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Encyclopedia > Siege of Veracruz
Siege of Veracruz
Part of the Mexican-American War

Date: March 9-March 29, 1847
Location: Veracruz, Veracruz
Result: U.S. victory
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
Scott's Central Mexico Campaign
VeracruzCerro GordoContrerasChurubuscoMolino del ReyChapultepecMexico City
Gulf Coast Operations
1st Tabasco –VeracruzTuxpan – 2nd Tabasco

The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege of the key Mexican seaport of Veracruz, Veracruz, during the Mexican-American War. Lasting from March 9 to March 29, 1847, it began with the first large-scale amphibious assault conducted by United States military forces, and ended with the surrender and occupation of the city. US forces then marched inland to Mexico City. Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia Strength 60,000 40,000 Casualties KIA: 1,733 Total dead: 13,283 Wounded: 4,152 25,000 killed or wounded (Mexican government estimate) The Mexican-American... Battle of Veracruz during the Mexican-American War, painting by Carl Nebel. ... March 9 is the 68th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (69th in Leap years). ... March 29 is the 88th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (89th in Leap years). ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Veracruz from space, July 1997 The city of Veracruz is a major port city on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that compose Mexico (does not include the Mexican Federal District). ... Winfield Scott Winfield Scott (June 13, 1786 – May 29, 1866) was a United States Army general, diplomat, and presidential candidate. ... Commodore David Conner (1792 - 20 March 1856) was a officer of the United States Navy. ... Matthew Calbraith Perry (April 10, 1794 - March 4, 1858) was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy who forced the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854, under the threat of military force. ... Image File history File links White_flag_icon. ... 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 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 7,200 16,000 Casualties 130 killed 703 wounded 29 missing 862 total 1,800 killed and wounded 823 captured 2,623 Total {{{notes}}} The Battle of Chapultepec took place in September 1847 during the Mexican-American War, at... 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 First Battle of Tabasco was fought during the Mexican-American War. ... 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. ... A siege is a prolonged military blockade and assault of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition. ... Veracruz from space, July 1997 The city of Veracruz is a major port city on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia Strength 60,000 40,000 Casualties KIA: 1,733 Total dead: 13,283 Wounded: 4,152 25,000 killed or wounded (Mexican government estimate) The Mexican-American... March 9 is the 68th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (69th in Leap years). ... March 29 is the 88th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (89th in Leap years). ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Amphibious Assault is an electronic music project by Fallon Bowman. ... Mexico City (Spanish: Ciudad de México, México D.F. or simply México, pronounced /mexiko/ in IPA) is the capital and largest city of the nation of Mexico. ...

Contents


Background

After the battles of Monterrey and Buena Vista, fighting in northern Mexico subsided. Much of Zachary Taylor's Army of Occupation was transferred to the command of Major General Winfield Scott. After deliberating on the next course of action, Scott and other Washington officials came to the agreement that a landing would be made at Veracruz, which would provide the Americans point for a further advance inland. 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 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. ... Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784–July 9, 1850) was an American military leader and the twelfth President of the United States. ... The Army of Occupation was the name of the U.S. Army commanded by Zachary Taylor during the Mexican-American War. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Winfield Scott Winfield Scott (June 13, 1786 – May 29, 1866) was a United States Army general, diplomat, and presidential candidate. ... Flag Seal Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location Location of Washington, D.C., with regard to the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia. ... Veracruz from space, July 1997 The city of Veracruz is a major port city on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. ...


Forces

U.S.

Scott had under his command 12,000 troops in 3 divisions for the expedition:

Worth's and Twiggs' regulars had previously seen action at the battle of Monterrey and two of Patterson's brigade were commanded by generals with notable skill: John A. Quitman and James Shields. Also included in the expedition was a brigade of cavalry under William S. Harney. Offshore bombardment was to be provided by the navy under Commodore David Conner. Scott requested special landing crafts for his expedition and the first ever were constructed in Philadelphia by George M. Totten. William Jenkins Worth was a United States general during the Mexican-American War Early Life Worth was born on March 1, 1794 in Hudson, New York. ... David Emanuel Twiggs (1790 – July 15, 1862) was a United States soldier during the War of 1812 and Mexican War and a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. ... Robert Patterson ( January 12, 1792- August 7, 1881) was an Irish immigrant and a noted soldier and businessman from Pennsylvania. ... 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. ... John Anthony Quitman (September 1, 1798–July 17, 1858) was an American politician. ... James Shields James Shields (May 10, 1810 – June 1, 1879) was an American politician and U.S. Army officer who was born in Altmore, Ireland. ... William Selby Harney (22 August 1800 - 9 May 1889) was a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War and the Indian Wars. ... Commodore David Conner (1792 - 20 March 1856) was a officer of the United States Navy. ... Philadelphia is a village located in Jefferson County, New York. ...


Mexican

Veracruz was considered to be the strongest fortress in the western hemisphere at the time. Brigadier General Juan Morales commanded a garrison of 3,360 men which manned three major forts guarding Veracruz: Juan Morales Hechevarria (born July 12, 1948) is a former Cuban athlete who competed mainly in 100 metres hurdles. ...

  • Fort Santiago – south end of town
  • Fort Concepción – north end of town
  • Fort San Juan de Ulúa – offshore on the Gallega Reef

The city itself was completely surrounded by a 15-foot (4.5 m) wall. The defenses contained about 235 guns, 135 of these in Fort Ulúa alone. It was believed that even if the city fell, Ulúa could hold out much longer bottling up the city's port. Because Morales' garrison was small in numbers he decided not to risk the American forces in open battle and instead stayed within the fortresses. In doing so he left the beaches unguarded which offered an inviting target for Scott's army. San Juan de Ulúa is a large fortress on an island overlooking the seaport of Veracruz, Mexico. ...


Landings

The amphibious assault on Veracruz
The amphibious assault on Veracruz

The American Army/Navy force arrived off Veracruz in early March. Scott surveyed the defenses and concluded that the city would not fall to an artillery bombardment alone. He selected the landings to take place at Collado Beach 3 miles (5 km) south of Veracruz. The 1st Regular Division under Worth was chosen to make the landing. Connor's ships moved to within 90 yards of the beach to supply covering fire if necessary. At 3:30 on March 9 the 1st Division in the specialized landing crafts was rowed ashore. Just before the main force touched the beach, a gig dashed ahead and General Worth jumped out into shoulder deep water and waded ashore, to be the first man on the beach. Worth's whole division landed without firing a single shot or receiving a single shot. By 23:00 on that first day, Scott's entire army had been brought ashore: the first large scale amphibious landing conducted by the U.S. military was a success. The amphibious landing at the Battle of Veracruz, painted by N. Currier in the 1840s. ... The amphibious landing at the Battle of Veracruz, painted by N. Currier in the 1840s. ... March 9 is the 68th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (69th in Leap years). ...


The Siege

Encirclement

Once ashore Patterson's division began marching northward to effect a complete encirclement of the city. One of Patterson's brigades under Gideon Pillow drove off a Mexican cavalry at Malibran, cutting off the city's water supply. Quitman and Shields managed to drive off cavalry attempting to prevent the investment. Three days later the U.S. had completed a 7 mile (12 km) siege line from Collado in the south to Vergana in the north. Gideon Johnson Pillow (June 8, 1806-October 8, 1878) was an American general. ...


Investment

A norther blew in and prevented Scott from landing his siege guns for a time. In the meantime the besiegers were plagued by sorties from the city and guerrilla attacks. Colonel Juan Aquayo used the cover of the storm to slip the Alvarado garrison into Veracruz. General Patterson expressed his opinion that the city should be taken by storm. Scott declined such a notion stating he wished to lose no more than 100 men. On the 18th the artillery arrived and Scott concluded he could reduce the city with what he had, but not Fort Ulúa. On March 21, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Conner's second-in-command, returned from Norfolk, Virginia, after making repairs on the USS Mississippi, with orders to replace Conner in command of the squadron. Perry and Conner met with Scott regarding the navy's role in the siege and Perry offered 6 guns that were to be manned by sailors from the ships. Back onshore under the direction of Captain Robert E. Lee a battery emplacement was constructed 700 yards from the city walls with the army and naval siege guns put in place. On March 22 Morales declined a surrender demand from Scott and the American batteries opened fire. The Mexican batteries responded with accuracy, although few Americans became casualties because of it. Congreve rockets were fired into the defenses and started a fire in Fort Santiago which drove the Mexican gunners from their post. Mexican morale began to drop. Guerrilla War redirects here. ... Alvarado is a city in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. ... March 21 is the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (81st in leap years). ... Matthew Calbraith Perry (April 10, 1794 - March 4, 1858) was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy who forced the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854, under the threat of military force. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Four ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Mississippi in honor of the 20th state. ... For the author of Inherit the Wind and other works, see Robert Edwin Lee. ... March 22 is the 81st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (82nd in Leap years). ... Congreve rocket from Congreves original work The Congreve Rocket was a British weapon designed by William Congreve in 1804. ...


