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[The Broad Pennant -- Naval Service in the Mexican War] Introduction
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But amid the different and sometimes varying projects of the government at Washington, General Taylor, at this important moment of his contemplated advance, was destined to have a large body of his forces withdrawn from him, and himself superseded in the command of the Army of Occupation by Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott. Gen. Scott, however, was to operate in a different field from that held by General Taylor. The object of the Government, at this time, was to concentrate the forces both of the Army and the Navy (Tampico having been already taken) for an attack on Vera Cruz and the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa. A letter from General Scott to General Taylor develops these circumstances of the two Generals -- the purposes of the Government -- and the intended disposition of the Army at this moment of its action.

In consequence of this movement at Washington, and General Scott's orders to proceed to Vera Cruz, the largest portion of General Taylor's force, both regulars and volunteers, was withdrawn from him. Of his old associates in arms he took a becoming leave of, expressing his regrets at par
ting with them -- his attachment necessarily arising from their association in active services in the field -- and heartfelt wishes, that happiness might attend them in another field of operation, where, he doubted not, their success of arms would honor themselves and their country.

But General Taylor, while he now waited reinforcements at Monterey, after the departure of the main body of his Army for Vera Cruz, yet dissented from the advice of General Scott to hold himself merely on the defensive; and of the Government, to recall his advanced posts to Monterey. On the contrary, in February, w
ith an Army of something less than 6000 men, all volunteers, with a trifling but an important exception of a few regulars, we find him, on his own responsibility, encamped at Agua Nueva, some 18 miles beyond Saltillo, holding in check the Mexican Army, now swollen to 20,000 men, and under Santa Anna, at San Louis de Potosi; or, if the enemy should advance, General Taylor had selected his positions to give battle to the Mexican forces, what ever might be their numbers. And such, indeed, were their numbers, that it is believed at this moment, that but few men save the Chieftain then at the head of the Army of Occupation could have successfully encountered them, advancing, as the Mexicans soon were known to be, in overwhelming masses, and with highest spirits, in expectations of triumph over the smaller body of the American troops. This expectation of the Mexican Army, its high-end busy as him, and the bright anticipations of glory which were flitting before the vision of the Mexican General, will appear from the proclamation of Santa Anna, so confidently issued on the eve of his marching his marshalled hosts, to give battle to General Taylor and to conquer the North American Army.


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.  pp 333-335.



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