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This webpage reproduces part of the
Journal
of
Philip N. Barbour

G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1936

This text has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

 p167  Letters

Division del Norte
General en Gefe

Camp opposite Matamoras,

May 12, 1846.

My ever dear Mattie:

The vicissitudes of war have interrupted for a week our correspondence, which I resume this morning (the first of leisure I have had for 6 days) with feelings of inexpressible pleasure. I have a long story to tell you and will go at once into detail that you may have a connected history of events since we left Point Isabel about 12½ o'clock P.M. on the 8th. Capt. Maya sent back a man from the advance guard, which he commanded, to report that the enemy had shown himself in front. Our column was halted, the train, consisting of more than 200 wagons, brought up and parked, and the Army resumed the march. Another report was received at this moment that the enemy had withdrawn his advance. Our train was put in motion again and the whole marched on about a mile. On our right was a thick chaparral and a pond of water extending through it, and a mile off to the left was a similar thicket and a large pond between the two. In front, about three miles distant, we saw the forest of mesquite that extends nine miles out  p168 from the Rio Grande, and between our position and that forest the enemy had formed his line of battle — which was reported by May as soon as discovered. Our columns moved on slowly and steadily until we came in sight of the enemy about a mile distant from us and half a mile in front of the forest above mentioned. The General then ordered a halt and directed the train to be parked for defense — during which our men were ordered to fall out of the ranks and refresh themselves with water. In about half an hour we were in motion again and moved on half a mile. The enemy was now in full view of us; a broad level prairie, without a shrub showing upon its surface, lay between the two armies. General Taylorb ordered now his line of battle to be formed, as follows, May's squadron of Dragoons on the right — the 5th Infantry next — Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Ringgold's flying artillery next — 3d and 4th Infantry next — this constituted the right wing — then came two 18 pounders commanded by Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Churchill — next Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Childs' battalion of artillery serving as infantry — then Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Duncan's flying artillery — and on the extreme left the 8th Infantry formed in column to form square if the left flank should be threatened by the enemy's cavalry. In this order we advanced upon the enemy whose line was formed on a curve parallel to the woods in his rear — as follows — Ranchero cavalry on his right (opposite our left), then a battery of artillery (three pieces), then a brigade of infantry supported by heavy masses in the rear — then another battery of three pieces — next another brigade of infantry supported as the first, then a third battery of  p169 three pieces and on their extreme left all their regular cavalry. The whole force of the enemy was a little upwards of six thousand, while ours did not exceed 2300. This has been acknowledged by themselves. Having formed our line of battle the advance was sounded and we moved on again, slowly and steadily. May was now ordered to the left flank to oppose any demonstration from that quarter on the train. When our line had arrived within 700 yards of the enemy, his right battery opened upon us, we still moved on — not a man faltered — but the line continued to advance 100 yards under the combined fire of all their batteries. At 600 yards distance our line was halted and the two batteries of flying artillery thrown forward to answer the enemy's fire — a heavy cannonading from both sides now commenced and was kept up for 30 minutes when our 18 pounders and Ringgold's battery made such havoc among their cavalry that it moved off and made a demonstration against our right flank. Gen. Taylor seeing this threw the 5th Infantry to the right to meet it — it took position in a point of woods 300 yards to the right and forward square. The cavalry was now seen moving rapidly round our flank when the 3d Regiment was also thrown to the right and ordered to support the 5th. In the meantime Ringgold's battery was pouring in a destructive fire upon them and continued it until they were entirely protected by an intervening rise in the prairie. Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Ridgely then moved off rapidly with two pieces towards the 5th Infantry but before he reached the position he desired, the 5th had been  p170 charged by the cavalry and repulsed it. Just as Ridgely came up he discovered two pieces of the enemy's artillery in the act of being planted to break the square of the 5th — but he was too quick for them and poured in such a shower of grapeshot and shells upon the battery and the cavalry that the whole conclave retreated in haste with a severe loss of men and horses. Major Ringgold in the meantime had continued to advance with the other two pieces of his battery until he occupied the ground originally taken by the enemy's cavalry on the left of their line and gave them and their battery a galling fire as they retreated by line, and forced them to form in rear of their own infantry. During all this time the battle had been raging on the other side of the field between our left wing and the enemy's right. Duncan's and Churchill's batteries fired incessantly and with such dreadful effect that at each discharge we could see their ranks thrown into confusion and gaps made in them which it required some moments to close up. Seeing Ringgold had gained the enemy's flank the general ordered an oblique change of front to support him — throwing his whole left wing to the right. The enemy perceived this and made a corresponding change of the line to their right. This movement required some ¾ of an hour, during which the firing was suspended on both sides — but it opened again with redoubled fury and continued until near sunset, when Duncan, under cover of a dense smoke between his position and the enemy's line, moved rapidly to a point only 300 yards distant from their right flank  p171 and poured in upon them such a destructive fire of grape and shrapnel shot and shells that they were cut all to pieces and scattered in all directions. This was the closing scene of the day. The enemy left the field and took shelter in the woods in the rear of their right flank. General Taylor then ordered the train up and our Army encamped on the field. We suffered a good deal, losing about 40 men in killed and wounded. Capt. Pagec was horribly wounded, having his under jaw entirely shot off. Major Ringgold was shot at the close of the action, after gallantly serving through the whole of it with terrific effect upon the enemy. He was mounted and received a shot through his left thigh which tore off the withers of his noble steed and passed through his other thigh. It was a horrible wound — all the flesh was taken off both thighs to the bone exposing the arteries to plain view. Only the 5th Infantry of that arm, was fortunate enough to get a fire — but the other regiments were exposed during the whole of the terrific cannonading to the enemy's batteries. A great many shots passed over our regiment, and one of them passed through the interval between myself and the man on my right (just large enough to admit it), without touching either of us. The Mexicans lost, by their own acknowledgment, in killed and wounded, 400 men and