List Of Battles In The Mexican American War Essay

The battles of the Mexican–American War include all major engagements and most reported skirmishes, including Thornton's Defeat, the Battle of Palo Alto, and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, which took place prior to the official start of hostilities.


The Mexican–American War lasted from 1846 until 1848. It grew out of unresolved border disputes between the Republic of Texas and Mexico after the United States annexed Texas nine years after the Texas Revolution. It ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in which Mexico was forced to sell a vast tract of land that amounted to over half its national territory to the United States.

List of battles[edit]

(A) – American Victory
(M) – Mexican Victory
(I) – Inconclusive


BattleDateEngagement remarksResult
Thornton AffairApril 25/26Skirmishing in the disputed borderlands of South Texas.(M)
Siege of Fort TexasMay 3–9American forces withstand Mexican Army attacks.(A)
Battle of Palo AltoMay 8Mexican Army under Mariano Arista in the disputed land between the Rio Grande (Río Bravo) and the Nueces River engage an American army attempting to lift the aforementioned Siege of Fort Texas.(A)
Battle of Resaca de la PalmaMay 9Arista is defeated by Zachary Taylor.(A)
Occupation of MatamorosMay 18U.S. troops occupy Matamoros, Tamaulipas, with no resistance. More than 300 sick and wounded Mexicans captured in the hospitals. Also abandoned were 5 spiked guns.(A)
Battle of Monterey[1]July 7U.S. Navy occupies Monterey, California.(A)
Battle of Yerba BuenaJuly 10U.S. Navy occupies Yerba Buena (present-day San Francisco, California).(A)
Occupation of Camargo, Tamaulipas.July 14(A)
Battle of Cañoncitoearly AugustStephen Watts Kearny defeats Manuel Armijo on the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico.(A)
Battle of Santa FeAugust 18Kearny occupies Santa Fe, New Mexico.(A)
Battle of Monterrey[1]September 21–23Zachary Taylor forces Pedro de Ampudia to surrender Monterrey.(A)
Siege of Los AngelesSeptember 22–30Led by Gen José María Flores, Californios and Mexicans retake Los Angeles.(M)
Battle of ChinoSeptember 26–27Californios defeat and capture 24 Americans, led by Benjamin D. Wilson, who were hiding in an adobe house in Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, near present-day Chino, California.(M)
Battle of Dominguez RanchoOctober 7Californios, led by José Antonio Carrillo, defeat 203 US Marines led by U.S. Navy Captain William Mervine.(M)
First Battle of TabascoOctober 24–26Commodore Matthew C. Perry is defeated in San Juan Bautista, Tabasco by Juan Bautista Traconis.(M)
Occupation of Tampico, TamaulipasNovember 14Occupation by the U.S. Navy.(A)
Occupation of Saltillo, CoahuilaNovember 16Occupation by the U.S. Army.(A)
Battle of NatividadNovember 16Rancho La Natividad located in the Salinas Valley of California.(A)
Battle of San PasqualDecember 78American victory,[2] Californios departed the battlefield.(A)
Capture of Tucson (1846)December 16The Mormon Battalion captures Tucson, Sonora and occupies her for a day or two.(A)
Battle of El BrazitoDecember 25Also called the "Battle of Temascalitos" in Spanish. Mexican forces attack El Brazito, New Mexico. U.S. forces were led by ColonelAlexander William Doniphan.(A)


BattleDateEngagement remarksResult
Battle of Santa ClaraJanuary 2Fought in 2 1/2 miles west of Mission Santa Clara de Asís, California.(A)
Battle of Rio San GabrielJanuary 8Part of a series of battles for control of Los Angeles.(A)
Battle of La MesaJanuary 9Last conflict before U.S. forces enter Los Angeles.(A)
Battle of CañadaJanuary 24Sterling Price defeats insurgents in New Mexico.(A)
First Battle of MoraJanuary 24A failed attack by American Forces on Mora, New Mexico led by Israel Hendley on January 24.(M)
Battle of Embudo PassJanuary 29Last insurgent stand before the Siege of Pueblo de Taos.(A)
Second Battle of MoraFebruary 1On February 1, another American expedition armed with howitzers succeeded in razing the village of Mora in New Mexico.(A)
Siege of Pueblo de TaosFebruary 3/4Rancheros and Mexican Militia surrender to U.S. forces thus ending the Taos Revolt.(A)
Battle of Buena VistaFebruary 22/23Zachary Taylor fights Antonio López de Santa Anna south of Saltillo in one of the largest battles of the war.(I)
Battle of the SacramentoFebruary 28Doniphan defeats a larger Mexican army at the Sacramento River Pass before the capture of Chihuahua.(A)
Siege of VeracruzMarch 9–29Beginning with Marine landings, U.S. forces besiege and gradually encircle Mexican Marines and Coast Guard in vicious twenty-day siege.(A)
Battle of Cerro GordoApril 18Dubbed the "Thermopylae of the West."(A)
First Battle of TuxpanApril 18CommodoreMatthew C. Perry seizes the port city of Tuxpan on the Gulf coast.(A)
Capture of PeroteApril 22Perote Castle, considered the strongest fortress in Mexico after Vera Cruz, surrendered without resistance to General William J. Worth, following the battle of Cerro Gordo. 54 Guns and mortars, and 500 muskets captured.

