Siege of La Paz
The Siege of La Paz was a Mexican siege of their own city of La Paz in Baja California Sur. Mexican militia forces attempted to destroy the United States Army garrison, occupying the peninsular town; the siege occurred over a twelve-day period in November and December 1847, at the end of the Mexican–American War. Captain Manuel Pineda Munoz, of the Mexican Army had been drafting Mexican peasants to serve in his campaign on the western coast of Mexico. After his militia army was defeated twice at the Battle of La Paz and the Battle of San José del Cabo, Captain Pineda decided to continue the campaign with a prolonged engagement at La Paz, hoping to finish what he failed to do at the first battle; the American garrison at this time included 115 men, of the New York Volunteers, a volunteer force from New York and was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Henry S. Burton when they landed peacefully in La Paz on July 21; the United States Navy at this time had no warships to help protect La Paz, all of which had sailed north to Alta California for orders, others left Mexican waters for supplies.
This left the American garrison with no ability to evacuate La Paz. Pineda's force, increased to about 500 men by a party from San Jose bringing a 4-pounder, attacked at 3 PM on 27 Nov. until 8 PM Several times Pineda's men advanced from the east and south but were driven back. On 28 Nov. Pineda's men occupied the old Mexican barracks and erected a Mexican flag, but the position was retaken by Burton's men. On December 8, a launch, arrived from Mazatlán with supplies, as did the Cyane, when Pineda's men retired to San Antonio. Pineda's campaign was not over yet though. Lieutenant Tunis Craven described the appearance of the ruined town on in a report. "All of that part of the town not protected by the garrison's muskets was burned, the vine and fig tree, as well as the graceful palm-all being devoured. Such are the beauties of war."While the Mexicans were besieging La Paz, U. S. President James K. Polk, in his annual message to the Congress, on December 7, 1847, stated: "Early after the commencement of the war, New Mexico and the Californias were taken possession by our forces.
Our military and naval commanders were ordered to conquer and to hold them, subject to be disposed of by a treaty of peace. These Provinces are now in our undisputed occupation and have been so for many months, all resistance on the part of Mexico having ceased within their limits.... I am satisfied that they should never be surrendered to Mexico." Nathan Covington Brooks, A Complete History of the Mexican War. Justin H. Smith, The War With Mexico, Vols. I and II.. John R. Spears, The History of the Navy, Vol. III, pp. 401–409. K. Jack Bauer and Horse Marines. President James K. Polk's Message on War with Mexico, May 11, 1846, in Documents of American History, 9th edition, Vol. I, p. 311
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Capture of Tucson (1846)
The Capture of Tucson was an uncontested United States entry into the Mexican city of Tucson, now the present day Tucson, Arizona. The would-be combatants were provisional Mexican Army troops and the American Army's "Mormon Battalion". Tucson temporarily'fell' in December 1846 without resistance but was reoccupied two days by the Mexican forces once the US troops moved on; the Mexican–American War began after Thornton's Defeat in 1846. This same year a battalion of Mormon men was recruited by the United States Army in western Iowa and dispatched with General Steven Watts Kearny's "Army of the West" across what they considered the "Great Western Desert"; the mission assigned to the Mormon Battalion was to create a continuous wagon road from Santa Fe to San Diego—the first into southern California. See Southern Emigrant Trail; the American force, of around 499 riflemen and officers, were commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Philip St. George Cooke. Only an effective force of 360 took part in the trek across the Arizona desert.
About 150 physically unfit men and some eighty-four women and children family members trailing the Battalion towards Santa Fe had been sent to the trapper/trader compound'el pueblo' on the Arkansas River. Marching towards Tucson in November 1846, the Mormon Battalion fought their only battle and it was against wild cattle which attacked them near the San Pedro River. After the "Battle of the Bulls", as it is humorously known, the force turned west towards Tucson, where it seemed they might have to fight the Mexican garrison of Fort Tucson, a former Spanish presidio; the Mexican force consisted of around 200 men, most infantry and cavalry plus two small brass cannons, as well as an unknown force of men from the garrisons of Tubac, Santa Cruz and Fronteras. The Mexican Captain Antonio Comaduron had received about three days warning of the approaching Americans. Following an exchange of information between the two commanders and parlays regarding safe passage on the 100-mile shorter and easier route through Tucson, Comaduran refused permission to the US Army to enter Tucson, much less would he agree to surrender the presidio.
