Major-General Zachary Taylor, at Monterey, Mexico, to Roger Jones, Adjutant-General of the Army, at Washington, D.C. Dispatch communicating the capitulation of the Mexican forces at Monterey.
Head-Quarters, Army of Occupation,
Sir: - At noon on the 23d inst., while our troops were closely engaged in the lower part of the city, as reported in my last despatch, I received by a flag a communication from the governor of the state of New Leon, which is herewith enclosed (No. 1.) To this communication, I deemed it my duty to return an answer declining to allow the inhabitants to leave the city. By eleven o'clock, P.M. the 2d division, which had entered the town from the direction of the Bishop's Palace, had advanced within one square of the principal plaza, and occupied the city up to that point. The mortar had, in the mean time, been placed in battery in the cemetery, within good range of the heart of the town, and was served throughout the night with good effect.
Early in the morning of the 24th I received a flag from the town, bearing a communication from General Ampudia, which I enclose, (No. 2,) and to which I returned the answer, (No. 3.) I also arranged with the bearer of the flag a cessation of fire until 12 o'clock, which hour I appointed to receive the final answer of Gen. Ampudia at Gen. Worth's headquarters. Before the appointed time, however, Gen. Ampudia had signified to Gen. Worth his desire for a personal interview with me, for the purpose of making some definite arrangement. An interview was accordingly appointed for one o'clock, and resulted in the naming of a commission to draw up articles of agreement regulating the withdrawal of the Mexican forces and a temporary cessation of hostilities. The commissioners named by the Mexican general-in-chief were Generals Ortega and Requena, and Don Manuel M. Llano, Governor of New Leon. Those named on the American side were Gen. Worth, Gen. Henderson, governor of Texas, and Colonel Davis, of the Mississippi volunteers. The commission finally settled upon the articles, of which I enclose a copy, (No. 4,) the duplicates of which (in Spanish and English) have been duly signed. Agreeably to the provisions of the 4th article, our troops have this morning occupied the citadel.
It will be seen that the terms granted the Mexican garrison are less rigorous than those first imposed. The gallant defence of the town, and the fact of a recent change of government in Mexico, believed to be favorable to the interests of peace, induced me to concur with the commission in these terms, which will, I trust, receive the approval of the government. The latter consideration also prompted the convention for a temporary cessation of hostilities. Though scarcely warranted by my instructions, yet the change of affairs since those instructions were issued seemed to warrant this course. I beg to be advised, as early as practicable, whether I have met the views of the government in these particulars.
I regret to report that Capt. Williams, Topographical Engineers, and Lieut. Terrett, 1st infantry, have died of the wounds received in the engagement of the 21st. - Capt. Gatlin, 7th infantry, was wounded (not badly) on the 23d.
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), p. 96.