Battle of Churubusco


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Mexican War Time Line | Map of the Mexican War | Mexico | President Polk | Zachary Taylor | Santa Anna | General Winfield Scott | General William Worth | General John Wool | General Stephen Kearny | Commodore Stockton | John C. Fremont | General David Twiggs | Nicholas Trist | Thornton Affair | Battle of Palo Alto | Battle of Resace De La Palma | Battle of Monterey | Battle of Buena Vista | Battle of Vera Cruz | Battle of Cerro Gordo | Battle of Contreras | Battle of Churubusco | Battle of El Molino Del Rey | Battle of Chapultepec

Churubusco, BATTLE OF. After the victory at Contreras, Mexico, the Americans proceeded to attack the fortresses of San Antonio and Churubusco. The latter was a small village 6 miles south of the city of Mexico, and connected with it by a spacious causeway. At the head of the causeway, near the village, was erected a strong redoubt, mounted with batteries and heavily garrisoned. This was in front of the bridge over the Churubusco River. The Convent-church of San Pablo, with its massive stone walls, on an eminence, was converted into a fort, and around it was the hamlet, defended by a covering of stone walls and a heavy stone building fortified.

Battle of Churubusco

Battle of Churubusco

The outside walls were pierced for cannon, high enough to fire plunging shot upon an approaching enemy. All the stores and artillery saved from the wreck of Contreras were gathered at Churubusco, with much sent from the city, for Santa Anna had resolved to make a stand at this place. He was at the city with 12,000 troops. When the Americans began to move forward, the garrison of Antonio, perceiving themselves in great danger of being cut off, abandoned the fort and fled towards Churubusco, attacked and divided on the way.The retreat of the Mexicans from San Antonio and the general march of all the Americans upon Churubusco began the grand movements of the day.

General David Twiggs

General David Twiggs

The divisions of Twiggs and Pillow were advancing on the west, and on a causeway south the division of Worth was rapidly advancing to storm the redoubt at the bridge. General Scott, at a mile distant from Churubusco, was directing all the movements. The redoubt at the bridge was carried at the point of the bayonet. At the same time Twiggs was assailing the fortified church and hamlet, where a fierce battle raged for some time. There the able Mexican General Rincon commanded, and there three masses of Santa Anna's men opposed General Shields. The veterans of Gen. Persifer F. Smith, who had captured Contreras, were conspicuous in this fearful contest. The most desperate defence at the church was made by deserters from the American army, led by Thomas Riley. The alarmed Mexicans several times hoisted a white flag, in token of surrender, when these Americans with halters about their necks as often tore it down. The battle raged three hours, when the church and the other defenses of Churubusco were captured. Meanwhile Generals Shields and Pierce (afterwards President of the United States) were battling furiously with Santa Anna's men, partly in the rear of the defences of Churubusco.

The Mexicans were there 7,000 strong—4,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry—but victory again crowned the Americans.

This was the fifth victory won on that memorable 20th of August, 1847—Contreras, San Antonio, the redoubt at the bridge, the Church of San Pablo, and with Santa Ana's troops. In fact, the combined events of that day formed one great contest over a considerable extent of territory, and might properly be known in history as the " Battle of the Valley of Mexico." The number engaged on that day was 9,000 effective American soldiers and 32,000 Mexicans. The result was the capture by the former of the exterior line of Mexican defenses, opening the causeway to the city and leaving it no other resources but its fortified gates and the Castle of Chapultepec. Fully 4,000 Mexicans had been killed or wounded that day; 3,000 were made prisoners. Thirty-seven pieces of fine artillery had been captured, with a vast amount of munitions of war. The Americans lost, in killed and wounded, about 1,100 men. See MEXICAN WAR; PIERCE, FRANKLIN; PILLOW, GIDEON JOHNSON; SANTA ANNA, ANTONIO; SCOTT, WINFIELD; SMITH, PERSIFER FRAZER; WORTH, WILLIAM JENKINS.

General Pierce

General Franklin Pierce





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