Each side took token prisoners released them as tokens of good faith. Tensions were getting higher as Cooke's force approached. Realizing he was outnumbered, Captain Comaduron decided to withdraw without fighting, he advised many civilians to abandon Tucson with him. The Mexican forces retreated to San Xavier about 8 1/2 miles southwest of Tucson. On December 16, 1846, the US Army unit arrived at the south end of Tucson and prepared to enter the town. Though the muskets were loaded and bayonets affixed, Col Cooke paused to remind his troops of his Order No 19, given 13 December: "We came not to make war against Sonora, less still to destroy an unimportant outpost of defense against Indians, but we will overcome all resistance. But, shall I remind you that the American soldier shows justice and kindness to the unarmed and unresisting; the Americans began to assure the staring population of their friendly intentions. Many of the Mormon men were interested in trading for clothing. One man related that a twenty-eight star American flag temporarily flew over Tucson for the first time though neither Cooke nor any other journalist makes any mention of it."The author remembers, with much gratitude, the silver-haired Mexican, of more than three score years and ten, when signs of thirst were given, ran to the brook... dipped up his water, and... with cheerful countenance, delivered the refreshing and much needed draught.
He has doubtless, long since, been gathered to his fathers. Surely,'I was athirst, he gave me drink.'"Lieutenant Colonel Cooke's soldiers had been low on food, so the Mexicans bartered meat and bread for cloth and pins, but only a little food was transferred to the Mormons through trade. Cooke estimated about 1,500 bushels of wheat grain had been left behind by the Mexican garrison as'public' property. Cooke ordered 25 bushels of this confiscated for his command's wagon mules and two quarts as food for every three soldiers. All told, Cooke appropriated about 30 bushels of wheat—about 2% of the Mexican'public' wheat stores. None was taken from private families. Tyler goes on to relate that, "Quinces and semi-tropical fruits were purchased here, as well as beans, etc." On 17 December, Cooke determined to make an expedition to the Catholic Indian Mission San Xavier del Bac with about 50 armed men, but they were spotted, prompting the Mexican Army to retreat further south towards the Tubac presidio to avoid an unnecessary fight.
That night, some of the sentries created a temporary excitement by signaling that Mexican troops were attempting to attack. Within the hour it was determined to be a false alarm and most of the men tried to get a little more rest; the morning of the 18th, Cooke ended their temporary occupation and continued his march towards the next settlement, the Pima Villages, 75 miles distant across a nearly water-less flat plain. The Mexican forces and inhabitants returned to their undespoiled city. Tucson, with about 400-500 inhabitants in 1846, would become an American community ten years in 1856, following the Gadsden Purchase. History of Tucson, Arizona Smith, Justin Harvey; the War with Mexico. 2 vol. Pulitzer Prize winner. Full text online
Battle of Palo Alto
The Battle of Palo Alto was the first major battle of the Mexican–American War and was fought on May 8, 1846, on disputed ground five miles from the modern-day city of Brownsville, Texas. A force of some 3,700 Mexican troops – most of the Army of The North – led by General Mariano Arista engaged a force of 2,300 United States troops – the Army of Occupation led by General Zachary Taylor. On April 30, following the Thornton Affair, Mexican General Mariano Arista's troops began to cross the Rio Grande. On May 3, the troops began to besiege the American outpost at Fort Texas. Taylor marched his Army of Occupation south to relieve the siege. Arista, upon learning of his approach, diverted many of his units away from the siege to meet Taylor's force; the battle took place on May 8, three days before the formal declaration of war on Mexico by the United States. Arista ordered two cavalry charges, first against the American right flank and against the left. Both were unsuccessful; the American victory is attributed to superior artillery, while the U.
