Mr. Chairman, in offering again my thanks to your Common Council, and to the inhabitants of your city, which have made an old soldier's heart to throb with gratitude, and caused him to forget all his toils, all his hardships, all his suffering of mind and body, I desire to acknowledge to yourself especially, and to the gentlemen of both Boards who compose your committee, the obligations you have imposed upon me by your kind and gracious attentions. Thanks, my warmest thanks, I return through you to the inhabitants of this city."

Presentation of a Medal.

At 12 M., Alderman Franklin, on behalf of the municipal authorities of the city, presented General Scott with a silver medal, which had been prepared in commemoration of the battles of Chapultepec, Churubusco, Cerro Gordo, and Vera Cruz. Alderman Franklin presented it, in a neat speech; and General Scott replied in suitable terms.

The following is a description of the medal:
It is struck from fine silver, about two inches in diameter, and of the weight of two ounces.

On the reverse side is a female figure, the head of which is surrounded with stars, representing the genius of America, grasping in her right hand the fulman, and pointing with her left to the rising sun; while her left foot is resting upon the cactus, and the Mexican serpent lying prostrate beneath the American eagle. Mountains form the background; the palm indicating the South, and a walled city representing Vera Cruz, with the American shipping in the harbor. The figure rests on the stern of a Roman galley, which is intended to represent the naval power of the United States; and around the whole are the words, "Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Chapultepec, and Churubusco."


On the obverse side is a new and beautiful arrangement of the city coat-of-arms, designed by Mr. Chapman, with the marginal inscription — "Presented by the City of New York to Major-General Winfield Scott."

In the course of the day, General Scott visited, with the committee, and various public functionaries, the Asylum for the Blind, and the Deaf and Dumb Institution, at each of which short addresses were made; and the interview with the interesting pupils of those institutions was quite affecting.

Song: The Soldier's Welcome Home.

On the evening of the day of reception, the following song, written by GEORGE P. MORRIS, Esq., was sung at the Broad way Tabernacle. It expresses well the warm feelings which animate the great body of the people towards the PATRIOT HERO, who, in the forty years from 1811 to 1851, has served his country with so much merit, and with such unrivalled success.


Victorious the hero
Returns from the wars;
His brow bound with laurels
That never will fade,
While streams the free standard
Of stripes and of stars,
Whose field in the battle
The foemen dismayed.
When the Mexican hosts
In their madness came on,
Like a tower of strength
In his might he arose!


Where danger most threatened,
His banner was borne,
Waving hope to his friends
And despair to his foes.

Huzza! huzza! huzza!
The hero forever!
Whose fame is the glory
And pride of the land!

The Soldier of Honor
And Liberty, hail!
His deeds in the temple
Of Fame are enrolled;
His precepts, like flower-seeds
Sown by the gale,
Take root in the hearts
Of the valiant and bold.
The warrior's escutcheon
His foes seek to blot:
But vain are the efforts
Of partisan bands,
For freemen will render
Full justice to SCOTT,
And welcome him home
With their hearts in their hands.

Huzza! huzza! huzza!
The hero forever!
Whose fame is the glory
And pride of the land!

The preamble and resolutions adopted by the Common Council were engrossed and placed in an oaken frame,


surrounded by the insignia of war, and then presented to the general, as a testimonial of the welcome which was rendered, in regard for his eminent services, by the Common Council of New York.

Thus ended the brilliant and interesting reception given to the conqueror of Mexico by the greatest commercial city of the nation. It was done on behalf of the nation, and as representative of that gratitude and admiration which is due to one who has rendered such important and such illustrious services to our common country.

For reasons which have never been fully disclosed to the public, Scott was kept with his head-quarters at New York, long after his return from Mexico. He needed, indeed, less of the cares of business, and more of the pleasures of retirement, than Washington would have afforded, in order to recruit his health, like that of many another soldier, injured by too long a residence in a tropical climate. At length, however, he was recalled to his proper station — the head of the Army Bureau at Washington. There he has remained engaged in official rather than military duties, reporting on the condition and proposed improvements of the army, but mingling in none of the ambitious schemes or intrigues of politicians. In the midst of those social circles, where worth, patriotism, and intelligence shone around, he was himself the radiant centre of attraction — affable towards all, while holding and uttering those pure and lofty sentiments which have been acted out in his life.

In the session of Congress in 1850-51, an act was passed which illustrated, in a remarkable manner, his care and foresight in providing for the wants of the army. We have recorded elsewhere the form of the draft for one hundred


thousand dollars which he had remitted to the Bank of America, to be placed to the credit of "Army Asylums," till Congress should order otherwise. This was part of the contributions levied on the city of Mexico, and had been set aside by him, with some other moneys derived from similar sources, for the purpose of founding asylums for invalid soldiers. Congress now (1850-51) carried out, by law, the intentions of Scott, in setting aside this particular fund. When the act was passed, spring of 1851, he was appointed president of an Army Board to select sites for the asylums. In pursuance of this duty, he was obliged to journey through the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi. Everywhere there was a spontaneous tribute of admiration and respect paid by the people, who, without any notice of the hour of his arrival, or any prepared formalities, everywhere assembled in great numbers, welcomed him with shouts, and accompanied him to his quarters. At Cincinnati he remained a week; and from the hour of his arrival to that of his departure, he was continually surrounded by hundreds who were endeavoring to shake him by the hand, and have the pleasure of seeing once, at least, the veteran warrior and patriot who had performed for his country such arduous services, and added so largely to its high renown. Among those who crowded around him were large numbers who had served with him in Mexico, as well as citizens from distant parts of the country, who came purposely to see him. On one occasion, when he was at an evening party, a cannon salute was fired under the windows, to the surprise of the company. On inquiry, it proved to have been done voluntarily by some of the soldiers who had been with him in the army.


Scott's Return to Washington.

Having performed his duty as a member of the board, he resumed his position at Washington, where he remains as commander-in-chief of the army, under the President of the United States.

General Winfield Scott was commissioned a captain of Light Artillery in May, 1808, and has therefore been forty-three years in the service of the United States; and during that time has been SUCCESSFUL IN EVERY THING HE UNDERTOOK, has failed in no duty, excused himself from no service, been present on the most memorable fields of battle, and party to some of the most important civil as well as military transactions. In that time he has everywhere, and in every place, been obedient to the civil law; been observant of all the duties of humanity; been true to every obligation of a citizen and a man; been the friend of peace rather than of war; and on three remarkable occasions aided in preserving the peace and tranquillity of the country.

His Public Honors.

A brief summary of his public services will give the reader an outline view of what we have endeavored faithfully to record on the preceding pages. In chronological order, the principal events of his life may be thus stated:

WINFIELD SCOTT, Captain of Light Artillery, May, 1808.

" " Lieutenant-Colonel of 2d Artillery, Izard's Regiment, July, 1812.

" " Volunteers in the Battle of QUEENSTOWN, commands on the heights, and is captured, October 13, 1812.

" " Interferes in behalf of the captured Irishmen, October, 1812.

" " Assists in getting the Act of Retaliation passed, January, 1813.


WINFIELD SCOTT, Adjutant-General of the army under General Dearborn, at Niagara, May, 1813.

" " Commands the advance guard in the capture of FORT GEORGE, May 27, 1813.

" " Colonel of a double regiment, July, 1813.

" " Commands the advance guard in the descent of the St. Lawrence, November, 1813. " " Is made Brigadier-General, March 9, 1814.

" " Drills the troops in the camp of Buffalo, April, May, June, 1814.

" " Commands the advance brigade, fighting the BATTLE OF CHIPPEWA, July 5, 1814.

" " Commands the advance brigade in the BATTLE OF NIAGARA (Lundy's Lane), July 25, 1814.

" " Is badly wounded, July 25, 1814.

" " Is brevetted Major-General, July 25, 1814.

" " Declines the appointment of Secretary at War, February, 1815.

" " Travels in Europe, March, 1815-16.

" " Is married, March, 1817.

" " Writes the MILITARY INSTITUTES, 1821.

" " Writes an Essay on Temperance, 1821.

" " Again travels in Europe, 1827-28.

" " Embarks on the Lakes, commanding troops for Black Hawk war, July 8, 1832.

" " Nurses the sick, August, 1832.

" " Is commissioned to treat with Indians, September, 1832.

" " Concludes treaties, September, 1832.

" " Letter to a Nullifier, December 14, 1832.

" " Commands in Florida, February, May, 1836.

" " Speech before a Court of Inquiry, October, 1836.

" " Favorable opinion of the court, October, 1836.

" " Commands on the Canada frontier, Dec. 1837.


WINFIELD SCOTT harangues the people, January, 1838.

" " MAINTAINS PEACE, January, 1838.

" " Removes the Cherokees, May, 1838.

" " Addresses the Indians, May, 1838.

" " Commands in the DISPUTED TERRITORY, March, 1839.

" " Corresponds with Gov. Harvey, March, 1839.

" " Receives votes in the Whig Convention for the Presidency, December, 1839.

" " Supports General Harrison, 1840.

" " Nominated for the Presidency by the State Convention of Pennsylvania, 1842.

" " Writes to the Dayton Committee on the subject of the Presidency, September, 1842.

" " Writes to Atkinson on the subject of slavery, 1843.

" " Writes on Peace, April, 1844.

" " Ordered to MEXICO, November 23, 1846.

" " Lands at VERA CRUZ, March 10, 1847.

" " CAPTURES SAN JUAN ULLOA, March 27, 1847.


" " Enters the city of PUEBLA, May 15, 1847.

" " Commands the army of Mexico in the battle of CONTRERAS, August 19, 1847.

" " In the battle of CHURUBUSCO, August 20, 1847.

" " At the battle of MOLINO DEL REY, Sept. 8, 1847.

" " In the storm of CHAPULTEPEC, Sept. 13, 1847.

" " CAPTURES THE CITY OF MEXICO, September 14, 1847. " " Levies contributions for the comfort of the army, September 18, 1847.

" " Devises a system of revenue, November, 1847.

" " Appears before a Court of Inquiry, April, 1848.

" " Returns home, May, 1848.

" " Is received by the corporation of New York with military and civic honors, May, 1848.


In reviewing this record of more than forty years' public service, we find that Scott has been engaged in THREE WARS, has been victorious in TEN BATTLES, has three times interfered to PRESERVE PEACE, and has written several volumes on military institutes, temperance, and various topics of public interest. For this long series of memorable services he has acquired a renown limited only by the bounds of the civilized world. In his own country the National Congress, the Legislatures of States, the corporations of cities, and literary and scientific bodies have repeatedly bestowed upon him their honors and then applause. Congress voted him a medal; the State of Virginia twice voted him swords; New York voted him a sword; the Society of Cincinnati made him an honorary member; and in various forms, and on numerous occasions, have the people hastened to do honor to one whose life has been devoted to their cause. He has been nominated for the presidency repeatedly, by State and county conventions, but has never pressed himself on the consideration of political bodies. On the contrary, he has shunned all the intrigues of mere politicians, and left his character and conduct to the unbiased judgment of the people. While he thought himself, as a man and a citizen, entitled to hold and express his political opinions on all proper occasions, he thought his military position precluded him from entering into any active controversies of parties. His opinions have been frankly expressed on almost all topics; never concealed from any fear of consequences, nor volunteered to gain mere political support.

The fame of General Scott abroad is founded on a more disinterested, and perhaps a more solid basis, than that in his own country. It is founded on a calm view and


intelligent understanding of the great actions in which he has been engaged, and the particular merits of character which have contributed to his success. Kosciusko early wrote him a complimentary letter, and the most competent judges in Europe held him in high estimation; but it is only since the Mexican war that his European reputation has been brought out in bold relief. Now it is as wide as the circles of intelligence, and durable as the records of history.

His Public and Private Character.

In the character of Scott are mingled some elements, generally supposed to be very opposite in their qualities, and yet have been completely harmonized in him. He is ardent, and yet calculating; energetic, and yet mild; stern in discipline, yet humane; a warrior, and yet the friend of peace; authoritative, and yet obedient. In every thing we find the stern, strong, and vigorous elements of character restrained and modified by mild and amiable dispositions.

It is this mixture of the natural elements which has made him so eminently successful, and taken from him all which often renders the mere soldier harsh, sanguinary, and repulsive. Ardent for distinction, emulous in the career of glory he certainly was, but without the least taste for the sufferings and cruelties of war. On the contrary, all his tastes are refined, and all his impulses generous. War under his command became an element of civilization. The campaign in Mexico is one of the finest illustrations of how far and how great have been the advances of humanity, where humanity is supposed least to exist. Let any one compare the conduct of the British armies in the American Revolution, the conduct of the French in Spain, of the Russians in Germany, or the Austrians in


Hungary, with that of the American army under Scott, in the valley of Mexico. The difference is most striking. From the commencement, Scott protected, with the same care as he would have done in the United States, the persons, property, religion, houses, and business of Mexican citizens. No outrage, and no encroachment of any sort, was made on the rights of the citizens. Entering the city after the most bloody battles and the most obstinate resistance, it was according to the usages of war that a very heavy contribution should be exacted from the city; yet what he really demanded was a mere trifle. And to whom did that go? Was it divided as plunder among officers and men? Not a dollar. It was appropriated first to the comfort of the sick and wounded, and then to found an asylum for invalids! In every step of his progress, the American commander seems to have thought his office was as much that of a priest offering sacrifices on the altar of humanity, as that of a soldier winning laurels in the field. So was his energy and ardor tempered by humanity.

He was "authoritative, and yet obedient." This, too, is, in the measure possessed by him, an unusual mixture. It is difficult to find eminent military commanders, used to the "habit of command," who have not become arbitrary; and it is difficult to find one who has become arbitrary, who is ready to yield a cheerful and willing obedience to others in authority. Yet has Scott manifested this quality in all cases, and under trying circumstances. When, after years of argument, in relation to brevet rank, and when he firmly believed himself right, the President decided against him, he still remained in the army, and took the position assigned him, at the expense of injured


feelings. When, at the end of a series of unexampled victories, he received the unexpected and extraordinary degradation of being summoned to answer his inferiors before a court of inquiry, he silently delivered up his command, and appeared to answer at the tribunal the President had chosen to constitute. Indeed, through forty years of service, he never once came into collision with any of the civil authorities, or transgressed in any way the laws of his country. Of how many other military commanders can that be said?

