Guerra México vs Estados Unidos. LA RUTA DE CORTÉS: 2. Sitio de Veracruz (HD)

Uploaded by eutopiamexico on 08.08.2012

The appointment of a new general
in charge of the U.S. troops
was an easy decision to take
in military terms but without the sympathies of President Polk.
The petulant General Winfield Scott
was chosen to command the “Army of South”
stationed in Port Isabel, Texas
waiting for reinforcements from General Zachary Taylor´s troops
stationed in Northern Mexico.
In February, 1847
the U.S. warships sailed
towards the port of Veracruz.
They took the port of Tampico, Tamaulipas
and by March 5, spotted
the white coral towers of the castle of San Juan de Ulua.
Thus, began
the siege of Veracruz and the second chapter
of the war against the United States.
Top figure in the war with Mexico
and the most prominent military figure the U.S would have
until its Civil War
was Winfield Scott.
With 6’ 6’’ meters tall,
Scott was born on June 13th, 1786
at the family farm in
Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
Educated to be a lawyer,
Winfield Scott
joined the army and participated in the War of 1812 against the British.
In that years,
Scott was nicknamed
"Old Fuss and Feathers"
because his fame in strict compliance of military regulations
and his conceited character.
After the war with Mexico,
Winfield Scott
became a national hero and, in 1852,
was the Whig party losing candidate for presidency
because his antislavery reputation.
In 1861,
he is the Commanding General
of U.S. Army at the beginning
of the Civil War.
Although he didn’t take part in the battles because his old age,
General Winfield Scott
lived enough to see the Confederates defeated
with his military strategy called "Anaconda Plan"
and die
in 1866, at 79 years old,
at his beloved Military Academy at West Point.
Winfield Scott's remains are still resting
in the cemetery of the Academy
in the State of New York.
The siege of Veracruz ,frankly,
was a brutal excess of force by General Winfield Scott
where civilians were the most affected.
The Mexican Generals Juan Esteban Morales
and Jose Juan Landeros,
commanders of the city,
had four thousand men divided between the city
and the fort of San Juan de Ulua
with a few pieces of artillery.
The invading troops amounted twelve thousand soldiers
between volunteers and regulars and the cannons of the U.S. Navy.
However, Winfield Scott
did’nt want any risk.
He preferred a siege rather than a direct attack of his troops to Veracruz.
On March 9th, 1847
began the American landing at a site called "Anton Lizardo"
30 kms south of the city
and nowadays the Heroic Naval Military School
without finding
any resistance.
Forty-five warships full of troops
could landed along the shores of Veracruz.
It was the first successful amphibious landing on a large scale
of men and equipment of military history.
Those soldiers amphibians have become widely known
throughout the U.S. wars as "Marines"
or infantry troops on warships of the United States.
After minor skirmishes against Mexicans,
the invading troops headed north
to prepare pits, trenches
and gun batteries placed around the ancient walls
surrounding the city of Veracruz.
It was a involving maneuver
to prevent any assistance to the city by land
and minimize
the damage caused by gunfire of cannons from the fort of
San Juan de Ulua
against the american positions.
Thirteen days later, on March 22th,
Winfield Scott
called for the surrender of the city with the expected mexican refusal.
Perhaps would have been the better.
With no regard for the civilians,
began the gunfires to Veracruz and San Juan de Ulua from the ground artillery
and warships of Commodore Matthew Perry.
According to the mexican historian and journalist Carlos María de Bustamante
more than a thousand shells
were fired to Veracruz.
Some of them destroyed
the Central Post Office
and other ones reached a hospital.
Five days later,
the outcome of the attack was the destruction of the city
and a balance of
500 to 1,000 people killed and injured
for the most part civilians and relatively
few soldiers.
Bustamante tells us:
What a desolation!
Everywhere there are pools of blood, bones and pieces of flesh
from the unfortunate victims of the enemy fire.
Can´t be the Americans so barbaric
that, instead of coming to measure their strength
hand-to-hand with us,
burn down the city as they are doing.
The Inspector General of the United States Army,
Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock
wrote in his diary:
I shall never forget the horrible fire of our mortars
going with dreadful certainty and bursting with sepulchral tones
often in the centre of private dwellings...
it was awful.
I shudder to think of it.
General Jose Juan Landeros y Cos,
the deputy commander of the city instead the
sick General Juan Esteban Morales,
was the soldier who surrendered the city to the Americans
on March 27th, 1847.
Two days later, Colonel Hitchcock crossed the walls of Veracruz
and wrote in his diary his impressions:
The city is virtually in ruins.
Some buildings were set afire
and nothing remains but blackened walls.
are shattered and scattered in fragments.
Few remained except the poorest people and the soldiers -the latter as miserable-
looking wretches as I ever laid my eyes upon.
Colonel Hitchcock
might have been horrified but, at last soldier,
had no choice but to follow orders.
And orders he received by General Winfield Scott,
whether in Veracruz or Puebla,
to write
a manifesto in English and Spanish aimed to Mexicans.
The background of its lecture anticipates the moral contradiction
that always will claim
the conscience of the American people for his foreign policy.
After the destruction of Veracruz and death of innocent women and children,
after invading a republic without provocation
and such unequal, among those characters written by
an educated and sensitive man, the United States, without realizing it,
began to loose the goodness of innocence:
"We have not a particle of ill-will towards you
-we treat you with all civility-
in fact, we are not your enemies
we do not plunder your people or insult your women or your religion.
We are here for
no earthly purpose
except the hope of obtaining a peace."