S. "light" artillery was accurate than that of the Mexican forces. That evening, Arista was forced to withdraw further south; the armies clashed again the next day at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. On April 30, following the Thornton Affair, Arista started crossing the Rio Grande at Longoreno with his main army, first with General Pedro de Ampudia's 1st Brigade and four guns. Taylor prepared Fort Texas to withstand a siege while he moved most of his forces to protect his supply base at Fort Polk near Point Isabel, 23 miles northeast of present day Brownsville and having a Gulf of Mexico pass suitable for ships. Fort Texas was garrisoned by Taylor with 500 men under Major Jacob Brown, including the 7th Infantry, Capt. Allen Lowd's four 18-pounders, Lt. Braxton Bragg's field battery; the battle began as a result of Mexican efforts to besiege Fort Texas on May 3, General Zachary Taylor, in command of the Army of Occupation, receiving supplies from Fort Polk on Point Isabel, heard the distant report of cannon fire.
Taylor started his return to Fort Texas on May 7 with 2,228 men plus his 200-wagon supply train. General Arista left his camp at the Tanques del Ramireno with his army, with the intention of blocking Taylor. Ampudia's brigade left the Fort Texas siege to join him. Taylor's scouts sighted the Mexican force at noon on the 8th. Facing north and moving left to right, General Arista's army consisted of General Antonio Canales Rosillo's 400 irregular cavalry in chaparral, Anastasio Torrejon's cavalry brigade consisting of the 8th, 7th and Light Cavalry, astride the Point Isabel road came General Jose Maria Garcia's brigade of the 4th and 10th Infantry with two 8-pounders General Rómulo Díaz de la Vega's brigade of the 10th and 6th Infantry with five 4-pounders the Tampico Corps, the 2d Light Infantry and a sapper battalion with a 4-pounder. Behind this line was Col. Cayetano Montero's light cavalry. Facing south and moving right to left, with a force of 2,300 men and 400 wagons, placed Col. David E. Twiggs with Lt. Col. James S. McIntosh's 5th Infantry and Maj. Samuel Ringgold's artillery battery, followed by Capt. Lewis N. Morris' 3d Infantry with Lt. William H. Churchill's two 18-pounders astride the road, followed by Capt. George W. Allen's 4th Infantry, Lt. Thomas Childs' artillery battalion, Lt. Col. William G. Belknap's wing, James Duncan's battery Capt. William R. Montgomery's 8th Infantry on the American left.
Lt. Col. Charles A. May's dragoon squadron guarded Capt. Croghan Ker guarded the train. Montgomery was wounded during the battle, along with ten other officers, some of them severely. Taylor halted his columns and formed a line behind his batteries when the Mexican artillery started firing at 2 PM; the American artillery was effective while the Mexican artillery fell short. Arista ordered Torrejon's cavalry to attack the American right, but progress was slow, allowing Twiggs to form the 5th Infantry into a square to meet them with a couple of volleys. A fire started from a cannon burning wad which halted fighting for an hour as the smoke paralleled between the lines of the opposing forces. Arista pulled back 1,000 yards on his left and Taylor advanced accordingly, rotating the axis of the battle 40 degrees counterclockwise. May failed to turn the Mexican left. Child's artillery battalion formed a square to repel another Torrejon cavalry charge. Duncan's battery stopped Arista from turning the American left and advanced with the 8th Infantry and Ker's dragoons to drive the Mexican right from the field.