a number of their officers. I rode over the battlefield the next morning and saw as many as 100 dead bodies and two or three hundred dead horses scattered over it. On the night of the engagement I was on guard and of course could not sleep, which, added  p172 to the exhaustion of the day's march and exposure to the hottest sun I ever felt, during the action, nearly used me up. Duncan and Ringgold distinguished themselves by their coolness and judgment in the maneuvering of their batteries and their unerring and destructive fire. General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.McLeod was on the field and mounted during the whole action, at one time with the General,º at another riding about among the Infantry Brigades, to let them know how dreadful was the effect of our artillery upon the enemy. He several times refreshed me with water and kept me supplied with tobacco, of which I chewed about a cord. There was no wavering in my regiment; the men and officers all stood, drawn up in line, and received the enemy's fire with a coolness and steadiness almost incredible, cracking jokes the whole time and sending up, whenever one of our guns made a big gap in the Mexican lines, a shout that must have struck terror to their hearts. The shouts that went up when Duncan's last fire drove them from the field I really believe could have been heard three miles off. The prisoners we took the next morning told us that their officers had several times formed their infantry to charge our batteries but the men positively refused to do it, and that many of them were sabred by their officers for refusing. This action was fought by the Artillery but there is the history of another and more desperate battle to record, in which the Infantry and the Dragoons did their part. On the morning of the 9th the enemy was seen filing in front of the woods, between us and our Fort on the Rio Grande, which he  p173 entered and we expected would there give us another fight. The General having given orders for the removal of the wounded to Point Isabel moved on with the Army deployed as on the previous day, in which line he advanced to a chain of fresh water ponds about ½ a mile from the woods and halted. He threw forward Dragoons and Light Infantry to reconnoiter the woods and supported them by Duncan's Artillery and a Brigade of Infantry. A thorough reconnoissance of several hours left not doubt that the enemy had retreated along our route (the only one I believe through the thick woods). The Army then moved forward in a single column, leaving the train on the field of the 8th defended by Artillery and Dragoons. About six miles from the river a report was received of the enemy in front and that he had taken a position to give battle. The General halted the wagons, pushed the troops on and when near the enemy, sent Lieut. Dobbinsd with a detachment of light troops to draw his fire with the view of ascertaining the position of his batteries. He succeeded — the enemy's artillery throwing a shower of grapeshot upon Dobbins at sight, killing one and wounding two of his men. The General then deployed the 5th and 8th Infantry on the left of the road, and the 3d and 4th on the right with orders to advance as rapidly as possible and fight the enemy wherever he might be. The thicket was almost impenetrable and it was with the greatest difficulty we could get through it. The Mexicans discovered or guessed at the General's disposition of his force and poured into us grape and  p174 cannister shot from eight pieces of artillery which were planted on the two sides of the road and entrenched upon the margin of a pond impassable to men and horses. Our batteries answered them but could not silence them behind their entrenchments. The General then ordered Capt. May to charge them if he lost his whole squadron in the act and drive the gunners from their pieces; the order was executed under a heavy fire from the whole battery and the guns all captured. Gen. Vega was fighting in person at them and taken prisoner by May. The 5th and 8th Infantry were then ordered to advance (being the nearest to the enemy's batteries) and bring off the pieces, but the enemy had regained them and a desperate conflict hand to hand ensued which lasted half an hour, when the Mexicans began to give back and left us in possession of their guns. At this time the whole of the Infantry became engaged and the action continued almost without cessation until the sun set when we drove them before us across the Rio Grande. It is exceedingly painful for me to dwell upon the horrors of that day — dead bodies of men and horses were piled up on each other exhibiting every expression of torture the most vivid imagination could picture, and so horribly mangled and torn, in many cases by cannon shot, that it was heart sickening to behold them. There were many feats of personal daring during the action. Lieut. Lincolne of the 8th seeing a brother officer in a hand-to‑hand conflict with two Mexicans rushed up to his assistance and cut them both down with his own hand. May's charge — Ridgely's engagement  p175 with three at once whom he made run — innumerable instances among the men of desperate courage prove how determined was the Army to conquer or die. Owing to the nature of the thicket through which our regiment and the 6th had to pass we were not in the action as early as the 5th and 8th but we got in in time to render very important service. My own share in this action was not one of personal conflict as it was not my fortune to get so near the Mexicans. I was for half an hour trying to work my way through the thicket in which our regiment was deployed and finally getting out with only 12 men of my company went ahead on my own hook. I passed General Taylor in the road where the balls were falling like hailstones and inquired of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bliss where I should find the enemy — he replied, straight ahead. I pushed on and soon met a detachment of the 4th Infantry with three young officers, Lieuts. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hays, Ritchief and Angus,g retreating before a large body of cavalry. I told them to join me and we would beat back the cavalry — they did so and I directed the whole party of about 26 men behind the point of a clump of bushes near us and as the cavalry came on ordered my men to fire which killed three Mexican lancers and their horses and turned back the others. They rallied however and came at us again; only three passed, two of whom fell at our fire, and the others in their rear and the one of their number who escaped the shot retreated. A little further down the road they tried to make another stand but our artillery came up and raked them fore and aft. The order  p176 was now given to pursue the enemy and on we went yelling and firing with the Mexicans in full run before us until we reached the river and found their General, officers and cavalry had outrun us and the remainder of their army deployed through the chaparral. As soon as the rout of the enemy was reported to the General he ordered the troops to return and encamp upon the field of battle. Thus ended the day in the most brilliant victory of the age. Hearing of the action of the 8th the Commanding General in Matamoras sent over, to reinforce Arista, two veteran regiments numbering upwards of a thousand men, who had been in 20 battles and never lost one. So that in the action of the 9th we were opposed by 7000, or nearly that. Col. Childs' battalion of our troops having been left with the baggage wagons was not in the action. There was also a detachment sent that morning with the train to Point Isabel reducing our force engaged to something under 1800 men. Well, let us now look at the result.

