The Alamo was a Spanish Mission in San Antonio. On February 23, 1836 a Mexican Army marched to the fort and attacked. The 200 men(though accounts vary) at the Alamo including the infamous Davy Crockett fought fiercely with guns, knives, clubs, and fist. After 13 days the Mexicans finally took the Alamo. Santa Anna, the Mexican president, regarded the battle as a small victory when in reality the Mexicans lost about 1,500 men.On April 21, 1836 Texas separated themselves from Mexico and remained an independent country for 9 years.In 1845 Texas was officially annexed by the United States. Shortly later it became a state.
James Polk offered to buy California and New Mexico. When his offer was rejected he moved troops commanded by General Zachary Taylor to the disputed territory between the Rio Grande River and the Nueces River.On April 25, 1846 General Taylor took his forces across the Rio Grande River.General Taylor was not going to wait for an official declaration of war. He lead his forces and attacked near Palo Alto and defeated the Mexican forces. The next day, Taylor went on to fight in the battle of Resaca de la Palma. Even though the Americans were vastly outnumbered the won both battles. The Americans won mostly due to poor training and equipment, according to History.
com, the Mexicans had such poor quality gunpowder that they sent cannonballs rolling and bouncing instead of flying through the air. On May 13, Congress officially declared war and authorized a draft.Later, on May 18 the Americans entered Matamoras with no resistance, Mexico had evacuated the day before.After moving on from Matamoras, the Americans moved to Monterrey.
On September 21 battle broke out in the city.The fighting was fierce. Ampudia, the commander of the Mexican forces in the battle at Monterrey, would not stand for another Mexican loss. The fighting lasted until the twenty-third of September. Ampudia called for a truce. General Taylor agreed and a two month truce was made.The opposition in America to Taylor’s decision was quite aggressive. With the extra pressure from home, Taylore contacted Santa Anna and revoke the agreement.
On November sixteenth, Taylor took the city of Saltillo. The next stop for Taylor and his army was Buena Vista. According to PBS this battle was among the most dramatic of the war. On February 3, 1847 Polk ordered Taylor’s men to join General Winfield Scott who was planned to eventually march to Mexico City.
Taylor was to defend his position with about 5,000 troops near Saltillo. When Santa Anna found out about Taylor’s transition, he saw it as a chance to attack. Santa Anna took 20,000 men North to attack Taylor and his men. Taylor heard about the Mexican movement and relocated his men to a mountain pass near the Hacienda Buena Vista. On February 22 Santa Anna ordered Taylor to surrender. When Taylor refused, Santa Anna began engaging in a skirmish with the Americans to gain information about their position and how many men there were. The next day Santa Anna ordered an assault of the American army.
Taylor defended his position and then ordered a counter attack. The attack was a surprise to the Mexicans and threw them off course for their planned final attack. By nightfall, the battle came to an end. The Mexicans lost over 3,400 men while Taylor lost about 650. The next day the Mexicans declared a victory and retreated.
On March ninth, ten thousand of General Scott’s United States troops landed 3 miles southeast of Veracruz. By nightfall all the men were on shore without any casualties. This landing would be the biggest in United States history until World War 2. The following day, his troops began circling Veracruz and separating groups of Mexican soldiers. By May fifteenth, the city was surrounded. On the twenty-second when Mexico refused to surrender, Scott proceeded to open fire on the city. After enduring days of cannon fire, the Mexican city surrendered. This siege would make General Winfield Scott an American war hero.
After the siege of Veracruz, Scott moved his army toward Mexico City and to the Cerro Gordo mountain pass. On April fourteenth, the Americans arrived to find the Mexicans occupying the pass. Santa Anna felt this was a strategic position because the Americans would be forced to continue through a defile were Santa Anna’s men had blocked the road.Information gathered by Robert E. Lee revealed Santa Anna had thought the land on his left flank would be impassable for the Americans. Because of this, the area was lightly defended.
On April eighteenth, Scott ordered General David Twiggs to take seven thousand men along the path that Lee had found. A deserter from the U.S. warned the Mexicans of this move. But still, the Americans fought through the Mexican forces and surrounded the camp. Many of Santa Anna’s forces fled but not before one thousand were killed and another three thousand were captured. The United States only lost about 400 men. This victory would set of a chain reaction for the U.
S. that would lead them to Mexico City.The Americans continued on toward Mexico City. Two fortified cities were covered by the Mexican Army.
Covering the eastern approach was a hacienda in the city of San Antonio. San Angel covered the western approach. Between the two cities and to the south was a large lava field that seemed impassable called El Pedregal.General Gabriel Valencia of Mexico left his assigned position and moved four miles south to the town of Contreras to put El Pedregal between him and the Mexican right flank.On August eighteenth American generals Gideon Pillow and Twigg lead an attack that proved unsuccessful. The attack also revealed plans to destroy Valencia’s army.Instead of moving General Valencia’s army, Santa Anna sent him reinforcements.
The next day, American scouts found a route to cut the road of from Mexico City and block Valencia from gaining any more reinforcements.General Scott saw that after Valencia’s army fell, Pillow and Twigg could move north and cover the rear of the Mexican army facing General Scott.Part of Twiggs army attacked Valencias army. The Mexican differences fell apart with ease. This gave time for Pillow and Twiggs to move to Rio Churubusco, while Scott attacked the hacienda in San Antonio. After the two defeats at Contreras and Churubusco, the Mexican forces fell back just two miles from Mexico City. This position was great for the Mexicans because of the castle it Chapultepec, the earthwork fort at Casa Mata 2,000 yards to the west, and the fortified stone buildings of Molino del Rey in the middle. The fighting here would become known as the battle of Molino del Rey.
On September eighth, General William J. Worth and his thirty-four hundred man army advanced on these positions in two columns. One column was lead by Lieutenant Colonel James S. McIntosh and the other by Brigadier General John Garland. General George Cadwalader commanded the reserves. Worth’s intended reconnaissance mission soon became bloody. The Americans took heavy fire from two sides. This fire caused the American advance to fall back.
The troops were reinforced by the voltigeurs and some of Cadwalader’s men and struck again. This time the Americans broke through and took the Molino, but only after Worth lost 25% of his men. Worth continued to attack the Casa Mona and Molino del Rey. These positions were believed to be lightly defended.
Worth had the positions shelled, the Mexicans gave no response Little did Worth know, he and his 3,400 men were walking into an ambush. Garland found his column destroyed from cannon and gunfire from Chapultepec. McIntosh found himself and his column under gun fire from General Francisco Perez’s brigade.
A 4,000 man Mexican cavalry unit planned to ride in and butcher the remaining American forces on the left. U.S. mounted troops quickly improvised and caused the Mexican forces to turn away. Spooked by these events, McIntosh fell back, but the forces finally penetrated the Mexican forces and took the position. The Mexican forces once again retreated. The Americans followed at a safe distance.
On September 13th. A storming of Chapultepec began. At 8am the storming started, with few men and resources, Chapultepec fell by 9:30. Making Pillow’s men victorios. The Americans moved to the gates of Mexico City, they planned to commence door to door fighting to take the City.General Santa Anna did not think that the fighting would be worth the destruction and Mexico City was unconditionally surrendered.
(Pause)On February second, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. The treaty ended the war and gave the land that makes part of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming to the United States.