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 threatened.
  • 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 the President.
  • 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.

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Mexican War

Civil War

Spanish/American War

World War I

World War II


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