All their push was towards the hill. Today, Mexicans (and Mexican Americans) celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla as Cinco de Mayo, a holiday in the state of Puebla. He served in Juarez’s cabinet as Secretary of War but resigned to return to the field to fight the European invaders. . In the summer of 1861, in an attempt to stabilize Mexico’s war-torn finances, Juárez announced that payment would stop for two years. In 1808 Spain was invaded by the Napoleonic armies, which weakened Spanish control of New Spain. Three times, Lorencez sent in waves of his soldiers, and three times they were turned back. . The French routed Zaragoza’s forces at Acultzingo on April 28, 1862, forcing him to withdraw. Nearly a year after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull and a band of followers cross into Canada hoping to find safe haven from the U.S. Army. The route taken by the French toward the capital was blocked by the fortified city of Puebla. Reporting his victory at Acultzingo, Lorencez stated, "We are so superior to the Mexicans in organization, race...and refinement of manners, that I am pleased to announce to His Imperial Majesty, Napoleon III, that from this moment on, as the leader of my 6,000 brave soldiers, I can consider myself the owner of Mexico.". By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. After Lorencez realized his superior French force was losing far more troops than the Mexicans, he completely withdrew his defeated army. Defeated, Lorencez retreated back to Orizaba. Opening fire with his artillery, he ordered the first attack forward. Kevin Knodell is a freelance journalist and author. —“Patriotic Assemblies” — to celebrate the victory at Puebla and what it meant for the Union cause. Pressing inland to avoid the diseases of the coast, Lorencez occupied Orizaba which prevented the Mexicans from taking possession of key mountain passes near the port of Veracruz. French troops began a new advance in 1863, this time capturing Puebla and seizing Mexico City. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. The other miscalculation was to position his cannons over a mile from the fortifications, much too far away for the projectiles to strike with full force. There is no denying that the Mexicans fought with courage, but it is equally obvious that Lorencez made costly mistakes, a point made by Zaragoza in the telegram he sent to Juárez immediately after the battle: “The French troops showed their valor in combat and their leader his arrogance, foolishness, and clumsiness.”. However, France’s Napoleon III had more ambitious aims. Twitter. On the road to Mexico City, Juárez had ordered fortifications constructed around the city in anticipation of a French offensive. Painting by Patricio Ramos Ortega. Is … When the Confederacy finally surrendered, Lincoln’s government became more openly hostile to the French intervention in Mexico. Led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, an estimated 2,000—5,000 Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the assault by the well-equipped French force. In December 1861, British, French, and Spanish fleets arrived off Mexico. Sources vary on the exact number of men under his command, with estimates ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 men. Outnumbered Mexican army defeats French at Battle of Puebla, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cinco-de-mayo. This battle took place during the government of Benito Juárez, on May 5, 1862, when the French army, commanded by General Charles Ferdinand Latrille, initiated an invasion of Mexico and attacked the city of Puebla. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. By the afternoon the daily rains had turned the battlefield into slippery mud.

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