We have put the Mexican army to rout — with the loss on their side, killed and wounded, of little less than 2000 men — all their cannon (eight pieces taken and one dismounted) — all their pack mules, upwards of 600 in number — all their ammunition and provisions and personal baggage of officers — upwards of 1000 stand of small arms — all their drums and a great many colors — a General and three Field Officers prisoners besides half a dozen Captains and subalterns and lots of men, after exchanging for Capt. Thornton'sh squadron — which is returned to us — and in  p177 short, struck such a panic into their hearts that they will not, in my opinion, fire another shot. I wish I could see you my dearest to tell you many little incidents that would swell my letters too much to write. After the battle of the 9th, the right wing of our Army remained on the field two days, 10th and 11th, burying the dead and taking care of the captured property. It is a fact worthy to be mentioned that not an instance of robbing by our troops has occurred. They have treated the Mexican prisoners with generous kindness, sharing with them whatever they had. But on the other hand, the Mexicans invariably mutilated our killed if they were not too closely pressed to do it — and in every case killed where they could. Even our wounded who happened to have a breath left in them were dispatched with the lance or the bayonet. We buried 100 Mexicans who lay near the road, leaving a great number who fell far enough off not to be offensive while we remained on the ground. Our loss in the two actions has not been over 150 killed and wounded. Major Ringgold died of his wounds on the 10th. Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Inge was killed in May's charge. Lieut. Cochrane,i 4th Infantry, and Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Chadbourne, 8th Infantry, killed. Col. McIntosh,j 5th Infantry, Col. Payne,k Inspector-General, Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Montgomery and Lieuts. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Gates, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.McClay,º Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jordan, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Morris, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Burbank and Selden,l 8th Infantry, wounded. Capt. Hoem (Robt. Beverley's cousin) lost his right arm; it was amputated above the elbow. Our regiment suffered but little — Dobbins was slightly  p178 wounded — the Sergeant Major and two privates killed and two sergeants and three privates wounded. A man of my company, standing next to me, received two shots; one took effect on his musket and glanced off, the other entered his cartridge box and exploded it without the slightest injury to me and but little to himself although there were near 40 rounds of cartridges in it. My life must have been preserved providentially for during the whole action the balls of grapeshot were flying about my head so closely as to cut twigs from the bushes within a very few inches of my hat. God be praised for his mercies.

