Diaz mentions, that about this time intelligence
came to Tezcuco,
that three of our soldiers who had been left by Pizarro to search for
mines in the country of the Zapotecas had been put to death by the
Mexicans, one only, named Barrientos, having escaped to Chinantla,
where he was protected by the natives.—E.
Narrative of Occurrences from the commencement of the Siege of Mexico to its Reduction, and the Capture of Guatimotzin.
Having thus, by the occupation of Tacuba, commenced the investment of the great and populous city of Mexico, we soon found the enemy around us in great numbers; and as the first operation, it was determined on the following day, that our divisions should march to Chapoltepec to destroy the aqueduct at that place, by which the city of Mexico was supplied with fresh water. We set out accordingly with our allies, and although the enemy attacked us on our march, we repelled them and succeeded in our object of cutting off the pipes, so that from that time the city of Mexico was deprived of fresh water. It was now determined to endeavour to penetrate to the city of Mexico by the causeway of Tacuba, or at least to attempt getting possession of the first bridge on that causeway; but on our arrival there, the prodigious number of boats which covered the water on both sides, and the multitude of Mexican troops which thronged the causeway to oppose us, was perfectly astonishing. By the first flight of arrows which they discharged against us, three of our men were slain and thirty wounded; yet we advanced to the bridge, the enemy retiring before us, as if by a concerted stratagem, so that we were exposed on both flanks, on a narrow road only twenty feet wide, as a butt for the innumerable arrows of the Mexicans in the canoes, and neither our musquetry nor crossbows were of any avail against the people in the canoes, as they were effectually protected by high wooden screens. The horses of our cavalry were all wounded, and when at any time they made a charge upon the enemy, they were almost immediately stopt by barriers and parapets which the enemy had drawn across the causeway for the purpose, and from whence they defended themselves with long lances. Likewise, when the infantry advanced along the causeway, instead of abiding our attack, the enemy threw themselves into the water and escaped by swimming or into their canoes, returning incessantly to the attack. We were thus engaged for more than an hour to no useful purpose, the enemy continually increasing in number, by reinforcements from every part of the lake; and our allies, instead of being serviceable, only encumbered the causeway and hindered our movements. Finding that we were unable any longer to resist the multitude of enemies who assailed us perpetually from the water, and almost with entire impunity, we determined to retreat to our quarters in Tacuba, having eight of our men slain and above fifty wounded, and were closely followed up and much harassed by the enemy during our retreat. De Oli laid the blame of the disaster of this day on the rashness of Alvarado.