Annual Reports 1894, War Department trophy guns lists 4- 17 inch mortars.

Battle of Red River CanyonMay 26New Mexican insurgents fight a skirmish with United States troops.(A)
Second Battle of TuxpanJunePerry's Mosquito Fleet engages Mexicans at Tuxpan for a second time.(A)
Third Battle of TuxpanJune 30Perry's Mosquito Fleet engages Mexicans for a third time.(A)
Second Battle of TabascoJune 16Commodore Matthew C. Perry captures Villahermosa, Tabasco, the last port city on the Mexican Gulf coast.(A)
Battle of Las VegasJuly 6New Mexican insurgents and United States soldiers fight at Las Vegas, New Mexico.(A)
Battle of Cienega CreekJuly 9New Mexicans and United States forces clash near Taos, New Mexico.(A)
Battle of Contreras (also known as Battle of Padierna)August 19Santa Anna fails to support the Mexican line at a critical moment; turns victory into rout.(A)
Battle of ChurubuscoAugust 20Regular Mexican troops and Saint Patrick's Battalion under Manuel Rincón hold a fortified monastery against Winfield Scott; just over half of the San Patricios are killed or captured, the rest retreat with the rest of the Mexican forces in the area.(A)
Battle of Molino del ReySeptember 8[3]Americans lose nearly 800 men in an attempt to take a suspected cannon foundry: "They fell in platoons and companies."(A)
Battle of ChapultepecSeptember 13Scott assaults Chapultepec Castle. Los Niños Héroes pass into legend. Some captured San Patricios members executed during the battle.(A)
Battle for Mexico CitySeptember 13/14Fierce fighting for Mexico City.(A)
Siege of PueblaSeptember 14Mexican Light Corps forces under General Joaquín Rea begin the siege of Puebla, Puebla.(A)
Fall of Mexico CitySeptember 15U.S. forces enter Mexico City.(A)
Battle of MulegéOctober 2Mexican forces led by CaptainManuel Pineda defeated a small detachment of American forces at Mulegé, Baja California Sur.(M)
Battle of HuamantlaOctober 9A relief force under the command of General Joseph Lane marching to relieve Puebla defeated the Mexican reinforcements moving to Puebla under the command of Antonio López de Santa Anna.(A)
Siege of PueblaOctober 12General Lane's U.S. relief column reaches Puebla, Siege of Puebla lifted. Skirmishes with Light Corps skirmishers and snipers as Lane's forces entered the city.(A)
Action of AtlixcoOctober 19Also known as the "Atlixco Affair", fought at Atlixco between Mexican Light Corps forces under Gen. Rea and American forces under Gen. Joseph Lane.(A)
Bombardment of GuaymasOctober 19/20Threat of bombardment of the fort and city of Guaymas, Sonora by the 2 ships of Captain Elie A. F. La Vallette led to secret evacuation of the Mexican garrison and artillery on the night the 19th of November by Col. Antonio Campuzano. Following the morning bombardment of the fort and city, La Vallette landed to take possession, to find the city abandoned by its defenders and most its population.(A)
Bombardment of Punta SombreroOctober 31United States Navy schooner Libertad silences Mexican shore batteries at Punta Sombrero, defending the anchorage of Mulege, Baja California Sur on the Gulf of California.(I)
Occupation of MazatlánNovember 11With the guns of a U. S. Squadron under Commodore William Branford Shubrick trained on the city, a landing force of 730 marines, sailors and guns summoned Mazatlán to surrender, its garrison evacuated the previous night, the city capitulated and was occupied and held to the end of the war.(A)
Battle of La PazNovember 16/17Mexicans under Manuel Pineda defeated in attack on American garrison at La Paz, Mexico(A)
Affair at GuaymasNovember 17An attempt to reoccupy Guaymas, Sonora, by Col. Antonio Campuzano was repulsed by a landing party of sailors and marines under Lieutenant W. T. Smith, supported by the guns of the USS Dale.(A)
Skirmishes of Palos Prietos and UriasNovember 19/20An American force from Mazatlan, attempting link up with a naval landing force to break up the close blockade of Mazatlán fought a skirmish at Palos Prietos. The Naval landing force from Mazatlan linked up with the land force after a hard fought skirmish with Mexican marines at Urias, to break up the close blockade of Mazatlán.(A)
Battle of San José del CaboNovember 20/21Mexicans under José Antonio Mijares defeated by American forces at San José del Cabo(A)
Skirmish at MatamorosNovember 23American force under Gen. Lane surprised and defeated the Mexican garrison at Izúcar de Matamoros, capturing or destroying the materiel at the depot of Gen. Rea's Light Corps that was in the town.(A)
Affair at Galaxara PassNovember 24Mexican Light Corps cavalry under Gen. Rea was defeated after they blocked the withdrawal to Puebla of the American force under Gen. Lane at Galaxara Pass, after their successful attack on Izúcar de Matamoros.(A)
Siege of La PazNovember 27/December 8A second Mexican attack by Manuel Pineda on La Paz, Mexico ending in an American victory.(A)
Action of San SebastianDecember 13Naval landing force making a night march from Mazatlan surprised and routed an entrenched post of Mexican cavalry at San Sebastian, breaking up the blockade of Mazatlan.(A)


