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cios and the Pájaro reef, and was of the same depth and width.
A larger and more sheltered harbor, named Anton Lizardo, was situated a few leagues to the south-east of Vera Cruz, and there appears to be no good reason why the latter was selected, except that the island of San Juan de Ulúa was a favorable spot for the construction of a fortress. No attempt was made to
improve it, and at the close of the eighteenth century it remained in the same condition as when first discovered by Grijalva in 1518.
Anton Lizardo was the harbor in which the French fleet anchored in 1838 and the Americans in 1847-1848.
There are no reliable data as to the exact time when the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa was erected; but the works must have been commenced between the years 1582 and 1625. At the former date the island was occupied only by sailors and merchants; at the latter the fortress is mentioned by the traveller Gage, in connection with his visit to Vera Cruz, and appears to have been then well advanced. It was probably the strongest fort in the New World, and until the improvements made in modern warfare was considered almost impregnable, being often termed the San Juan de Acre of America. In 1746 it was mounted with one hundred and twenty guns and three mortars. In 1780 it contained one hundred brass cannon and about fifty pieces of ordnance made of iron, the latter being of heavy calibre.10 The main building was in the shape of a parallelogram, with a bastion at each of its angles. The one at the southwest corner was named the bastion of San Pedro and was completed in 1633. It was surmounted by a high tower on which was a revolving light. On the south-east corner was the bastion of San Crispin, completed in 1710. Here was built a lookout tower whence vessels were sighted and communication maintained with the city by a system of signals. Others named Our Lady del Pilar and Santa Catalina were finished in 1778 and 1799 respectively. The curtain and the flanks of the bastions facing seaward were covered with stakes of hard wood sharpened at the end and rising a foot and a half out of the water, so that at high tide vessels could not approach within musket shot. Within the fort were seven large cisterns, containing nearly a hundred thousand cubic feet of water, and below it were damp, narrow dungeons, where notorious criminals were confined. Few who were once incarcerated there came forth alive.
At the middle of the eighteenth century the gar
10 Villa-Señor y Sanchez, Teatro, i. 274-5; Informe del Comand. de Ulúa, July 29, 1780, in Col. Diario, MS., 504-6.
rison appears to have been smaller than at the time of the sack of Vera Cruz by buccaneers in 1683, consisting of only 120 artillerymen, 150 troops drawn from the naval battalion of the city, the latter being relieved every month, and 30 sailors. A band of convicts was also stationed there and employed on the works. At this time there were quartered in the city a naval battalion of 600 men, an infantry regiment 1,000 strong, 300 dragoons, and 30 artillerymen. A militia regiment with ten companies, two of them being composed of mulattoes and two of negroes, added 1,000 additional troops to the defensive force, and the firing of a cannon would at any time summon 700 or 800 lancers from the adjacent towns and haciendas." In 1741 a plan was drawn up by the engineer, Felix Próspero, for constructing a wall around the city, and the work was completed five years later. The wall was built of hewn stone brought from Campeche; it was six feet high, and was surmounted by a strong double stockade of the same height. It contained seven gates, one of them being for the accommodation of shipping and fishermen, and one for the special use of the viceroys. On the inner side was a banquette for infantry; on a tongue of land at the extreme north was afterward constructed the bastion of La Concepcion mounted with sixteen heavy guns, and commanding the north channel with the adjacent coast; on the extreme south was the bastion of Santiago, mounting twentysix guns, and containing the arsenal and naval stores. Between these two bastions, and facing the land side, smaller ones protecting the main avenues of approach were erected at intervals.12
11 Villa-Señor y Sanchez, Teatro, i. 273 4. According to this authority the military staff was composed of the governor, the king's lieutenant, an adjutant, a sargento mayor, and three engineers. In May 1727 the viceroy, Casa Fuerte, framed the first ordinance regulating the strength of the garrisons at Vera Cruz and Ulúa, inimitation of a similar one issued nine years previously for the city and fortress of Habana. At this date the garrison was somewhat smaller, and that of the city consisted mainly of cavalry.
