Battle of Churubusco
The Battle of Churubusco took place on August 20, 1847, while Santa Anna's army was in retreat from the Battle of Contreras or Battle of Padierna during the Mexican–American War. It was the battle where the San Patricio Battalion, made up of American deserters, made their last stand against U. S. forces. The U. S. Army was victorious. After the battle, the U. S. Army was only 5 miles away from Mexico City. About 50 of the captured San Patricio's were hanged. Following their defeats at Contreras Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón ordered Major General Nicolás Bravo Rueda with the Army of the Center to retreat from San Antonio to Churubusco. Santa Anna ordered Major General Manuel Rincón to hold the Franciscan Convent of San Mateo in Churubusco, with earthworks and seven guns, placed General Francisco Pérez on the tete-de-pont on the south bank of the river. Two regiments were placed along the river while the convent included the Bravo Battalions of the Mexico City National Guard and the San Patricio Battalion, plus Santa Anna formed a reserve along the highway to the north.
Scott sent David Twiggs and Gideon Johnson Pillow's Divisions from San Angel to Coyoacán, while he ordered William Jenkins Worth to turn the San Antonio position. Worth sent Colonel Newman S. Clarke's Brigade and Lieutenant Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith's Light Battalion across the Pedregal lava field to the west of San Antonio, while Colonel John Garland faced San Antonio on the south. During retreat from San Antonio, the Mexican defenders, were struck in flank by Clarke's Brigade. Garland moved forward as the Mexicans withdrew from San Antonio and captured a General and four guns. Scott ordered an attack on the convent. In addition to the stone walls of the convent, the defenses included a series of incomplete trenches the Mexicans had begun digging prior to the attack; some elements of the Tlapa and Lagos Battalions arrived as reinforcements. Three cannon were placed on the right. Independencia was assigned to defend the upper walls, the right flank leading to the bridge, the unfortified south and north sides, two adobe huts further forward on the battlefield.
The Bravos and the San Patricios were stationed behind barricades. In support along the Rio Churubusco was the Pérez Brigade: 2,500 men. Worth's division took while Twiggs' the convent. Rincón's gunners were able to force Taylor's battery to withdraw, Perez's defense on the tete-de-ponte twice repulsed Major Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville's 6th Infantry charge; the attack by Franklin Pierce and James Shields, crossing the river on the Coyoacan-Mixcoac road in an attempt to cut off the Mexican retreat, was stopped. However, Worth turned the Mexican left and crossed the river, while the 8th and 5th Infantry took the tete de pont. Captain Duncan set up a battery to attack the convent. Two of the Mexican cannons had melted and a third had fallen from its mount. Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Peñúñuri of Independencia led a handful of men in a bayonet charge and was defeated, he and Captain Luis Martínez de Castro, who had accompanied him, were killed in the battle. Officers from the Bravos attempted to raise the white flag over the convent walls on three occasions.
They were prevented from doing so, however, by members of the San Patricios who feared the fate that awaited them if they were taken prisoner. They were captured and court-marshaled for desertion, including the leader, John Patrick Riley. U. S. Captain James Milton Smith stopped the fighting by putting up a white handkerchief; the Americans captured three pieces of artillery at the tete de pont. They captured 1,259 prisoners, including three Generals and the San Patricios leader Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Rosenda Moreno, plus seven pieces of artillery at the convent, they captured another 380 prisoners further up the road. Seventy-two men of the San Patricios Battalion were court-marshaled by the United States Army as deserters. Two separate court-marshals were held, one at Tacubaya on 23 August, another at San Ángel on 26 August. Fifty were sentenced having deserted after war had been declared; those who had deserted earlier received 50 lashes. Scott did not continue the pursuit into Mexico City, "...willing to leave something to this republic...
