Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 453 pages of information about Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant — Volume 1.
had to be made into packages, so that they could be lashed to the backs of the mules.  Sheet-iron kettles, tent-poles and mess chests were inconvenient articles to transport in that way.  It took several hours to get ready to start each morning, and by the time we were ready some of the mules first loaded would be tired of standing so long with their loads on their backs.  Sometimes one would start to run, bowing his back and kicking up until he scattered his load; others would lie down and try to disarrange their loads by attempting to get on the top of them by rolling on them; others with tent-poles for part of their loads would manage to run a tent-pole on one side of a sapling while they would take the other.  I am not aware of ever having used a profane expletive in my life; but I would have the charity to excuse those who may have done so, if they were in charge of a train of Mexican pack mules at the time.

CHAPTER VIII.

Advance on Monterey—­the black fort—­the battle of Monterey—­surrender of the city.

The advance from Camargo was commenced on the 5th of September.  The army was divided into four columns, separated from each other by one day’s march.  The advance reached Cerralvo in four days and halted for the remainder of the troops to come up.  By the 13th the rear-guard had arrived, and the same day the advance resumed its march, followed as before, a day separating the divisions.  The forward division halted again at Marin, twenty-four miles from Monterey.  Both this place and Cerralvo were nearly deserted, and men, women and children were seen running and scattered over the hills as we approached; but when the people returned they found all their abandoned property safe, which must have given them a favorable opinion of Los Grengos—­“the Yankees.”  From Marin the movement was in mass.  On the 19th General Taylor, with is army, was encamped at Walnut Springs, within three miles of Monterey.

The town is on a small stream coming out of the mountain-pass, and is backed by a range of hills of moderate elevation.  To the north, between the city and Walnut Springs, stretches an extensive plain.  On this plain, and entirely outside of the last houses of the city, stood a strong fort, enclosed on all sides, to which our army gave the name of “Black Fort.”  Its guns commanded the approaches to the city to the full extent of their range.  There were two detached spurs of hills or mountains to the north and northwest of the city, which were also fortified.  On one of these stood the Bishop’s Palace.  The road to Saltillo leaves the upper or western end of the city under the fire of the guns from these heights.  The lower or eastern end was defended by two or three small detached works, armed with artillery and infantry.  To the south was the mountain stream before mentioned,

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