FOURTH U.S. INFANTRY REGIMENT: HOME of HEROES

4th Infantry, 4th Infantry Regiment, Warrior Battalion 1/4, INF 2/4 INF, 3/4 INF,

The Memoirs of General Ulysses S. Grant, Chapter 3, CHAPTER III: CAMP SALUBRITY,The Document

The 4th infantry went into camp at Salubrity in the month of May, 1844, with instructions, as I have said, to await further orders. At first, officers and men occupied ordinary tents. As the summer heat increased these were covered by sheds to break the rays of the sun. The summer was whiled away in social enjoyments among the officers, in visiting those stationed at, and near, Fort Jessup, twenty-five miles away, visiting the planters on the Red River, and the citizens of Natchitoches and Grand Ecore. There was much pleasant intercourse between the inhabitants and the officers of the army. I retain very agreeable recollections of my stay at Camp Salubrity, and of the acquaintances made there, and no doubt my feeling is shared by the few officers living who were there at the time. I can call to mind only two officers of the 4th infantry, besides myself, who were at Camp Salubrity with the regiment, who are now alive.

With a war in prospect, and belonging to a regiment that had an unusual number of officers detailed on special duty away from the regiment, my hopes of being ordered to West Point as instructor vanished. At the time of which I now write, officers in the quartermaster's, commissary's and adjutant—general's departments were appointed from the line of the army, and did not vacate their regimental commissions until their regimental and staff commissions were for the same grades. Generally lieutenants were appointed to captaincies to fill vacancies in the staff corps. If they should reach a captaincy in the line before they arrived at a majority in the staff, they would elect which commission they would retain. In the 4th infantry, in 1844, at least six line officers were on duty in the staff, and therefore permanently detached from the regiment. Under these circumstances I gave up everything like a special course of reading, and only read thereafter for my own amusement, and not very much for that, until the war was over. I kept a horse and rode, and staid out of doors most of the time by day, and entirely recovered from the cough which I had carried from West Point, and from all indications of consumption. I have often thought that my life was saved, and my health restored, by exercise and exposure, enforced by an administrative act, and a war, both of which I disapproved.

As summer wore away, and cool days and colder nights came upon us, the tents we were occupying ceased to afford comfortable quarters; and "further orders" not reaching us, we began to look about to remedy the hardship. Men were put to work getting out timber to build huts, and in a very short time all were comfortably housed—privates as well as officers. The outlay by the government in accomplishing this was nothing, or nearly nothing. The winter was spent more agreeably than the summer had been. There were occasional parties given by the planters along the "coast"—as the bottom lands on the Red River were called. The climate was delightful.

Near the close of the short session of Congress of 1844-5, the bill for the annexation of Texas to the United States was passed. It reached President Tyler on the 1st of March, 1845, and promptly received his approval. When the news reached us we began to look again for "further orders." They did not arrive promptly, and on the 1st of May following I asked and obtained a leave of absence for twenty days, for the purpose of visiting—St. Louis. The object of this visit has been before stated.

Early in July the long expected orders were received, but they only took the regiment to New Orleans Barracks. We reached there before the middle of the month, and again waited weeks for still further orders. The yellow fever was raging in New Orleans during the time we remained there, and the streets of the city had the appearance of a continuous well-observed Sunday. I recollect but one occasion when this observance seemed to be broken by the inhabitants. One morning about daylight I happened to be awake, and, hearing the discharge of a rifle not far off, I looked out to ascertain where the sound came from. I observed a couple of clusters of men near by, and learned afterwards that "it was nothing; only a couple of gentlemen deciding a difference of opinion with rifles, at twenty paces. I do not remember if either was killed, or even hurt, but no doubt the question of difference was settled satisfactorily, and "honorably," in the estimation of the parties engaged. I do not believe I ever would have the courage to fight a duel. If any man should wrong me to the extent of my being willing to kill him, I would not be willing to give him the choice of weapons with which it should be done, and of the time, place and distance separating us, when I executed him. If I should do another such a wrong as to justify him in killing me, I would make any reasonable atonement within my power, if convinced of the wrong done. I place my opposition to duelling on higher grounds than here stated. No doubt a majority of the duels fought have been for want of moral courage on the part of those engaged to decline.