They raised a story in Matamoras that Arista had sold the Mexican army to General Taylor. Something of that sort was to be looked for to cover their disgrace. Capts. Thornton and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hardee and Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Kane are with us again — having been exchanged for Mexican officers of similar grades. Thornton is in arrest for alleged disobedience of orders, but he will prove his innocence as clear as a whistle. He told me that the Mexican officers acknowledged to him that it was all over with them — that they were whipped and well-whipped. They went under so great a panic that great numbers of them rushed into the Rio Grande to swim across, fearing they would be taken by us, and were drowned. The bodies of four officers and more than 100 men have been seen floating down the river. But I fear I shall tire you with details. Our Fort has stood one of the hardest bombardments known in the annals of history for a  p179 whole week with the loss of but two killed and ten wounded. It is with much regret I mention as one of the two killed, Major Brown,n the heroic Commanding officer of the Fort. While we were at Point Isabel the Mexicans summoned our Fort to surrender, stating that the army of Gen. Arista would surely cut off General Taylor and the dictates of humanity required that they should offer our Fort the alternative of a capitulation. Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hawkins, the Commanding Officer (it was after Major Brown was wounded) replied that they would die in the Fort sooner than surrender and the bombardment went on more fiercely than ever. They have thrown enough shells to build Major Brown a monument, but have done no injury to the work. The Mexicans are amazed at the results of the last few days. Gen. La Vega told Col. Twiggs that he had fought Texans, Mexicans, Spaniards and Indians, but had never before now seen troops that would charge into the mouth of a battery under a storm of grapeshot. It was this that disheartened the Mexicans and put them to flight. Vega says they thought we were devils incarnate.

May 13th. I must close my letter to send it off this morning by a sutler who goes down to the Point. You are at liberty to show this confused account of our operations to Uncle Levi and the family and he can make out a brief account from its perusal of the principal facts if he desires it for publication. What little I have said of myself is for your eye and not  p180 that of the public, and I should be mortified to see it in print.

General Taylor went to Point Isabel on the 11th to send off his prisoners, etc., to New Orleans — he has not returned but expected today. It is thought that he will take Matamoras very speedily and with but little, if any opposition. Indeed a man of Thornton's squadron who was not exchanged until yesterday came over from Matamoras about sunset and reports the army under marching orders for Monterey — if this be true "the hunt is up" — God knows I wish it were — for I am sick and tired of war — the excitement of battle is glorious, nothing could be more so — but the horrors of the next day are terrible — if we fight again I should like to quit the field immediately after the action so as to be spared the pain of witnessing the sufferings of the unfortunate wounded and dying. I have a nice little trophy for you, an officer's camp inkstand which I will send you by the first opportunity.

