|Battle of the Sacramento River|
|Part of the Mexican–American War|
"Battle of the Sacramento" by F. Bastin
|Commanders and leaders|
|Alexander Doniphan|| Angel Trias Alvarez|
Jose A. Heredia
|Casualties and losses|
| 1 killed|
8 wounded :156
| ~300 killed|
~40 captured :156
The Battle of the Sacramento River was a battle that took place on February 28, 1847 during the Mexican–American War. About fifteen miles north of Chihuahua, Mexico at the crossing of the river Sacramento, American forces numbering less than 1,000 men defeated a superior Mexican army which led to the occupation of Chihuahua. 153:
The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the American intervention in Mexico, was an armed conflict between the United States of America and the United Mexican States (Mexico) from 1846 to 1848. It followed in the wake of the 1845 American annexation of the independent Republic of Texas. The unstable Mexican caudillo leadership of President/General Antonio López de Santa Anna still considered Texas to be a northeastern province and never recognized the Republic of Texas, which had seceded a decade earlier. In 1845, newly elected U.S. President James K. Polk sent troops to the disputed area and a diplomatic mission to Mexico. After Mexican forces attacked American forces, Polk cited this in his request that Congress declare war.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
The Sacramento River is a river in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.
On February 8, Colonel Alexander Doniphan's force of 924 soldiers and 300 civilians left El Paso del Norte for Chihuahua despite learning John E. Wool had abandoned his march there. 153 Major Samuel Owens had the civilians formed into a battalion along with the caravan of 312 wagons. :153 On 25 February, they reached the Laguna de Encenillas, where they learned of the Mexican defenses prepared for them. :153:
Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.
Ciudad Juárez is the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The city is commonly referred to by locals as simply Juárez, and was known as Paso del Norte until 1888. Juárez is the seat of the municipality of Juárez with an estimated population of 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande river, south of El Paso, Texas, United States. Together with the surrounding areas, the cities form El Paso–Juárez, the second largest binational metropolitan area on the Mexico–U.S. border, with a combined population of over 2.7 million people.
John Ellis Wool was an officer in the United States Army during three consecutive U.S. wars: the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War. By the time of the Mexican-American War, he was widely considered one of the most capable officers in the army and a superb organizer.
Governor Trias had built up a force under the command of General Jose A. Heredia, consisting of 1200 cavalry (Gen. Garcia Conde: Vera Cruz Dragoons, Durango & Chihuahua Lancers), 1500 infantry (Chihuahua Activos), 119 artillerymen (10 field guns & 6 culverins) and 1000 rancheros. 154 They had constructed a redoubt near the Hacienda Sacramento where the El Paso road crosses the river, and at Hacienda el Torreon two miles to the west. :154:
A redoubt is a fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort, usually relying on earthworks, although some are constructed of stone or brick. It is meant to protect soldiers outside the main defensive line and can be a permanent structure or a hastily constructed temporary fortification. The word means "a place of retreat". Redoubts were a component of the military strategies of most European empires during the colonial era, especially in the outer works of Vauban-style fortresses made popular during the 17th century, although the concept of redoubts has existed since medieval times. A redoubt differs from a redan in that the redan is open in the rear, whereas the redoubt was considered an enclosed work.
A hacienda, in the colonies of the Spanish Empire, is an estate, similar in form to a Roman villa. Some haciendas were plantations, mines or factories. Many haciendas combined these activities. The word is derived from the Spanish word "hacer" or "haciendo", which means: to make or be making, respectively; and were largely business enterprises consisting of various money making ventures including raising farm animals and maintaining orchards.
At sunrise on February 28, the last day of February, the Americans took up the line of march and formed the whole wagon train into four columns with the artillery and mounted men in the middle. 154 Three companies screened the front. :154 When the Americans arrived within sight of the Mexican defenses, Doniphan made a reconnaissance of the enemy positions. :154 Twenty-three separate works had been dug for twelve 4- to 9-pounders and nine lighter pieces. :154:
Doniphan used his cavalry to screen the movement of his force parallel to the Arroyo Seco and to the right and out of range of the Mexican artillery. 155 Doniphan formed the wagons into a fort after crossing the gully onto a plateau, and Major Meriwether Lewis Clark, Sr.'s guns fired onto General Garcia Conde's lancers, forcing them to flee. :155:
An arroyo, also called a wash, is a dry creek, stream bed or gulch that temporarily or seasonally fills and flows after sufficient rain. Flash floods are common in arroyos following thunderstorms.
A lancer was a type of cavalryman who fought with a lance. Lances were used in mounted warfare by the Assyrians as early as 700 BC and subsequently by Greek, Persian, Gallic, Chinese, and Roman horsemen. The weapon was widely used in Asia and Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by armoured cavalry, before being adopted by light cavalry, particularly in Eastern Europe. In a modern context, a lancer regiment usually denotes an armoured unit.