At Camp Salubrity, and when we went to New Orleans Barracks, the 4th infantry was commanded by Colonel Vose, then an old gentleman who had not commanded on drill for a number of years. He was not a man to discover infirmity in the presence of danger. It now appeared that war was imminent, and he felt that it was his duty to brush up his tactics. Accordingly, when we got settled down at our new post, he took command of the regiment at a battalion drill. Only two or three evolutions had been gone through when he dismissed the battalion, and, turning to go to his own quarters, dropped dead. He had not been complaining of ill health, but no doubt died of heart disease. He was a most estimable man, of exemplary habits, and by no means the author of his own disease.

Rickard, J (12 August 2006) The Memoirs of General Ulysses S. Grant, Chapter 3 http://www.historyofwar.org/source/acw/grant/chapter01.html

The History of the 4th Regiment of Infantry-The War with Mexico

By

Lieut. James A. Leyden,

Adjutant 4th U.S. Infantry 1894

 

Above is the the regimental standard that was carried in battle during the Mexican war. The standard is in the care of the West Point archives and has undergone restoration.

 

    In September 1842, the regiment was ordered to take station at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., where it remained until the proposed annexation of Texas, in 1844, led to rumblings of war with Mexico. As a part of the Army of Observation the regiment was moved to Grand Encore, La., where it re­mained until July, 1845, being moved thence to Corpus Christi, Texas, as a part of the Army of Occupation. The first act of war on the part of Mexico was the murder, on April 10th, of Colonel Cross, assistant quarter­master-general, a few miles from camp, by a roving party of banditti. Lieu­tenant Porter, Fourth Infantry, with a small party, was sent out to search for the body of Colonel Cross, and on the return of the party it was ambushed, Lieutenant Porter and one man being killed. Soon after the Gov­ernment recognized a state of war existing between the United States and Mexico, and preparations were made for an invasion of the territory of the latter.

    When General Taylors army reached the Rio Grande from Corpus Christi, General Mejia issued a pronunciamnento: The water of the Rio Grande is deep, and it shall be the sepulcher of these degenerate sons of Washington. Operations did not cease on account of this proclamation. The Army of Occupation, about noon of May 8th, met and engaged the Mexican army under General Ampudia at Palo Alto.

    Early on the following morning the enemy retreated, and, about 3 oclock in the afternoon, took up a position at Resaca De La Palma. The Fourth In­fantry was deployed on the right of the road leading to his position, and at various points became briskly engaged, and finally, keeping as good orders the close chaparral would permit, charged and captured the camp where the headquarters of the Mexican general-in-chief were established. All his official correspondence was captured at this place, together with a large amount of ammunition, some 400 mules, saddles and every variety of army equipages.

    At Monterey, the regiment consisted of but six reduced companies, four of which participated in the assault of the works in the lower part of the city the first day of the battle. The regiment charged through a cross fire from the Black Fort and the batteries. A mistake in orders led to the charge, some body had blundered, and about one-third of the men engaged in the charge were killed and wounded in the space of a few minutes. The regiment halted in a place of safety-what there was left of it. In a short time the advance began again and the troops reached the suburbs. A little battery covering the approaches to the lower end of the city was captured and turned up toward another work of the enemy. An entrance into the east end of the city was now secured. An advance was made to within a square of the plaza not without heavy loss, when the ammunition began to give out. Lieutenant Grant made a dashing and perilous ride back to ask that ammunition be forwarded. Before it could be collected the remnants of the two regiments the Third and Fourth Infantry, returned. The following day the city capitulated.