BattleDateEngagement remarksResult
Capture of San BlasJanuary 11An unopposed landing party under Lieutenant Frederick Chatard, captured the coastal fort and brought off two pieces of artillery and two schooners, one belonging to the custom-house. With no force sufficient to defend it and the port made defenseless, no American occupation of the city took place.(A)
Landing at ManzanilloJanuary 18Lieutenant Chatard landed a small party at Manzanillo and spiked three large guns defending the port, rendering it defenseless.(A)
Siege of San José del CaboJanuary 22/February 14A Mexican siege of San José del Cabo that failed when the garrison with a U. S. Navy landing force attacked together to break it up.(A)
Skirmish at CochoriJanuary 30Fabius Stanley's surprise descent on the camp at the village of Cochori held by Mexican forces blockading Guaymas.(A)
Skirmish at BocachicacampoFebruary 13Fabius Stanley's surprise night naval landing and assault against Campuzano's main camp blockading Guaymas, at Bocachicacampo.(A)
Action of SequalteplanFebruary 25An American force under Gen. Lane defeated a Mexican guerrilla force under Padre Jarauta at Zacualtipan(A)
Truce of March 6, 1848March 6Truce ordered the official end of hostilities between Mexico and the United States, awaiting the ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. From January to August Mexican partisans continued to resist the U.S. Army of Occupation. Formal fighting, however, had ceased by the terms of the truce on March 6, 1848. This truce also ended attacks by guerrilla units under the control of the government. Rebellious guerrilla units continued until to the end of the American occupation in July or, like that of Padre Jaruta, until crushed by the Mexican Army, as it was obligated to do under terms of the truce.[4](-)
Battle of Santa Cruz de RosalesMarch 16Sterling Price advances into Chihuahua after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. He captured Chihuahua after being told by the Mexican Governor Angel Trias that the Truce of March 6, was already signed. Price followed the Mexican garrison that fell back to Santa Cruz de Rosales and defeated it, before getting word from his chain of command of the cessation of hostilities.(A)
Skirmish of Todos SantosMarch 31The culminating clash of Lt. Col. Henry S. Burton's campaign that defeated Mexican forces in Baja California Sur and subsequently dispersed them, after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the truce of March 6, was already signed.(A)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abIt is a common misconception to confuse "Monterrey, Nuevo León" with "Monterey, California". These are, in fact, two very different battles.
  2. ^John Wilson. "The Shooting of James King". Stanford University School of Medicine and the Predecessor Schools : An Historical Perspective. Stanford University. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.  
    John C. Pinheiro (1 January 2007). Manifest Ambition: James K. Polk and Civil-military Relations During the Mexican War. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-275-98409-0. 
  3. ^Throughout September, reports of guerrilla attacks on U.S. army hospitals, supply columns, and camps reached epidemic proportions.
  4. ^The Occupation of Mexico - May 1846-July 1848, p.39
    • Combined official Mexican losses and US estimates: Northern Campaign (Palo Alto-Buena Vista) : c1,031 Mexican killed. Valley Campaign (Cerro Gordo-Mexico City) : c2,854 Mexican killed. Or, c3,885 not including later died of wounds, died from disease or the losses in the West.
      • The Mexican Cavalry Division (Army of the South) escaped the Valley Campaign largely intact (4,000 evacuated Mexico City). Of some 16,000 Infantry of the Armies of the East & North, only 5,000 evacuated Mexico City.


External links[edit]

Battles of the War Overview

Hostilities between the United States and Mexico began on April 25, 1846, and continued until September 14, 1847. During the course of the war, the United States and Mexico would engage in dozens of conflicts, together losing upwards of 38,000 soldiers (Only about 1,700 U.S. deaths were directly battle-related. The rest came from disease that raged in the U.S. camps).

In 1848, the U.S.-Mexican War came to a dramatic close in Mexico City with the entry of U.S. troops.

The Battle of Palo Alto

The Capture of Monterrey

The Battle of Buena Vista

The Capture of Veracruz

The Battle of Cerro Gordo

The Battle of Contreras

The Battle of Churubusco

The Battle of El Molino del Rey (Attack upon the Molino)

The Battle of El Molino del Rey (Attack upon the Casa Mata)

The Storming of Chapultepec (General Pillow's Attack)

The Storming of Chapultepec (Quitmans' Attack)

Entrance into the City of Mexico

Occupation of Mexico


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