Battles of the War
The Capture of Monterrey
The Capture of Monterrey occurred on September 25, 1846, after a week of maneuvering, skirmishing, brutal assaults, and deadly house-to-house fighting. General Zachary Taylor moved his 6,640 many army into position north of the city on September 19, scouted its approaches, and captured the road leading to Saltillo the next day. A Mexican army of 5,000 men under General Pedro Ampudia waited behind fortifications, effectively cut-off from reinforcements.
Taylor planned a two-pronged assault for September 21, with General William J. Worth’s Division to attack from the west and southwest while the regulars under the temporary command of John Garland demonstrated against Monterrey’s eastern defenses. Worth’s assault carried the important positions atop Federation Hill, then moved on to capture redoubts on Independence Hill, as well giving U.S. troops command of the heights overlooking the city.
Fighting east of the town bogged down, and Garland’s command required the assistance of General William O. Butler’s reserves to finally carry the Mexican positions at La Tenería, Fort Diablo, and Purísima Bridge. With American forces east and west, Ampudia drew in his lines in the following day, fortifying the houses around the central plaza, the cathedral, and the imposing citadel, Black Fort.
Fighting resumed on September 23 with the Americans making impressive gains before being ordered to fall back at sundown. The following day, U.S. artillery began a systematic bombardment of the Mexican positions, leading to Ampudia’s request for a parlay. The two generals agreed on an eight-week armistice and the Mexican forces marched away with their weapons on September 25, giving the city over to the Americans. President James K. Polk grew furious over these terms, and subsequently plotted the end of Taylor’s career. The U.S. lost 450 men killed and wounded in the battle. The Mexicans suffered an equal number of losses.