I am very well with the exception of a sore eye which will account for this badly written letter.

God bless and preserve my dearest Mattie.

Give my warmest love to the family and
believe me always

Yr. devoted husband,

Phil Barbour.

You will see I have written part of this letter on Arista's paper — it came from his portfolio which General Taylor has and which is found to contain official papers of the greatest importance.


 p181  Camp opposite Camargo,

Sept. 1, 1846.

My ever dear Mattie:

We crossed the river yesterday and will march this morning in two hours. I have gotten out my portfolio to give you a hasty note before we leave. Everything we hear now has a pacific complexion, and it is even surmised in Camp upon the authority of letters received by Col. Cumming (sutler) from New Orleans that we shall be overtaken on the march to Monterey by an order to suspend hostilities. You will of course know more of what comes to us from the United States than we know ourselves. (Excuse this awful bull you understand me.) I can't think without the happiest emotion of the probability of a close of the war and my consequent permanent location somewhere with my Mattie. Oh! dearest, won't we be happy? I left Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Cary Fry on the other side with Dr. Kennedy who remains in charge of the General Hospital. Cary is in very feeble health. He talks of going to Galveston and I left with him a letter for you. You will find him a good deal effeminated by disease but he is a mighty good fellow and a particular friend of mine.o

I wrote you a long letter by Genl. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Johnston and sent by him my chest containing, besides some of my own clothes that I did not want on the campaign, a good many belonging to Cary Fry which please take care of for him. All the broad pleated shirts are his. However, you will readily recognize mine. I have your miniature very near my heart all the time. My  p182 soldier's jacket has a pocket in the left side and I wear Mattie there. You don't know what a sweet consolation that miniature is to me. Whenever I feel sad I take it out and gaze upon it, and my melancholy vanishes — I have received, at last the letter you sent me on the 6th of July by the "Vesta." It was taken to Matagorda and mailed there by Mr. Johnston, the person who brought it from Galveston. I have also received your dear letter by Genl. Cazneaup of the 3d of August, also that of August 10th. There are several others on the way which I ought to have received by this time. We are all well and in fine spirits. I have had a slight attack of cold attended with a little fever and derangement of my bowels, but a good dose of calomel and jalap corrected it at once and Richard is himself again.

The newspapers say I am Breveted — a major. I hope it is so. Capt. Morris thought for two days that he was Breveted, and nobody said a word about me, but last night Col. Garlandq received what he deems authentic intelligence saying that I among several others are Breveted, but Morris is not. I am afraid it will kill the old man.

I haven't time to write more, dearest, but will send you a letter however short it may be by every opportunity.

Love to all.

God bless you, my own one

As ever, devotedly

Yr. own husband,

Phil Barbour.


 p183  Matamoras, Mexico,

20 July, 1846.

My dear Madam:

From the hands of my highly esteemed friend, your husband, I had the honor to receive on the 3d inst. a beautiful and tasteful specimen of your handiwork, a Palo Alto Badge.

A compliment so delicate, and appropriate, I should have prized highly, under any circumstances, but, coming from a lady, and she too the partner of one of my earliest, and dearest friends, gives a value to it, that cannot be estimated.

Believe me, my dear Madam, when I assure you, that although I may lack the skill to acknowledge in appropriate terms your beautiful present, I possess the heart to appreciate it properly.

May that happiness so justly merited by the many virtuous qualities you possess be the lot through life, of you and yours, is the sincere wish of

your very humble

and obedient servant,

James Duncan.

Mrs. P. N. Barbour,
Galveston.


3d Infantry, Monterey, Mex.,

8th Dec., 1846.

My dear Friend:

Would to God my feelings could have permitted me ere this to have expressed to you my heartfelt  p184 sorrow for the loss you have sustained — this loss to yourself is alike irreparable to the regiment and country. May God grant you support and consolation under the weighty affliction which has befallen you. Every solicitude for the remains of the gallant spirits who fell on the 21st September has been felt and exhibited by the regiment.

The 3d Infantry has constructed a neat enclosure of stone, within which is now deposited the remains of all the officers of this regiment killed in battle or died of wounds since; a description of the same will be furnished you by this mail.