When we closed our first account of the life of General Scott, we left him in the midst of peaceful occupations. The army was on the peaceful establishment. There was little for him to do, except to read the reports of subordinates, and devise schemes for the improvement of his soldiers. It was only two years after that the war with Mexico broke out, and added a new series of events to his already remarkable career. He then wore greenly and freshly the laurels acquired at Queenstown, at Chippewa, and Niagara. He was remembered as one who had brought peace to the Maine frontier, had quieted the border troubles with Canada, had made the removal of the Cherokees seem an act of humanity, who had nursed the sick in hospitals, and had now become a veteran in service. But the SECOND CONQUEST OF MEXICO comes to add other laurels to those which cluster round the brows of the hero of Niagara. If the victories of Taylor on the Rio Grande surprised and delighted this country, those from the castle of San Juan to the city of Mexico astonished the world. Europe marvels at the result, and America has scarcely waked from what seems the dream of victory and the illusions of conquest. Time is required


to do justice to the actors in these events — to separate the evil from the good — the dross from the gold — the vain from the real. Then, when history assumes the office of judgment, and a calm philosophy governs the intellect, men and events will take their proper place, and a righteous spirit direct the verdict of posterity.



General Orders — No. 287.

THE following ORDER was issued by General Scott; immediately after the capture of Mexico, and is the highest evidence of his legal as well as administrative abilities. Without this order, discipline could not have been maintained in the Army, the inhabitants of Mexico could not have been conciliated, and consequently the campaign would have failed; for the sole object of the campaign was to make peace. General Scott was bred a lawyer, and the reader will see that this order is drawn up with an accurate knowledge of the principles bearing upon the case, and the best means of administering justice, where the Civil Law cannot be appealed to. It is one of the best legal documents ever issued by any functionary of the Executive Government.



The General-in-Chief republishes, with important additions, his General Orders, No. 20, of February 19, 1847 (declaring MARTIAL LAW), to govern all who may be concerned.

1. It is still to be apprehended that many grave offences not provided for in the Act of Congress "establishing Rules and Articles for the government of the Armies of the United States,"


approved April 10, 1806, may be again committed — by, or upon, individuals of those armies in Mexico, pending the existing war between the two Republics. Allusion is here made to offences, any one of which, if committed within the United States or their organized territories, would of course be tried and severely punished by the ordinary or civil courts of the land.

2. Assassination, murder, poisoning, rape, or the attempt to commit either; malicious stabbing or maiming; malicious assault and battery; robbery; theft; the wanton desecration of churches, cemeteries, or other religious edifices and fixtures; the interruption of religious ceremonies, and the destruction, except by order of a superior officer, of public or private property, are such offences.

3. The good of the service, the honor of the United States, and the interests of humanity, imperiously demand that every crime, enumerated above, should be severely punished.

4. But the written code, as above, commonly called the Rules and Articles of War, does not provide for the punishment of any one of those crimes, even when committed by individuals of the Army upon the persons or property of other individuals of the same, except in the very restricted case in the 9th of those Articles; nor for like outrages, committed by the same class of individuals, upon the persons or property of a hostile country, except very partially, in the 51st, 52d, and 55th Articles; and the same code is absolutely silent as to all injuries which may be inflicted upon individuals of the Army, or their property, against the laws of war, by individuals of a hostile country.

5. It is evident that the 99th Article, independent of any restriction in the 87th, is wholly nugatory in reaching any one of those high crimes.

6. For all the offences, therefore, enumerated in the second paragraph above, which may be committed abroad, in, by, or upon the Army, a supplemental code is absolutely needed.

7. That unwritten code is Martial Law, as an addition to the written military code, prescribed by Congress in the Rules and Articles of War, and which unwritten code, all armies, in hostile countries, are forced to adopt — not only for their own safety, but


for the protection of the unoffending inhabitants and their property, about the theatres of military operations, against injuries on the part of the Army, contrary to the laws of war.

8. From the same supreme necessity, martial law is hereby declared as a supplemental code in, and about, all cities, towns, camps, posts, hospitals, and other places which may be occupied by any part of the forces of the United States in Mexico, and in, and about, all columns, escorts, convoys, guards, and detachments of the said forces, while engaged in prosecuting the existing war in and against the said Republic, and while remaining within the same.

9. Accordingly, every crime, enumerated in paragraph No. 2, above, whether committed — 1. By any inhabitant of Mexico, sojourner or traveller therein, upon the person or property of any individual of the United States forces, retainer, or follower of the same; 2. By any individual of the said forces, retainer or follower of the same, upon the person or property of any inhabitant of Mexico, sojourner or traveller therein; or, 3. By any individual of the said forces, retainer or follower of the same, upon the person or property of any other individual of the said forces, retainer or follower of the same — shall be duly tried and punished under the said supplemental code.

10. For this purpose it is ordered, that all offenders, in the matters aforesaid, shall be promptly seized, confined, and reported for trial, before Military Commissions, to be duly appointed as follows:

11. Every military commission, under this order, will be appointed, governed, and limited, as nearly as practicable, as prescribed by the 65th, 66th, 67th, and 97th of the said Rules and Articles of War, and the proceedings of such commissions will be duly recorded, in writing, reviewed, revised, disapproved or approved, and the sentences executed — all, as near as may be, as in the cases of the proceedings and sentences of courts-martial; provided, that no military commission shall try any case clearly cognizable by any court-martial; and provided, also, that no sentence of a military commission shall be put in execution against any individual belonging to this Army, which may not be, according to the nature and degree of the


offence, as established by evidence, in conformity with known punishments, in like cases, in some one of the States of the United States of America.

12. The sale, waste, or loss of ammunition, horses, arms, clothing, or accoutrements, by soldiers, is punishable under the 37th and 38th Articles of War. Any Mexican, or resident or traveller in Mexico, who shall purchase of any American soldier, either horse, equipments, arms, ammunition, accoutrements, or clothing, shall be tried and severely punished, by a military commission, as above.

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, 1. In cases to which an officer, soldier, agent, servant, or follower of the American Army may be a party; and 2. In political cases — that is, prosecutions against other individuals on the allegations that they have given friendly information, aid, or assistance to the American forces.

14. For the ease 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 the 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 $150,000 is imposed on this capital, to be paid in four weekly installments of thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($37,500) each, beginning on Monday next, the 20th instant, and terminating on Monday, the 11th of October.

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 ($90,000) to the purchase of blankets and shoes for gratuitous distribution among the rank and file of the Army, and forty thousand dollars ($40,000) reserved for other necessary military purposes.

19. This Order will be read at the head of every company of the United States forces serving in Mexico, and translated into Spanish for the information of Mexicans.

By command of Major-General Scott.
A. A. A. G.

Resolutions Complimentary to General Scott, and His Army in Mexico.

At the Annual Town Meeting of the Borough of Elizabeth, in the State of New Jersey, April 12th, 1847.

After the organization of the meeting, Charles King, Esq., offered the following resolutions, which were unanimously and enthusiastically adopted, viz.:

Resolved, That this meeting has heard with pride, as Americans, intelligence of the unconditional surrender of the City of Vera Cruz, and of the powerful Castle of San Juan de Ulloa, to the army of the United States, led by Major-General Winfield Scott, after 48 hours of open trenches.

Resolved, That this victory, so decisive in its character, by the capture of the whole army of the enemy, including five generals, sixty superior officers, and two hundred and seventy-two company officers — and by the command which it opens to us of the road to the capital of Mexico, is the more precious in our eye, that it was achieved at a comparatively bloodless cost to our force.


Resolved, That the skill of the approaches, the foresight in providing adequate means, and the combined humanity and wisdom of only striking the blow at the moment when all was ready, and a force was present so imposing as to render resistance hopeless, we recognize with pride the qualities of the great commander; and that in this commander we are happy to claim an honored townsman, the admirable qualities of whose life we have had the opportunity through long years of appreciating, and whom on this occasion, when he has again so signally illustrated the military annals of our common country, we seek to honor as friends and neighbors, not less than Americans.

Resolved, That while rejoicing with the joy of friends in the preservation of the large part of our army from the dangers of war, and especially of those of our own townsmen who are among the gallant officers with Gen. Scott — we mourn the loss of the slain with a grief not unmingled with satisfaction, that they fell in the discharge of duty, and in the arms of victory.

(Signed,) JAMES F. MECKER, Moderator.
(Signed,) M. W. HALSEY, Clerk.

State of New Jersey.

Resolved (Senate concurring), That the thanks of this Legislature are presented to Major-General Winfield Scott, and the brave army under his command, for their brilliant achievements and admirable campaign from the landing at Vera Cruz, to the capture of the City of Mexico.

Resolved, That the Governor of this State be requested to transmit a copy of the foregoing resolution to Major-General Scott, in Mexico.

Passed, Feb'y 24, 1848.

State of New Jersey.

I, Charles G. McChesney, Secretary of State, of the [SEAL.] State of New Jersey, do hereby certify the foregoing is a true copy of concurrent resolutions passed by the Legislature of said State, February 24th, 1848, as taken from, and compared with the original on file in my office.


In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal of Office at Trenton, this twenty-eighth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.

Sec'y of State.


Resolutions complimentary to Major-General Winfield Scott, and the Officers and Soldiers under his command.

1. Resolved, by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That Major-General Winfield Scott, by a series of glorious victories unparalleled in the history of war, commencing with the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa, and terminating with the capture of the Capital of the Mexican Republic, by which he has attracted to himself and his army the admiration of the world, has entitled himself to the thanks and gratitude of the people of Kentucky, which are hereby tendered, and cordially given.

2. Resolved, That the people of Kentucky look with pride and exultation upon the patriotic ardor and steady valor of the officers and soldiers, volunteers and regular, who have given world-wide renown to our national prowess by the various successful, uninterrupted, and glorious battles, from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico.

3. Resolved, That the Governor be, and he is hereby requested to convey a copy of the foregoing resolutions to Major-General Scott, with the request that he communicate the same to the army.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(Signed,) ARCH'D DIXON,
Speaker of the Senate.

Approved, February 18, 1848.
(Signed,) WM. OWSLEY.

By the Governor:
(Signed,) W. D. REED,
Secretary of State.


United States Congress.

[No. 2.]

Joint Resolution expressive of the Thanks of Congress to Major General Winfield Scott, and the Troops under his command, for their distinguished Gallantry and good Conduct in the Campaign of eighteen hundred and forty-seven.

Resolved, unanimously, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United Stales of America, in Congress assembled. That the thanks of Congress be, and they are hereby, presented to Winfield Scott, major-general, commanding in Chief the army in Mexico, and through him, to the officers and men of the regular and volunteer corps under him, for their uniform gallantry and good conduct, conspicuously displayed at the siege and capture of the City of Vera Cruz and castle of San Juan de Ulloa, March twenty-ninth, eighteen hundred and forty-seven; and in the successive battles of Cerro Gordo, April eighteenth; Contreras, San Antonio, and Churubusco, August nineteenth and twentieth; and for the victories achieved in front of the City of Mexico, September eighth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth, and the capture of the metropolis, September fourteenth, eighteen hundred and forty-seven, in which the Mexican troops, greatly superior in numbers, and with every advantage of position, were in every conflict, signally defeated by the American arms.

SEC. 2. Resolved, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, requested to cause to be struck a gold medal, with devices emblematical of the series of brilliant victories achieved by the army, and presented to Major-General Winfield Scott, as a testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his valor, skill, and judicious conduct in the memorable campaign of eighteen hundred and forty-seven.

SEC. 3. Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to cause the foregoing resolutions to be communicated to Major-General Scott, in such terms as he may deem best calculated to give effect to the objects thereof.

Approved, March 9, 1848.

Mayoralty of New Orleans.

April 20th, 1848.

The agreeable duty has devolved on me, in compliance with resolutions of the Municipal Councils, to tender to you, on behalf of your fellow-citizens, the people of New Orleans, the hospitalities


of the city, and to invite you, during your sojourn with us, to become the City's Guest.

In communicating to you this evidence of the high regard and affection with which you are held by the people of this city, I shall forbear to dilate on the great and brilliant services rendered by you in the campaign of Mexico, by which you have added so much to the glory and renown of our country. They are indelibly impressed on the hearts of your countrymen.

Permit me to add, that I entertain in common with my fellow citizens, those sentiments of admiration and regard which have prompted this welcome on your return to your country.

I have the honor to be, with
Distinguished consideration,
Your friend and fellow-citizen,
(Signed,) A. D. CROSSMAN, Mayor.


State of Louisiana.

In the presence of a few friends of the parties, the presentation of the sword to General Scott, voted by the State of Louisiana, took place last Saturday, when Col. Stewart spoke as follows:

GENERAL SCOTT: My colleague, Colonel Winthrop, and myself, have been charged by the Governor of Louisiana, to deliver to you this sword and this letter:

The sword is "Presented by the people of the State of Louisiana, to Gen. Winfield Scott, for his gallantry and generalship exhibited at the siege of Vera Cruz, in the battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and to his final entry into the City of Mexico."

The letter of the Governor of Louisiana is as follows:

New Orleans, June 28, 1848


In accordance with your request, the sword voted to you by the Legislature of the State of Louisiana, will be presented at Washington. On this agreeable duty, I have designated from my staff, my friends Colonels Winthrop and Stewart, who in a laudable spirit have kindly consented to represent my wishes on the occasion.


