Robert E. Lee's First War

Lee's transport ship, the SS Hughes, takes him from New York to Texas. He arrives at Port La Vaca, Texas in September 1846, and acquires an army mare named Creole at that place for his transportation. Then riding inland to San Antonio, Texas he reports to General Wool for duty as a Captain of Engineers in the Mexican War. His duties are to prepare pontoon boats, special wagons, acquire road building equipment, and proceed southwest ahead of General Wool to the Rio Grande border building bridges and roads for Wool's Army of the Center to enter that country to carry on the Mexican War Campaign.

Arriving in Northern Mexico Lee builds more roads and fortifications for General Wool and General Taylor to fight Mexico's General Santa Anna at Buena Vista. To Lee's disappointment he is transferred to General Scott's new army at the mouth of the Rio Grande and they sail south to Vera Cruz. He thinks he has missed out in the Mexican War. However, Scott's mission is to defeat the Mexicans in Mexico City.

Lee contributes greatly as an engineer and scout to the success of General Scott's campaign in Southern Mexico, and to the defeat of Santa Anna and the Mexican Army in numerous battles culminating at Mexico Citv in 1848. Lee is brevetted from Captain to Colonel by General Scott for his service in Mexico. He returns home a hero and with his prized mare. When Scott returns home he awards Lee the coveted position of Commandant of West Point Academy.

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Copyright © 2012 Edwin W. Mergele
Last Updated: August 22, 2012