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Encyclopedia > Battle of Palo Alto
Battle of Palo Alto
Part of the Mexican-American War

Painting by Carl Nebel
Date May 8, 1846
Location near Brownsville, Texas
Result Indecisive
Combatants
United States Mexico
Commanders
Zachary Taylor Mariano Arista
Strength
2,400 infantry 2,300 infantry, 1,100 cavalry and 160 artillery
12 guns
Casualties
5 killed
43 wounded
102 killed
129 wounded
26 missing
Mexican–American War
Fort TexasPalo AltoResaca de la Palma – Cañoncito – Santa FeMonterrey – 1st Tabasco – San Pasqual – El Brazito – Rio San GabrielLa Mesa – Cañada – MoraEmbudo PassPueblo de TaosBuena Vista – Sacramento – VeracruzCerro GordoTuxpan – 2nd Tabasco – ContrerasChurubuscoMolino del ReyChapultepecMexico CityHuamantlaPuebla

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 (8 km) from the modern-day city of Brownsville, Texas. A force of some 3,400 Mexican troops (a portion of the Army of The North) led by General Mariano Arista, with the de La Vega & Garcia Infantry Brigades & the Torrejon Cavalry Brigade engaged a force of 2,400 United States troops — the so called US Army of Observation.(Right Wing :Col. Twiggs with 5th Infantry (Lt. Col. McIntosh), Ringgold's Light Artillery, 3d Infantry (Capt. Morris), Lt. Churchill's Artillery (2-18 pounders), 4th Infantry (Major Allen)& Captains Ker & May Dragoon Squadrons. Left Wing: Lt. Col. Belknap with Lt. Col. Child's Artillery Battalion (serving as Infantry), and 8th Infantry (Capt. Montgomery) Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia Strength 7,000 - 43,000 18,000 - 40,000 Casualties KIA: 1,733 Total dead: 13,283 Wounded: 4,152 25,000 killed or wounded (Mexican government... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... May 8 is the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (129th in leap years). ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Brownsville is a city in Cameron County, Texas, United States. ... Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was an American military leader and the twelfth President of the United States. ... Mariano Arista (July 26, 1802 - August 7, 1855) was president of Mexico from 1851 to 1853, as well as a noted veteran of many of Mexicos nineteenth century wars. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia Strength 78,789 soldiers 18,000–40,000 soldiers Casualties KIA: 1733 Total dead: 13,271 Wounded: 4,152 25,000 killed or wounded (Mexican government estimate... The Siege of Fort Texas marked the beginning of active campaigning by the armies of the United States of America and Mexico during the Mexican-American War. ... At the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, one of the early engagements of the Mexican-American War, Zachary Taylor engaged the retreating forces of the Mexican Army of the North under Gen. ... Battle of Santa Fe Conflict Mexican-American War Date August 15, 1846 Place Santa Fe, New Mexico Result U.S. victory The Battle of Santa Fe occurred on August 15, 1846 during the Mexican-American War. ... The Battle of Monterrey (September 21–September 23, 1846) was an engagement in the Mexican-American War in which General Pedro de Ampudia and the Mexican Army of the North managed to fight US troops to a standstill at the important fortress town of Monterrey. ... The First Battle of Tabasco was fought during the Mexican-American War. ... The Battle of San Pascual was a military encounter that occurred during the Mexican_American War in what is now San Diego County, California, on the 6 and 7 December 1846. ... Combatants United States of America Mexico Californeros Commanders Robert F. Stockton Stephen Watts Kearny José Mariá Flores Strength U.S. naval and army forces 600 sailors, marines and dragoons Californios sympathic to Mexico 300 dragoons 200 soldiers Casualties 143 80 The Battle of Rio San Gabriel was a part of... The Battle of La Mesa occurred on January 9, 1847 in present-day Vernon, in which the outgunned and outnumbered