|Battle of Resaca de la Palma|
|Part of the Mexican–American War|
General Taylor at the battle of Resaca de la Palma (Currier & Ives)
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
| 33 killed|
| 154 killed|
The Battle of Resaca de la Palma was one of the early engagements of the Mexican–American War, where the United States Army under General Zachary Taylor engaged the retreating forces of the Mexican Ejército del Norte ("Army of the North") under General Mariano Arista on May 9, 1846. The United States emerged victorious and forced the Mexicans out of Texas.
Following the Mexican defeat at the Battle of Palo Alto, Arista on the morning of May 9 moved his forces to a more defensible position along a resaca, known as Resaca de la Guerrero to the Mexicans but as Resaca de la Palma to the Americans. 59 Recalling his experiences at the Siege of Fort Texas, he positioned his forces along the twelve foot deep and two hundred foot wide resaca, three miles from the Rio Grande, by 10 a.m. :59 Arista placed most of his infantry in the ravine, thickly forested on either side, to negate the effectiveness of Taylor's artillery, with the 6th and 10th Infantry, Sappers, 2nd Light Infantry and 1st Infantry being placed east of the road, and the 2nd Infantry, Tampico Battalion and 4th Infantry west of the road. :59–60 Covering the flanks in the rear were the Presidiales, the light cavalry, and the 7th and 8th Regiments, and two artillery batteries on the south bank. :60:
Taylor reached the area about 3 p.m. and ordered Captain William W. Mackall's skirmishers and Captain Randolph Ridgely's battery along the road, with the 4th and 5th Infantry to the left and the remaining 4th and 3rd Infantry on the right. 60:
Fighting was disorganised and uncoordinated due to the dense chaparral and the intense Mexican artillery fire, although Ridgely did repulse a Mexican cavalry charge. 60 Taylor ordered a charge by Captain Charles A. May's dragoon squadron with the objective of clearing the Mexican battery. May's exchange with Ridgeley supposedly included, "Hello Ridgely, where is that Battery? I am ordered to charge it." "Hold on Charley, 'till I draw their fire and you will see where they are." :60 May's charge however carried them well past the Mexican arillery and although he managed to captured General Romulo Diaz de la Vega, he could not hold the guns. :62 Taylor then ordered William G. Belknap's 5th and 8th Infantry to secure the guns, which they did. :62 The Mexicans forces east of the road then retreated from their positions. :62:
West of the road, Captain Robert C. Buchanan and members of the 4th Infantry, found a trail which turned towards the Mexican left flank, enabling them to take and hold the battery located there. They were able to defend the position from General Pedro de Ampudia's counterattacks, and the entire Mexican force panicked and fled across the Rio Grande, with many Mexican soldiers drowning in the attempt. 62:
The Mexican Army left behind a number of artillery pieces, Arista's writing desk and silver service, the colors of Mexico's lauded Tampico Battalion, and other baggage. Among the several captured Mexican artillery pieces were two 8-pounder bronze guns, two 6-pounder bronze guns, and four 4-pounder bronze guns.
Taylor's army settled into their Fort Texas campsite as Taylor considered his next move, although he did exchange prisoners with Arista. 81 Taylor crossed the Rio Grande on 18 May, Arista's army having abandoned their artillery, sick and wounded at Linares, Nuevo Leon during their retreat to Monterrey. :82:
Before accepting a prisoner exchange with General Arista, Taylor was noted for his humane treatment of the abandoned Mexican wounded, giving them the same care as was given to the American wounded. After tending to the wounded he performed the last rites for the dead of both the American and Mexican soldiers killed during the battle. 176:
The Resaca De La Palma Battlefield is in the city limits of present-day Brownsville, Texas, but is part of the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park.
The Battle of Resaca de la Palma inspired the name of Resaca, Georgia, a community that later became the site of the Battle of Resaca.
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 3,700 Mexican troops – most of the Army of The North – led by General Mariano Arista engaged a force of approximately 2,300 United States troops – the Army of Occupation led by General Zachary Taylor.
In the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican–American War, General Pedro de Ampudia and the Mexican Army of the North was defeated by the Army of Occupation, a force of United States Regulars, Volunteers and Texas Rangers under the command of General Zachary Taylor.
The Thornton Affair, also known as the Thornton Skirmish, Thornton's Defeat, or Rancho Carricitos was a battle in 1846 between the military forces of the United States and Mexico twenty miles west upriver from Zachary Taylor's camp along the Rio Grande. The much larger Mexican force defeated the Americans in the opening of hostilities, and was the primary justification for U.S. President James K. Polk's call to Congress to declare war.
