Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/94

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he is sending; those nasty balls into the city is not slow. The thundering-and roaring of the heavy cannons now tells us that the war has fairly commenced.

The Mexicans have now opened three batteries from the city on Gen. Worth's breastworks. The Castle is assisting the city efforts besides, and does everything in her power to protect the city from being destroyed by the Yankee. Oh! I tell you the bomb-shells and round shot are flying like hail-stones into the city of the True Cross. Think of it eighty-five bomb-shells were thrown into the city the first two hours, and over one hundred bomb-shells the next two hours. Everything is darkened from the clouds of smoke, and the city looks like Pittsburgh on a rainy day, all black with gunpowder smoke.

During the afternoon our navy opened on the Castle to draw the enemy's fire from our batteries.

This evening I was informed that Capt. John R. Vinton, of the Third United States Artillery, was killed behind his battery. He was a brave, gallant and skilful officer, as well as a Christian soldier. He has a brother a quartermaster in Gen. Taylor's army. This will be sad news to the brother.

Our division is still busy in building our volunteer battery, and when we have it finished ready to open, the enemy will be still more surprised; for it is nearer to the centre of the city.

To-night we can plainly see the bombardment of the city, and it is one of the most magnificent and striking displays that I have ever seen, and, as a soldier said, I shall ever remember the bombardment of Vera Cruz.

At 10 o'clock to-night I was informed that Capt. John R. Vinton was buried as he fell, with all of his clothes on, and with all the honors of war. He was a good and kind officer to his men, which is something rare among the regular officers.

Tuesday, March 23, 1847.—Last night after 12 o'clock the Plaza de Toras bull pit was set on fire from our shells, which illuminated the whole city, and caused great excitement among the citizens.