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[The Broad Pennant -- Naval Service in the Mexican War] Introduction
[Alvarado] Alvarado
[Court Martial] Court Martial
of Lt. Hunter
[Tabasco] Tabasco
[Tuxpan] Tuxpan
[Vera Cruz] Vera
[Buena Vista] Buena
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[Mexican War Service of the United States Navy]

Second Attack on Tabasco

When Commodore Perry, at an earlier date of the operation to the fleet, visited Tabasco, capturing their small vessels and steamers and bombarded the town, he retired from before the city, after the representations of the foreign consuls were made to him, and partly, at least, from considerations of humanity. The town certainly was at his mercy, lying within musket-shot range of his large guns, and might have been demolished. And yet, it is no more than justice to the leader of the Mexican forces, then at Tabasco, to state that he obstinately refused to surrender the town in obedience to the demand made upon him by a deputation from the Commander of the forces then lying before the town; and that the party of sailors and Marines which were landed at the moment of the vessels reaching the place, were recalled, without an engagement with the enemy. And the American forces retiring from the Fort Tabasco, as they did, though they had secured the vessels then lying in the river, which was the principal object of the expedition, gave rise to a bashful reference always on the part of the Mexicans, to the first affair at Tabasco. They said that the American forces had been necessitated to retire before the superior courage and prowess of the Mexican arms, which opposed them at this point. It is believed, therefore, that there was a little professional sensitiveness felt on the part of the American Commodore, in view of the bravado of the Tabascanos. They declared that they were ready again to receive the Americans, and would be glad once more to measure their long guns and their short guns with them.

All other ports along the coast being now in possession of the fleet, and held by detachments from the squadron or Army, Commodore Perry directed his attention to this town, some sixty miles up the Tabasco river, though Frontera, at the mouth of the river, had been held by a blockading force since the first attack on Tabasco. The force detailed for the different ships was a large one, and the smaller vessels of the squadron were used for the expedition -- as the Scorpion, Stromboli, Vesuvius, Aetna, Spitfire, Scourge, Vixen -- names of themselves sufficiently terrific, one would think, to frighten the people of Tabasco from all their self-complacency, for years to come, notwithstanding the usual grandiloquence for which the language of the Mexicans is famous. Washington, a name added to the above list, is of less formidable sound, but ever the watch word for all virtuous, and noble, and patriotic action.

The Broad Pennant.  A Cruise in the United States Flag Ship of the Gulf Squadron, During the Mexican Difficulties Together With Sketches of the Mexican War. Rev. Fitch W. Taylor, A. M., USN.    Leavitt, Tron & Co., New York.  1848.

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Page Last Modified: 15 November 1998

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