    Early in 1847 the regiment was ordered, as a part of the force sent from General Taylors army, to proceed to Vera Cruz and join the army under General Scott. It arrived at Vera Cruz in March and participated in the siege of that place. By April i6tb it had arrived at Plan Del Rio. Near Cerro Gordo, the battle of the latter place taking place on the 17th-18th. Previous to this battle General Santa Anna stated to his army: I am resolved to go out and encounter the enemy My duty is to sacrifice myself and I will know how to fulfill it! Perhaps the American hosts may proudly tread the imperial capital of Aztecs. I will never witness such an opprobrium for I am decided first to die fighting. The general encountered the Ameri­can army at Cerro Gordo, and lost a leg in the retreat from that battle Perhaps it may not be improper to state that it was the general's wooden leg that was lost in his hasty retreat.

    Alter Cerro Gordo, the march into the interior was resumed and on May 14th the regiment arrived at Amasoque, 12 miles from Puebla. General North here ordered his command to clean up, to make a good appearance upon entering the city the next day. While the muskets were taken apart and while the pipe clay was drying upon the white belts. The long roll beat to arms. An immense column of Mexican cavalry was seen to be approaching. Duncans battery was run out to meet it, and time to was hurried to support the battery. A few rounds of shell emptied many saddles les and caused the column am n to diverge from main road. After a time had passed, the Fourth Infantry was posted as a picket guard several miles beyond Amasoque, in the direction of Puebla. A terrific tropical storm came up during the night and in a short time the cornfield where t he regiment was lying became a sea of mud. The nice uniforms the white belts the men who wore them were covered with Mexican mud and probably became the shabbiest looking regiment ever seen in the regular army was the fourth Infantry when it entered Puebla on May 15. 1847. The azoteas, the windows and the streets were filled with men and women to look upon these degenerate sons of Washington.

    After Churubusco, where the regiment pursued the fleeing Mexican troops to within a mile and a half of the City of Mexico came an armistice of two weeks, then operations were actively resumed Molino del Ray and Chapultepec followed in quick succession. At Molino a storming party was organized, the regiment furnishing two officers and 100 men. The mill was carried at the point of the bayonet, but not without the loss of 11 out of the 14 officers who were in the storming party. The remnant of the detachment belonging to the Fourth Infantry joined the regiment in the final assault made in support of the storming party. A fierce and bloody hand-to-hand fight took place before the enemy was finally driven from his chosen position. The regiment lost during the day 67 in killed and wounded, including three officers. At Chapultepec, as at Molino, a storming party began the assault, to which the regiment furnished 50 men and 2 officers. Under a terrific storm of shot and shell the party reached the ditch an the main wall of the great fortress, scaling ladders were brought up and amid hand-to-hand fighting a lodgment was secured, then, long continued shouts and cheers carried dismay into the capital. Vigorous resistance was made by the enemy to the rapid pursuit after the fall of the castle along the line of the great aqueduct and at the several gratis of the city the greatest resistance was encountered. Nothing could withstand the impetuosity of the troops, and by nightfall or­ganized resistance ceased. A detachment of the Fourth Infantry had penetrated half a mile into the city and captured the adjutant-general of the Mexican army.

    With the capture of the city active operations ceased. The remnant of the regiment remained for a time as part of the garrison of the City, remov­ing on the gradual withdrawal of the troops to points on the Camino Real until in June 1848; it was assembled at Jalapa for the return to the United States. Leaving Vera Crux, the voyage home was short, Camp Jeff Davis, Pascagoula, Miss., was reached July 23, 1848.

    Thus ended the Mexican War for the Fourth Infantry, there having been but one important battle from the Rio Grande to the City of Mexico in which it did not participate.

    It lost 8 officers and 59 men killed or mortally wounded; 10 officers and 140 men more or less severely wounded 4 officers in addition lost their lives by steamboat explosions. In the language of General Grant, the regiment lost more officers during the war than it ever had present in any one engagement, for during the greater part of the war the regiment had present but six reduced companies.

    From Mississippi the regiment was ordered to proceed by sea to New York and there to take station at seven different points on the lakes, be­tween Mackinac and Plattsburg. 

Grant at the Capture of the City of Mexico.