A charge ordered by Arista at this time resulted in the light cavalry fleeing along the Mexican line, taking the 6th Infantry with them. Fighting stopped with both armies camped for the night; the morning of the 9th revealed the Mexican army moving south. Taylor sent forward a 220-man battalion under McCall to reconnoiter the Mexican positions; the Battle of Resaca de la Palma would follow. Major Ringgold was struck by a cannon ball and mortally wounded during the battle but Ringgold's and Duncan's effective cannoneers with their "Flying Artillery"—the tactic of using light artillery to attack quickly move to another location and fire once more, carried the day and won the battle for the Americans. General Zachary Taylor emerged from the war a national hero; the battlefield is now Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park and is maintained by the National Park Service. Army of the North – Gen.div. Mariano Arista Deputy – Gen.br. Pedro AmpudiaInfantry 1st Brigade – Gen. Jose M. Garcia 10th Line – Col. Jose M. Garcia, Bn.
Comdte. Manuel Montero Artillery battery 2nd Brigade
Capture of Santa Fe
The Capture of Santa Fe known as the Battle of Santa Fe or the Battle of Cañoncito, took place near Santa Fe, New Mexico, the capital of the Mexican Province of New Mexico, during the Mexican–American War on 8 August through 14 August 1846. No shots were fired during the capturing of Santa Fe. United States Army General Stephen W. Kearny had moved southwest from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas with about 1,700 men in his Army of the West. Kearny's orders were to secure Alta California. On August 9 in Santa Fe, Governor Manuel Armijo wanted to avoid battle, but Catholic priests, Diego Archuleta, the young militia officers Manuel Chaves and Miguel Pino forced him to muster a defense. Armijo set up a position in a narrow pass about 10 miles southeast of the city. However, on August 14, before the American army was in view, he decided not to fight; when Pino and some of the militiamen insisted on fighting, Armijo ordered the cannon pointed at them. The New Mexican army retreated to Santa Fe, Armijo fled to Chihuahua.
Kearny and his troops encountered no Mexican forces when they arrived on August 15. Kearny and his force entered Santa Fe and claimed the New Mexico Territory for the United States without a shot being fired. From Santa Fe, Kearny sent Colonel Alexander Doniphan further south into Mexico. Kearny declared himself the military governor of the New Mexico Territory on August 18 and established a civilian government, he took the remainder of his army west to Alta California. The New Mexicans put up no organized resistance until the Taos Revolt in early 1847, although in the month prior, a December, 1846 planned revolt in Santa Fe, involving many leading Mexican loyalists, was discovered and disrupted by General Sterling Price, after being informed of the plot by Donaciano Vigil, before it could be carried out. Battles of the Mexican–American War List of battles fought in New Mexico H. Bailey Carroll, The Texan Santa Fé Trail. Hubert Howe Bancroft. Published in 1889 Kearny's orders Library of Congress
Joseph "Joe" Lane was an American politician and soldier. He was a state legislator representing Evansville and served in the Mexican–American War, becoming a general. President James K. Polk appointed Lane as the first Governor of Oregon Territory; when Oregon was admitted as a state in 1859, Lane was elected one of Oregon's first two U. S. Senators. In the United States presidential election, 1860, Lane was nominated for vice president of the pro-slavery Southern wing of the Democratic Party, as John C. Breckinridge's running mate. Lane's pro-slavery views and sympathy for the Confederate States of America in the Civil War ended his political career in Oregon. One of his sons was elected U. S. Representative, a grandson U. S. Senator, making Lane the patriarch of one of the state's most prominent political families. Joseph Lane was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, on December 14, 1801, to a family of English extraction with roots in colonial Virginia, his father, John Lane, was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.
The Lane family moved to the state of Kentucky from North Carolina. Lane left home at the age of 15, was married four years later, he moved to Evansville, Indiana in 1820. Lane and his wife, Polly Hart Lane, had ten children. Lane was self-educated, learning about the world from books which he read at night. During the daytime he worked and saved his money, investing it shortly in the purchase of a flatboat, with which he transported freight up and down the Ohio River. Financial success followed. Lane was an eloquent public speaker, a talent that helped him to win election to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1822 at the age of just 21, he served in that body from 1822 to 1823, from 1830 to 1833, from 1838 to 1839. He moved to the Indiana State Senate, where he served from 1839 to 1840, from 1844 to 1846. Esteemed by his peers, Lane was elected as a captain of his local militia while still a young man; the Mexican–American War broke out in 1846. Lane resigned his State Senate seat, enlisted in a company of Indiana volunteers.
