Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/37

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the United States flag, as representing the only friend among nations to the Republic of Mexico. He brought the latest news from the interior, and told of the capture of Puebla by General Escobedo after a severe fight; every one was confident that peace would soon be restored. In regard to the operations in the immediate vicinity of Vera Cruz, their plan was to harass the Imperialist forces as much as possible in the hopes of inducing a surrender, but it was not General Benavides' intention to bombard or even assault the city; to capture it, without obtaining possession of the castle of San Juan, would be useless, as the guns of the latter would make it untenable and might destroy it.

The main feature of General Barranda s visit, so far as ward-room interest was concerned, was the expression of a desire on his part that the "Tacony" should send an occasional boat to Boca del Rio, the mouth of a small stream about five miles below, so that he could communicate with them; and, as all resources were cut off from Vera Cruz, he would be glad to avail himself of such opportunity to send off fresh provisions for the officers and crew. It is perhaps needless to say that his request was acceded to. Just before that, on the occasion of a steamer arriving in the harbor, the ship's log bore the entry "Sent boat to steamer for Potatoes." What volumes were spoken by that capital P!