The Battle of Palo Alto Historical Marker
The Battle of Palo Alto was the first major battle of the Mexican–American War fought on May 8, 1846. It took place north of the Rio Grande River near present-day Brownsville, Texas. Union forces, led by future president General Zachary Taylor, defeated a superior Mexican force. This victory along with others led to Taylor's status as a war hero and aided him down the road in his run for president.
Backstory and Context
The battle began at roughly 2:00 P.M. on May 8, and lasted until sunset. it could be considered a stalemate, but it was apparent that the American artillery was superior to that of the Mexican forces. The last maneuver at Palo Alto was a desperate Mexican charge at sunset. Taylor's troops managed to attack and defeat the Mexicans before they could regroup.
The battle proved the effectiveness of the tactic of using light artillery to attack then quickly move to another location to fire again. It was followed by another American victory the next day in the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. These early accomplishment were a major boost for the moral of the American troops. Today, the battlefield is marked as the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park.