Major Fayr desires me to give you the particulars of my much respected and lamented friend's death:

The 3d Infantry with other troops having entered the city on the 21st of September about 12 o'clock P.M. we came immediately under a most destructive fire of artillery and musketry from forts, barricades and housetops. It was here that Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Irwin and Major Barbour fell and Major Lears was severely wounded, of which he has since died. The two first were struck by musket balls and neither spoke after their fall. Major B. was immediately moved to a place of security. He was afterwards buried in the suburbs of the city. On the 25th of November I personally attended to the disinterment of his remains and with funeral honors conveyed them to the 3d Infantry Cemetery, just referred to. The regiment is now under marching orders, and it will be impracticable to make any arrangements to send my lamented friend's remains to Kentucky; if sent for during our  p185 absence there will be officers here to give the assistance and information required for that purpose.

The effects of all the deceased officers of the regiment were sent to Matamoras for safekeeping on 22d September. I have just sent Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bowman to collect and transmit the same to their respective families.

The a/c due him, will be ascertained by writing to the Paymaster General at Washington City, Genl. N. Towson.t Lieut. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bibb has tendered his resignation and gone home — he may have collected the personal effects of Major Barbour, and taken them ere this, to you.

God bless, and protect you, and make you happy, are the sincere prayers of

Always your friend,

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.H. Bainbridge.

P. S. Should this war ever close and I am alive I will come and see you.

H. B.


Thayer's Notes:

a Charles Augustus May: born in the District of Columbia, appointed from the District of Columbia. Second Lieutenant in the 2d Dragoons 8 Jun 1836; First Lieutenant 15 Dec 1837; Captain 2 Feb 1841; Major in the 1st Dragoons 3 Mar 1855; transferred to 2d Dragoons 23 Oct 1855; Brevet Major 8 May 1846 for gallant and distinguished service in the battle of Palo Alto, Tex.; Lieutenant-Colonel 9 May 1846 for gallant and highly distinguished conduct at the battle of Resaca de la Palma, Tex. and Colonel 23 Feb 1847 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Buena Vista, Mex.; resigned 20 Apr 1861. Died 24 Dec 1864. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

[decorative delimiter]

b Zachary Taylor: born in Virginia, appointed from Kentucky. First Lieutenant in the 7th Infantry 3 May 1808; Captain 30 Nov 1810, Major in the 26th Infantry 15 May 1814; retained 17 May 1815 as Captain in the 7th Infantry which he declined and was honorably discharged 15 Jun 1815; reinstated as Major in the 3d Infantry 17 May 1816; Lieutenant-Colonel in the 4th Infantry 20 Apr 1819; transferred to the 8th Infantry 13 Aug 1819; transferred to the 1st Infantry 1 Jun 1821; transferred to the 7th Infantry 16 Aug 1821; transferred to the 1st Infantry 1 Jan 1822; Colonel 4 Apr 1832; transferred to the 6th Infantry 7 July 1843; Major General 29 Jun 1846; Brevet Major 5 Sep 1812 for gallant conduct in the defense of Ft. Harrison, Ind.; Brigadier General 25 Dec 1837 for distinguished service in the battle of Kissimmee [Okeechobee], Fla. with Seminole Indians and Major General 28 May 1846 for his gallant conduct and distinguished service in the successive victories over superior Mexican forces at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Tex. on May 8 and 9, 1846; tendered the thanks of Congress 16 Jul 1846 "for the fortitude, skill, enterprise and courage which have distinguished the recent operations on the Rio Grande, with the presentation of a gold medal with appropriate devices and inscriptions thereon, in the name of the Republic, as a tribute to his good conduct, valor, and generosity to the vanquished;" by resolution of 2 Mar 1847 "for the fortitude, skill, enterprise, and courage which distinguished the late brilliant military operations at Monterey," and with the presentation of a gold medal "emblematical of this splendid achievement, as a testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his judicious and distinguished conduct on that memorable occasion," and by resolution of 9 May 1848 "for himself and the troops under his command for their valor, skill, and gallant conduct, conspicuously displayed on the 22d and 23d of February last in the battle of Buena Vista, in defeating a Mexican army of more than four times their number, consisting of chosen troops under their favorite commander, Gen. Santa Anna, with the presentation of a gold medal emblematical of this splendid achievement, as a testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his judicious and distinguished conduct on that memorable occasion;" resigned 31 Jan 1840; President of the United States 4 Mar 1849 until he died 9 Jul 1850. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

