September, 1847: Siege of Chapultepec Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

American general Winfield Scott decided to attack Mexico City through its western gate. However, to see his strategy succeed, Scott had to take the high ground of Chapultepec Hill. When the American forces began approaching, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna placed a force of some 7,100 soldiers throughout the hill’s fortifications, including the buildings of a local military school.

American troops storming the citadel of Chapultepec, which was defended by 5,000 troops. (Institute of Texan Cultures)

American general Winfield Scott decided to attack Mexico City through its western gate. However, to see his strategy succeed, Scott had to take the high ground of Chapultepec Hill. When the American forces began approaching, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna placed a force of some 7,100 soldiers throughout the hill’s fortifications, including the buildings of a local military school.

The battle began when the American forces opened up with artillery fire on September 12. The next day, Scott attacked from two fronts: A storming party came from the south and east and a second force came from the west. The American troops approaching from the west were able to scale the walls of Chapultepec and engage in extensive hand-to-hand combat with the Mexican defenders. By 9:30 on the morning of September 13, the Americans had won, and General Santa Anna surrendered all of his troops. The Mexican forces lost 1,800 soldiers; the Americans lost 450. The battle for Chapultepec brought the surrender of Mexico City, forcing a negotiated peace and bringing an end to the hostilities between the two armies.

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