General Taylor had been nominated by the Whigs as their candidate for President, and at the instance of General Scott he [Scott] was put in command of the Eastern Department and the former the Western Department. This was considered a compliment to General Taylor. March 9, 1848, the following joint resolution, unanimously passed by Congress, was approved by the President:
“1. That the thanks of Congress be and they are hereby presented to Winfield Scott, major general commanding in chief the army in Mexico, and through him to the officers and men of the regular and volunteer corps under him, for their uniform gallantry and good conduct, conspicuously displayed at the siege and capture of the city of Vera Cruz and castle of San Juan de Ulloa, March 29, 1847; and in the successive battles of Cerro Gordo, April 18th; Contreras, San Antonio, and Churubusco, August 19th and 20th; and for the victories achieved in front of the City of Mexico, September 8th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, and the capture of the metropolis, September 14, 1847, in which the Mexican troops, greatly superior in numbers and with every advantage of position, were in every conflict signally defeated by the American arms.
“2. That the President of the United States be and he is hereby requested to cause to be struck a gold medal with devices emblematical of the series of brilliant victories achieved by the army, and presented to Major-General Winfield Scott, as a testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his valor, skill, and judicious conduct in the memorable campaign of 1847.
“3. That the President of the United States be requested to cause the foregoing resolutions to be communicated to Major-General Scott in such terms as he may deem best calculated to give effect to the objects thereof.”
On February 24, 1849, a joint resolution was offered in the United States Senate to confer upon General Scott the brevet rank of lieutenant general, which went only to its second reading, an objection being interposed to a third reading and passage of the resolution. On July 29, 1850, Mr. Jere Clemens, of Alabama, submitted a resolution instructing the Committee on Military Affairs to inquire into the expediency of conferring by law the brevet rank of lieutenant general on Major-General Scott, “with such additional pay and allowances as might be deemed proper, in consideration of the distinguished services rendered to the republic by that officer during the late war with Mexico.” The resolution was eight days after referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.
On September 30, 1850, Senator Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, Chairman of the Military Committee, reported a resolution requesting the President to refer to a board of officers, to be designated by him, the following questions:
“Is it expedient or necessary to provide for additional grades of commissioned officers in the army of the United States; and, if so, what grades, in addition to the present organization, should be created?”