• Flying artillery crew in action.

    Palo Alto Battlefield

    National Historical Park Texas

An extended war

Battle of Buena Vista

Battle of Buena Vista

Library of Congress (no known restrictions)

Early success

In the aftermath of the battles on the Rio Grande, many U.S. soldiers felt certain their success would produce an early end to war. However, Mexican leaders remained determined to fight. Despite continuing U.S. pressure and a growing list of Mexican defeats, Mexican leaders came to view the conflict as a war of honor and resisted for almost two years.

The campaign continues

In the summer of 1846, the war shifted west as army and naval forces began the conquest of Mexico’s New Mexico and Upper California territories. The conquest would reach completion in January 1847. But Zachary Taylor’s forces would remain at the forefront of activity. After adding thousands of volunteer soldiers to his once-tiny force, Taylor left Matamoros in August 1846 and proceeded toward the Mexican interior.

Winfield Scott at Veracruz

Winfield Scott at Veracruz

Library of Congress (no known restrictions)

"Rough & Ready" replaced
Taylor's went on to record victory at Monterrey (September 25, 1846), occupy Saltillo (November 16th), and overcome two days of trial to gain an improbable victory over General Santa Anna in the mountain pass of Buena Vista (February 24, 1847). However, his progress frustrated President Polk who wanted a quick end to the war. For this reason, in November 1846, Polk appointed General Winfield Scott as the new General-in-Chief of U.S. forces in Mexico and sent him to open a new front at the gulf coast city of Veracruz.

"Old Fuss & Feathers"
Winfield Scott’s campaign became the deciding factor in the war. Landing near Veracruz, on March 9, 1847, he bombarded the city until military officials surrendered on March 29. From there, Scott pressed toward central Mexico, defeating Mexican defenders at Cerro Gordo (April 18, 1847), Contreras and Churubusco (August 20, 1847), and Molino del Rey (September 8, 1847).

On September 13, 1847, the dramatic U.S. assault on the Mexican stronghold of Chapultepec overwhelmed the last major line of defense for Mexico City. The following day, U.S. troops entered the Mexican capital and raised the Stars and Stripes over the National Palace.

A Mexican War overview

A Fight for Texas | Battles Along the Rio Grande | An Extended War | Peace and After

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