American Military Interventions in Mexico
(other than the War of 1846-8):1806-1876
From "Instances of the Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1945," Hearing before the Committee
on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services, 87th Congress, 2nd Session, Mon., Sept. 17, 1962.
1806 - Captain Z.M. Pike, with a platoon of troops,
invaded Spanish territory at the headwaters of the Rio Grande deliberately
and on orders from Gen. James Wilkinson. He was made prisoner without
resistance at a fort he constructed in present day Colorado, taken to Mexico,
later released after seizure of his papers. There was a political purpose,
still a mystery.
1836 - General Gaines occupied Nacogdoches (Texas),
disputed territory, from July to December during the Texan war for independence,
under orders to cross the "imaginary boundary line" if an Indian outbreak
1842 - Commodore T.A.C. Jones, in command of a squadron
long cruising off California, occupied Monterey, Calif., on October 19,
believing war had come. He discovered peace, withdrew, and saluted. A similar
incident occurred a week later at San Diego.
1844 - President Tyler deployed our forces to protect
Texas against Mexico, pending Senate approval of treaty of annexation (later
rejected). He defended his action against a Senate resolution of
inquiry. This was a demonstration or preparation.
1866 - To protect American residents, General Sedgwick
and 100 men in November obtained surrender of Matamoras. After three days,
he was ordered by our government to withdraw. His act was repudiated by
June 17-18, 1870 - To destroy the pirate ship which
had been run aground about 40 miles up the Rio Tecapan.
1873 - United States troops crossed the Mexican border
repeatedly in pursuit of cattle and other thieves. There were some reciprocal
pursuits by Mexican troops into our border territory. The cases were only
technically invasions, if that, although Mexico protested constantly. Notable
cases were at Remolina in May 1873 and at Las Cuevas in 1875. Washington
orders often supported these excursions. Agreements between Mexico and
the United States, the first in 1882, finally legitimized such raids. They
continued intermittently, with minor disputes, until 1896.
May 18, 1876 - To police the town of Matamoros temporarily,
while it was without other government.
War of 1812
World War I
World War II