Friday, March 9, 2012

March 9, 1847- Amphibious Assault Begins the Seige of Veracruz

The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege of the key Mexican beachhead seaport of Veracruz, during the Mexican-American War. Lasting from 9-29 March 1847, it began with the first large-scale amphibious assault conducted by United States military forces, and ended with the surrender and occupation of the city. U.S. forces then marched inland to Mexico City.

After the battles of Monterrey and Buena Vista, fighting in northern Mexico subsided. Much of Zachary Taylor's Army of Occupation was transferred to the command of Major General Winfield Scott after the battle of Monterrey. After deliberating on the next course of action, Scott and other Washington officials came to the agreement that a landing would be made at Veracruz, which would provide the Americans a point for a further advance inland. Mexican military intelligence knew in advance of U.S. plans to attack Veracruz, but internal government turmoil left them powerless to send crucial reinforcements before the American assault commenced.

U.S. Expeditionary Force — Major General Winfield Scott

* 1st Division of Regulars — William J. Worth
o 1st Brigade — Colonel John Garland
o 2nd Brigade — Colonel Newman S. Clarke
* 2nd Division of Regulars — David E. Twiggs
o 1st Brigade Brigadier General Persifor F. Smith
o 2nd Brigade — Brigadier General Bennet Riley
* 3rd Division of Volunteers – Robert Patterson
o 1st Brigade — Brigadier General John A. Quitman
o 2nd Brigade — Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow
o 3rd Brigade — Brigadier General James Shields
* Dragoons — Colonel William S. Harney

Home Squadron — Commodore David Conner; Matthew C. Perry

Scott requested special landing craft for his expedition, which were constructed in Philadelphia by George M. Totten.

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