Battle of Palo Alto 1846 – Earlier in the 1830s, the Texans had fought against Mexican rule and gained independence from Mexico.
In 1845, American Congress had officially agreed to allow Texas to join the Union and become the 28th state of the United States of America.
Mexico, on the other hand, still claimed that Texas was a part of its own territory and so, it reacted angrily towards this.
The American government feared that the Mexican army may try to take Texas by force. So the government sent an army under General Zachary Taylor to reach the southwestern part of Texas, near the Rio Grande Rive, and secure the border area.
The battle took place near Brownsville, Texas. This is the border area between Mexico and Texas. This area was disputed and both sides claimed that this area was included in their own borders.
The American army was led by General Zachary Taylor, who later became the U.S. President. He led an American army of 2200 men. The Mexican army was led by General Mariano Arista. He led a Mexican army of 3700 men.
The Battle of Palo Alto took place on May 8, 1846. The American army had 8 artillery pieces while the Mexican army had 12 artillery pieces. But the materials used by the Mexican army were of poor quality so that even the cannons fired by the Mexicans often didn’t reach the American side or were too slow.
American artillery, on the other hand, fired well and rapidly, inflicting a lot of damage on the Mexicans. When the fighting ended in the evening, 4 American soldiers had died while on the other side, 102 Mexican soldiers were dead.
There was no clear victory during the Battle of Palo Alto. Both sides stopped fighting in the evening and it was expected by the Americans that the fighting would begin again the next morning.
But on the next morning, they found out that the Mexican army was already retreating. General Zachary Taylor and his army followed the retreating Mexican army, eventually catching up with it. This finally resulted in another battle, the Battle of Resaca de la Palma.
The Battle of Resaca de la Palma also took place near Brownsville, Texas. The American army was led by General Zachary Taylor and the Mexican army fought under General Arista. This time, the American army was able to reach near the Mexican army and took many Mexican artillery pieces under its control.
As a result, the Mexican soldiers panicked and fled the battlefield. The battle resulted in the death of 33 American soldiers and 154 Mexican soldiers. The result was a decisive victory for the Americans.
After the battle, General Arista and his army crossed the Rio Grande River and moved back into Mexican territory. The American army followed after them soon afterwards, moving the war within the borders of Mexico.