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"San Patricio Regiment!" Topic

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SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 8:04 a.m. PST

Something of interest about the Irish in Mexico.


Cincinnatus Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 8:26 a.m. PST

Seems accurate and fair to me. (based on the 4 or 5 books I've read on the war)

I was wondering what direction they might go with that because it's a difficult situation for people to understand today.

Man of Few Words01 Oct 2012 8:46 a.m. PST

Most were deserters from Zachary Taylor's Army. Desertion rate was quite high in those days in any assignment but being in Texas doing nothing made it worse. There was discrimination in the US Army but it affected Germans as well.
The San patricios were not executed per se, only those who deserted after the start of hostilities. Riley, I believe, left early enough to be tried only for desertion and not deserting to an enemy. W.S. Scott's attitude was different about the Mexican population, altering European practices about occupied nations, and won credit in War of 1812 for defending his Irish soldiers held as POW's by the British.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 9:50 a.m. PST

I remember reading about the deserters facing the battle, and to be hung when the American flag was raised. I don't remember mention being made of their being Irish.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2012 11:24 a.m. PST

It should be remembered that, in the pre-Civil War years, up to 1/4 of the US Army were recruited right off the boat

Cincinnatus Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 12:16 p.m. PST

Irish and Catholic. The Mexicans were devout Catholics so they really did have a connection through that religion that might be overlooked in today's world.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2012 12:32 p.m. PST

An interesting article. My Civil war reenactment unit is an Irish regiment (28th Mass). We discuss the circumstances of the immigrants up to and during the War. Interesting how few people are aware of what happened.

Man of Few Words brings up an interesting point about how Taylor and Scott treated both the soldiers and the Mexican population. A friend of mine wrote an interesting legal paper a couple of years ago on this very topic. Suffice to say that Taylor does not come off well.

mex10mm01 Oct 2012 12:39 p.m. PST

As a side story; the bodies of the irish soldiers that were hanged in "San Jacinto" were stolen at night by Catholic priests from the "Nuestra Señora del Carmen" convent and then burried in secret under the Catholic rites in the near parish church of "Tlacopac", the location of their tombs was lost with time and not yet been discovered, (an educated guess would be that they are burriend under the actual church´s parking lot).
I think it would be of historical importance and some interest to the 3 countries (Irland, Mexico and the USA) to find the remains of this 19th. century soldiers.

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2012 3:22 p.m. PST
Mapleleaf Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 3:27 p.m. PST

There were approximately nine thousand (9000) deserters from the US Army during the Mexican war. Of those only the San Patricios were hanged.

From Wikipedia

En masse hangings for treason took place on 10 September 1847, at San Ángel (where 16 were hanged) and the village of Mixcoac (where 4 were hanged), and 13 September at Chapultepec. At the San Ángel hangings all prisoners were executed without incident except for Patrick Dalton, who, as an American captain described, was "literally choked to death".[55] Dalton had previously voiced concerns regarding his treatment.[56] By order of Gen. Winfield Scott, 30 San Patricios were to be executed at Chapultepec in full view of the two armies who had fought there, at the precise moment that the flag of the U.S. replaced the flag of Mexico atop the citadel. This order was carried out by Col. William Harney.[35] While overseeing the hangings, Harney ordered Francis O'Connor hanged even though he had had both legs amputated the previous day. When the army surgeon informed the colonel that the absent soldier had lost both his legs in battle, Harney replied:
" "Bring the damned son of a bitch out! My order was to hang 30 and by God I'll do it!"[57] ""


Cincinnatus Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 4:31 p.m. PST

I think the main point wasn't that they deserted but that they went over to the other side and fought against the US Army.

Say what you want about the validity of deserting during that period but joining the other side crosses a line that they had to know would mean execution.

Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2012 5:26 p.m. PST

Good movie on that. One Man's Hero with Tom Berringer. Not a well publicised flick but well done thumbs up

jedburgh01 Oct 2012 6:07 p.m. PST

The Chieftans and Ry Cooder brought out this album about the San Patricio's

Redoran Inactive Member02 Oct 2012 5:25 p.m. PST

I'm in agreement with many Irish-Americans on this, it is a shameful chapter.
And songs being written about them and the Irish government issuing stamps honoring them doesn't help.

By the way, is it just me or does the Irish ambassador look like Mark Gatiss?

Solzhenitsyn Inactive Member03 Oct 2012 7:22 a.m. PST

If you desert from an army during time of war then take up arms with the enemy force to fight against and possible kill your former comrades, then you are the worst kind of traitor and deserve the harshest punishment. Hanging was an easy death for them. Doing it while the flag was raised was a nice touch.

If you desert before the shooting starts and join that enemy army, long prison sentance. If desert, go home, but don't join the army of your country's enemy.

It's a long quote, but a good one by Teddy Roosevelt in 1915. As true today as then.

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all…

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic…

There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else."

Redoran Inactive Member03 Oct 2012 9:39 a.m. PST

Solzhenitsyn, I agree with your first point. But that Roosevelt quote hardly seems relevant. Rather than being relevant, now or then, it shows what an out of touch elitist he was. Many fine Americans have been self-identified Irish Americans.
It is easy for Roosevelt to say, he was raised in privileged circumstances and never had to leave his homeland to scrape an existence.
Emigration is a lonely experience. You leave your home and those dear to you in the hope of something better. It can be comforting having people from the old country around you.
And why, with such rampant discrimination, would people choose to call themselves American? They didn't feel like Americans, they weren't treated like Americans and America didn't seem ready to take them.

Chouan Inactive Member09 Oct 2012 10:03 a.m. PST

I thought the film was dreadful. I did try to watch it, but gave up. There is a small memorial to them in Clifden, Co.Galway, but so unobtrusive that you could miss it, even if looking for it.

Cincinnatus Inactive Member09 Oct 2012 7:54 p.m. PST

I own the film but haven't watched it. I know it was not highly rated but then you don't get too many films on this war so you have to be a little more open minded.

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