General Quitman’s movements to San Antonio and Coyoacan—Movements of General Pillow—General reconnoissance by Scott—Chapultepec—Scott announces his line of attack—Surrender of the Mexican General Bravo—Preparations to move on the capital—Entry of General Scott into the City of Mexico—General Quitman made Military Governor—General Scott’s orders—Movements of Santa Anna—General Lane—American and Mexican deserters—Orders as to collection of duties and civil government.
General Quitman, who, it will be remembered, was to march from San Augustin to Coyoacan on the 8th, having heard firing in the direction of Tacubaya, moved, early on September 8th, to San Antonio, and from thence on to Coyoacan. A reconnoissance was made in the afternoon by General Pillow as far as the town of Piedad and the Nino Perdido roads, one of which leads to the Belen gate of the city and the other through a gate of the same name. These roads run parallel to each other, about three fourths of a mile apart. On the 9th, General Scott, accompanied by Captain R.E. Lee, made an examination of the works near the San Antonio gate, where they discovered Mexican soldiers busily at work. On the 9th Riley took position to the right of Piedad, and was joined on the 11th by Smith’s brigade and Francis Taylor’s and Edward James Steptoe’s batteries.
An advanced post of the enemy was evacuated on the approach of the Americans on the night of the 9th and occupied; this force was strengthened by both infantry and artillery, and a bridge was thrown over a ditch in front of it for the passage of cannon. Colonel Harvey, on the night of the 10th, occupied Mexcoac with the Second Dragoons for the purpose of protecting the hospitals and stores there. General Scott called a meeting of his general officers and informed them of his plan of attack. He had determined to attack either the San Antonio Garita or Chapultepec and the western gates. After hearing the opinions of his officers, who differed on the place of attack, General Scott determined to make the movement on Chapultepec and the western gate, and he so announced.