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Monday, 22d March, 1847.
The Secretary of War called this morning. Upon a full examination of all the newspaper accounts from New Orleans containing all the information from General Taylor's army which had reached that city in the shape of rumours, our conviction was that our forces on the Rio Grande, and especially General Taylor's army be in that position it has grown out of his own imprudence in advancing without orders beyond Monterey and too far into the interior. General Scott seems to have assumed the command with the single idea in his head of taking Vera Cruz, and with this view has probably reduced General Taylor's forces to too small a number. We must, however, wait in painful suspense for more reliable and authentic intelligence. It was, upon consultation with the Secretary of War, resolved to hasten with all possible expedition to the seat of war such of the ten regiments as were already recruited, which is estimated to be from 1500 to 2000 men, in companies and fractions of companies. It was resolved also to authorize General Brooke at New Orleans to call upon the governors of Louisiana and Alabama for such numbers of volunteers as he might deem necessary, and as could be speedily moved to the Rio Grande. It was also determined to write to General Scott to afford to General Taylor all the succour in his power. These letters to General Brooke and Scott had been prepared by the Secretary of War and were read to me and approved by me. . . I have great fears for the safety of General Taylor's army, and for the whole line of our military operations in his rear and on the Rio Grande. Surely General Scott upon hearing of their critical situation will rush to their relief. All will be done here that it is in human power to do to reinforce and rescue them from their danger, but I have great apprehensions that any succour from here will arrive too late. This subject engrossed my whole attention today.
- Polk: The Diary of a President, 1845-1849, Covering the Mexican War, the Acquisition of Oregon, and the Conquest of California and the Southwest-Book by Allan Nevins, James Polk; 1929