In addition to this proof of grateful appreciation for distinguished services rendered by you at the siege of Vera Cruz, and the battle of Cerro Gordo, the people of this State anticipated, with no ordinary emotion, the proud privilege of testifying to you in person, the high sense they entertain of the consummate skill and masterly conduct which, covering our arms with undying glory, have identified forever with the brightest page of American history the fame of the brilliant conquests achieved under your eye and command in the valley of Mexico. But disappointed by circumstances, the force of which is admitted, they still cherish a lively hope, that at no distant future, they will be afforded an opportunity of canceling, in some degree, this reserved debt of gratitude, which I, in their behalf, am, at this time, only permitted to acknowledge

With sincere wishes for your health and happiness, I am, General, with profound respect

Your most obedient servant,


Permit us to add, General, that the people of Louisiana have not been insensible, could not be insensible, to the great services you have rendered our common country. A public vote of thanks on the part of the Legislature of the State, expressive of the universal feeling of the people, has already been communicated to you. This sword, on which are inscribed the words — glorious, as well as memorable from association and in sentiment — Mexico Capta, and this letter which we now deliver, are additional, though slight testimonials on the part of the people and authorities of the State, of their admiration for one who has planned and conducted that splendid series of occurrences in the march to Mexico, the mere reference to which excites, and must forever excite, a deep and thrilling sensation of exultation and gratitude in every American heart.

This agreeable mission is performed by my colleague and myself through circumstances alone. The duty would have been more appropriately, as well as more satisfactorily accomplished by our eloquent and patriotic Governor, if, when returning, General, to your native land, from the scenes of your glory, you had stood upon the soil of Louisiana, in the midst of a people who have always felt the keenest sympathy for those who have gone forth to fight the battles of their country on foreign ground, in vindication of its honor and its interests — a people who would have extended to you an enthusiastic welcome, and with whom you would have been an honored public guest.


To this address Gen. Scott made the subjoined brief and appropriate reply:

COLONEL: In accepting from your hands this beautiful sword, tendered me by the people of Louisiana, I cannot fail to express my sensibility of the kind terms in which you have prefaced the presentation of the letter of the Governor of Louisiana, which you have had the goodness to bear to me. I would not fail to express to you my thanks for the trouble you have taken in seeking me, even in my sick-room, to present a testimonial from the people of Louisiana, which could not fail to bring joy to the heart of a soldier

Sir, I yet hope to visit Louisiana and bear with me this sword, which her patriotic citizens may be assured, will never be drawn but in defense of my country

Nothing could have afforded me more pleasure than to have landed from Mexico on the soil of Louisiana. There I can number many personal acquaintances, and even friends: among whom I count with pleasure the Governor of your State

But my principal regret that circumstances did not allow me, upon leaving Mexico, to visit Louisiana and its capital, arises from the glorious feeling displayed by that patriotic people, in every stage of the war, towards my comrades in arms

If the United States had deputed Louisiana to discharge the hospitalities of the whole nation, the warm-hearted and generous conduct which she has already displayed, could not have been surpassed. She has relieved our sick, comforted our wounded, extended the right hand of fellowship to all; and, when the part of the good Samaritan was not needed, showered down honors and distinctions which will always endear her to the soldiers of Mexico

I again thank you, Colonel, for the trouble you have taken in my behalf, and feel honored by the zeal and kindness you have displayed in the discharge of your mission, and am particularly gratified to receive through your hands, so honored a testimonial from the people of Louisiana.

New York City.

[Doc. No. 62.]

New York, May 15th, 1848.
To the Honorable the Common Council:

GENTLEMEN: Information has been communicated to me that Major-General Winfield Scott embarked on the 30th ult. for this port, and he may, therefore, be daily expected.

In view of the great and important services rendered to our


country by this distinguished commander, during the recent campaign in Mexico, I deem it my duty to make this communication, and to submit the propriety of receiving him in a manner commensurate with a proper appreciation of his gallant achievements, and those of his companions in arms.

(Signed,) W. F. HAVEMEYER, Mayor.

Whereupon the following preamble and resolution were submitted by Alderman Crolius, in relation thereto:

Whereas, Information has been received that Major-General Winfield Scott, of the United States Army, has taken passage from Vera Cruz to this port; and

Whereas, The citizens of New York would gladly welcome the hero who, from Lundy's Lane to the City of the Montezumas, has covered the flag of his country with imperishable honor, winning for himself a fame which will perish only when a grateful country shall cease to exist; an

Whereas, It is proper that the gallant soldier should be received in a manner commensurate with his own merits, and the estimation in which we, as American citizens, hold his faithful, arduous, and valuable services in the late campaign in Mexico, through which he has passed so gloriously; therefore

Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to make suitable arrangements for the reception of General Scott, and to tender to him, on his arrival, the hospitalities of the City.

The same were unanimously adopted by the Board of Aldermen.

And Aldermen Crolius, Maynard, Hatfield, Smith, and Gray were appointed such Committee on the part thereof.


Was a most auspicious one. The sun shone from a sky unobscured with a single cloud, and long before the hour fixed for the arrival, the several streets through which the procession was to pass, were filled with a dense crowd of citizens and strangers, eager to behold, and to receive with shouts of welcome, the gallant Hero on his return from the scenes of his brilliant triumphs in Mexico.

During the day cannon were fired from the Battery and other places, the national flag floated from the City Hall, and from the several public buildings in the City, while colors and streamers waved from the numerous shipping in the port.

The steamboat "St. Nicholas," which was generously tendered for the occasion by Isaac Newton, Esq., was at Castle Garden pier at the appointed hour, gayly decked with flags, and the Common Council, with their invited guests, among whom were the Governor


of the State, Senators and Representatives in Congress, Officers of the Army and Navy, Foreign Consuls, ex-Mayors of the City, members of the State Senate and Assembly, Heads of Departments of the City Government, principal officers of the General Government in the City, and a number of other distinguished citizens and strangers, having proceeded on board, she shoved off, and was soon on her way for Elizabethport.

Passing down the harbor, to and through the Kills, the boat reached Elizabethport at about 12 o'clock, M., and came to the wharf under a salute fired from a field-piece on board, furnished by Commissary-General Stewart, of the City Arsenal.

Immediately after arriving, the General was seen approaching towards the wharf, escorted by the Mayor and Corporation of Elizabethtown, together with a large concourse of the citizens of the place.

Arriving at the wharf, he was received by the Committee of Arrangements, to whom he was presented by Mayor Sanderson, of Elizabethtown, who delivered on the occasion the following


MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMON COUNCIL OF NEW YORK: On behalf of the corporate authorities and people of the Borough of Elizabeth, I have the pleasure of committing to your charge our most eminent and distinguished citizen, General Winfield Scott.

We rejoice with the joy of friends in every manifestation of respect and gratitude towards one for whom, over and above the estimate which, in common with the whole nation, we put upon the unsurpassed brilliancy of his public services, we, as neighbors, townsmen, and friends, entertain the warmest feelings of personal attachment.

Take him with you, gentlemen, to your metropolis, present him to your fellow-citizens, honor him as you know how to honor a well-deserving patriot and soldier, well assured that every cheer which within your confines shall greet our townsman, and your honored guest, will find an echo in the hearts of Americans everywhere, and tend more and more to cement a feeling of common pride in, and attachment to our common country, and its great and heroic names — a feeling which is at once the bond and strength of the glorious union that makes us one people.

Mr. President and gentlemen, I present to you General Winfield Scott.

The cheering which succeeded this address having subsided, the General was escorted to the forward deck of the boat by


Aldermen Crolius, Schultz, and Smith, where he was presented to Morris Franklin, Esq., President of the Board of Aldermen, amid the continued huzzas of those assembled on board.

Mr. Franklin addressed the General in behalf of the Common Council, as follows:

GENERAL SCOTT: Among the many duties which devolve upon the Common Council of our City, there are none which commend themselves more strongly to our feelings than that of extending the rights of hospitality to distinguished strangers, and assuring them of a sincere and cordial welcome. Under the influence of such feelings, and animated by the approving voice of our united population, we tender to you a cordial invitation to become the guest of our City, and assure you of our hearty congratulations, that, after the perils and dangers to which you have been exposed, you are permitted again to mingle with your fellow-citizens in the enjoyment of that social intercourse which the life of a soldier so peculiarly qualifies him to appreciate and enjoy

In contemplating the thrilling events which have characterized your history, we find so much to excite our admiration, and to call into action the patriotic emotions of the heart, that we feel proud, as American citizens, that among the many illustrious names which now are, or may hereafter be emblazoned upon the escutcheons of our country, yours will appear in bold relief, as among her noblest and most honored sons; for whether upon the plains of Chippewa, or Lundy's Lane — whether at the sortie of Fort Erie, or on the heights of Queenstown — whether the landing on the shores of Vera Cruz, or bravely contending at the pass of Cerro Gordo — whether entering in triumph the capital of Mexico, and there planting the American standard upon its battlements — whether in the warrior's tent, at the solemn hour of midnight, arranging the operations of the coming day, while your faithful soldiers were slumbering around you, dreaming of their friends and their homes — or whether attending upon the wounded, the dying, and the dead, regardless of yourself in your anxiety for others — we find all those characteristics which mark the true dignity of man, and bespeak the accomplished and victorious chieftain.

Under circumstances such as these, and fresh from the well-fought battle-fields of our country, we now welcome you within our midst, as one worthy to receive and forever wear that victorious wreath which the American people have entwined to decorate and adorn your brow; and we cannot omit upon this occasion to bear our testimony to the valor, bravery, and skill displayed by that noble band of our adopted fellow-citizens, who, side by side with the natives of our soil, stood bravely by the common standard of our country, or foil nobly struggling in its defense. Peace to the ashes of those


who thus sacrificed their lives, for they died as brave men love to die, fighting the battles of their country, and expiring in the very arms of victory.

To you, sir, who have been so long familiar with the exciting scenes of a military life, tame indeed will be the reception which we can offer upon your visit to our commercial City, for there no foreign army awaits your coming — no hostile flag waves upon the breeze; but the citizen soldier, and the martial strains of our native music, mingled with the shouts of an assembled multitude, will present to you a welcome as sincere and cordial as the minds of freemen can conceive, or the overflowing of their hearts express; for, although we are a stirring, active people, eager in the pursuit of business and of wealth, yet we can turn aside from the dull routine of daily avocations, to welcome a distinguished stranger, and testify by our actions, that, although republics are said to be ungrateful, in the present day there remains that natural pride and devoted patriotism, which would shrink from withholding the right hand of fellowship from one so intimately identified with our country's glory, and whose life has been devoted to the protection of its honor and its fame.

Far distant be the day when the people of our City shall so far forget their own honor and true dignity of character, as to turn their backs upon the acknowledged bravery of one, the record of whose life will cast a halo of glory around the history of our country, upon which, in future ages, generations yet unborn will love to linger; and as the hoary head of age recounts the battles you have fought, the dangers you have passed, and the victories you have won, the sparkling tear of gratitude will kindle in the youthful eye, and animate his soul to deeds of daring and of valor — for your life, sir, will present to the ambitious soldier an example worthy of imitation, and fresh indeed will be his laurels, if, in the evening of his days, he can look back upon a career as brilliant as that of the conqueror of the capital of Mexico, whose presence we this day hail with acclamations of gratitude, and welcome again with renewed evidences of our confidence, that with such a commander, and with a bold and courageous soldiery, such as those who wept over your departure at Vera Cruz, we may confidently hope that the flag of our country will remain untarnished, and whether upon the ocean or the land, at home or abroad, the stars of that flag will illumine the path of freedom throughout the world, and the terror of its stripes drive oppression from its standard.

We hail you, then, most gallant General, as the honored guest of our City, and desire that you may feel and realize that you are surrounded by a grateful and confiding people, and who are as anxious to render this visit as pleasant and agreeable to yourself, as it will be gratifying to those by whose authority the invitation has been extended.


This address was received with the most enthusiastic huzzas, portraying the depth of feeling which animated those present for the brave and gallant hero.

General Scott made the following reply

MR. PRESIDENT; GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMON COUNCIL OF NEW YORK, AND FELLOW-CITIZENS GENERALLY: Designing to spend quietly a few days in this neighborhood, I have, on your kind demand, come forth from retirement, to surrender myself a prisoner into the hands of my friends. The grand City of New York, already the emporium of our hemisphere, and destined to become the emporium of both — having determined, through her authorities, to do honor to a public servant of our country — true to her own greatness, without measuring his little merit, performs that generous office in a manner worthy of herself and of the United States.

If I had looked to considerations merely personal, I should have declined the high distinction tendered me; but I knew I was to be received by you as the representative of that victorious army it was so lately my good fortune to command — an army that has carried the glory of American arms to a height that has won universal admiration, and the gratitude of all hearts at home.

A very large portion of the rank and file of that army, regulars and volunteers, went forth from the City of New York, to conquer or to die. It was my happy lot to witness their invincible valor and prowess. All dangers, difficulties, and hardships, were met and conquered.

You have been pleased, sir, to allude to our adopted citizens. I can say that the Irish, the Germans, the Swiss, the French, the Britons, and other adopted citizens, fought in the same ranks, under the same colors, side by side with native-born Americans — exhibiting like courage and efficiency, and uniting at every victory in the same enthusiastic shouts in honor of our flag and country. From Vera Cruz to the capital of Mexico, there was one generous rivalry in heroic daring and brilliant achievement. Let those who witnessed that career of valor and patriotism, say, if they can, what race, according to numbers, contributed most to the general success and glory of the campaign. On the many hard-fought battle-fields there was no room for invidious distinction — all proved themselves the faithful sons of our beloved country, and no spectator could fail to dismiss any lingering prejudice he might have entertained as to the comparative merits of Americans by birth and Americans by adoption. As the honored representative of all, I return among you, to bear testimony in favor of my fellow-soldiers in the field — the army of Mexico — and I congratulate you and them, that the common object of their efforts, and of your hopes, the restoration of peace, is in all probability now attained.


Virginia: A Medal to General Scott.