 

The War With Mexico
1846-1847

BATTLE OF PALO ALTO, TEXAS,
MAY 8, 1846.
Killed or Died of Wounds:
Pvt. Philip Lee, Co. E
Captain John Page

BATTLE OF RESACA DE LA PALMA, TEXAS,
MAY 9, 1846.
Killed or Died of Wounds:
1st Lt. Richard E. Cochrane
Pvt. Robert Mather or Mathews, Co. B
Pvt. Orlando Pierce, Co. D
Pvt. Daniel McCarthy or McDardie, Co. K
Pvt. Richard Eldridge, Co.D

BATTLE FOR MONTEREY, MEXICO,
SEPT. 20 - 24, 1846.
Killed or Died of Wounds:
Cpl. Benj. Brant, Co. E
Pvt. Thos. Salsbury, Co. A
Pvt. Henry Conline, Co. D
Pvt. Edward Carey, Co. D
Pvt. A. J. Vanceal, Co. D
Pvt. M. McGrouth, Co. E
Pvt. John Weeks, Co. E
Pvt. J. S. Doble, Co. E
Pvt. P. Andrews, Co. E
Pvt. Peter Judge, Co. E
1st Lt. R. H. Graham, Co. B
Pvt. Andrew Smith, Co. D

BATTLES OF CHURUBUSCO AND CONTRERAS, MEXICO
AUGUST 19 & 20, 1847
Killed or Died of Wounds:
Pvt. Wm. Johnston, Co. A, 4th Infantry.
Pvt. Edward Kirnete, Co. I, 4th Infantry.
Pvt. F. Pinkerton, Co. I, 4th Infantry.
Pvt. John Alexander, Co. B, 4th Infantry, mortally; died Aug. 21, 1847.

BATTLE OF EL MOLINO DEL REY, MEXICO
SEPTEMBER 8, 1847
Killed or Died of Wounds:
4th Infantry
First Sgt. John Coyle, Co. C
Pvt. Frederick Workman, Co. C
Cpl. John Cameron or Cammeron, Co. D
Pvt. Gilbert Goodrich, Co. D
Sgt. Henry Ray, Co. E
Pvt. Stillman D. Coburn, Co. E
Pvt. Patrick Ronnan, Ronnau, or Rowman, Co. E
Pvt. John McClosky, Co. F
Pvt. James Steele, Co. F
Pvt. Oswold Drary or Drury, Co. A
Pvt. Christian or Christain Smallback or Smallbark, Co. A
Pvt. William Ehrenbaum or Ehrenbein, Co. A
Pvt. Philip Hassey, Co. B
Pvt. Jules Gasse, Co. D
Pvt. Joseph Holybec or Holybee, Co. F
Pvt. John P. Merrick, Co. F
Pvt. Philip Felby, Co. I
Pvt. John Wilson, Co. I
Pvt. Oscar Wood, Co. I

CHAPULTEPEC AND CITY OF MEXICO
SEPTEMBER 13-14, 1847
Killed or Died of Wounds:
Lt. A. J. or P. Rogers, Co. D.
Sgt. William Donegan or Dowagen, Co. D.
Sgt. George Blast. Co. B.
Cpl. James Hagan, Co. A.
Pvt. Conrad Graf, Co. A.
Pvt. Isaac I. or J. Jonson or Johnson, Co. A.
Pvt. Alexander McCoy, Co. B.
Pvt. Harl or Karl Sigmond, Co. B.
Pvt. Michael Kelley or Kelly, Co. D.
Pvt. William Billington, Co. E.
Pvt. Joel Barrom or Barrow, Co. E.
Pvt. Charles Whitty
First Lt. S. Smith, Co. I
Pvt. Daniel Bennett, Co. B
Pvt. Aganna or Aganus Dowis, Co.I

