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Siege of Puebla
Part of the Mexican-American War
Siege of Puebla 1847.jpg
DateSeptember 14-October 12, 1847
LocationPuebla, Puebla
Result American victory
Belligerents
 United States  Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Thomas Childs
Joseph Lane
Joaquín Rea
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Strength
500 (garrison)
3,000 (relief force)
4,000
Casualties and losses
78 ?


The Siege of Puebla began the same day Mexico City fell to Winfield Scott and lasted for 28 days when a relief force was able to fight its way into the city and lift the siege.

Background[]

General Winfield Scott had a series of garrisons posted along the route from Veracruz to Mexico City to protect his supply lines. One of these garrisons was posted at the city of Puebla, roughly two-thirds of the way to Mexico City from the coast. The garrison was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Childs, serving as a brevet colonel. Childs had 500 soldiers to guard the city. After the fall of Mexico City, General Antonio López de Santa Anna renounced his presidency and split his forces, taking half of them to try to retake Puebla. General Joaquín Rea commanded the Mexican guerrilla forces in the area around Puebla.

Siege[]

On September 14, 1847 — the same day that Mexico City fell — Rea's forces worked their way into the city and began the siege. The U.S. forces held three strongpoints within the city: a convent, Fort Loretto, and the citadel of San José. Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel W. Black, commander of the First Pennsylvania, was put in command of the citadel, which also served as a hospital for 1,800 sick and wounded soldiers. The Mexicans drove off most of the city's cattle, but Childs was able to save enough to keep from starvation. Rea demanded the garrison's surrender on September 16, but Childs refused. Rea attacked San José and was repulsed. Santa Anna arrived at Puebla on September 22 and officially called for Childs to surrender. Once again Childs refused. The Mexicans then attempted to storm the convent and were repulsed. San José remained under constant barrage of bullets. At the end of September, Santa Anna departed with a little less than half the besieging forces and headed east to confront an expected relief column advancing from Veracruz. With the Mexican force somewhat reduced, the defenders took the opportunity to pick off a few Mexican strongpoints. Santa Anna was defeated by a U.S. relief force under Joseph Lane at the battle of Huamantla. Lane's brigade was then able to move to Puebla and raise the siege.

Aftermath[]

The siege was the last significant threat to U.S. forces in central Mexico. Guerrilla raids continued, and the supply route was a prime target. General Lane continued to direct operations against these raiders and their bases through 1847 and into 1848. Perhaps since Puebla was ultimately a victory for the Americans and had no martyrs, unlike at Alamo, which had been besieged by Santa Anna eleven years earlier, the officers at Puebla, hailed as heroes at the time, did not become legendary.

See also[]

References[]

  • Nevin, David; editor, The Mexican War (1978)
  • Bauer, K. Jack, "The Mexican-American War 1846-48"

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