The Irish battalion that fought for Mexico.

The Mexican-American war was a conflict between the US and Mexico between 1846 and 1848.

The Saint Patrick’s battalion was a unit of mostly Irish immigrants who left the United States Army to fight for Mexico during this war.

John O’riley and The St. Patrick’s Battalion

The Saint Patrick’s Battalion was integrated by 175 Catholic Irish and some German immigrants as well as Canadians, English, French among others.

John O’riley was their leader.

O’riley was an Irish soldier in the British Army who emigrated to the United States and later on enlisted in the US Army.

Although as part of the US Army, the Irish were treated as inferiors and given dirty jobs as well as they were not allowed to profess their religion.

This caused the desertion of several Irish soldiers, mostly Catholics.

John O'Riley
John O’Riley

Mexico’s offerings to the Irish

After leaving the American army, the Irish decided to join the Mexican armed forces because they were offered money, land, and freedom to profess their religion.

However, the freedom to profess their religion was the biggest factor to make them join the Mexican army.

Although the Irish Catholics felt certain sympathy for mexico because as Ireland, Mexico was a poor Catholic country.

The battle of Churubusco and the after math of the war.

The battle of Churubusco was the Saint Patrick’s final battle.

When the Americans attacked on August 20, 1847, the San Patricios fought like demons.

However, they had to surrender when they ran out of ammunition.

Finally, the Irish soldiers that were captured by the Americans were executed.

In spite of that, now a days the memory of those brave soldiers remains.

A plaque with their names was added to the Plaza of San Jacinto in Mexico city.

Also, every year on March 17th and September 13th, the battalion is commemorated an celebrated by Mexicans.

The Saint Patrick Battalion Marker
The Saint Patrick Battalion Marker.
Photographer: J. Makali Bruton

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