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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 sold a vast tract of land that amounted to over half its national territory to the United States.

Depiction of the Battle of Chapultepec.

List of battles

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


Battle Date Engagement remarks Result
Thornton Affair April 25/26 Skirmishing in the disputed borderlands of South Texas. (M)
Siege of Fort Texas May 3–9 American forces withstand Mexican Army attacks. (A)
Battle of Palo Alto May 8 Mexican 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 Palma May 9 Arista is defeated by Zachary Taylor. (A)
Occupation of Matamoros May 18 U.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 7 U.S. Navy occupies Monterey, California. (A)
Occupation of Camargo, Tamaulipas. July 14 (A)
Battle of Cañoncito early August Stephen Watts Kearny defeats Manuel Armijo on the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico. (A)
Battle of Santa Fe August 18 Kearny occupies Santa Fe, New Mexico. (A)
Battle of Monterrey[1] September 21–23 Zachary Taylor forces Pedro de Ampudia to surrender Monterrey. (A)
Siege of Los Angeles September 22–30 Led by Gen José María Flores, Californios and Mexicans retake Los Angeles. (M)
Battle of Chino September 26–27 Californios 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 Rancho October 7 Californios, led by José Antonio Carrillo, defeat 203 US Marines led by U.S. Navy Captain William Mervine. (M)
First Battle of Tabasco October 24–26 Commodore Perry makes a demonstration against Tabasco (A)
Occupation of Tampico, Tamaulipas November 14 Occupation by the U.S. Navy. (A)
Occupation of Saltillo, Coahuila November 16 Occupation by the U.S. Army. (A)
Battle of Natividad November 16 Town located in northern California. (A)
Battle of San Pasqual December 6 Californios and Presidial Lancers defeat Kearny (M)
Capture of Tucson (1846) December 16 The Mormon Battalion captures Tucson, Sonora and occupies her for a day or two. (A)
Battle of El Brazito December 25 Also called the "Battle of Temascalitos" in Spanish. Mexican forces attack El Brazito, New Mexico. U.S. forces were led by Colonel Alexander William Doniphan. (A)