Californios (The Americans having rifles, the Californios fighting on horseback with only lances)almost gained the advantage, but they fell back and camped at present-day Pasadena, giving up Los... Insurgents in New Mexico under the leadership of Pablo Chavez, Pablo Montoya and Jesus Tafoya began marching south towards the American-held city of Santa Fe. ... Combatants United States Mexican Insurgents Commanders Israel R. Hendley Jesse I. Morin Manuel Cortez Strength 80 200 Casualties 1 killed 3 wounded 25 killed 17 prisoners The Battle of Mora was part of the Taos Revolt, a popular insurrection against the United States. ... Combatants United States Mexican/Indian Insurgents Commanders John Burgwin Ceran St. ... The Siege of Pueblo de Taos was an engagement between U.S. forces and Insurgent forces in New Mexico during the Mexican-American War. ... The Battle of Buena Vista was a land battle of the Mexican-American War fought on 23 February 1847 in Buena Vista, Coahuila, seven miles (12 km) south of Saltillo, in northern Mexico. ... The Battle of the Sacramento took place during the Mexican-American War. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott (Army) David Conner (Navy) Matthew C. Perry (Navy) Juan Morales Strength 12,000 3,360 Casualties 18 killed 62 wounded 180 killed and wounded 100 civilian The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege of the key Mexican seaport of Veracruz, Veracruz... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Strength 8,500 12,000 Casualties 417 4,000 Gen Ciriaco Vasquez dead Gens. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Matthew C. Perry Martin Perfecto de Cos Strength 1,519 400 Casualties 3 killed 11 wounded  ? The Battle of Tuxpan was a battle fought during the Mexican-American War. ... The Second Battle of Tabasco (also known as the Battle of Villahermosa) was a battle fought during the Mexican-American War as part of the U.S. blockade of Mexican Gulf ports. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Gabriel Valencia Strength 8,500 20,000 Casualties 60 killed and wounded 700 killed 843 surrendered Gen Frontera dead Gen Salas, Nicolas Mendoza captured The Battle of Contreras (also known, particularly in Mexico, as the Battle of... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Manuel Rincón Strength 8,497 2,641 Casualties 133 killed 865 wounded 998 total total 263 dead 1,261 captured Gens Rincon & Anaya captured The Battles of Churubusco took place on August 20, 1847, in the... The Battle of Molino del Rey turned out to be one of the bloodiest fights of the Mexican-American War. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Nicolás Bravo # Strength 13,000 876 cadets, 4000 regulars Casualties 130 killed 703 wounded 29 missing 862 total 1,800 killed and wounded 823 captured 2,623 Total Gen. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Strength 7,200 16,000 Casualties 1,651 4,500 The Battle for Mexico City refers to the series of engagements from September 8 to September 15, 1847 in the general vicinity of Mexico City during the... 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. ... The Siege of Puebla began the same day Mexico City fell to Winfield Scott and lasted for 28 days when a relief force was able to fight its way into the city and lift the siege. ... Generally, a battle is an instance of combat in warfare between two or more parties wherein each group will seek to defeat the others. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia Strength 7,000 - 43,000 18,000 - 40,000 Casualties KIA: 1,733 Total dead: 13,283 Wounded: 4,152 25,000 killed or wounded (Mexican government... May 8 is the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (129th in leap years). ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Brownsville is a city in Cameron County, Texas, United States. ... Mariano Arista (July 26, 1802 - August 7, 1855) was president of Mexico from 1851 to 1853, as well as a noted veteran of many of Mexicos nineteenth century wars. ...

