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ago there passed through our streets as noble and splendid a body of men as ever went forth to battle. They were about nine hundred strong. On Friday last, the whole of this gallant regiment arrived in our city. It numbers just three hundred and fifty-about one-third the force with which it left; and this loss it has sustained in a twelve months' campaign! It has lost on an average fifty men a-month."
Of the Second Regiment of Mississippi Rifles, one hundred and sixty-seven died of disease. Said Mr. Hudson in Congress: "Our late associate, Colonel Baker, declared in his speech on this floor, that of his regiment about one hundred had left their bones in the Valley of the Rio Grande, and that about two hundred more, worn down by hardships, and emaciated by disease, had been dismissed to perish by the way, or to find their graves with their friends at home; that all this mortality had taken place in about six months, and that this regiment had never seen the foe. He also informed us, that what was true of his regiment was generally true of other regiments of volunteers. We are informed by the answer of the Adjutant-General to a resolution of this House, that in a period of from sixty to ninety days after the volunteers had joined the army in the field, their numbers were reduced by disease six hundred and thirty-seven, and by discharges, in consequence of sickness and disability, between two and three thousand. This estimate does not include the sick which remain with the army."*
"I call the attention of this body and of the country to the immense sacrifice of human life now making to carry on this war. The official documents before us show that twenty-three thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight
*Speech, Feb. 13, 1847. App. to Cong. Globe, p. 369.
officers and men entered the service during the first eight months of this war; that fifteen thousand four hundred and eighty-six remained in service at the close of that time; that three hundred and thirty-one had deserted; that two thousand two hundred and two had been discharged, leaving FIVE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN unaccounted for."*
The Rev. Mr. McCarty, a chaplain in the army, wrote from the city of Mexico: I have now in the regular army eleven hospitals to visit, with one in the Quartermaster's department, which requires a great deal of my time. The number on the sick report in this city exceeds three thousand men!" "We all know," said Mr. R. Johnson in the Senate, "that at the commencement of the last Session of Congress, there were actually buried on the banks of the Rio Grande, of those who had died of disease, twenty-five hundred men." Col. Childs, in his official report, 13th Oct., 1847, states that on taking command of Puebla, the hospitals were filled with 1,800 sick." A New Orleans paper, noticing the return of the 3d and 4th Tennessee regiments, says that they lost 360 by death, although neither regiment had been in action. The same paper declares, that of 419 men composing the Georgia battalion, 220 died in Mexico.
We could fill sheets with extracts from the public journals, giving mournful details of the ravages of disease in our Mexican army. Let the following from a southern paper, and an advocate for the war, suffice. "At Perote there were 2,600 American graves, all victims of disease, and at the city of Mexico the deaths were most of the time 1,000 a-month. The first regiment that went out from Mississippi buried 155 men on the banks of the Rio
*Speech of Mr. Giddings, Feb. 3, 1847. Cong. Globe, p. 405 † Cong. Globe, Dec. 30, 1847.
Grande before it went into battle, and finally brought back less than half of its number. Two regiments from Pennsylvania went out 1,800 strong, and came home with about 600. Two regiments from Tennessee without being in any battle, lost 300 men. Capt. Naylor, of Pennsylvania, took down a company of 104 men, and brought back 17. He went into the battle of Contreras with 33, and came out of it with 19. But the most frightful instance of mortality was in the Georgia battalion. It went to Mexico 419 strong; about 230 actually died; a large number were discharged with ruined constitutions, many of them doubtless gone long since to their graves, and thus the battalion was reduced to 34 men fit for duty! On one parade when a certain company, once mustering more than 100 men, was called, the call was answered by a single private, its only living representative. From officers of many other regiments we have received details very similar to the above, which may be taken as a pretty fair average of the losses in the volunteer regiments-the regulars did not suffer to the same extent."
Mr. CLAY in a public speech, estimated the loss of our countrymen in the first eighteen months of the war as equal to me half the whole loss sustained in our seven years' revolutionary struggle !
Mr. CALHOUN declared on the floor of Congress that the mortality of our troops could not be less than twenty per cent.
If then we estimate the total mortality of our troops including those slain and such as afterwards died of their wounds, and those who have expired in Mexico and at home of diseases contracted in camp, at TWENTY THOUSAND, we shall be in little danger of exaggerating the amount. If we next turn our regards to the wives and children and relatives of these twenty thousand, we find
a still expanding multitude upon whom the war has brought lamentation and woe.
Once more follow in imagination the survivors, on their return home. Mark the germinating seeds of moral and physical disease implanted by war in their constitutions, and about to bear bitter and deadly fruits.
In that approaching day when the Judge of quick and dead shall make inquisition for blood, those who have kindled the flames of war, will be called to justify the numberless and immeasurable evils both spiritual and temporal they have inflicted upon their fellow-men, upon their enemies as well as upon their own countrymen.
SUFFERINGS INFLICTED ON MEXICO BY THE WAR.
THE extreme feebleness of Mexico, arising from the ignorance and superstition of her inhabitants, was aggravated by the vast extent of her territories. This great extent, by rendering it difficult to collect a formidable force at any extreme point, rendered her whole frontier accessible to the invader. In about four months after the commencement of hostilities northern Mexico, from Tampico on the Atlantic to St. Diego on the Pacific, was a conquered country.
The smallness of the forces by which the various conquests were effected, attests the helplessness of the Mexicans, and the vigor of their enemies. In a little more than twelve months, the American standard waved over the famous castle of Vera Cruz, and the capital of the Republic was garrisoned by American troops. From that capital a corps of one thousand men could probably have traversed the Republic in every direction, through a hostile, but almost unresisting population. After the capture of Thornton's party, which General Taylor announced as the commencement of hostilities, not a battle, not a skirmish occurred in which the Mexicans were not defeated, no matter how vast their superiority in numbers. The ancient promise, "ten shall chase a thousand," seemed to be verified in the marvellous success of the American arms. In ordinary cases, an invading army is neces
* In the battle of Brazito, the American force under Col. Doniphan was less than five hundred; that of the enemy, 1200