Battle Date Engagement remarks Result
Battle of Santa Clara January 2 Fought in 2 1/2 miles west of Mission Santa Clara de Asís, California. (A)
Battle of Rio San Gabriel January 8 Part of a series of battles for control of Los Angeles. (A)
Battle of La Mesa January 9 Last conflict before U.S. forces enter Los Angeles. (A)
Battle of Cañada January 24 Sterling Price defeats insurgents in New Mexico. (A)
First Battle of Mora January 24 A failed attack by American Forces on Mora, New Mexico led by Israel Hendley on January 24. (M)
Battle of Embudo Pass January 29 Last insurgent stand before the Siege of Pueblo de Taos. (A)
Second Battle of Mora February 1 On February 1, another American expedition armed with howitzers succeeded in razing the village of Mora in New Mexico. (A)
Siege of Pueblo de Taos February 3/4 Rancheros and Mexican Militia surrender to U.S. forces thus ending the Taos Revolt. (A)
Battle of Buena Vista February 22/23 Zachary Taylor fights Antonio López de Santa Anna south of Saltillo in one of the largest battles of the war. (A)
Battle of the Sacramento February 28 Doniphan defeats a larger Mexican army at the Sacramento River Pass before the capture of Chihuahua. (A)
Siege of Veracruz March 9–29 Beginning with Marine landings, U.S. forces besiege and gradually encircle Mexican Marines and Coast Guard in vicious twenty-day siege. (A)
Battle of Cerro Gordo April 18 Dubbed the "Thermopylae of the West." (A)
First Battle of Tuxpan April 18 Commodore Matthew C. Perry seizes the port city of Tuxpan on the Gulf coast. (A)
Capture of Perote April 22 Perote 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 Canyon May 26 New Mexican insurgents fight a skirmish with United States troops. (A)
Second Battle of Tuxpan June Perry's Mosquito Fleet engages Mexicans at Tuxpan for a second time. (A)
Third Battle of Tuxpan June 30 Perry's Mosquito Fleet engages Mexicans for a third time. (A)
Second Battle of Tabasco June 16 Commodore Perry captures Villahermosa, the last port city on the Mexican Gulf coast. (A)
Battle of Las Vegas July 6 New Mexican insurgents and United States soldiers fight at Las Vegas, New Mexico. (A)
Battle of Cienega Creek July 9 New Mexicans and United States forces clash near Taos, New Mexico. (A)
Battle of Contreras (also known as Battle of Padierna) August 19 Santa Anna fails to support the Mexican line at a critical moment; turns victory into rout. (A)
Battle of Churubusco August 20 Regular 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 Rey September 8[2] Americans lose nearly 800 men in an attempt to take a suspected cannon foundry: "They fell in platoons and companies." (A)
Battle of Chapultepec September 13 Scott assaults Chapultepec Castle. Los Niños Héroes pass into legend. Some captured San Patricios members executed during the battle. (A)
Battle for Mexico City September 13/14 Fierce fighting for Mexico City. (A)
Siege of Puebla September 14 Mexican Light Corps forces under General Joaquín Rea begin the siege of Puebla, Puebla. (A)
Fall of Mexico City September 15 U.S. forces enter Mexico City. (A)
Battle of Mulegé October 2 Mexican forces led by Captain Manuel Pineda defeated a small detachment of American forces at Mulegé, Baja California Sur. (M)
Battle of Huamantla October 9 A 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 Puebla October 12 General 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 Atlixco October 19 Also 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 Guaymas October 19/20 Threat 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 Sombrero October 31 United States Navy schooner Libertad silences Mexican shore batteries at Punta Sombrero, defending the anchorage of Mulege, Baja California Sur on the Sea of Cortez. (I)
Occupation of Mazatlán November 11 With 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 Paz November 16/17 Mexicans under Manuel Pineda defeated in attack on American garrison at La Paz, Mexico (A)
Affair at Guaymas November 17 An 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)
Skirmish of Palos Prietos November 19/20 An 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. (A)
Skirmish of Urias November 19/20 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 Cabo November 20/21 Mexicans under José Antonio Mijares defeated by American forces at San José del Cabo (A)
Skirmish at Matamoros November 23 American 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 Pass November 24 Mexican 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 Paz November 27/December 8 A second Mexican attack by Manuel Pineda on La Paz, Mexico ending in an American victory. (A)


Battle Date Engagement remarks Result
Capture of San Blas January 11, 1848 An 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 Manzanillo January 18, 1848 Lieutenant Chatard landed a small party at Manzanillo and spiked three large guns defending the port, rendering it defenseless. (A)
Siege of San José del Cabo January 22/February 14 A 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 Cochori January 30, 1848 Fabius Stanley's surprise descent on the camp at the village of Cochori held by Mexican forces blockading Guaymas. (A)
Skirmish at Bocachicacampo February 13, 1848 Fabius Stanley's surprise night naval landing and assault against Campuzano's main camp blockading Guaymas, at Bocachicacampo. (A)
Action of Sequalteplan February 25 An American force under Gen. Lane defeated a Mexican guerrilla force under Padre Jarauta at Zacualtipan (A)
Truce of March 6, 1848 March 6, 1848 Truce 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.[3] (-)
Battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales March 16 Sterling Price advances into Chihuahua after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the truce of March 6, was already signed. (A)
Skirmish of Todos Santos March 31 Lt. Col. Henry S. Burton defeated Mexican forces in Baja California Sur after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the truce of March 6, was already signed. (A)

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 It is a common misconception to confuse "Monterrey, Nuevo León" with "Monterey, California". These are, in fact, two very different battles.
  2. Throughout September, reports of guerrilla attacks on U.S. army hospitals, supply columns, and camps reached epidemic proportions.
  3. 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.


  • Bauer, K. Jack (1974). The Mexican War, 1846–1848. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-8032-6107-1. 
  • Brooks, N.C. Complete History Of The Mexican War: Grigg, Elliot & Co.Philadelphia 1849
  • Listing of 1846–1848 US Army Casualites
  • Ramsey, Albert C. The Other Side or Notes For The History of The War Between Mexico And The United States John Wiley New York 1850

External links

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