Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Learn Our History Today: April 25

Learn Our History Today: On April 25, 1846, a party of 70 U.S. Dragoons, under the command of Captain Seth Thornton, was ordered to scout an area northwest of current day Brownsville, Texas, to determine if the Mexican army had crossed the Rio Grande River into Texas. While investigating an abandoned hacienda, the dragoons ran into two thousand Mexican troops under the command of Colonel Mastasio Torrejon, who were camped near the hacienda. Immediately fighting broke out. For hours the two groups clashed until the dragoons, being hugely outnumbered, were forced to surrender. 16 U.S. Dragoons were killed and the rest were captured except for a single dragoon who was able to escape and report of the battle. After hearing of the fight that became known as the Thornton Affair, President James K. Polk asked congress to declare war on Mexico, beginning the Mexican-American War.

Another event that happened on April 25 was the Battle of Mark’s Mill, which was fought in Cleveland County, Arkansas, as part of the Camden Campaign. At Mark’s Mill on April 25, 1864, two confederate divisions under the command of James F. Fagan, launched a devastating attack on a small union force under the command of Francis M. Drake. The overwhelming confederate numbers obliged the union to surrender. The confederates lost 293 men in battle and the union lost over 1300 men.

April 25 is also remembered as Elbe Day...On this day in 1945, American and Soviet troops finally met along the Elbe River in Germany. This effectively cut Nazi Germany in two and was a large step towards the end of World War II in Europe.

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