World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Battle of Resaca de la Palma

Battle of Resaca de la Palma
Part of Mexican-American War

General Taylor at the battle of Resaca de la Palma (Currier & Ives)
Date May 9, 1846
Location near Brownsville, Texas
Result American victory
United States Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Zachary Taylor Mariano Arista
1,700[1]:62[2] 4,000[2]
Casualties and losses
33 killed
89 wounded[1]:62[2]
154 killed
205 wounded
156 missing[1]:62

At the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, one of the early engagements of the Mexican-American War, United States General Zachary Taylor engaged the retreating forces of the Mexican Ejército del Norte ("Army of the North") under General Mariano Arista on May 9, 1846.

Battle of Resaca de La Palma site


  • Background 1
  • Battle 2
  • Aftermath 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Gallery 7
  • External links 8


Following his disappointments at the Battle of Palo Alto, Arista on the morning of 9 May moved to a more defensible position along a resaca, old meandering river bed, known as Resaca de la Guerrero but as Resaca de la Palma by the Americans.[1]:59 Recalling his forces besieging Fort Texas, he was established along the twelve foot deep and 200 foot wide resaca, three miles from the Rio Grande, by 10 AM.[1]:59 Arista placed most of his infantry in the ravine, thickly forested on either side, to negate the effectiveness of Taylor's artillery, with the 6th and 10th Infantry, Sappers, 2nd Light Infantry and 1st Infantry east of the road, and the 2nd Infantry, Tampico Battalion and 4th Infantry west of the road.[1]:59–60 Covering the flanks in the rear were the Presidiales, the light cavalry, and the 7th and 8th Regiments, including batteries on the south bank.[1]:60

Taylor reached the area about 3 PM and ordered Capt. William W. Mackall's skirmishers and Capt. Randolph Ridgely's battery along the road, with the 4th and 5th Infantry to the left and the remaining 4th and 3d Infantry on the right.[1]:60


Fighting was disorganized and uncoordinated due to the dense chaparral and the intense Mexican artillery fire, although Ridgely did repulse a lancer charge.[1]:60 Taylor ordered a charge by Capt. Charles A. May's dragoon squadron with the objective of clearing the Mexican battery, May's exchange with Ridgeley supposedly included, "Hello Ridgely, where is that Battery? I am ordered to charge it." "Hold on Charley, 'till I draw their fire and you will see where they are."[1]:60 May's charge however carried them well past the guns and although he captured General Romulo Diaz de la Vega, he could not hold the guns.[1]:62 Taylor then ordered William G. Belknaps 5th and 8th Infantry to secure the guns, which they did.[1]:62 The Mexicans east of the road then retreated.[1]:62

West of the road, Capt. Robert C. Buchanan and members of the 4th Infantry, found a trail which turned the Mexican left flank, enabling them to take and hold the battery located there. They were able to defend the position from General Pedro de Ampudia's counterattacks, and the entire Mexican force panicked and fled across the Rio Grande, many drowning.[1]:62


The Mexican Army left behind a number of artillery pieces, Arista's writing desk and silver service, the colors of Mexico's lauded Tampico Battalion, and other baggage. Among the several captured Mexican artillery pieces were two 8-pounder bronze guns, two 6-pounder bronze guns, and four 4-pounder bronze guns.[3]

Taylor's army settled into their Fort Texas campsite as Taylor considered his next move, although he did exchange prisoners with Arista.[1]:81 Taylor crossed the Rio Grande on 18 May, Arista's army having abandoned their artillery, sick and wounded at Linares, Nuevo Leon during their retreat to Monterrey.[1]:82

The Resaca De La Palma Battlefield is in the city limits of present day Brownsville, Texas, but is part of the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Bauer, K.J., 1974, The Mexican War, 1846-1848, New York:Macmillan, ISBN 0803261071
  2. ^ a b c Battle of Resaca de la Palma
  3. ^ Annual reports - Google Books


  • Bauer, K. Jack The Mexican War, 1846–1848
  • Grant, U.S. Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, Vol. I, pp 65–69, ISBN 0-940450-58-5
  • Appendix To The Congressional Globe, 29th Cong...1st Session


External links

  • Resaca de la Palma Overview @ Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site NPS website
  • , CMH Pub 73-2, Center of Military HistoryGuns Along the Rio Grande: Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma
  • A Continent Divided: The U.S. - Mexico War, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, the University of Texas at Arlington

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.