On March 24, Persifor F. Smith's brigade captured a Mexican soldier with reports that Antonio López de Santa Anna was marching an army from Mexico City to the relief of Veracruz. Scott dispatched Colonel Harney with 100 dragoons to inspect any approaches that Santa Anna might make. Harney reported about 2,000 Mexicans and a battery not far away and called for reinforcements. General Patterson led a mixed group of volunteers and dragoons to Harney's aid cleared this force from their positions. March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in Leap years). ... Persifor Frazer Smith (November 16, 1798-May 17, 1858) was an U.S. army officer during the Mexican-American War. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Mexico City (Spanish: Ciudad de México, México D.F. or simply México, pronounced /mexiko/ in IPA) is the capital and largest city of the nation of Mexico. ... William Selby Harney (22 August 1800 - 9 May 1889) was a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War and the Indian Wars. ... A light dragoon from the American Revolution A dragoon is a soldier trained to fight on foot, but transport himself on horseback. ...


Surrender

With reports such as these Scott grew impatient with the siege and began planning for an assault on the city. On March 25, the Mexicans called for a cease-fire to discuss surrender terms. Mexican officials pleaded that the women and children be let out of the city. Scott refused, believing this to be a delaying tactic and kept up the artillery fire. On March 25 Morales' second-in-command General José Juan Landero stepped in to save his commander the disgrace of surrender, called for a truce with the invaders. A three day negotiation followed in which the Mexicans were able to receive terms which helped to save face. On March 29 the Mexicans officially surrendered their garrisons in Veracruz and Fort Ulúa. That day the U.S. flag flew over San Juan de Ulúa. March 25 is the 84th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (85th in leap years). ... March 25 is the 84th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (85th in leap years). ... March 29 is the 88th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (89th in Leap years). ... National flag and ensign. ...


Results

Twelve days of bombardment resulting in the surrender of Veracruz opened the east coast of Mexico to U.S. forces. Scott had kept his promise of minimal casualties: 13 killed. Another factor Scott had less control over was the yellow fever that had begun to settle in on his army. However Scott still began immediate plans to leave a small garrison at Veracruz and march inland, his first objective being Xalapa. Along the way Scott would in fact encounter a sizable Mexican army under Santa Anna at the battle of Cerro Gordo. Xalapa or Jalapa is the capital city of the Mexican state of 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. ...


Sources

  • Bauer, K. Jack, "The Mexican-American War 1846-48"
  • Nevin, David; editor, The Mexican War (1978)
  • It Ain't New
  • www.aztecclub.com

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
List of sieges at AllExperts (1045 words)
A siege is a prolonged military assault and blockade on a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition.
* Siege of Jerusalem (701 BCE) - the Assyrian siege of Sennacherib
* Siege of Gibraltar (1374) - sixth siege of Gibraltar, by the Nasrid in the Reconquista
Map of Mexico, Veracruz (771 words)
Veracruz borders the states of Tamaulipas to the north, Oaxaca and Chiapas to the south, Tabasco to the southeast, Puebla, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosi to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the east.
In downtown Veracruz, a large marble-tiled zócalo, called the Plaza de Armas or Plaza Lerdo, is the heart of the city's lively nightlife.
The yearly Carnaval festival in Veracruz, a nine-day party in February or March, is the most spectacular festival of its kind, and it's also the oldest organized Carnaval in Mexico.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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