I halted our victorious corps at the gates of the city."A Brigade of volunteers from New York was billeted to the convent, remaining there until September 7. Parts of the battle were portrayed in the 1985 ABC mini-series North and South, based on a trilogy of novels of the same name by John Jakes, as well as the film One Man's Hero. Balbontin, Manuel " Recuerdos de la invasion norte-americana, 1846-1848. Annual Reports 1894, War Department lists trophy guns as:1- 16 pounder bronze, 4- 8 pounders, 4- 6 pounders and 3- 4 pounders. A Continent Divided: The U. S. - Mexico War, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, the University of Texas at Arlington
Battle of Cerro Gordo
The Battle of Cerro Gordo, or Battle of Sierra Gordo, was an engagement in the Mexican–American War on April 18, 1847. The battle saw Winfield Scott's United States troops outflank Antonio López de Santa Anna's larger Mexican army, driving it from a strong defensive position. After United States forces captured the port of Veracruz on 29 March 1847, General Winfield Scott advanced towards Mexico City on 2 April by crossing the Rio Antigua. General Antonio López de Santa Anna, commanding Mexican forces in the area, had prepared fortifications at Cerro Gordo, near Xalapa, with more than 8,700 soldiers in a fortified defile, dominated by El Telegrafo; these included several batteries under the command of brigadier generals Luis Pinzon, Jose Maria Jararo, Romulo Diaz de la Vega. Scott's leading division, commanded by David E. Twiggs, reached the Cerro Gordo Pass on 12 April. On 12 April, Lieutenant Pierre G. T. Beauregard, of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, determined that possession of Atalaya Hill would enable the Mexican position to be turned.
The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant observe that, in order to determine whether a flanking movement was possible, "reconnaissances were sent out to find, or to make, a road by which the rear of the enemy's works might be reached without a front attack." These reconnaissances were made under the supervision of Captain Robert E. Lee and other officers, "all of whom attained rank and fame." Grant continues that it was the roadways constructed by the engineers which achieved victory: Under the supervision of the engineers, roadways had been opened over chasms to the right where the walls were so steep that men could climb them. Animals could not; these had been opened without attracting the notice of the enemy. The engineers, who had directed the opening, led the troops followed. Artillery was let down the steep slopes by hand, the men engaged attaching a strong rope to the rear axle and letting the guns down, a piece at a time, while the men at the ropes kept their ground on top, paying out while a few at the front directed the course of the piece.
In like manner the guns were drawn by hand up the opposite slope. Twiggs' division took the hill on 17 April. Santa Anna reinforced El Telegrafo with Brigadier General Ciriaco Vasquez's 2d Light, 4th, 11th Infantry. Captain Edward J. Steptoe set up his battery on Atalaya Hill and Major James C. Burnham set up a howitzer across the river. At 7:00 am on 18 April, Twiggs directed William S. Harney's brigade to move against the front of El Telegrafo while Bennett C. Riley attacked from the rear; the combination took the hill, killing General Vasquez, Captain John B. Magruder turned the Mexican guns on the retreating Mexicans. James Shields' brigade attacked the Mexican camp and took possession of the Jalapa road. Once they realized they were surrounded, the Mexican commanders on the three hills surrendered and by 10:00 am, the remaining Mexican forces fled. Santa Anna, caught off guard by the Fourth Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was compelled to ride off without his artificial leg, captured by U.
S. is still on display at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Scott moved on to Jalapa, William J. Worth's division took San Carlos Fortress on 22 April. Scott occupied Puebla on 15 May, before departing for Mexico City on 7 August. Cerro Gordo County, Cerro Gordo, North Carolina, Cerro Gordo, take their names from the battle. Mexico was represented by the remnants of the Division of the North, totaling 5,650 personnel: 150 artillery, 4,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry: including the Ampudia Brigade, the Vasquez Brigade and the Juvera Cavalry Brigade; the 1,000-strong Artega Brigade, consisting of the Pueblo Activos and National Guard battalions, arrived at the end of the battle. Saint Patrick's Battalion The Encyclopedia of Military History and Dupuy. Harper & Row, Publishers. Santa Anna's Leg. "Apuntes para la historia de la guerra entre México y los Estados Unidos". Alcaraz, Ramón. Mexico City; the Other Side: Or, Notes for the History of the War between Mexico and the United States and edited in the United States by Albert C.