His company was assigned to the 2nd Indiana Volunteer Regiment, Lane was elected colonel in June 1846. He was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers less than a week later. Lane and the Indiana troops were deployed to Mexico where he fought with distinction, suffering two minor gunshot wounds, was brevetted to major general in 1847, he commanded the Indiana Brigade at the Battle of Buena Vista, where he served under General and future President Zachary Taylor. Lane led the relief force which lifted the Siege of Puebla, defeating Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of Huamantla; as soon as Lane returned from Mexico, President Polk appointed him governor of Oregon Territory. Lane received his commission on August 18, 1848. Lane arrived in Oregon on March 1849, following a hazardous winter trip on the Oregon Trail. Upon reaching Oregon City, Lane's first official act was to initiate the first census of the territory's residents, which showed a total of 8,785 American citizens and 298 citizens of other countries.
While Governor, Lane served as the first Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Among Lane's early duties was the apprehension of five Cayuse Indians accused in the Whitman Massacre; the accused were brought back to Oregon City for trial, where they were hanged. Lane resigned as territorial governor on June 1850, in favor of a new appointee. On June 2, 1851, Lane was elected Oregon Territory's Delegate in Congress as a Democrat. In May 1853, he was acting Territorial Governor for three days to assist in the removal of the unpopular John P. Gaines from office. Lane ran for re-election as Delegate, winning election on June 6, 1853. Lane won two more terms of office as Delegate in the June elections of 1855 and 1857, he was subsequently elected as one of Oregon's first two United States Senators when Oregon became a state in 1859. In 1853, after he was re-elected as Delegate in 1853, but before he left for Washington, D. C. Lane was appointed as brigadier general commanding a force of volunteers raised to suppress recent Native American violence.
Lane led the force to southern Oregon to stop Native American attacks against settlers and miners there. Lane was again wounded in a skirmish at Table Rock, in Sams Valley, not far from today's cities of Medford and Central Point. Lane was an active participant in the so-called Rogue River Wars of 1855–1856. In 1860, the Democratic Party split on the issue of slavery. Pro-slavery Democrats from the South left the national convention and nominated their own candidates: John C. Breckinridge for president, Lane for vice president; this "Southern Democrat" ticket was defeated. With his defeat for vice president and the beginning of the Civil War, Lane's political career ended, his pro-slavery views had been controversial in Oregon. Lane became notorious for an exchange with Andrew Johnson of Tennessee on his last day in the Senate. Johnson denounced secession. A referendum on secession in Tennessee failed shortly thereafter credited to Johnson's speech. On March 2, Lane accused Johnson of having "sold his birthright" as a Southerner.
Johnson responded by suggesting that Lane was a hypocrite for so accusing Johnson when Lane so staunchly supported a movement of active treason against the United States. Lane had taken a land claim of 1 square mile located just north of Roseburg, Oregon, in 1851, he purchased a 2,000-acre ranch located about 11 miles east of that town, which he owned for a number of years before selling to a son. Lane constructed a
Battle of Huamantla
The Battle of Huamantla was a U. S. victory late in the Mexican–American War that forced the Mexican Army to lift the Siege of Puebla. Santa Anna left Puebla at the end of Sept. to intercept Joseph Lane's relief column, planning an ambush at Paso del Pintal. Learning of Santa Anna's men at Huamantla, Lane left his train under guard and marched toward that city, Captain Samuel H. Walker's four companies of cavalry in the lead. Walker charged, upon seeing Santa Anna's lancers. Santa Anna led a counterattack, Walker was shot by a civilian in a nearby house, his men retreated into a church; the Mexicans retreated to Querétaro. Lane turned his troops loose in a drunken sack of the town, they reached Puebla on 12 Oct. to lift the siege. Battles of the Mexican–American War Mexican Army: General Antonio López de Santa Anna Nevin, David. S. - Mexico War, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, the University of Texas at Arlington