The State of Virginia has recently voted a medal to General Scott, of which we find the following description in the Richmond Enquirer

"This beautiful memorial of Virginia's munificent gratitude, is at the same time one of the most exquisite specimens of American art that, we have ever seen. The medal is three and a half inches in diameter, five-sixteenths of an inch thick, and is of course very massive and rich. On one side is an admirable, life-like bust of the General, with the words ‘Winfield Scott’ in capitals above. The bust stands upon an oblong pedestal — flanked by two noble eagles, sprigs of laurel and oak touching their wings; a number of flags (two Mexican banners among them), guns, pikes, mortars, and field-pieces, forming an appropriate background. On the pedestal is the following inscription: ‘The Commonwealth of Virginia presents this medal to Major-General Winfield Scott, as a memorial of her admiration for the great and distinguished services of her son, whilst commander-in-chief of the American armies in the war with Mexico, 1847.’

"On the reverse side, in the centre, stands a beautiful fluted column, with ‘1812’ on the base and ‘1848’ on the capital. A spread eagle, holding an olive-branch in its mouth, is on its top — and the column is entwined with leaves of laurel, inscribed with the words ‘Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, Del Rey, Chapultepec, Mexico.’ Above the column are the words ‘Fecit Quod Cogitavit;’ below, ‘From Virginia,’ and an escutcheon with the coat of arms of the State. In the background are the principal buildings in or near the city of Mexico, the Castle of San Juan (as we take it), with the peculiar and strikingly peeked mountains, batteries at work, &c. — the whole encircled by a very rich wreath of laurel and oak intertwined. The medal is one of great beauty and magnificence, and does great credit to the exquisite skill and taste of Mr. C. C. Wright, an old soldier under General Scott, and now of New York."

We learn that a committee of presentation, appointed by the Governor of Virginia, consisting of Messrs. Burwell, Aylett, Beirne, Carrington, and Barbour, have arrived in this city, and that the medal will be presented on Saturday next, at eleven o'clock, A. M. Notice of the place of presentation will hereafter be given.

[The above is taken from the Washington Republic, of Jan. 24, 1851.]


Presentation of the Medal to General Scott.

On Saturday last, Jan. 25, 1851, at the City Hall, in the presence of a large assemblage of persons, among whom we recognized the Hon. C. M. CONRAD, Secretary of War, the Hon. LEWIS CASS, and other distinguished citizens, and several officers of the army, the medal of Virginia was presented to Major-General WINFIELD SCOTT, by the hand of W. M. BURWELL, Esq., Chairman of the Committee of the Virginia Legislature.

Mr. BURWELL addressed the General in the following words

GENERAL: The distinguished services which you have rendered the Republic have received the gratitude of your countrymen and the admiration of the world.

Intrusted with the organization and command of an army of invasion, we have seen the debarkation of your troops — the investment of a fortified city — the approaches — the siege — the capitulation and surrender succeed each other with the regularity and precision of a programme of conquest. On the march of invasion, you have demonstrated unbounded resource and consummate military skill; whilst the enthusiastic obedience of your soldiers has evinced an implicit confidence in their commander. With an army numerically unequal to that which opposed it, you have penetrated a country in which every mountain was a rampart, and every defile a ditch fortified by military skill, and defended with patriotic desperation. The progress of your arms was traced in toil and blood; and, emerging from a terrible and protracted struggle, amid deeds of exalted heroism, you have planted the banner of your country upon the citadel of her foe.

You rested from the conflict to achieve the higher glory of moderation in the hour of conquest. You granted to a prostrate nation terms in which triumph was tempered with mercy, and the interests of your country made to accord with the dictates of your heart. You have subjected by your valor the proudest and the most ancient city of the continent — a city first conquered by a race long rival to your own; but the scroll of your renown will be unstained by the blood of a people tortured for gain, or scourged at the command of a merciless superstition.

The story of your conquest will revive with its brilliant successes the memories of the past; the lover of chivalrous adventure will read with enthusiasm the prodigies of American valor which it records, whilst the plan, progress, and consummation of your campaign, detailed in your dispatches, will be studied with instruction by the strategist and the statesman.

General, your fame will be eternal, for it is entwined with the honor of your country; it is universal, for it has received the applause of the civilized world.


Yet, to those who know your heart, that fame would be incomplete without the approbation of the State that gave you birth. The maternal approval of Virginia will commend to your heart the acquisitions of your genius. You will appreciate her sincerity, for she has never spoken the language of adulation; and treasure her affection, for she has never forgotten her sons.

We are here in the name and with the voice of Virginia, to confirm the honors which others have bestowed. She does not, like the republics of the past, welcome you with a triumphal train. Bound captives weep not at your prowess — nor does the tribute gold of ravaged cities insult your countrymen by appealing to their cupidity — no votive victims heap the altar to ask of the gods their approval of your actions — nor does the gilded arch or the imperial title lure you to forfeit, for an empty fame, the solid honors which you have won so well, and worn so nobly.

But recognizing in your matured renown the confirmation of your earlier promise, Virginia regards with pride the added evidences of her capacity to contribute to the Republic the services of the hero and the sage, nor deems it evidence that this capacity is exhausted because she has in your person united the attributes of both.

General! Virginia bids us offer you this gift. Its sculptured surface bears faint impress of the scenes of your glory. Its motto is significant of your sagacity and of your success. It is a gift inadequate to express your worth or her affection. But the gift embodies and embalms the emotions with which she regards your virtues and your deeds. Receive this medal, and preserve it, as the gift of a devoted mother to a cherished and illustrious son.

During the delivery of this address, General SCOTT repeatedly bowed in acknowledgment of the encomiums conferred upon him, and at its conclusion replied

GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: It was an apothegm of Pericles, that where the highest rewards are given to public virtue, there the best of patriots will ever be found.

This maxim of more than one ancient republic may also be claimed by my native State, the honored Commonwealth of Virginia. Indeed, her loyalty to our glorious Union has, from the first, been most conspicuous in the honors she has ever been prompt to bestow upon all her sons who have devoted themselves to the service of our common country — the United States of America, I, one of those sons, and who never directly held trust or commission from her, have, in pursuance of her generous policy, to stimulate by rewards, a second time, with a third of a century between, been made the object of her distinguished partiality. At the end of the second war with Great Britain, Virginia, besides giving my name to


a county, presented me with a splendid sword of honor, which I often wear with pride, and shall transmit with my affections.

If "sweet are the uses of adversity" — and I have experienced those trials and persecutions to which all public men are subject — so may prosperity, even the glory of this moment, teach a lesson of humility. This beautiful object of art, with its most complimentary device and inscription — the audience that honors the occasion, and the eloquent but flattering address delivered in the name and in behalf of a great Commonwealth, certainly look like fame, and make it impossible for me to say that, in respect to distinction, I have lived wholly in vain; but when I contrast my career with the fond aspirations of youth — springing from the study of the great examples of virtue and usefulness in ancient and modern history, including the history of America; I am made humble by the sense of my own mediocrity.

Gentlemen of the Committee, I most gratefully accept this medal as a mark of the continued approbation of my native State. It will serve daily to remind me and my posterity that, with a God to worship, each has also a country to love, to honor, and to obey.

Correspondence Upon the Return of General Scott from Mexico.

WE append the following correspondence, as forming a part of the record of what transpired immediately on the return of General Scott from Mexico.

William E. Robinson.

WASHINGTON, MAY 8th, 1848.


Your distinguished services in two wars, and your no less distinguished services during the long intervening period of prosperous peace, have deservedly won for you the love and admiration of your countrymen. A large portion of your fellow-citizens, who yield to none in their admiration of your bravery and humanity in war, as well as of your patriotism and prudence in peace, have been told that you favor the principles of the so-called "Native" party. From an extensive correspondence and acquaintance with citizens of this class, I learn that many feel grieved that such principles should be attributed to you.

Did they know you, as I do, they would see that great injustice is done you. I know your kind and liberal views towards the naturalized citizens. I remember the grateful emotions of my heart


when I first read the account of your rescuing from British power and British prisons twenty-two of my countrymen, made prisoners of war while fighting under the American flag. You, sir, was the first to assert and maintain the perfect equality of adopted and native citizens. In your recent campaign in Mexico, I hope you have found additional motives for recognizing that equality, and that all the adopted citizens vied with each other in braving danger whereever you commanded.

Not for myself, therefore, but for the satisfaction of others, do I respectfully ask you to say whether, after witnessing such fidelity to the flag of their adopted country, by soldiers of foreign birth, you are for adding new restrictions to the present system of naturalization; or whether you are in favor of having the privileges, now enjoyed under the Constitution and laws of the country, fairly expounded and faithfully executed, secured to such persona of foreign birth as may wish to become citizens of the United States?

I have the honor to be,
Sincerely yours,

Major-General Winfield Scott.


WASHINGTON, May 29, 1848.


In reply to your kind letter of the 8th instant, I take pleasure in saying that, grateful for the too partial estimate you place on my public services, you do me no more than justice in assuming that I entertain "kind and liberal views towards our naturalized citizens." Certainly it would be impossible for me to recommend or support any measure intended to exclude them from a just and full participation in all civil and political rights now secured to them by our republican laws and institutions.

It is true, that in a season of unusual excitement, some years ago, when both parties complained of fraudulent practices in the naturalization of foreigners, and when there seemed to be danger that native and adopted citizens would be permanently arrayed


against each other in hostile factions, I was inclined to concur in the opinion, then avowed by many leading statesmen, that some modification of the naturalization laws might be necessary in order to prevent abuses, allay strife, and restore harmony between the different classes of our people. But later experience and reflection have entirely removed this impression, and dissipated my apprehensions.

In my recent campaign in Mexico, a very large proportion of the men under my command were your countrymen (Irish), Germans, &c., &c. I witnessed with admiration their zeal, fidelity, and valor in maintaining our flag in the face of every danger. Vieing with each other and our native-born soldiers in the same ranks in patriotism, constancy, and heroic daring, I was happy to call them brothers in the field, as I shall always be to salute them as countrymen at home.

I remain, dear Sir, with great esteem,
Yours truly,

Wm. E. Robinson, Esq.


Whig National Convention.

THE Whig National Convention assembled at Baltimore on the 16th of June, 1852, nominated WINFIELD SCOTT to be supported by the Whig electors as their candidate for President of the United States.

The illustrious statesman, DANIEL WEBSTER, and the model President, MILLARD FILLMORE, were also candidates for nomination before the Convention. When the choice fell on WINFIELD SCOTT, the delegation from each State rose in succession and pledged a warm and cordial support. The nomination was declared to be unanimous, and was received with bursts of enthusiasm.

The telegraphic wires carried the joyful news to all sections of the country. It was everywhere received with demonstrations of joy: bonfires, national salutes, public meetings, raising of flags, ringing of bells, all testified how firmly the admiration and love of the patriot soldier is seated in the hearts of the American people.

The old general, who has fought many battles and never known defeat, who has endured the hardships and toils of two wars, has been drawn from his retirement by the call of his fellow-citizens, and now appears on the political field to gather new laurels, and make a


final dedication of all that remains of life to the service of his country.

He has heard, undismayed, the roar of cannon amid the strife of battle; he has been serene when the fate of armies and the honor of his country were suspended on his judgment and decisions; he has been struck down on the battle-field and pierced by the balls of the enemy — and now the sunken shoulder and the withered limb should be as guardian angels to protect him from the assaults of political partisans. May the genius of freedom, inspired by patriotism, throw her protecting mantle over the old soldier, and carry him in safety through this his last trial; may the tongue of slander for once be paralyzed; may party spirit stand rebuked before the illustrious soldier, now about to receive from the people their choicest meed of approbation.



1. The public debt of the United States was, in 1791, $75,463,467.

2. See Shay's Insurrection in Massachusetts.

3. General Washington's Letter to the Governors of States, June, 1783.

4. The Constitution was formed in 1787, and went into operation on the 4th of March, 1789, six years after the peace.

5. See Washington's Letter to Mr. Jay, dated 30th August, 1794.

6. See Washington's Farewell Address, and other public documents.

7. The appeal of Genet (the French ambassador) from the president to the people, occurred.

8. The British claimed the right of impressment (as a maritime right) during the whole war with France. See Alison's History of Europe, second Edinburgh edition, vol. x. page 600.

9. June 23d, 1807.

10. Mr. Fox declared the coasts of France and Holland, from Brest to the Elbe, blockaded. May 16th, 1806. The Berlin decree was issued by Napoleon, Nov. 21st, 1806. The British Orders in Council were issued Nov. 11th, 1807; their object was to establish a paper blockade, and, under it, to confiscate neutral property.

11. See Alison's History, 82d chapter.

12. See Alison.

13. This is the precise argument of Allison's History of Europe.

14. He was reporter of the debates in the Convention of Virginia, called to consider the adoption of the Federal Constitution; and also of the proceedings on the trial of Aaron Burr.

15. The embargo was enacted in the close of 1807, and the non-intercourse act, 1st of March, 1808.

16. See the 82d chapter of Alison's History.

17. The French confiscated at Antwerp, and many other places, enormous amounts of American property, which was sold for the benefit of the French military chest!

18. The claim amounted to a claim to absolute dominion.

19. Mr. Madison was very averse to war, if it could be avoided.

20. Beyond doubt, the territory acquired by the purchase of Louisiana, will maintain and must soon have one hundred millions of people

21. As this trial and charges may possibly be misunderstood, we have obtained an authenticated abstract of the Record, in regard to the findings and sentence against Captain Scott. On the specifications not quoted, he was fully acquitted.
CHARGE I. — "Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman."
1. Specification. — "In withholding at sundry times men's money placed in his possession for their payment, for the months of September and October."
2. Specification. — (Acquitted.)
CHARGE II. — And Specifications. — (Acquitted.)
CHARGE III. — (Additional.) — "Ungentlemanly and unofficer-like conduct."
1. Specification. — "In saying, between the first of December and the first of January, 1809-10, at a public table, in Washington, (Mississippi Territory,) that he never saw but two traitors, General Wilkinson and Burr, and that General Wilkinson was a liar and a scoundrel."
2. Specification. — (Acquitted.)
Finding and Sentence.
1. "Guilty of the first specification of the first charge, and pronounce his conduct unofficer-like. (Not ungentlemanly.)
2."The court acquit the prisoner of the second charge and specification.
3."The court find the prisoner guilty of the first specification of the additional charge, but not guilty of the second specification; and pronounce his conduct unofficer-like; and sentence him to be suspended from all rank, pay, and emoluments, for the space of twelve months. But the Court have no hesitation in acquitting the prisoner of all fraudulent intentions in detaining the pay of his men. — The Court adjourned.
" * * The court met pursuant to adjournment, and recommended to the general the remission of nine months of Captain Scott's suspension." (Signed,) "H. RUSSELL, Colonel of the 7th infantry, president. " WILLIAM KING, Lieutenant of infantry, judge advocate.

