In September 1846, Gen. Zachary Taylor’s command scored the first major American victory at Monterrey. On February 22, 1847, Mexican leader Santa Anna personally marched north to fight Taylor with 20,000 men. Taylor, with 4,600 men, had entrenched at a mountain pass called Buena Vista. Santa Anna demanded that the Americans surrender...
In September 1846, Gen. Zachary Taylor’s command scored the first major American victory at Monterrey. On February 22, 1847, Mexican leader Santa Anna personally marched north to fight Taylor with 20,000 men. Taylor, with 4,600 men, had entrenched at a mountain pass called Buena Vista. Santa Anna demanded that the Americans surrender and was refused; he attacked the next morning. Initially he flanked the U.S. positions by sending his cavalry and some of his infantry up the steep terrain that made up one side of the pass, while a division of infantry attacked frontally along the road leading to Buena Vista. Furious fighting ensued, during which some U.S. troops were routed, but U.S. fortunes were saved by artillery fire against a Mexican advance at close range by Captain Braxton Bragg, and a charge by the mounted Mississippi Riflemen under Jefferson Davis. Having suffered discouraging losses and word of upheaval in Mexico city, Santa Anna withdrew that night, leaving Taylor in control of Northern Mexico.
Taylor and his men were heroes after the Battle of Buena Vista and praise was showered on them in newspapers and by the public generally. The Legislature of New Hampshire saw fit to pass Resolutions praising them, and its Secretary of State sent them to Taylor on the state’s behalf.
Letter Signed, Camp near Monterrey, Mexico, August 30, 1847, to Thomas Treadwell, Secretary of State of New Hampshire. “I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of copies of the Resolutions passed at the last session of the Legislature of the State of New Hampshire and also your letter accompanying the same. Allow me to express in reply my sincere thanks for the approval therein extended to myself and the brave officers and soldiers of my command.”
Just weeks after this letter was written, American troops under Winfield Scott entered Mexico City, bringing the active stage of the war to a conclusion.
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