Throwback Thursday: Battle of Palo Alto, the generals


BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Battle of Palo Alto between the U.S. forces under General Zachary Taylor and the forces of Mexico under General Mariano Arista was victorious by the U.S. forces for a number of reasons.

One of the major reasons were the canons and the warfare techniques that were developed by U.S. forces. In 1802 the United States Military Academy at West Point was started. Critics were against the idea of an academy because many of them said there would be a bunch of elitists that would be inducted into the army. The consensus was that the U.S. Army needed battlefield trained generals.

The Battle of Palo Alto changed that perception in the minds of the public. Of the graduating classes that went through West Point over 350 were involved in this battle and all of the conflict for the Mexican-American War. That proved in the minds of the public that the U.S. Military Academy at West Point was necessary towards the development of modern warfare.

The battlefield techniques that the Mexican Army employed during the Battle of Palo Alto were antiquated to a degree as compared to what was being utilized by U.S. forces. The armament was a grade back from what the United States had. In the way of guns, cannons and firing techniques of these cannons called floating artillery.

The Battle of Resaca de La Palma was the one that determined the outcome of the war because that indeed was a route by the Mexican forces. They ran for the river and General Taylor’s forces were effectively in control. To the degree that General Taylor passed on over to Matamoros and captured the city and set it up for the rest of the advance into Mexico. General Taylor’s advance into Mexico through Camargo set forth the northern sector of Mexico under U.S. control.

The entire war lasted a little over two years. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo finished off this particular war period. It was a very complex treaty, very misunderstood by a lot of people but it affected the destiny of so much of the United States and the Western Territory.

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