We rested at the earthwork, to gain our breath and waited for all the command to assemble. The guns from the "Obispado" now opened on us, but secure behind the breastwork, we answered with cheers of defiance, while the glorious Stars and Stripes were flung to the storm in the early grey of the morning. When, like the roar of an angry sea, came the sound of tremendous cheers from the valley below; Worth's Division, hid by the gloom of the valley, were massed at the foot of the hill, could see us and our starry flag in the clouds over their heads and sent us their greetings. As it grew lighter, we obtained a fine view of our situation. Perched on a lofty spur of the mountain, we had a bird's eye view of all parts of Monterey and its defences, and soon three guns from the south-eastern part of the town informed us that Gen. Taylor knew that we held the key to Monterey.
But a new danger threatend our little band. A large force of Mexicans were seen forming out side the Palace, and advanced up the hill. A murmuring noise in our rear attracted our notice, and to our great joy the 5th U.S. Infantry, the Louisiana Volunteers, and a six-Pd. Howitzer came up the cliff and formed behind us. The six-pounder was brought up dismounted in slings, and was rappidly placed in condition for service. Col. Childs now orderd us down the hill as skirmishers. As we passed out of the work, I noticed two rangers laying dead, side by side. One was a Captain Gillespie, who led stormers the day before, that caried the Soldado. We advanced towards the enemy, keeping well undercover of rocks, keeping up a galling fire on the heavy masses of the Mexicans, while in our rear the two regiments with the Howitzer in the centre came on in easy supporting distance.
The Mexican Infantry opened a heavy fire, making a great noise but doing little damage. They still slowly advanced as if they did not half like the job, while bodies of Cavalry appeard in their rear. Our infantry now opened up, and the Howitzer, under the charge of L't Rowland, of Duncan's Battery, tore their ranks with cannister. Yet on came the foe in the most gallant manner, closing up their ranks untill not more than a hundred yards intervened between the hostile ranks. Then the Mexicans tried a charge. Down came their glittering bayonets, and at double quick they dashed foreward, but receiving a deadly fire and seeing the regulars charging in on their flanks with loud cheer, they staggared, hesitated, turned and fled behind the strong wall of the Bishop's Palace... A loud shout at the gate caused me to rush round and I found a dense mass pouring into the Palace through the gate shatterd by the Howitzer. It was wild work; the Mexicans were bayoneted in the courtyard, pursued from room to room, with ferocious cries and yells, no quarter was given.
In the great hall of the Palace the fugitives rallied and defended themselves manfully, and once compelled to give ground, it was regular bludgeon work. Steel clashed against steel, muskets came down on heads with a sickening "thud," scattering brains and blood. I fought with my sabre, and was knocked down and pinned to the floor by a dead greasser. A loud voice cried out "throw yourselves flat," and in another moment the deafening roar of our little "Saney six" discharging doubble cannister on the flank of our staunch foes, decided the conflict. The Mexicans fled and disappeared in the various passages towards the city. The Palace was ours.
Desperate Fight Inside the Bishop's Palace
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