ADVANCE ON MEXICO CITY RESUMES

From:
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.

It had been impossible for General Scott to advance upon Mexico City with his depleted force early in the summer when the Mexican army was disorganized. Now that he had obtained enough troops to proceed, Santa Anna had been busy reorganizing his army also until the defenses around the capital contained about 35,000 men. When the American army left Puebla August 7, the Second Dragoons were well represented by the advance. The division of General Twiggs, the former regimental commander, and the cavalry brigade of Colonel Harney, the regimental commander, led the way. The regiment was commanded by Major Sumner and formed a part of the cavalry brigade. The column reached Ayotla August 10, within a few miles of the Mexican outer defenses, and remained here several days doing reconnaissance duty.

The Second acted as escort for the officers making some of these reconnaissances. One of the officers on this duty on August 12 was Captain Robert E. Lee, escorted by Companies F and I. They moved so close to the mountain, El Penon, that conversation was carried on with the defenders. It was found the mountain was defended by 7,000 men and could be captured with a probable loss of 3,000 men. Two companies of the regiment also escorted General Smith, who made a daring reconnaissance of the next important enemy position six miles to the left of El Penon. It was finally decided to attack the city from the south by the Chalco route.

The regiment led the advance by this route south of the two lakes and entered San Augustin August 17. Company A, under Blake, was advance guard and took possession of the town after a brief skirmish. The next day Company F led off as advance guard with Captain Thornton commanding. As they approached San Antonio, Captain Thornton was struck by a cannon ball from the outer defenses and instantly killed. It was he who was captured with most of his squadron opposite Matamoras in the first encounter with the Mexicans and actually brought on the war.

72 Replies to “ADVANCE ON MEXICO CITY RESUMES”

  1. Are you able to post unit pictures such as those taken in Germany and framed? Most of mine are aged and fading but still can be scanned and emailed. If so, is it possible to design a “rogues” gallery of individuals who served at various periods of the Regiment’s history? Pictures are worth a thousand words.

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  2. Got some great pictures to share with other 2nd Cav troops, like what happens to a fully combat loaded Sheridan when it explodes, border crossing through a starlight scope, lots of troop pictures from 74-75 of the Rock, Gates, Pitman, Bayreuth, even a few from the early 50’s when dad was 2nd Cav. How do I go about getting them on the web? I can be contacted at deddygetty1@attbi.com.

    Always Ready, Sir !!!

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  3. Well, I guess I’m one of the grizzled veterans who has been bad mouthing the modern Army. I was A Scout with 14 years of service and was in K-trp during Desert Storm. After leaving Germany I went to Ft.Carson then to Korea. I then chose to return to the 2nd Cav and even back to K-trp. What a huge dissapointment. In the seven months I spent at Ft.Polk the Troop spent 2 days in the field, did not conduct training of any kind, and only did p.t. two, maybe three times a week. I suggested we actually train during sargeants time training and was met by looks of utter bewilderment. I had soldiers who wouldn’t show up for formation or would fall out of a run and disappear. I had soldiers who would would flat out disobey one lawful order after another and then couldn,t understand why I would be angry.

    Most of my Scouts couldn’t even perform basic Scout functions and showed no desire to learn.

    The blame lied squarely on the shoulders of the leadership. The Command Climate was so lax from Regiment down to the 1SG that it was no wonder the troops where lax as well. Every attemp at establishing discipline was met with a “Don’t worry about it” from the 1SG and CO.

    When faced with the decision of ETSing or deploying to Bosnia with that group, I chose to Get out. I had absolutely no confidence in my Command or my soldiers and was casturated by the Command when it came to the training or discipline of my soldiers. I am not a goose stepping Nazi in my leadership style at all. I am a very laid back and fun loving guy who partied with the troops, had them over to my house, and was on a first name basis off duty with most of them. And although I truly loved my soldiers and loved being a Plt Sargeant, I was too much of a proffesional soldier to be a part of what the 2nd Cav had become. If I had gone to any other unit after leaving Korea I would probably still be in the Army.

    That was almost five years ago so none of those people are still around. With that knowledge comes

    the hope that the Second Cav has regained the luster that it had lost from all the moving of the colors from this Post to that. Being run by Infantry officers and then by the assortment of goofs we had who had no sense of what being a Dragoon is.

    Maybe now it is possible to both “Remember your Regiment” AND “Follow your officers” instead of having to choose between the two.

    Good luck to the new troopers, you have some huge shoes to fill but with the proper attitude and leadership, you’ll do fine.

