Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/351

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319
WAR BEGUN.

Mexicans contested the occupation of their town with determination, during the long and unceasing conflict. The result was terribly discouraging to the soldiers of the Mexican army, who were discovering, with every new essay, that the United States soldiers could fight.

General Ampudia, after the defeat, issued a proclamation announcing it frankly, with humble apologies for his capacity. He gave a short account of the operations, highly extolling the valor of his troops, and attributing the defeat to a series of accidents, concluding with the assurance to his countrymen that the loss of Monterey was of little importance, and would soon be forgotten in fresh triumphs of the Mexican arms.

He soon received orders to march his troops to San Luis de Potosi, on the backward way towards the capital.

The operations at Monterey, in spite of the opinion of the Mexican general, had nevertheless a great effect on the progress of the war. It must have been discouraging to the Mexican people; on the other hand, it made the war more popular in the United States, where the bravery of the troops was a subject of national congratulation.

The officers in the army of General Taylor became heroes, and their military glory was everywhere sounded.

During these events Don Maria Paredes was President of Mexico. His "Plan" for his country was a monarchy, and apparently heedless, or at any rate indifferent, to the approach of hostile troops