Vera Cruz and its castle in time to escape, by pursuing the enemy, the pestilence of the coast.
The city and castle of Vera Cruz were captured March 29th, and with about one-fourth of the necessary means for a road train. The retreat, in pursuit of the enemy, was vigorously commenced April 8th.
The battle of Cerro Gordo soon followed, and we occupied Jalapa and Perote, where we were obliged to wait for supplies from Vera Cruz; in those positions I was made to write under another cruel disappointment.
In my four memorials to the Department, on the further prosecution of the war against Mexico, written at Washington, and dated respectively, October 27th, November 12th, 16th and 21st, it was only intimated to me on the night of November 18th, that I might prepare myself for the field. Papers in which I demonstrated that Vera Cruz was the true base of operations, and that the enemy's capital could not, probably, be reached from the Rio Grande. I estimated that after taking that great seaport, about twenty thousand men might be needed; first, to beat in the field, and in passes, any accumulated forces in the way; second, to garrison many important points in the rear, to secure a free communication with Vera Cruz; third, to make distant detachments, in order to gather in, without long halts, necessary subsistence; and that force, I supposed, including volunteers, and aided by land and money bounties, might be raised in time by adding ten or twelve new regiments of regulars, and filling up the ranks of the old.
A bill was introduced for raising ten additional regular regiments, and I certainly do not mean to charge the Department with the whole delay in passing the bill through Congress. But it was passed February 11, 1847; and under it, early in April, some few thousand men had been raised and organized. My distress may be conceived by any soldier, on learning, at Jalapa, April 27th, that the whole of that force had been sent, under Brig.-Gen. Cadwalader, to Rio Grande frontier.