Battle of El Molino Del Rey


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Mexican War Time Line | Map of the Mexican War | Mexico | President Polk | Zachary Taylor | Santa Anna | General Winfield Scott | General William Worth | General John Wool | General Stephen Kearny | Commodore Stockton | John C. Fremont | General David Twiggs | Nicholas Trist | Thornton Affair | Battle of Palo Alto | Battle of Resace De La Palma | Battle of Monterey | Battle of Buena Vista | Battle of Vera Cruz | Battle of Cerro Gordo | Battle of Contreras | Battle of Churubusco | Battle of El Molino Del Rey | Battle of Chapultepec

EL MOLINO DEL REY, BATTLE OF. Almost within cannon-shot distance of the city of Mexico is Chapultepec, a hill composed of porphyritic rock, and known in the Aztec language as" Grasshoppers' Hill." It rises from the ancient shore of Lake Tezeuco, and was the favorite resort of the Aztec princes. It was also the site of the palace and gardens of Montezuma.


Map El Molino Del Rey

Map of the Battle of El Molino Del Rey

That hill was crowned with a strong castle and military college, supported by numerous outworks, which, with the steepness of the ascent to it, seemed to make it impregnable. Only the slope towards the city was easily ascended, and that was covered with a thick forest. At the foot of the hill was a stone building, with thick high walls, and towers at the end, known as El Molino del Rey - " The King's Mill."

About 400 yards from this was another massive stone building, known as Casa de Mata. The former was used (1847) as a cannon foundry by the Mexicans, and the latter was a depository of gunpowder. Both were armed and strongly garrisoned. General Scott, at Tacubaya, ascertained that Santa Anna, while negotiations for peace were going on, had sent church-bells out of the city to be cast into cannon, and he determined to seize both of these strong buildings and deprive the Mexicans of those sources of strength. He proposed to first attack El Molino del Rey, which was commanded by General Leon. The Mexican forces at these defenses were about 14,000 strong, their left wing resting on El Molino del Rey, their center forming a connecting line with Casa de Mata and supported by a field-battery, and their right wing resting on the latter. To the division of General Worth was entrusted the task of assailing the works before them. At three o'clock on the morning of Sept. 8 (1847) the assaulting columns moved to the attack, Garland's brigade forming the right wing. The battle began at dawn by Huger's 24-pounder opening on El Molino del Rey, when Major Wright, of the 8th Infantry, fell upon the center with 500 picked men. On the left was the 2d Brigade, commanded by Colonel McIntosh, supported by Duncan's battery.

Battle El Molino Del Rey


The assault of Major Wright on the centre drove back infantry and artillery, and the Mexican field-battery was captured. The Mexicans soon rallied and regained their position, and a terrible struggle ensued. El Molino del Rey was soon assailed and carried by Garland's brigade, and at the same time the battle around Casa de Mata was raging fiercely. For a moment the Americans reeled, but soon recovered, when a large column of Mexicans was seen filing around the right of their entrenchments to fall upon the Americans who had been driven back, when Duncan's battery opened upon them so destructively that the Mexican column was scattered in confusion. Then Sumner's dragoons charged upon them, and their rout was complete. The slaughter had been dreadful. Nearly one-fourth of Worth's corps were either killed or wounded. The Mexicans had left 1,000 dead on the field. Their best leaders had been slain, and 800 men had been made prisoners. The strong buildings were blown up, and none of the defenses of Mexico outside its gates remained to them, excepting the castle of CHAPULTEPEC and its supports.




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