BATTLE OF. In January, 1847,General Winfield Scott reached the mouth of the Rio Grande, taking chief command, but the tardiness of government in furnishing materials for attacking Vera Cruz delayed the movement several weeks. For this expedition General Scott assigned 12,000 men, and appointed the island of Lobos, about 125 miles north-west of Vera Cruz, as the place of rendezvous. When the troops were gathered, they sailed for Vera Cruz, and landed near that city March 9, 1847. Upon an island opposite was a very strong fortress, called the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa, which the Mexicans regarded as invulnerable. This and Vera Cruz were considered the " key of the country." This fortress and the city were completely invested by the Americans four days after the landing, and on March 22 General Scott and Commodore Conner were ready for the bombardment. Then Scott summoned the city and fortress to surrender. The demand was refused, when shells from seven mortars on land
(soon increased to nine)were hurled upon the city. The engineering works for the siege had been skilfully prepared by GEN. JOSEPH G. TOTTEN (q. v.).
VERA CRUZ DURING THE MEXICAN WAR.
The entire siege continued fifteen days, during which time the Americans fired 3,000 ten-inch shells, 200 howitzer-shells, 1,000 Paixham shot, and 2,500 round-shot, the whole weight of metal being about 500,000 pounds. The shells did terrible damage within the city, and many women and children became victims. On the morning of March 26 the commander of the post made overtures for surrender, and on the 29th that event took place, when about 5,000 Mexicans marched out to 'a plain a mile from the city, where they laid down their arms, gave up their flags, and retired to the interior on parole. The city and fortress of San Juan de Ulloa, with 500 pieces of artillery and a large quantity of munitions of war passed into the possession of the Americans. The latter, during the whole siege, had lost only eighty men killed and wounded; the Mexicans lost 1,000 killed and many more wounded. Scott tried to induce the governor to send the women and children and foreign residents out of the city be-fore he began the bombardment, but that magistrate refused.