12 Id., 271-2.
After the capture of Habana by the English in 1762 much apprehension was felt as to the safety of Vera Cruz.13 The defences of the city and of San Juan de Ulúa were strengthened, and new ones erected on other portions of the coast. The island fortress was ordered to be repaired at a cost of over a million and a half, and the port of Anton Lizardo was to be fortified at an expense of a million and a quarter pesos. A fort was also begun at San Carlos de Perote, this point being intended for an arsenal and as a storing place for treasure, Jalapa being now considered unsafe. Additional troops were despatched from Spain, and in December 1774 a military commission met at Vera Cruz to consider such further measures as might be necessary for defence. The result was very unfavorable. It was reported that the city was untenable, and that Ulúa, which was supposed to be impregnable, could only be held for a few days, and would require a garrison of 1,700 infantry and 300 artillerymen, together with a force of sailors sufficient to man a number of armed boats.14 It was even recommended that on the approach of an enemy the bastions should be blown up and the inhabitants sent into the interior, taking with them their effects. The report of the commissioners does not appear to have been heeded, and at the close of the century, when Europe was at war and the Spanish American possessions were at any time liable to attack, the garrisons of the city and fortress were even smaller than those stationed there sixty years before.15
13 When intelligence arrived of the capture, the viceroy ordered that munitions of war be at once forwarded to Vera Cruz, and that all available troops be immediately put in motion for that point. When it was known that there was no imminent danger of attack, he withdrew his forces to Jalapa and Perote where the climate was more healthy. The next year peace was declared.
14 De Menonville says that at the time of his visit in 1777 the fortress was mounted with 300 guns of from 12 to 36 pound calibre, and that it was exposed to attack on the south-east corner, where was a landing-place much nearer the fort than the principal one, and where vessels might anchor under the curtain, the fire from which would be of no avail. Pinkerton's Col. Voy., xiii. 779. In 1780 Viceroy Mayorga inspected the defences of the city and fortress, and changed the plan of defence adopted by his predecessor.
15 At the beginning of the 19th century the combined garrisons of the city
Notwithstanding the enormous sums expended on coast defences, the fortress of Ulúa alone having cost nearly forty millions of pesos, the people of New Spain, besides being in constant fear of the armaments of hostile powers, were still in dread of corsairs. In November, 1788, a royal decree was issued in answer to the viceroy's petition ordering two brigantines to be constructed for coast-guard service against pirates and smugglers.16 Of course the operations of the former were now confined to the more thinly populated portions of the coast; for such raids, except made by licensed freebooters under the name of privateersmen, were long since discountenanced by the nations of Europe.
After the beginning of the war between England and Spain, in 1796, it was believed that an expedition was being prepared for an attack on Vera Cruz, and during the following year eight thousand troops were cantoned at Jalapa, Córdoba, and Perote in readiness for action; but England had now sufficient occupation for all her forces on land and sea, in the long protracted struggle with the great Napoleon. A few months later all the encampments were broken up, excepting one of six hundred men who were stationed on the plain near Buena Vista in the vicinity of Vera Cruz, and so great was the mortality among this corps that it soon became necessary to remove the survivors into the city.
Until 1629 the offices of corregidor of Vera Cruz and governor of Ulúa were vested in the same person, but in that year they were separated, the commander of the fortress receiving a salary of one thousand one
and fortress consisted of the permanent battalion of Vera Cruz, organized in 1793, its strength being 1,000 men, a company of veteran artillery, and two of militia, 310 men, and the regiment of Vera Cruz lancers, enrolled in 1767, nominally 1,000 strong. Lerdo de Tejada, in Doc. Hist. Mex., Apunt. Hist., 383-4. In 1784 the garrison of Vera Cruz was reenforced by two infantry regiments from Mexico, Id., 309; but these appear to have been soon withdrawn, for in Gac. Mex., ii. 290, it is stated that in 1786 the garrison of Vera Cruz mustered only 1,360 men.
16 They arrived in Vera Cruz about two years afterward. Later a schooner was built for the same purpose.