« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
We do not give this as a fact, for there is the artillery was posted, showed how nothing certain respecting the designs of terrible the fire of our guns had been, and the Mexicans in changing the order of with what steadiness and bravery the battle, and this movement, if begun, was Mexicans had stood to their pieces. In so quickly checked that it could not one place, fifty-seven bodies were found have been fully detected by Gen, Taylor. in a heap, or about the entire number of
The weary night wore away—the gal. killed and wounded together on our side. lant Ringgold lay dying-Page, speech. Gen. Taylor soon came up with the less and faint-and scores of our brave enemy, occupying a strong position on men stretched on the field of their fame, the farther side of a ravine, and resting wounded or dying, while hundreds of the his left on a pond so as to prevent the enemy made the night hideous with their possibility of being outflanked on that cries and groans. That was an anxious side. Eight pieces of artillery defended night for the brave Taylor. He had ad- this position, divided into three portions vanced to within a short distance of the -one on the left side of the road, one on fort, and found the enemy strong, and re the right, and one in the centre. It was solved to dispute his entrance. He had evident from the outset, that the great fought one battle, lost one of the most struggle was to be along the road where efficient officers in the army, and was far the batteries were placed, protected by a from reinforcements, and without a pro- ditch and breastwork in front. Reintecting breast-work, while the enemy forcements of 2,000 men had arrived were in reach of help from Matamoraš, during the night, and here, within three and could choose their position at leisure. miles of the fort, the BATTLE OF RESACA With 2,000 men he had beat 6,000, and DE LA PALMA was fought. The victory killed and wounded nearly 800 ; but he of the day before and the recital of the knew that loss would be more than made gallant deeds at night, had filled every up before morning by reinforcements. In bosom with a fierce desire to perform this trying position, he called a council some brave act, and the troops defiled of war composed of thirteen officers, and past the wagons and deployed in front of asked them what he should do. Four the enemy, with an alacrity and ardor only out of the whole were in favor of which showed that wild work would be advancing--the remainder advised either done before night should close over the to intrench where they were, or retreat scene. Scarcely were our troops in orto Point Isabel, and wait for reinforce- der of battle, before the artillery of the ments. When all had spoken, the brave enemy opened and rained a perfect show. old veteran exclaimed : « I will be at Fort er of balls on our ranks. The road was Brown before night, if I live,” Noble swept at every discharge with grape words that deserve to be written in let. shot and balls that threatened to carry ters of gold. That feeble garrison, which entirely away the daring squadron wbich had for a whole week so firmly with should presume to advance along it. To stood the close siege of the enemy, lay the left of the road, the conflict at once on his brave heart, and he resolved to became fierce and bloody. The 4th, 5th succor it or fall in the attempt. There and 8th Infantry, and a part of the 3d, spoke out the spirit of the true hero—the were there mowing down the enemy same that on the heights of Bennington, with their steady volleys, strewing the exclaimed, as the sword pointed to the road-side with the dead, and sternly enemy moving to battle, “ Those red forcing back the serried ranks, while the coats, men, before night they are ours, or artillery kept thundering on with such Mary Stark's a widoro ," the same that rapid and ceaseless explosions that as the uttered in the very blaze of the hotly- Mexican prisoners afterwards said, they worked battery at Lundy's Lane, “I'll thought we had fifty instead of eight try, sir;" the same that on the rending cannon. Shells and shot drove so like a decks of the Chesapeake, faintly murmur storm of sleet in their faces, that the of. ed, “ Don't give up the ship.” It was a ficers vainly endeavored to throw the noble resolution to save that garrison or entire army forward in a desperate leave his body at the foot of the walls, charge on our guns, but so certain and and right nobly was it carried out. biting was the fire, that they could not
The next day the army recommenced be induced to move a step, and fell in its march, and found the enemy gone their tracks. On the right, our men, adleaving his dead unburied. The number vancing through the chapparal, bad outof bodies lying around the spots where flanked the enemy, and were pouring in
