Battle of Contreras

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Battle of Contreras
Part of the Mexican-American War
Battle of Contreras 1847.jpg
"The Battle of Contreras" by Carl Nebel. Oil on canvas, 1851.
DateAugust 19–20, 1847
LocationMexico City, D.F.
ResultAmerican victory
Belligerents
 United States Mexico
Commanders and leaders
United States Winfield ScottMexico Gabriel Valencia
Mexico Agustín Jerónimo de Iturbide y Huarte[1]
Strength
8,5005,000 and 22 artillery pieces (6 howitzers)
Casualties and losses
~60 to 300 killed or wounded~700 killed
1,224 wounded
843 captured (including Generals M. Salas, S. Blanco, J. M. Gonzalez-Mendoza, and Garcia), thousands of small arms and all the artillery.
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Battle of Contreras
Part of the Mexican-American War
Battle of Contreras 1847.jpg
"The Battle of Contreras" by Carl Nebel. Oil on canvas, 1851.
DateAugust 19–20, 1847
LocationMexico City, D.F.
ResultAmerican victory
Belligerents
 United States Mexico
Commanders and leaders
United States Winfield ScottMexico Gabriel Valencia
Mexico Agustín Jerónimo de Iturbide y Huarte[1]
Strength
8,5005,000 and 22 artillery pieces (6 howitzers)
Casualties and losses
~60 to 300 killed or wounded~700 killed
1,224 wounded
843 captured (including Generals M. Salas, S. Blanco, J. M. Gonzalez-Mendoza, and Garcia), thousands of small arms and all the artillery.

The Battle of Contreras, also known as the Battle of Padierna, took place on August 19–20, 1847, in the final encounters of the Mexican-American War. In the Battle of Churubusco, fighting continued the following day.

Background[edit]

During the march on Mexico City, the U.S. army under Major General Winfield Scott found its way north blocked by a strong Mexican force at "El Peñon" (near the current airport of Mexico City). Scott settled down at "Peña Pobre" on the southwest of Mexico City, and from Zacatepetl hill, sent a force west across the "Pedregal", a lava field, to the town of San Jerónimo to flank the Mexican position at "Rancho Padierna", in Contreras. Mexican commander and President Antonio López de Santa Anna dispatched the Army of the North of about 5,000 soldiers under General Gabriel Valencia to flank the Americans. The Battle of Contreras or Padierna began on August 19, 1847, and culminated at dawn on August 20, on the outskirts of Mexico City, at Padierna, among the neighborhoods of San Ángel, Contreras, and Tlalpan. (This area today is in the area between San Jerónimo, the neighborhood Heroes of Padierna, Anzaldo Dam in the periphery, and the part of Mexico City that today is ironically called "Placid Gardens".) Popular belief generally regarded this battle as a minor one, fought absurdly by the Mexican leadership. Even with the betrayals and quarrels dividing the leadership, there was no doubt as to the courage of the fighters in the field, and it was a battle that, if it had been well planned by the leadership of the Mexican side, could have changed significantly the last days of the war.

Battle[edit]

The U.S. attacked and routed Valencia's Army of the North to Contreras. People participating in the attack was Brigadier General Franklin Pierce leading a brigade of regulars. During the fighting Pierce was seriously wounded when his horse fell on him. The Mexican battalions formed part of the remains of the Northern Division (under the command of Valencia), the cavalry of Guanajuato, the forces of General Frontera (died in battle), the guerrilla force of Reina (originally from the village of Contreras), and the reinforcement of General Perez from Santa Anna's army.

Incomplete Mexican Order of Battle[edit]

Division of the North - General of division Valencia

Aftermath[edit]

With the rout of Valencia, the main Mexican force at San Antonio fell back to Churubusco. After the U.S. forces took San Antonio, they began to merge with the forces from Contreras for a further attack on Churubusco. The U.S. forces captured 19 cannon:

At the end of the battle, Scott commended Captain Robert E. Lee, who had repeatedly ridden through treacherous territories, allowing Scott to coordinate his forces which were separated by the harsh terrain. Lee received a brevet to the rank of lieutenant colonel.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.casaimperial.org/principe_es.htm
  2. ^ U.S. Department of War. Annual Report, 1894
  3. ^ Davis, Jefferson. Edited by Colonel Harold B. Simpson. Robert E. Lee The Hill Junior College Press. Hillsboro, Texas. 1960.

References[edit]

External links[edit]