In September 1845 he went with his regiment to join the forces of General Taylor in Mexico; there he took part in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma and Monterey, and, after his transfer to General Scott's army, which he joined in March 1847, served at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, Molino del Rey and at the storming of Chapultepec. He was breveted first lieutenant for gallantry at Molino del Rey and captain for gallantry at Chapultepec. In August 1848, after the close of the war, he married Julia T.
During the Mexican war he was twice severely wounded in a reconnaissance at Cerro Gordo, 1847, was engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz, the battles of Contreras, Churubusco, and Molino del Rey, the storming of Chapultepec, and the assault on the city of Mexico, and received three brevets for gallant and meritorious service.
In the Mexican War he won two brevets for gallantry - that of captain for Molino del Rey and that of major for Chapultepec. He served at West Point as instructor and adjutant (1849-1855), and he took part in the Utah expedition.
He served in the Mexican War under Scott, and was breveted for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco and at Chapultepec. He became captain in 1852 and major in 1861.
The Paseo de la Reforma, the finest avenue of the city, is a broad boulevard extending from the Avenida Juarez south-west to Chapultepec, a distance of nearly three miles.
Among other institutions are the new post office, begun in 1902 and finished in 1907; the Mineria, occupied by the schools of mining and engineering; the military school, occupying a part of the castle of Chapultepec; the Iturbide palace, now occupied as a hotel; the Iturbide theatre, occupied by the chamber of deputies, for which a new legislative palace to cost 2,500,000 pesos was under construction in 1909; the new palace of justice; the old mint, dating from 1537; the new penitentiary, completed in 190o; the Panteon, with its monuments to the most celebrated Mexicans; the new general hospital; the jockey club on Plaza Guardiola, a new university (1910) and new school edifices of modern design.
For the water supply the Aztecs used the main causeway through their city as a dam to separate the fresh water from the hills from the brackish water of Texcoco, and obtained drinking water from a spring at the base of the hill of Chapultepec. The Spaniards added three other springs to the supply and constructed two long aqueducts to bring it into the city.
To enter the city by way of the Tacubaya causeway it was still necessary for the Americans to capture Chapultepec. This hill, defended by about 4000 Mexicans under General Nicolas Bravo, was bombarded on the 12th of September, and was carried by assault on the 13th.
At Vera Cruz he won the rank of first lieutenant, and for gallant conduct at Contreras and Chapultepec respectively he was brevetted captian and major, a rank which he attained with less than one year's service.
Of Chapultepec and has been thoroughly reorganized on modern.
Till the 18th century the gigantic figures of Axayacatl and his son Montezuma were to be seen carved in the porphyry hill of Chapultepec, but these as well as the hanging gardens have been destroyed, and only the groves of ahuehuete (cypress) remain of the ancient beauties of the place.
The simplest forms of these depict the objects signified by the name, as where Chapultepec or " grasshopper-hill " is represented by a grasshopper on a hill, or a stone with a cactus on it stands for Tenoch or " stonecactus," the founder of Tenochtitlan.
Sent as a lieutenant of engineers to the Mexican War, he took part in the battles under General Scott, and by his gallantry won the brevets of first-lieutenant at Contreras-Churubusco and captain at Chapultepec; he was afterwards detailed as assistant-instructor at West Point, and employed in explorations in the South-West and in Oregon.
Wool in Chihuahua, and under General Winfield Scott in the southern campaign; he was breveted major-general for gallantry at Cerro Gordo, where he was severely wounded, and he was again wounded at Chapultepec. In1849-1855he was a United States senator from Illinois; and in1858-1859was a senator from Minnesota.
He received the brevets of major for Cerro Gordo, lieut.- colonel for Contreras-Churubusco and colonel for Chapultepec. After the war he was employed in engineer work at Washington and Baltimore, during which time, as before the war, he resided on the great Arlington estate, near Washington, which had come to him through his wife.