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Timeline of the Mexican-American War

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Timeline of the Mexican-American War

The Battle of Chapultepec

James Walker, 1848

Timeline of the Mexican-American War

The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) was a brutal conflict between neighbors largely sparked by the US annexation of Texas and desire to take western lands such as California away from Mexico. Here are some of the more important dates of this conflict:

1821: Mexico gains independence from Spain: difficult, chaotic years to follow

1835:

Settlers in Texas revolt, fight for independence from Mexico

1836:

Texas gains independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto

1844:

On September 12, Antonio López de Santa Anna deposed as President of Mexico: he goes into exile

1845:

  • March 1: President John Tyler signs official proposal of statehood for Texas: Mexican leaders warn that annexing Texas could lead to war
  • July 4: Texas legislators agree to annexation
  • July 25: General Zachary Taylor and his army arrive in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • December 6: John Slidell sent to Mexico to offer $30 million for California: his efforts are rebuffed

1846:

  • January 2: Mariano Paredes becomes President of Mexico
  • March 28: General Taylor reaches the Rio Grande near Matamoros
  • April 12: John Riley deserts and joins Mexican army
  • April 23: Mexico declares defensive war vs. United States: it would defend territories under attack but not take the offensive
  • April 25: Captain Seth Thornton's small reconnaissance force ambushed near Brownsville: this small skirmish would be the spark that kicked off the war
  • May 3-9: Mexico lays siege to Fort Texas (later renamed Fort Brown)
  • May 8: Battle of Palo Alto is the first major battle of the war
  • May 9: Battle of Resaca de la Palma
  • May 13: US Congress declares war on Mexico
  • May: The St. Patrick's Battalion organized in Mexico, led by John Riley
  • June 16: Colonel Stephen Kearny and his army leave Fort Leavenworth: they will invade New Mexico and California
  • July 4: American settlers in California declare Bear Flag Republic in Sonoma
  • July 27: Mexican President Paredes leaves Mexico City to deal with a revolt in Guadalajara: He leaves Nicolás Bravo in charge
  • August 4: Mexican President Nicolás Bravo is deposed by General Mariano Salas as chief executive of Mexico
  • August 13: Commodore Robert F. Stockton occupies Los Angeles, California with naval forces
  • August 16: Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna returns to Mexico: the Americans, hoping he would promote a peace accord, had let him back in
  • August 18: Kearny occupies Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • September 20-24: The Siege of Monterrey: Taylor captures the Mexican city of Monterrey
  • November 19: US President James K. Polk names Winfield Scott as leader of invasion force
  • November 23: Scott leaves Washington for Texas
  • December 6: Mexican Congress names Santa Anna President
  • December 12: Kearny occupies San Diego
  • December 24: Mexican General/President Mariano Salas turns over power to Santa Anna's Vice-president, Valentín Gómez Farías

1847

  • February 22-23: The Battle of Buena Vista is the last major battle in the northern theater
  • March 9: Scott and his army land unopposed near Veracruz
  • March 29: Veracruz falls to Scott's army
  • February 26: Five Mexican National Guard units (the so-called "polkos") refuse to mobilize, rebelling against President Santa Anna and Vice-President Gómez Farías. They demand repeal of a law forcing a loan from the Catholic Church to the government.
  • February 28: Battle of Rio Sacramento near Chihuahua
  • March 2: Alexander Doniphan and his army occupy Chihuahua
  • March 21: Santa Anna returns to Mexico City, takes control of the government and reaches an agreement with the rebellious polkos soldiers
  • April 2: Santa Anna leaves to fight Scott: he leaves Pedro María Anaya in the Presidency
  • April 18: Scott defeats Santa Anna at the Battle of Cerro Gordo
  • May 14: Nicholas Trist, charged with eventually creating a treaty, arrives at Jalapa
  • May 20: Santa Anna returns to Mexico City, assumes presidency once more
  • May 28: Scott occupies Puebla
  • August 20: The Battle of Contreras and the Battle of Churubusco open the way for the Americans to attack Mexico City. Most of the St. Patrick's Battalion killed or captured
  • August 23: Court-martial of members of St. Patrick's Battalion at Tacubaya
  • August 24: Armistice between US and Mexico: it would only last about two weeks
  • August 26: Court-martial of members of St. Patrick's Battalion at San Angel
  • September 6: Armistice breaks down: Scott accuses Mexicans of breaking the terms and using the time on defenses
  • September 8: Battle of Molino del Rey
  • September 10: Sixteen members of St. Patrick's Battalion hanged at San Angel
  • September 11: Four members of St. Patrick's Battalion hanged at Mixcoac
  • September 13: Battle of Chapultepec: Americans storm gates into Mexico City. 30 members of St. Patrick's Battalion hanged within sight of the castle
  • September 14: Santa Anna moves his troops out of Mexico City: General Scott occupies the city
  • September 16: Santa Anna relieved of command: Mexican government attempts to re-group in Querétaro. Manuel de la Peña y Peña named President
  • September 17: Polk sends recall order to Trist: he receives it on November 16 but decides to remain and finish the treaty

1848

  • February 2: Trist and Mexican diplomats agree on Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  • April: Santa Anna escapes Mexico, goes into exile in Jamaica
  • March 10: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ratified by USA
  • May 13: Mexican President Manuel de la Peña y Peña resigns: General José Joaquín de Herrera named to replace him
  • May 30: Mexican Congress ratifies treaty
  • July 15: Last US troops depart Mexico from Veracruz

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