Major-General Winfield Scott, at Vera Cruz, Mexico, to William L. Marcy, Secretary of War, at Washington, D.C. Dispatch communicating the capitulation of Vera Cruz.
Head-Quarters of the Army,
Sir: - The flag of the United States of America floats triumphantly over the walls of this city and the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa.
Our troops have garrisoned both since ten o'clock; it is now noon. Brigadier-General Worth is in command of the two places.
Articles of capitulation were signed and exchanged at a late hour night before last. I enclose a copy of the document.
I have heretofore reported the principal incidents of the siege up to the 25th instant. Nothing of striking interest occurred till early in the morning of the next day, when I received overtures from General Landero, on whom General Morales had devolved the principal command. A terrible storm of wind and sand made it difficult to communicate with the city, and impossible to refer to Commodore Perry. I was obliged to entertain the proposition alone, or continue the fire upon a place that had shown a disposition to surrender; for the loss of a day, perhaps several, could not be permitted. The accompanying papers will show the proceedings and results.
Yesterday, after the norther had abated, and the commissioners appointed by me early the morning before had again met those appointed by General Landero, Commodore Perry sent ashore his second in command, Captain Aulick, as a commissioner on the part of the navy. Although not included in my specific arrangement made with the Mexican commander, I did not hesitate, with proper courtesy, to desire that Captain Aulick might be duly introduced and allowed to participate in the discussions and acts of the commissioners who had been reciprocally accredited. Hence the preamble to his signature. The original American commissioners were Brevet Brigadier-General Worth, Brigadier-General Pillow, and Colonel Totten. Four more able or judicious officers could not have been desired.
I have to add but little more. The remaining details of the siege - the able co-operation of the United States squadron, successively under the command of Commodores Conner and Perry - the admirable conduct of the whole army, regulars and volunteers - I should be happy to dwell upon as they deserve; but the steamer Princeton, with Commodore Conner on board, is under way, and I have commenced organizing an advance into the interior. This may be delayed a few days, waiting the arrival of additional means of transportation. In the mean time, a joint operation, by land and water, will be made upon Alvarado. No lateral expedition, however, shall interfere with the grand movement towards the capital.
In consideration of the great services of Colonel Totten, in the siege that has just terminated most successfully, and the importance of his presence at Washington, as the head of the engineer bureau, I intrust this despatch to his personal care, and beg to commend him to the very favourable consideration of the department.
I have the honor to remain sir, with high respect, your most obedient servant,
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Citation: Steven R. Butler, ed. A Documentary History of the Mexican War (Richardson, Texas: Descendants of Mexican War Veterans, 1995), p. 202.