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.
Leaving the port May 7, Taylor advanced in the direction the enemy was reported, which was on the road to Matamoras. Early the following morning the troops moved forward to attack the enemy, who was drawn up in order of battle near the water hole at Palo Alto on a front of nearly a mile. Colonel Twiggs was given command of the right wing of Taylor’s army. The Second Dragoons was a part of this force, except Ker’s squadron, which was placed on the left rear of the line to guard the trains. The battle was largely a duel between the opposing artillery. Attempts were made at various times by the forces of both sides to advance, but none were successful. They were always driven back either by the artillery or by the shifting of the infantry to meet them. At about 2:00 p.m. Captain May’s squadron was detached to support Duncan’s battery and the left of our position. Later the enemy was driven back and the artillery was sent forward to occupy the enemy’s former position. Captain May’s squadron was again sent forward to make a demonstration on the left of the enemy, but finding themselves confronted by about 800 cavalry and suffering heavy casualties, they were forced to return. Soon thereafter an attack was made against our left which was met by Captain Ker’s squadron and the Eighth Infantry. The action continued in this way until dark when the enemy withdrew leaving the field to the Americans. The Mexicans engaged consisted of about 6,000 men, while our force numbered about 2,300.