restricted access 5. You Can't Fool These Yankees; They Are Too Sharp [Includes Images]
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Chapter 5 Y You Can’t Fool These Yankees; They Are Too Sharp Sunday, August 7, 1847. This morning the orders for marching to the city of Mexico, read to us last evening, were countermanded, and orders read that we are to remain here to form the main garrison of Puebla. Never did I see the countenance of men change so suddenly , and never did I see a set of men more provoked and put out about anything in all my life. They cursed and swore and called Gen. Scott almost everything for keeping us here, for we were all in high glee, expecting, without fail to go on to the city of Mexico with the main army, and be with it in all the pictured battle scenes which are to be fought at the great empire of Mexico; but all our hopes of triumphant prospects and victory were dashed. “You can’t go,” were the words; discouraged and dismayed again. The cause of our order being countermanded is that Maj. [Levi] Twiggs, of the United States Marines, who was detailed to form part of the garrison, of Puebla, being a near relative of Gen. David Twiggs, and was anxious to be with the army marching on to the city of Mexico, his orders were changed from forming the garrison, and was ordered to march in our place. Our men will never forgive Maj. Twiggs for taking the advantage of our orders of marching into the city, and the general saying is that they don’t wish Maj. Twiggs any luck. They also blame Gen. Scott for changing our orders, and I regret that the high esteem and admiration held by our men for Gen. Scott is now reversed, they making uncomplimentary remarks about our misfortune. About 8 o’clock, a.m., the advance of Gen. David E. Twiggs’ Second Division began to move for the ancient capital of Montezuma. This division is composed of the whole cavalry brigade of dragoons and mounted riflemen. The First Dragoons were under Capt. Phil. Kearny; Second Dragoons under Maj. E[dwin]V. Sumner; Third Rifle Dragoons under Capt. McReynolds; and the whole brigade under that gallant and heroic dragoon officer, Col. Wm. S. Harney; First Brigade under Gen. Persifer Frazer Smith; First Artillery; the Mounted Rifle Regiment; Third Infantry; [Francis] Taylor’s Battery; Second Brigade under Acting Gen. Bennet Riley; Fourth Artillery, First and Second Infantry; in all about three thousand men and a train of some two hundred wagons.1 When the old silver-haired veteran, Gen. Twiggs, passed our quarters, we gave him three cheers. The mounted band on their splendid white horses, struck up the “Star Spangled Banner,” and “Yankee Doodle,” etc. Oh! didn’t I wish I was with that crowd. 132 You Can’t Fool These Yankees; They Are Too Sharp This evening I hear a good deal of dissatisfaction and grumbling going on among our men. Some blame Col. Wynkoop, who, with the other four companies of our regiment, are now stationed at Perote Castle. They say, had he been with us, our order for marching would not have been changed. Later this evening I learn that Lieut. Col. Samuel W. Black, of our regiment, tendered his resignation to Gen. Scott, but it was not accepted by that officer. Maj. Twiggs was afterwards killed at the storming of the Castle of Chapultepec, September 13, 1847. Thus, through ambition and inspiration for military fame he lost his life with glory to himself and family. Sunday, August 8, 1847. This morning I could still hear our men grumbling and swearing on account of our disappointment. Lieut. Col. Black again insisted on his resignation , and to join the advancing army, and go even as a private, but Gen. Scott still refused to accept it; and at the same time told Col. Black, that he must not be uneasy, and not to think that he will have no fighting to do; that he, Col. Black, will find it out, and that before long; that he will have enough of fighting to do before the war is over, also, that he, Scott, noticed our six companies on parade ground, to be the best drilled and disciplined body of soldiers in the whole volunteer division, they being used to hardship and fatigue, and that we were the kind of troops he wanted to garrison one of the main points on his line of operation. Goodbye, Colonel! and may God protect you and your...


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