NEAR FORT TEXAS, NORTH BANK OF RIO GRANDE, APRIL 1846.
Killed or Died of Wounds:
2nd Lt. Theodoric (or Theodore) H. Porter
Private Pat Flood
AFFAIR AT HUAMANTLA, MEXICO, OCTOBER 8, 1847
AND SUBSEQUENT ACTION, OCTOBER 1O & 11, 1847
Killed or Died of Wounds:
Pvt. Teedman
AFFAIR AT MATAMOROS AND PASS OF GALAJARA
NOVEMBER 23 and 24, 1847
Killed or Died of Wounds:
First Lt. Henderson Ridgely

Sources: 30th Congress. 1st Session. Executive Document No. 8: Message from the President of the United States
(Washington, D. C.: 1848?), pp. 457-469
Niles' National Register, Baltimore, Maryland, Oct. 30, 1847, pp.142-143
Anonymous. Complete History of the Late Mexican War (New York: F. J. Dow & Co., 1850), pp.114-119
Steven R. Butler. A Complete Roster of Mexican War Officers, Both Army and Navy (Richardson, Texas: Descendants
of Mexican War Veterans, 1994).

Mexican-American War

 

In 1842, the regiment was ordered to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where after half a century of existence the regiment enjoyed for the first time the comforts of a regular post. The regiment trained at Jefferson barracks for two years when in 1844, it was ordered to the western border of Louisiana for the war with Mexico. Hostilities were precipitated by the murder of Colonel Cross and the killing of a lieutenant with a small detachment of 4th Infantry soldiers by Mexican raiders. Although this happened in April, communications were slow and it was not until September that the command sailed to Corpus Christi, Texas, where with the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th Infantry regiments, one artillery regiment acting as infantry, seven companies of dragoons, and four companies of light artillery formed the Army of Observation under General Zachery Taylor. The pay was seven dollars a month and flogging was the usual means of punishment. U.S. Grant, then a lieutenant in the 4th Infantry, stated in his personal memoir: "A more efficient army for its number and armament, I do not believe ever fought a battle than the one commanded by General Taylor in his first two engagements on Mexican--or Texan soil".

The Army of Observation soon became the Army of Occupation. On the fields of Palo Alto, Resaca De La Palra, and at Monterey, where the regimental band of the Fourth threw away their instruments, seized a Mexican light battery, and swung it about upon their fleeing enemy. According to the official citation, the breast cord of honor given them and their successors was red, the artillery's color, to show that they were expert artillerymen as infantrymen. General Taylor had in his command leaders such as Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant and Captain Robert E. Lee serving as a company commander of engineers. These battles had a great influence in molding the leaders of the American Civil War, which followed.

General Taylor having successfully invaded Northern Mexico moved the base of active operations to Vera Cruz on the east coast. In January 1847, the 4th Infantry was taken by sea to the port of Vera Cruz and after a siege, the city capitulated. General Scott commanding the Army at Vera Cruz ordered the advance on the capital, Mexico City, in April. On 17 April and 18th General Scott's forces moved through the mountain pass at Gerro Gordo, where General Santa Anna lost his wooden leg in a hasty retreat. The Mexican soldiers fought well and the pass was won only after desperate attacks.

Casualties

BATTLE FOR MONTEREY, MEXICO,
SEPT. 20 - 24, 1846.
GENERAL TWIGGS' DIVISION

Killed:

 Cpl. Benj. Brant Co. E
 Pvt. Thos. Salsbury Co. A
 Pvt. Henry Conline Co. D
 Pvt. Edward Carey Co. D
 Pvt. A. J. Vanceal Co. D
 Pvt. M. McGrouth Co. E
 Pvt. John Weeks Co. E
 Pvt. J. S. Doble Co. E
 Pvt. P. Andrews Co. E
 Pvt. Peter Judge Co. E

Wounded:

 *1st Lt. R. H. Graham Co. B Since dead.
 Sgt. G. W. Andrews Co. A Slightly.
 Sgt. R. Sanders Co. B Dangerously.
 Sgt. T. Mannigan Co. E Dangerously
 Sgt. James Ryan Co. E Severely.
 Cpl. Thos. Hyam Co. A Severely.
 Cpl. James Wyley Co. B Dangerously.
    
