Major-General Zachary Taylor, at Monterey, Mexico, to Roger Jones, Adjutant-General of the Army at Washington, D.C. Dispatch communicating particulars of military operations at Monterey.
Head-Quarters, Army of Occupation,
Sir: - I have the honor to report that the troops under my command, including the mounted volunteers from Texas, marched from Marin on the 18th, and encamped before Monterey on the 19th inst. It was immediately discovered that the enemy occupied the town in force, and had added greatly to its strength by fortifying the approaches and commanding heights. A close reconnoissance was made the same evening by the officers of engineers and topographical engineers on both flanks of the town, and it was determined, from the information procured, to occupy the Saltillo road in the rear of the town, carrying, if practicable, the several fortified eminences in that direction. The 2d division of regular troops and a portion of Col. Hays' regiment of mounted volunteers was accordingly detached under Brig. General Worth on this service, at noon on the 20th. A 10-inch mortar and two 24-pounder howitzers were placed in battery during the night, to play upon the citadel and town. At 7 o'clock these guns opened and continued a deliberate fire, which was returned. To create a still farther diversion in favor of General Worth's movement, the remainder of the force, except a camp guard, was displayed around the centre and left of the town. The infantry and one battery of the 1st division made a strong demonstration on the left, and soon became so closely engaged that I moved forward the volunteer division under Major-general Butler to its support, leaving one battalion (1st Kentucky) to cover the mortar battery. A close contest then ensued, which resulted in the capture of one strong battery of four guns, which with some adjacent defences our troops now occupy. A garrison was left to hold this position, and the remainder of the force returned to camp.
In the mean time General Worth had engaged the enemy early in the morning, and defeated him with considerable loss. In the course of the day two of the batteries in rear of the town were carried by storming parties of the 2d division, and a third was carried this morning at dawn of day. - The Bishop's Palace occupied the only remaining height in rear of the town, and is completely commanded by the works already carried. Gen. Worth's division occupies the Saltillo road, and cuts off all succor or support from the interior. I must reserve a more minute report of the important operations of yesterday, until those of the different commanders are rendered, and also until a topographic sketch of the country can be prepared.
I regret to report that our successes have not been obtained without severe loss, to be attributed in a good measure to the ardor of the troops in pressing forward. No returns of killed and wounded have yet been received, nor is it known what corps of Gen. Worth's division have suffered most. In the other portion of the army, the 1st, 3d, and 4th regiments of infantry, and regiment of Tennessee volunteers, have sustained the greatest loss. The following is believed to be an accurate list of the officers killed and wounded:
KILLED. - 2d infantry - Brevet 1st Lieutenant J. S. Woods, (serving with 1st infantry.) 3d infantry - Capt. L. N. Morris; Capt. G. P. Field; Brevet Major P. F. Barbour; 1st Lieut. and Adjutant D. S. Irwin; 2d Lieut. R. Hazlitt; 4th infantry - 1st Lieut. and Adjutant C. Hoskins. 8th infantry - Capt. McKavett. Maryland and Washington battalion volunteers - Lieut. W. H. Watson.
VOLUNTEER DIVISION. - Ohio Regiment - 1st Lieut. M. Hett. Tennessee regiment - Captain W. B. Allen; S. M. Putnam.
WOUNDED. - Corps of Engineers - Brevet Major J. K. T. Mansfield, slightly. Corps of Topographical Engineers - Capt. W. G. Williams, (in hands of the enemy.) 1st infantry - Brevet Major J. L. Abercrombie, slightly; Capt. J. H. Lamotte, severely; 1st Lieut. J. C. Territt, (in hands of the enemy;) 2d Lieut. R. Dilworth, severely. 3d infantry - Major W. W. Lear, severely; Capt. H. Bainbridge, slightly. 5th infantry - 1st Lieut. R. H. Graham, severely. 5th infantry - 1st Lieut. N. B. Rossell, slightly. 7th infantry - 2d Lieut. J. H. Potter, severely. 8th infantry - 2d Lieut. George Wainwright, severely.
VOLUNTEER DIVISION. - General Staff - Major-general W. O. Butler, slightly. Ohio regiment - Colonel A. M. Mitchell, slightly; Captain James George, slightly; 1st Lieut. and Adjutant A. W. Armstrong, very severely; 1st Lieut. N. Niles, severely; 1st Lieut. L. Motter, slightly. Mississippi regiment - Lieut. Col. A. M. McClung, severely; Captain R. N. Downing, slightly; 1st Lieut. H. F. Cook, slightly; 2d Lieutenant R. K. Arthur, do.
DIVISION OF TEXAS MOUNTED VOLUNTEERS. 1st regiment - Capt. R. A. Gillespie, mortally.
I need hardly add, that the conduct of our troops, both regulars and volunteers, throughout the operations, has been every thing that could be desired. The part which each corps contributed to the successes of the day will appear more fully in future reports. To Major-generals Butler and Henderson, and Brigadier-generals Twiggs and Worth, commanding divisions, I must express my obligation for the efficient support which they have rendered - particularly so to Brigadier-general Worth, whose services, from his detached position, have been most conspicuous.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
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Citation: Steven R. Butler, ed. A Documentary History of the Mexican War (Richardson, Texas: Descendants of Mexican War Veterans, 1995), pp. 93-94.