Ramsey, New York: John Wiley, 1850. Annual Reports, 1894 War Department lists trophy guns as: 1–8 pounder bronze, 2–6 pounders and 3–4 pounders. Celebrations for Battle of Cerro Gordo, Washington D. C. 1847, Shapell Manuscript Foundation A Continent Divided: The U. S. – Mexico War, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, the University of Texas at Arlington
Battle of Cañada
The Battle of Cañada was a popular insurrection against the American occupation of New Mexico by Mexicans and Pueblo Indians. It took place on January 1847, during the Taos Revolt, a conflict of the Mexican -- American War. Insurgents and Pueblo Indians in New Mexico under the leadership of Chavez, Montoya and Ortiz, assembled a large force at La Canada, intending to march onto the American-held city of Santa Fe, they would be intercepted by the American garrison of Santa Fe. Colonel Sterling Price, commander of the U. S. forces in Santa Fe, heard of this insurgent movement on 20 Jan. having intercepted letters from the rebels, assembled a force of 353 soldiers and militia to march north on 23 Jan. and intercept them. Price's force included Capt. McMillin's Company D, Capt. Williams' Company K, Capt. Lack's Company L, Capt. Halley's Company M, Capt. Barber's Company N, 2d Regiment Missouri Mounted Volunteers, Capt. Agney's battalion of infantry and Capt. St. Vrain's Sante Fe volunteers, Lt. A. B. Dyer's four mounted howitzers, while Lt. Col. Willock remained behind in command of the capital.
On 24 Jan. Price met the large insurgent force on the heights along the road to Santa Cruz de la Cañada and three strong houses at the base of the hill. Price placed his artillery on the left to fire on the houses and bluff, placed his dismounted men such that they were protected by the stream bluff, sent Capt. St. Vrain to protect his wagon train a mile to the rear. Price ordered Capt. Agney to dislodge the rebels occupying the house opposite his right flank, followed by a charge up the hill, supported by Lt. White and Capt. St. Vrain. Capt.s McMillen's, Barber's and Slack's men took possession of the houses enclosed by a strong corral. Price reported, "In a few minutes my troops had dislodged the enemy at all points, they were flying in every direction." Tafoya was killed, Chavez was killed at Taos Pueblo, Montoya was caught and hanged at Don Fernando. Price camped on the field that night. On 29 Jan. Price met the insurgents at the Battle of Embudo Pass. List of battles fought in New Mexico Battles of the Mexican–American War Frazier, Donald S. editor The United States and Mexico at War Cooke, Philip St. George.
The Conquest of New Mexico and California, an Historical and Personal Narrative. Albuquerque, NM: Horn and Wallace. Pp. 113-114
Red River Canyon affair
The Red River Canyon affair, or the Battle of Red River Canyon, was a military action fought during the Taos Revolt of the Mexican–American War. Although the Americans mistakenly called this river by the name "Red", it was then and now more called the Canadian River. On 26 May 1847, a detachment of American troops, traveling through northern New Mexico, were attacked by a combined force of Mexican militia with their Apache and Comanche allies. On May 26, 1847, United States Army Major Edmondson, with a company of two hundred infantry and cavalry under Captains Holaway and Robinson, were marching at sunset along the Red River, they had just entered Red River Canyon when ambushed by an estimated 500 Mexicans and natives, according to reports given to Colonel Alexander Doniphan, a commander during the New Mexican Campaign. Red River Canyon being narrow and full of thick, deep mud, Major Edmundson was forced to dismount his cavalry and proceed in the attack on foot with the infantry. Now all on foot, the Americans began to break up the ambush.
