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Jalapa, and Worth's division is in route thither ; all pursuing, with good results, as I learn, that part of the Mexican army 1 perhaps six or seven thousand men that fled before our right had carried the tower, and gained the Jalapa road. Pillow's brigade alone is near me at this depot of wounded, sick, and prisoners, and I have time only to give from him the names of First Lieutenant F. B. Nelson, and Second Lieutenant C. G. Gill, both of the 2d Tennessee Foot (Haskell s regiment), among the killed ; and in the brigade, one hundred and six of all ranks killed or wounded. Among the latter, the gallant Brigadier-General himself has a smart wound in the arm, but not disabled, and Major E. Farqueson, 2d Tennessee ; Captain H. F. Murray, Second Lieutenant G. T. Sutherland, First Lieutenant W. P. Hale (Adjutant), all of the same regiment, severely, and First Lieutenant "W. Yearwood, mortally wounded. And I know, from personal observation on the ground, that First Lieutenant Ewell, of the Bines, if not now dead, was mortally wounded in entering, sword in hand, the intrenchments around the captured tower. Second Lieutenant Derby, Topographical Engineers, I also saw, at the same place, severely wounded, and Captain Patten, 2d United States Infantry, lost his right hand. Major Sumner, 2d United States Dragoons, was slightly wounded the day before, and Captain Johnston, Topographical Engineers (now Lieutenant-Colonel of infantry), was very severely wounded, some days earlier, while reconnoitring. I must not omit to add that Captain Mason and Second Lieutenant Davis, both of the Rifles, were among the very severely wounded in storming the same tower. I estimate our total loss in killed and wounded may be about two hundred and fifty, and that of the enemy three hundred and fifty. In the pursuit toward Jalapa (twenty-five miles hence), I learn we have added much to the enemy's loss in prisoners, killed, and wounded. In fact, I suppose his retreating army to be nearly disorganized ; and hence my haste to follow, in an hour or two, to profit by events. In this hurried and imperfect report I must not omit to say that Brigadier-General Twiggs, in passing the mountain range beyond Cerro Gordo, crowned with the tower, detached from his division, as I suggested the day before, a strong force to carry that height, which commanded the Jalapa road at the foot, and could not fail, if carried, to cut off the whole or any part of the enemy's forces from a retreat in any direction. A portion of the 1st Artillery, under the often distinguished Brevet Colonel Childs, the 3d Infantry, under Captain Alexander, the 7th Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Plympton, and the Bifles, under Major Loring, all under the temporary command of Colonel Harney, 2d Dragoons, during the confinement to his bed of Brevet Brigadier-General P. F. Smith, composed that detachment. The style of execution, which I had the pleasure to witness, was most brilliant and decisive. The brigade ascended the long and difficult slope of Cerro Gordo, without shelter, and under the tremendous fire of artillery and musketry, with the utmost steadiness, reached the breastworks, drove the enemy from them, planted the colors of the 1st Artillery, 3d and 7th Infantry the enemy's flag still flying and after some minutes of sharp firing, finished the conquest with the bayonet. It is a most pleasing duty to say that the highest praise is due to Harney, Childs, Plympton, Loring, Alexander, their gallant officers and men, for this brilliant service, independent of the great results which soon followed Worth's division of regulars coming up at this time, he detached Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel C. F. Smith, with his light battalion, to support the assault, but not in time. The general, reaching the tower a few minutes before me, and observing a white flag displayed from the nearest portion of the enemy toward the batteries below, sent out Colonels Harney and Childs to hold a parley. The surrender followed in an hour or two. Major-General Patterson left a sickbed to share in the dangers and fatigues of the day ; and after the surrender went forward to command the advanced forces toward Jalapa. Brigadier-General Pillow and his brigade twice assaulted with great daring the enemy's line of batteries on our left; and, though without success, they contributed much to distract and dismay their immediate opponents. President Santa Anna>, with Generals Canalize and Ampudia, and some six or eight thousand men, escaped toward Jalapa just before Cerro Gordo was carried, and before Twiggs's division reached the national road above. I have determined to parole the prisoners officers and men as I have not the means of feeding them here beyond to-day, and cannot afford to detach a heavy body of horse and foot, with wagons, to accompany them to VERA CRUZ. Our baggage train, though increasing, is not yet half large enough to give an as sured progress to this army. Besides, a greater number of prisoners would probably escape from the escort in the long and deep sandy road without subsistence ten to one than we shall find again out of the same body of men in the ranks opposed to us. Not one of the VERA CRUZ prisoners is believed to have been in the lines of Cerro Gordo. Some six of the officers, highest in rank, refuse to give their paroles, except to go to VERA CRUZ, and thence, perhaps, to the United States. The small arms and their accoutrements, being of no value to our army here or at home, I have ordered them to be destroyed ; for we have not the means of transporting them. I am also somewhat embarrassed with the pieces of artillery all bronze which we have captured. It would take a brigade and half the mules of this army to transport them fifty miles. A field battery I shall take for service with the army ; but the heavy metal must be collected and left here for the present. We have our own siege-train and the proper carriages with us. Being much occupied with the prisoners and all the details of a forward movement, besides looking to the supplies which are to follow from VERA CRUZ, I have time to add no more intending to be at Jalapa early to-morrow. We shall not probably again meet with serious opposition this side of Perote certainly not, unless delayed by the want of the means of transportation. I have the honor to remain, sir, with high respect, your most obedient servant, WINFIELD SCOTT. P. S. I invite attention to the accompanying letter to President Santa Anna>, taken in his carriage yesterday ; also to his proclamation, issued on hearing that we had captured VERA CRUZ, etc., in which he says : "If the enemy advance one step more, the national independence will be buried in the abyss of the past." We have taken that step. W. S. I make a second postscript, to say there is some hope, I am happy to learn, that General Shields may survive his wounds. One of the principal motives for paroling the prisoners of war is to diminish the resistance of other garri sons in our march. W. S. HON. WM. L. MARCY, Secretary of War.
- Autobiography of Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott in Two Volumes - Book by Winfield Scott, 1864