22. Hull was appointed to the command of the northwestern army some time in May.

23. The army was composed of the 4th regiment of infantry, who had borne the brunt of the battle on the field of Tippecanoe; a part of the 1st regiment of infantry; three companies of the 1st artillery; three regiments of volunteers from Ohio, of which two companies were from Cincinnati; and the Michigan militia.

24. See Cass's Letter, dated 10th of September.

25. Mr. Roach has since been mayor of Philadelphia.

26. General Van Rensselaer's Letter, 14th October, 1812.

27. General Van Rensselaer's Report, 14th October, 1812.

28. Idem.

29. Chrystie's Letter, dated 22d of February, 1813.

30. Idem.

31. Idem.

32. Armstrong's Notices of the War.

33. General Van Rensselaer's Letter, 14th October, 1812.

34. Idem.

35. Reinforcements in small detachments continued to arrive in boatloads.

36. Armstrong's Notices of the War.

37. Idem.

38. Hull surrendered on the 15th of August. Brock returned to Niagara on the 25th.

39. Recently of Genesee, and now dead.

40. Now Colonel, and chief of the corps of engineers.

41. Chrystie's Letter, 22d February, 1813.

42. Idem.

43. Since Sir Roger Sheaffe, made a baronet for the events of that day.

44. General Van Rensselaer's Letter to General Dearborn, October 14th, 1812.

45. This was the original error of the expedition. The total number of boats is said in the accounts, to have been but thirteen.

46. See Chrystie's Letter.

47. Idem.

48. The entire force thus surrendered, of these who had been actually fighting, were 139 regulars, and 154 militia, making in all 293.

49. The total loss of the Americans in the battle of Queenstown, was estimated at 1000 men. About 100 were killed, 200 who had laded with Major Mullaney early in the day, were forced by the current of the river on the enemy's shores under his batteries, and were there captured. 293 surrendered with Scott, and the residue were those who had landed, but were not in the battle.

50. Niles's Register, 3d volume, page 170.

51. General Scott is about six feet five inches in height, and of commanding stature.

52. 3d volume Niles's Register, page 170.

53. 3d volume Niles's Register, page 170.

54. Father of the Hon. John McKeon, late a member of Congress from the city of New York.

55. Ne quis invitus civitate mutetur: neve in civitate maneat invitus. Haec sunt enim fundamenta firmissima nostrae libertatis, sui quemque juris et retinendi et dimittendi esse dominum. — Cicero, Oratio pro L. C. Balbo, ch. 13. Quoted by Chancellor Kent, 2 Commentaries.

56. The Court of Appeals in S. Carolina, in a solemn decision on the Ordinance of 1832, declared that an oath to bear "faithful and true allegiance" to the State of S. Carolina, was void, because allegiance was first due to the National Government, and any thing derogating from that was unconstitutional.

57. There have been several cases in the Supreme Court, touching the right of expatriation, but the court has rather tended to sustain the English law. These decisions had, however, nothing to do with the national right of protection to its adopted citizens. The cases in which this matter was discussed are Talbot vs. Janson, 3 Dallas, 133; Isaac Williams, 4th volume Niles' Register, 109; The Santisima Trinidad, 7 Wheaton, 283. In these cases the courts maintained that expatriation could not take place without a bona fide change of residence with an intention to remain. But the question of expatriation itself, they left undecided.

58. 2 Kent's Commentaries, p. 50.

59. Austrian Decree of 1832. See 2 Kent's Commentaries, p. 50, note.

60. Matthew xxviii.

61. U. S. Constitution, art. 1, sec. 8.

62. In 1790, the naturalization laws required two years' residence; in 1795, five; in 1798, fourteen; and in 1802, this period was reduced to five, where it remains.

63. 2 Kent's Commentaries, 66.

64. Scott's command when surrendered, as we have seen, amounted to 139 regulars, and 154 militia.

65. American State Papers, vol. 3, p. 634, as published under an act of Congress.

66. There were, in fact, twenty-three, as stated in the text. Their names are given on the 632d page, vol. 3, of American State Papers. They were as follows, viz: — Henry Kelley, Henry Blaney, George M'Common, John Dolton, Michael Condin, John Clark, Peter Burr, Andrew Doyle, John McGowan, James Gill, John Fulsum, Patrick McBraharty, Matthew Mooney, Patrick Karas, John Fitzgerald, John Wiley, John Donelley, John Currey, Nathan Shaley, Edward M'Garrigan, John Dinnue, John Williams, George Johnson.

67. 4th volume of Niles's Register, pages 8, 9.

68. The number of those actually imprisoned by the British, as hostages, was very great, as may be seen in full, by consulting the American State Papers, vol. 3, from 630 to 690, under the heads, Great Britain, Naturalization. But this number was but a small part of those endangered, for the British held a vast number of our impressed seamen, and of prisoners taken in the war, of whom many were doubtless naturalized citizens. There were twelve hundred American prisoners confined at one time at Chatham. See 4 Niles's Register, 370. There were also several thousand Americans who had been impressed.

69. Niles's Register, 43.

70. 3 American State Papers, 633.

71. 3 Niles's Register, 172.

72. 3 Niles's Register, 220. These were detained on suspicion of being British subjects.

73. Mansfield's Political Grammar, 69-71.

74. 3 Niles's Register, 192,208.

75. 3 Niles's Register, 208.

76. Idem, 406.

77. See General Dearborn's Letter, 4th vol. Niles's Register.

78. American State Papers, selected and published under the authority of Congress, by committees of both houses. The letter of Earl Bathurst will be found in vol. iii. pages 640-1.
All the official documents connected with this subject will be found in the State Papers, vol. iii. pages 630-692.

79. American State Papers, 630.

80. Laws of the United States.

81. Idem.

82. Carpenter's Select American Speeches, vol. 2, pp. 425-131.

83. The tragedy of blood and murder was a very peaceful transaction. There were hardships endured, however, by prisoners in the jails of Great Britain. See American State Papers, 3d volume, from 630 to 692.

84. Burke's Letter to the Earl of Lauderdale. His allusion is to Saul calling up the spirit of the prophet Samuel, by the witch of Endor, and who is answered by the prediction of his own death.

85. The population of the United States was then eight millions. It is now twenty millions!

86. British impressment of American seamen was founded on the same pretence — a born subject must live and die a subject.

87. See Letter of General Dearborn to the Secretary of War; and the Letter of Commodore Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy; Niles's Register, 4th volume, page 178.

88. A letter of General Pike, written to his father, then living near Cincinnati, was characteristic and prophetic. He writes thus: —
"I embark to-morrow in the fleet, at Sacketts Harbor, at the head of a column of 1500 choice troops, on a secret expedition. * * * * * * * Should I be the happy mortal destined to turn the scale of war, will you not rejoice, Oh! my father? May heaven be propitious, and smile on the cause of my country. But if we are destined to fall, may my fall be like Wolfe's — to sleep in the arms of victory." The wish was fulfilled.

89. See Commodore Chauncey's Letter to the Secretary of the Navy 4 Niles's Register, 240.

90. See Commodore Chauncey's Letter to the Secretary of the Navy 4 Niles's Register, 240.

91. Idem.

92. Idem.

93. See Chauncey's official account, which mentions the concealment of the enemy in the same ravine, 4 Niles, 240.

94. The first of these officers died a colonel, and the second (Stockton) is now Governor of Delaware.

95. Dearborn's Report to the Secretary of War.

96. Armstrong's Notices of the War.

97. Idem.

98. According to General Dearborn's Letter to the Secretary at War, the American loss was 17 killed and 45 wounded; British loss, 90 killed, 160 wounded, and 100 prisoners — 4 Niles, 239.

99. Armstrong's Notices, vol. 1, Appendix.

100. About 900 men. See Brown's Letter, 4 Niles, 241.

101. Bayne's Official Report. See Armstrong's Notices, 143.

102. Armstrong's Notices,

103. Brown's Report.

104. About 800 men. — Armstrong's Notices.

105. Armstrong's Notices.

106. Idem.

107. Boerstler's Letter, 4 Niles's Register, 353.

108. 4 Niles's Register, 387.

109. Plan of the Campaign — Appendix to Armstrong's Notices.

110. Armstrong's Plan of the Campaign.

111. Idem.

112. Forty Mile Creek — that distance from Niagara.

113. Proctor was defeated, and the British and Indian force in the north west routed, on the 5th of October, 1813.
The rumor which Scott speaks of was six days after the event, and was no doubt brought in either by officers or Indians from the defeated army.

114. Col. J. G. Camp, (now marshal of Florida,) a distinguished officer in the campaign of 1814, on the Niagara.

115. American State Papers — Military Affairs, vol. i. pp. 482-3.

116. The city of Rochester had then no existence. It has grown up since the war.

117. Wilkinson's Proclamation of the 6th November says, that the army of the United States "invades these provinces to conquer, and not to destroy."

118. The official report of the battle of Chrysler's Field says, that Wilkinson gave directions, by that distinguished officer, Colonel Swift of the engineers, to Brigadier-General Boyd, to throw " his own, Covington's, and Swartwout's brigades, into three columns, to march upon the enemy." His force (about seventeen hundred men) were engaged. The British had about the same force. The Americans accomplished their object, which was by their orders to "beat back an attack."

119. Testimony of General Boyd on Wilkinson's Trial — Armstrong, vol. ii. p. 16.

120. In his Order (13th November) he tells the army it "is not abandoned."

121. In Wilkinson's Letter of the 15th November, (Niles's Register, vol. v. p. 234,) he says, that he had ascertained, that on the 4th of November, the British troops in Montreal were but four hundred marines and two hundred sailors, which had been sent up from Quebec.

122. Hampton's Letter of the 8th of November. He says, he "hopes to prevent" Wilkinson's starving! 5 Niles, 235.

123. Wilkinson's General Order of the 13th of November, 5 Niles, 232.

124. Armstrong's Notices, Plan of the Campaign, vol. ii. pp. 188-189; also vol. ii. Appendix, No. 11.

125. The plan of the Secretary at War, as shown by the. official correspondence, appears to have been that stated in the text. It seems, however, that General Wilkinson differed from the secretary in opinion, and finally adopted his own scheme, which was the descent of the St. Lawrence, as he attempted it.

126. Substantially quoted from a Biography of Scott in the Analectic Magazine.

127. 6 Niles's Register, 336. General Brown's Letter.

128. 6 Niles, 435. Adjutant-General's Report.

129. The trifles of courtesy are not unimportant in either military or civil life. If they are but form, they are notwithstanding, like language, the expression of a substance. Of Scott's observance of these, at Buffalo, we have been told the following anecdote. He observed a captain pass a sentinel posted. The sentinel saluted him by carrying arms, making the musket ring with the action. The captain passed without acknowledging the salute of the soldier. General Scott sent an aid to him to say, that he (the captain) would take care to repass the sentinel in twenty minutes, and repair the fault, or take a trial before a court-martial.

130. Like all other pioneers, both civil and military, the officers of the army of 1812-14 labored under difficulties which cannot now be appreciated. It is said that Scott had but one copy of the French Tactics. Of course this had to be explained to individuals, and put in practice successively on the ground.
It was one object of the United States Military Academy at West Point, to avoid these difficulties, and prepare young men by scientific instruction to discipline the army and prepare the recruits, when war came, for the services of war. This it has done. The tactics and science which were then a novelty in the country, have now been diffused through the army and the nation. In addition to this, there are excellent and minute treatises for the instruction in tactics, prepared for that express purpose.

131. Buffalo Gazette, July 5th, published in Niles's Register, vol. vi. p. 337.

132. 6 Niles's Register, 337.

133. 6 Niles, 337. The British garrison of Fort Erie consisted of parts of the 8th and 100th regiments, under the command of Major Burke, of whom 170, including 7 officers, were taken prisoners, and sent to the American side.

134. General Brown to the Secretary of War, 6 Niles, 344.

135. See the account of the Ontario Messenger, republished in 6 Niles, 403.

136. Brown's letter of July 6th, 6 Niles, 344.

137. Brown's Report, 6 Niles, 354.

138. Brown's Report, 6 Niles, 654.

139. Brown's Report says — "The general did not expect to be gratified so soon with a field engagement. He advanced in a most prompt and officer-like style, and in a few minutes was in close action upon the plain with a superior force."

140. A fringe of bushes along the creek, and a clump of trees at the bridge, shut out till then the view of the enemy.

141. British official report, by Adjutant-General Baynes, found in 6 Niles, 402.

142. See Diagram.

143. General Brown's Official Report, dated July 7th, 1814, and contained in 6 Niles's Register, 354.

144. Brown's Report, 6 Niles 354.

145. See Diagram.

146. Idem.

147. General Brown's official report, the British official report by Adjutant-General Baynes, and the newspaper accounts, all combined and compared, will give a very accurate view of this battle. In addition, reference may easily be made to General Worth, General Jesup, and others who were present and active in the battle.

148. General Brown's Official Report says, that the greatest exertions were made by the 21st regiment to gain their position in time; but in vain; for the zeal and gallantry of the line commanded by General Scott was such, that its advance upon the enemy was not to be checked.

