Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Saturday, March 19, 2005

NOTA AL PIE DE LA PÁGINA: This forgotten true story would make a wonderful novel and movie.
During the buildup to the Mexican-American War (1846-8), scores of immigrant Irishmen joined the army for the $7 a month. "The U.S. anti-immigrant press of the time caricatured the Irish with simian features, portraying then as unintelligent and drunk and charging that they were seditiously loyal to the pope," ... many of those Irish soldiers who found themselves heading west to fight a war of conquest were Catholic. ...

One such deserter was John Riley, an Irishman from Galway who swam across the Rio Grande after asking permission to go to Mass. "As the U.S. Army marched through Mexico’s northern deserts, others followed, and Riley became captain of a 200-member rogue column in the Mexican army," ...

The group was unofficially known as the "Irish Volunteers" but Mexicans often referred to the redheaded and ruddy-complexioned men as the "Red Guards." ... In five major battles, the San Patricios earned a reputation for bravery that peaked on August 20, 1847 at Churubusco where, over the course of three hours, 60 percent of the San Patricios were killed or captured by a numerically superior American army. ...

While 50 San Patricios were sentenced to death, five others were pardoned and 15 others received a reduced sentence. Riley himself was given 50 lashes and was hot-iron branded with a two-inch letter "D" for deserter. The San Patricios who faced the gallows were hanged in their Mexican uniforms and buried in graves dug by Riley and the other branded prisoners.
(Found at Mickey Z..)


  • At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Actually, it has already been made into a movie, and not too bad either, I might add.


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