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Jesús González Ortega (Valparaíso, Zacatecas, January 20, 1822 - Saltillo, Coahuila, February 28, 1881) was a military man and Mexican politician; governor of Zacatecas and actively participated next to Benito Juárez in the War of Reform and during the French intervention in Mexico. He is notable for defending the city of Puebla from the French army March 16, 1863 to May 16, 1863.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Ortega was born on January 20, 1822 in San Mateo, in Valparaíso, Zacatecas, he moved his residence to the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, where he began his law studies, same as for family reasons could not conclude. While still very young, he came to the town of San Juan Bautista of Teúl (today Teúl Gonzalez Ortega), where he served as a clerk at City Hall. Since his youth he was a fervent supporter of the Liberal Party.

Military career[edit | edit source]

Although González Ortega was not a career soldier, he was head of the army of President Juarez in 1860. In March 1861, he was appointed Minister of War, but due to differences with some cabinet members, he resigned but remained in command of the division of Zacatecas. In August 8, 1861 the Battle of San Felipe del Obraje took place under his command. Following the 1861 murders of Melchor Ocampo, Santos Degollado and Leandro Valle, he returned to Mexico City and was appointed president of the Supreme Court of the Nation, a position that placed the holder as successor to the president of the republic.

French intervention to Mexico[edit | edit source]

When the French army invaded Mexico, the Eastern Army was in charge of General Ignacio Zaragoza, who defended the city of Puebla on May 5, 1862, González Ortega arrived in the city a day later. On the death of General Zaragoza, Jesús González Ortega was appointed by President Benito Juarez chief of the Eastern Army and instructed to defend the city of Puebla from the French army commanded by General Élie-Frédéric Forey again. The March 16, 1863, the French expeditionary army besieged the city, took place a battle that also generated heavy losses for both sides, the battle lasted two months, was on May 16 of that year when General González Ortega had no weapons or ammunition and their strength was sharply reduced by the harsh battle,[1] he surrendered.

Retirement[edit | edit source]

In early 1881, he received a letter of recognition from President Manuel González Flores, shortly after he died at his residence on January 28. His remains were transferred in April of that year to Mexico City, and deposited in the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

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