The Mexicans and natives soon regrouped and assaulted the American position. The Americans made an organized retreat, the withdrawal being covered by a Lieutenant Elliot and his Laclede rangers. At sunrise, the Americans reformed and reentered the canyon, where they discovered that the Mexicans and natives had retreated just before their arrival. A skirmish occurred – Battle of Cienega Creek. Twitchell, R. E. Old Santa Fe, p. 146
Battle of Embudo Pass
The Battle of Embudo Pass was part of the Taos Revolt, a popular insurrection against the American army's occupation of northern New Mexico. It took place on January 29, 1847, in what now is New Mexico. Following the Battle of Cañada, Sterling Price on 27 Jan. advanced up the Rio del Norte, to Luceros where he was joined by Capt. Burgwin's Company, 1st Dragoons, Lt. Boone's Company A, 2d Regiment Missouri Mounted Volunteers, Lt. Wilson's 1st Dragoons, bringing Price's force to 479 men. On 29 Jan. Price marched to La Joya. Finding the road by Embudo impractical for artillery or wagons, Price detached three companies under Captain John H. K. Burgwin, Captain Ceran St. Vrain and Lieutenant B. F. White, amounting to 180 men. Capt. Burgwin discovered the insurgents at El Embudo, near present-day Dixon, New Mexico, in the thick brush on each side of the road where the gorge becomes constricted. Sterling Price's official report of the battle describes it as follows: "The rapid slopes of the mountains rendered the enemy's position strong, its strength was increased by the dense masses of cedar and large fragments of rock which everywhere offered shelter.
The action was commenced by Capt. St. Vrain, dismounting his men, ascended the mountain on the left doing much execution. Flanking parties were thrown out on either side, commanded by Lieut. White, 2d regiment Missouri mounted volunteers, by Lieutenants Mellvaine and Taylor, 1st dragoons; these parties ascended the hill and the enemy soon began to retire in the direction of Embudo, bounding along the steep and rugged sides of the mountains with a speed that defied pursuit. The firing at the pass of Embudo had been heard at La Joya, Captain Slack, with twenty-five mounted men had been dispatched thither, he now arrived, rendered excellent service by relieving Lieutenant White whose men were much fatigued. Lieutenants Mellvaine and Taylor were recalled; the enemy having by this time retreated beyond our reach, Captain Burgwin marched through the defile and debouched into the open valley in which Embudo is situated, recalled the flanking parties, entered that town without opposition, several persons meeting him with a white flag."
Price's forces marched on to Taos where they engaged in the Siege of Pueblo de Taos. Local tradition states that a series of crosses were chipped into several large rocks marking the spots where defenders were killed; these can still be seen today. List of conflicts in the United States Battles of the Mexican–American War Twitchell, Ralph Emerson, The History of the Military Occupation of the Territory of New Mexico from 1846 to 1851, Colorado: The Smith-Brooks Company Publishers, 1909 Herrera, Carlos R. New Mexico Resistance to U. S. Occupation, published in The Contested Homeland, A Chicano History of New Mexico, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2000 Cooke, Philip St. George; the Conquest of New Mexico and California, an Historical and Personal Narrative. Albuquerque, NM: Horn and Wallace. Pp. 114–115
Siege of Veracruz
The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege of the key Mexican beachhead seaport of Veracruz, during the Mexican–American War. Lasting from March 9–29, 1847, it began with the first large-scale amphibious assault conducted by United States military forces, ended with the surrender and occupation of the city. U. S. forces marched inland to Mexico City. After the battles of Monterrey and Buena Vista, much of Zachary Taylor's Army of Occupation was transferred to the command of Major General Winfield Scott in support of the upcoming campaign; that campaign, determined by Scott and other Washington officials, would be a Veracruz landing and an advance inland. Mexican military intelligence knew in advance of U. S. plans to attack Veracruz, but internal government turmoil left them powerless to send crucial reinforcements before the American assault commenced. Veracruz was considered to be the strongest fortress in North America at the time. Brigadier General Juan Esteban Morales commanded a garrison of 3,360 men which manned three major forts guarding Veracruz: Fort Santiago – south end of town Fort Concepción – north top of town These two forts included 3,360 men and 89 guns: artillery, 2d and 8th infantry regiments, 3d Light Regiment, a picket of 11th Regt.
