The Battle Of Palo Alto

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The Battle of Palo Alto The Battle of Palo Alto was the first major battle of the Mexican-American War. The Mexican Army of the North engaged the United States Army of Occupation on a prairie near current day Brownsville, Texas. The conflict took place on May 8th, 1846 and was followed the next by the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, about five miles south. Both battles took place in an area of disputed ownership and, depending on the side, were on the only battles on American soil. Thousands of Americans, who changed citizenship and received large tracts of land from the Mexican government, rebelled in Texas in 1835 for several reasons, including Mexico’s abolition of the locally popular Texas provincial government and its inability to…show more content…
In November of 1845, President Polk named Senator James Slidell of Louisiana as the new American minster to Mexico (Haecker, 1994), and was sent to secretly negotiate with Mexican President Jose Joaquin de Herrera. However, he was overthrown by General Mariano Parades y Arrillaga, Commander of the Army of the North, who denied negotiation with the Americans and demanded the return of the disputed area of Texas. During this time, Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor, who was preemptively stationed at Corpus Christi, to move his unit down to Port Isabel at the mouth of the Rio Grande and Gulf of Mexico. This only increased tensions between the two nations, which came to a height with the construction of the U.S. Fort Texas on the north bank of the Rio Grande, opposite the Mexican town of Matamoros, a natural choke point (Carney, 2005). Up to the War, the American and Mexican armies were about as much the same as they were different. The American force, renamed the U.S. Army of Occupation, was led by General Taylor who had severed in the army since the War of 1812 and was known by his men as “Old Rough and Ready.” The American Army, organized based on European models, had a strength of 8,613 men and contained only regulars (Carney, 2005). These infantrymen enlisted for five years, and was made up of 42 percent foreign nationals, of which 50 percent were Irish. The U.S. Army
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