To set the stage, the Mexican Army, under Santa Anna, sat astride the road from Veracruz to Mexico City taking up fine defensive positions. The Veracruz-Mexico City road passes through a defile guarded by the heights of El Telegrafo hill. Protecting the heights, Santa Anna has emplaced guns and infantry. Guarding the highway and the approaches to the defile are more guns and infantry. The remainder of the Mexican army is encamped to the rear.
|Battle of Cerro Gordo|
As the game began, Harney's brigade stepped off on its way to take El Telegrafo while Riley would head for the Mexican camp in an effort to cut the highway behind El Telegrafo. The remaining U.S. brigade under Twiggs would support both Harney if needed while focusing his attack in the valley.
The American assault was not coordinated. That is, Harney assaulted the heights before the other American brigades could get into position.
The first assault on El Telegrafo carried one of the redoubts and sent the Mexican defenders scampering away.
Americans pressed on all along the line and engaged the Mexican on all fronts with Harney on the heights and Twiggs in the valley. The Mexicans guarding the defile began the long process of redeploying to thwart American attacks on El Telegrafo. In the center, initial attacks by Twiggs were repulsed by Mexican Grenadiers.
Near the Mexican encampment, cavalry array for battle as the infantry forms a long defensive line. Twiggs prepared for a second assault against the grenadiers.
Twiggs' renewed assault routed the raw Mexican troops as the grenadiers gave ground slowly. Mexicans counter attacked on the heights but were, themselves, repulsed.
Before Mexicans could regroup from the failed attack, Harney counterattacked and swept the Mexicans from the heights.
With Mexicans reeling from losses across the battlefield, the heavy casualty level was reached. Santa Anna was forced to withdraw from the field. Perhaps another stand before Mexico City is possible?
(1) As a footnote, Captain Steptoe has ties to the Spokane, Washington region (home to the Palouse Wargaming Journal). Steptoe later fought in the Indian Wars (Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-Paloos War) and was defeated at the Battle of Pine Creek in 1858 near Rosalia, Washington.
|Assault on El Telegrafo|
|Redoubt #1 Captured|
Captain Steptoe (1) unlimbered his artillery and began targeting Mexican cavalry at long range.
|Assault on Redoubt #2 Attempt #1|
Mexican reinforcements cannot arrive in time and Harney's assault against redoubt #2 presses forward. Repulsed! While one Mexican gun vamoosed, the second maintained its position.
|Assault on Redoubt #2 Attempt #2|
Regrouping, the Americans go in a second time. The second assault saw success in carrying away both the defenders and the redoubt. Scott holds the key position! The Americans hold El Telegrafo but can they maintain their position?
|Mexican cavalry in battle array|
|Mexican defensive line|
|Battle for the heights|
|Mexicans driven from El Telegrafo|
Mexican commander, Vasquez, on the right sinks into depression as all looks lost.
|Velasquez throws in the hat|
On the American right, clashes are frequent between Mexican cavalry and American infantry. Steptoe's guns continued pounding Mexican troops. In the end, American firepower triumphs.
|Scrum in the valley|
|Aftermath of battle|