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by judicious discrimination, as many of these miserable convicts as possible, FIFTY of them have paid for their treachery by an ignominious death upon the gallows."

We have here a most extraordinary confession. The Commander of a victorious army acknowledges his inability to rescue from death one of these fifty men. Instances have occurred of whole regiments going over to the enemy on the field of battle. In such a case would General Scott feel himself constrained to hang a thousand men, if again in his power? Was he ignorant, that where large numbers had rendered themselves amenable to punishment, where policy demanded an example, and where humanity forbade a general slaughter, others had resorted to decimation and the lot? The death of five or ten of these men, and the corporal punishment of the rest, would have answered the sternest demands of military policy. It seems that the execution of thirty out of the fifty was intrusted to a Colonel Harney. According to the newspapers, he had them brought out with halters around their necks, and arranged them under one common gibbet in sight of the Mexican fortress of Chepultepec, which the American troops were about to storm. He then told them that they should live till they saw the American flag raised upon the battlements. The fortress was carried, the flag at last appeared, and the doomed men expired. This act of Harney's has been characterized by a foreign writer, as "a refinement of cruelty, and a fiendish prolongation at once of the ecstacies of revenge and the agonies of despair."

Desertion is a crime which, in military ethics, it is lawful for each party to encourage and reward in the other, but to denounce as atrocious, and to punish with death, when committed against itself. General Scott, in his orders, spoke of the Irish deserters as "deluded wretches -miserable convicts." Says the correspondent of the

New Orleans Picayune, "The clergy of San Angel pleaded hard to save the lives of these men, but in vain. General Twiggs told them that to Ampudia, Arista, and Santa Anna did these men owe their deaths, for they stooped to the low business of soliciting desertion from our ranks, and had succeeded in seducing from duty and allegiance the poor wretches who had to pay so dearly for their crimes." This was in September. On the 13th of the next month, we have an official despatch to General Scott, from Colonel Childs, dated at Puebla, in which he says, "I should be unjust to myself, and the SPY COMPANY under Captain Pedro Aria, if I did not call the attention of the General-in-Chief to their invaluable services. From them I received the most accurate information of the movements of the enemy, and the designs of the citizens; through them I was enabled to apprehend several officers and citizens in their nightly meetings, to consummate their plans for raising the populace. The Spy Company fought gallantly, and are now so compromised, that they must leave the country when our army retires." Says the New Orleans Picayune, "The Mexican Spy Company is described as a rough-looking set of men. They fight with ropes about their necks, as the saying is, and therefore they fight gallantly. We understand that we have altogether about 450 of this description of men in our pay." Thus it appears, we had in our army a corps of Mexican scoundrels-and, as the newspapers state, organized and taken into pay by order of General Scott himself. These men joined the invaders of their native land-betrayed their fellow-citizens into the hands of a foreign enemy-went with that enemy into the battle, and gallantly aided them in slaughtering their neighbors and countrymen, and all this for pay! "They fight with ropes about their necks." Should any of them

be hereafter suspended by these ropes, may they not be told that they owe their death to the General, who "stooped to the low business of seducing them from duty and allegiance?" Fifty Irish deserters are hanged as miserable convicts; but a gang of 450 Mexican spies, traitors, and murderers, are recommended by an American Colonel to the attention of the Commander-in-Chief, for their "invaluable services." Such are the honor and morality of war.

In May, 1848, during the armistice, and while negotiations for peace were pending, a party of American officers and soldiers, ten in number, were arrested for the crime of burglary and murder, committed in the city of Mexico. It was probably owing to the peculiarly disgraceful character of the outrage, and its perpetration during a suspension of hostilities, that it was deemed expedient to institute a judicial inquiry. Four lieutenants, two corporals, and one private were tried and convicted by a court-martial, and sentenced to be hung. A fifth officer "belonging to one of the old infantry regiments," is said to have been implicated in the affair, but he eluded arrest. On the conclusion of the peace, all the culprits were pardoned by the commanding officer, and set at liberty. It is not surprising that so large an assembly of men as an army, should include some thieves and murderThis case is important only because, with multitudes of others, it tends to dispel the popular illusion, that there is some mysterious undefined connection between gallantry and honor, and that a brave soldier must be both honest and merciful. One of these four officers was, it seems, a graduate of the West Point military academy; and of another, a newspaper says, "It is a fact worthy of notice, that Lieutenant Hare was one of the most valiant spirits of the army, during the battles of the valley,' and that

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on account of his unconquerable courage, he was selected by the commanding officer to command one of the 'forlorn hopes,' at the storming of the Castle of Chapultepec. He was allowed to select fifteen men to accompany him. and out of these fifteen, only five escaped the deadly fire of the enemy; and the Lieutenant conducted himself throughout with the utmost coolness and high-toned courage." And yet his brother-officers who composed the court-martial, adjudged him to be a thief and a murderer.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE AMERICAN ARMY IX MEXICO.

THE remarks already made respecting the general immoral tendency of the military profession, are of course more peculiarly applicable to the rank and file of an army. A prudent, intelligent, industrious, pious recruit is a prodigy. The great mass of all armies, it is well known, is collected from the ignorant, reckless, and vicious. When such men are brought into close contact with each other, and at the same time removed from the restraining influences of domestic life and social observation, their vicious propensities are of course strengthened by mutual example and countenance. Discipline may prevent the commission of some gross crimes, but can in no degree improve, or even guard the moral character.

If it be, indeed, true, that the profession of a soldier is peculiarly hazardous to his well-being, exposing him and those within his influence, to crime in this world, and to misery in the next, we discover a new item of the awful responsibility which rests upon those who involve their country in war. In our contest with Mexico, 80,000 or more Americans, and probably three times as many Mexicans, have been exposed to the moral and physical injuries of military service. Could we follow the survivors on their return to their homes, what a mass of wretchedness should we discover, caused by the habits they had acquired, and the moral contamination of their example. All experience bears witness to the fidelity of the picture drawn long since, of the discharged recruit, who

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