The Siege of Fort Texas marked the beginning of active campaigning by the armies of the United States and Mexico during the Mexican–American War. The battle is sometimes called The Siege of Fort Brown, but this is not entirely accurate—the name Fort Brown was taken from Major Jacob Brown, who was one of the two Americans killed during the engagement. Major Jacob Brown should not to be confused with the War of 1812 General Jacob Brown.
José Mariano Martín Buenaventura Ignacio Nepomuceno García de Arista Nuez was a noted veteran of many of Mexico's nineteenth-century wars. He served as president of Mexico from 15 January 1851 to 6 January 1853.
Pedro Nolasco Martín José María de la Candelaria Francisco Javier Ampudia y Grimarest was born in Havana, Cuba, and served Mexico as a Northern army officer for most of his life. At various points he was the governor of Tabasco, Yucatán, and Nuevo León. He also served a short term as Secretary of National Defense under President Benito Juárez.
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park near Brownsville, Texas is a National Park Service unit which preserves the grounds of the May 8, 1846, Battle of Palo Alto. It was the first major conflict in a border dispute that soon precipitated the Mexican–American War. The United States Army victory here made the invasion of Mexico possible. The historic site portrays the battle and the war, and its causes and consequences, from the perspectives of both the United States and Mexico.
The Battle of Valverde, or the Battle of Valverde Ford, was fought from February 20 to 21, 1862, near the town of Val Verde at a ford of the Rio Grande in Union held New Mexico Territory, in what is today the state of New Mexico. It was a major Confederate success in the New Mexico Campaign of the American Civil War. The belligerents were Confederate cavalry from Texas and several companies of Arizona militia versus U.S. Army regulars and Union volunteers from northern New Mexico Territory and the Colorado Territory.
Rómulo Díaz de la Vega was de facto president of Mexico in 1855. He studied military science and rose to the rank of general.
Samuel B. Ringgold was an artillery officer in the United States Army who was noted for several military innovations which caused him to be called the "Father of Modern Artillery." He was also, according to some records, the first U.S. officer to fall in the Mexican–American War, perishing from wounds received at the Battle of Palo Alto.
The following are synopsis of the campaigns of the Mexican–American War (1846—1848).
Events in the year 1846 in Mexico.
The Resaca de la Palma Battlefield is the site in Brownsville, Texas, where American forces under General Zachary Taylor engaged Mexican forces under General Mariano Arista on May 9, 1846 in the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. A surviving undeveloped portion of the battlefield is now part of the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
Charles Augustus May (1818–1864) was an American officer of the United States Army who served in the Mexican War and other campaigns over a 25-year career. He is best known for successfully leading a cavalry charge against Mexican artillery at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma.
The Army of Occupation was the name of the U.S. Army commanded by Zachary Taylor during the Mexican–American War.
The Battle of La Ebonal was fought in December 1859 near Brownsville, Texas during the First Cortina War. Following the Brownsville Raid, on September 28, and a few skirmishes with the Texas Rangers, rebel leader Juan Cortina led his small army into the hills outside of town and dug in near a series of cattle ranches. The United States Army responded by sending an expedition into the area, under the command of Major Samuel P. Heintzelman, with orders to pacify all resistance. A minor battle began on December 13, at a ranch called La Ebonal, and continued for a few hours as the Americans routed and then pursued the retreating Cortinistas.
The Texas Campaign was the first front in the Mexican–American War, fought between the United States and Mexico. The front started with a Mexican assault near Brownsville. US forces were forced to surrender after hours of resisting, which lead President James K. Polk to declare war on Mexico. After the United States defeated a larger Mexican Army at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Mexican Forces led by Mariano Arista retreated out of Texas.
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Act of 1991, Public Law 102-304, is a federal law, enacted on June 23, 1992, that established the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Site. Located in the lower Rio Grande Valley, north of modern Brownsville, Texas, the site was the location of the first battle of the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), on May 8, 1846. At the time of its establishment in 1992, Palo Alto was the first unit of the National Park Service to commemorate the Mexican–American War, a controversial conflict that ended with the American occupation of Mexico City and the cessation to the United States of Mexican lands in modern California and New Mexico.
James Duncan became a hero of the Mexican–American War for his capable command of an artillery battery at several important battles. He was a graduate of United States Military Academy in 1834 and served in the Seminole Wars. In 1848, he became involved in a post-war squabble between several general officers, though it did not harm his prospects. After his exploits in the Mexican–American War, he was appointed Inspector general of the US Army. A promising career was cut short when he died of yellow fever on an inspection tour of Mobile, Alabama in 1849.