General William Jenkins Worth Monument

Worth Monuments\

Worth plaque

September 20-24, 1846: the Battle of Monterrey (Mexico)

General William Jenkins Worth was a hero of the Battle of Monterrey, a crucial victory in the Mexican-American War, 1846-48. The following eyewitness account of Worth's role in the battle was written by a Texas ranger a year later.

The position Gen. Worth then occupied might have been considered as critical as it was dangerous. Separated from the main body of the army--his communication cut off, and no possible route less than eight miles to regain it--with but scanty supplies of provisions for only four days--surrounded by gorges and passes of the mountains, from whose summits belched forth the destructive shot, shell, and grape; he was liable at any moment to be attacked by an overwhelming force in the direction of Saltillo, which had been reported to be daily expected...

 It was feared, too, from his impetuous nature, that he would rush his command into unnecessary danger by some rash and desperate attempt. But it was not so. He was collected, calm, and cool, and bore himself with that proud, resolute, and commanding mien, giving his orders with promptness and decision, which inspired men and officers alike with confidence. He never appeared better than on that day; and all felt that with Worth they were sure of victory....

Before us stood the steep and rugged hill, about three hundred and eighty feet high, whose slopes were covered with thick and thorny chaparral. With a glass could be seen the swarm of Mexicans that crowned the height, while its cannon, which looked down in defiance at us, seemed to threaten with annihilation all who dared to approach. The daring of the expedition was thought to be one of the last hope; and men looked forward to meet death calmly in the face, as they felt that it was only by great sacrifice that they could gain a victory. Gen. Worth rode up, as the command moved off, and pointing to the height, said: "Men, you are to take that hill--and I know you will do it." with one response they replied, "We will." And those who before had felt a doubt as to its practicability, now became reanimated, and felt themselves invincible. The words of Worth had nerved every arm, and hearts swelled with that proud feeling of enthusiasm which make men indomitable before the foe. -- Samuel C. Reid, Jr., The Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers, 1847

Further Reading

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