Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/304

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

department and got myself a new bayonet, in the place of the one I had shot off last night. This is the second one I have had shot off.

About 10'clock, a.m., we saw a great cloud of dust on the ruta, a few miles from the city, and it was not long afterwards when it was announced that Gen. Santa Anna's army, about eight thousand men, were entering this city. This news indicated at once that something of an extraordinary movement was about to take place; and so, of course, we were all ordered to be prepared for the contest. The artillery men were ordered to stand by their howitzer pieces with the slow match burning, ready the moment when the attack is made.

At noon a flag of truce, accompanied by a priest and several Mexican officers, came riding up the street as far as our picket line. Here they were stopped, and our Adjt. Welder went to receive them. They handed the Adjutant a letter stating that it was from Gen. Santa Anna to Gov. Childs. It was brought to Gov. Childs, and its contents were commanding Gov. Childs, Governor of Puebla, to surrender up all his forces now stationed in Puebla, and to march out with our private arms, such as pistols, and either to join Gen. Scott at the city of Mexico, or fall back to Perote Castle, and that he (Gen. Santa Anna) would give Gov. Childs until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock to make up his mind what he intended to do about it. And that if Gov. Childs did not submit to his fair and reasonable request, that he (Gen. Santa Anna) has eight thousand troops under his control, full of courage and enthusiasm, to drive us out, and that he would not be responsible for the damages, and the loss of American soldier's lives. This was a bumper.

Gov. Childs immediately called his officers together, and after talking over Gen. Santa Anna's proposition, they came to a unanimous conclusion to reply to Gen. Santa Anna, stating that he (Col. Childs, of the United States Army, and now Governor and Commander of the city of Puebla,) has read his communication, and that it gives him great pleasure