149. General Brown's Official Report, 6 Niles, 154.

150. There is a tolerably accurate mode of ascertaining this fact. The British adjutant-general's report, dated the 13th July, in giving a return of the killed and wounded, enumerates the 1st regiment, (Royal Scots,) the 8th, (Queen's,) the 100th, (Marquis of Tweedale's,) a detachment of Royal 19th, (dragoons,) a detachment of artillery, and a portion of Canada militia. These regiments were not full; hut there was one battalion of the Scots, and the 8th, and two of the 100th. Their numbers may be thus stated — Royal Scots, 400; 8th, 400; 100th, 800; artillery, dragoons, and militia, 500; in all, about 2100 men.
The American troops were, the 9th, 11th, and 25th infantry, with a detachment of the 22d, Towson's artillery, and Porter's volunteers. The three regiments of infantry may be called 1400, through probably less; the residue about 500, making 1900. In this account light troops are counted on both sides.

151. Page 100.

152. The Royal Scots, the 100th, and the Queen's Own, were claimed to be among the best of the British troops.

153. Hull.

154. Wilkinson.

155. Hampton.

156. The reference of the writer here is obviously to those that composed the entire armies of Riall and Brown, and not to those actually engaged.

157. The killed, wounded, and prisoners, in the battle of Chippewa, were returned as follows: —
American Official Report
  Killed Wounded Missing
Artillery, (Towson's,) 4 16
9th infantry, 13 44
22d infantry, 8 44
25th infantry, 5 68
11th infantry, 15 60
Porter's Volunteers, 12 13 17
Ripley's brigade, 3 3 2
  60 248 19
Total, 327.

British Official Report.
  Killed Wounded Missing
Artillery, 1 4
Royal Scots, 53 135 30
8th, (or King's,) 3 24
100th regiment, 69 134 1
Militia, 12 16 15
19th Dragoons, 5
  138 319 46
Total, 503
Total loss, 830 in less than 4000 men.

158. Brown's Official Report, 6 Niles, 354.

159. Lieutenant Worth, here mentioned, is now Brigadier-General Worth. He was for several years commander of the battalion of cadets at West Point, and subsequently one of the commanders in the Florida war.
The promotions made for the campaign of Niagara were as follows: HONORARY BREVETS — Brigadier-General Scott, Major-General; Majors Leavenworth, Jesup, and M'Neil, Lieutenant-Colonels; Captains Crooker, Towson, Harrison, and Austin, Majors; Lieutenant Worth, Captain; 2d Lieutenant Watts, 1st Lieutenant.

160. General Brown's Letter to the Secretary of War, July 25th, 1814, 6 Niles. 411.

161. Idem.

162. Brown's Official Report, 6 Niles, 433.

163. Idem.

164. Idem

165. Brown's Official Report, 6 Niles, 433.

166. Brown's Report.

167. Drummond's General Order, 26th July, 6 Niles, 439.

168. It appears from Drummond's General Order, 26th July, in 6 Niles, 439, that he thought his position in Lundy's Lane was attacked by the whole American army. He thanks the army for "repulsing all the efforts of a Bumerous and determined enemy to carry the position of Lundy's Lane."

169. Lieutenant D. B. Douglass of the Engineers, afterwards professor at West Point, and subsequently president of Kenyon College; Ohio.

170. This incident is related by an officer who was present in the battle. It is well known, that one of the most beautiful phenomena of the Falls is the formation of rainbows, both lunar and solar, at all times when the state of the wheather is favorable. I once heard Dr. Percival, the poet, descirbe with great fervor the appearance of a rainbow, formed by the moonbeams near midnight, on the spray of the cataract. Such a scene was indeed filled with the poetry of nature.

171. Major Ketchum, of the 25th regiment of infantry, who died in the army, August 30th, 1828, army, August 30th, 1828, was the officer who personally made General Riall a prisoner. The British General was brought to Scott by Major Ketchum, and directions were given that the distinguished prisoner should be taken to the rear, and treated with the greatest possible kindness. Riall, badly wounded, lay some days at the same house in Williamsville, (eleven miles east of Buffalo, with Scott, yet more severely crippled. The latter, as a special favor to himself, obtained permission from our government, for Riall to return, to England on parole, and the same permission for Riall's friend, Major Wilson, also badly wounded, who had been captured at Chippewa. We have already said, that Scott obtained the same favor in behalf of a colonel made prisoner by him at Fort George, the year before. Such favors were, however, at that time, only granted by the American government; Sir George Provost and the British ministry never consented to place on parole, or to exchange a prisoner, after the Americans confined the twenty-three hostages in 1813.
Sir Phineas Riall has been promoted to a full general, (above the British rank of Lieutenant-General,) made a knight of several orders, appointed Governor of Tobago, and otherwise rewarded by his government. The major who returned to England with him is now Sir John Morillyou Wilson, and attached to one of the royal households. It was he who addressed a letter to General Scott in 1841, (which has been published,) respecting his Mississippi bonds, in which he had invested the little savings of forty years service, together with his wife's property, induced thereto by his unbounded confidence in the American character!

172. Brown's Official Report, 6 Niles, 433.

173. Afterwards Brigadier-General Miller, Governor of Arkansas, and collector at Salem, Massachusetts.

174. This was a mistake. Scott had been badly wounded an hour before, but not yet disabled. Having lost a second horse, he was now on foot, and was finally laid prostrate, by a ball through the left shoulder-joint, just at the close of the battle. Brown was taken from the field a few minutes earlier.
General Brown, in his Official Report, does not claim the suggestion charge of the movement by Miller, and the successful assault on the enemy's artillery. Neither does he attribute it to any one else. He simply says, that it was necessary to carry the enemy's battery, and that Colonel Miller was assigned to this task. The fair inference from the report of Brown is, that he did not feel certain, or assured, as to who, if any one in particular did, suggest the idea of this charge. Armstrong, in his Notices of the War, says, that "the attention of all" was drawn to the British battery, and that "the senior engineer (McRee) gave his decided opinion that it was necessary to the success of the day ‘to storm the British battery.’" (Armstrong's Notices of the War of 1812, vol. ii. p. 92.) But this does not affirm who made the suggestion. It only affirms that this was McRee's opinion, and so it was. An officer of the staff in that battle stated to us, that he thought the idea was advanced by McRee who, meeting Brown coming up, stated this to the commander. But, at the same time, the necessity of such a charge was so obvious, that all assented to it at once. We deem it immaterial to the purpose of this history, who made an abstract suggestion of that charge, when it is so well known who were the efficient actors on that bloody field. Scott was better acquainted with the ground than any other man; and when the charge was made, he conducted Miller in the darkness of the night to the gap, where he turned up Lundy's Lane. This fact affords some reason to believe that the idea originated with Scott himself; but it is quite probable, that such was the instant and obvious crisis of the battle, that several minds seized upon it at the same time, a fact that is by no means uncommon in regard to new suggestions.

175. General Brown, in his Official Report, does not claim the suggestion of the movement by Miller, and the successful assault on the enemy's artillery. Neither does he attribute it to any one else. He simply says, that it was necessary to carry the enemy's battery, and that Colonel Miller was assigned to this task. The fair inference from the report of Brown is, that he did not feel certain, or assured, as to who, if any one in particular did, suggest the idea of this charge. Armstrong, in his Notices of the War, says, that "the attention of all" was drawn to the British battery, and that "the senior engineer (McRee) gave his decided opinion that it was necessary to the success of the day ‘to storm the British battery.’" (Armstrong's Notices of the War of 1812, vol. ii. p. 92.) But this does not affirm who made the suggestion. It only affirms that this was McRee's opinion, and so it was. An officer of the staff in that battle stated to us, that he thought the idea was advanced by McRee who, meeting Brown coming up, stated this to the commander. But, at the same time, the necessity of such a charge was so obvious, that all assented to it at once. We deem it immaterial to the purpose of this history, who made an abstract suggestion of that charge, when it is so well known who were the efficient actors on that bloody field. Scott was better acquainted with the ground than any other man; and when the charge was made, he conducted Miller in the darkness of the night to the gap, where he turned up Lundy's Lane. This fact affords some reason to believe that the idea originated with Scott himself; but it is quite probable, that such was the instant and obvious crisis of the battle, that several minds seized upon it at the same time, a fact that is by no means uncommon in regard to new suggestions.

176. Armstrong's Notices, vol. ii. p. 92.

177. The troops engaged on the American side were the same as composed General Brown's army on crossing the Niagara. The British had, however, been reinforced by the 89th regiment, the 103d, and the 104th. The losses on both sides were as follows —
American Loss. British Loss.
Killed, 171 Killed, 84
Wounded, 572 Wounded, 559
Prisoners, 117 Prisoners, 235
Total, 860 Total, 878

These numbers are taken from the official reports.

178. Brown's Official Report (6 Niles, 434) says — "While retiring from the field, I saw and felt that the victory was complete on our part, if proper measures were promptly adopted to secure it. The exhaustion of the men, however, such as made some refreshemnt necessary. They particularly required water."

179. The "Soldier's Dream," under circumstances like these, has been the theme of one of Campbell's most beautiful productions —
"And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered,
The weary to sleep and the wounded to die.
"At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.
"Methought, from the battle-field's dreadful array,
Far, far, I had roamed on a desolate track;
'Twas autumn, and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back."

180. About a mile above the field of battle and the Falls, there are mills on a side-cut called the Bridgewater Mills. A postmaster attached to the army, on the American side of the river, wrote a letter to the interior, saying, a great battle was then raging (10 o'clock at night) near those mills. The universal publication of that letter, before any official report, caused the confusion in the name of this action.

181. NIAGARA was the name given to this battle in the Albany Argus, (See 6 Niles, 414.) "It commands," says the Argus, "like the achievements of our naval heroes, the admiration of all classes of the American people, a few excepted."

182. The late poem, FESTUS, by Mr. Bailey, has the following lines —

— "No! the brave
Die never. Being deathless, they but change
Their country's arms for more — their country's heart.
Give then the dead their due — it is they who saved us."

183. Brown's Official Report.

184. Armstrong's Notices of the War, vol. ii. p. 94.

185. Idem.

186. Armstrong's Notices, vol. ii. pp. 96-97.

187. Idem. General Gaines's Official Report.

188. Gaines's Official Report, 7 Niles, 19.

189. The relative loss of the British and Americans may be thus stated from official reports —
American Loss British Loss
Killed, 17 Killed, 57
Wounded, 56 Wounded, 309
Missing, 11 Missing, 539
Total, 84 Total, 905
Adjutant-General Jones's Report. Adjutant-General Baynes's Report

190. General Brown's Official Report, 7 Niles, 100.

191. Idem.

192. This is General Brown's declared object, as stated in his official letter. The loss of the respective parties was nearly as follows: the American Official Report gives — killed, 79; wounded, 216; missing, 216; total, 511. We have not the official British report; but the prisoners taken by the Americans were returned, by the inspector-general, at 385. General Brown stated their total loss at near a thousand.

193. Brown's Official Report, 7 Niles, 100.

194. Idem.

  American Loss. British Loss.
Battle of CHIPPEWA, fought 5th July, 1814, 328 507
BATTLE of NIAGARA, fought 25th July, 1814, 860 878
ASSAULT on FORT ERIE, 15th August, 1814, 84 905
SORTIE from FORT ERIE, 17th September, 1814, 511 About 800
Total 1,783 3,090

196. A brief notice of some of the officers who survived the Niagara campaign, and who have not been before specifically referred to, may not be unacceptable in this place.
1. The commander, BROWN, so much distinguished, was called to Washington as general-in-chief of the whole army, in 1821. He was crippled by paralysis the same year, and died February 24, 1828.
2. E. W. Ripley, resigned, a major-general, by brevet, May, 1820; subsequently was a member of the twenty-fourth Congress, from Louisiana, and died March 2, 1839.
3. Hugh Brady, now long a brigadier-general, by brevet.
4.Wm. McRee, resigned, a colonel, March, 1819; appointed surveyor-general of Missouri, &c.; died of cholera, in 1832.
5. Thomas S. Jesup, now long quartermaster-general of the army, with the brevet of major-general.
6.Henry Leavenworth died a brigadier-general, by brevet, July 21, 1834.
7. John McNiel, resigned, a brigadier-general by brevet, April 23, 1830; now surveyor, &c., o' the customs at Boston.
8.Jacob Hindman, died at Baltimore, a colonel, February 17, 1827.
9.Roger Jones, at present (and long) adjutant-general of the army, and brigadier-general by brevet.

197. Dr. Physick was quite remarkable for his regard for those in the public service, and their families, refusing compensation from the families of officers engaged in public service. Dr. Chapman equally merits the gratitude of the army for similar liberality and kindness.

198. The British had previously been repelled from Baltimore; but a new attack was anticipated.

199. General Mercer fell on the battle-ground of Princeton. His full-length portrait is, or was, hung in the chapel of Nassau Hall, reviving continually in the minds of its students, memories of the glorious Revolution. President Witherspoon left these academic shades of Princeton to join the revolutionary congress, and there he put his name to that immortal instrument which shall endure while the history of nations shall endure.

200. Bloomfield M'llvaine (since dead) became an eminent lawyer of Philadelphia. He was the brother of Charles M'llvaine, Episcopal Bishop of Ohio; also of Joseph M'llvaine, Recorder of Philadelphia; and of two others, one a merchant in the West, and the other also a lawyer in Philadelphia.

201. The attack on Baltimore took place between the 11th and 15th September, 1814.

202. General Orders, 16th October, 1814, 7 Niles, 95.

203. The Treaty of Peace was signed the 24th December, 1814, and ratified by the Senate, 17th February, 1815. See Treaty, 7 Niles, 397.

204. By article 2d, section 3d, of the Constitution of the United States, the President is the commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into actual service. This power he can exercise through subordinates, and does so, by the military degrees, from secretary downwards.

205. It was about eight years subsequent to this period, and with a view to the same subjects, President Monroe promulgated his declaration, that the continent of America was no longer the subject of European colonization.