Puebla Libres, Veracruz and Tehuantepec national guards. Battalions and enlisted marines. Fort San Juan de Ulúa – offshore on the Gallega Reef. Gen. Jose Durán with 1,030 men and 135 guns: artillery and Jamiltepec activo battalions, companies of Tuxpan and Alvardo activo battalions. See Orders of Battle Mexican War; the Americans arrived at Veracruz in early March. Scott agreed with Conner's suggestion for a landing site at Collado Beach, 3 mi south of Veracruz; the 1st Regular Division under Worth was chosen to make the landing first, followed by Patterson's volunteers and Twiggs' regular division. Conner's Mosquito Fleet moved to within 90 yd of the beach to supply covering fire if necessary. By 12:15 pm on 9 March, this force was off Collado Beach, followed by larger vessels over the next three hours and a signal for landing the surfboats at 5:30 pm. Just before the main force touched the beach, a gig dashed ahead, General Worth with his staff jumped ashore. Worth's whole division landed without receiving a single shot.
By 11 pm, Scott's entire army had been brought ashore without a single man lost, the first large scale amphibious landing conducted by the U. S. military was a success. Once ashore Patterson's division began marching northward to effect a complete envelopment of the city. One of Patterson's brigades under Gideon Pillow drove off a Mexican cavalry at Malibrán, cutting off the Alvarado road and the city's water supply. Quitman and Shields managed to drive off cavalry with one shot attempting to prevent the investment. By 13 March, the U. S. had completed a 7 mi siege line from Collado in the south to Playa Vergara in the north. On 17 March, siege lines were dug for Scott's siege artillery, sufficient for taking the city but not Ulua; the besiegers were plagued by sorties from the city, Col. Juan Aguayo used the cover of a storm to slip his Alvarado garrison into Veracruz. Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Conner's successor, returned from Norfolk, Virginia after making repairs on the USS Mississippi, on 20 March.
Perry and Conner met with Scott regarding the Navy's role in the siege, offered six guns that were to be manned by sailors from the ships. The naval battery was constructed under the direction of Captain Robert E. Lee 700 yd from the city walls. On March 22, Morales declined a surrender demand from Scott, the American batteries opened fire at 4:15 pm followed by those of Commander Josiah Tattnall's Mosquito Fleet at 5:45 pm; the Naval battery's heavy cannonballs broke the coral walls. Congreve rockets were fired into the defenses and the combined fire forced the abandonment of Fort Santiago as Mexican morale began to drop. On March 24, Persifor F. Smith's brigade captured a Mexican soldier with reports that Antonio López de Santa Anna was marching an army from Mexico City to the relief of Veracruz. Scott dispatched Colonel William S. Harney with 100 dragoons to inspect any approaches that Santa Anna might make. Harney reported about 2,000 Mexicans and a battery not far away, he called for reinforcements.
General Patterson led a mixed group of volunteers and dragoons to Harney's aid and cleared the force from their positions, chasing them to Madellin. Scott made plans for an assault on the city when on 25 March, the Mexicans called for a cease-fire to evacuate women and children which Scott refused; that night, Morales' council of war advised surrender prompting Morales to resign while General José Juan Landero assumed command. A truce was called at 8 am on 26 March while terms of surrender were negotiated and concluded by 27 March. On 29 March, the Mexicans surrendered their garrisons in Veracruz and Fort Ulúa and that day, the U. S. flag flew over San Juan de Ulúa. The obstacle to an advancement to Mexico City was removed and Scott made immediate plans to leave a small garrison at Veracruz and march inland, his first objective being Jalapa. Along the way, Scott would in fact encounter a sizable Mexican army under Santa Anna at the Battle of Cerro Gordo. Battles of the Mexican–American War List of amphibious assault operations San Carlos Fortress A Continent Divided: The U.
