Military Interventions in Mexico: 1806-1876
the Mexican-American War of 1846-8)
From "Instances of the
Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1945," Hearing before the
Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services, 87th
Congress, 2nd Session, Mon., Sept. 17, 1962.
- 1806 - Captain Z.M.
Pike, with a platoon of troops, invaded Spanish territory at the headwaters of
the Rio Grande deliberately and on orders from Gen. James Wilkinson. He was
made prisoner without resistance at a fort he constructed in present day
Colorado, taken to Mexico, later released after seizure of his papers. There
was a political purpose, still a mystery.
- 1836 - General Gaines
occupied Nacogdoches (Texas), disputed territory, from July to December during
the Texan war for independence, under orders to cross the "imaginary boundary
line" if an Indian outbreak threatened.
- 1842 - Commodore
T.A.C. Jones, in command of a squadron long cruising off California, occupied
on October 19, believing war had come. He discovered peace, withdrew, and
saluted. A similar incident occurred a week later at
- 1844 - President
Tyler deployed our forces to protect Texas against Mexico, pending Senate
approval of treaty of annexation (later rejected). He defended his action
against a Senate resolution of inquiry. This was a demonstration or
- 1866 - To protect
American residents, General Sedgwick and 100 men in November obtained
surrender of Matamoras. After three days, he was ordered by our government to
withdraw. His act was repudiated by the President.
- June 17-18, 1870 - To
destroy the pirate ship which had been run aground about 40 miles up the Rio
- 1873 - United States
troops crossed the Mexican border repeatedly in pursuit of cattle and other
thieves. There were some reciprocal pursuits by Mexican troops into our border
territory. The cases were only technically invasions, if that, although Mexico
protested constantly. Notable cases were at Remolina in May 1873 and at Las
Cuevas in 1875. Washington orders often supported these excursions. Agreements
between Mexico and the United States, the first in 1882, finally legitimized
such raids. They continued intermittently, with minor disputes, until 1896.
- May 18, 1876 - To
police the town of Matamoros temporarily, while it was without other
(C) Copyright 2003 Daniel L