206. KOSCIUSKO is one of the few names not born to die. There have been few persons in modern times more widely known, or renowned, than the hero of Poland. He was connected with two revolutions — that of America and that of Poland. The melancholy issue of the last has connected him with both the affections of grief and admiration, drawing at once a laurel from history and a sigh from song. The last hast been so impressively fixed on the American mind, by the muse of Campbell, that his lines are almost as familiar as the tales of nursery —

"Oh! bloodiest picture in the book of time,
Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime;
Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe,
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her wo!
Dropped from her neverless grasp the shattered spear,
Closed her bright eye, and curbed her high career!
Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell,
And freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell!"
Kosciusko died, just two years after the above letter was written to Scott, it is said by a fall from a horse.
At no more than twenty years of age, he was appointed a colonel of engineers in the American service, and as such, served in our revolutionary war. He fortified the camp of General Gates, in the campaign against Burgoyne, and subsequently erected works at West Point. After the Revolution in Poland, he revisited the United States, where he was received with honor, and had also a grant of lands from Congress. He returned to West Point, and there made a little garden on a shelf of rock looking down on the Hudson, and overhung with the evergreen cedar. With the evergreen he mingled the lilac and the rose. There, on a neighboring point, the cadets of the military academy have erected his monument, of white marble, shining in the sunbeam. His only epitaph is "Kosciusko."

207. Kosciusko was then in Switzerland, where he died, on the 16th of October, 1817.

208. " — dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."

209. Mr. Monroe retired from the presidency only five days later than this presentation, on the 3d March, 1825.
It was the melancholy fortune of General Scott to close the eyes of the venerable ex-president, in New York, at three P. M. of July 4th, 1831.
It is one of the most singular incidents in history, that Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe, should all have died on July 4th.

210. The Richmond Enquirer of that date has a minute account of the sword and its embellishments. We subjoin that part of the account which is descriptive of the historical embellishments of the blade.
"If the external ornaments be classical, those on the blade, which is the soul of the weapon, are historical. First, we have on one side a scene from the battle of Niagara, representing the moment after Miller had carried the battery: General Scott is seen at the head of his shattered but still intrepid brigade, and mounting another charger, his first being literally torn from under him by a cannon-shot. It was a moment when victory seemed dependent upon the uncommon exertions of some heroic spirit, and the effect produced upon the troops by the general's falling, and finally reappearing, was electrical. This delineation is followed by an eagle between two scrolls; on the first, ‘Chippewa, 5th July, 1814;’ on the other, ‘Niagara, 25th July, 1814.’ On the opposite side of the blade, we have, ‘Presented by the Commonwealth of Virginia to Major-General Winfield Scott, 12th February, 1816,’ followed by a figure of liberty with Tyranny prostrate at her feet, and this scroll, ‘Sic semper tyrannis.’ The whole blade, which is of the best proof, is covered with ornaments executed in high taste."

211. — "All that endears
Glory, is when the myrtle wreathes a sword
Such as Harmodius drew on Athens' tyrant lord."

212. There are eight states which have named counties, SCOTT, viz.. Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Arkansas. All but two of these, it is believed, were named from General Scott.

213. For this "Order" see 12 Niles, 320.

214. Mansfield's Political Grammar, p. 117.

215. Probably half the intelligent citizens of the United States talked on this topic.

216. This, among many other facts, is evidence of the extreme mutability and mortality of the newspaper press in the United States. The "Columbian" was succeeded by the "Statesman," edited by Nathaniel H. Carter, author of the Letters from Europe, and a very elegant writer. In time, that also perished. The race of newspapers sow in New York, is almost entirely different from that then extant.

217. The author of this anonymous letter was known to the writer of this work. He was an able man; but his object in this instance was probably merely mischievous.

218. Cicero's treatise, De Oratore.

219. See congressional documents for the session of 1826-7.

220. Somewhere about 1819-20, the United States government employed an officer of the army to translate from the French a work on the science of war, for which the government paid ten thousand dollars. Yet, for want of revision, and adaptation to our circumstances, this work was of no practical use. Hence, we may see what labor and judgment were required, by one who, like Scott, prepared proper works for our army.

221. He who walks "in the imagination of [his] heart, to add drunkenness to thirst, the Lord will not spare." — Dent. xxix. 19, 20.
"Awake, ye drunkards, and weep." — Joel.
"For the drunkard and glutton shall come to poverty." — Prov. xxiii. 21.

222. They received no pay from the government.

223. 35 Niles's Register, 324.

224. General Jackson had then become President. The letters may be found in the 37th of Niles's Register, 238.

225. Life of Black Hawk, by Benjamin Drake, Esq.

226. Idem, p. 98.

227. Idem, 74.

228. Idem, 94.

229. Drake's Life of Black Hawk, 54.

230. Idem, 99.

231. Idem, 100.

232. Drake's Life of Black Hawk, 104.

233. Drake's Life of Black Hawk, 141.

234. The fact that this young man, and the two others following, were killed by the American troops in advance, is stated by Black Hawk, and admitted by the followers of Stillman. — Drake's Life of Black Hawk, 142-145.

235. 42 Niles's Register, 241.

236. Idem, 283.

237. Drake's Life of Black-Hawk, 161.

238. General Atkinson's Report to General Macomb, 25th of August, 1832.

239. Drake's Life of Black-Hawk, 163.

240. The following table of deaths in the north and centre of Europe, (for a part only of the cities and countries,) will prove the text:
Countries. Deaths. Of 1000 inhabitants were attacked. Of 1000 attacked died.
Hungary, 188,000 4.9 432
Moscow, 4,690 24.5 546
St. Petersburg, 4,757 26.4 514
Vienna, 1,899 13.2 477
Berlin, 1,401 9.24 631
Hamburg, 455 3.75 531
Prague, 1,333 33.4 413
Breslau, 671 16.4 528
Koenigsburg, 1,310 31.2 699
Magdeburg, 346 15.7 600
Bremen, 694 46.2 327
Stettin, 250 15.06 699
Halle, 152 12.7 503
Elbing, 283 19.5 658
Total, 206,241 Average, 20  

This table, it will be seen, includes only Hungary, and the large towns of Germany, with the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

241. From the 28th of March, 1832, to the 14th of April, there died seven thousand six hundred and thirty-one in Paris. At that time the disorder had not there reached its height, for it continued in Paris till near June.

242. It was a singular fact, that in October, 1832, on the Ohio river, when in some places the cholera was terrific, the sun never shone more bright nor was the air and face of nature ever more bland or beautiful.

243. Scott's Letter to Governor Reynolds, 42 Niles's Register, 424.

244. 42 Nile's Register 391.

245. Among these was Dr. Josiah Everett, an accomplished officer, who died at Fort Gratiot, on the 15th of July. With him died also Lt. Clay.

246. 42 Niles's Register, 391.

247. Idem, 390.

248. 43 Niles's Register, 51. Dr. Coleman, Lieuts. Gale and Torrance, with numbers of soldiers, died.

249. Private letter of an officer of the army.

250. It was he who, by delineating to the Sac nation their true relations to the whites, restrained the Indians from joining Black-Hawk's band in the war. Drake's Life of Black Hawk, 116.

251. Drake's Life of Black Hawk, 115.

252. Idem, 123.

253. Ke-o-kuck signifies, he who has been everywhere.

254. The stragglers were mostly brought in by the Sioux, who were requested to perform that charitable service. A great chief and his wife, who were childless, had picked up a female infant, whose father had been killed, and whose mother had died of hunger. The aged Sioux had become exceedingly attached to the foundling, and begged to be allowed to retain it; but the surviving relatives demanded the child, and General Scott was powerfully appealed to on both sides. Nothing could be more touching than the simple eloquence of the would-be parents. By intercession and presents, consent was obtained, and the finders carried off the prize.

255. There were cruelties on both sides, and some that General Scott was probably not aware of.

256. 43 Niles's Register, 114.

257. The vote of the House of Representatives on the tariff act of 1828, should be borne in mind in order that we may clearly understand how the great interests of the country voted.
  Yeas. Nays.
New England, 16 23
Delaware and Maryland, 2 5
New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, 55 6
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri, 29 1
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi 3 60
Total, 105 95

258. Colleton Addresses, 34 Niles, 288-290.

259. Governor Taylor's Letter, 34 Niles, 366.

260. 34 Niles, 302.

261. Idem, 339

262. 34 Niles, 302. See the body of McDuffie's speech.

263. This was in reference to the fact, that at many of the meetings in South Carolina, it was resolved to wear only their own manufactures, and abstain wholly from those made north of the Potomac.

264. 35 Niles, page 62.

265. At Laurens C. H., S. C., at Edgefield, in Baldwin and Montgomery counties, Georgia, and in other places, it was resolved not to consume or buy, the hogs, cattle, mules, bacon, &c., the products of the western tariff states. Kentucky and Ohio, it will be observed, had voted unanimously for the tariff of 1828.

266. 35 Niles, 63.

267. Idem, 203-208.

268. 35 Niles's Register. 208

269. 35 Niles's Register, 304.

270. Idem, 306.

271. Idem, 308.

272. 45 Niles's Register, 2.

273. Idem.

274. 43 Idem, 56.

275. 43 Niles's Register, 42.

276. Idem, 152.

277. 43 Niles's Register, 219.

278. Idem, 277

279. 43 Niles's Register, 279

280. 43 Niles's Register, 220. Resolutions of Alabama, 387.

281. Idem, 220.

282. 43 Niles, 279, 286. These resolutions were also passed in a number of other states. In Pennsylvania, 43 Niles, 333; New York, 386; North Carolina, 386; Indiana, 400; Delaware, 422.

283. 43 Niles's Register, 288, 300, 332.

284. Idem, 260

285. 43 Niles's Register, 300.

286. Idem, 261.

287. 43 Niles's Register, 277.

288. Idem, 301.

289. The governor had called out twelve thousand volunteers. The whole state was a military camp, and the utmost zeal was exhibited, by those who contended for nullification, to defend their views in any way whatever. See 43 Niles's Register, 288, 318, and various other passages.

290. "Orders" transmitted to the Senate by the President, 43 Niles, 436.

291. 43 Niles, 437.

292. Idem.

293. Idem. Published February, 1833.

294. See Secretary Cass's Letter, dated December 3d, 1832, in 43 Niles.

295. One company of the 1st artillery, two companies of the 3d artillery, and three companies of the 4th artillery, were ordered to Charleston harbor, in November and December, in addition to those under the command of Major Heileman. The Natchez, the schooner Experiment, and the revenue cutters, were ordered there, under the command of Commodore Elliott.

296. In a letter written in December, the Secretary at War expresses the approbation of the government for what Scott had done at his first visit.

297. See the Charleston Resolutions, 43 Niles, 381. It was one of the political curiosities of the times, that a solemn ordinance of the state of South Carolina should be set aside at the request of a meeting in one place.

298. It was one of the resolutions of the Charleston meeting, that the volunteers should "wear a blue cockade, with the palmetto button in the centre." It is another political curiosity, that the "palmetto buttons" worn by the volunteers of South Carolina in resisting the laws of the Union, should have been made in Connecticut. This fact should suggest a hint whether our American manufactures were not both useful and necessary to all. The palmetto buttons were in fact made in Connecticut, and also most beautifully made. The state coat of arms could hardly appear to more advantage.

299. The Court of Appeals in South Carolina, with great personal disinterestedness and moral independence, declared the ordinance of the Convention of South Carolina, unconstitutional on this point. It was in the case of the State vs. Hun 2 Hill's South Carolina Reports, 1. They decided the oath of allegiance to South Carolina was unconstitutional and void, because inconsistent with the allegiance of the citizen to the federal government.

300. This was particularly the case with the District of Greenville. They here, literally, nailed the colors to the mast, and declared that they who would enforce the ordinance, must do it by the bayonet.

301. Mr. Pettigru was of the Union party.

302. This incident was related to me by an eye-witness. It is possible that it may be varied in some slight particular, but it is in the substance correct. It in reality occurred a month or two earlier than we have placed it in the text; but it is equally valuable as an illustration of history.

303. 43 Niles, 396.

304. A portion of these orders is given in a previous part of this chapter.

305. The bill referred to was, that South Carolina would consider the arrival within her limits of United States troops, as the commencement of her separate existence as a state, and the signal of war.

306. 49 Niles's Regisiter, 51.

307. 49 Niles's Register, 313.

308. See 49th vol. Niles's Register, 395, for a character of Osceola.

309. 49 Niles's Register, 395.

310. General Thompson, the Indian agent, Lieutenant Constantine Smith, Erastus Brooks, and two others, were shot at Fort King, only 250 yards from the field-pieces. 49 Niles, 368.

311. Clinch's Rep. Idem, 366.

312. Clinch's Report. Four men were killed, and fifty-nine wounded.

313. 49 Niles, 395.

314. The volunteers, who had not crossed, preferred staying on the safe side. See Clinch's Report.

315. The officers who were killed, were Major Dade, who was killed at the first fire, Captain G. W. Gardiner, Lieutenant Bassinger, Captain Frazier, Lieutenant Keayes, Lieutenant Mudge, Lieutenant Henderson, and Dr. Gatlin. Their conduct was brave, skilful, and patriotic. Their loss was felt not only in the army but in the country, and this event was a shock to the nation. At West Point a neat monument has been erected to those who feel in that defeat.

316. See 49 Niles Register, 368-370.

317. The "Globe" of January 22d, 1836.

318. Adjutant-General Jones's Report, 49 Niles's Register, 438.

319. Adjutant-General Jones's Report, 49 Niles's Register, 438.

320. This passage is quoted from the report of Adjutant-General Jones to the Secretary of War, dated February 9th, 1836, 49 Niles, 438.

321. Narrative of Clarke, who escaped, 50 Niles, 420.

322. Scott's Official Report, dated 12th April, 1836.

323. General Scott to the Secretary of War, 50 Niles, 121.

324. Scott's Report, 50 Niles, 188.

325. Scott's Report.

326. National Intelligencer quoted, 50 Niles, 161.

327. It must be recollected that the period of going into quarters at the South is summer, not winter.

328. 50 Niles, 239.

329. The utter impossibility of meeting the Indians at any one point, and their power to escape in small parties in any direction, established this principle. The recent maps of Florida exhibit more than thirty forts, or posts, established to surround and watch the Indians.