S.–Mexico War, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, the University of Texas at Arlington Aztec Club of 1847 annotated art gallery
Second Federal Republic of Mexico
For the current entity named United Mexican States, see Mexico. The Second Federal Republic of Mexico is the name given to the second attempt to achieve a federalist government in Mexico. Called the United Mexican States, a federal republic was implemented again on August 22, 1846 when interim president José Mariano Salas issued a decree restoring the 1824 constitution. Like the Mexican Empire, the First Federal Republic and the Centralist Republic it was a chaotic period, marked by political instability that resulted in several internal conflicts. Mexico's loss of the war with the United States saw half the territory Mexico claimed become part of the United States. Though Antonio López de Santa Anna played a major role in much of this history, he returned to the presidency yet again, selling northern territory coveted by the United States contiguous to territory it just gained in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; the sale of the Mesilla Valley was for many the final straw, liberals promulgated of the Plan of Ayutla, calling for the overthrow of Santa Anna.
Santa Anna went into the liberals set about implementing their vision of Mexico. Liberals enacted a series of separate reforms and the Constitution of 1857, collectively known as the Liberal Reform, which sparked a civil war, known as the War of the Reform; the conservatives lost the War of the Reform. After losing the war, conservatives sought another political alternative, which involved the second French intervention in Mexico, with Mexican conservative support, established the Second Mexican Empire. Mexican conservatives' political interests were in tandem with the expansionism of Napoleon III of France. Conservatives invited Maximilian Hapsburg to serve as monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. Mexican republicans fought against the French invaders and were defeated on the battlefield, but Benito Juárez did not resign the presidency, operated a government in exile, which the United States continued to recognize as the legitimate Mexican government; the republic was restored by Juárez in 1867 after the withdrawal of the French and the execution of Maximilian.
With conservatives discredited by their support of the ill-fated monarchy, Juárez was able to implement liberal policies. This period of federalism in Mexico is known as the Restored Republic, lasting from 1867 to the 1876 coup of liberal army general, Porfirio Díaz, ushering in a long period of authoritarian rule and economic development known as the Porfiriato; the liberal constitution remained nominally in force, with regular elections held that were seen as fraudulent. The Constitution of 1857 was supplanted by the Mexican Constitution of 1917, as an outcome of the Mexican Revolution. In the midst of war with the United States, Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga staged a coup against the government of interim President José Joaquín de Herrera. Shortly afterwards, the Congress appointed him interim president. On July 28, 1846 Mariano Paredes left the presidency to command the army in battle against the invaders from the United States, vice president Bravo took office. On August 4 the federalists led an uprising.
Mariano Salas took office as provisional president on August 6. With the constitution again in force, centralism ended and the federal system was restored; the war between Mexico and the United States began on May 13, 1846, but there had been battles before that date. Mexico, in turn, declared war on the United States on May 23. After the declarations of war, US forces invaded Mexican territory in Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Coahuila and Alta California, while at the same time blocking the ports of Tampico, Guaymas and San Blas and occupying Santa Fe, San Diego and Los Angeles; the main US force continued through to the Rio Grande and into Mexico, defeating the forces of Pedro Ampudia in the Battle of Monterrey. On December 24, the Congress declared Antonio López de Santa Anna acting president and Valentín Gómez Farías vice president. Gómez Farías assumed the presidency in place of Santa Anna, fighting the US. After the battles of Angostura, Padierna and Molino del Rey, the Castle of Chapultepec was defended by young cadets who became known as Niños Héroes.
During the assault, the castle's commanders, were taken prisoner. The fall of Chapultepec had two immediate consequences: the US occupation of Mexico City and the resignation of Santa Anna from the presidency on September 16, 1847. Following the resignation of Santa Anna, Manuel de la Peña y Peña assumed the office. On September 26 he established the seat of federal power in nearby Toluca and in Querétaro, where Congress convened. On November 11, De la Peña left office to serve as chancellor and negotiate peace with the United States Congress. Anaya, refusing to satisfy the land claims of the United States, resigned on January 8, 1848. Manuel de la Pena y Pena was again named provisional president, was dedicated to negotiating peace. On February 2 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, in which Mexico ceded 2,400,000 square kilometres of northern territo