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Mexican War, 1846 to 1848

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

The Mexican War (also known as the Mexican-American War, the First American Intervention, and the U.S.–Mexican War) resulted from the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. Thirty-five thousand U.S. Army troops and 73,000 state volunteers fought in this war. Most volunteer regiments were from southern states, such as Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, and Texas. The war took place from April 25,1846 to February 2, 1848.

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


War with Mexico was declared on May 13, 1846. However, units of soldiers were organized in Texas in the fall of 1845. Volunteer units were organized from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania,South Carolina, Tennessee,Texas and Virginia. One unit was composed of Indians and one of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-the Mormon Battalion. Regular Army units included the 1st Regiment of Dragoons, 2nd Regiment of Dragoons, 3rd Regiment of Dragoons, Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, 1st Regiment of Artillery, 2nd Regiment of Artillery, 3rd Regiment of Artillery, 4th Regiment of Artillery,1st through 16th Regiments of Infantry, Regiment of Voltigeurs and Foot Riflemen.

United States National Archives and Records Administration Records[edit | edit source]

Chronology of Major Events[edit | edit source]

Date Event
25 Apr 1846 U.S. and Mexican forces clash at the Nueces River. The American forces were defeated.
13 May 1846 U.S. Congress declared war on Mexico
8 May 1846 The battle of Palo Alto occurred about eight miles northeast of Brownsville, Texas. U.S. forces, led by Major General Zachary Taylor, were victorious
9 May 1846 Taylor's forces defeated the Mexican Army in Cameron County, near Brownville, Texas
22 Feb1847 U.S. forces successfully defended possession of a narrow mountain pass near Buena Vista, in northeastern Mexico
17 Apr 1847 The Mexican Army under the leadership of Santa Ana, lost possession of a mountain pass, Cerro Gordo, near Jalapa,Mexico
20 Aug 1847 American forces overtook the village of Churubusco, six miles south of Mexico City
12 Sep 1847 General Scott led a successful attack against Chapultepec, a fortified hill guarding the gates of Mexico City
14 Sep 1847 American troops entered Mexico City
2 Feb 1848 The peace treaty was signed. Mexico gave the territories of California, New Mexico, and the Rio Grande region to the United States.

Statistical Summary[edit | edit source]

Number of Troops Who Served[edit | edit source]

Type of Troops Number
Regular Army 30,954
Volunteers 73,776
Navy 7,500
Total Troops 112,230

The U.S. Department of Defense estimated the total number serving as 78,718. (2)

Casualaties[edit | edit source]

Type of Casualties Number
Battle Deaths 1,733
Other Deaths 11,550
Wounds 4,152

National Archives - Related Collections[edit | edit source]

Related Sources[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Collections[edit | edit source]

States and Territories[edit | edit source]

States and Territories that existed during the war.

Additional State Records[edit | edit source]

The Mexican War was fought before these states existed, however, these states have information specific to their area on individuals that served in the war.

Research Tools[edit | edit source]

Military Records: Pre-WWI Pension Applications (16 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes Online, 2010.

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]


Additional Sources for Further Reading[edit | edit source]

  • Brooks, Nathan. A complete history of the Mexican War : its causes, conduct, and consequences ; comprising an account of the various military and naval operations, from its commencement to the treaty of peace ... (1849)
  • Merk, Frederick. History of the Westward Movement. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980). Chapter 39. FHL book 973 H2me.
  • Weems, John Edward. To Conquer a Peace: The War Between the United States and Mexico. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc. 1974).

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