Santa Anna

Santa Anna , Antonio Lopez de

Born: 1795 in Veracruz province, Mexico

Died: 1876

       In 1823, Santa Anna, a sly young army officer ousted Mexico's Emperor Agustin I. Again in 1832 Santa Anna would lead a revolution against Mexico's President Anastasio Bustamante

     Santa Anna himself would become dictator of Mexico in 1834 - 1836 and tightened the rein of power on the Texas province.   Known as the Napoleon of the West Santa Anna marched into Texas with his powerful army and was victorious at the Alamo but the cost of the victory was bitter sweet

    William Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie along with 181 other Texans and volunteers perished at the Alamo.   With the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!" the Texans organized and took the Mexicans by surprise, capturing Santa Anna on April 21, 1836 at the Battle of San Jacinto

    With Santa Anna 's army in retreat and Santa Anna himself a prisoner of war, Santa Anna was forced to recognize Texas' independence from Mexico on May 14, 1836.     Mexico's government disposed Santa Anna of his power due to his defeat and briefly Santa Anna went into retirement

    In 1839 over disputes with the French, Santa Anna emerged from retirement during which in one battle Santa Anna lost one leg below the knee.   October 1841, Santa Anna was once again president with dictator powers

    In 1841 prisoners from the Texas - Santa Fe caravan were marched brutally by Santa Annato to Mexico with the tally of dead kept by string their ears on a leather throng            

    San Antonio was invaded by Santa Anna 's Mexican Army in 1842 and in retaliation the Texans seized the town of Mier only to immediately surrender it.    During the march to Mexico the prisoners revolted and escaped only to be recaptured

    Santa Anna decided as punishment for the attempted escape one man for every ten would be executed.   Blindfolded each man was required to draw a bean.   If a white bean was drawn, the prisoner lived in jail however if a black bean was drawn the prisoner was shot by a firing squad on March 25, 1843

    Santa Anna released the prisoners from the Santa Fe and Mier escapades on July 6, 1843 when Texas agreed to withdraw its' request of annexation from the United States Senate

    Charged with embezzlement in 1844, Santa Anna was exiled to Havana, Cuba. The United States troubles with Mexico did not end.    During negotiations Santa Anna convinced President Polk that if he was again head of Mexico that he would sell New Mexico and California to the United States for 30 million dollars.    Thus Santa Anna maneuvered his way through the U.S. naval blockade into Mexico

    Once again Santa Anna placed himself in charge of the government. On February 22, 1847, Santa Anna would feel the effects of the Americans as General Zachary Taylor with 4500 men held at bay a Mexican force of 20,000 under Santa Anna's command near Buena Vista. Both men would claim victory

    On April 12, 1847, Santa Anna's troops were again engaged in battle against General Winfield Scott at Cerro Gordo on two hilltops, Atalaya and Telegrafo.   The defeat for Santa Anna's forces were devastating

    This time the road to Mexico City was unblocked and the Americans were on their way.   The final resistance for Mexico City dearly cost Santa Anna as he lost 10,000 men.  The American loses were also great with 1000 dead and wounded

    From August 21st till September 6th , peace talks were carried on but ended in futility.    On September 7th, Scott informed Santa Anna that he would again fight.     On September 8th, the battle ensued at Casa Mata with high casualties on both sides. September 13th brought the battle and surrender of Chapultepec.   Mexico City fell to the Americans by nightfall

    In all Santa Anna had lost 25,000 soldiers in 17 months of fighting while the Americans lost 5,000 men.    During the peace settlements which were signed on February 2, 1848 Santa Anna lost the presidency but Santa Anna would return two more times in Mexican history to the office before 1855

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