On this date in 1846 – (170 years ago) – After several days of bloody urban warfare in which some nine hundred combatants on both sides were killed or wounded, a US army of occupation led by General Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican forces in battle at Monterrey, northern Mexico. Taylor then negotiated a truce with Mexican General Pedro Ampudia that allowed the Mexican soldiers to give up the city and march away with their weapons. US President James K. Polk was infuriated when he learned of the deal, fuming that he had authorized no such agreement, and had simply ordered Taylor to kill Mexicans and take their territory. But Polk’s war was opposed by many in the United States—not only by such luminaries as Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson, but even by many of the soldiers and officers who fought in it. Ulysses S. Grant, who served as a second lieutenant under Taylor, later called the war “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation... an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.” As for Taylor, he later succeeded Polk to the US presidency, only to die after sixteen months in office.
Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi