On May 4, 1847, he issued an order to the volunteer troops whose term of enlistment was about to expire, complimenting them for their services, but announcing his intention to discharge them. He then addressed the Secretary of War, saying: “To part with so large and so respectable a portion of the army in the middle of a country which, though broken in its power, is not yet disposed to sue for peace; to provide for the return home of seven regiments from this interior position at a time when I find it difficult to provide transportation and supplies for the operating forces which remain, and all this without any prospect of succor or re-enforcements in perhaps the next seven months, beyond some three hundred army recruits, presents novelties utterly unknown to an invading army before. With the addition of ten or twelve thousand new levies in April and May, asked for, and until very recently expected, or even with the addition of two or three thousand new troops destined for this army, but suddenly, by the orders of the War Department, directed to the Rio Grande frontier, I might, notwithstanding the unavoidable discharge of the old volunteers—seven regiments and two independent companies—advance with confidence upon the enemy’s capital. I shall nevertheless advance, but whether beyond Puebla will depend upon intervening information and reflection.”
The army, having received supplies of medicines, ammunition, clothing, salt, etc., made preparations to move. Colonel Childs was appointed governor of Jalapa, and a sufficient garrison left with him. General Twiggs was ordered to march to Perote. General Worth had occupied Perote on April 22d. The army then occupied Puebla, where during their prolonged stay the troops were daily drilled, but were given permission to visit the ancient city of Cholula and the adjacent country. This city in the time of Cortez had a population of one hundred and fifty thousand, but was now a hamlet containing a small population and the ruins of its ancient glory. General Scott relates that while in this region, “coming up with a brigade marching at ease, all intoxicated with the fine air and scenery, he was, as usual, received with hearty and protracted cheers. The group of officers who surrounded him differed widely in the objects of their admiration, some preferring this or that snow-capped mountain, others the city, and several the pyramid of Cholula that was now opening upon the view. An appeal from all was made to the general in chief. He promptly and emphatically replied, ’I differ from you all. My greatest delight is in this fine body of troops, without whom we can never sleep in the halls of the Montezumas, or in our own homes.’”
The first re-enforcements to arrive were eight hundred men, under Lieutenant-Colonel James Simmons McIntosh, escorting a train. They were delayed by an attack of the enemy near Jalapa, but, being joined by Brigadier-General George Cadwallader with a portion of his brigade and a field battery, the enemy was soon driven. Major-General Gideon J. Pillow arrived next with a thousand men, and on August 6th Brigadier-General Franklin Pierce joined with two thousand five hundred men.