By RENE TORRES
Ulysses S. Grant, who saw action at the Battle of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, in Brownsville, marched here from Corpus Christi in 1846.
Exploring the South Texas frontier, where no camera had ever captured its wilderness, was an eye-opening experience for the northern boys. “There was not, at that time, a single habitation, cultivated field, or herd of domesticated animals, between Corpus Christi and Matamoros, Mexico,” related Grant in his memoirs.
At the time of the border war, Grant was a junior officer, and his input was limited to doing his job. Years later, not content by being silent, he declared, “That the war was one of the most unjust…ever waged by a stronger nation against a weak nation — an act more reminiscent of ‘European monarchs’ than a democratic republic.”
Two years prior to the Mexican-American War, Grant participated with an infantry regiment in Louisiana. Reflecting about that period, he wrote…“Although they were never explicitly told so, they all knew they were there because of the prospective annexation of Texas.” According to Grant, the other officers were uncaring whether the annexation was completed or not. Grant, himself, was vividly and bitterly against the measure.
He additionally declared, “Technically, the forces were to prevent filibustering (an armed expedition of Americans) into Texas,” but Grant expressed that it was really as a menace to Mexico in case she appeared to contemplate war.”
After his tenure in the Mexican-American War, Grant left the army, only to return at the outbreak of the Civil War. After several successful victories in that war, Lincoln promoted him to lead all Union armies. It took pails of bloods after a campaign in Virginia, for Robert E. Lee to surrender on April 9, 1865.
And there you have it, one of America’s most ornamented generals kept his opinion about the Mexican-American War silent, until after the cannons were hushed and the stream of blood dried-up. Although, his comments were interesting, not many invested in his opinion to make a difference.
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