Doniphan's men approached the southernmost Mexican earthworks, held by Heredia's best troops. 155 Doniphan ordered Capt. Richard H. Weightman's twin howitzers to the front accompanied by Capt. Reid's force of mounted cavalry men. :156 Major Owens was killed in the charge, but Missourians took the fort. :155:
Trias attempted a counterattack but his lancers were halted by canister shot. 156 By 5 PM the fighting was over. :156:
Unable to defend Chihuahua, Trias fled to Parras. 156 Doniphan commented, "The fire of our battery was so effective as to completely silence theirs." Doniphan's men marched into Chihuahua on 2 March and on 23 April was ordered to bring his men to Saltillo, reaching Encantada on 21 May. :157:
Francisco "Pancho" Villa was a Mexican revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.
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The Battle of Buena Vista, also known as the Battle of Angostura, saw the United States Army use artillery to repulse the much larger Mexican Army in the Mexican–American War. Buena Vista, a village in the state of Coahuila, is seven miles (12 km) south of Saltillo, in Mexico.
Stephen Watts Kearny was one of the foremost antebellum frontier officers of the United States Army. He is remembered for his significant contributions in the Mexican–American War, especially the conquest of California. The Kearny code, proclaimed on September 22, 1846 in Santa Fe, established the law and government of the newly acquired territory of New Mexico, and was named after him. His nephew was Major General Philip Kearny of American Civil War fame.
Alexander William Doniphan was a 19th-century American attorney, soldier and politician from Missouri who is best known today as the man who prevented the summary execution of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the close of the 1838 Mormon War in that state. He also achieved renown as a leader of American troops during the Mexican–American War, as the author of a legal code that still forms the basis of New Mexico's Bill of Rights, and as a successful defense attorney in the Missouri towns of Liberty, Richmond and Independence.
The Battle of San Pasqual, also spelled San Pascual, was a military encounter that occurred during the Mexican–American War in what is now the San Pasqual Valley community of the city of San Diego, California. The series of military skirmishes ended with both sides claiming victory, and the victor of the battle is still debated. On December 6 and December 7, 1846, General Stephen W. Kearny's US Army of the West, along with a small detachment of the California Battalion led by a Marine Lieutenant, engaged a small contingent of Californios and their Presidial Lancers Los Galgos, led by Major Andrés Pico. After U.S. reinforcements arrived, Kearny's troops were able to reach San Diego.
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Chihuahua, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua, is one of the 31 states of Mexico. It is located in Northwestern Mexico and is bordered by the states of Sonora to the west, Sinaloa to the southwest, Durango to the south, and Coahuila to the east. To the north and northeast, it has a long border with the U.S. adjacent to the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. Its capital city is Chihuahua City.
The Border War, or the Border Campaign, refers to the military engagements which took place in the Mexico–United States border region of North America during the Mexican Revolution. The Bandit War in Texas was part of the Border War. From the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the United States Army was stationed in force along the border and on several occasions fought with Mexican rebels or federals. The height of the conflict came in 1916 when revolutionary Pancho Villa attacked the American border town of Columbus, New Mexico. In response, the United States Army, under the direction of General John J. Pershing, launched an expedition into northern Mexico, to find and capture Villa. Though the operation was successful in finding and engaging the Villista rebels, and in killing Villa's two top lieutenants, the revolutionary himself escaped and the American army returned to the United States in January 1917. Conflict at the border continued, however, and the United States launched several additional, though smaller operations into Mexican territory until after the American victory in the Battle of Ambos Nogales, leading to the establishment of a permanent border wall. Conflict was not only subject to Villistas and Americans; Maderistas, Carrancistas, Constitutionalistas and Germans also engaged in battle with American forces during this period.
The Third Battle of Ciudad Juarez, or simply the Battle of Juarez, was the final major battle involving the rebels of Francisco "Pancho" Villa. It began on June 15, 1919, when Villa attempted to capture the border city of Ciudad Juarez from the Mexican Army. During the engagement the Villistas provoked an intervention by the United States Army protecting the neighboring city of El Paso, Texas. The Americans routed the Villistas in what became the second largest battle of the Mexican Revolution involving the US, and the last battle of the Border War. With the American army closing in, the Villistas had no choice but to retreat. Pancho Villa then attacked Durango but lost again, so he retired to his home at Parral, Chihuahua in 1920, with a full pardon from the Carrancista government.
Ramón Ortiz y Miera was a Mexican priest who helped organize armed resistance during the Mexican–American War of 1846 to 1848, and who was frustrated by the U.S. authorities in his efforts to repatriate Hispanic residents from New Mexico to the republic of Mexico after the war.
The Samalayuca Dune Fields, more traditionally known as Los Medanos, or more recently referenced as Medanos de Samalayuca are a series of large but separated fields of sand dunes located in the northern part of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The dune fields are scattered over a wide expanse of desert to the south, southwest and southeast of Ciudad Juárez. The dune fields are located in a 2000 km2 area known as the Samalayuca Desert.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Chihuahua, Mexico.