Mier expedition


Post 8003

Mier expedition

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mier expedition
Frederic Remington - The Mier Expedition- The Drawing of the Black Bean - Google Art Project.jpg
“The Drawing of the Black Bean” by Frederic Remington.
Date November 1842 – February 1843
Location Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas
Result Mexican victory
Belligerents
 Texas Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Alexander Somervell
William S. Fisher
Ewen Cameron
Francisco Mejia
Pedro de Ampudia
Strength
~700 ~3,000
The Mier expedition was an offshoot of the Somervell expedition, an unsuccessful military operation launched in November 1842 by a Texian militia against Mexican border settlements. It included a major battle at Ciudad Mier on December 26 and 27, 1842 which ended with a Mexican victory. The attack was partly in hopes of financial gain and partly in retaliation for the Dawson Massacre (as named by Texans) earlier that year, in which thirty-six Texas militia were killed by the Mexican Army. Both conflicts were part of continuing efforts by each side to control the land between the Rio Grande and Nueces River. Texas believed that this territory had been ceded to the Republic in the Treaties of Velasco, by which they gained independence; but Mexico did not agree.

Background

Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna c1853.png

Santa Anna, c. 1853
8th President of Mexico
In office
17 May 1833 – 4 June 1833
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Valentín Gómez Farías
In office
18 June 1833 – 5 July 1833
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Valentín Gómez Farías
In office
27 October 1833 – 15 December 1833
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Valentín Gómez Farías
In office
24 April 1834 – 27 January 1835
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Miguel Barragán
In office
20 March 1839 – 10 July 1839
Preceded by Anastasio Bustamante
Succeeded by Nicolás Bravo
In office
10 October 1841 – 26 October 1842
Preceded by Francisco Javier Echeverría
Succeeded by Nicolás Bravo
In office
4 March 1843 – 8 November 1843
Preceded by Nicolás Bravo
Succeeded by Valentín Canalizo
In office
4 June 1844 – 12 September 1844
Preceded by Valentín Canalizo
Succeeded by José Joaquín de Herrera
In office
21 March 1847 – 2 April 1847
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Pedro María de Anaya
In office
20 May 1847 – 15 September 1847
Preceded by Pedro María de Anaya
Succeeded by Manuel de la Peña y Peña
In office
20 April 1853 – 9 August 1855
Preceded by Manuel María Lombardini
Succeeded by Martín Carrera
Personal details
Born 21 February 1794
Xalapa, Veracruz, Viceroyalty of New Spain (now Mexico)
Died 21 June 1876 (aged 82)
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting place Panteón del Tepeyac, Mexico City
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Inés García
María de los Dolores de Tosta
Signature

Although Antonio López de Santa Anna, the ruler of Mexico, was defeated at the Battle of San Jacinto and signed the Treaties of Velasco in 1836, ceding Texas territory from Mexican control (these treaties had not been ratified by the Mexican legislature), his forces continued to invade the Republic of Texas hoping to regain control, particularly of the territory between the Rio Grande and Nueces River.Texas had hardly any settlements there.

Image result for Images of Mier Expedition

On September 17, 1842, Texian and Mexican forces engaged at Salado Creek, east of San Antonio. After a separate favorable Texian engagement earlier in the day, a reinforcement company of 54 Texas militia, mostly from Fayette County, under the command of Nicholas Mosby Dawson, began advancing on the rear of the Mexican Army. The Mexican commander, General Adrián Woll, sent 500 of his cavalrymen and two cannons to attack the group. The Texians held their own against the Mexican soldiers, but their fatalities mounted after the cannons came within range. The battle lasted just over an hour, resulting in 36 Texians dead and 15 captured in what became known as the Dawson Massacre.

Image result for Images of Mier Expedition

Expeditions

On November 25, 1842, Alexander Somervell, a customs officer from Matagorda Island, left San Antonio with 700 men under his command on a military expedition to punish the Mexican Army for raids in Texas. The Somervell Expedition recaptured Laredo on December 7, 1842, and then, with a reduced force of 500, took the Mexican town of Guerrero. Without serious backing for the expedition from the Republic of Texas, Somervell ordered his men to disband and return home on December 19, 1842.

Five captains and their men disobeyed, initiating the start of the privateering Mier Expedition. More men were gathered at La Grange, Texas. They continued the march to Ciudad Mier under the command of William S. Fisher.

Battle of Mier

Battle of Mier
Battle of Mier.jpg
A map for the battle at Ciudad Mier.
Date December 25–26, 1842
Location Ciudad Mier, Mexico
Result Mexican victory
Belligerents
 Texas Mexico
Commanders and leaders
William S. Fisher Pedro de Ampudia
Strength
308 militia 1,000 cavalry
2,000 infantry
Casualties and losses
~30 killed or wounded
~280 captured
~600 killed
~200 wounded

On December 20, 1842, the 308 Texian soldiers, who ignored orders to pull back from the Rio Grande to Gonzales, approached Ciudad Mier. They camped on the Texas side of the Rio Grande. 261 soldiers participated in the capture of the town, while the others remained behind as the camp guard.