330. See 50 Niles, 334.

331. Clinch's report of his forces to Scott, dated the 27th of April, 1836.

332. It took five or six campaigns subsequent to this, in order to finish the Florida War. It would be no exaggeration to say, that the Florida War cost the United States two thousand lives, and twenty millions of dollars!

333. See this report in 50 Niles's Register.

334. Jesup's Letter, 50 Niles, 364.

335. Jesup's order of that date, 50 Niles, 364.

336. This letter is dated June 20th, 1836, from Fort Mitchel, Alabama. It may be found in 50 Niles's Register, 382.

337. In the "Globe" of July 20th, 1836, Blair says, that the President gave "a turn" to this letter he did not anticipate.

338. It turned out that an order addressed to Scott, to take the direction of the Creek war, did not reach him till a month after it was sent. It had been directed to an obscure village of Florida, and Scott was on his way to the Creek region before he received it.

339. Reported for the National Intelligencer.

340. This Mr. Van Rensselaer was not of the family of the late distinguished General Stephen Van Rensselaer, the patroon, and at one time member of Congress.

341. 53 Niles's Register, 337.

342. These men were, in strictness, not yet under Scott's command, simply from the want of time to muster them into the service of the United States — a ceremony of some hours.

343. It should be mentioned, that the Patriots had evacuated Navy Island on the 15th inst., and had landed in their small craft eleven miles below, where Van Rensselaer and his associates were immediately arrested, as Scott had said they should he, in his note written a few hours before the arrests.

344. 42 Niles's Register, 41.

345. 35 Niles, 292.

346. 54 Niles's Register, 129.

347. Executive Documents, No. 453, 2d session, 25th Congress.

348. 54 Niles's Register, 324.

349. The reader will recollect what desolation has been brought on several tribes of Indians in the West, by their refusal to be vaccinated. The service rendered to the Cherokees in this single particular, was invaluable.

350. The compensation allowed the Cherokees was not an insufficient one. They were allowed the value of their improvements, their expenses, and a new country, which, in natural advantages may be deemed superior to the other.

351. National Intelligencer, September 27th, 1838.

352. This act bore all the impress of an expectation of an instant war. It was taken up on the 26th of February, 1839, signed and approved March 3d, 1839. It passed the Senate by a unanimous vote, notwithstanding the great power it placed in the hands of the President.

353. Suppose a frontier officer were, on some slight or imaginary cause, to make a dash into the territory of a neighboring nation. He would be resisted; blood would be shed. The border population would be excited, and it would be almost impossible for any negotiation to remedy the evil. This was partially the fact in the case of the "Caroline;" and it was only by the greatest efforts that peace was then preserved.

354. It was somewhere stated that Sir Allen McNab, then commanding on the Canada shore, said, after the adventure of the Barcelona, that the British officer had mistaken his orders in not firing on the Barcelona. But suppose he had fired, the American cannon would have answered; the war would have been commenced, and the people would have continued it. Canada would have been invaded, and no one can tell what might have been the result.

355. In the General Regulations for the Army, drawn up by Scott in 1825, is this paragraph, which proves his own sense of justice in this respect: —
"As reports and orders, relative to battles and other military operations, constitute, in the case of subordinates, the foundations of military fame, and that fame the principal reward of merit, too much care cannot be observed by," &c. &c., before offering names "to the notice of government, and the admiration of the country." He then gives rules for collecting the principal facts, in order that reports, &c., may be made with impartiality and fidelity, in execution of that "high and delicate trust."
Official reports have sometimes made strange mistakes.

"Thrice happy he whose name has been well spelt
In the dispatch: — I knew a man whose loss
Was printed Grove, although his name was Grose."

356. Scott was then at Washington, urging the passage of the bill under debate; but it was known that he was soon to be off for Maine.

357. The Canadian Patriot troubles had, at the end of February, 1839, been tranquilized, and did not again break out. Mr. Cushing, a member from Massachusetts, perhaps partook a little more of the excitement growing out of the Maine boundary than belonged to others.

358. The danger of war growing out of the Maine boundary was much greater than it has since been on the Oregon question. Besides, there was a present and instant danger of collision at any moment. The extreme narrowness of the crisis may be known and understood by the text.

359. 56 Niles's Register, 34.

360. 56 Niles's Register, 70.

361. Idem, 71.

362. During the troubles on the Canada and Maine frontiers, large bodies of troops were ordered into British America from various parts of the world. At the very time of Scott's arrival at Augusta, additional regiments had landed at Quebec, and were on their march to Frederickton, New Brunswick. See 56 Niles's Register, 34.

363. After a capture of baggage, on some occasion, in 1813, a splendid coat of a British staff-officer was seen in the hands of an American. On inquiry, it was learned that it had been taken from a portmanteau marked "Lieut. Col. Harvey," together with the miniature of a beautiful young lady — the bride of that gallant officer, left in England. Scott purchased both, and sent them to him, to whom the likeness, at that distance, was invaluable.

364. Sir John Harvey assented to a proposition of General Scott that their correspondence should be subsequently considered as semi-official.

365. In Niles's Register for April, 1839, will be found many extracts from newspapers and other documents, illustrating these facts. The newspapers of Boston, Portland, and Augusta, all contained the detailed history of these events.

366. 56th volume of Niles's Register contains the correspondence.

367. I cannot imagine a more delightful recollection than that of either of these distinguished friends, that he had contributed so much to this "amicable adjustment" of so vexed and dangerous a question, between two great nations.

368. This treaty was called the "Ashburton Treaty," merely as a name. It might as well have been called the Webster Treaty.

369. On the ballot preceding the last, Scott received the votes of New York, 42; New Jersey, 6; Connecticut, 6; Vermont, 5; Michigan, 3 making in all 62. The total number of votes given was 254.

370. Among those who first proposed General Scott for the presidency, were many of the original friends of General Jackson. Indeed, men of all parties were more or less his friends in 1839.

371. General Orders, No. 47.

372. General Scott's Official Report, dated 12th of March, 1847.

373. There had then arrived but fifteen carts and one hundred draught-horses.

374. Scott's Official Report of March 25, 1847.

375. Captains Alburtis and Vinton, both distinguished officers, were killed, with several private soldiers.

376. Letter from a native of Puebla, dated May 16th, 1847, and published in the London Times.

377. Their names were published in the Police Gazette.

378. See Mr. Polk's official commission to Trist.

379. Chapter VIII page 100.

380. Letter to the New York Courier, dated August, 31st.

381. Letter to the New York Courier.

382. Refer to the Map of the Battle-grounds in Mexico, page 360.

383. General Scott's Official Report, dated August 19th, 1847.

384. Scott's Official Report, dated 19th of August, 1847.

385. The Great Square of Mexico is but one foot and one inch higher than the level of Lake Tezcuco, and is several feet lower than the other lakes.

386. See plan.

387. Gen. Rincon's Official Report.

388. Scott's Official Report.

389. Letter of an Officer, in the New York Courier.

390. Scott's Official Report.

391. Scott's Official Report.

392. Letter of an Officer in the New York Courier.

393. These brigades were all led to their respective posts by the officers of Engineers — Riley's, by Lieutenant Tower; Cadwallader's, by Lieutenants Beauregard and Brooks; and the regiment of Voltigeurs, by Captain Lee. See also the Map of the Battles of Mexico, by Major Trumbull, Captain McClellan, and Lieutenant Hardcastle.

394. This dastardly conduct of the Mexican cavalry, commanded by General Torrejon, is fully described by General Salas (Mexican) in his Official Report. He says that Torrejon "fled like a coward, and the cavalry followed his example."

395. Letter of an officer in the New York Courier.

396. Scott's Official Report, dated "Gates of Mexico, August 28th."

397. Scott's Official Report.

398. Scott's Official Report. See, also, the Map of Battlefields.

399. Scott's Official Report.

400. Letter in the New York Courier.

401. General Rincon's Official Dispatch, dated August 26th, 1847.

402. Scott's Official Report.

403. Letter in the New York Courier.

404. Twenty-nine of these men were captured and tried by a general Court Martial, of which Colonel Riley, of the 2d Infantry, was President. The Court found them guilty, and sentenced them to be hung. In a general order, dated the 8th of September, General Scott approved the sentence, with the exception of three who had deserted previous to the war; two others who were recommended to favor by the Court, and four in whose palliation there appeared some mitigating circumstances. Sixteen were executed at San Angel, on the 10th of September. General Scott appears to have released every man from the penalty of death in whose favor any plausible reason for such an exemption could be found.
Such scenes are sad, and the lesson given a terrible one; but if there were no punishment for crime, how could law ever be enforced?

405. Orders had been dispatched to recall the dragoons, but they were not received in time; and Captain Kearney, who had lost an arm, stopped only at the gates of Mexico.

406. The losses sustained by both armies in the battles of Mexico may be thus stated:
American Loss
Killed 139
Wounded 876
Missing 38
Total 1,053

Mexican Loss.
Killed 1,250
Wounded 2,000
Prisoners 2,600
Missing 6,150
Total 12,000

The total above of Mexican loss is derived from the report of Santa Anna, who stated taht he had only 18,000 remaining of 30,000 he had two days before! The great body of the missing wre dispersed during and after the battle. Gen. Scott reports the total number of prisoners at 3000, of whom 205 were officers, and eight generals, — including SALAS, RINCON, MENDOZA, GARCIA, GUADALUPE, and others of note.

407. Letter in the Journal of Commerce.

408. Letter in the Journal of Commerce.

409. Scott's Letter to Santa Anna, August 21st.

410. "THE MEXICAN WAR: a History of its origin, and a detailed account of the victories, which terminated in the surrender of the Capital" By Edward D. Mansfield, a graduate of the Military Academy. Published by A. S. Barnes & Co., 51 John-street, N.Y.

411. Letter published in the New York Sun.

412. See Santa Anna's Official Letter, dated 6th of September.

413. Measured from the Map of the "Battle Fields," by Turnbull, Hardcastle, and McClellan.

414. See Map.

415. Scott's Official Report of September 11th.

416. Ibid.

417. Scott's Official Report.

418. Boletin de Atlisco.

419. Worth's Report.

420. The same.

421. General Worth's Official Report.

422. The official return of troops engaged, under the command of General Worth, at Molino del Rey, shows that there were of all arms engaged 3447 men. The official return of casualties in the battle proves that 729 privates, and 58 officers, were killed or wounded. Out of 197 officers present, there were 58 officers, being 30 per cent. of the whole, killed or wounded! Among them were some of the most gallant men of the army and the losses of that day were severely felt.

423. General Worth's Official Report.

424. General Scott's Report.

425. Boletin de Atlisco.

426. Letter of Lieutenant Sutten, of the 15th Infantry, in the Washington Union.

427. Scott's Official Report.

428. Scott's Official Report.

429. General Scott's Official Report, dated National Palace of Mexico, September 18, 1847.

430. Letter in the New York Courier.

431. Scott's Official Report

432. Letter in the New York Courier.

433. Intercepted Mexican Letters.

434. General Scott's Official Report.

435. Letter of a Voltigeur.

436. Letter of an Officer in the New York Courier.

437. The same.

438. Kendall's Letter of the 14th September.

439. Letter of a Mexican, in the Boletin de Atlisco.

440. Scott's Official Report.

441. Order No. 297, issued from the National Palace.

442. El Arco Iris, of the 30th September.

443. New Orleans Picayune.

444. General Orders, 17th Sept.

445. Lieutenant-Colonel Dickinson's Official Report of strength and loss at Churubusco.

446. Letter of an Officer of the Rifles, in the New York Courier.

447. General Shields' Official Report.

448. General Worth's Official Report, which gives the strength of Cadwallader's Brigade.

449. THE MEXICAN WAR, by Edward D. Mansfield, a graduate of the Military Academy; published by A.S. Barnes & Co., 51 John street, New York.

450. Marcy's Order, 23d of November, 1846.

451. Captain Lyon's Journal of a Tour in Mexico.

452. Speech of Lewis Cass in the Senate, January 3, 1848.

453. Marcy's Letter, dated October 6, 1847.

454. Scott's Dispatch, dated December 25, 1847.

455. Order No. 376, dated December 15, 1847.

456. See Order 376, December 15, 1847.

457. Scott's Dispatch, No. 41, December 26, 1847.

458. Scott's Dispatch, No. 41, December 26, 1847.

459. Executive Document, No. 60, page 105, year 1848.

460. Order 395, December 31, 1847.

461. Executive Document, No. 60 (1848), pages 1054-1057.

462. We put this draft on record, in memory of one of the most honorable transactions of the army:
"CITY OF MEXICO, Jan. 21, 1848.
"At ten days after sight, for value received, please pay this my second of exchage (the first and third being upaid), to the order of Major-General Winfield Scott, one hundred thousand dollars, on account of the pay of the army, for which I am accountable to the treasury: payable at the Bank of America, city of New York, without further advice.
"E. KIRBY, "Acting Chief of the Pay Department, At the Head-quarters of the Army.
"Brigadier-General N. TOWSON, "Paymaster-General U. S. Army, City of Washington."
"The Bank of America, city of New York, will place the within amount to the credit of Army Asylum, subject to the order of Congress. "WINFIELD SCOTT, Major-General, &c."

463. Miltiades, who commanded in the battle of Marathon, and to whose glorious victory the Athenians ever after referred, was unsuccessful in an attack on the Isle of Paros, where he was wounded. He was charged by one Xanthippus with treachery, and condemned to death; but finally died in prison of wounds received at Paros.

464. Order 13th January, 1848.

465. Col. Belknap was substituted for Col. Butler.

466. Executive Document, No. 60 (1848), 1060.

467. Scott's Letter to Mr. Crossman, Mayor of New Orleans, dated May 1.

468. Report of the Joint Special Committee of the Common Council.

469. The United States, as such, have no common law, and hence the Army could not take along with it abroad a common law as it took the Constitution, the Rules and Articles of War, &c.