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Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US

 
Anonymous Coward
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08/03/2009 06:25 PM
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Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Irish Catholic Americans Fought With Mexico in the War


The Saint Patrick's Battalion was a unit of several hundred immigrants and expatriates of European descent that fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Many of the battalion's members deserted or defected from the U.S. Army. Primarily made up of Irish and German immigrants, the battalion also included Canadians, English, French, Italians, Poles, Scots, Spaniards, native Mexicans and Swiss, mainly Roman Catholics.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]




Mexico honors Irish-American Saint Patrick’s Brigade

The bagpipers play each month in honor of the St. Patrick Battalion, a group of 600 Irish-American soldiers who switched sides to fight for Mexico in the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War. Mexico lost half its territory to the United States as a result of the war.

To the United States, the deserters are traitors. But to Mexicans, the “Irish martyrs” are heroes, honored in street names, plaques and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the country. The battalion’s name is written in gold letters in the chamber of Mexico’s House of Representatives, and a ceremony is held in a Mexico City park every year to commemorate the executions of the group’s members.

“It’s a little bit of a weird twist on history . . . and quite romantic for the Irish community,” said Myles Doherty, the Irish consul in Mexico City.

Immigrants turned soldiers

The battalion’s story begins with Ireland’s Potato Famine of the 1840s, which forced thousands of Irish to emigrate to the United States and other countries.

In May 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico in a dispute over the boundaries of Texas. Many of the desperate Irish were recruited for the war, sometimes within days of landing in New York, said Carlos Mayer, a historian and expert on the battalion.

Most of the American commanders were Protestants, and they treated these Catholic immigrants badly, Mayer said. Mexico, meanwhile, was offering land and higher wages to its recruits. As the fighting wore on, some of the U.S. recruits began to grow restless.

“Many of them began to realize that Mexico was a fellow Catholic country that was being invaded and that was really defenseless in the face of the American military superiority,” he said. “So they began switching sides.”

The deserters were led by John Riley, an artilleryman who had previously fought in the British Army. They were joined by a few Swiss, French, Scottish and German recruits, most of them also Catholic.

Called los colorados, or “the redheads,” by their Mexican comrades, they fought against the Americans at the key battles of Monterrey, Buenavista and Cerro Gordo.

The Americans eventually reached the outskirts of Mexico City on Aug. 20, 1847. Mexican troops, with the remaining San Patricios handling the artillery, pounded the American forces from a monastery-turned-fort on the Churubusco River until they ran out of ammunition.

Thirty-five San Patricios died in the battle, 85 were captured and another 85 retreated with the remnants of the Mexican army.

On Sept. 13, 1847, the Americans seized Chapultepec Castle in the war’s last major battle.

San Patricios who had deserted before the war were branded with the letter “D” on one cheek. The rest were hanged, including 30 who were executed at the foot of Chapultepec Hill.

“They were hanged at the moment that the American flag was raised over the castle of Chapultepec so that they would take that sight to hell with them,” Mayer said.

Recently, Americans have begun to pay more attention to the battalion. Historians have written a number of books about it in the past decade, McGowan said, and in 1999 MGM released a movie about Riley, One Man’s Hero.

Bernard Brennan, an Irish-American tourist from San Francisco, said he had become curious about the battalion after discussing it with a Mexican friend. On a recent afternoon, he snapped pictures of a carved stone plaque marking a Mexico City plaza where 16 of the Irish soldiers were hanged. The plaque reads: “In memory of the Irish soldiers of the heroic St. Patrick Battalion, who gave their lives for the cause of Mexico during the unjust American invasion of 1847.”

Brennan said he doesn’t see the soldiers as traitors.

“As an Irish-American, I’m proud of them,” he said. “Sometimes you have to stand up and say, ‘What my country is doing is wrong.’ I think they’re heroes, heroes of conscience.”
[link to mexicotrucker.com]
Anonymous Coward
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08/03/2009 06:27 PM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
As an Irish-American I am disccusted by them!
Anonymous Coward
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08/03/2009 06:30 PM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Irish Americans ... like Roger Mahony, and Bernard Law !
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 741304
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08/03/2009 06:42 PM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Bill O'Rielly comes to mind. He doesn't care about this country or Americans.
Anonymous Coward
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08/04/2009 05:00 AM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Who can blame them?! They were treated like lepers in those days.
Anonymous Coward
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08/04/2009 05:14 AM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Why the fuck do we like to switch sides?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 704083
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08/04/2009 05:23 AM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
As an Irish-American I am disccusted by them!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 497757

sorry dood, it's American of Irish descent, Unless you just came over!

And like Sonya and all the other La Raza types, Should we also develop an Irish brogue when saying your last name?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 718974
Panama
08/04/2009 06:30 AM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Who can blame them?! They were treated like lepers in those days.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 741775


Yes, they were.

They were not allowed to attend public schools. There were "No Irish need apply" signs up all over the place. They were called "demons", "white negroes", and "apes".

American newspapers and magazines published "scientific" articles declaring the Irish to be inferior and calling for their extermination.

Also, the Irish Potato Famine is misnamed. It should be called the "All of Ireland's Food was Stolen by England Famine".

When I was a kid, discrimination against the Irish still existed. Some of the neighborhood kids were not allowed to play with me because I'm Irish.

The spelling of our family surname was changed a few generations ago in an attempt to hide the fact that we were Irish. It was very common for the Irish to do that. I got ripped into in Ireland for having a "coward's surname".
Anonymous Coward
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10/12/2009 06:41 PM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Why the fuck do we like to switch sides?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 331644
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 792610
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10/12/2009 07:01 PM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Holy shit

there are some fine Irish Mexican Mujeres
Anonymous Coward
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10/12/2009 07:07 PM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Who can blame them?! They were treated like lepers in those days.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 741775


Exactly. America was, and still is, run by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants to whom the Irish were only slightly higher than a black. The sign "No blacks or Irish need apply was often seen in New York shop windows. America began as a racist country.
Anonymous Coward
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10/12/2009 07:50 PM
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Re: Irish Catholics Joined the Mexican Army Against the US
Who can blame them?! They were treated like lepers in those days.


Exactly. America was, and still is, run by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants to whom the Irish were only slightly higher than a black. The sign "No blacks or Irish need apply was often seen in New York shop windows. America began as a racist country.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 792623

Agreed. I'm a Catholic living in the South of a mixed race (european/hispanic), first generation American. It's alive and well around here. In my experience Negroes are the most racist, followed very closely by the so called Ivy league educated White Anglo-Saxon.

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