Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/537

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Cruz, in Mexico, and it was, without doubt, one of the most brilliant victories for the United States army. It broke the backbone of this war, and its results opened up the National Road to our gallant little army—the way to the halls of the Montezumas. Yes, my readers, to-day one year ago about ten thousand American troops, fatigued and exhausted from long marching, were engaged in this terrible attack on that strong and well-fortified position, with some fifteen thousand Mexican troops, well armed, equipped and commanded by their great chieftain. Gen. Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna, besides other generals whose fame stood high in military ranks.

Thus, the fifteen thousand Mexican troops which, according to the calculations usually made in such cases, should have been equal to four times the number of our forces, or about seventy-five thousand men. Yet our little army was brilliantly successful, carrying the strongly-fortified position by assault, and the enemy were utterly routed and hotly pursued in all directions—Gen. Santa Anna leaving behind him nearly four thousand prisoners, with five of the best generals in his army, over forty-three pieces of bronze artillery,[1] over five thousand stand of arms, with no end of ammunition and materials of war—all captured in this single battle of Cerro Gordo. The disaster of Gen. Santa Anna and his army was complete. Thus winning this glorious victory against extraordinary odds, the American people cannot too often testify their gratitude to the gallant spirits who added such trophies and renown to their national glory.

But it pains me to mention that up to this date our Congress and Government have never thanked our army for this brilliant achievement, and still more grievous to own that the gallant hero. Gen. Scott, who led us into that memorable field, is now a prisoner—dragged from us to make room for another soldier, but no better one. Yes, he has already left us; he will return to the United States, from which he has been absent for one year and a half, and it is painful to reflect that

  1. Some of these very pieces are now on the Capitol Hill, Harrisburg, Pa.