Battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales

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Battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales
Part of the Mexican-American War
Date March 16, 1848
Location Santa Cruz de Rosales, Chihuahua
Result U.S. victory
 United States  Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Sterling Price Angel Trias
200[1]:159 804[1]:159
Casualties and losses
4 killed
19 wounded[1]:159
328 killed[1]:159

The Battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales was an engagement of the Mexican-American War that took place after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had been signed.


Arriving in El Paso on 23 February, Brigadier General Sterling Price, commander of U.S. forces in New Mexico, captured a courier carrying letters indicating Mexican General Jose de Urrea was advancing.[1]:159 Despite receiving orders to strike into Chihuahua only if an invasion force gathered there, Price left El Paso on 1 March with three companies of the 1st Dragoons and four companies of the 3d Missouri.[1]:159 Meeting at the site of the earlier Battle of Sacramento, Governor Angel Trias told Price of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, yet Price continued on and entered Chihuahua on 7 March.[1]:159 On 8 March, Price and 200 men headed for Santa Cruz de Rosales, the fortifications where Trias had retreated with his men and artillery.[1]:159 Price sent for Lt. John Love's battery in El Paso, while Trias on 10 March, once again, explained a treaty had been signed.[1]:159


Price assaulted Santa Cruz de Rosales mid-morning on 16 March, carrying the town in two hours.[1]:159

Price received word that a Mexican cavalry force was in his rear and withdrew his artillery for protection. The defenders mistook this as a sign of retreat and kept up a heavy fire on the American forces. However, their aim was inaccurate, and the Mexican cavalry force turned out to be but a few men. After dispersing the counterattack, Price ordered his dismounted cavalry to capture the town. Price split his men into several storming parties and personally led one of them. Although Trias beat back attacks from the north and west, an attack from the south successfully carried the town plaza.


The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had been signed by both the United States and Mexico on February 2, 1848, and was ratified by the U.S. Congress on March 10. Therefore, Price's attack on Santa Cruz de Rosales in fact took place after the U.S. had agreed to peace, although the Mexican Congress would not ratify the treaty until March 19.

On 15 April, Price was ordered to withdraw and return captured property, and on 16 May, ordered back to El Paso by Secretary of War William L. Marcy, after being told he had violated orders.[1]:159

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Bauer, K.J., 1974, The Mexican War, 1846-1848, New York:Macmillan, ISBN 0803261071

Additional Reading

  • The Cowpen Slaughter: Was there a Massacre of Mexican Soldiers at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales? Vol. 81, New Mexico Historical Review, page 413 (November 2006).

External links