their well-directed volleys, while on the gles sounded the charge, and the black left, where the incessant fash of musket- and driving mass swept like a thunder ry, drowned now and then by the roar of cloud to the shock. A cloud of dust cannon and shouts of the men, told how marked their progress as they rode sternfierce was the conflict. Our troops were ly and fiercely on. The attention of steadily gaining ground, but the murder- nearly the whole army was directed to ous battery in the centre of the road con- this desperate charge, and you could hear tinued to vomit forth death, and was their muffled tread as they broke into a worked with a coolness and held with a gallop and tore forward up to the very tenacity that perfectly maddened our men. muzzles of the guns. Two rods in adGen. Taylor was within its range, and vance was seen the commanding form of when expostulated with for exposing May, as, mounted on his powerful charhimself so openly, refused to move out of ger, he rode fiercely on, with his long the danger except by moving forward. hair streaming in the wind, while behind The regiments got confused in the chap- shook the glittering sabres of his followparal somewhat, but fought just as ers. One discharge tore through them, well; and though the infantry held their stretching nearly a third of his company firm array, they seemed to fight in groups, and half of his horses on the ground, but each one directing its energies on a sin when the smoke lifted there was still gle point. The battery of the gallant seen the war horse of May leaping the Ridgely kept steadily advancing like a ditch, breast-work and all, pressed closemoving volcano, and hurled such a ly after by his remaining followers, riding storm of iron on the guns that swept the down the artillery-men at their pieces, road, that the infantry which protected and passing straight through the Mexithem fell at every discharge like grass can lines. A wild hurrah went up from before the scythe. At length' a body of our entire army as they saw those fierce lancers came charging furiously along dragoons clear the breast-work. The 5th the road, and rode up to the very muz and 8th Infantry followed close after, zles of his guns. Scattering them like a charging at a run along the road, and whirlwind with a discharge from one of swept over the breast-work just after the his pieces, he dashed in person among dragoons were compelled to leave it; and four" that still kept hurrying on, and took possession of the guns. Lieut. drove them before him.
Duncan then took command of the ad. The infantry fought with unparalleled vance and soon cleared the road with his bravery, led on by as brave officers as deadly artillery, while the infantry, packever trod a battle-field. Indeed, every ed now in the narrow road with a chap, officer seemed to think it necessary he paral on each side, went pouring onward should show an example of daring to his with furious shouts, driving the enemy men, while every soldier fought as if he before them. The battle then became a would outdo his leader in heroic acts. rout and rolled furiously towards the Sometimes a few men, headed by an offi- river, whither the affrighted Mexicans cer, would charge a gun and fight like were flying to escape to Matamoras. The desperadoes around it. In one instance cavalry first went galloping like a crowd a soldier leaped astride of a piece he had of fugitives to the ferry, while the incaptured and boldly defended himself fantry, forced from the chapparal at the while his companions dragged him away point of the bayonet, followed after. with the prize. From the outset our ar Ah! you should have heard the shout my steadily advanced on every side, ex that then rose from the little garrison of cept along the road where the central bat- Fort Brown. They had stood and listery was kept playing. At length, goaded tened, as the sound of the heavy cannonto madness by the galling fire kept up ading of the tirst day's fight came riding from these few pieces, and seeing that by on the evening air-filled with the the whole battle rested there, Gen. Tay- deepest anxiety as to the issue, for on lor ordered Capt. May to charge the bat. the success of the army rested their own tery with his dragoons. _His words were, fate. It was with inexpressible joy they “ You must take it.” The gallant May heard, next day at noon, the artillery wheeled on his steed and said to his fol. again opened, and almost within sight of lowers: “ Men, we must take that bat the ramparts. All the morning the guns tery” In a moment those eighty-two of the enemy had been playing upon their stern riders were moving in a dark mass intrenchments, and when at last the fierce along the road, headed by their fearless firing began in the distance and the smoke commander. The next moment the bu of battle rose over the tree tops, telling
them that their companions were ad The charge of May was one of the vancing to their relief, the excitement be- most gallant deeds among the hundred came intense. But the cannonading ad- performed in these fierce fought battles, vanced steadily nearer, and the rapid vol- and decided the victory. Had he not leys of musketry every moment grew succeeded, we should doubtless have clearer, saying in accents more thrilling gained the day; for, from the outset, our than language, that our brave troops troops never once fell back or wavered, were victorious.
but steadily gained ground. The conAt length, when the cavalry, plunging flict, however, would have been prowildly over the plain, emerged into view, tracted, and our loss much greater but they 'mounted the ramparts, and under for this successful charge. It is always the folds of their flag, that still floated desperate business charging artillery with proudly in the breeze, sent up a huzza cavalry, yet it is frequently done. The that was heard even in Matamoras—the rapidity of its movements, and the want shout of victory.
