Beelingo.com

English Audio Books

Philip Dru: Administrator

SPONSORED LINKS
<SPAN name="LI"></SPAN> <h1 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Chapter LI</h1> <h2 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">The Battle of La Tuna</h2> <p>In the numbers engaged, in the duration and in the loss of life, the battle of La Tuna was not important, but its effect upon Mexico and the Central American Republics was epoch making.</p> <p>The manner of attack was characteristic of Dru&#8217;s methods. His interview with General Benevides had ended at noon, and word soon ran through the camp that peace negotiations had failed with the result that the army was immediately on the alert and eager for action. Dru did not attempt to stop the rumor that the engagement would occur at dawn the next day. By dusk every man was in readiness, but they did not have to wait until morning, for as soon as supper was eaten, to the surprise of everyone, word came to make ready for action and march upon the enemy. Of Dru&#8217;s sixty thousand men, twenty thousand were cavalry, and these he sent to attack the Mexican rear. They were ordered to move quietly so as to get as near to the enemy as possible before being discovered.</p> <p>It was not long before the Mexican outposts heard the marching of men and the rumble of gun carriages. This was reported to General Benevides and he rode rapidly to his front. A general engagement at nightfall was so unusual that he could not believe the movement meant anything more than General Dru&#8217;s intention to draw nearer, so that he could attack in the morning at closer range.</p> <p>It was a clear starlight night, and with the aid of his glasses he could see the dark line coming steadily on. He was almost in a state of panic when he realized that a general attack was intended. He rode back through his lines giving orders in an excited and irregular way. There was hurry and confusion everywhere, and he found it difficult to get his soldiers to understand that a battle was imminent. Those in front were looking with a feeling akin to awe at that solid dark line that was ever coming nearer. The Mexicans soon began to fire from behind the breastworks that had been hastily erected during the few days the armies had been facing one another, but the shots went wild, doing but slight damage in the American ranks. Then came the order from Dru to charge, and with it came the Yankee yell. It was indeed no battle at all. By the time the Americans reached the earthworks, the Mexicans were in flight, and when the cavalry began charging the rear, the rout was completed.</p> <p>In the battle of La Tuna, General Benevides proved himself worthy of his lineage. No general could have done more to rally his troops, or have been more indifferent to danger. He scorned to turn his back upon an enemy, and while trying to rally his scattered forces, he was captured, badly wounded.</p> <p>Every attention worthy his position was shown the wounded man. Proud and chivalrous as any of his race, he was deeply humiliated at the miserable failure that had been made to repell the invaders of his country, though keenly touched by the consideration and courtesy shown him by the American General.</p> <p>Dru made no spectacular entrance into the city, but remained outside and sent one of his staff with a sufficient force to maintain order. In an address announcing his intentions towards Mexico and her allies, Dru said--&#8220;It is not our purpose to annex your country or any part of it, nor shall we demand any indemnity as the result of victory further than the payment of the actual cost of the war and the maintenance of the American troops while order is being restored. But in the future, our flag is to be your flag, and you are to be directly under the protection of the United States. It is our purpose to give to your people the benefits of the most enlightened educational system, so that they may become fitted for the responsibilities of self-government. There will also be an equitable plan worked out by which the land now owned by a few will be owned by the many. In another generation, this beautiful land will be teeming with an educated, prosperous and contented people, who will regard the battlefield of La Tuna as the birthplace of their redemption.</p> <p>&#8220;Above all things, there shall not be thrust upon the Mexican people a carpet-bag government. Citizens of Mexico are to enforce the reconstructed constitution and laws, and maintain order with native troops, although under the protecting arm of the United States.</p> <p>&#8220;All custom duties are to be abolished excepting those uniform tariffs that the nations of the world have agreed upon for revenue purposes, and which in no way restrict the freedom of trade. It is our further purpose to have a constitution prepared under the direction and advice of your most patriotic and wisest men, and which, while modern to the last degree, will conform to your habits and customs.</p> <p>&#8220;However,&#8221; he said in conclusion, &#8220;it is our purpose to take the most drastic measures against revolutionists, bandits and other disturbers of the peace.&#8221;</p> <p>While Dru did not then indicate it, he had in mind the amalgamation of Mexico and the Central American Republics into one government, even though separate states were maintained.</p>
SPONSORED LINKS