[decorative delimiter]

c John Page: born in Maine, appointed from Massachusetts. Second Lieutenant in the 8th Infantry 13 Feb 1818; First Lieutenant 1 Jan 1819; transferred to the 4th Infantry 1 Jun 1821; Captain 30 Apr 1831; Brevet Captain 1 Jan 1829 for 10 years faithful service in one grade. Died 12 Jul 1846 of wounds received 8 May 1846 in the battle of Palo Alto, Tex. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

[decorative delimiter]

d Stephen Decatur Dobbins: born in Pennsylvania, appointed from Pennsylvania. Cadet at the Military Academy 1 Jul to 30 Sep 1830 and 1 Jul 1834 to 10 Jul 1835; Second Lieutenant in the 3d Infantry 29 Sep 1838; First Lieutenant 31 Jan 1842; Captain 16 Feb 1847; dismissed 21 Mar 1847; reinstated 24 May 1847; dismissed 1 Dec 1847. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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e George Lincoln: born in Massachusetts, appointed from Massachusetts. Second Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry 14 Sep 1837; transferred to the 8th Infantry 12 Jul 1838; First Lieutenant 28 Sep 1840; regimental adjutant 1 Sep 1842 to 1 Nov 1843; Captain 16 Feb 1847; Brevet Captain Assistant Adjutant General 7 Jul 1846; Brevet Captain 9 May 1846 for gallant conduct in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Tex. Killed 23 Feb 1847 in the battle of Buena Vista, Mex. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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f By that spelling, there is no officer in Heitman's Register that he might be. He is almost certainly Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.John A. Richey; who, the reader will notice, was killed a few months later on similar duty.

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g There is no officer in Heitman's Register by that name. The editor has almost certainly misread Maj. Barbour's handwriting: this officer must be identified as Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Christopher C. Augur, who participated in the battles as a Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry.

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h Seth Barton Thornton: born in Virginia, appointed from Alabama. Second Lieutenant in the 2d Dragoons 8 Jun 1836; First Lieutenant 16 Nov 1837; Captain 1 Feb 1841; killed 18 Aug 1847 on a reconnaissance near San Antonio Valley of Mexico. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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i Richard E. Cochrane: born in Delaware, appointed from Delaware. Second Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry 18 Sep 1838; First Lieutenant 31 Dec 1842. Killed 9 May 1846 at the battle of Resaca de la Palma, Tex. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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j James Simmons McIntosh: born in Georgia, appointed from Georgia. Second Lieutenant in the Rifles 13 Nov 1812; First Lieutenant 31 Dec 1813; honorably discharged 15 Jun 1815; reinstated 2 Dec 1815; Captain 8 Mar 1817; transferred to the Ordnance 11 Sep 1818; transferred to the 4th Infantry 1 Jun 1821; Major in the 7th Infantry 21 Sep 1836; Lieutenant-Colonel in the 5th Infantry 1 Jul 1839; Brevet Major 8 Mar 1827 for 10 years faithful service in one grade and Colonel 9 May 1846 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Tex. Died 26 Sep 1847 of wounds received 8 Sep 1847 in the battle of Molino del Rey, Mex. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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k Matthew Mountjoy Payne: born in Virginia, appointed from Virginia. First Lieutenant in the 20th Infantry 12 Mar 1812; Captain 2 Mar 1814; honorably discharged 15 Jun 1815; reinstated 17 May 1816 in the Artillery Corps; transferred to the 4th Artillery 1 Jun 1821; Major in the 2d Artillery 27 Jun 1836 to 7 Jan 1837 when canceled by the restoration of Major W. Gates and reappointed Major in the 2d Artillery to rank 17 Dec 1836; Lieutenant-Colonel in the 4th Artillery 27 Jun 1843; Colonel in the 2d Artillery 11 Nov 1856; Brevet Major 2 Mar 1824 for 10 years faithful service in one grade and Colonel 9 May 1846 for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Tex. resigned 23 Jul 1861. Died 1 Aug 1862.