of close packed ranks to resist the shock, That was a joyful meeting, when our make it always successful, unless the wearied but victorious army, amid loud artillery is well supported by firm inhuzzas, marched again into Fort Brown, fantry. Thus, at the battle of Aspern, and into the arms of their brave com- Bessieres charged nearly four hundred panions. Three thousand five hundred cannon, placed in battery, with his heavy shots had been fired into that single fort, armed cuirassiers. The carnage of the and yet but two men had been killed. volley that received them was awful; yet
Gen. Taylor's victory was complete. nothing saved the guns but hastily with The Mexicans lost their whole artillery, drawing them to the rear, so that instead 2,000 stand of arms—600 mules, together of charging on cannon, when the smoke with Gen. Arista's private papers, and lifted, he found himself in presence of Gen. Vega himself, whom May made infantry, standing in squares, and preprisoner in his desperate charge on and senting a girdle of steel to his squadrons. over the battery. Our loss in killed, The Mexicans had not time to do this, wounded and missing, in these two bat- for it was but a few moments after May tles, was not far from 170; that of the emerged into view along the road, beenemy unknown, but it could not before he was among them with his shoutmuch short of 1,200. The battle of the ing riders. This charge was the more 9th was much the most severe, as is evi- desperate from being made with so few dent from the greater mortality that at When four or eight thousand tended it—our loss being nearly double cavalry gallop into the blaze of artillery that on the day before. Gen. Taylor had the front ranks furnish a wall for those thrown up hasty intrenchments around behind ; and before a second discharge his train, which had been left on the first can mow them down they are amid the battle-field guarded by four hundred men; guns, or breast to breast with infantry; so that he brought but about 1,600 men but when such a small squadron charges into the fight, while the Mexicans, not almost every man in it is exposed. withstanding their severe loss, had re When Captain May set out to fulfill ceived such heavy reinforcements that his task, to all human appearance he they showed a thousand stronger than in would never bring back half of his men, the previous engagement. That the Mex- whether successful or not; and, but for icans fought well is evident from their the noble and generous act of Lieutenant heavy loss-nearly one-third of their en. Ridgely, such would have been the retire army disappeared from the ranks be- sult. Ridgely was stationed along the fore it broke and fled. The great dispro- road, and was pouring, with frightful portion between the killed and wounded effect, his grape into the enemy's battery, in the two armies was owing entirely to when May came riding up with his dra. the greater precision of our fire, our sol- goons at his back. The former stopped diers having hit or killed each his man. him, just as he was about to emerge into Neither is this a new feature in our bat. open view of the enemy, and in direct tles, for during our previous wars it was range of his batteries, telling him that ascertained that, as a general rule, one every piece had just been loaded, and if out of every two hundred shots took he charged then he would be swept effect, while in the European battles it is away. Stop,” said this gallant officer, calculated that only one out of every “until I draw their fire,” then deliber four hundred hits-making a difference of ately fired each gun, which sent such just half, even with Continental troops. havoc amid their ranks that a general
discharge followed. The next moment, had the country been governed by such May, with his dragoons, rode into view, policy as they recommend ? and swept furiously forward; and before West Point has nobly vindicated her. the Mexicans were fully prepared to re- self from the attacks of these men, and ceive the shock the clattering tempest was
her brave sons that lie on those fierce upon them, and “the red field was won.” fought battle-fields shall forever silence
These two battles are worth a thousand their slanderous tongues. Skill and mili. speeches in Congress, and Secretary's tary discipline saved us, on the Mexican reports, respecting the wants and organ- plains, from the severest mortification, ization of our army. They show that and, doubtless, from a protracted war. our troops can be disciplined into the All honor then to General Taylor, and most perfect coolness and firmness in the May, and Page, and Duncan, and Ridgehour of battle, and that the courage ly, and Churchill, and Inges, and Indon, which won for us an independence, is and McIntosh, and Chadbourne, and strong as ever in our soldiers. They Cochrane, and Walker, and Browne, and show, also, that those demagogues who, last though not least, Ringgold, and a in Congress, are constantly decrying our host of others. Green be the grass over standing army and military school at the fallen, and ever green the laurels that West Point-ridiculing all military edu- twine the brows of the living. Noble cation and science, and uttering frothy men !—Ye who sleep are not deadwords about the bravery of the people the brave and patriotic never die-they being sufficient to outweigh the disci- live in the hearts of their countrymen. pline of veteran troops, are as unfit to Not a recreant son was found on those control our affairs as were the Jacobins battle-fields; and all honor ought to be of France to rule the destinies of that paid to our little army, every man of country. Too conceited to be taught by which was a hero. With such sol. the experience of others they never cease diers we can never be conquered, nor their aggressions on everything that re our arms disgraced. Palo Alto and bukes their ignorance, until overthrown, Resaca de la Palma will be bright pages or silenced by deeds they cannot gain in the biography of General Taylor. All say. What would raw troops and volun- honor, we say, then to our army and its teer-artillerymen have done with our officers. We toast the men, but not the cannon at Palo Alto and Resaca de la
and while a curse rests on our Palma? Where would have been the capitol a circle of light surrounds our “ stars and stripes” that is ever on the army of occupation. Our army has won lips of these men, as if it had but to enduring renown, but our government wave over a battle-field to frighten the enduring disgrace. oldest veterans of Europe from the fight,
FAREWELL, O strife of love! Farewell, o Dreams
Of Beauty and Delight! No more—" no more"
I wander on : this phantasy is o'er !