Contents

Background

The battle occurred as a result of Mexican efforts to besiege a U.S. army installation, "Fort Texas",(Garrison:Major Brown with 7th Infantry, Capt. Loud's Artillery Co.with 4- 18 pounders, & Lt. Bragg's Light Artillery 4guns )which the Mexicans viewed as having been built within the boundaries of Mexican Texas. General Zachary Taylor, receiving supplies from Port Isabel, heard the distant report of cannon fire. The Mexicans had begun to attack Fort Texas. Taylor gathered his troops and rushed to relieve the defenders of the fort but was intercepted by a Mexican force commanded by General Arista. Another Mexican force (1,540 men, including Artillery 14 Guns, Matamoros Natl. Guards Battalion, Mexico, Puebla & Morelia Activos Battalions) under General Francisco Mejia were left behind at Fort Brown & Matamoros. The Siege of Fort Texas marked the beginning of active campaigning by the armies of the United States of America and Mexico during the Mexican-American War. ... Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was an American military leader and the twelfth President of the United States. ...


Battle

General Arista's army was stretched a mile wide, making an American bayonet charge impossible. Taylor, in an unlikely move, advanced his artillery to attack the enemy. It was this "Flying Artillery"—the tactic of using light artillery to attack then quickly move to another location and fire once more, developed by Major Samuel Ringgold—that won the battle for the Americans. The Mexican artillery, heavy and slow, was futile in the thick brush at Palo Alto. Arista ordered cavalry charges to flank the artillery gunners, but the American "Flying Artillery" was able to mobilize, relocate, and repel the oncoming dragooons. The US Marine Corps OKC-3S Bayonet A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife- or dagger-shaped weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle of a rifle barrel or similar weapon. ... Major Samuel Ringgold (1796-1846) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1818. ... Soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat are commonly known as cavalry (from French cavalerie). ... “Flanking” redirects here. ...


Aftermath

Ringgold died of wounds inflicted in the battle, but his death spurred a significant boost to morale across America. After the first day, Taylor arose to find that the Mexicans had withdrawn from the field of battle and moved camp to the site of the next engagement, Resaca de La Palma. This page is a candidate to be moved to Wikisource. ...

Engraving memorializing the fatal wounding of Maj. Samuel Ringgold in the battle
Engraving memorializing the fatal wounding of Maj. Samuel Ringgold in the battle

Mexicans suffered large casualties compared to the Americans for several reasons. The Mexican army had poorer gunpowder than the Americans, shortening the range of their cannon and musket fire. The poor powder had a tendency to explode prematurely and caused many soldiers to pour smaller amounts of gunpowder, further affecting the range of their weapons. Mexican soldiers usually had little training and were often scared of the volatile gunpowder. The Mexicans, as was typical throughout the war, had technologically inferior weaponry to the Americans. The musket Arista's men used was the British Brown Bess — the same weapon the British had used during the Napoleonic Wars and American Revolutionary War a century before. Image File history File links MjrRinggold_Death_LOC.jpg Summary Public Domain print from the Library of Congress (obtained from http://lcweb2. ... Image File history File links MjrRinggold_Death_LOC.jpg Summary Public Domain print from the Library of Congress (obtained from http://lcweb2. ... A small cannon on a carriage, Bucharest. ... Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. ... Short Land Pattern The Brown Bess in History Brown Bess is a nickname of unknown provenance for the British Long Land Pattern Musket and its derivatives. ... Combatants Allies: Austria[1] Portugal Prussia[1] Russia[2] Spain[3] Sweden United Kingdom[4] Ottoman Empire[5] French Empire Holland Kingdom of Italy Kingdom of Naples Duchy of Warsaw Bavaria[6] Saxony[7] Denmark [8] Commanders Archduke Charles Prince Schwarzenberg Karl Mack von Leiberich Gebhard von Blücher Karl... Combatants American Revolutionaries French Monarchy Dutch Republic Spanish Empire Oneida and Tuscarora tribes Polish volunteers Prussian volunteers Kingdom of Great Britain Hessian mercenaries Iroquois Confederacy Loyalists Commanders George Washington Nathanael Greene Gilbert de La Fayette Comte de Rochambeau Bernardo de Gálvez Tadeusz KoÅ›ciuszko Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben Sir...


The venue is now Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site and is maintained by the National Park Service. 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 (8 km) from the modern-day city of Brownsville, Texas. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ...


See also

  • Battles of the Mexican-American War

// The following are known battles of the Mexican-American War. ...

References

Alcaraz, Ramón, "Apuntes para la historia de la guerra entre México y los Estados Unidos" Balbotín, Manuel, "La invasión americana, 1846 a 1848, apuntes del subteniente de artillería" Bauer, K. Jack, "The Mexican-American War, 1846-1848" Chartrand, René, "Santa Anna's Mexican Army, 1821-1848" Crawford, Mark, "Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War" Haecker, Charles M., "On the Prairie of Palo Alto" Brooks, N. C., "A Complete History of The Mexican War"


External links

  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site

  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Palo Alto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (528 words)
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 (8 km) from the modern-day city of Brownsville, Texas.
The battle occurred as a result of Mexican efforts to besiege a U.S. army installation, "Fort Texas", which the Mexicans viewed as having been built within the boundaries of Mexican Texas.
The Mexican artillery, heavy and slow, was futile in the thick brush at Palo Alto.
Palo Alto Battlefield NHS Home Page (1158 words)
The Palo Alto engagement and a decisive May 9, 1846, fight at Resaca de la Palma, were prompted by the siege of Fort Texas and resulted in a victory for U.S. forces.
Though the battle of Palo Alto was a brief encounter, its impact was felt far beyond the field.
Palo Alto Battlefield is currently poised to enter a new period of operations.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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