    
    

Source: Niles' National Register, Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 21, 1846, pp.183-184.

Mexican War Veterans: A Complete Roster of of the Regular and Volunteer Officersin the War Between the United States and Mexico from 1846-1848

4th REGIMENT OF INFANTRY.

Lieut. Colonel.

John Garland, comd. a brigade ; bvt Colonel fm La Palma ; bvt Brig. General
fm Churubusco ; sev. wound, in capture of the City.

Major

Francis Lee (Capt 7. infy to Feb. 47), bvt Lt colonel fm Churubusco ; bvt Colonel
fm El Molino del Rey.

Captains.

(George W. Allen, bvt Major fm Flo ; bvt Lt colonel fm La Palma); prom to 2.
John Page — mort. 'wound, at Palo Alto, and died 12 July 46. [infy-

(William M. Graham, bvt Major fm Flo); prom, to 2. infy q. v.
Pitcairn Morrison, bvt Major fm La Palma.

George A. McCall, bvt Major and bvt Lt colonel fm La Palma ; appd. in Adj's
Gouverneur Morris, bvt Major fm La Palma. [dept.

Robert G. Buchanan, bvt Major fm La Palma : bvt Lt colonel fm El Molino del
Charles H. Larnard, bvt Major fm La Palma. [Rej'.

Benjamin Alvord (Fst It to Sept. 46), bvt Capt fm La Palma ; bvt Major fm

National Bridge.
Henry L. Scott (Fst It to Feb. 47), Aid-de-C. and Actg adjutant gen. to Gen.

Scott; bvt Major fm Churubusco ; ^ bvt Lt Colonel fm Chapultepec.

First Lieutenants.

Henry Prince, Adjutant ; bvt Capt fm Churubusco : sev. wound, at and bvt Major
Charles Hoskins, Adjutant; killsd at Monterey. [fm El Molino del Rej'.

Richard H. Graham — mo7-t. wound, at Monterey, and died 12 Oct. 46.
John H. Gore, bvt Captain fm Churubusco ; bvt Major fm El Molino del Rey.
Richard E. Cochran — killed at R. de la Palma. | skirmish.

{Second It) Theodoric H. Porter — killed 19 Apr. 46, near the Rio Grande, in a
Sidney Smith — wound, at El Molino ; mort. wound, in capture of city, and died

16 Sept. 47.
Granville O. Haller, bvt Captain fm El Molino ; bvt Major fm ChaiDultepec.
Henry D. Wallen.

Henderson Ridgley, Actg ast adjutant gen. to B. Gen. Lane ; killed at P-ass of
Jenks Beaman— (f««? 6 May 48 at Tampico. [Guadalaxara.

OFFICERS OF U. S. ARMY. 21 

Second Lieutenant: 

Christopher R. Perry — died on his return, at sea.

Christopher G. Augur, Aid to B. Gen. Hopping.

Ulysses S. Grant — declined bvt fm El Moliuo : bvt Captain fm Chapultepcc.

Henry M. Judah, bvt First It fm El Moliuo; bvt Cajitainfm Chapultepec.

James S. Woods, bvt First It fm La Palma ; killed at Monterey.

Alexander Hays, bvt P'irst It fm La Palma ; Actg ast adjutant gen. to B. Gen.

Abram B. Lincoln — iroiind. at and bvt First It fra El Molino del Rey. [Lane.

Thomas J. Montgomery.

David A. Russell, bvt First It fm National Bridge.

Alexander P. Rodgers — inoarid. and killed, at Chapultepec-.

Delaucey Floyd-Jones, bvt First It fm El Molino del Rey.

Maurice Maloney, bvt First It f m El Mdlino ; bvt Captain f m Chapulteiiec ;

wound, at San Cosme gate.
Archibald B. Botts- r//"<'rZ 1 Jan. 47 at Camargo Mex.

Thomas R. McConnell, bvt First It fm El Molino ; bvt Captain fm Chapultepec.
Edmiind Russell — wound, at Churubusco ; bvt First It fm El Molino.

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