And this false idol I have kept so long-
And vows of constancy and passionate song-
of this great hope in setting-by the dawn
I count no more the midnight hours forlorn!
SOMETHING ABOUT OUR PAINTERS.
HAVING unavoidably omitted to notice Various great moral and physical the Exhibition of the National Academy causes combi to give us this prospect. of Design for this year, during the time it ive position in art among the nations of remained open, we do not now intend the earth ; but for the very reason that to go into a detailed criticism of the pic- they are great and varied, they will be tures exhibited ; but cannot neglect to long in working out their effect; and take the opportunity of speaking of some those who complain that we have not of our painters and their works, at a sufficient nationality in art, should recoltime when the remembrance of them lect that this, in so far as it is desirable, must be fresh in the minds of so many is a consequence, not a precursor of naof our readers.
tionality in feeling. Our painters will Of our painters we may well be proud not found a national historical school by as to their present attainment in art, and painting red-skins and the scenes of the still more as to their promise of future old French and Revolutionary wars, nor achievement. We believe that Benjamin a school of landscape by giving us views West is not the only man whom Amer. of primeval forests in the gaudy dress of ica, within a century of her independ. autumn. Germans, Englishmen and ence, will send to the masters of Europe Italians can do this if they be familiar as their equal, perhaps as their superior. with the subjects, and their works will be We believe that in spite of the material not one whit more American than if they tendencies which, as a nation, we un- painted the Hartz mountains, the battles doubtedly have, we have also peculiar of the Great Rebellion, or altar pieces. characteristics which, now when devel. When we have a settled tone as a naoped in individual cases, will produce tion, then will our national traits be artists of greater strength and higher cre- shown by our painters in their bandative powers than those of modern Eu- ling, not in their choice, of subjects. rope, and wbich in future when we, as It is not the subject but the manner of a people, shall have become convinced treating it which marks the school. that we have some time to devote to The sacred pieces of Rubens are as un. other things than those which pertain to Italian in character as is an interior by our mere material existence, will make Gerard Dow, or a group of drinkers by us, as a people, enlightened enthusiasts Teniers; and an American who has the in art. Though at present we can but genius requisite to found a new school humbly imitate the example of the Eng- of painting, would run no more risk of lishman, and content ourselves with ad- destroying the character of his concepmiring and paying to the best of our tions by studying and copying the works poor ability, the time will come when of Raphael and Rubens, than he would we will bring into the field of art a sus- of changing the shape of his head by ceptibility which he has not, while we wearing the cap of the one or the hat of will have all of bis calm judgment and the other; and if he have not that gequiet humor, the Frenchman's fond- nius, then he cannot do better for himself ness for accuracy and brilliant effect or his art than to adopt the style of some without his pettiness and convention- great master, modified, as it necessarily alism, the vigor and fancy of the Ger- would be if he have any talent, by the man without his grossness and extrav- peculiar tone of his own mind. agance, and the fervor and grace of the Neither is it necessary to the fostering Italian without the morbid sentiment of our nationality that our artists should which so frequently stimulates the one, choose themes from our own history.* or the languor which is the chief cause True, this was the case with other naof the other.
tions, whose early poets and painters
Nor paint pictures three miles long because this is "a great country.' PRINTER'S DEVIL.