    TOUJOURS PRET

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  4. To those that don’t understand the role of today’s Regiment, I submit this…in today’s force, there are two real armored cavalry regiments, one heavy and one light. The heavy regiment supports the III Armored Corps. The light supports the XVIII ABN Corps. This is our Regiment. Its lightly equipped to deploy and insert quickly to provide the traditional cavalry missions for rapid deployable XVIII ABN Contingency forces. Soon it will be modernizing to receive the new LAV equipped fighting vehicle, that will turn the Regiment from a light HUMMWV based force, into a medium type regimental force. Today’s force structure just doesn’t permit our force to maintain two heavy cavalry regiments, so although disappointing to many, today’s Regiment provides a vital role in our national security capability, and provides our force with a flexible force projection combined arms package. I’m proud to have serve in our new Regiment, and am equally excited about its future. Tradition of the past, with a promising exciting and prospective future…

    Bill Cojocar

    Former 502d MI, Shadow Troop Commander

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  5. The 2ACR is in my thoughts daily. I served with the Dragoons from 1983-1989. My prayers will be with all of you as you embark on this, your newest test.
    Rick

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  6. Balls to the wall fellow Cav troopers. Remember your Regiment and your training. 2Cav had the "on order" mission to move into Bagdad at the end of the last Gulf war, and we were stopped. Political BS that has cost our country dearly. You guys fly the colors proudly and God bless.

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  7. Good luck 1/2 CAV. Please cover my sons ass. He’s with the 1/2 Marines ( 1st bat 2nd Marines 2nd Mar Div. At least we kept the 1/2 in the family. The 1/2 are the ones that lost 10 of our own in Nasiriyah. I wish so much that I was there.

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  8. by DEddyGetty
    on Dec 15, 2001 – 12:42 AM
    http://home.attbi.com/~deddygetty1
    My name is David Gettman, and I served with C Trp, 1st Sqd, 2nd ACR in
    Bindlach, Ger. from Jan 74 to Feb 75. My CO was a Capt. Molino. Would that be
    the same Tom Molino that is currently serving as your secretary? If so, I’m sure
    he must remember the Sheridan tank we lost during maneuvers on 25 Jul 74. I was
    the one who put the fire out on S/Sgt Brow, and later accused of being a coward
    because no one could account for my whereabouts for two hours. I layed in that
    field until daylight, surrounded by the smoldering remains of what used to be
    C-13. I risked my life to save a fellow trooper, and was rewarded with scorn and
    shame. For the last few months I have been corresponding with my platoon leader
    1Lt Stilley, only to discover that the same incident had a very profound
    negative effect on his life also. We are now in the process of doing what
    troopers do, helping each other survive.

    This comment was reposted by the webmaster due to site upgrades

    Like

  9. by DEddyGetty
    on Dec 15, 2001 – 12:42 AM
    http://home.attbi.com/~deddygetty1
    My name is David Gettman, and I served with C Trp, 1st Sqd, 2nd ACR in
    Bindlach, Ger. from Jan 74 to Feb 75. My CO was a Capt. Molino. Would that be
    the same Tom Molino that is currently serving as your secretary? If so, I’m sure
    he must remember the Sheridan tank we lost during maneuvers on 25 Jul 74. I was
    the one who put the fire out on S/Sgt Brow, and later accused of being a coward
    because no one could account for my whereabouts for two hours. I layed in that
    field until daylight, surrounded by the smoldering remains of what used to be
    C-13. I risked my life to save a fellow trooper, and was rewarded with scorn and
    shame. For the last few months I have been corresponding with my platoon leader
    1Lt Stilley, only to discover that the same incident had a very profound
    negative effect on his life also. We are now in the process of doing what
    troopers do, helping each other survive.

    This comment was reposted by the webmaster due to site upgrades

    Like

  10. Loved your comments on the M-551. I’d forgotten about all the crossed fingers in the turret when the gunner let loose. You failed to mention that anyone with a P-38 on their keychain could cut their way into a Sheridan. Got some pictures at Dragoon Base(C Trp 74-75, Dave Gettman)of the remains of a Sheridan that caught fire and blew up in 1974. Not much left other than the engine.

    Dave Gettman

    Like

  11. Loved your comments on the M-551. I’d forgotten about all the crossed fingers in the turret when the gunner let loose. You failed to mention that anyone with a P-38 on their keychain could cut their way into a Sheridan. Got some pictures at Dragoon Base(C Trp 74-75, Dave Gettman)of the remains of a Sheridan that caught fire and blew up in 1974. Not much left other than the engine.

    Dave Gettman

    Like

  12. Much of my info isn’t saved when I update my profile, which I have done a few times in the past months. My Assoc. membership #, and all my military info keeps disappearing, while other changes are accepted.

    deddygetty

    Like

  13. Much of my info isn’t saved when I update my profile, which I have done a few times in the past months. My Assoc. membership #, and all my military info keeps disappearing, while other changes are accepted.

    deddygetty

    Like

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