The Texians were unaware that 3,000 Mexican troops were in the area under the command of Generals Francisco Mexia andPedro de Ampudia. In the Battle of Mier that resulted, the Texians were outnumbered ten to one. They inflicted heavy casualties on the Mexicans—650 dead and 200 wounded—but they were forced to surrender on December 26.

Image result for Images of Mier Expedition

The Mexicans took 243 Texians prisoner and marched them toward Mexico City via Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Monterrey,Nuevo León.

On February 11, 1843, 181 Texians escaped but, by the end of the month, the lack of food and water in the mountainous Mexican desert resulted in 176 surrendering or being recaptured. This was in the vicinity of Salado, Tamaulipas.

When the prisoners arrived in Saltillo, Coahuila, they learned that an outraged Santa Anna had ordered all the escapees to be executed, but General and Governor Francisco Mexía of the state of Coahuila refused to follow the order. The new commander, Colonel Domingo Huerta, moved the prisoners to El Rancho Salado. By this time, diplomatic efforts on behalf of Texas by the foreign ministers of the United States and Great Britain led Santa Anna to compromise: he said one in ten would be killed.

Black bean incident

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To help determine who would die, Huerta had 159 white beans and seventeen black beans placed in a pot. In what came to be known as the Black Bean Episode or the Bean Lottery, the Texians were blindfolded and ordered to draw beans. Officers and enlisted men, in alphabetical order, were ordered to draw. The seventeen men who drew black beans were allowed to write letters home and were executed by firing squad. On the evening of March 25, 1843, the Texians were shot in two groups, one of nine men and one of eight. According to legend, Huerta placed the black beans in the jar last and had the officers pick first, so that they would make up the majority of those killed.

Image result for Images of Mier Expedition

The first Texan to draw a black bean was Major James Decatur Cocke. A witness recalled that Cocke held up the bean between his forefinger and thumb, and with a smile of contempt, said, “Boys, I told you so; I never failed in my life to draw a prize.” He later told a fellow Texian, “They only rob me of forty years.” Fearing that the Mexicans would strip his body after he was dead, he removed his pants and gave them to a companion whose own clothing was in worse shape. He was shot with the sixteen others who drew black beans on March 25, 1843. His last words were reported to have been, “Tell my friends I die with grace.”

The other sixteen who drew black beans in the lottery were William Mosby Eastland, Patrick Mahan, James M. Ogden, James N. Torrey, Martin Carroll Wing, John L. Cash, Robert Holmes Dunham, Edward E. Este, Robert Harris, Thomas L. Jones, Christopher Roberts, William N. Rowan, James L. Shepherd, J. N. M. Thomson, James Turnbull, and Henry Walling. Shepherd survived the firing squad by pretending to be dead. The guards left him for dead in the courtyard, and he escaped in the night but was recaptured and shot.Eastland County, Texas, is named after William Mosby Eastland.

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Texas Rangers | Myra H. Mcilvain

Captain Ewen Cameron had drawn a white bean, but was ordered executed anyway by Santa Anna a month later while being held at Perote Prison. As he waited to die, Cameron refused to confess to a priest. Standing before the firing squad, Cameron declined the offer of a blindfold, declaring, “For the liberty of Texas, Ewen Cameron can look death in the face.” He opened his hunting shirt and yelled at his executioners, “Fuego!” (Fire!).

Image result for Images of Mier Expedition

The survivors who picked white beans, including Bigfoot Wallace, and Samuel Walker, finished the march to Mexico City. They were later imprisoned at Perote Prison in the state ofVeracruz, along with the fifteen survivors from the Dawson Massacre and about 35 other men captured by General Adrián Woll in San Antonio. Some of the Texians escaped from Perote or died there. Most were prisoners until they were released, by order of Santa Anna, on September 16, 1844.

Legacy

In 1847, during the Mexican-American War, the U.S. Army occupied northeastern Mexico. Captain John E. Dusenbury, a white bean survivor, returned to El Rancho Salado and exhumed the remains of his comrades. He traveled with the remains on a ship to Galveston, and by wagon to La Grange in Fayette County, Texas. La Grange citizens retrieved the remains of the men killed in the Dawson Massacre from their burial site near Salado Creek in Bexar County. The remains of both groups of men were reinterred in a ceremony attended by 1,000 people. They were buried in a large common tomb in 1848, in a cement vault on a bluff one mile south of La Grange. The grave site is now part of a state park, the Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites.

The Black Bean Episode is the subject of Frederic Remington‘s painting The Mier Expedition: The Drawing of the Black Bean.

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