ONE HUNDRED YEARS WITH THE SECOND CAVALRY
By Joseph I. Lambert, Major, Second Cavalry
Copyright 1939 Commanding Officer, Second Cavalry, Fort Riley, Kansas
Capper Printing Company, Inc.
General Scott ordered General Worth to attack a foundry known as El Molino del Rey on September 8. This place was protected on one side by the fortified castle of Chapultepec and on the other by a heavy stone building known as Casa Mata. All of these were connected by trenches along which were posted about 10,000 troops, with heavy guns at suitable locations. Contrary to information gained by reconnaissances, General Scott thought the affair would be purely local. He ordered that only the foundry be captured, the machinery destroyed, and then for the attacking troops to return to Tacubaya.
In all General Worth had about 3,000 troops for the attack. The six companies of the Second Dragoons under Major Sumner were posted on the extreme left of our line. The entire line was soon engaged and four guns and a number of prisoners fell into our hands. Soon after sunrise Santa Anna ordered his cavalry to attack the left flank of the Americans. Major Sumner then put his squadrons in motion to meet them. In moving to a position of attack the dragoons passed within range of the guns on Casa Mata. In a few minutes their loss was seven soldiers killed and five officers and thirty-three soldiers wounded. After passing through this fire and crossing a ravine the dragoons were drawn up facing the Mexican cavalry. The latter then retreated before the Americans had time to attack. After pounding by the artillery our troops captured both Casa Mata and Molino del Rey. Instead of following up the success, General Scott ordered his men to reoccupy the old positions after the foundry was destroyed.
During the bombardment of Chapultepec on September 11 and 12, the dragoons were posted on the left near their old position to watch the Mexican cavalry. On the 13th they reported to General Worth, whose command was following the enemy along the aqueduct to the city after the fall of Chapultepec. After watching the enemy cavalry for a while, the dragoons joined the foot troops in the pursuit of the fugitives. General Scott soon came up and sent Sumner’s command to Tacubaya to guard the rear.