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l Joseph Selden: born in Virginia, appointed from Virginia. Second Lieutenant in the 8th Infantry 7 Jul 1838; First Lieutenant 7 Sep 1841; Captain 1 Jan 1848; Brevet Captain 20 Aug 1847 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, Mex. and Major 13 Sep 1847 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Chapultepec, Mex.; resigned 27 Apr 1861. Lieutenant-Colonel, Assistant Inspector General, C. S. A., war 1861 to 1865.

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m There is no officer by the name of Hoe in Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army; nor any by the name of Hoag, Hoar, or Roe. If Howe is meant, he might just possibly be Marshall Saxe Howe, but that officer is not mentioned as wounded in the Mexican War, and his military career continued for many years after: yet the loss of an arm usually put an end to Army service.

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n Jacob Brown: born in Massachusetts, appointed from the Army. Private and sergeant in the 11th Infantry 3 Aug 1812 to April 1814; ensign in the 11th Infantry 15 Apr 1814; Third Lieutenant 1 May 1814; Second Lieutenant 1 Sep 1814; transferred to artillery 17 May 1815; Regimental Quartermaster 16 Apr to 1 Jun 1821; First Lieutenant 18 Aug 1819; Captain 7 Apr 1825; Major in the 7th Infantry 27 Feb 1843. Died 9 May 1846 of wounds received 6 May 1846 in the defense of the fort now known as Ft. Brown, Tex.

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o See Martha Barbour's diary, Sept. 10, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 27, and Oct. 2.

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p William Leslie Cazneau: a general in the Texas Army. A biographical sketch of him is given in the Handbook of Texas.

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q John Garland: born in Virginia, appointed from Virginia. First Lieutenant 35th Infantry 31 Mar 1813; transferred to 3d Infantry 17 May 1815; Captain 7 May 1817; Captain and Assistant Quartermaster 31 May 1826 to 10 Jul 1832; Major in the 1st Infantry 30 Oct 1836; Lieutenant-Colonel in the 4th Infantry 27 Nov 1839; Colonel in the 8th Infantry 7 May 1849; Brevet Major 7 May 1827 for 10 years faithful service in one grade; Colonel 9 May 1846 for gallant conduct in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Tex., and Brigadier-General 20 Aug 1847 for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, Mex. Died 5 Jun 1861. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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r The only officer in Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army that he might be is

John J. Fay: born in New York, appointed from New York. Lieutenant-Colonel of Infantry 18 Mar 1847; in the 10th Infantry 9 Apr 1847; Colonel in the 13th Infantry 3 Dec 1847; honorably mustered out 15 Jul 1848. [And from his tombstone at Find-a‑Grave: Died near Fort Laramie, June 25, 1849, Aged 42 years.]

He is not recorded to have held the next lower rank, of Major as our text here would have it, in the United States Army. The regiment was raised in February, 1847; I suspect — with no evidence to back me up — that this is our man, and that at the time he was a Major in the Texas Army.

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s William W. Lear: born in Maryland, appointed from the Army. Private, Corporal, and Sergeant in the Light Dragoons 18 May 1812 to 15 Jun 1815 and in the 4th Infantry to Mar 1818; Second Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry 13 Feb 1818; First Lieutenant 24 Feb 1818; Captain 1 May 1824; Major in the 3d Infantry 14 Jun 1842; Brevet Major 1 May 1834 for 10 years faithful service in one grade. Died 31 Oct 1846 of wounds received 21 Sep 1846 in the attack on the city of Monterey, Mex. (Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army)

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t Nathan Towson: born in Maryland, appointed from Maryland. Captain in the 2d Artillery 12 Mar 1812; transferred to the Artillery Corps 12 May 1814; transferred to the Light Artillery 17 May 1815; Paymaster General 28 Aug 1819; Colonel in the 2d Artillery 1 Jun 1821; negated by the Senate 22 Mar 1822; Colonel and Paymaster General 8 May 1822; Brevet Major 8 Oct 1812 for capturing the enemy's brig Caledonia under the guns of Fort Erie, U. C.; Lieutenant-Colonel 5 Jul 1814 for distinguished and gallant conduct in the conflict of Chippewa, U. C., and Brigadier General 30 Jun 1834; Major General 30 May 1848 for meritorious conduct particularly in performing his duties in prosecuting the war with Mexico. Died 20 Jul 1854.


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