54mmCamerone - 1863
The legionnaires kept firing without stopping, alternating between one line and another, following their officers' orders. Nobody said a word, and everybody followed the orders mechanically, shhoting, cleaning the gunbarrels with the ramrod, setting the cock, inserting a new cartridge, lifting the barrel, aiming, shooting again, all with a methodical progression that made the standard-bearer, Maudet, think of an industrial machine.
About fifteen legionnaires had fallen, some of them were still alive. The Mexicans had greater loss. Meanwhile the legionnaires reached the ruined farm. It was an half standing hacienda. These kind of buildings called Camaron but the French pronunciated it Camerone, so the name of that legendary place was passed as such.
They entrenched there in order to slow down the Mexicans' attack, thus keeping the enemy busy and protecting the supply caravan. They had no food nor water, since their mules with vittles remained far away.
A Mexican officer came alone to ask them to surrender because they had no chance if they would fight with 800 Mexican cavalrymen. Corporal Luis Favas, a Spaniard, translated into French the Mexican's request. Captain Danjou answered ''Nous avons des cartouches et ne nous rendrons pas!". Lifting his fist Danjou swore, that he would fight to the death. All of the legionnaires swore in front of their commander that they would never surrender.
The 800 Mexicans took positions and prepared for the battle. Their attack was effective this time. The legionnaires caused great loss on Mexicans' lines with their well aimed shots, but they began to loose their fire power.
Everybody hoped reinforcements would arrive, but the only reinforcements arrived for Mexicans, 1200 foot soldiers.
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