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Encyclopedia > Battle of Resaca de la Palma

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. Mariano Arista on May 9, 1846.


During the night of May 8, following disappointments at the Battle of Palo Alto, Arista chose to withdraw to the far more defensible position of Resaca de La Palma, a dry riverbed (resaca is the Spanish term for a dry riverbed), and establish himself while waiting for Taylor's next move.


On the morning of May 9, Taylor's seventeen hundred troops engaged a Mexican force by now swollen to four thousand with Arista's reinforcements. Arista's carefully laid plans for engaging the Americans at Resaca were, however, somewhat diluted due to political infighting in the Mexican officer corps and difficulty communicating in the rough terrain of the battlefield.


Resistance on the part of the Mexicans was stiff, and the U.S. forces nearly suffered a reverse before, in a stroke of amazing good fortune, a force of their Dragoons managed to surprise the flank of the Mexican lines and force a retreat. Two counter-attacks on the American position were defeated and the Mexican Army fled the field, leaving behind a number of artillery pieces, Arista's silver service, and the colors of Mexico's lauded Tampico Battalion.


The resulting embarrassment at a near victory turned into a defeat caused the removal of Arista as commander of Mexico's Army of the North and a serious reassessment of Mexican strategy. Unfortunately for the Mexicans, corruption at the very highest levels of Mexican government failed to produce a cohesive strategy for much of the fighting, despite increased skill and success on the part of the Mexican Army.


See also

Reference

Bauer, K. Jack The Mexican War, 1846-1848


  Results from FactBites:
 
Battles of the Mexican-American War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (584 words)
Included also are two major engagements, the Battle of Palo Alto, and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, which took place prior to the official start of hostilities between the two countries.
After a border clash on April 24, 1846, and the battles at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Polk requested a declaration of war.
Antonio López de Santa Anna engages Zachary Taylor in one of the largest battles of the war.
Battle of Resaca de la Palma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (366 words)
At the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, one of the early engagements of the Mexican-American War, U.S. General Zachary Taylor engaged the retreating forces of the Mexican Ejército del Norte ("Army of the North") under Gen. Mariano Arista on May 9, 1846.
During the night of May 8, following disappointments at the Battle of Palo Alto, Arista chose to withdraw to the far more defensible position of Resaca de la Palma, a dry riverbed (resaca is the Spanish term for a dry riverbed), and establish himself while waiting for Taylor's next move.
Arista's carefully laid plans for engaging the Americans at Resaca were, however, somewhat diluted due to political infighting in the Mexican officer corps and difficulty communicating in the rough terrain of the battlefield.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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