The course of the War
1. The U.S. strategy called for a three prong attack:
a. The army of the West would occupy New Mexico and California
b. The army of the Center would invade Northern Mexico
The army of Occupation would carry
the war to Mexico City
2. August 1846 New Mexico is taken without a shot fired.
a. Historians believe the Mexican Governor of New Mexico was either
afraid to make a stand or took a bribe to evacuate the area.
b. California fell much the same way
3. The Battle of Sacramento River (Chihuahua City)
a. Mexicans were routed due to inadequate artillery and unreliable
supply of gun powder.
b. February 1847 American forces occupied Chihuahua City bathed
in the fountains, cut down historic trees for firewood and sang “Yankee Doodle Dandy” in the town square.
4. The Battle of Buena Vista (Feb 1847)
a. American General Zachary Taylor commanded the Army of the Center
which was to capture Northern Mexico
b. Had 6000 troops in the town of Buena Vista
Taylor was surrounded by Santa Anna
and his 20,000 man army
d. Santa Anna sent message to Taylor ordering him to surrender,
Taylor responded in a message “Santa Anna, Go to Hell”
e. Santa Anna’s attacks on Taylor did much damage but all
were rebuffed and at nightfall they were at a Stalemate.
Taylor expected Santa Anna to reform
an attack in the morning
g. Santa Anna collected two U.S. flags and three U.S. cannons
as war trophy to show the people of Mexico City of his smashing victory, he then deserted the town and left Northern Mexico
to the U.S.
5. The Army of Occupation (Battle of Vera Cruz)
a. Commanded by General Winfield Scott landed south of Vera Cruz
and went around behind and surrounded the city.
b. Began an artillery bombardment by land and sea
Plan was militarily sound but morally
questionable because it meant hundreds of civilians would be killed with no avenue for escape.
d. 1500 men, women, children and soldiers are killed and city
is virtually destroyed